10 Reasons Why You Should See The Best Man Holiday From the VSB Who Has Actually Seen It

Yes, this again.

Yes, this again.

Last week, the wayward half of the VSB dream team wrote a post entitled, “Why I Really Don’t Want To See The Best Man Holiday (…Even Though I Probably Will)”. That Champ, what a card. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t listen to Champ’s opinion when it comes to seeing Black movies (in particular), but I feel like taking Champ’s advice on Black movies is like taking clipper guard advice from Lebron James; well intentioned but seeking a second opinion isn’t a bad idea. Now why would I throw my partner-in-crime under the bus in such a fashion? Welll…

…if you all will remember, this is a man who saw Love Jones for the first time two years ago due to his ambivalence but ended up loving it, then because of said newfound love proceeded to yell fire in a crowded theater with the post that proved that they really never should have given you nwords the Internet. If I’m not mistaken, he has yet to finish watching The Best Man and has admitted to being less than enthused with most Black cinema. With all that being said, I think it’s safe to say that I’m the one who will most likely, know, show, and care about what’s going on in the world of Black cinema, even though he will eventually love it all anyway.

Which brings us back to the lecture at hand. Not only have I seen The Best Man Holiday already, I’ve seen it twice. And you know what, I thought it was good the first time and really liked it the second time around. But that’s not the point of this post. This isn’t a review. You don’t need a review. Most of you are going to see it anyway because 1) there really isn’t that much else available in the way of Black movies; and 2) most of us actually loved the original even if half of you mofos swear you don’t do sequels DESPITE seeing every Batman movie that’s come out in the past five years. And yes, Viriginia, The Dark Knight Rises IS A SEQUEL.

So because I’m in a benevolent mood, I’m going to do two things. 1) I’m going to give you 10 reasons why you should go see the movie, because I totally have 10 reasons; and 2) if you live in the DC/Baltimore area, I’m trying to take you to the movies. Actually if you live in DC I’m going to go with you. If you stay in the Bmore area, I’ll send you but you’re on your own homey. Homey don’t do Baltimore. Shots fired.

So let’s start with 10 reasons why you should see The Best Man Holiday without providing a single spoiler.

1. After seeing the new one and revisiting the original movie, Quentin is easily my favorite character out of the entire cast. Now this could be because he reminds me of me, but my man is a bundle of fun, wisdom, bad decisions, and he’s not afraid to be himself. And you know what, I like that, and you will too. My man is a basket full of kittens.

2. You really aren’t ready for the emotional rollercoaster that this movie will take you on. No, seriously. But you want to go along for this ride. After the last screening I attended, one of my guests said to me, “I will see this movie 20 more times if you have more free passes…P, let me know because I can’t wait to see it again!”

3. Seeing some of your favorite actors get…old…is a bit offputting. But what you realize is how much time and effort they put into keeping themselves Hollywood-ready. The youngest people in the cast are Taye Diggs and Sanaa Lathan…and they’re both 42. Morris Chestnutt is 44 but is outchea putting 20 year old’s to shame. Point is, if you’re lonely it’s good to have some folks to grow old with. And Melissa De Sousa (Shelby) is STILL bad as all hell. I mean good lawd.

4. So you remember how everybody in the first film was almost abnormally successful? I mean I come from a clique of homeys where every last one of us has at least a Master’s degree, with a couple lawyers, and a few Ph.D’s sprinkled in. But The Best Man had homeys coming from money, an accomplished writer, an NFL star, and potential high powered attorney who just wanted to help the kids. The curiosity in me wants to know if they managed to maintain that level of welloffedness…I mean somebody has to crash and burn right? Right? Most times we never get answers, but since this movie features the same folks some umpteen years later…we get answers…and I want them. As do you.

5. For the ladies, Morris Chestnut.

6. For the fellas, girl fight.

7. This is going to be an interesting reason but creep with me. Since Tyler Perry hit the scene, it seems like every Black non-hood pseudo mainstream movie is either Tyler Perry-esque, or goes way out of its way to NOT be Tyler Perry-esque. So it’s interesting to see a movie with a similar team take another crack at a movie that debuted before Tyler Perry stepped on the scene all crispy and clean. It’s almost impossible to watch movies now without drawing some parallels either in favor of or against TP-isms. Point here, for the movie buffs in you, I need to talk to everybody about the TP effect. And there are a few scenes that reaaaaaaaaaally tow that line.

