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She huff and she puffs though if you’re really paying attention, you know Mimi Faust isn’t saying a damn thing in this episode of Jermaine Dupri’s “Living The Life.” When you sign up for a reality show, particularly one called Love & Hip Hop, it should be understood that you’re going to be delving into your personal life before a national audience — thus leaving yourself susceptible to public criticism. Some take these opinions better than others, so as much I can understand why Mimi might be a little defensive in light of the “girl, what’s wrong with your?” critiques aimed her way, I’m going to need her to do better than declarations like, “All you motherfucking bitches been cheated on.”

Madame. Probably not, and even if that were true, not everyone would stick around for it for that long and then offer up some fake ass “Ain’t I A Woman” type monologues on TV to save face…and possibly net some role on some chitlin play called Mama, Madea Choked On Your Meatloaf and Died.

And don’t any of you dare talk to me about her being under the influence when offering that ridiculous declarative statement either. I’ve said plenty of more insightful things while basking in the pleasure of Peach Ciroc. I’ve heard her offer a similar rebuttal while sober anyway.

Don’t get all angry over you showing your ass.

No one wants to admit they’ve behaved as stupidly as it seems, but if Twitter reaction to what she chooses to put on TV bothers Mimi so much she can utilize her block button, or better yet, learn to block out the opinions of complete strangers — self-included. Unfortunately, that would be too much like right which suggests that it won’t happen.

But okay, Mimi. “Fuck all the bitches.” You told “your truth.” Speaking of truth, we all go a bit too far when prefacing truth with words like “my.” The truth shouldn’t require that kind of modification. Truth is truth. Has Paul Ryan taught us nothing about the art of tap dancing around honesty?

Anyway, Mimi is pretty and has weave that’s way too wonderful to be flipped around under such wicked circumstances. Get on over it, ma’am. And God bless and shit.

Now on to the glorious joy that is Joseline Hernandez. Mimi may see herself as leaps and bounds ahead of this Spanglish sensation, but at least Joseline has learned to be self-deprecating. Remember when Joseline gave the world a tour of her vaginal walls in response to rumors that her cookie was originally a foot-long frank? Obviously, that was prompted by hurt and anger but look at her now. She is smiling, throwing the shade right back at the world with a smile, and even learning to poke fun at herself.

Strangé, ex-stripper! Strangé!

She wasn’t my favorite at first, but I adore Joseline now. K. Michelle was right to highlight that it’s hard to be too judgmental on a person with her kind of background. She doesn’t know any better because she was never taught better. There are people with home training who refuse to act right; someone like Joseline needs more time. Whatever direction she goes in, in the interim she comes across far more endearing than Mimi — largely due to her appearing more forthright about her situation.

I can’t get enough of her now. I might even buy “Bailar” when it drops to support her “Keep Me Off The Pole” fund. Disclaimer: If you love the pole, I love it for you. Less judgement, more tips ’round these parts.

Ugh. Why does this show have to leave me so soon? Why can’t it come on every day, all the time like the soap operas it was undoubtedly modeled after?

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Most people are well aware that the internet is an imposter’s paradise.

It’s no secret that many take to the Web to be the person they yearn to be, but there’s a certain and increasingly creepy trend on social media that relentlessly continues to boggle my mind. Every morning without I fail, I check my timeline on Twitter and see a reposting of some trite cliché guised as wisdom. If that didn’t suck enough on its merit, many of these tweets come from fake celebrity accounts.

Exhibit A from “@frank_ocaen”: “If you really knew me, you’d know that I’d make myself miserable, just to make someone else happy” (this account has been suspended, glory!)

Exhibit B from “iChaningtatum”: “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Well, fake Frank, should anyone really care either way about who you are given that you don’t? And counterfeit Channing Tatum, I don’t even know what that means so I won’t bother.

Not to be outdone, there’s that other pesky poser account for Will Smith, among many, many others. Even your cousin’s favorite conspiracy theory – the Illuminati – is out here sharing musings like, “Nobody deserves to be treated like an option.”

Shouldn’t that account be tweeting up stuff such as, “We will reign all over humanity, one Jay-Z and Rihanna track at a time?”

Most, if not all, of these account holders claim to be doing a parody, which reminds me of another social media constant: far too many folks use words without understanding their actual meaning.

A parody is defined as “a literary or musical work in which the style of an author or work is closely imitated for comic effect or in ridicule” or a feeble or ridiculous imitation.”

