What’s Poppington: Chewing Gum

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I decided to check out this show after seeing a few people recommend it on Twitter and I’m glad I did.

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Chewing Gum is a London based show following 24 year old Tracy Gordon (Michaela Coel) as she tries to break away from her strict religious upbringing and explore life, starting with losing her virginity. That sounds simple enough, but Chewing Gum takes that idea and does a whole Olympic sprint with it. The story-lines drift into ridiculous and awkwardly raunchy situations. The characters are quirky and diverse and honestly kinda weird, everyday people that only add to the show’s hilarious absurdity.

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Each season only has six episodes, but that’s because star of the show, Michaela Coel, is also the sole writer and mastermind. What started as a school project has pushed her to the spotlight and gotten her a few awards such as the British Television Acedemy Award for Best Female Performance in a Comedy. With Chewing Gum’s success, hopefully we’ll be seeing Coel and her ideas more often

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Chewing Gum is designed to totally get a rise out of you, or at least make you a little uncomfortable. But it’s different. It strays away from a lot of cliche TV tropes that make a lot of shows boring and predictable. With Chewing Gum, you truly never know what to expect.

If explicit sexual humor isn’t your thing you may not want to tune in.

What’s Poppington: Tnemnroda Eyewear

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Embellished eye-wear has gotten about 500% more extra than the Kanye shutter glasses from 2007, but that’s not a bad thing. Jewelry encrusted, colored lenses have started to pop up on the faces of many and Samantha Smikle is providing us with unique, fairly affordable options.

Tnemroda (pronounced Nem – row – dah) Maison grew from an idea of Smikle’s to add a chain to the side of her sunglasses. Interest in her fashion-forward creations grew enough to eventually blossom into a successful business.

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                                         Samantha Smikle

Smikle’s Carribean heritage is sprinkled all throughout her handcrafted lenses. There’re even some Carnival inspired pieces.
Miss Carnival

The New York based brand is bold and unique with a positive mission statement. Smikle says that “When a woman wears Tnemnroda, I hope that she feels like an amplified version of herself–incredibly beautiful, empowered and full of fiery ambition.” Those words are plastered on the front page of the brand’s website.

CALL ME SUGAStingerMS. DEVERAUX

Prices range from 20-$150, which isn’t much to support an entrepreneur, especially compared to a pair of $200 Raybans. I’m not even the type to pay more than $6 for some sunglasses, but I’m probably gonna cop a pair or four.

Simply happyROSE CITY

Lolita

www.maisontnemnroda.com

What’s Poppington: Khalid

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If you’ve heard a catchy song that goes “Sennnnd me your location lets riiiiiide the vibration,” then you’ve heard of Khalid. Khalid is an 18 year old singer from El Paso, Texas who has blessed us with a different take on R&B and an eclectic voice to go along with it.

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His first album, “American Teen” dropped back in early March of this year. Don’t let the title fool you though, the lyrics aren’t that innocent.

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Khalid’s music style is like a mix of R&B, Pop, Indie, Soul, and honestly a lot of other genres I know I’m leaving out. His voice sounds like about six different artists, but there’s still something so distinctly different about it at the same time. Khalid’s music style is exactly what R&B in 2017 should be; its vibey as hell and catchy as hell, with just enough bass and lyrics with some substance. It’s quality, like someone actually spent some time on it.

Khalid has a cool stage presence as well and if you still aren’t interested, then maybe you could at least indulge in the fact that he sounds better live than on his recordings.

Check some of his songs I think are pretty listen-worthy below, or listen to the whole album on Youtube.

What’s Poppington: Myles Loftin’s “HOODED” Project

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We all know that ideas without action stay ideas and Myles Loftin has come to show that he understands that concept as well.

Myles Loftin is a 19 year old photographer who’s taking action to change the stereotypical depiction of black males.Image result for myles loftin

His recent project, HOODED, tackles the importance of positive representation, while providing a perfect example of said positive representation.

Loftin focuses on the association of the hoodie worn on black males. In contemporary American society, the hoodie is a clothing garment that seems to automatically assume a threat if on the body of a black male (see: Trayvon Martin).  Loftin seeks to take back the meaning of the hoodie through a stark contrast of the “dark, scary thug” label and that contrast is bright colors and happy young black males

Thug where?

