From politicians to pop stars the message this week was go big, or go home. On the political front we have well over 400 days until the presidential election and we already have some folks in financial trouble.
Former Governor Rick Perry is giving his staff an IOU because he can’t pay his bills; essentially his bags are packed and at the door. Bernie Sanders, everyone’s favorite lefty is nipping at Hillary Clinton’s heels not only in the polls but garnering crowds in the tens of thousands.
#BlackLivesMatters is proving that disruption is part of America’s founding principle forcing bi-partisan attention to the BLM movement. They ain’t going home anytime soon—so buckle up candidates, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Janelle Monáe and her Wondaland crew are showing us all what it means to be “woke”. This week The Electric Lady released a revamped version of her song, “Hell You Talmbout”. Between the hypnotic beat Janelle and other featured artists including Deep Cotton, St. Beauty, Jidenna, Roman GianArthur and George 2.0 chanted the names of slain black men and woman whose lives were taken by police.
On her Instagram Monáe said that she wanted this song to be “vessel” that “carries the unbearable pain of millions”. Janelle Monáe continued her reign when she explained her Wondaland collective as “a movement to help lift the community with music and show a different perspective of young black artists.” Mission accomplished!
Pop Off of the Week: Sucker Punched
What happens in an NFL locker room no longer stays in the locker room. What would cause someone to sucker punch his teammate—breaking his jaw? $600 dollar debt.
The fight (well you can’t really call it that when only one person is swinging) occurred in the New York Jets locker room, when IK Enemkpali, a reserve linebacker, cold-cocked fellow teammate Geno Smith and team quarterback in the face. The altercation began because of a charity event, which Enemkpali paid $600 for Smith to attend but he didn’t show. Smith said he would reimburse but didn’t and then the gloves came off. Now, Enemkpali is off the team and Smith is out for the next 6-10 weeks. Who knew charity events could cause such violence?
Poliwood Round-Up: Trending Topics in the #BlackTwitterverse This Week
Trend of the Week: #StraightOutta
In 1988 the world was introduced to the unapologetic rhymes of N.W.A. with their debut album “Straight Outta Compton”. During their reign as America’s #1 Gangsta Rap group they brought attention to the over-policing that was occurring in Compton, poverty, drugs and more.
Now, over two decades later the biopic of how group members: Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy-E, Arabian Prince, DJ Yella and MC Ren came together. The marketing for the film, which included a meme generator, has been flawless and went viral this week with a “Straight Outta” meme—even the White House got in on the fun.
THREE: Teen Cultural Warrior
Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg is dropping more knowledge about cultural appropriation and this time it’s for Dazed and Confused magazine. In the feature Stenberg had this to say, “I want to make things that have an impact on how we look at the world. I know it’s a tall glass to fill, but it’s a glass that really does need to be filled, as an African American woman.”
She goes on to discuss her thoughts on other conscious teens:
Sometimes I meet teenagers who are much wiser than many adults I’ve met, because they haven’t let any insecurities or doubts about themselves get in the way of their thoughts.
I can’t wait to see what she does next—this is one girl that is on FIRE.
The seriousness of street harassment just received another powerful voice. This week singer Alicia Keys wrote an essay on her site discussing how she used to dress like a tomboy to deter the harassment from men on the streets.
Here’s an excerpt:
I definitely started hiding when I got old enough to walk down my NY streets alone. I started to notice a drastic difference in how men would relate to me if I had on jeans, or if I had on a skirt, or if my hair was done pretty. I could tell the difference, I could feel the animal instinct in them and it scared me.
ONE: September Just Got Bey’d
How many times can one person make history? If you’re Beyoncé your only limits are your imagination. Queen Bey just landed Vogue’s coveted September cover. Beyoncé is the first black female artist to grace the September issue. While this is Bey’s third cover for the publication, September is the issue that everyone in the world waits for with baited breath, they even made a documentary about it.
If the opening lines aren’t going to have you running to the stands August 14th, I don’t know what will.
Writer Margo Jefferson begins her piece with this:
What do we want from the glamorous, powerful women we call divas or icons or cultural forces? We want them to want—and in our names get—everything they possibly can. Success in work and love. Sexual pleasure. Money and power. We want them to embody multiple fantasies. We want them to make us believe that exciting realities are just around the corner.