Tag Archives: Anonomz

Profound Hip Hop Quote #44: Nobody’s Safe Chumps: Serious As a Heart Attack!

19 Nov

“I must stay focused and keep my mind open
The world’s mass confusion, there’s mad guns smoking
For punks trying to get respect and yearning
Mess around and catch a bad one from Erick Sermon”

—“Nobody’s Safe Chump” by EPMD

EPMDEPMD: Erick and Parrish Making Dollars was and still is one of my all-time favorite hip-hop duos.  It is all about the business with these guys who actually have an album scheduled to release in 2012.  However, being all about business often causes people to neglect other areas of their lives and may eventually present problems that “nobody’s safe” from: health issues.  Last Saturday, November 12, it was reported that Erick Sermon, of EPMD suffered from a heart attack.  Even though he is expected to recover, he is only in his early 40s and should not have to worry about having a heart attack.  This news comes shortly after the untimely death of Heavy D.

With these two incidents so close together and with both of them being fully aware of the  risk of being unhealthy, overweight or obese, I thought it would be good to reflect on how nobody’s safe from a heart attack, cancer, diabetes or any other ailment; however, there are so many steps that we can take to either lessen our chances of having a health problem or at least lessen the severity.  I’m no doctor, but it should be obvious that if you eat junk food regularly, do not exercise, smoke and drink excessively and even have toxic relationships, then you are increasing your chances of dying young or experiencing a painful death at the hands of a heart attack due to the decisions you are making.

Of course, it is difficult for many to be health nuts, but “you must stay focused and keep your mind open.”  I’ve never smoked, consumed alcohol or used drugs before; however, I have battled with junk food.  For the past few years, I’ve been on a serious health kick but allow myself to have pizza, a slice of cake or any of my other vices in moderation.  The issue for most is “out of sight out of mind.”  If our skin was translucent and we could see the damage we were doing to our organs and how we were damaging our bodies, I think more people would be more conscientious when it comes to their eating habits and willingness to live sedentary lifestyles with little to no physical activity. I know it certainly does help me when I think in those terms.

Having a heart attack has to cause “mass confusion.”  I do not know what Erick Sermon’s eating habits or lifestyle is, but he, as well as Parrish Smith are one of my favorite rap duos of all time.  I hope he uses this brush with death to promote healthy living so that his loyal fans will be able to enjoy the upcoming album.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Profound Hip Hop Quote #43: Tell Me The Way I Am

12 Nov

“And I am, whatever you say I am
If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?”

—“The Way I Am” by Eminem

Who and what dictates who you are?  Is it your actions, what you say, your appearance or what others say about you?  More than likely, it is a combination of all four.  Just because you may believe you are a nice person, does that make it so?  What have you done or said to demonstrate how nice of a person you are?  If others who know you well were asked to describe you, would they say that you are a nice person?

Released over a decade ago, Eminem’s song, “The Way I Am” is quite inflammatory as it addresses the issues that he has with the media’s perspective of him as a rapper and person.  Eminem might have controversial lyrics; however, those very same lyrics are usually quite profound.  In this instance, the actual chorus can be applied to anyone’s life. 

Most people would like others to have kind and positive words to say about who they are.  Nevertheless, is it necessary to care about how other people may perceive us to the point where we live our lives for them?  Do we sometimes allow the perceptions that people have about us to dictate our future behaviors: better known as the self-fulfilling prophecy.  For instance, are those mothers who tell their sons, “You ain’t nothin’ and ain’t never gonna be nothin’ just like your dead beat father” setting them up to actually be nothing because they believe they are what their mom’s say they are?

You are who you say you are, but be mindful of your actions, appearance and how you say what you say because it does play a significant role in how others will perceive you.  Also, do not allow the negative perceptions that people may have of you to dictate your journey in the future.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Profound Hip Hop Quote #42: He Had His Own Thang “RIP Heavy D”

9 Nov

“Don’t clock anybody, let them all clock you
Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you
Stay self-managed, self-kept, self-taught
Be your own man, don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought
Started with a pow and I’m going to end it with a bang
We’ve got our own thang”

—“We Got Our Own Thang” by Heavy D and the Boyz

Heavy D And The Boyz Dwight Myers…The Overweight lover…Heavy D!  If you grew up listening to rap music in the late 80s and 90s Heavy D. and the Boyz should have received some play in your tape deck or CD player. Promoting positive and fun-loving messages, this group was a breath of fresh air, and Heavy D. proved that overweight brothers had something to offer and could get down and dance with the best of them.

