Greetings everyone. There are only two days left in 2013, and many of us await the beginning of 2014 with much enthusiasm. For the past few days, I have found myself in a reflective mood, and I wish to share some of my thoughts in this post. This post is not only a partial assessment of 2013 from a cultural standpoint, but my personal reflections as well. By the way, as always is my disclaimer in this reflection: this is just my opinion. If you heard or saw something really good this year that I may have missed out on in 2013, feel free to e-fight me in the comment section. I have to get it all out somehow , so here goes.
In my opinion, on the whole this was a fairly weak year in music. I really racked my brain to think of all the albums I liked this year, and it’s a short list. Yes, 2013 saw a lot of big releases, but little in the way of innovation. Nothing really mind-blowing from what I heard. Yes, you had your solid check ins from Daft Punk, but records like those were few and far between.
Turning to hip-hop, it seemed like the theme of the year was overhyped releases, and buzz that exceeded the actual content. Jay-Z and Kanye West both in different ways managed to disappoint their fans with works that coast on their earlier established reputation. J.Cole was one of the few emcees in 2013 that dropped a solid album with Born Sinner, absent of all of the unwarranted fanfare and marketing schemes that typified the first two slacking artists. On the underground tip, Papoose checked in with his first album, and it was aight. Canibus came out with an interesting collaboration record with Almighty: The 2nd Coming. Now the hip hop nation needs to get on Jay Electronica’s case so he can finally get in the booth(and make an album). He got next.
My favorites from this year were Elysium, Fruitvale Station, and Best Man Holiday. As far as TV, since I don’t watch that much of it, its only Scandal (of course, lol) and Breaking Bad. I got indiscriminate chopper spray for anyone who says different. #truefacts
Injustice: Gods Amongst Us and Grand Theft Auto 5. That’s it.
Short list isn’t it? Yup, that’s just how I feel about it. Now, in terms of the more personal reflections, there is a bit more there. 2013 started off a bit rough for me personally. I began the year emotionally reeling from the passing of a childhood friend in December of 2012. Actually today December 29th makes a year since Lamont passed. I had to pause for a little while I acknowledged that. I really had to get it together, and find a way to cope with such a hard thing. I know a number of my other friends felt the same.
Believe it or not, part of what has helped me deal, is what I do with my writing here and elsewhere. In addition to my family being there and folks reaching out, keeping active helped. The fact that I had projects and all that in the works was a good thing. I made some decisions not to lollygag anymore with my hopes and dreams.
Of course, most of you know I am referring to my first book that I put out. Not that I am pretending to be an expert, but I see from my experiences in 2013 that writing books opens doors. It led to radio appearances, writing workshops, and more opportunities as a freelance writer for wider audiences. Much respect to Ricky Young and Chantal Onlien for having me on their radio shows. Also, thanks to Lenny Matthews for hosting me on his public access show as well. I was able to answer a question in the affirmative: Could I do both? Meaning, could I run a blog AND promote a book at the same time?
I was able to do this, with no problem. I attended Blogging While Brown for the first time, and went to the Harlem Book Fair as an author. I did a booksigning and a number of events, as well as collaborated with many such as Harlem Works, Bringing Conscious Back, and Bmorenews.com Brandon Melendez and others helped hold it down with the posts, and I found some new blog allies in Stanley Fritz and Jennifer Hampton. What we potentially are capable of doing in 2014 is downright scary. For real for real. #Smiling
Thank you to everyone for continuing to read, and share my work. Shoutout to D.C. Livers and Doni Glover for the support from established journalists to an emerging writer. It’s been a wild ride, and I look forward to what 2014 has to offer all of us. Peace, and I will see y’all next year.
Marc W. Polite