The WTF? Moments of 2017 – Part 3

Ice Cube - WTF 3

This WTF Ice Cube pic was meant to be ironic.

Okay, y’all.  Here’s the last installment of the WTF moments of 2017 (and most of the good moments are in this post)!  Enjoy!

Jay-Z Releases 4:44…and Promptly Gets Stung By the Beyhive

444 (Alt)

On June 30, 2017, Jay-Z released his critically acclaimed 4:44 album.  I’ve heard most of the tracks on the album, and I can say with all honesty that it’s pure fire.  As I stated earlier, the album was praised by critics and fans alike and has received numerous accolades, including at least three Grammy nominations.  However, there were some people that didn’t appreciate the album so much…the Beyhive.

As some of y’all may remember, I reviewed Beyoncé’s Lemonade album last year.  When it came down to the subject of infidelity on the record, I stated that there was a 50/50 chance that was Bey was speaking on happened in real life, or it could be just a topic she wanted to explore.  Well, when Jigga released 4:44, he confirmed on the title track, and the songs “Kill Jay-Z” and “Family Feud” that everything Beyoncé spoke about in Lemonade was true.  He really did cheat on her.  Some have even considered 4:44 to be a companion piece to Lemonade.  That really pissed the Beyhive off.  The minute they learned that Jigga was unfaithful to Beyoncé for the majority of their relationship (apparently he didn’t stop cheating on her until Blue Ivy was born), they went inFor nearly the entire afternoon on June 30th, the Beyhive dragged Jigga by the lips.  It was damn brutal.

They even started analyzing Beyoncé’s old tracks and stating that they were symbolic of all the pain she was going through (“Ring the Alarm” was one of the ones they mentioned if I remember correctly).  One Beyhive member even mentioned the song “All I Could Do Was Cry” as being representative of Beyoncé’s anguish.  I wanted to tell her that “All I Could Do Was Cry” was actually an Etta James cover Bey did for the film Cadillac Records, but my better judgment kicked in, and I left the subject alone (another fellow Beyhive member corrected her later).  The dust settled by the next day, and today, everyone’s psyched about the release of Jigga’s “Family Feud” video, namely because Bey and Blue Ivy are featured in it.

Lisa Bloom Is Everywhere!

Lisa Bloom (Alt)

If there was one person that had a good doggone year this year, it was Lisa Bloom.  Before 2017, I didn’t know much about Lisa.  I had only really heard about her famous mother, Gloria Allred (who’s also an attorney).  That all changed this year, Lord knows.  She represented damn near everyone:  Kathy Griffin, Quantasia Sharpton (one of Usher’s accusers; see Part 2 to learn more about her), Melissa Meeks (Jeremy Meeks’s aka “Felon Bae’s” ex-wife), Montia Sabbag (the woman caught with Kevin Hart), Blac Chyna and even Harvey Weinstein, who she later dropped as a client.  Good Lord!  Can’t say this lady isn’t makin’ her money!

The New Edition Story

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Here’s another good WTF moment for 2017.  My very first post for the year (and for the longest time, the only post I had) was about how much I loved The New Edition Story.  I figured the movie would be good when I first heard about it, but when I actually watched it, I was blown away.  Viewing this miniseries the first of the year and noting how it gave BET its prestige back, let me know that 2017 was certainly starting off on the right foot (at least in respect to entertainment), aside from all the Chris Brown/Soulja Boy drama (that’s explained in Part 1).  Y’all can read my review for my in-depth analysis, but I’ll say that if you haven’t seen this film, or you’re one of the young millennials that don’t really know much about New Edition, you definitely wanna check this gem out.

Note:  I found out after writing my review for The New Edition Story that the altercation the boys had with Kurtis Blow was fabricated for entertainment purposes.  Sorry, Kurt!

Get Out Is One of the Biggest Blockbusters of the Year

Get Out (Alt)

The night I went to see Get Out, I decided to make a mother-daughter day of it, and let’s just say that everything went wrong…horribly wrong.  By the time we got to the theatre, I was physically and emotionally drained.  Then the film started, and my mood lifted.  Get Out was one of the most thought-provoking horror-comedy/thrillers I’ve ever seen, and I knew that all the hype the movie was getting was well deserved.

I was interested in seeing this film from the get go.  I remember my former editor tasking us to write a review about the teaser trailer circa Dec. 2016, but apparently, he was told to inform us “not to mention race in the review.”  After viewing the trailer, that request seemed asinine then, and it seems even more asinine now.  The entire movie revolves around race, with wealthy, yet aging white people having their consciousness placed in young black people because they buy into stereotypes of us being faster, stronger and more virile.  The theme struck a chord with a lot of people, black and white alike, and became a blockbuster film, as well as the most talked about movie of 2017, arguably.

What was even more shocking is that the film was directed and written by Jordan Peele, who we never even figured would make a movie this deep, given his strictly comedic background.  The easter eggs and symbolism in Get Out has been discussed so much, that Jordan even made a video breaking down the fan theories.  Not only that, but the film has made its way into the pop culture lexicon.  “The sunken place” is now the go-to phrase whenever describing the space some black folks seem to be in whenever they disrespect the culture.  I was so glad to see this movie get the love it deserves.  If you haven’t seen Get Out yet, you must’ve been sittin’ under a rock.  Get out and see it.  **Bad pun**

The World Welcomes Sir and Rumi Carter, Queen Beyoncé’s Twins

Beyonce's Baby Bump (Alt)

 

Before Jigga got drug by his lips for admittedly disrespecting his wife for years on end, the Beyhive rejoiced circa Feb. 2017 when Beyonce first announced that she was pregnant again, this time with twins.  Needless to say, when the now legendary Instagram post with Bey’s baby bump was first uploaded, the whole internet went ape.  For the next few months, all anyone could talk about was Beyoncé’s twins.  Would they be two girls, two boys or a girl and a boy?  If they were two girls, did that mean that they would team up with Blue and become a new generation of Destiny’s Child?  What would be the twins’ names?  On and on it went.  Then, sometime in June, Beyoncé had her babies.

Sir and Rumi with Beyonce (Alt)

The internet started going even more ape, begging to see photos of the twins and to learn their names.  Some of them even fawned over the fact that Bey had the twins in June, making them Geminis.  A few weeks later, Queen Bey posted her second legendary photo of herself and the babies and made their names public:  Sir and Rumi.  Personally, I would’ve gone another route, but these are Beyoncé’s kids; she can name them whatever she wants to.  Of course, whenever the media gets a glimpse of the babies, to this very day, everyone loses their shit.  That’s fine, though.  Bey seems happy and it looks like she and Jigga have worked things out, making their family stronger than ever.  Congrats to Beyoncé.

 

Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo Movement

Harvey Weinstein and Me Too

For decades, Harvey Weinstein was considered one of the top film producers in the movie industry.  Weinstein was once the co-owner of the now-defunct Miramax Films and the current owner of The Weinstein Company, and he worked with industry legends such as Quentin Tarantino, Peter Jackson, and Robert Rodriguez.  However, Weinstein’s good name and prestige became irreparably damaged circa fall 2017.  Around that time, A-list actresses such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Asia Argento, Rose McGowan, and Ashley Judd alleged that they had all suffered some type of sexual harassment and/or assault from Weinstein.  Despite being a well-respected producer, rumors about Weinstein’s proclivities towards sexual misconduct had been going around Hollywood for years, but they were written off as just baseless lies or bad jokes.  When the victimized women came forward, people began to see the truth in the what they were saying, and Weinstein’s misdeeds became public knowledge in a major way.

