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Nine years ago, when this blog was less than two months old and nothing more than just practice for a 21-year-old college student and summer intern in NYC, I wrote a post about Teairra Mari — namely my belief that “No Daddy” and the overall sexualization of a still-minor would doom whatever was to come of her music career. Well, I didn’t say it that well, but that was the gist of my feelings. Again, I was 21.

I’ve long felt bad for Teairra Mari because what I neglected to include in that original post was that if nothing else, that girl had a sparkle about her. I saw her at one internship, Rihanna at another, and while Rihanna is certainly a star now, she was not at the time. Teairra stepped in a room knowing she was something and you could tell that had nothing to do with all of those then important people surrounding her.

She’s always had it, only those around her set her up to fail. Her debut album was decent, but probably better for a woman at 23 than a 16, 17-year-old girl.

Now, she’s a reality star whose storyline is stuck on stupid. Stupid would be Kim Kardashian’s biggest dick rider and Brandy’s brother, Ray J. Ray J has a hit here and there, which in some ways is a nod to him given he’s been independent for a long time. But he cannot sing. He has acted in the past, but his best performance was on Sinbad’s old sitcom. He strikes me as someone more interested in celebrity than his art — making him perfect for reality TV.

Teairra Mari is a hot head who lets loose when she gets drunk, so she works well in that world, but I can’t help but feel a little bad because her stage should be an actual one as opposed to a camera crew waiting for her to explode.

As much fun as I have writing about Love & Hip Hop Hollywood – yes, her curse outs, swings, and blow ups included – I was wondering when in the fuck Teairra Mari was going to actually drop some new material.

Here we are.

Teairra has always had a decent voice, but she sounds clearer, stronger here. From my understanding, she still doesn’t have a label. Someone sign her. Give her a chance. Let her be the West Coast K. Michelle. Hell, even if she’s going to remain a hot head, at least channel that better.

Like: Become the Diamond from Crime Mob of R&B.

Although Teairra Mari seems to regret doing the show, I think most understand she wasn’t left with many options. Many had already forgotten about her and some had no clue who she was by the time this show started airing. At this point, the show has served its purpose. People either remember or now know who she is – for better or worse – and she’s managed to get a decent track to highlight her gifts out of it.

She’s already put out a bunch of mixtapes, but another one or even an EP couldn’t hurt given the increased eyes on her. Again, someone please sign her. Line her up with good producers. Don’t let her around any of the people who fucked her over nine years ago.

Teairra said on the season finale that she didn’t want her peak to be at 16. It would be so wrong if that came to be. Give her a chance.

I don’t want to write about her acting a fool on another season Love & Hip Hop Hollywood. Let her at least get back to her day job. If nothing else, reality TV has been good for many women in R&B. I’ve written about this before. I want Teairra to be the next success story.

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I like Anthony Hamilton, but who told him it was okay to cover Jodeci’s “Freek ‘N You?” When I turned to my friend, Devon, for answers, she said, “Not the streets.” Great answer.

There is something about this that makes me unnecessarily angry. I played this a few times to see if I’m being unreasonable. I probably am, but it doesn’t matter. Still quietly raging about this.

It’s not that Anthony Hamilton cannot sing. I love his voice and his first album will forever be that knock. Unfortunately, I’m just too used to Anthony Hamilton singing about songs that center on fish grease and broken hearts to take anything that deviates from that seriously.

Well, “Float” is kind of sexy in like a I’m 53, still got it and I’m about to smash a 34-year-old who can pass for 28 and a half sort of way. But he’s not like Jodeci sexy. Yes, it’s K-Ci Hailey singing most of the time but I always envision Mr. Dalvin – peak bae – when I turn them on. This makes perfect sense. Do not question me.

Please don’t do this anymore, Anthony Hamilton. Maybe cover D’Angelo since you sang background for him. Or, if you’re that pressed to cover Jodeci, do “Love U 4 Life.” That’s your lane. Speed through it, sir.

Since we’re on Jodeci, I wasn’t disappointed with the Jodeci reunion at the 2014 Soul Train Awards as some were, mostly because I kept my expectations low. For one, all of the members of Jodeci are alive, which is no easy feat given most of their post-The Show, the After-Party, the Hotel lives. Each member actually was able to stand on his own two feet throughout the duration of the performance. The last time I saw Devante, he was drunk and under a table at a Subway in Burbank as outed by TMZ. Life hit that man the hardest given he is basically Timbaland Sr. with Frankie Lymon’s money troubles.

