[EBONY] The Weekly Read: Tyler Perry

Dear Tyler:

Although I’m not the biggest fan of your work, I took no joy in your new movie, Single Moms Club, becoming your worst opening picture to date. Okay, fine, I smirked for a few seconds, but I bet the stars of The First Wives Club laughed like hell at your official failed attempt to make a movie that’s sort of like the Lady Gaga to their Madonna. I really hope Bette Midler is somewhere going, “Who shot ya? Separate the weak from the obsolete.”

Likewise, I took no personal joy in Lionsgate ending its deal with your 34th Street Films, given that arrangement was intended to help you introduce other filmmakers not named Tyler Perry. Then again, one of the very movies released under that banner, For Colored Girls, is the main reason why I stopped going to see your movies in theaters. Your movies have made made close to a $1 billion and you own an island. We both know your heart will go on.

Anyway, thanks to Netflix, I did watch one of your most recent works. What was it called again? Tyler Perry’s Confessions of Another Stuck Up, Educated Light Skinned Heifer You Want To Punish On Film? Or was it Tyler Perry’s Confessions Of a Girl Who Needs Jesus & a Bus Driver? Whatever, you know which one I’m talking about; the one with the Smollett girl from Eve’s Bayou. That one.

I don’t want to rehash the rage the ending spawned— though it is incredibly irresponsible and downright despicable to use AIDS as a tool of punishment—but I do think that movie and your other Madea-less film failures in recent years point to a pattern that you need to address if your aim is to get back on top.

For starters, by now you should realize that you can’t just repurpose old film plots and expect to win big at the box office. So if you’re going to keep sampling movies from the 1980s and 1990s, you need to be like Puff Daddy and make that remix hot. In 2014, you’re more like Diddy in the mid 2000s. Remember any of his hits from that era? Me neither.

Oh, and I know you want crossover appeal, but sir, you may catch a few batches of White folks here and there, but sticking random C-list White actors isn’t going to make your movies more appealing to them. Like most of the Black mamas and great aunties in attendance, they just want to see Madea threaten to pistol whip somebody. Please stop trying so hard.

Now, if you’re serious about branching out and doing more “serious” movies and gain wider audiences, I have one very important tip for you: Please evolve, particularly on the way you portray women.

If there is one pattern to be found in your works, it’s the obvious disdain for “uppity,” educated women. That, more than anything else, is why I personally can now only take your works in doses. Hell, I would rather leave my contacts in hot dog water overnight than watch another one of your mean spirited dramatic diss records to smart, professional women.

Also, I know romantic comedies are all tied to a “happy ending,” but for someone whose entire fortune is based on the monetary support of Black women, you’d think you’d be a bit kinder to the single ones. Yes, it’s always nice to have someone, but why is a woman’s happiness always predicated on her landing a man—particularly a blue collar one?

Can no one in your movies be unmarried and be—gasp!— happy all the same? I mean, you’re not married, but you seem to be quite giddy. Why can’t any of your female characters be just as satisfied?

And how about outsourcing some of the screenwriting and directing duties to some of these brilliant Black children of God out here who have the talent, but can’t get the work? You don’t have to be a one-man-band when you have the resources to hire other people. And maybe more outside input can help you tell new stories with new characters.

Wait, let me stop before I end up the basis of a character in one of your future movies: Godless, hedonist homosexual who doesn’t find nirvana Jesus until a wise cracking, single mother of two and a half introduces me to love while stamping my priority mail.

The bottom line is you can’t keep doing is giving us Cassie the first time she performed on 106 & Park and keep expecting Beyoncé results.

Read more at EBONY.

Paul Ryan’s Kinda Racist And It’s Okay To State The Obvious

So if I am to believe select political journalists, Paul Ryan can employ racist tropes to promote policy with racist outcomes, but none of us can call him racist.

