First Read

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So I have a new column over at called “The Weekly Read.” Apparently, I’m a shady individual and there’s a market for that. I kid, I realize I am my mother’s son. Anywho, my first target is a familiar one around these parts: Ciara. Look, believe it or not, I want her to win, but she doesn’t want herself to win! Therefore, the shade is excusable. That’s how it works.

Here’s a smidgen of it:

Hey, Ciara!

Long time, no hit. Wait, that’s not right. I need you to know I’m writing this with the best intentions. So before you feel like you need to grab a flashlight to finish reading this, let’s get to the positives about you.

You’re pretty. I haven’t seen your weave look bad since your first royalty check was cashed. That’s awesome. You’re flexible, which is an attribute that’s all too important to maintain in this sluggish economy. Plus, “Goodies” and all its blue-balls promoting glory will never not be hot.

And of course, you’re a survivor. You not gon’ give up. You gon’ work harder. Now whether you’re going to make it musically is the matter at hand and point of this piece.

Seriously, CiCi, you’ve got rhythm, but you continue to show us that you don’t have the music. Let’s take your most recent leaked song to the Web, “Wake Up, Turn Up.” First, as a native of Atlanta, why are you two years behind a trend started within your city limits? Be the change and help turn down “turn up” already.

Moving on, have you noticed not many people are talking about the track since it was leaked? Obviously, more people would be more interested in hearing Justin Timberlake’s new ode to music that gets middle-aged Black parents two-stepping in the hole in the wall clubs of America, but why is Kenya Moore getting more life off her fake-Fergie track, “Gone With The Wind Fabulous” than you are off yours?

How did this happen with so many of the right ingredients? You get Future to write you lyrics for a Mike Will Made It Track and it still comes across as “Pour It Up’s” less-attractive sister. Sis, that is like asking Jesus to bless your meal made by St. Joseph and everyone still ends up with food poisoning the next day. Did you piss off some voodoo-doing Creole in New Orleans?

Read the column in full at

I’m going to feel guilty about this because I was raised Catholic, but I’m going to keep doing it because many Catholics are shady as hell (as are other sects, so don’t try it) and sometimes can’t decide whether their guilt is justifiable  so they keep going. Amen.

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