Skit

‘Broke Rappers.’ I Don’t Do Free Shoots. Period.

No if’s. No and’s. No but’s.

Oh boy. The relationship between ‘broke rappers’ and actual broke video producers.

Or producers of any kind. Graphic designers. Web designers. Engineers. We’ve all had a run-in with a selectively cheap artist that brags about their lavish lives in their music. Then turns around and low-balls you for your services. ‘Broke rappers’ are usually not broke at all. Just dudes with f*cked up priorities and no respect for artistry. And an over-inflated sense of self.

Tell them to kick rocks. They probably won’t do it while they wear their new Balenciaga’s.

Sure there are genuinely starving artists that will actually barter some of their services for yours. And there’s nothing wrong with respectfully admitting, “this isn’t something I can afford right now. Hope to work with you in the future!” and keep it moving.

But.

See what we’re not going to tolerate is someone devaluing our work and saying “can you lower the price” just because. A friend-of-a-friend discount.

I can’t walk into Best Buy and use an Instagram shout-out as a form of currency to buy a camera. So what makes you think you can pay someone in exposure for a skill that took a lot of time and money to develop?

Let’s take a step back. There are actual broke rappers.

Working video in Hip Hop is an interesting beast different from weddings, commercial, or film work. Probably the most fun you’ll have as a creator. Oftentimes gigs that are most fun tend to pay less. Especially in a genre that is literally the voice of the underprivileged. Artists turn to Hip Hop to express socio-economic hardship. They will make music by any means necessary. And sometimes being resourceful means hustling others into doing free work for them. I come from a place where my friends would pool money together from their 9-5 jobs and invest in an entry-level DSLR camera. Then just shoot it themselves. We didn’t even know what ISO was. We were just dedicated to learning by experience and doing what we could. But we definitely weren’t contacting professional-level producers that we knew had high rates to try to lower their prices… especially not offering to pay them in “exposure.”

Producers aren’t charging you these prices because they want to scam you. They do it because its how they keep the lights on. It’s how they’re able to afford to maintain their equipment and keep doing what they do. Video is especially important in boosting a music career. No one will take you seriously if you invest thousands in looking good or even on hours of studio time but won’t invest in the visuals. If you really can’t afford to pay a professional, study the craft and do it yourself. Don’t burn bridges by disrespecting the value of other artists.

5 Signs You’re Dealing With A Fuckboy

Watch Out For These Fuckboy Red Flags

1. Fear of communication

Why are you asking me that? Why are you interrogating me? Do we have to keep talking about this? 

Fuckboys cannot deal with emotional labor. They want you to take care of all that. They fear the vulnerability that comes with honesty. So god forbid you ever ask them a question about anything, anyone, or any woman. They are just here for the fun parts of a relationship. Not communicating emotional needs nor concerns.

2. I Didn’t Mean It.

There’s a difference between mistakes and bad decisions. We all make both. Sure we don’t mean harm. Most humans don’t go around thinking, “how can I hurt someone that cares about me today.”

Fuckboys will go on and on about how hurting you wasn’t their intention. But intention doesn’t alleviate result. If there’s a fly on your face and I smack dogshit out of you, my intention was to kill the fly. That doesn’t stop your face from hurting after you just got slapped to kingdom come.

Doing the right thing means he will instinctively take accountability for what he’s done. And try to fix it. Not deflect blame off of himself by immediately cowering behind his original intentions. People have good intentions. Anyone that needs to reassure themselves that they aren’t bad people by constantly talking about what they meant to do rather than what they actually did is insecure in themselves and the value people place on them.

Whether it’s something as deal-breaking as cheating on you or as small as ruining your wash & set with his oily fingers, pay attention to his first steps to problem solving.

3. Flipping the Tables

But I didn’t say anything when you…

But I also went through…

Ever confront someone for hurting you? Your feelings? Only to notice 3 sentences into the conversation that you’re now talking about their feelings. Their turbulent past? Now they’re bringing up a bunch of shit you did that bothered them that they never mentioned before?

Your plane just got hijacked.

To a Fuckboy, everything is everyone’s fault by default. They don’t feel like their actions really cause any harm. Because they don’t feel alive. If something goes wrong, there’s no way possible that they–alone–could have had any power to influence that catastrophe whatsoever.

And if they ever did anything wrong, it’s because you did something first. You somehow made them do it. They will go through all the gymnastics to make some cause-and-effect timeline of how all their actions were a mere reaction — void of their own autonomy — to someone else.

4. There is always an excuse for his fuckery.

But I didn’t know we were serious. But I didn’t know you even liked me like that. But I didn’t know that would hurt you. But we not even together. But I was in a bad place. But she started. But. But.

