Daily Dose: 5/26/17
The Bronx salutes Khalif Browder on his birthday
1:14 PMOK, so y’all know I’ll be on #TheRightTime on Friday afternoon. By now, you also know about #TheMorningRoast on Sunday mornings. But, on Memorial Day, Aaron Dodson and I will be co-hosting The Dan Le Batard Show. Yay!
Thursday was a public relations disaster, again, for the White House. President Donald Trump managed to create fiascos on, like, four different fronts after getting into a handshake battle with France, pushing aside Montenegro‘s prime minister and calling Germany a bad country. Then, at the end of the day, we found out that Trump’s son-in-law is part of the focus of an FBI investigation. Oh, and on top of that, Trump decided to bad-mouth NATO, all of which ended in what many people are calling a completely disrespectful speech.
Thursday would have been Khalif Browder’s 24th birthday. If you don’t remember, he was the kid who was locked up at Rikers Island for years with no charges and eventually killed himself after he was released. His life and death are an example of the worst-case scenarios involving the penal system in this country. Jay Z ended up making a documentary about his life. Thursday in New York, the Bronx renamed a street after Browder with a ceremony that included his family. I get angry every single time I think about how he had his life stolen from him by the New York Police Department.
When I was a kid, sick days from school meant watching The Price Is Right. Yet, while it’s not the greatest American game show of all time — that’s Family Feud — it is in the top five. And within that show, the single greatest prize game in TV history is obvious. That would be Plinko. And earlier this week, some guy broke the all-time scoring record for the pegboard contest that everyone loves. The guy who did it couldn’t be more adorable, and his 15 minutes of fame have been quite fun.
If you’ve heard me on the radio recently, you know how I feel about LaVar Ball. His dustup with Kristine Leahy was a bad look, not to mention his insensitive comments about Kyrie Irving’s mother. But he is a man about his business. And as I’ve said many times, his Kardashian business model is one that I love in theory and like in practice. Can’t wait for the Balldashians. Magic Johnson agrees with me. Now, there’s a separate question about whether these two families can even coexist within the Los Angeles Lakers organization.
Coffee Break: Some people think Lil’ Yachty is everything that’s wrong with hip-hop, from his moniker to his mumble rap style to his lack of concern for the old school. Frankly, that’s all nonsense, IMO. I like the young man. He’s got a new album out called Teenage Emotions.
Snack Time: Um, there’s a new collaboration between Drake’s OVO and the Clarks shoe company that you can go ahead and buy if you’re trying to get your pimp wizard game on this summer.
— Highsnobiety (@highsnobiety) May 26, 2017
Dessert: Need a summer plan? Try Zac Efron’s Baywatch diet. Apparently, it works.
Daily Dose: 5/25/17
Ben Carson is still wilin
12:56 PMAnother reminder: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday, so be sure to tune in to ESPN Radio from 4-7 p.m. EST. Really looking forward to it, kiddos!
I don’t know what Ben Carson’s problem is. He is one of the worst types of people when it comes to being in power. He blames poor people for their own problems, as if systemic income inequality isn’t a real thing, and it’s infuriating. Not everyone can just make it out of bad situations because they want to. There are very real obstacles to upward mobility in this nation, so his arbitrary declaration that poverty is a state of mind is ignorant and harmful. Ugh.
At this point, every time Barack Obama speaks, it’s a blessing. The 44th U.S. president is such a far cry from who we have in the Oval Office now, and it’s almost weird to see a politician talking with a measured calm. Everything from Capitol Hill and the White House seems so hectic and harried that you have to wonder who’s in control at all. Earlier Thursday, during an appearance in Germany, Obama said a wall on the Mexico border is straight up not the answer.
The NFL is shortening overtime. Why? They say that 15 minutes is just too long and increases risk of injury. Sure. But presumably this situation will lead to more ties, which are always supremely weird in the league. Totally unsatisfying. It’s the second semi-major overtime modification that the shield has put in place in the past five seasons, but if you do the math, will it really lead to more ties? The answer is likely yes. Awesome.
