The Journey Begins

My girl Dani is doing her thing. I’m so proud of her! Check out her new blog The Balcony Life.

The Balcony Life

I’m a South Bronx girl born in the 70’s, running around the projects in the 80’s and spending the 90’s cutting class, hanging with the strange and unusual people in The Village.

As a child born to West Indian parents who immigrated to the US in the 70’s, I think I was born with the wanderlust gene in my DNA because I have never been still. Maybe it was because I traveled a lot when I was young, plus my head stayed in a book and like the Reading Rainbow said,

“You can go anywhere.

Just take a look,

it’s a book…”

And anywhere I went.

From Regency England to Derry, Maine, to new galaxies and new civilizations. This feeling that there was somewhere else I needed to be, different people I needed to talk to, different food I needed to eat has always been there. It was the reason…

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DJ Khaled’s Hot 97 Interview – Energy on Energy on Energy!

By nature a DJ is supposed to be inspirational. Their job is to feel the crowd and create an environment that inspires it to move. So, it should come as no surprise that I was moved mentally and physically by DJ Khaled’s Hot 97 interview.

I’ve seen him interviewed before, but he was in rare form in this one. I love his confidence, his braggadocio, his energy. He hyped me up about him and about myself. He made me want to grow and be better. It’s a gift to make people feel that way.

In this video, he puts me in the mind of Puffy. Someone whose energy is so great that they make you feel better about yourself and your potential because of how they feel about themselves. People who are giving of their energy in such a positive way that you can’t help but to catch the wave. Even if for a moment. That’s all life is, a series of moments.

Here’s the video. I was in here cracking up. That good kind of laugh when you have to clap your hands.  My dude said, “special cloth alert.”  I don’t know what that means, but it had me dying!  And he did some straight Raekwon ish and made up a new word, “accreate,” his version of accurate. I love his energy, love his humor, and respect his hustle


MCM – Patrice O’Neal

Patrice O’Neal is one of my favorite comedians of all time.  He died just when the world was going to know his name.  I’d been watching him for a few years before his passing, on Comedy Central specials.  I couldn’t believe how open and honest he was.  When he finally released Elephant In the Room I was so happy for him.  I couldn’t wait to see what was next.

He was larger than life in more ways than his size.  He was unapologetic about being a black man.  A man period.  He accepted his frailties, and opened his heart up in a way that made me love almost every word that came out of his mouth, on stage.

Patrice Oneal 2

Watching Elephant in the Room (for the hundredth time) is really eerie.  He literally said his days were numbered.  He mentioned his diabetes, how he felt about working out, about trying to change one’s life after 40, and he kind of sounds like he’d given into the inevitable.  We all have our own truth, and he accepted his, and his role in it.

Patrice Oneal

His passing was just way too soon. His is one of those voices that’s much needed.  He had one of those spirits that could change your day, and cause you to laugh at yourself while laughing with him.  I miss him.

This special aired on Comedy Central, February 19, 2011.  On November 29, 2011 he passed away from a  stroke.

Thank you for reading.


Say Word!!! Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 20th Anniversary Tour!

So, I’m a little too hyped right now, because I just read the Raekwon and Ghostface are going on tour. WHAT???!!! Man, how time flies!  I remember college when the Purple Tape came out.  I still have mine.  I have the tape and the CD.  I wore that Purple Tape out!

Hopefully the tickets won’t go on sale before I can buy them.  The  tour is passing through my new home, New Orleans, in August.  I am so there!


I have so many great memories of Only Built 4 Cuban Linx.  Those were some good times.  I can’t believe it was that many moons ago.

I have my fingers crossed that I’ll make it to this concert.  I have to get in!!!

Check out the tour dates here.

Thanks for reading!


Happy Twentieth Anniversary “Friday”!

Last week, April 26th to be exact, was the twentieth anniversary of the Ice Cube classic, Friday. If this movie is not in your collection, then I just don’t know what you’re doing with your life (LOL).


