I Watched It So You Wouldn’t Have To: Three Quick Thoughts On The Full Mimi & Nikko Sex Tape

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1. If there are any takeaways from the dozens of celebrity sex tapes we’ve been exposed to in the last couple of decades, it’s this: Sex is boring.

Let me expound. Sex isn’t boring when you’re having it. Depending on the conversation, it’s not boring when you’re talking about it. And, it’s not boring when reading or watching something where the sex is implied and the sexual energy is palpable. But, watching two people have sex makes you realize how f*cking mundane and monotonous sex between actual couples can be.

After you’ve been with someone multiple times, you should have an understanding of what they like, what gets them off, and how long it takes to do it. This can result in a 10-minute-long head session. Or eight minutes of missionary pressure to the exact same spot. Or a water break or two if she’s on top and one of you starts to cramp. While enjoyable in the moment, this type of sex tends to be boring as hell to witness.

Ironically, the most exciting looking porno-type sex — with the dozens of position shifts every three minutes — tends to be the least fulfilling.

The porno-type trailer of Mimi and Nikko’s tape was exciting. Because it was shot like a porno, with multiple edits and quick cuts to multiple positions. But the actual uncut footage of two people in a relationship having sex — like the Kim Kardashian and Ray J tape, and the Pamela Anderson tape, and the Paris Hilton tape, and the Drake and Rihanna tape that’ll shutdown the entire internet when its released in July — is boring as the f*ck. Celebrity sex tapes are the Anchorman 2 of adult entertainment. Everything you need to see is in the trailer.

2. I’m not saying that the reaction to this sex tape gives more evidence to how much context matters to women when gauging how physically/sexually attractive a person is. Because women are unique-ass individuals and can’t be categorized as a collective. That would be sexist and shit. But…

…the reaction to this sex tape gives more evidence to how much context matters to women when gauging how physically/sexually attractive a person is.

To wit, Mimi Faust is a physically attractive woman. She has a nice face, a nice body, and she looks like she smells like raspberry iced tea. Nikko Smith also seems to possess a few physical characteristics women tend to find attractive.

Yet, the comments I’ve seen and heard about their looks have been largely negative. And the majority of these comments have been from women. To summarize, Mimi is a wrinkled old hag who’s built like a post office mailbox, and Nikko has a tiny head, a tinier penis, and looks like the Grinch who stole Converse. But, there’s no doubt in my mind that, for the people levying these criticisms, if a woman who looked exactly like Mimi owned a local hair salon, and a man favoring Nikko was their son’s school principal, they’d be lauded for their looks.

Part of this is due to the fact that we (collectively) tend to judge “celebrities” by a different standard. It’s how someone can call Keri Hilson “average looking” without any hint of irony. (Or shame.) But, in Mimi and Nikko’s case, the looks-based critiques have more to do with the fact that don’t present themselves as likable people. For those who know them through Love and Hip-Hop, Mimi is a humorless and hypocritical shrew, and Nikko is just a f*cking lame (Shit, His name is freakin “Nikko.”). Those negative personality qualities seem to have an effect on how harshly people — and by “people” I mean “women” — judge their physical attributes.

3. The star of this sex tape is undoubtedly the titanium space suit shower rod Mimi and Nikko incorporated during one of their scenes. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was nominated for an AVN award.

Unfortunately, the shower rod’s stardom is undeserved. That position only works if the man is strong enough to hold a woman up for that long. Leverage is also key. If both the strength and the proper leverage are in place, the shower rod is just there for balance, not weight. Titanium space suit shower rod or not, if Nikko would have let go of her, she would have fallen on her ass. And, as anyone who’s ever fallen in the shower will tell you, falling in the shower is painful as f*ck and makes you feel like Tucker from Something About Mary. 

Considering the rest of the tape, though, that might have been more entertaining.

