Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

The commercial and critical success of Frank Ocean is not just a testament to his talent but to how music fans and the industry at large have become more progressive in their thinking. Hooray to all parties involved. But as a firm believer in the Black Proverb, “It ain’t that deep,” I increasingly question whether criticism surrounding his work reflects a sincere impact of it or an overcompensation for the lack of artists like Ocean in the mainstream. This is not an insult to Ocean, whose talent is undeniable and whose symbolism is not easily swept under the rug. But it is worth asking: do his songs — especially those that directly engage his sexual identity, which has yet to come into full view — warrant such ample amounts of praise and, in the most extreme cases, deification?

Consider “Chanel,” the magnetic libation Ocean released in mid-March during his Beats 1 Radio show. Almost instantly, the Jarami-produced track was hailed as a “bisexual anthem” and christened “the most important song in the world right now.” Both sentiments were rooted in how Ocean begins the song, crooning over a canopy of piano keys: “My guy pretty like a girl and he got fight stories to tell.” This was not the first or the only time that Ocean has publicly addressed his sexuality. In July 2012, he shared on Tumblr that his first love was someone of the same gender.

Although Ocean has acknowledged same-sex attraction, he’s never taken on the labels gay, bisexual, or queer — if anything, he has purposely refuted them. Artists like Young M.A, Le1f, Syd the Kyd and iLoveMakonnen have been more forthright about how they identify, and in some cases, have been more detailed about it in their work. Yet, none of them seem to command the sort of critical and commercial acclaim Ocean does, and subsequently, not anywhere close to the praise.

So what was it about the opening of “Chanel” that made the song feel so vital?

Writing at The Undefeated, Austin Williams argued how “the boastful first few bars of Ocean’s new song might be the coldest, gayest, and most securely masculine flex in the history of rap.” There are LGBTQ rappers who would likely disagree with that assessment. Williams went on to declare that “the song’s lyrics read as a deliberate ode to duality and non-heteronormative binaries — an ambition, that since the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, is sorely missed in black music.”

Duality, sure, but Prince was someone who openly sang about the public questioning his sexuality as a result of how he presented himself aesthetically. Ocean does wear makeup in the video for “Nikes,” but what does singing about a pretty boy who can fight have to do with Prince? If we’re going by Prince and the androgyny metric, one could just as easily look back to Cee-Lo and André 3000 at their peak, or contemporary artists like Young Thug. You could also scroll through August Alsina’s Instagram where he sometimes draws style inspiration from the Street Fighter character Chun-Li and veteran pro-wrestler Koko B. Ware.

This mode of exaggerated praise was also bestowed upon the release of Ocean’s last album, 2016’s Blond. Headlines boasted of its “radical queerness,” argued that it “redefines pop queerness,” hailed it as a “queer masterpiece,” and praised the album for how it “asks us to see queerness as the new normal.” But these were all statements from white writers embellishing black sexuality. If the job of a critic is to find greater meaning and purpose in art, their job should also be one of clear sight and equanimity. Ascribing such specific and pointed labels and meaning into the work of an artist who purposely submerges himself in ambiguity only achieves the opposite.

Read the rest at The Fader.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Ted Koppel performed a great service to his country in telling Sean Hannity to his face that he was “bad for America.” Hannity can simmer in his lingering anger over the widely shared clip that originally aired on CBS Sunday Morning as he sees fit, but it does not absolve him of the sins that led Koppel to make the statement.

Hannity may be a successful cable host, but he is also a proven liar and a man known to make comments that ping-pong back and forth between fatuous and flat-out prejudiced. Considering the offended party’s unusually high level of self-importance, it’s unsurprising that a serious newsman made a pretend one lose it over criticism.

Even so, though Koppel may have been correct in his assessment of Hannity and the damage that political opinion in news media is capable of, the segment itself was rooted in a false equivalence with respect to political opinion shows. Koppel, like many, continues to operate from the unfortunate space that all opinion shows are equal. However, the segment compares sound bites from John Oliver, who hosts a late-night cable political comedy show, and Michael Savage, a conservative radio host who fancies himself an activist—and in doing so, it is helping to perpetuate a false dichotomy.

