Kanye West is having a weird week
It’s one of those where he’s way more ‘Dad’ than ‘Yeezy’
3:53 PMAs the foremost creative genius of his time — in his mind, at least — every once in a while Kanye West still takes an L or two. This has been one of said weeks. First, he got dragged on TV by Kim Kardashian for not being familiar with the somewhat vulgar slang of “magic stick,” which her husband was saying in front of their daughter, North, on a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Watch below.
Yeah, this is awkward. Furthering the “thanks, but no thanks” theme in his life, along comes IKEA. In an interview with the U.K.’s BBC Radio 1, he reached out to the Swedish retailer about an opportunity to collaborate. You might recall that he scored a nearly $1 billion deal with Adidas, so he’s used to shooting his shot in this regard. One problem, IKEA isn’t feeling it. And beyond that, the furniture company threw a little shade, too.
Now, it turns out the most dad thing of all time that he could be doing, “Carpool Karaoke” with CBS’ The Late Late Show host James Corden, is even creating problems. The comedian/talk show host told British GQ that Mr. West has canceled not once, but twice, leading you to wonder how first lady Michelle Obama fit this into her schedule before he could.
Anyways, the question here becomes, What do you play if Ye is in the ride? I imagine he’s not exactly very friendly about handing over the aux cord, but if it meant he knew he’d hear his own music, things would probably go well. Songs to go for: Heartless, Good Life (maybe with a T-Pain cameo, too) and Otis. Songs to stay away from: Gold Digger, N—– In Paris and definitely All Day.
Or maybe just a bunch of Taylor Swift songs.
Black Lives Matter groups release demands
and the list includes reparations and eradicating the death penalty
4:00 PMBlack Lives Matter is not just a concept, but also a movement. It’s not only a hashtag, but also an organization trying to enact change on the macro level in the United States. Since the phrase took off as a rallying cry for various groups, the patchwork of causes and goals has been a challenge to put together in one place. On Monday, that happened.
“In response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against black communities in the U.S. and globally, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of black people from across the country have come together with renewed energy and purpose to articulate a common vision and agenda,” the initiative reads.
The platform includes six tenets: end the war on black people, economic justice, divest-invest, community control, political power and, perhaps most importantly, reparations. It’s that last word that will likely get most people talking, but the simple tasks of coming together on this effort is quite the accomplishment itself.
The question of “Who runs the movement?” is one that’s been used to discredit and divide the civil rights movement since its inception. With a specific call to action in place that more than 50 groups have formed through a coalition, the catch-all criticism of, “You don’t even know what you want,” doesn’t hold as much water.
— we have nothing to lose but our chains (@katrinalrogers) August 1, 2016
Two years ago, when The Atlantic‘s Ta-Nehisi Coates released his opus magazine series titled “The Case for Reparations,” it rocked the nation because so many people who considered themselves allies, woke or at least slightly more self-aware or educated than the average person, didn’t have as good of an understanding of economic disenfranchisement as they thought they did.
Slavery didn’t happen then suddenly end in a vacuum, thus suddenly leveling a playing field that never truly existed anyway. It set in motion the concept of white supremacy, financial inequality and overall discrimination that kept black folks poor by design, not happenstance.
Do these demands released Monday seem practical? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not taking a fair look at the nature of the problem. The initial offenses and systemic bigotry created a scenario in which any change from the status quo will by nature feel impractical if you are not affected the same way as another.
“Our hope is that this is both an articulation of our collective aspirations as well as a document that provides tangible resources for groups and individuals doing the work,” the platform’s website reads.”We recognize that some of the demands in this document will not happen today. But we also recognize that they are necessary for our liberation.”
Also, if you need a refresher course on a larger level, the glossary is as real as it gets.
After 35 years, ‘Yo! MTV Raps’
is still the best thing the network has ever done
Mtv turns 35 today. (Confirmed: you're old af.) What was your fave Mtv show?
