David D.

Writer. Editor.

United States of America

An Ode To The Black Women At Dillard's

M all visits used to be feel like a miniature Christmas every weekend. A chance to flip through the CDs at an FYE or squeeze in a few games at the arcade.

News One
The Most American Day

I imagine a mother in El Paso . She came there from Mexico five...10...it doesn't matter how many years ago she arrived. She's lived in a state of fear for as long as she can remember. She watched in disgust when a man started his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans rapists and thieves.

The Undefeated
Outkast's 'Aquemini,' the blueprint of the Southern black renaissance, turns 20

Before the era of Southern rap dominance. Before Ludacris and T.I. and Lil Jon became household names. Before the Migos and Young Jeezy. Before Atlanta became the hub of hip-hop, there were the Source Awards. The second annual Source Awards took place on Aug. 3, 1995, and gave hip-hop one of its most iconic nights.

News One
Stop Shaming Black People For Wanting Some Damn Popeyes Sandwiches

Tickle Me Elmo, a children's plush toy, was released to the world in the summer of 1996. The nearly-half a million units sold out in a few months. While this was great news for Tyco, the toy's manufacturer, it was a crisis for parents who were hoping to buy the doll for their kids in time for Christmas.

News One
Why Can't Black People Be Treated Like Amber Guyger?

The problem with the way Amber Guyger's sentence was laid out isn't necessarily about her as much as it is about the ways everyone else - namely Black and brown folks - are treated within that same criminal justice system.

The Undefeated
When it all falls down: The twisted nightmare of Kanye West and Trump

Imagine one of the biggest rappers in the world standing in front of the president of the United States on live television with free rein to say whatever is on his mind. Imagine that rapper advocating for more mental health institutions to curb black incarceration rates.

The Undefeated
Steph Curry and the end of the Warriors' underdog era

I was supposed be on San Antonio's River Walk for Easter 2008. But a disastrous combination of greasy food and Long Island iced teas rendered me incapable of driving. Since it was spring break, the campus was relatively empty, and this is when Davidson College is at its most beautiful.

ESPN's The Undefeated

The Undefeated
André 3000 on the 10th anniversary of his 'Class of 3000' soundtrack

Where we were on July 3, 2007, the day the soundtrack to André Benjamin's animated series Class of 3000 was released: It had been a year since the premiere of Outkast's movie and soundtrack Idlewild. Three years since the duo won the Album of the Year Grammy for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below .

The Undefeated
How the 2011 NBA lockout helped set the stage for Ice Cube's Big3

Kevin Durant walks the ball up the court, squaring up with his rival, friend and on-court nemesis, LeBron James. Durant makes a slight stutter step before pulling up for a jumper 2 feet behind the 3-point line - over James' outstretched arms. The shot goes in.

The Undefeated
Ice Cube's BIG3 league is not novelty or nostalgia

M ahmoud Abdul-Rauf is 48 years old and he's in an LA Fitness about 15 miles west of Atlanta. He's getting frustrated. Abdul-Rauf is not happy with the way his jumper is falling. So he's pushing, relentlessly, with the same behind-the-back dribble. Then two more dribbles to the baseline.

The Undefeated
The autumn of Charlotte's discontent

The first thing I noticed was the choppers overhead. Constantly circling. The whipping pitter-patter of the propellers never ends. It was about 11 p.m. on Sept. 23 and Charlotte, North Carolina, was under a midnight curfew. Due to "civil unrest," North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory had declared a state of emergency.

The Undefeated
Welcome to 'Atlanta'

Hi, it's Thomas. Welcome to Atlanta. The city too busy to hate, drug trafficking hub for the East Coast, and the home of trap music. Those are the first words of this largely exploitative 2015 Vice documentary about Atlanta. Cameras followed a bespectacled white guy on his ghetto safari of guns, strippers and drugs.

The Undefeated
A Denzel Washington Oscars loss will feel like a loss for all of us

Since Nov. 8, 2016, we've been in a dire search for hope. This search for hope and happiness leads us to place more weight on social and sporting events. Like the recent Super Bowl, for example - in which the Falcons, who make their home in majority-black Atlanta, faced off against a New England Patriots team known for cheating, and for its leaders supporting President Donald Trump.

The Undefeated
Sasha Banks just may be the Beyoncé of pro wrestling

Here's when I realized Sasha Banks was the best wrestler in the world. In August 2015, Banks was wrestling archenemy and perennial superhero Bayley in front of a sold-out Barclays Arena crowd in Brooklyn, New York. Banks had Bayley in a submission hold called The Banks Statement, in which she places her enemy on her stomach and wrenches her head and neck back.

