Thursday, August 17, 2017


by Susanna Schrobsdorff

Perhaps the only thing we can agree on at this painfully divisive moment in our national history is that all this anger and derision in which we're marinating isn't healthy. Not for us, not for our kids and certainly not for the country. But as a nation, we can't seem to quit. We're so primed to be mad about something every morning, it's almost disappointing when there isn't an infuriating tweet to share or a bit of our moral turf to defend waiting in our phones.
If we're always ready for battle, any bit of breaking news can bolster the fear that things are out of control. And judging by the rise in violence at political rallies, some things are getting a bit out of control. But as Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, points out, our fears often don't match actual risk. We know, for example, that we're more likely to be killed in a car accident than in a terrorist attack, but that context is lost because the most dramatic and divisive ideas steal our shrinking attention spans.
"In a very fearful and tribalistic society, we run on emotion, which is the currency of social media. It's emotive first," says Levin. But all the sharing and venting we do has toxic side effects. One of those effects is the increased acceptability of crude or violent insults. They are now so commonplace that they fail to shock, whether they're coming from the man in the Oval Office or a late-night comedian. And that ups the ante so that those trying get our attention have to go a little further each time.

Anger is particularly contagious on social media. Researchers at Beihang University in Beijing mapped four basic emotions in more than 70 million posts and found that anger is more influential than other emotions like sadness and joy--it spreads faster and more broadly. This is as much a physical phenomenon as a mental one. Anger gives us a burst of adrenaline and sparks a fight-or-flight response in our nervous system. That in turn can lead to a spike in cortisol, the stress and anxiety hormone. This leaves us even more triggered the next time. And all that is terrible for our health.
No wonder it feels as if the nation is a little sick. It's as if we all have a virus and some of us are more vulnerable to it than others. That is in fact how some social scientists are describing the spread of rage and division. Violence and violent speech meet the criteria of disease, says Dr. Gary Slutkin, founder of Cure Violence and faculty of the University of Illinois, Chicago. Like a virus, violence makes more of itself. Rage begets more rage. And it spreads because we humans are wired to follow our peers.

So if extreme speech becomes acceptable in one realm, it's likely to spread to overlapping realms--from the dinner table to social feeds to a political demonstration. "Undesirable social norms are becoming more prevalent," Slutkin says. And for the more vulnerable, those who are mentally unstable or disenfranchised, this sickness can lead to actual violence directed at the person or institution that symbolizes their disappointment.

Monday, August 14, 2017

BOBBEE BEE: Every US President Makes Unilateral Nuclear Threats. It's an American Tradition

Every US President Makes Unilateral Nuclear Threats. It's an American Tradition

Bruce A. Dixon , BAR managing editor

This week marks the anniversary of two monstrous war crimes, the nuking of two undefended Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and 9, 1945.

The fake history I learned as a child in the 50's and 60's was that the bombings saved the lives of a million Japanese and Americans who would have perished in a land invasion of Japan.

That was a lie.

The US anticipated turning its World War 2 ally the Soviet Union into its postwar enemy, and hoped to scare the scare the Soviets with the terrible carnage its new nuclear weapons would inflict.

The hundreds of thousands murdered at Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the opening acts of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the beginning of a US nuclear armed crime wave which has lasted over 70 years and included each and every US president from Harry Truman to Donald Trump.

This isn’t hype and it’s not exaggeration.

When you rob someone and tell your victim you’ve got a gun, you’re charged with armed robbery whether or not you pull or use the weapon.

By that standard, the US has been a rogue nation on a nuclear armed crime spree now in its eighth decade. A few years ago the American Friends Service Committee compiled a partial list of the times US presidents have openly threatened humanity with nuclear destruction. You can find it by googling “American Friends Service Committee” and “nuclear whitemail.” Here are a few of the dozens of incidents it lists:

 (1.) In 1946 and 1948 President Harry Truman threatened the Soviets over Iran and Berlin, respectively, and the Chinese in 1950 and 51.

2.President Eisenhower also threatened the Chinese over Korea in 1953, and again in 1956 over Quemoy and Matsu. He offered the French nukes to use against the Vietnamese at Dienbienphu in 1954.

(3.) President Kennedy threatened a nuclear strike at the Soviets over Berlin, and sent nuclear armed missiles to Turkey on the Russian border in 1961. Though these were later wisely withdrawn after the nuclear standoff of the Cuban missile crisis, the US has consistently based its nukes on its fleets and bases in the Pacific, in Europe and Asia, and for decades in South Korea.