— Complex Pop Culture (@ComplexPop) August 1, 2016
With MTV turning 35 years old today, Complex posed an interesting question on Twitter. Shockingly, the choices did not include Yo! MTV Raps, a program that ESPN’s Bomani Jones referred to as “the single most important show in the history of the network.” He’s not wrong. It’s nearly impossible to overstate the program’s importance to the culture. Debuting in 1988 with Fab 5 Freddy as the host, it had instant credibility and was vital in the global branding of hip-hop at a time when it was still considered a niche genre.
The show ended in 1995, meaning it effectively spanned what many people call the golden era of hip-hop, in no small part due to the show itself. It was rebooted and rebranded in different ways over the years, but the original program (the Ed Lover era definitely included) was a vehicle for the art form that has never been replicated on a large scale since. There were not only incredible guests and performances, but also genuine moments of candor from artists that we so rarely see in a studio setting these days.
Events that were legitimately important happened on the show: going to Compton, California, to meet N.W.A., the Rockstead Crew’s 18th anniversary, a wildly intoxicated Ol’ Dirty Bastard showing up on set to everyone’s bewilderment and walking through Chinatown in New York City with the Beastie Boys, just to name a few off the top of my head. The series finale was one long freestyle session and it was amazing.
At the most basic level, MTV had the vision to see that hip-hop was not only marketable, but would eventually become a vital pillar of the music world. Of course, that took longer than it should have, but the show’s co-creator Ted Demme was about that life. A lot of journalists, fans and others often look back on certain eras of artistry with rose-colored lenses, but Yo! MTV Raps really was that solid from a consistency standpoint. It became a global brand that influenced a generation. After school, you watched Ed Lover and Doctor Dre. Period.
You want more? Check out this Rock Doc that VH1, also a Viacom network, did a while back on how the program was created.
“To have a show that shows some love for rap like that?” TLC’s Chilli said in the film. “I just thought it was the greatest thing they’ve ever done on that network.”
Daily Dose: 8/1/16
Miss Teen USA’s racist past won’t hurt her future
10:20 AMLast weekend was the last weekend until February that we’ll have without football. Just thought I’d put that out there for you to marinate on.
If you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump is involved in yet another row. The Republican presidential nominee is in a word fight with the parents of a Muslim soldier who was killed during combat in Iraq in 2004. What started off as moving speech at the Democratic National Convention from Khizr Khan has turned into a mind-boggling back and forth that has everyone in the GOP scrambling to not completely denigrate a Gold Star family. ABC News’ Brian McBride breaks down how this story has unraveled so quickly.
Beauty pageants are sort of an archaic concept, but they still have quite a bit of traction in many places. Girls are held to strange standards as they represent whichever sash and/or crown they’ve been given, so things from people’s past start bubbling up and creating controversy. But in the case of Karlie Hay, who won Miss Teen USA on Saturday, a few N-words on her Twitter feed won’t be putting her title in jeopardy. She did apologize for it, but it seems like maybe that’s not quite enough. ABC’s Joi-Marie McKenzie reports.
Worried about Zika? Florida might not be the place for you. The virus that’s been causing rampant fears all over Brazil due to the Olympics has now spread to the sunshine state, which is mildly terrifying. Particularly if you’re a woman trying to have a baby. However, there are some people who will tell you it’s not a big deal, but there’s no getting around the fact that some babies have been born with microcephaly as a result of the virus. FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker answers five enduring questions about Zika.
It’s been a rough summer for Draymond Green. First, his team lost in the NBA Finals after he decided that hitting LeBron James in the man region was a smart idea, and got himself suspended for a game, which proved to be the turning point of the series. Then, he got into a fight in his old college town, which is just a bad look. Now, in a situation that’s come full circle, he accidentally posted a picture of his own junk to Snapchat. Awkward. ESPN’s Calvin Watkins has the story.
Coffee Break: Frank Ocean either seriously likes messing with people’s emotions or has a real issue with completing tasks. This morning, he released a live stream of something, that most people presumed might actually be music, but alas, it wasn’t. Why would it be?
Dessert: Here’s some good news. New music from Earl Sweatshirt.
