Screen Time

I didn’t watch much television as a kid. One, my mom wouldn’t let watch it on school nights and the parental controls were such that all I could watch was the Discovery channel, animal planet, travel, history, shit like that. I mean once I got to high school BET and MTV were staples in my life. But I also grew up in the age of trash tv, which never managed to hold my attention long enough for me to become invested in it.

But today’s a new day, a new era. Dare I say it, a renaissance. Television ain’t just for the living room anymore. The majority of the shows I watch are usually on a screen not exceeding 15″.

I don’t watch much tv, but when I do, I really only watch a handful of shows. I like quality, comedy, and drama and when these things are done well, there’s real potential for making some magic.

I recently got into GoT. I’m surprised at how much I like it. I like finding shows that are a few seasons in. Perfect fodder for binging. And I get to develop my own opinion outside of the social media hype.

On the other hand, I lived for the hype for Insecure. Every interview, every press release, every promo. Plus Insecuritea with Crissle and Fran. Bitch I was here for all the coverage. You can’t deny that Insecure is a moment. The show is revolutionary in so many ways.

I’m ready for season three.

Netflix and Justin Simien gave us Dear White People this year. Hot fye, hot fye.

I feel like Chewing Gum was an extremely underrated show. The second season premiered on Netflix at the top of the year and I legitimately cried laughing more than once. It’s witty, provocative, and just fucking good.

The “Thanksgiving” episode of Master of None. Just… fucking… yes.giphy

The rest of the show is good too but before this episode, I had never been interested enough to actually watch the whole series. I eventually went back though.

As far as I’m concerned, She’s Gotta Have It is a must watch. I enjoyed Spike’s original film by the same name. I thought the concept was ahead of its time even then and when I heard it was being remade I was excited. When I first heard about the remake I admit I was worried about the execution, but Spike had a true blue team behind him with this one and dammit, I think he struck gold. This show is giving me Do-the-Right-Thing-Spike tease. It’s contemporary, thoughtful, and a great moment for the culture.

I’d be remise if I neglected to mention Blackish. I’m a fan. I really didn’t know where they were going to take the show after the first season. I was honestly scared to watch when it first aired but after it survived its first season and had to see what the hype was. And it didn’t disappoint.

2018’s got a hot line up. After the first season of Atlanta, Donald Glover took a break to film Star Wars or whatever, but Atlanta’s back for season two next year and I’m simply overflowing with anticipation.

History is repeating itself yet again with another (hopefully) iconic spin off.

Everybody knows the first season of A Different World was the worst season, but I actually think Yara Shahidi has what it takes to carry a show. I’m excited to see more from this young lady.

The final season of GoT is set for next year. While I’ve enjoyed the ride, I can’t say I’m too sad to see it go. It was a moment. I lived for all that blood and gore and medieval shit.

I’m sure I missed some stuff and knowingly neglected others. I don’t watch much television but when I do I like it to be good. Fresh faces, fresh voices, and some not-so-new faces that have been consistently out here serving it to you girls with the fierceness. I live for it all.

Prediction: Endless Netflix and Chill-athons 2k18

More plz

2017 was a look for music. I’ve been blogging about a few of my faves throughout the year and even some shit that I loved to hate. But there’s no doubt that the range of sounds and styles that are emerging are nothing we’ve ever heard before. Music is constantly evolving and I got a feeling that some dope shit is afoot.

Batter up:

We got HERstory from the BK rapper earlier this year and there was no shortage of bars. M.A. has the bars for that ass and that’s a fact but she continues to talk her shit and still mind her business which is just such an attractive quality in these days and times.

I’m here for Young M.A. I really hope she’s got some hot fire for your asses in 2018.

Next up:

C’mon, I’m always excited to see what he’s going to do next. Coloring Book was from May 2016 and I know he’s been cooking since then. That joint he dropped with Daniel Caesar on Colbert is timeless and I’m ready to see some new collabs. Chance just brings a new flavor every time he steps on a track and I watch his IG stories on a daily basis.

He’s goals.

