Not sure what I think of this yet. Jeezy's verse is crazy. Jay is again telling the truth but not sure how much effort was put behind it really. Decide for yourself...
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Andre 3000 deserves all of the respect and props he gets. That's why he's recently overtaken Nas as my favorite rapper of all time. However, Andre's accolades often overshadow the seminal talent of Big Boi. This is the first single off of his new album an I'm feeling it. The beat is bananas and the message is thoughtful. Good to hear some real hip hop.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Ironically enough one day after the publishing company that owns the rights to the Rolling Stones "Play with Fire" sues Universal and Lil Wayne, The Rolling Stones sign a deal with Universal. The signing probably won't have any bearing on the lawsuit as the Publishing Company determines what happens not the Rolling Stones directly since they don't directly own the publishing rights. Congratulations to the Rolling Stones as they continue to make music and achieve extraordinary success.What I thought was intriguing is that they turned down the big money from LIVE NATION for a traditional label
CHECK THE ARTICLE: (REUTERS)
UNIVERSAL MUSIC SIGNING ROLLING STONES
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Shareholders of Clear Channel agreed to a buyout by a private equity firm to the tune of $17.9 Billion. CClear Channel is the largest owner of full-power AM, FM and shortwave radio stations twelve radio channels on XM Satellite, and is also the largest media company that focuses only on radio.(Source: Wikipedia). The station is hoping to have a smooth transition and maintain the success. These buyouts are getting out of control!
LINK: (SOURCE: REUTERS)
CLEAR CHANNEL SHAREHOLDERS AGREE TO BUYOUT
Kanye is a controversial guy for sure but his heart is definitely in the right place. He is actively involved in charity around the world but doesn't often publicize it. However, its hard not to publicize when you team up with MTV. The two have created the Choose Or Lose and Kanye West Present: Homecoming. The goal of the documentary is to show the struggles war veterans face when they come home from war. Kanye and MTV pay surprise visits to veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq . They present each veteran with a financial gift on behalf of MTV and the Dr. Donda West Foundation. The gift includes paying off their debt, taking care of their rent, or funding their tuition. Who said a hip hop artist can't do good? This story was noticeably missing from a lot of news sources today. Also way to keep your Mother's legacy alive!
STORY: COURTESY OF REUTERS
KANYE VISITS VETERANS
GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE TAKING THE UPCOMING BAR!
I would like to wish good luck to everyone taking the upcoming bar. Personally I feel that the hardest part about the New York Bar in particular is studying for it - taking it isn't the hardest part. I hope that is encouraging with only a few days of studying left! Confidence is key...GOOD LUCK!
Here is the absolutely tasteless photo run by the New Yorker portraying Barack and Michelle Obama as black militant, terrorist, flag burning, Osama Bin Laden loving, Americans looking to take over America. When I first heard this story I couldn't believe The New Yorker would do such a thing. Then I thought about it and my surprise turned to a disappointing confirmation of the continued fall from grace of American media.
I have my issues with media and it seems more and more credible news sources are becoming shameless in their attempts to gain attention and notoriety. There used to be more of a distinct line between tabloid journalism and reputable journalism.The New Yorker has always had my respect as the latter but this shows that they too have been compromised.
If the New Yorker is looking more like The National Enquirer, red flags need to be raised.
This is the new American society we live in. Gossip, and controversy are what draws attention, which draws ratings, consumer buys, and brand awareness. Is the responsibility of media to have a moral compass? Or in America, our land of capitalism and freedom of speech, is what makes money more important? Freedom of Speech and capitalism have always been part of the fabric of our society and have been vital in America's rise to greatness. However, there has always been a system of checks and balances that have prevented the rights to earn a dollar, and say what you want to say from leading to anarchy and greater evil than good. That system of checks and balances is being challenged more and more greatly,I would argue, as we deteriorate into a tabloid crazed, if it makes dollars it makes sense society.
Before I digress into generalizing this situation, let me give it the specific attention it deserves.
What the hell were the decision makers at The New Yorker thinking when they decided to move forward with this image on the cover of its magazine? No one had the sense to say ,"hmm, this might be kind of stupid." I would argue that someone did, but I'm sure the "buzz" and "wow" factor outweighed the idea that this could be damaging to the face of our nation, the odds on favorite to become the next President of The United States of America. This is not only damaging to Barack and Michelle Obama, but to America. The reaction to the "caricature" has been almost uniformly critical, but does that really matter? I'm sure the issue was flying off the newsstands at a exponentially higher rate this morning. To The New Yorker's credit they are not shying away from the controversy and issuing a fake apology through an expensive PR company. Here is the explanation New Yorker Editor In Chief David Remnick gave to defend the cover.
