Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Re-formation: Beyonce, Kendrick and the resurgance of black self worth


 

It’s crazy that certain segments of white America (inclusive of Stacy Dash) are all up in arms about Beyonce being “unapologetically black” and flaunting it at the superbowl.  Not that I expect everyone to be pleased with a politically charged performance on the world’s biggest stage, but I would at least hope that those reckless ranters emboldened by internet anonymity  would have the common decency to get their facts straight. First of all, Beyonce isn’t unapologetically black….she’s just rachet.  Secondly, there’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Tak: Back talking that shit. You gonna upset the armchair activists and more importantly…the Beyhive.

Chain: LOL at “more importantly.” Only hive I respect is the future hive…and it aint like we’re slandering queen riri.

The term unapologetically black makes it sounds as though black is something wrong, or something that we should be ashamed of. It also insinuates that there are “black” and “white” behaviors. Putting hot sauce in your bag? That aint black (even though a lot of N-words do it)!…that’s just rachet…kinda like the hood girl from Houston who wanted a “soldier” in 2004, wanted somebody to pay her “telephone and auto-mo-bills”  in 1999 and more recently, in 2006, told her constituency of fellow rachets to “pat their weaves” feverishly.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against beyonce…I actually like her…and after the superbowl performance, I can say I love her. So much that the Bros even remixed her song as part of this blog entry.

Obligatory break for hot fire!  #BringBarsBack.


 

Now why, you are probably asking, would I love someone who I just described as a little hood booger ashy to classy rachetized phenomenon? Well…because she represents something our black parents have been telling us for decades; Beyonce represents the ability to be yourself. Don’t worry about what people think, because if our grandparents had, the Civil rights era would’ve never occurred.

 Back to Beyonce.  She country yall! She probably dips her biscuits in gravy and really does keep hot sauce in her bag the same way that people of an undisclosed race tend to do things like bring ziplock bags of prepared sandwiches to amusement parks or ask you “what you do for a living?” as soon as they meet you. Would you call that unapologetically [insert race of choice]]? No, you wouldn’t. Would you call a vegan “unapologetically [insert race of choice]]? Would you call a skydiver “unapologetically [insert race of choice]]? You get the point.

 

That being said, lets get onto why I love “straight from the H to the O-O-D’yonce” and her performance.


For years black people, and other people of color (without good hair) have been told that their “look” is not ideal. Even in an era where mainstream society is able to recognize the beauty of Lupita Nyong’o and her strikingly African features, they still aren’t willing to recognize the regular black folks. 

Society says....

Bros say....


Tako: Did this n-word just say “good hair.” Lord .

S: Just a lil’ Nappyheaded Sarcasm. #Facts. 

 Our people have been constantly placed on either side of a polarizing spectrum which says we have to be the lovable quiet and subservient yes man, or the impulsive egotistical and flashy asshole whom everyone detests (turns on ‘life of Pablo’.) Be the church girl or the neck snapping black girl with the attitude. Be the accountant with his pants jacked up to his belly button or the rapper in 6 gold chains in a Cadillac truck. In THEIR narrative of OUR modern day history, there is no room for middle ground. Every time an “event” occurs, you constantly hear “he was a good kid” or “he was a thug”, but never the truth of “ well, he was just a regular dude”, “you know, the type who does more good than bad, likes liquor, weed and hoes but never got arrested…blasts rap music about the trap he’s been to but never lived in after he was 10… memorizes the lyrics to songs about illicit activity that he’d never do, written by rappers who’ve never done it. Oh yeah, and he carries hot sauce in the whip.”


One Pac
2 Pac

 This portrayal almost never makes it to the public eye…keyword almost.
In Beyonce we have a saving grace as she is fair skinned enough to be universally nonthreatening, humble enough to be in touch with her southern roots, and rich enough to not give a fuck. Ironically, It takes someone of a superstar caliber such as herself to be able to give a voice to the voiceless…the regular black people. 


 

This isn’t about beyonce being anti-police, or pro-black panther…this is about her using her voice to call attention to what she feels is important. What [insert race of choice] people can’t stand, is the fact that she’s claimed ownership of her own voice rather than sit aside quietly as a high yellow ventriloquist puppet.  Blood of a slave, heart of a king? How about skin of rosie perez and soul of angela Davis. You go ‘head queen Bey! Whether we agree with your message or not (which we do), You’ve worked hard to be in the position that you are in and its good to see someone using their influence for what they believe in.


