#UPDATES: September 18th

Culture

By: Steven Underwood

 

What’s Good,

For those of you who’re in the unknown, this is the owner of this wonderful website, Steve. After some months, I thought it prudent to keep everyone up to date on what I’ll be doing with the site, kind of a short term goals. While this blog is primarily a host for my portfolio and professional writing career, it is also a place I want to push as a platform for Black Art, and Black Artists (because those things are the topics I tend to talk about in MY art).

With that being said, I think it prudent that I list some things that will be rolling on soon onto the platform:

1.) I am going to pull back from the “take-downs”. A lot of people traffic my read of Luka Sabbat, and while I stand by a lot of what I say, I don’t agree with participating in negativity as a means to promote my career. It was an honest moment and necessary, but I don’t believe in holding grudges, or chaining someone to my opinion of them. If something happens that warrants it, I’ll do it again, but Luka Sabbat is a Black artist doing his thing, and this is a place for uplifting that. So… do with that as you will.

2.) Patreon! I have one. It’s pretty damn great, and I cherish it. On there, I will be releasing some of my cutting edge fiction work, like my screenplays, my short stories, etc. Now that I’ve finished something exciting, I can’t wait to roll out more things for you guys. Following this post, I will put a link to my work you guys might love.

3.) Artist Directory. This is something I think will help a lot with my work. Keeping a tab on specific Black Artists, it will allow me to provide the content here that I think will most help. So, PLEASE submit to me artists you’ve come across in any area and I will look into their work. Hell, send me work they’ve posted online: I’ll review it! This includes:

  • Music (Hip Hop, R&B, Pop, Blues, Pop Rock, etc.)
  • Literature
  • Painting
  • Graphic Design
  • Film
  • Videos (YouTube, instagram, etc.)
  • Fashion
  • Modelling
  • Dance

4.) My Novel is Done. Yeah, I finished a Novel. Soon, you will see a few pitches and a summary of it, but until then  just know a Black Guy wrote a whole 150k+ Fantasy Novel starring ghetto black kids.

5. Blow-by-Blow on Internships, Travel and Art Lifestyle: I’ll start blogging about a lot of things. I work for OUT MAGAZINE to expand my background in Fashion Editorial, I travel to different places for great shows and experiences and participate in a bit of Travel Journalism and, most importantly, I have involved myself in exposing the REAL LIFE of the Black Millennial Artist, so I’ll be doing my part in showcasing what that looks like.

 

So, there’s everything.

If you see something that interests you, or you have any questions, feel free to comment. I don’t bite; I just quip.

 

–Steven

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Luka Sabbat, We Need to Talk…

#TRENDSETTER, Art, Articles, Culture, Essays, Non-Fiction

Dear Luka Sabbat,

I am speaking directly to you.

No word limit.

No hashtags.

Luka Sabbat, you have had quite a career despite your age. You are the child of greatness and you walk circles of fashion and prestige that I have never dreamed of being able to even touch growing up in hovels where trauma and poverty was the only thing guaranteed to me. Yet, I still rooted for you, because you’re black, and because I know no matter the walk of life, we all have troubles.

Until, you opened the ashtray you call a mouth to talk down to the hatefully proclaimed “SJWs” and activists. Because, you’re so beyond all of these things that you can criticize them – that you can poke holes in their logic because you float on a plane of ascended philosophy where scrutiny is hobby of the low and uncultured.

You, my brother, with blood not too many generations free of the shackles of the same victimization these people you criticize face everyday they stand up for something, have the audacity to sit there with your pencil thin mustache and SCRUTINIZE the people you mock for scrutiny?

I’m not going to call you stupid.

Stupid people don’t get as far as you do – not without wealthy connections and family’s legacy to stand on top of; Stupid people don’t contribute immensely to philanthropic pursuits – unless they’re going to brag about it later for clout. Stupid people leap to defend abusers and present problematic antics as a hallmark of true vision; Stupid people speak without knowing what they want to say; stupid people are meek; stupid people are hypocrites; stupid people, foolish people, who seem to make it the furthest and get the highest platforms in their pointy leather boots (likely sewn by people who can’t even afford to feel how uncomfortable they are) don’t listen when people let them know WHY they do something: they just brag about how they’re going to make a video, eventually, explaining how THEY think, and how THEY feel, and how IMPORTANT they think they are.

Of course, because NOT EVERYONE IS A VICTIM.