There are lists of the best and worst celebrity parody accounts and other examples like the blog Suri’s Burn Bookthe new political parody “Paul Ryan Gosling,” and even I used to do a mock celebrity advice column on my personal site.

I know what a parody is and it’s not pretending to be Will Smith or Satan’s social club while dispensing advice found from the fortune cookie that came via their order of beef and broccoli.

Read the rest here.

Meanwhile, this makes  me want to bring back “Help Me.” If you’re unaware, as mentioned in the piece it’s a mock celebrity advice column that I used to do. Why did I stop?

If you’ve never read any of the entries, you must click now. And then like, suggest some names. Please? Yeah, yeah, I’ll be thinking, too.

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This is one of the creepiest scenes I’ve ever witnessed on reality television. Most people who reveal some sort of disturbing characteristic about themselves tend to do so when caught up in a wave of emotion or exposed and left without much of a choice. In this instance we’re seeing a completely composed individual confidently putting their weird obsession with treating the women they enter relationships with like a living doll on full display. As if that’s perfectly normal to boot.

I usually strive to allow people to let their freak flags fly in whatever direction the wind blows, so if turning your significant other into your personal plaything is your style of love so be it. However, I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that I watched this episode and wondered whether Kim’s entire closet smelled like roasted cashews, almonds, and pistachios to coincide with the sheer nuttiness of Kanye West.

As soon as I realized what was going on, I immediately thought, “Wow, he did the same thing with [name redacted].” I used to be friends with someone he dated and I recall her telling me how he had his stylist go into her closet, remove all of her clothing and fill it with a bunch of new stuff to go with his image of her back in [redacted]. It’s as odd to me then as it is now.

Like I’m seriously over here humming, “He’s creepy and he’s kooky, mysterious and spooky.”

I’m not the one dating Kanye West and lucky for him he found the absolute best person to play another round of Barbi with. Did anyone else chuckle when Kim said, “Kanye’s definitely inspired me to want to like a little bit more of an individual?” Nothing screams individuality the way allowing a man and his stylist to raid your wardrobe and redesign it in their aesthetic does. Again, she isn’t even the first person he’s done this to. Zoom, look at your individuality go, girl.

I also found it funny that he told her to let his stylist do her job, noting that she’s a professional. Uh, didn’t Kimmy K. start out as a stylist herself? While she touts him being a fashion designer (tee-hee), doesn’t she have a clothing line herself? Is she not a professional (quit it)?

Even stranger was Khloe Kardashian being the voice of reason by acknowledging, “You’ve got to keep a little bit of the ghetto.”

Khloe is almost my new favorite Kardashian now. She’s literally about to top Rob Kardashian’s ass on the list. Poor him, by the way. If only he’d embrace my master plan for our careers. Dressing him would be the last thing on my mind, but as Kanye – speaking for Kim, of course – explained: “I’m getting on best dressed lists now.”

I suppose that’s all that matters to those two.

This is what I meant when I said these two are absolutely perfect for each other. They are each other’s fetishes. Two self-involved, materialistic souls obsessed with their celebrity? Talk about a love story for the times.

I’m sure those who aspire for similar emptiness and fame were touched by this scene. So much so that the empty little spaces where their hearts used to reside before they pawned it off to stunt almost feel full again.

Y’all can have it. To quote fashion’s Geppetto: “That shit cray.” I know, I know. I hope I never say that again either.

I’m a fan and all, but I would never want to involve myself with anyone that controlling. Well, I’d probably change my mind if I don’t pay off my student loans by a certain age. Then I’d probably let someone dress me up like The Shredder or Princess Jasmine.

I’d still know deep down it was wrong, though.

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Pretend puritans had a field day with Azealia Banks’ Dazed and Confused interview in which the rapper often described with f-words like feisty, fiery, and fierce (fine, one other, too) discussed both her verbally abusive mother, deceased dad, and earliest signs of sexuality.

On the most fun part of the interview, she revealed:

“Growing up I was so curious about boys. I just loved them. I’d always get my recesses taken away for letting boys touch my butt in the lunch line I got in trouble for fooling around in school a lot. I just wanted to be touched, ya know? I just wanted to have sex. And my mom was always working so there was never anyone around to tell me no.”

Predictably, most predicated this on the abuse she discussed first. Then came condemnation, calls for therapy, blah, blah. Must people always be this damn boring? While I can’t discount that abuse and issues related to abandonment can be attributed to a person embracing their sexuality sooner than others, it should not be a rule of thumb that they are always related.

