All in black culture

Lessons I've learned so far from Insecure...

Like many other black millennials, I am a big fan of the HBO series Insecure. I would honestly have to say it's one of the most relatable television shows to come out in Black Hollywood in years. And it's more game-changing given that Issa plays a black girl who is socially awkward. Many times on television, a black girl (especially those of darker skin tones) are releagted to the role of a sassy chick or the best friend of a white girl. (*whispers* I know a bunch of wypipo who apparently watch the show as well) But I appreciate, Issa & Michaela Coel (of Chewing Gum) to have characters where black people can be weird, awkward or nerdy. Hopefully, in the future, there's a guy answer to Insecure or Chewing Gum that will be just as cringe-worthy to watch. However, in the meantime, let's talk about last night's episode (since it's 2AM on the east coast right now). Here are some lessons from the things I took away from both the third episode of season 3 and just the whole series period so far...

let's talk black people, we need to stop forcing religion down each others throats (or at least me)

If you were to ask me what my religion, I would tell you that I am Christian. What denomination specifically, baptist. However, it’s not because that what I indeed identify as and live my life, it is more so the fact that Christianity is my religious identity default because of the fact that religion -- Christianity since we’re on the topic of race -- is embedded in the DNA of African-American history, tradition and culture that it’s so hard to get away from as it still carries on to this day. Why? Blame it on the colonialism and American slavery.

if you’re reading this, it was written​ & published too late: so about lil’ mama’s "shoe game"…

When an acquaintance within the music industry extended an invitation for me to attend Lil’ Mama’s music release party, my first thought running through my head was “Lil’ Mama is still making music”? Keep in mind, I’m 22 years old, and the peak of Lil’ Mama’s career was when I was in my last year of elementary school about to enter junior high school back when Myspace was the wave. Moreover, if she was still making music and planning to release it, she (or her team) were not doing an excellent job of promoting it heavily for audiences and tastemakers are actually to be in the loop.

listening to hip-hop history: mary j. blige - what’s the 411 (1992)

What's the 411? made the world of R&B and hip-hop become music and cultural allies, and it became set the blueprint for contemporary R&B. It also fed into the influence that hip-hop was beginning to have on R&B. The same way rappers Da Brat and MC Lyte had a tomboy approach to their music and image is what artists like Mary J. Blige and TLC took on at the beginning of their careers. The blockbuster success of Mary J. Blige would be the catalyst for female artists wanting to join the hip-hop soul wave throughout the mid to late ’90s either in the middle of their career (Mariah Carey) or from the jump (Faith Evans, Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah, Jennifer Lopez).

danity kane's 'dollhouse' turns 10: now this is how you make a pop album

Many successfully (and modest successful) girl group of the 1990s and early 2000s, became non existent in pop/R&B music with Destiny’s Child being the one to last until their eventual split in 2005. After that, it was DK and the Pussycat Dolls who filled the void, keeping girl groups from becoming extinct in the latter half of the 2000s with a string of hit albums, singles and tours. However, Danity Kane had a one up on PCD. Audiences got to know the individual members of Danity Kane thanks their lives profiled in MTB4 and the five-piece group also made history. Their second album Welcome to the Dollhouse was released 10 years ago Mar 18. 2008 and hit No 1., making them the first and only female-group to have their first two albums debut at No. 1.

#blackexcellence of the week: a morehouse college student turns lil uzi vert's “xo tour llif3” into a biology lesson called “xy cell llif3”

Morehouse student Julien Turner is enrolled in a Biology course for non-majors and decided to remix emo hip-hop artist Lil' Uzi Vert's 2017 hit "XO Tour Lif3" for his extra-credit assignment. The video currently has 684,913 views & 26k likes on YouTube to date while garnering 150,000 retweets on Twitter. While the Uzi's song talks about substance abuse, betrayal, and suicide, Turner turns the verse and hook of the track into a lesson about cellular biology. The video was filmed on Morehouse's campus.