Happy Black Month everyone, because every month is Black History Month thank you very much!
Last season’s (February) season finale came with a roller coaster of emotions; black excellence in cinema and a riveting rap beef that covered many hard hitting themes. New vs. old. Bars vs. charts. Criminal backgrounds vs. a ledger of receipts.
It's been quite a run.
First, the beef between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj struck a fever pitch as the former released her diss track, dropping a whole dossier of receipts and leaving mouths agape. To the uninformed, this beef was a surprise dish, but this perfectly aged filet has been simmering for quite some time. This is also not the first time in which Ma-ma dearest decided to showcase bars over beats on a public platform in efforts to dethrone the self-proclaimed “Queen of Rap.”
In essence, this was more of an attempt to fuel the fire and keep Nicki's corpse warm. That being said, there has been no response from Ms. Minaj other than a paltry shoutout to Beyoncé and--in this writer’s opinion, minus the Beyonce clinging--it’s her best move. For people not familiar with the merit system involved in rap beefs and battles (yt people) Nicki does not have the strength in lyricism to combat Remy. This is obvious and no amount of sales comparison will change that. If Nicki tries and fails, it's a bigger blow to her career and she does not want to go the way of ole what's his name. I think its Modest Factory or something like that. I don't know, that dude Drake bodied.
Moving forward, my black queer ass still cannot stop screaming about Moonlight’s stunning success at the Oscar’s! Though Hollywood still mimicked American History’s penchant for stealing the shine of black people, this win is a crowning achievement and is a beacon of hope and validation for black gay men. Moonlight was a much needed win in a time where it seems the bad guys hold power and all your heroes are dying, but at least not this time. Not to mention this movie delves into to the heart of so many issues faced by the black experience and the hypermasculinization of the black male.
It's truly a win for black people I tell you what.
Finally, is the thunderous release of Get Out, which shocked audiences with its use of covert racism as a thriller plot-device. With an opening weekend box office of $30 million, Get Out expertly laces every scene with unsettling banter and micro aggression after micro aggression to keep you on your toes, while expertly paying homage to many tropes from America’s historically murky relationship with race.
Honestly if you're black, it just reads like the trials of regular life up to a point, just with all the uniquely cringey parts you get while being in the midst of white people. The release of this film has already inspired a lot of important and critical conversation and art which can help us contextualize the race conversation, our experiences and possibly heal some wounds. In the word of Jordan Peele, “Art and communication is the one tool we have against the horrors of the world, which is violence,” and this movie does very well acting as a master tool for furthering communication on the psychology involved in race relations. Go see Get Out in theaters now, and if you're black I recommend going with your black friends in your blackest theater for the full experience and more space to process your feelings.