Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dating the Modern Mid-20s Black Man

Goodness, gracious. This hit so close to home, it isn't even funny. Actually, it is still really funny.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Black QBs...Still Black Listed?

Last night, I was watching Monday Night Football (until the Titans ran away with the game and I turned to see Cliff Lee and his faded hat beat the Yankees, yay!). I was watching Vince Young and David Gerrard (before they were injured) and got to thinking about Steve McNair--honestly, I hadn't thought about him in a minute, and felt bad about it. I wondered why his legacy isn't remembered more, even if he did die under terrible circumstances, it really doesn't have much to do with his great talent on the field.

Coincidentally, I woke up this morning to see that his wife has been awarded $2.5 million from his estate, since he apparently had no will at the time and his assets were therefore frozen this whole time. Anyways, the whole thing made me start thinking again about the plight of the black quarterback. I come from a football loving family, and most of the time, the women tend to root for the teams that have black QBs, and to a slightly lesser extent, black coaches. This year, the favored team by the women in the fam is the Redskins, mostly because they are so disgusted with the way that Philly treated Donovan, a franchise QB.

Anyways, Mike Tillery over at StartingFive wrote this great piece about the plight of black QBs last week, with a special emphasis being placed on Donovan and his incredible NFL career thus far, which still has yet to be properly acknowledged or respected. Sure, he hasn't won a Superbowl, but neither had Payton Manning when he was still being considered the best QB of all time. Tony freaking Romo gets more respect from media and analysts. It's sad.

Anyways, Mike makes some great points:
Despite the accomplishments of the aforementioned Moon and McNabb, do front offices, fans and media still view Black quarterbacks as running backs in the year 2010?

He goes on to question:
Does the trickle down effect of the current Black athlete quarterback narrative seep into the minds of veteran officials not used to seeing QB athleticism on the NFL level because of the narrative? Cunningham and Vick? Quarterbacks or running backs? Steve Young…quarterback or running back? John Elway…quarterback or running back?

See what he did there? Anyways, it's an interesting discussion. It's just sad that we are still having it in 2010.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Quickie Tribute to Minnie Riperton (In Honor of Breast Cancer Month)

It's October and Breast Cancer Month, as anyone who watches the NFL knows. Seeing 350 pound linebackers wearing pink wristbands and socks is inspiring in so many ways. No sarcasm.

I've been on a big time Minnie Riperton kick for the past four months or so, and after reading a comment on YouTube, thought it was fitting to do a quickie tribute to Minnie in honor of the month. She passed from breast cancer back in July 1979-- a month after I was born, ironcially, at 31 years old. I've always felt a strange connection to her, not on any psychic/weirdo stuff, but just, her music has always really resonated with me in a bone-chilling kind of way.

As I got older, I began to appreciate her even more, and not just because of her other-worldly vocal ability. She was a layered writer. She was super sensual, but subtle. Still, she was progressive. She even drew criticism for some of her lyrics--my mom told me that when she was in broadcasting school, she failed a project for including Minnie's "Inside My Love" in her line-up. Apparently, it was too risque at the time.

At any rate, here is my quickie tribute to Minnie--just a few of my favorite songs:

"Baby This Love I Have"- This song was obviously sampled by Tribe Called Quest ("Check the Rhyme"). I love this track, it's so sensual. Fellas, this is the song to put on while sipping on a glass of good Pinot Noir or Merlot with your girl--read: the warm-up.

"Reasons"- Probably one of my favorite songs ever, seriously. In a weird way it sort of reminds me of Stevie Wonder's "Visions"--maybe it's because he produced the song during his Genius Years.  Anyways, this song is so layered. I'll even post the lyrics:
The reasons for my life are in a million faces

Like aching promises I feel them in my bones
Slipping through my fingers to dance upon the road
The reasons for my life are more than I can hold
But oh, the sweet delight to sing with all my might
To spark the inner light of wonder burning bright
You're not alone
You're not alone
The reasons for my life are buried in deep places
Words once could awaken them
These seeds that I have sown
Ringing through the madness to crash against the cold
The reasons for my life cannot be bought or sold
The reasons for my life are filling all my spaces
Like rushing waters flow, they carry me along
Twisting through my memory to pull free from the load
The reasons for my life are more than I was told

"Perfect Angel"- This song is just beautiful, her voice just skates over this track like silk. Yahzarah actually did a great cover of this on Zo's Just Visiting Too, which is no small accomplishment.

