Random Midday Hotness: What Did The Black Man Say?

Kendrick Lamar is great. That’s not some novel observation or anything, but it’s one that comes to come with a lot of Mike Tyson-esque caveats — as in, yeah, but who among his contemporaries is skilled enough to push him to be better? Drake? Hypercompetent and safe, but better than folks give him credit for. J. Cole? Hypercompetent and self-important and boring. Big Sean? Stop it.

Anyway, Kendrick was on Colbert last night — as the show’s last-ever musical guest. (Sniff.) It was his first live performance of as-yet-untitled song off his forthcoming album. It’s got all of the elements of those Kendrick-y elements — that odd mix of melancholy and uplift, hood shit and poetic flourishes. Are you amped? I’m amped.

Random Midday Hotness: Father-Daughter Dance.

[h/t Mater Mea]

Podcast #25: The Two Michael Sams.

Michael Sam made history this year when he became the first openly gay player drafted into the NFL — or any of America’s major pro sports, for that matter. In this sports media, his estrangement from his family was characterized as simple homophobia. But when Joel went down to Texas to track down the Sam family for BuzzFeed, he discovered that the picture was much more complicated. Joel talked to G.D., Terryn, Angela and Syreeta McFadden about the elder Michael Sam, a colorful, maddening figure whose life has been marked by tragedies.The Two Michael Sams (Joel Anderson/ Buzzfeed)

Michael Sam’s NFL snub already at historic level (Cyd Zeigler/OutSports)

Michael the Brave (Andrew Corsello/GQ)

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Random Midday Hotness: T-Pain, Unplugged.

T-Pain dropped by the day-job on Monday to do a short, lo-fi set for the NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, and even he had to acknowledge that “T-Pain + lo-fi” and “T-Pain + NPR” aren’t the most obvious associations. “I know everyone is wondering where the Auto-Tune is gonna come from,” he said. “It’s right here in my pocket, surgically inserted.”

T-Pain’s relationship to Auto-Tune, the gimmick with which he’s almost associated, is a complicated one, as this New Yorker profile from the summer showed. I’d heard tell that T-Pain had some real, serious pipes, so I went to the Tiny Desk performance partly to see for myself.

Suffice it to say, dude was pretty amazing.

The Most Important Angry Black Women In Hollywood History.

Last week, the New York Times’ Alessandra Stanley praised Shonda Rhimes for taking ownership of the often demeaning “Angry Black Woman” label. “Ms. Rhimes has embraced the trite but persistent caricature of the Angry Black Woman, recast it in her own image and made it enviable,” Stanley wrote. “She has almost single-handedly trampled a taboo even Michelle Obama couldn’t break.”

Stanley’s article was an eye-opener — apparently even Rhimes herself wasn’t aware of her laudable status. “Apparently we can be ‘angry black women’ together, because I didn’t know I was one either!” Rhimes excitedly tweeted to Peter Nowalk, the show’s creator.

As fans of Rhimes’ Scandal, we were surprised that Rhimes’ might be surprised.  What are her dramas if not a showcase  bevy of  strong, assertive black ladies?  Take Cyrus Beene, for instance! And who could forget the many times in which Olivia Pope affixed her steely gaze upon her enemies, or delivered a withering read to some poor fool who stood athwart her plans?

Indeed, the Angry Black Woman has played a vital but overlooked role in American television, and it’s long past time that they got their due. Brokey McPoverty  and I decided to spotlight the most influential of these, who weren’t like those bossy, sassy, salt-of-the-earth working-class women who have been scolding and uh-uh-ing on screen ever since Esther Rolle played Florida, the maid on “Maude.” They changed the game.

Olivia Kendall, “The Cosby Show”
olivia gif

Cliff Huxtable’s step-granddaughter took no shit from anybody. When Denise and her father bored her, she arranged to have them sent away to Singapore.

Dottie McStuffins, “Doc McStuffins”


Do you know how tough a black woman has to  be in order to succeed in the world of imaginary toy medicine?

Ling Woo, “Ally McBeal”

ling woo
A lot of people (understandably) felt that Lucy Liu’s icy, exotic, dragon lady character was a tired old stereotype of black women. But she upended the notions that TV audiences wouldn’t handle older, darker-skinned and less classically beautiful African-American women.

Smurfette, “The Smurfs”

smurfette gif

Three apples high and hair laid to the gawds — all while holding down a village full of flawed brothers with a lot of potential. Respect.

Wilson the Volleyball, Cast Away
wilson gif It was supposed to be a showcase for  Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks,  but Wilson turned in a subtle, scene-stealing performance  in Cast Away. She’s Hanks’ only companion for much of the movie, at turns taciturn and argumentative. And in the movie’s most emotionally fraught scene, she subversively disproves another hoary stereotype about black women — by swimming away.

Random Midday Hotness: In Which Carlton Goes In.

You’d think Alfonso Ribeiro, who first became famous for dancing with Michael Jackson in a Pepsi commercial, would be too much of a ringer for “Dancing With The Stars.” This clip will do nothing to dispel that notion. Still, people said the same thing about Mya a few years ago and she eventually just missed winning the whole thing. Televised dance competition is a cruel mistress — just ask Lolo Jones.

PostBourgie: The Podcast | #23: #Ferguson.


In late August, Joel, Jamelle and Gene were all in Ferguson covering the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting for their respective jobs. In this episode, they compare notes on what they saw and heard and what, if anything, happens next.

This episode was produced by the great Channing Kennedy.

Related links:

A List Of Rules For Women.

Jay Smooth is having a hard time keeping them all straight.