[Complex] Dear Potential Bae: Don’t Follow Me on Social Media Unless We’re Seriously Dating

“What’s your Twitter?”

It’s three of the scariest words I could ever hear from someone I could possibly, maybe, sort of, kind of, potentially be interested in on a Beyoncé and Jay Z level, or at the very least, a Mimi Faust and Nikko situation. The equivalents — “Are you on Facebook?” and “What’s your Instagram?” — are no less frightening. I get it, but slow down, son, you’re killing ‘em.

I’m not naïve. Our lives are an open book thanks to Google. And as a person who makes a living (or close enough, anyway) by sharing his musings about multiple subjects on the Internet, I’m especially easy to find. Then you have to take into account that Facebook makes it damn near effortless to stalk the hell out of someone. I’m also just learning, from an admitted stalker, that Instagram has a hack where you can find a person’s IG profile based on their phone number.

Honestly, none of that bothers me. I’d be a hypocrite in the key of Kanye West if I pretended that I never, uh, “investigated a date.” Even so, I have the decency to not immediately follow anyone I’m interested in mere minutes after the initial, “What yo name iz? Tell me what yo name iz?”

Though there are other people who have this problem, my online persona is not different than what greets you in person. Still, as hard as it is to get to know someone on an intimate level, it’s even harder to do so if they develop a preconceived notion about you based on tweets and Instagram comments. Not to mention, call me old fashioned, but I’d like for a person to reveal how crazy they are through interpersonal channels.

I could go on.

Like, let me talk about you online through nondescript terms in peace. Hell, let me talk about other people I may be interested in without the fear that I’m potentially ruining a good thing by simply keeping my options open — which is totally okay according to those fake relationship experts y’all foolishly give your money to (insert Tyrese’s and/or any fake celebrity’s name here). Before you even think to say, “Well, maybe you should keep some things to yourself. That’s what your friends are for.” Bitch, shut up.

Read the rest at Complex.

[Complex] I Am The Scandal: Recapping “Scandal,” “The Price of Free and Fair Elections”

It took her long enough, but on the Scandal season finale, Our Lady of the Trench Coat finally had some self-realization. That manifested itself into Olivia Pope finally saying these four magic words: “I am the scandal.” Damn right you are. As much as I’d love to focus on just that and what Olivia Pope could do to stop wrecking so many of our last nerves, since it’s Scandal, we’ve got to focus on the seven million other things that happened, too.

The episode kicked off exactly where we left off — Fitz and Cyrus in the Oval Office, reviewing Fitz’s eulogy as the church was on its way to being blown to smithereens thanks to Mama Pope’s bomb. Suddenly, Cyrus started to feel a little guilt about not warning the president about the bomb because he wanted Sally to get drop-kicked by Jesus into hell. Whatever, Cy, because Jake stormed into the Oval Office to warn Fitz about the terrorist plot.

That bomb went off not long after and a still very much alive VP Sally Langston almost won the presidential election after a wonderfully crafted PR stunt. Just as Sally was about to hop in her limo and get the hell out of dodge, her campaign manager stopped her, rubbed some black marks on her face, ripped her suit and told her, “Be Jesus. You go in there and Be Jesus.”

Sally then played saint and started helping the injured in the name of Jesus winning the presidency. Her “her heroic duty” was so “compelling” that news organizations did a split screen between the presidential briefing on the bombing and Sally Save-These-Hoes (I’m terrible, but I couldn’t resist). Then they just switched to Super Sally and left Fitz wasting his breath. After this, Olivia Pope told Fitz, “Dude, you’re about to lose, B. Sorry, I know this sucks for you.”

Or something to that effect.

Mellie Mel, with fresh vodka in her hand, rightly blurted out, “I want a refund. I want our money back. Whatever your fee is. Whatever ridiculous amount of money we wasted on you. Why did we hire her, because I thought we hired her to win?” Damn right, Mel. Olivia Pope is a terrible campaign manager. Who tells the candidate they’re going to lose even if you think it inside? Why not follow Tisha Campbell’s advice and push until you get it right?

