Friday, February 29, 2008

New Orleans and 'Noble' Leonard Riggio

Wassup, Y'all!

The basement wire alerted me to the solid just done for New Orleans by Barnes & Noble Chairman, Leonard Riggio. His family foundation plans to donate '$20 million from his family foundation to build new houses for residents displaced by the storm 2 1/2 years ago'. Riggio, a self made businessman who gradually turned the NYC based Student Book Exchange into Barnes & Noble - the largest bookseller in world, is clearly a homey who gets it...

These types of moves engender what ol Ty's calls Passive PR. By that I mean the next time I go book shoppin', B&N moves to the top of my list. Of course, I'll still be comparin' prices and what not since mama's always trippin about the rent, but since I know B&N has such a philanthropic CEO (and in an area I care about), when I hit a brick and mortar bookstore, given a choice, I'll plan to split some paper with B&N.

According to the article, Riggio's "Project Home Again," plans to build '20 new, elevated houses for lower-income families. ...Gentilly residents — those who lived in the racially diverse, mixed-income neighborhood at least two years before Katrina and who still own property there — to swap their uninhabitable, storm-damaged homes or empty lots for houses that would be built on roughly 3 1/2 acres. Those families then would get forgivable mortgages, over five years, before owning the new houses outright'

Man, that's a better deal than the joint I got with mama right now! Wow, with a move like that I might have to pop for a Caramel Macchiato and a scone to go with my copy of King Magazine. Two snaps up, L-Rig!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do Images Matter? Ask Derrick Ashong

Wassup, Y'all!

My old roommate hollered at me a bit ago with a couple videos that he thought I should see. Naturally, I sat on them for a few days cuz I'm so busy so I just got to them last night and knew as soon as I saw them that I needed to get them up. If you're a frequent consumer of YouTube you've probably seen them already but if not, let me set the stage for you...

If you were a non-southsider from anywhere in the world and got a constant dose of American news that featured sound bites from BET or urban southsiders with Jheri Curl bags on their heads at the scene of the latest drive-by shootin', you'd probably swear that all southsiders in America were like Ms. Peachez in that 'Fry That Chicken' video. I have to believe that a lot of American *northsiders* have that view as well - media images are powerful, y'all.

That's just why I need to share these videos of Derrick Ashong, a young southside actor from West Africa who is now a naturalized citizen and is completely dialed into American politics and particularly the candidacy of Smooth Barack. He was interviewed outside of an Obama/Clinton debate (while lookin' like a homey from Winky's Corner Store over on Cottage Grove) and got hit with a barrage of probing questions about his support for Obama and got medieval on the interviewer and showed such a depth of understanding of the issues that he basically leaves about 90% of the electorate in the dust - particularly those knuckleheads who continue to insist on referrinig to Smooth as 'Barack Hussein Obama' as they parrot the company conservative talk show host line.

Turns out that once the video hit YouTube it pretty much went viral to the point, that homeboy posted his own video explaining the effect the video's popularity has had on him but more importantly, why he feels the need to be so engaged in the political process. The end result is a nice, tight, on time, stereotype smashing ,extemporaneous, verbal riff that makes a brother go, 'ahhhhhhhh'

The two videos are 13 minutes of time well spent. Trust me on this - you won't regret it.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How To Shadow A Superdelegate

Wassup, Y'all!

Admit it, you always wanted to be either John Shaft or Foxy Brown. We'll here's your chance since it may all come down to Superdelegates at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The Superdelegate Transparency Project lets you be your own bad mother shut-your-mouth and look up the SDs from your state and district.

Armed with this information, if you find they're leanin' in a direction contrary to popular opinion, you can wave them over to your car with a big Tony Soprano smile and tell them that you just want to 'talk to them for a minute'.

I just checked on Illinois and so far all of our SDs are toeing the line for Smooth Barack - even my westside boy Luis Gutierrez who's going against the grain of his district, which supported Hillary. Man, I'm all for getting the actual factuals straight and uncut. If you ask me, we can use more websites like this and less of Wolf Blitzer.

That said, based on the debate last night, I'm startin' to get the feeling that it won't even come down to the Superdelegates but if it does, here's all the information you need to see who's up to what.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Race Race

Wassup, Y'all!

