All Articles Tagged "damon young"

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Am I Too Independent?

April 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Dornice: Why are men intimidate d by a strong independent Black WOMEN

DY: Maybe they’re just intimidated by people who feel the need to capitalize WOMAN. I know I am.



Shannon: What makes a woman a wifey type? Or what makes a woman not?

DY: Don’t think there’s any such thing as a “wifey type.” Who a man decides to “wife” up depends on the man and his own likes, dislikes, and circumstance.

Shannon: Thanks Damon Young….one last question you think there is a such thing as a too independent woman?

DY: I really wish someone would bury this notion that a woman’s “independence” is keeping worthy men away from her. That just does not happen. I will say, though, that “single” behavior and “relationship” behavior are two separate things — the type of mindset that’s necessary when single may need to be adjusted when entering a relationship — but that goes for men and women.


Alicia: What do think of young women with older men? I’m 22 graduating next spring. I’ve been seeing men in their 30-40s?

DY: I’m not going judge. As long as you’re both adults, happiness is where you find it. But, I will ask you this: What would you think about a 27 year old man who dated nothing but 18 year olds?

Alicia: I do think it’s a bit odd. But why do men like younger women?

DY: There are tons of possible reasons why. But the main reason is that younger women are “easier” and, subsequently, easier to control. There’s a power dynamic there that their age and experience — and the income that often comes with age and experience — gives them.


Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I’ve Been Crushing On The Same Man For The Past 15 Years

April 2nd, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Hi Damon, 

I have an issue I need help with. I have this friend well when we were in H.S. we both crushed on the same guy but neither one of us ever did anything about it…crush and I kept in touch… cut to 3 years ago and my “friend” and I are at a wedding. I’m preggers with my son at this time.

My “friend” finds out that I kept in touch with our old crush and begged me to hook her up… I relayed the message and was told that she wasnt his type. I didnt know how to say that to my “friend” so I said nothing. She eventually let it go… well a year and a half after I had my son guess who comes sniffing around.

The crush! I couldnt resist maybe I should’ve said no but my “friend” knew that he was my crush as well. Long story short I ended up getting pregnant and having his baby. So now everytime I hear from my “friend” its always drama! Everything that he does via social media she comes back to report. Her favorite thing to say is “I dont mean to be a debbie downer but..”.. my question is what would be the best way to deal with her? Should I kick her to the curb? Should I just dismiss the hate and shade she throws my way because he was our mutual crush? (We are all over 30 now)… you’re really good with sorting things out and seeing the truth that lies beneath… even if I’m in the wrong I invite you to be brutally honest with me… will you accept the challenge??

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: He Dumped Me When I Told Him I Love Him Too Much?

March 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Alisha: Why can’t I find a boyfriend? Most men tell me I’m intimidating. How can I stop looking “intimidating” lol

DY: When a man randomly calls a woman “intimidating” it’s usually code for either “I’m not that attracted to you” or “you’re too attractive for me.” Either way, I wouldn’t pay much attention to them. Instead, work on enjoying life and being the type of person other people (men and women) enjoy being around.


Bella: Can a FWB (Friends with benefits) relationship turn into something more? I entered into a FWB relationship with a man and I developed real feelings for him. Your thoughts are welcomed.

DY: It can. But, it very, very rarely happens


Danielle When trust has been broken in a relationship, how do you fix it so trust can be fully restored? Or is that even possible?

DY: There’s no science for how to do that. Therapy/counseling helps, but neither of those are sure solutions. You basically have to figure this out on your own. And, if you can’t do it, you can’t do it.


T’wanda: Does a guy have to text/call you all the time to show valid interest in you and a possible relationship?

DY: No. But he does need to contact you regularly.


Angela: This married woman is hitting on me… How do I get her to stop? She’s 47. I’m 30…a nd she has kids my age….. WTH could she possibly want from me and she has a husband? Thanks for your help.

#2. Do you feel moving in together is a need in order to see if that person is marriage material?

DY: Did you try “Hey. Stop hitting on me.” yet? (And, for your second question, no. Some people might feel like they need it, but I don’t consider it to be a requirement.)

Why is it that men say they want a successful woman, then they get one that’s more successful than they are and there’s a problem?

DY: For some (not all, but some) men, wanting a “successful” woman basically means that they want someone who’s successful enough to take care of herself, but not so successful that she outshines him. Basically, it’s an ego thing.


