@BLK_PEEPSTOP No. VI

stop treating other black people when they approach u as if they r incompetent. stop ignoring other black people whenwant to work 4 u

black people u must go about running ur small business with an initiative for future black social change.

black people if u own a small business u can find a black cpa through NABA & if u type in black lawyers association on the web many pop up

some1 said “i’ll never switch from my russian, guy he saves me money.” black slaves saved america money, but america isn’t loyal 2 us. Hmmm!

This tweet was born out of my fantasy that when I passed the CPA Exam, as a Black American CPA, I’d be able to walk up to any Black American business owner, Black American celebrity, Black American NBA/NFL player, Black American rapper and have a brief conversation with them bestowing the knowledge that I was a Black American CPA, pass them my card, we’d exchange information and the person would automatically become a client. My line of thinking was that individual Black American professionals would be delighted to work with other competent, affable, congenial and convivial Black American professional individuals to handle their business matters.

Once I moved to New York, I found a Black American doctor and a Black American dentist. I think of Chris Rock’s comedy skit: “The only Black people who live in my neighborhood are Jay Z, Mary J. Blige and me. Across the street lives a dentist. You know what a Black American dentist would have to do to live in my neighborhood? HE WOULD HAVE HAD TO CREATE TEETH!” This wouldn’t be necessarily true if all of the Black American elite music and movie celebrities, as well as sports stars who live in New York or pass through on assignment would go visit Catrisse Williams, VIP Smiles for their 6 month cleaning or cosmetic dental work. It should be automatic. But Black American people do not think like this.

When I first passed my CPA Exam it was NFL Draft night 2011. I had printed up some make shift cards with the name of my CPA firm and phone number on them. I went and snuck into GreenHouse night club on the corner of Vandam and Varrick Street. As soon as I hit the entrance door to the club, I was looking Shaunie O’neal and Evelyn Lazoda right smack in the face. I had seen Shaunie O’neal earlier in the day at the Converse store on Broadway in SoHo on my lunch break from work.

I thought to approach her, as I felt pretty confident in my outfit, intelligence and articulation, but didn’t have a speech exactly prepared to speak about the subject of becoming her CPA, and plus she had a friend with her so I let the opportunity pass.

In the club I was armed with cards to pass them out to people in VIP and trying to make deals with the pretty ladies in VIP to connect with the guys with money for a commission; with the music blaring, they either could not hear me or had no clue what I was talking about. I approached a few guys who appeared to have money or were brawny enough to be new NFL draftees or current players in the league standing directly inside the section off from the VIP area; they nodded their heads, took my card and went about their way. I made my way over to speak briefly with Shaunie, as I was too afraid to tell her I was a CPA who’d like to work for her, I simply asked her had she noticed me in the Converse store earlier that day. She said something back to me which I could not hear, we smiled at each other and that was that. I had also passed a card to Evelyn Lazoda and said something to the effect of, “I’m a CPA, take my card. I want to make sure you and Ochocinco don’t go broke.” She looked at me in stupefaction, took the card, I bid her a nice night and that was that. Shaunie’s boyfriend at the time was a light skinned young model. She was in the Converse store that day purchasing black Chuck Taylor sneakers for him that he had on his feet that night. I talked with him in the hallway leading to the entrance/exit about being his CPA. He sold me the story that his agency takes care of that business for him. I next bumped right into and gave a card to the boxer Zab Juda, he looked at me as if I was stupid or he didn’t know what I was talking about. At one point, I was standing next to a guy who had on a diamond necklace, I think his name was Pierre. He was in ear shot of me and we could hear each other very well, he said to me, “I have about three CPAs who work for me.” He took my card. I saw him later at the diner on 23rd St. driving a metallic blue S550 Benz AMG, getting out of the car clearly inebriated. I spoke with him once more and showed concern for his safety, which Pierre assured me, he would be OK. He was the guy I had most contact with that night in passing inside the club and at the diner. I never heard from him.

It seems as if on the surface, Black American people take other Black American professionals (CPAs, Lawyers) for granted as not knowing how to handle business. I have asked many Black American business owners in Bed-Stuy the, “whose your CPA?” question. A partner of the Therapy Wine Bar, told me someone they’ve used for 16 years whom I found out was some guy out in Benson Hurst Brooklyn, NY of all places; a place where a Black American man couldn’t mistakenly be caught in the neighborhood or he would be beat, occasionally to death, as was Yusef Hawkins in 1989. One partner of the Voudou Bar said they use some Russian guy who specialized in bars and that he saved them so much money in setting up the POS system, etc, and went into how they wouldn’t have time for me to learn their business and/or make mistakes; therefore they would never hire me as the main CPA of the bar that I’d supported with my dollars as a patron, as does many other Black American persons in the neighborhood, simply because it’s Black American owned. They would not grant a Black American CPA the same courtesy their business was thriving on. Of course this conversation was taking place on a Saturday night, with me being full of liquid courage (though, I do not think the person knew that) and I have not had a chance to initiate a formal meeting; I’ll let you know how that goes.

