Archive for September, 2010

I HATE TO SAY IT BUT, I’M GLAD CHRIS BROWN IS BACK!

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            I hate to say it but I am glad Chris Brown is back. He’s one of the few R&B headliners out right now that is blessed with the ability to sing. Other than Trey Songs, There are no other male singers with that GOD given ability. That whole, “non-singers can sing” phase is fading out… IT’S ABOUT TIME! Now we can get back to real music.

            I mean c’mon people! That auto-tune phase was horrible! Every so-called rapper, producer and bum off the street was using that “old school voice synthesizer” mess and ruining songs. Remember, it got so bad that Jay-Z had to dedicate a song to the end of it, DOA (Death of Auto-tune). When they stopped playing that crap on the airways, I was thrilled. However, it was not over. There was a resurgence! Kanye, Lil Wayne, Drake and P. Diddy brought it back. Now every time I turn on the radio there is more “non-singing, singing”… The songs are catchy, the beats are great… the voice is horrible! “I better find your looovvvvvingg, I better find your heeeeeaaaarrrrrrt,” IT’S ANNOYING!

            That is the reason why Trey Songs is so successful. Who else is there? I mean Drake’s songs are catchy but they are already over-playing his songs on the radio. His voice is starting to get annoying. Usher has converted to POP, Mario is making music that you listen to for a week, then forget about it later. Lyfe Jennings makes good songs but his voice sounds bad after the first couple “bars”. Lloyd just signed his career away with Young Money, so he will make some hits then fade to the background when Lil Wayne gets out of jail. J Holiday is nowhere to be found, even though he is the most “slept-on” artist of the past three years! His last two albums were great in my opinion. Pleasure P, I know a lot of you are thinking, “Who?” Exactly! He should not be worth mentioning. Jahiem is seemingly, washed up. Tyrese, is a movie star. Therefore, he is focusing on his other business ventures, which sucks because he is a true talent in the business. Raheem DaVaugh makes good music but for some reason he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. So, we don’t hear his music on the radio as much as we should. Marques Houston drops albums quietly, good music but, you find out about it two months down the road after the Album drops. His music is not on the radio. Ray J cannot sing… Donnell Jones? Where did you go? Omarion, to sum it up, he hasn’t been seen on 106 and Park in a couple of years now. Avant? Joe?, Anthony Hamilton?, Musiq Soulchild?, Justin Timberlake? Where did you guys/real singers go? 112 and all male R&B groups no longer exist and Chris Brown is just now making a comeback after beating the crap out of Rihanna (talentless, want to-be porn star who should model instead of singing). Robin Thicke is the exception because he’ll drop an album every now and again but then he’ll fade to black, only to come out again with a whole new style… weird! NeYo, makes certified hits! Can he sing? I hate to admit it but, NO! and last but not least, The Dream, he has great production, great beats, and good melodies to his songs. But, he cannot sing either… Do you see what I mean?       

            So, with that said… I am glad that Chris Brown’s music is back on the radio. At one time, they said he was the next Michael Jackson (He can sing and dance very well). It gives us a break from all the non-sense that artist, now-a-days, want to call R&B. Rap, of course, is another very different discussion that resembles the same thing. I cannot even begin to talk about the Soulja Boy era… Of course, this article is made on September 14, 2010. So, do not quote me on the “non-singers, singing” being a phase. You never know, this awfulness might last a while longer.

School of your choice

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For this post, I wanted to touch a subject that has been talked about for years! And I hate to sound stereotypical but I will be focusing on Football and Basketball since those are the two sports where the players in each league are dominated by blacks, Sorry folks! Most of today’s black athlete has come from “Big” schools. The primary reason for that is the school’s name recognition. It is a well-known fact that in order to increase your chances of getting your name out there, you have to be associated with a good program. Of course with a good program comes a “boat-load” of money. The more money your program makes, the better the resources and in turn, the better your chances of getting picked up by a major organization. At least that is how it usually goes.

          With the school comes the star power. For example, We all know that any quarterback or running back that starts for USC (University of Southern California) will instantly become a star and get national attention. So, you can’t blame them for choosing these schools. I mean you get the star power, the title of “big man on campus” and your fair share of groupies (just as long as you wear your jersey around campus to confirm your identity). Just ask Reggie Bush, would we have known who he was, had he went to school at Morgan State University. He would be a local favorite, yes… but Kim Kardashian’s famous boyfriend. No! You would have been saying “Reggie who?” or “oh I know him; he’s the punt returner for the Saints. He’s the backup running back to Pierre Thomas.”

          Most of these players who become professional athletes don’t even graduate and still contribute to the “alumni foundation” on campus. As if, these programs need any more money…

          My question is… What about the black schools? The underdogs? A lot of these schools have rich background in athletics so why don’t they get the same respect? This topic is constantly being challenged on ESPN. Every time they pose a question about Boise State and their National Title contention, the name recognition of the schools they play are called into review. But, who are they to say that these teams can’t compare? That those programs aren’t any match for a “perennial powerhouse school.” It’s funny because shockers like James Madison Univ. beating Virginia Tech (2010) and Appalachian State Beating Michigan (2007) aren’t supposed to happen. Now, I will not get into that, but I will give you the perspective of a former black athlete who once played sports in high school for a predominantly black high school and then made that transition to athletics at a predominantly white University.  I have seen how some “bigger” programs (white schools) match up to smaller, less fortunate schools (black schools). Some would say that the black athlete willingly makes that transition because of the facilities and training. You get better resources than you would at a black school…

          We all know that it’s the common myth, that whatever school you got your degree from will hold more weight with your employers then those who went to college at a lesser known school. That’s why we all know about Harvard, Yale and Princeton. In the sports world, playing 3rd string defensive back for the University of Florida carries more weight than a 4 year starter from Howard University. Often you will have those players from smaller schools perform well enough to dazzle pro scouts just enough to sign on that dotted line. You’ll see them running impressive 40-yard dash times at the NFL combine or in basketball, they’ll usually take their “no name” school deep into the NCAA tournament. This happens a lot by the way. But believe it or not, not every professional athlete can excel at that level. Every roster has fill-ins, back-ups and utility players that can play well enough not to cost you a loss in a game. These players sneak in the league because of the chances they got from their resume. They came from “such and such” program and were coached by “such and such”… The chances that they would have made it to the league based on pure skill and athleticism are slim without that background. Many former HBCU and Junior college ball players out there never got that chance to shine. They performed well but were passed up at practice and the combine because of lack of recognition. You get that edge by playing for a “Big” school.

          Most of the lack of recognition that black college’s get are the stereotypes. If an extremely talented athlete comes to a historically black school, it is assumed that there is a problem. There is the stigma that they couldn’t go anywhere else because of grades or they have problems with the law or an attitude problem or maybe even a size problem (they are too small to play professionally). Now most of this is true and I doubt that will ever change… But, nonetheless these kids can ball and in most cases, given the right opportunities their life might have turned out different.  Most of the lack of recognition comes from the fact that the best players in the country are already brainwashed by the media before black schools have a chance at trying to recruit them. The “HBCU stigma” doesn’t help either… How can we help black colleges draw in bigger crowds? I don’t think anybody knows…

“I bought it, so it’s mine”

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When it comes to sexual attraction, we all know there are stereotypes about what Black and white men like. There is the common belief that white men are “breast men”, and black men tend to go for the “sista” with the voluptuous booty. White men are known to like blonde hair while black men go for the brunette with long hair. Perceptions of beauty used to be very different in both cultures.

Beauty secrets were vastly different. Black women were criticized for their full lips, full figures and various complexions. At one point, hair weaves were only associated with black women. It’s funny how times have changed. Today, cultural differences don’t play a difference in the image of beauty at all. Women have become celebrities because of their image of modern day beauty.  For instance, Kim Kardashian and Amber Rose are two non-black women who have become internet celebrities with large followings because of their full lips, pear shapes and darker skin tone.

So what does the average women do to keep up with these new perceptions of beauty??? SILICONE!… women find that getting breast enhancements aren’t enough to get men to notice them anymore. Lip and butt implants are the new trend. White women are even making it known that they wear hair weaves to go along with their tan also. White men seem to love it.

One thing that hasn’t changed over time is a black man’s dislike for “fake.” No matter how big or shapely a woman’s assets may be, black men always pose that one question, “is it real?”

What’s the difference? I mean, big breast are big breast right? I mean they’re hers. She bought them. They are hers to own so what is the black man’s problem? Is it the texture? Even when the enhancement looks completely real, it’s something about it that turns black men off! Even though black women have been wearing hair weaves and wigs for years, black men have never seemed to come to grips with the replacements.  

I think deep down inside our heritage holds us back from conforming to the modern day perception of the “look.” Our genetic make-up plays a subconscious role on how we venerate our women in the area of beauty. It’s in us to know that black is beautiful and there is no denying that. It just took the rest of the world a little longer to figure that out. Black men don’t need all the extras in order to adore the very essence of what makes them go crazy… black beauty.

Honestly, the natural beauty with the well managed hair gets taken more seriously than those with the fake EVERYTHING.  Women with fake boobs, fake butts, fake lips, fake hair and too much make-up makes them look exactly what their beauty is made up of… fakeness. A pretty face goes a long way. Though, all those extra assets might draw some guy’s attention temporarily. It’s the confidence that the lady possesses that keeps their attention for good. Ladies who are comfortable with what they don’t have are more attractive than those who have paid for the extras because of insecurities. Black men know that our women don’t need that stuff, you’re perfect the way you are.

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