Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

Hey, y’all!  As you can see, I made some changes to my blog.  I figured that this month marks my two year anniversary (man, the time flew by) and it was time to upgrade.  Besides, it’s springtime, which is pretty much the epitome of transformation, so I deduced that there was no better time to redesign my blog.  That’s my reason for posting a pic of my alma mater in springtime, by the way.  Whether you’re a Tiger, a Gamecock, or other, if you’re in upstate South Carolina this season, you should definitely take a trip to Clemson.  It’s absolutely gorgeous in the spring.

Anyway, I decided to add a little bit of color to my page, changed the theme, created a site icon, and I also changed my domain!  The new web address is now:  http://southerngirlentertainblog.com.  A little easier to remember, right?  I really hope y’all like all the transition.

I’ll post more articles soon; I promise!  Let me know what you all think about the new changes!  Bye!

Unsung Hero (Sort Of): Childish Gambino

My first introduction to Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino was July 3, 2015.  I remember the exact date because it was my 34th birthday (I know, I’m old).  I decided to spend my birthday at Myrtle Beach with my best friend (my mom) and since I missed all the Black Diamonds shows in Columbia, SC that year, I wanted to go to the theatre at Broadway at the Beach and watch Magic Mike XXL.  That’s when I saw Donald Glover.  He played a stripper named Andre, who wasn’t super buff like the other men but had a cute factor and a very pretty singing voice.  He left an impression on me with the way he used his voice and overall swag to make the women around him swoon, plus he reminded me of one of my current favorite TV characters…Jamal from Empire.  Little did I know that he had an actual singing career.

Donald Glover - Singing 2 (Alt)

Fast forward a year and a half later, I heard “Redbone” on the radio for the first time.  I loved the song upon my first listen.  Like many others, I thought it was a woman laying down the vocals, but I soon learned that it was Childish Gambino.  At first I figured that was the name of a group, but when my nerd senses kicked in and I decided to research the “group,” I found out it was none other than Donald Glover, the slender stripper that made me love the song “Marry You” long before I heard Bruno Mars’s original version.

After discovering who Childish Gambino really was, I gathered more information on him.  It turns out that he wasn’t just an actor turned rapper/singer, or vice versa, but he was also a comedian, a director, writer and producer.  “Redbone” continued to get heavy airplay on the radio stations, and I eventually uploaded it to my iPod (along with a kickass remix of Tupac’s “Hellrazor” set to the “Redbone” instrumental).  As time went by, I heard a few more songs in Childish Gambino’s catalog and enjoyed them.  However, I recently came across Watch Mojo’s “Top 10 Childish Gambino Songs” on YouTube while enjoying my morning breakfast, and I found myself drawn to the music.  I decided to check out the songs included on the list in their entirety, and I wasn’t disappointed.

Donald Glover - Singing 4 (Alt)

Childish Gambino has something that a lot of today’s Hip Hop is lacking: the stellar combination of nice beats, clever lyrics, and a smooth delivery.  What’s makes him even cooler is that his songs are musically unorthodox, yet they still manage to captivate the listener.  Lyrically, he reminds me a lot of Kanye West before he allowed his confidence to morph into arrogance.  With his combined talents of rapping, singing, and acting, he could also be considered a male version of Lauryn Hill.  Listening to Gambino’s music took me back to a time when listening to new Hip Hop music was enjoyable and it would leave me with an insatiable thirst for more when the record was finished.  It had me thinking:  Why wasn’t Childish Gambino more popular?

