Category Archives: Videos

25Feb/18
Black Panther movie

My Thoughts on the Underlying Message from Black Panther

Black Panther movieBlack Panther. The Hollywood version of when America got a Black president. It’s a movie that has captured the lion’s share of Black Americans attention for the past month at least. Since opening night, Black people have been at movie theaters dressed in their finest African garb, faces painted, sometimes playing drums, dancing, even conducting rituals, and otherwise culturally celebrating right in the lobby! We are excited about seeing a high budget film with a dominantly Black cast, Black writers, and Black director (even if not from a Black film company). No, it’s not the first time a Black comic character has been brought to the big screen, but this time the title character is a rich powerful king, not a demon (Spawn) or half vampire (Blade). In addition, and likely more importantly, Black women are integral heroes as well. I have noticed some make shaming comparisons between the support for the fictional hero Black Panther’s movie vs. the historic hero of freedom Nat Turner’s recent movie, Birth of a Nation. That’s an important comparison. It is too rich to completely discuss here, but let us look at the smear campaign launched against its writer and producer, Nate Parker, right before its release. Two things were brought up. First, an accusation of rape from his past that had already been resolved, and, second, the fact that he has a white wife. Amongst Black people, those two things would be more of a trigger to the women than to the men. Black women are also the most likely to go support a historical Black film. Which if you are astute enough, you will see that Black Panther is very much directed more at Black women than any other superhero film to date. Aside from that, I have heard many Black people say they are wary of slave movies, even if it is one of revolution.

Understandably, Black Panther answers an innate desire in Black people to enjoy stories of themselves as brilliant, resourceful heroes with superior qualities and deserving of respect. Therefore I can give props to Marvel and Disney because of acquisition, for being the first to take advantage of the “natural movement” and create a product that accurately targets the Black media consumer without cultural blowback or accusations of insensitivity. However, Disney has a history of including the occult and subliminal messaging in their products, so I had to watch carefully. I have been concerned that, beneath all the beauty that causes us to celebrate this film accomplishment, there will be subtly inserted elements to cause emotional/mental dissonance of some sort. I found some of course. For this article, I will discuss only one.

Black Panther movieThe main antagonist, Killmonger, seems to have garnered as much affection from the audience as any of the protagonists, if not more. The character has great lines that are delivered with ample charisma. Michael B. Jordan is a very capable actor (and eye candy). Apparently, there is a general empathy for his character, because we can identify with his passionate anger at oppression and injustice, and because he sounds and moves like a Pan-Afrofuturist revolutionary. All of that being backed up by the tragic plot twist of his father dying at the hands of his uncle, the previous king of Wakanda, triggers our sense of Ma’at (karma). He’s the only main character who gets to drop slang in our Black American voice. He’s the king’s cousin, but he reminds us of our cousin! All of these things have given him full access passes to our hearts. That is why he is probably the most psychologically damaging aspect of this film.

For the appropriate tone, consider the thoughtfulness put into featuring strong Black women at all levels of power. At every crucial point in the movie, a Black woman was vital to success. So it goes without saying at this point that a large part of why this movie is so beloved is because of how prominent the image of the powerful Black woman is throughout this film, on and off screen. Therefore it should have been the most vile offense that the first person Killmonger personally killed on-screen was his own [assumed] girlfriend, who was also his accomplice! We never even learned her name. Goodbye down ass Black woman with a nice twist out. Once he became king, he also choked out an elder Black woman for not wanting to burn her garden of sacred super herbs. We love how fierce and proud the all-female Dora Milaje are, and yet we quickly forgot how he cut one of their throats while she was defenseless. He wounded Nakia and was a millisecond away from killing Shuri. See the pattern I’m pointing out?? He was the ONLY main character to hurt and kill women in the movie. How does this slip past us to the point that I’ve heard, “he wasn’t really even a villain,” even from women who are usually vigilant against misogyny. Remember how we enjoyed his movie entrance by talking that talk to a woman, right until she succumbs to the drug he put in her drink.

