The hits just keep comin’ with 2020, y’all.
*Sigh* My birthday month has come and gone, and even though I had a very happy 39th name day/vacay, the majority of the month had a lot going on…a lot! Part of the reason I didn’t write more posts last month, despite there being so much news to report, is because every other day, there’d be something else happening! I couldn’t keep up! So, without further ado, here’s a breakdown of some of the biggest things that happened in July!
NOTE: Yes, I realize August is more than halfway over, but writing this article took a lot longer than I anticipated. Like I always say, my posts may be late, but they’re never dull.
August’s New Song for Jada
I’ve already spoken on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s “entanglement” with August Alsina, but it turns out August still has plenty to say. A little over a week after Jada and Will’s Red Table Talk appearance, August and Rick Ross released a song entitled “Entanglements.” No doggone subtlety. He even included lyrics like this:
Shawty leanin’ on my shoulder, got her questionin’ my willpower
Jaded by her beauty, but her reputation real solid
Moanin’ down the hallway, I can tell you how I feel about it
Caught up in the Matrix, and I doubt if I can get up out it (Oh, come on, huh)
Livin’ like there’s no tomorrow, met your boy with open arms
Told you all my darkest stories, promised that you won’t depart
Keys to over forty cars, left me with a broken heart
August releasing this song was as messy as messy gets, but I can’t even lie; it’s actually a banger. Jada and Will may have gotten past this moment, but August clearly hasn’t. I have a feeling this situation may be far from over.
Nicki Minaj Is Expecting!
Circa July 20, 2020, social media was in an uproar all due to the following post:
Yep, Mrs. Nicki Minaj-Petty is pregnant with her first child, and The Barbs couldn’t be happier. By the way, I love how she recreated Beyoncé’s pregnancy pose from 2017, but put her own spin on it.
Congrats to Nicki! ❤️ 🦄
*Disclaimer: Although I like Nicki Minaj, I do not consider myself a Barb.
Tamera Mowry-Housley Leaves ‘The Real’
On July 13th, Tamera Mowry-Housley, one of the original co-hosts of The Real, announced that she would be leaving the talk show after being a part of the panel for seven years. Tamera released the following statement on Instagram:
In all honesty, I don’t watch The Real that much. Before the quarantine started, I’d mostly tune in during my lunch break at my day job. My mother watched The Real all the time during the Tamar era, but once she was booted from the cast, my mom was done (she’s a serious Tamartian). I will say that whenever I caught the show, Tamera seemed to be one of the anchors that held it down, and now that she’s leaving, I can’t see anyone else replacing her. With Tamera and Amanda Seales’s departure from The Real, it’ll be interesting to see what direction the show will take from this point. Either way, I wish Tamera the best of luck.
Ellen Comes Under Fire
Like my girl Lovelyti always says, 2020 is the year of exposure. I’ve liked Ellen DeGeneres ever since she did stand up comedy in the late ’80s and early ’90s. I don’t watch Ellen every day, but whenever I do, I always end up having a great laugh. Ellen’s lighthearted, sweet, and quirky personality was of the most endearing things about the show.
However, there’s been murmurings that Ellen isn’t as sweet as she’s perceived to be, at least not to her crew. In 2020, those murmurings turned into outright screams. According to multiple reports, once the cameras are off, Ellen is a totally different woman behind the scenes.
There’s also been multiple allegations ranging from poor communication regarding pay during the COVID-19 pandemic, to all-around unfair treatment toward the entry and mid-level employees backstage. Everything came to a head in late July, when it was reported that Ellen’s executive producers were involved in numerous allegations of sexual harassment and/or assault. Ellen isn’t directly involved in these recent claims, but she’s still gaining bad publicity. If she knew about what her people are accused of doing, she’s equally complicit; if she didn’t know, it proves her to be negligent when it comes to her business. As of today, three top producers have been released from Ellen.
