Walking Contradictions: Spiritual Celebrities Who’ve Been Known To Act A Fool
Truth be told, every last one of us is a hypocrite in one way or another. And if we’re honest we’ll admit that we’re hypocrites in quite a few ways actually. But thankfully, regular people like you and me don’t have to worry about our business selling papers and generating clicks. Our mess is limited to a small number of people. Unfortunately, celebrities live a different life and sometimes we, the public, have been privy to some messy ish. And it only makes it worse when you’ve positioned yourself as someone who’s conscious or spiritually inclined and then you do something that has everyone giving you the side eye. Find out who I’m talking about on the following pages.
Today one of my coworkers enlightened me to the fact that in 2008, Terrence Howard released an album called “Shine Through It.” Well, I had no idea. The album is not particularly good but it did seem to at least have an uplifting message. Then, in 2013, Howard was seen carrying a New Age philosophical teaching tome, complete with spiritual medallions and linen shirt. But right before he was spotted getting his enlightenment on,Terrence Howard’s now ex wife Michelle Ghent filed domestic violence charges against him and even appeared in court with a black eye.
And if that wasn’t enough, Howard came to Chris Brown’s defense, after the infamous Rihanna incident saying that “It’s just life, man. Chris is a great guy, man. He’ll be all right. And Rihanna knows he loves her, you know? They’ll be alright. ‘Cause everybody gotta get out of the way.”
Musiq Soulchild’s music has always been uplifting with messages of love–you know that forever type, put a ring on it love. And so naturally we assumed that his personal life would mimic that. But judging by what we learned from this past season of “R&B Divas Atlanta,” Musiq the man is quite different from Musiq the artist. According to his longtime on-again, off-again girlfriend and mother of his child, Meelah Williams, the two co-parent and even live together but aren’t a couple.
If you read any of Alicia Keys’ interviews or listen to a majority of her music, you know she’s about celebrating and empowering women. There’s a full list of songs, “Woman’s Worth,” “Superwoman,” “Girl on Fire,” etc. But in her personal life, there’s the very well documented fact that Alicia Keys started dating Swizz Beatz before he was completely divorced from Mashonda. Keys has maintained that the two were separated but Mashonda has said over and over again that she was blindsided.
Arguably, we really didn’t know too much about Angie Stone before she joined the case of “R&B Divas Atlanta.” But she was a part of the whole Neo Soul movement, so you know we associate certain type of characteristics to those people. You know, they burn incense, and close their e-mails with the salutation “peace and blessings.” But when Angie Stone got to reality tv, she started more than enough mess. During the first season, it was just with the other ladies on set. But it extended to behind the scenes when, according to a R&B Divas producer, Stone fought a staff member for allegedly sleeping with her man.
I know a lot of you might be thinking that I’m going to reference Madonna’s sexuality and contrast it with her study of Kaballah. But no. While I’m sure there are people who are still offended by Madonna’s overall raunchiness, I think her recent use of the n-word when she has Black children, is more spiritually foul.
Snoop ventured to the hills of Jamaica and got all the way turned owwt. When he came back to the states, he was in the process of growing out his perm, claimed he was Bob Marley reincarnate and he was now to be called Snoop Lion. Like the Lion of Judah which is an important symbol in the Rastafarian faith (as well as Christians and Jews.) I mean I can see the draw. The religion encourages the smoking of marijuana and we all already know that Snoop was into that long before he converted. But perhaps it wasn’t all that sincere because when Snoop realized people weren’t feeling the Reggae flow, despite the Grammy nomination for best Reggae album. At a recent performance he did all of his original material including “Gin and Juice” and a cover of 50 Cent’s “P.I.M.P.” for good measure. Considering the fact that Snoop actually was a pimp for some time, it would seem like he’s regressing a bit.
Most of us know that Mel Gibson was the man who brought us The Passion of The Christ. Christian groups around the world flocked to see the movie that gruesomely detailed the last twelve hours of Jesus’ life. Gibson, who is Catholic, also financed the building of a Malibu church. And while Gibson prides himself on being all about Jesus, in his real life, he has little tolerance for people who don’t look like him…oh and women. He’s on record referring to people as “wetbacks,” “ni**ers,” threatening to kill his ex-girlfriend and when he was being arrested saying, “F*#king Jews…The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world…Are you a Jew?” Not exactly the best representation of J.C.
People have been looking at Georgia preacher Creflo Dollar crazy for years because they believed he lived too lavishly. But his name became even more sullied back in 2012 when he was arrested for assaulting his 15 year old daughter. A typical father/daughter argument about whether or not she could attend a party allegedly escalated into to him choking her, punching her and then hitting her with a shoe.
Oh Bishop Eddie Long… So much mess. Way back in 2010, allegations of Bishop Long coercing young men into having with him started to swirl. Two years later, it was all anyone could talk about. Aside from the testimony of alleged victims and the very suspect pictures Long was sending to men in his congregation, there was no concrete proof that he had engaged in any inappropriate relationships. But we all know what’s up. And if we didn’t the fact that his wife, who accused him of domestic violence during their marriage, tried to divorce on several occasions but always came back, tells us all we need to know. Dude is not right.
Rapper-turned Pastor-turned rapper Ma$e is a walking contradiction in the truest sense of the word. One minute he’s singing “Harlem World,” then the next he’s preaching the word of God. It’s hard to keep up but most recently, Ma$e had something of a “turn your back on the Lord” party as he announced that he was returning, once again, to the rap game. Backsliding like a mug.
I love Deitrick Haddon’s music but honestly, I wish I knew less about his personal life. On the first season of “Preachers of L.A.,” we learned entirely too much about Haddon’s drama, including the fact that he cheated on his wife with one of the church choir members, according to his ex wife, and even impregnated her while they were still married. And the way he acts on the show, I just get the vibe that he’s about being seen.
New and improved Russell Simmons is all about meditation and serenity. He’s written books on how meditation and what not can help your relationships. And I’m sure that’s probably true. Chrissy and Jim Jones even visited him to get advice on how to fix their own relationship. That’s all fine and good. But Russell’s own track record with relationships is interesting, to say the least.
Many of us are still reeling from the realization that in actuality, Lauryn Hill is rather different than the woman we thought she was based on the songs from the forever classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. That album was on an entirely different plane. It was inspirational, it was raw, it taught some hard lessons about life and encouraged us. But after that, we were all saddened to learn that Lauryn, with her affair with Wyclef and interesting interactions with fans, the real Ms. Hill, was human like the rest of us.