All Articles Tagged "XXL"

Why Vivica Fox Was Right And Wrong To Call 50 Cent Out

November 9th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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If you haven’t heard, Vivica A. Fox and 50 Cent were involved in a full-fledge cat fight this early morning.

I am not going to bore you with too many of the details as I am sure that most of you all already got caught up on the facts while having your morning breakfast sandwiches and McFrappuccinos.

But just to summarize for those who will still complain about not knowing what happened: it involved Andy “Shifty Eyes” Cohen and as usual, he was being messy.

On last night’s episode of “Watch What Happens Live,” Cohen asked Fox what she thought about recent comments made by 50 in which he blamed the Empire’s ratings dip on “gay stuff.” First Fox said, “Pot calling the kettle black, is all I’m saying.”

But Cohen was like, nah-uh Barbie-face. You got to give us more! Tell us, what are you insinuating?

Despite her earlier proclamation to not say anything more, Fox took the bait and brought up the 50 Cent and Soulja Boy XXL magazine cover from 2010, which many people on the Internet had pegged as “suspect.” While she clarified that she didn’t think he was gay, she added that there is something “not quite clear” about him.

She also said of the XXL cover: “he just looked like a booty snatcher to me.”

And now 50 Cent is roasting her on Instagram…

There is no doubt that Fox hates 50. And she probably hates him because she was so in love with him, even though it went against her better judgement.

Many of us have been there. For whatever reason, she decided to see the good in him, to look past his obvious trollish ways and get to know the poor misunderstood, broken-winged bird underneath. That’s not really him. He just needs love and hugs. He just needs a job. He just needs support. He just needs a good home cooked meal. I can help him, is what we all tell ourselves.

But then we sober up. And we realize that he is everything that he has presented himself to be.

Now we’re pissed.

Don’t get it twisted: we will move on. We will meet new men and experience new bulls**t. But from now until the end of all eternity, we will also hold a special place of contempt and grief in our hearts for the one we knew damn well we had no business being with in the first place.

It’s like the horror film, The Babadook.

Basically, 50 Cent is Fox’s locked-away monster, eating worms and dirt in her emotional basement.

All of this to say that Fox was certainly silly for starting things with him. For one, addressing 50’s homo-antagonism with more homo-antagonism doesn’t address the original offense. She could have responded to Cohen’s original question with a simple “he’s insecure,” and everybody would have been like, “yeah I can see that.” A more thoughtful response could have spared all humiliation she is receiving now.

But then again, this is 50 Cent we are talking about here. And we know that 50 Cent lives to respond to people regardless of how big or small the infraction – with exception of Chelsea Handler of course.

In some ways, who can blame Fox for attempting to payback? Heck, who could blame anybody?

Let’s review the facts here: 50 Cent is a bully.

Just a couple of days prior to Fox’s haphazard call-out, he was body shaming Rick Ross. Sure, some folks will say that Ross started it. After all, Ross was the first to take a shot at the How to Rob rapper on his Mafia Music track. But that incident happened back in 2008 when President Obama had jet-black hair. Folks change. People move on. And President Obama is rocking the salt and pepper fade.

Now that we are coming up on a new presidential cycle, 50 still ain’t over it. He is still stuck emotionally in the same place he was back in 2008 (heck, some might argue that he is emotionally stuck in a moment in time further back then 2008). I guess Ross is 50 Cent’s Babadook…

Still, 50 Cent’s got a lot of monsters locked away in his basement.

Like Shaniqua Tompkins, the mother of his estranged son. Not only had she accused him of domestic abuse, but she was also forced out of the home he bought her after a mysterious fire. And then there was Young Buck who 50 Cent “exposed” on the Internet for violating the man code by crying to him on an answering machine about being kicked out of G-Unit. And then there is Lastonia Leviston who is the mother of Rick Ross’ child. 50 Cent was ordered to pay $5 million to her after he maliciously released her sex tape, without permission, as retaliation for the beef with Ross that started almost two presidential cycles ago. And then there is laundry list of other rappers which would take up too much column space explaining just how vicious he has been over his lifetime.

