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.

 

 

 

 

12.26.17

My family’s celebrated Kwanzaa since I was a kid. I always kind of felt like it was a special thing and in many respects, it means more to me than Christmas.

Today’s the first day of Kwanzaa.

Habari gani? Umoja

Umoja means unity.

I write a lot of social commentary. That’s really the reason d’etre for the ethnic hair section.

These are dark times, there is no denying.

The forces that seek to divide and destroy us seem plenty. From the election of Donald Trump, police, the Justice system, the American government and really just white people, in general, it’s starting to look like we could be witnessing an unprecedented era of division, distrust, and disappointment.

In layman’s terms, it’s getting hectic out this bitch.

Like, fuuuuuuuck.

But even while knowing all that, I kinda fuck with the idea of the downfall of the republic. College has made me quite the anarchist.

Cause it might honestly do us some good???? Maybe we’ll realize life is so much more rewarding when we stand together???? Like maybe social stratifications and economic gaps and racism and sexism and xenophobia are all byproducts of a single source????

If we get through life, we get through together. And we’ll all realize it sooner or later.

Idk, this is my second attempt at doing a Kwanzaa series. Last year’s was a fail lol but I’ve been reflecting on my content from this past year and I want to take this week to try to unpack all that shit. I have a lot more material to reflect on so this should be interesting.

Umoja means unity, y’all.

Happy Kwanzaa, y’all.

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

Story Time: Mischief Managed… Barely.

Bout 7:45 p.m.: Wading through a sea of people, trying to get between stages in time to see Solange. It was hella niggas and for a minute, the traffic was standstill. If I wasn’t high I probably would’ve had a nervous break down. Crowds were never my thing.

So after making it back to the Green Stage, Reuben and I opted to just stay there. Neither of us were willing to go through that crowd again to go back to see SZA. Fuck it.

We smoked a joint and waited for Sampha.

He’s a helluva live performer.

Bout 8:00 p.m.: Sampha wraps up. Now it’s time for Solange, who’s set to come on at 8:30.

Sidebar: We only had Saturday passes. I had to be in class on Monday and Reu had to go to work. We bought bus tickets to head back to D.C. for 1:30 a.m. My flight was at 8:30 the next morning. The bus ride is four hours long. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

Bout 8:20 p.m.: Bill DeBlasio rolls his ass up on stage and from the way the crowd was acting, he ain’t too popular with the black folks of New York. He talks for about five minutes about how Afropunk is “the best event around,” and leaves. Mind you, he comes on right before Solange, I’m guessing, for maximum nigga viewing potential. The crowd wasn’t here for his Hoover vac impersonation.

I don’t know much about Bill’s political goings on in NY, but that was a political stunt if I ever saw one.

8:45 p.m.: Solange still isn’t on. Technical difficulties.

Reu and I still have to Uber back to Williamsburg, get our things from the place we were crashing at, and catch the subway back to Time Square where our bus is leaving from.

9:00 p.m.: Solange finally comes on. We only have time to stay for two songs before we have to fight through the crowd again to beat the rush of people leaving and blocking up traffic.

At this point, my phone is dead. Reuben’s is on like 10%. We still need to order the Uber.

9:45 p.m. Our attempts to beat the crowd and miss the traffic failed. Barry Commodore Park is surrounded on all sides by bumper-to-bumper traffic. Reu’s phone: 5%. No Uber. My phone’s still dead.

10:00 p.m.: A good, albeit shady, samaritan whips a charger out of his fanny pack and lets Reuben charge his phone so we could order the Uber.

Bout 10:25 p.m.:Back in Williamsburg. But bitch, where’s my phone? In the fucking Uber.

We call him. He’s picked up another passenger already.

We wait.

In the meantime, we gather our shit so that when the Uber driver brings my phone back, we can hit the subway. Time is of the mother fucking essence.

11:00 p.m.: Uber guy pulls up, returns my phone, and we power walk to the next subway stop.

Bout 12:15 a.m.: We finally make it to Time Square with an hour to spare.

BITCH.

That morning we rolled four joints. We smoked three at Afropunk. Reuben kept the forth one in his sock. God knew we would need it.

We found the bus stop, got some food from McDonald’s, and found a nice lil spot off in the cut to smoke that last J.

1:15 a.m.: We board the bus to D.C.

Nigga, we made it.

Bout 5:45 a.m.: We make it to D.C. Reuben calls an Uber to take him to his apartment. I call an Uber to take me to the airport.

Mischief Managed. Barely.

 

 

Whose Mans Is This?

You know… I went to sleep on November 8th confident that Hillary Clinton would be my next president. Then I woke up the next morning, saw the headlines, and thought, “Well, this ought to be fun.”

And y’all, what a ride this has been.

Whose mans is this? Can somebody get him before he kills us all?

I don’t look at the news anymore because that would be a frivolous exercise. But from what I’ve seen and heard through the streets and via twitter, this shit’s going downhill fast.

Y’know, I had a class with a guy who was an avid Trump supporter, last semester. When asked why, the only thing he could give me was that “Hillary is liar.”

And so is your mammy – for telling you that you were special as a child.

I’ve been fighting the urge for the past six months to track him down and ask, “How’s that working out for you?”

Before General George put the presidency down after two terms, he specifically gave this party system the side eye in his farewell address, essentially telling America that this party shit is cool or whatever, but don’t let that shit distract you from the real issues.

And now, some 230 years later, we’re suffering from the very thing he warned against – hyperpartisanship.

Donald Trump is the poster child for putting party before country and look where that shit’s got us.

America when will you learn to learn from the past? In the grand scheme of things, 230 years ain’t that long and in those 230 years, America has probably done more irreversible damage to this earth than the thousands of years of war, famine, and plagues that came before.

This man is single-handedly dismantling all the hopes and dreams of the leaders that came before… and ya mans did that.