HOT BUTTAH BISKITS N GRAVY [MUSIC. LOVE. LIFE. DOPENESS]


American Woman……..

I will admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Ralph Lauren. I’ve always been a partial to designers who are a bit more eccentric with their clothing designs, but Lauren’s Spring 2010 collection is the business. Ties, fitted blazers, news boy caps, vests and stilletos!? I’ve always been a little Annie Hall-ish when it comes to women’s fashion so the whole vibe of this collection is killing me softly. It’s so classic, but appropriately fresh for today’s fashion climate. Inspired by the American working class a la The Grapes of Wrath, this collection is chic yet laid back, sexy yet tough. A breathtaking visual tribute to rugged Americana elegance, check it…………

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[Visual Analysis] Dana Dane- Nightmares

When I was  13 or 14 years old, I found an old box of my father’s which contained a couple of casette tapes. One of the tapes was Realms N Reality by Cella Dwella’s, which I still bumped Freshman year of  college in my cherry red Pontiac Grand Am, and the rest were a couple of mix tapes. I’m not going to front like I remember every song that was on those mixtapes, mostly a bunch of classic cuts from the 80’s, but I do remember Nightmares by Dana Dane. I probably can’t remeber the rest of the tracks because I had this one on repeat all night long the first time I heard it. Lyrics? Sick. One of the things that makes an emcee great is their ability to take an average scenario and turn it into a lyrical masterpiece and Dana Dane does that with this one, flawlessly. Beat? Fresh. I already think the theme song to The Munster’s goes hard as it is so the sample just does it for me.  I was surprised to find this  gem was available on youtube and more than pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed watching it. Premiering circa 1985, one year before my birth, this video represents everything I love about the golden age of hip hop. It plays out like something that could’ve been produced by my high school theatre arts squad, and it’s in that aspect that it holds the greatest appeal. Low on sophisticated camera techinques, but heavy on style and charm, this video would smash anything out right now. Dana Dane takes you on a journey both lyrically and visually, the hallmark of any great video. While nowadays some artists come out with a video that has nothing to do with the song and everything to do with their fashion sense, I actually felt as if I was watching Dana’s nightmare unfold before my eyes. Throughout , there are several diagnol lines created by various objects within the frame, the door as he enters into the doctor’s office, the armour he lays down on to recount the tales of his beastly stalker, the angle at which the three back-up ‘singers’ are shot during the chorus. Diagnol lines within a shot serve to create a feeling of disorientation, hence the setting of a nightmare. That’s television and film 101, a little something I picked up in college. The smoke machine is a trusted standby for creating an eerie atmosphere, is it just vapor or a ghostly presence?  The colored lighting is  icing on the cake , an impressionistic touch enhancing the surreal nature of the experience. There are plenty of great shots as well, Dana Dane writhing on a neon hued floor, blue suede shoes ditty bopping down a dimly lit hallway, and the beastly chick blowing in his face is classic. The party sequence is a   highlight for me, the way the crowd converges and disperses along with his narrative creatively provides continuity. His three back-up’s are a haunting vision, all ethereal tones and shadows, another punctuation in his conceptual dreamscape. Watching this video 24 years after it was originally released, I can’t help but take note of it’s nostaligic qualities. Seeing dudes actually dance is kind of cool as are  the after school special graphics. You don’t need a big budget when you’re that nice with it.



You Got Played Sucka

The wools not getting pulled over these eyes, technical difficulties my ass. A  tactical mission was underway when Beyonce psyched up the masses for her ‘historic’ collaboration with Lady Gaga only to send the internet into a meltdown akin to the opening of the 7th seal when there was no video to be seen. I myself was at work while the world waited in front of computers and television screens, can’t front like I didn’t check for it when I got home though. I’ve got to hand it Beyonce, she is the lean green money making machine we call pop stardom in full effect.  This was an age old marketing strategy which was sneaky, simple, but effective. Build anticipation to generate a buzz, dissapoint to build a buzz, and double the buzz and anticipation in the process. Even those who really don’t give two expletives about Lady GaGa or Beyonce will now be compelled by forces beyond their control to watch this video when it does air. I can’t lie like I didn’t want to see it too, but it’s mostly due to the fact I’m a huge fan of Hype’s work and wanted to see what he came up with, and I did like the song enough to put it on my December 2008 mixtape.  Back to my main point, Beyonce plays her fans like Miles played the trumpet….I find her domination of pop music fascinating in regards to her business sense and ability to build her brand. I’m still waiting for the independents to overthrow the empire that is the major music labels but until then behold the power……



