I haven't done a music review in awhile because there are so few artists that make me want to buy their entire CDs, but I've been listening to Brad Paisley consistently for the past year or so. And considering I just got into a debate on some random hip-hop site about "Django," this seemed like the perfect time to review this album. I can't figure out how someone could love "Django" but then wag a finger at L.L. Cool J for doing "Accidental Racist." My thoughts on that song are here. The rest of the review will focus on the rest of the album.
Update 4/24/2013: I couldn't be more baffled by folks who enjoyed that horrific movie "Django" but are mad at L.L. Cool J. One completely rewrote history and did a terrible job of it. The other actually acknowledged our history but wants to get past the finger pointing. You want to see a film that's accurate and amazing? See "42," "Roots" or "Queen."
I bought Brad Paisley's CD and it came yesterday. I listened to this song nonstop the whole way home. I still stand by the blog I wrote below, but I do understand the venom coming at L.L. Cool J. I think if he'd have challenged himself to not do end rhyme and revert back to '80s and '90s rap, his point would've been much better. I also think that another hip-hop artist should've done the track. Anybody seen Yasiin Bey? But I just can't see being more mad about someone justifying wearing a Confederate flag than I can see Nas and Kelis walking around with outfits on that say "nigga" or Ludacris in a full Confederate flag outfit, and we're just cool with it. I'm still amazed at the amount of people I have to check for thinking I'm going to be cool with you calling someone a nigga. It's never cool. If we want to honor history, then we're all equally responsible.
But giving rappers poetic license and defending them for Freedom of Speech but then lambasting another artist for the same thing? I can't agree to it. And at least these two guys' messages was to come together and try to unite regardless of our ugly history. Some of the songs I've heard on the radio over the years have been nothing but ratchet lyrics doing their best to make sure we hate ourselves and everybody else. I'm still sticking to my guns on being a Brad Paisley fan. L.L.? I really wish you'd do a remix and rewrite all of your lyrics, especially the "iron chain" verse. As far as Brad Paisley, the 13th Amendment passed, but that didn't stop Jim Crow, racial profiling, police brutality, Black Wall Street destruction, projects construction and then deconstruction, gentrification, etc. But on that same note, I'm not about to blame everybody by complexion shade for the actions of those who are primarily long gone. I still say the song had very good intentions. It just needed a workshop group to say, "Good idea but get back to the writing board."
Original blog starts here: Yesterday was my first introduction to "Accidental Racist" by Brad Paisley, but I've been a fan of his music for a couple years now. I've heard every song he's released since "Who Needs Pictures" and a bunch of his songs are on my Pinterest "Songs I'll Never Get Tired Of" folder. So when I heard about a "racist" "failure" song he put out, I was thinking, "Are we talking about the same country artist who made 'Welcome to the Future' and sang for Pres. Obama at the White House?" Hell, the last time I heard an artist reference Rosa Parks in a song, it was Outkast and she was a bit annoyed about it. (I love Outkast, by the way.) All the videos for the song had been taken down so I read the lyrics of the song repeatedly trying to find the part that was so offensive. I was never offended. Then today I jump on Twitter and saw another rampage going on about the song and how L.L. is rapping about how we should forget the history of slavery. I won't lie to you. I'm not a fan of the song. The beat is a bit clumsy. The chorus could use some work. The lyrics definitely required a completely rewrite. But you and I both know the theme of the song was to not judge people solely based on looks. We can dissect all the lyrics, but you knew that's the goal both artists were going for.
Now they knew the song would be controversial and judging from their interview on "Good Morning America" they were prepared for a bit of a backlash, but what blows me away is not the song but too many people who are mad at the song. Here's why.
I completed a post about this for 2011 so I'll keep it going for this year, too. I started on Saturday night, Dec. 14, and finished at 3:51 a.m. on December 30.
