Saturday, November 26, 2016

RIP Ron Glass

Corrected 12/16/16

 I know that it seems like people are really dropping off the planet in 2016 but the reality is that as we are given more spaces to share our craft, the more people are going to grace us with their presence.  One thing that I'm grateful for are reruns, as Ron Glass was one of the first the co-star on a major network sitcom in a role that did not rely on stereotypes.  On Barney Miller, he was witty, calm and never overtook a scene with even a hint of bufoonery.

As time passed, Glass managed to carry the same dignified persona in all of his TV and movie characters.  I just hate that he didn't get more mainstream attention after Barney Miller went off the air.  I'd have to say my favorite is when he played Zoe Saldana's father in Death at a Funeral.

Blackenstein is coming on Bounce TV tonight

 If you're tired of dealing with crazy holiday traffic and looking for something different to get into...the 1973 blaxploitation classic Blackenstein is here to the rescue.  In case you didn't know Bounce is now available on Spectrum/Time Warner.

Truth...I've never seen this one in its entirety but I think the trailer is pretty enticing.  Get yourself a bag of Chicago-style popcorn, a little something to drink or whatever will make you forget about Thanksgiving.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Remember the Variety Show? GET tv Channel Digs Up Retro Gold

Growing up I remember those with a lot of singing and comedy bits.  Donny and Marie, Mac Davis, Sonny and Cherry were just a few that I liked but GET tv is taking things further by airing short run variety shows.

Like I kind of remember Captain and Tennille and Diana Ross's shows but I never knew about Clifton Davis and melba Moore, Smokey Robinson and others.  Tonight they're airing the Temptations variety show and I recommend adding this channel to your favorites if you like rare treats such as this.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

L.A. Businessman/Philantropist Dies

E.J. Jackson, founder of Jackson Limousine, died Tuesday from a heart attack.  For more than 35 years, Jackson Limousine was a big part of L.A. culture.  Not because it was one of the few long-term businesses owned by a Black person but because of what E.J. gave back to the community.

Many people don't realize that life can get tough out here, even if you have the right connections or a decent job.  Communities change for the better and worse every day, and all some people have to look forward to having an abundant meal over the holidays.

This is not about celebrating a holiday that may glorify theft of an oppressed nation or promote gluttony.  Baby boomers and Gen-X intersections remember when family got together.  Good, bad or indifferent, there would be no moments like this.  While I'm not impoverished, I would donate a finger to bring back those moments.

Although some things can't be duplicated, E.J. thought of those  without the resources to enjoy this time of year.  For more than 20 years, feeding the needy was something WE got used to seeing on the A.M. news. 
However, it was less than a week ago that E.J. was on the KTLA morning news asking the public for a little help in fulfilling his annual mission.  I was touched because we all know that every bit counts but...he was no longer there to lead.

As a proud Angeleno, I will post updates on this because local heroes deserve as much recognition as those on the screen.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wayback Wednesdaze

This was my jam back in grade school (West Athens ES Class of '80!).  Sadly, we heard little else from Pleasure after the release of this album.  According to, they broke up in 1981.

However, I liked this song a little better because the backing vocal sounds a lot like someone who was also becoming popular in the late 70s but would go on to be an icon times infinity.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Fright Day Y'all

Who knew Mac from Night Court had it in him?
 In case you don't have Bounce TV...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Way Back Weds - Zoom

Truth.  I wasn't much into the Commodores back in the day but IMHO they had a few chill (as opposed to Top 40) tracks that were nice.  I've included the long play version so enjoy.

Oh yeah, I'm slowing things down because though I like uptempo music, the season calls for snuggling and all that other romantic shit.  Instead of play a bunch of things suited for the dance floor, I'm trying something new here, even though my love life is like meh, LOL.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stop It Reelz Channel!

If you're even a somewhat regular reader, you know I took Prince's passing rather did a lot of people.  There are even some quietly protesting the latest release of new songs (or song) as well as the Paisley Park museum.  Some diehards (or his sister) say he would've wanted it this way but personally, I'm gonna pass 'cause I'm still digesting it.

