09th Nov2005

MySpace: The Internet’s Lowest Common Denominator

by Will

“Be cool, my babies.”

So, I’m having so much fun, I had to do a “Part II” regarding MySpace. It’s such a guilty pleasure. But I think what keeps me coming back is the fact that, except for a few peeps (looking at you, airni), there is NO class to found on the site. I mean, it’s like a big GED registration meeting on there. And I can’t get enough. It’s like a car wreck.

Hey, all you single ladies out there; nothing says “hot” like a picture of you and your baby. Keep up the good work. So, should I bring you flowers or Similac?

But my personal fave are the guys who’re clearly saying, “Hey, dude…watch me flip off this camera!” Yup, you really showed that camera, man. You sure put it in its place.

Friendster was created for random encounters outside of the setting of a typical online dating site. Facebook was created so everyone could relive their collegiate glory days, long after leaving the hallowed halls of higher learning. But I find that MySpace has 2 different putposes; it’s either saying 1) “Dude, sign my band. We can’t set up a real site, but check us out. We’re going places.” OR 2) “Hey, can you give me a ride to the free clinic? I get out of detention at 4.”

Seriously, they need to enforce an age requirement on there or something. It’s like R. Kelly’s dream world. I don’t think any of those kids can vote. I wish I could go undercover in a high school to investigate ’cause MySpace must be the coolest thing to hit high school since blowjobs lost their classification as “sex”. I’d really love to hear it from the horse’s mouth that MySpace is “tha shizzle”.

I love that MySpace really just supports every negative stereotype about society. All Asian guys are into riced out cars and anime. All Black guys are underground rappers. And all Spanish chicks are named “Angel”. Someone needs to have an intervention in that last one. They’re just settin’ her up for a life of table dancing.

Anyways, I’m out. Chae is pickin’ me up in his new Civic, and we’re going to drop Du’wayne off at the studio before we go see Angel’s new baby.

25th Oct2005

A Look Into The Minds of Today’s Hottest Black Actors

by Will

“Snakes on motherfucking plane?!”
So, you ever wonder what goes on in the casting process of a movie? Like, what exactly occurs in the relationship between an actor and an agent? Well, the West News Team has left no stone unturned to bring you the true story behind Hollwood’s “casting couch”. No, we’re not focusing on starlets. We go behind the scenes of the casting of some of America’s hottest Black actors. Let’s see what’s inside!

Morgan Freeman

Agent: So, we’ve got this movie we think you’d be good in.

MF: Is there a script?

A: Yeah, there’s a script, but don’t worry about that.

MF: Is Ashley Judd in it? You know how I like Ashley.

A: No, Morgan. No Ashley.

MF: *downtrodden* No Ashley?

A: Sorry, not this time.

MF: Well, who IS in the movie? This ain’t that Timberlake thing y’all were telling me about, is it?

A: No, this is something…different…

MF: Well, who’s in it?

A:…penguins…

MF:Penguins?!! *pause* Well, is there a paycheck?

A: Isn’t there always?

MF: Then, sign me up!

Samuel L. Jackson

Agent: So, Sam..we’ve got this movie we want-

SLJ: IS THERE A BLACK DUDE IN IT?!

A: You bet your Black ass there is! Why do you think –

SLJ: DO I GET TO TALK REAL LOUD?!!

A: Of course! The studio wouldn’t have it any other way.

SLJ: DO I GET TO BE A BADASS?!!

A; SLJ, you’ll be the Baddest Ass in movie history.

SLJ: WELL, SIGN ME UP!

A: Really? Just like –

SLJ: MAN, QUIT TALKING. YOU HAD ME AT “BLACK DUDE”.

Sean Patrick Thomas

A: Hey Sean. Sorry about “The District” getting canceled. Anyway, we’ve got this script-

SPT: Do I get to sleep with a White girl?

A: Umm…not this time around, Sean…

SPT: Do I get to kiss a White girl?

A: Umm…no, Sean. We’ve been here before. This movie takes place in a Black barbershop. How many White girls have you seen in Black barbershops?

SPT:Maybe…she’s visiting her Black boyfriend.

A: Look, Sean…maybe this was a bad idea.

SPT: Fine, but can’t we have a scene where I, at least, dance with a White girl? I mean, I DO have a reputation to uphold…

22nd Sep2005

The Lost Adventures: The Lion King Audition

by Will


“I’m me again, baby! I’m back!”

