It’s been 6 years since the debut of The STiXXclusive Blog, and although 2017 was a ‘down year’ for my own spectrum (in terms of content posted), it was personally an explosive year of progress that I aim to carry into 2018 with a refined perspective on life. It’s all about the challenges to push you further, although most people would be fine in their own situation. Life (and my fiancée) has taught me that appreciating the day in which you’re in the now is the most important thing. Looking too far ahead or dwelling in your past can cause you to drift away from what’s really important – the present. That being said, I’m looking forward to being more in the now and living my life as such, when 2018 has already got off to an interesting start. It’s shaky, but it’s manageable – that’s what matters. That being said, I’m totally gonna contradict myself and look ahead to what I’m looking forward to in 2018. 2017 was an interesting year, looking at it from different angles. Whether it was political or some form of entertainment, the year flew by and the abundance of news that streamed on by, it’s only a matter of wondering if 2018 will carry the same pace, or slow down a little bit for people to digest.
- Black Panther Movie & Soundtrack
The level of anticipation for this movie is something I haven’t seen amongst Black people in a long time. Mainly because, for the first time (Blade doesn’t really count, sorry), a superhero movie on a large scale that is predominantly Black is coming to life, and Black people, who are moviegoers when something of the nature speaks to them, have been planning viewing parties and might even camp in line at the movie theatres like new Jordans or a new iPhone.
I was already excited about the movie, but when the hint in Kendrick Lamar’s video for LOVE came to life, and then the follow up lead single, All the Stars, was released with the announcement that Lamar and TDE would be curating ad producing the soundtrack, my excitement grew. Now, with that being said, I completely understand why there is hesitance with the upcoming venture.
Black Panther is based on a superhero based in fictional Wakanda, in Africa. Many people would certainly have their worries that the Soundtrack will sound too Americanized to relate to the common consumer, and there really is a opportunity to connect more of the African diaspora to the West, through music. With a bright spot like Kendrick leading the helm, based on his track record of 3 studio albums all garnering album of the year nominations, his clout will certainly help. February is going to be mighty interesting.
- Avengers: Infinity War
While we’re on the topic of comic book movies, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been in full swing since the first Iron Man movie in 2008. The fact that it’s been 10 years and an endless amount of movies and television series to get us to the point where we’ve reached this far in the complex weaved storyline that is the MCU, pat yourselves on the backs, friends. I’ve seen all but one movie, and I was first into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, and Luke Cage, but that’s so much dedication. I sincerely applaud those who have kept up and been engulfed in the dense comic world. It’s just not my forte, but Infinity War looks like a great time; who can possibly miss all that?
- Atlanta: Season 2
The greatness that is Donald Glover shall not be dismissed, denied, or ignored. From simply giving us great music I recent years with Because The Internet and Awaken, My Love!, there was already an appreciation for him. I didn’t want Community, so who he is as an actor, I didn’t really give him the light of day, but the debut of Atlanta on FX was a pleasant surprise. The authenticity of Black people being highlighted in such a way that’s not stereotypically over the top, and fueling topics that are commonly discussed within the realms of social media, Atlanta truly got the idea of what it meant to have a great story without having to sacrifice intellect for mass appeal. There’s a reason why it garnered 2 wins at the Golden Globes in 2017. March 1st is the date, and Atlanta Robbin’ Season is the official title, so for now, allow us to sit back and await the 2nd coming of television joy that Donald will deliver us.
- 2nd year of Cardi B
Now, this pick is a wild card and I’ll tell you why. In 2017, I wasn’t really moved by a lot of music, because it seemed like unless you had a ‘Lil’ in your name, you had no business putting out music and your buzz was deemed mute. Now, that’s obviously looking at it in a general lens, but for me there weren’t many bright spots. A lot of music washed over and I was left really rotating the same 5-7 projects, and that’s pretty good. The ascension of Cardi B has been documented, viewed, streamed and beloved by so many. In 2017, she really stood out as to why she was the MVP in entertainment. Bodak Yellow is a smash, and there’s not one soul who can deny it.
Where, she may not have the lyrical prowess of Rapsody (and Laila’s Wisdom was very well received all around), she provided the balance in Hip Hop where she entertained many, and often – everywhere. Her engagement to Migos’ Offset, having multiple singles on the charts, and her continued presence on social media, she’s definitely a star – nobody lied. What her second year can bring will be up to her persistence and work ethic. I mean, she said it herself on Bodak:
“Honestly, don’t give a fuck ’bout who ain’t fond of me
Dropped two mixtapes in six months, what bitch working as hard as me?”
She set her own bar, so it’s up to her so see how high she’ll raise it in 2018. It’s nice to see someone other than Nicki Minaj being at the top for women’s Hip Hop. Let’s add some more though – for the gyaldem, you know?
- The Girl in the Spider’s Web (movie)
This too, is a left field pick, because I was searching about which books to look forward to, and I stumbled across this piece of news that peaked my interest. If you’ve read The Millennium Trilogy featuring Lisbeth Salander (the first 3 books were written by Steig Larsson), the 4th book (Spider’s Web written by David Lagercrantz) was the most recently released of the series. There’s supposed to be a 5th book as well, but we won’t get to that at this time. The 2011 film adaptation to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is one of my favourite films of the last few years, which Rooney Mara & Daniel Craig crushed. They would have been great for the whole trilogy, but for some reason, it didn’t come to be. I was upset by that, I won’t even lie. To see that Lakeith Stanfield is casted in the ‘sequel’ to the 2011 film to be (hopefully) released later this year, that’s exciting. Lakeith has been making a name for himself since most people were introduced to him through his role as Darius on Atlanta, and then his appearance in Get Out. He’s having quite the career for himself, so for fans of the book series such as myself, I’ll be looking forward to the movie.
- The Grammys
It’s weird that I’ve taken an interest in an award show that shows no interest in getting it right with its nominations and even who they give the awards to. Obviously, the Grammys have no real credible say as to what separates good music from great, because a lot of the best artists who’ve produced some of the best work, have not received the appropriate love from the higher up critics. Getting that out of the way, because I could ramble on a tangent about the lack of importance award shows carry, people are still going to watch. Period. The list of nominations is surprisingly accurate to the mainstream level which many people have bee yearning for. With the likes of Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and Jay-Z being heavy hitters for nominations, the nominations of Cardi B, Lil Uzi Vert, and the GTA’s own Daniel Caesar & Alessia Cara have struck a lot of fans as a positive sign of change that the people on these committees are paying attention to what’s going on. The battle between DAMN & 4:44 will be interesting to watch, because both are great albums by two artists in dynamic careers of their own. Jay-Z having the success of this album at damn near 50, speaks volumes to not only the longevity of his career, but the ageless talent that he’s graced music fans with over 2 decades. Kendrick is still in the prime of his career, but with his 3rd studio album being as critically acclaimed as its predecessors, it’s telling (more or less) about the trajectory of his career at hand. The storylines are what I’m taking the most interest in, personally.
There’s a lot to look forward to than just these 6 suggestions, and for the most part, I hope it’s a progressive and equally entertaining year full of growth, new surprises and even better content to follow. I’ll surely do my part to keep up. Here’s to the New Year.
That’s My Word & It STiXX