Ask Demetria: Should I Propose to My Man?

Screen shot of a woman proposing in a viral You Tube video.

Dear Demetria:

"A friend is considering proposing to her boyfriend. I am against it, not because of gender roles but because a man will commit to you when he is good and ready. How do you feel about women proposing to men?" —Anonymous 

In theory, I’m not against women proposing to their boyfriends. I was once a girlfriend who discussed marriage with her significant other and was anticipating a ring. It did trouble me that because I chose to abide by tradition, the entire timeline of the future we were planning together was being determined by him.

I was wondering and waiting and hoping for a ring while he was the one with the option to take action. It was one of the few times in my life when I didn’t feel like I was being an active participant in it. For women who feel a similar way, I absolutely understand why they would take the initiative to propose.

That said, I never considered proposing. I consider myself a modern woman, but in many ways I’m very old-school, and I like the idea (and romance) of a man going after what he wants and doing the asking—whether it be a first date or proposing marriage. It seemed contradictory to me to want a man who is a leader and then not let him lead by asking him to marry me. For women who want a leader type of spouse—and not every woman does—I wouldn’t recommend proposing.

But those are my thoughts. What really matters most here is how guys think about this scenario, since sometimes they are the ones being asked the big question. I asked several what they thought about being proposed to by a woman, and I’m glad I did. I’d guessed that most would find the idea emasculating, but many of the men who shared their thoughts—on the condition of anonymity— weren’t turned off.

“Women talk about ‘leaning in’ and all this empowerment stuff, yet sit around and wait and hope that their man proposes to them is the most ass-backwards thinking around,” one man responded. “You champion liberation and equality, yet feel that it’s a man’s place to propose because ‘that’s the way it should be; that’s the way it’s always been.’”

Another gentleman echoed similar sentiments: “If we’re in a mutual relationship and heading in that direction, why shouldn’t either one be able to propose the next step? I think this is another vestige of our society’s paternalistic approach to relationships. My manhood would not be threatened by this.”

He added, “All of that said, if you never in all the time we have been seeing each other reached for a dinner check, don’t all of a sudden get liberated.”

But other guys weren’t so on board. In fact, they were adamantly opposed.

“I would not want to be proposed to, and if I was, it would be indicative of a bigger problem,” one man responded. “I’d wonder if she thinks I’m a bitch, if she thinks I pussyfoot around, if she thinks she has to take control of a situation. All of that epitomizes emasculation. These are not ideas that I want my wife to have in her head about me.”

Most of the men who responded implored women to wait for a proposal. “There’s something to be said for some traditions,” one man said. “Let us have this one, please.”


Read the full article on The Root 

Fontella Marie Holmes: The 88 Million Dollar 'Trap Queen'

Lotto winner, Fontella Marie Holmes So.

Fontella Marie Holmes, 26, single mom, lotto winner. Black lady. She hit the numbers back in February to the tune of $88 million after taxes, and she has since dropped NINE milli bailing her man outta jail two times. I keep reading articles about how people are enraged and baffled by her spending this amount of money on a felonious man.

Me? Meh. Not so much.

Here’s why:

1. She was with ol’ boy before she had money. 

Holmes hit the lotto in February 2015 and used her proceeds to bail out Lamar McDow, who was arrested in November 2014, in March.

I’m going to suggest that an active drug distributor, who had a girlfriend with four children, probably spent some dough on her and the kids, and not just a lollipop here and there. Babies– FOUR babies– are expensive. And Holmes didn’t have a job at the time she hit the number. It’s not a reach to assume that McDow dropped some duckets on the regular for this family. He may have been funding Holmes — and her kids– entirely before she “got on”.

When the drug dealing man who held you down gets locked up, you return the “favor” by bailing him out.

2. She Doesn’t Care He’s A Drug Dealer 

Look, I’m all for innocent until proven guilty, but you don’t just happen to find yourself in a room with 8,000 bags of heroin unless you are– have been for quite some time– into some nefarious sh–. You get caught with a bag of heroin? I’ll hear you out on saying the police planted it and you don’t know how it got there. But eight thousand bags? Son. That’s. Your. Heroin!!!

You also don’t stumble into EIGHT THOUSAND bags of heroin over night. You’ve been in the game for a minute, long enough to know people who know people to get your weight up, figuratively and literally. And if you are moving drugs at this level, unless your girlfriend is ADA Angela Valdes, she knows what you do for a living.

When McDow was arrested again in July, he was living with Holmes and her four kids in the trailer Holmes lived in before she hit the lotto. He’d also been upgraded from boyfriend to fiancé since his March release. They’ll have “matching lambos” any day now.

3. Perspective Matters

NINE MILLION DOLLARS is an insane amount to people who don’t have $88 million after taxes. Holmes dropped almost eight figures (kinda) getting her man out of jail and still has $79 million more… AFTER TAXES.

I have a personal philosophy on not visiting jail or being involved with men who do illegal hood rat sh– with their friends. As a personal rule, I don’t do bail money unless the case you caught was protecting our family, saving a life, or marching for civil liberties. I’d also drop stacks to free you if you have an encounter with a rogue cop. But otherwise, no.

That said, if I had a different philosophy on bail and say I had $50k saved? If I spend the same percentage freeing my man that Holmes did freeing hers, I’d spend about $5k. That’s not so bad. What you have to understand is that there are levels. We ain’t financially on Holmes’s.

Read the full article on VSB. 

The Root: I Just Came Here to Find A Husband

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On Sunday afternoon, I was at an annual event in Brooklyn, N.Y., which was attended by thousands of people, mostly young black professionals looking for a good time.

In the crowd, I spotted a woman who left no doubt about why she’d shown up that day—not for the music or to hang with her girls or stunt for the Gram. She was looking for a man. How did I know?

She was wearing a sign on her back that read, “I just came here to find a husband.”

I was intrigued. I’ve spent more than a decade writing about dating and relationships, and I’d never seen anything like this. I just had to know what she was thinking and whether this unusual approach was effective.

But I had to wait. As I was making my way over to ask her, a guy knelt on one knee before her, offering her a mock marriage proposal. “Hmm. Maybe this lady is on to something,” I thought.

“This lady” is Ayana Evans, a Brooklyn-based performance artist “in her 30s” who’s best-known for “Operation Catsuit,” in which she traverses New York City in a neon-green catsuit to make a statement about the male (and female) gaze.

You might also find her jumping in heels, for hours at a time, to highlight the demands of being a woman, or you could spot her literally carrying a woman on her back, a testament to the strength and expectations of black women’s friendships.

But the sign on her back Sunday? Was she performing or was she for real? And again, does this approach work? The Root caught up with Evans the next day to find out.

The Root: How did you come up with this idea?

Ayana Evans: As an artist, when I have a block and I can’t think of anything to make art about, it usually means I’m not being honest about something. There have been a lot of points where I have been desperate about finding a husband, feeling anxious, wondering, “When is it going to happen? Where am I going to meet him?” I’m not proud of that, but that’s definitely how I felt. I haven’t been in a relationship in six years. I realized worrying about getting married was something I edit out a lot in work. So I was like, “All right, let’s make a piece about how I feel.”

TR: When you wear the sign, are you hoping that men will approach you, or is this an artistic expression?

AE: It’s both. I go to a lot of places hoping to meet someone, but not with a lot of faith that it’s going to happen. This is me just putting it all out there about what I want, whereas before I would spend a lot of time and put a lot of effort into pretending like finding a life partner was not on my mind. I didn’t want anyone to see me as thirsty or desperate. Now I rather just deal with it head on and let it all hang out.

If someone comes up to me that I think is cute, is a great candidate, and I’m like, “Wow, you’re intelligent, you make me laugh,” am I going to go for it? Yes!

Read the full article on The Root HERE 

Power Recap: It Was All Good Just A Week Ago


Tommy is being processed and a guard observes, "you are one ugly piece of sh--." Really? Tommy kinda does it for me, in a weird way. I think he's one of those guys whose personality makes them cuter. As he's stripping, I wonder how I have never noticed his physique before. Tommy With A Job aka White Boy Tommy is a low key hottie.

At Tommy's bail hearing the following day, I realize "Turtle" aka Mr. Proctor, the lawyer Ghost hired for Tommy, looks great in a suit. Why do all these men suddenly look so good? I've been out of town for five days. I think I miss my husband. Anyway, no bail for Tommy. Oh, and I hate Angie.

Tasha is making out with her delusional boy toy when she gets a call from Tommy saying he's in jail. As expected, she freaks out. Shawn, because he's like 5, doesn't know what to do because, again: 5.

At the office, Angela's getting kudos from the boss, who wants to talk about her bright future. Hater Greg comes over to piss on her parade. He wants James to testify about Tommy. Not never ever will this happen.

Angela swings by Jamie's hotel. She's still mad Jamie changed his cell. He explains his number occasionally gets in the wrong hands. He wants Angie to help Tommy. She wants Tommy to testify. Again, no.

Kanan and Dre are pep talking Shawn into how to kill Ghost. This all feels very Michael Corleone, but the difference is "Mikey" was actually an untapped G who just needed a push in the right direction. Shawn is no Michael Corleone. However, he is eager to please his father and is willing to give it the good try. Um. Shawn is going to end up dead.

Back at the hotel, Tasha is charging down the hallway, pissed. "I guess that d--k ain't what it used to be," she yells at Ghost. She mad about Tommy being arrested. Ghost insists it's all part of his master plan. Tasha is unconvinced. "You're playing with fire, Ghost," she says. "You just better make sure we don't all get burned."

Tommy meets with Turtle in jail. Tommy is pissed that Ghost isn't in jail and is back to believing Ghost set him up. "He just happens to be running late the same day and his girlfriend magically knows the location of our meeting with Lobos?" Tommy asks. Um... good point. Turtle is a hottie in this suit. I still can't take him seriously as a lawyer. But after some convincing Tommy does.

Turtle calls Ghost after meeting Tommy to fill him in. "You're f--king the prosecutor?" Turtle asks. Ghost insists there's "a benefit" to it. I still don't know if he actually likes Angie or not.

Ghost is facing a massive amount of bullish-- at his real job, but somehow he makes time to pitch Cantos new business, an event on Saturday. I'm impressed. The club would have been the last thing on my mind that day and that weekend. Perhaps this is why he's so successful as a MF coke boy. I'm not built for that. Cantos agrees to the party as Ghost has everything in place. As Ghost is leaving, Cantos reaches for a box of records that he plans to send to Stern at the end of the week.

At the office, Angie and team are are sorting through boxes (nice visual transition there), preparing their discovery case against "Eagan." Greg pushes up on Angie about talking to Jamie. She says it hasn't happened. Big Boss shows up to say that Tommy is "small fish"; they just want Lobos. They'll be lenient with Tommy if he gives them Lobos. (By lenient, they mean 15 years).

Lala aka Kisha is by the St. Patrick's dropping off all the bank statements that Tasha has been sending to her house. "What are you going to do with 200k?," Lala asks Tasha. "That's like your shoe budget for a week." Tasha seems deeply worried about the amount. LOL. Tasha tells Kisha that Ghost is in too deep with Angie, and she has to protect herself and the kids. She's planning to leave and go somewhere with the kids that even Kisha won't know about. "You're hiding money from Ghost and now you wanna hide his kids too?!" Kisha asks. She uses the proper level of hysteria for the situation. Kisha thinks going off and starting another life alone is nuts. "Can't you find another way?" she asks. Tasha's wheels are turning.

The Serb shows up for a meeting at a back room hole in the wall with the other distributors. The initial plan to meet Lobos didn't work and he doesn't want to waste his time by engaging further. Oh, and the supply is low. Kanan cautions the other distributors to be easy. "Ghost will be dead by tomorrow", he says. I don't know why he just won't do the job. I know and he should know that his son is "the Namond" from The Wire. Your dad being a gangster does not make you one. It's not like your blood type that is just passed down on your dad's side. Gangsters are not born, they are made. Anyway, Fiddy says not to worry about the supply. Lobos has been arrested before and has measures in place to make sure operations continue to run smoothly.

Shawn shows up at the St. Patricks the morning he is supposed to kill Ghost. Tasha has a proposition for him: run away with me. Of course, he says, "yes." This is "all he ever wanted." Ok. So Shawn will live.

Tommy is being interrogated by the Feds with his lawyer present. He pretends he has no idea what they're talking about. He's not trying to be funny, but this is hilarious.

Shawn is waiting for Ghost to get in the car, and checking the stashed gun to make sure it's there. Oh boy. He calls Dad and Dre who are setting up at the warehouse Sean is supposed to bring Ghost's body to, to dispose of it. Kanan tells him not to think of Ghost as his Uncle at anymore. "He's just another n---- standing in front of the life you want," Kanan says.

This plot just doesn't make sense to me. Because I compare everything to The Wire, I am reminded of when Michael was being trained to do his first hit, and Chris insisted it not be someone he knew because it was too personal and may freak him out. That logic is sound. I just don't get whey Kanan would put Shawn up to this when he could do it better. Even if Shawn was a baby G, which he so, so is not, this would still be a bad idea be cause of the close relationship he once had with Ghost, a surrogate father.

Ghost gets in the car and Shawn is replaying the directions from his father for killing Ghost. Shawn is reaching for the gun when a cop knocks on the window. The road is closed. The cop gives him directions to an alternate route. Womp. Oh, and Ghost (kinda) offers Shawn a promotion.

At prison, the Feds show up with Tommy's mother, who Tommy financially supports. And who is a coke head. "With a mother like that, he never even had a chance," Angie observes. The Feds illegally listen in to her hysteria to see if they're making headway with Tommy. Nope. "I ain't never going to be a snitch," Tommy says. "Not for you, not for nobody." The Feds realize he's not going to flip. "Too bad Tommy Egan," Angie's boss says. "You're going to be in prison the rest of your life."

Random. These shots of New York are beautiful. My city is so pretty.

Angie shows up at Jamie's apartment to tell him he was right about Tommy. "He won't break," Angie says. But she's not down to protect him as he's a major drug dealer. Somehow they end up having sex. After, Angie wonders, "we're running out of time, aren't we?" Jamie tells her that is on her. *insert dramatic music* He calls Proctor as soon as Angie is about the door. He, as usual, is up to something.

Tommy's staring at the ceiling in his cell when a guard comes to get him. The guard takes him to a private meet Angie, who wants to "help him" by getting him to flip on Lobos. She offers witness protection and relocating his mother. She can get his sentence down to 15 years. Tommy: "your p---y must be made out of poison. It's like the acid ate his brain." Aha-ahaha-ahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Angie reassures Tommy that she and Ghost are not conspiring against him because Ghost wouldn't do that. He asks her if he she knows Ghost as well as she thinks.

