Nas

Introduction

Years ago a good friend told me most programmers are writers.

People Blog because someone inspired them.

People sing and rhyme cause they seen someone do it before them.

 

Nas

Role Modeling

Not everyone is able to admit to having role models.

It is good to take note of people digging in, investing life and time to get better and hoping to change along the way.

 

Living It

From Nas’s Dad travelling to Africa, getting with Fela, and taking the name “Olu Dare“.

To Nas paying tribute to Rakim.

And, J. Cole giving it back on “Let Nas Down“.

Sharing a Birthday and producer with Amy Winehouse, he posthumously went back and collabed on a couple of things.

As he said it, we are born on the same day, her not being here don’t give me a pass.

Btw the date he shares with Amy is Sept 14. And, the producer is Salaam Remi.

Videos

  1. Nas & Rakim
    • Nas – U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim)
      Music video by Nas performing U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim). (C) 2004 Sony BMG Music Entertainment
      Published on :- 2015-Sept-10th
      Link
    • Nas and Rakim Interview
      Published on :- 2015-April-27th
      Link
  2. Nas & J. Cole
    • Let Nas Down
      • YouTube
        • J. Cole – Let Nas Down (Extended Remix) ft. Nas
          The transition is at 3:36 but it can’t be heard because both tracks have the same line on the hook. “Long Live The Idols” is the start of the remix.
          Published On :- 2013-June-23
          Link
    • Stay
  3. Nas & Amy
    • Nas Talks About His Relationship With Amy Winehouse [Interview]
      Nas sits down and talks about the Life is Good Album which was released in 2012 and How Amy Winehouse ended up on the song ‘Cherry Wine’.
      He talks about how the friendship between them two. R.I.P Amy Winehouse.

      • Video
        Link
      • Video
        Published On :- 2103-May-29th
        Link
    • Nas Talks Relationship with Amy Winehouse on Big Boy’s Neighborhood
      Published On :- 2012-August-2nd
      Link
    • Nas – Cherry Wine (Explicit) ft. Amy Winehouse
      Published On :- 2012-Oct-2nd
      Link
  4. Nas & Nore
    • Nore on Ending Nas Beef: First Thing He Said to Me Was ‘Sorry’
      “At the end of the day he was a friend of mines, f**k the music. When you’re friends, and you stop being friends with a person it’s just weird.”
      Published On :- 2015-May-12th

      Link

 

Lyrics

  1. Nas – Cherry Wine
  2. Nas – Unauthorized Biography of Rakim

 

Quotes

Nas and Rakim Interview

  1. If we there making songs, let us make songs about things that is important. Dude is important.
    This dude is an Alien.
    Nas about R

Nas – U.B.R. (Unauthorized Biography Of Rakim)

  1. First off, I want to Thank God
    Nuff Said
  2. The unauthorized copy. Dedication to my children, my child
    Destiny Jones. To my niece and nephews, Suree, Malik, Jabari.
    The world is yours. Acknowledgements: First off, I wanna
    Claiming his nephews and nieces as his own
  3. At sixteen, son was watching him, mesmerized
    Respect, not jocking him, was so amazing
    Modeling
  4. Clap to this
    Track from Eric B & Rakim
  5. Discography: Paid In Full, Follow The Leader, Let
    The Rhythm Hit ‘Em, Don’t Sweat The Technique.
    Tracks from Eric B & Rakim

Cherry Wine – Nas & Amy Winehouse

  1. I had to tell homes, I don’t keep a cell phone, my bad
    I drag off the L and try to silence it
    Link
  2. The noise in my head, the curse of the talented
    Nas about Mental Illness
  3. Who can be from out the hood or even work for the president
    As long as there’s no selfishness
    Yes, as long as her love for the people is deep rooted and evident
    You can be easily recruited, you’re heaven sent
    Nas about love for the people
  4. I hate when people write me hostile texts
    On account of my lifestyle’s perception
    Invade my personal life out of the question
    What are they expectin’? I be tryin’ to reply and
    They never suppose I get my quiet time in?
    Nas on need for “Quiet Time”

Abacus Federal Savings in Chinatown, New York : SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL

 

MarketWatch

The story behind the only bank prosecuted after the 2008 financial crisis

Link

After the 2008 financial crisis took millions of investment dollars from Americans, shell shocked financial advisers and briefly turned the country upside down, only one bank was indicted: Abacus Federal Savings in Chinatown, New York — the 2,531st largest bank in the U.S.

