Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oooh...he make me giggle

Is there anyone who the slight mention of them makes you giggle?
I was listening to Common's Finding Forever at work this week biding the time as I deleted excel entries, and he mentioned Master P in one of the songs. Not only do I love finding hidden jewels in lyrics that I never caught before. I like to laugh...a lot.

The grin broke out...and before I knew it I had to stifle a giggle. The idea of Master P, no matter how "bout it bout it" those Miller boys are just does that to me.

And what happened to his tv network? Goodness, I write about Mr. Miller so much, he has his own tag.

So does Ja Rule.

A tee hee hee hee hee hee....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Blindsided by "The Blind Side"

I'm working on getting writing into my day. In an effort to progress, I started tackling one of the many issues floating in my head. Why did Sandra Bullock take a role in "The Blind Side," the film about a white housewife taking in a homeless black teenager and turning him into a great football player? This movie is obviously going to be a huge cliche, but also one that will catapult Bullock into the type of role she hasn't had much opportunity to explore in her career...and give some young undiscovered black talent a moment in the spotlight.

I'm sure some gossip rag already has Bullock's take on why she did the movie, but I remain convinced there is something more to the point an actor reaches when they take a white savior role. I however do not want to attack or grapple with the white savior theme. This is where my writing got stuck. I rambled and referenced every movie I could think of from Pride to Coach Carter to Dangerous Minds to Finding Forrester and Good Will Hunting. I came up with nothing. I had media issue fatigue. Every time the commercials come on, my head hurts and my eyes get droopy.

Undoubtedly, someone else will have something to add to the ever continuing conversation. I'm hoping to see the positive. Although it's a shtick done so often in the past few years that we can all write the scripts ourselves, there will be entertainment value. It will be heartwarming, and that little reminder that it's based on a true story will make us all feel better about the world. Also some unknown and non Hollywood looking black kid got a break that he definitely needed. He's no Rob Brown (who I met...yay me!) but he'll get thrown a bone. Also, Sandra Bullock can amp up her movie career.

And when I watch it when it finally makes it to TBS, I'll think...why didn't they put on Ms. Congeniality instead? It was kind of cliche, but I enjoy it! EVERY TIME!

EDIT: And side note, why are so many of these movies sports driven? If you need help in the world, be athletic built. If you can pull yourself up, either be able to sing or dance your way out of violence. If you're're probably alright, but find a creppy old professor to inspire you.

P.S.: This movie actually got addressed before on . I even made a comment. Must of been in the back of my mind. Oops.

OMG, NAI....we have to make our film.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

This is It Review

I went to see "This is It" with my sister over Halloween weekend and thoroughly thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it. It was as if I watched a concert in a movie theater...but much better than that time my eldest sister had to take me to see the Spice Girls movie in junior high (still among my top ten of questionable entertainment choices).

I'm glad we had this last glimpse of Michael. Sure at times he looked weary. You could see a weight decrease, but he still had it. He was sharp and together. He knew his dances better than the dancers and had a sharp ear for music.

Bro' man was also sauuuuuucy. OMG.

Ok, I'm obviously still sizzling and we all need to let it simmer. The link below has a movie review written by my sister. Check it out!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Old School Friday: Smile

Heya! I'm working on that list below...but I'm back.
I seem to have gotten the prerequisite down which is not falling asleep as soon as I get in from work.

Now for an actual post. Thank you OSF for waiting out for me. This week's theme is smile...which of course made a million themes run through my head...all having to do with the word smile or being happy. Too bad the majority of songs are from the early aughties (or naughties...whatever we're calling them nowadays).

These songs are themed "Don't Worry." Cast your cares aside. Every little thing will be alright. "Be Happy!"

Sorry Daily Motion wasn't working with actual videos.


Keep up with OSF here: and link to participants here.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Thing I Need to DO

Change the Buggin Out picture. The best summer ever is now over, and while my love for Do the Right Thing never dies, nostalgia moves forward.

Write, because people have started questioning what's up with me, and the blog. That's never good. I'm back to not making target promises though. At this point, I'm so not sure what I can promise per week. I will, however, keep doing OSF. That's definitely been a high point to my week over the year

Write with substance. No use writing, if its flismey.

Watch tv again. Honestly, that's where I get my ideas. I've been sleeping at like 7 pm every night, and still feeling tired. I might as well get some good tv in.

I'll be back within this week to start working on these goals. Until then, abrazos y besos.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Old School Friday: For the Love of Money

Today's Old School Friday gets down to business: Money. The love of money may be the root of all evil, but it sure does get it going. Not having had any for the past year, I often dream about the green tender and what can be done with it.

When I saw the topic, I knew the song I wanted to use, but I never knew the name. I've heard the song but once on vintage Soul Train episode, but when it came on, the sisters and I instantly rang each other to discuss it. It was 70's-esque women singing about the brilliance of being independent, having a degree, and money in the bank. I'd have hopes of it being in the Soul Train movie, but some fool decided to base it in the 80s.

So long story short, I'm showing my age and picking the first non- O'Jays song that pops in my head when I think of money. Ushering in the oft criticized, but oh so fun shiny suit era:

And an early lesson on how to spend. I love how he was going to live on a $1000 a month.

