10 Favorite Jay-Z Lines from American Gangster

10 Favorite Jay-Z Lines from American Gangster

I'm not a diehard jay-z fan. I'm a jay-z fan by association. my brother robert has been touting jigga's lyrical merits since reasonable doubt. in fact, a conversation with my brother can't pass without at least one jay-z reference. for my brother, jay is the hero and the moral to the story. when jay went grown and sexy instead of young and saggin', my brother used jay as a prime example of getting his grown man on. when there was talk of weezy claiming best rapper alive, my brother said without blinking that weezy better honor his father. and he wasn't talking about baby. lol

I jumped on the jay bandwagon late but out of respect for my brother and his number 1 emcee, I purchase jay's albums so my brother and I can trade shawn carter lines and quips while we philosophize about the meaning of life and lyrics. I have been listening to jay's american gangster nearly nonstop since I purchased it, so much so that any random strain of conversation can bring a line from the album to mind. this blog is dedicated to two jay-z fans. my brother robert who I can't get on myspace to save my life and my friend and fellow writer ebony janice. in the words of our great negro poet shawn carter, a collection of favorite quotables and inspirational lines from american gangster…

1. "survive the drought I wish you well/survive the drought? I wish you well?/how sick am i? I wish you health/I wish you wheels. I wish you wealth/I wish you insight so you can see for yourself." – american dreamin'

2. "rolls royce
keep my movements/smooth while maneuvering/
through all the manure in the sewer that i grew up in" – no hook

3. "So tall and lanky/my suit? It should thank me." – party life

4. "Ya boy's off the wall, these other ____ is Tito." – party life

5. "Ladies know I'm that guy, they wanna piece of my love." – american gangster

6. "When it all falls down I'm like Kanye's jaw/I might break but I don't fold/till I hold the sky in my hand, yeah that's my goal." – american gangster

7. "How could you leave me? I thought that you needed me!/When the world got too much and you pleaded with me-/Who helped you immediately?/How speedy of me!/How could you deny me so vehemently?" – I know

8. "I'm more Frank Lucas than Ludacris/And Luda's my dude I ain't trying to diss/Like Frank Lucas is cool but I ain't trying to snitch…I'm a live and die with the decisions that I'm a pick" – no hook

9. "hustle hard in any hustle that you pick." – no hook

10. "you can redefine the game as we know it, one dream at a time." – american dreamin'


10 Gangsta Flicks

yeah, yeah it's that Tuesday again, and I might be getting the swing of it. this past weekend it snowed in Atlanta. about one to two inches and the whole city shut down. the thought of this is probably highly offensive to you if you are from anywhere that has a real, shovel the snow, and take your butt to school and work winter.

but in an effort to preserve my safety, I stayed at home that whole day. the weather really wasn't so bad, but Atlanta drivers…don't know how to drive on a wonderfully sunny day so I wasn't taking any chances. spent the day wrapping up an article draft and watching a couple of flicks, gone with the wind and hoodlum to be exact. it was hoodlum that inspired this week's top ten list. here's a gangsta line I loved from the movie, I'm leaving out a couple of expletives ? :

bumpy: how do you sleep at night?
bub: how do you know I sleep at all?!

here's a list of ten films I find pretty gangsta. hit me up with any add-ons.

1. the godfather
2. goodfellas
3. Donnie brasco
4. carlito's way
5. hoodlum
6. city of god
7. new jack city
8. scarface
9. the godfather 2
10. the untouchables

and of course a clip from my favorite...


10 Ways to Stay Awake at Work

today has been a good day, a productive day, but nevertheless a long one and right now…a sista is sleepy. but I will not shut my eyes for any amount of shuteye until I finish this blog! which reminds me of another place I always used to find myself feeling sleepy…at work. I have absconded many of these ideas from true, reality-tested, office-worker approved, cubicle alertness tactics. I really wish I could use a couple of them right now to keep me from putting the mac down and laying it down myself…for your weekly enjoyment…?