Anyway, anyone with cable knows that the Reelz channel likes to do tell-alls on the deceased.  They have Elvis, Marilyn, MJ, and now they're on Prince because I guess he's more "important" than Natalie Cole, Scott Weiland, Pfife Dawg, and many others we've lost in the past year.  Like Whitney Houston and others mentioned, the more sensationalized the life, the more shows they manage to create...even if it sounds redundant after a while.

This is the pattern I've picked up on (mind you, I haven't seen every topic on every dead celebrity).  The first deals with the general facts.  It's pretty mild and talks about what most people know along with 1-2 surprises.  This was the first that aired shortly (and I mean really short) after his passing in April.  Stock photos were decent but I could tell, as this person was part of my life 36/48 years, they didn't do their homework.

Following Reelz programs deal with their intellectual property, love lives, or how they transitioned out of this planet.  That's fine I guess but the public needs to take some things into consideration besides getting facts straight.  Prince fans are a whole 'nother breed of folks.  I'm not diehard but I remember quite a bit, especially the early years so it wouldn't hurt to dig a little for people that don't know about Wax Poetics or never read Right On! back in the 70s or 80s.

So, this past Saturday Reelz debuted Purple Reign and it was less than stellar.  Though I never cared for wife #1, the mispronunciation of her name offended me, it seemed to breeze through and not say anything different than the first tribute this his life.  The worst was the few stock photos used didn't coincide with the time period...and they weren't the best!

Back to the feelings of the fans.  We did not expect this (4/21).  It's super sad to imagine it was planned but sometimes we don't know how bad our own friends or close family feels deep inside until its too late.  Moreso if this whole thing (pills) was about keeping up appearances.  I kind of felt he would live into advanced age because so many people do now, while dealing with the what comes with it.

Forgive the digression but this is to say that maybe it would be best to switch off to someone who may have been an open book about their addiction during their lifetime.  Another idea are living celebrities with money problems and lawsuits.  I know the Gladys Knight story is very interesting right now.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

90s Child Star Files Lawsuit Against Parents

Many remember Rae'Ven Kelly as a young Anna Mae Bullock (long before she became Tina Turner) in the 1993 biopic "What's Love Got to Do with It?"  These days, the married 31-year-old actress has enjoyed a career that includes "A Time to Kill", " Hannah Montana", "Preacher's Kid" and many other credits.  However, it's her personal life that has experienced turmoil in recent.

Over the summer, she and her husband experienced abuse from law enforcement.  Before this, the veteran actress and her preacher husband Sean Dinwoodie filed a $1Million dollar lawsuit against her parents on the grounds of fraud, defamation, and breach of fiduciary duty.  Courtesy of Maya Hotblaze and Courthouse News Service.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Musical Tribute to Kashif

Once again, I have no words for the loss of lives in the past 12 months.  From the famous to those looking to make change in their communities #blacklives As you can see, Kashif (who also produced under the pseudonym Michael Jones)made hits for many pop and R&B artists, including a young Whitney Houston.  If you can ever get around to seeing his episode of Unsung, this brother made an incredible transformation from hardship growing up to becoming one of music's most respected producers.  Kashif also authored one of the most honest books about being in the music industry.


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Wayback Wed z...New Wave Edition

 A lot of people think of Adam ant, Duran Duran and pet shop boys but no one could do New Wave jams like Black folks.  Not being racist but think in terms of vocal quality and trying to keep a certain beat while being radio-friendly.  Andre Cymone, bootsy Collins and Cameo had serious alt-soul years before fishbone and the Bus Boys.  Got my brain percolating now, so I'm gonna be digging in the month of September.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Real Story Behind Talk to Me

If you saw this incredible movie starring the underrated Don Cheadle, then you probably wondered if he was real (I know...duh, but I'm from the West Coast.  His show didn't air here).  Anyway, a Petey Greene documentary, narrated by Cheadle, debuted last month.

Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Green is available for download at Amazon and Google Play

Wayback Weds Last Call for Something Silly

Yeah, first week back in class (on-campus) and it's kicking my chunky butt royally.  So, MC Brains was on my brain.  Had a list of older stuff but this is kind of fun.  One thing about it, at least it goes back to a time when hip-hop was fun and not  - 

  • violent 
  • misogynist
  • anti-Black/Brown
  • anti-Semitic
  • wack

...and not only did the video dancers have real moves but they didn't look like a bad science experiment. *Drops mic*

Friday, August 26, 2016

Can John Legend Help Save How Blacks Are Portrayed on Film?

 As you know, Southside with You (the Barack and Michelle love story) is now in nationwide release.  Its Executive Producer is recording artist/emerging media mogul John Legend and the reviews have been decent.  However, this is not his first foray into screen, as he is also one of three EPs behind the WGN smash series Underground.  This period piece about slavery has also been renewed for a second season.

So after years of Tyler Perry and Wayans Bros entertainment styles waning (slightly), does this mean that America gets to see more uplifting content in regard to black history with emphasis on triumphant moments?  I hope so.

I still appreciate the simplicity of straight-to-DVD/Aspire/BET/TVOne movies with a small budget and new faces, or those that were once popular (I see you, Robin Givens) but now are more humbled, I want to see something new.

Will John Legend come to the rescue again?  According to Rhymes with Snitch, a series about Black Wall Street is currently in development.  Here are some more facts, for those who are unaware of this period in history.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Way back Wednesday...still on silly

 Classes barely started and I'm getting my @ss kicked already. But I'm not tripping. Any of you old enough to remember the ABC trifecta (Happy days, Laverne and Shirley, Mork and Mindy) know this disco hit wasn't part of the line-up but as a kid in the late 70s, it was funny as hell to listen while doing the spank or a little popping.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WayBack Weds Kung Fu Fighting

I decided to do something different. Actually, it wasn't planned because I didn't know CeeLo Green did a cover of this. I don't have chirren in my life and I mostly listen to indie radio...or YouTube (obviously). Anywho, I thought it would be cute to compare the two. BTW shout out to Netter11 for getting the vintage performance of the late Carl Douglas at his peak in the 70s.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What Do You Think About Blaxploitation Remakes?

If Kevin Hart does this remake, I will jump off the Library Tower!
Since the shop has been open, I've heard rumors about TV show remakes (Good Times, Girlfriends) into movies, as well as classics that decided to take a dip in the chocolate pool (Uncle Buck, the Honeymooners).  According to Variety, Megan Good, along with husband Devon Franklin have joined forces with MGM to remake Cooley High.  As of recent, Common has gotten on board to star and produce...wonder which obviously-out-of-high-school character he will play.

While I'm glad to see mine going to work regularly, I could care less.  Or better, why not give more attention to indie flicks?  If you have Aspire, some of the shorts (and some not-so-short) are worthy of a wider release.  I'm only a fan and not a pro but if someone could take time to explain the process, I'd appreciate it.  And I don't mean what works for other folks, either.

Now, for those of you not familiar, Cooley High was not really a blaxploitation movie.  It was more like American Graffiti with a 'hood twist and it was just as cherished by the community as the original Sparkle.  I didn't mind the 2012 remake of the latter...if it had been called something else.

But I digress.  What I want to know is if the Cooley High remake goes into production, how much will creator Eric Monte receive?  If that name sounds familiar, he and Cooley High are listed in the closing credits (see above at 1:15) of the 70s sitcom What's Happening.  The show, which rand from 1976-79 was loosely based on Cooley High, with a slightly lighter tone and the setting moved from Chicago to L.A. 

