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There’s a literary masterpiece on the way just in time for Christmas, y’all. Seemingly looking to hop on the celebrity self-help trend, Keyshia Cole’s mama is offering life advice in a new memoir.

The petite powerhouse bares her personal struggles and uses them to offer women sincere, heartfelt understanding and candid advice about sex, drugs, and overcoming adversities. “This book will inspire; it tells the story of a lady who’s been through everything from battling with drugs to resorting to prostitution and everything in between….this is her journey to turn her life around and merge into society.”

I imagine the story of how a drug addict was able to reunite with the daughter she didn’t raise and capitalize off her fame to become a reality star and stanky legg impersonator is one that will resonate with millions. And as you can tell from the cover of the book, surnames are irrelevant when you can harp the fact that you birthed Mary J. Blige’s son.

Loud as she may be, though, Frankie means well…about her hustle. Still, I wonder who actually wrote this book. Not to question Frankie’s intellect, but all she ever says is “man down,” “Code 10,” and “Holla!” That’s enough to fill a blackboard, but not so much an entire book. Then again, Evelyn Lozada’s lexicon is limited to the words “bitch” and presumably moans to honor her meal tickets yet she’s scored a lit/film deal with Cash Money Content.

A part of me wants to look on the bright side and realize that of the 30 people who purchase The Best Years I Never Had, at least 8 of them might find it life changing. The other ingredients in me can’t stop fixating on how once again another quasi-celebrity has managed to symbolically spit on the craft of writing. Can you smell my bitterness seeping through your computer monitors? Don’t worry: I’ll get over it and shake my arm over some meat before tossing it in the oven for dinner later. However, if anyone buys me this book I’ll be personally submitting their names to the terrorist watch list. Try me.

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For someone who initially pegged reality television as a bit of a nuisance to his family life two prison sentences ago, it was surprising to learn that T.I. chose to partner with VH1 and allow the network to chronicle all things most private to him. Now that I’ve seen the first two episodes of T.I. and Tiny: A The Family Hustle, I’m even more shocked that not only did he decide to finally hop on the trend, he’s better at being a reality personality than most — including his wife, the ex-Xscape singer turned Tiny & Toya star.

Tiny is the sweetest thing ever. Like in my mind she is from the hood part of the Lolipop Guild section of Oz. That’s great and all for her character, but not much in the way of a television show. She seems more at ease now and perhaps that’s simply because she’s happy her honey is home. Whatever it is, she ought to stay this way when on camera. I didn’t really have any expectations about their show, but I’m glad I gave it a chance because it’s highly entertaining. And I’ve already learned a few things about T.I., Tiny, and their family since watching.

Yes, I said I learned some things. I didn’t necessarily say they were all good things or anything of note, only that I learned some stuff. Shall we?

T.I. was reading in jail.

You know when someone starts reading and learns a bunch of new words that they can’t wait to share with their friends? That’s totally T.I. on this show. Fortunately, he’s held on to phrases like “light skinted” so that his fans from way back have something to hold on to. Oh, and he still talks like he’ll eat leftover turkey necks for breakfast. No shade, I got a leftover turkey leg in the fridge myself.

We live in the devil’s world.

That’s according to one of Tiny’s homegirls, anyway. Somewhere God is going, “Bitch, please.”

They really want us to forget that T.I. was born some named some dude named Clifford.

I heard Tiny say I married “Mister Tip.” And anyone’s that’s seen any of T.I.’s thespian roles know that he’s credited as Tip “T.I.” Harris. I guess if I were named Clifford I’d be reluctant to remind anyone of my legal name, too. My dad doesn’t go by his first name either. He opts for “Doc” or “Crazy Joe.” Well, I think other people call him the letter, but you get it.

The most law abiding citizen of America (his phrasing, not mine) T.I. knows is a dude named Snake. 

That explains so much.

Tiny and her folk pray over liquor.

And T.I.’s ass is hilarious as hell for pointing that out. When I finally find a bottle of Peach Ciroc, I totally might do the same thing. Or you know, not.

T.I. takes his king label very seriously.

His home is his kingdom, Tiny is his queen, and T.I. rules over all. Somewhere King Ralph is saying, “Man, why so serious?” Or am I acting like a hating ass peasant towards your highness?

Tiny has an alter ego.

Called Ryder Harris. I seriously want you Negroes to stop pretending to have dissociative identity disorder. If you don’t have the prescription you need to quit posing.

T.I. and Tiny are frisky as hell.

No wonder they had those pills on them when T.I. got arrested on Sunset Blvd. So long as they’re not violating the terms of his probation, I kind of love how they’re all over each other. I notice some people continue to question why he’s with her, but that’s the Old Bay in their souls speaking. You can tell that they really love each other. Isn’t that and the fact that he can’t keep his hands off her ass all that matters?

Now I sometimes do get eat the cake vibes from Mr. Harris, but I’m guessing he’s just assertive. Tiny seems to like it.

T.I.’s teeth are a work of art.

I bet the people who bought drugs from Tip are mad as hell, too. Seriously, who wants to order me a pair for the holidays?

T.I. likes ranch and fruit together.

I find that nasty as hell.

There is a game called booty tag.

…and I totally have a list of names of folks I’d like to play that game with.

Can you tell how much I love this show? Between this and Braxton Family Values, the black family-centered reality shows are much more entertaining than these black sitcoms floating around.

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Can someone break down the reason Bow Wow is still rapping in very small words? For the life of me, I can’t figure it out. I haven’t heard anyone sing along to any of his music in several years — including people who aren’t tall enough to ride the mightiest roller coasters. Last time I checked, Shad was able to at least book film roles and was even up for the lead in some sitcom Ice Cube was doing. So, yeah, I don’t get it. It’s been a long time since anyone bounced with him, bounced with him. Been almost as long as anyone has poorly sang about no one being like him. The seven people who did enjoy his collaborative works with Omarion have either grown up or are somewhere trapped inside of a closet looking for their choir robe.

