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Earlier in the year, Mark Pitts, the president of urban music at RCA and CEO of ByStorm Entertainment (a joint venture with RCA) made me somewhat worried about Miguel’s third album. In an interview with Billboard, Pitts spoke of Miguel’s vision of the album, and part of that vision seem centered on correcting suspicions about the Los Angeles native’s sexuality. Pitts explained, “He wants people to understand who he is. He’s tired of people asking ‘who are you, what’s that, do you like girls?’ He tells me, ‘I want everyone to know I am wild, funny, edgy and love women. I need this album to connect.’”

It sparked my concern because based on Miguel’s solid debut, All I Want Is You, the excellent follow up, Kaleidoscope Dreams, or any of the mixtapes that have been released before or after these works, I believed fans (and he has plenty of those now) already had a pretty good idea of who Miguel was as an artist, and more or less, a person. To those who were unfamiliar with him prior to his breakout hit, “Adorn,” maybe there was a sense of pause (the outfits, I guess), but that’s more about their own stupidity and their limited idea of what a man – particularly a Black one in R&B – looks like. Why cater to that?

Besides, how much more convincing of one’s heterosexuality can a man who recorded a song called “Pussy Is Mine” do before he says “f**k it” and stop trying? Particularly a man who takes many cues from Prince, a guy who has worn stilettos, exposed his butt cheeks to the world, and yet, whose sexuality is as clear as the coos of the lead singer of Vanity 6. How are you going to channel Prince and worry like Mariah Carey, 2015?

If there’s any criticism to have of Miguel, it is that he is prone to overcompensation.

When you listen to Wildheart, you do get the sense that Miguel desperately wants you to know he’s straight. There seems to be a bit of an emphasis on proper pronoun usage on select tracks. Perhaps the intent to is to cement his sexual preference as previously advertised, but it can make doubters align with doth protest too much indeed. Thankfully, though, it is not as distracting as I feared.

The album is very much themed around libido, as evident in songs like “The Valley,” where the 29-year-old sings about his desire to “f**k you like I hate you.” The song is also a shout out to the Los Angeles metropolitan area that is home to much of the state’s porn industry. There’s also the modestly titled “FLESH,” which features Miguel seductively moan, “Woman, put me right where I belong.” And Wildheart’s lead single, “Coffee,” a playful ode to the morning after a sexual encounter.

Although the singer’s interest in sex (HETEROSEX WITH WOMEN) is the dominant theme of the album, it does not come across as obnoxious – which distinctly separates Miguel from his contemporaries.

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If you measured last night’s episode of Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta by sex, based on the teaser, you thought you were going to be treated to a full-fledged orgy. Instead, you got fingered with a pinky. Foreplay can be great, but not when I’m being teased with a confrontation between Joseline and this woman who won’t stop saying her name every damn week, Jessica Dime. That’s a climax, bitch. Way to overhype the confrontation, production team.

Those two didn’t engage until the very last scene, but before that took place, the show’s resident messy ass friend, Karlie Redd, set up the tension. Karlie doesn’t seem to sing anymore, and she’s not dating a rapper, so as far as her point on this show goes, she’s essentially a middleman and greeter to new cast members with no friends. Enter Jessica Dime, who while in a pool with Karlie, revealed that she and Joseline used to fool around—to the delight of their VIP guest, Stevie J. Jessica described Joseline as her “trick” and said she was all up in her kutty kat. She also added that she could’ve taken Joseline’s man as Stevie J offered to knock her up.

So, a man with noted substance abuse issues and multiple baby mamas (and the child support cases to prove it) offers to knock you up during a ho shit session where he was likely inebriated and you fix your face to say, “I could’ve had your man.” Yeah, probably for a couple of hours, but as MoKenStef let us know, “You may have had him once, but I got him all the time.”

Go ahead, sing, “YOU CAN’T SLEEP AT NIGHT.”

