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A Defensive Stance

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August 2016

The Unwarranted Backlash of Colin Kaepernick

Recently, quarterback Colin Kaepernick has received  backlash for his recent decision to not stand up during the National Anthem.  Many athletes have voiced their support and others voiced their disdain with his decision. When asked why he chose not to stand, Kaepernick stated

Image result for colin kaepernick sitting pledge

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color” Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

I love when athletes and people with a platform use that platform to bring light to problems in the African American Community.  Many people took offense , saying that this decision was “unpatriotic” and  that Kaepernick was spitting in the face of veterans. Ironically, Kaepernick addresses this in the same interview, stating:

“I have great respect for men and women that have fought for this country. I have family, I have friends that have gone and fought for this country.
They fight for freedom. They fight for the people, they fight for liberty and justice for everyone. And that’s not happening.
People are dying in vain because this country isn’t holding their end of the bargain up, as far as giving freedom and justice, liberty to everybody. It’s something that’s not happening.
I’ve seen videos. I’ve seen circumstances where men and women that have been in the military have come back and been treated unjustly by the country they fought for and have been murdered by the country they fought for, on our land. That’s not right.”

It’s always interesting when athletes address issues and actually want to be seen as individuals with opinions on issues, people will try to silence them. It is very disheartening when African Americans try to speak up , people will do everything to discredit or diverge from the problem instead of looking for solutions to these problems.  Our Military and veterans fight for our right to have free speech and that is exactly what Kaepernick did.  It infuriates me when people actually stand up for equality people will try to silence them , but this isn’t surprising.  In recent years when African Americans say “Black Lives Matter” people are so quick to say “All Lives Matter”. This just shows how ignorant you are. The same things that Muhammad Ali were praised for , Kaepernick is being prosecuted for , it just shows me the insincere love for black athletes. It is not a hard concept to understand, African Americans are tired of being treated worse than other American citizens. “Liberty and Justice for all”  is not being afforded to all citizens and police brutality has gotten worse year by year.  You do not have to stand for the national anthem or pledge of alliance.  You can be angry or mad but Kaepernick did not break any laws.  It is Colin’s 1st amendment right to not want to stand and speak out , the same thing veterans fight for.  There will always be someone that says something you do not like or agree with but that is their right to voice their opinion.

I have the upmost respect for veterans, but I do not understand how people  are angry at Colin for speaking on issues that effect American Citizens.  Colin is bringing awareness to issues that if solved could make America better.  It is not a hard concept to understand, as to why Kaepernick did not stand. When the National Anthem was made , African Americans were slaves.  I hate when people ignore the reasons why people feel this way.  The Anthem was never made to represent us.  The third stanza even celebrates killing slaves :

Image result for francis scott key star spangled banner

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore,

That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion

A home and a Country should leave us no more?

Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution.

No refuge could save the hireling and slave

From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,

And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave

O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Francis Scott Key was a racist slave owner from Maryland who profited off the work of slaves. His whole family generated wealth of the work of Slaves and constantly spoke negatively on African Americans.  Key has said publicly that African Americans are “a distinct and inferior race of people, which all experience proves to be the greatest evil that afflicts a community.” With all of this being said I do not understand how you do not know where Kaepernick is coming from.  America has come a long way, but it still has a long ways to go before things are truly equal and fair.

I feel as though people tried their hardest to discredit and stray away from the problem at hand.  To completely flip a situation to fit your narrative is ignorant and very harmful to what activists and protesters are trying to do.  One thing that I find funny is how people went out of their way to disrespect Colin, going so far as to call him a “Nigger ” and a “Terrorist” which proved his own point and  showing the true colors of were Americans stand in 2016.  These same people who are in uproar about Colin  “disrespecting” veterans but won’t volunteer or donate to help these same veterans they “value”.  It be a lot easier to just say you don’t value black lives instead of trying to weak arguments to discredit valid points.  Their is a clear contrast between the Ryan Lochte situation where people were trying their hardest to make excuses for a man lying , and this situation were Colin is actually speaking on real issues.

I urge people to have discussions on these issues and come to better understandings on what needs to be said.  There are stories that need to be told so that we can come to a clear understanding on where we as a nation truly are in 2016.  Go out and have conversations with people who are different from you, rather it be race , ethnicity, gender , religion , etc.  Nothing can be accomplished until we come to a clear understanding and work together.  Just listen and try to understand .