No, they didn’t sing live, opting instead to sing to vocals recorded over 20 years ago. To be fair, we probably didn’t want to hear those rusty ass pipes. Not to mention, lip syncing on Soul Train is a time honored tradition. Maybe they felt like being purists the night this show as filmed.

One issue, though, was that the group did not include “Feenin'” in their roundup of hits. Someone else brought this to my attention. I mean, I like “Feenin’,” but if it up to me, I would have had them perform “Let’s Go Through The Motions.” Who remembers them performing that in Who’s The Man? Stop lying. You remember that movie!

I would’ve also added “My Heart Belongs To You,” “Time & Place,” and then “You Got It” — only because Wendy Williams is at the beginning of the intro. Whew, look at far mama has gone.

Yeah, like why not “Feenin'” or anything I mentioned? B.o.B. may be the bae, but no one wants to hear a new Jodeci track with him on it. If there was any disappointing portion of the performance, it was that. The rest we just have show a little compassion for. We could’ve ended up with like JoJo, Mr. Dalvin without a leg, and Chris Brown and Trey Songz’s kid brother as stand-ins.

Celebrate what you can sometimes, beloveds.


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We have reached the end of the inaugural season of Love & Hip Hop Hollywood and all I have are questions. Maybe they’ll be settled at the reunion, but since I’m not hosting, I doubt it. So I’ll just use this space here. Please tweet the cast this link, y’all, ‘cause I have to know some things.

My first question is for Masika: Why are you such a mean-ass bitch?

If you feel that question is gendered replace “bitch” with “asshole.” Regardless, you are fucking evil, Masika, and I really want to know why. My follow up question is, “Do I need to call Iyanla to fix you?” Or better yet, Snoop Dogg, since he’s become the Dr. Phil of this franchise.

Seeing as how Hazel E is psychotic over Yung Berg, Masika didn’t have to rub it in her face that she’s screwing Hazel’s imaginary boyfriend. Masika takes pleasure in other women’s humiliation. If Disney ever produces an animated movie calledThe Thots of Terror, I recommend Masika play the evil empress of Thotville.

Moving on to other terrible people, my next question is for Nia: What is wrong with you?

After Nia and her daughter were involved in a car accident, Soulja Boy rushed to be by her side. It takes a near-death experience for Soulja Boy to show he cares. Apparently, Nia having a miscarriage with the child they conceived wasn’t enough. At one point, Nia says, in the confessional, “That’s the man I love and I MIGHT spend the rest of my life with.”

Woman, get a grip.

When a man blocks you on Instagram after you have a miscarriage, no matter what he does after that, you’ve got to run away from him as opposed to what you did: get his name tattooed on your neck.

In Fizz’s case, he has no choice but to deal with Moniece because he made a baby with her. The two met at the beach to talk. Moniece described the scene as “romantic.” She would, as she is pinning for Fizz to take her crazy ass back. Yo, if Moniece ever turned out to be a serial killer, I would not be surprised. Wait, let me shut up before she makes me target practice.

In any event, Fizz calmly expressed his concerns to Moniece and stressed the need for them to co-parent in peace. Fizz realizes that he’s stuck with this woman for at least another decade so he may as well suck it up and try to get along with her. Doing so will help stop her from spreading alleged lies about him “in the blogs,” and you know, probably stabbing him in his sleep while wearing a wedding gown.

Now, I do have a question for Fizz: Why are you still rapping?

I mean, the verse I heard in the studio wasn’t bad, but I’m surprised he hasn’t tried acting. No, those B2K movies don’t count. I mean, he should go be the blue collar, light skinned savior in a Tyler Perry movie.

Read the rest at Complex.

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As well intentioned as he may be and as inspiring a figure as many rightfully find him, Pharrell is not equipped to share any meaningful thoughts on racial politics. His latest offense comes from his interview with EBONY magazine. Though the interview took place before Darren Wilson was given in a free pass to shoot an unarmed Black man, Pharrell played into the very sort of stereotypes and irrelevant arguments that others have used to excuse Michael Brown’s execution.