If things play out the way they're looking like they should, this Fall we'll have a ring side seat at the nerve racking side debate in the presidential election on whether race still matters in America. If Hillary wins, since both she and John McCain are northsiders, the side debate would have been focused on the 'been there, done that' gender question. But if Smooth Barack wins, outside of the age question, it's clear that the side debate will focus on the "Is America ready to elect a southside President?' question.

The anecdotal evidence seems to point to a definitive 'yes', but America's collective feet have yet to really be put to the fire. The March 2008 issue of Men's Health magazine had a nice article on 'Pride vs. Prejudice', a survey where they asked 1,229 men 'where they stand on matters of race and prejudice'. The participants did weigh in on the specific presidential question (check after the jump for their take), but answers to other questions (as well as another proposed confederate flag license plate) tells me that there's still work to do...

The demographics of the MH survey respondents broke like this: 65% northside, 17% southside, 6% eastside, 5% westside and 7% otherside. On the presidential question, 55% said America is ready for a nonwhite president. Then things got interesting:

- 53% said there's some tension in the state of race relations in America (no doubt)
- 63% said that they had a least some racist feelings
- 50% believe that we will never achieve racial equality

To be fair there was other good news in the survey:

- 89% approve of interracial relationships (remember these are *guys* being surveyed, shortys may feel differently...)
- 74% agreed that racism is a learned vs. an innate behavior
- 44% vs. 39% said it's never okay for authorities to racially profile suspects

So just when I started feeling a little hopeful again, I see this article in USAToday about a Florida legistator proposing a 'Confederate Heritage' license plate. Now as a southsider, I've got zero love for anything confederate. The flag is a permanent reminder to me of states that were willing to divide the nation in order to keep slavery legal. I can't understand why anyone would want to continue to perpetuate such a divisive symbol so maybe some of my northside homeys can educate me on that one.

Representative Donald Brown, the Republican (I'm shocked!) legislator who introduced the bill claims it 'has nothing to do with race' and 'It's a part of our history, whether we like it or not'. Hmmm...lynchin' and firebombin' southside home across the south are a part of our history too. I'm choosing the 'or not' option on that one.

So it's a mixed bag for me y'all. As I've mentioned before, I'm completely astonished that Smooth Barack is doin' as well as he is. On the other hand, I continue to share an unsettling concern about his safety the longer this thing goes. I've heard this concern voiced in mixed company as recently as Saturday at a party I attended. In my mind, we're either at the launching pad of a new era in race relations in America or at the precipice of a long fall that will clearly reveal just how deep our dysfunctional racial roots really go.

That seems to be the definition of 'cautiously optimistic' to me. Buckle up, sports fans - it's going to be a wild ride.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, February 25, 2008

Ty's Vegas Update: Told you so

Wassup, Y'all!

Regular readers of The Urban Eye should remember an excellent post I wrote titled, 'The Power of The Pole...'. It documented my exploits tryin' to get into a Vegas nightclub (Jet at the Mirage) and the little shadow economy goin' on between wannabe VIPs who want quick access into a club and the doormen who control the velvet rope. Just based on my contribution and the others I saw flowin' toward Jet's doorman, I estimated that ol boy cleared about a grand of tax free money that night.

Well, it appears that not only was ol Ty doin' some under estimatin' of Vegas doormen's lucrative cash take but so was Gangster Sam's accounting firm the Internal Revenue Service. A recent column by Norm Clarke at ReviewJournal.com points out a recent raid at the hyper-popular Pure nightclub in Vegas by the IRS who are lookin' into allegations that many doormen at the Vegas nightclubs are clockin' more chedda a year than the President. That would be $400,000 to you and me. So although Norm, who began his column with 'A lot of people saw it coming', all he really had to say way, 'Just like Ty told you'...

According to Norm, 'Sources have been telling me that doormen at several clubs are clearing $8,000 to $10,000 a night before they share tips. So much cash is pouring in that some doormen are making $400,000 to $500,000 a year, several nightclub executives told me.'

Now don't you feel silly, y'all? You could have skipped high school *and* college, med school *and law school, slept in all day, played video games, never bothered to study for any test, decided not to sell [your drug of choice here] risking life and limb and demanding that you sleep with one eye open for John Law or the Big Payback. You could have met hundreds of hot women willin' to do whatever and only had to fill out a 1040 EZ form every year. Who knew that all that could be possible just by being a doorman at a Vegas nightclub?

