In The Spotlight w/ Marcus Porter

As I sit here sunk into this black leather couch surrounded by anthem beats and blue saturated walls writing these questions, I am witnessing and studying Marcus Porter in his own process. Honestly, it’s the usual vibe of productivity, we are just missing two of our team members. The show must still go on, while I marinate in Marcus Porter’s lyrics and story.

The pandemic really was tough on everyone. How were you able to keep yourself afloat, mentally and physically,  during our lock-down?

During the pandemic, I was able to sit back & create without having to feel rushed. But, of course, I also did a lot of reading and anime watching

Anything you discovered about yourself during the pandemic? 

 I discovered my love for all types of art again. I had lost it because I wasn’t focused on it or trying to seek it out. But once I did, I fell in love again.

I have had the privilege to sit in the studio with you recently. You have a very intriguing writing process when it  comes to your songs. Can you tell the audience how that process goes? Which comes first for you, the hook, the  verse, or the beat?  

 The beat is usually the first thing that comes, and sometimes it’s just a simple four or eight bar loop. Then I typically start humming to myself until I find something that sticks. Sometimes it’s the hook first, but lately, it’s been the verses to come then the hook. But I always write from my heart.

You just dropped the single, “Born Black”, how did that come about? What influenced the song?  

“Born Black” came about during quarantine when George Floyd was murdered. So the song is a reflection of my own life experience. It was also influenced by many others who’ve dealt with racism, mistreatment, & death simply due to their skin pigment and social injustice. I was born black. Along with others, we’ve been seeking, fighting for, and addressing our shortcomings when it comes to black women & protecting them from the nonsense we deal with.

What do you want your audience/listeners to take with them after listening to “Born Black?” or any other song  you create?  

I am fighting for everyone and know the struggles we face, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I just try to be relatable and give them good content and sound to vibe to no matter what the scenario. My music represents my experiences and who I am as an individual.

Performing in Portage, WI. 6.19.2021

“Born Black” isn’t the only song you have with a feature on your upcoming album. Who else is featured on this  upcoming album? 

I have a few different features for the project. They are Chakari, K.I.L.O., 1neofMani, Juciee Monroe, Jay B Coolin, The King, so it’s pretty stacked on it. Each one came through and did their things; I appreciate them all.

You’re not just a musician. You engineer first many, many local artists. What came first for you as an artist? The  producer or the musician? 

The musician was always first, but I engineer because there weren’t many around, and I had an interest in it and wanted to create the best-sounding project I could. So I went to school to really learn the skills that have made me a better musician, from producing to the final master.

How and when did you discover that music is what you wanted to do with your life? What’s your story? 

I’ve known music was my calling since I was about 7 or 8, but I really knew right before I went to high school. I was interested in sports, but it was fading because all I wanted to do was write and make music. So my story is… Dad is a DJ, and mom did some drumming in drum core, and they made this young man who loves to create music and help others however he can.

What type of story are you trying to convey in your music? What do you want your audience to take with them  after experiencing your music?

The story is my story, but also everyone else’s too. I write music to have self-reflection. If you feel what I’m saying, then you’ve been there or are there, and I’m on the journey with you of this thing called life. I want to be as relatable as I can while still giving you a vibe.

If you want a taste of Marcus Porter’s story, make sure you check out his new single “Born Black”

Film Review: Black Widow

The film itself was a refreshing take on Scarlett Johansson’s character. Although, she didn’t take the film by storm herself, the supporting cast of Florence Pugh, Rachel Weisz, and David Harbour assisted in the success of the film. It was a whole team effort, The Russian avengers, so to speak.

The easter eggs presented ideals that fans wanted to see and be teased about for Phase 4, including but not limited too, the prison scene between Alexei and Ursa. Unlike WandaVision, it was a delightful placement to represent the mutants in the universe. Even non-verbally, admitting the existence of the X-Men, which fans have been wanting to see for years since the negotiations between Marvel and Fox came to surface.

The adlib deliveries were also a beautiful layer that Marvel and the actors has come to know and succeed in when Superheroes are in their heuristic situations. The additions to the Marvel Universe (Florence, Rachel, and David) fell right into place during this movie, as if, they’ve always been around. Humanizing them also provided texture in the film.

