On The Bandwagon/Gospel Hill

008GLH_Nia_Long_002So I was doing what the “hip and trendy” folx call “channel surfing” the other day when I came across the scene up above.  Nia Long and Adam Baldwin “making out”

sidebar: The Little Woman HATES when I say “making out”, she says it “confuses people” and it makes me sound like “I hang out with Fonzie”.  I say, “I have no problem with that,  for it would be so cool, ayyy!

fonzieSo, Adam Baldwin and Nia Long were “making out” and this seemed so random so I had to find out what was going on.

Turns out, I had come across a scene from the movie GOSPEL HILL.

gospel_hill

Gospel Hill is the name of the black neighborhood, in the southern town of Julia, that’s being torn down to make way for the ultimate gentrification, a golf course.

One of the main supporters of the golf course is one of the leading sellouts black leaders in town,  Dr. Ron Palmer (Giancarlo Esposito), who runs the emergency clinic in Gospel Hill.

Julia is a town where this kind of conflict between black and white has a tragic past.  Back in the day, 40 years ago to be exact, a local black civil rights activist Peter Malcolm (Samuel Jackson) was assassinated.

In the present, Malcolm’s son, John (Danny Glover), maintains a low profile that he established after his father’s death.  John still feels animosity towards the ex-sheriff, Jack Herrod (Tom Bower). Herrod, the classic “I hates you darkies” type, drug his feet during the “investigation” of Peter Malcolm’s murder and, of course, nobody was charged.  I guess that Peter assinated himself?

Herrod has two sons.  His oldest son, Carl (Adam Baldwin) is fulfilling his “Jungle Fever” fantasies with Dr. Palmer’s mm-mm-good looking, hot thang, bootylicious trophy wifey (Nia Long).  While Carl tends to Dr. Palmer’s “secret garden”;

his younger brother, Joel (Taylor Kitsch), is a landscaper who works for  Dr. Palmer.  Joel hires Lonnie (The Rza) to help him out.

Sarah Malcolm (Angela Bassett), John’s wife, isn’t too pleased about her hood being turned into a “bastion of whiteness”, so she challenges the house negro Dr. Palmer, who she thinks is all about getting paid (have you seen his wife?  Hello? Keeping her satisfied has got to be high matenance) and she wants to out him as the carpetbagger that he is.

Oh, there’s a liberal school marm, Rosie (Julia Stiles), straight from the DANGEROUS MINDS/FREEDOM WRITES Teacher’s mold.   Joel falls in love with Rose, I suspect, because he’s probably bedded down every woman in town, twice and is naturally inticed by that which has yet to be mounted conquered.

Joel's way of keeping count of the ladies...

Joel's way of keeping count of the ladies...

The block gets hot as Dr. Palmer goes around and buying out all the poor Negroes on Gospel Hill and trying to fight off Sarah, who really ain’t having it at all.  Sarah tries to get John to come out of self-imposed exile (hell, I would be on the down-low myself if somebody shot my dad and the po-po acted like it didn’t happen, cut the man some slack, Sarah!).  Joel has to deal with his dad, who he doesn’t really like because of that whole “I hates darkies” thing plus having to hear it from his super-duper liberal girlfriend, Rose, who’s, of course, now hanging out with Sarah and letting her fill her head with her “left-wing agenda” jibba-jabba.

sidebar: The only thing missing from the Rose scenes is Coolio singing GANGSTA’S PARADISE


Jack finds out that he’s terminally ill and deciding that burning in Hell for all eternity does not seem like a fun vacation, re-opens the Peter Malcolm murder investigation.  At the same time, John realizes that he can’t ignore his father’s legacy anymore (partially because his wife is making him feel more and more like a chump by fighting the good fight that he should be and letting him know about it every chance she gets).

