2017 has been a memorable year. This was a year that had it’s high and low moments in various aspects of entertainment as well as the political world (depending upon what your political views are). Last year we gave out awards for the best moments and performers in 2016. So, you know we had to follow up with a 2017 addition. Without further ado, here are our picks for the best performers and moments of 2017 as selected by the TUC Editors and Contributors.
Athlete of the Year: Tom Brady
It’s amazing what Tom Brady is doing at 40 years of age. He started the year off strong by winning an NFL record 5th Super Bowl title by a starting Quarterback and as of this moment, his New England Patriots are geared for another deep playoff run and Brady is also a front runner for his 3rd NFL MVP award at an age in which most NFL Quarterbacks are over the hill or retired.
Honorable Mentions: Russell Westbrook, Cristiano Ronaldo, Serena Williams, Floyd Mayweather jr., Maya Moore, Kevin Durant, Antonio Brown, and Sloane Stephens.
Album of the Year: Jay Z’s 4:44 album
Jay Z changed the paradigm of Hip-Hop culture with the release of his 4:44 album. While artists such as 50 Cent considered the album to be “too smart”, the album couldn’t have came at a better time. 4:44 was an album that tackled race relations in America and also encouraged people of color to invest their money and be owners rather than employees . The album still resonates in Hip Hop even till this final day of 2017 as one of Jay’s arch rivals in Hip Hop, Drake, is seeking part ownership of Apple Music. When an album can uplift and inspire your fans as well as your peers, that’s when you know your work is timeless.
Honorable Mentions: Kendrick Lamar: DAMN, Lorde: Melodrama, SZA: CTRL, Taylor Swift: Reputation, Kehlani: SweetSexySavage, Future: HNDRXX, Joey Badass: All-Amerikkkan Badass, and Rapsody: Laila’s Wisdom.
Film of the Year: Get Out
Get Out is a movie that is entertaining, thrilling, and thought provoking. It deals with how people of color are perceived by the majority that makes up this country. Is this the first movie to discuss this premise ? No, but it does a good job of presenting it in an entertaining way that is suitable for all audiences. Comedian, Jordan Peele, did a marvelous job of taking a story that has been done to death and making it a satirical piece with many truths. The film will forever be held in high esteem within urban culture and thanks to media platforms such as the Breakfast Club, the thought of one being in the sunken place will live in infamy.
Honorable Mentions: Logan, IT., Detroit, Jumanji, Thor Ragnarok, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Dunkirk, The Shape of Water, and War for the Planet of the Apes.
Social Media Star of the Year: Jess Hilarious
We might not be calling Jessica Robin Moore aka Jess Hilarious a “Social Media Star” for very long as this woman is making moves before our very eyes. Jess is widely known for her funny social media skits, but she has also been making waves on our television screens as well. From being a recurring cast member on season 9 of Nick Cannon’s Wild N’ Out, to also being featured on HBO’s All Def Comedy series. Jess is definitely one to watch in 2018.
Honorable Mentions: Lavar Ball, Nusret Gökçe aka Salt Bae, Jake Paul, and Fatboy SSE .
Fashion Designer of the Year: Virgil Abloh
Virgil Abloh won our honor last year for designer of the year and he followed up 2017 with an even better year. Virgil is highly respected in the fashion world ; but, this year he’s garnered even more respect with the sneaker heads with his re-release of the Off White x Air Jordan 1s in his “The Ten” collection with Nike. Virgil Abloh will also be getting his own exhibit in 2019 at the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art dedicated to all of his designs. This year alone, Abloh has also branched out into furniture design and designing the cover art for Lil Uzi Vert’s “Luv is Rage 2” and also directing his “XO Tour Llif3” music video. Not a bad 2017 if I do say so myself.
Honorable Mentions: Philipp Plein, Stacy Bendet, and Alessandro Michele.
Television Series of the Year: AHS: Cult
American Horror Story is a television series that is very hit or miss. This season’s theme was Cult and it played into the presidential election of Donald Trump but that was just the backdrop to an amazing story. The season had many twists and turns and made you wonder who was the true antagonist of the show or if there ever was one at all due to how each character was able to manipulate others and paint themselves as the last remnant of all that was humanity in a world filled with chaos. The show would hit you with roadblock after roadblock when trying to predict how the season would end. It made for a captivating 48 minutes of television that is worth binge watching.
Honorable Mentions: Game of Thrones: Season 7, Insecure: Season 2, Stranger Things: Season 2, She’s Gotta Have It: Season 1, Legion: Season 1, and Big Little Lies: Season 1.
#Relationship Goals 2017: Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’Oir
You don’t hear stories about relationships such as the one that Gucci Mane and Keyshia Ka’Oir have every day, which is why their relationship is so compelling. Keyshia established herself as her own boss right out the gate with her beauty and cosmetic lines while Gucci Mane was known for wilding out and going to jail all the time. When it finally caught up to him, Keyshia didn’t abandon the relationship like how many celebrity relationships end when a spouse falls on hard times. Instead, she inspired Gucci to focus on his mental and physical health and on their BET special, “The Mane Event”, the couple got married in a lavish million dollar wedding ceremony. Gucci is back and better than ever and Keyshia still continues to do her thing as a fashion icon and boss lady. We wish the couple nothing but peace and prosperity going forward.
Honorable Mention: Joe Budden and Cyn Santana, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, and Barack and Michelle Obama.
#Trending Moment of the Year
In 2016, the Oscars received social media backlash with the #Oscarssowhite campaign. How did they follow up 2017, Oh I don’t know….. how about botching the announcement of the most important award of the night for “Best Picture” which was intended for a majority people of color cast? The award for “Best Picture” was originally announced for La La Land, but after a minute, of realizing that a “Steve Harvey moment” took place, all was rectified at the end. But it still doesn’t take away the stain of what was supposed to be a moving and celebratory moment and instead turned it into one of the biggest controversies and blunders in award show history.
Honorable Mentions: Beyoncé’s Pregnancy announcement and photoshoot, The Migos confront Joe Budden on “Everyday Struggle” red carpet, and Remy Ma “ShEther diss.
Breakout Star of the Year: SZA
For the record, SZA is not a new artist as she’s been in the game since 2012. However, this year was definitely her breakthrough commercial year as an artist as she released her successful debut album, CTRL, and she has been featured on late night shows such as SNL and is also a Grammy-nominated artist for the first time in her career heading into the new year.
Honorable Mentions: Cardi B, Tiffany Haddish, Gal Gadot, XXX Tentacion, and Yara Shahidi.
Comeback of the Year: Dave Chapelle
In the early to mid-2000s, Dave Chappelle was to Comedy what Kevin Hart is currently for this generation. Then in February of 2006, Chappelle quit The Chappelle Show and he made sporadic appearances in the mainstream media for the next decade. In November of 2016, it was announced that Chappelle would be releasing 3 Netflix comedy specials in 2017. Fast forward to 2017, and those comedy specials were received rather well from the general public and Chappelle’s Netflix deal was renewed to receive two additional Netflix specials for today (New Year’s Eve). It must also be noted that in less than 24 hrs, Dave Chappelle’s NYE Comedy special is receiving rave reviews all over social media. Although many of us are disappointed that The Chappelle Show had to come to an end, these Netflix specials have proven that Chappelle is back and better than ever.
Honorable Mentions: Remy Ma, Mase, Eminem, Floyd Mayweather Jr., and the FILA brand.
Those are our awards for 2017. Let us know in the comments your picks for our awards handed out as well as any awards that we may have omitted.