Destiny is not a matter of change, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.

— William Jennings Bryan (1860-1925)

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CHEERS TO US

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Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

SUNDAY WORDS OF WISDOM

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“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

 

Every Savage can Dance

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“Pride,” […] “is a very common failing I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.” — Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

Going through it

image” I just have to say that, most of the times in my life that things have been the toughest and the worst and I thought I would die and not get through them, they turned out to be the best times. If you are going through it, just know it’s called ‘going through it,’ you’re not going to get stuck there, you are not going to die, you are going to survive. My daughter wrote a song called ‘Survivor’ some years ago and it’s my favorite song by them because it says, When the times get bad, I’m going to work harder. I’m going to keep pushing and I’m going to keep positive and make it happen because I’m a survivor.’ That’s been the story of my life”. -Tina Knowles

Nevermore

But the Raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing farther then he uttered—not a feather then he fluttered—
Till I scarcely more than muttered “Other friends have flown before—
On the morrow he will leave me, as my Hopes have flown before.”
Then the bird said “Nevermore.”

You Can’t Eat Beauty

“I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale skin. I got teased and taunted about my night-shaded skin. And my one prayer to God, the miracle worker, was that I would wake up lighter-skinned. The morning would come and I would be so excited about seeing my new skin that I would refuse to look down at myself until I was in front of a mirror because I wanted to see my fair face first. And every day I experienced the same disappointment of being just as dark as I had been the day before. I tried to negotiate with God: I told him I would stop stealing sugar cubes at night if he gave me what I wanted; I would listen to my mother’s every word and never lose my school sweater again if he just made me a little lighter. But I guess God was unimpressed with my bargaining chips because He never listened.

[…] And then Alek Wek came on the international scene. […] To the beholders that I thought mattered, I was still unbeautiful. And my mother again would say to me, “You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you.” And these words plagued and bothered me; I didn’t really understand them until finally I realized that beauty was not a thing that I could acquire or consume, it was something that I just had to be.”

— Lupita Nyong’o ‘Black Women in Hollywood’ Acceptance Speech

It Ain’t Hard To Tell

Verse 1

It ain’t hard to tell, I excel, then prevail
The mic is contacted, I attract clientele
My mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper’s breath
I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps
Deep like The Shinin’, sparkle like a diamond
Sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket linin
Hit the Earth like a comet, invasion
Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazin
Cause in my physical, I can express through song
Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong
I drank Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell
From the spliff that I lift and inhale, it ain’t hard to tell

Verse 2

The buddha monk’s in your trunk, turn the bass up
Not stories by Aesop, place your loot up, parties I shoot up
Nas, I analyze, drop a jew-el, inhale from the L
School a fool well, you feel it like braille
It ain’t hard to tell, I kick a skill like Shaquille holds a pill
Vocabulary spills I’m Ill
plus Matic, I freak beats slam it like Iron Sheik
Jam like a tech with correct techniques
So analyze me, surprise me, but can’t magmatize me
Scannin’ while you’re plannin’ ways to sabotage me
I leave ’em froze like her-on in your nose
Nas’ll rock well, it ain’t hard to tell

Verse 3

This rhythmatic explosion, is what your frame of mind has chosen
I’ll leave your brain stimulated, niggaz is frozen
Speak with criminal slang, begin like a violin
End like Leviathan, it’s deep well let me try again
Wisdom be leakin out my grapefruit troop
I dominate break loops, givin’ mics men-e-straul cycles
Street’s disciple, I rock beats that’s mega trifle
And groovy but smoother than moves by Villanova
You’re still a soldier, I’m like Sly Stone in Cobra
Packin like a rasta in the weed spot
Vocals’ll squeeze glocks, MC’s eavesdrop
Though they need not to sneak
My poetry’s deep, I never fell
Nas’s raps should be locked in a cell
It ain’t hard to tell

—Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones aka Nas