[THE WEEKLY READ]<br />
August Alsina, You Tried It

"He tried it."

Dear August Alsina:

Considering you’re a Black male artist signed to a major label in 2014, I imagine you’re kind of like a prostitute who has to buy his or her own condoms and OraQuick---there is likely no budget for media training. Now, since I consider myself a fan of yours, I’m going to do you a solid and explain to you why Tuesday was the best day Trey Songz has had in very long time.

First off, Keshia Chanté was simply doing her job. Regardless as to whether or not you or anyone else cares for the way she handled her duties, she didn’t do anything that any media personality, television host, radio personality, or journalist would not have done in a similar situation. Yes, sometimes media outlets may agree to avoid asking an entertainer certain questions, but more times than not, that is a courtesy – a courtesy that is often rightly rescinded.

This is especially true for a young R&B artist with a whopping one minor radio hit to his name. Maybe you missed the memo, but it’s hard out here for an R&B cat. Do you really want to behave in a way that puts you at risk at becoming an outcast on the only major cable network guaranteed to give even a small percentage of a damn about your life?

There may be some people cheering you on for this type of response, but that doesn’t surprise me given Congress never passed that jobs bill. Plus, you have to factor in that some of those people defending your actions are imaginary celebrities in the parallel universe known as their delusion-flavored imagination. To quote Uncle Ruckus, “don’t trust those new”….wait, I can’t finish this sentence. Look up the first episode of The Boondocks later.

For now, let’s just put some things in perspective. Tuesday was the biggest day of your career – i.e. dropping your first full-length project – and on the day you’re on a national network with a show that caters to your core fan base (young women), you berate a woman and curse at her. All over a question you could’ve easily dismissed with a simple “No comment.”

This is hustling backwards personified, dude.

Worse, again, it is 2014 and you’re a Black singer not named Usher, Chris Brown, and Trey Songz. The bookers over at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and Live With Kelly and Michael probably don’t even know you exist you, sir. They don’t even care about some of the dudes I just mentioned. You might want to be nicer to the people who are only helping you address a situation that you created.

Oh yes, I’m well aware of how your issues with Trey Songz became the biggest story of your career thus far. It was only a month ago that you volunteered information about a beef between you and Trey Songz to the media. Did you think that was going to magically stop simply because you’re now bored with it? Aww.

By the way, I highly, highly doubt that you would’ve spoken to a man the way you addressed Drake’s old Aaliyah sing-a-long buddy. Even if you would, though, the bottom Black ass line is that when you take on a media appearance you should be prepared to answer any question in a professional way.

And just because you’re “cool” with the person asking the questions, that doesn’t mean they have to look out for your interest as if they’re on your payroll. Black entertainers often act as if Black media folks are their personal "Bring It On" cheerleaders. We don’t owe y’all anything besides a level of professional courtesy that ought to be reciprocated.

The funniest part of it all is now that you’ve behaved like this, more people are going to try you in the media. I suggest you get your attitude together ‘cause you can hold a note, but you’re not Luther Vandross; you don’t pop lock like Chris Brown; Trey Songz probably just drank another protein shake and called DJ Mustard; Jaheim isn’t dead; Omarion’s solo music has stopped making me laugh.

You could easily go the way of Lloyd, Jeremih, Sammie, and Avant. No shade, but they were a fresh Hot Pocket for two seconds and then turned into cold McDonald’s French fries not long after. Don’t think you’re irreplaceable. Somewhere Shareefa gotta be looking at K. Michelle's career like, "It should've been me!"

Attractive, marginally talented male singers aren’t exactly a hard void to fill.

You better get it together, bae, before all 27 of us fans of yours will look at your picture in six months and reminisce over you.

You’re embarrassing the South. And Lord knows you’ll be tweeting a stream of anger if BET doesn’t invite you to the awards. Stop being a jackass and apologize to Keshia.

Michael Arceneaux is the author of the “The Weekly Read,” where tough love is served with just a touch of shade. Tweet him at @youngsinick.