In his Oyster magazine cover story, Frank Ocean reveals – while shopping for pants, mind you – that he used to be a “thug” who sold drugs. Describing himself in a past life, Frank acknowledged, “I was a thug. I sold a lot of cocaine and crack.” On a lighter note, Frank did also detail the moment in his life in which he realized that in order to become the person he aspired to be, he had to get serious.
He explained: “I think that was me, but there was a transition — and it wasn't like I just woke up and had an epiphany, but it was a transition where I began to realise that if I didn't really begin to focus on the work, I couldn't see any way for me to become who I wanted to become. It just wasn't gonna happen. And then somewhere in that time of my life it was like… Instead of wanting to get to a certain level of fame or how much liquid assets I had under my name, it was more like, ‘How well can I develop my skill set?’ You know? ‘How far can I push my creativity? If I'm gonna do this — if I'm gonna be a singer/songwriter — then OK, I'm a singer/songwriter, but how can I be the best?’” [Oyster]
Speaking with theGrio, NeNe Leakes claims that she’s a versatile creature best described as “Black-White honey.” What pray tell does that mean?
NeNe defined it as: “I used to hear early on, ‘oh she’s ghetto.’ And I’m like ‘where did they get that from? I’m not ghetto. I am Black-White honey. I know how to be Black, and I can be very White if needed to be. I think that you have to know how to operate with different personalities. If you’re going to go into then boardroom then you have to put on your boardroom hat. If you need to get street with somebody you have to know how to put the street hat on.”
How sad that she equates the more respectful behavior to be “acting White.” Bloop. [theGrio]
The one and only Grace Jones has decided to retract past declarations of never penning a book about her life and announce the release of a forthcoming memoir. Her publisher, Gallery Books, says the 65-year-old iconic singer, model and actress will includes stories about her rooming with Jerry Hall back in her modeling days, working with Andy Warhol and acting alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in Conan the Barbarian. If she doesn’t mention Boomerang, this book didn’t really happen. [BBC]
During her appearance on “Sway In The Morning,” Janelle Monáe gave a one-two step over recent rumors about her sexuality.
When asked, Janelle said: “Women are amazing… and so are guys. There’s nothing wrong with being bisexual, there’s nothing wrong with being lesbian or gay. I am an advocate. I have friends who are in same-sex relationships and I feel love has no sexual orientation. Love has no religious belief. Love is the purest and most important thing we can possess for ourselves and for others. I keep my personal life very much to myself. I want everybody to focus on my music. I also don’t want to let anybody down. I want women to still be attracted to me. I want men to still be attracted to me so I have to be political in this. So I can’t really tell y’all!”
Pretty sure y’all are being Nicki Minaj’d with this story, but you’ll see. [Necole Bitchie]
“No longer gay” Antonie Dodson is having a baby with his girlfriend. For all of that Jesus-talk about why he’s no longer playing with the boys, you’d think he’d wait for marriage before knocking someone up. Can I get an amen? [The YBF]
Are Keyshia Cole and Daniel Gibson expressing their marital frustrations for all the world to see? There’s a lot of whispers that recent social media status updates by both parties suggest there’s a rift in 'hood love. You know, talking about starting over and shouting frustrations about sidepieces will get the folks to gossiping. Best of luck, though, y’all [Rhymes With Snitch]
A fed up Black woman cursed out a White cashier at the Dollar Tree for apparent racism and overall rudeness. Part of her tirade included the declarations, “I’m sick of people like you in the world! You doing customer service. You can’t excuse us out your muthaf*ckin’ life because you got a attitude!” The best part, though, is surely, “Now respect the queen when you see em, b*tch!” All hail Lachelle. [Crunk + Disorderly]
I wish nothing but fire, brimstone, and incurable rashes on the former Beverly Hills police officer that reportedly peeked at Whitney Houston’s dead, naked body following her tragic overdose. The officer allegedly said that Whitney “looked attractive for a woman of her age and current state” and “Damn, she’s still looking good, huh?” [Los Angeles Times]
George Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara is joining the Orlando version of Dancing With The Stars. Feel free to vomit now, but try to aim towards O’Mara’s dancing shoes. [Orlando Sentinel]
I know at this point, many would like to throw Miley Cyrus into a bottomless pit for the foreseeable future, but Questlove offered some thoughtful commentary about her VMA performance as it relates to the minstrelsy aspect of her act.
Speaking with New York magazine, Questlove said: "As for the minstrelsy in the performance: To me, it is literally impossible for any form of Black music to not have the stain of minstrelsy on it. Minstrelsy is like the great stain on a nice white shoe. I don’t think Miley Cyrus is really aware of the deeper offense of it. To her, it’s like, “I’m having fun. I’m 20. I want to f*ck up, mess around.” She’s been a role model all her life. But using Black minstrel images to accomplish that is a little dangerous. I frowned on it when Gwen Stefani did it with Asian people.
The larger problem is that most people are unaware of what minstrelsy is. They don’t know the history. I think a lot of Black people are upset because they saw her using Black people as accessories. I’m all for Miley finding herself. But she should be aware of the power of the images she’s using." [Vulture]
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter: @youngsinick