2017 was an eventful year.
We endured a lot as a culture and somehow made it through.
Here are some of my top picks (coping mechanisms - mostly movies, music, and TV shows) from one of most infamous years of this decade. In no particular order...
Top 17 of 2017
When Everyday Struggle premiered on Complex, it was a rocky start. DJ Akademics and Joe Budden were getting used to sparring with one another while cameras rolled and their moderator had challenges getting a word in, even introducing a topic. Thus, the hashtag of allowing poor Pinky the chance to speak without interruption was birthed. With Joe's sudden firing a few weeks ago, I am definitely curious to hear Nadeska speak...finally.
16. Uber, wait no Lyft!
This year, the former CEO of Uber found himself in a compromising position when a video of him verbally accosting one of his employees went viral. I was one of the thousands who deleted my Uber account, app and UberEats. Deleting Eats was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Let us pause for a moment of silence.
15. DAMN, Kendrick!
14. She's Gotta Have It
The first season of this revamped Spike Lee joint was both poignant and informative. Comical and spellbinding. Thought-provoking and equally as musically stimulating. Why can't we as women have our proverbial cake and eat it too? This series showed that monogamy isn't for everyone, and rightfully so. I lived for the single coverart displayed as scene transitions.
13. The Carter Twins
Yonce had twins and the Beyhive sang their praises! The twins aren't able to walk yet but they and their children's children will be able to live out their dreams, not their jobs. Not bad, Baby Carters. Not Bad.
12. Donald Glover - Emmy History
When he won the best directing- comedy Emmy and accepted his award in his purple suit, thus making Black history, I beamed with the same joy and pride I had when The Obamas finally walked into the White House. (That walk down the street before had my anxiety levels all types of high.) I can't wait until Atlanta comes back!
11. Insecure..Hella Insecure
Season 2 showed us that the best laid plans eventually lead to more wine and inevitable disappointment for Issa and Molly. I smell a reuniting coming down the yellow brick road in Season 3. Or maybe Molly gets pregnant with married-Dro's first child in a dream sequence. Or maybe Kelly gets engaged and at Tiffany's baby shower, Lawrence declares his love for Issa. And married-Dro's wife gets pregnant and Molly falls into Lil Rel's arms in Chicago. A girl can hope.
10. Blackish's Juneteenth Episode
The fourth season premiere of ABC's Blackish brought a primetime explanation of a widely unknown and misunderstood holiday celebrated within the Black community. June 19th is celebrated as the official end of slavery (even though the amendment was formally passed the year before - 1864 - and President Lincoln signed his approval four months prior, but that's another post for another day). Like Dre in the episode, its been a holiday that my family celebrated with Kool-Aid, BBQ, potato salad, and no real understanding. There's an amazing article on TheRoot.com that shows just how uneducated we are: https://thegrapevine.theroot.com/black-ish-taught-me-more-about-slavery-in-22-minutes-th-1819138998 We are our ancestors dreams.
9. SZA's Luxurious Hair...& Voice
SZA released a beautiful EP about love, lust and desire but her hair is what initially drew me to her. It's literally her crown! Long and thick, wavy and majestic. Ok, back to the music. My favorite song is "The Weekend" which is horrible on a personal level, but I'm trying not to let it get the best of me. The song is amazing and I hope she wins every category she's nominated for at the GRAMMY's.
8. Meet The Balls
Lavar Ball and his parenting techniques shook up the bright, serene DTLA lights near Staples Center (and then China). His bold personality and candor made for one hell of a continuous news cycle. Lavar might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I know a great many Black men who would have prospered to heights beyond their believed potential if they had him barking in their ears.
7. Remy Ma
Remy Ma owned 2017. Though these aren't in any particular order, seven is the number of perfection. I'm just saying. She released "ShETHER" and ignited a fire that shows no signs of being put out! I loved her interviews, her life and her genuine spirit. She is the comeback story that Disney bases every movie on and I'm just happy she's winning. Stay all the way up, Remy!
6. Bodak Yellow
The opening two lines command your attention. Immediately, you know this isn't sisterly. It's not tea and pastries or mimosas at Sunday Brunch. This is a pull up on the corner, one-sided woman to woman confrontation. After I listened a few times, I had the chorus and the first verse down complete with finger pointing hand movements and neck rolls. Other women learned too and soon there was a chorus of Cardi's running around cussing out the air like it embodied our arch-enemy. You know where I be.
5. Girl's Trip
Reunite Cleo & Stony (Queen Latifah & Jada Pickett-Smith) 20 years after they Set It Off, add the beautiful and hilarious Regina Hall and a healthy serving of my hometown unicorn Tiffany Haddish and you have the record-breaking all Black female-lead cast behind this $139 million grossing smash - the first comedy of the year to gross over $100 million domestically! Don't forget your grapefruits ladies!
4. Chappelle & Netflix
Dave Chappelle showed up right on time. True, his debut Netflix specials were a decade late according to our collective watches but absence makes the heart (and soul) grow fonder, right? His double feature proved to be the perfect dose of hard-hitting truth and humor that put me back together, even if it was just for a night. Two more episodes are due out New Year's Eve. #Winning!
3. Queen Maxine Reclaims Her Time
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, or Queen Maxine as we affectionately call her, schooled Steven Mnuchin in the ways of professional etiquette. I'm sure he'll think twice about leaving any letter/tweet/Facebook post/Snap/Instagram video unanswered ever again. Even better, this amazing man below turned the moment into a gospel hit (below)! There's merch on Amazon, too! This is the gift that keeps on giving!
2. Taking A Knee
Though Colin K. was taking a knee before this year, 2017 saw the protest become a national discussion that transcended football. Cheerleaders, singers, military, elderly, and athletes alike knelt in support of justice reform. The discussion got ugly along the way, but the dialogue exchanged not only exposed a longstanding history of exclusion and division but also created a space for focused and educated voices to speak with influencers in order to enact change. Howard's entire cheerleading squad got in formation back in October!
1. Get Out
Jordan Peele's shocking "documentary" showed the world that subtle racism makes for one hell of a horror film. Critics and fans alike kept social media abuzz with conspiracy theories for weeks while repeat audience members solidified Peele and the film's place in history, grossing a whopping $254 million. Be careful when checking the DMs!
2017 was one hell of year, hopefully 2018 is heavenly.