Baron Batch gets popped
for graffiti tagging all over Pittsburgh
7:00 AMBaron Batch is a cool dude. The former Pittsburgh Steelers running back does all sorts of stuff with his artwork that makes people smile in and arohttps://theundefeated.com/whhw//und Pittsburgh, and we appreciate him for that. But he also likes to get up, as the kids say. He’s a skilled artist and he does things like let people eat food and watch him paint at the same time, which is awesome.
He also genuinely enjoys the vandalism side of the game, which is unfortunate, but part of the lifestyle, if you’re a certain type of person. Anyway, he tends to also post his work on Instagram, which, very plainly, is a great way to get caught doing illegal stuff.
Unfortunately, he had to surrender to the police recently for his work along a certain bridge in Pennsylvania. Not a good look, but hopefully this doesn’t stunt his artistic career.
Let’s go skating in Cuba
Because that’s not a thing a lot of people get to do
7:00 AMCuba is a fascinating place. Not just in terms of the political and cultural atmosphere, but it is also an amazing place to look at, which means that any skateboarding happening there is automatically tremendous. There’s also a certain nakedness to the urban landscape that makes everything feel a bit more pure when it comes to kicking and pushing.
This trailer from VICE Sports for an upcoming documentary on skating in Cuba features the nonprofit organization Cuba Skate and shows you just how glorious the nation is, all through the eyes of the skateboard world, which is a tremendous lens through which to see the globe. Obviously.
‘Major Key’: An emoji review
DJ Khaled’s new album is 🔥🔥🔥
3:41 PMDJ Khaled, one of the most important people in today’s age of music, recently released his new project Major Key. Before the album dropped, Khaled did a great job of promoting it. Whether it was releasing the I Got the Keys music video after the BET Awards or preaching his keys to success on his legendary Snapchat account, Khaled has had his fans on the edge of their seats waiting for this album.
It’s finally here.
And it’s a project filled with a dynamic feature list and some pretty good production. Khaled has himself … another one *runs off stage*.
Without further ado, here is a track-by-track review of each song … using only emojis:
- I Got the Keys (feat. Jay Z & Future)
Jay Z: 👴👍
- For Free (feat. Drake)
- Nas Album Done (feat. Nas)
- Holy Key (feat. Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar & Better Wright)
Beat: 😇😇😇Big Sean: 💯🔥🔥🔥
Kendrick Lamar: ✊✊🔥🔥
Betty Wright: 😮😮🙌🙌
- Jermaine’s Interlude (feat. J. Cole)
J. Cole: 👍👍👍
- Ima Be Alright (feat. Bryson Tiller & Future)
Bryson Tiller: 💁
- Do You Mind (feat. Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown, August Alsina, Jeremih, Future & Rick Ross)
Nicki Minaj: 💁
Chris Brown: 🎤🎯
August Alsina: 🌞
Rick Ross: 😎💥
- Pick These H— Apart (Feat. Kodak Black, Jeezy & French Montana)
Beat:⛈⛈⛈Kodak Black: 😲🔥😲
😬French Montana: 😐😑
- F— Up The Club (feat. Future, Rick Ross, YG & Yo Gotti)
Rick Ross: ☃️☃️☃️
Yo Gotti: 😈😈😈
- Work For It (feat. Big Sean, Gucci Mane & 2 Chainz)
Big Sean: 🔥😱🔂
Gucci Mane: 👑👑
2 Chainz: 🆒
- Don’t Ever Play Yourself (feat. Jadakiss, Fabolous, Fat Joe, Busta Rhymes & Kent Jones)
Fat Joe: 😆
Busta Rhymes: 😵💥
Kent Jones: 😅👍👍
- Tourist (feat. Travis Scott & Lil Wayne)
Lil Wayne: 🌚
- Forgive me Father (feat. Meghan Trainor, Wiz Khalifa & Wale)
Meghan Trainor: 😑
Wiz Khalifa: 🆗
- Progress (feat. Mavado)
Overall, this is a very solid project from DJ Khaled. If you are going to skip to a certain song just to hear a track from your favorite artist, I encourage you to check out the rest of the album. It has a song for everyone, and besides a couple that fall flat, this is a strong project. Well done, Khaled.