ACTORS (ALSO HANDSOME MEN ~ "EYE CANDY" SOUNDS SEXIST)
1. Idris Elba
2. Ian Somerhalder
3. Michael Ealy
4. Denzel Washington
5. Ryan Gosling
6. Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def, equally excellent rapper and actor)
7. Hugh Laurie
8. Omar Epps
9. Rick Gonzalez
10. Richard Gere (I love those squinty eyes)
11. Brad Pitt (without the beard and the bizarre Chanel No. 5 commercial)
12. Robert Downey Jr. (I love everything he's in)
13. Don Cheadle
14. Lance Gross
15. Terrence Howard
16. Robert Pattinson
17. Columbus Short
18. Laurence Fishburne (Handsome guy in "Higher Learning" and "School Daze")
19. Mekhi Phifer
20. Taye Diggs
21. Michael B. Jordan (the actor, not the athlete)
1. Phylicia Rashad
2. Nia Long (I was so happy when she tweeted to me about my lucky day)
3. Sanaa Lathan
4. Erika Alexander
5. Meagan Good
6. Gabrielle Union
7. Taraji Henson
8. Dana Owens (aka Queen Latifah)
9. Regina King
10. Jasmine Guy
11. Zoe Saldana
1. "Thursday Night Book Club" (based on original work "A Friend in Need" by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge [Literary Arts Society])
1. Karen Siplin
2. Langston Hughes
1. Blistex Lip Medex (the only chapstick I use)
2. Bonne Bell lipLITES clear gloss
3. Cover Girl Professional natural lash mascara
4. Fashion Fair "Dark Brown" lip liner
5. Iman "Brass" lipstick
6. Posner Luxe Lids Eyeshadow Chocolate Collection 45001
BOOKS (OUTSIDE OF MINE)
1. "Wolves: Capturing the Natural Spirit of these Incredible Animals" by Shaun Ellis and Monty Sloan
2. "Hot Cripple" by Hogan Gorman
3. "I Got This" by Jennifer Hudson
4. "I Suck at Girls" by Justin Halpern
5. "Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now" by Toure
6. "The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey" by Walter Mosley
1. Loving Hut restaurant
2. The New 400 Theater
1. Kevin Hart
2. Chris Rock
3. Bernie Mac (R.I.P.)
4. Jamie Foxx
5. Whitney Cummings
6. Betty White ("Off Their Rockers" was gold because of her; talk show interviews are always funny, too)
1. Jennifer Lopez purple dress (on homepage slideshow)
2. Daisy Fuentes green and blue dress (on homepage slideshow)
3. Camel 4" boots
4. Black sweater dress (My mother's old dress that I'm rocking the hell out of at the age she used to wear it)
1. Runaway Potato at Loving Hut
2. Spicy BBQ at Loving Hut
3. Lemon Tofu at Loving Hut
4. California Rolls at Chi Tung
5. Thai Fried Rice with tofu at Chi Tung
6. Crab Rangoon at Chi Tung
7. Filet o' Fish at McDonald's (Yes, I realize this makes me a pescatarian)
8. Market Pantry russet boiled potatos
9. Archer Farms salt and vinegar chips
10. Archer Farms blue corn with flaxseed chips
11. Macaroni & Cheese (Mom's at Thanksgiving)
12. Dressing (Mom's at Thanksgiving)
13. Collard Greens (vegan version)
14. Sweet potato baked potatoes
15. Sweet potatoes (Mom's at Thanksgiving)
16. Market Pantry baked potatoes with margarine and imitation bacon bits
17. The reaction at work to my vegetarian chili (Cooking isn't my favorite thing to do but I totally enjoy it when people like what I make)
18. Pittman & Davis lemon squares
19. Vegetarian lasagna (I only eat lasagna at Christmas; it's a tradition)
20. Chocolate mint tea with soy milk and green or brown tea from Argo Tea
21. Garbanzo/chick pea salad from Argo Tea
22. Fresh croissants from Argo Tea
23. Quaker Snack Mix (Baked Cheddar Flavor)
24. Vegetarian platter from Boston Market (mashed potatoes, cornbread, vegetable stuffing, green beans sweet potato casserole)
25. Vegetarian bacon strips (MorningStar Farms)
26. Vegetarian Chik Patties Original (MorningStar Farms)
27. Vegetarian Original Sausage Patties (MorningStar Farms)
28. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sundae (Weight Watchers Smart Ones)
1. Fergie's Outspoken
2. Victoria's Secret Heavenly
3. Glade's Clean Linen candle
4. Glade's Cool Serenity candle
5. Glade's Cashmere Woods candle
6. Glade's Moonlit Walk candle
1. Hot 'N Gold Ionic Soft Jumbo Bonnet Dryer
2. Vitale relaxer
3. Vitale olive oil hair mayonnaise
4. Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque
5. Sofn'free Milk, Protein & Olive Oil Strengthening Creme
1. Weight Watchers program (I lost 31 lbs. I love the Points Plus program. I'm not a member anymore, but once I mastered the nutrition and fitness guidelines I was set!)
