Posts by Nadiya

A true GRIT(S) from South Cackalacky. Loves all kinds of music, movies, and TV shows. Favorite celebs include The Rock, Chris Hemsworth, Bruno Mars and O'Shea Jackson, Jr. (yes, they're all good looking men; no that's not a coincidence).

‘Luke Cage’ Season Two Review (WARNING: Slight Spolilers!)

Y’all…I finished watching the second season of Luke Cage on Jun. 29, and man…it was good.  Damn good.  I was pleasantly surprised, considering how disappointed I was with Jessica Jones’s second season.  It took me a week to binge the entire season, and the only reason it took that long is because of my day job.  If I had more free time, I’m sure I would’ve watched all 13 eps in about two days.  It was that doggone fantastic.  So much so, that I purposely missed Claws, Pose and the 2018 BET Awards to binge some episodes (although when it comes to this year’s BET Awards, I don’t think I missed much).

Luke Cage - Dab (Alt)

The second season picks up where The Defenders left off.  Luke is back in Harlem trying to protect the city he loves, but now, he’s a bit more of a local celebrity.  He finds himself fighting a lot more than bad guys.  He’s also fighting with some internal issues, which include crossing the fine line between being a hero and being a villain, and whether or not he should forgive his father for turning his back on him when he needed him most.  Of course, Mariah and Shades (who are now officially a couple) make Luke’s life harder with their shenanigans and their own personal battles.  To make matters worse for both parties, another villain comes into the mix named Bushmaster, a Jamaican crime lord that has a personal vendetta against Mariah and her family, and also carries a disdain for Luke, considering that his strength and power is nearly equal to Bushmaster’s.

This current season had all the usual stuff that makes it great:  action, intriguing plot, stellar performances, hot love scenes, and an even hotter man (Luke).  Even Danny Rand aka The Immortal Iron Fist and Colleen (Danny’s homegirl) made appearances (more on that later).  However, this season of Luke Cage had a little something else going on with it as well…it was really deep.  Season two was chock full of recurring themes that manifested from demons that nearly every main character had to face, and not all of them were able to overcome them.

WARNING:  THE FOLLOWING WILL CONTAIN SLIGHT SPOILERS TO THE NEW SEASON OF LUKE CAGE.  IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SECOND SEASON YET, I SUGGEST YOU DON’T READ ANY FURTHER!

YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

Heroism

Luke Cage 2 (Alt)

Throughout the season, Luke struggles with the true meaning of being a hero.  Luke believes that in order to protect Harlem, he has to do whatever he can to get the job done, by any means necessary.  This means sometimes stooping to the bad guys’ level.  There’s a scene—without giving too much away; as I said, these are slight spoilers—where Luke is confronted with a no good so-and-so that lays hands on his baby mama and child, so Luke decides to give him the same courtesy.  Needless to say, Luke beats the man half dead.  I have to be honest, I didn’t shed not one tear for that fool.  However, Claire wisely confronts Luke about the dark path he’s going on and they have this exchange:

Luke:  I’m finally getting results, Claire.  Shit’s getting done.  Pops always talked about Kenyatta*, right?  I see his point.  I’m rough, but I’m still a hero.

Claire:  Really?  If beating your chest around town is what you need to call yourself a hero, then I question your understanding of the word.  This shit is changing you, Luke.

Luke:  It’s making me more of who I am.

Ironically enough, Mariah fights the same struggle with heroism.  We as the audience know that she’s far from being a hero, but Mariah honestly believes in her mind that she’s the one and only savior of Harlem, and continues to struggle with being in “the life,” and trying to become 100% legit.  She even has a conversation with her daughter Tilda (a very interesting new character), that’s very similar to the one Luke had with Claire:

Mariah:  Your great-grandmother was a ghetto philanthropist.  Your cousin Cornell financed all of my campaigns.  Now I am a legit philanthropist.  That’s the American way, girl.

Tilda:  You’re a crook and a liar.

Mariah:  I serve Harlem!  And yes, I will do whatever it takes!  Your profession is not too pristine, my dear.  You never took money from a shady pharmaceutical company for a greater good?

Tilda:  That’s why my medicine comes from the ground.  To do no harm.

Mariah:  It’s better to do a little harm for a whole lot of good than it is to do no harm for jack shit.

Later in the series, Tilda herself is faced with some situations where she has to decide between doing what’s right, or doing what’s best for the people.  Seeing how she comes to those decisions—and the effect caused by her decisions—will surprise you.

Vengeance

Luke - You Started This (Alt)

Another huge theme in Luke Cage’s second season is vengeance.  Bushmaster’s taste for vengeance against Mariah’s family makes him blind to everything else around him, and his loved ones warn him that his vengeance can be his downfall.  Sure enough, we begin to see his desire for revenge eat away at him.  Bushmaster’s uncle tells him midway through the series that “an eye for an eye makes the world blind.”  It turns out truer words have never been spoken.

After Bushmaster comes at Mariah in the worst way possible, she decides to seek out her own vengeance and becomes everything that she once hated.  She’s able to see Bushmaster squirm a bit, but she loses her soul in the process.

