Friday, December 31, 2010

Cool Black's 2010 Entertainment Review

by Dankwa Brooks AKA Cool Black

As you can tell by this blog, I love media. Not just films, but television and music too. You might call me a MEDIAPHILE. I also love to read and watch the many “Best of the Year” lists that get published and shown this time of the year.

This year I decided to form my own list. The people who know me know that even though I’m not a critic, I’m a critical thinker and I have a critical eye. You might say “That makes you a critic”. Perhaps…I just don’t like the term. I also think a “critic” is someone who criticizes, but is not an artist beyond that. I'm an artist! 

Having said that, here is what I thought was the best media had to offer and at the end the almighty return of the Cool Black Awards. (For the record I used to have “awards” for the column I wrote in college.)

Disclaimer: While I tried to consume as much media as I could in 2010, honestly I did, I couldn’t consume everything so when you say “what about BLANK?”, I probably haven’t seen it, haven’t heard it or just didn’t like it…but feel free to ask :D

NOW! Let's review shall we?

Toy Story 3 is the rare second sequel that is just as good as the previous installments. Excellent triad of films.

Freedom Riders An excellent documentary about a movement in the civil rights era. (Read more of what I had to say about the film here )

Shutter Island I didn’t want to see this movie. Even though the director, Martin Scorsese is one of my favorite filmmakers and Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the best actors around, the trailer looked too weird for me. A friend of mine got me to go see it and I really liked it. In fact I thought it was very good and the only thing that didn’t make me think it was excellent was that it was toooo loooong. If they cut about 40 minutes of material out of this it would be excellent.

The Town I’ve seen a ton of heist flicks, but this one seemed interesting. The resulting film was great. It managed to take a different…take on the heist genre.

Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths is not only one of the most action packed animated films I’ve seen, but the story was great and it had all of the all-stars, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash etc. as well as some kick ass villains.

Honorable Mention, An official recognition of merit (i.e. really enjoyed them)
From left to right.

The Karate Kid Another remake? I went to see it to see how they would screw it up. I was wrong, the movie was terrific! (Read more of what I had to say about the film here )

Takers Another cool different take on the heist film.

Night Catches Us A very nice movie with understated performances. Nothing flashy, just solid.
(Read more of what I had to say about the film here )

For Colored Girls Some excellent performances in Tyler Perry’s best film to date. (Read my full review here here )

Predators Really good sequel to the franchise. Gives great homage to the original.

There is only one new show I liked in 2010 and I’m saving it for the awards at the end.

Best Singles of 2010
(in no particular order)

1. B.M.F. (Blowing Money Fast) Rick Ross

2. Lil Freak Usher feat. Nicki Minaj

3. Whip My Hair Willow Smith

4. Un-thinkable (I'm Ready) Alicia Keys

5. Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home) Usher

6. Over Drake

7. Power Kanye West feat Dwele

8. Love the Way You Lie Eminem feat. Rihanna

9. F**k You Cee Lo Green

10. All I Do Is Win (feat. T-Pain, Ludacris, Snoop Dogg & Rick Ross) DJ Khaled

Best Albums of 2010

'Thank Me Later '
Really good album that grew on me. (Read my review here )

'Raymond v. Raymond'

Usher’s last album ‘Here I Stand’ was cool, but it couldn’t compare to the smash ‘Confessions’. This album doesn’t compare to that album either...but it comes close.

Raheem DeVaughn
'The Love & War MasterPeace'

Really good album. Raheem DeVaughn would be a bigger star if he wasn’t a “soul singer” and made more “radio mainstream” songs, but his fans appreciate him for what he is...the truth.

Nicki Minaj
'Pink Friday'

The album is more pop than hip-hop, but I still liked it. (Read my full review here )

And now! The moment you've all been waiting for...


Kanye West
'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'

The best album of 2010 is a masterpiece.  Read my “sort of” review and further explanation of why it is a “masterpiece” here

Of all the singles I listened to and loved over the year, Un-thinkable (I'm Ready) by Alicia Keys still holds the most resonance. The song off of her 2009 album The Element of Freedom (one her BEST albums by the way) was already one of my favorites before it started getting radio play in the spring 2010. (Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready) was number one on the US Billboard R&B chart for twelve consecutive weeks.) The song had great lyrics, great melody and most of all great emotion and vulnerability.

