An Ode To Felicia A. O’Dell And All The Black Dramatics We Love » VSB

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An Ode To Felicia A. O’Dell And All The Black Dramatics We Love

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Hi. My name is Alex and watching Soul Train clips on YouTube is one of my favorite procrastination methods.

I wish I could jump in the Magic School Bus and heel-toe back to a time when Black and Black-loving America gathered ‘round on Saturday mornings to witness well dressed Black people, jamming on the motherfucking one, blackardly, to the day’s top jammy jams.

But all good things must come to an end, so the days of televised hand jives and zealous herky-jerkin’ are long gone.

Thankfully, I am able to press on in this hard knock post-Teen Summit life I live because, if I need to fortify my thug levels, I can cha cha slide on through the Soul Train archives for a dose of that which strengthens me, Black Dramatics.

It’s the singsong in our greetings
The performance of the mundane,
The exaggeration of the trivial,
The comically profane.
We so extra.
Phenomenally.
Phenomenally extra.
That’s we.

Today, I celebrate the excessive yet brilliant manner in which we overperform our Black ass ways through this Black ass life.

Think of how Aunt Song searched frantically for Queenie in Crooklyn. Think of how MJ would stand motionless on stage, still serving drama, longer than Farrah lasted in Destiny’s Child. Extra. Our grandiose cousins with camera time never cease to amaze me.

And I’m here for it all.

In our daily speech, we add Lawry’s and Texas Pete/Louisiana/Frank’s to even the most basic expressions. Take, for instance, the star of this legendary cooking demonstration and my brand new auntie, Miss Felicia. She doesn’t just cook. She cooks like a motherfucker. She didn’t simply tell you to add parsley to the gourmet Top Ramen situation for garnish. No. She instructed:

“To really make out like it look like it’s really something ya done did, you put a little parsley, dried parsley, in there on there like that there.”

Auntie Fefe turned a 5-minute budget meal demo into the pilot for next spring’s top-rated show on OWN, cussing her way right the fuck into the hearts of hundreds of thousands of dozens of hearts on the Internets in a matter of days.

I’ve deduced that our visceral need to show up and show out must be part of the standard melanin package, bundled with melanin’s built-in anti aging properties. It’s why the well of stage-ready Blackfolk line dances will never run dry. The richness of our expression is unparalleled. Can’t no White man walk into a room like George Jefferson. We are a wonder to behold. As such, I get why culture vulturing is a full time job.

Because we da bess.

That would explain why Deitra Hicks dramatically hummed Negro spirituals with clenched teeth and fists to keep her temper in check on Divorce Court.

This would also explain why Tamar Braxton, High Priestess of Black Dramatics, strives to transform her every Black gay-inspired snap, cackle, and cartoonish head bop into a new trend and social media movement. She can’t help it. Drama is she.

I reckon this is also why Mary J went full Miss Peaches while extolling the virtues of crispy chicken wraps on that condiment table. Her life’s work as an overperformer ensures nothing but the most fervent soulful coonery, and I can’t even be mad. So while I can’t always appreciate her impassioned vocal stylings, I do appreciate her dedication to keeping Black Dramatic culture alive.

Ultimately, I love to see us rejoice, embellish and overreact. I love to watch Black ass grandmas overcome with joy and/or a need to cuss a motherfucker out. My heart skeets in jubilation when watching deacon Jones, octogenarian, bust some 8-counts while holyghosting. And so dramatic Negros + a camera + social media = I ain’t getting shit done today.

However, my love of watching your grandiose cousins show out is second to my love of watching happy Black babies dance, laugh, and out-rhythm their peers. But that’s a whole different conversation.

Alex Hardy

Alexander Hardy is the dance captain for Saint Damita Jo Jackson's Royal Army. He is a writer who escaped Hampton, Virginia and is now based in Panama City, Panama. There, he runs The Colored Boy, and consumes copious amounts of chicken. He has written for EBONY.com, CNN, Gawker, and Huffington Post among other outlets. Alexander can likely be found daydreaming about his next meal or Blacking It Up on someone's dance floor. He also doesn't believe in snow or Delaware. Read more from Alex at www.thecoloredboy.com

  • I hatechu for this, Alex! LOL.

    “Kids and fat people like a lot of cheese.”

    • BreezyX2

      D, that line about kids and fat people made me lose all my marbles.

      • It’s too early in the morning for me to be this tickled and I had too much wine beforehand. I ain’t worth a good plug nickel right now lol

        • BreezyX2

          Girl I have fallen into a dark hole on IG and I can’t climb out. BTW, Bean is too stinking cute!