The Lonzo Ball situation is not improving. He’s decided that he’s only working out for the Los Angeles Lakers, which is something that could eventually crush his draft stock. Sure, he’s a good player, but these kinds of shenanigans are starting to look bad. He clearly wants to play in Los Angeles. Yet, by basically boxing out every other team in the league, he might be screwed if the Lakers don’t actually decide to pick him. You live, you learn.
Coffee Break: One of the best things about California is the driving. But one of the scarier things about the state is the weather and climate situation. So when you read that a mudslide took out a large part of the Pacific Coast Highway, that is not a good omen.
Snack Time: Podcasts are all the rage right now, in all forms. It’s basically the premier form of personal entertainment. But could they possibly lead to the mainstreaming of audiobooks?
Dessert: Need some new music? Here you go.
‘Hood Adjacent’ is the show we’ve been waiting for
Comedian James Davis’ new program debuts June 28 on Comedy Central
4:56 PMThe word “adjacent” is everywhere. For example, a big trend in media now is “sports adjacent.” It’s a great descriptor for things that generally fit in one overall category but cannot necessarily be pinned to one thing in particular. For comedian James Davis, his life can best be described as “hood adjacent.” He hilariously describes this existence in his standup set. It’s a funny bit.
Now it’s a Comedy Central show. The series was ordered up during summer of last year, but now it’s got a preview and it’s beyond hilarious. I know all the gang signs but I don’t use ’em/low-key they’re complicated and really confusing is the lyric that probably best describes this ethos.
Davis is from South Central Los Angeles. Without blowing up the entire comedic premise of this program, hood adjacent is something that most black people from big cities know about. ” ‘Hood” is still short for “neighborhood.” Most black folks who aren’t relatively rich have lived in places with other black folks who have suffered similar urban plights. If you didn’t already know, everyone in the ‘hood isn’t participating in gangsta activities. That wouldn’t be remotely sustainable.
That said, I can’t wait for this show. Here’s a more in-depth look at how it was created. Hood Adjacent begins June 28 at 9 p.m. on Comedy Central.
A tale of two racist white women
They were filmed in the retail wild going off on people
4:38 PMIf you’ve ever worked in retail, you know that when it comes to people being agitated while spending money, things can get very hairy, very quickly. There’s something specifically different about the customer service experience that’s different from the food service industry or an entertainment venue, even if they’re not technically that different in terms of exchanging cash for goods.
This week, two separate videos of white women deciding to give folks a piece of their mind have gone viral, and neither is particularly flattering. The first takes place in Manassas, Virginia, at a Sprint store. When a woman is overheard saying that she can’t find a certain product at the store, an apparently Latino man suggests she try the store in Fairfax, Virginia.
I’m guessing from the proceedings that this woman made a couple of messed-up comments beforehand, as you don’t just randomly start filming people in a store just because. So when she kicks things off with “I’m in Manassas, in the ghetto,” you can presume she was already talking recklessly. Let’s watch.
First observation is her letting the curses fly in front of a child. Secondly is using her husband as a threat by proxy, which is always hilarious. I can’t imagine these two have many friends as a couple, if they’re routinely in the business of popping off in public while she writes checks for him to cash. She then goes on to use a racial slur and say one more thing that we’ll get to later. It should be known that this woman works for customer service at an airport, which is a whole other story.
Fast-forward to Wednesday, and we get this gem from someone in Arkansas. It happens in a Walmart, but the circumstances are almost eerily similar.
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In this case, the interloper appears to be a black person. How do we know? Because old racista drops an N-bomb on her. Then, when a manager comes over to settle the situation down, this lady is so self-centered that she just assumes he’s there to admonish the Latina who’s been the victim of her verbal attacks. It’s actually quite remarkable how surprised she is that her behavior is being checked.
