Monday, December 21, 2015

Reel Talk: The Perfect Guy

Synopsis: After breaking up with her boyfriend, a professional woman gets involved with a man who seems too be good true.

Review:  If it was director David M. Rosenthal's intentions to create a bonafide entry in the B-Film sub-genre, then congratulations sir, you have succeeded! The laughable script and predictable plot alone would make even the most ardent Lifetime Network affcniadoes , collectively roll  their eyes more than the cast of Atlanta Housewives. All of the central actors involved in this movie have been in far better films. Do yourself a favor, watch those instead (D) - CgN

Monday, December 14, 2015

Corner Spotlight: Brand New Heavies- Dream on Dreamer

If there was ever an act that deserves a TV One episode of Unsung, the Acid Jazz/R&B  collective known as Brand New Heavies definitely fits the bill. Mostly known for their early 90s smash hit Never Stop, the London based group  has been a staple in the music scene for the better part of 30 years. I chose this song because it has been somewhat of mantra for me in regards to the accomplishments of  my personal goals as of late. Situations may not go according to plan, people may no longer be in your circle, and insecurity will attempt to take hold of your being. But sometimes, " gets in your way." When this occurs, take your feet of this solid ground and continue to Dream on dreamer! -CgN

Monday, December 7, 2015

Classic Corner: Dear Olivia...

Before we hop into our letter, I need you to grab a seat  for a couple of congregation announcements:

Uno: In the upper left hand corner (My left not your left silly) you'll notice that I have included a "Search" option for the blog!  Now you can peruse through every "Classic Corner" posted without the hassle of utilizing the blog archive! You know, I do things because I love you!

Uno + Uno= Two! I have created a Twitter account! (Insert spooky sounds for no apparent reason) Since you follow everyone from Beyonce to Grumpy Cat, why not add me to that list? On top of that, it's free! (What do you mean it doesn't cost money to follow anyone? Then who the hell have I been paying to stalk Betty White?)

Now, back to business!!!

Dear Olivia:

You and IIIIIII (Rick James Voice) , we go way back! I remember when I first became aware of you! You were prancing, in what I can only describe as a silly pajama set found on  a  random Cabbage Patch doll, on top of the Apollo Theater next to Heathcliff Huxtable.  I'm not allowed to use his real name because he's been erased from pop culture. You see, Rudy's cuteness was  beginning to wear off, so Carsey Werner and  the Pudding Man needed to act quickly or else they would lose a large percentage of their 3 year old and under demographic...or something. So, enter you Olivia and boy you didn't disappoint! From your spot on rendition of The Beatles' Twist and Shout to your desire to be a middle linebacker by the name of Bonecrusher, you had us eating out of the palms of your hands. But your glow worm like charm would only last but for so long. As you got older, you became more and more obnoxious. So much so that they had to introduce Winne and Nelson, the offspring of the least relevant of  Claire's kids: Sondra, and the bane of my existence: Elvin Tibideaux!

You have the face only a mother should abort!

But even with those jump the shark moments, which resulted in the inevitable cancellation of the "Uh", Ghost Dad Show,  your diabolical plans could not be thwarted. No, it just encouraged you to expand your brand that much more! It started when you decided to wet your talon in the pool of popular rap music. The result, a song that makes Snow's Informant seem like a bonus track off of Illmatic:

Where's Kanye When You Need Him!?

You then went on to plague, I mean, star in the beloved sitcom Hanging With Mr. Cooper. As a result, you  provided me with many bathroom breaks when the writers allowed you to grace my  television screen with your fellow imp of a co-star:

Yo Coop! How come I'm the only that who gets paid with  six packs of Zima!?

Ol' boy actually has a Sound-Cloud page and assured me that his songs would get me to "move my body". Well, if he was referring to the convulsions I was thrown into after listening to a snippet of his artistic offerings than he was absolutely correct. Back to you Olivia! So  you went on to conquer the world, or at least the Disney channel, with That's So Raven, a show so devoid of humor that D-Listed actor Stoney Jackson thought it was beneath him.