I recently read a book called “how to get anyone to SAY YES, in 8 minutes”. What I learned is that when persons are approached by someone they are not familiar with or have no prior relationship, their automatic unconscious response to any offer you make to them is repulsion. People do not know they behave in this fashion; this, on the surface explains why when approaching celebrities or sports players in a club, they are befuddled by my approach and I never hear from them. The NBA/NFL trains athletes to be on guard for people who try and sell them on business investments or financial advisement services, (not absolutely sure if they train them to be leery of Black American people; but looking at how adamantly they tried to convince LeBron James to not let his close, past high school state championship bound, team mates/friends handle his business affairs, I wouldn’t doubt it). Even with the hermetic club scenery and training of freshly minted millionaires to be on guard, I have read of many financial advisors, CEOs of hedge funds and stock brokers meeting clients sitting next to a pool on vacation or in a country club, being handed brochures out the trunk of a person’s car and later following up to do significant business with that person. So while it’s understood about the unconscious response, shouldn’t there also be an override to get to a positive response, at least to exchange telephone numbers and let the person work to set up a proper meeting, when approached by someone from your own race, whom you know is limited in opportunity and resources, whom you share many cultural traits and shibboleths, seemingly intelligent and articulate with enough nerve and chutzpah and ingenuity to approach you; at the very least, a hustler, grinding to make his/her life legally better?

I have tried to get persons I’ve been associated with all my teenage years and the bulk of my adult life, from my hometown where I grew to get me a meeting with NFL players they were directly related to in reference to being their CPA or giving me a reference to another rookie player or just giving me tips as to what they expect out of their professional CPA who handles their tax filings or financial management. I was granted no such meetings nor spoke with the players to receive no such advice or references.  No other race behaves in this manner and it is a PURE SHAME and lack of intelligence and non-support on our part as a race perpetually discriminated against by every other race within America.

As the population continues to grow within America, as immigrants legal and illegal enter the country with their hunger for survival and – find a needle in a haystack – work ethic, and government relief (Welfare and Affirmative Action) roles continue to get smaller and/or non-existent, it is imperative we as Black American people, especially those of us who are entrepreneurs do business with one another, establish scholarships to put our children (especially young men) through universities, teach them through interning and apprenticeship and hire them into long-term gainful employment positions. For Black American people and Black American men to survive, going forward, there must be an effort to trust in the education and work ethic of ourselves; even switching out the professional services that were sought upon persons of other races and replacing them with future growing professionals of our own race and culture. It is not a matter of reverse discrimination, but a matter of survival and a reprove to a system that has always treated us unfairly and will continue to do so. An interpolation of a lyric by Phife from A Tribe Called Quest in which he said, “Ego, I’m on my own jock still / cause if I don’t say I’m the best  / tell me who the hell will” (“Word Play” Beats Rhymes and Life album) I say “BLACK AMERICAN PEOPLE  / we must be on our own jock still / cause If we don’t say we the best, tell me who the hell will?” NO ONE!

Jrnl Entry No. 10.20.2000

The year 2000 has come and is just about gone. I have sat and looked at everyone living their dreams and accomplishing their goal. Suga Shane Moseley, Marion Jones, Maurice Green, David Justice, Lenny Krazleburg, DMX, Rock Wilder, etc. I look at these people, happy for them that they have achieved what they wanted to achieve. I wonder as I look at them, how did they achieve it? Well, there seemed to be some type of forum for most of these people. Take Marion Jones for example. She decided she was going to run track instead of play basketball. She trained hard every day in practice. When national championship or Olympic trials came around, due to her training, she won the necessary races, and boom, she’s a star. In the Olympics, she won gold in the 100 meter sprint. Now endorsements will come her way offering her millions to advertise a product. She’s set for life. David Justice, who knows when he decided to start playing baseball, but he decided some time in his life. He eventually probably played for a minor league team, and then got picked up to the majors. Now he is going to the World Series for like the third or fourth time in his career. He has hit two major home runs in his career to either win his team the World Series or get them into the World Series.

The point I’m trying to make is that for people like Marion Jones and Suga Shane Moseley, there is or was a forum for them to contend in. After so many contentions, if you win most of them, you will be the star. For me, there is really no forum that I can hop into. I want to be a Hip Hop producer. There are many Hip Hop producers out there now like DJ Premier and Pete Rock and Rock Wilder who are stars in the game. As I look at them, I wonder to myself, how did they get there? There is not a place where producer can go and play their beats against other producer’s beats, and whoever is judged to be the best gets to produce a song on an album that is sure to go platinum, and net you, at the least, depending on your deal, $80,000.