Banks is the first Black star I’ve heard in a long while talk about sensing her sexuality at a younger age.

The only other I can think off top is Janet Jackson, who once said:

“I had a pretty sexual imagination for a kid. Another side to me is this very sexual being. When I look back on my life, it’s always been there. It’s been there since I was 10 years old, having the imagination that I had.”

Admittedly, following up the statement “Not every person in tuned with their sexuality early in life comes from a troubled background” with a quote from spectacular performer and whisperer Janet Jackson isn’t screaming credence.

Nor does Rihanna telling Rolling Stone about the source of her interest in sadomasochism:

“I did not realize until recently. I think that is common in people who witnessed abuse in their childhood.”

Still, I take offense to this immediate association. I’m a little defensive because I, too, was sexually curious as a kid. I’m not telling you all the details here (I’d like for myself and a major publisher to charge you for it in due time), but I’ll say daycare and curiosity about the boys and girls provided good fodder for nap time…since I don’t nap.

And I know the second I mention my childhood many will go, “Oh, that’s it.” But it’s not. I’m not saying this from a place of denial either. I’m not avoiding the subconscious. I have talked to people who felt the same and they don’t have childhoods mirroring anything like any of us. I do, however, feel that people who have experienced a lot earlier on in life are more frank about this kind of thing if for no other reason that they have dealt with matters far more “shocking.”

I don’t like the curious about sex at childhood equals problematic background equation because it often gives people license to oversimplify and therefore associate some type of guilt, which surmises much of the feedback I’ve read on this article. Even if you do believe they are linked in every single instance imaginable, why be so judgmental about it? The last thing Americans need is to feel even guiltier about sexuality than they already do. We’re a sex crazed collective that doesn’t understand that much about sexuality beyond an act, and even then, some of you are the dunce cap wearers of sexuality.

Considering how free Azealia is about her sexuality – including her attraction to women without hesitation to own it – she sounds far more comfortable than many.

There are grown men who think women’s bodies come with an automatic system to nuke rape sperm. I’ve had to explain to plenty of morons that me understanding my attraction to boys at an early age doesn’t mean I or any other gay was trying to wrap my lips around one before puberty. And even when there is touching or thoughts, it’s the start of something.

Even now I feel like I have to insert a, “Nah, I will never be a subplot on Law & Order: SVU. Eww, bitch” for the folks in the cheap seats in the back who might get it twisted.

Where is a doctor and/or Bill Nye to help me explain this shit?

By the way, these folks shading Banks are the reasons why T-Boz’s wonderful “Touch Myself” flopped. I find that unforgivable. And yeah,  I bought that CD single when I was younger. I was like 12. I’m nobody’s hoe either.

But I did come to learn that ain’t nothing wrong with making it feel good. Baby.

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Yesterday, I read that while performing at the AfroPunk festival in Brooklyn, Erykah Badu mocked Nicki Minaj’s “Beez In The Trap” and proceeded to call her a rat. While irony tastes as good as Louisiana seafood sauce (get into it), as a fan of both I want that to be proven false. In fact, I won’t even comment further. I’m just going to grab a pot, find a kettle & wait for the magic to happen.

Meanwhile, I’ve been meaning to write about Nicki Minaj lately. On how she’s grown as a performer, on how visually she continues to turn it up, and up until yesterday, how incredibly paranoid and defensive I find her at times. But thanks to Ms. Badu (allegedly), I am reminded as to why she behaves this way. It seems like nearly every performer whose popularity piqued a decade or two ago has gone out of their way to give their [scornful] opinion of her.

Hopefully Nicki learns to be less defensive over time, but nevertheless she has been on it.

I know the laptop label heads are too busy hovering over appropriated stats from Soundscan to notice, but Minaj is turning it. Purists may not like her back and forth shift between rap and pop, but I think she’s managing the task with far more skill than she did initially.

Overall, she’s getting better and better — particularly on a visual front.

The masses didn’t go for it, but I loved the “Stupid Hoe” video. Perhaps all of the subsequent videos will help her get some of the acknowledgement she deserves. Between the B.o.B. video (below) and the new one for “I Am Your Leader,” Nicki has pretty much been my favorite visual artist this year.

She is fun.

Her ass is starting to look less Betty Boop-like in favor of a more Jessica Rabbit-esque shape. Her body roll and two-step are now on beat. She’s not being drown out by her mics anymore. She has managed to work the Black bangs the Barbz love and emulate back into her regular wig cycle. She’s apparently about to join American Idol as a judge, which by the way, contrary to popular opinion, but as cynical as she was in her methods to net crossover success she is more than qualified to host this show.

