Jeffrey Almonte

FKA Twigs Bodied This New Apple Homepod Commercial

Apple HomePod Commercial Goes META w/ FKA Twigs & Anderson Paak.

FKA Twigs and Anderson Paak shape-shift our reality with their new Apple Homepod commercial. And it’s all over our social media feeds.

Director Spike Jonze begins with a glimpse of a bleak, exhaustively grey corporate world concluding for the day. Claustrophobia-inducing blocking creates a tunnel vision between us and our protagonist in a crowded train of faceless strangers. A bustling, rainy street no one wants to be on. A suffocating elevator that muffles her already-faint “Excuse me.” Calling FKA Twigs’ immersive performance mere acting almost feels like an insult. The serene silence illuminated by the first flick of her light switch warms the tone immediately. She punctuates the tension with, “Hey, Siri. Play me something I’d like.” Perfect pacing.

As the Anderson Paak’s ” ‘Til It’s Over” plays we feel the resolution crescendo with the music. Loosening up both our protagonist and the audience from what they thought was a serious-toned Apple Homepod commercial. As she begins to take life less seriously, so do we. The table and other rigid structures in her home that were built for her are now manipulated by her. She has become the master of her own universe. Shape-shifting everything that was flat from squares to hexagonal prisms. FKA Twigs takes it a step further by choreographing the light to dance with her.

But then.

She’s forced to look at herself in the mirror that she initially tries to ignore. As if offended by her own image. After changing all that’s around her, it’s now time to take a good look at herself. Confined by a mirror too small to frame her entirety. So she extends the mirror to see a bigger picture. All of who she is with space. Embraces herself. Literally stepping in and locking arms to dance herself through the darkness where this experience has allowed her to not only find herself. But to love herself. And in loving herself, letting go of the old version of who she was. Watch closely. It’s the new and improved version of herself that gets thrown on the couch. Renewed and uncolored–untainted by the pressures of the old, cluttered world. Her inner joy personified. Reborn. Inseminated by Apple’s HomePod that knew exactly how to bring out that side of herself. By simply playing what she likes.

A genius Apple HomePod commercial indeed.

Naruto & Dragonball Z is Trash. #DebateJeffro

This isn’t just a “Naruto is trash” meme to trigger Naruto fans. Naruto sucks. Seriously.

Naruto is trash. Lazy storytelling like exhausting flashback sequences every 10 minutes. Dragonball Z’s 3-episode long powerups. But hey. these are the anime moguls we all grew up knowing to love. And when most people think of anime, they think Naruto and Dragonball Z. Because it was their gateway into their anime addiction.

But we all know our first love is usually the worst.

Watch Jeffro’s video explaining why Naruto is trash.

Is he wrong? Comment your thoughts below.

Is Bruno Mars Even Black? The Cultural Appropriation Debate

This video addressing Bruno Mars cultural appropriation has sparked controversy.

Many Black fans have ran to his defense with fists in the air claiming, “the man is Black! Leave him be! Go after Iggy or Justin Timberlake!” But pointing our fingers at White people for cultural appropriation is picking the low-hanging fruit. We can hold Iggy, Timberlake, and Bruno Mars accountable. All at the same damn time. People are allowed to be concerned about more than one thing at a time.

People of color tend to get a pass for cultural appropriation merely because they aren’t White. And because the power dynamic isn’t as polarizing as a White person profiting off Black culture, it’s swept under the rug. So whether or not you agree with the claims that Bruno Mars is a culprit of cultural appropriation, it opens the important conversation about the relationship between non-Black people of color and Black people.

But first.

Bruno Mars has yet to confirm if he identifies as Black. Before we even accuse someone of stealing from Black culture, we must at least agree on whether or not someone is Black.

This isn’t the first time Bruno Mars’ identity was questioned. In 2017, he was accused of changing his name in order to hide his Puerto Rican heritage. He immediately cleared the air telling Latina:

 ““I never once said I changed my last name to hide the fact that I’m Puerto Rican. Why would I fucking say that? Who are you fooling? And why would anyone say that? That’s so insulting to me, to my family. That’s ridiculous. My last name is Hernandez. My father’s name is Pedrito Hernandez, and he’s a Puerto Rican pimp. There’s no denying that. “

In the same interview, Bruno Mars speaks about being mistaken for biracial(Black and White) while growing up in Hawaii. He’s identified with many things including Ashkenazi Jewish, Puerto Rican, Spanish and more. Everything but Black of course. Despite the numerous times he credits Black music as his inspiration, he never calls himself Black. He remains in the “safe zone” of racial ambiguity.