Over time, nearly 82 women stated that Weinstein had either raped or sexually harassed them.  There was even an audio tape released of Weinstein aggressively coaxing Italian model Ambra Gutierrez to come to his hotel room.  After the women told their stories, the floodgates opened.  More victims, men and women, shed light on their own sexual assaults, but their own stories weren’t against Harvey Weinstein…they were against other big players in Hollywood.  Names of alleged rapists/sexual harassers have included Dustin Hoffman, Richard Dreyfuss, Charlie Sheen, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, Jeremy Piven, and Ben Affleck, just to name a few.  Other men outside of Hollywood were also accused of sexual assault such as Tavis Smiley, Warren Sapp, Charlie Rose, Russell Simmons and Matt Lauer.  The victims vary in gender and race, and they have ranged from Angelina Jolie to Terry Crews.  Corey Feldman, who’s been calling out Hollywood’s pedophilia for years and has admitted to being a victim himself, has recently decided to make a film exposing other industry people that have molested and raped young children.  Ironically enough, the interview Corey had about his upcoming film (which was the very one I linked) was with none other than Matt Lauer.

These admissions of being victimized have given power to the #MeToo movement, a crusade first started by Tarana Burke in 2006After Alyssa Milano encouraged other victims to say the phrase on Twitter, the campaign grew in size and reputation.  The silence breakers in the #MeToo movement were voted Time magazine’s 2017 Person of the Year.  More victims have made their stories public, no longer afraid of the ramifications of speaking up about the abuse they’ve endured.

Donald Trump Is Sworn In As the 45th President of the United States

Donald Trump (Alt)

Need I say more?

—Written by Nadiya

Okay, y’all.  That was the last part of my WTF series!  What did you consider the biggest WTF moment of 2017; good or bad?  Did you agree with any of the things I mentioned?  Would you add anything else?  Let me know in the comments section!

 

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The WTF? Moments of 2017 – Part 2

Ice Cube - WTF 2 (Alt)

Alright, y’all.  Here’s part 2 of the top WTF moments of 2017, as promised!  Once again, get comfortable, because it’s pretty long!

Usher Lets It Burn…Literally

"Fences" New York Screening - Arrivals

If 2016 was the year of celebrity death, 2017 was definitely the year of sex scandals (more on them later).  Around the same time reports of R. Kelly’s sex cult were making headlines, court papers were leaked stating that Usher infected a young woman named Maya Fox-Davis with genital herpes.  To add insult to injury, the woman stated that she slept with Usher while he was married to Tameka Foster, and she even served as a bridesmaid in Usher and Tameka’s wedding.  Just ratchet.

More women—and one man—spoke up, also stating that they contracted the disease after having unprotected sex with Usher, who was not honest with them about his STD status.  The weirdest story, however, was when the last woman, Quantasia Sharpton, present her case…along with attorney Lisa Bloom.  Most folks couldn’t believe that Usher slept with Quantasia because she was nearly 400 lbs., but that’s not what really shocked me.  What surprised me was that although Quantasia was suing Usher, she wasn’t even one of the women he infected.  Yes, you read that correctly.  The girl tested negative for herpes, and still wanted to sue Usher for pain and suffering.  To make the case even stranger, it was later revealed that the girl never slept with Usher in the first place and that she’s actually a pathological liarDespite that, she’s still getting rewarded with an all-expense paid gastric bypass surgery.  Now, that’s what I call justice.  *Sarcasm*

Joe Budden’s Bad Attitude

Joe Budden (Alt)

For those of y’all that aren’t too sure who Joe Budden is, he’s the dude that made the song “Pump It Up” back in 2003.  It was featured in films such as 2 Fast 2 Furious and You Got Served (God, that movie was terrible), and you can hear it nowadays at sports functions along with Gary Glitter’s “Rock and Roll” (aka “The Hey Song”).  Today, Joe hosts—or used to host—the Hip-Hop oriented show Everday Struggle with DJ Akademics and Nadeska Alexis, and uh…he ain’t the most gracious host.  First, he had Lil’ Yachty on his show sometime around the spring, and good Lord, he was a grouch.  Yachty, who was 19 at the time of the interview, pretty much admitted that he was happy every day, and that he wasn’t 100% sure about what type of record deal he had.  Instead of calmly advising the young man that he should be more mindful of what type of contract he’s been signed to, and being glad that Yachty is enjoying life, Joe went in on him.  Black Twitter gave Joe hell for that.  I have to give Yachty props for being respectful for the entire episode.

Next, was the 2017 BET Awards.  The Everyday Struggle crew went down there to interview some of the nominees, and one of the groups they had to speak with was Migos.  When it was time for the interview to wrap up, Joe got frustrated and walked off from the group a few minutes early while Akademics was giving the group props before they went their separate ways.  In true Joe fashion, he had to leave the scene scruntching up his face and throwing his microphone down, implying he didn’t want to be bothered with the Hip-Hop trio.  A fight almost escalated behind that stunt, and Akademics had to try to calm things down.  What did Akademics get for his trouble?  Joe later went on his podcast, The Joe Budden Show, and called the man a pussy.  *Sigh*  Since then, Joe and Akademics have made up (or at least, they led us to believe they have), but Joe left Everyday Struggle on Dec. 19, citing “internal chaos.”  Migos went on to make a diss track about Joe called “Ice Tray,”  with lookalikes to playing the panel members of Everyday Struggle in the video.  They even have Lil’ Yachty spittin’ a verse in the song (he appears in the video as well).  Yachty recently informed TMZ that the song was all in good fun, and there was no ill will.

I have to admit, although Joe’s attitude is just…rude, he was pretty damn entertaining, and a lot of folks are saying that Everday Struggle won’t be the same without him.  I suggest checking out The Joe Budden Show, by the way.  Joe’s still entertaining on his podcast, but he’s also a lot more relaxed and has a much better sense of humor, despite the name calling.

George Zimmerman Threatens Jay-Z

Jay-Z and George Zimmerman

One thing about 2017, the ratchetness just keeps on happenin’.  Just recently, Jay-Z announced that he’ll be working on a documentary about Trayvon Martin and how he was killed.  George Zimmerman, the man that killed Trayvon (and was unfortunately acquitted of the crime), was none too happy about that.  He stated that he would beat Jigga, and that he knew how to “deal with people that fuck with [him].  [He’s] handled that since 2012.”  Basically, he’s bragging about killing Trayvon.

What an asshole.  I swear I can’t stand this dude.  Zimmerman even went so far as to say that if Jigga messed with his family in any way, “[he’d] feed him to the alligators.”  This stemmed from the production crew conducting interviews with Zimmerman’s parents.  Needless to say, black folks went in, namely Snoop Dogg.  Personally, I’d love to see Zimmerman try Jay-Z.  Yeah, Jigga didn’t fight back when Solange was whuppin’ on him, but I honestly believe that was because a) nine times out of ten, he was taught not to put his hands on women and b) he may have been feeling guilty considering that Solange was pounding on him because he was cheating on her big sis.  George Zimmerman, on the other hand, is an entirely different case.  He’s not a 112 lb. woman, and if he comes for Jay-Z, he’ll learn pretty fast that Jigga isn’t a 17 yr. old child innocently walking home armed with nothing more than a bag of Skittles.