Gina: Why do men feel they can be vulgar and inappropriate on dating sites knowing they wouldn’t make the same comments/introductions in person? Do they think intelligent women really respond to that?

DY: They do it because they know it wouldn’t fly in person. In person it might get you smacked. Online, though, the worst that can happen is an ignore.


Tracee: How can a woman get out,of,being friend zoned all the time?

DY: In my experience, when women are friend-zoned repeatedly, it’s largely due to them accepting the “accommodating/cool homegirl” role and hoping that’ll change. What you need to do instead is be honest — with men and with yourself — and upfront about your expectations. And, if someone isn’t interested in you like that, don’t “hang around” hoping they’ll change their mind.


Kgothatso: Is it normal for a man to dump a woman because he says “she loves him too much?”

DY: Normal? Yes. I’ve heard that excuse before. Thing is, it’s just a way of him saying he doesn’t love you without him actually saying it.


Sharigurl: We were dating and then he backed off then he said he wanted to just be friends so I took that to mean he didn’t want to see me anymore. However, he calls and or texts everyday to talk about nothing or really important things like his relationship with his kids and his life or to check in on me. I really like this man but do I need to move on ?

DY: Yes, you do need to back off. What he’s doing is a classic move where men keep you close while also freeing himself up to see other people.

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: We Could Be Great But After 7 Years He Won’t Commit

March 19th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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he won't commit


Dear Damon,

I have been dealing with this guy since we were 18, arriving at the same college at the same time. We have been carrying on this situationship for 6 going on 7 years straight. No signs of slowing down or stopping. It doesn’t matter what is going on in our lives, namely being in relationships with others, we always find our way to one another. Whether it’s cooking out, chilling and watching TV, spending the night or just being physical and going about the day. It’s our thing. We’re comfortable enough around each other that certain things come very natural for us. Think Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits.

Even though he has been in his own relationships and I have been in mine, we are each other’s weakness. I know that this is not normal but I am looking for a way out or through. We have discussed being involved in our own relationship, he always resists. I think it may have something to do with what he thinks I did in my past. However, when I ask him to elaborate, he won’t. I feel like there is something that is bothering him that he won’t tell me. The girls that he chooses always wind up being totally wrong or hurt him. I can’t but help to think that I would be the right choice for him simply because we are one in the same.

We have the same thoughts, like the same kinds of music, foods, clothes, we even are from Chicago and grew up not that far from each other as children. I have asked God to take him out of my life, but days, or weeks will go by and he shows back up; either it is by text, social media or phone call. I really don’t understand if it is meant for us to be together in the future or what? I am confused as to why he keeps coming back to me especially now that he is now seriously dating his best friend?  I feel like I am trapped in a bad cycle. I am so in love with him but I don’t know how to help myself out. We would be so perfect and compatible with each other if he would just trust it and open up more. He’s my dream. I just don’t know what to anymore. Can you please offer any insight on this?

Waiting on a Dreamlover

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: Does A Woman’s Credit Score Matter To A Man?

March 12th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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In this week’s edition of “Ask A Very Smart Brotha,” Damon was back on our Facebook page taking relationships during our bi-weekly, hour-long live chat. He got some pretty interesting ones. And there are a couple that seem really complex that he makes quite simple. Check out his answers below.

Source: Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Joanna: I do? If a man meets a woman who is single, no children, & has a 500 credit score, does that automatically disqualify her from the pursuit of a relationship??

DY: Depends on the man. Some are credit Nazis, some would be cool with it if they saw you were making better financial decisions now, and some don’t give a damn as long as you have a big booty.

Is Music By Female Performers Filled With Just As Much Man-Hating As Hip-Hop Is Filled With Misogyny?

March 3rd, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Sources: WENN, Twitter

Sources: WENN, Twitter

Damon Young of Very Smart Brothas has done a piece for Complex magazine’s website on the art of the male response song, particularly the many (and I do mean many) responses to Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin’ Ass Ni**a,” and how it all exudes extreme “butthurtness” as he calls it. Damon Young also writes that all the responses are redundant and comical, considering how those in hip-hop address women in their music.

Of course, the comment section is full of folks who weren’t trying to hear that “respect women” bull crap. As one commenter noted:

“I’m also very suspicious of men like you who (rightly) point out instances of misogyny in rap, while at the same time, try to excuse, or turn a blind eye to the slew of misandric/ female supremacist material filling the catalogues of artists like Beyonce & Taylor Swift.”

