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#Blackmendream from Shikeith on Vimeo.

I had the pleasure of being invited to participate in #BlackMenDream, a film done by artist Shikeith in which I, along with other Black men, tackled Black male expression through a myriad of questions. I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was walking into when I said I would participate, but ultimately got a lot off my chest. I’m glad I could help make a contribution to another Black man trying to tell our stories.

Speaking of, over the weekend, I saw that a white female documentary director will be helming a project about the “Black Male” crisis, focused primarily about Michael Brown’s shooting death in project. While I have nothing against Amy Berg, I do find it interesting that Nate Parker chose her to work with. Months ago, he complained about the imagery of Black male men in entertainment and went on to cite that as the reason why he would never play a gay male character.

So, he’s fine with a white woman telling our stories, but won’t play a gay character given he feels that would be an affront on the Black man. You know, as if gay Black men are not, too, men. I say that for two reasons. One, it reminds me of some of the issues of hypermasculinity tackled in “#BlackMenDream.”

And two:

What this genius said.

Enjoy.

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I’m as excited about watching the forthcoming season of VH1’s Basketball Wives as I am with the idea of massaging the tip of my dick with a pointy rock. I tweeted a while back about having no inclination to watch the show, and as fate would have it, I got sent a screener copy of the season premiere from VH1’s publicity department the very next day. Even so, I continued to not give a good damn about the show for good reason.

The first, last, and most important one is best expressed in the form of a question: “Just how much longer can I watch these evil women bitch each other out over absolutely nothing?”

Evelyn Lozada built a career off throwing bottles and drinks at people while dually avoiding actual fights. Tami Roman is a mean-spirited drunk who while hilarious, has a bully quality to her that makes it difficult to have any sort of a sympathy for her and her struggle for a better weave (mission accomplished, though). And she, too, doesn’t seem to be as nearly as tough as her bark and sucker punches suggests. Suzie is a messy instigator who should’ve been axed years ago. Then there’s Shaunie O’Neal, who as key enabler, is knee deep in all of their bullshit only she feigns aloofness and innocence when called on it. Meanwhile, viewers saw through that shtick a good three or four seasons ago so it boggles the mind as to why she even bothers anymore.

Mind you, these are the characters producers kept. Gone are any and all past co-stars who challenged them. That’s why I didn’t think to watch this show. It’s no Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, and hell, it’s not even anything remotely close to the original premise of the show.

However, my ass has to pay my bills, my telephone bills, my “audamo” bills, though if someone else did, I’d still be able to select chill on this show. But there’s not so I can’t. This is my elaborate way of saying that even though I’d rather not, I’ll be regularly recapping season five of Basketball Wives for VIBE.com.

Maybe the show will be better than I anticipate it to be. Perhaps these wicked witches of reality TV will display some of the growth they’ve been promising since the end of season four. Who knows? There’s a chance I’ll hate each of the aforementioned a little less.

No, I don’t expect any of that to happen either, but I can promise you that if you enjoy my live-tweets of TV and reality recaps for Complex.com and VIBE.com already, you’ll enjoy what I’ll be writing about this show. As a wise Queens-bred rapper once said, “Talkin’ ’bout money, we could have a conversation.” She then said, “The mun-mun-muny, the mun-mun-muny, the mun-mun-muny. Yen and the pesos.”

I’ll update this post with the link to my first recap. God help me. Anyway, I’m about to go twerk in my renovated shoebox considered an okay-sized studio by NYC standards to Nicki Minaj’s “Muny.”

Edit: First recap can be read here.

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She had me as, “I am Aretha Lewis, known to the world as Pumpkin; also known as Big Sexy.” I bet she sometimes spells it “SexC.” Then there’s Ms. Rich Bitch, Keyonate, Ms. Brown Sugar, Ms. Bling and Noonie aka Ms. Baby Mama Drama. I mean, my interest is piqued.

Still, I wonder just what in the Walmart clearance camera hell is this supposed to be?