Jessica sounded like a cross between Safaree (bitter) and Ronnie from the Players Club (bitter and trying to get popped).

Later, Karlie linked with Joseline who, to the surprise of no one, had no issue admitting anything. Joseline “Yeah, I ate her box, but she’s my bitch. She do what I say. She ate my ass and my pussy all night when I tell her to do it.” She then advised her to live off her own name, but noted, “but you don’t have one because everybody know you as a playgirl.”

I could seriously quote this woman all day. To wit, Joseline explained when it came to tricking off Dimepenny, “I didn’t have to give you money. I just give money because you broke and you need it.”

And in the confessional there some other gems: “Bitch you could never drop a bomb on me because I am the bomb” and “There is nothing I have to tell Dimepenny unless the bitch is on her knees.”

How does this woman not have an Emmy already? Joseline ended the conversation by telling Karlie to pass word that Dimepenny can come see her in the studio. So she did while Joseline was in a session. Stevie escorted himself out of the studio and once Jessica entered the booth, Joseline told her, “I heard you been looking for me.”

We have to wait until next week to see Joseline throw a drink at Dimepenny’s head. I know, I know. We can wait together.

While we didn’t get the full Joseline and Dimepenny confrontation, we were treated to three other ones—two of which we’ve seen too many damn times already.

Read the rest at Complex.

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Most of last night’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta centered on truth, or, in Mimi Faust’s case, her ever-changing version of it. With all due respect to Our Lady of the Yell, her habit of delivering Tyler Perry play-style monologues does not alter the fact that Mimi often sounds like the kind of woman Iyanla Vanzant screams at on any given Saturday night on OWN. So, when the episode kicked off with Mimi speaking in soft voices to Stevie J about her role in the making and distribution of her sex tape, I was unmoved. Like, I literally just sipped my wine and rolled my eyes until the scene finished.

I don’t understand why Mimi felt the need to not only lie, but to continue to lie despite everyone around her nearly saying, “WE DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR LIES, WOMAN.”

That’s probably why Mimi’s bestie, Ariane, proceeded to call her out despite her ass hanging out. Yes, Ariane was modeling for Margeaux’s art show. She was in body paint, which I didn’t realize was still a thing. Margeaux claims she didn’t really know a lot of people in Atlanta, but she sent out an email blast and hoped for the best. Yeah, whatever. People in Atlanta will show up for the opening of a bottle of a Myx Moscato. Of course people were going to roll up to the film set.

In any event, Ariane heard Mimi acknowledge her part in the porn she shot with Margeaux’s husband (and her one time boyfriend) and that set her off. They yelled at each other outside, and though that may seem like cause for alarm, this is Mimi Faust we’re talking about. All that woman does is yell, scream, shout. And shoot porn, as it were.

Margeaux was unmoved by Mimi’s reveal given she told her a bold face lie one week prior. I can’t say that I blame her, but then again, Margeaux keeps trying to make fetch happen as far as Nikko being a good person goes. She needs to join Mimi in letting the lie within her die. That said, Margeaux did tell Nikko that she wants to “separate.” She did not use the word divorce, so I’m not sure of how far this “separation” will go.

Whatever the case, I hope this marks the eventual end of Margeaux and Nikko on this show. I don’t care about these two’s marriage and the only reason they’ve been around is because of Mimi. But now that Mimi admitted the obvious, can we get Smithers to release the hounds and chase these two off the premises? I wish them well in all their future endeavors, but again, I don’t care. Goodbye.

While Margeaux and Nikko were ending their strange marriage, Momma Dee’s former husband, Ernest, proposed to the woman who had him locked up for stealing from her son. Speaking of, before that fantastically fucking crazy proposal happened, Ernest had Scrappy meet him at a BBQ spot to talk about his plans. I appreciate Momma Dee’s ex-husband who she put in jail always making cast members meet him at a BBQ or wing spot. All he has to do now is take Momma Dee and the family to get a fish plate and the trifecta will be complete.