Oliver is a comedian who opines on politics, but his commentary is often well researched and, by and large, factual. The same goes for Samantha Bee and Trevor Noah. Those are folks whose first job is to be funny, not necessarily to inform. Nonetheless, a decade ago, a study by Pew Research highlighted that viewers of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show (then hosted by Jon Stewart) and The Colbert Report held the “highest knowledge of national and international affairs while Fox News viewers rank nearly dead last.” So even if, seven years later, a separate Pew Research study noted that many people continued to identify those shows as legitimate news sources, other studies have shown that people do actually learn something.

What are people learning from Tomi Lahren or Rush Limbaugh other than that many people miss the days of water fountains with access based on skin pigmentation?

Other studies have shown that outlets such as Fox News and MSNBC have a negative impact on people’s knowledge of current events, but I question anyone who would argue that Rachel Maddow is like Tucker Carlson, that Chris Hayes is anywhere near Bill O’Reilly or that Joy-Ann Reid mirrors Megan Kelly in any way. The only person on Fox News worth listening to in terms of actual news is Shepard Smith. That doesn’t mean Fox’s opinion hosts are incapable of educating their viewers while sharing their respective ideology, but they opt not to.

It’s not so much that opinion programming on news networks is the problem as it is that we are bombarded with uninformed opinions—primarily because of a conservative media that’s much more invested in playing into the racial and gender biases of its viewership than in educating them. When it comes to problems with news media, cries that it’s too opinionated read as an oversimplification.

What’s MSNBC’s problem? It could use far more color and a bit more youth. Oh, and in the case of the 6 p.m. hour on its Monday-to-Friday lineup, stop trying to make fetch happen with Greta Van Susteren. Simply chasing after old Fox News watchers isn’t going to cut it. Soon enough, NBC will learn that with Kelly. Shoutout to Tamron Hall.

As for Fox News, well, drown that network and hand only Smith a life raft. That station is nothing but a dedication to the white establishment and willful ignorance. It is insulting to compare its mythology-peddling with people who bother to actually know about a given issue before commenting on it.

Now, with CNN … first, join me in prayer.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

As a lover of the subgenre of R&B I describe as “Eff-that-ninja music,” Keyshia Cole is a pioneer. Keyshia’s entire catalog more or less keeps within this prism, but her first two albums are her strongest efforts. On her debut album, The Way It Is, Keyshia was basically that girl with Kool-Aid-red hair who would literally curse you out in song. In other words, a woman after my own heart.

On her sophomore offering, Just Like You, Keyshia had the same spirit, though she was noticeably a bit more polished—not unlike a ratchet (self included) who has toned it down after a loving black co-worker hits her on the side, like, “Sis, if you want a promotion, you’ve got to switch it up a little.” Or, better yet, she wants to fast-track her career to be like Mary J. Blige after white people discovered her and the word “dancerie.”

Unfortunately, after that, inconsistency took over. Her third album, A Different Me, was OK . Her fourth, Calling All Hearts, was not. The fifth, Woman to Woman, was not the best, but not the worst. No, no, her sixth, Point of No Return, has those bragging rights. After that 2014 release, Keyshia revealed that she had gone independent and she instantly became a punch line in select online social circles. I’m talking about you people who said she was selling fish plates outside the Grammys. I love fish plates, but that wasn’t right, y’all.

Now Keyshia is back on a major label after signing with Epic Records and, seemingly, is due for a big comeback. What will certainly help in those efforts is her decision to join the cast of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood. Keyshia shared the news via Twitter, and when asked what compelled her to join the show, she explained, “I want to touch bases with the essence of my fans again.”

High-siddity people made light of this quote, but it’s honestly one of the most self-aware things I’ve heard an artist say about the climate and her fan base in a long time. At least she’s not picking up a glow stick and making rave tunes like Usher did a couple of years ago. There are other blacks I could name, but I don’t want to be jumped at a future NAACP Awards.

I like Keyshia Cole most when she is singing about trifling men via songs with catchy hooks, and telling me all of her business courtesy of a reality show. Before K. Michelle used reality TV to resuscitate her fledgling career as a recording artist, there was Keyshia Cole, star of BET’s Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is. By sharing the details of her life—including her drug-addict biological mother, her adopted mother and her strained relationships with her sisters—Keyshia was able to cultivate a fan base. She got people to care about her in ways that her old record label arguably never could have.

