The World’s 10 Greatest Enunciating-Ass Negroes, Ranked » VSB

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The World’s 10 Greatest Enunciating-Ass Negroes, Ranked

(Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

10. Pusha T

No one has ever made crack speak so crisp. You listen to him say “Arm & Hammer and a Mason jar, that’s my dinner date” and you want to diagram a sentence.

9. Tika Sumpter

Perhaps the world’s most underrated enunciator. She’s the Paul Millsap of enunciation.

8. Phylicia Rashad

I heard her speak on a panel at the August Wilson Center for African American culture once, and every word she spoke sounded like money. Like, she’d say “May I have a pretzel, please?” and I’d hear “there’s 50 years of training and 30 million dollars behind this vowel sound.”

7. Mike Colter 

Enunciates on screen like someone who thinks they’re doing a voiceover and hasn’t yet realized we can see him too.

6. Michelle Obama

When they go low, we pronounce every damn letter in “high.”

5. Viola Davis

Has perfected the enunciation of shame. She can enunciate a word and make you reevaluate your life and question your entire reason for living. When she enunciates, niggas find God.

4. Micheal Eric Dyson

Is easily the Guinness world record holder in fully articulated syllables per second.

3. Joe Morton

Regularly makes syllables his bitch. Like, syllables see Joe Morton coming and they avert their eyes and cross the street. He treats syllables like they were talking shit about him in a GroupMe chat and he just found out about it.

2. Courtney B. Vance

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Vance/Bassett household, just to hear Courtney say “we ran out of toilet paper” or “pass me my gout ointment and a straw” and make it sound profound as fuck.

1. Angela Bassett

This is why she still looks so good. All of that stretching and straining from enunciating is keeping her in great shape.

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • I kept waiting for Michael Eric Dyson aka Rapper MED to show up on one of those rap battles that they used to film around International P’s pool table.

    Roy Jones Jr. – The patron saint of country-a** pugilists let you hear every word.
    Chuck Berry- Sang his words extra clear.

    • miss t-lee

      “Roy Jones Jr. – The patron saint of country-a** pugilists let you hear every word.”

      YOU MUSTA FORGOT!

      • Brother Mouzone

        Roy is starting to stammer a lot. The last 5 years of his career were not good for his brain health.

        • miss t-lee

          I haven’t paid attention to Roy since he was boxing.

    • Michael Eric Dyson talks so fast that I often miss his last point for fear of missing the next one.

      • Val

        I get distracted by his $100 words and lose track of what he’s saying.

        • Brother Mouzone

          He speaks like he has a thesaurus app on his phone that he studies constantly.

  • Tam

    It is not only the enunctation but also the authority behind the way they speak. It is you “better pay attention or else”

  • KNeale

    Everybody go watch that scene in AHS Coven when she talking to the witch hunter.
    “When I plant a fat-ascz crack3r bisch, I expect her to stay planted, not come back up like goddamm ragweed!” IF that aint the most enunicated sentence I don’t know what is. I love it!!!

    • tiggatae

      Yes! Yes! One of my favorite lines!!!

    • I love her in Coven.. “Disrespecting Me!”

    • Jennifer

      Ryan Murphy couldn’t dream of writing a line like that in his sleep. She must have improvised it.

  • miss t-lee

    People that I love to hear talk:

    Maya Angelou, Barbara Jordan (rest their souls)
    Idris Elba
    Randy Moss
    Shannon Sharpe
    Viola Davis x 1000

    • Tam

      Do you think got that way by speaking through clenched teeth for an hour straight every day for a year?.

      • miss t-lee

        I’m sorry, what?

        • Tam

          Lol. I wonder if they perfect that enunciation by speaking through clenched teeth

          • miss t-lee

            Who?

            • Tam

              Forget it.

              • miss t-lee

                bwhahha

                • Tam

                  I would say I hate you but I don’t

                  • miss t-lee

                    It’s okay, I’m just trying to understand what you were saying.

    • Valerie

      “I, Barbara Jordan am a keynote speaker”.
      Randy Moss and Shannon Sharpe? Interesting choices.

      • Shannon is the heavy-tongued gift that keeps on giving.