8. While Ray J made the term “smashed the homie” popular, Harp was the original purveyor of bringing that into Black pop culture zeitgeist. Sure everybody’s doing it now, but Harp started that sh*t. Aren’t you even a little bit curious about how that relationship between Lance and Harp turned out all these years later? My man Harp got Lance to the altar and married amidst flashbacks of his girl getting backshots. Are they still cool? Did they manage to make it past that? Inquiring minds would like to know.

9. For entertainment purposes, I’ve got four words: Lance and Mia’s kids.

10. Ultimately, despite what some of us claim, characters we love from movies become part of how we frame certain moments in our own lives. Sure we always wonder how their lives turn out because we invested time and energy into caring about them. So the opportunity to see what happens in the lives of folks we love is fun and exciting. Sure some people like to leave stories where they ended. That’s cool, and I’ll let them finish, but if movies could last for 27 hours, maybe they’d have included the very sequels that folks claim to not care about. But they can’t, so we get sequels. I’m like Joe, I wanna know. I want to know what happened to Harper and Robin. I want to know if Murch ran into T-Pain and told him he was in love with a stripper and inadvertently launched the career of Teddy Pinnedherassdown. Lance is a football player…did my man catch a concussion and have his lips sealed by the NFL settlement or catch a career ending injury and blew his dough and end up on the next ESPN 30 For 30 entitled Still Broke? Did Harper become this great writer with all the books and all the accolades? I mean he hit Oprah off his first book. Now what? Did Q get a real job?

What the f*ck happened?!?!?! I want to know. And so do you. Even if you don’t think you do. And do you know why? Because when Busta Rhymes said, “gimme some more…” you all repeated it. He was talking about The Best Man. I care and so do you dammit.

So yes we’ve already talked about this. And yes, Champ stole my thunder since I’ve actually seen it. Tweece. Twice. Whatever I hate these things.

So that’s my reasoning. Without dropping any spoilers, I really think you’ll enjoy it. My feelings came all out watching it both times. And look me in my face, I ain’t got no worries.

To complete the murder, I’m ALSO going to do some of y’all a solid because I liked it (and you all) so much. I’ve got 30 passes to give a away to an advance screening of The Best Man Holiday in the DC area for next Wednesday, November 13th. I’ve got 15 passes for the AMC Georgetown at 730pm and 15 passes for Cinemark Egyptian at Arundel Mills at the same time and date (November 13th, 730pm). Oh and each pass admits 2 people!!! You and a friend, boo!

You know you want to see it. And I’ll be at the DC screening so we can all watch it together. TWINSIES! Here’s what you need to do if you want one of the passes for you and a friend!

Send an email to panama.jackson@gmail.com telling me why I should give you a pass. Make sure you tell me which screening location you want to attend and what type of gift you will bring with you to give to me as well. I don’t need a soliloquy, like Luther Vandross…just give me a reason to want you back.

See you at the movies.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. LET’S GO TO THE MOVIES, LET’S GO SEE THE STARS aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3

Where’s The Love Jones?

love-jones

***After watching Love Jones again last weekend, I was urged to revisit and revise something I wrote about the film for the Loop21 a few years ago***

Approximately halfway through Love Jones, the iconic 1997 romantic drama centered around a Chicago-area couple, protagonists Darius Lovehall (Larenz Tate) and Nina Mosley (Nia Long) attend a dance together—their first real “date” since a few somewhat contrived situations caused them to momentarily break away from each other. Predictably, the date goes extremely well. The otherworldly connection and chemistry Darius and Nina share is palpable, and, despite any romantic roadblocks (contrived or otherwise or just named “Bill Bellamy”), you know that things are going to work for them.