But.

Fuckboys never know when something is serious. Because they have a lack of self worth. They cannot register the impact they have on people’s lives. All they see is their own impulsive, temporary motives that have no real depth besides pussy and a good time. Fuckboys just go with the flow. They exist for the mere moment. Fuckboys don’t think of consequences for their actions. They think of excuses.

5. He expects you to stick around, despite it all.

Wowwwwww. You really leaving me? I thought you was a ride or die. I need someone that can handle me. You’re making this a big deal.

Shrug off that gaslighting real quick. You don’t have to handle someone’s personal issues. You aren’t a bad person for leaving someone that continuously adds negativity to your life.

He knows he’s not ready for a relationship. He doesn’t want to be. A Fuckboy knows they aint shit. Most of us aint. The difference is, most people want to work on their flaws. Fuckboys want company in their toxic, self-loathing misery. As long as you’re willing to stay. As long as you have hope that he will one day change, he will feel comfortable enough to never change at all.

A Fuckboy isn’t a school project. A man will change when he wants to. Sure, a woman may be the catalyst– not the reason–for a man  to turn his life around. But. You might just mold him into the perfect man–for someone else. Don’t waste your time on the potentiality for being an obstacle. Invest your emotions into someone who is ready to love you the way you need to be loved.

The Truth

All men are guilty of one of these things. We all have our percentage of fuckery going on. Blaming others. Lack of empathizing with feeling’s outside of our own. Projecting our self-loathing. Wanting company in our toxicity.

Awareness is the first step to change. Second is Honesty– analyzing how willing we are to change and what are the best solutions. Even if that solution means letting go of someone you know you’re hurting.  And the last step is to ADAPT. Execution. This piece can only guide you through the first two phases. The rest is all you. You said you would change? Distance yourself. Do what you said you would. Don’t drag the people that love you through your tumultuous transitions.

If you are dealing with a Fuckboy, you are enabling them. Give them space to grow on their own. Even if that means cutting them off entirely.

That Time of Year Strangers Become Family

The Thanksgiving strangers are coming this holiday season.

Thanksgiving strangers. Those 3rd cousins that you always see down the block that don’t say sh*t to you. You gon’ let them rock and make they plate?

Thanksgiving in the hood is interesting. Having a broken hereditary family means you’ll probably enjoy the pre-thanksgiving friendsgiving. A potluck of drinking and sh*t- talking with friends about middle school days.

Definitely more enjoyable than an awkward sit down of a bunch of aunts you don’t remember meeting asking “how’s school” every 5 minutes… and hearing your woke uncle tell you about how we shouldn’t even be celebrating the genocide of indigenous people.

Watch Tim Hann’s full skit here.

(And btw. Mac. We aren’t celebrating genocide. It’s just a day off. Relax.)

What to Do When You Have a Gay Son

The same thing you would do if you had a straight son.

Having a gay son is always made a spectacle

As if preparing for your child’s potential queerness is on par with being diagnosed with some terminal illness.

It’s not a tragedy to have a gay son. Not an inconvenience. Not some hypothetical hard premise to make small talk about at a dinner table. People are gay. People are straight. And all sorts of in-betweens.

What would I do if I had a gay son? The same thing I would do if I had a straight son.

But that’s not an interesting enough answer for you is it? Watch the satirical comedy sketch on what to do.

And enjoy the reaction people give you when you use this answer to such a silly question.

 

This NYC Bum Is Savage AF

There’s a key difference between a New York beggar and these New York Bums.

Harassment.

On 125th– infamous for extreme poverty and addiction— the hustle is strong. Sell metro cards. Sell phones. Sell ass. Panhandle. Do what you have to do to survive that doesn’t violate the autonomy of another. Intimidating people into handing over their money is intolerable. And you can’t simply ignore superbums. Oftentimes they will follow or continue harassing you if you don’t turn around and engage them assertively. And even that doesn’t work sometimes.

It isn’t just a problem for snobby gentrifiers. I’ve witnessed countless locals being cursed out or damn near followed for half a block. Borderline coercive robbery. The aggressive catcalling and intimidation of women should not be dismissed as ‘hood culture.’ 

That shit is CORNY.

Throwback Thursday || What’s the Hook? COMEDY SKIT

Throwback Thursday brings you “What’s the Hook?”

16 year old Almonte uses a play on words for this 5 year old comedy sketch. Always sing the hook right or you’ll get a right hook. Then again, what he did was more of a straight. So Pedro had to correct him. Just ask Danny.

*Side eye*

Before TheAlmonteFilms was JShamw0w

With a zero. There was a completely different channel before Almonte started to brand himself as a filmmaker… before he even knew he would be a filmmaker. This was one of the gems right before he completely abandoned the channel.

