Merry Belated Christmas and Happy New Year, y’all! 🎅🏽🤶🏽🎄🎉🎊🍾🥳
2022 was an extremely interesting year, to say the least. I’m sure y’all noticed that I didn’t post nearly as much as I normally do. That was due to me either traveling (I did A LOT of traveling last year), taking care of my mom, working my day job, dealing with writers’ block and/or being lazy (I can admit it), or coping with my mental health (I can admit to that, too). As a result, there were a ton of big stories that I should’ve reported on, but I didn’t. With that being said, allow me to finally get off my ass and talk about the craziness that was 2022.
*DISCLAIMER: Some of the topics discussed in this post will bring about strong opinions. As usual, disagreements are welcome, but disrespect is not. Thank you.
The Russo-Ukranian War
In late February 2022, Vladimir Putin declared war against Ukraine. According to Mr. Jeffery Mankoff, a senior associate with the Europe, Russia, and Eurasia Program, the conflict stemmed from Ukraine’s desire to be considered a separate nation from Russia (Putin believed this to be a threat of sorts, as he believed Ukraine and Russia to be one), as well as Ukraine possibly joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). USNI News gives a more detailed account of the conflict between the two countries, which has been ongoing for years. So far, the Russo-Ukrainian war has taken countless lives, millions have fled Ukraine to seek asylum (and many black people attempting to flee the country were denied entry), and the war has even taken its toll on the US economy. As of today, the war still continues with no signs of stopping.
Brittney Griner’s Arrest
Around the same time the Russo-Ukrainian war started, WNBA player Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia for being in possession of vape cartridges that contained hash oil. In August 2022, she was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in a Russian penal colony. She was also fined one million rubles (the equivalent of $16,301). Many were outraged, considering that the punishment didn’t fit the crime. Brittney’s sentence appeared to have ulterior motives, seeing as she’s black, gay, and American. Not only that, but the situation also seemed to have deeper political motives, as it was the perfect dig at the US for siding with Ukraine, as well as a foolproof opportunity for Russia to trade Brittney for any Russian citizens imprisoned here in the States. President Joe Biden later made a successful trade to bring Brittney home. However, he traded her for Vicktor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy that Brittney is home with her family, but I’m not sure that the president made the best trade, especially given the fact that he traded Bout for only Brittney and didn’t include other Americans imprisoned in Russia, such as Paul Whelan.
Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for defamation after she coined him as an abusive husband in a 2018 op-ed for The Washington Post. The few times I tuned into the live streamed trial, outrageous claims were being thrown around, one of which alleges that Amber left a pile of poo in Johnny’s bed. Human poo. Amber blamed the dog. Johnny swore the dog didn’t do it. Lord… When all was said and done, the jury awarded Johnny a $10M settlement. Amber recently appealed the decision, so we’ll see how that goes. A lot of people considered Heard vs. Depp to be the trial of the year, but I have to disagree.
Tory Lanez Found Guilty!
I previously reported on the shooting incident involving Megan Thee Stallion and Tory Lanez in my July 2020: The Month That Had No Chill article. Well, the case FINALLY went to trial in 2022, and although it wasn’t televised, it should’ve been! The testimony was all over the place, a potential witness went missing (he was later found), and Kelsey (Megan’s former best friend and someone else involved in this mess) plead the fifth while she was on the stand! I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard that last little tidbit! By the way, big ups to Lawyers For Workers. That gentleman had all the juicy details about the Megan vs. Tory trial and never failed to provide an update!
After everything was said and done, I was certain that the case would end up being a mistrial, seeing how convoluted the testimonies were. However, as of Dec. 23, 2022, Tory Lanez was found guilty of assault with a semiautomatic handgun, carrying a loaded, unregistered firearm in a vehicle, and discharging a firearm with gross negligence. His official sentence will be handed out on Jan. 27, 2023. Tory could be facing up to 20 years in prison as well being deported back to Canada. Needless to say, Tory’s family was pissed about the verdict, and placed blame where blame belongs…on Jay-Z. 😂
Y’all, this was the trial of the year.
Roe v. Wade Overturned!
