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'Single Man Married Man' Offers Women Dating Advice But Also Schools Men On Love

It's Valentine's Day and you're single...again, and this year you're tired of it. You've done everything you can to change your relationship status--gone to bars, tried online dating, attended concerts, showed up at your friend's game nights--and nothing's worked.

Not to worry. The co-authors of Single Man Married Man put their brains together to offer a comprehensive dating guide for anyone looking to win in love. Written from a male perspective for women by New York based authors, Jean Alerte, Jickael Bazin, Frank Gateau, Rae Holiday, Kel Spencer, Zanga Thomson, DJ Fadelf and life coach Pervis Taylor III, the book schools both genders with no chaser on how to achieve what they all agree both men and women want: love and companionship.

VIBE chopped it up with Kel Spencer about foolish relationship rules his book steers clear from, why some men cheat, the true definition of love and why women might want to actually grab a copy of this book.

This Valentine's Day maybe a bust, but they way Mr. Spencer puts it, if you purchase the book now you can get a head start on Valentine's Day 2016.

VIBE: Single Man Married Man is about dating and relationship advice. Why take on a subject already so heavily populated?

Kel Spencer: I think relationship advice is heavily populated, but relationship advice that can actually help I think is rare. There are a lot of cliches, blanket pieces of advice and misguided opinions out there. So if you look at the genre of relationship advice, there’s a whole lot of it, just like there’s a whole lot of restaurants, but if you want what’s really good for you, the truly organic stuff, you’re not going to find that too many places.

VIBE: So what are some of the cliche relationship tips you've heard that isn't in the book?

KS: I’ve seen a few different books talk about waiting a certain amount of time to have sex to see if the person is serious about you, and that certain amount of time falling short of marriage.

VIBE: And this is wrong because...

KS: Because if I’m the old me and I’m dealing with six, seven or eight women, I don’t mind waiting for you for a couple of months, because I might have waited for all of these women too! If I have a eight women rotation, I don’t mind waiting a month if that’s what it’s going to take for you to think I’m “serious” about you.

VIBE: So you’re saying time has nothing to do with determining whether a guy is serious. You can have sex with a guy whenever and if he’s not serious he’s just not serious.

KS: Exactly! You can have sex with a guy on the first date and marry him, or you can wait five months testing how serious he is and he was just holding out waiting and right after its done, you never hear from him again.

VIBE: You touched on it a bit, but there’s so many places women can receive dating advice, why should women read this specific book, especially when one of the authors is divorced?

KS: Actually, two of the authors are divorced, one of them is remarried and that’s all the more reason women should listen. This is as close as women are going to get to three married men and five single men in a barber shop talking about relationships like it’s just us eight on the planet. One dude is now remarried, he has some experiences. I was out there having fun, but now I’m in love with my wife, I have some experiences. One guy was out on a date with a women he wasn't too interested in when another woman walked by and he ended up marrying her. One guy isn’t thinking about marriage right now. One guy messed up his marriage by making foolish career choices and he knows it, and wants to get married again. One guy is holistic in his eating habits and views dating from a organic perspective, so women get all those perspectives.

VIBE: So this particular book runs the gamut for men in different places in their life.

KS: Correct! We also all don’t agree with each other as well. We’ve done panels and my co-authors might say something and then when I got the mic I’ve said ‘he’s buggin. I don't agree.'

VIBE: Is there dating advice in this book men can take from it?

KS: Absolutely. Chapter two is titled ‘Are You Ready for His Love’ and I get into the proper definition of love. Many people think love is an emotion, it’s a feeling. There are feelings and emotions attached to love, but love in itself is a choice. Like, I can’t tell you to feel embarrassed right now or to feel hungry.

VIBE: [LAUGHS] Right!

KS: So love is a choice and it’s a commitment to that choice, so even when they’re times I don’t feel like I love you, I still love you and in the chapter I set the tone by explaining love. When you claim you want love from a “good guy” and he has a proper understanding of what love is, you have to ask yourself are you really ready for that? So while I’m speaking to women, I’m indirectly telling guys they also have to understand what love really means.

VIBE: I’m not sure which one of the authors said this, but it was something to the effect of a man can sleep like a baby after cheating, but won’t switch barbers. Please explain that logic because...

KS: There’s rarely any commitment or emotional attachment when a man cheats. There’s a certain accomplishment that comes with accumulating a new woman. So a guy who cheats will say 'I saw her across the room. I imagined what she’d be like in bed. I got her number. Finessed it and knocked it out. I want to do that with another woman now.' The problem is, once you get into a relationship you can’t have that feeling anymore. If you’re a guy who needs that in his life, you don’t have the proper level of self-control and you’re going to cheat. Not that there’s anything wrong with your woman. You as a man need that constant win. That’s what it's all rooted in, so when a man who cheats get's that win, they can go to sleep like a baby because in his mind he didn’t do anything against his woman, he just did something to fulfill his own little thing. Now, guys like me will say you absolutely did something against your woman, but until you get caught and you see her crying and throwing your clothes out the window. Then you realize ‘I really did hurt her.' My barber! That’s attached to my image. I'm connected to that guy.

