Category Archives: Uncategorized

My Uncles. In Memory of Tio Jr.

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I grew up with some amazing uncles. We watched wrestling, baseball games, and ate junk food when the women of the family said no more. I grew up in a space where race never mattered.  It was all about friendship, and shared interests. I’m so proud to have grown up with these bonds, and I’m happy when I see them take fruition in my own life.  We lost my oldest uncle, Carmelo, best known as Tio Jr. this morning. My Uncle Jeff wrote a beautiful piece today in his memory.

Love you all, and will always love you, Tio.

When I moved from Virginia to New York as a pre-teen, I was the first black and a Baptist in the neighborhood several months later a family moved across the street from me. There were 4 boys in that family. The were of Puerto Rican decent and they were Catholic. They were the first Puerto Rican family in the neighborhood. As a southern country boy I had never heard of that race . But that didn’t matter to me, I had some new friends to hang out with.

Their names were Carmelo (Jr), John, Joey,and Jorge. All four of them including their mother and farther treated me as if I was a member of the family.
I may have been born an only child, but I consider myself very lucky to find 4 brothers who considered me their brother in every way. I can proudly and honestly say growing up with those guys help broaden, and shape some of my views and taste in many aspects of the choices I have made in my life.
Well this past Sunday my oldest brother Jr. passed away. I was saddened to hear this news. I had not seen Jr. for many years. But as in any family you don’t have to see them everyday because the loved for that family member will always be strong.
My thoughts and prayers go out for his immediately family, Wife Evelyn,Daughter Debbie, and son David. And to the entire Gomez family.Jr. you will always be in my heart. RIP my Brother !!!From left to right Joey,Jorge,John and Carmelo aka: Jr., June, Jay !!

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Chester French Debuts Songs About “Black Girls”

“This ain’t no fetish, I’m objectifying no one… The whole world’s turning brown… I’ve got a thing for black girls.” As the lyrics from Chester French’s new song indicates, the face of America is indeed changing.

Here’s finally one for the black girls. The rock pop duo delivers an ode to brown beauties with the new guitar blaring anthem, “Black Girls.” Some may find it patronizing, but in an age where black women seem to always finish last, and numerous studies try to dissect skin color, hair textures, and dating woes, the song is refreshing. Hopefully it will cause a domino effect in rap lyrics as well, where positive images of women are as scant as the attire of a video vixen.

Like Chester French notes in song, British bands have been hip to black girls for decades. No ode puts it better than the Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar.” A resurgence would be a welcome change, so all women can feel the love.

Positive lyrics aside, the video for “Black Girls” is all raunch. Try to peel your eyes from the girl on girl interracial loving in this NSFW clip.

Cinderella Leaps Of Faith

I feel like I can do anything now…

In September, I turned to my blog to express my overwhelming excitement and panic about taking one of my biggest career leaps. Now, almost five months to the day, everything has changed.

When I got the news that I would become the newest editor at Styleblazer.com, I did three things. First, I said yes. Then, I called my parents. Then, I remembered that the Knicks were playing, and that final thought inspires me to glide my fingers across my keyboard tonight…

Jeremy Lin’s promo song on MSG is Eminem’s “Cinderella Man.” The song sums up his journey to becoming a Knicks  phenomenon like no other. A Harvard grad with an Economics degree,  almost on his way out of the NBA forever, was  given one more chance. And within two weeks, he went from sleeping on his brother’s couch (shout outs to NYU), to becoming the biggest player the Knicks have seen in ages, playing among his idols and giving them a run for their money on the basketball court. And that’s exactly the kind of journey that we can all relate to, but it’s one that hits me to my core.

For me, all signs pointed to medical school. As a full scholarship NYU grad, giving up the stability and prestige of practicing medicine for an uncertain journalism career seemed insane. Especially for someone who doesn’t do well in uncertainty. But for every pang of anxiety I felt after making that decision, there was another pang of excitement, that “knowingness,” or God-given intuition, that tells us we’re meant for something else. And that’s something I’ve never been able to ignore.

When I graduated from NYU, I was almost immediately thrust into layoffs. A stop and go journalism path left me exhausted, discouraged, doubtful of my talents, and barely making ends meet. But I just kept trying. Once I found that stability, in a media job where I barely wrote, I felt that excitement vs. anxiety fight in my core again, and I knew I had to make a change. But this time, God shook those tectonic plates, and I was forced to fight or fly. And I fought and flew.

Five months after leaving stability, I have helped to shape TanningofAmerica.com, a site with a message that’s so important to me. I helped a Love & Hip Hop star find the beauty in herself, talked about fourth grade crushes with R&B singers, and gushed to Johnny Gill. And now, I’m starting the chapter I’ve been anticipating since I asked my mom for a Talkboy, and started recording my own talk show at nine years old. Or when I asked my Nana to teach me words in the dictionary so I could write stories when I was three. The path was there all along, and I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to keep dreaming those big dreams. Finally, I can show them what I can do.

To everyone who has e-mailed me, and told me about their dreams, please, pursue them. Let me be the proof that it can be done. Chart your own journey, and live out loud. You aren’t too old, or too young, or not enough of anything. You are enough right now. It’s hard, you will get knocked around, but you can win. Take your Cinderella leap of faith.

Lots of love to everyone who has been there for me throughout this process. I love each and every one of you. There’s no me without you.

xo,j

The J List: J By Design

She dreamed of paradise, every time she closed her eyes…

I’ve constantly got my ear tuned to music. Here’s a collection of the songs that have my ear right now.



The J List: J By Design

http://open.spotify.com/user/121546021/playlist/4WyalxQi4xJlM7C7zepe73

apolloKIDZ Mixtape: How Merlot Can You Go, Vol. 2
http://apollokidz.com/featured/mixtape-%E2%80%93-how-merlot-can-you-go-vol-2/

The J List: The Whitney Houston Edition



Find your strength in love…

The J List: Whitney Houston Edition
http://open.spotify.com/user/121546021/playlist/1LzrM1xpOhtDz77dpPFNMq

Beyonce & Jay-Z Welcome Baby Blue Ivy

Baby, it’s you…

IV. The Carter-Knowles were so enraptured by the Roman numeral that they sported matching tattoos on their ring fingers before tying the knot. Now it’s the perfect namesake for their brand new baby girl, Blue Ivy Carter.

And although most of the world is awaiting first photos, and the chance to watch the Wonder Woman-like Beyonce transition into motherhood, all I can think of is the happiest father in New York City, Shawn Carter.

Little girls are awesome. I know this because I used to be one. They’re bubbly, a perfect blend of sweetness and sass, and are way too much fun to dress up. Moms love them dearly, but there’s something about a little girl that melts a father’s heart. I’m fortunate enough to have a great relationship with my dad, and an uncle who was like my bonus dad. They’d both let me get away with things that my mom never would, like eating pickles and drinking soda at midnight, or watching that extra episode of Married With Children. I would alter the Sunday morning New York Times into a mangled form, just to look at pictures, and they would just say, “It’s ok, she’s reading. Let her have it.” Or they would pick me up and carry me around Six Flags on their shoulders when my legs got too tired.

These are the moments, and a million more, I wish for Jay-Z. Can’t wait to see the car seat in the Maybach. And little Miss Carter has a million godparents across the world, so excited for her arrival.

Jay-Z feat. B.I.C.: “Glory”

Video Premiere: Taylor Swift: “Ours”

Your hands are tough but they are where mine belong in,
And I’ll fight their doubt and give you faith,
With this song for you…

With everyone traveling home for the holidays next week, Taylor Swift’s new clip, “Ours,” seems so fitting for upcoming airport hugs and kisses. Billboard‘s Woman of the Year shines in her concept videos, and this one finds her getting through a mundane day at the office by watching videos of her special guy on her tablet. A sweet reunion is inevitable, and just adds to the warm and fuzzies.

Most aww-worthy moment goes to the “I loved you first” post-it.