Directed by F. Gary Gray, and written by Ice Cube and DJ Pooh, Friday is a classic American movie. Kind of an all-in-a-day coming-of-age flick. Craig grew up in this movie. He went from a boy to a man by the end. At least that’s how I saw it. I wanted to marry Craig after he whipped Dbo’s ass.

I remember going to see this like it was yesterday: It was on a Friday, on Broadway, with my then boyfriend. I was taking a break from college and had come home for a few months. I was so psyched to see it! There hadn’t been a hip hop comedy since House Party and the excitement was tangible.friday-movie-image

The movie was so much more than I expected. How do you make a movie funny? Fill it with standup comedians. You have Chris Tucker, Bernie Mac, John Witherspoon, Angela Means-Kaaya, Yvette Wilson, Reynaldo Rey and Anthony Johnson. Each of them had roles so memorable that people today quote their lines, and don’t even know where they got them from.

Ice Cube showed his comedic side, which was something those of us at the time had never seen. I didn’t even know he could smile back then, let alone be funny. His classic line (one of his classic lines) “Bye Felicia,” took on a life of its own and somehow worked its way to being a show on VH1.

In the last few minutes, the tone changed and got really serious. The entire audience gasped, and said a collective “Oh shiiit!” when Craig shot the gun. Followed by, a sigh of relief when we saw he hadn’t. It became a story about heroism, bravery, and respect. Fucking. Awesome.thJPVG3QZ0

Friday is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’m so glad I was able to see it in the theater, with all the electricity of being on Broadway, in the 90s. Good times.

There are so many classic lines in this movie, here are just a few:

“My neck, my back; my neck and my back.”

“You didn’t put in on this maaaan!”

“You ain’t got to lie Craig! You ain’t got to lie.”

“Don’t nobody go in the bathroom, for about 35, 45 minutes.”

“I don’t think you applying yourself Smokey.”

“It’s the Mack!”

“La la…Aye! Smokey back here taking a shit! I ain’t gonna tell nobody else.”

“Ms. Parker! Ms. Parker!”

“I still look… I still look high?”

“Where your mama at?”

“Uh uh, ‘cause see, I ate twice before I came.”

“Oh, you ain’t catching no crackhead.”

“But if you come by I won’t call you. Ok? Don’t ever, EVER, ever ever ever ever ever, come by here, ok?”

Like I said, those are just a few.


How many of you noticed that when his girl was on the phone asking him about being at the club that she had a dude in the bed with her? I’d watched it a few times before I noticed that.

Connections: John Witherspoon and Anthony Johnson were also in House Party. Nia Long, Ice Cube and Regina King were in the classic Boyz in the Hood, Angela Means-Kaaya, Bernie Mac and Reynaldo Rey were in House Party III. Ice Cube, Bernie Mac, Anthony Johnson and Michael Clark Duncan were all in The Players Club. And I think just about every comedian in here was on Def Comedy Jam. Can you think of anymore connections between actors in this movie?

Friday went on to spawn two funny sequels. But as funny as they were, they don’t match the heart of the first one. Which is almost unfair to say, because it would be damn near impossible for them to. That first one was pioneering. It mixed comedy and deathly serious themes, in a way I hadn’t seen before it.

I’ve seen Friday more times than I can even attempt to count. And yes, I’m one of those people that will recite every word, line for line, when I watch it.  So if we ever happen to be in the same place watching this movie, you will hear my mouth. You have been warned! I was watching it when I started typing this, when I realized, oh snap! This is the twentieth year anniversary!

Five star movie.

Thank you for reading!

Rest in peace to Bernie Mac, Yvette Wilson and Michael Clark Duncan. How fortunate we are and they are, for having shared their gifts with us.


Let Me Put You On: Whoopi Goldberg Direct from Broadway

I remember watching this on HBO when I was a kid, and I imitated each of her characters, sans the curses.  I was enamored by her characters.  I had no idea what a big deal it was to see someone like her.  I was too young to appreciate what it meant for a black woman – a dark skinned black woman at that – to  have a one woman purely character driven, non-singing show.

