Friday, January 30, 2009

OSF: Remakes

This week Old School Friday is dedicated to remakes. Oh we could take this very very far. Once upon a time I started an IMeem playlist dedicated to this, but didn't get very far. Remakes can either be good (think Whitney Houston and Dolly Parton) or bad (think Mariah Carey remaking her own version of Hero... Why?). Sometimes they're just downright funny.

Remake: MASE, Puff and 112 "JEALOUS GUYS" (1997)

Original Remake: ABC (Another Bad Creation) "JEALOUS GIRL" (1991 I admit to not knowing about this remake until today)

ORIGINAL: New Edition, JEALOUS GIRL (1983)

Undoubtedly, the best remakes ever are always on Sesame Street!

Sounds the Same

Which version did you like the best?

Check out other OSF participants and rules here and HAPPY OLD SCHOOL FRIDAY!


Saturday, January 24, 2009

My President is Black? MICHELLE IS TOO!

Way back when I started blogging, one of my first posts was an acknowledgment of a family hobby-rewriting song lyrics to fit whatever we felt like. So yes, as a recent college grad I penned "Bouncing" the broke girl's version to Jim Jones's "Balling." Unfortunately I'm still Bouncing since I said forget a job and went back to school, but that doesn't mean I have lost my ability to make awful remakes of current rap blockbusters.

I bring you the beginning of my latest opus: "My President is Black....And Michelle is Too." These songs tend to get written on the train, and this one was born as I crossed the Manhattan Bridge two days after the inauguration. I have to print the lyrics to the actual song so I can match the rhyme scheme and include some of Michelle's other traits (i.e....her education, career, overall flyness).

My President is BLACK/ AND so is his BOO/ She's the new "M.O." with a fly hair do/Italian Leather Gloves/ and silk shifts in navy blue/ Forget the Gap we all shop at J. Crew...- Me, expressing my love of Michelle Obama

--Original Version: "My President is Black " Young Jeezy
Remix with Nas
Jay-Z Take

My President is Black-Vanity Dark
In case you haven't realized: I'm kind of a joker and not aspiring to be a real rapper...ever. This also isn't an endorsement of Young Jeezy, even though this song is ridiculously catchy.If someone wants to get me real video editing software, I can get high tech like this dude.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

My Favorite Scenes: Poems

One of my favorite essays is one that I wrote on revolutionary poems during the Black Arts Movement. (Noted one of the worse essays I've ever written was my high school senior thesis on the evolution of slam poetry.) Obviously I wasn't expecting a "poem that kills"* during the inauguration. Honestly, I wasn't expecting much. For someone who loves poetry, competed in prose and poetry, and was forced to memorize more poems that I can remember as a child, I have never enjoyed watching poets reading their own poems. With the exception of slam poetry, I usually find it to be a little lacking.

It's not really her fault, David Alan Grier had us all waiting to go "Hosanna Obama" and he set us up to be disappointed.

So great poem, Elizabeth Alexander.( But here's a little something to help you with your delivery (and I really needed an excuse to share the following).

The Fresh Prince: Rafael de la Ghetto "Charge of the Light Brigade"

Another one of my favorite poetry on television scenes comes from A Different World, the Mammy episode. There they performed "We Wear the Mask" by Paul Laurence Dunbar and "Ego Trippin" by Nikki Giovanni making me forever in love with the latter. I can't find an embeddable version, but you can catch it here:

Do you have a favorite poem or poetry moment?

* Get up on your Amiri Baraka "Black Art" here:
I didn't say you have to like the man.

Check out more of My Favorite Scenes here:


NUMBER 44!!!!!!!- A Benediction

President Barack Obama takes the oath of office.
It's official. Our President is Black! It is taking every bit of restraint in me to not walk around singing Young Jeezy...esp. in the aftermath of me doing a video thanking Bow Wow and the state of Ohio for doing the right thing on NOV 4. (I am afterall his biggest fan, jk...kinda)

Like millions throughout the country, I sat and watched and marveled at witnessing such an event. I think one of the most moving parts of the journey from November 4th to today has been watching the reactions of older people. So it's no surprise that my favorite part of the inauguration (besides for the Chief Justice flipping the oath) was the benediction by Reverend Joseph Lowery--a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Beginning with the final and most prayerful verse of the Black National Anthem, Lowery moved on to pray for continued solidarity in the nation, a reduced favoritism of the elite and an ending that spoke to the true beauty of rhetoric in the black church. The transcription is my own, so if there are any errors, please accept my apologies.

God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who has brought us thus far along the way
Thou who has by thy might led us into the light
Keep us forever in they path we pray
Lest our feet stray from the places our God where we met thee
Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee
Shadowed beneath thy hands
May we forever stand
True to thee our God and true to our native land

We truly give thanks for the glorious experience we've shared this day. We pray now, oh Lord, for your blessing upon thy servant Barack Obama, the 44th President of these United States, his family and his administration. He has come to this high office at a low moment in the nation and indeed the global fiscal climate.

