Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Target needs to get it together!

I went to my local Target this evening and had an interesting experience to say the least. Since it's December 14th, I made it my business to go purchase Tank's new album, Now or Never, and I was surprised to see that it was not on the shelves. I looked in the Rap and R&B section after noticing that the CD wasn't stocked with the new releases and it was not there either. The average consumer would have simply assumed that the CD was not in that particular store and left without it. Luckily, I'm not the typical consumer and I'm a Tank fan to the max so I decided to investigate the issue at hand.

I walked to the electronics department and the sales associate seemed eager to assist me. I politely asked, "Have you guys stocked your new releases yet?" And he replied "Yeah," so I followed up by asking him if they were done and he looked puzzled. I finally decided to stop beating around the bush and told him that Tank's CD was what I was looking for. He went to the back and promptly brought out a box and put it near the register. He hands me one Now or Never CD and turns to walk away. "Excuse me," I say. "I don't just want one. I want them on the shelf so other people can buy them too." He laughs, grabs a stack of the CDs and walks over to where the new releases are  showcased. To make a long story short, I got my Tank CD and I made sure that others in Carson, California have the opportunity to do the same.

I wonder why Ciara's new CD, Basic Instinct, was on display along with Nicki Minaj, Avant and others while Tank's was boxed up in the back. The purpose of this post is to show how tough it is for musicians to make a living these days. If their albums aren't being leaked, they're not being sold in stores properly. I've been a Tank fan since the eighth grade when I would stay up late to watch the "Maybe I Deserve" video so it's no surprise that a person like me would go out of the way to purchase his album. But what about other people? They probably differ. It's so simple to click "download" on a computer and obtain new music these days so artists are forced to find other ways to make money. It's just sad.

I previously wrote an article/blog about whether or not an artist's amount of twitter followers measure their success and this outing at Target reminded me of it. As a fan of good music, I vow to actually go out and purchase albums to ensure that artists that I love stay relevant. Are there any artists that you'd make a sales associate at Target go check the back for? If so, please share in the comment section.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

I'm so grateful...

Words cannot express my gratitude. Earlier today I was awarded the Larry McCormick Scholarship by the Black Journalists Association of Southern California. Not only did I get money that will enable me to finish my senior year with less financial stress, but I left more encouraged than ever before. As I sat at the scholarship banquet with my mother (who, might I add, was beyond proud) I began to reflect on my life.

I'm finally approaching my college graduation , but it has been a long, hard road. I have made my fair share of mistakes and I'm graduating way later than I had planned. All that aside, I manage to impress myself and others when I work diligently to achieve my goals. My list of goals is quite long, but my desires to eliminate some of my debt and make steps toward a career in journalism were met today and this excites me.

One of the most amazing parts about today was meeting the other students that were awarded scholarships as well. A majority of them attend prestigious universities and none of them were as "old" as I am. Instead of feeling inadequate, I appreciated the differences that existed and became more appreciative. Some of their schools provide them with greater resources and tools to succeed. Their schools more than likely disseminated information about the scholarships while students and faculty at my school had no clue that this opportunity existed. I was not there by chance. I was the only student from my school to apply and I was awarded a major scholarship. I'm so happy and proud of us all.

Another awesome moment that I'd like to share is the appearance of KTLA's, Michaela Pereira. Luckily, during the scholarship application process I was able to interview her along with a few other professional journalists but I never expected to meet her so soon. She came and spoke so kindly of me in reference to my quest for the interview and future in journalism. I was so happy and amazed that this woman that I watch on television each morning came to present my scholarship. I truly feel blessed.

The purpose of this post is not to brag or share photos from the event, but it is to inspire you to do what makes you happy. There are so many people that never accomplish their goals, and there are many others who never bother to set them. Do not be content with mediocrity. As far as I know, we only have one life so why waste it? Why complain all the time? Why hate your job when there is a way to find a new one? Why say that you "want to go back to school" when you can simply go enroll? It's important to want better for yourself but it's more important to do better for yourself.

With the new year approaching I'd like to give you a task. Instead of (or in addition to) setting a new year's resolution, write down three goals that you'd like to achieve in 2011. I've found that writing stuff down makes things a lot easier. Write these goals down and if they're not too personal, feel free to share them in the comment section or shoot me an email. I'd love to know how you plan to prosper.

If you're interested in seeing more photos and reading about the BJASC Scholarship Reception or the organization in general, click here.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.