2. Flirty Girl Fitness complimentary week of fitness classes
3. The exercise routine on "The Family Hustle" with T.I. in the health club
4. The exercise routine with Yolanda on "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"
5. The exercise routine with Shaun T on "Steve Harvey" (Eventually I'll buy "Insanity.")
6. "Diet and Exercise Diary" Hinkler journal from Barnes & Noble clearance rack
7. Shaun T's "Hip-Hop Abs" tapes (I still enjoy exercising with all of them)
8. "The Trainer's Edge: Killer Abs and Back" with Michael Olajide
9. GAIAM "Fit Body Yoga" featuring Gwen Lawrence ("Core Definition" is still the hardest one to do)
10. Weight Watchers Point Plus calculator
11. SuperTracker Food Tracker from USDA (I use it almost daily)
1. President Barack Obama
2. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
3. Harriet Tubman
4. Malcolm X
5. Frederick Douglass
6. Rosa Parks
7. Nat Turner
1. My new brown couch
2. Glade electric warmer plug-ins
3. Mavea water filter
LIQUOR (OTHER DRINKS)
1. Chocolate martini at Olive Garden
2. Godiva chocolate martini at Chi Tung
3. Whiskey sour (My favorite go-to drink since college)
4. Captain Morgan's red wine
5. Arnold Palmer Half & Half iced tea
6. Lipton ice tea
7. Bigelow green tea
8. McDonald's iced coffee (medium, no liquid sugar)
MEMORIES (HAPPY ONES ONLY)
1. My mom and I going to the NBC studio to see "Steve Harvey Show" live
2. Flirty Girl Fitness spa manicure and waxing for my birthday
3. Drinking Captain Morgan's red wine with my grandfather in his backyard (the dogs next door hate me but they behaved as long as he was around)
4. Giving up my Loving Hut boycott and going two times over my birthday vacation (still can't believe I talked my meat-loving co-worker Darcel and cousin Hareder into going)
5. Olive Garden trips with Mom (always messed up my fitness journal record but any dinner date with my mother is a good time)
6. Manicure nights at Aunt Marguerite's apartment (R.I.P. September was hard)
7. Working late night shifts after moving to the fourth floor and a management change (I love the night shift and would never work a day shift in my life if I could help it. I was very cool with the management change and like my new floor better, too.)
8. Visiting the Black Ensemble Theatre for the first time to see "The Marvin Gaye Story: Don't Talk About My Father Because God Is My Friend" for my mother's birthday
9. Showing up to work to see a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my co-worker Jenniffer after my great great aunt passed; I was not expecting that at all.
10. Going to my brother's Halloween birthday party; I had a great time, saw a bunch of his in-laws that I hadn't seen in years and enjoyed terrorizing one of my cousins, too.
11. Cutting up all of my store and regular credit cards (The Frontline episode about how much credit card companies scam you really woke me up. I have been far more disciplined with my spending and am actually paying off cards instead of increasing balances.)
12. Being so loyal to walking Faith anytime I visit my parents' house that I went out with two-inch heels on while it was storming, grabbed my umbrella and a thick coat, and still walked that dog (who stopped at every single tree and pole) on Thanksgiving night
13. Getting the birthday card in the mail from my brother with us as kids that said, "I got your back" on the inside. I thought that was pretty cool and I wasn't expecting a card at all because he's not usually a card sender. He sent two. (In my defense, I swear it looked like a stuff monkey!)
14. My boss reenacting what it's like to walk a family member's dogs (She's funny regardless but she's even funnier when she tells a story.)
15. Reading "Keeping the Promise"; I miss Mr. Ellison. I've worked with a lot of PR reps but he was the most efficient, polite and fascinating to talk to about his own writing history. R.I.P. I'd read everything he ever wrote.
16. Making the November page in my mother's 2013 photo calendar. I made one side super silly photos of us and the other pretty photos, but the silly photos are the best ones (IMO). My favorites: Her puckering her lips out and me hiding in a box.
17. Surprise visit from my brother-from-another-mother Shuntal at Christmas. I haven't seen him in person in at least eight or nine years. It was very good to see him although he came for other circumstances.
18. Hanging out with my cousin Yolanda on Christmas Eve. I never see her on Christmas, only Thanksgiving, and I really had a good time catching up with her.
19. Catching up with my old girl scout leader Lela (won't include last name) is always fun. I was a girl scout from the age of 9-14 but I have made a point of staying in contact with her. She's hilarious and always a pleasure to be around.
20. My grandfather accusing me of biting my dog on a calendar photo. I told him Faith nuzzled up to my face. His response? "Well, somebody's got to initiate the kiss."
21. Surprising Aunt Marguerite with a visit from my grandfather for her second 100th birthday party (Doesn't a centenarian deserve two parties? I think so!) Click here to see the video of some friends and family singing to her.
22. Setting up my cousin Hareder's website for a pageant (I learned a lot more about her and enjoyed reading her responses to FAQs. It was educational and far more enjoyable to create than I expected.)
