Purple Twilight-New Video!!

bosh-enig Bosh-enigm

The 2 Pictures above were drawn by a brotha named Gilbert Igabe from Kenya and Uganda

So Wednesday, the birthday Party for mc enigma was great!.. It was fun to see people that I hadn’t seen in quite some time.  Some individuals that we went to high school with made an appearance in the venue.  The music was lovely, as to be expected when the sultry sounds were provided by the talented Ari Why.  Remember I talked about him in the While I was in Maine post.  We also performed a couple songs in there , and took advantage of the gathering to premier mc enigma’s new video Purple Twilight.  For those of you that couldn’t make it to the event, I am sharing the video right here on the blog, along with pictures from the night…BLeSS my beautiful people!

20141016_004756 glo-lyle silent-knightshow 20141016_003739 20141015_225128 glo-real 20141016_010632 20141015_233914 20141015_233751 20141016_003408 20141016_002502

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Cornel West to visit Plainfield for the Children First team

Bishop The Eastside Nappyhead:

well look who’s comin to town

Originally posted on Plainfield View:


Cornel West is takes part in a #FergusonOctober protest in Missouri yesterday, October 13 (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

Renowned author, professor, and activist Cornel West was arrested yesterday in front of the police station in Ferguson, Missouri, while participating in the Ferguson October demonstrations. These protests, of course in continued response to the killing of unarmed black teenager Mike Brown in August, have been the largest and most organized demonstrations since the shootings, attracting activists from across the country. “We’re here because we care about young folks,” said Dr. West.

Cornel West will also be volunteering an evening of his busy schedule to speak on behalf of our own young people here in Plainfield, headlining a fundraiser for the Children First Team at Spain Inn on Thursday, October 30th.


Our headquarters kickoff this past Saturday was a great success!

The evening at Spain Inn begins with a 6:30pm meet and greet followed by a dinner from 7-9pm…

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Locked Up Abroad Pt. 2 : Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

Cont… from Locked Up Abroad Pt. 1: Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

written by mc enigma of Negros Americanos

locked up

When I first stepped foot into the cell, my sneakers slid on some dark, wet slippery substance.  Before I looked down to see what it was, I’d already figured it out.  There was about a thick 1-inch sheet of excrement glazing the floor of the jail cell.  It was a mixture of liquid and solid.

I partially vomited in my mouth and swallowed it ecstatically, trying to cancel out the shitty taste that came with the smell of that horrid place.

The officer slammed door shut.

One detainee shouted, “chucha!”

Chucha meant vagina or fuck in Pana-slang.  It was the first word I’d learned in Panama and would later be a hit  for Negros Americanos.

The first hour was intense.  We were all eyeing one another.  One detainee with tattoos all over his chest started shouting obscenities through the cell doors towards the police.  He then directed his angst toward an elderly man.  The tatted captive tried to Deebo (slang for extorted, Deebo’ed : a colloquial term used by but not limited to inner-city youth that have likened extortion with a character from the film Friday) the old man, but his tirade was interrupted by the captive who was taken from his daughter.  The man who’d had his child snatched from his hands wasn’t fazed by the threats of the tatted inmate.  This guy wasn’t having it and he was already pissed off.

They bumped heads, literally.

The tattoo-covered detainee’s body flew from a headbutt that would make Zidane look like a novice.

In unison we all laughed at him.  The tatted detainee then got up and reached for his belt and unravelled it, whipping his opponent. The pissed-off father then used his belt and they began whipping each other.

The other captives and I kept moving out of the way to avoid the lashes.  The police noticed the commotion and came over.

As the two were tussling, without warning, these orange-ish streams of mist shot into the cell from outside.  It was pepper spray!!!

I buried my face in my shirt and backed up to the wall.  The cops were yelling for us to cut it out.

I wasn’t hit directly, but experienced what former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld might classify as “slight discomfort,” ingesting a small amount floating around in the cell.

When the two fighting inmates got up off the ground and scattered, I temporarily forgot about the coughing and the pepper spray because I was disgusted and simultaneously perplexed at the sight of the feces-coated epidermises of the two combatants.

They just nonchalantly scraped and flicked it off as if it were dirt.  Yuck, but hey what can you do?  It was literally a shitty situation.

“Why the hell, matter of fact, how the hell did I get here,” I thought to myself.

locked up abroad in panama

An hour or so later, the tatted inmate discovered my bag of coco-flakes and milk.

“El tiene corn-flakes,” he said scheming through his periphery.  Everyone’s eyes shifted to my bag.

