Me Yapping On Hot 97

So the other day I was fortunate enough to take part in a panel on Hot 97 about issues related to the gay in light of Pride week in NYC. The Gossip Game’s Vivian Billings and her transgendered daughter were a part of it. I didn’t mention the show on the site before, but I would like to say now that while the reality series needs major tweaking  I appreciated watching Vivian and Kayden opening up about Kayden transitioning into becoming a man. Black people deserve just as fluid imagery of our sexuality, gender and all its intricacies the same way whites enjoy it now. Ditto for Monifah and her boo thang displaying a healthy, loving relationship on R&B Divas: Alannuh.

Anyhow, do click “Gay Pride” if you’re interested in listening (or here). You might notice a twang, a gayccent, what have you. However, as long you as don’t think I sound crazy, we’re all good.

Oh, and of course a bunch of your cousins called pretending not to be homophobic only to say something homophobic right after. Same goes for the classics like “God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Stevie.” Together, I got them.

Enjoy…or not. No, enjoy. C’mon nah.

Please Keep Talking, Kerry and Don

If there’s one point that frustratingly refuses to change,  it’s the reality that many public figures remain very ill-equipped to have frank, intelligent conversations about race.

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Take for instance Paula Deen appearing on Today this morning to argue that she learned how to use “nigger” in casual conversation from her young Black staff members in the kitchen. Yes, the woman who revels in plantation-themed weddings and slavery fetishizing dinners wants us to believe that young Black folks using the word in an entirely different context prompted her to use it under its original intentions. The one who fried her first fish in the segregationist South, mind you.

Yeah, she can drop dead for all I care for ruining the good work Tina Fey put in.

Likewise, there’s Zoe Saldana, who consistently ducks labels about sexuality and race for auspicious reasons. Say, she’s hiding something about herself while simultaneously being self-loathing all the time in the press. Both and Paula are playing the role of martyr over matters that shouldn’t be that hard to grasp. I mean, you don’t use the word ‘nigger,’ you don’t create hostile work environments, you pay your Black employees in monetary forms versus beer, and you don’t long for a period in American history in which Black people were legally treated like property and second class citizens. Moreover, if you’re Zoe Saldana, you don’t say with a straight face that you can’t complain about racism anymore because President Obama is Black. Or that white people aren’t really white…they’re actually pink in complexion.

I have to stop now. Rehashing all of this stupidity is making my temples itch.

I meant to post this interview with Kerry Washington and Don Cheadle weeks ago when I first saw it. Here are two bright, thoughtful entertainers opening up about gender and race in ways I wish more of their peers followed suit. Kerry Washington is the beautiful, intelligent, insightful actress Zoe Saldana only pretends to be.

So for all the useless mouths yapping about a bunch of damn nothing in magazines and on morning television, here’s something wonderfully refreshing. And if nothing else, thank you for the reminder to put this up, Paula. Now go take a tumble, Scarlet.

The Real Baby Mamas Of Richmond

She had me as, “I am Aretha Lewis, known to the world as Pumpkin; also known as Big Sexy.” I bet she sometimes spells it “SexC.” Then there’s Ms. Rich Bitch, Keyonate, Ms. Brown Sugar, Ms. Bling and Noonie aka Ms. Baby Mama Drama. I mean, my interest is piqued.

Still, I wonder just what in the Walmart clearance camera hell is this supposed to be?

Bless the hearts of these women and the blades at least three of them know how to sneak under their tongues when necessary. They haven’t a clue. You can tell by the fact that they have this loud ass music drowning out whatever it is they’re saying in front of their kids’ iPhone 3GS camera.

In my mind, one day they were all together, watching Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta on some bootleg cable when suddenly after finishing the blunt, one of them said, “WE CAN BE REALITY TV STARS, TOO, BITCH!”

A dream was born shortly thereafter though evidently not one developed much. Granted, they have the basics down: A general theme, women ready to curse out each other, and volume, etc. I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence, but The Real Baby Mamas of Richmond, Strip Club Queens: Atlanta, The Inmate Wives of Baltimore, Big Yo’s Lesbian Housewives, and The Real Rap Wives of Birmingham.

Ladies, I can tell you all want to be all of the rage of World Star Hip Hop, but try again.

