Life Is But a Read

Today in Black History, I honor The Read.

I’ve never related to two people more than I do these two. I found The Read at a really bad time, or a really good one depending on how you see it. Freshman year was the worst year of my life. I was away from home. I didn’t know very many people and my social anxiety was such that I sat in the back of all my classes and never talked to anyone. I went to class and back to my dorm. Towards the end of the semester, I just stopped going to class. My grades slipped, naturally. I had heard the phrase “College isn’t for everyone,” before but that was never more real for me than at that time in my life.

I couldn’t drop out. Momma wasn’t having that. So sophomore year, I opted to change scenery and transfer. I figured it might be a good move. I knew a couple folks on the new campus who introduced me to more people. It was a small town so I’d run into them often. But even then, I still spent the majority of the time by myself.

I listened to my first episode of The Read on August 19, 2016. The episode: Mess Side Story

So I came in about two years after Fury and Crissle launched The Read, but I picked it up with ease, feeling like I was listening to two friends chop it up over whatever came to mind. It was love at first listen.

Since that fateful day, these two are still doing the damn thing. A good friend and I wanted to get tickets to their 5th anniversary show at The Apollo (yes, bitch, The Apollo), but that shit sold like hot cakes. All the tickets were gone in less than 24 hours and our hopes were dashed.

I got over it, eventually.

But I’ll still be celebrating with them in spirit. At this point, Fury and Crissle feel like siblings to me. Three years after my first listen and a bitch finished undergrad early and is making moves to move to the Big Apple to pursue my own dreams in comedy and writing.

I said all this to thank Fury and Crissle for their contribution to the culture and to my own peace of mind. I’ve been watching them grind together this entire time and I’m extremely happy for them that all the hard work is paying off. They dared to move to NYC to get shit popping and while, at first, it was a little bumpy, they’re out here prospering.

Their wave is crazy and it inspires me every day to get on my shit. (If by some off chance one of them reads this…) Thanks Fury and Crissle for all that y’all do. For being inspiring, influential, and unapologetically yourselves.

Happy Anniversary! I wish y’all the best.

 

 

 

 

On Lacking Discretion

A lot of the things that happened this past week is primarily a result of niggas lacking discretion.

I purposely did not watch the Amara LaNegra interview on the Breakfast Club. And y’know….

I tried. I tried to give them their roses and commend them on a job well done in pioneering this urban radio thing and putting in so much time in the game and what have you. But I looked at that thumbnail every single time I logged in to YouTube and could not bring myself to click it. Deep down, I knew some bullshit was afoot.

They broke it down real nice on The Read and confirmed my suspicions. Like I said, I try to give Charlemagne the benefit of the doubt, but anytime the Twitter-verse is buzzing with his name, I know from past experiences to stand clear.

I still have yet to go back and watch it for myself. I don’t make a habit of entertaining ignorance. I was disgusted by what I heard, to say the least. Somebody brought up Cardi B (Envy, I believe), Charlemagne brought up Issa fucking Rae (boy.), and Yee didn’t say a damn thing because she’s lacking in a spine too.

Offset with this damn he “don’t fuck with queers” bit.

We all know what queer means. I use the word to describe myself, but it can also be a slur. Regardless, the fact that Offset’s dusty ass don’t fuck with me and mine doesn’t bother me personally. Of course, this has implications, socially. This nigga is a prime example of other ignorant folks who aren’t aware of words and their definitions. As a writer, it hurts me to see words abused. And then to have such behavior justified on the most ridiculous of grounds is outright insulting.

The answer is no.

Moral of the story: All the migos have been on my list since the first time I heard of them saying some homophobic shit. I really have to take them all with a grain of salt because I do acknowledge that these are individuals of questionable constitution. But my god, bitch, simple media training will teach that it’s best to say nothing when you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

And of course, who can forget our dear Agent Orange?

Then there was the whole “shit hole countries” comment and ensuing debacle. And I’m sure he’s said some more nonsensical things in the past 24 hours.

This is really sick. Like really.

So I pose a question: Has everyone just lost their damn minds? Like what’s really good? As far as progress is concerned, it appears that we tend to take a step forward and take any number of steps backward in half the amount of time.

It’s too many people who should know better who are just lacking in discretion. This is the skill that distinguishes humans from the other animals – the ability to use logic to deduce from any given circumstance what they can do to navigate that situation as seemlessly as possible. And yet…

Listens Lately

My podcast game is crazy. I listen to them all the time. They’ve really grown on me since I’ve been in college. Podcasts are dope because I can listen to them on the go, they’re entertaining, and most importantly, they keep me in the know.

As someone who doesn’t subscribe to traditional news media outlets, my “news” typically comes from Twitter and podcasts. And I really feel like the independence of the internet really lends an authenticity to Twitter and other online platforms that CNN,FOX, and allem could never.

That’s the real fake news.

I’m ranting…

I’ve been expanding my podcast horizons. In addition to favorites like The Read, I’m listening to Jade and X.D., Gettin Grown, and Desus and Mero. These haven’t been going as long as The Read but it’s clear they’re on the same trajectory. All of these personalities give very real perspectives on the world we live in today. They’re also all hella funny. But they also each maintain their own niches, which keeps me listening every week.

Everyone’s back for the new year and the brands are strong!

Podcasting is lit. Dare I say, the future.

 

Bardi Season

So, the video for “Finesse” came out and quite honestly, I stopped watching it after Cardi’s verse. But from what I did see, my bitch Cardi looks like she’s just getting started.

Cardi B: I like her. I like her attitude. She’s fun. Personally, I was never one for the whole reality tv world in my youth, so I’ve really only been exposed to Ms. Cardi in the last few months. My first time actually hearing words come over her mouth in full sentences was her interview on The Breakfast Club last year. I’m swear I’m not making this up lol.

Her thing with Offset is cute. She did an interview on Fallon, which was absolutely horrid, but she handled it well. I don’t really know much else about her outside of what I’ve laid out for you here.

Now, the good folks at The Read addressed her latest personal scandal. Thanks to a very recent follow to the Shade Room, I already knew what that was about. And Cardi is… lacking in the ability to not give a fuck about the opinions of others. This fame thing ain’t no joke and it’ll just take some getting used to.

I’ve never been famous, but I can imagine that it can be a bitch sometimes.

But she’s on a role and if she can keep up the momentum, I think she’ll learn to relax into her glow up.

She’s on my list.

Watch out for Cardi in 2018.

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.

 

 

How Do I Measure the Time?

In episodes of The Read, quite honestly.

I really feel like they’ve perfected this podcast shit. Like they’re funny, witty, intelligent and just plain relatable. And don’t let both of them come in the studio fucked up – GOLD. I think I discovered the show around this time last year and ever since, I have to get my fix every week.

Fury said he was in Jamaica this week and that the episode wouldn’t come out til Friday, instead of their established Thursday release date. I had a four hour drive back to Oxford on Thursday. Now what was I going to do to kill the time?

Listen to old episodes, of course.

In the past year, I’ve branched out into that whole LSN conglomerate. The Friend Zone, Combat Jack, Gettin’ Grown – I really enjoy all the content.

It’s really something I’m really excited to see grow and flourish.

It’s to the point where I’m either listening to music or listening to podcasts, truly and honestly.

How do you speak to me when I have headphones in? Don’t.