Adele's "Someone Like You" Video is Completely Unoriginal and Depressing…And I Love It.

The highly-anticipated music video for Adele’s epic, album-closing “Someone Like You” hit the internets last night.

It’s your classic, melancholy music video; relentlessly simple, filmed in black and white, and almost completely driven by the charisma and beauty of it’s star.

I adore this video…as well as all the videos that came before it that are exactly like it. Because the “Someone Like You” video is also completely unoriginal and beyond formulaic.

And that’s ok.

BYP NEWSFLASH: "The Low End Theory" Turns 20, Clarence Thomas Under Investigation, Adele's "Someone Like You" Video Unveiled and MORE!

BYP MORNING NEWSFLASH
September 30, 2011

 

When not inundating America with over-the-top, exploitative reality television, VH1 finds the time to do some amazing shit. Case in point: getting the original members of A Tribe Called Quest together for their first joint interview since 1998.

The event commemorates the 20th anniversary of the release of their legendary 2nd album The Low End Theory. It’s a fascinating read for any true fan of this brilliant group. Read Part I of the tribute after the jump, and check out a classic cut from The Low End Theory below.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaIDj6vBEoU

 

Yesterday, House Republicans unveiled plans to cut federal funding for job training, heating subsidies, grants for better-performing schools, Obama’s health care reform law, NPR, and Planned Parenthood. They’d also like to reduce eligibility for grants for low-income college students.

They’re so sweet, aren’t they?

And this plan ain’t going anywhere. According to the Grio:

“…the $153 billion measure is instead expected to be wrapped into a larger omnibus spending bill this fall or winter that would fund the day-to-day operating budgets of Cabinet agencies. Negotiations between Republicans controlling the House, the Democratic Senate and the White House are sure to be arduous.”

Can you smell that? It’s the rotting stench of our failed democracy at the hands of corporate greed, obstructionism, and good ole’ corruption.

Speaking of corruption, Democratic lawmakers are calling for a federal investigation regarding Clarence Thomas’ financial disclosure forms. Apparently, it somehow slipped Justice Thomas’ mind to disclose over $700,000 his wife received from the Heritage Foundation between 2003-2007. The Heritage Foundation is a prominent, conservative think tank whose stated mission is to “formulate and promote conservative public policies…”

Does it get any shadier than this?

T.I. was released from a halfway house yesterday, hopefully marking the last time this talented young man will have to serve any more jail time.

T.I.’s bizarre history with the law is relentless; last time, T.I. barely lasted a year before getting locked up again. Let’s hope Tip has truly learned his lesson. He can do so much good for our community as a free man!

And behold…the official music video for Adele’s haunting, instantly-classic “Someone Like You.” Shot in stark black and white, the video is as stripped down as the song; just Adele walking around Paris on a windy, dreary day, meditating on the one that got away.

It’s the perfect visual accompaniment to the song. Check it out below.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLQl3WQQoQ0

“I am the Baddest Bitch” LA Basketball Wives: Colorism, Draya vs. Laura, and Overall Worthlessness

So, I will admit I watch Basketball Wives. Yes, I do. However, I think I have to draw the line at LA Basketball Wives. It’s too much. In particular, it’s the colorism of the show that is the most glaring issue for me. On the very first episode, all the light-skinned women (i.e. Gloria Govan, Laura Govan, Imani Showalter, and Jackie Christie) had “beef” with one or two of the darker-skinned women (i.e. Maylaysia Pargo, Tanya Williams, and Kamisha Artest). And, then to add “insult to injury” they, meaning Shaunie O’Neal, removed two of the darker sisters—Kamisha Artest and Tanya Williams—from the show leaving only Malaysia.

So, in some ways, the color issue is resolved. However, now the issue of “acceptable” sexuality rears its ugly head. Draya Michele now becomes the bull’s eye for the women on the show.

