Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Who's Gonna Save My Soul?

New Gnarls Barkley video. You'll probably never see this on TV.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Strictly for My Ladies: Friends w/ Benefits – Can it REALLY work?

by Carah Herring

In January of this year, I sounded the battle cry for young ladies around the nation to "Snatch the Cat Back" (If you haven't read it yet, check out my very first piece, entitled "Strictly for My Ladies: Why He Probably Won't Commit" before continuing with this article).

"Women, listen closely: We have a lot more control with men than we think we do,” I shared fervently. “So make him WAIT. Make him WORK FOR IT. Make him EARN IT. Go OUT ON DATES (clarification: a 'date' is not watching DVDs at his crib every other night). Challenge him to get to know you as an individual outside the bedroom first – your likes, dislikes, hobbies, quirks, dreams and aspirations."

Well, fast-forward six months later. Summertime is here, ‘skin’ is ‘in’ and sexy muscles are being displayed on the regular. Yum. Let’s just cut the crap and face it: After agreeing so hard and devoting ourselves to snatching the cat back, that damn cat has more than likely been released. >sheepish laugh< I mean, some of us threw that thang with a vengeance! Lol.

This reality leads us to our next topic in the ever-eventful adventures in relationships – or rather, relations: Friends with benefits.

Let me tell you a little bedtime story. Maybe you can relate:

Once upon a time in a land far, far away, a twentysomething girl and guy met randomly. They immediately dug each other – looks, conversation, style, etc. They hung out a couple times and the chemistry was undoubtedly there . They had a ball, truly enjoying each other’s company… and they eventually got intimate. A few weeks later, you name it, they’d done it: on the kitchen table, in the shower, in the park, on/in the car, at work (that was a joke, but if this applies to you, your ass is bold!).

It was the perfect situation – they were having harmless fun. They could still chat and kick it with other friends of the opposite sex without feeling guilty or on 'lockdown' because they were friends with benefits .

But then, the inevitable happened (dun, dun, DUN): The woman caught feelings. HARD. However, the guy was not trying to hear any type of relationship talk because he said from the start that he wasn't interested in being tied down right now (which the woman had agreed to in the beginning).

They continued to hump, but things started changing. The woman started becoming too clingy. Indeed, since they had been intimate on the regular for so long, the woman began to desire a smooth transition from her current romping partner status into the wifey/girlfriend role. She found herself getting perturbed and downright pissed when he didn't call her every night. And sometimes, following a ‘sneaking suspicion,’ she even tried hacking into his voicemail, e-mail, Facebook or MySpace (and that was soooo not even her nature!). When they chilled at each other's homes, she would slip into the bathroom with his cell phone, looking for numbers or text messages from other women a.k.a. competition. (And Lawd knows, when you look for trouble, you find it…)

The woman was definitely acting more and more 'weird' with the guy now. It became obvious that she was not as carefree as when they first starting hooking up a couple weeks/months ago. So the guy slowly distanced himself from her – which made the woman even more frustrated.

In the meantime, the guy randomly met another girl, who was 20 times more fun to be around. He and the new girl started talking, and he regularly took the new girl out on dates . When the original girl (let's call her 'OG' to keep things simple) caught wind of this, she became absolutely FURIOUS. In OG's mind, this new girl didn't have shit on her in regards to looks, personality or freakiness. WTF was up with that ?!

OG was devastated, to say the least. After she had invested all this time in this guy, opening all the way up to him on so many levels, she got what in return? A broken heart. And nothing's worse than feeling unduly rejected and horny. Sheesh.

OG continued to hump the guy out of desperation, because she knew that at least when they had sex, she could spend quality time with him. And even if the QT was just 2 or 3 hours, it was 2 to 3 fabulous hours where she felt (or pretended) like they were actually in a relationship. OG knew she needed to let go, but she couldn't. He was like a drug. She loved his companionship (well, what little she got)... and hey, everyone wants someone to cuddle with from time to time, right?

The sex was becoming horrible because the guy wasn't really attracted to OG as much. He was attracted to the new girl waaaay more and even thought about the new girl while he had sex with OG.

Soon, the guy stopped picking up OG’s phone calls, and saying that he was always "busy." Those text messages she sent? He claimed he didn't receive them (and what's the likelihood of that shit?). Even when OG wanted to hang out, the guy always came up with excuses, because OG was such a grump now. The only time he called her was late at night, when he was fienin’ and his new girl wasn't available.

OG finally saw the writing on the wall, and got fed up. She swore never to talk to the guy again. Why should she? While she was his plaything, this new b*tch was getting all the girlfriend-esque benefits that the OG desired (but never articulated) -- dates, dinners, movies, concerts, weekends at the beach, etc. And what did OG get out of all of this? Some mediocre d*ck, some wine and a whole lot of SportsCenter .

The end.