Upon hearing about Heavy D’s untimely death, in pensive mood, I thought about what made him and his lyrics so special.  Then it came to me.  The title of one of his very songs sums up what it was: “We Got Out Own Thang.”  During the early 90s gangsta rap started to become more prevalent and devastated the market of fun, light-hearted raps with uplifting messages.  Despite the shrinking fan base or potential promotion from record labels, artists such as Heavy D and the Boyz, Fresh Prince and Kid and Play kept going strong.  In “We Got Our Own Thang” Heavy emphatically wants listeners to be themselves and not succumb to others or fall victim to peer pressure.  “Don’t clock anybody; let them all clock you.  Don’t be down with anybody, let them all be down with you.”

Furthermore, Heavy addresses those who want to be nothing more than carbon copies of the originators as well as those who are willing to perpetuate false personae if the price is write.  Perhaps some present day  entertainers who call themselves “rappers” should take heed to this advice.  “Stay self-managed, self-kept, self taught.  Be your own man, don’t be borrowed, don’t be bought.”

Heavy D indeed did “start with a pow and end with a bang” and went on to be a quite successful record executive and actor.  It truly saddens me that Heavy D. and the Boyz have yet to receive praise during one of the Hip Hop Honors award shows.  Let’s not allow those other artists who have paid the way to go unacknowledged and then receive homage posthumously.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
Heavy D uses slang to drive his point homethe word “clock”  In this instance, it is similar to “jocking” or fawning over a person.

My Favorite Costume

31 Oct

Tanya H. Franklin HalloweenWhat did I want to be for Halloween?
I HAD a favorite costume
Every year the same concept, slightly modified.
I couldn’t wait to try it on.
One year, a cowboy…not a cowgirl.
I’ll take the trousers, not the skirt.
Another year, an Indian chief
No Pocahontas for me!
After that, let’s try half man half woman.
Watch their eyes widen when they see me comin’
Ain’t that somethin’

So fascinated with dressing up like a man
But can’t understand why.
Was I showing early signs of being transgender?
I remember always being called a “tomboy.”
Did I have a affinity towards the look of a man?
I can admit that I’ve always found comfort in loosely fit clothing.
Looking back now, I think I have a clue.
Too many people to count, even strangers,
Which makes it stranger…
Remark about how I resemble my dad from his features to his gestures,
But these gestures enhanced the mark of resentment
My father had for having a female child in his likeness
Like this was something I could control,
Told on occasions, “Stop lookin’ like me!”
How frightening it was
To feel unloved at times.

But instead of shoving me in the other direction
with hatred festering
I sought out a way to fulfill his dream,
Or so it seemed.
I mean…I gleamed with excitement
as I looked at my reflection
knowing that I’d get my dad’s affection
with me hair tucked under my hat,
I just knew he was gonna like that!
Checking out my painted on mustache
And thick side burns

Took me years to learn that all attempts would be abortive.
Though my mom seemed supportive…
Shaking her head…
“You look just like your dad!”

By Tanya H. Franklin aka Anonomz

Profound Hip Hop Quote #41: Drake Tickles My “Fancy”

29 Oct

“And you don’t do it for the man, men never notice
you just do it for yourself; you’re the f*%$^*g coldest
intelligent too ooh you’re my sweetheart
I’ve always liked my women book and street smart”

—“Fancy” by Drake featuring T.I. and Swiss Beats

DrakeWhy do people, specifically women, take painstaking measures to beautify themselves?  Of course, most people do like to look nice and uphold a certain image, but how much of that necessity or desire is for themselves, and how much of it is to be noticed by potential suitors or to keep the current love interest captivated?  The typical woman could spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars a month on hair, make-up, clothing, handbags and other accessories all in the name of looking good, or “fancy” if you will, but does all of this work really tickle the fancy of the typical man?