23. The look of shock when I saw the guy who came to pick up my old couch from a Craigslist posting. Man, he was cute. I never told him that, but I was equally impressed seeing him in a suit the second time around when he came to get the throw pillows that I didn't need.
24. The look of appreciation from the mother and daughter who picked up the Taylor Lautner umbrella and blanket I gave away on Craigslist.
25. Seeing Al Green live at Ravinia (I'd never been to that concert before; it was cool even on the lawn)
26. Christmas card from Georgia B. every year (I'll always enjoy hearing from the family, and it makes me think of grandmother every time)
27. Getting a call from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois as the first Go Red Fan of the Week winner for the "It's Heart Awareness Month" competition; It was for my photo with Faith (with me wearing a red sweater) and I won a gift card.
1. "Think Like a Man"
3. "Breaking Dawn (Part 2)"
4. "The Notebook"
5. "Taken from Me: The Tiffany Rubin Story"
6. "Crazy, Stupid, Love"
7. "Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned"
8. "Justin Timberlake: Futuresex/Loveshow"
9. "Friends With Benefits"
10. "Higher Learning" (my favorite movie for two decades)
11. "Love Jones" (timeless movie)
12. "Something New" (Made me a Sanaa Lathan fan for the first time)
13. "Iron Man"
14. "Iron Man 2"
17. "Flight" (Ecstatic to see John Goodman in a recent film)
MUSIC (singles and artists)
