KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings
Last night WWE held their annual Royal Rumble, while many people believe WrestleMania should be the best show of the year, many people would argue that the Royal Rumble (if done right) is the best show of the year. Needless say they got it right this year. This year’s rumble didn’t only hold one 30-man over the top rope battle royal, but two as the women made history once again, having their first ever royal rumble. Before the rumble even got underway rumors were running wild as to who could be in the rumble for the men and women. From Daniel Bryan to Stephine McMahon to Ronda Rousey and everyone in between, this was one of the most unpredictable Royal Rumbles in recent memory and arguably the best.
Handicap WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
The night got off to a hot start right away as the WWE championship kicked off the show, which is a rarity, but something rarer than that is a handicap match for the most coveted prize in sports entertainment. If you would have told someone three years ago that the phenomenal AJ Styles would fight Kevin Steen and El Generico (Owens and Zayn’s indie wrestling names at the time) in a handicap match for the WWE title they would have told you that you were nuts, but as Vince McMahon says, “expect the unexpected”. Even though Styles was at a clear disadvantage, many experts and analysts believed Styles would retain the title and retain it all the way to mania, so all we were really looking for was a good storytelling match. That’s exactly what we got. The chemistry for the life-long best friends Zayn and Owens was amazing, as they clearly had a rhythm throughout the whole match that only they could perfect. Accompanied by the fact you have a generational talent like AJ Styles in the ring at the same time, this match was beautifully done.
The match would essentially end on a false finish which played great into the storyline. Zayn hadn’t tagged in Kevin Owens, but while AJ was tossing Zayn out of the ring Kevin decides to try and perform his patent Pop-up powerbomb on the phenomenal one, in which AJ reversed into a roll-up pinfall victory to retain the WWE Championship. After the controversial finish, Owens and Zayn went to complain to Smackdown commissioner, Shane McMahon, the person who has had a few run-ins with Owens and Zayn the past few months. When Kevin asked him if he saw the controversial ending McMahon responded with a sarcastic “yep!” in reference to the yep movement Owens and Zayn used to protest Shane and walked away. This should set up for a perfect WrestleMania match down the line.
2 Out of 3 Falls Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: The Usos (c) vs Benjamin & Gable
Earlier this month one half of the Usos, Jey Uso, was arrested for a DUI. While usually, this can halt a push or maybe even result in a title loss, it just didn’t seem like it would be the case this time around. The Usos are easily the hottest team in wrestling right now, on their best run, and while Jey should be punished for the DUI, it just wouldn’t feel right if they dropped the belt. Especially to Benjamin and Gable, who WWE thought would be a team, the fans could get behind because it has the likable and almost pitiful Chad Gable teamed with the nostalgic Shelton Benjamin. It just hasn’t worked; the fans give them no reaction and they have no momentum really. So, this was basically a filler match and either way, it shook out was understandable. It took a while for the first fall to occur and after it did the next one almost came immediately as the Usos retain their tag team championship on a roll up.
The Men’s Royal Rumble
This was the first time the Men’s Royal Rumble took place in the middle of the card, as it’s usually the main event, but the women having a history-making match of course changed that. But, many people thought the Men’s would still go on last, however, that was not the case which made many people fear the worst. Roman Reigns would win the Royal Rumble to the displeasure of about 90% of wrestling fans and they didn’t want to close the show with a parade of boos, so the logic was there which had me anxious the whole match praying Roman Reigns wouldn’t win. I’ll get back to that later. The first two entrances I believe were picked well by WWE as they had Rusev slotted as entrant number one and Finn Balor at number two, both guys are over as hell with the fans, so it got the crowd hooked right away. Outside of that there were some good storytelling pieces in the first 15 entrances in the rumble as Baron Corbin threw his typical tantrum, Heath Slater just got wrecked by everyone on their way to the ring, Elias cut another great concert promo, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens beat up Tye Dillinger only to have Sami replace him, and Sheamus screwed himself by getting eliminated by Heath Slater immediately after throwing him into the match. The first 15 didn’t yield many surprises or big-name superstars other than Andrade Almas at seven Shinsuke Nakamura at 14 which was a good move by the WWE to have the big names in the latter part of the Rumble. But, some noticeable people remaining after the first 15 entrances were Finn Balor, Rusev, and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Now, the good part, the second half of the royal rumble. In the Final 15 entrants of the royal rumble we saw the likes of John Cena, Roman Reigns, the Miz, and Matt Hardy enter the Royal Rumble, but we also got a few surprises such as Hurricane at 21, Rey Mysterio who hasn’t been with company in a few years at 27, and ADAM COLE BAYBAY who had just performed an all-time classic match the night before at NXT takeover at 23. However, the 30 spot was still wide open, no one knew who it was going to be, it could’ve been Daniel Bryan, The Undertaker, Kurt Angle, literally no one knew. It ended up being Dolph Ziggler making his return after a month’s long absence from WWE after forfeiting his United States Championship, rumors are he is getting a massive push very soon, so this was a fine last entrant. After his entrant he and Goldust would get eliminated to give us six remaining superstars, which gave us a cool different generation spot as it saw the 2000’s headliners such Rey Mysterio, John Cena, and Randy Orton form an alliance to face off against the new generation of headliners, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Roman Reigns.