Even with me pointing out all that, I still say he is a worthy character and had excellent potential for redemption, or even further villain development. In the comic book, he didn’t give a damn about the diaspora, he was just a crazy killer. Why was he killed at the end of the movie then? The very nature of comic books is that villains are defeated but don’t always die. In the Thor series, Loki’s treacherous ass has escaped death in multiple movies. Why did Killmonger have to die then, when it was clear that he was portrayed as motivated by deep hurt but admirable? We are to accept his death at the end as inevitable, because of the already legendary and beloved line he dropped about being like his ancestors who jumped into the ocean rather than accept bondage. But why did he even have to go to prison forever? We can heal Bucky from being the Winter Soldier but can’t get N’Jadaka out of Killmonger? Or was there no one in Wakabi’s tribe who still sympathized and could have saved him at the end? No, I think the obvious answer is “death to any Black revolutionary who fights back against oppression (without western backing).” So we are set up to love this “Black freedom fighter” only to lose him at the end, echoing the psychological terrorism of assassinating so many historical figures.

So yes, I root for the benefits that can come from this kind of film. However, I always invite my ancestors to watch Hollywood films with me and help with discernment. I’m willing to enjoy a movie and still call it out if it has unhealthy elements too. We grown.

23Feb/18
Janelle Monae new videos

Janelle Monae New Videos = Visual Fire

Janelle Monae New VideosThe Janelle Monae new videos are visual fire. Both giving different moods with the same Janelle mastery. Django Jane is empowering and strong with a nod to women rappers of the 90s. Make Me Feel is flirty and fun with blatant Prince influence (and others, but only Prince is relevant, particularly when referencing Janelle) featuring Tessa Thompson.

Preorder her upcoming album, Dirty Computer, which is slated to release on April 27th, or download both songs if you can’t wait that long here: JanelleMonae.lnk.to/dirtycomputer

Enough talking, just watch and tell us your thoughts in the comments!

19Feb/18
Black Panther movie

My Reaction to the Black Panther movie aka Spoiler Alert!

Black Panther movieThe Black Panther movie released this weekend in all of it’s Black Excellence glory. It was worth the wait and the estimated $218M it earned during its opening weekend, shattering records and telling movie studios to STFU about Black movies not busting box offices wide open. More on that and my thoughts about the deeper storyline to come (skip to below the bullet points), but first my reactions to some of the Blackest moments and lines in the film. Ryan Coogler has a way of capturing the essence of Blackness, especially with Michael B. Jordan, from Fruitvale to Creed and now with Black Panther. The writers did an excellent job at including colloquialisms and mannerisms specific to Black culture and the actors did a phenomenal job of bringing them to life.