Taken Directly From His Still Active Black Planet Page

Since then, you've been in movies, have sold millions of albums (still trying to figure that one out) and have stretched your fifteen minutes of fame into  an over two decade stranglehold on pop culture . Even with you being somewhat of a mainstay on someone's scope, rarely have you popped up on my radar... until now. I have recently been made aware that you are currently a co-host on the show that can only be described as the side effect of menopause: The View. Now being that daytime television is the equivalent of watching Rick Ross attempt Pilates, I tend to avoid it at all cost. However, the "internets" keep me informed on all your foot in mouth shenanigans. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. So I won't hold it against you if you feel that Harriet Tubman shouldn't be on the twenty dollar bill or how you don't want to be labeled as "Gay". Rather you simply want to be known as  a "human who loves other humans"...right.
Don't worry! If she won't love you, I will!

But when you say  make a statement, such as the following, I have to put you in check:

I am very discriminatory against words like the ones that they were saying in those names... I'm not about to hire you if your name is 'Watermelondrea.' It's just not gonna happen. I'm not gonna hire you." - Olivia Kendall

I have to say Olivia, you are quite the imbecile! I thought you had reach the acme of your stupidity when you claimed that you where from "Every continent in Africa"! I'm sure the folks at where tripping over themselves to make you their new spokesperson.This latest quote though, takes the cake, that's if you haven't already eaten eat! The fact that you would not only rationalize but encourage discriminatory practices shows the level of self hatred that you possess. Now if you were to keep these opinions to yourself or within your inner circle,  fine! But you have projected  bigoted views on a national platform! This same platform that acts as the only source of information to some. Therefore, it makes your myopic views the gospel to those who don't encounter African Americans on a consistent basis! What that does, is that it creates and facilitates damaging notions that most of us ,of African American descent, have to combat against each and every day of our lives! And let's not even  mention  the hypothetical name you chose to use in your example! I'm sure you are quite aware that images such as watermelons fuel the damning stereotypes that have plagued our esteem for decades. Yet, you use it in such a flippant manner as if  it is simply a mere colloquialism  or worse yet, be used as a tool for comedic purposes. What makes this so mind boggling is that you yourself are a "minority" two times over! But let's bring this a little closer to home.Do you think you would be at  the top of the candidate pool at a Fortune Five hundred company with the name Raven hyphen Symone?  Let's take it a step further, since you are such an advocate against all things "Ghetto". You have sported some rather questionable styles in your brief stint on The View. One such look had me believe that you were the official spokesperson for the re-release of the cult classic Rock-A-Doodle!

How does the old adage go? Ah yes, don't throw stones if you live in a glass house, correct? Hopefully the occupants of said house use VHS copies of the Cheetah Girls, as oppose to wood, to keep that home warm.In closing Olivia, I'm pretty sure that your tenure on The View will be a long one being that controversy sells and there's always the need for  more house Negroes on the plantation. Since that quote, you have mitigated the actions of   a South Carolina cop who body slammed a young girl and lambasted the latest rendition of The Wiz. Well, at least we have the memories of you on the Leonard Part Six Show! 


Da CogNegro

Janice Dickerson has never looked better!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Corner Spotlight : Kindness- World Restart (Featuring Kelela & Ade)

Can you hear that? Yes, that's the sound of a three day work week on the horizon. And what better way to welcome it than with a palatable fusion of British Pop, Jazz and R&B? No, you don't have to thank me. I'm just doing my fair share in spreading a little *ahem* Kindness(Not the best play on words but hey, I'm saving all my energy for left over macaroni & cheese) Boom!  CgN

Friday, November 20, 2015

Reel Talk: The Stanford Prison Experiment

Synopsis: This film depicts the study of the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or guard. 

Review: The Stanford Prison Experiment is a gripping and unnerving study on the corruptive nature of power and the disturbing docility exhibited by those who are forced to have it relinquished. A lack of marquee names does not hinder the great performances from the relatively unknown cast in what may possibly be the most thought provoking movie I have seen so far this year! (B+) CgN

Monday, November 16, 2015

Reel Talk: Creed

by DaCognegro

Synopsis: Adonis Johnson never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed. However, boxing is in his blood, so he seeks out Rocky Balboa to seek his guidance and direction.

