My First (Real) Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Class

So, I won’t lie, son. On the real, I love fighting, man. Now, I haven’t been in a real fight in years, but I still need that type of aggression, fam. Shit, I grew up doing Taekwondo, I’ve boxed, I’ve done Muay ThaiJeet Kune Do and general MMA. Needless to say, I’m semi-addicted to pain, bruh. In any case, last night was a first for me. Last night was the first time I took a real Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class. All in all, I’m still processing my experience, brethren.

Ok, to be clear, last night was not the first time I’ve rolled. Shit, thanks to previous MMA classes, I’ve had the pleasure of putting someone in and being put into a rear-naked choke and an armbar. However, those experiences didn’t necessarily prepare me for a full hour and a half of BJJ, son. Frankly, despite my years of martial arts training, I’ve learned that I don’t know shit upon shit about fighting on the ground, man.

Now, before I continue, I have to give a major shout-out to Babs Olusanmokun. The actor/BJJ black belt runs Babs BJJ out of Phil Nurse‘s The Wat school in lower Manhattan. Side bar, I have to give another shout-out to my wife for finding this school, fam. Keeping it a buck, she’s the real MVP, bruh. Anyway, since the spot is only a few blocks away from my job, I figured I’d give a class a test spin, son. All I know is, I wasn’t exactly prepared for this shit, man.

In any case, the class went as follows: I first learned to shrimp, followed by front rolls and back rolls. From there, I learned how to do the technical stand-up. Next, I learned the basics of the triangle choke. After that, I spent the majority of the class drilling kimuras with other white belts. Side bar, one of the white belts had one stripe and the other had three stripes. Meaning, we were not the same, fam. Frankly, both of those dudes could fuck me up, bruh. It just is what it is.

Moving on, I was involved in all of the activities until it came time to roll. Babs knew that I would get mangled if I got my ass down there, son. Instead, I just watched and came to the realization that a 5’5″ woman with a blue belt could choke the fuckity-fuck out of me, man. All I can say is, it was a very humbling experience, fam.

In the end, I’m still trying to process it all, bruh. Hell, look at my face in that above picture, son. Ultimately, that’s the face of a dude who got his innocence took, man. By and by, I’m pretty sure I’ll go back, fam. At the end of the day, I just need my knees to cooperate with me, brethren. The truth is, it’ll be easy as fuck for someone to double leg me if I don’t get lower to the ground. But, I only have one life and I need to try everything, people. That is all. LC out.

P.S. Someone tell my boy Fabo that I’m renigging on my word to roll with him. Son, I ain’t ready for that type of smoke. Talk to me in a year, man. Good day.

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Little Brother’s Back!

So, I won’t lie, son. On the real, I’m having a hard time containing my excitement, man. Seriously, Little Brother is one of my favorite groups ever, fam. Like, EVER, bruh! If I’m being honest, PhonteRapper Big Pooh and 9th Wonder completely changed the way I thought music could be made. With that being said, even without 9th’s production, I’m fucking HYPED that they dropped a new album, brethren!

Ok, before I continue, let me take a trip down memory lane. Now, I started rapping when I was 15 years old. Back then, all of my lyrics were littered with copious amounts of Bronx shenanigans. Real talk, some of the tomfoolery I rapped about where things I’ve done. However, a lot of it was just fuckery that I saw around my neighborhood. Basically, I embodied my entire block, regardless of whether or not it was my individual story.

Fast forward to 2003, my life changed, son. Now, in February of that year, Little Brother dropped their debut album, The Listening. As a 17-year-old dude, I was blown away by the record, man. Frankly, I didn’t know a rapper could rhyme about shit like that, fam. I didn’t know that a rapper could speak about the everyday struggle of hating a job, paying child support or shitting on poetry slams. Keeping it a buck, a lot of Rap music only embraced the “gangsta” aesthetic. So, it wasn’t until Little Brother, and later Kanye West, that I realized an artist could wholly live their truth, bruh.

