Blog Post #11: Untitled Unmastered.

Please bare with me on this post, it was really great and therapeutic for me to look back on this academic year! 🙂

I wanted to take this blog post to reflect on this past academic year. I am not trying to be depressing at all with this past experience, there is triumph at the end I promise!

I spent three weeks at Temple, mind you I only live 30 minutes away over the Ben Franklin Bridge. During those weeks I had a lot of fun with the parameters given to me while trying to be safe. I lived with the fear in those three weeks that we would be sent home. Then that day came when they announced whoever wants to leave can go home and get a refund. My family did not want to pay and asked me to come home. I spent three days hauling my own stuff on my own back and forth from my form back to my house. I moved back home just in time for my birthday, what a gift that was. I spent a the next few days, days which turned to weeks, thinking about what I could do to fill the void. I ended up landing a job at Target. As time went on the job went well and other activities. I ended up joining a start up fraternity at Temple. Soon this past semester found myself taking 16 credits, working 40 hours a week, and going all in on this fraternity. I found myself trying to be three people that I am not. To make a matter of fact, I was miserable and burnt to shit. Some people that I thought cared about me became people of my past. I had to cut back, I realized somewhere along the path I had lost my way. I mean damn, only a few months ago I talked about how I absolutely hated fraternities. I started talking to the pre-law advisor (Shoutout Beth Lawson) and we worked together to find a direction for my path going forward. It was brought to my attention the study abroad program in Japan, I had realized after that meeting with her that I had found my direction, I cried tears of joy. I am currently now committed to Temple Japan for the whole academic year, also thank you so much for letting me add you as a reference if needed it means so much to me. Even if I can’t go due to the borders I am still happy that I tried. I cut back on my Target hours and now also going to therapy just for someone to talk to. I even found someone that I truly care about recently and that person really cares as well. Throughout this academic year it was straight out the frying pan into the fire, but I can truly say after this year I have finally found some direction and I could not be happier.

Blog Post #11: I’m not sure if I’m gonna get Apple Care or not, but I don’t feel like putting a case on my phone.

My eyes open to a new day. What time is it? 3 P.M. What day is it? I don’t even know, the days all start and end the same anyways. I haven’t been outside in weeks, almost months, maybe more? I don’t know. I look up and see the blank ceiling like every morning in my tiny sandbox of a room. Nothing but an oversized bed and a T.V. connected to an XBOX in here. I think I passed out at 6 A.M. maybe 7, not sure. My mind wanders as I stare up at the ceiling. Thinking about getting through the next meal just to get through the day. What is my dad going to try an attempt to make this time around? He is too afraid to get food from a restaurant. I don’t blame him. I feel my body turn over onto my stomach and I peer out the window, separating the blinds with my hands. I see my silver Mazda, dawning a big red dent on the side passenger door. A gift from a hit and run driver two months prior while I was asleep, the same day I committed to Temple. The police wouldn’t come out because of the situation, the driver never came forward, and my insurance company would not do anything about it (thanks Progressive). My car has been sitting their for months now, just waiting to once again speed down Route 70, music blaring to the point of vibrating the car, friends riding with me as we look to get some food. But, I lay here, peering out the window, watching nature go on as if nothing matters. The birds are still chirping, the butterflies are still flying, and the pollen is still flying around everywhere (my allergies suck). The sun is shining brighter than ever with clear beautiful light blue skies. I flip back over and stare at the ceiling. I lay here, another day in my bed, just waiting to get through to the next day. I reach for my phone to see fifty texts pop up. “Congratulations bro, we made it!”, “I know it isn’t how you envisioned it of ending, but I am proud of you!”, “Onto better things! Congrats!”. I scroll through confused to find a text from my mom ” I saw your picture in the virtual graduation ceremony! congrats my college boy!”. I sit up from my bed slowly. I had missed my own high school graduation, and didn’t even know. Just another wasted day in the record books.

Blog Post #9: They really did Ned Stark dirty, SMH.

