Archive for the ‘Music’ Category


I was going to wait after the Olympics to blog again. But the reason for this, the Northside of Milwaukee was up in total anger with fires and tension. And to connect with social media for those of where to go and meetup and havoc. How stupid.

I had to break away from watching the Olympics in which was a historical performance, to see the ironic tension of looting, fires, deep tension and many other concerns that plagued this city. 44th and Auer is where the shootings started. A 23 year old was shot and killed in the view of the Milwaukee Police Department. And yes after that, all hell broke loose. And a weapon was stolen with 23 shots rang out. And bricks being thrown.

The hell that broke loose, also continued with bus shelters, and street lights near Sherman and Auer were damaged. The BP Gas Station in the same area where a protest happened a month ago: burned. Right near Sherman Park. Further blocks away, more fires happened at a Jet Beauty Store near 35th and Burleigh. Also a O’Reilly Auto Parts in the same area, engulfed in flames. Nearby, a BMO Harris Bank right near my old Middle School had smoke issues in the building . All of this many feel that the black community has not had no love. And the thing is, it’s a warning sign.

 

Now I know that many had to go in about Milwaukee in which like comparing this riot to a championship win. Or there are those who don’t care about the city and having this shrugging shoulders mixed with pinned up frustrating matters.For all those who think have the answers and are acting foolish, SIT DOWN and Shut up! Clearly those don’t have all the answers. I don’t give a care if you transplanted to Texas or Atlanta or the East Coast, or the West Coast or a well known international region, you’re living there now. But I’ll bet none of you never actually really care about this city known as Milwaukee!

If so, PROVE ME WRONG! Send a long distance donation to your old schools and charitable functions you left behind.

Many of you have this noting about “oh well that’s Milwaukee for you when the violence happens.” Really?! Is that what those think?  Seriously? All you have to do is go on Twitter, Facebook in all and with the negative remarks on the likes of CNN commenters saying “yeah tear down that stuff, you bunch of hoodlums!” If many of you so-called Americans say that, I consider that being unpatriotic! And many folks know it!

Now for those of us here in Milwaukee. Those of us who work, pay our taxes, contribute to our causes, we need to rise more. We need to rise up like a freaking phoenix. We can have the clergy coming out, the community leaders, the fraternity, the sorority, the employed, the unemployed, the underemployed,the neighbor that looks out, the neighborhood leaders, the hardcore activist, the conscious, the not so-conscious, the in between, the Introverted, Extroverted, Ambiverted, the Unsung Heroes, and many other categories: Rise like the Phoenix! It’s time to do it. For the police, firefighters, EMTs, your are in this as well! We pay our taxes, so your salary stays on point.

Just the other day, a day after all the burnings, I took a trip near the corner of Sherman and Burleigh and my reaction to the damage in person of the BP Gas Station was just shocked. The anger. The concern. And began to ask why this. Why would ANYONE like this would destroy a Gas Station?! Why? I went to my Nikon Camera and like everyone else, I snapped about several pictures that was like this:

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And also, if many have not guessed it, a stream of cars on Sherman Boulevard going south and north was nearly jammed packed. The same with vehicles going East on Burleigh Street. Television Trucks of ABC7, WKOW, CNN and many others from the different parts of America came out to cover this tradgey that has sparked my home city’s unrest. Also, there folks preaching the word on Megaphones on both corners. Water was on sale on the corner where Sherman Park is along with individals giving away cupcakes and free hugs.

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As I left the area, I driven North on 44th Street towards Auer Avenue, this was the area that the shooting began. And plus it was nearly jammed packed with cars and also residents and ministers as Salvation Army Chaplians.

The day after, I went further east to take pictures of the 7th District Milwaukee Police Station where it was roped off with Caution tape and boarded up. Also, the BMO Bank was boared up after it was struck by fire. A MetroPCS store was boared up after looting as well as a restaurant of KFC/Taco Bell was broken up with glass. Nearby an O’Reilly AutoParts store was destroyed by fire as well as a Jet Beauty Store not only looted, but also was destroyed by fire as well.

Ladies and Gentlemen of America, this was the experience that Milwaukee endured during that weekend of unrest. And like many others in the past, it was an unrest concern that never should have happened. The Sherman Park Neighborhood is a legendary neighborhood. I know so because my older sister and I used to reside in the area between the years 2000 and 2006. We resided on Grant Boulevard in a church parsonage in which was near Center Street. I used to catch the 22 MCTS bus to go either to work, school, shopping or church. Nearby, there was a barbershop where I used to go to get my haircuts. An organization called ASHA Family Services is in that area along with the Ritz Fish Market near the corner of 38th and Center, and it was and is owned by my family members. My old elementary school, 38th Street School, (now under the Milwaukee College Prep) is in that area. Washington High School, my high school’s rival is in the area. The homes in the area are almost legendary with years going back to about 100 years old. This is what I learned back then and understand now. Plus also, the Sherman Park Neighborhood is an active diverse neighborhood and still is. And plus I’m a northside born resident.

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But I want to go back to this shooting. And I know that many are asking: what compelled this act of shooting that lead to this burning of several buildings, cars, houses, and others that had NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS MATTER?! We know already that Milwaukee is the well known factor of being the most hyper-segregated city in the United States. That is part of the things that goes mostly heard and widely examined in the entire state of Wisconsin. Many have this notion of leaving Milwaukee and go to places like Atlanta just to get away from the violence and racism. And also talking smack about the city in which they failed to help out. Oh trust me, we had a whole lotta folks have felt that way!  But many of us WHO ARE STILL HERE, are upholding our accountabilty of our taxes, our jobs, our way of life, and purpose of being more engaged to solve the problems of our well being. What we have expereinced here most recently, is nothing more what happened 49 years ago before I was born: when Milwaukee had the race riots of 1967 and the black community back then was going up in flames. That area is now called MLK Drive in Bronzeville. And the trauma of being in the predictament of the segregated climate still lingers even today. Not just in Milwaukee. But that same symptom also exist like racism in America’s DNA. I don’t give a crap where you are in America, that racism DNA has not gone away. Even after 240 years.

But in this era, the 23 year old Syville Smith, whom had a CCW Licence, and was armed with a stolen weapon from Waukesha, was shot to death. Nevermind the history of his life, or the crimes he may have done, his killer per se happens to appear as a officer of the Milwaukee Police Department. Many of us in Milwaukee looked at the person’s picture on Facebook. And according to a family member of the victim, it was known that they go way back to High School here in Milwaukee. Try Pulaski High School, and no disrespect to the Pulaski Rams in all. Plus W.E.B. Dubois High School in the Marshall Complex.

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Other points, there are those around Milwaukee should have kept their mouths closed. One of them is Sheriff David Clarke. The reason being he kept hinting about the use of the National Guard to aid the Police Officers during the Unrest incidents. And in his own words having the gaul to blame the single mothers of Milwaukee for the incidents and and of course: Black Lives Matter. REALLY SHERIFF CLARKE?! He must be high on something to say that. And plus, Black Lives Matter or his words “Black Lies Matter” were not the reasons why some buildings in Milwaukee went up in flames. Sheriff Clarke already embarasses himself and Milwaukee County hanging out with the likes of Donald Trump. HOW DEPRESSING OF HIM! Yes he’s still the Sheriff, but in the next two years he and another guy, Scott Walker  MUST BE VOTED OUT! And part of the blame that Sheriff Clarke has his job is because of those in the Black Community voted up for him to have another  4 years. Why? Because he’s black. I think the Black Community needs to rethink their votes for Clarke. Speaking of Walker, dude had to come to a black church in Milwaukee not to far from the BP Gas Station. Let me remind Milwaukee one thing: Walker doesn’t give a da*n about Milwaukee! He doesn’t care about the Black Community, nor the needs. Remember the High Speed Rail Train that was BUILT in the Black Community? Go back to that. That was derailed by HIM due to one word: politics. Now he wants in to be supportive of the Black Community. Really Walker?! Oh please! And additional group of folks outside of the city, who don’t even in live in Milwaukee had the nerve to put the blame on President Barack Obama. Obama is not the blame for this! So stop it non-Milwaukeeans!

But of all of the folks who seemed to be in supportive the most of Milwaukee, is Mayor Tom Barrett. Call me crazy, but he is. Another is the still Wisconsin Senate Rep from the 4th District, Lena Taylor. Ashanti Hamilton, President of the Common Council, Alderman Russell Stamper II, and Alderwoman Chantia Lewis are just a few. The curfew in Milwaukee under 18 is in effect. Sherman Park closes at 6pm and roped off with orange. When it switches to the MPS Curfew starting September 1st that’s every night. And that was activated this past Sunday.

Speaking of Sunday, I was in church and during our “joys and concerns” we highlighted the concerns of the Unrest Issue. One of my millennial church members talked about the incident in which it was witnessed in person. She indicated that her younger brother was about 2 cars behind the shooter’s car going east on Burleigh near the Jet Beauty Store, and indicated that if one of those bullets hit him, he would have been gone. She also comforted an Police Officer near the Beauty Supply Store who was going though that high alertness of concern of another citizen. The last thing she said: God Bless You. And a tear was starting to roll on the Officer. I just had to tell you that because whenever I hear about church folks being all judgmental or acting hypocritical, NOT ALL OF THEM ARE LIKE THIS. And my church member is a single mother in her 20’s.And is a prayer warrior in my church under the United Methodist banner. Is she always like this? Just maybe you need to visit The New St. James Community Church UMC in Milwaukee and find out. And plus the setting of our church is in a County Park Pavilion on Milwaukee’s East Side. And the church is the first African-American United Methodist Church established in the city since 1949.

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Just today, the ATF was sprung into action to survey the damages. And it was announced that a reward of $10,000 for anyone who knew what happened and also those responsible for those alleged damages. For all you snitches in Milwaukee: FESS UP! Don’t go into Stop Snitching Mode like cowards back in the day. Whenever the Federal Government comes on the scene, it’s is a huge concern. The sticks got a whole wide larger than before. This is not a game! It’s real lives were and are still at stake!

Milwaukee is 170 years old. And in the 170 years it faced open gaps of unemployment, segregation, violence, arson, race riots, shootings, festivals going in and out (African World Festival) educational values questioned and answered, underemployment of applicants/jobs, and many other concerns and factors. However in the 170 years, Milwaukee remains a underestimated city that has some good in it. We can talk about Summerfest, the Art Museum, The Pabst Theater, Riverside Theater, the newly soon to be Lakefront Gateway Area, the soon to be Northwestern Mutual Tower, the other festivals that do go past Summerfest, Garfield Days, Juneteenth Day Parades, Bronzeville Arts, riding Bublr Bikes, and soon to be construction of the New Bucks Arena and the Streetcar.

Why has Milwaukee been like this?

It’s not Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Texas, Florida, and other cities and states that mostly “knows” black folks. Milwaukee as medium-sized as it is, its well known for Harley-Davidson, MillerCoors, our County Parks, and past relations with being the Beer Capital of the World, Bowling Capital of the world at one time, or known in the past for shows like Happy Days and Laverne and Shirley. Oh, did I mention that The Blues Brothers, Public Enemies, and  Transformers were filmed here? Famous Americans like Bud Selig, Eric Benet, Al Jarreau, Gene Wilder, George Tillman Jr, Charlotte Rae, Speech, Tank were all born here. The Core DJ’s a well known DJ organization is known for DJ’s around the world, but it was started in Milwaukee. Wrestling has a history here. From AWA of Da’ Crusher, to the birth of Austin 3:16. And also currently in the WWE, Austin Aries is a born resident.

Milwaukee does have a Urban Scene that is so underground that is hard to get airplay on a V100, a Jammin 98.3, KISS FM, and others. Also Milwaukee does have some support of it’s genre of Hip Hop, but the fans say that the City has haters because the lack of support. However, not all Milwaukeeans don’t listen to rap music! Some listen to Polka or other genres. But every ethnic group has their own thing.Well known here: Ray Nitti, Rusty P’s, Charles Walker Band, Element, and Coo Coo Cal just to name a few.

For radio, we know WTMJ. But I know 1290 when it was the talk of the town. WNOV as many know us the lone wolf of black radio that many folks still listen to. Plus also there are podcasts, and other radio stations like WUWM that is well known for based on UW-Milwaukee.

Milwaukee to me is misunderstood. Very misunderstood. Our education system isn’t that bad. The Milwaukee Public Schools is legendary around here and it’s the same age as the city.I am a product to call myself an MPS Alum because of the schools of 38th Street School, Jackie Robinson Middle School and John Marshall High School.Not only that, I come from a line of educators that taught in MPS in my family!  Some of our famous folks are MPS Alums also. Our Colleges of the Milwaukee Area Technical College, Mount Mary, Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee are fully known educational institutions. I’m a product of the Milwaukee Area Technical College which I got an Associates Degree in the year 2000. The program was Printing and Electronic Publishing in which I got my hands dirty in Bindery and Offset Press.

Part of Milwaukee’s history was the tanneries. Pfister and Vogel, Albert & Trostels should ring a bell. And some of our family members used to have those good paying jobs growing up! Now the tanneries are gone, and mostly the Health Care fields are in exchange, with retail, customer service, and some manufacturing are left. Printing was also huge here. It’s still exists under the digital level, but not really enough as it once was.

Milwaukee has some strong programs here that many recognize like the Running Rebels, True Skool, and mostly now known is getting recognition: We Got This. Also part of the strong programs, does have a direct connection with local churches, community counterparts, some well known companies, and neighborhood block watch organizations.

But all in all, like any other city, Milwaukee is not alone with problems. And with the issue of this recent shooting of Syville Smith is not a stranger of gun violence period.

 

 

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Well readers, the rules are back. My rules in which many must follow, or to simply just to give advice. For this it’s the new traditional Stephen’s Spot Rules of Summerfest. Reviewing again for 2016.

First, let’s go over what I said last time in a long sentence mixed with something new.

Since Summerfest is well known in Milwaukee, I know about the place very well. I volunteered at the place, saw some shows, and worked in the late 90’s plus the year of 2000. I know the gates, security things, and the places to park near and far from the venue. So if you ready to party like crazy, start learning and reviewing.

1) Summerfest is 11 days. Except July 4th.  And everyday there will days where you can get in free. Learn it! Especially the timeframes given. Like today, there was free way to get in for donations for hunger from Noon – 3:00pm . Please PAY ATTENTION TO THE TIMES! And pay attention to the news and radio promos about Summerfest as well.

2) The park does have information booths. Need a program? They have them. Or for the mobile folks you can download them via the net or straight to your smartphone. Your choice.

3) CALLOUT WARNING: If you are an out of towner and have been stuck on the Wisconsin highway for about 2 and half hours getting to the park, that is your loss! The reason why I’m saying this because when I was working for the company,  I got hollered by a man (a white man from Illinois mind you) about him being stuck on our highways for two hours. He verbally asked for the manager and the freaking former mayor John Norquist of all people. I am not making this up. This is a true story working at the main gate back in ’99. Keep in mind,  Summerfest Security doesn’t control the freeways for the patrons to get to the park. My advice for you Wisconsin visitors (that  yes the traffic will be hectic due to construction mostly, or the 1st shift folks going home, 2nd shift folks going to work), get there early. Like a day early. Or hours early when traffic is not huge. 