But, while this date night dance scene’s main purpose was to give the audience a visual segue from Darius and Nina’s short-term separation to their impending romance, writer/director Ted Witcher does something else, something a bit subtler and a bit more poignant. With the vibrant music, colorfully coordinated dance steps, and equally colorful (and equally coordinated) attire, Witcher introduces the audience to the world of Chicago steppin’—a derivative of swing dancing popular in the South and Midwest. Although the scene is only a couple minutes long, Witcher presents this dance phenomenon and the anonymous steppers to us with the same regard, enchantment, and love exhibited when the lens is focused on any of the main characters.

Says the late Roger Ebert:

“There’s electricity when they go on a date to the weekly steppers’ ball hosted by Herb Kent the Cool Gent, who plays himself. Steppin’ is a Chicago dance style that comes out of jitterbug, cooled down, and as we watch this scene we get that interesting feeling when a fiction film edges toward documentary and shows us something we haven’t seen before.”

In the 16 years since its release (damn, just typing that made me feel old as f*ck) Love Jones has gone from underappreciated romantic drama with a banging soundtrack to the cinematic standard for realistic black romance. (Well, “realistic” other than the fact that it featured a bunch of underemployed negros living in lofts…with exposed brick…in Chicago. But, who’s nitpicking?)

And, while the story and the chemistry between Tate and Long are the most memorable aspects of the film, Love Jones is held in such high regard because Ted Witcher was so obviously in love with everything he put into this movie. More than just a drama, it was an ode to Black culture, to Chicago, to music, to movies, to love, to words, to sex; a paean to the possibilities of people not constrained to 140 characters or less. It’s loved and appreciated because it loved and appreciated both its characters and its audience, a trait also found in Soul Food—a movie that, although not necessarily a romantic drama and not as universally praised as Love Jones, shared Love Jones’ love for its characters and their customs.

These movies, and the level of love and exuberance they were shot with, stand in stark contrast to much of today’s Black romantic fare—both at the theater and on the small screen—which seems to be content with browbeating the audience with messages so heavy-handed it feels like you’re being kicked. (Before this devolves into another angst-ridden conversation about all things wrong with Tyler Perry, I do think that Perry loves his characters. But, Ike loved Tina too, didn’t he?) Instead of a peek into a world we may not have been completely familiar with, we’re left with 60 to 120 minute long psychotherapy sessions and self-help pamphlets featuring people who have never existed on Earth, After Earth, or any other planet humans have ever lived on—movies where writers and directors use the screen as a palate to work out their own issues instead of allowing the audience a chance to be vicarious.

Maybe this cinematic shift is our doing. Maybe our expectations have devolved to the point that we wouldn’t be able to handle a Black movie with more love and nuance than ill will and temple knocking. Still, after watching Love Jones again last weekend, I think we’re ready for another one. We just need to find the love needed to pull it off.

—Damon Young (aka “The Champ”)

My Romantic Bucket List

"No Morg, I can't believe that we're both still alive either. And yes, we're both tempting fate by making a movie called Bucket List. F*ck b*tches, get money."

While it seems that most reading ninjas worship at the throne of Love Jones, I don’t. Maybe it’s because I’m taller than Larenz Tate. Or maybe it’s because I enjoyed him more as O’Dog than Darius Lovehall. Or maybe it’s because my favorite scene in the whole movie is when Khalil Kain tells Nia Long that he’s about to “get some motherf*cking Cap’n Crunch”. Me no know. I don’t begrudge ninjas their Love Jones jones, but when it comes to romanticalness, there’s another movie that tickles my fancy.

Jason’s Lyric.

Yep. That one.

See while everyone  else was watching Love Jones and loving the deep artistry of the artists and lines like “physics the sh*t ain’t”, I was watching Jason’s Lyric and being mesmerized at how a woman with the body of a 6-year-old could have THAT pretty a face. Jada Pinkett’s face was on dime status in that movie, but her body was a penny with a hole in it. Plus, the movie just appealed to more of what I was used to. Bank robberies, southern ‘hoods, pickup trucks, ninjas with perms, shootouts, This Is It restaurants (I swear until that movie I thought they only existed in Atlanta), big booty hoochies, jail, Juneteenth festivals, and airplanes. No B.o.B.

