Be His Beyonce

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Get married.

Pay for dates.

Introduce her to his friends.

Approach her.

Let her know where he lives. 

Commit. 

Make long-term plans.

Be affectionate.

Be seen in public together.

Be seen online together. 

Claim her. 

Propose.

Give head. 

The actions listed above are just a prominent few of the many things I’ve heard…

1. Many women claim that—despite however many requests they’ve made—the men in their lives just aren’t interested in doing.

…and…

2. Many men claim that they just don’t do. 

Usually, when you start to dig deeper, you’ll find that the man’s reluctance to do these things is out of “principle.”

“You know I don’t believe in marriage.” he’ll say over an half-eaten plate of under-cooked garlic parm chicken wings. “You also know I love you. Why isn’t that enough?”

“You know we’re together, and I know we’re together.” he’ll remark while watching back episodes of Hannibal, “Why does it even matter if everyone else knows? What’s the point in telling people and having them all in our business?”

“I’m just sayin.” he’ll type while in the comments section of his second favorite blog. “It just doesn’t make any sense to automatically foot the bill on a first or second date. I mean, she got a job too. Why do I have to be the one to pay?”

Initially, their reasons will make perfect and practical sense. I mean, a marriage is just a piece of paper, right? Why does any one need to know about your relationship? And, what logical sense does it make to pay for a woman’s food if her ass makes more money than you do?

But, after the smoke clears and the dust settles, there’s only one realization left:

Those guys are full of shit. All of them. Every single one. 

How am I so certain?

Well, let’s say Beyonce happened to break up with Jay-Z or Zoe Saldana happened to be single (and happened to be dating brothas) or Rihanna happened to be sane. Basically, let’s say whoever the baddest and finest woman of the moment happened to be happens to be single and very interested in one of those guys. Do you really think that if they happened to have a shot at locking down Kerry Washington, they’d still be on that “I don’t believe in marriage” shit? Do you think they’d refuse to allow Nicole Beharie to post and tag pictures they’ve taken together on Facebook? Do you think that if they finally were able to somehow land a date with that bad-ass chick at the gym that they changed their workout schedule for just so they might “accidentally” bump into her one day, they wouldn’t be ecstatic about paying for the first few dates?

Basically, their “principles” are opportunity-based…which means they’re not even really principles. Just arbitrary rules he’s found no reason to break.

Now, I can already see a counterargument formulating in people’s heads.

“I mean, of course they wouldn’t act that way if they had a realistic shot at Beyonce, but how realistic is that scenario? I mean, I know I’m cute and all, but I’m not Beyonce.”

You’re right, hypothetical woman asking me this randomly specific hypothetical question. You’re not Beyonce. But, that’s exactly my point.

We (guys) talk a very good game. I know this for a fact, because I am one. We’ll say what we’ll do and won’t do, and we’ll appear to be very insistent, stubborn even, about our relationship mores and principles. But, for 99.9999999% of us, all of those principles are thrown out of the window once we meet someone we really, really, really, really like.

The source of much (not all, but much) of the dating and relationship-related angst I’ve witnessed and read about—and the source of the “full of shit”-ness cited above—stems from the fact that many women find themselves in situations where they’re dating someone who just isn’t very excited about them. Maybe they’re not actually Halle Berry or Kerry Washington or Nia Long or whoever, but if a man is excited enough about a woman, he’ll think of her (and treat her) with the same regard he would with any of them. She would effectively be his Beyonce. And, if she’s his Beyonce, there’s no f*cking way he’s insisting on dutch first dates, no f*cking way he hides her from his friends, and definitely no f*cking way he allows “I like you, but I’m not ready to be in a relationship right now.” to escape his lips.

And, for women upset that the guy you’re romantically involved with just doesn’t seem that excited about you and is dead-set on his principles, the “goal” isn’t to convince him to change his mind. Just, well, just find someone who doesn’t need any convincing. We’re all full of shit¹. We just need to find the right person to help prove it.

¹Women are (generally) full of shit too, but today just happens to be about a particular type of man’s particular type of full of shit-ness

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

I Wonder If Obama Is Tired of Jay-Z

121105_obama-jay-z-4x3.photoblog600Imagine for a moment that you are President Obama. Of course you aren’t because if we pull out your wallet, it will not say “Bad Motherf*cker” on your license. However, for a moment, you can pretend to be.