My topic for my project is very current, but is deeply rooted issue within American society. Both the Black Lives Matter movement and the Criminal Justice Reform are movements that have evolved for hundreds of years. In todays day and age these movements have come into the main stream for a plethora of different reasons. One of these reasons is the ever growing popularity of rap in todays pop culture. Rap music has become a staple in current culture with many different artists from different ethnicities and economic classes have reached huge status. With this huge status comes a huge platform which they can use to speak on many different issues. This has great impact in a time that many people look up to what are now called “influencers”. Many celebrities and artists have a huge responsibility to lead by example as many people look up to them. They also have huge followings on social media and take to social media to speak up about social issues going on in the world as they can connect with fans. This has greatly bolstered the movements of BLM and Criminal Justice Reform as many rappers have spoken out on their social media with has brought many people together and has empowered so many to speak out. My main audience are users of social media to show how greatly many rappers from Philadelphia have empowered people to speak up about social justice issues.

Midterm Blog Post #8: Phoebe Bridgers should have won over Fiona Apple at the Grammys

Question: How has the impact and legacy of Hip-Hop/Rap culture in Philadelphia impacted the current state of social movements like the Black Lives Matter movement?

Project Description: Since the 1980s, Hip- Hop and Rap culture has blossomed in the city of Philadelphia. Many of these rappers from Philadelphia grew up experiencing the struggles that many minorities have faced for decades on end. Early rappers like Black Thought and Lady B used their raps as a way of highlighting the various struggles in the community. With the rising popularity of Rap in these impoverished communities, many musicians have rose in popularity giving a platform to social issues. Rappers like Black Thought and Lady B had trailblazed a path for their communities so that they could use Rap to voice their issues. This has given rise to rappers like Meek Mill, a Philly native who used his experiences to bring a voice and change to many social issues like criminal justice reform. With my project, I want to explore the history of Hip-Hop in Philadelphia to see how it gave many impoverished communities a voice. I will be investigating Philadelphia native rappers and their impact on their communities. How has rap culture helped impoverished communities? How have rappers from Philadelphia bolster the Black Lives Matter and criminal justice movement? From these questions I will put all of this together to show the rise of rap and Philadelphia and how it has brought to light many social justice issues.

Format: Instagram Infographic Gallery

Secondary Sources:

Betcha Don’t Know These Philly Rappers for Their Social Impact By Tony Abraham. “Betcha Don’t Know These Philly Rappers for Their Social Impact.” Generocity Philly. August 30, 2016.

This article is about different rappers from Philadelphia and their impact in their communities. It shows how these rappers have given back to their community and gave their communities platforms to talk about ongoing issues. I will be using this article to show how many rappers from Philadelphia have used their platform to better help their communities.

Pendleton, Tonya. “From Lady B to Meek Mill, Tracing the Roots of Philly Hip-hop – June 15, 2018.” WHYY. June 13, 2018.

This article from WHYY talks about the roots of Philly Hip-hop and all of its history. This article talks about the great impacts Philadelphia rappers had from Lady B all the way to present day with Meek Mill. I will be using this article to show the history of Hip-Hop in Philadelphia. This article talks in depth of the history of great rappers from Philadelphia past and present which shows the growth of rap in Philadelphia. This popularity growth of rap shown in this article shows how impoverished communities in Philadelphia now have a voice.

Primary Sources:

McLaughlin, Eliott C. “Plea Deal Ends Meek Mill’s Years of Excessive Punishment, Prosecutor Says.” CNN. August 27, 2019.

This article by CNN is about Meek Mill and the conclusion of his court case. After over 10 years and a huge legal fight with the Philadelphia court system, Meek Mill accepted a plea deal to end his probation. This case caught widespread attention as Meek Mill (a very well known rapper) was using his rap platform to show the flaws in our current criminal justice system. I will be using this article to show how rap in Philadelphia has given many communities in Philly the opportunity to speak out about criminal justice reform.

Owens, Cassie. “The Philly Rappers Making One-minute, Socially Conscious Clips for Instagram.” Https:// October 22, 2018.

This article by the Philadelphia Inquirer showcases independent rappers and using social media as a platform to speak out about social justice issues. Because of the blossoming popularity of rap in Philadelphia and the rise of social issues, many independent artists have taken to social media to speak out about issues. I will use this article for my project to show how the rap has impacted many rappers to speak out in their community to bolster social justice movements.

Rushing, Ellie. “Meet the Youth Rap Group Bringing Songs of Racial Justice to the Streets of Philly Protests.” Https:// June 22, 2020.

