Most Read
  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



Search thousands of events in our database.


Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.


Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Stir It Up

Pryor disturbances

Mulenga Harangua builds a shrine to Richard Pryor

As I walked up the steps to Mulenga Harangua's porch, I noticed that he seemed to be fixing the place up. At least he's slapped a coat of paint on the porch and steps. It made the place he was squatting in look a lot friendlier. I knocked lightly on the front door and it swung open. So I walked in. Nobody was near the front door but I heard something that sounded like muttering coming from the back of the house.

As I got closer I could make out the words. "Niggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggerniggernigger," chanted Mulenga with his back to me. He had earphones on as he moved around in front of what looked like some kind of voodoo altar.

There were several candles with their flickering flames creating a dance of shadows around the room. Flowers and what looked like cheap Mardi Gras beads festooned the altar, and there were little pictures that looked like they were cut out from magazines peeking out here and there. Bowls containing different colored liquids sat about and smoke that smelled suspiciously like marijuana drifted lazily through the holes of an incense holder. Atop the pyramid of trinkets was fastened a T-shirt with a picture of Richard Pryor holding his fists up like a boxer.

I cleared my throat a couple of times but Mulenga didn't hear me, so I tapped him on the shoulder. He jumped and knocked over a couple of bowls. The smell of liquor wafted into the air.

"Damn, man; don't sneak up on me like that."

"I knocked on the door but you didn't answer, so I came on in. I figured you wouldn't mind if I came in. Why are you so jumpy?"

"Well, when I'm burning my special incense," he pointed at the burning weed, "I don't like to get surprises."

"Then you should lock your door. So what is all this niggering? I thought you didn't go for the N-word."

"I generally don't but I make an exception for Richard. The way he used it was poetry. I swear he almost killed it as a pejorative. But in the end the N-word wouldn't die. It's like funk, it just gets stronger."

"I agree, and you do know that in the end he rejected the N-word. I remember what he said, memorized it. He said, 'I been wrong. I ain't going to ever call another black man "nigger." That's a word we use to describe our own wretchedness.'"

"That may be, but before he rejected it he made much money throwing out 'nigger' left and right."

"Well, you're right on that. But what is this altar thing anyway? I never figured you for any of this hoodoo stuff."

"It's an ofrenda, one of those Mexican Day of the Dead altars."

"Wasn't the Day of the Dead about a month ago?"

"Yeah, but we're coming up on the fifth anniversary of Pryor's death, Dec. 10, so I thought it was appropriate. And if he were still kicking, it'd be his 70th birthday next Wednesday."

I looked closer at the ofrenda. There were pictures of Pryor's album covers. That Nigger's Crazy, with the tight photo of his face with his own fingers pointing at it; Is it Something I Said?, with hooded, medieval-looking characters with torches about to burn him at the stake; the one with him nearly naked squatting in the dirt looking like an aboriginal tribesman clutching a rustic-looking bow and arrow.

The memories began flooding back to me. "Man, we really got some laughs out of that. I remember when you first brought That Nigger's Crazy over to my house. Daddy kicked you and the record out. But we listened to it over in Joe's basement. We laughed till we peed our pants."

"Maybe you did. My pants were dry. But that shit was funny. Remember that bit about getting pussy back in the 1950s? 'In the '50s it was very seldom you got any parts of pussy. You be tongue-kissing and shit. Dick get harder than times in '29. ... Getting some pussy beats going to war.' And remember the advice from his uncle? 'Boy don't you ever kiss no pussy.' Then Richard said, 'I couldn't wait to kiss a pussy; he'd been wrong about everything else. The women had to beat me off.'"

I had to laugh again. "Yeah, he turned it out. He took everything about black life that nobody talked about and put it out front and center. It may not seem all that deep today, with the way comedians talk about ghetto stuff, but then, man, it was like a revolution. All the characters, winos and all. What's he say? Oh, yeah, 'Winos never get scared of nothing but running out of wine.' I know that's true. And there's the one about having a heart attack and trying to talk to God: 'Your heart get mad if it finds out you was going behind its back to talk to God.'"

But Mudbone was my favorite, crazy as hell, talking like them old brothers from down South. He was one of them cats that always seemed to be a little drunk, but they didn't bother anybody. Just run their mouths all day. They'd be off the wall, but there was something deep going on back there. Remember what Mudbone said about first meeting his drinking buddy? There was some honesty there. 'He could lie his ass off. Ah, that nigger could tell lies. That's how we became friends. He tell a lie; I tell a lie, see. And we'd complement each other's lies.'"

"That was good, but I liked the one about him and his partner crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and they had to pee. So they're going off the side of the bridge and one of them says, 'Goddamn, this water cold.' Other nigger say, 'Yeah, and it deep too.'"

"Yeah, that was deep."

I looked at the ofrenda again. "What's in those bowls?"

"That's liquor. You're supposed to put something the person liked in the bowls. Richard liked to drink and smoke weed, so that's what I got. I got cognac in that blue bowl; that's what he doused himself with before he set himself on fire. I was going to a pork chop but I didn't in deference to his heart attack."

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus