This Is Why I Call You Left Behind Braxton

I imagine that for years, whenever Traci Braxton would stand in her kitchen in Murrlyn, frying pork chops or steaming crab legs with just a little bit too much of Old Bay, she was fuming over the fact that the world of rhythm and blues paid her ass dust. So, in some respects, I applaud Left Behind Braxton for making the most of the attention Braxton Family Values has yielded her. If we’re being totally honest with ourselves, besides Tamar Braxton, Traci has maximized this reality show fame the most.

Yes, Trina Braxton has released two singles – “Party or Go Home” and “Gametime” – but given that she’s damn near 40 and cannot dance a good got damn, someone should have told her it’s far too late in her life to go and try and be Kesha. As for Towanda Braxton, for all that initial talk Yolanda Adams Face had about becoming an actress, I haven’t seen her in so much as a Ora Quick commercial.

Meanwhile, Traci has secured an online radio show — this despite having one of the worst accents and speech patterns in history. And now she has a full fledged album, which doesn’t sound bad or even cheap. It even features duets with artists I’ve actually heard of like Raheem DeVaughn. She’s even put out a video, which I plan to never watch again, but I must say, looked like it was on a Keyshia Cole, the early years budget and a bae as the lead.

All that said, kudos to you, Traci, but let’s make sure we keep one thing clear: When you really get down to it, there’s a reason Toni never asked you to be a doo wop pop pop chick. Bless Traci’s heart, but what in the absolute fuck is this?

In this performance, she looks like somebody’s drunk auntie at a karaoke. Or better yet, she’s giving me “What if Shug Avery fell off the wagon and forgot 10 of her steps?” Traci is so jealous of Tamar, but much of that likely is rooted in her wishing she was Tamar. That would explain her really terrible attempts at also copying gay slang and all other banjee related antics on the show. If Tamar were in AP courses, Traci is in the remedial ones held in the temporary buildings in the back of the school. You know, so they are free to slob on each other in a safe space.

God bless her since that album is coming out next week no matter how abysmal her stage game is, but Traci Braxton needs work. On her singing. On her dancing. On any and everything related to being a recorded artist.

Chris Brown’s “X” Is Bitter Progress

For so long, we’ve been subjected to talk of Chris Brown as the next Usher or Michael Jackson. And yet, Chris Brown’s catalog does not include widely praised albums like Off The Wall,Confessions, or even a Don’t Be Cruel. Brown is very much an artist of the day—someone able to churn out a radio hit on command (even in the midst of scandal)—though if you are touted as an act whose talent recalls the megastars of yore, eventually you’re going to have to put out a product that speaks to that.

X, the Virginia native’s six studio album, is not that album, but is certainly a step in the right direction. Based on recent interviews, Chris Brown appears more self-aware and ready for reflection, a quality that has carried over to his music. In the album’s opener, the Diplo-produced title track boasts of lines like “I can make you a believer if I turn the nonsense down.” There are more scornful remarks—“If you’re only as good as the company you keep, then I’ma blame you for what they say about me”—but even that may speak to his truth: It’s not always his fault.

The fair trade of blame carries over to his duet with Brandy, “Do Better.” It feels like Christmas to hear Chris Brown sing, “I learn more and more each day. I don’t know me. It’s like I can’t get out of my own way.” Brandy sings that same line, only when she does, I think less about guilt and more along the lines of, “Why don’t I hear Brandy on the radio anymore?” The last time I did, it was her Chris Brown-featuring single “Put It Down.” The two have remarkable chemistry, so here’s hoping Moesha makes a mental note of that as she reportedly works on new music.

In any event, on the solemn “Autumn Leaves,” Brown examines a fleeting love with splendid gloominess and a level of sensitivity typically not associated with him (for good reason). And then there’s the song’s guest, Kendrick Lamar, who more or less speaks on Brown’s behalf about redemption as the 25-year-old singer embarks on yet another attempt to move beyond his past mistakes in the public eye. What’s interesting about that, though, is that if Chris Brown wanted people to see him as a more nuanced person, he would’ve done better releasing tracks like these as opposed to “Loyal.”

