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Wynton Marsalis vs. Hip-Hop: Is Hip-Hop Music More Damaging than the Legacy of Confederate Statues?

Posted on June 8, 2018 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis said Hip-Hop music is more damaging to the African-American community than Confederate statues, which represents leaders who fought to preserve slavery.



During a podcast episode by journalist Jonathan Capehart of the Washington Post entitled “Cape Up.” Respected Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis said Hip-Hop music has done more damage to the African-American community than the statue of American and Confederate Commander Robert E. Lee.


Lee’s duty was to defend his native Virginia. He saw himself as a Virginian first, and an American second. Lee defended southerners right to enslave millions of their fellow human beings. He fought for the American flag, but he also fought against it, which made him a traitor of the United States of America.


Marsalis said Hip-Hop has been a negative influence on the African-American community since the mid to late 1980s when the music genre was still in its infancy, and apparently in 2018, he still feels the same way.


I’m not familiar with Marsalis’ history with Hip-Hop music, but some of these artists come from different backgrounds and some express their experiences, thoughts, social-political views, philosophies, and ideologies through the art of music.


Over the last few years, Hip-Hop music has been dumb-down without much originality. During the 1980s and 1990s era, artists were applauded for being original, creative, and for being themselves.


Here are some artists and songs that have contributed to Hip-Hop and made a positive impact on the genre: 


  • Nas, whose name means “Helper and Protector” in Arabic wrote the song “If I Ruled the World.” The song is about imagining a world without racism and injustices. “I Can” is another song by Nas about uplifting children, and the third verse is dedicated to African history.


  • The Pharcyde’s “Runnin’,” is about dealing with bullying, peer pressure, and the stress that comes with being famous.


  • Ice Cube’s “Dead Homiez” is a dedication to his friend who passed away, and the song also brought awareness about the violence from his neighborhood in South Central, Los Angeles, CA.


  • A Tribe Called Quest’s “The Infamous Date Rape” brought awareness about men and women who found themselves in uncomfortable rape situations.

  • Xzibit’s “The Foundation” is a heartfelt letter dedicated to his son, and the song offers suggestions of how his son should navigate through life, to not be a follower, and to be his own man.


  • Digable Planets’ “Le Femme Fetal” is song turned into spoken word poetry that brought awareness about a woman’s psyche when dealing with abortion. 


The Hip-Hop artists mentioned above all had debut albums from the 1980s or 1990s. Hip-Hop Duo Blu & Exile burst on the Hip-Hop scene in 2007 with their modern-classic debut “Below the Heavens.”


Blu, the rapper, and Exile the producer were focused on carrying on tradition from the artists who came before them. Their song “Below the Heavens, Part I” captured Blu reflecting on his life, and the religious undertones throughout the song found him conflicted with Christianity because he was raised by his reverend stepfather.


All the artists mentioned above are my favorites, but there are many more who have similar philosophies and ideologies like J Dilla, DMX, Gang Starr, Outkast, 2Pac, Slick Rick, Wu-Tang Clan, De La Soul, Scarface, Brand Nubian, Common, Black Star, Public Enemy, The Fugees, KRS-One and much more.


To say Hip-Hop music and contributors are worse than Confederate statues that represent people who wanted to continue slavery in America is ignorant, because what is worse than being forced to be enslaved? For example, who wants to be stolen from their homeland, forced to leave their family, lynched, burned, castrated, etc.


I understand Marsalis’ frustration because some Hip-Hop artists choose to not have substance and creative content within their music, but unfortunately, this is much of today’s Hip-Hop music. Also, the violent and sexually explicit lyrics is the dark cloud that has followed Hip-Hop for many years, but the radio programmers, record labels, and more control what they want the audience to hear if the audience isn’t willing to research meaningful music themselves.


So what kind of song is more marketable?


A song about partying and doing drugs, or a song about empowering people to stand up for what they believe in, to not forget their history, and to not be ashamed of themselves, etc.


The music industry is a business, and people in powerful positions are interested in making money, not promoting positive messages that could spark the minds of their listeners who may have the ability to create real social change.



“If the truth is told, the youth can grow. They learn to survive until they gain control. Nobody says you have to be gangsta’s, h***. Read more, lean more, change the globe.”