On Jun. 24, 2022, the Supreme Court officially overturned the Roe v. Wade decision, causing abortion to no longer be a federal/constitutional right for women. As a result, many states have banned abortions, including Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and West Virginia. Other states that have not banned abortion are working to preserve their legislature. In the meantime, many abortion clinics have either had to shut their doors permanently or move out-of-state, and patients in the heavily restricted states have traveled to other states for treatment. I have to say, I’ve always been a pro-choice woman. Many confuse that with pro-abortion, but the key word is choice. If a woman chooses to have her baby, that’s great. If she chooses, to give the baby up for adoption, that’s great, too. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, it’s her body as well as her life, so she has the right to do so. With all that being said, I feel like this decision was a slap in the face and it sent us back 50 years.
Kevin Samuels’s Death
Kevin Samuels was a popular YouTuber that provided relationship advice and was known for his mostly abrasive approach when it came to the people that called in his show. I must admit, I wasn’t a fan of his, and I’ve never sat through an entire episode of his show, because the few clips I saw turned me off. Kevin had smoke for both men and women that called in, but Lord knows his delivery was particularly harsh for the most part. When it came to the ladies that asked for advice, he’d often let it be known that if they were over the age of 30, had a dress size north of a 9, or were independent and didn’t necessarily need a man to get by, she might as well hang it up and prepare to live alone forever. All those characteristics describe me to a T. Also, if a plus size woman called in, Kevin’s severe commentary knew no bounds. As Benoit Blanc so elegantly said in the film Glass Onion, “It’s a dangerous thing to mistake speaking without thought for speaking the truth.” I myself have a less refined quote: “There’s a thin line between being truthful and just being an asshole.”
In May 2022, while I was enroute to Las Vegas, I checked my Twitter feed during my layover in Salt Lake City. I noticed that Kevin Samuels was trending, and when I clicked his name to see what was going on, my jaw dropped. Kevin died while in the company of an unnamed woman. What really had my jaw on the floor is that most of the people on Twitter were celebrating. It was later revealed that Kevin suffered from hypertension and that’s what ultimately caused his heart to fail on him. Coincidentally, he used to get a kick out of making assumptions regarding plus sized women’s health. Although I was no fan of his work, I was so sorry to hear that Kevin Samuels died, and to be honest, it put a slight damper on my trip. As DL Hughley commented during his “Notes from the GED Section” segment, it’s sad that Kevin practically died alone and that it took a full 24 hrs. for anyone to confirm that he passed. To this day, folks are still celebrating that he passed on. I know there’s some people that revered him, but there seems to be even more people that loathed him, and that’s not a legacy to aspire to. Either way, I still hate that this man lost his life, and my condolences go to his family and friends.
The Loss of Takeoff
The Migos was comprised of three members: Quavo, Offset, and Takeoff. In all honestly, I didn’t know much about Takeoff. I mostly heard about Quavo and Offset outside of anything related to their music (more so Offset, seeing as he’s Cardi B’s hubby). It turns out there was a reason for that. Many say that Takeoff was the “quiet Migo.” Sadly, Takeoff was killed on Nov. 1, 2022 after being struck by three bullets after leaving a party at a Houston bowling alley. To make matters worse, the gunshots weren’t even intended for Takeoff. He was described as being an innocent bystander when a fight broke out, allegedly between Quavo and a few other men that attended the party. Takeoff was mourned by all, and people came out in droves to his memorial service on Nov. 11, 2002. I remember seeing on Twitter that it rained during Takeoff’s service, which signified that another angel was admitted into heaven. My deepest condolences go to Quavo, Offset, Cardi, and all of Takeoff’s family and friends that were devastated by this loss.
Beyoncé and SZA FINALLY Release Their Albums!
In happier news, we had to wait six long years for Beyoncé and SZA to release the follow ups to their Lemonade and Ctrl albums, respectively. In 2022, we were finally treated to their new projects: Beyoncé’s Renaissance, and SZA’s SOS. Renaissance was released on July 29, 2022, and introduced us to a whole new sound for Beyoncé. This go around, she experimented with dance/house music, and most of the songs contained lighthearted themes. It seems to me that after going deep on the Lemonade album, Bey wanted Renaissance to be fun. Did I like it as much as Lemonade? I have to say that Lemonade remains Queen Bey’s magum opus, but I did enjoy Renaissance. My favorite songs on the album are “I’M THAT GIRL” (my number one fave), VIRGO’S GROOVE,” “PLASTIC ON THE SOFA,” and “BREAK MY SOUL” (I love the message in this one; it may be the song on the album with the deepest meaning).
