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Lateral Thoughts on Life.

Bob is Just Musician.

Bob is Just Musician

 

1007349-bob-marley-617-409

You want see the light,
yuh call di electrician
You want “people-ticks”,
yuh call Politician
Some people think
Bob is just Musician,
Turning Trench Towns into Hope
Like some kinda Magician
But I and I
See Bob
As a profit
Not Just for Blackwell
But a Real Prophet
The Healing of the Nations,
For all the youths,
Of all generations.
All creeds and colours,
Of all dispensations
The answers for all occasions,
For each and every Questions
Is there
If yuh play the Right Bob
& Listen to the Natural Mystic
Blowing through the ears.

Written by Mark J.B. Bowen.
© Mark J. B. Bowen 2014

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April 26, 2014 Posted by | blog, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, song lyrics, Uncategorized, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Shake You Down.

shake you down
I know you think I’m just another album in an old record store but I’m not. After all how many albums talk to you like this ? Huh ? How many ?

I see you come in here, looking at all of us, the old eighties music Albums and I know what you’re thinking. Rick Astley and the Purple Symbol, over there, couldn’t care less about you, but I’m different.

They want you to just forget but I need you to remember.

I’d like to rip some silly thoughts out of your head right now. Get Envy out of there. I’d like you to stop envying people, you see on tv and read about in magazines, and those you hear on the radio. I’d like you to realize that nothing ever comes easy and whatever a man  achieves in Life he’ll have to answer for on his own.

Who says he’s a success anyhow ? Suppose he never got to be the war hero he was destined to be. Do you even know the truth ? Suppose instead of fighting the war he’s addicted to drugs with names you can’t even pronounce. Suppose the singer with the movie star looks and all those top Billboard hits never got a chance to raise his own child.

Imagine if the Star had a son, who cried daily , just hoping to talk to his Dad.

Dad was busy, busy making music and well…just Imagine. His son told the other kid’s at school he was the son of a Star but they never believed because the son never even had the Star’s last name. Do you still envy him ? It’s sad man but it has to stop.

So, I’m gonna steal your brain. Too much envy in you, it needs to stop.

Like your friend from the old neighborhood who you were envying the other day and saying to yourself “He’s so lucky. He has the perfect marraige and a great business”. Would you still envy him if you knew he had AIDS or even just plain old Diabetes ?

Work with what you have to get what you want. Start right where you are. Right here and right now.

You little punk. You want the glory and can’t handle the pain. It’s a package deal, you all signed the contract before you were even born. You little weasel face, it’s too late now. I think you’re going to remember, most people forget conversations like this. Just don’t envy anyone for their contracts that’s what makes me angry.

Fulfill your purpose. No time for envy. Don’t make me angry.

You think you’re tough ? You think you can handle it ? I’m gonna rip out your brain.

You can’t walk a day in his shoes and you don’t even want to.

I want to rip your brain wide open. Yeah and first thing I’m gonna take out is that Envy.

Yeah that stupid envy , that stupid belief that you can claim another man’s glory without feeling that man’s pain.

If you want glory go get your own. Blood, Sweat and tears. Experience the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Do it for yourself.

I want to Brainjack you. You can’t stop me. But I’ll see how you do with your contract first. Stop being a punk and be a Real Man or else I’ll be back and I’ll tear your Brain wide open. Live your own Life or I will Shake you Down.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Women, blog, fiction, Lateral Thinking, Psychology, song lyrics, Strategy, success, super power, writing | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Roxanne’s Revenge.

Jamaica’s leading DJs have sparked an international feud over which is better Gaza or Gully.

The battle has even reached to the real Gaza and various parts of Africa but this is certainly not the first or even the biggest lyrical battle ever.

I’m old school. I remember rap back in the days before Lil Kim, before Salt_N-Pepa and even before Queen Latifah. In those early days of Rap music there was really only one woman worth mentioning and her name was Roxanne. She was so pretty and talented in fact that you called her name twice and the song about her called “Roxanne, Roxanne” by UTFO was a smash hit. It spoke of a lady who was refusing their advances.