Anyway, Ernest had the perfect location for a marriage proposal: inside of a church. That is kind of genius given it would be rude as hell to turn someone down inside of a church, and even if they do, you’ve got a bunch of people willing to lay hands on you. And, you know, maybe some panties ‘cause church freaks are great comforters. Or so I’ve heard.

Read the rest at Complex.

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If I’m not mistaken—by the way, I’m not—Tony Vick and Kalenna have voiced concerns about volatility with respect to their finances in previous episodes of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta. With that in mind, if you’ve appeared on national television and openly voiced concerns about spending too much money on things like a big ass house you don’t need, would you be risking your savings in a risky investment like a club in fucking Atlanta, Ga.? If you do, you’re the type of person whose calls people duck around payday.

If you’ve heard the Diddy-Dirty Money’s Last Train to Paris album and her own Chamber of Diaries mixtape, you know Kalenna is quite the talented one. And yet, so much of her storyline is so far removed from music. If they plan on turning this club into Harpo’s Jook Joint with Kalenna playing the role of Shug Avery, I’d get them a little more. However, Kalenna ended up asking Joseline to perform at the club, so basically, in the opening minutes of last night’s show, all I got was a math problem: What happens when two blacks in the red turn to a new club to make some green?

I’ll let y’all solve the puzzle. In the meantime, I hope they decide to open up a Chick-fil-a franchise instead.

Speaking of bad habits, what followed next was more talk about Nikko and his infamous porn shoot with Mimi. Margeaux reached out to Ariane’s gorgeous self to talk about their first meeting. You know, the one that ended with Margeaux and Mimi being separated by security. Margeaux informed Ariane that there are no secret audiotapes that prove Mimi’s ass is lying about her role in her porn hustle with Nikko, but an actual person willing to talk. Will the deep fried plot twists never end?

Ariane took this information to Mimi, and to the surprise of no one, Mimi denied everything. Mimi then let her know that she’s not going to keep revisiting old shit. Finally, we agree. I understand Ariane’s intent is to “protect her,” but if the woman doesn’t want to talk about the tape anymore, respect that. Now, Ariane going to work with Margeaux is not cool. Business is business, but I doubt Ariane had to entertain any business involving Margeaux. She just seems more interested in being around her long enough to find more intel to expose her lying ass friend.

Meanwhile, we learned that every now and then Joc’s baby mamas all get together for a “meeting of the moms.” They each seem to hate the term baby mama, but oh well. You broke and/or forgot the condom; live with the colloquialism. One of the women is actually Joc’s legal wife, though. Why are they not divorced, especially given that Joc knocked up two women after her at the same damn time? Your guess is as good as mine. During their annual harem meeting, Joc appeared with his latest boo thang, Khadiyah. This infuriated Joc’s fourth baby mama, Sina.

Sina called Khadiyah a “homewrecker” despite the reality that she carried a married man’s seed at the same time as another woman not legally married to him. It’s as if she owns a mirror, but refuses to accept the reflection. How Rachel Dolezal of her.

Sina threw a temper tantrum and had to get a pep talk from Joc’s wife. Then more bickering took place between the women only for Joc to dismiss his girlfriend and sponsor. This is the strangest shit ever.

Read the rest at Complex.

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After realizing that neither of them was the enemy in this situation, Mimi, along with Nikko’s seemingly estranged wife, Margeaux, decided to band together and take down the real villain: Nikko, the wannabe Stevie J. So, Mimi’s friend Ariane then placed Nikko in a headlock as Margeaux and Mimi took turns punching him in the stomach. You don’t want to advocate violence ever or whatever, but really, didn’t he have it coming? After security broke up the fight, Margeaux, Mimi, and Ariane all proceeded to sing their favorite men ain’t shit songs from the 1990s.

