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

 

 

28.June – { Bougie Ratchet Manifesto: White Lines in Black Sand }

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Good evening to those that are reading this now – and if you’re late and reading it at a time that does not rest in the bosom of the evening…then either wait to read in the the evening…or put on some shades.

It has been awhile since any writer for kennethology has written/submitted anything for the blog.  I have not been hard pressed to request anything either.  There have been times when I’ve made slight mention of wanting someone to submit something, but sense I hadn’t been writing anything…i just left it alone.

This was really because… as it pertains to social media, we were pouring out to the masses regarding all of the racial injustice and unrest nationally/internationally.  It was just too exhausting.  One of the things that became increasingly lame was having to repeat ourselves in the way of educating a huge demographic of whites that were completely clueless on terms and social behaviors that are backed by statistical data and personal experience.  We are well-versed because it matters to us.  They typically don’t know because it only affects them when we (the blacks) are accusatory to the power-holders in this country….then and only then do they want to chime in…and typically they’re shooting from the hip – and they’re shooting blanks at that.

Sooooo….

While talking to Tina the other day we came up with a good idea!- the kennethology team will do our due diligence in adding a tab to address “FWRs” (frequent white responses) – so when people are poppin’ off at the mouth, we can just link them, let them catch up to a minimal level of knowledge so that we can at least have a decent conversation regarding race in America.  This tab will include frequently used terms like:  racism, prejudice (there’s a difference), micro aggressions, marginalization, cultural appropriation, gentrification, and prison industrial complex.

As much as i would hope this would help others become more knowledgeable…in the end I have little to no hope that anyone would read it and become enlightened.  More often than not, they’ll read in order to manufacture a rebuttal – but at the end of the day, at least we don’t have to re-type everything…because at this point I’m standing at the finest of lines.  This line separates the ken you’ve known, and a descendant of Seales and Newton.

This fine line created in black sand with with the white sand of an hour glass.

***don’t ask me what that last line means, it just sounded dope when i said it in my head***

– Kenneth

6 Jan – { The Case for TaKisha }

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So………

I’m over the stigma of black people’s names being ghetto….and I admit that I used to be guilty of that mindset.  If I came across a Marquise or a Jamesha, I would think “Why would their parents do that?” – This mindset of course powered by the thought that names that clearly reveal that you’re black are taboo and unprofessional. Which of course is birthed from the thought that blacks are unprofessional.  We take lightly and laugh at the notion that some people don’t get hired for jobs or called back for interviews because they “sound” like they reside in the housing projects…THIS IS NOT OKAY.  I have indeed had a great change of heart.  This change is a result of me maturing and embracing who I am, and black american culture as a whole.

At work I had three young women that I had to work with from time-to-time.  They’re names were Shanique, Tranesha, and Jameque.  Two out of the three resented their names.  They felt that their names were ghetto and that they wouldn’t be taken seriously.  They’re feelings were valid – unfortunately the majority of you reading this post, if you saw their name on something, would write them off as “ghetto” – and assumptions regarding their personality, work ethic, and professionalism would come into play.  ABC News actually did a piece on “Black and White Sounding Names” and research found that by names alone, white sounding names on resumes/applications were downloaded 17% than black sounding names….tsk, tsk, tsk.  I had to encourage these young queens to embrace who they were fully, and if they’re names revealed that they were black – AWESOME!  It’s better than being named Kenneth Bradley (me) and showing up somewhere and someone serving you a look of disappointment because you’re not who they expected.  Believe it or not, that happens more than you think, and when it happens it makes me want to exude blackness and be Bryant Gumbel at the same damn time.

This piece goes out to all of the Dameions, Trayvons, Shawandas, Darrells, Keyshawns, Jamelles, DeAndres, Keyonas, …wait there’s a site dedicated to this that also makes fun by adding extremely stereotypical sounding names as well ( click here ).  I mean, it makes me wonder if the “Pipers, Hunters and Apples” are being unfairly treated – or accepted as just hippie-sounding white people names that are ok.

*sips Mio.

– Kenneth