Screenshot 2017-12-02 21.44.20

Say what you want about these dudes but I fucks with em. I like their attitude. Their dreads are starting to thrive. Their jewelry game is always on point. They seem like they’re having a good time and I’m having a good time watching them have a good time. I can’t say I condone their habit of jumping random niggas for no good reason but hey, everyone has their flaws.

drake5

“hey aubrey, wya?”

Questions that need answers. I’m always excited for some new Drake to drop. He seems to have the Midas touch and I’m not mad about it. I hope he’s bringing more bangers in 2018.

This guy Smino.

He had an album drop not too long ago and even though I’d never heard of him, I knew from jump he was the newest latest. I like him. He’s got style. And his remix of Anita featuring T-Pain makes me smile.

More please.

I need more Daniel Caesar in my life. I’m usually not an R&B type of bitch but young Danny does it for me. His 2017 debut Freudian is still on replay and if he’s joined forces with Chance the Rapper, there’s really no telling what kind of flavor he’ll bring in the future. It’s a yes for me. I want more.

Now, last but certainly not least. I’m sure y’all saw the pictures of Bey out here with the laptop and the braided ponytail so I guess it’s about that time again.

She’s coming for your necks and that’s all I have to say about that. 2018 is shaping up to be something to watch. Let’s all head into the new year with high hopes and wigs secured.

 

Issa New Year: Get Into It

Let’s be real: 2017 came with its own special steaming pile of bullshit. I don’t need to go into detail. Y’all can just look back at the Shade Room’s feed for the past year. This one was really one for the books.

But so is every other year. If there’s one thing I’ve come to realize is that the bullshit don’t stop. It can’t stop and it won’t stop. It’s here to stay and as long as niggas are alive, the bullshit will persist.

So let’s talk about things that really matter. It’s a new year and although its a lot of shit that can just stay in 2017, it’s also a lot of things that I’m excited to see pop off in 2018. This is my theory and I’m sticking to it: chaos feeds the engine of creativity. As the world slides deeper and deeper into fuckery and chaos, there’s always a few individuals that rise above and attempt to bring everyone who’ll listen with them. And when you pay attention to them instead of the asshats of the world, it’s almost seems like a good idea to be optimistic about the future.

My last few posts are going to be my personal picks for who I’m looking out for in 2018. I’m looking at musicians/artists, film, television, internet influencers, activists, allem. It’s also awards season which I kind of live for. The grammy noms are out and I’m pretty much here for the line up. I hope this is setting a precedent for what we’ll see with the rest of awards season.

Regardless, I’ll be here, behind my computer. Watching. Listening. Judging.

 

Songs in the Key of My Life

This time of year always gets me in my feels. Tis the season for reflection on all the fuck shit that went down and lots of celebrating with weed and alcohol for just how in the hell you managed to make it through.

My last few posts of the year are probably going to be tinged with a touch of nostalgia cuz bitch, I can finally see the light at the end of this tunnel and to that I raise my hand and say hallelujah.

I was poking around on SoundCloud and found some old jams that I used to listen to in my dark days. When I think about it, music is a big factor in how manage to make it on the day to day. I generally don’t keep much company so music, the occasional sex-capade, and a decent amount of weed are what keep me going.

I’m one of Chance the Rapper’s biggest fans. Not even on some bandwagon shit, I found Chance’s music at a difficult transitional moment in my life. I was leaving high school, starting college and more or less trying to figure myself out. In his early days, he released a project with Donnie Trumpet and the Social Experiment, something like a mixtape and on this particular mixtape was this song “Wonderful Everyday.” It was Chano’s own remix of the Arthur theme song and it always just touched me.

Gives me the feels every time.

Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon was my saving grace. I had been a fan of Cudi since middle school. His music just spoke to me. The shit he talked about going through were things that I could identify with and I always felt like if we ever met irl, we’d probably vibe.

Last but certainly not least, J. Cole’s 2014 Forest Hills Drive.

I mean, do I really have to explain myself?

The third anniversary of the release of this project is coming up which is crazy because I distinctly remember sitting in the dark, alone listening to this album, crying during my freshman year because a bitch was especially in her feelings. Freshman year was… whew.

Honorable mention goes to, Big Krit’s King Remembered in Time was like my bible in high school.