  • I loved the irony of the newscaster calling Wakanda a “third world country” which made me ask wtf defines a third world country to begin with?
  • Okoye (Danai Gurira): “Don’t freeze when you see her.” T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman): “What are you talking about? I never freeze.” Then he freezes, LMAO. Lupita has that effect, hunny.
  • Shuri (Letitia Wrightgives T’Challa a playful middle finger while walking away and Ramonda (Angela Bassett) calls her on it without even seeing it. Black Mothering at its finest…
  • Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordantells the lily-white museum director, “Don’t worry, I’m going to take it off of your hands,” referring to the Wakanda artifact. MJB is consistently Black as hell…
  • The boat ride to the ceremony with Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) giving us a taste of #danceislife deserves mention.
  • When T’Challa walked into the water and saw his nation rooting for him. That was powerful on multiple levels. We all need to be rooting for each other like that.
  • When Zuri (Forest Whitakerasks if anyone of royal blood wishes to challenge for the throne and Shuri raises her hand only to ask them to wrap it up because her outfit is too tight. Typical Black sibling trolling.
  • Ramonda yelling to T’Challa “SHOW HIM WHO YOU ARE!” during the challenge with  M’Baku (Winston Duke). Babbbbbbyyyy, I felt that in my bones. That needs to be a daily affirmation.
  • I loved how every ritual was ancestrally-based.
  • T’Challa telling Nakia she would make a great Queen if she wasn’t so stubborn (I almost threw my boot at the screen), for Nakia to respond that is WHY she would make a great Queen. T’Challa just wanted her to admit that she wanted to be his Queen.
  • Shuri’s consistent afrobeat playing throughout her lab. *hearts*
  • Shuri yells “WHAT ARE THOSE” to T’Challa’s traditional sandals. She then gives him his new soundproof footwear and says she calls them… wait for it… sneakers… get it? LMAO! THEN she tells him about his new suit design and he’s all my suit is fine and she says, “Functional, but old. If people are shooting at me, wait, let me put on my helmet.” She had jewel after adorable jewel. She tells him to strike the suit and he boots it across the room and she yells at him for messing up her lab, but informs him of the suit’s design and that it absorbs and then redistributes kinetic energy. She takes out her camera, for research purposes, and tells him to strike the suit again only to howl laughing when he goes flying across the room when he is blasted back by his own force.
  • Okoye said she couldn’t wait to get her wig off of her head and that it was a disgrace. Shots fired?
  • Nakia in the green dress in the Korea scene. Have mercy.
  • Black Panther movie
  • Agent Ross’s ole bitchass needed to be popped in the mouth for how he was speaking to T’Challa at the table. Find some respect.
  • Okoye pointed out that no weapons were allowed yet yielded her weapon less than 60 seconds later when the fight broke out! Black women always prepared for EVERYTHING. That jump down from the 2nd level was the first of her notable jump scenes.
  • Shuri’s excitement when the car populated in her lab. Adorbs.
  • The quick shot of Nakia driving barefoot was a great attention to detail since she lost her shoe when she used it as a weapon in the fight.
  • When their car is blasted by Klaue, Okoye flips, grabs her spear in mid-effin-air, and lands on a piece of the car. Then Nakia comes hilariously sliding in with just the seat and steering wheel.
  • Can we talk about how T’Challa could’ve ended Klaue and Killmonger wouldn’t have had his dead body as leverage if we weren’t in such a digital age? Oh ok.
  • Okoye’s disdain for taking the shot Agent Ross into Wakanda to be healed, and Shuri saying, “great, another broken white boy for us to fix, this is going to be fun.” Classics.
  • Killmonger showing his Wakanda tattoo and killing Klaue made me smile.
  • When they revealed that Young T’Chaka (Atandwa Kaniand Young Kuri (Denzel Whitaker) left baby Erik after killing his father, N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown), I was livid. Though we are ultimately responsible for our actions, we cannot ignore the roots of our issues. People keep referring to Killmonger as the villain, but, in my opinion, he killed the main villain. He’s just a brother who needs some healing and therapy to learn to deal with his past and how to properly bring about the change he wants to see for his community.
  • Shuri to Agent Ross: “Don’t scare me like that colonizer!” when he woke and started asking her where he was. According to the internets, wypipo will officially be referred to as colonizers until further notice.
  • Black Panther movie
  • Killmonger points out there are 2 billion people that look like them struggling around the world and that Wakanda had the tools to LIBERATE them all. T’Challa remarks that it is not their way to use vibranium for they are not judge, jury, and executioner for people that are not their own and Killmonger then he says “Not your own? But didn’t life start right here on this continent? So aren’t all people your people?” JEWELS JUST FALLING FROM HIS LIPS!
  • Killmonger nonchalantly to Ramonda: “Hey Auntie.” By far tied for my favorite line of the movie. He makes the challenge for the throne and Zuri says it’ll take weeks. Killmonger says I don’t need the whole nation, I just need him. That was real. I also lowkey enjoyed watching him fight T’Challa . It was like he had the power of every oppressed souled within him. His pain was relatable. Hated that it was targeted towards his own blood, but that was also real. We usually strike out to those closest to us. Him having them burn all of the ancient flowers was egotistical and short sided, but also a key part of the character.
  • When Killmonger sits on the throne, he points out that where he’s from, Black people start revolutions without the firepower and resources to fight their oppressors. More jewel dropping…
  • Okoye’s face when W’Kabi agrees with Killmonger…
  • M’Baku to Agent Ross: “You cannot talk one more word or I will feed you to my children. Just kidding, we are vegetarians.” The vegan in me howled with laughter. Plus he made him shutup initially by overpowering his voice with their chants. Then he made Agent Ross turn away during the ritual. He won 4 times (presented the preserved T’Challa) in under 4 minutes.
  • I appreciate T’Challa realizing that his father was wrong for both leaving Killmonger and for turning his back on the Africans worldwide and for calling him out on it when they meet once again in the ancestral realm.
  • Killmonger: “All that challenge shit is over with. I’m the king now.” Hood af, lol!
  • W’Kabi so quickly fighting with Killmonger made the whole theater suck their teeth. Will Focus gon say he’s still in the sunken place. I DIED! LMAO
  • Killmonger got Black Panther suited. That shit was sexy.
  • We all felt Okoye’s pain when Killmonger killed one of her fellow Dora Milaje. *sad face*
  • Black Panther movie
  • Will also brought up a good point and asked where were the other 3 tribes during this fight before M’Baku’s tribe showed up to assist the Dora Milaje against W’Kabi and his tribe?
  • When W’Kabi and his techno rhino were charging towards M’Baku but Okoye stood between them and the rhino kissed her. All powerful. Then W’Kabi asked if she, his love, would kill him, and she said, for my nation, absolutely. POWERFULLLLLL.
  • So I was highkey pissed that T’Challa took Killmonger to look at the damn sunset instead of to Shuri, but later that was put into perspective for me (read below).
  • T’Challa: Maybe we can still save you…” Killmonger: “Why? So ya’ll could just lock me up? Nah. Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. They knew death was better than bondage.” CHILLS. That line right there spoke volumes. VOLUMES!
  • T’Challa buying the block. Just. Yes.
  • The kids wanting to break apart Shuri’s ship to sell for parts. So real, lol. We need that community bridge building though.

