Give Em LaHelle

On this day in Black History, I’m honoring Patti LaHelle.

It’s impossible to talk about comedy without talking about black women. I’ll forgo waxing on the idea of the plight of the black woman and comedy sometimes coming from situations that aren’t funny at all and  and all that and just say black women are funny as shit. They have been from jump.

If you haven’t seen the masterpiece that is the Got 2B Real series, stop what you’re doing.

 

Comedy gold. The style. The wit. The reads. Patti LaHelle truly created something for the culture when she created Got 2B Real.

G2bR, also known as the Diva Variety Show, is a spoof of a reality show that features some of the most legendary names in pop, soul, and r&b of our time. Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick, Mariah Carey, and Beyonce are some of the cast members featured on the show. The women are all invited to Patti LaBelle’s house for dinner and the personalities that find their way to the dinner table make for two seasons (and a short film!!!) of piping hot tea.

Together they deliver some the shadiest reads, quickest comebacks, and most potent quotables ever caught on tape.

The brain child of Patti LaHelle has been a mainstay in my life since I discovered it sophomore year of college. I consider Ms. LaHelle a visionary for what she created. Though her Got 2B Real journey is over (allegedly), Patti LaHelle has proven herself to be a force on the internet and a lot of folks, including myself, want to see her create even more content. The day is on its way, I’m sure of it.

This black woman is a comedic genius.

If ever there is a dull moment in your day, take a moment, pull out your phone, and watch a couple episodes. That always makes me feel better.

Thank you, Ms. LaHelle for your contribution to the culture.

 

 

 

 

6th day of Kwanzaa: Kuumba

Habari gani?

Kuumba

Creativity.

To always do as much as we can, in the way that we can in order to leave our community more beautiful and beneficial than we inherited it.

Where to begin?

This year I’ve definitely been exercising my creativity. Creativity is like a muscle. If you’re constantly using it, it grows stronger but once you lay off, it atrophies.

I don’t believe in art for art’s sake. I don’t believe in anything for it’s own sake, really. I don’t write because I like to read my thoughts back to myself. I mean, I do, but I have a journal for that.

I write in the hopes that someone will get something out of it. Every time I read a reassuring comment or positive feedback, I feel like I’m doing what I’ve set out to do.

Kuumba means creativity.

I actually did manage to accomplish one of my resolutions from last year, and that was to create something everyday and more specifically, to make it my mission to make this blog a priority. And now it feels like I’ve hit my stride.

So it’s onward and upward from here.

#2018leggo

You Better Work

If y’all didn’t know, I’m a film student. In my last semester, lawd! It’s a bitter sweet feeling – mostly bitter – but that’s a different post.

Film production is one thing. Classes on writing, directing, editing… the usual. But there’s also a set of classes based in film theory.

Because films are not just films and (more broadly) art is not just art. It’s all cultural fodder.

Or at least, that’s how I like to look at it.

Every film, every album, every canvas does a certain cultural work that – when you look back on them as a whole over time – says a whole helluvalot about the world we lived in.

Now this is going to appear to go left for a minute, but bare with me here.

I’ve been listening to that new Uzi.

Sorry not sorry.

I don’t care how fast he says it, I don’t buy that lucier shit. I’m terming this cultural click bait. 

Issa gimmick.

That lil nigga from Seattle isn’t a fucking devil worshipper, and if he is, so the fuck what. That’s on him.

This new shit bumps and I enjoyed listening to it. Sorry not sorry, bih.

The thing about a Uzi, a Yachty, a [insert XXL freshman]… they’re in this bitch.

They’re here and making their presence known and having a wang-dang-mutherfucking-doodle with life.

Yeah, they say problematic, dumb stupid shit sometimes. So does everybody.

But if you watch an interview from any one of these people, they kinda sound like they know what they’re doing. They know the wave they’re on and they’re taking full advantage. As high-falutin’ as you may think their antics might be, they’re not on some bullshit.

