I Love DJing, but I’m not a DJ

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“I love DJing but I am not a DJ.”

There’s quite a few of you puzzled by that “I am not a DJ” part of the phrase.  You’ve heard my podcasts.  You come to some of my parties.  You listen to my radio shows.  You’ve seen me on UStream.  I’ve made mixtapes and mix CDs for some of you.  Behind the turntables, scratching, mixing, talking (some say “too much”), joking, commenting, etc.  So how the hell am I not a DJ?

Let me preface:

I am a son.  I am someone’s father.  I am someone’s brother.  I am someone’s boyfriend.  I am someone’s cousin.  I am someone’s godfather.  I am someone’s best friend.  I am someone’s nephew.  I am an IT Professional.  I am a Project Manager.  I am a Business Analyst.  I am a martial artist.

“THEN I am a DJ.”

I love DJing and I think I’ve grown to be pretty good at it over the past 22 years but when I’m introduced to someone, I don’t think I would want to be introduced as a DJ above all of the aforementioned things I can be identified as.

I love making people go “Ooooooh” when I throw certain songs on that make them feel some type of way.  I love playing that custom drop “He’s got a lotta damn records, it’s DaManDL” because I have prided myself on the uniqueness, the voracity, the meticulousness, the research and everything else associated with the days, weeks, months, years and decades it has taken for me to amass my library.  Anyone can download mp3 files.  A real DJ takes pride and great protection in the build of his or her library over time.  I still buy vinyl to this day – and I read linear notes!

As much pride and passion, and most importantly…FUN…as I have in the DJ part of my life, I never ever wanted that to define who I was.  I never wanted to rely on DJing to put food on my table, to pay for my daughter’s clothes, braces, and college tuition.  I never wanted to have up to 5 or 6 parties to play every week.  It wasn’t as important for me to know big names or do all these wonderful glamorous things in the DJ world.  DJing is a hell of a grind (with an infinite amount of politics and ego meshed in)!!  But with that being said, in my 22 years…my 22 PROFESSIONAL years (if we want to speak generally, I can say I first started playing records at parties back in the late 70s and early 80s)…I’ve had a share of some proud moments – “swag” moments, if you will.  I’ve been on Video Music Box in the mid-90s.  I’ve spun live in the presence of legends like the Kool DJ Red Alert, Force MDs & the Fearless Four.  I’ve graced the comedy stages with the likes of Tracy Morgan & Talent.  I’ve produced radio shows and podcasts that have been heard in Asia, Africa and Europe.  I can count a few known personalities in the radio and entertainment world as true supporters who reach out to me.  I’ve done online radio shows, very recently, to audiences well over 700, 800 and 900 listeners.  I’ve started my own online radio station.  And I’ve worked with or been in the presence of some incredibly talented DJs and MCs.

“I love DJing but I’m not JUST a DJ.”

Before the summer officially turns to fall this year, I will have turned 40 years old.  40!  While that’s certainly not a death sentence, I seriously have to take a look at things and come to the realization that for someone not wanting to be a “career DJ”, I surely do spend a helluva lot of time doing it, or preparing for one of my 3 or 4 radio shows a week.  Or preparing to DJ at a bar or lounge or club on the weekends.  I love DJing but having the ability to live a certain quality of life is of utmost importance to me.

For the past couple of years, I’ve had to suffer the indignity of the socio-economic politics of Corporate America when I was told that my position at the NBA was being eliminated.  While I have since become employed once again, the scars left behind still have an effect on my professional career.  I’m rather unhappy at my current position – forced to deal with the instability of being a consultant, knowing that any week can wind up being my last week on that assignment.  Dealing with not having the paid time-off for being sick, or tending to family matters, or wanting to take vacation.  Dealing with not having health insurance/benefits.  Dealing with having to accept a pay cut and an organizational demotion/downgrade just to be employed.  Dealing with puzzling rejection after rejection and unreturned call and email after unreturned call and email in my current job search.  Knowing that the only way to reverse this cycle is to get in front of it with intense re-education, studying and professional certification, I can’t spend as much time doing all these shows and parties and keeping up with schedules that don’t allow me to focus on what’s more important.