That leaves…uh, I don’t know. Who’s left?  I don’t want to criticize Mr. Baby’s business acumen, but I’m curious as to what makes Bow Wow at the age of 125 in child star years a worthy signee? Who’s trying to hear Bow Wow spit hot fire  in this decade? Don’t get me wrong, he’s not a bad rapper or anything. That is, if he’s even writing his own lines — which is still an acceptable question to pose. Whatever the case, God could be ghostwriting for Bow Wow and I’m almost certain that no one would still donate a damn.

Yes, I see all 90 of his tattoos (which I imagine  hurts his chances at becoming a full-fledged actor)  and the fact that he spends a large share of the kiddie tour he’s earned over the years on strippers. The pound puppy is a big dog now. Unfortunately, it’s a dog that needs to put one area of his life to sleep. Besides, I don’t believe in child stars of his hook trying to be on that hood shit. Lindsay Lohan’s exhibited more instances of thug life than Shad Moss has (watch out, Kreayshawn).

So c’mon nah, y’all, break it down for me. Why is Bow Wow still rapping and who among you are interested in this? I need answers. Right this minute.

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Those of you who have deprived yourselves from indulging in the mental stimulation that is Keeping Up with the Kardashians likely don’t know much about Kris Humphries. Lucky, lucky you. For those of us who can’t seem to pry ourselves away from that show along with all its spinoffs (minus Khloé & Lamar, which was too boring for me to endure) we’re aware of the fact that Kris is as annoying as he is aloof. After this interview with Good Morning America, those fun facts about Kim’s soon to be ex-husband are now officially inescapable to all.

I’m assuming anyone with working senses under the age of 60 is aware that Kimberly Kardashian is currently the poster child of fame for fame’s sake, and thus, if you enter her circle you’re presumably down for the cause. Yet here Kris is giving what’s probably the most awkward interview I’ve seen in a long time. Did he learn nothing from his mother-in-law of 45 minutes? I can’t believe this goof thought a morning news anchor gave two shits about his mommy’s cookies (I will link to the recipe out of the kindess of my heart). Or his charity, for that matter.

Yes, charity is wonderful and I’m assuming when producers reached out to him they said that he could incorporate talking points about his organization into the interview so long as he gave them what they needed: Conversation about who really counts. Perhaps a nondisclosure agreement keeps him from divulging anything of note (gon’ head, Kris Jenner, always thinking), though if that’s the case, why didn’t he stay his extra large ass at home? You know, the one in Minnesota that he nagged Kim about loving so much on the show.

I know everyone is annoyed with Kim now and wants her to be the bad person, but can you blame her for ditching this marriage before it was too late? I mean, I’m not sure what she ever saw in him to be honest. How do you go from Reggie Bush to this? Not even just in terms of looks (though that’s very, very important ’round these parts), but overall media savviness. Kim, I hope you make wiser choices when selecting your next three husbands. Never again, girl. I am serious. Never again.

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This video doesn’t really have much to do with the point of this post, but who doesn’t love this song? Let me get on with it, though. A few months ago I wrote against the homophobia that was a part of Tracy Morgan’s controversial act widely criticized earlier this year. I still find the idea of “joking” about your murdering your son if he was gay to be deplorable. I’m also personally irritated with cheap jokes about gay men. However, I have revisited my position to a degree after reading G.I. T.I.’s interview with VIBE.

Mind you, I think T.I. trying to defend the right to be a bigot to be stupid though I do think there’s something to be said about his additional thoughts on political correctness. Poor way of putting it notwithstanding, there’s something to be said about us growing so hypersensitive and what that means for comedy in the future. Like, did you know there’s a term called “transmisogynist”  and that transgendered is considered offensive because it’s a verb?

I sure as hell didn’t. Anyway, here’s my latest for The Root entitled “T.I., Tracy Morgan and the PC Police.” Click the bold, hit like on the actual article, etc.

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The other day, I was sitting on some tiny people’s plane en route to Los Angeles. As I sat there eating a turkey sandwich and twirking in my seat to Rihanna’s spunky ode to oral sex (that’s “Cockiness (Love It)” to you) simultaneously, I thought about all of the tweets and blog entries I read prior to boarding where many were joking about Talk That Talk’s first week sales.

Now more than ever do I try to stay clear of discussions where people – mostly bloggers and like-minded self-important individuals – play the role of A&R executive. As in, “OMG! WHY CAN’T RIH-RIH SELL NO DAMN ALBUMS?!” Then they proceed to break down the first week sales of every major female pop star of the last three decades before engaging in a back and forth over whether or not Rihanna will end up broke and teaching sex ed to Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby by 2017. Or some bullshit like that.

Of course, these conversations feature various theories as to how Rihanna can “improve” to boot.

I have to admit that I used to be a little too invested in chart watching as if I were collecting a check out of it, too. One difference between the current wave and me, though, is that I always tried to keep my commentary within proper context. Numbskulls don’t fool with nuance, so while this post might fall on deaf ears, I’m going to try my best to talk about Rihanna and her album sales with some of you fake ass music critics (ideally without my head exploding).

Look, Rihanna never having a number one album is not exactly news. Nor is the notion of her inability to sell a million or so copies her first week out like say, a Lil’ Wayne. We get it, y’all, and don’t need that pointed out every other week Rihanna decides to release a new project. The stale point is used as some means of playing down her success, which really doesn’t make sense given what she’s accomplished in a really short amount of time.

In sum: It doesn’t matter that Rihanna’s never had a number one album. She doesn’t need it. Ever.

(more…)

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