I positioned my back against the wall and put them behind my back saying “no,” and motioning with my finger.

Then the tatted inmate came over to me with his hands out saying, “dame, dame.”  He kept walking toward me until he was in my face.

“Donde eres loco?”


“Que parte?”


He backed up a little bit.  I felt like Dave Chappelle in Half Baked…”right near de beach boyeee!” I’m from Plainfield, New Jersey but Panamanians, I believed, wouldn’t take too kindly to folks from a country that killed thousands of their countrymen during the invasion in 1989 and Operation Just Cause.  I figured it was better to be what Sean Fury calls a “Jah-Fak-ian.”

Then a cop came to the cell door with my passport and said “el gringo?”  I sped to the cell door and said “si.” The cop looked at the passport, then looked at me and said “okay,” then he walked away.

When I turned back around the whole cell was staring back at me.  I quickly said that I’d lived in the states and Jamaica to downplay my United States-ness.

“Dame, dame,” the tatted inmate persisted, reaching for my bag of cereal and milk.  I put my hand on his chest, pushing him back.  He started yelling and so did the other inmates for my comeida y leche.  He reached and I pushed, then the police started yelling for us to calm down.

When I looked to where the voice of the officer was coming from, I saw the nozzle of an uzi sticking into the cell door.  We all scattered like roaches.

I maintained my grimace as a defense mechanism until the attention on my cereal and milk subsided.

Although they wanted my cereal, we all didn’t want that cop with the uzi to come back, so we chilled.

As the hours passed we paced, talked, and almost in unison at one point, sung the chorus of “Buay Del Barrio” by El Roockie.

“Hay adentro sentado piensa como escapar.”

There sitting inside thinking how to escape.

A couple more men were added to the cell, one of which was elderly.  The old man overturned a garbage can that was filled to the top with urine and feces into the cell. Then, he used the upside-down garbage pail as a seat.  I maintained an unaffected facade but was holding back from vomiting at the sight and smell of it all.  The plot thickened….literally.  It became harder to breathe in that cell, but I began to get used to it.

Geronimo Pratt

For some reason after a couple hours I thought about a conversation I’d had with my mother about Geronimo Pratt.  She told me that in an interview he’d said that he was able to find peace of mind while serving as a political prisoner for 27 years.  Peace of mind is something that is internal, regardless of outside factors.  I’d internalized that and sat there thinking, “why am I here and what is the lesson in this?” I calmed down and controlled my core although the paranoia was very real, being that police were known for shooting indiscriminately at whoever questioned them with little to no consequence.

Before leaving for Panama one of the last texts I’d read was Are Prisons Obsolete by Angela Davis.  Was all of this to help me empathize with my sisters and brothers locked up in the US and abroad?

Prior to this experience I’d never been detained or arrested and have never spent any time in police custody.  Nothing was more dehumanizing than being apprehended at gunpoint for not giving up money (extortion), handcuffed and thrown into a diarrhea glazed cell.  As we called to the officers throughout the day, they’d ignored us as if we were nothing.  When I was first being put into the cell, I remember looking into the eyes of the officer trying to appeal to his humanity.  I was hoping he’d see that I was a human just like him and that these conditions were unjust and unsanitary, but he put the uzi to my back and pushed me into the cell.


I’d been in there for 13 hours until the doors just opened.


We were all told to leave.

I went to retrieve my passport from the front desk.  The police woman gave it back and then told me to leave immediately.  I’d asked her what I did and if I was being charged and she told me to leave in a more aggressive tone.  Another officer came from behind the desk and unstrapped his handgun and said “tiene problema?”

I said, “no,” and walked out.

Diablo Rojo

Since the cop had smacked the change out of my hand, I didn’t even have any money for a Diablo Rojo. I footed it, walking about 2 miles at night to Calle 16 in Ciudad Radial.  I called Bishop who was looking for me all day.  He’d thought I was kidnapped and we was right but not by street maliantes, but by the pigs!

When I got in, more than anything I wanted to shower, but there wasn’t any running water.

I threw the coco flakes down on my ironing board and just stared at them and reflected, happy that I managed to defend myself and not have them taken from me.

My one day behind bars was a horrible ordeal, but what’s more horrifying is the fact that this happens all the time and all over the world.  My experience definitely helped me empathize with those who’ve been incarcerated or detained, but how many didn’t get let out in a day?  This was an injustice and that day I’ll never get back, but how many folks disappeared in similar situations or were beaten to a bloody pulp for not complying to being extorted by corrupt police?  Or how many were detained indefinitely never to be heard from again? This happened August 29th 2011 and it changed my life.

