Daily Dose: 6/6/17
Childish Gambino will not go on
1:01 PMIf you live in Washington, D.C., like I do, you’re gearing up for the James Comey testimony on Thursday. There are bars opening early to watch it live, if you want to get an idea of what it’s like to live in the nation’s capital.
When it comes to leaks and classified reports, I can barely keep up. It seems like every week, someone in some branch of government is whining about the transmission of information from one place or another. But the latest info, of a leaker getting exposed and arrested, is something we haven’t seen in a while. As it turns out, a 25-year-old contractor had access to National Security Agency intelligence and leaked a report to The Intercept. She’s looking at 10 years in prison, but get this: Her name is Reality Winner. Genuinely can’t make this stuff up.
Childish Gambino is no longer. While the artist Donald Glover created it to make all sorts of music that he’s blessed us with over the years — including his last album, Awaken, My Love — he is done making music. This is a respectable decision. So often, rappers hold on longer than imaginable to that part of their careers while it’s availed them of enough things to be creative on other platforms. Some do that nefariously, but for Glover, it was time. Gambino is dead. Long live Gambino.
If you took a break from social media for three months, would your life change? Sure, you’d probably have more time to fix up that room in your house or maybe go to the gym and get your temple right for the summer. But would it change the way you think, the way your brain operates and, effectively, how you look at the world? Of course it would. One woman decided that she’d step away while she was on book leave, and it made her realize that the news cycle is completely broken. I like to think it’s reinvented, personally.
The problem with youth sports, always, is the adults. When it comes to making decisions on who should be allowed to play what and with whom and when or whatever, there’s someone in control who has to make it about them and ruin a good time for those involved. In the name of competition or whatever nonsense they’ve decided is important, they’ll embarrass people and children to prove a point. Like the case in Nebraska, where an entire youth soccer team was booted from a tournament because they had a girl who “looked like a boy.”
Coffee Break: Researchers analyzed nearly 200 hours of police body camera footage and came to a truly mind-boggling and groundbreaking finding. Authorities treat black people worse when it comes to traffic stops. Excuse me while I alert the media. Seriously, this did not need this much research.
Snack Time: Kevin Durant and LeBron James apparently made a rap song together at some point. Whoopee. Now, someone is asking for way too high of a price to release the whole thing. Should have just sold it to TMZ, fam.
Sneaker Shopping with Complex takes on Ball family
and everyone had a good time
3:03 PMYou knew it had to happen.
The most famous hoops family in America took to the streets with Complex’s Joe La Puma, and the results were about exactly what you’d expect. LaVar Ball yelling about his playing days in the Air Jordan 2s. They’re all wearing BBB slides, which is hilarious.
La Puma didn’t pull punches when it came to the price of Ball’s sneakers. They went at it for a couple of minutes in front of the kids, and their dad held himself pretty well. La Puma seems to imply that Ball should apologize or rephrase his words when it comes to how he chooses to market his brands, pointing out that some people just can’t afford $500 kicks. “Don’t go to Rolls-Royce talking about you need a Toyota,” Ball replied. Fair enough.
Perhaps the biggest reveal of this entire video is Ball pointing out that his kids will not necessarily be wearing Big Baller Brand at all times.
“You may see them in Jordans, but you won’t see me in Jordans. I’ll be in Big Baller Brand,” Ball said. “I don’t restrict them just to have any shoe. But it depends on how our brand grows. … Lonzo can wear any shoe he wants; all my boys can wear any shoe they want.”
Understandably, La Puma is really into the production and design of the sneakers. Not going to lie, it doesn’t seem like the host is taking the dad very seriously, but, hey, most people don’t. The best part of the video is Ball explaining that none of this was really about selling all sorts of shoes. It was about indicating that if they wanted to do something, they could.
“Lonzo’s shoe was put together the way he wanted it,” Ball says. “Now, I feel that’s the price tag. Being our own shoe, symbolic comes with a price. And that’s basically what the shoe is for.”