Every year when I was helpin' mama fill out her 1040, I always wondered what the deal was with my other homeys who worked in cash based businesses. Did they always do the right thing and claim all of their income? Would you? If the temptation is there to cheat on your taxes when you have a job with verifiable income - it's got to be almost impossible not to with a gig with *no* verifiable income. $4K-$8K - a night! Cash.

I expect now that Gangster Sam has booked a high roller suite in Vegas and plans to stay for a while, nightclub doormen throughout the city are gettin' a whole lot less sleep than they used to. I also expect that today, a nation full of homeys turned away from hot nightclubs all up and down The Strip by haughty a$$ doormen - an indignity magnified if you're with your girl - are whistling all the way to work and givin' up a double chest tap to that great mythical equalizer called Karma.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Friday, February 22, 2008

Should We 'Be Kind' To Mos Def?

Wassup, Y'all!

When I saw the movie poster to Mos Def's upcoming movie (out today, y'all), 'Be Kind, Rewind', I just sadly shook my head and kept walkin' to Will Smith's joint 'I Am Legend'. A few days later, I was cruisin' the web and had an opportunity to watch the trailer to that joint and a strange thing happened - I liked it.

I've been a Mos Def fan for a few. Homey's an original, has that old school, NYC hip-hop flavor (nah mean?), good comedic skillz and always seems to keep it real...until I saw him on that movie poster surfin' on an old school a$$ VHS video tape. That got me thinkin' about Cuba Gooding Jr.. Not the 'American Gangster Nicky Barnes' Cuba, the 'Daddy Day Camp Charlie Hinton' Cuba since MD has also been takin' on questionable roles lately like homey in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy' and '16 Blocks'...

A quick peek at IMDB shows a large body of work for MD, who has an easy ability to move between the big screen (Bamboozled, Brown Sugar, The Italian Job, etc.) and small screen (Lackawanna Blues, The Chappelle Show, the voice of too funny 'Gangstalicious' on The Boondocks, the host of Def Poetry Jam, etc.) Ol boy was too good in 'The Italian Job' so I'm happy to see him popping back up in the same role in the sequel, 'The Brazilian Job' due out next year. I also see he plans to take over the role of 'Mouse' (a role played to perfection by Don Cheadle in the film adaptation of Walter Mosley's 'Devil In A Blue Dress') in 'Little Scarlet'.

Anyway, 'Be Kind' looks pretty funny. It's about two guys who run an old school video store and one guy (Jack Black) inadvertently erases all the videos so the two of them decide to refilm all the movies as twenty minute shorts. It's kinda like those Angry Alien Bunny Movies. Check out the one on Jaws (in honor of Roy Scheider's recent passing) to get an idea of what ol Ty is typin' about. It's pretty amazing to be able to summarize a two hour movie in thirty seconds.

Still I'm not sure I'd pay anything but $5 matinee prices to see that joint, Mos Def or no Mos Def but at least Rottentomatoe.com agrees with a brother. If you check it out, holler back and let me know if you liked it!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Smooth Barack goes 11-0 Is it over?

Wassup, Y'all!

I know, I know. Got a little caught up yesterday after landing in the Sunshine State. I'm actually here to make sure they don't sway the nomination to Hillary so it took me extra time to get my boy LoJack through security with his aluminum baseball bat.

So here we are - Smooth has run off a string of 11 straight primary and caucus wins, McCain is now zeroing in on homey like he's going to be the Democratic nominee and Hillary has pushed all in with her two hole cards, Texas and Ohio. Will her risky bet pay off or is she whistling in the dark?...

From what I'm hearing and reading, it sounds like the latter. Three days ago, Max Brantley of the Arkansas Times - a Hillary backer - wrote simply, 'It's Over'. He predicted correctly that she'd 'get clobbered' in Wisconsin and laments that, 'The media talk, the popular mood, the times -- they all work for Obama'.

The pundits on CNN all paint a picture where the delegate math, even if Hillary were to win Texas and Ohio, doesn't work for her unless she wins both states by 3-1 margins - margins she has yet to hit in any of her previous wins.

