I Didn’t Know I Needed “Don Cheadle Rapping” In My Life Until Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” Video And Now I Know That I Do » VSB

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I Didn’t Know I Needed “Don Cheadle Rapping” In My Life Until Kendrick Lamar’s “DNA” Video And Now I Know That I Do

Other relatively recent additions to the list of “Things I Didn’t Know I Needed Until I Had Or Experienced Them And Now I Can’t Live Without Them.

Feta cheese


The crab fried rice from Nicky’s Thai on Western Avenue in Pittsburgh

A car with a shitload of unnecessary and obnoxious horsepower

Simply Lemonade with Raspberry

A daughter

An editor

A literary agent

An accountant

Levi’s 522 jeans (which have sadly been discontinued)


Chorizo tacos

The brussels sprouts and bacon and grits hash from the Square Cafe in Regent Square



My beard

The beat switch in “DNA”

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Looking4Treble

    Simply Lemonade with Raspberry is life. As well as Simply Orange with Mango.

    • OldManGray

      Also: Simply Lemonade with Strawberry. New staple in the household.

      • Looking4Treble

        I Simply must try that one.

        • OldManGray

          I agree, simply

      • LMNOP

        That sounds so good, I want to try it.

        • OldManGray

          It’s awesome. Bought Saturday afternoon and finished Saturday night.

      • DiamondIsMyRealName

        The blueberry is good too!

        • OldManGray

          Blueberry is also in consideration during grocery store runs.

          • DiamondIsMyRealName

            Just do it! Lol

      • Candace Driver

        All the Simply juices are the devil.

      • I’d like to submit Simply Lemonade + turmeric.

        • OldManGray

          this a thing? You just grate it yourself and add it in?

          • Nope. I buy it in a dropper bottle from the health food store. Or you can get turmeric/ginger powder from the bougie snacks aisle at Marshalls.

            • JennyJazzhands

              Why the snack aisle at Marshalls gotta be bougie though? I like pirhouettes with my coffe.

              • Mary Burrell

                Pirhouettes are the devil I can devour a whole can of those they are addictive. They are like those hippopotamus shaped chocolate cookies.

            • OldManGray

              hmmm… may need this for the morning shake. I’ll keep my lemonade unnecessarily sugary and unhealthy tho.

        • Mary Burrell

          QTNA Why put tumeric in Simply Lemonade?

      • HouseSublime

        Stopped buying them for the house and dropped 7lbs. So good but so much sugar.

    • miss t-lee

      Although I only drink in my cocktails now, so it’s a special treat.

      • Looking4Treble

        Try Simply Orange with Mango mixed with Patron Citronge Orange Liqueur over ice. We call it the ‘Mango Tango’ in my house.

        • miss t-lee

          Oh yeah, that sounds real legit.

        • Mary Burrell

          That sounds yummy

    • Mary Burrell

      Simply Lemonade with Raspberry is delicious.

    • Mary Burrell

      I all just about all Simply juices and yes they are the devil.

      • miss t-lee

        All of them.
        Calories galore.

        • Mary Burrell

          I know ?

          • miss t-lee

            My nutritionist made me cut out the juice. So now I only have it as a mixer.

            • Mary Burrell

              Well that’s a smart thing to do your waistline and thighs and butt will thank you.

              • miss t-lee

                Yeah…yeah. ?

      • Looking4Treble

        Better the devil you know :-)

    • CheGueverraWitBlingOn

      That one with Mango is the Mother of Dragons. Straight fire.

    • kimest3e

      I buy the two pack @ Sam’s. I have a problem. All of the Simply lemonades are good with Stoli flavored vodkas. Especially the Simply Blueberry Lemonade.

      • Looking4Treble

        Haven’t tried it with Stoli yet. Added to the list.

  • Glo

    Don Cheadle rapping with Kendrick was one of the most perfect things I have ever seen.

  • Zil Nabu
    • Janelle Doe

      Haha, they took Diego’s life hacks to appear busy at work ;-)

    • I’m just glad I got into the comments until it got into the thousands.

      • Zil Nabu

        These comments are your oyster. Go forth and talk your ish.

        • Working on a grad school paper. And also my second glass of wine in and moving toward my third….

          • Zil Nabu

            Whatcha in school for? I bet that paper is getting more insightful with each sip.

            • Master’s in Educational Leadership.

              Paper’s on diversity. Working thesis- pushing the “grit” narrative on black children holds them accountable for a world they have not shaped with their own hands- a world of systemic racism- and often manifest in schools through zero tolerance academic and disciplinary policies; this is wrongheaded and should be stopped.

              • Zil Nabu

                How will you prove out this thesis?

                • By pitting the research of Pedro Noguera against Paul Tough’s.

                  Noguera is the preeminent research on black boys in public education and argues that there are systemic behaviors schools can take to improve the outcome of their black male students- peer groups, a restorative justice disciplinary model, and ongoing awareness training with staff.

