Aug 04 2012

MADDSKILLZ Update (Best of August)


Best of August

1SKILLZ Management (

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 03)


Quote of the Month- “(Pay attention, people.) I have skills. Mad skills.” –Lawrence Murray (August 03)

Quote of the Month- “You can’t just skip August!” Zack Malet (August 04)

Quote of the Month- “I spoke at my old high school and I told them kids, straight up-if you guys are serious about makin’ it out of this ghetto…You gotta focus. You gotta stop blamin’ white people for your problems, and you gotta “learn”… how to rap or play basketball or somethin’” Dave Chappelle (August 05)

Quote of the Month- “If I don’t get the quote of the month I’m going to kill you and kick you out of the posse”, Justin Plummer (of the FAMED POSSE), who threatens me only to get quote of the month, just like last season (August 06)

Quote of the Month- “First day when I came to Freedom School I thought I was going to have the best but that didn’t came to be the same summer that I thought it will be but it wasn’t. It was only two girls in the class. It was really worst and some difficulty for me. And know that it is three days know I we can do better for Brother Lawrence…” a note from one of my third grade scholars about how much of a struggle/challenge/failure this summer has been. I have a half dozen more of these notes, and I chose not to correct the grammatical errors, it’s clear enough. (August 07)

Quote of the Month: “…It’s not even close. Nas’ album could be a classic, and Tha Carter III is ‘entertaining’,” Keenan Willis when asked to compare Nas’ new album with Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III. I definitely used Lil Wayne as entertainment as I used a track off of the album (“Phone Home”) to make a skit at work about Planet Weezy taking over Mars in 150 years. The skit was very “entertaining” and it had select co-workers (Mark, Brynn) questioning my chemical dependency. (August 08)

Quote of the Month: “I don’t know what to say, I don’t know what’s happening here, okay. We are falling apart. Now I swore the new uniforms would be encouragement, the Mighty Ducks didn’t disappoint, Emilio Estevez, you know what I’m saying? Now when you’re out there, and they put that D on you, take that D! Take that D like the champions that you are. Okay? You guys are better than this.” Drake, during the cut scene of the music video for “B(r)e(a)st I Ever Had”. How did Drake’s team get to the championship?! Compared to “Dr. Carter”, Drake is about as good a coach as Lil Wayne is a doctor! (August 09)

Quote of the Month: “You already know what it is!” Your boy Willie Smith, my CYLA teammate and new roommate along with San Jose’s own Marcus McKoy and Justice Corps road warrior Jesse Ramos from NC. Yes, someone actually let us be roommates. (August 2010)

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 04)

First Thoughts (August 03)- What’s going on, everybody (Really, I need to know)?!? It has been one week at our home country, and for me, the transition is complete. I have been excited to write my first MADDSKILLZ UPDATE for a long time, but not everyone knows what the deal is with it. So I’m going to explain the only way I know how: investigative questioning.

What is the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE? This is a question that is annoying to answer, but it must be done. By using the other questions.

Who writes the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE? Next question, please. (For those who honestly need to know, my name is Lawrence Murray. I went to Spain over the course of 30 days with a group of nice people [that’s what they told me, anyway] and it was a great experience. I was the quiet guy in the back of the crowd with a habit for doing some wild, puzzling things. I like basketball. Among other things. I have a sense of humor and any jokes I tell during these updates are jokes that you may or may not get [most people call these inside jokes. Just so you know]. Any jokes about you means you will have to smile and get over it. And if you see me in your neighborhood, and I’m lost, please remember I’m from Philadelphia.)

Where is the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE written from? Here’s another question: Who cares? (Because if you care, tell me so and I’ll answer any questions you might have.)

How do I write the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE? By typing. With my hands. I don’t have a ghost typer. I can’t afford to pay one.

When do I write the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE? The first of every month. That is not a sarcastic answer.

