It’s just another day…right?

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY!!!

You would have been 50 today. Creative. Wise. Powerful and extremely loving to the lives of many. Most of whom you didn’t know you have touched. Exactly 4 months ago today around this same time 3:47 p.m, I was still in denial about you taking your last breath.

But today…oh but today, I miss you like crazzzzzzzzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy and I have accepted your absence. When August first rolled around, I was writing everyone’s birthday on my calendar and wrote yours first. Since then, I have been thinking of way I could honor your memory. I thought of creating some sad ritual that I would do on all of your birthdays, but the day has actually come and I think I…we all should rejoice.

model

His model car looks something like this. Actual photo coming soon.

Last year, I gave you a kit for a model red corvette for your birthday. You hand crafted that tiny car with your stubby fingers a day after. I’m so proud of that thing. (once I get a hold of it I will post the picture here) So I figured…why not attempt to build one of those cars myself? Maybe not this year but it’s a thought!

(click here to witness Dad being a goofball)

You always told us that birthdays, holidays, and pay days are still just days. There is some truth to that because the world keeps going no matter what we may be celebrating, but Faja…I partially disagree. You were born today! Without your birth I obviously wouldn’t be here; the world would not have been graced by your presence. And even when you disagreed with me about subjects such as that, you always made sure to uplift and encourage me; you always found a way to make your baby girl laugh. I hope that one day my children will love and cherish me as much as I do you.

You taught me to value myself. You taught me how to love a man and how I should be loved. From you, I learned to keep pushing and how to “Fake it till you make it”. You were so real. You never sugar coated anything for anyone. You never changed yourself for anyone. You were 100% you, and taught me to not be ashamed of being 100% me. Thank you dad. You have been the driving force in my life. Thank you for hanging on as long as you did.

Today, I will celebrate your life. Within me, you will live forever. I love you daddy! Peace out.

-Fly (your baby girl)

Daddy!

Dad’s first ever selfie.

Feel free to reach out with suggestions, tips, and/or love!

IG: kafee1867 | Email: kafee1867@gmail.com | Twitter:@kiz_nichole | Facebook: kizzie.frank

Straight Outta Compton: Ruthless in the box office

It’s been a long time coming, but I needed to share my experience of watching the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton. When the movie first hit the big screen, August 14th 2015, I decided to stray away in case of a huge line. It ended up being sort of a family outing with my Aunt, Uncle, cousins, sister and two of my brothers. I warned them of all the profanity and possible nudity that would inevitably take place, but to my delight, we went anyway.

Besides the fact that the movie was obviously not meant for sensitive ears, I was hoping for authenticity of times that were a little before my own. When hip-hop was fresh and gangster rap was the thing to do, when police brutality was not nearly as visible as it is now. I worried about the cast, just as I always am with any biopic. I watched this film in full on consumer mode. I did not want to ruin it in light of all the things I have learned about film,scripts, and all that jazz in college. I went in to get some insight on NWA whom I knew of and listened to with older cousins, aunts and uncles. I wanted to take a stroll through the 80s and early 90s of music.

(Who/what is NWA: Click here)

Before reading all the articles nitpicking at Straight Outta Compton, I thought about why this film gave me, and many others, so much life. And so much yes! Before I get into it, if you have not yet seen Straight Outta Compton, run away now.

THIS MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. Obviously. Its a biopic…life is a spoiler for this movie.

With Straight Outta Compton being expected to dominate the box office for it’s second weekend, there are a few reasons why it has already made over $80 million within its first week in theaters.

Straight Outta Compton cast were splitting images and attitudes

The film opens with Jason Mitchell as Eazy-E going in to collect money from a possible drug or gun deal. That opening scene ends with Mitchell hopping on the rooftop Assassin’s creed style.The beginning snatches the viewers attention to say the least. As it goes on we meet Corey Hawkins as Dr. Dre, O’Shea Jackson Jr. as Ice Cube, Neil Brown Jr. as DJ Yella, and Aldis Hodge as MC Ren.

nwa

Cast of Straight Outta Compton

Cast of Straight Outta Compton

Director of Straight Outta Compton F. Gary Gray expressed that the cast was not chosen because of how they looked, but I’m sure there had to be factored in some where. I mean…come on.

