2010 Playahata Awards
We normally begin our awards with a song that in some way represents us but is also pretty popular. Unfortunately this year we didn’t quite find that tune, and things are so critical in the world we’re not much in the mood to sing, so let’s get right to it.Movie of the year: Avatar
From a music based drama to the biggest budget blockbuster, this year’s movie of the year is a far cry from last year’s winner Cadillac Records. Somehow James Cameron has managed to do it again. After working on this film off and on for the past 12 years he has to be at least a little tickled and this has to be more than a little sweet. Having the top two grossing movies of all time is nothing to sneeze at, especially when the second of those moved into the number two spot in about 3 and ½ weeks. Of course it’s not all about what it grossed if the movie isn’t that good but it’s hard to make a billion dollars with a movie if it isn’t at least decent, and well received by both the public and critics. Well Avatar was well received by critics and the public, and for good reason. It was even loved by the usually not so friendly critics at playahata.com, but don’t take my word for it, take a look http://www.playahata.com/?p=7885 R&B Album of the Year: Epiphany – Chrisette Michele
2009 wasn’t a good year for Rap or R&B music in our opinion. Quite honestly nothing great was released this year and certainly nothing groundbreaking so while we like Epiphany as the R&B album of the year it certainly doesn’t come with as strong a recommendation as past R&B albums of the year. However, Epiphany is a very solid LP and really marks Chrisette Michele finding her voice and establishing herself musically to the point where she has truly developed a style. Where her first album to many sounded like an album that could have been written for any young, chart climbing, R&B singer, 2009’s Epiphany is all Michele and really says she will be a voice for years to come even if the music industry barely promotes albums any more.
Rap Album of the Year: Insert Your Album Here – You
No, you should not go searching Amazon looking for an album by some artist or group named, “You”. We are in fact encouraging you to go out and do the damn thing because right now it doesn’t seem like anyone else is willing or trying that hard. Perhaps you will record the next great Hip-hop album because clearly there were not a lot of people making great rap albums in 2009. Sure there were a couple that were solid in some aspects. Raekwon’s Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 2” was hot but it was also essentially a heroin or cocaine deal on wax. Nothing that came close to mixing that delicate balance of content, lyricism, and dope production that is the signature of playahata.com’s hip-hop album of the year. It looks like 2008’s winner Immortal Technique with his LP 3rd World will get to hold on to the trophy for another year.
Allen Iverson Award (Trying Hardest to Cross Over): Tiger Woods
Approaching the stage to receive his award from the 2008 winner, D.L. Hughley – who has nothing but time on his hands now that his current affairs show was canceled with the swiftness by CNN – is none other than “Tiga Woooooo”. We considered Tiger for the Antonio Vargas Pimp-Player of the Year Award for his embarrassing sexual escapades, but once those voicemails came out it was clear Woods was no player (more like playing himself). We had to dig up his statement where he described his race/ethnicity as being “Caublanasian” (father is Black, mother is Thai, but of course the Caucasian comes first) to really put it all together but once we saw the cardboard cutout string of bimbos Woods is alleged to have slept with outside his marriage, we realized what Tiger was really trying to do. Woods was trying to sex his way into “Whiteness”. Hell, he’s tried just about everything else, he has all the money in the universe, and they still won’t let him in so try the alternative. I mean seriously, it seems like Woods cheated on his wife with nearly 10 or more woman who all fit his wife’s phenotype blond, busty, bimbo, “Barbie”. Damn Tiger it’s clear you don’t have any love for the sisters, Black or Latina, but can even an Asian woman get a little love?
The Antonio Fargas Award (Pimp-Player of the Year): Health Care Industry
Imagine you were entrusted as a gatekeeper of a commodity that it was really hard to live without. Then imagine you were really bad at your job, actually made money by denying people access to this commodity, and you could charge people as much as you wanted for it. You do this for decades until one day people start getting really pissed and even start thinking that maybe they don’t need you to be the gatekeeper, or in fact that they would like an alternative to your gate-keeping. Rather than change anything you do, and respond to the public’s complaints, you instead open up your Rolodex and pull out a stack of hundreds. Then you make some calls to some connected friends and offer a few of those hundreds, and when it’s all over not only are you still the gatekeeper, people are going to be legally forced to pay you for your services, you can still charge as much as you want, you’re the only gatekeeper, and on top of that you are still really bad at your job! If any one of us could pull something like that off we would be a true pimp. I guess that makes the American people hoes, because even if it would have gone through we would have got weak “healthcare reform” legislation that benefits “healthcare” corporations more than the American people; further entrenches the current corrupt and dysfunctional system; and hardly addresses any of the core issues that gives the United States one of the worst “Healthcare” rankings on any industrialized “first world” nation.
