Very Smart Brothas

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 28: Wilson Pickett's Pickett In The Pocket (1974)

I mean, bruh. If this ain’t one of the Blackest album covers of all time then I don’t know what is. Wilson Pickett is out here rocking a red pleather suit with gold or green shimmery accents. He has beautiful ...

Added February 28, 2021

28 Days of Album Music Blackness With VSB, Day 27: Public Enemy's It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back (1988)

I don’t need a ton of words to describe the way I feel about the cover for Public Enemy’s sophomore album, 1988's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back. Mostly, I just need to say how bad ass it ...

Added February 27, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 26: Michael Jackson's Off The Wall (1979)

Ain’t no way in the world this monthlong series would pass without a nod to one of the greatest albums ever that also happens to feature Michael Jackson at his Blackest. 1979's Off The Wall is a certified ...

Added February 26, 2021

28 Days of Black Joy: The Art of Chuck Styles

It all started over the past year when like many of us, I made a very hard turn into damn near exclusively buying clothing pieces by and for Black people. While I’ve always been very much into F.U.B.U ...

Added February 26, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 25: Sonny Sharrock's Black Woman (1969)

The cover for jazz guitarist Sonny Sharrock’s debut album, 1969's Black Woman, could have easily doubled as a movie poster for the 1970s version of Queen & Slim. The photo taken by Ray Gibson (with ...

Added February 25, 2021

28 Days of Black Joy: My Lush, Opulent, and Juicy Pandemic Beard

Can you be attracted to your own beard? Not the face it covers. Just the beard. My face is fine, I guess. It’s a nose and some eyes and a mouth, like most faces. I’m grateful for it. But I’m not, like ...

Added February 25, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 24: Leon Thomas' Full Circle (1973)

The cover for Leon Thomas’ 1973 album, Full Circle, does not look like what it sounds like, to me at least. The album cover looks like some “diamond in the back, sunroof top...” vibe jams. But Leon Thomas ...

Added February 24, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 23: Ohio Players' Honey (1975)

There is no discussion about Black album covers, iconic or otherwise, that doesn’t include the string of album covers the Ohio Players put together in the 1970s. I could have included any album cover from ...

Added February 23, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 22: Max Roach's We Insist! Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite (1960)

Max Roach was a famed jazz drummer and composer who has countless albums with various configurations of artists. His career spanned decades and if you are up on jazz at all, you know Max Roach even if ...

Added February 22, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 21: Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly (2015)

Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly (all parts of it) has been think-pieced to death, so that’s not what’s going to happen here. Plus, I probably already did that and am too lazy to look it up. And this ...

Added February 21, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 20: Dee Dee Bridgewater's Afro Blue (1974)

I love the album cover for multi-hyphenate Dee Dee Bridgewater’s debut album, 1974's Afro Blue. Dee Dee is a Grammy-award winning singer, actor, philanthropist, etc. She’s bad bad. Just like this album ...

Added February 20, 2021

The Best Example of the Sneaky Evil of Copaganda? The 'Redemption' of Reginald VelJohnson's Kid-Killing Cop in Die Hard

When watching any television show or movie depicting police officers, it’s not hard to see why this sort of copaganda is so consistently effective. The presence of law enforcement on screen usually means ...

Added February 19, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 19: Mary J. Blige's My Life (1994)

Mary J. Blige’s My Life is a personal choice for me. For my money, her 1994 album is one of the best albums ever made, seemingly for all of the wrong reasons. Mary was clearly going through it. Every single ...

Added February 19, 2021

After Throwing His Wife, His Dad, His State, His Country, His Name, and His Nuts Under the Bus, Ted Cruz Throws His Daughters There, Too

Has there ever been a man, real or fictional, as pathetic as Ted Cruz? That was not a rhetorical question. I’m genuinely curious. Of course, there have been worse people. Hitler. King Leopold II of Belgium ...

Added February 18, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 18: Shut Up and Dance's Dance Before The Police Come! (1990)

It’s possible that you’ve never heard of the London-group Shut Up and Dance. They were (are) a British production/rap duo who got started at the very tale end of the 80s and and made music through the ...

Added February 18, 2021

VIDEO: Celebrating Moments of Peak Blackness from Some of Our Distinguished Nominees for 2021 Skippies

Even though we’ve already let you know who won our 2021 Skippies, that does not mean that the party has stopped. The Skippies are a lifestyle; it’s just different. With that in mind, and because we are ...

Added February 18, 2021

Rush Limbaugh Died Today. Here Are Some More Sneakers I Own.

So I’d never heard of the Bergdorf Goodman store until Pusha T made a reference to it in “Higher”—which, all things considered, is probably one of my 15 favorite rap songs. Not to be outdone by a middle ...

Added February 17, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 17: Mystique's Mystique featuring Ralph Johnson (1977)

Friends, Romans, Countryfolks...this is one BlackAF album cover. The group, Mystique, signed to Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records, really came through with a cover that honestly sounds like the album. Mystique ...

Added February 17, 2021

I Thought I'd Never See a Finale as Bad as Game of Thrones's. Then I Watched Showtime's Your Honor

“I just don’t get what you get out of watching this” my wife said to me, several times over the past two months, while I watched Showtime’s Your Honor—the Bryan Cranston-led limited series about a series ...

Added February 16, 2021

Clubhouse Is Worth $1 Billion Off the Backs of Black Folks. Now What?

Clubhouse, the invite-only social audio app, recently announced it has raised another $100 million funding round, led by Ben Horowitz’s a16z fund. The app is now firmly a Silicon Valley Unicorn, a private ...

Added February 16, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 16: Outkast's Aquemini (1998)

“Even the sun goes down, heroes eventually die, horoscopes...often lie, and sometimes “why”/Nothing is for sure, nothing is for certain, nothing lasts forever/But until they close the curtain, it’s him ...

Added February 16, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 15: Minnie Riperton's Perfect Angel (1974)

I love this album cover for Perfect Angel. For starters, it has an innocent feel to it, but that melted ice cream tells another tale. Plus, she outchea with the overalls with no shirt on. So it’s both ...

Added February 15, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 14: Marvin Gaye's I Want You (1976)

It’s Valentine’s Day so it only makes sense to include an album cover for an album about that good lovin’. Marvin Gaye’s I Want You is that album. And there might not be a Blacker album cover. Read more ...

Added February 14, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 13: Preston Love's Preston Love's Omaha Bar-B-Q (1969)

Have you ever seen an album cover that had you at hello? For me, that album cover would be Preston Love’s Preston Love’s Omaha Bar-B-Q (featuring Shuggie Otis on Guitar). I’d never heard of Preston Love ...

Added February 13, 2021

28 Days of Album Cover Blackness With VSB, Day 12: Diana Ross' Diana (1980)

You know this album. I know this album. Your neighbor knows this album. Everybody knows this album by the Queen of Motown, Diana Ross, simply titled diana. Even if you can’t tell me what songs are on this ...

Added February 12, 2021