What Song Was That? || TRUST By Deebo Dioso

Everyone loved the song at the end of Almonte’s most DEADASS video of 2017.

Let’s keep it real–Deebo Dioso can sonically enhance any of Almonte’s content.

And so much of Almonte’s audience finds themselves binge-listening to Deebo Dioso after hearing just a snippet of his sound in the end credits(people stick around for those)? Why?

“I think the subject matter of my music match the same as [Almonte’s] videos” Deebo Dioso says. “..sometimes not word for word but the vibe usually fits perfect.”

If you love Almonte’s visuals, you’ll most likely feel the same Deebo Dioso’s music. They’re two different artists that grew up in the same vibrantly dark conditions of East Harlem, just 5 blocks from each other. Naturally, their work compliments one another. They even worked on an urban martial arts web series together .

Gang violence, drug addiction, art, culture, family, spirituality, and activism are what give Harlem its cultural density. The east side contains a lot of urban decadence but also shares all the good that comes with still being Harlem. It is the birthplace of the Harlem Renaissance and a monumental location for Black leaders like Malcolm X to thrive. The pain of growing up in a toxic environment tends to make artists turn to their craft as a coping mechanism. Hip Hop and urban literature are two things misunderstood as being glorifying of violence. But in reality, these pieces are merely victory screams of being able to survive despite it all.

In “When New Yorkers Leave the Hood,” Almonte exposes the mixed emotions resentment can cause for friends in the hood.
In “Trust” Deebo Dioso tells a story we all resonate with, inside and outside of the hood. Broken Friendships.

Oh man, these n*ggas up to no good. You be a young n*gga makin sure the bros good. Next thing you know, Chinx shot in his own hood.” 

Chinx was a popular rapper that was shot dead in his own neighborhood. And we all know what happened when Katt Williams returned to his hometown.

“When you finally escape this social prison [that is the Hood], your childhood friends are bound to feel resentment,” Almonte saysBut in his skit, the character has a bittersweet love for his friends, side eyeing them and knowing they’re probably speaking ill of him out of fear of abandonment… so he reassures them of his friendship how? Returning to buy them chopped cheeses. Not gold chains, not taking them out to the club… but buying them a token of what they all shared culturally that you can only find done right in their hood. Deebo Dioso’s “Trust” embodies how this character feels on the inside, juxtaposing his outward actions to retain his acceptance in the hood. “What the f*ck wrong wit a n*gga, actin like they never get along with a n*gga.”  The combination of Deebo Dioso and Almonte’s theme create a duality to show the Hood far from the monolithic, one-dimensional portrayal we are so used to seeing. The relationships between these people are multilayered and their emotions are complex. They say one thing and feel another. They feel more than one emotion at the same time. They aren’t just rage-filled, hypermasculine caricatures looking for a come up.

Lyrics: 

Only a few n*ggas i’d die for//
Brothers knocking on god door//
F*ck we calling these cops for//
N*gga they the reason we here//
My right hand on this Glock 4
N*gga they the reason we here//
We on em n*ggas like lock jaw, CHECK
On my deebo sh*t//
A n*gga tired of hearing that amigo sh*t//
Repping 3A on my trio sh*t//
And cutting n*ggas short on some chino sh*t// And the G’s know

All i hear is onomatopoeia// Show a little sign of gonorrhea// Sicker than the b*tches really thinking that they fly but not Aaliyah// N*ggas being b*tches like the n*gga Tyler got Madea// Owwww

I ain’t tryna shake yo hand// Hating n*ggas ain’t yo mans// I do what i do what i does and it ain’t no scam// Now they telling n*ggas they yo fam// Oh man
These n*ggas up to no good// You be a young n*gga making sure the bros good// Next thing you know Chinx shot in his own hood// And im another n*gga writing in a notebook// So i dont look//
Dolo (sh*t)// Its bloodsport on some bolo (sh*t)// This for them n*ggas on the low low// And dont know im jumpin n*ggas on some pogo (sh*t)//
A n*gga can’t keep holdin what i can’t maintain// Its when you getting paper n*gga everything change// So every motherf*cker that been hating on a n*gga when i see em imma hit em with the bang bang bang

Hook

It hurts the more i think about it// You p*ssy n*ggas don’t speak about it//
NO NO NO time to make peace about it// Cuz you p*ssy boy! and we be about it we on
Im on one i don’t trust these n*ggas x4

