Welcome to this week’s edition of What’s Going On? — a completely biased take on the week’s biggest pop-culture stories, told through numbers, odds, and props because this is Vegas after all. Here I’ll fill you in on (my version of) the best and worst from all of your (my) favorite celebrities, musicians, and even politicians, plus a few stories that are just begging to be shared. This is the stuff the group chat will thank you for. Or, at the very least, not kick you out for.
Last week we took you through the highs of friendship and the lows of scandal; this week, we are going to take you in one full circle, moving our way from the passing of a soul legend to the anticipated birth of a new royal (though, possibly not the one you’re thinking).
Ok, ok, I know that seems a bit serious for a pop culture review. I hear you on that one, but I’m not the one making up the news, okay? I’m simply passing it along! Regardless, let me make it up to you with some rap and a bit of conspiracy theory.
I hope so. Let’s get to it.
Bradley’s love affair with music began when, as a young man, his sister took him to Harlem’s Apollo Theater to see James Brown. The way that Brown moved, shook, and sang his way through the music became something of a textbook to Bradley, who proved himself an eager — and quick — student of soul. It wasn’t until the early 2000s, however, that the “Screaming Eagle of Soul” would finally hit his sweet spot and find himself center-stage.
His is a rare story, but the kind that resonates deeply within those who hear it. Here is a man who has lived many lives, who has been many different iterations of himself and others (his first foray into music was as a James Brown impersonator), who has been able to take the heartaches and pain of his life and turn them into literal music to our ears.
And I haven’t even mentioned that his big break came at a time in his life when most of his peers would be contemplating retirement.
Charles Bradley’s life was, in its very essence, soul music. His passing only reminds us how indelible a mark his music leaves.
*Out of respect for Charles Bradley and his family, we won’t be posting odds on this story.
Cardi’s ascent also brought a sooner-than-expected end to the reign of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do,” which spent a mere three weeks at no. 1. (I use the word “mere” quite loosely, and only because it’s Swift we are talking about. Three weeks ain’t nothin’ for TayTay.)
I don’t really care whether you’re Team Swift or Team Cardi on this one. Considering how dire the number of women occupying the Hot 100 was early on in 2017 (the 12-week absence of female artists in the top five was the longest since 1972), the fact that two consecutive female solo artists have occupied the no. 1 spot is a win. #grlpwr.
O/U weeks at no. 1 for “Bodak Yellow”: 3.5
Cardi is hot, her song is hot, and I don’t see it dropping rank quite yet, even though it was released back in June. Please keep in the mind the Beyoncé Effect: everything Bey touches turns to gold, up-and-comers included. See Exhibit A: Chance the Rapper. And now see Exhibit (Cardi) B.
Odds Cardi B’s follow-up single hits no. 1: 5/4
Beyoncé Effect considered, Cardi has a good shot at breaking big for real. She is young, hilarious, exceptionally fun to listen to, and female. Do not underestimate that final point, as many mistakenly do. In a genre dominated by the male voice, the feminine perspective is a powerful one; the feminine voice is a coveted one.
How could any adult human believe in the Flat Earth theory at this point? For Bobby Ray Simmons Jr., it boils down to the fact that he can’t see the “curve,” i.e. the curvature of the Earth, which he thinks should be visible to the naked human eye in the form of a curved horizon. Since we can’t, the Earth must actually be flat — a disc floating in space, rather than an orb. Curious about what happens when you reach the edge of it? Don’t worry, there’s an answer for that, too. According to some Flat Earthers, NASA has security guards placed at the edge to stop people from falling over.
Sure, and they must also have those Men in Black memory eraser pens, because not one single person has ever reported finding that edge. Oh, wait, there’s an answer for that, too: it’s the government, man.
At the time of writing, his GoFundMe mission, appropriately named “Show BoB The Curve,” had raised $1,756 of its $200k goal.
Odds B.o.B. reaches his $200k goal: 5/4
I hate thinking that this could really happen, but after delving into the world of Flat Earth theorists — essentially, the world of conspiracy theorists — I am worried that it really could. There are a lot of them out there, you guys.