Bless the hearts of these women and the blades at least three of them know how to sneak under their tongues when necessary. They haven’t a clue. You can tell by the fact that they have this loud ass music drowning out whatever it is they’re saying in front of their kids’ iPhone 3GS camera.

In my mind, one day they were all together, watching Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta on some bootleg cable when suddenly after finishing the blunt, one of them said, “WE CAN BE REALITY TV STARS, TOO, BITCH!”

A dream was born shortly thereafter though evidently not one developed much. Granted, they have the basics down: A general theme, women ready to curse out each other, and volume, etc. I can’t believe I’m writing this sentence, but The Real Baby Mamas of Richmond, Strip Club Queens: Atlanta, The Inmate Wives of Baltimore, Big Yo’s Lesbian Housewives, and The Real Rap Wives of Birmingham.

Ladies, I can tell you all want to be all of the rage of World Star Hip Hop, but try again.

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If VH1 doesn’t pick up Strip Club Queens: Atlanta and run it immediately after part two of the Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta reunion, someone should die. Well, not really, but they need to go find something else to do. I would tell BET to air it, but since y’all punked them into thinking they had to run nothing but wholesome shows (that are largely ignored), that’ll never happen. TV One isn’t an option, but maybe if VH1 makes the mistake of not scooping this brilliance up, perhaps OWN might give it a go.

At this point, Oprah seems like she’d air a Jesus sex tape if it’d win her the key demos. There’s always Oxygen, who could air this as one major fuck you to the folks who stopped Shawty Lo’s show before it truly began.

Whoever decides to pick this show up, though, someone needs to. Stat. This is like the reality TV version of The Players Club.

I am so fascinated with strippers. Unlike the more stuck up wing of the world, I don’t begrudge the women who strip. I do have issue with some of the reasons why women feel they have to strip to survive, but I also acknowledge that women who work in adult entertainment are just as multifaceted as other people. Now, I’m not entirely sure we’d get that from a show that looks like high grade World Star Hip Hop, but there are elements there.

Say, the woman with the huge neck tat with three kids, two houses and a pet pig. That one woman named Sinna who has the green mo hawk action going. Okay, I’m tired of spinning this in my favor. I want to watch this show every single week and I could give a damn what kind of ticket the morality police tries to write me.

Like, I need to see this show. Did y’all hear Boy Toy say, “I used to be a slum bitch from the ghetto and that’s what you gon’ make me be again ’cause you so worried about why my pussy famous and why yours is not?” A star is born.

And the one who said, “Financially, though. A bitch paid.” Girl, I am so jealous of you. I think about stripping every day I pay a student loan. To hell be with the lenders.

I don’t see it for the stuck up white girl who’ll probably get beaten to the white meat by episode five, but “MLK on that, bitches” is quite the memorable line.

There are episodes already available online that you can watch for .99 cents an episode. Uh, I don’t know how I feel about paying to watch something on the Web, but I suppose the hood needs its own version of Netflix and Redbox. I cannot deny that at this moment, I am very tempted to spend that dollar on this.

Still, this is must see (on) TV programming.

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In the last few weeks I’ve been asked twice if I was interested in going to see Rihanna on tour and twice I’ve laughed loudly at the suggestion before informing each questioner, “I don’t reward bad behavior.” As curious as I am to see Rihanna in concert, I don’t want to pay for it. It’s not about cheapness either. Even if Rih-Rih has absolutely no trouble filling up an arena nowadays, I just can’t bear to pay more than $100 to see a girl perform songs I could do better with the right alcohol level.

For a second, though, I was starting to regret that decision. Thankfully, that’s now over. Oh, girl. What is going on in this first clip? Do you need a B-12 shot? Well, I heard Rihanna might’ve needed some flu medication instead, though you’ve got to admit, this doesn’t look any different from a healthy Rih on stage.

I imagine you probably have an S-class model vagina, Rih, but don’t those come with self-heaters? Why are you rubbing it so much? I’d say masturbate on your own time, but as a pop artist, it’s likely a part of the show. Fair enough, but yo, don’t let your crotch be your crutch.