Forgiveness

Luke and His Dad

Forgiveness is one of the other big themes of the second season.  This issue mostly affects Luke alone, considering that Mariah and Bushmaster aren’t trying to forgive any damn body for their trespasses.  As I mentioned previously, Luke is reunited with his father this season, and the initial meeting is pretty damn tense.  Unlike Jessica Jones, who didn’t know her mother was still alive, Luke his well aware that his father is very much alive, but would rather go on as if he wasn’t around.

Once again, Claire can read Luke like a book, and she knows that a lot of his anger stems from the fact that he can’t forgive his father for his past sins (yep, preachers sin, too!).  Claire warns that if Luke can’t forgive his father, his anger and resentment will continue to consume him…much like Mariah and Bushmaster’s anger and resentment consumed them.  Hmmm…  You could say that this ties into the vengeance theme, and in a way, it does.  However, Luke has the good sense not to go that route.  Luke would rather his father just leave him be.  Do they ever bury the hatchet and rekindle their relationship?  Watch and see.

Luke Cage - Bottle Smash and Kick to the Head

All this isn’t to say that this season of Luke Cage was without its flaws, because it wasn’t.  One of the things I had an issue with is that Danny aka Iron Fist only appeared in one episode.  Come on!  Y’all could’ve at least let him stick around for two episodes, especially considering that he was giving Luke some pointers on how he could defeat Bushmaster.  That was a wasted cameo.  The same thing goes for Colleen.  She was teaching Misty to not let the loss of her arm make her feel worthless, and the time she spent with Misty helped her be herself again.  Then, poof!  Colleen was gone, too.  Wasted cameo.  That’s it.  Everything else about the show was gravy.

I’m sure most of y’all have watched the second season of Luke Cage by this point, but if you haven’t, I definitely recommend it.  I know that the Netflix Marvel Universe hasn’t delivered in the past few months with Jessica Jones and The Defenders having lackluster seasons as of yet, but this season of Luke Cage certainly delivered.  Go check out this dark chocolate Boy Scout immediately.  😍😍

Luke Cage - I'm Just Getting Started (Alt)

SIDE NOTE:  I’m so sorry it took me this long to get this published.  Between all the overtime I’ve had to put in at my day job, my birthday last week (I’m officially 37!  Gettin’ on up there!), and these sinuses killin’ me softly day after day, I was lucky if I could produce two paragraphs a day!  However, I finally got this bad boy finished for y’all!  Sorry about the delay!

—Written by Nadiya

What did you think about season two of Luke Cage?  Was it as good as the first season, better, or just average?  Did you think the recurring themes were deep?  Did you notice some other themes in the show that I didn’t mention?  Do you think Danny and Colleen’s appearances were wasted, or did they spend the right amount of time on the show?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

*Kenyatta is the main series from a book series written by author Donald Goines.  His character is that of a black militant man that takes upon himself and his crew to rid Detroit of drug dealers and racist cops anyway they have to.

 

 

Joe Jackson: 1928 – 2018

Hey, y’all.  I know I’m late as all get out writing this, but I really wanted to publish this piece on the late Joe Jackson.  I call it a piece, because it may be a bit hypocritical to consider it a tribute.  You see, growing up, Joe Jackson wasn’t my favorite person.  I didn’t care for the way he treated his sons, especially Michael.  Mike never could stand Joe’s teasing of his physical appearance, or how hard Joe worked them as children, thus leading Michael to not having a true childhood.  Everyone knows how those aspects affected Michael in his later life.  I remember LL Cool J once likened how we react to the difficulties we face in life to how a lump of coal reacts to the pressures of the Earth.  We can either become a diamond, or we can crumble.  It’s safe to say that although Mike shined like a diamond, he eventually crumbled like coal.

Mike and Joe (Alt)

However, I have to say this…even though Joe may have been too hard on his children, they were never arrested (not while they were still living with him, that is), they grew up to be respectable and to have a strong work ethic.  Not only that, but without Joe Jackson, we would have never had The Jackson 5, The Jacksons, Michael or Janet Jackson, in every respect.

Joe and Family (Alt)

Joe’s strict disciplinarian methods could be ugly at times, but in the same vein, they led to something beautiful.  If he hadn’t pushed his kids to be the absolute best they could be, we never would’ve experienced the music that shaped our lives.  No Off the Wall, no Control, no Triumph, no ABC, no Rhythm Nation 1814…no Thriller.  I can’t even imagine growing up without the Thriller album.  If Joe hadn’t pushed his children, they’d probably be sitting in Gary, Indiana at this very minute, living in poverty and lost to the local steel mill.  So, I thank Joe Jackson for making his children reach their full potential and enriching our lives in the process.  Without him, we may not have ever had Usher, Ne-Yo, or Bruno Mars.  My heart goes out to his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  God bless them all.

Joseph Walter Jackson:  July 26, 1928 – June 27, 2018

—Written by Nadiya

Elektra Abundance Is Trash!