Founded by Chinese-American immigrant Thomas Sung in the 1980s, the bank has six branches in three states and primarily serves the Chinese community. Federal prosecutors indicted it in 2009 for mortgage fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy after it reported to regulators it had discovered a loan officer was laundering money there.

Rather than plead guilty, the Sungs went to court. A new documentary from Oscar-nominated “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James follows the subsequent legal battle, which plays out in the film as a David and Goliath tale of a small bank taking the fall for the financial crisis over an isolated incident with a corrupt loan officer.

“Too big to fail turns into small enough to jail, and Abacus is small enough to jail,” journalist Matt Taibbi says in the film, calling the bank “as easy a target as you could possibly pick.”

With an intimate view of the fight for innocence from a stoic Thomas Sung, his razor sharp daughters (all lawyers), and his fiery wife, it’s clear the film has a sympathetic eye for Abacus as it goes up against the U.S. government, frequently comparing Thomas Sung to George Bailey in his wife’s favorite film, “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“It seemed clear to us as filmmakers that this bank was the mirror opposite of the big banks,” director Steve James told MarketWatch in a recent interview, noting that the Sungs reported the fraud discovered at the bank themselves. “Yet they were the ones singled out, and it kind of leads one to the conclusion that this was about planting a flag and getting a trophy to be the one prosecutor, since the feds didn’t prosecute any big banks.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. argued that there was fraud widespread enough to warrant an investigation. In May 2012, he announced charges against the bank, two supervisors, and nine former employees — 184 counts including residential mortgage fraud, security fraud, conspiracy, and falsification of business records.

As the film expresses, the indictment put on trial not just the bank itself, but the reputation of Chinese immigrants and the cash culture of Chinatown. As Jill Sung, one of the daughters, notes at one point in the film, many of their members had never used a bank before. Now, with the movie’s premiere in New York on May 19 and the trial two years behind them, her focus has turned back on the bank.

“That is the hardest part, and what I focus on most, to ensure the bank can regain itself and be profitable,” Jill Sung told MarketWatch. “We are a community bank, a minority depository institution, which means we are mission-based to help our community. Any capital we get back we put back into the bank to help our community, so profitability to us is not just about dividends and shareholders — it’s about continuing to be able to do our mission and start being profitable again.”

The film is a celebration of the American dream — as well as a kind of eulogy for the community bank. Since the financial crisis, Jill Sung said not much has changed, though big banks continue to get bigger and community banks are consolidating. With scenes from George Bailey’s ‘Bailey Building and Loan’ woven among modern-day lines of neighbors and family outside Abacus throughout, the film shows something she says is central to their practice and is being lost: community.

“There are a lot of new banks that are creating digital communities, and I think it’s great — you can have a George Bailey of digital banks,” she said. “What’s more concerning is when you have big banks where there is no community, there’s no access, there is no feeling you can talk to anybody if you have a problem. The consumer suffers in the end because they get taken advantage of and have no other choices.”

Abacus was found “not guilty” on all 240 counts after months of deliberation and a hung jury.

 

Videos

Videos – Movies

  1. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail Trailer #1 (2017) | Movieclips Indie
    Link
  2. SinoVision English Channel Archives
    • Abacus: small enough to jail
      Abacus Federal Savings Bank is a family-run bank that has served New York’s Chinatown for over three decades. Its services include helping Chinese immigrants obtain loans for homes and small businesses and despite steady its growth, the bank was still only the 2651st largest bank in the country. Facing charges brought by Manhattan District attorney Cyrus Vance Jr, Abacus federal savings bank founder Thomas Sung and his four daughters decided to fight for justice. The legal battle was drawn out over five years and recorded by acclaimed filmmaker Steve James and made into the documentary.
      Published On :- 2017-May-18th
      Link
  3. Film Festival
    • Wisconsin
      • Madeline Uranek (left) and Ronnie Hess (right) from Open Doors for Refugees led a post-screening discussion of “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” a 2017 Wisconsin Film Festival selection.
        Link
  4. Director Steve James on ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL (2017) – Celluloid Dreams
    Link
  5. Abacus: Small Enough to Jail
    Abacus: Small Enough To Jail at IFC Center through June 1
    http://www.salon.com/2017/05/21/abacu…
    Q&A with the Sung family moderated by Ti-Hua Chang
    Link