And I’ve already heard it.

Bruno Mars cultural appropriation? But How? Puerto Ricans are Black!

Nuance please.

If you’re Puerto Rican, chances are you MIGHT be Black. More African slaves were dropped off in the Caribbean than in the present-day United States. However. After the revolution, many Spaniards remained. Despite whatever ‘Latino’ label you want to give, Spaniards are White. Not even people of color. Spicy Whites perhaps. The ‘Mestizo’ race of people who were offspring of the White colonizers and indigenous Taino population in Puerto Rico also remained. Then of course you have the ‘Mulatto’ Black-Spaniards and tri-racial Creoles. Similar to Dominican Republic.

So to equate every person that’s Puerto Rican–especially when they specify that their mom is Spaniard– as Black is a grave generalization at best. An injustice to the Afro-Ricans that still experience anti-Blackness at the hands of non-Black people of color at worst.

Bruno Mars’ brown skin could just as easily come from his Filipino ancestry. Asians can also be of darker complexion. Cambodians. Filipinos. Indians. Vietnamese.

When a racially ambiguous person tells you they are all of these heritages except for Black, believe them.

Stop caping.

Would You Date Your Best Friend’s Ex? #HurtBro

Would you be upset if your best friend slept with your ex? #HurtBro was.

But there’s two sides to every story. And #HurtBro now sees the error of his ways.

Watch two problematic best friends confront each other about lying and mistrust. Inspired by #HurtBae

Featuring @CallMeJinzo 

Comment below on whether or not you would date your best friend’s ex.

How I Broke Up with my Barber because of Race Politics

Breaking up with my barber because of politics seems silly to most.

But politics is everything. It’s how people treat us and view us according to sociopolitical structures. Especially when it comes to racism, you have a choice in who you offer business too in your neighborhood. In East Harlem, there are dozens of Black-owned barbers I could be a patronage of. So if I’m going to be a patron of a non-Black barber operating in a majority-Black neighborhood, it better be one that at least respects my existence.

Watch Almonte explain how he decided breaking up with his barber was the right thing to do when he featured in the Harlem-based “I aint talkin” Podcast.

Jordan Peele First Black Screenwriter to Win Oscar While Black Panther Hits $1 Billion

Jordan Peele first Black screenwriter to win Best Original Screenplay oscar– nominated for Best Director and Best Picture.

An oscar on your first feature film is a big deal. A huge deal for an experimental film coined as the first of it’s genre. “Social horror.” Coming from a comedy background with his “Key and Peele” series, it’s important to note his decision to roam away from what he knew was already working for most Black comedians. Black comedy movies. Parody movies. Movies we have plenty of. Some of the most classic and beloved episodes of the Key and Peele series were ones that felt more like political satire. But he chose to create something that he could call his. While Get Out had many comedic undertones, its socio-political theme was what made it a classic to many Americans that could connect to this.

And right on time with Black Panther just hitting $1 Billion at the Box office after just four weeks of its release. Black people really meant business when #OscarsSoWhite was trending on Twitter two years ago. Suddenly movies like Hidden Colors, Birth of a Nation, Get Out, and Black Panther started gaining steam all over social media amongst millenials. Were doors opening once Hollywood realized they could capitalize on this political interest?

Black Millenials are the life-force of Black Panther

Black millenials have been tweeting about seeing Black Panther over 3 times at the movie theatre. Even calling bootlegging the movie blasphemy. Black youth is going to be a huge target market as they are the biggest, repeat supporters of movies with an almost-all-black cast. And even Koreans that don’t watch many Marvel movies found themselves to be particularly impressed with this one. Hollywood will start to realize that Black directed movies with a huge Black cast are extremely profitable. Everywhere.

Is there a catch? Will this lead to more doors opened for Black directors and eventual Black ownership over major film studios? Or will this just be a marketing phase to reel in more Black dollars? Leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts.

Scroll to top