One year ago, I put a snippet of Obama joking with a heckler at one of his White House speeches on the intro of Reality Check: Season One as a quick snapshot of the reality of that time. We have been blessed for the last 8 years to have a leader who could so easily be personable with the people of our country.
Last Friday, October 28th, I was given the opportunity to see MY president in person for the first time. Since the announcement of the rally, I had been anxious to see him deliver an inspirational speech. Not only is President Barack Obama the first black president, but the first of my lifetime to connect with the youth on a personal level. We relate to him in a way we could not relate to the other presidents of our lifetime. I am truly grateful to have witnessed this especially since it was at my alma mater, the University of Central Florida. His speech was full of encouragement for the youth to vote and be heard. We are in a dire election year where we have a candidate with zero presidential experience and lack of commitment to his words. Obama wanted to make it clear to the youth present, ranging from a high school band to college students, that they could be the voice that shifts this election. As always, he controlled the crowd and received roars of cheers at every major point of his speech.
Now I do have one very interesting moment from the rally to share with you all. At one of the high points of Obama's speech, a Trump supporter jumped over the railing, where I was taking pictures I might add, to start heckling. This man was wearing a shirt that featured a picture of Bill Clinton with the word "RAPIST" at the bottom. He took that opportunity to yell "Clinton is a rapist!" at the top of his lungs over Obama's speech. Not only was this annoying to be around, but he was also blocking my view of Obeezy and that was not okay. On top of this guy causing a scene, he also drew the attention of all of the media outlets right in front of us. They are turned around and started snapping pictures of this heckler, so you know what we did? We started chanting "OBAMA! OBAMA! OBAMA!" as loud as we could and the movement spread around the whole arena. That was such an exhilarating moment and just when we finished, the cops were there to grab the man and escort him out of the rally. Heads up, If you see me in a picture from that rally on any news outlet, just know I was not in support of that guy. lol
Below are a few pictures I was able to capture during the speech practicing my new hobby as well as the full speech. Enjoy!
Here are some new/old sounds inspired by my angel, Mama V. Happy Birthday, Ma.
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Anniversary cover art by Manny The Third
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Birthday shoutout to Snoop Dogg for his 45th. Stay smooth legend!
Orlando local Palmer Reed released his highly anticipated song and visuals "SMART" today. The vibe and visual effects are dope (best way to describe it) and the song goes. The video is also dedicated to Orlando's late great Big Makk. Rest in Paradise my g.
Follow Palmer Reed on Twitter: @PalmerReedMusic
Follow Palmer Reed on Instagram: palmerreedmusic
Enjoy the visuals below!
Proud to see my dude D.R.A.M.'s debut album dropped today. I have always been a fan of the weirdos in Hip Hop (ODB, Biz Markie, etc.) and D.R.A.M. is completely weird in his own hilarious way. I have been following his music and journey since I first heard his "Cha Cha" tune in early 2015. I was fortunate to see him live alongside Chance The Rapper and The Social Experiment last November. Being a huge fan of both these dudes, I am just happy to see independence prosper. Go support my dude. He has more bangers than just Broccoli with Lil Yachty, trust me.
Hello GVNG, I'm just checking in to let you all know that the 2nd Drop The Mic, sponsored by Project S.P.I.T. & UCF's Campus Activities Board, is today and back at the campus Starbucks. I hope to see you there!
I am extremely excited to announce that I will be coming home to Broward for my first homecoming show in over 5-6 years. I will be performing live at ArtServe on November 11, 2016. Join the GVNG and support hip hop!
RSVP via Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/176248942828728/
-details listed below-
If you know me, you know Kanye is a G.O.A.T. in my eyes. In high school, I missed the Glow In The Dark Tour. I have always been a fan of theatrics and Kanye brings nothing but artistic vision to his shows from setup to ambiance. An Orlando stop for the Saint Pablo Tour has just been added for December 6th at the Amway Center. You better believe I am there especially after missing the first leg of the tour. I will be keeping you all posted on tickets once they are released. Stay tuned.
