This past weekend we witnessed the UFC fight that has a good chance of going down in history as the best interim title fight of all time. Perhaps even the best title fight period. On a night where the main event included 1 of the top 5 pound for pound fighters in the world and a mixed martial artist with over 20 fight under his belt in the UFC alone, you’d think I was talking about the Holloway and Poirier bout. But you’d be wrong. That greatest of all time title fight was actually the Middleweight fight between Israel Adesanya and Kelvin Gastelum.
We are huge fans of the UFC, and when any match up is announced that includes Israel Adesanya, we are extremely excited (Especially Idris). This is because Adesanya is a tactician on the feet, the likes of Jon Jones and Conor (whether you like it or not). Adesanya always delivers a compelling match. His last fight with Anderson Silva was originally slated to be a co-main event fight but was changed to a main event after Robert Whittaker vs Kelvin Gastelum was pulled after a life threatening injury to Whittaker. Needless to say Adesanya delivered.
He managed to out strike Anderson Silva, who is regarded by many to be the best striker to ever fight in the UFC. And sure Silva was past his prime when these two fought, but Adesanya and Silva put on a great fight. Which at the end of the day is what the fans wanted to see. That fight set up this past weekend’s fight with Israel Adesanya facing off against Kelvin Gastelum. And again Adesanya delivered.
In round 1 Kelvin comes out swinging hard, throwing bombs and actually surprises Israel in round one. Nothing too serious but he planted him with a couple shots and put him on notice with how close he gets to Landing a few Haymakers. It’s at this point I realized that this isn’t going to be such an easy fight for Adesanya. Gastelum is faster and stronger than I thought.
In round 2 Israel Adesanya gets comfortable. He attempts several head kicks and sets up his combos a lot better. This is Israel that we’re used to. Really dynamic striking and great head movement.
Round 3 is a bit more of the same for Adesanya, he’s mixing up his striking well going to the legs and the abdomen a Kelvin Gastelum. But that’s mom’s not sleeping either his job is reaching Israel and you can tell that Israel is feeling them. Still, I think at this point I’d Adesanya is winning the match.
Round 4 is it where it gets really interesting! Towards the end of the round, Gastelum catches his opponent with a clean left kick. Israel right under his chin and wobbles him. Calvin has a chance to take real Advantage here but instead of moving forward with more punches he looks for the clinch?! This is probably where Kelvin lost the match, as this was his biggest opening to take his Israel out.
In round 5 is where Israel Adesanya cemented himself as a star! After some forward pressure from Kelvin, Israel to the surprise of most everyone in the bar traps Gastelum in a guillotine. Calvin slips out but is forced to the ground where Israel puts him into another submission attempt, a triangle! Didn’t know Israel had that in his bag… Kelvin escapes and they both end up on the feet. And that’s where the fight stays (for the most part). At this point is real has found his Mark and continues to rock Calvin with punch after punch. It turns out that Kelvin Gastelum is The Terminator and cannot be stopped in a match. He survives but this is a clear victory for Israel Adesanya
This fight is just one of the many great fights that we’ve seen from the UFC this year. The fights and cards keep getting better. I don’t know how long they can keep up this pace, but I hope they do. As for Israel, we’ll be looking forward to his next match to unify the championship with Robert.
Like most of Glover’s projects, Guava Island is hard to pin down or classify. Glover and his Director, (Hiro Murai of Atlanta fame) almost seem to delight in the fact that they have almost no obligation to follow any kind of tv or movie making rules. The film is shot entirely in Cuba in the atypical 4:3 aspect ratio, giving the sense that it’s older than it really is.
The film incorporates the most recent songs from Childish Gambino‘s (Glover’s musical alias) most recent catalogue. We’re feeling some real MJ/Thriller vibes as the film seamlessly switches from movie to music video. At only an hour so its an easy watch.
Given the rabid fan anticipation over Rihanna’s upcoming album, fans my be slightly disappointed that her role (especially musically) isn’t as pronounced in this film, but make nor mistake, her presence is felt. Ms. Fenty is still coming into her own as an actress and this project was a brilliant way for her to flex some of those chops on a smaller scale before taking on another more prominent role.
Plot: Kofi (Rihanna) narrates the animated opening sequences, telling the tale of Guava Island as a folk and fairy tale that all children on the island know. Her friend Deni (Glover) would come to her window every night to sing her songs and make her feel like living on the island wasn’t so mundane.
Fast forward to present day, and Deni is now a musician, dock worker, and radio station DJ where he plays live music to the people of the island while they work their difficult jobs. He dreams of writing a song so amazing that it will bring together the entire island and defy the evil ruler of the island, Red Cargo (Nonso Anozie). To reach this end, Deni plans a secret all-night music festival (this film was released during Coachella weekend. Wink wink) which angers the boss of the island because people will miss work the next day… I get it. Not terribly intricate but this film is more about the music so you might have to give them a little latitude.
Glover and Murai seamlessly tie Childish Gambino’s music into the story and that is where I think the film excels. Without giving too much away, our favorite scene takes place at one of Deni’s jobs. While at work, a co-worker wonders aloud how great it would be to leave the island and go to America. In typical Deni fashion, he makes light of the man’s naïveté and ignorance taunting him with the lyrics to “This is America“:
These last couple of weeks have been pretty tough. With another lackluster attempt to Rock-Bottom President Donald Trump out of office, another mass shooting, and the death a prominent figure in the hip-hop community. We have too many thoughts rattling around our heads and not enough words to fully express the outrage we have with everything. We know that many of these issues warrant a larger discussion and we plan to address some of them again, but we thought it would be good to get our thoughts out. It’s cathartic and we need this. So get ready, it’s time to vent.
And here, in no particular order are the things that “we mad about right now”…
Black Community – Nipsey
Idris Gray: Why? Just why? Why is it that when a positive force is moving, there’s always another random energy ready to stuff it out? This is self-hate in a nutshell. Why do we hate the come up? Why are we jealous of our fellow man? Why do we hate to see people who look like us winning? Nipsey was that positive energy. Say what you want about hip-hop and the larger entertainment industry, but sometimes there are individuals who use their voice and influence for the good of the common man. Nipsey Hussle was one of those people. And on March 31, 2019, he was taken from us. A silver lining here is that his death did spark some good, but we also imagine what he could have done if he was still here to inspire us.
