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I’m Black Too (but only a little)

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ricefI find it utterly hilarious that in this day and age we still attempt to assign specific behaviors to specific groups of people then label all people who resemble that demographic according to said behavior. For instance, I used to think Africans had the market cornered on eating rice everyday…until I met Latin folk….until I met Asians…until I met Indians…. The fact of the matter is there is no particular genre of music, choice of cuisine or preferred sport that is 100% indicative of any race or gender (except for field hockey of course, only dames play field hockey).

We tend to promote commonly accepted stereotypes without questioning motive or source. The problem with sweeping generalities however is they are all encompassing and quite limiting so although you meant to say “some” blacks that you’ve encountered, you said “blacks” and although you meant to say “some” whites, you said “whites,” insinuating “ALL” and thus propagating more harm than good in whatever message you originally intended.

As an example, there are 2 million people in prison. Half are non African American. If you turn your television to any of the programs that follow the “customers” of the criminal justice system however (Cops, The First 48, Lockup, etc.), chances are the African American is overly represented and the Caucasian male is the 3-horned unicorn seen only every 3rd vernal equinox… during a lunar eclipse… on Friday the 13th… of a leap year. For ease of communicae and often to the detriment of the unflavored, it is simply easier to attribute all crime to blacks, all oppression to whites, and discount all other races in between.

brettb2
jep1I’ve been dunked on by white guys and I’ve outscored Asians on the math section of the SAT. I love watching reruns of Good Times but I will shut everything down if Jeopardy is on. Where does that place me exactly? Who knows? More importantly, does it matter? Unless you are Alex Trebek, the answer is probably no. And if you are Alex Trebek then “What it do, big homie?! Can you get a brother on Celebrity or Teen Jeopardy? I’m telling you I will Ken Jennings all them suckas, son!”

Labels make life easy. Who wants to constantly define every person, place and thing and on every occasion of their lives in the interest of actual correctness, let alone political correctness? Carlton Banks was no less black than the Fresh Prince and it is only ignorance and apathy that allows some of us to recklessly associate behavior with identity.

Now if you will excuse me, my chicken flavored basketball is running low on air and my baby momma left the pump in her section 8 Apt/Recording studio/drug den. In the meantime, look out for my new mixtape on World Star Hip Hop called Extra Crispy Crossovers Vol. 1

10 ways to tell if you are “Black Enough”

  1. You like Chicken
  2. The thought of Summer Jam makes you excited
  3. You ain’t tryin’ to hear that bullsh*t
  4. White people ask you not to hurt them
  5. After dark, you are aware of every human in a 2 block radius
  6. Your Bodega sells “Looseys”
  7. You love Neil Patrick Harris from Harold and Kumar
  8. Your Favorite Emcee is Biggie
  9. Your Favorite (and only) Will Smith song is Summer Time
  10. The police still pull you over

10 ways to tell if you’ve transcended the hood and may just be “Blackish”

  1. You still like chicken, but prefer it grilled and in a salad
  2. The thought of Summer Jam makes you nervous
  3. You are willing to hear what others have to say
  4. White people ask you for directions
  5. “Oh hey Bill! I didn’t even see you standing behind me. How the heck are ya?”
  6. Your bodega sells American Spirits
  7. You love Neil Patrick Harris from How I Met Your Mother
  8. Your Favorite Emcee is Drake
  9. Your favorite Will Smith song is Getting Jiggy With It (“Nana Na Na Nana”)
  10. The police still pull you over

Crazed Afrykan is a writer / hip hop producer (Nas / Damien Marely) and aficionado of hip hop culture. For over 30 years, he has gained personal introspective into the motivations, rhymes and reasons for one of the most revered genres in modern music. He is also a smug, smart ass with a perplexing penchant for alliterations. You’ve been warned.

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Hip Hop Now

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Here’s five acts doing their thing in the first installment of Hip Hop Now.

Chicago rapper Saba‘s new record Care For Me features Chance The Rapper on “Logout.”

From Everything is Fine, a collaboration between rapper/satirists Jean Grae and Quelle Chris, here’s “Zero.”

Tyler, the Creator stays weird and rhymes chicken nugget with fuckit on rap nugget “Okra.”

Dallas rapper Bobby Sessions lost his cousin to police violence and channels that energy into the controversial “Like Me.”

Rapper/actor A$AP Rocky samples Moby‘s “Porcelain” on “A$AP Forver.”

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A Quiet Place

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“A family is forced to live in silence while hiding from creatures that hunt by sound.”

1522983854988A lot of skepticism crossed my mind when I first saw the trailer for A Quiet Place. A lot of familiarity to the falsely-marketed It Comes of Night were smeared all over this film. A family trapped in what seems like a post-apocalyptic world, forced to farm, hunt, and live like 1930’s Okie’s in the dust bowl. No real explanation of what happened and what is hunting them. Nah! I figured that they would foresee the comparisons and will stray away from the “its the people that are the real monsters” trope.

Thank the Lord that they did.

From the beginning of the film we see that there is a real threat, and the family is just trying to live in silence, literally. They have to keep extremely quiet in order to not be heard by the creatures who kill by sound. The theater experience was very interesting for this film as the audience fell to dead silence, as if we were participating in the same scenario.

This movie relied heavily on some tremendous acting. John Krasiniski not only directs but stars with real-life wife Emily Blunt, and holds down the lead role with a mix of grit and sincerity. Blunt knocks it out the park as the mother who suffers through grueling moments, pantomiming some extreme pain that had the audience cringing with tension.

More impressive were the kids. Noah Jupe, who has been quietly making waves with his acting in movies such as Wonder and the sub-par film Suburbicon, was stretched in this movie portraying the son, but Millicent Simmonds, who I couldn’t pinpoint to any other film, carried a lot of the emotional weight and was burdened with the heaviest guilt.

Now the creatures were obviously CGI and it was noticeable, but when they make their grand appearance it doesn’t really matter. The way they hunt, move about, and made their weird clicking noise, made them fascinating monsters and even a bit creepy.

This movie did a great job of mixing emotion and tension and even though I found it toned down on the horror, I think it could have a few people curled up in their seats from the thrill.

Overall Grade: B

This movie was good and it was held up but some truly stellar acting, directing and writing. Don’t expect a lot of horror, but do expect to be uneasy with a few scenes. Oh, the ending was simple but very bad-ass!

Drama, Horror, Thriller
April 2018
Director: John Krasinski
Paramount Pictures
1 hours 30 minutes

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Aegyo – What the What?

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You know how you and your significant other do the baby talk thing? Come on, you do it, admit it. Sometimes you talk to each other in a childish voice or make silly little gestures that you would never use at, for example, a business meeting or at the dentist. Well, this is a whole cottage industry in South Korea and they call it Aegyo. 

Aegyo, a tool long leveraged by South Korean ladies to get what they want through sheer cuteness, has been leveraged by male and female K-Pop Idol groups to ginormous success. In fact, there are songs where one can do little cutsey gestures to the whole thing. Two popular aegyo anthems are The Gwiyomi Song and Oppaya, and there are videos aplenty on YouTube where folks of all ages and backgrounds vie for cringe-worthy cuteness. Some of these videos have millions upon millions of views. There’s even K-Pop Idol shows where folks watch each other express aegyo and react with howls of laughter.

Holy cow, the more I talk about this, the weirder it gets. Yet, I can’t look away.

Other cultures are jumping on the band wagon, too. Check out the videos below for some adorable examples.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcgGASL8EXo

 

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