Hey there folks. Lately, I’ve felt the need to share some words of encouragement in an effort to help those feeling fatigued by the pursuit of their dreams. I’m a believer that a lot of times in life, we as humans go through situations that really test us and force to either grow or shrink. Looking back on my life, I can recall countless experiences that have helped push me to evolve. But as I’ve gotten older, and I like to think wiser, I’ve realized that the things that have happened to me on my journey in life happened not only for my own benefit of growth, but also to help someone else. That is if I’m willing to open up and transparent (which is definitely not an easy thing to do.)
Marvel’s Black Panther film is hands down one of my favorite movies of all-time. I know some people will say it’s too early for me to make such a claim, and others may argue I just bought into the hype. However, I guarantee that it’s not too early and if I bought into the hype, it’s because the movie deserves every bit of it. The Ryan Coogler project is probably one of the only films I’m willing to pay to see in the theater multiple times (I’ve seen it twice already, and really wanting to go see a third soon). I’ve talked about the movie non-stop since I’ve seen it, and have even pledged my allegiance to Wakanda forever. With that said, there are five takeaways I got from my new favorite film.
Greetings folks! As one of the last new posts of the year, I wanted to give a year-end review of sorts. When I say review, I mean a “Top 5” list for 2017 of various things in entertainment, politics, and sports. I know some of you will agree and others will argue with my lists; but hey, they’re my lists. Oh and I’ve also included five things I wish would happen in 2018. So enjoy!
Lawrence vs. Daniel
If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the amazing show Insecure, let me warn you that this post will contain spoilers. So before you read any further, do yourself a favor and watch the series. Heck, stop missing out on a movement. Issa Rae created something that is “hella” creative, “hella” funny, and “hella” reflective of the awkwardness that exists in all of us. Particularly, when it comes to matters of the heart. But anyway, onto the premise of this post.
Going into last night’s MTV Video Music Awards, I, like many viewers, was led to believe it would be a night paying homage to the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award recipient, Rihanna. For weeks, MTV and various news/blog outlets had been hyping up this year’s VMAs as a celebration of the island beauty. There was word that she would have this epic performance that would leave people breathless. And on top of that, it was announced that Nicki, Ariana, Future, and Ms. “Britney B*tch” herself would be headlining performances. So with this line up alone, I thought the VMAs would at least be better than last year. But then, oh but then, the rumors about Ye and Queen Bey began circulating. And that’s when I knew Rihanna’s spotlight was in danger of being stolen.
Let’s start with the VMA red carpet. So as a proud carrying card member of the Bey Hive, I’ll admit that Rihanna can sometimes give Bey the business on a red carpet. There have been times when I’ve had to say “ok Riri, you did that.” So if Ms. Fenty was going to start off the night on a good note, I expected her walk the carpet in an outfit that only she could pull off. Welp, she didn’t do that. Beyoncé on the other hand turned heads. While I’m still not necessarily a fan of the dress she had on, when paired with Blue Ivy, I’ll buy into the look. Plus, she had the Mothers of the Movement as her special guests. To be honest, her shutting down the carpet was the moment the VMAs became about her.
Now let’s talk about the actual main event. Rihanna’s opening was a little flat for me personally. Her makeup and hair looked great, but all that damn pink was distracting. I love the songs she performed, but I was still a little underwhelmed. However, up until the appearance of Mr. West, that was the most entertaining part of the night.
Mr. West is a genius. As confusing as his rambling can be, if you pay really close attention, he’s saying something. Last night, he was indeed saying something. But it wasn’t his speech that overshadowed Rihanna, it was that epic video. “Fade” deserves a round of applause, standing ovation, and every award possible in the very near future. Teyana Taylor almost walked away as the real MVP of the ceremony.
Whether you’re a man or woman, gay or straight, if you watched Teyana Taylor dance in that video, you were slightly turned on. Between her outfit, the dance moves, and the body, I got overheated. And it had nothing to do with the summer weather. She has become the epitome of body goals. I hope after that video premiere, that she finally gets the credit she deserves as an amazing talent. Heck, she wasn’t even in the building last night, and I was more impressed with her than any of Rihanna’s three sets from yesterday. That includes the last set where pop’s princess actually sang flawlessly (for her that is).
On to the performance of the night. Beyoncé Knowles Carter. How MTV gave her the opportunity to perform Lemonade on a night that was supposed to be about Riri, I just don’t know. I’m not complaining, because as a Beyoncé super fan, I was excited to see her. And her performance, as always, was in a lane of her own. The outfit changes, the “cakeage”, the dancing, the twerking, not to mention the vocals. I was here for all of it. If I had to critique anything, it would be the fact that Serena was there, but didn’t pop anything on stage during “Sorry.” Bey left it impossible for anyone to follow her. ANYONE.