I have heard this reasoning before: Female singers and rappers have as many man-hating songs as rappers have their woman-hating hits. But is it true? A casual listen to the radio would say, hell no! But in the name of pseudo-science, I decided to find out if songs performed by women in music were equally “misandrist.” The answers will surprise you – but likely not.

For this research, I decided to focus on the two “urban” radio stations here in Philadelphia. WUSL, better known to listeners as “POWER 99FM,” is owned by Clear Channel Communications. As evident by its signature, “Bangin’ Hip Hop and R&B,” Power 99 caters to those who listen to hip-hop as well as those who listen to R&B music. And according to the station’s marketing material, its audience is 54 percent women and 44 percent men. Therefore, if I were to find misandrist music anywhere, it would likely be on a station, which appeals largely to women.

The other station is WPHI, which is known locally as Hot 107.9 FM. Like POWER 99FM, WPHI is known as an urban station. Although demographics on the station were hard to come by in the short amount of time I allotted for this study, judging by the similar musical format, I assumed that its audience is also reflective of that of 99FM – with slight variations.

Since radio today tends to be repetitious (which might have something to do with the fact that only six companies control 90 percent of mainstream media), I limited my research time to two hours. To be specific, I listened to 99FM on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. The playlist was as followed: YG, “My Hitta (My N-Word) Remix”; “NaNa” by Trey Songz; Drake feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean, “All Me”; Young Thug, “Stoner”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; T-Pain feat. BoB, “Up Down”; Rick Ross feat. Jay Z, “The Devil is a Lie”; Rich Homie Quan, “Type of Way”; Miguel, “Adorn”; “All of Me” by John Legend; “Que” by OG Bobby Johnson; ScHoolboy Q, “Man of the Year”; Rico Love feat. Trey Songz, TI and Tiara Thomas, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, feat. Jay Z, “Drunk in Love”; Mack Wilds, “Henny”; and finally, Sage the Gemini, “Gas Pedal.”

What struck me the most was in spite of 99FM’s listening audience being slightly more female, its playlist for those two hours was heavily dependent on male-performed content. Because of that, I decided to tune in again on Sunday, from 11 to 1 p.m. The only other differences were old school songs Like DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win” as well as the following: Mack Wilds, “Own It”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, “Part II (On the Run)”; Wale feat. NickiMinaj, “Clappers”; Chris Brown, “Loyal”; and French Montana, “Ain’t Worried About Nothin’.”

On 107.9FM, which I tuned in to from 9 to 11 a.m. on Sunday, there was more of a gender balance in the playlist, but only slightly: Rico Love, “They Don’t Know”; Beyoncé, “Yoncé/Partition”; Janelle Monae, “Primetime”; Tamar Braxton, “All the Way Home”; Aaliyah, “Try Again” (throwback classic); Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, ”Part II (On The Run)”; “Happy” by Pharrell; Ariana Grande feat. Mac Miller, “The Way”; Kid Ink feat. Chris Brown, “Show Me”; Beyoncé feat. Jay Z, ”Drunk in Love”; Sevyn Streeter feat. Chris Brown, “It Won’t Stop”; Rick Ross, “Sanctified”; August Alsina feat. Chris Brown and Trey Songz, “I Luv This S**t”; John Legend, “All of Me”; Bruno Mars, “When I was Your Man”; Jay Z feat. Rick Ross, “F**kWithMeYouKnowIGotIt”; Jhene Aiko, “The Worst.”

In total, I heard 32 unique songs in a span of six radio hours. Despite the gender imbalance of both playlists, quick research showed that the playlists were more aligned with the national top 20 lists for popular urban music. Therefore, this was as good as it was going to get. In terms of misogyny, here are some of my observations as followed:

  • Nineteen out of the 23 unique male-performed songs referred to women as either b**ches or hos or a combination of both.
  • At least 10 of the male-performed songs had direct themes revolving around using money as economic power over women, particularly using it to lure a woman home or entice them to shake body parts. “Gas Pedal” gives you that much in the title without even having to cite a single lyric. Equally as direct was T-Pain, who reminds us that “she don’t even like girls but a stack will make her kiss her.” However, Trey Songz was a little more smooth in how he financially finessed himself closer to the “NaNa.”
  • At least half of the male-performed songs were keen on establishing boundaries for women, and usually of lesser importance, even when the song itself had little to do with male-female relationships. For example, Chris Brown tells us directly about how he “done did everything but trust these hos” in “Loyal.” However, Young Thug, who focuses most of his lyrics in “Stoner” on his drug use, takes a bar or two to make clear that you can “can suck my banana, but I won’t eat your pudding.”
  • At least 12 of the male-centered songs contained lyrics, which treated women as possessions, in particular, collectible items. For example, in “Devil Is A Lie”, Rick Ross brags about “switching old b**ches for new b**ches” and more. Whereas ScHoolboy Q couldn’t see women outside of disembodied body parts (“Titty, a**, hands in the air, it’s a party over here”) in “Man of the Year.”
  • While not necessarily misogynistic, at least 10 of the male-centered songs had lyrics, which focused on non-committal relationships with the opposite sex. In “They Don’t Know,” Rico Love tells us about the very special yet secret relationship he has with a side jawn, who he is willing to wine and dine, just as long as she keeps her mouth shut.
  • Only five of the male performed songs featured lyrics that were non-authoritative, combative and expressed healthier sentiment with the opposite sex. The majority of those songs were R&B, including Miguel’s “Adorn” and John Legend’s “All of Me” – or duets performed with a female performer. Even when the topic was about heartbreak, male-centered R&B songs were more likely to engage in self-reflection compared to their rap counterparts. The unique exceptions to that included R&B singer Chris Brown, who blames the cheating girls he willingly has relationships with in “Loyal” for his trust issues and rapper Big Sean, who seems willing to own up (slightly) to his paranoia in “All Me” with the following lines: “Like I got trust issues, I’m sorry for the people I’ve pushed out. I’m the type to have a bullet-proof condom and still gotta pull out. But that’s just me, and I ain’t perfect, I ain’t a saint but I am worth it…”

So the misogyny is well-documented, but what about the misandry? Well, according to my observations:

  • Out of the nine female-performed songs on the radio, I found two examples, which could possibly be interpretative of misandry: the first is in Jhene Aiko’s “The Worst,” when she says of her deceiving significant other, “Please don’t take this personal, but you ain’t sh**t…” The second is Nicki Minaj’s verse on “Clappers” when she says,“Where your money? Let a b***h evaluate. If you ’bout big money, elaborate.” However, Minaj’s lyrics on “Clappers” seemed to be aligned with misogyny more than man-hating in that particular song.
  • The vast majority (eight in total) of female-performed songs involved themes of love: how to get it and how to keep it. In “Drunk in Love,”  Beyoncé told us sordid tales of all-night sex and drinking babies (as she also did in “Yoncé/Partition”). Tamar Braxton is so in love in her song she thinks about her man on her drive all the way home. Ariana Grande’s track was about being in love, as was Sevyn Streeter’s.
  • All of the female-performed songs were more likely to focus on keeping and maintaining relationships with the opposite sex as opposed to their male-performing counterparts, whose songs were on varied topics (note: I included Janelle Monae in that number because “Primetime” was a duet with Miguel).

Again, this is not to sit in judgment of the artists and their individual songs, but rather, to smack down the silly notion that female-performed contemporary music is filled with just as much misandry as hip hop is filled with misogynistic lyrics. The most interesting side note to this experiment is that if you take the female-performed songs and put them between the male-centered songs, you get an interesting mix of mostly men saying, don’t trust these girls – unless you can pay them to dance and have sex with them – while  female performers are begging these guys, who don’t seem to care about them at all, to stay. I guess it is true what Beyoncé says, “who wants that perfect love anyway – cliché, cliché…”


Ask A Very Smart Brotha: When Do I Tell Him I Don’t Want Kids?

February 26th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Nia: What makes a man want to marry? I’ve been with my guy for 17 years got the ring but no I do.

DY: A man wants to marry when he finds someone he wants to marry. Basically, if you’ve been with him 17 years, and he hasn’t married you yet, he just doesn’t want to marry you. I didn’t mean for that to come out so blunt, but there’s really no other way to put it.


Mesha: Why do men follow their penis and not their heart?

DY: (Some) Men do that because they value the temporary pleasure from making their penises happy more than the long-term (but riskier) pleasure of heart happiness.

