all the great African-American musicians — now and in the past — the most
puzzling questions of the year in entertainment have to be: Why were there no
black artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013? Or on the
Billboard Hot 100 chart?
those who were passed over for induction into the Hall of Fame Class of
2014 (to many people’s dismay) was mega Disco group Chic. Among the other
African-American artists nominated were ’70s funk band The Meters, pioneering
rap group N.W.A., and hip hop icon LL Cool J. But not a one made the cut. That
honors went to Kiss, Nirvana, Hall & Oates, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt
and Cat Stevens.
“Not a single living person of color got into the Rock
Hall this year. Among the Class 2014, only the late Clarence
Clemons—inducted as a sideman with the E Street Band—is black,” notes Slate.
This has happened only once before in the Hall’s 28-year history, in 2003
when the late sideman Benny Benjamin of The Funk Brother was the only
What’s ironic, says Slate is that for the Class of 2014
the Hall will induct Daryl Hall and John Oates — an act with a long history of
soul-music appreciation that once even topped the R&B chart—so Rock Hall
voters are honoring the sound of black music–not black people.
But it seems the Hall of Fame inductees reflect consumer
appetite. In 2013, while the public seemed to love rhythmic music as much as
ever, they didn’t buy it
from black acts. Not one lead black act has topped the Hot 100 all year.
Amazingly, this has never happened before in the chart’s
55-year history, reports Slate. Go back to 2004 when every song that topped the
Hot 100 was by a person of color. Fast forward to this year when black artists
had only featured roles on those hits, such as rapper T.I., 2013 MVP Pharrell
on Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” (among other songs), and Rihanna backing
Eminem on the current No. 1, “The Monster.” Notes Slate: “We
should place an asterisk next to half-Filipino, half–Puerto Rican Bruno Mars,
who topped the big chart twice this year, with ‘Locked Out of Heaven’ and ‘When
I Was Your Man’—but neither one was an R&B/hip-hop radio hit.”
“Even the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart was topped by white
acts 44 out of 52 weeks this year,” the article continues. In large part,
that’s due to a controversial changeBillboard made
to the R&B/hip-hop chart at the end of 2012 that essentially makes it a
condensed version of the Hot 100, rendering the chart near-useless to hardcore
fans of black music,” reports Slate.
Perhaps Beyoncé new late-fourth-quarter blockbuster could
alter the charts but still what happened to Kanye, Jay-Z, Drake, Wale, J. Cole,
A$AP Rocky—all led the Billboard 200 this year? Most only landed on the chart
for a single week apiece, except Jay’s Magna Carta Holy Grail
which had two.
For a song to reach Billboard’s Top 10 for
more than a week, it’s got to become ubiquitous, booming from cars, circulating
on social media, generally being in the ether for weeks on end, reports Slate.
But so far in 2013 no black was able to do that.
---and while waiting for her Pineapple Upside Down cake to bake in my oven, when she looked through my vinyl collection and came across Andre Cymone cds and knew these songs and began to sing them, I began to wish her boyfriend wasn't a friend of mine and that they didn't live next door. And that she was single. She's about 10 years younger than me. How does she know about Andre Cymone? She said she came across Jody Watley's song Still a Thrill, and did some research and found out the producer was Prince's childhood best friend and that he initially was more Prince than Prince.
Damn. I wish she was single. She's a fan of Andre Cymone, Jody Watley, and Prince
I decided to post other songs Andre Cymone produced:
A beautiful movie based on the true story of Kimani Maruge, an 84 year old villager and a Mau Mau veteran, who decides to enroll in school for the first time to educate himself after hearing an announcement on the radio about the Kenyan government’s offering of free primary school education to “all”. All while facing resistance from the public’s claims of an “old man” taking up space.
Riccardo Tisci is known, among other talents, for having one of the keenest eyes in casting. So when he puts an unexpected face in his ad campaigns for Givenchy, the world takes notice. Expect tremors on this one. Presenting the new star of the label’s Mert & Marcus-shot campaigns: neo-soul singer Erykah Badu.
“Erykah, she’s an icon—come on!” Tisci said by phone from Paris. “What I want to do with my advertising campaign is spread the love. Already now it’s been three seasons that I’ve been using people that express something—they are great artists, or beautiful women, or stylish women, or models that I really believe in. It’s kind of a family portfolio.”
Tisci had known Badu slightly but had never worked with her. Still, he said, he’d had her image in the back of his mind when he was designing theSpring 2014 Collectiona mash-up of African and Japanese influences. “She’s one of the most stylish women I’ve met in my life,” he said. “She’s got such a good sense of proportion, of colors.”
What may attract as much attention as the unexpected Badu cameo is the fact that all of the campaign’s female models are women of color (the models Maria Borges, newcomer Riley, and Asia Chow). It follows a season with a noticeable uptick in the use of models of color on the runway, following scathing condemnations of homogeneity in fashion from Bethann Hardison and Iman, sounding off from certain casting directors, and coverage of the issue in The New York Times.
“There was a lot of talk this season in fashion,” Tisci said. “Me, I was one of the persons who ended up not being touched by this. I discovered Joan Smalls, I discovered Maria [Borges]. I discovered a lot of black girls, and I’ve been always supporting them. For me, I grew up in a family and I grew up in a culture, an education, that we all are the same.” (He was already working on the collection, and had Badu in mind, when the first articles came out.)