It seems that 50 Cent got a problem with everyone – with exception of Chelsea Handler. And worse, his “problems” with everyone seem to last well past the expiration dates of relevancy.

He even has a problem with “the gays.” And according to MTV News in a 2004 interview with Playboy Magazine, 50 Cent said:

“I ain’t into f—-ts,” 50 says in an interview in the April issue of Playboy… “I don’t like gay people around me, because I’m not comfortable with what their thoughts are. I’m not prejudiced. I just don’t go with gay people and kick it — we don’t have that much in common. I’d rather hang out with a straight dude. But women who like women, that’s cool.”

Of course, he would later go on and become a champion of gay marriage, but he still continues to engage in the same homo-antagonism of other rappers, and television shows, and gay people (while he came out for gay rights, he also said that there should be an organization created to protect straight men from gay men touching their “buns” in elevators), that makes me think that he hasn’t changed one bit.

I know there will be some who will say that I am defending Fox because she is a woman. But I assure you, there is no double standard. If anything, 50 cent is the standard. He is able to exist and profit because he is in an entire industry that thrives off of homophobia and misogyny. He can harass people to the point of new lows. He can call people out of their names. He can blackmail and blackball people. And he can even threaten physical harm to people. And he is able to do all of this because we live in a culture that does not check our bullies.

But the moment someone serves the bully with a bit of his own medicine, some folks want to shame Fox and look to 50 some sort of victim. Or worse, a champion.

Nope. While I think Fox was silly and woefully outgunned for such a task, 50 Cent gets no sympathy, or applause, from me.  In the words of Bart Simpson, at least she tried…



Drake, Amanda Bynes, And When The “Weird And Disturbing” Behavior Is On The Other Foot

August 9th, 2013 - By Charing Ball
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Drake Amanda Bynes

Drake, king of the wheelchair-rolling, light skinned rapping Emos, has finally opened up about the traumatic experience of being threatened with Amanda Bynes’ nether regions.

In an blurb from the 16th anniversary issue of XXL Magazine, which goes on sale August 20, Drake finally broke his silence about being uncomfortable when the former Disney starlet began tweeting to him disparaging remarks about his looks, including a request that he “murder her v*gina:”

“I don’t even know who that is doing that or what that’s about. If that is her, I guess it’s a little weird and disturbing. It’s obviously a behavioral pattern that is way bigger than me. Whoever is behind it, whether it’s her or somebody else, they know people are paying attention so they keep it going.”

There is no doubt that Bynes, who was recently (and finally) hospitalized after months of crazy talk about a whole host of folks, is suffering from some sort of mental issue. And in all seriousness (because mental illness is real out here, folks) I hope she gets the help she needs. But much to my chagrin, is the irony of Drake, a rapper, labeling Bynes vulgar objectification of him as “weird” and “disturbing” and completely dismissing it as an obvious “behavioral pattern that is way bigger” than him.

I know he isn’t talking. Are we, or are we not talking about smooth crooning Drake, whose “I’m-not-afraid-to-be-in-touch-with-my-emotions” style of lyricism largely exists out of aggression and hyper masculinity of what we normally associate with hip-hop? But even through his Mr. Sensitivity, lady-swooning rap, Drake still manages to treat women like objects as opposed to actual human beings. Like in the song, “Lord Knows,” when he said:

I know that they tryin’ to push me/I know that showin’ emotion don’t ever mean I’m a p*ssy/Know that I don’t make music for niggas that don’t get p*ssy/So those are the ones I count on to dis me or overlook me.”

Because while he is rubbing your back and dabbing your tears away, he is still trading your v*gina as a commodity for street cred and “real” manhood. And that is pretty much the theme in most of Drake’s music. While he is telling you how you make him proud, he is saying it to you while you are giving him a lap dance. And while he is telling you to not get confused, that you are the best he ever had, he’s also saying it with a basketball team of big-breasted women bouncing around him. Basically, Drake is just the verbal manifestation of the one patronizing guy, who has basically mastered the art of treating you like a “b***h” without actually calling you one (even though occasionally he’ll do just that, especially if you fail to show up in the gym for practice).