After Fitz’s hopes and dreams were dashed, Gladiators were subjected to yet another nauseating discussion about “Vermont.” Yo, shut up about Vermont. I’m so sick of hearing about that damn state and what all it represents to these two. Either move or stop talking about it! Olivia & Fitz are the best thing to ever happen to Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz. Ditto for Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union. Those two couples have a much better follow through game.

Now, as Fitz talked about what a horrible woman Mellie was and she never loved him, only wanted his power, blah, blah, Olivia thankfully broke girl code and cracked Fitz’s jaw by revealing that the reason why Mellie treats him like his dick is the anatomic equivalent to the Snow Queen’s poison apple is that his awful ass father Big Jerry raped her. When Fitz found Mellie to discuss what happened (this felt rushed, but whatever), Mellie blurted out, “Olivia Pope can’t do anything right.”

That woman is shade in its best form. Mellie went on to tell Fitz that Jerry is indeed his son. Fitz didn’t care—though with Mellie’s secret discovered, naturally, there’s no way in hell Fitz can divorce Mellie now without truly being the worst person ever. He told Olivia as much and she understood, but if you listen very, very closely, you could hear the tracks of her tears, and an ice box being installed where her heart used to be.

As much vilifying that Mellie suffered at the hands of Fitz, I’m glad he finally understands that if there’s anyone around him that truly loves him and is willing to make sacrifices for him, it’s his wife as opposed to his girlfriend.

That said, Mellie, you should still look into divorcing Fitz and making VP-elect Andrew your new bae.

Oh yeah, y’all knew Fitz wasn’t losing that election. Unfortunately, he won due to his son Jerry collapsing on stage and dying due to bacterial meningitis and the nation feeling just plain awful about it.

Rest in peace, Jerry. You were a brat (understandably so), but you didn’t deserve that.

Before Jerry dropped dead at Fitz’s campaign event, Olivia and her mother had a final confrontation in Rowan Pope’s hospital room. There, Maya explained that everything she’s done was for her. She explained, “That man hurt you. He uses you and he will throw you away when he’s done with you. I just wanted to give you the chance to be free. To be happy.” Mama Pope wants to murder Fitz because he hurt her baby girl. A little abrasive, but sweet for a sociopath when you really think about it.

When Olivia pressured her mom to answer whether or not any of the first 12 years of her family life was real, Mama Pope said, “I didn’t kill him and we both know I could have.”

Read the rest at Complex.

[Ebony] The Weekly Read: August Alsina, You Tried It

Dear August Alsina:

Considering you’re a Black male artist signed to a major label in 2014, I imagine you’re kind of like a prostitute who has to buy his or her own condoms and OraQuick—there is likely no budget for media training. Now, since I consider myself a fan of yours, I’m going to do you a solid and explain to you why Tuesday was the best day Trey Songz has had in very long time.

First off, Keshia Chanté was simply doing her job. Regardless as to whether or not you or anyone else cares for the way she handled her duties, she didn’t do anything that any media personality, television host, radio personality, or journalist would not have done in a similar situation. Yes, sometimes media outlets may agree to avoid asking an entertainer certain questions, but more times than not, that is a courtesy – a courtesy that is often rightly rescinded.

This is especially true for a young R&B artist with a whopping one minor radio hit to his name. Maybe you missed the memo, but it’s hard out here for an R&B cat. Do you really want to behave in a way that puts you at risk at becoming an outcast on the only major cable network guaranteed to give even a small percentage of a damn about your life?

There may be some people cheering you on for this type of response, but that doesn’t surprise me given Congress never passed that jobs bill. Plus, you have to factor in that some of those people defending your actions are imaginary celebrities in the parallel universe known as their delusion-flavored imagination. To quote Uncle Ruckus, “don’t trust those new”….wait, I can’t finish this sentence. Look up the first episode of The Boondocks later.

For now, let’s just put some things in perspective. Tuesday was the biggest day of your career – i.e. dropping your first full-length project – and on the day you’re on a national network with a show that caters to your core fan base (young women), you berate a woman and curse at her. All over a question you could’ve easily dismissed with a simple “No comment.”

This is hustling backwards personified, dude.

Worse, again, it is 2014 and you’re a Black singer not named Usher, Chris Brown, and Trey Songz. The bookers over at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Live With Kelly and Michael probably don’t even know you exist you, sir. They don’t even care about some of the dudes I just mentioned. You might want to be nicer to the people who are only helping you address a situation that you created.

