2016 Sucked For A Lot Of People. Damon Young Is Not One Of Them. » VSB

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2016 Sucked For A Lot Of People. Damon Young Is Not One Of Them.

Damon Young


By most accounts, 2016 was balls. So many of our favorite celebrities bought the farm. Trump was elected. It was so bad that even perennial Race Draft offeree Don Lemon said that it was an awful year, prompting his bosses to cut his mic after announcing how “lit” he was while in New Orleans for New Year’s Eve. Drunk Don Lemon might be the wave.

So yeah, 2016 grabbed itself by the *CENSORED*. It fucked the dog.

Unless your name is Damon Young, more specifically, our Damon Young, comin’ all the way through from the 4-1-2.  Also, Damon’s birthday was on December 30th. He even ended his awesome year with a birthday. Where dey do dat at?

I can’t go through everything that made 2016 awesome on a personal level for him though I’ve been fortunate enough to ride shotgun for most of the news and many of the accomplishments. But through a lot of hard work and dedication, Damon managed to put himself on the Intelligent Nigga Watch List, landing him slots and opportunities in many of your favorite writers online and print news outlets, putting him on televisions in homes near you, and rounding it out with a book deal, announced in the piece written about VSB in the Washington Post.

Damon had himself a year.

So I’m going to talk about Damon, who might be the least humble modest person on the planet who’d never write anything this glowing about himself, but would think it should be written. He’s basically Nas without the Bevel investment.

If the stories about Damon are true, then he was born by the river, in a little tent. Like the river, he’s been running ever since. None of that is true, and if you don’t recognize where those lines come from, then I feel sorry for your mother and then really sorry after O’Dog comes in and shoots you in the head while Kaine stands by sipping a 40 (Love 40!).

It’s no secret to anybody who has been around since the early days of VSB that Damon has made the leap. He decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadow, and took it upon himself to do the work to raise the profile of VSB and himself. He hunkered down. He powered up. He wrote and wrote and wrote. And when he was finished, he wrote some more.

In all seriousness, from 2014 and right on into 2016, Damon made some choices, both personal and professional. For one, he decided that he wanted to make VSB the pre-eminent spot for snarky, irreverent commentary on race and pop culture. Unfortunately aided by several significant tragic occurences, there was a void for individuals to write about race in a way that was unencumbered by ad dollars or restriction. You know, that unapologetically Black shit. There was an opportunity to just be right about race relations in America. Forget the niceties and consideration for other people’s feelings; it was a time to just tell the truth.

Damon decided that he was going to do just that. Except he’d do it in a way that didn’t require a 20,000 word tome (that is NO SHOTS FIRED AT ANYBODY), but in 800 words or less, he’d tell you exactly what was happening and relate it to your life and our lives and speak directly to the issue and why the issue existed. In a world of expansionary exposition, he found a way to drive the point home in a succinct and powerful manner. From Darth Becky to Donald Trump, Damon did it like he was doing it for television.

And then a funny thing happened. His emails started to fill up with requests for interviews and appearances on national television outlets, radios, and college campuses. People wanted to meet him and see him in person. They wanted to talk to him about race in America. They wanted to talk to him about what current events means for African-Americans in this country. They wanted to talk to him about writing and his process. They wanted to know the VSB backstory and what it means to run an outlet that keeps popping up in folks FB feeds all the livelong day. He had himself a 2016.

Our inboxes, both as a collective and individually, began filling up with requests for submissions. Right now, I, personally, have at least 100 emails from folks who want to write for VSB. I can’t imagine how many Damon has.

Damon honed his craft and in 2016, his craft took him to places we never imagined when we decided (with Liz), on a whim, to start a website in 2008 to keep our names out there while we worked on our book.

Let’s talk about Damon and his upcoming book. Damon is a writer. I’ve had the pleasure of taking sneak peaks at bits and pieces. I think that’s one of the privileges of being a partner-in-write, kind of how I assume Big Boi and Andre 3000 let each other hear their shit before it goes anywhere. He’s writing his ass off just from what I’ve had the pleasure to see and it’s, like, 1 percent of where he’s going.

One of the fun parts of being part of VSB is that we’ve been given a lot of access to a great many things. We get invited to a million things and we’ve got a platform that allows us to do things that many people would like to be doing. We get to be a “somebody” so to speak. On a personal level, one of the funnest parts has been watching Damon’s star rise. I’m proud of him and happy for him. You do the work, you reap the rewards, and in the end, a rising tide lifts all boats.

Seeing Damon make his way onto national stages and not embarrass himself or the brand is nothing but a win. As one of his best friends and business partner, worlds that are pretty indefinitely intertwined at this point, it’s an honor to be part of the journey. And since I know that the sky is a limit for him, envisioning where he might make it is a plus.

