This Week in the News-What’s Really Going On?

Happy Friday, folks!  Can I tell you I have never been so happy to see the end of  a week??? I know we shouldn’t rush our lives away, but I am so ready for the weekend!

First, can we talk about how inappropriate Regis Philbin is for grabbing the behind of Nicki Minaj???   No matter how overtly sexual someone appears to be or may dress, it’s not open season to be grabbing on ’em (yes, I used Ebonics on purpose).  Regis, sir, you are out of order!

Next, can we talk about the booing of LeBron James by Cleveland Cavalier fans during last night’s game against the Miami Heat.  King James, however, didn’t let that phase him, as he shined with 38 points and 8 assists.  We see who had the last laugh…

November 30 was the last day federal unemployment benefits ceased for thousands of Americans.  November also saw an increase in the unemployment rate. 

The next time you go to a salon to get your hair braided, make sure the young woman doing your hair isn’t a slave.  In the East Orange and Newark, NJ areas, there were approximately 20 women who were brought over from West Africa between 2002 and 2007 and were made to be slaves.  You read correctly-modern day slavery…in the United States.  I couldn’t read the entire story as I was completely disgusted.   Thankfully, their captors, a family that included a mother, father, and son, were charged and prosecuted with multiple acts of cruelty, enslavement, and abuse.  I applaud these women for telling their story.   Sadly modern-day slavery in the US is more common than we think.  I charge all of us, self-included, to be a little more observant of our surroundings. 

Lastly, let’s not forget about Mitrice Richardson.  Read here for an article that came out last month.  I totally agree with the author, Jasmyne Cannick, that somebody’s covering something up.  I truly hope the FBI gets involved because nothing has gone correctly with this case since she disappeared.

So, what’s going on your worlds?  Or what do you think about any of the stories I’ve shared here?  Enjoy your weekend; I know I will!  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

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I Have Some Questions

For the past few weeks, I have had some things go through my mind.  I decided to share a few of them with you, my faithful, devoted, and opinionated audience.  If you have the answers, please share.  And if you have questions of your own, share those, too.  I may be able to answer yours!

-Why am I starting to like “Whip My Hair” by Willow Smith?

– Why didn’t T.I. hire Lindsay Lohan‘s attorney?

– Speaking of T.I., does he like it in prison?  Is that why he does stupid stuff so he can keep going back?

– Why are we salty about Alicia Keys giving birth…or is that just me?

– Why can’t I find a line of natural hair care products I like, especially a deep conditioner?

– Is Adrian Fenty going to be re-elected as mayor of DC in 2 more weeks-and bring back Michelle Rhee?

– Why do we love Twitter but loathe Facebook?

– Where is the 2nd CD in Maxwell’s trilogy BlackSUMMERS‘Night?

– And where is Jill Scott‘s The Light of the Sun?

– What’s the point of having an album for sale if you’re going to release all of the tracks as singles? (Think of Usher and Trey Songz)

– Dare I admit I’m beginning to like Nicki Minaj?

– And the most important question, what new updates are there regarding the death of Mitrice Richardson?

These are just some things that have been on my mind.  Are there any questions that you ask yourselves on a regular basis?  Maybe there’s that point in the day when you dare to let your mind drift off to this nice quiet place and you think of the most random stuff.   I hope I’ve put a smile on your face or at least got you to thinking, too.  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city!

Way Back Wednesday-An Ode to Hip Hop

 

Some of the greatest who ever did it

 

I do not claim to be a hip-hop head by any means, but I have some favorite artists, and one of my favorite movies is “Brown Sugar” starring Sanaa Lathan and Taye Diggs.  Not sure if that’s a great representation of a hip-hop movie, but I like it. *shrugs* In any event, I’m really disturbed by the current state of hip hop music.  And I sometimes wonder if it’s the evolution of our world and culture that has sexualized and sensationalized the bling and hood lives.  I also wonder if Biggie and Tupac were still alive, would hip-hop have evolved to its current state?

What happened to the days of “Krush Groove“, “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo“, and other great movies?  And lest we never forget some of the greatest hip hop artists, Run D.M.C., Fab 5 Freddy, OutKast, N.W.A., A Tribe Called Quest, MC Lyte, Salt-N-Pepa, and countless others. I wonder what types of movies would be made with today’s artists.  I can just about imagine the tomfoolery we would see on the big screen if these types of movies were left in the hands of Wacka Flacka Flame, Nicki Minaj, Gucci Mane, Souljah Boy, and the like.  Just listening to the lyrics sometimes hurts my ears, even if I like the beat.  Hip-hop is more than some lyrics over a hot track.  Hip-hop should inspire, elevate, and tell stories.  Now it sells sex and “Pretty Boy Swag”.   I search high and low for quality hip-hop artists to listen to, such as Common, Kanye, Jay, Talib Kweli, and The Roots.  The really sad part is that some of these artists don’t always become mainstream phenoms until they do something like star in a movie or become the house band of a late night show.  Don’t get me wrong-those are definitely great things-and as long as their message is getting heard, I really have no objections.  

