Language and Italian Conversations


Buon pomeriggio,

 So today we have begun to get deep, deep, deep into the Italian language and let me tell you, it has been kicking my ass. Attempting to conjugate the verbs and adverbs is just insane to me. The good thing is that I have been able to chat with my house mother and her daughter a bit more. The words that are taught in class have definitely been more helpful to me and I am grateful as hell for that. I left class yesterday and was in a “language-fog” because I was soooo overwhelmed with the language that we learned. Let me tell, we have this class first thing in the morning (9am) until midday at 12:15 and to have to learn language when I am not a morning person has been the hardest for me. While at Guilford I have always made it a point to NOT have any classes that began before 11am, just because I know how long it takes me to wake up and get my brain going. But here….Naw Son

Image such luck. You wake up at the crack of dawn, normally about 6:30, have breakfast and then hit the bricks en route to The Scuola.

    I have enjoyed the class as a whole though because it allows me to understand the host family and the people that pass me on a regular or those that ask me about Lil Wayne (why I am the authority on Lil Wayne I will never know; lmao) I’m not gonna lie I do get a chuckle inside when I’m approached by Italians and they begin to question me about the state of hip hop back in the States. I told a group of them yesterday after class, when approached while walking through the Campo, that I felt that hip-hop was placed on life-support in 1996 after Tupac was shot and finally died along with Biggie in 1997.


   Of course they took it hard and looked at me like I had said something derogatory about the Pope, but I broke it down for them and they finally got it, and seemed to agree to an extent. The problem is that they are not feed the minutia of what Americans call “hip-hop” here so they don’t understand how “watered down” the industry has become. Anyway it was a great chance to have a conversation with them about one of my many passions and also to see how they relate or have the lack thereof of the music that we listen daily. As I told, “right now, somewhere in the United States, there is a man cleaning out his garage and starting his own new label named No Cars Allowed Records, it is that plentiful when it comes to rap in the States.


They laughed. I laughed. So we all then laughed together. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Finding more things in common to laugh about than not? I think so. Anyway, I shall return soon….same Black Channel….same Black time

Glad to help, young Italians,






So everyone that knows me, also knows that I am a huge hip hop fan. With that said, I am not really a fan of much of the rap that is out there today, (which I will expound on later; lol) but when I ran across this jewel, “My 2nd Lighter,” by Redman, my faith was reassured.

What I like about Redman overall is that he is a rapper that has consistently remained the same. His style originated as  a funky and unapologetic delivery from the early Brick City days, which was first back in 1992 on his debut, “Whut? Thee Album.” Although he has released some questionable material, mostly with Meth, he has maintained the staying power of a 28 year old porn actor after three days of partying on little blue pills. Red’s comedic performances are what keeps me a fan.

Continuing this noted style, Red brings back to life a DJ Premier track that was utilized by the great NAS (My 2nd Childhood) and replaces one word (“Childhood” for “Lighter”) in order to make the track truly his. As the rapper discusses the types of people that he smokes with, he gets down to the nitty gritty about why he has to keep an eye on the closest part of his arsenal; his lighter. To me, I guess the fact that Redman reminds me of that guy from the pj’s that has become successful, but still shows up everywhere in the hood is another down to earth reflection of his personality that I can relate to through his rhymes, causing me to stay on the lookout for anything new from him. I HEART REDMAN!!!

I like this track because it personifies the humorous, off-beat, intelligent flow that Reggie Noble has become noted for after all these years. Do yourself a favor and listen to the track, but also ingest the humor that is associated visually with it (complete with a Spike Lee cameo and deeply encrusted DOC flavor).

Rock on Red.