Girl, Get Up

So last week’s edition of my Ebony.com column, “The Weekly Read,” was dedicated to Hannah Montana and her going above and beyond to earn a hood pass. Bless her heart, I get it, but someone needs to shake her table and let her know too much of something is bad enough. Take it down a couple notches, Miley.

Read the column here.

Also check out:

“Why We Need A Gay Good Times” (via Ebony.com)

Alicia Keys’ planned Israel concert inspires backlash from black peers (via theGrio)

Cut It Out, Bill Cosby (via NewsOne)

How To Lose The Internet In 10 Easy Steps (via Complex.com)

What In The Hell Is This Supposed To Be, Chris Brown?

A statistic about the rampant gun violence in America launches Chris Brown’s new video for the single, “Don’t Think They Know,” featuring Aaliyah, who really had no say in the matter given she’s been dead for more than a decade, but I digress. Shortly thereafter that stat, a quote from Breezy himself appears.

It reads: “Unity is what we are afraid of so fear is insanity, let’s love each other.”

“What in the absolute fuck does that mean,” you ask? “The hell if I know,” I say in an elevated voice. It only gets more confusing as the actual live footage shot starts rolling.

When I close my eyes and listen to this song, I would think it was about a couple fed up with other people having something to say about their relationship. As in you think you know how it is between us, but “U.O.E.N.O it.” A continuation of that trite point both he and Rihanna push to the public despite them live-tweeting and Instragramming their relationship, if you will.

Now, when I listen to the song as it rolls in the video, I haven’t a clue as to what’s going on anymore. We get a Boyz In The Hood esque opener and then I see Chris with a bunch of Black men in various gang colors, serving the kind of fake ass thug realness we haven’t seen since 2Pac’s prime. Like, is one of the dudes in the relationship he’s crooning in falsetto about? So it’s a love song dedicated to the trade in his life?

No really, I’m not following.

And if we’re talking about unity and gun violence and needing to bring people together, is this really the most appropriate song to use to send that message? I mean, unless it’s ending in a goon in blue and a thug in red filming a sex tape towards the end to spread thug loving and peace, none of this connects to me.

As if this video weren’t all over the place enough, Chris is dancing in the dark with an image in the background. I suppose it’s a reminder that it’s kind of a big deal to have new Aaliyah vocals featured on a track. But then we see Chris sitting on a stoop with all of the Black youth residing in Southern California.

Oh, and Chris Brown is in a Black hoodie with zombie-inspired contacts.

So it’s stop the gang violence day at the park, but after that Chris had to run to dance rehearsal only it seems like everyone left because he was way too late. Not wanting to completely blow the time booked, Chris does a little pop block and then heads out to see the kids.

Do I have it now?

 

There’s Nothing Wrong With Making New Friends, You Jackass

Is there some kind of reality show version of The Revenge of The Nerds airing that I don’t know about? Where it focuses on life after college and the Alpha Betas for one Lewis Skolnick, who apparently knocked up a Black woman and/or adopted a mulatto baby and moved to Toronto, but kept playing The Geto Boys around the house? If so, that would explain much of Drake’s catalog.

“No New Friends” may not be as annoying as the God-awful and awfully creepy “Marvin’s Room,” but it sucks all the same. Not even an hour after the song first leaked, social media feeds all over were quoting this track and its annoying anti-social message. I don’t know who hurt this fake Houstonian, but when are we as a people going to stop listening to the advice of socially awkward Canadian rappers?

“No new friends. No new friends. No new friends.”

Seriously? Who hurt him? When will someone kiss the boo-boo and make it better for his bitchy ass?

Why the hell cannot we not make new friends, Aubrey? I’m a friendly, motherfucker. I happen to enjoy meeting new people.

Is this some sort of “I’m rich now, so I can’t trust people” bullshit? You’d think a guy who clearly benefitted from fame in varying ways – particularly when it comes to his interpersonal relationships – would sound a lot less anti-social. Of course, the very people parading around social media seeking attention, companionship, and yes, friendship won’t catch the irony of this nonsense of a song. Bless those folks and thank goodness I’m not one of them.

