7 Jan – { New Year, New Us Looking Mug }

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The writers here at Kennethology wanted to do something different than what we did last year “25 Things That Need to Stay in 2014” – and although we troll everyone that makes resolutions, we felt the need to share ours for this year of great expectations.

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From Tina:

1. To be petty as possible. This is an enhancement on last year’s midyear goal to give up being the bigger person. i’m not making an intentional decision to be as petty as humanely possible at my own discretion.
2. I resolve to not give white folks a break. i’mm burn a candle for your tears.
3. Say no to fkc boys. (As noted last year, this is a lifelong recurring rule)
— this year… I shall also terrorize them. Because…. See #1
4. Be better with my money. And by be better I mean – spend it how I want even if that means I blow $200 on tacos. Shut up. Lol
5. I resolve to force Kenneth to fix his fkcing memory. It got worse last year. How that is possible… Only the devil knows.
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From Sydney:
1.  I resolve to kick more small children that I see wylin the fawk out in grocery stores. If their parents won’t discipline them, I feel it is my duty to step in. I might even buy a cape. No mask though. I want them to remember my face. No Child Left Without their Behind whooped. Selah.
2.  I resolve to hold my purse tighter around white men and to yell “Unclean” and point at then whilst doing it. You know…to be fair. I like fair.
3.  I resolve to eat more animals. All things that had a parent. I’m trying to build lean muscle and most wild animals are great in protein. I know most vegetarians and vegans will place 1000 poxes on my house for this, which is fine, as long as they also are high in protein.
4.  Lastly, I resolve to break every mirror in Ken’s house, including his phone. He still takes too many selfies and I blame these drunk ass mirrors who keep pumping his already monstrous head up. We get it muffoccur, you swole. Shit
Tina’s commentary on Sydney’s resolution:  “Maybe because his memory sucks…. And he forgets that he just took a selfie 5 mins ago. Like goldfish…”
Sydney’s response to Tina’s commentary on her resolution:  “Dude. He stay on selfie lol

Blowing me. Nobody forgot how you looked. ‘Cept maybe your bad memory having ass…”
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From Kenneth:  
1.  Take way more selfies – the people need to know how I look.  I know I have a John Salley-Miguel Nunez type face…but I’ve learned to love this long face – and I want others to love it too.  Trust me, the people want this.
2.  Get more sleep that is not induced by ZzzQuil – even though on the bottle it says it’s non-habit forming…what I find is addictive is the sleep that comes from the drug…but NOT the drug itself…so I’m good.
3.  Wear way more black.
4.  Sculpt a Michael B. Jordanesque type body…Kenny Creed what they call me.  I would join a boxing gym and box…but the notion of sparring and someone knocking me out might get them shot.  Because black-on-black violence.
5.  Seek clinical help regarding my horrific memory.  It has gotten worse – and it’s to the point i barely even care.  I don’t remember and I don’t care…which is horrible.
6. Not only listen to more – but actually embody the essence of the ratchet music I listen to.
– Kenneth

24.Sep – { Guest Blog: “Profiling” by Shaniqua }

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I am not racist in any way shape or form. But racism does exist and my eyes were opened yesterday when an incident occurred in a hair store. I walked into the hair store which I visit frequently. Normally I do not receive a greeting, but I just ignored it and didn’t pay much attention to it. The gentlemen looked at me as I walked around the store. I went to the wigs section and proceeded to try one on. He then told me I could not try on a wig unless I bought it. I said okay and handed him back the wig. I walked around the store and he followed me to every section I went to. Approximately five minutes after following me he then told me to get out. Shocked I asked why. He then told me again to get out. I then again asked why and proceeded to state that there is no reason to kick me out. After going back and forth with him for about another five minutes I left the store. As I walked out the store it hit me. I had been racially profiled and kicked out of a store because of the color of my skin. I have been in the store several times and each time he followed me. When people of other races enter the store they are not followed at all. And I have also been in the store as other people who are not African American tried on wigs and were not told to take them off.  As this very fact hit me, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Anyone who knows me know that I am a pretty strong person but this is a tough pill to swallow. To know that you are not treated with decency and respect because of the color of your skin is very disheartening. As I left the establishment and came back home I sat and thought. I’m upset because I got kicked out of a store but what about my ancestors that were brutally beaten and killed? What about during the civil rights movement when my ancestors were tear gased and beaten? Instantly I erased my hurt and turned it into strength. I realized that I have no control over how others treat me, but I only have control of how I react to it. This man and NO ONE will ever break me down like that again. I am aware that I will be treated like this again at some point in my life but I will not let it affect me negatively. It will strengthen me and build me up. I will continue to prosper and grow despite what racism throws at me. I wanted to post this to inform you. Racism does exist. Do not stay blinded and think that everyone has good intentions because they don’t. Be informed and be careful. Do not let how others treat you tear you down. Let it strengthen you and help you grow and prosper into the person you are meant to be.

