7 Ways To Make A Black Man Lose His Cool

There are like 10 of these in existence: Black men comfortable on ice skates.

There are like 10 of these in existence: Black men comfortable on ice skates.

Very few things on this planet are cooler than a Black man. A polar bears toe nails and the polar vortex come close, but no Cuban. At the end of the day, we (for the most part) tend to be cooler than the other side of the pillow.

[Sidenote: I realize that not all Black men are cool. In fact, I'm quite aware of a significant number of Black men who are the anti-Christ of cool, veritable Kim Jong-Uns of uncool, aggressively parading their tendency towards Urkel at the masses with reckless abandon. There is nothing wrong with this mind you, more fact than anything. Just saying that while Black cool is something that many men have, we weren't all born with it. Do remember though, some version of Urkel is now cool as long as you're a rapper. Strange times.]

Black Men Being Cool is one of the biggest positives and worst afflictions to Black women everywhere. While women love that the man on their arm commands presence and eyes of others who wish they had Bad Motherf*cker on their driver’s licenses (they do not), they ALSO wish we’d take off our cool sometimes. Andre 3000 even had a song called “Take Off Your Cool” that was largely ignored by men everywhere as we were too busy reciting “Roses” and trying to practice the alien prance from the “Prototype” video which might be a bit on the uncool side if it weren’t for the fact that 3 Stack was doing it. That’s one cool cat.

I seem to have lost my point.

Ah yes, Black men, our cool, and not being vulnerable. While I do love being cooler than most, I do recognize that there are moments when I can let my guard down, even if I suck at doing it. What I also realize is that there are places where my guard will be let down whether I like it or not. Luckily for you, you’re in luck.

That was cool of me to say. Deep too.

I’m going to tell you 7 ways to make a Black man lose his cool. Be clear, this is purely for purposes of advancing your relationship and not to torture the Black man in your life for your own entertainment purposes. The Black man cool is important. Treasure it and do not toy with it for it is not to be toyed with with Mary Jane’s emotions while you are being her. Don’t be Mary Jane. Seriously. Don’t do it.

Because I’m happy, clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.

1. Take him ice skating

You want to see a Black man go from Lance in The Best Man to Bob from Accounting in 3 seconds flat? Watch him walk onto an ice skating rink. It’s over the MOMENT we hit the ice. You cannot be cool while your arms are flailing and our knocking out white children who have been skating since they were sperm.

2. Make him get into a swimming pool (not a jacuzzi) if he can’t swim

He will hold your arm and be so overly cautious you will forget that he probably has a gun under the seat of his car as his “viper” security system. But mostly, it’s really hard to be cool when you’re concerned about drowning.

3. Take him to a place with a bunch of little kids he’ll have to interact with

Let me tell you something: I love kids. They’re fun. I like playing with them (in the non-pedophilia way) and helping them stay entertained. Get on the floor and play legos? I’m game. Let’s do it. Point is, most of us forget to play it cool when there are kids around.

4. Mice

You can’t create this one usually, but if you’re bored, go buy a mouse and let that sucker loose in your house – assuming you are okay with a rodent being around. Black dudes and mice just don’t go together. And never will. Cool? Gone.

5. Get him a hard-to-get pair of Jordan’s

There’s this special moment between the time he opens a box and the time he realizes whats in the box which might be the most honest moment of his life. That debonair exterior gets melted away into a smile of epic proportions that harkens back to days of yore when his mother would make that real bacon – not that turkey backon sh*t…what kind of sick motherf*cker would make bacon out of a turkey anyway – and put it on his plate right out of the pan. Mmmmm…bacon.

6. Take him to see an emotional, relatable movie

Movies about Black men dying and slavery (don’t have to be the same movie; think Fruitvale Station and 12 Years A Slave), and you are likely to get those moments where my man realizes emotions he didn’t realize he had. You know, the same way we all felt when Ricky died in Boyz N The Hood.

Oh, just in case you didn’t know…Ricky died.

