Today’s Word is… ARENBEE

I had to Musiq Soulchild it,  it’s been like 3 years why break format?  Anyway,  growing up I was a big R&B fan.  By default really, I had no music of my own so I borrowed my parents cassettes (omg am I old now?) and my sister’s CDs.   (My 7 year old nephew uses  Spotify…. kids these days, okay maybe I am old).   I’m not one of the super nostalgic types, while I can listen to 90s R&B and engage in online debate for  several productive work hours,  I’m also able to listen and enjoy current music.   It seems like ever since Nas declared hip hop dead and proceeded to make a mediocre album to serve as a eulogy,  the line in the sand was drawn and now with social media to echo bitterness no one seems to like…. Anything. Ironically,  as we have more access to music than ever before,  people still live in the past,  listening to 90s R&B and telling kids to get off the lawn. It’s perplexing to pay $10 a month for a streaming service and only listen to music you purchased 20 years ago.   But hey, not my ears.   As someone who chooses to live in the now,  I’ve just come to accept that R&B has been…. sundered.  In every era,  there was one dominant sound whether it was doo wop,  electropop, or new jack swing and slow jams.  This era is a bit more scattered.  For example there’s….

R&Buckfoy- This is probably the one that history will sadly label the era as a whole.   Dudes are too tough to love,  women are just hoes,  bitches and thots anyway.   Popular with the League of Ash-assins and dudes who never got hugs in high school.

Ex: Some dude who isn’t Chris Brown & French Montana -Can’t Trust Thots

PBR&B- or Alternative R&B,  will be the other label that would be used to describe this era of music 20 years from now.  A break from the previous era where the stars were confident heartthrobs, now are much more weird and vulnerable.  

Ex: The Weeknd weeknds Drunk In Love

R&ebriated- Artists these days do love….. Being drunk. A growing trend to sing the praises of alcohol that doesn’t pay you to do so.  *Insert Kermit Meme*

Ex: Elijah Blake x I Just Wanna

R&Biguous- Like in the early 2000s when every pretty brown skinned girl with a 24 inch sew in got a record deal,  these days it’s racially ambiguous girl next door types.   Unfortunately not much different from the Ashantis,  Brooke Valentines, Ameries,  Niveas,  this pretty faces don’t carry much of a tune either

Ex: Jhene Aiko – You Vs Them

Hard&B- A confusing bunch,  they can sing but think singing is soft so they try to over compensate their street cred.  It didn’t feel forced when Nate Dogg did it but then you see like a Chris Brown do it and it’s like,  cmon bruh.

Ex: Pictures say a thousand words

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You're singing a duet with Aaliyah fam

Slur&B- It’s not really singing you’re just kinda dragging your voice over music that sounds like a water level in Super Mario Bros.  This Drake’s fault.

Ex: Post Malone – White Iverson

White&B- aka Blue Eyed Soul or as I like to call #SneakyAthletic R&B,  is some of your typical R&B except because it’s a white man singing it, it’s much more popular.   It’s why Tank got lawn furniture in his living room and Sam Smith has Grammys in his. No shade tho,  it’s probably my favorite playlist on Spotify

Ex JMSN- Street Sweeper

R&Barz- Only way to describe whatever it is when people are basically singing rap lyrics over club beats

Ex Trap Queen… I refuse to make a link for it cuz I’m so tired of that damn song

R&90s- For those who can’t get with the new new, plenty of their favorite artists are still kicking…..except they’re still doing the same thing they were doing 20 years ago. 

Ex: Toni Braxton & Babyface – Roller Coaster

Then of course,  there’s Neo Soul,  but they saw the storm cloud and hopped on their lifeboat a decade ago.   They long gave up chasing hits and selling their souls to sell records (sideeyes Usher),  they have their fan bases and will shut down a House of Blues in a second.

So what happened to the R&B we knew and loved?   It still exists but to my point about neo soul it’s much more of a niche genre.  Art reflects the times,  and really,  people just find love boring.   Sure, a good breakup song will get some spins but a song like All of Me is a rare exception (because people love they ass some Chrissy). Also, society as a whole has become increasingly narcissistic, songs are no longer about being vulnerable and wooing a woman,  it’s more I know you want me so just pull em to the side.   Then of course,  there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness…..but that’s another post entirely. Maybe.  If I get around to it.  I’m busy.

