If you don't know the name of the song, chances are you know the dance. Bobby Shmurda's first hit single, "Hot N***a" has been the hottest song of the entire 2014 garnering over 25 million hits on YouTube to date; and as summer has come and gone, the song continues to gain in popularity. What started as somewhat of a hood anthem from deep in Brooklyn, New York about selling drugs and gun violence has transformed into a song that brings people together with the catchy "shmoney dance" as its called. First captured online in a Vine, the dance has since taken off. It started with the hat flip and now it's being played on almost every continent and in every country as feel good music. For some time it's been known that music can be the great equalizer, bringing people together of all walks of life. In many ways music can bring people together better than politics can, but the shmoney dance has taken things to a new level. All types of people, all ages and backgrounds know the dance, the words and when the beat drops nothing else matters. Much can be made of the success of the song, but what about the idea that as humans we're all not that different. If music can bring us together so too can every day life of sports and food and common interests. The hate in the world is so ugly and unnecessary. Centuries of oppression needs to be left in the past. We need to use one another to uplift. Let's all enjoy life -- and at the very least let's shmoney dance!
Tonight "Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood" aired on VH1. To see how far reality TV has come and gone is nothing short of "exasperating" (just like the little boy from YouTube). This show over the last few seasons of Atlanta and New York has chronicled the lives of has-been artists and producers and helped them try and re-launch their careers or at the very least try and become relevant once again in the eyes and mouths of the public. Almost all have been unsuccessful in re-launching anything that can be classified as success, but they have been successful in driving home negative images and stereotypes of a culture and race. Instead of showing the positives of an industry, the show is filled with images of girls fighting, men not taking care of their children and making light of dysfunctional families and lives. When was this cool? What is exactly cool about any one aspect of the show?
I boycotted these type of shows for a while because of the lack of substance until I decided to give tonight's premiere a fresh chance. It didn't disappoint. It was the worst of any that I have ever seen. Rapper Soulja Boy has issues staying faithful to his current girlfriend, singer Omarion has problems with his 'baby-mamma' and mother getting along and singer Tierra-Mari and rapper Ray J have a tumultuous relationship that is broadcast for the world to see. And that's only half of the cast!
There is nothing positive about the show. My biggest problem with the show is the fact that public figures and black celebrities continue to sell themselves short with these shows and images. Forward thinking activists of the past have made such great strides forward. Many have worked for so long for our progression and yet we sell ourselves short time and time again. People unfamiliar hip-hop culture and the lives of black and Latino families use shows like this as ammunition for our lack of worth and class and it's not fair or right at all. Instead of being positive role models, the characters depict everything wrong with society. I can't help, but have a problem with how much progress we have made since the Civil Rights era, and the yearning for so many people to head back to those time because of a combination of ignorance and stubbornness.
Today is the 51st anniversary of the 16st Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama by the hands of the KKK. Four black schoolgirls lost their lives in that bombing. As a result, a fervor took over the south for pride and progression. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed as a result of the four lives lost. And yet we continue to take steps backward over 50 years later. People would rather be stuck in their ways of doing anything for what they see as quick money rather than work harder to be positive and spark positive change. There's violence in Chicago, there is poverty in urban cities across the country, there's young people risking their lives to cross the border from Mexico to America each and every day and yet celebrities worried about becoming irrelevant are fighting on-screen and demeaning themselves for a cheap dollar. When is enough, enough?
lives by one word: achievement. in anything and everything, achieve.