All I know is that it’s heartbreaking to find out that Ellen may be a nasty woman (who also has nasty people working for her, to boot) and not the kindhearted spirit we see on TV every afternoon. SMH. 😭😭
Megan Thee Stallion Gets Shot
While 2020 is whuppin’ most of our asses, Megan Thee Stallion was one of the few people that was having a good year, for the most part. Yes, she has some ongoing issues with 1501 Certified Entertainment, her former record label, but she seems to be enjoying her new partnership with Roc Nation (I have to say I agree with Lovelyti’s take on that whole situation, but that’s another topic for another time). She released her Suga EP on March 6, 2020, and the “Savage” Remix single—which features none other than Queen Beyoncé herself—became Meg’s first chart topping hit. Unfortunately, Meg met with a traumatic event the night of July 12, 2020.
That night, Kylie Jenner (who made a controversial appearance in Megan and Cardi B’s “WAP” video) hosted a party at her house that included Meg and rapper Tory Lanez as attendees. Soon after the party, shots were fired and Megan ended up with gunshot wounds in both feet, delivered by Tory Lanez himself. Twitter buzzed about this incident for the next few days, and the people speaking on it were none too happy. Many different stories started to come to light about what happened, and Meg felt it necessary to set the record straight:
To make matters worse, many people such as 50 Cent, Draya Michele and Chrissy Teigen made light of the incident, prompting Meg to get on Instagram Live to address it. Megan has since had surgery on her feet and is currently recovering. Her and Cardi B’s “WAP” video has everyone talking, and thanks to all the publicity it’s received—good and bad—the song debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In the long run, it appears the shooting fiasco won’t get Megan Thee Stallion down.
EDIT: At the time I wrote this, Tory was only the alleged shooter, but nothing was officially confirmed until Megan publicly named Tory Lanez as the assailant on Aug. 20, 2020.
Tamar Braxton’s Suicide Attempt
As I previously stated, my mother is one of the biggest Tamartians out there, and she never missed an opportunity to catch Braxton Family Values, Tamar & Vince, and The Real during its early seasons. Whenever I’d watch either of those shows with my mom, it was easy to see what drew her to Tamar. The youngest Braxton sibling has such a strong personality complete with witty quips, iconic catchphrases, as well as an angelic singing voice like her older sisters. Given that Tamar seems to just ooze confidence, I—along with most people on social media the morning of July 17, 2020—was shocked to learn that the night before, Tamar’s boyfriend found her unresponsive from an apparent suicide attempt.
It turns out that although Tamar put on a brave front for the cameras, inwardly she was truly suffering. According to Lovelyti’s breakdown, Tamar was extremely unhappy with We TV; from their constant portrayal of her as an “angry black woman” to their low pay offers to the Braxton family, despite having a successful reality show on the network for the last 11 years. Tamar confirmed Ti’s breakdown with the following social media posts:
I thank God that Tamar was found in time and is doing better, and I hope that she continues to do well. It’s very true what she said: mental illness is real, and we need to start taking it seriously. The stigma surrounding mental illness and therapy needs to be abolished. According to many of the reports, as well as Tamar herself, stated she reached out for help, but her cries were ignored. Y’all, if you have a loved one that you see is going through a rough time or is threatening to hurt himself, please, please listen to him and get him the help he needs. Also, don’t be afraid to get help. Seek therapy and speak with a professional, if needed. Get well soon, Tamar.
Nick Cannon Takes a Hit After Making Comments Deemed as Anti-Semitic
Nick Cannon is usually a man that stays out of controversy—with the exception of the beef between him and Eminem—but last month, he found himself completely embroiled in it. During the Cannon’s Class podcast with former Public Enemy member Professor Griff, it’s been reported that Nick made remarks about “black people [being] the true Hebrews” and that “people with a lack of pigment also have a lack of compassion.” As a result, ViacomCBS fired Nick from Wild ‘N Out for allegedly using hate speech. Since being released from the show, Nick has profusely apologized to the Jewish community, to put it lightly.
