If You Need Encouragement…

You ever feel that it is so early in the week and all has gone to hell already?

With a society that is driven on all work and no play, many of us are stuck in the daily hustle of the work week. So much to do, so little time. Working class folks, when do we get time to ourselves? Today I only seek to bring you encouragement. A wise man once said “where there is life, there is hope.”

No matter what you are going through, remember that things could always be worse. There is always someone out here having a hard time. The earth is round, and the struggles we face as a human population are congruent.We are not separated by labels because our stories are all the same. We all have, or know someone who has: lost a loved one, a job, dealt with illness, addiction, a broken heart and or poverty. Today as you move about, be grateful for the things you have. Be grateful for your soundness of mind and the renewal of your spirit.

Here are 5 of my top encouraging/inspirational quotes for the week:

  • Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
  • Change yourself- you are in control. (Mahatma Gandhi)
  • Even though you’re fed up, you gotta keep your head up. (Tupac)
  • The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective- people who know to see a problem as an opportunity. (Deepak Chopra)
  • If there is to be any peace it will come through being, not having. (Henry Miller)

Be encouraged today, and put your best foot forward.

#DropaJewel4Mayor

{New Music} OG Dutch Master- O

My man Dutchy is back with new tunes for the streets! O was shot by Terrance Smalls and Chad Wilkerson, directed and edited by OG Dutch Master. This brother is always putting on for the city of Baltimore. Make sure you stay tuned for his upcoming project and show your love on his twitter @OGDutchMaster.

The School System Fails…Again?

Welp…

About a week ago, I sat in studio and listened to a talk show host go on a rant about the public school system, over the airwaves. This is a conversation I am all too familiar with. The rights and wrongs within the public school system is a conversation that spans generation after generation. No matter what race, creed or class you represent, I’m sure you’ve heard one of these topics at a given time:

  • Prayer should be put back in schools.
  • Schools do a piss poor job of updating their textbooks.
  • Black (ethnic) literature is not properly showcased in class.
  • Where are the art and music programs?

Well damn, who left the flood gates open?

In watching a TED Talks lecture, the newest of dialogues I’ve heard was “schools kill creativity. They need to put as much emphasis on the artistic/creative subjects as they do English and math.”

Wait. What exactly are the public school systems responsible for? What are the parents responsible for?

I’m actually pretty disturbed that parents expect schools to pray with and teach each child about his/her cultural background. Parents, what the hell is your job exactly? I remember the phrase “learning starts at home.” Can anyone guess where I learned said phrase? From my Dad…in our home.

Let’s take it back to my day (wait for it). My parents saw my love for art in grade school, so they always bought me:easels, colored pencils, paints and books to encourage me. They saw my interest in music so I played the: drums, keyboard and trumpet to see what I would like. I still remember all of my art and music teachers because they always inspired me. They always took time with me because I was excited and they gave a damn about their students. Yes, my childhood was awesome.

To a degree, I agree with Ken Robinson (TED) that schools can hinder creativity. I think the most important aspect is that parents worldwide should take more time with their children. If you feel that the institutions of learning aren’t cultivating your child as an individual, it may be time to challenge the system. Teach your young leaders in the home, in addition to what they learn at school. Fair enough?

Yes, textbooks should be up to date. Yes, schools should nurture the creativity of students.  What role can we play, however, to ensure that artistry is encouraged in our children? Parents, stop relying on other people to mold the futures of your children.

Check out the TED talk that sparked the conversation http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity?language=en

#DropaJewel4Mayor

[New Album Alert] AJ Suede- Gold and Earth

AJ Suede is back with new sounds for your speakers. Back in my Strictly Hip Hop days, I got hip to the brother’s Gold and Fire album. I actually still have it in my playlist as we speak. In any event, if you want to vibe and get enlightened, check out his newest creation Gold and Earth. This project is the 3rd installment to his “Golden Element Quadrilogy”. Shouts out to the whole FreeMinds Collective! Show your twitter love @AJSuede @Frmnds and  check out their site www.freemindscollective.com.

#DropaJewel4Mayor

Ellis Ft. Stan Green- Soft Lips & Tattoos

Ellis is back with a bonus track from The Education of Ellis. This one is strictly for the ladies, but he still happens to drop some Jewels (pun intended). Stay tuned as we give you the drop on exclusive Ellis updates.

Download The Education of ELLIS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-education-of-ellis/id908753688

Games, Dope and Hip Hop

DopeNeedleI am not gamer, nor have I ever claimed to be. I am not a guru on what’s new and trendy in the gaming industry. However, I just so happen to be friends with some pretty game savvy folks who are always willing to keep me abreast of the new gaming trends. A buddy of mine and I were having a conversation about the old games we used to play back in our Baltimore City public school days. A personal favorite of mine and a cult classic was Dope Wars.

According to Wikipedia, Drug Wars was created by John E. Dell back in 1984. Dope Wars was a more popular rendition of the game upgraded by Ben Webb. Michael Swain built upon it for its release on graphing calculators. I was lucky enough to play it on my TI-83 (graphing calculator) in class where I would learn nothing math related…or so I thought. The game actually taught me the value of profit!  The key is to buy drugs for a low amount of money and sell them for much higher across the boroughs. BOOM!

It’s very possible that I was drawn to the game due to my love of hip hop culture. When I was coming up, the rappers I listened to were also drug dealers. I wanted to be a rapper so naturally I wanted to sell drugs. Thanks to Dope Wars I could do it legally. I don’t rhyme anymore, but I still listen to hip hop. The rappers now days don’t inspire me to do anything, let alone sell drugs. Nevertheless…I am now a high scoring drug dealer moving that dope on my smart device. Salute to Oliver Dupont for his app version of Dope Wars. I think he did a really good job with his adaptation.  If you want to get hooked on it again, check out his version on Google Play here https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=fr.odupont.android.dopewars&hl=en

#DropaJewel4Mayor

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