Why am I doing the MADDSKILLZ UPDATE? Because I love you all. (Reality Input: Because I felt like it…)

Now that that is over with, I’ll keep this brief because if I write too much, I’ll get worse reviews for this update then Ben and Jen got for “Gigli”:

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 05)

First Thoughts (August 04)- I’ll be honest after not being honest, if that’s possible. I wasn’t expecting to do an update this month, and I told almost no one. Number one, my computer’s hard drive wasn’t working most of this month, but the new drive came a week early. That’s all good, but I had a really bad Friday night as well, another “cultural disagreement” with my Dad that turned into a nasty fight. I’m obviously over it though, so let me say that: August is the most uneventful month of the year. Sure my brother turns 13 in 5 days. That is IT! Let’s run through the months of the year real quick: January (first month of the new year, and my birthday five days later), February (Valentine’s Day, where everyone thinks they’re in love), March (St. Patrick’s Day, where everyone figures out Valentine’s Day was overrated and they get drunk and have a one-night stand), April (holy and commercialized month #1), May (Memorial Day…and one of those parental holidays), June (Memorial Day #2 [graduations] and one of those parental holidays), July (Independence Day and Nikka’s b’day), September (Labor Day…an oxymoron of a holiday), October (two of the worst excuses for a holiday in Columbus Day and Halloween), November (Thanksgiving), and December (holy and commercialized month #2). I rest my case…

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 06)

-The food in this country is good. The food in Spain is good. But the food from Telepizza is still bad. (August 03)

-So I finally got to visit my place of in-season residence for the next four years (more or less). California University of Pennsylvania…who was the mastermind who came up with that. Now it is in a remote town called California, and it is a university (excuse me, U-niversity) and it is in Pennsylvania, therefore it is OF Pennsylvania. That’s some good name justification, but that’s all the justification there is. If I wanted a conversation with Rocco the supermarket man, I could have one easily, even if I knew nothing about him. I would just say, “Hey Rocco, I’m going to (said college).” Rocco says, “I’m about to take this cash with me.” I say, “No it’s not in Pacific Ocean California, it’s in a city California…” Rocco: “If they catch me I’m going to say you talked me into it…” Me: “…it’s about 45 minutes south of Pittsburgh…” Rocco: “…They already know I’m not mentally qualified for this job…” Me: “…I know it’s confusing, and it’s so long, 14 syllables…” (August 05)

-Last month I talked about my procrastination skills in terms of applying to City Year to become a corps member for 2009-2010 and getting to what was to be my first of two interviews. Well I can say for sure that I will be with City Year for 2009-2010! I’m very excited to be in Philadelphia full time and fulfilling a 10 month service commitment. In addition to being a part of City Year, this gives me an opportunity to get the rest of my life in order for a year. I’m still developing in terms of finding my place in the world. A bachelor’s degree didn’t change that, and I won’t be done after City Year, but I’m taking some steps in the right direction. Gotta stay moving though! (August 09)

-The worst thing in America right now? Call me crazy, but I think the way people do politics is the reason why there is so much societal unrest. I’m not even talking about politicians! I’m talking about everyday individuals who only think with one side of their brain. Some people love politics (RE: hate political adversaries) like they’re cheering on a sports team! Or rather, just straight up booing the other team constantly. Only in sports, there’s the redeeming factor that it’s a game and that you can show sportsmanship. There is no such thing as sportsmanship in politics, so people just lob attack bombs relentlessly. And a lot of those political attacks hit unintended targets. I trust no politician, I don’t believe in any elected officials. Politicians talk about issues and problems all the time, but their solutions are usually weak or nonexistent. For example, you have people who criticize Obama’s health care plan as being expensive and socialist. Hell, it might be. But those same people who criticize it have no solutions to the problem, plus they’re complaining about not getting as much free will to pick doctors (or something like that) while apparently ignoring all the people who don’t have health care at all! That’s the bigger problem right? But I’m going to stop, because I see I’m talking about a national problem without any solutions myself! (August 09)

-I don’t know why, but I have to make a “sincere” apology to the oldest girls bunk at camp, G7. Specifically to Stephanie and Jasmine. So here it goes: I sincerely apologize for beaming you and your bunk with my high powered dodgeballs. I forgot that when playing dodgeball with any group of people, my out of control arm strength and reckless accuracy could potentially cause injury. I will assure all those that play from now on that I possess these attributes (these madd skillsz) and I agree to serve as a catch/throw/MOVE instructor for 30 seconds before all dodgeball games. Sincerely (and I’ll leave space to sign my name)                              Your Daddy. (August 06)

-A government worker was recently arrested in a D.C. Subway, spending three hours in jail before being released. The reason? Finishing a PayDay on the train. Since when can’t you put nuts in your mouth in public? (August 04)