Watching this family interact will never cease to amaze and entertain me.
Lakeith Stanfield introduces ‘LaZercism’
Are you suffering from racial glaucoma?
“How are we supposed to do our jobs, if we can’t even see?”
Those are the words of an actor playing the role of one of the police officers involved in that 2015 incident near Dallas, where authorities broke up a pool party on video. You might recall that classic for the barrel roll memes that came out of it, but for the 15-year-old girl who was pulled to the ground by her hair, it was traumatizing. She ended up suing the city, and the officer was never charged.
Incidents like this are exactly what actor Lakeith Stanfield is tackling in his new sketch-not-quite-comedy video that he’s released called LaZercism: in short, laser eye surgery that attacks racism at its core, through your vision. If only it were so easy. The entirety of the short takes on the feel of an infomercial, which makes it feel like it might have been left on the Atlanta cutting-room floor. Then again, the concept of the joke is something directly out of the Get Out playbook.
But the very premise of the bit is fascinating. Written and directed by Shaka King, it’s worth your time.
Daily Dose: 6/5/17
Bill Cosby trial begins outside of Philadelphia
12:32 PMI didn’t get to see it this weekend, but I can’t wait until I do. Reviews like this will definitely get me to the theater.
I had super high expectations for Wonder Woman and was still blown away & not prepared for how emotional I'd be
— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) June 5, 2017
Bill Cosby’s trial has already gotten off to an awkward start. He arrived at the courtroom in Norristown, Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia on Monday with Keshia Knight Pulliam on his arm. You might remember her as the little girl who played Rudy on The Cosby Show, which is just uncomfortable on multiple levels. He doesn’t expect to testify at the trial, but the woman who accused him of sexual assault will, getting the ball rolling on so many others becoming willing to come out about encounters they had with the comedian. Here’s what to watch while this all unfolds.
Speaking of questionable characters named Bill, Mr. Maher is canceled. Not literally, but as far as I’m concerned he can go away and never come back. This dude, who hosts an HBO show, said during an interview in front of an audience that he was a “house n—–” without one bit of hesitation. Various people came to cape for him, which I’m never going to understand. The list includes Killer Mike, Donna Brazile, Michael Eric Dyson and his wife. Maher apologized, but the damage is done. It’s not like he’s got some great history when it comes to bigotry.
If you’re on Instagram, what you like is public. Meaning, if someone wants to know what it is you’re double-tapping on, all they have to do is go to the activity page and scroll to see that your co-worker is really into lemon trees, or your old high school baseball teammate is now seriously stalking models in Monaco. But what would you do if you saw your significant other like someone else’s butt selfie? Hurt, offended, angry, no big deal? Here’s one woman’s investigation into why her boyfriend hearts a model’s backside.
You might recall that Kobe Bryant once scored 81 points in a game. You might also remember that that game was against the Toronto Raptors. If you didn’t know, Jalen Rose was on that team and now is obviously an ESPN personality. I like Jalen a lot and always have since I was a middle schooler trying to emulate him and the Fab Five on the court. But when it comes to asking him about that fateful day, things can get awkward. Someone decided to lean all the way in on that and make a commercial out of it. It’s hilarious.
Coffee Break: Graduation season is really fun. Particularly when school administrators aren’t being jerks and actually understand the ceremony is about the kids and not about keeping decorum or whatever nonsense they come up with to hate on fun. This is what graduation should look like.
Snack Time: Pusha T is an anti-gun-violence advocate, and he’s been in these streets delivering his message for quite some time. Recently, he penned a letter to a 6-year-old on the topic, and it’s perfectly adorable.
Dessert: Rest in peace, Cheick Tioté. He will not be forgotten. Tioté, 30, died after collapsing during training in China.
