New Jack City makes me feel nostalgic.
My partner and I watch — and at times, laugh — while Wesley Snipes delivers his tragic, Shakespearean performance. While we watch, I am talking about Christopher Williams’ acting debut and singing “I’m Dreamin’” louder than our Bed Stuy apartment’s walls can take. I’m talking the rising tide of the New Jack Swing era and how Teddy Riley’s production is the backdrop for the lives of ‘80’s babies. The ’90s were the landscape for my upbringing: how I lived, loved, talked, and ran the streets. …
“If I don’t like I don’t like it, I don’t like it/It don’t mean that I’m hating…” — Common “6th Sense”
The first time around watching Malcolm & Marie, the latest must-see stream TV on Netflix featuring the rising stars of Zendaya and John David Washington, we stopped watching after the first five minutes. After much exasperated eye-rolls, shrugged shoulders and frustration, my partner and I found a salve in watching New Jack City. Our little played with the other TV remotes we left for her, the ones without the batteries in them, that entertained her over the course of…
Before I hand my infant daughter to her mother for feeding and soothing, I talk to her in rhymes and spellbound lyrics from Jay-Z songs and Old Dirty Bastard ad-libs. I finish tickling her small tummy, the tummy that can fit under the whole of my palm. I hold her; I sit and stare at the brown of her eyes that I know others drown in and think about how fortunate I am to raise a little Black girl.
The world tends to try to tell us differently. The media will spoon-feed us by the bit the perils of being…
There are two types of parents: carpenters and gardeners.
Carpenters believe they can build the kind of structure for their children that will dictate a successful outcome. But gardeners create the space to allow their children to thrive.
I liken myself to a gardener. Both of my daughters were born during revolutions. I don’t know if that makes me dumb or them martyrs. What kind of parent does that make me?
My little girls — my little Black girls — will have questions about what was happening in the time when they were children. They will remember some of what…
“Red or green pill, you live and you learn…” — Jay-Z “Excuse Me Miss”
Looks like we are riding off to the sunset… want to thank everyone who has read their column and shared their love for it on the interwebs. For now, the weekly Medium column “What Would Hov Do?,”, written by me, Joel Leon, will be on hiatus. I’ll still be on here writing and sharing my thoughts and words, but in a different, more personal way, so stay tuned!
“I suck at love, I think I need a do-over
I’d be emotionally available if I invited you over.” — Jay-Z “4:44”
We back at it! It’s your friendly neighborhood writer and storyteller Joel Leon returning once again with your weekly dose of “What Would Hov Do?,” the Medium weekly column that tackles life’s problems with a little help from some Jay-Z bars.
If there’s a topic or question you think could be answered with some assistance from yours truly and Hovito, feel free to drop your question here; you may see your anonymous response shared and answered.
“Lock my body
Can’t trap my mind…” — Jay-Z “Can I Live”
It’s me, Joel Leon and I’m back at it — another week, another edition of “What Would Hov Do?” in 2021! For those not in the now, #WWHD is the Medium column where each and every week I tackle some of life’s biggest hurdles and issues, all with the help of Jay-Z lyrics.
If there’s a topic you’d want to see tackled with a little help from Jay-Z, feel free to drop your question or issue here and me and the god emcee will help you get through…
“Man, I’m high off life, fuck it, I’m wasted” — Jay-Z “Allure”
Happy new year to you and yours, it’s Joel Leon here back with the end of the year “What Would Hov Do?” Medium column to help us get right for 2021. The goal of this column was simple: hear from the reading audience (that’s y’all) about whatever issues you may be struggling with, and I’ll help you unpack them with the help of my favorite artist, the God emcee, Jay-Z.
What’s goody, readers? Joel Leon here, your friendly neighborhood storyteller, slowly wrapping up what has been a rollercoaster of a year with the second-to-last weekly “What Would Hov Do?” Medium column. Still out here, taking the latest and greatest of your woes and helping you get through it all with the help of the one of the greatest scribes of generation, Sir Jay-Z.
“God I work hard, please don’t envy me
I paid the cost to be the boss to floss this hard” — Jay-Z, “Come And Get Me”
What’s good, everyone? We’ve got another edition of ya’ favorite weekly column with the homies here at Medium, “What Would Hov Do?”
Each week, you send me questions on life, love, or whatever’s on your mind. And every week, I sift through them with the help of lyrics from the big homie. My column is literally the embodiment of the phrase,“Hov did that, so hopefully you wouldn’t have to go through that.”