Speaking on the convenience store surveillance video allegedly showing Brown shoplifting cigars –Pharrell said, “It looked very bullyish; that in itself I had a problem with. Not with the kid, but with whatever happened in his life for him to arrive at a place where that behavior is OK. Why aren’t we talking about that?”

I know that these days Pharrell fancies himself as some sort of hip-hop Yoda, but need I remind you, sir, that you are the same person behind songs like Noreaga’s “Superthug.” You lent your production talents to the walking Crip billboard — Snoop Dogg, the ex-drug dealer (who won’t stop rhyming about it) Jay Z, and the repeat offender and real-life G.I. Joe character T.I., as well as many other rappers who have helped shape the very culture you’ve profited from but are now condemning.

Pharrell did go on to add that he believes that Darren Wilson still deserved punishment given he used “excessive force on a human being who was merely a child.” However, Pharrell continues to blame the victim when he further argues: “The boy was walking in the middle of the street when the police supposedly told him to ‘get the f–k on the sidewalk.’ If you don’t listen to that, after just having pushed a storeowner, you’re asking for trouble. But you’re not asking to be killed. Some of these youth feel hunted and preyed upon, and that’s why that officer needs to be punished.”

How about an officer of the law shouldn’t be telling citizens to “get the fuck on the sidewalk?” The harsh reality is that even if Michael Brown was walking on the sidewalk, he still might’ve fallen victim to Darren Wilson or come other officer like him, given law enforcement’s collective fear and profiling of Black men?

Trayvon Martin was minding his damn business when fake cop, but clearly into the ways of the po-lice George Zimmerman virtually stalked him upon sight? When white people feel like a Black man or Black woman does not belong where they are, this is what happens. So as much as Michael Brown’s manners might matter to Pharrell, to answer the question “Why aren’t we talking about that?” it’s because it truly doesn’t matter much on why he loss his life.

Read the rest at theGrio.



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Now that he’s gotten away with fatally shooting the unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, Darren Wilson has started to step out in order to tell “his side of the story.” Similarly, other public figures are doing their part to ultimately assist Wilson in the shared goal of humanizing him. It’s an exercise in futility.

In a single interview Darren Wilson appears no less the monster many of us have pegged him to be, based on his actions and the ridiculous testimony he gave the grand jury in defense of it. If anything, we’re only more angered by the defiance he continued to display in his interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.

Wilson disparages the area where he shot Michael Brown and let his dead body rot in the streets for several hours for residents to see yet assures Stephanopoulous that there is no racial bias, arguing “Ferguson loves Ferguson.” There is no remorse for what he did as he explains that when it comes to the federal investigation into his actions, “I stand by what I did. I stand by my training, and just have to wait and see what they determine.”

Darren Wilson’s lawyers also make clear that he will not apologize to Michael Brown’s family. One member of his four-person legal team, James Towey, argued to The Washington Post, “Even if he gave the most heartfelt apology, they’d still not like it.” Maybe not, but an attempt to make an act of contrition is a testament to one’s character.

The entire scope of the article is to make us feel bad for Darren Wilson’s life following him ending the life of Michael Brown. He can no longer be a cop. He has become “the poster child for bad race relations.” He lives in hiding.

Boo hoo, blah, blah, I don’t give a damn.

At least he’s alive. He’s married, he’s got a baby on the way, and he’s secured both a nice retirement package and in excess of a million dollars from donations. People have rewarded him for taking the life of an unarmed Black teenager.

And thanks to one biased special prosecutor and his team of police-loving, equally morally bankrupt flunkies, Darren Wilson won’t even be charged for his crimes in the state of Missouri.

Forgive me if it’s hard to feel sorry for him.

Read more at NewsOne.

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Who else remembers being perplexed like shit at the sight of Keyshia Cole sitting by the bed of Paris Hilton on some MTV special that aired approximately 100 years ago, before Kim Kardashian completely stole her thunder stateside? I don’t remember the exact context, but I recall a friend comparing K. Michelle to Keyshia Cole, saying something to the effect that they are both hoodrats, only K. Michelle is able to be “classed” up in a way Keyshia Cole cannot. I get the gist of that sentiment, but as a bird myself, I cannot play into that sort of thinking. If anything, Keyshia Cole should have never bothered trying to go more mainstream given she was a platinum-plus selling artist being exactly who she was in both her music and TV shows.

