Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

This is great for craft beer drinkers such as myself!

I stumbled across this video during my weekly TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) talk perusing and after watching, I really wanted to share her story with my readers, viewers, and followers. Check out the video below and discover how this 13-year-old entrepreneur, cartoonist, designer, and activist got her start and see what knowledge cultivation can do for future generations. Maya Penn is making Black History! May she be an inspiration for current and future young women.

Smartphone/Email readers may view the video by clicking the image above!

In a world dominated by monetary currency, an alternate unit of exchange has been conceived: time. At the Onion River Exchange – a Time Bank – in Central Vermont over 700 members fulfill their needs through a time bartering network. In this system, the hours a person uses to perform services such as helping another member of the time bank with their gardening or teaching another member how to knit are worth credits and those credits can be used to receive services or goods from other members of the time bank. Sound interesting? Check out the in-depth videos below to see just how well this system works.

“In ORE, the currency is time, and everyone’s time is equal.” orexchange.org

Bonus Video from Vermont Public Television: “Time Banks” (2009)

IMPORTANT: WANT TO VIEW MORE CONTENT LIKE THIS? BECOME A FAN ON FACEBOOK OR GET EMAIL UPDATES BY CLICKING THE FOLLOW BUTTONS ON THE LEFT SIDE OF OUR HOME PAGE.

I was perusing YouTube earlier today and came across some great video and decided to share them with you. Check out these five videos featuring amazing stunts and talents by highly skilled professionals. These videos prove that limits are only as restrictive as the minds conceiving them. When you put your time and effort to good use, you can achieve unbelievable feats like no other. Watch and enjoy!

Capture

THE EXPENDABLES 2

MEN IN BLACK 3

AMERICAN PIE 4: AMERICAN REUNION

UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING

SAFE HOUSE

GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN

CLASH OF THE TITANS 2: WRATH OF THE TITANS

SAFE

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

G.I. JOE 2: RETALIATION

JACK THE GIANT KILLER

BATTLESHIP

CHRONICLE

THE HUNGER GAMES

Since the initial report of Steve Jobs’ passing I have really been thinking about the impact that death has on other people’s lives. Steve Jobs’ death has made me think about my life and examine the path that I have taken thus far. When I look at his life I think, “Here was a man who changed the world. A man who was daring and persistent. A man whose actions have allowed millions of people to not just enjoy their favorite songs at the click of a button or organize every album they’ve ever wanted in a simple CPU folder. But, here is a man who has inspired generations of dreamers and innovators alike to reach for the “unobtainable” and conceive the unexpected”. When I look at my life I think, “here is a man with purpose, searching for a means”.  I especially identify with Steve Jobs’ story because he, like myself, and so many other people in my generation have struggled with figuring out what it is they want to do in the world. And although he faced adversity and times of uncertainty he pushed on and became a huge success.  But he didn’t become the Steve Jobs we remember today from going to school and graduating from some expensive college or university. Steve Jobs is the definition of “The American Dream.” He obtained success by taking the non-traditional path. Earlier today while riding the UM Shuttle, I came across a speech he gave at a Stanford University graduation in 2005 and it made me not just reflect on my past, but also gave me optimism for my future. I wish to be great. When I leave this plane I want to be remembered throughout history for contributing something that helped people. Whether it be music, poetry, prose, film, whatever. This speech gives great advice to all of you out there who haven’t yet achieved what you are setting out for. Keep grinding, never lose sight of your mission and don’t allow circumstances to circumvent your achievements.

Source: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html

“This is a prepared text of the Commencement address delivered by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, on June 12, 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last-minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?” They said: “Of course.” My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents’ savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn’t see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn’t interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn’t all romantic. I didn’t have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends’ rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn’t have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it’s likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn’t know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down – that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple’s current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn’t even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor’s code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you’d have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I’m fine now.

This was the closest I’ve been to facing death, and I hope it’s the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960’s, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and Polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.”

#5 Our Football Team Has Kick Ass Under Armour Uniforms

#4 There is an S.G.A recognized Hip-Hop Club on campus: UMD Undergrounduates

#3 There is a radio show that provides free concerts every Friday: DMV Live Radio

#2 Many talented alumni and current students attend UMD: Jim Henson, Peter Rosenberg, Connie Chung, Aaron McGruder, Abel Battery, DP, The Official, Kriss Mincey, Kayla Taitz, Shegaw Productions, Camille Michelle Gray, Simisola, Ike DA Kid, and many, many more.

#1 I graduate from UMD in December! Yeeeeeaaaaahh!

