Previous month:
July 2008
Next month:
September 2008

Posts from August 2008

Black Moses

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For soul legend Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (affectionately known as Black Moses) who died Sunday in Memphis, Tennessee. His wife, Adjowa, found the 65-year-old Isaac unresponsive in his home next to a treadmill that was still running. Isaac was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly after 2 p.m. ET. The cause of death has not been determined, but family members believe that Isaac collapsed after working out.

"I've lost one of my best buddies and it is not easy to reckon with," said Dionne Warwick, whose song "Walk on By" Isaac covered in 1968. "My buddy will be missed for many reasons by me. He was 'family' . . . he will be a part of my musical life each time I sing the song 'Deja Vu' as this was a birthday gift to me from him. My family and I send sincere heart-felt condolences to his family for their enormous loss, and we will hold them in continuous prayer."

A self-taught musician, Isaac was a longtime artist and songwriter for Stax Records. The singer co-wrote such classic hits as "Soul Man" and "Hold On I'm Comin'" for labelmates Sam & Dave. The singer was best known for his 1972 Oscar-winning hit "Theme From Shaft," which also won him two Grammys. He received a third Grammy for the album Black Moses. Isaac also had a successful film and television career, most notably voicing the character Chef on Comedy Central's animated series South Park. In 2002, Isaac was enshrined into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Isaac is survived by his wife, Adjowa, their 2-year-old son, Nana Kwadjo Hayes, 12 other children (from previous relationships), 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Tributes Around the Web:

Next to James Brown, Isaac Hayes' music was heavily sampled by various rap artists. The 10-minute funk ode, "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic," is most familar -- Public Enemy used the piano riff for "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos" (from It Takes a Nation of Millions . . .).

A blogger remembers Isaac Hayes when he had a full head of hair and was in a 60's vocal group called The Playboys.

Isaac Hayes -- "Theme from Shaft" (Live)

Isaac Hayes -- "Do Your Thing"

Isaac Hayes -- "Hyperbolicsyllabicsesquedalymistic"

Rest in Power Isaac, you were definitely one bad mutha -- "shut your mouth."


Mac Daddy

(AP Photo)

In Tribute: Bernie Mac (1957-2008)

Los Angeles Times: Bernie Mac: Life in Pictures

E! Online: Fellow Actors Pay Tribute to Bernie Mac

"Bernie Mac was one of the best and funniest comedians to ever live, but that was the second best thing he did. Bernie was one of the greatest friends a person could have. Losing him is like losing 12 people because he absolutely filled up any room he was in. I'm gonna miss the Mac Man. -- Chris Rock
"His passing is such a major loss to the acting and comedy communities. Bernie Mac was the personification of the word 'real.' He kept it real. That kind of genuine spirit that he carried all the time cannot be easily duplicated, but I will do my very best to try." -- Comedianne Niecy Nash
"It goes without saying that Bernie was one of the preeminent comedians of our generation. He was also an attentive husband, a great father and loving grandfather. I feel blessed to have shared years of friendship with Bernie Mac and I'm honored to have finally costarred with him in what I consider to be his finest cinematic acting achievement. My sincere prayer is that his family will be comforted by the warmth of love from all of us who knew and respected this man." -- Samuel L. Jackson, who co-stars with Mac in the upcoming flick Soul Men
"This is a very sad day for many of us who knew and loved Bernie. He brought so much joy to so many. He will be missed, but heaven just got funnier." -- Don Cheadle

Bernie Mac -- Second Appearance on HBO's Def Comedy Jam

Bernie Mac -- "Bus Driver" (from The Original Kings of Comedy)

The Bernie Mac Show -- "Uncle Daddy"

Bernie Mac -- Guest on PBS' Tavis Smiley Show


Never Scared

(Chicago Tribune photo by Bob Fila)

Can we please have a moment of silence . . .

For one of the Original Kings of Comedy Bernie Mac who died early Saturday at a Chicago hospital due to complications from pneumonia. Mac's family was at his bedside when he passed away at around 2 a.m. central time. "He struggled for his life," said the late comedian's sister-in-law Mary Ann Grossett. "He couldn't breathe."

The 50-year-old funnyman was hospitalized for a week as he underwent treatment for sarcoidosis, a chronic disease which causes inflammation in tissue, mostly in the lungs. Mac had suffered from this ailment since the 1980's but said it never affected his work. On Friday (Aug. 8), a spokeswoman for the actor said that the comedian had been responding well to treatment for the illness and was expected to leave the hospital in a few weeks. Sadly, that wasn't the case.