Runner Up: Levi Johnston
He’ll teach you to not treat him like family. It’s crazy when you think about it, that this guy is only 20 but he sure is making headlines for himself. Hey, I suppose if his almost mother-in-law Sarah Palin can ditch politics for lucrative book deals he has to find a way to “get his hustle on” too. And hustle Levi has done. Since his, likely forced, engagement to Palin’s daughter, Bristol, was called off Levi has been making headlines with his public feuding with the Palin family. He also embarrassed Sarah Palin when he indicated her primary reason for leaving politics was because she saw an opportunity to make a lot of money selling books and otherwise cashing in on her celebrity. He also indicated mama Palin knew he was having sex with her daughter in the Governor’s mansion, and has done interviews on Larry King Live and the Tyra Banks Show. He also posed for Playgirl which I guess makes sense since he’s now an aspiring actor and model. In the mortal works of the Eurythmics, sweet dreams are made of this, everybody is looking for something.
Most Likely to Succeed: Facebook.com
This year this award goes to an entity that is not even a person. The most likely to succeed goes to Facebook.com. Although it gives us some uneasiness Facebook has completely changed the internet. The site has squashed other social networking sites like Myspace and forced them to completely revamp their business model. In fact there are nearly as many Facebook accounts as there are people in the United States. It’s also significantly reduced traffic on message boards all over the internet. I suppose the idea is if you can talk to your friends or acquaintances wouldn’t you, rather than talk to strangers? At some level I agree. I’d often rather talk to people I know a little bit but it almost seems to me like Facebook has gotten too popular for its own good. 2009 will probably continue to be great but I see a fall or at least a slow down coming somewhere in the next 2-3 years. Either Facebook is going to try and start selling and/or using personal information in ways people are not comfortable with; they are going to try and start charging for use of the site; or it’s going to reach the breaking point of breaking up romantic relationships but something needs and is probably going to happen to slow down this site’s growth and influence on American online culture.
Least Likely to Succeed: Beanie Sigel
He didn’t bite the hand that feeds him, but he tried to bite the hand that fed him off! Enough people that were formerly in his camp have accused Jay-Z of being a rather cutthroat, if not outright crooked business man, that we are inclined to believe there is at least something there. Further if you listen to Sigel’s side of the story, as told to 50-Cent it does sound pretty believable. However, I’m a bit tired of music industry figures who build much of their persona and content around how rich they are and how much stuff they have and can do, that the public who “buys” their albums can’t afford, then turn around and cry broke to the public like jaded ex-lovers. Even if Jay-Z didn’t set you up for life, enough money and opportunity passed through Sigel’s fingers while he was down with Rocafella, which was arguably the hottest commodity in rap music for the better part of a decade, that if he didn’t do better for himself it’s kind of lame for this grown ass man to be blaming and attacking a former friend who always made sure to take care of himself financially. If those lies you tell on your record are all “business” then so is the rest of it including your “business” relationships with your bosses and label mates. Sigel, handle your business and stop whining it’s not becoming.