How It Began (Rappers turned Actors)

Rapper and Actor. Two careers that were the furthest thing from one another 20 years ago. But today, in 2011, seem almost synonymous. I’d say it began on September 10, 1990 when a young up-and-coming rapper from Philly took his skills from the studio to the television screen with his mega-hit, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. The rapper I am speaking of, is of course present day Hollywood superstar Will Smith, best known then as The Fresh Prince. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air went on to air 148 episodes over the course of its six year span, solidifying not just Will Smith as an actor, but Hip-Hop as a possible pool for leading sitcom roles. It’s high fan base and viewership quickly translated into dollar signs for Hollywood and an increase in roles for black actors. On April 10, 1995 a suave, future Hip-Hop icon by the name of James Todd Smith, took the moniker LL Cool J (Ladies Love Cool James) and made it a household name with his hit tv series In The House. The success of these shows took rappers from the radio to the small screen and eventually to the big screen. Will Smith went on to star in the box-office hit Independence Day (1996) which solidified his position in blockbuster films like Bad Boys (1995) , Men in Black (1997), Ali (2001),  I Am Legend (2007), Hancock (2008) and most recently Seven Pounds (2008). Today he is Hollywood’s highest paid and most sought after actor. LL Cool J went on to star in blockbuster hits like Deep Blue Sea (1999), Any given Sunday(1999),  Charlies Angels (2000), S.W.A.T. (2003),  and now has a starring role in the television series N.C.I.S. Los Angeles alongside Chris O’ Donnell. Garnering monetary success for the movie industry, LL Cool J and Will Smith have proven that the inclusion of a Hip-Hop figure’s image in a project on the small and big screen can do big things for television and cinema. As a result, within the last ten years we have seen a huge increase in rappers appearing on t.v. shows (most of them are reality shows these days though) and movie screens across America.

What it is Now

Some famous rappers who have been in movies are:

50 Cent (Get Rich or Die Trying, Righteous Kill), Andre 3000 (Semi Pro, Four Brothers, Idlewild), Big Boi (Idlewild, ATL), Busta Rhymes (Higher Learning, Shaft, Halloween Resurrection), Common (Brown Sugar, Wanted, American Gangster, Street Kings, Smokin’ Aces, Terminator Salvation, Date Night, Just Wright), DMX (Belly, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 The Grave, Romeo Must Die, Never Die Alone), Dr. Dre (The Wash, Training Day), Eminem (8 Mile, The Wash), Eve (Barbershop 1 & 2, Whip It), The Game (Street Kings), Ice Cube (Boyz n The Hood, Friday, Higher Learning, The Barbershop 1 & 2, All About The Benjamin’s, Torque, XXX: State of the Union, Are We There Yet?, Janky Promoters, Lottery Ticket & many more), Ice-T (Breakin’, New Jack City, Tank Girl, Johnny Mnemonic), Ja Rule (The Fast and The Furious, Half Past Dead, Assault on Precinct 13), Ludacris (2 Fast 2 Furious, Hustle & Flow, Crash, Max Payne, Fred Clause, RocknRolla, Gamer, Fast Five), Mark Wahlberg (The Happening, Three Kings, The Perfect Storm, The Big Hit, Shooter, Invincible, The Italian Bob, Four Brothers, The Fighter and many more), Master P (I Got The Hook Up), Method Man (How High), Mos Def (Bamboozled, Brown Sugar, 16 Blocks, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Be Kind Rewind, Cadillac Records, Next Day Air), Nas (Belly), Nelly (The Longest Yard), Queen Latifah (Set It Off, Sphere, Chicago, Brown Sugar, Bringing Down The House, BeautyShop, Last Holiday, just Wright & many more), Redman (How High), The RZA (American Gangster, Due Date , Ghost Dog, Repo Men), Snoop Dogg (The Wash, Baby Boy, Bones, Starsky & Hutch, Training Day, Soul Plane), T.I. (ATL, American Gangster, Takers), TuPac (Juice, Poetic Justice, Above The Rim, Gridlock’d, Gang Related), Tyrese, yes he raps too (Transformers 1 -3, Baby Boy, Waist Deep, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Four Brothers, Annapolis, Death Race, Legion, Fast Five), Will. I .Am (X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Xzibit (8 Mile, Gridiron Gang, Derailed, XXX: State of the Union), and many many more.

Here are some lists and ratings of rappers turned actors that can be found on IGNMusic, FirstShowing.Net, and VH1.com.