I don’t want to be a complete, dick. Rihanna’s p-pop and drop have slightly improved. In this second clip she no longer dances like the stripper on the last 15 minutes of her shift. She’s got at least an hour and pair of pennies before she clocks out. Werk?

And when picked her leg up I thought “gon’ girl.” There is nothing like lifting your leg in the air to twirk. The second best thing ever is patting your thigh as you grind to the ground. Or so I’ve heard. Mind your business, people.

And this. This! Did you see the way she dropped and swung that hair? How glorious. Also, how fucking gay am I?

Now if Rihanna were giving me 90 minutes to two hours of that, I’d whip out my check card and add to her booming tour box office the way I did for Beyoncé tickets (after several attempts and $250 later). But you just don’t know with Rihanna. One day she’ll surprise you by giving her all for a performance, the next nine she’ll give you the bare minimum because she knows she won’t face any real consequences for it. I grew up in the Madonna and Janet Jackson eras so anything less than consistency is uncivilized.

You just can’t be fucking with the church’s money like that, you know?

Ugh. I wish Rihanna would dedicate as much time to the performance aspect of being a pop star as she lends to its fame counterpart. I think that more than anything else is why I’ll buy her albums, but not rush to support her monetarily in other endeavors. I’d party with her, drink with her, eat chicken with her (I know you love KFC, Rih, but we’d have to have Popeye’s), or hell finally take a field trip into a woman (we’ve discussed this before).

But pay for her in concert? I am just not there yet. If you’ve got a ticket, I’ll go, but so far, Rihanna’s best work as an entertainer is found on her social media feeds…for free.

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After all these years, La Toya Jackson has finally found a project that can maximize her very limited stream of talent. Bless her heart, she was a reality star before reality television existed. She’s been a psychic cousin, appeared butt ass naked in Playboy pictorials, shot soft core porn flicks, appeared on national television in Michael Jackson drag face to accuse her own kin of being a kid-luster, and years later, claimed her husband trapped in the closet marriage and forced her to do all the aforementioned by way of brut force. Toy-Toy offers the kind of trash and scandal that VH1, Bravo, and E! viewers live for. Seriously, should any of us be surprised her BFF is Paris Hilton’s mama?

And now finally, mother Oprah is going to give the funniest Jackson of them all her just due.

I assume Oprah is going to try to class the show up a bit, but whatever, girl. It’s La Toya Jackson so we know shade, kookiness, and opportunism are going to reign supreme. In fact, I was reading about Toy-Toy signing Michael Jackson’s “lil’ white chillen” to her talent agency. Who knew she had a talent agency? I’m sure Toy-Toy didn’t either until the idea popped into her head after a bill arrived in her mailbox.

You see, Janet’s big sister wanted to be an entertainment lawyer before Papa Joe said, “You best get your light skint ass up on that stage and shimmy your ass off.” I suppose thanks to a combination of shifty medical professionals, tragedy and television executives in need of ratings-grabbing programming, part of that dream can now be realized.

Make no mistake, I do love La Toya Jackson. At least, since 2001 anyway. When I was a kid, I just couldn’t understand why Michael and Janet’s sister was walking around in Casper’s makeup throwing her people under the party bus. I’m over it now. As I got older, I understood that she’s an odd mix of naive child star and master villain. Like she might appear crazy as hell on Entertainment Tonight crying to what looks like a bored with her Bubbles, but deep down homegirl knows that in the end, a gig is a gig.

Life with La Toya premieres the day after my birthday. Clearly the universe wants me to enjoy April because I work hard, so I deserve it. I cannot wait for this show. Who knew she did impersonations? Good ones at that.

No, this doesn’t count.

Who knew she could slap the secret simp out of a UFC fighter? I can’t wait to learn more about my beloved Toy-Toy. Congratulations, La Toya. You have finally found the perfect vehicle for your abilities. Gon’, girl.