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Today’s Word is… TWENTY

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Andrew Jackson wasn’t shit.   He slaughtered people,  he won his elections by rounding up uneducated southern voters, he amassed his wealth primarily through slavery.   Hell,  he abhorred the idea of paper money (dollars ain’t paper, they’re cotton) yet and still Old Hickory is on the 20.  (Yes I’m kind of a history dork…Oh yeah hi International readers who have no idea what I’m talking about, my favorite readers in Zambia,  a couple Canadians, UK… ) Recently,  people (or maybe this is just a reddit thread that’s gone viral,  also I don’t really know what reddit is) have pushed to get Jackson up out of here and the new face of the 20 be someone revered and isn’t an old white man.   Harriet Tubman,  former slave turned abolitionist, civil rights activist as well as a nurse and spy during the Civil War became the popular choice to replace Jackson.   While I support this move,  I’m also torn; Jackson wasn’t shit but to be fair neither is a $20 bill.   9/10 times I specifically used a $20 it probably went to something unnecessary and you can’t quite do that with a Tubman twenty.   How you gonna make it rain Tubmans in the strip club and not feel guilty?  Perchance, I don’t need that level of accountability and I need to stick to bad 20s.  So assuming this rumor is true and the switch is made, they’ll officially be Good and Bad 20s in circulation and one should spend accordingly.

Looking back on some of the bad spending decisions I’ve made,  I can’t help but think what would happen differently if I had Harriet Tubman judging me….Like let’s say hypothetically I had company over and they overstayed their welcome but it’s like 2am and maybe I just gave $20 for a cab so they can go on about their business.   I feel like you can’t do that with a good 20.  Good $20s should go to something a bit more worthwhile like…

-Buy that gross ass Boy Scouts popcorn,  why can’t they get some cookies no one wants that shit

– Get a fresh cut…. In 2013.  I paid $30 for my last haircut.  I’m growing dreads (no I’m not)

– Buy some clippers

– Get Ciara’s album,  she needs a win

– Map a domain name for your blog (oh yeah, that happened)

– Buy a nice tie (I spend way too much on ties and like,  they aren’t even clothes it’s a strip of fabric you wear around your neck, but I’m fly tho)

– Go to a thrift shop and buy random shit

– Go to a Dollar Store and buy random shit (I think I’ve said shit a lot already)

– Get her some Just Because flowers,  nice enough for her to instagram not too nice she wanna know what you did

– Buy a book,  reading is fundamental

– Get your car detailed, there’s like 2 year old fries back there

– Hook up a panhandler, maybe they too would feel bad about wasting a Tubman

– Take your favorite jacket to the cleaners

– Get a charger for your phone cuz your old one has like 3 shorts in it and you gotta hold it at a 45 degree angle to work

– Support a black owned business

Jacksons however, can and will continue to go to the ratchet goods as intentioned.   Hell, good 20s in circulation should make Jacksons even more ratchet; buy some weed, a bottle of Everclear, pay for a month of Tidal (Okay don’t do that).   And so I implore you to look back on the last time you spent a $20 bill and tell me that it wasn’t something ratchet or unnecessary.  Why?  Because Jackson ain’t shit. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is…. GYM

[Editors Note: Here’s an oldie but a goodie, with a few addendums…. Enjoy]

I’m an extroverted introvert. It takes me a while to adjust to my surroundings. When I do get a decent temperature for the room, I act accordingly. It’s a trait that took some development, as in high school I always felt I wasn’t welcome even the times I actually was. In college, I turned it up a bit too high, where I went completely shut down to just unbelievably arrogant. These days, I’m learning to accept that ain’t nobody worried about me, just live my life. I’m attending more events, being more open, I’ve come a long way. Perhaps the biggest example of this is at my gym; where I’ve eventually came into my own. I remember when I just felt awkward, every whisper or snicker I felt was directed at me.  As I stopped giving a damn and remembered why I was there in the first place. I’m much more into my own, headphones blaring, head nods to the familiar faces, smiles to the pretty ones, I feel at home.

Well not really, personally I rather jog, play basketball and work out at home, but Planet Fitness’ “break up with me face to face” policy keeps me coming back.  (I have since broken up with Planet Fitness, I joined a YMCA which introduced some new characters, thus the update) As I go now, it’s funny seeing the different types of people there, my music almost providing their soundtrack.   You have the….

Beibers- They’re the skinny high school kid who’s come to “beef up”, they almost never even look at cardio machines just straight to the dumbbells and bench presses.  (Note I don’t have any Beiber on my ipod just couldn’t think of a better analogy)

Biebers.

Jay-Zs- The old people who somehow be killing it still.   Don’t you dare get off a elliptical before your senior neighbor, makes you want to reevaluate you’re whole life. 

