For all the good my lord and gyrator, Beyoncé (as well as a host of other talented Negroes, but Beyoncé comes first), did to try and save this trash-ass year from itself, there were some glaring offenses that cannot go unaddressed. Here are some of the worst offenders. Feel free to audibly boo and hiss while reading along.
Usher, Hard II Love
Now, I love Usher like a holiday Duncan Hines yellow cake, but his most recent album, Hard II Love, was a disappointing effort. There are some brief highlights, like the single “No Limit” and the track “Bump,” but for the most part, the singer once again comes across as the uncle still trying to prove to his younger kin that he can keep up. The problem with that is when you’re an R&B legend, you’re supposed to operate from the position that you ain’t new to this, but true to this.
Usher will never go diamond again. Hell, he may never score another No. 1 hit. However, none of his contemporaries will ever go diamond, and their novelty hits will likely not hold a candle to the catalog he’s established over two decades. So many artists get lost in trying to keep up, failing to realize that now is the time to coast and to cater to those who helped you build a career. Nothing is wrong with experimentation, but it needs to come from the space of artistry and not desperation.
R. Kelly, 12 Nights of Christmas
When I think of Christmas, I don’t necessarily think of chestnuts and an open fire, but I for damn sure don’t think of the things I associate with R. Kelly: a urinary tract dysfunction and a perverse attraction to young girls (allegedly or whatever). So, while the Pied Piper/Pissy has free rein to record a holiday album if he so chooses, I definitely don’t get the Christmas spirit listening to his nasty self. Maybe something for President’s Day, since he might find himself in good company with other vile men of history, but not a day associated with “the Lord,” Santa Claus and credit card debt accumulated with the best intentions.
Rob & Chyna
While I am happy that Blac Chyna, a national treasure, scored an E! reality series that she used to introduce the masses to her mama, Tokyo Toni, that show turned out to be depressing viewing. All of the blame there belongs to Rob Kardashian, who acts like Eeyore and validated every single one of the criticisms leveled at him by big sister Kim Kardashian. There’s another season on the way, but after their most recent social media back-and-forth, count me out. Those two need counseling and a praying grandmother.
Azealia Banks’ Boastful Bleaching Efforts
As a former fan, I try to avoid Azealia Banks’ self-destructive behavior. Nonetheless, it was beyond depressing to see the once promising rapper self-destruct not only professionally but also personally. Shooting 20-minute videos explaining one’s choice to bleach one's skin is 20 minutes wasted.
This show is supposed to be about the eccentric and hilarious Mariah Carey. Instead we get episode after episode of her manager and new Sam Lutfi, Stella Bulochnikov, and a bunch of other people I don’t care about. That’s no shade to her creative dancer, Anthony Burrell, though. I love looking at him. Nonetheless, this show isn’t what I envisioned it to be. Sad!
The Real Without the Realest
If you’re going to replace Tamar Braxton, you best find an adequate replacement. That didn’t happen, and, well, it’s taking the daytime series a bit to find its beat. I suggest Monica because while she may not be Tamar—i.e., Cita from BET in real life—she’ll give you a Christian read while keeping it clear that she keeps a gun in her purse. That’s The Real’s demo to me, so there you go.
Giving Charles Barkley a Show On Race
Who in the hell believed it would be a great idea to give this country, uninformed Negro a platform to further soil the conversation about racism in mass media? Probably the same folks who may have voted for Tangerine Mussolini, or, at the very least, defend his supporters for being active participants in perpetuating bigotry. Hard pass on this show, beloveds.
Zoe Saldana + blackface + Nina Simone love story with a gay man = deserved flop.
Kocktails With Khloé
While I certainly acknowledge Khloé Kardashian’s glo-up, folks may want to stop making fetch happen with respect to her being a host. It’s not that she’s incapable, but she doesn’t appear to want to put in the work-work-work-work-work necessary to really take it to the next level. With that in mind, stop giving this woman a show. Maybe let her do a podcast, but that’s about it. I feel the same about Amber Rose, but God bless.
Views From the 6
Aubrey Graham has a nice beard and biceps, but that last album was not particularly good. Sure, it got a lot of streams, though I attribute that to youthful mistakes. There are a few gems to be found, but like most Cash Money-related albums, it’s cluttered with filler.
Brandy’s One-Sided Beef With Monica
Brandy has spent far too much of 2016 having a one-sided feud with a woman who carries a gun at all times and is believed to have already smacked the silly out of her more than a decade ago. Brandy is an accomplished singer and actress who, to her credit, has worked consistently her entire career. With that in mind, why beef with someone not interested in beef with you? And don’t you have this woman’s number? Can you not just shoot her a text? FaceTime your grievances away? Girl, stay out of the Shade Room, and remember that you’re in your mid-30s. Or stay mad. Whatever’s clever.
A Reality-Show Host Becoming President
WHAT HAVE YOU PEOPLE DONE?!
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.