There was a bit of an online debate over the Think Progress headline “Paul Ryan Blames Poverty On Lazy ‘Inner City’ Men.” During an appearance on Bill Bennett’s “Morning in America” on Wednesday, Ryan discussed legislative proposals that would focus on creating work requirements for men “in our inner cities” and deal with the “real culture problem” among its inhabitants. Raise your hand if you can see where I’m going with this. Now bury your face in to your palms because of that realization.

Ryan said:

We have got this tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work, and so there is a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with.

Ryan went on to cite the work of Charles Murray, a conservative social scientist who believes Blacks collectively are less intelligent than Whites due to genetic differences. As outlined by Think Progress, Murry believes poverty remains a problem given “a lot of poor people are born lazy.”

So let’s refresh. Paul Ryan recently discussed the cycle of poverty, but noted that “in particular,” there is a “real culture problem,” where men living in the “inner city” don’t want to work or even think about work. What is the definition of “lazy” again? Something about “not liking to work hard” or an unwillingness to do so?

Okay, a little word math problem. What’s a synonym for lazy? Shiftless, right? What kind of man lives primarily in the inner city? Reminder: Don’t let those new gentrifiers fool you. Alright now, take Black men add the coded language for lazy and what do you get? Shiftless Negro! I see what you did there, Paul Ryan, no matter if certain reporters want to pretend otherwise.

I’ve read comments like, “And I think things can play on racial stereotypes without someone intending to demean others.” Never mind the fact that by playing on racial stereotypes to make a point, you essentially are already demeaning others.

Then there are whitesplaining articles that counter Think Progress’ summarization of Ryan’s appearancewith:

Ryan’s problem, it seems, is that he’s talking about inner cities while being 1) a Republican who is 2) about to unleash poverty legislation heavy on work requirements. If you’re a Democrat, you can talk about the inner city in the same way Ryan does.

Slate’s Dave Weigel then tried to conflate Ryan’s remarks with those made by President Barack Obama. The difference, though, is that Obama offered a nuance take on the nihilism that exists in inner city communities as a result of the cycle of poverty where as Ryan insinuated that Black men “inner city men” don’t value work and have no desire to work. More importantly, Obama never cited the work of a known racist to lend credence to his point of view.

Meanwhile, others who call a spade and spade (and probably play spades at holiday gatherings), are not trying to excuse the racist sentiments in a clearly racist statement. To wit, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA), a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, issued the following statement:  “Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black.’” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) categorized Ryan’s comments as “shameful and wrong.”

Paul Ryan is now defending himself, claiming he never, ever thought of race when he made those pointed remarks:

This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It was a long talk and he asked about the culture and I just went off of that. This has nothing to do whatsoever with race. It never even occurred to me. This has nothing to do with race whatsoever. This isn’t a race based comment it’s a breakdown of families, it’s rural poverty in rural areas, and talking about where poverty exists — there are no jobs and we have a breakdown of the family.  This has nothing to do with race.

You know, bringing up rural areas in response to criticism over comments made about inner city men — and again, coupled with the citing of a known racist — isn’t a good defense, Paul.

Read the rest at NewsOne.

[EBONY] The Weekly Read: Dear Ben Carson ’16 Supporters

I would like to believe that there will be another Black president before I go off to join, Jesus, Mohammad, and Beyoncé in the afterlife at Club Eternity, but I cannot be for certain. However, there is one thing I’m willing to bet my liver on: Dr. Ben Carson won’t be Negro POTUS number two, especially not in 2016. So while I hate to be the bearer of bad news to the “National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee,” I would advise them to look for a new hobby.

Now to be fair, #TeamBen, you have done some impressive work thus far. As The Atlantic’s Alex Seitz-Wald notes, “The group that put Carson on the hotel keys has outraised Clinton’s draft committee, Ready for Hillary; has been on the ground in Iowa; and is working from the playbook written by Howard Dean and Barack Obama.” More, according to the group’s Web site, their petition seeking to encourage Carson to run has amassed close to 390,000 signatures.