Now imagine that while in the midst of being President Obama and doing something actually important, a staffer says, “um…sir, I realize that you are busy and I’m really sorry to have to bring this to your attention but, well, your friend Jay, um, Mr. Jay? Jay-Z? Well, he released a song called “Open Letter” talking about his trip to Cuba – which I know you didn’t have anything to do with, sir – but he kind of said that you did…I couldn’t quite follow, I’m more of a Brad Paisley fan myself…hey have you heard “Accidental Racist” by Brad and LL Cool J? I think you’d like it, sir. Either way, Well, CNN picked up the Mr. Jay-Z song and so did Fox News and well, you should listen.”

Obama: FUUUUUUUUUCK. Someboy get Jay Carney’s ass in here.

Scene.

I’m a Jay-Z fan. Always have been. Always will be. I also wouldn’t mind if he were to fade into blackness with his beautiful songbird wife and stop rapping. I know lots of people like “Open Letter”. I am not one of them. I think its boring. It’s just Jay saying what Jay says: “I’m rich. I can do what I want to do. I know Obama. I smoke crack in the bathroom. I don’t really know shit about politics but I like to say things that sound like I do. I own things that I don’t really own. I could flood the streets with drugs if I wanted to. Y’all gon learn (everything you already know) today.”

Except it’s not nearly as good as it would have been 10 years ago. But he’s happy now. He’s got a child named Blue Ivy for goodness sake. Only happy motherf*cers and white people (who are generally happy motherf*ckers) name their kids sh*t like Blue Ivy. Clap for him.

Moving on.

Barack Obama is a powerful man. Jay has long compared himself to the top of any game. Jackson, Tyson, Jordan. Game 6. But my guess is that very few of these individuals give two f*cks about Jay-Z. Clearly they know who he is but Michael Jackson was too busy being Peter Pan to call him back after that “Rock My World” remix. Unless you’re Charles Oakley, I don’t think Jordan gives any f*ckes. And Tyson? Well, Bolivion called. He’s there.

But Obama? For some odd reason there seems to be a sincere mutual respect between the two. We all know that rappers want to be ballplayers and ballplayers want to be rappers. Well now that our President is Black (no word on the blue Lambo), there’s a good chance that we have a man in power who wants to be both a rapper and a ballplayer. Except he’s cooler than everybody else. So rappers of a certain cache, like a Jay managed to finagle their way into his good graces, likely via Beyonce.

Well, out of that “friendship” or whatever it is, Jay being the rapper that he is – status rapper – pretty much makes it a point to let us know how rich and famous he is nowadays and seems to namecheck Obama a lot. Which is cool. But it has to get old at some point right? If I’m Obama, and I keep hearing all these references to me in music, etc, I’m sure I’d probably be like, “give it a rest”. But its not harmful and not enough to cause any real chagrin.

Plus, I’m going to be out of the White House in a few years and likey trying to sign to Roc Nation. So you tolerate the incessant name drops and associations, which you couldn’t stop anyway. Plus, aside from Jay himself, it’s mostly other people doing all the ridiculous speculating. It was all good just a week ago…

…until you have to call in your motherloving press secretary to make a statement that Jay-Z didn’t get any clearance from the White House and went through the necessary channels through the Treasury Department like everybody else. Not only that, Beyonce recently released “Bow Down” a song that I’m pretty sure made Michelle roll her eyes like the Chicagoan that she is and take Sasha and Malia’s subscription to the Beyhive away. Now Jay drops his own version of “Bow Down” and I’m pretty sure Michelle texted Barack from across the West Wing with some, “Yo, tell your man to chill, B”.

I remember reading some uberstupid article in the NY Post (I believe) entitled, “Obama’s Jay-Z Problem” which ridiculously claimed that Obama’s relationship with Jay was irresponsible given Jay’s past. It was dumb because I’m fairly certain that given the nature of powerful people in this country, if you pull back the curtain, most of their associates are of the less than stellar variety.

But most of those people don’t have associates who run their mouths via songs that end up on CNN talking about getting clearance and selling drugs on the streets of the US either. Which would be enough to annoy anybody. Yes, Jay we know…Obama f*cks with you the long way, but now you causing the man unnecessary press conferences when he has real problems to have. Not stupid sh*t like that. And talking about hanging on the beach together instead of taking care of the nation’s problems…no matter how “fun” it sounds isn’t that appealing from the Obama standpoint. And since the song is a point of contention, well the scrutiny is all warranted.

Which for Obama, is a stupid f*cking problem to have. But a problem nonetheless.

So it got me to thinking, do you all think Obama is tired of Jay an the incessant associations, etc?

What do you think? Is Obama tired of Jay-Z?

