Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Some Shameful Sh**: The Fall of MC Hammer

Many people don't know what caused the demise of MC Hammer's career. Here was a man that was on top of the world with the best selling rap album of all time in his 1990 release "Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em". The album sold over 12 million copies and Mr. Hammer became filthy rich.

...but what caused his career to come crashing down?

Many believe it was his frivolous spending and flambouyant lifestyle, while others think the parachute pants did him in. Both are solid contributors to the demise of his career, but here is the real answer...

Pumps in a Bump. Yes...Pumps in a muthafu**in Bump. That's right.

You can't go from "Pray" to stuffing a banana in a leopard-print Speedo along with a pair of black Timberlands. He maybe could've pulled it off with wheat Timberlands, but black Tims and a Speedo isn't what's good. And just what the f*** is a "Pump in a Bump?" Is it a direct reference to the stuffed Speedos or is it an ass reference? I'm confused.

In any event, I apologize for subjecting you to the gyrations of an aging MC Hammer, but consider it a public service announcement: Speedos and black Timberlands will ruin your life. Don't let it happen to you.

Mo' Hate in '08.

Strictly for my 80s babies: Throwwwwwwback!

by Carah Herring

Is it just me or does seemingly every out-of-the-norm behavior have a diagnosis nowadays? And it’s no surprise that seemingly everything can supposedly be cured with a pill – Shyness (Seroxat). Baldness (Propecia). Paleness (Melanotan). Limpness (Viagara).

I’ve never been big on prescriptions. I’m into the herbal remedies and for certain ailments, simply letting the sickness run its course.

With that being said: I have recently discovered why things in my life were a little rough for a year or two after my college graduation (heck, even now!). I was suffering from a Quarter-Life Crisis (the 20something version of a midlife crisis)! No, I wasn’t on the verge of a nervous breakdown and or in need of a straight jacket! The Quarter Life Crisis is a term applied to the developmental period of life immediately following the major changes of adolescence, usually ranging from the ages of 21 to 29, according to Wikipedia. Many therapists recognize this condition, y’all.

Google it! Numerous articles and books have been written about this phenomena. Do some of the following QLC characteristics ring true in your life?:

- feeling “not good enough” because one can’t find a job that is at one’s academic/intellectual level
- frustration with relationships, the working world and finding a suitable job or career
- insecurity regarding the near future
- re-evaluation of close inter-personal relationships
- tendency to hold stronger opinions
- financially-rooted stress
- loneliness
- a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you
- boredom with social interactions
- nostalgia for university, high school or elementary school life

I guess another name for the condition would be ‘growing pains.’

At any rate, we all can relate to the Quarter Life Crisis to a certain degree. But instead of popping a pill (even though I don’t think there’s one for this), heading to a shrink or b*tching and moaning with girlfriends during Happy Hour about your woulda, shoulda, coulda, wanna and can’ts – why not let our Quarter Life Crises ‘run its course’? How about wallowing in our nostalgia for high school and elementary school life, shall we? It’ll be fun.

(And yeah, I’ll definitely follow up with a note detailing more info on the QLC. Stay tuned!)

Cheers to a stroll down memory lane:

■ Thursday nights at 9pm. Where were you? On the couch watching "New York Undercover" ! Torres and Williams were soooooo cool. And after solving a crime, they’d always end the night at >where else?< NATALIE’S! Oh yeah, Ice-T was the ultimate villain on there. Didn’t he kill Williams’ fiancĂ©e?

■ Where’s Waldo? Now THAT was one weird looking dude – but the books were so much fun! Don't front -- you'd be geeked when you located him!

■ T.G.I.F. Back in the day where you didn’t actually go out on Friday nights, it was all about "Family Matters" and "Step By Step" on ABC. Steve Urkel was worrisome as all get out – “Did I do thaaaaat?” But what about when Stephon Urk’el came along? He was THAT dude. Ow!

■ I’m not going to lie: Some of the episodes on SNICK’s (Saturday night on Nickelodeon) "Are You Afraid of the Dark?" scared me kinda good. Especially the one about the clown in the old house. OMG! I had to sleep with my mom and dad one or two nights off of that one.