- Nas, I Can, God’s Son



The overall conception of Hip-Hop gets misconstrued by people who don’t understand the music. With a tool like the internet, it’s now easier than ever to find many different types of Hip-Hop music. After researching, you might find your new favorite artist because that is what happened to me when I found out about The Pharcyde many years after their debut album.



It confused me when I heard Marsalis’ comments about Hip-Hop music being more damaging to African-American communities than the representation of Confederate statues. Marsalis’ comments confused me because Hip-Hop artists Nas and The Pharcyde gave me hope during dark periods in my life.


For instance, I was diagnosed with cancer as a teenager, and Nas’ Stillmatic gave me hope and helped me believed I could defeat cancer. The Pharcyde’s Labcabincalifornia helped me during my transition of becoming a hip amputee when I became an adult.


2018 marks my 15th year anniversary of being a two-time cancer survivor, and I credit Hip-Hop music for uplifting my mind, body, and soul during this difficult ordeal.


To find out more about how Hip-Hop music has given me hope during the darkest times of my life, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/apps/blog/show/45576945-what-kind-of-hero-are-you-




Disclaimer…


I don’t own any content from the articles and image of Wynton Marsalis and Robert E. Lee. No Copyright Intended. All content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to their respective owners.


I don’t own any lyric content and Hip-Hop album covers from Nas, The Pharcyde, Blu & Exile, Ice Cube, A Tribe Called Quest, Xzibit, and Digable Planets. No Copyright Intended. All content is copyright to their respective owners. All Rights go to their respective owners.


I don’t own any content from the inFAMOUS images. All images content is copyright to their respective owners. No Copyright Intended.


All Rights go to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.


“American Heroes: General Robert E. Lee – Patriot or Traitor?” A Patriot's History of the United States. Bruce Catton, This Hallowed Ground (New York: Washington Square Press, 1961), 466-82; James MacPherson, Ordeal By Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2001), 519-20. http://www.patriotshistoryusa.com/teaching-materials/bonus-materials/american-heroes-general-robert-e-lee/


“At the Speed of Life.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 June 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/At_the_Speed_of_Life


Bennett, Jessica. “Wynton Marsalis: Rap Is More Damaging Than Confederate Statues.” EBONY, EBONY, 23 May 2018. www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/wynton-marsalis-rap-damaging-than-confederate-statue


“Biography.” Wynton Marsalis, wyntonmarsalis.org/about/bio. http://wyntonmarsalis.org/about/bio


“Death Certificate (Album).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 June 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_Certificate_(album)


“Digable Planets - Blowout Comb.” Discogs. https://www.discogs.com/Digable-Planets-Blowout-Comb/release/897888


“Give Me My Flowers While I Can Still Smell Them.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 June 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Give_Me_My_Flowers_While_I_Can_Still_Smell_Them


Hinz, Luke. “Why Wynton Marsalis' Anti Hip-Hop Comments Are Unfair.” HotNewHipHop, HotNewHipHop, 3 June 2018. https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/why-wynton-marsalis-comments-that-hip-hop-and-rap-are-more-damaging-than-a-statue-of-robert-e-lee-ar-news.51572.html


“Labcabincalifornia.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 1 June 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labcabincalifornia


Nas logo. Digital image. Brands of the World. Www.brandsoftheworld.com, n.d. Web. 5 June 2018. https://www.brandsoftheworld.com/logo/nas


PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. All-Stars Roster Cole MacGrath. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Web. 5 June. 2018. http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/Cole_MacGrath 


PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. All-Stars Roster Evil Cole MacGrath. Sony Interactive Entertainment. Web. 5 June. 2018. http://playstationallstars.wikia.com/wiki/Evil_Cole_MacGrath


“Stillmatic.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 3 June 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stillmatic 


“The Low End Theory by A Tribe Called Quest.” Genius. https://genius.com/albums/A-tribe-called-quest/The-low-end-theory 


The Pharcyde Image. Digital image. Delicious Vinyl. Delicious Vinyl, n.d. Web. 5 June 2018. http://deliciousvinyl.com/artists/the-pharcyde/


CalmandStrong: The Ultimate Victory

Posted on June 1, 2018 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Dedication to those who purchased my autobiography, and how I was able to independently self-publish.