And, of course, there are also many men who value both equally.


Precious: Should a woman divorce her husband if he has not been providing financially? Job hopping.

DY: Depends on why he hasn’t been providing. Getting laid off in a tough economy — which is understandable — is different than being lazy/unemployable.


Deanna: Any advice on how to approach the subject of children? I don’t want any and I’m not sure how long I should wait (if at all) before I tell a guy I’m dating.

DY: You don’t have to divulge those details while initially dating. But, if it’s at the point where it may have the potential to turn into something long-term, it’s time to share that.


Tia: How do I get a guy’s attention that I like?

DY: Say “Hi. My name is Tia. What’s yours?” Or get naked and show up at his job. One of the two should work.


Lauren: Why are guys so fearful of committing to an awesome woman?

DY: “Awesome” is a relative term. Your “awesome” may not be his “awesome.”


Tabitha: My issue is that a strong independent black woman I find that I intimidate a lot of men. I don’t intentionally try to do it but it just seems that is how I come across. It’s true I don’t need a man, but I do want a companion. I’ve tried toning down my assertiveness but then I don’t feel true to myself. Damon, what advice can you offer me?

DY: Many of the women who make sure to refer to themselves as “independent” and “strong” women who “don’t need a man” also tend to be somewhat obnoxious. Not saying this is you, but if it is you, you don’t have to keep reminding everyone of how strong you are. Take off the “I’m independent!!!!” t-shirt and start rocking your “I’m Tabitha!!!” t-shirt instead.


Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I Like Him But He’s Too Short…

February 12th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Another week, another relationship question and answer session with Damon Young. There were some interesting questions this week that really illustrate the difficulties–or the perceived difficulties–women have with dating and relationships. Take a look at the selected questions below and let us know if you agree with Damon’s advice.

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: I’m Married But I Have This Crush…

January 15th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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I’ve been in a really bad relationship for 12 years with my husband. He cheated on me about a year ago and we separated because of it. Fast forward to 3 months ago. I have been having crushes on guys and I can’t say anything to them because I’m still miserably married. Some of these guys don’t even know that I’m interested in them. They all know that I’m married. Please help, what should I do?

Dear Constipated Crush,

Of the many latent themes present throughout the fifth season of “The Wire” — aka “the best American piece of art ever made” — the one that I’ve found the most applicable to my own life is the concept of “fresh eyes.” Sometimes you can get so bogged down in a situation or circumstance, that it’s hard for you to make good assessments, and you need to bring someone else to help you. Basically, you need “fresh eyes.”

For instance, a few months ago my car was acting strange. Making weird noises, riding awkwardly, and just not handling the way I was use to. First, I thought it was my engine. Then the brakes. Then the shocks. I couldn’t figure out what it was, so I made an appointment to see a mechanic. The day before the appointment, I drove to my parent’s house. My dad happened to be on the porch. The first thing he said to me when I greeted him? “Son, you need some new tires.”

He was right. And, not only did I need new tires, the tires were what was causing my car trouble. It seemed like an easy/obvious solution, but I was so focused on the engine and the brakes and the shocks that I couldn’t see the answer.

Anyway, I’m bringing this up because I remind myself of this when getting letters like yours. To me, the solution to your dilemma is obvious. But, because you’re invested in the situation, I can understand why the answer may not be as obvious to you.

You need to get a divorce. Immediately. You’ve been in an unhappy relationship for over a decade. And now it’s time to end it. Your tires are bald, and you need to throw them away and get some new ones if you ever want to be able to move on.


Damon Young

Pittsburgh native Damon Young (aka “The Champ”) is the co-founder of the ridiculously popular Their first book “Your Degrees Won’t Keep You Warm At Night: The Very Smart Brothas Guide To Dating, Mating and Fighting Crime” is available at 

Ask A Very Smart Brotha: We’re Supposed To Get Married But He Has No Ambition

January 9th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Relationship how to know if he's cheating or not

Source: Shutterstock

Kandace: Well I have a question when a man completely goes outside in his car for 2 hours and then I catch him and he says that he just came back from the store and I know that’s a lie do you think he’s talking to another female.

 And just because this person’s response was too funny:

Sierra: ^^wtf YES or he beating his meat which is still rather weird

DY: Maybe. And maybe he just wants to get away while you watch Scandal.

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