■ Other memorable Nickelodeon Shows: "Double Dare", "Legends of the Hidden Temple", "Welcome Freshmen." I didn't get into "Fifteen." Too much drama!

■ "Salute Your Shorts" was one of my all-time faves. Sing along, everybody: “We run, we jump, we swim and plaaa-aaay. We row and go on trips. But the thing that lasts foreverrrrrr. Are our dear friendships. Dun-dun-dun. Camp Onawanna, we hold you in our hearts. And when we think about you. IT MAKES ME WANNA FART. // Ug:“It’s I hope we never part. Now get it right, or pay the price!”

■ Cuba Gooding Jr’s little brother Omar had a show on Nickelodeon. "Wild and Crazy Kids." Three teams always competed. Remember: The red team, the blue team and the green team.

■ The Babysitters Club books! Who could forget Claudia and Mallory (with all her brothers and sisters)? And you can't forget the "Super Specials" -- the books that featured ALL seven BSC members

■ Name Kriss Kross’s hits: Jump, I Missed the Bus (Remember how on the video, the bus driver was a bug?)

■ Remember the R&B group Another Bad Creation : Myeee-shaaaa. You were the girl that I neva had… How many lil’ guys were in that group. Like, forreal?

■ “I want money, lots and lots of money. I want it piled to the skyyyyyy. I wanna be rich!” Remember that R&B song from the late 80s?

■ Michael Jackson had two MAJOR video premieres during our elementary school days: “Black & White” (Remember, Macauly Culkin was in it?) and “Remember the Times” (With the Egyptian theme) I KNOW you tried to do the dance with the tv AT LEAST twice.

■ Speaking of music and videos, do you remember Eddie Murphy’s much-trumped up music video? It had a major world premiere on FOX. Woo chile, it was so WHACK. I remember it had the sky in the background and he had on these dark glasses. Michael Jackson was in it, too.

■ Remember the MC Hammer cartoon? I watched it a couple times. The animation wasn’t that great. And it only stayed on for a couple months. It was kinda stupid.

■ Speaking of Hammer, how could anyone forget his inspirational jam: Pray. “I say we pray, PRAY, pray, PRAY. We’ve got to pray just to make it today.”

■ You know you can still do Hammer’s “2 Legit 2 Quit” Hand Movements! Come on, do it for old times sake!

■ PBS had a lot of good programming. After our generation started getting too old for Sesame Street, I swear that had some noteworthy follow-up programs: "Ghostwriter" (Remember Jamal and Grandma Jenkins? Lenny’s singing career? Alex and Gabby at the bodega?), "Wishbone" (the cute lil’ story telling dog) and "Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?" (“Hit it Acapella!”)

I’m going to save the rest of my nostalgic reflections for Part II. If any of y’all have some ‘memmmmorrrrrieeeeeeeeeeeeeees” of your own, please feel free to elaborate in the comments section.

Until next time... XOXO, Carah

2nd Banned Episode

This one was just straight up offensive. Too far.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Boondocks: Commentary or Coonery?

Here's the full clip of the Boondocks episode that was protested and banned by BET. In it Aaron McGruder casts an extremely negative light on BET as a company and on the Al Sharpton-esque "Black Leadership."

I enjoy the Boondocks. It makes me laugh. But sometimes the Boondocks walks a fine line between self-realization and minstrel much in the same way that the Dave Chappelle Show evolved. Dave's early skits made light of racism in an attempt to create dialogue through comedy, and by the last season he was wearing black face and depicting himself as a pixie.

I think BET is just as bad for the black community as the next man, but is this the way of going about exposing them and making a social/political statement? While progress through descent is a justifiable way of bringing about change to social issues, it's also the responsibility of those descenting to express how they want things to change. I'm not so sure we're getting that from the Boondocks.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Black Murders White

This post was allegedly left by a UNC Student on a University message board in the aftermath of the Eve Carson murder...

Re: Sub-Human Nigger scum senselessly murders UNC Student President, Eve Carson

I was just about to post the same thing. Let the animals burn and send them the fuck
away from our campus. Fuck all of them. Fuck affirmative action, letting in unqualified illiterate nigger gangsters when those spots should go to more qualified white and fuck it, even asian or indian or whatever kids. Fuck the black thugs posted up in the pit every day, blotting out the fucking sun with their darkness. Fuck the self important black greeks, we dont give a fuck about your shitty ass tacky jackets or fake nicknames.