Review: It has always been the authentic connection with the underdog, as he overcame insurmountable odds, that has made some of the more successful  entries in the Rocky franchise enjoyable and crowd pleasing. But, perhaps it was high expectations due to the talent involved , the release of the superior Southpaw earlier this year, or the fact that the contrived dialogue, hasty pacing and characterization, cartoonish cinematography during the fight scenes,  and failure to evoke true ethos,  that makes Creed a pretender as oppose to a real contender to carry the Rocky brand! Hit the showers kid! (C)  CgN

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Art of The Matter: No

Posted by Kimberly McInnis Nicholson on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Good Thursday: Corner Spotlight- Black Star- Brown Skin Lady

The color complex has always been one that has plagued our self perception of beauty. Fortunately, this ode to the women, who are often viewed as less attractive than their lighter counterparts, is touching, humorous and poignant!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Good Tuesday: Art of The Matter- Renaissance

(Verse 1)


What is now depicted
Crisis of  identity souls ,that are afflicted/
Champion of failure, harbinger Of  pain
Buckets that's cast down but still missing the rain (reign)


Pages have gone missing
Spine on the books are crooked,  but in addition
To the images created and cleverly projected
Blind To The  fact it's leaving us all affected

The mind crafts limits, that's leaving the brave timid
It's hard to change a premise,when a smile is just a grimace.

These tattoos , are  really just fine art.
Engraved on the walls during stays on the lost ark.
The world is a ghetto, But we're the true inhabitants
Hostile in nature due to nurture of all our statues.

I Seek truth, among the artificial
Scripted in the morrow and  written within initials!


Momma Loved Me !

But that's not enough!
Can't Prepare for a world that i distrust
But I carry on, treading the non-sense
Keen on my five but relied on a Sixth Sense

Third Eye Sharp!
I Define Parts!

Forget The Script That's Given, I got a head start
Matter Fact, You Can Call This Renaissance.
Revolution Broadcast ...Opposition Bring it On!

(Verse 2)


Beauty by Design/
The Lineage Remains beyond this current time
Inspiration to all and Starter of every trend
hustel thats Stays constant stacking of many ends

Body often is mimicked but never is replicated
Through sessions of surgery that always is predicated
On Credit that's never given, but envy is on the surface
The Struggle is rather gorgeous, thus finding your inner purpose/


Lost patents to the greatest of inventions
Originators forgotten, names are never mentioned
Exercising science, newly formed reliance
Bravery displayed, exhibiting all Defiance

Gifted beyond measure..Deeper than an sediemnt
Cleverly Evolved, Truest of all Snetiments
Firm and Always Steady and Navigating Through Turbelenace
Impressions that is left, is really  just quite permenant


Momma Loved Me !

But that's not enough!
Can't Prepare for a world that i distrust
But I carry on, treading the non-sense
Keen on my five but relied on a Sixth Sense

Third Eye Sharp!
I Define Parts!

Forget The Script That's Given, I got a head start
Matter Fact, You Can Call This Renaissance.
Revolution Broadcast ...Opposition Bring it On!

Renissance will be featured on DS Williams' upcoming EP entitled While You're Waiting

Monday, November 2, 2015

Good Monday : Classic Corner- The Successful Life of Bees

by DaCognegro

The phrase, "has paid a debt to society", can be quite misleading . This particular cliche is suppose to be the goal of those who serve out punishments given to them after they have committed some form of criminality. Now far be it from me to be judge, jury, and executioner, but I personally believe that some forms of illegal activity should indeed be forgiving and that individuals should be given the opportunity to rectify his or her past grievances. We all make mistakes and some of us have had to contend with circumstances that have made such pitfalls quite easy to fall into. I am in no way rationalizing or exonerating such criminal activity. Rather, I am offering explanations as to why some succumb to a life a crime. In my line of work, I have encountered dozens of individuals who have sought to change their situation and exercise their new found lease on life by furthering their education. Unfortunately, the obstacles that one faces when trying to take that first step on that road to redemption can be quite insurmountable. For example, the US Department of Education does not grant financial assistance to those who have certain felonies on their record. Furthermore, there are certain  professions that make it quite unfathomable to breakthrough if one's record contains any crime of any sort!  Not to mention, the hesitation that many employers display when it comes to hiring those who have been incarcerated! So what usually happens when an individual collides into these brick walls? Well, a feeling of desperation and hopelessness: the same hopelessness that may result in falling prey to  the scourge of recidivism: the habitual relapse into a life of crime.

