What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

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.

Free Food

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.

 

In Remembrance

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.

Looking Back At Charlie Murphy’s Greatest ‘Chappelle’s Show’ Moments

http://on.cc.com/1takHYK

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.

Free Food

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.

Free Food

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.

Daily Dose: 4/10/17

Stars come out for Tupac’s Hall of Fame induction

12:05 PMBig news in radio world. Sort of. All three hours of The Morning Roast are now available for podcast, if you can’t listen live. Y’all have been asking, and now you’ve got it. If you haven’t yet, please do subscribe, rate and review!

Travel can be stressful. Dealing with airports and the like can take its toll on you. But should you ever be in a situation in which you are given incentive to not get on a plane, take your options seriously. Because if you’re on United, you just might get knocked out and dragged off a flight by police officers for not “volunteering” to leave on your own. It happened to a doctor, and it was captured on video. Seriously, watch this. All because they wanted their own employees to be able to catch the flight.

Tupac Shakur was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over the weekend. Snoop Dogg gave his induction speech, and it was pretty epic. It’s honestly really refreshing to hear people talk about Shakur as more than just an outsize gangsta rapper whose life ended too early. But T.I. decided to pay homage to ‘Pac at the ceremony, and it didn’t really go that well. This is not an easy outfit to pull off, and Tip might want to think twice before moving into the leather vest game. Some of these zings are straight-up hilarious.

The United States sent missiles into Syria last week. Never mind the fact that when President Barack Obama considered doing this, everyone balked. Never mind the fact that this country is apparently bombing one country to stop it from bombing itself. And never mind the fact that the entire decision could drastically upset the political situation in that part of the world and globally because of allied interests. What apparently drove Trump to do this: disturbing images. Maybe someone should show him images of Flint, Michigan.

Batting helmets are important. Obviously, they’re designed to protect baseball players from injury, but as a style component, they matter a lot. It’s crazy to think there was a time in the bigs when batters didn’t even wear them. Anyway, times are changing in MLB, where quite a few teams have gone to a matte look, which I love, by the way. Now, the Atlanta Braves are going next level for the opening of their new park. Be sure to check out the lids that feature something called “hydro dripping, which just sounds dope.

Free Food

Coffee Break: We’re always leery when there’s a story that states someone was shot over a completely trivial matter and someone ends up dead. Particularly when family is involved. So something tells me an argument over who would walk the dog is not the only reason this father/son shootout ended poorly.

Snack Time: The story of 5Pointz is so heartbreaking. A public institution, basically, for graffiti art that ended as an insult to the artists who loved it. They’re getting their day in court today over the literal whitewashing of their work.

Dessert: Take this quiz. It’s fun. And colorful.