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The Morning Roast: 6/4/17

It was an animal-heavy show

12:08 PM

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The gang got things off to a hot start this week and had more fun than usual. With Mina Kimes on the East Coast, everyone was on the same page from a body clock standpoint. In the first hour, we actually got into some pretty serious baseball talk, discussing whether no-hitters are a big deal and taking a look at Albert Pujols breaking the 600 home-run mark and if anyone actually cares about that.

Perhaps most importantly, though, was that we finally got to discuss what’s going on with The Bachelorette, and it appears that Domonique Foxworth is one step closer to actually turning on his television to watch this show. You might recall that last week ESPN’s Mike Golic Jr. was dead-on when he said he thought that contestant Lee was a racist. GoJo was exactly right. Not to mention, there’s the whole matter that Rachel Lindsay actually dated Kevin Durant. What a world.

In the second hour, we talked with Tom Junod, whose story about the people who handled Muhammad Ali’s body is out in ESPN The Magazine. It’s a rich and detailed look at The Greatest’s last days and the reaction in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. After that, we kept things very high-minded and chatted with Jake Waddell, the dude who threw a catfish on the ice during Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. He was awesome. After that is when things went haywire during Top 5.

A conversation about rappers having exotic animals turned into Mina listing the top five favorite ones she’d like to have in a rap video. Then, I said that I once got out of the car during a safari in Africa, and the other two went haywire. Clearly, they’ve never been in that position and don’t know that people do this all the time, even though it is wild dangerous.

The show ended with a visit from a new friend of the show, a character I made up. He’s a classical music enthusiast and, well, he’s rather sophisticated. Enjoy!

Tyler, the Creator

‘Cherry Bomb: The Documentary’ is fire

What can’t Tyler, the Creator do well?

4:21 PMTyler, the Creator does the most.

As a creative, he’s got his hands in all sorts of products and projects from music to sports to fashion. But back in 2015, when his solo album Cherry Bomb dropped, people weren’t necessarily ready for his brand of weird to go full mainstream. He had all sorts of people on the album, and music critics had trouble putting it into a box, many just sticking with the word “experimental.”

This documentary, directed by Mikey Alfred, is as madcap as Tyler’s life actually seems. Featuring footage from 2013 to 2015, it’s a proper documentary. Behind-the-scenes footage of what artists can do is often mundane, unless you’re completely obsessed with the subject of the film. But watching Tyler’s creative process is a really informative look at how he works. There’s no big fancy studio. Dude invites his friends over and sets up his equipment in the living room. Also, if you’re a bit of an equipment nerd, you get to see all the gear he works with.

One particularly poignant moment comes when he spits the lyrics to his song “Run,” which he says was motivated by him being on Twitter one morning and seeing a bunch of tweets about people ready to smoke weed first thing in the morning. With just him, sitting on the sidewalk, the overall tone of his lyrics is a little easier to digest for the layperson.

At 42 minutes long, this is definitely for the card-carrying Odd Future fan. Random footage of him playing video games and exercising physical challenges with his friends is spliced with musicians performing in studio. Occasionally, he pops in as a narrator to explain who his famous friends are. There’s no doubting how much of a thought leader he is. If you want more details on that, click here.

But overall, it’ll be interesting to see what he makes next. Tyler is a perfectly named artist who can do all sorts of things. “I feel like rap has a time stamp,” he says at one point. “It’s less boundaries in signing songs.”

Once this guy gets his hands on a movie or, say, an entire channel of programming, whatever the platform. As a stand-alone movie, Cherry Bomb: The Documentary is absolutely inspirational, never mind funny.

Oh, and Jaden Smith makes a cameo, which basically tells you everything you need to know.

Kevin Durant used to date the Bachelorette

Rachel Lindsay and the Warriors star were together at UT-Austin

2:34 PMIt’s been a weird week for The Bachelorette. With one of the contestants being outed as a bigot on social media, the rest of us were wondering just how we were going to cringe through the remainder of the season. Then, the news fairy dropped this incredible headline on us to save the week.

‘Bachelorette’ Rachel Lindsay Dated NBA Pro Kevin Durant — All the Details, Us Weekly wrote.

HOLD UP, WHAT? Rachel just took this group of stooges on a basketball date, and DeMario was carrying on about the simple fact that he could even dunk. The rest of them looked like the worst version of guys who didn’t make their high school teams but thought they were dominant because of church league glory days. One dude — it might have even been Lee — was wearing camo sweatpants.

Imagine how stupid these dudes must feel knowing that they were trying to impress Rachel with their hoops game, after SHE DATED KEVIN DURANT. I’m 100 percent disappointed that she didn’t drop that fact on them right then and there after that little game with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar watching, to crush their egos regarding who they thought they were dealing with. Truly an opportunity missed.