-And in RetardNation…There is supposed to be a Rush Hour 3, but Chris Tucker is making so many demands that the movie is going nowhere fast. Now…what the hell is Chris Tucker thinking?! He hasn’t done anything since Rush Hour 2! And that was like 3, 4 years ago! This holdout is the most retarded holdout since Terrell Owens holding out for more money to feed his family…I don’t know, if being the third highest paid wide receiver doesn’t do it for you, your family’s screwed TO. And that reference to Jesus was also something straight out of RetardNation. Jesus did take a lot of hits TO, just like you. But Jesus would have came back, did training camp, and won a Super Bowl…can I get an Amen… (August 05)

-We need to have more discussions and fewer disCUSSions… (August 07)

-In a related story, it’s becoming clear that the news media is just another form of reality TV. People always get angry at the news, but like reality TV, they keep watching! It is important to understand that the news is (faux) entertainment. Reporting is a select interpretation of events, and commentary is a collective reflection of somebody’s demographical thoughts. This might be the only time you hear me defend Fox News in the MADDSKILLZ Update. Relating this to the War on Ignorance, it wouldn’t help anybody if Fox News was banned or censored. I don’t have a problem with any news outlet being exposed, but it helps nobody if a news outlet is not allowed the opportunity to share their bullsmack perspectives! Fox News knows the deal. News is entertainment, and they are interested in high ratings. They have that, as well as the ire of many. Fox News isn’t changing for anybody! The main reason why people get heated watching the news is because they expect the news to tell them the truth or to say something the way they want to hear it. 1SKILLZ is telling you, don’t get mad at the messenger. Reality TV is, in a way, a semi-scripted sometimes exaggerated reflection of real life. With that in mind, hear what the messenger says and then find out about the root of the messages for yourself! (August 09)

-I’ve been in LA for three weeks, and quite possibly the most annoying question/comment that I get is about the women. Is there a such things as Regional Attraction Perception (RAP)? Well, because I capitalized it, I’m saying that there is. I really think that there is something in people’s minds that sees beauty (or, whatever the opposite of beauty is) in where a lady is from. I’ll keep it real for right now though. I don’t like a lot of makeup. And there are a lot of Barbie dolls out here, so yes, there are a lot of unattractive women in LA. But this is also coming from someone with a face that scares women and small children, so let me get back to my original point. There is definitely Regional Attraction Perception! Ask a girl where she’s from. Some like a girl from Texas, some like that she’s from the Pacific Northwest, some get really interested all of a sudden that she’s from Brazil, and some lose interest immediately because she’s from Alaska. Seriously, if Sarah Palin was from Miami, she’d be that much hotter. No? Let’s move on… (August 2010)

-Fun With Lyrics: D! M! X! Rapper DMX was arrested this past month in Phoenix on suspicion of theft and (get this) identity theft. Authorities say that D! M! X! gave the name “Troy Jones” and an incorrect Social Security number to avoid paying medical expenses. I had the Brother Dwight over and my brother immediately played the music video “What’s My Name?” It is clear that DMX wants to “Stop Being Greedy” and share costs with others, but the man who kept shouting “What’s My Name?!!” is really confusing us. Now, what IS his name?! Is it D! M! X? Is it Earl Simmons? Is it Troy Jones? Is it Darius Martin Xavier? Darko Manuel XI? Sean Combs? Is the name DMX “Slippin’”? Is there a new “Ruff Ryders Anthem” that suggests you stop, drop, and change names before you open up shop? Are you allowed to “Party Up” with just any name? So many questions and only DMX knows “How’s It Goin’ Down”… (August 08)

-I’ll say this about the World Cup final: That was must have been one harsh “Yo momma” joke that Italian told Zidane to get head butted like that. (August 06)

-Dwight (of the famed posse) invited me to a 7:00 league game one evening, but when we got to the park where the game was to take place, the news on the street was that the game had been cancelled because someone had beat up the referee earlier. Well, as Dwight (of the famed posse) says: “(The) streets are crazy, man!” (August 04)

-About the only thing that I hear about this space shuttle is how many issues it has with it. You know something, science is messing us up! We shell out so much money to find out what’s going on in space, we come back with these crappy pictures that only the science populace can appreciate, and we’re putting people at risk just so we can see some rocks before Russia does. Live 8 just happened? Here’s what you do to raise some real awareness. Take all of those performers, and instead of putting them in cities around the northern hemisphere, stick them in a rocket ship and have them play up there, that will get people’s awareness up real quick: “Jay-Z and Linkin Park we’re out of this world!” “I know, but I wish Coldplay didn’t get stuck on Venus…” (August 05)

-First Paris spends time in jail for a DUI, now Lindsay Lohan gets busted for a DUI and possession. Before you know it, Britney Spears will get caught driving with a kid in her lap…oh wait. (August 07)

-I think I got caught in a thunderstorm like 5 times last month…each time asking God to spare me for sinning at work… (August 06)

-Kickball should be a pro sport. Or at least a bad movie. (August 04)

-You know how there are these video game reviewers that come out with studies or reports of indecent content on games? How much time do you think is between the time they found this stuff out and when they actually decided to let people know about it?! “Hey this game has all kinds of sex, drugs, and even violence Chuck!” “Wait a minute Leo…we need further investigation!” “Good idea, I’m still on level 2 anyway!” (August 05)

-Johnnie Cochran once said that everything in America comes down to race. I think everything in America really comes down to money. Who cares about race more than cash? Anytime race is bought up, money is at least an underlying factor. Racial relations are still an issue in America, but the Wu-Tang Clan had it right when they said Cash Rules Everything. (August 09)

-If you drink and drive, you may cost a life. But if you have a bike, and you dope and drive, you could win the Tour de France. (August 06)

-Roughhouse: a game of basketball where there are infinite participants, every player for them self, trying to score as many points to a limit. When you play this game on the street, you can count on three things: intense streetballers; one incredibly fat court jester who scores a lot and pisses you off in the process; and one drunk/stoned participant who laughs all the time and has dangerous mood swings, but isn’t dangerous on the court because he shoots from half court the whole time. (August 04)

-R and Beef? I find it funny that R&B singers like R. Kelly and Trey Songz are beefing. There’s battle rap and battle of the bands, but what is this, battle baritones?! At least the Keri Hilson vs. Beyoncé type stuff was kept within R&B. When Mariah Carey’s “Obsessed” came out, her and Nick Cannon denied the song having anything to do with Eminem. Except that Eminem doesn’t need much to get started. Now we see what happens when a singer pisses off a rapper. We get Mariah Carey vs. Eminem, PPV! If you haven’t heard Eminem’s “The Warning”, just imagine Stone Cold Steve Austin versus Stephanie McMahon in the ring, circa 2001. (August 09)

-Nelly is now part-owner of the expansion NBA squad, the Charlotte Bobcats. Which means that it might be “Hot in Herre” in Charlotte now, but they’ll need some more “Pimp Juice” before scoring on the court. But the team sneakers will be those hot “Air Force Ones”, and even though they face the “Dilemma” of being a bad team this year, they’ll learn some “Country Grammar” eventually and Nelly will say “Flap Your Wings” and “Ride Wit Me” as we become the “#1” team in the league! (August 04)

-I’m going to take a roller coaster and run over that old piece of flesh that has become the Six Flags mascot… (August 05)

-And to end the update, this August 12th is International Youth Day. Celebrities everywhere will celebrate by bringing home an international youth. (August 06)


MADDSKILLZ Update (August 07)

And The Last Word… (August 04)

My first MADDSKILLZ Update, August 03, was short but a start of what has become this thing I write every month. I originally wrote it as a way for me to keep up with about 20 people I met in another world. Since then, a lot more e-mails have been added to the list, and it has been difficult to tell them just what the hell I’m doing wasting 7 pieces of paper on the first of every month. So, as I did in the very beginning of the August 03 update, I’m going to briefly tell everybody what the MADDSKILLZ Update is:

What: MADDSKILLZ Update (duh)

Who: By Me (and nobody else), originally for EIL July 2003 but list is growing

When: First of the Month, every month

Where: Who cares

How: You answer that

Why: Because I love these people (RE: because I feel like it…)

To Trailblazer Camp 2004, Have a Great 2004-2005…To Everyone Else, It’s Still A Long Summer

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 08)