What fascinates me most about both of these exchanges, involving white women young and old, is the notion of “their country.” Both of them hit that point within seconds, and it’s a real indication of exactly how misled many people are when it comes to the history of this nation. The number of people who genuinely believe it was solely the hard work of Anglo-Saxon Christians that made this country what it is, is staggeringly high.
If we’re being more honest, no one wants to see a United States without people of color. Never mind the fact that black folks built this country for free, but now Latinos occupy a portion of America’s workforce that, if removed, would bring this nation to its knees. Anyway, shoutout to these two people who had the gumption to film these exchanges. Someone’s got to get people like this out the paint.
Daily Dose: 5/24/17
Kaepernick is closer to becoming a Seahawk
1:16 PMProgramming alert: I’ll be hosting The Right Time with Bomani Jones on Friday from 4-7 p.m. EST, so tune in to it on ESPN Radio if you want to hear your boy yell about all the random stuff I care about.
I don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for Billy Bush. He was a talented guy in this business who saw it all crater in 2016 when a 2005 video of him doing a whole lot more than towel-snapping with then-presidential candidate Donald Trump during a taping of Access Hollywood surfaced. Now, he’s claiming he would have called the FBI if he thought Trump was serious — which, again, I’m not buying. He seemed pretty into the convo at the time, and he could just admit that now and it would all be way more believable. He sat with Good Morning America as part of his redemption tour.
Hip-hop is a legitimate form of scholarship. We saw this earlier in the year when a rapper/Ph.D. student at Clemson turned a full-length album into a doctorate. Now, some kid did it in the Ivy League — at Harvard, no less. This feels more like a Dartmouth move, tbh. For his senior thesis, Obasi R. Shaw submitted a rap album and got himself an A-minus. I can’t even tell you how much I enjoy this. Is he going to go on to some rap stardom life? Probably not, and who cares? Representing black people and telling our stories with our art is tremendous work.
A few hours before the season premiere of The Bachelorette, I sent out a warning. It said very plainly: This might be a good time to make sure that you have some *actual* black people covering this season, because otherwise, you might make a colossal mistake that you’ll regret. We all know how weak newsroom diversity is and, with a black woman leading the show, the racistly premised stories were bound to come. Newsweek was our first victim when they posted a story about the show, then ended up deleting. … I TRIED TO TELL Y’ALL.
— Martin (@MartinFranklinB) May 24, 2017
My dream of Colin Kaepernick going to Seattle is closer to coming true. The quarterback is visiting the Seahawks Wednesday, and here’s why he needs to be on that roster. It’s three-pronged. One, there’s no question about whether he’ll be competing for the starting job. Second, he’s not walking into a locker room where he’s the most outspoken person there. He fits into the fabric of a team with Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett, two very vocal stars. Lastly, that’s a franchise that knows how to handle any potential backlash. Perfect fit.
Coffee Break: If you’re not familiar with the story of Seth Rich, it’s a messy one. A guy was killed on the streets of D.C., and certain people have been pushing a gross conspiracy theory that it had something to do with Wikileaks, prompting his family to beg for the media to stop with this. It’s gotten really ugly, and his family is in pain.
Snack Time: Farming while black is not one of the usual categories we talk about when “doing things while black,” but as it turns out, the people calling the cops on black farmers are the white ladies in yoga pants.
Dessert: Tokyo loves its cars, and this is awesome.
Leslie Jones is hosting the 2017 BET Awards
which means it just became must-see TV
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Comedian and actor Leslie Jones has had an interesting few years. She was hacked and had nude photos leaked and was insulted mercilessly for being a part of the Ghostbusters reboot. Now, she’ll be hosting the 2017 BET Awards, which means: Watch out.
Personally, I think Jones is awesome. But I genuinely don’t enjoy the fact that every single sketch she’s a part of on Saturday Night Live seems to be a long, awkward commentary on her love life. Maybe that’s picking nits, but it just seems like there’s a whole lot more to be mined in a grown woman’s comedic range than just who she’s sleeping with, in reality or not.
