Can I get a real radio station?

This ain't it. I had this argument with a "Pittsburgher." Yes I know that's wack, but that's what they call themselves. Anyway, I told one guy that an "urban" radio station needs to play recent music. I know this seems like an obvious concept, but not in Pittsburgh. I really don't think they add a new song into their rotation any more frequently than once a month. Come on!! Can you watch BET, too. Just watch 106 and Park even. DANG! This really makes no sense people. I can't even hear the songs BET plays? What? This is ridiculous.

Now I must warn you. What I say next will shock and appaul you. I hear Biggie no less than 3xs a day. Three. Stop. The. Madness. This is unnecessary. Its not like its Tupac where he's released an album just about every year since he died. This is Biggie. Seriously. Biggie? He's been dead almost 10 years!! Stop it!! I also hear Aaliyah nearly daily. Perhaps I was unaware and WAMO is actually a tribute station. Ok. Its all clear now.

So then why do I hear "Hotel" by R.Kelly and Cassidy weekly? At least weekly. How is that okay? Why is it okay for me to hear songs from Lil Wayne's 2nd album? How is it okay to play "Salt Shaker" daily? What about "Get Low?" Why do they love Pretty Ricky? On the countdown every day. Why can I hear 50 cent at least twice per half hour?

Perhaps most importantly, why does every "Pittsburgher" think he or she is so down because he listens to Jeezy? Get that out of here!! A lot of Southerners don't even like Jeezy! I didn't start hearing him like that until I got up here. Of course I heard some before but come on. For real? Jeezy? His skills are not that tight. Oh don't get it twisted, the music in the background? I'm all over it, but the rappin? Nah, I'll pass. Thanks. "And then what?" "Yeah!" Genius? I think not. That is the one artist of this century that they think they are really cool for recognizing. Congratulations.

So the Pittsburgher says to me, "Nobody listens to WAMO. We all listen to satellite radio. Or like me, I go down south and travel and I hear all kinds of music." Hmm... okay but that's because WAMO is not playing anything recent. Or worth listening to. Nobody wants to hear the hits of the 90s and "today" (meaning circa 2002) when you're billing yourself as an urban radio station. I tried to explain to him that before satellite radio, what would you listen to? Even now most major cities have radio stations that its hard to turn off. Please look at Charlotte, Greensboro, Philly, Baltimore, D.C., Tallahassee. Do I need to go on? Please Pittsburgh, get that together. I should only have to turn on my AOL radio to hear Southern rap. I don't expect you to provide me with that. But when I have to do it to hear anything from the last 2 months? You're killin me! Oh yeah. And don't let that little countdown fool you. I only hear those songs during the countdown. I guess they write down the requests, then play them at night or during their thrice daily countdowns.

This is the killer people. If you didn't look at the site (I don't blame you), their motto is Pittsburgh's #1 for Hip Hop and R&B. I for one think that thinks volumes about this city.


The question: does a life changing event have to be near-death?

The answer: No. I think I already had mine. When I graduated from Hampton, I was lost and not quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. True I liked journalism. True I was pretty good at it. True, I did not have a job. Also true, like most other things in my life, I thought one would just jump into my lap like my sweet departed puppy. Yeah. That didn't happen. So I moved back home. Charlotte was a fun place sometimes, but truly, not for me at that time in my life. It was too easy to get complacent. Like for no reason. But probably because it was home and familiar.

So at the end of June, I finally had enough. I couldn't take it anymore. Life wasn't fun. I didn't have a job I liked. I knew if I stayed in Charlotte much longer I would probably never leave and my relationship with my mother would be altered forever. When I graduated, my dad asked me if I wanted to move to Pittsburgh and live with him. I thought long and hard about that. Like all of 2 seconds, followed it with a laugh, and said no way. But when this June hit, I knew it was finally time to leave. So I put in my two week notice at the only job I had ever had and began packing. Two weeks later I was in Pittsburgh. A month and a day after that, I started at my current job.

So I know that's my life-changing event. And honestly, we probably have more than one. So that was one of mine- not having a job worthy of my degree, or that even let me use my journalism degree, for more than a year. It's an humbling experience. It makes what I have now even more profound. I appreciate it more than I would have if I'd been employed immediately after graduating. As much as I hate to say it, I don't think I was ready.

But now I'm making up for lost time. I ready and back in the world with a vengeance. I'm about to take Pittsburgh by storm. This city will have no idea what hit it. Not like that's hard. Lol. Surprisingly enough, this city is waaaaaaay slower than Charlotte. If you have never been to Charlotte, or haven't been in the last 3 years, you are in for a rude awakening. It is a rapidly burgeoning city. I guarantee you in five years, it will be THE place to be. Its already well on its way.

But back to my event. I'm glad it happened to me, as hard as it was. And I'm glad that it happened so early. It led to me interviewing John Legend while working (for free) at an independent black film company as a producer/reporter. I even got to produce my first post-graduation documentary for free. So it wasn't all bad. But I'm definitely glad its over. I would go back to him in a heartbeat (the owner) once he can afford me! Haha. But for now, farewell Charlotte; Hello Pittsburgh; D.C. here I come!
Today is my first day blogging. Ever!

Yes, its true, I'm a blog virgin. Well not anymore. Thanks to my fellow Hamptonians for introducing me to this spot. Now for business. Can we please talk about driving in Pittsburgh?

I am new to this city- only 2 months under my belt. Now let's just say that I am not too pleased. That's the nice way to put it. I am trying to give it a chance, promise, but somethings are unforgivable.

First: please learn to drive in tunnels since there are at least 2, (maybe more) in this city. Can you read the signs? They definitely say "don't cross center line." I see this at least once a week. They also say "maintain speed in tunnels." So... if the speed limit is 55, then shouldn't you drive faster than 45. I'm gonna go ahead and say MOVE you jerk!!! That is enough to incite road rage and I'm not the type. Did you see the dude who killed the cute little five-year-old black girl in a road rage incident. They're showing his trial on court tv. Abominable.

Second: The highways. Can we please get some acceleration/deceleration lanes? Please do not force me to yield or come to a STOP before I get onto the highway where people are driving 70. I got the Lancer. We are not doing 0 to 70 in less than 5 minutes. So quit trippin.

Third: The crazy/scary signs. Why do the bright yellow highway signs say things like "slow down, save a live," "watch for drunk drivers," "targeted DUI zone." Ummm.... drunk speeders everywhere? I'm NOT down for that. I kinda like my life. Despite the wack city. Thanks guys. To quote Morgan, "Let's all calm down now."

Some welcome. There are so many things I have to say about this city. But let's start slow. Stay tuned.