—Damon Young

Not Knowing How To Feel About Gentrification

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Yesterday, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette published an op-ed I wrote detailing my ambivalence about the development and gentrification going on in my old neighborhood. It’s an extended version of a piece I wrote for EBONY a couple weeks ago. I’ve included a good portion of it below. 

Although it deals specifically with Pittsburgh, the subject is something I’m sure many (if not most) of you can relate to. We’re all aware of the macro ills of gentrification. People being displaced, businesses getting priced out, neighborhoods losing their identities, etc. But — and this is a question especially targeted towards those who grew up in a crime-ridden area that experienced gentrification and doesn’t have as much crime now — what about the micro? How do you deal with enjoying some of the benefits of the “new” neighborhood while also “feeling a certain way” about the means taken to get it there? Do you feel conflicted at all about any of this? If so, how do you deal with that conflict? And, if not, why not?

My old neighborhood is now the trendiest place in Pittsburgh. And I don’t know how this makes me feel.

I’m not angry about it. The neighborhood is an undoubtedly better and safer place now.

Restaurants stay open until 1 instead of closing at dark. There are far fewer Aaron Rays stalking the streets for red sweatshirts, and there’s a place where you can rent some very ugly bikes to ride from Trader Joe’s to Whole Foods.

The shifting cosmetic has even affected the neighborhood’s name. What used to just be “East Liberty” is now “Eastside” — a euphemistic hybrid of East Liberty and the neighboring Shadyside.

This change has crept up Penn Avenue as well. Surreal is not strong enough of a word to describe what it’s like for a person who grew up on Mellon Street in the ’90s to attend a gallery crawl in Garfield.

But, I just … I still feel “a certain way” about it all.

I feel a certain way that the neighborhood’s demographics had to change before it improved. I feel a certain way that others were able to recognize and take financial advantage of the resources sitting right under my nose. I feel a certain way about the irony of me feeling this certain way … but writing this while sitting at Panera Bread.

I guess “ambivalent” would be the word to describe this feeling. But, as many of those who wrestle with the same thoughts about their “new” old neighborhoods will likely tell you, it feels more awkward and amorphous than that. It’s a state of reactive cognitive dissonance you can’t quite articulate that happens when others use the resources you’re sitting on to create something you’d wholeheartedly appreciate in any other context.

There’s a natural parallel between the thoughts I often see expressed about gentrification and about the type of cultural appropriation many white artists have been accused of. But what makes this feeling different is the fact that I enjoy this version of the neighborhood more. Much more. This isn’t just feeling a certain way about Robin Thicke “borrowing” Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” to create “Blurred Lines.” It’s feeling that certain way, but also believing Robin’s version is much better than Marvin’s.

To be clear, “better” doesn’t mean that the new Target is better than the old Giant Eagle or that the new Pizza Sola is better than Vento’s. That’s a matter of taste.

The preference I’m speaking of is less about policy, politics and development and more about memory.

East Liberty was my home. It’s where my dad first taught me to shoot a jumpshot. Where I got my first job. Where I first met the kid who’d end up being my oldest and closest friend. Where I first learned not to trust a big butt and a smile. And where I also first learned not to listen to everything Bell Biv Devoe said.

But it’s also where Peabody High School was shut down for an entire week because a star football player was murdered in a Wendy’s parking lot. And where, since the Bloods (red), Crips (blue) and L.A.W. (black and gray) were at war with each other, there was a span of five or so years where wearing the wrong color could get you killed. And where both a random tire screech and a car going 10 miles below the speed limit meant “Get the hell down!” because there’s about to be a drive-by. And where our front window was blown out and our house was shot into because we lived three doors down from Mellon Street’s Stringer Bell and a rival crew mistook our house for his.

So even as I lament the injection of and appropriation by others in East Liberty — and even as terms such as displacement and pricing-out enter my consciousness — I value the reduction in familiar and conspicuous danger more than I’m put off by the means taken to get it there.

