Daily Dose: 4/17/17
Fearless Girl is more important than Charging Bull
A lot of people smoke weed. Your librarian, your doctor and likely your local police chief. This is just a fact of the matter in today’s America. You know why? Because from what I understand, marijuana usage makes people happy and makes them feel better. It helps people with seizures. It helps people eat. It helps people sleep. Which is why Canada is getting ready to legalize it. It’s also why various states have decided that criminalizing its sale isn’t worth their time. Meanwhile, fun fact: More than half of Americans have tried it, according to a new poll.
The guy who created the Charging Bull statue is not happy. His name is Arturo Di Modica, and he claims that a little girl is compromising the artistic integrity of his work. When someone erected the Fearless Girl statue across from Charging Bull, the world came to celebrate the former, which is a pretty dang good symbol for where we are in this nation and world with feminism. Di Modica’s taking the whole fight to court, and it’s pretty embarrassing from a self-awareness standpoint. Whether it’s a corporate stunt or not, it’s worked. Deal with it.
Here’s the thing about the White House Easter Egg Roll: It’s for children. As in, little kids come to the South Lawn for the purpose of finding items left around by a fake rabbit to celebrate a Christian holiday, and it’s an officially sanctioned event. Point being, in the overall scheme of things, it matters not and is strictly a ceremonial event for fun. Unless you screw it up. But because this group feels the need to reaffirm its existence every second of the day, the president says things like this to a group of non-adults. Awkward.
The Atlanta Hawks are afraid of the Washington Wizards. Every team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference is afraid of the Washington Wizards. Fans of the Washington Wizards are afraid of the Washington Wizards. By that I mean everyone knows they’ve got talent. They know they’ve got talent, and they know that you know that they know that. So they’ve taken a fun strategy in the playoffs: Beat people up and talk mega trash. I could not be more here for it. Paul Millsap is complaining because it’s too physical. News flash: Get used to it.
Coffee Break: Hey, if you play a superloud, screaming maniac on TV, don’t be surprised when people think that’s who you are in real life. Alex Jones, that InfoWars guy who you only hear about when he’s going nuts about the conspiracy theory du jour, says it’s all an act, but his ex-wife thinks he’s crazy.
Snack Time: A coming-of-age movie on a Caribbean island that involves a goat? Sure, I’ll give them some money. They need it to get it done.
Dessert: If you still weren’t in the mood for baseball season, just watch this.
Daily Dose: 4/14/17
James Baldwin’s papers find new home in Harlem
9:56 AMQuick announcement: On Saturday from noon-2 p.m. EDT, Aaron Dodson and I will be hosting an ESPN Radio special for the 70th anniversary of Major League Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Day. Should be a fun one, kiddos!
The United States dropped on a bomb on Afghanistan. It’s still not really clear why. According to officials, 36 ISIS fighters were killed, but judging from the size of the bomb, who knows how many other people died in the attack. The bomb has a nickname — “Mother of All Bombs” — which in itself is a bit scary as a concept, both the title and the shorthand for explosives. It’s the largest non-nuclear device of its kind used in combat. Here are the details on exactly how it was deployed.
How much of James Baldwin’s work are you familiar with? In the new movie I Am Not Your Negro, the legendary author’s last work is explored through the eyes of today’s news and societal progress in America. But that’s just one movie that reflects one unfinished book. He had plenty of other published works and private papers, which will soon be on display at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, thanks to his estate. In general, the concept of being important enough to have “private papers” is pretty dope.
If you’re into weed, Canada might be the place for you. Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made good on a campaign promise to legalize recreational marijuana use in the country with something called the Cannabis Act. It’ll be up to each province to figure out how it wants to regulate things, which will lead to some interesting political discussions across that country. But it’s not all bongs and vape clouds. The penalties for breaking the rules will be pretty stringent, considering that growing and smoking it will no longer be illegal.
It always interests me what non-playoff NBA teams do once the tournament starts. Plenty of teams miss a chance to get a title and the panic that ensues is intriguing. For example, the Orlando Magic fired its general manager. Granted, it hasn’t been to the postseason in five years. And the Los Angeles Lakers sort of screwed themselves by ending their season on a winning streak, but they say they have a plan in case they don’t get a top 3 pick. But come on, it’s the NBA. There’s no way they don’t find a way for Lonzo Ball to end up at the Staples Center.
Coffee Break: The greatest American comedy of all time, for my money, is Coming to America. Now that a sequel is officially in development, some people are nervous about how it could affect the legacy of the previous film. Good news, though, the original writers are actually back on board.
Snack Time: You know your cable news network has a branding problem when a local station, in Boston no less, doesn’t even want your name in its broadcasts.
Dessert: The new trailer for the Dear White People Netflix show is incredible. Can’t wait for this show.