Just kidding. That would’ve made way too much sense for this show. In actuality, Mimi was her typical confrontational self and picked a fight with Margeaux. Margeaux was amused by Mimi’s antics, and to be fair, was rather provoking. The only person who realized that Mimi and Margeaux should not have been arguing was Ariane, who has long known that Nikko wasn’t shit. Still, I chuckled like hell when Mimi told Margeaux about the sex tape she shot with her husband: “I think what you’re mad about is that you’re not reaping the benefits of the sex tape, sweetheart.”

And this particular one Mimi made in her confessional: “I screwed your husband for two years, took the sex tape money straight to the bank while you were chained somewhere in Nikko’s basement.”

What was so funny about those comments and pretty much every other one Mimi made in her exchange with Margeaux is that during the first season of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, this is how Joseline spoke to her (only in a mesh of Ebonics, Spanish, and varying degrees of regional slang). Yet, Joseline is the “whore,” “slut,” and “slut ass bitch.” Well, well, Mimi. Look whose feathers continue to fly so fucking high.

After Mimi flew into her coup, Margeaux calmly spoke to Ariane. Ariane may not totally buy Nikko’s version of events, but she’s always been skeptical of Mimi’s lil’ fable about making homemade porn with her married boyfriend that “got into the wrong hands” and later jumped on board for the money. Mimi would later tell Ariane that apparently Nikko recorded all of their phone conversations—which is not creepy at all—​and she has no idea what’s on the tapes. Am I watching Scandal? Is Mimi’s senate campaign doomed now unless Huck dismembers Nikko?

At this point, I’d rather Nikko just fall into a well (Margeaux can stay for a short while after) and go away forever, but I will say I do not believe Mimi so I will tolerate this as long as the truth comes out by the end of it. Shut up. I can dream.

Keeping with the theme of “watch who you bed, beloved,” we were “treated” to more drama from Atlanta’s worst married couple: Rasheeda and Kirk. While “driving” to Ashley’s “promo spots” in Alabama, Yung Joc calls Kirk about the auction Rasheeda set up that he clearly didn’t know about. Upon receiving the intel, Kirk “turns the car around” and heads back to the auction with Ashley in tow.

Why the quotations? Well, if you look closely into the scene of Kirk and Ashley in the car, that shit looks like it’s parked at a Waffle House or Walmart. Maybe they did a Kardashian-style reshoot, but something seems amiss. I am not an investigative reporter, though, so whatever. As soon as Kirk arrived, a fight ensued among Rasheeda, Ashley, and Rasheeda’s mama, Ms. Shirley. Shirley is always looking for a knife fight, so I’m not surprised she was ready to rumble.

You know, there was a point when Ashley told Rasheeda, “It’s not my fault he cheated on you.” The girl is overeager, and, yes, has been disrespectful, but she’s not wrong.

Read the rest at Complex.

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When I found out that FOX decided to finally end the run of American Idol, my immediate thought was, “Where is the gun that’s putting the show out of its misery? I’d like to use it on The Voice next.” I used to watch Idol several years ago, but made a conscious effort to forget all about it post-peak existence, sans Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey bitching each other out (and breaking my heart in the process). However, I never really got into The Voice.

I hate the stupid chair thing. It’s like they do that under the pretense that looks don’t matter and the judges have some “element of surprise.” Get the fuck out of here. It’s a big-budgeted talent show. It’s no less gimmicky and over produced than any of the other shows like it. If you think some big goofy chair slowly turning around makes The Voice that much different, you probably think tossing on some Old Spice will hide someone’s summery must.

One thing Idol can and will forever hold over The Voice is that it has actually produced successes in music. It may not live up to that promise anymore, but Kelly Clarkson is still going strong. The same can be said of Carrie Underwood. Fantasia will forever have booking on the Tom Joyner cruise and various black award shows. Actually, she can likely continue touring for the rest of her life, too. There are also losers like Jennifer Hudson and Adam Lambert, who despite not winning the show, clearly continue to win.

Even Clay Aiken might eventually score some job as a political pundit on some horrible cable news show. I don’t know, maybe they’ll at least let him hum every now and again before pretending Hillary Clinton is Jesus in a pantsuit.