Monte real-life persona, as a teen from the 'hood wanting to become a Hollywood writer,has been portrayed on screen twice but real life has had its ups and downs.  Although he's managed to land some guest writing spots on the Wayans Bros., Monte lost the rights to his original creation.  You can read a 2014 CNN interview here.

Who knows how many other stories are out there or who can at least drop some knowledge about having a great idea but learning how to deal with the legal stuff and still get PAID!  Once again, I don't know the technicalities of getting a movie made but I think this man deserves real acknowledgement (and a cut of the profits).

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Way back Jams (Something Different)

2015 and this year has been rough for serious music lovers.  Maurice White had been ill for nearly two decades and anybody who knows about Scott Weiland (STP) can say that making it to 45 was a miracle.  I remember more than a year ago seeing an emaciated Natalie Cole on the morning news bragging about going to have a cigarette.  The others....just tragic beyond words.

So why not a silly song for laughs?  Take a breather from bad news and go back to simpler Alligator Woman by Cameo when there was like 20 people.
I'll admit it's hard to dig into this special crate without thinking of the usual Kung Fu Fighting or Jungle Boogie...but I am on that mission in August.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Your ?'s for an Ol Skool Fool

Hey, I hope you're not on vacation again! I like the tribute to you know who but I miss the reviews.  Do you still watch old black flicks?  You used to give Indies a little love but that was a long time ago.  So what's up?

Going back to school when your old friends are becoming grandparents is rough but I would encourage anyone to do it😼.  Truthfully, my pattern lately is to watch a whole bunch in a short period and then switch to 1990+.  As far as indie flicks go, the only one I can recommend is The Man in 3b.  Besides the magic that is Lamman Rucker, its a good story with better acting.

Tried some others in the past few months. 1983 with Hill Harper and Sharon Leal was a little intense.  I like Aunjanue (or ingenue) Ellis and rented the Volunteer on her name only.  The only reason why I understood it was that I have family dealing with mental illness (another Hill Harper movie, btw).  I saw Divas with Rachel True and while the story was interesting, not even Vanessa bell Calloway could save it.

On the flip, I'm still watching the Mod Squad DVD collection and going further back with the black flicks.  Check out a young Eartha Kitt below

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Sir Mack Rice Music Tribute

The composer of classic 60s hits like "Mustang Sally", "Respect Yourself" and "Cheaper to Keep Her" has passed on at 82.  IMHO people who are behind the scenes deserve just as much dap as those who were more prolific.

Now, while we all know these ol school grooves, I decided to add a special treat.  Sir Mack Rice took a different direction in music, landing on his own funk island that smelled so bad it was GOOD.  I'd never heard these before today (even though one may have been on the soundtrack for some blaxploitation movie, IDK).  Anyway, I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.  Rest in paradise brother!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Happy B-Day Music Tribute

Early Prince recording with local band 94 East.  This is similar to upbeat tempo electronic beats found in a lot of 1980s R&B tunes.  Not sure if his boy Andre Cymone or other pre-Revolution musicians are on this but it's still lovely nearly 40 years later.

If you saw the Saturday night blaxploitation block on Bounce, you're better than me because I fell asleep a little more than halfway.  Now, if you understood Mean Mothers, then you deserve a treat because the beginning (with Aunt Esther's husband as a pimp/dealer) had nothing to do with the rest of the movie.  Can't say if it was so bad it was good because the budget was less than what's in my bank account.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Check Out Bounce TV Tonight for Blaxploitation Classics

Maybe not classics but movies that got some serious dust on them 'cause I ain't never heard of Mean Mother (1974) or The Murder Gang (I used to love the Brown Sugar on Saturday nights until Bounce got stuck on the same ol, same ol.  So just on a whim, I decided to look at what was doing for Sat. (since I really have nowhere to go anyway) and got a nice little surprise.