Nonetheless, you could probably find a million fools in America willing to vote for a brown avocado as president, so that doesn’t necessarily mean anything in the grand scheme of things. And besides, from what I’ve read, you folks over there are running with some very flawed logic as to why Ben Carson is the GOP’s best hope to defeat presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and master of the universe, Hillary Clinton.

Let three-time congressional candidate, George H.W. Bush appointee, and petition-creator Vernon Robinson tell it, Ben Carson is the Republican Party’s best shot at broadening its base beyond old, racist, and easily fooled White dudes.

Robinson says, “At 17 percent, Hillary loses all of the swing states and the Roosevelt Democratic coalition is destroyed. In addition, Ben Carson is able to clearly and calmly articulate conservative positions in a way the average voter can understand.… He’s the only guy who can bond with all of the American people.”

Are we talking about the same Ben Carson here, because the Ben Carson I’m familiar with is about as calm as a second string hypeman at his first Source Awards.

I mean, Ben Carson is the man who once declared: “You know Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery. And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control.”

Not only is this one of the most asinine false equivalencies that I’ve read since that time I read some misguided White woman compared Beyoncé to Miley Cyrus, it’s despicable for a Black man of all people to diminish the horrors of slavery to make some kind of cheap political point. Ben Carson, may every dream you have for the rest of your natural life be summed up as American Horror Story: Slave, Slap the Stupid Out Of Your Simplistic Self.

Worse, Carson had the following to say about same sex marriage: “[Traditional marriage is] a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group — be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are — they don’t get to change the definition.” He also said gays don’t deserve “extra rights” and he loathes political correctness.

This is Ben Carson “calmly articulating conservative positions in a way the average voter can understand”?

So private insurance is like slavery and two committed people of the same sex getting married is like boning a dog and/or a pedophile? Mind you, Obamacare is proving to be a success and attitudes about the initiative are rapidly changing now that it’s been implanted and marriage equality is gaining support in the Deep South. Now, Carson did say during his speech at CPAC, “One of the principles of Saul Alinsky is that you make the majority think their ideology is outdated, and nobody thinks that way.”

This must be the old, crotchety conservative Black male equivalent of “The Illuminati” and various other theories found on YouTube. You keep telling yourselves these lies if you want to, but if you nominate Ben Carson for president, you’re going to yield the same results as Herman Cain’s 2012 campaign and Alan Keyes’…well, every time he’s tried to run for something.

Read the rest at EBONY.

EBONY.com: [THE WEEKLY READ] Let Lupita LIVE!

Okay, I will admit to laughing like hell when I saw this shot of Tyler Perry and the new Academy Award-winning actress, Lupita N’yongo. I’ll also be completely honest and own the fact that I thought the same thing. Nonetheless, I only found the image comical and not a call to arms.

Sure, there is a possibility that Perry may send Lupita’s agent a script that centers on a downtrodden single mother on welfare and Popeye’s two-piece dark meat Tuesday specials ‘cause her deadbeat baby daddy – played by Tyson Beckford – ain’t worth a good damn and it’s only when one of Mary Jane Paul’s boyfriends swoops in with a Bible and a blue collar that she gets to exhale, shoop-shoop. But damn, can we not fixate on that right now? History was just made on Sunday, so why not just rock our hips, then wave and sip in the glory?

I know that in the age of social media, an opinion waits for no man, but I just don’t believe Al Gore invented the Internet for some of your cousins to constantly run amuck over the most inconsequential, completely innocent photo. Why, I do declare that we were lied to, y’all: A picture isn’t always worth a thousand words.

The same goes for your tweets, your Instagram word memes, and your essay-length Facebook status updates.

Seriously, why can’t some of us ever chill?

Even before this photo made its way to the web, I saw a few messages along the lines of:

“What about Kimberly Reece? We let Jasmine Guy still appear on WeTV, but where is the good doctor? That ain’t right!”

I don’t know where she is, but I know I hate tit for tats and false equivalences.