Rep. Joyce Beatty rocked that outfit
and made a statement in more ways than one
When Rep. Joyce Beatty, who represents Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District, took to the Democratic National Convention stage Thursday night in Philadelphia, her white frock reminded a lot of folks of Melania Trump’s Republican National Convention dress.
No word yet on whether it actually was the very same Roksanda shift, but that’s hardly the point. This is about Rep. Beatty bringing some next-level, grown-woman shade to the national political stage, and we salute her badassness.
Daily Dose: 7/29/16
Hillary Clinton is very here for the haters
I mean, let’s be real: Hillary Clinton came out and stunted on everyone with the all-white pant suit, acting like we didn’t know that was EXACTLY what she was going to do the whole time. She was super communicative, mad elegant and did a great job redefining what we like to call the definition of “presidential.” It was pretty glorious on many levels. Anyway, the reason this all matters is because what she said was paramount, obviously. Her daughter, Chelsea, was out there as well, by the way. Whatever, Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination, so this presidential race is officially a party.
So, there’s a show I can’t stop watching on television. It’s Action Bronson — the Queens, New York-bred rapper who occasionally finds himself in a decent amount of controversy — and his friends watching the pseudoscience classic Ancient Aliens and getting extremely high the whole time. Look, this program is extremely stupid, particularly pointless, but exceedingly hilarious. Think about it, do you really believe in dinosaurs? How do you feel about prehistoric space travel? VICE has the latest episode here.
Football is so annoying. I just needed to say that. I respect the game in the sense that everyone who chooses to potentially blow their brain to shreds for the sake of entertaining the masses is someone who I am in no position to pass judgment on. But in late July, we start thinking about certain teams in the NFL and how they are going to fix all their problems and ease the pain of some fan base I definitely do not care about. One of those squads is definitely the New York Jets, who are perpetually useless. FiveThirtyEight’s Chase Stuart has a lot to say about their quarterback situation.
If I asked you what Carmelo Anthony’s greatest achievement as a basketball player was, what would you say? It’s kind of a tough question. He won a national championship at Syracuse, then went into the league, started scoring mad buckets and then, yeah nothing. No rings. No NBA Finals appearances. But you know what he does do? Win gold medals at the Olympics. So, if he wins a third gold medal in Rio, are we in a position to say he’s a definite Hall of Famer as a result? The homey Amin Elhassan has an answer.
Coffee Break: We need to talk about vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine. He showed up to the Democratic National Convention dressed like a guy who used to manage a Circuit City and I love him for it. But also, he’s just so affable and tremendous that’s it next to impossible to dislike him. But, he’ll still get these dad jokes.
Snack Time: Natalie Randolph is an awesome person. She used to coach Coolidge Senior High School’s football team in Washington, D.C., and was a heck of a player for the D.C. Divas. Now, she’s still doing big things.
These Arthur memes are out of control
How Twitter turned a childhood classic into a constant joke
4:20 PMMemes of the TV series Arthur have been a staple of Twitter for quite a while — from the D.W. memes to the classic roast session where Twitter was too busy laughing at how the main character’s headphones were never over his ears, like so:
The trend started with a simple picture of Arthur’s fist, which stems from an episode in which Arthur actually punches D.W.
The birth of a meme pic.twitter.com/SNUyTO4UFz
— Eric (@iRespectFemaIes) July 28, 2016
From this meme, there have been many others that have recently surfaced, starting with ones of Arthur’s fist.
Waiter: "checks together or separate?"
— Cozy Ted is 6'3 (@Teddybeaar_) July 28, 2016
When you've got the AUX, the bass is about to drop, and it fades out to "In a quarter mile, make a left on…" pic.twitter.com/teskj8sdH7
— Starboi (@djvogue) July 28, 2016
when you looking good on snapchat and he dont watch your story pic.twitter.com/91FBfY5mMZ
— sue (@sussxo) July 28, 2016
"Hampton is the real H-" pic.twitter.com/b1Xtz1bKvJ
— Typhaneto (@TyphanieAndCo) July 28, 2016
Then they branched off into all sorts of fun foolishness.
When you thought you had $4, check your account and find out you actually have $15.67 pic.twitter.com/02PDgUAF32
— femi. (@ModernAfrican) July 28, 2016
These jokes are out of control.