Although it will forever sadden me that she didn’t keep the nose that worked for her and became some Vanity/Apollonia-like two-minute star singer. And for the record, Toy-Toy is the one Jackson who I believe doesn’t truly sound like Barry White with a strep throat under that high pitched stage voice of hers. Now shake your rump if you feel the funk.

 

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Rihanna knows just what to do to stop me from calling INS and reporting her. Those of you who have followed this site at length know what a long road it took for me to get to the point where I could call myself a Rihanna fan without quickly following up with a, “Bitch, is you crazy?” But there God, I’m here, although being a fan hasn’t made me deaf, dumb, or blind.

What I believed about Rihanna then is the same that I believe now: There is a solid entertainer, deep, deep inside of her. Problem is given she’s already achieved so much by doing the bare minimum on stage already, she has no incentive to improve. Why would anyone when their lazy body roll (akin to a stripper with a cold on the last 15 mins of her daytime shift) has already cemented their spot in modern pop musical history?

That said, this video gives me hope. I was ready to give up, though Rih-Rih has upped and gotten me excited again. Do you see her in this clip, folks? Rihanna is doing actual choreography. More than just a two-step squared and a post-energy drink and Circo shot ass shake — she’s out here trying to give us a real dance routine.

Round of applause to the Illuminati dark lord some of your dumb ass cousins genuinely feels she sold her soul to.

What is bizarre to me is that for as busy as Rihanna’s schedule is, fitting time for actual rehearsal is an anomaly. Here’s to hoping such a feat becomes the norm in her professional life. I would say the same about her cutting out smoking and – ahem – other activities for the sake of her voice, but baby steps. Baby’s first steps, to be exact.

Regardless, I am so sincerely excited to see this video. I sure want Rihanna to deliver. Can you imagine? If she’s giving even decent choreo and incorporates it more into her performances it would excuse a lot of the other complaints she gets about her on stage act. You know, ’cause you can’t be sounding cool some of the time, a damn fool the other half when all you’re doing is jumping up and down on stage with one fist in the air.

Love you, girl, but you know what it is, which is why I hope you begin living up to your potential.

A few months ago I stumbled along to this glowing example of Vanessa Williams’ underrated musical genius and instantly wondered, “Why doesn’t Rihanna give me this?” They’re so similar minus the fact that ‘Nessa was obviously trained well in the arts and was more serious about performing.

Rihanna may never be this good, but she can at least be better than what she’s given before. Yeah, yeah, she has improved thus far though I always feel like we collectively grade on a curve. I’m starting a prayer circle. Come one, come all.

If Rihanna becomes a regular on stage dancer it would make it even more difficult for Ciara to book that mysterious stage she once spoke of. C’mon, Rih-Rih: Don’t let me down! I’m excited for you.

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I am all types of confused after watching a trailer for the would be reality series, Big Yo’s Lesbian Housewives. In case you were curious as to what a Big Yo is, it’s a longtime lesbian club promoter based in Houston. I recall hearing about her club from a lot of my fast ass gay friends in high school. One of those very friends sent this to me — presumably as bait.

I get it, folks. Everyone wants to be a star. Y’all see NeNe Leakes has gone from Country Crocker to the country club and y’all wanna be down, too. Trailers like these, though, prove yet again why everyone can’t be like Baloo.

No offense to these studs and fishes in the clip as they seem like lovely people, but if you’re going to try and sell a reality show (Keefy prefers the title The Secret Lives of Studs) can you front with feeling? And reason. Am I really supposed to believe that this stud with a sleeve is messing around with men? What, is she topping the dude? They both looked like they were holding in their laughter. Let it out, ladies, ’cause I damn sure did.

I will applaud Big Yo for making the most effort. Clearly, she’s been studying the Tyler Perry school of overacting. She still needs a lot more people, but here’s to hoping she scores the lead in Madea Gets Her Bussy Licked. As for that “Coming Soon to VH1!” line in this video’s summary:  They’re gonna air the sex tape Santa Clause made of the Easter Bunny blowing Jesus’ back out before this. But you know, there’s always LOGO or World Star so good luck and God bless and shit.