I noticed that beyond targeting the “thug” stereotype, HOODED also challenges the widespread belief that men who show any kind of femininity or emotion are gay and that being gay is terrible. I can think of about ten people off the top of my head who would automatically say these photos are “gay”. The smiles on the models’ faces are expressions of pure, unadulterated joy not held back by anyone’s definition. Those smiles show that you truly can be whatever the hell you want, that you are defined by your own self-expression.

HOODED seeks to reaffirm that black males should be able to make unsupervised fashion choices without being labeled as something negative.

Don’t sleep on our generation.

What’s Poppington: Hip Hop Squares

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If you’re into TV game shows then Hip Hop Squares may be something you should check out.

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Executively produced by Ice Cube, Hip Hop Squares is a fun show with a good cause. It’s a twist on the classic Hollywood Squares, but with mostly black celebrities in the hip hop side of the entertainment industry.

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Along with the alcohol-fueled commentary from the celebs, DeRay Davis’s hosting keeps the show’s atmosphere ruthless, yet hilariously entertaining. Everybody’s just up there having a grand ol’ time and it’s hard not to get sucked in. The celebrities hold back nothing when it comes roasting their fellow game players.

When I first watched I was a tad confused on how the game works. As simply as I can put it, it’s a big game of Tic Tac Toe with questions and at the end two deserving audience members get to take home the money won. You might have to watch an episode or two to finally get it (or maybe that’s just me). Watch this interview of Ice Cube and DeRay, they explain it a lot better.

New episodes of Hip Hop Squares air every Monday.

Check out Jessica Dime vs. Jackie Christie at 9pm and Kid ‘N Play vs. Naughty By Nature at 9:30pm tomorrow!

What’s Poppington: Solange Tastefully Covers Bust Magazine

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Since we’re on the natural hair appreciation train, why not talk about Solange?

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Solange is another celebrity confidently helping keep natural hair appreciation in the spotlight. Rocking what looks like a good ol’ twist out, Solange flaunts her unabashed naturalness on the cover of feminist magazine Bust.

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Previews of the editorial shoot (pictured throughout) show Solange against neutral backgrounds in some interesting pieces.

The pieces are minimalist in color and and eclectic in design at the same time, giving the entire set of photos the same vibe. It’s the perfect balance between weird and polished that Solange is known for.

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Besides gracing us with her style, readers can also expect to be graced with her words in her article titled “I am a Proud Black Feminist”. Her album “A Seat at the Table” spoke (sang, I guess) a lot of truth, so I can imagine this account will be a refreshing reflection of that same honesty.

This issue of Bust will be available March 28th.

How do y’all feel about this? Leave comments!

What’s Poppington: Rapunzel is Actually a Pair of Identical Black Twins

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First of all, LOOK AT THAT HAIR! Look at it. Observe it. Love it.Image result for cipriana takenya quann

Cipriana (above, left) and Takenya “TK” (right) Quann are two sisters who are bringing more awareness to the beautiful capabilities of black hair. Having both previously felt that their hair was a barrier, the sister duo turned their self-created hair confidence into a lucrative, yet socially uplifting platform.

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From grade school to the modeling industry, the Quann sisters have felt, like many of us, the resistance to and prejudice towards black hair. Instead of continuing to let it lower their self esteem, the pair decided to embrace their natural state. Along with friend Nikisha Brunson, the Quanns created their blog Urban Bush Babes. Their original intent was to create a place for women of color to feel comfortable with themselves while simultaneously dismantling derogatory stereotypes. The two have been making moves and turning heads ever since.

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In a time when black people’s hair is still misunderstood and chastised by a large part of society (remember when the U.S. government banned dreads for it’s employees?), it is important that people like the Quann sisters have a big platform. Representation plays a big role in social acceptance. Personally I’ve never seen natural black hair this long nor did I think those lengths were even possible. Let’s not forget the ignorant, but widely believed sentiment that black people’s hair just doesn’t grow at all (I can’t tell ya how many times I’ve actually heard this). The majesty of the Quanns’ hair makes it extremely difficult, to further believe anything negative about black hair and that’s the kind of inspiration we need.