F. Dougie: I hear you fam. This shit hurts my heart. Sure, I follow some other artists much more closely, but when I heard that Nipsey was murdered in front of his own business that he built in his own community, my faith was shattered. For all the things that we are fighting against, for all the progress that we are fighting to get back… One of our own guns down his brother in the streets? For What?! Here we have a young man that for all intents and purposes, made it out of a historically dangerous and tough neighborhood and then turned around to invest money back into the same community that gave him hardship as a youth. Most people wouldn’t do that. I don’t know if I myself could go back. He devoted himself as a partner and as a father only to be gunned down by the same people he was trying to empower. Nah son. I can’t take it.
Music – Why can’t a black man write a country song?
Idris: By now you’ve all heard about the Old town road. If you haven’t I guess you can consider yourself lucky. Not because it’s a bad song, rather because it’s too damn catchy. It’s all I hear when I close my eyes now. It’s like 2015 all over again, when that damn “Sorry” song came out (JB my boy tho). Anyway, the song was taken of the Billboard country charts because let’s face it, it was by a black kid. Billboard can use any words they’d like to justify this as a less than racist action, but we know what it is. Y’all ain’t fooling us. Plus, this ain’t the first time they’ve done shit like this. And while we are happy to report that a Cyrus stepped in to “save the day”, we can’t ignore how fucked the situation is that puts us here. It’s 2019 Y’ALL, wake the fuck up.
Dougie: First of all. We created country music. Shit, we created damn near every form of popular music! To me this seems like one of those, “we love black culture, but not black people” situations. Y’all can steal our dances, music, vibe, our speak, and the way we wear our clothes, but the second that we come back to country music, “it ain’t country enough”.
For all the damage that his progeny has done to our culture and community, it took country music artist Billy Ray Cyrus to co-sign the homie Lil Nas X. Sure, Cyrus will get paid and will possibly have his first #1 single in decades, but the point is the same, If y’all are inviting y’all selves to the cookout, then we damn gon show up to the square dance with Timbs and Du-rags on.
New Zealand massacre
Idris: That’s right, Just when you start to forget about the last mass shooting, some crazy bigot swoops in to confirm your suspicions that the world is going to shit. Quick recap – Some crazy person opened fire at 2 different mosques… holy places… on men women and children, killing 50. In one day this terrorist, monster, crazy asshole killed 50 people and affected a larger group of families and freinds. How can you not feel for the families here? Entire generations of families gathered together for fellowship and met with pure hatred and evil.
Let’s not lie to ourselves, this is kind of thing is becoming more and more prevalent. Not just the mass killings but the rise of hatred for minorities across the globe. White supremacy is seeing a resurgence. And while Donald Trump may not have been the start of it, he is certainly given other bigots like him the boldness to enact their hatred.
Dougie: Hate crimes are up almost 300% in this country in the last 2 years. Swastikas are brandishing our schools. Black Churches are burning. Mosques are being vandalized and shot-up. We have a “leader” who panders to racists, bigots, and religious zealots and then denies an increase in white supremacy. These psychopaths are literally citing him directly as a reason for many of their actions. Nationalism is being rampant across the globe and these sickos are truly convinced that they are the victims. They are convinced by outlets like Fox News (from whom Trump gets his information) that brown people are coming here to steal their jobs, rape their women, and commit white genocide.
Thank god New Zealand has a true leader in Jacinda Ardern. If not for her compassionate words, quick action on gun control, and empathetic reassurance that racism and bigotry have no place in her country, things could have spiraled even more so out of control. Must be nice to have real leadership, huh?
Relationships – Ghosting
Idris: Ok so in the grand scheme of things this is pretty ‘lite’. But it still annoys the shit out of me. What ever happened to common courtesy y’all? The whole game is fucked up! Ghosting is becoming a way too common practice now-a-days. And while disappearing after a couple dates still counts as ghosting and is shameful, I’m speaking more at those of us who carry on for weeks only to disappear like a hood David Copperfield. And I know it goes both ways so I’m calling us all out. Guys and girls.
A piece of advice for my people on the receiving end. Honestly, that person is doing you a favor. That dude or chick who got snapped up by Thanos never to be seen again is helping you… Do you really want to be in a relationship with someone that inconsiderate?
Dougie: If you are actively communicating with someone, you have a relationship with them. Period. This ghosting shit has gotten out of hand. People begin relationships, and then flat out disappear with no warning or notice. I’ve even read about people who have ghosted marriages and even their jobs with no explanations! When did this shit become acceptable?! Has social media made us this disjointed from each other and this uncaring for other people’s feelings that we’ll literally just stop pretending they exist after developing a relationship? Everyone hates dating. It’s not fun. No one wants to put themselves out there and get hurt. Honestly, ghosting is partly why. How can we trust one another when we are afraid that the person we’ve invested time in is just going to disappear like David fucking Blaine or the Great Goddamn Houdini?! This ain’t The Prestige. Fuck outta here.
I don’t care who you are. If you ghost someone, you are a coward plain and simple. The bad karma that you have been putting out into the world shall be visited upon you 100 fold. Shame on you. Shame, and a curse upon your house!
Politics – Mueller Report and Trump’s Tax Returns
Idris: Once again we are a witnessing the magic that is Donald Trump – the teflon don. Honestly will anything stick to this man? Should we just focus on the next race and pretend like we’re ok with the fact that the leader of the free world is a complete moron? A misogynist? A bigot? A racist? I sometimes pretend like my girlfriend is Rihanna. But this is a stretch. (Don’t worry she pretends that my last name was Elba. It’s really a win win for everyone.)
Dougie: You know what….I can’t. I won’t. I don’t have the energy. See y’all in November 2020.
The American Prison System
Idris: Last week, a report came out detailing the terrible conditions of Alabama prisons. In the report guards and other authority figures of the prison were said to be ignoring extreme cases of assault, rape and even covering up murders as deaths by natural causes. This shit is straight up despicable. We already know that the prison system in this country is a joke, we recommend reading The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander if you really want to understand the depths of the problem – but this article was a reminder of all the bullshit happening today in this country that we are so far removed from. “Criminals” are often treated like animals and reform is not the object of these prisons.