This article by the Philadelphia Inquirer is about a rap group from Philly that uses music to promote social justice issues. This comes from the protests for George Floyd as many people took to the streets to speak out about racial justice. From this article we see how many people in the Philadelphia community are using rap to speak out about social justice issues. I will be using this article to show many people art using music like rap to bring social justice issues like the Black Lives Matter movement and Criminal Justice reform to light.

Blog Post #7: I never really cared for the rest of the Star Wars Movies lol

“What are the kinds of stories to be told by those and about those who live in such an
intimate relationship with death?” – Dr. Saidiya Hartman

I picked this question as it puts a lot in perspective as far as how story telling should be. Stories are told in very varied fashion in this day and age. From movies, songs, and poetry, there are many fashions in which stories of death play out. We see one of the biggest examples of these kinds of stories told in many Shakespearean plays. Most of his plays are tragedies in which death heavily looms over the entire play. One of the biggest examples of a Shakespearean play of someone’s intimate relationship with death is Hamlet. One of the most famous quotes in this play and all time is “To be or not to be”. This quote is from Prince Hamlets speech in which we see his intimate relationship with death. Many people may quote this, but fail to realize the whole speech’s purpose was Prince Hamlet questioning his life and will to live. The story of Prince Hamlet among other Shakespearean plays are legendary tragedies about humans and our relationship with death relative to the decisions we make in life.

Most stories that are told about death end up being tragedies. We also see this in the legendary film The Godfather. In the case of Michael Corleone, we see how his intimate relationship with death turns him from a war veteran to a heartless mafia boss. Throughout the film, we see how death surrounds Michael as his brother and father (the head of the family) both die. The death of his brother pushes Michael into the mafia life as he realizes he has to head up the family once his father dies. The tragedy of The Godfather is how Michaels relationship with death consumes him and turns him into a heartless mob boss.

Lastly, we see many current cases of tragedies of peoples relationship with death through music. We see this in the case of Lil Peep, a rapper that tragically passed in 2017 due to drug overdose. His music told stories of tragedies of his lost love and drug addiction. Lil Peeps music showed his intimate relationship with death as he talked about his drug use and depression. A documentary about him on Netflix called “Everybody’s Everything” shows his relationship with death and the tragedy of his very untimely passing as his music career was beginning to rise.

Blog Post #6: Return of the Jedi


Basic Info: This article by CNN is about Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. Over a year ago, after fighting a court case with the Philadelphia justice system for over a decade, he was able to enter a plea deal for his freedom and end his oppressive probation.

Close reading: In Meek Mills troubled past as a youth growing up in North Philadelphia, he was arrested for walking around with a gun and was put in prison for several months back in 2008. To try and overturn this, Meek Mill and his legal team ordered for a new judge and trial as the judge “erred in not granting the Philadelphia rapper a new trial “based on after-discovered evidence,” “(Mclaughlin). The Philadelphia Superior Court approved of this overturn and entered a plea deal with Meek Mill in which would end his probation. In the Superior Court case they had ruled that Meek Mill needed to be tried with an impartial judge and credible witnesses as in his first trial it was found that he did not have a fair trial. This decades long fight with the Philadelphia judicial system shows the obvious flaws in its system and its oppressiveness towards minorities. With Meek Mills platform it has come to light that the judicial system in place is completely flawed and needed to be corrected which many Philadelphians championed the win of this case. This has bolstered the criminal justice reform movement as now many more people are speaking out after Meek Mills case.

Archival Context: This primary source is from a very recent article from CNN about Meek Mills case. As it is a recent news article, this source is not from any collection, but is archived on CNN’s website in which you can find and read the recent article.

Broader Historical Context: This fits into a larger piece of history as it shows the growing movements of social and criminal justice reform. This was a huge turning point in the history of the recent huge wave of criminal justice reform as many Philadelphians and people all over the country backed Meek Mill in getting freed from his case. Meek Mill used his case and his platform to promote criminal justice reform through both his music and his story. The winning of the case was a huge victory and step for criminal justice reform as a whole as more people are speaking out and many flaws in the justice system are being corrected.


McLaughlin, Eliott C. “Plea Deal Ends Meek Mill’s Years of Excessive Punishment, Prosecutor Says.” CNN. August 27, 2019.

Blog Post #5: Empire Strikes Back

Scope – The purpose of this source was to show how rappers from Philadelphia lead positive impacts in their own community. The driving research question from this source is how have Philadelphia rappers used their platform to contribute to their community.