My daughter will be starting her freshman year at St. John’s University in Queens at the same time I’ll be turning 40.  As a single father, I need to be as present and focused and undistracted as possible during her transition.

As the son of parents who are in the throws of retirement age, I need to be more active in their lives.  There’s still plenty of wisdom and advice I can draw from them, despite being a grown man and a parent myself.

As a boyfriend, although we are both DJs, time spent behind the DJ booth isn’t exactly my idea of “quality relationship time.”

So while parts of this sounds and feels like a resignation letter, it truly isn’t…well…..not entirely.

I am going to be stepping down, effective ASAP from being as active on the DJ scene, online and live.  That’s not to say you will never see me tearing down a party or you’ll never hear another podcast from me or never catch me on online radio…you’ll just find me much less frequently.  But when the itch hits and I need to scratch…best believe I’m sending out an invite for sure!!   I’m still available for hire though!! 

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank each and every single one of you whether you’ve been an observer, critic or supporter of my DJ journey for all of the past 22 years or just a small portion of it.  Any DJ will tell you that without you, we have no purpose.  We play because we love the music – but quite honestly, we can enjoy our music in the privacy of our headphones, our dens, our living rooms, etc.  We play because you enjoy it with us.

Without getting too..too granular, I really do feel the need in my heart to thank specifically the following individuals for the roles you have played in this journey (in no special order):  my sister, my parents, my aunts and uncles for allowing me to stand on a chair and play at the house parties, DJ Parallel/Chris Robinson (Around The Way Productions from ’91 to Infinty),  St. John’s University Classes of ’93, ’94, ’95 and ’96 specifically, my 228th Street Family, Roland (R.I.P.), Erika, Kimmy, Lisa, Latrice (aka, the “other Pooh”), Simone, the Ruxpin Entertainment team: Sammy, Ted & Lonnice, the Global1Fm and Only1FM crews, DJ Mark McAden, DJ N Da Bag, OlSkoolDJ, Lilly, the DJ Lab mixmasters: DJ Lux, Brian B, JK Rich, my Black Voices family: way too many of y’all to name so I won’t  try for fear of getting cut later but please know you guys have a been a HUGE, HUGE battery in my back!!, Kool Mike Ski, Steve, Rory and the whole Ski Team, Bleufuzz, Koko (“Kermiiiiii”), QueensMoe , MelloEd, Track King Cole, Kamal, Mari Like Atari and the rest of the 107.3 WKCR firm, my Sikmixx brothers and sisters: DJ Fish, Danny Dee, Crazy Ed, O.Minaya, Pens N Needles, YoungOne, Manolo, Shorty Love, Ms Chu, Koollaid, G Rock, Odell, YaggyrlR, KimC, cboggie, rysinister, Kandie, Janeeka, Ms. Melody, and the whole chat room, B-Fats, Devastating Tito (see you on June 22nd at Team Fearless Honors!), the Force MDs, Kid Capri, Kesha Monk, Troy Smith, Lovebug Starski, Mike Stein (R.I.P. Vudu Lounge), DJ Showbiz (R.I.P. Nell’s and E’Toile), Burt Smooth, DJ Holiday, Amadore, Carol, Jimmy and the whole 174thand Southern Blvd Crew at Shine & Carol’s for giving me my first real residency back in ‘95/’96..and lastly but certainly not leastly: my uber-talented daughter Destini and my equally talented First Lady of the Turntables, DJ Diva Lin.

 

“I am a DJ, always will be a DJ…… but I am many other things first and foremost.”

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THE GREAT DIGITAL DJ DIVIDE

This blog entry is inspired by the recent crowning of DJ P as the Smirnoff/Kid Capri sponsored reality show/DJ contest, MASTER OF THE MIX SEASON 2 champion.  DJ P doesn’t use a laptop, or mp3s, or Serato.  He uses 100% vinyl and beat other competitors on the show who all used Serato (or some form of DJ software).   Some people say he got a pass simply because he used vinyl, that he wasn’t the best DJ in the contest.  Some people in their ranting got it twisted, some saying “F**k Vinyl!!”  Here’s my story and I’m hoping it will entertain and enlighten some of you, DJs and non-DJs alike.