Dougie:The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander. The 13th by Ava DuVernay. The truth is out there, and that shit hurts. One major step would be to remove all private prisons but only a few Presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders have even entertained the discussion. Don’t get me started on detention in schools being used as a weapon to criminalize black children and get them ready for the American prison systems via the School-to-Prison Pipeline.
We need something positive, Y’all. We need some Ws in the win column and we need them yesterday. Can someone show us some real progress? Something really beautiful going on in the world to counterbalance the state of our country, the planet, and the way we treat each other around the world? Because right now, we just ain’t seeing it.We feel like Captain America and Iron Man at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Please. Someone show us the light.
We recently took the plunge and participated in our first class at Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy here in New York City. If you don’t know who Renzo is (pronounced Hen–zo), as a 6th degree Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he’s from the legendary Gracie family of BJJ and has titles, awards, and trophies in every major Martial Arts prestige from the UFC to the Pride Fighting Championships.
The beginners class includes a 30-minute tutorial from one of the school’s many talented instructors, a practice Gi, and 2 additional classes (either BJJ or Muay Thai). All of this is free! They don’t try to hustle or harass you into joining. There are no questions asked and they really give you the opportunity to learn and see for yourself if you like the academy and martial art before discussing any kind of pricing or packages.
After learning the basics in the 30-minute intro class (Stance, Falling, Rolling, Half Guard) we joined the hour-long white belt class. The class was full of people of all shapes, sizes, color, ethnicity, and gender. Even though we were clearly new to all this, everyone was welcoming and accommodating.
We started with the warm-up (if you want to call it that). We’re typically pretty active ourselves. Dougie Boxes at Gleason’s twice a week and Idris lifts and crosses fools over at the Y on Thursdays. He’s nice with the fadeaway (RAINDROPS!). But the warm-up was still enough to get a good sweat going. I can only really describe it as a lighter version of circuit training designed to work every part of your body and get the muscles that you’ll be doing while practicing BJJ engaged. We can’t lie, we were both a little gassed afterward. Honestly, that shouldn’t scare you off. The warm-up and full program are very accommodating and although it designed to give you a full-body workout, you can go at your own pace without any meatheads screaming in your face.
Warm-Up — Several rounds of jogging, push-ups, rolling, sit-ups, side crawls, knee highs, squats, shrimp , etc.
Idris Grey: Yo, this is the warm up? How many laps we doing?!
F. Dougie: Stick with me fam! Don’t leave me behind!
Idris Grey: I need some milk!
F. Dougie: You’re fine fam.
Idris Grey: I think I pulled something. Yup definitely pulled my groin.
F. Dougie: Damn, you won’t be fucking for 2 weeks at least!
10 minutes later…
Idris: I’m done. I don’t know if I can do anymore…
Dougie: I’m drenched in sweat…I thought I was in decent shape. Hold’up, there’s more class left?! How long were we warming up?!
Idris: It’s all good. Everyone else is sweating too. We got this.
The basic principle of having a strong base is key here. This is so the opponent is less likely to be able to move or control your body. Keeping good posture is also paramount. This is done by keeping your head up, so your opponent cannot easily break your head down and control your body. Where the head goes, the body must follow. Strong frames keep your opponent at a fixed position and enable you to move in a fashion which will after proper positioning, allow you to escape the typical schoolyard bully strategy of headlock.
Keep your chin down to hinder their grips from reaching your neck. (You don’t want to get choked out. Your shoulders are up, making it harder for the opponent from choking you from behind. Your elbows are tight to your body and your hands are protecting your neck. We’re fairly certain that all members of the Wu-Tang Clan have mastered this technique. (“Protect ya neck!” ) Your head goes to the ground, your back moves to the ground. Here is where we look to escape. As soon as someone gets their hooks in, your head should be going down to the mat. Early prevention is best.
Better yet…never let anyone take your back. It’s the most dominant position in all of combat.
This one is more advanced but still worth a close look. Delariva is an old-school, new-school guard, named after BJJ legend Ricardo De La Riva. No guard is a real guard without the principle of kuzushi. A Japanese term which means to unbalance one’s opponent. Simply, no guard is a guard if it does not have a push AND a pull.
Overall, we highly recommend at least giving Renzo Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy a shot. It’s an amazing way to stay in shape. It’s a lot of fun too, once you get past that burning in your chest. It tests your cardio, flexibility, strength, and even your creativity. Like we mentioned, even the warm up had us looking for the nearest water fountain. But even more importantly, learning to defend yourself these days is paramount. Hate crimes are at record highs and people are more hostile than ever. People get into altercations on the subways and on the streets for as doing as little as accidentally bumping into one another.
We are not saying that you need to become a ninja or assassin or anything like that, but learning what you don’t know could help save you from bodily harm or worse. Do you know how to escape a basic headlock? These guys can teach you to reverse and control someone twice your size and strength with 2 easy motions. Learning not to panic in a difficult situation or knowing that the most simple technique can help diffuse a bad situation can give you greater peace of mind while you navigate through these mean streets.
We saw men women and even children with the confidence and determination to know that they were in control, and that is real power. Give ‘em a shot, and tell em OB sent ya.
We also noticed many of the students wearing what were called Rash Guards and Spats. These are base compression layer of protective wear that eliminate friction, rubbing, bruises, and are also antimicrobial & anti-fungal! They are like a layer of high-tech armor to eliminate damage and help you recover faster. Honestly, they are stylish and comfortable as well and are a great buy around $19.99 each.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. While clicking these links won’t cost you any extra money, they will help us keep this site up and running. Thank you for your support!
Recently, celebrities like R. Kelly and Michael Jackson (RIP) have come into the spotlight because of allegations of child molestation. These conversations have prompted people to stop playing their music. Some companies and media outlets have taken themselves out of the conversation by removing their content altogether. With all the recent conversations about not supporting problematic figures, we want to see what people think. Our question is:
Is it ok appreciate the art or contributions of allegedly or convicted ‘problematic’ artists?
