Be Kind, Rewind.

First off, Happy (Day After) Father’s Day to all the father’s of VSB.  Good job.

This past weekend, I finally saw Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes To Jail.  Now slap me silly and call me Susan, but it seems to me like his movies are getting better.  Granted, Madea Goes To Jail seemed like two movies that they tried to make into one (there were actually times that I forgot I was watching a Madea-focused movie) but I wasn’t appalled at myself after it went off.  And I’ve been mad at myself for watching Tyler Perry movies before. Continue reading

10 Things You Need To Know If You Ever Play Spades

picture-8Spades is the official card game of the African-American community.  I don’t want to hear about bid whist or gin.  I almost think it should be taught to little Black boys and girls since anytime I meet a Black person who can’t play spades…

…I don’t trust them and think their upbringing was lacking.

Spades is the kind of game people get stabbed over.  Friendships have been f*cked, relationships ruined, and new love interests have turned to utter disgust at their very sight.  This can happen all within a matter of seconds.

Thing is, all of this can be avoided – quite simply too.  You see, just like anything in life, there are rules to this sh*t.  Here are 10.

1.  Never ever ever ever ever overstate your spades abilities. More fights could be avoided if somebody didn’t front like they were better than they are.  If you’ve been playing spades for a solid 2 weeks, there’s no way you’re going to be able to team up with somebody who’s been playing for 10 years.  Stay in your lane, Hyundai.

2.  Because rules differ by region, ALWAYS MOTHERF*CKING ASK THE RULES IF YOU’RE NEW TO THE CREW THAT’S PLAYING. This serves two purposes: 1) you won’t be the reason your team loses because you “didn’t know” that the 2 of Diamonds trumps the 2 of Spades; and 2) you won’t have to say some stupid sh*t like, “well I didn’t know because we don’t play like that where I’m from” which will more than likely piss of your partner who assumed you knew since you probably pretended you could hang no matter where you were.  Don’t die behind the deuce, dumas.

3.  Do not be wrong on calling out somebody for renigging. Saying somebody renigged gets the same reaction as a white chick saying she was raped by a Black man in the 1800s.  Anger, disbelief, etc.  You better be right and you better be able to pick out the book that’s fugazi.  Saying somebody renigged is basically calling them liars.  In the wild West, it got you shot.  In Brooklyn, it might get you street sweepered.  Plus if you’re wrong, your partner pays the price.  Be sure, b*tch.

4.  Don’t talk across the board. You ain’t bleeding and and everybody knows what you mean when you start mentioning the Black B*tch.  You’re not fooling anybody.  Just stop it.  People have been shot for less.

5.  If you can’t take it, don’t dish it. Do not be the jacka** who stands up, sticks the cards to his forehead, and talks beaucoup sh*t when winning if you get all salty and b*tchmade when  your’e down 100, you Game a** ninja..  Real talk, I’ve seen fights break out because of trash-talking at the spades table.  I’ve also been involved in one.  I shouldn’t have slapped that dude with the Big Joker.  Oh well, we won.

6.  Play to win.  If you have Ace’s, lead with them.  Don’t try to get cute by starting out with a 10 of Hearts just to see what everybody else has like that’s a real strategy.

Speaking of…

7.  Learning how to properly count books and possibles is a skill.  (And everybody can’t do it). I HATE people who constantly underbid because they don’t know how to read their hand.  If you have 13 cards and only 1 of them is a Heart, well, you have CUT CARDS.  That means you probably have more books than you think.  On the other hand, if you have 6 spades, ranging from 3-8, well, you just might not have the 8 books that you think you do.  Plus, depending on where you’re playing, sandbagging might get you f*cked up in the game.

8.  Pay attention to the cards that are being played. More people suck at spades because they don’t know how to read the table.  Observation will get you everywhere.  Stop looking at the chicks who aren’t watching you watching you play.

9.  Make sure you know which Joker is the BIG Joker. This is important enough to get its own line.  I will be ready to fight you if you “think” you have the BIG Joker and you don’t.  Ask before you start playing dummy.  Then again, if I’d chosen my partner wisely,  I wouldn’t have had that problem.  Bitter daze.

10.  If you must be cocky and animated, PRACTICE YOUR DAMN CARD SLAP ON YOUR OWN TIME. I’ve mastered the slap-and-spin.  Whether on the table by itself or on top of other cards.  My cut-card will spin like its life depended on it.  Also, I like to get that nice crisp slap that just lets other people around know you just got your a** handed to you.  And I will slap the table with cards a lot.  I win, b*tch.

BONUS:  As with any game, if you lose, get your happy a** up off the table, say good game and congratulate the people who beat you.  Nobody likes the Lebron a** ninjas salty b*tches who can’t take losing with dignity.

These were just 1o of the general rules associated with playing spades and keeping your life.  What are the other rules people need to know about spades playing??