Didn’t want to see this show because it reminded me too much of a show I really liked last year ‘FlashForward’ that got cancelled. It looked like the same ol’ serialized conspiracy crap. I tuned in because of the fantastic Blair Underwood and it looked interesting. The pilot to me was all over the place and Blair Underwood didn’t seem to have as big a role as I thought. I tuned in the next week…and the week after that…and the week after that and BOY did it suck me in. Blair Underwood’s involvement did get bigger and more integral and the conspiracy stuff was well executed. You really can’t sustain a show like this without an effective lead and Jason Ritter was it. He was the perfect reluctant hero. He wasn’t "Jack Bauer" here to save the day. He was a hero because he had to be. Fantastic job by Jason Ritter.

 The best movie of the year is a tie. These two movies I thought were excellent.

The Social Network I’m going to join the bandwagon and cite as one of the best movies of the year. A cerebral and excellent film all the way around, story, acting, and direction.

Inception was a trip, a mind trip. I thought the movie was kind of out there for the first act, but by the end I was completely into the movie and I thought it was excellent. Just as cerebral and excellent as ‘The Social Network’, but with more suspense and action.


Before you give me the

face, let me say he IS NOT the "Person of the Year", he is "Pop Culture Person of the Year", there IS a difference. Now, allow me to give you some background and then my explanation.

Kevin Antoine Dodson (born June 27, 1986) is a former resident of the Lincoln Park housing project in Huntsville, Alabama, whose interview on local television became an Internet sensation.

Dodson was interviewed on July 28, 2010, by NBC affiliate WAFF-48 News after the attempted rape of his sister by an intruder in her bedroom, in the projects of Lincoln Park.

The video of the interview caught attention because of the passionate and flamboyant style of his delivery, speaking directly to the camera, in which he directly addressed the people of his neighborhood as well as the would-be rapist, and his use of street vernacular. The reactions were mixed. Some local viewers phoned the TV station to complain that interviews with people such as Dodson reflected poorly on the community, whereupon the station defended broadcasting the interview by stating that censoring such people is "far worse".

The video of Dodson's television interview went viral and then inspired several musical remixes, including a video by musical group The Gregory Brothers, known as the "Bed Intruder Song".

The song was a huge success and eventually reached number 89 on Billboard's Hot 100 list. The popularity of the song inspired many covers and remixes, including a punk rock version by a team formed by Hayley Williams of Paramore, Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, and Ethan Luck of Relient K.

Dodson was interviewed for the Today Show on NBC on 26 August 2010 about his new found "Web superstardom". On the program, Dodson's YouTube video was called "one of the most watched online videos ever," with the hosts noting it had already been viewed more than 16 million times as of that date. Dodson has done radio shows in Australia, has fans in London and is now widely recognized in his hometown of Huntsville.

Dodson launched a website in which he asks for donations to assist his family in moving "out of the hood". The money, as well as money from sales of "Bed Intruder" on iTunes and merchandise such as T-shirts, will go to helping his family buy a new home and setting up a foundation for juvenile diabetes, a disease that has afflicted both his sister and his mother. In August 2010, Dodson noted the irony of having "a hit on iTunes, but we're still in the projects"; one month later, Us Weekly reported that Dodson had made enough money from the song to move his family out of the projects to a better house. In September 2010, the Gregory Brothers reported that they had sold more than 100,000 copies of The Bed Intruder Song on iTunes.

In October 2010, Dodson even gave a live performance of "Bed Intruder Song" with Michael Gregory of The Gregory Brothers at the 2010 BET Hip Hop Awards.

-info from Wikipedia

Now MY reason for picking him the Pop Culture Person of the Year.

Technically, popular culture (commonly known as pop culture) is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream. Heavily influenced by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of the society. In my opinion Mr. Dodson fits this description.

As of today December 31, 2010 the "Bed Intruder Song" you saw above has 58,886,933 hits. That's 58 MILLION hits.

I saw the initial news video on Facebook and just shook my head. I TOTALLY agreed with the people that thought “interviews with people such as Dodson reflected poorly on the community”. I thought this guy became an Internet sensation for ALL the wrong reasons.

When I saw the video remix with the Gregory Brothers I just had to laugh out loud. It made a ridiculous video even more ridiculous. As you read above that video and subsequent song made Mr. Dodson even more famous. This video even spawned merchandise and parody.

It even spawned an unofficial…then official Halloween costume.



