P Is For Pop Culture

According to ThoughtCo, popular culture, commonly known as pop culture, is defined as the accumulation of cultural products such as music, art, literature, fashion, dance, film, cyberculture, television and radio that are consumed by the majority of a society’s population.

I am an Oreo AF. That is, I am black on the outside and white on the inside. That term is nowadays considered derogatory but I am not out here tryna insult myself. What I am saying is that when it comes to entertainment, my preferences lean heavily towards white music/movies/TV shows.

My Oreo-ness is the outcome of my formative years as I grew up on Capital FM back when it was owned by Linda Holt and MTV back when the M stood for music. At the time the music they played was predominantly white which is why my musical preferences are white AF. Capital FM launched in September 1996 so it is … telling, that 13 years later the major players in pop culture are still predominantly white. Sure there is Beyoncé, Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Viola Davis, Mahershala Ali etc etc, but when it comes to Awards season their Caucasian counterparts almost always come out on top. Remember the #OscarsSoWhite and #GrammysSoWhite hashtags that sparked the much needed conversations on diversity in Hollywood a few years ago? There has been progress towards achieving a more diverse, inclusive Hollywood but there is still a long way to go.

While Capital FM and MTV largely influenced my musical tastes in my preteens, Rick Dees continues to influence what I listen to now. I have been listening to The Rick Dees Weekly Top 40 Countdown for approximately 20 years and I tend to say (not entirely in jest) that if it ain’t on Rick Dees I ain’t heard it. My earliest memory of listening to Rick is in Upper Primary; I had Saturday classes till around 1 p.m. and on the way home my siblings and I would listen to the Countdown in the car. Bear in mind it was quite the long drive as we lived in Kileleshwa and our school was all the way in Karen, so we would catch the top 10 in its entirety.

I do not know if I can properly articulate why I love Rick Dees so much, but I will try. First of all the Countdown invokes a lot of nostalgia for me as it brings back fond memories of driving home with my mum. I do not remember whether I started the Saturday classes in 1998 or 1999 and sadly the person who would know is not alive anymore to clarify things for me 😦 But what I do remember is that long drive home with the top 10 hits playing on the radio was one of my favourite parts of the day. I also love when Rick has his Special Countdown of Number 1 hits and I always look forward to his Top 40 End of Year recap. He is also funny AF and is not afraid to throw some light-hearted shade.

As much as I love the Countdown, it only plays the 40 biggest mainstream hits which is why I am usually behind when it comes to hip-hop, Kenyan music and any other genre that is atypical to Rick Dees. As mentioned in my birthday recap, listening to Rick Dees is probably my favourite way to start my Saturday. I have heard quite a number of bops for the first time on the show and so I have plans for a Rick Dees Taught Me tag on the blog where I will be sharing my (mostly white) finds.

My pop culture junkie ass is also the reason why I still watch the MTV VMAs (in fact as of now V Is For VMAs) and the MTV Movie Awards (renamed in 2017 to the MTV Movie & TV Awards). This year’s Movie & TV Awards were dope AF! Zachary Levi did a fucking fantastic job hosting so now I am pumped to watch Shazam! and The Rock and Internet Boyfriend Noah Centineo gave speeches so dope I watched them twice. This weekend I will be watching the VMAs that aired on August 26th and I cannot fucking wait.

If Capital FM and MTV were critical in my formative years, and Rick Dees continues to influence my current musical tastes, E! is what made me a bona fide pop culture junkie. It is kind of pathetic but the only news I watch is E! News 😐 I live for Hollywood celebrity drama so hard that I got my mum interested in it. She is the one who broke the news of Brangelina’s divorce to me, and we would have conversations from time to time about the Kardashians. Or as she would pronounce it, the Kedeshians. Lol. In 2017 we attended a baby shower for my cousin and we played a few games where my mum got to show off her pop culture knowledge. She killed it mpaka a number of the youngins commented on how switched on she was for her age. God I miss that woman.

So what is the point of this post? Ata mimi sijui. Lol. Si kila siku meaningful posts. Even your favourite 22-episode TV show has some filler episodes in the middle.

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