Ditto for this one:  “OH, Y’ALL CARE ABOUT LUPITA N’YONGO, BUT WHERE WERE Y’ALL WHEN VIOLA DAVIS POST UP, FLAWLESS! RIDIN’ ROUND IN IT, FLAWLESS! FLOSSIN’ ON THAT, FLAWLESS!!!”

Well, most of us were saying on Oscar night that year, “We love your natural, it looks better than those wigs, sis. We love how built you are. We want you to win even if this sanitized story about segregation makes us want to stab our eyes out with a Black Power Fist Afro Pick.”

Remember, kids: Just because you can’t recall something not happening (given you not bothering to pay attention at the time, usually) doesn’t mean that it didn’t. And do we really need to compare N’yongo to every other dark-skinned actress in Hollywood? Is that really a debate you want to have?

Read the rest at EBONY

The Smoker’s Room

You’re a special kind of singer if you can make getting high sound even sweeter than a kiss on the collarbone. Actually, a weed rice krispie treat from a dispensary or a well-made chocolate chip cookie with a green bonus can do the same thing, but it’s less melodic, and thus, less fun. Oh: All of this falls under “allegedly,” FYI. Whatever. I’ve been meaning to talk about Candi Kush’s mixtape, Live From The Smoker’s Room, for a while now. I kept putting it off, but today I found myself obsessively listening to “Smoker’s Room,” the first track off the project all day. For some reason or several, I got a little sentimental about the track.

I curse a lot and can be a bit cold hearted at times, but I’m somewhat of a hopeless romantic deep down. Like, a Pharrell who grew up in a house full of Yeezus and Chris Brown rage. There are certain kinds of songs that always make me feel a ways no matter the amount of resistance I put up. Think Nicole Wray’s “I’m Lookin’,” Gina Thompson’s “Things That U Do,” D’Angelo’s “When We Get By,” or Teedra Moses’ “Be Your Girl. I could go on – SWV’s “Someone,” Amerie’s “Why Don’t We Fall In Love,” Chaka Khan’s “I Know You, I Live You,” and Aretha Franklin’s “Call Me” (the live version from the Fillmore album) – but you get it.

As lovely as a great R&B sex song is or even a song detailing a deep love, there’s something irresistible to me about a song about that initial courtship and/or the promise of one. I don’t like a lot of people in that way, but when I do, there’s something so great about that feeling — no matter how it turns out. Oh, who am I kidding? It sucks like shit when it doesn’t work out. Fuck him, girl, etc. etc.

Candi Kush has a gorgeous voice. Her mixtape and “Smoker’s Room” specifically give me little teases of Teedra Moses. Candi’s her own act, though, and I hope some label hurries up and signs her so she more people can surf in all of this good good.

Now, back to the part about me getting all Ralph Tresvant about the track. Picture it: New York City, March 3, 2014. It’s cold as hell. I’m tired and don’t want to go to the gym, but summer is going and is my 30th birthday and Mikey Mike gotta get snatched. So I go, but I leave “Smoker’s Room” on repeat. I get on the stairmaster as the hurly burlies have snatched up all of the weights (Sidenote: ohmigod, why do I always go to the gym at the time everyone and their mama just got off work, ugh). And dammit, feelings.

Read the following in the key of Beyoncé:

I’ve been Draking, I’ve been Draking. I get so simpy all of these feelings get up in me. I get to thinking, get to thinking. Why can’t my inner Pimp C step in and save me, baby?

I’m in this gym like, “Nigga, are you about to cry?” The fuck is wrong with you? Who does that? Not I, or at least, not very often. Is Mercury in Retroactive radio waves or whatever the hell y’all be talking about every so often on the Twitter? Between being overworked, the usual “Bitch, where is my money?” writer struggles, and dealing with the reality that the person who gave me life may regret that based on the direction my dick swings, I’ve been a pile of emotions lately for varying reasons.