Can The Voice say the same? No, no, no. That is the main reason why I don’t like the show: For all its spinning chairs, big name celebrities brought in as judges and mentors, this show has not created a single star. If it cannot live up to its purpose, what is the point anymore?

Pop quiz: Name all of the winners of The Voice. Name their debut albums. Name their best-performing song. When the members of MoKenStef can legitimately argue that they’ve had more success in music than the winner of some hugely popular TV show, it’s a problem.

I’ve read “Where Are They Now?” articles about the winners, and they don’t offer the kind of endings that would make Walt Disney smile. In fact you should probably be lifting them all in prayer. The show’​s inaugural winner, Javier Colon, told BuddyTV a year after his win in 2011 that he separated from his label due to lack of support. He apparently now performs shows at “intimate venues across the country.” The second season winner, former Alicia Keys background singer Jermaine Paul, is…I have no clue, but Alicia should’ve hooked up him with some Swizz Beatz tracks. Season five winner Tessanne Chin dropped an album that debuted with only 7,000 copies sold. Season six winner Josh Kaufman got a job on Broadway. Where’s the album, though?

These winners would’ve done better taking their $100,000 award and investing it into a Popeye’s franchise.

Read the rest at Complex.

 

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When it comes to the maturation of rappers, I have more faith that Rick Santorum and the pope will go half on my gay-wedding gift than that most emcees will age gracefully.

There are a few rappers who have done so—Queen Latifah and Ice Cube come to mind—but they don’t actively release rap albums anymore. Jay Z fancies himself more of a businessman than a musician nowadays, and even in the latter context, he still wants to be perceived as cool (not that there’s anything wrong with that). T.I. is a family man who still wants to rap like a bachelor … who lives in the trap. Rick Ross will be 40 next year, and his tales of drug dealing (fictional times, mind you) will feel really old in due time.

The men are far worse offenders than many of the ladies of hip-hop, but in earnest, Lil’ Kim’s aesthetic continues to have an identity crisis, Da Brat still dresses like it’s 1995 and I don’t know where Foxy Brown is. Do you?

Surprisingly, the man who’s become a solid example of how to age as a rapper in a way that feels both natural and fitting is Snoop Dogg. His most recent release, Bush, is more grown-up funk than mumbling hip-hop (see Young Thug and Fetty Wap).

On how the Pharrell-produced project was born, Snoop explains to New York Times writer Jon Caramanica, “There’s a void for that style of music. I think if rap never came out, I’d have been a R&B singer.”

The Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber disputes this, noting that such sounds have been “one of the biggest trends in pop in the past few years,” and going on to add, “Snoop’s not filling a need; he’s providing more of what’s recently proven to be a hot commodity.”

This is where the lens through which you view something matters. For starters, Snoop is not Robin Thicke or Daft Punk. He’s a 43-year-old black man named Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. from Long Beach, Calif. A man who, for much of his career, has rocked perms and curls. In releasing Bush and embracing the “Uncle Snoop” moniker, Snoop is just fulfilling a destiny that many of us black folks meet after a certain age: the uncle or auntie stage of our lives.

With Bush, Snoop basically made a hip-hop Gap Band album. It’s the audio answer to linen pants and cookouts, something I might two-step to while asking for a fish sandwich and an extra slice of peach cobbler. It is glorious in that respect. Although Snoop could have rapped a lil’ bit more on the album, it’s 2015, and most of these rappers are singing off-key and spouting a bunch of gibberish anyway. In that respect, he fits right in.

Read the rest at The Root.

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I had no idea Gillian Laub’s new HBO documentary, Southern Rites, would be as challenging for me to watch as it was. On Monday, I attended a screening at the Sunshine Cinema where Laub appeared in a panel moderated by Ta-Nehisi Coates.