While I was doing my research on this topic, I took the liberty to watch Nick and Professor Griff’s entire conversation during the Cannon’s Class podcast. After watching it, I came to this conclusion: Nick’s words were taken entirely out of context and misconstrued. Please allow me to elaborate further.
During the podcast, Nick and Griff discussed the events that led to his dismissal from Public Enemy years ago, and Griff declared that he is not Anti-Semitic. Griff went on to say that he not only respects the Jewish community, but it is impossible for him to be Anti-Semitic, considering that the true definition of Semites are people of color. I decided to probe further and came across an article that mentioned Semitic people originated in Arabia and Ethiopia. The article goes on to state the following regarding the Hebrew culture:
Nick and Griff discussed the topic further and later moved onto the discussion as to why racist Caucasian people—the key phrase being racist Caucasian people—have so much vitriol for people of color. That’s when Nick deduced that white people who are racist are envious of what people of color have: melanin. They also discussed how racists are afraid of Caucasians becoming extinct, which has been well-documented over time, thanks in part to anti-miscegenation laws and eugenics.
I understand Nick issuing the first apology, but the constant groveling and backtracking that he’s done isn’t a good look, because now he seems insincere. What he should do is let people know that he wasn’t trying to be offensive, but also take the time to clarify what he was trying to convey. It would also help if people watched the podcast in its entirety instead of watching one or two clips and making whole assumptions on what Nick was really saying. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s taught me that it’s extremely easy to take things out of context, and it’s imperative to get the whole picture first. Like the old saying goes, “When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me.”
Lady Liberty Gets Lit!
Lightning may not strike in the same place twice, but on the morning of July 23, God decided to bring a superbolt upon The Statue of Liberty, the likes of which I’ve never seen (according to the article I cited, it was actually four bolts in succession. I’m not a meteorologist and know very little about science, so I’m not gonna argue that). I’m telling y’all…this year freaks me out.
It’s bad enough we lost Andre Harrell, Little Richard, Betty Wright and Roy Horn (of Siegfried and Roy fame) in one fell swoop this year, but in July we lost even more beloved personalities.
I watched Naya Rivera when she was a little girl making appearances on various black TV shows such as The Royal Family, Soul Food, and The Sinbad Show, among countless others. After the early 2000’s I didn’t see much of her, and I never jumped on the Glee train, so I couldn’t believe how grown up she was when I spotted her years later on the third season of Devious Maids.
Since seeing her in Devious Maids, she’d gotten married, divorced and had a baby boy. I didn’t hear too much about her again until she was trending on Twitter in early July. Circa July 8, 2020, Naya and her son went out to Lake Piru for an afternoon outing on their boat. While swimming, something went wrong and Naya made sure her son made it back to their boat safely, but she was unable to make it to the boat herself. Nearly everyone on Twitter sent prayers and hopes for her to return safely to her son. I prayed for the same, but deep down I knew that she may not have made it out of danger, considering that she was missing for more than 24 hrs.
Her body was located about a week later. Naya was 33.
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, especially her little boy, who lost his mother at such a young age. The only thing sadder than that is the fact that Maya lost her life when she was so young herself, and had so much to offer. She will be missed.
Like Naya Rivera, I watched Kelly Preston a lot when I was a child. While growing up, I saw her in movies such as The Experts (where she and her husband, John Travolta, first met), Twins, Only You, and of course, Jerry McGuire. Funny story: When I first watched Only You, Kelly’s character mentioned the Mile High Club while flying back home and I thought it was an actual club for people that fly a lot. Don’t judge me; I was 11.
After Jerry McGuire, I didn’t see Kelly as much as I did as a child. To be honest, the last time I really heard anything about her was when her oldest son, Jett Travolta, passed away in 2009. She and John had another son, Benjamin, not too long afterward. Eleven years after Jett’s passing, Kelly died of breast cancer the morning of July 12, 2020 at the age of 57. She and John seemed like such a cute couple, and I was really sorry to hear about her death. My deepest condolences go to her family, who’ve had to endure two huge losses in their lives.