Black Panther movieThere has been lots of debate about seeing a white studio production and where our dollars could have gone and even about the characters parallels to sections of society, but I personally feel like it’s all chest-inflated poppycock. 99.9% of movies that we love and hold as staples in our society are produced by white studios simply because, well, WE DON’T OWN ANY YET. Keyword, yet. So Malcolm X, Selma, Hidden Figures, Thurgood Marshall, Coming to America, and the likes that are so near and dear also fall under that umbrella, but we still went to see them in droves. Could we have collectively used that money and built a small town with our roughly 37% contribution to the $218 million? Most likely, but we already know we’re still combating centuries of conditioning and teaching ourselves to love ourselves and each other. So chill. It’s a process, and this movie is a major part of that process because representation matters. Seeing ourselves and what could be matters. Sometimes people need to see it to even know it’s possible.

Black Panther movie

Yes, this is in Africa.

The visuals and quotables definitely woke up some of the sleeping and even smacked a few people into loving themselves and reframing their thoughts on Africa. Yes, Wakanda is fake, but Africa’s beauty has never been a lie. It’s just been retold and intentionally hidden from the masses, especially Africans born in america, in attempts to continuously divide and conquer. This is touched on via Killmonger’s story. His story simultaneously parallels the american Hood King and the Revolutionary. He grew up without his parents, more specifically finding the dead body of his father. He had to learn and grow on his own which resulted in his genius-level intellect and thirst to avenge his father via combat and claim his spot on the throne. Via his research, he learned of the advancements of Wakanda and grew resentment because they had the capacity to liberate Black people globally, but never bothered to. He wanted to ‘stick it to the man,’ and rightfully so.

Black Panther movieKillmonger’s passion was in the right place, but his methods wouldn’t have fully resulted in the outcome suitable for most, mostly due to his dictator ways. T’challa had to come to learn that peace and hiding weren’t the way either. With their collective intellect, Shuri’s technological advancements, and Wakanda’s wealth and resources, they could have liberated Africans globally, but pride was a key factor in Killmonger having to die. (And also, as my bro Jashua Sa’Ra pointed out, “the movie studio couldn’t show us what it would’ve looked like if the forces joined in this already powerful Black Panther movie.” AKA the reason why the FBI killed Malcolm & Martin when their speeches started to mirror each other and they were on the verge of working together instead of fighting each other. Someone call up an independent Black production company to bring that story to life. “If Malcolm & Martin Lived to See Their 40s.”)

Leave your thoughts on the Black Panther movie in the comments. What rating do you give it?

12Feb/18
Young MA discusses fame weight loss

Hip Hop Star Young M.A discusses fame, weight loss, and more on Made From Scratch *Video*

Young MA discusses fame weight lossThe new digital series, Made From Scratch, gives viewers a taste of what music’s hottest artists are like when they step outside of the studio and into the kitchen. In the premiere episode, rapper Young M.A invites us into her home as she and her grandmother, G Mac, cook up the family favorites M.A misses when she’s on the road. With spice as the main ingredient, the two open up about Young M.A’s life before becoming a platinum-selling rapper, her introduction to music (queue 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying), M.A’s commitment to controlling her own identity and more. Young M.A also opens up about her recent weight loss and what prompted her to cut out the junk food on the road.

05Jan/18
Side Chick Web Series

The Side Chick Web Series is a Roller Coaster Worth Riding

Side Chick is a drama that follows the emotional millennial roller coaster of Lynn’s (Gabrielle Briana) affection towards James (Mike Merrill) who is engaged to an honest, caring woman named Kia (Chloe Stafford). Unlike some women, Lynn doesn’t fit the role of “the other woman” because she is misled and deceived into dating James, who loves his fiancé but is also intrigued by Lynn. As their emotions grow fonder, conflict unfolds, morals are questioned, and love is tainted. Ultimately, Lynn, James, and Kia are forced to examine what love truly means.
Side Chick Web Series

Our faces at James throughout the whole damn show…

Season 1 of the series dives into the lives of Lynn and James and how they start to intertwine. The finale of season 1 releases a truth that we were all waiting to be revealed. Season 2 carries us through the relationships developed separately and has us on the edge of seats wondering what’s going to happen. (It also has a significant production upgrade that made us happy to experience their growth and elevation.) When a major connection is unveiled, we all yelled “ohhhhh sh*t!” We’re definitely looking forward to Season 3.

