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Since he’s theming his campaign around hope, I’m going to hope that he’s only dancing this stiff on Ellen because he doesn’t want to scare folks away — though rhythm didn’t seem to hurt Michael Jackson’s sales.

After watching this clip, can you guess which old head paid more attention to Soul Train? Lucky for Obama, I’ve already voted. I keed. Even if he just made Tom Cruise look like Chris Brown, I wouldn’t hold that against him.

But, after watching this, I have to say:

I think Mariah Carey has found a dance partner.

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You probably haven’t noticed around these parts lately, but I am a huge Janet Jackson fan. I remembered why I used to be such a big fan after watching her interview on Larry King tonight. Watching them recap the different stages of her career and the noses that accompanied them brought out my inner stan and so many memories. Like the VMA performance of “If” and “That’s The Way Love Goes.” Watching her and her dancers during the janet. era teach Bill Bellamy that awkward dance. I don’t remember what it was called (it’s late and I’m light headed: leave me be), but put your arms in the air (not like the po-po is about to shoot you, though) and sort of back it up, then kind of hop with it. Yeah, that one.

Ok, whatever, back to the memories. The “You Want This” video. Janet and those dookie braids. The butterfly. Yelling “Controooooooooool” with this girl named Kim for no damn reason. Basically everything before Justin and her bra lost their minds at the Superbowl.

After watching Janet tonight, I feel really bad about bashing her album. I mean, I still don’t like it and I still wish she’d give Rene and Tina a call, but it’s Janet. I feel like Mrs. Gordon after Wilona called her triflin’ ass out for burning Penny with an iron, then having the nerve to think she could just stroll back to the projects with her sugar daddy and think everything was ancient history. She thought she had some game, didn’t she?

Anyway, while Discipline isn’t showing out on my iPod, I do want to pay a slight homage to Janet.


Janet Jackson – Twenty foreplay
Uploaded by welcomeback

I actually prefer the studio version of this song, but I love the video. Dorothy Dandrige would be proud.

This is a beautiful song. I miss songs like these from her. My favorite part is when she says:

When you wake
And your smile meets mine ah
My day begins
You’re my inspiration
Seeing your face glow
Is the nicest of hellos

Disclaimer: I ain’t no punk bitch.

Many people – especially me – have been really hard on her, but it’s only because she’s set the standard over the years. But I need to release the stan and take a hater break.

I love you, Janet. Sorry about that album, but I gotta keep real it, pimpin’.

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Some people will never accept it, but Mariah Carey is going to be 30-something going on 12 1/2 for the rest of her life. Considering interviews and incidents that have taken place through the years, it’s not completely unfair to say suggest that Mariah may be out of her rabbit ass mind — but that’s alright, though. I don’t know about ya’ll, but I prefer my crazy people to be up front about their boonish ways. She’s already worth hundreds of millions of dollars: Why does she have to force sanity on the general public when loonboon tendencies have gotten her this far? From a slightly crazy person to a borderline padded rainbow room needing would be Olsen triplet: Do you, Mimi. Do you.

In case you haven’t picked up on it, I’m a bit of a lamb. If you don’t know what that means…good. That just means you can’t judge me as harshly as some other people will after reading this.

I liked some of her older stuff, but I was never really a big ballad-loving person. “Hero” got on my nerves, but once she started hanging around with O.D.B. (R.I.P.), I started thinking, “Wow. I can fool with this nutty mulatto.” (Edit: I say that out of love, my beautiful biracial butterflies of the world.) And then when “Honey” came out, I was like, “She can’t dance worth a damn, but she obviously doesn’t care.” She’s devoid of reality like that. I can dig it.

Fortunately, Butterfly turned out to be a great album, which gave me even more fervor for my standom. Would I ever pay to see this chick live? Hell nawl, but I will listen to her croon about butterflies, look for pictures of her drunk (they’re hilarious), and watch her interviews to catch those not so subtle disses at artists who get out of pocket with her.

She might act like a Sweet Valley high character, but she has some gangsta in her. I bet she would fight you in her 22inch heels if you dissed My Little Pony or Hello Kitty.

Maybe it’s vanity, but I’m thinking her releasing her The Emancipation of Mimi on my birthday was just the bolster her career needed. Now that she’s shut the industry who prematurely 2 Pac’d her career up, Mimi’s continuing with her antics in the video for her new single, “Touch My Body.”

“Touch My Body,” although simplistic, is catchy as hell. I won’t bother trying to elaborate on its brilliance, because Rich has already done so perfectly. You would think a song that touches on a sensuality would play it up in the video, but no, Mariah wants to be silly (or corny, take your pick), and more importantly, flex those acting muscles (or gut, depending on what hateful film reviewers you’re reading). I don’t know if the Academy will be proud of her performance in this video, but I bet some VH1 producers are smiling.