YES Mr. Dodson became famous for all the wrong reasons, but he has entered pop culture and while this time next year he will be a distant memory, 2010 has been a year he will never forget.

Oprah Winfrey

Yes Oprah is always tops on the lists, but not this one. She IS as she ALWAYS has been, making "gangsta moves" with her own network launching 1.1.11 (or January 1, 2011) OWN-The Oprah Winfrey Network.
She is also ending the talk show that made her rich and famous after 25 years. Hopefully this time next year we can all applaud the success of her new venture.


How can Jay-Z top Oprah? I guess he holds the most resonance to me and I wrote the list.

Since the release of his album 2009 album The Blueprint III (You can read my review here ) Jay-Z has been on a media blitz, including a memorable performance of his hit “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys during the World Series (featuring the New York Yankees), being interviewed by Oprah for her magazine O Magazine, as well as a “hometown tour” with Eminem in New York and Detroit in September 2010.

The man has just making public moves in these last 18 months capping off the year with a best selling book. (Read more about that here )

He is mostly “Person of the Year” because of these two articles

2010 Hip Hop Cash Kings

Jay-Z's Empire 2010

I mean who really ever thought Jay-Z would be a success outside of music? Music is still his bread and butter, but he has become an astute business man as well. He hasn’t started his own network yet, but the way he is rolling, that may never be out of the question.

That’s it for the year 2010. I will probably publish an addendum for movies and albums when I watch more movies released in 2010 and more albums released in 2010, but for right now, this is it. Thank you for taking this review with me.

Go back top the TOP

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Kanye West's top 25 tweets of 2010

By Tierney

December 23, 2010 5:34 PM ET

Do you have a favorite day of 2010? We do. July 28. Why July 28, you ask? Because it's the day Kanye West joined Twitter and enriched our minds, bodies and souls. So often celebrities join Twitter and don't live up to the idealized version of them we have in our heads, leaving us to wish they never joined the social networking site at all. Not Kanye. Kanye is a Twitter goldmine, bestowing upon us endless nuggets of information, thoughts and quotes.

As of Dec. 23, Kanye has tweeted 1,220 glorious times and choosing the top 25 was no easy task. We're talking about a man who bypasses the PR buffer to unleash his uncensored thoughts on the whole VMA debacle with Taylor Swift and his "fight" with Matt Lauer and The Today Show (he's still waiting for that apology he already accepted in advance, Matt). This is also a man who jogs in Lanvin and thinks every week is Fashion Week. Through Twitter we learned why he loves typing in all caps (HE'S NOT MAD, HE'S LAZY!) and received possibly the greatest hashtag ever, #kanyeshrug. Try to use it in a tweet this week.

We may be criticized for this next statement, but here goes nothing: Kanye West is the greatest celebrity of this generation. Go on, hate us. We know you want to, but you can't deny the entertainment value Kanye brings into our lives by just being himself.

So let's have a toast to Kanye's top 25 tweets of 2010.

25. On Oct. 12, "Mosquitos suck"

24. On Oct. 24, "I've got question about 'the illuminati' ... what is it exactly ???... and why do people think pop stars have a membership???!!! LOL"

23. On Nov. 12, "Hotel robe got me feeling like a Sheik"

22. On Oct. 14, "I'm actually tweeting at a credenza"

21. On Oct. 16, "I hate when people type LOL next to sh*t that is nooo way near LOL-able..."

20. On Oct.14, I'm afraid that the older I get the more I'll have to regret... what do you do with regret... especially for an admitted perfectionist"

19. On Sept. 18, "I make awesome decisions in bike stores!!!"

18. On Aug. 12, "Drinking New York City tap water"

17. On July 28, "Is the Versace sofa to hood? Might need to cover it in plastic!!!"

16. On Aug. 1, "Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on
15. On Aug. 17, "Sometimes I get emotional over fonts"

14. On Sept. 4, "People tweeted that they wish I was dead... No listen. They wanted me to die people. I carry that. I smile and take pictures through that"

13. On Oct. 21, "I have decided to become the best rapper of all time! I put it on my things to do in this lifetime list!"

12. On Oct. 24, "What's better for devil worshipping Iphone or the Droid... Does lucifer return text... is he or she on Skype? Don't wanna be sexist"

11. On Sept. 26, "Yo being nice is my whole sh*t now"

10. On Oct. 16, "I hate when I'm on a flight and I wake up with a water bottle next to me like oh great now I gotta be responsible for this water bottle"

9. On Oct. 17, "In all honesty ... I really don't be thinking about Wal-Mart when I make my music or album covers #Kanyeshrug!"

8. On Sept. 9, "Man... whatever happened to my antique fish tank?

7. On Sept. 4, "I'm sorry Taylor"

6. On Nov. 9, "I am a creative person.... I'm not a good celebrity but I'm a great artist... I'm tired of using my celebrity to sell my art."

5. On July 31, "I love me"

l4. On Sept. 26,  "hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahah aaand 140"

3. On Nov. 2, "I always misspell genius SMH! The irony!"

2. On Oct. July 28, "hold on.... I'm bout to hop on this #BABYMAMAJET the jets Billionaires give to they baby mamas or they 1st 2nd or 3rd wife"
1. On July 29, "I think Twitter was designed specifically with me in mind just my humble opinion hahhhahaaaahaaa humble hahahahhahaahaaaa"

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another Spike Lee Joint joins the National Film Registry

Spike Lee’s 1992 film Malcolm X starring Denzel Washington is one of the latest films to be added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry. The other "Spike Lee Joint" on the National Film Registry is the 1989 film Do the Right Thing inducted in 1999.

The films, which include Hollywood classics, documentaries, innovative shorts and genres from virtually every era of American filmmaking, span the period 1891-1996. This year's selections bring the number of films in the registry to 550.

Under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act, the Librarian of Congress each year names 25 films to the National Film Registry that are "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant. To be preserved for all time, these are not selected as the "best" American films of all time but rather as works of enduring significance to American culture.

"As the nation's repository of American creativity, the Library of Congress -- with the support of Congress -- must ensure the preservation of America's film patrimony," Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said. "The National Film Registry is a reminder to the nation that the preservation of our cinematic creativity must be a priority because about half of the films produced before 1950 and as much as 90% of those made before 1920 have been lost to future generations."

Annual selections to the registry are finalized by the Librarian after reviewing hundreds of titles nominated by the public and having extensive discussions with the members of the National Film Preservation Board as well as the Library's motion picture staff. The Librarian urges the public to make nominations for next year's registry at the Film Board's website at

For each title named, the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation works to ensure that the film is preserved for future generations, either through the Library's massive motion-picture preservation program or through collaborative ventures with other archives, studios and independent filmmakers.

The Packard Campus, funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute, is a state-of-the-art facility where the nation's library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world's largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings. The campus is home to more than 6 million items, including nearly 3 million sound recordings.-The Hollywood Reporter
You can see a list of all of 2010 newly registered films here

External Link
The site
has a list of all the African American Films in the National Film Registry. Go to their page right here


If you enjoyed the film 'Malcolm X' you should check out By Any Means Necessary: The Trials and Tribulations of the Making of Malcolm X (book cover pictured left). In the book Spike Lee describes the troubles he encountered while making the film Malcolm X. Click here for more reviews at

Related posts-
African Americans at the Oscars

Brooklyn Week-Inauguration


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our blog posts about SPIKE LEE

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Nicki Minaj-Pink Friday REVIEW

Like her Young Money music label cohort Drake, Nicki Minaj makes hip-POP. (Young Money Entertainment is an American record label founded by rapper Lil Wayne.) Like I said in the review of his album “I like pop, I like hip-hop. A merger of the two, done successfully, can be good.” As a whole this is a good album, a HOT album? That remains to be seen. I classify an album HOT when half or more of the tracks are HOT.

The “high profile song” of the album "Roman's Revenge" (featuring Eminem) with production by super producer Swizz Beatz is cool, but I’m not sold on it as a hot track yet. Another high profile song is "Check It Out" (featuring The song is a good “club banger” and a good pop song, but the production by is redundant and it sounds like every other he has produced. The only collaboration with label mate Drake "Moment 4 Life" doesn’t succeed despite a nice opening rhyme from Nicki.

One of the standout HOT songs leads off the album "I'm the Best” with good production by Kane Beatz. Kane Beatz also produced the really nice pop song "Dear Old Nicki".

One of the hottest beats on the album is in the song “Did It on 'em" produced by Bangladesh who produced "A Milli" by Lil Wayne and "Diva" by Beyoncé. The hook which I will not repeat here makes the song HOT as well.