Presidents Johnson and Nixon menaced North Korea, Vietnam and the Soviet Union with air and seaborne nukes, and President Gerald Ford ordered nuclear armed bombers from Guam to loiter for an extended time off the coast of North Korea.

(4. ) Jimmy Carter issued the Carter Doctrine, reaffirmed by Ronald Reagan which committed the US to a nuclear response if its vital interests in the Middle East were every threatened. Ronald Reagan terrified the world, though he did briefly consider a lasting arms treaty with the USSR.

(5.) Bush 1, Bush 2 and Bill Clinton all menaced North Korea and Iraq, and Obama declared “all options on the table” against Iran.

The AFSC list does not include vital US assistance in developing nuclear weapons technology given to apartheid South Africa which later relinquished its nukes, and apartheid Israel, which currently has missiles aimed at every Arab capital within a thousand miles, and at Iran.

So while Donald Trump’s “fire and destruction” bombast IS criminal and detestable, it’s not new.

It’s merely the latest installment in a long running crime wave by the planet’s number one nuclear armed felon, the United States of America.

U-S-A. Let’s make it great again.

Friday, August 11, 2017


"Country music moves across boundaries like an intrastate."-Tim Elliot.

by Eric D. Graham

Despite all the musical expressions that were presence and highlighted during the 10th Anniversary of the Carolina Music Awards from North and South Carolina, which was held at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh on Saturday, August 6, the presence of country music seemed to take center stage.

So, many people weren't surprised when Tim Elliot, who has been described "as an authentic and passionate blue collar guy" walked off with the 2017 Country Male Artist of the Year Award.

"I am been playing music since I was eight years old." admitted the "country cool" singer from West Jefferson, NC.

"But, I am extremely appreciative of the Carolina Music Awards. Because, they focus so much on the talent that's right here in the Carolinas.

TE, who has great stage presence and connects with his audience during his live shows, is currently on tour and will be performing at Duck's Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, SC on Aug.10, Carolina Night Life in Darlington, SC on Aug.11, and The Wild Horse Saloon in Nashville, TN on Aug.18.

Don't be surprised, however, with songs like "What's Not Love," which TE sings-"Lord Have Mercy. Look at my baby. She drives me 455 kinda of crazy," and his new song "Start Pourin' Whiskey On it"- in his musical catalog, that this "Carolina Country Boy" ends up at the Country Music Award in Nashville instead of Raleigh next year after he gets off the road.

Thursday, August 10, 2017


"She shut that front door for the last time. Like a caged bird who’s been waiting to fly. Small town same job circles end where they start. Compass due west to follow her heart. She can’t let her dreams sit on a shelf.You’ve got to get lost to find life for yourself"-from the song She's gone by Tiffany Ashton

by Eric D.Graham

Congratulations!!!! to Tiffany Ashton, from Winston-Salem, NC for winning the Best Female Country Artist at the (2017) at the Carolina Music Awards, whic...h was held at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts, downtown Raleigh, on Saturday, August 5.

Most of those in attendence, however, were not shocked when her name was called.
Because, Ashton had already been named the Best Country Artist by the Hollywood Music and Media Awards and dubbed Music Row's Renegade Radio New Face of Country as well.
Ashton, who is much more than a pretty face, had a lot of people doing a double-take during the Red carpet due to her beautiful Tangerine-colored evening gown.

When aksed about being possibly promoted for her "looks" rather than her talent, she quickly said that eventhough, physcial appearance plays a role in marketing-the main focus should always be on the voice.

"As an artist, the focus should be on the voice.." said the young country singer, who has already written two albums entitled Southern Sweetheart and Adrenaline Crush.

" It (the focus) should be on the songwriting and on the musicianship."

If anyone is still questioning Tiffany's talent, she has already shared the stage with artists like the Country Music Awards Vocal Duo of the Year-Brother Osborne, LoCash, Luke Combs, Bucky Convington, Cimorelli, Natalie Stovall and Mac Powell of 3rd Day to name a few. Plus, she is currently on tour now, while trying to obtain a degree in Economics at UNC-Charlotte.

"Education is something no one can take away from you" said the Southern Belle, who is a member of the Recording Academy as well as a Grammy voter.

"Especially, with Economics, its goes hand and hand with what I am doing in music. Because, there is a whole economic and marketing side to is so incorporated."