I doubt individuals had high hopes with this film hitting it out of the ball park, but from my perspective, the film itself did succeed beyond expectations and it was worth the wait for the release. Now to go on and place it rightfully in the timeline, and go back to the ritual of watching the Marvel films and television series “in order” chronologically.

Top 10 #BLM Films/Series:

Since May 30th, our global society has been transforming itself into a chaotic wake up call with the issue of police brutality and the continuous evidence of minorities not having the same equity of life as those who fall under white privilege.

I’ve had my share of unlearning the white man’s knowledge of American History, and growth over the years when it comes to American History, and I continue to put aside my own trauma and issues to sit and radically listen to my peers to hear their stories and allow them to provide me facts and evidence of their reality, while I proved my own radical listening, empathy, and understanding.

Right now they are tired. They are tired of talking without anyone listening. The are tired of the questions from those who simply have a hard time comprehending. They are tired of the “All Lives Matter” debacle that goes against the reality of blacks being 3x more likely to be shot and killed by police. They are simply tired.

I have a responsibility of a film maker and a film lover, to take the time to put together my top ten favorite strong black lead films and/or series that provide legitimate educational value for those who want a better understanding of the systematic oppression our fellow Americans have suffered through for the past 400 years, as well as, some of the greatest icons in black history that may or may have not been in your history textbooks growing up.

All I ask from this list is be aware of the fictional aspects of the films and take the time to dig into a deeper research of the events within the topics and figures provided with each film. I am asking, for those willing to listen and learn to do with empathy, while watching these stories, and don’t forget the Kleenex, because you will need them.

  1. Roots (Hulu): An adaptation of the 1977 mini-series, Roots chronicles the history of an African man sold to slavery in America, and his descendants. 

  2. Harriet (Rent/Vudu): The extraordinary tale of Harriet Tubman‘s escape from slavery and transformation into one of America’s greatest heroes, whose courage, ingenuity, and tenacity freed hundreds of slaves and changed the course of history.

  3. MalcolmX (Netflix): Biographical epic of the controversial and influential Black Nationalist leader, from his early life and career as a small-time gangster, to his ministry as a member of the Nation of Islam.

  4. 13th (Netflix): An in-depth look at the prison system in the United States and how it reveals the nation’s history of racial inequality.

  5. I Am Not Your Negro (Amazon Prime): Writer James Baldwin tells the story of race in modern America with his unfinished novel, Remember This House.

  6. Selma (Amazon Prime): A chronicle of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s campaign to secure equal voting rights via an epic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, in 1965.

  7. The Hate U Give (Rent/Vudu): Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressure from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right.

  8. DETROIT (Hulu): A gripping story of one of the most terrifying moments during the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of ’67.

  9. Just Mercy (Rent/Vudu): World-renowned civil rights defense attorney Bryan Stevenson works to free a wrongly condemned death row prisoner.

  10. When They See Us (Netflix): Five teens from Harlem become trapped in a nightmare when they’re falsely accused of a brutal attack in Central Park. Based on the true story.

    Honorary mentions: Marshall (Netflix), LA92 (Netflix), Teach Us All (Netflix), Ali (Amazon Prime), 12 Years a Slave (Rent)…

Dear White America: This Is Why…

Here’s what I can’t comprehend with America today. The America I THOUGHT I served. The America I THOUGHT I was taught:

Y’all didn’t have an uproar when Kaepernick was sitting on the bench during the national anthem, but when a Veteran… Yes! A combat veteran. It was not progressive liberals that first noticed and supported Colin Kaepernick. It was a white cis-born straight man, who legitimately served and fought in our modern wars that sat down and listened to Kaepernick and his reasons for not standing for the National Anthem.

Note: I point out labels since everyone wants to stereotype and define one another all day, every day and keep categorizing and segregating when in reality, nothing in this world is honestly black or white, so seriously America shouldn’t be either…

Anyways…

It was Kaepernick’s stance for inequality, a systematic government that has been built to legalize oppression, especially for people of color, who continue to be brutally murdered by opened racists. Point blank.

Here’s a thought, use the same mentality you have in your belief in God that you would of racism… just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

Rather than the Veteran screaming at Kaepernick that he’s a piece of shit and unpatriotic, he instead found compassion and empathy, as well as, stayed humane and asked for a compromise for both worlds by asking Kaepernick to kneel to, at least, honor those who served and sacrificed for this nation rather than sit and be fully disrespectful.