Back to the onetime happy couple, though. Apparently this all went down when he went to University of Texas at Austin. He was only there for a year, but Us Weekly tells us they dated before she then left to go to law school. Now, she’s engaged and we’re happy for her.

But, let’s not skip past the obvious here. We’re in the middle of the NBA Finals. Kevin Durant is playing out of his mind right now for the Golden State Warriors. LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers might need a little something to turn things around (don’t at me, we all know they got blown out in Game 1 of the Finals last year too). Why not have two courtside seats for The Bachelorette once you get back to Cleveland? Great publicity for the show, a little time on the big screen, and hopefully, if you’re a Cavs fan, you can rattle KD a bit.

Seriously, though. Cavaliers: Make this happen.

Daily Dose: 6/2/17

Charles Oakley is not letting the Knicks off the hook

1:36 PMFriday is National Doughnut Day. Personally, I’m a guy who likes plain ones, aka old-fashioned doughnut. Not very exciting.

So, Thursday was a doozy. The president of the United States publicly declared war on science, without actually doing so. By pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change, he’s basically said that this country doesn’t need the world for anything and he’s not afraid to test that theory, even when it comes to the health of the globe. Now his aides are scrambling to defend that decision, and it’s getting awkward. No one wants to say out loud that Trump thinks climate change is a hoax, including Kellyanne Conway.

It appears things are improving in Chicago. Which is a good thing for the city and also for all the people who like to cite the Windy City every time some situation comes up in which we need to address police violence. “What about black-on-black crime in Chicago?” is the constant refrain. Well, while the numbers are still unacceptably high for homicides and shootings, they are going down in 2017. But speaking of heinous crimes, this also happened recently in Chicago, which is terrifying.

Wonder Woman comes out Friday, but I’m already a fan. Mainly because a theater in Texas decided to hold a woman-only screening of the film and dudes across the nation flipped out because they just couldn’t bear the thought of being denied something based on their gender. The irony is obvious. But on top of that, this just looks like a really good movie, as WW is an awesome character. Here’s everything you need to know about the movie before you see it, in case it’s been a while since you visited that universe.

Charles Oakley is not messing around when it comes to the New York Knicks. Remember a while back when he decided he was going to put his hands on Madison Square Garden security and yell at the team owner from his seat? He got physically removed for that stunt. Yeah, it was special. Well, both sides still believe they were in the right, and this whole thing is actually going to court. Mind you, Oak had a chance to agree to a scenario in which the charges were dropped, but he’d rather fight. This is not going to end well for anyone.

Free Food

Coffee Break: What is a Black Dandy, you ask? On a simple level, it’s someone who dresses better than you, because he can and he wants to. But, in the case of one photographer, the meaning is a lot larger than just fashion. It’s about portrayal and stereotyping, and her new project looks to shatter some old molds.

Snack Time: If the only thing we get from Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 league is the possibility of the sport getting to the Olympics, it’ll be a success. The FIBA tourney is always a pleasure, and it looks like it’s on the table for 2020.

Dessert: Party Next Door blessed us with some new music for the weekend. Enjoy.

Halima Aden covers ‘Vogue Arabia’

hijab and all, she’s breaking the mold

5:24 PMIf you don’t know who Halima Aden is, where have you been?

You might remember her for taking the stage at the Miss Minnesota USA pageant in her hijab, then rocking a burkini for the judges. Now, she’s on the cover of Vogue Arabia and still staying true to her look. The publication is only on its fourth cover after launching in March.

This is dope for several reasons. But you can watch below and let Halima tell you herself.

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All Day Podcast: 6/1/17

NBA Finals, Muhammad Ali’s death and LeBron James’ eloquence

2:42 PMWhat’s up, kiddos, we’re back. The podcast has been retooled a bit, as you’ll notice, which I explain more in the show.

This week, I talked to Marc Spears about the upcoming NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers, which is already an epic matchup even before the games start. If you don’t know, it’s the first time that two teams have faced off three times in a row in the NBA Finals, and the first time it’s happened in any of the major American sports leagues where the teams were tied 1-1 after the first two series.

Perhaps most interesting was Spears’ discussion about what the Dubs mean to Oakland, California, as a place. He went deep on what that team moving from one part of the Bay Area to another, San Francisco, could signal for not only basketball fans but also for other sports franchises there.

Switching gears: I had the pleasure of chatting with Tom Junod, who’s got a new story for ESPN The Magazine about Muhammad Ali and his last days. It’s rich with detail, specifics and beautiful prose surrounding the greatest man alive, in his time. If you’re not familiar with the intricacies of how bodies are prepared for burial in Islam, there are details on that. Junod delves into the process of getting this story done, not just the topic, which as a writer I find fascinating.