          • She’s an absolute ham lol

        • IcePrincess

          See, you needed some cheese to go with that wine :)

          • I’ll have you know I ate a nice bite of asiago with that wine lol

            • IcePrincess

              Yuuuuuum. So it was red wine then? I live for a good malbec.

              • Ha! I’m a novice; not very well versed in pairing wines and cheeses. I had a pink Pinot Grigio.

                • IcePrincess

                  Sounds good. Pink/rose wines are acceptable, as long as it’s not white zinfindale. White zinfindale can’t sit with us!!

    • That is the best line of the week. There’s another video where she makes these “donuts” inside crescent rolls, please just find that in her videos. It’ll bless your heart.

      • dmcmillian72

        When her cameraman said those “donuts” were like prison food…? And she smoooooth SNATCHED HIS WIG for that comment…? I freakin’ HOLLERED!!! LOL!

    • IcePrincess

      Hey, I love cheese. Gimme some Cracker Barrel extra sharp cheddar, I can eat it plain, just bite it right off the block smh

      • Val

        Lol@bite it off the block

      • LMNOP

        They might not even sell this where you live, but if you ever get your hands on some cabot extra sharp cheddar cheese, you will never go back to cracker barrel. So fvcking good.

        • Whatchu say?!?! Cracker Barrel is the creme de la! Cabot beats it??

          • LMNOP

            Swear to god. Cabot seriously sharp. Try it and you’ll just be like “oh, this must be the cheese they eat in heaven.”

            • BreezyX2

              Any sharp cheese is awesome. I mean why they even make mild cheese? Who are these lukewarm ni@@as eating mild cheddar?

              • LMNOP

                Really, why does it even exist?!? Maybe for kids?

                • BreezyX2

                  Well it shole ain’t for the fat kids.

                  • LMNOP

                    Most kids I know don’t like cheese all that much. Cheese flavored junk food they love though.

                    • BreezyX2

                      My daughter loves cheese…LOVES IT. I had to cut back on her having it because she would consume until she was constipated.

                    • IcePrincess

                      Aaaaaw poor baby :(

                    • Mine too. She’ll eat straight grated cheese for dinner if I let her!

                    • BreezyX2

                      Yup same thing here. Anything cheesy she is all for it all the time.

                    • Wild Cougar

                      Your name Bebe?

                • My baby stay sharp.

              • IcePrincess

                The same folks who probably eat mild salsa. Waaaaack!

                • Ohhhhhhhh! Burn lol

                • BreezyX2

                  RIGHT!!!!

                • Wild Cougar

                  *spits on floor*

              • Mild cheddar is a waste of calories. When I go off my diet, I only want the good stuff …. ????????????????

            • Wild Cougar

              Praise Cheesus

        • IcePrincess

          Chile, you talkin to the Cheese Diva, lol. I know bout Cabot. I like their chipotle white cheddar.

      • BeautifullyHuman

        Ugh, I HATE cheese. It’s the one food I will not eat under any circumstance. It’s funny because most people love cheese and look at me crazy when I show my disgust for it.

        • BreezyX2
          • BeautifullyHuman

            D*mn that’s jacked up. Lol

        • Growing up, I didn’t like cheese. Even as an adult, I pick my spots with cheese. Like I’m not just going to throw it on anything randomly like some people do.

          • BeautifullyHuman

            That ish stank! I’m so cool on cheese. Ugh.

            Every time I go out to eat at a restaurant, I always have to lie and say I have a cheese allergy because those mofos get reckless with the cheese. DO NOT put that mess on my plate or we’re going to fight. Lol

        • IcePrincess

          *side eyeing the mess outta beautifully human*

          • BeautifullyHuman

            *side eyeing the rest of y’all ninjas back for loving cheese*

          • camilleblu

            *stands next to IP and deploys my side eye as well*

      • Epsilonicus

        I love baked brie

        • IcePrincess

          Omg yasssss! Brie is so luxurious.

          • Epsilonicus

            Baked brie with preserves is super delicious.

        • Wild Cougar

          Our Lord and saviour baby Cheesus, wrapped in pastry and baked in the oven.

    • I do love cheese….bye Felicia you don’t know my life!

    • LMNOP

      Cheese in Ramen noodles though? I don’t know how I feel about that.

      • That’s some jail cooking stuff there. She’s had a few cases before. LOL

        • As she told the camera man in this new one: “Mothafucka, this ain’t no prison food, it’s just some sweet shit for da kids.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VXQltHSkyY

          • OK, the other option is that she’s had some issues with heroin. Specifically heroin. Ever hear of dope fiend sandwiches? This looks like the remix to that. LOL

            • Barbie

              I went to her YouTube page and she has a video responding to negativity she is receiving, I didn’t watch the entire video but at some point she basically says she did ten yrs in the pen so don’t get got.