Donald Glover - I Don't Know (Alt)

Childish Gambino has seven mixtapes, two EP’s, three studio albums and a ton of singles.  The first mixtape, Sick Boi, was released circa 2008.  However, I didn’t know Childish Gambino existed until late 2016, eight years later.  I had only just learned who Donald Glover himself was a year and a half earlier.  Now, it’s arguable that I never heard of Childish Gambino because I don’t listen to Hip Hop quite as much as I did as a teenager, and don’t keep up with the new school artists as much (and I didn’t watch Community).  However, there’s a lot of new school artists that I heard about before I listened to their music—or, if I’m being honest, I heard of them but never listened to their music—such as Drake, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Kodak Black and Takeshi 6ix9ine (the last two belong in the latter category).  Childish Gambino didn’t get half the press coverage the aforementioned men received, and he’s just as talented.  I don’t recall Gambino ever really trending on Twitter (not counting the weekly trends for #AtlantaFX), unlike Kendrick and Drake, with the exception of Grammy night.  Don’t get me started on that subject.  I will say that it’s even clearer to me now why Childish Gambino was nominated for Album of the Year…that doesn’t mean that Bruno didn’t deserve his win, though.  I’ll leave it at that.  Sadly enough, after finally discovering what a fire MC/singer Childish Gambino truly is, I soon learned that he’s going to retire in the near future.

Donald Glover - My Emotions (Alt)

For this reason, I consider Childish Gambino to be an unsung hero (kind of).  Yeah, he’s been around for ages, and I’m late to the party as usual, but it can definitely be said that Gambino doesn’t have the same popularity as Fetty Wap, Lil’ Yachty, Big Sean and a dozen other new school rappers I can name—but I won’t because I don’t have the time and I can’t think of too many others—but he damn well deserves it.  Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino, I salute you.

Since we’re on the subject of Donald Glover, did anyone see the “Teddy Perkins” episode of Atlanta this past week?  It was creepy and unsettling.  I recommend you watch if you haven’t.  Dude’s a genius.  😉😉

Atlanta - Teddy Perkins (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So what do y’all think about Childish Gambino?  Do you like his music?  Do you think he’s an unsung hero (in a way)?  Or do you believe he gets the kudos he deserves?  Let me know in the comments section!

Bruno Mars Gets Accused of Cultural Appropriation…Again

Hey, y’all.  As I’m sure you all know by now, a YouTube channel known as The Grapevine recently released a video discussing the topic of whether or not Bruno Mars is guilty of cultural appropriation.  Some of the panelists believed he was, some believed he wasn’t, and one of them mentioned that if Bruno died tomorrow, she’d be so ecstatic she’d bake a cake (if you know this woman’s name, you know it’s extremely ironic that she can accuse anyone of cultural appropriation).

Bruno - Really

I know you all are probably wondering what took me so long to write about this topic.  To be honest, when I found out that Bruno was accused of cultural appropriation for the umpteenth time, I became terrified, and I honestly believed it was Groundhog Day.  However, I soon realized that I wasn’t reliving the same day over and over again a la Bill Murray, and given how heavily the subject weighed on me, I decided to get off my rump and write about it.  The article itself is on ViralHare, and here’s the link:

Why Is Bruno Mars Being Attacked For Cultural Appropriation?

Enjoy!  Bye!

Bruno - Dafuq (Alt)

I think this will end up being the official GIF for this damn topic…

Then again, considering that Bruno usually pays his haters and detractors dust, this GIF could very well be the official “appropriating black culture accusation” GIF for him…

Bruno - IDGAF (Alt)

So what do y’all think about the whole Bruno Mars cultural appropriation situation (hey, that rhymes!)?  Do you think he really is appropriating black culture, or do think he’s just performing the music that he loves and simply appreciating black culture?  Let me know in the comment section (or at the ViralHare website)!

‘Jessica Jones’ Season Two Review

What’s up, y’all?  As I mentioned in my previous post regarding Mo’Nique, one of the many reasons I didn’t boycott Netflix was because I refused to miss the second season of Jessica Jones (I don’t plan on missin’ Luke Cage, either).  So, when I learned the new season was set to air on March 8, I couldn’t wait to see it.  My mom and I practically watched it all in three days.  That being said, despite season two of Jessica Jones being interesting, it wasn’t without its flaws.