K. Michelle is clearly trying to gussy up her act, only this is only surprising to those who haven’t listened to K. Michelle extensively. K. Michelle has always been frank about her love of country music and in recent years, expressed a desire to take her music in a different direction. Yes, most people learned of her existence via Love & Hip Hop, but she is a person who once shared a vocal coach with Justin Timberlake. She is an actual musician whereas Keyshia Cole is the younger cousin Mary J. Blige never met because that side of the family tree’s branch was burned and turned to sage. That’s no shade; that’s exactly how I describe my side of the family to people.

Some birds are able to switch up their feathers. Some of us are crows, others get to be doves and peacocks. I’m always debating with friends on my level of bird. I happen to think I’m a dove, but since haters are gonna hate, others would argue DC pigeon or compromise on cardinal. Whatever.

Point is, I’m loving the new sounds of K. Michelle because while there is a noticeable softer shift in the sound of the music, she still has a lot of bite, and more importantly, a lot of heart. This isn’t a forced change; this is someone evolving into the artist they were meant to be. The kind of act they have offered hints of becoming in the past if you paid close enough attention. These new songs – “Love “Em,” “Maybe I Should Call,” “Going Under,” and “How Do You Know?” – are not unlike some of the songs featured on her mixtapes. Say, “Heartbreaks and Headboards,” “Summer,” “Tomorrow Too Late,” and “Pale Song #1.”

They remind me of the bougie mumbo sauce and fried chicken wings they sell at that D.C. restaurant called The Hamilton. Sure, they’re prettier, and yeah, you’re definitely consuming it all in a nicer locale. Nonetheless, you are eating Chinese takeout shit. Or better yet, this is Regine Hunter: from the projects, but packaged prettier.

Regine is the patron saint of sophistiratchets, a group I consider myself to be a part of.

I have a special place in my heart for people who put their special genre of crazy upfront. K. Michelle is kooky as hell and at any given moment, may be talking about some sort of affair with Idris Elba or a lesbian sex tape. What makes me love her most and this new direction even more, though, is how heartfelt these songs sound. K. Michelle’s Rebellious Soul musical was a mistake that I’d like to never discuss again after the end of this sentence, but the reworked songs are gorgeous. Especially “Damn.”

“Damn” sends me deep into my feelings from the very opening line: “Damn, here I go again. Falling for the wrong man.” Like, must you call me out like that, Kimberly Michelle Pate? The same goes for “Maybe I Should Call,” which I think is one of the best R&B singles to be released this year. Fuck it: the last five years. K. Michelle is a gifted singer-songwriter. I think Anybody Wanna Buy A Heart? will make that clearer to people.

About a month ago, I found myself in bed playing “Maybe I Should Call” on loop. It made me think of someone who I used to always debate on whether or not to reach out to. For a millisecond, I damn near wanted to go full Jhené Aiko and cry. I caught myself, opting instead to play Iyanla Vanzant shouting “NOT ON MY WATCH!”

Some people may always sadden you and that’s perfectly okay. You may consider reaching out, but more often than not, there’s a reason you let go. I love R&B songs that make me feel something. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m about to proceed to exhale, shoop shoop.

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Irv Gotti did Nicki Minaj no favors when he compared her to Lauryn Hill in 2010, telling VIBE:

“The world has yet to see the best of Nicki Minaj. What she’s delivering to the world now is basically what they want. But I know that she’s a super talented superstar who can do anything at a high level—rap, sing, act, whatever she wants to do. This is just the beginning of Nicki Minaj. Her best is yet to come. In my opinion she is as talented as my other girl Lauryn Hill. They have completely different styles. But as far as the talent is concerned they both can do it all. Nicki just isn’t showing it yet ’cause she doesn’t want to. But world be prepared ’cause she’s the truth!”

Nicki Minaj made it even worse when she responded to Irv’s declaration by saying:

“Irv has been privy to hear things that I’ve done that the world hasn’t heard,” she says. “Based on the music I have out now, that sounds like an absurd comment, but when ‘Pink Friday’ comes out, you will completely understand why Irv made that comparison.”

Well, we’ve heard Pink Friday since then and one assumes in hindsight, Nicki Minaj might’ve been drunk off the test flavors of Myx moscato when she made such bold statements.