Actually, it’s the EXACT same reaction that women had when Stringer died in The Wire. And yes, Stringer died in The Wire. No spoiler alert. That n*gga got shot.

7. Get him a puppy or a kitten

This one is weird I know, but creep with me. Have you ever seen a boy with a dog? The bond folks have with their pets is real and sometimes disgusting if the pet kisses them on the mouth. But when the pet is a child cat or a child dog, and they roll up on him and want to cuddle…no way in South Hell that he’s going to say no. He’ll probably hold that little child cat or child dog like a baby so they’re comfortable. At which point his cool…well, it’s hard to be cool when you’ve got a kitten on your shoulder and you feel all special because the kitten chose your shoulder to lean on. We all need somebody to lean on. We be jammin. Extra points if its a Rottweiler puppy.

Those are 7 ways to make a Black man lose his cool and get a little vulnerable. Again, this is not to be used for evil. A Black man without his cool is a sitting duck, defenseless against the winds of danger that are out there trying to rob of us of our dignity. Unless he’s just not cool then he feels okay.

You’ve all seen it though. So what are other ways to make a Black man lose his cool? Be kind, rewind.

Talk to me. Petey.


How To Be A Pseudo-Celebrity Like A Motherlover


My name is Panama Dontavious Jackson and I’m kind of a f*cking big deal. People stop me in the streets and ask me for directions. Almost every day, somebody looks at me. Sometimes it happens twice in one day. What is it? I don’t know. But I got it. Whose is it? Even Michael wasn’t sure.

MJ gone. Our n-word dead.

The reason my apartment reeks of mahogany and is filled with leather-bound books is because I’m a pseudo-celebrity aka 40 percent of the time people know me all of the time.

What is a pseudo-celebrity you ask? Good question. Pseudo-celebrity is what happens when a few people know who you are and everybody else is like who the f*ck are you when the few people who know who you are say things like, “hey you’re XYZ!”

Or even better. You know how famous people get free things? Not pseudo-celebrities. Sure, pseudos get into places free as long as they either know a manager or a bouncer, but if neither are present at the bar, he’s paying for that drink. Basically, there are no free drinks. Even if somebody wants to get you a free drink, they’re paying for that drink first. You know why?

Because you’re only pseudo famous. If you was famous famous nobody would have to buy you a drink…

…you’d already have one.

This is my life. Now this isn’t a complaint at all. I actually rather enjoy the times when I see people out and they say things like, “hey, its Panama! Oh my gosh, I didn’t expect to see you out and about like that! You’re not nearly as hot as I thought you were in that picture where I can’t see your face but I do see you smoking!”

That’s the funny part about pseudo-celebrity. Some people think you’re famous, others couldn’t care less. I mean it looks cool when you’re out in these streets and people stop you to say they read the site (I think most bloggers with a good readership go through this) or when you’re out of town and folks randomly recognize you and make it seem like you’re a big deal. But you know how real bad boys move in silence? Your highness?

Yeah, pseudo-celebs are total bad boys. Nobody moves out the way when we come thru. In fact, unless you’re a tall person, nobody moves period. I have to push through the crowd like everybody else. Of course that time somebody yelled out Panama and somebody else yelled out Noriega was funny. There’s no story there.

Well, as the pseudo-celebrity motherlover that I am, and seeing as so many of you who venture here are clearly famous in your own right (even if nobody knows your real name, which is like, totes coo, since most folks don’t know my real name either! AS IF!), I know its hard out here for a pimp. So I figured I’d drop a little knowledge. Knowledge my brothers and sisters; use it or lose it.

So you wanna be a gangsta, all that sh*t smoke any motherf*cker don’t even trip and be hard as hell and say whatever you want, punk suckers wanna front…

Or here are some on how to be a pseudo-celebrity like a motherf*cker.

1. Be super f*cking fly

Not a little fly. Leave that tsetse fly sh*t at the door, whoadie. Naw. Big dog it. When you walk into a building, dap people up, especially people you don’t know. This gives you the chance to seem more important than you are. Somebody will say, do you know who that its? Most people will say no, but one person who is totes in the know will say, “hey, that was Panama Jackson and he’s one fly motherf*cker.”

