Thursday, January 29, 2009

...And It Continues...



On the Pure Music front, we have a lot afoot and a lot to be excited about but in the meantime, I'm opening the vaults back up.

Every project that we do seems to have a back story and both 20/20:The InVision and Are&Be both started out as two totally different projects that transformed into the products that I am sure you are all familiar with.

I want to go back to a time, a time when we were all in college and I was flying back and forth sometimes bi monthly from D.C. to Atlanta to work on the follow up to J's Feed The Kids project. Being that we are all HUGE GIGANTIC Michael Jackson fans with J being the biggest fan (of his music), he had the idea of a mixtape project entitled J.Kwest is The Thriller in which he would sample all 10 songs and remake them in PureMusic fashion. Well, with old trusty Ant Pharm (I sholl miss that guy) in tow, they began crafting the tracks that would make up this project. As we were working on that, the songs J was doing were really getting good and he also made somethings that had nothing to do with thaconcept that even I agreed were good enough for us to release. That, in a long run-on sentence of a nutshell is how 20/20 came to be. This is why 20/20 has 2 Thriller related songs ("Starting Something" and "Human Nature").

For this edition of unleash the heat, I am letting go another one of the J.Kwest is The Thriller songs in its unfinished and unmixed greatness. Please let us know what you all think of this and look out for more as we continue to unleash joints. Perhaps for the next edition, I'll let something go that I told J I never wanted folks to hear.

2wo

J.Kwest Exclusive #2

This Saturday (1/31) at Tha House!!!


J.Kwest live, with others...One of my favorite places to be. Shouts to Pastor Phil, Amy, Alauna, and all the good folks over there.

FREE!!!

Chi-Town holla at me!

(Edited Note: I hope to still attend this concert, but the funeral for Mrs. Smith is earlier that day. I'll try to pull it together, but show up ANYWAY. Lov)

American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

For anybody remotely interested in reading the stimulus bill that was passed this week in the house, here you go. Keep in mind, the senate must vote as well, so it isn't final.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Obama & Non-believers

Well, there seems to be a little storm brewing in the black Christian community about President Obama's acknowledgment of non-believers during his in inaugural speech. It seems that some people are upset that he mentioned non-believers and non-Christians, citing his awareness of and willingness to acknowledge all faiths as heretical and indicative of the larger threat his inclusiveness poses to American culture and history. To be candid, these types of criticisms BUG me, genuinely BUG me. Check out AOL and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In Memory Of...Barbara Smith

Many called her Auntie Barbara. I always called her Mrs. Smith but I knew her personally as a mentor, mother, and leader of Covenant United Church of Christ. She is also my pastor's wife, and I can say openly that she was the first face that truly welcomed me into the Covenant family. I preached for a teen lock-in and she just loved it. She was glad to have me around the teens and always...ALWAYS pushed me to take what I was doing to the next level. She expected excellence and did it in the most loving and caring way imaginable. She loved her family and was a servant of God...no, a FRIEND of God.

We are truly strangers in this world, and she left it today, peacefully, with her family by her side. She is home now.

We should feel hurt and stunned at being a bit more lonely now.
We should feel joy and even the smallest amount of jealousy that the mystery of God has been fully revealed to her.
We should feel thankful that we knew her, and should carry her legacy of excellence with us, as we continue on the long and winding road.
We should call someone and tell them "I love you"

It's funny how pointedly you can reflect on something once it is behind you. How death becomes the great articulator. But I challenge us to put loss on our windshield and not the rearview. Let our loss push us and let its remnants remind us of how wonderful yet fickle life is. Think about the people you need to call or visit, but haven't because you don't want to "lose" time on something else. Think about the opportunities we have already lost -even in our few years- to love bigger and become better. Think about the memories that used to be so sacred but are now "lost" in the business and busy-ness of our daily grind. Look at how much we've "lost" trying to keep it all together.

Forgive yourself, but spend some time gathering the scattered.

We miss you Mrs. Smith, "Auntie", and we will try to live better. We will try our best not to lose you.

-JD

If you have Good Memories, Encouraging Thoughts, Confessions, or anything else related to this moment, leave them in the comments section. I promise you this...when the time is right Rev. Ozzie will read them ALL. Love you

Sunday, January 18, 2009

"I Am (Obama)" FREE DOWNLOAD!

I present this song to you FREE for the following reasons:

1. He won
2. This is arguably the best song about Obama and the America we live in (attach the better song in a link please)
3. It's time to get hyped in Full Stereo about changing the world
4. Disney will sue me if I make one dollar on this song

LINK TO J.KWEST - "I Am (Obama)"
http://www.mediafire.com/?qjg5dwzdvzz

All I ask is that you share with others, tell folks about PureMusic, stop by again, and don't front.

