What I Learned From Harvard Kennedy School PolicyCast While Eating Lunch at Sweety Pie’s In North Hollywood

First and foremost, here are facts on the ground. John Coltrane’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” tune is playing on Pandora. I am plopped down here at a chain eatery at the corner of Lankershim and Chandler boulevards in North Hollywood’s spiritually rejuvenated Arts District. Next, I’d like to quote from Travels, a manuscript published in 1988 by my favorite Harvard-educated-doctor-turned-novelist. This quote sums up my outlook and worldview moving forward in this existence pretty well. Before upcoming travel to Tanzania via Ukraine, or U.S. politics, African politics, religion politics, business and death, I offer you this:

“It is my intention to write about the interstices of my life, about the events that occurred while what I imagined to be the real business of my life was taking place.”

-Michael Crichton, Travels, p. xi

Fact is, while I pay attention to HKS podcast to gauge where Harvard’s bright minds are today because I am interested in being accepted to HKS for 2018-19 to become one, I come from a media background and will never been able to ween away from it. Fact is, I am one phone call-in away from having 2009 national champion North Carolina Tar Heels player and four-year NBA veteran Rashad McCants on the line. Rashad’s my guy, even though our business relationship has yet to truly take shape. He needs to reconcile with UNC board of trustees to be able to win over Michael Jordan and introduce us into East Africa.

Which brings me to the topic of trust. Today and for the foreseeable future – through at least Jan. 20, 2021, when POTUS Donald J. Trump will either enter a second term or a new president will rise – facts remain that the U.S is still the most diverse, embittered, conflicted and awesomely powerful nation on the planet known as Earth. But, let me defer to HKS’ roundtable participant, Roger Porter, who should not to be confused with Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter, the genius whose Five Forces concept is the paradigm underneath the mindset of global business.

When RP says that the U.S. is  “a nation that’s roughly 50/50,” he’s talking about half of the people wanting democracy and the other half wanting a republic. It’s the that finely-aged realism versus liberalism dilemma. For the uninitiated and uneducated, these  different sets of governments can govern a democracy.

“Democracy takes the preferences and priorities of all sorts of people and tries to meld them together.”

Elsewhere in the podcast, the fellas and a lady – named Barbara – bring up the good ol’ D.C. slang I’ve heard many times from R.M.D. in Northwest DC: low-hanging fruit. Even further down, I heard them bring up “the importance of strategic ambiguity,” which is a key phrase POTUS candidate Hillary Clinton has given in speeches to Goldman Sachs investment bankers.

I love how the entire roundtable laughed at the mambo jambo that Mama Chelsea uses to fundraise for her nonprofit organization Clinton Global Initiative, which I think should employ my good friend and family member Cecilia Membe in Tanzania to actually do some private sector that benefits that East African republic.

As far as POTUS Donald J. Trump’s concerned, I am actually a fan of the guy. I understand his professed appreciation of Russian leader Vladimir Putin (we share in that), sarcasm, his sexual innuendos, his vilification. He is a typical albeit oddly Scottish and niggafied New York City raised real estate developer, through and through.

Trump and I have a few things in common in that we play a villain to some and are grandiose to others. I was an Inland Empire commercial real estate reporter at the California Real Estate Journal from March to May 2007, hired and unceremoniously fired by Michael Gottlieb because he needed to churn through yet another reporter after burning a bridge with my predecessor. That’s my only basis for comparing myself to Trump, since I have yet to develop an inch of commercial real estate.

This post’s getting too long but let’s just say that blogging is a lot like hedge fund target practice when you have family in Tanzania and Ukraine. Furthermore, I have aspirations to give rise to the first POTUS born to a Ukrainian-American father and a Tanzanian national in the state of Ohio. Galion, Ohio, to be exact.

Now, if you will excuse me, let me go figure out the last quip I learned from Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s last PolicyCast, used by a participant as a reference to the 45th President of the United States of America:

“I think he’s strategically ambiguous to his benefit.”

 

 

Michael Eric Dyson is race war mongering again?

One of my bdays. Hass. Detroits own TWHEEL. Dr. Mike Eric Dyson

A photo posted by Nasir Jones (@nas) on Dec 22, 2016 at 5:27pm PST

 

It must be #OscarsSeason but it isn’t #OscarsSoWhite because … Ruth Negga? Ayo, I can’t with this preacher/author/clown. MED: niggality is a state of mind. Keep running in those circles all you want. I’m good. Moving to Dallas or Dar es Salaam and working on The American Opportunist is my scholarship and no man or woman alive is going to stop it.

