On the Principle of Connectedness (and Dave Chappelle)

April 2, 2008

Posted by jsmooth995 at April 2, 2008 5:53 AM

True words as always.
"What up son!" :D:D:D
Haha great.

Posted by: E at April 2, 2008 8:14 AM

word...i learned that while working at Six Flags in Games when I was in High School. Selling/Speaking to people was the entire idea so I had to get used to it. I used to be introverted like you said, now I can walk up to any person and start at least a 5 minute conversation. Almost like learning while getting paid. Anyway, it didn't happen overnight. Sometimes, you gotta just do it and fumble A LOT. Look and feel embarassed a couple of times because that's what you're fighting in doing this: that social awkwardness. After awhile, it gets significantly easier and having a legit convo will be no prob. Most think that you have to take some huge social risk, which is really mental, to make that connection. When you think about it, the worst that can come from saying "what up" to somebody ignoring you or cussing your ass out. Either way, that means that they weren't worth the time anyway. Become so comfortable in your own skin that you can brush (or laugh) this off and this "risk" is eliminated. Hell, when you become a comfortable person in your own skin, you'll start making those connections with real ease. But, seriously, don't let nobody's POSSIBLE reaction stop you from becoming more human everyday.


Posted by: lyndon at April 2, 2008 9:33 AM

Just found you. Nice voice.

I feel you; I get shy too. We all do. I have to check myself and say, 'life is short, yo. Too short. Ain't nothing amazing gonna ever happen to you if you don't make it happen yourself.' When we're 50, 60, 70+ (if we're lucky) we won't give a rat's pile of ass who thought what of us. We'll just sit around and regret we didn't say 'yo' to Dave C. Trust.

Lesson learned. Great post!

Posted by: PurpleCar at April 2, 2008 9:47 AM

I completely understand where you are coming from. I’m a very introverted person and would rather hangout with my own thoughts than to have a conversation with someone. However, if I’m pursuing a Master’s degree in Multicultural Literature and planning on getting my Ph.D. in the future in order to become a professor and I don’t care to hold a conversation with someone, then the future looks a bit lonely. So, in some ways, you have to force yourself into conversations with others. Yes, the women (and apparently men) may think you’re trying to get in their pants. However, you may stumble upon someone who could change your life.

And to have a slight fan girl moment…I can’t believe you saw Dave Chapelle!

Posted by: Michelle at April 2, 2008 9:50 AM

I'm the same way. The only person I've ever really done that with is Busdriver, because, well, he's friggin Busdriver. And I'm glad I did, because now we chat every time he's in Seattle for a show. He's a cool guy.

Well, I take it back. I talked to a new guy at work the other day, because I saw that he was wearing a yarmulke, and I thought, "I bet he has interesting things to tell me."

Posted by: Jason at April 2, 2008 11:40 AM

There is a saying in Cape Town, South Africa.
Dave did run this way (I think it was for the wine, the weed and the cleavage…only joking Dave)
Anyway the expression is Eish!
It sounds like when you reverse the word shit in an audio editing program.
You had an Eish! moment.
As a person who is a non-stop talking, no dead-air, ever evolving extroverted drama queen…er-r-r i mean king; i can tell you, your moment happens to us all.
So be of good cheer, we are all of the same Stardust and eventually the dusted capital will flow your way, cause you got it coming. And i just know you have an intelligent plan to expand, connecting us all.

By-the-by, i don’t do TV here in South Africa (we actually didn’t get the show here); however i did buy the first two seasons of Chappelle’s Show on DVD - very expensive to get in the Southern Hemisphere. So hopefully a portion of the profit he got from me will get to you.

Posted by: audiodramatist at April 2, 2008 11:42 AM

love the idea...i'll connect with at least 5 random people today. screw that, i'm not going to hold myself back by putting a number on it. love what you do smooth. keep it up.

Posted by: stewy at April 2, 2008 12:03 PM

haha i had an extremely similar run in with dave too

i didnt say shit

damnit, maybe he wouldve given me some money to become a famous rapper

Posted by: jack at April 2, 2008 1:41 PM

I feel EXACTLY the same way at times.

There's times when I rationalize not going up to a person. Then, months later, I found out that a connection could had happened, but didn't. I'm trying my best not to let the shy me take advantage of any given moment, because it could be just one step closer to finding something you are looking for.

Posted by: Nukirk at April 2, 2008 2:03 PM

nice. are you a friend of Bill W.?

Posted by: eric at April 2, 2008 2:09 PM

So true, we think way to much of what others think.

And J Smooth, found this video-blog a couple of weeks ago and ran through every episode, and I basically agree with everything you've said so far, great thoughts!

And this is the only blog/videoblog I've ever liked, keep up the good work.