There are plenty of artists whose music I enjoy but couldn’t give a decimeter of a damn about when they’re out of the studio. Though I don’t necessarily need to know a lot about an artist’s personal life, in the case of Keyshia Cole, knowing what she’s been through led me to develop an affinity for her that will, if nothing else, always leave me open to hearing her new music.

Now, I didn’t like it when Keyshia Cole tried to come for Beyoncé about “Bow Down/I Been On,” but I’m assuming she’s made penance with Black Jesus.

Whatever the case, Keyshia is smart to realize that the Love & Hip Hop franchise is hugely popular and essentially another opportunity to get folks invested in her life and, by extension, her new music. Her second BET series, Keyshia Cole: All In, didn’t do the trick, but I trust in Monami and Eastern, who produce LHH.

As for the Love & Hip Hop franchise itself, it’s so good to know an artist that I have actually heard of has signed on. In the past, some have been Throwback Thursday or Flashback Friday or, at the bare minimum, someone on the rise. Ever so increasingly, though, it’s been a lot of, “Where in the hell did you come from and why are you here?”

On a recent episode of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, quite a few viewers were left bored out of their mind, since we had to watch some woman claiming to be the CEO of a nail salon (insert laugh track here) beef with her assistant and marketing director (insert laugh track here) and some Asian girl from Instagram who thinks she’s the next Cardi B, when she’s likely to end up being a less poppin’ Shekinah.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

As all sensible people know, the 45th president of the United States is a stupid, shifty, lying son of a bitch. If you heard “son of a bitch” in Tisha Campbell’s voice when she played Yvonne in Boomerang, congratulations, you’re a real one. However, when it comes to sensible people in public life who are not afraid of Peachy Pol Pot and his pathetic band of white supremacists poorly running the White House, no one tops California Rep. Maxine Waters.

Waters, like most black women, is doing more work on behalf of the resistance—or, hell, basic human decency—than many of her peers. Shoutout to the 53 percent of white women who helped make her life and the rest of our lives much worse than it needed to be. In any event, no matter what racist, extra-loud jackasses who host Fox News shows and likely jerk off to the sound of their own voices thinks, Maxine Waters is a patriot.

As a personal thank-you to Waters, the de facto auntie of Congress, here is a list of her greatest hits thus far in reading that orange, vile, lazy nincompoop of a president for the foolish and perhaps treasonous fraud that he is.

“I don’t believe anything Donald Trump says.”

To be fair to Waters, she tried to give him the benefit of the doubt as much as she could muster. After all, as she points out, he is a lying-ass liar who has given her no reason to believe anything he has to say. Not to mention, he’s disrespectful and a con artist. She left out that he eats well-done steaks with ketchup, but you get it.

What I appreciate most about this clip is that she refused to fall for the okey-doke when asked if President Barack Obama vouched for him; she dismissed that shit for the crock it was. As if Michelle Obama would have ever let that go down.

“I don’t choose to go, I don’t choose to honor him … and that’s that.”

Mariah Carey likes to use “I don’t know her” when dismissing someone. With Auntie Maxine, she will tell you that she indeed knows who you are but she just can’t stand your ass. When Waters, a woman after my own heart, was asked about 45’s fake love of black colleges and universities, she rightly dismissed it for the con it later turned out to be. Why? ’Cause 45 never showed us “where dem dollas at.”

Moreover, when asked if she was attending the president’s joint address of Congress, she told MSNBC’s Katy Tur hell no, and proceeded to remind her and the viewing public that she doesn’t choose to honor him. Tur tried it when she attempted to compare Waters’ decision not to go to to his hourlong gabfest to that time that fool yelled “You lie!” to Obama, but Waters was not having it. If anything, her refusal to go see a sexist, xenophobic racist blab a bunch of nothing for an hour was a nice gesture because she could have yelled out, “Fuck that thot” for his entire speech, and I would’ve done nothing but stand up in my apartment and applaud her.

“This is a bunch of scumbags.”

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes didn’t appear to be used to a praying grandmother who can also curse you smooth out without any curse words, but he learned a valuable lesson during an interview with Waters in February. While discussing 45 and his sect, she declared: “I just think the American people had better understand what’s going on. This is a bunch of scumbags. That’s what they are. Who are all organized around making money.”