On Drake’s album Thank Me Later, his song “Fancy” briefly  addresses this issue.  No doubt, most men want a woman who takes pride in her appearance because it demonstrates that she cares about herself.  However, this interpretation may not always be accurate.  Some women do everything in accordance with what they think men or their man may want and may actually not be happy with themselves and lack self-esteem. Some women (and men) let themselves go because they have become too comfortable within the relationship, which could mean that it was always about looking good for their man or men in general, not for themselves.  Drake proclaims, “…you don’t do it for the man, men never notice…you just do it for yourself…”

Men want a woman who looks good because in actuality her fancy style might be what initially attracted him; however, most men who are serious about a woman will eventually be interested in her intellect.  A woman can have a beautiful outer shell or at least be able to create the illusion of having a beautiful outer shell with the hair, make-up, clothing and other accessories, but how long will that shell suffice?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
Drake uses slang to drive his point home about the “fancy” women
“you just do it for yourself; you’re the f*%$^*g coldest”
To refer to someone as the “coldest” could be interpreted as a person who is distant and unapproachable; however, it can also mean that the person is “cool,” which in this instance means the best!

Profound Hip Hop Quote #40 Head West When It All Falls Down!

22 Oct

“Man I promise, she’s so self conscious
She has no idea what she’s doing in college
That major that she majored in don’t make no money
But she won’t drop out, her parents will look at her funny”

—“All Falls Down” by Kanye West

Kanye WestWhy do people decide to go to college?  Is it now a necessity in order to be successful and achieve one’s dreams?  No doubt, I’m all for education, but decades ago, people could obtain their high school diplomas and fair well in the job market if academics was just not their strong suit.  Now, landing a good paying job without a college degree or a vocational trade would be considered an anomaly unless a person is starting his or her own business. As a result, there are an increasing amount of people who either recently graduated from high school or who have been laid off from their jobs enrolling in college when they are not necessarily academically prepared making it an uphill battle.  Of course, it is possible for people with determination to overcome their academic shortcomings in math and English and any other courses that may present hurdles. However, how many of them actually go the extra mile to jump those hurdles or even know what they need to do while in college?  How many know what they want to do after college or what it takes to be successful after completing college?

We have officially reached the halfway point at my college, and some students sadly do not take their college careers seriously and may be there simply because their parents made them or just because they don’t know how to be good students (focused, no procrastinating and organized, etc.). I genuinely care about all of my students and hope they will one day attain their goals, but this revelation about some students not being as invested in the learning process or the end result is nothing new.  It is the way it was when I was a college student too.  Nevertheless, this got me thinking about the first verse of Kanye West’s song “All Falls Down” from his freshmen album.

Going to college and sometimes working and having a family can be overwhelming and stressful to say the least.  That is why it is essential to plan accordingly so that it does not “all fall down,” or “when it all falls down” you are prepared to pick up the pieces and start again. If you “have no idea what your doing in college,” take some time to figure it out.  I always knew I wanted to be a teacher, but I’ve always had an affinity towards English and literature, so that was my major in undergrad.  Even though I’ve always been a diligent and hardworking student, I later learned that the “major I majored in don’t make no money.”  If only I had done the extensive research, I would have alleviated some stress and anxiety about landing my “dream” job.  Through my experience, I came to realize that money is not everything and that I am glad that I selected a major that allows me to teach and be immersed in a subject I am passionate about: English!

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Bonus English Lesson:
Kanye West uses a double negative which is common in slang and hip-hop dialect to stress his point and also utilizes the non-standard verb choice for third person plural not third person singular.  This method also minimizes the syllables for the rhythm of the line.
“That major she majored in don’t make no money.” (Twelve Syllables)
The standard English version would be, “That major she majored in doesn’t make any money.”  (Fourteen Syllables)

Profound Hip Hop Quote #39 Bound to “Miss” Spell

15 Oct

“I S-P-E-L-L very W-E-L-L
I only spell so all can T-E-L-L
Rhymes I got or write will S-E-L-L
For rappers who don’t believe me go to H-E-L-L.

—“Spellbound” by K-Solo

K-Solo SpellboundDo you know how to spell well?  Do you think it’s even necessary to know how to spell well? Really…there’s spell check, and most smart phones even auto fill the words for you, so you don’t have to even think about how to spell a word.  As an English professor, I am obviously biased and believe that it is not only important to know how to spell but an absolute necessity in more circumstances than people realize.

Yesterday, I was listening to a local news report on a woman who has been prosecuted for falsifying doctor’s notes and even a report claiming that she had terminal cancer in order to receive paid time off and to dupe the company and coworkers out of money to support her battle against “this so-called cancer.”  Low and behold, the woman was eventually caught because of the many misspellings and misused words in her “doctored” doctor’s notes.  Just imagine…if this woman knew how to spell she might have gotten away with this unsavory deception for quite a while longer.