Want more Old School Friday? Learn about how to join and find other participants here

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy Birthday Michael

In the summer that everyone has died (Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Dominic Dunne, Ed McMahon, Naomi Sims, Ted Kennedy, DJ AM, E. Lynn Harris, Stanley Kaplan...) and in the week that we also remembered the too soon passing of Aaliyah, we take time to celebrate the birthday of Michael Jackson.

Google's there with us. If you're in NY head down to Prospect Park for the 40 Acres celebration.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Old School Friday: Yep, I know all the words

This week's Old School Friday is a song that people will be surprised you know. I'm random and don't think I really surprise people anymore. At first I thought Journey, "Don't Stop Believing" then realized that everyone knows that song and I just joined the party late in life.

While I don't know all the words to this one, it was a favorite of my elementary school years. Yes, random I know. But who doesn't love Adam Sandler?

Bonus Songs:
Christina Aguilera before she became super famous. Definitely my favorite song straight through high school, much to the chagrin of my friends.

A good friend was obsessed with this song. There was no choice but for me to learn all the words before my Billy Joel phase sophomore year of college.

For more Old School Friday, rules and how to join in on the fun check out href="">"Conversations with Marva"

When I Read: Reading on TV -RIP Reading Rainbow

Just as I finally put up a "When I Read" post and started preparing some more books/stories/poems to share, I find out that one of my three favorite shows about reading (Reading Rainbow, Wishbone, and yes Learn to Read with Famous Amos because I was a cable-less child) is ending. Wishbone, which ended in 2001, was a classic and shared a variety of stories. But as great as the little Jack Terrier was, there was never a comparison to Reading Rainbow. The show, which is older than I, introduced young folk to the love of reading and featured real little kids with their favorite books. For those with a love of books, it opened you up to exploring different types of stories and also exposed young readers to a variety of cultures and historical moments through contemporary children's literature. Wishbone was great for portraying the "Great Books" tome of literature (and ensuring that I would not have to read to sound smart when I reached high school). Reading Rainbow took you beyond the "great books" culture to various communities. There would also be the real life segments and guests that illuminated lessons from the book and applied it to real life.

The line of reasoning for cutting the show, that honestly I didn't know still came on, was because it taught kids to love reading instead of how to read. Apparently educational shows have to teach now, because of Bush's educational policies. Whatevs.

And while I'm sad to say I can't remember one book in particular, I remember my love for the show. I'm also sure it's the only reason I attempted to watch roots when I was little. Kunta Kente? Nah, its LeVar Burton.( Recently I read he was dead broke. this helping him at all).

NPR Source:
Check it out for yourself.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't let the Vanity Stop

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Old School Friday: Prom or something like it.

So I graduated high school after 1999 and in elementary school they randomly decided my year that our prom with our parents invited wasn't "Christian" enough. But I'mma pretned like we had a prom, and that it ws the best eighth grade prom ever.

This was the year in which Spice Girls, Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, NSync and Christina Aguilera all collided. Missy, Ginuwine, Nas, and Blackstreet all released albums that school year. Remembering my elementary school, where we sang round of "No Scrubs" and "No Pigeons" in between Kirk Franklin's "Revolution" and whatever Mr. Vegas song we were deciphering and drumming the beats out on desks, if we chose our prom songs there would have been a nice little mix.

The kids would have probably gone for these choices:

Oh Foxy, your lip gloss was poppin.

Okay, yea no way theyd actually play these songs. This was probably as hype as we could get.

Want more OSF? Check it out here:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Favorite Scenes: School Dances

So, I'm doing a lot of writing at 4 AM on Monday morning because I'm up and won't be able to update during the week. That being said I got a head start on Old School Friday and this week's theme is prom. You'll see my choices on Friday. First off I wanted to give you some of my favorite scenes from television show dances/proms. I did this very literally. Moesha always had great stuff, but it was never at school. It was always at the one neo-soul..ish cafe that 15 year olds found uber appealing and let rappers and singersw and their ilk come as they like. Why did I think that show was real? Anyway onwards and forwards.

Why did something dramatic always happen at the dance or prom? Why? Didn't people just go and dance? Either someone broke up, got together or a celebrity appeared.

Family Matters had the best school dances, always.

Saved by the Bell : the best of Saturday morning.

California Dreams: Gut Wrenching TNBC with a soundtrack.

The Cosby Show
So this isn't the clip how I'd like it,..but these guys planning their prom entrance was classic. classic....and exactly how every teenager thinks they can get something extravagant and be the best.

Sadly, this is the best I can do right now without my family leaving me. I wanted to do college parties as well. C'est la vie.

Have any favorite school dances memories from tv?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Old School Friday: Not on You Tube

Its 11: 48. I have twelve minutes left to make Old School Friday work. I peeped from last week that it was no You Tube and I was up for the challenge. I thought long and hard this morning until I came up with David Rudder's Panama. I put it in the You Tube search bar and it didn't come up. Every other song I tried..from rap, to soul to R&B to gospel to obscure reggae existed. For anyone who likes calypso, Rudder is up there with top musicians. Panama is one of his biggest hits and oddly not on You Tube.

