I recently came across an old Naruto panel, that featured Sasuke returning to his home village (Konoha).
His goal during that point in the story was to destroy Konoha, for using his brother as a scapegoat for a foul plan that involved the massacre of his entire clan.
Not being totally evil and still needing to be convinced, Sasuke has Orochimaru resurrect the previous hokages(that’s the show’s version of presidents) to determine if he should destroy the village or not.
Each told their story about how they felt they went wrong and how their decisions led to today’s mess.
That story always made me think man it would be easier to make decisions if you could talk to those that already died and learned where they went wrong first hand.
[yes I know some people can think they can talk to the dead but they’re not talking to the dead they’re talking to “familiar spirits” but that’s discussion for another day].
If we could hear first hand from people like
MLK or Malcolm X and ask them where they think their fatal mistake was or what would they have done differently,
It would help plenty people from making irrational, rash, and foolish decisions.
Much like how Sasuke talk with the Hokages deterred him from wanting to destroy his home village.
If it wasn’t for that conversation, Sasuke would have to do like us in the real world and simply observe people’s lives and study their every move to determine where things went astray.
They say a wise person learn from the mistakes of others but without a direct conversation we’re limited to what we can learn about them.
Which is why God probably made it so we couldn’t communicate with the dead. I believe our journey would be overly simplified and it would take away one of the key points of living, which is growth.
Now I must continue to observe those who have fallen every move to avoid their pitfalls but can’t act like I don’t still yearn for an intimate conversation with them everyday so I can avoid rash, irrational decisions like Sasuke. (Never as extreme as Sasuke but you know the vibes).
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YOU HAVE TO LIVE WITH IT
Most of us have codes that we live by, standards that we set forth for ourselves that we try to live by daily.
Sometimes the point of a code can be misunderstood.
Some people like to point out how much of a morally upright person they are or even call out someone who aren’t living by a certain code.
At the end of the day, codes are for no one but ourselves alone.
It’s easy to fool the world especially with technology helping us everyday.
I can trick the world into thinking I’m a millionaire, a stand up guy, a ladies man, anything I want them to believe but in the end, I’m the one who has to go to sleep with all the lies And fronts I put up during the day.
When I think of the code I have for myself, I do actions that make me live by my code because I don’t want to disappoint myself, who cares what anyone else thinks.
I pride myself on keeping my word. It hurts my soul when I’m put in predicaments when I can’t keep my word.
Who cares about disappointing the other party, it’s about me knowing that I failed to live to a standard I set for myself.
When your code/ethics is questioned, no one will be present to hold yourself accountable. And if there is any sense of humanity in yourself, your heart will be convicted anytime you know you failed to live up to your standard. Whether you decide to make the applicable changes will be up to you.
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REALIZED YOU’RE CLOSE
The other day was I was playing Super Mario Run on my phone. I usually just play it to pass time, but I seen that was I close to a big in-game achievement. Something called “Princess Peach’s Cake(PPC)”. PPC was available for a while but you needed a bunch of a requirements fulfilled to acquire it so I never paid attention to it.
However, I noticed I was much closer to fulfilling the requirements than I expected which inclined me to keep playing.
Which brings me to my point. Once you realize how close you are to an insurmountable feat, you must continue going.
The key in moving forward is not paying too much attention to the end result.
Just keep working, constant progress and when you look up you’ll be surprised at how far you’ve come.
It’s just like our boxing sessions. Exercising for ten minutes a round, already sounds exhausting by typing it. Putting that much strain on your body (possibly mind) without stopping sounds crazy but after keeping our mind on the workout we barely realize the time that flies by.
When you’re in the grind, its no time to worry about time, its only time to work!
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EVERYTHING YOU KNOW
I remember when I first started my self improvement journey one of the first things I learned was not to reveal everything you know. For a while this made sense because well before WELÇOME© existed, me and a former partner of mine was trying to get shirts made and no one would give us info on how to get anything made. Probably because people were scared of competition and no one told them so they kept the cycle of ignorance going. So I thought that was the natural way of doing things.
