Peace, 2012. It’s Been Real.

Though 2012 can go ahead and fall through a trap door already, the year has been great for pop culture. Here were some highlights. Feel free to sing-a-long.

Fried Chicken’s Best Jingle Ever

The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul was widely panned for her croons about that crispy chicken, fresh lettuce, three cheeses, ranch dressing wrapped up in a tasty flour tortilla. The now infamous Burger King commercial was quickly snatched down from the company’s YouTube page, though the ad lives on courtesy of the Web and the many iPods who hosts its bounce, B-More club, and even zydeco remixes.

Django, The Slavemaster Slayer

Spike Lee may find the spaghetti western themed around slavery “disrespectful,” but if you’re a fan of the Quentin Tarantino you’re likely to enjoy this both gory and hilarious revenge fantasy flick.

A New Shade of R&B

Frank Ocean’s buzz started long before he decided to reveal that he had a “peculiar friendship” with a man who ultimately fueled much of the heartache echoed on various works from his critically acclaimed debut album. It may be fair to suggest such a disclosure catapulted him to greater successes, but the truth is all his “coming out” did was lend credence to an already growing perception that, while the Odd Future member may push the bounds of R&B with his music, at his core he has as much soul as anyone that has come before him. Combine that with his reliability, depth, nuance, and knack for storytelling and it’s easy to see why the 25-year-old is considered leaps and bounds ahead of many many of his contemporaries.


Anyone who recalls when 2 Chainz went by Tity Boi can’t help but be happy that the Codeine Cowboy has dominated 2012. Well, unless you’re married to some over 35-year-old dude still holding on to his rap dreams and now finding inspiration in Tauheed Epps’ ultimate rise to prominence.


Auto-Tune’s Heir Apparent

Is T-Pain somewhere locked in a broom closet missing his Auto-Tune? Who knows, but as Future continues to perfect the rap-singing template popularized by T-Pain, I’m starting to care less and less.


Nippy Now and Forever

For all the flack the show gets, the Whitney Houston tribute is just one of many reasons why the BET Awards are arguably the most entertaining award’s show on television.

Nine-Month Wonder

Trinidad James looks like Jerome from Martin and raps like he learned to rhyme seven minutes before he hit the booth (or I guess nine months, since that’s how long he took a career in hip-hop seriously). Even so, “All Gold Everything” is catchy as hell and his mixtape isn’t half-bad. It remains to be seen if he’ll become a big success in rap, but I’m certainly amused.

Madea-Less Movies Make Waves

It doesn’t matter if you dislike southern, pistol-wailing Black men in drag: Black film could stand some diversity. And thankfully, we have directors like Ava DuVernay leading the pack. DuVernay became the first African-American woman to win Sundance's best directing award for her second feature-length film, Middle of Nowhere, which tackles a woman navigating life while her husband is in prison.

The News Through The Eyes of Negroes

The Chris Rock executive produced Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell isn’t perfect just yet, but this far it’s shown to have a much better shot of elevating Black political comedy than BET’s Don’t Sleep.

All My Ratchets

I don’t care if the Jack and Jill set loathes this show, Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and all its Negro Telenovela drama is the absolute best thing on television and I wish it were on every single Monday.

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