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Luka Sabbat, you are not stupid. You are an idiot. A dilettante. An amateur in thought, theory and execution who got ahold of his parent’s soapbox and thought himself a Cicero! But, honey, Cicero was executed and he changed nothing, because he lacked Understanding. Luka, like him, you will fix nothing the way you are, and the way you think, and the way you carry yourself with utter repugnance. (By the time Cicero was discovered as “influential” his civilization was already dead).

Not Everyone is a Victim, Luka? And that’s why SJWs are wrong? And that’s what’s so heinous about our generation?

Erase your self-righteousness like you erase the allegations against your bros.

No, Luka. Not everyone is a victim, but most people have been victimized, and that’s why insensitive assholes who hype the foolish things you say, and Kanye said, and Trump perpetuates painted SJWs in such a brand.

No activist whom I have ever met has ever stopped at the internet. That’s because the internet is a tool to SHARE information, to experience new thoughts and then to test them in real life – dummy. But hey, you did only one semester of College before you realized anything you could get there your family already had, ain’t that right Mr. Fallback? Your co-star, Yara Shahidi, knows how formidable the internet is in inspiring people to make lasting decisions and choose to dedicate themselves to these issues and — so many rail against, abuse her, trash her as a SJW. I’m sure she feels your sympathies. A great woman, that Yara, and she will inspire many, through the internet, most likely.

Being an activist isn’t counter-culture anymore because you say so? Because you’re SOOOO counter culture? You peel my tuition off flings and hook-ups. What’s really good, my nigga?

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I see right through what you were doing here. Implying our struggles are done with because it’s not like how it “used to be”. And the “old days were better”. Bro, allusions are the tools of real artists, not the playthings of socialites. Keep it real, or keep it in your Balenciagas.

By the way, you’re out here criticizing the “fake” activists, as if they’re the ones who criticized you and your idols. It’s the real activists who be pounding the pavements who are on your ass, and the ass of your friends who do these terrible shit.

Yet, you persist on making it about how people are mean to you for speaking your mind. That it’s this PC culture and other Alt-Right buzzwords. That everyone is just so sensitive: WAH, WHY CANT I BE FRIENDS WITH A RAPIST?

WAH, WHY CAN’T KANYE WEST DISRESPECT AN ENTIRE GROUP OF MARGINALIZED PEOPLE?

WAH, WHY IS IT WHEN I SAY THINGS PEOPLE DISAGREE WITH THEY DON’T LIKE ME ANYMORE? IT’S LIKE PEOPLE DON’T WANT TO AGREE WITH ME BECAUSE THEY DISAGREE WITH ME!

(Bitch, you’re a little baby).

You complain about people being politically correct, and that it’s toxic and harmful to your humanity, when in reality, you’re just angry that no one wants to play in your playpen because you’re mean, and a bully, and no one wants to listen about how you saved those poor unfortunate black(er) people because you’re okay with sexual abuse and racial misconduct — NIGGA!

Grow up, Luka.

Be about more than your image you want people to care about.

Be about more than the echo chamber you squat and shit in and actually realize people are saying these things for other reasons than clout — unlike you.

Be about actually realizing where you stand in this culture and how your actions contradict your intentions.

Then, maybe the criticism you will mean nothing to you, because you know where you stand in the moral swing of things.

 

Steven Underwood

Bachelor’s of Arts in English

 

 

More of Luka’s poignant observations:

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#TRENDSETTER: Kanye West’s YE Album and Kim Kardashian

#TRENDSETTER, Art, Articles, Culture, Music, Non-Fiction

By: Steven Underwood

You have an opinion on Kanye’s new album?

Dope. I don’t.

Over the past year, Kanye West has found some justified criticisms, and the fact that he leveraged that criticism into publicity is no one’s fault but the consumers who fell for it. Me? I wasn’t into it, I didn’t buy any of the outrage and any issue I took to his comments were mine own. I very pointedly stated this to a specific twitter account for fine art and art cultivation:

“When I cancel someone for being hazardous to our culture, I don’t mean it ironically. A man stands by his word, and an artist stands by their heart.”

It could be because I wasn’t that much of a fan of Kanye’s to begin with. I know of some who would skin their baby sister alive to breathe Ye’s backwash, and that inflates the legend that was Kanye West for me, but there was really not that much satisfaction I reaped from him.  I bopped to “Jesus Walks,” and “All Falls Down”; I know that College Drop-out was a defining moment for Hip-Hop. I know Donda raised better, and deserves better than what this minstrel show is presenting to us, but I don’t care about Kanye West. Never did. And probably never will.