 

Videos – Law Case

  1. Bloomberg Law
    • Abacus Bank’s Lawyer: Fannie Mae Earned $120M Profit From Us
      Link

 

 

Hilton Als – “MOONLIGHT” UNDOES OUR EXPECTATIONS

Story Telling

Storytelling is one area we all share as humanity.

Yet it is rare that we are closed enough to reality, or in some cases things don’t turn out well or they just drag on and on, and it is impossible to claim victory or honestly package them up.

And, so it is good to return back to how Tarell Alvin McCraney & Barry Jenkins were able to emerge from their Natural Inheritance.

 

Hilton Als

Link


Did I ever imagine, during my anxious, closeted childhood, that I’d live long enough to see a movie like “Moonlight,” Barry Jenkins’s brilliant, achingly alive new work about black queerness? Did any gay man who came of age, as I did, in the era of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, and aids, think he’d survive to see a version of his life told onscreen with such knowledge, unpredictability, and grace? Based on a story by the gay black playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney—Jenkins himself is not gay—the film is virtuosic in part because of Jenkins’s eye and in part because of the tale it tells, which begins in nineteen-eighties Miami.

Four white Miami-Dade police officers have beaten a young black man to death and been acquitted of manslaughter, setting off riots in the city’s black enclaves—Liberty City, Overtown, and elsewhere. It’s hard for a man of color walking those sun-bleached streets not to watch his back or feel that his days are numbered. That’s how Juan (the beautiful Mahershala Ali) carries himself—defensively, warily. He’s a dope dealer, so there’s that, too. He may be a boss on the streets—his black do-rag is his crown—but he’s intelligent enough to know that he’s expendable, that real power doesn’t belong to men like him. Crack is spreading through the city like a fever. Stepping out of his car, Juan asks a cranky drug runner what’s up. (Jenkins and his ardent cinematographer, James Laxton, film the car as if it were a kind of enclosed throne.) Juan, his mouth fixed in a pout—sometimes he sucks on his tongue, as if it were a pacifier—doesn’t take his eyes off the street. He can’t afford to; this situation, any situation, could be changed in an instant by a gun or a knife.

In this world, which is framed by the violence to come—because it will come—Juan sees a skinny kid running, his backpack flapping behind him. He’s being pursued by a group of boys, and he ducks into a condemned building to escape. Juan follows, entering through a blasted-out window, a symbol, perhaps, of the ruin left by the riots. Inside, in a dark, silent space, the kid stares at Juan, and Juan stares at the kid. There’s a kind of mirroring going on. Maybe Juan is looking at his past while the boy looks up at a future he didn’t know he could have. It’s a disorienting scene, not so much because of what happens as because of what doesn’t happen. Throughout the movie, Jenkins avoids what I call Negro hyperbole—the overblown clichés that are so often used to represent black American life. For instance, Juan doesn’t take that runaway kid under his wing in order to pimp him out and turn him into a drug runner; instead, he brings him home to feed him, nourish him.

Juan lives in a small, unassuming house with his soft-spoken but confident partner, Teresa (played by the singer Janelle Monáe). The couple look on as the kid eats and eats; it’s clear, though, that he’s hungry for more than food. The boy doesn’t even say his name, Chiron, until Juan nudges him: “You don’t talk much but you damn sure can eat.” The affectionate scolding makes Chiron (Alex Hibbert, a first-time actor, who couldn’t be better) sit up and take notice; it tells him that he counts. And he knows he counts even more when Juan calls him by his nickname—Little—as a way of claiming him.