              • I’m shocked, SHOCKED that she did time in the box. LOL Between having a brother do a few years in jail and meeting up with his old friends, I’ve seen a few of these recipes before.

                • BeautifullyHuman

                  Didn’t I say that ramen deluxe meal was a prison spread? I side eye any ninja who puts queso on their ramen.

              • Epsilonicus

                Which means I aint saying ish about her in case she finds her way to my house. I don’t want to get got. lol

              • LOLOLOL.

          • Aly

            “This like a lil ol punk as$ cinnamon roll.” Haaaa!

            • BeautifullyHuman

              This line brought real tears to my eyes. How you have a punk a** cinnamon roll? Like how? Haha

              • Aly

                Like, it makes no sense, but ALL the sense at the same time. Also, I feel like you could use “punk as$ cinnamon roll” as an insult against someone lol.

                • afronica

                  “You not no Cinnabon. Un unh. You a PUNK ssa cinnamon roll.”

          • Barbie

            She is awesome!

          • miss t-lee

            “No n*gga, i don’t know WTF this is. Just something sweet for the f*ckin’ kids! Dayum!”

            *slides off chair*

            Miss Felicia got my heart.

            Dude behind the camera reminds me of my nephew agitating my grandmother to the point where she’d start cussing…lol

            • BeautifullyHuman

              “You can use any ol’ cheap a** donuts.”

              Girl, she got my heart, too. I bow in reverence at this lady’s mouth. Her cussin’ is like music to my ears. I must meet her one day and bask in her awesomeness.

              • miss t-lee

                Girl YES!!!!

            • Yo but don’t they have GREAT GREAT GREAT chemistry? Someone could put some money behind her and she’d have a POPPIN ass youtube channel.

              • miss t-lee

                They really do have great chemistry.

            • Epsilonicus

              Im mad he asked her if she making it from scratch

              *super chair slide*

              • miss t-lee

                Yup…lol

            • NO! I died twice when I heard that line. She is toooo much!

              • That pause between “No” and “n*gga” is more than hilarious!!! I’m trying to keep my composure in the office!

                • miss t-lee

                  SO HILARIOUS!!!

          • CrayolaGirl

            Like that there.

            Simple words yet so funny to me.

          • BeautifullyHuman

            OMG this video has sooo many quotables. “Punk a** cinnamon roll.” Sweet Baby Jesus I am crying. Bwahaha

            I need to meet this woman like yesterday! Her cussin’ is an art form to be admired.

          • I’m trying so hard not to laugh at my desk that I’m literally shedding tears.

          • Epsilonicus

            “Fe don’t burn a d*mn thing”

            Bwahahaha

          • dmcmillian72

            Aaaand, this is the exact thing I mentioned upthread. I hollered! Do you hear me?! …HOLLERED! Lol!

    • Michelle

      Have you ever eaten a piece of lasagna that was made by a person who muthafudgin’ stingy with the cheeses (and I am talking about the Holy Trinity of Lasagna Cheeses: ricotta, mozzarella and the parmesan)?

      • LMNOP

        Heart healthy lasagna

        • IcePrincess

          If that’s the case, then you just sub in spinach & mushrooms for the meat. But what you DONT do, under any circumstances, is skimp on cheese. That will get you shot. Looooool

          • menajeanmaehightower

            Tell em.

        • miss t-lee

          Nope.

        • Sahel

          I move silent just like it

        • Wild Cougar

          Cheesus wept

      • I haaaate skimpy cheese lasagna!

        • IcePrincess

          Don’t noooobody want no dry azz lasagna. FOH

      • I have. It’s a tragedy. You can’t make mac and cheese or lasagna if you’re gonna be stingy.

      • miss t-lee

        Don’t be a chintzy with the cheese when you’re making mac n’ cheese and lasagna.
        If you can’t afford to cheese up right… just don’t make it.

    • Shamira, I’m gonna need your assistance with this, but we need to school
      people to #mornaysaucegame. Yeah, I said it. Get yo’ life with a good
      recipe, a cheese monger to get the good stuff, a good grater, then some
      milk, butter and flour. You’ll never wanna f*ck with that processed
      sh*t AGAIN!!!!

  • BeautifullyHuman

    You make my heart smile! Your posts are filled with so much awesomeness. I loved every last line in this article.