 

 Oftentimes people don’t like to look at the ugly truth because it’s…well….ugly. Pretending racism doesn’t exist by ignoring it and attacking minorities who show evidence to the contrary isn’t productive, in the same way that posting memes of unarmed black men who were shot side by side with armed white men who weren’t does nothing to facilitate helpful discourse on policing. For this reason, I'm not going to get into a sidebar asking why it is OK for Donald Trump, a candidate for the United States highest, most esteemed office is not held to the “beyonce standard” when he speaks his mind preaching cultural and religious intolerance as well as general expletive laced nonsense. This is another story for another day.

 

Shout out to Beyonce for getting people talking again, and shout out to kendrick lamar for making people listen.While their performances have polarized people and highlight the racial divide in America , showing how all sides really think, they do have people who have often considered themselves apolitical, questioning the merits of both sides of the debate.  Discourse is happening, and as of now conversations are taking place.

 

May the wind be at your back, grease be in between your cornrows, and hotsauce in your bag. 

-_broey Newton

Monday, February 29, 2016

#BringBackOurFathers



In this post the Bros aim to do something a bit different than we have done in the past.

Rather than fill your head with our own crazy conspiracy theories and witty societal critiques, we are going to present you with our observations and in the end, ask a question rather than answer it. Maybe in the end, this exercise of asking all the right questions will eventually lead us to the one which provides the answer, but I'm not making any promises...because in the word's of the greatest blond singer of all time, "I'll never make a promiseeeeeeee, that I can't keep..."well, except for the "I promise ima just bust quick right now so that I'll last longer in round two" one.




Today's observation deals with one very distinct population, single white females...and no, not the kind you see late night on spice TV or online at bangbus, you know, the things wet dreams are made of...I'm talking about the other kind of single white female. I'm talking about the hardworking, destitute, exhausted single mother working day in and day out to try and make ends meet. The kind that is a part of the 40% of white families who receive food stamps (...of which black families make up 25%).








Tako: Sensing extreme shadeeeeeee.

C4: Ha!

In walking past the Bus Stop the other day, I saw something that I see often time and time again, a  White mother who appeared to be poor, with a mixed race child standing Alone. This of course leads me to the following questions, some of which I can answer, others which I cannot:

Why do I not see white women with white babies standing alone? Hmmmmm.

Why are they at the Bus stop? Most likely because I don't not see the ones in cars.

Do more single white mothers have cars? This could be because a larger % of them aren't as poor.

What about the ones who are just as poor, where are they? Possibly being assisted by family.

Do white people value family more? No, Impossible. Everytime you hear of a family being killed, its disgruntled white kids.

 

Tako: Shade.

Are there more single white mothers? Doubtful.

Are there more absent black fathers? Probable. 

Are black fathers more prone to leave? (Silence)
Why....?




When you take the time to delve deeper into what has become a pervasive part of the urban landscape you realize that something deeply profound is happening. The society of the working poor is changing right before our eyes as we see something that Hiphop and Fashion designers have been seeing for years...Black men influencing the culture. This time, however, society is being left with the byproduct of our hurt, resentment and overall sense of apathy rather than the cash cow of cultural appropriation. Instead of young white girls receiving the "new world" from their Black Columbus's...In-di-ian (pronounced in thee end) they are left with nothing more than a figurative bout with smallpox.



The plight of the young white woman, (I'm being serious so don't suck your teeth), is not only bad in that it shows a lack of moral fortitude in America, but because it also further exacerbates stereotypes of the inadequacy of the black male. This is a narrative that we ourselves have to change, and which we can only do by breaking the cycle. While yes I do realize not all single white mothers fall into this category and that many minority mothers face the same problems, I will say that the unique set of circumstances which lead to this particular situation are directly a result of the juxtaposition between black and white. Allow me to explain.




Honestly, I can't call it dawg...I don't know if our current rate of absenteeism is a result of one of these things or all of these things but they undoubtedly have a symbiotic effect on our cultural behavior. For generations "the cycle" has existed; Black men learn from generational observation that women are the primary caregivers and heads of households while "fathers" are often transient, incarcerated, financially dependent or non-existent. Combine this with a single black mother who wishes nothing more than to care for and love her family, eventually living the American dream of a stable family and marriage environment...a single black mother who will to encourage you to date within your races as she sees herself in each of these young black women, some of whom need to be reminded of their own self worth, and others who need a man who gives them no reason to ever doubt it.  Let's recap...black mom wants you to marry a black woman, not because shes racist but because she wants to recreate a better, loving version of what she's always strived for.