The list of pop-culture icons who have been accused is becoming endless. These people were basically considered gods in their respective fields:
Bill Cosby (Convicted of rape)
Woody Allen (Alleged pedophelia and staurtory rape of his daughter)
Michael Jackson (Alleged molestation of children)
Harvey Weinstein (On trial for sexual assault)
For the sake of argument, considering those that have been accused and are alleged troublemakers, if we assume all of the allegations are true, (we have our doubts about MJ specifically) do we stop consuming the contributions these people have made to art and popular culture? Considering the issues with mass-shootings and white nationalism, the timing of these topics and coverage by the media seems odd at best.
Your President denies collusion with a foreign power and also denies the rise of white nationalism despite all evidence to the contrary. Black people are shot down like animals in the streets on what seems like a regular basis. The media barely shines a light on the subject and then the next week it’s on to the new Kardashian love triangle. It all seems like a distraction, but we digress.
So, if we are cancelling the contribution for one artist in a medium, why aren’t we doing this for every problematic contributor across the spectrum? These are the questions that we want people to discuss.
Also, as black men, we want to let you know that we see things differently. Listen, we aren’t defending the acts of any criminals but one of the main questions that we have about people ‘cancelling’ these men is, why is the media taking the microscope to black artists and not anyone who has ever committed an alleged atrocity?
Where are the crusades against the catalog’s of Elvis Presley, Woody Allen, and David Bowie for their supposed actions? It’s seems to us that acts by white artists or counterparts are not held to the same standards or scrutiny. If you do that for one you have to do that for everybody, right? Our point is if you want to get self-righteous and indigent for one artists issues, keep that same energy when they come for your Elvis collection.
Additionally, is this how we want to live? The sad thing is, if you look closely enough at anyone they probably have some dark secrets. That goes double for artists and politicians now in today’s digital age.
Again, our point is this, let’s not be hypocrites. Let’s dive in a little bit more to give you a few examples of problematic shit that has gone untouched by the media for years:
Our “Founding Fathers” — On our legal U.S. Tender we celebrate the pictures of U.S. heroes who were also oppressors. Think about that. We have Slave owners on our currency.
Catholic Church — These sickos are caught in controversy after controversy, year after year involving abuse against underaged boys. But sure, your scheduled vacation to Rome to see the Vatican ain’t sus. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
National Anthem —The anthem that we are told to stand for and support was written for Americans before slavery ended and even had a verse at the time that referenced slavery directly.
Don’t let us get started on tech companies like Apple and Facebook selling your data. And apparel companies like Nike that employ problematic labor practices.
To get you thinking about how life is affected when we start removing art from our lives, we’ve created a playlist of artists who people say you shouldn’t listen to because of the alleged crimes they have committed.
First things first, Shout out to writer April Reign (creator of #OscarsSoWhite) because without her starting the aptly named hashtag, most of the recent progress made around the Academy Awards would not have been possible. Not only would we still be passively complaining about how little diversity is spread throughout the Oscar nominees and films, but the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also would not have paid attention to the noise and finally changed their voting process.
We’re sure many people think that things like movies and movie awards are trivial (and maybe in the grand scheme of things they are) but since people spend so much of their lives consuming media, we actually think that films are pretty important. Movies are one of the ways for people to learn new things, encounter other cultures, and be represented in the world.
If ‘the black guy’ dies first in every movie, what does that subconsciously tell you? It tell you that the black characters are ultimately not important and disposable. It’s not a far cry for people to start to adopt these attitudes in real life.
If all the Latinx characters in movies are criminals and ignorant buffoons, how do cultures that do not encounter these people start to think about these groups?
If all the Asian characters in a movie are racial caricatures and stereotypes, it becomes harder and harder for people in those groups to be seen and treated as anything but by people who may not be as educated. You get our point.
Big budget films have been more popular than ever. Marvel and Disney films have been topping the box office for the better part of the last decade. It stands to reason that given their critical as well as commercial success, that one day they’d finally start to get some much-deserved Best Picture buzz.
Let’s not be cute about it, the Oscars have always been fairly bougie and pretentious. When fans, bloggers, and columnists started to make noise online about their desire to have the cultural powerhouse and phenomenon, Black Panther nominated for Best Picture, the academy’s response was to announce a new award for “Popular Films”. Funny that a film with a predominantly African-American cast, considering its standing in American culture would receive a “separate but equal” Best Picture award, fans revolted and called the move a total cop-out. It was a public relations nightmare for the already beleaguered academy. The academy relented and announced they’d reversed their decision.
As early as February 2019, the same month as the Academy Awards, the Academy also announced that they were not going to televise crucial film categories like Editing and Cinematography. Let’s think about this for a second…The Cinematographer or Director of Photography is the artist who ACTUALLY films the movie. The Director has the vision, but without a DP, execution is literally impossible. Let’s put it this way… If filmmaking is all about storytelling through the vision of the director, it’s the cinematographer who brings their vision to life.
Don’t get us started on Film Editing. How do you expect to put the vision together after all the footage is shot without the editor? We know the award show is long, but either do it right, or don’t do it at all. How does an academy that prides itself on artistic integrity decide to cut two of the most artistic categories in film? So after another PR backlash and subsequent nightmare, the academy announced that it will air the categories after all.
“In the history of CINEMA, masterpieces have existed without sound, without color, without a story, without actors and without music. No one single film has ever existed without CINEMAtography and without editing.” – Alfonso Cuaron
That brings us to tonight. We both love films of all types and 2018 was a record year for the box office as well as for critically acclaimed movies. The categories are stacked and our glasses are full. Let’s get into it:
F. Dougie: Ok, so the show is already starting off on the wrong foot. Kendrick is overseas and can’t perform at the awards tonight.
Idris Gray: Who’s replacing him?
Dougie: No one. They had all the ‘Best Song’ nominees performing but he couldn’t make it back in time and still put on a dope performance. But I’m off that Sancerre! So we’ll need to inject some much needed blackness into this ceremony!
Idris Gray: DAMN
PERFORMANCE – Queen feat. Adam Lambert
Dougie: Aight, here we go. Pour one out for Freddie.
….They shoulda just had these three ladies host! (Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey).
AWARD – OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS (REGINA KING)
Dougie: Pulling for Regina King here…
Idris: Regina for the win. It’s a celebration. Also, Chris Evans really out here being Captain America. Chivalry is alive and well, sort of.
