Kendrick Lamar continues to wow us with his latest visual for “Element”, his 2nd single from his current studio album, ‘Damn’. 

This visual gives us a glimpse of what a brotha goes through in his natural habitat. Despite the violent nature, “Element” perfectly depicts life as is for some brothas in their communities. You’ll see gangs fighting, a father teaching his son how to fight, and other emotionally charged images.

Kendrick not only tells a lyrical story so impeccably, he has a way of visually capturing the intrinsic quality of the lives of black males, young and old, in America’s predominantly black neighborhoods. Brothas “in their element”.

Warning: NSFW

If you’re a fan of the hit crime drama on Starz, ‘Power’, then you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t understand what I’m saying, let me break it down for you.

During each season, Tasha St. Patrick (played by the gorgeous Naturi Naughton) displays signs of the typical “ride or die” syndrome. As a mother and a wife of a drug dealing-club owner, she is a strong believer in her husband’s rise in the drug empire. That alone, proves that Tasha is nowhere near innocent. She actually encouraged James to stay in the drug biz when he wanted to get out.

 

However, you can’t help but admire Tasha for the shit she’s been through with James, yet, she stays be his side. When James run into an old girlfriend, Angela Valdez, who he later starts an affair with, Tasha’s world starts to crumble. Tasha had to put away that hard exterior and become vulnerable to her husband. It led to a much-needed discussion about how things went wrong in their marriage.

We all saw what went wrong.

When Angela walked into that club, all James saw was old pum pum, replacing current pum pum, and making it new pum pum. (colloquialism for vagina, if you’re wondering)

 

I thought Tasha would just leave the marriage, but my girl had other plans!  She uses their driver, Shawn, to gain  information by flirting with him. The flirting turns into furtive sex with Shawn as a way of getting back at James after finding out he and Angela’s affair.

Despite Tasha’s revenge sex, she still loves James. She loves James so much, she looked past the possibility that James might’ve had something to do with Shawn’s sudden death. (The murderer was actually Shawn’s own father, but let’s save that for another blog post)

Although Tasha’s storyline is glorified for our entertainment, Tasha, as a woman, is relatable…not unrealistic. Her anything-goes personality and sometimes manipulative behavior intrigues us. We put ourselves in Tasha’s shoes, wondering if her actions would be our actions. Would we leave or go after the discovery of our significant other smashin’ another woman? It puts things into perspective for a lot of us, especially those of us who’d feel we’d never develop that “Ride or Die” mentality.

As I’ve said in my piece here, I’m not married, but I expect the married folks to go by the whole ‘Ride or Die’ phenomena, because that’s how you keep a marriage strong. I guess I’m old-fashioned because I don’t think ‘Ride or Die’ should apply to folks in basic (sexual) relationships. Too many folks confuse loyalty with being taken advantage of and as a result, they ‘stick around’, because they feel obligated after putting so much energy into establishing the relationship. They also put up with shenanigans because of how they feel about the person. I guess loyalty depends on what a person is willing to tolerate.

In Tasha’s situation, it’s a bit different. She has financial security, living the lavish (and dangerous) life. She also encouraged hubby to stick it out in the drug game, and she has children with him. It’s clear that Tasha did all the things a wife and mother did before James’ affair with Angela. Even after finding out, she still let her guard down and let the love for her man take over by giving up the honeypot.

Tasha had a moment when she looked herself in the mirror and when I saw that I thought, DAMN! As I saw the tears flow, I could only imagine how it would be for me if I was in Tasha’s shoes. You come to the realization that, even in real life, no amount of love, kindness, dedication, loyalty and soul-stirring love-making will keep a man who doesn’t want to be kept.

Long story short, Angela is an Assistant United States Attorney who had James arrested after allegations that he had her ex-boyfriend and co-worker killed. So much for the new pum pum becoming the current pum pum.

Now in season 4, Tasha puts on her cape, takes care of her children, and bosses up while her man is behind bars. If That’s not “Ride or Die” I don’t know WTF it is!

