American Skin: Harsh Reality of Being Black in America

Nate Parker did it again. He wrote and directed yet another great film–American Skin. Like Birth of a Nation, Nate Parker premiered American Skin at a film festival in 2019 and it was released over the weekend on Apple TV.

This film portrayed the story of Lincoln Jefferson, a black man and father who was wrongly pulled over by the police with his son. The officer asked for his license, insurance and registration; asked if he lived in the neighborhood where he was coming from. The officer told Linc that his insurance was expired and proceeded to ask him if he was on parole or had any warrants–not relevant to him being pulled over but that’ll be addressed later. The officer asked him to get out the car and he complied. As he was doing so, his son Kajani was getting his phone out to start recording. The second officer felt threatened and told him to put his phone away and get out the car.. Kajani did get out the car but did not put his phone away. He proceeded to get out of the officer’s way and he was shot and killed in front of his father, Linc.

A little background information on Kajani, he was a non-troubled teenager. He started attending a better school due to his father getting them a pass due to him getting a job at the school. Kajani learns that you can resist arrest from police officer but what Linc had to teach him is that it only applied to people who aren’t black. Kajani didn’t understand but he heard his father .

A year later, a few college students hear about this story and decided to reach out to Linc to do a documentary. While they are following Linc and his family around, a verdict is finally reached and the officer is found not guilty and is able to return to work. Linc being a hurt father and a black man wants his pain to be felt amongst others, so he kidnaps the police captain of the department and rallies up some close family and friends to hold the police department hostage with workers and officers inside, including the one who killed his son.

Linc decided to hold a trial of his own by selecting the jury as inmates at the jail, which is a jury that doesn’t consist of “peers” like a normal trial would have, along with other non-officer hostages. The hostage officers watched the process and gave their input of what goes on situations like this, race and black people in general. The trial starts with officer Randall recalling the night of the murder. He states that he and his partner saw Linc’s car speeding down the street and that’s what prompted them to pull him and son over. Officer Randall says he didn’t clock them but he used to judgement to pull them over. While Linc was asked to get out the car, Kajani started recording the incident on his phone; Randall states that since Kajani didn’t stop recording, he pulled him out of the car and even was prompted to kill him.

The “trial” got intense when the officers started to talk freely about “getting the bad guys” and the statistics of black on black crimes being more crucial then black people getting killed by the police, which IS NOT relevant to the case. A police officer killed an unarmed teenager. PERIOD. Randall claims that if the insurance was not expired, then he would have let them go, but when Linc wanted to get an the updated insurance card from the glove compartment, Randall and his partner wouldn’t let him. After much antagonizing, Randall says he profiled Linc and Kajani because they were in a nice area with a beat up car. This is a normal act for officers–profiling.

The jury deliberated and found Officer Randall guilty of murder. Instead of being sentenced, Linc decided that the consequences would be shooting him. The room was in a frenzy as Linc aimed the gun at Randall, and when he pulled the trigger, no shot was let out. It was an experiment to show Randall what his life has been like since the killing of his son, waiting on a jury to determine Randall’s faith and just the overall anxiety of it. Luckily, all of this was still captured on film by the college students. Once it was done, Linc decided to let everyone go and even walk out with Randall.

While walking out, Randall announced that Linc was unarmed and to not shoot but the SWAT team decided to shoot him anyway. Partial moral of the story: being unarmed will still get you killed. Another unfortunate reality is the reports of situations like this. The news claimed that Linc had PTSD, dealing with Islamic extremists, and that he possibly committed suicide—then went on to a sports segment to talk about a black basketball player. There was no sensibility at all and it is the harsh reality of America, being American and having black American Skin.

What are your thought on the film??

Jazmine Sullivan’s “Heaux Tales” : Double Standards & Accountability

Jazmine Sullivan is a talented soul that is often overlooked because she doesn’t put out music as often…until now. She released her fourth album on Friday January 8 and it was everything–from honest to controversal to acceptance.

The album title is exactly what the songs are about, hoe tales & hoes escapades. The skits are the best parts of the album. Jazmine starts the song off with an intro of a night not memorable–drinking too much and going home with a random guy. It goes into woman explaining that men can’t handle women who own up to their shit and that women who do have the same reckless behavior as them. The perfect transition was “Pick Up Your Feelings.” Men seem to feel a kind of way when you “pull a you on you,” meaning you pulled a move that they normally would do, but you pull their move on them. Women have been taking back the control, men aren’t the only ones who can be “hoes” and have sex with whomever they want.