All of Tyrese’s Cryin’, Whinin’ and Lyin’

Tyrese Crying

When I was growing up, the king of R&B whining was Keith Sweat, hands down.  Today, in 2017, his title has been usurped by none other than Black Ty aka Tyrese Gibson.  I know a lot of you are thinking that I’m being way too harsh, but honestly, I’d have a lot more compassion for Tyrese if his stories were more consistent and if he wasn’t hating on someone else’s blessings.  Sit tight.  This entry is the longest of all of them.

The Tyrese saga started around late fall, when Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was apparently in talks about starring in a Fast and Furious spinoff featuring Rock’s kickass character, Luke Hobbs.  Tyrese was against Rock having his own spinoff, as it would delay the release of Fast and Furious 9, because we really need another one of those movies ASAP.  *Sarcasm*  Tyrese texted Rock about not doing the film until he was blue in the face, and when the texts didn’t work, he went on to public Instagram and Twitter posts.  However, Rock took the smart road and decided to do the film, much to Tyrese’s chagrin.  Tyrese, who seems to have forgotten that Rock has his own light bill and mortgage to pay, as well as two girls to feed and another on the way, went all the way in on Rock on Instagram and Twitter.  Every other day, Tyrese posted some nonsense about Rock breaking the Fast Family apart, despite the fact that Vin Diesel himself congratulated Rock on his good fortune (not to mention that Vin realizes that Rock’s spinoff is good for everyone involved, as it expands the Fast and Furious universe).  Rock pretty much paid Tyrese dust, with the exception of a shady Instagram video he posted stating that “Big dogs eat and little cryin’ puppies stay on the porch.”

Tyrese later claimed that the real reason he wanted Rock to turn down the Hobbs movie was due to the fact that he couldn’t afford to have Fast and Furious 9 postponed because his ongoing custody battle for his daughter was breaking the bank.  However, Tyrese has a club, a private Benihana, as well as a private Starbucks in his backyard.  Did I fail to mention that he has a movie theatre in the backyard as well? He also has a private chef, multiple luxury cars (which he had no problem showing off to Rock during their one-sided beef) and life-sized Transformers figurines.  Sounds to me like Tyrese is doing what my mother calls “po’ mouthin’.”  He continued po’ mouthin’ on social media, and even broke down crying on a now infamous Facebook Live video because he couldn’t see his daughter and was running out of money because of his legal fees…or so he claimed. Rumor has it that he had an opportunity to see his daughter around this particular time, but he passed so he could jet off to Abu Dhabi for yet another trip to the Middle East (see Tyrese’s Instagram page, and you’ll notice that he’s taken these types of voyages countless times before).

Tyrese didn’t stop his nonsense there; oh, no.  He then claimed that Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith reached out to him and offered to give him $5M to assist with his legal fees. After Tyrese told that boldfaced lie on social media, Will and Jada let it be known immediately that they made no such offer.  By this time, Tyrese was being clowned by just about everyone for his antics.  He tried to do damage control on all the erratic posts and videos by saying that his unbalanced behavior was caused by medication that his psychiatrist currently prescribed him.  Now, I have a loved one with mental illness, and I can say with all honesty that the mood swings and irregular behavior make an appearance when the medicine runs out, not while taking it.  Now it’s true, everyone’s different, and everyone has a different reaction to psychiatric medication.  However, in Tyrese’s case, I’m not really buying it, not with all the stories he’s told this year.  He even lied about his wife being pregnant (and about her being black).  Sadly enough, he’s still immersed in drama.  He recently announced on a national radio show that he only married his first wife to keep her in the country, potentially allowing himself and his ex to be charged with marriage fraud.  Charlamagne Tha God jumped at the chance to give him a much-deserved Donkey of the Day after that bit of foolishness.

Whew!  That’s a lot of foolery in such a short amount of time!

BET Comes Back In a Major Way

BET (Alt)

When I was a small child, BET was a powerhouse TV network among the African-American community.  Everyone I knew tuned in to watch classic shows like Video Soul, Teen Summit, Rap City, 106 and Park, and BET Talk.  However, by the time I finished college, BET was looked upon as a joke with its lackluster production and the shortage of quality TV shows.  When other predominately black networks began popping up like TV One and Centric (which, ironically enough, is a BET sister channel, but it still gave the original network a run for its money), BET pretty much paled in comparison.  In 2017 though, BET decided to play no games.

First, they released The New Edition Story, a three-part miniseries that featured great production, excellent cinematography, and even better acting.  The miniseries introduced New Edition to a new audience and pushed BET back to the forefront.  BET didn’t stop there.  They premiered other great movies and TV shows like Tales, The Quad, Rebel, Madiba, and The Comedy Get Down.  Combined with the already critically acclaimed series Being Mary Jane and The Real Husbands of Hollywood, along with killer award shows like the BET Awards, Black Girls Rock! and the Soul Train Music Awards, BET has arguably claimed its position as the #1 African-American network once again.  Congrats to BET for being one of the few good WTF moments of 2017.

All the Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Drama!

Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna (Broken)

As y’all may remember, Rob Kardashian fell head over heels in love with Blac Chyna sometime in early 2016 and she soon became pregnant with his child.  By the time their daughter Dream was born and Christmas rolled around a few weeks after her birth, Chyna showed her true colors and dumped Rob like a bad habit, confirming what we all pretty much figured about their relationship.  Apparently, in 2017, Rob and Chyna tried to “work things out,” or at the very least, attempt to co-exist, but that didn’t go very well.  Chyna was havin’ her little fun on the side and she eventually let Rob know that there was no chance in hell of them officially getting back together.  This time, ol’ boy didn’t go quietly.  Rob spent the better part of that fateful July day posting all kinds of videos and photos of Chyna, and spillin’ all kinds of tea.  Everything from allegations of Chyna using drugs around their daughter to revenge porn was exposed.  When Rob’s Instagram account was closed due to all the lewd content he posted, he just moseyed on over to Twitter and continued to put Chyna on blast. Rob and Blac Chyna were trending all day, and I was right there, watching all the craziness unfold.  Here’s a few of the posts that are slightly suitable for work and children (well, maybe not children):

Rob Post 2

Rob Post 3 (Alt)

Rob Post 1 (Alt)

Rob Post 4 (Alt)

The drama didn’t end there.  Chyna decided to fight back the best way possible:  litigation.  She called the one and only Lisa Bloom to take on her case, and of course, Ms. Bloom went straight for the money.  It turns out that posting revenge porn is actually illegal, and Mr. Kardashian was looking at possibly doing a little time. Chyna also alleged that Rob physically abused her, and even filed a restraining order against him.  Rob fired back by also suing Chyna, stating that she was the one that was abusiveT.I., the king of putting his two cents in, decided to do just that, and the next thing you know, he was the one put on blast.  Rob retaliated by claiming that Chyna had a threesome with T.I. and Tiny (now why did poor Tiny have to dragged into this?  She was minding her own business).  Chyna even filed lawsuits against the rest of the Kardashian clan for harassment and for ending her short-lived reality show, Rob & Chyna.  Things have since calmed down, slightly.  They’ve both agreed to joint custody of Dream and Chyna’s even closed her lawsuits against the Kardashian sisters, except Kim (the reason for that remains unknown), and she dropped her domestic abuse suit against RobChyna is still seeking compensation from Kim, Kris, and Rob for ending the series.  Let’s just pray that these two will eventually grow up and co-exist for the sake of their child.