Fuck the loud mouthed fat ass black girls, they never shut up in the dining halls and
student U, in the name of Hinton James get the FUCK off of our campus. Fuck the blacks infesting carrboro, I know it was one of them who took Eve, I swear to god if I had anything to do about it Robert E. Lee would have won and they would still be picking our cotton. Fuck the school administrators who tolerate them, fuck everything, fuck everyone who wasn´t there but should have been. And most of all, FUCK the nigger who killed Eve for a fucking ATM card. FUCK YOU. I pray that you hang from Davey Poplar tonight.


I can't really say that I'm surprised or even that I'm angry. Why should I be? In the wake of tragedies where a Black person senselessly murders a white person these sentiments are expected, and to a great degree, understandable. It's human nature to identify and empathize with "your own" while chastising those responsible, even if that means lumping everyone together that resembles the offenders. It's a coping mechanism. Being an alum of UNC, I can attest that these occurrences are magnified on college campuses, as they are, more or less, a 50-acre microcosm of America.

We all do it. When Amadou Diallo was shot in New York in 1999 there was a huge backlash against White people within the Black community with continued charges of institutionalized racial violence. Protests took place on college campuses across the country, polarizing the races. When September 11 happened in 2001, the Muslim-American community suffered increased levels of racial intolerance and hate crimes. The murder of Eve Carson will be no different. One group will take it out on another as a way to make sense of the incident and to cope with the loss.

The saddest part of all this is that the bastards responsible for killing Eve, among others, have managed to further widen the racial divide in America with the simple flick of their index finger in the direction of a trigger. That insignificant reflexive action on the part of a 17-year-old will undoubtedly cause some idealistic students that thought they were above issues of race to question their decision to vote for Obama in the NC Primary in May. The pull of that trigger will further justify to women, Black or White, why they should clutch their purses a little tighter when I walk by them. Consequences.

Why are our Black youth so prone to violence? When I heard that Eve was shot and her car stolen, there was no question in my mind that it was a Black male. Typically most random acts of violence by gun fire involve Black males. There's a serious problem within the Black family structure in poor neighborhoods that cause these kids to turn to violence. Do they not receive enough love at home? Are the economic situations so bad that they have no other alternatives to survive?

I reject the notion that these kids have no other options. I grew up with only my mother present in an environment that contained the same pitfalls that many of our youth fall into. I could have easily used my mind to become a respected drug dealer as many of my friends and peers had. The only difference is that my mother made it her duty to point me in a positive direction. Many of those kids that I grew up with are dead behind senseless acts of violence. I have to believe that with the right influences in their lives, and the right parenting in place, that self-destructive behavior can be eradicated in many (if not all) instances.

I really feel for the family of Eve Carson. I also feel for the family of Latrese Curtis who was a North Carolina Central student who was found slain on the side of I-540 in Durham on January 31 of this year (an incident that didn't get national coverage). She was discovered as motorists made their way to work in the early morning hours. I feel for the family Abijhit Majato, a Duke grad student who was allegedly murdered back in early January by one of the men responsible for Eve's death. This story, also, did not receive national coverage.

There are hundreds of Eve Carsons whose stories deserve attention. And there are hundreds of problems that need to be addressed to stop these stories from happening. It's just a shame that the actions and dysfunctional nature of a few always tend to cause greater problems for the masses. And it's a shame that race is always at the center.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Jay-Z's Ode To Heroin

They say people on heroin, regardless of how they may look on the outside, are in a completely different reality when they're high. That guy that you may ride by in the city who is dancing erratically on the sidewalk is probably a rockstar at a wild party in his mind. The woman that is passed out on her couch is probably in the arms of her lover in her mind-altered world.

I don't know much about drugs, but I have seen their effects first-hand in my personal life. If there's one thing I do know it's that drugs can destroy your mind and is a major factor in the destruction of our communities.