Truth, the plot didn't say much so I decided these trailers (with a crazy score playing in the background) would entice you to step away from cable for a few hours.  Oh yeah, if the topic of professional women gets under your skin, this may not be your type of movie.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Way Back Weds - Ta Mara and the Seen

 If you weren't into mid-1980s R&B/Dance music, no the header is not a typo.  I slipped in the past week or two so I decided to dig way back into the Minneapolis scene.  Discovered by long-time Time guitarist Jesse Johnson, this group was one of the first to have a blue-eyed soul female lead.  Kind of like Fergie but with way more range.

According to, their two albums are out of print but if you can score (I'm not ready to part with my Minneapolis vinyl just yet) a CD, Ta Mara was a welcome change from some of the vocally-limited females known to come out of that region during that particular time - and there was no mention of smashing, alone or otherwise, in the lyrics.

Speaking of erotic lyrics, not sure if Prince ever had a direct connection to this band since they were signed to A&M (back in the day P, The Time, Vanity 6 and other belonged to WB).  Anyway, I hope this talented lady from Morocco will make a comeback someday....even though it's been more than 30 years since her debut.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Way back favorite Time track

This is from their 2nd LP and Prince is all over this one.  Too bad nobody makes music like this anymore.

*looks for Van Hunt while counting down the weeks til D'angelo's next release*

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bernie Casey...Underrated (Seriously)

I’ve been thinking about Bernie Casey for some time and the unfortunate event on 4/21/16 has pushed me further to give props to our treasures while they’re still here.

Last year, I did a poll that asked the public who they felt the most underrated Blaxploitation actor was at the time.  The winner was the late Vonetta McGee but my personal choice was Bernie Casey for the following reasons.

His range of on-screen characters from the guilt-ridden officer on Cornbread, Earl and Me to the hard-loving but callous (he fed Pam Grier to a lion for pimping out his teenage sister...a real lion with fangs and shit) hustler from Hit Man and long before Dr. Huxtable, he portrayed a loving SINGLE father from the 'burbs on the short-lived network drama Harris & Company.  Let’s not forget the scary flicks like Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde or Gargoyles.

Like Prince, this Gemini has definitely about diversity in his career.  His image was also one of quiet mystery.  Like Jim Brown, he’s a former football player but his acting was a little more cerebral.  Casey has his own rugged good looks that surpassed the pretty-boy stance of Fred Williamson.  Yet, he seemed to be more about a fun and realness that Sidney Poitier and thespians before him lacked in their on-screen presence.  And though the super-smoothness of Billy Dee Williams still holds strong today, Casey is still in a class of his own.,,which for me, seems a little closer to earth.

Though most of his work is during the Blaxploitation period, he has managed to make appearances on TV and a few movies until about 2006.  It would be nice if Quentin Tarantino could give Casey one of Sam Jackson’s parts in his next flick or a strong supporting role so that he could be exposed to a new audience.

Below is a clip from his early 80s miniseries, Sophisticated Gents, where he and a few other familiar faces, like Robert Hooks and Thalmus Rasulala, from the Blaxploitation area show a more multifaceted side of themselves.  Finally, here’s a funny but offbeat article I read about Bernie Casey a few years ago.  Courtesy of Acid Logic.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Did Purple Rain Bump Miles Ahead?

For years, I've been looking forward to the Miles Davis biopic starring Don Cheadle (who also directed).  He is one of my favorites and I think it's about time that the public become educated on the music industry as well as the trumpeter, who succumbed to cancer in 1995.  The timing seemed perfect until....we lost another genius on 4/21/16.

A day I'll never forget as long as I live but in getting back to regular life (and trying to ignore the speculative reports), I want to see Miles Ahead more than ever.  It came to only a few L.A. theaters in early April, and if a person (like myself) lives south of the 10 Freeway, wait until 4/22 for wider release ...or deal with Hollyweird traffic.

So last weekend, I'm looking through the AMC website, where there are about 4 theaters within a 10-minute drive and all I see are the usual standards (an A-lister, sci-fi or really violent flick, and at least one cartoon) and Purple Rain.

