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.
All Day Podcast: 7/26/16
‘Too late or not, Michael Jordan talking on the matter is as big as it gets’
5:46 PMA big day for the All Day Podcast as the crew — host Clinton Yates, senior style writer Jill Hudson and senior writer Domonique Foxworth — tackled one of the most popular conversations in the world of sports and culture this week:
On Monday, Michael Jordan wrote a one-page open letter released exclusively to The Undefeated on the recent shootings of African-Americans and the targeting of police officers. Clinton and Jill provide interesting perspectives on how large of an impact a statement such as this could have, given Jordan’s stature in both sports and American society as a whole. Domonique, who filled in on the podcast for staff writer Justin Tinsley for a second straight week, chimes in to discuss the type of stand NFL players could have during the upcoming season. (Check out Domonique’s conversation on race and violence in America with NFL cornerback Richard Sherman.)
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Also on the pod: Justin calls in from Philadelphia, where he’s on the ground at the Democratic National Convention after also covering the Republican National Convention last week. The crew also discusses the new dating app, Smoochr, which has an odd business model that has recently received a lot of criticism.
Last but not least, this week’s opening segment is probably the funniest the gang has ever produced. One-word summary of it: Twerkfest.
Give it a listen, and if you have any feedback or show ideas, feel free to email us at email@example.com.
Miss Cleo dies at 53
The pay-per-call psychic icon had cancer
Glad to see as much effort is being put into Miss Cleo jokes today as there was in the 90s pic.twitter.com/qRB4jj22PD
— Nat Baimel (@NatBaimel) July 26, 2016
2016 is rude. RIP Miss Cleo. I enjoyed your free readings. You were a cultural phenomenon.
— Karlie Hustle (@THEkarliehustle) July 26, 2016
During her heyday in the late ’90s, Miss Cleo, born Youree Harris, was everywhere. Her over-the-top commercials and outsized character were the stuff American dreams are made of and the judgmental tarot card shuffling and raw dog advice made it must-see-TV. Miss Cleo, who is the father of my baby? Well, she’s got an answer for that.
Her “Call me now!” tagline was a frequent chorus in high school locker rooms, and in an era in which programs like The Jerry Springer Show were in their heyday, her shtick genuinely wasn’t that ridiculous. Check this out, a classic from 2002, which by the way is far later than I realized she was even still doing this. She was often parodied in pop culture, as well. People would even call other places claiming to be her, prank calling folks with taglines from a soundboard.
Basically, as far as snake-oil salespersons go, she was as legit as it gets. Of course, in the end, it all fell apart when the Federal Trade Commission came after her company for various shady and illegal actions of all types. She eventually settled, but by that point her time with the Psychic Readers Network was done. It was a strong hustle while it lasted.
Anyway, Miss Cleo will always hold a special place in our hearts and taught a sometimes valuable lesson for anyone trying to be successful in show business: Fake it till you make it.
Future and DJ Esco channel O.J. Simpson
in new music video for ‘Juice’
10:14 AMThe meltdown continues for Future.
The Atlanta rapper has taken his obsession with his baby momma, Ciara, to the next level, with a video released this week titled “Juice.” Technically, this is DJ Esco’s song, but technically, the white Ford Bronco that former football great O.J. Simpson led California police on a chase in back in 1993 belonged to his friend Al Cowlings. You get the idea.
We open the presentation with CNN footage of the “not guilty” verdict being read in the Los Angeles courtroom, an event that drastically polarized America, as documented in Ezra Edelman’s 30 for 30 film O.J.: Made in America. We then cut instantly to a shot of a different white Ford Bronco, ominously portending what we’re going to just presume is something that will not hold up well in a family court. Ciara, Future’s most recent ex, is married to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. She has previously expressed concern about Future’s threatening actions.
Not to put too fine a point on it, this video is creepy on many levels. First, actively affiliating yourself with anything having to do with a person widely believed to be a double-murderer is just odd, but then again, that’s something rappers choose to do all the time, just not O.J. in particular. Second, for all the hilariously tall tales of gangsterism that many hip-hop artists try to sell as art, recreating that chase is potentially the least believable of all.
It was genuinely the seminal television moment of a generation, not just another thing that people happened to be watching. To say that DJ Esco hanging out a truck window after smoking a blunt while the cops are on his trail doesn’t quite evoke the same emotion as the moment, it’s pantomiming would be a massive understatement. The parts you want to laugh at ultimately aren’t funny, because, again: O.J.
Thankfully, from a visual standpoint (oh what up, Metro Boomin), this analogy doesn’t go much further. We aren’t subject to recreating anything else from the trial of the century. But you have to wonder what Future is thinking. The lyrics of this song quite definitely reference someone trying to be with his baby momma, which to give him the benefit of the doubt, he has four of. Nonetheless, this video is mad reckless.
