Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Trenton's Own WISE INTELLIGENT of the Poor Righteous Teachers Sounds Off

TRENTON- Let's rock this 'funky joint'. Today, Anwar's Reflections was fortunate to sit down with the one and only Wise Intelligent from the well-known rap group Poor Righteous Teachers. During the interview, Wise Intelligent, a Trenton native, discussed a variety of topics. From  his new album, THE UNCONKABLE DJEZUZ DJONEZ, to the current state of hip hop, Intelligent chimes in. The Trenton based MC also shares his thoughts on where he sees Trenton in five or ten years. His latest musical project, THE UNCONKABLE DJEZUZ DJONEZ, is currently in stores. Below you will find a copy of Anwar's Reflections exclusive interview with the one and only Wise Intelligent:

AGS: Tell us a little bit about your background, we know you grew up in Trenton, but what motivated you to start a career in rap music?

WI: I honestly never looked at what I was doing with Hip Hop within the context of a career. I was about 12 or 13 years old growing up in a hyper-segregated, poverty concentrated 7.5 square mile ghetto. Hip Hop was to a young kid like me a way to be happy about something! Hip Hop was an opportunity to dance my way “out of my constrictions,” beautify lifeless street walls with artistic colorful graffiti murals, write colorful poetry that interpreted my feelings and experiences – good, bad and indifferent. So, we simply did what we saw Hip Hoppers doing. We heard Hip Hop on the radio, we wanted to be on the radio. We saw Hip Hop on video shows, we wanted to be on the video shows. I may be oversimplifying it but that sounds about right?

AGS: Which musicians or hip hop artists have influenced your work?

WI: There are many Hip Hop influences. Everyone from Public Enemy (Chuck being my favorite MC), Run DMC, Whodini,Dana Dane, Slick Rick, Rakim & Eric B., MC Lyte, Roxanne Shante, The Supreme Team, King Sun, Shinehead, Just-Ice, MC Shan, Boogie Down Productions, Ultramagnetic, Scholly D, and most importantly Afrika Bambataa. That’s not all of them but a great few. 

AGS: What do you think of the current state of hip hop?

WI: I think Hip Hop is as it always was. Unless, we’re interpreting its condition based on what Hip Hop is doing at the mainstream level. If we are speaking from a place of Hip Hop’s message and activism – artists are still sending out every type of message from conscious to gangster, from party to bullshit just like 20 years ago. If we are speaking from a mainstream perspective it’s not a true assessment of Hip Hop. Because today’s mainstream only allows ONE message to permeate its mediums – i.e., niggerisms. Thus, the state of Hip Hop should not be interpreted based on what we hear on mainstream radio and video exclusively. Rather, the work of Dead Prez, Brother J, Kendrick Lamar, Saigon, Jasiri X, Jay Electronica, Paris,Immortal Technique, of course Wise Intelligent and others should be discussed. As well as the ON THE GROUND ACTIVISM with which many of these artists engage the community off the mic. That’s the state of Hip Hop.

AGS: Your new album, THE UNCONKABLE DJEZUZ DJONEZ, was released in February. Who did you work with on this LP? How would you define this album in your overall body of work as an emcee? In your own words, what makes this album stand out among all the other albums you have put out thus far?

WI: On the DJEZUZ DJONEZ project I worked with some very talented producers. Masada aka ahkPRIME out of Trenton, NJ. Big Scott 7XL out of Chicago Ill., D-Rel also out of Chicago ill., Kasar tha Star Gaynor out of Philadelphia, PA. Vocally I worked with Tye Austin out of Oakland CA., Tara Courtney out of Trenton NJ, Rahzii Highpower of Trenton as well. DJEZUZ DJONEZ is what happens when man gets “stronger till he’s man no longer.” When we truly realize our power, the source of that power and reconnect to it. Then we can get about the task of building a people. Doing the work. Not using your form of godliness to oppress the very people you’re gifts were given to lift up. This is to deny the power thereof. Spitting at God if you will. DJEZUZ DJONEZ stands out like a sore thumb among my earlier recordings. It’s closest to The Talented Timothy Taylor and furthest from Black Business. It’s a Wise Intelligent perspective, history and experience. Not necessarily a PRT thing. My messages are clearer and sharper these days.