You can watch the full series on YouTube and contribute to their production with your dollars. Yes, producing great content requires money and everyone involved should be paid, so watch the show and open your wallet! Follow the series via the links and start watching the show below!
Instagram: @sidechickwebseries | Facebook: Side Chick Web Series | Creator: @ashmcart3

30Sep/17
Nanii Acosta

Afro-Latino Nanii Acosta Releases Her Single “Sittin Sideways”

Nanii Acosta is an Afro-Dominican singer/songwriter based out of Brooklyn. She has released her single “Sittin Sideways” that is an interpretation of everything that she is – a woman of strength, bilingual tongue, and a strong inclination to music and spirituality. All of which have been cornerstones of Black culture.

“Growing up I had always struggled to maintain an identity to be proud of my Afro-Latino heritage. Because I didn’t fit the mold of what a “Latina” person looked like I was always told “you’re not Dominican, you’re black”, or  “you’re lying”. Unknown to the ignorant ones, Black people come in all different shades and speak a spectrum of languages. We are creators of life and therefore our culture and variants of it can be found in every corner of the globe.

Those comments and ones similar formed deep cuts that lead me to dislike myself. There were instances when I wanted to sit in bleach or pray to God that my hair would be straight and long. The emergence of black culture across the internet and media has been a godsend and a form of healing. I am not only proud of my bronze skin and thick coils but also the excellence that my people represent.”

Nanii’s song can be found on iTunes and Spotify!

25Sep/17
Kashif Boothe

Kashif Boothe is Producing Black Documentaries & Series through Our Voice

Kashif Boothe produces short films, web series’ and documentaries based in the UK under his production company Kashif Boothe Entertainment. In the summer of 2015, he began producing a docu-series on relationships. In Spring 2016, he released the documentary ‘Being Light Skinned’. It was selected for the 23rd Annual African American Film Marketplace and S.E Manly Short Film Festival Showcase in Hollywood. It was also screened at the event forum ‘Afrocentrikal’ and featured on various websites including ClutchMagazine.com and TrueAfrica.com. In September 2016, Kashif released the docu-series ‘What Is Good Hair?’ that was screened at the Voices of Colour event in November 2016.

Kashif BootheIn November 2016, he premiered the comedy web series ‘Nate & Jamie’ which has been featured on numerous websites including britishblacklist.co.uk. Nate & Jamie is a comedy series starring Joshua Samuels and OgaSamuel Williams. The show is set in London and centered on the antics of two mischievous young adults Nate (OgaSamuel Williams) and Jamie (Joshua Samuels). The first season follows Jamie and the ups and downs of his new relationship with Michelle (Lauren Douglin). Nate gets into a lot of situations he’d rather avoid; he has good intentions but ends up in getting caught in tricky situations. There are 6 episodes in this current season. Season 2 will premiere in Spring 2018.

This past spring, he released three short documentaries covering cultural appropriation, the stereotype of the angry black woman, and the controversial article that Black women are physically the least attractive. ‘How Do We Define Cultural Appropriation?’ covers Whoopi Golberg’s controversial comments on ‘The View’ that black women who wear weave are culture appropriating white culture, Marc Jacob’s Fall fashion show 2016 which featured models with locs, and MTV UK calling cornrows, ‘boxer braids’. It highlights the difference between cultural appropriation and cultural appreciation. About the documentary ‘Black Women Are Too Tough To Handle?’, Kashif stated, “The representation of Black women within the media industry is very negative; they are seen as strong, loud, opinionated, scary or someone who is objectified, sexual and animalistic. The women shown on screen in movies, TV shows, and magazines don’t represent the women in my family or my friends. Where does this negative connotation come from? There is an element of truth in everything; the perception hasn’t been plucked out of nowhere, but why is it the main depiction of black women? There have been some new representations which are on screen that are showing black women to be young, quirky and sophisticated like ‘Tracy’ in Michaela Coel’s sitcom ‘Chewing Gum’ and ‘Issa’ and ‘Molly’ in Issa Rae’s comedy/drama ‘Insecure’. But there is still room for improvement. I wanted to produce a documentary highlighting this issue and for audiences to get a better understanding as to why this perception is shared amongst black men and the media.”