Therefore, it goes without saying then that I was extremely elated when I came across a write up that detailed the blossoming enterprise known as Sweet Beginnings. Sweet Beginnings is a  business,  based on the West Side of Chicago and founded by Brenda Palms-Barber, that trains and hires ex-convicts to be beekeepers.Employees of the program work approximately 30 hours a week, for 90 days, and are trained in tasks that include extracting and bottling honey as well as shipping the products to various stores and outlets.

 So has this novel endeavor brought about sweet success? Well the proof is in the honey, alright, I'll stop with the trite puns, its just that the results have got me buzzing! Since 2004, Sweet Beginning has employed over 400 ex-convicts and now runs over 131 hives.In addition, those who complete the program have only suffered a 4% rate of  recidivism compared to the state's average of 55%. Palms Barber hopes to branch out her business to other urban landscapes including but not limited to the D.C area as well as Detroit. This endeavor can perfectly be summed up by the positive proclamation delivered from current employee Patricia  Jackson: "My whole outlook on life has changed.Everyday I am glad to come to work". By the way, Patricia plans on opening up her own catering opening, which will employ persons of the community, once she completes the program.

Hopefully, others will follow Palms-Barber's lead in assisting ex-convicts with entering back into society. A special shout to the 2econd Helpings food truck, located right here is Durham, NC, for only employing former convicts. If we continue with such endeavors, not only do we aid those who are attempting to start over, but we begin to break the cycle of generational imprisonment, thus curbing the glorification of criminality .  What can be sweeter than that? - CgN

Monday, October 26, 2015

Corner Spotlight: Mirrorz Edge- Dream

Dream, the fourth and final single of their highly acclaimed, self titled debut, shows the duo of D.S Williams and A.I  wittingly, reminiscing and prognosticating over a celebratory, Puzzle Productions beat. With an infectious tone, coupled with sharp lyricism, Dream is the perfect way to close out on what has been a successful , initial outing for the two MC(s). -CgN

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Art of The Matter: H.E.R

"Tennis Anyone"?!

I've stated that question so many times in recent years
That I  no longer need to rehearse those emotions
It's a handicapped optimism that
Hobbles to step in the name of love!
Which recently  has become so unfamiliar.

In  fact, It needs a lapel tag
For me to recognize the stranger it has become
Hello, my name is_______  (Scratch that),
(Ahem) I meant to say, my name is _____
No, "X" that with a sharpie that has become  rather dull
So why don't you just pencil me in
So that I can erase those memories
Because I sure as hell miss my spotless mind...
Now stained With calico blemishes of overweight gray-scales
Resembling the shadowed beats of the heartless.

But what can I do?
I meet square pegs that don't fit in my circle!
And squares may be cool for some people
But that never was my angle,
That "Grow to Love Notion"
Which eventually becomes stunted,
Reaching a height that isn't tall enough
To look over her imperfections while projecting my own!

They say "If you look you will never find"....
Well it is hard when you leave the house with three eyes..
Constantly scanning for a picture that matches the one in my gallery
The face has become faded due to longing prints
Smearing a canvas that has dried for sometime...
So pardon if I undress you with my eyes,
I'm just seeing if your wings match the ones in my portrait,
And your jacket prevented me from doing so...

Coupled with charming humor, knit with sharp wit
That threads the needle between conceit and confidence
Vintage style that's ahead of its' time,
Colors her rhythm with shades of blue stencils
That have me drawn to her quirks
Perfectly placed outside the box....

A box that is next to this landing strip
That I've crashed on for too long,
Insatiably watching lovers fly be.

With twilight providing candle light, 
stars flickering as they are caught in glass jars 
only to release them when they are seen in each others eyes..
While Green are in mine....(Go On)
Don't worry, she's out there, was written in my yearbook,
Well I have years worth of books filled with
plans, gifts, soundtracks and invitations are all marked
With the same message: "Sorry, You Just Missed Her"
Maybe her reservations are just earlier than mine 
Or My watch is set to the wrong time.......