4) If you ever think that you’ll be videotaping for your own personal use in or near the park (i.e. camcorders/video equipment), don’t record nothing! Knowing security they will take away the recording devices. They got rules for that. And the same goes for the Amp! Leave the camcorders at home.

5) If you’re about to pick up a ticket for a concert and if you run into a member of Security or Admissions to pay them for the assistance to wait or ask questions to assist, don’t even try it! Buy the ticket and get an early pick up, or a mailing.

6) Cameras (mostly small cameras)  are allowed on the grounds. It’s cool. But in the Amp, Nope.  They won’t allow it. Don’t try it.

7) Like bathrooms, and merchandise areas, there are ATMs on the grounds. Be sure to spot them just in case you need that extra green.

8) Leave your weapons of swiss army knives at home! The red shirts will take them, as well as any other suspicious item that is deemed dangerous.  Just a word of warning.

9) Usually the workers in the colored shirts don’t reveal their names. Best advice, know their numbers! Like 563. Or in this case: Red 563. or Yellow 450.

10) For the first time goers: Summerfest attracts big crowds. Just a word of warning.

11) Best thing to ride at the grounds: Besides the arcades and the interactive stuff: Skygliders. Take them. It’s legendary and use your cameras for sky pics!

12) Don’t be afraid to help those who don’t know much about the park. Give them some pointers! Now, if you can’t be at Summerfest, but know what the day schedule is, and if your bestie needs that social media assistance: Tweet it. Facebook it. Instagram it. Text it. Google it. #Hashtag it. You know the routine!

13) For the bus folks, as you know Summerfest got shuttles (MCTS, Restaurants, Bars, etc) . You know the deal. No need to tell you.

14) They say that Summerfest has nothing for the kids. Um…they do. Look at the children’s theater schedules, and they have a Children’s Fest day.

15) Yes, you can buy food and drinks at the park. BUT…………if  you buy food on the outside as well as drinks trying to get in, can’t do it. Just like having cans and/or glass bottles. (Just a thought from my Security days)

16) If it’s raining and if you have an Umbrella, yes you can bring it. BUT…….not in the Amp.  If it’s hot, better take a towel just in case. If you get hurt, injured or get sick, Summerfest does have First Aid Stations!

17) Like any other venue, there are areas that you can lock up your stuff. Ask the personnel in the info booths for that.

18) Upon entry, you will be searched. Just a heads up. Bags, strollers, etc. Expect the pat downs and maybe overhead security things. Side note as of June, 2016: Summerfest will have metal detectors. Just like in high school in the 90’s with the searches.

19) Now check this, if you bought a concert ticket to see Selena Gomez or any other headliner at the Amp, yes, you can get through the gates with that as well. Mostly the South Gate.

20) Keep in mind, Summerfest does have cameras all around the park. If you mess up, don’t expect to be spotted or thrown out! Warning for those who might be drunk in all. I’m just saying!

21) For the record: Pets are NOT allowed at the park. BUT……….service animals are acceptable as well as many other needs for the elderly and disabled.

22) And as far as parking: Many know well that parking can be a hassle for a good spot. My advice, look for the areas near the park, like parking lots near Michigan or Jefferson Streets. U.S. Bank near Cass Street has festival parking available for those who want to use it. Yep, pay the required amount. Plus also if you have a concert ticket plus a parking validation with it, you are straight.

23) For the record, Summerfest does have urban acts lined up for 2016: Morris Day and the Time, Jason Derulo, The Roots, Nelly, Kirk Franklin, Andra Day, Common, Stephen Marley, Kool and the Gang, Sir Mix-A-Lot,  Check them out. Even our own local urban artists are performing. PLEASE CHECK THEM OUT MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

24) And last but not least: Currently, Construction is a beast. Take caution and be safe. Really it is. For Summerfest’s rules of the park, see here.

25) As far as Fireworks: No need explaining. You should know. First night of Summerfest and July 3rd. Pick a spot and view with the cameras and smartphones on stat.

Caught up yet? Good.

NEW STUFF THIS YEAR: or the extra reminders you already know

AGAIN: Summerfest now has metal detectors. Be advised.

Look for the Summerfest Street Team. They are around.

For all you UBER drivers or Lyft Drivers, I hope you got your plans set up for the extra green. No need to tell you. Or those Ubering a chance to earn money for the big gig rides. Feel free to sign up here. Lyft Drivers, I don’t know about you, I’m assuming that many of you are probably making ideas for your drivers to set up the schedules.

Even though it’s relatively new, feel free to leave your mark on the festival with a brick. No really, you can! Check out the “Brick Order” on the Summerfest website. It has a variety of prices on it, but it is worth to have your name etched in stone for life!

For the Power Pass Users, you’re lucky! Use that pass to get in for the shows of your choice.

If going to the BMO Harris Pavilion Stage for a show, you might have a “Blue Circle Seat Pass” for the acts. Some of the passes are sold out, but there are those you can get depending on the shows. For more information, click here.

For you future Summerfest Milwaukee performers out there: get on ReverbNation!

For other info that you need to ask, comment or question, either business or personal, consult the Summerfest Website for details.

Now, go party and be safe!


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Man, I don’t know where I begin with this. We are all or most of us are shocked to hear about the recent passing of Prince Rogers Nelson. Minnesota Born. Midwestern Born. Made a lot of hits. Albums. Started careers of Vanity 6, Apollonia 6, Morris Day, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Liv Warfield, 3rdEyedGirl, Collaborated with the Minneapolis Sound, a Superbowl halftime show, and a host of others that this native of the Midwest has came to be.

We all know that he had those hits. Many of us had to go back into the crates, vaults, playlists, CD’s, Tapes, Records before they came out again, to hear the songs that made us definitely went crazy! From “Pop Life, to HardRockLover” and in between he made those songs stick.

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Growning up in Milwaukee, we used to have this radio station of Hot 102. And at the time, the songs of Prince, Michael Jackson, and a host of others would come on. They were in rotation at the time being the best out. Millennials, pay attention! This was way before CD’s MP3’s and Social Media all came about. And just to add, the station as I write was playing the best hits online via Hot102 Online on the TuneIn Radio App.

Also, MTV (remember them playing videos?) BET, Centric even TVOne’s NewsOneNow all paying tribute to Prince. Radio stations here in Milwaukee, from Jammin’ 98.3 and V100 all playing Prince songs in honor of his memory.

Now many of my Generation X had to ask or ponder: Who was better: Prince or Michael? You older Gens and Younger gens probably had no clue on this. As kids growing up in the 80’s, we had this “poll” about who was the best between Prince and Michael. Never mind the music or fashion. We were just young. Period. It was like a game. But now since Michael and recently Prince have passed, well the question still remains. We know now that they were great artists. Great humanitarians and also great contributors to causes. And Civil Rights. And yes, they were Jehovah Witnesses growing up. Similar to Michael Jackson, Prince believe it or not was an Introvert. His category was a ISFP. We know he kept things of his image being well guarded.

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I didn’t attend any of his concerts (shame on me!), but however Purple Rain and Under The Cherry Moon with Graffiti Bridge were stand outs. Plus his Rave Un2 the year 2000 Concert was all his collaborations with Morris Day, Lenny Kravitz, Larry Graham, and a host of others were outstanding! If you have not seen this concert, go get the DVD! Plus we (my family) had to stay in on New Year’s Eve though.