Coalition of Black Women Pen Open Letter Criticizing "SLUT WALKS"

Coalition of Black Women Pen Open Letter Criticizing “SLUT WALKS”

 

A coalition of African American women – including activists, academics, and organizational leaders – have co-authored an open letter to the organizers of “Slut Walk,” taking to task the movement’s use of the term “slut,” as well as its level of engagement (or lack thereof) with the experiences and perspectives of women of color.

Check out an excerpt from their letter below.

Slut Walk marches began in April of this past year in Toronto, in protest of the explaining or excusing of rape and sexual assault by blaming female victims, their attire and/or their lifestyle choices. Slut Walk organizers believe they are re-appropriating the word “slut” with their usage of the term.

Slut Walks have been met with both enthusiasm and intense criticism, spreading to multiple cities and sparking fierce debate across the country.

What do you think of Slut Walks?

“We know the SlutWalk is a call to action and we have heard you.  Yet we struggle with the decision to answer this call by joining with or supporting something that even in name exemplifies the ways in which mainstream women’s movements have repeatedly excluded Black women even in spaces where our participation is most critical. We are still struggling with the how, why and when and ask at what impasse should the SlutWalk have included substantial representation of Black women in the building and branding of this U.S. based movement to challenge rape culture?

Black women have worked tirelessly since the 19th century colored women’s clubs to rid society of the sexist/racist vernacular of slut, jezebel, hottentot, mammy, mule, sapphire; to build our sense of selves and redefine what women who look like us represent. Although we vehemently support a woman’s right to wear whatever she wants anytime, anywhere, within the context of a “SlutWalk” we don’t have the privilege to walk through the streets of New York City, Detroit, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, L.A. etc., either half-naked or fully clothed self-identifying as “sluts” and think that this will make women safer in our communities an hour later, a month later, or a year later.  Moreover, we are careful not to set a precedent for our young girls by giving them the message that we can self-identify as “sluts” when we’re still working to annihilate the word “ho”, which deriving from the word “hooker” or “whore”, as in “Jezebel whore” was meant to dehumanize.  Lastly, we do not want to encourage our young men, our Black fathers, sons and brothers to reinforce Black women’s identities as “sluts” by normalizing the term on t-shirts, buttons, flyers and pamphlets.

The personal is political. For us, the problem of trivialized rape and the absence of justice are intertwined with race, gender, sexuality, poverty, immigration and community.  As Black women in America, we are careful not to forget this or we may compromise more than we are able to recover.  Even if only in name, we cannot afford to label ourselves, to claim identity, to chant dehumanizing rhetoric against ourselves in any movement.  We can learn from successful movements like the Civil Rights movement, from Women’s Suffrage, the Black Nationalist and Black Feminist movements that we can make change without resorting to the taking-back of words that were never ours to begin with, but in fact heaved upon us in a process of dehumanization and devaluation.”

Read the full letter at Black Women’s Blueprint

Who Brought Colonialism to the Party?

Dedicated to the girl with the red beret. To dissing me for writing about celebrities lately.

Rumor goes that, in Chicago, they shut down the predominantly Black/Latin@ bus routes early to keep us away from the white spaces. Route 80-Ashland, Route 70-Division, just to name a couple, make it hard to experience the nightlife of the metropolis on foot patrol. Philly’s going through the same thing; they got two major train lines that call it a night a few minutes past 12. It’s the story of our lives: the free movement of our bodies causes too much of a security issue to not curb. No don’t tell me that there’s justification, because you’re gullible enough to permit these institutions to classify the crimes of a few individuals as knowledge about the lives of colored people. If this talk is real then you should know that the management of colored people in motion is embedded in a world view.

BYP NEWSFLASH: Herman Cain Thinks Black People Are 'Brainwashed', "Souljah Boy – The Movie", Angela Simmons Poses Nude For PETA and MORE!

BYP MORNING NEWSFLASH
September 29, 2011

 

According to AllHipHop.com, Academy Award-nominated director Peter Spirer will be directing a documentary on the life of Souljah Boy. Yep, you read that right. Souljah Boy.