Lady Gagas- Okay I have 2 songs.  Gaga’s put more into their outfit than their workout, they try the flashdance shirt look but always got to stop and adjust it.  They only use the stationary bike, hip apductor and leg extension so they can tweet that they’re at the gym.

2 Chainz- He is EVERYWHERE.  You can’t go on a machine without him popping up, “Hey I’m using that”.  He spends so much time defending his territory you never actually see him lift anything. 

Rick Ross- He’s the big guy who is way too comfortable with public nudity.  His shirt is way too small, can’t raise his arms without it flying up like a crowd doing the wave.  He even throws in a “ugh” after a set. 

Nicki Minaj- Like the Gaga but only does stretches and squats, pleasant to look at but from a workout perspective don’t understand why she’s there…

Drake- He’s pretty much there to hookup with any woman there.  He doesn’t do much else, but he used to be better so no one minds

Wiz & Amber- (They back together right? Good cuz I can’t think of a replacement) You see Wiz by himself and he oes his thing, when he brings her he can’t seem to do anything without some kinda PDA attached.  They basically are roleplaying trainer and pupil.

Diddy- He’s the guy who wears sunglasses in the gym. Douche.

Dr Dre- The guy with the obnoxiously large headphones that everyone within 4 ft can hear him.  You gotta turn your music up louder just to drown out his. 

Beyonce- She’s the already fit woman who sometimes brings her friends along to own them.  She’s not nearly as helpful as she thinks she is, some would say it’s intentional.

Rihanna- She’ll flirt, smile if she catches you looking but she ain’t worried bout anyone up in there. Also she always looks high

Kendrick Lamar- Sit down. Drink. Work out. Drink. Wipe machine. Drink.  He’s pretty much a camel, not that there’s anything wrong until you need to get water and he’s refilling his gallon  

A$AP Rocky- He’s the walking Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Every accessory possible: Headband, under armour, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, etc he has on, and of course they’re all color coordinated.

Pharrell- The “new black” or in this case, the new fat. They lost weight and now suddenly they are the expert on all things fitness and if you could just do what they did they’ll be no issue

R Kelly- There’s this one dude who is always with this girl who is young enough to be his daughter but he, well, doesn’t treat her like his daughter

Young Thug- I get its a gym but dude comes in already smelling like ass, 2 divorces and spoiled Hummus

Andre 3000- He’s the guy, that comes, kills and then disappears for weeks.  Oh wait…..that’s me.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SWINDLE

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These days, its almost second nature to meet people online.  The forum previously dominated by socially inept nerds and creeps living their lives on the web, is now dominated just your average joe with an iphone.  In the MySpace/Blackplanet/Migente era, it was a little more commonplace to meet people from the internet, but let’s just say I’ve just smiled and nodded as she made up some story about how we met at a party.  Facebook is when the tide really shifted, at least for me, because now these weren’t just chat buddies or people with thirst traps, these were other college students.  Facebook was pretty much a directory to who’s who on campus.  So one day when I had got a message from a girl who had said she would see me around and I seemed nice, I didnt think too much of it. 

This girl, lets call her admirer, would message me and we actually got along pretty great.  Then one day, I asked was she coming out to this party, she was reluctant at first but I persuaded her to meet me there.   So I get to the party, no sign of admirer, I’m doing whatever and someone pinches me, I turn around and the girl looks kinda familiar but I’m not sure (also I’m drunk), the girl hugs me and kisses my cheek near my lips, I focus my eyes on this stranger, its Admirer…but she doesn’t quite match her Facebook pics.   It wasn’t quite a catfish moment but it was certainly a swindle. 

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Swindles are tricky because they aren’t quite lies, but they are certainly not the whole story.  are not created equal, unlike Admirer’s ass knew those pictures was like 4 years old and never said a damn thing, I think people with any rational sense can understand the difference between what’s published and what’s reality.  It goes without saying that Amber Rose, Nicki Minaj or Kim Kardashian arent actually made of porcelain as their photoshoots make them look (Sidenote when did it become such a popular thing to leak unretouched pictures from a shoot, of course they have pimples and dimples, they’re humans).  But now, we are the photographer, we control our own social media accounts so much like professionals why would we willingly choose to post our own flaws for the world to see?  It begs the question, when are you hiding imperfections and when are you straight swindling?