Spot the lie.

Waters on Betsy DeVos, a “wannabe billionaire teacher.”

In another February interview, Waters stopped dragging 45 long enough to snatch hairs out of his education secretary, Betsy DeVos. Considering her terrible performances during her confirmation hearings, you can’t blame Waters for dismissing DeVos as an inexperienced ditz.

 Waters said this:

Betsy DeVos has no experience, no background. You know, she, of course, never attended public school herself. Her children never attended public school. She’s never served on a school board, never taught. She’s never done anything except make big donations to Trump and others.

So this billionaire wannabe teacher is now in the position where there’s a big fight going on in the Senate.

No shade.

“I have not called for the impeachment yet. He’s doing it himself.”

Be very clear: When it comes to Tangerine Mussolini and the issue of impeachment, it’s not her fault she’s talking about it. No, no. It’s your raggedy president’s fault for being such a trash box. And she proceeded to read out a laundry list of his offenses less than 75 days into his garbage-grade presidency.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Bill O’Reilly is the crotchety, shouting canker sore of cable news.

For several years now, the FOX News host has made millions off of the vilification of Black bodies, spirits, and political ideologies. Most of us have tried to make peace with the sad reality that we can’t stop his shtick, thus, we try to ignore him as much as possible. However, there are still some instances in which we cannot ignore his bullshit. Say, when the loudmouth comes for the hair that sits on the head of the immaculate and always necessary Maxine Waters.

During a Tuesday appearance on another god-awful FOX News show, Fox & Friends, O’Reilly’s Vigo from Ghostbusters II looking somebody had the unmitigated gall to come for Waters’ wig. Earlier in the week, Waters gave an impassioned speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, condemning the president and arguing that those who are turning a blind eye to the destruction he has wrought lack sincere patriotism.

When questioned about her remarks, O’Reilly said, “I didn’t hear a word she said. I was looking at the James Brown wig.” Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earnhardt cut in to note, “You can’t go after a woman’s looks. I think she’s very attractive.” In response, O’Reilly said, “I didn’t say she wasn’t attractive… I love James Brown, but it’s the same hair.”

It’s actually not the same hair, but his confusion isn’t surprising.

After all, O’Reilly is the same man, who in 2007, went to Sylvia’s, a soul food restaurant in Harlem, with Al Sharpton and later said he was shocked that “There wasn’t one person in Sylvia’s who was screaming, ‘Motherfu*ker, I want more iced tea.'”

For the record, O’Reilly, that is not a James Brown wig. I happen to love Maxine Waters’ wig. That wig is very First Lady of the megachurch or Head Deaconess hair. In other words, the hair, like everything else with Maxine Waters, is anointed.

In that same segment, O’Reilly went on to say: “She’s a sincere individual. Whatever she says, she believes. She’s not a phony, that’s old school. So we’re giving Maxine a break here. I love you, Maxine. I want to see you on ‘the Factor’ and, when hell freezes over, I’m sure that’ll happen.”

O’Reilly would later release a statement by Tuesday afternoon, apologizing for his remarks: “As I have said many times, I respect Congresswoman Maxine Waters for being sincere in her beliefs,” he said in a statement. “I said that again today on Fox & Friends calling her ‘old school.’ Unfortunately, I also made a jest about her hair which was dumb. I apologize.” However, considering his penchant for being a jackass with a deluded sense of moral authority, O’Reilly reminded everyone exactly who he really is by Tuesday evening’s airing of The O’Reilly Factor. While repeating his apology, O’Reilly snickered and would go on to lecture Waters about “demagoguery.” O’Reilly questioned her patriotism and argued that she and others on the left need to “stop the ideological nonsense and really focus on what America offers.”

Bill O’Reilly works on a conservative cable news station that serves as de facto state TV so it’s mighty rich that he, a man who routinely advocates for the “white establishment” while pretending white privilege is nonexistent, wants to lament about how ideology and demagoguery hurt the nation. Meanwhile, Waters made a stirring speech about a buffoonish president with dubious ties to a hostile foreign government that deserved real addressing, but O’Reilly opted instead to focus on her hair.