“Faggot” is another name, and it’s one that Chiron hears often as he grows up. He’s an outsider at school, and at home, too. He lives in public housing with his single mother, Paula (Naomie Harris), who goes on drug binges, less to alleviate her sadness than to express her wrath—against the world and, especially, against her son, who she thinks keeps her from the world. Chiron lives for the moments when he can get away from his mother’s countless recriminations and needs, and swim in the unfamiliar waters of love with Juan and Teresa. One indelible scene shows Juan holding Chiron in his arms in a rippling blue ocean, teaching him to float—which is another way of teaching him the letting go that comes with trust, with love.

But, at the end of every outing, Teresa and Juan show their respect by returning Chiron home. No matter how awful Paula is, she is still Chiron’s mother. This gesture is one of many that Jenkins, who, like McCraney, was raised in Liberty City, understands from the inside out. Growing up in this community, Juan and Paula were taught to care for children, their own and others’. (There are no white characters in the film, and this is a radical move on Jenkins’s part. Whites would have introduced a different dynamic to “Moonlight.” Jenkins’s story is about a self-governing black society, no matter how fractured.) But drugs have made a mess of family, or the idea of family, and Paula gets in Juan’s face when he tries to stop her from using. She has a child, sure, but how can he talk when he’s the one selling drugs? It’s a vicious cycle, in which the characters are oppressed by everything but hope. Still, Juan does hope, if only for Chiron. That he is able to pluck that feeling out of the darkness of those Miami nights makes him a classically heroic figure: he knows his limitations, he knows that life is tragic, but he is still willing to dream.About thirty minutes into the film, Chiron, sitting at Juan and Teresa’s orderly table, asks what a faggot is. At the screening I attended, the entire audience froze, as did the figures onscreen. Then Chiron asks if he himself is a faggot. There’s no music in this scene; no one cries; Juan doesn’t grab a gun and try to blow the slandering universe away. Instead, he takes the word apart, and doesn’t take Chiron apart with it. He knows that Chiron is marked for misery, and how will Juan’s heart bear it, let alone Chiron’s?“Moonlight” undoes our expectations as viewers, and as human beings, too. As we watch, another movie plays in our minds, real-life footage of the many forms of damage done to black men, which can sometimes lead them to turn that hateful madness on their own kind, passing on the poison that was their inheritance. As Juan squires his fatherless friend about, we can’t help thinking, Will he abuse him? Will it happen now? Jenkins keeps the fear but not the melodrama in his film. He builds his scenes slowly, without trite dialogue or explosions. He respects our intelligence enough to let us just sit still and watch the glorious faces of his characters as they move through time. Scene follows scene with the kind of purposefulness you find in fairy tales, or in those Dickens novels about boys made and unmade by fate.Jenkins has influences—I would guess that Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Terrence Malick, and Charles Burnett are high on the list, along with Michael Roemer’s 1964 film “Nothing But a Man,” one of the first modern black love stories to avoid buffoonery and improbability—but what really gets him going here is filmmaking itself, and the story he’s telling. Directors such as Marlon Riggs and Isaac Julien explored gay black masculinity in the nineties, but they did so in essay-films, which allowed the audience a kind of built-in distance. Of course, no one in the nineties wanted to finance films about gay black men. Twenty years later, I still don’t know how Jenkins got this flick made. But he did. And it changes everything.The film is divided into three parts, titled “Little,” “Chiron,” and “Black.”
In the second part, Chiron (played now by Ashton Sanders) is a teen-ager, thin and walking with the push, resolve, and loneliness of a character for whom Billie Holiday would have given her all in a song. Like any young person, Chiron wants to be claimed bodily but is not entirely in his body. He’s growing up without much reinforcement outside Juan and Teresa’s home. Paula’s drug addiction has escalated and so has her anger. She’s a rotten baby, flailing around, as full of bile as Terrel (Patrick DeCile, in an incredible characterization), who bullies Chiron at school. So when a classmate, Kevin (Jharrel Jerome), shows Chiron something other than hostility, it feels like a kind of fantasy. Indeed, after Kevin jokes with Chiron about a girl, he dreams about Kevin having sex with her. And it’s like a dream one night when Chiron, trusting little but wanting to trust more, approaches Kevin at the beach where Juan taught him to swim.
The light-skinned Kevin has nicknamed Chiron Black, and he asks why, wondering if it’s a put-down. Kevin, who is more comfortable in his own body, says that it’s because Chiron is black; to him, it’s not an insult. This moment of confusion—about internalized self-hatred and the affection of naming—is unlike anything that’s been put onscreen before; it shows what freedom and pain can look like, all in one frame. When the boys kiss, Chiron apologizes for it, and we wince, because who among us hasn’t wanted to apologize for his presence? Intimacy makes the world, the body, feel strange. How does it make a boy who’s been rejected because of his skin color, his sexual interests, and his sensitivity feel? Kevin says, “What have you got to be sorry for?” As he works his hand down Chiron’s shorts, the camera pulls back; this is the only moment of physical intimacy in the film, and Jenkins knows that in this study of black male closeness the point isn’t to show fucking; it’s to show the stops and starts, the hesitation, and the rush that comes when one black male body finds pleasure and something like liberation in another.
Watching Sanders play Chiron at this stage of his life is rather like seeing Montgomery Clift act for the first time, or Gloria Foster in “Nothing But a Man.” There’s no accounting for talent like this. Sanders has a conjurer’s gifts, and an intuitive understanding of how the camera works—how it can push into an actor’s face and consciousness, and how the actor can push back against the intrusion by inhabiting the reality of the moment.
But the moment of love doesn’t last. When Terrel challenges Kevin about his attachment to Chiron, Kevin beats Chiron up, and then Terrel jumps on him, too. It’s “The Lord of the Flies” all over again: whale on sensitivity before it can get to you. In a bid to protect his dream of love, Chiron shows up at school one day and, wordlessly, breaks a chair over Terrel’s back. It’s every queer kid’s revenge fantasy, but what follows is every queer kid’s reality: fight back, and you’ll pay for it; the power does not belong to you.
In the third part of the film, Chiron (gorgeously played by Trevante Rhodes) is an adult, but still looking after his mother. She’s in rehab in Atlanta, and he has fulfilled his destiny by example: like Juan, he’s a drug dealer in a do-rag. But he doesn’t have a Teresa, doesn’t have anyone. He wears his sensitivity like a shroud around his now muscular body, which looks very black in the moonlight as he lies in bed, startled to have received a phone call from Kevin after many years. Rhodes’s portrayal of the grownup Chiron feels like a natural evolution from the earlier performances. The gold fronts that his Chiron wears are just another form of armor against longing, in a mouth that yearns to taste Kevin’s once again, to relive that forbidden love, for which black men sometimes punish one another. Rarely has the world taught them not to. But at times, when no one’s looking, love happens, just the same.

 

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Likely there are areas of our lives where we are a bit untrustworthy.  I pray we do get to recompense.

 

Quotes

  1. Shanika Hadge?
    • If you want to know where a culture is headed look at the art
  2. Mahershala Ali
    • Disengaging
      • Not be communicative
      • take ownership of our experience
      • We need ourselves
      • If I take time from it, I can go back to it and not be assaulted
    • Poetr y
    • Play
      • From the margins to the Center
    • Writing a film script
    • Understanding time more
      • Do not have time to do everything
      • When you have freedom and your own room, it is difficult
      • My Dad was dying at the time
      • Our efforts is not always in alignment with the desired destination
      • I had to learn that the hard way
      • I wasted a lot of time just chasing girls
        • It was too important to me
        • I had to be about chasing me
        • Was worrying “Who is she with now, she did not call me back”
      • There is nobody here that is more important than you
      • There is a handful of people that I still keep in touch with
        • And, that is because we contribute to each other
        • They are trying to be good fathers and good husbands

 

Grats

Gratitude to Rebecca Engle, Director of Theater @ Saint Mary,  & Mahershala Ali for narrating…here

And, also to all those wanting and waiting for a good story to tell.

As I watch more of the Video, it is so obvious how much Rebecca Engle has invested in teaching and training Mahershala.

And, far more endearingly, how much she wants him to be successful not just commercially, but through the story that gets to be told through him, as well.