No matter how catchy “Loyal” is, it’s melodic misogyny drenched in ego and materialism. Chris has to get radio airplay, but there is a way to be contemporary without being so contemptuous. Enter “Drunk Texting,” featuringJhené Aiko. It’s a song you can bop to without shouts of how awful “these bitches” are. So much of today’s R&B is soiled by the over-compensating machismo often found in rap. It all sounds angry, and while anger is a valid emotion, exhibiting too much of it has its limitations and consequences. Chris Brown should grasp this by now, so it’s refreshing to see him switch his style of emoting.

Read the rest at Complex.

Love & Hip Hop Hollywood: Vagisil and Violent Women

Remember when Teairra Mari was singing about not having a daddy around when she was growing up? It’s a shame only roughly seven of y’all gave a fuck ‘cause she ultimately found herself dropped from her label and tossed into the same R&B cage now home to other lost songbirds like Gina Thompson, Mona Lisa, and Amerie with the extra “I.” And yet, mere minutes into the series premiere of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood, Teairra swears she is fighting to get people to see that she still “eats and breathes music.” Maybe, but so far Teairra’s menu looks less focused on studio time and more centered on a diet of beef and brown liquor.

As Tearria explained to publicist-turned-rapper (this is Los Angeles, in a nutshell) Hazel-E, the roommate she hasn’t seen in forever ‘cause she’s been “house sitting,” she is still reeling from the fallout of her relationship with Ray J. I know what you you’re thinking: Who still obsesses over Ray J in 2014? Short answer is Detroit birds with clipped wings. In any event, Teairra and Ray have been dating “off, on, and on for nine years.” That is, until she “saw them hoes’ pictures in his phone”—resulting in Ray J subsequently being “caught with a right hook.” Ray J’s assistant substantiated those remarks by reminding Ray, who invited Teairra to his blog launch party, that she is good for fighting after drinking one too many.

Ray doesn’t care because, like Peter Gunz and Stevie J before him, he’s a serialdater and overall egomaniac who feeds off of the attention. Before Teairra acts up at Ray J’s blog party, the two meet up in a parking lot—probably because Ray might need witnesses for police statements that may need to be filed. She wanted to let Ray J know just how much he hurt her. Plus, she would like the expensive bag he bought her back. She didn’t get it last night, but upon arriving to Ray’s party, Ray’s new girl informed her that she went into the bag and snapped shots of its contents, which included Vagisil. Teairra threw a drink at her, though it was likely just ice, as I doubt she’d waste alcohol.

Ray said he had to end his relationship with Teairra because it was “toxic” due to her violence. As wrong as it is for a man to attack a woman, it’s equally wrong for someone like Tearria Mari to not only boast about swinging on Ray J, but threatening to do it again. That’s how people–male or female–end up knocked out. Still, she’s certainly one big ball of emotions and that makes for good TV.

While it remains to be seen if Teairra Mari will manage to pull a K. Michelle and use this VH1 attention to cultivate a musical comeback, a star is born all the same. Already, I can see a future episode of Iyanla, Fix My Life featuring Teairra Mari. Close your eyes and envision the yelling, beloveds.

Keeping with the theme of crazy women, meet Moniece Slaughter, Lil’ Fizz’s baby mama. Wait, he’s just Fizz now. Respect. Anyhow, Moniece doesn’t have custody of the child they share together because she’s batshit crazy and a lil’ violent. Crazy as in he had to file a restraining order against her after she allegedly tried to slam a baby seat into his car window. She doesn’t even know where Fizz lives, but I mean, can you blame him when the woman says things like “I’ve been playing it cool since he likes to throw restraining orders around?” And she delivers that line in the confessional with such a calm in her eyes that I can’t help but think she is Hannibal Lecter with a Malaysian weave.

Fizz has a new bae in his life, though, so expect future altercations between those two in the future. By the way, Moniece–an apparent singer-songwriter–is trying to launch a line of heated dildos. Ladies, if you want your coochies to catch a 107-degree fever, Moniece got you.

Read the rest at Complex.

Robin Thicke Throws Pharrell Under The Bus, Pharrell Blames ‘Reverse Racism’

Even fair weather fans of Robin Thicke have long known that Alan Thicke’s boy had a huge crush on Marvin Gaye’s music. Before “Blurred Lines” took over radio and various cookouts across the country last year, he was releasing albums like 2008’s Something Else, which could’ve also been titled Vanilla Latte Marvin Gaye. Thicke has been doing this, only never to the success he secured with his now lawsuit-spawning massive hit.

