The Internet Made Donald Glover Spiderman

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Donald Glover will be playing Spiderman, a cartoon version of Spiderman in an alternate universe where his secret identity is actually half-black, half-hispanic Miles Morales, but still Spiderman.

The decision to cast Donald as the web-slinger comes four years after the social media campaign, #Donald4Spiderman. The hashtag crusade consisted of fans clamoring for Glover to be casted as Spidey on Twitter because his unique nerdy cool vibe gave him the natural range to portray Peter Parker’s switch from dweeb to stud.

Ultimately, Andrew Garfield won the role in the stylish remake, but one fan was not satisfied. Brian Michael Bendis, a comic-book writer, was inspired by the possibility of Donald Glover as Spiderman and created Miles Morales. So Glover is the perfect casting choice as he is the inspiration for the character he is portraying.  

In Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors, Peter Parker, voiced by Drake Bell, is tracking the dimension-hopping Green Goblin through alternate universes. The Goblin’s goal is to destroy every shred of the Spiderman D.N.A. in any universe, ostensibly so his plans of world domination don’t continue to get mucked up by whatever it is Spiderman shoots out of his wrist.  Luckily, Parker runs into Morales before the Green Goblin.

This interaction is the first clip we have of Donald Glover’s voice coming from a character clad in a Spiderman costume. The clip is intriguing and despite Bell’s Parker sounding the same age as Glover’s Morales, the plot is set for some juicy dual webslinging action.

This foray into voice acting is the latest step in Glover’s plan to acquire such fame that “they say James Franco is the White Donald Glover,” a line he rapped under his Wu-Tang name generated pseudonym Childish Gambino.

Glover has ventured into just about every medium of entertainment. His rap career typifies the blurring of racial lines in Hip-Hop as he has been called a “white rapper” for his mildly pretentious, verbose, pop-rap style that is a departure from the gangsta rap of earlier eras. His albums have received lukewarm acclaim, but one listen to “Freaks and Geeks” and his abundance of wordplay talent is clear.

He got his start online with Derrick Comedy which lead to writing for the Pantheon comedy “30 Rock,” which led to portraying the lovably spacey Troy Barnes in “Community.” His fame in music, television, and comedy have multiplied each another as fans in one medium ultimately end up discovering that Donald Glover is Childish Gambino and vice versa.

Glover is a uniquely modern star. He got his start on Youtube and released his first mixtapes for free online. He started his career by doing what he wanted to be paid for; for free.

This Spiderman casting parallels his career path as the demand online came to fruition in real life. Donald Glover is among the first celebrities created by the internet.

In the modern era, fans use social media to generate massive waves of public opinion that influence entertainment decision-making like never before. What started with the American Idol call-in voting system could become a way for entertainment companies to generate buzz for upcoming projects.

Imagine in 2020, when the eighth Transformers is in the works, and Michael Bay decides to allow the fans to choose which babe they want to see running away from explosions in slow motion. The next Batman movie could be preceded by actors campaigning online for the lead role, with homemade sample clips of them as the Caped Crusader to persuade public opinion.

Obviously this idea won’t work for every decision, but this style of casting might open the studio up to actors they would not have previously considered, could generate publicity buzz for their project, and would remove the possibility of an unpopular casting decision.

For decades the entertainment industry has struggled to decipher the desires of the people, now all they have to do is listen to the internet.

With #Donald4Spiderman complete, let’s see who else gets casted because the internet

 

 

 

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Nicki Minaj’s Triumphant Flaunting of Her Ridiculous Ass

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Yesterday, Nicki Minaj dropped the scintillating music video for “Anaconda.”

Minaj borrows heavily from Sir Mix-A-Lot’s worshipful “Baby Got Back,” centering the song around the “My anaconda don’t want none, If you ain’t got buns hun,” bar, borrowing the opening dialogue between the valley girls ogling an ample butt, and sampling the thick girl code of arms, “Little in the middle, But she got much back”.

In comparison to her other single “Pills and Potions,” this latest effort seems lazy. The Mix-a-Lot sample is over used, the production is disjointed, and Minaj’s finish to the track is just her rambling about her “big fat ass.” At over four and a half minutes long, it’s a bit of a mess.

But what this song lacks in listenability, it more than makes up for in pure, raw, uncut, sex appeal. If Minaj had been alive during Ancient Greece, her ass would have started the Trojan War. The video is puberty-inducingly sexy. It will be the subject of study at many 6th grade boy sleepovers.

Perhaps the spot for “Anaconda” in music lore is alongside music video songs like “These Boots are Made for Walkin” and “Call on Me” for which sound is unnecessary to fully enjoy the video.

Although “Anaconda” won’t match “Fancy’s” success simply because Azalea’s smash hit is quantitatively and qualitatively better, the “Anaconda” music video outdoes anything by Azalea, or any other female artist for that matter, in the sex department by a mile. Nicki has raised the bar of leaving nothing to the imagination. Minaj may no longer be sole standard bearer for female Hip-Hop artists, but there certainly is no one better at dropping jaws.