Read the rest at EBONY.

There You Go, Jennifer Hudson

If I didn’t know any better, I’d say Jennifer Hudson’s finally found a musical style that will work for her. “Walk It Out” is super cute. It’s kind of like, “Yeah, I’m grown-grown, but I can still give you a stripper kick and turn that cherry out.” As someone who just turned 30, I appreciate such a sentiment. Or better yet, the song is like the musical equivalent of getting your stuffy homegirl loose at the club after a few drinks.

And I really, really like that this is the second song in a row that I’ve heard from J. Hud that didn’t make me want to shout, “This is why Deena Jones got all of the leads!”

All praises to Pharrell and Evelyn Champagne King for “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel).” And now, applause-applause for  Timbaland, who has upped the ante. By the way, I hear you in the background, Justin Timberlake. You sound good, sir. How about you sing background on a Janet Jackson comeback single? Nah, I ain’t forgot.

Anyway, I love this Jennifer Hudson single and that is not something my fingers are not used to typing.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t think Jennifer Hudson can sing and she hasn’t had her moments before. See, “No One Gonna Love You.” However, mama can be so loud. Like, I’m so glad J. Hud’s producers have got her to stop screaming as if she was Jesus’ alarm clock.

Not to mention, a lot of her music sounded unnecessarily old. I know she was being positioned as a Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin like vocalist. Okay, but even Whitney Houston’s earlier work included some fun, youthful uptempos. Hell, so did the stuff towards the end. I know y’all remember the hood auntie classic (this is a compliment),  “Whatchulookinat.” Also, even Mean Re-Re had “Rock Steady,” baby, plus “A Rose Is Still A Rose.”

It’s about time Jennifer Hudson stepped out of the Dionne Warwick’s Bid Whist party long enough to shimmy with folks who still have their original teeth. I mean,  this was the then-20 something woman who had a song about smacking someone with their pocketbook. Sure, she tried before, but that song she had with Rick Ross was some Banshee ‘n B shit. Nope.

Now, I did notice a hint of Beyoncé in the vocal arrangement and delivery of “Walk It Out.” The inflections seem very KING BEY and I get the feeling this song might’ve been presented to her during recording sessions. This is not a jab to J.Hud. Singing tracks intended for Beyoncé is probably the best creative decision she’s made in a long time. A few other women should probably consider doing the same thing.

My favorite lines (clearly) are:

“I be on, I be on, I be-I be on that good shit. I be on, I be on – yup! – on that hood shit. You gotta take me out. Let me show how to approach me now. If we do it right, you can turn me out.”

Yes, Jennifer. Sing my life story. This song is so fun and playful. Glad you loosened up. It wasn’t but a month or so ago that Jennifer was talking about how singing about sex is “overrated.” That was some bullshit then and it was bullshit now.

There may be an imbalance in music with respect to subject matter, and yes, some people sing about sex in the corniest of ways (Pharrell’s new album is a nice example. Dude still sings about sex like a desperate virgin in the band.) However, sex is fantastic and sex songs are good. Ain’t nothing wrong with crooning about getting some.

Happy you could join the celebrating, Ms. Hudson. Keep it up.


I’ve long told my friends that I dance like a girl with a burgundy weave; thanks to SGT, I now have proof. Not that any of them needed it, but it’s always nice to have, you know? You can’t see me, but I am listening to the song as I write this post. In fact, I’m about to get up and get back to bopping. It’s very hard to be still to this.

Hold please.



Like, do these girls need a Kickstarter for more studio time? I will happily donate. I’m all about supporting the arts.

This fantastic gem entered my life a few weeks ago and I’ve been obsessing over it ever since. I made the mistake of reading the YouTube comments and I noticed lots of people were hating. Some people just cannot help waking up and being a useless hater bitch. It’s so sad.

I hope these musically gifted young ladies are letting their haters be their motivators. They are not thots, they are twerk ambassadors. Respect them, you bitches.

I’m so mad I wasn’t on the street set when they were filming. I would’ve gladly joined the big girl in the yellow and home girl in those spandex shorts and dropped it on the ground.

