“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Stop It, Mimi

Who else has noticed over time that whenever Mimi Faust wants to convey sincerity, or more recently, trying to sell the viewing public aloofness about some shit she knows good and damn well she actively was a part of, she uses her “inside voice.” You know, as if we’re not used to seeing her go 0 to a 100 real quick. That’s how last night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta started – immediately letting me know that I was about to get a double dose of bullshit. Mimi’s still trying to pretend she did not purposely shoot a porn with Dollar Store Stevie J as her friends continue to approach her with the following plea: Oh Lord, know yourself, know your worth, girl.

Meanwhile, Nikko is in her bed grinning like the villain he is over the response to their cinematic debut—particularly Joseline’s crack about Mimi’s freak levels being as low as a post-mortem Sophia Petrillo. In response, Mimi cracked about the number of folks who have taken a cruise to Joseline’s clitoris and added in the confessional, “One of the reasons why I signed the contract in the first place is because Joseline taught me what not to do. Her naked ass is all over the Internet for free and didn’t make one red cent.”

Well, that’s certainly one way to look at it. Another would be to say that if a teenage prostitute and streetwalker—as in a woman used to making money off her naked body—believes it’s a bad idea to shoot a porn with a man clearly trying to capitalize of your newfound celebrity, that ought to tell you something. However, you can’t tell Mimi anything as evidenced by her reactions to both Ariane and Erica Dixon.

Although many people across social media seemed to find Erica’s criticism of Mimi to be self-righteous, I was not as bothered. Moreover, I don’t find Erica fighting on camera to be equivalent to spreading eagle and hanging from a shower rod with a wannabe member of Dru Hill. I may have been raised differently, but even my OG pops and devout Catholic mama taught me that punks jump up to get beat down, so while fighting in adulthood isn’t the move, I don’t find that comparable to shooting a porn when you have a young child.

That aside, it’s not that I think being an adult film entertainer prevents you from being a responsible parent. No, it’s just that there’s a certain level of honesty and maturity one ought to have if you opt to go down that path—which Mimi has yet to display. She has a business and a TV check, so the porn wasn’t about “providing for my daughter.” It’s more like people like sex and that leads them to porn, and nowadays lower tier stars think they can become Kim Kardashian when they do a “sex tape” so they jump on the bandwagon. Mimi is old enough to remember Xscape’s “Keep It On The Real.” I wish she’d go back and listen to it.

Anyhow, Erica had good intentions but poor as hell timing given she made her case to Mimi while she dealt with news that her father suffered a very bad stroke. If I were Mimi, I would’ve been like, “Just tell me you think I’m the worst person to ever possess a vagina so I can go see my daddy.”

Read the rest at Complex.

On The “On The Run” Tour

As someone who firmly believes that God said on the seventh day, “Y’all ain’t ready for the jelly I’m going to send to earth on September 4, 1981,” it doesn’t take much for me to get excited about anything Beyoncé-related.

So while I knew I would be attending the “On The Run” Tour, I was far more interested in seeing Beyoncé on stage than I was to see Beyoncé’s husband and co-headliner, Jay Z.

Having seen him a year ago with Justin Timberlake, I wondered whether or not the pop-pop of rap would be doing the performance equivalent of “you in the club doing the same old two-step.” To Mr. Carter’s credit, not only did he manage to keep up with his wife’s electricity, he showed his own on stage growth — albeit in much subtler fashion.

The Carters kicked off their two-and-a-half set to a sold-out crowd at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday with “03 Bonnie and Clyde.” The two then spent the rest of the show going back-and-forth in well-executed transitions that merged their sounds seamlessly.

Keeping with the theme of the promo video that spread across the Internet mere seconds after it finished uploading, throughout the night, Beyoncé and Jay Z played Tarantino-themed vignettes depicting the couple as outlaws.

For the record, I’m one of those people who believes Beyoncé is a much better actress than “The Fighting Temptations” and “Carmen: A Hip Hopera” let on. But y’all don’t hear me, though. Now for some concertgoers, it might’ve been surprising to see Beyoncé holding guns and cursing out people while acting out a bank robbery.

However, if you’ve been a longtime fan of the Patron Saint of Houston, you’re not at all surprised to see her more aggressive side. It’s always been there, only she became much more guarded as media folk increasingly reached for their scalpels in order to dissect her.

With the release of BEYONCÉ, Yoncé has let said guard down, and thankfully, that’s been carried over to her live shows.

When you’ve been a dominant fixture of pop music as a solo star for a decade, it would be easy to fall into a state of contentment, especially when your contemporaries are better at Instagram uploads and subtweets than they are singing and dancing.