The film’s executive producer, John Legend, made a brief appearance at the beginning of the film. In a very well fitting suit. Whew. Okay, focus, Michael. Chrissy Teigen could be reading this. As he mentions here, it’s very painful to see a woman have to deal with the loss of her son, particularly in this fashion.

And as someone from the South, there were some parts of the film immediately familiar to me.

Say, a white southerner dawning the confederate flag on her back explaining, “It’s not racist. It’s just the southern way.” That’s kind like saying, “You say cross burning, I say light show” but if you say so (actually: stop saying so). And there are other parts in the film which you hear Mount Vernon, Georgia white residents complain of mixed race children by making quips like “it had a read head and a blue ass.” Country folk are amazing.

Racism rarely makes sense, but when it comes to Julian Patterson’s death, which largely dominates the narrative of the film, Laub illustrated just how complicated it can be. Patterson’s killer, Norman Neesmith, is unique in that he raised his half-Black niece as his own daughter. Norman was alienated by many of his family members and neighbors as a result of this selfless choice, so to count him among the unabashed racists of the world feels unfair. Even so, as you watch the film and hear Norman’s story in his own words, you understand that even someone of good intentions can harbor ignorance.

As the story goes, Jason Patterson along with his brother, were invited by Norman’s daughter and another friend to come over – unbeknownst to Norman. There is a confrontation and the end result is Jason Patterson died far too early. Norman expresses both grief over his role in that and anger in response to the condemnation he’s received as a result of his actions. As much as we hear stories of older white men shooting and killing young Black men and women, very rarely do we hear from someone who conveys even a nominal level of remorse.

Also, I did wince when I heard the excuse “kids will be kids” over the idea of an 18-year-old (not Patterson) sneaking over to a 14-year-old’s house to smoke, drink, and have sex. It in no way excuses Neesmith’s behavior. The same goes for it not altering certain realities. Norman Neesmith wouldn’t have gotten as light a sentence as he did had he shot and killed a young white man. Meanwhile, for all his talk of not thinking of color, we hear Norma say on the 911 call about shooting Jason Patterson, “It’s just a Black boy.”

During the conversation, Laub said she initially thought to name the movie It’s Just A Black Boy, only she feared that as a white woman, such a title may come across as offensive to some. I appreciate her sensitivity there and throughout Southern Rites. She makes no one a devil on either side and whoever manages to look bad, it is of their own doing.

The racial politics are pronounced throughout the movie in the bluntest of terms. Case in point, the separate story of one Black man’s quest to be the first Black Sherriff of Montgomery town. And yes, the first desegregated prom, which I noted in a previous post.

What I enjoyed most during the conversation was Laub’s own thoughts about Norman Neesmith. Was Patterson’s shooting Patterson a racist act? Like many in the audience, Laub suspected his perception of two Black men did play some role in his behavior that tragic night. That is a racist act, but even in his anger, Norman Neesmith is a complicated figure.

That said, I’m so tired of seeing Black mothers in tears feel defeated over a system that devalues the life they brought into this world. But I did enjoy this documentary greatly. It truly is a stunning piece of work, and if nothing else, made me think.

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Should a camera crew be following someone in rehab? My instinct says, “fuck no,” but if we’re being fair to all parties involved with Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, I’d rather watch Stevie J recite Instagram inspirational word memes he learned in group therapy than deal with most of the other men on this show. So would you.

The episode launched with the sight of Stevie J strumming his guitar as he awaited a visit from Joseline. Stevie J informs the Puerto Rican Princess that he has to dedicate his next year to sobriety, which means she can’t be smoking weed anymore. Joseline astutely noted that she shouldn’t have to give up her love of the grass cause his piss in a cup keeps setting off alarms within law enforcement. I know that when you love someone, you’re supposed to sacrifice for them because that’s what people in a relationship do, blah, blah, bullshit, but no weed? No thank you.