It’s true that Tisci has been active in promoting women of color on his runway and in his campaigns. (Besides Smalls and Borges, he has championed Grace Mahary, Dalianah Arekion, and Daniela Braga, among others.) Does he think the world will catch up to his lead? “I hope so,” he said. “It’s 2013. Everybody’s being so cool about Instagram, about Facebook, any media—everybody’s being so open. At the end of the day, why are not so many black girls or Latin girls in shows? When you have an American president who is black! When I see this happening, it’s quite sad, I think. People can be so avant-garde, so advanced, but actually not, because people are still making differences between skin color.”
A friend had this on his facebook page and he shared it with me. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I welcome your responses. As I watch it again I decided that I'm actually offended by it.
What say you?
A friend of mine has a party every year where each person brings a toy. The toys are for a toy charity that his law firm represents. Like all his other parties, I am the resident cake baker. As a matter of fact, most of his friends refer to me as the Cake Man. I like it because it serves as a great conversation piece when people want to know who made the cakes, or if I'm standing and wishing I could think of something to say to someone new, and somebody comes by and says 'have you tried the cake? This guy here, Alieux, makes the best cakes."
This year I couldn't decide which of my new cakes to bake, so I made them both; I was concerned that I had made too much, but actually, I didn't make enough. They devoured it.
People that would otherwise not speak to me- they spoke to me about the cakes.
So this woman on the train sees my ID and she asks me what an underwriter is, and so I tell her. She then says" you ain't like the regular ordinary brutha, talking all proper and shit. Where you from? England?" I wanted to say that I was from a place where women didn't wear 5 completely different colors of make up at the same time and that had at least 8 teeth in their mouth, but I didn't want to get cussed out, so I just said 'Brooklyn'.
There is a shipwreck between your ribs. You are a box with fragile written on it, and so many people have not handled you with care.
And for the first time, I understand that I will never know how to apologize for being one of them.
The chocolate chips were soaking in a shot of Hennessy in a bowl in the fridge while was preparing the batter for my cupcakes . When the chips were ready, I drained the Hennessy back in the shot glass, and drank it after I mixed the chocolate chips in the batter and poured it in the cupcake baking pan .
Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
This evening, I observed a man waiting on the train platform, with his Bible open. He was about thirty-ish. He was spouting about how the wages of sin were death and how everyone who was not a Christian were all going to hell. Along with him and myself, there was an older lady, about sixty-ish, and there were three teenaged women wearing Hajibs. When the train arrived and the door opened, that man pushed the woman aside in order to get to the one seat that was available. He didn't get the seat because someone who had been standing up in the train took it. Then when we were all inside and the train moved, a lady got up to get off at the next stop. The seat was next to the older lady who was standing as she edged over to the seat, that same Bible thumper tried to get the seat but two of the three muslim women blocked him and they told the lady to have a seat.
I loved it.
The perfect example of someone whose actions speak louder than his words.
On Friday night, Best Man Holiday beat Thor: The Dark World at the box office. While Thor was still number one movie of the weekend — earning $38 million — Best Man raked in $30 million, prompting a bunch of people to question: What does it mean?
A now-removed USA Today article by Scott Bowles was titled "'Holiday' nearly beats 'Thor' as race-themed films soar." Pardon? Race-themed? The headline —as well as the thrust of the piece — was criticized and mocked on Twitter, with blogger Awesomely Luvvie writing,
With that logic, then Girls is "race-themed" too. It's about boring white girls who live in NYC. So was Friends which is about hilarious white yuppies in NYC. And Titanic was a race-themed biopic about white folks who drowned on a cruise ship that crashed.
Bowles also wrote, "Cultures have been hot sellers at the turnstiles this year," and pointed out that Fruitvale Station, The Butler and 12 Years a Slave also did well at the box office. "Cultures." Movies about "cultures." Not Americans, or black people. (The piece has since been rewritten to clarify that other movies with black casts have succeeded this year.
Over at Forbes, Scott Mendelson scolds, "It's a problem that black-centric films doing well are still considered 'surprising'."
Writing for Bloomberg Businessweek, Bilge Ebiri notes that it would be a mistake to assume that the movie did well solely because of its cast.
If anything, what The Best Man Holiday's success points to is just good, old fashioned counter-programming: What better movie to open against the white fanboy fodder of an amped-up Thor sequel than this soft, touching Christmas-themed romantic comedy?
Makes sense: The movie had good word of mouth and an A+ Cinemascore. Some people would rather watch a heart-warming, realistic, human story (not about slavery! Set in the here and now!) instead of eye-popping special effects and superheroes. What's shocking about that?
Adam B. Vary, writing for Buzzfeed, reminds us that:
Two other films from this year with predominantly black characters — May's Tyler Perry Presents Peeples (produced but not directed by Perry) and June's After Earth (starring Will and Jaden Smith) — were unqualified flops in the U.S., in no small part because they were, to put it gently, bad.
He sums up:
So, to recap: Audiences will pay to see really good movies with black casts that aren't directed by Tyler Perry. It seems like a simple proposition. Let's hope Hollywood is paying attention.
Shocked? For real?
What movie theater has a turnstile? Entirely white cast = default. Entirely black cast = niche.Probably why USA Today was confused. No slaves? No being subservient to white people? No white saviors? Just black people being human during the holidays? What does it mean!?!? How do we label this?? Race-themed!