SZA debuted SOS in its entirety on Dec. 9, 2022. I for one, couldn’t wait to hear it, and I wasn’t disappointed. SOS mostly carries a theme regarding loving the wrong man, and I was here for it. My only criticism for SOS is equivalent to the one Empressive had—it featured too many tracks. I know that sounds contradictory, seeing as I just said I couldn’t wait to hear the new album. However, SZA had a whopping 22 songs featured on SOS, and there were a few that didn’t stick with me after I heard them. I wish she trimmed the fat just a bit and included the song “Hit Different” instead (Empressive mentioned that as well, and I wholeheartedly agree; I love that song). Granted, I may just be used to Bruno’s 9-10 song MO. I believe I could give the album another listen to see if anything else catches my attention. So far, my favorite songs on the album are “Blind,” “Kill Bill,” “Seek and Destroy,” “Nobody Gets Me,” “Shirt,” “Good Days,” and “I Hate U.” “Blind” and “Seek and Destroy” are in heavy rotation at the moment.
Silk Sonic Sweeps the 2022 Grammys…Then Throws Up the Peace Sign to the 2023 Award Show!
Y’all know I had to throw some Silk Sonic news up in here. In April 2002, Bruno and Andy dominated the Grammys in every way. First, they opened the award show with an ass kickin’ performance of “777,” and later in the night, they swept every category they were nominated for.
All these accolades were for “Leave the Door Open,” so I just knew that An Evening with Silk Sonic would have similar success for the following year’s ceremony (although it’d be up against some heavy contenders like Renaissance and Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers). However, Bruno and Andy decided to bow out of the 2023 Grammys by not submitting An Evening with Silk Sonic for consideration. Bruno released the following statement: “We truly put our all on this record, but Silk Sonic would like to gracefully, humbly, and most importantly, sexually, bow out of submitting our album this year. [Andy and I] hope we can celebrate with everyone on a great year of music and partake in the party. Thank you for letting Silk Sonic thrive.” I can’t with these nuts. 😂
Needless to say, I was hurt, but soon got over it. One good thing about Silk Sonic not submitting their work to the academy is that I don’t have to read a bunch of ignorant ass tweets if and when they won an award: “Bruno is an appropriator,” “Andy isn’t even black,” “The Silk Sonic album was trash,” “The only reason Bruno Mars gets any recognition is because y’all think he’s black,” and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. 🙄
Wakanda Forever Was the Best MCU Film I’ve Seen in a LONG Time
Y’all know how I felt about Avengers: Endgame. Since then, I haven’t been able to get into any recent MCU content, mostly due to that shit “blip storyline” that I can’t stand. This past summer, I saw Thor: Love and Thunder during my birthday vacay…and realized I should’ve spent those wasted 2 hrs. on something a lot more worthwhile than watching that piece of hot garbage (you read that correctly; there’s actually a Thor standalone film that I didn’t like). However, when I saw the previews for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, I just knew it was going to be phenomenal, and I was right. The movie had a great plot, deep themes about grief as well as colonialism, the CGI was well done, and it was well-acted (Angela Bassett killed it). Also, the cinematography was gorgeous. Wakanda Forever wasn’t quite as good as the original Black Panther, but it came damn close, and I had a great time at the theatres watching it. Maybe I haven’t completely outgrown the MCU after all.
USC Gamecocks Beat Clemson Tigers, Ending Clemson’s Eight Year Winning Streak
Yeah…that was a bunch of bullshit. Next. #ALLIN 🐅
All Things Donald Trump
Former President Donald Trump had a particularly busy year. First, the FBI raided his Mar-a-Lago estate on Aug. 9, 2022 and retrieved more than 100 classified documents. Trump tried to file a lawsuit to contest the search and seizure, but as of Dec. 2022, the suit was thrown out. Next, in Nov. 2022, Trump officially announced his 2024 presidential candidacy bid. However, according to NPR and Suffolk University News & Features, it looks as though Ron DeSantis may have a better chance of running for the presidency in 2024 than Donald Trump. Of course, Former President Trump ain’t feelin’ that. Lastly, during the final week of 2022, Trump was forced to hand over his tax returns after years of refusing to do so. As a result, we got a glimpse into Mr. Trump’s handling of his finances, and as a former tax preparer myself, I have to ask…why is it that the IRS has come after the regular Joe Schmo for filing his niece as a dependent but never came after Donald Trump for only paying $750.00 in taxes to the government (I pay more than that every year, and I don’t make nearly as much money as he does!)? Shoot, he didn’t pay any taxes in 2020! Lord…
Kanye. Kanye! KANYE!!