Their meeting is cut short when Tommy's lawyer arrives. Tommy heads to court to discover that Turtle has a new plan, he's asking for the compliant against Tommy to be dismissed. Short version: the Feds didn't include the complete sketch that ID'd Tommy in their materials, just the partial which would not have been enough to ID him. They based their investigation against Tommy on a full sketch that was provided under duress by a 14 year old. Because their investigation is based on an illegal sketch, everything that resulted from that sketch is inadmissible via "fruit of the poisoned tree." This is brilliant. For years, I'd considered law school, took tons of pre-law classes, even took the LSAT. I'm general, I don't regret not pursuing it (things turned out okay for me), but in this moment, I REALLY wish I was a lawyer. The case is dismissed "with prejudice." Turtle is a damn good lawyer. I'm sold.

Angie is pissed. She bursts into Ghost's office a lot Truth, screaming that she could lose her job. He pretty much confesses to screwing up her case. "You'll do anything, won't you? Say anything to get what you want," Angela accuses. Well, she is right. Jamie points out that she will too because she cloned his phone and followed him to the hotel. "We both been playing dirty," Ghost says. "You're just mad you lost."

Ghost starts rambling about jam in Vermont. Sorry, wrong show. He's talking about getting his club back and then "everything we wanted since high school is there for us to take" because Angie wanted a life with him. Um, he doesn't get it. Angie wanted the upstanding do-right citizen, not a drug dealer. "Are you Ghost?" Angie demands.

"If I were Ghost, would I answer that question?" Jamie retorts, more or less confirming her suspicion.

Angela attempts to leave but Ghost grabs her back. "There's nothing stopping us" he says. I'm so confused. Does he really want to be with her or not? Arrgh. Like he's saying it, but I don't know whether to believe it. Angie tells him he's all "smoke and mirrors". She adds that all he is, is a fantasy before dropping: "fuck you, Ghost!" Oh, she real mad. And Greg's creeper self is sitting across the street taking pictures of her exit.

Jamie's having a bad night, and it gets worse when Shawn pulls a gun on him in the liquor closet at the club. Aww, hell. Ghost talks his way out of it by admitting he set up Kanan and talking about how much he once loved him. Shawn admits he has a thing for Tasha and that she deserves him, not Ghost. Oh, pour outta a little liquor. Shawn is about to die.

"You ain't built for this," Ghost tells Shawn. "What Kanan's asking you to do, no real father should ever ask of their son." Welp.

This is too much talking. Shawn is not about this life. Ghost effortlessly takes Shawn's gun and points it at Shawn's eye. The cackle I let out when Ghost called him a "fuck n---a" was epic. I had to rewind three times.

Ghost isn't going to kill Shawn  even though he deserves it for trying to kill him and whatever's up with Tasha. Ghost tells him instead to leave New York. "Go be a better man than Kanan, not the man he's trying to turn you into,"Ghost says. He even gives Shawn the gun back.

Jesus. Ghost actually loves this kid. Maybe this his way of making things right with himself for what happened with Rolla. Sometimes Jamie gets on my damn nerves, but this moment right here? It's why I watch a show where I root for the drug dealer to win.

Shawn tries to plead, protest? I don't know. The primal "gooooo!" that Jamie lets out like some sort of wounded animal? Ugh. That hurt. And it was creepy as f---. I rewound that a couple times too.

Angie's at work sulking when Greg walks in. He's been thinking. He's deduced that James is Ghost and Angie conspired with him (and Proctor) to protect Tommy. He admits he's been following Angie and will report all of her alleged activity to the higher ups. Angie tells Greg that he's wrong and James played her. "I'm an idiot," she says. They decide to stay up all night building a case against Jamie and they will take it to the higher ups in the morning. "We're going to take him down," Angie says.

Tommy's released from prison. James is waiting for him at the exit. All is right in their world... as far as they know.

At the office Cantos discovers his office is a wreck. Someone broke in and stole his files. Jamie? At home, Tasha is packing her Louis V luggage to run off with Shawn, who says he'll pick her up in a hour. She seems happy about this.

Somewhere in Queens, Fiddy is working on Operation Kill Ghost Plan B, which is spraying up the let out of the club like it's the 90s. He been inside too long. Shawn pops up as Fiddy is playing chess alone. He didn't kill Ghost as we know, and Fiddy knows because Shawn's suit is clean.

Shawn confronts his father about using him to get revenge on Ghost. Fiddy says whatever Ghost said is the truth. Shawn calls him a piece is shit who belongs in jail. "You're not my father," he accuses. "You never have been." Shawn goes to leave, but Fiddy stops him... by shooting him in the stomach. He tells him, "you don't deserve to be my son" before shooting him in the head.

Bruh! I did NOT see this coming. I thought Shawn might actually live after Ghost, who had every reason to kill him, let him go. Now his own Daddy is pulling a Marvin Gaye, Sr.?!

On April 1 1984,  Marvin Sr. shot his son, Marvin Gaye,  three times in the chest.  It was the eve of Marvin's forty fifth birthday.

Wowie wow wow wow.

For a moment, Fiddy actually looks like he regrets it. Then he calls Dre to say there's been a change of plans.

Um, ya think?

 What did you think of the latest episode of Power?



Ask Demetria: Why Do Guys Send D--k Pics?


Dear Demetria:

Why do guys send unsolicited d--k pics? I feel like as I talk to guys, we slowly venture into sexting, then the guy just takes it from zero to 100. I'm interested in him, but the picture just came out of nowhere. Do any girls actually like these things? How do you respond? —Anonymous 

Hold up. There’s no such thing as “slowly venturing” into sexting, defined by as “the sending of sexually explicit photos, images, text messages or emails by using a cellphone or other mobile device.” Sexting implies that you are interested in having sex with the person to whom you send the images.

I’m unclear how you do that slowly. Whatever you sent suggested that you were interested in having sex with him. He responded with a picture of his sexual organ to let you know that he’s also interested, to allow you to gauge his equipment and for you to anticipate what he can do with it. I’m unclear where this guy went wrong here.

That said, I’ve heard plenty of stories about men actually going from “zero to 100” and sending penis pictures when there was no indication whatsoever from the woman that they would be welcomed. I’ve received a set of pictures—yes, plural—from a guy out of the blue. (In my first book, A Belle in Brooklyn, I dedicated an entire chapter to that story.)

Probably, like you, I wondered, “Why?” Had I done something to mislead him? Did he think I was that type of girl?

I never arrived at a solid answer, and your letter finally prompted me to get one, as much for you as for myself. I hit up several guys in my circle to get to the bottom of what I’d started to think of as the “d--k-pic conundrum.” The answers, which the guys gave on the condition of complete anonymity, were fascinating.

First, the “why” should be obvious. “I never understood why my female friends were always so confused as to why dudes sent them,” said one man. “It’s clear that the pic is supposed to incite sexual interest or excitement. Whether you’re grossed out or not, you know damn well why he did it!”

But is a d--k pic a sign that he doesn’t respect you? Most of the guys agreed that wasn’t the case.

“Men don't see it as a form of disrespect,” another gentleman explained. “It's our way of being vulnerable. Most women, especially black women, are very vocal as it pertains to their wants in life. This includes career goals, marriage, family and a sex life. They have made it very clear how they want to be pleased in the bedroom. An unsolicited d--k pic is oftentimes a man’s way of saying, ‘I qualify.’”

In simpler terms, another man explained the pictures “as a way of saying, ‘You interested or nah?’ It’s basically just fishing, throwing the bait out there and hoping something [catches].”

Most of the dozens of men I conversed with understood how many women could perceive the photos as uncouth and ill-mannered. Still, the guys also thought that the guys who sent them ultimately were harmless and women were making a big deal out of nothing. Several suggested that the penis pictures might be one of those circumstances that support the idea that “men are from Mars, women are from Venus”—i.e., the sexes are just wired differently.

TV Recap: Power 0208- Everybody Has A Plan

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Lobos is at the pool with an assistant to hold his cigar. Or is dude his BF? Or both? I’m not sure. This is better than Fonzworth holding Diddy’s umbrella though.

The BF/assistant asks how long he’s going to keep "doing this"? Doing what? I’m so confused… until a young man pops up from the water. Um… I don’t think he was down there cleaning “the Royal Penis”. Well, maybe figuratively. Not literally.

A cleaning lady walks in to put towels away. Oh sh—! She’s shooting! She gets the guy not literally cleaning the royal penis. Lobos’s BF/assistant struggles with her until Lobos shoots her a fair one in the dome. The assistant is spattered in blood.

Pause: I’ll give this show credit for its equal opportunity. This is the second lady hitter that we’ve seen. Kudos.

Lobos, who refers to himself in the third person thinks the Jimenez Brothers sent her. “New York is not safe anymore,” says Lobos, who seems drunk or high, maybe both. Or maybe he’s just shook up because he was almost killed. I mean, he is still sitting in the pool with a bloody body in it. I’m concerned about these sanitary conditions. “I’m going to get my money from Ghost and get out.” Something tells me it won’t be that simple.

Oh, and is it me, or was that whole scene like Quentin Tarantino dramatic? Very Kill Bill.

Jamie is at the house with Tasha, who has changed the combination on the safe. He’s giving us sad face because he misses his children. He and Tasha speak discuss the kids like they’re business partners, not husband and wife. This is sad.

Ghost is on his way out the door when Tasha demands to know his plan. She no longer trusts Ghost on “blind faith. Not anymore.” Jamie tells her that Angie isn’t after him, just Lobos. Tasha, who is a G, suggests Jamie kill Lobos and get a new connect. If Lobos is gone, Angie’s investigation goes away, right? Tasha may be on to something. Before Jamie bounces, Tasha has a question. “Angela still doesn’t know about you?” Jamie assures his wife that Angie does not. You sure, bruh?

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Angie meets with her phone guy. With the cloned phone she can see who Jamie calls and read all of his texts. She cannot listen to his calls. The phone guy says only the NSA can do that. Um… and the Baltimore PD. McNulty was doing that in Season 3 of The Wire. Complicated process, but entirely do-able. Anyway, a text comes through that Jamie wants to meet at “the spot”. Is there a GPS tracker on this phone? That would be helpful right about know.

Jamie meets up with Julio who is standing in front of a wall of money that's supposed to go to Lobos. Jesus! How much are these people making?? Tommy walks in and declares it looks like the US Mint. It does, Tommy, doesn’t it?

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Tommy sees Jamie and proceeds to dip. They ain’t really feeling each other right now. In the hallway, Jamie reiterates that he has a plan: give Lobos the money, then go to the hotel and kill him. Tommy ain’t down. If they kill Lobos, who is the connect? I got a better question, what happens to all that money?

Oh, okay. They’re going to take the money back. Jamie says split it, it’s enough, and they get out the life. Tommy says that’s not going to happen. They’re gonna do the deal with Lobos, then go back to business. Tommy walks off and Ghost does that stare off into the distance where we know he’s thinking, but no idea what he’s thinking about. Oh, boy.

Sean is by his Mom’s house, where he apparently lives. Mama ain’t pleased with the hours he’s keeping. Oh, and Dad’s there. Honestly? I think the show is better without Fiddy, but I’m glad to see him after three episodes because I know he’s about to make things messy. Fiddy wants to know what Ghost’s been up to since he’s been gone and tells Sean to find out.

Jamie is on the phone with Lobos aka “Jeffe” who wants to meet. He’ll send an address. Apparently what he sends is “Wait for instructions”. Angela intercepts the text, but doesn’t know what to make of it.

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Apparently there is a GPS tracker on the phone. Angela’s watching Jamie shop in Bally as she talks to him. He lies and says he’s at Truth. As Angela’s peeking through windows, she gets a text from Greg that says they have an address for the Lobos meeting. Meanwhile in the store, Jamie gets called to a meeting with Lobos nearby. Something tells me Greg’s intel is not accurate.

Ghost and Jeffe meet at the Monkey Bar. Jeffe wants Ghost to take on a bigger role in the drug organization. He wants his Mexican cartel to report directly to Jamie… on one condition: Ghost drops Tommy. “He’s dead weight,” Lobos deduces. Ehh… Yes and no. Tommy’s nuts, but he has his merits. I do understand why Jamie keeps him around. Jamie says he’ll roll around the suggestion and get back to him when he delivers the money.

When Jamie leaves, Lobos’s partner slides into the booth. Lobos is not happy that Jamie didn’t jump at his offer. “He’s not interested in power or money or anything that I can give him,” Lobos complains. "It means I can’t control him. He’s a liability.” Hmmm. Is that true? Actually, he’s just not interested in it in that world. But hold up. Is Jeffe gonna try to off Jamie?

At the office, Greg and the rest of the task force are discussing where Lobos will meet and cooking up a strategy to bring Lobos in alive.

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Back on the block, Fiddy, who is no longer wearing a shearling coat, catches up with Dre. He wants Dre to find out where the Lobos meet is. Dre fills him in on all he missed. Hmm. Dre’s more loyal than I thought. I totally thought he would be out for dolo.

At home, Angie is checking her duplicate phone wondering why there’s been no chatter about the meet between Ghost and anyone else. Ghost knocks on her door unexpectedly. She puts on a great act, pretending to be happy to see him. He comes bearing gifts, from Bally’s!!!  But then he has to return a text. Angie leaves the room to check the dupe phone. Jamie is texting his daughter. Womp. Blah, blah, blah, they have sex. I am so over their sex scenes.

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Tommy and Fiddy meet at a diner where Tommy, of course, yammers too much about the meet up with Lobos, and about Ruiz/Luiz. Kanan offers to go with Tommy to back him up at the drop. Tommy actually makes the right call for once and declines.

In a fancier place across town, Dre rolls up on Jamie. He immediately deduces that Kanan is back and told Dre where he was.  Dre looks nervous. I can’t tell if he’s acting. He asks Ghost if he can work directly for him. Ghost brushes him off. Grrr. I can’t read Dre. I think he’s loyal to Kanan after that incident with his boy in the trunk of the car. But maybe that spooked him and he wants to distance himself?

Julio’s fine self has swung by an office to see Mr. Proctor, who turns out to be “Turtle” from Entourage. I literally yelled “Turtle!” when he opened the door. You know, I still haven’t seen the Entourage movie. How was it?

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Anyway, Turtle owes 12k and isn’t trying to pay up. He hits Julio with the “Ill pay you when I can pay you.” Oh, Turtle, honey, no. You don’t know who you’re f—ing with. This doesn’t end well.

At work, Angie is still intercepting Ghost’s texts. This one is for a meeting at the Carlton hotel the following day. She asks Greg what if the Federales are wrong about the meet up between the connect and Lobos.