Daily Dose: 4/13/17
Maxine Waters will not be undersold
12:30 PMI’m still upset about Charlie Murphy. Know that when Domonique Foxworth, Mina Kimes and I first started The Morning Roast, Habitual Line Steppers was a show name that we strongly considered calling the program. RIP.
The first time I heard Maxine Waters’ name, it was in a song. As a high schooler in the 1990s, I was massively into Rawkus Records and basically everything they released. One such project was the Lyricist Lounge tape, and there was a track called “C.I.A.” with KRS-One, Rage Against the Machine’s Zack de la Rocha and Last Emperor. It was peak rap/rock if you even want to get into all that, but whatever. “I want all my daughters to be like Maxine Waters” was one line from KRS. Anyway, she’s the only one in Congress truly standing up to the president.
When black women disappear and nobody bats an eye. We know this. On the totem pole of “people whom society considers important,” they are lowest. Now, we have a very disturbing tale of another black woman whose life ended under questionable circumstances. Sheila Abdus-Salaam was the first black woman to serve on New York state’s highest court. She was found dead on the bank of the Hudson River. She was from D.C. and graduated from Columbia Law School. This is a really sad story.
Just so you know, “grooming” is a word for animals. When you go get your hair cut, you are not being groomed. Anyway, some people take this SUPER seriously when it comes to their dogs. And for as much of a “do you” person as I am, folks who decide to make absurd caricatures of animals creep me out. If you are paying people money to dye your dog’s hair, that’s weird. Sorry, it just is. But because I feel that these monsters need to be exposed, here’s a bunch of pictures of wackos doing psycho stuff to animals that have no choice.
We all know how we feel about Gucci Mane. In short, he’s the gawd. Now that his life is in complete makeover mode, people forget about Goon Guwap. The streets will never forget his contributions. On that note, let us never forget the time that someone orchestrated an elaborate hoax that involved him saying, “I might be” to a judge when asked whether he was guilty of a crime. That’s what came to mind when Carmelo Anthony was asked about getting traded by the Knicks and he said, “They might.”
Coffee Break: You know how Fox News is constantly doing all those “DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING ON SPRING BREAK?!?!?!” segments? Now Bill O’Reilly is the one going on spring break since advertisers are pulling out of his show left and right.
Snack Time: I feel like there are life-changing GIFs that come out every week. Maybe I’m too attached to that medium. Or perhaps this is just the golden era of GIFs and you can never take that away from me! Check it out.
Dessert: When this movie comes to your town, go see it. Trust me.
Charlie Murphy dies of leukemia at age 57
Eddie Murphy’s older brother is known for roles in movies and ‘Chappelle’s Show’
3:42 PMBefore Chappelle’s Show, a lot of people had no idea who Charlie Murphy was. The thought of Charlie, Eddie Murphy’s older brother, being an actor and comedian was almost a joke in itself. He created a second career through that Comedy Central program, and on Wednesday, TMZ reported that Murphy died at age 57 after a battle with leukemia.
But long before he was telling True Hollywood Stories of legend, Charlie was another dude trying to make it in L.A. He had roles in several black movie classics, including Harlem Nights, Mo’ Better Blues and Jungle Fever, but his breakout role was with Chris Rock in CB4. Charlie also co-wrote Vampire in Brooklyn, another film directed by Eddie, as well as 2007’s Norbit. Charlie Murphy also appeared in 1998’s The Players Club, directed by Ice Cube.
His role as a writer and cast member on Chappelle’s Show transformed him from a famous person’s family member into a household name. It was his stories that kicked off the resurgence of love for Rick James and the infamous Prince basketball story. Those were his actual life experiences, forget the bits. In many ways, Charlie was much easier to like than Eddie because he seemed so much more real.
Charlie was the funny dude on the basketball team in high school. He was the brother at work you wanted to talk trash with about sports. Charlie was a real one.
He brought the phrase “habitual line stepper” into our lives. Don’t forget that. He was also directly responsible for “game, blouses.”
Being completely honest, I had no idea he was sick. I’m fairly certain most people didn’t. But he managed to do the one thing that’s nearly impossible in today’s media landscape that will always be impressive to me: He made a name for himself that wasn’t directly tied to Eddie. I’m sure there’s an entire generation of people who still don’t know they’re related. And understandably so.
A while back, Uproxx broke down his five greatest sketches. But the thing about Charlie Murphy is that he never really seemed to be out of character, no matter what role he was playing. Which is what made him so dope.
He told stories about meeting the greats. I wonder if he knew he’d become a legend himself.
Daily Dose: 4/12/17
Ludacris informs the world that he is still, in fact, himself
1:21 PMJill Hudson returned to the All Day podcast this week, and it was good timing. We discussed the politics of the NBA logo and Tupac Shakur’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and Terrika Foster-Brasby talked to Myles Garrett.