Roxanne Shante’ (birthname Lolita Gooden) made what we’d call the “counter action” song “Roxanne’s Revenge” which also became a hit for the teenage singing sensation.The single was released in late 1984, taking the original beats from an instrumental version of “Roxanne, Roxanne.” It was very confrontational and vulgar, but was an instant hit that sold over 250,000 copies in the New York area alone. Legal action followed, and it was re-released in early 1985 with new beats and the obscenities removed.

A series of Roxanne songs then came out in fact it may be the longest running series of Answer records in history according to Wikipedia. Check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roxanne_Wars
for a list of the various songs in the Roxanne Wars.

There was even another woman  who did a song calling herself “The Real Roxanne”.

However for Roxanne Shante’ after two albums she became disillusioned by the cut throat music business  and as a teen age mom she felt swindled.

00-Roxanne_Shante-ROXANNE-A-Cover-d

When she was around 19 she suddenly remembered a “throwaway clause” in her contract had said that the company that signed her would fund her education for life.

Amazingly the teenage mom who had felt tricked and cheated turned the tables on the whole music game and earned her PhD. in Psychology and made the label foot the bill.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons said Shante is now a shining role model for the rap community. “Dr. Shante’s life is inspiring,” Simmons said. “She was a go-getter who rose from the struggle and went from hustling to teaching. She is a prime example that you can do anything, and everything is possible.”

Shante, 38, is now active in the community. She offers $5,000 college scholarships each semester to female rappers through the nonprofit Hip Hop Association.

This blog is partly based on the story Rapper behind ‘Roxanne’s Revenge’ gets Warner Music to pay for Ph.D by Walter Dawkins please read it.

August 23, 2009 Posted by | Beautiful Women, blog, current news, dancehall, Marketing, non fiction, Psychology, serial, song lyrics, Strategy, success, writing | Leave a comment

Sean Paul.

Sean Paul.

Those two words found themselves into the top ten search words on Yahoo on August 11,2009.

topsearch

 Sean Paul.

seanpaul 

While others debate who the King of the dancehall really is, Sean Paul made an Imperial statement the way only he can. With his new album entitled “Imperial Blaze” about to drop he looks set to score big yet again.

Sean Paul.

Everything is right. Everything. Everything from the new blazing orange logo, which seems like a variation of the fleur-de-lys, the suave almost hispanic pretty boy looks, the stylish clothes, the intelligent interviews (http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/music/a162014/sean-paul.html), his personal continually updated website http://www.allseanpaul.com/ with new appearances on You Tube and MTV.

Sean Paul.

Although he appeared on Jamaican televison telling consumers to avoid pirated CDs,  in my personal opinion he is actually one of the first major players who seems to realize the real power of piracy and the net.  It is a highly effecient distribution method. This time around Sean Paul’s team has cleverly found a way to incorporate free downloads into their media blitz.

Sean Paul.

The summer is gonna be Scorching Hot, there’s gonna be a worldwide bonfire, an Imperial Blaze and before it’s all over you are not going to even remember who was fighting about being King of the Dancehall. All you’re gonna be talking about is …

Sean Paul.

August 12, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, Marketing, non fiction, preview, song lyrics, Strategy, success, writing | , , , , , | 17 Comments

Marcus Garvey and the Unconquerable Soul.

Jamaica has a lot of Public holidays and on August 1 we celebrated Emancipation Day. This is our most recently added public holiday and while the vast majority, like myself, welcome any chance to stay home from work, some feel the day was granted just as a politically expedient move by our first “really black” Prime Minister to make people remember him, (and his Emancipation Park), in a good light throughout all generations.

Others have more interesting reasons for not being ecstatic about the extra day from work. Author Marlon James for instance doesn’t get the concept of
celebrating Emancipation day.  He recently said, (on his Facebook page), “Had we kicked butt, shed blood and dropped like genocide on a couple hundred planters then yeah, I can celebrate that. But why am I celebrating “You were handed Freedom because of the already declining West India interest day?” ”

His comments were certainly thought provoking and immediately led to some interesting replies such as this one from Damon Mills, “You know, if there’s a pack of wolves chewing on your leg and suddenly and of their own accord they wander off because they suddenly remember they prefer elk meat and they heard there was a joint nearby where the elk hang out, you’re still allowed to be pretty happy about it, even if you don’t have the macho satisfaction of having fought them off using just a can of Lysol and the ignition key to a 1977 Buick Skylark.”

