Popeyes and Jerry Rice

Popeyes makes delicious chicken. It is one of the better options for fast food fried chicken. But we need to discuss their recent campaign featuring Jerry Rice. Popeyes has done a great job over the past few years convincing us that their black auntie spokesperson is really in the kitchen every Sunday making fresh biscuits and special spices for the fried chicken. She has enough of a southern accent where it feels comforting and entertaining but not too much where it seems like she should be in a minstrel show. In case you do not know, a minstrel show is entertainment in which black people are made into stereotyped caricatures. Minstrel shows featured white and black performers in blackface. Actors would literally put black grease paint on their face, bright red paint on their lips while singing, dancing, and speaking in exaggerated plantation dialects for laughs.

Companies have used slapstick subservient black characters to sell products for years.

This still holds true today. America loves being entertained by any means necessary.

Hall of Famer, Jerry Rice is one of the greatest NFL players of all time. He played in the NFL for 20 seasons, made the pro bowl 13 times, won three Super Bowls, and currently holds over 100 league records. His on the field accomplishments make him the perfect star for this chicken bonanza.

America has a weird relationship with the black athlete; a fascination on and off the field. We don't really like when athletes take control of their brand, body and money, offer thoughtful social commentary, or express views that challenge our conventional thinking. We like them to run, jump, bend, stretch, win games, smile and sell stuff.

Anyway, this is a happy post. This Popeyes commercial has it all. An NFL legend, fried chicken, innovation, even a great side-eye.

99% of the world's population loves fried chicken. But for some reason, black people are given the honor of having a special affinity for it. Well in this commercial Jerry loves fried chicken so much Popeyes creates a "taste mask". This helmet rotates a chicken drumstick across the face mask so Mr. Rice can catch footballs while eating his chicken. Duh! Why had no one thought of that before?

Ms. Popeyes, A.K.A. black auntie, brings the black woman sass component. Black women must always have a bit of an attitude. This scene is hard to watch because it's life imitating art. I think the actress actually steps out of her character for a couple of seconds and is side-eyeing this entire commercial. The way she looks at Jerry's animated antics is priceless. She can't outwardly express her true feelings. The camera lights must have briefly flashed her out the sunken place. If you don't get that reference, please go see Get Out.

Finally at the end of the commercial, Rice is seen wearing the Popeyes napkin shirt. A strong athletic man like Jerry doesn't need a prissy napkin. Nope, Popeyes invents something even better. A napkin shirt! This way Jerry can wipe his greasy barbecue drenched fingers across his shirt in a reasonable way.

The commercial is a lot. I still support Popeyes and their beautiful food.

Vince Carter Is the Oldest Player in the NBA

Breaking Down What Was Going on When He Was Drafted in 1998
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Coming from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, Vincent Lamar Carter was taken fifth overall in the NBA's 1998 draft. Playing in his 19th season, yes 19, Vince Carter is currently the NBA's oldest active player. The honor of being the NBA's oldest active player should be an award given out at the end of each season. It is more impressive than MVP. Think about what it takes for a 40 year old to play 82 games over a seven month span; daily practices, weekly cross-country travel, looking at all the ridiculous game day outfits teammates half his age wear. It is absolutely brutal. Vinsanity has wowed and entertained us fans and we have loved him for it. Vince, Kobe, Dr. J, & Michael Jordan are the only players to lead the NBA All-Star Game fan voting more than three times in a row. Here are some of Mr. Carter's accolades:

  • 1999 Rookie of The Year
  • 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion
  • 20,000 Career Points club
  • 8 Time NBA All-Star
  • Nicknamed Half-Man, Half-Amazing

Vince Carter was destined to have a great career when he was drafted. Why? Because 1998 is an incredible year. Technology, music, TV, movies, 1998 created timeless material. Let's take a stroll down memory land and see all the gifts 1998 blessed us with.

Windows 98. The first operating system for most Millennials. Limewire would go on to destroy the operating system on the computers of thousands of teenager's across the country.

The Montessori I attended had Apple iMacs and I did not understand how to use them. But they reminded me of skittles so I liked them. 

Googling "Google"  is one of the scariest thing I've ever done. I thought it would for sure break the universe. The introduction of this powerful search engine changed the way we used the internet. Google created a greater need and desire for more web content. The introduction of Google also killed the library experience for students.

Music

All-time great music came out this year. Lauryn Hill branched off from The Fugees releasing her critically acclaimed solo debut The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. Pre-"The Carter" Wayne Cash Money records released Juvenile's 400 Degrees and took over the '99 & '00s with "Back That Thang Up". And for those born after 2000, a girl from Houston, named Beyoncé Knowles along with three other girls were in the iconic girl group Destiny's Child. They released their first album and the anthem "No No No".

The violin arrangement playing in the beginning technically makes "Back That Thang Up" a Classical piece. This song has range. Little Lil Wayne is only given a few lines. But in a small amount of time, little Lil Wayne popularizes the hip hop phrase "drop it like it's hot". He literally only raps these lines: "Now
after you back it up, then stop, then wha-wha-what, drop drop it like it's hot...Drop it like it's hot, drop drop it like it's hot". Efficient, direct, clear and to the point.

Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland, the beeping intro, the outfits, the choreography, pure greatness.

#TeamBrandy or #TeamMonica ?

Movies

  • I never saw Air Bud because even at 7 years old it looked corny to me, but I respected the heck out of the little guy.
  • Oprah made Beloved. I guess my mom and step-dad weren't able to find a babysitter for me because they dragged me to see the film and it scarred me for life.
  • I saw Belly for the first time (I know, I know) a couple of months ago and it is a perfect film. Nas should have won an Oscar for his closing monologue about his return to the motherland. In all seriousness, Hype Williams is a visionary and DMX is a national treasure.
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  • It's weird to think of a world before the crime fighting duo Jackie Chan & Chris Tucker. Rush Hour is relationship goals.
  • He Got Game, Jesus Shuttlesworth, that's all I need.
  • For some reason two animated films about insects, A Bugs Life and Ants came out within a few weeks of each other.
  • Every black mother saw How Stella Got Her Groove Back.
  • Dave Chappelle, Half Baked, yes.
  • I remember watching I Still Know What You Did Last Summer solely because of Brandy.
  • Wesley Snipes became a vampire.
  • Is Mulan a feminist?
  • Spice World was ridiculous in the best way.
  • Prince of Egypt entertained me and fulfilled my Bible time requirement.

TV