Then as I started to accomplish more I began to notice, telling everything you know can’t work against you…if you’re a constant learner. How can you tell everything you know, if you don’t know everything? *minds explode*
People who are scared to share information, may seem threatened by the person who seeks the information or may believe the knowledge they hold is scarce and everyone shouldn’t have access to it.
Granted everything isn’t anyone business and its totally up to you to decide what people should be privy too. However this notion of people gaining a “1-Up” over someone or just using you information is sorta ridiculous.
Always keep in mind most times people aren’t going to use the information they seek from you, so it doesn’t hurt you to tell them because they lack the willpower/fortitude to act on the info anyway.
You can always tell when someone is serious, especially when you make it to a position where people regularly asks you for advice.
I’m not anywhere near where I want to be yet I still receive messages asking for advice on the regular basis. This idea of people “1-Uping” you can’t be fathomable if you keep yourself in active learning mode. Constantly improving is what keeps you ahead, not actively destroying those who seek t get ahead.
It may be a “dog eat dog” world, but there isn’t a need to move vicious all the time. Be willing to extend the helping hand because really the only one who suffer, is the fool who fails to act.
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After these ridiculously hard finals, I had to take a mandatory 82 hour nap (extreme boost, but you know the vibes lol). However reflecting on the preparation of finals, my appreciation for audio learning went up extremely.
During the study sessions for finals, I would always think about the infamous line spat by elderly people, “If you can learn those lyrics, you can learn those _______(fill in the blank)”.
Then, I thought about why could I remember those lyrics? Because sitting down listening really made all the difference. When I’m reading notes sometimes I can get caught in a daze. I would still be reading but if I’m too deep in the daze then I WON’T be comprehending.
With audio, the voice inflections and random noise help beat the redundancy of reading thus helping me remember more. In fact, for our MPRE exam (that’s an ethics exam for law students), listening to a review session, help me remember exact answers to certain questions.
When I seen the question, I said “oh I remember exactly what she said about this” and I was able to fill in the correct answer.
Also, it helped for my other exams, the audio triggered exact sentences they said that directly helped on my exams.
So if you need assistance in retaining information give audio a try. I don’t have the science to back these findings but I did just provide you with key examples from experience.
And doesn’t that count for something?
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I CAN HANDLE IT NOW BRO
My upcoming schedule for school seems like hell on paper. I have six classes and taking two of the hardest courses in law school history! Whoa!!! lmao.
My schedule would’ve gave first semester me the shakes. Now I feel like I can handle such a rigorous course load. Of course confidence in being able to adequately handle such a demanding course load comes with experience.
Prior to my entry into law school, I never studied a day in my life. I didn’t know what studying was. I always say if I had my law school work ethic in high school and college, I would’ve had a 4.6 GPA. #NoCap
Entering school in 2017 gave me a super shock to my core. I knew it was material I couldn’t bs with unless I wanted to flunk out upon arrival.
Over time I learned and adjusted w/ new study strategies that helped me get better and better grades each term (after having a second semester slump).
Now being back on top in my studies I feel ready to take the new challenge of a rigorous course load. In other words, I can handle it now bro.
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IF YOUR RECORD LABEL PAGE DON’T LOOK LIKE THIS, DELETE IT!
Music marketing today takes a lot more than radio interviews and freestyles. It largely involves active fan engagement via social media. Let’s take this time to highlight a record label that’s doing marketing correctly!
Young Thug’s YSL RECORDS
The first thing the label page does right is embracing memes. Being that Young Thug is such a polarizing figure, plenty is said about him on the internet.
Whether its positive or negative, the yslrecords page uses memes to its advantage, using memes to propel Young Thug as a bigger than life persona, making sure its something to make him look better.
Memes build active social fan engagement while giving Thug his own stamp with his own platform.
I. MUSIC IN ACTION
Whether its a kid skateboarding or thugger himself, showing the music in action also gives YSLRECORDS a perceived dominance.
Showing Thugger get hype and a kid land tricks to Thugger tunes in the background, subconsciously (and consciously) paint the picture of how to enjoy the music.