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Daily Dose: 6/1/17

Racism rears its ugly head at African-American museum

12:48 PMSo, I’m going to start featuring my favorite tweet of the morning in this spot just to get things started. Here’s Thursday’s.


You gotta be a majorly hateful person to leave a noose at the Blacksonian. Think about it. Either you planned for months to come to D.C., or got up early to get downtown and pull some racist nonsense just to make you feel better about yourself. There is a part of me that feels bad for people who have so much hate in their heart, because they have no idea how limiting it is. Nonetheless, this matter must be addressed, and Lonnie Bunch, founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture — a great dude, btw — did as much Wednesday. The cowardice in the perpetrator’s act is staggering.

We’ve talked about wedding music before, here. It’s a tough balance to figure out exactly what’s going to hype up a crowd, what works for the wedding party and what’s going to be good enough to get people to remember your nuptials. I’ve been to some weddings with some pretty awful music, personally. It’s so awkward. But some people like awkward. So now, FiveThirtyEight is looking for those wedding songs that no couple ever wants to hear, which is a hilarious premise for a playlist if you ask me.

Drugs make you do wild things. This is why people like them, but this is also why they’re relatively dangerous, no matter how the government may classify their existence. Some people have to take things to make their bodies or minds work. And in some cases, that can come with disastrous effects. Take for example this woman, whose husband is on antidepressants, which makes him physically abusive in his sleep. It’s probably time to start sleeping in separate beds.

There are a lot of storylines at play in the NBA Finals. But my favorite is Mike Brown. He used to coach the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now he is acting head coach for the Golden State Warriors. There’s no way to deny how bizarre of a twist that is for two teams that are battling for the title. And he didn’t just coach the team — Brown coached many of these actual dudes before the Cavaliers fired him. Now, Kyrie Irving is looking back on his time with Brown as his coach, when he basically got Brown fired because he wouldn’t change up his game.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Being a mascot is tough. You don’t get to talk. You always have to be jovial, and people are very rude to you in general. This week at Citi Field, Mr. Met gave a fan the finger, and it was unfortunately caught on camera, which means Mr. Met will now be a different person inside that suit.

Snack Time: Mac and cheese might be slightly overrated, but this picture of a little girl not letting a Disney princess get between her and her food is downright hilarious.

Dessert: Donald Glover is out here serving LOOKS, y’all.


In another White House surprise, Trump declares June as African-American Music Appreciation Month

Where were you when Trump announced he liked black music?

3:28 PM

On the surface, this is hilarious. Not like, “Oh, I’m so pleased with this piece of humor,” but more of an “every time I think I couldn’t imagine something more ridiculous, it happens and my only choice is to laugh” kind of funny.

Since we’re already in a good mood, let’s take a look at this press release, never mind the content of the declaration itself. It should be noted that this time last year President Barack Obama did the same thing, in case you were wondering where the motivation for this move came from.

“Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation — animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls,” the Obama release read. “In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.”

President Donald Trump’s declaration went so far as to specifically reference Chuck Berry, Dizzy Gillespie and Ella Fitzgerald. It’s also double-spaced and misspells the word “canon” as “cannon,” but that’s a different story altogether. How Kendrick Lamar, Maxwell and the Carolina Chocolate Drops were left off this list, who knows. In all seriousness though, the thought of the president sitting around jamming to black music of yesteryear is quite the exercise.


Wake us up when the president is actually inviting black musicians to play in the White House in front of his friends and family. This guy is always here, right on time.

‘The Bachelorette’ brand has a major problem

if a known racist is on the cast, the fun of the show is dead

3:22 PMWhen ABC announced that Rachel Lindsay would be the network’s first black Bachelorette, many corners of the content creation world were happy. It was a progressive move for a show that was finally breaking into the full-blown mainstream of American entertainment society. The casting decision was the first one in a while that actually brought new viewers to the program. Now, they’ve got a massive issue on their hands that might be impossible to fix.

Lee, a contestant who came in playing a quick guitar riff and basically showing off his honky-tonk bona fides, is apparently super racist. I say apparently because in the past few days his tweets from not so long ago have been unearthed, and it’s like a bigot’s greatest-hits record.

It’s a bummer on so many different levels. No. 1, this dude is still on the show. Only ABC knows how far he goes on the program. Secondly, Lee very strangely stated in the first episode that he was going to have some issues with people in the house. Mind you, there are more black contestants this year than ever. The promos for upcoming episodes have him set up to basically be a villain. That’s one thing in Bachelor Nation, but it’s quite another when the person in question is out here recklessly tweeting about how #BlackLivesMatter is a terrorist group. Non-update: It’s not.