And before you respectable Negroes ask, yes, I wondered if they could all read. I said a little prayer to Jesus that they all graduated from high school and at least considered cosmetology school or becoming an astronaut just in case slaying these hoes on the rap scene doesn’t work out for them.

With that bullshit out of the way, let me go back to how great this song. These girls can actually rap. I love the choreography. It’s like the organic chicken wing of dancing, which is how I’ll now be describing my dance style to people for the remainder of 2014.

Ugh, I hope y’all know I’m not being sarcastic. I legitimately love this song. It is everything. So mad it’s not on iTunes. Ladies, please never stop rapping. I am flipping my air Chinese bang to the beat in your honor. Stay Black and blessed!

Back to bopping I go. #birdgang

Spit Your Game vs. Talking Your Shit

As far as Iggy Azalea is concerned, the empress still has no original flow, but I will say that if nothing else, I respect this woman’s dedication to lying. That may sound shady as hell – ’cause it is – but I do actually mean that as somewhat of a compliment. I’m not a particular fan of the “fake it ’til you make it” model, but I do admire those who are adamant about getting the success they think they deserve and doing what it takes it to obtain it.

I read her profile in the New York Times’ Style section a week ago, and as soon as I read the following graf, I stopped what I was doing to send the link to my friend with the subject, “This girl gets it.”:

And her ambition is palpable. “I know how to play the game and get what I want,” she said “Do you think what I wore to the Chloé show would really be something that I would wear? No. I picked the outfit out myself, because I know it’s appropriate and I know how to pander. I know what Chloé looks like, and being that I want to appease Chloé, because I would like some Chloé, I’m going to do my best job to be Chloé.”

Ms. Azalea wants designer clothes for her music videos, to “do wacky things to them,” she said. “But I know that if the designers can’t see me in a certain light, that fashion light, I will never get those clothes.”

A lot of people have counted Iggy out — for sensible reasons at the time. But, her debut album will be released this month, and though she’s not exactly a huge rap star here, she has achieved respectable success abroad. Part of that could be attributed to Europeans not realizing who Charli Baltimore is and the fact that Iggy stole her entire throat, but the larger attribution goes to Iggy figuring out exactly how to carve a lane for herself.

I’ll admit that her song “Fancy” is cool. She’s improved as a rapper. Do I take her seriously? Hardy har, bitch, but she has managed to take the Fergie model and create the kind of rap music people who don’t like a lot of rap (or even Black people) can enjoy. If 2013 prove nothing else, it’s that there is a bigger market than ever for Black music as performed by the palest of personas. I’ll take “Fancy” over Iggy pretending to be Diamond from Crime Mob. She can offer more “Murda Bizness” and those other hoe shit songs like “Pu$$y” if she so desires, though.

In any event, all of this is a testament to Iggy’s shrewdness. Iggy, who seems genuinely nice (which matters to me), is winning whereas Azealia Banks is on Twitter talking about leaking her debut album. The debut album she’s been recording forever. The debut album that’s offered about three singles since God knows how long at this point. The debut album that’s starting to give teases of Ill Na Na 2: The Fever and That Album Charli Baltimore Tried To Release On Murder Inc., Poor Girl.

Azealia is the much more talented rapper, but she is “getting in your own way” personified. Iggy obviously benefits from being a white girl, but she gets an even bigger boost for knowing exactly when to shut the fuck up. I can’t believe Iggy beat Azealia to releasing an album. It’s like Marion Jones on a quadruple steroid high losing a race to Patti LaBelle right after defeating Aretha Franklin in a five hour long food fight.

I really wish the ghost of Foxy Brown, Lil’ Kim, and Da Brat’s rap careers had visited Azealia Banks on one cold night in December in order to warn her about what happens when a rap girl makes one too many bad choices. Oh well. I’ll keep hope alive, girl. Wait, I’m not. WE WERE ROOTING FOR YOU, AZEALIA. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU.

I’ll always have the 1991 EP and Fantasea mixtape.

Her Vanity 6 On

I don’t know what has come over Jazmine Sullivan, but if I would like to personally hug all parties involved. I’ll even cop a feel if they’re into sort of thing. As much as I love this woman’s voice and music, Lord knows she wasn’t always the best performer. Jazmine would often seem timid, distant, and in some cases, sad. Sort of like Snuffleupagus before Big Bird introduced him to uppers during a night a passion.

