Tag Archive: Kansas City



I’m late to the party on this one but glad I eventually found it…

Nelson George’s ‘A Ballerina’s Tale’ is a roughly 90 minute documentary that introduces many of us to the story of Misty Copeland, the first black woman to be cast as the lead ballerina by many international ballet troupes.  Born in Kansas City(!), the film picks up when Misty is already well respected and known in the inner circles of that world, but before the outside world asks ‘Why hasn’t there been any people of color headlining Swan Lake or the Nutcracker or any of these stories that aren’t pure historical re-enactments?’

My personal favorite part of Nelson’s film was seeing how Misty was assigned a ‘consigliere’ that she could confide in and look to as ‘the first black…’ in her path.  Dihanne Carroll, Victoria Rowell, Veronica Webb, I’m pretty sure I saw Cheryl Boone Isaac in some of those pictures.  That part of what we all do that’s not so directly about your talents or gifts but just having a support system; I love that.

When Misty starts to become a name and the little girls really start coming through and the brothers who never had any interest in ballet start coming through, and Under Armour…the tracks were laid for her to be a star and she’s handling it well.

Fun, really quick watch and very inspiring.  Now streaming on Netflix.


Picture 2 (2)

First, Kaepernick.  Don’t have much to add here.  My father, uncles, cousins, good friends are all veterans so I’ve always stood for the national anthem out of respect for them.  But if the man doesn’t want to do it, and he’s expressed why he doesn’t want to do it, I’ve been there too.  And I’m the last person to tell someone to do something they don’t want to do for the sake of appearances.

My original topic for this Sunday was going to be ‘black masculinity’, and how everyone from Nate Parker to Jaden Smith are making us think about what that’s meant, historically and what it means right now. As I sit here, my thoughts feel like a work in progress and not a fully formed idea.  Not yet anyway.

So today is as good of a Sunday as any to say ‘Thank You.’  The more personal impetus behind the masculinity idea I’ve been thinking about this week is I had to ask someone for help.  Out of all the demons I’ve beaten, my ego and my pride are the last two I haven’t yet fully conquered.  Everyone has that problem to a degree, but there’s a deeper complex black men are given at birth about not looking ‘weak’.  A lot of brothers with much more serious problems than I’ve ever had never ask or seek out the help they need because they don’t want to look like a ‘punk’.  I promise I’ll come back to this topic (on a large scale) before the year is out.

A lot of trial and error, but swallowing my pride is easier for me now because I’ve spent a significant part of my life surrounding myself with quality people and attracting like minds.  Ali passing at the beginning of Ramadan and the rise of Trumpism took me from year 4 of my 5 year plan to be a more vocal advocate for my community to year…11; but the pieces of my life had already fallen into place before things beyond my control happened.

So thank you to all of you who contribute to, support, and encourage me to be ‘MALIK AZIZ.’  The Wyandotte folks, the Jayhawks, the Trojans, the Ummah, the Frat; the music geeks, the film geeks, the nerds, the artists, the activists, the politicos; the Romantics who work for true love and friendship over notches on an imaginary belt or friend list, the old heads who worry for the kids coming up behind us and are determined to do what you can to make it easier for them than it was for us.

You all matter to me and I appreciate you.  I carry the public image of a loner, but I’m reminded daily how many people have my back.



Showing some love to a talented brother from my neck of the woods…

Gabe Roland was a few years behind me at KU but we have more than a few mutual connections.  Besides the Jayhawk connection, he’s also a Kansas City native.  Had dinner with him and some friends a couple years back; the young man is serious about his craft (which I obviously respect) and I’ve been watching from a distance as he’s been touring the world and doing his thing with his music.

He just put out a new video for one of his songs, ‘Wishful Regrets’.  I’m digging it.  Think you will too.




True: this was the first woman I proposed to (settle down, I was high and in the pit of the Granada, she gave me a death glare from the stage when she saw me).

Also true: a couple years later I actually met her backstage in K.C. and we had a short conversation. She was at her professional apex (when today’s song was out) and I just became a Trojan officially.  She was the first ‘star’ I ever met and could have justifiably treated me any kind of way.  Couldn’t have been nicer and gave me her information (again, settle down, all business).  I tell you this to say professionally speaking,  she set the standard in terms of no matter how high or low I go on the status totem pole, be respectful to ‘the little people’ and stay grounded.