Nicki Minaj is a remarkably talented emcee. She isn’t just one of the best female rappers ever, she is bar for bar one of the best rappers of the last two decades and certainly on par with many of those who came before her — male or female. Her silliness and unevenness sonically may make that a hard statement to swallow, but I imagine in the coming years, many will see Nicki for what she is: a shrewd rapper who did her best with the limited options for which she was given to be a female rap star in the 2010s.

As far as her being an actress goes, I am unfamiliar, but I will say she is exceptionally theatrical and will likely go on to follow the footsteps of Will Smith and Queen Latifah. She cannot sing a good goddamn, though, and I truly wish she would stop trying. And while Lauryn Hill has very much soiled her own legacy with her post-peak antics, Nicki Minaj is not nearly as well rounded and thoughtful as she was. Lauryn Hill is many things, but simple is not one of them. It remains to be seen what will come of Nicki Minaj the musician in the future, but as of now, while each has their own gifts, we needn’t compare Dr. Seuss to Toni Morrison.

No matter because the bottom line is no new female rapper is helped when she is compared to Nicki Minaj.

That’s why I hope people quiet down on the comparisons between Tink and L-Boogie. I’ve been listening to Tink for a good while now. Her mixtapes. Her remixes and whatever else she uploads to her Soundcloud. Like Azealia Banks, she can both rap and sing exceptionally well. Dare I say, Tink is a better singer than Azealia and in some ways, very much the first female rapper to manage to do both on equal footing since Lauryn Hill. Still, that’s where the comparisons in.

Tink is a 19-year-old girl from Chicago. She’s a lot more commercial than Lauryn Hill so in some ways, a bit more formulaic when it comes to subject matter. But then you hear songs like “Tell The Children,” where the Chicago native offers the kind of sociopolitical commentary we just don’t hear from many rappers anymore. It’s important for the culture to have a young person from a city like Chicago speak on what’s going on today. For a 19-year-old to show this must thought in this short a turnaround is a testament to her talent and potential.

Salute to her on that, but again, do not compare her to Lauryn Hill. Lauryn Hill is a rap deity to far too many. It’s unfair to place the burden of living up to that standard on someone so young and seemingly green. Lauryn Hill cannot even live up to the mythology of her own name anymore — which is why she shows up to her concerts eight hours late and doing unrequested and erratic remixes of the songs from her debut album.

I tend to hate people who are quick to point out they know about an artist before the masses flock, but in this instance, I have to stake that claim. Knowing more helps me assess her more clearly. Tink is talented, but fluid in ways Lauryn Hill never was (in terms of sound) and convincing in ways Nicki Minaj will probably never be (same). Tink has a lot of promise, but as of now, it’s just promise. That’s enough pressure for a new artist. Don’t add any more.

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It was a bit difficult to focus on last night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop Hollywoodgiven the show aired only an hour before many of us would find ourselves distraught and angered after a smug, condescending prosecutor informed us that Darren Wilson would not be indicted for taking the life of the unarmed Michael Brown. If nothing else, though, the show was a distraction, and after watching it again this morning to really take it in, I’m ready to unleash.

I don’t know who is responsible for the sad state of affairs that is Soulja Boy’s emotional health, but hopefully he learns to communicate his feelings beyond blocking your boo thang on social media. Nia, perhaps in vain, tried to explain to Soulja Boy once more why she felt abandoned by him. After attempting to rationalize his distance by noting he had to keep his fans in mind—ergo, why he paid her no mind despite suffering a miscarriage—Nia refuted that nonsense with, “I lost a baby. Tou should’ve been there for me.”

Soulja Boy goes on to say, “We both took a loss,” but he is emotionally challenged; a child who honestly doesn’t seem to be in the position to be anyone’s father right now.

Nia, when your man effectively says “You had a miscarriage with my child and I was so sad about it, I blocked you on Instagram,” it’s time to toss that heart in a UHaul, and drive away—probably to old Mary J. Blige or new K. Michelle.

One person who doesn’t have any problem expressing her feelings is Hazel E, only her feelings are still seasoned with too much stupid and silly. I was with her when she reached out to Teairra Mari to try and mend the rift in their friendship. She verbalized ultimately what was her biggest problem with Teairra: Even if she didn’t agree with her choice to bend over to Berg and debase herself for a munchkin that didn’t deserve it, she wanted Teairra to just be a friend. I get that, but Hazel needs to grasp that you cannot police your friends’ feelings and real friends tell you what it is no matter how hard it might be for you to hear it. But hell, she tried.

