“Listen to me. I awaken to sunlight that’s beyond bright. This day will be done right. There is a war, just waiting on the other side of the door. But I’ll be bringing God to the gunfight. Can’t live forever, so have some fun, right. Life’s a bowl of candy, you can have one, right. You can handle if tomorrow never comes, right. You’ll get used to singin if only for one night. But I intend to raise two daughters and a son right. And I couldn’t have wrote this if I was hopeless. And see I focus to provoke this. So open wide for my opinionated opus. Stop playin Go Fish, but not below this. Before I go, I thought that you all should know this. Recognize and realize before any regretting. Before you relapse, perhaps you’ll consider resetting. Hmm?” OUTKAST, “Press Reset”, Speakerboxx, 2003.

Well, well here we are at the last day of 30 Days of OUTKAST: The Education of Big and Dre. It’s too bad that these two southern philosophers are STILL on a creative sabbatical.  But they did not leave us without some key life lessons. What have we learned? What have you learned?  While your preparing your thoughts, I’ll tell you what I’ve learned in the last 30 Days… I’ve learned that God gives us breakthrough’s when we strive to live a life of balance and harmony.  That as much as we work, we must also relax.  That as much as we love self, we must love others more.  That as much as we serve self, we find our blessings in serving others.  And that I must put on my oxygen first, before I can help anyone else breathe freely.  Oh, I almost forgot! I also learned from “Bombs Over Baghdad” to not start nothing that I can’t finish. And that it’s ok to PRESS RESET and START OVER. I think OUTKAST is a formidable case study for balance and harmony.  But what is balance? And what is harmony? To live a life of balance is to pursue a comfortable equilibrium in the personal, professional, and financial areas of life.  To achieve harmony is to ALWAYS funnel these areas through a spiritual lens that nurtures our dignity and strengthens our character.   When we are balanced, we are at peace. While this might sound easy, all of us know that the stress of work, the stress of family and friends, and the stress of money can throw us off our groove just as fast as a bad DJ.

We’ve done our best to stay in a balanced groove over the last four months of the 30 Days of DDR series. So far we’ve explored Kanye West (February), Nicki Minaj (March) and Jay-Z (April).  It’s been a whirlwind of a last four months; a tightrope at times. A fluid flow of ideas at others.  So where are we going next in the series? Well we tossed around a variety of suggestions and landed with the one and only L-Boogie because she is a formidable case for all things concerning RECIPROCITY. That is, the give and take of life.  I can hear the round of applause (bravo, bravo, bravo…).  For the month of June, we will step into the Summer exploring, critiquing, examining, and talking about Lauryn Hill.   Where is she? Why is she so reclusive? Does she owe us another album? What can we learn from her music? That includes Lauryn the Activist, Lauryn the Lover, Lauryn the Mother, Lauryn the Hip Hop MC, and Lauryn the Believer.

The DDR: As we wrap up 30 Days of OUTKAST, and get ready for 30 Days of Lauryn Hill, your homework assignment is to put away the harmony of Aquemini and whip out the reciprocity of Lauryn Hill.  Pull out your Fugees’ The Score, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, and her MTV Unplugged.  Bump it in your rides on the way to work, in your house as you clean up, or while jogging on the treadmill. Most definitely it’s about to go down.

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