I’ve heard that in this forum of Hip Hop artist and producers that you have to know somebody in order to get in. If you know nobody, how do you get to know somebody? Everybody you meet, like I met Dazon of Murder Inc. one night at Club Cheetah; if I’d told him I was a producer, he would have paid no attention to that. How, how, how is my question. I can make the hottest song of this century, but if I know no one to get it into the ears of someone connected in the music industry, my song is useless. It’s not the same as for a basketball player who starts in Jr. High School, then plays in High School, then to college. If he has built his skills to perfection, he has a chance at getting picked to play in the NBA. All while he is in college he is watched by NBA scouts who will either get him picked in the NBA, or if he is no good, he won’t be picked.

Some may think I want this Hip Hop thing to happen overnight for me. I’ve told the story of my Hip Hop yearning which started 13 years ago. I’ve got Demo tapes. I’ve been producing beats in my head for years with no outlet to get them into real sound form. Now I have equipment to make the beats in my head real. Now I’m in New York where everything happens, but where do I go from here? There used to be a lyricist lounge spot in the early 90s where MCs could showcase their talent. A few MCs like Mos Def, Rah Digga, Talib Kweli have come to be where they are today because of this forum. Now there seems to be no forum especially for underground Hip Hop. The industry is killing underground Hip Hop, which is what I have loved from the beginning of my interest in this shit. Now, if you don’t sell a million or 500,000 with your first album, the label drops you. Back in the 80s, MCs like Kool G Rap and the Gangstarr group had 3 albums, none of which sold gold, but they were still in the game with a recording contract.

So the market for my production is getting slimmer and slimmer by the day and year. No one wants to give a new comer a chance. That seems to be the way it is but yet in still, it is not that way. How did MCs like Roc Marciano get into the Flipmode Squad? How did the producer Jay Dee get to be doing songs for and a part of a production team with A Tribe Called Quest? How did the MC Consequence get to be featured on A Tribe Called Quest Beats Rhymes and Life album? That was also the album that featured Jay Dee as a producer, so maybe Tribe just said “we are gonna let others shine on this album.”

To me it seems to be luck of the draw. I don’t know where to go to meet MCs or producers or artist for that matter to showcase my skills. Everybody says go to the Fat Beats store in the village. This place is a record store, not a lounge or a club. I went there one Saturday and I met two producers. I got their numbers and called one of them, but he never returned my call.

I’m thinking of starting a Bonny and Clyde group, or a group of girls because the industry has nothing like that. But even if I start this group, how will we get in with the industry or showcase our skills? How do I find a manager? I guess I could start asking people these questions. And maybe that is the key, a manager. Pay someone 20% of what I make because I know no one and they know everyone or someone who I’ll maybe never have a chance of knowing that could get one of my songs out to be heard by the people. There could be a chance that I could do it by myself, but I think that chance is very slim. You hand people a Demo tape of you, and they never listen to it, or they never get back to you.

Maybe my stuff is no good enough. I don’t know. All I do know is that this situation is depressing me. But I’m stuck because I believe in myself and I don’t want to go anywhere else. I believe it can happen because it has happened for so many people: Teddy Riley, Pete Rock, Premier, GURU, DJ Mark The 45 King, Marley Marl, DJ Clue. Wait a god damn minute; all the people accept for two are life-long New York residence. I’m from Ohio. Maybe that is the problem. Maybe there is no problem at all. I’m searchin’ for answers. I’m searching for direction in this journey; peace of mind with it.

Try god, is what you say huh? I tried him when I was younger. I prayed so long, I became an atheist. I prayed and prayed for a record contract, but still to this day, I have seen no record contract nowhere in sight. Jay Z confessed that he was a criminal before he became a star. But yet in still, he became a star. I’ve been a fairly good boy all my life, and I have not received one big dream. Well, maybe one, which was to get a Honda scooter when I was 13 years old. I got it and that was probably one of the happiest moments of my life before my daughter was born. Janelle being born was a happy moment which has turned grim because I have to go to court to see her like I want.

I guess I have been blessed as people say. I’ve been blessed with a college education, a job, a new car, my dream of living in New York. Well, let’s back up a moment. My dream was never really to live here, my dream was to be here to get into Hip Hop. Hip Hop is my dream, not New York. I wanted to come to New York but if there was no Hip Hop, I don’t think I’d be here, or would have wanted to come here. Hip Hop is what made me take my first trip here, not New York just in itself. I’m searching for Hip Hop but is seems hard to find. The Hip Hop I’m searching for seems to have died, and now a new species is being born, well, is born.