Gospel Hill was one of those film festival casulties (failed to find a big screen distributer) that went straight to DVD and, fortunately, to one of the movie channels (Showtime/Starz).  To be honest, I don’t know why it didn’t get the big screen treatment.  The film was directed by veteran character actor Giancarlo Esposito (Dr. Palmer in the film) who’s most famous role, to me anyways, is Buggin’ Out from DO THE RIGHT THING.

BUGGIN' OUTThe cast is top shelf.  For me, seeing Buggin’ Out, Tim Riggins, Roger Murtaugh, Tina Turner, Nicky Parsons, Brandi, Jayne Cobb, The RZA, all in one movie?  It’s a pop culture orgasm!

Hell, NBC should have found someway to get this to the big screen, if for no other reason, to promote some of their programming.  Three of the actors in the film were cast regulars on NBC shows in 2008-09 (Baldwin/CHUCK, Bassett/E.R. and Kitsch/FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS).  Spend a few more bucks to promote the film and it would have EASILY regained the estimated 6 million American dollars that it took to make the film the first week alone.

I guess that, nowadays, if Tyler Perry isn’t involved in a black movie, it ain’t gonna get that big push.

sidebar: That wasn’t a diss on Perry.  It’s more of one on Hollywood, who still refuses to see that black cinema is just as diverse and layered as any other genre.  It doesn’t all have to be one extreme or the other.

Having said that, I will admit that Gospel Hill isn’t a great film.  It’s barely a good film, but it is good.  For a film about race from an actor who’s best known role was one that was about as racial as one could get:

the racial aspects of Gospel Hill are almost mundane by comparison.  Perhaps it was the laid back (and realistic) approach that was the thing that kept the film from getting a wider distribution.   Whatever the reason, don’t let the straight to video nature of the film keep you away.  It’s well acted, even when the script fails, at times, to keep up with the performances.   I wouldn’t have been disappointed had I paid to see it at the movie theater and I don’t think to many others would have been either, except those who may have showed up to see Taylor Kitsch take off his shirt.  You can’t please ’em all.

I certainly hope that Esposito gets more chances behind the camera and more films from “Gospel Hill” side of town get made.

Gospel Hill

I Am Curious(Black)

I Am Curious Black
That has to be either the worst of the rejected names for Soledad O’Brien’s CNN documentary series, BLACK IN AMERICA or one of the best porno titles in history, right? (Well, raise my rent, somebody did title a porno that NSFW)

loislane106

Yes, it’s the title of a comic book story featuring the King & Queen Of Anglo-Saxon Pop Culture themselves, Superman and Lois Lane!   What in the Wide Wide World Of Sports is going on here?

Maybe, in an attempt to spice up their decades old oomp pa loomp-pow, Lois has finally talked Superman into some exhibitionism with one of his Black friends:

...beware Superman, once you go Black Lightning you never back
…what a prude! Luke Cage woulda jumped all over that proposal!

Believe it or not, this was an 1970 attempt at discussing one of the biggest “elephants in the room”, racism.  The title of the story was inspired, I’m pretty dang sure, by a famous 1967 Swedish, um, “art” film, I Am Curious (Yellow) that contained “a limp dick kiss” and a cameo by MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR(?!)

Solid!
Solid!

Damn, I guess this means I can’t diss Al Sharpton for being SOUL TRAIN anymore:

I don't want to bump no mo' with no big fat preacher...
I don’t want to bump no mo’ with no big fat preacher…

Usually, this would be about the time where I go into an extensive, blow-by-blow breakdown of story but one quick Google search revealed that reviewing the I Am Curious (Black) Lois Lane story is the comic book equivalent of sampling James Brown’s FUNKY DRUMMER.  After reading the story, I could see why so many folks had something to say.  This is some classic stuff:

snooty loisI don’t know if Heaven has a ghetto, but Metropolis sure does and Little Africa is it’s name.  I guess just pointing in the direction of town where the majority of Black folks live and saying in a half-digusted, half-ashamed tone “South Side” wasn’t enough for Metropolis.

supermanworriedWhat up with that, Superman?  What could possibly happen to a Single White Female going down to the “South Side” of town by herself?  Oh, I forgot, this is Lois Lane, the heifer is a walking accident, always getting her ass into a jam, just so Superman can run in and save the day.

