About This Blog You're On

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AUSTIN, TX, United States
a lot of MUSIC, FREEDOM, CULTURE and a little of everything else

Monday, December 27, 2010


You know i always had a special place in my heart for Teena Marie, I keep a cd with "Square Biz" on it. I used to think she was kool when i was younger, id think to myself "this white lady is so soulful" I actually thought she was black till i saw the "Lovergirl" video (im a 70's baby raised in the 80's). I have to say that "Portuguese Love" is my favorite song by her with Square Biz as a close second maybe even 1.5 lol she will be very missed. Here is her spitting some truth

R.I.P 12-26-2010


In-case you dont know I (MIRAGE) have recently released my latest album called The Savant on November 22nd. The Savant is a very special project for me because out of the 5 solo albums and the group album I have with my group The Guud, I have had the most input on this one. I actually produced 70% of this album. Thats big for me because I just started making beats in 2008 and im still pretty guarded on letting the world hear them. This album is almost like my first album in my mind. Anyway here are some early reviews that I have recieved thus far. I will be adding more to this post as time goes on.



I have to say that listening to this album made me very angry, why are you not bigger? Your sound and post production is very professional and tight. You present a positive message through out the album. You have a sound that while original and experimental is still very radio friendly.

I have listened to this album at least 14 times since I got it a week ago. It is in my car on repeat, so I hear it every time I get in my car.

Generally I have an issue with intros to albums, they always seam pretentious, but even that worked for me.

I don't want you to think I am blowing smoke up your butt, if I had anything really bad to say you can believe I damn well would, but there isn't anything glaringly bad on this album. The only thing I have an issue with, and it is a small one, is the vocal in the background on SMELL GOOD, "Mister Miagi on some bar number 9." the "On" in the middle seams like it may be just a smidgen off beat. I noticed it as a drummer but I had to listen 3 times to figure it out so it is really really close.

I liked the way you included others on your album, it made it feel like the album is part of a community and not just a "ME, ME, Me" presentation to the world.

I know most of this sounds cheesy, but that is who I am.

Like a great baseball hitter, Mirage uses the whole field. In The Savant Album, Mirage uses complex sounds to back up a smooth voice. I’m a metal fan, but ya gotta appreciate how he uses (in track 3, "If you Believe") keyboards, xylophone, and bongos in the same tune!


Monday, December 13, 2010

My Thoughts on Mothers, Sons, Love & Addiction


That B.B. King lyric cuts deep! I grew up in the crack era. I grew up in the actual crack era, not the one you always hear rappers rap about where they were all rich and knew Pablo, Papi, Hector or some other random Spanish name that fits to make the bar rhyme.

Bullshit, BTW.

I grew up watching men and women fall from descent, working viable people to zombie-like shells of themselves. I watched TV as former President Reagan and his self-righteous wife said, “Just say no,” and created the false “drug war” that was really just a war on Black boys and men, the poor and the addicted.

In the “trap” we called these unlucky people who suffered from the illness of addiction J’s (short for junkies). As the CIA and Reagan’s man Oliver North allowed cocaine in the US (Iran-Contra), unskilled and skilled labor jobs left the country and cocaine became the alternative economy for urban areas. Little boys became household breadwinners and lots of mothers became addicts.

Within these children, deep-seated cynicism began to creep in and fester like a cancer. The drugs that turned once decent folks into desperate sick addicts, willing to sacrifice what dignity they had in exchange for a drug, had a parallel effect on the community; it turned sellers into cynics void of compassion and sympathy. The same family members you loved and would give you school money were now shells of their former selves.

I connected with Jay-Z’s music more because of a story he shared about his shooting brother on “You Must Love Me.” Whenever I listened, I remember having my “bomb” (package of rocks) stolen by a dear family friend, Eric. I can still smell the gasoline-filled bottles I prepared as I sat at the stop sign waiting for the lights to go out in Eric’s mother’s house. I remember seeing his mom and her live-in, mentally-challenged boarders and him go in the house.

I remember Rodney “J,” a good and decent man once, now sadly just a “J” walking up and asking me for a sack. I remember the puzzled look on his face when he said, “Fat boi, what’s wrong? Why you ain’t smiling? You’re always smiling.”

Then, I remember the look as he noticed the smell of gas and saw the four freshly filled bottles with gas and sugar in them and realized I wanted PAY BACK! I saw a sadness in him like none I had ever seen from him. He had known Eric had stolen from me and he knew I was gonna get pay back.

Rodney, in that moment, dropped the “J” and was just an older Black man schooling an angry and misguided child. With all the moral fortitude he could muster he sternly said, “Fat Boi, what are you doing, man? Son, you cannot do that.”

He told me there are innocent folks in there, and he reminded me that he, Eric and even my mom were sick. They all had the same disease and one day I will look back at this and it will not be as important. He was right. That moment is below petty, and I was just a stupid, angry kid about to throw my life away for 2k in drugs!

I wish I could say that after Rodney took the cocktails and high tailed it, all was good and I learned my lesson and became a better me. I didn’t. After Rodney took the gas-filled glass grenades, I waited on Eric for two days, I caught him, and I beat him up pretty badly. I dragged him the front yard for the neighborhood to see, and I wanted every “J” to know you cannot steal from me. I wanted the other dealers to see you will not take advantage of me. I did it in my mom’s front yard because I knew, somewhere deep in me, she was involved. Her addiction had made her party to this theft. I knew that I could not hit her, so I punished Eric with all the 18-year-old strength I had.