With her Miss America "good-looks," educational background, and strong songwriting skills, Tiffany Ashton is quickly becoming a triple threat in the World of Country music,while establishing a global brand with a fan club from the US, the UK, Canada, Spain,Germany, Australia, Norway and Netherlands.

 To learn more about this future star go to

Wednesday, August 09, 2017



Matt Parker & The Deacons, who were nominated for Best Rock Group and Best Rock/Country Video for their original song "Subsided" at the (2017) Carolina Music Awards, are a band from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, which is an eclectic mix of Bluesy Soul, Rock & Funk.

Plus, I had the pleasure of interviewing them in Raleigh-Wood!!! during the Red Carpet celebration at the CMAs-
This is the Evolution of an MC: Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems Vol.2!!!! by eric d. graham


by Eric D. Graham


With so many rappers clouding the independent music scene with mixtapes and CD's, it was refreshing to see a resurgence of so many R&B artists, who aren't afraid to pour out their hearts and serenade the ladies with a few love songs at the 10th Annual Carolina Music Awards on Saturday, Aug.5 at the Duke Energy Center, downtown Raleigh.
Dre Murro, a native of Raleigh, just happened to be one of those vulnerable voices, attempting to take us back to a time in history, where singing love songs was the norm.

"I'm just trying to bring R&B back. We need love in the music.." said Murro, who had an opportunity to perform at this year's annual Women's Empowerment at the PNC Arena in April.

"Begin on that stage at the PNC Arena and listening to the people give me that positive reaction to the music was amazing." smiled the young singer, who began singing in his church’s youth choir in NC.

Despite all the women screaming during his performance at the Women Empowerment, Murro's biggest fan still seems to be his mother Shelly Moore, who said she gets teary-eyed every time she hears her son sing.

"Every time I hear him on the radio, I record it and send it to him." admitted DeAndre's mother, who said her son was singing in the crib as a baby.

Now, this baby-faced singer from Raleigh has a "New" single entitled Know U Know, which features Memphis, Tennessee rapper Young Dolph that is getting a few spins on the radio in the state and in the Atlanta area.

"Mad love goes to my manager Positive Styles, he linked us up. Dolph loved the track and gave me that heat." said Dre, who just completed a college tour which took him to St.Aug, NCCU, Clark-Atlanta and Hampton University in Virginia.

With a good voice, great management and the unconditional love from a supporting mother, Dre Murro could become a household name not only in the Carolinas. But, throughout the United States. One song at a time.

To read more stories about the (2017) Carolina Music Awards go to



By Eric D. Graham

The sun was shining bright on Saturday, August 5 at Raleigh's Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. But, the stars came out early before the darkness covered the night during the Red carpet celebration at the 10th Annual Carolina Music Awards, which was hosted by Omar McCallop.

One of the brightest stars to shine the brightest, however, was the brilliantly beautiful Imani Pressley, who won the CMAs (2017) Best Female R&B Singer of the Year Award.

"I have been making music since I was nine.." said the sultry singer, who has an audio engineering degree from Greensboro Technical Community College.

"(But) my style has developed into like an urban pop-with a little 'FONK'-with electric overtones, which came from my influence of Prince and Dr.Dre.

While attempting to describe her style & musical genius with words, which includes a smorgasbord of sounds, Pressley, truthfully, could be standing on the tipping-toes of success. Especially, with the release of her highly anticipated album entitled POV.

Because, from my point of view, after watching her live performance of the song "All Night Long" on YouTube, I'm convinced that this multi-instrumentalist and producer is truly blessed with a gift rarely seen in this area.

Why? Because, when asked how does she manage to harness so-much talent in one beautiful body-she just humbly smiled without expressing any sign of arrogance-and simply said... "I really got to give it to God. It's a God-given gift."

With that said, please support this talented young lady by going to and witness the greatness God has placed in her heart and soul.

For more stories about the (2017) Carolina Music Awards go to


"There are 86,400 seconds in a day. It’s up to you to decide what to do with them.”-Jim Valvano


by Eric D. Graham

After the 10th Anniversary of the Carolina Music Awards, which was held downtown Raleigh at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday, Aug. 26, most of the winners and nominees headed to Jimmy V’s Osteria + Bar, which is a unique and modern restaurant created in the memory of the legendary NC State head coach Jim Valvano, who led the Wolfpack in one of the greatest Cinderella stories in college basketball history, when they upset the Houston Cougars by a score of 54–52, which (miraculously) was decided on a last-second dunk by Wolfpack forward Lorenzo Charles -to win the 1983 NCAA Champion.