RIP Cheick Tioté, far too young. He left his mark on football history with this goal. pic.twitter.com/WPmjI3dOpX
— Parker (@panoparker) June 5, 2017
The Morning Roast: 6/4/17
It was an animal-heavy show
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The gang got things off to a hot start this week and had more fun than usual. With Mina Kimes on the East Coast, everyone was on the same page from a body clock standpoint. In the first hour, we actually got into some pretty serious baseball talk, discussing whether no-hitters are a big deal and taking a look at Albert Pujols breaking the 600 home-run mark and if anyone actually cares about that.
Perhaps most importantly, though, was that we finally got to discuss what’s going on with The Bachelorette, and it appears that Domonique Foxworth is one step closer to actually turning on his television to watch this show. You might recall that last week ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr. was dead-on when he said he thought that contestant Lee was a racist. GoJo was exactly right. Not to mention, there’s the whole matter that Rachel Lindsay actually dated Kevin Durant. What a world.
In the second hour, we talked with Tom Junod, whose story about the people who handled Muhammad Ali’s body is out in ESPN The Magazine. It’s a rich and detailed look at The Greatest’s last days and the reaction in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. After that, we kept things very high-minded and chatted with Jake Waddell, the dude who threw a catfish on the ice during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. He was awesome. After that is when things went haywire during Top 5.
A conversation about rappers having exotic animals turned into Mina listing the top five favorite ones she’d like to have in a rap video. Then, I said that I once got out of the car during a safari in Africa, and the other two went haywire. Clearly, they’ve never been in that position and don’t know that people do this all the time, even though it is wild dangerous.
The show ended with a visit from a new friend of the show, a character I made up. He’s a classical music enthusiast and, well, he’s rather sophisticated. Enjoy!
‘Cherry Bomb: The Documentary’ is fire
What can’t Tyler, the Creator do well?
4:21 PMTyler, the Creator does the most.
As a creative, he’s got his hands in all sorts of products and projects from music to sports to fashion. But back in 2015, when his solo album Cherry Bomb dropped, people weren’t necessarily ready for his brand of weird to go full mainstream. He had all sorts of people on the album, and music critics had trouble putting it into a box, many just sticking with the word “experimental.”
This documentary, directed by Mikey Alfred, is as madcap as Tyler’s life actually seems. Featuring footage from 2013 to 2015, it’s a proper documentary. Behind-the-scenes footage of what artists can do is often mundane, unless you’re completely obsessed with the subject of the film. But watching Tyler’s creative process is a really informative look at how he works. There’s no big fancy studio. Dude invites his friends over and sets up his equipment in the living room. Also, if you’re a bit of an equipment nerd, you get to see all the gear he works with.
One particularly poignant moment comes when he spits the lyrics to his song “Run,” which he says was motivated by him being on Twitter one morning and seeing a bunch of tweets about people ready to smoke weed first thing in the morning. With just him, sitting on the sidewalk, the overall tone of his lyrics is a little easier to digest for the layperson.
At 42 minutes long, this is definitely for the card-carrying Odd Future fan. Random footage of him playing video games and exercising physical challenges with his friends is spliced with musicians performing in studio. Occasionally, he pops in as a narrator to explain who his famous friends are. There’s no doubting how much of a thought leader he is. If you want more details on that, click here.
But overall, it’ll be interesting to see what he makes next. Tyler is a perfectly named artist who can do all sorts of things. “I feel like rap has a time stamp,” he says at one point. “It’s less boundaries in signing songs.”
Once this guy gets his hands on a movie or, say, an entire channel of programming, whatever the platform. As a stand-alone movie, Cherry Bomb: The Documentary is absolutely inspirational, never mind funny.
Oh, and Jaden Smith makes a cameo, which basically tells you everything you need to know.
Kevin Durant used to date the Bachelorette
Rachel Lindsay and the Warriors star were together at UT-Austin
2:34 PMIt’s been a weird week for The Bachelorette. With one of the contestants being outed as a bigot on social media, the rest of us were wondering just how we were going to cringe through the remainder of the season. Then, the news fairy dropped this incredible headline on us to save the week.
‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay Dated NBA Pro Kevin Durant — All the Details, Us Weekly wrote.
HOLD UP, WHAT? Rachel just took this group of stooges on a basketball date, and DeMario was carrying on about the simple fact that he could even dunk. The rest of them looked like the worst version of guys who didn’t make their high school teams but thought they were dominant because of church league glory days. One dude — it might have even been Lee — was wearing camo sweatpants.
Imagine how stupid these dudes must feel knowing that they were trying to impress Rachel with their hoops game, after SHE DATED KEVIN DURANT. I’m 100 percent disappointed that she didn’t drop that fact on them right then and there after that little game with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watching, to crush their egos regarding who they thought they were dealing with. Truly an opportunity missed.
Back to the onetime happy couple, though. Apparently this all went down when he went to University of Texas at Austin. He was only there for a year, but Us Weekly tells us they dated before she then left to go to law school. Now, she’s engaged and we’re happy for her.
But, let’s not skip past the obvious here. We’re in the middle of the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant is playing out of his mind right now for the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers might need a little something to turn things around (don’t at me, we all know they got blown out in Game 1 of the Finals last year too). Why not have two courtside seats for The Bachelorette once you get back to Cleveland? Great publicity for the show, a little time on the big screen, and hopefully, if you’re a Cavs fan, you can rattle KD a bit.
Seriously, though. Cavaliers: Make this happen.
Daily Dose: 6/2/17
Charles Oakley is not letting the Knicks off the hook
1:36 PMFriday is National Doughnut Day. Personally, I’m a guy who likes plain ones, aka old-fashioned doughnut. Not very exciting.
So, Thursday was a doozy. The president of the United States publicly declared war on science, without actually doing so. By pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, he’s basically said that this country doesn’t need the world for anything and he’s not afraid to test that theory, even when it comes to the health of the globe. Now his aides are scrambling to defend that decision, and it’s getting awkward. No one wants to say out loud that Trump thinks climate change is a hoax, including Kellyanne Conway.
It appears things are improving in Chicago. Which is a good thing for the city and also for all the people who like to cite the Windy City every time some situation comes up in which we need to address police violence. “What about black-on-black crime in Chicago?” is the constant refrain. Well, while the numbers are still unacceptably high for homicides and shootings, they are going down in 2017. But speaking of heinous crimes, this also happened recently in Chicago, which is terrifying.
Wonder Woman comes out Friday, but I’m already a fan. Mainly because a theater in Texas decided to hold a woman-only screening of the film and dudes across the nation flipped out because they just couldn’t bear the thought of being denied something based on their gender. The irony is obvious. But on top of that, this just looks like a really good movie, as WW is an awesome character. Here’s everything you need to know about the movie before you see it, in case it’s been a while since you visited that universe.
Charles Oakley is not messing around when it comes to the New York Knicks. Remember a while back when he decided he was going to put his hands on Madison Square Garden security and yell at the team owner from his seat? He got physically removed for that stunt. Yeah, it was special. Well, both sides still believe they were in the right, and this whole thing is actually going to court. Mind you, Oak had a chance to agree to a scenario in which the charges were dropped, but he’d rather fight. This is not going to end well for anyone.
Coffee Break: What is a Black Dandy, you ask? On a simple level, it’s someone who dresses better than you, because he can and he wants to. But, in the case of one photographer, the meaning is a lot larger than just fashion. It’s about portrayal and stereotyping, and her new project looks to shatter some old molds.
Snack Time: If the only thing we get from Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league is the possibility of the sport getting to the Olympics, it’ll be a success. The FIBA tourney is always a pleasure, and it looks like it’s on the table for 2020.
Dessert: Party Next Door blessed us with some new music for the weekend. Enjoy.
