Last week, I wrote about several days worth of disappointment that correlated with the stories of what happened with A-Rod and Chris Brown. Honestly it sounds like its gonna get worse on both fronts, but today I’m gonna be more positive, because there is much to be happy about.

Ken Griffey, Jr made his way back to Seattle yesterday signing a 2-year deal with terms undisclosed at the moment. The Kid is back in Seattle. Then Devine Carama, THE Lexington Legend (and not because he played baseball) released his album a couple of weeks ago. Finally, Joe Budden is releasing his second official album today, February 24, 2009. I will actually do album reviews on the Devine and Budden projects later today.

Ken Griffey, Jr. carried my childhood, literally. Because of him I love baseball, used to rocka Mariners hat (teal bill) backwards, I wanted to grow up to play center field for the Seattle Mariners… I even tried to bat lefty to emulate Griffey (which actually put the bat on the ball more often than when I swung my “natural” right hand swing). Like most kids in the Greater Seattle area I idolized Ken Griffey, but to me there was a different connection, because I Griffey looked like me and was a true role model for kidslike me. After an unsuccessful transition to the National League, Ken Griffey is back in Seattle. I am willing to forget all of the crap in the middle, because I am just glad to have that recognizable persona,and the guy that Edgar Martinez drove in against the Damn Yankees back in the ’95 ALDS, to win the franchise’s first playoff series.

In the case for Devine Carama, I have a different stake in the success. I am an avid supporter, friendand occasional contributer. In general music like his should be more popular and get more commercial play, but that’s neither here nor there. I have literally seen dude blossom as an artist, changing from the guy you couldn’t tell nothing on his Kanye West ish, to an overqualified local emcee, with a very, very good album. Throughout it all, the best part about Devine is how he is with his fans. You go to one of his shows and you’ll quickly observe everybody knows him, if they don’t by the end of the show they will, and he genuinely is a fan of the music. It’s so refreshing to see an artist out to make quality music and not just money. It is even more refreshing to see the public wanting the album and starting to build a buzz about Lexington’s hidden gem.

Joe Budden is doing everything in his power to overtake Redman as my favorite rapper. Most everyone reading this, and for that matter the general public, don’t know much about Joe beyond “Pump it Up,” but he has been putting out some of the best music since he stepped on the scene. And now in 2009, Budden essentially relaunching his mainstream career with his latest release Padded Room. Don’t fret, the music is great and Joe never disappoints, unless you are a lazy listener, then go back to your radio playlist. I say this all the time and I mean it, bar for bar your favorite lyricist is not touching Joe, and slowly but surelyI think that will start to show. This recession, the times we live in and the overall frivolousness of music these days is starting to wear on people, just check sales numbers for the top selling albums now and compare them with albums 10, 15, 20 and so on years ago. Joe is one of the people that will be at the front of said change and fortunately the music and not the sales are the motivation.

I root for people. Especially people I feel like I can relate to. Joe Budden is probably the realest on the mic, Devine is literally right where I am, and Ken Griffey playing baseball for my Mariners was definitely the highlight of my childhood. In all three cases, I know that there won’t be the great worldly “success” that everyone strives for. Joe isn’t going platinum, Devine still has a long way to go to get to where he deserves to be, and Griffey is nowhere near the player he was when he left Seattle. But it is nice to see people where they want to be and enjoying their lives, especially after the documented struggles they have all encountered.

Just for memories sake:

Welcome back Griffey. Dont bring back the teal hats though!

Welcome back Griffey. Don't bring back the teal billed hats though!

Oh to be young again…


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