Aren't We All?

Every so often you come across something that is so spot on, so hilarious, so absolutely genius that it recasts thoughts you’d previously had in a new more enlightened way. Such was the case a few months ago when I stumbled upon Issa Rae’s hilarious web-series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.” If you haven’t yet watched ABG you need to do yourself a favor and get up on it. You’ll enjoy this post much more if you’ve already seen the episodes so head over to www.awkwardblackgirl.com watch, then come back and discuss. The series is a sitcom of sorts that follows a twenty something black girl named Jay as she traverses life’s everyday minutia trying to make sense of it all in her own awkward way. Today’s post I want to highlight some of my favorite moments from the series while also discussing some of the things I thought about while watching. Let’s jump right in.

Episode 1: “Burn in Hell N*gga, Burn In, Burn in Hell N*gga” ~Jay

Sam Jackson has had some seriously epic moments in his stellar career. I mean, who can forget him dancing for Ruby Dee in Jungle Fever. If I had to pick my favorite all time Sam Jackson moment, it’s him sitting on the stand on trial for murder in “A Time to Kill” and yelling “Yes they deserved to die and I hope they burn in hell.” That’s damn-near Shakespearean. Given that, you can imagine how much I laughed when Jay flipped that line while writing angry rap lyrics aimed at the guy who broke her heart. Jay’s rapping, in general is hilarious. More importantly, it touches on how we all have our own unique ways of dealing with our emotions. On the rare occasion that my emotions get the best of me, I just turn them off and shut down. Jay writes diss raps… to each their own. How do you deal with extreme emotion?

Episode 2: Office Politics As Usual

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One of the things I’ve hated about making my career in corporate america has been that when you work in a corporate, or semi-corporate environment you’re forced to interact, on a daily basis, with people you’d be loathe to deal with in your personal life. In episode 2 jay introduces us to the cast of characters in her office. The one I want to zero in on – because it’s my least favorite person in any professional environment, is the racially insensitive boss. Look, I realize that not everybody grows up around other races so the only relationship some folks have with the blacks is BET and Eyewitness News, but you know what – that’s not my fault. One time, during an end of year review my boss told me that she loved that I came to work dressed impeccably everyday. I wish you all could have been there for the awkward and effusive stuttering that occurred when I responded by asking “Well, what else would you have expected?” Do you guys have folks at your job that you can’t stand?

Episode 3: “N*ggas love me, I’m on my Kim K.”

Not much to say about episode 3 except that it was absolutely hilarious – particularly that line above. N*ggas do love them some Kim K.

Episode 4: The Kindred Spirit

There’s nothing more awesome than that moment in life where you meet someone who finds you just as awesome as you find them. Call it a BFF, call it a kindred spirt, a spec (for the greeks out there), call it what you want – it’s life altering. In my life, I happen to call that person MrsMost (I don’t really call her MrsMost, but you get the idea). Yall wanna know a secret? I never thought I was funny, or witty till I met MrsMost. I always thought stuff in my head, and cracked myself up, but as my relationship with the Mrs developed and I began to share with the her the hilarity that so often ran around in my head, it was astonishing to me that she actually found me to be funny. To her, I’m like the funniest person on Earth. I love that. In this episode Jay finds her kindred spirit in an Indian co-worker. Have you found your kindred spirit – how did you guys meet?

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Episode 5: The Unrequited Crush

I like to say that I’ve never ever had an unrequited crush, that there’s never been a person who I was interested in that wasn’t also interested in me, but that’s not entirely true. In high school I really liked this girl but everybody liked her. Literally, everybody. She always had a boyfriend and not only did she always have a boyfriend, but she always had a lame-n*gga boyfriend. Isn’t that the worst? Why is it that the folks you like the most always end up with people you know you’re better than? Episode 5 of ABG made me remember my unrequited crush and how much it sucked that I never really made a move. Have you ever had an unrequited crush? Ever have someone you wish you made a move on?

Episode 6: “Oh You Think I’m Playing Trick.”

In episode six we’re once again treated to Jay’s awesome rapping. This time her ire is directed at a co-worker she hates. This had me thinking of my all time favorite diss records. Here’s my top 5:

5. “Oh You Think I’m Playing B*tch” – Jay

4. “The B*tch in Yoo” – Common

3. “Hit Em Up” – Tupac

2. “Who Shot Ya?” -Notorious B.I.G. (I know it wasn’t really directed at Pac, but I thought it was at the time.)

1. “The Takeover”

What are you favorite diss records in Hip-Hop History?

Episode 7: White dudes love black chicks with natural hair.

Earlier this summer I was kickin’ it at one of Brooklyn Museum’s “First Saturday” parties. So I’m getting to know a friend of a friend and she’s telling me how she’d just cut all her hair off and was going natural. In the middle of our conversation this white dude with a weird french-ish accent and a fedora(the kind of white guy who only exists at Brooklyn Museum’s “First Saturdays”) stopped her mid-sentence and said “I’m sorry, but can I just tell you how beautiful you are.” She politely thanked him while showing no interest in further conversation and he went on about his business. She then told me how she’d been approached by more white men in short time she’d been natural than she had been in her entire life. Since then I’ve noticed how often I see white dudes with black women who have natural hair. Episode 7 reminded me of this phenomena while also hilariously pointing out many of the other oddities of interracial dating. This was, by far, my favorite episode. Everything about it was dope, from D’s singing-a** new chick, to the inherent awkwardness of spoken word poetry to the perfectly placed Frank Ocean joint at the end… it’s all just extremely well done.

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Yeah, as you can see, I love The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl and I’m sure you guys will too (if you don’t already).What’s really dope is that I’ve heard through the grapevine that they reached their kickstarter goal of raising $30,000, so episode 7 will not be the last episode. Here’s to folks following their dreams. Be sure to head over to www.awkwardblackgirl.com, watch the episodes over and over like I do, buy a t-shirt or two, show her some love and support her art.

Lastly, got some good news this weekend – something I hope I can share with you all soon, till then, you know where I am … low and firing.

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