The Top 10 Lightskinneded Black Male Beefs, Ever » VSB

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The Top 10 Lightskinneded Black Male Beefs, Ever

Everything that could have been said about Michael Eric Dyson’s 170,000 word critique of Cornel West has likely already been said. The forensic examination is near complete, the deconstructions have been deconstructed, and somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking.

Still, one assessment remains. Really, the only assessment that matters.

On the list of notable beefs between lightskinneded Black men, where does it rank? Does it crack the top 10? The top five? Let’s see.

10. Drake vs Common

The world watched with bated breath as two of the top five or six light skinneded rappers ever threw some subliminal and some not-so-subliminal shots at each other. Why were they beefing? What happened? And then, once we all learned why — over the privilege to make Serena Williams breakfast — everyone was like “Yeah…I get it.

9. Drake vs Chris Brown

Sometimes it seems like they’re beefing…and then they’ll make a song together. And then they’re beefing again…and then they’ll make another song together. And then they’re beefing again, and another lightskinneded icon almost loses an eye.

Of the lightskinneded beefs, this one is definitely the most lightskinneded.

8. Jimmy Jackson vs Jason Kidd

The world watched with bated breath as two of the top five or six light skinneded players in the NBA threw some subliminal and some not-so-subliminal shots at each other. Why were they beefing? What happened? And then, once we all learned why — over the privilege to make Toni Braxton breakfast — everyone was like “Yeah…I get it.

7. Michael Jackson vs Prince

Although they never really appeared to be outwardly antagonistic towards each other, the cold war between the King of Pop and the Giver of No Fucks started before Michael Jackson was even lightskinneded and continued during Jackson’s journey through whatever it was that Michael Jackson was journeying through.

6. Charles Rangel vs Adam Clayton Powell

The rivalry between these politicians lasted so long that it now involves both families. Like the Starks and the Lannisters, but with texturizer instead of swords.

5. John Starks vs Reggie Miller

This feud involved it all. Headbutts, elbows, flopping, drama, shit talking, acrobatics, choking, Patrick Ewing’s sweat. Basically, exactly like the Gold Club. 

4. Malcolm X vs Elijah Muhammad

Should probably be higher on the list, but, well…let’s just move on.

3. President Obama vs Cornel West

Much has been written and speculated about in regards to the beef between Dr. West and Honolulu Slim (ht Wu). And everything from inauguration tickets to Obama’s introversion has been blamed for it. But perhaps it’s much simpler. If it’s anything like the beefs between the lightskinneded men I know, it probably has something to do with brunch reservations.

2. Cornel West vs Michael Eric Dyson

Cornel West. Michael Eric Dyson. President Obama. Melissa Harris Perry. Cory Booker. Kamala Harris. Neil Degrasse Tyson.

I’m not saying that it’s odd that all of our most prominent politicians and academics happen to be lightskinneded, and that it’s not a coincidence, and that it was preordained, and that there’s a cold war brewing between them all, and that the cold war will eventually move to bloodshed, and that we’re all going to have to choose sides carefully or risk watching our loved ones die in a furious hellfire, but I’m just sayin.

1. Doug Christie vs Rick Fox

These two icons of lightskinnededness hated each other so much that they fought in a preseason game. A preseason game! Do you know how much you have to hate someone to fight them in a preseason NBA game??? And this wasn’t one of those “hold me back” fights. There was no posturing, just uppercuts, tunnel wrestling, Jackie Christie’s purse, and Shaq in a Burberry pants suit I’m 99.928273 percent sure he copped from a Korean bodega that also sells salami and homeowners insurance. No lightskinneded feud can ever and will ever be greater than this one.

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.

  • NoPlaysOff

    Aww the days ESPN used to give play-by-plays of NBA fights…..

    • miss t-lee

      Malice at the Palace shut all of that down…lol

      • I remember watching that mess in a hole in the wall club in Rocky Mount, NC the night before my boy Ferdi’s wedding guzzling tallboys. Then the next day Clemson and South Carolina had a season ending battle in the rivalry game.