Here's the video for it.

As we close the door on this song (barring a miracle) I want to again thank Rob Gaines, Endangered Peace, CNyss and Sherese Jones, along with DT and viewers like you for making this song everything I imagined. It didn't go where I'd hoped, but the dialogue from it has at least shown us we still have some growing to do. ENJOY

An Open Letter to Martin Luther King Jr.


Dear Sir,

I write to you on the 80th anniversary of your birth, from a different time and era from which you were raised, yet in the same America. Many have written to you already, but I know you will especially appreciate this correspondence. For I did not grow up in your time to march with you, nor was I beaten and sprayed by savage police. I am a young person, and I can only read and thank God for what you and my grandparents endured. Because of the commitment of your generation my world is better; many of the opportunities you "dreamed" about are taken for granted as normal in 2009.

But we have enough people to idolize you, so I won't belabor the real purpose of this letter. Your speech on the Capitol steps spoke of a wish for your four little children to grow up in a more equal world. To a great extent we have achieved this; we live in a society with black doctors, lawyers, and heads of state. There are women billionaires now, although we still struggle with poverty, good education, and rights for our beloved gay and disabled brothers and sisters. You'll be glad to know that our Dear Old Morehouse is still a factory for Renaissance leadership. It's a good time to be alive in the world.

But it is an interesting time, my brother. Just as you urged us to fight for justice and equality, you also indicted us to uphold peace, love, tolerance, care for the poor - you know, the gospel of Christ? - as our highest virtues. And I fear we have misunderstood you.

You were killed fighting for the economic rights of poor garbage workers. But as the poor became rich we also became Capitalists. We became entrepreneurs and made money our God. Now people don't care where they work as long as they make enough money doing it. You would be shocked to notice how many folks are miserable with their careers.

You also warned us to not try to imitate the success of others, or what you called "keeping up with the Joneses." Well, sorry about that. These are our icons: Jay-Z, Sean Combs, Lil Wayne, Beyonce, Lebron - basically pop superstars (imagine how they felt about James Brown and Elvis, x20). We love them because they entertain us, but we want to be them because they are Rich. Youth are killing each other, drugs infest our streets, and the national debt is higher than ever. Because people want things. Our musicians are billboards; it's the type of music you'd laugh at, literally. We treat fashion designers like apostles (did you even know who made those tweed suits of yours?)

The newspaper business is dying because people don't read anymore. Instead, we "blog" and IM at the expense of community (Pastor Moss of Trinity UCC described this to you in his letter). We only see each other when we kick it.

Pastors are businessmen now. One very charismatic man will read the invocation for the InAuguration in a few days. His name is unimportant. Suffice it to say, you'd probably have some things to say to him as well. He doesn't dialogue with folks who disagree with him though; most people don't nowadays (everyone likes to think they are right).

We don't have many positive examples. Most of the smart ones that are worth a second look are also attention whores. They want to be celebrated for doing nothing. They plague our streets, churches, radio and media. So we don't listen to them. Sadly, we don't listen to our parents either; they are just as caught in it with us. Our next president is a welcome change to the usual "worthless personality" we follow, although I fear many are making him an idol like they did you. You see, Dr. King, we're just looking for a change and don't want to be it ourselves. We don't know what to make of folks like you.

And we don't know what to make of this world. Oscar Grant, Gaza, Darfur, The Hudson family...we aren't even shocked anymore. Most of us don't even know what's going on (instead of the news we were flipping between "Real Chance...", "Real Housewives", or something else not real). We would listen to NPR, but the Cool Kids are on Power92 talking about Buzz Lightyear. You have to make choices sometimes...

We are as talented as ever, still the people of God's promise, but we have cast our pearls among swine. I'll be honest, it's not a drinking problem or a pornography problem but a conformity problem. We'd rather fit in than stand out and use our blessings to heal this world. We're a sad bunch to look at, and your generation is right to scorn us. But we have potential. Work together, maybe?

Why don't we do this: You help us find one person from your generation who isn't stuck on themselves, irrelevant, or full of crap, and we'll send out one of ours who doesn't want to be the next coming of Richie Rich. You make sure yours isn't wearing bellbottoms and we'll make sure ours isn't wearing tight jeans or some ironic t-shirt. And we'll meet in the middle of Everywhere We Need Help. We'll fight for the dignity of our families, our culture, and ourselves. We'll be patient and dedicated. We'll pick up a few good people to help along the way (we may even pick a few Christians, you never know) and we'll renew this kingdom of God on Earth. I'll work on the music side, and you whisper something in Jesse's ear (there's a song, "Can't Tell Me Nothing"...it was written about him). We'll get there. It's the only place to be.