The match would dwindle down to an epic final four, Finn Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura, John Cena, and Roman Reigns. This may have been the best final four of all time, it pinned New Japan veterans such as Finn and Shin against WWE bred superstars John Cena and Roman Reigns. The narrative was perfect. The four would battle it out and after a lasting an impressive 57 minutes and 38 seconds, John Cena would eliminate Finn Balor. Three remain. In Kayfabe and reality, this put Shinsuke at insurmountable odds, a new Japan guy outlasting the last two faces of WWE is unheard of. Everyone’s worst nightmare was about to become true, Roman Reigns or John Cena was going to win the Royal Rumble once again. But wait, Roman Reigns has been knocked out, John Cena and Shinsuke are battling for their WrestleMania dreams on the ropes. Cena picks up Shinsuke, He reverses, Cena is now on the apron. Cena takes a desperate lunge at Shinsuke only to have Shinsuke dodge and Kinshasa John Cena out of the ring. Two remain.
The Philadelphia crowd was on pins and needles as the tense battle between one of the most beloved guys in wrestling and one of the most hated battled for a chance to headline WrestleMania and just when we thought Roman Reigns was about to win, Shinsuke hits him with a Kinshasa in the middle of the ring. The crowd is ecstatic, but still, Shinsuke needs to get roman over the ropes. To the crowd’s jubilation, Shinsuke picks up Roman and dumps him out of the ring. Shinsuke Nakamura has won the 2018 Royal Rumble.
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
After the match, Shinsuke would announce he will face AJ Styles for the WWE championship in the main event of WrestleMania 34 in a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom nine in New Japan. This defines the term dream match.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan vs The Bar
After all that, yes, we still had three matches to go. This match though was just more of a bathroom break, catch your breath kind of match. The Bar would end up winning clean to reclaim the Raw Tag Team gold, but nothing too notable here.
Triple Threat for the Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Braun Strowman vs Kane
What’s a big four pay-per-view without a title match, right? At this point, most of the wrestling world know that Brock Lesnar is going to face Roman Reigns for the Universal championship at WrestleMania 34, it’s been set in stone since last years WrestleMania. Like I said they just had to have a championship match because it’s a big four and they wanted to make it believable to the casual viewer that Brock could lose so they put him up against two monsters. This match was basically a table breaking fest in which Brock would become triumphant, once again. Nothing too exciting.
The Inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble
The history-making match was basically booked perfect as Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch started out at one and two. This makes the most sense because Sasha has been at the forefront of every women’s history-making moment in this revolution. However, the question was what are they going to do with the other 28 entrants? You see, WWE confirmed only 17 women’s superstars and with a depleted main roster we expected a bunch of returns and NXT call-ups and we got them right from the start with Lita at number five. Some other returns included Molly Holly, Vickie Guerrero, Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, and the Bella Twins. We also got few NXT superstars such as Kairi Sane and Ember Moon. The match would go on, and there were some notable spots here and there, but the best part really came when the 30th entrant came around. There were rumors running wild if Ronda Rousey was going to be in the rumble, so everyone was just waiting to explode when Ronda came running down that ramp. The clock ticked down…three…two…one… and Trish Stratus’s music hits. Not a huge let down because everyone loves Trish, but it was kind of like oh well no Ronda, it is what it is. Before I get to the final four, I would like to point out Sasha Banks used some pretty good heel tactics such as eliminating her best friend Bayley and having a few words with Trish in the middle of the ring. It’s only a matter of time at this point until she turns full heel to face Bayley at WrestleMania.
The Final four come down to Sasha, the undefeated Asuka, and the Bella Twins for a chance to go to WrestleMania. It started out as an alliance between Sasha and the Bellas to gang up on Asuka because she was the biggest threat, then Sasha started to turn into a cocky heel and that would be her downfall as the Bella twins teamed up to eliminate the Boss. Then before you know it, Nikki eliminates her sister Brie to cut it to between her and Asuka.The two would find themselves battling it out on the ring apron and then out of nowhere Asuka kicks Nikki Bella off the ring to remain undefeated and to become the first winner of the women’s royal rumble.
— ASUKA / ??? (@WWEAsuka) January 29, 2018
Alexa Bliss and Charlotte, WWE’s two women’s champions, join Asuka in the ring to share a special moment. Then… out of nowhere, Joan Jett’s bad reputation hits. Enter Ronda Rousey and Philadelphia erupts because WWE just pulled a double swerve and the whole fighting world was turned upside down. She had a stare down with the three women in the ring, shook Steph’s hand and walked back up to the ramp as the show faded to black. I’m excited for what’s in store with Ronda Rousey.
Everyone’s eyes are on #WrestleMania 34…
— WWE (@WWE) January 29, 2018
Overall, this was the best show WWE has put on since WrestleMania 31 a few years back, and this was one of the best rumbles of all time. From having two people last from one to thirty, putting New Japan over, and of course the signing of Ronda Rousey. Well done, WWE. Now we are finally on the road to WrestleMania.
Last night the WWE celebrated a huge milestone of 25 years of Monday Night Raw. This had the potential to be one of the best Raw’s in history, with weeks of advertisement, and rumors of legends returning going wild, everyone was so excited for Monday Night Raw. But, it sadly fell extremely flat and was a MASSIVE disappointment.