I just can’t take a Canadian who sounds like he grew up on the southside of Houston and wears DaDa Supreme styled outfits from 18 years ago seriously when it comes to social skills. And how is Lil’ Wayne on this song? Evidently, he’s friendly enough to have a litter of kids. I’m pretty sure Officer Ross has made many a new friend considering he had to find folks who actually believed his story about being the obese Tony Montana. Then there’s Khaled. Listen, a person that loud can’t help but make new friends. Otherwise he’d be in shouting matches all the time.

I hate this so much.

Che Mack and Mimi Faust Make Beautiful Music

Hello, my new shit. I don’t know what to make of Che Mack. On one end, she seems absolutely clueless and kind of horrible. She gives, “What if Keyshia Cole didn’t get saved…by Interscope?” I try not to talk about her too badly for that reason. I just won’t feel comfortable until I receive confirmation that she didn’t leave some group home for struggle girls a few weeks before she joined Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta as a sidepiece character.

I will say that when I read that Che Mack had a diss record aimed at Joseline Hernandez, I was ready to hate it to the core. If you don’t know, I love the Puerto Rican Princess. Yet, here I am, ready to sing this song’s praises. It’s not horrible and considering the source I don’t know how you can call that anything other than a success.

How incredibly genius of the track’s producer to take audio from the greatest show on Earth and use it for a song? Why hasn’t anyone else thought of that before? Is it too late for me to do this for my mixtape, Suck A Dick, Sallie Mae? If not, I’ll be using it on my second mixtape, too, tentatively titled, Deep My Throat, Discover Student Loans (Ya Bitch).

I don’t even cut for monologue Mimi like that, but dammit if I didn’t start twirking in my seat the second I heard, “Slut bitch. Slut ass bitch! Slut ass bitch! Slut ass bitch!” I wish I had a extra long weave ponytail so I could swing my head to that hook. I tried yesterday with my taper, and ugh, it’s just not the same.

Mimi carries the song, but Che Mack isn’t completely awful. Like, she could probably have a nice little regional rap career if she sticks to songs along the lines of this and maybe gems such as “Shake Dem Dreads” and all the songs Diamond from Crime Mob thinks she’s too good to do now.

Why hasn’t anyone sent me the mp3 of this yet? I’m ready to be on some New York sidewalk fighting the urge to go full hands on knees after hearing “SLUT ASS BITCH! SLUT ASS BITCH!”

Now, in tribute to Mimi Faust and her favorite word, I’m going to write the rest of this review using the word bitch as much as possible.

Bitch, listen. Bitch. This song is it, bitch. Nah, bitch, she can’t really rap, but who gives a fuck nowadays, bitch? That beat is catchy, bitch. Yasss, bitch. This is perfect for my bird self, bitch. Bitch, I hope they play this in the club. Bitch, don’t act like this shit ain’t catchy.

Alright, I’m done, bitches. Get into it. If you don’t, bitch, don’t tell me about it.

P.S. Joseline, I love you, but you might want to watch it trying to sucker punch Che Mack. Yeah, you lift all of the weights at least six days a week, but Che Mack looks like she fights as if she has nothing to lose. She will go for the face and try to deflate your right breast implant. Be careful.

Don’t Fight The Feeling

It’s been a year since I first thought to write this post and after what feels like a million attempts, I still haven’t figured out the best way to start it. I’ve been putting off writing about my frustrations with – well, everything – for so long now. I imagine myself to be a pretty open person, hoping that even in some of my most embarrassing moments it may help other people in some way.

I just couldn’t get this out, though. Too embarrassed by my circumstances. Too angry about where I ended up and how this time a year ago. Not ready to deal with any of it.

In fried chicken terms, I aspire to be a Popeye’s combo but I’m relegated to KFC two-piece special by default. Meanwhile, Church’s Chicken giveaway on the other side gets treated like Mr. Chows. It’s so unfair.

I considered that fried chicken analogy one way of beginning this post. That or me just saying fuck seven or a hundred times to drive the point home.

But yes, I’ve been quite pissed with life.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thank You For Finally Using Prerecorded Tracks

Bless Kelly Rowland for embracing the value of a prerecorded vocal. While I find her decision to usually sing live admirable in theory, Kelly has shown it’s very hard for her to move and keep her voice steady simultaneously. That’s okay, girl. My lanky ass tends to do the shoulder lean sometimes with my entire body while walking. We should acknowledge both our strengths and our weakness — and know when to twirk through the latter.