The next tale/skit was from singer Ari Lennox who bowed down to a man because he had good dick. She was willing to submit and accept unacceptable behavior all because he “put it down” in the bedroom; which transitions into the next song “Put It Down”. The record explains that you’ll do anything for a man because it has good dick, from giving him money to paying his rent, to tricking off on him period. Jazmine brought our good sis Ari in for “On it.” It’s about sitting on it and spitting on “it;” I’ll let y’all figure out what IT is, but the track was the BEST one on the album.

Another interesting tale/ skit was addressed and that was tricking; women tricking to get what they want even from their husband or a guy they are just having sex with. That song transitions into “Pricetags.”

“Rashida’s Tale” leads into a beautiful transition to “Lost Ones” which is about losing someone you loved and it being your fault. You want the individual back but you know it’s a lose cause.

Everyone can relate to “The Other Side”— working hard, never getting a break and wanting to be on the other side, the side of financial freedom. That may entail meeting a millionaire or a rapper who can buy you a booty, diamonds, cars, etc, but overall just wanting to live a life free of worrying about money.

The last track featuring H.E.R. titled “Girl Like Me” is about wanting to be enough for a man and hope that he doesn’t cheat. Instead, men cheat with hoes and in the end, the hoes be winning. Knowing that, it makes women want to turn into a “hoe” and leave their good girl behavior in the past, because their good girl ways doesn’t get them anywhere but cheated on.

Our sis Jazmine did THAT on this album and if she wasn’t on people’s radar before, she is now.

What did y’all think of the relatable album?

Power Book II: Ghost Season Finale Review

50 Cent and Courtney Kemp did the damn thing with this show. From beginning to end the show was an attention grabber. It shows the transformation of Tariq’s character from the original Power series to now.

Tariq, played by Michael Rainey Jr., somehow balanced going to school, doing Zeke’s homework, hustling to pay for a lawyer by creating an app and more. He lived a double life, working for the Tejada family and proving his loyalty to them all while keeping his personal life away from them. Tariq proved his wit by starting an app to sell drugs on and hiring his roommate/friend to help him. Tariq showed so much compassion by trying to get Tasha out of jail.

Power Book II: Ghost' Premiere Recap: Season 1, Episode 1 of Spinoff |  TVLine
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We were introduced to the Tejada family. Monet, played by Mary J. Blige is the mother and HBIC of the drug cartel. She is holding things down while her husband Lorenzo is locked up. She shows nothing but tough love when it comes to her three children and calling the shot when someone needs to be put down. She is not to be fucked with. In the last episode, she flat out said told Tasha that Tariq was hers now and she can’t have him back because he’s making them money. Monet even saved Tariq’s life before Tommy could get to him (yup, he’s back.) Monet cut off her own son and even threatened him because he was messing up the family business—but that’s how she raised him.

Power spin-off trailer gives first-look at Mary J Blige character
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Zeke, Daniel Bellomy, is the Monet’s nephew who does a horrible acting job when he’s frustrated or scared–but he’s fine. He really doesn’t know too much about the family business. He just plays basketball and minds his business.

Nike Beanie Hat Of Daniel Bellomy As Ezekiel 'Zeke' Cross In Power Book 2:  Ghost S01E05 "The Gift Of The Magi" (2020)
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One of Monet’s sons is Dru (Lovell Adams-Gray). He’s the the third in charge, next to his brother. He is gay and starts dealing with one of Zeke’s team mates. He doesn’t get his hands too dirty but he still handles family business. He is the calm before the storm (Cane). He gets shot by the plug but survives. Mama bear Monet gets her revenge and handles like a true HBIC.

Dru Tejada - Power Book II: Ghost Season 1 Episode 3 - TV Fanatic
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Diana is Monet’s only daughter (LaTonya Tonodeo) and has an odd role. Monet wants her to stay in the family business and not go to college to make something of herself and even play basketball. She has some street smarts and had some likings with Tariq and counted some money but that was really it. She legit plays the little sister and is around for watching purposes.

Power Book II: Ghost' Recap: Season 1, Episode 3 — Play the Game | TVLine
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The craziest of Monet’s kids is Cane, played by the talented handsome Woody McClain. He is the killer, the muscle and the runner up to taking over the family business. He is crazy for sure amd is jealous when it came to Tariq sliding into the family business. He killed Monet’s lover and has attempted to kill Tariq on several occasions and even was kicked out by his family for his zealous behavior. His own daddy in prison even got him jumped for disrespecting his mother and disobeying her orders. It looks like he’s being replaced.

Power Book II: Ghost' Renewed For Season 2 By Starz – Deadline
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Now that you have the recap of the characters, here’s the season finale breakdown: Tasha agrees to name Tommy as Ghost’s killer so she can get released from prison. She was hesitant but she agrees and with that comes with Tommy’s return. He attempts to kill her several times. She agreed to be put in witness protection but really she wants to run away with Tariq. In addition to that, Tariq pays Tommy a visit and they all work together to get Tommy off Tasha’s back and off the hook since the feds find out that he’s in town. Once their work together was done, Tommy still attempts to seek Tasha, which pushed Tariq to put Tasha in witness protection while he stays where he’s at. While all this is going on, Tariq has a nosey teacher who finds out that he’s selling drugs and has been researching his story regarding his family background and wants to write a book about him. Once he tells Tariq and asks for his permission, Tariq is forced to kill him.

The series showed that Tariq is more like his father than he wants to be. He hustles, he lies, he’s not a cheater but he deals with a few women in a PG-13 kind of way, and he has a legitimate LLC to covers up his drug hustle. The fact that he’s doing all this to pay for Tasha’s lawyer Davis, played by the fine Method Man, for Tasha to get released from jail for a crime that Tariq committed shows that he definitely goes hard for his family, can’t say the same for Ghost.

What did y’all think of the season finale and the season overall?

“Soul” Review

Soul may just seem like an animated Disney Pixar movie but it’s more than just that. It touches on your personality and purpose in life, along with finding your spark.

Joe Gardner is a jazz teacher at a school and initially you’ll think that the movie is about music–hence soul. But it’s about your actual soul. He believes his purpose is to play music but after almost dying and living his dream, he wonders what his true niche is. While he is in “The Great Before” which is like a holding place to determine if he deserves to be back on earth, he has to mentor a soul named 22 who needs help finding her spark. She needs an “earth pass” in order to actually live life on earth. She’s had some of the best mentors and nothing appeased her, until she lived a day in a life on earth in Joe Gardner’s shoes by accident.

While 22 is on earth, she appreciates the simple things like eating a sucker while getting a hair cut and walking and touching nature. Since these are things Joe is used to, he tells 22 that those things don’t count as a spark. While she wants to stay on earth to truly figure out her spark, she has to return to the The Great Beyond with Joe so he could have his life back. She somehow received an earth pass but since she didn’t “find” out what her spark was, she gave her pass to Joe so he could have his life back.

He gives his pass to her in exchange for his own life and that good deed earned him a pass to get his life back and live out his dream of playing with a notable jazz player.

Soul (2020) directed by Pete Docter • Reviews, film + cast • Letterboxd
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This movie has so many lessons:

  • Don’t knock someone’s spark or niche just because it seems nonrelevant, simple or boring to you
  • Sometimes your spark find you
  • The things that you’ve always wanted aren’t what they seem to be once you’re living it
  • The simple things make life what it is

Let’s not forget to mention that Joe was played Jamie Foxx, his mother was played by Phylicia Rashad, notable jazz player Dorothea Williams was played by THEE Angela Bassett, and soul 22 was played by Tina Fey. Talk about some heavy hitters!!

What did you think of the Disney Pixar movie?

Happy Birthday Teyana Taylor: Here’s Some TT Appreciation

Happy 30th birthday to the talented, sexy, entrepreneur, successful, director, producer, dancer, artist Teyana Taylor.

Sis is the shit and beyond and very much underappreciated. Recently, Spotify released their year end wrap up of analytics for artists and for us regular folks, the top artists we’ve listened to all year. Here’s Teyana’s below:

Teyana Taylor Is Amazed by Her Spotify Wrapped 2020 Statistics; Singer  Announces Retirement by Leaving a Heartfelt Note for Fans - Report Door
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Around this time, the Grammy nominations were announced and Teyana was not nominated….at all. Now let’s check the facts–According to Billboard “Album debuts at No. 6 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 8 on the all-genre Billboard 200.” Her single “Wake Up Love” landed at #14 on the billboard charts; along with other non-singles “Boomin” featuring Missy and Future peaked at 21 on the charts, and “Morning” featuring Kehlani at number 15 on the charts. Her first week sales were 32,000.

As far as the Grammy nominations go; Chloe x Halle were nominated for Best Traditional R&B Performance, Best R&B Song, and Best Progressive album–they’re first week sales were 25,000.

New artist Giveon released an EP titled Take Time andddddd he was nominated for Best R&B Album, but not Teyana who actually released an album.

Dont get me wrong, I liked Giveon’s EP and Chloe x Halle’s album but i feel as if Teyana should have been nominated for Best R&B Album.

Let’s talk about her directing abilities. She’s directed all the videos from her current album including “We Got Love,” “Made It,” “Bare Wit Me,” “Wake Up Love,” “Still,” “1800-One-Night,” “Concrete,” and “Lose Each Other.” WHO do you know would do all that WHILE pregnant??

bare wit me | Explore Tumblr Posts and Blogs | Tumgir

With all these accomplishments and accolades, sis has decided to retire from music. She posted a message on her Instagram on Dec 4 that she felt underappreciated as an artist and was not getting much support from the machine aka her label.

A few days later she confirmed that her decision had nothing to do with not being nominated for a Grammy but more so directed towards her label. She explains that she puts in 110% and they only match 10% of that, which make sense because she is directing all her videos and her first week sales could’ve been better. If you are a TT fan, then you’ll follow her and her music but if you aren’t, having a supportive label behind you will help with gaining more fans and sales.

All I’m saying is–let TT go Def Jam! Sis can be successful without the machine, especially with her other talents like directing, dancing and acting.

Anywho, Happy Birthday TT. May you enjoy 30 years on this earth and finding peace of mind during your retirement.

featured image: billboard.com

Jeezy & Gucci Mane Verzuz Battle

The moment we’ve been waiting for…

It’s no secret that Jeezy and Gucci Mane have had beef for 15 years. As you know, the two started out cool, hence their “So Icy” record. But that’s where the trouble started; Jeezy says he was never paid for the record, which is probably why he never showed up to perform the record with Gucci when it was first released. Matters got worst when Jeezy created a Gucci diss song, and “allegedly” put a hit out on Gucci. When Gucci realized his life was at stake, he shot back when approached by several men. One of the guys he shot was Jeezy’s friend. That let Gucci know that Jeezy set up the hit job and from then on, the beef became detrimental.

Gucci started out with his 2005 diss record towards Jeezy titled “Round 1”. It got real disrespectful because Gucci took shots at Jeezy’s dead friend Pookie Loc, who was the man Gucci shot during a failed hit job. Jeezy responded calm stating “I get it, I get it” and went about intro to introduce his first song on the first round. Once he finished, Gucci kept going with the shots by saying “that was cute” in regards to the record Jeezy played.

Round 2:

“Benchwarmers” – Gucci

“Trap or Die” – Jeezy

Round 3:

“I Think I Love Her”- Gucci

“Standing Ovation” – Jeezy

Round 4:

“Plain Jane” – Gucci

“Gangsta Music” – Jeezy

Round 5:

“Imma Dog” – Gucci

“Bottom of the Map” – Jeezy

Round 6:

“Vette Ride Past” – Gucci

“Jeezy the Snowman” – Jeezy

Round 7:

“Wake up in the Sky” – Gucci

“Dem Boyz” – Jeezy

Round 8:

“Thats My Hood” – Gucci

“Let’s Get It” – Jeezy

Round 9:

“Both” – Gucci

“Go Crazy” – Jeezy

Round 10:

“Bricks” – Gucci

“All There”- Jeezy featuring Bankroll Fresh

Jeezy payed respect to Fresh who was on the record with him; Gucci (being shady) said that Fresh saved Jeezy on the record. (SHOTS FIRED)

Round 11:

“Say Aye” – Gucci

“Who Dat” – Jeezy

Round 12:

“Steady Mobbin” – Gucci

“They Know Remix” – Jeezy

Round 13:

“Heavy” – Gucci

“Lose my Mind” – Jeezy

Round 14

“Street Niggaz” – Gucci

“Way Too Gone” – Jeezy

Round 15:

“First Day Out” – Gucci

“Air Forces”- Jeezy

Round 16:

During this round, Gucci HAD to mention his outfit cost 10k and shaded Jeezy

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“Photoshoot” – Gucci

Jeezy did a slight flex and said he may not have on a $10k outfit but he owns half of ATL

Impressed GIFs | Tenor

“Everythang” – Jeezy

Round 17:

‘Wasted” – Gucci

“Trap Star” – Jeezy

Round 18:

“Truth” – Gucci

This song was the biggest diss of the night because it mentioned Jeezy’s dead friend.

Jeezy had to check Gucci by saying he extended the invite because he’s a real man but Gucci’s still talking about old street stuff. Jeezy said they doing it for the culture and the younger generation and he shouted out King Von, Nipsey, Dough B, Mo3, and more.

Best Lauryn Hill GIFs | Gfycat

“Get ya Mind Right” – Jeezy

Round 19:

“745” – Gucci

“Put On” – Jeezy

Round 20:

“Trap House” – Gucci

“Seen It All” – Jeezy

Round 21:

“Get the bag” – Gucci

“Thug Motivation 101” – Jeezy

Round 22:

“Bitch I might be”- Gucci

“Soul Survivor” – Jeezy

Round 23:

“East Atlanta 6” – Gucci

“J.E.E.Z.Y” – Jeezy

Round 24:

“Lemonade”- Gucci

“Welcome Back” – Jeezy

The coming to Jesus moment was when they played “So Icy” and that was the best non-shady moment of the night.

Gucci shouted out Jeezy and appreciates him extending the olive branch, and he ACCEPTED IT and he said it was all love.

THAT’S ALL WE WANTED GUCCI!!

Who do y’all think won the battle?

Fresh Prince Reunion: Memory-Filled and Tear-Jerker

It’s been 30 years since the The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air aired on television and it is still a fan favorite to this day. The cast (old and new) decided to have a sit down on the replica set to reminisce on their time on the show.

HBO Max's 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' reunion special gets it right
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Karyn Parsons who played Hilary Banks, spoke out about Will reciting her lines back to her on the pilot show. Then they took a dive back to other episodes when Will mouthed the lines of his co-stars as they were citing them LIVE, such as an episode when Don Cheadle appeared in the first season. That showed Will’s work ethic; he knew everyone’s lines and that’s just perfection!

Who could forget the moments that Jazzy Jeff was thrown out of the mansion countless times–over 150 takes, as he stated. Thankfully the producers decided to use old takes so Jazz wouldn’t have to torture anymore. (lol)

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The tear-jerker moment came when they showed a montage of James Avery moments. The whole cast was visibly emotional while watching it, especially Will when talking about the father-son episode/ moment between him and James. He stated that James influenced his acting and helped shaped him. The rest of the cast had nothing but great things to say about James Avery; Tatyana Ali said that he hipped her to Jazz music and the history behind.

How Did James Avery Die? The 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air' Actor Had Serious  Health Problems
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Will Smith Cries During 'Fresh Prince' Reunion Over James Avery – Hollywood  Life
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A trivial moment was when Will sat down Janet Hubert, A.K.A. Dark-Skin Aunt Viv. It was the first time they seen each other in 27 years and possibly since her departure from the show. He opened up about how he felt about her at the time of the show and him being unaware of what she was going through while being on set and pregnant. She added that she was in an abusive marriage at the time so all of that plus the network recasting her role because she didn’t accept their offer was a lot on Janet Hubert. The two buried the hatchet and Janet even made an appearance on the set to see her old castmates and even meet the other aunt Viv, Daphne Maxwell Reid for the first time.

Fresh Prince Reunion: Will Smith, Janet Hubert's Feud — Aunt Vivs Meet |  TVLine
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Everything was a full circle, coming to Jesus moment because Will had said some not-so-nice things about Janet in the past and she did the same plus spoke out about the other cast members. It was great to see the family back together, looking great and most importantly embracing each other with love.

Make sure you check out Fresh Prince Reunion on HBO Max.