Wacka Flocka Flame's "Flockaveli"

I did not expect to enjoy Wacka Flocka Flame’s debut studio album, Flockaveli.

I expected to laugh a lot; cringe even more, and at best have total indifference towards the album overall. As an emcee, Flocka lacks nuance, wordplay, inventiveness and flow in equal measure.

But then I realized that such grievances are totally irrelevant to understanding the appeal of his music. Flockaveli is brash, hard-edged, and unremittingly bleak. It strips hardcore Hip Hop down to an unapologetically dark, fatalistic core that frightens and fascinates in equal measure.

Hate on him all you want, but Flockaveli is a great album.

The King Wants Rings

Sometimes, I make myself sick.  I waited for the LeBron James ESPN special, “The Decision,” like it was a Michael Jackson music video premiere.  (Remember the time?)  I sat in front of the television and waited for LBJ to moonwalk, spin, grab his crotch, and scream “Shamon,” at Jim Gray.  But, alas, that never happened.  Instead, LBJ broke northeast Ohio’s heart, and told the viewing public that he planned to take his talents to [W]ade County, Florida, thereby turning the Miami Heat into some kind of NBA version of the United States circa the middle of the 20th century: young, rich, and with world domination on their minds.  Of course, the analogy probably doesn’t hold all that well, but still, if I may borrow my friend jmscott’s hashtag, it’s #nbaimperialism if there ever was.   I guess that makes the Boston Celtics England or something.  I don’t know. I digress.

Although the super homies, D-Wade, Chris Bosh, and King James have yet to adopt a nickname, I’m inclined to refer to them as Miami Thrice (kind of wack, I know, but you know you want to see those three dressed like Crockett and Tubbs.) or as The Triumvirate.  I don’t know if that makes the Lakers the senatorial elite or something, but Wade especially better watch his back.

A Father’s Day Reflection: Do Black Fathers Matter?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9A2Ap3DyvLg

For the past 15 years of my life, Father’s Day was a day to be tolerated if not ignored. Unlike Mother’s Day where I actually thirst for the presence of my mother or someone else’s mother, I feel completely indifferent about Father’s Day. And, perhaps, my indifference has much to do with the fact that every day when I look in the mirror I see the face of my father, a man who spent most of my childhood beating my mother senseless and every other poor unfortunate female soul who fell for his southern charm and hetero-masculine insecurities.

As the adage goes, “I am my father’s daughter” if not by biology, definitely by resemblance. So, there is not a day that goes by that I do not see my father’s face and remember the screams, the blackened eyes, the police beating at the door, scraped knees from trying to protect momma, the empty Seagram’s gin bottles, and the many sleepless nights of endless cries for sanctuary of some kind. So, the presence of my father is always near because I see his reflection in the mirror prompting me from time to time to think about what it would mean for me to forgive my dad and also what would it mean for my father to have my forgiveness.

It would mean I would have to stop labeling him as the sole culprit for my mother’s bad choices and life struggles. It would mean I would have to stop hating him for not being there to growl at my prom date or not being there to make a big fuss about the shortness of my mini skirt. It would mean I would have to see him as a man who made many mistakes because he too was blindly running from childhood trauma and violence. And I would have to believe that just because you have a child, does not mean you know how to parent the child and that biology is a cruel prankster fooling people into believing that they instinctively know how to raise children. Let me just say this, it is not instinctual for mothers and it is definitely not instinctual for fathers.

What happens when Role Models turn into Alleged Rapists?: The Lawrence Taylor Scandal

In high schools and colleges popular portrayals make male athletes out to be strong, powerful… and invincible?  The worst part is that lots and lots of misogynistic males buy into this hero-worship and view becoming an athlete as a lifestyle. This dynamic is demonstrated in high schools where the teenage jocks are at the “coolest” parties and only hang out with the other athletes. It is demonstrated when college guys won’t let go of letterman jackets because they cannot be defined by anything else. Being a jock becomes a lifestyle on an entirely different level when athletes go “pro”. None of this is to say that sports are destructive or that an athlete does not have a valid, constructive career. It is to say that males who are portrayed as physically superior, stronger, and more important than the rest of us, they are often prone to abusing their strength and power.

The National Coalition Against Violent Athletes states that:

“A 3 year study shows that while male student-athletes comprise 3.3% of the population, they represent 19% of sexual assault perpetrators and 35% of domestic violence perpetrators. (Benedict/Crosset Study)”

Former linebacker for the New York Giants and current member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Lawrence Taylor, has been charged with third degree rape of  a 16 year-old girl, who he allegedly solicited for prostitution.

Single Black woman says, "I ain’t the Problem, Nightline, Black Men Are!"

So, that we are crystal clear I do not run behind black men. I do not beg them to spend time with me. I am not desperate for their attention, money, or third arm. I am so tired of Nightline, CNN, ABC, and yes the great matriarch himself, Tyler Perry, telling me that I am the problem. There is a political project afoot to make black women feel they are woefully inadequate. And to this, I say bah hum bug.