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. 12 MORE YEARS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

 

Why Beyonce Has To Tell Bitches To Bow Down (…And Why Lebron Doesn’t)

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There is a sizable percentage of sports fans who steadfastly believe that Lebron James will never be as good as or better at basketball than Michael Jordan was. Note, I didn’t say “believe that Lebron James is currently as good as or better than Michael Jordan.” No, these people believe that Lebron is completely incapable of ever reaching that status. There is literally nothing he can do to change their minds.

The reasons for this belief vary. Some provide factual arguments. (Jordan never lost in the NBA Finals. Lebron has already lost twice.) Some prefer to craft their arguments around style/aesthetics. (Jordan’s game was more graceful and seemed a bit more refined than Lebron’s.) Some even get caught up in selective nostalgia. (The faultiest argument, these are the type of people who discount anything that happens now because things were “better” back in the day.)

The most common argument, though, is based on something that’s both completely intangible and completely true: Jordan was, by all accounts, an uber-competitive asshole who’d cut his own mother’s throat to win a hand in spades. Lebron, by all accounts, is competitive enough, but not nearly as competitive as Jordan.

And, the argument states, since he’s not that type of competitor—since he doesn’t have that same killer instinct—he’ll never be able to match or exceed Michael.

At this point, you might be wondering why I’d include Beyonce in the title of a piece comparing Michael Jordan to Lebron James. “Perhaps” you might be thinking “he originally wanted to write about Beyonce, changed his mind, but forgot to change the title. That damn Champ is a rascal!”

Well, Beyonce has been on my mind since the oft-talked about release of Bow Down/I Been On. As alluded to last week, the reaction to the song has been more interesting than the song itself, and one of the main reactions has been, simply, confusion.

“In the last two years, Beyonce has given birth to her first child, performed at the Super Bowl and the President’s inauguration, and signed multi-million dollar contracts with Pepsi and H&M (among others). Oh, and she also has a devoted fanbase anxiously anticipating her every move, is worth a couple hundred million dollars, and is married to man worth more. She’s at the top of the world. Why the hell is she worried about haters, bitches, and hating-ass bitches?”

I won’t pretend that I know exactly what makes Beyonce tick. But, from what I know of her, it seems like she has the exact same thing driving her that seemed to drive Michael Jordan: Insecurity. Not “insecurity” in terms of a lack of self-esteem or self-belief. But, the type of insecurity that makes someone perpetually worried about competitors. The type of insecurity that makes someone so consumed with being the best and with having everyone agree that they’re the best that they actively search for slights to motivate them. And, if these slights don’t exist, they invent them.

This is what makes someone sing an impromptu acapella national anthem just to prove to everyone that they can actually to it—even though no one actually doubted that they could. It’s what causes a man to go out of his way to dominate a person who had the misfortune of dating the man’s wife before he even knew she existed!

This way of thinking isn’t limited to Beyonce and Michael Jordan, either. There are multiple accounts of how Steve Jobs’ motivation and creativity stemmed from him being consumed with other companies somehow catching up to Apple. He drove as hard as he did not because of a joy of innovation but because he believed he needed to be that way to stay ahead. He felt that his company’s—and, by extension, his own—status was tenuous, and he was willing to so whatever he could to maintain it. This “drive” regularly resulted in him insulting and publicly humiliating members of his own team.

Jobs is just one example, and I could probably list dozens more. People so obsessed with maintaining their place and position that they sacrifice a bit of their humanity in the process. Naturally, when people who act this way happen to be successful, we have the tendency to attach a certain romanticism to it.

“So what if Michael Jordan put rat poison in Karl Malone’s Gatorade? He’s a winner, and that’s what winners need to do to win! Maybe if you put rat poison in your bosses’ coffee, you’d finally get a promotion.” 

Sometimes this romanticism is taken to an extreme. We start to believe that being completely consumed with beating everyone else, with having a “killer instinct,” with being a queen who needs to remind others to “bow down,” isn’t just a way to be successful, it’s the only way. 

This takes us back to Lebron.

As mentioned earlier, I do know there is a widely-held belief that he’s not a “killer” the same way Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, or, shit, Beyonce is. And, while a “killer instinct” is an immeasurable quality, there are certain things a person can do or not do to indicate whether they possess it. Those believing Lebron doesn’t commonly cite him joining up with Dwyane Wade as proof. Basically, Jordan never would have volunteered to team up with a rival because he would have been too focused on beating him.

I agree. Jordan would not have done that. If you believe that and you’re reading this, you’re probably also thinking that what Lebron did shows more “insecurity” than anything Jordan has ever done. But, when you start thinking of Lebron in terms of what a regular human being would do/think instead of how we’ve been conditioned to believe how “successful” people are supposed to act/think, his actions seem more, well, “secure.”