Speaking of Donda – Kim Kardashian sustains herself on being a trash person and making “ignorant” comments just to increase her revenue that consists itself on drama, negativity and the outrage generated by the stupidity her family perpetuates, so I will NOT be focusing on the Donda’s House scenario much. What I will do, is say I am excited to donate to the advancement and mission of the new community support and outreach program that fills the voice of Donda’s House with the staff that has done such a terrific job at empowering the Community Kanye West once hailed from and Kim Kardashian flies over on her way to some sadidy penthouse.

There are too many underground rappers out here to cape for Kanye West.

Check out the single, “Jungle”, by Villenz from Columbus, OH.

https://open.spotify.com/album/0xabwsZqgrSuaTq419Wqom

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/illy/1017166404

For more music by Villenz, follow their SoundCloud.

https://soundcloud.com/anunnaki-villenz

 

Disagree? Change my mind below in the comments.

#LOOKATTHAT: HOWARD GOT FINESSED BY SOMEONE HONESTLY NAMED TYRONE HANKERSON

#TRENDSETTER, Articles, Culture

By: Steven Underwood

Maybe if they weren’t clocking Blacks at PWIS who only sin was wanting to afford a cup of ramen noodles every once in a while, instead of selling a kidney for a degree, Howard would’ve realized someone’s nephew was running off with their Housing Grant.

After, what? Four years? Four years of being finessed by someone’s boat shoe wearing Blavity black, the total sum of financial loss snatched by Mr. Hankerson amounts to about $500k. That’s 500 stacks. That’s maybe fifty times my current amount of debt I’ve amassed being “finessed by the white man.”

I’m shook. Not shook like Howard’s CFO by the IRS, but I’m shook like a Wakandan watching the Civil Rights Movement from the comfort of my rhino: saddened by the audacity, but otherwise unaffected.

I guess this just means I made the right decisions. You know? Maybe, I did sacrifice an “Authentic HBCU experience” for bein dicked by white men. But you know what didn’t happen to me? I wasn’t scammed by a mink coat, designer bag slinging undergrad in white rubber boots.

I wasn’t scammed by Curious George’s unscrupulous cousin.

I wasn’t scammed by someone named Tyrone Muthafuckin’ Hankerson.

Do I sound petty? Comment below with what you would’ve done with the $500k your pre-law/pre-med/home health aid major cousin took out a personal loan under your auntie’s name with? I’m sure it would’ve been half as nice as what Hankerson did with it.

#DEADPOOL: DONALD GLOVER LEAKS FANTASTIC ‘DEADPOOL’ SCRIPT VIA TWITTER

#TRENDSETTER, Articles, Culture

By: Steven Underwood

“For the record: I wasn’t too busy to work on Deadpool.” Tweeted Donald Glover, moments before dropping a 14 thread false pilot episode, featuring topical jokes such as Sanaa Lathan biting Beyoncé’s and Tekashi69’s (lack of) rap skills. This BOMB dropped just after Glover and his brother parted ways with the Deadpool animated series, where “differences” in creativity were cited. (Pictures below).

After reviewing the script, Glover stated that it was likely his “different” approach that scared away the prospectively lucrative deal.

By different, I of course mean Black.

What do you think? Do you agree Sanaa Lathan bit Beyoncé’s face? Where do you imagine Gambino’s series fitting in? Comment below

#WATCHITALLFALL: SNAPCHAT EARNS $800MILL DOWNFALL FROM RIHANNA

Articles, Culture

By: Steven Underwood

This past week, SNAPCHAT came under fire after featuring a tasteless ad comparing two photos depicting singer/icon Rihanna with the caption: “”Slap Rihanna” or “Punch Chris Brown.”

Rather than taking person offense, Rihanna’s commentary on the controversy was instead in defense of all survivors of domestic abuse: “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there!” Rihanna stated in a brief Instagram caption. “But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!”

Chris Brown also responded in an amazingly tactical fashion, through attorney, Mark Geragos. “Whoever posted this at SNAPCHAT needs to be slapped.”

According to Vanity Fair, since the controversy was exposed, the ad has since been taken down and SNAPCHAT has suffered a  $800 Million dollar loss: another nail in SNAPCHAT’S growing coffin.