So, where have I been? “We’ve been waiting a whole month for Post #450,” you say. Well, I had it all plannned out. If comics have taught me anything, it’s that round numbers, such as 450, equate a special occasion. Sure, you could say that I should’ve reached #450 over a year ago if I’d been posting everyday like other good bloggers, but I digress. In any regard, an event like this usually involves a new headquarters, a new status quo, a back-up story, and a death. I was really gonna WOW ya, but something was missing. Most of the components were in place, save one. It’s funny how life works sometimes…

Originally, I was going to use this post to debut the reason behind my recent lack of funds. That’s right, you were going to see the new West Lair! I got an apartment. Finally, I can get out of this Negroid Golden Girls lifestyle I’ve had to endure for the past 2 years. At last, I would have a place of my own, where I could hide from the discussions of Ben-Gay and Old Testament God vs. New Testament God. I would have my Fortress of Solitude.

Anyway, I signed the lease back on September 1st, and I was gonna move in Labor Day weekend. My Cousin Joe was gonna help me, mainly ’cause he had a pickup truck. Now, few of you have been to a West family function, but those of you who have (Tarek), have surely met my Cousin Joe. He’s basically like a brother to my mom (first person with the Southern incest jokes gets it!), and he’s one of the few father figures I’ve had in my life.

So, Cousin Joe was all set to help me move, but come Saturday morning, I wasn’t prepared. I hadn’t packed up a thing, and I had no desire to rush crap into a box. So, I called Joe to tell him not to worry about me; we’d do it next weekend. He wasn’t there, so his wife, Rose, said she’d give him the message.

Fast-forward to about 3 hrs later: we get a call from Rose saying that Joe had been rushed to Washington Hospital Center. The Golden Girls jump into action, and we make our way down to the hospital. Turns out, Cousin Joe was washing his truck and had a massive heart attack. We were in that hospital all night, from 5 PM Saturday to 11 AM Sunday morning. The staff tried to brace us for the worst, but nobody wanted to hear it. Cousin Joe passed away Sunday morning. I still haven’t moved.

Since then, time has been wrapped up with funeral arrangements, as well as life’s other little dramas. The family hasn’t been taking it so well, and I can only think, “So, it begins.” You see, Joe was a year younger than my mother. I always felt that when the dying started, it would be like a domino effect. These people have been together all of their lives. They grew up together, moved north from Alabama together, and they don’t know how yo be apart. I fear it’s like when a husband dies, and his wife dies 6 months later. It’s a cohort effect, and Joe fired the opening salvo. Selfish, I know, but all I find I can be lately is selfish. I guess it’s my defense mechanism. I keep thinking how close I was to witnessing the heart attack. Had I not called, he might have had the heart attack WITH me, while moving MY crap. I don’t know if I could’ve handled that. No hyperbole there, I truly don’t think I could have held it together had that scenario transpired.

But here I am. I’m still alive, and I guess I’ve got that’s what I’ve got to work with. A lot of people think I’m a pessimist, but I feel it just comes with living with the old folks. Many of you don’t realize it, but I have to worry about things that most people dont even think about until their 40’s. And now I’m more worried about the gals than I have been before. But there’s my milestone post. There’s my death. This is no publicity stunt. He’s not coming back.

Anydangways, I also wanted to give y’all a nice back-up story, A hidden tale that few people know. You see, about a year and a half ago, I took a little blogging hiatus. Prompted by a bunch of personal drama that simply hit the fan, there are about 3 months of my life that went undocumented. One such event, I’ve hinted at, but never fully revealed. You see, right before I started working for H&M, I had delusions of actually continuing the whole singing thing, and I auditioned for the National tour of “The Lion King”.

In my unemployed days, I used to troll the classifieds in the Arts section of the Post, looking for auditions. Since I was still in my “I’m Will West” mindset, most of the community theatre productions were beneath me. I mean, I was THE Black voice of Cornell A Cappella! Cornell! A Cappella! “Today Show”! Surely, that meant something. I would have to wait, until a role came along befitting my stature. One day, I saw it: The Lion King. I mean, besides “Porgy and Bess” or “A Raisin in the Sun”, it’s probably the most sure thing in theatre if you’re Black. And if they aren’t doing colorblind casting!