When I talked to my co-workers at the language school that I taught at, all of the black american co-workers had also been detained at some point during their stay in Panama, but my white american co-workers hadn’t.  My white co-workers said once they talked english and said they were American, they were left alone.  Jim Crow, my friends has passports and as an American citizen one must be extra careful while traveling especially if you’re a black man.   The sad thing is that my story is not a unique one.  If you’ve been unjustly detained while traveling while in the US or abroad, please share your story below.  I know I’m not alone and that there are far worse cases.  Thanks for reading.

Be safe while traveling and watch out for one time.

“It’s the dirty cop, that’s the one you need to watch.” – Erykah Badu


Fuck the police (emphatically).

mc enigma in el chorillo

for other journals from mc enigma

What’s That Crawling On My Face?

How Far Would You Travel For Love

Locked Up Abroad Pt. 1: Panama (walking while black)

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While I was in Maine


So my friend/DJ/producer/constituent Ari Why is one of the most talented individuals that I have had the pleasure of working with. The way he blends styles and sounds is out of this known world.  Below is one of his videos, observe the creativity of this brotha.


Now, one other thing about this brotha is that a couple of weeks ago,  he and his -then- significant other took a weekend trip up to Maine, about a nine hour drive.  During this trip, however this young couple found themselves in a lover’s spat that subsequently ended the relationship.  Be that as it may, this man-so full of charm and zest- still was able to procure about 100 collectable National Geographic books, that date back to the 1920’s.  Now if you know anything about me, you know that I am a sucker for a good National Geographic book! and the fact that such a collection was bestowed upon my friend and not me, was the source for a litte jealousy .  But i got over it.  especially since he agreed to give me some of them, although the decades of the seventies and the eighties are off limits to him for some specific reason….Its nice to look at the advertisements, and see old cars and deodorants that either don’t exist anymore, or the logos have changed so much since then.


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Negros Americanos Rock the Old Bay!!!!

so last friday we rocked a show in cohorts with the Lyrical Graffiti… NJ’s longest running hip hop showcase. We bought out some of our people and did rocked a half hour set with songs from our upcoming album; Take Flight. We will upload several songs from this performance and more. I shall call it…Negros Americanos-Live at Old Bay series.

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Locked Up Abroad : Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

written by

mc enigma of Negros Americanos

Shit was everywhere.

I hadn’t understood the saying, “this tastes like shit,” until I’d inhaled a deep breath of hot air filled with excrement and urine vapor in my 8ft x 8ft cell that I shared with 6 other men at the police station in Juan Diaz.  I hadn’t done anything wrong or committed any offense, but I was locked up abroad.

Bishop and I were kicking it with our newfound family in the barrio Concepcion in Juan Diaz in Panama City, Panama.  The night before, there was a comparsa (a neighborhood parade where everyone is dancing outside and people have instruments, clink pans and pots, and sometimes men dress up as mystical creatures with dresses).  Bishop was living in Caledonia with his woman at the time who practiced Santeria, and I was living on Calle 16 en Ciudad Radial.  Everyone was out, even Caballo Loco, an old man and known character in the neighborhood who was notorious for dressing up like a woman and dancing on people when inebriated in the comparsa.

It was close to midnight when the police came.  The comparsa died and people dispersed.  Bishop had left a little before, returning to his cougar in Caledonia and just as I was about to head home, I was advised to spend the night and leave in the morning because it would be safer and the police were out.  Whenever our Pana-fam told  us that the police were out,  it was to warn us that they occasionally apprehend and detain men at their discretion.  The next morning I found out what they meant.

It was around 7 am when I’d walked from Concepcion to Ciudad Radial, my barrio.  Before reaching my gate, I doubled back to the chinito (corner store owned by chinese people) around the corner.  I bought some coco-flakes and milk that I thought I’d be eating moments later in the comfort of the Sweatbox.

On the way back from the chinito, I’d turned onto Calle 16  and was footsteps from my gate when the police came.  They hopped out like the gestapo with M16s and uzis drawn.  My hands reached for the heavens and I froze.  With several firearms aimed at me, one officer took the lead in questioning me.

policia panama

“Tiene cedula,” the officer asked.

I gave him my passport and explained that I was from the US and was an english teacher in Marbella.  I spoke in english first, then broken spanish because my white co-workers at my job said to always speak english when the cops stop you.  It had gotten them out of a lot of trouble, so I thought, I’d have similar luck.  Little did I know.