Man, Superman is either really stupid or he gets off by saving the damsel in distress all the time and Lois knows it.  These two are made for each other, the dysfunctional twits.

blacklois4

Anyway…

LL106E

Lois heads down to the hood and, instead of her instantly getting jumped, she gets ignored like Hilary Clinton after the 2008 South Carolina Democratic primaries.

shejustliketherestofthem

Ooops, looks like Lois walked into a Rev. Wright sermon…

lois to loloHere come Superman to…um, you’re not being jumped by Negroes, Lois, what’s wrong?

Lois can’t get her Ghetto Pass legitimately so she hits up Superman, who really should be doing something like, oh, I don’t know, preventing a Tsunami from hitting Japan, an earthquake from destroying South America, Grease II from being made, ANYTHING except helping ol’ selfish ass Lois annoy some poor black folks “on the South Side” in Little Africa.

But it’s pretty obvious that Lois has the Kryptonite Koochie because Kal-El gets all weak in the knees whenever Lois starts needing him, The Big Dummy.

Superman packs the bags and Lois takes him on a guilt trip and he flys her up to the Fortress Of Solitude.  Wait a minute, the last I heard, the Fortress was wayyyy up around the North Pole, why Lois still in her summer gear?  Is Superman flying faster than the speed of cold?  Nevermind that, what’s the deal with the Plasimold?  What did Superman just say, Transformoflux Pack?  One of the perks of being the last of your race is that can make up wild s*it like “Transformoflux Pack” and there is nobody to say “N*gga, you just made that up to make your girl think you’re important.  Shut up, Kal-El”.

So instead of saving the world, Superman and Lois play Kryton Project Runway and take a bite out of the shark while they jump it by turning Lois Lane into Super Soul Sista:

blacklois6

Hey Sister, Go Sister, Soul Sister, Go Sister
Hey Sister, Go Sister, Soul Sister, Go Sister
He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans
Struttin’ her stuff on the street
She said ‘Hello,
hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?
‘Mmm Hmmm

Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya dada (Hey hey hey)
Giuchie, Giuchie, ya ya here (here)
Mocha Chocalata ya ya (oh yea)
Creole lady Marmalade

Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi

NEXT: Lois Goes Deep Cover

Back Down Memory Lane W/Super Wolf & Yo Mama

After Rappers Delight became the first hit Rap song, the flood gates opened and anybody with a mic and something to record with began dropping “regional” songs, attempting to cash in before the novelty wore off and the “fad” had passed.

One of those first “regional” stars was the man who went by the name of Super Wolf!

Super Wolf can do it!

Super Wolf can do it!

I’m not saying that dude looks familiar but I’ve never seen Super Wolf or Samuel L. Jackson in the same room, ever.

Mr. Wolf hailed from, where else, Wolfsville USA and dished out helpful advice like “if you hear a wolf howling at your back door, just give him what he wants and he won’t holler no mo'” and made demands of his listeners such as “put yo weight on it, put your weight on it”. Back when I was 14, these lyrics sounded much more innocent.

Here’s the Super Wolf in action, dressed in the flyest cape jacket I have ever seen, take that James Brown! He’s performing the 9 minute version of his “hit” song. The lip-syncing is strong for about the first 5 minutes. But, you know, all good things can’t last forever and it had to happen with somebody wearing all that hot, shiny polyester under those lights plus having to maintain the dancing beat as well as lip-sync? The center couldn’t hold and around the 6 minute mark, the lip-syncing goes tragically amiss and one begins to wonder if there’s a limit to how long Super Wolf can actually “do it”.

yo_mama

Ya Mama by the group Wuf Ticket is self explanatory.  It’s almost 8 minutes of two dudes cracking Ya Mama disses.