Unfortunately, Coach V was diagnosed with cancer at 46, which led him and ESPN to create The V Foundation for Cancer Research before his death on April 28, 1993 at the age of 47,) with-one goal in mind: to achieve victory over cancer.

Since its inception in 1993, the V Foundation has awarded over $170 million in cancer research grants nationwide and has grown to become one of the premier supporters of cutting-edge cancer research funds.

Plus, another positive thing about dining at Jimmy V's, is-that (2.5%) of all the profits from the restaurant go to the V Foundation for cancer research.

To learn more go to


"It (Hip-Hop) is alive and well."-OC from NC

by Eric D.Graham

With two-dope albums (Higher Learning and The Second Renaissance) under his belt, Octavius Taylor (aka OC from NC) is a Burlington (B-Town) MC , who could be the next (MC) from the Tar Heel State to crack the glass ceiling of musical success.

Why? Because, his delivery is dope and his (flow) is- fluid like water. Honestly, OC rhymes effortlessly over the production of his producer B Squared (Brandon Smith) in order to make some classic Boom-Bap records. They, truly, are -a dynamic duo in the Carolina music scene.
Despite little national attention, however, Taylor's skills and talent, were not overlooked during the 2017 Carolina Music Awards, which were held in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, Aug.26 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts. Because, he was awarded the 2017 Best Male Hip-Hop Artist of the Year Award.

When OC, who has had the privilege of being the opening act for Nappy Roots and Rapsody, was asked what he thought about the State of Hip-Hop, he stated that if you let the commercial or the Radiocontrol what you listen to, you might be under the impression that there is no great music out there.

I, myself, would have to agree with him. Because, he is definitely putting out some good music worth listening to. So, please go to in order to hear what you have been missing on the radio.

(Pictured below Eric D. Graham (News Reporter/Pocket Full of Ghetto Poems), Octavius Taylor (The 2017 Male Hip-Hop Artist of the Year) and CEO of Born To Get It (Rich Pringle)

Monday, August 07, 2017


"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."-Helen Keller


News Reporter Eric D. Graham along with AJ "V8ga" Hillard of and (CEO) of Rich Pringles were Red-Carpet Ready with their exclusive media coverage of the 10th Annual Carolina Music Awards on Saturday, August 26 at the Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts in Raleigh, North Carolina.


"Music expresses that which can not be put into words and that which can not remain silent"

by Eric D. Graham

The 10th Annual Carolina Music Awards, which was held at Raleigh's Duke Energy Center for Performing Arts on Saturday, Aug.6, was filled with Country Crooners, soulful singers, beautiful women, dignified divas, underground Hip-Hoppers, and future rock stars that came together to celebrate their love for music.
Before the award ceremony, most of the independent artists, who had been nominated, walked the Red carpet in style- in what some people- call "Raleigh-Wood", while posing and smiling for the paparazzi before being interviewed by reporters.

"It's definitely a huge honor being nominated. I am excited. said Brianna Graves, who won the 2017 CMA Model of the Year Award, while being interviewed on the Red Carpet.
According to IndyWeek, Omar McCallop, the event organizer, stated- that the purpose of the Carolina Music Awards was to bring attention to the music industry in North and South Carolina and celebrate it by creating an inclusive, self-perpetuating scene.

As the CMAs continues to grow in popularity, McCallop has plans of taking his award show, which allows youth artist, music and video producers, DJs, artists, and lovers of music to celebrate their talent on the road to Wilmington and Charlotte.

But, until then, It's Welcome To Raleigh-Wood!!!!

(Pictured below: Director of Marketing/Art of Cool Festival (Chelsey Bentley Holts) News Reporter (Eric D. Graham), who locked down the Red Carpet with exclusive and in-depth interviews and Recording Artist Mballa Mendouga)

Thursday, August 03, 2017


CONGRATULATIONS!!! to Winston-Salem State's own Ronald Benson-El for having his film THE CRACKED MASK to be viewed at the 2017 DC Black Film Festival (DCBFF), which is a film festival dedicated to exhibiting quality film, web series and television content by and about people of African descent.

The DCBFF is committed to playing an integral role in discovering, celebrating and helping films and filmmakers by bringing them to the attention of the industry, media and public.

El's film appears in Block 2 of the festival on Friday August 18, 2017 at 2:26pm-2:41 at the The Miracle Theatre 535 8th Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003



Looking forward to seeing you there!!!!!