While You Were Sleeping: The Daily Show “A$$HOLES WANTED.”

From The Daily Show, last week, Thursday, July 25th, 2013, featuring Asif Mandvi.

The ad read:

“A$$HOLES WANTED FOR U.S. CONGRESS.

Must be able to kill the thing inside you that thinks and cares.

4 Day work week.

Health Care & Benefits Provided.”

Classic.

RESPECT DUE – Dennis Farina, dead at 69.

Aside

Wow.

Just asked how old he was a day or two ago, saying, “He’s had a great run. Not a good run; A. Great. Run.”

My favorites?

Ray Barboni in Get Shorty and Jimmy Serrano in Midnight Run, one of the best buddy flicks of all time.

Dennis Farina – “I’m Ray Barboni from Miami”, Get Shorty

Dennis farina – The Best of Jimmy Serrano, Midnight Run

Funny: former Chicago cop brought the realness to the gangster roles he played.

I’m gonna miss this guy.

R.I.P.

New York Times obit:http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/07/22/arts/ap-us-obit-dennis-farina.html?_r=0&adxnnl=1&partner=rss&emc=rss&adxnnlx=1374520573-s7emaEUjsudVaecuGMkfng

What I’m Rockin’ Right Now: DJ Jazzy Jeff x MICK – Summertime Vol. 4

Every year, at just about this time – well, for the past three, anyway – the legendary Jazzy Jeff and MICK (formerly Mick Boogie) celebrate the season with some choice rhymes and R&B on their joint Summertime mixtape series.

On this, the 4th edition, the eponymous intro-version of Jeff & his then young partner’s warm weather anthem is handled by Talib Kweli.

“Jazzy Jeff and I are so thrilled to once again unleash [another] Summertime mix into the world. This is our fourth year,” said Mick in a press statement. “Jeff created something timeless in the ’90s with [the song] ‘Summertime,’ and we are so excited to keep pushing it further and further to new generations. Enjoy it and see us in a city near you.”

This year’s joint features Prince, Little Brother, D’Angelo, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Sade, Camp Lo, Intro, Hall and Oates, Biz, Diamond D, Main Source, One Way, Guy and more.

It’s perfect for beaches, barbecues and to and from the vacation spot. Bump this in your system.

Ayo: whatever happened to that Philly kid, anyway? He had mad potential …

dj jazzy jeff mick summertime 4 mixtape

Click here for the download and the player.

Black Music Month/Commercial Wrap: Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail’ “One To Many” Spot

[Disclaimer:Yeah, I know it’s not Black Music Month anymore. I know it’s July. But this is an unfinished piece leftover from BMM. Hate it or love it, it is what it is. Expect more. Whut?!?]

With “One to Many”, the third ad spot in his Magna Carta Holy Grail Samsung blitzkrieg of a campaign, Jay-Z gets to the nut of the whole effort, tying the economics of the deal in a flowery philosophical bow:

“This time that we’re in right now, in this new independence … we don’t have any rules.  Everyone’s trying to figure it out. We need to write the new rules for what’s going on right now.”

Jay-Z – “One to Many”

Cool.

But this is nothing new.

Analysts and strategists and label execs and marketers have been saying this for most of the last decade, if not longer.

But when Jay says it, everybody listens.

Especially the star endorsement conscious consumer and the wanna-be-cool-kid who dreams he or she might one day be just like Jay-Z.

Call it the cool factor, call it cache, call it whatever you want but just know that he knows that the fans know it. Trust  that.

He also knows that the corporations know it and he translates that into cold hard cash.

He’s got the team/machine to make the needle move and that means money, honey.

While his compadre Yeezus is busy decrying the corporations with an offering that is anything but mainstream, Mr. Carter prefers to promote through promulgation.

His C.R.E.A.M-like ethos brings all the brands to the yard.

Soulcial Studies – RIP Jim Kelly, The First Black Film Superhero.

This one hurts.

Jim Kelly, the groundbreaking martial artist turned actor has passed.

According to the obit, he died of cancer at his home in San Diego. He was 67.

Muhammad Ali and Jim Kelly

His leaves a lasting legacy. He can legitimately lay claim to being the first Black superhero on the big screen.