For early 80s rap, this was as gangsta as it got but that was more than enough for one DJ in Columbus, MS at WACR-FM  (103.9), the radio station that was my R&B/Rap connection to the outside Mississippi world.  Ya Mama was a highly requested track at the station but that didn’t matter for one DJ, who stopped Ya Mama in the middle of the track by ripping the turntable needle across the record (ooh, that was the first time I heard scratching, too)

broken-recordand then he commenced to smashing Yo Mama the record into a million pieces.  Followed by about a three minute rant about how disrespectful that song was and how the station would never play music that offensive ever again.  I thought that was about the coolest thing I had ever heard on radio up to that point. clear-channel

Then ClearChannel came along in the 90s and purged all that “disruptive” thinking right off the airways.

clear-channel1

“This Is Not The America I Grew Up In!!”

It’s the next great Battle Cry of the Stupid Conservative.

Sean Hannity

Glenn Beck
Katy Abrams (circled)

What do all of these people have in common? They, and others like them, have been complaining as loudly as they can that because of Barack Obama’s Presidency and his daring to reform health care, he is transforming America in ways that make them sick. They have all been grabbing open mikes and shrieking into them that “This is not the America I grew up in!” These folks have corrupted legitimate town-hall discussions that the Democratic Party members are trying to sponsor. The very idea of health care reform for people who can’t afford health care is so ghastly, so unimaginable, so downright heinous that it’s just… just… it’s just unamerican, that’s what it is. At least, that’s what the people who utter these sentiments would have you believe.

This post isn’t about the merits of health care, or the pluses and minuses of the Single Payer Option. This post is about hatred. Violent, intense hatred that is bubbling its way to the surface… hatred that is formed in a cauldron of ignorance, boiling into a witches’ brew of potential violence and unrest, being stirred by witches straight out of Shakespearean lore. What is it that have their collective panties in a huge bunch? Is it health care? Is it war? Is it the economy? None of the above, my friends. The thing that has angered up the blood of these people… the thing that has some white people feeling like America is being snatched from them (the irony of them complaining about America being taken from them is so rich that it oughta be poured on pancakes and served with cheese eggs and sausage or bacon… now I’m all hungry… but I digress)… the common denominator that has all of these people showing up at health care rallies carrying GUNS…


…to these rallies… the common denominator is an African-American President of the United States.

These people want us to believe that they’re being good, patriotic citizens who are exercising their rights to free speech. To them, I say “Shet’cher gobbige mowf!” The fact is that I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from, you bring a gun as a SHOW OF FORCE. You bring a gun if you feel SERIOUSLY THREATENED, and not just because a liberal President wants to make sure that an unemployed person won’t go bankrupt because they have to go to the doctor. The person on the right was carrying a sign quoting Thomas Jefferson. The quote is pictured here:

Now, on the surface, a quote from Thomas Jefferson is downright patriotic. But the ominous undertone of this sign is getting everyone’s attention. You see, this quote is very popular among the right-wing militias. It was also on a t-shirt worn by Timothy McVeigh. Some things may be coincidence. This, however, isn’t one of them. A man coming to protest health care sponsored by the President by carrying a gun and a sign with a slogan favored by a domestic terrorist? Sheer coincidence? Right, and I have some oceanfront property in Chicago that I’m willing to unload, cheap.

Back to the original point here, these people are angry that a Black man has gotten way past uppity to the point where he is taking America away from them. These people lament about the America they grew up in… you mean the America with attack dogs and firehoses turned on Black people, Black churches bombed with horrifying regularity, lynchings being as commonplace as church meetings? You mean the America where women were seen at their best when they were barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen? The election of President Obama appears to be the crowning moment of privileged white people’s tenuous grip on America. They want to go back to the days of “Pleasantville” and “Andy Griffith”, and they want ALL of us to believe that America was better then.