Check out the trailer below.

Creatively titled “Souljah Boy – The Movie,” the film will chronicle the young mogul’s rise to prominence; from his humble beginnings recording in his father’s Mississippi home, to taking the  pop cultural landscape by storm with his minimalistic, kind of stupid, yet actually catchy and fun (and surprisingly influential) brand of Hip Hop.

AllHipHop.com quotes Spirer:

“‘I think sometimes the press, the public and his peers dismiss him due to lack of understanding or jealousy, and that’s where I hope my film comes in — a straight forward intimate look at a talented young man,’ Spirer said.”  

Agreed. You might not like him, but to have achieved so much by the age of 21 is impressive.

What do you think? Will seeing “Souljah Boy – The Documentary” waste 90 minutes of your life, or is the “Crank That” rapper misunderstood?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xOP4FKzQxM

  

GOP Presidential candidate Herman Cain had some choice words for, well…Black people in general during a CNN interview yesterday evening. I’ll let the full quote speak for itself. From CNN:

“‘African-Americans have been brainwashed into not being open minded, not even considering a conservative point of view,’ Godfather’s Pizza executive Herman Cain said on CNN’s ‘The Situation Room’ in an interview airing Wednesday between 5-7 p.m. ET. ‘I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open minded, pure and simple.’”

So Herman Cain thinks Black people are political zombies. Wow. Any thoughts on this one? 

The Rihanna publicity machine has been in overdrive this past week, beginning with the release of her knockout new single “We Found Love,” and now the controversy the song’s still-unreleased video is already generating.

By now you’ve heard about the Irish farmer that kicked RiRi off his land  midway through the shoot after he discovered she was posing and frolicking topless (Yeah, I don’t thinks that’s a big deal, either…). Now the Grio’s Chris Witherspoon is asking if Rihanna is selling sex to remain relevant.

Eh…maybe. She’s just being provocative. And Rihanna does more than get naked to remain relevant. Her songs always incorporate the latest dance music trends, she’s among the most active celebrities in all of social media (which is crucial), and she’s been churning out an album a year since Rated R. I’d say she deserves the attention….

In Post-Racial news, a study conducted by researchers at Tufts University, Stanford University and the University of California found that the way we perceive of someone’s race can depend on the clothes they’re wearing. The Root reports:

“Volunteers participating in an experiment by a team from Tufts, Stanford and the University of California were asked to racially categorize computerized images of people with various skin tones and attire. You guessed it: They were more inclined to label those wearing suits as white (even if the face was dark) and those in “working overalls” as black.”

Even if the computerized person was clearly white, many respondents naturally moved to label the person as black if they weren’t wearing a suit.

Amazing. In an age where we have an African American President (that we almost never see in anything less than business casual attire), our prejudices and reliance on age-old stereotypes remain as strong as ever. 

Angela Simmons is the latest celebrity to pose nude for PETA.

A self-professed vegan, Simmons says she hopes her ad campaign will encourage people to adopt the lifestyle, and to at the very least be more conscious of how they are contributing to our society’s mistreatment of animals. From Clutch Magazine:

“I wanted to bring attention to a vegan lifestyle and raise awareness for PETA. I feel it’s very important to show compassion for all of God’s creations—and adopting a vegan diet for me is the best way to live a healthier lifestyle and keep innocent animals from suffering.”

While I think PETA is slightly on the craaaaaaazy side, these ad campaigns are fun. Angela Simmons is beautiful, and she’s doing it for a good cause. Don’t hate.

Check out an interview with Simmons from the set of her PETA shoot below.

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SR7UDmv6ZX8

 

 

TOO MUCH, TOO LATE?: NewsOne Lists Obama's 40 Greatest Presidential Accomplishments; But Do They Even Matter Anymore?

TOO MUCH, TOO LATE?: NewsOne Lists Obama’s 40 Greatest Presidential Accomplishments;
But Do They Even Matter Anymore?