I wanted to dedicate this blog to the people who supported me by purchasing a copy of my autobiography “CalmandStrong: Some People Walk in Each Other’s Shoes… I Carry Mine.”


The sales from my book are coming in and I appreciate all the support!


Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I could write and publish a book, but with my creativity and determination, I achieved my goal. I knew my dramatic, but true story needed to be told because it could help others who have been through similar situations and it could help anybody who has ever experienced a serious illness.


Around this time last year, I started putting my thoughts and feelings about my life of being a two-time cancer survivor on digital paper. I have photos on my website that helped take me to that dark and depressing place I was at as a teenager. I was able to break down how I felt mentally, spiritually, and physically while dealing with this difficult ordeal.


To check out my cancer images and much more, click here: http://www.calmandstrong.net/photos


I’ve became a hip amputee at 17-years-old in 2003, and 2004-2008 were dark years for me because I was still adjusting to becoming a hip amputee and walking with a prosthetic leg. It was a difficult adjustment for me because I had my right leg the first 17-years of my life, and after I was diagnosed with cancer for a second time, my right leg had to get amputated and it was gone forever.


For all the current readers of this blog. Think about your life at 17-years-old. Senior year of high school, prom, applying for colleges, etc. Now, just imagine being forced to part ways with your right leg during the beginning of a new chapter in your life.


Within my book, I describe all the hardships I had to endure, and how I was able to believe in myself again when I came across Sucker Punch Productions’ inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.



I found my Garden of Eden when inFAMOUS came into my life because the comparisons and parables between Cole and myself were surreal. When I first played the game in 2009, I felt like God came through my eyes and forced me to notice the comparisons between Cole and myself, and share my connection with this digital character.


With the help from the Fiverr community, I was able to self-publish my story and share it with the world.


On May 28th, I turned 33-years-old and realized I’ve been a hip amputee almost half of my life. 2018 also marks my 15th anniversary of being a two-time cancer survivor.



What People Are Saying…


One reader said, “I felt like I was with you during the journey. I felt your pain, sadness, and accomplishments.”



To read more about my superhero story of overcoming knee cancer twice, lung cancer, adjusting to having knee replacement and becoming a hip amputee, click here: https://www.books2read.com/CalmandStrongBook




Disclaimer…


I don’t own any content from the inFAMOUS images. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. No Copyright Intended.

 

I do not own any content displayed from inFAMOUS (2009). The image displayed were captured and lifted from my personal playthrough of the original inFAMOUS video game.

 

All Rights go to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.


Allow me to Reintroduce Myself: Part II

Posted on May 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

A summary of the history of my company “CalmandStrong,” and all my accomplishments from 2013 to the present. 



I created my company “CalmandStrong” in 2013, a year after I graduated from California State University, Long Beach. After many failed attempts at landing a nine-to-five job, I decided to create CalmandStrong with help from my Life Coach and Mentor.


My Life Coach encouraged me to become an inspirational speaker because of my story of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee during my teen years. While brainstorming we came up with my company name, tagline, target audience, and the purpose of why I should become an inspirational speaker.


My goal is to help people who have been through similar situations as myself. I was a teenager when I was first diagnosed with cancer and I had to get my right leg amputated. I want to be the voice for the voiceless who has ever experienced a serious illness, especially for the teenagers and young adults.


When people ask me,


“Why are you doing this?”


I ask them how many people do they know had knee cancer twice, lung cancer, a knee replacement, and became a hip amputee during their four years of high school?


Since 2013, I’ve completed 20 overall speeches for Toastmasters at CSUSB and received two certificates from Toastmasters International. I also volunteered at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and completed 221 hours. Loma Linda Children’s Hospital is also where I did my chemotherapy treatment when I was 14 and 17 years old.


I published my autobiography “CalmandStrong: Some People Walk in Each Other’s Shoes… I Carry Mine,” which is available now at your favorite bookstore. My book is about my life from 1999-2013, which is exactly 14-years of my life that was full of pain, struggles, and accomplishments, and I was 14-years-old when I was first diagnosed with cancer.


