Friday, October 8, 2010



An old aphorism. Driving through camden NJ one day on an errand i seen one of the many pictures/elements of america's struggling class system.Passing through one of camden's many drug sets i caught a glimpse of a handfull of youth, barely in their teens exchanging work hand to hand in a scramble, weathering the cold air. Couple days later i listened to Thug's mansion(acoustic original) in my home, and as that recent scene and the scenes of the harsh realities many share came to mind i thought of its relation to Pac's vision. That most in these situations and environments feel trapped by circumstance.

"A place where death doesn't reside"-
Nasir bin olu dara jones

A quote from Thug's mansion(NY) featuring Nas, probally states one of the main issues in our american inner cities.Thug's mansion conceptualizes heaven as a reflection our own culture. It houses amenities from flowing liquor, to visions of our ancestors and loved ones at rest. The only difference is Pac's vision paints it with two elements we lack: a perpetual state of peace and peace of mind. In the face of any harsh reality escapism, or the need to escape is normal. At least we have a gem to resort to for everlasting peace feels like. Thug's mansion. Good looks' Pac.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


" Gentrification and urban gentrification denote the socio-cultural changes in an area resulting from wealthier people buying housing property in a less prosperous community.[1] Consequent to gentrification, the average income increases and average family size decreases in the community, which may result in the informal economic eviction of the lower-income residents, because of increased rents, house prices, and property taxes. This type of population change reduces industrial land use when it is redeveloped for commerce and housing. In addition, new businesses, catering to a more affluent base of consumers, tend to move into formerly blighted areas, further increasing the appeal to more affluent migrants and decreasing the accessibility to less wealthy natives."-


"Ill never turn my back..ill give the slums a 'try"-

The Honorable Robert Nesta Marley O.M

Its no wonder to see inner city communities, from Chi-town, to Maryland, New York to the slums of camden and philly undergo serious transformation. Execptionally minorities have witnessed the elements of their communities change. From seeing the social conditioning of corrupt public schools, drug corners, speak easy's, number houses and community centers slowly become major million dollar food, clothing, and industrial chains. The slow burning process of gentrification didn't really hit me until i seen the shutting down and evacuation of some of the most corrupted housing projects in philadelphia, and the changes on some of the old blocks i spent time on as a child in washington heights, NY. The most recent i seen was the building of new complexes, and garages in Camden NJ, on and close to some of the more poorer surrounding neighborhoods, where some of the residents are in the process of slowly populating neighborhoods like Cherry hill NJ. The process of gentrification is always the same: prepared or not, the current residents eventually have to leave. In america, the saying is still true; among the powers that be" the richer get richer, and the poorer get poorer". From a bird's eye view of the culture, from talent, and business moves i couldn't see blacks, latino's, and other nationalities limited to section 8, housing projects etc. But putting their minds together, to secure their communities, and pursue entrepenuarship.

In american inner cities the "paper chase" is still real: and relevent to political monopoly. In most cities, through gentrification some poor regions are bought by the government, proprietors, and major businesses; while some of the poor sections stay the same, for years. These sections usually benefit corrupt law enforcement and politicians that make profits off the destruction of these communities through drugs. In my years of living in and understanding philadelphia's ghetto's, and studying the urban plight, Gentrification is one issue in the lineup that's relevent to minorities. I hope this essay encourages awareness to the American class system, the good, the bad and the ugly. Peace.

Consciously Yours,



Sunday, September 5, 2010


"Illmatic is the debut album of American rapper Nas, released April 19, 1994 on Columbia Records. Following his signing to Columbia with the help of MC Serch, recording sessions for the album took place during 1992 to 1993 at Chung King Studios, D&D Recording, Battery Studios, and Unique Recording Studios in New York City. Its production was handled by Nas, Large Professor, Pete Rock, Q-Tip, L.E.S., and DJ Premier. Stylistically a hardcore hip hop album, Illmatic features Nas's multi-syllabic internal rhyme patterns expressing inner city lyrical themes and narratives based on his native Queensbridge, New York. "-


One Lp that hit NYC as a epidemic. Nasir olu dara jones of long island city (Queens NY), realeased illmatic at a turning point in hip hop. Between for walls, Qboro streets and the walls of Queensbridge houses, he wrote the album. Along with the right elements he took the weight of illmatic to NYC and abroad. There were many strong voices/mc’s/groups 94’. At the time of my generation, by social observation the album reintroduced/street conceptualized project life, the drug epidemic, the prison system, God, religion, the urban plight, the school system, family and the art of rhyming: all in one 10 song LP.

I think for many the Illmatic LP, though written from the grounds of Nas’ life help put the urban plight in perspective internationally. Illmatic is a stream of consciousness where everybody, past present and future can pull something from it. In reflection this commentary takes a break from the digital connections, fads, politics and propaganda of today's industry and pop-culture; to go back to grassroots essence: life, the mind, the pen and pad. Illmatic, brother Nasir, salute.-

Consciously yours




Thursday, July 29, 2010


"Prisoner of conscience (POC) is a term coined by the human rights group Amnesty International in the early 1960s. It can refer to anyone imprisoned because of their race, religion, long as they have not used or advocated violence.

It also refers to those who have been imprisoned and/or persecuted for the non-violent expression of their conscientiously-held beliefs."