Runner Up: The Banking Industry
If the last year of corporate malfeasance wasn’t evidence enough that this country is a complete “corporatocrary” a.k.a. fascist – a nation actually governed by corporations – then nothing will. Like a giant vacuum cleaner the super wealthy just keep transferring wealth upward and from the general population. The magical house of cards economy finally came crashing back to earth as all the corruption and outright crime from Bernie Maddoff to Wells Fargo, and the other major banks who don’t actually produce ANYTHING, came to the surface. We got to see how Wall Street banks have been cooking the books and “making money” with trickery, accounting tricks, and white collar crime. And when their criminal activities threatened to bring the whole system down they turned around and robbed working people to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars in bailout funds without being FORCED to change any of the unscrupulous, illogical, and immoral practices that had caused the crisis in the first place. If you don’t have a bad enough taste in your mouth watch this http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/01082010/watch.html. Clearly the federal government isn’t going to protect us from these white collar criminals but people are coming up with ideas to protect themselves and www.moveyourmoney.info is the latest and most innovative. It’s a simple concept. If the big banks won’t do right by us and are too big to fail it’s time to move our money to smaller community based banks. Starve the beast, and the bank robbers, or better yet the robber banks!!
Brother/Sister With the High Score: Usain Bolt
In doesn’t matter how far 2008’s winner, The Iraqi Shoe Thrower, can throw this award Mr. Bolt can likely run it down. He holds the world record for the 100 meters, 200 meters and, along with his teammates, the 4×100 meters relay. He also holds the Olympic record for all three of these races. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Bolt became the first man to win three sprinting events at a single Olympics since Carl Lewis in 1984, and the first man to set world records in all three at a single Olympics. In 2009 he became the first man to hold the 100 and 200 meter world and Olympic titles at the same time. From a track and field perspective, he is the next step in human evolution. Physically he is without question unlike anything we have ever seen and he is only 24 so we may not have seen anything yet. They say records are made to be broken but he is only likely to break his own records, and we are willing to bet he is clean, getting his boost from yams not “roids”, so we are going all out for him.
Evolution Award: Wyclef Jean
As Wyclef graciously accepts this award from the 2008 winner, Cynthia McKinney, we can’t help but think about how Wyclef has re-invented himself in 2009. He is as well known now for his humanitarian efforts as for his earlier Hip-Hop body of work. He has over 1,000,000 twitter followers something no other rapper can claim. That’s because Clef has transcended his music and now uses his music to open doors. He has Angelia Jolie and Brad Pitt donating 1 million to his YELE organization and every time we hear him pitch it’s for something international rather than anything musical. I guess Clef knew Lauryn was not coming back and he got wise and decided he needed a remix before anybody else knew he was going to need it. Wyclef is bigger than the Michael Jackson and the Beattles in Haiti, a true national hero to his country.
Fading Fast Award: The Record Industry
Perhaps the record industry should take their cue from 2008’s Fading Fast Award winner, Soulja Boy, and diversify. Sure when you own the world the record industry will likely make profits but the industry, particularly the Hip-hop and R&B sector, is clearly reeling in terms of record sales. Some of the larger acts such as Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige are able to push substantial amounts of records, i.e. 300k or better in their opening weeks but other big name acts such as 50 Cent, Rihanna, and Chris Brown faced some disappointing figures in their opening weeks. The industry has certainly taken notice though they clearly don’t have an answer to the precipitous drop in sales but at least part of their response has been to stop spending big on promoting albums. Listeners are finding they have to go looking for the albums of the artist they like, especially if the artist is not in heavy rotation on the radio already.
Robert Kelly Award (Because You’re Guilty Regardless of the Court Ruling): Chris Brown
Maybe this year’s winner, Chris Brown, can pick it up from the 2008 winner Rick Ross seeing how they both might be spending a short amount of time in prison. Ross because he was actually working as a corrections officer during the years where he was supposed to be living life as a Miami drug kingpin according to his rap records, and Brown because though a plea will probably keep him from ever seeing the inside of a jail cell, maybe they have a chance of meeting if “Officer Ricky” ask for a transfer. I mean they had everything down to Rick Ross’ social security number on the Smoking Gun and he still denied he used to be law enforcement before finally giving up on his lie in early 2009. The least Chris Brown can do is say he doesn’t know how Rihanna’s face got like that and that there was a third person in the car who made her face look like she just finished fighting Manny Pacquiao in a phone booth
Ozzy Osbourne Award: Sarah Palin
If 2008’s winner Amy Winehouse, can successfully make it to the stage we’re sure she will be happy to present Sarah with this year’s Ozzy Osbourne Award for the most deluded personality. Although this award normally goes to a celebrity entertainer Sarah is at least as much celebrity entertainer as she is politician. In fact she may be more of an entertainer these days. Her almost Pimp Player runner up and almost son-in-law Levi Johnston, blew up her spot and said her desire to cash in on her fame was the reason behind her resigning from the governorship of Alaska, with 18 months left in her first term. And from everything we’ve seen so far he was probably right. Palin has written a hot-selling book of lies and gibberish called “Going Rogue”, done a string of public appearances that are well attended by what seems to be a traveling band of idiots http://www.playahata.com/?p=7707, and has turned herself into cash machine. She seems to realize that she doesn’t have a whole lot to say, or worse, frequently says things she wishes she could take back so some of her public speeches to different organizations have barred recording. Even with these restrictions in place, her forked tongue (http://thinkprogress.org/2009/11/17/palin-lies-oprah/) still managed to get her headlines, and a win as lie of the year from Fact-checking political site PolitiFact, for her “Death Panels” fib. Most recently in early 2010, Palin landed a part time gig on FOX news as a commentator. For someone as honesty challenged we can’t think of a better fit.