That said, the sketch about her trying to portray President Donald Trump was probably the funniest thing I’ve seen on that show in years. It was a bit of a self-own, considering that SNL seems to have no idea how to incorporate black women into its comedic framework, so much so that people are actually leaving the show. If you forgot, here it is.
“BET was the first place I ever did comedy on TV, so it’s a full-circle moment of coming home where I started. I went out in the world and did what I needed to do and now I can come home to my people and say, ‘Yo! Look what I did!’ ” Jones told People magazine.
As for the show, this is the perfect platform for Jones. She doesn’t have to completely focus on herself as the source and butt of all her jokes and can turn her fire on the celebrity world, which is fantastic. Now that I’m thinking about it, she should probably have her own late-night talk show. And there’s no reason it couldn’t be on BET.
NFL Hall of Famer Cortez Kennedy, 48, is dead
1992 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was found in Orlando
3:47 PMFormer Seattle Seahawks defensive end and Miami Hurricanes standout Cortez Kennedy, 48, was found dead in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, according to TMZ. The Arkansas native was a two-time national champion, eight-time Pro Bowler, NFL Defensive Player of the Year and member of the NFL’s All-1990s team.
For me, Kennedy was a tad before my time in terms of people I really remember well, but I remember him through his media career later in life. He’s one of those guys whom everyone around him had a story about.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) May 23, 2017
Cortez Kennedy won Defensive Player of the Year on a TWO-win Seahawks team. That's how great he was. RIP, way too young.
— Dan Lucero (@danluceroshow) May 23, 2017
“The entire Hall of Fame family is stunned and deeply saddened to learn the news of Cortez Kennedy’s passing,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO David Baker said in a statement Tuesday. “On behalf of the Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, Cortez’s fellow Hall of Famers, and our staff, we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans. Cortez will be remembered not only for all his great achievements on the football field but how he handled himself off the field. He epitomized the many great values this game teaches which serves as inspiration to millions of fans.”
RIP Cortez Kennedy, all I remember from your career at Miami was you being a brick wall in cleats pic.twitter.com/eynJEn20VE
— BUM CHILLUPS (@edsbs) May 23, 2017
A 1992 feature on him from Sports Illustrated is a fascinating read if you have some time on your hands. And here’s an interview with him from before he was inducted.
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John Legend’s ‘Surefire’ video speaks to modern America
Director Cole Wiley’s tale of love lost and found is as timely as ever
I try not to cry at work.
But I had to make an exception for John Legend’s new video for “Surefire,” off of his Darkness and Light album that was released Monday. Directed by Cole Wiley, it is ostensibly the story of two young people in love who are limited by the various societal constructs we put up to divide each other, be they race, religion, family structure or immigration status. This could be in either California or Texas, but it doesn’t particularly matter.
You don’t need to have a bleeding heart to recognize a tale of commitment and fortitude when you see one, but with the state of this nation today, this video hits every single note possible when it comes to reflecting exactly how phony the notion is of the United States being a melting pot. At every stage, there’s a powerful message to be sent.
Watch it for yourself. Don’t forget the tissues.
Daily Dose: 5/23/17
Bomb blast kills 22 at Ariana Grande concert
11:41 AMYou should probably know that I’ve been listening to Future’s Mask Off every day when I leave the house for about a month now, so when I see that Kendrick Lamar has dropped a verse on the remix, that’s an immediate click, fam.
A lot of girls lost their innocence last night. At an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, a bomb went off toward the end of her set, killing 22 people. As is the norm these days, the way it unfolded on social media was as heartbreaking as the news itself, with people in the English city understandably panicking while looking for their loved ones through any means possible. ISIS is taking responsibility, which means President Donald Trump is talking about it, which means these victims will be immediately forgotten for the sake of American politics. Awful.
Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter spent his birthday posting about his potential status as a political prisoner. So, for a very strange moment, you could go to his Twitter page and see a video of him saying his passport had been taken, with balloons falling all over your screen. If you don’t know, he’s been openly critical of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, calling him a modern-day Hitler, among other things. He was briefly detained in Romania, but now he’s back on U.S. soil, and he talked to Desus & Mero about the experience.