All I want is to have a song on an album and get paid a royalty for it. I don’t want to be the top hit maker, or the highest paid for that matter. I just want to be a part of albums coming out on labels, and get paid a fair amount in the form or a royalty check every quarter. That seems not too much to ask, or that it shouldn’t be that hard to accomplish. But this industry is selfish, and doesn’t seem to want to let anyone in unless it’s a crime partner or brother or close friend. I’ma make my mark somewhere in this shit. SOMEWHERE!

Jrnl Entry No. 9.13.2000 “MY HIP HOP STORY” PART VI

When my friends and I would drive to New York we’d spend like half the day on 125th, and the other half at The Fulton Mall. We didn’t even spend the night in the city because we thought hotels were too much, and plus we didn’t know anywhere else to go anyway, no clubs or nothing like that. One time my friend Burton and I went for New Years. I think it was New Years 1993. We got a $40 room on 125th Street. One of those places with the bathroom down the hall. Except for the bathroom situation, it was a pretty comfortable room, nice and warm. The heat was kickin’ so, we had to open the window to survive.

We got there on a Friday night and New Years Eve was that Saturday night. Late in the night, I went walking around 125th and the surrounding area. He didn’t come with me because either he was scared or cold, or tired. I had had a forty of OE and I was wired, not tryin’ to go to sleep. I just walked around. It felt good to me to walk around the streets of New York City. I was fly too. Come to think about it, I could have gotten robbed. I had on some $80 Brand X Girbaud Jeans, some black chuckers Timberlands, a red black and white long sleeve Tommy Hilfiger shirt, and a green and blue check goose down Nautica coat, with a green and black hat with the flaps over the ears to match the coat. I ran into some Spanish kids and we were talking. They asked me if I liked Hip Hop, and of course I said yeah. I told them I was from Ohio, etc. At about 3 A.M. that night, I returned back to the room and went to sleep. We got up that morning and took our bath in the bathroom down the hall. It was disgusting, but hey, a nigga had to wash his ass you know that.

He had an appointment to get his dreads done at a shop in Brooklyn on Vanderbuilt called Tendrils. We found our way there. We were talking with the lady who was doing his hair, asking her where was a mall, like the ones we have at home? While doing his hair, she told us to drive straight up Flatbush Ave for about 45 Mins to an hour and we would run into a mall on the left hand side. We had heard on the radio about this bomb concert that we definitely were attending later that night. It was A Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, and The Souls of Mischief. We loved all of those groups, especially The Souls with their debut album. The way they flipped rhymes on that album was incredible to us. So after his hair was finished, we went driving down Flatbush and we ran into the mall. Just as I was about to run left, a car came along and scrapped against mine. DAMN!

So this guy gets out his car talkin’ loud, saying for me to give him $300 or something, or he hopes that I have insurance or I was going to jail that night. I got back into my car because it was cold, and the talk of jail scared me. I was stretching down toward the floor, and he thought I was reaching for a gun. He started saying that he had one too. I think my car was still running. I just put it in drive and made a break for it, I WASN’T GOING TO JAIL! FUCK THAT! So it was on. He ran back to his car and started chasing us. Burton was in the car calm and cool saying, “why are you doin’ this, we goin’ to jail, we goin’ to jail.”

In the chase, I slid and hit the back of a parked car. I backed out of that, and then on my next speedy turn in the snow, I ran off the road and hit a brick wall. I backed out of that, and the guy got out of his car and started running toward my car. Burton said he had a nine cocked to the side ready to fire, but he didn’t shoot. I was driving off and I guess he just gave up and stood back there outside his car.

I went and parked my car in a parking lot, and got out and hid for a moment to calm down. After about 15 to 30 minutes we got back into the car and started driving trying to decide if we should attempt to go back into Manhattan to try and go to that concert. We came up with all kind of crazy country shit that probably wouldn’t have happened. Like we were thinking there would be cops at the Brooklyn Bridge waiting to see if we tried to get on or off the bridge. And we were also thinking that maybe a cop would spot my car in Manhattan while parked and at the concert, and when we we’d get back in the car they’d surround us and arrest us.

We decided not to take the chance and that we should head back home, but the problem was, how did we get back to route 80 from Brooklyn? See, we usually headed straight down Amsterdam from 125th St and drove to like 178th and see a sign that said George Washington Bridge, hit 95 South, which turned into 80 and go home.  We just started driving and somehow we got back to 80. I still don’t know how we did to this day. We passed the Science Center and seen that statue of the guy with the world on his back where Tribe and De La shot the video for “Award Tour.” I live here in New York now, and that is on the Grand Central Parkway. To get from the Grand Central Parkway to 80, you have to cross the Tri-Boro Bridge which cost you $3.50, and I don’t remember paying to go across it. I don’t remember crossing the Queens Boro Bridge neither, so I don’t know how we got back on the road to get to Ohio but we did; made it back like right around 12 or 1 A.M. just as the New Year was coming in.

When we got back, I told my mom that someone hit the car while it was parked on the street at the hotel we stayed at.