So on that note, enjoy!


My hometown is obviously still in a ‘house money’ phase, but even the national media seems to be cautiously optimistic we have a reasonable chance to see the Chiefs win their first playoff game since Joe Montana and Marcus Allen were in the backfield.

Yes.  It’s been that long.

Haven’t been to Arrowhead in a while so they might not still use this, but as a kid this was the pregame song. It doesn’t hurt that in my opinion, if you want to say the Stones were a better ‘band’ than the Beatles, this video is your exhibit A.

Go get em boys!

Have a good weekend!


MLB Photos: Kansas City Royals

KANSAS CITY, MO – JULY 10 : An aerial view of Kauffman Stadium before the 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star game between the American and National Leagues at Kauffman Stadium on July 10, 2012, in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by MLB Photos via Getty Images)

I had a few gentlemen’s bets of my own on the World Series that I won, so this was cool to see.

Well done, Mister Mayor.  Til Next Year…

NYC World Series Payoff!



For a variety of reasons, the past few years I’ve only been in two cities: Los Angeles and Kansas City.  The ‘Reclaiming My Damn Life World Tour’ finally gets back on track in about a month or so.  Even if it begins in a place I’ve been too often, I still haven’t made that four hour road trip in way too long.

Think I can finish my last ‘writing’ in the next four weeks.  So this is mood music in a number of ways.



Baseball is back, and for the first time in 30 years, the hometown team is defending the AL pennant.

Let’s not make it another 30 years, gentlemen.


Be Royal



No politics or anything overly serious today.

As I’ve commiserated with some of my friends who can relate, this is going to be one of those weeks when it would have been nice to be home.

Monday night, Chiefs at Arrowhead. Tuesday night, Royals hosting a playoff game.

In the words of the great Shannon Sharpe, ‘utterly ridiculous.’

In my lifetime (and quite possibly, maybe never) have the Chiefs and the Royals been in the postseason in the same calendar year.

We’re not talking about championships now; just being in the dance to fight for the title.

(taking a moment for my sports fan friends to shake their heads in pity…)

So yeah, Cleveland, Buffalo, and Minnesota get their well deserved ‘doomed sports city’ props, but being a Kansas City native is rarely peaches and cream, let me tell you.

The 1985 World Series, if I’m being honest, is definitely a memory, but one of those cloudy ones that’s more useful to me to haze my St. Louis friends than to reflect on in great detail.

I spent my fair share of nights in Kauffman/Royals Stadium growing up.  I’m not even sure why it’s here in California, but I have in front of me the picture of when my name was put on the Royals Jumbotron in middle school for making the honor roll. (And that’s definitely a Kansas City type of thing; I’m willing to take the odds that the New Yorks and the L.A.s just have way too many kids to do that specific type of hands on, community building stunts.)

I’ve referenced on how my love for wrestling was in part built on watching the Nature Boy Ric Flair with my grandfather down South as a child.  You know what else Superstation TBS showed all the time during the summer?  That’s right, Atlanta Braves baseball games.  My grandfather loved baseball.  I was too young to figure out why; it was just one of those things that I knew.  And the only time I know of that he came to Kansas City to visit, guess what was the highlight of the trip?  That’s right, the whole clan going to Kauffman to watch a game.  My grandfather wasn’t a natural smiler (remind you of anyone?), but my memory of that night was of him enjoying himself.  And I appreciated it at the time, don’t get me wrong, but now that I’m firmly in the middle generation of the family tree (and he and some of my aunts and uncles are no longer with us), that memory is really, really special and vivid now.  More so than any World Series if I’m being completely honest.

So while the Dodgers are my National League team (and Dodger Stadium is obviously really historical and a special experience of its own), my attachment to my hometown team and stadium is quite strong.  Now let’s hope it’s not another 30 years before we can take some kind of pride in them.

I believe the current marketing slogans respectively are: Be Royal. Chiefs Kingdom.

Should be a fun week.