2 turntables, a mixer and a mic.  Add some speakers, a couple of amplifiers, steal the power from the streetlight and that was all you needed to get the party started.  Oh and of course…you have to have your crates and crates….and crates and crates of records.

That was then.

You see, I grew up in the Bronx in the 70s.  I was a little too young to have been a part of the birth and infancy and toddler stages of hip-hop in the way I wanted to but it was all around me and I took to it like a fish takes to water.  At age 3 I was already digging around in my father’s stacks of 45’s and 33’s, even though I was told not to.  By age 4 I already knew how to work the Gerard turntable – staking records and pulling the arm over it so one would drop on the platter after the previous one finished playing.  By age 5 I was spending my allowance money starting my own record collection (shout out to Moodie’s, Tony Ryan and Nu Look record shops on White Plains Road…225th, 224th and 219th cross-streets).  By age 6 I was allowed to “spin” at the family get-togethers.

You get the idea.  I’ve been a DJ ever since I could tie my shoes by myself.

Let’s fast forward to 1991, when I first started seriously learning the science of “2 turntables, a mixer and a mic.”  You see, I already had the science of good music down pat.  I already had records.  I already knew what people liked.  Just never had professional equipment to execute.  Freshman year at St. John’s University when I meet DJ Parallel.  To spare y’all the long story, not too long afterward Around The Way Productions became the PREMIER on-campus mobile DJ set around.  St. John’s.  Queens College.  NYU.  4 turntables, 2 DJs working simultaneously.  Professional lighting.  MC/Hype Man.  Fog machines.  And again, crates and crates….and crates and crates of records.

Had a good 5-6..maybe 7-8 year run.  Early during that run, I remember seeing some cat mixing with two CD players.  Called himself DJ Andrometer II.  Andrometer, if you’re still out there and happen to be reading this, I mean no disrespect but it’s funny now how I dismissed your setup then.  “That’s not real DJing.  What is this CD business?”  You see, I didn’t wanna bother to try and understand it and see it for what it was…the future.

That was in 1992/1993.  Fact of the matter is, as the years went by and I became tired of renting Penske and U-Haul trucks to do parties (getting older, having a wife and brand-new baby daughter, and a regular 9-5 Corporate America job plays a part as well), lifting heavy-assed speakers and amp racks and crates and crates….and crates and crates of records on the truck, off the truck…. in the car, out the car… on the dolly, off the dolly, wore me down.  I took a break.  There were a few more DJ Andrometers out there doing this new CD DJing thing.  I sure could appreciate not having to carry a dozen crates anymore but still, my attitude was “How can you scratch and blend on a CD?”  The technology wasn’t quite that advanced yet to fully match the physical dexterity of a hip-hop/R&B DJ yet on CDs so I wasn’t interested.  To me, the CD DJ world was only advantageous to the house, techno, dance, mainstream and to a degree the reggae DJ.  You had to be so much more hands-on to do what we were doing in the hip-hop and R&B world with blends and scratching, etc.

Add a couple of years to the timeline and now the iPod and the advent of MP3s are coming into play.  I was no longer DJing (except for myself whenever I felt like I needed a new CD or mixtape for the car) but I still had the records (and now CDs, too).   Hmm….*scratching chin*…“how convenient”, I thought.  “No need to carry a bag of CDs and risk losing them or damaging them in transit while on the go.”

But I STILL wasn’t trying to see where this was going on the DJ front.  I was “retired.”  Even when Pioneer came with CD decks that allowed you to backspin and scratch actual CDs as if they were vinyl records, I wasn’t trying to hear too much of it.  I was starting to be impressed though because now the technology was coming around to acknowledging the dexterity of the hip-hop and R&B DJ.

BANG..digital DJ software and hardware now comes into play!

Wait….you mean to tell me that I can mix  the mp3 files I have on my computer the same way I would mix two vinyl records (or CDs if I was CD DJ) without having to physically change the record or the CD?  HUH?  WOW!  Technologically (and being an IT guy) that was genius!  But remember how my story started….I’ve been a DJ since I could tie my shoes.  I love vinyl.  This new “thing” doesn’t seem pure.  Convenient as hell..but not pure.

