Category: I Love L.A.


 

Photo of Sammy Davis Jr.

Today’s video is one of my theme songs, performed by one of the show biz greats.

I’ve auditioned to play Sammy once; it’s still a dream part for me.  May realistically be a little too far removed at the moment for what Paramount is setting up, but you never know…

Enjoy!

 

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faith

My Ramadan goal this year wasn’t as dramatic as the past few.  I didn’t focus hard on improving my Arabic; I didn’t donate all my excess material stuff to Goodwill.

I came into the holy month in awe that I’ve been able to live my life without destroying ‘my life.’  I’ve also been aware, for quite awhile, that there’s still a lot of middle ground between the ‘highlight reel’ (social media), and my private relationships with family and close friends.  One of the many things I’ve admired about Kaepernick is he recognized quickly that while people mostly respect ‘quiet and serious’, if you allow the vacuum between your words and your deeds grow too large, you risk your message getting flipped into something completely different (looking at you, league I don’t plan to give any more of my money too for the time being).

I wish I had a better term than this, but I adopted a ‘Plus One’ attitude the past few weeks.  Without being phony about it, I made myself more accessible to my neighbors, I hung out with my co workers a little more off the clock, things like that.  There’s really no grand scheme here beyond being more consciously proactive that the person I want the world to see my as is in line with how I treat everyone around me.  Changing the world is cool, changing the world around me feels right, right now.

I appreciate the calls and texts from everyone who didn’t ‘see’ me the past month.  I’m looking forward to what comes next.

Onward.

 

shaykh

The official answer to it all is, ‘It is the will of Allah.’

If I go before I resurface next month, Surah 2, verse 286 should be on the front of the program: ‘Allah imposes not on any soul a duty beyond its scope.’

When my mind is quiet though, (which is often now), I feel incredibly fortunate.

At least once a day as of late, I’ve felt overwhelmed with gratitude.

A lifetime (really two lifetimes at this point) worth of experiences that let my family and my people live vicariously through things I could do and places I could go has turned on me; now I have feelings of guilt that I’ve come out of the other end, and somehow, for all the honest mistakes and reckless things I’ve done, I avoided the backbreaking choice that would have put me into a hole I couldn’t climb out of.

This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know sometimes how I’ve avoided doing anything to turn my bloodline permanently against me.

This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know how I avoided being reckless to the point of turning my Muslim people against me forever.

The people who don’t represent the same thing I represent but who respect what I’m about; I am embarrassed on a daily basis by how flush I am in genuine relationships.  I continue to do better, but I’ve also come to accept it’s just impossible for me to spend time with everyone I’m cool with.

Leading into this Ramadan, I’ve also accepted that if the law of averages hasn’t derailed me yet, I don’t intend to ruin my own plans.

The peak version of ‘Malik Aziz’ is somewhere in the spectrum between post Mecca Malcolm (part of the world Ummah but sensitive to the concerns of the community I was born into) and Denzel (no desire to be ‘a minister’, but I can use my life and my art and my reputation as the best possible selling point of the type of person my community is capable of creating).

24/7/365 now I hold myself to that standard.  There’s not a lot more to be gained by wondering why life seemed to wait for me to catch up to what I’m trying to achieve.  It’s just time to go for it.

All praise is due to Allah, only the mistakes have been mine.

 

 

livingcolour

One more song…

This is darkly comic now, but in my deep dive of Malcolm’s life there was a 48 hour period last week where I was listening to the full audio of ‘Message to the Grassroots’, and ‘the Ballot or the Bullet’, then Kanye went public calling a slavery a choice and I swear…

Sunday I’ll go into detail about where my head is at before the social media fast.

Have a good weekend.

 

 

kendrick-fyf-black-and-white

First, a serious editor’s note…

I did a quick scan to try to find an accurate date, it looks like 2013 was the last time a ‘Song of the Day’ was either from or had the hook sung by ‘you know who.’  So if the time has come for the Pied Piper of R&B to be held accountable, you already know where I stand.

Now on to more fun feelings.

How about a song from the Pulitzer winner?  That still kills me…

Enjoy!

 

 

Janelle-Monae-f

I know Homegirl was mentored by His Purple Highness obviously.  After a breakout ‘Hollywood’ year, this looks like the album (and tour) that will level her up to a higher level.

Digging what I’m seeing and hearing so far.

Enjoy!

 

onmyblock

I understand (kind of) that Netflix can’t promote the living heck out of every single project they put up.  I kept hearing about ‘On My Block’ by word of mouth, and I was only two episodes in before I started telling people around me, ‘You need to get involved with this,’ and now that I’ve finished season 1 (and I’ve heard Netflix has already greenlit season 2), I’m writing about it today.

The best pitch came from one of the homies who actually finished binging it before I did: ‘It’s one of those CW shows, but for us.’  Accurate.  ‘On My Block’ is an often hilarious, coming of age story centered around four teens: insecure, nerdy Ruben, trying to stay out of ‘the life’ Cesar, tomboy growing into a woman’s body Manse, and the resident goofball Jamal.  Following the kids entering the first year of high school, the series does a great job giving each member of the ensemble a relatable individual arc that doesn’t pull the overall tone too deeply into melodrama.

And it has to be said: young actors can be hit or miss, but the casting on this one is pitch perfect.  A lot of the fun of this series comes from how much we’re cheering for each of these characters and their quests.

Ten half hour episodes.  Quick and easy binge if you’re interested.

 

 

mack10

The weekend is here!

Getting things done, so one song this weekend.  It’s getting super beautiful, super quickly in Cali right now, so this feels right.

Have a good one folks!

 

 

prt

Ramadan 2018 is within range.

I have a lot to say, but still a month to go, so for today, patience…

And we party walk…

Enjoy!

 

pharcyde

It’s the weekend!

This popping up in my feed both made me excited as I forgot how innovative this video was, and misty eyed because it took me back to my DJ mentor Uncanny whose not with us anymore.

Have a good one gang.  Take nothing for granted.