Tasha is doing what she has to do to keep her family together. As a “Ride or Die”sistah, is that smart or is that being foolish?

When it comes to great films, I think it’s important for them to have a soundtrack that represents the film’s theme so effortlessly. The films that I’ve chosen are guaranteed to be among the list of many movie/music lovers when it comes to favorite soundtracks. Simply put…these soundtracks will never go out of style.

 

The Beautiful Ones - Prince

Movie’s release year: 1984

Favorite track: “The Beautiful Ones” by Prince

 

Movie’s release date: 1995

Favorite track: “Count On Me” by Whitney Houston and CeCe Winans

 

Movie’s release year: 1997

Favorite track: “Hopeless” by Dionne Farris

 

Movie’s release year: 1996

Favorite track: “Missing You” by Brandy, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Tamia

 

 

Movie’s release year: 1997

Favorite track: “We’re Not Making Love No More” by  Dru Hill

 

 

Movie’s release year: 1991

Favorite track: “I Wanna Sex You Up” by Color Me Badd

 

 

Movie’s release year: 1996

Favorite track: “On The Line” by Michael Jackson

 

Movie’s release year: 1994

Favorite track: “Anything” by SWV

 

 

 

Movie’s release date: 1994

Favorite track:  “Crooklyn” by Crooklyn Dodgers

 

 

Movie’s release date: 1998

Favorite track: “Your Home is in My Heart” Chante Moore and BoyzIIMen

 

Movie’s release year: 1999

Favorite track: “What You Want” by The Roots

As a movie fanatic, I really enjoy the ones that take me back to my childhood. The films that make me reminisce about the simpler times when being responsible was something I wasn’t obligated to do. Then there are the films that take me back to watching them for the first time with my mother, who is also a movie fanatic. As a child, it was hard to explain why these particular films left a huge impact on me. Now, I take this opportunity to share with you the ten films that either bring me joy or leave such an impression on my soul. These are ten films that will make all of us miss our childhood.

 

cooley-high

 

Cooley High

Cooley High created the blueprint for movies like Boyz N Da Hood. When I watched this, my young spirit was touched by the grittiness and the realness expressed throughout this film. I realized growing up in the inner city in the 70s was no different from growing up in my generation. I wanted “Cochise” to make it out the hood so bad. When the unthinkable happened, my little heart was crushed. The ending of the movie serenades us during the last tear-jerking scene with “It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye” by G.C. Cameron then transitions into an inspiring “Reach Out (I’ll Be There)” by the Four Tops. That scene puts a lump in my throat every time.

 

494b6513beced858b7647d5986e51a704b75cfeb

Grease 

I thought these white people were cool as hell! Watching this, my naive butt couldn’t wait to go to high school because Grease made it look “fun”. I wanted to be a pink lady & I wanted my man to be a Tbird! I wanted to throw slumber parties and attend the school dance! I wanted to be the dull bunny turned into a hot fox in front of all my friends!…and I don’t think anyone knows all the lines word from word like I do.

 

crooklyn-feat

Crooklyn

Crooklyn was released in 1994 but the setting took place in the 70s. Loosely based on Spike Lee’s life, I got a taste of what it would have been like being raised with a bunch of boys. A lot of what was in the movie I remember hearing about from our parents’ generation. The soundtrack to this coming-of-age film is refeshing to listen to. It was also refreshing to see a portrayal of real family life displayed on the silver screen with both mommy and daddy and no violence involved.

 

wiz

 

The Wiz

I thought I would never see a black version of The Wizard of Oz and even wondered if there would ever be one. When I discovered The Wiz, it was a big deal not only to me, but black folks were excited! Especially when we learned of the all-star cast who would play the legendary characters. My lil heart skipped three beats when I saw Michael Jackson as the scarecrow. By the end of the movie, I was ready for a brand new day!

carwash

 

CarWash

I don’t remember much about Car Wash other than watching it with my mom. However, I can recall being impressed with how all the scenes were captured, giving us the illusion that it was filmed all in one day. The movie had a “the day in the life” appeal to it. Each character had unique personalities ranging from quirkiness to socially conscious.

