Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Overrated Things in the Black Community

In order to be in good standing with our brethren, us Black Americans have a lot of rules. Not only am I required to memorize the lyrics to Juicy, I have to master Spades, and learn an ever growing list of words specifically related to the care of natural hair. To top it all off, there are some things I’m supposed to LOVE along with the rest of the Blacks. Welp. I have failed at all of the above. Unfortunately, I’m incapable of completely throwing logic out the window to fit in with my alleged ethnicity’s idea of what’s amazing.  Below are a few things that as a member of the Black race I am supposed to love, but that I deem overrated:

Awkward Black Girl – The web series premiered in February 2011 and has quickly become a cult classic among Black women. To me, the line between the ratchet music spoofed in the show and the character’s actions and dialogue is certainly blurring. Latching on to ABG because “we all we got” is an insufficient reason for me to tune in. The most recent episode featured use of the ABG invention “Mexinigga.”  Funny doesn’t have to take cheap shots or fall on clich├ęd tools of comedy. In fact, it’s not funny; it’s just tired, overdone, and yawn-inducing.
Tip: Why not support a web series that you can be proud of AND that will make you laugh? Check out info on Very Smart Brothas pilot: The TV Series
Editor's Note: My issue with ABG stems from the fact that I KNOW Issa Rae and Tracy Oliver (the writers) are smart folks who are making what I consider to be easy, time-honored choices versus risky, creative decisions with their work. I initially loved the show. I've seen every single episode and continue to watch in hopes that it will get better. I think as Issa Rae's popularity and following have increased, so has her work load. I actually watched her new series, Roomie | Lovers | Friends and I've noted the growth. I just want her to live up to the accolades that people have given her. I wish her the best and I'm certainly thrilled to hear that she's got something in the works with ABC. We need more filmmakers. Just do us proud; we deserve it! This note has been sponsored by @Hautemommie and @MrAudacity

The Boondocks - If you read the comic strip, then you know why this is a disappointment. The comic strip was a scathing but keen criticism of everything under the sun, with a focus on social issues. The television show was not. 
Tip: Instead, you should watch The Mindy Project, a new show on Fox, which is basically Awkward Indian Girl. Except it’s funny.

Waffle House – People leave the South and spread this myth that Waffle House is the pinnacle of good breakfast. They fail to mention that the real reason people go to Waffle House is:
     1. It’s usually the only place open at the time most folks stumble in.
     2. It’s super cheap.
Here are the facts:
     1. It's dirty.
     2. The servers are typically surly.
     3. The waffles are nothing to tweet about. They're good. But not special. 
Tip: Instead, consider patronizing the local mom and pop diner. In most major cities, there’s at least one that stays open late. You’ll support a small business, become a regular, and probably score free drinks.

Roscoe’s – People like Roscoe’s because you only find them in Southern California. They're the hometown favorite. That’s it. The low supply of restaurants with the Roscoe’s logo at the door creates a high demand elsewhere. The chicken is good. The waffles are good. None of it is life-changing. Probably the most hilarious thing about Roscoe’s is if you offer up criticism of the chain, LA natives will say “Well which one did you go to? Mmmhmm, shoulda went to the other one… Now what did you order?.... tsk tsk. Shoulda got the number 9.” How good is a chain if it’s only good if you go to ONE location and order that ONE specific thing? I call shenanigans.
Want good chicken? If you’re in LA, go to Honey’s Kettle Fried Chicken. Thank me later.

Anita Baker -  Her voice reminds me of the mom from Gullah Gullah Island. I enjoy Anita’s hits, particularly Sweet Love which is an excellent karaoke choice. I just find the deification by her rabid fans a bit overwrought. And her hair looks like John Mayer’s. It makes me uncomfortable.
Tip: Check out the BEST COVER OF I WANT YOU BACK that I've ever heard. In life. 

Sade - Whenever I hear Sade's music, I find myself comparing suicide methods. Once, I got as far as writing the note for my friends and family, complete with the song I wanted to play at my funeral, until my then roommate came in and turned on some Carrie Underwood. 

Tip: Wanna hear something different? Something to get your heart rate going? Check out my girl Solange's new video. (And by my girl, I mean.... an individual who I've never met, but whose records I have purchased.)

Welp. Now that I have probably single-handedly pissed off probably 90% of my readers, I’d like to hear your thoughts. Can you think of anything else that’s highly overrated in the Black community? Enlighten us!