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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Experience Blogging

So, after a year or so of careful deliberation, due to the requirements of a college course I’m taking at the moment, I finally decided (?) to start blogging. I’ve been commenting on HuffingtonPost and YouTube channels for quite a while now, some people agree some people do not I’ve been told I should start a blog, but never was quite interested, mainly because I need an audience and I’m also impatient. I don’t want to grow an audience, I’d rather comment on a channel or website with a huge audience and get them interested in what I have to say, which is what I’ve done and continue to do. Unfortunately, due to me working in the media and some of my opinions being a bit controversial, I cannot disclose my YouTube profile. Anyway, I digress, back to my experience blogging.

My experience blogging has been an interesting one, unfortunately, having this be a requirement for a college course I’ve been just doing the bare minimum to skate by. When something is forced upon you it takes away the passion and the intrigue. Starting my own blog by my own accord would have been much better for me, having a class force me to create a blog within specific time-frames has made my experience dull, hasty and malcontent.

Therefore, and perhaps unfortunately, using social media to promote myself hasn’t been the best. Why? Simple, my blog isn’t anything I’m particularly proud of because it was forced on me. I’m not though, through cronyism and nepotism I’ve heard people actually getting internships and job prospects off of their blogs. Must be nice to have such connections, even though the work is mediocre or unimpressive.That may be the most effective tool, having parents and friends in positions of power and authority, all it takes is one glance of a blog, regardless of flair, and, BOOM, your foot is already in the door.

For me though, the most effective tool has probably been Twitter. It’s easy, it’s simple and it connects you to millions of people. No friendships needed or anything, you’re all connected. So simply putting #FDOM14 or #TXST in a tweet or another popular hashtag can give people tons of retweeets or favorites or even just views. The least effective for me has been the blog itself. WordPress, while popular, has been going downhill for a while. Also, the comment section is very specific to WordPress. Something like Tumblr or incorporating Disqus into the blog would have been a better tool because more people have Disqus profiles and Tumblr has been growing over the last several years, and it also has a younger fan base. So, those would have probably increased the visibility and comments of the blogs just by using popular tags.

While this blog specifically will definitely not be getting updated, I think that this experience has taught me a bunch of valuable things. It taught me A) creating a blog is super easy B) I know, or have a general idea, of what I can write a blog about C) taught me valuable ways to create videos, edit and properly take pictures, and use HTML. Being a Mass Communications major this is very important information, especially since, while transcripts are important, content is most important if one wants a job in the Mass Communications field. So, now that I have the knowledge I can include that into a better blog, that isn’t constrained by time and grading systems. Then, once I make it into the real world I can show employers even more content that I have, that I created and more importantly, that I’m actually proud of. As was told to us FDOM students by the panel at Texas State University’s annual Mass Comm Week from employers, they don’t care what you say you can do–they want to see what you can, and what you have done. Since I want to be a columnist eventually for a big time newspaper, magazine or publication in general, having a blog illustrating what I can do and what I’m passionate about is vital to my success in the field and will undoubtedly set me apart from others.

So, if you want to see what I can and have done then check out a blog I’m actually proud of which is Defiant wRiot, you can check out more information about us on the Defiant wRiot tab here on my blog (just scroll up).

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One of My Literary Inspirations: Blogger Abagond

One blogger on WordPress that has inspired me, specifically the content of my chosen blog, is blogger Abagond. His blog was created as just the ramblings of a white collar professional who always had a passion for writing. His blog’s literal catchphrase is “500 words a day on whatever I want,” talk about a man who has a knack for everything

While he says his content is non-specific one thing that he chooses to specialize on are topics regarding race and white supremacy. Mainly black issues, since he himself is a black man, but he also speaks on Asian issues, Hispanic issues, Native American issues, etc. Basically exposing white supremacy’s effect on these different sub-groups. Again, generally.

I remember I first got into his blog because I decided to google sub-Sahara Africa, which I thought as being a racial/racist term. His blog post on it, titled “Is the term sub-Saharan Africa racist,” was one of the top results. I clicked it and fell in love. I always find it funny how people say “black Africans” and relegate black people to “sub-Sahara Africa” as if we have never existed in other parts of the continent, or currently do not exist in the Northern region. Which is demonstrably false. This is the thing that lead me to googling this in the first place. Then his blog post, complete with facts, addressed my very concern and validated it.

I have literally spent countless hours on his blog just reading his post but most of the time is relegated to the comments on his post, some post have over 1,000 comments. The average ones, that I visited at least, have about 150-250 comments. The commenters are generally regular readers of his blogs and they are by far some of the smartest commenters I have ever encountered.

Very aware of everything and on the specific post on sub-Sahara Africa that initially intrigued me there were over 50 comments between two people discussing the biology and genetics of people. Not in simple terms, but words and phrases I have never even heard of, speaking in-depth and with links to journals and studies/research. I was thoroughly impressed at the knowledge of these two people and having been visiting the blog for the past 2 years now, most of the commenters are extremely educated. Then of course you have the typical white racist who comes in to disturb the peace and the commenters take them down effortlessly, without being nasty or rude, just truth and honest and facts.

All in all, Abagond is one of my literary inspirations. For a man that works as some kind of engineer, which I’d imagine takes up a lot of time, he writes and links some of the most meaningful things I have ever read. He was the catalyst for my pan-africanism views and my awakening into a higher consciousness in regards to race, race relations, and white supremacy perpetrated the world over for the past 600 years from colonialism to imperialism to purported moral superiority. I recommend everyone to check out this amazing man and his amazing content on his blog. Fair warning, he has a huge amount of content so tread carefully and utilize the search bar on his blog for whatever you specifically are curious about. Trust me, he has practically everything and even more than you thought you knew. The best thing, for me at least, is to read something that I find interesting then look at his “See Also” which shows other, similar (vaguely sometimes), posts.

BET Hip-Hop Awards 2014 Cyphers

On Tuesday night, October 14th, was the 2014 BET Hip-Hop Awards. This year the awards show was hosted by legendary emcee Snoop Dogg, or is it Snoop Lion still?  Hmmm, I don’t know. Anyways, the show is…uninspiring for the most part. It’ s still a fairly new awards show, so the kinks are still being dealt with. Personally, the one redeeming quality of the BET HIp-Hop Awards are the cyphers. Now, I know some of you are looking at me like, “what is a cypher?” Well pumpkin…allow me to explain.

A cypher is a basically a freestyle rap battle of sorts. Except, there’s not much battling. You have several emcees, a single beat, then they each take turns dropping bars over the beat. Now, there is a common misconception that “freestyle” equates to “off the top of the dome,” but it doesn’t. Freestyle simply means free of style. It can be improvised, it can be rehearsed, it can be previously recorded, etc. Just needs to be free of style.

At the BET Hip-Hop Awards they often have upcoming emcees on the cyphers sprinkled with legends and big-hitters in the game. Previous cyphers included upcoming emcees such as Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa. All have gone on to have international success. These cyphers have also included legends in the game such as; Snoop Dogg, KRS-One, Ice Cube,  Eminem, Lil Kim, Snoop Dogg, Kanye West and Rev Run among many others. So, basically, this is a pretty big deal.

Finally, with all the formalities out of the way let’s discuss the hits and misses of this years BET Hip-Hop Awards cyphers.

The Bad:

  1. Charron. The Canadian rapper. Sir, I’m so sorry, but those struggle bars are not cutting it. Time to go back to the drawing board. Great battle rapper, but when put on the spot on a national platform…he fell very flat.
  2. The entire Taylor Gang Cypher: Just….no. Please, don’t come back.

The Good:

  1. Detroit Che: This chick spits bars! Her flow? Nigh perfect. Her content, very timely. As the name suggests she hails from Detroit and she, in rapid secession, speaks about the troubles in detroit and government apathy. Then she goes into the string of black boys murdered by authority figures. Very well done.
  2. Snow the Product: While I couldn’t understand most of what she was saying, I enjoyed her bilingual freestyle. Her flow was on point, her delivery was perfect and the parts that I could understand was sound critique of her as a female emcee in a male dominated industry. Very well.
  3. Papoose and Remy Ma: Everyone knows this couple can spit. After her six-year bid in federal prison Remy Ma has hit the ground running these past few months. Interview after interview, mixtapes, records, etc. Her husband held her down for all those years and they showed that this year on their cypher. They rapped flawlessly in a conversational freestyle. Their point on black love had the crowd cheering. All hail Remy the Ruler.
  4. Logic: First things first, I want him. He’s so fine. Sorry, had to put that in there. Logic is a biracial man but looks almost indistinguishable from your ordinary white kid. His skin is white, his hair is straight and aside from his full lips, his facial features are white. But, don’t let that fool you! He bars are some of the realest I’ve heard in a long time. He attacks racial stereotypes, the media and politics. Which just adds to his attractiveness.
  5. David Banner: Last, but not least, we have my man David Banner. An OG in the game, Banner has taken a more cerebral turn in recent years. Trying to be a more conscious rapper. And he definitely delivered. There’s nothing more to say really, I’ll just leave you with his parting words.

“Where were the white rappers when they mowed Mike Brown…down! Nowhere to be found.”

However, don’t just take my words for it, conclude for yourself. Check out all the cyphers below.