Ask Emmit Till about that America. Ask Malcolm X. Ask Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Ask the four little girls who were attending church in Alabama. Ask the thousands who became the “Strange Fruit” that Billie Holliday sang about.

What’s that? You CAN’T? Gee, I wonder why. After all, they were just as much a part of “that America” as the images of “Happy Days” and drive-thru diners. The horrors of violence for the sake of keeping the status quo is just about as American as apple pie.

It seems that the election of President Obama has gotten these racists to be bolder about their racism. It began to rear its ugly head during the campaign (there are plenty of videos of Palin/McCain supporters spewing their ugliness in the form of “kill him” and “terrorist”). And as Obama continues to move forward in his Presidency, the cute little whispers by the neo-cons have become all-out rallying cries. They feel that the President isn’t a U.S. citizen. They feel that he is secretly a Muslim… or a practitioner of Liberation Theology. “Their America” now has a Black man as a commander-in-chief, and they are scared. They are angry. And as these rallies (again, HEALTH CARE REFORM rallies) demonstrate just how mad they are. Mad enough to accuse the President of ushering in a terrible wave of socialism. Mad enough to say “Heil Hitler” to a Jewish man who was supporting Israel’s nationalized health care. Mad enough to shout that their country is being taken away.

Mad enough to carry loaded weapons to a health care rally.

Now, when Bush was President, the Left gave him a lot of “Hitler” grief. But I think that the difference between the Left and the Right is that the Right has more elected officials and serious media sponsors to support, promote, and disseminate the dangerous propaganda that’s polluting political discourse. When you have elected officials, people like Lou Dobbs and Sean Hannity, and industry lobbyists all working together to undermine the efforts of the President and paint him as an enemy of the people or some sort of exotic foreign outsider causing trouble, things can only get worse. Very tragically worse.

Just think… with the last administration, people got arrested for wearing ANTI-BUSH T-SHIRTS. Now, you have protesters coming into the picture armed and ready for a fight… even if they have to be the ones that start it.

The Chubby Afro Hip Hop Primer (No Expert Here, Folks)

August 28: Below is the full version of the my Guest blogger: My must-have hip-hop albums post on USA TODAY’s POP CANDY, today!

I would like to thank Whitney Matherson, the POP CANDY goddess and the good folks at USA TODAY for giving me the opportunity to write for them (if only for one day…sigh, I can dream, can’t I? )

Oh, one more thing, this is a long post so you’ll see why Whitney had to edit the bad boy.  Enjoy.

__________________________________________________

NOTE: This past July marked the 30th Anniversary of the first released Rap song, King Tim III (Personality Jock). The song was by The Fatback Band, also known as Fatback, a disco band. The song was released two months before The Sugar Hill Gang’s Rapper’s Delight, the song that’s considered Hip-Hop/Rap’ s groundbreaking hit.

hip hop monster

Hip-Hop can be a monster.

If you just Google “hip-hop”, you would get about 200,000,000 links (“rap music” generated slightly less, about 47,800,000).  Needless to say, there is so much more to hip-hop than what the average non-fan could even begin to know.   But we all know the the saying “sex sells”, Hip-Hop offers that and then some.

There’s tons of violence, glorification of material things, the constant degrading of women and just an shocking lack of common decency.  And I’m just talking about season one of  FLAVOR OF LOVE;

Flavor-Flav-ps01and, of course, the raunchfest that was Tipper Gore’s Parental Advisory crusade in the mid 80’s.

tipperalgore

OMG! Get a room!

While there is much negativity associated with the genre, the majority Rap/Hip-Hop contains the same elements that is common in all forms of popular music; good music and performers who are serious about their craft and whom live to entertain.

nice cubeOnce you get to know a little more about Rap/Hip-Hop, it’s not so scary.  Trust me.

ALL HIP-HOP/RAP MUSIC ISN’T ABOUT BLING, BIT*HES, BEAT-DOWNS OR ANY OTHER NEGATIVE TERMS THAT BEGIN WITH THE LETTER “B”?