Read more at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Shit Bougie Black People Love: 15. ’90′s Nostalgia

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Aside from Bill Clinton’s penis and Michael Douglas’ penis in movies starring Michael Douglas, nothing had anything good happen to them in the 90s. It was a truly awful decade. The clothes were shitty, everyone started drinking coffee, and everyone cool got shot or got AIDS.

Perhaps you remember this. Bougie Black People, however, do not. Bougie Black People love the 90s more than anyone loves any other decade, easily surpassing White people’s love for both the 1980s and the 1830s.

This love for all things 90s is only matched by their passion for bringing the 90s back. Hence the reason why, if you happen to ask a Bougie Black Person what they’re doing right now, you’re likely to get at least one of the following answers:

1. Taking a quiz to see which Living Single character they are.

2. Taking a quiz to see which Fresh Prince of Bel-Air character they are.

3. Taking a quiz to see which Martin character they are.

4. Planning a 90s nostalgia party.

5. Planning an outfit for a 90s nostalgia party.

6. Thinking about Lark Voorhees.

7. Listening to Mase.

(Read more at Ish Bougie Black People Love)

The Differences Between Northern Blacks And Southern Blacks

If you can guess where this pic was taken, I'll give you...nothing. Because it's an easy f*cking answer

If you can guess where this pic was taken, I’ll give you…nothing. Because it’s an easy f*cking answer

(A timely blast from the VSB past. Happy Friday.) 

Question of the day: Aside from accents and the always hilarious soda vs pop battle (it’s #teampop all the way, bitch), are there any other behaviors, characteristics, and mores separating Blacks from the north and Blacks from the south?

(Oh, and just to be clear, although the south technically starts once you pass the Mason-Dixon line, I’m going to throw the entire DMV — well, the entire DMV except for the backwoods of Virginia where they breed 400 pound rottweilers and things named “Marcus Vick“ — in with the north.)

This is (obviously) a rhetorical question. Why? Well, OF COURSE there are intraracial regional differences. The only thing left is what I plan to do today — determine exactly what these differences are.

Oh, and before I continue, there’s a couple things I want to add:

1. This “determination” will be completely anecdotal. I’ve done no studies, surveyed no people, and slept with no cousins to understand what it’s like to be from Mississippi. These are just observations I’ve made, that’s all.

2. I realize that limiting this to northern and southern Blacks leaves out midwestern Blacks, west coast Blacks, northwestern Blacks, and n*ggas from Youngstown. If you’re a member of one of those neglected populations, please feel free to add your own observations in the comments.

Anyway, let’s begin.

Southern Blacks are more likely to…

…attend HBCUs, be Greek, attend church, be Baptist, have stupid-ass names that are hybrid combinations of other names (i.e.: “DeLadariusray Jenkins”), get married at a younger age, get married at all, buy expensive American cars, buy cheap-ass American cars and put $35,000 worth of added expense in them, know their fathers, hate White people but date and/or marry interracially, be killed by White rednecks, coordinate outfits, have happier, more fulfilling lives, eat everything on a pig except its eyeballs and anus, buy Steve Harvey books, look like Steve Harvey, be colorstruck and not realize that being colorstruck is a bad thing, breed better women, rock braids/cornrows/locks (the men, at least), be provincial, be socially conservative, be unpretentious, have children, and be generally better people.

On the other hand, northern Blacks seem to be more likely to…

…attend PWIs, scoff at HBCUs while secretly wishing they had decided to attend one instead of paying 75 grand a year to attend some bullsh*t liberal arts college in Poughkeepsie, New York, be anything (Muslim, Jewish, Atheist, Laker Fan, etc) but Christian, be smart, have stupid-ass names that have absolutely no connection to anything remotely human name sounding (i.e. “Powerful Godbody Jenkins”), convince themselves that they’ve willingly chosen to stay single, buy European, be cool with white people even though they’d never actually date one, be militant, get killed by white rednecks with billy-clubs and badges, not be decedents of American slaves, rock ceasers, coordinate furniture, have better, more fulfilling lives…on paper, be more worried about how they’re perceivedread Hill Harper books, look like Hill Harper, look like someone who’d date someone who looked like Hill Harper, abstain from pork for no apparent reason, be staunchly liberal and close-minded at the exact same time, be somewhat lame, but migrate to the south and be the sh*t down there, be professional and promiscuous, live generally “better” lives.