Now, as many fans know by now, the group went through a lot of upheaval over the years. They dropped two more albums (sans 9th Wonder), beefed publicly and then went on with their respective careers. Side note, I’m not the biggest fan of their Leftback album, but Getback was fucking great, son. I don’t give a fuck what anyone says, man. In any case, I never thought they would ever release more music as a collective, fam. Thankfully, I was over-fucking-joyed to listen to their new May the Lord Watch album.

Look, to be clear, 9th isn’t on the album. Yeah, it’s disappointing, but honestly, the project is fucking great without him, bruh. First, Phonte and Pooh recruited producers like Khrysis and Nottz, who are both part of 9th’s Jamla Records and his Soul Council production team. In addition, the group got producers like Focus… and Black Milk to keep their distinctive sound alive, son. The point is, this project is cohesive as shit and the skits are fucking hilarious, man. Like, they brought back a bunch of themes from their The Minstrel Show album, such as Joe Scudda in blackface, Percy Miracles and Roy Lee. All in all, this shit is gold for a diehard fan like me, fam.

In the end, I could keep on going, bruh. But, everyone should just go listen to the album, son. Ultimately, I couldn’t have asked for a better project from them, man. By and by, it would’ve been great to have 9th on the record, but I don’t think it takes away from the music, fam. Also, I’m pretty sure 9th was busy finishing up Rapsody‘s Eve album. At the end of the day, this album just put a new battery in my back, bruh. Hell, I feel like making a new song right now, people. That is all. LC out.

P.S. If anyone doubts my Little Brother fandom, just take a listen to “The World Is Mine” on my The Charlemagne Renaissance album. Fam, I literally have lyrics that say “I’m just tryna navigate through a cold game, and sell a mil as Phonte with a gold chain.” The point is, I fucking love these dudes, son! Good day.

Why I’m Not Happy About Daniel Pantaleo’s Firing

So, here we are, son. Five years after the murder of Eric Garner, the officer who killed him, Daniel Pantaleo, was fired by the NYPD. Now, because of this decision, I’m seeing certain factions of people celebrate on social media. However, I don’t really feel good about this, man. I mean, yeah, it’s great that Pantaleo was fired. But, that’s not enough, fam. The way I see it, if there was enough cause to fire him, there was enough cause to indict him, bruh.

Ok, keeping it a buck, the first paragraph should speak for itself, son. Basically, after a department trial, killer cop Pantaleo was relieved of his duties. Anyway, according to the presiding judge, Pantaleo’s “use of a chokehold fell so far short of objective reasonableness that this tribunal found it to be reckless — a gross deviation from the standard of conduct established for a New York City police officer.” Essentially, he got canned for murder without actually facing charges for murder.

Now, therein lies the cotdamn problem, man. The fact is, folks can agree that Pantaleo fucked up, but no one will seem to give that asshole any prison time. First, back in 2014, the Staten Island courts refused to bring an indictment against him. Fast forward to this year, the Department of Justice, excuse me, Attorney General William Barr, failed to bring any federal charges against Pantaleo. In the interim, the Garner family reached a $5.9 million settlement with the City of New York and Pantaleo lost his job. So, there was enough reason to give them money and take his pension, but not enough to put his fucking ass behind bars? Nah, fam, miss me with all of that bullshit.

The truth is, this isn’t justice, bruh. Seriously, all we want is accountability. Like, Pantaleo can eventually get another occupation, son. The Garner family can’t get another Eric, man. Frankly, a few million dollars won’t fill the hole of a dead family member, fam. So, I feel like all of this is a slap in the face, folks. It’s on some “yeah, we know he killed him, but, this is all we’re offering” type of shit, brethren. All in all, I don’t feel like it’s nearly enough, people.

In the end, I know it’s a better situation that Pantaleo is out of a job. But, his punishment should’ve been waaaaaay worse, son. Ultimately, he killed an innocent man before our eyes and he’s basically getting a tap on the wrist, fam. By and by, all we ever ask for is justice, bruh. At the end of the day, the powers that be always make it clear that they don’t intend on holding up their end of the bargain. That is all. LC out.