This song came out a month ago, and people were willing to give it the benefit of the doubt because it’s on a mixtape that ultimately isn’t really going anywhere, even though it is dope. This video, however, shows that whatever it is that Future can’t deal with about his past isn’t going away anytime soon, alas.
Daily Dose: 7/26/16
The first lady brought the house down in Philadelphia
The Democratic National Convention got off to a rousing start Monday night. Between the celebrities, Sen. Cory Booker and the Bernie Sanders supporters (who are doing their best to hijack this event), there was enough activity between the stage and the floor to fill a full news day. Then, first lady Michelle Obama took the stage. She delivered a speech so moving, so honest and so full of flourish that you’ll be hearing about it for decades to come. ABC News’ Meghan Keneally has five more things to watch on Day 2 of the DNC.
The other story out of Philadelphia that made noise, oddly enough, comes from Russia. Before the week started, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager asserted that hackers had gotten into the Democratic Party’s email system and were trying to find a way to hurt the party. Why would Russian operatives do this? Well, maybe, perhaps, because Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has extensive business ties in Moscow, and reportedly is decent friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin. FiveThirtyEight’s Farai Chideya wonders: Does that theory hold any water?
Typically, it’s an honor to stay in the Olympic Village as an athlete. But with less than two weeks to go until the Summer Games of the XXXI Olympiad, apparently the facilities are a mess. Mind you, this isn’t Sochi, where the journalists were the ones complaining about accommodations. These are the people who are actually supposed to be competing in the games, saying that water is running down the walls in their rooms. Australia, in particular, isn’t having it. ABC News’ Catherine Thorbeck explains all the things that are going wrong.
The Chicago Cubs want to win the World Series and they want it now. So much so that they were willing to go out and trade for a player who was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing off a bunch of gunshots in their home during a domestic incident. But, you know, he can throw it in the triple digits and the Cubbies haven’t won in a long time. Apparently, they took a long, hard look at the Cuban reliever, as they should have. But with him, ESPN’s David Schoenfield says they become the team to beat in the National League.
Coffee Break: These days at concerts, a big concern is trying to make sure people don’t record your shows. But Rihanna is more concerned about something else: people playing Pokemon GO. For real, she’s cussing at people at shows about it. Slay.
Snack Time: In Senegal, two women who created a land-rights app are at the forefront of a larger movement to get more girls to code in West Africa. I love everything about this story.
Dessert: If “Holy Key” is any indication, this next DJ Khaled album is gonna be bananas.
Ka(i)ne is in the building
Hillary Clinton’s vice president pick has an unintentionally built-in hip-hop connection
3:30 PMWhen the Hillary Clinton campaign announced that Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine would be her running mate on the Democratic ticket in the 2016 presidential race, you couldn’t help but think of Daniel Johnson. Better known by his stage name Kane Beatz, his popular producer drop “Kane is in the building” has adorned various hits in the past.
Trey Songz and Nicki Minaj’s “Bottoms Up” (triple platinum) and Lupe Fiasco’s “The Show Goes On” (also, triple platinum) are just a couple that you might be familiar with and maybe didn’t even know it. The line is particularly funny because it’s not the sultry voice of a woman a la “Mike Will Made It” or “Maybach Music,” nor is it the innocent voice of a child like say, “Cooking Soul” or “Zaytoven.”
The voice on Beatz’s drop is so cartoonishly robotic that it almost feels like something suited for a politician. And though Beatz, who’s from Orlando, and Kaine, who was born in Minnesota, don’t have a whole lot in common on the surface, they do share a name that sounds the same. It’s time that whomever is in charge of productions for the Clinton campaign gets on that.
If they’re looking for the perfect song for Kaine to hit that Philadelphia stage at the Democratic National Convention with, and make his debut on the ticket, look no further than Cash Money Records. “Right Above It” by Drake and Lil Wayne couldn’t possibly be more perfect for his entrance.
We can make this happen, America. Yes, we can.
Daily Dose: 7/25/16
Los Angeles basketball fans are being very petty
9:48 AMHappy Monday, folks. If you’re in Philadelphia, make sure you’re staying hydrated. The East Coast is about as hot as it gets these days. I love it.
Right when you thought the Republican National Convention was a mess, here come the Democrats. Their national convention has likewise started off with a disaster, as chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she’ll be stepping down. The scope of those leaked emails is pretty wide and we have no idea what’s going to come of Bernie Sanders supporters who are still upset about the Hillary Clinton situation. Anyways, here are five things to watch from the DNC this week.
Gucci Mane is out of jail, slimmed down and looking healthy. His new album dropped on Friday, which is tremendous, by the way, if you haven’t gotten to listen yet. But perhaps more importantly, he hit the stage again in Atlanta, and it was a staggering show of stars. The fact is that nearly every artist that matters in the rap game these days is a big Gucci fan. So when you can bring out Drake, Future, 2 Chainz and Fetty Wap, you know you’re doing something right. VICE‘s Richposlim says it was like a revival.
