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The Return of Good Music

June 23, 2010

The music industry has been on a definite downswing in the past couple of years, evidenced by consumers not buying CDs (but buying mp3s) to the general lack of quality full length albums by todays hottest artists.

Well, I’m proud to say that right now, the middle of 2010, there is good music out there for ALL of us to enjoy.

Sho Baraka and Trip Lee have put out gospel hip hop’s most nicest albums, Lions and Liars, and Between 2 Worlds, respectively. Those two albums have crazy production and great delivery and topics for any hip hop fan.
Bishop Darrell Hines’ LIVE is good music as well, featuring outstanding live singing and personal testimony from one of the industry’s underrated songwriters.

And finally, even in the secular world, are the latest releases from iconic names in rap, emeniem and the Roots. The Roots will have that traditional hip hop sound and vibe, and Em’s will have his trademark punchlines and flow over progressive beats.

I KNOW that’s not all the “good” music out there, so hit me with your suggestsions. Its always a good feeling knowing you’re getting quality music for your $.

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If you don’t wanna see the Lakers win the NBA title, then…

June 19, 2010

…GET HOME COURT!

Yeah, I know, not ground-breaking stuff. And yeah, seems simple enough.

The Lakers won back-back titles Thursday night, outlasting a great and valiant Boston Celtic team in Game 7. Even if you are a Bean hater, you have to give credit to him and his teammates for outlasting the Celts, and playing great D down the stretch. And Staples, believe it or not, was LOUD!

Which gets me to my (well, duh) point. The Lake Show is 31-5 at home in the playoffs since acquiring Gasol. That is incredible! And even if their road record is not as good, they have closed out lesser teams on the road.

Mentally, however, they are a entirely different team on the road. They don’t play D, don’t give effort, get taken out of the game more easily, and generally don’t rise to Bean’s level of play. Most teams struggle on the road, but the Lakers weaknesses are magnified on the road.

OK Craig, we know that already, tell me something new?

Sorry, none of this is new. My bigger point is to remind the Western Conference of how imperative it is to beat them in the regular season, and increase the chances you will get to see a soft Gasol, a disinterested Odom, a whacko Artest, and a milk carton bench and defense. And contrary to belief, these weaknesses on the road will get worse, not better, because I truly believe that in the NBA, you can’t change your stripes. You can hide them, put fade cream on them, or pretend they don’t exist, but they’ll always be there. Gasol and Odom are finesse players. Period. They are what they are. The more times you put them in these situations, the more they are coming up small.

I hope this doesn’t come off as a bitter Lakers hater salty because they won another title because its not. Its a clear understanding of the Lakers greatness in this league recently, and an honest look at what it would take to dethrone them. Beating them TWICE at Staples is a very tall task for ANY team, so if you could do it once and win your home games, you have a very good chance to beat them.

So the question is what team can duplicate the 2008 Celtics?

All Aboard!

June 18, 2010

Procrastination sucks!

Yes, it does.  One of my many faults I’m overcoming with faith.  So I gotta make a step towards that, so here I am updating my stale, ain’t-updated-for-3-months-or-more blog, The Humble Tarrant.  Still humble, and still using this made up word for the foundation of my company (don’t ask me why), I am excited to launch my music production company, Tarrant Soul Productions, in the next couple of weeks, fulfilling my college dreams.

I also, with the help of my wife, made the decision to go back to school and begin to tackle another one of my high school dreams, becoming an architect.  Two seemingly different paths, music and art, will keep my creative plate full to the brim!

My ticket is punched, destination:  Destiny. So thankful, humble, and eager to hop on aboard and let Him lead me.  *insert train whistle*

P.S.  I will try to keep this thing updated as often as possible. I really will.

Reflections on the Legacy

March 3, 2010

image by squidoo.com

Truthfully, I held an iconic view of my grandparents.  I felt that they would never, ever get old and never, ever get sick, and they would ALWAYS be there.  They were my heroes.  I knew that wasn’t true, but man, it made me feel good to think of them that way.