Part 3 coming soon!

—Written by Nadiya

The WTF? Moments of 2017 – Part 1

Ice Cube - WTF (Alt)

What’s poppin’, y’all?  As you all know, I was pretty much MIA from Southern Girl Entertainment for the vast majority of 2017, so I decided to make up for the time that we lost.  For the most part, 2017 was a really cool year (personal tragedy aside; I lost someone very close to me this year), and it was an extremely exciting year for entertainment.  Real talk, there’s been a lot of WTF moments this year; some good, some bad.  I’ve decided to list them all for you, to basically touch on all the fun we missed out on this year.  This isn’t a top 10 list, mind you.  As a matter of fact, there were more than 10 WTF moments of 2017; so much so, that this post will be split into sections.  So, without further ado, here we go (sit tight; it’s long)!

The Bow Wow Challenge

Bow Wow Challenge (Alt)

Like my girl Lovelyti always says, “If you live in your truth, no one can ever take that away from you.”  That’s a lesson that Bow Wow desperately needs to learn.  Long story short, earlier this year, Bow Wow flew out to NYC to promote his reality series “Growing Up Hip Hop,” and he posted a pic of his supposed private plane on Instagram to show that he was flying there in style.  Unfortunately for him, he got busted by a passenger on a commercial flight that caught him on the way to NYC on the same airline, not the private jet he claimed to be chartering.  To add insult to injury, it was revealed that the picture of the private plane was actually an advertisement for a transportation service in Fort Lauderdale.  SMH.

What makes this situation even crazier, is that Bow Wow doubled down and did his damndest to convince the public that the initial photo was genuine, even though he was caught lying.  As a result, the #BowWowChallenge was created, where folks flocked to Twitter to clown Bow Wow by posting hilarious pics of themselves frontin’ and fakin’ for social media.  Here’s two of the many gems they posted for nearly 36 hrs:

Bow Wow Challenge 2Bow Wow Challenge 3

Steve Harvey’s Bad Year

Steve Harvey and Donald Trump (Alt)

Poor Steve Harvey.  If you’re a fan of Steve’s like I am, you know that he usually has blessings coming at him frontward, backward and sideways.  However, 2017 hasn’t been his finest year.  First, he met with now President Trump at Trump Towers to speak about urban development.  Big mistake.  Then, he made an extremely tasteless joke about Asian men.  Bigger mistake.  Next, an e-mail that he sent to his staff leaked, which basically revealed that Steve will no longer tolerate folks bombarding him in the hallways and in his dressing room.  More bad publicity for Steve.  If all that wasn’t bad enough, after the NBA Finals, Steve got in more trouble for making yet again another tasteless joke.  This time, he caught up in trash talking about the Golden State Warriors with an audience member/Warriors fan from Flint, MI during an episode of The Steve Harvey Morning Show.  Steve, a die hard Cavaliers fan, decided to have the last word of the argument when he jokingly told the man to enjoy “a nice brown glass of water.”  *Sigh*  The backlash from that last incident was so bad he took a break from his radio show for an entire month.  Since then, Steve’s been a lot more careful with the words coming out of his mouth and the company he keeps, but he has yet to issue the public apology Flint’s mayor demanded.

R. Kelly’s “Sex Cult”

R. Kelly (Alt)

2017 was definitely the year of ratchetness.  Sometime around spring of this year, it was reported that R. Kelly, aka The Pied Piper of R&B, actually had a sex cult.  The news story broke thanks to the family of a young woman named Joycelyn Savage, who openly stated that R. Kelly has her “brainwashed” and living in one of his houses, along with a slew of other women.  A former assistant of Kelly’s backed up the family’s claims and also added that Kelly dictates how the women should dress, when they should have sex with him, and when they should bathe.  Joycelyn herself released her own statement, claiming that she’s not being held against her will, and that she’s perfectly fine.

Despite the fact that R. Kelly’s isn’t a stranger when it comes to sexual scandal, and another former “lover” of Kelly’s came forward, the Savage family pretty much discredited themselves when it was revealed that that Joycelyn’s father allowed her to live with R. Kelly to further her career in the first place.  Later, when Mr. Savage couldn’t get back in touch with Joycelyn, he called himself releasing a series of videos calling Kelly out and threatening himEven his youngest daughter made a diss track about R. Kelly.  Okaaayyyy…  However, other women have come forward since the Savage’s story was released, also claiming that Kelly’s been running a sex cult for ages, providing more validity to the tale.  As of yet, no legal action has been taken against R. Kelly.

IMDB Shuts Down Their Message Boards

IMDB

Ever since I was 18 yrs. old, there was a place specifically made for nerds/cinephiles where I would feel welcome (well, most of the time…more on that later) and talk about whatever movie or TV show I wanted, whenever I wanted.  That place was the IMDB message boards.  Whether it was the most obscure B-movie out there, or the most popular flick ever made, there was a message board for it, and I frequented them all.  The boards weren’t just restricted to the movies and TV series, either.  There were also individual boards for actors/actresses, directors, etc.  No topic or person was taboo.  However, that may have been the problem.  In mid-February of 2017, IMDB announced that they were shutting down the message boards permanently, and they only gave folks two weeks notice.  Apparently, the reason for dismantling the boards was because they were “no longer providing a positive, useful experience.”  In other words, there were too many trolls actin’ a damn fool on the boards.  Hence, the reason I mentioned that I usually felt welcome on the boards, but not 100% of the time.

Some of the boards were so full of trolling topics that I just stayed clear from them all together.  I even came across a troll that used to harass me back in my college days (on another website, sadly enough).  Yes, the trolls were a problem, but I always thought the purpose of moderators was to make sure that they wouldn’t ruin conversations for everyone else.  From what I gathered over the last few years, they either couldn’t handle things, or just flat out weren’t doing their jobs.  Either way, the powers that be at IMDB.com threw up their hands, and now I don’t have a place to discuss movies or TV series anymore.  There’s a few imitators out there, but it’s nowhere near the same.  *Sob*

And the Winner Is…La La Land!  No, Wait!  It’s Moonlight!  My Bad!

89th Annual Academy Awards - Show

This year’s Oscars had an extremely interesting ending.  Former Bonnie and Clyde co-stars Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway were tasked with announcing Best Picture, and after opening the envelope, it was proudly declared that La La Land won the coveted award.  Five minutes later, after the cast and crew of La La Land gave thanks, they later had to give congrats to the cast and crew of Moonlight…because they were the ones that actually won Best Picture.  So how did a musical with a predominately Caucasian cast get confused with a coming-of-age LGBT drama with a predominately African-American cast?  Easy.  They mixed the damn envelopes up, and poor Warren Beatty was clowned for the next month (although I must admit, he didn’t get half as much flack as Steve Harvey did for his Miss Universe gaffe.  Poor Steve can’t catch a break).  I still don’t get why Warren caught so much hell, considering that Ms. Dunaway was the one that announced the wrong winner.  Here’s the proof.