We know the hits.

We know the hits.

We got them.

Even some that were deemed controversial. But he pushed the envelope and raised the bar! We know about “When Doves Cry”, “Pop Life”, “1999”, “Adore”, “Gett Off”, “Let’s Go Crazy” and “Little Red Corvette.” And the hit that probably has everyone singing in church or will in church, “Purple Rain”. But yes he had countless others that were very known and undiscovered. It’s somewhat summarized that he even made private recordings that has not been heard. Ever.  Knowing Prince, in one sense with music, he stayed on the battlefield. Taking his level to another flight. 

Now about this thing of him being all  this “unapologetic”.  I had to ask,why was he like that? Why was he was mostly explicit in his music?  What was up with the “slave” thing on his cheek? What was the use of him not putting his music vids on YouTube, knowing that it might be broken a new sense?

Here’s my take on this. Prince went against the grain of not trying to be a slave of anything that he does not want to be. Prince went against those who tried to drown him out but continued to push the envelope with the use of Freedom of Expression.

About the “slave” thing, it was a protest. A protest with his WB Records label that had a control on him. But he wanted to do things that he wanted to do and still make a point. Even artists before him went through the same thing. And weren’t as successful. Prince was ahead of the game making sure that he and those after him do not make that same fault.

We all know that yes, Prince was an artist that didn’t want no pics, no social media, but still that was slightly broken on his final concert in Atlanta.

In the days since his passing, the landmarks in Minnesota, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, Paris, and other cities were lit up in the purple hue.  A United Methodist Church in Oklahoma had this sign to display:

If you haven’t read this, Prince had a connection my denomination of the UMC growing up in Minnesota.

On my Facebook wall, I made a statement about it for Milwaukee and well, here it is:

IMO: some of the #Milwaukee landmarks should be lit in purple hue for the #Prince tributes. Just a thought.

And guess what? It happened.
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Even my hometown of Milwaukee was lit in purple. Our Airport’s MKE letters at General Mitchell were lit in the purple hue. Our Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee, a legendary hotel was draped in the purple hue. One of our billboards on Milwaukee’s Southside was lettered in one of Prince’s lyrics from Purple Rain, courtesy of Lamar Advertising. And most recently, Summerfest was shown in the purple hue near the South Gate. This was the same Summerfest that Prince performed years ago. His last appearance was in 2004. So yes, Milwaukee  honored the legend, whom made stops for his concerts at the old MECCA Arena (now known as the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena), and of course Summerfest. Nice touch! Prince performed in Milwaukee in a total of 7 times. “7” as in one of his hit songs. Get it?

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But also there have to be some commentary  hater yahoos who had to go in about the Hues, and not about the support of law enforcement or Military. I read them on Facebook, mainly with Milwaukeeans on a well known TV station page (ala  Fox 6), who had to rant.

CALLOUT: Will you fools shut up?!! It’s not about you! 

If you are still whining about the Law folks, or Military Folks not being honored, in which ways you only see a few black folks not doing as much, there is a thing called writing a letter! Since the “MKE” letters are County Owned, and your so-called Tax Dollars paid for the letters, why don’t you write a letter to the STILL Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele, and make a typed written letter. To hell with your Facebook Comments! Even some were almost racist. Oh, don’t get me started. You still like Prince right? Most  recently one of our Conservative reporters of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Christian Schneider had to go around and says “Nobody cares that you’re sad about Prince” in a slanderous opinion. This is the same dude that like to pander around the likes of Scott Walker and the rest of the Wisconsin Republicans that messed up the state since Walker took office. Don’t fool me! That article can miss me with all that BS! Go to Minnesota  and tell those to say nobody cares and they’ll give you a different response. Did I care that Justice Scalia died and after the BS he pulled on the Supreme Court in his prime under Obama? NOPE! Never liked the dude.

After all, we know that Prince was a native of Minnesota. I respect that. Also, I’m going to say that he was also a fellow member of the Midwestern Regional Family. We know the East Coast, West Coast, South, but yes we need a Midwest Family Group of well known folks that are musicians. From the well known legends to the yet to be’s that want a shot.

When anyone thinks of music in the Midwest: we know Detroit and history of Motown. Eminem, and Aretha Franklin. The State of Indiana with the Jacksons, and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. The state of Illinois with R. Kelly, Kanye, Liv Warfield, and Jody Watley. Minnesota, with Morris Day, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Prince, Bob Dylan and Mint Condition.

We in the Badger State got Al Jarreau, Tank, Skylar Grey, Danny Gokey,  Jidenna, Eric Benet, Naima Adedapo, Rico Love, The Core DJ’s and the Violent Femmes, whom had the honor in meeting Prince years back. Keep in mind, this is the well known artists that many should know from Wisconsin. And others like Nelly out of St. Louis.

So yes, the Midwest ain’t that bad when it comes to music making and innovation. And we shouldn’t be. Plus also I should say this, even though Prince made music for us world dwellers, he remained true to his Minnesota roots. Which kind of reminds me, I wonder if anyone from Wisconsin can learn that? With all this “I’m never going back to perform in Milwaukee” Stuff per se. We need this lesson, Milwaukee.

Already, it has been summarized that Prince’s Memorial Service had concluded, plus his body was cremated a day before. But don’t worry Purple Army Folks, we have seen Purple Rain at the theaters. And paid our $5.00 to get in for our nostalgic reasons. Plus some of us bought Purple Rain years ago, and still watch it on DVD. I was one of them that got the DVD from Walmart. Many of us will probably go back to the stores and by the music that we probably missed or just now getting. Even his last CD of HitNRun Phase Two.

Now I know that yes, everyone knows a Prince song. Sort of like when everyone knows a Whitney Houston song. But here something I know well, my top Prince songs:

When Doves Cry: This was the first video that started it all.

1999 – This was the second video. Back then this song was debuted in 1982. But about 17 years later, 1999 was a reality with the year, and this song was over played on radio and in person!

Controversy – Great Single.

Kiss – Straight from the Under the Cherry Moon Soundtrack.

Head – Don’t be shocked!

Little Red Corvette – Any with a Corvette could relate.

Batdance – Oh yes! This was the hype of the Movie to help support it!

Partyman – The thought of Jack Nicholson in the Joker face with the music in the background.

The Future – Another favorite from the Batman Soundtrack.

Lemon Crush – Don’t mean to say this, but this song had me hooked.

Electric Chair – This was another favorite with the Guitar Riffs in background

Gett Off – The thought of Prince and the MTV VMA’s from 1991 came to mind. Plus the video and single got airplay.

Diamonds and Pearls – Lots of the females probably got this on their playlists.

Let’s Go Crazy – I think this rings true. Still trying to get through this thing called life.

I Would Die 4 U/Take Me With U / Baby I’m A Star/Purple Rain ( the most favorite)- Good songs from the Purple Rain Movie.

D.M.S.R. -Straight from the 1999 Album. We should know.

Sexy Dancer – Um Kids, wait until U get grown!

Other favorites that got airplay: I Wanna Be Your Lover, Cream , U Got The Look and If I Was Your Girlfriend.

Oh  wait a second: Songs like Jam of the Year, Somebody’s Somebody, Facedown, Guitar, 3121, The Work pt. 1, My Name is Prince, Mr. Goodnight, Get on the Boat, and the most recent songs with 3rdEyedGirl: PLECTUMELECTRUM, Stop This Train, This Could B US, and just to name a few more. Even 200 Balloons. MANY HAVE SLEPT ON THESE!

There are more, but this is the set list for me if I were to DJ or just play music.