Last on this list is none other than Kanye West, now known as Ye. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “You made a post about Kanye and Kim last spring!” Yes, I did. However, Kanye kept himself busy throughout the rest of the year. 2022 will be looked back on as the Year of Ye, but not in a good way.
In Oct. 2022, Kanye showed up at Paris Fashion Week wearing a “White Lives Matter” t-shirt alongside conservative pundit Candace Owens. This pissed off a lot of people (myself included), because although the Black Lives Matter Organization has its fair share of shady practices, those shirts were a slap in the face to the actual movement and the reasons it was started in the first place.
Most folks—not all, but some—were fine with this, especially Kanye’s stans. However, he took things a step further following his fashion show faux pas. On Oct. 8, 2002, after he was restricted by Instagram for commenting on how “the Jewish community was controlling P. Diddy,” he just up and decided to blow his life and career up by tweeting the following:
By the end of Oct., Kanye was dropped by a ton of companies he had endorsement deals with, including Gap, Adidas, Balenciaga (which I find funny, seeing as they’re facing their own controversy regarding inappropriate allusions to child pornography), TJ Maxx, and Peloton, just to name a few. Kanye was even dropped by Def Jam as well as his management company. To make matters worse, when his Adidas deal fell through, Kanye officially lost his billionaire status. But Kanye wasn’t done there.
Kanye made an appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight where he spoke further about the White Lives Matter t-shirts and made even more anti-Semitic remarks (which were edited from the show). Afterwards, Kanye was a guest on NORE’s Drink Champs podcast and continued with more anti-Semitic rhetoric. He even went on to speak on George Floyd and claimed that he didn’t asphyxiate from Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, but the “real” cause of George’s death was fentanyl poisoning. It’s been documented that the true cause of death was due to Chauvin holding his knee on George’s neck for over eight minutes, and the Floyd family promptly sued Kanye for defamation. This was yet another slap in the face for me. But Kanye still wasn’t done.
By early Dec., Kanye was a guest on Alex Jones’s Info Wars podcast and praised Hitler as well as the Nazi Party. I swear I can’t make this up. What was just as cringeworthy were the net and Yoohoo props he brought on to the podcast (to represent Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel). What gets me is that it’s bad enough what Adolf Hitler did to the Jewish community in the 1930s and 40s, but what Kanye’s feeble little mind doesn’t seem to understand is that if Hitler had his way, Kanye himself would be thrown into a gas chamber. Not only that, his children would either be joining him, or they’d be sterilized, due to the fact that Hitler saw biracial people as an abomination.
You think that’d be enough, but Ol’ Ye still wasn’t finished. He went to Twitter and posted a pic of a Star of David with a swastika inside the symbol. After that bit of idiocy, Elon Musk had no choice but to suspend Kanye’s account:
As I was looking up websites for research, I learned that Kanye’s feud with the Jewish community has now inspired swastika themed merch that promotes his 2024 presidential run (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Kanye is also running for president again). In all fairness, the sources that reported on the merch also state that Kanye wasn’t involved in the design or sale of the items, but the people behind it were definitely motivated by Ye’s recent antics. What really gets me are the folks that still rock with Kanye no matter what he says or does. One of Kanye’s fans drug me by my 4C edges because of my previous blog post about all the Kanye/Kim/Pete drama (since I wrote that article, I noticed Kim and Pete doing some weird shit I don’t condone, but nonetheless, harassment is harassment). Dude even called me an Uncle Tom. But yet your hero believes “slavery was a choice.”
Believe it or not, I once loved Kanye, too. I never thought the man that wrote “All Falls Down” and “You Can’t Tell Me Nothing,” would one day become the person he spoke about in those songs. Lord…
—Written by Nadiya
So what was a big event in 2022 that you wanted me to speak about? What did you think about the list I compiled? Let me know in the comments section!