Krush Groove

Krush Groove is one of the most impressive films of my generation. We were in awe of all the stars in one film. From Kurtis Blow to Sheila E. to Run DMC to LL Cool J, this film set the foundation for other movies to feature musicians as actors.

 

E.T.

 

Reeces Pieces made a lot of coins when E.T. was released. Why? Because the popular candy was the trail that led E.T. into his earthly home with “Elliott”.  E.T. was a phenomina and the biggest grossing film in 1982. The big-blue-eyed alien was adorned by many fans, young and old…including Michael Jackson (remember the picture?)  The E.T. franchise included games, dolls, apparel, and so much more. To this day, the endng when he returns home still makes me cry. You know the scene when the symphonic music plays while the spaceship’s  door closes in around his beating heart?…yeah…that one. “sigh”.

 

Breakin’

Breakin’ impressed me so much, I wanted to form a break dancing group but couldn’t break dance if my life depended on it. I think everyone’s favorite character was “Turbo” thanks to the famous illusion scene with the broom.

 

Uptown Saturday Night

As a child, I couldn’t follow what was going on in the R Rated movie’s plot. However, I remember seeing a young Bill Cosby and a young Sydney Poitier and thought how cool they were. I was delighted to see Mr. Poitier in a film where he wasn’t playing a “serious” and  dramatic role.

 

 

 

Purple Rain

I remember seeing ALL of Purple Rain in the movies at the tender age of nine…LOL. Aside from my mom who tried to cover my eyes during the “nekkid parts”, my young self was mesmerized by this man’s sensuality. Prince became a hit in my little world since I left the theater that night. I will still rock out with the soundtrack today, because it’s one of the best soundtracks in movie history, in my opinion!  I love the story about a the struggling musician who also struggles with a dysfunctional family while trying to “make it”. It gave my little soul so much inspiration, showing me that you can do anything, no matter your circumstances. He won the hearts of the fans and the girl at the end. Success and love…#Winning.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t get it….

When we finally get good quality television that us black folks can be proud of and begged for, we turn around and do some ridiculous shit like NOT support.

We’d rather be glued to the ratchet reality shows that make us look bad.

 

To be honest, I know we watch what we like to watch and I get that. I’m not criticizing anyone who likes ratchet reality because it is entertaining. However, I’m convinced there’s a thin line between entertainment and embellished buffoonery. We criticize Hollywood for not scripting shows that depict people of color in a more positive light, and when they finally do, these shows drop in ratings to women who pull each other’s weaves off over cheating athletes and hip hop artists on national television.

Television is becoming so saturated with ratchet reality, that it’s making me nauseous. Do we really want to spend every day watching what “Tameka” do what she does to “Shay Shay” over her side boo, the basketball star? Do we really want to spend every day watching hip hop dudes verbally and physically slaughter each other over music beats and “bad bitches”?

Thanks to ratchet reality television, we’ve been inundated with imagery that captures the false perception of black culture. I’m convinced that people of color who are television entertainers are only good enough to “entertain” in a way that is selectively acceptable to mainstream Hollywood. We can’t tell a story that is too deep like ‘Underground’, too eye-opening like ‘Sense 8’, too heroic like ‘Pitch’, and ’24 Legacy’ and too light-hearted like ‘The Get Down’. Shows like those aforementioned will not succeed in ratings because apparently, we like folks to have dragged out fights over pure fuckery.

I have to stay mindful of the entertainers who don’t mind getting a check for a good fight scene! As long as we keep watching, they’ll keep getting paid. Get yo’ money, boo!