Role Reversal (Actors turned rappers)

Drake as Jimmy Brooks aka Wheelchair Jimmy

With that said, it is no longer a surprise to see a rapper turned actor these days. But, it is however, a shift in conversation when actors take on the role of rappers. With Hip-Hop being one of the most dominant genres in music and one of the highest grossing, some familiar faces in television are beginning to cash in on the opportunity and translate their skills from the screen to the mic. Case in point, one of the biggest names in Hip-Hop right now: Aubrey Graham, best known as Drake. This budding actor went from his semi-popular role on Canadian television series Degrassi: The Next Generation as Jimmy Brooks or a character many of us refer to as “Wheelchair Jimmy” (he rolled around in a wheelchair in the series and even occasionally rapped on one or two episodes) to currently toasting it up with some of Hip-Hop’s elites on sold out tours and award shows everywhere. In an unprecedented event, his critically acclaimed third mixtape So Far Gone launched him from Hip-Hop nobody to having his voice heard every hour on the hour on all major Hip-Hop radio stations in the country. Garnering record deal offers from various top label execs, he eventually signed an alleged $1 million+ deal with his good friend Lil Wayne to become a member of Young Money and later released his now certified platinum album Thank Me Later. Since his introduction to the Hip-Hop scene, Drake has worked with music heavyweights like Young Jeezy, Lil Wayne, Mary J, Blige, Dr. Dre, Eminem, Kanye West, Trey Songz, Timbaland, Rihanna and Alicia Keys, to name a few. As a result of his success, other actors are starting to follow suit.

Case in Point, may I divert your attention to actor recently turned rapper Donald Glover, also known as Childish Gambino. This star of the NBC series Community and writer for the critically acclaimed NBC series 30 Rock is making waves in the Hip-Hop scene with his self titled EP. Although it only has 5 songs on it, the Childish Gambino EP is filled with great production and great lyrical content, proving that actors can rap as well. And while there are some similarities to Lil Wayne’s style of delivery and Drake’s lyrical content on the EP which may challenge the integrity of who he is as an artist, it is still a project to lookout for and it is gaining him a lot of buzz. With six music projects currently under his belt, an ever-growing fan base, a mini tour in progress, a Comedy Central special and countless appearances, Childish Gambino is setting himself up to be a breakthrough mainstream artist. So to answer my own question, “What happens when Hip-Hop moves to the big screen and vice versa?” Well, so far it seems to be: GREATNESS!!!

Introduction

Hello ladies and gentleman, boys  and girls, lovers and most certainly haters. Today we are going to talk about the word SWAG. Now I know some of you may be looking at the screen, with that head tilted to the side puppy-dog puzzled look right now. And if you are, you sir or mam have been withheld from pop culture for at least the last five years. And that, is just sad. But today we are not here to reprimand or commend you on your knowledge or lack thereof  of the word Swag. We are here to discuss why I do not like the word. No! Not liking it understates the pure nails-on-a-chalkboard hatred that engulfs my ears every time I hear the word. I utterly and totally despise the word SWAG. If swag was in a desert and needed my saliva to survive, I wouldn’t give a spit. Its mere S.T.I. image inducing phonetic, grinds my gears to a borderline systems overload and a “Hulk Smash” reflex. To explain why I hate it so much, I really just need to say two words: Soulja Boy. Ughhhhh! But, to solely blame him would be irresponsible and wouldn’t hold accountability to the countless other influential pop-culture culprits who have used and continue to uphold that God-awful word. Names like Lil B, T.I., and Lil Wayne come to mind.

What Is Swag? (Past)

To get to the basis of why I’d like to r.i.p. the word Swag, we must first discuss exactly what it is. If we were to go back in time on a Magic School Bus we would probably see pirates heisting ships to get “booty” and “swag.” Now now everyone, settle down. Let’s not confuse these words with the words in Soulja Boy’s atrocious and utterly degrading single, “Booty Got Swag.” Starting to see why I also hate Soulja Boy? Oh, you will. “Booty” back in those days referenced the “loot” or the items of value that pirates stole. And swag in that sense followed the Wikipedia spawned acronym: Stuff We All Get. It is my understanding that the two words were pretty much synonymous.

What is Swag? (Present)

Now, blasting back into the present, we look at today’s meaning of the word swag. Oh and by the way, I know that today’s swag also references free promotional gear that companies are known to give away. That is not the swag I wish a violent, ceremonial death upon. The swag I am referencing is the Swag that is an abbreviation for the word “Swagger” and is also often referred to as “Swagga.” According to urbandictionary.com, Swag in its simplest terms refers to, “the way one carries their self.” This definition is close, but not the same meaning as what you will find for the word Swagger on merriam-webster.com. That’s right, Swagger is in the real dictionary. Anywho, merriam-webster says “Swagger” is, “to conduct oneself in an arrogant or superciliously pompous manner; especially : to walk with an air of overbearing self-confidence.” They also write that it is synonymous with the words “Boast” and “Brag.” Ah Ha! We’re getting somewhere ladies and gentleman. It is this definition that gets to the core of what swag really is; An uplifting phrase for the braggadocios, low self-esteemers who need to label their cockiness in a way that attempts to make them seem less cocky, but in my book, fails. Me being a person who finds arrogance to be a very negative trait, you are probably beginning to see why I hate the word so much.

