03 Feb Quickies: The Roots, Erykah Badu and Tia Kemp
A few quickies for you this morning dear readers….
1. Can someone please explain the current lineup of The Roots to me? I’m very confused.
My favorite kids’ show is a weird combination of live action puppetry and a DJ named Lance Rock who wears a skintight orange suit. It’s called Yo Gabba Gabba! and it’s awesome. Example of awesomeness: A regular feature is Biz Markie’s “Beatbox of The Day.”
They have the occasional celebrity, singing a song or doing a knock-knock joke. It’s always someone very hipster-friendly. Like Jack McBrayer, from 30 Rock, (he was also the geek in Mariah Carey’s Touch My Body video).
I caught a recent episode of Yo Gabba Gabba! which featured the legendary Roots crew singing a song called Lovely Family.
At least I think it was The Roots.
The bad has evolved and revolved for years, adding and deleting members faster than Matthew Knowles. But there’s always been a fluidity and consistency that’s made each band change feel seamless.
When rapper Malik B left, there was still Black Thought, the band’s frontman lyricist. Malik B returned occasionally to trade verses with Thought and then would disappear again. Scratch and Rahzel, both beatboxers, came and went. And came. And went. But the overall feel of the group never changed.
And of course, you always have ?uestlove, the centerpiece, spokesperson and heart of the band.
So when I saw ?uest’s Afro and ubiquitous Afro pick behind the drums on the set of Yo Gabba Gabba! I was excited to be able to introduce Tog to The Roots.
But I didn’t recognize the band at all.
The lead singer is completely unfamiliar to me. Never seen him before. I don’t know if he’s only in the Yo Gabba Gabba version of The Roots or if he’s really in the band. The bassist, (the guy who always had the chew stick in the mouth), is gone. And there are other random faces I don’t recognize. And why do The Roots have a lead singer anyway? I’ve always appreciated the concept of a hip-hop band. But I’m not sure how I feel about adding a singer to the mix. It feels a little Black-Eyed Peas-ish to me…
But what really bothers me is Black Thought.
It’s not (just) that he’s singing on this track. Which is strange enough. But I suspect he might be lip synching. To someone else’s voice. This is just all kinds of bizarre. And I need answers. Check the clip out, (sorry, this was the only clip I could find on YouTube. Someone did it real bootleg style). Check out Black Thought at :46 seconds in.
Dear readers, can you please explain this to me? I’m not against rappers-turned-singers. But this is The Roots. And is it just me? Or is this whole thing just way weird?
2. Erykah Badu delivered baby number three yesterday. Homebirth. No meds. No doctors. First things first: Erykah, I bow down to you. You are superior to me in every possible way. A five hour labor with no epidural? Yes. I bow down.
Now, about the kiddies.
This little girl makes number three. She joins her big sister Puma, who is four. And her big brother Seven, who is eleven. Puma’s daddy is rapper D.O.C. Seven’s daddy is Andre 3000 from Outkast. And New Baby’s daddy is producer Jay Electronica.
Do you all remember Bonita Bitrell from In Living Color?
She was always talking loud to someone off screen, waving and inviting them over. And then as soon as they’d walk away, she’d turn directly to the camera and talk smack about them. She always ended by saying: But I ain’t one to gossip. So you ain’t hear it from me.
That’s the way I feel about Erykah right now. I so don’t want to gossip. And I so don’t want to judge. But. I. Just. Can’t. Stop. My…self…
Dear readers, are we okay with this? Not that it’s our business. But. Um. Three babies. Three daddies. No husband?
I’m sure she can provide for them all financially. So there are no concerns there. And we all know Erykah is on her own planet where different rules apply.
I’m not saying anything. I’m just sayin’.
If she’d adopted all three as a single mom, I wouldn’t have a thing to say. I’d commend her. So why do I feel differently about three children born to her from three separate relationships? Babies are a blessing. She was in a relationship with each man. So it’s all good. Right? I’m not so sure…
And last but not least, speaking of baby mammas….
3. The web world is all a-buzz with news of Tia Kemp, the mother of rapper Rick Ross’ son and her encounter with 50 Cent. For my older readers, (hi Mommy!), and my non-hip-hop-knowledgeable readers, (hi Portia!), here’s the simplified backstory…
Rick Ross is a rapper. 50 Cent is a rapper. They are at odds with each other. They have begun to say not-nice things to each other on songs. 50 Cent has taken things one step further by interviewing Rick Ross’ baby mamma and putting this interview up on his website.
Okay, now that we’re all up to speed, can someone please explain to me WHY this woman would do something like this? I am thoroughly confused. Ms. Kemp is having a disagreement with Mr. Ross, a custody battle of some sort I presume. So, in retaliation, she has allowed herself to be interviewed by Rick Ross’ rival? And she let him take her shopping? For a fur coat? Even though she lives in Florida? And doesn’t even have a CAR?
I don’t really care about 50. Or Rick Ross. Or Tia Kemp. They are all grown folks making their own decisions. Their tomfoolery is their own.
But what about Rick Ross’ son?
This kid has to see his own mother on video, acting like, (as my grandmother would say), a Pure D Fool. Taking gifts in exchange for trash talking his father.
It makes my stomach hurt. And it makes me think of Nas’ daughter, Destiny, who will one day hear Jay-Z saying some awful stuff about her parents on the song Supa Ugly. (If she hasn’t heard it already).
I haven’t felt things become this tense in hip-hop since Jay and Nas were going at it. I don’t like where this is headed…
Dear readers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of the above….