That one really cracked me up but Fragano Ledgister took a stern and
historical approach by saying “Marlon, ( remember all this banter was on
Marlon James’ Facebook page)
that some of my ancestors were *property*
down to 1834, and that at midnight on the first of August they ceased to be,
matters a hell of a lot. The mechanics of the process, including the Baptist War, was complicated and included the decline of the old West India interest (part of the overall decline of the old landed interest that  accompanied the rise of industrial capitalism), but it also involved active resistance by the slaves themselves. Please don’t come with that “house negro” thing either. Household slaves were a small subset of non-field slaves, and much more under the thumb of the owners than the true agents of the maintenance of slavery, the drivers (who were slaves).”

Mr. Ledgister’s comments seemed a bit stiff and verbose to me, perhaps too
politically correct,  and I was actually glad when Marlon James replied in his typically highly irreverent manner, “That’s another thing. It’s the one day everybody tries to be deep by saying “but are we really emancipated?” The answer is yes, you jackass. If you have the time to ponder quasi-existential questions without a whip coming straight for your backside it means you is free. Do we know what to do with freedom? That’s another story.”

It all got me thinking what really is Emancipation ? How should we use our
Freedom ?  Is bantering on Facebook really the best use of our time ? If that
brings us happiness  could anything really be better ?

The Emancipation Park has engraved, in one of the walls near the
controversial statues, the following words, “Emancipate yourselves from
Mental Slavery “. The line is taken from a Bob Marley song and Bob took it
from a Marcus Garvey speech. Marcus Garvey more than anyone else thought about the question of how Freedom should be used. He knew what
Emancipation was all about.

Lesson 1 from Garvey’s writings for his School of African Philosophy says
simply “You must never stop learning.” Garvey believed in the need to uplift
ourselves and to do this we would have to think powerfully. “Anything you are going to challenge you must first know about it so as to be able to defeat it.”, he said. In this same lesson he urged that we read widely and keep knowledge up to date. He also encouraged the appreciation of Good Music and Good Poetry, for the same reason, they can elevate your thoughts. Read a Chapter from the Bible everyday and quote from it  he advised.

Garvey advises us ” Always have a thought. Make it a beautiful thought. The
world is attracted by beauty either in art or in expression. Therefore try to read, think and speak beautiful things.”

Garvey then ends this first lesson with  the following poem

Invictus
by William Ernest Henley
1849–1903

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.


Many modern readers are familiar with the last lines of the poem because the classic  “Think and Grow Rich”, a self-help book by Napoleon Hill, uses “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” as a motivational tool to encourage the reader to take charge of his or her life.

Garvey was  aware of many New Thought ideas and showed his forward thinking by choosing a poem that still has influence on modern business. Just recently I listened to Brian Tracy, a leading motivational speaker, talking about Goal Setting, and he used this very poem in his presentation.

The author of “Invictus” knew what he was talking about from personal experience. At the age of 12, Henley became a victim of tuberculosis of the bone. In spite of this, in 1867 he successfully passed the Oxford local examination as a senior student. His diseased foot had to be amputated directly below the knee; physicians had announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate.

Henley persevered and survived with one foot intact. He was discharged in
1875, and was able to lead an active life for nearly 30 years despite his
disability. With an artificial foot, he lived until the age of 53. “Invictus” was
written from a hospital bed despite Henley’s condition.

Maybe Damon Mill’s comments were way more than I first suspected as they came back to mind as I read this on Wikipedia.

For me Emancipation Day provides a chance to reflect on the advice of the powerful prophet Marcus Garvey and for that I’m very grateful.

August 3, 2009 Posted by | blog, current news, humor, Lateral Thinking, non fiction, philosophy, Psychology, song lyrics, Strategy, success, think and grow rich, writing | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Meet the parents.