I'm one of those people who saw the movie several times during its original release back in 1984.  Despite having the DVD, I sometimes catch the heavily-edited musical on VH1 while doing chores. Although 1986's Under the Cherry Moon (P was a hoodrat gigolo looking for a quick comeup with a blue-blood type chick but meets an early demise instead) was more original and I liked the score better, I get it.  Let's celebrate life but why can't two brothers be on screen at the same damn time?

Cheadle's been in the game forever and these days, I can't wait for him to take a load off of Samuel L.Jackson.  Even if you've never heard of Petey Greene, Talk to Me is more than Taraji in pre-Cookie Lyons mode.  Performances were beyond excellent and I hope that I live to see more flicks like this instead of domestic/slave movies that the masses like to shove down our throat.

This is not a slap for those who do this in real life.  I realize that my degree, skills or contacts offer me no permanent guarantees in life.  So in winding down, I don't want to wait to see Miles Ahead or see it at a Redbox next month.

Wayback Weds - Tribute to Prince

In case you didn't know, Prince didn't care for YouTube or many other streaming video sites (I have an opinion about Tidal but I'll keep it to myself).  So finding his (or the protege) videos were never guaranteed.  In fact, I once used 15 seconds of 17 Days for a promotion and got a cease and desist letter from his attorney less than a week later.  Of course, I honored it with no question.

So Madhouse was my favorite side project of his and hopefully I can snag the 24 album while I'm on this planet.  I have 8 and 16 in its original release and even a few 12 inch singles I'm now taking with me (I have no children, nieces or nephews ...nor younger cousins that appreciate's better than letting the cat inherit, right?).

Now, there are many videos to discover and if you're diehard like me, you may spend a pretty penny on some rare cuts (like when he was releasing 3-4 CDs a year...sorry I couldn't keep up I had bills).  From now until the end of June, everything will be Prince or the proteges for this series of posts.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

RIP Prince Rogers Nelson

Shit isn't the same now.  I knew the day would come, as with any of us but I didn't think the man wouldn't live to see 60.  As I type, I'm hoping that I can delete this but as more legit news sources are coming through, it's harder to ignore.

I can't think straight right now.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Way Back Wednesday....a Tribute to Leon Haywood

His funky hits have been sampled by Dre and countless others.  Singer and producer Leon Haywood passed away recently.  Courtesy of Soul tracks.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Way Back Wednesdays - Piece of My Heart x2

Feeling kind of quirky today so I felt a surprise was in order.  Sometimes I like when we cover records originally done by a non-Black artist.  Proves we can sing anything.  So here's the classic (Take a) Piece of Heart, which was originally done by Janis Joplin, covered by Erma Franklin (Aretha's sis, for those who don't know and she also did an awesome remake of Light My Fire) and Etta James.  Enjoy.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

RIP Ken "White Shadow" Howard

It's been a strange day and I'm still shocked. Went in for a smog check and tune up and left with a DOA Volvo. Back to topic...Only 71 years young and such an illustrious career.  White Shadow was probably the first drama to deal with mostly Black youth and issues like V.D. (remember that term?)

Anyway, I never understand why, 35 years after its last airing, that repeats of the White Shadow were never shown in repeats.  Most of the topics are still relevant today and the retro factors even more interesting.  Maybe Bounce TV will get an idea...

A Special Tribute to Phife Dawg

I think Malik Taylor is smiling from heaven right now.  Rest in Paradise.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Way Back Weds - Reppin for L.A.