Read the rest at Essence.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

A couple of weeks ago, June’s Diary, an R&B girl group formed last year on the Kelly Rowland-hosted BET series Chasing Destiny, released a cover of Jodeci’s “Stay.” In the past, the group has released other covers, from Drake’s “Hotline Bling” to Xscape’s “Tonight.” Couple those gorgeous spins with their spectacular rendition of the Negro National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and the quintet has proven itself to be one of the most vocally talented groups to enter the music scene in years.

These covers have been widely shared across social media. But neither they, nor the group’s various buzz singles, like “All of Us” and “L.A.N.C.E.”, have led to a longer release. Without an album, it seems unlikely that the group will garner bigger recognition or success. Or perhaps it’s the other way around; a few months ago, their manager and former Chasing Destiny judge Frank Gatson explained why the group hasn’t released so much as an EP. “We must find a hit song,” he commented wryly on Instagram. “Send one if you have it.” But something else he wrote hit closer to the point: “A lot of people don’t know who @junesdiary is.”

It’s not surprising that June’s Diary hasn’t been able to make a mark. When you think about it, it’s been a while since any R&B girl group has done so. This is disappointing to those of us who grew up with a plethora of R&B girl groups to choose from; gone are the days in which you needed multiple hands to count them all. A couple of decades ago, TLC, Destiny’s Child, SWV, and En Vogue all but defined a musical era, selling millions of albums and releasing huge crossover singles. Other groups, like Jade, Brownstone, and Kut Klose, also achieved success in the ’90s.

Only one girl group has truly risen to fame in recent years. But Fifth Harmony’s success only reaffirms the challenges that directly impact girl groups, particularly those made up predominantly of Black women, in finding the support from a label they need to reach audiences. For one thing, Fifth Harmony is a pop-centered group. Sure, they do dabble in Black music, but typically by way of collaborations with rappers like Kid Ink, Fetty Wap, and Ty Dolla $ign. But that’s not R&B; it’s a tried and true way for a pop act to score multi-format airplay.

Television has noticeably been the lone successful means of breaking a girl group in the modern era. Groups haven’t gained success through the traditional route of releasing singles and going on the road; they have been made on reality shows, which helps secure instant name recognition—the kind that makes it much easier to assemble a fan base. See: Danity Kane before they blew it. Like June’s Diary, which earned a record deal with Epic Records on Chasing Destiny, Fifth Harmony was formed on television and scored a record deal thanks to that medium. Even so, Fifth Harmony came to be via Fox’s The X Factor. Fox, being a broadcast channel, has a much larger reach than BET. And BET has since cancelled Chasing Destiny, which makes it all the more difficult for the fledgling June’s Diary to build a following.

Read the rest at Elle.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Last month, TLC celebrated the 25th anniversary of their groundbreaking debut album, Ooooooohhh … on the TLC Tip.

Last week, TLC announced that they’ll be headlining the “I Love the 90’s Tour: The Party Continues,” which will feature Montell Jordan, Sugar Ray’s Mark McGrath, Naughty by Nature and Biz Markie. Presently, I’m wondering how a group that had one of the most infamous episodes of Behind the Music morphed into an edition of Unsung.

It’s no disrespect to the other acts on the bill, but as good as an idea about a novelty tour themed around the 1990s is, it feels like an odd fit for a group that sold 75 million albums and has been touted as the biggest-selling girl group of all time behind the Spice Girls.

If you switched out TLC for 702, Kut Klose, Jade, Brownstone, Divine or En Vogue without Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones, it would sound more reasonable. I like and still listen to many tracks from the aforementioned, but they’re not TLC. They’re not the group that owned much of the 1990s on their own accord and whose success spilled over into the early 2000s before the untimely death of their third member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes.

In a press release about the upcoming tour, TLC’s remaining members, T-Boz and Chilli, stated: “We’re so excited to get back on the road this summer and give our fans some new TLC music along with our original hits. Being able to headline this tour with our friends and peers from the ’90s is SO AMAZING!”

The new music in question will come from their forthcoming album that the group used Kickstarter to raise funds to record. However, back in 2013, after releasing the trailer to their VH1 biopic, CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story, TLC announced that they had signed a deal with Epic Records—a deal that would offer an album primarily handled by longtime producer Dallas Austin. It also promised new songs written by Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo, and would feature contributions from Drake and J. Cole. What we got instead was yet another greatest-hits album and rumors that the women were dropped over their portrayal of their former manager, Pebbles, in the film.