    Black people are most certainly the MOST extra’d out folks on the planet. Lol

    • BeautifullyHuman

      In spirit of this post, I must let your souls depart with one of the most blackest displays of extraness…EVER.

      http://youtu.be/8YUb3OlTPK4

      • Mama Day

        I cannot breathe. This is my church experience all summed up in a video, especially during revivals.

        • BeautifullyHuman

          Girl let me tell you…when I saw this video..I.fell.the.fukc.out.

          I had to get my life at all that extraness permeating my screen. Someone’s grandma should be ashamed of herself cuz she was so faking the funk. Lmao.

          • Mama Day

            And that is exactly why I love black folk. Who else could pull a stunt like this? Nobody.

            • IcePrincess

              Your comment is funnier if I read the last word in a Keith Sweat voice.

          • Its what happens when dumb sh t goes viral, instead of being inspired by greats, it becomes “well even I can do that”

            • BeautifullyHuman

              True, but grandma has probably convinced herself that her theatrics are in earnest. Lol

      • LadyIbaka

        The wig done fell off! It’s a mother phakkin wrap.

      • BreezyX2

        *expired*

      • Sahel

        Speaking of churches,one of the oldest in Atlanta is being torn down to make way for a football stadium. The historian in me is in pain

        • CrayolaGirl

          Yeah, they sold it for millions. I thought they were going to hold out and make them build around it but that didn’t happen.

          • I’m a tad salty at the fact that they even asked.

            • BreezyX2

              Girl you still up?!?

              • LOLOLOL! I went to bed at 1am. I woke up at 6:45 for work.

                • BreezyX2

                  Me too!

        • Still, they’re getting a huge check for the church. They have enough money to build a new church and use the rest to help the congregation. Check, not checkers my dude.

        • h.h.h.

          The historian in me is in pain

          where’d you meet her, and does she have a sister

      • Rachmo

        NOT. HER. WIG. LOLOLOL

      • camilleblu

        but wait – the lady filming the video said *she don wurry bout it, she don wurry bout it*

        • BeautifullyHuman

          That’s because she shows up and shows out on a weekly basis. Lol. The lady filming knew what time it was.

      • Keeping it real, every religious tradition in the world has traditions like this. How is it coonery when we do it, but deep spirituality when EVERY. BODY. ELSE. does it???!!! Our traditions deserve respect too.

        Also, that wig game is serious in the Black community. Like I can spot a wig at 40 paces, no matter how much money you spend. :)

        • IcePrincess

          Right! Folks be playing wit snakes & ish, then when they get bit, be talmbout God gone heal them. Foolery.

          • Epsilonicus

            The snakes scare me even more. I am highly phobic of snakes.

            • IcePrincess

              Who isn’t??

        • BeautifullyHuman

          I totally agree. You know everything black people do has to be analyzed and attributed to pathology instead of humanity. Everyone else gets to have deep spirituality because their humanity is recognized while we of course, are “shucking & jiving.”

          I couldn’t tell you how much I love the performance in the Black church. I remember I wrote an A paper on it in one of my communications classes. Had my white teacher asking if she could go to church with me. Lol

          And I wish I could spot wigs and weaves. The only time I can is when it’s pretty obvious or when a track is showing. Otherwise, I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Lol. All Black women got long hair to me.

          • LOL @ all Black women got long hair to you. I also peeped game thanks to the effort of hating a$$ sisters over the years. I salute them because they the real MVPs. LOL

            I remember in college that I had a Black girlfriend with waist-length long hair who said it was natural. Of course, she was complaining about how the girls treat her, and after this, we ended up on a couch for snuggle time. Now, feeling a touch suspicious myself, I started massaging her scalp as a means of trying to feel out for track. My girlfriend appreciated the massage I was giving him, snuggling up closer to me and telling me how sweet I was. I said “you’re welcome” and, curiosity sated, went on to give her a legit scalp massage. :)

            • IcePrincess

              Oh Todd, you’re such a sneaky lil devil, you ;)

    • Thank you kindly!

  • BreezyX2

    Why am I up hollering at this post and video?! Alex, you ain’t sheit for this…lol

    • BeautifullyHuman

      Seriously! Who culminates the end of the meal with “this b*tch is ready?” LOLOL

      All I could think about was Aunt Felicia was cooking up a straight prison spread. Lol This post ended my night on such a good note.

      Btw, did anyone notice that old a** can of grease with the sifter at the back of the stove? Undeniably Black.

      • BreezyX2

        BOL! Her cussing is so well placed and timed I just am weak from laughing. BH, gurl where in the heck have you been hiding?! Last you was around these e-streets you mentioned completing your degree.