        • miss t-lee

          Still can’t believe that. And, I loved a good NBA tussle back in the day, but after that, I’m like eeek!

      • Damon Young

        yeah, it took the nba a full decade to recover from the perception hit it took from that

        • miss t-lee

          Indeed.

        • BlueWave1

          Now the pendulum has swung the other way. Every time I hear some old dude complain about today’s players being “soft” I know he has selective memory. The “play nice together” league we have now happened only because Stern brought down the hammer after the Malice. From multi game suspensions, five and six figures fines, after the fact assessing of flagrant fouls and suspensions, players figured out that playing tough guy is just not worth it anymore.

  • 8. Jimmy Jackson vs Jason Kidd

    Jamal Mashburn was the true loser in this war. Dallas had the shot at a Run TMC-esque trio but nope.

    • Damon Young

      #brownskinnedcollateraldamage

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    i love sports fights… its the only time I care to pay attention. My favorite was the one where the guy ran into the bleacher during the brawl and punched a fan.

    In my attempt to not look clueless about the names of the teams, I found this gem

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CR803CvYnVY

    • StillSuga

      So I just watched part 1 and 2, lol!

    • NoPlaysOff

      I forgot Jeff Van Gundy got damn near knocked out by Marcus Camby!!!! JVD has been in the middle of more fights than I thought. Hilarious!

    • NoPlaysOff

      https://youtu.be/4rpx_vXr1u0 These dudes have been getting off easy. Let me know when KD and Lebron fight like this!

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        He decked him! DAMN

    • cakes_and_pies

      I can believe Malice at the Palace happened last decade. I still remember that little boy crying his eyes out on the court like it was yesterday,

      • Damon Young

        that’s still the most fascinating thing i’ve ever seen live

        • miss t-lee

          Totally. I just remember not believing it was actually happening, WHILE it was happening…lol

          • kid video

            Sup’ miss tee;)

            • miss t-lee

              *waves* Hey!!!!

      • DBoySlim

        Just for the record, this did NOT happen in Detroit.

        • Detroit Skater

          *snicker* you know everything happens in detroit even if it is about 30 minutes north. #AuburnHillsTheNewDetroit

    • AlwaysCC

      i’m not sure what it says about me, but i just watched this again lol

  • BlueWave1

    Yeah, the one downside of if the “Spurs-ification” of the NBA is there are few intense rivalries left. That was sacrificed at the alter of “playing the game the right way”. I still love the league though.

    • Damon Young

      bulls/celtics vs “whatever team lebron happens to be on” would be pretty intense/physical.

      • Sigma_Since 93

        They still don’t have anything on Lakers vs errbody and the Celtics vs errbody in the 80-90’s Tree Rollins bit Danny Ainge in the scrum!!!

      • BlueWave1

        Bulls/Cavs has the potential. It would be different if LeBron had stayed in Cleveland and we got a few more good Bulls/Cavs series between 2010 and 2014. By now they would hate each others grandmothers. Still it would be a good series. It just won’t be “could break out into a fight at anytime” good.

  • AlwaysCC

    well cornel “responded” to dyson – http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2015/04/cornel_west_responds_to_michael_eric_dyson_s_article_on_facebook.html

    i really want to challenge them both to take the beef to twitter. i don’t think either of them could do it! lol

    • The day tweetlonger dies.

      • Damon Young

        lol

    • Damon Young

      i’d be more impressed if they beefed on instagram

    • Crash the entire site

  • Charlisia Nwachukwu

    you know maybe I missed the boat but I have never understood the “light skin black man” thing… what is the punchline? I need a lesson in colorism here.

    • Yeah, light-skinned dudes are supposed to be soft. Supposed to be.

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        Thanks all. Well. That’s odd. Dark skin men are aggressive and light skin men are weak .. so is the sweet spot brown? LOL.

    • menajeanmaehightower

      Overly sensitive due to their shade of skin and don’t mind emoting when there is a perceived wrong.