I never explained where that came from. Ever. Not one time in seven years of doing this MADDSKILLZ Update. I guess it’s only appropriate that I’ll share that story for the last MADDSKILLZ Update. 12 years ago, August 1998. I was enrolled in the Concern for Children’s Betterment School of Performing Arts for a month before starting my time in a new school called Friends’ Central. I wasn’t much of an actor or performer, and I was joining the camp late. As a joke, I started going around saying “I Got SKILLZ! I GOT MADD SKILLZ!” The people I was in camp with thought it was funny, so I kept doing it. I never explained what I had skillz in. I was a bright kid who won an academic scholarship to this school no one had heard of, meaning it had to be really good. I was also a developing basketball player who was learning how to play football that summer. The other kids knew this and just went with it. Eventually I found out that the final performance for the camp was a the elementary school I had just graduated fifth grade from, Gompers Elementary School in the Wynnewood part of West Philly. I was with two different groups for the showcase: a group performing ballet (yes, I did ballet for a month), and an acting group. Everyone played a different character in the acting part except me. They just told me to play myself and improv. I wound up winning the best actor award. A ridiculous catch phrase was born. I bought it with me to Friends’ Central, but I toned it down after awhile. But when I knew I wanted to start using my e-mail for the first time after being in Spain for almost a month, I had to think of an intriguing name. I had taken a liking to Saturday Night Live, and I liked the Weekend Update part of the show. But I needed to brand it to make it my own. Before I left Spain, I had figured it out: MADDSKILLZ Update.

Now that I’ve come to the end of the show, I’ve got to thank everyone who stuck with me. Everybody on the Experiment in International Living, Friends’ Central School, Christian Stronghold, California University of Pennsylvania, Say Yes to Education, and City Year … All of those places had some level of positive impact on me. To my parents … they’ve given me good material. I love them very much. My brother Michael: That’s still my adopted son! For real though, he’s got a birthday August 5th. About to enter his last year as a teenager! The original Famed Posse: the Brother Dwight, Rob the Legend, Justin the Franchise. Dwight is going back to England … that man is the purest child of God I expect to ever meet. Rob is darker than dark man. But that’s my clone. I’m so proud of him. Justin’s head is big. I miss him though. Mista Parka, I wish I had more time at Cal U with him, and I’m far from the only one who shares that sentiment. Happy birthday to SuperLisa! Jes is my Canadian ambassador, Jen Dawson my Lebanese ambassador. Connie is the best classmate I ever had, and Lacy Gwynn has been keeping me sane for a dozen years. To my team at Overbrook High School (PM Jess, Happy birthday Joshua and Nadirah, Water, E-GZA the only Evaluation Project Leader in the world, Siobhan, Cassie, Misty, Girl-Sam, Victorias), I love y’all. To the 2009-2010 CYGP corps, y’all know who y’all are. If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be in Los Angeles. To my future team at Stevenson, I don’t know who y’all are, besides Arthur and Camie. But I’m dedicating my year to you all. To the NEW CYLA Village: I’m joining a tight group of idealistic, talented, and tested individuals. Let’s make it, 31 all year.

I think I’m done now. I’ve had a lot of fun dropping quotes, tracks, thoughts, shots, segments, and taglines on you all throughout the last seven years. I’d love to start writing to people like old times. My new friend Emily reminded me of how nice it is to step away from the computer and live vicariously. I only did the MADDSKILLZ Update for two reasons: the people, and because I felt like it. I never did the MADDSKILLZ Update just to do it, it always had a purpose, and that was to stay in touch with all of the people somehow. My e-mail won’t be changing anytime soon though: If yours has or will, give me the new one! Also not changing are my Skype or AIM SNs: x1maddskillz. You can text me if you have my number, but I’ll answer calls too. Even though I’ve been making fun of all three for years, I’ve been maintaining the whole Facebook/MySpace/Twitter social networking scene. But now that I have an address in Los Angeles to call my own, I think I might buy some stamps and postcards. Thank you for reading what I’ve had to say, whether you’ve seen all 85 MADDSKILLZ Updates or barely skimmed through this one. If I once knew you, I’ll never forget you. Especially if you never forget this one thing:

MADDSKILLZ Update (August 09)


This has been a MADDSKILLZ publication. If There Are Any Rights, I Reserve Them.  For a Long Time.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Also known as the MADDSKILLZ Update.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. We got this.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Because the system wasn’t meant for us.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Get up, get out, and get something.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Get smacked by life.

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. That burning smell means it’s working!


MADDSKILLZ Update (August 2010)

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