”That’s all I wanted for you, young’un…like father, like son…”

•July 17, 2010 • 1 Comment

Sometimes I find myself trapped in feelings of jealousy. I explain this envy to close friends & they all reply with puzzled looks.

”Fam, you’re 23, lol”

No, it isn’t a sudden need to settle down or anything. But I sometimes talk to guys I’ve grown up with & it’s amazing to me that these guys are fathers. The same guys I went to secondary school with, same college, played Pro Evolution together, lol. It’s crazy.

On the one hand, they can’t ‘run riot’ like the rest us. In a lot of cases, unfortunately they still do. But there’s something about fatherhood that’s always intrigued me & is something I look forward to. Parents, fathers especially always have this motivation that you should surpass their own achievements. Bigger & better. And I wonder to what extent will that be the case for me & my children. How hard will I push them? And not only that, will I push them in a direction I desire? I’ve never resented my own parents for this, but I do wish that they would’ve identified my early passion for football & had made an effort to get me involved in the sport on an organised level from a young age. I always joke with friends that the moment my child, boy or girl makes the slightest contact with their foot to a ball, their path to international superstardom has begins…

A lot of young men who do become fathers, were fatherless themselves & tend to use that as motivation to be a constant presence in their children’s life. Most young fathers that I know of  are that way. Very few carry on the tradition of  their absentee dads. I’m fortunate. I can say at no point in my life I didn’t have a father. But I still feel that I lacked something. We always mention that it’s crucial to have fathers in the home, but rarely do we place emphasis on the QUALITY of him. Without soiling my deceased stepfather’s name, he had his lesser moments. There were many occasions I resented him & whatnot but I can say I’ve learned a lot about being a man from him. What does irk me though is the fact I learned mostly from his weaknesses whilst he was still here, but it wasn’t till he died, I began learning from his strengths.

Which makes me ponder. If I had a kid now, what could he or she learn from me? What values, principles, morals, etc could I pass on? It seems premature to me, but I often believe that  a lot of my character-building as of right now, is in preparation for fatherhood. I was lucky, I’ve been practising from the age of 7. Mama Kane had me changing nappies, feeding, babysitting & all sorts. Taught me well. Maybe she was just lazy, I dunno. Come to think it, a 10-11yr old kid shouldn’t be babysitting should she? Lol, lemme take it easy on the dry-snitching…

But back to my point, I’ve always believed in this idea of ‘dynasty’. Maybe it stems from inherent, male concerns of mortality & a wish to leave a long-lasting mark on this world. But I want to be a ‘forefather’.  So I gotta lay foundations down. And you don’t lay foundations when you’re about to become a father. You start, well in advance of that.

Which is fucked up, because there’s another piece to the puzzle you gotta consider. The mother. Ahh yes. Again, it does seem a bit eager to start thinking about it already, but I do kinda think about what sort of mother the lady in question could be, when getting to know someone past a purely sexual level. I was talking to this girl recently & she told me she hated children. To be honest, she was never going to make it past the sex buddy rank anyway & had already said a lot of things to throw up red flags, but that really made me think, ”Arggghhh, yeah. No thanks…”.

You’ve also got to think about how you are with women too, and how your actions towards the potential mother of your child could affect HER parenting. If for whatever reason you don’t make it as a couple, will whatever energy left between you may leave her bitter, depressed, etc? Not only can this take a toll on your child, but also on the child’s perception of you.

This brings up another issue. You’ve got to think about what your approach to relationships will be & how it may affect your children if you choose to have any. Which is a dilemma a lot of adults find themselves in. We’ve been taught that a household with two married people is the ideal scenario to raise children in. But with divorce rates so high & the concept of traditional, monogamous relationships being challenged, tweaked, etc in this day & age, you find men & women starting families, when everything isn’t right between the 2 individuals in the first place? C’mon son…

I guess I’m writing this because fatherhood has always been an important issue to me. On a personal level & a societal one. I feel not enough young men discuss this, (openly anyway) & their isn’t enough ‘pride’ in being one. Which makes sense I guess. The ‘nurturer role’ is seen as an innate female quality & men, young ones especially still want to hold on to that, ‘New Jack’ essence of theirs. Hard to do when you’ve got to pick up a pack of Huggies before you go watch the game at your boy’s house. LOL.



”How long you gonna keep saying ‘Fuck The Man’ for?” – ”Until we ARE The Man…”

•February 23, 2010 • 2 Comments

See, it’s subtle lines like this make quality scenes for me. Lines that represent the essence of the film or television series. The aforementioned words come courtesy of Ben Epstein (Bryan Greenberg) & Cam Calderon (Victor Rasuk), the two central characters of new HBO comedy-drama series, ‘How To Make It In America’.

“How to Make It in America” follows two enterprising Brooklyn twenty somethings as they hustle their way through New York City, determined to achieve the American Dream. Trying to make a name for themselves in New York’s competitive fashion scene, Ben Epstein (Greenberg) and his friend and business partner Cam Calderon (Rasuk) use their street knowledge and connections to bring their ambitions to fruition. With the help of Cam’s cousin Rene (Guzman), who is trying to market his own high-energy drink, and their well-connected friend Domingo (“Kid Cudi”), the entrepreneurs set out to make it big, encountering obstacles along the way that will require all their ingenuity to overcome.”

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m an Entourage. Of gargantuan proportions. You could highlight one particular scene & I’ll identify the season & episode number, no joke. I’d even recite the li-, alright, you get it. So when I heard that Entourage producers Mark Wahlberg & Stephen Levinson had essentially an East Coast counterpart in the pipelines, I was geeked. There’s one distinct difference with the 2 shows. Whilst Entourage is moreso about Vince, E, Drama & Turtle enjoying & maintaining the glitz & glam, ‘HTMIIA’ characters Ben & Cam concern themselves with ATTAINING that sort of success. And that my friends, might just be the reason why this show might touch people a lil’ bit more.

