Thursday, 21 August 2014

Wiz Khalifa - Blacc Hollywood Album Review

Artist: Wiz Khalifa

Album: Blacc Hollywood

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Released: August 19, 2014

Year Recorded: 2013-14

Label: Atlantic, Rostrum

On his third studio album, Wiz Khalifa has recorded a collection of potential radio singles that offer little cohesion, but plenty of reasons to have a good time.

Wiz Khalifa is to music what Doug Benson is to comedy; and by that I mean they’re both a variation of Cheech and Chong for a new generation. They've all managed to make careers out of embracing their love of marijuana. As long as they continue to carry the torch of weed, and all the things it can do to improve life for those who know how to manage their high, there will be people who want to support their efforts. It’s a growing profitable niche to dominate if you can, and to his credit Wiz has managed to hold his throne in the face of many young new comers thinking a single smoking anthem would change the game.
Blacc Hollywood picks up the adventures of Wiz where the 28 Grams mixtape left off, and that is a place that finds the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native fathering his first child while simultaneously finding himself at an all-time high in his career (pun intended). This fits well with Khalifa’s long-standing tradition of celebrating life through music, but in many ways it also causes the album to feel more like a collection of songs than a complete album. That’s not to say his songwriting has dipped; in fact, there are several instances on the album (“House In The Hills,” “Stayin Out All Night”) where Wiz offers his strongest lyrical content in years. The mix of wanting to be a hard working responsible parent (“No Gain”) while simultaneously promoting things like hip-hop’s rampant problem with misogyny (“Ass Drop”) makes for a well-produced soundtrack that fits no occasion at all. It’s not in-depth enough to feel like an intimate conversation with Wiz, but the hype tracks don’t come often enough to make it a radio record. You could say it’s a bit of everything, but not in the way you might hope.
There are brilliant moments on Blacc Hollywood, as well as plenty of new smoker anthems – ultimately it’s these moments that make an argument for returning to Khalifa’s latest. “True Colors,” a quasi-ballad with Nicki Minaj, joins “House In The Hills” as the two songs that offer a glimpse at what the next evolution of Wiz Khalifa might sound like. Both offer a side of the rapper that has rarely made its way to tape in the past. Minaj certainly helps “Colors” as well, but unlike many appearances she does not steal the show.
For the weed crowd, promotional singles “KK” and “We Dem Boys,” as well as the smoking-n-driving track “Raw,” should provide ample Saturday night jam sessions for the coming weeks. “So High” seems like an obvious title as well, but truth be told, it’s a bit more melancholy than some may expect. It’s one of those late night, “Day And Night” type lonely smoker tracks. That’s not a bad thing per se, but you won’t want to put it on your next party mix.
The biggest problem with Blacc Hollywood is that it appears to arrive at a point when Wiz Khalifa is in the midst of a personal evolution. There is a side of him that feels more reflective on past troubles than before that also seems to be working towards a better future for his family. That maturity is caught in a battle with the idea of who Wiz Khalifa believes himself to be as an artist. Up to this point, the majority of his material was about smoking weed, getting laid, and having a good time. He’s at a different place in life now, and as a result he’s got several new topics on his mind that he wishes to express through his music. When those moments occur, Blacc Hollywoodshines. The radio singles and party still work too, but it’s clear Khalifa is beginning to reach a new point in his creativity that is far more intriguing than the club scene and it’s hard to not wish there was more of it to be found on this record.

SCORE: 8/10

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

4 Lessons on How to Find the Right Direction in Life


“Life’s blows cannot break a person whose spirit is warmed by the fire of enthusiasm.” ~Norman Peale
“Something just doesn't feel right,” I thought to myself as I walked into my house after a long commute from work, being greeted by my exhausted spouse who was trying to manage the kids after putting in a long day in her own job. Work hard, save money, buy a house, and live happily ever after. The formula that I grew up with didn't seem all that great anymore. Was it broken? I mean, I worked at a good job but felt as though I was meant to do more. My stress and anxiety were heightened by the increasing uncertainty in my career, unpredictability of life events, and the complicated, fast nature of life, especially over the last few years.
I became stuck, frozen, and paralyzed by the chaos of life and work all around me.  
With no reasonable approach ahead, I stood still. Examining my life, over-thinking all the various life paths in front of me presented a scary picture. Each path looked worse than the other, inhibiting any possible action I would take.
Spinning down a spiral of anxiety, my life stagnated and I just felt hopeless.
Then one day, I took an unexpected trip that changed my life and led me down an unpredictable path, where I learned, adapted, and grew to understand myself better. It also led me toward a life purpose that is not grand nor perfect, but it seemed to fit. It just made sense and I discovered it by chance.
Or was it?
Breathing fresh air into a stagnant soul, I felt alive again, travelling on a road despite the uncertainty existing around me.  
In my journey over the last few years of trying to figure out which path to go on, I learned a lot about those factors that led me to ultimately discover what I think I’m meant to do. As a result, I am currently in the middle of a major life change, going from a twenty-year corporate career to being an author, speaker, and a career counselor. While I am not sure how the next few years will be fare, I am at last open to new possibilities.
Here are 4 lessons that I learned on how to find the right direction in life:

1. Stop over-thinking.

So much of our stress and anxiety about the future stems from all the analysis and thinking we do as adults. We ask ourselves all sorts of questions. I recall countless nights lying awake, entertaining ideas and wrestling with my soul. I tried so hard to figure out where I would end up that I often felt defeated before I even began.
But all the over-analysis got me nowhere; it just burned more time.
The reality is that no matter how smart we may be, we cannot predict the future. Things are moving so fast and we’re so interconnected that it is impossible to predict where you’ll end up five years from now.
You just don’t know. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because you will not be basing your choice of direction based on a forecast that’s likely to be wrong.

You’ll be making your choice on what’s really important to you, right here and right now, not tomorrow.

By recognizing and ultimately accepting the unpredictable nature of life, we can stop over-thinking and over-analyzing and start living more in the present moment. This helps to open the mind up to the possibilities of today.

2. Try anything. Do something.

When you take action and start doing things, you begin to feel better almost immediately, because instead of thinking about some far off place in your head full of uncertainty, you will be working on something that is really certain: your actions.
So many times, I used to get caught up in the chaos of life and was consumed by it, until I realized that while I cannot control what will happen tomorrow, I can control the actions I take every single day.

That’s the real beauty of life—knowing that you have absolute control over each of your thoughts, words, and actions. 

And by trying, moving, asking, engaging, experimenting, and walking forward, it puts you one step further than where you were yesterday. And you just never know where that one step will lead you.

3. Follow your inner voice. 

I used to feel that if only I knew more, I would be able to make a better decision about the direction I wanted to take in life. But as I dug deeper trying to get more information, the hole got so deep that I found myself buried.
Confused and overwhelmed with so much information, at times conflicting, I just didn't know what or whom to believe.

Then, I just let go. I let go of all evidence and started following my gut. 

I took chances; I took small steps walking forward in the dark. I stumbled, fell but got back up, and went in a different direction. Then again, and again, and again. As they say, the first step was the hardest but I eventually found my way, not because some data point on a career chart showed me which way to go, but because I started to trust my inner voice.
Sure, it was wrong often, but it got better eventually because I was out there doing and learning—not sitting and waiting.

4. Believe in yourself.

When I first started exploring new opportunities to find the right direction in my life, I found myself overwhelmed by the competition. There were so many others just like me trying and doing what I was doing.
And turning to my friends didn’t offer any respite, because instead of encouraging me to try new avenues, some of them brought me back to where I began. “Why don’t you be more pragmatic?”
Feeding me with seeds of self-doubt, it took me some time to recover my momentum. And it was in the positive voices of so many others in blogs such as this, videos, and social media that I found encouragement to keep at it. It felt like they were talking about me.
And in that positive lens, I found the light inside of me to bring forward the resiliency that lay dormant.
No longer suppressed by someone else’s ideas of the way things “ought to be,” I continued on my newly discovered path. The more I focused on my own voice and the voices of encouraging friends, the more I grew to believe in myself.
Although for some, finding the right direction might require the journey of a lifetime, I do believe that there is one direction that we are all meant to go: forward.
By taking small steps each and every day, putting aside over-thinking, and realizing that you have everything you need deep within, you can find the right direction in your life. And while it may not be the direction you expected, it will work out just fine.
Photo by katiaromanova

Thursday, 20 March 2014

EVERY BLACK GUY SHOULD READ THIS: White Women's Opinion Of Black Women And A Brother's Response

Please take a moment and read this. Pretty Deep! Thumbs up to this black man... Enjoy!!

It seems that an article was written to Sister 2 Sister magazine by a Caucasian woman who requested a response from black men. I'm so glad she got what she asked for (and more)!!!