Mantan and Sleep and Eat Awards for Community Disservice: Lee Daniels
Some are happy to see any Black man making waves in the movie industry but we don’t think this Negro is very precious. If you read our review http://www.playahata.com/?p=7633 of Daniel’s latest movie and mangling of Black life, Precious, you would know that we find his fascination with child abuse and molestation, apparent eagerness to present Black people in poor or questionable light, and prejudice against darker skin Blacks more than a little disturbing. Now comes word, that Daniels is working on a biopic about Dr. Martin Luther King that is rumored to center around King’s sexual relationship with a prostitute! To the rumors Daniels has said “The script they have is not my script”. “This project is still in an embryonic stage,” he says. “But I can tell you my story focuses on the civil rights marches. It’s not about tapes and prostitutes. It’s about the African-American man who changed history.” At this point we can neither confirm nor deny if that is true, or what Daniels will do with such prized subject matter but consider this award a pre-emptive strike, straight out the pages of the Bush doctrine. If his past efforts are any indication, this Negro must be stopped and is not to be trusted.
Runner Up: Michael Steele, Chairperson of the RNC
This year we decided to go down the chain of “Negro-dom” and allow for 2008’s respective winners of the Mantan and Sleep and Eat Awards Bob Johnson, CEO of BET, and Kathy Hughes, CEO of Radio One, to pass on the hardware. Truth is, we don’t believe Hughes or Johnson dislike Black people, they just LOVE money a whole lot more than anything else. This year’s winner of the Eat and Sleep Award is a Negro that really does seem to not like himself or at least other Black people, none other than Michael Steele. We don’t think he hates himself just because he’s a Republican, he is completely within his right to be a Black Republican but must he buck dance and smile the way he does. We never quite got over his comment that he was going to draw Blacks to the Republican Party with “fried chicken and potato salad”, after someone in a crowd of young Republicans he was addressing yelled he would bring “Collard Greens” http://thedailyvoice.com/voice/2009/07/republican-chairman-michael-st-002106.php. As an RNC chair he is also naturally trotted out to attempt to counter anything President Obama says (not that Obama has done some great service to the community) but he’s able to play even more loosely with his attacks because he doesn’t have to worry about being accused of racism.
Stepping up to accept this award from last year’s winner Rick Ross is none other than Trey Songz. First he told folks he invented sex!! Second, he unfortunately convinced us that he believed this was more than just a marketing technique, although we are sometimes unsure of who he is trying to convince. If you don’t think he is supped up just examine any pictures of him that you can find and you will know that he has convinced himself that he is “the dude” to everybody but actually he should either put his shirt back on or do some more push-ups. Sometimes a picture is worth two thousand words.
Worst Moments 2009:
1) Oscar Grant Murdered by BART Cop
2) Michael Jackson’s Death
3) Healthcare Reform Compromises, Bailouts and handouts for Wallstreet
4) Ivan Van Sertima Dies
5) Steve McNair Murdered
Best Moments 2009:
1) Obama’s Inauguration
2) Repeal of New York’s Rockerfeller Drug Laws