Since I was days from starting H&M, I figured it was God’s way of saving me from the sad, dreary life of the proletariat. He would deliver me to the stage, to the spotlight that was destined to be mine. I was sure of it. All I needed was the right song. Immediately, I called up my old drama teacher, and we started to brainstorm. She wanted me to do something from when I was Pippin, but that wasn’t enough. She suggested a song from when I was in Hello, Dolly, but I was having none of it. I felt I needed a Disney song, but nothing actually from the Lion King. After all, it’s kinda dick/facetious to go into an audition with an air of “You know that song you guys sing? Well, I sing it better!” Anybody out there who’s sat through people auditioning for them knows exactly what I’m talking about. Finally, I settled on “A Whole New World”. It had been our graduation song (*gag*), but “Aladdin” is the next best thing to “The Lion King”, at least musically. I’d be showing them that I can sing “the Disney way”, without slaughtering one of their signature numbers.

I practiced for a week. I had it down. But the night before the audition, I decided to showboat a little. I realized my sheet music wasn’t in the right key for me, so in order to use it as accompaniment, I’d need to transpose it. Now, we’re gonna get musically technical, so try to bear with me. I downloaded a program, and moved the song to a range that I could sing, both comfortably and well. But when I was done, the song had about 8 accidentals. You know those little “flat” symbols? Yeah, I had 8 of them. But whatever, it’s Disney. They should be able to follow that, right?

When Last Call did the Today Show, it was really hard warming up vocally that early in the morning, so I decided not to sleep. After all, I could sleep after the audition. I spent all night practicing and warming up. Auditions were taking place at Howard University, so I was scared there was gonna be a LOT of competition. I mean, casting the Lion King at Howard is like finding Bush supporters at the 700 Club. I expected PANDEMONIUM, with a hip-hop soundtrack. I figured there would be lines around 12 city blocks, as we all vied for a chance to have our 15 minutes of fame. So, got down there at about 5:30 AM. Auditions started at 10:00. What did I find? Nothing. A whole lotta nothing. Plus, it was February and FREEZING. Plus, security doesn’t like random Black guys hanging around buildings. Even at a Black school! Go figure…

Around 11:00, the Hippie Chick shows up. You know the type. If you’ve ever been in a show, you’ve met her. She’s the girl who’s all about “The the-ah-tur”. You never know when she’s acting and when she’s living. It all blends together in a fake, blah soup. So, apparently, she’s all nervous, ’cause all she does it dinner theatre and she doesn’t know what to expect. Plus, she’s scared of her chances, seeing how it’s a Black show. Man, that was priceless. She was scared that she might face discrimination. I’m not gonna get preachy, ’cause it’s not what I do, but that schadenfraude was just what I needed at the time. Guess I should’ve known what was coming to me.

Soon, other people start to trickle in. You’ve got typical “stage dad” going, “My boy can sing. Watch my boy sing. Do that thing you do, boy!” You’ve got “classically trained Black chick”, who should be doing arias rather than hakuna matata’s. And you’ve got “sad R&B wannabe brother” who really just wishes he’d been in Soul for Real (whatever happened to those fugly Dalrymple boys?). You know the kind: all he can do is wail, but rather than music, what he emits sounds more like what I’d cry if I got my penis caught in my zipper.

And they’re all looking at me, like “Why’d you bring the White girl?” But I DIDN’T! Hippie chick came on her own. Just ’cause we were the first ones there didn’t mean she’s MY fault. Story of my life…

So, they start lining people up, and you’d have thought there were ribs up for grabs or something. Somehow, I actually get to go first, seeing as how some people had vouched for the fact that I’d been the first person there. So, finally, it was the moment of truth.

I walk into the room, and hand my music to the guy at the piano. I warn him about the accidentals, but he doesn’t seem worried. But here’s where I started to worry. He had just sat down as I walked into the room. They were running late, and he’d never even warmed up at the piano. Now, an expert should be able to play on any piano, but it’s still a good idea to get a feel for your instrument prior to performance. So, he starts banging out my music like a retarded kid trying to smash ants. I mean, he wasn’t even near my scale. But I’m just singing away, in MY key, him in another. I tried to give him some death glares, hoping he’d straighten up, but this only mademe look worse. When he was done, I knew I was done. Then, began the Q&A part of our morning.