Where did the album go? As for the fan-funded project, the Kickstarter campaign for it was launched in January 2015. It exceeded its contribution goal and gained widespread coverage after contemporary artists like Katy Perry donated money and publicity to the effort. But that album was set to drop by the end of that year, and only now will fans get what was promised by summer.

That album, like the tour, comes across as a bit odd, given the group’s stature at varying points at the peak of their career.

I remember once going to the 1995 Budweiser Superfest to see TLC, Boyz II Men, Mary J. Blige and Montell Jordan perform. TLC ended up canceling their spot, so for some tourgoers, they’ll finally get to enjoy same-night performances of “Red Light Special” and “Somethin 4 Da Honeyz.” Still, when you think about the other acts on that bill who didn’t record a bop with Master P, you will see how, in comparison, they have managed to avoid going on tour with the dude from Sugar Ray.

Boyz II Men are long past their peak, but they have consistently toured the world for years and now have a Las Vegas residency. Blige has been consistent for more than 25 years and enjoys a career that includes recording Christmas songs with Barbra Streisand that get played nonstop at Macy’s during the holidays. Blige also still releases singles that get airplay—singles that make her sound like Bryson Tiller’s auntie who aims to show her how to do the style she helped create. But hey, MJB has always kept cultural relevancy in her back pocket.

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Who told Iggy Azalea to stop working with black people from Atlanta and pretending to be the love child of Charli Baltimore and Diamond from Crime Mob?

Although “Fancy,” that fake-ass DJ Mustard track, was a monstrous hit, beyond that song, the only other decent ones Azalea ever managed to release were “Pu$$y” and “Murda Bizness,” featuring T.I. Those were the songs that first gained her national attention and a small but solid and eager fan base.

Make no mistake—her fraudulent blaccent has annoyed me quite a few times—but a bop is a bop, beloveds. Yes, cultural appropriation is bad, I should know better, yadda-yadda. That said, if you’re going to steal our shit, steal it correctly. Give me an ole’ nasty, problematic bop. When the ancestors greet me with their disappointment, I need them to at least know it was for something I danced to emphatically.

Sure, “Black Widow” featuring Rita Ora was a hit, but it made a suspicious character—why does an Australian white girl sound like that?—even more gimmicky and, subsequently, all the easier to dismiss.

Those generic pop hits are exactly why Azalea has been trying for more than a year now to bring that old thing back. Well, trying and failing miserably … bless her heart. This would include the singles “Azillion” and “Team.” Those songs sound like the kind white people make when they want to sound a lil’ black, but not too black. They’re more or less the audible version of greens purchased from Neiman Marcus.

Sadly, the same goes for her latest release, “Mo Bounce.” If someone tells you that this song slaps, tell them that you will be praying extra hard that Obamacare is not repealed and the health industry is not thrown into disarray, because they need medical attention. This song ain’t it. It’s not even a lil’ bit of it.

It’s not lit or even in possession of the slightest flicker. The newly released music video isn’t much better. It reminds me of a commercial from a major company desperately trying to look cool to young people. Wait, is that basically a Black Eyed Peas video? Please advise.

In a recent interview with Zane Lowe, Azalea apologized for the delay of her new album and claimed that she was starting the project all over again.

“I promise you I had my whole record down and I scrapped the entire thing. It was good stuff; it’s not even that it was bad!” she explained. “I just had a lot of life changes right before I was supposed to drop my album, and I thought, ‘You know what? This is no longer reflective of what I want to say or what I want to talk about or who I am.’”

Translation: None of my singles were taking off and the label was like, “Oh, girl. Start over. We need that Vanilla Ice-meets-Nicki Minaj money.”

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Tomi Lahren’s entire shtick is that she serves the ugliness of white male patriarchy with packaging that mirrors Malibu Barbie.

That line of work includes continuously distorting the merits of Black people’s right to protest; stripping Black people of their humanity even when met with the deadliest forms of racism; either turning a blind eye to various streams of prejudice, or worse, try to argue its merits with a faux sense of righteousness; lie like hell.

