Tag Archives: culture

Quick Meals, a la Ghetto

LiBM-Ghetto_Cooking

Gourmet Ghetto Quick Meals

We get it, life is busy. And sometimes, its just easier to stop off at your favorite Fast Food Chain and shove thousands of calories & sodium into your mouth for $2.99 or less. But, there are options for creating quick ‘Creative Meals’ for people on the go.

‘Ghetto Cooking’ sounds bad, but its really just a method of fusing together cooking ingredients based on a few simple pillars – the main pillar being whatever is in your kitchen (seriously). There are 2 dishes that you can try that will not only save you time in the kitchen, but will save you money.

Spaghetti & Meatballs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stiaG-mqh-M

This is a simple recipe for the classic ‘Spaghetti & Meatballs’, but without the Meatballs. Here is what you will need:

      > Spaghetti Pasta or Ramen Noodles
      > Ketchup
      > Hot Dog Weiners
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes

Gourmet Beef Patty

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37Xcplk942U

Everybody loves a Beef Patty, but what about taking it to the next step and creating a Gourmet Beef Patty sandwich? Now, you are probably thinking ‘Patty & cocoa Bread’, nope – that is not what is happening here. We are putting the gourmet ingredients into the Patty itself. Here is what you’ll need:

      > Beef Patty
      > Lettuce
      > Tomatoes
      > Onions
      > Pickles
      > Cheese

Prep Time: 7 mins

Hope these recipes will be added to your culinary repertoire – if not, hope you at least learned some creative Ghetto alternatives to cooking!

.:: LiBM ::.

Video by Urban Comedy Network

Retro West Indies Tourism posters

Retro West Indies Posters

Great tourism posters from the West Indies

If you haven’t been to the West Indies, you should visit one of the many islands; it is truly a beautiful geographic area filled with lush agriculture, warm weather, and rich culture. No, I don’t work for any Tourism board, but was inspired to do a post of various Tourism posters from West Indies nations. Mostly, I was inspired by the iconic Jamaica tourism poster from the 70’s (in the main image for this post); though, logically, that woman must be in her 60’s now, one can’t help but wonder how she would look now …

West Indies poster by German Company

West Indies poster by German Company, looks like circa early 1900’s
Viva la Cuba
Puerto Rico circa early 1900's

The Wire Quotes

Snoop, Marlo, Avon Quotes

I don’t know what is the exact term for these types of pictures/quotes; you’ve seen them before – always talking about inspiration, or making a popular culture reference joke.  Anyhow, the great pseudo docu drama TV series ‘The Wire’ (2002-2008) on HBO is known as a critically acclaimed series that never really got is props for telling a real story about the socio-economics and ganglife of inner-city Baltimore.

Came across some classic Wire quotes from classic characters such as Marlo, Snoop, McNulty, and Avon Barksdale.


(click on link to enlarge)

.:: LiBM ::.

Hipsters: Then and Now

 

The Hipsters

Past and Present … Presently ….

Here is a bit of a History Lesson of where this ‘Hipster’ Fashion and culture has come from … and SHOCKINGLY, it comes from the Black Community … (that is sarcasm)

Birth of ….


1940s-1950s

“Hipster” derives from the slang “hip” or “hep,” which are derived from the earlier slang “hop” for opium. The first dictionary to list the word is the short glossary “For Characters Who Don’t Dig Jive Talk,” which was included with Harry Gibson’s 1944 album, Boogie Woogie In Blue. The entry for “hipsters” defined it as “characters who like hot jazz.” The 1959 book Jazz Scene by Eric Hobsbawm (using the pen name Francis Newton) describes hipsters using their own language, “jive-talk or hipster-talk,” he writes “is an argot or cant designed to set the group apart from outsiders.” Hipster was also used in a different context at about the same time by Jack Kerouac in describing his vision of the Beat Generation. Along with Allen Ginsberg, Kerouac described 1940s hipsters “rising and roaming America,… bumming and hitchhiking everywhere… [as] characters of a special spirituality.”

 

Mutation of …


1990s and 2000s
In the late 1990s, the term started to be used in new, sometimes mutually exclusive ways. In some circles it became a blanket description for middle class and upper class young people associated with alternative culture, particularly alternative music, independent rock, alternative hip-hop, independent film and a lifestyle revolving around thrift store shopping, eating organic, locally grown, vegetarian, and/or vegan food, drinking local beer (or even brewing their own), listening to public radio, and riding fixed-gear bicycles.