Dougie: Ayyyyyyyyyyy!!!! REGINA! What an amazing actress. Its about time she got her due. How long she been out here doing this?! How many tv shows? How many movies?
Idris: Yeah it’s a long time coming for sure. She wearing that dress too.
Dougie: It’s her moment, Idris but I’mma let you have it too.
Idris: Damn. Now Helen (Mirren) out here. Still looking fine.
Dougie: Helen Mirren. That’s another legendary actress.
Wooooo, I can’t fake homie. Been trying to surf that wave for a loooonnnggg time.
Idris: I haven’t seen any of these tbh, I should watch more documentaries.
Dougie: RBG and Free Solo were dope.Hope she lives forever tho forreal.
Idris: Looks like the free climbing one would be cool.
Dougie: Son. In 4K? Forget about it.
Also, you’ll never see no brothas up there…. Sorry, I had to do it.
Idris: LOL. Well, real life is extreme enough ain’t it? These dudes looking for more “thrills”. I feel a thrill every time I see the po-po.
Dougie: LOL, “Oh look, the police. What is that, $0.25 across the street? Just gonna walk into oncoming traffic instead of possibly dealing with these dudes”.
Idris: Everything I do is extreme. Extreme living. Extreme taking this elevator. Extreme cashing this check.
Dougie: They call Idris “POINT BREAK”.
Commercial – Google Assistant
Idris: These google commercials are really good. They really opened the checkbook to sell that ‘OK Google’ functionality.
Dougie: You can do that when you don’t have to pay taxes.
Idris: Hate the game Dougie… Hate the game
Tom Morello. Great guitar player.
Dougie: Legend, mate. He’s going in on Dick Cheney tho. Didn’t see that coming. Just be glad Zack DelaRoca ain’t out here keeping it 100 as well.
Idris: Yeah… Didn’t watch this (Vice). Looks really good though. We should check it out.
Dougie: I heard it was good. These guys did “The Big Short”? I really liked that one.
AWARD – BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING (VICE)
Idris: They really made Bale look like Dick Cheney. Scary what they can do with makeup.
Dougie: Then they definitely deserve this award. Christian Bale is too good. Dude can straight act.
Idris: Makes me wonder, what would you say is the most impressive makeup job you’ve seen? No CGI.
Dougie: Robert Downey, Jr. Tropic Thunder. lolol
Idris: Damn… He really got away with black face though.
AWARD – COSTUME DESIGN (BLACK PANTHER)
Idris: What are these fools doing? LOL (Melissa McCarthy and Brian Tyree Henry)
Dougie: Clownin! Lol
Idris: DUH! Like how could it not be Black Panther? Wakanda Forever. This is a moment.
Dougie: Fam, Ruth Carther is a FUCKING. LEGEND.
Idris: Yes you got it fam!
Dougie: We did it. WE, IDRIS. ME AND YOU! YOU AND I.
AWARD – PRODUCTION DESIGN (BLACK PANTHER)
Idris: Another one in the bag here. This film was a moment.
Dougie: Black Panther just won again. I can’t do this….. I’m weak
Idris: I told you! I said it, haha. We all knew this was ours though? Right?
Dougie: *Cries into sweater* Don’t talk to me right now.
Idris: There, there. LOL. Honestly, this is the type of shit is what we need.
Dougie: For soooo many reasons.
AWARD – CINEMATOGRAPHY (ROMA)
Dougie: Can’t believe they almost didn’t televise this. Roma was a beautiful film.
Idris: Yeah. Really well done. We “Objectively Latin” right now.
Dougie: Arriba la Raza!
Idris: HAHA Emilia Clarke with a little funny.
Dougie: Imagine RGB with Khaleesi’s Dragons tho.
Performance – ”I’ll Fight” – Jennifer Hudson
Dougie: Her performance from Dreamgirls still gets me in my feelings. “And I am telllinnnggg you!”
Idris: Damn she was a little flat there though. Am I hating? It was still an amazing performance.
I need to turn on my VPN to the midwest and see what commercials they showing down there. I guarantee you there are no black dudes selling Cadillac Escalades.
Dougie: Hakeem Olajuwon ain’t got a dealership in Houston?
Idris: Houston got a strong Nigerian presence actually. The brand is strong out there.
Dougie: Nigerians been on that take over for a minute. Let me be down.
Idris: Oh nigga you in. Trust that.
AWARD – SOUND EDITING (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Dougie: Damn. This is a tough category.
Idris: Nah, this is a sleeper cat for sure.
Dougie: Wow. Bohemian Rhapsody coming in strong for Rock music. I’m trying to see a renaissance.
Idris: Wow. Well, I feel like that was the easy choice though.
Dougie: I mean, A Quiet Place was masterful. I haven’t seen a horror movie that took so full advantage of sound like that before. But then again, First Man went in as well. But that last 30 minutes of Bohemian Rhapsody, I thought I was IN the stadium.
Idris: Yeah I would have thought A Quiet Place for sure. But you have a movie full of some of the greatest rock songs ever written. Tough to beat.
AWARD – SOUND MIXING (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Idris: I have no clue. I guess Bohemian Rhapsody again?
Dougie: Yeah, it would have to be, right? Those teams work so closely together it would be crazy to not give them both awards.
Idris: Yup! This makes sense. Honestly, this is all off the strength of QUEEN. The music is too fire. “Fat bottom girls” is my anthem. That’s what I listen to when I’m feeling down.
Dougie: Also, your favorite IG hashtag.
Idris: Hey now, I see those likes on our handle. Those ain’t all from me.
Dougie: You know this is a team effort! I’m trying to gain us followers! We are partners! My likes are your likes!
Idris: I mean. Yes those are all me…….cough
AWARD – BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM (Roma)
Idris: ANGELA!! do we follow her on Insta? Damn, she speaks Spanish too?
Dougie: We do now. Has she aged? Seriously.
This is crazy. Roma is nominated here and for Best Picture?
Idris: Yeah, well deserved though.
Dougie: It really is a gorgeous movie. And Cuaron is a genius filmmaker.
Netflix gonna be feeling themselves if they win a Best Picture.
Idris: HAHAHAHA. Keegan Michael Key a fool.
Dougie: Yo, get your mans.