The Undefeated
Russell Wilson, Ciara and Future's bumpy love narrative

Russell Wilson reminds me of Jerry from Liar Liar. Liar Liar, the 1997 flick starring Jim Carrey, was one of my favorite movies as a kid. Carrey plays a lawyer so consumed with his job that his wife divorces him.

The Undefeated
Stayin' alive

I learned about our new, more brazenly intolerant America a few months ago while shopping at a Costco in Augusta, Georgia. I'd chosen to wear a shirt my father had given me from one of his many civil rights reunions. It simply says " Civil Rights Movement: Freedom Summer 50th Anniversary Reunion " in blue letters.

The Undefeated
Rae Sremmurd's June/July 2016 'The FADER'

This article was written before the tragedy in Orlando, Florida. The urgent need for love and acceptance expressed here is only intensified by the terrible events of this weekend. -DD] I was taking a nap in my dorm room when I got a text from my friend saying that rapper Pimp C had died.

The Undefeated
Michael Vick on Madden NFL 2004

The first 11 Madden NFL video game covers featured John Madden himself: a middle-aged white football commentator and former coach wearing a play-by-play headset looking really excited about football. Very little fanfare accompanied the covers. The nation's addiction to each year's games did the talking.

The Undefeated
Championship reasons

It must be extremely isolating to be the very best in the world at something. And Kevin Durant, as one of the best basketball players in the world, has to feel that isolation. There are only a handful of people on the planet who can identify with greatness on an elite level in a given field.

The Undefeated
Fannie Lou Hamer's 2015 'Songs My Mother Taught Me'

The image is striking. Fannie Lou Hamer, unaffected by the world around her, stares directly into the camera. There's defiance in her gaze. There's persistence in her gaze. And there's a comforting look in her eyes that says everything, in the end, will be all right.

The Undefeated
J. Cole's new identities

J. Cole, a musical messiah to many, either struggles to tell compelling stories - or his life is actually boring. 4 Your Eyez Only, J. Cole's fourth studio album in five years, fails to live up to the promise of his great 2014 Forest Hills Drive, but showcases him perfecting his craft as a storyteller, and striving for emotional potency.


Still Crew
Tom Brady's Politics Are More Un-American Than Colin Kaepernick's Have Ever Been

Before Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee before NFL games to protest American-perpetrated injustices against subjugated people. Before Kaepernick decided to donate a million dollars to charities across the country. Before Kaepernick donned a Fidel Castro shirt. Before Kaepernick was accused of disrespecting America's troops. There was Tom Brady and his hat.

You Probably Shouldn't Go See Ridley Scott's Pretty Racist 'Exodus' Movie

Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods And Kings movie is racist as shit. And it's disgusting, lazy and a movie that people shouldn't still be making in 2014. Wait. Let me backtrack. There was a time when I was fed up with the idea of religion, Jesus and the way they're both used to oppress seemingly as many people as they save.

'Twice Upon A Time...' A Story About My Son

Who lived happily ever after But that's another chapter *Curtain Opens* Langston was born four weeks early. A fantastic bowl of gumbo sent my wife into contractions and we packed our things and headed to the hospital.

We Are Our Heroes: On Activism In The Age Of Celebrity Worship - Human Parts

A couple of months ago  - with the shadow of Eric Garner's murderers being acquitted looming overhead and the impassioned pleas that Black lives matter still echoing off the walls of Ferguson businesses - the Brooklyn Nets hosted the Cleveland Cavaliers for a nationally televised home game and decided to make a statement.

Kendrick Lamar's Music Reflects The Trauma Of The Forced Relocation Of Black People

Barefoot babies with no caresTeenage gun toters that don't play fair, should I get out the car?I don't see Compton, I see something much worseThe land of the landmines, the hell that's on earth Kendrick Lamar, Complexion (A Zulu Love) Travel has been at the center of the African-American struggle with itself since African-Americans were invented.