In 2003 Robert Lanham’s satirical book The Hipster Handbook described hipsters as young people with “… mop-top haircuts, swinging retro pocketbooks, talking on cell phones, smoking European cigarettes,… strutting in platform shoes with a biography of Che Guevara sticking out of their bags.” Hipsters are considered apathetic, pretentious, and self-entitled by other, often marginalized sectors of society they live amongst, including previous generations of bohemian and/or “counter-culture” artists and thinkers as well as poor neighborhoods of color.

Gavin Mueller’s article “Hipster or Not?” for Stylus Magazine (2004) wrote that “… hipster lifestyle is reduced to a pose, a pretense” which involves”…”a hipster costume, worn to appear “cool”, a liberal arts education, and so on. He claims that the term “‘Hipster’ is far too vague and broad to have any semblance of essential meaning”.

 

Current … Hipster Rap

In 2008, Utne Reader magazine writer Jake Mohan described “hipster rap,” “as loosely defined by the Chicago Reader, consists of the most recent crop of MCs and DJs who flout conventional hip-hop fashions, eschewing baggy clothes and gold chains for tight jeans, big sunglasses, the occasional keffiyeh, and other trappings of the hipster lifestyle.” He notes that the “old-school hip-hop website Unkut, and Jersey City rapper Mazzi” have criticized mainstream rappers who they deem to be poseurs or “… fags for copping the metrosexual appearances of hipster fashion.” Prefix Mag writer Ethan Stanislawski argues that there are racial elements to the rise of hipster rap. He claims that there “…have been a slew of angry retorts to the rise of hipster rap,” which he says can be summed up as “white kids want the funky otherness of hip-hop… without all the scary black people.”

 

Comment:

I don’t mind the Hipster fashions for the women, but when the Hipster fashions for the men look like the same fashions for the women; then there is a problem – loosen up the jeans fellas.

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(1940s_subculture)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipster_(contemporary_subculture)

Hall & Oates: Hip-Hop’s favorite source to sample

Hall & Oates: Hip-Hop’s favorite source to sample

Some background if you don’t know -and if you don’t know, then you really are not up on your music game, but Hall & Oates are a pop music duo made up of Daryl Hall and John Oates.The act achieved its greatest fame in the late 1970s and early to mid-1980s. They specialized in a fusion of rock and roll and rhythm and blues styles, which they dubbed “rock and soul.” They are best known for their six #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: “Rich Girl”, “Kiss on My List”, “Private Eyes”, “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”, “Maneater”, and “Out of Touch”, as well as many other songs which charted in the Top 40. They have sold 80 million albums worldwide.

They have one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop industry, here is just a list (which I think is outdated):

* 1989 – “Say No Go” – De La Soul
* 1993 – “V.S.O.P” – Above the Law
* 1996 – “My Crew Can’t Go for That” – Trigger tha Gambler
* 1996 – “So Deep” – Dan-e-o
* 1997 – “I’ll Do Anything” – Heavy D
* 1998 – “I Can’t Go for That” – 2 Live Crew
* 1999 – “Can’t let go – C-Note
* 2000 – “Can’t Go for That (Remix)” -Tamia
* 2000 – “After Party” – Koffee Brown
* 2001 – “Traffic” – Stereo MC’s
* 2002 – “4 Myself” Mac Dre ft. Devious and Dubee
* 2003 – “Sunrise” – Simply Red
* 2003 – “Take Me to Your Leader” – King Geedorah
* 2004 – “I Can’t Go For That/Happy People Remix” – Notorious B.I.G. / R. Kelly (“Happy People” samples Spandau Ballet’s “True”)
* 2005 – “Wait Til I Get Home” – C-Note
* 2006 – “Give and Go” – Girl Talk
* 2006 – “No Can Do” – Tech N9ne
* 2006 – “Can’t Go On” – Örten

and here is the track:

Get up on your music game people!

.:: LiBM ::.

From Ashy to Classy

Ashy to Classy
Jay-Z makes it into Vogue magazine

The August issue of Vogue magazine will feature black models and entertainers as the popular Italian magazine has came under fire in recent years for not representing black models in their magazines. Jay-Z is one of the feature articles in the magazine and it is really big that Jay-Z from the Marcy projects in Brooklyn New York can rise from the gutter to the pages of the exquisite Italian vogue magazine. Looking at the pictures, Jay-Z can be the poster child for what ‘mature hip-hop’ looks like ….

The Vogue magazine should drop sometime in July 2008 and will not only featuring Jay-Z, but Naomi Campbell, Tyson Beckford, Toccara, and other black models. Vogue gets a ‘kudos’ for at least attempting to open its doors to black models in their magazines, but lets see if they can keep it up.

.:: d.b ::.

El ‘Nerbano’

El Nerbano
The Nerban (nerd + urban) … best of both worlds  

The Nerban is the hybrid guy that has carefully meshed the two worlds of hip-hop/urban culture and nerd/geek isms. The Nerban can run in the streets, hang on the block, be affiliated with ‘gangstas’, and at the same time be abreast with technology, have a diverse investment portfolio, and have B.A.’s and Masters.

The Nerban is respected by hip-hop culture because of his nerdy-knowledge of technology and such; in the same breath, the nerds respect the Nerban because of his knowledge of hip-hop culture. Each group lives vicariously through the Nerban to get a glimpse into ‘the other side'; the gangsta’s get to learn about what’s poppin’ with the nerds, and the nerds get to see some urban swag and style.

With the ladies, the Nerban is the prime choice for the lady that is not looking for a gangsta, not looking for ‘poindexter’, but is looking for someone with a little bit of edge & style mixed with knowledge & ambition. Most ladies will experience a Nerban at some point in their life, but will have a tendency to disregard the Nerban because he isn’t too ‘street’ enough, and usually these ladies end up where the Nerban was lacking (i.e. the Street – out on their own, lost).

The Nerban has always lived throughout history, from:

The Goofy Nerban


Will Smith a.k.a. ‘The Fresh Prince’
~ His goofy style of rap lauded him to a Grammy and a hit TV show, he then used that to develop a successful movie career – All this from “parents just don’t understand”.

The Conscious Nerban


Common
~ The type of brother to school you with spiritual thoughts, but isn’t scared to go into battle, remember the battle with Ice Cube anyone??

The Arrogant Nerban


Kanye West

~ Do I really need to explain this???????  

The Righteous Nerban


A Tribe Called Quest
~ These nerbans are about having a good time, dancing, chilling, but can get grimey when need be.

The “Odd, but can’t hate on him” Nerban


Pharell
~ Clothing and style has funky colors and patterns, social activities divert from the norm, but this Nerban can deliver in the streets or the boardroom.

.:: d.b ::.

Silly Monkeys! Part 3: The Bouncer

Silly Monkeys! Part 3: The Bouncer
Virtues: deceit, honor, code, ethics
Read Part 0, the Abstract & Get familiar

The Bouncer has a very important job at the club. In the club world, they are the ‘authority’ that regulate the patrons & uphold the club’s policies. The Bouncer is a ‘cool’ name for Security; I wonder how it started – must have been when someone working security in a club developed a reputation, better yet, an attitude, for physically &/or verbally denying people admittance to a club. That sounds like an accurate etiology of the word ‘Bouncer'; the bouncer enjoys the power he has – and administers such power to his advantage. The Bouncer gets to select which ladies get ‘preferential treatment’ into the club – though the lucky ladies may have to give something up in return (a number, dignity, etc.) , the Bouncer is content irregardless as it is just another act, and a benefit of his power.

Across the board – whether in a grimey or posh club, the Bouncer has the alpha male macho tough guy attitude. But even with all the power, respect, and perks, the Bouncer wants more. You see, on the ‘club hierarchy’ or ‘food chain’, the Bouncer is just above the people that do coat check & admittance. Yes, that is super ugly. The bar staff even makes more than the Bouncer. So the ‘muscle’ uses its ‘brain’, some cortical regions of it I suppose, and has learned extortion – or what people in the entertainment/club world call ‘greasing’ or ‘to grease’. Which is the act of paying a Bouncer a fee to his liking, in order for the Bouncer to overlook or bend some of the club’s rules. Greasing gives the Bouncer a new dimension of being Judge, Jury, and even sentencing board. For example, the dress code is a grey area – if you don’t meet the specifics there is hope that you will get in, and it probably will cost you $20 to the bouncer. And at Posh spots (L.A. especially!), your clothing may be on point, but if you don’t know anyone that works at the club, then you may also have to pay the Bouncer a fee that I like to call a ‘privelige fee’ – this is a fee that covers the Bouncer giving you the privilege to STILL pay the club admission fee, and party with the club patrons.

L.A. is notorious for that.

How do I know so much about the Bouncer, I know some, and I have experienced their tactics – and no longer will I be a ‘Silly Monkey’ to their foolery.