All the Rappers Wantin’ To Fight…Sheesh!

Chris Brown and Soulja Boy

2017 started off on a crazy note thanks to Chris Brown and Soulja Boy.  During the first of the year , Soulja Boy was caught liking a pic of Chris’s ex, Karrueche Tran, on Instagram.  Chris was none too happy about Soulja Boy’s appreciation for Karrueche’s bikini-clad pic (although he and Karrueche broke up ages ago).  Long story short, Chris and Soulja Boy started going back and forth on Instagram and Twitter, and their trash talk soon started to turn towards an actual physical fight.  Shortly afterward, 50 Cent and Floyd Mayweather got involved, and the beef between Chris and Soulja Boy became a PPV event.  Floyd even offered to train Soulja Boy for the fight, whereas Mike Tyson backed Chris.  If that wasn’t crazy enough, other internet fights between celebrity rappers started escalating:  21 Savage vs. 22 Savage, Kodak Black vs. Lil’ Wayne (that one-sided squabble was particularly hilarious), etc.  Thankfully, Chris came to his senses sometime around March and called the fight off, and the other rappers followed suit in their own respective beefs.  Some folks are mad because the PPV never happened, but I can’t say that I am.  I’m glad to see that Chris is finally starting to grow up.

Bruno Mars Gets Accused of “Cultural Appropriation”

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I’ve completely fallen in love with Bruno Mars this year, so on the morning of the 2017 BET Awards, I was psyched to see that he was trending on Twitter.  Then I found out exactly why he was trending.  Some fake woke chick on Twitter (and believe me, Twitter is chock full of them) posted a million tweets about how Bruno was guilty of appropriating black culture by singing R&B music.  I’m a black woman, and I have to say, some folks are little too fast and loose with that “cultural appropriation” accusation.  Don’t get me wrong, some people are guilty of committing that crime (I’ll be nice and not name names).  Bruno, however, is not one of those people, considering how he’s always given props and respect to black artists, and cited the R&B groups of the past as his inspiration.  Black Twitter saw the chick’s tweets for what they were:  a bunch of bullshit.  As a result, they appropriately drug the woman and read her to filth.  Bruno, true to form, paid the girl dust, went to the BET Awards later that night and killed.  I’m sure the girl really got pissed when she realized that Bruno’s song choice for the night was “Perm,” in which he pretty much reveals that he knows how a black woman’s relaxer works (that’s not what the song is really about, but I’m just sayin’…he knows how a doggone perm works!  I’m impressed!).  Then he sat in the audience and promptly went to sleep.

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He woke up just in time to win best R&B Artist, though.

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I’m sure that chick is still salty as hell.  Probably got even saltier when Bruno performed at the Apollo a few months later.  LOL.

The Lies!  The Lies!  The Lies!

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Season 9 of The Real Housewives of Atlanta was their absolute worst.  It was boring, clearly scripted—I realize all reality TV is scripted, but the last season didn’t even try to really hide it—and the usual ratchetness wasn’t even amusing or entertaining.  It was stomach churning.  By the fourth or fifth episode of the season, I tuned out and relied on You Tube recappers to find out what was going on, seeing as their breakdown of the show was more entertaining than the show itself.  I can’t even bring myself to watch season 10, and even the folks that did the You Tube recaps for the past season seem to have tuned out.  When I found out midway through season 9 that Kandi and Todd were accused of trying to drug and basically rape Porsha in their “sex dungeon,” I still didn’t have too much interest in watching the show, but I heard that topic would be of considerable interest during the reunion and decided to watch it.  That was the only thing about the last season that didn’t disappoint me.

Long story short, it was revealed during the reunion that Phaedra told Porsha that bold faced lie about Kandi and Todd wanting to sexually violate her for God-knows-what purpose, and the blowout was intense, to say the least.  Kandi was distraught, as was Porsha (although she should’ve used better judgement), and the other ladies were rendered speechless from shock, except for Kenya, who gloated the rest of the reunion.  Phaedra, on the other hand, remained stone faced for the rest of the night, not showing too much geniune remorse for betraying two of her friends.  Black Twitter turned on Phaedra quicker than a gallon of milk left in 100ºF heat, and I witnessed the self-proclaimed southern belle instantly go from being a fan favorite to an absolute pariah.  After the dust had settled, it was reported that the ladies no longer had any desire to work with Phaedra, and the lawyer/mortician/activist officially lost her peach.  She recently told TMZ that she was happy to no longer be a part of the show, although previous news reports stated otherwise.  On the bright side though, I never saw Phaedra look prettier (seriously, no shade.  Phaedra’s always been pretty to me, but that night she was gorgeous.  Too bad it was revealed that she has a seriously evil streak), and Kandi gave us all GIF gold that fateful night.

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—Written by Nadiya

Part 2 coming soon!

Thanksgiving Binge Watching: ‘The Punisher’ and ‘She’s Gotta Have It’

Frank and NolaWhat’s up, y’all?  Happy very belated Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas!  I hope y’all had a great holiday.  Mine was wonderful, if I do say so myself. I had a glorious five day weekend away from the aggravation of my day job, and enjoyed some great food and even better company.  Other than that, I pretty much just sat on my lazy behind and did the same thing half the country did during Thanksgiving break:  binge-watched Netflix movies and shows.  The two original shows I crammed in right before and during the holiday were The Punisher and She’s Gotta Have It.  Both series have gained a very decent amount of publicity, especially The Punisher, and they each made a very serious impact on me.  With that being said, I decided to give my two cents on each show.

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I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to see The Punisher at first.  When the film was originally released, it didn’t really grab me.  I heard all the hoopla for The Punisher before the series premiere, but I figured that it’d probably be an overhyped show just like The Defenders (sorry y’all, the show was good, but not great).  However, my mom wouldn’t let me forget that the show was set to premiere on Nov. 17, and when I sat down to watch it with her, I wasn’t disappointed.

The show begins with Frank Castle completing his quest for revenge against the people that murdered his family…or so he thinks.  As the show progresses, we the viewers learn that the conspiracy behind the Castle family’s massacre is much deeper than Frank initially believed, and it all revolves around Frank’s time in the Marines.  That’s all I can really say without giving away crucial plot points.

The fact of the matter is that this show had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. Truth be told, it took me from the 17th up until the start of my Thanksgiving vacation to watch all thirteen episodes, thanks to my day job, but you best believe that every day I went to work during the week leading up to the holiday, all I could think about was getting home to watch the next episode of The Punisher.  This show was well acted, action-packed, and is full of twists and turns you wouldn’t believe.  What could’ve easily been made into a strictly revenge series ends up being the Bourne trilogy on steriods.  Plus, the men in the show are pretty damn good looking (namely Frank, Billy and Curtis)!  Check it out if you haven’t already.  Also, if you haven’t seen Luke Cage, definitely give that show a shot.  That’s another Marvel show I really enjoyed.

She’s Gotta Have ItShe's Gotta Have It

The day after I finished watching all the episodes of The Punisher, She’s Gotta Have It premiered on Netflix, and I knew I had to see the pilot episode, at the very least.  I was always a fan of the original film, which I first viewed at the slightly innocent age of 12. Yes, you read that correctly.  12.  As you may have already guessed, Nola Darling’s character perplexed me.  She had three lovers that all knew about each other—which was pretty much unheard of during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s—but I never thought of Nola as a ho or a nymphomaniac.  I remember Nola stating that she wanted to have “five rusty butt boys” one day, but I couldn’t even see her settling down or being a domestic.