What has been called a “standout song” of the album "Right Thru Me” produced by Drew Money is also hot with another hook I will not repeat. Two of the best tracks on the album were produced by Oak and Papa Justifi "Your Love" (which was released as the album's first official US single on June 1, 2010) and “Muny” which is only available on the “Deluxe version” of the album.

Some of the best rhyming by Nicki happens on the iTunes exclusive track "Girls Fall Like Dominoes” produced by J.R. Rotem.

In the end, Nicki Minaj’s rhymes are filled with antics, but they are still clever and supremely executed. She IS the best female MC in the game right now and while this album is no masterpiece it is still a great listen and as a whole works. As usual below I will post track for track what is HOT. The tracks that I think have "hot" potential are listed as warm.

1. "I'm the Best" HOT
2. "Roman's Revenge" (featuring Eminem) warm
3. "Did It on 'em" HOT
4. "Right Thru Me" HOT
5. "Fly" (featuring Rihanna)
6. "Save Me"
7. "Moment 4 Life" (featuring Drake)
8. "Check It Out" (featuring warm
9. "Blazin" (featuring Kanye West)
10. "Here I Am"
11. "Dear Old Nicki" warm
12. "Your Love" HOT
13. "Last Chance" (featuring Natasha Bedingfield)

Deluxe Edition additional tracks
14. "Super Bass"
15. "Blow Ya Mind"
16. "Muny" HOT

iTunes Store Deluxe Edition bonus track
17. "Girls Fall Like Dominoes" HOT

Cool Black UPDATE (February 10, 2011): After listening to the album several times these two tracks are fun  :) pop tracks.

13. "Last Chance" (featuring Natasha Bedingfield) warm
14. "Super Bass" warm

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hottest MCs in the Game

Drake is number...?

has the whole 2010 list, as well as links to previous lists, at thier website at

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Jay-Z Tops Best Sellers and Gets $2M gift from wife

Jay-Z's "Decoded" Breaks Into Best Seller's List

November 29, 2010

Jay-Z's new book Decoded is now on the the New York Times bestseller's list. Hope he gives a lil toast to Oprah for this one. Find out what spot the book holds when you read on....

Jay-Z is known for topping Billboard charts but now the rapper's literary work is on the New York Times bestseller's list. His first book Decoded currently holds the third spot on the list. The top two spots are held by former president George Bush and his autobiography and Laura Hillenbrand's Unbroken.

Decoded gives fans insight into Jay-z's lyrics and his life. The book was included on Oprah's 'Favorite Things' show last week and is in the top ten sellers on The New York Times says, "Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics."

Beyonce Gives Jay-Z $2M Bugatti Veyron Grand Sport As Birthday Gift

 December 9th, 2010

The birthday of the American rapper, Jay-Z, was honored with style by his wife, Beyonce Knowles, who made him a special $2 million gift: a Bugatti Veryon Grand Sport, the convertible version of the reputed supercar.

The month in which we all make presents to each-other is seen with other eyes from the heights of the top-stars of the American show-biz. Beyonce Knowels, the famous pop artist, made a special gift to her husband, Jay-Z, a rapper as famous as his wife, a Bugatti Veyron Grand sport, with the occasion of Jay-Z’s birthday. The price of the convertible version of Veyron, a supercar that Beyonce had to order since 2009, is of $2 million. The $2 million dollar gift is able to hit a top speed of 255 mph and sprint from 0 to 60 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Even though a gift like this is and will be just a dream for most of the earthlings, the expensive cars are very common stars in the garage of the American singer, who owns, among others, a Maybach 62S, a Ferrari F430 Spyder and a Pagani Zonda Roadster. “Jay-Z has one of the most enviable collections of bling motors in the world — but even for him the Bugatti is special. Obviously the money isn’t a factor for Beyonce, but Jay will be touched that out of everything she could have bought him, she chose something he’ll treasure for years. He’s in for the ride of his life,” a source said.

The Beyonce and Jay-Z coupe was recently declared as the wealthiest in the world’s show-biz, out-taking bing names of the industry like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie or David and Victoria Beckham.

*Related posts

  • Jay-Z's Empire 2010

  • Jay-Z on the Howard Stern Show November 2010

  • Jay-Z Albums and Commercial

  • Jay-Z: The Blueprint III REVIEW

  • Jay-Z-Kingdom Come REVIEW

  • 2010 Hip Hop Cash Kings

  • Brooklyn Week: Jay-Z

  • Cool Black's Entertainment Review 2010

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