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We all have our things we try to hide, makeup, weave, the people with big foreheads who only take pictures eyebrows down, the girl who only takes pictures at 55° angles, the dudes who have a fitted on in every picture (I too might be a hatfish, you don’t know my life tho) or guy with the full beard to hide his double chin. I don’t think that’s being deceitful. Photoshopping, outdated pictures, dressing room pics in clothes you never purchase (yeah I’m on to y’all) that’s when it gets more dicey.

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So for those who are dating in this digital age for the 9-9 and 2000, I implore you to stop swindling. Take down that 4 year old gym picture, you haven’t been back in years. Filters and foundations only mask so much, we got Obamacare, call a dermatologist. Stop buying waist trainers off instagram, now your arms look like foam bats. Stand in your truth. It shall set you free.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… CHUM

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Probably since I could read,  writing has been bae.  The voice in my head that others could hear, writing forces me to organize my own thoughts,  document my growth,  express myself openly.  Blogging especially provides an outlet for me to just say whatever I’m thinking without any agenda,  MLA format,  or expectations,  every umm…. I wanna say 270? posts is just me,  telling a story,  reacting to something,  or just entertaining all 7 of my readers.   But I’m afraid I haven’t been real with my true love,  I’ve been stepping out on writing….for podcasting.

Podcasting has been an entirely new monster,  for one I’m not fully used to the sound of my own voice,  I probably haven’t done much public speaking since college and unlike a blog where I can edit,  review or just put a post on the shelf,  words spoken can’t be undone.   Where I can see I used the same word repeatedly in a blog,  I just have to cringe and listen to myself say “like” a million times.   Thankfully,  I have two great cohosts,  Shamira and Agie,  who can hold it down like P.O.P and collectively we bring you,  “Chum”,  a podcast where we touch on some of the big stories of the week and whatever else is just on our mind…. So basically it’s Stan of Few Words,  in audio form for ninjas who don’t be reading (or need something to listen to en route to work because all the radio is gonna play is Truffle Butter.   So, what does Chum mean? What hell does “Pepsi” mean?  What’s a “Spotify” it don’t matter,  it’s one word, all day, by itself, you ever go night night. 

In this episode, we tackle the murder of Freddie Gray and the Baltimore Riots,  Floyd Mayweather,  Ciara,  Love and Hip Hop Atlanta and I share a story that I don’t even think I’ve even written here.  Listen to the stream below or find us on Soundcloud, Stitcher, ITunes,  and at http://www.chumpodcast.com

Listen to Ep 002 – Throw Them ‘Bows by Chum Podcast #np on #SoundCloud

(Editors Note: I’ll still be writing here of course, and maybe I’ll still write out some things that I didn’t say on the show,  maybe,  I’ll try,  don’t hold me to it)

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Today’s Word is… LIE

Lies are self serving.  If you have an interview and they ask “why do you want to work here”, I mean sure you can say it’s because you’re bout 4-5 seconds from putting a foot in your old bosses’ ass, or that you’re just not quite in the shape that would lend itself to a lucrative career stripping or whatever the actual answer is, or you can make up some bullshit about how you love the culture and believe you can excel here.  Sure, you can tell your 6 year old why Mommy was making those noises, or you can make some shit up that they are going to grow up and realize was all bullshit anyway like how Columbus was a heroic explorer or fractions.  Perhaps, you want to tell her about that girl in college who had this wine move that would make you tap out every time and sometimes you think about her when you need to get a good shot off (Sidenote: don’t ask that best ever question, nothing good comes of it). Sometimes the truth is just a wee bit too real for the situation at hand.  Even then, however, the lie is summoned.  You’re asked a question, and the best answer just happens to not be the correct one.  Being real, some people just aren’t even worth the lie, parents could whoop your ass, bosses can fire your ass, baes won’t sleep with your ass….how does a stranger affect anything?

Then there’s the other side, the lies without self service.  Lies when the other party ain’t buying it, lies when it the payoff isn’t even worth it, or you’re just volunteering false information for people who never even asked (hi Twitter).  THAT kind of lying irks my nerve.   Don’t lie to me unnecessarily; I take it as a personal assault on my own intelligence, I know better and you should know I know better enough that you’re better off not wasting either of our time.  In addition to that, when you’re willing to blatantly lie about something so minuscule, I can no longer believe anything you have to say.  If you’re going to lie, at least make it worth your while, it’s like overdrafting your card for a coffee. Contrary to every superhero except like Iron Man and black Green Lantern’s belief, lying usually isn’t protecting someone from harm, you’re making a conscious decision to try and deceive.  Withholding the truth takes away my right to make a decision based on the facts.  (This could take a scathing detour…..let’s take it back a few steps)