I used to wonder how people could see the effects of crack/heroin addiction and still try them. Though I still don't fully understand, it's conceivable that people in bad situations would run towards escapisms to get away from their problems. This video does a good job of capturing that concept.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Ballin on a Budget: Live Within Your Means and Stop Frontin’!

by Carah Herring

Tell the truth: After perusing various profiles and photo albums on FB and MySpace, sometimes you can be jealous as hell. Everyone seems to be poppin’ bottles, rocking the cutest trend-setting threads, taking trips to awesome locales (domestic and international), and are more or less, doing the damn thing.

We ALL want to live the glamorous life. But with bouts of unemployment, car payments, car insurance, rent/mortgage, medical bills (perhaps due to a lack of health insurance), credit card debt, student loans and cost chaos at the gas pump… oh yeah, and food…(gotta eat right?) coupled with a measly paycheck, it seems impossible to get ahead… let alone, keep up with our seemingly better-funded ‘ball-out-‘til-I-fall-out’ peers.

Forget ‘Generation X’ and ‘Generation Y’… financial experts have labeled the 18-34 set (a.k.a. us) ‘Generation Broke.’ We want to portray a certain material status – like money ain’t a thang (“In the Ferrarri, the Jaguar switching four lanes, top down, screaming out money ain’t a thang!” Throwback! I love that song with JD and Jay-Z!). Yet in reality, all of our flossing and fronting, courtesy of Visa, MasterCard and American Express, drives many of us deeper and deeper in the black hole of debt.

This is not the predictable ‘cut up your credit cards/no more daily Starbucks’ schpiel. I’m sure y’all have heard the sermon repeatedly about how you’ve got to take control of your finances by creating a budget, having a SAVINGS ACCOUNT (you’d be surprised to know that some folks our age don’t have one. Forreal.) and contributing more toward your retirement. So why rehash?

Instead, I’m going to list some PRACTICAL, REALISTIC suggestions for how you can reduce and/or eliminate some of your weekly and monthly expenses in order to save more greenbacks. That way, you’ll have more funds to throw into your Roth IRA, pay down your debts, legitimately take that fabulous trip or quite simply to do it up locally from time to time for fellow FB-ers to envy YOUR photo albums for once.

It’s time-tested advice, lived out by yours truly. You’d be surprised how saving $5 here and $15 there adds up to hundreds of dollars over the course of a couple months. I’m all about enjoying life and enjoying the fruits of my labor. But at the same time, we MUST set limits. With gas prices approaching $4 a gallon, we can’t spend frivolously like we used to.

■ Find a hobby that doesn’t require shopping
When we’re bored on the weekend with time to kill, what do we do? Shop. Maybe it’s a quick run to Wally World (Wal-Mart) or Target… maybe the mall. Not always good. Try to identify other creative activities that won’t have you digging in your pockets as much – fall in love with the library, visit museums, volunteer at a local hospital or shelter, sign-up for a Netflix subscription, exercise (if you’re too cheap to buy a fitness DVD, swap with someone or watch the various programs on FitTV), sketch, discover the parks in your city, host a game night with friends (don’t front, Twister and Jenga are the sh*t). Call it being cheap… or call it being smart.

■ Order wine instead of top shelf liquor at the club
Ladies, if someone else is footing the bill – it’s all good: Hook up the shots of Patron, the Royal Flush, the Long Island Iced Tea… the WORKS! But if you’re Sponsor-less, don’t scan the bar like a drink whore, expecting a random guy to treat your thirsty butt. House wines range from about $3 to $6 a glass. It gives you a classy, diva-esque air without killing your pockets.

If you TOTALLY don’t do wines, either go for the mixed drink specials or consume a bottle of your choice at the house or in the parking lot prior to going inside the club (if someone else is driving of course…).

■ Don’t eat out all the time
You MUST set a weekly budget for your quick trips to Mickey D’s, Bojangles (y’all don’t have this up North. Straight DELISH!) and Chick fil A. You’d be surprised how quickly all the fast food, Happy Hours and lunches add up. Heck, I’d like to have more to show for my hard-earned money than piss and poop.