In high school, for some people, getting a job is a rite of passage. Personally, my mom wasn’t really into the idea of me doing just any job, which was rather limiting on many levels but also taught me to really enjoy jobs when I finally did get one. With the way the economy has developed over the past 20 years, the typical haven for said positions is dwindling: the mall. Now, some major retailers are battling with summer enrichment opportunities as a way to snag cheap labor.
The Nashville Predators will be in the Stanley Cup Finals. P.K. Subban and his boys are headed to play for the NHL championship. I told you all last June that his arrival in Tennessee would be a good thing for American entertainment, and I was right. Now, it’s a rock star country concert at every intermission, and Smashville is rocking. This is the best-case scenario for the league. If the Pittsburgh Penguins can top the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night, we’ll have an old power versus everyone’s favorite upstart team. Could be a great series.
Coffee Break: As we all know, Black Twitter runs these streets. When it comes to the latest on fashion, slang, music, etc., it typically comes from us. That’s just how it is, and that’s fine. Now, BET is apparently linking up with the social media company in some sort of official capacity, which should be interesting to say the least.
Snack Time: If you think all maps are accurate representations of the land masses they represent, you must not know anything about the Mercator projection. Anyways, count the New York City subway as another distance distorter.
Dessert: Ladies and gentlemen, your tweet of the day.
"Dear Lord Jesus, we humbly thank you for this Rihanna/Lupita movie. It is truly black girl magic & your finest work work work work work…" pic.twitter.com/VBMH4BI9Le
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) May 22, 2017
Just another day for ‘The Bachelorette’
with its first black woman as the lead, the reality dating show avoids any land mines
11:07 AMIt could have been a mess. It probably should have been a disaster. But Rachel Lindsay’s grace, a screaming goofball and one Colombian chiropractor made the season premiere of ABC’s 21st season of The Bachelorette exactly what they wanted it to be: just another episode.
With the first black woman to take the title role of the show, there was a reasonable amount of pressure. This isn’t just some goofball show for girlfriends drinking wine on the couch anymore. It’s one of the network’s premier brands, so much so that it pre-empted its own storyline last season in the flagship show to make sure America knew that Lindsay was its newest star.
But in a country where black schoolgirls are still going to court over how they wear their hair to school, the opportunities for pitfalls were obvious. When it comes to attitudes about so-called traditional standards of beauty, mixed with show business and with a healthy dose of likely toxic masculinity thrown in, having a black woman as the center of attention was a potential recipe for someone to say something really not OK and get checked on camera.
Quite a few longtime watchers of the show were bracing themselves for the usual tropes of Lindsay’s beauty being described as exotic, or an extension of something we saw at the end of The Bachelor last season, when Dean, a startup recruiter, on live television said to a newly introduced Bachelorette Rachel, “I’m ready to go black, and I’m never going to go back.” While it was not an outright racist thing to say, it was certainly cringeworthy, and everyone knew it.
This time, when Dean came out of the limo, his attitude was far more demure and he knew he had an uphill battle to win Rachel’s heart after that stunt. In general, though, her being black is certainly not something she plans on shying away from when it comes to promoting the show, thankfully.
In an interview with espnW’s Katie Barnes, she talked about what that meant to her. “It’s huge. It’s very humbling to be the first. It was something that, I’ll admit, I was scared to do,” Lindsay said. “I have the opportunity to represent myself as a black woman to America, and show them that just because I’m black doesn’t mean my search for love has to be any different. There’s a lot of brave people that have paved the way for me to even have the opportunity to be the first black ‘Bachelorette.’ ”
As for Monday night’s episode, it was every bit the madcap foolishness that we’ve come to know and love. One guy wore a penguin suit, then later claimed he’s both black and white (get it?). Another brought a legit ice block and a sledgehammer and another went so far as to dress up like Steve Urkel on Family Matters, before re-emerging from the limo as Stefan Urquelle.