“So…’William’, what have you done…musically?”

“Well, not much lately. I did a cappella and glee club in colege, but not much since I graduated. Mainly just karaoke hereand there. I’ve been in touch with my old music teacher, and we were going to work on some things.”

“Yeah…well, it might be a good idea to hook up with your ‘music teacher’. You know, to add a little more…technical ability to your…’natural gifts’.

That last line was the one that did it. It was a harsh, modernized, personalized “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.”

“Well, thank you for the opportunity. *fake smile* It was a really great experience.” And I walked out.

I kinda lingered for awhile, trying to understand what had just happened. I was NOT the best thing since sliced bread. I was NOT as great as I had made myself believe. And I WOULD be reporting to H&M on Monday. But hear me out, it was NOT my fault. Yes, my ego was out of whack, and I was in a bigger pond, but that was NOT my fault. I am my own worst critic, and I RARELY give myself credit. Heck, I never even thought of myself as “Will West”; that’s a caricature that other people had forced on me after concerts and whatnot. But I was ready, as ready as I could ever be, and I sounded GREAT! I wanted it, and I could taste it within my grasp. How it slipped away, I don’t know. Well, I DO know. It was the guy at the piano. But I guess what I will always wonder is “why”. Well, I guess everything happens for a reason, and I don’t have many complaints about the past year. In any regard, I saw the show about 3 weeks ago. It was good. A lot different than the cartoon. But it was nothing to write home about. Just something to blog about, apparently…

Here’s that variant cover. If youve been to James’s site, Jeen’s site, or the site of James’s e-mistress (Oh no he di’nt!), this’ll look familiar. Everybody on the avatar wagon!

avt_wilberforceclayborne_large-797888

20th Aug2005

Truck Turner Is HILARIOUS!

by Will

“She’s gratuitously hot. Like ‘even if she was a parapalegic I wouldn’t care’ hot.”

You’ve never seen an All-Star Pimp Funeral until you’ve seen Isaac Hayes’ “Truck Turner”. One of the lesser-known Blaxploitation flicks, it’s probably the only place you’ll see cocaine sprinkled on a finely dressed corpse and, and here’s the clincher, Lt. Uhura as a hardass Hollywood Madame.

Let’s see…you’ve got the one-eyed White cowboy pimp. You’ve got the standard issue street corner pimp. But my personal fave is the Yafhet Kotto-from-Homicide pimp. “What could be wrong? I’m rich. I have money. I’m cute. I’m handsome.” He steals the show!

And who knew prostitutes would grieve so over their fallen daddy? It truly is an enlightening thing to watch. And I leave you with this nugget of wittiness from Lt. Uhooker:

“She’s called ‘Turnpike’ ’cause you’ve gotta pay to get on and pay to get off.”

10th Aug2005

Stuck: Taking Stock Of Life

by Will

I’m so lost, and I don’t get to show this side of myself often. Most people think of me as the nice, corny guy, but I’ve got the same worries and fears as everyone else. It’s not all shits and giggles for me, but everyone thinks my toys and comics must make me this happy Willy-Wonka-esque character. In all honesty, I’m probably the most neurotic person you’ll meet.

Lately, I’ve been struck by how thin the line is between “pensive” and “lazy”, at least to the observer. My mind runs a mile a minute, wondering and fearing. “Am I making the right choice here?” or “Where will this action take me?” or the ultimate “What was I put on this Earth to do?” But there are SO MANY options! It’s bewildering.

I’ve often said that I wish we lived in the ’50s. Now, that may be an odd statement coming from a Black man, but the Mythical ’50s were such a simpler time. You didn’t go to school to necessarily major in anything. I mean, you’d get your degree, but then you’d get you cookie cutter job that afforded you the 2.5 kids and the house in the suburbs. Sure, there were scientists and the like, but Average Joe had his nondescript job, that he performed every day for about 35 years.

Now, we’ve got SO many choices. Do we choose a field in our major, or our minor? How will our GPA, from 3 years ago, affect this decision? Do we go for the unpredictable private sector, or go for the security of the Federal government? Do we save for a house or a ring? Do I want to start saving for a retirement I’ll probably never see due to my level of stress and freak-outosity, or do I stop hiding from my Federal student loans and actually start paying them back?