Well Jason’s Lyric also gave me a bunch of items I hope to achieve in my dating life. I’ve actually randomly pulled off a few of these items, but not effectively. Yes, Jason’s Lyric has managed to hold all of my life’s goals on my romantic bucket list.

I see you looking at me, looking at you, looking at me. You want to know what items are on my list? Well shut my mouth wide open, I intended to share it!

1. “I ain’t neva really watched the sun set befo’”

I want to say this to a woman at just the right moment. Part of the reason why I love Jason’s Lyric is because this lowly brotha met a woman who changed his world. That’s what I need in my life. In Love Jones, Darius and Nina had a jones for eachother, but I don’t feel like any of them gained much aside from having their jones satisfied. Lyric though? She had this brotha OPEN. Had him watching the sunset. Do you know why that mattered? No? Well, it’s cuz he ain’t neva really watched it before. I need a woman to expose me to some sh*t I ain’t really watched before. If she tries to show me the sunset, I’m gonna be mad though. I can read. I ain’t a criminal.

2. “If you go to the grocery store, I want to be in the next aisle. If you go to church, I want to be in the last pew. I just want to see you again.”

You know how Lisa Nicole Carson’s character “Big T*tty Woman Dating Lyric’s BankRobbingBrothar”  would just DAH for a ni**a to wash her feet? I’d just DAH to have a woman who made me utter these words. But I’ll be a monkey’s uncle if I ain’t WAITING to say this sh*t out loud to some woman. Real talk though, I might just say that to a banging woman just to get it out of my system.

3. Jack a city bus

Some people aspire to go to college. Some people aspire to be happy. Me? I aspire to jack a Metro bus and use it as my personal vehicle to commit random shenanigans in the name of impressing a woman because I…jacked a city bus. Okay, it needs work. But men love crazy women, and crazy women appreciate criminal activity…especially misdemeanors or better. You take a bus, you take her heart. It was written. And it is so.

4. Picnic in a random arse abandoned, well maintained building with a beautiful artsy mural painted on the ceiling

Nevermind that we have no idea how Jason’s low budget arse even knew the place existed. Or maybe I just don’t remember. Point is, how dope would it be to have an indoor picnic with some Andre champagne and sandwiches from Subway (eat fresh…a personal motto. heheheheh) with our hijacked bus just parked….out motherf*cking front. That would be real dope.

5. “F*ck it, I’m Prince Charming”

Mostly because I’m so not. I’m not even Prince Rogers Nelson. But I’m all about the game. Blouses. I just want to say this to a woman who will actually get the reference.

6. Laying pipe in a mom & pop electronics store

Just seems fun.

7. Bayou booty

Can’t say I’m trying to roll around and have somebody tape the scenes with strawgrass danging from my derriere or anything, but heckynaw, gettin’ some of that good lovin’ down by the riverside seems like some romantic sh*t. It’s almost like that time…in Centennial Park…at midni…I’ve said too much.

8. Meet a woman who makes me want to wash her feet with creekwater

Mostly because…ew. I am not sucking toes. I’ll tell ya that sh*t.

That’s my Jason’s Lyric inspired romantic bucket list.

Do you have one? If so, what’s on it? Is it inspired by anything? If not, make one up. It’s Cinco De Mayo. Drank.

Shake something.

-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka JULIO JULIO PONCHO PIMPIN’ PANNNAMA aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A TRES

A Final Word On This Tyler Perry/Love Jones Mess

10 days ago I decided to write a “screenplay” based on my vision of what a Tyler Perry produced remake of “Love Jones” would look like. Titled “A Sneak-Peek Into “Tyler Perry’s Love Jones”, it gave the first 10 minutes of “Love Jones” the complete Tyler Perry treatment (i.e.: the first scene was set in an Atlanta strip club/hair salon instead of a Chicago poetry spot, the idea of Christianity was beat into the audience’s head, etc).

Now, people familiar with VSB know I’ll occasionally throw out a completely satirical article from time to time — “10 dating and relationship tips from drake” and “the transcript (from every piece ever televised about “successful, but single” black women)” the most notable examples — and most immediately realized this was a joke. I don’t know exactly what gave it away, but if I had to guess, it would have been the very first paragraph of the “screenplay.”