1. Afroflow "Call Us By Name"
2. Afroflow "Ethiopia (Everything Will Be All Right)"
3. Afroflow "It Makes You Feel Good"
4. Afroflow "My Element"
5. Afroflow "Warrior's Rhythm"
6. Akon "I Wanna Love You"
7. Akon "Mama Africa"
8. Akon feat. T-Pain "I Can't Wait"
9. Akon "Rain"
10. Al Green and Queen Latifah "Simply Beautiful"
11. Andre 3000's verse on T.I.'s "Sorry"
12. Beyonce "4" album
13. Bob Marley "Waiting in Vain"
14. Bob Marley "One Love"
15. Bob Marley "Three Little Birds"
16. Bob Marley "Redemption Song"
17. Bob Marley "Satisfy My Soul"
18. Bob Marley "Turn the Lights Down Low"
19. Bob Marley "Jammin'"
20. Brad Paisley "Alcohol"
21. Brad Paisley "Ticks"
22. Brad Paisley "Waitin' On a Woman"
23. Brad Paisley "Oh Yeah, You're Gone"
24. Brad Paisley "The Pants"
25. Brad Paisley "I'm Still a Guy"
26. Brandy "Two Eleven" album
27. Brandy "Afrodisiac" album
28. Brandy and Monica "It All Belongs to Me"
29. Bruno Mars "The Lazy Song"
30. Chris Brown "Fortune" album
31. Chris Brown "Marvin's Room" on "Boy in Detention"
32. Damian Marley "Move"
33. Damian Marley "Mr. Marley"
34. David Banner "Malcolm X (A Song to Me)"
35. David Banner "Swag Remix" from "Sex, Drugs & Video Games"
36. David Essex "Rock On"
37. Drake "Comeback Season"
38. Drake "Take Care" (the single)
39. Elle Varner's "Perfectly Imperfect" album
40. Finatticz "Don't Drop That Thun Thun"
41. Fugees "Killing Me Softly"
42. Frank Ocean "Thinking About You"
43. Game feat. Meek Mills "Scared Now" (Sometimes it's hard to shake a ratchet song.)
44. Herbie Hancock "Chameleon"
45. Herbie Hancock "St. Louis Blues"
46. Herbie Hancock "Watermelon Man"
47. Ice Cube's verse on "You Gotta Lotta That"
48. Ice Cube "Hood Mentality"
49. J. Cole "Can't Get Enough"
50. J. Cole and Drake "In the Morning"
51. Jay-Z "Dig a Hole"
52. John Legend "Green Light"
53. John Legend feat. Pusha T on "Tonight"
54. Jerrod Niemann "What Do You Want"
55. Justin Bieber feature on "Ladies Love Me" from Chris Brown's "Boy in Detention"
56. Luther Vandross "I'm Only Human"
57. Maino "That Could Be Us"
58. Marcus Canty "Won't Make a Fool Out of You"
59. Marvin Gaye -- anything by him
60. Mary J. Blige "Someone to Love Me"
61. Mary J. Blige "Just Fine"
62. Michael Jackson "Butterflies"
63. Michael Jackson "Stranger in Moscow"
64. Miguel "Adorn"
65. Nas "Life Is Good" (album)
66. RaVaughn "Same ol BS"
67. Rihanna "Unapologetic"
68. Sade "Love Is Stronger than Pride"
69. T-Pain "Five o' Clock"
70. T.I. feat. Cee lo "Hello"
71. T.I. "Wonderful Life"
72. T.I. "Hallelujah"
73. Timbaland feat. Drake "Say Something"
74. The Game "Scared Now" (Every blue moon I grow attached to a ratchet song.)
75. Usher "Looking 4 Myself" (album)
76. Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos) -- anything by him
77. Young Jeezy "I Do"
1. "Adam Lanza, and others who committed mass shootings, were white males"
2. President Obama speaking up about gun control
3. Clarence Page's Page from the Tribune
4. "The Rachel Maddow Show"
5. "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell
6. Anderson Cooper and his "Ridiculist"
7. BET's "Don't Sleep" with T.J. Holmes
1. "Harlem Sweeties" by Langston Hughes
1. Election night 2012 in the Tribune's newsroom
2. Pres. Obama crying while thanking his campaign team in Chicago
3. Chicago Tribune's Election Center updates on Election night
4. Chicago Tribune's Local Election updates on Election night
5. Bill Clinton's "brass" speech during Obama's campaign (I was too young to realize how fascinating and intelligent a speaker he was when he was president; I get it now)
1. "Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance." -Samuel Johnson
2. "Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is not." -Henry Van Dyke
3. "A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes." -Author Unknown
4. "Your eyes tell more than your mouth can maneuver." -Shamontiel (I made it up in college)
5. "Home is where the beach is." -Author Unknown
6. "Keep smiling. It makes everyone wonder what you have been up to." (Sign I took from my grandmother's home when she passed away)
1. Power 105's The Breakfast Club (interviews ONLY, DJ Envy is the only cool one)
2. Big Boy's Neighborhood
3. Herb Kent on V103
4. Boolu Master mixes
1. Up & Up cocoa butter lotion (deep conditioning)
2. Caress' Endless Kiss (Creamy Vanilla & Sandalwood) soap
3. Caress' Evenly Gorgeous soap
4. Caress' Sheer Twilight soap
5. Nadinola's cocoa butter cream
6. Tropic Sun Aloe Vera Gel
7. Suave Cocoa Butter with Shea lotion
1. Shopkick app (The Smartphone coupons really do work; just scan at checkout)
2. T-Mobile® myTouch® Q - Black
3. Instagram phone app
1. "The Vampire Diaries" (only after Damon allegedly sired Elena and every scene with Klaus and Rebekah)
3. "Love You Mean It"
4. "Joan & Melissa" (I cry laughing at the medical marijuana episode when they jumped in fully clothed.)
5. Luther on "Key & Peele"
6. Tyler Perry's "For Better or Worse"
8. "Sleeper Cell"
9. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" (The other season extras are entertaining)
10. "Common Law"
13. "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (favorite episode is Jimmy [Drake] on the roof with Hazel when he gave her the necklace)
14. "Friends" (The turkey "I love you" episode with Monica)
15. "Ally McBeal"
16. "The New Adventures of Old Christine"
18. "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell" (I was ecstatic to see Yasiin Bey on the episode about Superstorm Sandy)
19. Jamie Foxx on "Ellen" with the horse/black woman impersonation and talking about black women holding back while dancing
20. "The Steve Harvey Show" (The microphone boy is my favorite episode!)
21. Gloria for calling out Bambi on a wolf ticket on "Basketball Wives LA" and for staying on her work hustle and out of the cattiness that is that show (I can't tolerate the Miami version at all even though Jennifer is cool)
22. "House" (I laugh every time House dances with that beatbox and his cane)
23. "Roseanne" (I tear up every time Darlene does that poem for her class)
24. "The Golden Girls" (Fav episode: Dorothy and the Secret Service agent with the jewelry thiefs)
25. "The Cosby Show" (I own all eight seasons)
26. "A Different World" (When will they release the other seasons?)
1. Men who wear their pants at a regular size (no extra sagging baggy jeans and absolutely no sagging skinny jeans)
2. Men who keep their haircut neat (Even if you're rocking dreadlocks, keep them neat)
3. Men who keep their facial hair neat (Still a big fan of short goatees)
4. Tall men (I wish I could shake this one because it's so superficial, but I've always been a magnet for tall guys. I don't know what's up with 5'11" to 6"5 men but that's who I end up dating at least 95% of the time.)
5. Men with smooth, full lips (I still laugh out loud remembering the time my godmother Sheila yelled out, "I can't take it! Give him some chapstick!" at the screen when Wood Harris was on "Not Easily Broken.")
6. Men who like to smell nice (body oil, cologne, whatever, just a nice fragrance)
7. Smooth skin (I don't have a complexion preference. I've dated guys who were Bizzy Bone's complexion and then went straight to Morris Chestnut's complexion, but a smooth shave is sexy.)