2. Be super f*cking cool while being super f*cking fly

Basically its the same sh*t as 1.

3. Wear sunglasses when it rains

Before you can be out here dapping up people you don’t know, you need to LOOK like somebody that should be dapping up people. You can’t pointdexter the sh*t, my ninja. You have to rock the stunna shades and pop your collar. Don’t pop your collar. But like wear Jordans or something. Pseudo-celebs totally rock Jordans. And really expensive tank tops. In the winter.

4. Always respond to anonymous shoutouts

You ever been out and somebody yells for their friend across the street. Always assume they’re yelling for you. Say you hear a “HEY! HO! HEY! HO!” like you’re a Lumineer my ninja. Well, you bet’ yell back “WHATS UP BRO! STAY SWAGGY!” Then keep on walking I ain’t talking to you anymore.

5. Tell people you’re a promoter

In fact, create a Linkedin account with your sole job as promoter. That way when people google you (you are pseudo-famous remember) they’ll see that you ain’t lying. On paper. Promoters are famous people. You are kind of famous, so you promote happy hours. Especially the one you’re at where you dapped up all the people you didn’t know. HEY HO. HEY HO.

6. Always walk to the VIP line and be surprised when you can’t get in…in the VIP line.

This has never happened to me. I’m not only pseudo-famous, I’m the pseudo-famous president. I got a card. It’s like one of those punch-cards for so many free coach entries and you get a free VIP entry. Totally rocks.

Do dat do dat do do dat dat dat.

You know what, this is how motherf*cking pseudo famous I am….I’m spent.

You do the heavy lifting. How would you advise somebody to get their fake celebrity on. Like Panama Jackson. I’m your client. Help me be famous.

Happy Friday.


How Idris Elba Proves That “Cool’ Is More Important Than “Swag”

If you were to ask 1000 random Black women to name the single sexiest and most attractive man in American pop culture today, I’d bet a month’s pay that Idris Elba would come out on top. In fact, considering the sheer obsession some women seem to have for him — at a house party I attended a couple weeks ago, I heard a woman call him “the epitome of sexy” — I wouldn’t be surprised if he got 20 to 30 percent of the votes.

This in itself isn’t surprising. Elba is an “understandably attractive” man (“understandably attractive” = “other guys get why woman are into him and even expect them to be”), and he’s the best current candidate to fill the “Black hearthrob with a first name no other American has ever had” quota previously manned by Denzel Washington.

What is surprising, though, is that if you asked the same 1000 women to name the one celebrity whose sexual appeal is completely overrated, Idris Elba might get first place on that list too. There seems to be just as many women who don’t see what the big deal about him is as there are who are infatuated with him.

On face value, this doesn’t make much sense. Actually, lemme rephrase that. It doesn’t make much sense…until you remember how he first entered our collective consciousness: As Stringer Bell on HBO’s “The Wire”

Cool, calculating, manipulative, imposing, and always the “smartest man in the room” — well, at least he thought he was always the smartest man in the roomfew characters in television history had as much of a cultural impact as Bell did, and the previously unknown Elba was the perfect person for that star-making role.

Why does this matter? Well, it seems like Black women’s feelings about Elba are directly correlated to when they first saw him. Basically, my completely unscientific opinion tells me that the majority of the women who are gaga over him first saw him as Stringer Bell, while the majority of the women who don’t see what the big deal is first saw him in “Obsessed” or “Sometimes in April” or “Daddy’s Little Girls” roles where he’s nowhere near as cool as he was on “The Wire.”

Now, if you were to ask those same Idris-obsessed women what exactly it is about him that saturates their panties, most would probably cite something having to do with his unmistakable and indescribable swagger. While I won’t say they’re incorrect, I think it goes a bit deeper than that.

As stated earlier, women who first saw Elba on “The Wire” seem to be the ones most enthralled with his “swag.” This is no accident. The character was intentionally written to be a person practically dripping in brooding confidence, and Idris Elba was placed in a perfect position to show off his attributes. His swag was able to resonate so deeply because of the manufactured coolness of the character he portrayed. In this sense, David Simon was the best wingman ever.