Fast forward ten years and the black male, whether in high school or simply high school aged is overcome with hormones and bombarded with the stereotype of white girls as "easy", "submissive" or at the very least, "more passive." Mom doesn't want me to marry a white girl, but that doesn't mean I cant have fun with one, right? (The reverse of this would be the similarly hurtful thought of a white woman who knows she wants to marry a Caucasian hedge fund manager but still wants a good spearing for a Mandingo warrior. Lol.)  Combine this family dynamic with the already negative stereotypes of black men floating around in society. Centuries ago we were thought to be sex crazed rapist beasts...now we're thought to be lazy, no-good and ignorant abusers. This may cause the females family dynamics to be as such, or at least to be perceived as such:



White dad: (Secretly glad daughter's black bf has walked out) "I told you so. They are no good. But we will support you."

Which leads to....

Black Bf's thoughts: "She'll be aiiiight. Her family got bread."

Or...

White dad: We told you not to mess with their kind. You are dead to us once you have that baby.

Black bf thinking: "it's not like she's going anywhere...her own family dont even fu*k with her."

Tako: Bruh. You couldn't find a pic of ANY other black man.

In the end, my aid isn't to perpetuate these stereotypes and scenarios but merely to acknowledge they exist and pose a question, how do we get this cycle to end? Maybe by communicating our experiences with not so healthy relationships and facilitating cross cultural discussion we can form better, stronger, more loving relationships in the end. While none of the above reasons are an acceptable "excuse" for a man walking out on their child, they are oftentimes the catalyst. In order to diffuse the powder keg that is the interracial single parent household we need our black fathers to fan the flames. Stop making babies just because they'll have pretty hair and you'll have no responsibility. Stop going raw inside girls you have no intention of marrying if you know your pullout game is weak as a mikes lemonade...and ladies, stop sleeping with every Tom, DICK and Harry with the freshest J's when you know that a man who wont even hug you in public or acknowledge you on social media aint finna claim no baby. Stop keeping Maury in business....and more importantly, #Bringbackourfathers...(white women can't braid hair as good anyway.)



We may not have all the answers, but we sure keep the people talking...and while some may have the same face as 80% of the audience during Chris Rock's Oscar monologue when they read this, at least we know they got the message loud and clear.





The key to bringing back our fathers is asking this age old question :  "why are they leaving?"

-Bros

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Tunnel Vision (Pt. 1)


Tunnel vision (N)

1 :  constriction of the visual field resulting in loss of peripheral vision 
2 :  extreme narrowness of viewpoint :  narrow-mindedness; also :  single-minded concentration on one objective

With Merriam Webster's definition of tunnel vision being such a simple one, you would be hard pressed to find a segment of the population unfamiliar with its meaning and intent. This being said, the irony present when gaining a deeper understanding of the definition, is that people often have too much tunnel vision to realize they are not exempt from its perils. Deny it all you want, but you....yes you....may be a victim of tunnel vision, seeing only what you want to rather than the actual truth. While this type of blindness from reality can occur in all facets of life, its research is a grandiose task, and for today we seek to tackle only one element...fashion...well, more specifically, hair. Hold on to your stupid undertaker hats and baby micro Jesus pieces fashionistas...It's gonna be a wildly eye-opening ride (pause.)

 Stupid Hairstyles: Men


While wildly popular in regard to his infectious crooning to the female species bringing out the inner groupie, freak and dare I say, whore, the weekend has started the godawful trend of what I'm going to call the "dread hawk." Now I myself come from a culture where weirdo shit such as this is frowned upon...I mean, come on b. We don't even rock bald fades (or anything with the sides shaved) anymore. Maybe I am a throwback to a greater era.....maybe I'm just a disgruntled oldhead and this trend seems perfectly acceptable to the mo-hawk generation. Who knows? All I know is that this aint fly my g.

 And to those of you who claim this is not a widespread style I challenge you to look at the challenging landscape of young, rich ni**as.  (See the emphasis on rich because nobody is hiring you looking like this, unless you have someone as cool as me for a boss)

NBA player Eldrid Payton
Aka the ni**a who looks like the ni**a from Hey Arnold
 And then there's emo America's sweetheart, J "zzzzzzzz" Cole.

Col(d) world.


And once famous people start doing it, regular dudes think that they can bypass fame and wealth, thereby getting to the Yams at the same rate via a similarly stupid dreadlocked up-do. 

 
 I rest my case.

Stupid Hairstyles: Women

Yall ladies couldn't possibly think you were exempt from this post, could you? Not with all the post-cassie fuckery going on on the right side of your heads. There was a time when only Jamaican dancehall artists rocked this hairstyle, and I cant lie...it was kinda hot. Now, however, it has worked its way into the realm of regular woman-dom. Not only do we men risking looking stupid by grabbing air, should we try to pull your hair from the wrong side while tappin dat azz, but we also risk the chance of being catfished if we catch you from a side angle. Shit, you are even doing yourselves harm ladies! If you wear your hat on a slant like T.I or adobese from OZ we may even mistake you for a man or butch lesbian. But forget all that....own your identity...girl power! Black girls rocks! White girls kick ass! All that good shit. Forget what we men think and do what's best for you!

