Posts tagged ‘Race’

Light and Truth: Exhibit A

May 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm 1 comment

Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2010

See also Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2008 and 2009. Coming very soon: Lolly’s Top 5 Hip Hop Hits of 2011!

I have no life. Law school is my controlling, jealous, guilt-tripping mistress/mister. I have been meaning to finish this post since December of 2010! The one thing I always have time for is listening to the radio on my commute to and from school. While top 40 stations leave a lot to be desired, they always have a steady supply of upbeat hip hot hits.

2010 was an incredible year for hip hop!! Eminem solidified his professional and personal comeback with his June 21 release of Recovery. “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” (featuring Rihanna) topped the charts, and his other singles and collaborations also enjoyed much success. Rihanna and Beyoncé continued to excel popularly and critically. Kanye West graduated with a PhD from Hip Hop University, and Runaway was his dissertation (Runaway transcends categorization and ranking, so it is not included in the Top 5). Hip hop dominated top 40 charts, and many of the hits were memorable. Below are my five favorite hits from 2010:

Runner-ups: “Nothin’ on You” by B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars, “Bottoms Up” by Trey Songz featuring Nicki Minaj, “My Chick Bad” by Ludacris featuring Nicki Minaj, “Fuck You” by Cee Lo Green, “Hey Baby (Drop It to the Floor)” by Pitbull featuring T-Pain

#5 Young Money featuring Lloyd − “Bedrock”

#4 Far*East Movement featuring Cataracs and Dev − “Like a G6”

#3 Kid Cudi featuring MGMT − “Pursuit of Happiness”

#2 Nicki Minaj − “Your Love”

#1 Chris Brown featuring Tyga and Kevin McCall — “Deuces”

January 9, 2012 at 10:18 pm Leave a comment

Team Snooki: “Jersey Shore” Returns for Round 2 on July 29

Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino called her “a chihuahua spray-painted black.” Cathy Horyn, a journalist for The New York Times, likened her to “a turnip turned on its tip” and described her as “incapable of serious introspection.”  A grown man punched her in the face.

Standing a mere 4 feet and 9 inches tall, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi is ethnically ambiguous (turns out she’s of Chilean descent but was adopted by Italian American parents), sexually curious, and outright boisterous.  She wears her hair in a signature bouffant, a smaller version of which can be seen on nearly every member of the 12-20 female demographic.  Snooki is the only member of the Jersey Shore cast to have her own Wikipedia page, and fans around the world eagerly await the August release of her talking bobble head.  She is like the fake-tanned, pint-sized version of reality princess Tiffany “New York” Pollard:  With plenty of curves in all the right places and a strange fascination with pickles, Snooki has a penchant for grabbing attention and inciting drama.

Message boards on YouTube and all the gossip sites are littered with trash talk about the self-proclaimed “guidette,” but Snooki seems to take it all in stride.  Although she battled an eating disorder in high school, Snooki maintains a relatively healthy body image, especially for a young woman under the media’s ruthless magnifying glass.

I hope the reality star has more hook-ups and fewer bruises this season, and I’m elated that she’s already signed on for round 3.  Jersey Shore would not be nearly as wet or as wild without her.

July 27, 2010 at 8:40 am Leave a comment

Lolly’s Top 5 Michael Jackson Songs

5. “Black or White” (1991)

“Eat this,” Macaulay Culkin says, in an “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” sort of music video. Call it ironic, call it corny, but it’s the best pro-miscegenation song to date.

4. “The Way You Make Me Feel” (1987)

Work out, groove, or make love to this song: It will provide the appropriate soundtrack.

3. “Will You Be There” (1991/1993)

Michael Jackson released “Will You Be There” in 1991 on Dangerous and in 1993 on the Free Willy soundtrack. The lyrics read like a prayer: “Hold me like the River Jordan”; “Mary, tell me: Will you hold me?” Jackson expresses vulnerability, sorrow, and hopefulness as a gospel choir sings in the background, crescendoing and decrescendoing like ocean waves.

2. The Jackson Five’s “I’ll Be There” (1970)

This love song manages to croon and groove simultaneously.  Michael and Jermaine harmonize perfectly as the lead vocalists, each of their lines flowing forward smoothly and sincerely. I imagine many brides and grooms use these lyrics as an inspiration for vows. I can also vividly envision teens and preteens in the early 70s swaying back and forth to the ballad at school dances. Mariah Carey’s cover of “I’ll Be There” was nominated for a Grammy in 1993.

1. The Jackson Five’s “I Want You Back” (1969)

Love and/or  lust isn’t as strong as you thought…until it’s gone…and someone else has a chance to do better. Young Michael sang this so sincerely that it almost seemed like he had experienced a broken heart. “I Want You Back” is naïve, honest, and groundbreaking. Like the love interest in this hit, we took Michael’s genius for granted.

I want it back.

June 30, 2010 at 4:10 am 2 comments

Shades of Grey

He stared into his cup, noting that the black coffee was not black, but deep brown. Not many things of the world were really black, not even the night, not even mines. And the light was not white, either, even the palest light held within itself some hint of its origins, in fire.
– James Baldwin, Another Country

brown, not black,
is the antithesis
of white.

December 31, 2009 at 3:38 am 1 comment

The Real Melting Pot

All so fluid
Ship sliding over

Welcome to the identity diaspora.

September 15, 2009 at 6:08 am 2 comments

Excerpt from “The Rental Property” (Rough Draft)

“I like your hair. What is it that you do to it to make it appear in that way?” Lera enquired as I primped next to her in the bathroom.

“Well, I have this straightener – top of the line – that does the trick.”

“You and I have the same kinky hair like a Jew or a Negro.”

“African American. Black person.”


“You can borrow it anytime. I don’t mind at all.”

“Really? Thank you! I’ll use it tomorrow before Robert and I go out. By the way, do you think you could watch over BJ? We’ll reduce your rent…”

“Umm…lemme think for a sec…That’s cool. I’m free as far as I know.”


The next evening I gave Lera a quick straightener tutorial before going on a short run. It takes me about 15 minutes to smooth out my long, thick hair, so I figured Lera would be done well before I returned. Drenched in sweat, I knocked on the bathroom door in hopes of taking a shower.

“Come in,” Lera croaked. She glared at her image in the mirror as she frantically ran gel-coated fingers through her wilted curls.

“Zis is a piece of crap!” she barked while slamming the 300-dollar straightener on the counter.

“Hey, I paid a lot of money for that “piece of crap”!”

“I don’t know for why. It doesn’t even vork!”

“If you wash that gel out, I’ll just do your hair for you. Show you how easy it is.”

“I already wasted too much time. Do you mind giving me some privacy?!”

Lera’s incompetence and impatience clearly took precedence over my cleanliness and comfort, so I let her wallow in her frustration as I went outside for a well-deserved cigarette.

Lera and Robert got in late that night, so I didn’t see her until I returned from classes the next afternoon. She had cut off all her hair and had bleached what little was left. She looked like an albino Martin Short.

“Who did your-”

“I just wanted something new,” she shrugged her shoulders in a manner that suggested I delve no further.”

I found my straightener placed next to some wet rags by the sink and moved it to the highest shelf. If Lera ever needed to use it again, she’d have to use the step ladder. I had a quick flash of her – hair grown out and ready to give straightening another go – reaching, falling, and breaking her neck. I couldn’t keep right corner of my lip from turning upward.

July 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

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