"The intent of the cover is to satirize the vicious and racist attacks and rumors and misconceptions about the Obamas that have been floating around in the blogosphere and are reflected in public opinion polls," Remnick said."What we set out to do was to throw all these images together, which are all over the top and to shine a kind of harsh light on them, to satirize them. That's part of what we do."
A great explanation on the surface but proper analysis of the cover does not give that clear reason for the image. The image has no description or disclaimer attached to it. It simply puts the picture out there for people to reach whatever conclusions they want to make. The articles written within the magazine are ones that cast Obama in a very positive light, but that does not excuse the damage done by the cover. If Remnick's justification is valid than what does it really say about America? I am not sure if I've seen an image more blatantly racist against so many different races. Is this sense that America is really a "united" nation of immigrants, a complete fallacy? Do we all have our own prejudices, that although aren't expressed outwardly, may have a more damaging effect by feeling them privately? I know I've opened a Pandora's box, and this is a discussion for a separate piece and I do have an opinion. What I will say is that this magazine cover does damage the image of our nation. Even if all of this is true and leads to a real debate, The New Yorker's publication of this image was extremely irresponsible.
Back to my general frustration. Every form of American media is becoming greatly influenced by the components that make tabloid journalism popular. Fox News, the least credible, most salacious, blatantly racist, news channel is head and shoulders above its competitors in the ratings wars. Shock jocks are the most popular radio talk show hosts. What the name of Brad and Angelina's new baby is more important than the films they appear in. Music Television channels (VH1, MTV, BET) are no longer sources for viewers to watch videos from their favorite artists but havens for gossip heavy, sleazy reality television shows. Sports coverage is becoming less about the sports and more about the Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson rumors, and the off the field issues of athletes. Websites such as TMZ, Perez Hilton, and Bossip are more popular than any other websites on the internet. Should we not be worried that this is what the majority of Americans are drawn to?
The reason that I am so frustrated is that this type of media's growing popularity in mainstream culture leads to a very divided society. In the past week we have had Jesse Jackson's "hot mic" comments, The cover of the New Yorker, and Barack Obama's comments made specifically to an African American audience be put out in the public sphere in an aim to create division amongst people. Yes, all of these stories have a "buzz" factor to them but the way in which they are being publicized causes significant damage.
For example, I was watching the Fox News (YouTube) special report on Jesse Jackson's, " I want to chop Barack Obama's nuts off" comment. The fact that they publicized those comments the way they did led to a perceived division between the highest profile African American Civil Rights leader, and Barack Obama. A division that neither Obama nor Jackson had made public nor needed to be public at this critical time. It was very poor judgment on Fox News part, and I don't believe CNN would have aired the comments. What was more irritating than the report was the way that it was built up all day on the internet, the blogosphere, and by Fox to generate ratings. I also will say that I am irritated when any civil rights leader appears on Fox News period, and their overall credibility comes into question. It seems there is nothing to gain as Fox will always either spin your comments or prevent you from getting your point across. I have long banned Fox. At the very least it should come with the same parental advisory disclaimer that music is subjected to. Yes ,I know, another subject for another day. I'm feeling so restricted!
I will conclude by saying it is important for us to stop and look in the mirror as a nation, and question our media, to challenge it, and not simply embrace what they feed us. The media is to blame partially but we also control it to a certain degree by demanding what we want to watch. TMZ is popular because millions of people demand it. Fox News is the most popular news source because it is how the majority of Americans who watch news prefer to get it. Our media's credibility is under question around the world not just by me. I will not question the right of society to demand what it wants and that media has the right in America to package the message the way they want. I will not say that those choices can't be questioned and that they can't lead to damaging outcomes. The issue here is not the product but the disturbing lack of resistance to it.
Love him or hate him you must respect 50 Cent's business savvy. He is suing Taco Bell for using his image in a hip hop themed ad campaign without his permission and without paying him for his endorsement. Taco Bell sent out a press release asking him for his endorsement to media outlets across the nation. 50 is arguing that by doing that alone they used his name to garner attention to their promotion. Taco Bell argues that they were acting in good faith and were trying to find a way to reach out to 50. It seems pretty fishy to me that a corporation like Taco Bell could not get in touch with someone in 50's management team to negotiate like every other company that has his endorsement has. I definitely think his claim is valid and Taco Bell pulled a fast one but whether the claim can be proven is a different story. What I applaud 50 for is staying on top of his name and trademark and protecting his rights.