Fast forward 23 years since the fateful night I first watched the movie (and 31 years since the movie was released), and Ms. Nola Darling has returned with a reboot for the new millennium.  In 2017, a woman having three lovers at one time isn’t as shocking as it was circa 1986, but you have to admit, there’s still a bit of a taboo there, especially if you compare Nola having multiple men to a man having multiple women all at once.  Even when the iconic Thanksgiving scene with Nola and all her men was recreated, there’s a point in time when Greer (the narcissistic one) asks her, “Why are you acting like such a…” and Nola finishes the sentence by asking, “…a man?”

Despite Nola’s life choices being frowned upon, yet not exactly stroke inducing, the show was still very entertaining, and translates flawlessly to the 2010s (although not everyone agrees with that ).  The cinematography was gorgeous, and I loved the soundtrack.  I especially loved how Spike made sure to showcase what album the song that was played actually came from so you could possibly download the track for yourself (whether you decide to do that legally or illegally is up to you; no judgment).  On top of everything, the show was just beautiful to watch.  I love positive portrayals of my people living their lives.  Before I knew it, just checking out the pilot episode turned into me binging the entire series in a record-breaking two days.

What I really adored about She’s Gotta Have It is it delved deeper into the characters than the movie did, much like the beloved Soul Food series did over a decade earlier.  Mars was a big softie.  Jamie was flawed.  Opal was human.  Greer tried to be a loving boyfriend.  Clorinda was more than just the rejected roommate.  Nola’s parents were cool and opinionated (of course).  The only character that didn’t really change was Nola herself, which isn’t a bad thing at all.  Aside from her sexuality changing from strictly dickly to bisexual (and the fact that she kept all her lovers secret until the last episode of the season), she’s the same Nola Darling that loves life and loves people, and won’t tolerate disrespect.  Once again, this was a show that was well acted, and full of enough drama to keep you glued to the screen.  All the pretty people (Greer!) and hot sex scenes provide eye candy, and the soundtrack is hittin’.  Give this series a try.

—-Written by Nadiya

Have y’all seen The Punisher and/or She’s Gotta Have It?  If so, what did y’all think of the series?  Was The Punisher great, or was it too violent?  Was She’s Gotta Have It insightful, or did it contain way too much sexual imagery?  Are you a fan of Stan Lee or Spike Lee or both?  Who would you rather be friends with:  Frank Castle or Nola Darling? Let me know in the comments section!

 

‘Thor: Ragnarok’ – The Good, the Bad, and the Things That Made Me Go “Hmmm…”

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Hey, y’all!  Long time, no post!  I know, I’ve been away for a loooong time.  I’m not making any excuses; it was a combination of things that kept me away.  Work, other writing assignments, family, losing a loved one this past September, lack of ideas, and a lot of times, just plain laziness.  Like I said, no excuses.  I’m back now, and even though I don’t want to promise you guys that there’ll be a post waiting for you guys each week, I’ll try a little harder to write more often than I have this year.

Now let’s get down to brass tax.  As I’m sure you all know at this point, Thor:  Ragnarok was released on Nov. 3, 2017, and you best believe that I was right there in the theatre the very next day.  Considering that a ton of reviews have already been posted regarding the film, I decided to do something a little different.  I’m going to list the good things about Thor:  Ragnarok, the things I didn’t really like about the movie, and the things that I didn’t like or actually dislike, but they had me scratching my head.

***By the way, this post is full of spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the film yet, you may want to wait to read this.  You’ve been warned.***

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  1. Thor was fine.  That’s always a plus.
  2. The comedy was on point, 98% of the time.  For a second, I thought the decision to make the Thor series more serious ala Guardians of the Galaxy would blow up in Marvel’s face, but they actually pulled it off.
  3. The action scenes also delivered.  Thor and Hulk’s big fight, the showdown between Hela and “The Revengers,” as Thor liked to call them, the scenes where Heimdall was kickin’ ass and takin’ names, not to mention the scenes where Hela pretty much dominated…everyone was gold.
  4. Cate Blanchett played the hell out of Hela (no alliteration intended).
  5. There was a scene where Thor was shirtless.  Well worth my $13.85.
  6. Even though Doctor Strange has been my least favorite Marvel film so far, I greatly enjoyed his scene with Thor in the film.
  7. Karl Urban and director Taika Waititi also delivered in their roles.
  8. Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba were masterful, as always.
  9. My baby Chris Hemsworth always kills as Thor.
  10. Tessa Thompson was a wonderful addition to the MCU, and as always, I love to see a person of color on the big screen.  I couldn’t help but notice that she and Thor had a fleeting connection while escaping Sakaar.
  11. Jeff Goldblum. That man is a legend.
  12. I loved the chemistry between Thor and Hulk/Bruce Banner.  Once again, I didn’t think the “buddy cop” aspect would work, but it did.
  13. Even though I always loved Erik and Darcy’s characters, I didn’t miss them in the movie.  I guess that’s just a testament to how much fun it is.
  14. Last but not least, I loved how Thor proved that he really is the god of thunder and he didn’t need Mjolnir to wield his power.

The Bad:Thor and Iron Man - GTFO (Alt)

  1. Thor and Jane broke up, apparently.  What’s even worse is that the movie handled Thor and Jane breaking up like a damn footnote.  Really?
  2. Odin dies.  Boo!  Anthony Hopkins was great, as usual, though.
  3. Thor gets all his hair cut off.  I’m sure all of y’all knew that from the trailers and TV spots, but I still didn’t like it.  My only consolation is that it didn’t take away from Thor’s character like I thought it would.
  4. Even though the comedy was on point 98% of the time, I felt like the 2% botched it when they decided to be a little too jokey, especially if the occasion was meant to be serious and they opted to tell a joke.
  5. The Warrior Three got killed off in record time, and their deaths were completely unceremonious.  They were supposed to be Thor’s best friends, and yet not a word was mentioned about them by Thor or anyone else when they were killed.
  6. Sif was MIA, and she was never even mentioned.  Where the hell is she?
  7. Thor lost his damn eye! I am SO pissed off about that!  Why did they have to ruin my beautiful baby’s face?  I swear Thor is the most disrespected one out of all the Avengers!  No one else lost limbs or eyes (not counting Bucky; he’s technically not an Avenger, and the steel arm was artificial anyway.  He can get another one)!

The Things That Made Me Go Hmmm…Thor - Confused (Alt)

  1. Okay, so in an interview, Tessa Thompson stated that Valkyrie was supposed to be bisexual in the comics and she played her that way in the movie.  I guess all those scenes must’ve been cut, because I didn’t see her flirt with any girls or guys, for that matter (she and Thor had a moment for two seconds, but that’s about as sexual as she got).  Basically, her character was badass, burnout, and an alcoholic.  Anybody can have those characteristics, regardless of sexual orientation.  Hmmm…
  2. Bruce was The Hulk for two years straight.  While he was The Hulk, he killed people in the gladiator ring.  When Hulk transformed back into Bruce Banner, he didn’t even inquire about whether or not he killed people, which was one of his many concerns in the past films.  Hmmm…
  3. Loki actually decides to be on the side of justice for a change, but near the end of the film, we notice him eyeing the Tesseract in Odin’s chamber.  Hmmm…
  4. Speaking of Odin’s chamber, Hela mentioned that the gauntlet glove in there is fake. Does that mean Thanos has the real one?  Hmmm…
  5. How exactly did Odin die? He knew his time was coming and then he just…evaporated.  Hmmm….