Peace and Blessings,

Shaniqua

***you can visit Shaniqua’s blog, and read more of her writing here:

CLICK HERE

23.Sep – { Wondaland’s EEPHUS Blessing and the Reign of the Electric Lady }

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Janelle Monae is better than you.  I felt the need to start this post with making sure you knew that.  And that’s not subjective, that’s just fact.

I was blessed with the chance to go see Wondaland during their EEPHUS tour – I caught the Portland leg (thanks Mia).  Friends knowing people that manage Janelle kind of gets you out of long lines and into VIP with the quickness – and trust me when I tell you that was a blessing because I got off of work and hit the road for a 3 hour drive south to go have my soul fed…and bruh, they brought a buffet.

So I’m sitting in the VIP section and le drink is flowing and the DJ is killing it, playing everything from Electric Relaxation by TCQ to Fetty Wap yodeling “1738” – the energy in the crowd was amazing.  Then it happened, the lights went down and a group of people came on the stage.  We all started screaming and then we heard someone destroying a guitar, this person was none other than Roman GianArthur – they opened the show with a PRINCE cover and everyone in the venue was given an extra-life like we were on Super Mario Bros or something.  During this concert Janelle showcased her band of talent:

  • Roman GianArthur: I truly believe this humble young man was born out of era, but we thank music-jesus that he’s here with us.  His set made me feel like i was a former share-cropper in a juke-joint sippin moonshine that Ezel made from beyond the creek.

 

  • Deep Cotton: Is lovely rock with eccentric soul ..they had me completely charged with their presence and I’m looking forward to their album…

 

  • St. Beauty: These 2 are so gifted – the neo-soul vibe exuded them, but it wasn’t the typical neo sound…very free flowing and chill…i felt like i should have been sipping some malbec while listening to them… “we aint goin nowhere!” (love that song)

  • Jidenna:  DO I REALLY NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THIS LANKY LIGHT-SKINNEDED HOMIE? The message in his music and his presence just makes people happy…love this dude!  He destroyed the concert…

This cast of superheroes is the hottest thing going right now…period.

I want to take a minute to talk about how Wondaland came to Portland and hit the streets and rallied against police brutality and the murder of blacks in America – THEN put on a FREE concert.  That’s right, the EEPHUS tour was a FREE tour…they just filled the venues to capacity and only turned away those that wouldn’t fit in safely.  So…Janelle got her squad together, toured the US for free and also used their platform to speak against social injustice? JANELLE MONAE is better than BEY, she better than RiRi and if you don’t agree then you can shut up and get off of my blog…right nah.

This woman came out wearing her usual black and white, with an outfit that covered everything to her neck, and with grace, she destroyed her set.  My favorite part about the concert was while Deep Cotton was performing a song featuring Jidenna, from the angle I was sitting – I could see Janelle backstage, she walked right to the curtain and stood there with the biggest smile on her face, purely enjoying her artists do what they love.  True artistry.  That evening I became a HUGE Janelle stan and I don’t care what anyone says about it.  I will continue to dance in the most carefree manner to “Electric Lady” in the mornings or when I’m feeling down.  The night ended with them performing what I believe is this generation’s “we shall overcome” – they performed “HELL YOU TALMBOUT” – that was singularly one of the most electrifying moments in my 35 years of living.  My sister and fellow Kennethology blogger, Sydney Charles called me after she attended the concert and tried to convey to me all of the emotion and excitement she had..i heard her, but didn’t really get it.  After attending myself – i get it.  And if you missed it…SORRY –  YOU SUCK…

*****IF YOU’VE NEVER HEARD “HELL YOU TALMBOUT” PLEASE WATCH******

 

kennethology shirts

 

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PURCHASE SHIRT HERE

I’ve been getting messages about the relaunching of the shirt…I need at least 20 people to buy a shirt in order for the run to go through…so it would behoove those that buy shirts to encourage others to do so as well…

Are you a kennethologist?, an enthusiast of all things kenneth?  A friend of Tina, Sydney, Brandy, or myself?

Then stop being a jerk – and buy a shirt 🙂

– Kenneth

19.Aug – { Straight Outta Compton – Short Review }

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*Walks over to the stereo and opens the cassette deck, gently slides Lench Mob tape in…glances over to my big brother Maurice – “All on My Nut Sac” comes on…we violently embrace sacs and begin rapping every single word of the song.  It’s 1992, I am 12 and Maurice is 13 – and we were both very excited to hear what Cube had done since leaving N.W.A.  It mattered to us, not only because we were N.W.A fans, and never really took a side on the whole Cube V. N.W.A beef…but we were Hip-Hop.

The level of nostalgia that surged through my being while watching the brilliance that is “Straight Outta Compton” last weekend, is really hard to put into words.  But what’s even harder to put into words is how great of a job F. Gary Gray and Cube did with lacing this narrative with the events current to that time and how it impacted the group and their music.  Namely, police brutality, racism, and dealing with the Rodney King trial.  The riots and marches that brought national attention, eerily similar to that of Baltimore, Ferguson or any other place that the blacks are tired of being treated less than human.  They revived the emotion and feeling behind the mantra “FTP” – made you yell it at the silverscreen while they were performing it.  This time though, recall of recent events brought forth your own personal energy towards chanting the hook of one of the most controversial Hip-Hop songs every created.  Nothing is ever perfect, so to demand perfection in any bio-based movie would be absurd.  I heard some people rambling about how Snoops character didn’t look like Snoop, or Dre’s character (Corey Hawkins) didn’t look like Dre…..yeah but Corey Hawkins is a graduate of Juilliard, and he nailed the essence of Dre.  Grow up people.

Great Movie, great production, and great job bringing relativity to the narrative.

I give this movie 5 tootsie rolls and a 40oz of Old E.

– Kenneth

 

 

16.Aug – { “Hell You Talmbout” – The Question/Song of a Movement } with Tina Nagbare

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I was living and minding my own business on Thursday when Janelle Monáe blessed us with a new track out of nowhere. In case you missed it I’m talking about “Hell You Talmbout”. If you haven’t heard it yet, I invite to pause for a moment and go listen to it here: https://soundcloud.com/wondalandarts/hell-you-talmbout

No really, I’ll wait. Go listen. https://soundcloud.com/wondalandarts/hell-you-talmbout

I’m a fan of Janelle Monáe, but this isn’t just about my fandom (she’s awesome though) – how does she do this? Why does she do this to us? I’m still trying to recover from “Yoga”.

There has been a lot of talk about Kendrick Lamar’s “Alright” being the song of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. I’m not fighting that, but it’s never really resonated with me in that way. I needed something more – something to evoke fight in me when I got tired and not a ‘feel good’ song. Then my girl Janelle showed up right on time. Oh! let me count the ways…

1. Title.
The name of the track is “Hell You Talmbout”. I actually just stared at it for several moments to process and eventually just nodded my head in agreement. I get it. Off top, she’s letting you know she doesn’t have the time. It’s not even a real question, it’s rhetorical. It’s a question that you ask with a screw face because you’re letting the person know you already don’t believe their answer. Why? Because we already know what you’re going to say won’t make sense. It’s actually in your best interest to acknowledge that the question was asked, but not attempt to answer it. Just stand there in silence and accept judgment. Kind of like when your mom asks you if ‘you’ve lost your mind’, but you don’t actually answer because you know better – an answer will only escalate the situation.