1. create a crunk CD or playlist.
crank up some lil jon, an old remix of whoomp/whoop there it is, some seriously metal rock music…anything irreverent and loud will do. don't be a softie! Kenny g can't save you from the uncontrollable headnod. just don't listen to too much public enemy at your desk, the man doesn't take too kindly to you yelling, "fight the powers that be."

2. talk to the resident talk-a-holic.
yeah, you're seeing their face right now. you know the one. they never have a lack for conversation. always have a story to tell or some epiphany or revelation from an oh-so-interesting weekend…wait…I think I was that co-worker! lol by the time he/she finishes telling you about the third date that seemed like an episode of tales from the crypt, you'll find you're not yawning anymore. nothing ups adrenaline like a good scary story to tell in the dark.

3. take a walk.
understand the art of doing your work and appearing to do your work. as long as you are seen at your desk typing or looking pensive at least three times a day, couple of passes in the hall with a notebook and pen, a little business convo in another co-worker's cube, and you're good to go. taking a walk is much better than being found snoring at your desk. trust.

4. indulge in an internet break.
so you have the most boring assignment at your desk. every time your eyes scan the words, numbers, spreadsheet lines, you feel exhausted and nauseous. open yahoo, espn, amena brown's blog, whatever's your speed and let reading a couple of headlines be your reward for doing some work. this counts as one of the times you can be seen at your desk looking pensive.

5. snack!
you're not up on your cubicle game if you haven't stacked that desk drawer chock full of snacks! nobody said you had to share 'em. this ain't elementary school, trading my fruit roll-up for your gushers! keep your snacks a secret if you want to, but get some! peanuts, popcorn, candy…ahem…ok as a health PSA look up superfoods and get some of those in your drawer, as a chocolate lover myself I encourage some candy every now and then, but be warned…it will send you crashing…which will send you to one of these other ten tips.

6. enjoy a caffeinated beverage.
I'm personally a starbucks fan. that portable frappaccino is almost as good as the sleep you should have gotten that would help you to not be in the nodding off position you're in now. some trust in red bull, others in coke and mountain dew, I choose starbucks. and I'll let you know when they start paying me for these endorsements.

7. call a lifeline.
I know you want to be a millionaire, so start with taking some cues from the game show. this is when it pays to have ignorant friends. this is why you should befriend the witty, the goofy, the closet comedian, because in a drowsy moment like the one that is sure to hit you at about 2pm after that too big lunch, you need somebody to make you laugh so quietly loud in your cube that your stomach hurts. call the friend that you would never put on speaker phone and be assured laughter will send you the right endorphins to make it to five o' clock.

8. go home and start again tomorrow
note: this is only for the privileged, the contract employees, the graphic and web designers, for those of you who have the cool job where you can wear crocs and slightly inappropriate tagline tees. your boss is too busy tossing the nerf ball to your work team to be worried about whether or not you are chained at your desk. for you, cool co-worker, take advantage of your flexibility, go home, watch oprah, take a nap, and finish up your work from that cutting edge laptop the company gave you. yes it is possible to finish up that last assignment while watching reruns of the office. sho ya right.

9. take a nap.
note: this is only for the brave, bold, completely rebellious, and desperately fatigued. now…choose a secret location, a bathroom with little to no traffic, or maybe your own office if you're privileged enough to have one and get a power nap. notice I said power nap, not afternoon nap. this nap has to last no more than 20 minutes. again, your goal is to make it to 5 o' clock, not to make up for the sleep you missed last night. nobody told you to try and watch the whole season of lost in one night.