Unfortunately, Hazel proceeded to then try the shit out of it when she asked Teairra to not work with Yung Berg in order to move forward in healing their relationship. Teairra Mari gave her that “Bitch, are you stupid?” face only to articulate that sentiment in softer terms—letting her know that no real friend would dare make such a request. She’s right.

Teairra Mari now has the same manager as Fizz, y’all. She no longer has a record deal. Despite Yung Berg not being even a decimeter of a decent man, the guy has produced a few hits and has a sound that works for her; why would anyone knowing the state of her career ask her to do something that would only further damage it. Teairra is too talented and too smart to entertain the request of the delusional.

Oh well, Hazel. I’ll lift your name in prayer to Self-Esteem Jesus. I’ll be asking Jesus to stop you from rapping, simping, and rapping about simping.

As for what else Teairra Mari and Fizz have in common, we can now add Nikki to the list. This show is full of forced relationships, so one shouldn’t be surprised that they keep that pattern going. Teairra fixed up Fizz with Nikki only I don’t see that going anywhere besides a used condom and an Uber ride home.

For starters, they both talk way too much about their exes. Who tells a person they just met why everything went wrong with the last person? These trainwrecks on VH1.

Listen here, y’all: If someone is talking to you about their ex on the first date, mentally check out. Save yourself.

Meanwhile, Fizz continues to have to engage in a back and forth with his caricature of a baby mama, Moniece. Moniece allegedly “went to the blogs” and accused Fizz of beating her and not being the best daddy. Moniece is out of her rabbit ass mind, though, so I get why Fizz would immediately want to check her on camera and fact check her bullshit in the confessional.

Read the rest at Complex.

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For a few weeks now, I and presumably other writers like me, have been asked to brace ourselves for this moment and to have our thoughts ready. These thoughts were mostly centered on this question: “If they decide not to indict Darren Wilson, what do you think should come next?” My answer remains the same: I don’t know.

What I do know is that Michael Brown’s killer shot him while he was unarmed and though the narratives of how that conclusion came to be have varied, the reality remains that if you are young and you are Black, you are 21 times more likely than whites to be shot dead by police. After that, your reputation may have to die, too, to uphold your killer’s name.

With this jury decision comes yet another reminder of how little many care about Black life. I’m not sure what’s next and none of us are being given enough time to consider our options. It’s already happening again.

On Saturday evening, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by a Cleveland police officer outside of a city recreation center. The officers who answered the police call about a “male threatening people with a gun” – a first-year rookie and a 10-year department veteran – “have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the department’s investigation.” Rice was carrying a BB Gun and I have no faith in the department’s investigation.

Not even little Black kids are safe from a police officer’s biases and bullets.

And when Black people are rightfully angry about it and peacefully take to the streets, somehow the victims get categorized as the agitators. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon set an unnecessary tone when he issued a state of emergency and activated the National Guard before the grand jury’s announcement. Earlier today, Nixon held a press conference where they effectively pleaded for the protection of property to people disheartened and rightfully angry with the police for stealing lives.

Over the weekend, President Obama did not help matters as he told ABC News that no protestor should use their right to express their views “as an excuse for violence.”

The police are the ones committing acts of violence and it is law enforcement agitating otherwise peaceful protests.

Worse is when Obama refuted Congressman John Lewis’ (D-GA) assessment that Ferguson is a “turning point” for the modern Civil Rights movement, comparing it to the march on Selma.

Mr. President, you don’t get to tell someone who was at Selma, or what is or is not like Selma. Moreover, to dismiss the role systematic segregation and discrimination plays in today’s culture of police brutality is to be willfully obtuse. Just look at Darren Wilson, a former member of a police force that was disbanded due to racial tensions, and a soon-to-be-retired member of another police force that has its ownreported issues with “officers’ training and racial sensitivity.”

America is not Disneyland; don’t bother trying to convince any of us otherwise.

As if this reality were not harsh enough, the manner in which the announcement that Darren Wilson would not be indicted made it all the more infuriating. While delivering his remarks, St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCullouch ever so condescendingly faulted the media and social media for…daring to care about Black life or not allowing them to quietly sweep Michael Brown’s life under the rug? At one point, McCullouch declared, “The real villain is the 24-hour news cycle.”