Tommy is smoking a blunt in the St. Patrick’s bedroom. I don’t have any friends that are this close and I’m A-OK with that. He wants to talk to Tasha about Ghost’s plan to kill Lobos at the Carlton, which is actually Tasha’s plan. And worse, he wants Tasha to know that Ghost "wants out". They say this as if it is a bad thing. “You don’t think he’s trying to run away with the Fed bitch?” Tasha asks. Tommy says he wouldn’t leave without the kids. Tasha isn’t so sure.

Tasha heads to Truth to surprise Jamie. Her boobs look awesome. Anyway, Tasha wants him to now that she’s on to his plan to run off with Angela and leave her and the kids. We rarely see Ghost lose his cool, but he does here.

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“Did I cheat? Yes!” he says. “But that don’t make me less of a father.” He assures her that he won’t make any moves that affect the kids without filling her in. He sounds like he's lying. She warns him to be careful.

At the house, Sean swings by and is all up on Tasha like the kids ain’t home. She warns him about the meet at the Carlton the following day. She wants him to be careful. See. She talking too much. They can’t finish the conversation as Lala pops by. Tasha and Sean are so awkward. Geez Louise. Lala would have to be an idiot not to know that something is up.

As soon as Sean leaves, “Lala asks the obvious, “so how long ya’ll been f—ing.” She says she’s cool with it, but wants to know how Tasha is sure Ghost won’t find out. Everything about her face says she will be the one to tell Ghost.

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When Sean hits the lobby, Kanan is there waiting for him. He wants to know the same thing La does, “how long you been smashing Tasha?” he asks Sean. “Stevie Wonder could see ya’ll f—ing.” Fiddy thinks Sean is playing himself until Sean reveals there’s a big meeting the next day at the Carlton. Look. This meeting is no secret. EVERYONE knows about it. Geez. Dad is impressed. Then he asks for a play-by-play of his son’s sex life. “I been in jail 10 years. If I can’t get it in person, I want a play-by-play.” The look on his face is so Uncle Denzel.

Somewhere in the Bronx, Luiz/Ruiz is playing cards when Dre walks in with Kanan, who Luiz/Ruiz is none too happy to see him. Kanan drops that there is a meeting tomorrow between Lobos, Ghost and Tommy. Luiz/Ruiz is pissed. Ghost promised him an in on the meeting. Kanan suggests that they, along with the rest of the distributors, approach Lobos on their own. Ruiz/Luiz says what Kanan won’t: cutting out Tommy and Ghost means killing them. He respects Tommy.

Apparently Luiz/Ruiz is down, kinda. In the next scene he’s meeting with Serb. He lays out the plan, but doesn’t want Tommy involved. Ruiz/Luiz tells the Serb that the hit on the Serb’s stash houses wasn’t the Albanians, but Ghost, who originally wanted to kill the Serb. The Serb needs proof of an insurrection. In walk Kanan and Dre, along with “Marlo” from The Wire. The plan is to ambush Jamie at the meeting with Lobos tomorrow and tell them that distributors have banned together to cut out Ghost and Tommy. Karan says that Tommy will take him into the room. Um, will he?

Elsewhere in the city, Jamie is meeting with Mr. Proctor, a lawyer who is paying for his ex wife’s drug habit in exchange for custody of the kids. Um, huh? Anyway, Jamie is retaining his services in order to not reveal that information and have him disbarred. I’m so unclear. Is Proctor a divorce attorney? A defense attorney?

At the office, the plans to ambush the warehouse where the Federales have said the Lobos meet will happen are in full effect. Angela still hasn’t said a word about the meeting at the Carlton. She checks her phone again, then rushes out of the office. Greg attempts to go after her, but can’t get out of the meeting.

At the Carlton, Lobos’s assistant/BF is prepping the room for the next day’s massacre which will involve a machete. These two are comedy. That is, until Lobos gets sick of his BF’s attitude. He yokes him up on the wall and makes it known he is not to be toyed with. Well, all righty then.

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Angie is by Jamie’s hotel, attempting to seduce him. He notes that it’s unlike her to pop up in the middle of the day. They have their sex that I am so sick of seeing. After, Angie is laying on Ghost, looking terrified. She wants them to leave “right now”. Just pick up and run off together. “I just need you” she promises. Jamie tells her that’s in the plans, but he can’t do it today. He has a meeting a Truth. She says she understands. When he leaves, she follows his car.

Angie is going through it. I imagine scared of facing her moment of truth, finding out for sure who Jamie is, and choosing between her job and the man she loves.

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The job wins out. She calls Greg and tells him that she saw “the distributor” going into the meeting with Lobos. She doesn’t say Ghost. Then she sends Greg a picture of Tommy arriving at the Carlton. She won’t give up her source. As Tommy is walking in the building, he looks toward Angie's car and she drives across the front seat. Hmmm. 

Greg and the entire FBI team arrive at the Carlton hotel preparing to take Room 540, where the meet is taking place. They ram the door. Shots are fired. Angela is downstairs looking terrified. The target is secure. Evil Boss congratulates Angela who looks miserable.

The team comes downstairs with Lobos in cuffs, and Tommy. There’s another body on the stretcher. Could it be…?!?! Nope. No Ghost in sight.

Fiddy watches it all from across the street.

Angie calls Ghost and gives him her “I’m mad" voice. “Jamie. Where. Are. You?” she demands.

Actually, he’s watching you from the window in the hotel. Look up.

Somewhere in Queens, Sean storms into the diner where Dre is always at to confront his father. “Did you do this? Did you get Tommy arrested?” he demands. Fiddy denies going to the cops. He wouldn’t do that. He’s not Ghost. He tells Sean that he knows Ghost set him up to go to jail.  “All them years we ain’t been together was  your Uncle G’s doing,” he tells Sean.  Dre, who is watching all this while sweeping, pipes in that Ghost is going to get “street justice” for his crime. Whose side is this kid on? I’m so confused.

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Kanan says he can’t do it because Ghost will see him coming a mile away. Sean points out that Dre can’t do it because Ghost doesn’t trust him. Kanan says Ghost is the only thing standing in the way of Sean and Tasha being together. He say this in front of Dre, who I’m not sure can be trusted. Sean knows Ghost trusts him, so Sean aka “I-only-pulled-a-trigger-at-a gun-range range” volunteers.  This doesn’t end well. This young boy is going to get himself killed.

The task force is at the bar celebrating their win, everybody except Angela. As Mike looks on, Greg catches up with her at the bar as she settles her tab. Um… the company or boss couldn’t pick this one up? Anyway, Greg points out that Angie’s source will need to come forward, but that is tomorrow’s issue. The way he looks at her as she walks off lets us know he hasn't forgotten about seeing her with Ghost. He does not trust Angie.

Hold up. Angie never revealed the source? Did the FBI have a warrant to raid that hotel? Before Angie leaves, her colleague gives a toast, noting they’re all about get to raises because of her. Angela gets a text from Jamie as she walks outside. He got a new phone and his business is settled. He is ready to leave with her “tomorrow”. Hold up. WHAT? So he does want to be with Angie? Or he’s just talking ish?

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ARRRGGHHH!!! This man infuriates me. I never know what he is actually thinking, and what he means and what he doesn’t. Like, Angie is off his back now, right? So does he still need to keep her on the hook? Or was he just saying that to screw with her head because he knows she gave him up.

Angie tosses the clone phone to the ground and hops in a cab. A song called “Fuck It All” plays as the credits roll. Is Angie is leaving with him? Or is she going to be out to get him for playing her? But he gave her Lobos, so is she mad?


But no seriously, who is this song by? The soundtrack for this show is so underrated. (EDIT: It's by  Elle Varner. >>LINK<<

 And what did you think of the episode? 


The Root: Drake vs. Meek Mill: It’s Not Even Close


Last night, a week after he began a feud with popular rapper Drake on Twitter, lesser-known lyricist Meek Mill of Philadelphia released a much-anticipated but largely underwhelming dis track, "Wanna Know." The song title trended on Twitter for hours as hip-hop aficionados mostly clowned Mill for taking so long to produce a song so terrible.

The memes in response said it all, particularly this one:

Mill's Thursday-evening offering is in response to the two well-received songs, "Charged Up" and "Back to Back," which Drake directed at Meek earlier this week. The latter song included the memorable line "Is that a world tour or your girl's tour?"—a reference to Mill's performance as an opening act for his far-better-known (and wealthier) girlfriend, hip-pop star (and Drake's labelmate) Nicki Minaj. Rolling Stone described the song as Drake "demolishing" his in-over-his-head competitor.

If you are confused at all as to why two grown-ass men are engaged in a public war of words, I assure you that even rap fans who have been following this since the start are also perplexed. I'm warning you now, the explanation will not make sense, but allow me to explain from the beginning anyway. May we go back?

On June 29, Meek Mill released an album, Dreams Worth More Than Money, that made it to No. 1 on the Billboard charts. The album included a song that featured Drake. Yes, the same Drake that Mill attacked last night, but first on Twitter.

About a week ago, Mill went on a late-night rant accusing Drake of not writing his own lyrics. "Stop comparing Drake to me too ... " Mill began on Twitter. "He don't write his own raps! That's why he ain't tweet my album because we found out!"

He added, later, "[Drake] ain't even write that verse on my album. And if I woulda knew I woulda took it off my album ... I don't trick my fans!"

There was warranted confusion as to whether Mill was actually upset that Drake allegedly used a ghostwriter, a man named Quentin Miller, who has publicly denied being Drake's ghostwriter. "I'm proud to say that we've collaborated," Miller wrote on his Tumblr page. "But I could never take credit for anything other than the few songs we worked on together."

Or was Mill in his feelings because Drake failed to promote Mill's album to his nearly 25 million Twitter followers? If that sounds like a ridiculous assumption, it isn't. Earlier in July, Meek publicly attacked his own labelmate Wale for the same thing.

Until this point, Drake had done nothing to bother Mill. Drake has spent the better part of the summer getting sexy in the gymgrowing out his beardattending tennis matches and occasionally performing. Oh, and working on his next album, Views From the 6. By his own account, he is not a guy who looks for trouble.

"I am a nice guy," he once said in 2013 interview with Angie Martinez on Hot 97. "That's how I was raised. I'm a cordial, very nice guy. I don't like confrontation, but I'm also not 'the' guy. Especially when it comes to rap. I'm ready."

Read the full story on The Root.

Dear Demetria: Should I Buy My Own Engagement Ring?


Dear Demetria:

"My fiance proposed in April with no engagement ring. He wanted to just go down to the courthouse and marry me plenty of times. I’m not a materialistic person at all. Even when we do get married, I probably wouldn’t wear my wedding ring every day, but I want my engagement ring now. My fiance is still in school and lives with his dad and can’t afford it now. What do you think about me buying my own ring and he gives me the money later on?" —Anonymous

You want an engagement ring. You don’t have to apologize for that and it doesn’t make you materialistic, at all. Don’t feel bad about wanting a ring as a symbol of your commitment. The ring isn’t everything, but it is absolutely “a thing,” a cultural tradition (three-fourths of American brides wear diamond engagement rings, according to Kenneth Gassman, president of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute). It’s entirely normal to desire an engagement ring, even if you don’t plan to wear it every day once you are married.

Who pays for the ring isn’t really a big deal, even if it’s an expense that usually falls on the man in heterosexual relationships. Honestly, diamond engagement rings are a relatively modern concept. It’s actually the result of a marketing campaign by De Beers Consolidated Mines that was crafted in a Mad Men-esque marketing agency circa 1938. Have you heard the line, “A diamond is forever?” In 1999, Advertising Age named it the slogan of the 20th century.

All things being equal, there’s nothing wrong with buying your own engagement ring. And unless you or your guy runs around telling people, no one would ever know. That said, all things aren’t equal in your scenario.

Your guy, I’m sure he’s great, but he doesn’t sound ready to be married to you. To be clear: The issue isn’t that you have more money or that he doesn’t seem to have much at all. It is hard to be broke and starting out and married—though easier if a couple is in the same boat. However, it can absolutely work.

There’s also nothing wrong with marrying a man who makes less. The issue is that he’s a dependent adult who can barely do for himself, and you really want things—basic things—that he can’t provide yet. You would be better off waiting for him to get himself together financially and establish himself as an adult before you marry him.

Just so you know: If you’re going to accept a man who doesn’t have a lot of wealth, and marry for love, that’s fine. But you also have to accept what comes with that: not having some of the things you may really desire when you desire them. You don’t get to emasculate your man by getting the things he should be able to provide for you, such as an engagement ring, because you’ve become impatient.


Read the full story: HERE 

Power Recap Episode 0207: Lobos is Coming

Note: Apologies in advance for the lateness and the lack of pictures. I’m overseas (again) with really slow w-fi.  



Angie and Jamie are having sex. Again. Meh. Why are they in a relationship again? Like Tasha is convinced that they love each other, but I’m not so sure. They love sex with each other. Look, I’m all for a couple with an active sex life, but this is all their relationship is based on at this point. I mean, all they do is have orgasms, lie by omission to each other, and then when Angie just can’t keep it to herself anymore, she starts ranting about Tommy or Holly or accuses Jamie of being a “MF dope boy.” Jamie keeps repeating, “I’m a good guy”. You know who is also constantly telling people they’re “a good guy”? Stevie J. Do with that what you will.

Tasha and Jamie are at a restaurant talking in public about business that should only be discussed in private because Jamie isn’t allowed in the house. Still. Tasha’s been thinking about Angie being a Fed. She notes that they might have a chance of getting out of this if Jamie can lay pipe right.

Jamie, who looks like a sullen child, says, “Angela isn’t that simple. Great sex isn’t going to keep her from thinking for herself. “ Um, Sir. Might I suggest that you not defend your mistress to your wife. Tasha’s not done: “Then you need to out think her,” Tasha counters. “Just like you did me.’ Ouch.

Tommy has gone nuts, and that’s saying something about a character who on a good day is operating at around “0” on the sanity scale. He’s emotionally torn up about Holly and has physically torn up his own damn house as a result. Oh, and he's not even doing lines of coke; he’s snorting by the pile. Tommy calls Holly in frustration, and though she didn’t answer, I think he might have been planning to run off and go find her. To actually be with her or kill her? That is the question. Whatever he was plotting, he's  packing a getaway way bag when Ghost knocks at his door. They have an awkward conversation with each one trying to fish for what the other knows about Holly being called in by the Feds. Neither reveals anything of note. Sigh.

