Thursday, March 12, 2009

Video Review: Blame It

Jaime Foxx is my homeboy. Really. I love his arrogant ass to pieces (though I would never hang out with him. His ego would suffocate me.)

I just got done listening to his two most recent offerings to Top 40 and Urban Radio... Blame It and Just Like Me.

Both these songs are ignant as hell... but who said that all music had to be deep? People say this is a recent phenomenon of the industry being about product and profit, not the music... but Brickhouse is one of my favorite songs and it talks about a woman's measurements. It doesn't mean that it hasn't gotten worse with time, but not all music is meant to be soul piercing. Sometimes you just wanna have a funky good time. (Aside: I think the industry has gotten more about promoting pretty faces that can't carry a tune worth a damn-- but that's just me.)

Which brings me to the vid for 'Blame It'. First off... I like this song. I know music snobs, including my own mate, will give me the stinkeye for this statement... but I don't care. The beat cranks and when it comes on in the car, I turn it up.

But that doens't mean I don't recognize it for being ignant and slightly insulting... I mean "I was unaware how fine you was before my buzz set in?" The f*ck? I'm supposed to be flattered you needed beer goggles to find me cute?? Ummmm... NEXT.

But I digress... the video. That is what I came here to speak on. And speak on it I shall.

First off... this video is directed by Hype Williams. Hype.Williams. Dang, this niglet is still around? Wasn't his heyday like... 14 years ago??? I knew it was a Hype Williams vid before I even saw the credits? Know how? Homie was a wanna-be features director who specialized in "big willies in the club" and "who's who of hip hop" vids. In this vid, he combined to two and to it to the NEXT F*CKING LEVEL.

Now this isn't entirely Hype's fault. I blame Jamie. He decided to one up the 'who's who of hip hop' concept.... WELCOME TO THE WHO'S WHO OF "A-LIST HOLLYWOOD" or "OSCAR WINNERS' NIGHT OUT". Just parading his Hollywood homies all up in his music video *smdh*

The Cast (I sh*t you not):

Jake Gyllenhaal- Jakes appearance perplexed and vexed me a little. I mean, there were other's thatALL THE WAY MORE don't belong but Jake just looked like his boys lied to him about the kind of club they were going to. He looks like he was expecting "Hip" and got "Hood". That's not to say he didn't look good. He's a 2520 who could GET IT! (Aside: All the 'attractive' genes were spent on him. Maggie is a great actress but... )

Forest Whitaker- WHY IS HE IN THIS VID??!?! Just lookin' like a father looking for his wayward daughter at the club. I look at him and see the Last King of Scotland and the Great Debators all at the same time. Just NO. Take your Oscars and Golden Globes back to the house and sat the f*ck down. Your baby girl is at the house, getting ready for her debutante ball. She ain't at the hood spot. Go home.

Ron Howard- Remember that Sesame Street segment "One of these things just doesn't belong?" His appearance elicited the strongest "WHAT.THE.F*CK" I have ever uttered when watching a video. The wispy thinning strawberry blonde locks stretched across his non existent super receded hair line coupled with the "whack-ass pedophile sexy" look..... **shivers** He just looked all kinds of ot of place! I mean really... RON F*CKING "OPIE TAYLOR" HOWARD in a JAMIE FOXX VIDEO. Just WRONG.

Sameuel L. Jackson- This man truly is the hardest working man in Hollywood. I mean, he's doing music videos now. Gotta get that paper and earn that cheese, right? I must say, he looked the least out of place... which is scary @ me because he's old enough to be my GRANDPA. Oh well Sammie Jack... do you.

These cats just get the "You so GOTDAYUM TIRED. Sit the F*ck Down and Shut the F*ck Up" Award

Bill Bellamy- Homie, you done had the same hair for 20 years... take a look at the "man in the mirror." Maybe its time to "Make that Change"... its gonna feel real good... Shelmore! *MJ crotch grab*

Morris Chestnut-- rockin the Bald yeah, your sexy quotient is -210 after this. You don't got the head shape or face for it. Just NO.

Quincy Jones--really Grandpa? You breathe new life into the "Old Dude at the Club" joke. Eff your legendary status. YOU ARE A GREAT GRANDPA.

Cedric the Entertainer- Just STOP IT.

Bit Players

Pop 'n Lock Girl-- she looks like she's someone on the production team's baby sister who can pop it and lock it. They decided to let her be up in the vid. Whippin that pony tail weave extra hard. They LEAST they could have done for her is give her a decent weave and a cute top. I mean really... compared to the rest of the girls in the vid... she looks like a dude.... in drag. Po' thang. (you get a good face shot of her at the end of the video-- I AM MAD AT THE PRODUCERS FOR HER).

T-Pain-- It was your dumbass idea for Jamie to use Auto Tune, wasn't it? You ridin his actual singing talent like a rodeo by making it so that folk can't tell when you are 'singing' and when Jamie is singing. Because see... Jamie Foxx can actually sing. Yeah, YOU'RE NOT FOOLING ANYONE WITH THAT SH*T. Oh yea.... and YOU ARE NOT SEXY. So please stop the 'oral sex simulations' with your scary ass grill. And shotgunning Nuvo on the dancefloor= Wack Ass Ninja. Stop that sh*t... yesterday! Please and thank you.
Miscellaneous Offenses

The Giant Dancing Panda-- This vexxed me Jamie. I was just all kind of vexxed wit this.
Jamie, what the F*CK you been smoking dawg? Where can I get some? Because seriously, what would a giant dancing panda be doing in even the most random of clubs? That head must have been hot as Hades because you were workin it in that panda head. But.... why??