Featuring:  The Episode Where Elektra Stole From The Salvation Army and Kept the Money For Herself

Note:  This post is mainly geared toward the folks that watch the FX series Pose.  For that reason, I’m going straight into the subject matter, and not giving any insight on the show as I usually doIf you’re not one of the people that watch it, I suggest you turn your TV on FX on Sunday night (you may wanna flip a coin between this show and Claws to decide which you’d rather tune into first).   And yes, I did steal this idea from my favorite YouTube series, Zack Morris Is Trash.  Sue me.

Elektra and Girls Looking (Alt)

In episode 3 of Pose, Elektra didn’t get too much screen time, which is fine by me, because she gets on my last damn nerve.  We started the episode off with Ms. Abundance sitting in a doctor’s office discussing sexual reassignment surgery with the current attending physician.  Elektra takes the time to mention how much she loved the late doctor that previously owned the practice and how he got her to embrace who she really is.  For a second, we believe Elektra is actually a human being.  That is, until she takes her scrawny ass home.

The other girls at her house (whose names I can’t recall right this minute), bring a wreath home to decorate the loft for Christmas.  Elektra scoffs at the wreath, because she’s a demon, but doesn’t make too big a deal about it.  However, when one of the girls ask if Elektra’s sugar daddy can give them some money to really spruce up the joint for Christmas (no pun intended), in true fashion, Elektra goes off.   She whines about how her man counts every dime and gift he gives her…blah, blah, blah.  I guess going to the dollar store would hurt her pockets too much.

Elektra Posing (Alt)

Elektra calms the hell down and apologizes for her outburst…but still makes sure to remind the girls they’re stupid.  She then tells them that they’re going to “deck the fucking halls” for Christmas.  In the next scene, she and the girls stake out Santa and one of his elves taking Salvation Army donations in front of a Manhattan hotel.  One of the girls cause a distraction, and while Santa and the elf are subdued, Elektra comes up with a chain cutter, breaks the chain holding the donation bucket and runs the hell off.  I’ve heard people say that The Salvation Army was very judgemental about the LGBT community, but that’s no reason to make starving mothers and children suffer because a few folks wanna act like dicks.

Elektra Stealing Salvation Army Money (Alt)

Back at the loft, the ladies count the money.  It turns out they made off with a cool $2,300.00 (which may be about $4,500.00 nowadays).  The girls start fantasizing about having a real Christmas, with real gifts and decorations, seeing how $2,300.00 was a lot more in 1987 than it is in 2018.  The wheels in Elektra’s head start turning and she tells the girls that “all their Christmas dreams” will come true.  She takes the dollar bills, leaving the coins on the table, as the girls continue to dream.

The next day, Elektra struts—like only Elektra can—into the hospital and hands the front desk lady a stack of dollar bills, proudly stating that she’s putting down $2,300.00 to have her sexual reassignment surgery.

Elektra Pays For Surgery (Alt)

So let’s review:

  • Elektra Abundance has decided to have sexual reassignment surgery, and while speaking with the doctor, we nearly empathize with her until…
  • …she gets home and starts acting like a total asshole with her children.
  • Then, she has a bright idea to decorate the house for Christmas just like the girls wanted, by knocking off Salvation Army volunteers, risking her girls getting arrested and causing starving women and children to go hungry and not have any gifts for Christmas.
  • Then, while the girls are counting the money and fantasizing about what they’ll do with the cash for Christmas, Elektra takes the money for herself and spends it on her sexual reassignment surgery, literally leaving her children mere coins to spend for the holiday.  I really hope the dollar store’s selling decorations.

ELEKTRA ABUNDANCE IS TRASH.

Elektra Posing 2 (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So, do you think Elektra Abundance is trash?  What am I saying?  Of course, she is.  Nonetheless, leave a comment.  😉

I’m Upset…That Drake Never Responded To Pusha T!

So…when I was getting ready for work this past Wednesday (June 13, 2018), I noticed that Drake released the official video for his “I’m Upset” single.  I checked it out, considering that this is the most we’ve heard from Drizzy since Pusha T basically decimated him in “The Story of Adidon” freestyle (sorry y’all, I have to call a spade a spade).  The song itself isn’t bad—it’s growin’ on me—but it isn’t as great as the “Duppy Freestyle,” either.

Drake In a Suit 3 (Alt)

The video was cute—I liked how Drake had most of his co-stars from Degrassi – The Next Generation featured on it.  I barely watched the show back in the day, so I wasn’t filled with nostalgia and getting all psyched when I saw the cast together again (that’ll happen if there’s ever a video featuring the original Beverly Hills, 90210 and/or Dawson’s Creek cast.  I know, I’m showing my age again), but I loved that Drake showed his old castmates love (I did geek out with the Jay and Silent Bob appearance, though).  Even though it was nice to hear from Drake again, I wasn’t all that happy.  If anything, I was upset.  I was upset that Drake hasn’t responded to Pusha T, and may not ever do so.

Drake - Shrug Dance (Alt)

When Drake released the “Duppy Freestyle,” I loved the song, even though I knew next to nothing about Drake and Pusha T’s beef.  Once I learned the history behind it, the freestyle held even more significance and I loved it even more.  By the way, I still can’t believe this beef has been ongoing for damn near 10 years behind some damn BAPE.  Click here to learn the history behind the Drake and Pusha T’s feud, for those of y’all that are curious about what it stemmed from.