The New & Improved JTW FIT

So, here’s the deal, son. My boys Jahkeen Washington and Thomas Boatswain are top-notch trainers that run JTW FIT. For a number of years, they’ve provided affordable and high-level fitness classes to folks in the Harlem area. Well, after years of operating out of another location, they’re officially opening their own studio. Needless to say, if anyone is in the vicinity of NYC, then go break a sweat, man.

Now, the studio is a couple of weeks away from its grand opening. So, in the meantime, everyone should first follow @jtwfit on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Next, hit up jtwfit@gmail.com and join their mailing list, fam. Lastly, download the MINDBODY app and get in on these deals, bruh. Look, for the rest of August, the squad is offering some dope presale deals. Namely, $15 for the first class, $210 for a 10-class pass and $200 for unlimited classes over 30 days. On top of that, as of yesterday, they’ve dropped their official class schedule.

In the end, what else needs to be said, son? Ultimately, folks need to go get this workout in. In any case, the fitness studio will be located at 2235 Adam Clayton Powell Junior Boulevard, New York, NY 10027. By and by, folks will probably see me in there boxing on Thursday’s and Saturday’s. But, they’ve got the weights on deck, the row machines on deck and trainers that take pride in this shit. So, get to it, man! That is all. LC out.

P.S. My brother Kofi Ofori-Ansah from SOTBG (www.sotbglife.com) will also be training clients out of the studio. So, support all of my brethren, son. They all know what the fuck they’re doing, man. Good day.

Trump Is As Much Of An Immigrant As The Freshman Congresswomen

So, here we are again, son. Another day, another preposterous Twitter rant from Donald Trump. Anyway, in a random stream of consciousness, Trump tweeted that progressive Democratic congresswomen should “fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” before telling the United States how to govern. All I know is, I don’t even know where to begin with the fuckery, man.

Ok, before I continue, I’d like to go through Trump’s family tree. On the real, I feel like this is necessary in order to showcase how ridiculous his comments were. Now, for those who are unaware, Trump’s mother, Mary Anne Trump, was an immigrant. In fact, she was born in Scotland in 1912. In addition, his father, Fred Trump, was a first generation American who was born to German parents. Furthermore, Trump’s first AND third wives were both born outside of this country. With all of that being said, his views on immigrants are fucking perplexing, fam. I mean, his entire lineage is full of “aliens,” bruh.

Moving on, let’s talk about the congresswomen who Trump essentially targeted. First, there’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She was born in The Bronx, New York to Puerto Rican parents. This makes her a first generation American. Next, there’s Rashida Tlaib. She was born in Detroit, Michigan to Palestinian parents. This also makes her a first generation American. Next, there’s Ayanna Pressley. She was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, unless I’m wrong, her folks weren’t even immigrants at all, son (well, they were, but you know what I mean). Finally, there’s Ilhan Omar. Real talk, she’s the only one who was born out of the country, hailing from Somalia. The point is, the ancestry of most of these women has as many foreigners as Trump, man. So, what is the hate really about, fam?

Look, let’s just call a spade a spade, bruh. The truth is, immigrants are only vilified when they’re Black or Brown, son. Keeping it a buck, the motivation that caused Trump to question Barack Obama‘s birthplace is the same motivation that caused him to attack these congresswomen. The fact is, these ladies are just as American as Trump and anybody else who decides to question them. Listen, political disagreements are one thing. However, belittling someone’s patriotism and devaluing their place in this country is completely different, man. The way I see, people of color are always viewed as “invaders,” regardless of our strong ties to this nation.

In the end, I’m not even going to pretend like I’m surprised, fam. Like, I almost skipped this subject entirely, bruh. Hell, water is wet and Donald Trump says racist shit. What’s new, son? Ultimately, 45 showed us who he was a loooooooong time ago, man. At the end of the day, we just need to keep pushing back until we finally push him out, fam. That is all. LC out.