—Written by Nadiya

So what did y’all think about Thor:  Ragnarok?  Let me know in the comments section!

I See You, BET: ‘The New Edition Story’ Review

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There’s been many constants in my life.  One of those constants is New Edition.  For those of y’all that were born after 1990, New Edition was an R&B/Pop powerhouse during the ’80s and ’90s that consisted of Ralph Tresvant, Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell, Ronnie DeVoe, Johnny Gill and last but not least, Bobby Brown.  Yes, that Bobby Brown.  I’ve loved these fellas since I was 4 or 5 years old, and many of their songs still remain in heavy rotation on my IPod.  Not only, but their solo and side group projects have become just as legendary.  I’m sure y’all have heard Bobby’s solo stuff, and Bell Biv DeVoe was amazing.  Johnny and Ralph’s solo songs are just as timeless.  So, when I first heard about the The New Edition Story during the 2016 BET Awards, I couldn’t wait to see it.  I patiently waited and finally, this past week (Jan. 24-26, 2017), the miniseries aired.  I loved it.

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Let me get the technical stuff out the way first.  The production value of this film was gorgeous.  The sharp picture and flawless editing made this minseries look like a Hollywood feature film.  Ever since the early 2000s, BET stood more for “Bootleg Entertainment Television” instead of Black Entertainment Television.  For the longest time, they only aired videos throughout the day, and when they did air TV shows—entertaining as they were—they looked like they cost all of $30,000 to make, if that.  Then TV One came along and brought some serious competition.  BET answered back with Centric, their sister channel, but TV One still had more viewers.  It looks like BET realized they had to step up their A game, and hired a sleek production team to handle their movies and TV shows.  With The New Edition Story, Being Mary Jane and upcoming movies and series like The Quad, Mandiba and Rebel, BET is reminding everyone that they’re still relevant, dammit.

Now onto to the actual acting and storyline.  The performances and plot were on point.  The miniseries was divided into three parts, which were all great, but I have to admit that parts one and two were a little bit better than part three.  The final section was slightly rushed, and I don’t know why on God’s green Earth the director and producers thought that Bobby Brown was still rockin’ a high top fade and leather suits in 1996 and 1997.  I promise you he let that look go by that time.  Just check out the “Hit Me Off” video if you don’t believe me.

Other than that, the movie was pretty flawless.  There were a lot of big name actors in it, too:  Wood Harris, Lala Anthony, Faizon Love, Lisa Nicole Carson (I was happy to see her come back to the industry!), Michael Rappaport, Monica Calhoun and Bryshere Gray aka Hakeem from Empire.  I was very proud of Bryshere (I’ll call him by his real name for the purposes of this post, but he’ll always be Hakeem to me).  The role of Michael Bivins is a far cry from spoiled brat Hakeem Lyon, and Bryshere more than proved that he’s a good actor, and he actually has some pipes.  Oh, yes…just like the films Cadillac Records and Walk the Line, these actors had to sing themselves.  By the way, Luke James, who played Johnny Gill, really did the film (and Johnny himself) justice.  If you have absolutely no interest in watching the miniseries, at least watch the scene where the fellas record “Can You Stand the Rain.”  It blew everyone away.  I also have to give props to Tyler Marcel Williams, the actor that portrayed Bobby as a child.  I swear he looked and acted like a miniature version of him.

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Another thing I loved about this film is that like most biopics that take place between the ’80s and ’00s, it brought back a lot of good memories (I LOVE how they recreated Video Soul!).  Like I said, I grew up listening to these men, so I remember when “Cool It Now” and “Mr. Telephone Man” got heavy rotation and when Bobby’s Don’t Be Cruel album was the hottest joint of the year (man, I remember my mother and I listening to that tape everyday she picked me up from school when I was in second grade.  Such nostalgia…).  However, I learned a lot of stuff from this miniseries, too.  Allow me to list some of the facts I found out about, assuming they’re true.  You guys know how biopics exaggerate and create scenes and characters for the sake of entertainment. (SPOILERS HEREIN)

  • Bobby is the one that started the group.
  • Once upon a time, Bobby actually had stage fright, if you can believe it.  Hence, his reason for starting the group.  He didn’t want to perform alone.
  • The group originally consisted of Mike, Bobby and Ricky.  They asked Ralph to join after deciding that three guys wasn’t enough.  Ronnie came along much later, after the group was already pretty well established in the neighborhood.
  • The original bad boy of the group wasn’t Bobby, it was Mike.  Mike was known as the troublemaker in the neighborhood, and his attitude almost got him thrown out of the group.
  • New Edition was headlining shows early in their career.  Apparently, Kurtis Blow and Madonna opened for them.  Yes, Madonna.
  • According to the movie, Kurtis Blow was kind of an asshole.  He didn’t like that he had to open for a bunch of pre-teen boys.  No wonder he felt like The Fats Boys got robbed when New Edition beat them during the talent show.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Watch Krush Groove.  🙂
  • Maurice Starr actually paid the boys $1.87 for Candy Girl.  They had to split that amongst themselves.
  • A personal observation:  “Is This the End?” sounds a lot like “Please Don’t Go Girl” by New Kids on the Block (I used to love that song).  I never noticed that before.  By the way, Maurice Starr also managed NKOTB.  Coincidence?
  • Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced Heartbreak, the comeback album that has the hits “Can You Stand the Rain,” and “If Isn’t Love.”
  • Ralph was groomed to be lead singer of the group from the beginning, and Maurice even tried to coerce him into being a solo artist.  Ralph refused.
  • It turned out that per MCA’s contract, any member of a music group that was seen as beneficial was still bound by said contract if he ever left the act.  Hence, MCA approached Bobby to make a solo record after he was voted out of New Edition.
  • The Home Again tour was a hot damn mess.  It turns out the fellas’ ego had gotten so large that they were spending money they didn’t have and were even taking separate tour buses to shows.  The tour ended with a huge fight on stage complete with gunshots fired during the performance.
  • The men didn’t just fight during the Home Again tour.  During the Cool It Now tour, a fight broke out between the fellas onstage due to Bobby’s showboating.
  • Bobby first became a father at 17.  Ralph was also expecting a child with his long-time girlfriend around the same time, but she unfortunately, she miscarried.  The manager they had at the time did everything he could to keep the news of Bobby’s first child out of the media for fear of losing fans.
  • Bobby wasn’t the only member of the group with substance abuse problems.  Ricky also had issues with addiction, and actually overdosed.
  • Bobby’s signature look on the “Every Little Step” video was made purely by accident.  The barber wasn’t paying attention and cut the side of Bobby’s fade off.
  • Mike brought Johnny into the group after Bobby left to give New Edition a more mature sound.
  • Since Bobby and New Edition were still under contract with MCA, they still had to tour together, with Bobby and Al B. Sure! opening for the group.
  • “You’re Not My Kind of Girl” is actually a New Edition song.  All these years I thought it was a Ralph Tresvant solo song.  By the way, that song always perplexed me.  He doesn’t want a good woman that’s pretty and carries herself well.  Are you looking for a THOT?
  • Boyz II Men named themselves after the New Edition song “Boys to Men.”  They became part of Mike’s East Coast Family (Boyz II Men, Another Bad Creation aka ABC, and Bell Biv DeVoe aka BBD) when they auditioned for him in front of New Edition’s tour bus.
  • Bobby may have been voted out of the group unanimously, but it wasn’t a decision that the fellas took lightly, and it hurt them immensely to do it.  Seeing that tear stroll down Ricky’s face nearly made me cry.