AGS: Do you find that your message is relevant in these days and times? If so, why is that?

WI: This is the question that’s most often asked by journalist. Relevant? What’s irrelevant or NOT “relevant” about a record called GENOCIDE (The Talented Timothy Taylor) exposing the CIA distribution of tons of crack into African American communities to raise funds for a war in Nicaragua when this has resulted in some 2 million black men being incarcerated TODAY? What’s irrelevant or NOT “relevant” about a record called CROWN OF THORNZ (Djezuz Djonez) that addresses the deplorable apartheid schooling system the majority of black youth are subjected to TODAY? What, I ask THE BLACK COMMUNITY first, the WORLD second – is NOT “relevant” about making you aware of an imminent danger or threat to your right to exist in recordings like ILLUMINATI (Djezuz Djonez)? Some argue that “young people don’t want to hear that.” That position is more emotional than it is factual. We used to be the same young people. We were 16 to 24 year olds in the streets, dealing drugs, wildin out, etc., however, we bought, listened to and supported Public Enemy, BDP, Farrakhan, Leonard Jefferies and Rodney King. Why? Well, because they were available to us on mainstream radio, video and other mediums. We did not have to look for them in a virtual library of “underground” or “off Broadway” avenues on the internet.  

AGS: Being that you're a Trentonian and a conscious emcee, where do you see Trenton in five or ten years?
WI: I see many more Hispanics. Maybe even a Puerto Rican mayor. I see many more Africans coming from the continent – namely Liberia. I also see an escalated rate of gentrification and return of white suburbanites to the city when the cost of living becomes too high for the constant commuting; gas, property tax, etc. Poor schools will no longer be a deterrent because of the current movement to privatize all public schools and many parents already pulling their children out of public schools for private and magnate schools. As far as the “native” or “indigenous” black population in Trenton. This population can indeed govern and or determine much in the city, however, there is too much fragmentation. My message to the Blackman in Trenton and other American inner-cities– UNITE or PERISH!   

AGS is an acronym for the author and founder of Anwar's Reflections, Anwar G. Salandy, WI is an acronym for Wise Intelligent.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

City Barber Goes Mobile: 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT

TRENTON-- Ever wonder its like to want to groom yourself but have difficulty because you're getting older or because you're physically disabled, well the folks over at 1-800-5-A-HAIRCUT Delivery Service want to make sure no one has that problem any longer. Today, Anwar's Reflections sat down with Cory Thomas, the CEO of 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT, a traveling barber and beautician service located right here in the city of Trenton.

Thomas, a Trenton native, was gracious enough to sit down with me at the China Cafe, a local Chinese Restaurant in South Trenton. During the interview, Thomas discussed his passion for providing barbering services to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. He also went on to say that the main reason he decided to launch this sort of business was because as a younger man he saw his father go through a tough time grooming him self after his leg was amputated. Thomas wanted to create a business that would make sure others who were incapacitated would not have to go through what his father did. So he and one of his friends (a barber) got together and launched 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT Haircut Delivery Service.

Thomas' business model is unique, a barber shop that comes to you. You get everything you would normally get from your traditional barber shop or beauty salon, but 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT provides the added convenience of bringing those services to the comforts of your home. The company has been in business for two years and is currently looking to expand. Their licensed barbers and beauticians are available six days a week from 9 am to 8 pm. All you have to do is call 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT (1-800-424-2472) to make an appointment.