 

Kashif Boothe

When speaking on ‘Black Women, Least Attractive?’, Khashif said, “I wanted to produce this documentary after seeing the treatment of Leslie Jones in 2016. The comedian Leslie Jones was branded as a gorilla in July 2016 when the movie Ghostbusters premiered and was bombarded with racist tweets because the remake of the original 80s film featured an all-female cast. Serena Williams, the greatest tennis players of all time, is called ugly, a monkey, and a man. Serena has dark skin, has full lips, a curvaceous and athletic body, her appearance is unapologetically Black. But is branded as ugly, why? Beauty is subjective; someone who I find attractive, someone else might not. To brand an entire race as physically the least attractive confuses me.”

Be sure to subscribe to Kashif Boothe Entertainment on youtube and check out the documentaries and series. Let Kashif know what you think!

14Jul/17
brandy butler

Brandy Butler and Her video “Gentle Beating Heart” Are Soul Food

brandy butlerWith “Gentle Beating Heart,” the latest video from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye,” the vocalist/songwriter continues her collaboration with Nicole  Pfister the director and illustrator who created the sensual short for Brandy’s slinky track,  “Spell” earlier this year.
The video is an abstract visual essay shot in South Africa, which welds the rumbling atmospherics of Ms. Butler’s “Howling” to the mantra-like proclamations of “Gentle Beating Heart.” With the repeated phrase, “Oh your gentle beating heart opens up the sky at night,” Pfister’s short forgoes conventional narrative to visually play upon the theme of emotions so powerful that they transcend the physical realm and impacts the forces of nature itself.
As the camera explores the cliffs, sand and sea of the African coast it also discovers the still bodies of the beach’s inhabits. It observes the obscured tensions that lie within these bodies and beneath the landscape’s surfaces as well. And when the vibrations between these human figures and the land fall into sync, their forces come crashing together with vivid, metamorphosing power.
Listen to and discover more about Brandy Butler on her website.
Both musical pieces “Howling” and “Gentle Beating Heart” are from Brandy Butler’s 2017 release “The Inventory of Goodbye.” A collaborative short film between the musician/performance artist Brandy Butler, and the director and creative being Nicole Pfister.

 Credits:
Written / Directed / Edited NICOLE PFISTER
Music/ Additional visual inputs BRANDY BUTLER
DOP EBRAHIM HAJEE
Assistant Camera JESSE JAMES HARRIS 
ABDUL MALIK MASOET 
Hair and Makeup  DALE M. TITUS
Assistant Director CÉLINE-NIARA SAKHO
Runner STANSY KAWASA
Dancers SEEFLEX THE ARTIST / SHAMI SHAMROCK
Models LUCY MBIOLA / ROX KIM LO / RACHID POATI
Clothing Models 2BOP / YOUNG AND LAZY
Clothing Brandy Butler MALIKAH HAJEE / BETH DITTO
Thank you SHANE COOPER / ANTHONY SMITH / LUKE DOMAN / LUKASZ POLOWCZYK/ POPKREDIT
Photo credits: Ebrahim Hajee
26Jan/17
missy elliott

Missy Elliott Blesses Us With Another Banger

As much as we want (and NEED) Missy Elliott to be a constant presence in our lives, we’ll gladly accept these annual bangers with visual videos that make everything else current look like child’s play. From concept to choreo, this video is everything. Shout to her dancers as always! There’s levels of core and balance required to execute these moves that us sub humans cannot even imagine. Missy keep slaying!

Missy Elliott – I’m Better ft. Lamb [Official Video]

 

07Oct/16
Black Web Series

Black Web Series You Need to Be Watching & Talking About!

We constantly hear complaints about melanated people not being represented in a positive light, or even represented at all on most television series. The biggest cure for this is creating our own content — produced by us, written by us, played by us. We’ve listed some really dope series below doing just that. Taking control of our narrative! Black Web Series are becoming more and more popular as online viewing and streaming are normalizing. Here are some shows making waves.

Black&Sexy TV

b&s

We can’t have this post and not list all of the dopeness that is Black&SexyTV (B&STV) first. They are well deserving of the recognition as trailblazers in the genre. They’ve been relatively transparent about their process with their fans who have been on the journey with them since 2012. Through all of their trials and tribulations, they are polishing their brand and readying it for major moves. They are currently in production for the movie of their award winning series, RoomieLiverFriends; also in production for their series The Couple to be on HBO; and have season 1 of one of their newest series, Chef Julien, playing on Centric. For those of us anti-television viewers, Black&Sexy has free minisodes on YouTube, with full episodes via their paid Subscription on VHX. Their platform is available for ROKU, ChromeCast, Android, and iPhone users as well. Here’s a list of their shows you need to catch up on. Hell, be sure to watch the older series as well since all of the characters in the Black&Sexy Universe are connected and make cameos on other shows!

