Taylor Swift’s cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s ‘September’ is the bland potato salad Chadwick Boseman warned us about
Seriously, no one thought to suggest another song?
11:14 AMLet’s get the facts out of the way first. Country megastar Taylor Swift’s cover of Earth, Wind & Fire’s 1978 landmark cookout classic “September” is the latest in the Spotify Singles series. Previous installments include Miley Cyrus covering Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” and Demi Lovato doing Aretha Franklin’s “Ain’t No Way.” There are several other examples, but you get the gist of the blueprint. To be fair, covers are a staple in music dating back before Swift or the internet itself were even born. There’s no denying Swift’s song will introduce the original to an entirely new audience in her massive fan base. And if EWF can get some coins off this on the back end, it quite simply is what it is.
But all that being said, this — this, my friends — is the “bland a– potato salad” King T’Challa was telling us about last week during Black Jeopardy on Saturday Night Live. (Seriously, watch the skit and tell me it doesn’t fit this to a tee.) Swift might very well be a huge fan of the record. Millions of people have a sentimental attachment to “September.” It’s a classic in quite literally every sense of the musical definition. You can’t go to a black family reunion and not hear “September.” You can’t go to a black family’s house over the holidays and not hear the song at some point. And you absolutely can’t go to a wedding reception and not hear it — the first half of the reception because we all know the back half of the reception is when the open bar and twerking commence. This isn’t even hyperbole when categorizing the record as one of the most important of a decade that produced a plethora of timeless anthems and albums. You can’t strip the soul and groove away from a song and expect it to fly. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
To keep it a buck with you, I’m not even mad at Taylor. She’s obviously connected to the song enough to want to pay homage. I’m more so mad at everyone else who was in the studio session. Like no one thought to say, “Maybe ‘September’ doesn’t need a banjo in it.” Like no one suggested, “What do you think about [insert another song]?” True story — one time I purposely moved in the barber’s chair when I was 8 or 9. I wanted to get a bald head like Michael Jordan and I had a basketball game that weekend, so in my mind this would all work perfectly. Nevertheless, my mom cursed me out, telling me I “looked more like a bright a– light bulb” than my favorite player. I played horribly that weekend, and it’s all because I went rogue in the barber’s chair. In my mind, that’s what happened on this cover of “September.”
Last but not least, though, R.I.P. Maurice White. And since we’re all gathered here today, we might as well listen to the original.
‘Art of a Champion’ exhibit celebrates best playoff sneakers from Nike, Jordan and Converse
Ray Allen, Rasheed Wallace and Julius ‘Dr. J’ Erving represented the three brands — and kicks they made iconic
4:20 PMNEW YORK — Back in 2012, a white mouthguard worn by LeBron James throughout one of his first playoff runs as a member of the Miami Heat featured one simple inscription: “XVI.” What those Roman numerals signify, 16, means a lot to the King and should to every player in the NBA. That’s because 16 wins in the postseason are what it takes to earn the distinction of being called an NBA champion.
On Monday, Nike, Air Jordan and Converse honored the upcoming 2018 playoffs, as well as that coveted number James put on his mouthpiece several years ago as motivation, with the exclusive “Art of a Champion” exhibit at Nike’s New York headquarters in midtown Manhattan. It featured a collection of 16 different pairs of sneakers from the three brands, representing multiple generations of basketball. Each pair, including a revamped version of the black-and-white low-top Converse that Bill Russell sported in Game 7 of the 1962 NBA Finals and the “Pass the Torch” Air Jordan 1s that celebrate Kawhi Leonard’s winning Finals MVP in 2014, were put on display below unique portraits of the shoes, crafted by a group of artists.
Other sneakers in the collection included Kobe Bryant’s “Final Seconds” Nike Kobe 1 Protros, Kevin McHale’s “No Easy Buckets” Converse Fastbreak high-tops, Scottie Pippen’s “Trifecta” Nike Air Maestro IIs, Rasheed Wallace’s “Rude Awakening” Nike Air Force 1 High Retros, Maya Moore’s “Rook to Queen” Air Jordan 11 lows, Wes Unseld’s “Intangibles” Converse Star Player Oxes, Moses Malone’s “Fo’ Fi’ Fo” Nike Air Force 1 Low Retros, Kevin Durant’s “Battle Tested” Nike Zoom KD IVs, LeBron James’ “25 Straight” Nike Zoom LeBron Soldier 1s, Julius “Dr. J” Erving’s “The Scoop” Converse Pro Leather mid-tops, Michael Jordan’s “Last Shot” Air Jordan 14s, Ray Allen’s “Locked and Loaded” Air Jordan 28s and “Gold Standard” Nike Air Force 270s. Every pair will be available at retail from April to June.
Before the gallery was unveiled, ESPN’s Cari Champion hosted a panel discussion with Allen, Wallace and Erving, who shared their favorite playoff memories from their careers and the shoes they wore at the time. Allen repped Air Jordan (he’s been signed to the brand since its inception in 1996). Wallace, an Air Force 1 aficionado during his 15-year career in the league, talked Nike. And Dr. J, the O.G. of the bunch, reminisced about the old-school swag of Converse.
“It’s a lot to be said about this shoe, as well as the history of Converse,” said Erving, pointing to the Converse on his feet. “Growing up in the ’50s and ’60s, the inspiration came from Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson.”
With the reporters, influencers and sneakerheads in attendance, Allen, Erving and Wallace stuck around to detail the experiences they had playing in their signature shoes that the gallery featured. In the middle of the exhibit stood the WNBA’s silver championship trophy and NBA’s gold Larry O’Brien Trophy, which many of the 16 pairs on display helped players obtain.
BET’s ‘The Quad’ ends after two seasons
The show’s co-creator Felicia Henderson sent out a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to fans
2:02 PMOne of BET’s most gripping nighttime dramas is coming to an end after only two seasons.
The Quad, which aired its season two finale on April 3, was one of BET’s most entertaining original shows set on the campus of a fictional historically black university. Many of the storylines that stretched over two seasons covered both pleasant and harsh realities of campus life, including corruption, sexual assault and financial woes.
The show featured prominent and seasoned actors such as Anika Noni Rose, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Jasmine Guy, Sean Blakemore and E. Roger Mitchell. Plot twists and exposure to storylines of the show’s many characters were continually developing before Monday’s announcement.
A message tweeted out by the show’s co-creator Felicia D. Henderson indicated that lower ratings led to the show’s cancellation. According to Nielsen ratings, the show’s second season averaged a 0.2 in the adults 18-49 demographic and 553,000 viewers per episode in Live+Same Day — each metric down around 30 percent from the first season.
Henderson’s message was largely a thank you to fans who supported the show throughout during its two-season run.
Unfortunate news… #TheQuadBET #QuadSquad #sQuad #QuadStrong @TheQuadWriters #BestFansEver #Gratitude #VeryProud. Special thanks to @rolandsmartin for your ride or die support! pic.twitter.com/u7XP3EtTaV
— felicia d. henderson (@followFeliciaD) April 9, 2018