The show got off to a hot start with Vince cutting a classic heel promo, just to have Stone Cold Steve Austin come out to a massive ovation to give him a stunner just for old times sake. At this point, it looked like we were in for an epic night. After that segment, it then transitioned to the women’s tag match which was a fine every week Monday Night Raw match so no problems with that match. After that match finished they transitioned into a backstage segment where Kurt Angle, Brother Love, Teddy Long, the Brooklyn Brawler, and Jonathan Coachman all shared an odd encounter with the Boogieman. It was a fine segment, it just seemed like a weird group to have together and the only former manage I was excited to see in that segment was Coach, but I see him on every day on ESPN, so it was a fine segment, but nothing great.
Then came the biggest disappointment of the night, The Undertaker segment. This was Taker’s first appearance since he seemingly retired at this past WrestleMania, so we were all thinking, is he entering the rumble? Is he officially announcing his retirement? Is he announcing that he will face Cena at WrestleMania? Well, we got none of that. Instead, he cuts a weird promo directed at no one, and JR and Jerry Lawler acted as if he had handed out a threat of some sort, but that’s not the feel I got. That whole thing was just weird, and we honestly got left with nothing from that.
After that came the only notable thing to happen in the next two hours as the Miz battled Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship, in which he would end up winning. It was probably the right move to have the Miz win because he is now one of the most over superstars in the company, but this just means the inevitable Roman Reigns winning the rumble is going to play out and it’s just going to be so brutal. Now I did say that was the only notable thing to happen, but of course, they honored some GM’s and some former female talent, but outside of that, there was a Peep Show segment in which Christin wasn’t even the focal point as Jason Jordan just defined that he is now a modern-day heel. Then there was that backstage APA poker segment with Ted Dibiase, MVP, and some modern-day talent which resulted in a throwaway match when the Dudley Boys interfered. John Cena had a segment with Elias that will probably lead to a match at Fastlane, as well. Like I said, nothing too notable I just wanted to mention it. Oh, and Bray Wyatt beat Matt Hardy in a payoff match, which was unexpected, but that match featured two of WWE’s most underappreciated talent so who knows what’s going to happen with either of them going forward.
The Main event in the Manhattan center may have been the best part of the night. DX had another reunion moment as them and Scott hall linked up for a special Kliq moment and just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, The Club, who uses the signature too sweet motion that the Kliq made famous, all embraced in the ring as a special moment. The Club would then go onto have a match with the Revival as the Revival would end up getting buried. Most people were upset about the Revival’s burial, but on the positive side Finn Balor may have just gotten really over, and could just be a sleeper to win this Sunday’s, Royal Rumble.
Raw 25 was better than your average Raw, but they could’ve done more with it. The Manhattan Center wasn’t pleased, they could’ve used more significant former talent, and set up more stuff for the Rumble and Mania, but they didn’t. It was a fine show but not as good as it could’ve been, it was kind of disorganized and it was clear it was difficult to put together. Overall, it was decent with a few nostalgia trips, but I’ll give it a 4/10 because it could’ve been so much better.
By KSR on ©January 17th, 2018 @ 3:30pm
The Funkhouser Situation with Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse makes a hilarious, triumphant return to talk about the best the world of pop culture has to offer. Today they touch on a variety of topics, like…
— Lee’s review of The Greatest Showman.
— Chris’ message for all of the listeners.
— Ann Curry speaks out.
— Lee casually drops some exciting news.
— This week’s hits at the box office.
You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.
Cultured people have no time for TV shows featuring the Kardashians. Lucky for me, I bask in the light of a good dumpster fire. Khloe Kardashian’s spin-off, Revenge Body, seems to have some substance. Like a 2018 version of Extreme Weight Loss, Khloe and her jacked up entourage help participants maintain a healthier lifestyle. While there are some problematic moments, for the most part, Khloe emphasizes dealing with issues that are at the heart of eating addiction, loving the body that you have and working hard to meet healthier lifestyle goals.
The most enjoyable part of the show is sitting on your couch, munching on some snacks, and watching others be active, throw-up from too much activity and transform into better versions of themselves. The show would be less interesting if it didn’t have the ragtag group of trainers that she uses to help motivate each participant. But, even better than eating while others workout is pondering which trainer you would prefer if you were the one crying through crunches on national TV. Here’s a handy guide of some of the trainers on Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body.
Specialty: Deep Conversations at the squat rack
Probability He’d Make Me Cry: 70%
Probability He’d Make Me Throw Up: 35%
Gunnar is a wild card. For one, he spells his name with an “a.” But more importantly, he is squatting renting the space above a parking garage. I don’t know what this has to do with fitness, but it seems important to add. Gunnar has worked with Jennifer Lopez, Michael B. Jordan and one time, on The Real Housewives of Orange County, he made Shannon Beador take off her shirt to measure her stomach. He didn’t need to do that and I will never forgive him. Gunnar has A LOT of equipment in his gym. Like A LOT. It really seems like a tripping hazard. Gunnar emphasizes the importance of nutrition first then exercise second. Gunnar has me and my Cheezits shook. He makes meal plans for participants to not follow, then get confronted and then follow. (It happens every time.)
Specialty: Flexing while having a deep conversation
Probability She’d Make Me Cry: 100%
Probability She’d Make Me Throw Up: 46%
Lacey’s motto is “Passion. Persistence. Patience. = Excellence.” Which tells me she’s kind and thoughtful and bad at math. Her goal is to befriend you and then make you work out till your arms are as jacked as hers. She’s most known for her flywheel classes where she enjoys “turning up the torque” and referring to the room as a “stadium.” One of my life goals is to be comfortable saying those phrases out loud.