Say What?
August 12, 2009, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Life....I wonder..., Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

 

Ahhhh, sex and love, we all think about it, we all fantasize about it, we all pursue it, some to the detriment of thier sanity. I’ve been on a no dating streak for a while now, and I don’t think it’s going to break anytime soon. Many would tell a lady in my predicament that my standards are impossibly high, but I maintain the standards of courtship have gotten incredibly low. Fellas must you always kick off your game with the lackluster ice breakers, ” Where yo man at?” or ” You got a man?”. Noooooooo,  but I don’t have one for a reason, and what makes you think that you have the qualities that I’m looking for in “my man”? Thanks, have a nice day. If I do ease up and continue conversation for the sake of not being a spoil sport, must you then make me regret my decision by commenting on my physique like I’m standing on an auction block? Yes I know that men are visual creatures, blah blah bleh, but does your instinctual animal attraction to the female form incapacitate you to the point where intelligent, creative, and engaging conversation is obsolete? 

Prime example, I’m walking through my hood one day trying to exercise and dude rolls up next to me. He asks if I need a ride and I politiely decline, telling him I’m trying to get my cardio on. Dude then proceeds to tell me, ” Oh, I got something that will work you out.”  His intent gaze on my butt canceled the idea he was talking about letting me use his boflex sometime. He was cute, but not cute enough to get away with that one.  Flip it, what if I came up to you and said ” Hey boy, where yo girl at? Oh you don’t have one, I can’t believe that. I mean that bulge is looking nice in those jeans, so why don’t you let me get your number or something, maybe we can chill sometime.” What would you think of me? What words would come to mind? Where would you file my memory in your internal rolodex? Under slut, jump off, possible side piece? I don’t mean to be sexist but I believe most men would definitely get the picture that the lady parts would be on easy access, and they’d like it.

It’s not about being stingy with the lovin’ or being a prude, it’s about being subtle, creating tension, leaving something to be desired. That’s the thrill of the game.  At least for me anyway. What happened to the smooth criminal?  The one you didn’t even realize was seducing you out of your panties utill they hit the floor. That one who could speak  five seemingly normal words of salutation  and through eye contact alone have you like, okay we need to rap for a minute. Boys, a little subtlety can get you a long way.



Roses for Dae’von: When are we going to step up and start protecting our children……

The violent murder of a child, it seems, always touches a more than sensitive spot in the hearts of most people. Perhaps that’s why so many don’t watch the news today often giving the reason, ” I don’t want to see any more depressing/bad news.”  Though it’s something that we would rather not talk about, it happens, and even if you turn off your TV or your radio you can’t hide from the depravity of the world. This morning I came across the story of Dae’von Bailey on CNN’s website and it made me mad as hell. This has to stop, one way or another, we as a society have to make that choice to become more fiercely protective of our most vulnerable and precious citizens.

Whenever I see things like this it reminds me why I’m firmly and unashamedly pro-choice. Perhaps if both sides of the abortion debate put as much energy into implementing community outreach  programs and initiatives or campaigning to improve certain Child Welfare Service programs, as they do bickering, and pickiting, and whining, we can start saving lives right here, right now.  It’s controversial to say, I know, but I hold fast to the belief that not every child that’s conceived was meant to be born. The process of abortion is nothing compared to being decapitated ,burned alive or beaten to death.

There are many who believe that every child conceived is a blessing, a gift from the heaven’s above. Okay I feel you on that note, but riddle me this Batman, if every child that is conceived is a gift, what if the recipients of that gift aren’t exactly in the recieving mood? What if the recipients of that gift, don’t want it, but don’t want anyone else to have it. What if the recipients of that gift do it like we do some ugly sweater Aunt Bertha knits for Christmas, smile in everyone’s face when  it’s recieved and toss it in the closet to be forgotten when they get home. The children are not the problem, it’s us. Children are gifts, but we can’t deny that our bodies are more than just spiritual vessels.  All it takes is one sperm, one egg and 5 minutes for a child to be concieved. That 5 minutes could be with someone that you love and cherish, someone you met in a druken stupor at a bar, a stranger who attacks you in the middle of the night,  get my drift?  