    • AlwaysCC

      in the spirit of the transitive property of equality…light skinned dudes = kappas, kappas = ain’t shyt, light skinned dudes = ain’t shyt.

      • Epsilonicus

        I feel like I may have saw something similar in HS lol

        • AlwaysCC

          i apply the transitive property to most things in life lol

      • KB

        Werd????

        • AlwaysCC

          absolutely. what’s the problem? lol

    • miss t-lee

      They’re supposedly “weaker” because they’re light skin.
      Real stupid type sh*t.

      • I always chalked this ish up to being an urban thing because I know some real grimey yellow cats.

        • miss t-lee

          I do as well.
          Some are in relation…lol

        • Damon Young

          this is actually true for me too. the super, duper grimiest dudes i’ve known — basically, the delontes — tend to be lighter skinned.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      As a New Yorker, here it was usually that light skinned boys and men got all the female attention, whether they were handsome or not. So darker dudes would check them quite often, because many weren’t good fighters or couldn’t hold their own…ergo many light dudes were seen as soft.

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        I think it goes in waves .. depending on which celebrity people are all about. But I have to say when I have dated black men (because i like all men) and picked them based on physical looks.. I Love very dark, creamy skin…

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          *checks arm color*.
          Dark…yup. Creamy & smooth….yup.

          Celebs definitely played a hand in this but I just remember how bad it was back in the day

      • Akhibrass

        The idea that light skinned men were getting all the female attention and that they aren’t good fighters are both myths advanced by insecure people. When was the last time you heard a black woman read a poem about her “Butterscotch Man”.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          it can’t be a myth if for many people, that was their reality. Sure I’ll give you a point, most poetry is dedicated to darker men. Doesn’t mean many light skinned men weren’t treated like royalty or that some of those men were too much of ladies men to handle themselves in a fight. But it definitely didn’t account for all.

    • Akhibrass

      It’s a black man with skin lighter than your average black person. Much like a light skin black woman. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • miss t-lee

    Could’ve swore that Jimmy Jackson/Jason Kidd beef also included a third dude…or did I remember that wrong?

    • Damon Young

      you know what? i thought that was a common nickname for him. didnt realize wu invented it. i’ll make the edit.

    • kid video

      I think the third guy was Rod Strickland.

      • miss t-lee

        Word? I thought it was another guy on the Mavericks at that time?

        • kid video

          Jamal Mashburn?

          • miss t-lee

            Might be who I remember!

  • Champ, this is why I can’t quit you:

    “Everything that could have been said about Michael Eric Dyson’s 170,000 word critique of Cornel West has likely already been said. The forensic examination is near complete, the deconstructions have been deconstructed, and somewhere in America, Miley Cyrus is still twerking.”

    She definitely is.

    • Damon Young

      you thought about quitting me?

      • Charlisia Nwachukwu

        Tee-Hee (I read this in the tone of Miss Sophia.. have no idea why)

  • Detroit Skater

    there are times in my life when i really do focus on the wrong things. why am i impressed that the kings cleared the bench?! #RideOrDieTeamMates i’ll take a king for $200 alex. them jokas cleared the bench while the lakers were looking a bit confused.

    • Jocelyn

      Exactly! I didn’t expect Kobe to do anything but I’m disappointed those other jokers left Rick hanging. They let Shaq go into the melee with a broken toe! Sure no one wanted to be fined, gentlemen don’t fight, etc. The Lakers not jumping into the squabble is another indication of the lack of cohesiveness on the team during that time. If I’m anywhere and my girls stand by while I’m brawling, there will be a discussion later. Perhaps I’m analyzing this too much but it’s lunch time so why not?

      • Detroit Skater

        If I’m anywhere and my girls stand by while I’m brawling, there will be a discussion later.<<<< friendship 101

    • Damon Young

      the kings had more to fight for. the lakers were the champions and beat them in the playoffs the year before

      • Epsilonicus

        If you can’t beat them, beat them

  • hospamadar

    I think you have a basketball bias

    • Damon Young

      you don’t say?

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