Yeah..I was (and still am) a purist.  Serato and Tracktor and Virtual DJ and a few other players in this space came around and evolved over time but here it is: 2007 and I wasn’t entertaining making the digital switch.  Hell no.  Why?  Almost overnight since the advent of Serato, the population of DJs seemed to have tripled, and quite honestly most of them did not impress me with their skills.  “Serato is making it too easy, I don’t respect it!” was my thought.

Just as he impacted me back in 1991, a little less than 20 years later here he comes again .. DJ Parallel just bought into the digital DJ world.  “Ugh!  My one last ally has turned!”  His turning actually did allow me (30% of it was what I called “forced persuasion/peer pressure”) a more intimate look into the digital thing.  “Man, with your library, you can KILL IT!”

Finally in 2008/2009, after extensive research, I get me a Macbook and the Serato SL1 kit and dive right in and have not looked back.  I even jumped ahead and learned how to respect the Pioneer CDJs and Numark digital turntables and SOME of all-in-one decks.  (Some I don’t care for because I’m still a purist at heart – these tiny knob-sized platters posing as turntables/controllers are not my bag of tea).

Again, I still assert that there are TOO MANY people claiming the title of “DJ” thanks solely to the digital DJ world.  They could not, would not survive in the vinyl world.  Many of them have never even touched a piece of vinyl.  It saddens me a bit because coming from the culture of hip-hop (when it was really a culture and not just a business or a hustle) I’m an advent of “paying dues.”  Too many of “y’all” out there haven’t paid dues and forgive me if this sounds like I’m hating but “y’all” seem to get the best, highest paying gigs, too – thanks to your “street teams”, publicists, YouTube channels, Twitter and Facebook followers, etc.

But you know what?  That’s the age we live in now, the digital age.  I know all too well that being good at what you do, whether it’s singing, dancing, acting, DJing, rapping, etc isn’t enough if you want to make things happen for yourself on a public scale.  You HAVE TO use the internet, you HAVE TO have followers, you HAVE TO use technology to your advantage.  I fancy myself as someone who blends the two worlds, the old-fashioned world and the tech world.

Now I said all of that to finally get to the crux of this blog.  As I watched each episode of MASTER OF THE MIX SEASON 2, I came across a couple of different semantics.   You had a guy, DJ Mel Starr, who doesn’t use headphones.  DJ Mel Starr, and many of my Sikmixx Radio (http://sikmixxradio.com) partners , are digital DJs who don’t use headphones.  Now I won’t go heavy into how that’s possible (Mel Starr claimed on the show that he could achieve the same smooth result mixing on just vinyl) but to achieve it requires #1- knowing your library and #2- relying on cue points and keeping an eye on your visual waveform on your laptop.  I respect it.  A lot of cats who do it are NICE on the set (and conversely there are some who do it but really SHOULD use headphones because their blends and mixes aren’t clean).  I can do it but the way I mix, I HEAVILY prefer not to.  A lot of it has to do with being a purist..still.  I adopted the digital world but like to hold on to some of the back-in-the-day DJ methodologies.  Just my preference.

The other semantic that screamed out was the vinyl community vs the digital community.  It’s starting to feel like there’s a divide and there really shouldn’t be.  A good DJ should be able to rock in either world.  Just choose your weapon of execution.  The end result should be a clean set that the people enjoy.  Either way, if your record selection is wack, if your library is weak, then you have no business on the decks.  Period.

That being said, I understand both sides of the argument.  As stated earlier, there are far too many DJs that have come along in the past 5-6 years that get by simply because the digital world makes it easier to get started.  No longer do you have to do what a lot of us had to do: travel to record stores, dig in the crates, acquire doubles (two copies) where necessary.  Finding acapellas and instrumentals on what we called “white labels” or “For DJ use only” promotional records usually given out by the record companies (or made illegally on the black market).  The digital world eliminates the hours of work physically finding the points on the record and marking them to help you find those “cue points.”  Those of us who have done it for years appreciate the conveinence of cutting hours of work into minutes but as a result, there’s many from my “school” who don’t appreciate the new school DJs who never had/have to.  The digital world makes it easier to apply triggers and sound effects such as echo by just pressing a button instead of backspinning the record and listening into your headphones to find the start of that cut point, cue point or break.  That’s where the resentment comes in.  The dance, techno and house DJ can and does make fuller use of all the intricacies of what the DJ software and hardware can do.  The technology allows today’s DJ to easily achieve (sonically) what DMC DJ competitors and original mixtape DJs did “by hand.”  And to support the Original DJ Spinderella’s recent rant about “celebrity DJs” like Alicia Keys and Solange Knowles coming out of nowhere and getting great gigs simply because the technology allows them to just buy a laptop and some digital turntables and get started in little to no time without learning the true history and craft and science of DJing, I wholeheartedly agree.