Can't we all just get along?

Can't we all just get along?

Au contraire! There is so much more to the genre than the ones that we’ve all come to know. Hip-Hop/Rap is just as dysfunctional as the fact that Tom Jones and Marilyn Manson can both be considered Rock & Roll artists. It’s not unusual (I’m sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Read More

A Positive Image Of Black Marriage DVD? Am I Being Punk’d?

Wait a second, this is REAL?  As soon as I saw on planbinsider.com, I had to speak on it.   I get so tired of seeing black relationships portrayed as either an endangered species or some kind of freak occurrence.  Cliff and Claire Huxtable were not the exception to the rule.

cliff and claire

Black Love isn’t a misnomer, people.   I know that it’s real and thriving, I am an living example (8 years of monogamy, sweet.  Not married…yes, I know, that’s not the same thing.  The hell it ain’t, but that’s another discussion for another time).

If you were to drop in from Uranus and started watching TV and/or movies, you would think that black men and black women aren’t all that pleased to be around one another and if they are together, we’re tripping and being super dysfunctional, if we’re together at all (The Baby Daddy thing…another time!)

It’s okay to love that woman if she’s black and, ladies, it’s all good to love that black dude.

I’m glad to see that someone has taken it upon themselves to say what a lot of us already know, but hardly ever see on TV

hea_dvdjacket-1024x691

From the creators of the award winning website Black and Married With Kids.com comes a ground breaking documentary set to challenge negative stereotypes surrounding marriage and parenting in the black community.

Couples and experts discuss topics such as the image and portrayal of black marriages and families, the effect the Obamas will have on marriage in the black community and the importance of parenting.

whoa

I know, right?  Nobody got the Ike Turner/Chris Brown treatment once!

CHECK THIS OUT:

The HAPPILY EVER AFTER movie site

BMWK960X90

Napping And The Negro…It Must Be Tuesday In America

obama-asleepAccording to this article:

There are distinctive racial patterns to napping. Half of the black adults in our survey say they napped in the past 24 hours, compared with just a third of whites and Hispanics.

I know for a fact that’s a lie because if we were all napping, when would we have time to rob your house? GTFO!

I expect this kind of frontier gibberish from somplace like stormfront.org

thegriologo

but this came from a “alleged” black news site, The Grio.  I’m ever so pissed!  Where’s Al Sharpton when you really need his ass?

US-ENTERTAINMENT-MUSIC-JACKSON-TRIBUTEAww gawddammit, Al!  This is one of our Black Leaders© everyone.  Seriously, while you all up on that, why aren’t you all over this, man???

Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009
NBCU Launches TheGrio.com – News And Video For African Americans

NBC Universal launched TheGrio.com yesterday, a news and video site focusing on topics that appeal to African Americans.

Al Sharpton (and Chicago radio personality Santita Jackson) have signed on as contributors

What?  Really?  Ni*ga, Please!

What? Really? Ni*ga, Please!

Sigh.  Don’t start, Aunt Gladys.

Anyway…

There must be some reason behind all of this Negro Napping.  Why is it that black folk are bummin’ around napping so much?

Napping is quite common at the lower end of the income scale; some 42% of adults with an annual income below $30,000 report they napped in the past day.

Black Woman Angry

Girl, I’m with you!  All that’s missing from these stats is what malt liquor one would prefer when they’re eating their watermelon and/or fried chicken.

1185316187-grande-lando_colt
Thanks, Lando.

And to add insult to stereotype:

As income rises, napping declines. However, at the upper end of the scale (adults whose annual income is $100,000 or above) the tendency to nap revives and reverts to the mean.

Well that explains Clarence Thomas powernappin’ at President Obama’s swearing in:

clarencethomaspicture_2_1

He makes more than the average runaway so therefore he was just recharging the batteries?

fuck_you