"[Bernie Mac] passed away this morning from complications due to pneumonia in a Chicago area hospital," announced his rep, Danica Smith. "No other details are available at this time. We ask that his family's privacy continues to be respected."

As for Mac's widowed spouse, Rhonda McCullough, understandably, she is devastated. "She's at peace about his transition because of her faith in God," says Marry Ann. "Her faith is what is sustaining her." She further adds: "What [Rhonda] will treasure the most is the fact that she was his wife for 30 years -- and not only was she his wife, but she was his best friend. She's going to miss him dearly."

Born Bernard Jeffrey McCullough in Chicago, Bernie Mac started his career as stand-up comic in local comedy clubs and on the road in what is commonly known as the chittlin' circuit. At 6-foot-3, he was an imposing man who wasn't afraid to poke fun at himself, his own family or sacred cows. "I ain't scared of you motherfuckers," Bernie told his audiences time and time again.

And that's what made Bernie Mac . . . Bernie Mac. He was never scared.

Mac made his television debut on HBO's popular variety series Def Comedy Jam in 1992. That appearance led to his own HBO variety special, Midnight Mac. In 1995, he appeared in the stoner classic Friday and followed that with minor roles in such films as Mo' Money, Get on the Bus, Booty Call and The Players Club, among many other films. In 2001, Bernie starred in his family sitcom The Bernie Mac Show, which garnered him two Emmy nominations, three NAACP Image Awards and a Peabody award. The show lasted only four seasons, but lives on through syndication.

After his series ended, Mac eventually conquered Hollywood. The comedian was a topline actor in several big-budgeted motion pictures, including Mr. 3000, Guess Who, Pride, Bad Santa and the Ocean's 11 franchise. Mac just recently wrapped on a comedy flick Soul Men, opposite Samuel L. Jackson, about a former singing duo staging a comeback.

Most recently, Mac garnered attention for making crude comments at a Barack Obama benefit that the presumptive Democratic candidate had to distance himself from. Mac joked about having a black First Lady and offered some unsolicited campaign advice.

"Being a president is tough 'cause you're not just running the [country]. You got to run your family too," Mac said. "Having a black first lady is different. You're still going have to do the dishes and the laundry and all that . . . you got to pick up the kids. You didn't pick up the kids? I just came from Korea, talking about nuclear weapons. You were on Air Force One and you couldn't stop to pick up the kids?"

In 2007, Mac revealed to David Letterman on the Late Show that he plans to retire from standup comedy. "It's going to be 30 years for me, and I'm going to call it," he said. "I want to enjoy my life a little bit."

Bernie Mac is survived by his wife, Rhonda McCullough, one daughter, Je'Niece, and one granddaughter.

Bernie Mac's funeral is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 15, at an undisclosed location. The family requests that donations be made to the Bernie Mac Foundation for Sarcoidosis, 40 E. Ninth St., Suite 601, Chicago IL 60605.

Rest in Power Bernie. Thank you for making us laugh.


Droppin' Science: Clutter

There are a lot of idiots on YouTube who have made this popular video channel a cesspool full of bullshit and filth.

But amongst the crap and the bullshit on YouTube, there are some real positive people giving out some real advice.

If you look below (and to your right), you will see a list of "YouTubians" -- positive men and women who post comical, informative and creative vlogs.

I have to highlight one person amongst the bunch -- her name is Blaque Indigo.

She recently moved from Killadelphia (aka Philadelphia) to Brook'nam (aka Brooklyn) to pursue her career in photography.

Blaque recently posted a vlog about "clutter." We all have clutter in our lives. I'm quite sure you have heard of the old saying: "A cluttered house, a cluttered mind." Well, that is so very true.

In her clip, Blaque drops some science about "clutter" and how it affect our lives.

Blaque's Pearls of Wisdom:

"A lot of us want to have our cake and eat it too.
We want to save money, but we want to go shopping.
We want to lose weight, but we don't want to workout.
We want our hair to be nice and healthy, but we also want to put chemicals in it.
We want to get a job, but we also want to watch TV all day.
We want to get married, but we have not a clue on what it means to be a wife [or husband].
We want thugs, but we don't want to see our men in prison.

"Do you see how these two ideals can't exist in the same space?
We need to decide on what stays and what goes, because they don't go together."

Chuuurrrch! Can I get an Amen?

Let's clear our minds of the clutter, folks.

Progress is success.