Remembering an Icon: Janis Joplin

I wouldn’t be a true hippie if I was not a fan of the late Janis Joplin. Her incomparable vocals, a massive amount of soul, and amazing music made her royalty in a short amount of time. Artists like Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin were the heartbeat of the counter-culture in the 1960s. Janis Joplin even headlined Woodstock in 1969 shaking the stage with her heartfelt performance.

Born in January 1943 Joplin was a fierce spirit who refused to be quiet. She rose to fame during a performance at the Monterey Pop Festival with band Big Brother and the Holding Company. Joplin later left the band to pursue her successful solo career. She took the world by storm performing at music festivals worldwide giving her all. With hits like “Piece of My Heart“, “Cry Baby“, and “Ball n Chain” she won hippie hearts everywhere.

Joplin was not only known for her amazing music and performances but her nasty habits. At a concert thrown by Rolling Stone shortly after Woodstock she was so drunk and high that she tried to get the audience to riot. Many say her music was so soulful because she was troubled and gave it all the pain she had inside.

On October 4th, 1970 Joplin died after an accidental heroin overdose. Her legacy has lived on through the many renditions of her music and many documentaries.  Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin often sing her songs in concert in remembrance to their late friend. Artists like Pink, Stevie Nicks, and many others cite Janis Joplin as a huge influence on their music.  Next time you ever want to feel the words an artist is singing put any of Janis Joplin’s records on.

Remembering An Icon: Teddy Pendergrass

I am a sucker for soul. Especially such a deep and endearing voice like the one of Teddy Pendergrass. I’m sure a lot of people in this world were conceived to the sweet sounds of his voice and if you put his songs on today it will surely get a lot of people in the mood.

Teddy Pendergrass was born on March 26, 1950 in South Carolina to Jesse and Ida Geraldine Pendergrass. He loved singing and from an early age his family knew he would reach super stardom. The raspy baritone joined R&B group Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes in 1972 and lead their smash hit “I Miss You” showing the world what he was capable of as a vocalist. Pendergrass led most of the group’s hit songs like “When Somebody Loves You Back”, “Wake Up Everybody”, and “Bad Luck”. Continue Reading

Jesse Williams AKA: Activist Bae

As made evident by the title this article was supposed to be about Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams and his gut punching speech he gave at the BET awards. It still is. But as I type this Black America has experienced yet another traumatic murder of one of our brothers at the hands of police. So, in my mind at least, Jesse’s speech is even more relevant and poignant in the wake of this. Jesse was awarded the Humanitarian award but he dedicated it to “other activists, black women, and the struggling parents, the teachers who are realizing that a system built to divide, impoverish and destroy us, cannot stand if we do” He went on: “We’ve been looking at the data, and we know police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day. So what’s gonna happen is, we’re gonna have equal rights and justice in our own country or we’re gonna restructure their function and ours” Translation: Either give us due process and convict these officers OR we will have to come at ya’ll a different way and tear this system apart from the inside out. WHEW BABY!!   At least, that’s what I got out of it. His speech even inspired Alice Walker. Earlier last week she published a poem inspired by Jesse and his speech:

the beauty that scares you

-so you believe-

to death

For he is certainly gorgeous

and he is certainly where whiteness

to your disbelief

has not wandered off

to die.

No. it is there, tawny skin, gray eyes,

a Malcolm-esque jaw. His loyal

parents

may God bless them

sitting proud and happy and no doubt

amazed

at what they have done.

For he is black too. And obviously

with a soul

made of everything

Try to think bigger than you ever have

or had courage to do:

that blackness is not where whiteness

wanders off to die: but that it is

like the dark matter

between stars and galaxies in

the Universe

that ultimately

holds it all

together.

Ms. Walker stated the poem is about the fear of Blackness in white culture, but was also meant to praise Williams. Now, I have seen many different reactions to Jesse and his speech. Including someone starting a petition to have him fired for “hate speech against police officers and white people”. For me, though, the most offensive negative response came from within the black community itself. Dozens of posts bashing Jesse, saying he’s a poser, he’s only being listened to because he’s light skinned. People even putting him up against David Banner and Umar Johnson, saying he’s not saying anything they haven’t wondering why no one is listening to them. Well for one Umar is a big a liar and for two, who said people weren’t? Let me be clear: Jesse has been doing this since college. Let me take ya’ll back a lil bit.
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“I think it’s funny how…” Why weed sales are plummeting

Weed, pot, marijuana, whatever you’d prefer to call it is becoming extremely cheap at an alarming rate. You would think that in this day in time, where states are legalizing marijuana left and right, that governments would take advantage and tax the hell out of an average dub or whatever. But nah…

The increased supply in your local dispensaries have caused prices to drop. A couple of years ago Washington conducted a policy experiment. With the information they’ve gathered, prices has drop each month by 2 percent. Now for those who are producing a product that’s in high demand means that they’re kind of fucked. Why is that if they’re working along these dispensaries? I mean, as bold as it is, they would have to compensate to avoid being arrested and caught in other legal mumbo jumbo. It’s sort of a win/lose situation.

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With 24 states and DC siding with the green, with its boundaries of course, what would happen if marijuana was legal EVERYWHERE. Can you imagine how companies would MILK the idea of consuming of weed. omg. I’m almost sick just thinking about how Arby’s would incorporate the munchies in an ad for their repulsive sandwiches. I mean, besides that, bigger corporations, their shareholders and the government would flourish. Money isn’t a thing so compensating wouldn’t be an issue because of it being a billion dollar industry. Therefore, at that point it’ll be dirt cheap. On the flip side of things the State itself would save about $12 billion.

Replacing marijuana prohibition with a system of taxation and regulation similar to that used for alcoholic beverages would produce combined savings and tax revenues of between $10 billion and $14 billion per year

prohibition cost

So what does that mean for the consumers? Well, cheap(er) weed. Currently you can walk into dispensaries meaning to grab an eighth and walk our with a damn bundle of goods. With a 24% decrease, per year (let’s just say) just imagine what you could benefit from it. The fact remains that as long as the plant grows there will always be product. It’s worth debating about until the day come.

Feel free to leave some comments!