Then, Pusha released his “The Story of Adidon” freestyle and completely murdered Drake (once again, I’m sorry, Drake fans!) like he was channeling his inner Tupac.  Not only that, he even went so far as to dig up dirt on Drake, mentioning his “secret” baby mama (Lovelyti actually spilled that tea last year; the only thing that surprised me is that it appears the baby may actually be Drake’s after all), mentioning how Drake’s dad was a deadbeat—and how Drake himself my be perpetuating the cycle—and of course, the blackface photo.

Drake In Blackface

By the way, I believe Drake’s story about how this photoshoot was created not to make fun of black people, but as an artistic statement to show how black actors are expected to behave in Hollywood (as you can clearly see above, he shot a photo with the standard minstrel smile, and another with a melancholic look), but man…it looks damn bad.  Not only that, but ever since I watched the film Bamboozled back in the day, blackface creeps me out on top of offending me.  Yikes.

After Drake was decimated, I was so psyched—not that Drake was losing the battle, but that there was such a fierce battle going on in the first place.  I haven’t seen a Hip Hop battle this exciting since Jay-Z and Nas went head to head back in the early 2000’s.  Everyone was talking about this feud, and we all waited on pins and needles for Drake’s response.

But we never got one.

Drake - Frustrated (Alt)

What really irks me about this situation is that apparently, Drake recorded a diss track to answer Pusha T, but his mentor J. Prince wouldn’t let him release it, stating the disses Drake had for Pusha and Kanye were “beyond music.”  *Sigh*  J. Prince, this is doggone Hip Hop.  Plus, Drake isn’t a rah-rah type dude, so I doubt this beef would’ve reached actual Tupac and Biggie proportions.  You should’ve let him release the doggone song.  Instead, we got the video to “I’m Upset.”  And for those of y’all that believe that “I’m Upset” is actually a response to Pusha, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it’s not.  He actually recorded this song before the whole beef was even reignited.  It’s simply ironic that the title happens to refer to a man that’s frustrated about his baby mama.  Once again, the song was cool, and it was nice to see Drake with the majority of his former castmates (some of them got left out), but I would’ve rather heard another reply to this epic battle.

On a good note, Drake was lookin’ good in that suit in the “I’m Upset” video.  Damn good.

Drake In a Suit 2 (Alt)

—Written by Nadiya

So what do y’all think?  Did you want Drake to have an equally fire comeback for Pusha T, or are you glad he didn’t have a counter to Pusha’s “The Story of Adidnon”?  What did you think about the “I’m Upset” song and video?  Did you like it?  Would you have rather heard the diss track instead?  Were you a fan of Degrassi:  The Next Generation?  Were you happy to see Drake and the other actors from the show?  Also, what do you think about Drake’s alleged baby mama drama and his pic in blackface?  Let me know in the comments section!

All Aboard the Cardi B Hate Train!

Well, well…it seems to me that 2018 is officially the year of the haters.  First, Bruno Mars had his own little hate train, and now it’s Cardi B’s turn to have one, and everyone’s jumpin’ on board.  I can’t help but wonder if the haters are gonna react to Bruno and Cardi’s tour later this year.  Lord knows they’ve given them enough hell.

Cardi B - I'll Kill You For This (Alt).gif

So how did Cardi’s hate train start catching steam and easin’ on down the railroad?  To be honest, it’s been a long time coming.  I just became a fan of Cardi’s last year when “Bodak Yellow” was released (I don’t watch Love and Hip Hop; sorry, y’all), and I noticed she had a few detractors then.  However, things really started to go left sometime last month.

Azealia Banks

Azealia Banks (Alt)

The hate train really started to go into motion when Ms. Azealia Banks appeared on The Breakfast Club circa mid-May.  Initially, Azealia didn’t seem to have too much of a problem with Cardi.  There’s been some old tweets she posted admitting that Cardi was one of her favorite rappers, and she was even caught on camera dancing to “Bodak Yellow” when it was first released.  However, when Cardi blew up, all that changed.  Azealia went out of her way to slam her, and during her Breakfast Club interview, she even went as far as to say that Cardi was an “illiterate, untalented rat” and a “caricature of black women.”  I find it interesting that Azealia finds Cardi so offensive to black women now when she herself has slammed her fellow sisters multiple times, and before Cardi gained the fame she has, Azealia had no problem whatsoever with Cardi’s behavior.  Some back and forth arguments occurred between the two ladies on social media, and Cardi was so upset by the outcome she deleted her social media accounts, but only for a short time.

Lolita Beckford Dawkins aka “The Chick at the Mall”

Cardi B Fight (Alt)

Before the Azealia Banks situation, a visibly pregnant Cardi was shopping at a Las Vegas Mall and was approached by a huge fan—or so she said—by the name of Lolita Beckford Dawkins.  When Dawkins asked for a picture, Cardi refused, due to not feeling photogenic at the moment.  Dawkins quickly turned on her, and hollered out, “Fuck Cardi, you ain’t shit!”  This escalated into a heated argument and Cardi’s bodyguards had to get involved to prevent the situation from becoming physical.  Come on girl, this is a pregnant woman you wanna lay hands on.  Sadly enough, despite the fact that this incident occurred in late April, the video went viral in May, after the Azealia Banks interview.  SMH.