While thinking about how Elba’s hold over Black women’s ovaries is directly connected to him being placed in a position that enabled him to be cool, I couldn’t help but also think about how it applies to our dating and relationships lives. More specifically, how we put a premium on a man’s swagger and the effect it has on women even though his “coolness” actually matters much more than that.

The swagger/emotive confidence thing is something that many men just aren’t ever going to be able to possess. But, while many assume that this is a death knell to a man’s dating life (especially a Black man’s), any man can be cool if they can find a way to replicate the type of environment that made Idris the “epitome of sexy.” It probably won’t happen on the same scale (and by “probably” I mean “definitely”), but it can happen.

The problem with nerdy/socially awkward/introverted guys who claim to have difficulties meeting and attracting women isn’t their lack “swag” or that all women want bad boys or whatever self-depreciating excuse of the month happens to be popular. No, they’re  struggling because many of them are desperately trying to be something they’re not, and they haven’t found a way to manufacture their cool yet, leaving them stuck competing in places where they have no chance to succeed.

Let me put it this way: If you’re a shy and somewhat socially awkward engineer who has to labor to approach and talk to women, nightclubs, bars, and lounges probably aren’t the best places for you to meet them. You know what would be though? A NSBE conference. You know what would be even better? A NSBE conference where you’re a speaker on a panel about some super smart shit only 17 other people in the world understand. You know what would be even better than that? A panel you organized to gather people interested in some super smart engineer shit.

Basically, if you’re not “cool” in a traditional sense, put yourself in a position that enables you to be cool. And, if those positions don’t currently exist, invent them!

If you’re good at what you do and you’re able to put yourself in a position where your talents are recognized, trust me when I say that regardless of how weird, unusual, or “uncool” your specific skill is, there will be people out there who appreciate you for it. (and by “people” I mean “women”) Shit, if you’re a cat who happens to be an expert crocheter and a comic book maven, start a professional network for crocheting-ass n*ggas who like to read comic books, and watch how much more popular and “cool” you’ll get in if actually takes off.

Maybe you’ll never be the swagged out cat who attracts all the eyes at the club like Stringer Bell. But, if you’re a friendless recluse who has more experience with computer codes than coochie, invent something that brings people into your environment, on your playing field — something that makes people acknowledge whatever unique skill you bring to the table. If it worked for Mark Zuckerberg, it can also work for you.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

***If you haven’t noticed, we also posted our first “Very Smart Single” today as well. Check out R.G.’s profile and hit us up at contact@verysmartbrothas.com if interested in her***

On Saturday, June 2, 2012, we’ve got another edition of REMINSCE at Liv Nightclub coming up! Except this time, we’re gonna be celebrating Panama’s birthday! Please come out and hang the VSB team. Plus, it’s free before 11pm w/RSVP (reminiscedc.eventbrite.com) and $10 after. AND there’s an open bar from 930-10:30 WITH NO DRESS CODE. You can come in shorts because it gets HOT in there.

10 Surefire Ways To Be “The Sh*t”


My name is The Champ — “The Champ” for short –and I’m the coolest muthaf*cker any of you will ever meet.

I’m cool as hell. I’m cooler than ice, ice water, ice cream, “Glaciers of Ice,” and particularly anesthetized Icelandic women.

I’m to cool what crackheads are to Home Depot parking lots. If “being cool” was “being black,” I’d be the back of Shaq’s kneecaps.

My coolness is all-encompassing, commodious, incessant, omnipotent, prodigious and a bunch of other PSAT words I could have used because I’m too cool to just say “big,” bitch.

My cool plays chess while your cool eats checkers.

F*ck King Kong, the other side of the pillow aint got sh*t on me.

Basically, I’m the sh*t.