Red Light Special--Why was everything red? I mean... the whole video looked like it was "that time of the month." Do you know how many faces red lighting is flattering on? Not a one. Because even the 'cute' girls were kinda lookin... "eh", in that lighting. Particularly if they were dark skinned, like your 'love interest' (and Imma get to her in a second). I feel like this "red" thing was Hype's attempt at a "concept lighting scheme". Ummm.. Hype? That wasn't avant garde... it was PAINFUL.

Sunglasses In the Club-- Why must you perpetuate this sh*t like it is okay? It is NOT OKAY. Why are u (and everybody else) wearing sunglasses at night ((enter Cory Hart's song))? You can't see nothin. Look... Ray was a great movie but its like the Sopranos. Its OVER! Get a new show!

Big Willi-isms, Girl on Girl Action and Bottle Poppin in VIP--Really? We are STILL doing this? Fa real? Nothin else to show off about how cool it is to be in VIP....... **sad face**

Your 'Love' Interest-- I suppose I'm supposed to give you Kudos for choosing a dark sista to be your 'love' interest over some racially ambiguous chick. But I see it for what it is... PANDERING. Maybe you do really love the dark sistas... and she was pretty (though that is up for debate given the layers of cake on her face and horse hair on her head). But still, given the lyrics "I was unaware how fine you was before my buzz set in".... yeah... f*ck you.
*doesn't she look like two COMPLETELY different girls here?*

So.... did I miss anything?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Proudly Rockin' The Red Pump

Hey There My Lovlies!!!!

So, for those of you who don't know, my bread-earning position is in the field of Public Health. I specifically work with infectious diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) (my disease du guerre) and HIV as an epidemiologist.

Its interesting that people are not aware of the fact that TB is still a disease of public health significance in America and indeed, the rest of the world, but it is understandable. For years, TB flew under the radar as an illness that few people got... or rather few people in the United States of America got. However, with the appearance of HIV and the shrinking of the globe due to increased immigrantion and travel, TB is making a comeback.

Today, Tuesday March 10 is National Women/Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. It is a part of the celebration of Womens History Month (yes, folks, March is Women's History Month!), designed to increase awarness, knowledge and the like about HIV/AIDS, particularly in regards to women.

HIV/AIDS infection continues to disproportionately affect women, particularly heterosexual, minority women. As such, this day holds extreme importance to me personally... since I am heterosexual, minority and female. I'm not going to give a rundown of statistics pertaining to this when you can visit The Red Pump Project and read them for yourself (Aside: Thanks to Luvvie and Karyn for putting this together... you all are phenoms of woman-dom!!)

What I am going to do is give you a brief perspective on HIV/AIDS given my work in the field of Tuberculosis Control. Hang on to your socks kids, because this might get link-happy!!

For many years, TB was on a steady decline in the USA.

With the advent of new and better antibiotics, TB was thought to be on the path of diseases like Polio and Smallpox-- the path to ELIMINATED DISEASE LAND. However, in the mid 1980's a strange spike in TB cases in the US was observed... and that spike became a continued elevation that peaked in the early 1990's. What triggered this resurgence of TB cases was the EMRGENCE of HIV.

Many people know that HIV stands for Human Immunodificiency Virus, but few know what that REALLY means. HIV SPECIFCICALLY infects and destroys CD4 white cells... the blood cells in the body that are your main defense against infectious agents. As HIV multiplies and reinfects those cells, a person's immune system becomess esentially non-existent and they are susceptible to agents that normally would not make them sick. These are called Opportunistic Infections.

Tuberculosis is an interesting animal in this sequence. The fact is that BILLIONS of people the world over are already infected with the TB bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is called Latent Tuberculosis Infection (LTBI). However, they are not sick because their bodies are able to mount a defense and wall off the bacteria. When a person becomes infected with HIV, those defenses disappear, and the person rapidly proceeds from LTBI to having active TB disease. TB is DEADLY when not diagnosed and treated. The problem for clinicians when treating HIV infected folk is that since their immune systems are not functioning properly, TB can be ravaging their body, and they will have NO SYMPTOMS.

Both the CDC and the WHO stress the importance of controlling TB ot reduce HIV/AIDS deaths. In fact, since 1990 TB has been the single most contributing factor to HIV/ AIDS deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

This alone is staggering, but consider that after years of decline, HIV infection rates in the US have begun to slowly rise again, ESPECIALLY among minority women. This is TERRIFYING. People have become complacent. They think that because they see people people who are living longer, healthier lives with HIV infection that it is no longer a problem. That it is in fact cured. While HIV is no longer an automatic death sentence, living with it is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. People who are on HIV Antiretroviral Therapy (called HAART- Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy), must take an extensive cocktail of drugs, watch their diet and health CLOSELY and will have to do so for the rest of their lives.

The work of HIV prevention is far from over. The struggle continues to save lives.

So today, take a moment to educate someone about HIV prevention. Take a moment to remember those who are affected by HIV/AIDS in your community, in your city, and the rest of the World. Discuss risky behaviors and practice Safer Sex. And let your inner fashionista/activist get her Red Pump Rockin' On!

But don't forget... once this day passes, the problem hasn't gone away. HIV is still a huge public health concern, and the better people are educated about it, the closer we are to sending HIV and TB to ELIMINATED DISEASE LAND.

Oh and if you are in Philly and don't know your status, Health Center #1 at 500 S. Broad Street (Broad and Lombard) has FREE RAPID TESTING. Come on down and Get in the KNOW. I can't promise that I will test you, but our staff is kind, professional and it is completely confidential.