For the next four weeks, I will be writing three posts a week over at The Loop 21. Those not familiar with the site can go here.
My work will appear in their relationship column entitled, “bitterSweet,” usually authored by my friend Norelle Giancana. She along with my editor Ayana Byrd have asked me to do the thing I do here, over there, and I happily obliged.
Now that we have the formalities aside, some excerpts with links to my first two entries for The Loop 21. Enjoy and if you want to comment, I encourage you to do so there.
In the past, arguments like the ones we had would have led me straight to another woman’s arms. The uneasiness caused by the fight could be soothed by someone else. Now, after this argument, I found myself wanting to handle things a different way. I just wanted to go home and be by myself — From”Too Tired To Cheat”
…your fantasy became a reality, but you were so blind, so insatiable, you didn’t even realize you were being a ho and, what’s even more sad is that you didn’t realize how bad it made you look. — From “Don’t Be A Ho, Be A Man”
Yep, that’s me you see below in the pages of the brand new Essence Magazine, skinny tie and all.
I, along with five other relationship bloggers, are featured in an article entitled, “The Relationship Rules.” Since I want everyone to pick up a copy for themselves (it’s the one with Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union on the cover), I won’t get into what was discussed. Instead, some context about the discussion itself.
In the issue is a condensed version of what I remember being a two-hour discussion on relationships. Let me be the first to say, two hours is a long time to discuss anything. Presidential debates don’t even last two hours, and they’re actually talking about something important. If it wasn’t for the refreshments they had in steady rotation, I probably would have fallen asleep, not from boredom, but from exhaustion.
Few conversation topics are more mentally and emotionally demanding than ones about relationships, or as I like to say, matters of the heart. At the end of our discussion, my comrades and I did not want to say a word to anyone our vocal chords were so stretched. But I remember walking away, feeling like the conversation we just had, the one not everyone was going to see or hear, was indeed, important.
It doesn’t happen often, but occasionally, when interviewing a subject for a story, there comes a transcendent moment. I don’t know when or how it usually happens in the moment, but I can always tell when the interviewee and I have gone from a formal discourse to personal dialogue, when we’re not just having an interview, we’re having a conversation. The professional in me is thrilled at this because I know it means I will have a wealth of material from which to work when I start writing. But there’s something even more enriching to come out of such a moment.
For me, an enriching conversation with a stranger reminds me of why I got into this business in the first place. Sure, I wanted to talk to the famous people of the world and create good stories from my conversations with them, but more importantly, I am always in search of a lesson from them of some sort. There are things I have learned in life from reading great interviews, so when I’m approaching my own interviews, I’m always hoping to find something teachable, something that a reader can apply to their own life. Do I want to illuminate and break news within an interview? Of course, that is my journalistic responsibility. But I will admit, the selfish part of me also wants to get hip to the game of life. For the most part, I have the privilege of talking to who I want to talk to and I’ll be damned if I let such a privilege be wasted on just the facts. I always try to get to a point where we’re going off the record because I know we’re about to talk about something real, for lack of a better word.
There was nothing off the record during my conversation with Salim Akil. For the unfamiliar, Salim is the director of Jumping The Broom, the brand new movie that came out Friday and went on to make over $14 million at the box office this past weekend. He is also the husband of Mara Brock-Akil, a woman who has slowly but surely become a force in Hollywood. She created the hit series, Girlfriends, and then along with her husband The Game, and she has arguably been the more visible and more successful half of the couple. As I mention in the opening line of my story with Salim, when I was doing my research for Salim, there was more about his wife, than him. Considering their careers as individual, this made sense, but it also enforced my belief that Salim’s story needed to be told.
So today, I received some very good news, but I won’t be sharing it on UIGM. For those who want to know what it is, you can hit me on the side and I might let you know. The keyword in the last sentence being “might.”
That being said, I won’t be writing a post today. I just want to enjoy my good news. What I have decided to do instead is just post up the Poppin’ Questions Podcast for your listening pleasure. So click on this link here and go to the Poppin’ Questions Podcast page to listen or download the THIRTEENTH Edition of the Poppin’ Questions Podcast.
And for those who really want to read something I wrote, check out the recap I wrote about the conversation between Cornel West and Jay-Z. The two of them sat down with Paul Holdengraber at the New York Public Library on Monday to discuss Jay’s book, Decoded. Any fans of hip-hop or Jay-Z should get it because it’s a truly beautiful book and a fun read.
Here’s the link: “Five Things We Learned About Jay-Z’s New Book At The New York Public Library”
As per my usual steez, comments are turned off. Feel free to leave feedback on the podcast over at the podcast page.
Thank you to everyone who continues to support me.
Before I get into today’s post, I have some business to speak on.
Today I discovered some guy has taken a number of my blog posts and literally cut and pasted them onto his blog without attributing them to me or giving me any sort of credit. Of course, Jermaine moved swiftly on reaching out to the appropriate people and sending out a cease and desist, so we’re taking care of it as we speak. And let that be a warning to anyone else who feels like plagiarizing my work and passing it off as their own. My partner and I will go after you swiftly and do anything within our power to make sure you take down the copied posts immediately.
Please check out an interview I did with Phylicia Rashad on her role in Tyler Perry’s “For Colored Girls”.
Click here to read
It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these, so let me get right into it. Two pieces I wrote elsewhere and one video segment for which I was a guest. Enjoy!
By now everybody has seen Kanye’s Runaway film, but I went to a screening before it aired and did a write up for the Wall Street Journal. Click here to check it out.
For The Village Voice, a fun piece I pitched them and wrote up about the Top 10 Posse Cuts of 2010 (So Far). Click here to read that.
The lovely Amanda Diva invited Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and I to her AOL show The Spark to discuss the hot topics of this week. Good laughs, some of which weren’t shown, but you can still tell we enjoyed ourselves. Click here to watch.
This isn’t about you. Not you either. This is about all of yous. The girls with whom I once shared my dreams and now are no longer around to see them come true.
As I think about what’s next, and I stay true to the belief that whatever it is it’s going to be great, I think about all of you who knew me then. You girls who let me tell them about my moves and my goals, but for whatever reason, aren’t around to see such things happen. I couldn’t have done it without you, but in a weird way I did.
Two interviews I did with other artists, and one interview someone else did with me. Here they go…
Bilal and I talked about his new album Airtight’s Revenge, but the real interesting part is where he talks about Love For Sale. For those who follow Bilal, Love For Sale was a bootlegged album that never saw the light of day, but man is it good. Anyway, click here to read our discussion about that album and other things.
N.E.R.D. and I talked about their new album, Nothing back in the Summer, but the interview is just now running on GlobalGrind.com. And when I say N.E.R.D., I do mean mostly Pharrell. Guy is pretty deep and we had a good talk about the meaning behind his group’s new album, coming out soon. Click here to read it.
Hercampus.com is a cool lifestyle website dedicated to the female college student. Apparently they have campus correspondents all around the country, and a young woman by the name of Amber Brown from Rider University was smart enough to reach out and interview me. Click here to check out what kind of advice I give to young co-eds around the country.