But because we know you got the whole world in your hands, we pray for not only for our nation but for the community of nations. Our faith does not shrink, though pressed by the flood of mortal ill. For we know that Lord, You're able and You're willing to work through faithful leadership to restore stability, mend our brokenness, heal our wounds, and deliver us from the exploitation of the poor-or the least of these- and from favoritism towards the rich-the elite of these.

We thank you for the empowering of thy servant, our 44th President, to inspire our nation to believe that "Yes We Can" work together to achieve a more perfect union. And while we have sown the seeds of greed-the wind of greed and corruption-and even as we reap the whirlwind of social and economic disruption; we seek forgiveness and we come in a spirit of unity and solidarity to commit our support to our president by our willingness to make sacrifices to respect your creation, to turn to each other and not on each other.

And now Lord, in the complex arena of human relations, help us to make choices on the side of love,not hate; on the side of inclusion, not exclusion; tolerance, not intolerance. And as we leave this mountaintop help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family. Let us take that power back to our homes, our workplaces, our churches, our temples , our mosques or wherever we seek Your will.

Bless President Barack , First Lady Michelle. Look over our little angelic Sasha and Malia. We go now to walk together as children, pledging that we wont get weary in the difficult days ahead. We know you will not leave us alone with Your hands of power and Your heart of love.

Help us then now Lord, to work for that day when nation shall not lift up sword against nation. When tanks will be beaten into tractors. When every man and every woman shall sit under his or her own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid. When justice will roll down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.

Lord in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest. And in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back. When brown can stick around. When yellow will be mellow. When the red man can get ahead man. And when white will embrace what is right.

Let all those who'll do justice and love mercy say Amen. (Amen.) Say Amen. (Amen.) And Amen!

The Queen

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King

If we could light a candle for everything he's done,
For everything he's bettered, (for everything he's promised)
For every victory won,
Then that light would shine brightly,
For all the world to see
All he did for peace and freecom and equality (all the beauty of peace, freedom and equality)
Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King
---the old McDonald's Martin Luther King Day commercial, (the version that existed in my memory)

I just want to wish everyone a very Happy MLK day...even as it draws to a close.It's been acknowledged that today is a very special Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, particularly in light of tomorrow's inauguration of the first black president of the United States. I'm hesistant to say the dream has been fulfilled, but we must not deny the importance of this ocassion. My president is black! Personally, I'm even more touched since I visited Atlanta this year and was able to visit the King Center and Ebeneezer Baptist Church.

Speech highlighted this year: "God's Truth is Marching On"
Read Full Text Here:

Random thought of the year: Ever wonder about the identities of all the men in white caps behind Dr. King in the "I Have a Dream" video.

Last year, I wrote about some of my fave MLK moments. Check it out here:

PS: Someone finally uploaded the commercial

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Old School Friday: Theme Songs

Yes this is the Saturday edition of Old School Friday!
This week's theme was tv theme songs which is right up my alley. But I'm taking myself away and NOT going to do any of my favorite shows, since they get mentioned so often anyway. I've actually been having a lot of tv theme song conversations with friends this week...but that's besides the point.

I'm in a space mood right now, but was never one to watch Star Trek....those weird shaped heads frightened me. Instead two sitcoms focused on the human fascination with space.

Why this show even existed? I'm still yet to understand.
Homeboys in Outer Space

For the longest time when I was little, I was convinced that if I could connect my index fingers perfectly, I could pause time and go about my business. It never happened

And one award show moment that will always stick out for me

Happy Old School Friday! ...on Saturday

*So obviously the greatest theme of my era was The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Does anyone remember when they did that One World concert and Will Smith performed the theme song frm that show and everyone in all seven locations knew the song. That's power!

Other OSF Friday participants here:



Thursday, January 15, 2009

Twin Booty is a Thing of Beauty

Once in a while an academic decides to take hair dresser and barber shop conversation and turn it into a topic worth of discussion. As someone who's taking a fair share of Media and African and African American Studies courses, I am well versed in the art of turning something you said at dinner into the most superfluous paper or article ever read. Sociologists and Anthropologists do not seem to be interested in stopping this practice soon, but it is always nice to know that there is some legitimacy to the arguments you and your friends have been having for years.

In one of the better pieces I've yet to see on the significance of the behind in today's culture, Myra Mendible puts together a decent summary of the place the buttocks has had in society. ( It reiterates a lot of popular discussion, places some emphasis on the similarities in the Hispanic and Black behinds.

---Okay, I can't keep the farce up for much longer. Body issues really aren't my realm of intellectual discussion. Really the first thing that came to mind when a friend sent me this peace was the "Twin booty is a thing of beauty," rap by Cold Dog (played by the one and only Flex Alexander) on an episode of Sister Sister....and then Sir Mix -a-lot and then Venus Hottentot. Apparently my mind works it's way up the cultural ladder and also backwards historically.

The conclusion leaves me a little uneasy. While we have seen slight progression in terms of body types and acceptance in the USA, I don't see a movement. Also, of all the "ethnic" features the but tends to be one of the most celebrated and the one that "ethnic" people have little issue with is their butts. Beyond the brazilian butt lifts casually referenced in the articles, there was a huge craze of Jamaican women eating animal feed in an effort to increase their buttocks size.

I have no conclusion to this piece. It's not that I don't have a dream for female equality, it's that some conversations are better left for the dinner table and Sociologists. I'll just be around to nod, object and insert a personal reference and pop culture moment.

If you walk out that do', don't come back no mo'

The Queen

ps thanks to nai for the link.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Cup is Half Full

The city girl cynic in me tends to want to see the worse in every situation and recognize that it's there. Still, amongst my friends I've become one of the more positive thinkers. When I first saw this commercial I wanted to go into a diatribe on all the things wrong with it, but no one was awake to listen to me. So I quieted my heart and accepted the underlying message.

Optimism. Pass it on.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Old School Friday: The Year I Graduated High School

This Friday I have no choice but to break the rules. I graduated H.S. in 2003, so the music may not be that old school. Actually it's a little sad to remember that at my high school prom we got hype to Cam'ron songs. Yes my senior year saw the emergence of Dipset into mainstream music, reggae getting it's millennial shine from Sean Paul and Shaggy, people beefing over Jay-Z vs. Nas....vs. DMX(yea you read correctly), Matchbox 20 and Linkin Park still holding relevance and the best American Idol fight ever: Ruben Studdard vs. Clay Aiken. This also is not to mention the emergence of the R. Kelly scandal and The Chocolate Factory which made everyone believe they could be a Chicago stepper. The Midwest /South also became even bigger on the East Coast with all sorts of names coming out for one dance which Sean P.Diddy Combs ran with, and taught us all how to shake our tailfeather. Of couse, Kirk Franklin emerged with yet another choir under a different name.

I'm defining year by the school year calendar- September 2002-June 2003. For the inspirational joint of that year I present Nas, "I Can." I remember using this in juxtaposition to Fifty Cent lyrics from "In da Club" for a Black History speech I gave at my church. I spoke about having "many black men in the big house, but not undermining the power of Condi and Colin in the White House." To think that we've elected a black president since then is mind boggling.

My senior year did have its share of good movies. I remember having to go to different movietheaters because of lines to see Barbershop and also watching Brown Sugar and wondering whey they didn't just name it Love and Hip Hop. Still one of my fave songs, comes from that soundtrack.

And for a senior year tv clip only I can appreciate: Kim Possible a show that was obviously named after yours truly. Lol.

Happy OSF! Check out other Old School Friday participants here:


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Helping Hand

I've been honored with the Emblem of the Helping Hand Award by RevvyRev of The Certain Sound blog (

The Emblem of the Helping Hand Award was started by SJP of Sojourner's Place and serves to acknowledge those who have helped us with our blogging efforts along the way as well as give a helping hand to fellow bloggers. This post is going to be very interesting because of my history blogging, and so many may not even know that they've helped me. Here's a typically wordy post.

Thank You! Thank You Very Much!

1. That Certain Sound by Revvy Rev
I found this blog through a music meme that I inserted myself into and can count on reading it for inspiration. His picture also kind of looks like my the head minister at my alma mater which throw me for a loop each time.

2. Make Fetch Happen by Brigitte
A fashion with context and history blog. Every post is a gem. If you're a Vanity Dark fan you'll truly love this:

3. Honorable Media by The Honorable, Reecie, (and formerly my fellow Brooklynite, Thesis)
I started reading this during undergrad and continue until this day. No lie, this blog kept me alive through a year in London when I was attending school out there. I was more up to date than I had ever been. If you want music news, fresh and fast check out this blog. Reecie will also put you in your place if you step out of place. I really appreciate this blog and they even linked to my site early on.

4. That Black Girls Site by Corynne
It's more than a blog. This remarkable lady once worked at a magazine I interned at and has began a blogging social media masterpiece. Check out That Black Girls Site for all things black girl under Chic Jones Media LLC.

5. Combo (Because I give respect where it is due): Mrs. Grapevine, Marvalus and Regina
Did I know what I was doing when I randomly inserted myself into a Old School music meme? No. Making someone born in 1986 constantly choose from songs in the first 13 years of her life has provided me with a very welcome Friday morning challenge. Luckily I spent my formative years listening to too much music and watching wayyyy too much tv and so I've been able to keep up. These ladies have welcomed me into the meme and provided welcome support each week.

Most of these blogs could have been listed under the Thank You section, but since I couldn't list everyone above, I'll pass some love on to these sites.

1.AGM New York by Mike
It's that fresh to death photography site. Every time I think of people who have a point to their blogging, I think of Mike. If you're ever in the NY area and want some shots done, I personally recommend him. For my favorite photo, check here.

2. The Happy Go Lucky Bachelor by ClnMike
The heading of the blog says it all, but sometimes it takes serious will power for me to make it past the awesome play list and actually read the blog. It's Esquire for the city cats with a Caribbean twist.

3. Jessica's Agenda on Her Agenda by Jessica
Jessica blogs on awesome social site Her Agenda.Com and is doing her young thing as she juggles school and life. Check out this site to see what piques the mind of young America.

4. Lite Freedom Mariposas by Lite}{
Great blog exploring fashion and design by a Brooklynite living in Atlanta. There's also tons of ideas to help foster your own creativity and design.

5. Volunteer Boston
Last but not least, Volunteer Boston is an organization that one of my college friends is involved with back in Massachusetts. I can't emphasize how important giving back is and I am happy that I'm going to attend an induction meeting soon for a NY Volunteer organization.

Share a Helping Hand with someone today!


1. Select 10 bloggers: 5 you consider your blogging Helping Hand then "Pay it Forward" by extending your "Helping Hand" to 5 additional bloggers in support and encouragement for their efforts.

2, In passing on the Emblem, each recipient must provide the name of blog or blog author with a link for others to visit.Each recipient must show the Emblem and put the name and link to the blog that has given it to her or him.

3. Link the Emblem to this post: Helping Hand: Much Obliged and Paying it Forward so that others will know it origin and impetus.

4. If you have not already done so, show your recipients some love by adding them to your blog roll, Technorati Favorite list, or in any other way to further let them know that their blog voice is important to you and being heard.

5. Add your name to The Helping Hand meme and don't forget to leave a comment as a permanent record of all Helping Hand recipients.

6. Display the rules.

Friday, January 02, 2009

That's Just Messed Up!

From a "Why lie, I need a beer" sign to "Barack, the Magic Negro" some things are just messed up. Really there's no other way to describe it.

You would think I would save my posts instead of doing a massive post dump. I think I'm tipsy off some apple juice and Nutella, so my brain juices are flowing (blame it on banana, gave me potassium; blame it on the glass, got me being crass; blame it on the mid id id id day snack...) .

Welcome to That's Just Messed Up!

As I sit writing cover letters and letting the television watch me this week, I was distracted by a commercial for Nip/Tuck. In true advertising by intrigue style the commercial plays almost like a music video at first to the song "Flashing Lights." Pause.

Video can be watched here:

Am I the only one thinking that's just messed up? I have no idea how long creative has been working on this commercial and thinking that the song's content would be a good background for a plastic surgery makeover show. But can we show a little respect and sympathy? It has been less than a year since Dr. D. West (Kanye's mom) died after a plastic surgery operation (it's been said that there was possibly an infection or not enough rest time after surgery) and we're already using his songs for commercials. This is not precautionary. It's just messed up.

How messed up do you think this is? Have you spotted anything messed up recently?

Old School Friday: Blogger's Choice

Today's Old School Friday is Blogger's Choice. Where does that leave a free spirit like me? The choices are too many!!!! ACKKKKKK.

I just graduated (again) . So I'm in a happy graduation mood and always wanted Ain't No Stopping Us Now to be my graduation song.

I am also a fan of good ol' Tevin Campbell singing "Tomorrow"

Remember when Will graduated on The Fresh Prince and had to finish his music theory.


Tony Rebel, "Love you like a Fresh Vegetable." When I was in the second grade I sang this song all the time when I had vegetables and when V8 first came out (which is a whole other story about 6 year olds and the power of advertising).

BTW, I do not support the Legalize Cannibus label on the video, but have no time to create my own.

Check out other OSF participants here. Happy OSF!


Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!

In my head the "it's a new day" fitness center commercial is playing. After sleeping through the pivotal turn of midnight moment, I still feel great.

But as we send out the old, check out the" 2008 Rap-Up" from Skillz. It covers a good portion of urban pop culture for the 08 as well as national news.

Rotflmbo @ "A-shoe-sinnated" and Frankie being the real star of The Keyshia Cole Show...

In true Vanity Dark style, here's a holiday appropriate tv clip to start off the year remembering. The last part of the final episode of Living Single. What a way for a show to end!

Wishing you a Healthy, Prosperous and Dancehall New Years!