Being this cool didn’t happen overnight though. While I was born with many inherently cool-ass qualities – dark-brown skin the color of a clear cup of raspberry iced tea, an egg head, an anadromic first name, a shrimp eating mother and a dad with a fro the size of Pam Oliver’s ass, etc — its taken a bit of work to cultivate this cool. While I know it seems enviably natural, I didn’t become the Emo Mandingo overnight.

Anyway, while none of you lukewarm n*ggas will ever be as ice cold as me, here’s 10 ways to help you to be The Sh*t too

1. Answer questions that were never even asked

Nothing says Emo Mandingo like a bespectacled brother who’s asked a question but responds to it with an answer the person wasn’t even asking about.

For instance:

Lukewarm n*gga:Yo. Did you hear that new Ghostface joint?”

Emo Mandingo:Nah, I don’t want any steak. I’m probably going to get some pizza later anyway


2. Joke about being a nerd

When around company, refer to yourself as a “nerd” or “nerdy” even though you know you haven’t seen the inside of a library since the second season of “Twin Peaks.”

3. Make randomly nonchalant analogies that no one in their right mind would ever understand. Also, if you can, make allusions to people no one has ever heard of

Lukewarm n*gga: Yo see that dunk Lebron had last night?”

Emo Mandingo: Yeah, dawg. That sh*t was harder than a bowl of Cream of Wheat

Lukewarm n*gga: “Huh?”

Emo Mandingo: “Seriously. He got higher than a Mexican Papsmear. The only other cat I’ve ever seen jump like that is Roscoe Chang”

4. Don’t drive anywhere, ever

Walk if you can. If you can’t walk, bus. If you can’t bus, go back to sleep. If you can’t go back to sleep, stand on your balcony and throw eggs at ZipCars.

***This, by the way, only works if you actually own a car.***

5. Make faces at people

Sometimes, your flagrantly excessive coolness will be so overwhelming that words won’t possess the worthiness to leave your cool-ass lips. Plus, remember: you’re The Sh*t. Actually speaking all the time is for the lukewarm.

Why say a sentence or type a paragraph when a series of simple shrugs or squints will suffice? So what if a sneer doesn’t really translate over the phone. You’re the cool one; the pressure’s on their lukewarm ass to interpret what you’re saying

6. Pay for stuff  you can easily get for free

***Actually, this only applies to water, babies, drinking straws, purple objects, jitneys, and porn.***

7. Start a completely impractical trend

In the summer of 2002, I began wearing inside-out dress shirts to bed at night. Why? well, I’m The Sh*t, which means that I don’t have to explain sh*t to you.

8. Take showers during thunderstorms

Cumulonimbus deez, bitch.

9. Give yourself three theme songs, make sure they’re each “eclectic” for no good gotdamn reason, and play them in your head when talking to white people

For me, Monday through Thursday its Marvin Gaye’s “Trouble Man.” Friday it’s usually Fiona Apple’s rendition of “Across The Universe,” and on the weekends it’s a collection of cat farts I recorded in the fall of 2007.

10. Be unnecessarily descriptive, honest, informal, verbose, and vulgar when people least expect it

Lukewarm n*gga: “Hey, can you have those reports done by 3 o clock?”

Emo Mandingo: “F*ck yeah, boss. I won’t, though. These inane weekly reports remind me of my life’s futility, and if forced to complete them today, I’m going to hold a passive-aggressive grudge against you until I force you to either fire me, fight me, or become convinced I’m f*cking your wife.

Instead, I’m going to sit at my cubicle and stare at Freedarko.com while I fantasize about doing things to the barista at The Starbucks on the 1st floor; things that would still be illegal even if there were no laws. When finished fantasizing, I’m going to wait for you to take your usual 2:46 walk to the bathroom, and I’m going to sneak out of here. I’m also going to steal a couple packets of post-its from your desk when you’re gone.”

Lukewarm n*gga to himself:  “Damn. how the hell can one man be so damn cool?”

Exactly, lukewarm n*ggas. Exactly.

Anyway people of VSB, although I know that none of you will ever be as cool as me, how exactly are you the sh*t, and what advice would you give people hoping to be as sh*tty as you?

—The Champ