I heard a lot of DJs on my Twitter and Facebook say that Kid Capri and his judging panel gave DJ P maybe a little too much love simply because he rocked vinyl throughout the entire contest.  That guys like M-Squared/Michael McPherson had better mixes and sets (to that point I agree) on most of the challenges.  To a degree, I’m glad that DJ P won because now this conversation can take place in the DJ community.  Hate it or love it, the technology is here to stay and will continue to evolve.  I took the stance of learning it, embracing it and taking from it what works for me and my style of DJing – because I actually had a style before the technology.  I’ll never go so far as to start DJing on an iPad or using iPods – that’s just too bastardizing of the art – but I pay attention to what comes down the pike.  No matter how far the technology goes, it’ll never replace the impact of the DMC contests of back in the day.  It’ll never erase what Grand Wizard Theordore, Grandmaster Flash, Kool Herc, Pete DJ Jones, Afrika Bambaataa, Kid Capri, DJ Cash Money, DJ Jazzy Jeff , DJ Q-Bert, Grand Master Roc Raida and countless others to whom we owe our very DJ existence brought and still continue to bring to the table.  It’ll never divorce the marriage of the sound system clashes and dancehall parties in Jamaica and the hip-hop culture.

Yes there’s a digital DJ divide and a disparate distribution of work in the DJ community but take it from a purist such as myself: don’t blame the technology.  Look deeper and stay sharp.

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DaManDL can be heard and seen mixing live on

Website: http://www.DaManDL.com

Twitter: @DaManDL

Facebook: http://facebook.com/DaManDL

Email: DaManDL@gmail.com


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Rapper Jim Jones wants us to pray for him…..

Well, to be more exact, let’s take it back.

According to Miss Info, a celebrity gossip columnist/blogger/ex-host affiliated with New York’s Hot 97 FM radio station, rapper Jim Jones of the Dipset was involved in a pretty bad auto accident.  He sent Miss Info the following picture via text..

 

 

 

 

and he also sent the following Tweet..

Why do I feel a certain way about this?

Warning, this is about to become an A-hole Rant. Not because I’m not religious and do not subscribe to the faulty “sacraments” of all these various existing faiths.  I am indeed a God-fearing man and still respectful towards those who do choose to believe and practice their faith in the way they (are told to) do….

but I’m an intellectual smart-ass if I do say so myself.

“Pray for us”

Listen, I value almost all human life and I am not one to judge who is deserving of life and who isn’t.  Jimmy was in an accident that looked pretty serious.  Too often people are in accidents and don’t live through them.  I’ve been through only one myself and although it wasn’t as serious as this seemed, you do have a “near death” experience with stuff like this.  So I’m sure fear was at play here.  Shock was at play.

“Pray for us”

Pray for whom, exactly?  You?  Your crew?  The people in the other car?  Was there another car even involved?  Who knows?  We DO know that you walked away from the accident, Jimmy, so what exactly are we praying for?  We DO know that you were able to take a picture of the accident remains and email it to a radio gosssip chick, so what exactly are we praying for again?  We DO know that you had the wherewithall to send a Tweet about the accident, so what are we praying for again?  Was there another car involved in the accident?  Were they hurt?  How about us praying for them since you seem to be OK?

Like I said, this is an A-hole Rant so pardon if you don’t see my sensitivity right now.

I’m a hip-hop activist and enthusiast.  I rep the culture, even though I’m thoroughly ashamed of some of the characters who inhabit it nowadays.  I’m not one of these people who immediately turn my nose up at rhymes that depict death, drugs, murder, hoes and sex.  It’s a part of life and entertainment.  As long as these things are acceptable “topics” in movies and TV, then I don’t see an issue with it in hip-hop music.