Although Kathie Lee got on my late grandmother’s last nerve talking about Cody non-stop, she never missed an episode of Live With Regis and Kathie Lee. I didn’t watch the show nearly as much as Nana did, but over the years I would catch some random episodes of Regis and Kathie Lee, which later became Live With Regis and Kelly. The talk show could venture into cheesy territory at times, but Regis always seemed like a genuine and affable man (although while doing my research, I learned there may have been a bit of animosity between Regis and Kelly Ripa). I didn’t hear about his departure from Regis and Kelly, so the next time I tuned in and saw he was gone, the first thing I asked myself was, “Hey! Where’s Regis?” Whether I watched him on his famed talk show, or Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, I always enjoyed his presence.
We lost Regis to coronary heart disease on July 24, 2020. Rest in peace, Mr. Philbin.
As usual, I have to keep it 100. I wasn’t a fan of Herman Cain, and I definitely wasn’t a fan of his politics. Nonetheless, I was saddened to hear about his passing from COVID-19 complications. I was especially saddened to learn that Mr. Cain previously survived colon cancer just to succumb to this deadly Coronavirus. What’s even sadder is that Mr. Cain’s death probably could’ve been prevented. Here’s the now infamous tweet of him sitting at the Jun. 20 Trump rally without wearing a mask (actually, no one in the photo is wearing a mask, and the other attendees aren’t social distancing):
He fell ill with the virus 9 days after this rally. Although it’s unproven whether he contracted the virus at the rally or not, I personally wouldn’t doubt it. What’s worse is that if he had the virus beforehand, he possibly spread it to the other people at the rally. Mr. Cain even tweeted about not wanting another lockdown although the positive COVID-19 cases were rising again:
I’m not judging the man, but his attitude towards this pandemic was tragic. He could’ve still been here, enjoying his family. If y’all don’t listen to anything else I tell you, please listen to this: COVID-19 is real. It is a real virus, and it is EXTREMELY dangerous. Please wear a mask, wash your hands, maintain social distancing, and don’t go anywhere unless it’s either an emergency or a necessity.
My condolences to the Cain family during this trying time.
Dear Kayne and Terry: Sit Down and Hush!
Last but definitely not least, we get to Kanye West and Terry Crews, who brought messiness to a whole new level in July. I reported on Kanye’s antics a few years back, but in July 2020, he came back live and in full damn effect, and whenever Kanye took a break, Terry would pick up the slack. It’s as if both these men were competing to be the captains of Team Too Much.
“President Kanye,” His Campaign Rally and His Very Public Meltdown
A few days after my 39th birthday, Kanye West announced that he threw his name in the hat for the 2020 Presidential Campaign. I didn’t take his news too seriously. After all, his political party is known as “The Birthday Party,” he entered the race late as all hell and failed to secure a spot on the 2020 South Carolina ballot, his political ideologies are usually no more than incoherent ramblings, and he made the decision to run for President while in the shower.
Many believe that he’s running for the sole purpose of siphoning votes from the Biden/Harris ticket, which will allow Donald Trump to win the election. There’s no hard evidence to support this—it’s just speculation at this point— but given Kanye’s history with Trump, his late entry into the race, and the fact that this is 2020, it’s a definite possibility.
If the so-called presidential run wasn’t bad enough, Kanye’s campaign rally in Charleston, SC was a hot mess. While onstage, Kanye made it known he and Kim once considered aborting their oldest daughter, North (while crying), and he put down Harriet Tubman by saying that “she didn’t free the slaves, she just sent them to go work for other white people” (ahh…yet another ignorant ass comment on slavery).
Kanye put the icing on the cake when he showed favor towards a white woman that challenged his views while blasting a black woman that did the same thing.
Kanye didn’t stop there, oh no. A few weeks after the rally, Kanye had a full out meltdown and took his frustrations to social media. Here’s a few of the tweets he made, which have since been deleted:
After this two day Twitter rant, a lot of folks were concerned about Kanye’s health, although many couldn’t help but notice this meltdown occurred before Kanye’s Donda album was supposed to drop (it ended up not premiering on the originally scheduled date).