Jessica Jones - Thumbs Up (Alt)

The current season has Jessica dealing with the fallout after killing the sociopathic Kilgrave and investigating IGH, the lab that experimented on her after her near-fatal car accident and provided her with superhuman abilities.  Malcolm is still working alongside Jessica as her “associate,” although he’s treated more like an annoying neighbor that’s a glutton for punishment.  Trish also gives Jessica a hand by using her celebrity status and connections, but deep down, she wishes she could do more; not only with Jessica’s case, but to help people in general.  Jeri Hogarth (who’ll always be Trinity to me—just sayin’) is still around, but Jessica isn’t on speaking terms with her after Hogarth caused her wife’s brutal murder by allowing Kilgrave to escape Jessica’s grasp…again.  However, Hogarth gets some life-altering news that could possibly soften her evil demeanor…or does it?  In the process of learning more about IGH, Jessica uncovers some seriously disturbing things about the company, as well as her past.

I can’t go any further without giving some major spoilers, but as I said before, this season just wasn’t as great as the first one.  The episodes started out strong, but they started to lose a bit of steam midway through.  The first season also had this issue, but the difference is, season one began to fizzle out around episode 11 or 12.  They may want to stick to just 10 episodes in the future.  Another thing that was interesting—and was also a detriment in a way—was that there was no clear villain.  Season one lets us know from the get-go that Kilgrave was the bad guy.  The dude was just evil incarnate, and he always managed to slip away from Jessica and/or stay two steps ahead of her.  That’s what made the show so intriguing.  This time around, the antagonists—and I use that term loosely—weren’t really bad.  On one hand, it was compelling to watch antagonists that weren’t malicious, as it’s very rarely seen in a series about a superhero.  On the other hand, with no real villain, the drama fades a bit, and the show loses its magnetism.  Hence, the reason some of the luster faded sometime around episode eight.

Jessica Jones 2

The only person that can be listed as an actual villain is newcomer Pryce Cheng, but Cheng is more of an aggravating nuisance than a real threat, which brings me to my other gripe about the new season.  The new men featured in this season of Jessica Jones are hella good looking, but I didn’t care for them as characters.  Pryce is a rival PI that wants to take out the competition by any means necessary, and the other newcomer is Oscar Arocho, Jessica’s new building super and eventual love interest.  As I said before, Cheng got on my nerves, and for the first half of the season, so did Oscar, as his attitude towards Jessica is just as shitty as Pryce’s when she first meets him.  When Oscar finally acts like he has some home training and Jessica falls for him, their scenes lack any serious chemistry.  This is no criticism against actors JR Ramirez and Terry Chen; their performances were good (besides, I always loved JR Ramirez as Julio in Power.  I’m still mad he got killed off the show!).  I just could’ve done without the characters themselves.  Worst of all, Luke doesn’t make a single appearance this season.  His absence was definitely missed. 😭😭

Luke and Jessica (Alt)

Jessica Jones’s second season wasn’t all bad.  Like I said previously, I did enjoy it.  There were a lot of cool action/fight scenes, and Jessica’s sarcastic humor always had me rollin’.  There was a scene where Pryce accuses her of murder and Jessica basically tells him that she didn’t “give a dead moose’s last shit” what he thought.  Classic.  The first few episodes had me on the edge of my seat, and the scenes that give the audience more insight into Jessica’s past were handled extremely well.  Trish and Malcolm have a story arc that’s very compelling, as does Hogarth.  I didn’t completely care for the way the season ended, but it definitely showed a pivotal change in the dynamic between Jessica, Trish, and Malcolm.  I for one can’t wait to see how this development is gonna play out next season, Lord willin’.

All in all, season two of Jessica Jones wasn’t completely explosive, but it wasn’t an absolute dud, either.  It was a lot like the less expensive fireworks we used to buy in the ’80s and early ’90s; they started off strong, but then ended with a wimpy little poof instead of a big bang.  Maybe season three will be the firework that’ll even make Katy Perry stare in wonder.