So given all that, why is ol Ty still nervous about all this? Why am I still believin' that the Okie-Doke is waitin' just around the corner for Smooth? Let me list a few reasons why:

1) Gore / Bush 2000 Election
2) Kerry / Bush 2004 Election
3) Giants / Patriots Superbowl XLII
4) Jermaine Dupri / Janet Jackson hook up

In other words - things happen that you'd never expect to happen in a million years. So I'm still on alert, y'all. Smooth's new campaign song needs to be Lenny Kravitz's 'It Ain't Over, 'til it's Over'. Forget that Stevie Wonder 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered' nonsense he's been playin' since New Hampshire.

Southsiders are historically suspicious and pessimistic when it comes to the right things happenin'. If it works out for Smooth, that may begin to change (which would be a gooooood thing), but until then, to prevent a spike in southside heart attacks and strokes if and when the Okie-Doke occurs, I suggest it's best to keep healthy doses of suspicion and pessimism in reserve until the dust settles.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Ty Hits The Road

Wassup, Y'all!

I'll be traveling tomorrow morning. The Chicago hawk has finally run me out of town, so ol Ty is flyin' south for a few. Expect a post later in the day, once I'm settled in a pool chair with an icy cold one in my hand. Y'all know I got to let you know my thoughts on Smooth's big win tonight...

I'll holler!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Smooth Barack & Tavis: Stop The Madness

Wassup, Y'all!

The tension between these two is about as thick as a big Uncle Rolly slice of mama's Red Velvet cake and there ain't a glass of ice cold milk big enough to make any of this ruckus go down smooth. The 'ruckus,' for those not following along in class, is Smooth Barack's second consecutive declination to speak at Tavis Smiley's well regarded, annual State of The Black Union summit - a gathering of the who's who in southside intelligentsia and entertainment to dialog on current issues facing the southside nation.

Last year, as Melissa Harris-Lacewell notes in her article on the ruckus on theroot.com, Smooth was busy that weekend announcing his bid for the presidency in Springfield, IL. This year? Smooth's a little busy trying to break through in either Texas, Ohio or both to secure the democratic nomination for President of The United States. In both cases, I'd say that Smooth has some pretty good justification for taking each pass. Smiley feels differently and has said so publicly and, in doing so, is taking a beating normally reserved for a four year old actin' up in a southside grocery store...

Here's what I do know - in the arena of southside pubic opinion on this issue, Tavis, the de-facto crown prince of the new jack, southside agenda is takin' a standing eight count. No, I take that back. In this case, Tavis is wakin' up on the ground, lookin' up at Chris Tucker who helpfully explains to him that he just got 'knocked the fu#k out!'.

Don't believe me? Check out the comments to Roland Martin's blog post on Essence titled, 'Why Obama should skip Tavis Smiley's State Of The Black Union'. By my count, sentiment is running 5-to-1 against Tavis on this one.

Smiley himself admitted to the backlash - a sting he never thought he'd feel from his own - when he said, I'm catching hell. This is the first time in my entire career that I have found myself in this kind of relationship with some folk in black America. I now know what it feels like to have the weight of the Internet world bearing down on you. Man, it's an eye opener when you get caught in the middle of it." Whatever.

Here's my point about all this, y'all. We got no time for this madness. All this, 'Smooth should send 'Chelle', 'Tavis don't want 'Chelle', 'Hillary's goin' so why ain't Smooth goin'' jibber-jabber is clouding the larger issue - the Democratic nomination for President.

Is all this helpin' or hurtin' that cause? My view is it's hurtin' because it's easy for an opponent to portray this as the southside candidate not supporting the southside nation that's overwhelmingly supporting him.

You think the producers of the "Eyes on The Prize" documentary chose that name randomly? Our eyes need to be focused in one direction and our minds free of divisive issues that don't move the cause forward.

Man, next year Smooth could give the SOTBU a prestige bump by joinin' in by satellite from the Oval Office. Tavis could collect his kudos and the sun would keep shinin'. I know it's an ego thing, T-Smile. That's okay - we all have one, but in this case, my vote is for you to put that joint in your back pocket for a few. The moment is too big and the stakes are too high.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, February 18, 2008

'Girlfriends' bows out after eight seasons

Wassup, Y'all!

