Hip Hop

Ryan Lucas: I Want Her Back - Album Review

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...While rap music famously thrives on cliche harmonies and indistinguishable lyricism, Hip-Hop has found its next emerging leader of the new school: Ryan Lucas. His latest album, I Want Her Back, is refreshing, engaging, and thorough.

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Chock-full with winding samples and infectious percussion, Ryan Lucas sends the average listener on a journey we all usually seek when listening to an album. With braggadocious lyricism, Ryan provides substantive and introspective lyrics that are reminiscent of Kanye’s College Dropout or Late Registration. But Ryan’s I Want Her Back, though indie, conveys a more expansive and enterprising message: the power of one can champion the masses.

When listening to other Ryan Lucas projects, one is usually taken on trips of nostalgia, I Want Her Back finds Ryan settling into his pocket. Instead of looking inside for answers, he's looking out to the world and emphasizing the need for love. When he raps, “Today real love seems so archaic, but I take it back in the day on some RK status” on “Damn Love,” it's obvious Ryan is on a pilgrimage to put love back at the center of rap and it’s craft. Ryan’s choice of production and producer reinforce that same belief.

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Here, Ryan segways between the 808, boom-bap and winding old school 70s sample to articulate his love of both music and Blackness. This is evident when he raps, “For centuries Africans denied liberation, they mask our importance with false education” In “Bo Jackson,” he pens a song of liberation and solidarity for those across the African diaspora as the hook’s singers, KoraTheArtist and Reel, match his sentiment with “I’m gonna be all that I can be.” Other notable tracks are “AfroCool” + “All I Want” + “Love is Here.”

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Ryan Lucas’ artistry is reminiscent of Kanye in the early 2000s. His lyricism demonstrates the same hunger, passion, and vitality that would make any audience clamor to the stage to join in a chant of support and dance. I Want Her Back can be interpreted as a metaphor for desiring an ex-lover, but also serves as a metaphor for his admiration and unrequited love for Hip-Hop. She, seemingly elusive, is one who he can’t let get away. And with musicians of Ryan’s elk on the rise––especially those with a deep passion for African people, rhythms and sounds––it’s safe to say that he isn’t letting hip-hop drift away any longer.

If you’re looking for something to drive to, or chill out with the bae with - heck, even spark the revolution to - this album is just is what you need. Follow Ryan Lucas on twitter and listen to him on Soundcloud. Ryan Lucas’, The DC Gentlemen, I Want Her Back is out now on iTunes.

...Trust me, this is an album every true hip-hop head needs to hear.

Cropped Avi | Tyreebp
Cropped Avi | Tyreebp

I am a man on a mission! As a writer, I expound on Black culture from a millennial perspective and unite and empower marginalized communities through journalism and social media. A Master’s in African American Studies, I’m also the creator of The Corner, a one-hour student run weekly radio at Temple University. Follow me on Twitter: @Tyreebp..

#TrustTheProcess | 2015: a Year in Review

...If you follow me on social media, you’ve probably seen me post the now infamous hashtag, #TrustTheProcess. This process began in 2014 when a still small voice told me not to pursue my doctoral studies on the East Coast and, instead, to come back home to Los Angeles to be with my Grandmother. After coming home, I saw just how much the process needed to be trusted as I found myself unable to find gainful full-time work, living on my Grandmother's couch,  and working part-time, making $9.25/hour at my local YMCA, even with a master's degree. Although 2015 had its ebbs and flows, I have plenty good news to share and want to chronicle the months to show you just how much has transpired over the last year.