Jessica Jones - Butt Whuppin (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So what did y’all think about Jessica Jones’s second season?  Was it well worth the wait, were you disappointed, or was it just…meh?  Did you miss Luke Cage?  Did you like the new additions to the cast?  What did you think about the “bad guys”?  What did you think about the season finale?  Let me know in the comments section! 

Mo’Nique: Is Her Stance Against Netflix Legit or Way Off Base?

Well…as my girl Lovelyti said, 2018 had a Black History Month to remember.  Black Panther was released to stellar reviews and is still tearin’ up the box office (if you haven’t seen that beautiful film as of yet, PLEASE watch it!), Blac Chyna and Safaree (rapper and Nicki Minaj’s ex) both had sex videos leaked to the world wide web (about a week apart, on top of everything else), Stacey Dash annouced she’s running for Congress (ugh), and Fergie attempted to channel the late jazz great Billie Holliday when she sang her rendition of The Star Spangled Banner” at the NBA All Star Game, but she ended up channeling memes, GIF’s and countless jokes for Twitter followers and late night talk show hosts instead.  In spite of everything that happened this past February, the lady that nearly everyone was talking about last month was the legendary comedienne Mo’Nique.

MoNique 2 (Alt)

As I’m sure all of you know by now, Mo’Nique was approached by Netflix to do a comedy show sometime around December.  The reported deal was $500,000, which was much lower than the $13M Amy Schumer walked away with (she was originally offered $11M), not to mention the $20M that was offered to Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.  Mo’Nique refused the deal and asked everyone to boycott Netflix in protest, due to the streaming powerhouse being biased against her because of her race and gender.  Very few people did so for two reasons:  The threat of missing out on the upcoming new season of Jessica Jones and other stellar shows/movies was too great, and most folks felt that Netflix’s decision wasn’t because of race and gender bias, it was due to Mo’Nique’s reputation of being hard to work with and the fact that the aforementioned comics sold out more shows and were more active than Mo’Nique as of late.  I muar admit, I am also one of those people.

Now, I know what y’all are thinkin’, “Nadiya, aren’t you a black woman?  And didn’t you just say that Mo’Nique is a legend?”  The answers are yes and yes.  I am a black woman that is well aware that gender and racial bias exists, and I’m from the south, just to add icing to the cake.  Also, Mo’Nique’s resume is very impressive.  She won an Oscar for Precious, had a hit sitcom for five years, and very successful stand-up specials, one of which was The Queens of Comedy.  I can see why Mo’Nique feels she was lowballed by Netflix, given her past successes.  I just don’t think that race and gender have anything to do with it in this particular instance.  Allow me to explain.

Netflix Has a Ton of Predominately Black Movies, Specials and TV Shows

Netflix 2 (Alt)

If Netflix only had one or two black actors and actresses on about two or three movies and/or TV shows, I’d see more validity in Mo’Nique’s claims of them being prejudiced against her.  That’s not the case.  Netflix gives jobs to a lot of black actors.  Movies and shows like Luke Cage, Mudbound, Bright, The Get Down (I hope this comes back, by the way), The Cloverfield Paradox, She’s Gotta Have It, Chewing Gum, A Message to the King, Seven Seconds, Coach Snoop, Imperial Dreams, and Dear White People consist of a mostly black cast and/or have black leading men and women.  Not only that, but I’ve seen other black comedy specials on Netflix featuring Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker, DeRay Davis, Katt Williams and Cedric the Entertainer, just to name a few.  I haven’t been able to find out a lot of information on how much the comedians I named made for their deals, but considering there’s been little to no press on the subject—aside from Mo’Nique’s dissatisfaction with her deal—I can only assume that they were happy with what they made.  According to Vulture, more comedians are going to Netflix because “they want the money while [it’s being offered].”  Then, when it comes to the case of gender discrimination, I highly doubt Netflix is guilty of that, considering that they recently closed a multi-million deal with Shonda Rhimes, the female (and African-American) creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder.