Still, Beyoncé is only 32, so it’s great to see that she’s not resting on her laurels. With both “The Mrs. Carter Show”and the “On The Run” tours, it’s clear that Beyoncé is aiming to spend the next decade of her life raising the bar in terms of the spectacle with which she treats fans. Given the torture that Beyoncé puts fans through to get tickets, they deserve it.

There are differences between the shows, particularly in terms of song arrangements and the noticeably different changes to her choreography. Beyoncé’s style of dance always came across to me as “Tina Turner at her prime at the club dancing to Ca$h Money’s best selections.”

It was always entertaining, but not necessarily the most challenging steps. Now, you see more intricate steps and much more skilled Beyoncé nailing every move. Somewhere Janet and Madonna are going, “Gon’ girl.” Ditto for her costumes. 

With her voice, she’s never sounded clearer and more confident, but if there were any critique I’d have about Beyoncé the singer, it would be that she wasn’t always convincing when singing songs like “Resentment.”

I’ve since changed my opinion as Beyoncé has learned not to convey pain in her voice with growling. I’m not sure if that can be attributed to experience or just more practice, but she’s much more adept at that style at singing as further evidenced by her cover of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex Factor.”

By the way, as far as Bey changing the lines of the “Resentment” goes, that’s something she’s been doing for several years now. Stop it before the #Beyhive creeps into your nightmares.

And while the debate of whether or not Beyoncé is a feminist, a terrorist or some Illuminati demon trying to get black girls pregnant because she sings about boning her husband in a limousine in certain circles that I proudly ignore, the woman herself continues to uplift women her way.

Read the rest at Elite Daily.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Mimi’s Sex Tape Is Out

For a show themed around reality, it felt odd for Lil’ Scappy, Momma Dee, and Erica P to Nae Nae all around what exactly went down at the restaurant. In a confessional, Momma Dee said, “This is a very serious matter. As a mother, I’d like to think that I raised Scrappy to be a respectful and honest man to all women. I feel like I failed him. I gotta straighten this [out].” But “this” was never explicitly detailed, though we can deduce that Scrappy put his paws on his friend as evidenced by Momma Dee revealing that Scrappy is increasingly frustrated by his career not being where he wants it to be and Scrappy himself noting he has to learn how to properly deal with his anger.

Now that she mentions it, it has been a long time since Scrappy had a hit, huh? Join me in pouring out a lil’ coconut Myx moscato in memoriam of Scrappy, the good years. Let’s also bop to “Some Cut.”

That aside, last night’s episode of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta was the first time Momma Dee had every right to butt into her son’s affairs—thus let us clap for a pimp with her pimpin’ ass. After Momma Dee expressed her disappointment and let him know that she invited Erica P. over to talk things out, Scrappy offered a sincere apology to her. One hopes that he does indeed learn to keep his paws to himself, given should he lose his cool again, reality TV producers might not be able to prevent them laws from locking him up.

In the other apologetic portion of the program, Kirk had his “I’m Sorry” party for his all too forgiving wife, Rasheeda. All I have to say about that lil’ bash in their yard is Bobby V. was singing in the key of begging Keith Sweat as the party attendees feasted on what looked like brisket and ribs. Their Black is fucking gorgeous, y’all.

Unfortunately, someone always has to soil the moment. Not surprisingly, it was Benzino’s bae Althea. Everything about Althea screams “I’m really trying to make fetch happen when it comes to fame.” After catching a flat tire on Music Dreams Highway, Althea has since caught a bus on Reality TV Road and is milking this shit for all its worth.

To wit, Althea approached my favorite, Erica, Ms. Dixon, and Karlie Redd, to apologize for throwing drinks at them. Well, more so Erica; Althea doesn’t give a good damn about Karlie Redd. The problem with Althea’s methodology is, you don’t tell someone you’re sorry while sporting a smirk on your face and continuing to act defensively when called on the very antics you claim to be apologizing for. Needless to say, Althea ended her scene by Benzino escorting her off the Frost property and him informing her that she needn’t allow “those women to get her to go from one to 10” so hastily.

But, but, but, Benzino: How else will your girl get that extra camera time she clearly covets?