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A year ago, I made the mistake of believing that perhaps with the help of hit producer Kim Kardashian might actually be able to feign a discernable talent. That idea was based on the premise that maybe The-Dream might be able to mold Kim into something that’s sort of like Vanity, but not nearly as good or anything. Whatever it was gonna be, it was supposed to be decent enough to entertain me musically. Such a dream delusional was soon shattered the minute I actually heard their collaboration. I quickly realized that Bea Arthur has more energy in her right now than Kim did trying to sing through “Jam.”

You would think I would have learned my lesson and not bother holding out any hope that people famous for being famous could manage to tease us with something more. Then I stumbled along this clip. Look, if Kim Kardashian failed as Vanity 2.0 it doesn’t necessarily mean Amber Rose can’t be Appolonia 0.759, right? Now, a commenter on Necole Bitchie’s site was quick to remind everyone that once members of the paparazzi asked Amber if she had any musical talent. She said she couldn’t sing or rap. This person then quipped, “Now all of a sudden she is an artist.”

Well, y’all let cornbread eating divorcees become marriage experts and Evelyn Lozada fictionalize her already fictitious tales of being an NBA player’s wife with Cash Money Content (they have a book imprint with Simon & Schuster…I know, I know). Are you really surprised that Amber Rose wants to sing now? Call it optimism or suggest that it’s just another example of the goodness in my heart (shut the hell up, I can be sweet), but maybe Amber might be able to put out a decent track or two.

It’s not like house music requires a great voice. Hell, does a lot of R&B or pop these days? If all else fails, at least her music will give me something to talk about. Can’t we all appreciate that, if nothing else?

No? Ugh, naysayers. I’ll leave you with this:

Who knows what miracle

You can achieve

When you believe

Somehow you will

You will when you believe

Yes, I’m aware that quoting legitimate artists and their banal duets probably might be counterproductive in advancing my argument. This is what hope looks like. Now sing-a-long.

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As much as I like Amber Rose, I’m a bit confused. While I’m not exactly an expert on Westerns, my Pa-Pa surely was and every now and again I would catch my mama watching, too. I myself have seen a few episodes of Walker, Texas Ranger. I am not sure that even counts, but for the record, the theme song to that show knocks. To this day. Yeah, I don’t know much about the genre. Be that as it may, I’m pretty sure no woman with a blond fade could just walk into some tavern with a deep Philly accent asking some old country man where her homegirl’s at.

The same can be said of the other clips I’ve seen of Teyana Taylor, Claudia Jordan, and Rocsi, who also star in the movie. I missed the first Gang of Roses on purpose, so perhaps I’m missing the dots that connect this story that make it plausible. Like maybe the Wild Wild West had a hood version across the railroad tracks where women of various ethnicities and dialects were allowed to roam free on their horses and buggies.

I’m also a bit miffed at the title of this clip: “AMBER ROSE/ SURPRIZING peformance in Gang of Roses 2!!!!”

What was “SURPRIZING” about this performance exactly? That she didn’t start laughing at her surroundings?

In theory, I kind of dig the idea of blacks doing spins on Westerns. We ought to be diversifying. As if Tom Cruise is really the last damn samurai. Problem is, this flick just doesn’t seem like it makes much sense. Thus far this looks akin to Herman Cain playing Nitta Sayuri in Memoirs of a Geisha. I won’t discount it completely, though. I mean, if anyone of you wants to buy this for me on discount (and believe me, this will end up in the discount bin at Walmart) and send it off, I’ll give it a formal review later. If not, I’ll just assume the villain of this film looks like T-Pain, talks like Trick Daddy, and rides a horse with platinum hoofs.

Let’s end on a positive note: At least Amber Rose is making some money. That and only one fight broke out on set between Teyana Taylor and the director (allegedly). Maybe they can do a spin-off based on that: When Harlem Hits Haw upside the head (allegedly).

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