Nya Lee

Nya Lee

To be honest, this may not exactly be in the same category as the other cases I mentioned, but I feel like it’s still relevant.  Nya Lee, Cardi’s former Love & Hip Hop co-star, publicly mentioned that she didn’t like Cardi’s flow.  Cardi took the criticism personally and proceeded to drag Nya in her DM’s.  The two of them exchanged some pretty nasty comments to each other—Cardi even went so far as to talk trash about the neck scar Nya has as the result of an accident years ago—and Nya went on to make the DM’s public.  Cardi reactivated her social media account to give her opinion on the issue and to confront her haters and detractors yet again.

Shegossipz

Shegossipz (Alt)

Another person to ride the Cardi B hate train is blogger Shegosspiz, who took to her site and drug Cardi to filth concerning her record contract, her relationship with Offset, and her sister, Hennessey Carolina.  Cardi retaliated by going in on Shegossipz’s weight, and how she looked in a selfie she took while wearing lingerie.  Cardi also pointed out the fact that Shegossipz is in her mid 30’s and doesn’t have a man or kids (that made me feel bad, considering I’m in the same predicament), whereas she is 25, engaged, and expecting a baby.  People asked Cardi why she was even taking the time to respond to this woman, and Cardi emphatically stated that she doesn’t mind too much when people talk about her (riiiiight…), but she’ll always take up for her family and friends.

The Commenters at The Shade Room

The Shade Room (Alt)

Last but not least, according to my homegirl Empressive, another one of my favorite YouTubers, Cardi recently came across a post on The Shade Room of Hennessey Carolina in a Fashionova dress.  Although the post praised Hennessey in the dress (she slayed, by the way), some of the commenters weren’t as sweet.  I saw some of the comments myself, and a few of them called Cardi “Fraudi,” described Hennessey as annoying, etc.  Basic hate…real basic.  For the thousandth time, Cardi gave the haters attention they didn’t deserve, and provided a response that wasn’t even worth her time or effort in the Instagram post below:

Cardi's Instagram Post.png

The post has since been deleted.

Cardi B - Beef Forever (Alt)

Truth be told, all the hate that Cardi’s been getting lately is just completely uncalled for, especially the Azealia Banks issue, considering her past history with Cardi as well as other black women.  However, I’m really gonna need Cardi to follow the example of Beyoncé and our boy Bruno:  pay the haters dust.

Cardi, not only are you riding a gigantic wave of success right now, you’re one of the top female rappers in the game at the moment.  On top of everything else, you’re having a baby!  Right now, you should be one of the happiest people on Earth, and instead, you’re making yourself miserable responding to these haters.  In your condition, the last thing you need to do is stress yourself out, especially behind most of this foolishness.  In light of what just happened with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I’m really gonna need you to not sweat the small stuff, and trust me, this is all small stuff.  Look at it this way, when people hate on you, it basically means you’re doing something right.  As Steve Harvey says, “New level, new devil.”  Everyone was cool with Cardi when she was just a reality TV star, including Azealia Banks.  However, once Cardi solidified herself as a heavy hitter in Hip Hop, all of a sudden she was damaged goods.  For the most part, it’s pure jealousy.  The rest of it is people that are bored with their own lives and have nothing better to do than to tear someone down on the internet.

With that being said, you can’t stoop to these folks’ level.  They’re going to continue to say nasty things about you, your sister and your friends.  Just don’t pay them any attention and continue to do you.  To quote Steve Harvey again, “A dog can bark at the moon, but if the moon barks back, the dog becomes famous.”  Just think about it:  these people are mainly in the news right now because you responded to them.  Don’t even waste your energy.  Have your career, have your baby and live your best life.  Just a little advice from a thirty-something with no man and no kids.  😉😉

—Written by Nadiya

So what do think about this siutation with Cardi B’s hate train?  Do you think it’s well deserved, or are the haters way off base?  Should Cardi ignore the people hatin’ on her, or should she continue to respond?  Let me know in the comments section!

The Kanye Situation

What’s up, y’all?  As I’m sure you all have heard by now, Kanye West has been in the media a lot lately due to his peculiar behavior.  First, he sent out a series of tweets showing his unwavering support for Donald Trump, which disappointed a lot of people.

Kanye's Donald Trump Tweet 3Kanye's Donald Trump Tweets 2Kanye's Donald Trump Tweets 4Kanye's Keep America Great TweetKanye's MAGA Hat Tweet 2Kanye's MAGA Hat Tweet

Then, Kanye released his single “Lift Yourself,” which upset and confused even more fans.  In case you’re not sure what song I’m referring to, that’s the “poopedy-scoop” track (that has to ring some bells).  However, what really had folks talking was the two interviews he did with Charlamagne Tha God and TMZ.  The Charlamagne interview was extremely interesting and left people understanding Kanye’s views just a bit…but then he had to do that damn TMZ interview.  The interview at the TMZ newsroom was a complete 180º from the one he and Charlamagne had.  Kanye was a lot more loud and manic, made a point of addressing everyone in the office, and even offered this now infamous quote:

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years—for 400 years?  That sound like a choice.  [chuckles]  Like, you was there for 400 years and there’s all of y’all?  Y’know like, it’s like we’re mentally imprisoned.”