Argument – The author of this article makes the argument that rappers from Philadelphia make a huge impact and do a lot of good for their communities.

Significance – This is very significant as rappers with huge influence and big platforms are helping their own communities in need. This is making a huge difference and having a great impact on many kids live in these communities to create change. This contributes large scale as it shows the great impact that these celebrities have on these local communities to spur great social change.

Evidence – The author uses multiple examples from rappers doing huge philanthropy work in their community. From rappers like Black Thought and Meek Mill we see great examples of how they are giving back to their communities and empowering people in their local community to speak up about changing and bringing forward social issues. I will use this article to show how rappers used their platforms and impact to give back to their communities and promote social change through their music


Betcha Don’t Know These Philly Rappers for Their Social Impact By Tony Abraham. “Betcha Don’t Know These Philly Rappers for Their Social Impact.” Generocity Philly. August 30, 2016.

Blog Post #4: A New Hope

When picking a topic out of the three that I thought of, I decided my topic based off what guiding questions I came up with in my topic. I really wanted to pick a research topic that I could concentrate on something specific with a smaller time frame. I also wanted to take into account the impact that my topics have on todays society and communities. One of my options was the becoming’s of Lawnside, and while it is great topic to get into the timeframe is very huge and I already know that Lawnside had a great impact on African Americans as it is a beautiful community with a great educational system. All of the kids on the Lawnside basketball team that I played with are now in college and doing very well.

With that, I ended up choosing the history of rap music in Philadelphia. My guiding questions are how rap music impacted African-American communities and rap music’s affect on the current day Black Lives Matter movement.

Blog Post #3: Revenge of the Sith

1st Idea: African American impact on the Music Industry and Culture

This is an idea that has been blooming in my head since we first talked about a final project. African American contributions to music over the decades have grown to huge prominence and the biggest names in music today are African American. This is a very broad topic and I would probably hone in on two time periods of Philly/African American music history. The first would be Philly’s first African American DJs who trailblazed a path in expanding music tastes of people from all over the world. These DJs in the 80s and 90s brought a lot of African American artists to the forefront which had a huge cultural impact on what we listen to today. The Second would be Hip Hop Culture, many Philly rappers have rose to prominence and had huge impacts on communities in Philadelphia.

2nd Idea: Negro Leagues and the impact it had on the Major Leagues

After just about a hundred years the Major Leagues ONLY JUST recognized the Negro Leagues as a “Major League”. This brings the history of the Negro Leagues to the forefront and should bring a great discussion of how big of an impact the Negro Leagues had on the MLB and Baseball as a whole. The stories of amazing ball players like Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige, inspired and is inspiring millions and millions of minorities to not just play baseball in the big leagues, but to break down barriers as a whole.

3rd Idea: The Becoming’s of Lawnside, New Jersey

Lawnside is a suburb right outside of Philly which is basically 5 minutes away from me. I saw this in the Philly Encyclopedia and was immediately enamored by the history as I once played basketball for their 6th grade middle school team (pictured below, I looked like such a baby!). The acres of land was originally bought by an abolitionist who sold the land to African Americans who had freedom. It was first called Free Haven because it was a stop in the underground railroad and in 1907 became Lawnside. This community became a very successful borough that was officially recognized in 1926 by the state of New Jersey and is still a flourishing African American community.

Blog Post #2: Attack of the Clones

Okay, okay, okay, before we get deep into this, I just want to establish that a snail has more artistic ability than I could ever have. This picture may seem really crappy but there is a deeper meaning and a thought process to this. After living and experiencing Philadelphia for only three weeks and coming back home because of COVID, this is the only way I have seen Philadelphia. This incredibly terrible drawing represents the Citizen App. The Citizen App is a must have when living in Philadelphia as it shows what is going on as far as crime reports. You can see your friends profiles and where they are and how close they are to any crimes in the area. Living in North Philadelphia, this app is a must have. After moving out of Temple due to COVID, I had to look at the area of Philadelphia through the app hence the picture drawn. As I live in Cherry Hill New Jersey, I live right across the Ben Franklin Bridge so the picture drawn outlining the city shows the Bridge as well. My concept of the city has changed a lot since I came back home, as I have only seen the city like in the drawing, through the app on my phone. I always check the app to see what is going on to make sure all my friends are safe and not near any sort of danger.