I’ve also written 125 blogs on my website, and 17 articles on Vocal about many topics such as health and wellness, music, politics, racism and injustice, video games, crime investigations, and sports.


To check out my Vocal profile, click here: https://vocal.media/authors/darryl-richie


A major influence in my life was Sucker Punch Productions’ inFAMOUS videogame franchise and superhero Cole MacGrath.



I was at Loma Linda Children's Hospital (Loma Linda, CA) hooked up to an IV pole with my Grandmother and Uncle by my bedside; similar to Cole (inFAMOUS videogame franchise) who was also in the hospital hooked up to an IV pole with his girlfriend Trish and best friend Zeke by his bedside.


In 1999, this photo was taken of me when I was 14 years old, and the other image I lifted from the original inFAMOUS, which was released in 2009.


PlayStation Sponsorship Link: https://bit.ly/2wyhmO4




Applying for a Sponsorship from Sony PlayStation


To Whom It May Concern,


My name is Darryl C. Richie, and I’m an inspirational speaker, author, blogger, and founder of CalmandStrong. My autobiography, “CalmandStrong: Some People Walk in Each Other’s Shoes… I Carry Mine” is available now!


My book is about my story of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee.


Do you have a favorite bookstore? Click here: https://www.books2read.com/CalmandStrongBook


I was 14 years old when I was first diagnosed with knee cancer in 1999, and in 2003, the cancer came back in my right knee and I had to get my right leg amputated. Now I’m a hip amputee and could only walk with a prosthetic leg.


In 2009, I found my Garden of Eden when Sucker Punch Productions released the inFAMOUS videogame franchise. Superhero Cole MacGrath had a positive impact on my life, and my focus is to share my pain, struggle, and accomplishments with the world.


I feel my story is a superhero story because of the adversities I was forced to overcome, and it made sense to compare my story to my favorite superhero: Cole MacGrath.


To find out more information about my superhero story compared to Cole MacGrath’s superhero story, click here: https://conta.cc/2JY7Nd5


I wanted to reach out because I’m aware no big vision can be achieved alone. I believe a sponsorship from Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) could help give me the platform needed to reach a wide audience. I also feel a sponsorship will create positive publicity for both Sony PlayStation and CalmandStrong. There are millions of PlayStation fans who are like myself that related to Cole on a more personal and emotional level that even Sucker Punch didn’t expect.


My target audience are teenagers and young adults, which is also the target audience for the inFAMOUS videogame franchise.


Over the last few years, video games have been condemned within the mainstream media for contributing to violent crime. I believe sharing my experience about how the digital world of inFAMOUS has helped me within my personal life is a story that can change the negative narrative that surrounds video games. I also believe my story could help change people’s perception and perspective about video games.


What makes my inspirational story different and unique from others is that I connect my experiences and realities of being a two-time cancer survivor and hip amputee to the digital world of inFAMOUS and Cole.


In 2017, I created a User-Generated Content (UGC) mission-level called “Digital Inspiration from Cole MacGrath” in inFAMOUS 2. Within the level, I met Cole and told him how he helped me decide to think positive and do something to help myself; or stay in a dark and depressing place because I didn’t have control of my situation when I became a hip amputee.


I posted the gameplay video on my social media profiles, and I received a “Tweet” reply from Sucker Punch Productions Co-Founder and Producer Brian Fleming, and he said:


“We see you, Darryl. #appreciation”



To check out my UGC mission “Digital Inspiration from Cole MacGrath,” click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=8Ghb9JRwQ1A


In 2018, I will be 33 years old, and this year is my 15th year anniversary of being a cancer survivor.


I hope that I have conveyed my interest and experience for a sponsorship with Sony PlayStation. I welcome an opportunity to further discuss my qualifications. Please contact me via e-mail at [email protected] at your earliest convenience.


Thank you,


- Darryl C. Richie


www.calmandstrong.net

 



Disclaimer…


I don’t own any content from the inFAMOUS images. All image content is copyright to their respective owners. No Copyright Intended. 


I do not own any content displayed from inFAMOUS (2009). The image displayed were captured and lifted from my personal playthrough of the original inFAMOUS video game. 


All Rights go to Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE), developed by Sucker Punch Productions.



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