Angie’s in court trying to get a warrant for Tommy Patrick Egan/ Ghost. The judge is unconvinced that they are the same person. Angie argues that she’s just after an arrest, not a prosecution. “I’m fully aware of the government’s burden here, Ms. Valdez,” says the judge. “The question is are you?” No warrant. Greg tells Angie that he’ll trail Tommy, and he drops the bomb that he knows that Angie is still in contact with Holly. Angie doesn’t ask how he knows, just takes it all in stride and says she’ll find her. She puts a Fed tracker on the hunt.

Dre is working the street outside the Mini Mart when Ghost shows up demanding that he come through with Lobos’s money faster. Dre, always a team player, notes that he’ll be broke but he can get it done. “You’re the boss,” he says to Ghost. “I play by your rules.”

They take a walk. Random: I like Dre’s outfit. The white jacket? The black gloves? Nice combo. Anyway, Ghost tempts Dre with the possibility of following in his footsteps, not being a street dealer. In exchange for teaching Dre how to get out the hood, Ghost wants to know what’s going on with Kanan who he suspects is double crossing him and has been nowhere to be found for two episodes. Dre notes that Sean is the one who gets all the good info from Kanan, not him.

While Dre and Ghost are talking, Tasha calls Sean. He lets it slip that Angie’s been in the car. Tasha is questioning him when Jamie walks up to the car. Sean rushes off  the phone, and of course, Uncle G is suspicious, now more than ever.

While she has the house (and car) searched for bugs, Tasha is attired in all black “like the omen” and wearing enough diamonds to make Elizabeth Taylor envious. When Sean shows up, Tasha  reminds him that ”anything that happens between us you have to keep a secret.” Usually, this would sound like overkill to me, but I don’t think Sean is that bright and probably needs to be reminded like a child. Sean agrees, then adds that he is willing to do whatever it takes to be with Tasha. I’m convinced Tasha has that Badu. He notes that Ghost would kill him if he found out about them. Yes, Sean, Yes, he would. Just so you’re clear.

Tommy is at the laundromat high as hell, and paranoid. He wants all the money that’s been piling up because they can't clean it, moved from the stash spot. He says he can't keep all his eggs in one  basket anymore.

Tommy and the crew pack up bags of what we are to assume is cash and take them for a ride to who only knows where. Greg, who’s been on stakeout outsde the legal business, calls the NYPD to pull the van over. The officer explains that the vehicle was stopped because it was identified as being used in the commission of a crime. Tommy, though crazy, is smarter than we actually realize. The bags in the back are filled with  dirty laundry. “You gonna arrest us for having dirty draws or can we go?” Tommy asks. Across town some Chinese men are taking out the actual cash in similar laundry bags.

Pause: Julio is a shorty.

In sober mind, Cantos is mad he spilled the tea about Stern’s divorce. Jamie is further convinced that something is up. Jamie calls his counterpart at a club in Miami to complain about Stern. The Miami counterpart mentions something about business names Ravena. “I think it’s something they don’t want us to know,” Jamie says. Hmmmm. Later, he sneaks into Cantos’s office and takes pictures of his books, and a curious letter addressed to Ravena Holdings in the Cayman Islands.

Tasha has gone to meet with a divorce lawyer. Apparently, she and Ghost had a pre-nup (from when she was a 20) that says if she instigates a divorce, she leaves with nothing. The lawyer suggests she stay married, live a separate life from her husband and keep the family residence, joint bank account, and status. “If you pursue this divorce you could end up with nothing,” the lawyer says. Tasha knows that even if there was no prenup and she left, she would only get access to the books, right? As her mama once told her, "you have no legal claim on his illegal money".

Back at the FBI ranch, the investigator reports that Holly hasn’t used a credit or ATM card in 3 days. That means she either ditched her bag, is “lotioning up for Buffalo Bill” or is dead. Um. what does “lotioning up for Buffalo Bill” mean? I have never heard this expression.

Angie pops up at Jamie’s hotel room. ranting about Holly being dead, and convinced that Tommy killed her. She tells Jamie that he asked Holly to testify against Tommy for 3 murders, including Rolla. She demands that Jamie tell her what happened to Holly or she walks out of his life forever. Ghost lets her get as far as the elevator before he gives up the new name that Holly is travelling under. Angie goes back to the expert tracker and has him look up Holly under her pseudonym.

At the St. Patricks’s Sean pops up like he’s the man of the house greeting his wife after a long day at work. Sir. Sean tells Tasha that he will take care of her. I laughed out loud. Take care of what and how? You’re going to pay the kids’s tuition bill with your job driving the husband of the woman your humping around? Tasha likes Sean, but she isn’t giving up her lifestyle for him. “I’m going to have to be my own man from now on,” she tells Sean, attempting to dismiss him. Instead, Sean grabs her and tongues her down. They end up humping in the Master bedroom shower… while her mama and kids are upstairs asleep. I keep thinking that one of the kids will catch them.

Ruiz (or Luiz?) and Ghost meet up. He’s still asking to meet Lobos. Ghost says he’ll make it happen. I think he’s about to get set up by Luiz/Ruiz and turn him over to the Feds as being “Ghost”.

Dre drops off the money to Julio and Ghost as planned. Julio informs Jamie that they moved the money from the Laundromat to a warehouse. Jamie flips about the move and later, confronts Tommy, who looks ass-crazy in the streets. Jamie says he has a plan to deal with Angela. “I trust you, “ Tommy says. “I don’t trust her… When are you going to realize that you’re not in control of this situation anymore?” He points out that Ghost kept telling Angela that they could live happily ever after if he left Tasha, and he did, and Angie is still coming for them. Ghost looks like he has been slapped with the truth.

Jamie calls Tasha and says it’s an emergency. The emergency? He thinks Tommy is going to kill Angie, and he needs Tasha to stop him. Tasha laughs. It’s a big ask, he knows. But he’s asking anyway. If something happens to Angie the feds will be crawling all over them and they (and the kids) lose everything. Tasha knows he’s rights and reluctantly agrees.

Angie gets a call form the tracker. Holly has been found. Angie packs a bag and rushes to get to her. As she’s waiting for a cab, Tommy is watching her from across the street. Just like Jamie suspected, he is about to kill Angie. Tasha stops him just in time. Is it wrong that I was mad Tasha got there so soon?

Ghost is at a fancy apartment building waiting on someone. Turns out to be Mrs. Stern. He tells her that he thinks Mr. Stern may be hiding money in the Cayman Islands via a company called Ravena? Mrs. Stern recognizes the name.  It’s the name of the Sterns's  daughter who died when she was 10 days old. Ghost tells her to have her lawyers check out the company.

As Ghost is walking back to the car, he catches Sean getting off the phone again. I assume he was talking to Tasha again? Ghost confronts Sean about always hanging up the phone when he’s around. He thinks Sean is talking to Kanan, and threatens to kick Sean out of the circle of trust if he doesn’t stop that silly ish.

Tommy and Tasha are getting wasted together. He says that he could “see down the road” with Holly. He actually thought about kids with her. Tasha cheers him up by playing wingman with two chicks at the bar. Tommy and the women go back to his house and have a lot of sex and sort cocaine off each other, then Tommy becomes irate and kicks the women out. He tries to make them take the dog he bought for Holly, but then changes his mind. He sits on the bed naked and alone, holding the dog. This is some sad ish. That man really was in love with Holly.

Speaking of Holly, she’s at her motel room when Angie bangs on the door, demanding answers. Holly puts her phone on speaker as she answers Angie’s questions. Holly says she lied about Jamie being Ghost, and that she’s completely done with Tommy, but she is still wearing his ring. She tells Angie that she still won’t tell the Feds anything about Tommy. After Angie leaves, Ghost tells Holly that there will be money at nearby Western Union waiting for her. Back in New York, he appears to be sitting in Angie’s apartment, going through her casework on Tommy.

Sean shows up at Dre’s hang out looking for his father, Kanan. Dre sons the crap out of him and says he doesn’t know where Kanan is. Sean has a message for dad: Lobos is coming… like winter in Game of Thrones. Hopefully, it doesn’t take as long. I love GOT, and it’s been worth the wait for winter. But that is one slow building show. Literally, the introduced the white walkers as the first scene of the very first episode years ago and winter still has no come! I digress. Later, Dre calls Fiddy and tells him to come back to New York because Lobos is coming!

Mrs. Stern pops up to Truth to say that Jamie’s information panned out. She wants to know what he wants in return: Truth, duh.

Lobos is actually coming. He didn’t depart as scheduled last week because he was tipped off by someone on the inside. A Fed? He lands on an NYC rooftop in a fancy helicopter.

Back at Jamie's hotel room, Angie is seducing Jamie, My initial point stands. This is all they do. She’s done accusing him of being a liar and while she will continue to go after Tommy, she tells Jamie that she really wants Lobos. Jamie is shocked she knows the name, but plays it off. They have sex, and then after Ghost is a orgasm coma, Angie steals his phone to have it cloned by her new BFF at the Bureau.

Is cloning phones really that simple? Every chick who snoops on her man is going to try that at home ASAP.

What did you think of this episode of Power?

Ask Demetria: He Abandoned His Pregnant Ex


Dear Demetria:

"I’m talking to this guy. His recent ex is actually pregnant by him. He explained to me that he strongly felt like she tried to trap him because he told her before she got pregnant that he wasn’t ready to start a family.

When she got pregnant, he told her the best thing would be to get an abortion. He thought she did, but apparently she lied and didn’t go through with it. So he gave her the option to give it up for adoption or she could keep the baby, but he was not going to be a part of their lives. I’m guessing she agreed at first, but ultimately she changed her mind, so he finally left her. He wants to go back to school for his bachelor’s degree and become a cop.

I still don’t know how I feel about this. She gave him a choice to be a part of the baby’s life without being with her, but he still said no. I feel he’s awesome with me, but this scenario bothers me. I don’t know why. What do I do? —Anonymous

I appreciate your candor and the details you’ve provided, but honestly, you could have stopped after the first few sentences and my answer would have been about the same: No.

Why? It’s one thing to have a partner who has a child from a previous relationship. Hopefully by the time you meet that amazing co-parent, that person has sorted out his or her major issues with the ex and they’ve got a smooth operating system running.

But dating a man who has someone else pregnant? Whether or not he wants to be a father to the child, the fact remains that there is a woman out there carrying his child and he is not with her. That relationship is messy and complicated and unresolved. You don’t need the headache. Run.

The additional details are astounding, and the only thing they change about my answer is escalating it from “no” to “hell no.” You’re likely bothered by his version of events because they defy common sense and demonstrate an appalling lack of responsibility and character.

Unless there’s some far-fetched scenario in which he wore a condom to prevent getting his girlfriend pregnant and she went all Being Mary Jane and used a turkey baster to retrieve its contents in hopes of impregnating herself and it worked, this guy wasn’t “trapped.” (And if that were the scenario, he would have told you.) It’s much more likely that he and his ex had unprotected sex and she became pregnant as a result of the act that they, together, the two of them, participated in.

Even if they did have safe sex and she still became pregnant, that doesn’t absolve him of the responsibility of taking care of his child. Sex is pleasurable, and many people treat it as solely recreational, but the middle school biology fact we all have to remember is that it can also result in a child. It’s a risk all heterosexuals take when we have sex.

Power Recap, Episode 6: Run, Holly, Run! 

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.26.23 AM Holly and Angela are having coffee with the intent of Angie trying to find out what proof Holly has that Jamie is “Ghost".  Holly can’t focus. She’s drunk with power, reminding Angie of the time Holly caught her doing Ghost on the wall at Truth.  And perhaps it’s a distraction technique because while Tommy’s told Holly all sorts of things about James that we know to be absolutely true, there is no proof, and Angie (and her lawyer clique) can’t do anything without evidence.  “We’re running out of time,” Angie says.

Holly describes the time she saw Jamie with a gun once, and he gave it to Tommy. Why don’t I remember this? Did that actually happen? Ghost is usually super careful about who sees him doing hoodrat stuff, hence why he’s never been arrested despite 20 years in the game. It’s why his name is Ghost. Angela tells Holly that if she finds the gun, she’ll believe her about Jamie.

Tommy meets up with the Serb to discuss their new distribution deal. They’re multitasking as they’re also torturing an Albanian guy they think is responsible for the hit on their stash houses.

Ghost and Sean arrive at the bar where Tommy and the Serb are, but sensing there may be much going on, he sends Sean away to go find his father. The Serb keeps saying this new distribution arrangement is temporary. The repetition of this belief makes me thinks it’s going to come up again when it’s again most problematic for Jamie and Tommy. Anyway, back to the other important business: payback. The Serbs go all Scarface with the torture, breaking out the chainsaw. Ghost is spooked less by the torture than what he perceives as a “display of power” from the Serbs. He fears that they won’t be easy to control.

In other news: Ghost and Tommy and planning a meeting of the minds with their distributors. Tommy vouches for Dre, but Ghost isn’t convinced he’s ready for the big leagues. Dre and Kanan can’t sit with them.

At work, Greg has some new information about Lobos coming to NYC. Don’t know who is source is, but that’s good intel. After a meeting, he pulls Angie aside to mind-f—k her and see if she’ll confess anything about meeting up with Jamie. Nope. Angie says she went home to bed.


Angie and Ghost have an awkward lunch.

Angie and Ghost meet for lunch. There’s an awkward silence because they both have so much ish they’re hiding from each other. Jamie tells her that Tariq got suspended from school and he worries if it’s because his Dad isn’t there. Jamie says he’ll handle it because he’s made his decision to be with Angie. This? This is what you have to tell Angie, Sir? I mean, it’s important, but “hey, I’m a MF dope boy” is probably higher on the list right now. Angie takes it all in, and texts Holly about whether she’s found the gun.

Holly is searching everywhere in  the apartment and can’t find the gun, just money and drugs. Tommy comes home mid-search, and wants to know where she was the other day, the day she spent with the Feds. “I had some thinking to do about us,” she says. Holly adds that she worries about him when he’s at work, that she’s scared he’ll get shot or arrested. What she really means is, 'I'm afraid the Feds are about to catch you'. This leads to some sex fantasy where she plays a young inmate and he’s a guard. Tommy breaks out a set of handcuffs. Whatever works for consenting adults. Post-sex, while Tommy’s passed out, Holly runs out to search the car. She finds a gun.

If this were The Wire, this meeting of drug dealers would be called the Co-Op. Like Ghost said, Kanan and Dre are absent. “We got to be here while they call in sick?” asks “Marlo” who is not called Marlo in this show. Side note: I love Jamie Hector. Anyway, not-Marlo wants to know how they’re supposed to sell more product given that they’re selling so much already. “We ain’t making rockets. We slanging dope,” Jamie says. “Let's get paid,” he adds.