Verse 2

What the f*ck wrong with a n*gga// Acting like they never get along with a n*gga// Sh*tted on my mixtape now they wanna do a song with a n*gga// my n*gga my n*gga // Feelin like denzel in this b*tch yo// They tryna get to yo bread through a window// They treat me like bruh man from the 5th floor//
Coming in like homie// I really like the way you flowing// Ever since high school u been growing// I mean look at all the places u going// But one thing the whole team know is//
I be only riding for my n*ggas// Tryna be surrounded by the realest// Ya be thinkin ’bout the money feeding off the thousand dollar dealers// Till our people dying and we been surrounded by the killers// GOT DAMN
Shouts to my latinum n*ggas// All my latin n*ggas going platinum n*ggas// Love to the black real n*ggas// They say we monkeys with banana clips that’ll peel n*ggas//
God’ll never judge but he finna deal wit us// Represent the warriors and they reveal n*ggas// Rest in peace to tio but a n*gga still wit us// If it wasn’t for the spirit woulda tried to kill n*ggas//
What… yall n*ggas trippin like a westbrook interview// I mean where was the love when i hit rock bottom but i blow and im ‘pose to remember you//
Ya make a n*gga lose hope// Where the f*ck is yall when a n*gga too broke// Where the f*ck is yall when a n*gga lose folks// But wanna hit me up asap ‘cuz a n*gga too dope//
You MotherF*ckers is getting too close dont cross that line// Picture everything i saw at 9// Can’t deny the foreplay// Was 9 in 4th grade// A 9 and 4 gauge //Across that spine//
B*tch yup// If u wearin a vest// Then yo head and yo neck is finna be D.O.A// I told u n*ggas we dont play// Swore to my mother imma be ok//
She said “boy i don’t give a f*ck about these n*ggas// I wanna see you clown these n*ggas// They really thinking they it, I be ready to pound these n*ggas// Swam with the sharks so you finna drown these n*ggas//
‘Cuz u can’t keep holdin what you can’t maintain// Its wen you gettin paper n*gga everything change// So every motherf*cker that been hating on a n*gga when you see em better hit em with the bang bang bang// MY N*GGA

 

 

When a New Yorker Leaves the Hood

Let’s face it. When your friend leaves the hood, it’s a bitter-sweet spectacle.

Many in the hood want to obtain absurd amounts of wealth to buy all the luxury clothing that will juxtapose their habitat. To flaunt the audacity to walk in urban decadence with the new Ghost Whites on their feet and a gold chain pounding no fear on their heart with every step. In the Hood, you look good;  you feel good. The ‘Hood Rich’ mentality is one of consumerism– the idea that you are what you wear. We place value on ourselves based on the things we can afford to buy.
But there’s a catch.
You can’t keep that title if you leave the Hood. Because we simultaneously worship wealth while romanticizing “the struggle.” The struggle of surviving in a dangerous environment… of living paycheck to paycheck… of eating hypertension-inducing instant ramen noodles everyday… of having to sell drugs, sell ass, or both when no one wants to hire you. So when you finally escape this social prison, your childhood friends are bound to feel resentment.

Society has been engineered to keep you poor. So if you’re lucky enough to be granted the right opportunities to leave, chances are your friends are not going with you. Your friends may blame you for not being able to take them with you. Maybe even blame themselves even if they work harder than you. We continue to look at each other and point the finger at everyone. Everyone but the warden and his guards that turn a blind eye to your implosion. The cold truth: the system was designed this way.

How do we cope when the people we love can’t leave the hood?

We celebrate with the hood. Party with the hood. Feed the hood. We treat them like charity cases to cope with the guilt of our success. Because in a way, these are the people that have contributed to who we are and what we’ve become. They deserve more than what you can give them and you know it. But we know damn well everyone can’t fit on the life boat while the titanic sinks. Otherwise, you’ll all drown. And capitalism has taught us that suffering is all worth it as long as one of us makes it. The ones that “make it” become the new-money Gatsby to absolve their guilt. After the entourage, they indulge in their new lavish lifestyle alone while their friends go back to the hood to tell braggadocios stories of their old friend that came back to the Hood to share a taste of his newly found wealth.

And Chopped Cheese.

Boyfriend Hanging Out with His ‘Homegirl’ Again?

“I Don’t Play That ‘Best Friend’ Sh*t” was a dealbreaker an old girlfriend gave me about having a homegirl.

Having friends outside of your relationship is absolutely healthy. Even platonic romance. However, there’s a bold red flag if your man is coming home to his homegirl more often than he’s coming to you.

Often we want to give our partners freedom. Especially when Black women are constantly gaslighted when voicing any concern. Women in general are always stereotyped to be more “emotional. So one could only imagine the societal pressures to not be “that angry Black Woman” when you are unhappy. If your significant other’s relationship with his homegirl seems sus, you have all the reason to question it. Especially if he ghosts your texts and calls every time he is with them.

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