Mo’Nique’s Reputation Proceeds Her (Still Love You, Though!)

MoNique - You Fuckin With My Money (Alt)

Steve Harvey once said that in order to be successful, you have to have some dog in you.  There has to be a dogged determination to grind and reach a certain level of success.  Mo’Nique is no exception to that rule.  She’s always had a strong personality.  That’s what made her so appealing when she first burst on the scene.  Women in the entertainment business have to have a thick skin and that dogged determination to strive in the industry.  However, Mo’Nique’s personality may be a little too strong.  Now, I’m not going to sit here and label Mo’Nique an angry black woman, because that’s a stereotype that’s always followed us, and is always thrown in our faces whenever we stand up for what we want.  I will say that Mo’Nique may need to learn to compromise and realize that everyone may not agree with her opinion.

The whole “Mo’Nique is difficult to work with” stigma started back in 2009 when Precious was screened by multiple film festivals.  The movie was nominated for the Un Certain Regard award at the Cannes Film Festival, and director Lee Daniels insisted that Mo’Nique fly to Cannes, France for the event.  She refused, opting to spend her free time with her family.  This situation reminds me of a quote from the film Gladiator that I often use myself:  “Sometimes in life, I do what I want to do…but mostly I do what I have to do.”  Family is important, but it’s also important to feed your family as well.

Mo’Nique also stated that she was not contractually obligated to promote the film overseas, which was another reason she refused to go to Cannes.  Once again, this harkens back to the quote.  Working as a customer service rep (my day job), I often have to go above and beyond my job description to make my clients happy.  That way, the company looks good, I look good, the client is satisfied, and I don’t have to worry about him/her calling back with an attitude.  Mo’Nique may not have been obligated to do international promotion, but whenever you help create a film—or anything regarding entertainment—you have to promote said work.  That’s the bottom line.  I’m sure my sweeties Bruno Mars and The Rock are tired as hell right about now (Bruno especially…he’s STILL TOURING!), but they’re doing what they have to do to promote their art.  If Mo’Nique had gotten on the plane to France (and I’m sure her family could’ve gone with her), she and the film would’ve received more press, she could’ve networked and garnered more roles and/or connections, and the powers that be would’ve seen her as a “team player” and contracted her for even more work and more money.  Everyone wins.  Plus she could’ve chilled at Cannes.  Have y’all seen that place?  It’s gorgeous!

Monique Berating Charlamagne 2 (Alt)

This brings me to the next point I mentioned:  Mo’Nique must make peace the fact with everyone may not agree with her.  As I’m sure all of you have heard, back in Jan., Charlamange tha God from The Breakfast Club gave Mo’Nique Donkey of the Day for declaring herself “the most decorated comedienne alive,” after receiving Netflix’s low bid.  Mo’Nique was none too happy about that.  Shortly after that show, Mo’Nique went on her live stream and asked “why [Charlamange] had so much hatred towards black women.”  By late February, she basically started a tour to speak about her issues with Netflix, and she was invited to The Breakfast Club for an interview.  While she was there, Mo’Nique let it be known that she didn’t appreciate Charlamagne giving her Donkey of the Day, and pretty much talked down to him the entire interview.  As a matter of fact, she made it her business to refer to him by his real name, Lenard, instead of his radio persona whenever she addressed him.  Before she left, Mo’Nique made sure she had the last word, and strongly implied that Charlamagne was a house negro.

Cynthia - Side Eye (Alt)

Now Mo’Nique, that was all the way wrong.  No one is exempt from Donkey of the Day.  I get Mo’Nique feeling some type of way about getting it, but at the same time, she acted as if she was above that title.  As Charlamange himself once said, “Donkey of the Day [doesn’t] discrimate.”  What’s worse is that Mo’Nique implied that Charlamange only gave it to her because she was a black woman, which wasn’t true.  She could’ve let it be known that she didn’t appreciate what Charlamange said without being condescending and twisting the situation around.