Thug’s latest album is, So Much Fun, what better way to promote the album than to actually showing people having fun.
II. ACTIVE ARTIST SUPPORT
Thug isn’t the only one getting shine on the yslrecords page. Artists’ like Lil Keed & Gunna, are also given the same boost as Thug w/ fan engagement, the use of memes, and a consistent posting schedule so the artist never seem to be out of your face too long.
After Ross’ monumental run w/ MMG, it was hard to fathom we could see another Artist ran label generate the success and support we seen w/ Rick Ross & Maybach Music Group.
Thug is taking active time to develop his artists, making them consistent with projects and jumping on tracks with them and giving them the much needed hype that every artist need.
Now Gunna is becoming a household name, Lil Keed will be one as well and we can get excited for what Lil Duke, have in store.
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DOING SOMETHING FOR YOUR SELF DOES SOMETHING FOR YOURSELF
Nothing gives a black man more pride than a clean car or a new haircut. For me its that fresh new haircut that I love getting every two weeks. After a proper haircut you feel like you can take on the world.
When I came home from my haircut I realized man doing something for your self really does something for yourself. When my cut isn’t fresh, I don’t feel like getting fresh. I’ll throw on some busted J’s, hoop shorts, a worn out WELÇOME© hoodie and call it day.
But man when that haircut comes its a different story, boy I’m breaking them ones out the box so quick. I’m taking a nice long shower, (heavy on the DOVE beloved), and you guessed it, the newest of WELÇOME© is coming out the closet.
Having a clean cut just make you want to explore the world more. You feel like a man about business. The good thing is a haircut doesn’t have to be the only thing to give you that feeling. It can be getting your nails done, running a mile in the gym, volunteering, etc.
Whatever it is that gives you the feeling do not hesitate to go in 100% on it, so you too can feel like a person about action! The world is moving too fast to just be sitting around. Encourage Yourself and get to it!
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THE FIRST IS NEVER THE GREATEST
After listening to a recent sermon that involved the teaching of Genesis, I’ve come to realized the first really isn’t ever the greatest. Now of course there are exceptions, but here it seems like the General Rule is more prevalent.
Lets start w/ a list of firsts..
Adam was the first man ever created. Created by God himself but yet he’s not the greatest man ever. Plenty characters(still unsure on using the word characters when they were real people but you know the vibes) in the Bible surpassed Adam in significance. You have Paul, the christian murderer turned greatest missionary, Solomon, the wisest man to ever live, and Moses, whose life helped served as an inspiration to the ultra classic animated film The Prince of Egypt(Who doesn’t love that movie? If you don’t boy stop reading this!!!)
The founder of basketball, James Naismith. Come on I don’t even need more than a sentence to say how James Naismith, is by far not the greatest basketball player and he invented the game. In fact, He would probably die from trying to check Michael Jordan and he wouldn’t last 2 seconds against the weakest WNBA player.
The Playstation gave me great memories some of which I’ve shared in previous articles. But be real, you would take a PS4 over a PS1 any day. The graphics are terrible compared to now and its no internet! Plus the PS5 is around the corner, PS1 if you don’t get yo bum ass on lol!
Although these things may not be the greatest, they serve an integral role. All the aforementioned things serve as a foundation for greatness. Without Adam, there is no human race. Without James Naismith, I would never be screaming my lungs out for Lebron James, and Without the PS1, I would never be confused to whether I’m watching a real game on TNT or is it just an exhibition match in NBA2K.
No the first may never be the greatest but the first is great at being a foundation. And nothing worthwhile stands without solid foundation.
IT AIN’T ABOUT WHO DID IT FIRST IT’S ABOUT WHO DID IT RIGHT
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Drake just announced that he’ll be releasing an “album” this Friday, featuring all of our favorite loose cuts. Songs that we no longer have to sit thru ads on youtube or shuffle thru Soundcloud for because they will be available on our favorite streaming platform.
