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College Dropout: Ten Years Later

February 9, 2014 3 comments

kanye-west-the-college-dropout

I was encouraged by a friend to write something about one of my favorite hip-hop albums of all time. Tomorrow marks the 10 year anniversary of Kanye West’s “College Dropout” and I found it fitting to reflect back on it’s release and impact on my life.

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The Return

October 3, 2013 Leave a comment

To the readers of The Truth Renaissance,

I’d like to thank everyone that has supported The Truth Renaissance since its inception a few years ago. When I first launched this blog back in 2010, I really didn’t have any idea what I was doing. I was posting album reviews using the notes feature on Facebook and I decided why not share them with people outside of my inner circle.  I did a little research watched YouTube videos, made a few random posts about various topics, and the rest is history. However, my blog lacked direction and clarity. There was a purpose and vision, but it had yet to blossom into what I dreamed it would be.

I’m working on relaunching The Truth Renaissance very soon and this time I look to begin the vision that I’ve spent the last two years creating. There were several reasons for my break and I’ll be sure to share those with you once I relaunch.

Until then you can catch me on my various social networking sites:

Follow me on Twitter @therealbenpete and Pinterest.

My Street Photography Instagram: BE_Atlanta

The Truth Renaissance Tumblr 

The Truth Renaissance Instagram (Coming Soon)

The Truth Renaissance Twitter (Coming Soon)

We Have Work To Do.

- Benjamin

Categories: Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday: Billie Holiday – “Strange Fruit” + Bonus Download

April 21, 2011 Leave a comment

This is one of my favorite songs from Ms. Holiday. It’s beautiful, dark, and the lyrics are very powerful. As much as I love hip-hop music, jazz and soul music are my favorite. They don’t make music like this anymore!

A few years ago I stumbled across this record by Common Feat. John Legend which samples “Strange Fruit”. I was a little apprehensive about listening to it at first because it’s such a classic song, but Common’s version has a nice vibe to it. I think it was a leftover track circa “Finding Forever”. I’ve posted a download link as a bonus below. Enjoy!

Download: Common – “Strange Fruit” Feat. John Legend

Previously: Throwback Thursday: The Roots – “What They Do” 

What to Watch: Black in Latin America on PBS

April 18, 2011 1 comment

Tomorrow night on PBS they will begin airing a new series called “Black In Latin America”. I believe it comes on at 8 pm EST, but check your local listings for your city. The video above has a brief interview with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. about the series. It looks like they have several episodes lined up, so I’m sure you can catch it on rerun if you miss it. Please support and educate yourself if you have time.

Related: AOI: NY Times – Ending The Slavery Blame Game 

Update: I know it’s been a few months since I’ve posted anything, but I’ve had A LOT going on lately. However, I should be back up and running next week with a lot of new content on a more  consistent basis!

I’ll have a special Throwback Thursday this week too. I hope everyone has a great week! God Bless.

ONe1.

AOI: Should BET Be in the Business of Racial Uplift?

February 15, 2011 Leave a comment

Should BET Be in the Business of Racial Uplift? by Mark Anthony Neal

Cable network has always focused on profits, not progress

 

For the record, I have been an observer and critic of Black Entertainment Television for nearly 25 years. Despite all the nostalgia for the days when Ed Gordon hosted a nightly news show, Melvin Lindsey (who co-created the Quiet Storm radio format at WHUR) served as a vee-jay and many felt blessed to see Madelyne Woods(see Phife’s recollection on Tribe’s “Electric Relaxation”) on the daily, the basic structure of BET’s programming remains the same—a steady stream of music videos, re-runs, and until fairly recently, late night infomercials.

Much has been made about the network’s new foray into original scripted programming, with the record setting re-launch of The Game and the debut of the romantic comedy Let’s Stay Together, with many, including network CEO Debra Lee, heralding a new direction for the network. But a new direction for you? The criticism of BET in that past, had little to do with its ability to capture its target audience and generate profits, but rather, has everything to do with the belief that BET should, instead, be in the business of racial uplift.

Read the rest of the essay at theloop21

Source: NewBlackMan

Previously: NY Times – Ending The Slavery Blame Game by Henry Louis Gates

Quote of the Week: Valentine’s Day & Love Edition

February 14, 2011 1 comment

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails” 1 Cor. 13:4-8a

 

Today, all over the country and some parts of the world, people are taking the time to celebrate love and affection. The days leading up to Valentine’s Day tend to generate mixed feelings about it’s importance. Those in relationships spend time buying gifts or trying to come up with the perfect plans for that special person in their life. For those who aren’t in a relationship, this day has been coined by some as “Single Awareness Day”. I’ve noticed as I grow older, that there is a lot of backlash against Valentine’s Day for no reason at all; hating Valentine’s Day has become almost as popular as celebrating it. When we were children we looked forward to Valentine’s Day. Each year we would go out and buy cards for everyone in our classroom (sometimes setting aside one for someone we had a crush on). On occasion, we would make cards for our parents or members of our family with hopes of putting a smile on their face…. where has all the love gone?

I can understand some of the reasons people detest Valentine’s Day, especially if you’re single. People always mention the fact that we should celebrate love everyday and there’s no need to set aside a day for it. And, like most holidays it has become so commercialized that it’s perceived as another day for consumers to spend money. However, we don’t seem to have the same mentality when it comes to Mother’s/Father’s Day. We should celebrate life every morning that God wakes us up, but we go out of our way to celebrate our birthday each year. Now, I admit to adding fuel to the anti-Valentine’s Day fire in the past. This year, I refuse to do so. Instead, let’s take the time to celebrate and spread love to those who are important to us (and those who aren’t).

Unfortunately, a lot of people will never get a chance to experience true love (which I believe is well defined in the quote above). We have to make a choice to love and be loved. A lot of things prevent us from experiencing true love. I would attribute this mainly to a lack of understanding and fear. A lot of people don’t have a clear understanding on the nature of love. We were created by God to be lovers. There are several Greek words for love: Agape love which is a sacrificial love; another being Philia which is an affection, approval, or friendship kind of love; and lastly there is Eros which is where we get the idea of physical or passionate love. I’m of the belief that if we strive for and seek agape love first, the others will follow. A few years ago I came to the realization that I want the woman I end up with to love God more than she loves me. I want her to share a common understanding of the nature of God, which is love. His love is absolute and there are no limitations/conditions. It’s about loving God, than loving others as yourself.

A lot of people fear love because it causes them to change the core of who they are. It’s easier to stay the same and forgo any type of self-evaluation. Some are too stubborn to believe they need to change (which is why I said it’s a choice above), while others don’t see it as a priority. What we sometimes fail to realize is that our reason for being, is not about us. We should be striving to live a selfless life and you cannot truly love somebody you do not give yourself away to. This is not something that will happen over night, which is why we should be constantly striving to make ourselves better with each passing day (See: this previous QOTW). This week I challenge you to question your beliefs about love, develop a clear definition, and as apply it to your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day from The Truth Renaissance!

 

Photo: Source

Perviously: Quote of the Week

Hit the jump for one of my favorite songs on the subject of love…

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The Lost Reviews of 2010 Part 2: The Five

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

I should have posted this weeks ago, but January was a very busy month for me. So… since we’re already a month into 2011, this post is strictly for archival purposes. Don’t forget to check out Part 1 and feel free to leave comments or add your favorites. Also, if you haven’t heard or don’t own any of these albums, as always… act accordingly.

Previously: The Lost Reviews of 2010 Part 1: The List

 

βββββ – Classic (i.e. “Forever” Music)

ββββ – Superior (i.e. “Good” Music)

βββ – Average (i.e. “Typical” Music)

ββ – Needs Work (i.e. “Save Your Money” Music)

β – Garbage (i.e. Hot Garbage)


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Throwback Thursday: The Roots – “What They Do”

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Lost generation, fast paced nation
World population confront they frustration
The principles of true hip-hop have been forsaken
It’s all contractual and about money makin
Pretend-to-be cats don’t seem to know they limitation
Exact replication and false representation
You wanna be a man, then stand your own
To MC requires skills, I demand some shown…

- Black Thought

This is one of my favorite records by The Roots. The video is brilliant too.

Previously: Throwback Thursday: The Fugees – “Ready Or Not”

Video: Lauryn Hill Speaks to High School Students in 2000

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

This video of singer/songwriter Lauryn Hill speaking to high school students hit the web late last week. Lauryn, who was 25 at the time, delivers an inspirational speech about the music industry, spirituality, love, and more.

I hope everyone is as encouraged and motivated by this video as I was… Enjoy!

Categories: Hip-Hop, Music, Spirituality Tags:

Poetry: “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

“We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

Previously: Poetry: “When God Wants To Drill A Man”

Categories: Poetry Tags:
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