I continue to be disappointed that she never got around to signing my clavicle despite consistent protest, but I forgive her. I don’t know how your weirdos can continue to deny her, but yeah, she’s winning.

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In the interest of confirming that I’m not intentionally living up to the name of this site with this line of criticism, I want to preface this post by noting that I completely understand the need for words of encouragement, tips on how to realize your best self, and everything else you’ll hear during any commercial break on OWN that serves as a euphemism for being happier. That’s not my issue nor as it ever been. When I publish works like “You’re As Deep As A Wad of Spit, Shut Up” and entries such as these, I’m not targeting people in need so much as I am those who take advantage of them. A chorus of people who put on airs of enlightenment, yet if you really, really pay attention to what they’re actually saying, it amounts to a heaping pile of nothingness.

You know how people used to wrongly critique Oprah that her self-help tips were self-involved? Twitter (among other social media outlets) is that nightmare scenario realized. But whereas Oprah typically offers an interesting perspective, I keep reading these namby-pamby ass tweets and immediately channel my inner Amil on Jay-Z’s “Nigga What, Nigga Who?”

(more…)

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Even if delivered with a smile and pleasant disposition, ignorance is ignorance.

No wonder Soledad O’Brien is one of the few people over at CNN who can work without rampant ridicule: she bothers to do her job.

Christine O’Donnell says she wants to educate young people about the government despite not knowing basic concepts of other forms of government herself. It’s about time someone asked someone of Christine’s ilk whether or not she even knows what the words socialism and Marxism actually mean. To anyone who understood the definitions beforehand, the answer has long been known. Regardless, it is nice to hear a fool tell on herself. Maybe it will convince others to do a little digging.

Or not.

Sadly, I doubt it matters to Christine O’Donnell’s audience that she’s not aware of how socialism and Marxism work. They don’t know either nor do they want to. Her people want to be pandered to, not necessarily educated.

I could complain about how aesthetics, white privilege, entitlement, and all that aid the Christine O’Donnell’s of the world, but this is a problem that goes beyond that and the realm of politics. It has become increasingly apparent that all one has to do is simply say something over and over again and a credulous public will ultimately regurgitate it back.

You can see it any day on social media.

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow deservingly drew the ire of people online when he tweeted: “Revelation: karaoke is to singers what blogging is to writers #thatisall”

The tweet was a vivid example of what happens to people when they get caught up in the pursuit of “cleverness” — particularly with a 140 character word limit. There are number of quality writers who blog, so his comment was as snooty as it was wrong. At the same time, I do think I understand the underlying sentiment.

Though the majority of bloggers aren’t guilty of it, there is this loud chorus of people who do blog that think far too highly of themselves despite not knowing how to write and being even less adept at making sense. Neither quality prevents them from being successful, though, because in the end, what matters most is that they’re the loudest.

You shouldn’t be mad about someone else’s success, but it’s hard not to be frustrated to see people rise for being unreasonable.

Even if you remove that untruthful tweet from the equation, there remains an element online with far too many fools forever upset about nothing, ranting about something without a lick of substance, yet unapologetically all too demanding about wanting everyone’s attention.

You can’t help but want to ask:

“Why don’t you know anything?” 

“Why are you so loud with nothing to say?”

“Does it bother you that you’re a bullheaded dummy who probably made at least half your K-12 teachers question their professional choices?”

“Fuck, why are such a fucking idiot?”

You then quickly wonder what would even be the point of asking? There’s a reason Christine O’Donnell had that silly smirk on her face after being asked if she understood the words coming out of her mouth. She knew enough to know that her answer didn’t matter. She already won by being in the position to get asked the question.

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This song is awful. It reeks of cliches and materialism. Anyone who watches the goodness that is Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta witnessed Karlie Redd performing a snippet of this song during rehearsal for Steebie J — looking like a damn fool with an ashy throat and disjointed two-step. For a second there, I thought she was having a panic attack.

And you know what? “Louis, Prada, Gucci” has been stuck in my head for weeks now.

Initially, I continued to think of it mockingly, but I have a confession: I like this song now.

LOUIS. PRADA. GUCCI. LOUIS. PRADA. GUCCI. POP DEM TAGS. POP DEM TAGS.

This song is some bullshit, but dammit if it isn’t catchy. This is what I get for making fun of her with y’all on Twitter. Grr.