Now you may be asking what this has to do with the Netflix deal, considering this incident occured afterwards.  Once again, Mo’Nique’s reputation proceeds her, and other stories like that have bounced around for years.  That interview at The Breakfast Club may have confirmed those stories.  Then, let’s not forget how she put down Lee Daniels, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey at one of her comedy shows a few months back (although I can understand why she’s angry at Oprah; the way she handled that interview with Mo’Nique’s brother—who molested her as a child—was rude and wrong).  All these things combined more than likely caused Mo’Nique to get that low offer, and The Breakfast Club interview probably made the suits at Netflix say, “See!  We knew we shouldn’t have offered her anything more than $500,000!”  I’m not saying Mo’Nique has to be a shrinking violet that just accepts everything (we can all agree that the $500K offer was low), but you can’t be completely uncompromsing and offputting.

MoNique - Clownery (Alt)

I’ve been a fan of Mo’Nique’s since I was a teenager, and I still love her.  I want her to win, and I want her to have a successful career.  I get her feeling that she was a victim of bias, especially given the fact that Netflix gave her wack ass excuse as to why she was lowballed, instead of telling her the truth (see the Variety article about the Netflix offer I hyperlinked earlier).  I also understand why a lot of African-American people—namely black women—are taking her side, given that we’ve gone through legitimate bias time and time again, and still experience it.

But this particular situation has less to do with Mo’Nique being a black woman and more to do with her being inflexible.  Even her “Netflix tour” is inflexible.  She’s not giving up this fight by any means, despite the fact that Netflix isn’t the only network out there.  Mo’Nique is talented enough to go to Hulu, Amazon Prime, Epix, HBO, Cinemax, or Showtime and have them give her the deal she really wants.  My suggestion to her is to show Netflix that they made a mistake in lowballing her.  If no one else will make a reasonable deal, she should put her own money up and try another project.  She should definitely showcase more comedy on her Instagram page (at the moment, all her posts are either fitness videos or content regarding the Netflix controversy).  Not only that, she should continue to do more comedy shows at bigger venues, which honestly, may be another reason Netflix offered such a low amount.  She hasn’t been as active as she once was.  Mo’Nique, keep that strong personality, and that dogged determination, but don’t burn bridges, and be a little more accomodating and open to different opinions.  Show everyone that why you are a Queen of Comedy, Ms. Mo’Nique, and why you should be treated as such.

MoNique - Shade (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So, what do y’all think about this situation?  Is Mo’Nique right about Netflix being biased against her because of her gender and race, or do you think it’s due to her past reputation?  Do you think Mo’Nique deserved Donkey of the Day, or was she right in putting Charlamange down for doing so?  Do you believe she should keep fighting against Netflix, or should she leave them alone and try finding a better deal and/or starting her own project?  Let me know in the comments section!

My Personal Thoughts On ‘American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace’

Hey, y’all!  As some of you may know (or maybe not), I’ve posted some articles on other websites, and I recently did one over at ViralHare.com, about American Crime Story:  The Assassination of Gianni Versace.  This show has nearly the entire nation buzzing, including yours truly, and I truly felt the need to put my two cents in about the series.  Here’s the link:

Ugliness Among Beauty:  The Second Season of American Crime Story

Hope y’all enjoy it!  Bye!

American Crime Story - Andrew Dancing (Alt)

This scene was particularly insane.

What do you think about the second season of American Crime Story?  Be sure to let me know in the comments section (or, if you’d like to leave a comment on the site where the actual article is, that’s fine too!)!

My 2018 Grammys Rant: Stop All the Doggone Bruno Hate!

Get comfortable.

