This Week’s Love/Hate Relationship With Black Pop Culture
I had to bring back these weekly updates because there’s too much random news to report! We’re barely on the other side of a new decade and it’s already attack of the 00’s.
The Guy From City High Trying To Go Dry Remember City High? Of course you do. They had two charting singles: What Would You Do? and Caramel, both in 2001. There was the cute girl (Claudette Ortiz), the guy who was in Sister Act 2 (Ryan Toby, left), and…the other guy (Robby Pardlo). Although they were supposed to be the next Fugees, the group disbanded in 2003. Claudette and Ryan married each other in 2004, and Robbie…isn’t doing so great. Being “the other guy” is hard and it shows; after getting caught up in the industry party scene Robbie is now a full-blown alcoholic. His mother laments, “I gave the music industry a cub scout and they gave me back a drunk.” The good news is, Robby will be the focus of the January 25th episode of A&E’s Intervention! Check out the preview for the episode here. I hate what’s become of him, and I will definitely be watching and hoping that he accepts the help!
Maia Campbell Reality Show: Help or Trainwreck TV? For more proof that fame is a rough road, look no further than the case of Maia Campbell, best known for her role as Tiffany on In The House, well known as the really pretty girl around the way in various black movies and sitcoms during the late 90’s/early 00’s. By now I’m sure you’ve seen at least one of the videos of Maia either offering to perform sexual favors for drugs and money or incoherently swearing in a drug and mental illness induced rant. Maia suffers from bipolar disorder, a situation that her mother (author Bebe Moore Campbell) wrote about extensively before her passing a few years ago. At this point Maia is self-medicating with drugs (yes, a crack whore) and estranged from her family. So what does she need? A reality show of course! Produced by Jaysen Accius, who is affiliated with BET and MTV Networks, the show will focus on Maia’s road to recovery. Maybe this show will succeed in opening the conversation about mental illness in the black community, maybe she will just be exploited. I hate this situation and don’t trust reality TV to do it justice, but I’m hoping for the best…
3-L-Woah. I loved 3LW. I thought they were so cute with the catchiest music and I’ll admit that I still play “No More” every once in a while. But in another case of “the other guy”-ness I understood the presence of the one with the curly hair and of the brown-skinned one but never did get the point of Kiely Williams, who seemed to contribute nothing more than choppy rap hooks. After going Disney with The Cheetah Girls Kiely is now a solo-artist with a Santigold type of sound – kind of electronica, kind of hip-hop – but Kiely takes the good girl gone bad thing a bit too far by putting a whole lot of drunk stank into her first single “Spectacular.” I hate it. I don’t know what’s going through her mind with these lyrics…take a listen.
Danger! Oh, and while the country’s attention has been overtaken by real news, rapper Mystikal has been released from jail after serving a six year sentence for sexual battery and extortion. He plans a comeback. I kind of love it.