Read the rest at Complex.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Keep Your Paws to Yourself

While the debate on when and where it is appropriate to breastfeed lingers on (answer is usually whenever the mama, baby, and nipple feel like it), can we all come together as a people and agree that it’s probably not a good idea for a mother to breastfeed her son until age 14 and chase the milk with six ounces of Colt 45? As much as I appreciate Lil’ Scrappy’s commitment to remixing the English language in his own image, there comes a point in a man’s life when he ought to say to himself, “I cannot be the peach state’s Jody forever.” Hopefully, after he watched himself on last night’s edition of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, he looked in the mirror and promised to get his shiz-nay-ee together…feel me?

For a show with a level of couth as low as the VIP suite in the seventh circle of hell, you have to do something pretty damn terrible to have your scene partially blocked out even if only for mere seconds. And based on Erica P’s disheveled Malaysian sew-in and an apology from Momma Dee on her son’s behalf, one assumes that Scrappy put them paws on the woman he referred to as his “friend.” However, as Erica rightly pointed out to him during their meeting that turned into fight night at the Chiptole-esque restaurant, real friends don’t do certain things. Like, flirt, flirt some more, and, when called out for blurring the lines of their friendship, refer to their friend as a “bum bitch” that’s “fucked up” and “crazy.”

Even so, Erica has to come to grips with her behavior in the matter, too. You knew this man had a relationship with The Bam, yet you threw your ass in his face whenever production said “rolling.” Plus, if this is your friend, then you know how he is when it comes to relationships. He can’t commit and has a level of respect for women that is surely influenced by his overbearing mother, the ex-nurse turned pimp and dealer. So with all of that information in mind, are you surprised by his behavior, Erica?

This is not a defense of his assumed actions last night, but it is a reminder for Erica that if it barks like a dog, drunk texts like a simp, and let’s a Momma Dee step into his affairs, it means you should block his number so he can’t iMessage you.

Keeping with the theme of not making sense of blatant signs, Kaleena ended her homie, lover, friend relationship with her big booty homegirl from Baltimore, Ashley. During another work-dodging field trip to the strip club, Ashley told Kaleena, “People make time for what people want to make time for.” This was in response to Kaleena “making time” to do her actual job: singing. If that doesn’t sound possessive enough for you, Ashley also took Kaleena’s phone to prevent contact with her husband.

That husband was none too pleased about all of this (surprise, surprise), spurring Kaleena to finally decide that maybe she should just focus on the person she actually married versus the girl who wants all of the attention a committed relationship brings without actual commitment. To be fair, though, part of Ashley’s assumption that she deserves all this attention is rooted in Kaleena giving it to her whenever she brings those cheeks down to Atlanta.

I don’t know why it took so long for Kaleena to realize that polyamory doesn’t work when trying to pursue your dreams of music stardom as a solo act, but better late than ever. Just one thing, though, Kaleena: You got a kid being raised by your parents in another state while you chase your dreams and you waste that time jumping out of cars to dance with your sidepiece?

Tell me that editing exaggerated this situation. Wait, don’t tell me; tell CPS. By the way, K: Y’all gon’ smash again.

Let’s move on to the somewhat self-aware portion of the program, shall we?

Read the rest at Complex.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: Sex, Lies, & I’m Sorry Parties

Last week, I ended up my LHHATL recap asking for more Erica Dixon after she delivered a splendid performance at the train tracks with her now ex-boyfriend, O’Shea. And to the show’s credit, the mother of Scrappy’s child did kick off yesterday’s episode—only it was in the capacity of repeating some Mimi Faust-fed gossip about Benzino’s boo thang to Karlie Redd. I know Erica has to keep collecting those club appearance checks, which means she’ll do whatever is required of her to stay on the show. Still, I’m not convinced she gives that big of a damn about Althea allegedly bedding Stevie J and Benzino.

No matter, though, as the opening scene’s biggest farce was Karlie Redd pretending that she wasn’t going to run and tell Joseline about Stevie J’s alleged infidelity to be messy; instead, Karlie said it was about their friendship. Hardy har. Karlie Redd is about as genuine a friend to Joseline Hernandez as anyone reading this is to Sallie Mae.

This was proven when Karlie Redd damn near climaxed on the gym mat when she told Joseline what she’s been hearing about her dude. If Karlie Redd ever gets saved, she’s going to be the messy old church lady. If not, she’ll be the messy old lady in her apartment building. Karlie Redd doesn’t spill tea; she takes a 2 liter bottle of soda, shakes it up furiously, and promptly twists the cap open so she can spill that shit all over the people in her presence. She’s fun, but no one is fooled.

Joseline knows this, so you can’t blame her for being initially skeptical considering both the source and its messenger. Clearly smarter than the average cast member despite not remembering much past eighth grade, Joseline is right to point out that Mimi still wants Stevie J and would like nothing more than to cause trouble in their rented paradise. So the Puerto Rican Princess opted to do her own investigation before reacting.