She brought so much humanity to the people in her shows.  From the educated junkie, to the valley girl who gave her own self an abortion (who I imitated, but had no idea back then that she was describing an abortion – or even knew what an abortion was), to the little girl who dreamed of being white.  She had such an in depth understanding and compassion for the human condition, and to be able to bring it to the stage like that was/is phenomenal.

This was my introduction to Ms. Goldberg.  She said a lot of controversial things, then and now, and more power to her.  She’s unapologetic and I love her for it!  She’s one of my heroes.

It’s from 1985 and I haven’t seen this show in years and am so glad it’s on Youtube.  I have a whole new appreciation for her comedy as an adult.  She was so bold, and free.  Whoopi is the shit! Check it out below.

Thank you for reading!


Hip Hop: Preach Muzak – I’m So Diggin’ This Dude!

To know me, is to know I have a deep, strong love for hip hop that goes back to my childhood in the South Bronx.  I love lyricism, and loathe BS lyrics.  The actual art of hip hop infatuates me, and I am always hungry to hear artist who respect the craft.

As of January, I literally live with hip hop music being created all day in my brother’s studio.  Artists come through daily with beats and rhymes, and they all think they are killing it.  Some are actually good. Some, well… I don’t want to be mean, so I’ll say, some are just not so good.  I’m super skeptical about anyone who speaks too big about their skills.  Let the lyrics speak.  My love for hip hop art, coupled with being in this constant studio environment, has fine-tuned and primed my ears for good hip hop.

I say all of that to say this: I found some good hip hop.

@Malika_Polter just put me on to Preach Muzak.   When I say just, I mean literally, about an hour before I started writing this. The first song I listened to was “Eighty Six.”  The beat was classic, laid back, drive-down-the-block-with-the-windows-open, dope!  Then he started rhyming, and I was done!  I stopped what I was doing, and started listening to his Youtube channel.  I downloaded The Rising Trilogy Vol 1 as well.

This dude is nice.

And say word – dude is nice to look at, on top of being lyrical.  Stop it!  That’s like finding a unicorn.  There’s only a few.  Nas, and Common, immediately come to mind. Kendrick is up there too. The above pic is cute, but does not do him complete justice.  Ladies, look at the videos.

On my hip hop score card he gets one star each for voice, lyrics, content, delivery/cadence, and beat.  Five star rapper.  Dig that.

I wish this brother the best.  It can be hard out here for a lyricist, in America these days.  Rappers who spit something you actually want to slow down and listen to. I’m mad that I’m just now finding out about him.  I would love to interview him, and pick his brain about his concepts and his writing process.

The Rising Trilogy Vol. 1

If you are a true hip hop fan, I’d highly recommend Preach Muzak. Get him in your life ASAP!

You can download him here.

Thank you for reading!


Let Me Put You On: Jackie’s Back

I was sitting at my desk, eating some off-brand, Oreo-esque cookies, enjoying the mess out of Youtube, when I came across this hilarious Robert Townsend directed, made-for-TV movie.  It stars  the absolutely lovely, and ultra-talented, Jenifer Lewis.  She’s one of my favorite actresses.  My mom’s too.  It’s rare that we have the same tastes in anything, which means Ms. Lewis is amazing!

Everyone is in this movie from Loretta Devine, to Whoopi Goldberg (who plays her sister), to Tim Curry, to Bette Midler.  It also stars, Isabel Sanford, Kathy Griffin, Chris Rock, Howie Mandel, Liza Minnelli and more.  It’s a really eclectic cast.  It aired on Lifetime in 1999.

This is a great movie.  It is hilarious, but touches on some real emotions.  Then goes right back to being hilarious.  It’s the portrayal of a singer, Jackie Washington,  who garnered fame as a child, on through adulthood, then faded away.  Now she’s making a comeback.

Check it out below.

Thank you for reading!