        • Valerie

          But Randy Moss? Must be the accent lol

          • Randy is interesting to listen too.

          • miss t-lee

            It’s the accent all day.

            • Brother Mouzone

              West Virginia twang. He was my favorite football player.

              • miss t-lee

                Yes, I know…lol
                I also miss seeing him on the field.

        • miss t-lee

          Exactly.

        • ? cynmac’s reclaiming her time

          That lisp tho. No.

      • miss t-lee

        Loved me some Barbara. Used to love to hear her get folks together at the House of Representatives. And her speeches at the Democratic conventions.

      • miss t-lee
    • siante

      love, love, love, love Maya Angelou’s way of speaking.

      • miss t-lee

        It’s regal!

      • LadySiriboe

        I can’t.! It’s too slow.

        • cysinblack

          She’s a measured speaker. Not willing to mispronounce nor say something not well thought.

          • LadySiriboe

            K, measurements.

        • siante

          but…….she’s country & had to learn how not to sound like she was from every backwoods— I notice a lot of my country family members talk slow like that when they’re tryna sound “bougie” lol

          • LadySiriboe

            K.

          • miss t-lee

            Definitely true.

        • hahaha

    • Val

      Shannon? Lol

      • miss t-lee

        Yes honey.
        I like people who sound like folks I know.

        • MsSula

          I actually love the Texan accent. Even the West Texas one. I like things that make you stand out. The American standard accent sounds a bit boring to me.

          • miss t-lee

            Agreed.

    • I don’t know how well they enunciate but I love to hear:
      Lupita -#duh
      Stan Lee- Stan is a legend.
      Scarlet Johannson – Whiskey voice
      Aisha Sesay – See Lupita
      Ike Taylor – he is special type of country.

      • siante

        upvote for Lupita!

      • I have a co-worker from Trinidad, who often facetimes with her sister and mother. To hear them buss it up is a fuckin treat. (She uses no accent at all with the rest of the company. )
        It makes my day.

        • One of my friend’s wife is from Tobago and she cannot pronounce the “TH” at the end of my name.

        • Tam

          You mean the liberal ” allyuh”

        • Simms~

          Me all day. While I don’t affect an American accent while at work, I speak clearly enough for others to understand unless I’m speaking with a fellow Trini. Then it’s a wrap.

          • You could read me the phone book.

            • Simms~

              If we ever meet in person, I got you. LOL.

              • *orders 2 bibles, a set of old school encyclopedias, and a bottle of wine off eBay *…

          • Brother Mouzone

            Got fam in Diego Martin…to da bone!

            • Simms~

              My dad’s fam is from Diego Martin. Maybe we’s famalee?

              • Brother Mouzone

                Neva know..lol

        • Uncle Remus

          I’m in front of groups on a regular basis and work in a dual language immersion program on top of coming from a family where public speaking was an expectation from age 5, so I’ve got the “I have the floor” voice. I also grew up country as hayle. Every once in while, I get on the phone with back home folks and once I hang up, my co-workers (from around the world) are like, “What language was that? I thought it was English, but I couldn’t understand most of it!”

        • Michelle

          I am the only “yankee” out of my sista-circle of friends (the group consists of a pair of Trinis, a Jamaican, a Guyanese, a Yoruba and a Ghanaian). When they start up, I just chill in the background. We’ve been friends since preschool/high school and I still haven’t picked up the dialects.

          • Im so used to her, that I understand every word. The great is when shes interrupted, and has to hide her screen – and switch to perfect English faster than you can blink.

            • Ms.Moon

              I used to babysit for my mom’s friend my family is Trinidadian. Her daughter was three when I started sitting and when she had her son he would come to the house too. Both were white it was the cutest thing because when they were with us they would sound like us, one time her mother came over to pick her up and couldn’t recognize her daughter’s voice at all because she’d been playing all day with our cousins. This young woman is in her 20’s now but when she’s with us she switches back she hasn’t lost her accent with her family.

              • That had to be fun as heII, lol

                • Tam

                  Have you ever been to TNT Pops?

                  • About 10 yrs ago, but I was seriously out of my element back then.

