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Obi-wan_kenobi_on_tatooine

Returned to the director’s chair. Made a quality short that will find a new audience every holiday season (like the film its based on, ironically). Wrote my first original pilot. Wrote my first spec based on a TV show I love. Producer on another ‘legacy’ project that’s one of those ‘once in a lifetime’ things I’m thrilled to be a part of. The period of time from the last Ramadan to this one has found me in another peak period. Stability and consistency have arrived.

I’m mastering how to be as efficient as I can, I’ve reverse engineered the remaining details.  It’s happening.  The endgame (which we’ve half jokingly, half seriously called, ‘Muslim Clooney’.) Not as one giant home run swing, but by stringing together all the daily and weekly victories.  Far from over, but constant forward motion.  With a lot of help and support from many of you, I’ve worked myself into a position where I can think but not ‘overthink’, I’ve created a sense of ‘home’ (stability) which makes me more confident in myself and my natural voice.  We still have more fun than we should at times, but I’m reverting back to being more selective about when and where and in front of whom I act like the ‘devil may care goofball who doesn’t take anything too seriously’ and re-establishing my go-to move as being the ‘socially conscious, politically aware artist who prides himself on being a world citizen.’ The consistency.

Part of it I guess was aging into it, but I’m completely comfortable in ‘my spot.’  When I was younger, I’m sure some people thought I’d be some version of DeRay McKessen.  I love and support what that brother is, but I don’t know want his life.  When you hear me hype up Ava DuVernay or Issa Rae, I’m not angling for a gig; their voices and what they represent are important as well.  Even the young brothers who at some point maybe I was ‘suppose to be’, like Justin Simien or Ryan Coogler, I feel no envy.  They’re not telling my specific story or doing what I specifically do. I now live in the moment more than I ever have, but my eyes on the Big Picture; something bigger than I will ever be and something that will be here long after I’m gone.  This may be an easier statement for someone as defiantly individual as I am to say, but I believe it’s true: you will be challenged at every turn, you will have to fight for what you believe in at every step, but, what’s meant for you? No one can take that from you.

So back to this moment. The past couple of weeks I’ve started to strip away the unnecessary things, and this is part of it.  As much as is practically possible in 2015, I’m taking a social media and blogging hiatus for Ramadan (which starts later this week.) As I’ve told the people close to me, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I don’t have to ‘fix’ anything in my life.  I can routinely place my hand on the brass ring, but haven’t quite put my fingers around it. So my goal is making sure I maintain and continue to build upon my (say it with me now) stability and consistency.

I’m off for deep meditation and to protect the Future here in the dry lands.  If it’s meant to be and the time is right (say mid July?), we’ll get back to it.

Take care.

bobbycaldwelldoforlove

I could equal, but can’t do better than this to end Love Song Week.

Enjoy!

mj

The story goes that when Mike was trying to return to pop relevancy he went to Prince for advice (who’s obviously nailed it).

And Prince pretty much told him, ‘Forget the theatrics. Do smaller venues. Remind people that you’re a great vocalist.’

And Prince was right (as today’s song cosigns).  But Mike was also probably right; there was no going back to the ‘Off the Wall’ days really.  If people were coming to see Mike, they were coming for the spectacle as much as the music.

Alas…

Beatles at the BBC

CNN is about to push out ‘The Seventies'; over the weekend I finally saw the British Invasion episode of ‘the Sixties’, and it was everything I wanted and more.

Short version: BeatleMania hit, inspired in part by their covers of Isley Brothers and Barrett Strong’s hit songs; the Rolling Stones followed suit, letting James Brown open for them to show their appreciation for soul music (cool but BIG mistake Mick never forgot), the Beatles started writing their own songs and got bigger, which inspired Brian Wilson among others to try harder and play around with harmonies and the studio to create ‘God Only Knows’, which the Beatles heard and a year later, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ comes out.

(And yes, the creative competition and artistry fired me up as much as it sounds like it did. I picked my guitar the next weekend and started playing my favorite solos again.)

Including this one.  Enjoy!

stevie_wonder

Over time, I’ve been building my castle of love
Just for two, though you never knew you were my reason
I’ve gone much too far for you now to say
That I’ve got to throw my castle away

Over dreams, I have picked out a perfect come true
Though you never knew it was of you I’ve been dreaming
The sandman has come from too far away
For you to say come back some other day

And though you don’t believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

Over hearts, I have painfully turned every stone
Just to find, I had found what I’ve searched to discover
I’ve come much too far for me now to find
The love that I’ve sought can never be mine

And though you don’t believe that they do
They do come true
For did my dreams
Come true when I looked at you
And maybe too, if you would believe
You too might be
Overjoyed, over loved, over me

And though the odds say improbable
What do they know
For in romance
All true love needs is a chance
And maybe with a chance you will find
You too like I
Overjoyed, over loved, over you, over you

zhane

I always remembered this as a fantastic soul song.  Rewatching the video for the first time in years (now as an educated film geek), my first thought was, ‘Now that is how you photograph a pair of beautiful black women with African features.’  Who directed this?

And me when I got to the credits and saw, ‘Director: Antoine Fuqua.’

Enjoy!

JaRule2

It’s the weekend, you know what that means?

All we need is a stage God…

Enjoy!

nolimitgreatesthits

Today, we pay tribute to the greatest (and by greatest I mean most simple Photoshopped magnificent) album covers of a generation.

BOUNCE BOUNCE BOUNCE FOO!

Enjoy!

redman-100

There’s a reason in ‘The Art of Rap’ doc, that Em was genuinely flattered when he heard Redman say how he was a great lyricist.

Enjoy!

Young King

michael_b_jordan_39777

In case you missed it, here’s the full essay from my future movie son Michael B. Jordan to the people who have a problem with him portraying a popular fictional character.

http://www.ew.com/article/2015/05/22/michael-b-jordan-fantastic-four-race

Get em Young Man!

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