The Guardian

the Guardian
Cornel West and Tavis Smiley do a disservice to African Americans | David Dennis

Dr Cornel West and Tavis Smiley have let me down. Cornel West and Tavis Smiley are undoubtedly two of the most important figures in black intellectualism and political action in my lifetime. West is probably the most important voice to have helped shaped African-American identity in recent years, and his Race Matters is one of the most necessary books in American history.

the Guardian
Why isn't New Orleans Mother's Day parade shooting a 'national tragedy'? | David Dennis

On 3 September 2005 - less than a week after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast - I began to understand that America cared little about what was happening in New Orleans. On 3 September 2005 - less than a week after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast - I began to understand that America cared little about what was happening in New Orleans.

the Guardian
Paula Deen's comeback: proof racism still has a market in America | David Dennis

Paula Deen has been rather quiet since a June deposition exposed her use of slurs and racial discrimination; a revelation that led to a loss of all of her endorsements and her television show. On Saturday, she made her first public appearance since the big scandal as part of a cooking demonstration in Texas.

the Guardian
Unpaid internships and a culture of privilege are ruining journalism | David Dennis

Rolling Stone magazine drew the ire of journalists across the country last week when the owner, Jann Wenner, named his 22-year-old son, Gus, the head of the magazine's website. Naturally, this move has been seen as blatant nepotism. Gus has been working on the website for a whopping six months and is, by most accounts, grossly underqualified for his position.

the Guardian
Macklemore is being used to paint the rest of hip-hop as 'uncivil' | David Dennis

Probably the least surprising aspect of the Grammy nominations announcement was the fact that rapper Macklemore is well on his way to a huge night at America's biggest music awards show. It's been clear for months that Macklemore was headed towards the Grammys - he and producer/collaborator Ryan Lewis were nominated for seven awards including best new artist, record of the year and album of the year.


Lil Wayne's Long, Strange Trip

The eighth song on Lil Wayne's official debut album, Tha Block Is Hot, is called "Fuck Tha World." This is the hook: Look, I don't curse, but in this verse man fuck the world I lost my father to a gun and made a little girl And I'm still thuggin' wit' my niggas tryna' keep it real And I'm still doin' for my mother and I'm payin' bills Aside from the line about "thuggin,'" everything Wayne says in that hook is true.

'The Life of Pablo' is a Gospel Album About Kanye's Penis

Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." -Mark 2:17 Kanye West has posted more than 100 tweets in the last couple of weeks to promote his new album, The Life of Pablo.

When Eminem Mattered: The Importance of the First Marshall Mathers LP

In the face of criticism about hip-hop's lyrics, Chuck D once argued that rappers weren't glorifying drugs and violence but rather reporting on the ills of the inner city for the rest of the country. It's an ethos the genre has maintained ever since, even as hip-hop has grown beyond solely documenting urban America.

Drake's Sensitivity Isn't Sincere, It's a Cynical Ploy. But It's Working

Contrary to revisionist history, rap music has had a soft side since its inception. Even back in the 1990s, during the genre's grittiest era, rappers still churned out ballads that would make Babyface proud-such as Method Man's "You're All I need" with Mary J. Blige or Raekwon jumping on Jodeci's "Freek'N You."

Village Voice

Village Voice
The Fall Of Curtis: How September 11, 2007 Changed Everything For 50 Cent

Let me indulge in a little bit of Jay-Z/Kanye fan fiction in the least 50 Shades of Grey way possible: Def Jam President and retired rapper Jay-Z was fed up. 50 Cent had been sending subliminal barbs Jay's way for eight years, starting with a shot Mr. Carter's way on...

Village Voice
So Nas Might Have Used A Ghostwriter. So What?

Earlier this week, one tweet and one blog post alleging that Nas had used ghostwriters-specifically, Jay Electronica and stic of Dead Prez-on his 2007 album Untitled. The tweet, by Jay-Z biographer dream hampton, came first; after that, former Hot 97 art director Frank William Miller Jr. (a.k.a. FWMJ) detailed a...

Village Voice
Does Nas's New Album Prove That Life Is Good For Older Rappers?

Something weird is going on in rap music; older rappers are as lost as Mitt Romney in a Dollar Tree. In a game dominated by the young, there doesn't seem to be much place for men of a certain age talking about clubs, bottles of alcohol and selling drugs, and...

Wrestling Stuff

Sasha Banks, The New Day, And WWE's Black Revolution

I don't think it's breaking news to say that most black wrestlers in the history of WWE (and pro wrestling in general), have been saddled with stereotypical and degrading characters. Black wrestlers are asked to play caricatures and are rarely - if ever - given opportunities to be themselves.

Why WWE Doesn't Deserve The Benefit Of The Doubt When It Comes To Race

I had a conversation with a few black casual wrestling fans a few weeks ago and, as usual, the conversation drifted to reminiscing on crazy-ass racist things we've experienced throughout wrestling's history. That conversation usually goes to guys like The Godfather and his hoes, when DX went on RAW in blackface, and the time Vince McMahon dropped the n-bomb on TV.