Through the past 4 years B&STV has had a plethora of series. Most that are still in rotation, some that they moved on from, and others that they have rebooted. Since the B&STV Universe is all connected, it’s fun (and important) to even watch the older series. I’ve broken them down categorically as best I could for this beautifully overlapping spider web of shows!

Still in Rotation:

roomieloverfriends

RoomieLoverFriends was my first introduction to the B&STV Universe. It captures the highs and lows of roommates/lovers/friends Tamiko and Jay as they navigate the waters of living together, crushing on each other, and dealing with outside and personal influences.

sexless

Sexless follows the lives of 4 best friends who deal with being “Sexless” in their 20s. Stacy & Farrah are virgins. Nolita is attempting to wait until marriage. Wendy is looking for a serious relationship.

ChefJullian

Chef Julian is a spinoff from Sexless that gives the dating narrative from the male perspective of Julian, Wendy’s beau from Sexless (see how the web weaves through episodes).

HelloCupid

HelloCupid is a crazy story of two friends, Whitney & Robin, who catfish a guy they found on the HelloCupid dating app, who they both end up liking. The story goes so much deeper, but I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. It’s so much better to watch it and be surprised. The upcoming season features other characters from other shows of the B&STV universe (hence why it makes it so much better to watch EVERY series).

rider

Rider/Nite Rider tell the hilariously outrageous stories that Rider drivers (think Uber or Lyft) experience. Rider has the chill, daytime passengers. Nite Rider always has some craziness… You’ll definitely see some familiar faces from other shows (yup, you guessed it, spider web).

Rebooted Series:

thenumberreboot
The Number Reboot is a revived series from the original series The Number where Melissa and her fiancé reveal to each other their sexual partner count and her fiancé is thrown for a loop. *Spoiler Alert* In the Reboot Melissa and her fiancé have parted ways and she has now shared her number with her new beau Kevin, who we first met on HelloCupid (more spider webs). This series meshes pettiness, comedy, and emotional attachments like no other!

yellow

Yellow is the tale of poor Austin who can’t seem to catch a break and forever experiences life based on his yellow complexion verses his merits. *Not So Spoiler Alert* We find out Yellow is coming back soon with a twist via one of the episodes of Rider!

thecouple

The Couple, isn’t exactly a reboot, but I’ll place it here because it will feel like it due to it being years since the series last aired and HBO opted to pick it up. This was the second B&STV series I watched and I could relate so much because of the odd hilarities from my own relationship. Guy and Girl depict both the mushy and aggravating sides of living with and committing yourself to another person.

Former Series:

thatguy
That Guy was definitely one of B&STV’s most popular series. The drama levels were off the charts. It was a dope replacement for the garbage spewed in reality tv and the sudorealism of soap operas. It’s essentially about the personalities, relationships, and roller coasters of Judah and his friends. The spider webs and spoiler alerts are too intense to give more details, so you’ll have to watch for yourself.

becomingnia

Becoming Nia is the spinoff from That Guy that gives the perspective from single mother, Nia, who has a child with Judah and has to navigate being a mom, her feelings for Judah, her self esteem, and the hardships of all of that on a struggling entrepreneurial income.

The Extras:

In addition to all of these dope web series, B&STV provides talk shows, behind the scenes, get to knows, and even their own award show where the fans vote for which characters and actors should win the BLEXY award! They’ve also expanded to feature and sponsor shows from outside producers (“The Process”), including their annual HBCU sponsorship which first went to a Howard University student (“Doing It Wrong”… HU!!) These shows include:

theprocess  doingitwrong

The After Party, Herbs & Honesty, The Underground, Bedtime, Black&Sexy Music Moment, Buy Black for 30, The Process, Doing it Wrong, Blexy Awards & Battle of the G.O.A.Ts

More Black Web Series that you should definitely watch and judge for yourself are… (In no order of excellence, but ranging from romance drama to hood classic…)

Unwritten Rules

Unwritten Rules was based on the book, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman” (Butterfly Ink Publishing, 2004), and guides us through the comedic realities of Racey Jones, a Black woman in a predominantly white workplace. In all of it’s 3 seasons, I laughed, I got angry, and I laughed some more.

Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s

Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s was 2 seasons of reflecting on life once you hit the dreaded threshold of 30, dun dun dun!! Seriously, you all need to chill and stop acting like 30 is the new 80, you’ll be fine… That’s exactly what the main character in this series starts to discover.

First

Robin and Charles have known each other since Middle School, but have their first date in their late 20s. As the day of surprises unfolds, they quickly realize there is more than friendship in their future.

Tough Love

Six millennials, living in New York City, all have differing ideals and desires when it comes to life and love. The show centers around their dating encounters, the debates they have among each other, and their day-to-day struggles. We also watch as they each secretly meet with a therapist and share their true feelings about different statistics within the dating world.

Makeup and Breakup the Series

The ups and downs of mixing relationships.

Brothers With No Game

Brothers With No Game follows 4 blokes, childhood friends, through their social and romantic lives.

No Love Lost

Divorced couple navigates life and relationships while still living under the same roof.

How Men Become Dogs

It’s not often you see a group of African American men who’ll be completely honest about their experiences with women, particularly when those encounters reveal them being cheated on, lied to or left behind for someone better.  When we think of love in movies, we tend to think of women who endure pain at first, find their long lost love in the middle and finally live ‘happily ever after’ in the end.  Unfortunately, in real life that’s not always the case… especially for men. See for yourself…

https://youtu.be/WEuuQ6t-UEk?list=PLVo7nGot4fPhr1OGwHjQop4onzPMVLX3h

Close Friends

The complexities of love and friendship from a group of urban mid twenty somethings.a

Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman)

Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman) an edgy, seductive and captivating web series that will grab your attention and keep you wondering what will happen next. Its vivid content, subject matter and diversity gives it everything that you want in a series but have yet to see. This series is going to touch on subjects that are sensitive to some and most people will be able to relate to & it will always keep you wanting more…

Grey

In the series premiere, Simone is considering another man while her husband, Braden, works to keep his past a secret. Then the drama unfolds…

Coming Home

What happens when your man is locked up? And you’re on the outside trying to maintain life? What decisions do you make?

What Happened to Love

A dramedy based on the state of love and relationships.

First Dates

A comedy about being fresh on the dating scene and going on first dates again.

JEZEBEL

A twisting and turning drama about intersecting relationships.

Street Matrimony

When the realest person on your team is your woman, you gotta respect that. This is street romance in its rawest form. Many people talk about or say they want that ride or die love… but it’s a rare occasion when they actually mean it.

Lanes

A look into the different paths people take on the streets of Brooklyn.

The Ave

A courageous young man who commits to defrauding checks must find out and realizes that his loyalty comes with a price.

Hood

In this urban base crime drama Chalice “HOOD” Pruitt struggles to put his life back together after serving eight years of a twelve year sentence for his role in the murder of Diane Clark wanting nothing more than to have a relationship with a daughter he has never met HOOD desperately tries to find the balance of being dedicated father and the next air to the Pruitt family criminal legacy.

Trap Kings

Living the Trap King lifestyle.

Cold World

A story based on Love, Lust, Heartache, Music and Inspiration.

The Worst Of Us

When an accidental murder is committed by one of five siblings they make a poor attempt to cover up the gruesome crime. Roz Hood, the eldest of the quintet, also a convicted felon, uses her feminine wiles to seduce Barks Daily, brother to the victim, in an effort to throw him off her sexual deviant sister’s trail.

We’d also like to lay mention to www.ColoredContent.com which hosts a lot of these shows and more on their platform, as well as TheVillageTV which is producing a string of shows to launch in July!

Keep in mind that most of these shows are working on negative budgets or whatever they’ve gained from crowd sourcing and/or membership dues. If you have it in your pockets, please invest in these shows because representation matters. We can’t keep complaining that “they” don’t cast us while doing nothing about it. I’m all for creating your own instead of waiting on a generous hand, especially when that hand is most famous for the mass genocide, impoverishment, and imprisonment of our people. Here we have us doing for us, so donate, subscribe, share, yell it from the roof tops. Cut back on cable channels that you don’t watch and give that money to them. Hell, I quit cable all together years ago, and definitely prefer online viewing and being able to give to Black&SexyTV every month instead. Pockets looking linty? Guess what! Clicking the like, subscribe, and share buttons don’t cost you a penny, but it means the world to these content producers! Go indulge!

Let us know your favorites in the comments and tell us any we’ve missed to update our list!