Opening Scene:

Setting: “The Mortuary” — a popular hair salon/male strip club in Atlanta, Georgia.

As Walter Hawkins’ version of “Goin’ Up Yonder” plays in the backdrop, the camera pans over the highly engaged and eclectic crowd. Peach Snapple, an blaxican male stripper who vaguely resembles a much happier Scottie Pippen, dances on stage while the women sitting in the salon chairs — many of whom still have curlers in their hair — sway to the rhythmic claps of Peach Snapple’s muscular man booty.

But, not everyone came to this same realization, and within several hours, a “Tyler Perry is remaking Love Jones!!!!!!!!!!! No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” meme began to spread.¹

It started on Twitter.

Then a few message boards picked it up.

Rihanna, Chris Brown, Tyler Perry, Love Jones Remake?!?

Tyler Perry to remake…

After the message boards came the blogs.

Rumor Mill: Tyler Perry to Remake Iconic Black Romance Movie ‘Love Jones’

TYLER PERRY OPTION TO REMAKE BLACK CLASSIC, LOVE JONES?!

After the blogs came the videos.

Tyler Perry and the Remake of Love Jones

Some well-intentioned and unfortunate soul even started a freakin’ petition!

Stop Tyler Perry’s remake of Love Jones

By the end of last week, places where people actually get paid to vet and investigate the source and validity of rumors even began to report on it.

The Truth About Tyler Perry Doing ‘Love Jones’ Remake

(Out of all of the tweets, blogs, and articles, this one was easily the most disappointing. Wilson Morales — the author of this report — didn’t contact VSB, the ONLY source of this rumor, so this quote from his article “…Blackvoices.com has learned through sources how true the rumor is.” is a f*cking lie. )

The ‘Love Jones’ Remake: Is Tyler Perry Really Involved?

(To Jenée Desmond-Harris’s credit, she merely reported on BV On Movies’ report, and she cited VSB in her article as well. Still, I was puzzled why she didn’t just name VSB as the source of the rumor.)

Anyway, while reflecting on this entire farce, four thoughts came to mind.

1. The prevalence of the Derek Zoolander-ass n*ggas — people who either can’t or just refuse to actually read — has become pandemic

Last Tuesday, I went on a bit of a rant on Twitter denouncing those who believed this rumor to be true.

From Twitter.com/VerySmartBros:

irony — people who believed the T.Perry/Love Jones rumor possessed the same traits (ie: not “getting” nuance or humor) they hate Perry for.

and yes, if you thought that shit was true, #shotsfired at you.

sorry about the rant. just had to get it off my chest. and by “get it off my chest” i mean “remind you all why dumb n*ggas need to die!!!”

An hour or so after posting it, I re-read this rant and immediately started to feel uneasy. It seemed elitist, judgmental, and mean. And, while I, um, am elitist, judgmental, and (occasionally) mean, I thought I’d gone too far; harshly mocking people who weren’t as well-read as I am.

I then re-read the original entry, and all thoughts of being too harsh flew out the window.

Seriously, how the f*ck can anyone read that and think it was real???

A movie set in a strip club/hair salon??? A character named Vaseline Williams??? Chris Brown and Rihanna as the leads??? Loretta Devine cast as Rihanna’s Puerto Rican homegirl???

Also, do you know how many major motion pictures have been released where the movie opens to a male stripper bootyclapping while the appreciative crowd nods on rhythm?

(No rush. Take whatever time you need to Google this answer.)

Okay. time’s up. The answer? ZERO!

Why zero? Because it can’t happen!

Why not? Because if you were to put a scene like that in movie, it would immediately go from “major motion picture” to “porno.There’s no way in hell that anyone, Tyler Perry included, would even consider putting a scene like this in an “R” rated movie.

Anyway, after seeing how far the rumor has gone, it makes perfect sense why a there’s a better chance of Muammar Gaddafi winning a WNBA dunk contest than a black movie winning an Oscar today. While there are pockets of very smart brothas and sistas, we’re either too small in number or too apathetic to drown out the never ending cacophony of idiocy emitting from our brethren and sistren. As long as this is true, the vast majority of our art will continue to pander to this audience. I weep for the young.