The villain is the person who killed an unarmed Black man. Don’t moralize the media and the folks on social media who got them to give a damn. Bob McCullouch’s speech was basically pouring salt on the wound and spitting in our faces.
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While discussing how wrong and utterly stupid people can be about anything Beyoncé related, my friend La succinctly packaged my grievances by noting, “I hate that every time she does something, it means we all who pay attention and have critical thinking skills have to suffer thru think pieces from who don’t.” She added an “lol,” but my ass ain’t laughing. The thinkpieces haven’t arrived yet, but the thoughtless musings have already started.

For starters, this idea that “7/11″ sounds like something from Unapologetic. Songs like “Pour It Up” are taking cues from Juicy J and “trap,” both of which are heavily (and admittedly by producers) influenced by DJ Screw and UGK. You know, the area where Beyoncé is actually from. As someone who still occasionally writes about music, it irritates the ever living shit out of me how often people who write about music don’t know much about it. This is always true about anything southern Black related.

Even after the now perfect visual, there are some who once again want to echo this sentiment and attribute to the larger point: Beyoncé is copying Rihanna. The people who think this are more than likely the folks who had no idea about the term “ratchet” and Lil’ Boosie until they discovered Twitter. Likewise, these are people who don’t know anything about southern rap outside the shit they discovered in the aughts — so much of which is nothing more than an amalgamation of sounds from the cities of Houston, New Orleans, Dallas, and Miami. This is probably why some felt “Bow Down” was jacking A$AP Rocky, the Harlem native whose entire sound has largely been derived from the Houston rap me and Beyoncé listened to in like elementary and middle school.

Let’s just be clear that a Black girl from Houston, Texas doesn’t need to take cues from a girl born in Barbados, a man from Harlem, among others riding off a Houston influence (Hey, Aubrey Graham) on how to incorporate Screw-influenced music and otherwise hood shit into her act. Especially if said artist is from the Third Ward area of H-Tine, and most of all, has been doing “ratchet” shit before these complaining sum’bitches started dick-riding the term and proceeded to abuse to death.

Since Destiny’s Child started, Beyoncé has worked with local Houston rappers, No Limit rappers, and if you gloss over the Destiny’s Child catalog, has as many birds in her stock as a Popeye’s on MLK. Never forget that Destiny’s Child scored a crossover hit in a song like “Soldier,” which is about their love of a big dick thug. This is a song that came out after they became mainstream staples, mind you.

Beyoncé is also the girl who flipped an old DJ Jubilee sound into an R&B dance track. Perhaps some of you were blinded by the video, which was inspired by The Frug Bob Fosse’s film adaptation of the Broadway musical Sweet Charity, but that’s still New Orleans bounce you are dancing to, beloveds.

I could go on – Beyoncé breaking into the southside flow on “Kitty Kat” – but these motherfuckers don’t pay attention or listen, so why keep bothering? If anything, unlike Rihanna and many other Black acts, Beyoncé is someone whose music remained unapologetically Black more often than not in spite of the shrinking influence of “urban radio” and the pressures to join the EDM, Kid Bopz sounding bullshit one finds on those pop stations.

By the way, I also some tweet that said “7/11″ sounds like The Lonely Island’s idea of a Beyoncé song. That’s some white people shit and I’ll leave it at that. Well, I’ll add a “God bless.” There. Next.

Oh yes, there’s that lingering complaint that Beyoncé has no personality. Early interviews have long suggested otherwise. What Beyoncé did do, though, is pull back on the media in the wake of LeToya and LaTavia’s dismissal. She probably didn’t want to end up being portrayed as Diana Ross given these days the only folks who can get away with such behavior are the Katherine Heigls of the world.

I welcome constructive criticism of Beyoncé. I can think of a few areas worthy of consideration. No, I won’t share ’cause I’m not up for doing the work of lazy thinkers. However, what is and continues to be the main problem about this line of critique about Beyoncé is that it’s brainless and often comes from people who come across butt hurt by her for whatever reason. Shut up, or at least, step it up.

Anyway, all hail the biggest pop star in the world for making a music video on an iPhone 6 for a song with absolutely no structure, but is the bop…which is really the most important anyway.

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