That investigation led to Joseline informing Stevie J at the very end of the episode that she is going to beat the hell out of Althea the next time she sees her—mostly because she feels she can’t take Stevie J. I’m surprised by this admission given the previous two seasons featured Joseline being the Ultimate Warrior to Stevie J’s Hulk Hogan. I don’t know, maybe she stopped drinking as many protein shakes and feels less confident.

Funny enough, Benzino has all but forgiven Stevie J for messing with his girl, though Stevie J swears that he’s never had sex with Althea. It’s very hard to know whom to believe. Mimi lies about her feelings and the porno movies they inspired all of the time, so she’s not exactly trustworthy. Neither is Althea, who is desperately happy to be on TV. And Stevie J is well…you know.

Read the rest at Complex.

“Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” Recap: The Body Counts Keep Rising

Although she could never fill the fruit wine cooler-colored wig of K. Michelle, there are some similarities between Kaleena and the Memphis-bred R&B singer. They both seem like the type of girls who can jump a gate, and as K. Michelle once warned, you never want to mess with a girl who knows how to jump gates. Both are good for the one liner. And as we learned last night, the two women share dual memberships in #dicktoobomb and Cat Trap Nation.

Most of all, similar to K. Michelle, Kaleena is no rookie to music. Beyond her time as the Kima of Diddy-Dirty Money, Kaleena released the painfully ignored mixtape Chamber of Diaries, which showed Kaleena had far more to offer the world as an artist than a mere resemblance to Estelle. For the life of me, I couldn’t understand why Kaleena fizzled away despite the ample amount of evidence that she deserve to join the Tribe of Lost Bad Boy Acts.

Thank you, VH1, for solving the riddle.

While Kaleena’s husband was pushing her to get her album together—and, you know, make this whole reality show thing work for them—Kaleena was more interested in smacking the ass cheeks of her homie, lover, friend, Ashley. We learned about this special friend while Kaleena shopped with Karlie Redd for “the Cadillac of all mattresses.” Kaleena explained that Ashley helped her deal with her bisexuality. So much so that she went on to say, “It’s always been my dream to have a wife and a husband.”

Not all dreams are possible, though, leaving Kaleena to find contentment with having a “best friend with a fat ass, that’s beautiful [and] smiles [and] is pretty.” And well, one you can fuck every now and again to your husband’s delight. Karlie approved Kaleena and her husband for “keeping it hot and sexy” and went on to show that she is bi-curious.

Whether or not this curiosity was spurred by a genuine interest in smooching a different set of lips or Karlie just shooting for more screen time is up to you to decide.

Kaleena should’ve been more focused on finishing up her music so she can finally get the attention her talent deserves. Like, do these people not realize what K. Michelle did with her time on Love & Hip Hop besides make fun of the elderly and alleged closeted gay men? Nevertheless, I promise to dap Kaleena on sight for tricking her husband into thinking he was going to get a threesome out of Kaleena’s little escape from the world of heteronormativity. Kaleena and Ashley told that dude to go wash the dishes while they go have a play date.

Love & polyamory, y’all.

Read the rest at Complex.

A Lamb’s Listening Session

As much as it frustrates me, Mariah Carey’s recent struggles to score her trademark top hit single, and now, a sluggish start for her excellent Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse, makes sense. As my friend and literary bae, Rich, pointed out in his review at Gawker, much of Mariah’s public imaging is associated with her success. So, the failure of her seven or so first singles (to be fair, “#Beautiful, which did sell a million copies despite not climbing relatively high on the Hot 100) and her netting the lowest first week sales for an album ever is relevant. It’s no less annoying, though.

Well, depending on who’s doing the dissecting. No, Mariah is not the top seller she once was, but for those trying to discredit her over 2009+ record, it feels like some bratty child beating Bruce Jenner in a race now as if he isn’t and forever will be the gold medal winner of the decathlon.

Rihanna may very well take Mariah’s no. 1 singles record from her, but it would be tainted given Mariah was never just a featured artist on her hits and hers were amassed over a much lengthier period. And Mariah will now and forever will be the biggest selling female artist of all time. There’s no changing that, so if it matters that much to her and anyone else, she’ll always be the belle of the ball in some respect.

Personally, I don’t especially care anymore. I think if nothing else, this is all a sign for Mariah to let the music mesh with her maturation. She could go do a jazz album and likely be the biggest winner of the Grammys at night. She could tap all of the people she paved the way for – too many to name – and use them to sell the way so many of them have exploited her template. This means you Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna, and again, so many others.