Drake just widely exposed something I already knew and something you will know today. Old quality work can always be repurposed for a new gain. That album will surely debut on the charts and will be streamed religiously because people already love those songs and believe or not some Drizzy “fans” have never heard those songs before. Ridiculous!
Old work can only be repurposed if it is QUALITY and ORGANIZED.
As with myself, I do what Drizzy does with every LIFE LOGS release. Every article that is in my book(s) have already been published online. They are articles that already went viral (and still going viral) and are quality written works.
However, the book format organizes those quality articles. Someone who is a new reader or even an avid reader doesn’t want to shuffle thru my blog and/or website for all the articles to read them.
So every few months, I compile articles from a certain time period into book format. The book features the same articles with some minor updates if I have additional or a change of thought w/ an article that was previously purposed.
Do not fall into the trap of thinking “I must always be creating” no you don’t. Continue to create at a pace comfortable at you and think of how you can repurpose some of your old work that’s been overlooked in the past.
Once you’ve successfully done that people will anticipate your next move just like we’re already anticipating that next Drake album.
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HOW LEGAL OWNERSHIP DOESN’T MEAN RIGHTFUL OWNERSHIP
With the announcement of Marvel’s Phase 4, Marvel’s foothold on superhero cinema will continue for several years to come. Marvel built its cinematic universe on the backs of lesser known characters to the general audience (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America…). They’re HUGE comic book characters and super praised by comic readers but the masses really went crazy for Spiderman and X-Men.
Even the most nerdiest nerd & a person who can give two coke cans about comics can agree X-Men and Spider-Man are some of the coolest superheroes in the world.
Now, that X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Spiderman can be legally used in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it compels me to ask a very concerning question about ownership.
If someone has legal ownership are they truly the right person to hold such ownership? The answer to that question is an obvious NO but lets dive deeper.
For years, MARVEL couldn’t use its own creation (Spiderman) in films because the rights to the character was owned by SONY.
SONY gave us at least two classic Spidey films (Spider Man & Spider Man 2) and gave us two hot bowls of trash (Spider Man 3 and The Amazing Spider Man 2).
**The First Amazing Spider Man was decent but who cares**
**Oh and Spiderverse was really really good, some say best spider man movie ever**
SpiderMan is such an important member of The Avengers, it was imperative that MARVEL get these rights back and through a well negotiated deal MARVEL was granted a license to use SpiderMan within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
That is where the character belongs because since 2008 the MCU has built near flawless stories that can get a person that never picked up a comic book highly invested in year after year.
At least, SpiderMan had decent films under (what I consider) wrongful ownership.
The properties that should cause the most concern are the Fantastic 4 and X-Men, which were owned by FOX before the big DISNEY-FOX acquisition deal.
THERE IS NOT A SINGLE GOOD FANTASTIC 4 MOVIE IN FRANCHISE HISTORY. THEY ALL SUCKED.
Yet Fantastic 4 kept getting greenlit for more films. Why? For years, those characters couldn’t get the proper cinematic treatment because of legalities. People who care more about the cash value than the cultural value shouldn’t even have a right to own such beloved characters.
I mean Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic, leader of the Fantastic 4) is one of the smartest characters in comic book history. Yet every time he’s one screen he looks like an idiot.
Then, there’s the X-Men franchise. We were given a couple good films but they can’t stay consistent to save their lives. The MCU is literally built on consistency and that is why the X-Men rights needed in to be in the hands of Kevin Feige ( the big guy who’s in the forefront of the MARVEL film revolution).
This guy and a host of super talented individuals helped franchises that no one cared about (Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man) turn into household names. Imagine what the team could do with something that is already an household name!
People are afraid of the media monopolization that is happening with Disney right now but if that means we’re going to finally get some classic movies from these priceless franchises then we’re just going have to shut up and deal with the mighty Disney reign.
The 2019 NBA FINALS has been one emotional rollercoaster ride. This year Golden State went from the most hated team in the League… to people actually showing empathy and being sympathetic for the Warriors?!
