Categories
Books Life Music Wu-Tang Clan

The Most Unique Book in History: Ghostface Killah’s “The World According to Pretty Toney”

It’s no secret that I’m a Wu-Tang Clan superfan.

I know obscure trivia about the group. I have their logo on my coffee mug. I own old issues of The Source and XXL with the group on the cover. I also own items like the “Protect Ya Neck” cassette single, the “C.R.E.A.M.” single on vinyl, and the actual Purple Tape (the cassette version of Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx…).

One of the more obscure Wu-related items I own is a copy of
The World According to Pretty Toney, a 2007 book by Ghostface Killah with J. Brightly.

Categories
Business Career Life

Walking Away from My Dream Career Path Saved My Life

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“Anything that costs you your peace is too expensive.” 

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

I was dying to work for a Fortune 500 company.

Categories
Career Fatherhood Life Work

Don’t Break the Chain: The Value of Persistence

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I began playing organized basketball at the age of six.

By the age of ten, I was playing year-round for various travel teams in various leagues, almost always in the age bracket above mine. There was never an offseason. Camps, practices, summer leagues, fall leagues, spring leagues, open gyms – I did it all. When state rules prevented us from holding official practices, we all met at our point guard’s home and conducted practices on the full court in his backyard.

Basketball was an everyday thing.

Categories
Art Books Life

Anything Can Be Art

We’re a nation of clutter. We’re a society of packrats. We love our stuff.

Categories
Career Films Life Opinion Rankings Sports, Rhymes, Books & Life Writing

My Very Best Writing of 2018

Another whirlwind year. 

Categories
Life True Story

“I Think I’m Having a Heart Attack”

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I was sure it was nothing.

Categories
Hip-Hop Lessons Life NBA NFL Rap Sports

All of the Greats Take Losses

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I never thought of losing, but now that it’s happened, the only thing is to do it right. That’s my obligation to all the people who believe in me. We all have to take defeats in life.”

— Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali was “The Greatest.”

Everyone knows that, but there’s something that seems to be lost in the deification of the man born Cassius Clay: he wasn’t unbeatable.

Categories
Life True Story

The Lock

The same day I bought and discarded a new lock because I couldn’t recall the combination, I found my old lock and, after giving it some time, remembered that combination.

There’s a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

Categories
Career Life Work Writing

The Work Is What Matters

“The world is divided into people who do things and people who get the credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There’s far less competition.”

— Dwight Morrow

As Ryan Holiday writes in Ego Is the Enemy, John Boyd is “one of the most influential strategists and practitioners in modern warfare,” yet he’s “someone most people have never heard of.”

The fact that Boyd is unknown is fitting, because his lasting legacy is a speech he gave to scores of young officers that has come to be known as the “To Do or To Be” speech:

Categories
Life Money

Is Enough Ever Enough?

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Let’s talk about money.

Most of us have some sort of financial concern. Some estimates show that nearly 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and 61% can’t cover a $1,000 emergency. Wages have stagnated, but the cost of everything else has continued to rise meaning that purchasing power hasn’t really moved in four decades.

It takes an annual income of one-third of a million dollars to buy a home in San Francisco, which is fascinating considering the median household income there is about $83,000. It’s not just the coasts, either. Real median household income in New York City is just under $51,000 but in the entire country it’s $59,000. Considering how expensive everything — housing, food, transportation — is, that’s not very much.

Have you ever felt like if you had just a little bit more money it would make an enormous difference? The problem with that thought — one that I’ve had many times — is that the goalposts continue to move.