Or she can just do what she did with this album: Make a fantastic project for those who continue to be as passionate about her music now as they were then. And make no mistake, Mariah’s 2000s catalog is a lot stronger than many of her critics give her credit for. Then again, when were critics ever especially kind to Mariah Carey?

That aside, have never done a track-by-track review, but a friend and lamb requested and now I am finally obliging.

“Cry.”

Initially, the only thing about the opener of Mariah’s 14 album was the punctuation in the title. I didn’t think it was a bad song, but I wasn’t circling any of the moons surrounding the planet resides on over it either. A few days later, something changed. I paid more attention to the lyrics and Mariah’s delivery and suddenly the song resonated with me differently than it did in those first listens. There’s a level of vulnerability in this song – namely that acknowledge of one’s own fault in the decline of a relationship – that made me think about my own recent dealings. Damn you, Mariah. In the best way imaginable.

Also: She sounds fantastic.

“Faded”

I love that she’s singing the “Mike Will Made It” tag. God, I love this woman so much. This song isn’t what I expected to hear from a Mimi x Mike Will Made It collaboration, but it’s one of my favorites on the album. Again, this song makes me feel a way. What the fuck, Mariah? Must you always make me simp so hard motherfuckers want to toss my head in their bosom? I miss bae.

“Dedicated” feat. Nas

BUT THAT’S YOUR NOSTALGIA.

I immediately fell in love with this song. She had me at “I’ll just sit right here and sing that good old school shit to you. I won’t fool you. I won’t make you be my own. And oh, baby, you know.” I like that Mariah worked with a young producer like Hit-Boy, but didn’t go chasing trends. Well, not on this track anyway. She sounds exactly what she is on this song: A 40-something woman who is mature, but not menopausal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, Madonna. It’s just..here, Mariah sounds sweet and funny and confident. “Dedicated” reminds me of “Candy Bling,” a damn gem if there ever was one. Shut up. It is a gem. So is this song. Gems, dahling. Gems.

“#Beautiful” feat. Miguel

This song came out 100 years ago and my opinion of it hasn’t changed. If anything, I love it even more now that I’ve had to revisit it. It still sounds like a Miguel song featuring Mariah Carey, but it’s sublime. I wish they had worked together more on this album. Surprised Mariah didn’t reach out again given “#Beautiful” sold a million copies and made it all the way to the Top 20 on the Hot 100 — not Mariah’s best overall, but certainly her best chart performance in years.

“Thirsty”

This song is basically “Mulattos In Paris.” The song’s purpose is, was, and forever shall be to make you bop. Mission accomplished, girl. My bop was immediate. When I heard “UH, YA THIRSY. UH, YA THIRSTY. UH, YA THIRSTY.” my ass was sold. READ, QUEEN MIMI. I’m literally saying that as I type it. I’m such a stan.

One thing about post-maudlin ass ballad Mariah Carey is that you’ve discovered how good she is at reading the fuck out of people. See “Heat” and “Obsessed,” which is one of the all-time best diss records ever. Shut up, it is. How can you not cackle at “Outside the club, @ing me constantly?” And her laughing at “Oh, you a G now?”

Neither is as great as “Them chickens is ash and I’m lotion,” but acceptable all the same.

“Make It Look Good”

There is so much going on in this one song and it’s all good. “Look at what you got me going through. Can’t help myself because you make it look good.” Another song that has me in my feelings. This is melodic masochism. Whatever, sing that shit, Mimi, and play the harmonica, Stevie Wonder.

Side note: “Make it look gooder than them other fools.” So my little brother used to say “gooder” and it used to make me cringe. Looks like you won, Marcus. Fuck it.

“You’re Mine (Eternal)”

This is not a bad song and because it’s sandwiched in between two tracks from the album that I love, I find myself always listening to it. Still, one wonders what possessed her to release this as a single? It’s like a half-assed attempt at duplicating some of the other great 00s in her catalog. Which reminds me: Why was “Yours” not released? Why was yours featuring Justin Timberlake not released? This is Charmbracelet era, non-lambs.

You see how I’m talking about 2002 instead of this song because I already forgot about it (as I’m listening to it now)? Exactly. It’s cute or whatever, I guess.

“You Don’t Know What To Do” feat. Wale

THIS. IS. MY. SHIT. This is by far one of her best songs in years. Why was this not released eons ago? Even if it didn’t perform well, you’d be a damn fool to deny how good it is. Perfectly retro, beautifully sang, and Wale doesn’t make me want to call security to have him escorted off the track.