  Perhaps I shouldn’t judge Dae’von’s mother, but my empathy, sympathy and kindness is running a little on low today so forgive me.Why would a mother give a man with a two decade long criminal history, including rape, custody of her young son and daughter? I am tired, sick and tired of adults laying down and creating lives without wanting or being able to take responsibility for them. Rather than pull it together, they dump children off onto elderly grandparents, let them become wards of the state or push them off on others just as unfit as themselves. I am sick and tired of adults taking out whatever frustrations or anger they may have on the bodies of the small and defenseless. I am sick and tired of hearing about ” I was abused as a child”, “Time’s got hard”,  “I did the best I knew how”. Bullshit. I have no sympathy for tired ass exscuses from dead beat parents. If you grew up in a jacked up enviroment then you should already know, sometimes you’ve got to learn to do better than you know how. You can learn anything, if you are willing and if you’re motivated enough. The future and well being of the life that you took part in creating should be all the motivation you need. Why does it seem like parents are just finding more exscuses to justify irresponsible behavior?

 I wanted to write something that would provide some answers or inspire a change. The truth is there’s only so much one person can do or say and this problem is so much bigger than that. I hope that in his brief existence Dae’von experienced more joy than heartache and I hope that his death becomes a catalyst for a change, a spark that lights a fire inside the heart of a society, desensitized and silent. What if Dae’von was your cousin, or your son, or the little boy that waves to you from across the street? When will enough be enough?



You sent the email, don’t be a punk about it………

I love when somebody slips up and let’s their true colors show in regards to race. I LOVE IT.  I don’t know why. It’s like a personal, mmm hmmm I told you so moment. I’m often accused of being too into that “black girl shit” as one of my friends so eloquently described the content of some of my articles on this site. I’m sorry, I’m black, that’s the racial label I was given. Yes, I am into all things that have to do with black folks, especially when it comes to attacks, directly or indirectly, on my status as a human being in this society. In comes Officer Justin Barrett. You’ve probably heard of him by now if you keep up with the jones’s through CNN or if you’ve been following the soap opera-esque melodrama that is the Henry Louis Gates Jr. arrest. For clarification’s sake, Officer Justin Barrett is not the arresting officer, that was Sgt Joseph Crowley. Now we all know cops take care of thier own, and Officer Barrett went directly into ‘ride or die’ mode. He sent an e-mail to columnist Yvonne Abraham in which he referred to Mr. Gates as a “banana eating jungle monkey” and a “bumbling jungle monkey” and also refers to her writing as “jungle monkey gibberish”. After Mr. Barrett debunks Ms Abrahams skills as “as good as jungle monkey gibberish” he then goes on to state, ” I might as well AX you the question….” Hmmmmm. Why would a self-proclaimed former English teacher and writer use AX as if it was a proper word. Perhaps it was an attempt at jungle monkey speak? Even though I’ve never seen a photograph of Ms. Abraham, given some of the publications she’s written for, I am pretty that sure she’s a black woman, which makes his ignorant insinuations that much more provocative. You can view the original e-mail for yourself here. Now that Officer Barrett has been placed on administrative leave pending a full investigation and a termination hearing, he wants to cry I am not a racist, which he also stated in his e-mail.

I sincerely apologize to fellow officers, soldiers and citizens, I did not intend any racial bigotry blah, blah, bleh, bleh, bleh. Come on dude! I could see if he came up with something along the lines of, ” You know what, I was angry and there’s just some things about this country/some people I just don’t understand/upset me…..” Perhaps I could relate if he stood up for himself like a man and spoke his truth instead of stumbling and fumbling through that pre-written, politically correct, apology speech that was fooling no one. You’ve got to love how his lawyer tried to take the viewers to church when Larry started poking. My favorite part of this whole interview;

Larry: What made you come up with that language though?

Officer Barrett: I don’t even know…

Oh you know buddy, you know. You may not consider yourself a full bigot but you’ve got a little bit of it up in there swimming around somewhere, don’t front. Language like that does not come from nowhere. Social conditioning, deep-seated prejudices and upbringing might bring about that kind of language, but it most certainly does not just pop into your head like some faerie visiting you in the night. 