VIBE: When you explain it, it kind of makes sense but it’s not comforting at all.

KS: The truth is not always comforting. That’s just what it is. And what makes its worse is that feeling of accomplishment, that badge of honor, that feeling of a new woman is celebrated an applauded, and then you have media who also applauds that behavior, it doesn’t help. Most guys, if they’re boy is cheating they turn a blind eye

VIBE: Glamour did a story on Single Man Married Man with the headline “Is This The Most Sexist Dating Advice Ever.” Do you think some of the advice in the book can be perceived as sexist? Especially since one of your co-authors said Destiny’s Child’s ‘Cater 2 U’ should be on a woman’s playlist?

KS: Absolutely! If you look at only half of those things, but you should only be catering to a guy who’s reciprocating those actions. And if he’s you’re man we’re assuming you deemed him as worthy. What we’re not saying or encouraging is for women to be serial submissives.

VIBE: One of the authors said men and women want the same things but communicate them in different ways. How can this book help men and women achieve what they want?

KS: We spoke from a male perspective, but in a very practical, useful way, so for women if you’re reading this, it’s almost like this is a “when he says this, this is what he means” thing. We’re telling women off the record what we like, what we go through, what we’re thinking. If you’re willing to take it in, you’re pretty much signing up to speak our language.

To purchase your copy of Single Man Married Man, CLICK HERE

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Music Sermon: The Groundbreaking Sprite and St. Ides Hip-Hop Campaigns

Today, rap music is used to sell everything from electronics to tax filing services to nut butter grinding machines at Whole Foods. We understand that hip-hop culture is essentially the root of everything cool and hip in culture, period, and it’s been commodified and appropriated within an inch of its life. But in the early ‘90s, the genre was far from Madison Avenue-friendly. Aside from the groundbreaking deal between Adidas and RUN DMC, brands didn’t yet see full value and impact of hip-hop…except in the food and beverage industry.

Beverage companies centering campaigns for the urban demo around black music was nothing new; Coca-Cola had ads featuring artists such as New Edition and Anita Baker singing their hearts out for the cola in the ‘80s, and Schlitz Malt Liquor had a legendary – and hilarious - run of spots featuring The Commodores, The Four Tops, Teddy Pendergrass and more through the ‘70s and early ‘80s. However, in the early ‘90s two brands put their entire business on hip-hop’s back, by not only building their brands but spring-boarding the recognition of the music and artists as a marketing and advertising tool: Sprite soda and St. Ides malt liquor.

In the ‘80s, Sprite was languishing behind competitor 7Up when parent company Coca-Cola decided to focus on the youth market, and the quickly growing hip-hop culture was part of the strategy. African-American ad agency Burrell Communications tagged hip-hop acts for a series of spots that began a long-standing marriage between the brand and the culture, starting with Kurtis Blow in 1986. It was one of the first national TV ads to feature a rapper.

KURTIS BLOW - 1986

In 1990, the brand kicked off the “I Like the Sprite in You” campaign, using rap acts that matched the soft drink’s bubbly energy, starting with Heavy D & the Boyz before partnering with Kid ’n Play the following year. The ads featured the artists clad in lemon-lime fare, rhymin’ about lymon.

HEAVY D - 1990 KID’N PLAY – 1991

With Kriss Kross, they turned it up a notch and had us crunk inside the Sprite can. Edgy. Also, this was catchy as hell.

KRISS KROSS - 1993

Then in 1994, a young brand manager from Clark Atlanta University named Darryl Cobbin had an idea for a new direction: Gen X was about authenticity and independence of thought, not following the hype. Sprite ditched the pop-friendly crossover acts and identified more “authentic” rap artists – lyricists with street and cultural cred – to rep the brand. “Lymon” was also out of the window, as they moved away from marketing taste and towards marketing attitude. (Cobbin later spearheaded the iconic, yet grammatically questionable, Boost Mobile “Where You At?” campaign.)

Gone were the bright yellow and green sets, because while the new slogan said, “Image is nothing,” it was all about image. Bright and shiny was traded for dark and gritty. Now we were in the studio; a fly on the wall for freestyle sessions. In the first spot of the series with Grand Puba and Large Professor, Puba closes with “First thing’s first, obey your thirst.” It’s legend even within Coca-Cola that Puba ad-libbed the phrase that then became the brand’s tagline that remains to this day.