3…….2…….1

Lying is a burden, white lies or otherwise.  Too many I’m fines, its ok, and soon you just find yourself in denial.  What we probably lie about the most is our own feelings.  We’re supposed to play it cool, nothing phases us, hashtag unbothered. No one wants to be miserable, but instead of working through the thing that is making us unhappy, we just pretend we are, especially publicly.  Personally, I’ve gotten better at telling people if and when I’m upset.  After I get it out, now I am fine, and can mean it when I say it.  Lying is also embarrassing, no one wants to be exposed as a liar.  They’ll remain persistent, even flip the script and get offended.  The lengths some people go to keep the lie alive, it soon isn’t even about the original lie, it’s the fact after all this you just can’t go back (shoutout Adnan Syed, he did it, don’t debate me).  We all know that person who just lies for no reason to the point every time they speak it’s becomes an inside joke.  Their tweets and statuses are riddles with unintentionally comedy to every one who is hip to the shenanigans.  While I take offense to lying to me personally, lying otherwise is just hilarious to me.  I have a boy, he’s in his 20s, still lies about getting some.  Every allusion to it warrants a side eye and a chuckle, asking for details? Icing on the cake.

Lying just takes too much effort. Me, I rather keep it 100…..a good 85% of the time.  I’ll lie in an interview, but there’s a difference between oh, I love working with others and I thrive off criticism and I have a degree in engineering.  I probably won’t tell you that I think that tattoo is awful, but I’m not going to say I know how to do one, give me $40 and I got you.  The truth really is freeing, the truth is cool, someone comfortable with who they are and they who own it, you can’t help but respect it.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… HOTEP

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I remember I took a black consciousness class in college.  I enjoyed the class, it was one of the few times I was encouraged to write more from feeling than from research.  The professor urged debate, sometimes enlightening other times it felt like a derailment, I could argue with my peers at lunch, I paid for a class. Anyway, certain classmates would especially irk me, I don’t even remember their names (shit am I old now) but I remember they were so fake deep; they would have the most asinine theories, separatist logic, just loud and wrong all the damn time.  They were basically everything I hate about hotep twitter now.  Now, “Hotep” originally refers to  peace, attached to the names of benevolent rulers in ancient Egypt.  These days, it refers to dude on the internet who lives at home, rocks basketball shorts as underwear and views himself as a King.  Or as some women on twitter would say, ashy. 

Hoteps aren’t that hard to spot, they usually hide behind images of a black revolutionary on internet spaces that have a large amount of black women, they are in, well, black consciousness classes.  Their mission is noble, for the betterment of their people,  their methods, such as internet trolling, are not.  They love to make memes with Egyptian images or the same 6 stock images of a black couple with things that only they and people like them would ever say or agree with.   They make distinctions between the “woke” and the “sheep”, “bitches” and “queens” , that distinction is whether you buy the shit they’re selling. 

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Then there’s the paranoia.  Everything is a ruse to keep us sleep.  Empire, Love & Hip Hop, Young Thug all ploys to set back black people. They are showing men kissing on television and now black boys are going to turn gay.  Young Thug is wearing a dress because the white man wants black men are being feminized.  Feminism has black women are being brought up to not need a man so where are the black babies going to come from now?  We’re going extinct (because cops keep killing us for the mildest of inconveniences) because the black woman is being too difficult and won’t worship their crown less king. They have declared war on feminism, this radical wave of free thinking has turned women against their fellow man.  Hoteps operate under the guise that the worst thing a black woman can be is alone, they themselves are alone but as men they have the illusion of having not yet chosen (even if no one checking for them maybe super liberal white women who think they’re deep).

The hoteps are quite a misinformed bunch.  They often quote writers who quoted a writer who quoted another one who referenced a text another writer claims to have read.  They love misleading surveys and made up facts about Ancient Egypt and slavery.  They’re contrarians, so whether it’s some new Jordans out or a new movie, they will not only hate it but will dig into the depths of fake deep to try and shame you for it, likely with the Harriet Tubman “if they knew they were slaves” quote, completely out of context.  Millenial militants love to tell people about themselves….via $400 iPhones. 

Like I said, Ashy’s heart is in the right place, but their head….is firmly in their behind.  Behind the flawed rationale and stench of self importance, is still a man.  Insecure, frightened, but still a man, a brother, a comrade.  Like my old classmates, sometimes you can’t help but just shake your head and laugh at their tomfoolery. They are glorified cyberbullies, they like to type loud as a motorbike but wouldnt bust a grape in a fruit fight.  Stay woke, tho.

-Stan-

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