Greg stops by Angela’s office and they discuss Lobos being “on the move”, before Angie gets a text from Holly and dips with the excuse of taking her dad to a doctor’s appointment. Greg, of course, is suspicious, and follows her. Womp.

The gun Holly found isn’t the one that killed Rolla, aka that guy that looked like Wiz Khalifa. Angie tells her she has to find another way if she wants to keep Tommy free. She has till 10PM to come up with something.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.46.25 AM

Tasha meets up with Sean in a parking lot. He insists that he’s there for her and the kids. She tells him, “we’re not like any other family. I don’t just have to take care of the kids, I have to protect them too.” She asks Sean to take her “somewhere” because there’s’ something she must do. She means the gun range. Tasha, who has amazing aim, tries to teach Sean, who is terrible at this.

Pause. We are 24 minutes into the show with no Kanan. This is a good episode. I like Fiddy’s character best when he’s an unseen menace who wreaks havoc and pulls strings out of sight.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.49.03 AM

Ghost takes the kids back to the house, well, two of the kids anyway. Isn’t there a baby somewhere? We’ve heard nada about that kid this season. Ok, spoke to soon. She got a mention. Ghost gives the pat TV speech about separation/divorce about how they’re all one big family and things are gonna be okay. When Tasha comes out, he tries to invite himself to dinner at the house. “I don’t want to confuse the kids,” she says, giving him the ill brush off. He looks hurt. The only time we ever see the real Jamie is when it comes to his children.

Jamie goes into his old bathroom to pick up a few toiletries and we get yet another mirror shot. Fun fact: I watched a behind the scenes with the show’s creator last season (because I’m nerdy, obsessive  and when I like something, I have to know everything about it) and she talked about the use of mirrors on the show, specifically when it came to James. The viewer can’t really figure out who James is (other than being many things all at once) but that’s partly because James can’t either. Looking at his reflection in the mirror is supposed to be his time of personal reflection.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.51.05 AM

Tommy and Jamie meet up for a business dinner, and in walks Holly, much to Jamie’s surprise. The look Jamie shoots her is deadly. He threatens— again— to kill her if she doesn’t leave town. She says she’ll go, and will swing by the club to pick up the money, train ticket, and new ID that night.

Dre shows up to meet Luiz at the boxing gym, and tells him to speak English. Um. How dare you roll up into someone else’s ish and tell them what language to speak. Luiz claps back, “you should learn el Spanish. You’re going to need it in a few years. This is our country now”. iCackled.

Remember the guy who got shot last week when Tommy’s team stole the Serb’s stash? Luiz brings him out. He got hit in the arm, and he is a cutie.  Anyway, Messy Luiz tells Dre that there was a big meeting that he wasn’t invited to. Because Dre killed the guy who shot the Cutie, Dre can’t be the reason that there was no invite. It has to be Kanan. Luiz’s mama ain’t raise no fool. He tells Dre that the Soledado Nation has his back— “you, not Kanan,” Luiz specifies.

Holly is tearing up the house again when Tommy arrives home. He has a ring.

“Did you steal this from somebody,” Holly asks.

“No, I’m not you,” Tommy says. (Whoever wrote that line needs a raise and extra vacation days.)

It’s Granny’s ring and he’s giving it to Holly. Is that an engagement ring? Uh… no. “I just want you to wear it,” Tommy says. He’s hell bent on everyone knowing Holly is his. Hmmm. Oh, and it’s 9:30 and she’s supposed to meet with Angela at 10. She has nothing... yet.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 10.58.30 AM

At the St. Patrick residence, Tasha and Sean are playing family. Tasha’s mama is there. I missed her. She sees right thru Sean and Tasha. “Maybe he can rotate your tires,” Mama says. “But he ain’t gonna help you raise these kids.” Welp. Tasha talks wild to her mama, and gets slapped. “You ain’t strong or smart enough to do this alone,” Mama says. Tasha, who has been kicking folks out the house like Martin, asks her mother if she thinks she’s spending the night in her house after that. Mama, is all, “yes, I do... Good night, Tasha.” LMAO. Oh, and am the only one who didn’t know Reina and Tariq were twins?

It’s 10PM. Angie is eating alone, waiting on Holly, who is a no show. Jamie is at his office, waiting on Holly, who shows up late. She’s out… maybe. I don’t see her getting on the train, especially when she’s looking at the not-engagement ring and switches it to her ring finger. What song is that playing while Holly's at the train station?

Jamie is talking to Cantos, his former #2 who is now his boss. He’s gossipy. He tells Jamie that Stern is getting a divorce— kinda saw that coming— and has been out of the country hiding his assets. I can see Jamie’s wheels turning. He’s distracted when he gets a call from Angie, who is cancelling on him because of work. He wants to know what’s going on. She says she can’t tell him and slips up and says she “did” trust him,  past tense. Then she tries to put Ghost “on break” until the Tommy case blows over. She’s about to cry as she says it, but really, I didn’t think she would have the huevos to get this far with it. I’m proud of Angie. Baby step, but still a step nonetheless. I give credit where it’s due.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 11.05.30 AM


Ghost is driving when Tommy hits him to say the Serb is asking a lot of questions and they should watch their backs. Aww sh--. Jamie’s distracted like Mary Jane over on BET and runs into a car.

At work, Angie is blowing up Holly’s phone and getting no answer. And now her boss comes in where she’s meeting with Greg and is pushing for an arrest warrant for Tommy. And because Mike is full of good news, he also announces that Jamie just got arrested for the first time. I’m guessing drunk driving? Greg says he’ll go, but Angela pipes up that she will. The look Greg gives her? Aha- ahaha- ahahahahahaha. 

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 11.07.00 AM

At the precinct, Jamie is getting an ear full from Tasha for getting arrested.




Is Angie about to show up where Tasha is?

Please, writers, please, please, please! Baby, please. *Dwayne Wayne voice*

Wait for it… wait for it…


Tasha spots Angie checking in at the police desk. “You called her?” she asks Jamie incredulously. Nope, he didn’t. Errybody is confused, and he moves to stand with Tasha, his wife.

Good news: the test results are back. Jamie’s under the legal limit, and he’s free to go. He rides off with Tasha. On the ride to… I dunno, his hotel? Tasha pulls the car over. “Why her?” she demands. Jamie explains that he and Angie go way back. "You broke up our entire family over a chick from high school?!" she bellows.

But there’s more. He tells Tasha that he had to stay because Angela is a Fed. "She's f--king close to arresting Tommy," he says. Tasha smacks the sh-- out of him. "This b---h you brought into our lives is a f--king cop?" she asks.

Ghost says he took Angie to Miami to find out what she knows. Um… this isn’t exactly true. But I also don’t know exactly why he did it. He might be picking her brain, but he also really likes her. Ghost says Angie is starting to pull away from him. Tasha is unconvinced, “I saw the way she looked at you tonight," Tasha says. "She loves you. I saw the way you looked at her too. You love her right back.” Well, sh--. I want to go hug Tasha.

Tasha is convinced that Angie is going to go for Tommy, then Ghost, then her. “What’s going to happen to the kids when we go to jail, Ghost? Have you thought about that?” she asks.

“I gotta figure out my next move,” Jamie says.

Tasha has it figured out for him. "Keep f---ing her,” Tasha says. “You keep f---ing that b---h until I tell you to stop.”


Sean meets Tasha when she gets back to her building in the damaged car. I thought she was brushing him off, but then they end up having good sex in the car. Sean looks SO happy. And Tasha’s boobs are awesome.

Back at his hotel room with the gorgeous view, Ghost, who looks exceptionally good in that shirt, gets a knock on the door.It’s Angie. She barges in demanding to know where Holly is. Ha! She left! Angie thinks Tommy killed her. Angie is on her way out when Ghost drops on her that Tommy didn’t do it. He says the couple got in a fight and Ghost sent Holly out of town with some money. Angie still wants to leave— sorta. Ghost grips her up in a from-the-back hug and ear hustles her with his BS. “What if you’re wrong? About everything?” he asks.

“I’m not,” she says, unconvincingly. But she wants to be, especially if it means she can get that D from Ghost without feeling guilty about it.

Ghost wants her to spend the night and begins taking off her clothes. She doesn’t resist. Got ‘em!

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 11.15.01 AM

Tommy’s kicking back shots at home alone… when suddenly the door opens. It’s Holly! I’m guessing she has a plan. She cuffs Tommy to the bed and starts talking about a “fresh start somewhere else.” Tommy’s spooked. Holly confesses that the feds called her for questioning, but she didn’t flip. She tells him about the deal she made to give up Ghost in order to save herself and Tommy.

Holly ain’t all that good at reading people, despite what Fed Mike concluded last week. Tommy’s reactions say everything about his loyalty— and it ain’t with Holly. See, here’s the thing. Tommy loves her, no doubt. But he also loves being a drug dealer. And if he has to choose, I don’t think it’s gonna be Holly. When Holly asks if Ghost killed somebody named Rolla, my next thought was “oh, it’s been real, Holly. RIP.”

Tommy lunges at her, but can’t reach because he’s cuffed to the bed. Holly may be stupid, but she ain’t that stupid. “Who do you choose, Ghost or me?” she asks Tommy.

Screen Shot 2015-07-19 at 11.16.26 AM

Tommy looks at her with an expression that I imagine all mass murderers wear before they start mass murdering. He calls for Holly to unchain him, and when he doesn’t move, he calls her everything but a child of God.

Holly dips. May she leave and stay gone.


What did you think of this week’s episode of Power


The Root: Plantation Tours: You Can't Expect to Hear How Horrible Slavery Really Was

The Whitney Plantation

I’m not sure how I picked up the hobby of touring plantations. I think it started with my interest in architecture—picked up from my husband, who works in real estate—and my best friend of 20-plus years, who is an interior designer. Over the years, I’ve adopted their combined interests.

I’ve been to four plantations and an antebellum home with slave quarters over the past few months. That certainly doesn’t make me an expert on slavery or plantations. But it has given me some perspective on the popular article “I Used to Lead Tours at a Plantation. You Won’t Believe the Questions I Got About Slavery,” written by Margaret Biser for Vox.

Biser, who described herself as someone who once “worked at a historic site in the South,” shared her observations of some white people who visited the grounds and the sometimes bizarre questions they asked. I’ve had my own experiences with strange questions on the tours, notably all from black people, and also the bizarre commentary from white—always white, always women—docents.

My first plantation tour took place in March, when I visited Magnolia Plantation & Gardens in Charleston, S.C. The tour of the big house was OK, though it was smaller than I expected. I appreciated the architecture and interior, though I was never able to separate the opulence from the people who toiled miserably in cotton or tobacco fields. Every time the tour guide made a sweeping gesture alluding to the grandness of a room, I wondered about the enslaved men and women who were forced to work for free to make such luxuries possible.

As the other visitors, all of them white except for a friend accompanying me, oohed and aahed, I wondered if they were picturing themselves heading back in time and imagining what life would have been like then. As a black girl with a great-grandfather born into slavery, I know how I would have lived: enslaved, considered property, doing backbreaking work for no pay, subjected to the demands of Massa and Missy, and living under the threat of violence at any time. Standing in one of the upper bedrooms, I thought, “This visit was a bad idea,” and whispered to my friend, “Never again.”

The slave quarters, distant from the big house, required a separate tour. Of our big-house group of 30 or so, just four of us boarded a trolley that took us down the road to the cabins. The tour guide, a peppy young woman in her early 20s, walked us out to the restored one-room shacks, which she described as "duplexes" because they had attic space that enslaved people slept in.

She told our group that enslaved men and women were treated and fed well on the plantation. In fact, they “were like family” to the owners. She went on to tell the story of a black family who stayed on the plantation beyond the Civil War and into the 1960s because they were loyal and they were so happy there. Then she showed us a cabin with psychedelic wallpaper. My friend and I had exchanged “This is bulls--t” glances throughout the tour, but our eyes locked the longest and rolled the hardest over these details.

The Evergreen Plantation, where the film Django Unchained was filmed

Oddly, this perspective on slavery actually made me want to go back on my word and visit more plantations, if for no other reason than to hear who was telling revisionist history and who wasn’t. Was every plantation selling “The slaves were so happy!” stories, or was anyone revealing 12 Years a Slave realness?

Last week I was in New Orleans and stopped by the Hermann-Grima House in the French Quarter. It was the city house of a family that owned a large sugarcane plantation elsewhere in the state. Enslaved men and women were kept in an apartment-style building in the backyard.

The docent, a white woman, of course, was visibly nervous. I was the only black person on the tour. Was she nervous because of me? She alternately referred to the enslaved women and men who worked in the home as “dependencies” and “domestic workers.” When she actually called them “enslaved men and women,” she stumbled over the words as if she weren’t used to the phrase. I wondered if she used that politically correct phrase with all-white groups. No one asked anything like what Biser described in her article.

After the tour, I double-checked some numbers and dates with her because I knew I would write about my visit. She answered my questions, then added unexpectedly that the current owners of the home don’t really like the docents to talk about slavery, but she’s a historian and thinks it should be mentioned. I thanked her for clarifying.

On the final day of my trip, I headed an hour out to Old River Road, a 100-mile stretch of two-lane road with plenty of plantations, including the Evergreen Plantation, which was featured in Django Unchained. (A TV show was shooting on location, so it was closed to the public.) A friend from Louisiana recommended that I start with the recently restored Whitney Plantation, which was now a museum dedicated to the history of slavery.

Slave cabins on the Whitney Plantation

Of our tour group of 20 or so, there were five black people: me, three women and a man, all of whom looked to be in their late 50s to early 60s. By their accents, I assumed they were from the South. Only their questions struck me as bizarre.


We were standing by a monument to enslaved people that included only their first names, ages, any skills and the region in Africa where they were stolen from. The guide had just explained that the only way researchers were able to retrieve this information was by looking at property records.

From one of the black women: “Did the slaves have birth certificates?”

Um, no. Enslaved men and women were not considered people. Maybe she wasn’t paying attention to the docent. I gave her a pass.

Inside a slave cabin at the Whitney Plantation

Our group moved on to the on-site slave jails. The parish jail was for people actually considered human. The “property” who needed to be locked up for whatever reason were punished or held in a square contraption. There were hooks showing where they could be shackled to the wall.

From one of the black women: “When the slaves were in slave jail, were they allowed out for exercise?”

Um ... no.

I was happy that they were on the tour in order to learn. But I was surprised that black people, especially those from the South, knew so little about slavery and seemed to think the treatment of enslaved men and women reflected a modern, humane way of life. Ignorance about slavery is not the sole domain of white people.