                • Ms.Moon

                  Her poor mother would not know what her daughter was saying when she’d come home especially when my cousins of similar age were around because we don’t hear our accent.

              • Tam

                My little cousin is here from the States and within recent times I have heard him trying to speak in our accent

      • miss t-lee

        Definitely Lupita!

    • Detroit Skater

      I looooove to hear Randy Moss talk!

      • “These boys can’t jump with me! Golly!”

        • Detroit Skater

          i read this in his voice…..LOL.. it’s the accent.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Little known fact: Randy Moss is the one who coined the now over used phrase, take the top off the defense.
          When Green Bay coaches said they weren’t going to double cover him in 1998, he said…*Moss accent- thye bayeter brang a safety over, or imma tyke the top off the DAYfeence.

      • miss t-lee

        He reminds me so much of my country cousins. I love it.

        • Detroit Skater

          same here….. LOL

          • miss t-lee

            *daps*

    • Mannn… if i could pull off a Idris Elba first call of the day, I’d be beatin em off with a stick.

      • miss t-lee

        Ha!!!

      • LadySiriboe

        You have to back it up with heights and looks.

        • Welp…im too short, and most people say I look like a cross between Ali and Ray Parker Jr.
          I guess i would have to stick to phone secks :(
          ThanksLady

          • LadySiriboe

            I don’t know who those are.

      • Mary Burrell

        You are better looking than Idris Alba.

        • you’re way too kind

          • Mary Burrell

            No it’s true.

    • OrangeStarrHappyHunting

      Only for his accent @ Idris.
      I love accents.

      • miss t-lee

        Definitely. It’s so a thing.

    • Mary Burrell

      And the late Lynn Thigpen may she rest in peace.

      • miss t-lee

        Another good one.

    • Brother Mouzone

      We’re you kidding with Shannon Sharpe? Did you mean his brother Sterling?

      • miss t-lee

        I said what I said.

        • Brother Mouzone

          Ok, lol…Sterling is an enuciator, Shannon is a garbler

          • miss t-lee

            Are you done?

            • Brother Mouzone

              He sounds like mush mouth from the Cosby Kids cartoon….ok, now I’m done.

              • miss t-lee

                Glad you got that out of your system.

  • Val

    Freddie Jackson is a very underrated enunciator. Listen for your yourself, never misses a “T’ for instance. He’s definitely the best enunciating R&B singer.

    And Reverend Jesse Lee Paterson is one of the worst enunciaters of all time. And he actually has a radio show!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IEJlSGRX1Y
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xodU_8kDYiE

    • Did you ever hear Jessie Lee’s interview with Champ and Peej? ugh.

      • Val

        I missed that gem. Lol

      • miss t-lee

        OMG yes.
        It was so terrible…lol
        When he started interrogating PJack bwhahaha

        • About his family right?

          • miss t-lee

            Yes. All in his business.

    • Brother Mouzone

      My gramps used to like Nat King Cole, he had serious enunciating skills too.

  • Lakia Nichole

    I agree with this entire list. Each of them grabs my attention when they speak. Especially Michael Eric Dyson.

    • grownandsexy2

      Yes. Michael got the gift.

    • He has a small part with Common on the Glasper Experiment album thats excellent.

      • Sweet Potato Kai ?

        Excellent is a stretch. Excellent for the 2nd one is an abomination! Sorry, not sorry.

        • He sounds better than you…

          • Sweet Potato Kai ?

            You sure? You heard me?

            • Lmao….i tried it.
              Still love u tho. Punk

              • Sweet Potato Kai ?

                You sure did! One of these days……..

  • Brass Tacks

    I’m far too city-country to ever make this list. But I have been told I have a very nice voice on numerous occasions (It happened again like two hours ago.)

    Im cool with it.

    • Val

      #Hottoding. Hi, Brass.

    • I’ve only been told this first thing in the morning, lol. Straight raspy and deep.

      • cysinblack

        When I read you I put a sarcastic grown black man whine to it.

        • I almost get what youre saying. I use a lot of “maaaan gtfoh’s” in high pitch sometimes, lol.

      • Brother Mouzone

        My wake up voice is straight up Barry White/Don Cornelius.