                  Tough, a prominent educational journalist closely associated with the Harlem Children’s Zone, argues that grit- the ability to overcome challenges- is the primary determinant in educational success. His thesis is heavily based in the research of psychologist Carol Dweck.

                  My argument is that grit should not excuse harsh disciplinary policies. Teachers must meet grit with mercy, especially with black students. Doing so appropriately, according to research on how people learn, actually develops the critical thinking abilities of students.

                  • TheUnsungStoryteller

                    I want to know more! I’m about to dig into this. The growth mindset theory changed my life. What are your thoughts on Restorative Justice practices in schools?

                    • It requires training to do well. And it also doesn’t get rid of the need to eliminate a paper trail and escalate consequences if student behaviors don’t change.

                  • Blueberry01

                    Interesting. Does Tough discuss the resources (e.g. financial, social-emotional, health, structural, etc.) that are readily available to students in HCZ – Promise Academy, thus facilitating the “grit”-like approach (in overcoming these challenges)?

                    • He does. HCZ is well resourced compared to other charters (though they need some support on academics and instructional coaching- Success Academies and KIPP thoroughly out perform them.)

                    • Blueberry01

                      So, how can he confidently argue that “grit” is the primary requirement for academic success if he understands that critical elements of a school community must be in place beforehand?

                      Sidenote: I received a job offer to be a math coach at one of the K – 8 Promise Academies, but I turned it down.

                    • Exactly. He wants teachers to explicitly teach it, and KIPP went on a whole row a few years ago about a “Character Report Card” that would measure traits like grit. I think, philosophically, that I’m against a world where only the strong and gritty can be successful; I’m further skeptical that this vision is pushed down on black and brown children, while white children have schools, colleges, career services, and other assistance that allows them to be who they really are in the sols and still find a place in the American experiment.

                      I know Tough means well. His thoughts, as all thoughts concerning American education, is constrained and guided by one enduring truth- school segregation.

                    • Blueberry01

                      Well-said. There’s also never any focus on black and brown children developing emotional intelligence, identifying and fostering healthy relationships, or performing under a growth model either, like the white children do.


              • TheUnsungStoryteller

                Ooooh I want to read it!! I’m all for it!

                • Remind me next week when it’s done and I’ll figure out a way to get it to you.

                  • TheUnsungStoryteller

                    I most definitely will, MM!

                  • Ogo O

                    I would like to read that too :)

                  • Yay Radley

                    K, It’s been a week. Can we read it now?

              • Erica Nicole Griffin

                This is the yummiest summary I have ever read! Please get that thesis in the public space ASAP!

      • Lisawmorneau

        Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours & have longer with friends and family! !sy60c:
        On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. Follow this link for more information
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  • Zil Nabu

    Damon, everyone needs guacamole in their lives, it’s just a matter of when you recognize it.

    • Cheech

      And cilantro.

      • Zil Nabu

        Cilantro optional or just unneeded.

      • Regina

        Cilantro is a gift from God! I put the “s” on everything!

  • Wyldeflower

    Let me tweak the list…….

    Guacamole from Rosa Mexicana point blank, period.

    Simply lemonade w/ raspberry and grey goose.

    Sweet chili pistachios……cause I just kilt a bag.

    Let me pack up and head to the store…….

    • miss t-lee

      “Simply lemonade w/ raspberry and grey goose”


      That mango goes well with rum also.

    • LMNOP

      Sweet chili pistachios sound good, I love sweet chili flavored things.

      • Otherjen

        Seconded. I kinda wish I didn’t know those exist because I suspect spouse and I could easily kill a bag in one sitting…

  • miss t-lee

    Yeen know you need guacamole and chorizo?

    Welcome to the fold, even thought you’re like 30 years late.

  • Wait, who me?

    I can die a happy man. Don cheadle is a treasure.

  • Zil Nabu

    I didn’t know that I needed La Croix Pamplemousse sparkling water until I had it. Actually I need any and all La Croix in my life.

    • miss t-lee

      I don’t get the La Croix love. All of it tastes like salt water to me.
      We go thru redic amounts at my office, and I’m just like…let me go get some regular water out of the cooler.

    • Glo

      Life hack: La Croix mixed with champagne is a delicious drink and helps keep the hangovers at bay the next morning. (I actually learned this on New Year’s Eve, lol).

    • Otherjen

      YES. I’m currently addicted to the Pamplemousse flavor. I’ll happily take any of the citrus flavors, though.

      • Zil Nabu

        Tangerine is also good.

  • Am I the only one that likes the song better before the beat switch?

  • HouseOfBonnets

    Told y’all Bae ain’t here to play games…. His hair from the album art should have indicated the flame levels. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7436d87fb3b8499d467578b5aba16f580839be2deb037e45fee3411779bae8dc.jpg

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