I initially thought that was why this song got to me in that way, but I know better. Sure, I’m teetering towards a Vivian Green hit single, but I know that ultimately a song like this reminds me of a void in my life.

This song also reminds me of situation vaguely similar that happened a week ago. Wait, allegedly occurred. I won an award for my D.A.R.E. speech in 5th grade, so drugs – even the ones that need to be legalized already ’cause this is some ole bullshit – are bad or something.

In any event, it was a good time until the very end — when my hopes got into a knife fight and only brought a dull no. 3 pencil. Such is life. What will be will be, but bottom line, this song resonates with me even more. I want like to be loved. Wait, no. I’ve been loved before. I’d like to be loved without shame or unnecessary complications.

I don’t have that, but a song like this reminds me that it’s possible. Maybe songs about two people smoke weed won’t elicit the same feelings in you, but I’m the type of dude that wants to go on a date at the shooting range. So there you go.

Okay, I’m tired of this. We’re done now. I’m putting my feels put in the freezer. Nothing more to see here. Gon’ nah. Get.

[Sway In The Morning] Michael Arceneaux Says “Don’t F**k With The BeyHive”

Look: I’m practicing talking slower in an effort not to sound like Speedy Gonzaleaux, man of a 1001 voice levels depending on delivery.

Complex: You’re My Friend, But I Hate You Online

There is no polite way to say to a friend, “I enjoy you just fine in person, but as far as your online persona goes, I want to reimagine Kirk Franklin’s ‘Stomp’ all over your phone and whatever other product you own with Internet access. Why? Because I fucking hate you online, bitch.”

Thanks to the implosion of social media and our collective crackhead-like addiction to it— combined with the growing need to overshare—I’m learning things about my friends that I would’ve never known, or at the very least, would’ve taken a very long time to notice.

For example, while I’m not as averse to having respectful conversations about religion and politics with my friends, I’m a choosey lover when it comes to that, and even then I prefer to keep such chatter to a minimum. And yet, whenever I go to Facebook (in a time machine to share my articles), my homepage might as well be called the “Hallelujah For Hosanna” bulletin board. That’s fine for the most part, but there’s always that freak for Jesus who wants to go Commando Christian and thump everyone upside the head with their Bible. Where is Moses to part your ass from my feed?

Worse are the people who know as much about politics as a three-hour old baby. Then again, I suppose I’ll take that person over the YouTube false prophets who swear Satan co-wrote“Partition” and is trying to take over the world, one D’ussé purchase at a time. There are too many libraries still open for anyone to be so damn stupid.

Then there’s Twitter, where diarrhea of the thoughts has a daily orgy.

Friend, I hate that you’re casually sexist, homophobic, or in some cases, racist.

Friend, I hate that you think being a mean-spirited, miserable asshole is amusing. I’m sure the other mean-spirited, miserable assholes are coaching you on, but you’re not going to want to share a cot in hell with them.

Friend, I hate that you think you’re Iyanla Vanzantwhen, in real life, you’re about two mistakes away from ending up on MaurySteve Harvey, or some other daytime talk show for people who need to cut out the bullshit and get right.

Friend, I absolutely hate that you’re one of those people who shames broke people. If I went by Twitter, I would assume everyone is sipping the finest Kool-Aid from diamond encrusted red solo cups as they tweet from your Italian villa. Do you know how hard it is for me to hold back the urge to say, “How are you talking about broke folks when you’re paycheck to paycheck like my ass?” Or in some cases, credit card scam to credit card scam.

Read the rest at Complex.

EBONY: [THE WEEKLY READ] A Group Session

If you have a sibling and can recall a time in which your mammy or pappy called you, your brother and sister, and maybe a cousin for a circular butt whooping, you know how this edition of The Weekly Read is going to go. I’m not going to cut a real switch, but there are numerous people who have tried it this week and need to stop it post haste.

So, in my best Mystikal voice, here I go, here I go…

Toni Braxton

Toni, I love you the way you love a high slit, but what in the hell were you talking about when you told Bethenny Frankel about your divorce, “Yes, I am in LA and my ex-husband is there but we get along great. We are very Caucasian, very white about it?”

