The top ten pop culture moments in 2018 goes to .........
1. Black Panther Dominating the Box Office
The Marvel film, Black Panther (released on February 16th, 2018) took over the box office this year passing the $1 billion mark at the global box office in just 26 days . The film ended up making $1.3 billion worldwide, and its $700 million domestic gross was bigger than that of Avengers: Infinity War, which made $678 million domestically. Black Panther is the most successful Marvel movie in the US in the studio’s cinematic history. It’s also currently the year’s highest-grossing film in the US, Marvel or otherwise.
2. The Royal Wedding
On May 19th, 2018 the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. There were 600 guests in attendance and at 30 million viewers watching from home. The couple exchanged vows in front of Bishop Michael Curry of Chicago, Illinois.
On April 14, 2018, Beyoncé became the first black female to headline the Coachella Music Festival in Indio, California. She had to cancel her performance the year earlier due to pregnancy, Beyoncé played a 26-song set described by Entertainment Weekly as “one of the most consequential performances of the year and…of the 21st century.” This performance was about two hours long. There was a Destiny’s Child reunion, Beyoncé and Solange had a dance off , Jay-Z made an appearance and she performed with an entire HBCU marching band. Beyoncé’s Coachella theme was re-creating the historically black college experience. The audience was in complete awe and the live streaming on YouTube had social media going insane. In retrospect, it was only fitting that the years festival was given the unofficial name of “Beychella.” The headliner for 2019 will have some very large shoes to fill.
4. Kanye Visits TMZ
Kanye appeared on TMZ Live with Candace Owens were they discussed his controversial tweets over the past week, him supporting Donald Trump, the idea of having “free thought”, and then the conversation turned left when he started to speak on slavery. His exact words were “When you hear about slavery for 400 years—for 400 years?!” he said. “That sounds like a choice. Like, you was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? It’s like we’re mentally in prison.” TMZ reporter Van Lathan shot back at West, expressing his disappointment in his recent comments, sparking a debate with him across the office.
Social media went crazy after seeing this interview with Kanye and “black twitter”
was extremely upset about West’s comments.
5. Cardi B and Nicki Minaj NYFW Fight
In September during New York Fashion Week rappers Cardi B and Nicki Minaj both were attending the annual Harper’s Bazaar Icon Party. There was a huge commotion on the red carpet between the two parties. Cardi B was trying to run towards Nicki but security surrounded Nicki. That resulted in Cardi shooting her shoe at Nicki. Cardi B expressed on Instagram that Nicki Minaj has been doing a lot of shady things to her behind closed doors as all as liking a negative comment about Cardi’s parenting. The fight resulted in a viral photo of Cardi with a huge knot on her forehead (from Nicki Minaj’s security) , Nicki Minaj talking about the issue on Queen Radio stirring up more drama. This situation resulted in Nicki and Cardi saying that they were both moving on from the beef.
6. Serena Williams at the U.S Open
Serena Williams was given a game penalty after calling referee Carlos Ramos "a liar" and "a thief" in the second set of her straight-sets defeat to Naomi Osaka. During the dispute, Williams also suggested Ramos was sexist because he would have not have treated a male player so harshly.
"He took a point from me after he alleged I was cheating, and I wasn't cheating. I had a good conversation with him: 'You know my character. You know me really well.' I don't even call for an on-court coach. He said, 'I understood what you are saying,'" Williams explained after the match.
“But I've seen other men call other umpires several things. I'm here fighting for women's rights and for women's equality and for all kinds of stuff. For me to say 'thief' and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark. He's never taken a game from a man because they said 'thief.'”
Williams, a 23-time Grand Slam champion, said she would continue to fight for gender equality in the sport and addressed the first-round penalty given to Alize Cornet for changing her shirt on the court.
7. Drake and Pusha T Beef
This year we saw major rap beef resurface. Tension began to rise between Pusha T and Drake when Pusha released his studio album Daytona, which was produced entirely by Kanye West. On the album's closing track, "Infrared," Pusha continued to question Drake's lyrical abilities, rapping, "It was written like Nas but it came from Quentin," referring to Quentin Miller, a rapper who Pusha believes has been writing for Drake behind the scenes. Social media went up in flames after hearing Pusha's diss, causing Drake to come out of "album mode" to address Pusha.
Drake fired back at Pusha T with his diss track "Duppy Freestyle". Drake reminded Pusha that Kanye once called him to help write "Father Stretch My Hands" and "30 Hours" from West's The Life of Pablo album. He also hinted that he may have worked on Kanye's upcoming album as well. Drake posted a draft of an invoice requesting $100,000 from the G.O.O.D. Music team for "promotional assistance and career reviving" and tagged Pusha in the post on Instagram.
Pusha-T delivered the infamous “Story of Adidon,” revealing the existence of Drakes’ son. The cover featured an image of Drake in blackface, kicking off speculation as to where the image originated. While Drake failed to respond, the whole incident left many wondering where Pusha-T had received such sensitive information about Drake
(cough cough Kanye), and many others wondering how they could more information.
8. #FreeMeekMill Social Media Campaign
A Philadelphia judge sentenced rapper Meek Mill to two to four years in prison last year for a series of probation violations following his 2008 conviction for drug and weapons charges. Civil rights advocates say they have been fighting for years to bring attention to a problem with massive scale: Millions of convicts, many of them black, live in fear of being sent back to prison for years for minor violations. The decision triggered a public outcry from many who believed the punishment was overly severe and rendered in part because Meek Mill is black. More than 4.6 million people are subject to probation or on parole in the United States, according to newly released figures from the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. Advocates say about one third of these parolees and probationers are black.
After his sentencing, hundreds of thousands of people protested in Philadelphia and signed online petitions to free him. His name regularly trended on social media. Civil rights activists, NFL executives and celebrities stood by Meek Mill. Among his biggest supports were rapper Jay-Z, actor and Philadelphia native Kevin Hart and the Rev. Al Sharpton. Since his release in April, Meek Mill has embraced his new role as he continues to fight for an appeal. “Although I’m blessed to have the resources to fight this unjust situation, I understand that many people of color across the country don’t have that luxury and I plan to use my platform to shine a light on those issues,” he stated.
Advocates say this is only the start of a movement to reform the criminal justice system. Their plan includes pushing Pennsylvania legislators to change probation laws in the state, which they say has the highest incarceration rate in the Northeast.
9. Mo'Nique & Netflix Scandal
Earlier this year comedian Mo'Nique asked her fans to boycott the major streaming service Netflix. She called Netflix out for both color and gender bias when she was offered $500,000 to film a comedy special.
“When Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle received their offers, they were $20 million and they were very public about the offers. When Amy Schumer initially received her offer, it was $11 million. She went back to Netflix and said, ‘I shouldn’t get what the legends are getting, but because I’m a woman, I should get more.’ And Netflix agreed and they then gave her $2 million more,” Mo’Nique said on The View.
When she questioned as to why she was offered $19.5 million less than Rock and Chappelle, she says that she was told, “We go by what we anticipate you’ll do.” While Netflix hasn't commented on contract negotiations, they have said in the past that they use internal data to inform offers, looking at how artists have historically performed on the service. Mo’Nique, for reference, has had two previous Netflix specials.
The actress was particularly enraged by the explanation because she alleges she was told that she’s on par with the other comedy legends who received whopping salaries for their specials. “The vice president of Netflix says to my husband and our attorney, ‘By the way, Mo’Nique is a legend too.’ Well, if I’m a legend, why wouldn’t I get what the legends are getting,” she said.
Mo’Nique also alleges that she was told Netflix doesn’t make their offers based on résumés, but the company then pointed to Amy Schumer’s sold-out Madison Square Garden shows and hit movie Trainwreck as reason for her $13 million payday.
Here is the initial video that Mo'Nique posted on her Instagram account:
10. Oprah’s Oscars Speech (ME TOO Movement)
Oprah Winfrey made history at the Golden Globes and delivered a powerful speech in which she predicted a time when women won't have to say "me too" ever again.
Oprah Winfrey accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement at the 2018 Golden Globes, becoming the first black woman and the 15th woman overall to receive the honor since it was first handed out in 1952.
"For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up," she said to loud cheers. Eleven years after being called upon to investigate Taylor's case in her role as secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama, chapter of the NAACP, Rosa Parks refused to obey a bus driver, and that choice "is now in every woman saying 'me too,' and every man who chooses to listen," said Winfrey.
See the full speech below:
Comment below your favorite pop culture moments of 2018!
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