Photo via ManyRiversFestival.com
What’s good, GVNG? This is Kes, beauty and culture blogger at CallMeKes.com. With everything going on regarding race relations, racism, daily patriarchy, police AND intra-communal dehumanization/violence, I’m starting to wonder if we’re actually accomplishing something or just going in circles. With every new hash tag, there’s a flood of traumatic graphics down my social media feed, distracting headlines, and heated, online arguments supporting or negating the justification of the violence and/or murder on/of a [Black] life. Most of which result in unproductive energy, increasingly heightening and unresolved tensions as a culture and an orange quack being able to run for president. The questions that always come up for me are: “how did we get here?” and “are we really not progressing?” How are we building with/supporting/creating space for one another, and also challenging and pushing for our work to be grounded by our people and paying it forward by helping out the communities that got us to where we are?
Early last month, I attended the inaugural Many Rivers to Cross Music & Arts Festival, an event purposed to connect music, art and social justice. Mr. Harry Belafonte, familiarly Mr. B, spoke of being called by Martin Luther King, Jr. to get involved with the Civil Rights Movement. He went on to fund many projects of the movement, coordinate the “We Are the World” song, constantly speaking out against injustices like African apartheid, critiquing the U.S. Presidential administration, and mentoring many people making an impact today. An echoing thought throughout the weekend was a quote by the awesome Paul Robeson: “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth; [We are civilization’s radical voice]”. My after thought to the question of if we’re progressing or not became “who/what is the rule of measure?” If you follow mainstream media outlets upholding white supremacy, you’d think we’re not. But the music/art I’ve been experiencing in at least the past 2 years, and the artists I saw this weekend made me start to believe otherwise. From Kendrick’s To Pimp A Butterfly and WGNA’s TV show Underground to Solange’s newest A Seat At the Table. So what is the truth? Honestly, truly.
I challenge where our energies are lying. Unfortunately, we’re not going to stop getting killed tomorrow, and we’re still promoting violence on one another. So what are we doing instead of, or in additional to, emotional responses every 28 hours that is more sustainable and building long-term to combat reinforced violent cultural norms on a minute level that’s slipping under (big) cracks and leading up to these more visible incidents where violence is asked for, justified and then tolerated? Hint: declaring “I don’t vote” paired with inaction don’t count. It's takes relationships. Note: IAMPVYNE & I go way back to about 3 years ago in college when he was B.Payne Tha Rapper and my blog wasn’t even a possible idea. Now here we are collaborating because we see the need. It only took 20-something year old Martin to call on 28-year-old Harry and hold him to his word. A decades worth of life changing work later, Mr. Belafonte is still going on at 89 years old. It only took PVYNE to hit me up to slide through this blog. It only takes involvement & pressure on local influencers, communities, artists, etc. on issues affecting your daily life to create a buzz and demand the target (national level, record label or that audience) to pay attention and take action. It's a very long road with many, MANY rivers to cross, but that's what will get us to liberation.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth recap on the Many Rivers Fest coming to my blog soon and very soon. In the mean time, check out my site: CallMeKes.com, and stay connected! If you’re in South Florida or St. Pete/Tampa, Dream Defenders is a good org to get involved in, or become a sustainer of, but also research and look for other organizations to get involved/collaborate with. Take a look at your dreams, and ask yourself if they align with, and bring honor and respect to, the communities rooting for you.
Love and light,
Best wishes to the G.O.A.T. Eminem on his 44th birthday! Your Encore album definitely got me in trouble with moms back in middle school. lol Thank you for speaking your mind whenever you felt like it. They may only remember you for the crazy moments, but I remember you for being fearless in an industry that normally doesn't accept your race. For that, you're a GOAT. - Signed, Not Stan lol
This post is dedicated to Thomas Mikal Ford, best known as Tommy from the hit series Martin, who passed yesterday (October 12th, 2016) after being on life support for a ruptured aneurysm in his abdomen. Rest up King.
Brand new sounds from WeTheFuture's own KP Gwala. #WTF
"No Problems" also available on iTunes/Apple Music, Google Play, and Spotify
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Over this past weekend, I was able to go see the critically acclaimed Birth Of A Nation. I have honestly been waiting patiently for this movie throughout this whole year. The impact of film can be so widespread if seen by the masses, especially within the black community of the United States.