Your brother and peer,

Min. Julian DeShazier
"J.Kwest"

P.S. - I'll be thinking about you on Tuesday

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Wendy's Training Video!

Actual training video. Have you had your laugh today?


Since it's -30 outside

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

50 Youth Marketing Trends for 2009 (mobileYouth.org)

Very interesting stuff. Figured I'd share with you entrepreneurs and passionate folks out here looking to keep everything in perspective

Monday, January 12, 2009

Exclusives acometh

Well, I have been talking about opening the floodgates for a long time. One of the major advantages of working with artists with the work ethics of a J.Kwest and a Breeveazie is that they both have very large catalogs of unreleased music. With Are & Be alone, their were close to 40 songs recorded and many fights to sequence that project.

One thing that J always messes with me about is that I always voluntarily place songs in the vaults never with the expectation of them ever being heard by anyone outside of our circle. Their is a certain level of quality control that we all subscribe to as we all are perfectionists. However, the level of song making and rappety rappety rap that these dudes have in the name of God is unparalleled.

With that said, I have decided to throw a Pure Music curve ball and release something a little different than what was expected by everyone and is sort of a representation of how I feel right now. This particular joint was recorded in early 2007 and look forward to comments related to this one. Check back really really soon for some unreleased Are & Be treats!

J.Kwest Exclusive #1

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Without Further Ado..."Digital Display"

I can't even lead this in. It's quite simply one of the funniest things ever. Get ready when he moves that keyboard. Classico!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I dont know yet...

I love everything Mac makes. But call me crazy if this doesnt actually look HARDER than regular typing


Apple Introduces Revolutionary New Laptop With No Keyboard

Happy Birthday Dear Meeeeee! Happy Birthday to me!

Just a little something for what Diana called my "Happy escape from the womb day" ...Yeah I know. Nasty! Enjoy

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

J.Kwest Gigs

This Friday (1/9) at Smokie Norful's church in Bolingbrook. Actually at another venue sponsored by the church. Either way:

7pm
251 CANTERBURY LANE
BOLINGBROOK, IL

For some reason, January's are SUPER LIGHT. Still looking to fix that, but if this is the only Jan. gig, I'm ready to crush it. Got plenty for February though. Updating the site now, so check there for some dates. LOV

Monday, January 5, 2009

Books I Like #3



Hello Family! It's been a while but I'm back with some book recommendations. I hope you all enjoy. Also, be on the lookout for a video of me creating a beat. Peace.

Black Soap

Make Hope from Dirt
Make Pride from sweat
Make Love from War
Make Homes from debt

Make death the lame
Make life the thing
Make dreams from blunts
Spark one for King

Make sex like heaven
when the living is hell
Make Baby Baracks
Make little Michelle's

My shell is the fear
of us not staying together
Black Soap is the family
thats praying together

Make black Soap rinse
Make black Soap clean
Make winning and wealth
Shower us pristine!

Black Soap in the Chi
Black Soap in D.C.
Make stress into heat
it's so cold in the D'

Black Soap for the king
Black Soap for the queen
Make work for the kids
like dope for the fiends

--

Clark L. Jones

Keep Fighting

I did something different this year.

I started working on my resolutions around mid-November. Wanted to get one of those head starts, a little momentum. Honestly, my resolutions from last year are mostly forgotten but I think making it through the year is/was a success and I thank God for the dark nights as well as the bright days. 

Not sure what your resolutions are, but the thing the past 365 has taught me is to keep fighting. 

One day it wont be in your body to do what you used to, and some of us have ailments that may expedite that, but as sure as i can type this with health, the point is to ALWAYS keep fighting. If there is no imminent pain that requires momma to take you to the ER...so long as a little 'Tussin can knock it out...as so long as you got the energy to say it cant be done, make it BE done...as long as you keep punchin' the lights will stay on.




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Sunday, January 4, 2009

2009 Resolutions

Good to see you again...we're back in full effect now. Isn't coming off a wonderful Guitar-Hero laced vacation extra tough? It is for me (and don't say you don't take a break...that's why you're stressed out). I BREAK...let's talk about the new year in a couple of ways. Watch the video.


1. Prayer Answered in 2008.
2. Prayer Request for 2009.

Familiar to some, necessary to discuss for all. I'll kick it off. Meet you there.