Posted by: Mac at April 2, 2008 2:31 PM

i know exactly what youre saying..

i'm back home for spring break for the week and the suburb i grew up in is typical white/conservative/racist/bla so i generally dont try to reach out and make connections with people cuz most of them just give me dirty looks or call me a fag for wearing my hair in a pony tail (this actually happened)

anyway my point is that i KNOW that not EVERYONE in this place is like that and I must be missing out on some good connections and maybe I should just such it up and take the bad with the good.. even if that means being a pony tail wearing faggot
haha i hate this town

Posted by: colin at April 2, 2008 2:57 PM

Eric: haha, no but people close to me have been.. I am friend of friend of bill?

Posted by: Jay Smooth at April 2, 2008 3:00 PM

GREAT video jay...I'm def. on point with you on this topic - shouldah/wouldah/coudah moments happen all the time {yes, even in the midwest son!}

Posted by: Vizion at April 2, 2008 3:39 PM

You're right, Jay. I'm too introverted, and have had experiences like the ones you describe. I'll try to make an effort to connect more often. Love the Dave Chappelle voice, and cool tee shirt you're wearing.

Posted by: Mark at April 2, 2008 3:48 PM

You know what cures this? Petitioning. Seriously. I've done it for the past month and a half and have met the most interesting, awkward, funny, smelly people (including our district assemblyman, a bunch of folks running for office and handing out jobs, and even almost Bill Clinton). Once you walk around town with a clipboard and a grab line - Would you like to help make college affordable? - for a couple hours a day, making the jump to everyday situations isn't too difficult.

Posted by: ann at April 2, 2008 3:58 PM

Damn. I *knew* I should have said hello to Minnie Driver after I crashed into her in the security line at SFO airport.

Posted by: Cheryl Colan at April 2, 2008 4:17 PM

yo, this is the third or fourth of your videos I've seen and I gotta say it's good man, it's good to have people talking to the state of hip hop, keeping it real. Loved your bit on hip-hop is dead.

Now we just need to find Dave Chappelle and tune him into this. Based on the way I've heard him talk about hip-hop, I'm sure he'd dig it.

Posted by: Louis Simoneau at April 2, 2008 9:09 PM


You've inspired me to take advantage of our connectedness here on the internet. I've never commented or anything, but I've been following your vlog for a minute now, and I really love it.

I'm currently with Teach for American, teaching middle school in inner-city Baltimore, and I've found excuses to use your videos in my classroom as often as I can. I use it introduce political discussions (I teach social studies), to focus the class, and sometimes to breach topics that I might otherwise not touch on.

For instance, you Machine Guns and Stupid Choices video served for an amazing discussion piece in my classroom. It let me talk to kids about code switching for urban youth, sociolinguistics in our society, and being able to adapt to our different contexts. My kids are young and smart and at a school where lots of people care for them. They have so many options, and that video helped me show them that having an option available to you does not mean that you'll automatically be ready to take advantage of that option if you choose it. They need to learn to adapt from one situation to the next, because any kid coming out of Baltimore, and Parks Heights in particular, who hopes to make it in college, needs to have a large social skill set and a wide range of social experience to succeed. I know it from personal experience, jumping from south Houston high school dropout to dean's list TFA altruistic warrior, but sometimes personal credibility cannot compete with turning the lights out, the volume up, and letting kids hear it from someone other than their teacher.

You're doing real big things, Jay. I appreciate it as a life-long hip-hopper and a fledgling educator. From one teacher to another, keep up the good work.

Derek "Mr." Davidson

Posted by: Derek at April 2, 2008 10:58 PM

I've been in the exact same situation:

I was at an Ice Cube/Dogg Pound concert in the city (New York City), and who walked by me but Jermaine Dupri! So I sit there, with my demo of beats thinking "Damn... That was Jermaine Dupri!" So, I wait, and ask the intimidating security guard who else is in the building, I see Jermaine Dupri walk by again, I hesitate, and then I run off after him. Long story short, I missed Jermaine Dupri. So instead of sitting here right now, I could be the VP of Virgin Records Urban or some shit.

I really appreciate what you do Jay, I've been a fan since like last summer, and watching your videos is one of the highlights of my week.

And I'm sorry about the lost venture capital, we can commiserate together.

Keep up the good work,
Grant R.

Posted by: G-Harp The Producer at April 2, 2008 11:50 PM

I know exactly what you mean. When I'm out here doing my road warrior thing I wind up talking to all kinds of random people. It's easier the further west you go, but generally I try to strike up a conversation with strangers as often as it makes sense.

Tonight I stood in the lobby of the hotel for 45 minutes talking to this lady and her son about their visit to Seattle. When all was said and done they invited me to go to some sporting event (not sure which one, not into sports). I declined, but told them how much I appreciated the invite nonetheless.

Posted by: Steven Klassen at April 3, 2008 12:51 AM

You may have missed him out in the street, but I'm willing to bet that this video will soon find its way to Dave. Just watch.

True words...those unlikely and sometimes unexpected connections can hold a lot of power. what really blows me away though, is when someone else initiates the connection, and you find yourself gaining knowledge from someone that you least expected, at a moment/place that you least expected...it's crazy how that works out sometimes.