 

Now that you've allowed me to articulately get out of being called a misogynist and walk you into this set-up I will say that this style is NOT what is best for you. This "look" may be the equivalent resume killer to a face tattoo. Should people judge you by your hairstyle? No. Will they? Yes.

Congratulations. you are an independent woman who doesn't care what the male emphasized standard of beauty is...but you've gone to far and now you don't have a job. Good luck being independent.

The biggest problem of all caused by this phenomenon is...you guessed it....our good friend tunnel vision.

While you think you look like this....





You really, more often than not, look like this.





Unlike Mr. Mackelmore's hit lyrics tell you, however, "You can change...even if you wanted to."

So do it. Do it now.  Be the change you want to see in the world. Lol.


Culturally Appropriate Hairstyles: Men


Now don't get me wrong...there's a lot of guys out there rockin the fly perms.

Tako: Thats a disclaimer because you had one for the first two years I knew you. And this was in philly! During the 2000's!!!

C4: Facts!

Moving right along..... the problem is most people just come of looking ridiculous and that's just me keeping it 100 with ya soul brother # 1.

 

Trinidad: Rock approved. Jidenna: Rock Approved.

Wja3: Rock. Suspect.


Chill homie. I can't lie...there's something calming about feeling a girl's hands through your "freshly relaxed 3/4 cherokee, women mad cause their hangtime aint like mine, manicured mane." For a time, on the East coast, and an even longer time on the West, this was the wave. Shit...ask Jim Jones, Ask Max B. Girls wanted to be with them and guys wanted to be them. Sadly (in my opinion), that time has passed. Finding time to get perms as a grown ass man is also not optimal.

 

That fact alone often leads to more tunnel vision than you would believe. Men often go out, pinky ring shinin', thinking they look like this.....


 

When the reality is they, more often than not, end up portraying themselves quite differently. See below:


Poor James Brown
and Poor Asap "My baby's father left me" Rocky


Worse still.....

The oldheads..... Hey uncle C!
And the Pimps (outside of Chicago and Detroit where this is acceptable ONLY because its better than finger waves.)

 Culturally Appropriate Hairstyles: Women

Now I've never been one to characterize anything as exclusively white or black, (like whites did to drinking fountains and entrances back in the 40's), as I am an equal opportunity hater.  Certain styles, however, do not translate to all hair types, and whit a great deal of white people having finer hair, I would kindly advise you to stay away from cornrows for your own good.



Why Kim Why? (And why didnt Ye' stop her)


I understand you may be in Jamaica and it's "the thing to do" or you view it as a "low maintenance" beach style that is super cute, but just don't let that tunnel vision set in.

Tako: Ummmm hmmmm Girlfriend.

In the end, and in the absence of good friends, you will think you look like this.....

 

When all the public can see is this.....

   

Friends don't let friends look foolish unless they've lost a bet. It appears this generation has a lot of learning to do or else there are going to be a lot more posts in this series. Nobody is a protected class, nobody is exempt. This is like Charlemagne's Donkey of the day, only unlike in radio, Internet ridicule lasts forever.

-Bros

**disclaimer: don't feel as though this is an insult to you. You are free to rock any hairstyle you want regardless of color, religion or creed. The right to look cool, or stupid, is a choice that is all you own.

Monday, February 22, 2016

It Goes Down in the DM...and it Should.

It goes down in the Dm….no, really, it actually does.

  

     For those of you unfamiliar with rapper Yo Gotti’s now infamous song , “It goes down in the Dm” or what he is referring to, please allow me to elaborate.  “The DM” not to be confused with the DL (pause) , is shorthand notation for social media platform Instagram’s “direct message” feature.  While typical Instagram posts and messages, like those on facebook, can be seen by all, or at least all of those in ones friend network, the DM is an exclusive back alley chatroom with just you and your intended recipient. Wanna know the best part? You don’t even have to know the person to send a DM (I imagine this could get annoying for females). Wanna fuck a celebrity? Hit them in the Dm. Many (guys mostly) have even been known to reply (see: Knicks guard J.R. Smith).

This is a real DM. LMAOOOO.

     Now if you think this is as shady as slim sitting under a beach umbrella, you are right. It is shady…but guess what? There’s big business in infidelity.  The question which arises out of all this, however, is whether or not this is a good thing or a bad thing. The natural inclination would be to say “fuck no it’s not a good thing”, because everyone knows “cheating is wrong” but of course the argument to the contrary would be, if people are gonna cheat anyway, at least allow them a way to do it without embarrassing their significant others and influencing the moral compass of the rest of the world.



