PopCulturalist

ATTN: Things That Make You Go “Hmm,” Jay Z Talking About Racism

Over the weekend news site ATTN published my reaction to Jay Z’s recent statements that he thought Hip Hop music did more for Civil Rights than some Civil Rights activists. While I agreed that Hip Hop has been influential, let’s not pretend that racists can enjoy black art while despising black people.  Continue reading

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PopCulturalist

The Root: “Terrible” Empire Is Still Good TV

Hey! I’m finally back from attempting to sleep through most of the holidays! (Congratulations to me.) I celebrated my return by watching a lot of television, including FOX’s new show “Empire.” The show is horrible, but I didn’t let that stop me from enjoying it! Continue reading

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PopCulturalist

Yung Berg V. Joseline Hernandez

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Photo via VH1

Yung Berg beats up his girlfriend Masika and, rightfully, gets fired from VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop Hollywood.” Joseline Hernandez, star of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta destroys the set of a reunion show fighting pretty much everyone and gets to go out for dinner afterwards with the show’s creator. Was Yung Berg’s crime that he’s a douchebag who beats women or was it that he’s a douchebag who beats women off-camera? Or was it for beating up a woman while not also being a woman? Do physical assaults hurt less if they’re same sex or if the gender roles are reversed? Are they less dangerous and less humiliating? Continue reading

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PopCulturalist

“Everything old is new again,” actor and civil rights activist Denise Nicholas told BuzzFeed News. “Whoever thought we would be dealing with voter suppression after the civil rights movement? All these years later, we’re still dealing with the issues that we dealt with in the ’60s. It is absolutely crazy. I’m not surprised. Why did it have to happen? Why couldn’t they do their due diligence and find somebody in the first place?”

— From Kelley Carter’s “Inside Hollywood’s Shocking Blackface Problem

Everything Old Is New Again

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EntertainmentSnob, PopCulturalist, PostRacialist

Harry Connick Jr. Manages To Not Murder Blackfaced J5 Aussie “Tribute” (O RLY?)

Some things have to be seen to be believed, like five dorks in blackface (and one in “whiteface”) doing a “tribute” to the Jackson 5 as the Jackson Jive. I suppose you could attempt the “maybe Aussies don’t know blackface is offensive in 2009” excuse. That might work, you know? If they didn’t already have their own indigenous group of brown people who’ve suffered endless humiliations at the hands of the majority population. If anything it shows how just because you have your own racial issues doesn’t make you all that sensitive to the issues of others. Fortunately Harry Connick Jr., lovable New Orleans jazz man, was there to remind folks that blackface just is not funny. Mostly by mentioning that no one would pull that shit in the states for fear of a severe case of beatdown. Unless it’s Halloween and you’re a drunk frat boy dressed up as a “rapper.” But then, if you’re doing that it’s probably not on television and within the relative safety of your Phi Kappa House.

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EntertainmentSnob, PopCulturalist

From You’re So Vain to Obsessed: A Brief History of Songs Not About You

So Mariah “Sparkle Pony” Carey’s “Obsessed” is about Eminem, right? Right? What prize do I win for the sheer obviousness of Mariah’s summer pop ode to her ego? A bootleg copy of The Real Slim Shady? A DVD collectors edition of Wild’n Out?

There’s nothing like a pop song that’s about someone you don’t like any more. A diss track. Rappers do it so much it’s pointless, but they normally don’t try to hide who the object of their ire is. I mean, we all know of the great Kool Moe Dee/LL Cool J wars. Those were awesome. But I’m specifically talking about songs that “aren’t about you.” The greatest diss jams are the kind that are thinly vieled hate Valentines to assholes. Like one of the greatest songs ever written, the original who is she singing about jam, Carly Simon’s “You’re So Vain.”

More after the jump.

“You’re So Vain,” Carly Simon: No one has even come close to capturing the WHO IS SHE SINGING ABOUT? I MUST KNOW! mania of “You’re So Vain.” She sez it’s not about Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger because he helped make the sucker. And Warren Beatty is still convinced it’s about him (yes, his ego is THAT big). People still ask her who the song is about in almost every interview she gives. And it is simply a great song for any girl who ever dated an egomaniac. I’ve dated a few self-involved pretty boys in my day, so I can still visualize the awesomeness that is playing this song as loud as possible in the car and singing along pretending Carly was dissing Suave Tre of “I’m so pretty I should be a pimp” imfamy.

A matter of fact, “You’re So Vain” was so good that copying became the sincerest for of flattery for one artist.

“Son of A Gun,” Janet Jackson: It’s about her secret ex-husband. So about him. It is also so very much a clone of “You’re So Vain” that it includes a sample of the baseline and Carly Simon singing on the track. I personally perfer the remix version with P. Diddy and Missy Elliot. Even though it’s obvious who the song is about, their antics and Janet’s usual mewing make it a highly enjoyable experience.

“Rich Girl,” Hall & Oates: The singing/songwriting duo actually own up to who this song is about, a wealthy fast food heir, who was actually a dude, who used to date Daryl Hall’s ex-girlfriend. I like to pretend the song is about every obnoxious rich bitch I’ve ever known. Of course, most of the rich bitches I’ve known were either nuevo riche wannabes or broke wannabes, so they should actually take it as a form of flattery that I would even consider them “rich.”

“It’s Not Right, But It’s OK,” Whitney Houston: And I don’t care what Whitney said at the time, actually publishing a friggin’ disclaimer on the album this single came from — It’s about one Mr. Bobby Brown.

“Ring the Alarm” and “Ego,” Beyonce: I don’t pretend to know what “Ring The Alarm” was about (which was honestly like more pop version of Kelis’ “Caught Out There” without the gun clicks and screaming), but it’s one of the Beyonce songs I actually like a lot, as I always enjoy a good “gurl done wrong” track that involves a lot of pain and threats of attrition. “Ego” is a lot more obvious with the, um, none-too-subtle “it’s too big, it’s too wide, it won’t fit” references. All I can say is … ew. I realize that technically “Ego” is not a diss track, but it so over-the-top that it HAS to be irony. It must! I need to peel back the layers of sugary fluff to believe that Bey is kidding about how she was meant to for him and yadda, yadda, yadda. It’s too strong and all that jazz. Jokes. Those must be jokes, right? I mean, it’s not a GOOD thing to have a big ego. Not one getting stroked that much on a track. And any man who this song would actually be about must be so dull and insufferable that he can barely get his Camel Joe-esque head in a room. I’m going with it’s a diss song. Please, let it be a cloy, mocking diss song.

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DC Gossip, EntertainmentSnob, PopCulturalist

Who Wants to Look Crazy on Bravo? These DC “Housewives” Do … Maybe

Real estate agent and rumored DC cast member Stacie TurnerReliable sources in D.C. told me that many black women who were approached about the Real Housewives reality TV show brand coming to Washington, D.C. balked at what the producers were looking for — which was something like Atlanta 2.0 with more craziness. Without a Nene in the bunch, the producers have “allegedly” put together a cast that resembles the … um … not quite as Negro part of the “Chocolate City.” Rumor has it that the cast includes …

More after the jump.

From NBC Washington:

Mai Abdo: wife of Jim Abdo of Abdo Development, mother of two and firmly on Washingtonian’s list of best-dressed women.

Mary Schmidt Amons: mother of five and founder of the District Sample Sale.

Lynda Erkiletian: president of one of D.C.’s most prominent modeling agencies. 

Michaela Salahi former model and wife of Tareq Salahi, who’s president of America’s Polo Cup and owner of Oasis Winery

Lisa Wernick Spies: the reality TV-ambitious wife of Republican fundraiser Charlie Spies.

There is one woman with a permenant tan who’s name is being hushed about, real estate agent and Howard University grad Stacie Turner. Young, Black and Fabulous is claiming that Turner, who is black, is a rumored cast member.

Personally, after watching a grand total of one episode of Atlanta, I don’t know why anyone of any persuasion would want to touch this trainwreck franchise with a ten-foot-pole. Even if you’re sane and accomplished the shows always seem to have a way of making you look ridiculous for just taking part in the drama-rama. But, hey! Maybe D.C. will be all classy and shizz! Cross yer fingers!

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