Read the full story on THE ROOT

The Best of Essence Fest 2015

Screen Shot 2015-07-16 at 7.17.01 PM It’s been ten days since I'm back from Essence Fest. I think I just recovered.

I headed down this year as part of the Essence Ambassador team, and the folks in charge made sure I saw and met everyone. I was on the scene from sun up to way after sun down. (And had tons of pics and interviews to show for it.)

It would take a book to share everything amazing that happened over the July 4 weekend—no worries, I’m working on one. It’s called Saw Some World. Get it? But in the meantime, I offer you my Top 5 actual Essence Fest related moments. (I’ll do a separate post on NOLA as a whole.)

In no particular order:

*Meeting the Cast of Empire

I have a love-hate relationship with Empire. Love, as in I rarely missed an opportunity to live tweet an episode for the first season. Hate, as in I find myself screaming at the screen like, “Wait. What?” And I have to “hold it” until commercial breaks cause I might miss something.

So, of course, I was goo-gobs excited when THIS happened:

Yaz takes the stage in the press room.

Jawn Murray and I were both slated to interview Empire cast members. He got Yaz, I got Gabourey Sididbe. Yaz breezed into the small room ready to go. I got stuck behind the cameraman for the duration interview, lest I walk through the shot. LOL! After, and before I gabbed with Gabby, I asked for a photo, which I NEVER do unless I know a person personally, or they are on the cast of The Wire, which is the best show ever made. He obliged. Oh, and he smelled good. He's also 21.


Me x Yaz in the press room at Essence Fest 2015


Finally, I was up to interview Gabby about what's coming next for Empire. She's got an expanded role for season 2, so well see much more of her. Chick is hilarious and super sweet. And does not have time for folks to fumble with their cameras to get a pic. I asked her for a shot a well, and a friend was trying to get it. Gabby was all, “no, here, give me!” and executed our selfie.



*Meeting THE Ava Duvernay (again)

Confession: I didn’t know who Ava Duvernay was until Selma. I don’t know if I’m alone there. But there, I said it. Before Selma debuted, she invited a bunch of people to a screening in NYC. It was a Who’s Who of writer-thinker types and public intellectuals. I don’t really  flip out over celebs, but I do over writers, and it took everything in me to not run around the room asking for selfies. Once we were comfortable seated, Duvernay informed us, that this screening was for the group she called, “smart Black people”.  I was flattered to be included. Selma was obviously dope, and Duvernay stole a piece of my heart for being so gosh darm awesome and talented (and beautiful. Ugh!)

This is why I took a detour from partying my way through NOLA to attend her panel, “Power of Diversity in Media, Television and Film”, moderated by my friend (and Essence sister, and Essence Entertainment Director), Cori Murray. Duvernay spoke of the need for people of color to stop pushing themselves into studios who don’t want them or understand them, and create their own projects. Welp.

After the panel, I interviewed her very briefly about her next project, a love story starring David Oyelowo, and set in New Orleans circa Hurricane Katrina. Can’t wait.

Oh, and then we did this:



*Getting my face dusted (daily) at the My Black is Beautiful booth 

In 2012, shortly after I went into business for myself (and was funneling all my money back into my biz), I got an invite to go to Essence Fest for a sponsor, ironically, one that was at the My Black and Beautiful booth. Back then, I'd never been to Essence Fest as not a part of the Essence family, so I missed some crucial details, like not having a make-up artist, a necessity if you’re going on stage in the New Orleans. I guess I did a crappy job on my face one morning because an industry-mentee casually mentioned, “you know they can do your face for you at the My Black is Beautiful booth, right?”

I remembered that this time around. So each morning, I headed over to see Sarah at the MBIB booth, who beat me beautiful, and I have no clue how she did it, but my face stayed on all day, and all night too. Like my lipstick never even smudged. She’s part make-up artist, part- magician and part-miracle worker. I loves her. (And if you’re in Atlanta or New Orleans and need an MUA: hit her up on Insagram at @starr_royl.)


Me x Sarah, Day 1



Me x Sarah, Day 3


*Kendrick Lamar 

This is the third time I’ve seen Kendrick perform. First at an ESPN party during Draft Week last year, then the week before Essence Fest, at the BET Awards in LA where he killed, “We Gon’ Be Alright”, with gigantic American flags waving, a not so subtle commentary in the light of the Confederate flag debacle that was happening in South Carolina at the time.

That said, I was a bit nervous for him performing at Essence. The Superdome is a huge arena, 76k seats. I’ve seen artists with more albums who have been in the game longer struggle to hold the crowd there.

I did not take this picture. I was too far back. (Courtesy of

Kendrick performed like his life depended on it, and the crowd who stuck around were dancing in the aisles. (That said, I’ve never heard so many n-bombs, f-bombs—for artistic merit—or seen so many white people in the Essence audience.) At one point, I was watching the show, and swelled with a sense of pride, a weird feeling to have at a hip-hop show, I know. I guess… it’s just good to see someone living their dream, and not just that, but for a person to get on a mic, have a platform and use it to say something worth hearing. It made me want to write more, or maybe even write only. I’m much better at that than that other thing I’m known for. (I’ll save that for a birthday post, if I write one this year. I promise nothing.)


*WGN’s The Underground

I’ll admit, I didn’t read the entire press release that was sent in advance of meeting the cast of WGN’s new show, which debuts in 2016. I read enough to discover that The Underground was about The Underground Railroad and that was enough to get me to show up for the presser.

The cast of WGN"s The Underground

Loosely, it’s the story of “a group of slaves who plan a daring escape from a Georgia plantation to cross 600 miles to freedom.” The series stars Series’ stars Jurnee Smollett-Bell (The Great Debaters, and also, yes, Jesse from Empire’s sister) and Aldis Hodge, who plays MC Ren in the upcoming Straight Outta Compton film.

Posters for WGN's The Underground.

I’m surprised there hasn’t been more press about this show as it’s a fascinating concept. Has this ever been tackled before? I’m going to chalk out the limited buzz thus far to its 2016 debut.

HuffPo: Cultural Appropriation Isn't Okay, Neither is Attacking Kids

16 year old Amanda Stenberg Andy Cohen is messy. We know this. Time magazine called "playing with fire every night" the "appeal of Cohen's brand." It's why so many tune into the highly-rated shows he hosts for the Bravo network.

That said, he got too messy labeling 16-year-old Hunger Games star Amandla Stenberg "Jackhole of the Day" on Sunday night's episode of Watch What Happens Live. What's worse, Laverne Cox and Andre Leon Talley, two Black folk, sat there and let that slide.

I wish Cox had been as outspoken and articulate and passionate in the moment about protecting a 16-year-old Black girl as she has been about transgender issues. I wish Talley, who has never been known to parse his words, had let them flourish in defense of Stenberg.

A little backstory of how a teenager wound up being called a "jackhole" on TV: Reality TV star Kylie Jenner posted an Instagram picture with her hair cornrows, a hairstyle that originated with Black people, and directed her nearly 30 million Instagram followers to click on a link to her wig line. Stenberg, who shares mutual friends with Jenner (such as Jaden Smith) slid into Jenner's comments to chastise her. "When [you] appropriate black features and culture but fail to use [your] position of power to help black Americans by directing attention towards [your] wigs instead of police brutality or racism #whitegirlsdoitbetter," Stenberg wrote, sarcastically using a popular hashtag.

Stenberg's thoughts on cultural appropriation reflect the angst of many Black women who feel frustrated and rejected when pop culture criticizes Black women for their style, facial features, body parts, dance moves, etc., but celebrates the same traits when white women adopt them, sometimes even pretending white women created them. For example: see Lucky magazine during 2014 New York Fashion Week celebrating the "instant edge" of a white model's "slicked down tendrils", a style that's been known forever-ever in Black households and salons as "baby hair". Or we can look at the LA Times doing a full trend report on "head turning" cornrows without mentioning any Black people, and crediting actress Bo Derek as popularizing the hairstyle, but not the original creators and most common wearers of cornrows: Black girls and women. And then there was the time Vogue proclaimed in 2014, "We're Officially in the Era of the Big Booty!", crediting non-Black women such as Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian, and Miley Cyrus for ushering in a "trend" that has been celebrated across the African Diaspora since the beginning of time. This is the kind of cultural appropriation Stenberg was referring to when she chastised her fellow teenage frenemy.

Jenner later responded to Stenberg, " Mad if I don't, Mad if I do.... Go hang [with] Jaden or something."


Cultural appropriation is a larger discussion that absolutely should be discussed on wide platforms, and I'm very proud of Stenberg for using hers to speak out. But that topic wasn't what Cohen wanted to discuss on Sunday. He preferred to weigh-in on a conflict between two teenage girls, choosing sides against 16 year old Stenberg because, as he later admitted, he didn't grasp what she was talking about, and then didn't do any research before insulting her on television.

Frankly, I'm surprised that comment was even allowed to air. Despite the name, Watch What Happens Live is not always taped live. (I appeared on the show in 2014. My appearance was taped days before the show aired.) Maybe it was live on Sunday? I also wonder if there were any Black folk on production of the show or in the editing room, well, editing it. I'd like to think someone Black (or of another color) would have foreseen the fallout to Cohen's offensive and unnecessary statement, and cut it from the script or broadcast if for no other reason than Stenberg is a kid. An outspoken kid, a very smart kid, but still a kid. She doesn't deserve to be insulted by an adult on national TV. And she does deserve to be defended now that it's happened.

I recently saw Laverne Cox's long essay on her Tumblr page, explaining why she didn't defend Stenberg during the show. "In that moment, I also felt that the topic of cultural appropriation needs way more than the 10 seconds or less I had to respond at the end of the show to fully unpack," she explained. "I said as much to Andre Leon Talley after the cameras stopped rolling."

I hear Cox on it taking more than 10 seconds to properly delve in on a weighty topic, but I also know you don't always need a dissertation to get your point across. It takes a breath or two to say, "whoa, that's a child you're talking about." It's about the same to say, "you know you just [screwed] up, right?" Sometimes the best moment to address an issue is in the actual moment. You don't always have to fully explain it, just make it clear you don't agree with what's being said.

Cox's explanation reminds of a YouTube clip I once saw of when Harry Connick, Jr. was a guest judge on an Australian competition show called, "Hey, Hey It's Saturday!" The host brought out an act called the Jackson Jive, who performed in blackface and Connick rightfully killed the upbeat vibe, rating the act as a zero. He pointed out to the host, "Man, if they turned up looking like that in the United States, it'd be Hey, Hey There's No More Show."

That wasn't even his battle to fight, really. But his point, his coming to the defense of Black people, was done concisely and effectively. After the commercial break, the host apologized. I've been a Connick fan ever since.


Read more: HERE

Ask Demetria: My Ex Is Spilling the Tea About Me on Social Media

Worried Businesswoman

Dear Demetria:

My ex is very active on social media. Whenever he is upset or annoyed with me, he writes about me in a condescending manner. He doesn't say my name, but I know it's about me because I know what's going on. So do my friends. I've asked him so many times to stop, but he won't. What do I do now? —Anonymous

When I think of this scenario, I picture the online equivalent of the current drama playing out with rapper Future, former fiance of singer Ciara. He recently had a rambling sitdown with Marc Lamont Hill at the Huffington Post, and Future attributed the breakup with Ciara to creative differences in their music and her desire to get married quickly and have a big wedding. This was after she had already given birth to their child.

He went on, giving details about his sex life with his ex, telling Hill that they had sex and prayed after, unlike what Ciara does with her current boyfriend, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, which is praying and abstaining. It was TMI and intentionally disrespectful.

Much like your ex, Future has a tea-spilling problem. Perhaps he expected viewers to empathize with his point of view, not realizing that he sounded foolish. But that was not the result. I mean, the man is throwing pubic shade on an ex that not only moved on (quickly) but upgraded to Wilson, a man who appears to treat her well (and takes her on dates to the White House).

Some of the responses to the interview, posted to my Facebook page, were brutal:

“[This] basically was a bunch of [bulls--t]. I mean, how DARE she want an actual engagement, a ring and a big wedding?? What type of crazy-arse expectations were those?? I mean, wasn't having the kid enough of a ‘prize’???”

“Stupidity is a sin. Future is so hurt & needs to have several seats. He's upset [because] she's not running behind him.”

“If he wanted to take his time marrying her, he should’ve took his time getting her pregnant.”


Fortunately for you, your ex doesn’t have a national audience. You have the option of effectively ignoring him. That means you stop checking his social media page—in fact, block it—and you tell the mutual friends who want to run back and tell you what he posts to stop informing you. You don’t want to know what he’s saying because you don’t care anymore. Let ignorance be your bliss.


Read the full response: HERE 

Power Recap: Finally, The Truth About Holly

Screen Shot 2015-07-12 at 2.27.52 PM Holly’s been pulled in for questioning, and by the way her foot’s tapping on the floor, she’s nervous as hell. I’d bet there’s a part of her that wishes she had taken Ghost’s offer of a train ticket and a bunch of cash and skipped town. Angela wants the first crack at interviewing Holly but her boss reminds her that she’s on probation. If she were a man, she would have just been sonned. Greg reminds her that acting out could cost him and her their jobs.

We confirm that this isn’t Holly’s first time at the rodeo. She’s a horrible criminal in that she’s been caught at least five times doing hoodrat ish with her friends. (Contrast that with Ghost, who is well into his thirties and has never been arrested once.) I’m finally convinced that Holly isn’t a fellow Fed, but I still don’t trust this chick. Maybe she’ll surprise me though.

Ghost is doing what he does best: brood. He’s waiting for the clock to hit 7AM, because I guess that’s decent hours for calling home. His (downtown NYC)  hotel room is small— I was expecting at least a one bedroom suite— but that view is awesome. Is that the Rivington? Anybody?

Sorry, got distracted. Jamie misses being a full-time dad and leaves a fatherly voice mail message for Tariq. He’s interrupted by a knock on the door. It’s the morning paper— which no hotel knocks at 7 AM to deliver— and Page Six credits Stern, Jamie’s Boss Man, with “breathing new life into Truth.” Jamie’s pissed.

Holly’s cracking me up at questioning. The Fed wants to know the nature of her relationship with Tommy. “We’re f---ing. We f---,” she says. LOL. She denies Tommy’s into any illegal business. “Tommy’s a lot of things, but nothing like what you’re asking about,” Holly says. Great cover, Holly! Oh, hold up, I’m not supposed to be routing for the drug dealers, am I? But it’s TV. So yeah, Go Holly!

Angela’s watching Holly’s interrogation and susses out that Holly is more than a “f—“ She wonders if they’ll get anything from Holly. “When you really love a guy, you stand by him no mater what he’s done,” Angela says. Oh, really? If only she knew just how she is going to have to put that to the test before this season is over.