Halima Aden covers ‘Vogue Arabia’
hijab and all, she’s breaking the mold
5:24 PMIf you don’t know who Halima Aden is, where have you been?
You might remember her for taking the stage at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in her hijab, then rocking a burkini for the judges. Now, she’s on the cover of Vogue Arabia and still staying true to her look. The publication is only on its fourth cover after launching in March.
This is dope for several reasons. But you can watch below and let Halima tell you herself.
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All Day Podcast: 6/1/17
NBA Finals, Muhammad Ali’s death and LeBron James’ eloquence
2:42 PMWhat’s up, kiddos, we’re back. The podcast has been retooled a bit, as you’ll notice, which I explain more in the show.
This week, I talked to Marc Spears about the upcoming NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is already an epic matchup even before the games start. If you don’t know, it’s the first time that two teams have faced off three times in a row in the NBA Finals, and the first time it’s happened in any of the major American sports leagues where the teams were tied 1-1 after the first two series.
Perhaps most interesting was Spears’ discussion about what the Dubs mean to Oakland, California, as a place. He went deep on what that team moving from one part of the Bay Area to another, San Francisco, could signal for not only basketball fans but also for other sports franchises there.
Switching gears: I had the pleasure of chatting with Tom Junod, who’s got a new story for ESPN The Magazine about Muhammad Ali and his last days. It’s rich with detail, specifics and beautiful prose surrounding the greatest man alive, in his time. If you’re not familiar with the intricacies of how bodies are prepared for burial in Islam, there are details on that. Junod delves into the process of getting this story done, not just the topic, which as a writer I find fascinating.
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Daily Dose: 6/1/17
Racism rears its ugly head at African-American museum
12:48 PMSo, I’m going to start featuring my favorite tweet of the morning in this spot just to get things started. Here’s Thursday’s.
You gotta be a majorly hateful person to leave a noose at the Blacksonian. Think about it. Either you planned for months to come to D.C., or got up early to get downtown and pull some racist nonsense just to make you feel better about yourself. There is a part of me that feels bad for people who have so much hate in their heart, because they have no idea how limiting it is. Nonetheless, this matter must be addressed, and Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture — a great dude, btw — did as much Wednesday. The cowardice in the perpetrator’s act is staggering.
We’ve talked about wedding music before, here. It’s a tough balance to figure out exactly what’s going to hype up a crowd, what works for the wedding party and what’s going to be good enough to get people to remember your nuptials. I’ve been to some weddings with some pretty awful music, personally. It’s so awkward. But some people like awkward. So now, FiveThirtyEight is looking for those wedding songs that no couple ever wants to hear, which is a hilarious premise for a playlist if you ask me.
Drugs make you do wild things. This is why people like them, but this is also why they’re relatively dangerous, no matter how the government may classify their existence. Some people have to take things to make their bodies or minds work. And in some cases, that can come with disastrous effects. Take for example this woman, whose husband is on antidepressants, which makes him physically abusive in his sleep. It’s probably time to start sleeping in separate beds.
There are a lot of storylines at play in the NBA Finals. But my favorite is Mike Brown. He used to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now he is acting head coach for the Golden State Warriors. There’s no way to deny how bizarre of a twist that is for two teams that are battling for the title. And he didn’t just coach the team — Brown coached many of these actual dudes before the Cavaliers fired him. Now, Kyrie Irving is looking back on his time with Brown as his coach, when he basically got Brown fired because he wouldn’t change up his game.
Coffee Break: Being a mascot is tough. You don’t get to talk. You always have to be jovial, and people are very rude to you in general. This week at Citi Field, Mr. Met gave a fan the finger, and it was unfortunately caught on camera, which means Mr. Met will now be a different person inside that suit.
Snack Time: Mac and cheese might be slightly overrated, but this picture of a little girl not letting a Disney princess get between her and her food is downright hilarious.
Dessert: Donald Glover is out here serving LOOKS, y’all.