Kanye - What the Fuck (Alt)

What Kanye uttered in that newsroom was more than just insulting.  It was dangerous.  Allow me to explain with a bit of a history lesson.  During the years of slavery, or the Antebellum era, there actually were revolts—an estimated 250.  In Dr. Samuel A. Cartwright’s book, Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race, he referred to this phenomenon as “drapetomania,” which he described as a disease to cause slaves to run away.

Despite that there were some many slaves rebelling against being in bondage, the clear majority of the revolts were unsuccessful.  This can be chalked up to the fact that the slaves were lacking something that white men in this age had in spades:  money and power.  On top of that, many other slaves may have been afraid to rebel or at the very least join in the other revolts such as Nat Turner’s Rebellion or Gabriel’s Conspiracy due to the consequences they’d face if the masters stopped them.  As a matter of fact, Gabriel’s rebellion ended due to being betrayed by a slave named Pharaoh, who feared the masters’ wrath.  According to PBS.com, after Nat Turner’s Rebellion of 1831, 200 people were executed by white mobs, some of which had nothing to do with the revolt.  What’s worse is that after Nat Turner was executed, he was skinned, his body parts were made into souvenirs, and the rest of his remains were rendered into grease.  It appears the slaves only had two “choices”:  work or die.

Kanye Stares (Alt)

My homegirl and I were talking about Kanye’s declaration of slavery being a choice and agreed that he may have tried to convey that the slaves in America suffered from mental bondage.  This is true, to an extent.  As I just explained, many slaves were frightened of retribution from rebelling against their masters.  During the times of the Antebellum South, it was also believed that black people were mentally inferior to white people, and this mentality was drilled into slaves’ heads by people like Dr. Cartwright, and many others.  This is what’s commonly known as debasement, a crippling mentality that continues to affect the black community.

However, Kanye failed to elaborate on his point, and his statement basically sounded like slavery wasn’t a big deal, it could’ve ended at any time if black people back then wanted it to, and we shouldn’t be so hard pressed about it.  This statement was made during a time when black people are arrested for sitting in Starbucks or falling asleep in Yale residential halls, shot for walking in a strange neighborhood armed with nothing more than a bag of Skittles, and are looked upon as being “whiners” when they explain why Confederate memorabilia is offensive.  On the flip side, when Confederate memorabilia is removed, there’s protesters that claim the soldiers were “heroes.”

Kanye With Confederate Flag (Alt)

I understand that Kanye is all for “free thought” now, and I’m fine with that.  If he wants to be a Trump supporter, fine.  I don’t agree with that, for countless reasons, but that’s his right.  But if Kanye wants to think free, there must be some logic and reasoning behind the statements that he makes, or at the very least, he should find better ways to formulate his arguments.  Him saying slavery is a choice in the way he put it is dangerous because the wrong people hear what he’s saying and agree with him.  “If Kanye said it, it must be okay!  After all, he’s black!”

It fuels that disbelief that black people “whine” about anything detrimental that happens to them and/or they should just get over their ancestors being oppressed so long ago, because they enabled it, which in turn, lets the “Confederate heroes” off the hook for centuries of treating human beings like chattel.  Kanye, you have a platform whether you like it or not.  At the very least, you should use it wisely.  As my late grandmother always told me, “Think before you speak.”  Do better, Kanye.

Kanye Shrugs (Alt)

So what do you think about what Kanye said about slavery?  Do you think it was a conscious choice, or did the slaves have very little say so concerning their lives in the Antebellum South?  Do you believe Kanye was strictly talking about mental slavery?  Do you think he should’ve elaborated more on his statement?  Let me know in the comments section!

All the Times Earn Took an L During ‘Robbin Season’ and the Reasons Why

Hey, y’all!  As I stated in one of my previous posts, I’ve become a huge Childish Gambino fan (by the way, have y’all seen the “This Is America” video?  Check that bad boy out!), and as a result, I’ve also converted into a huge fan of Donald Glover’s series, AtlantaAtlanta is one of the funniest, most insightful and satirical comedies on television since The Boondocks aired.  There’s episodes that are completely slapstick, there’s episodes that are dark, and there’s even some episodes that have a combination of the two, but all of them give your brain a nice workout.

Atlanta - Stay Woke (Alt)

One of the most intriguing things about the show is the main character, Earnest “Earn” Marks, played by Donald Glover himself.  Earn isn’t intriguing because he’s the funniest character or the breakout star (those titles would go to Darius and Alfred aka Paper Boi).  Hell, this season he largely was MIA for about four or five episodes.  Earn is intriguing because despite being an intelligent man, he always sabotages himself due to his dumbass decisions.