LINK TO ARTICLE(Source:Reuters)
50 CENT SUES TACO BELL
Friday, July 18, 2008
Big ups to King James(yes he's from Ohio a reminder to all you haters) for continuing to grow as a player and as an entrepreneur. Lebron has a goal of becoming the world's first billionaire athlete and knows to do this he must expand his brand globally. He is taking the time to learn Mandarin so he can conduct interviews in China and to make himself more appealing to Chinese consumers. Here is a brand new commercial for Coke with him and Yao Ming
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
I'm sure many of you remember the Lou Pearlman era of music. The shady man behind the BackStreet Boys, and NYSYNC is currently serving 25 years behind bars and was ordered to pay back $300 million for a scam he was running where hetook $195 million from more than 1,000 people in an alleged savings program promising 6% to 10% returns, and $126.7 million in bogus loans from federally insured banks. Another $70 million was invested by people who thought they were buying shares in companies owned by Pearlman that mostly had no assets....Another lesson that crime doesn't pay.
READ MORE FROM TIME MAGAZINE
This Article brings to light just how serious of financial jeopardy we as American citizens are in. Come on people let's tighten and save so that our future families aren't riddled with generations of debt.
BY: GLENN CURTIS
Many people in America are living beyond their means, as personal savings rates are at their lowest levels since the Great Depression, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. Dwindling savings mean that U.S. households are taking on more debt and are less able to absorb a financial blow like the loss of a job or a downturn in the economy.
If you are concerned that your finances could be in danger, there is a way to tell whether you're in over your head. This article will provide you with five key indicators to watch for. If you find that one or more of them apply to you, it is likely time to reevaluate your spending and work on a long-term financial plan. Recognizing the problem is the first step to finding a solution.
THE 5 SIGN
1.) Your Credit Score is Below 600
2.) You are Saving Less than 5%
3.) Your Credit Card Balances are Rising
4.) More than 28% of your Income goes to your House
5.) Your Bills are Spiraling out of control
I am a loyal Blackberry user. However, I am intrigued by the IPHONE 3G. Maybe when I'm not forced to switch service providers to get one and I don't have to wait in a 3 Hour line I will get one.
Check out this article comparing the two phones head to head.
Monday, July 14, 2008
“On The Swagg Radar”
JULY 11 2008
Mekka Don is the star of a reality series on Youtube entitled, The “Legal” Hustler. The
For information on Mekka Don:
Growing up in Ohio in the 90's in what was the golden age of my hip hop life(the mid to late 90's), we could proudly represent our state and the City of Cleveland. Bone Thugs and Harmony brought tremendous credibility to Ohio hip hop with their unique, rapid fire, harmonic, flows. The group took over the industry with their 1995 release, E. 1999 Eternal, winning 2 Grammy awards, numerous MTV VMA's, and going DIAMOND!!!( 10 Million Albums Sold). However, the success and spotlight had its downside. Internal problems, including infighting, label woes, the death of Eazy E, and the incarceration of Flesh N Bone, tore the group apart. Bizzy Bone( the most talented in my humble opinion) was kicked out of the group, and the group continued on as a trio. The group has maintained a strong fan base, and commercial success, but things have just not been the same. Nearly 13 years years later the group has put aside all of their differences and gotten back together. Bizzy was welcomed back, and Flesh N Bone was just released from prison. The group is in the studio again and I am excited to hear the original Bone Sound.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The Luxury Institute surveyed 1771 wealthy Americans with an average income of of $351,000 and average net worth of $4.3 million to rate wine and liquor brands based on quality, uniqueness and exclusivity. Click through the slideshow from CNBC.com. For those that enjoy a nice alcoholic beverage please do so responsibly. Also if you can't afford it don't buy it as you see the income earners here make quite a sum of money, so if your making $50,000 a year and are buying bottles of patron regularly rethink your spending habits.