 

In the face of mounting doubts regarding The President’s reelection prospects, NewsOne has taken the liberty of listing “40 Reasons to Be Proud of Obama’s Presidency.” And it’s a long and exhaustive list.

But if there’s one accomplishment the GOP can call its own (and we do mean ONE), it’s their incredible ability to render these accomplishments entirely irrelevant to the national conversation.

The President’s approval ratings are at their absolute lowest these days. People are genuinely considering the prospects of a Michelle Bachmann or Rick Perry presidency. Recalling his many accomplishments probably won’t do much more to change the public’s perception of his presidency than the accomplishments themselves at this point.  

Still, all things considered, Barack Obama’s achievements are impressive.

We all know about the stimulus, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and Health Care reform, but some of the Obama Administrations’ relatively obscure highlights include:

9. Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill).

19. Appointed a diverse Cabinet and diverse White House staff.

23. After eight years of neglect, the Justice Department and EEOC are again enforcing employment discrimination laws.

24. Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

26. Increased funding available for student loans.

33. Visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any president in his first six months in office.

36. Individuals living at or below the poverty line were eligible for healthcare under Medicaid, but by 2014 individuals/families living slightly above (making up to $14,404/$29,327) the poverty line will also be eligible for benefits.

39. Childhood Obesity Act (spearheaded by Michelle Obama) – purposed to subsidize free meals in low-income areas to ensure that children receive well-balanced and nutritious school meals; and also to provide free or reduced-price meals to nearly 31 million low-income children; and ultimately reduce childhood obesity.

Not bad, right? Obviously these are good things. But the poverty rate and jobless numbers are still soaring. And the Republicans have successfully run roughshod over our national discourse regarding these issues, as well as the Obama Presidency itself.

In the coming months, the Obama campaign will go to great legnths to remind the American people of these accomplishments. It’ll be interesting to see if anyone still cares.

How would you rate President Obama’s job performance over the past 3 years; are you proud of the Obama Presidency?

And at this point, does a list like this even matter?

The OCCUPY WALL STREET Movement Is Heating UP!

The OCCUPY WALL STREET Movement Is Heating UP!

Perhaps you haven’t noticed, but there are huge protests going on in NYC.

Aiming for worldwide participation, Occupy Wall Street has attracted hostile media attention, outright police violence, and support from celebrities like Susan Sarandon and Michael Moore.

The movement is in its 12th day, and it’s still going strong.

Cornell West gave a rousing speech to protestors yesterday, imploring them to continue taking the fight to the corporate elite.

“I am so blessed to be here. You got me spiritually break-dancing on the way here. Because when you bring folk together, of all colors, of all cultures, of all genders, of all sexual orientations the elite will tremble in their boots. And we will send a message that this is the U.S. Autumn, responding to the Arab Spring.”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJbS5N-hzqs

According to the website OccupyWallSt.org, the aim is to eradicate the influence of “corporate greed and corrupt politics” from American policies and discourse.

The Occupy Wall Street movement has gotten fairly light media coverage considering its scope and potential ramifications. According to Clutch Magazine, “Public displays of support have gone down in Madrid, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Athens, and Sydney – to name a few. And apparently it’s only just the beginning. Cities in the process of getting on board the Occupy Wall Street bandwagon are Phoenix, Montreal, Cleveland, Atlanta, Kansas City, Seattle, and Orlando.”

This movement is strong, vital, and it’s not going away.

Just take a glance at this letter of support from Noam Chomsky:

“Anyone with eyes open knows that the gangsterism of Wall Street — financial institutions generally — has caused severe damage to the people of the United States (and the world). And should also know that it has been doing so increasingly for over 30 years, as their power in the economy has radically increased, and with it their political power. That has set in motion a vicious cycle that has concentrated immense wealth, and with it political power, in a tiny sector of the population, a fraction of 1%, while the rest increasingly become what is sometimes called “a precariat” — seeking to survive in a precarious existence. They also carry out these ugly activities with almost complete impunity — not only too big to fail, but also “too big to jail.’