 

Featured Photo Courtesy of New York Times

#TOORELATEABLE: GROWN-ISH’s JAZZ AND SKY SPEAK TO MY ENTIRE PERSONALITY AS A HOOD RAT ACADEMIC

Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

Being black and an academic is hard enough without being impossibly ghetto as well. Not to speak of my background like its a flaw, but in the world of Academia, there seems to be little to no sympathy for the loud, outlandish and often-times bare knuckle politics that come from street life. GROWN-ISH has somehow found a way to incapsulate the endeavors people like me — like Jazz and Sky (played by Chloe x Halle) — endure whilst in Academia.

People mistake my loudness for a threat, or my passion for aggression. Your words  measured for literal and your prosecuted for it, and you learn a lot of what you perceived was right was in fact, so wrong it is humiliating you thought otherwise. However, there are other moments. Moments where you rightful outrage and disgust is turned into some cartoonish outburst of a toddler, and you are outwardly disrespected as some silly hoodrat with ridiculous tendency.

Yara Shahidi’s Zoey Johnson is definitely of an upper echelon. Her family is wealthy: and often she is disconnected from the problems of others. As her friends reveal, some people aren’t in college for the fun of it or the expectation: some people are carrying the legacies of their entire families on their back and a pressure to succeed that is as alienating as it is challenging. What doesn’t help is that the few black people — if you can even relate to them — sometimes don’t share your issues and, worse, reflect the white washed narratives of wealth you often try to escape.

The pivotal scene happened in the series’ fourth episode: “Starboy” where Zoey is trying to communicate her rejection of a formal relationship with her tutee, Cash Mooney (get the joke?). Zoey goes on her typical rant to her friends, throwing all of her problems at their feet and waiting for them to help (oddly, they always seem focused on only her problems and she’s starting to seem like a very bad friend). Things comedically, and momentarily escalate when Zoey calls the twins rediculous, and created one of the best exchanges in television. Period.

Swerve.

I hate to say power moves like this aren’t attempted in College between friends. But they are. There is an atmosphere amongst first time college students to try to replicate a hierarchy that just doesn’t work amongst mutually ambitious individuals. For most people, the idea that you shouldn’t be trying such tactics doesn’t occur until, perhaps, Junior year. However, the environment gets all too real when you’re being threatened and from a background that you combat threats not with words — but with action.

Don’t call me names. Don’t try to belittle my awareness or intelligence. Don’t sit there and smile while you’re doing it: I’m not gonna throw shade. I might just throw you.

A very reasonable response to an antagonistic behavior. Yet, the impulse that you are wrong is so strong, you second guess it and then, you end up apologizing for a very logical response to someone getting an attitude with you.

I’m enjoying this depiction of the many faces of College as a millenial. I think it’s very necessary to see characters like Jazz and Sky, characters who wrestle with their personalities and upbringing, but rejecting the notion you have to be ashamed of where you come from, rather you should be qualified to embrace it.

 

Comment, Like and Follow us for more updates!

#MAKEITMAKESENSE: WANDA SYKES JOINS THE MARCH, ‘Netflix offered me less than half’

Articles, Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

WORDS TO KNOW: Misogynoiry – misogyny directed towards black women where race and gender both play roles in bias. It was coined by queer black feminist Moya Bailey.

Following Mo’Nique’s announcement and call for boycott of Netflix, Comedienne and actor, Wanda Sykes took to twitter to reveal her own experiences with Netflix and pay disparity.

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This pay dispute reveals a mutual pay out of $750,000 for two black women who’ve circulated 50+ years in the entertainment business. This news comes just after the 2nd Annual Women’s March and in the middle of the #METOO campaign, both of which Netflix has all but expressed support of #MeToo and female rights online and in production of “progressive” programming, leading others to question if the support is either performative measures for views or just egregious misogynoiry.

Wanda Sykes was the featured entertainer for the annual White House Correspondents Association dinner, mutually the first African-American woman and first openly LGBT person to perform this task.

Mo’Nique is amongst the most awarded comedians of our time, whom following an alleged blackballing from the wider entertainment industry due to a refusal to promote Precious, cultivated a career as a seasoned comedian and actress outside the influences of wider Hollywood.

Do you agree with the issue of pay disparity in the business? Comment below and follow us for more updates!