Damon had himself a year. I’m pretty sure he’ll have himself some more.

So clap for him…because if you know like I know, we’re going to be clapping for a very long time.

And most importantly, he didn’t get shot by the cops.

Panama Jackson

Panama Jackson is pretty fly (and gorgeous) for a light guy. He used to ship his frito to Tito in the District, but shipping prices increased so he moved there to save money. He refuses to eat cocaine chicken. When he's not saving humanity with his words or making music with his mouth, you can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking her fine liquors. Most importantly, he believes the children are our future. You can hit him on his hitter at panamadjackson@gmail.com.

  • Salute Damon!

  • jimmyjam2132

    Damn @ he didn’t get shot by the cops…truer words have never been spoken.

    On the other hand, I’m usually a lurker but had to log in to give props where props are due.

    Also, in 2017, do people still say “give props?” Questions.

    • Blackberry02

      Welcome, JJ!

      “Give props” is a little dated, but you’re new so we’ll let it slide.?

  • miss t-lee

    Drunk Don Lemon was awesome. He should do all of his reporting like that from now on.
    All the lyrics you snuck in here PJack, I’m cackling.

    Congrats Champie. You deserve all the pub.

    • Lissen DrunkLemon was all of the epic.

      • miss t-lee

        Wasn’t it?
        I hate that CNN cut his mic because you know we were about get a juicy story.
        Especially the way he was lamenting about his love life. They’re missing a golden opportunity!

    • Mary Burrell

      Drunk Don Lemon was hilarious..???

    • DM.

      I’ve never hated Don Lemon, even at the peak of his foolishness. Idk why
      I also don’t get how he’s 50. I know folks in their late 20s who look older than him lol.

      • miss t-lee

        Seriously. I tripped out the other day when I googled and found out his age. I could’ve swore he was early 40s. That’s good Black right there.

        • Mary Burrell

          Good genes.

          • miss t-lee


        • Don Lemon was our news anchor in Philly waaay back in the day, and he looked older then.

          • TheUnsungStoryteller

            Some Black folk look younger now than they did 20 years ago. I don’t know what some 50 somethings are drinking nowadays…

            • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

              Teenager tears

            • SPG

              Angela Bassett falls in this category.

            • Brother Mouzone

              People tell me I look younger now(36) than I did in my 20’s. That will probably change real soon raising these twin baby boys…already starting to see gray hairs. My 2016 was saved by them.

          • miss t-lee

            Word? Hmmm.

        • Did you ever notice that good black almost always NEVER has a single solitary fukk to give?

          • miss t-lee

            I’m sure the two are related. I gotta work on that…lol

      • Epsilonicus

        I thought Don was in his 30s. Wow.

      • Nik White

        He’s Dorian Gray

    • TheUnsungStoryteller

      As if we couldn’t end 2016 on a better note…

  • Michele Gilliam

    How cool is it for me to share a birthday with the Honorable Damon? haha Happy Belated fam.

    Moreover, I’ve been following VSB for years and am incredibly proud of your growing success and wish Damon, Panama, and all of the contributors of VSB continued success.

    Happy New Years to my favorite internet family! Bless up.

    • Val

      Happy belated birthday to you!

      • Michele Gilliam

        Thanks a lot!

  • Kas loves Jamaican Breakfast

    Great job Damon!

  • Tears Of A Tiger

    Kudos to Damon! His voice is one of the reasons VSB is an open tab on my laptop at least twice a week.

    • Glo

      Yeah, I always have a tab open on my work computer, lol.

      • Tears Of A Tiger

        My work wife and I have VSB story time twice a week in our office.

        • Glo

          That sounds like so much fun!

        • L8Comer

          Aww I want that

        • TheUnsungStoryteller

          I want your life. lol

          • Tears Of A Tiger

            Naw, you don’t. Our office is highly oppressive and so we have blackity black story time as therapy.

            • Gibbous

              I’d just be happy with a black co-worker

  • MsCee

    S/o to Damon’s 2016…looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for VSB in this time period A.O. lol

  • Glo

    Yeeeeeeee. Happy belated, Damon!

    VSB posts are often the highlight of my morning. While I can’t say for sure if VSB is THE premiere spot for “unapologetically Black ish” on the internet, I can say that it is #1 amongst my network.

  • He didn’t get a call from Oprah #doe. He’s probably in PJ’s phone under “NOprah.” That being said it’s been a heck off a run. I shall stand and ovate.

    • panamajackson

      I promise you that I’m about to change Damon’s name in my phone to NOprah.

    • SON!!!!! YOU WIN!

  • A.G.

    This is beautiful and heartfelt. Congratulations Damon!!! I can’t wait to read your book!

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