Mariah Carey and the Roots Adorably Sing ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ on ‘Fallon’

Who needs chestnuts and an open fire when something this heartwarming is available to stream over and over again until your clicker finger is reduced to a coal-like nub? Last night, backstage before taping Tuesday’s episode of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, the show’s lovable host and the best house band on television (the Roots, duh) scraped together a bunch of toy instruments and went in on a cover of Mariah Carey’s awesome Christmas anthem, “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Except that after Fallon delivered the opening line, Carey herself sat down on the piano bench next to him and (thankfully) took over singing duties. There were other surprises, too, like the totes adorbs four-child choir that pops up to add overdubs every so often, the chuckle that Carey lets out at the 3:08 mark, and the fact that ?uestlove is playing a wooden clacker with his afro pick. The song is already one of the few latter-day holiday jams that deserves to be in heavy rotation amongst the classics, and if this version doesn’t fill your soul stocking with all kinds of happy stuff then may your real stocking stay empty when Santa flies over. Just for kicks, here are the performance credits:

Jimmy Fallon – wood block, tambourine, bass drum, kazoo
Mariah Carey – vocals
?uestlove – wooden clacker w/ afro pick
Mark Kelley – Fisher Price xylophone
Kamal Gray – recorder
James Poyser – melodica
Captain Kirk Douglas – ukulele
Damon “Tuba Gooding Jr.” Bryson – kazoo
Frank Knuckles – bongos
Black Thought – sleigh bells

Is Racism Really Waning?


A few days ago, John McWhorter—a linguist and social critic—penned an essay for the New York Daily News that declared thatracism is waning. While McWhorter conceded that racism still exists, he concluded that, with the reelection of President Obama, the influence of racism has dramatically decreased throughout the years.

Does racism exist? Definitely. However, I am more interested in how much it matters. Here’s what part of the mail I got that was not interesting: those infuriated by the mere suggestion that racism might be less prevalent than it used to be. There persists a heated core of people who seem to think the sentence “Racism is declining” has some kind of fetishistic power.  They seem to worry that it will cause a backlash or reversal. They worry that white people might misinterpret the sentence and – well, I’m not sure just what they think is actually going to happen next. 

All I know is I’ve been told for a good decade now that it’s dangerous to say “racism is declining” – and the last time I checked, during that time, America elected a black President. If that’s a backlash, let’s have more of it. The times just don’t fit the grand old rhetoric, and nothing attests to that more than the fact that a black man will have occupied the White House for eight years, not just four. And the second time, he beat an opponent who gave him a run for his money. This is real. The issue is no more whether there is racism than whether there is weather. The issue is whether racism works. Increasingly, in so many ways, it would seem that it just doesn’t. After President Obama’s historic 2008 election, many wondered if we’d finally reached “post-pacial” America. They wondered if the election of the nation’s first black President meant that black folks had finally overcome.

As the media picked up on the post-racial America meme, many African Americans resisted the idea that an Obama presidency meant that racism was a thing of the past. They argued that while a black family occupied the White House, African Americans were still disproportionally affected by poor schools, the prison pipeline, access to health care, and higher unemployment rates. Although it’s true that systemic racism is no longer overt and legislated, the affects of the bad old days of our nation’s history continue to affect many of our citizens today. While black folks are no longer forced to the back of the bus, we are being marginalized by lawmakers who are more concerned about suppressing the “urban” vote than ensuring all citizens have access to the support they need to improve their lives. SOURCE


Former Manhattan ADA Accused of Dealing to Police Former Manhattan ADA Accused of Dealing to Police

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44-year-old David Leung, who served as the assistant district attorney is Manhattan from 1993 to 2003, was busted by an informant on September 27 after sliding the undercover two bags of weed for $200. This sounds more like the explanation for a character being written off of Law & Order than real life. Following the transaction, police searched his vehicle and found seven more bags totaling over eight ounces in his trunk. The irony of Manhattan’s former ADA being arrested for selling weed in the marijuana-arrest capital of the world is sweet chin music to the criminal justice system. What’s even worse is that Leung knew some of the prosecutors when he appeared in court yesterday. How embarrassing.  After his departure from the district attorney’s office, Leung began a private practice and moved to Indiana. He was apparently unable to resist the allure of the fast life on the streets of New York City. Because that’s what all bored guys in their 40s do. Leung has not been indicted, but will return to court on January 22. Until then, he’s free without bail.

[via Gothamist]

The 30 Worst Fall-Offs in Rap History


The bigger they are, the harder they fall, and no one sits higher than a rapper at the top of his (or her) game. But what might seem like an endless joyride can come crashing down at any time, due to label issues or changing tastes, even something as trivial as a dumb outfit. While these acts may be gone, they will never be forgotten; we celebrate their peaks and, when it comes to valleys, we reminisce over them. ItsTheReal’s Eric and Jeff Rosenthal picked up all of the broken pieces for our list of The 30 Worst Fall-Offs in Rap History.