Happy Birthday Drake!

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If you’re anything like me, then you got your first glance of Aubrey (Drake) Graham on Degrassi as Jimmy Brooks.  You were shocked to see him get shot and end up in a wheelchair, but you were even more shocked to see his character, along with so many other core characters, slowly be taken off of the show.  However, it wasn’t long before Drake’s Comeback Season began playing in your ears (and, if you’re a true Drake fan, you know about Room for Improvement, too).  Soon enough, Drake was everywhere and So Far Gone was being nominated for a Grammy.  Flash forward a few years and Drake has released three more albums (working on another one now), has become one of the most popular rappers in the industry, and has clearly moved on from his Degrassi days.

Needless to say, I’ve been a big fan of Drake’s since early on in his career and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him perform live twice.  Both were great shows which is why I’d see him again, but my admiration for Drake isn’t solely because I watched him as Jimmy Brooks or because he makes “music for women.”  I appreciate Drake because, most times, I feel like his music is a reflection of my life and it is so relevant to what is happening in my life.  Whether he’s talking about the struggle and hunger to be successful in “Say What’s Real” or “Lust for Life” or if he’s venting about dealing with changes in his personal life in “The Motion,” “The Calm,” or “Hate Sleeping Alone,” each lyric is in some way relevant to me.  Even songs like “Look What You’ve Done” make me think about my own family, while his triumphant songs like “Trophies” and “We’ll Be Fine” remind me of all that I’ve accomplished.  And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Sometimes Drake gets a lot of heat for being light skinned and Canadian, but, in many ways, he is a strong and necessary voice of this generation.  At least the part of this generation that finds itself constantly caught within a dichotomy.  There aren’t too many artists, not just rappers, who don’t represent the reality of the situation enough, but Drake does that.  If he gets heat for it, then so be it because at the end of the day he’s still worth about $50 million, so he must be doing something right.

Anyways, Happy Birthday Drake!

Drake

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Blatino

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I dance to drum beats

with my bare feet.

I was born in the heat

and I am made of dark meat.

My hair is thick,

my hips make them sick,

and they wish

they could be just as slick.

We all eat the same fruit.

We are all seen as strange fruit.

Our tongues

may not understand each other,

but I am still a sister

and he is still my brother.

Bomba, plena, and santería

all derive from your same

rhythms and religion.

We were all stripped

of the choice

to make a decision.

We all lost our voice.

Together,

we make up the hues

of all the rainbows.

That’s just how it goes.

It takes two of us

to equal one and then some,

which is why we must

remain united as one.

An ocean stands between

and you may consider me

lost at sea,

but there simply

is no denying

you are the root of my being.

.

Happy Birthday Cano!

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A couple of months ago, I celebrated my 22nd birthday and the start to my Year of Cano.  Most people claim the Year of Jordan when they turn 23, but, in my case, Robinson Cano is a reason to celebrate.  To give you some background, Cano was born on this day (October 22) 32 years ago in the Domincan Republic.  When he became the second baseman for the New York Yankees in 2005, his jersey number was 22.  After a couple of seasons, he had to give up his number and became 24.  Flash forward seven more years and Cano is now second baseman for the Seattle Mariners and is back to number 22.  Thus, the importance of 22.

As many of you may know, Cano is my favorite baseball player (with Jeter’s recent retirement, there’s no more battle for first place) and I feel honored to have been a fan of his since his major league debut nine years ago.  Throughout his career, I have seen Cano go from a rookie with potential to a Yankee star and now the Mariners’ best weapons.  Cano has become, arguably, one of the best baseball players in the league and I’m sure he’ll only continue to solidify himself in baseball history.  Outside of baseball, Cano has proven himself to be an admirable man, only making me a bigger fan of his.

Simply put, Happy Birthday Cano!

Robinson Cano

RIP Oscar de la Renta

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Yesterday, the fashion world suffered a huge loss with the passing of Oscar de la Renta.  He was known for and will be remembered for his elegant designs that dressed the most important females of the time, including first ladies and entertainers.  He first worked in Spain for Balenciaga and later brought his talents to Lanvin, Balmain, and his own brand, proving his resume was nothing short of solid.  Though Oscar de la Renta has passed, he will forever be remembered as one of the most iconic fashion designers and his fashion legacy will continue.

Oscar de la Renta

“Yes, I had cancer. Right now, I am totally clean. The only realities in life are that you are born, and that you die. We always think we are going to live forever. The dying aspect we will never accept. The one thing about having this kind of warning is how you appreciate every single day of life.”

-Oscar de la Renta

Happy Birthday Papi!

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Today is the day the world was blessed with the birth of my dad.  He is an interesting mix of being the smartest person I know along with one of the most taboo and outrageous personalities I’ve ever encountered.  Simply put, he is truly one of a kind.  At first, it was hard seeing the similarities between me and my dad, but the resemblance has become more apparent over the years.  Besides my book smarts, I mainly attribute my dad as the reason why there are times where I have no filter, but, over those characteristics, I thank my dad for the position I’m in now.  I know that, without many of the sacrifices and decisions my dad made in the past, my present would be a completely different scenario.  I’ve learned things happen for a reason and, if one thing is for sure, my dad is a person I can count on for almost anything, no matter the situation.  Not many people can say that about anybody, especially their dads.  So, on his birthday, I want to celebrate the beautiful bond we’ve developed and how proud I am to call him my dad.

Happy Birthday Pa!