That’s why I always find it amusing when the fellas find themselves on the other end of the objectification lens. Far too often, it is women, who have been reduced and compartmentalized down to a few body parts to be bragged about or disparaged. And far too often, we are told to take it as flattery. But here we have Drake, a person who makes a pretty good living off of fun and lyrically good songs about objectifying women, being reduced by Bynes down to his single organ. And guess what?  He doesn’t like it very much. Talk about a double standard.


It’s Tackalicious: 9 Controversial Magazine Covers That Meant Well, But Turned Out To Be Big FAILS

November 7th, 2012 - By IndigoBlack
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Who doesn’t know that controversy sells? Controversial videos get clicks (Ciara’s “Ride,” and Nicki Minaj’s “Stupid H*e” get banned from BET, but were big hits online), controversial movies sell tickets (Passion of the Christ anyone?), and controversial music can’t be turned away from. And yes, even magazines that do the most sell many copies, and if that’s not enough, they remain in people’s memories a lot longer than a tame cover (Who remembers a Rolling Stone cover with Usher versus the iconic cover with Janet Jackson’s husband holding her boobs??). Some controversial covers are made infamous because of overreactions by a few, but sometimes, they’re made infamous because they honestly weren’t the best idea in the first place. This slideshow is a mix of both. Check out these covers and tell us if these publications had the game all wrong, or if people were just tripping as usual. And of course, be prepared to click!

Amber And Wiz Talk All-Natural Water Birth With XXL: “I Want Those Bragging Rights!”

September 27th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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I can’t lie, I love these two together, which is why I hope Amber and Wiz don’t succumb to the magazine cover curse after putting their love on display for the October/November issue of XXL.

After dropping the baby bomb at the MTV Awards a few weeks back, it was only right the pair give us all the nosy details on their parenting plans, starting with the baby’s birth. Here are a few snippets from the interview:

Amber On Giving Birth:

“I’m so ready. I’m going all-natural. I’ve decided that I’m going to have an all-natural water birth. No medicine. I want those bragging rights! The next time Wiz has a stomachache or anything, I’ll say, ‘I popped out a baby all-natural.’”

Wiz On Getting Together With Amber:

“I love my baby. She’s gorgeous and it makes me look even cooler when I show how much I love her to other people… When I met Amber, she loved me for who I was. I had some money, but it was like to pay my bills and literally set myself up for a future. But I was wearing the same camo shorts and high-tops and Chucks. But she liked my swag and she liked me for who I was and I wasn’t afraid of that… She didn’t wanna date any entertainers or anybody in the business. She didn’t know who she wanted to be with, but she knew who she didn’t wanna be with.”

Amber On Wiz:

“[H]e’s just a genuine sweet guy. And that’s what made me fall in love with him. And I just said, “You know what, I don’t care if he’s a rapper.” I don’t care if people say, “Oh, you’re a gold-digger.” I don’t care if people say, “Oh, you went from one rapper to another,” or whatever. I love him. I don’t look at him as a rapper. I look at him as Cameron Thomaz, not even Wiz Khalifa. I just fell so deeply in love with him, I didn’t care what anyone says.”

Source: Hip Hop Wired

This issue of XXL hits newsstands October 9. What do you think about Amber’s all-natural water birth plans? Could you do it?

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White Female Rapper: New Wave in Hip Hop or Pure Minstrelsy?

March 14th, 2012 - By Charing Ball
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Yesterday I was reading a post on Necole Bitchie about a beef between two lady rappers. No, not Nicki and Kim.  That’s tired. But Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks.  Haven’t heard of them?

Well, honestly if not for the totally hip people in my Facebook network, I probably wouldn’t know who they were either. Certainly, this is not an indictment on their music or talent. I’m just old – just saying.

Anyway, Iggy Azalea is a platinum blonde White rapper, hailing from down under (Australia), who has taken the industry by storm with her debut underground single that is so racy that we can’t even post the title of the song in this post. Let’s just say that it is an overused euphemism for a female’s private part. Iggy, who has a deal with Interscope records, has gotten the official co-sign from T.I. and his Grand Hustle family, who will be executive producing her official debut album.