10. chew gum.
this was one of my favorite work pastimes. my flavor of choice was dentyne fire, the cinnamon one. they are not paying me for that endorsement either, but when they do I will post 10 ways to get an endorsement for your reading enjoyment. chewing gum helps digestion, chases away cavities and the like, and gives your brain something to focus on besides the dim lighting and quiet in your office.

did I miss any tips? did you stay awake through that whole thing?! that's big blog talk can you answer me?! sorry…I had a flashback, but if you can tell me what song that line came from I will surely give you a blog shoutout…priceless. ?


10 reasons NOT to procrastinate

as I type this I've got a couple of articles to finish and in true writer fashion I've been procrastinating. :O I don't why procrastination is so addictive. clearly, common sense says that waiting a grip to finish something will not make the task easier or results better. but still I wait, for a perfect moment, for inspiration, for some cocky chick to show up at the keyboard and kill 'em with her choice of syntax, diction, and alliteration and type amena brown in the byline.

goofy side note: does anybody remember david the gnome? as a child, I used to daydream that david and the gnomes would come and take care of the tasks I didn't want to handle like washing dishes, cleaning my room, etc. but no matter how hard I wished they never came to the kitchen and actually handled the dawn, sponge, and gritty dishes. want to know more about david the gnome? oh the wonder of you tube. ?)

10 reasons to stop procrastinating

1. it will bring back all-nighter memories from college.
2. you are getting too old to work well under pressure.
3. it's not sexy. try using the word procrastinator in a pick up line and see how it works for you. try using a pick up line and see how it works for you.
4. it doesn't solve the root problem: fear. procrastination is driven by fear. ask yourself what makes you so afraid to finish ______?
5. procrastination is like getting drunk. is the buzz really worth the consequences?
6. you are focusing so much on what you can't do that you haven't taken a good enough look at what you can do.
7. it prevents your success and keeps you from achieving dreams, goals, and accomplishments.
8. you will be more confident to take risks.
9. procrastination=stress and who wants stress?!
10. procrastination and laziness are first cousins if not siblings

I may have to read these ten reasons over again in order to get these articles done. all right dear readers, your turn. blog back one area in your life where you are constantly procrastinating.


10 Songs that Inspire

first of all, happy new year! this year I have an ambitious aim. every Tuesday I am promising top ten Tuesdays. a top ten of what I don't know, but that is officially 52 top ten lists. disclaimer: all top ten lists will expressly be the opinion of amena brown and may be goofy and have no evidence to back them except some random stuff I like. reading may be entertaining, which may cause LOL or SOL (that's smile on line grasshopper…or could be the other one you thought too…) anyway enough bantering…check out the first one…

top ten songs to keep you inspired!
so it's the first of the year and I don't know about you but I'm feeling like the past is behind me and I've got this long stretch of future in front of me. January is a great month. your work out plan turns out all right, you finally stop dealing with the people that you need to let go of, you are on day 5 of stopping that bad habit, but somewhere around February the gym gets empty, you have a weak moment and let a stray back in, and you are smoking that cigarette or whatever your stress vice is. these songs may help you to keep going towards your goals this year even when you stumble. send me any inspirational songs that help you make it past January and you will surely get a blog shout out.

1. strength courage & wisdom – India.arie
"I close my eyes and I think of all the things that I want to see…so let it be"

2. off the wall – michael jackson
"life ain't so bad at all, when you live it off the wall."

3. american dreamin – jay-z
"you can redefine the game as we know it, one dream at a time."

4. I wonder – kanye west
"I wonder if you know what it means to find your dreams…"
*If you can name the original that kanye sampled you get a blog shoutout! :D

5. press – fred Hammond
"til I become what He wants me to be…"

6. that's the way of the world – earth, wind, & fire
"you will find peace of mind, when you look way down in your heart & soul. don't hesitate because the world seems cold."

7. bag lady – Erykah badu
"let it go, let it go, let it go."

8. everything is everything – lauryn hill
"what is meant to be will be."

9. breakaway – Kelly Clarkson
"take a risk, take a chance, make a change, and break away."

10. work that – mary j. blige
"work what you got"