B.E.T. Archives - The Jose Vilson

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Color Commentary

by Jose Vilson on September 18, 2007

in Jose

Michael WilbonThe problem / blessing with being a blogger of “color” is that, because of our natural tendency to discuss politics, we’re instantly labeled and constricted to a certain type of writing i.e. we’re looked at as racial polemicists. I suppose that’s fitting seeing as how I’ve been doing this type of writing since 2K4, but on the same end, I don’t necessarily feel the need to discuss it. The Afrospear Bloggers seem to do a pretty good job of it already, but more importantly, it’s because the world has so much more to offer than racial discussion.

If I was in college at this point and time, I might have gone into the Jena 6 discussion more thoroughly. I might have told you how excited I am that Mychal Bell isn’t getting tried as an adult, and how atrocious this judicial system is that it almost turned a blind eye to the whole situation (if not for the hard work of the thousands out there). I might also have told you how much of a dimwit Jason Whitlock is for his views on the Jena 6, and how quickly he shuffles his feet and claps his hands for people above him. I’d also comment on how I’ll definitely be wearing Black on September 20th with the rest of the (eclectic and united) group of men and women who will protest the Jena 6 madness.

I might also talk about how O.J.’s a disgrace to people of color, and how there’s no way anyone who he once considered his “people” should support him. I might say how, because the denominator representing us is much smaller, when one person messes up, the fraction (or infraction) is that much bigger (math jokes tickle me). I wonder how much OJ Simpson’s memorabilia even costs, as I imagine that the value of his stuff has to cost much less than that of a steroid-abusing black baseball player. I might even say that, unless Johnnie Cochran rolls up out of his grave in a black and white pinstriped suit, there’s no way in hell Simpson gets away with this.

I might even discuss this whole “Read a Book” madness, because I would have supported it back in my college days support the spirit behind it. G_d forbid that we actually pick up a good read from excellent authors, as there’s a plethora of hot trash that people confuse for intelligent Black literature. The fact that BET finally did something right by putting that video up for the masses is ironic in that over the last decade, it’s deteriorated into a very small snippet of what it means to be Black in this country.

I might go into how the blogosphere outside of maybe Guanabee and The Unapologetic Mexican dropped the ball as far as reporting on Elvira Arrelano, the Mexican immigrant who was quickly deported from the United States after speaking out against the government’s immigration policies in a church in a Los Angeles church. I would then react by speaking on the weird relationship with Blacks and Latinos that the outrage for the the Arrelano story wasn’t nearly as big  as the Jena 6 incidents (or in some cases, not even mentioned). There’s a lot of factors in that, but it still makes me wonder.

Then again, the first thing I noticed when I started to circle the blogosphere is the lack of blogs that at least generally fit my experience. I got it in snippets here and there, but in general, I couldn’t just find a blog that discussed a Black Latino’s life. I know enough of them, and there’s a growing faction of them in the media and such, but in the blogosphere? Not exactly.

So I’m usually focused on everything else, because I see value in discussing it all. Hmm …

jose, who has 4 artists on heavy rotation: common, talib kweli, kanye, and chuck mangione (which of these is not like the other?)

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I Slipped, Fell, and Landed On Your Blog

by Jose Vilson on September 3, 2007

in Short Notes

Alex Rodriguez Gets Key to the CityEver since I started typing opinionated blogs in my last venue, I’ve always had interesting search strings attached to my blogs, including “Toastee from Flavor of Love,” “F)(% Bush,” and “hot sexy black @$$.” (Yes, I’m censoring myself a bit.) Since then I’ve tried my best to keep my references to pop culture and sex specific and concise, but even still Google did me no justice.

That is, until this blog.

Now, I’m associated with exactly what I like to be. Let’s check some of these, won’t we?

1. NYCTF -

Totally makes sense. I’m one of the more prominent fellows that blogs regularly about his experience. Unlike others in the Village Voice, I’ve had a more positive experience, but I’ll get into that this week tomorrow.

2. Hot Ghetto Mess -

Not that I’m a Hot Ghetto Mess, but many of you took a liking to my commentary about HGM, and that’s great. Even with the name change, it doesn’t matter. BET is a HGM, so it’s ironically fitting that it’d be on that station.

3. Alex Rodriguez -

I don’t have a problem being associated with A-Rod at all. I find it rather hilarious really. He’s AL MVP as far as I’m concerned, and I called it since the beginning of the year. If / when he signs with the New York Yankees for the remainder of his career, I have a feeling you’ll see even more of his name around these parts. I just hope people aren’t looking for naked pictures of any strippers he’s been associated with.

4. Vilson -

Do I need to explain this? Though I find it funny that despite being the only Vilson in my family that can’t speak a lick of Haitian Creole, I’m the one that stands out in the Internet’s peripheral.