In your mind, a Black divorce is, “I hate you Jody, I hate you Jody. That’s what it means to Black people.” To make it worse, you added, “Black people will kind of look and say why is that? Why don’t they hate each other?”

First of all, the Baby Boy couple wasn’t even married, so that reference doesn’t make sense. Now I don’t know what planet you’re on, Shug Avery of R&B (all hail Fresh for that reference), but in the rest of our worlds white people have just as tumultuous divorces as everyone else. See Mia Farrow and Woody Allen or any of Charlie Sheen’s ex-wives.  And hell, take a stroll through one of these gentrified streets of Brooklyn or Harlem.

It is Black History Month, madam, so you needn’t be embarrassing us like that in front of company. I love your new album, though. I even bought it. Don’t make me regret it.

The Other Braxtons

I’ve been such a big fan of Braxton Family Values because its scope has largely been, “What if Cinderella got along with her wicked stepsisters?” However, after a couple of seasons and far too much hostility in a short amount of time, I increasingly feel weird about watching this. Like, it’s giving me flashbacks to the period of my life in which I wouldn’t invite friends over due to fears that an impromptu curse out might break out at any second. Though I’m used to seeing our people fight like high school girls on TV, it’s not as entertaining (forgive me for enjoying conflict conflated with alcohol and forced situations) when you realize the people fighting are kinfolk.

In recent interviews, the sourest apple of the bunch, Towanda Braxton, has gone out of her way to claim that media and people surfboarding through social media are making a big deal out of nothing. “Nothing” being the obvious jealousy she harbors towards her sister, Tamar Braxton. I’m used to celebrities blaming the media for the problems they created for themselves, but that’s something especially annoying about Towanda blaming audiences for daring to use their senses to detect her unnecessary shade.

Sorry, Towanda, you Yolanda Adams clone, you. But it’s not the media comparing your baby sister achieving a lifelong dream to passing gas or discounting her first award by declaring, “It’s not like it’s an Oscar.” It may not be an Oscar, but it’s more than what you ever won. As for you airing on Tamar’s husband’s tax debt on Twitter: If not for that man, Tamar and Toni’s involvement in the reality show, the only headlines you’d have on the Google would be for writing bad checks. Yes, I remember that. As should you.

If this family is going to treat each other the way Jermaine Jackson treated Michael on that infamous dis track “Word To The Badd,” y’all gotta get off reality TV and report directly to family therapy.

Katy Perry

Read the rest at EBONY.com.

Let Mýa Make It

Although she doesn’t want or need my pity, I am often sorry for Mýa. A few of my friends will say “fret not for Mýa, for she is the Beyoncé of Japan or the Rihanna of Taiwan,” but we all know that’s not true. Beyoncé and Rihanna are the Beyoncé and Rihanna of everywhere in this solar system. Okay, Japan does seem to provide safe haven for Black artists of the 1990s, but Mýa should still be a thing stateside.

She’s pretty with a great body, can actually sing, is a trained dancer, writes, has made her own beats, and had legitimate hits. See “It’s All About Me,” “Best Of Me,” “Case of The Ex,” “My Love Is Like…Wo,” plus the “Lady Marmalade” remake and whatever that lil’ Rugrats soundtrack song was called. Wait, it was called “Take Me There.” Yeah, I never really liked that song, but I know it was hit. Whatever, you get it. The girl wasn’t like…Christina Milian, who only had a single hit and a half to her name (and Ja Rule’s).

And yet, we don’t even give Mýa Paula Abdul-levels of adoration. Hell, does she even get Pebbles or Jody Watley-like celebration? The Moodring was too good an album for Mýa to be ignored this way. Then again, it did come out the same summer as Dangerously In Love, Chapter II, and After The Storm. I’d include Mary J. Blige’s Love & Life album, but y’all hated that. So while Moodring went gold, it was overshadowed.