GRAND PUBA & LARGE PROFESSOR - 1994 PETE ROCK & CL SMOOTH – 1994 A TRIBE CALLED QUEST – 1994

The “Obey Your Thirst” spots also took us the street corner, the club, and inside the ring when Sprite resurrected the legendary KRS One vs. MC Shan battle.

KRS ONE & MC SHAN - 1996 NAS & AZ – 1997 THE LOST BOYS – 1997

By the late ‘90s Sprite had spent roughly $70M on the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign, tripled sales, and commanded a majority market share of the citrus category (which also included 7Up, Sierra Mist, and Mountain Dew).

Sprite had also succeeded in becoming an official and established part of the culture. They were family. The brand further expanded into urban youth culture through a partnership with the NBA, while continuing to evolve the creative of the rap campaigns.

KOBE BRYANT, TIM DUNCAN & MISSY ELLIOTT – 1998

Near the end of the decade, Sprite explored the overlap between hip-hop culture, comics and martial arts with a series of posse spots based on Voltron (representing all hip-hop regions) and the 5 Deadly Venoms (with all female emcees).

VOLTRON SERIES - 1998 5 DEADLY VENOMS SERIES – 1999

Over the years, Sprite has continued to be one of the most consistent brands in hip-hop. We’ve grown accustomed to spotting the logo everywhere from music festivals and shows to the background of BET’s hip-hop cyphers. They revitalized the “Obey Your Thirst” campaign with Drake in 2010 and paid homage to the greatest lyricists in rap with the “Obey Your Verse” campaign featuring iconic rappers and cans with classic lyrics in 2015.

SPRITE "Obey Your Verse - Cooler" (starring Rakim) from SHOUT IT OUT LOUD MUSIC on Vimeo.

St. Ides’ run with hip-hop doesn’t have the same happy ending as Sprite’s. The brand’s usage of rap petered out in the mid-90s after wide backlash and a series of lawsuits.

For St. Ides, hip-hop was the brand campaign. It’s how they built their business. The brand was introduced in 1987 and their rap campaigns launched in 1988. The malt liquor 40 oz., with significantly higher alcohol content than beer at around a $2 price point, was already a staple in lower-income neighborhoods and hip-hop culture. The “Crooked I” capitalized on that.

Parent company McKenzie River secured Ice Cube as their anchor spokesperson and tapped West Coast producer DJ Pooh to spearhead advertising creative. Pooh lined up a veritable who’s who of additional West Coast rappers over the years, including Geto Boys, Cypress Hill, Warren G, Snoop and Tupac; plus the thorough-est from the East, including Eric B and Rakim, Wu-Tang Clan, Biggie and EPMD.

EPMD & ICE CUBE - 1991 GETO BOYS & ICE CUBE – 1992 ERIC B & RAKIM - 1992

Unlike Sprite’s campaigns which were first jingles and still felt like commercials, even when elevated to trading hot bars for Obey Your Thirst. St. Ides spots, however, looked and felt like straight up music videos with album-worthy production and flow.

ICE CUBE – 1993 MC EIHT – 1994 NOTORIOUS B.I.G. – 1995

Complex even named Wu-Tang’s St. Ides spot “Shaolin Brew” as one of the collective’s 100 best songs! (But at least it’s ranked near the bottom; #97.)

WU-TANG CLAN - 1995

In fact, in 1994, the brand did turn the hottest of the joints into an album, with the St. Ides promotional mixtape dropping at your neighborhood liquor store. It featured full-length songs about getting twisted off the malt liquor from Ice Cube, Wu-Tang Clan, Scarface, MC Eiht, Snoop Doggy Dogg, and Nate Dogg.

The Snoop and Nate track is low key a jam, still. Homegirl in the background starting at the 10-second mark is a whole mood.

This blatant marketing of malt liquor directly to black and brown youth wasn’t going to go unchecked indefinitely. It was all irresponsible, even while being genius for the demo. In 1991, the Wall Street Journal listed the St. Ides ad campaign among one of the worst of the year, which probably didn’t matter at the time since WSJ readers weren’t St. Ides’ base.

In 1991, Public Enemy released Apocalypse ’91: The Empire Strikes Back. The album featured “100 Bottle Bags,” a direct criticism against malt liquor companies marketing specifically to urban communities “…but they don’t sell that sh*t in the white neighborhoods.” Shortly after the release, St. Ides found itself in Chuck D’s crosshairs, and he fired the first in a series of big shots against the brand, marking the beginning of the end of their love affair with hip-hop. An 80-second radio spot featuring Cube used a sample of Chuck’s voice without his permission. The ad had already aired over 500 times on rap radio shows when Chuck sued St. Ides parent company McKenzie River for five million dollars (they settled out of court).

Then, St. Ides and McKenzie River fell under legal scrutiny from the New York State Attorney General in 1992 for using verbiage like Cube’s lyric “Get your girl in the mood quicker, make your jimmy thicker…St. Ides.” to suggest the malt liquor increased sexual prowess. Can you imagine the think pieces if that spot ran today?

