Posts in Inspiration
The Hustle vs Alignment

There’s a lot to be said about #hustle. To me, hustle is the ability to keep going despite your circumstances. Be it your financial situation, your talent level and even, at times, your emotional and physical health, you keep on in pursuit of whatever goal it is that you have in mind. Just like that saying “hustle beats talent every time”, you really can’t knock the hustle.


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JAY-Z '4:44' Drops

Highly-anticipated and long overdue, we have the 13th studio album from the man, the myth, the mogul himself: JAY-Z. Amidst business deals with Sprint, name re-hyfenations and the ongoing silence of frequent collaborator and recent beef-instigator Kanye West, the roll-out of this album commenced. Esoteric, mysterious and cryptic are all words I've seen/used to describe the announcement of JAY-Z's 13th studio album.

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Seeing Sounds and Pharrell: 18 Years Later

It was the moment I had been waiting for what seems like a lifetime: seeing Pharrell, in the flesh, again. As soon as I found out about The Roots Picnic's line-up for its 10th anniversary, there was no doubt that I was going. And upon my entry into the Festival Pier at Penn's Landing, I tried every finesse trick I had in the bag to get better access to the front of the stage: it was that important. But alas, to no avail and without the press pass I so desperately wanted, I decide to forgo seeing Solange (again), and try to make my way to as close to the front of the stage as possible.

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Change Your Mind

 "Change your mind, change your life" right? The best thing about life is that we can change our minds at any time. However, the simple change of mind is not enough to create or sustain a changed life. We have to decide to make a decision. That may sound redundant, but there is a big difference between having a desire to do something and making a decision to do something. The former is simply a wish. The latter requires action.

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15 Quotes About Positive Self-Talk

The thing about positive people (and in a lot of senses successful people) is that these people are masters of creating a positive internal dialogue. It's the internal dialogue that dictates what is happening on the outside. If you are speaking positively internally, there's almost no way that this will not translate on the external. The same thing with negative internal talk: it will inevitably translate into your external being as well.

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#NoFilter

For the first time last week I was what some would call "trolled" on Instagram. My initial response was more reactionary than I would have liked it to have been, but I had been watched, baited and poked for weeks prior to the onslaught I received when I finally paid this person any attention. He spoke on everything you can imagine: my looks, my credibility, my character, even my kids. I was surprised as I aim to pass on positivity despite my many flaws.

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Weekend Round-Up

Been too busy to keep up with the good news of the week? Look no further: I'll attempt to give you some stories from the week that were either inspiring or good topics of conversation for your date Saturday night or brunch with the crew on Sunday. Let me know if you like the idea, and I'll do my best to make it a weekly thing.

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Playlist: Figure It Out

Let's be honest, we all get a little down on ourselves sometimes: whether it be we are losing motivation or feeling bad about something in our lives, it happens. We also all have our own ways of pulling ourselves out of the self-inflicted rut: be it exercise, meditation, prayer or good food, everyone has a way to stop and realign ourselves to our greater mission.

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10 Reasons Why Inclusion in the Arts is Vital

The calm after the awards season is here, and I had many thoughts on what I saw and did see during this time. And while Chance the Rapper won 3 Grammys without a label, and Moonlight won the Oscar for Best Picture, I still couldn't shake lasts year's #OscarsSoWhite sentiment. Not that this is new, but what we witnessed this years seemed to be a more concerted effort at inclusion than ever before which left me slightly conflicted yet hopeful.  Adele beat out Beyoncé, and Denzel didn't win for Lead Actor again, but we still had glimpses of a more fair and well rounded selection process.

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Do It #ForTheCuture

In the midst of Black History Month (or is it African American History Month?), the city of Washington, D.C. celebrated with numerous activities and events that applauded the achievements and accomplishments of many distinguished members of the community. We are also lucky to be in an area that abounds with cultural creativity and excellence. The event #forthecuture made sure to highlight some of the DMV's massive amount of talent.

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Rihanna to be awarded Humanitarian of the Year by the Harvard Foundation

Robyn "Rihanna" Fenty has sold more than 200 million records to date at the ripe-young age of 29. While she shows no signs of slowing down in her music career, the trajectory of her humanitarian efforts seem as brilliant as her musical accolades. This time she has been awarded "Humanitarian of the Year" by the prestigious Harvard Foundation. *blows blow horn Caribbean style*

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Jay Z inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame

With 21 Grammys, a superstar wife, his own legacy as multi-hyphenate media and business mogul and a plethora of other accolades and accomplishments, Jay Z can now officially add member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame to his repertoire.

 

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Hidden Figures: A Story That Needed To Be Told

I had the honor of attending a special screening of the film Hidden Figures last night at the Regal Cinema Theater in D.C.'s Chinatown.  It's the true story of 3 African American female engineers and mathematicians that each, in their own remarkable way carved their own place in history.

As this film is set to premier in theaters nationwide on January 6th, I won't spoil the details. What I gathered from this film was more pride than I ever thought imaginable.

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Kid Cudi Defines Introspection On "Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'"

The long awaited drop of Kid Cudi's new album, "Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin'" is finally here. I won't go into the details of his recent headlines: you guys have Google. What I will say is that I didn't expect this album to hit me so hard.

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J. Cole teases new album '4 Your Eyez Only'

I am a big J. Cole fan.  I don't remember exactly when I latched on, but it was enough for me to go to the Forest Hills Drive concert alone.  Last night, shortly after midnight, Tidal notified it's subscribers of a near 40 minute documentary (appropriately titled "Eyez") featuring behind-the-scenes footage of J. Cole in the process of creating this album, due on December 9.  Christmas came a little bit early for his fans, because in the midst of the documentary, we were treated to two tracks that are likely to be on this new project.

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10 Laws of Power That Kanye West Has Seemingly Mastered

"No one man should have all that power."--Kanye West

If you don't have a copy of Robert Greene's 48 Laws of Power, I suggest you add it to your library.  The book is dense. It is filled with old age wisdom from a new aged approach.  You'll read stories that support the observances of each law as well as anecdotes that break many of the lessons down into easy to grasp and understand messages.

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New Music from the Hamilton Mixtape and Robin Thicke

New Music Friday is Poppin'

New music Friday is poppin' this week.  From the ATCQ album, to new offerings from the Hamilton Mixtape and Robin Thicke we have another dope week of new music.

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Diary Edition: A Letter

This entry is sort of a random one. A lot of the times, I write just to write. It's one of the ways I cope, and I let my fingers do the talking. Sometimes I look back and get something new out of what I had previously written that I might not have recognized before. This is a bit more personal, but I think it is worth sharing and potentially relatable. I must've written this nearly two years ago now, but I still feel the same way. Here goes.

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New Music from Alicia Keys, HERE

HERE is the follow up to Alicia Keys' 2012 album Girl On Fire.  The much anticipated album is available now on Tidal, iTunes and Spotify.  With an 18-track offering, the album is reminiscent of old-school New York while feeling fresh.  With themes of empowerment, love, struggle and finding power in our difference, this album is right on time. Alicia Keys is a legend in her own right, so I am so happy to digest this album over the weekend. 

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Common is back with Black America Again

With so much going on in the world in this very moment, it can be difficult to sift through the soap operatic news cycle, the  numerous memes and the unavoidable distractions to find something worth spending time with. So I say with excitement that I am looking forward to Common's new album, Black America Again, which drops tomorrow, November 4.

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