Jamie shows up to see Stern because his ego is bruised about not being mentioned on Page Six. See me? I wouldn’t bother my boss about something like this. The person on top always gets the glory. The person who did all the grunt work, might get a bonus, a gold watch, or a pat on the head, or not. This is how business works. Jamie seems to have forgotten that he is no longer the person on top, out front, or in charge.  Stern appropriately sons him, but invites him to a meeting with some spenders as a pat on the head. I cackled when he asked Jamie if he wanted to take a swing? Stern meant of his golf club Jamie was thinking at Stern’s face. Ha ha!

Pause. I would like to point out that we are 13 minutes into an episode and have not seen Kanan once. This episode is off to a good start.

Tommy stops by Kanan’s prison buddy’s restaurant to ask about Kanan’s whereabouts. Dude is bending over backwards for Tommy. He isn’t trying to end up with his tongue cut out too. Is it me, or dude looks lie Chris Brown? Anyway, they try to give Tommy the package and he’s all “nah, I don’t touch that ish”. Nice detail. Will be harder for the feds to get to him.

Back at Truth, they’ve instituted time cards for the employees. LOL. I once quit a job over that. I emailed my boss, something along the lines of “I’m sorry, but I don’t work at a Ford plant. I’m not punching a time card.” I was already looking before that, but the timecards sealed the deal.

Jamie is going over the books in his office when FBI Greg shows up. He doesn’t miss a beat. Greg’s tougher than I expected. I guess because Jamie “stole” Angela from him, I thought of him as a more beta dude, but he’s got some alpha here. I’m impressed.

Back at Holly’s interrogation, Angela’s chomping at the bit to get at Holly, but Boss Man has her, in her words standing around "like a glorified intern.” She loses it, I guess thinking that’s going to make him cave. Lady, your boss is a class A douche. And he wants to do you. There was a lot not said in that exchange. They got some chem-es-tree! Oh, but he’s married, right? That’s never stopped Angie before.

Because the writers love to torture Jamie, he gets more bad news. His other boss, Jeffe (aka Lobos), is coming in town early and he wants his money earlier too. Jamie is working his jaw hard when he tells him, in his awful Bloombito Spanish, that it’s no problem.  Oh, and is Jeffe high? Dude is a weirdo, but his suit is cut beautifully.

Jamie’s solution? Double up the distribution. Something is way up. It is not blessed.

At the office, Angela is in her feelings after her boss said she acts like a little girl, an insult that she insists you have to be Latin to really understand. Nah. I’m Black. I get it. He verbally cut you to the white meat. But she’s doubling down on her research, and suddenly it dawns on her, but for all the wrong reasons, that Tommy could very well not be Ghost. DING! DING! DING!

Jamie stops by to see Luiz, who is feedings his snakes and we get an important metaphor. It’s not the snakes that Jamie can’t tolerate, it’s the rats. See what the writers did there? But this is a business meeting and today’s business is canceling Christmas on the Serb. Jamie needs the territory. Luiz bristles but agrees if he can get more money. They should have thought this out more, but Jamie gets a text from his son which distracts him and needs to bounce.

Jamie ain't all bad.

Jamie deals with an extraordinary about of BS between Kanan, Tommy, the feds, his affair, his wife, both of his bosses, and all the drug dealers he’s partnered with. He handles most of it with an unreadable expression. Seeing his son sitting in the hotel hallway is the first time we’ve seen him bristle. He’s not sure what Tariq wants, but like us, he’s probably guessing the kid wants an explanation for why Dad isn’t coming home at night. Or maybe, he’s discovered something about his dad’s real job.

Because kids are walking curve balls, we learn that Tariq is there because he has (young) lady trouble. There’s a girl who’s feeling him, but he’s feeling someone else. “Trust me, son, the last thing you want to be is caught between two women,” Jamie advises.   Oh, really, Jamie, who is currently kicked out of the house for being caught between two women. But I guess he would know from trial and error, huh? Jamie’s been getting on my nerves lately, but this father-son moment made me friendly with him again. Oh, and Tariq does have a really cute smile.

The feds are still interviewing Holly. This is the longest interrogation ever. Or am I just not familiar with the length of interrogations? I’ve never been interrogated. Angie’s got a master plan to put Holly in a tight spot to see if she covers for Tommy the night she was shot. Whoever in the writer’s room thought of this deserves a pat on the head. Holly avoids falling in the obvious trap, offering a fake alibi for Tommy on  the night she was shot. But she does admit the relationship is more than a “f—."

Tommy shows up at Luiz’s after Ghost leaves. He contradicts Ghost’s instruction to Luiz. This man must have never watched the Godfather. You don’t speak against the family in public.

Tommy shows up at Ghost’s hotel room to curse him out.. not knowing Tariq is there. He immediately switches up when he sees the kid. I love how even these two sociopathic mofos respect family above all else, at least the kids. They go in the bathroom to talk.

Ok, remember when I said I didn’t understand why Tommy and Ghost were friends? I get it now. Day-to-day, Tommy is a doof and doesn’t have a lot (or any) social grace. But Ghost can also be too hardcore and doesn’t always operate the best under pressure. He wants things done fast when simmering would probably be a better strategy . Tommy insists they don’t kill the Serb, but create a way for the Serb to need them. Ghost is playing checkers. Tommy is playing chess. Well done, Tommy.

Tommy runs Tariq home to find a none-to-happy Tasha waiting for her boy, who didn’t tell her where he was. She ain’t too happy to see Tommy, who didn’t tell her about Angela, either. “I thought you were my brother,” she says. “I never thought you would do me like this.” She quite politely kicks him out. Before he goes, Tommy asks what I actually never wondered, “you wouldn’t blow up our whole thing over this?” he asks her. Tasha tell him to get the f— out in the Black mama voice. Tasha’s pissed, but everything she owns is funded by Ghost’s money and she’s conspired with him over the years to maintain the operation. She ain’t stupid and she ain’t about to be broke.

See, I thought Jamie was going to prepare for a hit on the Serb’s stash houses. But he’s popping up at Angela’s job on some, “you ain’t answer my calls” like that makes everything okay. Sir, if you don’t call before you come... He’s mad he didn’t get a head’s up about the fed/ Angela’s ex popping up at his job. She assures him the focus is on Tommy and he has nothing to worry about. He says she can trust him, as evidenced by him not telling Tommy what he knows about the feds investigating Tommy. Now that I think about it, it is kinda grimy that Ghost hasn’t said anything to Tommy.

Tariq is being grounded for going to see his Dad. Ugh. I feel like this is an unfair punishment. Yes,  the kid should have told you were he was, Mom, but it’s his father. He wasn’t hanging on the block or at some girl’s house. The boy misses his father and went to watch the game with him. Don’t take his iPad and his Play Station, Tasha.

Okay, so Jamie was never going to get his hands dirty with the Serb. He’s attending Stern’s party, which is a less over the top Eyes Wide Shut. LOL! Jamie, who always wears a stoic expression, is looking around like, “what did I just walk into?” He encounters Mrs. Stern who is flipping through a magazine with bored indifference as she points Jamie in he direction of the bathroom where her husband is getting his freak on with a guy.

I hate this Stern storyline. Like there’s more than enough drama outside of this. The short version: Jamie wants his club back. Simon tells him to be easy and offers him some women. Jamie declines, Simon is offended, threatens Jamie’s job. Jamie assures him he’s part of the team, but still doesn’t want any women, and Mrs. Stern observes all of this. I’m sure this will come up again.

Hold up. Who got shot during the Serb hit? My screen is mad dark. Was that someone important? Was that Dre?

When the Serbs get a head’s up that they’ve been hit, they think it’s the Albanians. So the plan worked. And the Serb calls Tommy for some drugs. Bada-Bing!

Tasha pops up at Ghost’s hotel room, wanting to know why Tariq came to see him. Tasha doesn’t know what to do about Tariq. “I can’t teach him about how to be a man. The worst part is you can’t either,” she says. Ouch!!!! Ghost wants to reconcile, but she’s not having it. “The next time you see your son, he is going to ask you some tough questions,” she adds. “You should be prepared to answer them.”

No, really, this is a long interrogation. Holly is stillll there. They’re laying out their entire case against Tommy to Holly, which I’m like, “hold up, what happens if she leaves and tell him everything?” But Holly’s not budging. She’ll take her (non existent) warrant back home and 3 years in jail rather than give up Tommy. Who knew Holly was a rider?

Angela, who is actually everything her boss described, goes into the bathroom to have have woman-to-woman talk with Holly. It’s not worth it, she says. Save yourself, she says. And then she tells Holly who it is The Feds really want: Ghost. Holly pauses her bathroom stall breakdown and comes out with a smile. She recognizes Angela. She saw her humping Ghost in his office once (last season). Holly thinks Angela is trying to pin everything about Jamie on Tommy, but quickly realizes, yes, Angela really is this clueless. “You dumb b—h”, she says as Angie’s face cracks. “You’re the one sleeping with Ghost, not me.”

Holly plays chess, not checkers.

Holly is so gangster. “I want out of this,” she tells Angela. “And I want Tommy out of this. Or I go in there and tell your partners that you’re fucking the real Ghost.” A-ha. Ahahaha. A-hahahahahaha. I knew it was going to come out at some point. But this is epic. EPIC!!!! Angie’s face tho? LMAO. Angela promises to get rid of Holly’s (non-existent) warrant as a show of good faith. Holly promises her the actual Ghost.

I KNEW IT!!!! I KNEW IT!!!!!! Holly still ain’t sh—, but she does love Tommy. And while Ghost deserves every bit of what’s coming, I’m still mad it’s happening to him. He’s so going to lie his way out of this one, and I have a feeling it’s all going to be pinned on Tommy.

Angie says she wants proof that Jamie is actually Ghost. I wonder what she’s going to do with it. Will she give Ghost up?

After Holly leaves, Angela has her own bathroom breakdown, worse than the one Holly just had. She’s in full on ugly cry thinking of all the time she’s shared with Ghost. Look, Angela’s been a stone cold idiot for dealing with a married man, but she didn’t know the betrayal was this deep. I have to add this because I’m a dating coach by trade: when you deal with people who have no issue lying to and deceiving people that they are supposed to care about, understand that the duplicity doesn’t end there and they are capable of some terrifying ish. Exhibit A: James St. Patrick. I still feel bad for Angie, just cause that’s some horrible news to take in, and that was an authentic ugly cry. Been there, boo. (But he wasn’t married.)

Greg caught Angie coming out that bathroom and noticed something was wrong. Because he’s trying to get back in, he stops by her place with wine to check on her. What is with these Ol Pop Up mofos? Ghost is also there, doing his best “I’m a good guy!” impression— notably a role he has never played on any size screen. Angie and Ghost are chatting in the lobby and Greg spots them through the glass window.

Oh, Angie. I don’t know if you in danger, girl, but you are in big trouble. Big, big trouble. And so is Greg who vouched for your reckless self. Chile, this is a mess, i.e., GREAT TV, and there's not Fiddy for the entire episode? Gold watches for all the writers.

What did you think of this episode of Power?


10 Thoughts After Watching Netflix's Nina Simone doc

Nina-Simone I love being on the road, seeing the world, working on sets and getting paid to do what I love, but I also miss out on a lot. I suppose I could have made time to see What Happened, Miss Simone?, the highly anticipated documentary about Nina Simone, when it landed on Netflix in late June, but I guess I was exhausted or busy or whatever.

No, really, I am a huge Simone fan. When I was 22 or so, I was walking through some weekend street fair in New York City, and an older man was blasting a mix of her music from his speakers. I was immediately enthralled and spent $15 on a double CD, which was a lot of money to a grad student with an unpaid internship. It was money well spent. I’ve acquired 10 more CDs (still have them) and Simone’s autobiography, I Put a Spell on You, since then. In my insomniac hours, I search YouTube for obscure (and grainy) footage of her performances.

I landed home from my last trip Monday night. By Tuesday night, I was nestled on my Chesterfield sofa, tuned in to my laptop, waiting for What Happened, Miss Simone?—a title taken from a line in a Redbook essay on Simone written by Maya Angelou in 1970—to load over my spotty Wi-Fi connection.

Spoiler alert! These are my top 10 thoughts on the doc (in no particular order):

1. It’s funny how people stumble into their greatness. Simone, one of the greatest singers and songwriters ever born, didn’t start singing or writing songs until some owner of a crappy bar told her she had to, to keep her job. This is how the world got the Nina Simone.

2. Watching Simone perform is riveting. She put her everything into a show. I’ve seen her perform before on YouTube videos, but this is the good stuff that’s not on the site. And trust, I’ve gone far, far down the rabbit hole. This doc is worth watching just for the performances alone. I think I caught the spirit watching this documentary.

3. Simone’s daughter Lisa Simone Kelly’s narrative of her mother is that her mom was “fighting her own demons” and she was “full or anger and rage.” Well, Simone was married to a man who beat her on a regular basis, and she worked 24-7, which means she was exhausted. She was also performing in an era when black folks were getting shot, beaten, harassed and terrorized all around her. I believe Kelly when she says her mother battled manic depression and bipolar disorder, but given all that Simone was dealing with, didn’t she have very, very valid reasons to be full of anger and rage?

4. Maybe because I’m also a creative, but most of the stuff Simone’s friends say they were shocked by doesn’t surprise or bother me. Like, the guitar player laments how they first met before a show and she didn’t speak. It’s rude, perhaps, but it’s not a sign of crazy. Is it at all possible that she was getting her head right because she was about to go onstage? That’s standard artist weirdness.

Another time, the guitarist mentions that she could be temperamental in the studio. This is right after a portion of the documentary discussing her grueling performance schedule, when she says she’s always tired and could never rest. Folks are surprised that a woman with no sleep is snappy? This same guitar player is one of the few people who knew that Simone was being beaten by her then-husband, Andrew Stroud. Simone showed up at the guitarist’s house bruised up and stayed for a couple of days. She’s not erratic just for the sake of it. There are reasons.

5. Simone’s daughter is clearly a daddy’s girl, and she obviously resents her mother for abandoning the family when her parents separated (after years of domestic abuse) and for whatever happened while she and Simone were living in Liberia, when Simone was sliding down into mental illness. Kelly has a valid reason for her mama issues. But her take on her mom as a domestic violence survivor—“I think they were both nuts. She had this love affair with fire”—is reckless. To imply that your mom had a hand in her own abuse is pretty crappy. If you grew up watching your parents pummel each other and you’ve never sought help for that, you’re probably a little screwy when it comes to the dynamics of relationships. But still, crappy.