When we’re first introduced to Earn in season one, we learn he had the chance to be a Princeton graduate…but he dropped out.  That turned to be the first of many stupid decisions he made, considering that we also learn that Earn is practically homeless and living off a non-existent commission from his dead end job.  To top it off, he has a toddler-aged daughter depending on him.  He initiates himself as Al’s manager, and although Earn succeeds in getting Al more exposure, in the long run he still continues to lose.  Earn’s had such hard luck during the “Robbin’ Season” someone made this meme:

Earn with an L

After watching the “North of the Border” episode (and witnessing Earn not taking responsibility for his actions) I decided to chronicle all the times Earn took an L this season, and why he took those losses.

“Alligator Man” – Earn Stays Homeless

Atlanta - Earn and Darius (Alt)

In the second season premiere, Earn is living in a storage facility unit, and before the episode can get off the ground, he’s basically “evicted.”  Earn wants to ask Alfred if he can stay with him, but he hesitates, and is later sidetracked with carrying out a favor to Alfred concerning his and Earn’s Uncle Willy (which was crazy within itself).  Long story short, Earn finally decides to build up the nerve to ask Alfred if he can stay with him a few days, but Tracy, Al’s trifling ex-con homeboy, already beat him to it.  If Earn didn’t allow his pride to get in the way and asked Al upfront if he could stay there, he probably would’ve had a place to lay his head.  Thankfully, he had another option…for the moment.  Sadly enough, this was the smallest loss he suffered all season.

“Sportin’ Waves” – Earn Squanders His Money

Donald Glover - Money (Alt)

Darius pays Earn $4,000 from a dog breeding investment he previously participated in a few months earlier (for further information on that check out “The Streisand Effect” episode from season one).  Now, as I mentioned before, Earn is broke and homeless.  The smart thing to do would’ve been to give some money to Van and Lottie (his girlfriend/baby mama and daughter, respectively) and open a checking and savings account.  However, this is Atlanta, and this is Earn.

Tracy tells Earn that he can invest the $4,000 in a gift card scam and spend up all his money at the mall.  At first Earn is reluctant—as he should be—but the thought of going on a spending spree is too tempting and Earn relents.  Of course, nothing goes as planned.  Not only does Tracy risk he and Earn getting arrested by shoplifting pairs of shoes from the mall, but the second Earn uses the janky gift card, it’s flagged, leaving him with 10 to 15 minutes to continue using it.  Worst of all, Tracy leaves Earn at the mall to get to his job interview, causing Earn to have to ride back home (wherever “home” is that particular night) on the bus with his arms full of merchandise, some of which he lost in transit.  That’s an L if ever there was one.

“Money Bag Shawty” – Earn Is Outright Disrespected

Atlanta - Not Happy (Alt)

“Money Bag Shawty” showcases the first time Earn taking an L wasn’t entirely his fault.  Earn is finally seeing some serious money coming his way now that Al’s single has gone gold and streaming services are paying commissions.  After Earn and Van reflect on how they’ve gotten nothing but insults lately (hours before receiving the check, an eager Paper Boi fan looking for a come up cussed Earn out, not realizing that he’s actually Al’s manager), they decide that they’re going to take the money and spend a night on the town.  The stunted will be the stunnas.  Earn soon learned that he’s not a #1 stunna.

First Earn and Van go to the movies.  The clerk refuses to accept a C note from Earn, although she has no issues taking a $100 bill from a white cop.  Then, they go to a hookah bar.  The owner, who is African, swears up and down the bill is counterfeit and demands that Earn leaves…but not before paying the $20.00 charge for entering the club.  Next, they hit the strip club, and Earn is finessed for nearly every dollar he has.  Now, here’s where Earn must take personal responsibility for this L.  When Earn and Van decide to call it a night, they see Michael Vick racing people for money in the parking lot.  Earn foolishly decides to race against him, in one last attempt to regain some dignity.  He loses.  Yet another stupid decision.

“Helen” – Earn Loses His Woman

Atlanta - Van and Earn (Alt)

Van, who is half black and half German, decides to bring Earn to an Ocktoberfest party in Helen, GA.  At first, Earn is excited to go to the festival, but he soon feels out of place, and isn’t really enjoying the celebration.  Instead of just sucking it up and doing something Van enjoys for a change, Earn sulks the entire time and makes very little effort to spend any time with her.  Earn’s behavior (along with some shady comments her childhood friend makes) causes Van to reevaluate their relationship.  When Van tells Earn that she doesn’t want to be an accessory that’s just around for Earn to screw, Earn admits that he doesn’t know what he wants, but he’s happy with their “arrangement.”  *Sigh*  A la Love and Basketball, Van challenges Earn to a ping pong game for her heart.  Earn loses, in every sense of the word.

“North of the Border” – Earn Loses It All

Atlanta - Earn Gets His Ass Whupped (Alt)

After going through a four episode hiatus, Earn returns for “North of the Border” with an appearance that lasts more than five seconds.  Sadly enough, this is also the episode that irked me to my soul so much that it inspired me to make this post.  Earn, Al and Darius are going to show at a college in Statesboro, GA.  Instead of Earn booking a hotel room for them like he should’ve done, he decides it’s a better idea for them to shack up with a co-ed Instagram model that’s obsessed with Al’s Paper Boi persona.  When the men arrive at her apartment, it’s clear the young lady is unbalanced.  After the show, the girl throws a drink on Al simply for acknowledging other female fans on campus.  Tracy, who insisted on coming along and was made a “security guard” for the trip (that’s not actually on Earn; that’s Al’s fault), pushes the girl down the stairs, which causes her brother and his friends to come after the men.  Oh yeah, and she slaps the shit out of Earn, although he was the one that caught her when she fell, saving her from injury and/or death.