But it wasn't really the end. OG was still horny and now she was slightly depressed. One day, she randomly met a new guy that she clicked with. She promised herself that she would hold out and not give it up so soon. She promised herself that she'd never do the ‘friends with benefits’ situation again, knowing firsthand the potential consequences. Yet one evening after a late night movie, she and the new guy had sex. He told her up front that he didn't want a relationship; he just wanted to ‘have fun.’ This was a big ‘no-no’ in OG’s book. But damn, he was hot, oh-so-sexy and irresistable. Sigh. .. so they became friends with benefits... and the cycle continued.

The end (for real this time).


Do you truly just want sex or are you trying to hump your way into a relationship?

Some of us think we can handle the ‘friends with benefits’ set up, throwing around phrases like ‘I’m just doing me,’ ‘I’m having fun – I’m single,’ or ‘we have an understanding.’ And there’s no doubt that it sometimes it feels wonderful to be laid up with somebody (he may not be Mr. Right, but he’s the TRUTH as Mr. Right Now). But a lot of times, we can’t handle a friend with benefits. The temporary fulfillment is almost always depleted over time by the gnawing emptiness of reality.

Why do we continue to do this to ourselves when we already know how the story ends? Scratch that: it doesn’t end. It just repeats itself with a different co-star.

So ladies, Snatch the Cat back... or release that little rascal and let it do what it do. Hell, you’re grown. Just remember OG and the bedtime story. Then ask yourself it it’s worth the time, energy and emotion. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. The choice is yours.

With love,


P.S. When it comes to relationships and our dealings with men romantically, we pretty much know what to do, but the difficult part is actually doing it. I am by no means touting myself as Miss Perfect, Miss Know-It-All, Mother Love or Dr. Phil when it comes to relationships, because in some cases, I struggle to heed my own advice! But at least by dialoguing, if and when we are in the wrong, we will know better and not act like clueless victims.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tony Roberts Stand-up

Hilarious! Contains a lot of swearing, though.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

On My Radar: Jazmine Sullivan

Looks like there's some new R&B blood out there. Jazmine Sullivan seems like she's aiming to be the next Lauryn Hill with her vocals and production. She is currently signed to J Records and her album is due out later this summer and will feature heavy hitters like Missy Elliot, Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, Rich Boy, Cool & Dre and John Legend among others.

Not sure how she stayed under the radar for so long, but if this song is any indication her album is gonna be sick!

If she wants to be successful in this game all she has to do is keep making great music, stay humble and not f*** around with any of Bob Marley's sons. Next thing you know she'll be in Madagascar with eight kids singing "woe is me" in front of a crowd of 43 natives while sporting a bad make-up job. Damn those Marleys.

Hat tip to Rell for the heads up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Saddest Song Of All Time

This song was voted one of the Top 25 Saddest Songs of All Time by Spinner Magazine & I agree. It's about a man returning home to see his mother after many years only to discover that she is becoming senile and doesn't remember him.

The artist is a blues singer by the name of Marc Anthony Thompson a.k.a. Chocolate Genius.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Jesse's Getting Lazy

Jesse Jackson is being blasted in the media for comments that he made about Barack Obama before doing an interview for Fox News. While Jesse thought the microphone was off he was caught whispering that he wanted to cut Obama's nuts off for "talking down to black people."

I don't want to get into the political and social implications of the statement (i.e. whether it will help or hurt Obama, whether it will diminish Jackson's legacy, how the Black community will react, etc.)

Rather, I want to talk about the fact that Jesse is getting lazy with the rhymes. The Jesse Jackson of yesterday would have surely come up with a more clever way to say that he wanted to cut off Obama's nuts.

I will, however, give him points on style. Notice in the clip how he slightly bites his lip and makes a quick downward snap with his right arm to express how fast and easily he would de-ball Obama if given the opportunity.

Jesse is a legend. He has always been an eloquent speaker and was a master of coming up with catchy slogans and phrases to emphasize his points. With that, I'd like to offer some suggestions that we may have gotten from the Jesse of old:

"If Obama don't stop running his jaws, I'm going to cut off his balls"
*quick downward arm snap*

"If Obama talks down to Blacks again, I'm going to cut off his lit-tle friends"
*quick downward arm snap*

"If Obama talks to me like I'm a little boy, I'm going to cut off his sacks of joy"
*quick downward arm snap*

*If Obama keeps talking to us funny, I'm going to rip off his botox bunnies"
*quick downward arm snap*

"If Obama talks to us like fools, I'm going to cut off his family jewels"
*quick downward arm snap*

Of course, I'm no pro at this...obviously. These are merely suggestions. If you can do better, then by all means...

I know age diminishes wit and sharpness, but I miss the old Jesse. I miss the "Keep Hope Alive"-Jesse. The Green Eggs and Ham-Jesse...

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst Song Ev-er!

Look... I'm all about people pursuing their dreams and not giving up on them, but sometimes there's just no realistic chance that you'll make that dream come true.

...Enter Young Spuset, an up-and-(not)-coming Rap/R&B group that have shopped their demo around to record companies hoping to get their big break. This group has managed to put together one of the worst records I've ever heard in my 26 years of life.

Off beat rhymes, terrible harmonies and bad execution. Everything that could have gone wrong, did go wrong. Above all, the singing is probably some of the worst I've ever heard leave a human's lips.