Hearing this report got me thinking about the old school rap song by K-Solo, “Spellbound.”  What makes this song so profound is that he actually spells out some of the words in order to not only create a rhyme but to demonstrate his lyrical finesse.  How many people can honestly say they “S-P-E-L-L very W-E-L-L?” If you think spelling is not important, just ask people who read employment applications and resumes.  Companies receive hundreds and hundreds of applications and need to find ways to minimize the applicant pool.  One way is to get rid of those applicants who do not know how to spell well or who do not even take the time to proofread their spelling.  Think about the instances in your life when it is necessary to spell well or at least have the ability to double check your spelling for accuracy. Even if you do use spell check, that does not guarantee that you are spelling the word you want to use properly.

MisspellingThere are times when I have been to stores that have misspellings, and it drives me nuts.  We are all bound to misspell, but it is pertinent to think about the negative impression or possible confusion you may cause from your misspelling.  I took this picture of a local supermarket with a job opportunity. If I was interested in the position, I’d have some difficulties applying because there is no “Cutomer Service Desk.”

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
Even though spellbound is a creative rap, the rhyme technique is rather simplistic because it uses basic words to develop the rhyme pattern.  I’d love to hear a modern day spellbound rhyme with more complex vocabulary words.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #38 Like It’s My Last

8 Oct

“Now, I’mma fill this glass up like it’s my last
I’mma do, do it, like it’s my last
I’mma spend this cash up like it’s my last
And I’mma make it last, like it’s my last.

—“My Last” by Big Sean Featuring Chris Brown

Big Sean and Chris BrownWe’ve all heard the cliché phrase, “Live each day like it’s your last,” but what exactly does this mean?  The “gettin’ it in at the club song” “My Last” by Big Sean featuring Chris Brown focuses more on the party aspect, so the lyrics themselves are not necessarily profound. Nevertheless, the concept of celebrating each moment and coming to the realization that tomorrow or even the next moment is not promised is rather thought-provoking.

How many people have chosen to modify the old adage about today and tomorrow and say, “Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?”  Every few months or so, a new film hits the theaters or a television show airs focusing on the end of the world or of human kind.  This often gets people talking about how they would choose to spend their last days.  Sometimes, a major event occurs causing people to reevaluate their life choices and the direction they are headed.  When is the last time you thought about your last day alive? Or the last time you would be able to walk, talk, see or even breathe without the assistance of an oxygen tank?

People often associate the “last” with death, but there is so much in life that we take for granted.  Of course, no one necessarily knows the how, when, what and usually not the why, but what we all know death will happen at some point.  Conversely, most people do know know nor do they expect to go blind, to lose their basic cognitive thinking skills or mobility.  If you were aware of when your “last” was, would it in any way impact how you presently conduct yourself?

Regardless if a person is religious, spiritual, believes in God or not, each moment brings us closer to our last – not necessarily just our last breath. While some people’s ideal last days involve wild parties, drinking, getting high, wild sex and whatever else fancies them, others attempt to get their affairs in order by righting their wrongs, spending time with their loved ones and just enjoying the beauty of life.  The bottom line is that most people want their last moments to be ones of happiness.

Why do people take life for granted and assume that they have time?  Why aren’t more people living each moment like it’s their last?  Who knows???  Perhaps they are.

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
To demonstrate emphasis, rather than use words that rhyme, each line ends with “My Last.”  This is a practice that is common, especially in the chorus of a song.

Profound Hip Hop Quote #37: How Native is Your Tongue?

1 Oct

Two weeks ago, I posted a blog entry on A Tribe Called Quest to celebrate their documentary coming to DVD on October 18, and it got me thinking about the collection of positive-minded, “real-talk” rappers whose voices were prominent in the 1980s and 1990s: The Native Tongues.  Even though there are a sprinkling of artists presently doing their things who are on the same vibe, during the 80s and 90s is when they actually received consistent radio play and were able to get that positive message out there. So I thought, why not dedicate a post to reflecting on some of their profound quotes.

“Buddy” is a song that represents a few of the Native Tongue members.  Check it out!