Simone De La Rue
Specialty: Being teeny tiny
Probability She’d Make Me Cry: 20%
Probability She’d Make Me Throw Up: 100%
Simone’s workout philosophy is a lot of jumping. Jumping on trampolines. Jumping on the ground. Jumping with some high kicks. Hence the assured throw-up. Simone is four feet tall. (I think, I didn’t check.) But, they always give her super tall clients. I think this is a strategy to make the participants feel even bigger. It’s an evil thought, but I wouldn’t put it past reality TV producers.
What’s fun is that by the end of the twelve-week revenge body schedule, Simone always has her clients in shape and creepily dressed just like her. There are worse cults to join.
Specialty: Being adorable and Australian
Probability He’d Make Me Cry: 0%
Probability He’d Make Me Throw Up: 52%
Luke has one shirt and that shirt says “mate.” It’s half the name of this gym. It’s signifies that he is 100% Australian. It’s an indicator that he wants to be your friend. It’s everything you need to know about him. Luke creates adorable nicknames for his client, like “Stephie.” and makes them workout in large group exercise classes like normal people.
Probability He’d Make Me Cry: 100%
Probability He’d Make Me Throw Up: 1000%
Corey specializes in “The Calliet Way” which is basically him being handsome and yelling at people. He’s a great motivator for his clients because he has catch phrases that rhyme and they typically have a crush on him so they are likely to show up for his sessions. Each of his clients eventually learn to show up for themselves and not for him. Blah Blah Blah
It’s also important to note that he only has ONE JACKET that he wears to each reveal. It’s a version of the leather jacket that Danny Zuko wears, but four times larger. He always accentuates it with a black baseball hat, that makes his head seem even smaller than usual. By my couch side calculations, it’s about the size of four Cheezits.
I don’t know what this has to do with fitness, but it seems important to add.
While I was not planning on doing a music post for a while, I struggled to find some good topics to write about. But one topic popped into my mind constantly. Kendrick Lamar is the most popular music figure in America right now. Not Drake, Not Taylor Swift but Kendrick Lamar. Many of you may wonder “Brent how can you say That? Drake and T-swift are on the radio all the time”, well, yeah of course they are, they have a commercial based talent. But, Kendrick Lamar has now reached a level of commercial success I thought we’d never see from him. Not because he’s not talented enough, I believe he’s the most talented artist right now, but he keeps it real and blunt. In 2018, it’s undeniable, everyone wants to hear from Kung Fu Kenny.
It was evident to me last Monday really, when he performed at the halftime show of the college football playoff (which was amazing), got asked to play the biggest role on the soundtrack of Marvel’s upcoming movie, Black Panther, and he has his own show coming out in a Nike collaboration on January 26th. It is literally insane; this dude is everywhere. Now, of course, they could have some negative effects like Ludacris and Kevin Hart did before him by being involved with anything imaginable possible which clearly took a hit on their popularity, but right now I’m loving it for Kendrick Lamar and I actually believe he will be immune to what happened to Ludacris and Kevin Hart. Because he doesn’t go “Hollywood” necessarily like they do, he stays true to himself and kind of stays out of the public eye unless he’s doing something with his music.
The timeline of his success is something to behold as well, Kendrick first burst on the scene with good kid m.A.A.d city in 2013, as he had commercial success with sounds like Swimming Pools, Don’t Kill My Vibe, Backstreet Freestyle, and Money Trees. He took a less commercial approach in To Pimp a Butterfly and even that was a hit, but when he teased DAMN. I never thought it’d have the success it has. I thought it’d be great, definitely not an all-timer though, but sure enough, it did and it has launched him into a stratosphere unlike any other. With the album spending 25 consecutive weeks in the top 10 and earning 30 million dollars in a calendar year, it’s obvious people love him. With the shoes, the multiple appearances on television, performances, movies wanting his music, successful tour, and the album it’s clear he’s setting the world on fire in 2018. I love that he is the biggest artist right now because his talent is unmatched. Kendrick Lamar is everywhere, and I love it.
I’m not a Jacksonville Jaguar fan. I have a deep seated belief that football stadiums and hot tubs should not coexist and ne’er the twain shall meet. Nevertheless, the team, covered in teal and lead by a Bortle will play this Sunday. Their success creates a problem for the writers of The Good Place. In “the good place,” Jason Mendoza is a faithful fan. Part of his character development is that he is an idiot from the Sunshine State who blindly cheers for all things Florida: Pitbull, Fred Durst, the Jags. He is a dum-dum and we know that because:
This is how he identifies soulmates:
— no context the good place (@nocontexttgp) October 26, 2017
And this is how he justifies why the Jaguars don’t suck: *pre-2017 season
— no context the good place (@nocontexttgp) January 7, 2018
Jason’s DNA specifies that he is a dolt who worships simple-minded things (like being a part of a 60 person dance crew.) The Good Place, which is known for its plot twist at the end of season 1, was handed a plot twist of its own this year–the Jaguars are good. What should the writers do with this new version of reality?
Here’s my totally unrealistic fan theory:
Jason is such a devoted fan that he showed up on the sidelines of the wildcard game this Sunday. He is the Ashley Judd of Jacksonville. For me, this was an odd example of synergy. Is it possible that the writers want Jason to be there to witness Jacksonville’s playoff run and then use this footage on the show? Are they filming at the football stadium just to add the world’s greatest Easter egg in season three?