At this stage of the game, there are far too many personalities to break down each one, but the three standouts were obvious. Aside from my man Lucas, who was only there to sell T-shirts with his catchphrase on it and angered the whole house the entire time with his antics. Don’t hate, I bought one.
America is not going to remember Mr. Whaboom as fondly as we remember Alexis, the aspiring dolphin trainer who wore a shark costume.
— Benjamin Freed (@brfreed) May 23, 2017
The Natural Fit
Josiah is a prosecuting attorney who turned around his life of crime as a youth to become a guy working in actual courtrooms as an adult. He brought a little legal jargon humor to the table as his intro, which was predictable yet adorable. He did refer to himself in the third person a couple of times, which was awkward, and he also used the ultrapossessive terminology of “making someone my wife,” but we’ll have to look past that for now. He seems genuine.
DeMario was one of the guys who appeared after the rose ceremony from last season’s The Bachelor but also was the clear standout after the initial bios were released. He also is a relative pretty boy and was very confident in himself, a trait that Rachel said she enjoyed quite a bit. An executive recruiter by trade, he also seemed like the leader of the cool guy crew, which should be an interesting development as this goes on.
The more I see DeMario, the more like every Kappa i’ve ever met he becomes 😂 cc @clintonyates
— KING T’CHOUZY (@ouzym) May 23, 2017
The Family Man
Kenny was one of the contestants who got an extended look in the initial bio segment of the first hour of the show, leading us to believe he’ll likely go relatively far in this competition. He’s a professional wrestler with a 10-year-old daughter, so there’s an automatic soft spot for him. He also did the Deion Sanders touchdown dance on his way into the house, so he scores points with me.
Did the wrestler refer to Rachel as wifey and is that the first time that word has been used on #bachelorette
— Jozen (say Joe-Zen) (@jozenc) May 23, 2017
In Blake’s initial introduction, he made no fewer than 500 references to his penis. That might be an exaggeration, but it was such a strange way to bring him in. Then, he decided that being a part of a marching band was the way he wanted to make his entrance and initial introduction to Rachel, and he didn’t say one word about his package. Very confusing. He also took it very personally that Lucas, aka Mr. Whaboomski, made the cut, which should make for an interesting scene down the line.
We mentioned him earlier, but Bryan was the one who stepped to the first episode with the clearest game plan of all. He started off by speaking Spanish to Rachel in what we presume was designed to be a seductive manner, then acted surprised when she understood a bit of it, which was a tad condescending. He then went on to point out that because he’s a chiropractor he’s good with his hands, which, again, was rather lame. But, he was also the guy who made the first aggressive move and kissed Rachel. It happened not once but twice, the second time after he received the first impression rose. My man had the full two-hand head grab approach to making out, too, giving the impression that he’s got a decent side career as a soap opera actor should this not work out. He also dropped a “gurl,” which we’ll just take note of for later. Either way, homie is in the lead.
That was a super aggressive first epi make out
— Charlie La CroixVitz (@CKravitz17) May 23, 2017
I think you should ask for a kiss… that was awkward. Don't assume she wants to kiss you. #Bachelorette
— Annie Apple (@SurvivinAmerica) May 23, 2017
— ella dawson (@brosandprose) May 23, 2017
Overall, they avoided the monster storyline of race and got through two hours without too many awkward situations surrounding race. The “Scenes from The Season” portion led to all sorts of speculation about drama down the line, but for the moment, no one here appears to be trying to satisfy a fetish of being with a black woman or out to prove how nonracist he is while simultaneously trying to find love. Maybe we’ll get through this whole thing without incident.
Most people seem to be there for the right reasons, which is either Rachel or Hollywood fame. If they can manage to keep up this facade for 11 more episodes, it should be a good season. But the second that all the brothas decide they want to start boxing out the white guys, things will get interesting. Until then, it’s all daps and backslaps.
Tierra Wilkins contributed to this report.