And you can say that about a Kendrick, a Cole, a [insert “conscious” rapper] as well.

They’re voices of the culture. And they know it.

They have the juice and it seems as though folks can’t do anything but be mad about it.

Now, when we all look back on this moment in history, I don’t know what we’ll say, honestly. I can’t break down the cultural work that these individuals are doing because I can’t do that right now. I think that is something best done in retrospect.

But they are certainly doing it.

Moral of the story: Y’all gotta chill and let these kids be kids. It’s a wave. It’s a moment. Let it be.

History will tell us what she thought of these 20-teens kids when she’s good a goddam ready. Don’t doubt that the cultural hindsight will be 20/20 and one day – not this one – we’ll be able to know for sure if they actually “ruined hip-hop”… or if they really ushered in a new era of youth culture and music.

I’m leaning more towards the latter.

If you like it, listen to it. Twerk to it. Enjoy it.

If you don’t, that’s cool too, but y’know… don’t be a hater.

 

 

Life is Funny Enough Without Your Bullshit

Listening to this recent mailbag episode of The Read has me thinking…

In particular, the question called “Trump stole my swag” or something like that. It was a man writing who had just recently been married. Evidently they had hats made with a hashtag and the hats were red and the print was white. Just like Trump’s campaign hat. 

Fury and Crissle told him to retire that shit though he seemed reluctant to do so in his letter. Just because Trump took his swag, so he says.

One of my many random ass obsessions is symbolism. I mean if we think about it, that’s all that differentiates us from any other animal – the capacity to impose meanings on symbols or objects to organize our thoughts, communities, and cultures. The alphabet, our number systems, our vocabularies, our cultures are nothing but commonly accepted meanings that have been imposed onto arbitrary shapes that early people drew into the sand. 

Now look at us now. 

I said all that to say that symbols are powerful, and that red and white hat is one that tightens my sphincter anytime I see it. 

It was the horocrux that Trump imbued with a piece of his old and rotting soul, and thus I’ve come to see the hat as a symbol of ignorance, xenophobia, egoism, and out right fuckery.

Sometimes it’s not even a Make America Great Again hat. Even the color and style of it is enough to make me roll my eyes.

Now, I have a motley bunch of associates of all races. And some of them (who I really don’t know that well) think it’s cool to wear that shit “ironically.”

“You know I don’t really think that way in real life.”

*rolls eyes*

My thing is…  there’s plenty of things in life that are actually funny.

I think it’s funny how I’m in 20K worth of debt for a goddam degree that everybody told me I needed. 

I think it’s funny how bitches think they can try me in Walmart and cut me in the checkout line. 

I think it’s funny that some of these people out here really thought Donald Trump would be a good president.

The material is endless without you going for the lowest hanging fruit for a laugh. 

Bitch, THIS ain’t funny. This lunatic is going to kill us all. 

And the thing about symbols is that one they are assigned a meaning, it usually sticks and it’s hard to change it. 

So even people who wear the hat just for shits and giggles, or have a similar looking accessory at home, just retire that shit and have a seat. It’s okay. 

Besides, it’s probably best to let it be. The red and white trucker hat has been tainted for all eternity. It ain’t cute any more. 

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.

 

 

And still, we make shit lit

As if Twitter weren’t already dope, here come this dude to reignite the party.

The “Super Thread.”

So this guy has designed various thread scenarios in which you’re placed in a situation and have to choose one of two options every time the thread gives you a choice as to how to proceed.

Screenshot 2017-07-25 07.25.48

And honestly, I got more enjoyment out of the sidebar convos that came out this than the actual threads themselves.

giphy1

It’s an interesting concept, really. Another internet wormhole to occupy my time. I fuck with this so much that’d I’d spend the coin to see this on a larger scale. I can see this being adapted and utilized in some way.

I feel such a sense of community on the internet, sometimes. Like anything, the internet can be a place for the ign’ant, the negative, and the downright foolish, but sometimes, somebody decides to do some cool shit.

And the human race is better for those people.