It was then when the conservatives and misinformed got all emotional and went fucking crazy and had an uproar. The fact y’all still choose to be blinded by today’s societal issues and continuous murders of minorities. Even having the knowledge of our history of slavery and genocide, and choose to be blinded by the repeating of yesterday’s mistakes, and the snake-like built of our government today over the decades.

I honestly thought this country was better than that, but I was wrong and have not been able to find peace about it considering everyday I have loved ones who have to live in a war mentality and PTSD like myself, when they should not even have to. They really shouldn’t.

In this day and age, we have a whole generation that are products of their environment that want to break their generational curses that has existed long enough for over 400 years, but you are blinded by the falsified freedoms they have had since the Civil Rights Movement, but we all know that that’s an illusion.

The difference with the continuous mentality between me and white veterans like myself and people of color in general is that we chose the path we followed as soldiers. When I enlisted, even under the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” umbrella, I did it to risk my life for ALL the people and their freedoms, selflessly.

These particular individuals didn’t choose their skin color nor the thug image that arrogant individuals refuse to see past due to the devil’s advocate of the entertainment industry that promotes this imagery, and of course with the support of the lack of freedom that was built within the system, especially for African Americans and Native Americans.

When is enough enough? Is another Civil War the answer for those who refuse to speak up or stand for their equals? How did a mass group of people, who’s ancestors were once immigrants themselves, decide they were greater and more superior from those who were original citizens and/or forced upon these lands?

When can we actually accept others’ differences, especially after the fact we had various wars over the 400 years of our existence as a nation for these particular reasons. When is the majority of the white population going to finally see that they are not superior to the rest of humanity?

And if you get done with those recommendations and what to learn more and continue to educate yourself, please check the following link for more resources out: Anti-Racism Resources.

A Somber Day… as Memorial Weekend continues:

Even though my adjustment to civilian life has been a struggle, due to being consumed in today’s society by so many political opinions, and truths being revealed… it certainly has been a hard pill to swallow…

Working DFac (fDining Facility) Guard

While most people gather, illegally and legally, I’ve kept my distance and silence, as well as decompress my mind, to gather my thoughts over this weekend as it reminds me of two things…. 1) my best friend at the time being KIA on June 3, 2007 (three days before my 21st), and the fact that tomorrow is legitimately my fifth year anniversary from being medically retired from the military.

Yet, there is still a pride in me for serving this country for the purpose of the bigger picture and not for myself, but for ALL the people in this country who chooses not to or simply can’t for medical purposes…

I continue to look at the positive things of serving like having the opportunity to embrace and experience so many various cultures and individuals through the battle buddies I’ve met over the years and the various global contractors and local people that I had the opportunity to befriend and worked with while in Iraq.

Local Interpreters, Taji 🇮🇶

Also, without serving, I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today nor accomplish the things I’ve accomplished over my adult life…

While the mass crowd defines us a basic stereotype of typical sheep and murderers, I will not let those voices define me nor the good-hearted people I have come to serve and meet, who take the call to risk their lives for their own beliefs of serving…

What comes down to my reality vs. their reality, is that we all have a story, we all have educational value to share through our livelihoods and experiences, and we all can learn from one another… we just need to be able to have an open mind to learn from those who haven’t experienced a similar life than our own and that’s where empathy comes in…

Unfortunately, the majority of us, as humans, struggle with having empathy for the rest of the world, if not, our own country and that’s why we are in the “Divided States of America” we are currently in.

Super Bowl Party. |Chicago Vs Indianapolis|
Go Manning Go!
🏈

The relief of today was fulfilled with distractions and productivity while distancing myself from the crowds and social media, while I regain my attentiveness and confidence with my purpose and knowledge in the world during my five-day weekend and I’m only half way through.

Goofing off before meeting
the Iraqi Army General. 😳

Also, what helped me through today is having one of my battle buddies that I relate to reaching out to me today with his music playlist and amazing descriptive reflection of his day, because he knows how much music and storytelling gets me through difficult things.

Thank you, Deneen, and stay well. 👍🏻