The Grant Station Project Podcast.

The Grant Station Project Podcast is now playing.

Here is the first single off of the project, “Grant Station” By Young Gully.

To hear the entire Grant Station Podcast click  below.

grant station

( http://ogpenn.podomatic.com/entry/2010-08-24T10_59_24-07_00 )

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The Grant Station Project

The Grant Station Project.

The Grant Station Project

During an interview with Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums in early July 2010, we discussed the video taped murder of unarmed Oscar Grant at the hands of transit officer Johannes Mehserle, the ensuing protests and uprisings by the people in Oakland, Ca., and the impending trial verdict. I then asked him what he thought of the possibility of renaming Fruitvale Station in the name of Oscar Grant?

“Grant Station”

The Mayor was taken by this question, he told a brief story of his mother’s appreciation of seeing a building named after her son, and connected the story to Grant’s mother, and how renaming Fruitvale Station to Grant Station might bring relief to the family. He then asked if he could have permission to take this idea to the necessary individuals in effort to bring this idea into fruition. Gladly, I said yes.

(Video complements of Youth Radio.)

But the question didn’t stop at Mayor Dellums.

I sat down with music producer Jamon Dru and lyricist Young Gully, we discussed the concept. The two gentlemen told me that they had been constructing an idea of their own: an album inspired by Oscar Grant.

We shook hands and agreed, in the name of the Oscar Grant, we would create an album that would shine a police helicopter sized light on police brutality, the state of the young citizens of Oakland, California, and the death of Oscar Grant.

I sat down with organizers of the Oscar Grant support movement, journalists that have been constantly covering the situation, and I even had the opportunity to speak  with members of Oscar Grant’s family. We discussed everything: I asked about what was said on the platform on the night of Grant’s murder, I asked about what was said in the court room during Mehserle’s trial, and I asked Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby what he would say if he could speak to Oscar now…

This resulted in “The Grant Station Project”, an audio documentation of lyrics, music, and interviews all full of emotion; an ethical response from the people to a blatantly unethical action that took place in our community.

Here is the first single off the Grant Station Project by Gully featuring Yound D, “Grant Station“. It is also available for download if you  click HERE.

But the album isn’t enough. The people want justice served to the fullest extent. The people want Mehserle to receive the maximum sentencing for his crime. The people want this instance to stand as a constant reminder to the officers of our community ,that they have a sworn duty to uphold the well-being of the people.

The question has now turned into a statement: the people want Grant Station.


Networking: Know Thy Self.

Networking: the key is getting out there, meeting everyone, and networking your ass off…but first:

know thy self.

Dame and the young men...

Damien Robinson, a college colleague, co-Californian, and all out cool cat, is putting work into his community. He works at the Independent Living Skills Program in San Francisco, Ca where he has the opportunity to mentor a small group of Black and Hispanic foster youth. Damien wants to one day rewrite special education curriculums in public schools; he is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in effort to bring this goal into fruition.

Damien asked me to come and speak with his group about networking, being a professional, and manhood in general.

Big task

in the classroom...

The world of networking is about having both internet savvy and personal connections, knowing how to decode body language and read eyes, and balancing on that dental floss- thin line between name dropping and citing references…

These are just three broad concepts, out of a plethora of ideas that are tied into networking. My task: exemplify what networking is, show how it relates to these young men, and help then perfect the art of networking.

wow

Inside the classroom we discussed how networking itself can be as deep as a mathematical equations that shows each individual’s degree of separation. And on the other hand, networking can be as simple as asking your friend where he gets his hair cut…. most importantly: when you meet a woman on the street, you are networking.

Our conversation brewed and we covered everything from firm handshakes to follow-up emails. And in the end, we did practice elevator pitches in effort to show these young men how to approach future contacts in a respectable manner.

I left out of the two-hour discussion thinking, all forms of networking: face to face networking, online networking, or even approaching a young lady in the street; all call for you to be clear about who you are and what you want.

Before anyone else can be confident to identify with you, or your business… you have to be confident in you.

…And that is manhood… or rather, that is adulthood… And it’s an amazing lesson to teach teenage boys in the hood.

Hip- Hop’s Art.

"Hip-Hop's Art".

rap lyrics got my head nodding away….

My Kodak snaps, graffiti shows on the digital display…

I wasn’t listening to Outkast, or Dre…

nope, today I’m on that fresh wave, new rappers play…

some Lupe, some Wale, Some Jean Grae.

hot singles from J. Cole,

and Jay Electronica spits cold

…Curren$y and Whiz influenced the music biz…

Pac Div, Nipsey, and Dom Kennedy…

Kid Cudi, Cool kids, Kidz in the Hall…

way down South there is Little Brother ,up North there is Big Sean.

……….and all you hear is Drake when the radio is on.

this is what the kids are listening to…

the internet gives it to you…

I thought it was ridiculous too: skinny jeans and retro shoes…

emo raps and auto-tunes..

But I’m glad the industry grew.

Something new.

innovation.

I’ve been listening to Snoop, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne for the past decade…

this wave came out of the blue…

this wave came bringing something new…

most importantly, this wave is made for the internet surfer in you.

downloads do what bootlegs used to do.

youtube is the music channel “The Box”.

twitter is word on the block,

The web site for all hip-hop is 1980’s, South Bronx.

blogs lay the laws.

links have their flaws…

and when the internets down…  everything comes to a pause.

It is a big game, it is Saw.

a lot of egos.. a lot of salt…

record sales are at a loss

it takes time to change people’s views and thoughts…

I just ask that Hip-Hop changes with society, but don’t change the art.