In the history of R&B music, there has never been a more flamboyant artist than the legendary James Brown. No other artist has as many nicknames: “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business,” “Mr. Excitement,” “Soul Brother No. 1,” and his most famous moniker, “The Godfather of Soul.” Brown has influenced more singers than any artist in the history of music: Prince, Michael Jackson, Rick James, and Sly Stone are just a few of the legendary artists who were influenced by “The Godfather.” More
Once again, this column will focus on this new golden era of television. I will talk about “Mr. Robot,” “The Night Of ‘” and “Power.” These shows, all on cable, continue to show just how tremendous this era of television has been. All three shows air on cable, as cable television continues to outdo conventional broadcast television. More
1. Why the plethora of super hero movies?
2. Since when not standing for the national anthem meant being anti-military?
3. How many more women will Bill Clinton have sex in the White House once his wife is elected President?
4. Are there any more racist men in America than Rudy Giuliani, David Duke and Donald Trump?
5. When will the American public realize that all sports are pre-determined?
6. Who really killed JFK?
7. Is trap music the worst era of hip hop music ever?
8. Why do radio shows have background music playing while conducting an interview?
9. Why does every republican politician want America to go back to how we were in the 1950’s?
10. Will Vince McMahon ever die?
11. When will baseball allow Pete Rose into their Hall of Fame?
12. Why don’t they just legalize steroid use and make it a level playing field?
13. Has there even been a year in which so many unarmed individuals have been killed by the police than this year?
14. When will Al Sharpton permanently disappear?
15. Has anyone committed heinous crimes while high on marijuana?
16. Why is prostitution illegal?
17. Is the KKK even relevant anymore?
18. Can you believe the unprecedented run of hits Rihanna has had?
19. Exactly how many men currently on death row are innocent of the murders they’ve been convicted of?
20. When Serena Williams retires, will Women’s tennis ever be the same?
21. Who will win this year’s Presidential Election?
Throughout the history of popular music, one of the genres greatest gems is the classic duet, especially with a male/female coupling. It brings an added dimension to a great song when you hear from both the male and female point of view. In this article, I will talk about some of the greatest duets in music history. More
The greatest fictional drama book ever written, in my opinion, that dealt with the crack epidemic and how it destroyed Black youth was “The Coldest Winter Ever” by Sista Souljah. It is a tremendous read and reminds me so much of the seminal 1994 movie Fresh starring Sean Nelson as a 12 year old ingenue drug dealer who uses chess to bring down his enemies. Many of you have seen this movie. For those who haven’t, I will give a brief summary.
Fresh is a 12 year old drug dealer living in foster care with several of his cousins and his sister. He plays chess in Washington Square Park with his alcoholic father(brilliantly portrayed by the now legendary Samuel Jackson), and through these contests he learns strategy to not only deal with his enemies, but to protect his heroin addicted sister(played in a very realistic passive, non conflicted way by the beautiful NBushe Wright). Nelson’s serious demeanor throughout the movie shows just how grim his current life is. He rarely smiles, and after the girl he has a crush on is murdered from a stray bullet by one of his drug dealing partners, no longer does he attempt to smile. He makes it his goal to not only seek vengeance for the girl’s death, but to protect his sister and to escape from the violent, dead end streets of the crack-ridden streets of early 1990’s Brooklyn. In order to accomplish these difficult tasks, Fresh uses chess as a way to form a strategy. He uses the two drug lords that he works for weaknesses against them(played too damn authentically by the always excellent Ron Brice and Giancarlo Esposito). Brice’s character will do anything to maintain his power, so Fresh creates a doubt in his mind about those who work for him scheming to take him out. Esposito’s character is madly in love with Fresh’s sister, so Fresh cunningly uses Esposito’s adoration of his sister to checkmate him in the end.
Fresh was the most authentic, depressing movie of the 90’s that portrayed the crack epidemic that destroyed an entire generation of Black and Latino youth in NYC and many other urban landscapes. Nelson’s portrayal of Fresh is one of the greatest performances of all time by a child actor. The Williamsburg section of Brooklyn that has crack houses and crack dealers in proliferation back then, is now an upscale neighborhood filled with yuppies and million dollar brownstones. I wonder if these residents today realize just not too long away that their neighborhood was trapped in the crack epidemic. I highly doubt it.
In the history of Women’s Tennis; in the history of Women’s Sports, the single, greatest athlete is without question, Serena Williams. Since she won her first Grand Slam at the 1999 U.S. Open, she has been the unquestioned most magnetic and brilliant athlete on the planet. Despite several setbacks, including nagging injuries, the tragic murder of her sister, and a blood clot that almost cost her career, she has dominated a sport like no female athlete ever has. Despite her and her sister Venus being African American outcasts in a historically dominated White sport, the two of them overcame that obstacle to dominate tennis like no other sibling act ever did. In 1997, their father Richard predicted that one day they would be ranked numbers one and two in the world. He also told them that Serena would be the greater champion of the two. The experts in the media scoffed at his predictions. Guess what, he was right. To follow Serena’s career since 1999, you can carefully see unbridled racism among fans, fellow players, and members of the media. Yet, despite the many trials and tribulations surrounding her career, Serena has persevered and remained steadfast in her quest for tennis dominance. I will highlight a few examples. More
The sitcom “A Different World,” was in my opinion, the single, greatest African American sitcom that ever aired on network television. Created by Bill Cosby, the show was initially a spinoff from his monumental hit “The Cosby Show,” starring Lisa Bonet. It was to chronicle Denise Huxtable’s trials and tribulations while attending a fictional Historically Black University. The first season starring Bonet was bland and vanilla. It was plain horrible. Luckily, Bonet was pregnant in between seasons one and two. Cosby, upon learning of Bonet’s pregnancy, immediately removed her from the show and hired Debbie Allen to have total creative control of the program. Beginning with season two, the show had a much different look. It had the look of an authentic Black university. It also began the drawn out relationship between the now leading characters of the show, Dwayne Wayne and Whitley Gilbert. With the building of the budding relationship between the two protagonists, the show would throw in social and political issues of the day. It was a formula for provocative television. More
In my lifetime, only three deaths outside my father’s death have affected me: Tupac Shakur, Michael Jackson, and now Muhammad Ali. Ali was the first man other than my father that I idolized. As a child, I marveled at how this man had the ability to say whatever was on his mind without fear. He was an amazing man. A man of the people. A man who loved children unconditionally. Throughout this article, I will give shining examples on why Muhammad Ali was the definition of a Renaissance Man. More
I’m still in shock over the sudden death of Prince. He was easily my favorite artist as an adolescent. He was insanely gifted. He played over twenty instruments. He was a gifted songwriter. He had a vocal range that was incredibly overrated. He was a perfect mixture of Jimi Hendrix, Sly Stone and James Brown. In this latest installment of the greatest R&B male singers of all time, I will talk about his iconic 80’s run, his very underrated love songs, and why he is the third greatest R&B male singer of all time. More
In the history of music, not too many acts have a catalogue as comprehensive as Marvin Gaye. There aren’t many singers who have not one, but two albums considered among the twenty greatest albums of all time. In the world of soul music, there aren’t many who wrote their own music as unsolicited as Gaye. In this piece, I will explain why the aforementioned is the reason Gaye is the fourth greatest R&B male singer of all time. More