The Ultimate American Idol


One of the most underrated skills for a couple to possess is the ability to find TV shows you both enjoy watching. If you’re good at this, you’ll likely end up saving somewhere between 13 and 39 minutes a week that would have been devoted to passive-aggressive arguments about who wants to watch what. This extra time adds up, and could be used for anything from extra sleep to prolonged pre-brunch fellatio.

If you’re not good at this—or, if you’re pretending to compromise under the “It’s cool, whatever you want to watch, babe” bitch-ass guise—you’ll eventually end up having arguments where things like “If I watch one more episode of House of Fab, I’m going to House of Stab myself to death” are said. And, when things like this are said, animosity builds, anger simmers, and mailmen get f*cked.

Fortunately, my queen earth woman wiz lady girl and I haven’t had this problem. Yes, I have to watch at least 20 hours of NBA games a week and yes, she has to watch whatever the hell she watches when I’m not there, but we’ve managed to settle on a few shows we mutually enjoy.

Suits (It’s been a while since I’ve been this surprised by how much I enjoy a show. Maybe I just had really low expectations. And, maybe I just love Gina Torres)

Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (After watching approximately 250 different episodes, we’ve figured out exactly how much Guy likes the food he’s sampling. If he says “That has some flavor” he hates it. One grunt means “Ok, this is cool.” Two grunts and a hard stare at the food in his hand means he likes it. And, the orgasm face followed by a “I don’t know whether to kiss you or kick your ass” face made at the cook means he loves it, and he’s still high)

Love and Hip-Hop New York (We’re both big fans of Yandy, and we both wonder if the size of Erica’s boobs are directly correlated to her level of crazy, and we both call Mandeeceeeeees a different name every time we say it. “Mandarin Feces” is my current favorite)

Black Ink (Why do I suspect we’re the only two people in the country who watch this show?)

(surprisingly) American Idol

(Yes, that American Idol. I know you didn’t know it still comes on, but trust me, it does. Really!)

This is the first time in maybe eight years or so that I’ve even glanced at an episode of the show, and you can thank Nicki Minaj for this. I think she’s legitimately insane. She sounds like an autotune version of Fran Drescher. She dresses like an ant trapped inside of bag of Skittles that’s trapped inside of a Walrus’s ass. She’s built exactly like the world’s tiniest pear. And, to say that her music tends to suck is disrespectful to the art of sucking. Still, I’ve been a fan of hers since her ole English intro on MBDTF, and I continue to watch to see if it’ll be the week she mistakes Keith Urban for a giant, vanilla Twizzler and eats him.

Anyway, while watching a couple weeks ago, I thought of a question posed in one of Bill Simmons’s mailbags.

(Paraphrasing) “If you took every current performing artist, made them unknowns, and put them on American Idol while in their absolute primes, who would win?”

If I recall, Simmons’s answer was a 21 year old Whitney Houston. I agreed. She had it all—the talent, the charisma, the look, the smile—and both the judges and the audience would have fallen into love with her. But, since Whitney is no longer with us, she no longer qualifies.

So, considering all the living artists, I think an 18 or 19 year old Mariah Carey would be a tough out, as would the current Adele, a 16 or 17 year old Christina Aguilera, and a pre-breakdown Lauryn Hill. (I can’t think of any current male performers that would make the cut.)

But, if I had to place a bet, I think they’d all have a whale of a time beating a 21 year old Jill Scott. Between her pipes and her smile—and the fact that Randy Jackson would totally propose to her—I just don’t see anyone topping Jilly from Philly in that type of competition.

Anyway, you heard my choice. I’m curious. If we somehow played a game of ultimate American Idol, who do you think would win and why?

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

(Formerly) Great Artists That Need To Stop Making Sh*tty Music


Now here’s the situation.

You know you’re about to get some Black sh*t when ever the word situation comes at the beginning of a story.

Moving on.

It’s bound to happen to every artist. At some point, either the money, the fame, or the overall success steals their creativity and their forced to learn something about their motivations. Some artists can only create when they have a chip on their shoulders – see most rappers. Others are truly musicians, but their most interesting and compelling music comes when they have the least and therefore the most to gain from putting it all on the line.

Basically, a lot of artists best works were their first works and since then, their output has gone downhill faster than an H3 with 4 350 pound women singing “It’s Raining Men” holding anvils.