And Azealia Banks (seriously, what is up with the identical names? I’m confusing myself here) is a dark brown skinned Black female rapper, originating from Harlem, who too has an underground smash hit called 212, which too features another colorful euphemism about one’s private part in its hook. Nevertheless Banks is blowing up, despite not officially being signed to a major label (she is signed to a subsidiary of Interscope Records) and has the endorsement of Kanye West, who proclaimed her “the future of music” earlier this year.

It appears that these women both have a great musical future ahead of them so what’s the beef?  If you haven’t figured out yet, here’s a hint: it’s race-related.

You see, Azalea has recently become the world’s first female rapper to make XXL Magazine’s “Freshmen Class” list, which honors up and coming rappers to watch. Naturally this perplexed a number of folks including Banks, who expressed her outrage through a series of tweets, saying that Azalea’s placement on the XXL freshman list is all wrong.

Said Banks, “How can you endorse a white woman who called herself a ‘runaway slave master’?  Sorry guys. But I’m pro black girl. I’m not anti white girl, but I’m also not here for any1 outside of my culture trying to trivialize very serious aspects of it.” The runaway slave line, which Azealia is referencing, is a quote from Azalea’s track “D.R.U.G.S.” in which the Australian raps: “Tire marks, tire marks/Finish line with the fire marks/When the relay starts/I’m a runaway slave…master.” Yeah, I have no idea what that means either. Perhaps it is because I am old. Just saying.

When asked to respond to Bank’s remarks, Iggy said, “This is my day and it’s my achievement. You have to work to have your own achievements, with all due respect. Instead of worrying about who else is on there, you should just be happy that I’m on there as a woman for women, and if you want to have your own achievement, work and have your own achievement. “

I guess not wanting to leave his artist out there, especially before he had a chance to cash in, T.I. too had a response to Banks, saying that: “Strategically if she really cares about a freshmen cover maybe she could hope that she’ll suck enough to get shelved and then next year when the freshmen cover comes back around, maybe she’ll still be a freshman. If you spend half of your day getting money and the other half of your day counting money, you ain’t got no time in your day to worry about nobody else.”

The Game Digs Himself Deeper With Weak Explanation for Spitting at Fans

March 8th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Fresh Like Dougie

Get ready to roll your eyes. A couple of days ago, a video of The Game spitting on female fans at a concert after party went viral online and made viewers cringe with disgust at the rapper’s bullish behavior. Sensing the backlash, The Game decided to explain his actions to XXL magazine, although he may have been better off just keeping his mouth shut with this weak reasoning. Here’s what he said:

“This girl and her dude were at the concert, and we had a meet and greet,” he said. “It was like 100 people, plus we have to get to an after-party, so we [focused on] doing everything on schedule. You shake my hand, I sign one thing from each person and take a picture with each person. So, they wanted to hold up the line, and there’s other people behind ’em, and we got time constraints. They acting crazy, [saying], ‘we paid all this money and we can’t even chill!’ I guess they wanted to chill, go back to the hotel and smoke with a N***a and be my kid’s godfather. So, security had to take them out because they got a little crazy.”

“We go to the after-party and here are these same two people. They by the VIP [area], kind of doing the heckling s***, and throwing s*** throwing Red Bull cans. But ain’t none of it hitting me. The dude starts spitting loogies and drinking s*** and spitting it. The s*** started getting closer and closer to where we was at. He keeps spittin’ and finally, the f***in’ s*** hit me. So I went over and I f***in’ spit.”

Securrrrrity anybody? The Game went on to say his saliva didn’t actually hit anybody because, unfortunately, he has bad aim.

“My spit hit the f***in’ ground. That girl didn’t have no spit on her. The dude didn’t have no spit on him. They just saying some s***, making a scene, and then they left.

“That video don’t show me spitting on nobody. I didn’t spit on nobody, but, I definitely tried to spit on the b****. I just missed. But I’m not the best at aiming spit. Me, to get up and spit on somebody? I’m not doing that unless I’m provoked.”