“Supernatural”

This is adorable squared and not just because of #dembabies making a grand appearance on the track. I mean, who doesn’t like singing words like “dissipate” in a song? You never let me down, Mariah. Also, I am glad that Monroe is already using words like “chanteuse” to describe herself. That little girl is going to be her mother on steroids. I kind of get the feeling that Moroccan will be a star, too, if for no other reason than he carries Mariah Carey’s genes, which one assumes to be dominate.

“Meteorite”

Too busy to write a lot of sentences as I have to get up and spin around while holding a glass of sangria. I’ve come to realize that I like house music far more than I ever thought. This song is fantastic and Mariah should record more tracks like them. Well, technically she already did with those 9000 dance remixes she has, right? Well, you get what I mean. Glad Mimi reunited with Q-Tip for he gives her the best shit, every time. Word to “Honey.”

But no really, I’m about to get up and spin. Dance like those old gays I saw at some Harlem park last summer at a “We Didn’t Die!” celebration. No shade.

“Camouflage”

I always forget what this song sounds like until I hear it. I’m one of those Mariah fans who doesn’t actually like a lot of her ballads. You know, “Hero” ain’t the shit I listen to. I’m all about post-Butterfly Mariah Carey. Well, select works from Daydream have a special place on my iTunes, but I’m touch and go with other earlier album cuts. So, by the time I get to the end of a Mimi album – which is where she now sticks a lot of these sort of songs – I’m kind of like, eh, I guess, girl. I do like this, though. I just don’t rush to hear it. This reminds me of “Outside,” which is a compliment.

“Money ($ * / …)” feat. Fabolous

FUCK YES, MARIAH.

Know that I am obsessed with Mariah singing, “Hit-Boy on the beat, oh yeah, that’s timeless.” Obsessed. Why you so obsessed with me obsessed. I rewind back to that part repeatedly all of the time. This is a favorite. I just finished balling up my fists thinking about how great this song is.

“One More Try”

I don’t care about this song. Sorry, Mariah Carey. CC: George Michael.

“Heavenly (No Ways Tired / Can’t Give Up Now)”

Cute. Don’t make that face. This means a lot from a heathen. On to the next track. Shout out to Jesus, though.

“It’s a Wrap” feat. Mary J. Blige

Is this from the never saw the light of day Memoirs of An Imperfect Angel remix album? The acting at the beginning is quite bad, but I love Mary J. Blige so much so I’ll just say whatever, ma’am, you brought it home when you said “shiiiiiit.” “It’s A Wrap” is one of my favorites from Mariah’s last album so to add another one of my all-time favorites to it is just swell to the kid.

I will note that you folks laughing at Mary J. Blige for singing “acquiescent” ain’t even a fraction of a shit. Mary sounds great.

“Betcha Gon’ Know” feat. R. Kelly

I’m surprised Mariah bothered to record with Pissy given he’d be the type to take advantage of her “eternally tween” persona. Why couldn’t we have just gotten “The Impossible” with Jodeci? Ugh.

“The Art of Letting Go”

This still ain’t it.

“Me. I Am Mariah…The Elusive Chanteuse”

Mariah, you did not draw that picture at three-years-old. You know what? Maybe you did. Perhaps you should paint more and have a gallery showing. Anyway, you for damn sure are not elusive. I love you like a holiday Duncan Hines yellow cake, but you’re about as elusive as an attention starved selfie-addict on Instagram posting a wordgram that reads “PLEASE LOOK AT ME, BITCH. PLEASE!”

In sum, Mariah Carey’s album is great. Her best in years. She should be proud.

DK3 Forever

Just when I was ready to put Danity Kane’s comeback in the “Girl, I Guess Not” pile alongside Lil’ Kim’s mixtape/album/consistent good make up day plans and Trey Songz’s music being good again, I woke up to the ladies’ new single “Lemonade.”

Now, because the beat matters so much to me, I was already with the women – however many of them, but we’ll touch on that in a few – and their new track despite it being very early in the morning when I first heard it. But when I got to Shannon’s bridge, my body rose from its slumber to roll down to the ground.

If you didn’t know, Shannon Bex is the silent slayer. She may not be as loud as Dawn Richard and Aubrey O’Day, but she is not outmatched in terms of vocals and for damn sure not on stage. See “Strip Tease” and any recent Danity Kane performance at a gay event. I love you, Shannon.