The Once And Future Sting: The Good Guy Who Never Finished First

If you grew up a Stinger fan, then you'll remember all the times his character got duped and double-crossed on TV. There was the time the Horsemen turned on him in 1990. Then the time Luger turned on him. And the other time Luger turned on him.

WWE's 10 Blackest Moments Of 2015

WWE really turned a corner in 2015 when it comes to portrayals of minorities and women. For my whole life, I've come to expect the most racist, denigrating portrayals of people of color (and women and poor white people and...) every time they're on TV.

I'm a Black Wrestling Fan, and I'm Not Totally Sure Why

For my entire life, I've been asked why I watch wrestling. I can answer that question from the perspective of an adult: I appreciate the athleticism, drama and moments real-life risks that athletes take in the ring. I can answer that question as an intellectual: The backstage politics and how they play out on screen is fascinating to watch.

A Look Back At The Rock And Triple H's All-Too-Real Rivalry

The Rock and Triple H have careers that are indelibly linked. Their respective rises to the top of wrestling paralleled one another and they faced each other every step of the way. One thing that was evident throughout their years of feuding was that Triple H and The Rock didn't particularly care for one another behind the scenes.

Daniel Bryan's Story Would Have A Much Sadder Ending If He Played In The NFL

The injury epidemic in WWE has put the company on red alert as they head to a WrestleMania where they're trying to pack 100,000 people into Dallas' Jerry World. They need a marquee match that they've been unable to provide due to the fact that their top guys keep getting knocked out due to fluke injuries.

The Smoking Section/Uproxx

On 'Yeezus,' Broken Promises And The Moment That Makes It All Worth It

Yeezus is Kanye West's worst album. Two things to consider about that point: 1. Last week, "Gold Digger" came on the radio. It was a horrible listening experience. Kanye West's production has developed so much (and consequently influenced the direction of the entire Hip-Hop genre) that a lot of his music doesn't particularly age well.

TSS Presents Fifteen Minutes With Lil' Boosie

Lil' Boosie has been goin' through some thangs. The product of Baton Rouge's streets has never been shy about telling his story. While most casual listeners know Bad Azz for his party singles like "Wipe Me Down" and "Zoom," his followers know him as the ambassador to the Gulf Coast streets.

Drake, John Cena And The Value Of Being Hated

Last month during WWE's flagship SummerSlam main event, John Cena stood across the ring from Daniel Bryan. Bryan, a former independent wrestler who's traveled the world as the best in the business, was easily the crowd favorite. As the match started, the crowd booed Cena and chanted "You can't wrestle."

TSS Presents Smoking Sessions With Rittz

Ever since he ripped his verse for Trunk Muzik's "Box Chevy Pt. 3," Rittz has been on an absolute tear. I can honestly say I haven't heard a single bad verse from the bearded beat-bully since first hearing his voice in 2009 and his White Jesus mixtape from earlier this year still stands as one of ...

An Overdue Congratulations For Dee-1

Dee-1 told me back in late September that he'd be signing to RCA. He told me this at my house. Because he came to my son's birthday party. Because that's what Dee-1 does.

My Life According To Phonte

Main First 100 Days Tracking The Policies Of A New White House The Intercept Fearless, Adversarial Journalism

OffBeat Magazine (Cover Stories)

OffBeat Magazine
Dee-1: Good Clean Living - OffBeat Magazine

The third season premiere of Snoop Dogg's web series opens with the West Coast rapper-as a character named Nemo Hoes-smoking weed, bantering with pimp Archbishop Don Juan about if Black people can swim or not, and talking about women's privates with shock comedian Andy Milonakis.

OffBeat Magazine
The Roots of Music: Working on a Dream

On April 30, 1803, James Madison and Robert R. Livingston representing the United States and Francois Barbe-Marbois, a finance minister from France, convened upon the Spanish-built Cabildo. Their mission: to sign a document that would double the size of the United States.

OffBeat Magazine
Cheeky Blakk: Queen Be Hustlin' (Cover Story)

Any local may be surprised to learn that New Orleans is a more openly sexualized city than its continental counterparts. While not nearly as over the top as the oft parodied Girls Gone Wild vids that make Mardi Gras on Bourbon nigh unbearable, you'd be hard-pressed to have too many conversations without learning some new way to talk about sex.