What sucks even more than this just being a bad record overall is that you can tell that the guy doing the hook is putting his heart and soul into it, on some Randy Watson s***.

Anyways, click the link and check out 'Let's Stay Together.' I'll be amazed if you make it through the whole track. Good luck.

Sexual Chocolate.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Ding Dong, Jesse's Dead

I was always taught to not speak ill of the dead, and it seems that that is the norm in our society. Often times when people die their obits point out their positives, disregard their negatives, and in many cases, flat out lie to make their lives seem more noble than they actually were. This is definitely the case with Jesse Helms, as media outlets downplay his true legacy of Old Southern-style racism in the wake of his death.

Helms, the senator from North Carolina, died on July 4. He served for 5 terms as North Carolina's senator for over 30 years until he retired in 2003. Given his well-known reputation as a bigot, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who openly admits to voting for him, but his support from those voters of the Old South kept him in Washington for many years, proving that old ways die hard.

The above clip is one of Helms' most famous acts of race-baiting on the campaign trail. In 1990, black Democrat Harvey Gantt challenged Helms' Senate seat and built a healthy lead in the polls leading up to election day. After the infamous "White Hands" ad, the polls shifted and Helms won convincingly.

Even in death, I have no respect for this man. With the possible exception of Strom Thurmond, Helms is easily the most racist and divisive figure in modern American politics. In addition to being the only senator to oppose the MLK Holiday, he was consistently the lone dissenting voice on a plethora of civil rights bi-partisan legislation that have strengthened race and gender relations.

Here are just a few of Helms despicable moments as written by Washington Post writer David Broder:

As an aide to the 1950 Senate campaign of North Carolina Republican candidate Willis Smith, Helms reportedly helped create attack ads against Smith's opponent, including one which read: "White people, wake up before it is too late. Do you want Negroes working beside you, your wife and your daughters, in your mills and factories? Frank Graham favors mingling of the races." Another ad featured photographs Helms himself had doctored to illustrate the allegation that Graham's wife had danced with a black man. (The News and Observer, 8/26/01; The New Republic, 6/19/95; The Observer, 5/5/96; Hard Right: The Rise of Jesse Helms, by Ernest B. Furgurson, Norton, 1986)

Ancient history? No. Helms remains unapologetic to this day. Forty years after the Smith campaign, Helms would win election against black opponent Harvey Gantt with another ad playing to racist white fear-- the so-called "white hands" ad, in which a white man's hands crumple a rejected job application while a voiceover intones, "You needed that job…but they had to give it to a minority."

In columns, commentaries and pronouncements from the Senate floor, Helms sowed hatred and called names: The University of North Carolina was "the University of Negroes and Communists." (Capital Times, 11/22/94) Black civil rights activists were "Communists and sex perverts." (Copley News Service, 8/23/01)

Of civil rights protests Helms wrote, "The Negro cannot count forever on the kind of restraint that's thus far left him free to clog the streets, disrupt traffic, and interfere with other men's rights." (WRAL-TV commentary, 1963) He also wrote, "Crime rates and irresponsibility among Negroes are a fact of life which must be faced." (New York Times, 2/8/81)

Over the years Helms has declared homosexuality "degenerate," and homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches." (Newsweek, 12/5/94) In a tirade highlighting his routine opposition to AIDS research funding, Helms lashed out at the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988: "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy." (States News Service, 5/17/88)

Helms remonstrated ten female members of the House of Representatives to "act like ladies" when they interrupted a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing to demand support of a U.N. treaty against gender discrimination, and subsequently had them removed from the hearing by Capitol police. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 10/28/99)

And the man ABC News now describes as a "conservative icon" (8/22/01) in 1993 sang "Dixie" in an elevator to Carol Moseley-Braun, the first African-American woman elected to the Senate, bragging, "I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing Dixie until she cries." (Chicago Sun-Times, 8/5/93)

More recently, when a caller to CNN's Larry King Live show praised guest Jesse Helms for "everything you've done to help keep down the niggers," Helms' response was to salute the camera and say, "Well, thank you, I think." (Wilmington Star-News, 9/16/95)

Finally, Helms' strong if sometimes shadowy support for violent, anti-democratic forces abroad, from South Africa to El Salvador, might have given media outlets further pause in describing him as a mere conservative; few probed his ties to groups that would more accurately be described as fascist. One exception was an editorial in the Boston Globe (8/23/01): "Helms' role in supporting foreign thugs such as Roberto D'Aubuisson, the cashiered Salvadoran major who ran death squads responsible for savage political murders, did lasting harm to America's good name. In South Africa, Argentina, Mozambique, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Helms cooperated with racists and fascists who have nothing in common with the ideals of American democracy."

Even after all those instances of blatant racism, sexism, homophobia and intolerance, Helms asserted that he was no racist:

"I am not a racist, nor am I a bigot. You can ask any Black that knows me and they'll tell you I'm not a racist!"

Wow... The world seems to have gotten a little bit brighter.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Realest Video I've Seen In A Long Time

...from Killer Mike.

Looks like he's taking it back to the Public Enemy days.