Also, shout out to Dawn Richard for dropping that Eureka’s Castle brand of R&B she’s so into as a solo artist. I like “different,” but she goes so left that it’s too much. Conceptual art is great, but leave the wizards to Harry Potter sometimes, girl. Glad you’re back home, ma’am.

I’ve been listening to “Lemonade” all day, non stop. Stripper kicking on the sidewalk to it. Stripper kicking and bopping hard to it in the gym, too. Please ask the Latino gym bae who just dyed the top of his hair the color of light skinned brown Black girl brown for proof. After you ask him, find out if he gets down. If so, put me on. Please? I see a bright future — complete with Blatino kids.

Anyhow, I want fetch to happen for this Danity Kane reunion. I hope they get a reality show. A reality show on a good network. And may the reality show be entertaining as all hell. Perhaps they could even briefly feature the ex-member or members of Danity Kane. Get those ratings; get that label; collect these coins; make girl groups pop again. In that order.

Okay, so maybe there are now only three members since only three lil’ girls are featured on the cover and I only hear three women on the song. To be honest, I don’t especially care. No shade to the chubby one whose name I can’t remember…oh wait, I Googled Aundrea, but while her voice is lovely, she hasn’t been getting it on the stage. I don’t blame her weight. After all, Beyoncé keeps a dancing big girl around her. Hell, I been told y’all that one day I hope to be able to afford two big girls who can follow me around and dance with me to Lil’ Wayne’s “Did It Before” on command. That’s my word.

So yeah, it’s not because she likes In and Out, she’s just a lil’…well, if she’s still in the group, I hope she stays a little bit longer in rehearsal and the dance studio in the Valley. If not, oh well. I think people tend to romanticize how girl groups work due to spoiling in the 1990s. Listen, girl groups are good for kicking members out left and right. Danity Kane, who we may now see as DK3, may be no different. I’m fine with that so long as the songs knock. And if “Lemonade” is any indication of what Danity Kane’s musical future looks like, I’m sold.

This song is perfect for lifting your leg in the air and twerking while showering. True story. I want to be somewhere this summer in the American Apparel sweat hoe-shorts (shut up, everyone says men need to show more thighs for the goons this summer), a tank, some new tats dancing to “Lemonade” like a classy stripper. And I promise to make that happen.

Great work, ladies!

Edit: Aundrea with the good voice is pregnant, thus at least partially why her slow wind was a lil’ slower than others and why she’s leaving the group. So, I’m going to hell, but congratulations, girl! DK3 is basically Beyoncé, Kelly on a great day and a better dancing LeToya. Sold. Happy family planning, Aundrea!

LHHATL: Erica P Wants Them Paws On Her

In the first 20 minutes of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, we were treated to the following: a pregnancy scare; a man who owes more than a million in back child support boasting about Versace plates; unemployed models shamelessly asking to hold their bae’s debit card to pay a bill; an unabashed asshole suggesting that one of the qualifications for his (possible) child’s nanny be that she be a younger woman who’s into Facetime.

Mona Scott-Young and Co.: I appreciate your refusal to waste anyone’s time with the melodrama. In addition to the aforementioned, there was Mimi and Nikko Stevie K, who kicked off the show with their bullshit.

Stevie K gleefully tells Mimi about his altercation with Stevie J. This prompts the habitually upset Mimi to yell expletives and order him to get the fuck out of her new car. He refuses to leave, so she storms off. Mimi couldn’t act her way out of a Solo Red Cup, but God bless her, or something, for trying.

And this concludes me discussing Frick and Fake, because when it comes to these two and their quest for fame: “Ain’t gon’ feed you. I’mma let you starve.” Or as Joseline put it last night, “First, she was Molly the Maid and now she is Madam the Pornstar. She still servicing people. I can’t talk about her anymore. I’m done.”

Speaking of forced interactions, though, Lil’ Scrappy met up with his new special friend, Erica P. Erica P. wants the D, as evidenced by her greeting Momma Dee’s prince with a candlelit room. That prompted Scrappy to say, in the confessional, “Are we having prayer or are we having sex?” I’ll be adding that to my lexicon, thank you. Based on her conversation with Scrappy, I’m pretty sure Erica P. could talk most people out of their draws in a smooth five minutes.

It’ll be interesting to see how Bambi reacts to the news of those two now that she is pregnant with Scrappy’s baby. Though Momma Dee accused her of being a cheater a week ago, she’s now thrilled that there will be a new heir to the throne that exists solely within the confines of her mind. That means it’s okay for her to be friends with “The Bambi” now. Momma Dee swears to Scrappy that she’s taking her “bipolar meds,” but if you believe that, I’ve got a drug lord story about Rick Ross to sell you.