Joseline would go on to inform Stevie J that her and Mimi won’t be braiding Ava’s hair together, so he can kindly stop asking him to make amends with that broken woman still upset that he no longer wants a relationship with her. Speaking of people who won’t be kicking it anytime soon, Karlie Redd and Rasheeda had a confrontation over the confrontation at Karlie’s store opening that took place a week ago. You know, I don’t really feel any strong way about Rasheeda on this show besides her looking like the female version of Superfly Jimmy Snucka, but I will say she was dead wrong last night.

Listen, Rasheeda, you did not have good intentions when you brought Erica to Karlie’s store opening. You did not want them to make amends because if you did, you would’ve organized a dinner with no food at a later date like a real neutral ass reality show cast member would have. What you did was go to fuck shit up. So be it, but own it. 

Rasheeda did not, opting instead to bash Karlie Redd. At one point, Karlie said, “K. Michelle was right about you.” Well, she did not tell a lie there based on that scene. The two then had a Sheree and NeNe type verbal exchange. I’m going to go with Karlie for this round given she told Rasheeda, “CNN was at my motherfucking event. Name the last time CNN been at yo’ shit.” And outside, Karlie yelled, “Get in the fucking car cause you ain’t shit.”

All Rasheeda did was call Karlie messy, lame, and made an AARP reference. Girl, you’re messy for what you did last week; you’re still married to Kirk Frost and you bite Shawty Lo’s flow so how’s all that for lame; as for age, umm, you’re not exactly the freshest peach in the pile either, beloved.

In related delusional lame news, Nikko is back despite my prayers that all footage with him will be lost in the editing bay. Nikko’s estranged wife, Margeaux, has moved to Atlanta—in the same building as Nikko. During a conversation, Nikko claims he made a “blood pact” with Mimi to lie about the origins of their porn. Margeaux believes him because she seems gullible as hell. Lift that sucker in prayer, y’all.

Read the rest at Complex.

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There are some public figures who make you wonder why you ever bothered learning how to read.

I let out an audible sigh when I read the New York Post’s Page Six report that ABC executives were “desperate” to sign actress-turned-foot-in-mouth-disease-victim Raven-Symoné as a co-host for The View before their up-front presentation. A described “ABC source” explained, “She was interesting and provocative. Raven would be great as a regular host.” I imagine similar logic was employed to justify giving Don Lemon and Stacey Dash cushy positions at CNN and Fox News, respectively. How well is that going for anyone who doesn’t benefit from the ratings their asininity generates?

Frankly, a spare brick on the sidewalk can be just as “interesting” and “provocative”—except a brick has more to contribute to meaningful conversation than any of the aforementioned three.

Raven-Symoné is talented, but if the last couple of months have taught us anything, it is that she is not remotely thoughtful. Our first glimpse into that reality took place last fall on an episode of OWN’s Oprah: Where Are They Now? where she decried labels and described herself, not as gay but, rather, as a “human who loves humans” (which could also be described as pansexual, but I read books, so pardon me) as well as a  “colorless person.”

Months later she would declare, “I am from every continent in Africa except for one. and I’m from every continent in Europe except for one. We are a melting pot of beauty.”

My eyes are rolling harder than a Prancing Elite at a parade.

Sure, she misspoke, but the problem isn’t so much the phrasing as it is the overall sheer lack of intellectual curiosity. She, like Lemon and Dash, is simply loud and wrong. Naturally, she is being rewarded for it and, of course, is clueless as to why some aren’t pleased about it.

In a new Daily Beast profile titled “The Reinvention of Raven-Symoné,” Raven-Symoné touches on the backlash she’s received on occasion, saying, “I’ve gotten anger from other people because I’m not taking one side or the other, or I’m not taking the side they think I should take. Or that I’m being someone I’m not. But I’m just trying my best to look at it objectively before I bash someone.”

I don’t have a problem with a difference of opinion. However, there is something grating about an uninformed opinion. For all her talents as an actress and singer, Raven-Symoné could use some prep in this new role she finds herself in.

Read the rest at The Root.

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