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All in all, this film was excellent, and whether you’re a fan of New Edition, or you’ve never heard of these guys in your life, or the closest attachment you have to these men are seeing Bobby Brown on various reality shows, please check this miniseries out.

—Written by Nadiya

So, what did you think about The New Edition Story?  Was it the TV event of 2017, or was it highly overrated?  Did it bring back fond memories of the ’80s and ’90s?  Did you learn a ton of new things about the group like I did?  Let me know in the comments section!

Top 10 Songs of 2016

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Happy New Year, y’all!  I know it’s been an extremely long time since I’ve posted anything on this blog (October, to be exact), but since I have a tad bit of free time for a change—and I’ve ended my Christmas vacay from writing—I’ve decided to do a little somethin’ somethin’ regarding the past year.

Now, 2016 wasn’t exactly the easiest year for most of us, and I’m sure that a lot of us are happy that it’s come and gone and we were blessed enough to survive.  However, I have to say that one of the good things about 2016 was that the music was on point.  2016 actually had a a resurgence of music, in my opinion, and I decided to make a top 10 list of the best songs the year had to offer.  Mind you, these are just the songs I’ve heard this year, and the majority of the songs I listened to belonged to the genre of Hip-Hop and R&B.  Most of the Pop songs last year made me promptly turn the station, and I’m more geared towards Classic Rock than the contemporary stuff.  With that being said, let’s jump right into this!

10.  “Hotline Bling” by Drake

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I realize this song was actually released in 2015, but it got some crazy airplay in 2016, and I first heard it around January or February of last year.  Drake isn’t a strong singer, but the tune of this song is really catchy, as is the music that was used.  I have to admit, this is the first Drake song I’ve liked (I don’t listen to a lot of today’s Hip-Hop), and I uploaded it to my IPod not too long after discovering it.

9.  “Phone Down” by Erykah Badu

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Like many of the songs on this list, I heard this gem while listening to The Steve Harvey Morning Show on my way to work.  It’s one of Erykah’s most straightforward songs, but the music and lyrics draw you in.  Lord knows it’s hard to make someone put their phone down in this day and age, but Erykah has you believing that she can easily make her man do it.  The video leaves much to be desired, but the song is gold.

8.  “In Common” by Alicia Keys

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A lot of folks say that Alicia hasn’t been the same since she got together with Swizz Beats, but in my opinion, she hasn’t missed a thing, and “In Common” proves that.  I came across this song this past summer while browsing for new music on You Tube.  The haunting tune and lyrics about still being in love with a man that she knows she shouldn’t be with got me hooked immediately.

7.  “Formation” by Beyoncé

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Y’all know “Formation” had to be somewhere on the list.  Pretty much every song on the Lemonade album was legendary, but I had “Formation” playing just about every day, twice a day on my IPod for weeks.  “Formation” had a bangin’ beat, as well as memorable lyrics (“I got hot sauce in my bag…swag.”).  Not only is the song itself the bomb, but the video is extremely inspiring with its homage to contemporary—as well as antiquated—African-American culture.

6.  “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd

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If you watched any videos regarding The Mannequin Challenge this year (which really impressed me, by the way), you’ve heard this song playing in the background.  There was something about the soft music and the hook that really got me into this song, which is saying a lot, considering I couldn’t get into too much of contemporary Hip-Hop nowadays.  Hip-Hop made a comeback in a major way in 2016.

5.  “Don’t Touch My Hair” by Solange

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Over the years, a lot of people slept on Solange and wrote her off as Beyoncé’s little sister, or the little lady that managed to whup Jay-Z’s ass in an elevator (I couldn’t resist).  However, when Solange released A Seat At the Table, she proved she was so much more and shut the naysayers up.  One of the many great songs on that album that stood out was “Don’t Touch My Hair.”  When I first came across the video, it had just debuted on You Tube, and what I thought would be a sassy tune about not messin’ with a black woman’s hair turned out to be a thought provoking song about the pride and culture of African-American people.  The video blew me away, too.  Much like Beyoncé’s Lemonade, “Don’t Touch My Hair” showcased the beauty of black people, but it did so in a more art house type manner.

4.  “24K Magic” by Bruno Mars

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Anyone that knows me knows that I love ’80s music, and “24K Magic” brought ’80s realness.  Just when I thought that Bruno Mars hit his peak with “Uptown Funk,” he released “24K Magic,” and I fell in love with it right off the bat.  The synthesizers and the lyrics take me back to a simpler time, when MTV was actually entertaining.  Yeah, I went there.

3.  “Crush” by Yuna feat. Usher

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I had never heard of Yuna before coming across “Crush” on You Tube, but I’m sure to hear a lot more from her, considering how well made this song is.  Yuna and Usher make a perfect duet about a man and woman that have both have feelings for each other and are just starting to act on it.  On a side note, Yuna has a very pretty voice that’s similar to Jhene Aiko’s, another artist that I just discovered this past year.  Ironically enough, on Yuna’s album Chapters, Yuna and Jhene do a duet together.

2.  “Lazarus” by David Bowie

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Like “Hotline Bling,” “Lazurus” was actually released in 2015.  I listened to it a few days prior to Mr. Bowie’s death, and I really enjoyed it, even more so than the title track.  Then, Mr. Bowie passed away and I realized what “Lazurus” actually was…a goodbye.  Now it hurts me to listen to the song, or any of the songs featured on the Blackstar album.  I certainly can’t watch the video.  Nonetheless, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a great song, and it’s had an extreme impact on music fans.  We still miss you, Mr. Bowie.

1.  “Cranes In the Sky” by Solange

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Yes, Solange made the list again, proving how good the songs featured on A Seat At the Table are.  I first heard “Cranes In the Sky” on The Steve Harvey Morning Show and initially, I didn’t think it was quite as good as “Don’t Touch My Hair.”  Then I gave the song a second chance, and realized just how beautiful it was.  The video for “Cranes In the Sky” was equally gorgeous with its artful images of landscapes and African-American people.  I’m lovin’ this new neo-soul side of Solange.  I’m more than happy to see that folks will finally look at Solange as an artist in her own right, and she’ll finally be leaving her big sister’s shadow.

There were a lot of great songs released this past year, but only 10 of them could make this list.  However, I wanted to post some honorable mentions, too:

“Can’t Wait” by Jill Scott

“Love Me Now” by John Legend

The Lemonade album by Beyoncé (yes, the entire album)

“Blended Family” by Alicia Keys

The TWENTY88 album by TWENTY88 (Big Sean and Jhene Aiko)

—Written by Nadiya

So what were your top songs of 2016?  I mostly listened to Hip-Hop and R&B, so I’m interested to read which songs got heavy rotation in your playlist!  Let me know in the comments section!