Before  the Civil Rights Era and the 60’s Black people had no presence in comic books. Not only did we have an absence of meaningful characters – other than the soldier Gabe Jones in Sgt. (Nick) Fury’s Howling Commandos, and the ultra-offensive Whitewash Jones from the 40’s “integrated” ant-Nazi youth group The Young Allies (created by then comic book babies Stan Lee & Jack Kirbyled by Captain America’s sidekick Bucky Barnes – we had no superheroes. None.

In 1966 Marvel changed that with the Black Panther in The Fantastic Four issue #52

… and then The Falcon in the pages of Captain America, issue #177.

But the new found integration of comic books wouldn’t translate to the silver screen for decades. A little more than three, to be exact.

Before Black folks had celluloid superheroes (uh, not that we actually have superheroesplural, today: to date we’ve got Halle Berry’s Storm out of the X-Men franchise and Edi Gathegi as Darwin, the dude who died in X-Men: First Class. That’s it. 2013 and we’re still pitifully underrepresented, but that’s a rant for another time in this space) we had the antiheroes of the Blaxploitation era. Men and women who were either outlaws reluctantly doing the right thing or good guys and women walking on the wild side to right a wrong, often avenging the death of a loved one. That they did it in style and with a brashness and confidence that pretty much defined cool until Hip Hop took over as the dominant global cultural expression is another undeniable, indelible stamping of Blackness on Americana, and ultimately the world.

In the 70’s there were Blaxploitation flicks and stars galore, most notably Shaft with Richard Roundtree, Superfly starring Ron O’Neal, Black Caesar and Hell Up In Harlem featuring Fred Williamson, Robert Hooks as the original Mr. T in Trouble Man, and the dusky, dark, double-d’ed goddess Pam Grier of Friday Foster, Coffy, Sheba Baby and Foxy Brown fame.

But Jim Kelly was different. He was a Black Man kickin’ mainstream ass.

Jim Kelly was arguably the first Black superhero to appear on the silver screen. Unlike the Blaxploitation cats who were draped in the day’s finery, reflecting the fascination of the emerging street fashions and culture of the time, he wore a gi,

 

the traditional martial arts uniform. For any kid who grew up watching kung fu/karate flicks, to see him clad in the  gear was a nod to inclusion. In roles he would sport everything from leather Nehru suits to the era’s short-shorts showing off his abs and ripped physique.

His game-changing role was  in Enter The Dragon. As Williams, the Black American expatriate, he starred alongside the legendary Bruce Lee, thoroughly holding his own in every scene he was in. The clip below shows him working with Lee who personally choreographed Kelly’s fight scenes:

Bruce Lee choreographs Jim Kelly’s fight scenes in Enter The Dragon

When he first appears in ETD we see him first kickin’ some pigs behinds.

Jim Kelly as Williams in Enter The Dragon throws the swine in the trash

It was a theme that would repeat itself throughout his screen career.

Mister Keyes (Jim Kelly) vs. Racist Pigs from Three The Hard Way

After years of portraying unrealistic, unrealized, unimaginative roles depicting Black Men as subservient, simple emasculated and weak contrived characterizations, Kelly had oles where he actually got to whip some white ass. It was nothing short of empowering. We finally had a guy who could stand up to “The Man” and beat your behind with fists and feet.

In Enter The Dragon he more than held his own alongside Lee and John Saxon, and fittingly got his mack on choosing four women to, uh, unwind with …

Enter the Dragon , Williams chooses his women. “You, and you, and you …”

… and ultimately faces off with ETD’s villian, Mr Han where he utters the classic line, “Man you come right out of a comic book.”

Williams fights Mr. Han

After the 70’s and William’s career high point, including starring in Black Belt Jones, Black_Belt_Jones_by_phelpsterblackbeltjones_4aBLACK BELT JONES B&W&RED MOVIE POSTER

Hot Potato, Black Samaurai

and Three The Hard Way with Williamson and Jim Brown, the roles dried up.

He made a few films in the 80’s, but after his movie star faded he went go on to have a career as a professional tennis player and a teacher of martial arts.

JIM KELLY TENNIS RACKET

He had a cameo in the early aughts with a Nike commercial starring a silent, baby–faced LeBron James

LeBron James Chamber of Fear commercial with Jim Kelly

Kelly was a trailblazer. He paved the way for guys like Michael Jai White, Taimak and other martial arts based actors. Rest in power, Grand Master James Kelly.

Here’s a couple bonus clips showing Kelly fighting before he became famous and a tribute clip saluting him as the most unsung badass ever.

JIM KELLY Style

Most Unrecognized BADASS Jim Kelly

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