"Slaves actually had very comfortable living condi- " pic.twitter.com/jbXQCeUv9V
— #LetMyPeopleGLO (@MichellCClark) July 28, 2016
They might as well replace stock photos with Arthur pictures at this point.
How college websites look when they're trying to pretend like their school is diverse. pic.twitter.com/TN9AY6t5lu
— Papi Chulo (@AmandaKuffoh) July 28, 2016
And, as usual, D.W. is not impressed.
"Send me a pic that's not on Twitter or IG" pic.twitter.com/32QlZUddfW
— Vibranium Third Leg 🇩🇴 (@OptimusGrind__) July 28, 2016
There are so many Arthur memes that you are bound to log onto your timeline and find numerous ones.
When you've scrolled all the way down to his 187th week on instagram & know every woman you should keep tabs on pic.twitter.com/cHao80Xm4b
— LoveYourself (@ScottieBeam) July 28, 2016
"Make sure you get the belt in the pic too" pic.twitter.com/2OMN0Bzi5Y
— This Tiny Notification saying I (@TinyTiniTine) July 28, 2016
With all these tweets, Arthur is vying for the top spot in terms of most meme-able content. The show is in a category with SpongeBob SquarePants at this point.
Be right back as I go watch old Arthur episodes to remember how he used to be before Twitter got to him.
Vogue’s ’73 Questions with Serena Williams’
It’s a must-see video
We all know Serena Williams as the best tennis player on the planet. But rarely have we been granted a peek at the tennis great’s sweet, funny and flirty side. A few highlights gleaned from the clip: Williams is above haters, terrible at basketball, owns all of her controversial fashion choices and thinks the funniest person she knows is “Aubrey,” whom we’ll assume is her rumored paramour, Drake.
A quick aside: Clinton Yates officially offered me this particular “Superena” item ostensibly because it falls in my style wheelhouse. Smarter minds know your boy was having difficulty dialing back his reflexive fawning factor. No shade on this side because that body! That dress! Speaking of which, skip ahead to the 6:55 mark for Williams’ dance moves that are just dying to be memed. Y’all can thank me later.
Remember when Bow Wow was great?
Now, he’s fighting — and struggling — to stay relevant
1:38 PMLet’s have a moment of silence for the once great music career of Shad “Bow Wow” Moss. Because on Wednesday, we were reminded how the 29-year-old rapper is struggling to be relevant in the music game.
With the Democratic National Convention now in full swing and the election quickly approaching, one of Bow Wow’s Twitter followers asked him the obvious question: “Hillary or Trump?” Bow Wow took a nonchalant political approach to which another follower disagreed, saying that he should care because he’s black.
@bonezmayne you SHOULD care, based on the fact that your ancestors died so that you could have the right to vote!
— MSF (@mfromthesfbay) July 27, 2016
Bow Wow’s response? That he’s not black. He’s mixed.
Man i only believe what the eyes see. Im mixed. I dont know what my ancestors was doing. I only know what i see! https://t.co/OdDO2pvtBS
— Bow Wow (@smoss) July 27, 2016
Well, this did not sit well with his followers, especially when Bow Wow went as far as to say that the Moss side (his dad’s side) of the family is white and Native American. He even posted a picture of his father on Instagram to prove his point, before tweeting that his dad looks like “a drunk Cuban with no rhythm.”
Bow Wow has lost it, but let us not forget how big he became after hopping onto the scene as a 13-year-old rapper under the tutelage of producer Jermaine Dupri. You could argue that, at his peak in the mid-2000s, Bow Wow was one of the most, if not THE most, popular artists in the game.
So, let’s take a stroll down memory lane and remember three of the best tracks he ever gave us.
“Basketball” feat. Jermaine Dupri, Fabolous & Fundisha (2002)
The hit song from the soundtrack for the 2002 movie Like Mike, in which Bow Wow played a 13-year-old who found a magical pair of Michael Jordan’s childhood sneakers, which gave him the talent to play in the NBA when he wore them. If Calvin Cambridge wasn’t your hero as a kid, you’re crazy. He won an NBA dunk contest and crossed up Allen Iverson. What more could you ask for at 13 years old?