So, when it was reported that she was suspended at The Blaze for being pro-choice, the only thing that should come to mind is the glorious Negro Proverb “the game is the game.”

During a recent appearance on The View, Lahren offered this statement in support of reproductive rights for women:

“I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government, but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies; stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”

Of course these remarks resulted in her suspension. For all the chatter about Glenn Beck’s purported rebirth, Beck rose to fame after swimming through the pools of racism, sexism, and xenophobia. It’s how he became a star on talk radio and FOX News and ultimately launched The Blaze. Modern conservatism is less about the virtues of small government and more about the preservation of white male power and their false sense of moral authority.

Lahren, whose recently uncovered footage of her pre-Blaze work shows she used to maintain much more liberal views, made a conscious choice to swim in these same pools for careerist goals. Lahren may not be the brightest bulb in the room, but she knew she could reach many more rooms being a pretty white face for views largely held by crotchety old white men. The minute she stepped out of the line of their thinking, she was reminded of who she was and what arena she sits in.

Oh well.

Even if done in cheeky fashion, The Daily Show host Trevor Noah wasted time once again giving this racist more attention on his show than she deserves. Some have hailed his response as perfect, but many of us are far less generous. Oddly enough, I’m inclined to agree with The Blaze’s Matt Walsh, who points out that it’s actually Lahren who is just as hypocritical as others are claiming the site to be.

Walsh writes: “Tomi, who has repeatedly blasted liberals for believing that the unborn have no rights, has now decided that actually the unborn really don’t have any rights, and anyone who believes otherwise (anyone who believes as she professed to believe about 14 seconds ago) is a hypocrite and a hater. Again, I can’t explain this dramatic and troubling change of heart.”

That’s actually quite easy to make out. Lahren doesn’t come across as an ideological purist, but an opportunist willing to do and say anything to get on television and build a platform. That’s not an anomaly in the world of punditry and in Lahren’s case, while pursing applause on a mainstream daytime talk show, she forgot where she presently works.

Read the rest at Essence.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

As lovely a title as “White House press secretary” sounds, if the job becomes nothing more than trying not to lose your brains and balls to your degenerate boss who’s detached from reality, when does one’s inner Kenny Rogers appear to “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em”?

Granted, considering that Sean Spicer’s previous gig was communications director of the Republican National Committee, he’s well-versed in the art of lying like hell while sporting a self-important smug. Still, when you’re the spokesperson for Sweet Potato Saddam’s increasingly disastrous administration, it requires a level of sociopathy for which Spicer doesn’t seem to have the range. Not the convincing levels required for the gig, anyway.

Like, when he tried to argue that Michael Flynn, who was attached at the hip to 45 during the campaign and briefly served as his national security adviser, was only a “volunteer” for the campaign. Yeah, a volunteer who served as a top adviser and whose name was floated as a potential vice presidential pick. Likewise, Spicer described Paul Manafort as having only a “limited role” in Sweet Potato Saddam’s presidential campaign despite having the title of campaign manager.

And even after FBI Director James Comey testified before Congress and dismissed the claim that former President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of Trump Tower, Spicer said Monday, “We are still at the beginning phase of a look as to what kind of surveillance took place and why.”

Then there is Spicer answering a question about why 45 didn’t shake German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand by claiming, “I don’t think he heard the question.” Never mind the video of Merkel asking him and his clearly hearing her question and yet refusing to shake her damn hand for the photo op. Oh, Spicer also lied on the British intelligence community, too.

Week after week, Spicer manages to make an ass of himself—to the point where he has ventured far beyond self-parody and into full-fledged damn fool.

However, Spicer’s penchant for poorly crafted lies and varying methods of deflection arguably two-stepped into casual racism when he tried to answer a question about 45’s hypocrisy over the number of hours he spends golfing. Last August, 45 said in Virginia, “I’m going to be working for you. I’m not going to have time to go play golf.” He went on to claim that Obama had “played more golf than most people on the PGA Tour.”

As previously written, y’all’s president is a lazy thot and, since taking office, has, on 10 different occasions, traveled to golf clubs he owns in Florida to play golf. As the Washington Post’s Phillip Bump notes, that’s “one out of every six days he’s been in office.”

Read the rest at The Root.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone