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A "special" week in Detroit

      Photo credit: John Loengard

Although President Barack Obama’s appearance last night with Jay Leno was supposed to make both television and presidential history—no other in-office president has took time` out to show love on The Tonight Show, his comment about his bowling skills and comparing his amateur level to the Special Olympics is bringing some heat.

And speaking of historic, this week has been a mélange of sorts from a special evening with Dr. Maya Angelou to Dave Bing appearing at a NCAA volunteer rally. As I stay on my never-ending grind and make my rounds, wherever I go I usually run into at least one person I know from a showcase, release party, or other popular hip hop events. I was disappointed not to run into some of my hip hop heads at the Max M. Fisher Music Center when Dr. Angelou graced us with her griot-like storytelling. Even I as TheWordStylist cannot convey in mere words how her significance mesmerized the crowd full of multi-cultural Metro Detroiters presented by the African American Family Magazine’s Distinguished Speaker Series when she articulated her message of Recovery, Forgiveness, and more importantly Rainbows. “We live in direct relation to the heroes and sheroes in our lives…rainbows in our clouds. We will be a rainbow to someone else. You have no idea how you can be a rainbow to someone else’s cloud. You have lost nothing; but look what you have gained. Introduce courtesy again—the best time is when you are going through your own clouds.”

Dr. Angelou was especially glad to return to Detroit to her adopted “home”. With as much wittiness as her intelligence, she said, “I am also a Michigander; when I make myself at home, nobody can put me out.” Moreover, she was pleased to see Detroit recovering. “Not just economics--from abuse. Not just from others [abuse], but ourselves. If we forgive ourselves, we might be able to forgive others.” For true lyricists, this would have been your epiphany into a world away from hip hop, listening to a true hipster and scholar with 65 Doctorates and as much street cred as K. Deezy. Forgive yourself for missing an opportunity to witness her wordplay unravel with a rich melodic flow. In many ways, when you culture yourself beyond the realms of hip hop music, you will see that the sky is the limit and those other experiences will enhance your hip hop journey as a way of life, not just music, as you can make it your own.

Dave Bing got a phone call yesterday, he told the crowd assembled at University of Detroit’s famed Calihan Hall. “Thursday of next week [on or about March 26] the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce this year’s inductees who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, that same weekend in Detroit.” Of the many talented coaches and athletes, Michael Jordan, David Robinson, and John Stockton are next in line for consideration as finalists. Wow, with big names like that, Detroit will unquestionably be the place to be April 3-6. Given the talent and historical wild success of Michael Jordan, Bing joked, “I think he’ll make it in”. As the keynote speaker for the upcoming 2009 Final Four NCAA volunteer rally, he expressed how important it was for the volunteers to be ambassadors as representatives for the city of Detroit. “The media has Detroit’s image cast in a negative light. For Detroiters, this is an opportunity to change the mind of those coming here for the first time…we need to show the world what Detroit is really made of. It is our time to shine.”

Not too many people other than rappers talk about getting their “shine on” and as a part of Detroit’s NCAA weekend’s festivities, they will have their chance. Surething Promotions & Hood Hard Hitmaker DJs will present the Final Four Hip Hop and R&B Competition April 5-7th. Sixteen hip hop and sixteen R&B acts will compete for a chance to win an appearance on Hood Hard TV, among many other perks. For more information, be sure to click here or email to register your group.

Subscribe now: Visit this page daily to support ya girl, Lilmissdottie:theWordStylist.  Don't forget to tryout for P. Diddy's new MTV reality show, "Making His Band".  Auditions will be held at 10 a.m. March 21 at the Music Hall Center for the Performing Arts. Audition lineup begins at 7 a.m. 350 Madison Ave., Detroit; (313) 887-8500
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