Friday, March 25, 2011

Jheri Curl Jham of the Week—Kool & the Gang,...


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via jhuicy fruit on 3/25/11

Jheri Curl Jham of the Week—Kool & the Gang, "Joanna"

Today's jham comes from former jazz turned funk turned disco turned mildly corny but forever awesome pop group, Kool & the Gang.  A classic mid-tempo ballad from K&TG's stable of 80's hits, the sneaky jhenius of "Joanna" can only be appreciated while waiting in the lobby of the dentist's office.  There you are mindlessly thumbing through the September edition of Better Homes and Gardens, only to realize that you've started swaying with the gentle breeze of this song, getting your white man's overbite in a horribly tacky, yet strangely comfortable chair. 

As the video begins, K&TG lead singer, James "JT" Taylor (aka Little Donnie Simpson) and a fellow bandmate arrive at Joanna's Diner, where apparently they're regulars.  Otherwise, there is no excuse for KT&G to have their instruments everywhere, making noise and banging on shit like they ain't got no home training.  They better not try that shit in Big Mama's kitchen.  Anyway, the owner, Joanna, seems to be cool with it, though, because JT's silky delivery, hazel eyes, and mackalicious charm are thoroughly hypnotizing.  

The diner scene dissolves into a reverie starring a much younger Joanna rolling around and coquettishly cavorting with a young fellow in a fancy car unchaperoned.  Makes us wonder: what version of 1944 is this?  Tell you what, though, Joanna was a fox.  Young Joanna shows off some of the dance moves that made her a headliner at The Cotton Club (thanks, random white dude!) before the video fades back to the present, showing older Joanna shimmying her way to the diner counter top getting her Coyote Ugly on.  (She still got it.)  The moment makes one wonder if a reincarnated Joanna would eventually headline at The Players' Club.  A Negro with a good curl will do that to you.  Word to Ice Cube.  Yea-ee Yea-ee!

About those curls, though.  K&TG gets an B+ for jheri curl diversity alone.  That said, upon initial inspection, JT's shit is mad average, a bit dry and hella Soul Glo-ish, frankly.   But then you're all like: That shit seamlessly devolved into a 1940s era conk!!  Followed by the realization that that motherfucker is rocking a butterscotch leather outfit to bring out his eyes.  His soul is LITERALLY glowing hazel!  Who can top that shit!?  This is the pre-color contacts era, people.  You have got to have a curl to rock this outfit and vice versa.  Otherwise, what's the point?  Upon further review, you realize that you have to put JT on the curl's dean list.  Can't no basic-ass curl make a cougar roar, rhapsodizing about you being her boo 40 some odd years ago.  The activator/hazel eyes combination is magically lethal, y'all.  Ask Joanna.

Shout out to the Panther of the group who refused to process.  Stay black and proud, brother.


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