Odds B.o.B. is able to send a satellite into orbit: 9/1
Granted, I do not know how much money B.o.B. has saved away. I don’t know what his investment portfolio looks like. And I don’t know how many wealthy friends he has. Hell, I don’t know whether someone like Elon Musk is going to come around to say, “Yes, let’s send a satellite up and see what we find” in a very expensive effort to make these nincompoops go away. (Please do so, Elon. I can’t take any more of this.)
But, if B.o.B. thinks that $200,000 is going to get multiple satellites into space…
Odds that the Earth is flat after all: 1/0
Megyn Kelly is “done with politics for now,” apparently, which helps explain the sudden re-branding of the former Fox News anchor into a mild(er)-mannered, mauve-blouse-wearing, mid-morning show host. (Spoiler alert: I actually liked her blouse, whatever that means about me.) She wants her new hour-long show, Megyn Kelly Today, to be a safe space, free of political discourse and, instead, chock full of laughter (okay), smiles (sure), “sometimes a tear” (as opposed to the many tears shed during the Trump campaign, I’m assuming), and “maybe some hope to start your day.”
(The “maybe” is my favorite part. Maybe, just maybe, a little bit of hope.)
Can we blame the woman for wanting to distance herself from the political circus happening in America right now? Not entirely. God knows how tiring Megyn Kelly’s life must have been the past couple of years. In fact, she has been very up front about the fact that President Donald Trump influenced her decision to leave Fox News after 12 years at the network.
“Donald Trump has a way of clarifying one’s life choices and that was true in my case, too,” Kelly has said. Politics were taking over her life. Trump became the light that the universe used to show Kelly what she truly wanted to do with her life (like one of those lights the dermatologist uses to show you how grossly damaged your skin is from years of not wearing sunscreen).
That being said, is this really the answer, Megyn? We see it and we get it, but unfortunately, there is no escaping Trump. There is only fighting Trump.
Odds of Megyn Kelly Today getting political, after all: 1/2
Is she really going to be able to stay away, completely away, from it all? Do the show’s producers really think that they can keep guests from veering off in that direction? Is anyone being honest with themselves, at all?
Odds of Megyn Kelly’s show lasting more than one season: 1/3
I mean, people have watched worse, right?
Odds of Pres. Trump tweeting about Megyn Kelly Today: 50/1
As long as she doesn’t talk about him, chances are the show won’t hit his radar. He’s got much more important things to worry about right now, like the NFL.
How grateful I am, then, for the unlikely hero we have found in King Kylie.
Oh, sorry, did you think I was heading across the Atlantic for this one? No need for that anymore! Ahem, there is allegedly no need for that anymore, as Kylie Jenner — the youngest member of America’s de facto royal family — is reportedly expecting her first child, with boyfriend Travis Scott.
Now, no one has officially confirmed anything, but fans are pretty sure they know what’s up with the King on this one. Back on June 12, the reality-TV starlet tweeted a seemingly innocuous, albeit leading, “Legit happiest day of my life,” obviously leaving us plebs wanting more! (Give your people what they want, Kylie!)
I’m not saying that this is 100% proof, but I am saying that it makes for an interesting (convincing?) timeline. I’m also saying that she’s been wearing a whole lot of tracksuits lately. In my life, that wouldn’t be noteworthy — but, for Kylie Jenner, it’s worth mentioning.
Oh, and Caitlyn Jenner has basically all but spilled the beans, because of course she has. A representative for the former Olympian told The Sun that she found out about the pregnancy “some time ago.” I bet Kris is real happy about that statement, Caitlyn.
Odds that Kylie is really, truly pregnant: 1/20
Guys, she declined a drink a couple days ago! Caitlyn said she’s known about it for some time! She’s wearing baggy shirts! What else could be going on?!
Odds Life of Kylie gets a second season now: 5/9
I have heard next to nothing good about Life of Kylie, but you know a baby is gonna boost those ratings.
Feature Image: Cardi B (Wikimedia [CC License])
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