Lebron doesn’t actually have any rivals. The media and some fans might try to push certain narratives, but from every reasonable and objective measurement, he’s been the best basketball player on Earth for (at least) the last four years. Jordan also had that title while he was in his prime. But, the difference between him and Lebron is that Lebron doesn’t seem to have the same need to prove it. Knowing you’re already peerless allows you to look at people like D. Wade and Chris Bosh as friends who could help him achieve a goal and have some fun instead of rivals that need vanquished. It allows you the belief in yourself to make the right basketball play instead of attempting to mimic the style of “hero ball” expected of you. It lets you invite the guy who’s supposed to be your rival for the next decade to workout together and learn from each other.

As I type this, the Miami Heat are coming off of their 26th consecutive win. Lebron was two rebounds shy of a triple double. He will win his 4th MVP this spring, and, barring injury, he should win his second NBA title. He is also 28 years old, which means he has a good four or five more years with the “best in the world” crown, more than enough time to collect more MVPs and championships.

He will still never be like Mike or Steve or Beyonce. Neither will most of us. But—as he continues to prove—you can be the best at what you do and still be human too.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

This Post Isn’t About Beyonce. Nope. Not At All.

o-BEYONCE-BOW-DOWN-570So Beyonce puts a song out and people collectively lose their sh*t. But this isn’t about Beyonce’s song(s) “Bow Down/I Been On” which I personally like, well the “Bow Down” portion. I rather hate the “I Been On” portion.

And it’s not really about her, per se.

Naw, this is about the response to such. See, I’m actually amazed at how much people care. There are folks who are writing commentary that is claiming the song is decidedly anti-feminist. There are myriad stories about how the music doesn’t fit her image. There are full fledge dissections of the lyrics. I mean, why is she telling women to bow down that are already beneath her; isn’t that just piling on?

That plus the fact that she’s going in a completely different direction and has laid down with the dogs by releasing this music. She used to be so far above the fray but now she’s placing herself firmly in the realm of the Keri Hilson’s and Keysia/Keyshia/Keisha Cole’s of the world. The latter of who was clearly non-plussed with the song.

I also ready more than one article referencing the fact that it seems like she was listening to ASAP Rocky who attempts to sound Houston-ish at times, decided that she WAS from Houston and hit the studio to make her own rendition of an ASAP Rocky song.

Real talk. What the motherf*ck is going on?

I’m both troubled and impressed by the amount of commentary one single-solitary song that wasn’t even a single, just some music she tossed to her ever faithful and loyal Beyhive. This song has become some defacto stance against…or for…something. If ever there was proof that Beyonce mattered (whether we like or not) it exists in the reaction to this song.

I jokingly mentioned on Twitter that if I were a woman, I’d wake up every morning and play “Bow Down” to get my esteem up for the day. I got quite a bit of pushback lamenting how the song is not empowering but is stereotypically downing other women, and therefore (my assumption) is doing nothing positive. My only issue with that is this: it’s a song, does it have to attempt to change the world?

Understandably in some corners of the Talkeratti, it seemed in direct contrast to some of her messaging. Beyonce has made it a point to be about womanhood and being a beacon, nay, a scion of standing up for the woman’s place! Who run the world? Girls! So it is a bit interesting to see her come thru in the clutch with the battle-rap R&B song. Plus, given her recent documentary and Oprah interview, et al where she was definitely on some mainstream acceptance steez, I can see how it seems odd. But who cares, it’s a song. Does it damage her? No.

In fact the only person who was probably teed off behind the whole thing was Michelle Obama because you know the Obama household is party of the Beyhive. My guess is they all got the email at the same time from Queen Bee’s mailing list and sat around some Presidential wood oak table with an iPad and some presidential speakers and listened together by the fire. Then 30 seconds in, I’m sure Michelle probably gave it the gas face and looked at Barack, who was fervently trying to figure out how to write “bow down, b*tches” into a speech, as if to say, what’s up with your girl? This is unacceptable. In my mind, thats what happened. I’ll bet good money Sasha and Malia bumped that on the way to school though.

The point is, how does one artists one piece of music manage to be so polarizing. Even Lady Gaga wasn’t this polarizing. Madonna was, and of course Eminem, but it seems like its on overkill right now. Perhaps it’s because we live in a society where when everybody has an opinion, and you don’t want to be the person to NOT share that opinion. Or are we so starved for artist that mean something – ironic because its not like Beyonce is Nina Simone out in these streets with her music – that when an artist does something that we don’t agree with (or do) we have to make sure that every possible angle is adhered to and dissected?

What the fuss??

What the hell happened???