2. “Black people” and “satire” just don’t seem to mix very well

Maybe it’s because of the fact that this whole living in America thing has made us hyper-sensitive to any slights, real or perceived. Maybe it’s a bit of a chicken-egg phenomenon — we’re used to a certain type of “call in response” type art, art meant to induce crowd participation, and the only way satire works is if you pay absolutely no attention to the audience and give them no indication that you’re not serious. And, well, maybe the topics near and dear us are satire-proof. (Think about it: Out of the six most prominent cinematic examples of satire produced by black people — “Hollywood Shuffle,” “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka,” “Don’t Be A Menace…,” “Bamboozled,” the underrated “Undercover Brother,” and “Black Dynamite” — three of them parodied the same topic — the blaxploitation era. Maybe there’s really no other “black” era you can safety satirize without trepidation.)

Regardless of the reason, it seems like we tend to like our humor to be a little less subtle and less controversial and uncomfortable. While this by itself isn’t a major issue, I do think this need to be winked at and have stuff spelled out ruins our bullshit detectors as well; leaving us unable to sniff out what’s real and who we need to believe.

I won’t say that believing R. Kelly’s not a pedophile and believing that “The Maintenance Men” were a real group are definitely related, but believing R. Kelly’s not a pedophile and believing that “The Maintenance Men” were a real group are definitely related.

3. Tyler Perry is black America’s Rorschach test

While I’ll continue to chide those who actually read the original entry and still thought it to be true, I can’t really fault a person for seeing a “Tyler Perry is remaking Love Jones” tweet or link and forwarding it before investigating. The level of feeling (positive and/or negative) Perry produces in many black people is indisputably palpable, and it’s understandable that the mere mention he’d remake a movie so near and dear to so many would have people seeing red.

I’ve written before about our angst-ridden discussions about Tyler Perry, so there’s no need to have another one now. But, is there another entertainer who could not only could produce a firestorm by just the thought of their name being attached to a classic, but also have people think he’s crazy/ambitious/unscrupulous/tone deaf/powerful enough to actually do it?²

(My answer? R. Kelly. I might be wrong, but I think if I wrote about the R-uh remaking Marvin Gaye’s  “What’s Going On,” the rumor would have spread just as quickly)

4. We really seem to love us some “Love Jones”

I have to admit, the amount of people so adamant about protecting this movie from Perry’s claws surprised me.³ While I know I was 14 years late in seeing it, I thought I had an accurate grasp on how much resonance it still held with people who have. I was wrong.

We will kill for “Love Jones.” Now, we just need to find a way to kill for “reading comprehension” and “fact-checking” so another Love Jones-like movie can be made.

¹I have to admit that although I wasn’t attempting to start a rumor, once I realized some people actually believed this screenplay to be true, we (Liz, Panama, and I) did everything we could to fan the flames. I think I even signed that damn petition.

²As Panama joked to me last week, the whole “Tyler Perry remaking an iconic black classic” thing isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility. Wouldn’t that be something if he heard the rumor and then thought to himself “Sh*t. Why not? I can do this” and actually did it? If that did actually happen — and my blog was the impetus behind it — would Australia or Antarctica be the best place for me to hide from the millions of bespectacled blacks who’d want to kill me?

³I was also surprised that so many people were surprised I hadn’t seen it until now. I mean, Love Jones made 12 million at the theater. It’s not like the entire country went to go see it, and it’s not like it’s exactly easy to find it on HBO or even TNT. Y’all n*ggas need to get a grip.

—The Champ

A Different World?

It’s no secret that I attended an HBCU. I went to the one that everybody either loves or hates but everybody wants to be like. (Girl) You know it’s true, ooh ooh ooh, I love you.

And do you know why I love you?

It’s because we’re marriage material.  Straight up, like that. Ask ya mama.

