Dollars Make Sense.

Fin.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on November 2, 2015

2010-2015.

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Yo They Love Giving Black Mens They Due Way Late Tho.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on September 3, 2015

kanye119

When news broke that MTV was to award Kanye West with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the Video Music Awards this year something didn’t feel quite right. It wasn’t until Sunday night’s ceremony when Big Sean won a Moonman for his “One Man Can Change The Wold” that I was able to put a finger on it. With Kanye and John Legend standing behind him, Mr. Supa Dupa gave thanks and noted that it was his and John Legend’s first win at the award show but it was probably like Kanye’s 30th.

But wait.. was it tho?

Kanye West has been an institution propelling creative, cultural innovation for the past decade. While pushing boundaries musically, his lifelong pledge to artistic perfection demands his visuals rival the dopiness of his sonic output. His music videos serve testament. From “Jesus Walks” to “Stonger” to “Runaway” it feels as if Big Sean is right, right? 30 is hyperbole sure, but still at least double digits, yah?

Nah.

After quickly scanning Wikipedia days of carefully mulling over footage, fact-checking records, and cross-examining data I’ve discovered that while Kanye has reinvade 35 VMA nomination, he’s only won four times inducing his win with Sean and his Vanguard. So before last Sunday before being presented with the honor, if my trigonometry is correct, Yeezy had only won 2 of 33 awards he was up for since 2004 or 6%. In this respect Vanguard honor is like being given an honorary Phd after flunking Biology 101 for eleven years straight.

Don’t get it twisted. Kanye very much deserves the Vanguard. Institution, propelling creative, cultural, innovation, remember? What I’m saying is that something mighty suspect is afoot. How are to going to systemically curb the man’s shine for years and then turn around on a dime and be like “you know what homie, you aight” without inadvernlinglt admitting yawl fucked up all those years in the first place?

This incident actually marked my second time within a week of being taken aback by a black artist being given his props way after the fact when it was announced Spike Lee will receive and honarary Oscar for lifetime achievement over two decades after his masterpiece “Do The Right Thing” received negative love from the Academy.

While stories have popped up recently about the VMAs non-support of black artists in particular, I can’t help but to cringe at what I’ve noticed to be lowkey insidious, visceral reactions to displays of unapologetic blackness in the media. As a fan in general and as a young black man in specific, it’s seeing hard such beautiful displays of art I engage with and am impacted by deeply not receive the recognition they deserves because their authors’s views touch nerves. Is that not wha the best art is supposed to do? These achievement awards only serve as vindication of the feelings I’ve been harboring for a minute. While I’m glad that Lee and West are finally getting their much deserved shine I believe it says a lot about our cultural that we still have to wait so long to do so.

The honorarys are great but the actuals would be better.

Message.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on August 19, 2015

Quick programming note:

A couple months ago I got a pretty nifty suggestion from a commenter (and I use that term sorta loosely because I’m like 98.7% sure it was an old roommate of mine trolling) that I find somewhere else to stuff my looser, more incoherent ramblings. So I found one: jasonmekkam.tumblr.com. You’ll find mostly words and images that fill my brain on the everyday but aren’t polished enough for Dollars Make Sense and aren’t small enough to meet the brevity of a 140 character limit.

Also keep an eye out every week for the brand “A Couple Pennies” section highlighting the best internets writings on all things rap from the past week. New edition drops every Sunday.

Chyea.

Baltimore Burning.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on May 1, 2015

devinallenigPhoto Credit: Devin Allen

Let me tell you how fucked things are:

Three weeks ago, long before Freddie Gray was transformed from a living breathing human man into a #hashtag, my mom received a phone call from my great uncle. He’s 59, loves sour candy and lives in London. It was well past midnight his time, yet he had become so exasperated from what he had just witnessed he felt it imperative to contact my mother right away.

“Tell them to be careful I beg. If the boys ever come in contact with them please insist they not make any sudden movements, keep calm and remain composed no matter what,” my grandmother’s brother pleaded.

What had him so shook was footage of a black man in a green shirt sprinting away from an officer of the law as the cop callously pulls his weapon and fatally shoots him several times in the back.

My great uncle was terrified, disgusted but most importantly worried about his grand nephews – my three younger brothers and me.