Let's go out and support what 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT Haircut Delivery Service is doing in the community. To see Anwar's Reflections exclusive interview with entrepreneur Cory Thomas, please see the YouTube video below:

Business Name: 1-800-4-A-HAIRCUT, Haircut Delivery Service
Compancy CEO: Cory Thomas
Phone Number: 1-800-424-2472
Barber/Beautician Availability: Monday thru Saturday 9 am-8 pm

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Jersey's Small Business Network Help Residents With Credit Counseling

TRENTON-- Ever wonder what it takes to start your own business, but were unsure how to work your finances out. Well, ladies and gentlemen, be not dismayed, the New Jersey Small Business Developments Centers Network (NJSBDCN) is here to help. Thursday, May 26th, the Trenton Public Library is holding a Credit Clinic from 6 to 8 pm at their Main Branch which is located downtown (120 Academy Street).

The purpose of the event is to to help all those who want to know more about credit and how it relates to the entrepreneurial process and sustaining a small business. The event is sponsored by the NJSBDCN.

Members of the community age 18 or older are invited to come. There is no cost to attend. All you need to do is register with the NJSBDCN by going to their website: www.sbdcnj.com. Once there, simply click registration on the Credit Clinic event and you will be able to attend. So, if those entrepreneurial juices are flowing, stop on by the public library this Thursday at 6 pm.

Anwar's Reflections will be sure to keep you up to date regarding any future events.

Friday, May 13, 2011


PRINCETON-- Imagine if you will, the mind of Albert Einstein meeting the funk of Curtis Mayfield, and there you have the one and only Dr. Cornel West. Today, Anwar's Reflections--a Trentonian affiliate-- sat down with Dr. West at his office in Princeton, New Jersey.

During our interview, West discussed a variety of topics that are currently in the news. From Osama Bin Laden's death to his controversial remarks about President Obama and Rev. Al Sharpton, America's distinguished public intellectual shares his thoughts and views. Please see the videos below to access the interview:

In one part of the interview, Dr. West discusses his disagreement with well known activist Al Sharpton along with his controversial comment that President Obama is a "black mascot for the wealthy".

In another part of the interview, the well-known professor discusses Osama Bin Laden's death along with President Obama's chances for reelection in 2012. He also chimes in on President Obama's recent birth certificate release.

Toward the end of the interview, Dr. West discussing community leadership in places like Trenton along with his love for music.

Please see Anwar's Reflections exclusive interview with Dr. Cornel West below:

Monday, May 2, 2011

UBC Is On A Mission to Spring The Monument School Into Action

TRENTON- What's life like if you never get a chance to step back and smell the flowers? Well, the folks over at Union Baptist Church in Trenton want to make sure the kids at the Monument School don't have to answer that question. Saturday morning, Anwar's Reflections attended the Spring Into Action program held at the Monument School off Calhoun Street in Trenton. The event was sponsored by Union Baptist Church (UBC). The project was spearheaded by UBC's Young Adult Ministry leader, Reverend Kim Mayner.

The purpose of the Spring Into Action program was to help beautify the school so that students, teachers, and parents alike would have the opportunity to be surrounded by a pleasing atmosphere that is conducive to student learning. Members of the church came out in large numbers Saturday morning to rake leaves, shovel, mulch, and sweep up the grounds of the facility. The event began early Saturday morning and ended up finishing early that afternoon.

However, church members were not alone in their community efforts. They were joined by young men from the community as well. These young men were being mentored by members of UBC's Men Ministry program. The Men's Ministry thought it was a good idea to have these young lads on hand, to not only witness the positive things the church was doing, but also to have them participate in this program because members of the Men's Ministry keenly understand that there is wisdom in the saying, 'many hands make light work' and that hard work builds character, a trait young men will very much need in life. During the event, service workers were provided with breakfast by Wawa and other vendors in the area.

The program's second phase is scheduled for May 21st. The church is currently taking donations to help fund the Spring Into Action program. For information on how to help out or get involved, feel free to contact Reverend Kim Mayner at (609) 392-2245.

Here's a video of the young men working with members of the Men's Ministry at the Monument School on Saturday, Anwar's Reflections will be sure to keep you up to date on any future developments: