It’s a story of a lost young man, growing-up and looking to his elders for guidance… well, he actually looked to women, cars, and money- but, it just so happened that his elders had the women, the cars, and the money; plus wisdom of how to obtain these things.
The elders would drop wisdom rapped in words so profound that the young man couldn’t help but to write them down…And as a young rapper growing up in inner-city America, he’d quote these elders in his lyrics. But he’d soon find that this process of taking the wisdom from the elders and applying it to his life was more profound than any rap song. Deeper than poetry. and too big for newspaper headlines.
It’s not just about this one young man in America. It’s a universal concept:
Learn from elders. Teach the youth.
It is culture. It is religion. It is the way of life…
It is human nature to want to grow old and gain wisdom as you do so.
Only thing is… out here… We don’t all get to grow old.. and even fewer of us value wisdom…and on top of that…we don’t call them elders… we call them OG’s.
JR Valrey is a renown international journalist who, for years has been focused on producing media that sheds light on the social issues of the oppressed; he has recently published a book by the name of Block Reportin’.
The book is a compilation of over 30 interviews Valrey has conducted with individuals from all walks of life:
Paul Mooney, Cynthia McKinney, Mumia Abu Jamal, Freeway Ricky Ross, Mos Def, and Gil Scott Heron to name a few.
The book opens with an interview with one-time East Oakland drug kingpin Lil D, who is now incarcerated. The interview gives a modest peak into the life of Lil D: his past, his current state, and what he plans to do upon being released.
The first interview was just a taste for the pallet.The second interview was the hook…
Malcolm Shabazz, grandson and first male decedent of Malcolm X spoke to JR about the pressures of baring his grandfather’s name at a young age, the incident where a young Malcolm Shabazz lit a fire to a house that would burn down and take the life of his grandmother- Betty Shabazz, and the growth Malcolm Shabazz has experienced since that time.
His book, Block Reportin’ can be found at Marcus Books, Revolution Books, and a in your neighborhood as JR takes his book on tour… block to block.
I would like to publically salute JR Valrey for his work, dedication, and growth.