I’m saying tho, do we really need a host? These presenters are killing it.
Performance – “The Place Where Lost Things Go” – Bette Midler
Idris: Ok… Hmm. Thoughts…. Lol
Dougie: She’s a legend in many communities. I’m not touching this one.
Also, I heard Mary Poppins was good.
Idris: Nah you misunderstand. Helen Mirren or Bette Midler?
Dougie: I gotta rock with my girl Helen, but Bette still got some milkshake left.
Idris: Haha! I’m saying though.
Dougie: Trevor Noah. The future. Did you know he’s actually in the movie?
Out here speaking Xhosa.
Idris: Yeah, Africa stand up!
AWARD – FILM EDITING (Bohemian Rhapsody)
Dougie: Low Key, this is one of my favorite categories.
Idris: Of course Bohemian Rhapsody. Honestly thinking back on the film… They deserve this.
Dougie: I find it interesting that BR is winning many of these technical awards, considering all the controversy behind Brian Singer as Director. I mean, he’s not even nominated and its due to all the fuckery he bought upon his cast and crew. He’s probably be a shoe-in tonight if it wasn’t for his personal fuck ups.
Idris: Hmm yeah. Can’t always separate the person from the art I guess.
Charlize Theron. Loved her in, everything she’s ever done haha.
Dougie: LOL, Testify.
AWARD – OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR (Mahershala Ali)
Idris: DUDE this is gonna be a good one. Great performances here. Who you got?
Dougie: My man Mahershala. Every time he hits the screen he’s fucking GOLD.
Sam Rockwell has always been one of my favorites too. He’s always great. But he just won last year so…
Idris: Yeah, Sam as ‘Dubya’ is fucking amazing.
Dougie: WOW. This is an incredible night.
Idris: Hey! This too is a fucking moment. And he, like me, likes to wear beanies inside. I think that’s what that is.
Dougie: That’s 2 for him, tho! In 3 years! I know this is the Academy Awards and I shouldn’t bring up TV, but whenever this dude steps on screen in True Detective he’s giving a master class on acting. The choices he makes on screen are brilliant.
Idris: Damn, going to the Academy museum would be lit. Future review coming soon!
Dougie: Holy shit. “I want to go to there”.
AWARD – ANIMATED FEATURE FILM (Sider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)
Dougie: This is Spider-Verse or I’m out.
Idris: I’m with you.
Dougie: If any of you haven’t yet seen this film. It’s a swing through years and years of comic stories and characters, aimed at those who know everything about Spider-man and those who know absolutely nothing about him. It’s got heart, its funny, and it’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s also groundbreaking from a technical standpoint.
It’s not only the best animated movie of 2018, but it’s also one of the best animated movies ever made. Comic book or not.
Idris: This was really an experience. A beautiful film and a great story. Also it’s a great example about why representation is so important in film. Seeing people or characters that look like you is important for any kid.
Dougie: You said it, fam.
Performance – “When a cowboy trades his spurs for wings” – Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
Idris: No no, no, no. What is Kacey Musgraves wearing bro?
Dougie: I mean, if you just won AOTY at the Grammy’s, you’d wear whatever the fuck you wanted.
…..Also, her outfit matches this song.
Idris: Not gonna lie… The legend of Buster Scruggs was actually kind of dope.
Dougie: Was it? I guess I gotta put it on the Netflix Queue.
Commercial – The Irishman
Dougie: Oh shit…
Idris: YOOOO. That title sequence though. With the bullet? Ok… Netflix has it’s big boy pants on
Dougie: I’m sold. Sold. Goodfellas is my favorite movie of all time.
Idris: HAHA Waynes World!
Dougie: “Party on Wayne”
Rami Malek DEFINITELY wins Best Actor later tonight. I don’t see how he doesn’t.
AWARD – ANIMATED SHORT (Bao)
F. Dougie: Bao wins this. People were crying in the damn theater before the main feature actually started.
Idris: Sorry didn’t see any of these. I was busy watching NBA youtube videos.
Dougie: Lol.They played this one before Incredibles 2. I see your point tho.
AWARD – DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT (Period. End of Sentence.)
Idris: OH I heard about a night at the garden. But again, I didn’t watch any of these. I think I need to watch more shit.
Dougie: I tried to watch as many films as possible….but I can’t lie…. I didn’t see ANY of these.
The short films are harder to come by tho. But a movie about menstruation just won an Academy Award. The ladies not giving a single fuck out here.
Idris: Yeah these aren’t on the radar as much I guess.
Dougie: They should play more of these short films before movies instead of bombarding us with 30,000 trailers before a feature.
Idris: Oh there’s a concept. But you know you like the trailers.
Dougie: I actually don’t watch them as much anymore. Too many spoilers.
Idris: Yeah they pretty much tell you exactly what happens in the movie now. Remember that dog trailer we saw before Spider-Verse?
Dougie: LOL, They showed all 3 acts of the movie!
They showed the kid losing the dog, the dog’s journey, and then the dog returning to the kid all grown up. WTF?!
Dougie: Diego Luna got that swag tho. That’s a smooth muthafucker.
Idris: Yeah, he did very well in the last season of Narcos. You catch that?
Dougie: Oh for sure. Great season. Like him in “Rogue One” as well.
Idris: Oh yeah true.
AWARD – VISUAL EFFECTS (First Man)
Idris: OK, who you got?
Dougie: This is tough. It’s a toss-up between Ready Player One and Infinity War
Idris: I LOVED READY PLAYER ONE but Infinity War was great too.
Dougie: Ok, First Man looked incredible. No 8-foot tall purple villain, but they made it look like they were really landing on the moon in the ‘60s.
Idris: Damn I’m missing on everything. Yea… but that shit ain’t exciting though. HAHA.
Dougie: The devil is in the details. It’s way more subtle, I guess.
Infinity War had the most special effects shots of all time. I’ll fall back, for now.
Performance – “Shallow” – Lady Gaga & Bradley Cooper
Dougie: Ok, let’s see what Bradley Cooper do. We know what Gaga working wit.
Idris: He don’t don’t have a bad voice. But he’s gonna look bad beside a pro like Gaga.
Dougie: He’s doing his thing for a regular dude. Love this song tho.