HERE's THE LINK
TEQUILA - PATRON CHAMPAGNE- DOM PERIGNON
SCOTCH- MACALLAN WINE- FAR NIENTE
VODKA- GREY GOOSE GIN- BOMBAY SAPHIRE
COGNAC- GRAND MARNIER RUM- TEN CANE
WHISKEY- WOODFORD RESERVE
Yes I know we've lost 2 straight national championship games, but guess what we have made 3 of the last 6. I guess all of you college football fans who are not from Ohio just can't stand to see us shining. Yes, we did lose to LSU, an unfortunate debacle, that opened the mouths of many haters journalists and fans alike. Hold on though, if you aren't from LSU or Florida, fall back please!!! I still think we fared better than your school. We did lose, but true character is shown in how you bounce back from defeat. It's been a great offseason,
1. We signed the next Vince Young, or more likely the first Terrelle Pryor, the #1 recruit in the nation(Lebron James of Football). Yes he's 6'4" , runs a 4.4, and has a cannon arm.
2.)We retained the #1 returning QB in Todd Boeckman,
3.) All but one of our All American juniors stayed(the one that left was the #6 overall draft pick in the draft).
4.) Our running back, Beanie Wells, is the odds on favorite to win the Heisman Trophy
5.) Oh yeah, we are predicted by ESPN to return to the National Championship Game.
I'd say all in all we recovered quite well. We're gonna be "Grindin Hard" this season OH-
IO. The revolution will be televised!
LINK TO ESPN PREDICTIONS
Nas is definitely one of the greatest MCs, and what makes him so important is he has been able to maintain relevance without compromising himself. He's made the music he's wanted to make and has had success. Critics will say that the controversy around his album title was a ploy to seek media attention. Even if true, isn't it much better to bring attention to a issue worth debate? I guess the smarter move is to draw controversy by providing useless tabloid fodder? Check out the interview in Complex. I'm excited to hear what the album offers. The singles that have been leaked so far have been fire! Shout outs to our girl Flo for making the album!
NAS COMPLEX INTERVIEW
I recently rediscovered my passion for reading. I just completed a Tom Wolfe novel, A MAN IN FULL. I recommend it very highly. I have moved on and am rereading the 48 Laws of Power, and Machiavelli, The Prince. Mekka Don is busy with The Tipping Point, another essential book, and will be posting his review soon. We realize that with the rise of the Internet people have moved away from novels/books and are relying more and more heavily on Internet journalism, which is great, but not necessarily, the best source for literary genius. (NOTE: this blog is a source of literary genius, LOL!)So we start with Time's list of the 100 BEST ENGLISH novels since 1923. Pick one any one, buy it. If you don't have the money, dust off that archaic library card, and put your tax dollars to good use. Reading is fundamental let's make it happen. We present the start of the Mekka Don Book Club.
100 BEST ENGLISH NOVELS FROM 1923 to the PRESENT
Come out and celebrate with the homie Brandon Jacobs. We're having his birthday event tonight at Spotlight Live. To quote Hollywood Chuck " Ladies!!! Hit that mall. Cus tonight THE SUPERBOWL CHAMPS NY GIANTS WILL BE IN THE BUILDING!!!. So if you want to get tackled by one of those ball players or catch a "BALLERRR" step your game up!!! LOL
This city deserves a lot of credit for how it is recovering from Katrina. However, everything is not rosy as the population is still only half of what it was prior to the storm. It is good to see people moving back to the city but there is still a lot of work to be done to rebuild the economy in the city.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Press from an unlikely source. The journal of my legal peers took the time to do a piece on my efforts to be an MC. I definitely appreciate it and look forward to the feedback it receives. Check it out Page 12. Here's an electronic link for those that don't get the physical issue.
MEKKA DON FEATURE IN ABA JOURNAL
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
AUTHOR: JEFF Z. KLEIN (NY TIMES)
Today at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S. Olympic speed skater Joey Cheek will speak on behalf of some 130 athletes who have signed a letter calling on China and the United Nations to stop the violence in the Darfur region of Sudan, and the activist group Dream for Darfur will outline its proposal for establishing an Olympic Truce there to last the duration of the Games.
These may sound like pie-in-the-sky propositions, but Dream for Darfur actually has had remarkable success in getting China to change its policies toward its ally, the Sudanese government, which is accused of committing atrocities in Darfur. China had ignored calls to pressure Sudan, but that changed last year after the group, which was co-founded by the actress Mia Farrow, persuaded Steven Spielberg to withdraw as artistic adviser to the Beijing Olympics over China’s Darfur policy. That bad publicity in turn moved China to reverse its policy and put pressure on the Sudanese government to curb the violence.
Cheek is a co-founder of another activist organization, Team Darfur. He won a bronze medal at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and a gold and silver at Turin in 2006. After winning that gold he donated his $25,000 U.S. Olympic Committee bonus to the humanitarian group Right to Play.