When I was little, whenever I got a cut or a scratch ,I was always told the fastest way to heal that sucka’ was to let the air get to it. You can cover it up and keep it clean, but to speed up the healing proces you have to air it out. I say that to say this, if you’re a bigot, put it in the air. Somebody just might come along and help you heal. Don’t hide behind the veil of being a decent citizen who always treats others with respect and dignity if you know damn well you’ll let a racial slur slip from your lips in a heartbeat if somebody of the wrong complexion tests you . Don’t be afraid to let you’re true colors show, everybody is not going to like you but at least they can respect you. Having open, honest and uncensored DIALOUGUE( more intelligent debate than verbal fisticuffs) about racial  prejudices and biases is the only way we’re ever really going to move forward with race relations in this country. All things that are done in the dark will come to light. It’s better to put your beliefs on front street voluntarily then let them fester in your mind untill they blow up all over your “good name”. 

White people, and anyone else who this may apply to, stop perpitrating. You know good and well referring to black folks as monkeys is as Jim Crow as ‘coloreds only’ signs



Adventures in Blogland Pt 1: OG’s need not apply

 

Why is it that the blogs that post the most irrelevant, retarded, guess who was spotted staring at a blank wall, you can read this at about 50 other sites articles get the most traffic? Call me what you want, but I really want to know. How do still shots of Rhianna sucking a lollipop manage to get over 200,000 views and 212 comments? How? I mean I can’t front like I don’t visit the sites my damn self at times, but I am rarely intrigued, enertained, persuaded or informed by what I find. For a while I was addicted to gossip mongers like Bossip, Mediatakeout, Necole Bitchie, Concreteloop and the like, that is, until I noticed they all posted the same shit more often than not on the same day.  How does one make a name for themself when one does not stand out? It seems that the fall in line formula seems to work, because the blogs pull traffic, you can’t front on that one.

I got into this game because I am a WRITER and I was told that blogging was the new medium. Newspapers, out. Magazines, so 2000. Today it’s all about the blog.  Writing is the only thing I’ve ever done exceptionally well, It’s like water for my parched soul, it resides nestled between the sacred spaces in my spirit reserved for free speech, spiritual rebellion , Spike Lee films and freak em boots. It’s more than frustrating  to hit up these wack assed cookie-cutter websites and see they’ve gotten over 1 million hits for a picture of Cassie’s pre-teen titties or over 50 views for stalker style pictures of Halle Berry running errands . Are you kidding me? Alas it’s the cruel truth that fluff pieces and filler tend to attract the attention of the masses. I guess it’s true that the minds of America’s public like to be distracted not stimulated. My critique of  Tameka Cottle’s (bka Tiny) looks got a whopping 28 views this week, and my critique of CNN’s Black in America 2? 1 view. My post about the breakdown of relations between men and women and the subsequent breakdown of the familial structure  inspired by the Steve McNair case didn’t even see the light of day. Concerning Tiny, I’m pretty sure that her cousins or sisters or other family members were policing  the web for negative press because something about that just doesn’t add up.

It’s statistics like this that can be quite discouraging to a sista, and lead me to the question; Is originality and substance respected in the realm of the blogging elite? Originality and substance in the context of what unique perspectives and diatribes do you bring to the table about the current happenings in the world. Writers are called to record this eclectic and hectic acid trip called life and all it’s hallucinations and sensations in ways that entice, engross, enrapture, and enrage. Instead this “new medium” for writers has become a cesspool of meaningless idol chatter. You won’t find none of that over here homie….. well today you will, here are five meaningless blog posts from the past couple days that got over 100 views :

Kim Kardashian leaving the club! Now that I’ve seen her in her silver and maroon jumpsuit my day is complete!

Lil Wayne’s ex wife Toya’s new boyfriend allegedly used to do what to his ex! And I care because I guess I don’t have no buisiness of my own to attend to!

Ciara didn’t pay her wig stylist! Get out!

Trey Songs had crabs and he likes porn! Well just make my day !

Look! You can see the outline of Chris Brown’s penis in his basketball shorts, kind of.

Flip it, reverse it, bring it back…..here’s 5 entertaining, interesting and diverse posts, that didn’t even hit 50

One blogger’s tale of going through and getting over recession depression

Remembering Shem Walker. You do know who that is right?

Fresh music from a dude you probably never heard of before

Bo Jangling for the dough?

Writing about more than Ciara’s wig piece, if you’re going to write abou a celebrity this is how you do it