Now don’t get me wrong, someone spitting “loogies” at, near, on, or anywhere around me would definitely make me want to lay hands; however the fact that he emphasized trying to spit on “the b****” when the guy was the one spitting only proves my point further: He’s a weak boy who tries to prove his manhood by assaulting women. Let’s see how he explains the other fan getting pushed off the stage.

Does this explanation justify The Game’s behavior in your opinion or make him look worse?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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XXL Staff Suspended Over Too Short Video

February 16th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Photo courtesy of

Once Too Short’s “Fatherly Advice” video went online last week, the viral disgust spread like wildfire. Later the same day the video was removed from XXL’s site, but many said that wasn’t enough and they demanded that the publication’s editor-in-chief, Vanessa Satten, be fired. So far that hasn’t happened, but the staff responsible for uploading the video has been suspended.

On Monday, XXL and Too Short issued an apology for the clip which went up last Friday. For XXL’s part, the EIC stated she agrees with those who were angered by the video and relinquished responsibility for the posting:

“I do not see all content before it goes live. When I saw this video, I was truly offended and thought it crossed the line. I had it taken down immediately. I am disappointed that an employee decided to post it and I am putting internal procedures in place to make sure content like this does not go on the site. The video goes against my value system and represents poor judgment on behalf of the individual who posted it.”

And Too Short was basically, Too Short:

“I want to apologize to anyone I may have offended with the XXL video interview I recently did. When I got on camera I was in Too $hort mode and had a lapse of judgement.I would never advise a child or young man to do these things, it’s not how I get down. Although I have made my career on dirty raps, I have worked over the years to somewhat balance the content of my music with giving back to the community. Just coming from a man who wants to see young people get ahead in life, I’m gonna do my best to to help and not hurt. If you’re a young man or a kid who looks up to me, don’t get caught up in the pimp, player, gangster hip-hop personas. Just be yourself.”

Since issuing this statement, the internal procedure has meant suspension for those who were responsible for producing and posting the video, and development of a new method of uploading to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Vanessa Satten also wants to make it clear that she is in no way down with the “fatherly advice” that was shared, saying in another statement that as soon as a reader made her aware of the video she had it taken down.

“As a woman, I in no way find the content of the video acceptable. To think I would ever approve anything that would harm women or endanger children is absurd. Under no terms should sexual assault be tolerated, nor do I endorse making light of it.”

Since comments are closed on both statements, it’s hard to say whether this will satisfy the public, but I’m curious why the content of the video wasn’t discussed before production began anyway. Sounds like someone is passing the buck. I vote no more Too Short videos period.

Do you think Vanessa Satten should be fired over the Too Short controversy? Is suspension enough for the XXL employees behind the video?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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Too Short Gives Disgusting Fatherly Advice About Girls to Middle School Boys

February 10th, 2012 - By Brande Victorian
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Too Short never claimed to be a role model and I’m not sure why XXL is making him out to be one, but for some reason the magazine has given him a platform for “fatherly advice” and in his third lesson on the birds and the bees, he’s giving middle school boys some disturbing tricks on mind manipulation to “turn little girls out” and essentially take advantage of them sexually. Here’s what he said:

“When you get to late middle school, early high school and you start feeling a certain way about the girls… I’m gonna tell you a couple tricks. This is what you do, man. A lot of the boys are going to be running around trying to get kisses from the girls, we’re going way past that. I’m taking you to the hole.

There’s a general area down there, a little spot that girls have that feels really good to them. Don’t kiss them down there yet, that’s later in life. But this is what you do. You push her up against the wall or pull her up against you while you lean on the wall and you take your finger and put a little spit on it and you stick your finger in her underwear and you rub it on there and watch what happens. It’s like magic. You gotta find her spot, they all have a different one, but it’s somewhere in there. Just go for it. When you feel like it becomes a little more moist that’s when you know you’re doing it right.”

I personally think his advice is pretty irresponsible, yet somewhat expected from a raunchy rapper such as himself, but XXL really shouldn’t promote this type of foolishness for young boys, particularly when he’s leaning heavily toward aggressive sexual behavior played out against pre-teen girls.

Check out the clip and see what you think. Should XXL take this down?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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