On our Lists this week: Def Comedy Jam, Bob Ross, and Res


Bob Ross: Beauty is Everywhere on Netflix: Before I landed on this 1990s series after endless scrolling in search of something family-friendly to watch with my siblings, niece and nephew, Bob Ross existed as a subject of many memes. But this past weekend, I discovered that behind the white man with a perm is a painter. In his series Beauty is Everywhere he teaches us the basics of his signature wet-on-wet style in a cluster of countryside landscape paintings that celebrate the beauty of nature. Although I have no drawing gene, something about watching him cheerfully take me through each stroke of a brush that turns a plain canvas into serene scenes was incredibly relaxing and encouraging. He made me believe that even I can do such things. (ZH)

Def Comedy Jam 25 on Netflix: In the early 2000s, my brothers would wait for my parents to go to bed before unleashing a CD (which later became a USB) of Def Comedy Jam compilations. In this television series produced by Russell Simmons, up-and-coming comics would receive a baptism of fire in front of a hard-to-please crowd that was not afraid of booing, throwing things and heckling comics off stage. It was this hilarious, problematic and raw-as-hell series that introduced me to the African-American stand-up comics that have become my go-tos for a belly-laugh session. In this special event, stand-up comedy giants such as Dave Chappelle, Martin Lawrence and Adele Givens come together to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series with some of the most memorable highlights that shaped the American comedy landscape as we know it today. I had my hand over an open mouth in shock, with laughing tears rolling down my face, the entire time. (ZH)

How I Do by Res: This is a soul album brimming with punkish soul. Co-written by her cousin Santi White (perhaps better known as Santigold), Res’s 2001 album refuses to age and plays out like some kind of personal journal. Through the thoughtful lyrics and phrasing, Res seems to inhabit an internal world far deeper than the songs themselves. (KS)

The Lists were compiled by Zaza Hlalethwa and Kwanele Sosibo

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