All I’m really trying to say is give these scripted shows a chance! They really are GOOD QUALITY SHOWS, but we’ll never know because we keep out channels tuned into VH1, which is the network for the ratchiest of ratchet! We’re even losing ratings on video streaming sites like Netflix. How does ‘The Get Down’ get canceled?!? That’s about the origin of Hip Hop, for crying out loud!!!

I’m pleasantly surprised that ‘Blackish’ is still on the air!

Let’s see how long ‘The Carmichael Show’ lasts!

 

These shows gave a good fight!

‘The Get Down’-This show lasted one season on Netflix

‘Pitched’-Fox canceled the drama, Pitch, after just one season. It was about the first woman to play in the major leagues.

 ‘Underground’-Even with a huge following, this critically acclaimed series lasted only 2 seasons, after the WGN’s parent company was purchased by the right-leaning Sinclair Group. The reason? They said they were going to move away from scripted shows.

‘Legacy 24’– Despite the huge reboot starring Straight Outta Compton’s Corey Hawkins, the Fox series failed to deliver in ratings. It lasted one season with Hawkins. The original ’24‘ starred Keifer Sutherland., lasted over 8 seasons.

‘Rosewood’-Morris Chestnut’s police procedural drama was canceled after two seasons on Fox.

‘Doubt’-I have to actually research this one because I never knew about it. Doubt, the CBS drama starring Dulé Hill and Laverne Cox was axed after only two episodes.

‘Sense 8’-Lasted 2 seasons on Netflix

 

 

Heeeeyyyy, beautiful people!!!!!!

I’m so happy to be back and doing what I do best! Did y’all miss me?

 

So many good things in my life have transpired. I moved into my new home, started a side gig, and I also started a new business venture, which will cause some blowuptuism! As of now, I’m getting used to all three, but none of it could keep me from creating content for you, my friend. I just needed some time to “reprogram”. Now, that I’m back, I’d like to share what I’ve learned and/or discovered while I was out of commission.

While I was away, I’ve also noticed a few of these celebs wanting to show off with their petty meter turned up to the max. One of those celebs is singer/actor, Tyrese. Tyrese took to the ‘gram to “advise” black women to basically alter their appearance for “real” men.  This brotha actually told women what to do with their bodies based on his personal opinions. His misguided attempt to give “advice” to black women came off as a rant that was offensive, misogynistic, and it was definitely unsolicited. The 38-year-old newlywed has since deleted the controversial post, but Essence has it and there’s a great article on it, as well. Check it out here.

 

While I was away, a 13-year-old girl’s visit on Dr. Phil for disruptive behavior has resulted in a reported million dollar investment for her. More on why I’m disgusted will be on another post.

 

While I was away, we’ve lost a rock n roll legend, Chuck Berry.

 

While I was away, reports of missing teens in the Washington, DC area has been at an alarming rate. Meanwhile, the FBI has located Tom Jersey’s missing jersey that was stolen after the Superbowl. Read my rage about this in a forthcoming thought piece.

 

While I was away, I’ve discovered how important it is to accept what is. More on that later…

 

While I was away, I’ve learned that Rachel Dolezal still believes she’s black.

 

While I was away, I saw Tameka “Tiny” Harris prove that making boss moves is your best revenge.

 

While I was away, Kendrick Lamar showed the world why he’s a Hip-Hop genius.

 

While I was away, I wondered if ‘The Real’ could survive without weekly guest hosts.

 

While I was away, I’ve learned that celebrity opportunities can be birthed from Youtube.

 

I’ve learned and discovered all the aforementioned and so much more. I cannot wait to share my thought pieces on everything.

Thank YOU for being patient and sticking it out with me.

 

I’m glad to be back 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Viola Davis accepted her Oscar Sunday night for ‘Best Supporting Actress’  for her role in fences, she actually made history!

Ms. Davis has become a part of what the industry calls the “triple crown club”. She has won an Emmy, a Tony, and an Oscar, making her the first black artist to do so.

Via NME:

By winning the Best Supporting Actress award at last night’s Oscars for her performance in Fences, Viola Davis made history.