Don't Hate Me, Hate My Swag

Where Is Swag?

With swag being what I like to refer to as the most overused, overrated word in today’s pop-culture, it has to exist everywhere right? Right? Here are some places you can find the word Swag.

Song Titles: Been Had Swag, Check My Swag, Dope Boy Swag, Found My Swag, Get My Swagger Back, I Got Swag, My Swag, Peepin Swagg, Pledge Allegiance to the Swag, Pretty Boy Swag, Swag, Swag Back, Swag FluSwag Me Out, Swag Sex, Swag Surfin, Swag Through the Roof, Swag OD, Swagga Talk, Swagga on 100, Swagger Daggers, and Turn My Swag On and many more. (Can you guess how many of these songs feature Soulja Boy?…It will surprise you…or not. LoL)

Artist names: SWAG, Cali Swag District, King Swagg, and more.

Websites: Autoswag.com, Detroitswag.com, Swagevents.com, theswag.com, swag.com, SwagQueen.com, and many more.

A few songs that actually almost redeem Swag/Swagga/Swagger: Swagger Like Us, Swagga, and Swag Surf.

My Case Against Swag

Reason 1: Most people who use the word swag don’t actually have any. Swag is associated with money, riches, luxury, being fresh, flashy, and F.L.Y. (Pun Intended) Like the majority of the songs emphasize and flaunt, swag has a direct correlation to money and owning things that having a lot of it can buy. I don’t mind these rich people talking about they have swag. Because if swag is associated with money, than they really do have swag. It’s the no-name rappers, the college kids (who in most cases are broke), your average person basically. If you are not in an upper level tax bracket, I feel as though Swag should not be a part of your vocabulary.

Reason 2: I am not a fan of fads or trends. When the phrase “Bling Bling” was popularized in the late nineties  it basically dominated the airwaves and television screens. And it was good until we realized it would remain in pop-cultures lexicon for the next four to six years. I treat the word Swag in a similar case, except I think that because I’m a lot older now and less influential, what is associated with swag doesn’t appeal to me. If I were materialistic or full of myself and always trying to keep up with the latest trends like most of today’s youth is, maybe I’d throw the word swag around as if it were my life’s blood. Just blurt it out at random times in a fashion that some people whose names I will not reveal do.

So there you have it. Swag sucks! Originality is king. Get a new motto people. Stop being sheep! Unless you’re a rich sheep. Then you can brush your teeth with swag, smack peons with swag, and get it tatted on your chest like Tupac if you fancy to. But until then, upgrade and update your lexicon and think of a new, better catch phrase. NO SWAG FOR YOU!

Not too long after my Beat Clash experience, I was back at UMD and looking for an internship. While searching through the new list of jobs and internships that were posted for English Majors, I came across an internship with a website called DMVSavvy.com.

It was August of 2009 and it was an up-and-coming music and entertainment website focused on shedding light on all things DMV related. There was a place for fashion, cinema, art, sports, pop-culture, and my area of expertise, music. Once I discovered this new opportunity I spoke with the intern coordinator for my school, submitted a piece of writing to the intern coordinator of the site and it was solidified. I was now a writer for DMVSavvy.com. I was so excited to actually write for a website. My internship was going to present mixtape review opportunities, mixtape release party attendances, and interviews of local hip-hop artists and singers, or so I thought. It all seemed too good to be true and I didn’t know just how right I would be. Due to the creators’ differing opinions about the direction of the site, it was disbanded and all its content was removed. After about a month and a half of being active, DMVSavvy.com was now dead. And I had only written one review for the site within that time frame. This of course, while lowering my morale and leaving me questioning the status of my internship, made me become a more diligent writer when it came to my academic career.

I was now without an internship and for the next few days, I was in limbo. I had no idea of the fate of my internship or the site. Then, out of the blue one day, I get a call about another possible opportunity. Sheriff Taiwo, a co-creator and web designer of DMVSavvy contacted me and informed me of a new site he was working on. He said he’d seen my stuff on savvy and wanted to know if I was interested in writing for the new site. I, without hesitation accepted his offer and within a week or so DMVUnplugged.com was born.

It was a thing of beauty. The new site had new features and an even better format. I knew we had something special. My internship was then transferred to the new site and ties with Savvy had pretty much been severed. This for me wasn’t that big of a deal as I hadn’t been at savvy long enough to accrue any obligations to it. Plus, my relationship with the Unplugged staff was growing daily. Sheriff and his partner Ralph Bell pretty much gave me total creative control over what I wrote about, with the exception of a few write-ups that they requested specifically. But, I felt I finally had a permanent home for my writing; a place where I could finally have it seen on a larger scale and gain some exposure for myself, the site and up-and-coming DMV music artists. So it was officially goodbye DMVSavvy, hello DMVUnplugged!