(And miss me with the, “I don’t like Beyonce so I didn’t hear the song and couldn’t care less because she can’t sing and I don’t see what the big deal is.” Obviously you are contrarian. Just because you don’t view her as a big deal doesn’t mean somebody isn’t a big deal. Apparently the internet exploding disagrees with you, I’m asking a larger question.)

What is it that compels something so small to matter so much to so many people?

I’m truly baffled. Help me out.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. I RUN THE WORLD WITH GIRLS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

So God, Beyonce, and Ray Lewis Walk Into A Bar…

Let’s just get this out of the way upfront…Beyonce killed the half-time show.

Oh yeah, and she can sing. I’m not scared of any of you motherf*ckers. Was it the best half-time show of all time? No. But was it dope? Yes. But we’ll get to her relationship to Jesus and the occult later. Hope I remember.

Anyway, it’s the Monday after the Super Bowl which for the East Coast ended about an hour ago due to a 35 minute power outage. Yes, Beyonce had something to do with that. But again, we’ll get to that later.

Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens. While I definitely felt myself starting to pull for the 49ers at the start of the game I’m happy for Baltimore and their fans. I do have to question some of the play-calling on the part of Loser Harbaugh on the last drive for San Fran, but I don’t get paid millions to get there and win or lose. Naw, I’m just a squirrel trying to get a nut to move your butt.

On to the next one…and all my single ladies.

I was ready for the Internet to either implode or shut down altogether during Beyonce’s performance but somehow, that didn’t happen.

OH….motherf*king Alicia Keys went and remixed the national anthem…in front of all them nice white people. Not only does she spend 80 percent of every song yelling at all of us, now she’s lighting women on fire, which I’m fairly sure, is like, not cool, bro. But if there’s one song that’s more sacred to white people than “Dixie” it’s the National Anthem. That’s why so many tend to hate it when certain singers sing it…like the Christina Aguilera’s and the coloreds. We tend to flavor it up. Well she flavoried it down with a jazzy version but then hit up a couple extra words and lines in the end. Lawd, Alicia. First you decide to work with BlackBerry, now you f*cking with white people. It’s been an odd week for you.

Back to the lecture at hand. While I like Beyonce, I’m not nearly on the level of her stans out there. I don’t think the Super Bowl was Beyonce concert with a football game surrounding it. But maaaaaaaaan listen, when she hit the crowd with the “raise your hands towards me and let me feed off your energy…” weeeeeeelllllllllllllllll, I ain’t saying she’s drinking the Kool-Aid, but she’s definitely on the verge of Crystal Light. Oh, and she made Kelly and Michelle her backup singers. I like it. I like it a lot.

THEN the power goes out. I’m not a betting man because if I was I’d put my money on the fact that God probably put his chips on Baltimore to cover the spread in Vegas. Why else would he cut the lights AFTER Jacoby Jones records the longest kick-off return in Superbowl History (well until it was noted that it was only 108 yards and thus tied with others). He had to make sure that Baltimore was up enough to ultimately win. Of course, it’s possible that Beyonce’s powers of the unreal cut the lights to somehow give San Fran an edge (it didn’t, they’re a tremendous comeback team and should have won in my opinion), but if the Ravens don’t win then we don’t get Ray Lewis and his Psalms 91 shirt and then we don’t get him telling us about God more times than the entire winner’s circle at the NAACP Image Awards on Friday night who ceremoniously disrespected Jamie Foxx as he sang the gospel while accepting his award which I’m pretty sure was for “Most Versatile Performer” or some such f*ckery. I ain’t saying that the Image Awards ain’t sh*t, but that’s awful close to a BET Award show category.

Oh, and Red Tails winning movie of the year or whatever it won when 1) it sucked more than, well, anything, and 2) it was in the same category as Django Unchained and Beasts of the Southern Wild, and 3) nobody even remembered when it came out was some bullish*t. Even George Lucas said he wasn’t expecting to be up there. Luckily nobody who actually knows sh*t about movies gives that win any credence.

I’m rambling. Yes I am. Back to Ray Ray. I know he’s religious and always has been so its nothing new. But between him, Beyonce, and God shutting off the lights at the Super Dome, well, there was a lot of Jesus going on around the Super Bowl. I would like to ask Beyonce to give some of her followers the ability to worship Jesus too though. Boo yaow.

So yes, I just used almost 755 words to get back to this:

Beyonce can sing.

WHAT?!??!?!

So…did y’all watch the Super Bowl? What did you think of the performance? The Image Awards? Beyonce? Ray Lewis? It’s the morning after…

Beyonce.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. MONDAY MORNING POP CULTURE aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

 

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