I could care less about how race is perceived or not perceived in America by theatrical preachers who are also sociology professors and run their mouths to enrich their own people.

You do that, dude. I’m good.

One more thing: Tell Nas to tell Ben Horowitz to call me and contribute to a real estate capital fund to build a House of Blues in Dar es Salaam so Russians and other non-race-war-monger mobile global citizens can come down and see Distant Relatives and/or Antonique Smith and/or Dirty Harvard Biz band from South Central perform.

Skolar-We Ain’t Unluckin

Remind me to write out these lyrics and record in better studios when I’m back in Dar (sup Dunga!). Most don’t know I was an a poetic emcee before diving journalism, but here are. It is all the same expression. You gonna learn today! But I name-drop too many people. Context, intestinal fortitude and the ability to disrupt rap while reppin’ Ukraine. Yeah, that’s my trajectory while my favorite emcee’s protege is selling pillows to Ricans.

Good luck/bwana bahati/*Russian flag* to DJT! LMAO.

#TheAmericanOpportunist

#TBT How the U.S. Secret Service Caught Up With Antywan Ross

To my earlier post, in which I dropped the Distant Relatives deck that was produced after William Morris Endeavor international agents for Nas and Damian Marley reached out to my business partner and I to anchor the DR tour of Africa in Dar es Salaam, I wanted to revisit the Antywan Ross story. A private equity friend in D.C. circles tried to match us up, and at one point, Ross and I got on the phone.

Within half-hour after the call, Ross emailed a contract that was half-NDA, half-nonsense. It was a strange piece of PDFuckery, considering he hadn’t done any due diligence on who I was, who I knew or how we would go forward. We hadn’t established any trust. He talked over me during most of the conversation. I didn’t need cognitive ability to discern he was full of shit, overzealously trying to book Snoop Dogg into Tanzania when no one in that market I knew personally then – or now – gave or will give a shit about booking Snoop for the amount of money his camp wants. I didn’t have any leverage then or access to a buyer, especially not one who would pay upwards of $750,000 for Calvin Broadus The Grandfather. Nah. And I still don’t. At that rate, I’d rather book YG in Libya for a bloody dollar (Excuse my sarcasm). Fuck outta here.

That concert business is shady goes without saying, but Antywan Ross is among the worst. He is an example of #TheAmericanOpportunist, which is literally the next chapter in the book that I’ll going to be working on. I mean, dude literally took money from someone in New Jersey and spent it on himself. Granted, when Barafu Group LLC was operational, I misappropriated $80 in our Citi account because I was young and dumb and didn’t realize that using business money for personal needs is a no-go.

My biz partner, who is now at CAA, according to LinkedIn, became as justifiably enraged as anyone should be. Antywan, on the other hand, as far as the media portrayal has me believing, really thought he could operate with impunity after stealing upwards of half-million dollars. When the sum is over $100,000, folks, the U.S. Secret Service swoops in and puts folks on ice. That’s better recourse than throwing tires on their body, sprinkling gasoline on them and lighting them up. Or, just dumpin’ a full magazine clip into their body on random street. I probably would resort to one of these measures, and not feel any sense of remorse whatsoever. But, that’s just me and while in California, I’m cool with a pen or this MacBook as a weapon. When in Texas, it is an entirely different calculus.

In general, at least Max Hardcore had money coming in from Europe when the Justice Department put him away for 46 months with the help of a Florida jury. Poor Antywan was a straight-up dumb ass. I hope he recovered and doing better than an average ex-convict caught up in white-collar crime.

 

 

 

 

 

On #TrumpInaugural and ass-backwards entertainment politics of hip-pop

Why no one at this hip-hop media platform I contributed to from 2007-11 has bothered to call Hip Hop Caucus for a direct quote about the #TrumpInaugural perfectly illustrates the idiocy that infects the segmented hip-hop audiences today like a virus.

 This is why urban media, such as the aforementioned flagship enterprise of a Canadian-Indian owner, is generally in my good graces. Websites like this and their audiences are truly the poster child for the  post-Obama #niggality backlash from non-Black U.S. citizens. Yea, it’s true. I count myself in the latter group, but having spent more than two months total in East Africa plus fathering a child with a Tanzanian national residing in Southern California, I honestly, truthfully and candidly could not care about anyone’s opinion of me. Unless, you are in the federal government, a federal contractor or one of the 20 percent of Americans who own a passport, you are not anywhere remotely close to understanding the global political landscape nor business. We have no common ground in which to speak to each other. Get it right.