 

Woo! Uhh, uhh
It’s “The Gift & the Curse”
Uhh, uhh yea
First they love me then they hate me then they love me again
.. they love me again
Let’s take a trip down.. I gotcha
Let’s take a trip down memory, lane at the cemetary
Rain grey skies, seems at the end of every
young black life is this line, “Damn – him already?
Such a good kid,” got us pourin Henn’ already
Liquor to the curb for my, n-word up above
When it, cracks through the pavement that’s my way of sendin love
So, give Big a hug, tell Aa-liyah I said hi
‘Til the next time I see her, on the other side
He was just some thug that, caught some slugs
And we loved him cause, in him we, saw some of us
He walked like ussss, talked like ussss
His back against the wall, nigga fought like us – damn
Poor Isis, that’s his momma name
Momma ain’t strong enough to raise no boy, what’s his father name?
Shorty never knew him, though he had his blood in him
Hot temper, momma said he act just like her husband
Daddy never f***ed with him, so the streets raised him
Isis blamin herself, she wish she coulda saved him
Damn near impossible, only men can raise men
He was his own man, not even him can save him
He put his faith in her, thirty-eight in his waist
But when you live by the gun you die by the same fate
End up, dead before thirty-eight and umm
That’s the life of us raised by winter, it’s a cold world
Old girl turned to coke, tried to smoke her pain away
Isis, life just, ended on that rainy day
When she got the news her boy body could be viewed
down at the City Morgue, opened the drawer, saw him nude
Her addiction grew, prescription drugs, shift and brew
Angel dust, dipped in WOO!
She slipped into, her own fantasy world
Had herself pregnant by a different dude
But reality bites and, this is her life
He wasn’t really her husband, though he called her wife
It was just this night when, moon was full
And the stars were just right, and the dress was real tight
Had her soundin like Lisa Lisa – I wonder if I take you home
will you still love me after this night?
Mike was the hardhead from the around the way
that she wanted all her life, shit she wanted all the hype
Used to hold on tight when he wheelied on the bike
He was a Willie all her life he wasn’t really the one to like
It was a, dude named Shy who would really treat her right
He wanted to run to the country to escape the city life
But I-sis, like this, Broadway life
She loved the Gucci sneakers, the red green and whites
Hangin out the window when she first seen him fight
She was so turned on that she had to shower twice
How ironic it would, be some fight that
turned into a homicide that’ll alter their life
See Mike at thirty-two was still on the scene
Had a son fifteen that he never saw twice
Sure he saw him as an infant, but he dissed on him like
“If that was my son, he would look much different.
See I’m light-skinnded and that baby there’s dark
so it’s, momma’s baby; poppa’s maybe.”
Mike was still crazy out there runnin the streets (f*** n-words want?)
Had an older but light with thirty-eight gun in his reach
It’s been fourteen years, him and Isis ain’t speak
He runnin around like life’s a peach, ’til one day
he approached this thug that, had a mean mug
And it looked so familiar that he called him “Young Cuz”
Told him, get off the strip but the boy ain’t budge (f*** you)
Instead he pulled out a newer thirty-eight snub
He clearly had the drop but the boy just paused (hold up)
There was somethin in this man’s face he knew he seen before
It’s like, lookin in the mirror seein hisself more mature
And he took it as a sign from the almighty Lord
You know what they say about he who hesitates in war
(What’s that?) He who hesitates is lost
He can’t explain what he saw before his picture went blank
The old man didn’t think he just followed his instinct
Six shots into his kin, out of the gun
n-word be a father, you’re killin your son
Six shots into his kin, out of the gun
n-words be a father, you killin your sons
Meet the parents.. [echoes and slows down as it fades]

 

These are the lyrics to a very deep and powerful song called Meet the Parents by Jay Z .

 

Woo! Uhh, uhh

It’s “The Gift & the Curse”

Uhh, uhh yea

First they love me then they hate me then they love me again

.. they love me again

Let’s take a trip down.. I gotcha

 

Let’s take a trip down memory, lane at the cemetary

Rain grey skies, seems at the end of every

young black life is this line, “Damn – him already?