We all know Prince’s musical talents will live on. But here is something I needed to say and ask:  (in a scratching my head this whole time thing)

  • If Prince was such a bad person of a musician in a weird fashion, what was up with him being a brain child of #YESWECODE! Explain that?
  • About that song of BALTIMORE, explain and ask why this was?
  • And also: WHAT IS UP WITH ALL THIS “PRINCE HAD AIDS” CRAP?! Are we reading this garbage?! STOP IT!

 

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Now I should add this that yes, Prince had talks about taking his talents elsewhere. BUT…….again he remained true to this Minnesota roots with staying with Minneapolis. You got alot of artists that go near and far in all, but SOME stay true to the home base. Prince remained true to his Minneapolis sound. Plus also, can the likes of Wisconsin per se learn to actually support the locals when it comes to music? We got this vibe that no one will come out and support our own. Maybe if the artists could change the language of their music, plus  pandering the music to in a respectful manner, then there wouldn’t be all this mess about “NO ONE FROM MILWAUKEE DON’T SUPPORT OUR MUSIC!” I’M MOVING TO ATLANTA! Do it the right way instead of the hateful way of being so snobbish! Yeah stop reaching! What if Atlanta don’t support a Milwaukee Talent?! Then what?!

So say what you want about Prince. Yes he was an introverted light skinned black dude that was a guitar hero/multi-talented musician. He also fought against those of the system that wanted to used his name, likeness, but wasn’t about to be controlled by the masses. He remained true of what he did in career and will be summarized in various ways. Of course many didn’t liked him. So what! He had the world’s attention and did his way. Even controlling his recordings and masters of his music that he made! Even if he had to convert to a religious angle to demonstrate his faith, he did that also. Plus he had to stop cussing in his music. But he was still Prince that brought the music! Even making themes for MSNBC’s Tamron Hall’s show. And giving a special show when Arsenio Hall had his show with the Minneapolis crew. I think he ranks up there with the likes of Michael Jackson, James Brown, Duke Ellington, Jimi Hendrix, B.B. King, and those whom were daring to dream but did it anyway. Even ranking with the Introverts whom have been misunderstood and still made a difference not just on stage, but also behind the scenes! All in his 57 years.

Let’s just hope that the next generation of the music players can learn from him. Not just about the music, but also about the other side of life. After all, we are all still trying to get through this thing called life!

 

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Prince: 1958-2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


I need all those Rockers, and those whom feel about Rappers and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame all one thing to realize, they have the right to represent. I heard about what Gene Simmons who wants to wait about 10 years to have Rap die due to “actual lyrics” being sung in all. Already, NWA is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame recently, and ol’ man Gene had to go in all against Ice Cube just for the distain of Rap Music in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But here is something that is missing, and I think Ice Cube already said it:

“Rock ’n’ Roll is not an instrument. It’s not even a style of music. It’s a spirit that’s been going on since the blues, jazz bebop, soul, rock ’n’ roll, R&B, heavy metal, punk rock, and yes, hip-hop,” Rock ’n’ Roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and life. That is rock ’n’ roll and that is us.”

Read More: Ice Cube and Gene Simmons Continue to Argue Over Hip-Hop’s Place in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – XXL | http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2016/04/ice-cube-gene-simmons-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame/?trackback=tsmclip

Read More: Ice Cube and Gene Simmons Continue to Argue Over Hip-Hop’s Place in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – XXL | http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2016/04/ice-cube-gene-simmons-rock-and-roll-hall-of-fame/?trackback=tsmclip

So I guess the question is, does rap music and hip hop music in a sense have a place in this “Rock And Roll” hall of fame? In the words of Stone Cold Steve Austin, “Oh Hell Yeah!” So allow me to induldge the concept letter to all the “rockers” who feel that the Rap Music has no place in the hall. BUT IT HAS A SPOT IN THE HALL, period!

Dear Rockers and whatever you fans of Rock music:

It’s me, Stephen. That Black blogger you already know.

I got to see some scenes that did enlighten me about rap artists, rock and roll, Hall of Fame, and a place to be recognized. What I am referencing yet again is NWA having a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Despite what anyone thinks of Rap Music or Hip Hop being all garbage and not enough to play music or sing, it has been judged harshly as this music of non creation. But guess what, like Rock and Roll, rap music has a voice to those who want to let their hair down or to have collaborating effect on Social Conscious Minded topics, Freedom, Rebellion, Political Upheavals, and many others that many didn’t know or want to know. Partially, this is what I think that N.W.A got the nod and approval of getting to the Hall.

Many of you “rockers” or “music fanatics” who got so many many mods and wins, probably got Hall of Fame approval. But the issue is, Rock and Roll Music began and continued with those you heard from. The real originals. The real OG’s of Black Folks! So this may not come as a shock when you heard this in Black History Month, or a Black Related Music scene, you know darn well that Black Folks made the music that many reprinted as their own. Get mad all you want, but what I’m saying is the truth that many already know!

As far as Gene Simmons and his rant on Rap Music and dude gonna say like ,”let me know when Led Zepplin goes into the Hip Hop Hall of Fame “. That right there is a slap in the face! It’s so disrespectful. I’m just saying!

Does rap music or Hip-Hop music have a spot in future Hall of Fame of Rock and Roll? Ponder that.

In some ways, Rock and Roll and Rap/Hip Hop Music are similar. And yet both have been judged as being corrupting minds, poisoning the youth, bad examples of this and that. Don’t tell me I’ve heard this before! Other folks thought that Jazz was the devil’s music. Really?!

The old lyrics of Rock and Roll is here to stay. It will never die. That sticks. Hip Hop is here to stay. Know that line?

If Rappers or Rap Groups didn’t belong to the Hall, then what? Go ask Run DMC, Public Enemy or Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. They have a spot in the Hall. And some of the material was ” Rock and Roll” influenced. Did I mentioned that Rock and Roll was black created? I’m sure I did.

So I don’t know what the mess is . Matter of fact though, it’s nothing but hate. Nothing but complaing about  an artform of music that is totally different from the same ol stuff. Which also are “Afrocentric Created”. No need to use Google or Bing for me! I said for me.

There is rhyming and spoken word in music now. We know this. So again, what is the haps with that and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Somebody tell me something!

So with that let’s review and end what the group had to comment in their own way. Warning of Explicit Language here:

Plus also if KISS comes to town on their Freedom to Rock Tour this year, wear Straight Outta Compton shirts.All Black and White! You know!

Let them know straight up! Even if Gene Simmons goes to the Black Networks. Yeah I said it!

Like it or not, N.W.A. are Rock and Roll Hall of Famers for life. PERIOD! And no one can’t swipe that. Not even Gene Simmons or anyone who dislikes Rap/Hip Hop Music! They earned it fair and square.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Stephen

 

 

 

 

 


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Oh you know I was about to comment this.

And yes, It’s Women’s History Month. That I really know. Salute to the female species..

Yes, this is the next issue of Ebony Magazine and it’s not the stories of the featured issue upcoming. But the cover story is featured with the four women all BBW and having a “golden chance” to display their craft. Yes, there have positives, and yes many have voted for displeasure of them, and yes, the health concerns of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, and many other health related factors that are very common in men and women. Especially if you’re Black!

Now why I’m putting this on here? It’s it to influence the next girl to go big? No. Technically, it’s really about confidence. Confidence in you as being you. Yeah, I know that I don’t have to like it. But let me ask this? Why are many looking at this pic and hating? They know who they are. Just look at those darn posts of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others that lit a fuse of hate. If those fear heavyset BBW whom might be offended, then you shouldn’t look! What is so hard about it? Oh is the movement thing on the BLACK Magazine. Duh!!!!

