Two-for-One Monday

Instead of giving you a long-winded blog wherein I attempt to make sense of (read: hate on) some nugget of pop culture, I thought I just comment on two issues that have stuck with me since I last wrote.

On Useless Knowledge and Occupy Wall Street

As a kid, I used to collect useless knowledge. You know, stuff like, If you tap the 57 on a Heinz bottle it’ll make the ketchup come out faster. (You’re welcome.) Now, I’m sure the invention of Google has made this kind of knowledge a little easier to come by and a lot less impressive–even when coming from the mouth of a 12-year-old. But I must share one more: Wall Street is called Wall Street because the Dutch built a wall to keep the indigenous folks from “invading.” Perhaps this account is disputed, but even if this factoid is not entirely true, I think it’s important to think about it in terms of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations.

Are Black People Willing To Call Eminem The Greatest Rapper Of All Time?

As a Black person, are you afraid to call Eminem the greatest rapper of all time?

Or perhaps just unwilling.

Me? I’m not so sure.

I don’t think I’m opposed to Slim Shady being the GOAT; he’s just not my choice. Despite what many might assume from some of my prior articles (like this one or that one), Jay-Z has always gotten my vote as the greatest rapper of all time.

But I would never exclude Eminem from the conversation entirely.

Others…not so much.

Brand New Web Episode of The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl


I have written previously on how much I love the web series, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show is original and features a young black woman who navigates her way through seen and unseen awkward situations on her job and in her relationships. Well, I am happy to report that the show is so popular that in a matter of a month, the creator, Issa Rae, and her cast mates where able to raise $44,000 dollars to continue the web series for another 5 weeks with a grand finale.

To read more about her inspirational fundraising story, please read below.

Rappin' About Race

It’s easy for folks to dismiss the perceived issues with “post-racial” America as paranoia in the Black community. Most of the time it will be these peers that will never know what its like to walk into a room and automatically be presumed ignorant or unknowing. College changes nothing; in fact, it’s where all the representations circulate, and are therefore reaffirmed. I find it backwards that people leave college with even more illusions than when they came in.

So for the record to be set straight, the experiences that frustrate Black people all originate from conversations.

First Comes Love…

I’m not the girl who has kept a wedding scrapbook. I don’t have a list of vendors, bridesmaids or any remote vision of what “my wedding” day will look like. There’s not a single color scheme, flower arrangement or style of dress in my mind. I’ve never been much for ceremonies so perhaps that’s the reason I don’t have that big day all mapped out in my mind.

Common Wants To Take You HIGHER with "BLUE SKY"


Anybody need a pick-me-up?

Common’s new album The Dreamer, The Believer is slated to drop on November 22.

And if his new joint “Blue Sky” is any indication, November can’t come soon enough.

“Blue Sky” is just effortlessly elevating and life-affirming. And it proves that you don’t have to make self-consciously “conscious” hip hop to inspire. And you don’t have to preach to reach the masses, either.

This might be the most uplifting thing you’ll experience all week. So treat yourself to a little sunshine, and stream this phenomenal song below.

"I am Intelligent" and the Self Efficacy of an Eight Year Old

“I am intelligent, I am intelligent, who are you? Because I am intelligent”

These were the words I told an 8-year-old boy to repeat as I helped him with his homework at a community center for HIV/Aids impacted communities.  He spoke about how he really wanted an X-Box for Christmas; I just wanted him to know that he could one day create the next X-Box. I wanted him to know he was not restricted to only wishing he could have this device, but ultimately he was intelligent enough become the creator of his own destiny. It sounds cliché, but I can only hope that I can say one or two positive things that will stay with him as I spend the next year trying to impact his life at the Chicago House.

Rick Perry's "Oops!"

So there’s a whole lot of fuss over GOP candidate Rick Perry’s hunting ground which may or may not have once been or is now called “Niggerhead”. When visitors spotted a rock with the name under a not-so-thick coat of white paint, news media has been all over the “Rick Perry’s Racism” story.  The one consistency across the stories is that regardless of the current visibility the sign reading “Niggerhead” was painted over or flipped over years ago. But not quite carefully enough so that it couldn’t still be seen. After a century of slavery and decades of systemic oppression of blacks in the United States, it’s certainly outrageous to have this word, tied to abuse, mistreatment, and hatred, printed on anything especially the property of a public figure. Especially the property of white, conservative, Texan Rick Perry. It speaks more to carelessness

Stop Blaming Hip-Hop For What Probably Goes On At Your Church

Last week my friend, and fellow BYP blogger, wrote a gripping piece about the omnipresence of homophobic lyrics in hip-hop through the lens of Tyler, the Creator. Jonathan’s post made me think again about what role I as a listener, and other hip-hop fans have in combating homophobia and sexism within this space. I began to think about a course I took a few years ago entitled “Black Feminism” and how and if a feminist praxis can fit into the hip-hop sphere. What I came to realize is that while hip-hop is laden with sexist and homophobic images and messages, it is not a societal outlier. In fact, hip-hop music like many other genres is merely a byproduct of society.

Essentially, rap is inextricably linked to society at-large, which in and of itself espouses male privilege, heterosexism and nihilism. Hip-hop music was not created in isolation in a social and cultural vacuum, but rather it is a byproduct of unique cultural idiosyncrasies that were birthed in South Bronx in the late seventies and early eighties. Underneath the “b-boying, “mc-ing”, “dj-ing”, and “graffiting”, existed patriarchy, sexism, and misogyny.  Black folks who came of age during the post-civil rights era are commonly referred to as members of the hip-hop generation. They lived in a temporal context where the public discourse had shifted from seeking incorporation into the American polity, to seeking redistributive policies that more fairly allotted government benefits to the most marginalized segments of the population. As such, members of this group had very different outlooks on the social landscape of the country than their foremothers and forefathers. Arguably, hip-hop, both the music and culture, are responsible for the vastly different outlook. Yet, although perceptions about society may diverge from that of the past, much of the “anti-social” behavior that is constructed to be viewed as peculiar to hip-hop are merely reflective of many bastardized social mores that pervade in the Black community.