"Inside My Love"- Clearly, I don't need to say anything about this. This has to go on the all-time Best Songs to Make Love To list.

"If I Ever Lose This Heaven"- I couldn't find a better version of this song, which was Quincy Jones' (produced by him and I think written by Leon Ware, who also co-wrote "Inside My Love." But this is Minnie singing it solo. If I'm not mistaken, she had already lost the use of her right arm and this was recorded just a few months before she passed. Consumate performer.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The BET Hip Hop Awards: Courtesy of My Mother

So last night I accidentally watched the majority of the BET Hip Hop Awards. It turned out to be far more entertaining than I thought for one reason: my mother. Below is a partial transcript of my mother's take on the show.

JACINTA: You're watching the BET Hip Hop Awards? [makes strange face].

MOM: [shrugs] I just turned the TV on and this is what was on.

JACINTA: Oh, I was watching The Game earlier.

....About 15 minutes into the broadcast.....

MOM: Why are they yelling? Why? What is wrong with them? ....Why are they screaming at me?!

JACINTA: Oh, that's just DJ Khaled. He likes to scream a lot. It's kind of his thing.

MOM: [frowning] Well, he sounds like the kids that do our announcements at school: "Yo, this is DJ C with the morning announcements!!" And then they just scream the entire way through the announcements.What is wrong with these people?

.....After flipping briefly to an especially disturbing episode of Law & Order: SVU.....flips back...

JACINTA: I'm ashamed to say I kind of like this Soulja Boy song. Me and Mike sing this all of the time: "" [dancing]...

JACINTA: Wait, there is no dance to this song? Shouldn't he be doing the Pretty Boy Swag?  He really needs a dance to this song. He looks retarded.

MOM: [Looking at Jacinta like she's retarded]. He needs to pull his pants up. He can barely move. This is not hip-hop.

JACINTA: Is that Cortez? Why do they keep showing him? He's not even a rapper. They do know that, right?

.....After flipping back to SVU and watching Olivia actually kiss a man and wear a dress....flips back...

MOM: [looks horrified] "What?! Coochie Man! What?!"

JACINTA: No, he said GUCCI Mane.

MOM: Uh-uh. I definitely heard him. He said, "Coochie" coochie man. Who are these ghetto people?

...flips back to watch the oozing sexual tension between Olivia and Stabler. Just kiss already...sheesh....flips back...

JACINTA: [Laughing hysterically] Every time I see this dude, I think of Khalil [four-year old cousin] dead-panning to his dad's friend: "Um, your baby looks like Waka Flaka Flame."

....flips back to Law & Order....

MOM: Wait, let me see Waka Waka Flocking Flooka Flame....

....flips back....

MOM: Oh, he looks crazy. What is he doing? Why is he screaming? Why is he jumping? Where is he going?

JACINTA: You know he got really famous after being shot at the gas station around the corner from where I used to stay.

MOM: [shakes head]

JACINTA: And now you see why I've been so frustrated with being a music writer for the past few years.

MOM: Yes, I do. [sighs]

MOM: Now, why is P.Diddy bobbing his head? He knows he doesn't like this shit. He knows he's thinking: "I guess I better pretend to like this..uhhhh...."

...flips briefly to A Different World, where sadly, they are still showing episodes from the first season, which all pretty much sucked...flips back...

JACINTA: Wow. It's Antoine Dodson. That guy I showed you on the Internet.

MOM: That's really him, huh? [looks impressed].