I AM thinking and planning, and just because I haven’t settled on anything doesn’t mean that the journey isn’t ongoing. But so many people want to stop me and ask, “What are you doing? What’s your plan?” I’m sorry, but every man in his own time! It’s like there’s a Universal Schedule, and I didn’t get the memo. Once everyone else gets their stuff figured out, then they start worrying about Will. Will wasn’t worrying you when you were distressed. I’m glad you’re going to law school. I’m glad you’re moving to your dream job halfway across the world. Sadly, the timing is not right for me yet. It’s not out of fear. Nor for lack of trying. I am planning, and I’ll let you know when I get there.

So, I’m sorry if I seem flaky or wishy-washy. I’m 23! The same people who like to say, “You’ve got time” are the same ones who forget and ask, “So, what now?” No, I haven’t made up my mind yet because nothing has struck me. I hate to sound all jaded, “looking for inspiration”, but I’m different. I was never the kid who said, “I wanna be a lawyer when i grow up.” Sure, I said that for about a week, but I knew even then that there were many (some might say TOO MANY) options in life. And I’m trying to find my way.

I could go to grad school right now. But I am not passionate enough about any field to make it a worthwhile investment. To go to school right now would just be me postponing the real world, and I realize this. I MISS school. I do. But I also have about $30,000 in loan debt, and I’m not exactly sitting on the goldmine to pay that back anytime soon. Why, oh why, would I go back to school to add to that, possibly in an industry that doesn’t exactly ensure I will be comfortable enough to pay off said debt. Yes, if someone is passionate about something, then they’ll find a way. I can honestly say that i’m not that passionate about it. I’m sorry if that sounds like a cop-out, but I feel it’s me knowing my limits. Yeah, it sucks that I make money so important to the equation, but it is.

I worry more about money with my “real job” than I did at H&M, and I really don’t make much more. I made great money for retail, but average money for “real world”. I’m not struggling, per se. I pay all my bills. But there’s no cushion. I have no comfort zone for a rainy day. Simply living paycheck to paycheck. Now, I realize that MANY people are in this same boat, and I’m nothing special, but I also like to think that they’re worried, too. Sure, they may have found corners to cut and methods for coping, but they’re not just sitting pretty knowing that they may be a couple of sick days away from homelessness. So, with the whole “paycheck from poordom” coupled with the “don’t feel like I’m living up to my potential”, I’ve got a lot on my mind. As I know many of my cohorts are going through the same.

And I HATE the whole “if money weren’t an option, what would be your dream job?” exercise. I’ve never had a “dream job”. My future plans were more personal. I wanted to be a good father and husband. As dumb as that may sound, that’s what was important to me. I really just wanted my cookie-cutter job that allowed me to have that life. I’m sorry if I don’t sound ambitious, but I was never the person who saw happiness as being dependent on a career. I’d like to have a job that I enjoy. Who wouldn’t? But I guess I never really wanted to have a job that consumed my life. Rather, I wanted a life that consumed my job.

So, the next time you see me goofing off, please allow me my fun and understand that it took a lot for me to get there. And if you see me frowning, just know that I really am a good, ambitious person underneath, just trying to sort some stuff out.

08th Aug2005

RIP Peter Jennings & John H. Johnson

by Will

“Now, why am I gonna call you back when I’m busy looking for replacements for your ass!”*

Today was a sad day for the news. First, we lost the great Peter Jennings. He was 67. I think one of my favorite blogs put it best: “I always thought God would take Rather first.” While I was never an ABC kid, I always liked Mr. Jennings. He had a Mr. Belding quality about him, like he’d be the cool principal, always spouting off useless trivia to make you smarter.

While many may not be aware, the world also lost John H. Johnson. The publisher of Jet and Ebony passed away at the age of 87. When creating those magazines, his goal was to counter the negative portrayal of Blacks in other printed media. While it could be argued whether or not that goal survived changing times, Mr. Johnson was certainly a pioneer. What I learned from him was that 1) all of the best Jet Beauties come from Clinton, MD and 2) if I ever have my wedding pictures published in Jet, I will undoubtedly be the most gorgeous person ever featured in that section. But I digress…Mr. Johnson certainly made his mark on American pop culture, giving Blacks magazines that they could call their own.

Now, let’s just hope that shuttle lands, ’cause there ain’t nobody left to report on it…

*There’s your shout-out, J-E. Man, I sure hope your girl realizes the writing’s on the wall…

30th Jul2005

Lawdy, Lawdy! Superfly Had A SEQUEL?!

by Will

“Logan would join a limbo contest if it had a redhead in it.”

It’s back! About 6 months ago, I wrote a scathing article about The African Heritage Movie Theatre, and it’s MC’s, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. Well, much has changed in that time. Mr. Davis has gone to that theatre in the sky, and Ms. Dee is MIA. So, the franchise has been renamed. Yes, I give you the Uptown Movie Network. And get this: it’s now hosted by Ms. Shar “F you, Federline!” Jackson. But worry not, because they’re still cranking out those movies that make us Black folks feel so proud! This week’s offering: “Superfly T.N.T”

Yes, as if “Superfly” wasn’t enough, someone came up with the bright idea to give us a sequel. But this ain’t yo daddy’s Blaxploitation movie (actually, it’s from 1973, so it probably is…). Don’t look for the ghettos and the Cadillacs. No, allow me to provide you with the movie’s synopsis:

“Superfly comes out of his Roman retirement to free a tiny African nation from the grip of a cruel dictator.”

Oh, Superfly must be a hero, right? Well, for those of you who don’t know the story of Superfly, as depicted in the first movie, let me break it down for ya. Superfly, known as Youngblood Priest, was a cocaine dealer who simply realized he’d had enough of the life. But he needed one last score to provide him with the cash for his escape. So, I guess he used that cash to get to Rome. Yeah…Rome. I didn’t even think they let Black people in Rome in 1973!

Oh, but it gets better. You ever seen a 6’4” Black dude with a perm, dressed from head to toe in horseback riding gear? Better yet, have you ever seen the same guy chase a mugger down narrow Roman streets?You will if you see this movie. I don’t know if Superfly is the most famboyant pimp or the gayest ass kicker, but it certainly is a sight to see.

The highlight of this movie has GOT to be Roscoe Lee Brown, who has one of the most iconic voices in entertainment history. Screw James Earl Jones. Roscoe’s “Kingpin” from the Fox Spider-Man cartoon stomps all over Mr. “This is CNN”. Anyway, Brown plays the part of an African diplomat. Not that it takes much. In this day and age, all you had to do was show up to work. And he does that nicely.

So, why am I ranting? Well, the whole commercial nature of this franchise was to show movies that, supposedly, had a cultural and classic impact on the Black cinematic experience. I understand that there are only so many times one can watch “The Color Purple” and “The Tuskeegee Airmen”, but it’d be more honorable if someone just came out and said, “OK, we’re all out of movies.” Don’t pass this dreck off and try to make people think it means something. Hell, “Superfly T.N.T” doesn’t even come up immediately on an IMDB search. You’ve got to dig to find that bad boy. I guess that’s supposed to make me think it’s a hidden cinematic treasure. Well, I’m on to your game!

“Superfly” had cultural significance. It is one of the more memorable Blaxploitation movies. Was it a “good” movie? I’ll leave that in the eye of the beholder. But it had cultural significance. These were Black made films, for Black audiences. As deplorable as the subject matter may have been, these tales were real to many people. Can’t say the same about “Soul Plane”. But I digress…

But you can’t tell me that Superfly’s sequel holds the same meaning in time. In the words of Judge Judy, “Don’t piss on my knee and tell me it’s raining!” The fool is in Rome! Who came up with this locale? How did a coke dealer become an African savior? I mean, I’m all about redemption, but DAMN!

Everybody knows that a sequel is simply another trip to the well. Typically, you had success, and now you’re trying to milk the idea dry. The “message” was in your first movie, but the sequel is all fo’ da scrilla. With that in mind, any lesson or message to be conveyed was in the first Superfly. And I guess said message was: “if you’re gonna deal, make sure you rollin’ high, and you get yo’ ass to a safe place for the fallout.” OK, I can live with that. A lot of young folks could do well to know that message. But the only message in the sequel is: “if you take your Black ass to Rome, they gonna find you!”

Thanks, “Uptown Movie Network”. I sure am glad y’all decided to show “Graffiti Bridge” instead of “King” back in January. And I really appreciate the effort, but I think I’ll take care of my cultural education on my own. But holla back when y’all start showing reruns of “Girlfriends”…

24th Jul2005

White Folks Can’t Win At The Apollo

by Will

“My name is Jack Bauer, and this is going to be the longest day of my life.”

