1_OTRHBO aired the “On the Run” concert last Saturday night, a masterful double bill, fusion of “Queen Bey” and her lyrical master husband Jay Z. The show was part Folies Bergère and Hard Knock Tour, full of pomp, circumstance and lots and lots of booty. The concert was a grand production, visually stunning in constant flux between motion, sound and sensuality a perfectly orchestrated merger between this equally gifted duo. Throughout their flawless performance the Hip Hop impresario, proclaimed to the audience, “dare to be as unrealistic as possible”, which was a take on his “Dream Big, Be Unrealistic” mantra which he’s echoed throughout his improbable career. The phrase so touched a nerve, that it prompted soccer superstar Davis Beckham to add the slogan to his menagerie of body tattoos. Initially the mantra might ring a bit hollow, like hyperbolic counsel from a self-important pop star. But if there is anyone in this world that can validate the call to be “unrealistic” it is Shawn Carter. Statistically the “reality” Jay’s biography suggests that he should be either in prison or dead. However, it was the unrealistic dream that Jay Z dared to dream that allowed him to transcend beyond his immediate circumstances, reaching beyond the Marcy Projects, while still respecting the unique set of values that the “hood” offers young black men who dare to believe they can escape the traps of poverty. He was able to push past the tumultuous partnership with Damon Dash, believing that sometimes tough decisions can create new possibilities. In severing ties with Dash, Jay became part owner of an NBA franchise then parlayed that into ROCNATION a full-service entertainment company and ROC NATION Sports management, which he partnered up with the prestigious Creative Artist agency (CAA). It was that defiant dream that allowed him to believe that he could someday stand on a stage in France, performing with his stunningly beautiful, extremely talented wife, rapping about the hard knocks that life gives to those of us growing up in similar circumstances. But Jay Z lays that cool on it… that polished veneer that only someone that’s made it through the grime with complete admiration for the process of achieving success. Only someone like that could brashly proclaim (while clutching his balls), the divine gospel of the hustler’s lifestyle to tens of thousands of adoring Parisians fans, dare to be outrageous, dare to me exceptional, dare be bold, dare to be whatever it is that your circumstances tells you that you can’t be, dare to Dream Big, Be Unrealistic.



Shonda Rhimes Blog
For centuries the mainstream media has had carte blanche in drafting commentary on Black people, they have been allowed to portray Blacks from an obstructed vantage point and in most cases they don’t have the aptitude to delve into the pathology of Black culture. Which proved to be the case with Alessandra Stanley’s opening statement in her New York Times piece about TV magnate Shonda Rhimes, which suggest that Rhimes had somehow mastered the art of being a successful and respected producer and creator of hit shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, in spite of being a typical “Angry Black Woman”. The mainstream media has been responsible for inventing and then perpetuate stereotypes about Black people because up until very recently Blacks did not have the means or mass platform to voice our objections to the narrative generated by the media that cast blacks as either victims or victimizer, which largely went unchallenged. That was until the advent of social media, where responses to nonsense like Stanley’s commentary on Rhimes, is swift and potent. Black people now have a 140 characters rapid response vehicle that can reach the offender within seconds. Rhimes took the matter up immediately using the global megaphone that is twitter to rebut the perpetuation of the negative stereotype and “checked” Alessandra Stanley for her inaccurate characterization and her sloppy reporting. The Twitter machined began to roll over the New York Times when friends, supporters, colleagues and employees of Shonda chimed in, denouncing the article and its author, which prompted other news outlets to pick up the “Times Vs. The Angry Black Woman” debate that was waging on social media, the backlash forced The New York Times, Public Editor Margaret Sullivan to comment on the matter, Sullivan summed up the inflammatory remarks as Stanley being “out of touch.” Which opens up the logical solution, perhaps it’s long overdue for the Times and all mainstream media to reevaluate their editorial staff who did not have a clue and did not detect that Stanley’s comments were dripping with condescension and insults, neatly disguised in a blanket of praise for Rhimes’ accomplishments. If the media does not want to face a barrage of public condemnation for their lack of context and nuance when depicting Black people, then they will continue to suffer the public humiliation, by the wrath of the twittersphere.


The style of filmmaking for our Feature “Cordially Invited”

The Film style I wanted to portray was inspired by famed director Robert Altman. The way he used large cast and had cast-members using overlapping dialogue was natural. Our film gives the impression of being that fly on the wall as you follow the wedding day of Alton and Kenya. The film’s screenplay also created a natural integrated experience of character study as they go back-in-forth between one another with their opinions and stereotypes of each family from different class levels, this made a dynamic experience for the viewer.

more to come.

Couple Ab