But when that’s ALL you have to offer in your body of work, then I’m sorry, you don’t register very high on the Sympathy Odometer.

What has Jim Jones offered his audience, faithful and casual?

His whole catalogue and existence is surrounded by gang-affiliated nonsense (don’t get it twisted, that whole Dipset/Byrdgang crap references affiliations with the Bloods gang – people still rep that bullshit in 2011?), drug-dealing and flossing.   He’s thumbed his nose at the idea of giving legends and pioneers the respect they have earned (i.e. Nas & Jay-Z), and has even turned on his boss (Cam’Ron) for a time in a ego-driven quest for his own “shine.”  He talks a lot of shit and talked real tough with a level of adolescent (funny considering he’s almost as old as these “old rappers” he’s had problems with) sneer and disregard.

“I’m gonna smack the kufi off of Nas’ head when I see him!”

And he wants us to pray for him?

Sorry, my dude.  I’m not religious but I’ve been religious for enough time in my life that I know that prayer is deserving to those who have shown a semblance of being meek, humble and serviceable.  You, sir, have been none of the above to your public so why should the faith-abiding public adorn you with prayer?  Because you “blessed” them with a hit song or two?  Because you weave tales in your songs of how you move ki’s of coke and weed through the same streets you and your audience rep?  Because you entertain us with silly talk of how you’ll smack any rap nigga up for talking reckless?  Because you “Blow Your Smoke” while driving in the drop screaming “fuck the cops”?

You walked away from the accident able to Tweet and send emails to a gossip columnist.  Consider your prayer (and miracle) already granted.  Don’t burden us with requests for more prayer than you possibly deserve.

 

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iPhone on Verizon..finally! But….

is it worth it?  How much of a game-changer in the cell phone industry will this be?

Thoughts from an IT Manager/gadget techie.

Let’s start first by making the all-important distinction between 4 key identifiable elements that will be referenced throughout this post:

  • the “device” – the actual piece of physical hardware, in this case the phone itself.
  • the “OS” (Operating System) - the software running on the device.  In this case Android vs Blackberry vs Apple aka iOS (Palm and Windows aren’t worthy of mention in this discussion)
  • the “apps” (applications) – Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, games (such as Angry Birds), Shazam, Google Maps, etc.
  • the “network” – AT&T, Verizon, Sprint (T-Mobile and others aren’t worthy of mention in this discussion), 3G, 4G

Let’s cut right to the chace, shall we?  Ever since the iPhone was first launched back in 2007, the entire cell phone game has changed.  We were already in love with the iPod but to think of a device that is essentially an iPod, with a touch screen, AND we can use it to make phone calls was the coup de grace!  Who needs a palm Pilot anymore?  Who wants to be seen with a flip phone anymore?  RIM (the makers of Blackberry) immediately went from being THE “IT” device to have to now being the “next best thing that you had to settle for” and the only reason why a lot of us continue to settle for a Blackberry is because Apple made a deal with AT&T for AT&T to be the exclusive carrier of the device for 4 years.

Now to the average consumer, it wasn’t all that obvious – or just a fact purposely ignored for the sake of have THE “IT” device at all costs – as to why the AT&T exclusivity would make you think twice: AT&T is quite simply running an inferior network service to Verizon.  Period!  From speed to coverage.  Every person I knew that ran out to get an iPhone boasted of all the apps – and I admit I was envious.  The iPhone can do things that a Blackberry could never dream of doing. 

Plus it just looks better!

Even with some of its few limitations..

it just looks better!

Even though Apple products tend to cost significantly more than other peer products…

it just looks better!

But having been a Verizon customer for many years and knowing of its network superiority, I wasn’t going to bite the bullet.  Even with the tech ability to “unlock” or “jailbreak” an iPhone, I wasn’t going to do it.  I LOVE Apple…in fact I only use a Macbook at home and for DJing purposes.  Just a better, cleaner, hassle-free end-user experience (a hassle for business integration but…eh).

