Category: American Muslim



The writing was on the wall about a month ago…

The car breaking down every three months?  That stopped happening.  The hopping around from job to job which is somewhat expected in a town like Los Angeles, but I always seemed to be on the extreme end of it?  That stopped happening.  I’d found a certain type of stability…

Friends?  I inherited my father’s good heart, and I’m frankly embarrassed by the number of people I can genuinely call brother, sister, Fam, family, friend, supporter.  I know what it looks like when people feel genuinely ‘alone’.  I’ve seen how they act.  My people may be my greatest wealth….

The purpose?  The most honest answer to that is, I reflect on the number of things that seem designed to break my mind or my spirit or my self-confidence..and I’m still here. If my heart is still beating, I’ll keep going…

When I saw the writing on the wall, for the first time in a long time, I felt fear.  Bad things will happen of course, but as long as steer clear of being completely reckless…it’s truly, all on me now. Everything I’ve wanted is genuinely on the table. It’s all about the discipline.

I start naming names, I’ll either leave someone out, or undersell someone’s influence or importance.  If you’ve read this far, then know I appreciate the impact you’ve had on my life.

On to the next.
















The weekend!

Next week? All movie reviews here.  So wanted to bring the heat to start a three day weekend (for most of us).

Forgot how much funny this video was.  Busta was THE Guy for a minute.

Back Monday night to give my thoughts on Wakanda on the big screen.  Enjoy the long break folks.




Our music this weeks starts with a belated birthday tribute to the man we still call ‘the God MC.’

Respect your roots.





Let’s bring the music into this week.

An oldie but goodie to start this week; I swear this song is the audio version of Sam Jackson beer to me.  Soon as I hear the beat, the fists and elbows start swinging!





A solemn day for my tribe today. Marek Jacobs, one of the young brothers who brought me into Alpha at the University of Kansas, passed away after a fight with stomach cancer.

I can’t tell you the specific first time I met Brother Jacobs, but I imagine it was something along the lines of the picture you see above.  He was one of the brothers who was DJ’ing the Burge parties when I was a freshman, and I was one of the young brothers who would post up every Saturday night in front of or right behind the DJ table.  When I crossed the burning sands, I was one of the brothers who he passed the torch of the KU radio show, ‘The Hip Hop Hype’, to.  The very first documentary I did in Lawrence, which I can’t tell you the title anymore, but the subject was young black men adjusting to living/going to a school on a predominantly white campus; Marek was there.

When word got to me he was in a hospice, I sent a card to him, just to reiterate my appreciation for him.  He didn’t live to see it, but I hope he’s at peace now.  One of my last, best memories of him was after one of my shorts showed up on BET, and Sanaa Lathan read my biography afterward.  He loved that.  He saw something I did on TV.  He saw a movie star name check KU on TV.  He saw a return on his investment in me.  That makes me happy.

Tomorrow is promised to none of us.  Appreciate your people while they’re here.  And appreciate your own gifts.



Ben Koepp

Some of my people who saw ‘The Big Sick’ before me predicted I would like this movie.

They were right.

A classic (financially speaking) middle class movie the studios don’t focus on anymore, ‘The Big Sick’ is a rom com for the modern age.  Kumail is a stand up comedian in Chicago paying his dues; Emily is an innocent heckler at one of his shows one night.  They meet cute after his set…you’re familiar with the genre beats if this is your kind of movie.

The deserved shine for this film comes from all the elements that separate it from the pack. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are both great as Emily’s parents, dealing with the grief that gives the movie its title.  The arranged marriage subplot where Kumail’s parents repeatedly try to set him up with beautiful women from his own culture obviously comes from a specific place.  (And I’m not the first to make this joke, but more than one of those women seemed compatible enough to question, ‘What’s the problem here, other than this is an ‘arranged’ setup?)

I’ve heard some comparisons to ‘Master of None’.  I understand, to a degree, the benefit of grouping similar things, but this film is funny and different in ways completely separate from how Aziz’s show is funny and different.

‘The Big Sick’ is a definite recommend here if you haven’t seen it yet.




I asked my family what they wanted for the holidays and the answer across the board was ‘My Time (and Attention).’

What perfect symbolism.

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Who can really say if we’ve seen the worst yet?  But, when they literally came for the Muslims, I was ready.  All the other daily/weekly outrages that came (and are coming), it didn’t take a lot of soul searching to figure out where I stood.  There are little things that annoy you that you aren’t worth getting into a fuss over, and there are hills to die on.  I know I’m far from the only one where this year publicized more than one hill I was ready to sacrifice myself for, for the greater good.

Something else ironic about 2017.  Life came for me years ago, really.  Before any of the current world affairs craziness, I hit that psychological point of ‘Look, I’m going to have fun.  I’m going to laugh.  I’m going to love.  I don’t need any more stress.’  (Now we call this self-care, we definitely didn’t have the term back then.)  Many of you reading this know me ‘in real life.’  I don’t usually wear my stress on my sleeve, or my pain, or my insecurities.  There was definitely a part of me that felt, ‘Unless the war comes to my doorstep, I might be out…’

WELCOME TO 2017!!!

Literally hours before I started writing this, I was told another of the guys who looked out for me when I was younger is passing.  A part of me is heartbroken this morning, another part of me is again thankful that for the infinite number of personal and professional opportunities I’ve been given to Omorosa myself, I always stopped short when the vibe I felt was ‘This is cool right now, but long term if you want to ‘go home’, this will be a problem…’

I’m grateful for all of it.  I’m grateful for all of you. God willing, we’ll meet back here in 2018.

Peace be unto you.