My first reaction this news was, "That show's still on TV?" I know that comment may also generate a little heat from my southside shortys whose viewing habits kept 'Girlfriends' a perennial Top 10 show among southside households. Regardless of ol Ty's viewing habits, it's unbelievable undeniable that the UPN/CW show has had an impressive impact. According to Nielsen Media Research, television ad spending targeting southsiders exceeds $2.3 BILLION annually. Let's soak that in for a minute. $2.3 BILLION. Which means we're watch too much damn television and we're clearly biting the advertising hook if sponsors are willing to stack that much paper and bet that big on the southside television watching audience...

Of that $2.3 BILLION, $193 MILLION was targeted to network TV where the Top 5 targeted shows (based on ad revenue) were:

1) Girlfriends (CW)
2) Everybody Hates Chris (CW)
3) The Game (CW)
4) All of Us (CW) (Starring Lisa Raye, the First Lady of Turks and Caicos!)
5) Watch Over Me (MNT)

Clearly ol Ty is out of step since I've watched 'Girlfriends' about six times despite it being the 'the longest-running live action comedy on network television' and the winner of beaucoup NAACP Image Awards. I do like 'Everybody Hates Chris' tho.

Well, let me be the first to wish those shortys on 'Girlfriends' - the 'African-American version of 'Sex In the City'' - a fond farewell. One piece of advice tho - unlike those northside shortys from 'Sex In The City' who thought it would be a great idea to make their show into a movie that no one will watch, save yourselves the trouble and just bow out gracefully and on top.

Before I close, let me return to something else that caught my eye in the aforementioned Nielsen Media Research report. It was this hair raising paragraph:

"National Cable TV reported the largest ad growth with 14.5% during this period. This growth is the result of a number of factors including: Year over year growth for BET, the inclusion of TV One in the Nielsen Monitor-Plus service as of January 2007, as well as a number of high profile TV programs such as "House of Payne" on TBS, "Being Bobby Brown" on Bravo, "Flavor of Love" on VH1, and "Making the Band" on MTV."

Year over year growth for BET? And since when do shows like 'Being Bobby Brown', 'Flavor of Love' and 'Making The Band' qualify for a description like 'high profile TV programs'?? What happened to 'Hell Date' or 'I Love New York'? My people, clearly an intervention is needed. It's like the Nielsen company straight hooked a box up to my boy Cat Daddy's 40" basement plasma! Oh well, at least we're votin'...

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Friday, February 15, 2008

Smooth Barack and the coming storm...

Wassup, Y'all!

I'm feelin' it, y'all. That calm before the storm when all hell breaks loose. Like the brief time before the verdicts were announced in Simi Valley after the Rodney King trial. Like the uncomfortable moments during the 2000 general election when Florida first went to Al Gore then got taken back off the board because it was 'too close to call' and then eventually got awarded to Bush. I hope I'm wrong on this one, but I don't like the way things are shaping up with this 'too close to call' primary battle between Smooth Barack and Hillary.

The stakes are sky high (who thinks, given the passion on the democratic side, that the democratic nominee won't go on to win the general election in a walk?) and I get the sense that even if Smooth has a delegate lead going into the convention but hasn't reached the magic number of 2,025 that political maneuvering featuring superdelegates and illegitimate votes from Michigan and Florida will hijack the nomination and split the party going into November...

There are two components to this perfect storm - Smooth Barack's overwhelming support within the southside community and our hypersensitivity to injustice - perceived or real. When Smooth announced his candidacy, the thinkin' was 'that's nice, but I'm pretty sure the nation isn't ready for a southside candidate'. Then came Iowa and everybody's hair stood straight up. No sooner had that shock worn off then Super Tuesday showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the nation was indeed ready for a southside President. Just trying to assimilate that fact given our nation's past history was sobering - at least for me, y'all. That's an amazing realization after seeing and experiencing so much racial negativity.

Now no sooner have we reconciled ourselves with the fact that now could be the time, then there's the specter of the shoe we were all expecting to drop hovering just out of sight. The shoe, in this case, is our resigned belief that there's no way the 'powers that be' would ever let a black man ever get elected President and that, at the eleventh hour, some chicanery would take place to ensure that remained the case.

Hopefully, it won't happen and I'm heartened to see that other members of the southside nation are beginning to consider this dire possibility as well, but if it should happen, if Smooth Barack is denied the nomination despite playing the game fairly, there's going to be some molten hot anger spewing out of the southside nation. I can see the party trying to mute that by throwing Smooth the bone of the Vice Presidency, but in my mind, that will be too little too late and there will be a backlash felt at the polls in November.