See, I made the error that ‘HTMIIA’ would be its West Coast cousin, outright. It would have the same themes, same sort of humour, same level of drama, etc. But thankfully, it doesn’t. Unlike Entourage, this show embraces the struggle, thus increasing its chances to actually connect with its audience. I like the fact that Ben waits till 4am at a friend of a friend’s after-party, thinking he’s gonna beat, only for him to go in the other room & see her getting it on with an incredibly camp rival. I like the fact that Cam is a 27yr old, still getting meals at his grandmothers. Shit you see err’day…

And let’s face it, there’s little TV nowadays catered to 20 somethings that does it like ‘How To Make It In America’. Which brings me to my next point. How much film & TV does that, in this day & age? Do we live in an age of entertainment where we are constantly sold ‘the fantasy’? Can’t we substitute ‘Reality TV’ for ACTUAL ‘reality TV’? Is there anything on British television, which a 20yr old, male university student can watch & relate to, or even a 28yr old, female singleton?

I think Channel 4 are leading to the race. With shows like Misfits, Skins, The Inbetweeners & even Peep Show to an extent, you can definitely see that they’ve identified a market for young adult audiences & it’s the right thing to do. The BBC have launched ‘BBC Switch’, a brand covering TV, Radio & online shows targeting teenagers…

Anyway, we’re only 2 episodes deep. Long way to go, but it’s definitely showing potential. Whilst it may not have the ”LMFAO’ moments & not have the irrepressibly hilarious ‘Ari Gold’ character, it’s promising more depth & focuses more on the ‘dra’ of the ‘dra-medy’ category.

I’ll leave you with a treat, Rapidshare links to the 1st 2 episodes of the show.

‘How To Make It In America’: S01E01 & S01E02…



Peace & chicken greases mothafuckers…

I Grew Up On 5ive, Will Smith & Robbie Williams. Say Suhen!

•January 9, 2010 • 1 Comment

Right guys, I have a confession. I’m into Hip-Hop. Hardcore. I’m like an uber Jay-Z fan. Trust me, I know 75% of his lyrics off by heart, I have every single album, I practice freemas-, you get the point.  However, I only heard my 1st Jay album at the age of 17. Yep, Reasonable Doubt. Reasonable Doubt, a classic album released in 1996, which I only listened to in maybe 2004 or 2005. Now… I know what you’re thinking. A second example would be The Notorious B.I.G’s  ‘Ready To Die’. Released 1994. Listened to in 2005. Again. I know what you’re thinking.

See, I consider myself a Hip-Hop head and I have a deep love & attachment for the art form. Arguably, most of the revered albums dropped in the 90’s & these included: A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Low End Theory’, Dr. Dre’s ”The Chronic’, Nas’ ‘Illmatic’ & Raekwon’s ‘Only Built 4 Cuban Linx’ & many more. But I’m sorry, at the age of 7, I wasn’t paying attention to the Check The Rhime; Bitches Ain’t Shit; NY State Of Mind; Rainy Dayz or any other staples of the genre at the time. My only areas of concern in the early to mid 90’s were Power Rangers, drawing, playing out, sweets & my Super Nintendo. Actually, I was still into those things in the late 90’s/early Noughties but that’s besides the point. Look, you would think at a prepubescent age, you’d be given a break for not yet developing an ability to comprehend a complex lyric-oriented genre like rap music. Alas, I was that child. Woe is me. Instead, you’d be much more likely to catch this little Black boy, listening to this…

As aforementioned, I know….what you’re thinking.

Truth be told, 5ive were among ALOT of Pop acts I listened to during my childhood. I mean, back then, there was no Channel U/AKA or MTV Base. Top Of The Pops & The Box were where I went to for looking for music. And who were the main Pop acts during that era? Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys, Blur, No Doubt, Robbie Williams, 5ive, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Oasis, Simply Red, Jamiroquai & so on. And the hits? C’mon, how can you DENY songs like this?

Right, you get the idea.

I guess what I’m saying is, that once I got to a certain age, it just got weird to listen to certain songs publicly. For a lot of people, the music you listen to, is somewhat of a representation of the person you are, your interests, your background, the people you hang with, etc. And I can’t front, once I hit my teens, I still listened to Pop, but you’d SEE me enjoying Hip-Hop, R’n’B & Garage. I may be dramatizing this ever so slightly, but by not listening to Limp Bizkit in front of my peers, I was kinda denying myself. Or am I just chatting shit here?

Anyway, it’s funny to see what’s happening with today’s mainstream culture especially with young inner-city people. I mean, jeans have never been tighter, Black men don’t feel as guilty for not constantly talking in ebonics or colloquialisms as much & hairstyles look like abstract sculptures made from Afro hair. I can now freely proclaim on Twitter my love for Miley Cyrus’ ‘Party In The USA’ without fear of losing half of my followers. Yip-yip-hooray. But here’s the kicker, lol. If somebody, who isn’t Black for example, asks me what kind of music I’m into, I’m inclined to say ”Oh, I’m into a lil’ bit of everything, but mainly Hip-Hop & R’n’B”…

See what just happened there, lol? That’s some ironic shit right? All this time, during my adolescence, I’m trying to validate my ‘hoodness’ & now all of a sudden, I’m trying to ensure that I’m NOT seen as simply a Dizzee Rascal, who doesn’t rap. You now try to paint a more multi-faceted picture of yourself, to fit in with a wider ‘audience’.

Meh, ain’t that about a bitch?