I heard that’s a $50MM diamond around her neck. Where are the snipers at? Is that a red dot I see?
Idris: Nah, that red light means we’re live, dog. Cameras recording. Man. The hood has really done a number on you.
Dougie: My hand is shaking, fam. I’m afraid for anyone that moves to quickly. *grabs a whiskey*
Idris: We gon’ pray for you fam. Leave it to Jesus. Good performance though.
Dougie: I’mma need all denominations tho… “In Nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti”
Idris: Damn look at these ladies… (Krysten Ritter & Kiki Layne). Kiki Do you love me!?
AWARD – LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM (Skin)
Idris: Congrats to them.
Dougie: Yeah, they seem ecstatic.
AWARD – ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY (Green Book)
Idris: Ouch. Sam Jackson going at the Knicks hard.
Dougie: I mean, he ain’t wrong. Trash. They are trash
Green Book, cool.
Idris: Very nice. It really was an interesting look at an old subject.
Dougie: Yeah, for sure. People are tired of these movies, but if they are told correctly and with care, it’s always worth a look.
AWARD – ADAPTED SCREENPLAY (Blackkklansman)
Idris: We owning this category. Lots of good black films.
Dougie: This is another tough one. Blackkklansman and Beale Street were both heavy-hitters.
DAMMMNNNN, Spike got one!
Idris: Wow. Congratulations to Spike Lee. You can tell that this means a great deal to him. Even shouts out the 2020 presidential election? He was prepared for this – “Let’s do the right thing”
Dougie: 20 years since Do the Right Thing. He’s been out here making films, trying to keep people “woke” since before it was fashionable.My man got NOTES up there. So happy for him.
AWARD – Original Score (Black Panther)
Dougie: Oh shit. It’s the Prom King and Queen. Michael B. and Tessa T.
Idris: Oh God, Tessa Thompson is a spirit. I don’t think she’s a real person.
Dougie: No, she’s beyond all of us. We are truly not worthy. I see Michael B. bought his mother to the Oscars. Rocking the crushed Blue Velvet tux. Fly.
Idris: I think Mary Poppins might have it. LOL
Dougie: Black Panther could win this one…
Idris: Wrong again. Well fuck. I’m glad I’m wrong at least. This dude just won a Grammy actually. (Ludwig Gorranson)
Dougie: ANOTHER ONE. That’s 3 for Black Panther!
Idris: Chadwick think he’s filming Black Panther 2 with that suit on.
Dougie: Lol, let him live in this moment.
AWARD – ORIGINAL SCORE (A Star is Born)
Idris: Easy Win. I’m not getting this one wrong.
Dougie: Yeah, it’s no contest.
Low key tho. Mark Ronson is racking up Awards behind the scenes.
Idris: What the fuck? I thought this was All the stars to win. Ronson is a great producer though so I’m not really that mad.
Dougie: Oh, Nah. Gaga been out here. People love this song.
I’m still singing “All the Stars”. It’s a classic. But I think we saw this from the Grammys.
Idris: RIP STAN LEE. And also Jussie Smollett’s career.
Dougie: LOL, Ugh. It just got dark. Kanye looks like a saint by comparison.
Idris: Well Kanye ain’t a criminal.
Dougie: Isn’t he tho, Idris? Isn’t he?
Idris: You talking about Yeezus? Yeah, I want my money back on that album as well.
Dougie: We’ve been hoodwinked. Bamboozled.
Commercial – Elton John Biopic
Idris: So this Elton John movie is a must see.
Dougie: Yeah man, keep the biopics coming.
Idris: Barbara Streisand is royalty fam. And she came with the Jokes.
Dougie: Barbara Streisand a classy lady. NY icon.
AWARD – OUTSTANDING ACTOR (Rami Malek)
Dougie: This gotta be Rami.
Idris: Yes. But another stacked category
Dougie: Yeah, Rami is too good. That man is on another level.
Idris: Well deserved. The Oscars belong to Black Panther and Bohemian Rhapsody. This is a moment, Rami said so. Another great example of representation in movies as well. This is really great on many levels.
Dougie: It has been a great ceremony so far. I really could not have predicted all this. Since they changed the voting process so many great things have happened. It makes me look forward to the future of films. I’d really love to see more female representation in the Best Director category. I’d like to see the studios put more women behind the camera, but if tonight is any indication, I think we’ll see more of that inspiring progress soon.
Idris: Yeah it’s an ongoing process. The work of inclusion needs to continue. We need to see different colors, sexes, genders you name it. Diversity only makes these films better.
Idris: That girl Amanda Stenberg. Super talented. Among another things.
Dougie: Hahaha, I see you.Yeah man, she is something else. I really think she’ll be a force to be reckoned with at the box offices for years to come.
AWARD – OUTSTANDING ACTRESS (Olivia Coleman)
Idris: I’ve been wrong so many times tonight. But I’mma go with Gaga. Nah, McCarthy.
Dougie: Fuck. Another tough category.
Idris: Ok. Not mad at this. This is why I need to vote on these things. I don’t.
Dougie: Yeah, Coleman has been sweeping the awards circuit. I’d like to see more of her, tho. Melissa McCarthy looked like she really wanted that one.
Idris: Yeah you’d want an Oscar if you had to be seen on TV like that too.
Dougie: You gotta know the competition tho. In some categories, depending on awards season, you know if you have a chance or not. At least you get the swag bag tho.
Idris: Representation. Do it for the ladies, girl.
Dougie: 2 to go! Best Director and Best Picture.
Idris: Good. I’m ready for bed.
Dougie: How much money has Childish Gambino made tonight off this Cadillac commercial?
Idris: That dude stay winning. “Turn all the lights off”! That weird energy winning.
Dougie: Where was that “weird energy winning” shit in middle school? Huh?!
I ain’t mad at him. It’s great for all of us.
AWARD – BEST DIRECTOR (Alfonso Cuaron/Roma)
Idris: It would be CRAZY if this went to Spike!
Dougie: Rooting for Spike again but this will be a tough one.
Idris: Wow! Ok, you know what? Alfonso deserved it.
Dougie: Cuaron is legit tho. That dude is a visionary.
Idris: I agree. Also we here for our Latin brothers and sisters too.