– April 24, 2010 Facebook’s Status, Fallon

Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I started my blog with a status update I wrote last week when Nightline aired its show, Face-Off: Why Can’t a Successful Black Woman Find a Man? The Facebook status update conveys my sentiments about this latest cycle of blaming black women for the woes of the black man, the woes of the black community, and the woes of the economy. Yes, if only I would become barefoot and pregnant unemployed and desperate for Big Daddy’s benevolent protection then I would be married [cue the Disney’s music] and the mice with their little mice hands would make my white wedding dress . . . living happily ever after . . . yes, if only I could be that type of woman again. Yes, I use to be a version of her (i.e. wanting to marry the senator instead of being the senator syndrome) when I was searching for my voice.

But, I ain’t her now and I don’t know too many black women who are. If you want a more scholarly understanding of this issue I suggest you read Melissa Harris Lacewell’s Nightline asks why black women can’t get a man or Farai Chideya How Does It Feel to Be a Black, Female, Single Problem because my blog is going to be a rant about how I think black men are the problems. Yes, I said they are the PROBLEMS. Okay, not the pen-ultimate problem, but definitely the problem when it comes to how they use their hetero-male privilege in romantic relationships with black women in particular black women like me who are not willing to put up with their shit cow dung.

Says Seven year-old, “Big Sister let them Rape Me:” Trenton, Irresponsible Black Girls, and Savior Russell Simmons

TRENTON — City police have charged a 15-year-old girl as an accomplice to the gang rape of her 7-year-old sister. Police said they believe the older sibling was paid for having sex with multiple partners Sunday night during a party at the troubled Rowan Towers apartment complex, and that she then sold her sister to others at the party.

My heart grieves not only for the seven year old black girl who was gang raped, but also for her 15 year old sister who sold her body and her sister’s body for money. Yes, my heart grieves even though many people are angry with the older sister for not protecting her little sister calling for “the book to be thrown at her.” To say the least, the big sister is going to jail for a very long time. But yet, my heart weeps for her as it wept for Precious’ mother, Mary. It weeps because it says something about the level of sexual abuse she herself must have experienced to make the idea of being complicit in her sister’s rape plausible. My heart moans because she like other girls knows that they can make a living by selling their bodies. It wails and weeps because no one stepped in to stop her first sexual abuse. My heart grieves.

The question is: Can we really be angry with the 15 year old sister for what she did? And I am having a hard time answering this question because a part of me wants to be angry at her for not protecting her little sister. However, I have to assess how much of my sadness and anger is in response to the crime of rape and how much of it is in response to her not being a good big sister. You know the type of big sister my older sister was forced to be completely responsible for raising me when she was only a girl herself because . . . momma had to work late . . . momma did not like being tied down . . . daycare is expensive . . . momma had a second job . . . momma was gone . . . momma had to party . . . daddy was gone . . . so she became responsible for raising and protecting “us” her younger siblings.

The Old Black Woman says: “Do you got yo big girl’s drawls on? Can you stand a fight?”

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwEOigT2GWM

I really love this Huggies’ commercial because it shows a little girl professing she’s a big kid because she knows how to wear pull-ups which is the first step toward wearing big girl panties drawls. [Song in the tune of the Huggies’ commercial] So, she’s a big girl now.

At this very moment, I am in the process of learning all that I can about Michelle Rhee who is the chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools in Washington, D.C. For better or for worse, she is a woman who knows how to wear big girl panties drawls. Not only does she know how to wear them, but she seems to keep a variety of them—red, purple, cerulean, and verdant—nearby just in case she has to do a quick last minute improvisation in order to get school wide consensus for her performance based teacher pay policies.

WHAT THE F@%! HAPPENED?! (PT. II): D'Angelo

Early on the morning of March 6th, 2010 Michael Eugene Archer, better known by his stage name D’Angelo, was arrested and charged with solicitation after allegedly propositioning an undercover female police officer for oral sex. D’Angelo requested a $40 blowjob from the young woman, yet upon searching his vehicle after the arrest, officers found $12,000 in cash stashed in his SUV. The incident made headlines across the country, many of them humorous and sarcastic (“D’Angelo: R&Busted!”, etc.), and news of the incident shocked both fans keeping track of D’s progress in regards to his recovery and return to music, as well as those who maybe haven’t thought much of the guy since he was half-naked on their TV screens every night for 3 or 4 months.

Now I guess after a decade of an utterly debilitating drug and alcohol addiction, and repeated run-ins with the law, one perhaps shouldn’t find such news all that shocking. But, delays and all, D’Angelo had seemed to be seriously getting the ball rolling on his looooooong-awaited third album, entitled James River. Collaborators had been announced, songs had been leaked; there were even reports that the guy had finally gotten clean, was hitting the gym, and potentially poised to make a triumphant return to the scene. And that only makes D’s most recent fuck-up all the more disappointing.

Ten years after taking R&B music to new heights, after becoming the sex symbol of the moment with his iconic “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” video, and after respected music critic Robert Christgau dubbed him “R&B Jesus”……

WHAT THE F@%! HAPPENED?!