Here's my recap of how I trusted the process in 2015:

March

https://soundcloud.com/tyreebp/thecut-podcast-sae-the-pwi-problem-makiahisms

In March of 2015, I started my first podcast entitled the #TheCut  with the support of my lovely girlfriend, Makiah. I also wrote what would become one of my most popular blog posts: On Mo’ne, SAE, & The Burden of Black Forgiveness, which was shared by my professional role model, Marc Lamont Hill! #TrustTheProcess

April

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In April, I was invited by Huffington Post Black Voices  to become a blogger and contributor for their site! Being excited from the responses to my writing, I decided educate Raven Symone on the importance of knowing what continent you come from in 5 things Raven-Symonè Still Doesn’t Know About Africa | List. #TrustTheProcess

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May

In May, I wrote my most poignant essay entitled, The Theology of Black Unrest. Though it wasn't as widely circulated as I originally anticipated, it allowed me to grapple with how my faith informs the rising social unrest in cities like Baltimore and Ferguson and the #BlackLivesMatter movement. #TrustTheProcess

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June

In June, I still found myself working diligently at the YMCA part-time. While there, I was configuring ways to use my writing as an outlet to chime in on cultural matters while still looking for full-time work.

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Shortly afterward,  I was inspired to write about Rachel Dolezal on Huffington Post in a essay called: Post Rachel: 5 Things Rachel Dolezal Taught us About Race. In the same month, I also was featured on MadameNoir's #AskABlackManLA video shoot (dropping in 2016). During the same month, I also got to meet a major inspiration of mine, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill at Th BET's Experience Genius Talks. It was quite clear that the process was being trusted and I was right where I needed to be. #TrustTheProcess

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July

In July, I wrote my next piece,The Color of Hatred, an essay surrounding the failure of the media to portray the humanity of the nine African-Americans killed in the Charleston attack.

Shortly after writing this piece, I was unexpectedly invited to become an Adjunct Professor at Pacific Oaks College to teach Race + Culture courses.

In the same month, while working on a fellowship application, my Macbook was stolen at my local Starbucks.:( Primed by friends to start a GoFundMe to raise donations for a new one, I created #TheBounceBack Campaign, and by the grace of numerous friends and loved ones, I raised enough money to buy a BRAND NEW laptop! #TrustTheProcess

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August

On a high from July, I was even more excited about August 2015! As I made preparations to begin teaching at Pacific Oaks, I received an opportunity to host a screening of Ava Duvernay's Selma at the California African American Museum.

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Shortly after that,  I was invited to attend Amnesty International's Human Rights Leadership Conference in St. Louis. While there, I went to Ferguson to support the activism surrounding Michael Brown, who had been murdered a year prior. #TrustTheProcess

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Upon my arrival in California, I was invited to teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills Africana Studies Department, and by the grace of God, was finally able to resign from the YMCA! #TrustTheProcess

September

September of 2015 was even crazier in relationship to the process! As the beginning of the quarter started at both CSUDH & Pacific Oaks, I wrote Dashikis and Face Paint: Decolonizing The African Cultural Line. This essay was so popular, it became the top post in the country on Huffington Post Black Voices. And graciously, because of that essay, I was then invited for an  interview on Philadelphia's 900AM WURD. #TrustTheProcess

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WURDFM Radio Interview - September

October

In October, I hit more of a stride regarding my process. Inspired by Ta-Nehisi Coates' Book Between The World and Me and the classes I was teaching,I decided to create a book club for Black millennials called #BarnesAndNobleAndChill.

 

Then, I was randomly was named a Herb Carter & Yvonne Braithwaite-Burke Distinguished Lecturer of CSUDH, where I gave the first public lecture of my career, On Dashikis and Face Paint: Decolonizing the African Cultural Line, based on my article.#TrustTheProcess

November

November was even more turnt! Inspired from reading and teaching about Harold Cruse and pluralism in my classes, I decided to challenge myself to model economic solidarity in my community. So, after a discussion with my  wonderful girlfriend,  Makiah, we decided to create a list to support Black businesses in Los Angeles: 15 Black Businesses for Black Friday in L.A.

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Because of that list, I was invited for an interview in the The Wave newspaper regarding the power of Black businesses. #TrustTheProcess

December

As the year came to a close, I  decided that addition work was needed to further advance Black culture in LA. After approaching the Executive Director of CAAM, I created the museum's first Millennial Advisory Council. 