Viewers experience the light and dark of NWA

concert

NWA was/is referred to as “The Most Dangerous Rap Group”. I believe their image prompted many to expect a movie that was purely dark, however, there were many scenes of laughter, love, and joy. Viewers get a taste of what it could have been like to experience the hype of a NWA concert. Before a prominent performance in the film NWA in Detroit, where they are prompted by police to not perform the song “F**k the Police”. Of course they perform it and were (to put it lightly) placed under arrest for “inciting a riot” with smiles on their faces. Ice Cube intended for the movie to show more of the lighter side of NWA and welcomes those who want it to have something different to make their own.

“We were kids, doing hip-hop and becoming famous. It’s like, ‘Oh, yeah, FBI? Oh, yeah — policemen too, huh?’ We were having fun until the police came and fucked with us. In between that, we were having fun. Coming from those neighborhoods, you don’t have this ‘Woe is me’ attitude. You have this, ‘Shit, I survived yesterday; I should be able to survive today, using my instincts. But where’s the fun at? What are we doing?’ We’re not just going to be sitting and sulking… -Ice Cube

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/14-things-we-learned-about-straight-outta-compton-

For those complaining about not having the movie dark enough…Eazy-E dies. Dr. Dre’s little brother dies, Suge Knight and all his unnecessarily violent shenanigans,there is a glimpse of the L.A Riots and Rodney King getting beat in the streets. Not dark enough for you?

There is another moment of “Bye Felicia”

Eazy-E chasing

Eazy-E chasing “Felicia’s” bae.

According to Ice Cube, the line “Bye Felicia” from the hit movie Friday was not premeditated. A character’s name happened to be Felicia, and that character happened to be leaving the area. Regardless of whether or not a viewer knew where the saying came from, most would at least know that it exists. If not…bye Felicia.

The film is Rated R. Meaning the aforementioned nudity, violence, and language is probably 5% censored.

Most members of NWA are still living. With the recent release of films such as “Amy”, (biopic of Amy Winehouse), “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B”, “Whitney”, most of the main artists are not living. This granted the cast, director, and Universal the direct insight into the lives of specific members of the group and the people they were surrounded by. With Ice Cube and Dr. Dre present in some way on set everyday, the actors were able to get one on one mentoring from the people they were portraying. MC Ren and DJ Yella even made appearances despite their short camera time in the film, as they were unfortunately overlooked in the movie.

Straight Outta Compton came in right on time

In light, or giant shadow, of all the recent televised footage of police brutality, the film was moved by that theme. There is a personal connection to the issues happening today to those of the past; the vehicle: NWA’s music. NWA’s music is brutally honest against the brutal truths many experienced. Many of what was shown is still happening today and can catapult more into the movement of racial equality and weeding out the bad seeds of the police force.

(Cast and Ice Cube Talks Police Brutality)

It inspired Dr. Dre to bless us with his genius once again

I’m sure that by now, many know that Dr. Dre has released his album inspired by the film. Let’s make it very clear that this is not a soundtrack to the movie, but was made as a result of it. It is much like Jay Z’s “American Gangster” that was inspired the film American Gangster starring Denzel Washington. More importantly Kendrick Lamar, Jill Scott, The Game, Snoop Dogg and many others are featured in “Compton” over 16 tracks. The album is now available. (click album cover for link)
compton

For a two and a half hour film, it was explosive from beginning to end.

The film was roughly two and a half hours long. There was not a moment that my eyes were able to direct themselves away from the screen. I enjoyed seeing who they cast as Snoop Dogg and Tupac and wanted so badly to see more of them. The two actors (Marcc Rose as Tupac & Keith Stanfield as Snoop) did a phenomenal job as well, but I had to keep in mind that this was a movie about NWA specifically.