Frankly, this is not new. Folks been making fun of Plus sizers for years. And in between its like ribbing, making jokes that hurts, talks about their mamma’s being fat and so on. Don’t tell me this! OK so they got it going on now. Being able to step out and actually doing something about it without any fear. The ribbers, well they are sitting at house, blasting their liberties and not making a dime!

Look, another thing, is freedom of expression. Whoops, did I say that? Is that in the American By-laws. If those of a Jasmine Sullivan, Gabi Gregg(aka GabiFresh), or any other person whom wants to do this thing, in this era to be free of fat shaming, or wanting to be free of anti-shaming anything, then I’m not going to stop them or anyone. Look, also. Nobody stopped Ashley Graham. Just saying.

Oh, and to those whom asked about, where are the whites, asians, or non-black female displayed, you do realize that Ebony Magazine is a Black Publication? HELLO! I said it’s a BLACK Publiciation? Many are not hearing this. Especially if you had to sound out on Facebook like a fool on Saturday night. Yes the magazine has had other folks of the non-black universe in it. But with this issue and the women whom are chosen to be displayed on paper, then guess what, it’s an issue and a movement that needs to be talked about. So, in translation: we know you care. But….. It’s not ALL ABOUT YOU! Get it straight!

Maybe the women in the magazine are Big, or Fat, or whatever. Are they taking care of their physique? Are they watching their weight? How often do they get checked by their doctors? Some might say, when do you see your doctors?! Or Dietians that rate your eats and drinks you consume everyday? Or there are those who “look out for their own people” but really do they really mean that? I know folks who say that at times might be true, but there are those just to make noise and don’t care.

So guess what, this blog, nor this issue is not to hate on the BBW’s. Also, I’ve read about skinny folks and husky folks could have genetic health concerns! So everybody got a health problem! And maybe with health solutions! What’s the haps?

Sidenote: There is beauty within.

 

 

 


Usually I do this around in December. But in honor of Black History Month, I’m scratching my head about the weird and strange mess that I’ve heard, seen and commented on. Oh, yes. It’s go time for the #BHM2016!

Black folks when we see postings like this on social media, do we actually mean it? Be honest!  Really, be honest:

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They say Black History Month started with slavery. Are they really that correct?

 

With all the channels on TV, from ABC to the Spice Adult Channels, why many have to hate on BET, and other Black networks in which the Black Community must be informed?

 

This is real silly, what is the commentary about a White History Month, knowing its all day every day, than Black History, Asian American History, Native American History, Hispanic Heritage, and Islander/Polynesian History months?

 

You do realize, there are Black Introverted Men and Women right living right now? Not all are loud and/or Extroverted!

 

You do realize that Carter Woodson’s idea of Black History Month, then Negro History Week was originally started in the coal mines as a thought to record our stories after hearing the Civil War Veterans spoke their commentary? By the way, he was a Sagittarius with a mission.

 

You do realize that Chess originated in Africa?

 

You do realize that many in the supporting cast of the movements of civil rights were unsung and black?

 

Those gadgets we use now, and inventions with components of everyday use; you know were made by Black inventors right?

 

We say, we need to teach our children more. I agree. But can us grown folks reteach or brush up on Black History before teaching the babies?

 

That statue on top of the US Capitol in DC, the same DC was partially designed by Benjamin Banneker. You know that was made by a black slave, right?

 

That White House though: you know it was Black built?

 

For all those wars though, it was African-Americans served the most right?

 

All that Rock, Rap, Soul, Gospel, Jazz, R&B, Pop, Punk, Metal, Instrumental, New Age, Blues, House, Folk, Dance moves and vocals were blueprints by black folks right?

 

When Marian Anderson sung Let Freedom Ring back in her day, it took FDR’s wife Eleanor to make that happen. You know that happened right?

 

For the Pyramids in Egypt, you know it was built by blacks right?

 

For all the #BlackFutureMonth recipients: you know who you are. And I’m not trying to hate, but you must realize that without the lessons and struggles of the past, there wouldn’t be a future. Are we on the same page with this?

 

You know that Black History Month is not all black consciousness, or not all #NewBlackHistory, Black HerStory, or not all #TheNewBlack? (Hint It’s all that with History!)

 

For all those that must have forgot: you know that Baynard Rustin was Gay and helped the March on Washington with Dr. King?

 

Speaking of Dr. King: you know he wasn’t just about “I Have A Dream”, right?

 

One positive note: Black History Month also empowers us to (in a everyday sense) doing #BlackGirlMagic, #BlackMaleBrillance or any Black Girl or Black Boy possible thing to grasp. Has this been done before to remind us?

 

You SHOULD KNOW: Black History Month is not all separating the human race or enforcing race baiting. Am I right?

 

You know that Black History Month should be in the curriculum in ALL SCHOOLS on ALL LEVELS, correct?

 

You better realize that Black folks originated the Human Race factor. Did you know that?

 

After reading this, many might say, we get it! Do you honestly really?

 

After reading this: you should realize that black folks are descendants from Kings and Queens. Is that correct?

 

I know many Americans (particularly white) are going to say, “You are American as me”. But there is that one flavor that black folks bring that are so different of African Descent to never forget. Is that real cooking or what? Its more American than many think!

 

After reading this scratching blog for #BHM2016: did you learn something about this?

 

And after reading this: you know you can celebrate Black History Month and Observe Black History at the same darn time, right? Plus also in the next four months you can celebrate Black Music Month like Black History in June? And the same for July when National Black Families Month comes around? Like Black History is more than American History but more really like World History?

 

And Black Folks: understand while celebrating this occasion, we are the beneficiaries of doing history, learning history, and preparing history. Can we still do this? No more cringing, nor getting all mad about the second month of the year. We are blessed (AND I MEAN BLESSED) to do this. Take part of this. And there are those whom are not here or not around that want us to be blessed in talking about US!

 

Now since this is the Black History Month version of Scratching my head this whole time, I hate to do it, but it needed to be said and done.

 

#BLACKHISTORYMONTH4LIFE


StraightOuttaCompton (7)SSP

If anyone is having fun with the Straight Outta Somewhere memes, you probably are a having a funtime right now. Going onto the straightouttasomewhere.com website, and inputing where you from or puttting in a subject or funtime occassion. Yeah you did it! And by the way, was it fun to do?

Come on! Tell me!  (nah, just kidding.)

Now for those who don’t know what all this is, it’s about this movie coming out:

Yep. It’s about the NWA movie that many will probably check out. Even if you’re not into hip-hop or rap music, but might be intriguted to see how the group got formed. You probably might see it just because your black friends are going and you have to ride along. But whatever reason to see it, don’t just see it to have a fan-loving, black friend riding interest in the movie! You go to the theater, pay your 7 or 8 bucks, buy some popcorn, go to the theater area, and watch the thing. And for those who like to turn on the cells while texting during the flick, or Facebooking during the flick, DO NOT GIVE OUT THE SECRETS! Don’t do it! Keep it to yourself and let the other guys check it out.

Ok now back to this #StraightOuttaSomewhere thing. It’s a fun thing and yes we’re all Straight Outta Somewhere: Like this:

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I think the picture has been, shall we say proven with all truthfulness. And plus, I’ve seen some crazy Straight Outta things like a pic with a White Jesus with “Straight Outta Fiction” on it. You do realize that Jesus was black, right? Why keep showing this White Jesus on your Facebook, Instagram Newsfeeds, and having this “free thinking” atmosphere. Yeah, you can free think all you want, but always remember without the eyes of God, you wouldn’t be able to free think period! And yes, you can be a Jesus Freak and still think all you want. Yes you can! Who says you can’t?  What’s the other one that was going around, oh Straight outta Food Stamps, or Straight Outta this and that. Oh they’re out there! And I wouldn’t be surprised that some company in America or many shops in the T-Shirt making business might spur up Straight Outta Merchandise, and I full wouldn’t be surprised if the money went to a good cause. Just to be clear, be fair where the cash is going, you business upstarts!

