Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

Another day, another mass shooting. In the quest to gain advertising dollars, the American media will exploit this latest horrific act for ratings and page views. To pull at heart-strings, they will maneuver the victims and their families for exclusive interviews. In addition, they will create breaking news headlines like, “Deadliest Mass Shooting in Modern History” or “10 Things You Didn’t Know About the Shooter”.

If the shooter is white, he will be labeled mentally ill. If he is black, he will be labeled an angry militant. If he practices Islam, he will be labeled a terrorist. There will be a debate about the word terrorist. Then there will be a debate about the Second Amendment. Pretty much, there will be a debate about everything.

You are desensitized.. Around the clock on every national news station they will broadcast the story. You will consume it and you will click it. You will donate to the causes (even if it isn’t validated that the victims see the returns). You will share the story and spread it on your social media accounts. That is, until it becomes old news.

Clearly, there is a pattern here.

Look closely to the cycle that forms after one of these tragic events take place. It has a deeper meaning because it creates a society that is desensitized. Moreover (if you are one of the “woke” ones), it will figuratively brainwash your subconscious.

Ask yourself, were you really shocked about this last shooting? Did you motionlessly think, “Another one again?”.. Were you scrolling past various articles just to see how many victims were killed? Did you cut off the television because that was all they were talking about? If so, welcome to the world of desensitization.

We are repeatedly being inundated with images of death and destruction. The only time we see good news is normally towards the end of the broadcast. Negativity is the cornerstone of most media because people feed off of it.  It’s an energy that spreads like a virus jumping from one person to the other. If you were born during the 1980s and early 1990s – you have been targeted since childhood with a mixture of media, simulated games and the latest electronics. Makes you wonder if this is all one big social experiment, huh?

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Saturday, November 4th, 2017

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you had everything you ever wanted, but you weren’t happy? Have you ever created something from nothing into a successful brand and then had to let it go? Have you ever been all the way to the top only to crash all the way back down? Well, I have.

Sometimes when I think about how my life used to be, it seems like it never happened. I look in the mirror and see myself but then it doesn’t really feel like me.

It’s been almost 4 years since I would consider myself a professional blogger. That title in my rolodex retired when I closed down Concrete Loop. But as they say, “once a blogger, always a blogger.” I always seem to come back to this in some way.

Writing is therapeutic to me and I still see it as an outlet. I have matured because I don’t need all the co-signs anymore and don’t need all the fake love. I just want to be someone who can look in the mirror and appreciate the reflection that stares back.

“It was all a dream..” – The Notorious B.I.G.

It was the Summer of 2010 when I was plotting my takeover of the black blogging world. At that time I had already been blogging professionally for well over 5 years and I was close to realizing my dream of being a media powerhouse.

I had recently moved to NYC from a small town in North Carolina and from the outside looking in, I had it all. An office on 5th Ave a couple blocks from the Empire State Building. An apartment in Manhattan that was just a hop skip and jump away from there. Celebrity “friends” on speed dial to get exclusive content. Free trips to cover swanky events and keynote at important seminars. Even a best-selling book that inspired many of the blogs you may read today…. But we always romanticize things when we look back, don’t we?

It was now 2014 and I had built my brand for almost 9 years. Throughout that time, I learned that to get to a certain level in the entertainment realm, you have to either give up a piece of yourself or create a whole new person. So I started to wear a mask when I left my apartment to attend events but that mask was slowly starting to crack. In fact, I’ve always been a homebody and never really liked crowds and there I was making a living out of being in one.

One of my staff members (who was rather new to the industry), would always get so excited about meeting a celebrity at a gig she covered. I secretly would think, “If she knew how they really were in person she wouldn’t be that excited.” That made me feel bad because I was once that person who was elated that Kanye West called me or Beyonce invited me to her listening party. But when you realize that it’s all a game, that shine fades away.

No one knew it but during those last years of running Concrete Loop, I was very depressed. I was even contemplating suicide. In a sense, I had become paranoid and trusted no one. I even started to pull away from the business that I had grown from nothing.

If you were a reader during this time, you probably noticed I would go on hiatus randomly or stop updating the site for days on end. My staff would have to pick up the slack. I was clearly walking around with functional depression and hiding my true thoughts through this new mask I created. It was clear that I’d become burned out.

By this time, the glossiness of this new thing called blogging had faded and the business side started to become stressful. I put my all into that business because it was all I had. I sacrificed a lot during those years because I was after the bigger picture. When I went to the office, I worked. When I went home, I worked. It never stopped.

Additionally, I never took a real vacation because every time I traveled it was work related. I never took myself too seriously because it all started as a hobby. I never even finished college because I dropped out thinking I was set for life. As a result, I created what some may call a monster and it was literally killing me.

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