Here’s why I don’t think this is the craziest of ideas. Michael Schur, the creator of The Good Place has established a precedent of having amazing guest stars on his shows. Parks and Recreation had a Joe Biden, John McCain and Michelle Obama cameo, just to name a few. Is it possible that 60,000 people at EverBank field just became extras on The Good Place last Sunday?
The show also relies are flashbacks to the characters’ lives before they ended up in “the Good Place.” There is an opportunity for the epic playoff moment to have a place in season three. The show has demonstrated that they aren’t tethered to the usual sitcom structure. Could this be the next great step?
Really, we’ll never know if this is rubbish or not till the next season airs. It’s all guesses and conjectures and like Chidi would point out, it’s basically turtles all the way down.
Or Bortles all the way down, if you will.
But, just keep in mind, you heard it here first.
Before I begin this post I would like to stress that this article does not reflect my political views whatsoever. The Golden Globes are often criticized for either pushing an agenda, or not progressing enough and this is not what this post is about. I just truly believe Get Out was a phenomenal film that deserved at least one award. I do recognize Get Out does address issues such as racism and that can be taken as a political stance, and that’s fine, I just believe there were so many cinematic elements that made this movie great for more reasons than addressing a modern day issue. Also, Spoiler Alert.
Last night the Golden Globes took place for the 75th time and per usual all the stars were out as movies, television shows, actors, and actresses were all celebrated in one night. There were many great movies, shows, and actors/actresses up for awards so it’s always hard to argue how one motion picture beat out the other and the same applies for television shows and actors. But, one glaring mistake from last night’s award show was how they mishandled Jordan Peele’s master piece, Get Out. Everyone always likes to talk about how “woke” the golden globes are, and for the most part they are. With Meryl Streep Last year and the times up movement and Oprah this year, I give them props for helping move this country forward. But, if they’re so “woke”, Get Out should have at least gotten ONE award last night, instead they went home with nothing.
Get Out was a massive success this summer, being the highest grossed film in 2017 with over 175 million dollars in the US. It was a modern-day horror story through and through that came out at the perfect time, as it chronicled a black man meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Showing horror through racism and hypnosis, it was a brilliant concept that deserved so much more. It had some of the most groundbreaking and deep scenes I have ever seen in a movie. Whether it was the girlfriend eating fruit loops separate from milk to show how deeply rooted her racism is by not wanting to integrate the colors into the white milk, or connecting the dots that the dad of the girlfriend uses brain operations to put a white person’s mind into a black person’s body to give them the physical advantages they didn’t have before, it was mind blowing. There were times I thought the protagonist would die at any moment, which is rare for movies nowadays because we’re so used to the “good guy always wins” plot. I was truly on the edge of my seat for this one and it deserved a lot more.
Anyways, back to the gripe. For lack of better terms, Get Out got the shaft, even way before the award show. The fact alone that it was under the musical/comedy category is a disgrace. This movie doesn’t touch comedy on any level, does it have some comedy elements? Sure, but almost every horror film does nowadays. The fact that this was in the same category as the Disaster Artist, is ridiculous. Now, would they have won in the drama category? I’m not so sure, but it stood no chance in the comedy category (even though it was the best movie of the bunch) you can’t win when you’re miss-categorized.
Most people were upset about Daniel Kaluuyla not winning over James Franco, but that doesn’t bother me as much because I feel like Franco nailed the role of Tommy Wiseua, but it does bother me that Jordan Peele wasn’t nominated for best director. He may not have won but he at least deserved a nomination because as I’ve stated so many times, Get Out was a brilliant concept. I feel like Jrdan Peele would’ve won that award, especially since Guillermo del Toro took home the award for The Shape of Water. It just blows my mind Get Out went home with nothing.
Here were some other reactions.
– Evette Dionne ðŸ¤” (@freeblackgirl) January 8, 2018
1. Get Out should’ve been a Drama nominee.
2. Get Out should’ve won over Three Billboards.#GoldenGlobes
– Denizcan James (@MrFilmkritik) January 8, 2018
– Madam President (@ieshasdaboya) January 8, 2018
There’s something about the changing of the calendars that reminds me of Billy Joel’s “We didn’t start the fire.” It’s the “Auld Lang Syne” of the 20th century. Since we are currently in the 21st century, the Piano’s Man’s greatest karaoke jam needs some updating. Behold! The updated lyrics for the 2017 verse of “We didn’t start the fire.” So, ignore Billy Joel drumming in your kitchen and sing-along.
Here’s the updated lyrics that no one asked for:
*- 8 Bar Intro-*
*- 4 Bar Break-*
We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning. And now, it’s stuck in your head for weeks.
Now that 2018 is here, we’re seeing all sorts of end of the year lists. Whether it’s movies, brands, tv shows, or music they’re everywhere. With that said, I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon as well with my own music list. I have compiled my top ten favorite albums of 2017, but with a little disclaimer, I love hip-hop music, so my list is basically that. With that said, let’s begin with some honorable mentions.
Pretty Girls Like Trap Music-2 Chainz
Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 1- Calvin Harris
Let’s get it started.
