Winter Walker

Ode to Stopping by Woods On a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

I walked the winter street.
I inhaled oxygen
and exhaled relief.

My soul ran out of breath.
The moon and the cold night air
gave me CPR.

The moist air
coddled me like a blanket.
It quelled my insecurities.
It was therapy for my fears.

Will I make it?
Time will tell.
Oh, the certainty and fairness of time!
For, now I work.

Love is my labor.
My passions run deep
I’m in charge of the rhythm of the night.
I keep the heartbeat of the streets.

I long for the day
to walk not this trail,
but a path in step with the Lord,
on my own accord,
a fully realized me.

These woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But, I have to fulfill my dreams.
And miles before I finally breathe,
And miles before I finally breathe.

By Thomas Agbonyitor

Top 15 Albums of the Decade

The 2010’s was an eclectic decade of good music. As a hip-hop DJ, I’ll assert that mainstream rap took a turn for the worst, a la Post Malone and Lil’ Uzi, but the best of the best, a la Kendrick and J. Cole, still put out sterling projects. Overall, music production evolved beautifully, while some went new age, like KAYTRANADA, and others kept it more acoustic, like D’Angelo, in his classic fashion, others went back to the future like Calvin Harris and A Tribe Called Quest. Drug rap is a dying art, but Pusha T kept it pumping in vintage fashion. Beyonce was Beyonce and SZA burst onto the scene with freshness. Chris Brown opened up his broken heart and Jay-Z and Kanye made sure we kept our eyes on the throne. Anderson .Paak grooved us and Kanye took us to a fantastical world, musically and in the press, as we all know, unless deprived of the internet.

We lost two of hip-hop’s greatest artists of all time in Nipsey Hussle and Mac Miller. I’m friends with one of Mac’s DJ’s, DJ Money, and I met Mac several times. It’s not hype. It’s true. Mac was a pure and kindhearted soul. May he Rest In Peace. And Nipsey is in the real nigga hall of fame. His music still gives me inspiration and motivation. He’s the only artist I can put on shuffle in Apple Music and just let play. May their music and souls vibrate from the Heavens forever. And, surely, all of these albums will vibrate to the cosmos for decades to come.

I just can’t wait until my artist Born I and I drop our mixtape. No hype. Just wait. He was actually the inspiration for this list because he posted on Facebook that he co-signed Billboard’s selection of Kanye’s MBDTF as the best album of the decade. Clearly, I disagree. But, that’s what lists are for. Here’s mine. Enjoy. I challenge you to make your own.

1. Kendrick Lamar – To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)

2. Calvin Harris – Funk Wav Bounces vol. 1 (2017)

3. KAYTRANADA – 99.9% (2016)

4. Anderson .Paak – Malibu (2016)

5. Pusha T – Daytona (2018)

6. SZA – Ctrl (2017)

7. D’Angelo and the Vanguard – Black Messiah (2014)

8. A Tribe Called Quest – We Got It from Here… Thank You 4 Your Service (2016)

9. Chris Brown – Heartbreak on a Full Moon (2017)

10. Beyonce – Beyonce (2013)

11. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne (2011)

12. J. Cole – 4 Your Eyez Only (2016)

13. Nipsey Hussle – Victory Lap (2018)

14. Mac Miller – Swimming (2018)

15. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)

It’s Time For Universal Healthcare

Universal healthcare should be a right, not a privilege. We are all human beings in need of help sometimes. Healthcare should not be sold on the market like a commodity. Allowing people to suffer and die because they can’t afford healthcare is inhumane. The only reason we don’t have universal healthcare like most industrialized nations is because of powerful healthcare and pharmaceutical companies and classist and racist people in our country. It’s time for us to stop the BS in this country and demand change.

Choux Pastry Heart

Choux pastries at French restaurants are always en vogue with beautiful mademeoiselles. But, for me, unfortunately, or fortunately, however you look at it, it seems as if it’s my destiny for the person taking the picture to always change. Well, at least I had dessert. Really, I’m looking for food more everlasting, or maybe a good cook, or maybe manna from Heaven, something to fill my soul. For now, I am lost. Yet, I will soldier forward, praying for the day I find my soul’s counterpart, and complete the picture we decide to never take.

I Have a Dream that Black People Would Care about More than a Chicken Sandwich

It’s the 56th anniversary of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I know a lot of us may have forgotten amongst this chicken sandwich craze.

Dr. King’s life is truly evidence that one man can make a difference. Think about how different the world would be if MLK had chosen to fold and not take a stand. We might still be in segregation or worse. Who knows? The great thing is we will never know and us blacks can appreciate our closer to equal rights, nice cars, flat screen TVs, WiFi and iPhones just like our white brethren. And, of course, we can’t forget those chicken sandwiches.

On this anniversary, I challenge you to think about what differences you are making in your own life and then in your family’s and then in your community’s and then in your city’s and then in your state’s and then in your country’s and then in the world’s.

Our reach may not be as long as Dr. King’s but no man or woman is an island and we can all touch someone. We can smile at someone. We can give someone a kind word. We can give someone a meal. We can give someone a shirt. We can give someone shelter. There is so much we can do. I was taught the true measure of a Christian is not how much money or women he has but how many people he has helped.

Let’s imagine for a moment how scared Dr. King must have felt when he embarked on his Civil Rights journey. When he shared his vision, he faced a lot of rejection, initially. Most of the churches rejected his revolutionizing from the pulpit. But, slowly, they came around. Eventually, he captivated then nation, then the world.

His story gives me courage because I have faced a lot of rejection in my career. I have thrown events where nobody showed up. I have texted a bunch of promoters about DJing their parties and I still haven’t even gotten a text back. I’ve been through personal battles, struggles and death threats but I’m still here. I’m still spreading love and positivity because that is who I am and who I will always be. And, God willing, I will reach the mountain top of my desires. And, if I don’t, at least I can say I didn’t give up. Can you?

Either way, it’s all good, at least you had a chicken sandwich.