The actress added an Academy Award to her Emmy (which she won in 2015 for her performance in TV’s How To Get Away With Murder) and her two Tonys (for King Hedley II in 2001 and Fences in 2010) to complete the so-called “triple crown of acting”.

Davis is the first black woman to achieve this impressive accolade. Though Whoopi Goldberg has also won an Emmy, an Oscar and a Tony (as well as a Grammy – making her an ‘EGOT’ winner), neither her Emmy nor her Tony was won for acting.

Davis becomes the 23rd person ever to complete the ‘triple crown of acting’. Other stars to have achieved the accolade include Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons and Frances McDormand.

 

 

Two of the ladies of Hip Hop, Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj, are the talk of these internet streets!!

The women served each other verbal annihilation on some diss tracks, and both tracks, especially Remy Ma’s, has the internet going bonkers!!

Before I share my thoughts, hit play for both tracks below!

 

Gucci Mane & Nicki Minaj- “Make Love”

Remy Ma-“shETHER”

First…let me just say… Remy’s diss track left Nicki so exposed, my soul delve into a sea of humiliation for her!
Homegirl done went in from her “fake ass” to her brother who’s an alleged child molester.

In my opinion, I think the internet only generated mad hype for Remy’s track, because she apparently stated what’s being said as “facts”, according to Hip Hop enthusiasts.

Despite being entertained by it all, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t point out the obvious problematic situation within this so-called beef between these two women. It’s something that’s been going on for a long time in this industry and as a woman, I’m over it.

This beef pulls the rug out and reveals two major factors…the lack of sisterhood and the lack of support for women in the Hip Hop industry.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m well aware that diss tracks have been around for a long ass time. Hip-Hop wouldn’t be TRUE Hip-Hop without a good diss track between artists. Especially when the dissing doesn’t result to violence &/or death.

My issue is the underlying problem in society with black women being looked at as “catty”, “bitchy”, and simply don’t get along. This “beef” between these two iconic artists feeds into that perception.

This beef between Remy and Nicki has me wondering one thing…Can the Hip-Hop industry learn to support sisterhood, female empowerment, and use these two artists as the catalysts for change in how society views black women?

When “Ladies Night” came out in the nineties, I was just in awe of the female MCs who participated in that project. I thought it was dope how some of the biggest female Hip-Hop artists of that time got together and release FIYAH! Not only that, they revealed an admirable display of female empowerment, by proving to the Hip-Hop community and the world that when women get together, amazing things can happen! Especially black women!

 

This is what I want for Remy and Nicki. Both women are respected as great Hip-Hop artists in their own right. They both are dope with lots of fans, so I can only imagine how they’d be if they work together.

 

Do you think if Queen Latifah and MC Lyte dissed each other like this, this would happen?

In such a male-dominated industry, I think it’s important for the female MCs to do their part in advocating women supporting women. Especially when they are in the same line of work.

It only makes sense.

But, I guess, as with all entertainment, folks like drama. The Hip-Hop industry has always been “slick” with how they promote. They will bring in two popular MCs, somehow get them in the studio to freestyle soul-crushing lyrics about one another, and hype that shit to get the people talkin’.

Once the people start talkin’ (and bloggin’), the money rolls in.

That’s how the industry works.

In my humble opinion, the industry thrives off drama. What better way to set shit off then to get two opinionated black women, who both strive to become queens in the rap game, and use them against one another?

CeeLo Green’s Alter Ego, Gnarly Davidson, wants you to know he has a crush on “Jay-Z’s Girl”.

We all know that Hip-Hop mogul Jay-Z’s girl is his wife, mega superstar, Beyoncé, which makes for a comical song and visual that pokes fun at Beyoncé’s adoring fans. “Jay-Z’s Girl” is a spin from Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl”. The John Colombo-directed video stars CeeLo’s stand-in, “Little Fun” as Beyoncé’s admirer.

Check out the hilarious visual below!

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