19 March, 2006


Just finished watching the documentary film, Rize. I sat there mesmerized throughout. Washed over with moments of poetry; both in their dance movements, as well with the eloquent articulation of their lives and dreams. It was a gift to be given the chance to catch a glimpse of a world that totally is foreign to my own.

Usually, the only glimpse I get of this culture is through commercial music and film. The “success stories”: rigged up portrayals of people like Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, Nate Dog, Ja Rule, Busta Rhymes, etc.

I am both fascinated and in awe sometimes with their music. Equally, I am often fascinated and appalled with their excessive show of wealth and the flagrant waste in lifestyles.

It is not that I believe everyone has to be a philanthropist. Rather, the acquirement of large sums of money, brings with it new responsibilities as well as new opportunities. Whether these fellows like it or not, they are role models for many people. I can’t figure out what a hiphop star is trying to say when he proudly announces that he owns 36 slick, expensive cars. This is not a judgement call, it’s just… what does he do with so many cars?

Some of the people in Rize showed tremendous grace of character, richness of spirit, and profound understanding of the trails of everyday man. They put all of the Hollywood rappers to shame.

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