Panama - David Rudder

My other options were to go with the theme songs for a few of my favorite shows that were canceled too soon (and actually still arent on You Tube...shocking, I know) . But I had no idea where to find the audio for them online, so we'll just be at a lost.

Edit: How do I always forget this part? For more Old School Friday check out for links to more OSF and to join in on the fun yourself!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

When I Read: We Real Cool

A while back I mentioned that I actually read when I was little. Mother's an English teacher so I had no real choice. And while I prized books- especially series about babysitters in Connecticut- I also loved a good poem. Unsurprisingly, most poems I read, memorized and spoke out loud dealt with the African American experience.

Well one Christmas, like any teachers child, I opened up my wrapped books to find a thin paperback copy of black poems. I excitedly read it, and then my sister and I did our first Last Poets-esque piece around the Christmas tree. I don't think the recording ever worked, but I'll always always love this piece.

This You Tube piece also had Digable Planets "Rebirth of Slick (Cool like that)" as the background piece...and I mentioned my admiration of them in this OSF piece.

Happy Wednesday!!!

We Real Cool by Gwendolyn Brooks

We real cool. We
Left school. We

Lurk late. We
Strike straight. We

Sing sin. We
Thin gin. We

Jazz June. We
Die soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Do the Right Thing: Celebration Continued Part II ---> The Music Part I

It's a twitter music monday yall. Catch my tunes.

Today's extra hot. I was in the emergency room and saw too many heatstroked seniors. Guess that means its time for another installment about Do the Right Thing, set on the hottest day of the year.

Now any die hard Spike Lee fan will tell you about Joe's Bedstuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads, Spike Lee's 1983 thesis and how that launched Spike's career and yada yada yada. That's your Spike Lee fact for the day. Instead I'm going to focus on Spike and music.

The same year Lee was filming his thesis, hiphop was still in its infant stage and rap was forming a personality of sorts. In 1983, Grandmaster Melle Mel (and possibly Grandmaster Flash..there's some sketchiness with the credits) came out with White Lines. The unofficial music video starred Laurence Fishburne and was directed by none other than Spike Lee.

Immersed in the politics of the day and all the characteristics of hip hop culture: innovation, rebellion, political dissatisfaction and the excited emergence of a new voice for an underclass, Lee merged his art with hip hop music and Do the Right Thing earned its place in hip hop history.

From directing the Public Enemy video which served as the movie's theme:

to the opening sequence:

to the costuming, language, and of course Radio Raheem and that big ol music box blasting hip hop

Lee incorporated hip hop into his work in a manner that had not been done before, epitomizing it as a form of black expression and often contrasting and comparing it to jazz sensibilities with its own culture of innovation, signifying and protesting.

Do the Right Thing isn't the only movie in which Spike has used the dynamics of music to emphasize his point, but the movie and its writer-director have left a clear mark in the hip hop community inspiring pieces such as

and whatever Jermaine Dupri, Ciara and Nelly cooked up for this.

Following my Do the Right Thing Tribute?
Part One: Scary Do the Right Thing Muppets

Friday, August 07, 2009

Old School Friday: Chaka Khan Chaka Khan Chaka Khan Chaka Khan

Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan, Chaka Khan Chaka Khan!

Yes, today's Old School Friday celebrates one of the greats. Everytime I hear the name Chaka, beyond thoughts of fantabulous red hair and extreme outfits(which unlike Diana Ross didn't frighten me) I tend to think of my favorite movie soundtrack Waiting to Exhale and her contribution. The judges on American Idol would definitely agree that she made the song her own.

Then I burst into a panic attack at how I can limit myself to solely one other choice. So I thought back to what could be considered a college classic: Through the Wire, and how that song could never be without

I'm not even touching the Rufus days.

When Whitney Houston redid "I'm Every Woman," I wasnt allowed to sing it. Apparently I would have corrupted my 7 year old mind.

Join in on the Old School Friday fun at Conversations with Marva!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Do the Right Thing: Muppet Style

It's icky. I've finally started using the Air Conditioner. I've been waiting around for the hottest day of the summer to show up to start spewing thoughts on Do the Right Thing, which my slight obsession with has been documented several times on this site. But with the not so hot, but still disgustingly humid summer New York has been having, I realized that it shall be difficult to correspond my coverage with the timeline of the film (which is just the hottest day of the year).

So lets get it started. In honor of the news that the Muppets will be incorporating Mad Men into their show, I bring you the unofficial Sesame Street spoof. Ernie is Mookie and Big Bird is Buggin' Out. Great casting if I've ever seen it. I've never wanted to see Big Bird curse tho :(

The Queen

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Favorite Scenes: Drawn in Musicians

I was doing some research on new music, and came across this article which discusses cartoons and music in light of comic-con. (One day I need to make it to a convention that honors people obsessed with a pop culture genre to the level of geekdom.)

While reading this I felt validated in my love of Phineas and Ferb. I know for many there will never be harder cartoon rockers than Jem or Josie and the Pussycats. But I have to say, growing up and owning my own green sweater vest, white tee and khaki shorts I thought the Beets of Doug fame were right there with whichever band was in the Top 40. I assure you, you will be singing Ooo Ee oo Killer Tofu for a while after this.

Of course musical legacy in cartoons comes from a variety of areas. Where else can chimpmunks sing and create a Christmas legend...

or would Andre 3000 get to lead a class in music that was super appropriate...

or would there be a social commentary on real musicians? I can't say I know what actually goes on in Aaron McGruder's head, but if you need the full story (

Really, these cartoons can stand up to California Dreams any day. I'm a little ambivalent at the moment on Da Jammies. In writing it sounds great, but in visual this eerily reminds me of the PJs. Multicultural cartoons are something I harp on a lot. So this could be promising.

We're in desperate need of a funky cartoon that will leave us dancing in the aisles.

Slow July--A Vanity Dark Music Monday

Slow JULY??? Whatever could I mean? After all with all of the Skip Gates hoopla, the craziness in the entertainment world and what not the blogosphere is teeming with issues that are being discussed?

Okay more like I've been a little self absorbed and also issue fatigued. I can't sit and criticize all aspects of black media, because truth be told, I(a very well educated and cultured person) actually don't mind a great deal of it. I also never bought into post-racial America and did live in Cambridge for four years. Thus my impressions of the town, racism and town-gown relations were all set and haven't really changed post the issue that won't die-Skip Gates and James Crowley. Don't worry...I'm not done preaching my gospel of television and early nostalgia. I just needed a little break.

I've also been working at being a good teacher for my SAT kiddies, actually knowing what we're going to discuss, going at RBMVibes business, researching for a media ideas company, as well as mentally preparing myself for the 9-5 that's to come. My dear laptop is also on its last leg. So I disappeared into KimSwaSha(that's the imaginary kingdom ruled by me that I created when I was 8) and worked as well as celebrated the month of July...since after all it is my birthmonth!

With that said, I apologize-especially to STW who emailed me to remind me to write. I have reasons, but no real excuse. I know I have officially gone against my blog resolutions, but I'll try to make it up.

So with all that honor of my twitter account, here's #musicmonday. It's a little vain, but what's vanity but a fair?

The Queen

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pour a Little Malted 40 Oz. Beverage From Your Brown Paper Bag: RIP VIBE

Quincy Jones hasn't only lost Michael Jackson this week, he's lost his print baby, VIBE.

As mourns the loss of Michael Jackson, journalists and hip hop lovers are mourning the loss of VIBE Magazine: the iconic magazine that reported on hip hop and R&B: the music, the culture, the celebrities and the politics. For many its just one more example of the magazine industry going down the drain. For those a bit more dramatic and sentimental (like me) its the sunset of an era. Dusk is coming and we're not ready. The Johnson Publishing Group also announced their fair share of problems last week meaning Ebony and Jet may also be facing the end. Black Enterprise isn't doing too well either. It seems that black printed media is coming to an end. And while other formats taking precedence (such as blogs), other media such as black television is already struggling to engage with black audiences on the level it needs to be.

Like most people shocked at the demise of VIBE, I wasn't a consistent reader. I never subscribed but would pick up the occasional issue from a newsstand. Perhaps I'm at fault...perhaps its the advertisers. Now critique as you may, but VIBE offered quality and standard journalism on topics and folks not being covered in your Entertainment Weekly (which loving all things tv related, I do thoroughly enjoy as well). It spoke to a demographic looking to read and learn about hip hop in a manner just as sophisticated as they could learn about Celine Dion. It also innovated and put out excellent journalists. During my first internship at a magazine my boss was a former Vibe Managing Editor. She rocked. Folks out there have had more than their fare share to say about whats been going on at VIBE recently (really people let everything out on Twitter) but all admit that its sad to see it go.

Now....go get your American Legacy, Essence, Ebony, Jet and Black Enterprise Subscriptions. I'm not yet publicly supporting The Source.

Pouring a little liquor and shedding a tear.

RIP Billy Mays

Still coping with my MJ withdrawal on Sunday I came home from church to find out that Billy Mays has passed. Now most ppl saw my facebook, gchat and Twitter reactions and thought I was crazy. I was a 90s child without cable. Early Saturday before the cartoons you only had infomercials consisting of Solid Gold and Billy Mays (and those SmartMop ppl). I convinced my parents to get Orange Glo and OxiClean. He was a revolutionary in the advertising world, and since I lived in the world of advertising journalism for a while, I feel a special connection to the work he did and the way in which infomercials seriously impact the advertising world.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Old School Friday: RIP Michael Jackson

In the words of a friend: "Grab your crotch and scream." If we're going out we're going out with a bang!

Fittingly, this week's OSF has been altered to a Michael Jackson memorial. I'm sure between the lot of us, we'll cover a decent share of his catalog, but we won't get anywhere close to hitting the majority. The man was eccentric and for many people it was a love from a distance feeling, but if my twitter and fb feeds say anything, he's one of few ppl that can unite across gender, race, creed, age, nationality and the other things that separate us.

My first choice came out during my childhood from a movie I loved then (tho if u asked me about a whale now, I'd say ppl first).Seriously, I had a Free Willy necklace.

The clips inserted sow the sheer star power that Michael Jackson had. Remember the people fainting and the shrieks?

For a pop artist who came up with innovative dances and lived in a childhood fantasy land, he was beyond socially conscience. Songs like this, Black or White, Heal the World and Gone too Soon all point to cultural activism through music.

With condolences to the family.

Join in on the Old School Friday Fun!
Anyone can join in on the OSF fun. Check out the rules here and peep other participants below. HAPPY Old School Friday!

AJ - BklynQueen’86 - Bria - CC Groovy - Chocl8t - Cooper - Shawn - Danielle Vyas - Dee - DP - Fresh and Fab - Hagar’s Daughters - Invisible Woman - John - Keith - Kevin - Kim - LaKeisha - LaShonda - Lil Creole Pimp - Lisa C - Mahogany - Malcolm - Marcus - Martin - MarvalusOne - Mike - Mrs. Grapevine - MsLadyDeborah - Pjazzypar - Pop Art Diva - Quick - Regina - Revvy Rev - Shae-Shae - Sharon - SJP - Staci - Tami - Tha Connoisseur - Thembi - Vérité Parlant - Villager - Vivrant Thang - Wheneva Whateva - Zenobia -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

RIP to Farrah Fawcette and Ed McMahon as well

I neglected to give Ed McMahon his proper due earlier in the week, and we also lost Farah Fawcett yesterday. This has indeed been a sad week.

Someone made this tribute against one of my favorite songs.

RIP Michael

I just got the news and I'm stealing wi-fi on a campus, but I have to im going to do it online MICHAELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL

Expect a proper tribute later. Condolences to his family.

Friday, June 19, 2009

My Favorite Scenes: Let's Go to Church

Editor's note: I've had this post sitting on my computer since March...pre-hiatus.

An Old School Friday Post made me think of all the random church episodes on television shows. When a need to demonstrate singing or deal with some moral can't be otherwise weaved into a plot, all of a sudden "the chuch" comes into play. Now note, there were some shows based on the church. (That link will bring you to one of my favorite short lived shows "Good News" on UPN. Can we have a channel that just shows old, kinda bad but lovable tv?)

But then there are these where we end up at church. Not that it's a bad thing to go to church- the sometimes religion reflects the nation on a whole- but it sure is random in retrospect.

This isn't the only time the show and "the chuch" combined so this one isn't really random. Mary and her lot were extremely active within their church community. Church was incorporated into the episodes and there was an obvious connection. I want to post this link: but can't embed it, so this one will have to do.

Family Matters
Carl yelled often, but not often about church.

Sister Sister
I've posted this clip before. But church is really a great reason to get some singing in on a show.

Fresh Prince
I find it hard to believe that the Banks family did not attend a more bougie church. There has to be an Abyssinian counterpart in L.A.

Sometimes singing goes wrong.

Do you have a favorite church scene? Let me know...leave a comment!

Old School Friday: Dance for Me!

HEYYYY I'm Back to Old School Friday! I've been missing out on all the fun, but today is one big ol dance party. Now in my senior year of college it turned out that the big dance songs for the majority of the college were Journey "Don't Stop Believin", Neil Diamond "Sweet Caroline" and Lynyrd Skynyrd "Sweet Home Alabama" If you ever want to see preppy New Englanders get all happy jumping up and down, play these songs. Really...this was in 2007, you wouldn't believe it. And I can't front, I love those songs as well. For a modern taste we got down to Madonna "Like a Prayer"

BUT,growing up I was in the very different world of Flatbush, West Indies USA. Since Obama declared this Caribbean Heritage month, here are some of the jams that will get any Caribbean party moving.

This next song, no lie I went to my friends birthday party when I was 9 and the whole family had a choreographed dance to it. My first experience with the Trini party style.

ANDD for good measure, this was on our elementary school Dancing with Richard Simmons to the 80s video we had to watch for class. Everytime I hear this song, I have to do the dance

Join in on the Old School Friday Fun!
Anyone can join in on the OSF fun. Check out the rules here and peep other participants below. HAPPY Old School Friday!

AJ - BklynQueen’86 - Bria - CC Groovy - Chocl8t - Cooper - Shawn - Danielle Vyas - Dee - DP - Fresh and Fab - Hagar’s Daughters - Invisible Woman - John - Keith - Kevin - Kim - LaKeisha - LaShonda - Lil Creole Pimp - Lisa C - Mahogany - Malcolm - Marcus - Martin - MarvalusOne - Mike - Mrs. Grapevine - MsLadyDeborah - Pjazzypar - Pop Art Diva - Quick - Regina - Revvy Rev - Shae-Shae - Sharon - SJP - Staci - Tami - Tha Connoisseur - Thembi - Vérité Parlant - Villager - Vivrant Thang - Wheneva Whateva - Zenobia -

Happy Juneteenth!

Unfortunately there is no appropriate television reference to mark the celebration of Juneteenth. And in the Addy series of the American Girl books, she definitely found out on April 10th....not June 19th (Yes I remember that from years ago). But in comradeship with my people down in Galveston, Texas let's all reflect on the importance of freedom and the struggles that continue until today.

I wrote this up over on RBMVibes as my perfect Juneteenth/Caribbean American Heritage Month song. Check it out here. Also peep the Black Music Month coverage they've been doing.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Every Time He Come Around Your City

**Bling Bling**

I know this photo is about a week old now,but I'm just shocked I haven't seen that joke made yet. And yes, I know I am wrong for connecting the president to Cash Money. Who would have known Lil Wayne had such staying power.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Barack Obama is Cliff Huxtable

This is soooo something I would have done. In case you needed any more proof:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartM - Th 11p / 10c
Barack Obama Is Cliff Huxtable
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorEconomic Crisis

And for all my Brooklyn and Queens darlings, Happy Brooklyn-Queens Day!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

It Still Rocks to Be A Girl

Apparently this is my most visited page. I have no idea why, but with good reason I figured I'd update you all with more American Girl news. As seen below in my last Old School Friday post, I really like being a girl.

Honest disclaimer: I still have not watched the American Girl movie. But I do respect the all around movement to expand upon the gender norms imposed within our culture by including girls of different races and cultures. Maybe we'll get around to allowing different perceptions of girlhood, but that will be problematic. I know I for one am not promoting Ciara's "Love, Sex, and Magic" steez even though it is an annoyingly catchy song.

American Girl is adding one more to their collection with a Lower East Side Jewish girl. I really wish they got A.O.Scott to write this article since he reviewed the last movie and I would have loved to see a journalistic continuation of the discussion. But the sad dying writer inside of me understands how a newsroom works. Salkin delves into the discussion and yes, the Jewish American girl has brown hair.

I'm still waiting for my revolutionary black afro flaunting girl of the 70s in the American Girl collection along with a blond hippie friend. I know that is the most contrived image, but I always though they belonged in the series.

But on another note, this girl is coming back to blogging slowly but surely. It's going to happen.
(removed imeem songplaylist)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On a hiatus

Vanity Dark has been placed on hiatus. Until we're back on our normal schedule, enjoy these commercials.

We'll be back with that good good.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Old School Friday: If I Were A Boy

So of course, if I were a boy I'd want to be Theo Huxtable or Dwayne Wayne. Alas, they aren't real ppl. And as much as I love Shad Moss, he is also not my choice out of fear that I'd suffer from short man syndrome. But this was hard, because there are quite a artists I'd emulate if I were a boy. Sean Combs almost made it on, but I spared you. I'm not sure if I'd be funk like Prince, a crooner like Gerald Levert, or rock out like Lenny. And I also didn't include anyone who has passed away...because if I were a boy, I'd like to be alive.

My Boy Choices Pre-1999:
Nas... Yes, even during Snaggle Tooth Era. He tee-totals through different genres of rap, but is always himself and you'd be hard pressed not to find a message through most of his music (note I said most. Oochie Wallie is obviously not included...but that's a perk of being a guy, isn't it?). And while he hasn't diversified his act, is prone to antics like naming his album N*gger, he remains sharp in what he does and is married to Kelis.

Jamie Foxx. This man oozes talent...even when he wasn't a recording artist. Go ahead Wanda!

Sigh, if only Theo's rap career took off:

Join in on the Old School Friday Fun!
Anyone can join in on the OSF fun. Check out the rules here and peep other participants below. HAPPY Old School Friday!

AJ - BklynQueen’86 - Bria - CC Groovy - Chocl8t - Cooper - Shawn - Danielle Vyas - Dee - DP - Fresh and Fab - Hagar’s Daughters - Invisible Woman - John - Keith - Kevin - Kim - LaKeisha - LaShonda - Lil Creole Pimp - Lisa C - Mahogany - Malcolm - Marcus - Martin - MarvalusOne - Mike - Mrs. Grapevine - MsLadyDeborah - Pjazzypar - Pop Art Diva - Quick - Regina - Revvy Rev - Shae-Shae - Sharon - SJP - Staci - Tami - Tha Connoisseur - Thembi - Vérité Parlant - Villager - Vivrant Thang - Wheneva Whateva - Zenobia -

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Why Black Men [Supposedly] Can't Finish College

Peep the link above for an Essence write up of an AP survey on "Why Black Men Can't Finish College?"

1/6 of me want to find the AP research so I can read the conclusions and have some more insight myself. I'm sure it's nothing that hasn't been said before...but it's nice when numbers back it up.

1/6 of me wants to find the AP research to discredit some part of it, because that's what I've been trained to do.

1/3 of me is (as I often am of recent) disgruntled with Essence for basically regurgitating an Associated Press project without adding more nuance and then having the nerve to title the piece so negatively. I'm not saying to go start finding excuses for black men not finishing college, but you can flesh out a news piece.

1/3 of me is extremely happy its pushing 1AM and I can excuse myself out of thinking because I should be asleep.

Most of the comments on the Essence website seem to point to men spending their college time chasing women. Do you agree that this is the problem?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Old School Friday: I Had A Bad Day At Work

I've been there. There's a reason Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" and Janelle Monae's "Lettin Go" were some of the most played songs on my I Tunes list.I believe in indulging my sulky mood, before uplifting myself. And while those would be my picks, they are not Old School. But check out that Janelle Monae, pre-Diddy single. It speaks directly to a bad day at work. As a teenager my go to song was My Reflection by Christina Aguilera for Mulan. To this day, my favorite Disney jam. I could keep going on, but you all may think I have way too many bad days. I don't.

Generally anything reminding me of my long gone youth, be it my elementary school's school song, "This is My Father's World" or a sad Mary J. Blige song that I knew all the words to would get me going, but I'll stay close to the theme and hopefully add something to your arsenal.

The problem with me listening to Bob, is I just don't stop. For my reggae sulky song, I usually go to the Sizzla standby, Dry Cry. Not at all work related and not Old School enough but fun to sing along with when you want to sulk.

Moving on. (Let's imagine I posted the Billy Joel catalog here, starting with Piano Man. Just because, he's fun...and that one Journey song everyone knows)

This is representative. My college roommates called me on my tendency to start playing the nearest gospel song when I thought I was going to go ballistic after some bad club meeting.

I went to Kirk Franklin because we performed him in elementary school. We did Lean on Me and Revolution from the Nu Nation Project. We were no Tia or Tamera. ( This was such a great episode and I will never deny that I watched way too much tv...I should not still know all the episodes of Sister Sister)

Anyone can join in on the OSF fun. Check out the rules here and peep other participants below. HAPPY Old School Friday!

AJ - BklynQueen’86 - Bria - CC Groovy - Chocl8t - Cooper - Shawn - Danielle Vyas - Dee - DP - Fresh and Fab - Hagar’s Daughters - Invisible Woman - John - Keith - Kevin - Kim - LaKeisha - LaShonda - Lil Creole Pimp - Lisa C - Mahogany - Malcolm - Marcus - Martin - MarvalusOne - Mike - Mrs. Grapevine - MsLadyDeborah - Pjazzypar - Pop Art Diva - Quick - Regina - Revvy Rev - Shae-Shae - Sharon - SJP - Staci - Tami - Tha Connoisseur - Thembi - Vérité Parlant - Villager - Vivrant Thang - Wheneva Whateva - Zenobia -

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Extra Credit Reading: The Economist on The Other Obama

I have to admit the title of this piece confused me. Even with the picture I figured they were writing about Michelle Obama's mother or some other woman not in the spotlight, because we all hear about Michelle Obama ad nauseum.

Like many other young, eager, wide eyed and bushy tailed women, I became enthralled with the image of Michelle Obama during the 2008 Presidential election campaign season. She was smart, high achieving in business and cool. I even campaigned amongst friends for Michelle Obama as First Spouse sometimes ignoring the politics of actual candidates. And as this obsession with her cool emerged in the media, the emphasis on her career and education became secondary to her down to earth manner, ability to connect and her wardrobe.

Part of the issue lies in what defines cool within larger society. Princeton and Harvard are impressive, but fusion high and low end dressing is cool. In last week's Economist, Lexington (yea we have no idea who writes this stuff...part of "Economist" policy) called on us to bring this into check and remember Michelle Obama for her accomplishments and consider her opinions and views in "The Other Obama". Since I am a glutton for chick lit, I know from American Wife that Alice Blackwell-the fictional Laura Bush- would tell her to go for it. After living eight years under the shadow of Hilary Clinton's time as First Lady she dared not step out of the bounds of the East Wing and in the fictional account ended up in turmoil over her decisions at the end, because she was not expected to have a view on topics outside the safety of education. (my brief summary...I'm not Curtis Sittenfeld).

I'm aware we elected Barack Obama and not Michelle Obama, but it would be nice if we celebrated her entire being a bit more. I'm not calling on her to be an advertisement or to become a shadow member of the government, inserting her own concerns out of a marriage rite. But I am offering a friendly reminder that Michelle Obama is cool...not just because she dresses nicely, has toned arms, is married to Barack Obama, or is the descendant of slaves. She's cool in spite of it all.

But now that I mention it, I wonder if anyone cares about what Carla Bruni-Sarkozy thinks. Is it just an American phenomenon where we are so intrigued by the spouses of those we elect into power to the point where we expect to be bewitched by them and are invariably saddened by their impact on policy be it too much or too little. Should I be able to pinpoint the issues that the first lady has pushed for for the last few presidencies? Oh Eleanor, what have you wrought?


Read the article here:

R.I.P. John Hope Franklin

The world lost a great historian and scholar in John Hope Franklin this week who died in Durham, North Carolina at the age of 94 years old. His long career as a Historian took him many places from his undergraduate days at Fisk to completing his Masters and PHD at Harvard University. He taught at several schools and chaired many history departments. As the head of Brooklyn College's History Department he became the first person of color to chair a major history department. Following his tenure at Brooklyn College, he went on to chair at the University of Chicago before becoming a tenured professor with a chair at Duke University where he taught until 1992.

there are many other highlights in his life. He served as President of the American Historical Association, served on the NAACP Legal Defense Fund with Thurgood Marshall during Brown v. Board of Education, and stuck it out with W.E.B. Dubois. He's also written several books, including the seminal From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African Americans.

Let's all take a moment to honor Franklin and his illustrious and groundbreaking career.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Old School Friday: Baby

This week we bring you songs with "Baby" in the title

The first song is simply named Baby. Besides for laughing at the glorified tackiness of the mid 1990s, it's nice to remember that Brandy had a lot going for her. I still blame her for the loss of many people's hairlines. They did not realize that she got her extensions redone regularly.

And sadly, even back then Sinbad didn't have a job. (Trivia: Which Norwood did Sinbad actually have a sitcom with?)

And simply because I couldn't resist. As disrespectful little kids we would sing this behind ppl on the street.

This can only explain why songs like this rose to popularity later on.

Happy and Joyful Old School Friday

Check out other OSF bloggers:

- Ms Grapevine -Quick - -Marcus LANGFORD

- Cassandra - Kevin - iriegal -Mahogany -Hagar's Daughter - Lisa C

-Chocl8t - DP - Dallassouth - John - The Connoisseur - Kreative Talk

- Regina - MsMarvalus - Clnmike - Vivrant Thing

-AJ - Sharon - RevvyRev - Prof. PC - Invisible Woman

-- Cooper - SJP -Bria - BklynQueen 86 - Hey Shae -

- From the Battlefield - Thembi - D Spot - Malcolm -

-Pop Art Diva - Pjazzypar - MsLadyDeborah -

Friday, March 13, 2009

Women's History Month: Your Revolution

I've had this post sitting her for a few days, so I figured I may as well publish it.

Undoubtedly entangled in Women's History Month are discussions of feminism, women's rights, and the cultural revolution of the 1960s. In the last 15 years, gender issues within the black community and hip hop culture have become extremely publicized from letters to boycotts to books, more books, and town hall discussions. In the midst of all this, while listening to the radio late one night in high school, I heard what I thought was a new rap song and got caught up in the story of one woman's quest to get a message across.

Sarah Jones's "Your Revolution" uses lines from radio-approved rap (and a few reggae/r&b) songs to showcase the portrayal of women in music. After getting her spoken word piece on to the radio, the FCC deemed it too raunchy and it could only be played late at night...despite the fact that each song she used a line from got played during the day. Sarah Jones got FedUp but continued performing the piece, eventually moving on to do greater work and getting her own Broadway show "Bridge and Tunnel." I had the opportunity to see her perform at the Brooklyn Museum of Art once and she was really good. Find the text for "Your Revolution" below as well as a video of her performance.

Yeah yeah, yeah this goes out to all the women and men from New York to
London to LA to Tokyo struggling to keep their self-respect in this climate
of misogyny, money worship and mass production of hip-hop's illegitimate child,
Hip-Pop.And this especially goes out to Gil Scott-Heron, friend, living legend
and proto-rapper who wrote "The Revolution will not be Televised." Much Respect.

Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Not happen between these thighs
Not happen between these thighs
The real revolution ain't about booty size
The Versaces you buys, or the Lexus you drives
And though we've lost Biggie Smalls
Baby your notorious revolution
Will never allow you to lace no lyrical douche, in my bush
Your revolution will not be killing me softly, with Fugees
Your revolution ain't gonna knock me up without no ring
And produce little future emcees
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not find me in the backseat of a jeep
With LL, hard as hell, you know doin it and doin it and doin it well
doin it and doin it and doin it well, nah come on now
Your revolution will not be you smacking it up, flipping it, or rubbing it down
Nor will it take you downtown or humpin around
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
Your revolution will not have me singing, ain't no nigga like the one I got
And your revolution will not be sending me for no drip, drip VD shot
And your revolution will not involve me, feelin your nature rise
Or helping you fantasize
Because that revolution will not happen between these thighs
No no, not between these thighs
Oh, my Jamican brother, your revolution will not make you feel bombastic
And really fantastic
And have you groping in the dark for that rubber wrapped in plastic
You will not be touching your lips to my triple dip of french vanilla,
butter pecan, chocolate delux
Or having Akinyele's dream, m-hmm a 6-foot blowjob machine m-hmm
You want to subjugate your queen? uh-huh
Think I'm a put it in my mouth, just cuz you made a few bucks?
Please brother please
Your revolution will not be me tossing my weave
And making me believe I'm some caviar-eating ghetto mafia clown
Or me giving up my behind, just so I can get signed
And maybe having somebody else write my rhymes
I'm Sarah Jones, not Foxy Brown
You know I'm Sarah Jones, not Foxy Brown
Your revolution makes me wonder, where could we go
If we could drop the empty pursuit of props and ego
We'd revolt back to our Roots, use a little Common Sense
On a quest to make love De La Soul, no pretense
But your revolution will not be you flexing your little sex and status
To express what you feel
Your revolution will not happen between these thighs
Will not happen between these thighs
Will not be you shaking and me *yawn* faking
Between these thighs
Because the real revolution, that's right I said the real revolution
You know I'm talking about the revolution
When it comes, it's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
It's gonna be real
When it finally comes
When it finally comes
It's gonna be real, yeah yeah

Another day I'll bring my theory on revolution in African American poetry from the Black Arts Movement through the hip hop era, but really I have twenty pages on I have to distill my thoughts. (Or I could do a series, but I haven't reached that level of blogging yet).