I sent him away to DeKalb Medical broken and bleeding.

I left my humanity there in that yard alongside his blood. I left my sympathy and compassion there, I abandoned my humanity. I killed part of me that day. I killed the boy that loved and trusted his mother. I killed lil’ Michael who always honored Denise because I knew her addiction and bipolar disorder would be the death of her and possibly me if I didn’t.

I am glad for the time God gave me a healthy, honorable and engaging mother, even if it was only a few short years. I hope one day my mother’s mental illness and the illness of disease will loose her from their vise grip, but my self-defense is cynicism and in reality I doubt it. I guess what I’m saying is I accept her. I know she is broken and will more than likely die because her kidneys have failed and she now lives only because of dialysis due to years of drug abuse and hard living.

But she’s mine.

She is the mother I was given and I’m thankful for her regardless. She’s my mother. She died for a few minutes while having me at 16, and she says something of her got left on the other side, and all the goodness she had left she put in me. So I’m fighting, girl, I’m fighting to foster that good and retain my humanity. It’s hard but I’mma do this. I have to for her grandchildren, my children. I have to be fully open to all emotions for them.

I cannot blame these folk for being fun-loving partiers; they like the current users of X, oxy, syrup, etc. They had no idea what kind or turmoil cocaine and crack would do. Cocaine was an atomic bomb that wiped away our collective moral compass. If they were able to see face-to-face 20 years ahead, maybe they would have opted out of the 80s/90s party scene. Maybe women like my mom, young business owners/mothers would have put a lot more time into their biz and kids, less into their friends and the social scene. Maybe, just maybe, my life and the lives of countless other early 30s folk would be different.

We used to watch The Cosby Show and envy those kids with two parents, dinners together, money without crime, fun without drugs. I am determined to forgive my mother for leading a wasteful life and get back on the path of good with her. I am more determined to be a whole human being for Malik, Aniyah, Pony Boy and Michael.

Kids of the ‘80s and ‘90s, it’s time to forgive and let go.

We have to be what our generation’s adults were not. We gotta be more like the Cosby’s and less like us rappers. We have to reclaim our humanity by releasing this hate that is in us and being open to love. Love your people—imperfections and all. I forgive my mother, not for hurting me or my sisters and her own mom and dad, I forgive her for hurting herself. I know she’s still sick, I know it will probably be the death of her. I know she has betrayed me many times, but I also know she loves me… and she ain’t jiving… she’s just sick. In honor of mothers and sons everywhere, people fighting with addictions keep fighting. You can win!

It’s Bigga.


Chrisette Michele Denounces Hip-Hop, Rick Ross' Actions


After the "Soul Train Awards," Rick Ross didn't win and apparently caused enough ruckus. Such a ruckus it was, Chrisette Michele wrote a blog devoted to Hip-Hop and her collaborator Ross. The blog entry is below.

If this is the way hip hop is then I denounce it.

This is not about ego. This is about what I can bring to the world. My life is for the people. I live to give.

It’s my desire to bring life and freedom light and love everywhere I go. Upward mobility in the brown skinned community.

Who stands off at an award show because they don’t win? An award is winning at being as “stuck in a category” as possible. Congratulations to all the trophy holders who won at being the most like every one else.

I could have sworn hip hop was on the come up. But apparently rapping is about venting, bashing, chauvinistic pigging, and EGO. Not cool. Don’t LET me start rapping. (album in stores november 30th)

They say…I’m ecclectic. I’m underrated. I’m different. Well If I win an award it’s because I paved a way. Every award I’ve won was new in it’s category. You know why? Because I’m amazing at being my damn self.

Grammy - best alternative R&B song Centric award - Soul Approved Etc.

Have u even heard of those categories? Nope. But guess what? You ain’t never seen another me. And u never will. No ego here. Why? Because it’s none needed. My award is waking up every morning and CAKING off of what I believe in by the grace of God.

LET FREEDOM REIGN - in stores NOVEMBER 30th. Go pick that up.

Maybe I’ll call my 4th album “winners : just like every body else” maybe not.

I pray with every song I sing Im singing from the bottom of my heart. If all we want is an award for telling our truths, then we really have no true reason. This isn’t a competition. This is a stage for self expression and I’m grateful for the opportunity to live on it. I’d sing even if nobody sang along.

-from the bottom of my disappointed heart. Hip Hop… Man up. I wanted to be supportive but I can’t understand you. I believed in you… But apparently you’re so high you can’t even see what the world needs.

Is all hip hop like that? Absolutely not! But some of it certainly is. Let me spit a few bars. I’m not that kinda hip hop. I rep hip hop too. But not that kinda ego trippin foolery.

Chrisette Michele - the girl on that Aston Martin Music record…

As a grown man I feel what Chrisette is saying in this editorial, sometimes my beloved hip hop looks like a Boondocks episode. As an emcee and afficianado I feel like maybe Chrisette could have taken brother Rick Ross aside and maybe said something in his ear. Hip Hop takes a beating in the press and I kinda feel like we need to handle our problems in house. Also as a emcee I understand the ego that you have to have and keep in control as a hip hop artist I also understand that sometime that can kinda bleed over into issues like this.