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Corner Spotlight : Georgia Anne Muldrow- Great Blacks

Shout out to my man Cyril for putting me on to this anthemic tune. The horns act as a rallying call as Muldrow melodically navigates us through her own personal evolution to enlightenment and discovery. All the while, chronicling her radiant legacy that she aspires to emulate. This song is the perfect anesthetist to the counterproductive offerings we are served on a daily basis. Great indeed! CgN

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Reel Talk: Bridge of Spies

by Da CogNegro

SynopsisAn American lawyer is recruited by the CIA during the Cold War to help rescue a pilot detained in the Soviet Union.

Review: Bridge of Spies is a taut and acute, international chess match that is adroitly crafted by legendary director Steven Spielberg. Even with its' grand scope and Cold War 
setting, Hanks earnest humanism keeps the historical account grounded and accessible. Now, if only the rest of my World History II  class could've been this entertaining! (B+)

Bridge of Spies will be released nationally on October 16th.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Reel Talk: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

by Dante Morehead

Synopsis: After having escaped the Maze, the Gladers now face a new set of challenges on the open roads of a desolate landscape filled with unimaginable obstacles.

Review:  The second installment of this trilogy didn't disappoint ,as sometimes sequels tend to do. It picks up where  the previous film left off and comes out guns blazing with fast paced chase scenes and high action yet the pacing is not too overwhelming, I'm looking at you Michael bay! We find out more about why the antagonist are kidnapping and testing children as a means of survival in a post apocalyptic world. There's plot, drama, character development, and of course violent, infected zombies! The ending had a feel reminiscent of The Hunger Games but with a science fiction edge to it. You don't have to know too much about the books to understand the second movie , thanks to a great exposition of the film's main characters! (B+)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Classic Corner: To Sample or Not to Sample ?!

by Damone Kelly

    Now I don't normally do this, but it is with great sadness that I announce  that the music of today has all but died. I am not saying that all the artist in the industry today are ghosts but most lack the ability to move the masses or make a loud noise like a poltergeist. I remember the time when big singles were backed with super albums and there wasn't a need to skip a track. But nowadays, the exact opposite has occurred. The listener either is treated to one hit wonders or misses the opportunity to experience an amazing album due to  poor promotion. So artists attempt to sample some of the past hits in hope to bring nostalgic memories of when we use to pay for an album instead of downloading it for free. Today's artist are just obsessed with fads and  refuse  to exhibit original thoughts that will stand the test of time. I am not saying there aren't any worthwhile artists but they're few and far between. The new trend  seems to lean towards mimicking cross country acts like Sam Smith, Adel or Amy Winehouse. However, they don't offer original music or lyrics that can touch that place in our souls! If they did, we as patrons of the industry would be willing to move mountains for them. I now understand what our parents were saying about how we, as a generation, have tarnished their music with bad samples and re-imagined stabs at converting new listeners into the musical cult of "yesteryear".I offer up three different examples of how this has been done correctly, egregiously and  just shockingly ineffective to the point  where I just don't care anymore!

    Let's start with someone  who has done things correctly:Kendrick Lamar  and his take on Anytime Anyplace. This track is clearly him paying proper homage to the queen of my 30 something generation :Ms.Janet Jackson. Now some may argue that Ms. Jackson is not a queen but to us, growing up in the 90's - 2000's ,she reigned supreme due to her dropping hit after hit that inclined everyone to sing. For that reason, I crown her alongside the likes of Mariah Carey, Sade, and Celine Dion. Now this is my personal list so "judge thee not"! I am certain you could add or subtract a few names of your own! Now back to  Mr. Lamar and how he is becoming a legend in his own right. For for him to tackle such a beloved track and do it justice (no pun intended) is an amazing feat within itself. It was this track that put him on my radar and made me want to know more. Kudos to you Kendrick! The lyrics were on point and told a story that went wonderfully with the video while Drake's verse maintained the overall velvety feel of the track.