10. Freudian- Daniel Caesar
Highlights: Get You, Best Part, We Find Love
When I think of R&B I think of love songs, but in 2017 it seems the genre has switched from love songs to making love songs and it values lust more than love. What makes this album great is it goes against the grain of today’s R&B as this album is more about falling in love. The album gets off to a strong start when we hear Caesar’s great vocals in the smooth song Get You and it carries throughout the whole album. Had it not been for BROCKHAMPTON, I would have had Caesar as my breakout artist this year across all categories. But, as far as R&B goes, he was the best performer in 2017.
9. Luv is Rage 2- Lil Uzi Vert
Highlights: XO Tour Lif3, Sauce It Up, The Way Life Goes
If you would have told me two years ago, or even at the beginning of this year, that I would enjoy Lil Uzi Vert’s music I would have called you crazy. Let alone have one of his albums crack my top 10. But, Uzi had a great year in 2017 and he kicked off his great year by dropping the single XO Tour Lif3. After sitting on one single for a few months he then dropped Luv is Rage 2, the follow up to the mixtape Luv is Rage. This makes my list because the production on this album is amazing from XO Tour Lif3 to Sauce It Up, the beats are great. Although Uzi isn’t a great lyricist, he had some great vocals on this album shown off from XO Tour Lif3, Neon Guts, Feelings Mutual, and The Way Life Goes. This was a fun album to listen to in 2017 and you could get away with playing any of the songs of this album at a party.
8. 4:44- Jay-Z
Highlights: The Story of OJ, 4:44, Family Feud
It might surprise some people this fell at eight, but Jay-Z has never really done it for me. With that said, this sort of “tell all” Jay-Z album was really good as we hear Jay-Z open up about his marriage troubles that Beyonce exposed to the world with Lemonade. This album was almost like a three-part story, starting as addressing what happened, moving to apologetic and remorse, then he seems to show that he and Queen Bey worked out their problems and that their relationship will get stronger from here. Was this one of Jay’s best albums? Absolutely. It’s a different approach from Jay-Z, but this album was fantastic. Although it was a different approach, we still got some classic Jay-Z as he rapped about money in songs like The Story of OJ (which was also one of the best music videos ever) and Family Feud. No one expected it, it had low expectations, but exceeded all expectations and proved Hov still has his legendary game.
7. I Decided. – Big Sean
Highlights: Voices in My Head/ Stick to the plan, Bounce Back, Moves, Jump Out the Window
The concept behind Big Sean’s latest album was his belief that he has been giving a second chance at life. In his first run on earth, he believed he got through life and accomplished nothing, so the whole album we hear the interaction he is having with his former self to live life to the fullest. Big Sean arguably has the best flow in music right now, and he flexes those muscles in songs like Moves, Bounce Back, and Voices in My Head/ Stick to the plan. But, we also see a softer side of Big Sean in songs like Jump Out the Window where he talks about struggling relationships. One of the most touching songs though was Inspire Me, where he pens a dedication song to his mother. Overall, I decided was a solid album and I do believe it’s been underappreciated this year and gets lost in the shuffle with all the other great albums we had this year. Oh yeah and he had a song with Eminem, but Eminem has been trash for the past five or six years, so there’s that.
6. Flower Boy- Tyler, The Creator
Highlights: 911/ Mr. Lonely, Who Dat Boy, See You again
Tyler, The Creator has never been one for commercial success, as he raps with an “I don’t care” attitude and raps about what he feels, if it goes big great, if not who cares. I have been a fan of Tyler for some time now, ever since his days in Odd Future. I can easily say he is not for everyone and some people may think he’s weird, but he’s a very talented artist. In fact, he prides himself on being weird and that’s what makes this album great. It got extremely successful and Tyler didn’t change a thing. Having his biggest commercial success in the song See You Again, people started to floc to this album instantly. Dropping a few singles before the albums release, it was evident this was going to be Tyler’s most successful album. It was kind of odd to see Tyler take a softer approach on this album, but we still see the same hard-hitting stuff in songs like Who Dat Boy. I loved seeing him have a great 2017.
5. Everybody- Logic
Highlights: AfricAryaN, 1-800-273-8255, Everybody
I never thought much of logic before this year, I always found him annoying and I don’t know why. I never really gave him a chance, but this spring I had a friend show me this album and man is it amazing. Logic is not only a great lyricist with a great flow, but he has a great singing voice as well. Logic may be the most underappreciated artists in all of hip hop right now in fact. The theme of this album was simple, equality. Rapping about issues we have in today’s society such as racism, depression, anxiety, and suicide (we’ve all heard the song) he, with the help of Neil Degrasse Tyson who voiced God, gave us the idea of a religion almost like Buddhism where he has the mind set that we are every person that has ever lived, so what we do to others we are doing to ourselves. While this idea may be totally false, it does bring the idea that we should treat everyone how we want to be treated. This album would have landed higher on my list, but the only issue I have with this album is in every song Logic raps about being biracial, almost to the point where fans were like “we get it”. My favorite song on this album is also the longest, AfricAryaN. I like this song so well because Logic shows of his vocal range throughout the whole 13-minute song and we even got a raw feature from one of my favorite artists, J. Cole, to close the track. This album was great, and it made me more appreciative of Logic and his talent in music.
