If I squint with my good eye and drink something potent out of a red Solo cup, 2016 doesn’t seem so bad—from an entertainment perspective, anyway. So, as we move forward into the new year, here are some things I’d very much like to see. That is to say, if 2017 doesn’t end early because a nuclear apocalypse initiated by the Twitter account of our president-elect.
1. Teyana Taylor Releases New Music
Make no mistake—I’m quite happy that Teyana Taylor has graduated from “that ‘Google Me’ girl” and “that girl from My Super Sweet 16” to pop-culture events far more contemporary. However, as someone who has written about her very solid, long-delayed debut album and an equally solid follow-up EP, I’m waiting for Teyana Taylor the singer to get more attention. The Lil’ Kim tribute was fantastic, as was her performance in Hip-Hop David Koresh’s “Faded” video. Nonetheless, that’s other folks’ stuff. I’m ready for Teyana’s moments to come from her own art.
2. Mariah Carey Leaves Reality Television
My 8-year-old niece smacked me for my disapproval of Mariah’s World, but I am just a bit underwhelmed—which normally never happens with anything associated with the Mariah Carey. If the show can be retooled to her just lying down in the confessional with great lighting and wine, shooting the s—t, I’m all for it. But if it’s going to be about her background singer having petty squabbles with the fine-ass creative director, plus too many scenes with Mariah’s version of Sam Lutfi, let’s all move on.
3. Beyoncé and Jay Z Drop Their Rumored Duets Album
Actually, I could do without Jay Z on the album, but I do need up-tempo tunes from my lord and gyrator. Lemonade is phenomenal, but I want to dance like a thot and tell bitches to bow down as summoned by King Bey. Like, where are these tracks produced by Detail? Someone free them already!
4. June’s Diary Give Us at Least an EP
In classically candid fashion, Frank Gatson, who manages the group June’s Diary that was formed on BET’s Chasing Destiny, told fans that the group wouldn’t release an EP or an album until it landed a hit song. Gatson went on to note that the show itself had been canceled. While the necessity of a hit to successfully launch any new act is understandable, there’s no reason the group couldn’t have at least dropped an EP by now. Meanwhile, if we’re going to talk about strategy, I’m not entirely sure why a group of younger women would go on tour with R. Kelly of all people. Please advise.
5. Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna Stop Torturing Us, and Themselves
I’m ’bout sick of Eeyore Kardashian and Tokyo Toni’s successor and their volatile relationship being documented every single second on both social media and reality television. There are two sides to every story, but the tale itself is becoming stale. Y’all are either together and working on a healthy relationship, or you’re working on a custody agreement each can live with. Until those two figure it out, they should leave us alone.
6. Brandy Remembers That She’s Brandy
The singer and actress is hawking the laxative Flat Tummy Tea and having a one-sided beef with Monica: None of these things matches up with someone who has done movies with Diana Ross and Whitney Houston and had her own Barbie doll. Get it together.
7. Stabler Returns to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
After seeing Christopher Meloni and Mariska Hargitay reunite via selfie recently, I reckon we deserve a formal on-screen reunion between Detectives Olivia Benson and Elliot Stabler.
8. Azealia Banks Bans Herself From the Internet
9. Empire Figures Itself Out
The best part about this show is the eye candy and Cookie’s one-liners. Maybe it’s always been this way, but the show still hasn’t recovered completely from its abysmal sophomore season. I haven’t completely given up, but it’s no longer must-rush-home-to-see-in-real-time television.
10. Kanye West Goes Into Seclusion
And blondie can stay there for a smooth while.
11. Destiny’s Child Reunites
This probably won’t happen until Mathew Knowles goes home to glory or Beyoncé suddenly feels, like, extra sentimental, but given that the group is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary (referring to its appearance on the Men in Black soundtrack), it would be nice for the trio to get back together. It would be even better if LeToya or LaTavia is invited to at least hum a few lines on the track, too.
12. Janet Jackson Finishes Her Comeback Tour
I had tickets for her comeback tour when the goddess decided that she was going to take an extended break from touring to have a baby at 50—leaving me happy for Penny on one end, but selfishly sourpuss for other reasons. Look, I just want to see the woman butterfly one last time before she stays away from America and Jermaine Jackson’s grease forever.
13. Lil’ Kim Releases a New Album We Actually Like
I will rap “Queen Bitch” from now until the end of time, but it’d be nice if Kimberly Jones dropped some new material that we all wanted to rap along to.
14. Old Heads Will Leave Lil Yachty Alone
When I read Funkmaster Flex’s back-and-forth with Lil Yachty, the following thought immediately came to mind: Funk Flex is 48. Lil Yachty is 19. The same goes for any other hip-hop Negro closer to AARP membership age than prom attacking some young rapper who can’t even legally drink yet.
15. Celebrities I Love Must Stop Dying
Can we not ever have a year like 2016?
16. Tinashe Will Finally Win
It makes me cringe whenever I hear someone solely reference “2 On” when describing Tinashe. Whether or not you know it (and if you don’t, dive into her mixtapes and debut album), Tinashe is incredibly talented as a singer, songwriter, producer and performer. I don’t think her management and label know what to do with her (I’m available for a consulting fee), but I sure hope they figure it out. I want her to be like “Ciara: the good years” and not “Christina Milian: almost doesn’t count” (no shade).
17. More Wins for the Black LGBTQ ... SWV Folks
The success of Moonlight has been endearing. The same goes for the launch of the trans modeling series, Strut, and the continuation of shows like Transparent and Big Freedia. Still, we need far more diversity. Not just in identity, but in subject matter. We can’t just have pathology; we need levity, too.
Michael Arceneaux hails from Houston, lives in Harlem and praises Beyoncé’s name wherever he goes. Follow him on Twitter.