Friday, November 27, 2009

Highschool Musical: Inner City Edition

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Broadway may very well have come to the inner city. Jamaal Speakes is using a musical to influence the minds of inner city Los Angeles youth. A modern day Westside Story if you ask me, a Black teen moves from Philly to LA and falls in love with a Latino girl. In a community where it is Black vs Brown, "no one understands their love". Well, it was cute. I'm all for interracial love and quelling interracial turmoil. But I would prefer if it was the other way around. Black girl moves to LA and a Latino boy falls in love with her. Why? I think this may perpetuate beauty and desirability stereotypes (particularly in the Black community) However, to truly elaborate on this will require another post.
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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Best. Thing. I. Have. Ever. Seen. Ever.

The Muppets have their own rendition of the Queen classic and one of my shower time/road trip favorites, Bohemian Rhapsody. I've watched the youtube clip 4 times at this point and am sure I can watch it at least ten more times. The funniest happiest thing I have seen in a while. Makes me feel like a kid watching the Muppet show. They should bring that back by the way. Instead the kids today are watching For the Love of Ray J. I mean, I believe the children are our future...
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Angelina hates Barack Obama? Odd...

Angelina Jolie apparently hates Barack Obama. Hates. Hmm...

One would assume she was a lefty-liberal but apparently she believes that Barack Obama is a "socialist in disguise". The Jolie insider (backstabber if you ask me) told Us Weekly magazine “She’s into education and rehabilitation and thinks Obama is all about welfare and handouts". Based on what policies? The bank bailout was a Bush policy that was already in action when Obama came to office (Duh! Bush signed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act in Oct 2008) so... I am indeed an Obama supporter but what exactly has he done to date (domestic policy wise) besides push this health care reform bill. I am not saying this to be particularly critical of the president after all it is just year one. But for every one to get all bunchy in the drawers about him being a socialist particularly Miss-Rainbow Family? Chill Out. Ted Kennedy was a socialist, he said so. Now what? Dare you to say something bad about him.

They say she thinks Obama is all smoke and mirrors. Well, that still remains to be seen. I will tell you what all smoke and mirrors, Jolie's adoptions from developing countries. There are a number of children that need to be adopted here, on the streets of LA , in the rural areas of Louisiana blocks or miles from her home. Rather she establishes the new symbol of smug elitism, adopting babies from Uganda somewhere promoting Western cultural hegemony. Sure she and Madonna take their little exotic possessions back to their home country. However, little Zahara Maddox and David Banda in their little gucci loafers and Burberry scarves will not be able to develop a legitimate connection to a place in which those raising them too have not legitimate connection (example: David Banda inquiring about his father's nose and why his father was poor. I predict self-hatred issues in his teens. Put money on it.)

Anyway she's a smug elitist, who is uncomfortably skinny, constantly wears black and is terribly influential. That is scarier than any socialist.
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Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Broadway Show draws Black Hollywood (financial) Support

Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith along with Jay-Z have teamed up to produce (and produce I mean invested in) the new Broadway show Fela!. The show is based upon the life of the cultural icon Fela Kuti, known for his multi-instrumental talent and Afro beat sound and political activism. Fela, a proponent of Black power and Pan-Africanism did live a very colorful life, certainly one warranting a Broadway show. Not only an musician, the native of Nigeria attempted to run for President of his country, spoke out against military/police corruption. He sang most of his songs in pidgin English (think of it as Jamaican Patois for Africa). He married many, many wives and served almost 2 years in jail for drummed up charges of currency smuggling. He unfortunately died of AIDS in 1997. He left music that has an international influence that has touched those of many cultures. But most importantly he left music for and reflecting his own people.
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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Former U.S. Rep. Jefferson Gets 13 Years for Coruption

Former Louisiana congressman William Jefferson was recently sentenced for his infamous $90,000 stored in the freezer corruption scandal. Considering that he was facing up to 150 years in prison, 13 years should be considered a victory.
The son of a grade school dropout and Harvard Law graduate he was a man of many accomplishments and some one I admired. He was first African-American to represent Louisiana in Congress since Reconstruction and a senior member of the powerful Ways and Means Committee. I had the privilege of meeting one of his daughters a few years back while living in New Orleans, Jalila Jefferson-Bullock. She was very encouraging, admirable and fly as hell. She was a Louisiana State rep. at the time and is a Harvard Law grad like her father certainly a model for myself who was a young woman starting out at the time.
It is unfortunate that this story has become tainted. Not that I am surprised, Louisiana politics are known to be corrupt. What is surprising is the fact that he was involved with Nigerians. As a Nigerian-American I have another reason to hang my head in shame this week. The country of my grandfathers continues to throw away money instead spending it on the betterment of its people.

So former Rep. Jefferson gets 13 years instead of 150 years, great, but many have lost a hero. Myself included.

[Image via CNN]
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Friday, November 13, 2009

Why is My Cousin Stalking Ryan Seacrest?

I just taught my class the concept of 'linked fate'. Coined my Michael Dawson, it is basically the idea that what happens to one member of your group somehow affects you positively or negatively. The best way to describe it is when a serial killer is finally caught and Black person is just praying that he/she isn't also Black (Yes, we do that). "Please don't let it be one of our own" is certainly the sentiment when something tragic goes on. As a Nigerian-American I have the additional feeling when there is some heist or international scam, "please don't let them be Nigerian". But this story really takes the cake. Of all psychos to be so easily entertained that Ryan Seacrest (of all people) would be the object of their pursuits, this dummy had to be Nigerian. Ugh! Not only is he Nigerian he's Igbo, my ethnic group. Are you serious? I'm so embarrassed and with a name like Chidi Uzomah I can't help but claim him. Only God knows why he was stalking Ryan Seacrest. It's not like his parents (if he's Nigerian-American) encouraged a singing career. Singing competitions aren't apart of the admissions process for med school, law school, etc. so... *Shaking my head* Come get my cousin please.

*Not really my cousin*
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Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Death of Auto-Tune? CBS Reports

It must seriously be a slow news week. CBS actually took the time off from hyping up the few and otherwise inconsequential off-year state/local elections to do a segment on the musical phenomenon...Auto-tune. Really.

What was interesting is that they went completely mainstream with their coverage artists. They suggested that Kenny Chesney and Rihanna may have used it for tone correction (bless her heart, but we know Rihanna is using it). CBS even mentioned Cher and her 1998 hit Believe. I mean it was a good song and all but... Conspicuously missing was a mention of T-Pain (admittedly he's a bit of a hometown hero) who has made a place in urban and popular music with his amazing production and his distinctive auto-tuned vocals. I mean he was only hot for the past three years. Oh and Kanye West. Are they going to say they don't know Kanye West? He was on the news for a week last month for interrupting Taylor Swift's acceptance speech during the Video Music Awards. Kanye West's recent platinum selling 808s and Heartbreak was completely auto-tune. Completely. I find it odd tat these artists weren't mentioned.

So apparently there is this new "thing", auto-tuning the news. It is quite innovative. They take Katie Couric or Bill O'Reilly and alter their voice with auto-tune, giving the news anchor (or what ever you call Bill O'Reilly) a melodic sound. And by they I mean some jobless geeks who have now proven that even that you don't need talent to sing. You don't even need to be singing to sing. Now that some nerds and Katie Couric are on the auto-tune bandwagon, I believe Jay-Z has finally gotten his wish. Auto-tune is soon to meet its death.

Check the clip below.
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