However, thanks to the newly exposed depositions as part of the lawsuit filed by Gaye’s children against the “Blurred Lines” architects – Thicke, Pharrell Williams, and T.I. – we now know that Thicke lied about the songs conception. Claiming the stories he told the press last year were sponsored by Vicodin and alcohol, Thicke clarified by explaining,

I was jealous and I wanted some of the credit … I tried to take credit for it later because [Williams] wrote the whole thing pretty much by himself and I was envious of that.

Robin did what many contemporary singers do these days: add their name to the songwriting credits for the sake of appearances and publishing checks. When asked about this, Pharrell noted,

This is what happens every day in our industry. You know, people are made to look like they have much more authorship in the situation than they actually do. So that’s where the embellishment comes in.

And if Pharrell is comfortable with that and allowing Thicke to collect 18 to 22 percent of publishing royalties, so be it. As for as the Gaye family’s lawsuit, that is for the courts and possibly Gaye’s ghost to decide. What frustrates me most about this new twist to the story though, is that Pharrell once again spewed that post-racial, Yoda-like nonsense about race – only now under oath.

When trying to break down what exactly makes Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” different from “Blurred Lines,” Pharrell said:

Because it’s the white man singing soulfully and we, unfortunately, in this country don’t get enough — we don’t get to hear that as often, so we get excited by it when the mainstream gives that a shot. But there’s a lot of incredibly talented white folk with really soulful vocals, so when we’re able to give them a shot — and when I say ‘we,’ I mean like as in the public gives them a shot to be heard, then you hear the Justin Timberlakes and you hear the Christina Aguileras and you hear, you know, all of these masterful voices that have just been given, you know, an opportunity to be heard because they’re doing something different.

So, Robin Thicke used his clout as an artist to collect 18 to 22 percent of royalties for a song he played no role in actually creating, but when met with a legal challenge, now suddenly wants to deflect and be honest in the name of self-interest. And even when met with a backhand shot of disloyalty, Pharrell acts as if Robin Thicke is a victim because he’s just a white man in America trying to ride the wave of Black creativity to net wealth.

This is like Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake redux, but at least Damita Jo knew what the damn deal was.

I don’t know what planet Pharrell Williams lives on, but I wish he would jump on his big ass hat and ride himself back there and spare us all from another densely worded statement about race.

Read the rest at The Urban Daily.

Sam Smith And The Myth Of Blue-Eyed Soul

Whenever people argue “If Black artists learn to stand there and sing like Adele and Sam Smith,” I think of one person: Jazmine Sullivan. Then I think of others. Luke James. Jill Scott. Ledisi. Countless others. I don’t have a problem with Adele or Sam Smith. Adele seems absolutely lovely, and when I feel like swimming into an oceanof melancholy to the tune of a British accent, she’s the second person I think of (Amy Winehouse is forever the first).

And while I feel like Sam Smith is to gay politics what Don Lemon is to conversations about race, his gifts as a singer and songwriter are undeniable. Still, when it comes to chatter about the plight of contemporary R&B artists and their difficulty netting the successes of their white peers, too many gloss over the reality that Black artists are in a radio climate that calls for Black music mostly from those who aren’t actually Black. Hello, Iggy Azalea. Hi, Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse.” What up, though, Adele and Sam Smith?

It’s not white artist’s fault that they get this added bonus, but we all should be more honest about what’s going on.

Earlier in the year, Tank, an R&B veteran who should’ve known better, argued in an interview earlier this year that “…Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake are leading the charge in R&B music. We can’t hate! We can’t hate on what it is! The truth is what it is. And Robin Thicke and Justin Timberlake are doing R&B music better than us. We need to catch up.”

I imagine God had to get on the megaphone to tell Marvin Gaye and Michael Jackson to tone down their laughter before they wake up all of heaven after reading such bull. No matter, though, because similar cases have been made for Adele and Sam Smith. Anyone who buys into the idea that white artists who fall under the umbrella of “blue-eyed soul” are being more true to the art form than many contemporary Black acts, and thus are attaining more success, are being willfully obtuse.

Jazmine Sullivan recently released a beautiful, soul-wrenching record in “Forever Don’t Last.” I can confidently say that there’s no chance in hell that pop radio will play it. They would if Adele released it, though. A similar case could be made about any Sam Smith single and [insert R&B artist who can actually sing’s name here].

