I've gotten away from blogging about music here in favor of dropping links on social media, but I'm reversing that habit. So I happened across this new Napoleon joint (from his upcoming album Propaganda) while checking email. Longtime readers know I love Napoleon Da Legend's introspective rhymes, and Choices is definitely worth downloading and repeat listening. Choices is very timely for me... as I'm seeing how decisions I made in the past are affecting me and my family right now, whether good or bad. Today's culture makes it easy to blame other people for things that go wrong in your life, but blaming someone else doesn't erase the difficulty we find ourselves in. With full awareness of ways in which things others do may make your life hard, you must take ownership of your life.
"Blame the 'white man'? I feel you:
Corrupt justice and new laws.
'White man' flew in nines and techs to flood school yards.
The 'white man' ain't pulled the trigger and took it too far,
and the 'white man' ain't going to jail, nigga YOU are!"
Soldierfied, the opening track to the incredible album Spirit in Stone -by Portland hip hop crew the Lifesavas- pushes back on street corner narratives that use the ills of society as an excuse for bad choices we have made in the past. We can debate all day about the degree to which society may or may not be limiting your options, but at the end of the day, it's your life. Like my mom used to tell me "It doesn't matter whose fault it is, it matters whose problem it is: Yours!"
Even if you can manage to blame someone more powerful than you for your problems, they are going to hold you responsible anyway, so you might as well man up to it, and start making choices that even things out for you. Living responsibly requires thinking about the results our actions will produce before we make them, instead of just trying to justify those actions when the results come calling. That's what it means when smart people tell you to be proactive, and it's a major key to a successful life.
Anyways, hope you enjoy the music.
Try not to do anything stupid today!
Samax Amen draws people, places and things for fun and profit. He is the artist of many great comics you never heard of like Herman Heed, Champion of Children, The Brother and The World As You Know It. He even writes and draws his own comics, like Dare: The Adventures of Darius Davidson, Spontaneous, and Manchild when he gets around to it. Because making comics is hard and stuff, he started GhettoManga as a blog in 2006 and as a print magazine in 2008.
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