Girls, Girls, Girls (Part 2) by Jay-Z from the album: The Blueprint

Just ‘cause Columbia “Clair” didn’t show up don’t mean she’s ain’t out there…

A close girl-friend remarked not too long ago that Jay Z was my “Beyoncé.” Thinking about it, it makes total sense. The dude’s a hustler, a go-getter, self-made and uncompromising.

Fittingly, upon arriving in New York City this time last year, Magna Carta Holy Grail was the flavor in my ear on a bus from Beantown’s South Station to NYC’s Chinatown. As the cold winds of winter funneled through the frosty streets of the concrete jungle, the bass of “Part II (On the Run)” boomed through the apartment speakers with my heart thumping at a new found muse. The melody of that tune lingered into the warming days of summer.

As the summer days wind down and with the cooling days of autumn around the corner, throwback ’90s jams have looped in the sound system, reminiscing on the carefree days of a not-so-distant youth lost but to the corners of my wondering mind.

The Blueprint of 2001 is on deck for the moment, until the next big thing in hip-hop drops…

The “Bey” analogy holds true. Dude came from these New York streets, ran these streets, and continues to do so now banked and legitimized.

A man with flossy style, infectious bravado and mainstream appeal, one thing has never changed for the man legally known as Shawn Corey Carter: he’s so ambitious.

Mission accomplished, two years in the making. On to the next one.New York, New York©July 2014 Instagram/thejfalbum

Mission accomplished, two years in the making. On to the next one.
New York, New York
©July 2014 Instagram/thejfalbum

Some grown man ish.©July 2014 Instagram/elliottwilson

…drink in hand, he addresses his feud with Chris Brown. ‘I hear he has everything he could want now,’ Drake says, alluding to the fact that Brown and Rihanna were, for the moment, back together. ‘I don’t want my name to be synonymous with that guy’s name… I wish we could sit down, just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man.’
—GQ, July 2013

Some grown man ish.
©July 2014 Instagram/elliottwilson

…drink in hand, he addresses his feud with Chris Brown. ‘I hear he has everything he could want now,’ Drake says, alluding to the fact that Brown and Rihanna were, for the moment, back together. ‘I don’t want my name to be synonymous with that guy’s name… I wish we could sit down, just like you and me are right now, and talk it out man-to-man.’

—GQ, July 2013

The Magic of Independence.Port Boulevard Bridge, Miami©July 2014 Charles Trainor Jr., The Miami Herald

The Magic of Independence.
Port Boulevard Bridge, Miami
©July 2014 Charles Trainor Jr., The Miami Herald

To the dreamers, spectators, hustlers, or any one or all of them you might be: a pleasant summer solstice. On this longest day of the year, as our part of this spinning marble tilts more toward the sun, let’s hope we can reconnect and remember those things we love most as the children take a reprieve from systematic instruction and, maybe for working people, the daily grind to enjoy the day. 

Maybe — just maybe — we can all have a glimpse at the unadulterated joy of those “freed” kids and, perhaps, remember our own joy.

Take a listen to some of the jams that warm the best aspects of my world. There’s a little Jersey in there, some Canada, the best of Gary, Indiana, and some sounds from two places that take me home: the Big Apple and the Magic City. Enjoy.


Je ne sais quoi
Hudson River Greenway, NYC
©June 2014 Instagram/thejfalbum