JACINTA: [stares at MOM].

MOM: It's nice that he got a house of it though.

JACINTA:  [shrugs] I guess.

....flips to see Kenan Ivory Waynan's sister sitting on a couch in the residence hall, laughing loudly at something that clearly isn't funny...flips back...

MOM: They are still screaming. Why are they still screaming?

JACINTA: It's still DJ Khaled.

MOM: What is wrong with young black people these days?

JACINTA: Actually, he's not even black. But he still gets to say "nigga."

MOM: Hell, he is a nigga. All of these people are niggas... even Eminem. I saw him on 60 Minutes. He is really sad. Smart, but sad.

....flips to see DeWayne Wayne running for Mrs. Hillman in an especially retarded episode...flips back...

MOM: Who is she?

JACINTA: Diamond...or Princess. Nah, I think Diamond.

MOM: Is she rapping? [looks baffled]. Is that rap? What is she doing? Is she rapping?


MOM: Sooooo, if what she's doing is considered rap, why didn't you make it? God must just not have wanted you in this dirty entertainment industry.

JACINTA: Yay! Royce Da 5'9. I love him.

MOM: [frowning] Ew, I don't. Why does he have so many tattoos?

JACINTA: [ignoring MOM]. Ha, he said "...loaded with a baby Cannon like Mariah.." Hee.

MOM: Huh? What does that mean?

JACINTA: Nick Cannon is married to Mariah Carey and she's pregnant. It's a punchline.

MOM: [stares blankly]

.....back to a terribly dressed Lisa Bonet awkwardly flitting around Dewayne....flips back...

MOM: Oh, ok, I know this J.Cole guy. I think I heard him on the radio. Yeah, this comes on the radio. [bobs head awkwardly].

JACINTA: J.Cole is great. I've decided he's future. And he's cute. [bats eyelashes].

MOM: Ok, yes. Now this, this is hip-hop. I can understand what he's saying. This is real hip-hop. He actually has a message.

JACINTA: Mom, you don't know real hip hop.

MOM: Yes, I do, from back in my day.


MOM: Yes, it started back in my day! What do you think the Last Poets were? Hip Hop! Gil-Scott Heron? Hip Hop!

JACINTA: Ok, mom. You know hip hop.

After that, my mom left to get on the phone and never returned to watch the rest of the show. I stayed for a few more minutes, mostly to watch B.O.B., who did great despite the terrible sound, the buddy, Yeller (Yelawolf) get a great look on a national show and see Cy-Hi Da Prince (who I recognized as star back when he was still in that group, Hoodlum, that was signed to Jazzy Pha's label...*pats self on the back*). All in all, it was an unexpetedly entertaining evening. Thanks, mom.

The End.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

T.I. on the Cover of Upscale Magazine

Yeah, so I'm a tad bit late with posting my own story, but let's just say I was pretty occupied throughout month of September. Staying in and out of the hospital, minor surgery (complete w/ complications), the whole nine. So posting wasn't high on my priority list. Funny how being sick, or in excruciating pain re-prioritizes things in your life.

At any rate, I ran across this earlier this morning. I guess they printed a double cover (still don't have a copy myself yet). The incredibly talented Hannibal Matthews took the pictures, which came out dope. This interview actually took place in mid-July...who knew that a few weeks later, shit would hit the fan... again? At any rate, I always love interviewing T.I. He's a pretty cool cat-- always answers questions, isn't afraid to be vulnerable and has always struck me as a genunine dude. It's unfortunate that he can't seem to get it together.

As I said, the interview was pretty cool and some of his family was even there. (His uncle was flirtatious and actually invited me to dinner. I politely declined since he's like 57, or something.). I don't think they ever publish the full story on Upscale's site for some unknown reason, so if you want to read the full article, you'd probably have to buy it, or read in the aisle of your neighborhood Walgreens or something.

Hope you dig it.

Read: T.I. Covers Upscale Magazine