I can live with a legitimate defeat at the convention. If Hillary has the states, votes and pledged delegates - I'm 100% behind her in the fall. But if there's some skulduggery going on, some backroom shenanigans going on, a hot mess going on - ol Ty (and I expect most of the southside nation) will have some long, hard thinking to do at the polls in November.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, February 14, 2008

TheRoot.com: Another point of view

Wassup, Y'all!

Lady E. hipped a brother to a new website called theRoot, a bit ago. theRoot is a new, online, southside news outlet that 'blends black perspectives and news from around the world with an interactive genealogical section, creating an online destination devoted to the black experience'. Hmmm...I thought that I was doing this but clearly, Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, the outfit behind theRoot, has decided to take ol Ty on. Man, where's my vaseline?...

The site's been up since January 28th and I have to grudgingly admit that I like what I see so I'll have to holler at them to get The Urban Eye linked in to help them out with some massive web traffic :-)

I popped over there today and caught two interesting articles, one on how it's becoming increasing difficult for southside supporters of Hillary Clinton to 'sell' her to the southside nation. Clearly these supporters aligned themselves with Sister Hill before the South Carolina Democratic Primary permanently dispelled the notion that she could in anyway split the southside vote. As Smooth Barack moves on, his support within the southside nation is the epitome of rock solid.

The other article is the perfect bookend for my most recent two posts about Beyonce Giselle and Aretha Franklin. Apparently, Aretha took exception to BG's introduction of her 'idol' Tina Turner when she referred to her as 'The Queen'. Let me just say this about that. First, I thought BG and Tina's joint performance was tight. I can't believe that homegirl is 68 (Tina, not Beyonce, y'all)!!

Second, you have to give Tina some title, maybe Empress of Soul or something but everybody knows there's only one Queen and one Godfather so BG will need to look over her shoulder for a while while this thing cools off. If homegirl gets mysteriously bumped off any time soon, I expect the method will be death by smothering and the murder weapons will be Aretha's...don't make me say it, y'all. You know where I'm going with this. Anyway, Aretha! BG! Chill that nonsense - y'all sisters just need to get along.

Give theRoot.com a peep, y'all. I think you'll like what you see.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Measuring Beauty: Beyonce & Robin Roberts

Wassup, Y'all!

We have to admit it - we live in a very superficial society where looks dictate in large measure, how popular, successful and admired you'll be. The pressure on shortys to measure up is pretty overwhelming. It would have to be if 21% of 1,000 respondents to a Fitness Magazine poll said they would be willing to give up 10 years of their lives to be an 'ideal' weight. Think about that.

It doesn't get any better for shortys today as guys all over the world flock to newsstands to pick up the coveted 2008 Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit Issue - a publishing event that seems to gets just a bit less coverage than the Superbowl. Think about that. The most popular feature, in the most popular issue of a national sports magazine isn't even related to sports. I'm not hatin', homeys, I'll be shoulder to shoulder with you at the newsstand today, but at least ol Ty is questioning the effect of his actions....

Recently I happened across two articles on shortys on opposite ends of the superficiality scale - Jay-Z's girl Beyonce Giselle and GMA co-anchor Robin Roberts. We know BG rarely makes a step out in public without the weave hair, makeup and clothes tight. I also found it a little funny that Ol girl was quoted last year sayin', 'I'm just jealous that I wasn't born Latina. I wish I had been because the culture is so beautiful'. Clearly BG isn't tapped into any Black History Month programs because her own culture is just as beautiful.

Robin Roberts, on the other hand, has just finished up chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer and, as part of GMA's, 'I Dare You' series she walked the catwalk at Isaac Mizrahi's Fall 2008 Collection show in NYC - arguably one of the most superficial events on the NYC social calendar - without her wig. Now to be a shorty, in that venue, and make a move like that - how much heart does that take? That's a move and a message that I think speaks volumes about her character and where superficiality fits in her life. I think we'd all do better if it fit in the same spot in ours.

I got to give it up to homegirl for that one. You go Rob-Rob!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, February 11, 2008

Why Aretha Needs a Good Girlfriend

Wassup, Y'all!