Anybody who went to an HBCU will tell you that its like living in a bubble. It’s pretty much a false representation of what the real world looks like. In fact, the real world looks nearly exactly opposite of an HBCU – a place where all the ninjas read and aren’t afraid of information. We all hope that when we leave we’ll enter a world where life was exactly like college but it never is…

…which is why so many Black women who graduate stay single for so long. The second we graduate, there is a significant power shift from the women dominated-choice-is-yours to the male-centric-its a thousand yous and only one of mes dynamic. But that’s not what this post is about. See, I had a revelation recently. A realization, if you will. Plymouth Rock landed on me something fierce and it took three Muslims and two Pac’s to show me the way. You see, I discovered that life at PWI (predominantly white institutions) wasn’t like life at HBCUs.

I knew that, but I didn’t really know that. Nahmean?

See, I assumed that all Black folks shared the same college experience, but that’s not true. Who knew? And what am I talking about? Glad you asked. Here are some assumptions I made about all ninjas in college.

1) Everybody’s college goal wasn’t to live life like A Different World

Nearly all of us that went to HBCUs went and had some expectation of it being something like A Different World. Hell, my experience was a lot like that. Do you know that I recently met somebody who who couldn’t remember Whitley OR Dwayne Wayne’s name? She told me that she’d seen the show but never really got into it. Floored me like four shots of Patron and a Rihanna rendition of “Lift Every Voice And Sing”. I just assumed that all Black folks wanted that life. Apparently I was wrong. And if two wrongs don’t make a right, and three rights make a left, upside down and inside out is the same things as back back, forth and forth, then I’ll be a monkey’s uncle. Bubbles.

Sidenote: What the f*ck is up with Kanye’s videos for My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy?  Who would have thought his 34 minute mini-movie would be the best video to come out of the whole thing? The absolute best thing about the “All Of The Lights” video is Rihanna’s boobs. Man, they look lovely. I would propose to them, and even if they told me no, I’d say thanks for the opportunity. Other than that, the video, though colorful seems like it needs to come with a warning because of the epileptic seizures it’s sure to cause. Oh, and Kanye needs a fashion intervention. Thank you.

2) That everybody sat around watching movies like Love Jones, The Best Man, Friday, Thin Line etc…

We pretty much only watched Black movies on repeat. In case you aren’t aware, Champ really liked Love Jones and just saw it for the first time. Which he’s made sure to let us know a few times. He also hasn’t seen a plethora of other movies that were just standard fare at my HBCU and I’m sure were at others. If a Black movie came out, we all went…together. Like we shut sh*t down in the A. The Wood? Check. Love & Basketball? Check. Stomp The Yard? Check. We might think they suck, but we’re gonna go see them and watch the over and over. I thought all ninjas did that.  I mean, we all Black.  Ise ‘ron.

3) College was littered with poets and “Sanctuary” style events

I can’t tell you how many sh*tty poets were running rampant at my and other HBCUs. It’s like an HBCU rite of passage: thou shalt attempt to be a poet. Everybody is required to write at least one poem in order to graduate. Every Tuesday, we had some kind of poetry event, not to mention our Underground Live events. Random celebs would just come chill. It’s where I learned to add “fallacy of reality” and “virgin to the mic” into my lexicon and realized that I needed to talk about my soul a lot. That’s what ninjas at HBCUs do, we talk about our soul.

4) Experiment with religions that contradict your upbringing

If you went to a school upnorf, chances are you there were a few 5 Percenters on your campus. I went to an HBCU, there was like a 5 Percenter smoker, BBQ, and bake sale. We had so many random “religious” organizations and pseudo-spiritual ninjas running around. And these would be the dudes shouting down the white man….except for their white mothers. Let’s just say, there was a noticeable population of “spiritual” ninjas who nobody took serious. I’m not sure if this happens at PWIs but I figured, ya know, there were ninjas named Golden Sun on EVERYBODY’s campus.

5) Spend seven years in undergrad

Um…#hbcushotsfired?

Anyway, my people, my people, are there any assumptions you had about the opposite situation (HBCU vs PWI) that you may have found out just wasn’t the case?

When did you fall in love with hiphop realize that Black folks weren’t monolithic?

Talk to me.

-VSB P aka HBC P aka THE ARSONIST aka lower.case.p aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3