Monthly Archives: February 2014

Going Mobile, Y’all!

Okay, not really. However, if there was ever a day where I fully gave into my smartphone and all of its capabilities, my mobile app would look a little something like this:

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Of course, if you downloaded this app it would mean you have as much free time on your hands as I do. Decisions, decisions.

Yours Truly, the Black Pop Tart

Denitia and Sene

Denitia and Sene

This post I’ve decided to put you on to some new musica. There’s this duo  Denitia and Sene, that I’ve been listening to for the past couple of years now. I was originally familiar with Sene, the male member of the group, who had been in the hip-hop scene for a few years at that point. One day I was searching for something, anything I could find with him in it. It wasn’t long before I was introduced to Denitia’s smoky vocals. Her sound was classically r&b, yet oddly current at the same time.

Last year they released their first album, entitled His and Hers. The first single, Casanova, heavily featured Sene’s vocals over a stripped, synth-y  beat. Reminiscent of the 1980’s, it was another work that belonged in the surge of alternative r&b that has found it’s audience within the past two years. Songs like again .(new ride) and trip.fall feature ethereal melodies over infectious down beats and topped with relaxed vocals. Listening to their music is the equivalent of eating a gourmet burger out of a food truck and washing it down with a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Ironic and generally enjoyable. What else would you expect when a hip-hop artist from the Brooklyn teams up with a soulful folk singer from Texas? Ch-Ch-Check them out here

https://soundcloud.com/denitiaandsene

Over and Out, the Black Pop Tart

The Mindy Kaling Stan Fest

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Soon you will understand why this was the only plausible title for this entry. Let me just say that I love Mindy Kaling. Really, I do. Ever since the first time that our brown faces met when I first saw her on The Office, albeit through the television screen, I knew that I had a friend in her. The thing that I loved and hated the most about Kelly Kapoor was her complete and utter lack of consideration for others. What I mean is that Kapoor hardly ever did the mental checks that ‘good’ people are supposed to do. She was self-centered, superficial and blindly devoted to someone who barely cared about her. So unabashed was her character’s interest in herself that you wanted to hug her, slap her and then give her some Dear Abby type of advice. Some found her character annoying. To be honest I would have to if not for this fact that women of color are hardly ever portrayed without some type of struggle or inexplicable chip on their shoulder. Watching her crash diet and complain about a botched drink order at Starbucks was refreshing. Unfortunately, these were the things that easily made her a stock character.
The only thing that Kelly lacked was a true voice. So I was more than happy when Mindy Kaling wrote her first book. Even more excited when I heard that she was going to write, produce ad star in her own comedy television series. I was hooked at the very first episode. Kaling has successfully applied every romantic movie cliche into her show, twist it, and make it work! This is amazing to me, because in every disgustingly romantic movie the only person of character has either been a minor role or a sassy best friend. I was never Meg Ryan or Sandra Bullock, and neither was Lucy Liu. We got somewhat close with Jennifer Lopez (yes, I liked The Wedding Planner), but Maid in Manhattan dashed those hopes.
The show’s Mindy is not only a partner in a successful medical practice, but also seemingly superficial. It is not strange to hear medical jargon thrown in with Dior pumps. She’s like an East Coast version of Elle Woods! Please don’t ask me why that’s so exciting … Finally we get some exposure to an Indian-American woman on television. While that is a wonderful thing, Kaling doesn’t insist on being the representative for the Indian- American female experience. In her book and in interviews, she acknowledges the fact that while she may not have been physically similar to her peers they did have similar experiences. She has never allowed herself to feel like an outcast, and it shows in her series. She is able to speak about her ethnicity in the show without agenda.She’s not trying to change anyone’s minds or to even shift anyone’s perceptions. She’s telling stories about a woman, trying to navigate through her romantic life as efficiently as possible. She just so happens to be a woman of Indian descent. This is what I like to see.

Signed, the Black Pop Tart

What’s So Wrong With Being Mary Jane?

Well, it depends on whom you ask. The surprisingly popular BET show has garnered positive reviews, scathing criticisms and relatively high numbers. The show is about an African American woman in her early to mid-thirties with a thriving career in journalism. Unfortunately, her personal life isn’t as impressive. The show, now in its second season, began its freshman run with audiences (and Mary Jane herself) quickly finding out that the man of her dreams wasn’t as dreamy as he appeared. Long story short, he was married, but incredibly gorgeous. You see her dilemma. No late-night drama is complete without the archetypical love triangle. Two handsome men – one single and one available- the decision should be simple, right? Nope. To be fair, I’m willing to bet that this geometric love affair is reason behind much of Mary Jane’s viewership. We’ve also met Mary Jane’s family. It is crazy, complicated and even loving at times- just like most of ours.

Successful woman of color- check. Steamy love triangle- check. Realistically dysfunctional family- check. So what’s the problem? Well, nobody likes a side chick. You can find Urban Dictionary’s definitions at http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sidechick&defid=2201414  . Even Olivia Pope’s undeniably brilliant career as a political “fixer” on Scandal is constantly overshadowed by her unsavory affair with the President of the United States. Reality shows of questionable taste (I’m talking to you, Basketball Wives and Love and Hip Hop) accomplish an incredible feat by bringing in respectable views with unsympathetic casts. One of the main criticisms of these women are that hardly any of them are actually wives, and some of them are rumored to have been the mistresses of athletes. Why are these women given such harsh criticism when their male cohorts are not? Many of them have been able to turn banal existences into profitable careers (gotta love club appearances and bottle service). Are these women lauded for their accomplishments? No. Instead, they are constantly being referred to as home wreckers, despite the amount of time that has passed since these indiscretions.

Am I advocating for the side chick? No. Am I supporting the eponymous characters role. Not exactly. I am asking people to ask themselves a few simple questions: Why, after considering a character/ person’s redeeming personality traits, are their mistakes held at such a higher plateau? Why do these issues overshadow other aspects of their personality? During every episode of the Gabrielle Union vehicle, we are shown quick clips of real women explaining how and/ or why they can relate to this character. Does anyone really want to watch a show where the main character does not have issues or does not make the wrong decisions? Who can relate to that? If anything, I wish these representations of women of color would come up with more original character development. Okay, we get it, extramarital affairs are easy to write and scandalous enough to bring in views. What I would really like to see is how a successful woman (of color or otherwise) was able to pay off all of her student loans and afford a mortgage whilst keeping her sanity.

Signed, the Black Pop Tart

P.S. – Feel free to watch this hilarious video by the one and only Kid Fury, who is clearly over the hype.