And these aren’t your typical artists either. We all know Ice Cube blows d*ck right now. Eminem too. They’re low hanging fruit.

Also, for nearly all of the artists that I’m going to name, I’m a fan. Consider this motivation should any of them either be sitting on the toilet perusing blogs and happen to come across this post after googling their name. That’s how Teedra Moses and her minions found her way here right?

So here’s Panama’s list of artists who need to stop making sh*tty music and get back to making music actually worth listening to.

1. India Arie

She’s my motivation for this post in the first place. Let me be clear, India Arie seems like the kind of person I’d never actually want to hang out with. Despite her earthy crunchy nature, she also seems like a hipster douchebag. But I don’t really know her or her mother so I could be wrong. With that being said, Acoustic Soul was a classic. Straight up. “Video” is one of the best songs ever. It’s honest, its brutal, it’s the defintion of real. It’s the realeast rap song ever that happens to be sung by a bohemian chick from Atlanta. It’s like Arrested Development without the pretense and faux realism. And I like Arrested Development. That whole album was on some real sh*t. It was honest. “Brown Skin” was relate-able to all ninjas. Again, I love that album and think it deserved every Grammy award it lost to Alicia Keys Songs In A Minor, which was alright, but largely forgettable.

Man that was a lot. Anyway, since then, India Arie took the douchebaggery to the next level, eschewing her realism for complete and total pretense. You all remember when Maxwell dropped Embrya with all those ridiculous pretentious titles? Yeah, that’s her career since then. Voyage To India should have just been called Purpose Driven Life to Song. There was no India Arie. Just songs about people who do sh*t. “The Truth” was hot, but “Little Things” was THE most ridiculous songs ever. Her albums have gone down hill. She needs to do better and get back to basics.

2. Jill Scott

I don’t give a f*ck what any of you say…since JILLJILLJILL dropped Who Is Jill Scott, Vol 1. her albums have gotten increasingly more urban contemporary. Basically, they’re elevator music now. That first album was seminal. It was so thorough you could hear every ounce of her being poured all over it. “A Long Walk” is STILL one of the best songs to come out of the entire neo-soul movement. Her second album was boring as hell save for “Cross My Mind” and “Golden”. I realize “Golden” is either loved or hated by most folks but I love it. Point is, I want Jilly from Philly back. I want to hear some of that J-I-L-L-S-C-O-T-Teeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

(musiq would make this list except most of his albums aren’t hot. He’s good for a hot single. I will say that I think Soul Star was a dope album through and through. I know I contradicted myself, look I don’t need that now.)

3. Mos Def

Black on Both Sides is a classic. Period. The New Danger is not. True Magic is not. The Ecstatic is not. It’s like Mos got bored and started getting too experimental and forgot that at the end of the day, the best way to sell music is to make music that somebody might actually want to buy. I miss the might Mos…or Yasiin Bey as he prefers to be called now.

4. Big Boi

This one hurt and I’m sure folks will disagree…that’s okay. While (Keep Your Heart) 3 Stacks has pretty much stopped making music except when he needs a check, Big Boi has continued to make music, except its not good. I’ve heard some actual terrible sh*t. Greg Street said something to him that was real…ATL radio ain’t keepin’ you off the airwaves off some disrespect, its just that your product ain’t hot. Look, I hate Future too, but the ninja keeps hopping on beats that are hot. Big Boi has tried to do this EWF meets George Clinton meets Too Short type thing and it ain’t hot. He should stick to acting. Lord knows he’s way better than Andre. And this latest single with Kelly Rowland? WTF. It hurt me to type every word in this paragraph. Speakerboxx was dope but definitely had its misses. Well it was the beginning.

5. Erykah Badu

WHO GON’ TES’ ME NOW! I’M THE REAL DON DADA! I don’t care what you say…after Mama’s Gun, she started going downhill. Sure I enjoyed some of the output but the last two albums (the New Amerykah joints)…hot damn messes of confusing unfinished ideas. I know you love her…but if you love her, tell her to stop f*cking rappers and get her sh*t back together.

Well I think that’s enough controversy right there. Yes, I just said that some of your favorites suck. At this moment. Not for good. I’d put Alicia Keys here, but remember…most of her albums just ain’t good as a whole. Me no care what you say.

So…what artists do you think need to stop making sh*tty music and get back to what made them dope??


VSB Crewneck Sweatshirts are now available for a limited time! Go check them out and order online from And peep Panama getting his model on!