 Now onto the bad.! During my bi monthly scan of YouTube, I ran across this absurd duo by the name of  Krept & Konan. The only reason I gave them the time of day was because the title of the track was Freak of the Week. Immediately, I was reminded of my,  party all night and still make it to work by 6am, dance-hall club nights. By the way, I pulled off those memorable times sporting a tank top, jeans and a scrunch...go me! So I was curious, to say the least, on how these two would go about reinventing my jam. I must admit,the beat is just as infectious as the original. Still, it  pales in comparison. I mean, how you could begin to challenge the original  track, which had a 14 year vicious holding on the music scene! Not to mention, a guest appearance by hip hop pioneer , Doug E Fresh? I know the answer: you can't! With their debut album cracking number 2 in the UK, this duo had already made quite the name for themselves in London and in the underground hip hop community!I suppose that success prompted them to release this track in a feeble attempt to find success in the states. Unfortunately, despite that infectious beat, which isn't theirs to begin with, the song really doesn't have any redeeming qualities.  The lyrics are sub-par and the video reminds me of a throwback Puffy effort with Jeremih playing a less than stellar Mase, and I actually like Jeremih!

Finally, *Sigh*, I really don't see why people enjoy this song and I would rather not discuss it.However, people are smitten with this track so I will entertain their preference for the next 2.5 seconds. The song in question?  Lil Mama's Sausage! I could use a bevy of four letter words and obscene hand gestures to express my feelings about this song but I will refrain from doing so. I guess the premise is admirable, the promotion of safe sex ,but come on now! To me, she has just taken several popular songs, from my generation, and threw them together like soup after the holidays. Not only did she sample old school hip hop,but she had the audacity to borrow from the queen of soul herself: Mary J Blige. She even went as far as to recreate her look! I just don't understand how you can take a  selection of great songs and turn them into this ugly production so that the masses  can enjoy and play it loud & proud in their vehicles. I have nothing nice to say about this song and only gave it a chance due to sheer curiosity and my sister's affinity with the track. As quickly as it was made popular, it was forgotten, sort of like Lil Mama's career. So yes folks,  this is my opinion and you can like , love, or ignore it! Believe me though, I will survive longer then some of the artist I have mentioned and may even go on to greatness like Mr. Lamar. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Take Five: Michael Jackson/ Jackson 5 Samples

by Jermaine Roberts

Michael Jackson is the greatest, musical entertainer of all time! I know people have their feelings about the person but the singer himself belongs on the Mount Rushmore of musicians!  Everyone knows at least one song of his whether it be from the Jackson 5 (ABC), the Jacksons (Can You Feel It) or his solo act (the entire Thriller album).  This is evident by how much, in all facets of music, he is sampled! In this instance, we’re gonna strictly deal with hip hop.  So, with all this said, here are the top 5 MJ Hip Hop Samples:


Artist: Naughty by Nature
Samples from: ABC 

This is probably the most popular Michael Jackson-sampled song ever.  A close second is Kris Kross' Jump , which samples the Jackson Five's I Want You Back.  Instead of reciting your standard "A,B,C(s), these brothers from Jersey show up talking about other people’s (ummmm) property, which resulted in us being treated to one of the most popular hip hop cuts of all-time!  Twenty-four years later and guess what ,we’re still down with it!  Don’t believe me, just have this song drop.  I’ll be the guy rapping the whole track in the back!


Artist: Q-Tip
Samples: Dancing Machine

Admittedly, this J-Dilla beat isn’t his best MJ sample. No,that award would go to It’s Time: Donut of the Heart, which samples All I Do is Think of You, but I felt that was cheating  being that it’s an instrumental & you’re essentially listening to the Jackson through its' entirety.  Instead, Q-Tip goes full MJ on Move!  The Dancing Machine beat over this track, that dropped back in 2008, gives Kamaal the Abstract one of his best verses in years.  To top it all off, the video is a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Rock With You and that's  a win all around!

3. Breakadawn

Artist: De La Soul
Samples: I Can’t Help It

I’m still upset that De La Soul's discography is not fully available on Spotify, but that’s  another rant for another time.  Prince Paul flips the track, from MJ's Off the Wall ,into a smooth banger.  De La Soul is probably more known for Me, Myself and I, which can start a whole tangent of Parliament Funkadelic samples, but this single off of Buhloone Mindstate stands its' ground amongst the rest of their catalogue.

2.It Ain't Hard to Tell

Artist: Nas
Samples: Human Nature

Bruh,this was tough!  I continually flip flopped on this song being either number one or two on this list!  I agonized over its' placement as I listened to this entry ,off my personal playlist, and imagined I was hanging out with SWV on the beach! In the end, this classic track, off of Nas' first and best album Illmatic, would be my number two or, 1B in this instance.  With Large Professor on the production, this may be Nas’ best song in his catalouge, considering all the samples and quotes that come from it. I think DJ Premier could scratch an entire beat using nothing but Nas' lyrics and make an album of it! 

1.All That I Got is You

Artist: Ghostface Killah
Samples: Maybe Tomorrow

Now you understand how tough it is!  In the end, I took great story over great lyrics.  Ghostface’s autobiographical account of his childhood is one of the most gripping tracks in hip hop. RZA took a ballad, that isn’t the happiest, and transported people to a dark place that they only heard about but never bother to pay attention to in detail.  It’s considered one of the best songs in the genre’s history.  The Jackson 5  definitely smiled upon this!

Special Shout to some honorable mentions:

  2Pac- Letter te My Unborn 
  Puff Daddy and The Family- All About The Benjamins

For your audio pleasure, I have my Spotify playlist for public consumption, including some R&B tracks that technically are not eligible for this list  (what you know about Portrait?!). 
Otherwise, you can find me @JayNDouglas through various social medias.  Have a good day!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Corner Spotlight: CC Sunchild - Being With You

by Teresa Leggard 

CC Sunchild’s Being with You is as light and sweet as carnival cotton candy. The Atlanta-based artist uses a simple melody and charming instrumentation (tuba, for cuteness sake!), and her playful yet masterful vocals are a delight. Of course, she’s singing about love – or at least a very strong “like.” This is a song to skip,dance or even smooch to! (Yes, I said “smooch” – the song made me do it.)

With the word “sun” in her very name, it’s no surprise that CC delivers such a bright, happy alternative to the hyper-sexed, self-serving landscape of contemporary R&B. Play your cards right, and you could ride this tune right into cuffing season.

She’s an indie artist, so show support for good music and purchase the song on Bandcamp or Amazon.

BandCamp: Here  (Free Listen)

Amazon: Here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Take Five: How My Black A** Would Survive These Horror Movies

by  Omar Holmon
There comes that point where I am watching a scary movie (always being forced to) where the suspension of disbelief just straight up shuts down. I’m all for the classic horror movies and villains (not really) but I’m thinking shit would be a bit different with Black folk as the lead due to our experience with how we handle shit. I’m not saying we’re better survivors, I’m just… actually, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying. Maybe it’s just me, but I see plot lines going way differently when facing off against some of the horror icons. I’ll take the forefront with how I would handle these certain horror villains and thriller situations.

Aliens / Predator [Aliens / Predator / Aliens Vs Predator]

Dealing with Aliens is simple. I’m not going into space. If I was one of those folks that applied to go on that Mars mission then I’d have a more strategic answer, but since I have common “nah I’m good” sense, Aliens wouldn’t be a threat. However, Predator is a bit different. Predator goes to planets looking to start shit, so there’s no avoiding that that shit — the hunt is their right of passage. Predator is similar to the Black experience with police as they lie in the cut and then decide to come at you because they got the power to do so, because (as we’ve been reminded) we’re the most dangerous game. The main difference is there’s a code with the Predators. You fight back to take’em down and they’ll dap you with respect, as Michael Harrigan (Danny Glover) showed us. Or you can help them out in the field as Alexa Woods (Sanaa Lathan) did and afterwards she was rewarded by getting the insignia recognizing her as a warrior by the clan (#NotAllPredators?).
So, at best, I’m helping out Predator somehow. I’m straight up telling him, “Look man, I’m showing my allegiance with you, so who we after? Drug Lords again or aliens, cause I don’t like either of those mother fuckers no way no how anyway.”

You Wanna Hunt What? F***it I'm Down For Whatever Man!