Now, we've already got NY and ATL so who would I be if I didn't give one to South Central's Sylvester.  Once again, I've long 12 in. here so that you can get closer to a cleaner home.  Suggestion: getting down on those knees and getting cobwebs and other small detail between the wall and carpet, window sills, etc.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Wayback Weds. Spring Cleaning with GQ 12 inch

This is one I came to appreciate later on.  The bass line that leads to the bridge is something these kids today know nada about.  Maybe GQ will come back never know.Either way, you can steam clean each room while dropping it a couple of times - or better, cleaning out that oven!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wayback Wednesday Spring Cleaning Jams

This 1977 hit by Brick was one of my skating jams growing up. They were part of the early ATL sound that helped pave the way for newer artists. Anyway, this is the album version that's perfect for dusting or throwing out clothes you know don't fit anymore! (Bio courtesy of

Monday, March 7, 2016

Marlon Wayans Says Goodbye to Parodies and Hello to Prime Time

According to Deadline Hollywood, Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins will star in an NBC pilot based on the veteran comic's life. Atkins will play the usual type A/alpha female she plays often (see: Half and Half from the early 2000s)and Wayans will be a goofy but lovable character (see: old episodes of Wayans Brothers, In Living Color in the later years and 90% of his film work.

On a related note, he's done with parodies and I'd say the timing is just right (Rhymes with Snitch). I saw Shades of Black a few weeks ago and maybe it's may age showing but there's nothing funny about prosthetic phalluses but here's the spoiler...Carol Brady is funny.

Finally, I hope he's reconsidered for the Richard Pryor biopic (see audition tape above).

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Way Back Birthday Wishes

This week Foster Sylvers turns 54. Not sure if he's out or what but we hope he's had time to reflect and be a stronger person while away. Anyway, this was my jam in kindergarten and do the Robot with me if you just (like after 1995) learned this track is not J5.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Way Back Wed. Vanity+Morris Day

I'm glad she's no longer suffering and departed with a mission to spread His word.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Miles Davis Biopic Trailer

Been caught up in getting my ride straight and an A on winter finals.  Anyway, Don Cheadle is freaking fire in this.  If I were Will Smith right now, I'd be considering early retirement from acting because this right the true essence of Miles Davis.

Do check the trailer and all you will see is the truth.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Which Blaxploitation Actor Would You Like to See Make a Comeback?

New poll and maybe a chance for someone to get their last bit of shine before a new generation. When there's a demand, who knows what opportunities are around the corner. While Pam Grier, Antonio Fargas, and Glynn Turman still make appearances on TV in characters that are different from their 1970s film personas, many have transitioned into the pearly gates and people like myself are just now discovering their contributions.

While the 1990s film Original Gangstas (with the late Ron O'Neal) was a tribute of sorts to the original ghetto superstars,  we need to continue the greatness that is multifaceted and not stereotypical (and there's something kind of sad about old people doing battle...even if they do win in the end.  Yes?).  Don't let the less-popular blaxploitation DVDs die in the .99 bin at the supermarket.  Even if the quality isn't the greatest, get it and enjoy.

I still have a compilation to sort through myself so if you're asking 'Where the hell are the movie reviews? I don't want to see another music or RIP post!'  Believe me, I hear you.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Other TV Stations that Air Blaxploitation Movies

One good thing about last week’s discussion was that people were reminded that BET no longer shows old Black movies. Though the demographic has shifted, somebody under the age of 25 with a trade school education might appreciate the moral lesson that Cabin in the Sky delivers. For all the years I’ve been around, I don’t think they have shown any movie that starred Roscoe Lee Browne.

Anyway, Bounce TV alone is worth investing in and installing a digital antenna. I got an old-school (remember the rabbit ears?) one for less than $12 at Best Buy. It worked better than the fancy things that were $25 and up. In most cities, This TV is another digital channel that shows pre-blaxploitation era movies and others that aren’t too violent or “pulp”.

If you have cable, TV One and Aspire are good sources but Turner Classic Movies is turning out some gems. For a minute there, they seemed to be stuck on 1972’s Trouble Man with Robert Hooks but over the holidays, I got a real treat.