BIG ups to Cheeks who is putting his fame, and money where his mouth is. It's good to see athletes working to make a difference.
On The Grind Mixtape
"Are You Next?"
We would like to thank everyone who submitted songs for Volume 3 of the On the Grind Mixtape series which will be released in Indianapolis, IN for the largest cultural event in the U.S. Over 350,000 are expected to show up for a week full of special events, free concerts and celebrity parties. This was a difficult decision for our judges. There were a lot of tied submissions and close calls but here are the 15 songs selected to appear on the next On The Grind Mixtape:
1. Tee'Zin | Tigga Bounce
2. Hey Pretty Lady | N8
3. Where Dat Clap At? | Geddo
4. Dope Boy Magic | Mica Swain
5. Fastlane | Tuan-G
6. Rhyme a Few Bars | C.H.A.$.E.
7. Swagga So Mean | Gemini
8. Look Good With Me | C-LOC
9. Gettin Money | P.M.I.
10. I Switch Cars | Reno Geno
11. What You Talkin' Bout | Mekka Don
12. Get Rich Get Fly | Catalyst
13. My Momma Name | B.U.N
14. Take Em 2 Church | Daytona 5 Bill
15. Higher Life | Lyrical Preacher
A white neighbor calls 911 after he hears an apparent burglary taking place next door. He tells the operator he is going to go outside and shoot and kill them. He describes them as "black" (they were Colombian for the record). The operator REPEATEDLY instructs him to remain inside and not to shoot because officers were nearby and on their way. He hangs up the phone, walks outside, shoots and kills both men AS THEY WERE RUNNING AWAY. The officers showed up minutes later. The case goes to the Grand Jury. The Grand Jury refuses to indict him. In other words - no charges.
You are outraged. So am I.
But here is the sad reality. We should be more outraged at Texas' Penal Code than anything else. The Texas Penal Code allows the use of deadly force if the "actor reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary." Deadly force can also be used to protect property when "the other is fleeing immediately after committing burglary and escaping with property." Although he wasn't protecting HIS property, a neighbor is entitled to use the same deadly force if he "reasonably believes he has a legal duty to protect a third person's property." The shooter (Joe Horn) told police that the two men came onto HIS property. According to his testimony, he in theory has TWO LEGAL JUSTIFICATIONS for his actions: 1) Protecting HIS property (assuming they actually did come onto his yard), and 2) Protecting HIS NEIGHBOR'S property. The only question that remains is whether his belief was "reasonable." It doesn't mean that his belief had to be actual...in other words, he does not have to be "sure" of anything. Unfortunately, this determination is made by the jurors, and the jurors didn't believe there was enough evidence to indict him.
Who is to blame? I blame the law. The law allows for this outcome and this interpretation. Vigilante Justice.
There are two issues here: 1) The Legal Issue(s) and 2) The Social/Public Policy Issue
1) The Legal Perspective. As I said, the law allowed for this outcome. As terrible of an outcome as it is (even with the repeated warnings from the 911 operator), the Grand Jurors' interpretation is reasonable - especially if they believed his story.
2) The Social Perspective. Would the outcome have been the same if the shooter was a minority and the victims were white? Probably not.
1. What is your name?
2. Where were you born/raised?
3. What college(s) did you attend?
4. What is your primary occupation?
Investment Banking / Real estate private equity structuring and fundraising
5. What advice would you give to a young person who wants to pursue the same career?
If someone wanted to pursue a career in investment banking, I would suggest they participate in a summer analyst program. It provides an opportunity to experience the culture and atmosphere by allowing you to take on the responsibilities and functions of full-time analysts. After a week of intensive training, they would spend the summer within a specific group, building a foundation in the basic skills of financial analysis, accounting and valuation, and working on a wide range of transactions. Depending on their performance and their fit, they could potentially be hired on a full time basis after graduation.
6. What other business interests do you have?
I have always wanted to start my own community service organization with a focus on children in low-income households.
7. What are your financial goals?
I aspire to be financially wealthy enough where money isn't a concern to me.
8. Name two people who you admire or who have influenced you.
My mother, Jacqueline Sellers and my mentor, Carla Harris.
9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to go to parties, travel, shop, spend time with friends, and read.
10. Use this space to either give shout outs OR promote anything you would like to promote (please include your website if you have one)
I'd like to thank Mekka Don for the opportunity and my closest friends/family, Dominique, Erin, Laurice and Catherine.