Dinosaurs [Jurassic Park / Jurassic World]

There’s no way on any part of the universe would I be caught at Jurassic Park or Jurassic World. Like, what’s a better survival plan than utterly refusing to go because there’s a muh fucking park… with muh fucking actual dinosaurs. No. Just hell no. But for argument’s sake, let’s say I’m a 10 year old that wants to go on a field trip there or whatever. Son, MY. MOM. WOULD. NOT. BE. HAVING. IT. First off, I’m going to assume she isn’t sending me to the Flintstone’s Trap House because, A) She loves me, and B) She would tell me if I wanna see dinosaurs I better take my ass to the museum and pet one of the dead ones on display. I could hear her now sayin, “Must be out your mind talkin’ ’bout some Jurassic World. Why don’t you go clean your room and see if you find any fossils in there, cause you ain’t cleaned it since they cloned the first damn dinosaur anyhow.” News would break about the dinosaurs getting out days later.
Oh, you still wanna go to some Jurassic World now? I didn't think so!

Michael Meyers [Halloween]

Straight up going toe-to-toe and pound for pound with Michael Meyers. You wanna ask why? Cause fucking Busta Rhymes gave him the fucking jumping front kick (in Timbs!) out of a window. Since that is technically a WWF move, and I hold true to the theory that whoever gets hit with a WWF move in a fight automatically loses (even if they win), I’m nailing Meyers with that HBK Sweet Chin Music and letting the chips fall where they may.

Jason Vorhees [Friday The 13th]

First and foremost, I’m nowhere in any part of America where walking round with a machete and a hockey mask is a regular thing where no one bats an eye. I see a dude in a hockey mask and there isn’t a goal, referee, or ice in the vicinity? I know it’s time to go. Also I’m pretty sure everyone hears that “ch-huh-ch-huh-ch-huh-ha-ha-ha-ha” sound when Jason is around more than likely because he is making it himself. As far as tactics, I’m running. Now I know everyone is like “Ooooh, Jason is slow but he catches you”. FUCK. OUTTA. HERE. WITH. THAT. SHIT.
They always trip over something in the woods (I’m convinced everyone been tripping at the same spot in the same woods in movies for years). I ran track in high school for this occasion fucking specifically, man. You not just running for your life, you’re running for the team. I’m making it to my fam to be like, “Man, you ain’t gonna believe the shit I just saw… I was out soon as I saw dude. I fuckin’ ran, man. Y’all woulda been proud of me.”
Worst case scenario I know Jason is weak against water, so in that case I’m gettin’ Sharkeisha or Solange to take Jason down cause their fighting style might as well be Water Bending from the Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Jason wouldn’t stand a chance cause he know…

Freddy Krueger [Nightmare On Elm Street]

Finally, we'll go with one of the biggest horror icons in the game, Freddy Kruegar. He’s got the claw hand thing going and he mostly merks folks in their dreams. Cats would usually try to stay awake in order to avoid Freddy, but when that fails they’re stuck in a nightmare where he is in control. That does seem scary, but there’s a reason Freddy’s ass kept that shit in the ‘burbs. He wouldn’t be trying to get in Omar’s dreams from The Wire. Freddy know better than that — all I’m saying is he tries going in a Black dude’s head? He getting beat down by the cops early, which would be the safer bet cause then I’d have my whole squad come out and roast him for what he’s wearing. “Look at your shoes, boy! Lookin’ like Dick Van Dyke’s hand me downs. Oh my gawd, look at his watered-down Where’s Waldo sweater doe!” Freddy wouldn’t even be able to handle the fucking jokes being snapped on’em at damn near light speed. There’s nothing to protect Freddy once a brother gets in his in earth bending roast stance with the hand at an acute 45-degree angle.

What, he gonna try and go into a Black woman’s head? NOOOOOOPE! He’ll get crushed by the tempered glass ceiling they face daily. Oh, it ain’t a problem for them since they gotta punch through that shit daily, but Freddy can’t. He never been in a dream where the white privilege is working against him. I would have loved seeing Freddy try to come up in my mom’s dreams. He’d be doing the dishes, taking out trash, filing her taxes and using the his knife gloves to do mani-pedis QUICK! I’m not hearing it with you, Fred.