8. Men who enjoy smiling and have nice teeth (ex. Morris Chestnut, Idris Elba, Taye Diggs)
1. Men with full-time steady employment (I have no interest in grown-up dependents. I have been supporting me for a decade, but can you support yourself?)
2. Men who care about their health (If you think HIV/AIDS isn't real, have never been tested and randomly have unsafe sex, please keep your suicidal body away from me. When a guy doesn't care about his own health, there's 100% chance he couldn't care less about yours, ladies.)
3. Men who know there's a time and place (and a level) for PDA (If you're grabbing a woman's butt in public, stick to chickenheads.)
4. Men with positive role models in their lives (You can tell a lot about a man by how his father treats his mother [or stepmother] and how often his father was in his life. And just because a woman gave birth to you doesn't make her a great human being. Watch how he treats his mother and how she treats other men. You'll learn how he feels women should treat men from that, too.)
5. Men with their names on their leases (I'm too grown to deal with somebody's roommate and I haven't dated a guy who lives with his Mom since I was 20.)
6. Men who like to be active/eat healthy (I've never dated a vegetarian [although I am one] but because I'm so adamant about regular exercise and eating healthy, it's cool to meet guys with equal mindsets. Guys I've dated have always been either athletic or into health.)
7. Men who own their own cars (Men with no cars think everyone is their taxicab, love to tell you where to go and never pay for parking. I tried being open-minded about this with two guys who had suspended licenses. It got old very quickly. It still boggles my mind at the guys I meet with no cars who are offended by public transportation. Buy a CTA pass and stop freeloading on everybody else's gas.)
8. Men who understand and follow the motto that the words "woman" or "lady" are not synonymous with "bitch" or "ho." They're two different groups of people. Listen to Jay-Z's song "Bitches versus Women." I agree with it.
9. Men who spend wisely (If you want to splurge, that's your business but please do something else with your money besides budget for strippers, weed, jewelry and video games. Savings accounts, 401(k) and CDs help you create a future.)
10. Men who like to read for fun (Newspapers [besides the sports section], books, magazines [something other than just entertainment articles])
11. Men who respect individuality (I applaud the Drakes of the world who will look at an industry and still be themselves instead of the carbon copy of what they think other people want them to be. Just be you. Somebody will appreciate it sooner or later.)
12. Men who realize a date means going to a place where neither of us are looking at our own furniture, our own food or our own porch. You're a grown up. Leave the couch.
13. Men with manners ("Please," "thank you," "excuse me" and "after you" never hurt anyone.)
14. Men who believe in monogamy (I've never caught any guy I was dating cheating, but I've heard too many horror stories. If you plan on having sex with multiple women, save her the waste of time and energy. Date; don't be in a relationship. And don't even bother to ask me to date you if you have a girlfriend or wife. It'll never happen.)
15. Men who do not use the word "nigger" or "nigga" like it's a compliment. (It will never be and both men and women sound absolutely disrespectful every time they say it. The meaning has not changed. Expand your vocabulary. And I say this from the perspective of someone who used to argue about how it was okay to use it. NMU changed that.)
16. Men who can fix things, especially mechanics or appliance repair people (I swear blue collar jobs like this are so underrated. I totally respect white collar jobs, but men who can fix things are great people.)
17. Men who are laid-back (I'm not the most nonchalant person in the world so I tend to shy away from other people who are glued to drama. The best relationships I've been in were with guys who preferred peace over looking for beef, and we parted on good terms and occasionally stayed in touch over the years.)
18. Men who know who the hip-hop pioneers are and actually respect them
19. Men who can beatbox (Maybe it's because I'm a fan of old school but my eyes bug out every time I hear a guy start beatboxing.)
20. Men who like to dance (Whether you're a natural like Chris Brown, groove like 2 Chainz or just two-stepping like Jay-Z, as long as you can keep the rhythm, we're good to go. I like to see a guy let down his guard and just snap on the dance floor though.)
21. Men who aren't the jealous type (Protective does not mean paranoid, and "platonic friendship" actually does happen. Don't let negativity overpower you.)
22. Men who have a sense of humor (If you are funny, you will always be a step above any other guy I'm looking at. And if you make faces just to make me laugh, I will adore you even more.)
