Written By Afiya Augustine

What’s better than having a juicy conversation on the latest pop culture happenings? Listening to your favorite pop culture characters have a conversation about it! In the WWTS blog series, we re-imagine pop culture through the eyes of your favorite characters in movies, television and more.

This week, Afiya imagines what the crew of cult-classic 
Clueless would say about Ben Bernanke’s speech last Friday on the state of the economy and debt. Like, as if!

Cher and Dionne
Cher Horowitz: So I heard in Ms. Geist class about how the economy was out of a recession, and that this Bernanke guy starts talking about something and it’s like everyone’s going crazy and wants to invest.
Dionne: I know! I mean, my dad even said that he would invest his money in some other country’s money and I’m like…are you kidding me?
Cher: I know right? Who better to invest in, than like your own daughter?! I mean, you’ve been begging him to expand your closet…just because the economy is in a slump, doesn’t mean your wardrobe should be.
Josh: Oh my god, I think ladies need to not talk about matters like this, especially when you don’t know what you’re talking about.
Tai: That Bernanke guy is like such a Baldwin.
Cher to Tai: Ick, Tai as if. He’s totally a Monet. Now president Obama, he’s kind of a Baldwin…being old and the president and stuff…you know?

Josh: Do you guys have any clue what this recession has done to the thousands of people in this country?
Amber: All I know is that it’s made my parents buy me a Fendi purse instead of the Louis Vuittone mini clutch that I wanted for my birthday.
Dionne to Amber: No sweetie, that’s because your mother probably lifted it off of Kim Kardashian at her wedding
Amber to Dionne: Whatever…
Cher: I mean really Amber… we all know that your mom has been in celeb rehab for her uncontrollable urge to shoplift
Josh: Please everyone, can we get our heads out of the mall for a minute and think seriously about the ramifications of the federal reserves’ actions are on this country?!
Cher: I mean really Josh, you act like we don’t care about the current state of the country?!
Josh: Well you obviously don’t, talking about brand named handbags. You’re only contributions to the working world is having immigrant housekeepers and landscapers.

Cher: Listen we all love Lupe okay?! And don’t act like you don’t love it when she makes those sandwiches when you stop by! All I know is that daddy said that the economy is still in distress despite what they say and that we should just buckle down even it’s not like…really affecting us.
Josh: So…what are you going to do?
Cher: I’ve decided for this week, I’ll shop at the Gap instead of Banana Republic.

Dionne: You see Josh, she’s always thinking of others. She’s like the Mother Theresa of L.A.
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Everyone knows that the VMAs red carpet is the place to make a splash. Sunday night, however, the fabulously talented Beyonce Knowles did not only make a splash, she made a tidal wave. Known for being very “hush-hush” about her personal life with hubby entertainment mogul (and rapper) Jay-Z, Beyonce did one of the most unexpected things- she revealed a baby bump to the entire viewing world. That’s right; ladies and gentlemen- Beyonce and Jay-Z are expecting their first child.
Many watched on in amazement (myself included) as the songstress not only belted her tune “Love On Top” during her VMA performance, but proudly opened her sequined jacket to reveal yet again a raised bump that she caressed gleaming. Watch the video below in case you missed it.
Countless rumors have encapsulated the couple getting pregnant since their secretive nuptials, but with no confirmation, people continued to wonder with each passing month and tour date when Queen Bey (as she’s affectionately known the world over) would finally put a bun in that oven, especially with her husband knocking on 42 at the end of this year!