It took her what feels like forever, but betcha golly wow, Kelly’s got it. I missed Kelly’s performance in NYC last week and I’m kinda kicking myself for it. Look at the way she moves during her hit it and quit it performance of “Ice!” I love it when she dances and I wish she’d worked more at incorporating choreography into her act. Thing is, she’s more of a natural dancer than Beyoncé, but Beyoncé worked harder to get better at it. Kelly’s still got more of a natural groove, though, so here’s hoping Kelly continues to step it up.

That is to say, what she didn’t do in her “Kisses Down Low” video. Again, I get why she did the cutesy bit to offset the sexual nature of the song. However, if you’re going to go there, go all the way there. Like, Kelly, you are officially Destiny’s Freak so earn your keep, ya hear?

I don’t think it’s said enough, but Ciara isn’t the only person pulling inspiration from Janet Jackson. Kelly Rowland has been quietly doing it here and there for a while now (see her “Motivation” performance at the 2011 BET Awards). I actually believe Kelly adapts the lessons from Mother Damita Jo better than Ciara Kardashian does.

Kelly’s got when to be subtle down pact. She only needs to better balance that with knowing when to give your thigh muscles a workout on stage. We gon’ make it, though, Kizzy. We gon’ make it.


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While I’m on Kelly, I forgot to give this performance of “Where Have You Been?” its due. As much as I love this song, I was so fearful that Kelly and The-Dream would sound like a raccoon grasping for its last breath after being hit by a pick up truck when performing it live. Thankfully, this turned out as good as it could have. All because of Kelly Rowland. We are growing, people. Yes, we are.

I am loving Kelendria more and more. Right now Kelly Rowland is the slim community’s greatest role model. How can you not be proud of her growth?

Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a “Rowland Stone” — her name for her core group of fans. Mostly because that shit sounds ridiculous and I refuse, but I’m going to buy her new album and I’m looking forward to it. That’s close enough, yes?

Gon’ Kelly, keep doing your thing…again, with a prerecorded vocal when dancing calls.

Strip Club Queens: Atlanta

If VH1 doesn’t pick up Strip Club Queens: Atlanta and run it immediately after part two of the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta reunion, someone should die. Well, not really, but they need to go find something else to do. I would tell BET to air it, but since y’all punked them into thinking they had to run nothing but wholesome shows (that are largely ignored), that’ll never happen. TV One isn’t an option, but maybe if VH1 makes the mistake of not scooping this brilliance up, perhaps OWN might give it a go.

At this point, Oprah seems like she’d air a Jesus sex tape if it’d win her the key demos. There’s always Oxygen, who could air this as one major fuck you to the folks who stopped Shawty Lo’s show before it truly began.

Whoever decides to pick this show up, though, someone needs to. Stat. This is like the reality TV version of The Players Club.

I am so fascinated with strippers. Unlike the more stuck up wing of the world, I don’t begrudge the women who strip. I do have issue with some of the reasons why women feel they have to strip to survive, but I also acknowledge that women who work in adult entertainment are just as multifaceted as other people. Now, I’m not entirely sure we’d get that from a show that looks like high grade World Star Hip Hop, but there are elements there.

Say, the woman with the huge neck tat with three kids, two houses and a pet pig. That one woman named Sinna who has the green mo hawk action going. Okay, I’m tired of spinning this in my favor. I want to watch this show every single week and I could give a damn what kind of ticket the morality police tries to write me.

Like, I need to see this show. Did y’all hear Boy Toy say, “I used to be a slum bitch from the ghetto and that’s what you gon’ make me be again ’cause you so worried about why my pussy famous and why yours is not?” A star is born.

And the one who said, “Financially, though. A bitch paid.” Girl, I am so jealous of you. I think about stripping every day I pay a student loan. To hell be with the lenders.

I don’t see it for the stuck up white girl who’ll probably get beaten to the white meat by episode five, but “MLK on that, bitches” is quite the memorable line.

There are episodes already available online that you can watch for .99 cents an episode. Uh, I don’t know how I feel about paying to watch something on the Web, but I suppose the hood needs its own version of Netflix and Redbox. I cannot deny that at this moment, I am very tempted to spend that dollar on this.

Still, this is must see (on) TV programming.