Now look at her. She’s present. She looks confident. She’s engaging.

And wait, is that thigh I see?

With a shimmy to boot!

I am so pleased. I don’t know what has gotten into her, but it makes me smile. Jazmine Sullivan is one of the better R&B singers of her generation, only she’s not really a part of the conversation. Much of that has to do with her being wrongly snubbed at the Grammys for her first album and her sophomore effort, which was a much more cohesive project, not getting any real push from her label.

I didn’t know what to make of her announcement of semi-retirement a couple of years back. I was hoping she was just lying like hell ala most rappers. She seemed overwhelmed, though, which is why I’m glad that she allowed herself the time to take a step back.

She apparently announced that she will release a third album in 2014. I am elated. Again, I love this woman’s voice. I adore any singer with the kind of soulful voice that can either make me break down (like a Mary happy one vs. a K-Ci, you broke my heart and took my Crown) over the love of some man (real or imaginary, whatever) or want to throw a brick through his fucking car (real or imaginary, mind your business). And since people are letting R&B singers record songs that don’t sound like they were designed for the EDM crowd in the image of cocaine, Jazmine has picked the perfect time to return.

Combined with an improved stage act, this girl better be given the chance to completely deliver on the promise of her talent. Don’t put her in that “boring” box y’all stuck Melanie Fiona in. Speaking of, where did she go? To Deborah Cox’s house of lost R&B singers? Aww, Deborah Cow. Bow your heads and hum a little bit of “Sentimental” in memoriam.

Okay, moment over.

For real, folks. Be good to Jazmine Sullivan. If y’all can let Adele cook, you better toss whatever Jazmine tosses in the Crockpot, let it cook nice and slow and then fest on that shit. I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean exactly, but just know that Jazmine Sullivan seems to be finally seeing how awesome a talent she is and I’m thrilled about it.

Let that be a lesson to each of yes. Oh, yes, I took it there. After school special realness. Whatever, I’m all about people – self-included – tapping into their Beyoncé. That said, come on with it, Jazmine. My body and my iTunes purchase clicking finger are both ready.

[Complex] Why It’s Time For All The Social Media Fauxlosophers to Go Away

If “positivity” had a publicist, chances are it would scan each of our respective social media timelines and quickly release a press release that stressed (in a professional way), “I don’t know these hoes.” But since positivity isn’t so fortunate, I’m going to do my part to help its cause. I may not be able to kill the new online phenomenon that is the Social Media Fauxlosopher, but I can kick it in the shin and run.

Listen, I completely understand the desire to uplift yourself and your fellow man. Times are hard and not everyone can afford therapy—or for that matter, generic anti-depressants. I understand the desire to want to help. I truly, truly do.

Even more, I do not discount the value of anecdotes and I’ve met enough Baptists and attended enough Mary J. Blige concerts to know the power a testimonial can have on people. Even so, there are just way too many people who don’t know shit about a damn thing and need to shut their happy asses up. Not only are they embarrassing themselves, they’re irritating the living hell out of folks who either at least finished one freshman college course or have seen enough episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show to know better.

Sorry to be a spoiler, but reading the book jacket of The Secret should not give you license to slide out of your lane. Bless your heart for trying, but everyone can’t be “deep” and not everyone is equipped to be philosophical. There is a reason why Maya Angelou is Maya Angelou and so many of you are whatevrurjobiz879 online. It’s okay to just be that.

You know the types I’m talking about.

These are the people who tweet things like, “You know, as the good book says, ‘Like a moth to a flame burned by the fire. My love is blind, can’t you see my desire?’”

“Men lie. Women lie. Numbers don’t. Why can’t we just be like math?”

And so forth.

Then there are the ones who are clearly repurposing old sayings they heard from the gray-haired members of their family—which you are certain of, as the old heads in your family have told you the same thing.

Rounding it out are the fake relationship experts who are more like performance artists in the act of projection. Oh, and we can’t forget about the “parody” celebrities accounts that are just fake Will Smith quoting Benjamin Franklin and Bugs Bunny hour after hour.

Read the rest at Complex.com.