Biggie mural will not be torn down in Bed-Stuy
Art collective rallies enough support to save painting on Brooklyn apartment building
10:34 AMThe battle for the crown of King of New York in hip-hop is a succession battle as old as the genre itself. But only one person has ever held that title without question: The Notorious B.I.G. The rap legend and Brooklyn, New York, native’s importance to the borough cannot be overstated from a cultural standpoint, but with the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood being taken over by gentrification, the fate of a popular mural of the slain rapper was up in the air. Now, it will not be destroyed.
Thank you Brooklyn! And a very very special thanks to the landlords for recognizing the importance of Biggie in this neighborhood! First we would like to thank both the Mayor's and congressman Jeffries offices for reaching out and offering all kinds of support to keep this iconic mural where it is! We also would like to thank every single local organization for coming forward with their resources . We would like to thank all the companies for offering financial support. ATLANTA has got so much love for Biggie! Thank you TI @troubleman31 for having your team contact us on a daily basis to get the updates. Special thanks to Mr. Guevara from @brooklynnets for the daily phone calls to make sure we get all the needed resources. We would like to thank all of you who have stood besides us! PLEASE if you see the landlords, THANK them for this generous gift to our community!! ! Happy Belated Birthday, King!!! 🎂@tyanna810 @cjordanwallace @therealfaithevans #spreadloveitsthebrooklynway #spreadartnyc #bedfordandquincy #20bigyears #biggiemural #biggie #biggiesmalls
The details of the situation felt like a violation at first glance because the owner wanted to renovate the apartment building and add new windows. His name is Samuel Berkowitz. So when the group Spread Art NYC put the word out that he wanted it down, reaction was intense. Add that to the fact that he then claimed neighbors were complaining about the crowd it attracted, and then turned down $5,000 to keep it up — countering with an offer of a $1,250 monthly charge — it was a gut punch.
Do we really live in a world where an art collective is coming up with rent money to keep its popular murals for local legends? That’s not a reality anyone wanted to face. So a lot of famous people, including elected officials and other artists, got involved. It’s not going anywhere in the short term. They persuaded the building owner by simply explaining who Biggie was.
Before that, though, all the headlines were similar. Something along the lines of “iconic mural threatened” typically populate the page, with the misleading assertion about the painting itself. It only went up in 2015. The two artists who did it are Scott “Zimer” Zimmerman and Naoufal “Rocko” Alaoui. It’s 2 years old, which is hardly iconic.
What’s iconic is the image itself, a photograph by Barron Claiborne. It was shot for Rap Pages magazine. Three days after that shoot in 1997, the artist, nee Christopher Wallace, was shot and killed. It appeared on the cover and for the two decades since has been bastardized. While the painting added to the original image, the facial expression, the pose, the crown (which has been changed) were all already burned into the brains of most hip-hop fans.
Complicating matters even more was that an online petition going around titled #LandmarkBIG was actually causing a rift between factions looking to save the wall. A representative for Claiborne said they get requests to use the likeness of the image almost monthly, so they can’t recall whether this was an authorized usage or not.
The removal of the image would have been unfortunate and sad, but hardly a travesty. If you want a full history of the image and the immediate aftermath of what it meant to Brooklyn at the time, the story is interesting. The story of when the portrait was made, why it was shot and how it spread an image of personality from that shoot is what the essence of B.I.G. was. Besides, that photo isn’t even the best one from the contact sheet.
The Lupita/Rihanna buddy movie might be real
and we can barely contain our excitement
5:16 PMNever underestimate the power of a solid meme.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the not-so-wacky idea of Lupita Nyong’o and Rihanna starring in a buddy movie where they pull scams on old white guys is actually somewhat closer to happening. Black Twitter is the best. If this movie happens, you can expect crazy numbers.
More selfishly, there’s something particularly satisfying about watching the development of this scenario. So often material that is created by young black people on social media gets co-opted or appropriated for some other function, with the original creators getting boxed out from a credit and monetary compensation standpoint.