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Jockin' Jay-Z??

jay_z_main

By now, the whole world should have heard Jay-Z’s newest creation, the No I.D./Kanye West production, “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)”.  Of course, Diddy is having a sh*tfit right now since his overly promoted album Last Train To Paris (due out in September) is all auto-tuned.  In fact, this dumas asked T-Pain’s “permission” to Auto-Tune his whole album, brought in the owner of the Big A** Chain, and gave him a point on his album for his assistance.

the duchess movie download Oh and why is Diddy having a sh*tfit?  Well, because as the makers of Cristal now know, once Jay-Z says something, the people follow.  After all, Jay does this for his culture.  And as a culture, we look to Jay for guidance.

Right?

Hmm.

As a song, “D.O.A.” is good but, it’s not great.  The “hook” would have been better if he’d just allowed the horns to blow instead of the kind of cliché “goodbye, goodbye…etc”.  Also, I almost find it interesting that Jay really isn’t saying too much of anything on the song about Auto-Tune until he gets to the end, which I suppose is the point.  By doing a whole song with no Auto-Tune on it, it’s not fit for the charts, radio, or iTunes since in current rap, T-Painin’ runs rampant.  He tells us that rappers need to stop singing, which is true.

Anyway, Jay declaring Auto-Tune dead got me to thinking about how much of a trendsetter Jay-Z really is.  I’m starting to think that Jay gets too much credit for some things and not enough credit in other areas, so I guess it all evens out.  For instance, in my opinion, Auto-Tune has kind of been on the way out.  Or at least it’s not as prominent as it was a few months ago.  For one, I rarey hear T-Pain on the radio right now.  Lil Wayne uses it pretty consistently, but even then it seems more artistic than crutch-y. and he’s still rapping.  Of course, Diddy was on his, “I’m gonna Auto-Tune a whole album” but really, does ANYBODY care about a new Puffy album?

Cassie doesn’t even care and she’s his oatmeal bowl.

Even Kanye is like, “i’m rapping on my next album.”  Auto-Tune might not be on the way “out” per se, but it’s not as prevalent as it was when it was harder to find somebody not using it than somebody using it.  So if Auto-Tune is indeed on the way out, it seems more like the natural progression of basically playing itself out.  Same with throwback jersey’s.  Now, I’m not going to diminsh what Jay did with one line.  He essentially killed Mitchell & Ness’s* livelihood.  But like Aut0-Tune, by then, throwbacks had become too cliché.  Folks were wearing throwback jersey dresses and throwback basketball jerseys of baseball teams and basically wearing stuff that made no sense whatsoever.  I feel like in those instances, Jay more or less put the final stamp on an already diminshing trend.

I mean I guess in that regard, Jay is responsible in ending a trend sooner than it might have ended on its own, but I feel like he isn’t totally “responsible”.

By the way, he TRIED to convince people that 30 was the new 20 but it really didn’t work.

Now, let’s take a look at trends Jay is “responsible” for:

Continue reading

“i’m from a place…”

the people

exceedingly (and sometimes annoyingly) unpretentious, passionate, and unflinching, they remain the best part about the burgh. i’ve been to thirty-six states, four countries, and two continents, yet i haven’t seen a group of people with the same combination of folksy wherewithal and metacognitive sincerity. a place where, since everybody knows their own name and what the hell theyre supposed to be doing, there’s no need for wolf tickets and disingeniousness.  no flashes in the pan.  just fries. with everything…

pbrothers

…cause if you spend your entire life with your heart on your sleeve, theres no shame in it attacking you when its time to go.

the radio jingle for davids shoes…which every black pittsburgher can recite on demand

” i get my shoes from davids. davids shoes in east libetttttttttttttttttty”

kennywood day

quoting sully:

“Kennywood is a Pittsburgh tradition and historic landmark founded in 1898. Completely ingrained in the Pittsburgh culture, it’s practically assumed that every school districy, township, borough and several companies will host an annual Kennywood Day.

Virtually every Pittsburgher visits Kennywood each year and many more than once. Many end up working there at some point. I currently work with at least 2 ex-Kennywood employees, one of whom is married to an ex-Kennywood employee. Having lived in other cities, I can think of no other amusement park as completely ingrained in a cities identity as Kennywood.”

the friday before a steeler game

from baby’s with big ben bibs to sweet and senile grandmothers spewing savages swears at the mere mention of a seattle seahawk or baltimore bird, the entire city becomes a single-minded molitov cocktail: the borg with black and gold fangs

put it this way: downtown pittsburgh the friday before a steeler game is the only place in the country you’ll see lawyers rocking polamalu jerseys underneath $200 dollar jones new youk suits from burlington $3,000 zegna suits.

thats enough about me. tell us, people of verysmartbrothas.com: where are you from, and what about it makes you smile?

—the champ