Thursday, February 27, 2014

The "N" FL- Word Debate!

It's amazing to me that with all of the ills that plague the country that the NFL is seriously debating legislating the use of the N-Word during football games.  The 4 letter network ESPN even dedicated a 1 hour special this past Sunday to the use of the word.  The debate included hip-hop artist Common, and esteemed journalists Jason Whitlock, Michael Wilbon and Jemele Hill (all 3 of the journalists are employed by ESPN). 

The N-Word and it's use has long had monetary impacts on the economy especially with it's common use in the hip-hop community.  Many people may not realize that the hit song "My Hitta" by YG in it's clean form is really titled "My Nigga" in it's explicit version.  While the song has been cleaned up to generate airplay on mainstream radio, the cleanliness doesn't eliminate the nastiness of the song and the negative connotation that it truly represents.  "My Hitta" is presently the number 8 most popular song on the R&B/Hip-Hop Chart according to Billboard.  It's been as high as #2 on the overall airplay list with Beyonce's "Drunk In Love" dominating everything R&B right now.  "My Hitta" is a money maker bottom line and landed YG on the Arsenio Hall show for a performance of the song. 

The NFL can try to legislate the use of the N-Word all it wants, and it's a popular topic to discuss on television debate shows but until the powers that be in music first and foremost take a stand on it's use, any debate about the use of the word is futile.  It's cute for us to have an issue with Riley Cooper and Paula Deen using the word because they're of a different color.  It's sad for us not to have an issue with a song titled "My Nigga"!      

Da Brat Ordered to Pay $6.4 million in Damages!

Once relevant hip-hop artist Da Brat was ordered to pay $6.4 million by a Cobb County, Georgia jury today, resulting from a 2007 attack against Shayla Stevens at a club owned by Jermaine Dupri.  Da Brat, whose real name is Shawntae Harris has already served nearly 3 years of prison for the attack and remains on probation after hitting Stevens with a bottle and being convicted of aggravated assault. 

Da Brat had a once promising career as a rapper, but has been rendered into near obscurity since her release from prison.  Having a $6.4 million judgement attached to your reputation places even more negative attention on your brand.  While I'm not sure of what Brat's options will be to settle the judgement, all celebrities need to be careful when they're committing intentional acts that cause bodily injury.   

My Brother's Keeper

President Barack Obama introduced the most important initiative of his presidency today when he hosted an array of esteemed businessmen, political power brokers and other individuals of influence at the White House for the announcement of "My Brother's Keeper" which will focus on foundations and business leaders donating up to $200 million over a 5 year period to target minority youth of color.

Let's be honest, while esteemed writes like Jason Whitlock and Michael Wilbon debate over the relevance of the N-Word and how the NFL polices it's use, minority youth of color is the black communities achilles heel and future.  While The Affordable Health Care Act is The President's signature legislation, being the first black president and initiating programs to positively impact the young black male would impact his legacy in a more meaningful way.

A gathering that attracts Colin Powell, Bill O'Reilly, Rev. Al Sharpton and Magic Johnson is meaningful for more than a nice photo op and networking.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

3 Years Goes By Fast!

It's been 3 long years since by last post on this site.  I've missed so much, but so little has changed.

  • R&B music has been rendered nearly irrelevant unless you include the "ratchet" hip-hop that continues to hit the airwaves.  Quality R&B is simply being ignored as evidenced by the recent Grammy awards.  Nothing against John Legend, but when "All of Me" is the best that traditional R&B has to offer, audiences are being short changed big time.
  • LeBron James continues to be the dominant athlete that moves the meter at ESPN.  Now that Tim Tebow has been rendered a quarterback fraud, LeBron is back to being Skip Bayless' whipping boy on "First Take".  Continue to drown out the haters LeBron, you're doing just fine.
  •  "Coming Out" is now the "In Thing" for the professional athlete.  When did an athlete's sexual orientation trump performance on the court or field?  Just curious.
Like MJ said many years ago, simply, "I'm Back"!