How does hate turns to “love” so swiftly? It’s called having a human heart. After seeing what the Warriors went through it activates something in a person with a soul to see that type of anguish. People identify with losses and struggle, not perfection. When the Warriors dominance started to look shaky, that’s when the massive support started to come together.
First, the horrific injury that happened to Kevin Durant shook the Warriors organization. Speculation swarmed the league that KD wasn’t ready to play in Game 5 of the 2019 NBA FINALS. However, the bustle of maybe he could come back and play also entrenched the league. When he did return to play he came back w/ a vengeance. Most would agree this was looking like a 40 point game for KD.
Then, KD went down (oh no) with what we all knew was a fatal injury. The league sent their undying love and support. Even The Boy, Drizzy Drake was distraught on the sidelines like he just seen his dog get hit by a F-150.
Funny, KD was just the biggest snake on Planet Earth. Some went as far to call him the scum of the Earth. Now he’s everyone hero because he showed heart from a place of vulnerability.
The tragedy for Golden State didn’t stop there. Klay was also bit by the injury bug after a dunk attempt that left him with a torn ACL. Fueled by a will to win, he makes it back to the court and hit two Kobe-esque free throws.
Like KD, Klay was swarmed with love and support. Klay was just a budding joke, who even had the infamous nickname “China Klay” ( in reference to his Asia Tour for his signature sneakers in which he played like a person with zero basketball IQ).
Seeing the Warriors depleted and facing imminent defeat gave people a chance to actually feel remorse for them. They’re able to feel Remorse after witnessing five straight dominant years.
A dynasty everyone wanted to end but after these misfortunate onslaughts to the team’s morale maybe the cheering for Bay Area’s Guiding Light will start once again.
AVAILABLE ON ALL PLATFORMS
TIME HONORS THE DUPLICATE
I was on instagram the other day and Grailed was doing a feature on Air Jordan I counterfeits. Jordan I counterfeits have become a collector’s item because of its limited supply.
“In September 1985 the original Nike Air Jordan 1 released and with it came some notable counterfeit versions by brands such as Sang, Pro-Joggs and Honors Sports. Over time these fakes have become just as, if not more, valuable than the originals themselves.”
It made me think how over time the duplicate gets honored by consumers. Duplicate may not be the exact word to use but it will be used today to sort of exaggerate the eerie similarities in the products discussed today.
First, I remember when the BAPESTA sneaker by A Bathing Ape came out. The sneaker modeled itself after the Air Force 1. When that shoe first debuted people scoffed and mocked it like they were getting paid for it.
Actually people couldn’t even acknowledge the BAPESTA has its own sneakers. People thought it was a fake Air Force 1. The only noticeable difference a star is on the side of the shoe instead of the swoosh. And the word “ape” is on the midsole instead of the word “air”.
Despite these extreme similarities and mockeries, BAPESTAs went on to become streetwear classics. This is due to collaborations w/ visual artist, KAWS, and Kanye West. And being propelled by the Hip Hop community, BAPESTAs was something you could no longer mock.
More recently one could look at REVENGEXSTORM, a streetwear brand founded by Ian Connor known for its shoes. The shoes are almost an exact replica of the classics VANS shoe. Once again the only difference is with the logo , which sports a Lightning Bolt instead of Vans’ classic logo.
Like BAPE, RevengexStorm faced much criticism. Even articles was created informing readers NOT to buy a single pair. When faced with the burning questions regarding originality he simply refuted that NIGO® did the same thing with BAPESTA.
Because I like shoes and shoes are the hardest part to do. I like the Vans silhouette, so I wanted to do what Nigo did with BAPE, basically, as far as footwear.
After withstanding the criticism, the RevengexStorm sneakers are unmarked much higher than the VANS olds kool sneaker and are being regarded as grails.
Much like anything that get cool, RevengexStorm also got it hip hop stamp.
“Lightning Bolt Diamonds cuz I want Revenge” - Gunna
As time progress people seem to overlook the lack of “originality” because the factors of status, validation, scarcity, and simplicity make the product worth acquiring and at times could be worth more than the original.