This film gives black youth a hero in Nat Turner from the slavery era that we were never taught about (for obvious reasons). For most of our lives, we have only seen films depict African Americans as merely the help and in a weak position with the exception of Django Unchained. Not only does it show a black hero that arose from slavery, but it puts in context WHY it happened the way it did.
Another lesser known fact about this film is that the title is taken from an early 20th Century KKK recruitment film of the same name. That movie depicted the rise of the clan during the Civil War and Reconstruction era of American history. It depicts African Americans as savage rapists with no moral code and spawned the 2nd coming of the clan. Nate Parker, producer and lead actor, took this name purposely to show another point of view where slave rebellions left a legacy and led to the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation of the late 1800's versus the belief that Abraham Lincoln simply "freed the slaves" because he thought it was unjust and inhumane. He strives to show the untold side of the story and does so with an emotionally driven time-piece.
I wanted to refrain from giving spoilers, so I truly urge you to go catch this film in theaters and pray that it sparks your interest to do more research into the heroic history of the African American people in the United States. Below is an interview Nate Parker did with The Breakfast Club last week discussing the film before it premiered.
I was told last year by a younger Caucasian coworker that dreadlocks are “unprofessional.” Taking no offense to his opinion, I proceeded to ask why. He had little to no reasoning behind his opinion other than stating that this is what he always “knew.”
This sparked a question within me.What is “knowing?” To know is “to be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information” says Merriam Webster’s definition. People tend to state what they “know” without fully understanding what it means. They don’t even “know” how to “know”. People of all races, backgrounds, religions, etc. suffer from this issue of not “knowing.”
By definition, my coworker had already proved himself incorrect in this discussion by stating that he “knows” that dreadlocks are “unprofessional” simply because he hadn’t observed, inquired, or been informed. Had he spent the time to simply “observe” me, he would not be so misinformed. I do not blame him for his opinion, only for his misinformed statement.
This day and age, we should not be so misinformed. Let us evolve past these aged stereotypes. Let us grow past these ignorant views. Let us refrain from prejudgment as well as refrain from believing we “know” based off of these judgments. Times have changed and hair, style, etc. are all means of expression in this extremely artistic generation we are a part of. A hairstyle does not define you just as the color of your skin does not define you. Only YOU define you.
I take no offense to anyone’s judgments. I appreciated my coworker's opinion, as I do any opinion differing from my own, as it is an opportunity to learn and/or teach. Use these people’s judgments as moments to inform the misinformed. With that being said, I, Brandon Brice Javon Payne, am a 25 year old dark skinned American with dreadlocks. I graduated from one of the top 2 high schools in my district with a 4.2 GPA and honors. I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelors of Science in Event Management, a 3.5 GPA, and a myriad of leadership positions and experience. I am the CEO of an event managing company with my own board of directors AND employees. I listen to Hip Hop music very loudly every chance I get and dance wildly past sweating. I can rock a snapback, sneakers and a t-shirt as well as a suit and tie. I have a 9-5 job, but I also have ambitions to turn my dreams into my reality and have not let anyone stop the progression. But hey, what’s “professional” anyway?
These are just my thoughts. What about you?
I come to you with extreme happiness for WeTheFuture's young queen on the scene, Ayaana Nash, having her single "10 Times Better" featured on the newly released OTown Plug Mixtape. This mixtape brings music together from various artists in Orlando (OTown) and seeks to spread awareness of the talent right here in Central Florida. I for one, am a fan of efforts such as these to bring exposure to the young artists here working hard to build a name like the homies LB199X, Bria Zhanae, Marcellus Juvann, 98KB, and Brittany Bae who also featured on the mixtape. Big shoutout to Young Scholar for putting this project together. If you are enjoy great music, take a listen below!
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What's gucci GVNG. I would like to invite you all out to this jiggy party/show I am booked to perform at tonight. The energy should be on high since the event is a mix between a house party and a backyard concert. Let's get the good vibes going tonight. See you there!