■ Do you want fries with that shake? Hell to the naw!
We’ve been ingrained during our fast food excursions that we MUST get the value meal or that we MUST get fries and a drink to go with our burger. Try this: Get the burger, nix the fries and get a courtesy cup of water. You’ll save at least $2 (yay, more money for gas!) and your waistline will thank you for avoiding hundreds of calories. It’s a small savings, but it adds up over time. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll eat French fries SOMETIMES, but I try to make it a delicacy.

■ For the ladies: Take off the acrylic nails!
I used to ‘get my nails did’ religiously during my College days and for a while afterward. Natural nubs couldn’t hold a candle to the more polished, feminine French or American Manicures that I rocked. However, au natural hands can be really pretty when kept up. Seriously! Last week, after staring at my nails for a minute, my sister finally asked me, "Are those your nails or acrylics?"

I go to the nail salon about once a month for a $12 manicure (to establish the shape and to get my cuticles pushed back). Then I maintain them myself for the rest of the month. So that’s an extra $15 to $20 in my pocket every 2 weeks. That’s nearly $200 saved over a 6-month span.

■ For the ladies: Do your own relaxer
I know, I know. I’m all about healthy, professionally-styled hair. But hey, sometimes that $5 box perm can tide you over a month or two, which knocks at least $20 off of your monthly hair appointment total. Relax your hair at home and then go to the salon to get it cut and styled.

■ For the ladies: Razor/pluck your eyebrows between monthly waxes
The wax establishes the general shape/ arch of your eyebrows . A $2 mini-razor from Sally’s Beauty Supply will allow you to get rid of the stray eyebrow hairs, eliminating at least two visits to the salon. Total monthly savings: About $15

■ Set limits for the holidays and plan in advance
You KNEW your girl’s b’day was later this month. So don’t wait until the week before to panic and make excuses because you’re flat broke. Set aside a little bit every paycheck so you won’t be scrambling. The same thing applies for Christmas. Set a limit. Don’t get lost in the hype, and spend $800 on presents. That’s totally unnecessary and unrealistic. You don’t have to break the bank in order to prove your love to fam and friends.


If you’re tired of being broke as hell, stop griping and take action! Apply the aforementioned suggestions, get a second job or a side hustle, TITHE (10% to God first) and pray that God will give you the wisdom and discipline to make the right financial decisions.

If all else fails, marry rich. J/K.

Lastly, in your quest to financial wellness, be realistic. Don’t always be so quick to compare your financial status to that of others. Sometimes, the people who seem to have it all together may not be as perfect as you think. They might be hopelessly in debt. Or maybe they still live at home (I’m a part of this club. My Nana is my landlord!) Perhaps they are legitimately paid, but have a tedious, agonizing job with long hours and creepy coworkers. You just never know a person’s situation!

Please feel free to list your money-savings tips in the comment section below. I’m interested in finding out how you keep your finances in order.

Monday, March 3, 2008


So imagine that you're in a club in 2008. You're on the dance floor doing your thing and then all of a sudden this breaks out...

Would you think to yourself, "Damn those dudes can really dance?" or would you think "Did these dudes really get together and come up with aerobic dance moves at home before coming out here?"

Looking at this scene from House Party it seems pretty silly and unrealistic that folks would put this much effort into coming up with complex dance moves for a house party, but back in the 90's this was the thing to do.

I remember getting together with my cousins and friends at age 9 and practicing the Roger Rabbit, the Running Man (aka the MC Hammer), and the Kid 'N Play. Those were the fun days. I miss those days. I mean they were tiring as hell, but at least they kept you in shape.

Today there's no effort in dance moves. The snap movement was probably the laziest dance craze in history. The Shoulder Lean is literally a dance where you "lean your shoulder" and with the Lean Back you...lean back.

What happened to the days where you had to have your inhaler ready-to-go if you decided you were going to go out to the club? Why do girls that go into clubs with fresh perms these days leave out with fresh perms? Why don't you see people jumping over their own legs like they used to do in the "I Got The Power" video? What the f*%#???

Even still, if I ever see two random people doing sychronized dance moves in a club, I will hate.

This guy right here though?... He gets my respect...

Let's bring the Typewriter back. Who's with me?

Sunday, March 2, 2008


New video from Gnarls Barkley.