Read the rest at VIBE.

Seeing Is Believing: Does the Public Need to See Crime Videos?

Despite pleas from the family, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine will not release surveillance footage surrounding the shooting death of John Crawford III. Crawford’s father, John Crawford II, says the footage make it clear in no uncertain terms about what happened in that Beavercreek Wal-Mart. Speaking with The Guardian, Crawford II claims, “It was an execution, no doubt about it. It was flat-out murder. And when you see the footage, it will illustrate that.”

DeWine has argued that releasing the footage would be “playing with dynamite” and prevent any trial from being fair. And yet, the narrative about what preceded Crawford III’s death remains: He, with his Black and menacing self, walked around the store brandishing a gun, forcing them to believe that they were under direct and imminent threat. That gun turned out to be a BB gun for sale in the store and the person who called 911 has since recanted his story. Also speaking with The Guardian, Ronald Ritchie now says, “At no point did he shoulder the rifle and point it at somebody.” Ritchie, maintains Crawford was still taking the toy gun and “waving it around,” but he nonetheless soiled the minds of a potential jury pool, too – his own ability to bend the truth be damned (his claims of being an “ex-marine” have been proven false.)

Nonetheless, a Beavercreek police spokesman maintains their version of events, claiming in a statement: “Preliminary indications are that the officers acted appropriately under the circumstances.”

I bet, but a tape will likely confirm what most of us already know: this death should not have happened.

Personally, I don’t have to see video footage of a horrific incident when the surrounding details are crystal clear. I feel confident in concluded that based on the facts, an unarmed Black man lost his life for no good reason. The same goes for knowing that now former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice assaulted his then fiancée, Janay Palmer and that justice was not served by the NJ prosecutor, nor by a permissive NFL commissioner. But while I don’t need to see the gory details of something in order to comprehend its ugliness, but I do recognize that this is the case for others.

For varying reasons – lack of empathy or the effects of being bombarded with desensitizing imagery for far too long – many often have to see horror to interpret it as such.

Yes, in a perfect world, it should not have required TMZ leaking footage of Ray Rice knocking out his partner, stepping over her as if she did not matter in the least to him, and spitting on her motionless body to get the public riled up to the extent to which even NFL commissioner Roger Goodell may soon find himself unemployed, but it did. The same can be said of the site publishing photos of Rihanna after her brutal beating from then-boyfriend Chris Brown. Had we not viewed those images, Chris Brown might’ve been able to sing about disloyal “hoes” mere months after the incident as opposed to five years.

That does not in any way make TMZ a crusader. They are not releasing this sort of footage out of the goodness of their hearts. It is about profit and securing it through wetting the public’s insatiable appetite for all things celebrity. Still, no matter their intentions, their actions have yielded real consequences for abusers and those who enable them for those who may have otherwise simply skated by.

There is an obvious cost to that, though. Rihanna did not want the world to see those pictures. The same can seemingly be said about Janay Palmer Rice. Victims often do not want to be viewed as such. Not to mention, there is gross embarrassment in having your victimization ready available for consumption to anyone with an Internet connection.

Read more at EBONY

Finally, Black thrillers come to the big screen

In the past few years there has been a flood of films released by major studios starring by black actors. But until recently, they’ve been very familiar terrain. Movies written, directed, and starring Tyler Perry. Other morality-driven movies with Tyler Perry’s blueprint and box office grosses in mind. Romantic comedies, undoubtedly rushed into development in light of the success of movies like “Think Like A Man” and “The Best Man Holiday” – confirming that Hollywood believes that middle-class romance-minded black people are a major moviegoing demographic. And of course there is the biopic. It often feels as though every black person of note in the last 50 years has a shot of having his or her life depicted on the big screen.

However, tomorrow Screen Gems will release the thriller “No Good Deed,” produced by black film mogul Will Packer and starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson. Screen Gems has already announced plans for another thriller titled “The Perfect Guy,” which will star Michael Ealy, Sanaa Lathan, Morris Chestnut, along with “True Blood” actress Rutina Wesley. Both come on the heels of the 2013 psychological thriller “Repentance,” released on February 28, 2014 and led by Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, and Sanaa Lathan. “Repentance” had an extremely limited theatrical release and the paltry box office gross to go with it. The movie did not exactly score favorable reviews – boasting a miniscule 46 percent audience rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Still, it was made. More importantly, more movies like it are being made. Now riddle me this: Name another year in which three thrillers with a majority black cast have been released or at least announced to be in development. I can’t think of one, which is why I’m apt to support the next two in line.