“Let Me Hold You” feat. Omarion (2005)
Bow Wow had it all at this point. The black-on-black Range Rover. The girl. The smooth-singing wingman Omarion. How could you have not wanted to be this guy (except for the braids and beads)? Can’t even lie, this video was on frequent rotation in middle school. *hits Let Me Hold You dance*
“Fresh Az I’m Iz” feat. Mike JoneS (2005)
The most epic line from this song: Talk around town as if I’m wit’ Ciara. Yes, Bow Wow dated singer Ciara (and Rev. Run’s daughter, Angela Simmons, if we’re keeping track). He made the track Like You with Ciara, which is yet another banger.
Speaking of Ciara, maybe that’s how Bow Wow can really get back into the spotlight. A Russell Wilson diss track with Future. You heard it here first.
Stance drops new hotness
This time, cartoon style
Stance is back at it again with the fly socks, and this time the only thing missing is a tandem bicycle. The streetwear hosiery company released six new pairs Thursday to add to its NBA Legends and Future Legends collections. There are seven total players featured in the new pack. Among the current players featured are: The New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis, the Houston Rockets’ James Harden, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry.
In a shoutout to a few Hall of Famers and Dream Team members, one pair features Chicago Bulls legend Scottie Pippen and the novelty of the bunch is a pair that has one sock each with Utah Jazz legends Karl Malone and John Stockton. “The cartoon styles are designed to fit the aesthetic of both hardcore NBA fans and sock enthusiasts,” according to Stance. “More than that, from a performance perspective, they are engineered to be both durable and comfortable.”
As the official sock provider of the NBA, that’s a given. But if you’re looking to make a statement in these late summer cookout streets, now you’re ready.
Daily Dose: 7/28/16
President Obama lets it be known who he’s voting for
So, that Hawaiian dude isn’t bad at talking, no? President Barack Obama got on stage Wednesday night at the Democratic National Convention and reminded everyone A) Why they voted for him to begin with and B) Why they should vote for his choice, Hillary Clinton, in September. It was a different president than usual. A tad more braggadocious, a slight bit more casual, but definitely as hopeful as usual. Thursday night is the coda on this whirlwind two weeks that started in Cleveland with the Republican National Convention. What are we going to see Thursday night? ABC News’ Meghan Keneally has the details.
You probably consider yourself an “olive oil person.” Quick omelet? Dash of EVOO. A little tomato and fresh basil salad for the guests? Hit it with the tasting blend. On a countryside hike in Italy? Sure, we’ll take the factory tour! For real though, the olive oil industry, at least in the United States, is kind of a mess. Think of it this way: What if you’d never had beer? If I served you a random one from a can and told you it was “premium,” how would you know the difference? FiveThirtyEight’s Anna Maria Barry-Jester explains how this applies in your kitchen.
When I was a kid, I was afraid of dancehall. It was not quite grown folks music, but it was too sexy for me. You didn’t need to understand the words to know that. I just knew that every time I heard it, people started moving their bodies in ways I hadn’t seen before. Now, dancehall as a musical genre is everywhere. It’s been co-opted by pop music, the same way that so many so-called niche brands have been over the years by those looking for radio play. Ultimately, that’s a good thing in my eyes, but VICE‘s Sharine Taylor hopes pop stars don’t steal it.
Rock, paper, scissors might be the best game of all time. Think about it. You learn it almost before you can speak and it applies as a great way to problem solve for the rest of your life. I have a buddy from high school who posted a story once on Facebook about how when he and his wife’s baby would cry at night, that was the game they played to see who had to get up and handle it. Amazing. Anyway, when you’re in a big league clubhouse for 162 games a year, you find ways to make things interesting. Check out how the Detroit Tigers play the classic game.
Coffee Break: SoundCloud is my jam. I use it all the time and it’s basically how I listen to music and is incredible for these embed purposes. Now, they might sell. How much, you may ask? How about a cool billion. I have to be honest, this is way more than I guessed it would value at.
Dessert: This sounds like a cool job.