Category: American Muslim


I’m not super high on SNL at the moment, but we are STILL out here saying ‘Susan’ and ‘Karen’…

Enjoy!

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Motivation.

Last week of posting til 2019; let’s do some ‘greatest hits’ of the year before I talk about everything this year has been for me.

Can’t talk about videos this year without starting here.  Just can’t.

Enjoy!

I was muted this weekend and I thought, ‘My God, I haven’t been to the movies in a month!’

I went to the calendar to double check how long it had been…

It was Thanksgiving.  

Film geek season does that to a man.

So how about we start this week with music? It’s definitely been a while.  

Hype Williams at his peak.

Enjoy!

So, I could have very, very easily been murdered today.  

I found myself Downtown this afternoon.  Not L.A. Live, more the residential neighborhoods.  I was wrapping up my affairs as a nearby high school was letting out.

One set of boys walking down the street I was on starts shit talking another set of boys passing by.  The first reaction is of course, ‘Kids.’

The conversation gets a little more heated.  I start paying closer attention.  The instigator in the first group keeps saying over and over, ‘But you ain’t gonna do nothing!  But you ain’t gonna do nothin!’

There was a Mexican cat around my age in the parking lot as well.  We caught each other eyes; it was a telepathic ‘Oh shit, I know where this is heading.  I hope I’m wrong but…’

We turned back around in time to see that silver in the other boy’s hand briefly shine in the sunlight…

I yelled ‘GET DOWN’ and instinctively grabbed the two women nearest to me and pulled them to the ground.  People started scattering. And running.

Today, the gun ‘worked’, in the sense that seeing it was enough to make the first boy and his crew run out of shooting range and make the obligatory ‘wait until next time’ threats.  No shots were fired.

When the adrenaline rush died down, there wasn’t much hanging around to take a second chance on being innocent bystanders in someone else’s beef.  The shock of it is worse than anything else.

This wasn’t Friday or Saturday night.  This isn’t ‘running with the wrong crowd.’ I’m not afraid of death, but this, in no way shape or form, was my fight.  This is just being in the right place at the absolutely worse possible time.

I’m fine, truly.  But tonight, again, I say the things I try to live by:

Make sure your family knows you love them.

Make sure your people know you’re down for them.

Chase your passions.  

Be your authentic self.

Live your life fully.

Love.

Because you have NO idea when your time will be up…

Philadelphia 76ers’ Allen Iverson calls for crowd noise during the final minutes of the 76ers 96-93 win over the Indiana Pacers Wednesday, March 12, 2003 in Philadelphia. Iverson led all scorers with 31 points.(AP Photo/Miles Kennedy) ORG XMIT: PXC106

Worked away from the camera lately, setting the baseline for my voiceover work.  Like being in front of the camera, you try to gravitate toward things you’re naturally passionate about, so for this I went to ‘The Book of Basketball’, the beginnings of black cinema, and luxury cars.

Enjoy.

In no particular order, thank you…

Mom, Pops, Sheena, the Fradieus, Darryl, Tara, Brittany, Tawana, Shannon, my ‘Fan Club’, Steve, Lorenzo, Leo, Jermaine, the Asian Delegation and my Age of Learning family, Nathan and Saba, Jay, Tish, Alfred and Amber, Adrian and Aida, Ben, Terrance, Brandon, Akela, Aaron, my Jayhawk family, Larvell and April, the Ummah, Dorian, Ormonde and Melissa, the Frat, the Starkies, Gene, my Trojan family, Quincy and Sophia…

And an ever growing list of people who I hope won’t be offended I didn’t name check them specifically.

Thank you for friendship.  Thank you for love.  Thank you for inspiration.  Thank you for leaving me be when I need time and space to figure things out on my own.  Thank you for listening when I reach out and I seek the opinion of someone I trust.  Thank you for pulling me back into focus when it’s time to get things done.  Thank you for cracking me up when I need to be reminded ‘it ain’t that serious.’

Thank you for reminding me how many people love me, look up to me, and are counting on me in various ways.  Thank you for standing by me, and standing up for me as I’ve lived a full, three dimensional life.  As time goes on, I can’t stress enough my appreciation for that.  

Onward.

 

jinn-sxsw

So, a film about a young convert finding her place (and herself) as a Muslim while also coming into her own as a young adult.  You would not be wrong to deduce that I’m cheering for this film to succeed on several levels, whether it’s a good film or not.

But the debut film of Nijla Mumin IS a good film.   Better than I was expecting.  That’s not a knock on Nijla, that’s me as a heavily experienced film geek knowing that ‘first films’… you just instinctively lower your expectations after a while.  You look for potential more than you look for anything too promising in what’s in front of you.

So, the story of Jinn, which starts off as a tale of a young black mother (Luke Cage’s Simone Missick) finding herself in Islam, gradually shifts its focus to the point of view of the daughter (Zoe Renee, who is a revelation).  On top of the stresses of being a high school senior trying to get into art school, now add in your mother adopting a new religion and trying to fit into a completely new community that you may not want to be a part of.  Now THAT’S some organic, ready made conflicts.

A perfect film, no.  But a film that left me wanting to see what comes next from its leading actress and director? Absolutely.

High recommend.

 

 

tribe-called-quest-1990

The weekend!

I can’t remember the last time we went into the weekend with Tribe, which means it’s been too long.

This song still goes.  And a young Busta.  Those were the good days.

We still miss you Phife.

Have a good one everyone.

 

 

lennon

Happy Birthday John.