I’ve seen plenty of jokes about “No Good Deed” – i.e. who wouldn’t let Idris Elba into their home if he came calling? I’m sure similar quips will be made about Michael Ealy in the coming months. Even so, I’m more shocked that we’re finally getting movies from black creatives that don’t involve Jesus, a Madea, or some exhaustive romantic squabble that ends in perfectly packaged “true love.”

Each of those movies has a right to exist, but it’s important to see black people in all their fullness. That’s one thing often missing from complaints about the lack of black films in Hollywood. It’s not that there wasn’t just an erasure in color, but in also the complexity of our stories.

Read the rest at Salon.

A Review Of All 19,000 Songs on Chris Brown’s “X”

Credit for this Sinbad-like sight of Chris Brown goes to Billboard.

There are two things I haven’t done in an extremely long time: blow the dust off this blog long enough to write an original post and willfully listen to a Chris Brown album in full. Despite having already written three essays today, I randomly decided to do a track-by-track review of Breezy’s new album X. All hail caffeine for whom all blessings flow. Well, besides The Lord and my lord and gyrator, Beyoncé. I will try to be less of a deadbeat dad to this site, but like many trifling dads, I make no promises.

1. “X”

Wait. This song sounds way better than I remember. Is it the headphones? Being in a more centered state and shit? Unclear, but I now like this. Wait, no I don’t. I hate the beat switch. The production value on this is not it. This would have been better with a live band. This young man needs to learn to appreciate the value of musicians. Where is Quincy Jones ghost when you need it? Oh, he’s still alive. My bad, but you get it.

2. “Add Me In”

The kid is limber, but who knew he is flexible enough to ride Michael Jackson’s dick all the way in heaven? Or well, maybe purgatory ’cause let’s no pretend there weren’t ghosts surrounding the King of Pop. Pun intended. That aside, I like this song.

3.  “Loyal” featuring Lil’ Wayne & Tyga

Girl, fuck this song. Now and forever.

4. “New Flame” featuring Usher & Rick Ross

Who produced this? A crafty, but too self-assured eight-year-old who just discovered Garage Band? Chris Brown loves messing up potential with poor production value.

5. “Songs On 12 Play” featuring Trey Songz

This sounds like the audible equivalent of giving R. Kelly a hand job. Chris Brown is younger and occasionally prone to tune it up, so perhaps Pissy appreciates the gesture. It’s somewhat clever – flipping classic R. Kelly song titles into a homage-paying song all its on. However, didn’t The-Dream already do this with his entire catalog — including one song in particular?

6. “101 (Interlude)”

Janet Jackson did it better. Hell, Keri Hilson did it better, too.

7. “Drown In It” featuring R. Kelly

Pissy sure is an arrogant motherfucker. We already know how he likes to get down with respect to waterworks in sex, but this pedophile refuses to exercise even the faintest bit of guilt or self-awareness.

8. “Came To Do” featuring Akon

This song must’ve been recorded in 2005 because that’s the only way I can conceive why anyone would still be collaborating with Akon? Out of respect for my mama, who loved “Locked Up,” I won’t say anything else. Just kidding. This song blows harder than Apol

And did he sample himself? Have more ambition with that blond hair, Christopher.

9. “Stereotype”

Although I’ve already seen his nudes, I will reiterate that Chris Brown has some pretty big balls releasing a song called “Stereotype” given everything we’ve come to learn about Chris Brown. Unfortunately, that irony is the most interesting thing about this song. Maybe if I’m drunk at a bar (likely a gay one, the straight ones will still be playing “Loyal”) I might sing the hook to be cordial to my friends obsess with his ass, but I hope not.

10. “Time In Love”

Immediately thought no. Three minutes and 30 seconds later: still no. I’m kidding. I didn’t finish this shit.

11. “Lady In A Glass (Interlude)”

“Lady in the glass dress, I can see right through you.” I’m not doing this. Next.

12. “Autumn Leaves” featuring Kendrick Lamar

I’m a fan of reflective bop, so sold. Shout out to Kendrick Lamar for telling this angry, damaged sum’bitch “you’re reaping what you sow.”