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In an interview with the Dallas Observer, a creatively-stagnant Erykah Badu revealed that at one point, she felt like lost the magic, and the idea that she should give up recording began to seep into her mind. Fortunately, that hasn’t come to fruition, and the eclectic and eccentric singer is back with several recordings prepped for release over the next two years, beginning with New Amerykah Part One (4th World War).

In an election year themed around change, Badu has chosen the perfect time to release her long-awaited fourth studio effort. Taking the sounds of Parliament and meshing it with the political consciousness found in the early days of hip hop, Badu offers fans yet another substantive album that’s completely left-field from the releases of her R&B peers.

Working with an varied mix of collaborators like the 67-year-old jazz vibraphonist Roy Ayers, DJ/rapper/producer Madlib (Talib Kweli), and 9th Wonder, Badu combines introspective lyrics with blazing beats – giving listeners both an earful and a mouthful.

Not bound by the very standards for contemporary soul divas she set a decade ago with her debut, Baduizm, Badu forgoes simple melodies and concise song structures in favor of unleashing a myriad of random sounds and vocal arrangements on New Amerykah. Though many of the songs sound like they were lifted right out of the 70s (most notably the intro, “Amerykhan Promise”), New Amerykah sounds fresh – pointing to Badu’s longstanding gift of being able to successfully fuse old and modern sounds .

Throughout the album, you find Badu sharing musings on the state of hip hop (“The Healer”), what it means to raise a young son in a violent world (“Solider”), and the apathy plaguing many members of the Black community (“That Hump”). The soul diva gives her state of the union and shares her vision of a better world in the grooviest way possible. If this is what Erykah’s America sounds like, here, here for the revolution.

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Fifteen years ago, Janet revealed her sensual side on the groundbreaking, janet. For the first time in her career, the formally covered up star decided to let go of her inhibitions in the public eye. Critics and fans alike were enticed by the pop star’s seductive coos and come on’s. But judging from the sales of her last two albums, years of sharing sexual fantasy after sexual fantasy have led listeners to embrace the virtues of abstinence.

They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. But if you’ve noticed a pattern, isn’t that incentive to try something new? Apparently not to Janet, who will not be denied the right to dish on her desires on her latest release, Discipline. While I won’t co-sign the ageist and sexist arguments that a woman of a certain urge should no longer discuss sex so fervently, I will say that it wouldn’t hurt Janet to reconsider the subtle approach. It must be tricky to come up with so many different ways to discuss one’s sexual appetite, which might be why Janet is obviously seeking to go the extra mile to convey what we already learned in 1993. In a press release about the release of Discipline, Janet said she was charting new creative waters. If only that were true.

To her credit, she did embrace change to some degree: She recorded Discipline without the assistance of longtime collaborators Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in favor of music’s hitmakers of the moment. Jermaine Dupri, Ne-Yo, Stargate, Tricky Stewart, The-Dream and Rodney Jerkins were all called into the studio with the hopes of adding a much needed boost to Janet’s fledging music career. If only new subject matter could compliment the new production value. On Discipline, Janet sounds part nympho, part aging diva trying to keep up with her would be replacements.

It works on some songs, but fails miserably on most. On the energetic first single, “Feedback,” Rodney Jerkins ponies up a club-ready track perfect for both Janet’s celebrated choreography and flirty vocal styling’s. For the most part, Janet’s opts to forgo any shock and awe moments, repeating the lines, “sexy, sexy, sexy” to grab your interests, versus a full onslaught of visceral come on’s she’s now become known for. And then you hear the line: “My Swag is serious, something heavy like a first day period.” While that may pique the interest of the people working at Tampax, it’s not exactly the type of line you want to throw out to turn someone on.

Thankfully, not every song beats you over the head with Janet’s absurdities. There’s “Luv,” the groovy and catchy follow-up to “Feedback” that reminds listeners of the early stages of the pop star’s career when she sang about her affections innocently. There’s also “Rock With U,” a sensual gem in which Ne-Yo helps Janet pay an indirect homage to the disco themes that worked so well on big brother Michael’s song of the same name. The song sounds almost euphoric, and compliments Janet’s whispery delivery on the track. It’s a digitized form of pop music Janet should look into for future recordings.

And then you have the rest. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way Janet decided to keep up with the Jones’ rather than make everyone else keep up with the Jacksons. That mindset is what has led her to record songs like “What’s Ur Name.” It’s good to know Janet has kept up with technology, but isn’t it a bit weird hearing a 41-year-old talk about her sidekick and adding a dude to her MySpace favorites? I’m trying not to sound like an ageist, but she’s too old for a sidekick and MySpace. Try a Blackberry Curve, Janet.

Not surprisingly, the most disturbing song on the album is the one in which Janet seeks to push the sexual limit past capacity. On “Discipline,” which Janet calls her “baby making song,” she offers up another ode to masochism and S&M.

“Babe, I need some discipline tonight/Don’t hold back/I’ve been very bad/Make me cry/Got to make me cry babe/I misbehaved/And my punishment should fit my crime/Tie me to something/Take off all my clothes/Daddy I want you to take your time (I’m scared)/My heart is beating fast/Shiver as you grab my neck/Baby, blindfold me daddy/Is better when I don’t know what to expect.”

Though it’s intended to illicit arousal, it just sounds creepy considering the history of her family. What’s even more disturbing is that comes across as more of the same old, same old from her. It’s easy to point to the backlash Janet suffered from the Superbowl for the failure of 2004’s Damita Jo. But, as time passes on, it’s becoming painfully clear that maybe the problem is Janet herself. In the 1980s and 1990s Janet was ever evolving – treating fans to a different sound and image with each release. These days Janet’s look and sound seem nothing more than a continuation of 2001’s All For You. While she may be pushing the sexual envelop, she hasn’t managed to a put a dent in the creative one for years. If the success (or lack thereof) of “Feedback” is any indication, the good times, much like the closing track on Discipline are “Curtains.” If Janet wants to know why that is, she should try on the role of fan and ask herself, “What have you done for me lately?”

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Just when you think it can’t get any worse, word comes of another reality show starring who else but a rapper. From the looks of this casting call, Plies has given every rejected female from Flavor of Love a second chance at embarrassing Black women everywhere.

If you don’t remember Plies, he’s behind “Shawty.” You know, that dude from Florida who talks like slavery ended a week ago? Come on. You remember him.

Anyway, the entire scene looks like a Maury Povich show after party. I have never seen so much Yaki in one place outside of Kim’s Beauty Supply. Or cellulite.

These women from all walks of life (with the bullet wounds to prove it), all dropped their babies off at their mom’s house so they can prove why they are the ultimate “bust it baby.” What is a “bust it baby” exactly? The hell if I know, but one thing is for sure: This is an example of what happens when you start wearing weaves before you learn how to multiply.

I’m not sure which ‘lucky’ network will be airing this show, but I’m sure there are many people hoping to make him the next Flavor Flav. Excited?

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Thankfully, someone finally gave Lil’ Will a digital camera and $5.00 to shoot a video so the world can get in on the latest dance we’ll all forget in six months.

Oh how I have waited for this day. I was beginning to think I would never see the video for this. If any of you knew about this and didn’t email me about it, shame on you!

As a native Houstonian, I tend to look at things out of Dallas sideways. No offense, Dallas folk, but a lot of ya’ll behave the same way towards us. But, it’s good to know that Dallas has another song to go with besides “Oakcliff, That’s My Hood.” Go ya’ll.

I heard this song months ago, and fell in ign’t love with it. But alas, not everyone shares my enthusiasm for forgettable southern dance anthems.

I already know what the haters will say:

We don’t need another dance.

It’s just like all of the other dances.

This is so stupid.

To that I say:

You can never have enough two-step inspired dances.

You should be grateful, because that just means it’s easier to learn.

Of course it is, but I read, so I’m good.

I mean it’s better than the rack daddy. Like it or not, “My Dougie” is coming to a club near you, so get used to it. Don’t believe me?

It already has the Soulja Boy seal of approval. Yahh trick yahh! I will be doing this in the club.

This song motivates to continue on with the Young Sinick movement. If Lil’ Will can take Doug E. Fresh’s name and come up with “My Dougie,” then I should be able to do the same with the “Pac, Lock, & Drop It.” What do ya’ll think?

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Would you be embarrassed if this was your mother, or would you use her to get free drinks at the club? Be honest.

Frankie isn’t about to let little things like crack addiction, incarceration, and being a couple of kids’ grandma stop her show. No. No. No. It’s her lost youth and she’ll dig it up and try it own if she wants to.

Rocking what looks like Keyshia Cole’s old blond wig, Frankie showed her ass (then pointed at it just in case anyone missed it) at her daughter’s platinum party.

Now is it me or is she drunk? How does that work on the 12 Step program? I’m guessing she left the last meeting to get into the club by 12.

Did ya’ll see her drop it, pick it up, then twirk and point at it? Somebody kept it tight even while griping the pipe!

Janice Combs is probably shaking in her catsuit right now, because she has some serious competition for the youngest (in her mind) mama on the block. Holla! I was trying to push my own mama into contention, but she acts like she’s too good for a Webbie album.

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FYI: My seat was not next to Jesus; it’s just that I sat behind the press, and they were blocking…zoom can only do so much (apparently).