NE

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DJ Khaled Major Key Album Review

The over the top hit-maker released his ninth studio album and following his recent success the hype behind this album skyrocketed.  His success on social media has taken Khaled’s stock was elevated due to his over the top nature and people have even described Khaled has a human meme.  Due to his increase in popularity and the fact that i never knew what DJ Khaled actually did, i was excited to check out his most recent project.  Did Khaled deliver? Or was Major Key a Major Flop?

  1. I Got the Keys- I got the keys was the one of the major (no pun intended) singles for the album. The beat is a stereotypical trap beat and when it first came out, people were saying that Jay-z was on the song I thought they were just joking , but to my suprise Hov actually did a great job.  He flowed well and gave us a great verse.  Future is right in pocket , this beat fits him perfectly.  This song was a great way to start the album
  2. For Free- The first single for this album is smooth and a great song to ride to.  A perfect song for the summer. Aubrey gave a decent verse, nothing amazing .  The star of this album has been the production.
  3. Nas Album Done- Right off the bat, I was taken away with the beat and the production.  It was lavish and I was completely immersed in the sound.  The way the producer flipped the Fugees sample was simply genius.  I was never a huge Nas fan, I respect him and acknowledge he is one of the best rappers to ever touch a mic but I could never get into him.  Partly because of his production and beat selection.  The way that Nas painted a vivid picture and flowed over the beat blew me away.  The knowledge and advice was great especially for all the young fans .  It was an amazing track and it is contender for verse of the year.
  4. Holy Key- Shout out to Khaled for getting all this great talent on one album.  Big Sean and Kendrick give two amazing verses.  Big Sean held his own against Kendrick but Kendrick stole the show.  Betty Wright’s  voice is full of passion and commands your attentions  . While I really enjoyed this track, I could have done without the DJ Khaled adlibs . Nonetheless it was a great track .
  5. Jermaine’s Interlude-  Whoever was whining on the beginning of the track was annoying, but Cole’s whole verse was amazing and I could feel the passion in his voice.  I am anticipating Jermaine’s next project provided it sounds anything like this verse.
  6. Ima Be Alright- Bryson Tiller has been fairly quiet these past few months so I was excited to hear him on this album.  I felt as though Bryson delivered a solid hook.  Future did a good job as well.   The chemistry these two share on the track really surprised me.
  7. Do You Mind- This is easily one of the corniest songs I have heard in recent memory.
  8. Pick These Hoes Apart- Kodak’s verse was cringe-worthy, his whole verse sounded amateurish and lazy.  Jeezy verse was OK, but I was expecting more from Jeezy.  French Montana started off weak but the verse gradually improved as the song went on .  Overall this song is bad but it has its high  points.
  9. Fuck The Club Up- Future starts out the song with a catchy repetitive hook.  Ross’s verse was cool, though  he wasn’t rapping about anything of substance.  YG has a dope verse and his flow is different, I really appreciated that.  I don’t care for  Gotti’s verse. Overall  it was a cool track.
  10. Work For It- The production on this track is spacey and everyone does well .  Big Sean gives a stellar verse.  Gucci’s verse was excellent .  2 Chainz never misses as he ends this track on a high note.  Great track.
  11. Don’t Ever Play Yourself- A lyrical track from the older rappers of 90’s.  Every rapper on this track comes with bars for five minutes straight.  My favorite verse on this track came from Jadakiss, but everyone held their on.
  12. Tourist-  The beat is the only redeemable part of this song.  Lil Wayne is back at it again with a terrible verse.  Travis’s part of the song sounds like a throwaway from Days Befoee Rodeo.
  13. Forgive Me Father-Decent song, but the whole vibe I get from this song is them trying to recreate Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again.  I was surprised to see Meghan Trainor on a DJ Khaled album, but she sang her heart out.  Her voice is beautiful.  Wale and Wiz give pretty forgettable verses.
  14. Progress-  This reggae record was a standout track that was different from everything on this album.  Mavado brings together melodies and beautiful production. Progress was a great way to end the album.

Major key was a delightful mix-up of songs to listen too and I was thoroughly surprised when I turned it on.  The album comes out strong but as it goes on slowly but surely goes down hill , with a few bright spots in the end but the middle portion of this album was mediocre . But it picks up at the end and the finale was dope. Khaled got a superstar list of guests on this album and for the most part it was executed well but songs like “Pick these Hoes Apart” ,  “Do you mind” ,  and “Tourist” are cringe-worthy i see there place and where they are going to be in the long-run and what Khaled was trying to do.  Overall it was a good album , nothing more nothing less.

Favorite Tracks: Nas Album Done, Jermaines Interlude, Work For It, Don’t Ever Play Yourself

Score:3.5/5

What was your opinion on the album ? Let me know what you think .  Thank you and God Bless

NE

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