I heard one of my cousins say,” I didn’t know Ice Cube was a rapper.” Whenever someone enters the theater to watch this, they will come out, enlightened. Though “Ray” will forever have my heart, this film has become one of my favorites that I can watch over and over.I came close to shedding a tear, laughed hysterically, and rapped terribly in one sitting. Straight Outta Compton will continue to live on in generations to come.

-Fly

nwaaway

Feel free to reach out with suggestions, tips, and/or love!

IG: @kiz_nichole | Email: kafee1867@gmail.com | Twitter: @kiz_nichole

My tea is cold

A little over ten years ago…

There was a pubescent girl who wore bell bottom jeans, k-swiss, and giant Tweety Bird t-shirts to school. This girl was a mere 12 or 13 years old, SUPER confused in life, in light of her recently changed mother. (that can be explained later) In these years she found she loved language arts, sketching, and doing other artsy things when she wasn’t caring for her now worthless beanie babies. She just wanted to get across the way to buy a kool cup from the candy lady, but after the dismissal bell, the skinny, pimple faced, weirdo was standing out in front of the school gates when a seemingly normal car pulled up and seemingly normal people got out of it. Today, we know one of those people as

Solange Knowles. first demo

Guys, it was SOLANGE KNOWLES passing out her demo to these regular kids, on a regular day, to a middle school tucked in a dead end of a street. That was a good 11 or 12 years ago. If Solange had looked me in my eye that day and told me, “Girl one day I’m going to be a high fashion goddess, featured in (your future fav magizine) Vogue, who will marry a music video director who is going to direct some of your absolute FAVORITE artists. Oh and my niece’s name will be Blue Ivy…CARTER,” I would probably just smile and say okay (I was super reserved). Seriously, I would not even be able to grasp that concept.

The point is, guys, my tea has gone cold. I made hot green tea with lemon and honey and sat here thinking about all the crap I have gone through and what it has all molded me to be. And my freakin tea is cold. I thought back over the past 10 years and cannot BELIEVE the things I’ve seen.

In my first real interview with a supervisor from the civil courts in downtown Houston I was presented with the infamous (occasionally irritating) question ,”Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? How about in the next 10?” Could I have told that supervisor, “Ma’am I’m going to go ahead and say that I will have gone to, aced, and graduated college. I will have stepped foot on European soil, zip lined, and canoed. I will have stopped using relaxers, and I will become a women of many hats. I will have seen Common, and John Legend in concert and CRIED at both, but I will not be here. Sorry.”

I don’t remember what I actually told her, but I’m sure I was not sure of myself, not even 50% sure. Probably made up some lie I learned in the 5489741 job fairs I had gone to by that time.

For the 90s babies, guys, we survived Y2K. We got to experience a small taste of Bill freakin Clinton. Bush. The Obamas have been in the White House for most of our politically aware lives. Pluto was, then wasn’t, then was a planet again. PlayStation, Sega Genesis, Super Nintendo, Aaliyah, Left-Eye, *NSNYC, the Lion King, Family Matters, dial- up internet, T9 texting, razor scooters. Oh lawd the list goes on.

So much nostalgia, I just can’t think straight.

Anyway, I can’t predict the next ten years, but in my next interview if I am asked that question, I will be forced to try. I will be happy. Hopefully I’ll have a son and/or daughter. I’ll be married. I’ll be swimming in cash from all the senseless hustling that will take place at whatever job I have, and IF I have a mixtape or something beforehand, I’ll tell some 12 year old girl that she is amazing and amazing things will happen for her as I casually hand her said mixtape. She’s just gotta take it one day at a time.

Creators, appreciators…some day, some one will remember a day we cross their paths and say, wow…is that really him/ her now? Nah. That disbelief, that shock, and that pride will one day belong to someone in YOUR honor. S/o to Solange for her third Puma collection “Word To The Woman” (view here), and being awesome and saying hi to me that day.

With love and light,

-Fly

The least embarassing picture of (L) Me (R) Baby sister Kayla back in the day.

The least embarassing picture of (L) Me (R) Baby sister Kayla back in the day.