4. More Life- Drake
Highlights: Do Not Disturb, Passionfruit, Get it Together, Teenage Fever
Although Drake dubbed this a “playlist”, but for all intents and purposes this was an album. First teased in October 2016, Drake kept pushing the release date back and back until March 12th of this year. Drake needed a strong outing after most people believed Views was overhyped and underwhelmed, sure enough the six god delivered. This truly was the sequel to Take Care, Drake’s most successful album, with a mix of upbeat songs and then the sad, cheesy, love songs only Drake can make cool like Teenage Fever (which sampled JLo), Nothings into Somethings, and Since Way Back. This album had a variety of music and it definitely had some vibes that you would hear from across the pond in songs like No Long Talk. He also had some fun songs with some of his best verses like Gylachester, Can’t Have Everything, and Sacrifices. Drake’s biggest song on this album was Passionfruit, as it gave a smooth Caribbean feel to the song that everyone can vibe to. In my opinion Drake gave us one of his best verses in More Life’s outro, Do Not Disturb, as he rapped about how he tries to get everything off his chest when closing out his project. He then goes on to say it would take the rest of 2017 off to get some rest and bring him back to his regular life. He said he would give us the summary in 2018, and being the Drake Stan I am, I’m more than ready.
3. Ctrl- SZA
Highlights: Love Galore, The weekend, Prom, Drew Barrymore
SZA has been featured in a few songs before 2017, but in 2017 SZA finally had her own success with her amazing solo album, Ctrl. Dropping the single Love Galore featuring Travis Scott a few weeks before the album released, people loved the song but I’m not too sure anyone had high expectations for this album. SZA blew everyone away with Ctrl. SZA’s main purpose of this album is she is critiquing herself, whether it with self-doubt or full confidence, she’s just trying to figure it out. SZA only added to TDE’s already successful year as a music label, and with her great voice and flow she will be a force in the music industry.
2. SATURATION III- BROCKHAMPTON
Highlights: BOOGIE, ZIPPER, BLEACH
As I mentioned earlier, BROCKHAMPTON is probably the best breakout artist this year. The group released three albums alone this year, all titled Saturation and each one was better than the last. Therefore, my favorite album of theirs is their most recent, Saturation III. This may be a little high on my list because I might have some recency bias, but I have listened to it non-stop for two weeks. Starting the album off with the fun and eccentric son BOOGIE, it reels you in quick. It then goes into ZIPPER which has a great flow to it as well. The best song on this album though is probably BLEACH, it’s a mellow-toned song but BROCKHAMPTON member Matt Champion dominated this track with an incredible first verse. Coming in high up on the list is SATURATION III.
1. DAMN. – Kendrick Lamar
Highlights: the whole album
This album is basically the consensus album of the year across all media and deservingly so. Kendrick Lamar is the best artist right now and has been for a few years now, known for his impressive lyricism, deep conceptual thinking, and the crazy amount of engineering done on his tracks, he always delivers. Not only did Kung-Fu Kenny deliver, he dropped a classic with DAMN. First teasing a new album coming in the song the heart pt. 4, then dropping HUMBLE. everyone was hungry for this album. Kendrick first brings us in with BLOOD. In which he is telling a story in a mellow tone, then out of nowhere he hits us with the hard-hitting DNA. which set the tone for the rest of the album.
Most people thought Kendrick Lamar had a crazy two album concept with this album as well. Assuming there was aother album on the way, this was the conspiracy( that actually made sense) that Kendrick would have a follow up album to DAMN. in three days.
In reality, the deep concept of this album was it could be listened to backwards as it told the story of Kendrick growing up and the obstacles he had to face to become what he is today. The stories he told in the individual song were great as well, which we’ve got accustomed to with Kendrick. Songs like XXX., FEAR., and LUST. are all great, but my favorite has to be DUCKWORTH. In DUCKWORTH. he tells the amazing story of how his music manager, Top Dawg, robbed the KFC where his father worked. But Kendrick’s father helped out Top Dawg by giving him free food and consequently, Top Dawg spared his father’s life. I could honestly do a whole post on this album alone…damn.
It’s the time of year for a million pop culture lists. Everyone is ranking their favorite TV shows, episodes, movies and performances. No two lists are the same. They are like little judgmental pop culture snowflakes. How you judge your entertainment says something about you. It’s impossible to make judgments without inserting your own opinions. Some critics want to highlight newcomers. Some want to skew their list to lean more “important” and “thought-provoking.” *insert eye-roll here* The good list makers want to distill what were the favorites of the year.
Whatever the assessment, what you see in a show says something about you. Is the glass half empty or half full? Is The Americans about how Russians have come to steal intelligence from the US or is about a couple who are fish out of water?
For me, The Americans is more about the plot than the characters. Which might tell you that deep down, I have a subconscious concern about Russian spies in America. Your preference might tell you a little something about yourself.
It’s not an exact science, but there are definitely worse conclusions I could jump to. Below are some of the frequent flyers on the 2017 Best Of TV lists. Beware! Some of your preferences might say a little something about you!
The Good Place
If you lean toward The Good Place as the best show of the year, there is a possibility that you feel out of place. Eleanor is a “bad person” trying to earn her position in the good place. Maybe your preference for this show comes from your own feelings of “not fitting in.”
American Vandal truthers are most likely people who have not totally matured. The high school setting breeds a high school attitude and crassness. The show appeals to an immature and underdeveloped sense of humor.
That being said, I really enjoyed American Vandal.
You’re an obsessive completer. To finish a series that contained chain-smoking cults, wedding goats, mysterious crickets and identical twin presidents and assassins takes some commitment. Even if the show is brilliant, sticking it out when nobody else was interested is impressive.
