Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (2011)

There are no words that could describe the feeling I got when I first saw this picture. Its almost as if President Obama and Dr. King were actually at the same table, but one thing is for sure they shared the same vision. Last year I spoke in a video blog about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he has affected my life. One year later I feel the same way, I think that a one day celebration is not enough for a man who is the most influential figure in American society's history. He is the reason that young black men can even aspire to become entertainers and professional athletes so my question is why aren't more young black men trying to be like Dr. King? Then it hit me, he is who I want to be like. Both he and President Obama are major figures in the African-American community because they are strong, influential African-American men but their fight for civil rights and justice is for people of all races. I am a young African-American, Dominican and Irish man and very proud of all of the races I come from. Although I want to have a major influence in the African-American community, I want to help and motivate men and women of all races all over the world. I've heard the phrase "if you want something done, do it your self". That is exactly what I'm going to do, so instead of asking "why aren't more young black men trying to become like Dr. King?", I will become more like MLK and dedicate my life to improving the lives of children and fighting hate all over the world. Because I have a dream to but I'm not going to tell you about mine, I'm going to show it to you! Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rest In POWER! 

-Jeremy Shannon

#MYOL News: Cam Newton Declares For NFL Draft (January 9th-15th)

Fresh off winning the 2011 Heisman Trophy and BCS National Championship, superstar Cam Newton declares for the NFL. Similar to Tim Tebow, many critics are saying that Cam is not ready to play quarterback in the NFL. During the season he was faced with allegations that his father actually sold his son’s talents to the University of Auburn. Cam stayed strong through all the accusations and led his to tem to a championship. Now its time for him to take his talents to the next level, so lets see what Cam Newton does in the NFL. But for him to win the Heisman and BCS Championship through all the controversy Cam Newtown earns a spotlight in this week’s #MYOL News!

#MYOL News: 50 Cent Talks Technology & New Investments (January 9th-15th)

Its no secret 50 cent is a genius! After getting shot and becoming the highest selling debut Hip Hop artist 50 has taken his money and become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the last decade. After signing a deal with Reebok (G-Unit Sneakers), Formula 50 Vitamin Water, The 50th Law and much more Curtis Jackson has enterted more ventures! 50 continues to reinvent himself as an entrepreneur, he is definitely a major influence in my pursuit to be an entertainment entrepreneur. Check out the video  and find out why 50’s got the spotlight in this week’s #MYOL News!

Hip Hop History: Bun B Begins Teaching Class At Rice University (January 9th-15th)

 In 2010, I got the pleasure of interviewing the 5 mic MC Bun B aka Professor Trill (Check out the video below). In my short time speaking to him it becomes evident that he is a very articulate person almost immediately. These days that isn’t something that is expected due to the rappers that are constantly thrown in our face that have set bad examples like Waka Flaka Flame and many more. On January 11, 2011 Professor Trill taught his first class at Rice University in the “Hip Hop and Religion” course ! Truly Hip Hop History and a major accomplishment for Professor Trill aka Bernard Freeman both as an MC and more importantly a man. As a Hip Hop artist becoming a teacher at a prestigous university like Rice, Bun B definitely deserves a spotlight in the #MYOL Hip Hop History spotlight!

H.A.M. - Jay-Z & Kanye West (January 9th-15th)

On Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 (1-11-11) Jay-Z and Kanye dropped their first single off their upcoming album “Watch The Throne”. Honestly, I had some speculation before I even heard the track simply because of the title. Didn’t Roscoe Dash come out with a song called “Goin’ Ham” and now Jay and Kanye come out with “H.A.M.”? So my first thought was, damn is this what the game has come to that legends have to steal phrases from a Hip Pop artist? Maybe they don’t care but either I knew I’d like this version way better than the Roscoe Dash version. Kanye does his thing on the track but Jay definitely gets him on it, which is a change from the last couple of tracks they’ve done together recently. Although, the track is hot it seems rushed as Jay and Kanye only drop a verse each and they definitely aren’t what I expected off the first single from the Hov vs. Yeezy album setup. Sadly, with all that said it is definitely hotter than majority of the Hip Hop music that has come out this week.

Hip Hop History: Freeway & Statik Selektah Record EP Live In 1 Night (January 9th-15th)

First and foremost shoutout to Statik Selektah who has been holding it down and been the #1 Lane Maker in the Hip Hop game out of MA$$. I got to interview Statik last year when he dropped his 100 Proof album, check it out in the  “Statik Selektah - 100 Proof: The Hangover Drop/Interview” blog from 2010. Lets be clear there is no coincidence to why Statik is where he is today. The Showoff/Clockwork team has been particular and very strategic in the moves that they have made throughout their careers. Work ethic and talent are major factors in why Statik and his team has been so successful. With this EP collaboration with Freeway, Statik and his Showoff Marketing have displayed what has put them where they are today, great marketing/strategic ideas and work ethic. Lets not forget about Freeway who was a major part of the Roc-a-fella Records reign in the early 2000’s and legendary MC who’s flow will never be duplicated. On January 10th, 2011 at 5 pm Statik and Freeway began recording their EP entitled “Statik Free” with XXL, Karmaloop and more documenting the entire process while live on UStream. Although the live feed was a great idea, the length of the project may have caused a negative affect in fans sticking around as they didn’t finish recording until after 2am after starting at 5pm. With that being the only possible negative, MC’s like Termanology, Mac Miller, Lil’ Fame, Reek Da Villain, Jack Frost and more made special guest appearances. Whether you’re a Freeway or Showoff fan or not you have to respect the hustle! If you are a true Hip Hop fan who loves crazy beats, dope lyrics and artists who love their craft, cop that “Statik Free” EP!