[EBONY] The Weekly Read: Throw That Boy…Oh, My

It is with trepidation that I tackle the song “Throw That Boy P*ssy,” which I’ve been sent 10 million times since last week because a) I’m a Black gay, b) I’m a Black gay from Houston, just like the artist behind the track, Fly Young Red c) because people like to send me things to get a reaction for their amusement. Well, here we are. You can’t see me, but I’m pausing every five minutes to reach out to God and Whitney Houston to be with me as I try to make sense of this.

First, let me start off with the positive.

“Throw That Boy P*ssy” has a very nice beat. It’s one of those basic, but catchy lil’ beats that’ll instantly have you bop before you realize this ditty is a mating call from an aggressive top who likes to play mix and match when it comes to naming holes.

Also, in its own weird way, it’s rather remarkable to hear a gay man – particularly a Black one – be so blunt about his sexuality. When asked for the inspiration behind this song, Fly Young Red said in response, “A few good ni**as…nah I saw a ni**a dancing in the club that I wanted to f*ck so I made a song about it..”

Who doesn’t love romance? Many of us can relate to that. And as one of my favorites, Rich Juzwiak, notes over at Gawker: “Many a rap song has been written about women using this kind of blunt, crass, anatomy-probing language. And now here’s one a gay dude wrote about dudes. I don’t know where we go from here, but I’m tickled that we got here.”

Agreed, though while I may be tickled a bit by this track, I’m mortified by some of the responses I’ve seen to the song and video.


Holy homosexual hyperbole, Batman.
Maybe I’m being saddity, but while I can salute the new hometown hero on his hustle (the video has already amassed more than a million views), it feels like a bit of a reach to pass Fly Young Red off as the Frederick Douglass of male on male fellatio. I’m not giddy about the fact straight women will continue to greet me with “What’s your real name and not your Jack’d name?” for anywhere between six weeks and forever.

The same can be said for how helpful lyrics like “Let me see you clap that ass like a b*tch” when at its core, that teases some of the very sort of patriarchy and misogyny that fuels anti-gay bias. I’m trying not to sound like the Spike Lee of the gays across the railroad tracks on the rainbow, but it’s mission impossible. Much of that has to do with people trying to make an ignorant albeit catchy ass song more than what it is.

Y’all, sometimes it’s okay to let an ignorant ass song you dance to at the club when the brown liquor has taken temporary custody of your intelligence be just that and nothing more. Damn.

This is not BEYONCÉ, this is Boy P*ssy.

Read the rest at EBONY.

[Complex] eSlang: In Defense of Not Treating The English Language as If It Owes You Back Child Support

What I love about technology is that it’s given us so many different ways to communicate with each other. What I’m increasingly hating about technology, and to be specific, social media, is that it’s chipping away at one of the oldest methods of communication: words. Chat acronyms flood my Twitter and Facebook timelines daily and have been a constant pain in text conversations over the years.

Now, I try to be respectful of other people’s views. For example, despite thinking that only selfish, soulless corporatists find any of the tenets of modern conservatism to be virtuous; I don’t hate you or your Fox News-feasting brethren. Likewise, Jesus seems like the homie, but these days I limit my praise and worship to blasting screwed and chopped version of Mary Mary’s gospel music in the morning. And if you don’t share the fanfare of Lupita N’yongo I don’t judge you; I respect your right to be wrong.

But, there are two lifestyle choices that make me wince, or in some cases, force me to tame my inner Chris Brown. The first is a disdain of Beyoncé. As I say often, if you don’t like Beyoncé, you probably have some sort of personality disorder and I want you to stay far, far away from me.

The other thing that really snap, crackle and pop locks my last nerve is our heroin addict-like obsession with shorthand. Don’t get me wrong; I do agree that acronyms have their place. Sometimes it’s just easier to say NAACP, NWA, or YMCMB. That said, technology has coddled far too many of you fools and my eyes are sick of it.

Call me whatever you want, but if you text “HBD” instead of “Happy Birthday,” you’re a terrible person. It literally only takes a few additional seconds to type out the words. Hell, if you have an iPhone, it will more than likely auto-complete the word for you. By the way, why is it “HBD” when “Birthday” is one word? I guess this is what happens when you make an entire generation of students train to take a test versus teaching them things like language, or critical thinking.

Read the rest at Complex.