13. “Do Better” featuring Brandy

I’m so sick of hearing Chris Brown insult “bitches.” He hates women and it’s grating to hear a man known for abusing women continue his war cries against them in song. In any event, this is a good song if you’re into that ultra moody subgenre of R&B. Brandy sounds nice albeit unbelievable singing “You niggas is basic.” Okay, Moesha. These two have great chemistry.

14. “See You Around”

This, like Beyoncé “Best I Never Had,” has production take takes cues from the music that plays in the background of your DVD cleaner. I never want to hear this again. And I won’t.

15. “Don’t Gone Be Too Long”

I wish someone would explain to Christopher that the Cash Money method of album making is passé. He could’ve let this on the cutting room floor, or at least sold it to some indiscernible pop star dying to score a mini-hit the world will forget about by the end of this sentence.

16. “Body Shots”

Talented as he is as a performer, to some degree a songwriter, and if you’re in a giving mood, singer, Chris Brown is not much of an artiste. He’s to forward-leaning music as Express is to pushing fashion into new frontier.

“I’m about to do some shots, in your pussy, baby.”

Chris Brown sings about sex like a boy still itching to touch his first boob, or in certain circles, accidentally on purpose run jock first into the kind of boy he likes from behind in gym. This sucks. So much. Jesus.

17. “Drunk Texting” featuring Jhené Aiko

If there’s any R&B artist right now who can properly articulate the perils of drunk texting, it would be Jhené Aiko. As soon as the song started, I went, “Oh, bitch.” Then my body proceeded to bop on its on. Hashtag birdgang. Jhené songs great and equally great singing alongside Chris Brown’s vocals. If he released this right now, it would play nonstop on radio for several months. Actually, that would be awesome for Jhené. Quit playing, Breezy: release this as a single. I can already see myself drunk texting some boy and then turning this song on after. I’ll stripper kick and then reminisce over you. I already see it.

18. “Lost In Ya Love”

Took about 30 seconds for me to put one arm in the ear. Took 30 more for me to silently whisper in my head, “Hey, daddy.” God, let’s forget this ever happened. That is, until I put this on repeat. It’s not remarkable, but it’s subtle, bop-inducing, and sang well. You know, quality R&B. Do that more often, Chris. You’re quite good at it.

19. “Love More” featuring Nicki Minaj.

Like many songs featuring Nicki Minaj, Nicki Minaj is the only reason to give this song a listen. Team Minaj, ya bitch.

20. “Don’t Think They Know” featuring Aaliyah

This is still way better than the Aaliyah vocal-lifting Drake did on “Enough Said.”

21. “Fine China”

I’ll never forgive you people for not making this a bigger hit than it should have been. Never.

Stop Being So Dumb About Domestic Violence

Whenever I want to give up on humanity and manage to avoid a conversation with family, I can always count on the Internet to renew my interests in seeing the absolute worst in people. If I need a lil’ extra something-something to really make me cynical, mass media and the numerous insensitive, hallow-thinking, and misogyny-pushing minions they employ are there to pitch in. Case in point, the aftermath of TMZ leaking additional footage of now-former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice violently assaulting his then-fiancée, Janay Rice, and the varying insensitive, cruel, and downright stupid responses to an issue that requires more nuance, larger empathy, and certainly less simpletons talking.

For starters, men invoking the name of Solange and her elevator aggression in order to deflect from the fact that Ray Rice had absolutely no business knocking out Janay cold and stepping over her like she was absolutely nothing.  This is akin to cries over the verdict of the O.J. Simpson trial to counter claims of a racially biased criminal justice system.

Okay, fellas, sure, Solange should have kept her hands to herself, but this doesn’t negate that when it comes to intimate partner violence, men are the primary aggressor.

Likewise, it does not excuse Ray Rice for mishandling whatever “provocation” anyone feels he had before assaulting his now-wife. If you’re a man — especially one as strong as a pro football player — you are able to diffuse a situation without resorting to the violence Ray Rice did. You do not have to punch a woman in the face. It does not matter whether Solange did a powerhouse wheel kick on Jay Z’s head in front of Jesus and threatened to smack him with a Bible if he sassed her too.