Get More: 2011 VMAMusicBeyoncé
Finally, when Beyonce decided to take a nine-month break from touring and recording music, everyone felt that the couple was taking this time to work on making baby Carters. Beyonce has hinted quite often that she would love to have children, which at the ages of 27-28 is pretty young according to Hollywood standards. When your name, your youth and your fame is what keeps you relevant in the entertainment industry, it becomes this unspoken law that career must come first. The fault in that, however, is that so many female celebs rely on keeping their careers in tact that they forget we, as women, have a biological clock ticking for a reason: to know when are bodies are ready and willing to have children. Many wait until after they hit their mid-thirties to start talking about a first child, and by then the possibility of miscarriage grows higher and infertility becomes a lingering factor. At 29, Beyonce may have just made the “cut off,” by having a child while she is still rather ‘youthful,’ while at the same time, her career is still at its best.
Regardless of whether or not she’s too young, or too old, one thing is for sure: with her media attention and multi-million dollar empire, many women will look up to Beyonce to see how she does it all- the singing, the dancing, the burping and breast feeding. As a working performer and wife, Beyonce will now carry the title of ‘mother’ and all that comes with it- the responsibility of tending to her child’s ever-growing needs, to provide a safe environment for it’s growth and upbringing, with providing that child with a steady and stable lifestyle with two very important and high-powered parents. There is no doubt that Mr. Carter (who beamed during his wife’s belly bump unveiling) will be involved in their child’s life, but the pressure will be on Bey to lose the belly weight to get back on the road making hits and shine as bright as she ever has. This is definitely a new task for Beyonce; to not only be a role model for young girls and budding women, but to professional mothers everywhere.

Xhibit P: My Guilty Pop Pleasure: 80’s Music


Written By: Afiya Augustine

Your browser may not support display of this image.To continue on the theme of “music,” I will admit to a guilty pop pleasure that I’ve gotten (and still get) a lot of slack for from family members, friends and even a few co-workers. So here it is:  I absolutely, without a doubt, love 80’s Pop. And I don’t mean the classics that artists like Michael Jackson, Prince, or Whitney Houston turned out in the decade of my birth that everyone in the world knows and has on their iPods for good measure. I also don’t mean that I listen to these songs ever so often. When I say I love 80’s Pop, I’m saying that I listen to it maybe every day, as much as I possibly can and actually actively search for more songs to upload to my mp3 player.
I love everything about 80’s pop and sometimes curse my mother for not having me sooner than she did so I could’ve been alive and functioning in the 80’s to hear all this music first hand (though I doubt that would’ve happened, living in the West Indies and all…). I listen to the hits of known legends like Joan Jet and the Blackhearts, Bon Jovi and then the more obscure bands like English Beat (who’s hit ‘Tenderness’ is the end song for the movie ‘Clueless’), Whitesnake, Haircut 100, Psychedelic Furs, Kajagoogoo and the list goes on… 
The problem that lies with my great love of 80’s pop (in all its glorious aged beauty) is that I live in 2011. Music has made brilliant strides with regards to technology and sound since the 80’s and the 80’s definitely had its share of setbacks.  Most notably, the era of bad hair movements including dripping jerry curls, and super teased mountain volume. Having no color coordination was all the rage, and wearing dresses with shoulder pads, puffy shoulders and tacky bubble dresses made of a fabric that makes me cringe at the sound of it. The AIDs and crack epidemic made its break into the world and people were living in over-indulgent lifestyles.
And of course, in the year 2011, 80’s Pop isn’t relevant unless someone does a cover of it (enter Rihanna’s sampling of ‘Tainted Love’ and Flo Rida’s ‘Right Round’  cover/sample of Dead or Alive’s mega hit). 
You can imagine the stares and weird faces I get when I’m driving to the supermarket and I’m blasting Billy Ocean’s ‘Suddenly’ of DeBarge’s ‘All This Love’ with the windows down. According to society, only those who were old enough to appreciate said music should be reveling in its magic, not a 20-something like me who was still on breast-milk when these songs were in their prime. But guess what? I honestly don’t care much for music generated for my generation. Most of today’s rap songs are bragging rights and some of the pop songs of the last five years or so have become billboard ads for gregarious lifestyles that I can’t afford. It’s over-sexed and over priced and I’m not impressed. Popular music now is literally a popularity contest and I’m only interested if a beat or instrumental composition is audibly entertaining. Other than that, I can care less.
I appreciate 80’s Pop for the fun and funky lyrics. Granted, some of it didn’t make much sense, but the focus was on the music and the people it was reaching out to, without a deep-rooted agenda to push something. And as for the music videos, they all told stories…which is something dozen of artists have forgotten to do when releasing singles these days. When I watch Lionel Richie’s  ‘Hello,’ I’m not only singing along but seeing his confusion to get the girl he wants with just the simple start of the word ‘hello.’  And while people make fun of the hair, style and the (in my opinion AWESOME) music, it is all relevant. As “corny, lame and aged” the 80’s may seem, the style is definitely making a reappearance in fashion and some of the songs are coming back with new (albeit not that much better) covers in the current day. I don’t care what anyone says, 80’s pop music is le best.