.:: d.b
Read more Silly Monkeys! sagas:
Part 0, the Abstract , Part 1, Strong-Arm Mike the Banker Part 2: The Fly Designer ‘Jart’

Black Like Me

Black Like Me
Virtues: race, distinction, etiology

Black like me, like who? Whether your background is Caribbean, American, or African, if you are black you share traits – people look at you with common expectations. However, amongst black people, we like to distinguish ourselves from each other, even though we essentially come from the same place – Africa. My background is Caribbean, but now I reside in North America (Toronto to be specific), and I once talked to this African woman; I thought that it would be just as usual if I was talking to a Jamaican or Trini, but I soon realized that I felt that our cultures were so different; I almost thought that I was dating a white girl. I was learning about different foods, traditions, heritage, attitudes that I thought that I should know (because we share the same race), but I was grossly mistaken.

Historical Sense
In North America, you generally have two classes of black people: domesticated/westernized blacks & Africans. The former group comes from a diverse background; they have either migrated from the Caribbean islands and/or are the offspring of slavery. From the shores of Halifax Nova Scotia which was Canada’s first black population settlement, to the deep south of Mississippi, there is similarity of a shared struggle throughout history that exists even to this day; their heritage only spans from somewhere in the 1800’s – anytime before that, and the details of their heritage gets sketchy, fuzzy, like channel ‘01’. Similarly, the Caribbean people that have migrated to Canada & the U.S. for better prosperity share a similar heritage-like progression as they too have lost details about their history from around the 1800’s and even early 1900’s. This is significant to the domesticated/westernized blacks because they have a loss of culture; a loss of roots.

I know the enlightened person is like, ‘you shouldn’t group Caribbean’s with domesticated westernized blacks because their culture is different’, such a person would be right; but they share the same etiology – the etiology they share is different from African blacks.

Noticeable Differences
It is the etiology that essentially creates the distinction and divide that exists amongst blacks – so much so that both groups are prejudice to each other. And with all types of prejudice behavior – it is a result of a lack of knowledge and respect for others. Meaning, that the Westernized blacks may know about the history of Africa (i.e. slavery), but currently, the Westernized blacks do not know much about the current state of their brethren across the Atlantic. According to the media, Africa is still full of savages, AIDS, poverty, and tribes.

In my experiences, both groups have an inherent bias towards themselves. The domesticated/westernized blacks believe that they are better than the Africans because they have been in the West longer, understand the western culture & ideals better, and have better language skills. Whereas, the Africans believe that they are better than the domesticated/westernized blacks because they believe that they have more heritage, know their roots, and are more ‘black’ (pure) than their brethren. So basically, this correlates into a subdued (or at times overt) attitude that people develop of ‘frowning’ and/or ‘looking down’ on others. Which really shouldn’t be the case, because in the end, while we battle ‘looking down’ at each other, the ‘man’ is looking down at us – laughing, exploiting as usual.

Think about that!

.:: d.b

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Life in B Major

Tip What, Pt 2

Table of contents for Tip What?

  1. Tip What?
  2. Tip What, Pt 2
  3. Tip What? pt.4: When to tip

Tip What, Pt 2
(view Part 1)
Virtues: Social Customs, service, ethics

As the Christmas holiday season approaches I’m hearing a lot of talk on tipping. For instance, people give tips to their mailman or mechanic – which I find interesting. I mean, I would love to work in a service industry where I am tipped just for performing my job duties, shit, maybe being a waiter is my calling as I purposely hang around your table after the bill has been served to ensure that I receive my tip. Or better yet, I should work in a hotel as a bellhop and conduct the same behavior. It would be sweet – I mean, I would get a regular salary (not much), but then I would base my service to customers on how well they have tipped me. Its interesting that this social customary called ‘tipping’ is almost mandatory in the service industry, however essentially it is almost a bribe – I mean, if one were to give a service contract or even a government employee a ‘lil extra’, society as a whole and I’m sure most courts of laws would consider that bribery. You know, ‘Scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours’ type of logic.

I may sound a bit, ah, um … real, but we have reached a pivotal time in our society where we want to be rewarded more for simply doing our jobs. I don’t know what generation this has spawned out of, but this creates a climate where we don’t necessarily tip for ‘exceptional service’, but we tip to ensure service. Meaning, you are not going to tip your mechanic because he does such great work, but more or less, you’re tipping him for the hope he doesn’t screw you over in the coming year. Same with the mailman, I don’t know exactly how the mailman can provide ‘exceptional’ mail service (please share if you do), but if you tip him, you are doing so with the intentions that he performs his job by giving you regular mail service.

Now, maybe – correction, I know that people do actually tip these people during these seasons just based out of the goodness from their heart, and that is truly a beautiful thing. BUT, if you are planning on tipping just to procure services or to pretty much BRIBE, then you your f*cked.

Happy Holidays

(P.S. I rarely tip, only for exceptional above & beyond service. I don’t do any percentage calculations of the bill, I dont give a ______ < insert word here)