Hip Hop History: Diggy Simmons "Breath of Fresh Air" (January 9th-15th)

Last week I referenced Diggy Simmons in the blog post “Hip Hop History: Peter & Cory Gunz Freestyle w/ Sway on Shade 45” as he is in a rare of class of son’s of Hip Hop legends who are NICE at spittin’ rhymes. If you don’t already have it make sure you download his 2010 mixtape “Past Presents Future” hosted by DJ Premier! The mixtape is dope as Diggy kicks rhymes over classic beats like Shook Ones, Electrinoc Relaxation and more. Pure and simple the kid has skills, no disrespect to Jojo but he is definitely the one who inherited the Hip Hop gene from Rev Run. He doesn’t rap about selling crack or busting his gun but he just uses his talent to put words together to describe what he’s going through in life, his aspirations and the bloodline/legacy he promises to carry on. As far as his age group and generation he is better than any of the younger rappers on the Young Money label and definitely the future of Hip Hop. He is definitely a breath a fresh air for Hip Hop as he comes from the lead MC of the first Hip Hop group to bring the genre to the crossover audience, Run-DMC (for all you non-Hip Hop fans). Not only is he the offspring of a Hip Hop icon but the kids got SKILLS and that’s we his in the #MYOL Hip Hop History spotlight!

Hip Hop History: Eminem Signs Slaughterhouse & Yelawolf (January 9th-15th)

Damn talk about lyrical heavyweights! In my opinion this is the most lyrical group/label since Wu-Tang (no pun intended lol) but the crazy part of it is, there’s two white MC’s! Yeah, not one but TWO white MC’s! Obviously when you hear white MC the first name that comes to your head is VANILLA ICE, haha sike. Eminem is arguably top 5 MCs of all-time and it wouldn’t matter if he was Asian, the way the man can rap is legendary! Don’t get me wrong it’s a major move that Em has signed Slaughterhouse but the real Hip Hop History here is that the best white MC of all-time signing the best white MC since. From a marketing standpoint, its genius because Em’s fans are automatically going to embrace Yelawolf and it is the most promising position he could be in as a Hip Hop artist but honestly those are big shoes to fill. I haven’t heard any music from Yelawolf but his persona and look will have to be changed in my opinion. I don’t think the country bumkin’ haircut and the dirty look well go over well with the true Hip Hop or Pop crowd. The question is  can he have a career like Em’s or more like Bubba Sparks, either way there is one thing that’s for sure white boy can rap! Check Yelawolf in the 2010 BET  Cypher  below and Em’s words on signing Slaughterhouse and Yelawolf. This is definitely the first time ever in Hip Hop that this has happened and that’s why it deserves an #MYOL Hip Hop History spotlight!

“Yelawolf and Slaughterhouse, it’s kinda phase two of Shady,” says Eminem. “It’s the new generation of Shady Records and as we’re trying to rebuild our label, it’s exciting for hip-hop and with all of these forces coming together and with what everybody’s capable of on the mic, it’s gonna be fun.”

NBA: L.A. Lakers Win 7 In A Row (January 9th-15th)

After recent struggles coming into the new year with a blowout loss to Miami on Christmas day and being publicly criticized by their 11-time championship coach Phil Jackson after 2 more losses in a row, Kobe and the defending champs have begun to turn things around. To those who don’t understand the game of basketball it may seem as if teams are hot and cold as last week I blogged about the Heat’s 20 of 21 game wi ning streak but basketball is game of runs. Wins and losses in the NBA are parallel as things like road trips, consecutive games in a matter of days and injuries can affect the wins and loss columns of our favorite teams. The Lakers are by far the most talented team in the league on paper especially with their off-season additions of playoff tested veterans Matt Barnes and Steve Blake. When the Lakers get focused and play team basketball they are the best team in the league and they deserved an #MYOL NBA spotlight for the week of January 9th – 15th. Hopefully, they can keep it going so they can lose to the Celtics in Game 7 of the 2011 NBA Championship (I’m calling it NOW!).

NBA #Pointgod Watch: Derrick Rose (January 9th-15th)

In the summer of 2005 I played against Derrick Rose, I was going into a post-graduate year and he was going into his sophomore year. After seeing the size, athleticism and natural NBA talent of someone 4 grades younger than me I knew that the NBA was a long shot. Now about five years later he is doing the same thing in the NBA. When you first look at the numbers he dropped on the Pacers they look like stats that would be put up by Dwight Howard. This speaks to the athleticism of the early twenties super-athletic #pointgod who is only suppose to be a senior in college. He has clearly become one of the best players in the league, Chicago’s leader and franchise player. With 29 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists D.Rose is the spotlight in the #Pointgod Watch!