Posted by: Gureala at April 3, 2008 8:30 AM

"He who hesitates is lost." This is True Mr. Smooth. It is also true that you do a very good Dave Chappelle impersonation. Good luck with the Venture Capital, you deserve it. and thanks for remind me to Honor our Connectedness. I will remember to do that much more often. So if I am ever in NYC and I see you in a white SUV chillin' with Dave, I will be sure to step and say hello.

Posted by: Brothajohn at April 3, 2008 10:18 AM

i hope your "punk" ass sends that to dave chapelle!!!


Posted by: tetiana at April 3, 2008 10:41 AM

by the way, I did bump into Tim Meadows getting off a plane one time and I did say hello and that I liked his humor. He was nice, said thanks, smiled genuinely and his staff was cool too. Not exactly Dave Chappelle and venture capital, but, you know, ... connectedness! So it was cool.

Posted by: Brothajohn at April 3, 2008 10:52 AM

As always, I love the insight and honesty. I ran into Jam Master Jay one time after a show years ago, and had to talk myself into going up to shake his hand, and tell him what an influence and inspiration he was to me. I am so glad I got to experience that moment. You never know when someone might not be around to ever run into them again, especially in Hip Hop. Word Life

Posted by: Jay Plus at April 3, 2008 11:17 AM

Next time I run into Dave, I'll be sure to mention illdoctrine to him! :D

If he has a camera, I'll tell him to send in some UGC! :D

Posted by: bill c. at April 3, 2008 4:11 PM

Love your blog Jay! I met Dave about 5 years ago here in Boston a day after he had a show. I met him coincidently outside of one of the nicest, most posh restaurants in the city. I was leaving work crazy late, and who's on the corner smoking an American Spirit? Rick James, Bitch!! HAHA! Nah, it was Chapelle!! I got the same reserved spirit about myself, but I couldn't contain! After just talking to dude for like 5 minutes, myself and a couple of my co-workers convinced him to do the Black Heritage Trail (www.nps.gov/BOAF). I have to admit, the one time I came out of a shell, dude was one of the realest people on the face of the earth. However, I gotta learn to come out of my shell more often, and send him the T-shirt he requested 5 years ago...

Posted by: JaeGordon at April 4, 2008 10:39 AM

I feel that man.
Conectedness is always ruined by discomfort.
there is always that connect between the eyes then we suddenly close our mouths and look down to our feet...who gives a damn about the feet.
Walk with feet...talk with people.
I had a similar situation with Lupe fiasco in the airport in St.Louis...I double took because I was like, is that really Lupe?! then he looked like "yup it's me"...no words just emotion... I shoulda said sumthing.

Posted by: Celsito at April 6, 2008 2:32 PM

Nice principle. Nice shirt.

Keep rocking.

Posted by: DeLuca at April 7, 2008 6:30 AM

I do that all the time (avoiding conversations). It never really occurred to me that being a bit more forthcoming isn’t that hard, and can turn out really nice. Nice one.

Posted by: Paul D. Waite at April 7, 2008 5:24 PM

This was so interesting. I mean, having lived with you for a short time, I always marveled at your two different personalities. How extrovertd you are in front of a camera, and how reserved you are normally. It has always baffled me, in a clark kent/superman kinda way. But it also adds to the brilliance of what you do. Though we all should honor our connectedness, we should also honor the idiosyncracies, that make us special. because who's to say that the extroverted john, would be as dope in front of the camera. i tend to believe that things are as they should be, and that life, like all things tend to pull toward a balance, simply for preservation. shit, dave chappelle is prob just as shy, hence his brilliance as well. But yeah dude, you took us to church on this one!

Posted by: Jason Reynolds at April 8, 2008 3:29 AM

This was so interesting. I mean, having lived with you for a short time, I always marveled at your two different personalities. How extrovertd you are in front of a camera, and how reserved you are normally. It has always baffled me, in a clark kent/superman kinda way. But it also adds to the brilliance of what you do. Though we all should honor our connectedness, we should also honor the idiosyncracies, that make us special. because who's to say that the extroverted john, would be as dope in front of the camera. i tend to believe that things are as they should be, and that life, like all things tend to pull toward a balance, simply for preservation. shit, dave chappelle is prob just as shy, hence his brilliance as well. But yeah dude, you took us to church on this one!

Posted by: Jason Reynolds at April 8, 2008 3:30 AM

i like you and ur blog, u honest and this post just reminded me that we are all human, have so many momnets like that and always beat myself up about it...yet to the world I come across as this self-assured confident woman who doesnt mind standing on her own...i'll remember to have faith in the inherit connectedness of all human beings next time and if they dont respond then its on them not me!
from: south african girl

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hahaha nice

[gratuitous promo redacted, please don't make comments just for the sake of promo links] to check out some new music and his new single called "get silly" which was produced by Soulja Boy! check it out and see what you think

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Posted by: Jaz at April 15, 2008 11:55 AM

that was like the hip-hop/jewish-amerikan version of paulo coehlo's "the alchemist." brilliant.

keep ignoring the little hater in your head and do what you do. a plethora of respect and love, brother.


p.s. that is EXACTLY what dave chapelle woulda sed sun!

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