Heh, my last post was post # 420, so I guess this is my “buzzed-baked afterglow post”. I guess you can tell I’ve never smoked before seeing as how I don’t know what the fuck I’m talking about.

So…sometimes, I really hate “It’s Showtime At The Apollo”. No, actually I ALWAYS hate “Apollo”. If you ever wanna see racism flipped on its ass, just watch the Apollo.

I feel like this is the rare sanctuary where Black folks are like, “Look, Whitey! WE call the shots here!” It is an institution dedicated to the essence of the BNIC (look it up, my confused friends; we’re not allowed to simply decode that acronym for just anybody!) And, while I guess it’s their prerogative, a LOT of talented people get booed offstage just because they’re White.

It’s a delicate situation ’cause there aren’t really any venues that are known as “White Theatres” (I swear if anyone responds with, “They’re ALL White theatres”, you’ll be sorry. Yeah, I’m looking at you.). In the meantime, the Apollo is known as a Black theatre. When you go perform, you kinda know what you’re getting yourself into. So, I think it’s brave for many people to just get up on the stage.

Here I am, at 1:35 on a Monday morning, watching this dreck. This hippie chick just performed the HELL out of Rufus & Chaka Khan’s “Tell Me Something Good”. I mean, she gave it everything she fucking had, and it was actually GOOD. But these people would NOT give her the credit she deserved.

Now, I’ve gotta admit that Apollo has made some major strides in the past 10 yrs. As the traditional companion show to “Soul Train”, it has had to change with the times. White participants are getting their due in the Harlem venue, but this hippie chick didn’t stand a chance. If you look like you might have some Spanish in ya, you’re golden. Italian? See “Spanish”. Jewish? Your hair’s curly, we’ll clap for ya. But hippie girl didn’t have a chance.

She had long, golden hair down to her ass. And it was the kind where it looked great, but you knew she probably didn’t have to do anything to maintain it. This was accented by her velvet halter top and her tight, straight-legged jeans that many an audience member would never wear in her wildest dreams. I guess you could say they just didn’t relate to her.

But she sure kicked Chaka Khan’s ass. She sang the fuck out of that song. And I’m a tough critic. Hell, I wasn’t even paying attention when she sang. I was reading, and had the thing on in the background. All I could really hear was her singing, and them trying to boo her off. It wasn’t until she finished that I actually looked up and thought, “THAT was HER?”

Well, I’ve just gotta say that she was awesome, and it sucks that she didn’t get what she was looking for. Or, maybe she did. The Apollo ain’t like “American Idol”. Nobody’s really trying to be discovered. That would be NICE, but it’s not always the goal, nor is your performance a predictor. After all, back in the day, Lauryn Hill was booed off her Apollo “Amateur Night” performance and cried like a little bitch backstage. But last I heard, she was doing OK. A little crazy and kind of a recluse, but “OK” by celebrity standards…For some people, surviving the Apollo is akin to conquering a fear or fulfilling a promise. Hippie chick fought hard enough to finish her song without being ejected, so maybe that was what it was all about. I guess I’ll never know. But she sure sang the hell out of that song…

10th Jul2005

Black Folk Humor

by Will

“The first music I was ever into as a kid was Michael Jackson. Of course, this was back when he was a seemingly sane Black man, rather than a crazy White woman…”

So, this is a pretty old site, and I’m sure many of you have seen it, but it’s still baffling people.

http://www.blackpeopleloveus.com

The best part of the site is the “letters” section. Is it satire or a cruel joke? Most people don’t know what to make of it…

Enjoy!

P.S. If you haven’t done it yet, check out http://www.negrospaceprogram.com …Man, they’re gonna take back my membership card for this stuff….

01st Jul2005

Probably Not The Last Time I’ll Blog About The Negro Space Program

by Will

“In 1957, if you were Black, and you were an astronaut, you were out of work!”

http://www.negrospaceprogram.com

This is gonna offend a LOT of people, but I couldn’t NOT post it. You’ve GOT to watch this. Maybe you love documentaries. Maybe you’re looking for a good argument. Or maybe you just wanna see what Bookman from “Good Times” has been up to.

Enjoy…