    • siante

      Kudos- Most of my family is in ATL, & they have that fast (city-country) way of speaking, but most of them don’t enunciate enough for me to understand what they’re saying all the time:/

      • Brother Mouzone

        Ced the Entertainer had a hilarious bit on the fast, city/country accent.

    • LadySiriboe

      So long as you don’t speak like Tiny n em, we good.

      How are you my sweetheart. People are doubting my love for you. Can you imagine?

      • Brass Tacks

        Hmmm…Im not here as often so I have no idea what goes on when im away.

        Just be there when I call and I have no issues.

        • I just read this in James Earl Jones voice….

        • LadySiriboe

          Just be there when I call…because I look like a slave/servant?

          • Brass Tacks

            I answer when you call.

            Does that mean i’m a slave?

            • LadySiriboe

              I don’t order you.

              • Brass Tacks

                Yeah…Im not doing this.

                • LadySiriboe

                  Goodnight. It’s the end of the month.

    • OrangeStarrHappyHunting

      I agee, like I can do it, I can enunciate but my twang is way breezier, it just flows.

      • miss t-lee

        I can hide mine until I say numbers. Then it’s a dead giveaway…lol
        Or if I’m p!ssed.

        • OrangeStarrHappyHunting

          People swear I’m from the country, I’m a Washingtonian, my folks are though.

          • miss t-lee

            I’m sure it rubs off.

            • OrangeStarrHappyHunting

              That where it came from learning how to talk as a baby around my country fam.

              • miss t-lee

                It definitely happens…lol

        • P!ssed…i can probably make you cut yourself when im p!ssed. I get crazy direct and proper

          • miss t-lee

            *cackling*

        • Michelle is my First Lady

          I have a non regional accent. Until I say “wudder” (water) and everybody is like WTF you from? Jersey?

          Yup.

          • miss t-lee

            Mine ain’t non regional for sh*t…lol
            People here say I don’t have one, Folks not from here pick up on it immediately.

    • Michelle

      And here I thought that I was the only person that called themselves ‘city-country’.
      I was born and raised in NYC, yet, I speak with a Southern dialect. It’s due to being raised by people, who were from “down south” and it just stuck.
      Meanwhile, I have cousins who are also New Yorkers that sound like Fran Fine or Rosie Perez. LOL!

  • #6 I’m so done.

  • Val

    No James Earl Jones?

    • Darkchloe144

      That deserves a Whoops.

    • I’m with you Val, lol

    • cysinblack

      His brooding voice is so immaculate.

    • Tam
      • Val

        And he’s the voice of CNN.

        • Tam

          And Darth Vader

          • Looking4Treble

            “I find your lack of enunciation disturbing…”

          • Cheech
            • miss t-lee

              Love this movie!

            • BrothasKeeper

              But….Morgan Freeman’s voice is available on a GPS.

              • Cheech

                Oh, I’m a fan of Morgan’s voice too. He def deserves a mention. But he doesn’t come before JEJ.

                *googles Morgan Freeman GPS*

          • Hot Spicy Fries

            “Semi, you will be confined to our royal suite at the Waldorf Astoria!”

            • Brother Mouzone

              MY SON WORKS??!!

        • Looking4Treble

          Thanks Val. Now I will be hearing “THIS…is CNN” in my head for the rest of the day :-)

      • kneelbeforetigers

        FULL TEARS… that scene is truly a heart-breaker.

    • Brass Tacks

      The nerve of mofos trying to give Morgan Freeman his crown.

      Nope

      • Tam

        So God can not win over his creation?

      • Randle Aubrey
        • Anitajcoy

          Doctor25a

          Google is paying 97$ per hour! Work for few hours and have longer with friends & family! !ai15d:
          On tuesday I got a great new Land Rover Range Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable but you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
          !ai15d:
          ??
          ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash305BuzzAge/Pay$97/Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::!ai15l..,.

      • Michelle

        I would like for Morgan Freeman to narrate a day of my life.

        • Aintnuthinwrongwitcornbread

          Morgan Freeman voice:

          Michelle woke up positive the Lord would give her the strength to deal with them white folk at the office. Between them and her man, her patience was an Andy Dufrense rock hammer.