        • BeautifullyHuman

          Girl the work struggle is real! I don’t get that much free time so I post when I can. Mostly at night.

          • BreezyX2

            I hear you girl but I am glad to see you back :)

            • BeautifullyHuman

              I’m happy to be back when I can. :-)

      • *notes lack of can of grease in my kitchen supplies*
        *notes the olive and coconut oil*

        Alright. Where do I send my Black card again?

        • Amber

          If you do I will too because I have olive oil and coconut oil in my kitchen. I will not re-use oil. I sometimes think my grandma is rolling in her grave when I throw oil or jars away. I hope I get a pass to keep my black card because the oils serve dual purposes cooking and using them on my hair.

      • miss t-lee

        “Seriously! Who culminates the end of the meal with “this b*tch is ready?” LOLOL”

        I’m going to from now on.

    • LadyIbaka

      Breezy Beibei!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • BreezyX2

        MAMI!!!!!!!!

  • Damon Young

    Yeah, that Divorce Court clip is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen. I love Black people.

    • LadyIbaka

      I have loved that video for a long time!! Oh mi gosh, can that woman sang or what?

    • Val

      Before D’atra Hicks was showing out on Divorce Court she had a nice little career as a R&B singer back in the late 80s/ early 90s.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foj0UvzSYfw

      • This clip is Totally 80s!!!! LOL

      • miss t-lee

        Oh snap!

  • Mama Day

    Felicia is about to have my non-cooking self finessing on potential baes

    • did you say finessing struggle plates?? lol

      • Mama Day

        Lmao you won’t let me be great! As long as I don’t post my struggle plates on IG than it never happened.

    • BreezyX2

      Just make sure you use parsley….not fresh…you want that dry parsley. That will get you #chose

      • Mama Day

        good looking out. parsley could make or break me

      • LMNOP

        Remember my helpful ramen trick too: put noodles in bowl with whatever’s in that flavor pack. Pour on boiling water, let it sit. No dishes. (Except the bowl you eat it out of, and when I solve that problem I’ll let you know.)

    • Sahel

      I can recommend a cooking show on youtube,the simple cooking channel.

      • Mama Day

        lol. no one is here for my ramen and steak dish. got it.

        • BeautifullyHuman

          Lmao.

    • U fix me ramen and old steak I’m going to the bathroom and never coming back

      • Mama Day

        I see lol. I guess I have to reevaluate my culinary skills then.

    • LMNOP

      Check the frozen section of the grocery store. Not top ramen though…

    • She Who Reads

      Is “Mama Day” a nod to Gloria Naylor? If so, dope!

      • Mama Day

        Yup I read it this summer and I LOVED it!

        • She Who Reads

          It’s one of my FAVORITES!!!!! I actually included it in my dissertation as a supplementary text. Have you read Leslie by Omar Tyree? It’s also really good. Ooooh, and Sassafrass, Cypress, and Indigo by Ntozake Shange. Similar flavors to Naylor.

          • Mama Day

            I think I may need to retread Leslie by Omar Tyree and the ntosake books you listed. Thanks.

  • LadyIbaka

    Black people in America are the same as their cuzins and them in Africa. We stay being extra, 24/7, 365. Don’t go to a funeral for an African. There you’ll find the wife/mother/mistress trying to jump in with the casket as the husband-son-lover is being laid to rest. Either way, I loves my peoples.

    • I remember the day for my funeral for my maternal grandfather, there was another funeral going on in the same funeral home. It was one of the most dramatic expressions of Blackness I’d ever seen. The falling out, the wailing, the crying, the begging to go with them was a bit too much. My ex swore up and down that we were out funeraled because my family didn’t do that whole climb in the coffin foolishness.

      Throw in the fact that the power went out during the funeral, and my late grandfather was a control room supervisor for the local company Con Edison, and it was a bit…interesting that day.

  • Recipes for me to try

  • Success Is Certain

    She really called it “pap-a-rika” though. That and the “I ain’t got no time to be waiting on no sprinkles”…lmao

    • “NINJA i said 10 for a dollar” made me stop the video and regain composure

  • I gotta hum a negro spiritual next time someone lying……or maybe just Yo Gotti “I Know” which ought to be one.

  • CrayolaGirl

    “You don’t see no water at the bottom. This bit€h is ready.”

    Tears from laughter.

    • LMNOP

      Also I loved the “are we at 15 minutes yet? oh 4..”

      • thats what she said

      • CrayolaGirl

        Right. It took four minutes because she fried the ramen first. And for why? Hot water and ramen only takes about two minutes.
        Still entertaining.

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