Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Jena 6

So I am sitting in Atlanta airport getting ready to catch my connecting flight to Louisiana. Not to my surprise, there is very little coverage about the rally tomorrow, as well as the tragedy that is happening to these 6 young men in Jena. Imagine having a fight while in high school and being convicted of attempted murder as an adult. But guess what is all over the news. That’s right, OJ Simpson. They love to talk about some OJ, so lets talk about him. First of all he’s an idiot, but that’s another story.
Over 13 years ago some would say OJ got away with murder. I personally believe we allowed the important message to be overshadowed by the race issue. I hate that any person of any color would be murdered. That in itself is very sad, but my personal opinion on whether OJ did it or not doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. What the Simpson trial exposed was how many people of color (all colors) are in jail for things they did not do. It is pretty safe to say that if the cops didn’t mess with the evidence, OJ would’ve probably gone to jail. But his all-star lineup of lawyers were able to pick these crooked cops apart. Think about how many people couldn’t afford the proper defense to expose the truth. Look how many verdicts have been overturned by DNA evidence, after people have spent half their lives in jail for a crime they didn’t commit. And you want to cry FOUL on OJ? Yeah no one should get away with murder, but no one should go to jail for something they didn’t do. If you want to solve a murder, drain the rivers and lakes throughout America and count how many lynched African Americans rest at the bottom. Lets solve those crimes. And while you’re at it take a look at Jena, Louisiana where 6 African American KIDS are facing adult charges of attempted murder. White kids performed the same act and they got probation. There is a big gap between probation and attempted murder. But if you ask the prosecutor in Jena, there’s a big gap between white and black. Say a prayer everybody. Say a pray for Michael Baisden, Al Sharpton, and the other leaders who are stepping up to the plate to lead the masses against this. And remember, you maybe comfortable and at peace where you are, but other parts of the world, even in America are still the closest thing to Hell on earth.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I woke up this morning with words in my head. I recited them over and over till I was able to type the lines into my phone on the way to the airport. They went like this:

“People say my nephew looks like a mini me
Which made me think maybe there’s many me’s
So I took that as a sign
That I should stay on my grind
Cause this is all one big line
And I may not be far behind
The Jay-Z’s, the Cosby’s, the Jordan’s, the Smith’s
Just to focus on my gifts
And always try to uplift
And any mic I get
Make sure I always rip
And rock it till the coroner pulls it from my grip
And even then a song will be written on my hand
Make them say damn he died with a plan”

Okay so it’s not finished. Just a thought to add to the million thoughts I had before. Hopefully I will use it for something. So onto life… Over the last week I found myself having several conversations with band and staff members. I tried my best to listen, as well as give constructive criticism where needed. What I got from it all was the importance of “tone”. It really means a lot. From the tone you take with someone, to the tone you set. I was proud of my band on this trip. We were definitely tested in Orlando. We ran face to face with some egos that usually the band and I can’t ignore, but for the most part we focused on our goals and had a good time. So to reward them, we went jet sking the next morning. We had a blast. I was really trying to break the thing in half. After that the guys flew home. It was Shawn’s birthday so she and I stayed another day to celebrate, and enjoy some quality time.

Monday, September 10, 2007


That I will be missing most of the football season due to touring. I’ve had some busy years, but this year by far has been the busiest. With a European tour, and a Japan tour in October, I am already suffering from withdraw. See watching football has always been my escape. I work hard for 6 six days and shut it all down from the first game on Sunday to the last game on Monday. Some how I forgot that when putting together the touring schedule for the rest of the year.
It’s always tough balancing your personal life, and music. One of my favorite artist, Tom Waits once said his family and his music were two dogs that didn’t like each other, and he has to walk them both everyday. That maybe a bit extreme, but I can relate to it. It’s amazing how many “once in a lifetime” show offers I receive on my family’s birthdays. Or how I’m out of the country on Mother’s or Father’s Day. I wonder how I will balance it once I have kids. It’s something that I honestly worry about. See I can’t get in the habit of turning down gigs. It’s my livelihood. So turning down a reasonable show is like you deciding not to go to work. You can do it, but eventually those bills will start to stack up. Not to mention I have a company to run and bankroll.
So I’m gonna be on the road during my nephew, Jaden’s birthday. But I will spoil him rotten when I get home. I’ll also be on the road during Shawn’s birthday, but I am wisely bringing her along. *wink* Take notes fellas, and you won’t sleep on the couch so much. Anyway I digress.
What I am really trying to say is I am constantly searching for that balance. There is a balance, even though the same thing that pulls you away from them, provides for them. There has to be one. I look up to my artistic heroes such as Quincy Jones, Gordan Parks, Ray Charles, and so many other, who accomplished so much thru art. But I would never want their personal lives. That’s where I strive to be different. God willing, I will be.