EB’s, the human body snatchers

Relationships, successful ones at least, depend largely on two factors: compatibility and timing. Since compatibililty depends primiarly on personality, and since your peer group does more to influence your personality than any other entity, it makes perfect sense to do whatever it takes to extract toxic people from your life.

In a two part series, The Champ will examine two types of toxic people, evil bitch‘s broad‘s (EB’s) and diva dudes, letting you know exactly how to detect them, and why you should expunge them from your existence.

without further ado…

Five signs that you might be an evil bitch broad (EB)

1. You’ve physically fought another woman over a man

Read that statement very carefully though. You CAN defend your man. In fact, you SHOULD defend your man if you ever see him in distress and are in a position to provide assistance. Thing is, and let me make myself very clear with this: there are absolutely no circumstances where it’s okay to fight another woman in order to win a man’s affection. No man is worth this. Nobody. Not even me, and I’m The Champ. If it ever gets to this point, cut your losses and walk away. Any man that’s actually worth fighting for wouldn’t even let you have to fight to win his affection

2. You’re not clinically depressed, and you don’t have eclectic teeth, but you never smile.

Women with serious mental and/or emotional issues are excused from the whole “never smiling” thing. Thing is, if you’re not clinically depressed, and you still haven’t cracked a smile in public since Eriq Lasalle was still on “ER”, then you very well might be an EB.

Also, smiling is sexy. Let me repeat that just in case anybody missed it the first time. Smiling is sexy. Very. Very, very sexy. (Please pause and re-read those last three sentences)

Seriously, the champ has a borderline obsessive infatuation with crush on Jill Scott just because of her smile and the possibility that she’d make me early morning fish and grits while smiling that sexy ass smile.

(best served with post-coital grits and turkey bacon)

These are also usually the type of women who are just plain mean and nasty to everyone. Dogs, waitresses, cab drivers, cats, tree bark, mailmen, co-workers, salespeople…it doesn’t matter. They are perpetually curt and ungracious, somehow brainwashed into thinking that “meanness” equals “confidence” or “sexiness”.

Guys sometimes get fooled by these types of women because men whom they find attractive (at first) are usually the only people who don’t feel their wrath. Thing is guys, the meanness and selfishness will eventually affect you as well, for these are the women who’ll hide your car keys before you take you great aunt to her weekly dialysis appointment because you made the wrong flavor of kool-aid the night before.

3. You have ZERO female friends

The women who say things like “women are bitches…that why I only have close male friends” are probably EB’s. Seriously, somebody has to be suspect if they can go through 20+ years of their life and not be close to ANYBODY else in their peer group. EB’s tend to attract other EB’s. They can sniff out each others presence, and they run in packs like wild wolves or jaded Hispanics. If you’re one of those women who always seem to fall victim to EB’s and EB like activity, chances are, you’re an EB as well.

****Just to give you a clue of how utterly jacked up the “I hate other females” line is, imagine, women, if some guy you’re dating actually said “I’ve always got along better with women. I just can’t stand dudes at all. I can’t trust them, have nothing in common with them, and think they’re all silly“. I think the term “deal-breaker” was invented for people like that****

4. You consistently refer to yourself in the third person and it’s never tongue-in-cheek.

This also applies to people who consistently use air quotes to “express” their “thoughts” and “what they’re trying to say” “and stuff”. A-hole’s.

5. Nothing can embarrass you or make you blush.

It says a lot about a person who is never affected by others opinions or standard. No, you shouldn’t live your entire life strickly appeasing other people’s ideals of culture or normal behavior, but to be totally oblivious is a sign of EB-dom. These are the women who partake in consistently cringe-worthy behavior, yet the only people who actually cringe are the ones witnessing it.

Plus, along with smiling, blushing is sexy as well. There’s nothing more endearing than a woman who’s grounded enough to still feel a bit of modest awkwardness when given a sincere compliment.

EB’s are to be avoided at all costs by both sexes for one simple reason: they will make your life a living hell. Their negativity will eventually infect you, permeating into your personaility and emitting through your pores like a virus or the smell of fried salmon, snatching your body, making you virtually unfriendable and undateable

If you suspect that you or someone close to you may be exhibiting any of these behaviors, please contact our 21-hour hotline at

***coming soon, part 2: “diva dudes….the relationship jabberwockys“***

—the champ