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While visiting the memorial for Nicholas Robertson,  a young man who was senselessly murdered by the LA County Sheriff's in Lynwood, I was interviewed by the New York Times regarding #BlackLivesMatter and the unjust treatment of Black people by the Los Angeles Police Department. And last but not least, I was interviewed by 2Urban Girls  regarding my thoughts on the plight of minority students in higher education. #TrustTheProcess

In Conclusion....

2015 has been quite the year. Not only did I find growth in trusting the process, I found strength. This year was not easy, but it was worth it and I've learned significant lessons along the way. For all those who find themselves in the middle of a difficult process, I encourage you to keep trusting and never give up!

If this was 2015, I can't imagine what the process has for me in 2016!

#TrustTheProcess

#TrustTheProcess Ep. 1

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YSZ5sI9ONt8

Follow a day in the life w/ Tyree!

In this episode (the first of many ) I travel across Los Angeles on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Both, to stop in to serve at my local Church and meet up with friends along the way.  I'm doing  this new series, to show you guys just how I 'Trust the process' after Grad School.

Disclaimer: It's pretty EPIC!

#TrustTheProcess.

Is Kendrick Lamar's "i" The New Kumbaya?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aShfolR6w8  

After nearly two years of hiatus, Compton's very own Kendrick Lamar came out of hiding with a new Isley inspired single, entitled "i". And I have to say, it couldn't of come at a better time.

In "i",  Kendrick Lamar convincingly gives an antidote to what he sees ailing the world. He does so by charismatically harmonizing (as only he can) over an infectious chorus iterating the importance of loving one's self. All very timely, in the wake of Ferguson and the civic distress found around the world.

Like many listeners, I wasn't anticipating such an optimistic sound from Mr. Lamar - especially one about self love. But I have an inkling as to where Mr. Lamar maybe coming from. Now, before Mr. Lamar's concept of self love gets co-opted into something entirely different, here is a what Self Love means. Self love originally was a Black Power concept (Huey P. Newton, Malcom X, etc.) championed by leaders about the importance of self admiration and collective identity. All of which raised consciousness, self esteem, and activism in light of what was happening during the 60's ( hence the activist in the beginning of the song).

Are you saying 'i' is the new Kumbaya?"

...Now, I know what you are thinking? Tyree, are you saying 'i' is the new Kumbaya? Or even drawing parallels to Public Enemy's Fight The Power because of the social activist references? Yes; seeing how the song does entreat the listener to have higher admiration for them self and a radical identity reflective of the 60's. But irrespective of my quirky musical and historical associations, Kendrick Lamar's "i" put's love at the center - and that's something none of us can argue with.

Kudos to you, Mr. Lamar.

 

MUSIC REVIEW | Anomaly: Lecrae's #1 Album on Billboard

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Last week, I promised my 1200+ twitter followers that I would discuss one of Hip-hop's newest emerging acts, Lecrae and his album Anomaly.

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In this entertaining video I share why #Anomaly is Lecrae's best album yet and why it deserves your attention.

Some of the highlights of the album were:

Maturity

Lyrical Content and Versatility

Beats 

Transparency

My Score: 5/5

The 5 Standout songs

Timepieces

Dirty water

Runners

All I need is you

Messengers

Purchase Anomaly: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/ano...

What did you think of Anomaly?

The Corner: Episode 11| Nommo /Spoken Word

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When words collide!

Listen to this past week's show with one of Temple's finest spoken word artist's, AADS Doctoral Student, Christopher Roberts! Listen here to him blaze the Mic..

" ...Whips and Chains, Whips AND Chains..." 

The Corner: Ep. 10| What's The Word?!

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Ep.10 was AWESOME! Poetry, lovely discussion and my favorite cuts.. I could get used to this. ;)

..We are the CORNER; the intersection of two points.

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An Invite from the White House...

.. So what would you do if I told you I got past White House clearance and was 60 feet away from the President of the free world?