I’ve grown more appreciative of my southern roots over the years. This place irks me but it also produced Krit which has to show for something. He’s refreshing… Not to mention, his new shit, Forever is a Mighty Long Time, is some fye.

I’ll probably be doing a post on my faves of 2017, but until I️ get around to it, kids.

Gotta blast.

Everybody Has a Breaking Point

The Stanford Prison Experiment. Let’s chat.

Not the real thing, but the movie. I watched it for the first time last night and… woah.

First of all I didn’t even know the shit was based on real life before I watched it. But I did my Googles afterwards. Evidently it won a couple awards at Sundance when it premiered there and that was enough to get me interested enough to watch.

Breakdown: So 24 male college students willingly agree to participate in the Stanford Prison Experiment for two weeks, for $15/day. Peanuts, today, but I guess that was a nice chunk of change for a college student in 1971. They were chosen because they were all supposedly mentally and psychologically healthy, they came from similar backgrounds, and were similar ages – young, white boys of privilege.

One could almost say they were equals – until shit got real.

When you’re an English major, like myself, you read a lot of shit. Thematically, the premise of this story was similar something like a Lord of the Flies (by William Golding) or an Animal Farm (by George Orwell).

The thing with having the “guards” in the experiment wear shades at all times was trippy too because as I was sitting there watching it, I thought about Michel Foucault’s Panopticism and the role that seeing/sight plays on the psychology of “guards” and the “prisoners.”

But I won’t bore you with theory.

The acting in this movie was fucking brilliant.

Fucking Michael Angarano – who plays Chris Archer a.k.a the dude that took that guard shit way too serious with his Captain from Cool Hand Luke impersonation – knocked that shit out of the park. All the actors gave some Oscar-worthy performances.

Moral of the story: absolute power [always] corrupts absolutely.

What started out as an experiment turned into a dangerous example of the human psyche and how fragile it is and once again shows us how if any one of us, if given that inch, can take the whole damn mile.

The experiment was supposed to last two weeks but things went to shit much sooner than expected and was terminated after just six days.

Go fucking figure.

 

 

Living on the Edge

This weekend I finally got to go to Afropunk and… bitch.

The line up was fire.

The melanin was fire.

The atmosphere was on fire – it was hot af but myself and my main man Reuben (@fromthedeskofreuben) kept it fresh and funky and had a blast.

Not only was it my first time at Afropunk, it was my first time in NYC, which was double my trouble.

I’ve been debating on whether or not I want to continue grad school up there and after this weekend… whew! It would definitely be an adjustment but I think I could accept the challenge.

It was a ton of people! Usually crowds make my ass itch but luckily we had a few joints rolled and ready to calm my nerves. In the midst of the sea of people, I actually ran into Dustin Ross from The Friend Zone!! *fan girls*

I’m gay as fuck but that is a beautiful man. Our interactions only lasted seconds before he was carried away in the crowd, but that was enough time for me to yell “Hey Dustin” and him to acknowledge my existence and say “Hey” back.

Honestly, I feel liberated. I’ve never seen so many carefree black folk in one place all smoking, dancing, and living in the moment.

I loved every second.

Here’s to next year!

In These Podcast Streets

A month ago, I didn’t even know who Janet Mock was. I don’t know how I came across “Never Before with Janet Mock” but the shit is lit.

Her first guest was none other than the queen mother, Tina Knowles – Lawson, and for a little under an hour they waxed philosophic about the princesses of Parkwood and her own endeavors in making the world a more hospitable place for young black girls.

And the roster just gets better as the season goes on.

Two weeks ago, none other than the man behind Joanne the Scammer, Brandon Miller, came on to talk about how he got to now. I must admit, I was a bit late on the Joanne the Scammer wave. But I kept hearing people say “Get out of my caucasian home,” and I had to investigate the origin of such a statement. My googles brought me to Joanne’s Instagram page.

Last week, she had none other than my #wce, Crissle West, from The Read. I didn’t think I could love her anymore than I already did, but after a fun talk between she and Janet, I can’t shake the thought that somewhere in a parallel dimension, Crissle and I are actually sisters. So smart, so beautiful, so black.

In my analysis thus far, Janet’s got the podcast juice. And we’re only like nine episodes in.