NIKE AND THE ILLUSION OF PARTNERSHIP
Recently Kawhi Leonard filed a lawsuit against Nike over his “Klaw “ logo. For those unaware, Kawhi Leonard is a basketball player that currently plays for the Toronto Raptors.
According to Sports Illustrated, Leonard alleged that NIKE filed a copyright registration without the permission of Leonard.
Leonard was adamant about the logo used by Nike was an original creation of his and was conceptualized way back during his college days.
He insisted that he only allowed NIKE to use his logo on products on a permissive basis. NIKE was to acknowledge they had no ownership of the logo just limited uses that required Leonard’s permission.
This is where Kawhi went wrong. Kawhi is learning what previous collaborators learned the hard way. NIKE is always gonna look out for NIKE first.
It’s like when Kanye was frustrated doing his “partnership” with NIKE because he wasn’t receiving royalties for his shoes & his collaborations was limited to a pair of sneakers every two years.
When NIKE was finished with Kanye they took his colorways applied them to other shoes with no afterthought about Kanye.
Same with Sean Wotherspoon, who is the owner of ROUND TWO, a vintage store with flagships in Virginia, Miami, NY, and LA.
After, they were released, soon after Sean started teasing samples of what to come next.
First peek at the second wave! Still early on the sample process, and there’s a lot that’s going to change! I’m thinking add some color to the sole, make that air bubble infrared, gotta change the sock liner to yellow, maybe a new color insole?!, fix the denim on the tabs, and do a gradient from light to dark blue instead of all light blue?!? What new patches should I include with this pair?! I couldn’t be happier holding these babies in my hand, can’t wait to see the final sample! So much more dope Nike shit to talk about, can’t wait to tell everyone! 🌊🌊🌊🌊 @nikesportswear @nike
- Sean Wotherspoon
He thought that next was going to come but Nike went “NOPE”. No official explanation given, just the end of a partnership.
However, he did have this to say.
"I’ve been done working with [Nike], at least on another SW collab, for a while. Still lots of good friends there. I help when asked, but being able to spread my wings again is the best feeling ever,"
Well, its best to interpret that as NIKE gave him the boot and instead of being salty about it he took the bigger road to ensure no bridges were burnt.
People were concerned with the partnership when he posted a picture of him in a pair of YEEZY DESERT RAT 500’s.
Who knows what his contract entailed but if Nike let a pair of yeezys stopped them from capitalizing more on the hype from those Sean Wotherspoon sneakers, shame on them.
Moving along, I would like to offer up this quote from Parent-Athlete and master wordsmith, Lavar Ball.
“NO NO CHECK THIS OUT NIKE GAVE THEM… THEY CAN’T TAKE THEY BRAND WITH THEM..”
“IF LEBRON AND KOBE LEAVE NIKE THEY WON’T LET THEM TAKE THE DESIGN”
“THATS THE BRAND NIKE MADE FOR THEM”
Lavar, didn’t tell a single lie. Recently Kobe launched one of his post-retirement ventures, Mamba Sports Academy. The sports academy offers a variety of training programs to Youth and Adults and isn’t limited to Basketball. Its all about embracing the “Mamba Mentality” Kobe possessed on the court. Its the mentality credited for getting Kobe 5 NBA Championships and many other accolades.
This new venture is all built off Kobe likeness and image. People will literally sign up for this camp because Kobe is attached to it. So It was kinda odd, when I saw the new merchandise for the Mamba Sports Academy.
On Eastbay, the items aren’t even listed with Kobe name on them. The first word you see is Nike. It’s clear the sponsorship is with Nike so obviously you will see their name but one word doesn’t feature “Kobe” or at the very least “MAMBA”.
That was a clear sign to me that when it come to these partnerships, NIKE will be prioritized first and if you’re not willing to do that they will easily find someone that will.
Hopefully, Kawhi recovers his Intellectual Property and doesn’t make the same mistake with New Balance. Hopefully there will be clauses in his contract to ensure the proper uses with his logo and that He’ll never have to battle a Corporate Giant again and just focus on his Legacy.