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Well, that's sort of how it went...

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I must admit, when the President first entered the room there seemed to be an electricity that spanned across the auditorium as a number of dignitaries entered and sat down quickly.

Obama went into detail about his passion for My Brother's Keeper initiative and the broadening of the Health Care system. The President also went into great detail about Voter ID laws and how access to the ballot is inextricably bound to the Civil Rights Act that we are currently commemorating its 50th year.

Obama stated that "The right to vote is threatened today in a way that it has not been since the Voting Rights Act became law nearly five decades ago,". Most of the President's critique were against his Republican contemporaries and their attempts to set further restrictions against voters, some of which only reflect the bi-partisan interests.

However, against such restrictions, Obama encouraged everyone in the room that they still have a duty to participate. Without participation, "we give our power away" by becoming discouraged and staying home on Election Day.

Go out there and vote. You can make a change. You do have the power - Barack Obama

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"Go out there and vote. You can make a change. You do have the power," he said. "I've had my last election, but I need you to make sure that the changes that we started continue for decades to come."

These remarks were certainly powerful and inspiring.

What an amazing experience covering the 44th President of the United States of America.

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The Corner: Episode 8 | What's Love got to do with It?

..Did you miss The Corner's show last week. Don't worry we gotcha!

On the show we discussed:

- A World premiere of the show's new Intro
- A New Segment with Melanie called "Mel Tells"
- What is Love?
- & Our April Def Poetry Jam
 

We are #TheCorner

https://soundcloud.com/the-corner-radio/sets/the-corner-episode-8

The Corner: Episode 7| New and Improved

..Did you miss "The Corner" yesterday?

..Don't worry, we gotcha! We had a fiery show with a lot of great dialogue, loud arguments, and lots of jokes. We discussed:

- TU Alerts - An interview with #RenewTU; Temple's newest TSG candidates - Nick Canonn's Caucasian conversion - & Kobe Bryant's controversial Trayvon Martin comments

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We are #TheCorner 📻

The Corner: Episode 6 | ”Would you do different?”

|| Listen to this week's show NOW ||

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- Well Behaved Women Seldom Make History: Women's History

- Is Chris Brown the Lindsey Lohan of Hip Hop?

- Mental Disorders within the Black Community

#TheCorner

 

The Corner| Episode 5: This is How We Do It!

https://soundcloud.com/the-corner-radio/sets/the-corner-episode-5-this-is This week, #TheCorner was hot! We went to task on a range of topics ..

Hope you enjoy and look out for us next week!

 

The Corner Radio

 

The Corner Episode 4: What is America So Afraid of?

Missed this weekend’s show?  Well here you are. https://soundcloud.com/the-corner-radio/sets/the-corner-ep-4-what-is

This week we discussed  "What Is America So Afraid Of? Some of the topics were..

  •  Introduction | Why is Pharrell So Amazing!| Natural Hair Community at Temple Univ.
  •  Jeopardy & Why Black Hisory is Awkward for White People
  • What is America So Afraid of : Michael Dunn, Jordan Davis & Stand Your Ground
  • Shoutouts| Beautiful Poem from Claude Mckay

Hope you enjoy and look out for us in a few weeks!

 

The Corner Radio

The Corner Episode 3: The State of Hip Hop w/ Professor Timothy Welbeck

https://soundcloud.com/the-corner-radio/sets/the-corner-episode-3-the-state  

Missed this weekend's show? Well here you are.

This week we discussed the State of Hip Hop with Temple Universities own, Professor Timothy Welbeck , Professor of the course of Hip Hopcrisy: Hip Hop & Black Culture. Professor Welbeck and I went into detail about these topics:

  • Nicki Minaj’s new controversial single and her use of  Malcom X on it's over
  •  Is Hip Hop considered apart of  Black History?
  • Hip Hop: Origins, Future, Faith
  • &  Is Hip Hop still a voice  for the voiceless?

Hope you enjoy and look out for us next week!