Written By Afiya Augustine

What’s better than having a juicy conversation on the latest pop culture happenings? Listening to your favorite pop culture characters have a conversation about it! In the WWTS blog series, we re-imagine pop culture through the eyes of your favorite characters in movies, television and more.
This week, Afiya imagines what our favorite leading ladies and resident fabulous gay character from the hit HBO Show “True Blood,” thoughts were on the matter of Kim Kardashian’s recent wedding.
Sookie Stackhouse: I for one think it’s great, even amazing that people are able to find love and feel it so quickly. I just don’t agree with her making her life public like that…I mean I wouldn’t. But, I wish her the best of luck.
Tara Thorton: That shit ain’t gonna last longer than a snowball in hell.
Sookie to Tara: Tara, you shouldn’t say such things.
Lafayette Reynolds: Please Sook, you know Tara’s just jealous. If I found me a rich man who wanted to marry me after a few days and all I did for a living wasmaking a sex tape and selling my plastic body, honey I’d marry that in a heartbeat. Go on hooker!
Jessica Hamby: I think it’s sweet and all that she got married. I mean, I dreamt of getting married to get away from my daddy…but he didn’t even like me talking to boys. I don’t like my daddy…
Tara: He married her to get on that show. I hope it gets cancelled.
Pam De Beaufort: I can say that I without a doubt don’t give a fuck.
Sookie to Pam: Come on Pam. Tell us what you really think…
Pam: I don’t like weddings. But I wouldn’t mind seeing what she tastes like.
Arlene Fowler: I love weddings.
Tara: You should…you’ve been married so many times…
Arlene: Excuse me Tara?
Lafayette to Arlene: Don’t bother with Tara, she’s just jealous … but how many times have you been married Arlene?
Arlene: What does it matter! I’m married now and love my Terry Bellefleur.
Sookie: I wish them the best.
Arlene: Me too.
Tara: Whatever.
Do you have a WWTS conversation that you’d like read next? Let us know!

Xhibit P: Arrested Development: Cartoons, Modeling and Pole Dancing


When we were in school, we had to get our pop culture from the radio and magazines. These young whipper snappers nowadays have the darn interweb and Tweeter! The times are sure changing, but that doesn’t mean that youth and innocence need to move as quickly! With Arrested Development we bring you the worst of kids in pop…

The Parent Television Council has a new study showing that there’s “an unreasonable amount of adult-oriented content in animated programming.” The article (which you can findhere), states that the Parent Television Council has come to this conclusion after a study of “what kids today are watching most” – and by that, they really mean ‘ the highest rated primetime shows for children ages 12-17.” This basically funnels down to shows such as “Family Guy,” “American Dad,” and other such shows on the late-night programming of ‘Adult Swim’ on Cartoon Network.

Bottom-line: television has significantly changed since my youth, and I was born in the late 20th century. Shows like Gargoyles, Chip ‘n’ Dales, and Tales Spin dominated my hours afterschool. These days, cartoons have progressed into being cheeky and over-the-top however they do not come without warning labels. At the end of the day, television shows are going to be what the producers and writers make them, and they will air despite what parents think, so parents—monitor your kids.

This issue gets an XP for being an issue that we’ve heard time and time again and won’t change unless we can completely change television.

The French press has been going crazy of the “creepy and vey adult-styled” photographs of Thylane Loubry. The child’s mother, who the French media portrays as a media whore, says that it’s unfair for the public to give such negative focus on her child. The ten-year-old model has been featured in Vogue Paris wearing very adult clothing, styled like a 1980’s super-model. In addition to that, there are topless and nude photos of Thylane circulating the web, which has furthered the press’ outrage at how far fashion can go and the parents that allow it. In addition to this, it’s hit news that French lingerie brand Jours Après Lunes is the first of it’s kind with it’s new brand of clothing: lingerie for children ages four to 12. Don’t believe me? Just check the article here.

Bottom-line: while the media is going on about how disgusting it is for this little girl to be seen in nude photos, the article makes a point of the same attention not being placed on girls two or three years older than her who walk the runway in see-through chiffon blouses in five-inch heels. Is it only outrageous because this girl is pre-pubescent? What about all the young girls in shows like Tots & Tiaras who are painted and plucked and still have yet to lose their baby teeth? The real attention shouldn’t be solely on the absurdity of nude photos but the raping of innocence of these children. The parents are the only ones gaining from this and the children are losing BIG TIME. Furthermore, the notion of lingerie meant for women to feel sexy as well as create a pleasing silhouette for the one she will be intimate with, is now an option for young girls who aren’t even developed yet is preposterous. Not only is it a waste of fabric, it’s another ploy to rob parents of money and make their children feel older than they are.

This issue gets a XXXP for being too ingrained in the media without enough emphasis on the ramifications of over-sexing children, and the effects it’ll have on the welfare of these children when they become adults.

Last but not least, some parents and elected officials in northwest England are “outraged” after seeing released photos on facebook of students from a fitness club offering pole classes to girls as young as seven. While the parents of the participants aren’t upset, a spokesman for Mother’s Union was quoted that the “children are being targeted with an activity that’s part of a male club culture which objectifies women.” The fitness club states that it’s just like a gymnastic class and the children are taught nothing erotic (see original article here).

Bottom-line: Unlike the other more dire issue above, this one is pretty tame. These girls are learning how to do acrobatics on a pole, much like the way we swung around poles on streets in our innocence and youth. Pole dancing has come a LONG WAY since I first heard of it, and it’s become another fitness crave like so many other ‘non-conventional’ fitness outlets. The fact that this women’s group view this class as a way for girls to enter the “exotic dancing profession,” is kind of a stretch. No one is teaching these girls to “take it off,” bend over and shake their “money makers.” I’ve seen some professional pole dancers, not exotic dancers and these people (male and female) are exquisite, having complete control over their bodies and massive strength. I don’t see anything wrong with some of these girls learning age-appropriate core strengthening moves, especially if the class it tailored for it.

This issue gets an XP for being a little over-reaching. I didn’t think playing on a pole meant I would be a stripper and so these ladies shouldn’t think the same for these girls. I understand some of the concerns, but I wonder if the fitness center named the class “Vertical Gymnastic Fitness,” if it would be so bad. Not to mention, if you don’t like what you see your kid doing, you can pull them out the class, plain and simple.

Xhibit P: My Guilty Pop Pleasure: K-Pop

My Guilty Pop Pleasure: K-Pop

“My Guilty Pop Pleasure” is an ongoing effort on the XHIBIT P blog to openly address some of the internal conflicts and contradictions that we often feel towards our love for pop culture. If you’d like to be a guest contributor, please contact us.

K-Pop boy band, BIGBANG

That’s right, you read correctly. My guilty pop pleasure is Korean Pop, otherwise known as K-Pop. Now looking at me – a black girl from the West Indies, raised in the notorious rap borough of Brooklyn- you would not think that I would have a thing for music from another part of the world, in another language no less, but I do. I’ll tell you how it all started: one night while watching a mini-marathon of Degrassi (another guilty pleasure for another time) on the N, I stumbled upon the music video for K-Pop Princess BoA. The name of the song was “Eat You Up,” and I was immediately intrigued. She could sing, dance and had style. After a while, however, she disappeared and I have yet to see the video on T.V. again.
BoA “Eat You Up” video:
Months later I stumbled on a copy of The Village Voice, with Jin Young Park, a mega mogul in the Korean entertainment industry on the cover. I have to tell you, I was excited to see this, as I was intrigued by BoA and I wanted to learn more about the culture of K-Pop. The article talked about him trying to launch some of his artists in the states and hoping that he could get them to cross-over into the American music industry. I found his intentions commendable, but I wasn’t too happy with some of the training methods that were going down. It seemed to me that these artists were being manufactured as Asian Hip-Hop knock offs, trained by hip-hop choreographers and enduring singing lessons requiring them to learn English and listen to nothing but Beyonce, Usher, Mariah, Alicia Keys and Keisha Cole. When I told my friends about this, some of them were not pleased.
“Can’t we have something that is genuinely ours?” They demanded. One girl said that she detested the fact that artists feel the need to use hip-hop and R&B culture as a means to break into the industry, using “I can’t stand when [non-blacks] use what is typified as ‘black music,’ to get ahead. These Asians are doing the same thing.” While I tried to tell her that music knows no boundaries, I had to admit that she had a point. I watched videos of some boy bands singing Boys II Men, wearing baggy pants with backward caps, rapping Jay-Z and it left a jarring taste in the mouth.
Years later while mindlessly going through my tumblr dashboard, a girl I knew had a video of a Korean guy dancing. I asked who it was and she (being the K-Pop junkie that she is) pointed me in the right direction, full on with band names, music videos, and some of her favorite songs. And I must admit that while I felt like I was looking at hip-hop through an altered mirror, I found that I couldn’t help but enjoy it. The lyrics (mostly in Korean) are tamer than anything that’s being produced in Hip-hop and R&R at the moment and the beats are infectious. When I walk home from work listening to it on my MP3 player, all I hear and feel is the music. And while they do “borrow” a lot of Hip-Hop and R&B to draw in audience and influence listeners, one thing I HAVE to stress is that they’ve embraced something outside of their own (as I’ve been told) rigid culture and made it their own. I now find it a compliment that Koreans look to ‘black’ music culture and want to be a part of it. Groups like 2NE1 and BigBang have taken elements of hip-hop culture along with other pop culture elements and have dominated the pop charts in Korea and quite a few slots in my MP3 player.