If I had a weave ponytail stitched to my head, I’d probably hold it while boppin’ to it real hard.

I sent the following message to a friend the other day:

I am such a fucking bird for liking this song. Even I’m embarrassed. I’m boppin’ anyway, though. Have a good day.

In response, the homie said, “I mean….it is catchy. Fly on.”

Yes, I know I ain’t shit. I’m going to keep singing “pop dem tags, pop dem tags” anyway, though.

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Whenever critiquing Mariah Carey, I prefer to live within her bubble of butterflies, rainbows, and imperfect angels. As far as I’m concerned “Honey” is the sweetest lullaby about oral sex ever, “Touch My Body” is a moving ditty about the dangers of not respecting the sanctity of the sex tape, and of course, the remix of “Always Be My Baby” is a national treasure — though not as great a gem as “The Roof.” I’m all about accentuating the positive when it comes to the Fairy Godmother of Popular Music, but you know, I can offer a dissenting opinion when left with no other option.

I don’t hate “Triumphant (Get ‘Em),” though I do think it speaks to how relentless Mariah is about remaining relevant. I usually find that to be an endearing quality about her, but the problem in this instance lies in both the song and the video placing her far too deep in background of her own creation.

You are Mariah Carey, Mariah Carey. How can you be the video girl and hook girl on your stuff?

Yes, per her trademark Mimi takes it there towards the end of the song and her husband, who directed the video, made sure to pan to her just enough to signify, “Hey, guys, I’m still here” but yo, if you’re going to let someone else drive you make sure the destination is worth it.

You know what this is, Wonderful Mariah? This is you giving Maybach Music the keys to your car and expecting to be taken to Pappadeaux’s only to end up at Popeye’s 15 minutes after they’ve closed. Don’t you dare let the next collaboration drop you off at Taco Bell after midnight (or hell, daylight).

I’m guessing it won’t be long before this track – for all its worth is okay – will be deemed a “buzz” single and Mariah will return with something that gives her a stronger chance to score her another big hit. Whatever that song is, hopefully it won’t be appear too thirsty to be reminiscent of The Emancipation of Mimi the way the song, the video, and the cover art all are.

Okay, I’m tired of speaking ill of Mariah Carey. Let’s just all click under the hood and sing-a-long to the “Honey” video. Feel free to get up and do that classic choreography. I’m surely about to.

(more…)

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The story seemed so ludicrous that I easily dismissed it, especially given the earliest reports didn’t specify the exact role actress Zoe Saldana would be playing in the long-delayed Nina Simone biopic. But alas, it seems that Saldana will in fact be portraying the life of singer, songwriter, pianist and activist and not the singer’s daughter. A back and forth has predictably albeit understandably ensued upon the confirmation.

Some have quickly scrutinized the choice of casting largely on the merits of aesthetics. It’s somewhat cringeworthy to hear it explained in the context of “Zoe doesn’t look Black enough,” yet beyond such a provocative statement is a legitimate critique that a fair-skinned, ultra thin, Black actress portraying a woman who was everything but is a bit of a slap in the face to Simone’s legacy – which this movie purportedly seeks to honor.

At the same time, one could make the case that if the people behind the movie initially wanted Mary J. Blige in the role (who reportedly left due to the project’s troubles with financing) perhaps what’s most important to the project’s handlers is a name versus a look.

After all, we do live in a world where Ne-Yo can say he turned down the chance to play Dr. Martin Luther King on the big screen because he didn’t want to gain any extra pounds following the formation of a new physique to coincide with a new album.

That reality allows for another and maybe more credible argument to make against the project.

As much as I adore Mary J. Blige and don’t doubt her claims that she was working hard to deliver a credible performance, didn’t she essentially start the long running joke about this movie among skeptics? All Saldana’s casting does is offer doubters another way to deliver a punch line. And rightfully so, actually, because while Saldana is a decent actress, even if she looked like Nina’s long lost twin she’d still be an odd choice to play the high priestess of soul.

Nina Simone is someone who once argued “Slavery has never been abolished from America’s way of thinking.”

Meanwhile, Zoe infamously told EBONY magazine last year, “We have a Black president right now. So why the f— would I sit down and talk about how hard it is for Black women in Hollywood when there’s a Black president in my country?”

To get someone with Zoe Saldana’s mentality to portray the likes of Nina Simone on screen is akin to asking Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta’s Joseline Hernandez to play Assata Shakur – and even then I might give the edge to Joseline.

Follow here for more.

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