Such a good kid,” got us pourin Henn’ already

Liquor to the curb for my, n-words up above

When it, cracks through the pavement that’s my way of sendin love

So, give Big a hug, tell Aa-liyah I said hi

‘Til the next time I see her, on the other side

He was just some thug that, caught some slugs

And we loved him cause, in him we, saw some of us

He walked like ussss, talked like ussss

His back against the wall, n-word fought like us – damn

Poor Isis, that’s his momma name

Momma ain’t strong enough to raise no boy, what’s his father name?

Shorty never knew him, though he had his blood in him

Hot temper, momma said he act just like her husband

Daddy never f***ed with him, so the streets raised him

Isis blamin herself, she wish she coulda saved him

Damn near impossible, only men can raise men

He was his own man, not even him can save him

He put his faith in her, thirty-eight in his waist

But when you live by the gun you die by the same fate

End up, dead before thirty-eight and umm

That’s the life of us raised by winter, it’s a cold world

Old girl turned to coke, tried to smoke her pain away

Isis, life just, ended on that rainy day

When she got the news her boy body could be viewed

down at the City Morgue, opened the drawer, saw him nude

Her addiction grew, prescription drugs, shift and brew

Angel dust, dipped in WOO!

She slipped into, her own fantasy world

Had herself pregnant by a different dude

But reality bites and, this is her life

He wasn’t really her husband, though he called her wife

It was just this night when, moon was full

And the stars were just right, and the dress was real tight

Had her soundin like Lisa Lisa – I wonder if I take you home

will you still love me after this night?

Mike was the hardhead from the around the way

that she wanted all her life, shit she wanted all the hype

Used to hold on tight when he wheelied on the bike

He was a Willie all her life he wasn’t really the one to like

It was a, dude named Shy who would really treat her right

He wanted to run to the country to escape the city life

But I-sis, like this, Broadway life

She loved the Gucci sneakers, the red green and whites

Hangin out the window when she first seen him fight

She was so turned on that she had to shower twice

How ironic it would, be some fight that

turned into a homicide that’ll alter their life

See Mike at thirty-two was still on the scene

Had a son fifteen that he never saw twice

Sure he saw him as an infant, but he dissed on him like

“If that was my son, he would look much different.

See I’m light-skinnded and that baby there’s dark

so it’s, momma’s baby; poppa’s maybe.”

Mike was still crazy out there runnin the streets (f*** n-words want?)

Had an older but light with thirty-eight gun in his reach

It’s been fourteen years, him and Isis ain’t speak

He runnin around like life’s a peach, ’til one day

he approached this thug that, had a mean mug

And it looked so familiar that he called him “Young Cuz”

Told him, get off the strip but the boy ain’t budge (f*** you)

Instead he pulled out a newer thirty-eight snub

He clearly had the drop but the boy just paused (hold up)

There was somethin in this man’s face he knew he seen before

It’s like, lookin in the mirror seein hisself more mature

And he took it as a sign from the almighty Lord

You know what they say about he who hesitates in war

(What’s that?) He who hesitates is lost

He can’t explain what he saw before his picture went blank

The old man didn’t think he just followed his instinct

Six shots into his kin, out of the gun

n-word be a father, you’re killin your son

Six shots into his kin, out of the gun

n-words be a father, you killin your sons

Meet the parents.. [echoes and slows down as it fades]

 

jay-z-anguilla-3

     Now I know that with Beyonce’ by his side, and beach front property in Anguilla, the last thing he needs is a word of approval from the likes of me, but, as a fellow Red Stripe Drinker, I have to say these lyrics were simply amazing.

    Pouring a libation, for the ancestors, using legendary, and appropriate names, like Isis, for the characters, connecting ancient Africa to modern New York , he shows the continous result of Willie Lynch’s legacy and then caps it off with the profound message Be a Father, Stop killing your sons, what more can you ask for in one song ? 

    It may not be the commercial success of many of his other songs but with this one song Jay Z proved he’s a lyrical genius.

May 20, 2009 Posted by | current news, non fiction, Psychology, song lyrics, Strategy, success, writing | 3 Comments