As for Scrappy’s ex, “Erruca,” she is happily dating a model named O’Shea. Even if Erica didn’t tell us his title, we would’ve noticed from O’Shea’s hat which read “O’Shea the Model.” Yeah, O’Shea may be the model, but Erica is the bill payer, because when the tab at the bowling alley arrived, he asked to hold her card. Apparently, as handsome as both Erica and Yung Joc find O’Shea to be, modeling jobs have been hard to come by. I wonder if he’s thought about going to Cynthia Bailey’s school for aspiring models that would settle for a scene on a Bravo reality show.

However, what matters most is that Erica is happy, so if this non-drinking (I don’t trust people who don’t drink, FYI), non-smoking (if this applies to tobacco, I get it), drama-free man makes her happy, gon’ and trick if you got it, girl.

Read the rest at Complex.

Kissin’ You Is All That I’ve Been Thinking Of

I am a sucker for a catchy ditty about head. Like, I really, really enjoy most songs about sucking dick. The same goes for the ones about eating pussy. Well, I love most songs about sex in general, but I maintain a special section in my head for anthems about giving it. I mentioned this to a friend yesterday and he said of this revelation, “Of course you do.” That, kids, is a read, but remember: Them chickens is ash and you’re lotion.

Maybe it’s the romantic in me, but there’s something about an oral sex track that’s easy to love. And to his credit, Usher makes really, really great songs about sex. He may have lost his way trying to keep up with the glow sticks in recent years, but even on some of his less than stellar albums (the last three, basically) were gems like “Mars vs. Venus” and “I.F.U.” The can be said of other tracks like “What Happened To U,” “Climax,” and “There Goes My Baby.” And some of the bird songs: “Hot Thing,” “Lil’ Freak,” “Lemme See,” “Hot Tottie,” etc. The love songs name are technically strongest, but since this topic is largely centered on hoe shit, let’s stick to the matter at hand.

I don’t think you people are going up for “Good Kisser” as much as I have been (and the same friend who judged me — I love you, but I hate you), but may your loins get warmer with time. I was so worried about how Usher’s new music would sound. It’s not that he’s no longer capable of quality; it’s more like he’s obsessed with being young. It makes sense given his line of work, but I just don’t want to think of Usher as the old man in the club of R&B. That’s R. Kelly’s job.

“Good Kisser” is contemporary, but not screaming, “Hey, kids. I’m still cool. Tell your friends on Instagram.” I also find it to be a better execution of the sort of funk-flavored songs Usher’s been trying to do in recent years, but not getting it quite right. See “Twisted.”

The video is simple and I’ll probably never watch it again, but I feel that way about music videos. I will salute Usher for two things: His shirtless body looks better than ever and he’s actually dancing.

Is that why bitches (gender neutral usage here, guys) give up bread? If so, fuck your biscuit. I want that Urshur.

Anyway, if we’re being completely honest, even if you felt Usher has been on a commercial and creative downswing, he remains ahead of most of his peers as far as commercial R&B acts go. Trey Songz’s music ain’t been it lately. Omarion’s music has gotten much better, but y’all don’t care ’cause he is too short and that nasally tone is an acquired taste. Plus, his ass will be a hit Tumblr, but those gay boys ain’t about to buy that shit on iTunes and give him the real hit he needs.

There is Chris Brown, but I wasn’t born in the 1990s and I don’t hate women enough to want to monetarily support him. Christopher, why are you expecting loyalty from women you refer to as hoes? Can you blame them for hopping on that pencil dick and moving on to the next? C’mon nah.

Yes, Chris has a few songs, but overall his music is inconsistent as hell. Frank Ocean is great and the bae, but that boy can’t dance so he doesn’t really count. Miguel is awesome, but he doesn’t dance either. Moreover, “he so different.” Miguel is more like Prince, or I don’t know, Vanity with talent and a dick.

And since he gets all of the praise in the world, let me just say while Justin Timberlake’s first half of The 20/20 Experience is cool, I’ve already forgotten about it. So have most of you. And the second half? I’d rather pretend it never happened and just go back to FutureSex/LoveSounds.

As far as pure, quality-producing commercial R&B artists go, I continue to be hashtag Team Usher. That is, when he’s doing straight R&B.  May he never, ever abandon the genre again. In fact, I’m hoping Usher is taking cues from Beyoncé on how to make these pop tart loving sum’bitches accept Black music from Black artists. I also hope he keeps that shirt off. Ben Vereen Jr. gets bae status for that.

Happy singing about head, y’all.