Monthly Archives: February 2010

Acting like a dandy will make you late.

I had to drive into the city Wednesday night to attend a function with one of my agency’s clients.

The function was scheduled to start at 6:30 pm, and although it was a Black function, CPT did not apply, as it was being hosted by Republicans.

I was a tad ‘dandy’ getting dressed (dandy=picky and fastidious) and as a result, got a late start.

I am a dandy. Look at how I stand.

I had fully intended to leave at 5:30, giving myself a full hour to travel the 19 miles from my house to my destination.

Without traffic, the trip would have taken 29 minutes.

Accounting for traffic, I figured would add 30 minutes to my trip, so the hour I had set aside would have been sufficient.

But I was walking out of my house at 5:51. Geeeeezzzzzzuuuuussssss!

I’ll just have to put the pedal to the metal. I can get there in 39 minutes.

I jumped into my jeep and it was smooth sailing.

Hit 280 East, jumped on the Turnpike to the Lincoln Tunnel exit and it was all good…that is until I hit 495, and everything slowed to a crawl.

6:08. I can make it into the city in 21 minutes.

6:13. I’d traveled all of a few hundred feet. I’ve still got 18 minutes. I can make it.

6:18. Five car lengths in five minutes? Will you people f*cking drive your cars! I think I can make it.

6:24. I’m a good half mile from the entrance to the tunnel and all I see are brake lights. There’s no way I’m going to make it.

6:30. The source of the snail’s crawl, an accident between a tour bus and a Nissan, take up two of lanes of traffic leading into the tunnel. It looks like there’s no traffic after the accident! Maybe I won’t be that late after all.

6:35. I can finally see the tubes leading to the tunnel, jam packed with chumpish drivers trying to funnel their way down into two lanes. Drive with purpose people! With purpose!

6:49. I enter the Lincoln Tunnel. You people suck!

7:01  I finally get to my destination after being informed that my parking will cost $50 because it’s ‘oversized.’ NY parking garages suck.

Luckily my client hasn’t gone on yet, and the function is just getting started. Yay for CPT time!

Today’s lesson, in prose:

Being a dandy, on someone else’s dime, will make you late, every time.

To be punctual, I’ll give you the skinny. Leave early. The road’s full o’ ninnies.

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Going to jail messes with your money.

I could just shoot myself for messing with my money! Oh wait, I'm rich bitch!

With Lil Wayne putting off Rikers for a month to get his dents straight (did I hear correctly that he had 8 root canals done at once?), I thought I’d reflect on the state of the rap game.

I mean, seriously, Lil Wayne is just the latest in a string of rappers, who at the top of their game, get sent up to the big house to do a bid.

Without much thought, any one of us can reel off at least 3 or 4 artists who have been hit with jail time for one infraction or another.

But I decided to do an informal survey and DAMN! there are quite a few artists currently doing bids (or who’ve done bids in the recent past), to wit:

  • T.I. got a year and a day for a federal gun rap.
  • Gucci Mane got 12 months for violating the terms of his 2005 assault conviction for not completing community service, failing drug tests and not getting permission to travel.
  • Lil Wayne is set to do 8 months for a gun possession conviction.
  • Flesh-N-Bone received 12 years for a gun possession charge.
  • C-Murder got a life sentence for a second degree murder conviction. Life imitating art.
  • Prodigy of Mobb Deep got 3 1/2 years for criminal possession of a loaded gun.
  • Da Brat is doing 3 years for assaulting a waitress with a rum bottle. That was bratty.
  • DMX has been in and out of jail. Most recently, he did 90 days for felony misdemeanor charges.
  • Suge Knight has been in and out of jail over the past 15 years, including a recent incarceration for possession of marijuana.
  • Lil Kim infamously received a year for perjury.
  • Mystical was sentenced to 6 years for aggravated sexual assault.
  • Remy Ma got 8 years for shooting her girl in the gut.
  • Tru Life got a life sentence for murder. True Life. Get it?
  • Shyne got 10 years for a gun rap.
  • Beanie Sigel got a year and a day in 2004 for federal weapons charges, and a few months in 2008 for a parole violation.
  • Pimp C received 5 years for aggravated assault with a gun.
  • Royce Da 5’9″ got a year sentence in 2007 for a DUI conviction.
  • Foxy Brown did 8 months in 2007/08 for violating her probation following an assault conviction.
  • Turk from the Hot Boys got 12 years for his involvement in a shoot-em-up of a rival faction in Memphis.
  • Black Rob got 7 years for armed robbery. Black robbed.
  • The Game did 2 months for gun possession.
  • Keith Murray got 39 months for assault.
  • Styles P of the Lox received 8 months for a stabbing conviction.
  • Cassidy received an 11 1/2 year sentence for murder.
  • Tony Yayo of G-Unit fame received 1 year for a weapons charge.
  • 2 Pac and ODB both did multiple stints in jail before their respective untimely demise.

I could go on an on with more obscure artists, but you get the picture.

Lil Wayne is not going to see any of the Live Nation money in jail, and the Cash Money/Young Money clique won’t have their golden boy headlining shows for the next 12 months (or 9 months with good behavior).