          • BrothasKeeper
            • Sidenote, Morgan freeman has never looked less than 61 a day in his life.

              • BrothasKeeper

                He was born looking like that.

                • ahahhhahah LOL

                • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

                  LOL. Every movie he does look the same without changing one way or the other.

                • Monica Anne Bauer

                  He’s got that reverse Benjamin Botton syndrome.

              • Brother Mouzone

                He’s definitely on the list of people who were old even when they were young. Anyone have any more? I see your Morgan Freeman, and I counter with Esther Rolle.

              • nyxgirl

                I just hollered reading this!!

          • FormerlyKnownasSweetGaBrown

            I read that in morgan freeman.

          • lkeke35

            Tag yourself if you read all of the above in Morgan Freeman’s voice!

        • SororSalsa

          I saw Morgan Freeman at a hotel last year, when he was in DC for the correspondent’s dinner. It was a thing of beauty to hear that mellifluous voice ordering cocktails and a side of fries.

      • Brother Mouzone

        Everytime I hear Morgan, I can only think of Red from Shawshank. The voice in my head says, ANDY DUFRANE.

    • Michelle

      There are times where I wished James Earl Jones was like my grandfather just so he could’ve gone up to my PTA meetings, when I was a kid. Aside from CCH Pounder and S. Epatha Merkersen, James Earl Jones looks like the type to eloquently curse your teacher the f#@! out, without raising their voice or uttering a cuss.

      • Val

        I love CCH Pounder’s voice. I wonder if she does any books on tape?

        • Mary Burrell

          I love her too she’s such an underrated actress.

          • Marlenelsturm


            our friend’s half sister gets $88 an hour at home. she has been unemployed for 7 months. last month her profit was $19327 just working on the internet a few hours every day. ?see ?this
            ???http://www.GoogleFinancialCashJobs450TopBrain/Home/Wage….
            ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::ai160..

          • Leahavanhorne


            my friend’s sister in law makes $95 each hour on the internet, she has been out of a job for 9 months.. the previous month her check was $14005 just working on the internet for a couple of hours every day… ?see ?this page
            ???http://www.GoogleFinancialCashJobs579ProjectSwiss/Home/Wage….
            ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::ap289..

          • Latoyawjones

            Human30a

            Google is paying 97$ every hour! Labor for couple of hours and have longer with companions and family! :!sw210d:
            On Tues I got a good new Land Rover vary Rover from having earned $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy pleasing I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable however you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            :!sw210d:
            ??
            ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash500TopSpring/Pay$97/Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!sw210l..,…

        • Monique Gordon

          Yes.

        • GenevaGirl

          She has five on Audible. They’re all performed with other actors including Joe Morton.

        • doug r

          She’s in Avatar

          • Margaretwdavis

            Sign37h

            Google is paying 97$ reliably! Work for few hours and have longer with sidekicks and family! :!sw27d:
            On weekday I got a good new Land Rover vary Rover from having attained $8752 this last four weeks.. Its the most-financialy rewarding I’ve had.. It sounds unbelievable however you wont forgive yourself if you don’t check it
            ::!sw27:
            ??
            ??;?? http://GoogleFinancialJobsCash317GroupSub/Pay$97/Hour ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????::::::!sw27..,…..

      • Kat

        CCH Pounder is bae…

        • SororSalsa

          Yes, she is! I love Lorraine Toussaint’s voice. She can be erudite and ratchet, sometimes all in the same sentence.

          • Kat

            Lorraine Toussaint is…girl. Let me stop. I only watched OITNB for her. Only. Between her and Taystee. Well.

            • Brother Mouzone

              She Trini

    • “M”
    • Monique Gordon

      James Earl Jones is a known fact. These are actors that we overlooked.

    • truthseeker2436577@yahoo.com

      I know right. He was before Morgan Freeman. James Earl Jones is the real OG of voices for black men.

    • Shay Shay

      Was looking for him like???

  • James Baldwin’s birthday was yesterday. If you listen to his speeches, he was as deliberate with his delivery as he was with his word choice. He legit gives me communication goals.

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