The pig (a euphemism for the police primarily used by people of color, but not limited to said group, sarcastically) looked at his cohorts then looked back at me and said, “tiene plata?”  I looked puzzled as if I didn’t understand what he meant, so he unstrapped his handgun that was attached to his chest holster and asked me again.

“¿Tiene plata?”

I kinda got the feeling that he meant business this time.

policia vehiculo panama negros americanos

I reached deep into my pockets, unravelling both to show that I was broke.  Some change fell out as I did this, so I slowly went to pick it up.  It was about 75 cents.  As I was counting it, the officer got aggravated and slapped the change out my hand and handcuffed me.

At gunpoint I was put into the back of the police truck and handcuffed to another detainee.  This particular man was rambunctious, cursing the police and threatening to hurt them.  The police kept telling him to shut up, pointing their large weapons at him.  Our wrists were joined by the cuffs and as he got rowdy swinging his hands, he pulled me.  I was trying my best to create as much distance between us in the back of the police truck, just in case they chose to shoot him.

I later learned in the cell that he was aggravated because the police apprehended him while he was walking down the street with his 3 year old daughter.  The cops took him and left her in the street.

I empathized.

We arrived at the station and were escorted off two at a time.  We were taken to the back, searched down to the undergarments (down to the birthday suit). All personal possessions, like keys and phones, were taken.

No charges, no rights being read and no phone calls.  I was off the grid and completely unaware of what was going to happen to me.

We were walked outside and around the side to the holding cells.

The gust of funk that let out when the officer opened the cell door could’ve burned the ugly off the face of Mick Jagger.  It was that putrid!

One by one the other captives entered.

I looked at the officer and said “por que?”  He motioned with his uzi to my back to enter the cell.

To be continued….

Click here for Part 2 of Locked Up Abroad : Panama (walking while black) w/ mc enigma

- mc enigma

negros americanos en concepcion, juan diaz

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Feria Del Barrio 2014-Philadelphia, PA


prphil ok

This past Sunday, Sept 21st I decided to head down to Philly to experience the festivities of Feria Del Barrio.  This is one of, if not Philadelphia’s largest celebrations of Latino music and culture and takes place in North Philly.  So many beautiful people where there! and Mega 1310-Philly’s spanish centered station was also in attendance.  I went by myself, but it was good to take in the vibes, watch the performances and glance at pretty ladies-in a non-creepy type of  way of course.  I also took advantage of every opportunity to raise awareness of our group Negros Americanos in this highly latino populated area of Philly.  In my opinion, the hidden undertone of this festival was one that was overwhelmingly Puerto Rican.  Although it is for everyone, I found that to be the highest demographic.  It reminded me of when i went to the island of enchantment myself several years ago.  The amount of BeAUTY those people possess!! My goodness!!! take time and glance at some of the photos below of my short time at this event.

.prphi mega  prph prphilcentro prphillocs prphflag prpprphill

my goal was to spend more time at feria del barrio, but I reached out to a friend of mine that lives in Philadelphia.  Actually the beauty of our friendship is that I met her  through this blog-Bishop’s Travels.  At one point her and her husband were plotting a bold move to Panama, and had been researching via the web.  Thank God for S.e.o->search engine optimization, for those that don’t know.  Beacause she had been looking up info about life in Panama, I now have a friend for life, I hope.  Anyway, she told me that she was planning to go to the Spruce Street Harbor Park in South Philly, of which I had known nothing about.  This is a beautiful area! It is completely man-made and only exists during the summer time.  It is a  floating park on the Delaware river where you can get food, beer,  lounge on a hammock amongst a host of other things.  They have lily pad gardens there, all in a very nature-esque environment that connects you to the river in such a hustling-bustling urban metropolis.


I had loads of fun out there talking with different groups of people from all walks of life and taking in the sights of the area.  I also got to try a funky new beer called Riverhorse. This is a local beer out of New Jersey! I had never heard about it.  The taste was incredible and the kick-or bite or whatever, I don’t drink enough to know beer adjectives……But I do know this, after about 2 cups of that bad boy I was pretty inebriated. Fun good vibes in Philly…I am glad that I was able to check out the Spruce Street Harbor Park before they take it down next week.  Check those photos below.

bishop river floatingbeer lauren



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My Beautiful Brazilian Portuguese Teacher Also Dances “Egyptian Style Belly Dance”!!!!


So many of you guys know that I am learning Portuguese.  If you have been following for a while, you know that I utilize the services of the very beautiful and SUPPPeR effective Eliane Chalmeres of Viamão, Brazil -she’s the one on the far left-.  One thing I bet you didn’t know about this lovely woman is that she is part of a Belly Dancing crew out of Porto Alegre, Brazil and they are simply Amazing!!! 

This is Egyptian style Belly Dance style, and this crew met each other in Bellydance class with instructor Alessandra Forte.  They decided to form the group and put on events to show this area of Brazil the beauty of this peculiar style of dance.  For me, a person that loves cultural observation…to sit here and watch these Brazilian women dancing in an Egyptian style is absolutely breathtaking!! not to mention they are all very easy on the eyes.


More background on the Lovely Eliane Chalmeres.  She is a teacher with three years of experience in esl.  But lately she has been teaching Portuguese to foreigners -Mostly Americans, like me- via Italki.com.  She teaches from Beginning level to advanced and even has a new class called “Português Superior”-which I am no where near ready for. It’s addressed to advanced students who want to improve their fluency talking about more complex themes.

If you by any chance want to meet this stunning woman and talk about possibly taking one of her classes-or perhaps to tell her how beautiful you think she is, or how well you think she dances- simply click this link!!! —–> Meet Eliane Chalmares



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Bishop The Eastside Nappyhead:

One of my best friends went to Montreal back in August, he took some amazing photos….I will bring in the new year with him out there!!!!! I decided to reblog his photo journal of the experience…Looks lovely, can’t wait to go!! quote of the post-“Hey, we all selfie sometimes.”

Originally posted on Plainfield View:

I didn’t take many pictures during my trip to Montreal, nor did I take the best shots. For one, the sky was overcast almost my entire time there, and it rained constantly. In addition to the weather, as exciting, artsy, energetic, and comfortable of a place as Montreal is – it’s not the most beautiful city. You have to work for shots in a rainy, overcast Montreal. Who wants to work on vacation?

That being said, I missed the Mayor’s community cookout, a local protest, a Muhlenberg meeting, and more while away, so I figure I should have something to show for it.


Lake Champlain, upstate New York from my Amtrak window


Lake Champlain


Best. Store. Ever. Hadio on Mont Royal Avenue East. Here are some of their pins. I bought four T-shirts, with no clue Quebec had a 15% sales tax on clothing. Ouch.

DSC09842 Stand up chess players near the Place des Arts…

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Not My Baby! Violence in the Black Community from New Jersey to Missouri



I am no expert, but i don’t think that the rate of police Killing young black unarmed men or women for that matter, has increased.  I think that through social media and the popularity of carrying camera phones is forcing us to start to re-examine our place in the Cosmos.  At some point we got a little too Hopey/changey and we started to forget about mass incarceration of black men.  We forget about the fact that we are still dying in the streets at alarming rates.  We forget about the rates of disease, unplanned parenthood, illiteracy, dropout rates, etc.  We are still at the top of almost every ‘bad’ list.

I remember exactly where I was when Obama won the election against McCain.  I danced in the street in the drizzly rain on Dayton St. in Newark New Jersey’s south ward.  I was ecstatic… I knew however that our problems in the black community were not simply going to disappear overnight.  What I didn’t realize was that we would have words like ‘post’ racial.  That is such a ridiculous word-what does it even mean to be ‘post racial??” Does it mean ignoring all the problems that make many people uncomfortable, but directly derive from the institution of ‘White Supremacy’-automatically putting my current state back on my level of competency, or just inability to make things happen for myself.

Im not trying to be pessimistic here but I mean, if we just take a look at comments made by some people at the bottom of most youtube videos that are based on black issues. It’s quite clear how the world still feels about African Americans.. .Now I for one, could care less about what other people think about me.  Im more concerned with how we can stand on our own two collectively to a point where opinions by others about our inner affairs are an after thought.  Two of the main things I believe that we must do to achieve that is to change the dynamic of the black family, and stop the violence within out community.  Without throwing any blame at a specific gender, we need to find a way to have children in healthy families with a mother and father at home.  We need for our children to grow up seeing a loving family to know how to emulate it.  We also need to start understanding that we are all human beings and taking another man’s life sends a ripple of pain and anguish felt by so many people.  The reason we decided to release this video now, is to attempt to show the other side of the equation, how a family is left hurt by these spur of the moment outbursts of violence, that unfortunatey plague our community.  

Str8Jakket, the third MC on this song is an artist from Kansas City, Missouri.  That city maybe completely on the other side as St. Louis and Ferguson, but he is in the general area and can get a feel for the type of aggressiveness that makes Missouri the state with the highest rate of Black Victimizational deaths in the nation.  So it was only right and fitting that he be part of this experience.

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