[Concert Review] Andra Day Rocks ‘The Casbah’ in San Diego


What a night…

Before I go into my experience at Andra Day’s homecoming performance at The Casbah the other night, let me give a brief run down of how I discovered this budding songstress.

About a month ago, I had seen an ad on YouTube’s homepage that caught my eye. It was a “Beat x Beat” episode titled, “Andra Day ‘Rise Up'”. Unfamiliar with her at the time, a combination of the Beats by Dre stamp, the unique name and powerful song title is what, ultimately, baited a click from me.

“Before I record any and every song, I pray about every song, because my goal is not just to make music that makes people dance, which is fine, but my goal is to make music that moves people and resonates with them, spiritually.” ¬†– Andra Day

After this fortuitous discovery, I immediately wanted to hear more. I then found her YouTube channel, which contained a few song covers as well as some offerings from her debut album, “Cheers to the Fall.” Once I heard¬†“Gin & Juice (Let Go My Hand),” “Rearview,” and “Gold”…I was hooked. My love for her was cemented when I found out she was also a San Diego native (anyone who knows me will tell you I always support the home team).

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Does Lack of ‘Enjoyment’ Make or Break ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’?: A Response to Justin Charity’s Complex Article

Photo Credit: Jason Speakman

Photo Credit: Jason Speakman

My big bro, Majesty, here at Street Knowledge Media asked my thoughts on Justin Charity’s Complex article “Why Did Everyone Claim to Enjoy Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly'” yesterday. This was my response via text message, with a few changes that I made later upon further reflection:

“Exactly. I don’t understand why people can’t just let music be music. What is Charity’s criteria for ‘enjoyable?’ If he agrees that it was an important album, why critique it by how ‘enjoyable’ it is, months later? What may make it enjoyable to many people could be the fact that it is Black-centered, incorporated elements of jazz and funk, and had substance. I think this article was published strictly to generate traffic to the blog through controversy. The bubble gum bullshit is never critiqued in this manner, only the positive music.

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To Pimp a Populace…

How many of you are familiar with the expression, “money is the root of all evil”? Many of you might also recall Wu-Tang Clan’s biggest hit, “C.R.E.A.M. (Cash Rules Everything Around Me)”. But, how many of us really understand the depth of these messages?

We know that corporations make a profit off of everything; from the courts, to prison, to labor, to the natural resources, to the very things that are essential for our survival (food, clothing, and shelter). We are also aware of the fact that police officers and government officials are acquitted of damn near every crime they commit (if they ever even see a courtroom), but then will go and do things like try a 12 year old child as an adult for murder. They will turn on their own for “whistleblowing”, or, as I like to call it, doing the right thing. One need not look any further than the likes of Christopher Dorner, Bradley Manning, or Edward Snowden for proof of that. Contrast this with the types of acts that have been committed by people who were “just following orders”, “following protocol”, or “trying to do their jobs.” Objectively speaking, were they really justified in their actions?


This calls to mind the adage, “it’s business, never personal.” Think about how twisted this is. Do you know why this ideology is adopted by so many? I firmly believe it is because it seeks to justify committing an act that we know goes against our better judgment, morals, and/or principles; as if committing it in the name of “good business” somehow absolves us of any wrongdoing. Some examples of this could be drone strikes, bombings, foreign occupation, funding religious extremist groups in war-torn regions of the world, putting harmful chemicals in the food and liquids we consume, various forms of animal abuse, stop-and-frisk policies, etc. These are the same people who purposely kill each and every one of us slowly every day using various methods of population control — all for the sake of a dollar. They don’t care what they sell us or how it affects us. The lives of all living things are expendable to them, and even to many of us. But, “it’s business, never personal”, right?


I’ve realized there’s no room for morality if you want to make it in this system. The messed up thing is we have to adopt the mentality of the same people who oppress us to get ahead in this rat race, at least under the current power structure we do. This world does not operate based on a system of morals and ethics, it’s all business. This is why there’s hardly any sense of compassion or morality in this world anymore because we’re programmed to mind our own “business”. All day long we hear stories about the horrors that take place in the world and the majority of us are either indifferent or numb to them. We don’t ask any questions, we don’t demand any answers — it just is what it is and life goes on.


On the other hand, there is always a handful of us who are outraged at certain injustices, usually those that are most publicized by the media. But in a lot of cases we don’t have the level of understanding it takes to know that this whole system is designed to be that way. Why else would it seem like every situation has had the same or similar outcomes? Like we have been watching a re-run of the same episode for multiple generations? We don’t see how these corporations have made every aspect of our lives a form of business. For example, how many of you believe the recent legalization of gay marriage was just another testament to how much this wonderful country has progressed, another shining moment in U.S. history that boasts of the freedom and equality us lucky Americans have? I’m inclined to disagree. I believe the primary goal with that was to open up a new market that allows wedding venues, divorce lawyers, therapists, the diamond industry, etc. to make a whole lot more money. The court of law is another example; they don’t care about your struggles, your background, your life story, or none of that. They stick to their script of laws, statutes, codes, etc. They are a business, too. The judges can’t allow any sense of compassion, empathy or moral understanding to affect their rulings. So, why are we so surprised at the amount of immorality and lack of justice in this world? It’s all a business, and we’re all expendable. We are pawns on a chessboard, for real. It is time for us, the People, to stand in solidarity with one another and reclaim our power. No amount of material wealth is worth the value of our morals and principles, much less our lives; no man-made laws can ever override the natural laws, and liberty is not a granted privilege!!!

Peace and Love to the 99%.