 
Bottom line is this, though. Hip-hop/rap/urban culture is stewing in its own piss and fertilizer. That is unfortunate and extends well beyond that “State of Rage” merch from FWMJ, which I am cool on buying as much as HSTRY clothing (I did order Queensbridge Bricks from Lipmatic but my kid couldn’t care less about it and that’s probably the last time I shop from that e-commerce provider).
The rest of the world is ahead. Russia’s bigger, smarter and overall, simply more pragmatic about its approach to Libya and Syria than the “exceptional” U.S. – because Obama is not a monarch, d’oh!
As far as I’m concerned, for those that are curious about what I’m doing next, well, that’s inconsequential and on a need-to-know-basis. I may head back to Tanzania or just drive L.A. aimlessly. There’s nothing wrong with Dallas or Kiev, though. Pops is still in Kiev, plus Kiev flights cost $600 roundtrip from L.A.X. and I don’t need Terrell Starr’s opinion-laden national security stories on Foxtrot Alpha to inform me about the reality in my homeland. I can do artist discovery out there just fine and figure out how to make money.
The bigger picture is I’m going to write #TheAmericanOpportunist in Dar es Salaam this summer. It’ll find its way back to the States like my private equity partner in D.C. found friends falling from the Twin Towers on 9/11/01. That’s still in Langley vaults, though, I’m sure. And I don’t care about the CIA considering it has no legs right now.

Fvck The New Yorker, Fvck Jewish Emotionalism

The New Yorker is known for going very deep. This is shallow. In literature-speak, about 20,000 words is long enough for a mini-novella, but that’s something I told Nas’ manager the first time we spoke on the phone.

Unfortunately, Dude_Br0 had no idea who I am now any more than he did back then; yet, the bottom line is that Nas and I can manage business opportunities in Tanzania if Mr. Jones so chooses to take up this area of the world. It’s entirely up to him. See below as to what I spent doing between 2009-11, only to have WME-IMG international agents go radio silence like a couple of bitch-made, greedy assholes that they are.

nas-damian-dsm-12-9-17-a-vice-hbo-presentation

Nas, my nig, that jitter-bug you pulled when we briefly chopped it at The Parlor upon seeing me, nigga… yeah, that part. Come out the woodworks and catch a flight. Just remember, I do not need you. Ever. You need me.

Facts on the ground are that I can reach out to anyone at Live Nation and build a House of Blues Dar es Salaam with Russian money. Just. Like. That. When the CFO of Najja Enterprises USA LLC in the U.S. is a Tanzanian national residing in Irving, Texas, you do as you f*cking please. Or don’t.

I’m sure I will add to this post later. Too busy living my chill civil life in America instead of manufacturing nonsense from a proxy-war-mongering standpoint. The New Yorker has not been credible, in my eyes, since Kelefa Sanneh published a puff piece on Earl Sweatshirt.

I’m out.

#TheAmericanOpportunist

A Kremlin foreign minister offers propagandist points on the U.S. adoption ban, and I’m cool with it

Too bad this Kremlin government media stunt is presented on a Russian Federation-controlled website, but I can overlook that, because in 2017, fake news can come from anywhere. If the Kremlin is dictating U.S. political agenda via the Trump Administration, can we at least see that psychic distance is something that intelligence services like the CIA simply are incapable of creating in Russia. Why? Because U.S. is not doing enough licensing deals with Russian businesses. I personally would like to see that changed, and if that means buying a Yukuma power bank with my own money, then so be it.

Fun fact. Here is an excerpt of speech that can be interpreted as undue pressure that Russian  officials should rethink. Otherwise, there’s no mitigation in status quo to change the consumer mindset in the U.S. against those to the right of Ukraine.

Even the US Department of State recorded cases of negligence that led to Russian children being deprived of their rights. But the State Department remained silent in response to our appeals for assistance. Under Barack Obama, this agency was taking what was generally an extremely passive, if not destructive, stance on these child cases. We did not see any willingness or ability on the part of the US authorities to take the necessary measures to hand down just punishments to those guilty or prevent these situations from recurring in the future. And this was the main motive behind approving the fully justified adoption ban. We still see absolutely no reasons for adjusting or repealing it.

-Konstantin Dolgov, foreign minister commissioner for (blah-blah-blah)

Btw, I can pull up a reported feature I did for the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum in Ohio about a Russian adoption in the U.S. gone right. Also, my former editor at the Orange County Register, Susan Gill Vardon, completed a successful adoption of a son with the same first name as moi. Cultural attuning is a parental project I know quite a lot about considering I’m Ukrainian with a Tanzanian common law “CIA project,” if you will, LOL. C’mon people.