As far as this, it’s going to continue until the wheels fall off. Hopefully not quickly!


This past week, we lost one of the best blues musicians in the business. He may have been born Riley King in Indianola, Mississippi, but we all know that he was B.B. King. He ran his race of life since 1925 and was finished at 89 years old last week. No matter what we have in our music collection, many of us know a B.B. King song, or a guest appearance. For me, I wasn’t a blues fans like my father or those older than me growing up. But like any other fan of black music, I do give B.B. King respect of what he had done and influenced. Plus also, this would be a good chance to see more black musicians to explore Blues Music for the future. So with that, here is my blog letter.

Dear fans of the Blues world, and fans alike to B.B. King, and fans of good music in general:

It’s me Stephen. A blogger from Milwaukee in which I don’t get paid to write.

I share this message today, to not only offer sympathy, but to offer a thing of rally cry to action. First, shout out to the family of the late, great Riley King. As many as know as B.B. King. Thank you for allowing him to show his craft, his lessons, his music and influence on Blues Music as well as many other forms of music in his craft and talents. We all know mostly as this famous Blues Musician, but to you, yes he was your father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and many other extended family member branch of advice. And yes many of us understand that he was your family member first. And I say this out of respect.

For those whom are a fan of Blues Music of his, many of you were probably dusting off the records of your old Vinyl Collection to hear the music that your father or grandfather used to play with B.B. King on it. For my family, many of you don’t know this, in Milwaukee there was band that used to be called The Chefs, and at the time, they used to open for acts for a Summerfest performance of a Tina Turner, the late James Brown, and the now late B.B. King. One memorable story in which one of members I know that when they were playing one of their songs, B.B. King was critiquing them of playing loud. Which he did commented. But that didn’t stop the talent of them performing their hit music piece at the time. However there was positives.

For those of us whom are music fans alike, that probably didn’t follow blues music or weren’t blues fans, but do appreciate the work of B.B. King, it’s ok. The only song that many capture out of him was “The Thrill Is Gone.” That was to me one of his strongest songs, and well known songs. But I also realize that wasn’t his only song that was hit. Many other songs ranging from Blue Boys Tune, to Lucille (as in his guitar), to Rock Me Baby, to Bad Case of Love, Paying the Cost to Be the Boss, to How Blue Can You Get, to his collaboration with Eric Clapton of Riding with the King, to the song: To Know You Is To Love You, Let the Good Times Roll,  and A Story That Everybody Knows. Just a few. Some of that were his best hits. Lifetime hits. Not one hit wonders and that’s it. Many of us whom I think are of Gen X,Y and yes Millennials, we only recognize him as that one strong hit. But like many other musicians like Prince, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson (whom is reviving a new movement), James Brown, and a host of others weren’t only known for a strong hit song, but many hit SONGS!  And B.B. King was one of them that needs to be recognized in his music career. Even B.B. King (as on the forefront as he was) performed at jails of Cook County, and San Quentin. How many of these artists TODAY would play at a Jail House or a Federal Pen for extra performances? Probably NONE! Imagine Jay Z or Beyonce or Lil’ Wayne, The Roots, Ice Cube, Kanye West, or even Kendrick Lamar doing a Hip Hop/R&B Session at a well known Federal Jail or State Jail since prison are big enterprises now per say. Step up for that! If B.B. King had the guts to perform at a San Quentin or Cook County Jail why not some of these today artists that are blowing up the billboards with music ratings, to give the prisoners some music love while serving time!

In the wake of his passing, knowingly there might more blues artists blowing up. But I want to see more blues artists whom are African-Decent show this to their craft. I hear Gary Clark Jr and if you have not heard his songs, it’s mind blowing. Electric Blues in his own craft! The reason why I say this is because black musicians are more than hip hop and rap and R&B mixed with Neo Soul in it. I know that is what we mostly hear. Blues however is like hearing the songs in the Backwoods in the South that many had that natural talent of singing and playing the guitar. Which couldn’t be taught in school folks. It has it’s roots in Afrocentric beats with jazz, gospel, chants, shouts, work songs, juke joints (lot of the older crowds know this well), Rock and Roll and a host of earlier to almost modern forms of music.

Throughout the month of June, I challenge all of my readers and those who just looking, to explore the value of Blues Music. After all, the month of June is Black Music Month and I can’t think of a better way to learn about this style of music for this occasion.There is no question or secret, that B.B. King ran his race. And even the strokes and the Type-Two Diabetes ended his life of 89 years old, what didn’t stop the fact that his influence of Blues Music will not die!

For the TV side of things, the three things I’ll take away was his cameo appearance of him playing the solo on Married…..With Children. Yes he was on there! Plus his guest appearance as Pappy on the Fresh Prince of Bel Air from 1995, and also the moment that he among with other blues musicians played at the White House and having President Obama singing Sweet Home Chicago. Oh, what a moment y’all! Even moments of winning his share of music awards.

May the man of B.B. King rest on in the vision of God.

I know many are gearing up for his Homegoing this week. I’ll bet many will dream about B.B. King going to the gates. And after he checked in, he might go to a room full of guitars and he probably picked out the one that looks like Lucille, but not like Lucille, and the Almighty put him in a heavenly band and he’s just jamming along with Jimi Hendrix, Z.Z. Hill, 2 Pac, Biggie Smalls, Whitney, Michael, Johnny Kemp, Aaliyah and a host of previous musicians that God called home!

So B.B. King fans, be not dismayed with his passing. Hate to sound like the church that pretty soon, we all will have to take this walk. We all have to make the mark to leave. But while we’re here and alive, keep playing his music. Turn it up at your family reunions, your class reunions. For you music teachers, incorporate his music in your lesson plans. For you Black History teachers, please add him to your list of musicians to learn from to your students. And to music lovers everywhere, download, purchase or have your older relatives to bust out the pictures that were valuable with B.B. King in it. Dust off the records that were stored up for years, and do the juke joints well like never before! For the younger folks who probably never heard of him before, it’s OK to listen to your favorites. But NEVER forget, that your favorites of Hip Hop, Rap, Neo Soul, Dance, Electronica, Techno, Rock, or Metal were probably influenced by B.B.King as well. And like many, will probably pay their respects this week in memory.

Keep telling the blues. Literally.

Sincerely,

Stephen


Check this out WordPress. Now normally I’ve been writing things about Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Black stuff in all. I keep it real here. However, this commentary I’m about to write about: is the late night local show that is really trending, 414 Video Spotlight. And also, later on, my take on Black Rock Music in a Milwaukee sense.

If anyone in Milwaukee or Wisconsin doesn’t know, this show comes on after midnight on Sundays. That will be like if you got done watching SNL, you switch over to the 414 Video Spotlight on Channel 24.

On the show itself, it features the host Melvin James, who gives the featured videos of the week which are all locally home grown. No matter if it’s Hip Hop/Rap or R&B artists that are peaking into the music game in Milwaukee. Now Milwaukee has this reputation of not supporting it’s local artists in all over the likes of Jay Z or Nicki Minaj. Well maybe not Nicki Minaj! But I’ve been looking at the videos over a year and I’m going to say this: the show is showing us Milwaukee’s Urban Music Talent. Ranging from Rodney Poe to the Hamm Brothers. All in between. The show is really is like a hidden gem that many I think in Milwaukee should be examining.  But however, like many things in life, it takes time. It also shows us that you don’t really need to see the well known talent in second place. I say this, check them out. Take it like, investing in your community or investing in homegrown gems. This is what the show in my opinion, has been doing. Granted it has been doing a good job thus far.