“The courageous and honorable protests underway in Wall Street should serve to bring this calamity to public attention, and to lead to dedicated efforts to overcome it and set the society on a more healthy course.”

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/311959#ixzz1ZHGrlaLH

 

Head over to OccupyWallSt.org for more information on a phenomenon that is spreading like wildfire, and scaring the shit out of the elites.

Occupy Wall Street

Innocent Until Proven Guilty and the Burden of Proof

Troy Anthony Davis was killed by the state of Georgia last week. His trial, conviction and the refusal to reverse said conviction is a textbook example of the problem that the burden of proof has started to shift to the party charged with the crime and away from those who prosecute. In a hearing last year, a judge ruled against overturning Davis’s conviction because though he had raised certain doubts about his guilt, he had failed to prove his innocence…

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=683UAypf2NY

BYP NEWSFLASH: 14 Year-Old Unjustly Executed in 1944, Racist Bake Sale Counter Protest, Eric B. & Rakim May Be Heading For the Rock Hall of Fame, and MORE!

BYP MORNING NEWSFLASH
September 28, 2011

 

The Grio’s Zerlina Maxwell has written a fascinating piece on the trial of 14 year-old George Junius Stinney, Jr., who was executed in 1944 for the murders of two young white girls in South Carolina. Though he’d even been a part of the search crew for the missing girls, Stinney was accused of and coerced into confessing to the murders. Zerlina writes:

“Reports claim the police offered Stinney ice cream if he confessed to them that he committed the double murder. Stinney confessed. There is no written record of his confession in the archives. There is no physical evidence linking Stinney to the murder. There is no paper record of Stinney’s conviction.”

When Stinney was put to death, they had to sit him on a stack of dictionaries in order for his head to reach the electrodes that would take his life.  

Check out Maxwell’s article, and learn about the details of this horrific story, and the South Carolina attorney committed to reopening the case and clearing George Stinney’s name once and for all. 

 

Blogger and radio host Rob Redding Jr. lit the internets ablaze with a report stating that President Obama wasn’t just concerned over the impending execution of Troy Davis, but actually took every step possible to intervene in the process; even going as far as calling the state of Georgia. The story has since been proven untrue, and Redding has retracted those statements from his original argument.

Too good to be true, I guess.

Remember that story about the racist bake sale at UC Berkeley? Yeah…the students at Berkeley aren’t too happy about it either. And according to Black Voices, massive protests have been launched to counter the bake sale. Meanwhile, others just want to enjoy some delicious brownies:

“Many students called the bake sale insensitive and accused the Republican organization of mocking the struggle of minority groups. Angry protesters screamed chants, staged a lie-in and carried signs, reading: “Don’t UC us?” Others pushed through the crowd to buy the baked goods, showing support for the Republican group.”

So a bake sale is tearing UC Berkeley apart and sparking national debate (again) about the merits of affirmative action. A bake sale. Maybe the media should have just ignored the bake sale. Why are we even giving these attention-seeking idiots the time of day? Just sayin…

 

Yesterday we told you about a black NHL player that had a banana peel throw at him by racist, white audience members. Well the tables have somewhat turned.

Wayne Simmonds was allegedly caught on video calling New York Rangers player Sean Avery a faggot during Monday night’s preseason game. Avery is one of a few pro athletes who are outspoken advocates for gay rights and anti-bullying legislation. However, Avery has refused to confirm exactly what Simmonds said, and so the NHL is not pursuing punishment due to a lack of evidence, despite objections from GLAAD and other watchdog groups.  

 

This year’s list of nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were announced yesterday, and the list is filled with some of my personal favorites; including Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Heart and Rufus with Chaka Khan.

But none made us happier than Eric B. and Rakim.  We don’t even need to waste time mulling over their influence and genius, because I know you already know.

Check out “Paid In Full,” below, and let’s hope the Rock Hall of Fame gives these guys the respect they deserve!

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7t8eoA_1jQ&ob=av3e