3. Ada's Student Etsy store (also on my Mom's website)
6. iHeart Comedy Radio
8. AOL Listening Party
9. AOL Online Radio
10. Project Playlist
13. Chicago Tribune's Health page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)
14. Chicago Tribune's Travel page (Yes, I update it therefore I am 100% biased)
15. McDonald's Full Menu Food Tracker (Easier to eat healthy and know what you eat)
16. The Good Men Project
YOUTUBE (OTHER) VIDEOS
1. Drake's interview with Katie Couric
2. DMX sings "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
3. President Obama sheds a tear after being reelected
4. Brandy's "Put It Down" video with Chris Brown
5. Obama's Kiss Cam video
6. "The Unexpected" sorority step routine on "Awkward Black Girl" (start at 2:28)
7. "Think Like a Man" cast talks about battle with the sexes
8. "Think Like a Man" cast with Regina Hall acting a fool
9. Tijuana Jackson interviews "Think Like a Man" cast
10. Jamie Foxx on Saturday Night Live as a Ding Dong
I'm not sure what's up lately, but in the past couple of months I have been beaten over the head with this light-skinned versus dark-skinned debate on Twitter, on dates, on television and even with loved ones. While watching CNN's "Who's Black in America" special tonight, I watched my timeline and observed some of the most bitter tweets about how dark-skinned and light-skinned people are treated, who looks and acts better, and the one-drop rule. Finally I got tired of reading them and tweeted, "The light-skinned vs. dark-skinned stereotypes might've been fed to US but I swear we keep on EATING it. Put the fork down. #BlackinAmerica." That tweet was retweeted 7 times and favorited one time. I was honestly surprised anybody retweeted it at all with the amount of complaining I was reading about this special. But this argument about complexion needs to end, whether it's in pop culture, beauty magazines, the job industry or in relationships.
While some of us are repeatedly ranting about Beyonce being viewed as the most beautiful woman in the world (blonde weave, light complexion), she's working on something that really matters with an equally beautiful brown-skinned woman, FLOTUS Michelle Obama, like the Let's Move campaign! I'm willing to bet neither one of them is sitting around harping on the color, texture or length of each other's hair.
Because I worked for the Chicago Defender a few years back, any film about the Pullman Porters catches my attention. I didn't know much about them until I worked for that paper, but after hearing so much about their history, I always embrace learning more. I've checked out many books and movies about them. However, I did not know about the issues the Pullman Porters had with starting a union. "10,000 Black Men Named George" starred some of my favorite actors, such as Andre Braugher, Charles S. Dutton and Mario Van Peebles.
Braugher plays journalist and activist Asa Philip Randolph, who is responsible for forming the first black union in the United States of America. With actors like these and the intense topic of the film, I was pretty sure it was going to be good. I was disgusted by the amount of obstacles these men faced (but not surprised). What caught my attention the most was a line about Mexicans and Filipinos though because I think it would be good for college (and maybe high school) discussions about the current state of employment and how certain races may be pitted against each other. (Keep in mind I think everybody should have the ability to have an honest job regardless of race, but the lengths the Pullman Rail Company went to to keep these men unemployed or desperate for money was uncomfortable to watch.)
Book Review: 'Who's Afraid of Post-Blackness?: What It Means to Be Black Now' by Toure (5 out of 5 stars)
I started off a little shaky about reading this book. I didn't agree with his antics on the Piers Morgan debate but then he apologized. I thought he was going way too hard with the Roland Martin jokes. Both times I got the book and then hesitated to read it because if I was going to end up reading more Twitter rants, I would've passed. I followed him for about a week before I couldn't handle another obnoxious tweet. But a co-worker (who doesn't know anything about hip-hop) complimented a library book she recently read "Never Drank the Kool-Aid: Essays" and I knew Toure's name from an interview with Jay-Z and a bunch of articles when I subscribed to "Rolling Stone" magazine so I gave it a whirl.
I've been a supporter of Amazon.com for well over a decade. The company was helpful in side income when I was in school (buying and selling used textbooks, selling collectible items and at one point electronics). I used to own an Amazon Store Card, an Amazon Credit Card, an Amazon Vine account, a Seller Marketplace account and an Amazon Connect account. So why would I boycott a company that I've been a supporter of for so long? Sometimes loyalty to a company won't matter to that company, especially if it can take your money and disregard your concerns in the first place.
I have exactly 981 Amazon reviews on that site and have enjoyed reviewing books, music and movies over the years. I've also enjoyed networking. What I didn't enjoy was seeing a review about Toure's book "Who's Afraid of Post Blackness?" from this account. Everyone has a right to his/her opinion, and I can deal with someone's opposing political views. What I won't tolerate is comments like,
"Blacks will still take the side of an obvious black criminal over the police officer who arrested him." (Inaccurate. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty.)
"For every Obama there are 10,000 black underclass who are dangerous to the wider community but especially to the black communities in which they live." (Absolutely no credible source to back up this random [and more than likely made-up] statistic.)
