Thursday, October 11, 2007

New Jacks Are Back

We (black people, or people of other cultures greatly influenced by Black American culture, born in the United States after 1980 and before 1990) are, quite literally, New Jack Kids. So many of our cultural references were spawned from this era that is largely credited to have begun with a newspaper article about the drug-infestation of Detroit.

Consider this:

-Journalist Barry Michael Cooper published an article in The Village Voice entitled "Kids Killing Kids: New Jack City Eats Its Young," in December of 1987. He goes on to write the movie New Jack City, loosely based on drug lord Nicky Barnes.

-The term New Jack Swing was coined by Cooper to describe the sounds of producer Teddy Riley. Popular 1990's groups like Jodeci, Guy, Boyz II Men, Color Me Badd, Digital Underground and artists like MC Hammer, Ralph Tresvant, Johnny Gill and R. Kelly all release hits under the genre.

-Ice-T released his hit "Cop Killer," after starring in New Jack City.

-Different World premieres in 1987 and is considered to be part of the New Jack era.

..........................Fast Forward to the 2000s:

-Bryan "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams found Cash Money Records after the Cash Money Brothers in the film New Jack City.

-VH1 Hip Hop Honors pays tribute to the New Jack Swing era.

-LL Cool J rhymes, "Now you Nino Brown/Rock roller wit' so much ice your cap's polar."

-Lil' Wayne begins a musical trilogy with Tha Carter, the name of the crack house Nino and the Cash Money Brothers use in New Jack City.

-Kanye West raps, "I ain't one of the Cosbys/I ain't go to Hillman."

-Young Joc puns on the move with his album titled New Joc City.

-Jay-Z raps, " Im like Pookie in New Jack/Clinked up with the roof back"

Saturday, October 06, 2007

The Glam Squad: Brown Suga' Edition

There is an old adage that says (and I'm paraphrasing), "You don't where you're going if you don't know where you came from." I take this completely to heart and am always quick to give props to women that came before me that are doing the damn thing. I feel so fortunate because I am constantly bombarded with images and profiles of women of color that are slaughtering negative stereotypes and chucking the deuces to that passe glass ceiling of opportunity. And the best part is, they do it all with great skin, shining tresses and oh-so-chic stilettos. G-L-A-M-OR-OUS indeed. My top picks:

Tia Williams: I luv, luv, luv this woman! I read about her in VibeVixen mag a couple of years ago and instantly became a certified SYB (shame on you if can't decode the acronym!), ran out and copped both of her books and decided that I would be just like her, but only still me, lol. I met her when she came to D.C. two Springs ago and ran up to her and hugged her the instant she walked in. She was probably a little taken aback, as we were strangers, but I had to explain that I felt like I knew her and that she was my role model.

Mara Brock Akil: She created one of my favorite shows (Girlfriends) and successfully changed the television landscape to include successful, intelligent black women from all spectra. Take that "Lisa Turtle" stereotype! Following that success she came back with The Game and changed the TV game yet again. Most importantly, she's a former Journalism student at Northwestern. Now who says Journalism majors don't make any money?

Lisa Price: You guys know I luv everything Carol's Daughter (especially in the Ocean collection) and the affection does not stop with the line's creator. Queen and I were so honored to meet her last Spring when she visited Howard University and spoke about her early financial struggles and the arrival/influence of Steve Stoute (the m-f-ing dude that brought in heavyweight investors like Jay-Z and Will Smith). Plus, she's got that great balance of work and family with her husband and sons. Luv, luv, luv her.

Christina Norman: Four words-Doing the D**N thing. Let's run down her stats: President of MTV since 2005, former President of VH-1, credited with hauling the network out of financial ruin with hit shows like The Fabulous Life of... and The Surreal Life, undoubtedly one of the most powerful black women in Entertainment. Need I type more? Me likes.

Get inspired people!

Whitney :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy October!

Happy October! I luv this month....there's Halloween, My Birthday, Oktoberfest, Boo at the Zoo, The Texas State Fair, My Birthday. Another happy event? DailyCandy, the fabulous style/lifestyle email wire-service thing, has FINALLY got a chocolate-y image (see pic). I realize most people do not view the website as a Life in the City survival guide, but I do, so it's big for me. The drawings are always so cute and chic but sooo very vanilla. Check out the Dallas version, the editor's a Brown Girl and extremely smart and funny.

Take this mini-post and look for longer ones soon. Guys, I have sooo many ideas in my head and actually have started no less than 4 blog entries in the last 2 weeks that I never finished....I think they call this, blogger's block?

Luv Ya Like A Play Cousin,