Here’s a few more pictures because, why not, the Quanns are fantastic.

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What’s Poppington: FENTY x Puma 2017

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In exciting fashion news, Rihanna is back with Puma for another collaborative season. This time she has previewed her Fall/Winter 2017 collection and released her Spring 2017 shoe collection as well.  Described as if Marie Antoinette went to the gym, … Continue reading

What’s Poppington: Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj

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If you’ve been on any social media lately then you’ve probably heard of this beef between rappers Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj. In the game of rap, a little beef keeps things exciting. There’s always competition and claims of being the best. But in order to claim such a title one has to defend it and prove that they deserve it.

Nicki and Remy have probably had little tussles for a while now, but shit really hit the fan when Nicki seemed to take jabs at Remy on her verse in “Make Love”. In response, Remy Ma released “shETHER”, a track where she gets REEEAL personal for 7 minutes straight.

Nicki’s diss verse was a little ambiguous because she never actually name-dropped Remy, but Remy let us all know specifically who this track was for.

 

Then Remy pulled a Drake and released ANOTHER diss track, this one with a similar intro to Drake’s “Back to Back”.

Even foxy Brown jumped in.

And then today Remy Ma stated that she didn’t want to have to take it there with “shETHER” and would rather have collaborated with Nicki instead.

Nicki still seems completely unbothered though. There’s speculation on whether she’ll actually respond or not, but until she does it looks like Remy is the only one participating in the beef. Maybe since Remy practically took everything back the whole sitch is finally over.

Opinions differ on who’s side to take here. Some are upset at the lack of actual “beef”. Nicki, who claims to be the better artist, practically started the whole thing so why shy away?  On the other hand, why would Remy respond so hard but then take it all back?

Some say the whole thing is a fight over who’s the “Queen of Rap”. Minaj fans crown Nicki since she’s the more accomplished artist. Nicki has a better grasp on how to finesse the charts with bops that keep her in the limelight. Others say its Remy who has a more real, raw sense about her and kept up the spirit of Hip Hop by actually defending herself against a diss.

Personally, although I think Nicki should respond since it looks like she started the “beef”, her lack of response has Remy Ma looking like:

What’s Poppington: Get Out

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Beloved Jordan Peele, the other half of comedy show Key and Peele (you may remember him from MadTV as well!) takes a break from his usual comedy and shows us that he’s capable of much, much more. This time Peele tries his hand at horror and suspense and seems to have done it extremely well.

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If you haven’t seen the promotions yet, “Get out” is based on Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), who goes with his white girlfriend Rose (Alison Williams) to meet her parents. Rose’s parents have no idea that Chris is black, which makes him reluctant about the whole trip to begin with. Upon arrival, it becomes immediately obvious that something is off about Rose’s parents and the other townspeople. The trailer draws attention to hypnosis, missing citizens, racial issues, and a town where all the black people seem to act like disturbed psychos which enhances the fun of trying to guess what the heck you’re about to watch.

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The movie even received a rare 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the intriguing plot itself, this accomplishment alone makes me want to see the movie. The critics on Rotten Tomatoes can be pretty tough so a perfect score means it has GOTTA be good. Get Out debuts Friday February 24th. Check out the trailer below!

What’s Poppington: The Streets of Charleston

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As we approach March, the weather in Charleston has finally started to hover around the mid 60’s and low 70’s. Charlestonians are shedding jackets for short sleeves and street style is quickly shuffling from Winter to Spring.

I’m a sucker for eclectic patterns so this fellow’s shirt snatched my attention immediately.

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Name: Treshawn Ford

Age: 20

Treshawn Ford is a junior at the College of Charleston and a Charleston native.

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Julia: So what was the inspiration behind your outfit today? Could you tell me a little bit about your pieces?

Treshawn: Well my inspiration behind my outfit was that cool but flashy feeling I always feel. My grandfather is also African so I decided to bring channel some of that with my shirt and my beads.

T: I actually got my shirt from the women’s section at Goodwill. Instead of a women’s shirt or a men’s shirt I turned it into a Trey’s shirt.

J: How would you describe your usual style?

T: I would say subtle and flashy. I like to play around until I find two colors and then expand on them. Its like telling a story.