Before I actually stepped inside of the Toyota Center, I already had it in my mind how I would detail my experience seeing Barack Obama in person. I knew I would talk about feeling inspired. I had the idea that I would rush back to my computer to paint a picture of a sea of people from different walks of life, all coming together to here a message themed on unity. I thought I might even share something about being caught up in the moment.

And then I woke up.

While I did enjoy being there, for the majority of the time I was at the rally, I kept thinking to myself, “I pay way too much attention.”

To stump speeches. To propaganda. To the entire political process. Politics is politics no matter the anomaly of a candidate actually seeming genuine.

Waiting for Obama to appear on stage was interesting to say the least. Before anyone was allowed in the venue, we were reminded that signs are not allowed. That’s probably because the campaign already had homemade signs for people.

“Students for Obama.”

“Texans for Obama.”

“Obama ’08.”

Each campaign-produced poster offered a slogan in different handwriting to give off authenticity. If you are wondering, each sign was decorated in red, white, and blue — of course.

Is this what happens when the revolution is televised? I suppose it makes sense, given that some attention whoring heckler could break out a sign with all types of vulgarities. Still, I’m a First Amendment fiend, so you can understand my skepticism.

Then came the waiting game.

Early on, a band dressed in ridiculous sequin jackets (watch out, Tina Knowles) appeared on stage to sing a bunch of cover songs. I’m not hating: If people like it, I try to not frown visibly at it. This is the time where I decided to eat my overpriced (and wack) chicken strips and watch a gang of people rush to buy beer. As I chewed on nonsense, old people got up to dance to every cover performed. You know you can’t tell them anything. If they had played “I.N.D.E.P.E.N.D.E.N.T.” maybe I would’ve jigged, but no, I kept it cool.

After a good hour the band left. People became restless soon after. When people get restless, they do whatever they can to amuse themselves. Which lead to the wave starting about 50-11 different times. After a while, I suppose organizers began to notice the obvious (people were bored), so the event formally began.

The first person to hit the stage to speak was a stay-at-home mom discussing her journey of leaving her comfort zone to fight for something she believed in. Very nice.

After that handlers skillfully reminded us about the complicated Texas primary system in which we have both a primary and a caucus. Understanding that people are not up for pulling double duty on Election Day, the campaign has designed a plan around the theme of the Texas two step. The plan encourages Obama supporters to participate in early voting and on March 04 – the actual election day – show up at the end of primary voting to participate in the caucus.

In Texas, they distribute delegates through the primary and the caucus, hence the Obama campaign’s emphasis on supporters participating in both. If you’re wondering: No, I don’t think our system makes any sense either. I actually find the entire Democratic nomination process to be archaic and in need of a major overhaul. But hey, at least Obama’s camp has studied the system and planned accordingly.

Following that voter instruction, the staff members decided to engage everyone in a chant off.

“Fired up and ready to go!”

“Obama…08!”

“Yes we can!”

I’m not really much of a chanter, much less an orchestrated mass hysteria participator; I’m more of a I’ll clap when the mood compels me to person.

It’s not that I think I’m above chanting, it’s just that I might be country, but I’m not really a loud person, so I doubt you’ll hear me anyway unless I’m angry.

Anyway, if anyone here knows an Obama staff member, pass this message along: “YES WE CAN!” is the only chant that works.

When the chant leader yelled, “Si, se puede” old people were yelling, “Si some ready.” When they tried to rhyme the Obama name with sooner or greater (yeah, I couldn’t make it out), I heard confused people yell, “Obama, wait later.” At that point you started to wonder if you were at a Slick Willie chill session.

I think Obama needs to find a new hypeman.

Finally, the man himself hit the stage. This is where the comment about me paying too much attention weighs in. It was a good speech, but much of what he’s talked about, I’ve heard before in other speeches. That’s not to discredit him, because I know how it works: You find those working talking points and you drive them home – especially when your event is broadcasted. I did notice he started to be somewhat more specific about matters of policy, but for the most part, I’ve heard everything already.

That didn’t take away from the thrill of being there and seeing not only a gifted orator, but the person who could be our next President.

I think the most interesting thing about the event was the responses of he drew out of people.

“Amen.”

“Well.”

“Say that.”

“That’s right.”

“Yeah!”

The friend I came out with was really energetic, somewhat atypical for her. Someone else I knew there said his words brought her to tears. It started to feel like I was listening to more than just a stump speech. It was like a sermon and the event, not a political rally, but something out of a megachurch. The thought seemed somewhat surreal to me, but watching 19,000 people scream and chant with so much fervor about a political candidate reminded me that everyone’s enthusiasm was authentic even if his campaign posters weren’t; his words planned, but their reactions, spontaneous; and those dreams – both his and theirs – come from a sincere place .

By the end of the night I realized that while I didn’t catch the Obama-ghost, I still have the spirit. The event was politics as usual, but the candidate and the movement behind him are everything but.

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