The iPhone almost immediately became the cellular juggernaut.  Developers started putting almost all of their application-building efforts into building stuff for the iPhone.  Damn a trackball, we loved touch-screen!  We loved the accelerometer (portait vs landscape screen orientation).  Blackberry’s are only for work and emails..nothing fun about it anymore….

then Blackberry came with the Storm.  Was supposed to be the “iPhone killer.”  One of many…that came, and failed. Palm Pre.  Fail.  Nokia N97.  Another fail.  Blackberry finally realized it was in over its head trying to compete in the iPhone’s lane and stayed in theirs…they’re excellent devices for work, calendaring, BBMing (the best Instant Messenger/cellular SMS text engine I’ve ever used) and email.  Windows now has a phone that boasts their new OS (Windows 7)…*nonchalant shrug*

HERE COMETH ANDROID!!!

Here comes the next “iPhone killer”….Google Android.  Now we all pretty much use Google for web searches and their maps are pretty decent.  But as a iPhone competitor?  We were all skeptical.  Many have come and many have failed.  It was a slow going but good review after good review after good review kept coming in.  Then the next thing we know, the Android OS was doing iPhone numbers….but of course the Apple supporters made this (fair and accurate) point…

“iPhone is only available on AT&T and only 1 device.  Android is available on all the other networks (including AT&T) so that’s why the Android numbers are so good.”

I’ll compound that by saying that Android isn’t the PERFECT OS…but it is undoubtedly the closest competitor to iPhone.  And since Android can be had on various networks and various devices, you’ll get a mixed response on user acceptance.  I know some people who have Android but it’s running on subpar equipment.  The best analogy for that experience is like having on-board navigation, CD/DVD changer, leather heated seats and chrome rims…on a Hyundai.  No disrespect to Hyundai owners.

So with that being said, I’m an Adroidian fully!  I have the Droid X (by Verizon) and I swear by it.  Verizon has other great devices that run Android.  Even Sprint with their inferior network has a great device or two that run Android and offer a great experience (i.e. the Evo – which offers the dual-camera system very comparable to the iPhone 4’s “Face Time”).  I haven’t used the “Swype” technology yet (where you literally swipe your fingers across they letters you need to make for faster texting/typing) but many people seem to like it a lot.  Google maps on an Android device?  I hardly even use my expensive Garmin GPS in my truck anymore…my phone’s GPS and map system has it beat by far – with live traffic status!

We verizon customers boast the best network but still lacked the iPhone for all these years.  The iPhone on Verizon..”PERFECT MATCH!  I’ll switch when it happens.” Those were the words of my CIO – he and I have been debating gadgets for years.  I felt the same way until I went Droid X a few months ago.  Do I feel the same way now?  No.

I do think AT&T will eventually lose a huge market share because people are now much more aware of how much better Verizon’s network is and are willing to jump ship.  AT&T will offer their current customers many incentives to stay, and my guess is they will quickly find another killer device/OS combo to leverage their coming losses.  It’ll all make for an interesting and fruitful win for us consumers – even if our monthly rates won’t be doing down anytime soon.

EPILOGUE: By no means do I advocate anyone going “above their means” just to be part of the cellular “in crowd.”  I don’t work for any of these technologies and I wouldn’t hawk their high-end products on someone who merely needs their device to make and recieve calls and do an occassional SMS/text message or two – even if you need to press “2277722” to type out “BRB” because you don’t have a full keyboard.  But for those of you who are into this stuff like I am and have the means, this was nothing more than my take on what will undoubtedly be THE chat-bout for the next couple of days – aside from the return of The Game on BET tonight (I’ll be watching the Knicks vs Trailblazers game myself!).

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Ok..so the blog is up.

So now what?

I’ll try to keep this as entertaining and up-to-date and relevant as possible.

#Random….I’ve never seen an episode of Hoarders before but as I glance up at the TV, this show is on and this dude is crying crocodile tears over the fact that they removed hundreds of rats from his home. My dude….ARE YOU FLIPPIN’ SERIOUS?

Oh yeah, I’m not exactly going to always be PG-rated, sometimes it’ll get downright X-rated and sometimes extremely random. Sometimes we take ourselves too seriously – SIT BACK, RELAX, and enjoy my exploits, conquests and musings about …. just regular ole shit.

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