29 Apr Quickies: Rashida, Dennis, Souljah, Prince…
1. Rashida Jones:
Recently saw her in what may be her first starring role in a major film. She plays Paul Rudd’s betrothed in I Love You, Man.
‘Shida is a capable actress. (Like how I drop the first syllable of her name and just start calling her ‘Shida? That’s how we do. Though she doesn’t seem to be the ‘Shida type).
And that’s what kept going through my mind throughout the film. I kept wondering if Rashida Jones, daughter of Quincy, considers herself a Black woman. Of course she does, right? But she was very race-neutral in the film. Which is a good thing, right?
It took me back to cheering for Mike Tomlin because he’s Black. When I saw ‘Shida on screen, I wanted to pump my fist. Yay! Black girls getting love in mainstream film! She’s the love interest. And her race is a non-issue! Whoo-hoo!
But wait. She’s the love interest. And her race is a non-issue. (To the point where she has no family to speak of throughout the entire movie. She’s marrying Rudd. And we meet his entire family. We see no one on her side. Not at the rehearsals. Not during downtime. Not during the wedding. Her two bridesmaids walk her down the aisle. Are they really making her race a non-issue if they don’t show her side of the family?) Whoo-hoo?
Am I overthinking this? Does it matter if Rashida is Black-identified or not? What does that even mean?
2. Dennis Rodman
He’s been getting beat up in the press lately. He was an ogre on The Apprentice. I can’t watch reality shows but TH and TG didn’t miss an episode. I took one look at Dennis sitting at the conference room table and I had to immediately get up and Google the words “Dennis Rodman” and “vitiligo.”
Surely, I could not be the only one to notice that this man is clearly covering his skin with makeup. It’s why his lips look so disturbingly pink. I would bet money that he’s suffering from this irreversible skin condition.
Strangely enough, I couldn’t find anything that says that he has vitiligo. One gossip site mentioned it off-hand. And I’m surprised. You tell me. Does he not look like this might be his issue?
3. Souljah Boy
Not clear on why the old fogies are hating on Souljah. It’s become de rigeur to blame him for everything that’s wrong with hip-hop. (My only quibble: he makes music for grown folks. And he looks like he’s ten. I had to tell Tog what “superman that hoooo” really meant and put a stop to that dance post-haste.) But all you 1988-ers are tripping over yourself to proclaim yourself above his elementary rhymes and rec room beats.
I have two words for you:
Nice and Smooth.
Herewith, a verse from their 1991 hit, “Funky For You.”
Rickety Rocket was my favorite cartoon/
After marriage the honeymoon/
I’ll be damn gag me with a spoon/
Who loves Popeye? Alice the Goon.
It wasn’t rocket science people. Nursery school rhymes over a sample. They might as well have been on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba.
But that was their style. And there was a place for them in the wide world of hip-hop.
I guess the purists would whine and moan that back then, there was more room for acts with more cerebral lyrics to get on Hot 97.
And to that I say…oh well. Get over it.
Souljah Boy does not make music for me. Maybe he doesn’t make music for you either. But the boy makes music. Lots of it. For his audience. And damn if he isn’t doing it well.
Oh. And if you don’t get Turn My Swag On, (not like it, necessarily, just get it, then you’re plainly hating.
He’s plum crazy. Watched him on Tavis Smiley last night. And it made me sad. He’s always been eccentric. On some next ish. But he sounded like he was clearly out of touch with reality. He’s an avid conspiracy theorist, a Bible-thumper with questionable views on the acceptance of our gay brethren. But you know what? None of that matters. The real issue is…his new music stinks. No, I did not sit and listen to all three CDs. No I didn’t sit and listen to one CD. I heard snippets. I heard enough. It bites. Full stop.
I will not even discuss his bootleg protege of the day, a Ms. Bria Valente:
She was also interviewed on Tavis. She’s a faux-Appolonia with zero personality and a sound so generic it hurt to listen. I will not discuss the excerpt of her new music video played on the show. We will not talk about the closeup shots of her lips. Or the scene of a random classic car hugging the curves of a mountainous highway. Her video looks like a Bollywood car commercial. Nope. Not discussing it.
Dear Readers: Does it matter if Rashida is called ‘Shida? Does it matter if she’s down? And why don’t I even question her sister Kidada’s identity? Is it because she was engaged to ‘Pac? Do you think Dennis has vitiligo? Are you feeling Souljah Boy’s Turn My Swag On? Did you hear Prince’s new music? What do you think? Is it a wrap for his purple majesty?
I’d love to hear from you…
*With apologies to my bestie, Portia M. Chinnery. Girl, I know how you feel about Prince. Y’know, the whole following-him-around-the-world thing. But your boy’s a nutcase. And the new music stinks. Sorry. But I dare you to publicly proclaim on this here Internets that you like the new triple album. I dare you.