Like most of the free world, I watched the 2018 Grammys on CBS this past Sunday night (Jan. 28, 2018), mainly to see my boo Bruno Mars perform and win the coveted statues.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Not only did Bruno kill his performance of “Finesse” with Cardi B.—I expected nothing less—but he managed to win every single category that he was nominated for, much to my happiness and excitement.  I was so proud to see him looking like Michael Jackson with his glittery jacket, aviator shades, and his arms full of Grammys.  Let me emphasize the phrase that he looked like Michael Jackson—I know some haters out there will twist my words around and claim I said that Bruno is the next Michael Jackson, or that he’s better than Mike.  *Eyeroll*

Bruno - Moonwalk (Alt).gif

However, most of the viewers out there weren’t nearly as happy as I was to see Bruno’s hard work pay off.  Oh no, the minute Bruno’s “That’s What I Like” single beat out Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee’s “Despacito” for Song of the Year, the Bruno hate became real.  By the time Bruno won Record of the Year and Album of the Year over Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar, the hate was really real.  #BrunoMars was trending the majority of the night for all the wrong reasons.  It was mostly full of hateful tweets about how Bruno was an overrated artist, his music was cheap and generic (despite you fools jammin’ to it all last year), and that 24K Magic was the least critically acclaimed album nominated, and that 4:44 and DAMN. were vastly superior. How soon we forget…some of these same folks were givin’ Jigga the business when he confirmed on the 4:44 album that he cheated on Beyoncé.  Hell, some of them gave Kendrick the business for buying his little sister a brand new 2017 Toyota Camry as a graduation present.  Even the cultural appropriation bullshit made a comeback, and this time, folks eagerly jumped on the bandwagon.  Wow.

Bruno - Dafuq (Alt)

There’s even been articles from reputable news outlets putting Bruno down.  NPR stated that the academy took the “safe bet” voting on Bruno, which I’ll admit, is arguable, given the other artists nominated and the themes they touched on.  However, the statement still undermines Bruno’s skill and talent in my opinion, and that irks me.  Then, a writer for Billboard posted an article that just blows my mind.  Here’s an excerpt from it:

The problem for Bruno is that these are not necessarily the best times for a male pop artist with an endless history of unchecked success to still be succeeding so thoroughly, without making any obvious attempt to engage with the larger themes of the moment. Bruno’s acceptance speeches were hardly ungracious — he shouted out his fellow album of the year nominees for pushing him to be better, and went out of his way to name-check producers Babyface, Jam & Lewis and Teddy Riley, whose precedent 24K Magic would’ve been thoroughly impossible without. But there was no acknowledgment of the larger narratives at play that his wins were feeding into — the snubbing of hip-hop, of foreign-language artists, of women — and indeed, no real acknowledgment of the world outside his own career: his excitements and grievances were all personal and self-contained.

Now, according to this logic, being successful and actually enjoying your success is a bad thing, especially if you don’t mention politics—within your field of work or otherwise—during your acceptance speech (although Bruno’s never been the political type).  Not only that, but while giving the speech, Bruno only focused on his own career, which apparently made him seem like a villain, despite shouting out his influences in the business (all of whom are black, for those of y’all that love to call Bruno a “culture vulture”), and giving praise to the other nominees.  Never mind the fact that it was Bruno’s award, and he was simply relishing his moment.  Never mind the fact that Bruno has zero control over who the panel decides to vote for.  Damn you Bruno, you spoiled, selfish bastard.  *Sarcasm*

Bruno - I'm At the Grammys (Alt)

I haven’t seen hate this damn undeserved since Rock’s last return to the WWE.  Are Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino (aka Donald Glover), Lorde and Jay-Z deserving of the Grammy?  Hell, yeah.  DAMN., 4:44, and “Awaken, My Love!”  were all great albums (I haven’t had the pleasure of hearing Lorde’s Melodrama as of yet, but I do like her as an artist), all with tracks that had heavy rotation in my car during the previous year (by the way, I hated to see that Jigga and SZA were snubbed).  However, there was another album that had an even heavier rotation in my car last year…24K Magic.  Was Bruno just as deserving of the award?  Hell, yeah.  No, Bruno’s album didn’t speak on the politics we face as a society today, but as I said before, Bruno’s never been a political type of guy.  He always says that he makes his music for people to dance and have fun; no more, no less.  There’s nothing wrong with going either route.  Let’s not forget that Bruno has a variety of fans:  black and white, from 8 yrs. old to 80.  Did it ever occur to anyone that maybe that’s why he won every category he was nominated for?

