Monthly Archives: June 2015

Dope – The Movie

Last night I watched the movie Dope, which is executive produced by Grammy award winning singer/song-writer Pharrell Williams  and debuted at the Sundance Film Festival as a critic’s favourite.

The film’s main character is a high school student named Malcolm from Inglewood, California. He’s a straight A student with aspirations to go to Harvard. However one night he gets invited to a party by the neighbourhood dope boy played by rapper A$AP Rocky, who actually does a decent job for his first acting gig, where then trouble ensues for Malcolm and his group of friends.

The film was written and directed by Rick Famuyiwa who also brought us films such as The Wood and Brown Sugar. Some of the familiar faces in the movie were Zoe Kravitz, model Chanel Iman, singer Quincy (Al B. Sure’s son) and Rick Fox. Forest Whitaker is also the producer and narrator.

Overall what I enjoyed about the movie was the range and dimension of the main character. So often black characters are written to fit a stereotype, disprove those stereotypes or given lack luster story lines to avoid rocking the boat. Malcolm is shown to continuously juggle his geeky side, the demands of being a black teenage boy and trying to navigate through his environments in a genuine way.

There were so many times I understood Malcolm and his friends’ determination to take care of their family, while still trying to be cool and survive in their rough hood.  All the while, the soundtrack is amazing which is as expected with Pharrell at the helm. Me and my friends were bumping in our seats at many points.

Please support this film and show that black hip hop based films can be nuanced and creative.

Janet Jackson – No Sleep

Janet ‘Ms Jackson If You’re Nasty’ is BACK! The youngest of the Jackson clan with the whispery voice has returned with a summer banger ‘No Sleep’ that I know is going to be a hit.

She recently announced her world tour titled Unbreakable and held auditions for back up dancers. The legendary pop icon, who brought us such incredible hits like Control, Rhythm Nation, If, Alright and many more is known for her videos with killer moves and sharp choreography. So nothing less than perfection is expected for her tours which have been record breaking. I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing Janet in concert and I’m not passing up the opportunity when she comes to Toronto on Sept 15th.

The new song ‘No Sleep’ is going to be the song you hear bumping out of cars all over the city this summer. It’s also going to be the song to play while dancing close on warm summer nights. Hearing Janet’s raspy voice croon on love takes me back to so many memories. Janet’s music has been the back drop to so many of my crushes, summer nights out, childhood and teenage memories ever since Janet’s powerful album ‘Control’ came out in 1986.

What’s so great about this new song is that Janet stayed true to her sound, giving her loyal audience music that is true. So often come backs are marred with radio- craving-trendy songs that are disconnected to artist’s fan base. What gives artists longevity in the music industry is staying away from ‘what’s hot’ and staying true to their artistry.

Janet knows her fan base and this song is the perfect return for her.

What do you think of the song?

#RamadanStruggles

My favourite time of the year – Ramadan. A time when my family prays, cooks and eats together for 29-30 days. Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar where Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to dusk abstaining from food and water.

The end of the month is marked with a holiday, Eid Al-Fitr, with feasts and get togethers. After fasting for a month, Muslims also perform and/or donate to charity, the act of Zakat, recognizing that there are way too many people in this world starving on a daily basis.

So as Muslims all over the world celebrate Ramadan, there are some funny commonalities we all go through each day. Came across some funny articles that I had to share as humour is a great way to unify us.

16 Universal Struggles Of Muslims Who Fast During Ramadan by HuffPost Living Canada

Waking up at 3am to eat breakfast (the drinking of tears may occur).

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Hanger. All. The. Time. (Hunger+Angry=Hanger)

no convo

20 Times The Internet Hilariously Summed Up Your Ramadan by BuzzFeed.

Just hope you’re by some good food when you hear the maghrib adhan*

*call for prayer at sundown

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22 Things People Who Fast For Ramadan Are Tired Of Hearing by BuzzFeed.

“Wow. I don’t know how you do it. I know I couldn’t!”

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It’s a good thing that I’m the one fasting and not you, then.

“Not even a tiny M&M? It’s so small, it doesn’t count!”

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“OK, what if you faint? Can we give you water then?”

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No. Let me die ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I hope these brought a chuckle to you as much as it did to me.

Ramadan Kareem!

‘Another Round’ Podcast

For some time I’ve had friends tell me about various podcasts that they’re hooked on. They’ve sent me links, snippets and endless emails detailing the stories and/or jokes I was missing out on. Curiosity got the cat so I started checking out various shows.

Some were dramatic stories that had me on the edge of my seat like ‘Serial‘, which is an investigative look at a crime story hosted by Sarah Koenig. For many who weren’t entrenched in the world of podcasts, ‘Serial’ was that show that got us hooked.

However one show has me now excitedly waiting for each episode and gleefully tuning in every time. ‘Another Round‘ featuring BuzzFeed reporters Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton is pure hilarity and fantastic wit. Since both ladies are writers, they don’t shy away from speaking eloquently on current issues impacting Black culture, feminism, mental health and pop culture to name a few. And Tracy’s ‘Joke Time’ might be corny, but it never fails in making me laugh.

Although I am perfectly fine with listening to these awesome ladies for their show, they’ve had some amazing guests on who always have great food for thought. For example, they recently interviewed Roxane Gay who is a writer, professor, editor, blogger, and commentator. After tuning in, I researched her further and found her book Bad Feminist. Excited to delve deeper into it, but definitely enjoying it thus far.

So whether you’re an avid podcast listener, a newbie or haven’t tuned in before, ‘Another Round’ is a dope show to check out. Humour, critical thinking, insight and more humour.

George R.R. Martin Hates Joy

No other show has ever left me so distraught once the credits roll as does Game of Thrones. Five seasons in and every finale has left me confused, heart broken and jilted. But like a predictable fiend that can’t enough, I return every Spring for the next season and set myself up for more torment.

If you don’t watch the show or read the books, then don’t expect a re-cap from me. You should be watching the show! And for those that do watch the show but haven’t watched the finale yet, this is your spoiler alert warning. Twenty four hours is the rule, after that it’s all fair game.

The show is too intricate to get into on here. It’s basically a lot of back stabbing, death, witty banter and nudity. All the right ingredients for a great show. Oh, and there’s dragons. Can’t forget the dragons.

But season five’s finale just ripped my heart apart. Ever since the last scene, I’ve been glued to fan sites, fan Tumblr pages and the author and executive producer George R.R. Martin’s Twitter timeline for hints that alleviate my worries. I should have known because since the start of the show, nothing that we thought would happen ever did. And now knowing that I have to wait a full year to find out what happens next, is next level torture.

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One of the most common phrases repeated through out the book/show is all men must die (Valar Morghulis in Valyrian) and Mr. Martin recently Tweeted this out after fans besieged him with questions following the finale. Yet nothing can prepare a viewer when a loved character suddenly dies.

#LongLiveJonSnow