"According to Ebony Magazine, the three most respected black leaders in the black community are Jackson, Farrakhan, and Sharpton, three of a kind, anti-white, anti-semitic, and empowered through grievance." (I asked for a year/date of publication from him considering the rest of his review was so anti-black and I doubt he's ever picked up an Ebony magazine. He could not provide one. I also don't think that standing up for the rights of African-Americans makes you "anti-white." Al Sharpton for one has been very persistent about there not being a "black America" but a "United States of America.")
Now I can't stop someone from having an opinion, but if Amazon's policy is to not accept reviews that are "obscene or distasteful content" or "profanity or spiteful remarks," then I don't understand how that review passed through. I've observed Amazon take down reviews from people for just not reading a full book, but a review saying "Only when this pathologic sense of grievance is left behind will the black community be able to join the rest of the civilized world" is okay? So we're not civilized either?
It's that time again to count down five things that made me smile this past week so here we go!
1. Betty White's "Off Their Rockers": I am all about "The Golden Girls." I TIVO that show and watch it whenever I'm relaxing at home and/or while I'm doing my hair before work. Those are my TV friends right up there with "Living Single" and a couple folks from "A Different World." But Betty White's new prank show entertains me far more. I can't get enough of watching these seniors play jokes on their younger victims. I rewound the old guy skateboarding at least five times and took the DVD to my grandfather's house so he could see it. Damn DVD wouldn't play in his DVD player, but I'll be back again because I want him to see it.
2. Jarod's front on "Real Housewives of Atlanta": The other guys who did the foot and hand massages and fed women strawberries were all well and good. But that's regular stuff. This Kenyan guy Jarod stepped into Kandi's shop with the kind of sexy that just doesn't show up everyday. I was honestly stunned looking at this man with his shirt off. He's got a young face and looks a little bashful, but he took that red shirt off and I paused my television. I rewound him turning around at least five times. I've seen handsome guys before, but this is that strong raw appeal. *round of applause for Jarod's parents for creating him and to whatever workout equipment he uses*
3. Jarod's back on "Real Housewives of Atlanta": I don't care that I mentioned him in #2. He deserves a separate entry just for how he takes care of the back of himself. Yes, his pants could've hid his boxer briefs a little, but they sat at a tasteful angle. Give this man a standing ovation!
1. Ultimate Merger: I give major respect to the show for using faux fur instead of real fur. Thanks @LilVanPeebles for calling me out about that because I originally comp-tweet-lained before I knew it was fake. The show is interesting and there's some serious eye candy on here, too. Usually on these dating shows there are only 1 or 2 guys I enjoy, but a lot of these guys are entertaining. So far, I'm cheering for Jason, Cedric, Frank and King. I like temperamental Harvey playing "big brother," too.
2. David Banner's "Swag": I can't remember the last time (minus Eminem's "Syllables") that I actually had to listen to a hip-hop song more than a couple times to make sure I got all the lyrics. Usually it's a bunch of negative gibberish with a tight beat. I can dance to a few, but I'd NEVER buy it. This song, however, I respect. I respect what David Banner is doing professionally anyway, but this cut sealed it for me. (Just an FYI, I despise it when people use the word "nigga" and completely disregard the history. I went through a stage in high school when I thought it was OK but college quickly poured ice water on me and I haven't used it in conversation--outside of quoting--since then.)
I woke up and after waiting for the maintenance guy in my apartment to fix an issue, I headed out to run errands. I used to people watch more when I was younger than I do now. There are times that I observe people, but then there are times when I'm so focused on getting things done that I just don't care what everybody else is doing. On my way from the bank to a CTA stop to put money on my Chicago card, a guy strolled by me, said "Hello," I said "Hi" and kept it moving. He goes, "Eh, cah ask you a question?" and immediately my eyes rolled. I don't know what he was getting ready to ask and anybody who can't find anything better to do than hang by an el stop on a weekday isn't somebody I feel I'm going to get some beneficial information from. Maybe it was beneficial, but it just looked like he had a lot of free time on his hands. I just kept walking. I really didn't want to hear it. (My instincts were right. A police car rolled by and he disappeared faster than Casper!) A few days back I was on my cell and this guy screams out, "Eh 'scuse me, 'scuse me, oooh she bad! Don't you think she bad?" I'm sure it was meant to be a compliment, but it just made me cringe. First of all, the guy was my father's age, and I know some women like older men, but I can't stand it when folks who could've been my father walk up to talk to me like we're on the same level. You should be trying to teach me something not trying to undress me. Gross!
However, there are times when I will stop and listen to people speak about a bunch of nothing. There's a special place in my heart for the elderly.