Michael Arceneaux, EBONY.com contributor and Master of Shade, calls out five of his biggest gripes from the past week. Rejoice and be read.

1. BYE, Benzino: Benzino is mighty pissed about being axed from the cast of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta and is likely retweeting his supporters at this very moment, hoping that producers will please (baby, baby, please) let him and his fiancé, Thi Thi, back on the show. I doubt it’ll happen and as much as he may dislike their decision, there are some things he should accept. For starters, I was at the reunion when the brawl between he and bae along with Joseline and Stevie J erupted and he did start the fight. I distinctly remember Joseline trying to calm Stevie down as the two exchange words until Benzino ultimately said and repeated, “We can go right now.” On top of that, he hit Joseline during the fight and seem pleased with himself about it

Maybe that could be forgiven, but Benzino didn’t help himself when he yelled, screamed and rushed his boss, executive producer Stefan Springman, on camera during the post-fight interview. Bless any Black man’s heart who thinks yelling at a White man responsible for his checks on national television will do his employment status any favors. Oh well. At least the show will stop pretending that Hip Hop Weekly is the New York Times of the ‘[hood. If it helps, Thi-Thi, I do love your track “Ghetto Love.”

2. Sam Smith Ain’t Soulful: With all due respect to Sam Smith, who I think is a talented vocalist, I find it curious that so many people classify him as soulful – some in more hyperbolic fashion than others. Like christening him as the “ruler of soul,” the most soulful man out there right now, blah, blah, insert more lies here. Sam Smith can sing, but if Luther Vandross is collard greens and smoked turkey, Sam Smith is kale with the wrong kind of hot sauce. That’s cute if you like the latter, but never mistake it for the former.



And before you chime in, blue-eyed soul fans, I have a deep passion for all things Teena Marie. See a more contemporary example: the late Amy Winehouse. Appreciate a good voice when you hear it, but watch how you classify it.

3. You’re Not Running Anything Besides Your Mouth, Sarah Palin: Back in July, a poll revealed that most Americans would prefer if it Sarah Palin to “be quiet.” Of course, silence is an arch nemesis to a narcissist and media whore, so the former Alaskan governor has not honored that request. Sarah Palin is still talking while dually managing never to say a damn thing.

Case in point, during a recent appearance on the Fox Business Network, Palin was asked if hatred directed toward her has driven her away from ever running for office again.

She responded: “No, bless their hearts. Those haters out there, they don’t understand that it invigorates me, it wants me to get out there and defend the innocent. It makes me want to work so hard for justice in this country. So hey, the more they’re pouring on, the more I’m going to bug the crap out of them by being out there with a voice, with the message, hopefully running for office in the future, too.”

Madam, you are not running for office. You are about as interested in running for office as Sen. Ted Cruz is learning about RuPaul’s tricks in perfectly duct taping your junk down. Gon’ somewhere far, far away.

4. This Is Not How You Win Beyoncé, Beloved: I imagine if you’re a Mathew Knowles baby mama in 2014, sizable child support checks are hard to come by – leaving you to do interviews with the likes of Inside Edition for attention and cable bill paying. Do what you’ve got to do, TaQoya Branscomb, but riddle me this: When you say you want Beyoncé to meet her half-sister, Koi, you do realize how much more unlikely that’ll be given you’ve proven you’re willing to sell out family secrets and private matters for publicity, right? It’s certainly not the child’s fault. She didn’t ask to be created or be caught up in such a messy situation. However, if your concern is trying to get your kid to meet someone notoriously ultra private, your strategy seems…poorly thought out. God bless, though, girl.

5. Okay, Now Nicki, Nicki, Nicki: Nicki Minaj: I love you like Tumblr blogs love pornography, but why does “Only” sound like a feature? Cut that out. Please. That’s really all I had to say. As a member of #TeamMinaj, I’m well aware of the consequences fo speaking out. You slayed the verse, sis, but you could’ve added like two more. That’s all. Please don’t let your minions murder me to a “Super Bass” instrumental.



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