Big Little Lies
You might be addicted to drama. Big Little Lies highlighted the glamour as well as the secrets of powerful women in a California town. The show is for people who crave conflict and suspense.
At first glance picking Mindhunter might just be for people with a penchant for psychopaths. But after more analysis Mindhunter is more for people who enjoy mumbling, grey color palettes and shows about murder that aren’t very bloody.
Twin Peaks: The Return
No pseudo-scientific analysis here. A vote for Twin Peaks might just be a vote for the best TV show of 2017.
By Brent Wainscott on ©December 25th, 2017 @ 3:00pm
The most recent installment of one of the greatest movie series of all times, Star Wars, may be the most polarizing movie in the series. It has either gotten great reviews and people love it, or people say it is worse than the Phantom Menace. I am the type who believes this movie is great and I think people should cut Rian Johnson a little bit of slack, but it does have its flaws. Now before I get into this, a spoiler Alert is definitely in effect for this piece, as I will address the what went right and wrong, in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Good: The Porgs
One of the biggest complaint in this movie is the amount of Porgs that are in this movie. The Porgs were obviously a marketing technique that Disney used to appeal to children, mainly, but it could appeal to many others. Like me for instance, I think the porgs are great and provide a nice comical relief. But some people were not a fan of the porgs, as they could be overwhelming at times, but according to Jake Lunt Davies, the creative designer for Star Wars said there were too many puffins on the island they shot the film from. So, Rian Johnson had a creative idea to create Porgs. This is probably an unpopular opinion, but I thought the Porgs were great.
Bad: Leia surviving space
As we all know, the world lost Carrie Fisher almost a year ago, so everyone thought that she would be killed off (for lack of better terms) in this movie. Boy were we wrong. In fact, we got swerved multiple times and the fact that Leia is still alive in the Star Wars universe blows my mind. I know it will be said to lose Leia, but it has to be done at some point and they had the perfect opportunity to do it in the last Jedi. The fact she’s alive isn’t really the big issue here though, it’s how she is still alive. Leia survived floating in space and that’s unheard of. I realize that she is connected with the force, but it seems kind of outlandish that she can cheat death by floating back to the ship. I would have justified her living if she would have played a significant role if she returned, but she didn’t do anything that important.
Good: Not revealing Rey’s parents
People are under the impression we will never know anything about Rey’s parents and that she really did come from nothing. This befuddles me, because they are going off the word of Kylo Ren, who would obviously lie as a sith lord to bring Rey to the dark side. I think it’s almost a certainty that we find out about Rey’s parents in the next movie, but who that is, is beyond me. I am under the belief that she may be a Kenobi, the granddaughter of Obi Wan in fact. That would still leave a question about her parents unless Obi Wan just raised some junkies, but who knows.
Bad: The Luke/ Kylo Ren situation
This is easily my biggest gripe about this film, because it makes no sense whatsoever and is totally disconnected from the prior movies. I understand that we needed a cause for Ben Solo to become to Kylo Ren, but having a story that has Luke try to kill a conflicted Ben Solo IN HIS SLEEP is terrible. At what point did it make sense that Luke saw the conflict in Darth Vader, the evilest man in the galaxy, in the middle of battle, and could turn Vader. But he tried to kill a conflicted apprentice of his, in Kylo’s sleep? Makes no sense. This tweet sums it up best.
How is it possible that Luke Skywalker saw good in Darth vader, the right hand man of Space Hitler, and refused to kill him in the midst of battle but lost hope in his nephew who wasnt even on the dark side atm and planned to kill him IN HIS SLEEP. #lastjediawful
– Sam Tha Afghan (@SamThaAfghan) December 19, 2017
Good: The Elite Praetorian Guards
In Star Wars we have been a custom to the underlying villains playing an insignificant role in the movies. Whether it was the droids in the prequels or the clones in the original trilogy, we’ve gotten used to these antagonists looking very weak. But in the fight scene where Rey and Kylo team up to kill the guards, they looked extremely strong. Making Rey and Kylo (two of the most powerful people in the galaxy) pull out all the stops to defeat them. Not only does making them strong look good for them, it helps solidify that Kylo and Rey could be some of the strongest characters we’ve ever seen in Star Wars.
Well this was dumb. For two years many people wondered, who is Snoke? Where is he from? How is he evil? What makes him significant? Well, all those questions weren’t answered, in fact they weren’t even touched. They killed Snoke and left us with no indication as to how he was significant. Unbelievably bad move.
Good: Gender parity
Its’s 2017 and gender equality is one of the biggest topics in the world right now. With Disney being one of the most progressive companies in the world it was no surprise that they would have women play a massive role in their Star Wars movies. We saw it in the force awakens and we saw more of it in the last Jedi. Rey is easily shoplifting herself as a Star Wars fan favorite because she is a total bad ass and it’s great to see her take the lead role in this film. Now, they may have gone a little overboard with the guys making boneheaded mistakes, only to have women save them. But it’s great to see Rey as more than a damsel in distress and reserving that role for someone like Poe or Finn.
Bad: Holdo not telling Poe the plan
This movie was the longest in the Star Wars saga, but it seemed a bit to long. They could have easily cut out 40 minutes of this film if Holdo just would have told plan in the first place. Not only that, her not telling Poe resulted in a large portion of the resistance being killed. I understand every plot needs a conflict, but this one was so laughably easy to fix.