After Kanye promoted the Donda album, he apologized to Kim, and Mrs. Kardashian-West herself released a statement on Instagram discussing her husband’s battle with mental illness. Some folks are placing all the blame for the meltdown on Kanye’s bipolar disorder. Others blame the Kardashian family, claiming that Kanye’s MK Ultra was beginning to wear off, hence the “Get Out” and “Kris Jong Un” tweets.
Here’s my humble opinion: like my girl Lovelyti once said, we give Kim and her people too much power. It’s true that Kanye changed not too long after marrying Kim, but I don’t think she’s the cause of it. Kanye was always off the chain, but I believe his condition has just worsened now. However, his mental illness doesn’t get him off the hook. He needs to take responsibility for the things he says and does on any media platform. The messages he spouts out are dangerous, hurtful, and make him look completely incompetent. It’s time for him to start taking his meds and actually speak with a professional. It’s also time for him to pick up a damn book and read it before spouting off ignorant ass comments about slavery and Harriet Tubman. He should also give equal treatment to everyone. Don’t praise the white lady for challenging your views and then go off on the black lady for doing the same and correcting your fallacious comments on the subject. And if Kanye really did post those tweets for publicity, then shame on him for trolling. Do better, Kanye.
Terry’s Epic Fail of “Conquering Our Own Negativity”
I loved Terry Crews ever since I saw him in White Chicks. He cracked me up as Chris Rock’s dad in Everybody Hates Chris, I cheered for him when he was a contestant on Lip Sync Battle, and he had my complete empathy when he spoke on being a sexual assault victim. Up until this year, the only thing I ever held against Terry was starring in The Expendables (that film is trash).
Sadly, my opinion of Terry Crews began to change in 2020…because that brother started to lose his ever lovin’ mind. First, in early June, he tweeted, “Defeating white supremacy without white people creates black supremacy. Equality is the truth. Like it or not, we are all in this together.” Are you serious right now?
In late June, he decided to tweet again, this time to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement. The tweet read, “If you are a child of God, you are my brother and sister. I have family of ever race, creed and ideology. We must ensure #blacklivesmatter does not morph into #blacklivesbetter.”
Terry had an interview with Dom Lemon in early July to elaborate on the Black Lives Matter tweet, and he concisely mentioned how he believes some leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement think they’re better than other people fighting against injustice (I disagree), but he devoted most of his energy to speak on how Black Lives Matter doesn’t address black on black crime. Y’all, allow me to speak further on this: yes, black on black crime is a problem, but the Black Lives Matter movement is focused on police brutality against black people (at the very least Terry did briefly admit that police brutality is indeed an issue). I’ll explain why that is: When Pookie murders Ray-Ray, Pookie gets arrested and goes to jail, no questions asked. However, when Officer Jones shoots Ray-Ray for whatever reason (be it a misdemeanor, or for just existing), Ray-Ray gets villified in the media, Ray-Ray’s death is justified, and Officer Jones just ends up being put on paid administrative leave. That’s not justice. It’s a vacation.
Just when I figured Terry was sick of the backlash from these crazy tweets, he decided to take it a step further. On July 28, 2020, Terry had the audacity to go on Twitter and post the following:
In case you’re not sure what Terry did that was so wrong, he created an acronym for the word coon.
Someone tried to check Terry about “taking the word coon back,” but Terry wasn’t about to be deterred from believing his message was nothing but positive.
*Sigh* Terry, out of all the positive messages the black community could use, making an acronym out of the word coon isn’t one of them. It’s a doggone racial slur, and it’s something that no one wants to be associated with. Terry, I’m just gonna need you to stay off Twitter and hush.
By the way, Godfrey’s impression of Terry in this video was spot on. Please check this out for a good laugh.
Whew, that was a lot! What did y’all think was the craziest, messiest, or most exciting thing to happen in July of this year? Let me know in the comments section!