Welcome to the Dm’s….the urban Ashley Madison where nudes, d*ck pics and illicit affairs turn from insta-fantasies to reality. 

Built into the Direct Message Feature is the ability of the user to “block” anyone who posts objectionable material or whom they simply do not want to send them messages. Sounds perfect. If you’re single and that sexy little porker from work you always wanted to romp with but didn’t want anyone to know hits you up, score! If the old flame from college decides you should re-connect over lunch and neither of you want your current, not so serious significant others to know? Double Score. She can get some side di*k without upping her body count (men she’s slept with) and he can get the smitten kitten for the cost of a few latte’s.  The Dm even works for those lonely nights when HENNYthing is possible. An ugly girl or guy you don’t know slides in your DM? Hey!? Why not. Nobody will know and you may get a free meal, cop a feel or even half of their income tax refund in return. Splash!

It's me....
So far, the DM sounds like the stuff dreams are made of. Champagne showers, diamond bubble baths and unicorn p*ssy. So what’s not to like? Let’s say you are not so single…you are in a longstanding, highly publicized relationship and some old flame, or new hottie strategically maneuvers into your dm. You automatically block them right? Right? … Right? Oh you didn’t? Ooooooooh you nasty.

Umm hmmm

Have you ever heard the phrase, “a person is only as faithful as their options?” Well lets just say that maybe our parents (for affluent minorities and most non-minorities) and Grandparents (for the rest of us) had longer lasting marriages because they didn’t have as many options.  As frightful as this seems, it may be rooted in some truth. Whereas nowadays people have access to the opposite sex via email, text message, telephone and every app imaginable, back in the days it was either in person or via phone. Now if you are married and live together that would mean you most likely would be having an affair at one of the few places you would be without your significant other…that would be work, business trips or possibly the gym. Check the statistics!


 Even that being said, you clearly wouldn’t be making phone calls in your home which you wife and children could overhear, so the window for engagement would be that much more limited. Now, people operate in the exact opposite fashion. Silent text messages and kissy faced emojis which can be sent with 1 finger while cooking dinner and fixing the kids lunches for school. The DM is real…and it’s poppin’. This, undoubtedly scares the hell out of people, but it shouldn’t.  Putting yourself in a bubble has never been the best way to protect yourselves from the worlds ills, the same way that ignoring a sickness has never produced a cure.

  We all remember the girl in highschool who’s parents wouldn’t let her out the house unattended and how when she got to college she drank 151 and semen at a rate of 1 liters per minute. Maybe the DM is the cure for all this! Maybe the DM is the antidote to all of the pent up sexual aggression in society…a place where flirtation blurs lines and where people who previously felt like they were suffocating can now feel as though they aren’t missing out. Of course this opens the door for others who are truly about that life to push limits either further, but these are the type of individuals seeking such deviance who would do it anyway. Only this time, its being done with a catch. The block button...a safe word. If ever you feel out of your comfort zone you can always terminate at will. 

 

The best part of this, is that it is all behind closed doors thereby sparing your family and significant the embarrassment and shame for an act you never actually committed. I bet your grandma would’ve preferred Grandad in the DM rather than drunk feeling on booties at the local tavern or colmado, listening to her friends (who's husbands were doing the same) say “you know he’s no good.” Now this isn’t saying that we condone sexting and all of the other nonsense that goes on in the DMs (hell if you're sending him racy pics you may as well give up the butt) , but you’ve gotta take the good with the bad. People refuse to admit that sometimes you have to look at what other people are eating, or at least the entirety of the menu, to feel better about your menu choice. Sometimes you have to dip your foot in the water to know it’s ice cold and don’t want to dip anything else in there, feel me? 
 

For men, the visual creatures that we are, I feel like we have strip clubs for this. Wonder what it would look like if those titties you were sucking every night were white instead of Black? Hit the strip club (just not in Bridgeport….try Milford). Lol.  Hey, sometimes you gotta see pink nipples to know you don’t want pink nipples, feel me?



 Women, unfortunately, don’t have this same type of venue.  Women have the Dm. I ,however, am OK with that, because in the end, letting her see all the clowns her single friends are forced to deal with only solidifies your status as the king that you are.  As long as her Blocked to read ratio is about 90 to 1, I can live with that…any more than that and “tell that ni**a to chip in and pay some bills.” LOL. Case in point, it does go down in the DM….and it will continue to do so, like it or not. So stop crying about it.

-Bros