It’s about that time when we’ve got to start thinking about the NFL. Training camp is around the corner and I’m already hearing about people gearing up for their fantasy drafts. I’m not the biggest football fan in the world, but I do recognize how it makes all boats rise when it comes to the tide of sports news. That and the fact that I root for a franchise most people can’t stand means I’m still at least six weeks away from caring. However, FiveThirtyEight’s Chase Stuart breaks down who might get a hot start due to their schedules.
The USA Basketball men’s national team is gearing up for Rio. Team USA is playing warmup matches across the country, beating up on teams that have no chance. On Sunday, the team opened up its summer tour with a game in Los Angeles against China. Kevin Durant is on the team, and since Staples Center fans are apparently extremely petty, he got booed along with his Golden State Warriors teammate Draymond Green by the sellout crowd. I’m all for booing when guys play poorly, but booing a countryman over a matter of club is stupid. ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne reports.
Coffee Break: Getting dunked on in a summer league game is never cool. Getting dunked on in a summer league game by an amateur when you’re a pro is even more problematic. And when it happens twice? Well, then your name is Andre Drummond.
Snack Time: If you didn’t know that Alfonso Ribeiro and Justin Timberlake had an annual tradition of dancing at his golf tournament, now you do. This year, however, Stephen Curry joined in, too!
Dessert: Congrats, Bill Rhoden on a tremendous career. What an inspiration.
Let’s build a wall!
Except, this one around the man whose idea it was?
We all know about Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s plan to build a wall and have Mexico pay for it. He wants to keep out people trying to immigrate illegally and has no bones about sharing that opinion with the whole world. If you watched last week’s Republican National Convention, you know as much.
However, while the GOP was going at it with each other in Cleveland, an artist by the name of Plastic Jesus was in these Hollywood streets building a wall of his own. Specifically, one around Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Why he has one? Who knows.
This wall is genius, however.
Get familiar with the Milk Squad
Because they’re taking Baltimore by storm
8:00 AMThey call it “Bodymore” for obvious reasons. It’s a term I’ve been hearing for years, and it refers to Baltimore, Maryland’s disastrous crime situation, which unfortunately includes a murder rate that in many ways defines the city. With the unrest of the last year under the national spotlight, stories of hope out of Charm City aren’t necessarily few and far between, but they are at a premium.
Freddie Gray might not be able to get justice, but kids are still skating. And that’s a good thing. A recent Baltimore Sun story highlights a crew called the Milk Squad, which embodies the latest generation of the city’s black skate scene.
“They are from different neighborhoods; many of them are from the parts of Baltimore crippled by violence and poverty, while a few are relatively privileged. Some feel overlooked by the city and the mainstream skating community, while others say their skills aren’t at the level that would earn acknowledgement. But the bond that connects this disparate group is the love of the skateboard, and it’s through the skateboard that their differences are subsumed,” Christiana Amarachi Mbakwe writes.
Skating as a means of urban escape is basically the ethos of the sport and the culture. This feature perfectly embodies why, in many cities, building a skate park probably makes more sense than say, building more jails. And if you want more of the Bodymore Skate Company, you can check them on Instagram here. Also, you might want to spend some time with the homey Jamone Mckenzie.
Riding is a much more fun way to get noticed than rioting.
Dennis Green dies
The charismatic former NFL head coach was 67
12:44 PMDennis Green, the second black head coach in the history of the NFL, died Friday at the age of 67. Green, a colorful character who at his peak led the Minnesota Vikings to a 15-1 record in 1998, died from cardiac arrest. He succeeded at both the college and pro levels, once leading Stanford University to a win on the road against the top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish in South Bend, Indiana.
Former Vikings and Cardinals coach Dennis Green died at the age of 67. A look at his NFL coaching career: pic.twitter.com/XksjBDEx4p
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) July 22, 2016
His career record in the NFL was 113-64. He was known as a no-nonsense type of coach, the type of guy who could both resurrect a quarterback like Randall Cunningham’s career at the same time that he was able to maximize the talents of wide receiver Randy Moss as a rookie. And of course, he had his quotables.
Back in 2006, as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals, Green let loose in a postgame news conference one of the best tirades you’ll ever hear. It was forceful without being profane, and confident without being arrogant. He made a great point about what it takes to not lose the psychological battle in a league like the NFL. Watch below.
Also, when he decided to leave the Minnesota Vikings in 2001, he made a statement that no one who followed at the time will soon forget. “If you’re looking for Denny Green, look on the high road, because that is where I’ll be,” he said.
He is survived by his wife, Marie, and two sons.
Daily Dose: 7/22/16
Donald Trump lays it all out there