Let’s be clear: Adolf Hitler’s Nazi party gassed Jews across Europe for years. This fact seems to somehow have escaped the man responsible for communicating official messages from the White House of the United States of America. On Tuesday, Sean Spicer stood on a podium and said that even Hitler didn’t resort to using chemical weapons in World War II. In a whirlwind opening couple of months full of gaffes and errors, this one is obviously the biggest and most embarrassing. He apologized for it profusely Wednesday morning.
Another day, another video of a black person getting beaten up by an officer. This one was apparently over a jaywalking incident in Sacramento, California. Every single time one of these pops up, I think about how hardwired so many officers must be to some predisposition to violence since they KNOW everyone is watching but still can’t resist. We don’t know what was said beforehand in this particular case, but goodness, punching someone in the head over jaywalking is almost as ridiculous as knocking someone out and dragging them off a plane.
Never have I felt as old on the internet as I did yesterday. Ludacris dropped a video for his song “Vitamin D.” In it, he has some comically ridiculous-looking abs. Why? Because for as long as Luda has been a thing, he’s shot videos with him having cartoon-sized body parts. This is quite literally the only thing I can think of when it comes to his visuals. So when people were out here on Twitter trying to clown him as if he was actually trying to imply these were his muscles, I was shocked. He legit had to explain the entire thing. Unreal.
I miss Kobe Bryant. This hadn’t really occurred to me until today, when the NBA playoffs became a serious focus for most of the non-basketball world. Today’s the last day of the regular season, and if you recall, Bryant ended his glorious run a year ago with one of the most thrilling finales of all time. He dropped 60 points on the Utah Jazz, and the whole night was beyond special. What’s funny is that going into the game, for whatever reason, he didn’t expect people to be that excited about it. This story about how that day and night went for him is incredible.
Coffee Break: When it comes to nostalgia-based period pieces, I get very anxious — particularly with ones related to hip-hop. Because they shape such a large view of what the culture is about, if they’re wildly off base it’s jarring. Anyways, The Get Down 2 has done well, and the new season is going in a much different direction.
Snack Time: The art of creating multi-song, multi-act mini movies as vehicles for both genres is coming back in favor, and it’s a trend we love. Kamasi Washington’s Truth is another excellent entry in this field.
Dessert: 13-pound baby? Thirteen. Pound. Baby.
Daily Dose: 4/11/17
The passenger and United Airlines are still getting dragged
12:45 PMI’m going to my first Major League Baseball game of the season Tuesday night. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited.
Pulitzer Day is a special one in the journalism world. It’s a day when, if you’ve done this job for any amount of time, you take a second to recognize your peers who’ve put in the work to change the world with that aspirational spirit that drives most reporters. If you’ve got a Pulitzer, people take you seriously for the rest of your life. That said, this year the winners list featured quite a few black writers, which is not usual. As a black journalist, yes, this makes me very happy.
The school shooting in San Bernardino, California, was a domestic incident. A man who was upset about his relationship with his estranged wife decided to walk into a school, her workplace, and shoot to kill her in front of children. There are multiple things worth noting here, besides the awful nature of the murder. The victim, Karen Smith, decided to leave Cedric Anderson. He then killed her. He had a history of abuse, so when you find yourself saying, “Why not just walk away?” when it comes to becoming a victim in that situation, now you know. Typically, it’s less safe.
If you get dragged off a plane by airport authorities, prepare to get your reputation dragged too. That’s exactly what’s happening to David Dao, the man you saw on TV and the internet getting pulled by his arms off a United Airlines flight Monday. As it turns out, his past in Kentucky as a doctor involves quite a few controversial incidents, including multiple felony charges for fraudulently giving out drugs. This is what we call the “no angel” defense that we’ve seen so many times before. Of course, none of this matters at all, really, because beating people up on planes isn’t cool, ever.
There’s no love lost between old ACC foes. Last week, the University of Maryland president floated a rather drastic idea when publicly discussing what should happen to the University of North Carolina regarding its academic fraud scandal. This situation is particularly awkward because it mainly involved letting kids take fake classes in African and Afro-American studies, which just does not look good at all. Wallace Loh thinks UNC deserves the death penalty. Wow.
Coffee Break: If you tell me that you were attacked by a runaway deer, the likelihood that I believe you is low. I mean, who on earth is just walking down the street when Bambi is rolling through? Well, it happened to this guy, and now there’s video to prove it.
Snack Time: Sometimes it feels like there’s nothing but bad news around these parts. Between all the outrage and injustice, here’s a story about strangers coming together to help someone find his dad’s lost friend. Cue the tears.
Dessert: If you’re in a bad mood and need cheering up, this song should help you out.