They were later in hot water with the New York AG’s office again, along with the Bureau of Alcohol, Firearms and Tobacco (the ATF) for advertising perceived to the be targeted towards minors, with complaints that it glamorized gang affiliation and promoted sex. After having production completely shut down for a short while and getting hit with heavy fines, St. Ides tried to clean up its act, adding “drink responsibly” messaging into the spots.

By ’96 the run was over. Hip-hop was growing up, getting money and moving towards more sophisticated alcoholic beverage choices. Alizé and Hennessy, anyone?

The relationship between hip-hop and alcohol never ended, of course, but has continued to evolve to match the evolution of the lifestyle. We don’t go to the corner store no more, homie (save a brief return in the early aughts of Four Loko). We’re toasting to the good life with premium brands, some of which are now owned by the artists.

We can look back now with the wizened, woke eyes of maturity and possibly scrutinize our artists selling out at the expense of the community, but for the young and burgeoning hip-hop culture, both the St. Ides campaigns and the Sprite campaigns opened the door for the power and commodification of hip-hop and consumer brands. For better or for worse.

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Police Forced A Bronx Woman To Give Birth While Handcuffed

A Bronx woman who was 40 weeks pregnant went into labor while in a holding cell. The police then took her to a local hospital where her wrists were handcuffed to the bed and her ankles shackled. The doctors at Montefiore Medical Center urged the patrolling guard to remove the restraints stating it would harm the mother, but the guard persisted.

According to a lawsuit filed, the woman has asked to remain anonymous. “I haven’t made sense of it myself and I’m not ready to explain it to my child,” she said in an affidavit.

The woman was 27 at the time endured an hour of excruciating labor pains before the guard relented and freed one of her arms. Jane Doe was only fully free nine hours after giving birth.

“The fact that pregnant women and women in labor would be subject to the most draconian treatment imaginable, particularly when they stand accused of a misdemeanor, speaks volumes about the macho culture of police departments and corrections,” Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, said.

A judge arraigned Jane Doe in her hospital bed for violating a protective order. The woman's lawyer Katherine Rosenfeld explained to the New York Times the order stemmed from a protective-custody case involving her former partner. Ms. Doe spent almost 30 hours in protective custody.

“The fact that they disregarded the medical advice of doctors suggests that they didn’t use any humanity and sort of blindly followed what they perceived to be the policy in the Patrol Guide,” Ms. Rosenfeld said.

READ MORE: The Federal Government To Launch Database Tracking Deadly Police Encounters

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A Man Claiming To Be El Chapo's Nephew Threatens To Have Tekashi Mother Deported

In the never-ending saga of Tekashi 6ix 9ine, The Daily Beast has obtained a voicemail recording of a man alleging to be El Chapo's nephew and using the proposed connection to threaten the rapper's mother with deportation.

“His brother lives there. His mother lives there. She don’t even have no f**king papers,” he can be heard saying.

Jose Avila left a 49-second voicemail on Nov. 15 after the rainbow hair rapper failed to show up to an appearance he was promoting in Austin, Texas. At the time, Tekashi was on probation for a sex video stemming from 2015 involving a 13-year-old girl. Avila threatened to use his connection to have Tekashi placed in jail.

“I know a lot of government people and I’m going to send his ass to jail if he doesn’t come to Austin, Texas, today. He f**king makes me lose money already.” Avila said. "He needs to f***king come and be a fucking man. Or I’ll put his ass in jail.”

Reportedly, Tekashi wasn't made aware of the threats of imprisonment, but he did know of the supposed family connection because Avila texted Tekashi's booking manager, Tasea Ferguson.

“My uncle [is] in New York,” Avila reportedly texted. “Guzman Loera... My uncle sons control all USA.”

El Chapo's full name is Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera and he's currently on trial in Brooklyn. The allegation Avila leveled proved to be false. El Chapo's attorney Jeffrey Lichtman denied knowing of any nephew by that name.

When Tekashi, real name Daniel Hernandez, finally got in contact with Ferguson, he was brought up to speed and took to social media to announce he wouldn't be in Austin, Texas that evening.  “I spoke to the promoter, Jose Avila with Avila Music. We are going to be in business. I am coming back to Austin, Texas.”

Surprisingly, after Tekashi was taken into federal custody on racketeering charges, the Daily Beast reports Avila was in the courtroom and doted upon Tekashi's mother, who is often referred to as Nati. He even posted a picture with him. In the coming weeks, Availa also claimed he was Tekashi's manager. A source close to the rapper quickly dismissed the comment.

"There’s nothing to manage. Danny’s in jail.”

READ MORE: Mos Def Calls Tekashi 6ix 9ine  The Most Depressing Sh*t He's Ever Seen

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