Also, for the commercials in between the breaks: all locally owned as indicated below. And plus these are well known companies and organizations are in in the Metro Milwaukee Area. And some of these companies, I have been in on a visit or business.

  • Nikavonni’s
  • Mario Dickens Creations
  • Athen’s Famly Restaurant
  • Mil-Town Printing
  • Amazing Moments
  • Serenity Funeral Home
  • John Amato
  • R&B Gospel The Purpose Ministry Team
  • I Heart Kids Childcare
  • The New Pitts Mortuary

And “Flex Your Rights” which is sponsored by Hupy and Abraham SC. The show had several video segments that everyone needs to pay attention to. The segments are real to a point. Ranging from scenarios in which what might happen in case anyone of any age encounters with the Police. The segments that stood out for me the most, in watching where a young man was waiting on a bus stop and the police were asking him questions about a recent graffiti incident. Even though the young man in the scenario had the comment of “I Didn’t Do Anything” scenario, the police took him into custody and questioned his recent actions. Another was a house party, in which young teens were on the pulse of being question by the local police of a recent drug possession. Here is the thing: the female who appears to be 21 in talking to the police was really a teen in which she gets arrested in her confession about the drugs in the home.

Like I said 414 Video Spotlight, is a hit. And if it goes on being a local sensation, it could generate to a greater cause of spotlighting the local talent. Of course, not everyone will jump aboard the local stuff and still go national like a Jay Z or Alicia Keys, but like I said several months ago, sometimes you have to invest internally. And I think 414 Video Spotlight is doing just that. So I highly recommend to any Urban Milwaukee Music lover to check out this show.

Now, I want to shift gears to for another topic. I was listening to a black woman rock artist Steffanie Christi’an on the internet several days ago, and she has good voice along with Rock Music. And after researching about her, and her digs in her native Detroit, her talent is on the rise. She was also featured in AfroPunk’s website article of her craft in rock music. Now if anyone has not heard of AfroPunk, it’s really a site online that is catered to those who are of African Decent and dig rock and roll with a slash of metal music. In which overall with rock music in general was started by blacks!

Now here is the million dollar question: when was the last time that Milwaukee had a rock artist or artists that were African American? I’m not talking about whom stopped through and journeyed on, BUT from here? Born here? Or migrated here in their younger years growing up?

I think it’s about time with the Milwaukee-Based Core DJ’s, Milwaukee Hip Hop/Rap Music, Milwaukee R&B/Soul/Funk/Jazz and Opera, the rock game in the city needs a black representation. Why? Not because of the loud bangs, or the guitars, or not in the element of where it ‘s mostly seen by white Wisconsin folks. Or the punk looks. It’s really about establishing a platform here that has not been tried or thought of. Just a hunch in sharing, other cities like Detroit and Brooklyn are on the Black Rock scene, and homegrown. But why not Milwaukee?

Knowingly the comment might migrate those who say, “oh that’s racist! Music for everyone.” NO! I just want to see more of my African-American Compatriots in this Midwest region that could dare busting up the barriers of getting more exposed to Rock Music. Clearly, when I listen to those of a Living Colour, Lenny Kravitz, Tina Turner, Betty Davis and others in the Black Rock game, it’s not about enjoying part of our creation, it’s about educating US, black folks.  Rock Music is not all white folks music, it’s generally Afrocentric with black creation.

So I say this: If Milwaukee’s Black Festivals/Affairs/Events can have more of the usual Hip Hop, Rap, R&B, Jazz, Soul, Blues and Opera, put the rock mix in to the music of Black Milwaukee. Just a thought in a idea to educate!


Did you hear or see the mess coming out of the mouth of Jim Rome lately? This dude just called out every band nation member and declared them as being “dorks”. Really, Jim Rome! Coming from a Sports Commentator! I began to think about this statement and quesiton that is he really commentating bands now! Wrong move dude. Obviously, I think guys like him never seen or been in a Marching Band of anykind just to save face overtime. But guess what Band Nation, as a Band Alumnus, I got something to say as much as the rest.

Dear Marching Band Nation, (and Alumni):

It’s me Stephen. Yes, I’m the black blogger out of the Ill-Mil of Milwaukee.

I have a message for all of the Band Nation folks from Band Alums like me: You are NOT DORKS!

Put that in your mind, you are NOT Dorks!

Yeah, I hear the commentary that Jim Rome said on the news as well as his Twitter Account that he, a Sports Commentator, called you the Band Nation per say, “Dorks.” Let’s review the act of poor commentary, shall we:

“Is there anyone not in a marching band who thinks those dorks running around with their instruments are cool?”

DORKS! REALLY!

Oh, and then he made this swift kick of an apology:

Band nation – I hear you. I was out of line. I apologize. I do not condone bullying of any kind and that was not my intent.

Obviously, there are those who just don’t know what’s up in being or expericing in a Marching Band. Back in the 90’s when I was in the Marshall High School Marching Band in Milwaukee, I never forgotten the pride and feeling to respresent my school, and also the community. I remember getting band awards, and plus a Band Letterman’s Jacket. Yes, 21st Century Band Nation folks: I have a Band Letterman’s Jacket and I’m not making this up. Plus also it was the Marshall Eagles MARCHING Band that got my confidence, my new aligned skills, and plus a new sense of heart! I will admit my marching skills kind of sucked in my Freshmen Year, but between Sophomore and Senior Year, I practiced and I got my skills on with the rest of the Eagles at the time. Don’t forget, this was the 1990’s. And I think those of you in the “Band Nation” were even in diapers, or learning to walk many moons years ago. Or many of you weren’t even alive.

Plus also in my “Band Nation” days, many of the “haters” I encountered called us a bunch of squares. They say we sucked. But when Homecoming and Football Season came, we had our respect. The Milwaukee John Marshall Eagles Band had a mantra of this: T.B.D.B.I.M which meant The Best D**n Band In Milwaukee. We were pushed, disciplined, worked hard, and engaged many in our areas of our skills and craft. Which is still instilled in my music skills today on special occasions. Plus we even had Color Guards, Cheerleaders, and my former Principal marching with us!

Now for those of now, in the Band Nation: whenever someone of anyone feels that you being in the band feels you’re a bunch of dorks running around with instruments, just shut them up. Shut them up with your skills, talents, the hard work of your band directors, you commitment, your knowledge and also bring your A Game! Bring it! Oh, yes folks will lash out at you and call you every name in the book. But don’t you ever let that stop you and continue to represent your school or college as if you own it!

Even the UW Band for UW Madison gets hated on, but hey, they still play. I see other bands from Down South, (HBCU Bands) yes they do get down, but I’ll bet they had their haterism planted and still kept marching. And plus even other bands like our Military, Police, and others who march in parades and special occassions probably heard all the hate, but still they kept marching. Just like anything else, there will be haters. And haters will hate with nothing to complain and criticize. So yes haters, Band folks do matter! Even Alums like me also matter for support and knows all the dedication and hard work you guys put in. And not only that, pure heart of excellence.

Yeah, Jim Rome said sorry. But I think it wasn’t good enough for him to understand of the mantra of being committed to and learn from any type of a marching band overall.

Keep marching!
Sincerely,

Stephen