Atlanta - Earn Gets Slapped (Alt)

After the fellas are chased through campus and find refuge in a bizarre fraternity (complete with guns, confederate flags and naked pledges dancing to “Laffy Taffy”), Al basically informs Earn that he’s over his shit and he’s fired (Al had his own come to Jesus moment about furthering his career during the “Woods” episode).  Earn only sees Tracy’s hand in all the trouble they’ve been through, not his own.  To make matters worse, the next morning the guys find their car broken into, their clothes sitting on the lawn—and destroyed—and many of their items stolen, including Earn’s laptop.  On the way back home, Tracy refuses to shut the hell up about what happened, and after he reveals that he stole one of the antique guns from the frat (and points it at Earn), Earn’s so pissed off that he makes yet again another stupid ass decision:  he wants to fight Tracy.

Tracy is a physically large, ratchet ex-con fresh out of prison.  Earn is small and wiry, and couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.  It’s possible Earn decides to stand up to Tracy to make up for all the times he’s been disrespected and said next to nothing, or maybe he does it to try to reclaim a shred of self-respect.  Either way, good didn’t prevail and the nerd didn’t beat the class bully.  Once again, this is Atlanta, and this is Earn.  He gets his ass royally whupped by Tracy, and is forced to ride back home with the man that just physically decimated him (and I heard that the drive from Statesboro to Atlanta is three hours long!).  In one foul swoop, Earn loses his job, his clothes, his laptop, and his pride, all because he was too cheap to book a damn room at the Ramada.  SMH.

“FUBU” – Little Earn Is Clowned for His (Possibly) Fake FUBU Shirt

Atlanta - Same Shirt (Alt)

This is the second time Earn took an L due to circumstances.  Circa ’97 or ’98, when Earn was in middle school and independent designer clothing line FUBU (short for For Us By Us for all you youngins) ruled the world, Earn comes across a FUBU shirt for sale in Marshall’s.  His mother buys it for him and Earn can’t wait to go to school the next day to stunt.  Unfortunately for Earn, a young man named Devon comes to school that morning with a very similar shirt.  The only difference is that Devon’s shirt has a patch with the FUBU logo, whereas Earn’s has no patch, and more stripes on the sleeves.  The kids in Earn’s class figure that one of them is wearing a fake shirt.  Earn’s dilemma escalates when he accidentally tears a hole in the shirt.

Earn spends the rest of the day hiding the shirt, as the teasing has gotten worse as time passes.  Young Al advises Earn to just be confident and declare the shirt is authentic, but confidence isn’t exactly Earn’s forte.  Devon has to deal with being teased throughout the day too, and by time school ends, the resident “fashion expert” declares that Earn’s shirt is fake.  However, Al comes to save the day (as usual) and refutes the “expert’s” opinion,  announcing that Devon has the fake shirt.  Earn finally has a W, and Devon goes on to be mercilessly teased.  Unfortunately, the win is short lived.  Earn learns the next morning that Devon committed suicide the night before.  He was having issues at home due to his parents’ divorce and the teasing about his shirt pushed him over the edge.

Once again, I don’t blame Earn for taking this L, simply because he was a child behaving as a child, responding to cultural norms outside of his control.  Even Earn’s mother and aunt stress to him how important it is for a black man to be fashionable in society by the end of the episode.  She even goes out and buys him another FUBU shirt, although this time, Earn’s less than enthuasiastic about it.  Real talk, I don’t think either shirt was fake.  I used to see fake FUBU shirts all the time at discount stores and flea markets, but they always had a different brand name/logo listed (i.e.:  a “PB” logo instead of the real “FB” one).  Placing the actual FUBU brand on the clothing would’ve been copyright infringement.  As for the shirt tearing, I know for a fact that most designer brands used cheap materials for their goods.  When I was teenager, I loved wearing designer men’s watches, and during my junior and senior year of high school, I had a Calvin Klein watch and a FUBU watch, respectively.  Both watches fell apart by the end of the fall semester.

Tomorrow night (May 10, 2018), Atlanta’s season finale will air.  In the previews I noticed Earn being serious about his business, and taking more time with his daughter.  Maybe, just maybe, Earn will finally grow up, be the man that we all know he can be, and actually gain a W.

Then again, this is Atlanta, and this is Earn.

Donald Glover - Backing Away (Alt)

The Atlanta season finale airs on FX, Thursday night at 10:00 PM.  The previous season can be purchased at VUDU.com, and the current season can be viewed at fxnetworks.com.

—Written by Nadiya

What do y’all think?  Do you believe Earn’s bad luck is mostly on him, or are other cirumstances to blame for his misfortune?  Will Earn finally show some maturity and growth for the season finale, or will he continue to be immature and make stupid decisions?  Let me know in the comments section!