At the risk of gettin' blasted by my southside shortys, I'm gonna have to say it. You know Aretha's will always be the Queen of Soul, but ol girl needs to lose some weight! Carrying all that around just ain't healthy. Now I'm already missin' me some Luther and Barry White, so I sure don't want to pick up a paper tomorrow and read about how Aretha passed from something that could have been preventable....

Unfortunately ol Ty didn't get a chance to catch the Grammy's last night but I did see the clips of Tina rollin' on the river with Beyoncé Giselle and Kanye rockin' the house with his Herbie Hancock Rockit reminiscent performance of Stronger. Can't say that brother aint creative, haaaaterrrrs! Ironically, Herbie upset Kanye (and a very tatted up Amy Winehouse) for Album of The Year. I haven't heard any cryin' yet, so I'm guessin' he's satisfied with the four Grammy's he did win. Even Smooth Barack got himself a Grammy for his reading of his book 'The Audacity of Hope'. I'm sure that's killin' Hillary the most.

I see my boy Prince won Best Male R&B Vocal Performance for 'Future Baby Mama'. I hadn't heard that joint until this morning, but I'm likin' it cuz it's got an old school 70's vibe to it. I'm also glad to see that my boy Gerald Levert got a posthumous Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for 'In My Songs'. I miss that brother too, y'all.

That's why I'm askin' for Aretha's girlfriends to step up and help ol girl back away from those biscuits (*and* help her out with some fashion choices cuz one day, one of those bad boyz is gonna break loose and cause some serious property damage - y'all know what I'm talkin' about - don't act all ignorant). Food can be an addiction too so it ain't just Britney and Amy who need lookin' after. I want to see her performing for years to come, just like Tina.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Friday, February 08, 2008

Dennis Haysbert Reads Ty!

Wassup, Y'all!

Well, at least that's my unconfirmed view. You see, D-Hays (who now stars in 'The Unit' on CBS, which is a pretty good show) played President David Palmer on the hit Fox show '24' and in a recent TV Guide interview he mused on the effect his fictitious presidential portrayal had on Smooth Barack's real presidential run. D-Hay summed his thoughts up thusly - "As far as the public is concerned, it did open up their minds and their hearts a little bit to the notion that if the right man came along… that a black man could be president of the United States". My reaction to this after the jump...

Man, you could have knocked ol Ty over with a feather since I dropped this original concept almost a year ago. So clearly D-Hays read my post then waited a judicious amount of time to try and claim the idea as his own. Nice try D-Hays, but you know I'm always on it, homey! Anyway, I feel the same way now as I did then - images are powerful and television is an extremely pervasive and influential medium. The big screen is as well and Morgan Freeman did Smooth a solid with his on time presidential performance in Deep Impact - though when the chips were down and it was clear a meteor was going to hit the earth, M-Free left a cloud of dust behind his hasty exit to safety...).

Even James Earl Jones got into the presidential act in 'The Man' when he is propelled into office unexpectedly when the sitting President and Speaker of the House are killed and the Vice President is too infirm to take office. As the Senate President pro tempore the job suddenly falls to him. It's a good book and a pretty good movie if y'all have some time to check it out.

In the meantime, I'm waitin' on my props from D-Hays. The least homey could do is break me off a royalty check. You did it for Smooth (campaign donation), you can do it for me! D-Hays! Don't be tight, brother. I'm right outside by mama's mailbox waitin', dude.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Chris Rock & Queen Latifah SNL Parodies

Wassup, Y'all!

See? This is just like the Grammys. The year you watch that joint, the show is about as boring as a State Of The Union address, but the year you miss them? The next day at work EVERYBODY is talkin' about how good it was and did you see how so and so opened the show, blah, blah, blah. Well Saturday Night Live is just the same.

Most Saturday nights when I dedicated some time to watch that joint, it's dry, corny and tired (except Weekend Update, which is normally pretty funny). Now over the last two days I've seen two clips from the show that make me yearn for the good old days of SNL. Both are too funny and, in what makes satire so good, soooo true.

I figure that after all the recent politics it's time to get your laugh back on so here're Chris Rock's 2008 Political Analysis and Queen Latifah's testimony on the trials of being a southsider at the office. Both clips are fairly safe for work if you keep the volume low but they're best enjoyed at home with friends and family :-)

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Obama v. Clinton: Split Decision

Wassup, Y'all!