So, to hip hop… I hope just as fashion has come full circle, I hope you come full circle, too.  I’m waiting for the day when quality hip hop will become the norm and not the odd man out.  I look forward to the day when I can see you on the big screen again and hear you on the radio.   In the meantime, I’ll continue to search you out on the internet and purchase your albums when they’re released. 

A True Fan,

Elle

My favorite song by Biggie, and my quote my freshman year in high school, “Sky’s the Limit”

Even though ‘Pac isn’t in the video, this is one of my favorite songs by him, “Smile” with Scarface

Lastly, my favorite ‘Pac song, next to “California Love”, “I Ain’t Mad at Cha”

BET Awards Recap

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I must say I am thoroughly impressed with BET. I, along with some more of my friends, were happy with what we saw last night on the BET Awards.  Chris Brown is back,  Prince is still fine, and Nia and Larenz took me back to “Love Jones”.  Despite the lows of the evening (believe me, they were there), the highs were great and plentiful so I was a happy camper.  (Warning:  There may be some spoilers mentioned, but you should still watch the show if you haven’t already.)

I had the pleasure of watching the awards show with one of my sorority sisters, and as the night went on, I was able to share with her some Twitter commentary and put some of our lively conversation on my Twitter feed.  The first thing that I felt BET should have kept under wrap was Queen Latifah’s singing.  Now I’m sure her jazz album was great (haven’t heard it), but her opening number left a lot to be desired.  Another thing I didn’t like was Queen Latifah’s changing into all of the characters she has played…uhhhh…#notagoodlook.  I was too through when she came out as Cleo and T.I., aka my baby daddy, kept calling her “Chloe”!!  When she FINALLY came out in her elegant black dress close to the end of the show I was thinking, “Now why didn’t she look like THIS the whole night?!?!”   Another low was all these performances during the pre-show, especially Souljah Boy and Roscoe Dash, aka Sisqo’s little brother.  I didn’t see all of the pre-show, but the little I saw didn’t need to be seen.   Nicki Minaj…Darling Nicki needed to sit down somewhere.   My first thought when I saw her on the red carpet was she looked like a hood bride.  Other colorful anecdotes I heard were “she looks like Carrot Top and Lil’ Kim’s love child”, “she looks like Wilma Flintstone”, and other little comments that were extremely hilarious.  Another fail, as we all know, is Jermaine Jackson’s hair…need I say more?  I don’t think I do.

Now, the highs…there are so many that I don’t know where to begin.  Maybe we should start with the opener, Mr. Kanye West.  I don’t know what it is about him, but he is one of my favorite rappers.  His new single is great and his performance was great.  Kudos to BET for selecting him as the opening act.   Chris Brown, Chris Brown, Chris Brown…first off, that boy is talented; I don’t care what anybody says.  I hate the fact that he wasn’t able to partake in the tribute to MJ last year, but his performance last night was ELECTRIFYING!!!  That is the tribute that is due to a true superstar performer.  (I told my sorority sister that Chris has been practicing since last year getting ready for this moment!)  I was so happy to see Chris back on stage.  I don’t condone violence of any kind, but the man paid his debt, he admitted that he was wrong, and if the world can forgive R. Kelly then they should certainly forgive Chris Breezy.  With the crying on “Man in the Mirror”, I think that was genuine, more so for him realizing what he did wrong and growing up.  The ultimate surprise of the night was El DeBarge!!!  I was NOT ready!  He was great, and it’s good to see that those drugs did not affect his singing ability, unlike another singer who shall remain nameless…He sang some classics, and let everybody know that the light skinned brothers are coming back! (But for me they were never out.)  Nia Long and Larenz Tate…need I say more?!?!?  They both look like they stepped out of the 90’s (meaning they have not aged one day), and didn’t miss a beat with their renditions of Nina’s Poem and Darius’ Poem.  I want to watch “Love Jones” right now…The Prince tribute was great.  Janelle Monae killed her performance of “Let’s Go Crazy”.  If you don’t know her as a performer then you would have looked at her like, “Who is this chick with the bouffant and WTH is she doing?!?!”  But I was thoroughly impressed.  I don’t know about you all, but I was not ready for Ms. Alicia Keys to climb on the piano in all of her preggo glory, minus her shoes.  (Yes, she was gorgeous and glowing).  She did a bang up job on “Adore”, and as she ended her performance Prince was looking around for Swizz making sure it was ok for Alicia to be all over the piano!   And Patti LaBelle tore up “Purple Rain”.  She brought Prince (and almost everyone else) to his feet and almost made him cry.   When Patti kicked off her shoe, Prince ran up and got it! I loved it!!! And Prince is still one of the sexiest men alive.  I don’t know what it is about him, but he’s great in my book. 

All in all, I am very proud of BET for the production of last night’s show.  Yes, there was some coonery and buffoonery in some parts, but that’s bound to happen at any award show.  And for those of you that missed it, don’t worry.  I didn’t mention EVERYTHING that happened, and BET is sure to replay it about 50 times this week, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see it and make your own assessment.  So what was your favorite part?  Who looked great?  Who needed a mirror?  What was the most memorable part, good or bad, of the evening?  Until next time, I’m just a Southern girl…in the city.