Gucci Mane can’t promote the album he just dropped from behind bars, and his sales will invariably suffer as a result.

Lil Kim did her bid and couldn’t lie her way into album sales.

Beanie’s all sour grapes and no sales.

Don’t these cats know that going to jail messes with your money?

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Black-and-whites. Blacks versus Whites.

A few months ago, I was pulled over by Montclair’s finest. At the time, I thought the unmarked car with its flashing lights was trying to get by me, in pursuit of a real criminal.

Don't you hate when you pull over, and it's you they're pulling over?

So I, like the other cars behind me, moved to the right to allow him to pass.

Unfortunately, he didn’t continue on his way, but stopped directly behind me. Great.

“License, registration and insurance.” I comply.

He walks away and sits in his car for ten minutes. Ten minutes? Really dude?

Returns with my credentials and some parting gifts in hand.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” Driving while Black?

“You were talking on your cell phone.” Actually, I was listening to a message.

“You’ve got to be to court on the 19th.” I’ve ‘got to be to court’ huh?

“Please drive carefully sir.” But occifer if I did, you couldn’t continue to profile me and issue frivolous tickets.

Anyway, I recount that story because yesterday my neighbor and I talked about how he was stopped the day before, also by Montclair’s finest, allegedly for talking on the phone.

In addition, he was alleged to have made a wide left turn, and followed too closely behind a fire truck.

I thought we were about to commiserate about how the MPD fills the municipality’s coffers by issuing frivolous tickets to it’s residents, instead of dealing with the real crime in this high priced town.

Instead, he told me how he proceeded to ARGUE with the officer challenging the basis for being pulled over.

And don’t you know that at the end of this tirade, the officer let him go, with no ticket.

No ticket? WTF?!

Now you must know, I am Black, my neighbor is white.

I’d seen crazy white folks do this on COPS, but I didn’t think that regular white folks did too!

The fact of the matter is that there is a blatant double standard that exists when it comes to the way officers treat Black and White citizens in Montclair (and the rest of the world).

How you're treated depends on how you look.

I told him if I had engaged in the same behavior, and tried to argue that I wasn’t talking at the time, or that I had used my phone only while stopped at the light or offered any kind of pushback, I probably would have been pulled out of my Jeep, tazed, handcuffed and promptly placed under arrest. He laughed. I didn’t.

He acknowledge, however, that, unfortunately, we do not live in a color-blind society, and behavior that members of the ‘majority’ engage in, would result in dramatically different treatment for members of the ‘minority’ engaging in similar behavior.

I didn’t feel like getting into a deep discussion about racial inequity (I left my soap box upstairs), but I let him know that he couldn’t fathom what it was like being Black, and he should count himself fortunate he wasn’t Black when he mouthed off to the officer because it could have ended up waaaayyyy different than it did.

He agreed, and we parted, soberly, each a little more enlightened by how the other half lives.

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Harlem Stand Up! Vince Morgan is coming!

I had an interesting call with Vincent Morgan last Friday, and I came away intrigued by the man who has recently thrown his hat into the ring to challenge incumbent New York Democratic House of Representative member Charlie Rangel.

This guy could be your next Congressman! He looks electable.

The call was interesting for a number of reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he was so cool. Not to say that someone running for office shouldn’t be, but the ease with which we spoke had me feeling like I was kicking it with one of my boys, and not having an in-depth discussion with a viable Congressional candidate.

Some background. I was introduced to Vince (as he likes to be called) by Kofi Bannerman, a partner is one of my many ventures (a brother gotta keep multiple hustles going – ya dig?), who suggested that I reach out to him because he was getting his house in order for this run for office, and might require my considerable experience (forgive my self-indulgent plug).

We were supposed to meet face-to-face, but since I wasn’t sure what this face-to-face would be about, I felt that an introductory call was in order. So I called him.

I was impressed that he picked up his phone (I figured a guy in his position would be screening everything). I was even more impressed when he said that he had time to talk, considering his admittedly hectic schedule.

After the compulsory introductions and ice-breakers, we went in on the purpose of my call – figuring out what (if anything) Morgan4Congress needed, and how I could fulfill those needs.

Nice logo huh?

In preparation of our call, I had done a preliminary search of Mr. Morgan and his fledgling campaign. It was readily apparent, however, that things were buttoned up quite nicely from the door.

His website http://morgan4congress.com was up and active, as were his various social media sites, including a Facebook fan page, Twitter, blog, and YouTube channel.

He’s been interviewed on CNN and Fox 5 regarding his run, and both the NY Times and Huffington Post have reported on his candidacy.

Vince talked about his background as a community banker, his wife and two children. We discussed his roots, growing up in Chicago, and getting chased home from school.

He broke down his stance on the issues of the upcoming election, and by the time we were done, I was left with the distinct impression that this guy was electable.

He’s spent the past three years putting together his team and readying himself for this run. I told him that I’d shoot some ideas his way for leveraging his social media assets and generating viral movement on and offline.

However it goes, this guy is the future of politics in New York. He’s young and smart with plenty of Obama-esque swagger. Did I say he was from Chicago?

All I’ve got to say is this: Harlem stand up! Vince Morgan is coming!

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