#DOSOMETHING: MO’NIQUE CALLS COMMUNITY TO BOYCOT NETFLIX FOR WAGE GAP

Articles, Culture

By: STEVEN UNDERWOOD

This past week, the community was called into action by Queen of Comedy, Academy-Award Winning, Oscar nominee, Mo’Nique when a pay dispute was unearthed for a potential comedy special with Netflix. Where comedienne, Amy Schumer was offered around $12 Million for her special, the veteran comedian, Mo’Nique, was offered only $500,000, revealing a grave pay disparity. Amid the crisis of #MeToo and other pay disputes, including BLACK-ISH’s own Tracy Ellis Ross, there has been arguments of color and gender biases not only with the streaming service, but other production companies – particularly in the light of GIRLS TRIP’s staggering success juxtaposed to the extremely low salary for the actresses involved (Tiffany Haddish) and relative snubbing at the Golden Globes.

In the spirit of fairness, Mo’Nique has invited her audience, fans and Community to participate in a boycott against Netflix for the disparity until fairness is applied.

Associates and Friends of Mo’Nique have taken to sharing Mo’Nique’s legacy of fairness and equality and the tremendous talent showcased by Mo’Nique over 50+ years of work in the entertainment business.

It is known that Mo’Nique poses great risk to her career for challenging Netflix and inviting a sense of equality from the streaming service. Mo’Nique is no stranger to risk, following an alleged blackballing from Hollywood after refusing to promote PRECIOUS just shy of her Academy Award nomination.

Do you agree with Mo’Niques choice? Comment, like and follow us for more updates!

#TRAILBLAZER: DIDDY OFFERS YOUNG H&M BOY $1 MILLION DOLLAR MODELING DEAL

Culture

By: Steven Underwood

Following the recent H&M Controversy, many black and black-coin profiteers  have found cause to take action to adequately punish the company. Musicians such as the Weeknd and G-Eazy have since cut ties from the company, despite the apologies issues by the company.

Never out done, Diddy apparently had a different idea.

According to TVONE,  Entrepreneur and Panther Owner-hopeful, Diddy has reached out to the brilliant young king in the photo and offered a deal worth a whole guap ($1,000,000 USD). There are yet no reports if the child’s representatives have accepted the deal.

How do you feel about this development? Comment below and follow us for more updates!

SOURCE: TVOne

#LOOKOUT: ‘STRONGEST KING IN THE WORLD HOODIE’ RESPONDS TO H&M CONTROVERSY

Culture, Fashion

By: Steven Underwood

While H&Ms racially exploitive hoodies have been removed both from both stores and their website — with artists like the Weeknd expressing their dissatisfaction and removal of support — the culture of social media has capitalized on the moment for a stance.

Artists have since remade the image numerous times to include inspiring messages of hope, pride and beauty (see below).

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Further. in response to the justful criticism of H&Ms “COOLEST MONKEY IN THE JUNGLE” hoodies, which depicted a small black child, 2Strongshop has released designs of their “Strongest King in the World” hoodies. Including a reasonable discount of $5.00 with the promo code “STRONGKING” the black community’s ability to make lemonade from the bitterest of lemons remains supreme.

In other news, let’s support Black artists and their vision of a better tomorrow both spiritually, emotionally and financially. Links to each of the artists may be found below.

Which is your favorite reimagining? Comment below and follow for more updates on fashion and culture!

All rights of the artwork depicted belong to Tarajosu, Phresh Laundry (@ThatLaundry), Kervin Andre (@Akomicsart), and Folasade (@lovefola)

#LOOKOUT: GROWN-ISH STYLES OUT AND STEPS IN ON FREEFORM

Culture, Fashion

By: Steven Underwood

All-new show, all-new wardrobe! Last Wednesday, the BLACK-ISH spin-off, GROWN-ISH. debuted its first two episodes, showcasing the eldest fashion-forward Johnson, Zoey (played by BLACK-ISH’s Yara Shahidi), as she matriculates to college far more ignorant than she might admit.

The show debuted on ABC’s sister network, Freeform, and if anyone expected this shift to mean the normative BLACK-ISH appeal in a younger body, GROWN-ISH graciously disappoints with an ensemble of trendsetters whom visualize GUCCI, IVYPARK, BALENCIAGA and more in casual classroom looks, revolutionizing the college aesthetic in just one day of syndication.

Best to remember: featured on the cast are the likes of fashion forerunner, Luka Sabbat, millennial icon, Yara Shahidi and Beyoncé proteges, Chloe x Halle. With this kind of creativity, the fashion will follow.

Catch GROWN-ISH on Wednesdays 8PM/7C only at Freeform and peep Lonzo Ball’s new hoodies inspired by Yara Shahidi’s cousin, Nas.

SOURCE: FREEFORM