Dear Jamie: I'm sorry but I would like to challenge some of your Black male readers. I am a White female who is engaged to a Black male-good-looking, educated and loving. I just don't understand a lot of Black female's attitudes about our relationship. My man decided he wanted me because the pickings amongst Black women were slim to none. As he said they were either too fat, too loud, too mean, too argumentative, too needy, too materialistic or carrying too much excess baggage. Before I became engaged, whenever I went out I was constantly approached by Black men, willing to wine and dine me and give me the world. If Black women are so up in arms about us being with their men, why don't they look at themselves and make some changes. I am tired of the dirty looks I get and snide remarks when we're out in public. I would like to hear from some Black men about why we are so appealing and coveted by them. Bryant Gumbel just left his wife of 26 years for one of us Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, the model Tyson Beckford, Montell Williams, Quincy Jones, James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte, Sydney Poitier, Kofi Anan, Cuba Gooding Jr., Don Cornelius, Berry Gordy, Billy Blanks, Larry Fishburne, Wesley Snipes... I could go on and on. But, right now, I'm a little angry and that is why I wrote this so hurriedly. Don't be mad with us White women because so many of your men want us. Get your acts together and learn from us and we may lead you to treat your men better. If I'm wrong, Black men, let me know. 

Disgusted White Girl, Somewhere in VA RESPONSE

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The critical mind of @Cchizzey: Pregnant Women: Society's adult kids

I haven't been pregnant yet, but I would imagine it is a 'wonderful experience' and in most cases a 'source of joy to both parents'. Well, atleast one of them...

I mean why wouldn't you be happy? That fetus inside you could grow up to be somebody great. like president, or a doctor...

Read full storyThe critical mind of Cchizzey: Pregnant Women: Society's adult kids

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

This Is Why Barack Obama Is The Coolest President In The World

    Well...this is awkward. (Funny or Die)     

Los Angeles – It’s official. Barack Obama is the coolest president in the world. The American president did something no other president has ever done before. He appeared as a guest on the cult internet talk show Between Two Ferns

The show hosted by Zach Galifianakis is an awkwardly hilarious web show on Funny or Die that sees celebrities answer some of the most random questions possible.

Obama follows in the footsteps of other A-listers like Charlize Theron, Justin Bieber and Bradley Cooper. He nails the interview with the best part by far being his take-down of the third Hangover movie.

(For those not familiar with the show, it’s meant to be this awkward.)

Watch it here:

Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis: President Barack Obama from President Barack Obama

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Thought I Should Blog This: “I Have Infected 324 Men With HIV” – Kenyan University Student Confesses

The beautiful young lady [picture] confessed to Kenya scandals that after discovering she had the deadly HIV virus, she is on a mission to destroy the society by infecting 2000 more by the end of this year. Among the 324 she claims to have infected, 156 are students, 3 politicians and the rest are married men, lecturers, lawyers, some celebrities among others. She says not a day passes before she has sex with at least 4 men and without protection.

She also adds that she is on a revenge mission because it’s the same men that destroyed her life by infecting her with AIDS. She is only 19 yrs. and she is in 2nd year. Read her story below…

Her Story:

“I’m 19 and a 2nd year here at Kabarak University, I joined this college a virgin though I have had boyfriends before, and my parents are strict so having sex was never on my mind.

Sep 22nd 2013 is a day I will never forget, we went clubbing in town and got drunk with some senior students then went back hostels for party round 2, I remember less but I remember waking up naked to some guy called Javan with my P painful and knew he had sex with me when drunk I only asked if he used a condom and he said yes, however when taking bath I noticed sperms down there, I wanted to commit suicide, I feared getting pregnant and HIV, took contras and hoped I was HIV free.

In November I tested HIV positive, I felt like cutting off my neck, I confronted that guy and he insisted he was clean that I got it from somewhere, I was so depressed and took alcohol to die, I even bought poison, the pain was just unbearable how was I gonna face the world, I let my parents down, I gave up on the world and just wanted to end my life…”

Kenyan scandals quickly goes to her Facebook profile to see her photos and take it from here, she is one fine piece of art, right features in the right places, a bad joke but Jesus would say OMG on spotting her, no man can resist this lady’s charm, not even Jimmy Gathu, there’s not a single clue from her photos that she could be infected she continues...

“...Something came up in my mind that I should revenge, I hated men and didn’t want to be near any, my future had been ruined, somehow someone had to pay, after private therapies and sessions I gained strength not even my parents, friends knew of my conditions even up to now, my life would then take a turn and depend on ARVs.

I accepted my fate and promised to make all men I come across suffer, I know I am attractive and men both married and unmarried chases me left right and centre, luckily my body has remained good and if anything my curves got better something you men like.

I buried the good girl in me and became the bad girl, my goal was to infect as many as possible so far since December up to now I have infected 324 men and I make sure to note down there list which I secretly keep when I’ll be on my death bed I will release it.

I know I have nothing left to do on earth but wait for my death but before I do, men will get it. My target is over 2k by the end of the year, pregnancy is out of question I am on contras so I just do raw which most men here love they don’t even question, my looks and body works greatly for me, I give it good. Of the 324 about 156 are students here at the college, the remaining are married men outside, lecturers, lawyers, some celebs and 3 politicians. Not a day passes without me having sex, mostly 4 people per day.”