Before the recession hit my humble yet dysfunctional home, I would peruse the Amazon lists for the most rare blaxploitation movies. Some were disappointments but others, like Black Girl are worth the search. Abar, the First Black Superman was a nice surprise although the acting was mostly subpar and there were no known names attached.
The story is about a doctor who is making a serum that gives one super strength. While his intentions may have been good, he moves his family to a White (but looks like Inglewood/Baldwin Hills or Culver City adjacent) neighborhood. Neighbors are less than friendly but somehow when things get rough, a group of Black bikers comes to the rescue…not once, but twice in 20 minutes. The good ol’ doc suddenly gets the bright idea to recruit the leader, Abar, to moonlight as his personal bodyguard.

Although the constant presence of bikers wears down some of the White folks from protesting in front of the Black family’s yard, a few are relentless but get their just reward. Plus there’s a couple of other surprises I won’t let out. More people need to look to the late Jamaa Fanaka for making quality films on a budget, especially in the age of #oscarsowhite.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Wayback Wednesday - Oscar Edition

Still finding my groove here so I thought I'd hit you twice.

Before he was known to Gen X'ers as the lovable Chef on South Park, Mr. Hayes did win an Oscar for the film Shaft. The elders tell me that he and his gold chain tees were quite the phenomenon back in the day. Outside of this and the disco hit Don't Let Go, he made quite an impact on R&B music.

What can I say about MJ that already hasn't been said in the past 50 years. So much talent. So misunderstood. We miss you Mike!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Again with that Statue

Last week, those skinny b’s got on my damn nerves. One is mad because her husband didn’t get nominated and the other is forgetting where is bread is buttered. So once again, what about financing our own thing?
For those who want to get something going, don’t go after broke bishes like me and say we can’t unite. My heart is in the right place but my few coins are to ensure that I have a place to stay when I’m 70. Not to buy expensive shoes for hoes. Not to get a car with a name I can’t spell. And especially not to buy hard drugs or other stupid mess.
And take a better look. Asians aren’t getting noms either and if you want to find a Latino that’s down with the cause, let them in too! When it comes to creating a community with strength in numbers, you can’t have too many resources. And we can portray characters that are not dirty, stereotypical or oppressed. YAY! Hell, even go after some of those dealers-turned-moguls. They may not be holding the long bread like Buffett but this will give their asses an opportunity to be Robin Hood of sorts. Something for all with money looking to find wealth will think about…no?

For those who say they have to go through the man, I say have a talk with Spike Lee and other about distribution and word of mouth because I’m seeing a lot of Black/AA films get attention (and accolades) without traditional promotion.
Finally, let’s take a look at past Oscar winners. While Whoopi is still in the game and hasn’t altered her face to please anyone, others have not been so lucky. Halle, Jamie Foxx and Denzel work but don’t seem to have the same audience post-win. Mo-Nique, Cuba Gooding, Lou Gossett and others have been demoted to mostly straight-to-DVD or TV projects. Some, like Irene Cara and 3Six Mafia, have fallen completely off the radar.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Way Back Wednesday Rare Disco Classic by Natalie Cole (Re-Post)

 My apologies for not posting this sooner.  Rest in paradise.

That Little Gold Statue ...All That Glitters 2016

So it's nice that Mrs. Will Smith has something to say but does it really need to be said?   
How about saying something after other things have been accomplished?  
Such as no more police brutality, no more babydaddys, no more "uncles" and no more of our people using reality TV as a come-up.  

What about giving the average person some love because they did something good without being famous?  
What about showing off your kitty kat or eggplant to that special someone you plan to spend your life with instead of the world?

So in other words, it's one night of alleged celebration.  What about the other 364 days when people don't have a platform that makes worldwide news based on celebrity?  What makes people special?  Because they put out a movie or because they made a profound difference in someone's life?  

I say eff a celebrity and let's get back to celebrating real people!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Something You May Have Forgotten About David Bowie

Firstly, rest in paradise and thank you for giving us the gift of not only music but bringing gender bending to the masses and making it acceptable in pop culture.

Back in 1996, Bowie portrayed eccentric pop artist in Basquiat.  The biopic starred Jeffrey Wright and details his struggle with becoming a recognizable artist and substance addiction. My favorite Bowie song tied with "Fashion".