Wow - after 22 hard fought rounds states it's clear that the Smooth Barack 'Yes We Can' Express is still on track and has plenty of steam. Smooth posted impressive wins in 13 of the 22 states despite my westside homeys breaking for Hillary and helping her win in Cali. That's a trend Smooth needs to work on since the westsiders have a lot of clout in Texas, whose March 4th primary boasts 228 delegates. The good news is that Smooth has time and tall cheddar on his side so he can swing by the mall and pick up a set of those Rosetta Stone Spanish CDs (tho Ol Ty prefers the less pretentious Learning Spanish Like Crazy Homey Edition...). A little hablo español never hurt anybody. ¿Entiende usted?

The vote validates Smooth's broad, national appeal across all demographics so the notion that he's not electable is dead and I liked the way he stated the case in his speech last night on why he would be a better candidate against the presumptive Republican nominee, John McCain. The distinctions between the two couldn't be broader.

Lookin' forward to the Saturday contests!

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Monday, February 04, 2008

Go (Ba)Rock the Vote Tomorrow!

Wassup, Y'all!

For those of you in the 22 Super Tuesday states be sure to hit the polls tomorrow. You know who Ol Ty is votin' for and y'all need to be votin' the same way! I'm just playin' - do what your heart tells you, just be sure to vote! And since I'm not above tryin' to influence your vote tomorrow - here's a little something put together by will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas called the 'Yes We Can Obama Song'. It's a music video mash up filmed in black and white (any symbolism in that??) and featuring a bevy of stars riffin' off of Smooth's 'Yes We Can' speech he gave the night he lost the New Hampshire Democratic Primary. Contributors include will.i.am, Common, John Legend, Kareem (where you been Kareem?), Tatyana Ali ((not so) little Ashley Banks from The Fresh Prince), Harold Perrineau (Lost), Aisha Tyler (24) and a host of others.

It's an eclectic mix but worth a peep - check it. That's the grassroots working, y'all.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

How you feelin' now, Tiki?

Wassup, Y'all!

As I was watchin' the New York football Giants shock the world by delivering a beat down to the formerly undefeated New England Patriots, Ol Ty couldn't help but wonder what former Giant's running back Tiki Barber was feelin' as he watched his teammates from last season celebrate their well deserved Superbowl victory. If you'll remember, back in August Tiki was quick to throw Eli Manning under the bus by questioning his leadership skills, going as far as to call homey's pre-game motivational speeches 'comical'. Word is he took the low road even lower by recruiting his twin brother, Ronde, to join him on his Sirius radio show, The Barber Shop, to continue publicly crackin' on Lil Eli.

Well, you know the saying, 'He who laughs last, laughs best' so I'm sure Eli is crackin' up at Tiki's dumb a$$ right about now over those words and the fact that when the Giants pick up their Superbowl rings at the beginning of next season, Tiki will be in the studio picking the last bits of crow from his teeth. Not that Tiki didn't have a few words last night while checkin' out the Playboy party in Chandler, AZ. Before headin' into the party, he said, "Damn, I'm so stupid. If I could have reigned in my ego, I'd be a Superbowl champ right now I made my decision for personal reasons. I haven't looked back."

No, Tiki - the looking back actually starts today, cousin. Be sure to catch that Eli Manning Disney World commercial, homey. It's pretty heartwarming...

Peace@Least,

Tyrone

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Wesley Not Guilty! Sort of...

Wassup, Y'all!

Okay - I'll admit. I was on the wrong side of this one. I *knew* Wesley was going to the big house for tax fraud but lo and behold, a jury of his peers decided otherwise. I'm sure that Wesley finds this strange as well since he was insisting that he couldn't get a fair trial in 'racist' Ocala, Florida. Seems to me he would have ended up with a different sentence on the southside of Chicago where brothers and sisters in barbershops and beautyshops all over were thinking the same way as Ol Ty.

So what does 'almost' not guilty mean? Well he did get convicted on three Missy Misdemeanor counts of failing to file a tax return. Those counts could lead to three years in the Graybar hotel but now it seems likely that homey will walk with just probation (or one of those symbolic 14 day sentences that they hand out like candy in LA for repeated DUIs...). Man, Blade must smilin' a toothy grin right about now. I guess it's true - NOBODY like the IRS.

Peace@Least,

Tyrone