Men are mostly responsible for domestic violence and it is the responsibility of men to make it pain and clear that in no certain terms is it okay to beat your partner.

Then there are the village idiots who find a woman being beaten something worthy of “humor.”  Enter the jovial fools who anchor the morning masochism that is FOX News’ “Fox & Friends.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade joked, “I think the message is, take the stairs.” After Dumb finished, Dumber co-host Steve Doocy responded, “The message is when you’re in an elevator, there’s a camera.”

I think the real message is awfully apparent: Some people in front of the camera belong in the back of the bus heading to some job that has nothing to do with broadcast journalism.

Not to be outdone are the people who believe the Baltimore Ravens and the NFL “overreacted” for their handling of Rice (his release from his contract, indefinite suspension). One of those folks with the loudest bullhorn is serial woman beater Floyd Mayweather, who argued, “I think there’s a lot worse things that go on in other people’s households, also. It’s just not caught on video, if that’s safe to say.”

“Worse” instances of domestic violence doesn’t make what Ray Rice did any less reprehensible.

From Mayweather’s despicable perspective, the severity of punishment ought to be based on just how much damage the abuser does. But considering Mayweather’s history – as noted by Deadspin, “having been convicted of, pleaded guilty or no contest to, or pleaded down from at least 15 combined counts of domestic violence, battery, harassment, stalking, and violating a protective order” – one can’t be surprised. Or mortified, for that matter.

Floyd Mayweather is a misogynist with a history of aggression against women, but he is protected by his celebrity and power. As is Mark Fuller, a sitting federal judge in Alabama, who was also caught on videotape beating his wife at a hotel only to be given the lightest of taps on the wrist that’ll allow him a prompt return to the bench without a record.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Reunion Recap Part 3: Joseline Needs Therapy, Mimi Needs A Clue, And We All Need A Break

The final installment of the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta reunion launched into what has been the biggest story of the season: Mimi and Nikko’s porn. Less than 30 seconds into the conversation, I was annoyed. Mimi remains in denial about Nikko and Nikko remains in denial about Nikko. Thankfully, Deb Antney was there to cut through the bullshit—presumably with the razor blade she occasionally slides underneath her tongue.

Frustrated, Deb—who should’ve been the host of this reunion show (me next, though)—flat out explained to Nikko, “You gotta own up to what you do. That’s what makes it believable.” Nikko was unmoved, but Deb went on to add, “You know. I know. The world know that that was all set up.”

Nikko refused to take a lie detector test, claiming he has nothing to prove to anyone—proving he’s a lying-ass liar. After Deb hit Nikko upside the head with the truth, Ariane proceeded to unload on him—calling him a misogynist asshole. Erica Dixon doesn’t like him either. As for the rest of the cast, an overwhelming majority of them agreed that Nikko leaked the tape in an impromptu poll.

When it came to Mimi’s feelings on the tape, she remained defiant, professing that the deal she made will leave her financially secure for the rest of her life. She went on to note that she and Nikko are the first Blacks the porn company have done business with. Yes, while defending her choice to make porn with the off-brand version of her baby daddy, she was trying to get featured in a future adult Black History program for breaking barriers in porn.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mimi Faust: The Madam CJ Walker of coochie crooking.

When it came time to talk about Nikko’s marriage, he continued to say that he did not lie to her. Like, this mush-mouthed fool said, “I didn’t lie to her. She never asked the question.” Once again, Deb Antney was reasonable and asked Nikko that if he knew Mimi had just left a relationship in which she was cheated on, why would he not be completely transparent with her about his marriage? Nikko said, “I didn’t hold anything back from you except my marriage.”

Yet, Mimi revealed that they were still having sex. She said in that typical, obnoxious and pathetically defensive way that viewers have become accustomed to. She also added, “I don’t have anyone to have sex with.” Apparently Mimi has since learned the value of masturbation, taking to Twitter to say she and Nikko are done and she’s dealing with her dildo exclusively.

It’s a shame that Mimi Faust and Joseline Hernandez, Baby haven’t managed to get along yet. They could do a traveling play called For Colored Girls Who Turn To Horrible Men When Self-Worth Isn’t Enuf. Speaking of the Puerto Rican Princess, she is just as bad as Mimi is when it comes to not taking responsibility. The same goes for not seeing a bad situation even when it slides into you on a regular basis.

Read the rest at Complex.