Has Bruno paid his dues for the sweep he experienced last night?  Well, let’s see.  Bruno’s career started when he was 2 yrs. old.  Not 12, not 21, but 2 yrs. old.  In other words, the boy could barely talk, but he was literally on stage performing in shows.

Baby Bruno - Elvis.gif

He continued performing well into his teenage years, and when he graduated high school, he moved from Hawaii to California to make a name for himself.  Even after Bruno was dropped by Motown Records at the age of 18—yes, that Motown—Bruno kept working.  He wrote and produced songs, and kept performing until he made it big in 2010, 22 yrs. after he started.  Did I mention that Bruno also plays at least five instruments?  Yeah, those Grammys weren’t deserved at all.  *More sarcasm*

Bruno - This Is What The Fuck I Do (Alt)

As for the “cultural appropriation” nonsense, let’s just put this on the table now.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, some of my people are a little too fast and loose with that term.  Some people do deserve it (one of them was actually at the Grammys last night—and it wasn’t Bruno—but I didn’t hear a peep made against this particular person.  I’ll be nice and not name names once again.  I’ll let y’all figure it out), but sometimes black folks have the tendency to say that about anyone that isn’t black, yet loves and performs black music.

Bruno once stated that his biggest influences were Prince, Michael Jackson and James Brown.  His writing partner and best friend is Philip Lawrence, a black man.  There’s videos circulating on You Tube that show Bruno performing R&B songs as a teenager.  As I said earlier, Bruno was once signed with Motown.  The men that joined Bruno on stage to accept the awards for Song and Album of the Year were the production group The Stereotypes, who are mostly black.  The vast majority of The Hooligans (I’m referring to the actual band, not Bruno’s fanbase) are black.  Bruno stood on stage and gave props to the likes of Babyface, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, and as well as Teddy Riley.  Despite all that, folks are still talkin’ trash.  There was a person on Twitter who asked, “[Bruno] likes to party with black folks, but does he ever march for us?”  News flash:  this past summer, Bruno donated $1M to Flint, MI to assist with the water crisis.  Flint is a predominately black community.  Does that sound like someone that respects the culture, or a dude just trying to get over on black folks for his own personal gain?  Save the cultural appropriation title for people that actually deserve it.

Bruno - Hooligans

I know this rant is long as all hell, but I sincerely hate how people turned on Bruno on the drop of a damn dime simply for being recognized for his great work.  It took Bruno over a year to record 24K Magic, and Bruno’s still working his ass off touring.  He actually took time away from his world tour to be at the Grammys, just for all you haters to run your mouths.  I find it funny that Bruno’s album isn’t worth a damn now, but in late 2016 and all throughout 2017, everyone was bumpin’ it.  It’s even funnier that when Jenn M. Jackson, the writer that accused Bruno of cultural appropriation, made her little tweets dissin’ Bruno this past summer, Black Twitter drug her through the mud and filth.  Now Black Twitter’s turned on Bruno like sour milk, making the same accusations she did.   SMDH.

There is one good thing out of all of this nonsense.  True to form, Bruno is unbothered by the drama and is still walking on air over his big night.  Still yet, I wish that instead of these folks washing down their haters tots with Haterade, they’d drink a nice, tall glass of STFU.

Rant over.

Bruno - Why You Mad (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So what do you think about all the Bruno Mars hate?  Is it justified or not?  Did you like 24K Magic?  Did you think 4:44, DAMN., “Awaken, My Love!”; or Melodrama was better?  Do you think that Bruno is guilty of cultural appropriation, or you believe he’s just a dude that loves and respects black culture?  Leave me your thoughts in the comments section!