Before I wrap this up, let me make it perfectly clear. I like Rihanna. I’ve long admired her for creating her own path in this music industry, and for her unwillingness to be molded into something that’s she’s not. However, if MTV was going to honor her with the most prestigious award of the night, they didn’t have to invite two of the biggest names in music to upstage her. Especially, Beyoncé. Queen Bey owned the red carpet, the stage, and heck the awards (given she won 8). So you all tell me, who this ceremony was really celebrating? That’s all I’m saying.
So while I’ve never written about a web series before, I felt compelled to write about the new smash hit About Him. Without hesitation or pause, I can genuinely say that this Signal 23 TV show represents some of the best original programming online. Having only watched two episodes so far, I’ve been thoroughly impressed and entertained.
In the midst of the water crisis in Flint Michigan, the ongoing violence in Chicago, the growing prison population, and the very real possibility Donald Trump could become president, this country is currently more fascinated by the fact the Oscars are once again heavy on the salt, and EXTREMELY light on the pepper. If you catch my drift. Without being distracted by the real issues that plague this country, I decided to add my two cents to this award debate. I mine as well.
As 2015 winds down and 2016 vastly approaches, there are a few things I wanted to share with you all. I want to thank you all for visiting According to T. When I started this blog in May of this year, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had dreams it would become this great site, but I secretly was nervous it was going to fail. Call it the pessimist in me. Well thanks to you the readers, According to T is steadily growing and I’m grateful. It feels good to know that people not only visit my blog, but enjoy the content and are appreciative my little nuggets of wisdom. Going forward, I hope to provide you all with even better material next year. Because most of what I post is contingent upon questions you all ask, make sure you get those into me. Remember, no subject is off limits and everything is kept Anonymous. So here’s to 2016! Before I say bye to 2015, let me leave you all with my year end round-up.
Like many of you, I woke up this morning to hear the British “Queen” herself drop not only a kick a$$ new song, but an amazing video to match. If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a HUGE Adele fan. So her releasing new material today put an extra pep in my step on this Friday. To not have released new material in years, and then to gift the world with “Hello”, I’m almost speechless. And having already pre-ordered her new album 25, I thought about a few reasons the music industry should be rolling out a red carpet and taking notes leading up to her latest project’s debut.
If people hadn’t heard of Adele after the release of her first album, they for sure heard of her after the release of 21. To give you a reminder of just how big this project was, it was the biggest selling album of both 2011 and 2012 selling over 30 million copies worldwide. “Rolling in the Deep” alone sold over 7.6 million copies, and was infamously covered by music legend Aretha Franklin. Plus the album earned the Brit 7 Grammys, 3 American Music Awards, and a host of other awards and nominations. My point here, the success of her past has folks eagerly awaiting to hear anything from her.
- No Club Bangers and No Smoke and Mirrors
It’s pretty spectacular that Adele is such a force in the pop genre, and yet she doesn’t really follow any of the typical female popstar rules. I mean think about it. She’s not known for pumping out music people are itching to hear and twerk to in the club. (Not counting all the beats “Rolling in the Deep” was remixed with). When she performs live, she doesn’t have a stage full of dancers, and herself may give you nothing more than a run-of-the-mill two step. And for a female pop artist, she seemingly doesn’t play the sexy card. Don’t get me wrong, I think she is a gorgeous woman. Truly! But she doesn’t play up her beauty in a sexualized matter if you catch my drift. (Hope I chose my words carefully enough here LOL.) The fact that Adele can own a stage and audiences’ attention just sitting behind a piano or standing in front of a microphone, really is a compliment to her craft.
- Offers the Best Vocal and Lyric Combination in the Game
There is no one, and I mean no one, who is mastering both lyrics and vocals better than Adele right now. Now I’m sure there are people that will read this and in their mind attempt to vigorously disagree with me on this, but in this instance they would be wrong. Look folks, I love Katy Perry, think Jill Scott is a musical genius, and am a proud member of the Beygency/Beyhive. But if I’m honest, Adele wins here. Heck, the first time after listening to “Hello” I got in my feelings a bit. And I’m not even in that stage of life right now.
If you haven’t heard the song yet or just want hear it again, go ahead and give it a click. And to Adele, welcome back!!!
Happy Friday folks!
I, like many, have a difficult time saying goodbye to summer. The end of summer means no more backyard cookouts, no more warm sunny days on the beach, no more drinks on city rooftops, and no more t-shirts and shorts. However, one of the best things about the emergence of fall is the return of great TV. And this week, we saw some of entertainment’s best. For those that tuned into the Big Four networks, I’m sure you could agree. So as a part of Firing Off Friday, I decided to list the top 5 moments of premiere week.