- I can't imagine growing up in the spotlight the way that Malia and Sasha Obama have. We've seen more discussions about their facial expressions and decorum at events than you can shake a stick at. And because of this, I'm sure they get "the talk" from their mama, ALL THE TIME before major events. "Make sure you stay composed because the world is looking at you." That seems like it would be grating and annoying, especially when you're 10 and 8, but even more so when you're 18 and 16 and lookin' to rock out with your *CENSORED*. Microscope livin' must suck when you really just want to listen to Joey Bada$$ and rock Pro Era gear.
- To that end, it is part of the gig. While President Obama is the President, the rest of the family is in office, too. And because so many people seem to viscerally detest our President, that means that everything the family does becomes some non-sensical race to the bottom of human decency. Michelle Obama wears her arms out? That's not first lady-like. Malia Obama misses the DNC to ham it up at Lollapalooza? What a waste of taxpayer dollars! So seeing her turn up at Lollapalooza, pulling up her skirt or shorts and doing some dance-like thing was going to be scrutinized by Black folks who think she should be more reserved and white folks who think she should be more reserved and white. Thing is, ants gon' ant, people gon' people, and niggas gon' nig. J. Cole already went platinum with no features so she might as well enjoy the fuck out of being 18 and finished with high school. Shoot your shot, Malia.
- Also, practice your shot, Malia. The thing that stood out to me most about the video was just how, and I mean no offense - I promise, rhythm-less she looked. Please don't call what she was doing twerking. It was not. I won't say she can't dance as I have no clue; she might be Janet Jackson in 1991 when nobody is watching. But I'm surprised that she got caught on video looking like she can't dance. Listen, I'm not famous. But I'll be damned if you gon' catch me at a concert attempting to dance and failing. Naw, you gon' see me bringing the pain. Y'all can say I can't write all you want, but what you not gon' do is come for my rhythm. And I'm just gonna say it, her rhythm left the venue that day.
- I blame our President for this. He looks pretty wooden in the moments where he's doing dance-like motions. He's still cooler than everybody else, but he ain't exactly Usher out there. I don't for a second believe that Michelle Obama can't dance though. She's from the southside. She comes from a hard-working family that preaches family first, but we all know that the O'Jays and Kool & The Gang got some burn in her house. And there's only so many times in a Black household you gon' get caught sucking at dancing before you work on it and show up stronger. In Obama's household, I'm sure dancing was not exactly high on the list of "things you need to be able to do". Genetically, and based ONLY on that video, Malia looked like she caught the President's dance skills. Look, I'm not saying that the girl needs to go to an HBCU or anything, but I feel like going to Harvard ain't gon' help this cause and she's going to continue in that tradition of doing dance-like things without much in the way of ever really putting in the work to show and prove. No shade, she just needs practice.
- At the same time, thank God she wasn't like, for real, twerking. Lawdhafmercy. Can you IMAGINE the outcry if she was caught on camera attempting to try out for The Twerk Team? Donald Trump would have a solid two weeks off the front page as people argued over the values of the Obama kids and what kind of parents Barack and Michelle are. The fact that the rhythm-less one got caught is the blessing in disguise because it's a non-story. Sasha? I'll bet Sasha turns up. Her theme song is probably "All The Way Up".
- Oh, right. People, this is not a story. Donald Trump attacking the Khan family? Story. Donald Trump's press corps being HORRIBLE? Story. Flooding in Ellicot City, Maryland, that killed people? Story. Police murder and brutality? Story. Korryn Gaines? Story. An 18-year-old doing 18-year-old things with her friends at a concert? Congrats, the Obamas raised a normal kid. Not a story. Shit I've never been to Lollapalooza. I'm jealous. I'm glad she's able to have some fun.
- I've read stories mentioning how she skipped the DNC to head to Chicago for Lollapalooza as if she blew them off. That led me to this video, which pretty much sums it all up. But let me add a few things. For starters, who gives a shit that she missed the DNC? She wasn't speaking. Ninety percent of the speeches sucked. She's not a delegate. Her parents aren't running for office. I can't, in all honesty, see why she'd NEED to be there as if the DNC was some uber important thing for these kids to attend. I live two-hours south of Philly and short of being there to witness the historic nomination, and see Obama speak, I had zero desire to attend.
- At the same time, I get the idea that: hey, this is a historic nomination. Hillary Clinton is the first woman to head major ticket heading into Presidential election. Awesome. Unfortunately, her dad was, like, the first Black person to reach that mountain. I'm not saying that it muted the historic nature - it didn't - I'm saying that she's an 18-year-old and a lot of these kids nowadays might not feel the historic weight of these moments. Or at least maybe not enough to feel like she needed to be there. Most of us were able to fully appreciate the moment…from home.
- At the samer time, maybe, just maybe, a band she REALLY wanted to see was going to be performing and now that she's 18 with a little more freedom she wanted to take that opportunity because who WOULDN'T when you finally get a taste of freedom? I'm just saying, historic speech that she'll be able to watch over and over online or once-in-a-lifetime concert performances. No two shows are ever the same.
- I mean, at least it aint Rae Sremmurd on The Breakfast Club.
Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.
What happened to the days of dance battling in school classrooms, cafeterias, and hallways? People would bang on the lockers, desk, beat up textbooks or whatever while forming a circle around you and your competition. You couldn't walk away from it. You had to bring it!
Why has this never happened to Malia?