Dougie: Damn right.
AWARD – BEST PICTURE (Green Book)
Dougie: This has got to go to Roma, right? It always weirds me out when they don’t pair Best Director and Best Picture.
Idris: Damn… it would make sense to give it to Roma I guess. But we can consider impact as well. No film had more impact than Black Panther.
Dougie: You are absolutely right. The Black community and American Cinema, in general hasn’t seen anything the level of Black Panther. It was a phenomenon. Roma is a sleeper tho.
Consider all the fuckery the current administration has been levying against Mexico. Another win for Cuaron here would be a huge statement.
Idris: I see what you’re saying fam.
All of the nominations are black it seems like. Just black black black… Very cool. I
Dougie: WHHATT??!!! I literally just yelled out loud.
Holy shit. Fam, I did NOT see that coming.
Idris: We are in here! It’s a celebration bitches. I am happy for this film. I think the point was clear. Not because of this win, but because of the nominations man.
Dougie: Yeah, so I want to have a positive take, here… Many people were more critical of this film because audiences are typically sick of the “white savior” trope and the black friend teaches a white friend about racism thing….but we can’t get where we want to be alone. These stories if told correctly are still very necessary. Mahershala and Viggo did an amazing job.
Idris: So when we talk about black people being tired of certain stories, I think we mean we are tired of being portrayed as just one thing. Usually negatively. Maids. Slaves, etc. But every movie in this category showed black people as people. Black and latin people are layered, like every other group. We aren’t a monolith, we are complex. You can’t just stereotype us all as one single thing. Each black film showed a level of creativity and boldness by telling a piece of the very large and complex story of black culture.
Dougie: Correct. We are not a monolith and that’s kind of the point of this blog, isn’t it? We try to be objective. We genuinely love films and I think that this year’s Academy Awards was something special. We have a long way to go but I think the future will be bright. When given an equal platform and an opportunity to tell our stories we will always shine.
Idris: Yeah man. That’s exactly why we write. We want to share our unique way of thinking. We love to see our people win, but more so we love to see our people having the chance to win. So shout out to the Oscars. And ALL the winners. Well done
OB: Ok, See you guys next year! Please leave us your comments, feedback, and share the blog if you like what you read.
I live by the notion that most people are garbage. It’s safer to assume the worst and then work backward. I know deep down you feel that shit too. Don’t trust anyone and then be pleasantly surprised when they show you that they aren’t trash.
Now, I don’t want to shit all over your Valentines day. I really don’t. But in order to get to the light, sometimes you have to go through the darkness, right? I promise I’mma get you there, but first I gotta kick some game.
I’m not saying that you have to or should live your life as I do. I’m doing alright. But this ain’t about me. This is about you.
Before you jump headfirst into long-term relationships before you go and get all boo’ed up…Before you drop hundreds of dollars on flowers and dinners and hotel rooms. Before you start asking for that ring…I really do believe that it’s smarter and saferto LOVE YOURSELF FIRST.
I’m not advocating to be completely and utterly selfish or to treat people like garbage. I’m not advocating to live a lonely, lonesome life because you “shouldn’t trust people” (you shouldn’t). I’m saying that once you really do show love for yourself, you start to understand that you don’t need another person to complete you. You’ll realize that although a partner can be a big part of your life, you shouldn’t need them to validate your existence. After all, you are your first priority and once your confidence is in place, only then should you focus on building deep relationships with others.
“Love yourself, girl, or nobody will. Oh, you a woman? I don’t know how you deal. With all the pressure to look impressive and go out in heels. I feel for you. Killing yourself to find a man that’ll kill for you
– J. Cole (Crooked Smile)
You set the standard for how you should be treated and others will follow by your example. Treat yourself like garbage, and I guarantee people will treat you like garbage. I know it isn’t easy. Our whole lives, we are bombarded with images and messages that tell you one thing…“You ain’t shit”:
You’re too dark.
Your nose is too big.
You’re too fat.
Your hair isn’t straight.
We’re taught that if we find Prince Charming or Princess Jasmine, everything else will fall into place. We’re taught that we need to find our “soul mate” and that we need someone to “complete” us. Magazine covers show us what we SHOULD look like. Movies and TV shows bombard us with images of what they consider beauty and desirability to actually be.
People of color, I know I’m preaching to the choir. We’ll get into this more another time, but for us, it’s even more frustrating. Black women are the least desirable and avoided ethnic group on all dating apps. The Bachelor has been on for what, 20 fucking years? How many Bachelor or Bachelorettes of color have there ever been? THE show about finding love is literally telling people of color “….this love shit ain’t for yall. Beautiful women? Yeah, they are all waif thin with long silky hair and pale skin”. ABC/Disney has branded happy endings and guess what. They ain’t for Y’all.
Sure, we can all have fun. Life should be about meeting new people and sharing experiences. But if you are really thinking about getting serious with someone, I’m saying that until you truly know who you are and what you want out of life, all this “bae” shit…. Look, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and to them.
Let’s get back on track. I’m trying to drag y’all through the bullshit to get you to the promised land. How do we get you there? Let’s start with 2 simple practices:
Know yourself/Be yourself – We’re all grown, right? Who are you still trying to impress? If you can’t even be yourself at your most comfortable, do you even really exist? Are you trying to impress your friends? Are you trying to impress your parents? Are you trying to show out for that person you met at the club? If this is the case, aren’t you just pretending to be something that doesn’t really exist? If you don’t know who you are, you better find out quick, fast, and in a hurry. You need to search your soul and get back to basics.
Know your boundaries – You know how much bullshit you are willing to take. Ask yourself? Are the people in my life treating me the way I wish to be treated? Do they have good intentions? Do they respect me? My thoughts? My wishes? If not, cut them out of your life. Period. Surround yourself with positive people. All that negativity will kill your drive and make you second guess everything you do.
So great. Now that your true self has awakened and you’re made of 100% positive energy and confidence, go lockdown a real one and go fornicate. Your close ratio will skyrocket. You’ll start pulling 8s and 9s. I guarantee you’ll even start putting it down better in the bedroom.
You’re not going to always make the best decisions, but hey, at least now you love yourself, right?
Need some inspiration? These are several songs that we think can help spark some confidence.