  1. Black SheepBlack Sheep, “The Choice is Yours:” “You can get with this, or you can get with that.  I think you’ll get with this, for this is where it’s at.”
  2. Jungle Brothers, “Beyond This World” “Confused, no landing, no understanding.  But I knew not to give what life was demanding.  Found a new tab, thought I’d take a grab.  Tired of brothers who feign to backstab”
  3. De La Soul, “Stakes is High:” “Man life can get all up in your ass baby you betta work it out.  Let me tell you what it’s all about.  A skin not considered equal.  A meteor has more right than my people.  Who be wastin’ time screaming who they’ve hated.  That’s why the Native Tongues have officially been re-instated.”Jungle Brothers
  4. Queen Latifah, “U.N.I.T.Y.:” “Instinct leads me to another flow; Every time I hear a brother call a girl a bitch or a ho.  Trying to make a sister feel low.  You know all of that gots to go.”
  5. Leaders of the New School, “Understanding the Inner Mind’s Eye “Word is bond and I give my, Life before my word shall fall.  Do me a favor listen up y’all.  We got to activate social;  Activity for one common cause,  Cherish your mind or you will perish.
  6. Brand NubianBrand Nubian, “Wake Up:” You see, the answer to me is black unity .  Unification to help our bad situation
  7. A Tribe Called Quest, “Oh My God:” “Listen up everybody the bottom line.  I’m a black intellect, but unrefined; with precision like a bullet, target bound, just livin like a hooker, the harlett sounds.”De La Soul
  8. Monie Love, “It’s a Shame:”  “Get back on your feet please.  I’m beggin you to check out all your own needs.
  9. Large Professor, “It’s About That Time:”   “There’s a whole lotta rappers in the world today; Some good, there’s some that gotnothing to say, Some fake, some false, some imitation, But I’m the uncut raw for your generation.
  10. Fu-Schnickens, “Ring the Alarm  ” You can tell I’m a lyrical prophet from the words spoken and broken up.  In these books and scrolls that I unfold.  The knowledge I use does make me bold.  The intelligence in my system converts itself and becomes wisdom”Monie Love

The Limitations of not only ten songs but ten artists with ten specific lines from those selected those ten songs is no easy task; there’s so many more songs I could reference.  Who’s your favorite artist from the Native Tongues?   Please feel free to share.

All the best,

Anonomz aka Tanya H. Franklin

Profound Hip Hop Quote #36: Say Somethin’

24 Sep

“uhh, but I guess things change,
it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain,
when ya no longer involved that person has it all,
and you just stuck standing there…

—“Say Somethin'” by Timabaland featuring Drake

Timbaland & DrakeWhy does success change people: not just the people who become successful but sometimes the people who are around the people who attain success?  Perhaps the more appropriate query is are these people not really changing at all and simply experiencing a metamorphosis or just evolving into who they truly are meant to be?  For instance, does money really change people, or is it magnifying negative or positive traits that a person already possesses?  Even though Timabaland’s song featuring Drake, “Say Somethin'” addresses multiple topics, the actual hook to the song is one almost anyone can identify with.

In these particular lyrics, Drake exclaims, “…I guess things change.” To guess not only establishes uncertainty, but it also gives an impression that it is not necessarily what a person wants.  Change, especially with loved ones and those we expect to be there for us when we are successful is difficult to embrace.  Usually the change is one of negativity which reigns true in the following line, “it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain.”   Is it implausible for a person to not rejoice in another person’s happiness or success when his or her circumstances appear to be bleak?  It takes a strong and spiritually grounded individual to be able to remain supportive with authentic sincerity as he or she potentially struggles with  covertly coveting that person’s success or is envious and wondering why he or she has not reaped the same “harvest of triumph.”

As a result, some people remain involved with those who have attained success or are on their way to being “successful” in hopes that they will be rewarded, but something to remember is that person’s success is that person’s success.  Of course, no one reaches that zenith on his or her own without the help of someone or something; nevertheless, are you entitled to the status, respect and even money associated with someone else’s success just because you were there or are there?  Be supportive for the sake of being supportive, not because you want to catch the windfall associated with this person’s possible success.  Sometimes it’s imperative to evaluate who’s who and if they are there for you or what you can give them.  As painful as it may be, on occasion, you must leave the people “stuck standin’ there” when their only purpose of being affiliated with you is to feed off of your success.  There are those people who are steadily moving up the ladder of success and those left standing there, dormant and complaining about why everybody else is doing well…which one do you want to be?

Please feel free to share your thoughts.

~Anonomz aka Tanya Harris

Bonus English Lesson:
In these particular lyrics, Drake employs a slant rhyme using assonance.  This means the vowel sound is the prominent rhyme feature.

“uhh, but I guess things change,
it’s funny how someone else’s success brings pain”

The “ge” in change and the “n” sound in pain do not rhyme, but the long vowel sound for the letter “a” does.