6. If you ever consider going into any kind of show business, never make your partner your manager. Those stories never end well. Stroud, a former cop, became her manager after they were married. In that capacity, Stroud seemed more focused on the business of Nina Simone than on the actual person. He recounts a (horrifying) story of finding her backstage sounding disoriented and putting shoe polish in her hair. He thought she was having a nervous breakdown. So what does he do? He cleans her up and walks her to the stage. He says this as if it were the totally rational response to the incident.

Just in general, her ex-husband (they were divorced in the early ’70s) bothers me. There’s the abuse, of course, but the way he seems so clueless as to the effect his abuse had on Simone is disturbing. At another point in the film, Stroud talks about going to bed happy and then waking up in the middle of the night to Simone staring down at him in anger. This is supposed to be an example of how crazy she’s becoming. But is this not a completely normal reaction for a woman who’s being abused? Maybe she’s angry at you all the time because you beat on her all the time. Hello?

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Recap: Power, Episode 4: The King of Inappropriate

Ghost and his unreadable face. Yeah. So I'm almost two weeks late getting this recap up. Though, is it technically "late" as long as it goes up before the next episode airs? Okay, maybe I'm reaching.

But... part of the reason it's late is because I've been on the road, working, not partying. (Ok, just a little). During one of those parties, I got to hang out with Naturi Naughton aka "Tasha", She says, "hi"

B. x Naturi Naughton at a BET Awards After Party


Fiddy, the King of Inappropriate, opens this week’s episode blowing out the back of his ex, his son’s mother. I didn't catch her name, but whatever it is here, she is and always will be "Tasha" to me because of "Why Did I Get Married?" and she just looks like a Tasha. Back to Power: Tasha is a screamer, and son Sean has the misfortune of being downstairs watching the game and overhearing it all. Awkward. More so than two weeks ago when he walked in on his father getting dome? You decide.

Mom is holding on to Fiddy’s secret stash for the 10 year bid. He breaks her off a chunk for “being loyal.” She warns him to be careful with Sean.

Over in a Manhattan penthouse, Ghost, who used to be the star of the show, is sulking in bed. He looks longingly at his luggage from Miami and I wonder if he’s thinking about doing Angie, or Angie being a fed, or the chick that died in front of him. You never know with Ghost. Tasha, a morning person evidently, is super hype as she catches hubs up on the family life he missed. He tells her that he’s suspicious about who killed the Lady Killer. Oh, hold up. Maybe Ghost was thinking about killing Rolla unnecessarily. Or who financed the Hit Lady. He’s got a lot to worry about.

Greg calls Angie to say Q-Dubs is dead. She’s all, “I wanna come to the crime scene!” despite being reassigned from the case. Maybe it’s the way my care is set up, but if I’m not working a case anymore, and not getting paid extra to care, and that case is a liability for my relationship with a man that I love, I wouldn’t care anymore. But that’s me. Angie’s still trying to pin down Tommy and prove that he’s Ghost.

Tasha is going over the latest bank statements when Sean walks in. He’s decided to stop listening to his father’s advice and push up on Tasha one last time, despite recently tongue-ing down her bestie. She brushes him off again. “Ghost and I are good. You and I are what we are, all we’re ever be,” she says.

Ghost shows up at Angie’s with coffee to catch her coming out of her building. I can’t tell if he actually wanted to see her or he doesn’t want her to be suspicious, or if he’s checking to see what she’s up to. She tells Ghost she regrets telling him about Tommy. He tells her Tommy is clean before she takes a work call and rushes off. Sean, of course, watches all this from the car.

Holly is bored as sh— at home, recovering from the shooting. Tommy is rushing out to meet Ghost and she wants to go with. Um… Ma’am? Tommy says as much. It’s like the only time we will ever hear Tommy tell her “no.” He is entirely sprung over her. I get what he sees in her, but I don’t get what she sees in him, especially when he tells her to get some rest, especially her mouth because “you never know when it’s going to be called into action.” Ugh!

Ghost returns to the bar that he used to own to report to his new boss, Cantos, that he did as he was told in Miami. The bosses have a new party in  the works, a Vibe party that is described as “a dud of an event” and has no budget. Ouch! Who over at Vibe gave this show a bad review?

Jamie has no choice but to be up for the task because he no longer wears the crown at his club. He tries to call him favors with A-list athletes, who don’t want to be associated with his club anymore. Womp.

Tommy pops up at the club with Kanan in tow, which surprises Ghost. And because Tommy is messy, he also implies in front of Kanan that Ghost is cheating on Tasha. Hmm. Is Tommy being messy or intentionally shady? I can’t tell. Ghost is obviously awkward and doesn’t want to talk in front of Kanan. He goes from awkward to pissed when he learns that Q-Dubbs is dead by Kanan’s hand. But how convenient that Kanan’s crew can solve Ghost’s “powder problem.”

And because when it rains it pours, Ghost is also running low on legal cash. I mean, they’re making a ton of it, but they can’t clean it anymore because Ghost isn’t overseeing the club and his people aren’t on the bank runs. There are piles of money in a back room at the laundromat. At home, Tasha has noticed the legit money is looking light. Um… could it also be because you’re skimming it from the account because you don’t trust your husband? But Ghost doesn’t know that, of course.

Sean shows up at Lala’s apartment on the rebound talking about, “I made a mistake.” She knows she’s a rebound from Tasha, but she thinks he’s hot and she wants to believe him when he says he’s not there because Tasha rejected him. They do it. This is a gratuitous sex scene. That said, Lala’s boobs look great.

Over at Tommy’s, bored Holly is inviting Julio, Tommy and Ghost’s third wheel, ini for a drink while dressed in her panties. Julio knows he should go, but stays. This isn’t going to end well.

Elsewhere, Tommy is hanging out with his new bestie (and star of the show), Fiddy, and Fiddy’s boys. The new guys aren’t really feeling Tommy’s yo-boy vibe, and Fiddy’s not feeling one of the dudes at the table.

Ghost hashes out a plan to clean the money by giving people money to spend at the club. He walks around town like some sort of Starz version of Clay Davis handing out dollars in exchange for patronage.

Tasha has lunch with Lala and tells her that Sean blew her back out. She adds that she knows he has a thing for Tasha and there is an attraction between them. Um. This friendship is officially weird. “If you’re gonna stick it out with Ghost that’s great,” she says. “But you better make sure you’re choosing the right man.”

Tasha heads home to search through Ghost’s ish. She finds the number to Eden Rock hotel where he stayed in Miami. The attendant asks if she enjoyed her massage. Shit’s about to go down.

Tommy buys Holly a puppy. “haven’t you ever seen a movie,” he quips. “Puppies fix everything. I got a bitch for my bitch.” The dog’s name is Belle. Anyway, Tommy notices the glasses on the counter, Holly lies about anyone being in the house, then admits she let his business partner, Julio, come in. Tommy flips because he’s Tommy.

Kanan and his prison buddy take a ride. They discuss the dude that clowned Tommy. Diddy asks if he’s trustworthy. Dude gives a nonchalant “sure”. Fiddy looks up to something.

Jamie returns home to discover that he can’t get into his apartment. Tasha has changed the code. Of course, this doesn’t go over well. “Let me upstairs to my apartment where I pay rent!” Jamie demands to the desk attendant. The attendant tells him they don’t get involved in domestic matters. Jamie blows up Tasha’s phone, then his son’s phone. Finally she answers and tells him she knows about Angie. Jamie flips on Sean, thinking he told Tasha about the trip. He didn’t.

At work, Greg hands over the video footage from the Q-Dubbs shooting to Angie. Of course, she finds out that Tommy was there.  Greg talks to the new boss about Angie’s find. New boss agrees to hear her out in a presentation.

Angie presents her case against Tommy to the team. “We’ve got a big pile of circumstantial nothing,” her colleague points out. Her new boss is more impressed. Greg has been doing research of his own about Tommy’s friends, including the actual Ghost. “If this guy is clean, he’s one unlucky bastard,” new boss says bout Jamie. Oh, and Angela is back on the task force.

Tommy shows up for a meeting between Ghost and Julio and attacks Julio. Ghost breaks it up and points out to Tommy that he doesn’t trust Holly.  When Tommy calms down— pretty quickly because he’s nuts—  Ghost tells him that Tasha kicked him out. Somehow this leads to a conversation by Tommy about how great Kanan is. I don’t think Ghost really cares that Tommy and Fiddy are new besties. He’s just suspicious— with good reason— of Kanan.

Sean goes by the St. Patricks to get some clothes for Ghost. Tasha  confronts Sean about knowing that her husband was still seeing Angela. “I didn’t tell you because I didn’t want to be the one to break your heart”, he says. Tasha is a walking Mary J. Blige album. Like before she got happy. Sean says Lala/Kisha was a mistake. “But I know that this isn’t.” He tongues down Tasha… in the bedroom she shares (shared?) with her husband. Messy. Messy.

Jamie and Angela are tongue humping in the hotel. She says it’s getting harder to “do this”.  As in doing a married man? Oh, no. She means Tommy. She tells Ghost that she will do all she can to keep Tommy’s drama away from him. Jamie’s face flashes with panic, but then he recovers quickly, because that’s what he does. He dangles a carrot in front of Angela: he and Tasha split up and he tells Angie he loves her.

Angie wants to know “why now?” Finally she’s asking smart questions, even as she does dumb ish. Jamie is actually honest here. He previously told Tasha he was done with Angie and she flipped when she found out he took her to Miami. Angie asks, “I just don’t get it. Why do you need her so badly?” Jamie switches the subject to Tommy before Angie’s  interrupted by the ding of her phone. Her colleague/ex wants her to join him on a stake out of Tommy. Before she leaves, she says to Ghost, “we’re gonna be okay.” I can’t tell if it’s a statement or a question.

When Angie speaks to Greg, he tells her that his ass is on the line if she messes up. She swears she knows what she’s doing. Um.. ma’am, you just got done making out with the  guy that you are trying to capture. You don’t know ‘nan. Then Greg makes his pitch to get Angie back: “Is it at all odd us working together?” Here we go.

Greg sees Holly coming out of Tommy’s building. I totally saw this coming. I’ve been said Holly will be the one to mess up this whole operation.

Kanan and Ghost meet for drinks. Jamie’s finally figured out he’s the enemy. But in a page from the Art of War, he’s keeping his ememies close. I think he’s about to set Fiddy up for the fall with the feds somehow. We’ll see. Jamie offers to buy Fiddy a drink and the waiter asks if Jamie wants to put it on his room. Jamie tells Fiddy that he and Tasha have split. “Shit’ll work it self out, it always does, right?” Diddy says before bouncing.

Jamie shows up to Tariq’s school to confront Tasha, who is dressed in her version of what an Upper West Side mom would dress like, but like, with may more skin. “I think Kanan knows we sent him to jail and he’s coming after us.” Wait, what? They sent Kanan to jail? How?!!! Ghost says he can’t see Kanan’s next move and he’s worried about Tasha and the kids and he should be in the house to protect them. I’m confused. Does he want to stand in the sun and make jam with Angie, or does he want Tasha, or both. What is this man’s end game?

Tasha doesn’t believe his Kanan story and tells Ghost he’s never coming home. He yokes up Tasha like we’ve only seen him do to his enemies before he kills them. Oh, hell no.

Jamie offers to pay Holly to leave the Tommy alone. He gets the same goosebumps about her that every viewer does.  “You’re a liability,” he says to her. “You’ll go one way or the other.” He offers her cash and a train ticket. She declines.

At Truth, the club is popping. They have acrobats and bloggers. Management is impressed.”Leave it to the Black party to put us back in the black,” Jamie says.  He offers to take the profits to the bank. No go. So the coffers are gonna stay light. This should get interesting.

Greg confronts Holly, who surprise, surprise, has found that she has an outstanding warrant in Ohio. He wants to take her in for questioning.

At home, Tasha is crying when the front desk calls to say Kanan is on his way up. He shows up with gifts for the kids and a bottle of wine for her. “I used to think about you sometimes when I was inside,” he tells her. Pause. Fiddy and this shelling coat are killing me. “If you ever need anything, anything you can’t get from Ghost, you can ask me,” he tells Tasha.” Was that a penis offer? I think he offered her penis. Fiddy’s shadiness never fails me. You just gonna try to ruin every aspect of this man’s life, huh?

After Kanan leaves, Tasha takes out her gun. Okay. So she believes Ghost. Does that mean she’ll let him back in the house?

Fiddy and prison homie roll up to an abandoned lot. Fiddy has his messy homeboy in the trunk. He’s cut out his tongue. “the next time I ask if you trust a men ember of your crew, ‘sure’ is not an acceptable answer,” Fiddy says. This man is a sociopath (like Tommy)… and that makes for a never dull episode. Fiddy tells prison homie to kill his friend. Kanan walks off to smoke a cigarette while dude does his bidding. He’s up to something. Always.


What did you think of Episode 4 of Power?

Ask Demetria: "How Do I Get Her Back?"

Kanye West "Heartless"

Dear Demetria:

Help me out, D. I was dating a woman long distance, and things started to head into relationship territory pretty fast (three months). I felt pressured and basically stopped hitting her up as much and being less responsive to slow things down. She reacted terribly and cut me off for being inconsistent. I was relieved at the time and let her leave, but now I regret it. She ignored me last time I tried to reach out. How can I fix this? —Anonymous

Honestly? I don’t know if you can fix this—or, if you can, that you should. You thought things were moving too fast, and you’re entirely entitled to however you felt about that. But the correct and respectful thing to do was to have a conversation about how you felt about the pace of the situation, not be passive aggressive and distance yourself from her. You seem to care now, but you’ve been disrespectful of her feelings, and your past actions demonstrate that you’re a consistently poor communicator. I can’t say that I blame her for ignoring you, given these circumstances.

I also wonder, what has changed now, and why you are suddenly interested in her again after being consistently uninterested? Are you reaching out to her because you are lonely? Bored? Or is this your ego in the sense that you’re only interested now because you reached out and she didn’t bother to respond? Do you want her back, or do you just want the satisfaction of knowing that she may want you?

I’ll be honest; if this query came from her about a guy she was dating who demonstrated that he wasn’t interested in the same way you have, I would tell her to keep it moving and don’t look back. I would advise her to know her worth and not waste her pretty on a man who has shown her how easily he can disregard her feelings and not care enough about her to respectfully say, “Hey, I like you, but this is moving too fast for me,” or even, “Hey, this isn’t working for me.”

If you had said that to her, she might have been disappointed by your perspective, but at least she would have seen that you cared enough about how she felt to communicate like an adult. Because you had treated her feelings with respect, there would have been a better opportunity for you to circle back if you were ever willing to rekindle something with her in the future.

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