American inner city Crime, politics and the prison industrial complex. This term “Prisoner of conscience” although coined under specific definition, I believe is relative to all in many ways. This term initially applies to many human rights collectives. One example is the plight and movement of pan-african socialists;(ie:artists Dead Prez, Black Panthers, people’s army) and black nationalist groups. The illustration of the political prisoner: M.L.K Jr, Huey Newton, Leonard Peltzer, those who demonstrated violent or non-violent resistance for social change. These examples and figures are known on a grand scale; but this term holds relation to all, especially in American inner cities.

In the inner city the criminal justice system deals with repeat felons to convicts; many times due to social conditioning, of class and race. From a bird’s eye view theory where you have a region that suffers poverty, it also suffers from under development, and is condusive to an environment of crime, an influx of narcotics and social unrest, and this becomes the culture of the community, generationally. Where the babies of yester-year easily replace those who ran the list of criminal function before. The prisoner of conscience is not only the socially conscious activist; he/she is the racially profiled individual arrested and charged with resisting arrest. He/she is the individual fighting a pending case of homicide in the event of self-defense. He/she is the individual charged with a crime they didn’t commit. All relative to conscientious decision. This essay is written in light that the prison industrial complex as stated, is not only an institution for offenders and potentially dangerous to society, but an industry..with people as the product and commodity; the prison industrial complex, is a business. An undertone of human capitalism. This fact is something to be conscious of in this modern day..of all nationalties in the urban plight, more exeptionally people of color, because systematic racism still exists. Even more with the exploitation of pop-culture; from remnants of the the upper middle class, middle to the lower. Prisoners of conscience is not a conspiracy theory, it is a reality in urban america and abroad. Peace.

Consciously yours,



"The Autobiography of Malcolm X is a 1965 book about the life of human rights activist Malcolm X (1925–1965). In 1998, Time named The Autobiography of Malcolm X one of the ten most influential nonfiction books of the 20th century."[1]-


A Brief reflection of one of the most significant autobiographies written: The autobiography of Malcolm X. I first discovered this book in my mid-teens, soft cover copy, in my apartment in the Bronx. Just looking at the cover brought back the elements of everything I learned of this man up to that point, from systematic education to media (Malcolm X movie). At that young age I generally shared the same respect as many culturally, historically and politically for Malcolm, for his contributions to his race, culture, and all people, even to the point of martyrdom. The meaning and potency of the book didn’t impact me till my early twenties. These formative years included working, husselin’ nine to five’s and going to school at night. During these transitions the book resurfaced at about 23, where I was already several years engaged in personal study of African culture, and the African diaspora in America; ie: ghetto, class system, crime, prison, for my own understanding of the sociological conditions. In the progression of the years I only managed to thumb through several chapters; and simultaneously seeing via media etc. the praises of the book. Some bore as testimonials, where one man stated in an essence magazine article that the book inspired him to change his life and be a better father to his children.
At this point I realized the book had life changing effect; not only the weight of international acclaim but it spoke to all people of different colors nationalities and religions. Although Malcolm’s faith was Islam, I seen the principles and transparency of Malcolm’s life spoke universally; to the effect where people, religious, spiritual or indifferent would grab the autobiography before reading the Bible or Q’uran. A definite archive in American history..for any readers choice, as far as a learning experience, i definetly recommend it. Peace.

Consciously yours,



Thursday, July 1, 2010


"More than 60% of the people in prison are now racial and ethnic minorities. For Black males in their twenties, 1 in every 8 is in prison or jail on any given day. These trends have been intensified by the disproportionate impact of the "war on drugs," in which three-fourths of all persons in prison for drug offenses are people of color." -

In the introduction of this essay I start in retrospect; with an essay I wrote four years ago in observation to the coming developing changes to the sociological and cultural aspects to america’s inner city’s. Living in Philadelphia at the time, seeing the rise of homicides there in the transitions of 2006 and 2007, to where it toppled Camden NJ as the murder capitol, I blogged that “where or the when the darkest hour settles, the light of hope shines the brightest” (paraphrased). I stated this, seeing in the following years the consciousness of not only the people opening, recognizing the troubled times, but major artists became involved in a stream of activism, and reflected views of positive change in their music, ie:

Activism, and social activism is still relevent. In 2010, in the mainstream of pop-culture(entertainment, arts), the socio-landscape of america's inner cities, politics and the current recession(paper chase), there still remains an undertow of a sense of community; even in the face of the social ills. The challenges that plague us in our urban communities, specifically in the african and latino diaspora's, generally brings us back to a code of ethics, that seemingly suffers depletion in the culture. "Music is life"..a term i like to refer to, helps me put the social outlook of this urban discourse in perspective:

From the street's genre, ( Beans, D-block, Cassidy, Ransom) to the king's/queens of commercial mainstream,(Jay z, Drake, Nas, Jeezy, mariah) to the conscious genre's(pan-african socialists, dead prez, talib kweli, the roots, mos def, common, erykah, rebel diaz) all have one thing in common: they wouldn't refute the means of social change; especially in urban communities. Most artists of all genre's by personal experience, and overall, are conscious of the times. Unity, and understanding are primarily still catalysts for change. I write this in efforts to encourage social awareness, personal and social development among the american masses, and people of color. Peace.

Consciously yours,