This music video is the equivalent of the Kendrick Lamar’s vicious “Control” verse. Nicki’s ode to her ass is a taunt to her competitors. With this video, she has declared herself the Queen of Donk. All previous models of curviness are obsolete. She has achieved the maximum gluteus maximus.

In Sir Mix-A-Lot’s own words “To the beanpole dames in the magazine, you ain’t it Ms. Thing.” If the skinny magazine model era was not already over, Nicki officially killed it. What started with Kim Kardashian has been completed with this music video. Our sexual tastes have changed. The era of the Big Booty is in full swing and Minaj has declared herself bandleader of this twerking parade.

This choice by Minaj is, as Pepper Brooks would say, “a bold strategy.” Minaj is now 31. Regardless of her current mind-bending sex appeal, Father Time will eventually turn Minaj from Aphrodite into a mortal female. If Minaj wants her career to extend into her forties, she will have to shy away from out-assing her competitors and focus more on out-spitting them.

But, Minaj can pull this off. She didn’t become the alpha female of the rap game just by having an outlandishly large behind. One merely needs to look to her dual personality verse on Kanye West’s “Monster,” where she makes Jay-Z’s feature look like something mumbled at a private school open mic. Her experience and talent will carry her long after her booty-shaking prime.

Just like Yeezus was the last barbaric yawp from a man ending his sexual escapades and settling down with a family, “Anaconda” is the triumphant flaunting of Nicki’s legendary curves at the peak of her sexual prowess before she begins her inevitable physical decline.

There have been challengers to Minaj’s throne, but “Anaconda” has solidified her place on this generation’s sex icon Mount Rushmore.

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown Brings Us Closer to the Truth

In response to the Mike Brown killing, many on social media have taken to wondering, “what image would the news media choose to announce my death at the hands of a police officer?” under the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown.

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For Brown, two photos have been used, one of him glaring down into the camera in a red tank top, framed by the facade of a lower income house, and throwing up what many have construed as a gang sign. In this photo, Brown appears threatening, as though he is capable of the dubious police report that stated he pushed a police officer back into his car and tried to take his gun, even though Brown was found shot dead 35 feet away from the police cruiser.

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In another photo, Brown looks like a common teenager at an arcade, his eyes gentle and soft, with children playing in the background. This photo paints a different story, where it seems more likely the police overstepped their bounds, and shot an innocent teenager.

Combined with the strangling of Eric Garner for selling unlicensed cigarettes, the unjust killing of Trayvon Martin, and countless other cases where law enforcement have overstepped their bounds, outrage has been building. Part of the outrage is focused on the media’s portrayal of the attacks, which have tended to be unsympathetic to black victims.

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Questionable media coverage is nothing new. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, white people “found” food, whereas black people “looted” food. In the case of Katrina, a harsh lens towards black residents, who comprised the majority of the survivors who had to endure the living conditions of the Superdome, could lessen the perceived inhumanity of the government’s sluggish relief response.

The case is the same with these recent police killings. If the victims are portrayed as dangerous thugs, the American public are more likely to see the brutality of the police force as the actions of a noble defender of freedom protecting “decent” citizens from deranged criminals. If the story is bent in this fashion, we will not question the killings as they match the status quo established by hours of nightly crime reports about “unidentified” black men, and the one-sided drama of “Cops.”

Some Twitter pseudo-racists have taken to blasting the #IfTheyGunnedMeDown movement by shaming those participating. One said, “Take down your club pics, delete your weed smoking albums. Get up, do something, be productive, so if you get gunned down, you know you will go out with class and dignity.”

Even though the potentially incriminating pictures are always juxtaposed with a graduation, family or service photo, these critics seem to forget that everybody has a two-sided personality. We have the public persona that graduates, holds down jobs, and helps out in the community, and we have the private persona where we take part in less savory activities.

Just because Trayvon Martin smoked weed, does not mean he wasn’t a fine student, a beloved son, and an admired friend.

Just because Eric Garner sold untaxed cigarettes, does not mean that he wasn’t a loving father to his six children.

Just because Mike Brown may have been a suspect in a robbery, does not lessen the fact that he graduated from high school in a troubled area, and was on his way to technical school.

The sticky truth of these killings is that the victims are neither sinless martyrs, nor violent criminals, they’re normal people with faults and virtues just like the rest of us. But, regardless of their minor transgressions, none of these victims deserved to die.

In light of the recent police attacks, #IfTheyGunnedMeDown is a necessary movement to empathize with the attacks. You could have seen Trayvon buying Skittles just before he was shot. You could have seen Eric Garner playing in the park with his kids the day before he was strangled. You could have passed Mike Brown walking with his buddy on the street. These people were normal. Something like this could happen to anyone.

There is only one camera capable of telling the story of a police killing: one attached to the lapel of an officer. We have the technology to end the mystery surrounding these cases. If a police officer acts unjustly, this should be caught on camera, and the officer punished for his actions.

Noble police officers should welcome this advancement as it will cut down on complaints of misconduct when they have done nothing wrong. It’s the power-crazed and prejudiced who should be worried.

With cameras on every officer, we will no longer have to debate social media photos to determine the character of a victim.

We’ll have the truth on tape.