Did I miss anything?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

Why “Black Middle Class” Is The Ultimate Oxymoron

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***Maya Francis offers her take on Jamelle Bouie’s recent piece about the difficulties we (Blacks) have with being truly upwardly mobile***

Someone managed to find a photostock picture of Black folk in fair isle as the accompanying photo for this article about what happens when Black people make a little money and come up in the world. It’s a weird photo, mostly because the kid in the center of it looks like the kid from Everybody Hates Chris, the dad looks like Ronald Clifford, and the caption, which mentions “substantial pockets of poverty” is used to frame this photo of smiling-ass Black folks. Photostock of Black folks is hard to come by, so I’ll allow it, especially since this rant has nothing to do with anything I have to say. I just wanted these thoughts acknowledged.

DeSean Jackson was cut from my hometown’s football team essentially because he’s a headache. And, apparently, part of this headacheness is due to the people he knows from back home. Whether its true that Jackson’s people pose a problem in his life is irrelevant. The point is, Jackson was expected to get a new set of friends because he became successful, a practice also known as “selling out.”

The reality is that many successful Black folks are just a stone throw away from poverty, either because they’re newly arrived in their own success, or because the bounty of success hasn’t spread over their entire family tree. And so while buppies have taken on the sacred ritual of mimosa toasting downtown during Sunday brunch, they also drive to their grandmom annem’s house on the south side during holidays when it’s time for the whole family to get together.

And when they leave grandmom annem’s, they go back home…which is also on the south side.

A “nicer” part of the south side, perhaps. But, for many of us, the “nice” part of our neighborhood and the “hood” part of the neighborhood are separated by half a football field. Sometimes just a backyard.

Jamelle Bouie writes:

“The key fact is this: Even after you adjust for income and education, Black Americans are more likely than any other group to live in neighborhoods with substantial pockets of poverty…It’s tempting to attribute this to the income disparity between Blacks and Whites. Since Blacks are more likely to be poor, it stands to reason that they’re more likely to live in poor neighborhoods. But the fact of large-scale neighborhood poverty holds true for higher-income Black Americans as well. Middle-class Blacks are far more likely than middle-class Whites to live in areas with significant amounts of poverty.”

Consider this: When looking for a place to live (rent or own) do you consider the racial demographic of the area?

Not sure about y’all, but being the fly in the ointment is something I can accept in school and the workplace, but I don’t want to deal with it at home. Fact is, Black neighborhoods tend to be mixed in their income level, where culture is the bonding factor. But, for outsiders, this also conflates poverty with Blackness, rendering them one in the same.

Culture is a bonding factor for White folks, too. Consider also White flight in cases where upwardly mobile Blacks move to non-black neighborhoods. Again, because the face of poverty is Black, there is only so much mobility that happens. Starbucks aren’t being built in well-to-do corners of Negronia [(c) the homie Jamilah Lemeiux]; money, access, amenities, follow along racial lines, putting an economic chokehold on people of color.

So back to Jackson. It’s unfair to assume that wealth would create any level of distance for Jackson socially, as it very rarely does for Blacks in other aspects of their lives. Richard Sherman wrote a great piece outlining how absurd it would be to think that he would. As any Black folk with a modicum of success could tell you, you can never go home again, but you can also never leave home.

You can follow Maya @MF_Greatest. And, if you don’t do that, she will follow you. Like, in real life. She will literally follow you to your house.