Murphy’s Law: Janelle Monae > Lady Gaga; Obama More Gangsta Than Lil Wayne; And Some Other Things You Should Know…


While I continue to recover from the nasty L my depleted Chicago Bulls took last night from the Utah Jazz (Getting trampled by nearly 30 points when you are in a tight playoff race is not cool. But at least we have Derrick Rose), here are few things on my mind.

  • Janelle Monáe makes Lady Gaga sound like an Idaho high school talent show contestant. I was ready to dismiss the pompadour wearing, bobby sock saddle shoes rocking, back-to-the-future singer-songwriter as a hype-fueled gimmick. But after hearing Monáe’s upcoming big label debut The ArchAndroid last week, I can say without hyperbole that it’s an early contender for album of the decade. Yeah, I said it. Let’s see if a public weaned on a predictable, bland steady diet of Alicia Keys will find a place for a risk-taking artist who possesses some of the most versatile (and pitch perfect) vocal chops around and pens songs that sound like Fela Kuti leading a space age tribal funk band on Mars (“Dance or Die”); Michael Jackson if he were produced by Giorgio Moroder (“Locked Inside”); James Brown going newwave (“Tightrope”); and a Broadway musical on acid (“Sir Greendown”). Wow. 

[Photo Gallery: Janelle Monáe]

  • Is it me or is the media taking a more reserved, reasonable approach to the news of Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (white) being accused of rape than they did with Michael Vick (black) killing some dogs? Hmmm…
  • I get that Howard Stern is the G.O.A.T. shock jock. But a dude that looks like a frail 70-year-old drag queen and a self-hating, female African-American sidekick (Robin Quivers) who is one box of Twinkies away from (once again) resembling a stunt double for the Michelin Man, should hardly joke about the physical dimensions of Gabby Sidibe.
  • While I didn’t think it was possible, Waka Flocka Flame makes Gucci Mane sound like Andre 3000.
  • Watching Barack Obama’s last speech on healthcare is proof that some politicians, whether you agree with them or not, are not afraid to lose political capital, no matter what the polls say. That’s gangsta.
  • What’s not gangsta? Lil Wayne claiming that he’s Blooded-out, but needing a panic button on his belt to alert guards when the goons are coming.
  • Tiger Woods likes to get his salad tossed and is packing. Who knew?
  • The South pretty much has an aversion to 50 Cent and anything G-Unit related. Someone forgot to tell Lloyd Banks (“Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley”).
  • Sistas will be mad. But Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks can get it. Right now. 
  • I wonder what the editors at Newsweek were snorting when they put George W. Bush on their cover with the line “Victory At Last”? I recall our troops being in Iraq for some trumped up connection to 911, not for the rights for Iraqis to vote.
  • DMX is bat shit crazy.

Am I right? 


With all apologies due to Mick Jagger, Keith “Murph” Murphy may not be a man of immense wealth, but he does have taste. For over a decade, the Chicago-born journalist has sparred with brazen hip hop moguls (Jay-Z); Hollywood royalty (Quentin Tarantino); political powerbrokers (Rev. Al Shaprton); redemption-seeking pugilists (Mike Tyson); R&B divas (Mary J. Blige); and lyrically great white hopes (Eminem). His work has appeared in such publications and sites as VIBE, Essence, The Root, and KING, and he is a frequent commentator on CNN, Fox News, VH1, and A&E Biography.