The fact that he felt compelled a half a world away to reach out to my moms and emphasize that his kin, living in the first-world-greatest-country-on-the-whole-of-the-entire-earths, tread softly in the presence of law enforcement because we all fit the proverbial description is a far too chilling barometer read of the social/political climate we currently habitate.

Watching the events in Baltimore leaves me grappling with many emotions. Anger is the loudest. Not only am I upset over of the unnecessary loss of yet another black man at the hands of an agency sworn to protect him but too towards a certain collective response focusing primarily on property damage caused by the riots. It’s like I’m in film class all over again: while the rest of the class is baffled as to why Mookie threw the trashcan into Sal’s Famous, I’m still the only one screaming at the top of my lungs that they murdered Radio Raheem. Do The Right Thing was released over twenty five years ago and yet the very real American pattern of giving more importance to property than black life has never rang truer.

Post-racial society my mother fucking ass.

I’m frustrated. Rioting is not the answer. Violence is bad. I get that. I know that. No one argues the contrary. But it’s not the problem in and of itself. Dudes didn’t just wake up and decide, “Eh yo hit up all the homies fam. We finna set police cars and on fire and roast marshmallows and shit bruh.” No. As a famous ideological extremist once declared, “Riot is the language of the unheard.” It’s the last resort of a people who’ve felt so marginalized they believe no the tools exists for which to proclaim their grievances other than that of violence and destruction.

Here lies the real tragedy. We don’t all see ourselves as being on the same team. There is a very real portion of the United States that, subconsciously or not, don’t believe black men to be full-blooded Americans. Rather than brothers partaking in the wonderful political experiment we call democracy, we’re thugs, criminals, second-class animals that need to be controlled; not respected. It just so happens that some who think this way also just so happen to be cops. Yes years long decaying infrastructure, nonexistent opportunities for upward mobility and feelings of governmental abandonment are very real streams of fuel stoking the very real fires that burn hot in Maryland’s most populous city, but ignoring the role good old fashioned racism plays in these incidents we’ve become all too familiar with is a grave mistake.

I’m sad that people all over America are suffering. White, black, cop, civilian; I don’t want anyone to get hurt. I wish the madness will stop so we can constructively put our efforts into fixing injustices instead of fixing windows. James Baldwin once said, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in rage almost all the time.” I have to be honest tho: rage is exhausting. I know. Trust. So I hope now instead. Because maybe one day we will wake up and realize the interconnectedness of our lives and treat each other accordingly. Maybe we’ll be kinder, more thoughtful and cease viewing each other as violent enemies but rather just people.

Maybe..

Maybe the time to start the conversation about race in America is over and the time to actually acting on these conversation for a better tomorrow will begin. Maybe.. I hope. Because man.. I’m tired. And I want better because I still have to get up tomorrow. So I hope.

I mean shit. It worked for Obama.

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White Lie.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on December 11, 2014

I wasn’t really in a recycling mood.

And it was cold out.. But she said, “I think we should take these out any recycle em.” I looked at her and replied “Word.”

I’m not a man of my convictions.

“What’s you’re favorite book?” she asked as soon as we were outside.

The Myth Of Sisyphus by Albert Camus,” I replied automatically without thinking.

Taken aback, she shot me a look that subtly said “mother fucker say wha?”

She asked me a follow up question but I forget what she asked. But it’s whatever yo. As a consolation I do have a confession for you tho: I lied to her.

Mr. Camus’s novel is really my second favorite book. My for real life favorite book is Nigger by Dick Gregory. But she was white and I had known her for all of 829 seconds and was it cold out and I didn’t really feel like recycling so I lied to her because it was easier for me.

I regret not telling her the truth.

Hair Removal.

Posted in truth. by Jason Mekkam on July 13, 2014

I was hanging out with this girl the other day..

It was hot out. She was wearing a tank.

She put her arms over head while we were talking.

I noticed her armpit hair..

Then she noticed I noticed her armpit hair.

“You like?” she asked.

“No,” I said.

The next day we went to the beach. It was a nude beach. But none of us were nude.

Right before heading into the water the girl stopped, turned around towards me, raised her arm and used a finger attached to the hand attached to her other arm to point and say, “Look, no hair.”

She shaved.

I swear to God that’s the nicest thing a woman has ever done for me.

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