But perhaps most important is whether the creators and producers of the show were aware of Lee’s social media exploits before putting him on the show. Those tweets were from last year. It’s not like these were ancient. A casual, cursory look at his history on the site would have turned these up, presumably raising a red flag about this guy’s intentions and, hello, general demeanor.

The next step in that logic is the one that no one wants to believe: that a racist was cast on purpose. If you’ve ever seen UnReal, you know that this was an actual storyline in season two that isn’t far outside of the realm of reality, pardon the pun. For all the ridiculous arcs that are pursued on a show like this, planting a bigot in the mix is not the move, at all. It’s a super joy-killer for people who tried to enjoy this show in good faith, considering it’s TV dating.

It puts the entire premise of this season in a huge moral quandary. Are we seriously supposed to keep watching a season in which a guy who clearly hates a lot of people is the main antagonist? Never mind how he deals with Rachel, a black woman, and all that entails from a societal standpoint. It’s just not a good thing going forward at all, for a season that had so much promise.

LeBron James’ home vandalized

Reports say someone painted N-word on side of house

1:49 PMWhen it comes to intimidation, spray-painting someone’s home is about as intimate as it gets for nonviolent crime. As someone who’s been an advocate of street art my whole life, there are still certain things that are considered off-limits, to an extent. Houses are one of them. But more importantly, the use of racial slurs in such a situation is clearly an act of aggression designed to scare through racism.

Someone decided to go that route on one of LeBron James’ homes in the Los Angeles area recently. According to TMZ, the slur in question was the N-word, leading me to believe that the person who did this was at least 40 years old, if I’m gonna wildly speculate. The N-word as an aggressive stand-alone tactic is just old-school enough for me to think that anyone who deploys it in such a way is used to hearing it basically in that context alone.

Because the NBA Finals start Thursday, this will probably turn into a much bigger story than if it were August, but nonetheless, it’s still a pretty scary violation of property.

Daily Dose: 5/31/17

More fish on the ice, please

12:18 PMI just want everyone to know that Domonique Foxworth wore a tremendous suit on First Take on Wednesday. He’s out here looking like the early-service preacher, and I’m very here for it.

“You used to call me on my cellphone. Late night when you needed my love.” As much as those Drake lyrics might have changed the game on the after-hours “shoot your shot” circuit, they’re not a way of business for a sitting president. There are rules to this game, and random personal phone calls from world leaders are not a part of it. Also, President Donald Trump’s tweet game is a little shaky these days, complete with really bad typos that turn into memes. Tuesday night, he dropped the word “covfefe” on the world, which makes me laugh more than it should, probably.

My aunt is a Jehovah’s Witness. She has been my whole life. It’s the kind of thing that really creates awkward social moments on every level, if you don’t know. I went to a function of theirs once, when I was like 12, and it was beyond memorable. In France, no less. I did not join the faith. My point is, if you’ve interacted with any Witnesses beyond a discussion on your doorstep, you realize that it’s a fascinating existence. They don’t celebrate birthdays, for one. That said, here are 10 questions you always wanted to ask them.

‘Catfish’ is a weird word these days. The meaning of it changed drastically once MTV got involved, but when it comes to Nashville, Tennessee, it’s different. They have a hockey team there, and as their way of paying homage to hockey’s culture, they throw catfish on the ice every now and again. In Detroit, aka Hockeytown, they throw squid on the ice. It’s a dope remix for a town that’s still cementing its legacy. And in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals, a Predators fan threw a catfish on the ice in Pittsburgh. He was being charged, but they dropped them. Hero.

I’m officially obsessed with the Ball family. I’m not quite a stan, but I’m certainly ready to be there when this team succeeds. Whether that happens soon or not, we’ll see. Perhaps my dream of them becoming one with the Kardashians will come to fruition. Until then, we just have to watch them play basketball. And when it comes to Lonzo, he’s apparently got a one-track mind for the Los Angeles Lakers. He’s working out for them, and a date is set: June 7. Alert the media — this is as important a sporting event in Los Angeles as there’s been in years.

Free Food

Coffee Break: You know what’s a luxury in my life? Going out to lunch. Not to mention that I have a bit of cultural stigma that comes with it after years of being told that I was “out to lunch” on many ideas. That said, it’s just not something that our generation does that much anymore, which is a real shame.

Snack Time: Here’s what you should never ever do if you are not black: use the N-word. And if you’re out here trying to run for office, if you do use it, do not defend said usage. That’s foul.

Dessert: If you’re a journalism nerd, this will be important to you.