When my granddad got sick recently, it was like a blow to that theory.  How could this happen?  Doesn’t granddad have some special kind of power to just transform back into the guy I know?  The guy that always asks “how am I doing”, even if he asked 2 minutes ago?  The guy that almost always had a smile on his face?  The guy who put five extra “u’s” when he said “stupid”?

Unfortunately, it wasn’t so.  In my tears, I begin to reflect on what my grandad really meant to me.  I thought about his legacy, and what I could use from it.  The definition of legacy is:

anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor”.

I like how the definition says “anything”.  My granddad left me with a thing far more valuable than an inheritance, he left me with a clear example on how to LEAD an entire family, and stick through the good times and bad.  Growing up, I didn’t have an example on how a father was supposed to lead his family – my dad was not there for big portions of my life.  But when we took family trips to the South, I got to see what that’s all about.

My uncles, all seven of them, related to him in a way that I didn’t understand.  They had that bond with their dad, a bond that’s missing in most of our young males this day an age.  They HAD their identity, they were staring at it in the face!  I feel too many of us young men don’t KNOW our identity because we never saw our fathers act in a way that would define us.  I thank God I got to see just some of that when I was visiting my relatives.

My granddad’s legacy will be different for some of us.  I just thank God he left me with something that I can use, bottle it up, and give it away when it’s my turn to walk into glory.

Thanks granddad.

*In Memory of Willie Alexander Lewis, 1929-2010*

Consider Your Ways

February 24, 2010

Image from knowhimonline at flickr.com

Image from knowhimonline at flickr.com

My brother Corey was an awesome young man of God.  He had a passion for God that was off the charts crazy.  He would minister to young people, and their lives would be changed by the power of God.  Unfortunately, he passed away in 2005 at the age of 22 due to a rare kidney disease.

Before he passed, he preached a sermon entitled “Consider Your Ways”.  Coming out of the book of Haggai, it details God telling us, in pointed terms, about ourselves.

Haggai 1:3-7

3Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

4Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?

5Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

6Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

We have to make sure every nook and cranny of our lives is like Him.  Our “ways” about things should reflect Him.  Sometimes we think if we just give our tithes and be a good person, then we should automatically be blessed because of that.  But to God, it doesn’t work like that.

Are my ways not pleasing Him?

If not, I need to get that corrected.   As the Word of God keeps getting stretched and conformed in any way it can suit us, we need to remember that our ways should be pleasing to Him, and NOT our flesh.  Then we can be able to flow in the blessings He has promised us.

I thank Corey for reminding me on how “my ways” really matter.

Snow and what it really means

February 9, 2010

Image from Flickr.com

It seems like every other story we hear on the news today deals with snow.  Snow in DC, an avalanche in Afghanistan, and even some in my backyard. What it is up with the white stuff?

You know what?  I have no idea, lol.  I could honestly go a whole lifetime without it!

But what I do know is when I see it, I get happy.  OK, not that happy.  But happy in a sense that a certain somebody will always keep His word, and the snow, believe it or not, was one of His many promises fulfilling that.  Check out this passage:

Isaiah 55:9-10 (NIV):

10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Pretty powerful stuff.  I always wonder reading that, “God, why does it have to be snow”?

All jokes aside, I’m so grateful that his Word is so powerful and won’t return to us void.  Our God can use anything to remind us how good He is, yes, even every last inch of snow I will shovel today.

Ya’ll got worked up over that?

February 8, 2010

I mean, really.  All of the controversy over Tim, pro-life and pro-choice, his mom, why it shouldn’t air during the Super Bowl was much ado about nothing.  I blogged about it last week.  You can see the ad here:

It actually was one of the better commercials.  The ‘tackling your mom’ (or other random woman) has been used so many times, but in this ad it was effective.  It was over so fast, I thought that it had to be more.  Nope.

Man, I get so tired of the media and special interest groups “hyping” things to levels unseen to make us “feel” a certain way on an issue.  In this case, you probably couldn’t even tell it was an issue until you saw Tebow, who appeared in the last 5 seconds.  No preaching, no telling you “Jesus Saves”, no “You’re going to hell if you’re pro-choice”, no cries of “murderer”, or anything like that.  Simple, clean ad with a little bit of special effects, and done – just like that.

The pro-choice crowd should be ashamed.