Rihanna looks like she scams rich white men and lupita is the computer smart best friend that helps plan the scans https://t.co/PhWs1xd3nj
— the f is for fenomenal (@MFKAILLOU) April 18, 2017
But even if this incredible all-star conglomeration puts this out, there is one person who absolutely must be involved for this to work.
Lied about my age 4 years in a row. pic.twitter.com/MmlRfx4hQN
— Joanne The Scammer (@joanneprada) April 14, 2017
NBA social media, we need to talk
because that Dave Chappelle tweet wasn’t funny at all
— NBA (@NBA) May 22, 2017
Let’s be clear: This ain’t funny.
In this world of internet jokes, intentional misdirections and obvious sight or word gags are nothing new, but sometimes you can miss badly if either the intent doesn’t seem genuine or the result doesn’t land well enough to warrant the risk. In this case, it was some level of both.
There is no world in which Dave Chappelle isn’t a gazillion times more famous, recognizable, funny and important than Amy Schumer. Not one. So, if you’re going to make this joke, it goes as follows: Dave Chappelle and a fan. To make things even more annoying, Chappelle actually lives in Ohio, so this is so easy. Not to mention he is frequently at NBA games, often on the sidelines getting photographed.
This violation is a flagrant 2.
Daily Dose: 5/22/17
Sasheer Zamata exits ‘SNL’ with zero fanfare
12:56 PMIf you missed The Morning Roast on Sunday, Mina Kimes was back from Korea, and we talked about the NBA and where we are in the playoffs at this point. Also, some more French lessons from your boy.
Here’s a new segment we call: This Week in Racist Nonsense and Terror. We’ll start in Maryland, where a white supremacist decided to randomly kill a black man and we’ve still got to act like there’s some sort of question as to whether this was a hate crime. Moving to Louisiana, a state representative said that lawmakers should be lynched for taking down Confederate monuments in New Orleans. There’s also this woman in Virginia. And, oh, yeah, in case you forgot, the Nazis were highly inspired by the U.S. system of racial oppression.
1. In some ways, the Nazis perceived America’s moral contradictions more clearly than Americans themselves did.
— Jeff Guo (@_jeffguo) May 20, 2017
Saturday Night Live‘s season finale was awkward. In it, Dwyane Johnson was the host and Katy Perry decided she was going to really embarrass herself during her performance of “Bon Appetit” with Migos. For whatever reason, she feels the need to try to act black instead of just being herself. It’s extremely hard to watch, in fact. But, also, Sasheer Zamata is leaving the show, although you never would have known that from the sketches Saturday night. These so-called diversity problems at SNL are more like “we just don’t really want outsiders.”
There are zoos and then there are game reserves. There are also animal parks in certain parts of the world where, when you get to see them, you get a completely different perspective on just how cruel big-game hunting is. Most animals, obviously, are just trying to live out their short lives like everyone else, and idiots with superiority complexes and greedy pockets trying to ruin them really are the worst. So, when a hunter gets crushed to death by an elephant, it’s hard to feel bad on any level.
If you didn’t think the Las Vegas Raiders games were going to be nuts, think again. No. 1, it’s the Raiders. They have one of the craziest fan bases in the NFL, the type of people who would probably find a way to make the trip from the Bay Area for eight weeks a year just so they could dress up in all their black-and-silver glory. But now, the Vegas factor comes into play. You will now be allowed to legally place wagers from inside the stadium on your phone during games. Aka, mobile betting on exactly what you’re watching in front of you. What a world.
Coffee Break: At the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night, Diddy took the stage to commemorate what would have been the Notorious B.I.G.’s birthday and also bring his son out to introduce him to the world. He also debuted the trailer for a new documentary he’s got coming out about Bad Boy Records. It looks incredible.
Snack Time: The homey Snoop Dogg is still making music, which makes me extremely happy in general. His new album is chock-full of awesome guests, so you should check it out. You can stream it here.
Dessert: The latest season of The Pengest Munch has closed. Eat lunch first, because you’ll be hungry after.