Story of Mýa’s life. Poor girl. See, there I go again. I can’t help it.

I’ve always wondered what exactly happened with Mýa. She didn’t have the sort of big personality that propelled many of her peers. And she clearly didn’t hire a publicist who could find a way around it. The only thing I ever heard about Mýa on a personal level came from Wendy Williams — and I’m not repeating any of that here.

Or maybe her application for the Illuminati was thrown in the shredder by a hater. I don’t know, but she had a nice little run (that still seemed overlooked at the time) and then she went to Tokyo and America went, “Sayounara, sis.”

That said, Mýa hasn’t exactly done herself favors over the years. When she wasn’t creating R&B for Japanese Disney Radio, she was recording birthday dance tracks that sounded like it was made primarily for Club Seventh Circle, hosted by your least favorite party promoter and the Towanda Braxton to the Jesus’ Tamar, Satan. Finally, her music has returned to something reminiscent of what made me like her ass to begin with.

With Love reminds me of Moodring, only it’s a slightly older and more mature cousin. I enjoyed it so much that I gave Mýa my $3.96 on iTunes for the EP. From my understanding, she wants to remain on the independent route. Mýa wants the control and lion’s share of whatever amount of albums she makes. Such is her right. That’ll make it harder for her to gain back even a fraction of the success she used to have, but what does it matter if the coin isn’t correct?

One thing is for sure, though: If she creates music more like this, she’ll continue to get my (monetary) support. I would also like to hear more songs like the unreleased track “Backseat,” produced by Pharrell. I wish Pharrell would go find her and help her out. The girl’s still got it. Do you all remember Janet’s ICON special? Mýa deserves another chance.

Hell, she deserves one of the many chances we kept giving to Ciara (in vain). Give the EP listen. Give Mýa’s new EP a chance, y’all. Good luck, girl.

Hello Beautiful: What Does It Mean To Be Black & Gay In Hollywood?

On Friday, I participated in a Google Plus chat with Hello Beautiful about being Black and gay in Hollywood. This would include whether or not Black folks pressure Black gays to come out, if they are obligated to for the sake of the representation and awareness, and also my least favorite riddle: Did this gay somebody come out for the sake of a come up? It was a fun chat albeit a bit of a sausage fest. Scheduling issues and shit. Still, a very nice chat worth checking out if you so desire.

I normally don’t go back and watch or listen to any media appearance I do. I’m learning to break that habit for the sake of improvement. Ugh. Mariah Carey is my kindred spirit because like her, I know I am all about a good angle. And like her, I know the wrong angle will have me looking all the way fucked up.

Full disclosure: I had braces as a kid, but listen, I broke my retainer. My stupid ass took out my retainer in a rush to open a fucking VHS tape I bought at the Walmart. A wrestling tape at that. Not even WWF. It was like Starrcade 1993 from WCW. In other words, some total bullshit. Yes, I totally realize how nasty it was.

In any event, I broke the shit and my mama was like, “I am not spending $100 to get another one. So.” I mean, she spent a smooth few thousand or something on my braces and we ain’t have money like that, so I get it. Then my wisdom teeth came in and shook the table of my fucking mouth.

All I could do while watching this was think, “Oh, bitch. I gotta get my Invisalign fund going.” I mean, I don’t have like J. Cole mouth. No shade. Still, it’s really just two teeth messing up the service — kind of like LeToya and LaTavia before they got the boot. But, it’s alright. It’s coming, and again, with the right angle, it doesn’t look so bad. 

At least my skin looked good, though. Thank you, painful ass laser hair removal treatments.

Why am I saying all of this in this space? Hell, I don’t know. To humanize thine ass or something. However, this is the part where I now go sing “Flaws and All” to myself. Okay, I’m lying. I’m about to go look in the mirror and say, “Still look pretty!” like Kimbella of Love & Hip Hop: New York, season two.
Sharing time is officially over now, though. Enjoy.