AND the phrase is written and said in the African-American Vernacular (some of you call it Ebonics) as if to say, no one gives a d**n about you and your proper English. She’s not here for your respectability politics, but we knew that when she told us to “get off my areola”, right? LOL! Unashamedly Black. PS: That’s STILL the greatest line I’ve ever heard sung.

2. Lyrics.
Ok, so I get past the title and the track starts (music and melody will be addressed next). The entire track is simply calling the names of those who have been slain at the hands of various levels of law enforcement and there are so many reasons why this is important.

a. No one was expecting this because…. how could we?

2) She has clearly aligned herself with the #BlackLivesMatter movement – on the slight chance there was any question. #SayHerName / #SayHisName has been one of the main campaigns of the movement to acknowledge that people of color are not just statistics or media headlines, but also people. They are full, entire human beings with families, friends, life goals, emotions, failures, ambitions, etc. and their humanity matters even in death – say their names. Those names…. those lives matter. Don’t forget that and ask yourself why there are so many names to be said.

 

And the *way* the names are said… with unexplainable levels of passion, exhaustion, and desperation. Is it just me or do the background vocals on the hook sound like the chorus of an old negro spiritual?? No? Just me being extra? Ok, fine.

iii. Context – She took me out by saying Emmitt Till. I wasn’t expecting that. By acknowledging that this is not merely current event content for our 24hr news cycles or add-ons to campaign reporting, she is reinforcing the message that these conditions of government-sanctioned abuse on Black bodies are the norm that Black people have been living under for generations. And like the race riots of the late 60s, we’re tired of it. The acknowledgement from Emmett Till to Sandra Bland is powerful. This is no new news, the struggle continues. That awakened something in me.

3. Melody.
Life. I got life from this track. I’m not a musician (unless 3 years of piano lessons counts for something), but I can recognize certain elements in how this song was composed and produced. And the first thing I heard was the drum. War drums were used for centuries in battle. It was a part of the communication system for troops and they were also used to let the soldiers know they were marching into battle and to help keep the pace. But the African in me loves a good drum. Drums are very an important symbol in African culture and they are present at practically every important event and/or celebration. We have celebration drums, talking drums, drums used in healing ceremonies, drums for rites of passage, drums to represent royalty, drums used in worship….. Listen… Africans love a dance ceremony and we love drums. I won’t lie; it took me a minute to even get past the drums and hear the rest of the song because there was something in that drumbeat that my body responded to immediately. Like performing a dance that pays homage to departed loved ones or that acknowledge the ancestors at the beginning of a ceremony. A dance that originates from deep in one’s spirit – from a place of reverence and respect. A dance that causes your body to move without you even noticing. This song activated that part within me – my African roots – almost immediately. And the more I listened to it, the more it gave me Fela Kuti type vibes. I like it.

THEN when I finally heard the HBCU marching band feel of the song I was done. I got all the feels. There is no mistaking there is something in this composition that links it back to African and/or African-American culture. I don’t even have words for it, just pure genius.

Well, this is it. This is what I was looking for – a battle song. A song that pulls from, as one person said, “deep in your spirit”. As far as I’m concerned Janelle Monáe has provided us with the protest song of the #BlackLivesMatter movement because it captures the rebelliousness, resilience and unapologetic attitude of our generation. This for me is our “We Shall Overcome” or better our “Strange Fruit”. But don’t worry, just like there are several songs associated with the Civil Rights Movement, there’s a place for “Alright” in our playlists as well. “Hell You Talmbout” just blows it out the water. #SorryNotSorry 🙂

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Janelle Monáe’s statement about the song: 

“This song is a vessel. It carries the unbearable anguish of millions. We recorded it to channel the pain, fear, and trauma caused by the ongoing slaughter of our brothers and sisters. We recorded it to challenge the indifference, disregard, and negligence of all who remain quiet about this issue. Silence is our enemy. Sound is our weapon. They say a question lives forever until it gets the answer it deserves… Won’t you say their names?”
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