5. Up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, select, and start -

This one’s my favorite because I’m now associated with only the greatest cheat code on Earth. For those not in the know, that was from the acclaimed video game Contra.


So I’ve been tagged by your girl, Ms. Whatsit, to do a bookmarks meme. This is how it works.This is a bookmarks meme where participants share some of the things they might have in their del.icio.us page (or in my case, my Firefox browser). If one doesn’t have a del.icio.us account, any old bookmark platform will do. The purpose is to share something about yourself that might not be apparent in a regular blog post. Here are the rules:

1) Once you’ve been tagged, link your most recent bookmarked pages back to your blog
2) Name the tag that you have used so others can access the links easily in a blog post
3) At the end of your post, tag 6 people and list their names, linking to them.
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged. (I might not be able to do this today)Here are six of the most recent bookmarks in my bookmarks folder:

1. Soulja Pooh Boy – a video interpretation of a popular Southern rap song, sponsored by Winnie the Pooh (funny ish)
2. Jack Wiler – His poetry is just hilarious yet sincere to me.
3. “Sin City” effect on Photoshop – This is where I got the inspiration to do that Sin City look my parent website has.
4. Pandagon’s “The Telltale WMD’s” – It’s not that bloggers want to take away people’s jobs; it’s that most political bloggers want them to do it fully and correctly.
5. The Manager’s Cheat Sheet: 101 Common Sense Rules for Leaders – A list of some of the things “leaders” often forget. Good for teachers, too.
6. Sad Kermit’s “Creep” – OMG, it’s so depressing but hilarious. Please, if you don’t do anything else, just click on this link. Oh fuck it. Here it is.

I’m supposed to tag other people here, but feel free to tag yourself.

jose, who’s got a thing for educational books, and lots of them

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More or Less

by Jose Vilson on July 18, 2007

in Jose

talibkweli2.jpg Many of you are familiar with Talib Kweli the artist. Since the days of Black Star, he’s blossomed into a premier face for hip-hop music. Unfortunately, because of the topics he discusses (politics, hip-hop, and urban community issues are among his favorites), he’s often type casted for a niche audience. What that usually means is that artists him, Immortal Technique, Mos Def, Common, and Pharoahe Monch get put in a little slot, even when their music has the ability to reach more audiences. In this day and age where hits are no longer made, but manufactured, it’s hard for artists like him to get their shine.

What it does mean for people who like their artistry is that we have to invest in their product and be active participants in their growth. Acts like Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Gwen Stefani, and Fergie, regardless of whether they actually craft their own music or rely on formulas for their success, already have machines behind them that will force listeners to hear their product. We don’t have to like their songs for them to be played a million times on the radio; they’re still going to get played. This is also not to say that they don’t work hard, but in Talib Kweli’s case, he doesn’t give the radio a diet Talib, if you know what I mean.

With the recent payola scandals (which were fairly obvious for decades now) and the mainstreaming of illegal downloading, it becomes ever more pressing for us as consumers of music to cast in our monies to artists we actually want to see succeed. I personally buy CDs from artists who have either come out with a very good project as of late (Linkin Park) or who have been consistent enough over their career that it inspires confidence in the product I’m buying (Janet Jackson). What this also means is that I’m also doing my “research” on the albums before I get them, something the music industry heads can’t understand. Many of us don’t download because we’re pirates; it’s because we’re tired of getting screwed over by a 15-song album whose quality is worth just 2.

You see, if they’re going to keep allowing cookie cutter crap to invade our ears and minds, then people will continue to download on a regular basis. As recently as 2004, I felt the music industry would remember how cutting edge music transformed the landscape for so many of these artists, when they gave breathing room to underground artists to get some shine on the major music stations. Now, because of the lack of variance amongst these radio and TV stations, it seems that we’ll never get the opportunity for these new energies to hit our eardrums.

This is all to say that, if you enjoy an artist, please support them, not just through CDs, which has gone the way of presidential voting, but also through concerts and word-of-mouth. BET’s 106 and Park was NEVER about the viewers’ choice, and radio’s still mired in money politics. I know I’ll be buying Eardrum (8/21/07), because more or less, if I want to see Talib succeed, I need to let the majors know he’s still relevant to people like me and you. More or less, if we want to see more of these artists, we need to support, or we stand to lose them all.

jose, who’s having the best summer in quite a while

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Hot Ghetto Discord / Fantastic Four

July 17, 2007

Just a little commentary if I may: The original purpose for the website “Hot Ghetto Mess” was to highlight the missteps of the Black community through pictures and other media. She felt that by making said website, she would show more conclusively how much of a “mess” so many of our Black brethren are. It […]

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