R. Kelly Is Looking At Fed Time

So, let’s just skip the formalities, son. Frankly, R. Kelly is in a world of shit, man. I mean, when the Feds get involved with an investigation, it’s most likely the end of the road for whoever, fam. With that being said, I’m super interested to see how this situation is going to play out, bruh. All in all, if dude is convicted of these crimes, he’s probably going away for a looooong time.

Ok, for those who missed it, Kelly was arrested (again) in Chicago on Thursday night. Now, if we’re being real, he’s no stranger to the authorities, son. However, this scenario is notable because of who picked him up, man. Essentially, Homeland Security and the NYPD teamed up to apprehend Kelly. In any case, once arrested, he was indicted on 13 counts of child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. Basically, he got hemmed up for the shit we knew he was doing for decades, fam.

Now, I won’t lie, bruh. Shit, my opinion about Kelly is no secret, son. Hell, I’ve lost count of how many articles I’ve written just shitting on that dude, man. Anyway, I do wonder how this case will be different, fam. Like, Chicago police have tried to take this dude down before, folks. All I know is, if Sparkle‘s niece’s family didn’t make a deal with the Devil, Kelly would’ve been stopped years ago. Moving on, I’d really like to know what evidence the authorities have this time. The way I see it, with the Feds jumping in, they must feel like they can wrap this dude the fuck up, brethren. In my eyes, it’s long overdue, people.

In the end, good luck to R. Kelly, son. Siiiiiiike, I hope they throw that bum under all of the jails, man. Ultimately, his day of reckoning HAS to come, fam. By and by, he’s abused WAY too many girls to keep on skating, bruh. At the end of the day, a (hilarious) convo with Gayle King couldn’t save him, brethren. All I can say is, he better start preparing for those prison talent shows, folks. That is all. LC out.

I Don’t Want To Watch ‘When They See Us’

So, I want to take this time to be honest, son. On the real, I haven’t watched Ava DuVernay‘s When They See Us yet. Frankly, my spirit can’t take it, man. Like, the Central Park Five case makes me mad, fam. I mean, REALLY mad, bruh. Shit, my wife damn near had to force me to watch Ken Burns‘ documentary, y’all. The fact is, so many things that minorities fear about the justice system are wrapped up in this case, people. All in all, New York City stole the youth of five innocent men.

Now, before I continue, let me say that I’m not going to explain the entire case here. Hell, that’s what DuVernay’s Netflix series is for, son. However, I just want to touch on some of the shenanigans that caused these young men to lose themselves. First, there are the “confessions.” Real talk, the police department put the fear of God in a group of teenagers, man. The truth is, the cops scared a bunch of Black kids into admitting to a crime they flatly didn’t commit.

From there, the prosecutor, Linda Fairstein, did her best to railroad these young men. Despite the fact their “confessions” didn’t add up, she fucked them. Despite the fact they had alibis, she fucked them. Despite the fact their DNA didn’t match the culprit, the District Attorney‘s office STILL burned them at the stake. To make matters worse, even after Matias Reyes, the real rapist, admitted to the crime, authorities CONTINUE to claim the Central Park Five were responsible. Look, Reyes’ DNA proved he was the offender, yet Fairstein and company REFUSE to acknowledge the truth. Side note, don’t get me started on Donald Trump and all of his racist “bring back the death penalty” bullshit. All I know is, this case makes my soul hurt, fam.

In the end, I do believe everyone should watch this series, bruh. Ultimately, I’ll most likely end up watching it too. By and by, I just need to mentally prepare myself, son. At the end of the day, these are the perils that people of color have to deal with in this country, man. *Sigh* It’s just incredibly draining to constantly go through the nonsense, fam. That is all. LC out.

P.S. New Yorkers have plenty of reasons to shit on Bill de Blasio, but at least he gave the Central Park Five their money, bruh. Keeping it a buck, Michael Bloomberg is permanently on my shit list for fighting that settlement, son. Good day.