Xhibit P: The Xhibit P Pop UP!!

The Pop Up: 2011-12-08


Hollywood moves fast, so we keep the pace for you. “The Pop Up” brings you the latest news happening in pop culture, to keep you up to speed in your daily conversations. We weed out the wackness, and deliver quality links that will make you the go-to person for the inside scoop.
It can be said that Bob Marley’s music was an influential force that allowed the people of South Africa to deal with apartheid and bring it to its knees. Now, Bob Marley’s music is once again bringing the people of Africa some ease in the continent’s hour of need. Using a line from Marley’s song “High Tide of Low Tide,” a new social media campaign called “I’m Gonna Be Your Friend,” kicked off Tuesday, has celebrities like Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and Britney Spears urging fans to help alleviate the widespread famine going on in East Africa. As it stands twelve million people have been affected by the hunger crisis, Somalia getting the worst of the sting.

Through promoting a short film on the crisis in East Africa by award-winning director Kevin MacDonald (Last King in Scotland) set to “High Tide or Low Tide” on twitter and facebook pages, celebs are hoping that fans will watch the video and donate money with proceeds going to the Save the Children foundation in an effort to provide food, water and medicine. The video is also on sale with
proceeds going towards the foundation as well.

“Not one child should be denied food nor water. Not one child should suffer,” said Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s wife. “Along with Save the Children, we must stand up together as friends to put a stop to this, to feed our children and to save their lives,”

In other news, High School Musical director Kenny Ortega has announced that he will direct a re-make to the 1987 cult-classic Dirty Dancing. The original film featured the fancy footwork (choreographed by Ortega himself) performed by the late Patrick Swayze and Dancing with the Stars
winner Jennifer Grey and contained the infamous line –“No one puts Baby in a corner.” The film made both actors unforgettable and songs like “She’s like the Wind,” “I Had the Time of My Life,” and “Hungry Eyes,” the most recognizable tunes throughout the years. While many fear the re-make will not live up to the legacy the original has created, Grey tweeted yesterday that she supported the re-make: “I love @Kennyortega and trust that he will do something special #DirtyDancingRemake.” Fans are skeptical about the re-make and are holding their breath to see who will fill those great big dancing shoes.

Funny man and 30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin has announced that he would like to run for the NYC Mayoral seat , but after 2013 when he “learns more about the job.” Currently he resides in LI, but intends on living permanently in the city before running.

And in case you haven’t heard, thanks to persistent internet demands, Nickelodeon has brought back all its hit ‘90s shows for their now post-college audience every night at 12 midnight on Teen Nick. That’s right, favorite shows including “All That,” “Kenan & Kel,” “Clarissa Explains it All,” and “Doug” will show on the station until 4 a.m. with the opportunity to expand and include more shows depending on viewer suggestions.