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Here Are The Best Friendships (Or Situationships) Of 'Dear White People,' Ranked

In Season 2 of 'Dear White People,' you'll come for the drama, but stay for the friendship dynamics.

In Season 2 of Dear White People, you'll come for the drama but stay for the friendship dynamics.

Seeing kinship in action can be such an emotionally triggering thing. Powering through Season 2 of Dear White People's 10 episodes in one sitting will send you back to the friendships, relationships and situationships that toggled between terrific and utterly toxic. While the story of Samantha White, a very woke mixed chick grappling with both sides of her identity while matriculating through Winchester University, is the series' entry point, the relationships within and outside of her orbit are the real treasures to unpack.

From bestie Joelle Brooks, friendly rival Colandrea "Coco" Conners and forbidden lover Gabe Mitchell to revolutionary Reggie Green, status climber Troy Fairbanks and timid truth seeker Lionel Higgins, none of the surface interactions between the show's primary characters are exactly what they appear to be. Even seemingly periphery characters like Kelsey Phillips and Wesley Alvarez hold an extraordinary amount of weight in the emotional development and psyches of the aforementioned characters.

With only minor spoilers ahead—if you haven't caught up on Season 1, that's your own fault—take a dive into a ranking of the most meaningful (and meaningless) relationship dynamics of Dear White People Season 2.

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10. Lionel and Silvio

If there was ever a case for a toxic, leech-driven friendship, Silvio and Lionel would be the poster children for it. Plainly speaking, Silvio is no good for Lionel and everyone knows it. While Lionel is technically Silvio's underling at the school paper, the former is leagues ahead when it comes to natural curiosity and a dedication to truth-telling. Yet and still, Lionel wants so badly to prove his greatness and worthiness as a journalist (and a writer-lover-friend) to Silvio. Silvio may have been Lionel's first kiss after coming to terms with his queerness, but proves this season that he is the last one he can trust in any emotional (or ethical) capacity.

 

9. Sam and Reggie

This was the meager flame we followed along with on Season 1. Sam and Reggie share the same fiery passion—one that eventually came to a head in the bedroom—for the betterment of black people at Winchester and beyond. However, on a soul-to-soul level, they don't appear to provide the care and emotional sensitivity that each of them needs in their true match. They look like a power couple in theory, but in practice, they serve each other better as friends and fighters on the front line.

 

8. Sam and Joelle

Selfishness has a way of bleeding through even the strongest of bonds, whether or not either party in the relationship can detect its ominous presence. It is very clear that Joelle Brooks is Sam White's ride-or-die. Whenever Sam is on the brink of tears from a breakdown or a breakthrough, Joelle has Kleenex, a strong shoulder and an open ear propped and ready. However, at times, especially in Season 2, that same level of friendship isn't always properly reciprocated. Joelle is the springboard on which Sam hashes out her best ideas for her hot-button radio show, "Dear White People." (She eventually asks Joelle to join the show as an official co-host, even though that offer was long overdue). Sam's crippling inability to pay attention and yield to Joelle's true wants and needs past her own—it's frustrating how long it takes Sam to notice Joelle's stifled attraction towards Reggie—is something that could've set the friendship back had Joelle not been so dedicated in her role as a true friend. Talk about loyalty.

 

7. Sam and Gabe

Let's just put this out on front street: Watching the back and forth love fiasco between Sam and Gabe can become tiresome. So many of Sam's biggest struggles exist within her mind, including how who she chooses to love can impact her work's effectiveness. How much pain can Sam put herself through with denying love, support, a safe space for not only her heart but also her ideas, regardless if it looks like she's negating her "wokeness"? There's no debate that Gabe messed up royally last season. By calling the police at that on-campus party and a "rent-a-cop" showing up to "de-escalate" the situation with a gun, Reggie is emotionally damaged until further notice. Even without saying it, Sam carries the weight of that guilt and takes responsibility for bringing Gabe, a cultural outsider, into her friends' sacred space. However, the heart wants what it wants. Watching her deny her desires to forgive him for those differences and honor the things that undeniably bind them is an eyesore.

6. Reggie and Joelle

Joelle and Reggie are the hopeful flame viewers had to wait two seasons to see properly fanned. Joelle has had coy feelings for Reggie for quite some time, and it seemed as if he felt something towards her, too. However, they never explored the possibility because Reg was still in hot pursuit of Sam, the ideal revolutionary lover in his mind (even though Joelle is exactly the balance of "fight-the-power on Wednesday but catch Love & Hip Hop-knockoffs on Thursday" that he needed). But this season, when he and Sam decide to return to each other's friend zones, and Sam lets Joelle know that she has no claim on him, what a refreshing feeling it is to see their stars (finally!) start to align.

 

5. Lionel and Wesley

Lionel is one person who deserves to find a little gold at the end of his rainbow. In the show, he's an observant creature by nature and often seen in the shadows of the social scene, partly because he's trying to find a newsworthy scoop but mostly because he's awkward and shy. On top of that, he's inching closer to his sexuality comfort zone, but the dating waters are still murky for him. Vying for Silvio's attention proves to be a bust, but Wesley, a newcomer to the Dear White People family, offers a glimmer of hope. There is a natural chemistry between the two. Wesley doesn't mind Lionel's awkwardness; in fact, he is charmed by it. The playful sort, Wesley inspires his hesitant beau to lighten up and offers encouragement during Lionel's bouts of self-doubt. Wesley helps the aspiring journalist honor his sexual urges and share in intimacy for the first time. Lionel finally gets to be someone who is wanted.

 

4. Sam and Coco

To the naked eye, Sam White and Coco Conners are worlds apart. Presented initially as "enemies" in Season 1, we learned that the two former roomies had a closer past than we thought. Choosing the civil route, they eventually hashed out their differences once they realized they were taking different paths to the same end goal: respect for the black students at Winchester. In Season 2, they remain cordial, but in their separate social circles for the most part. However, when Sam suffers a devastating personal loss that causes her to go back home for a few days, Coco insists on coming with her and Joelle. (She made it a point to remind her how close their families once were.) Where Joelle is gentle with comforting Sam, Coco always gives it to her straight, no chaser, providing insight Sam may not want, but needs to hear. Sam, being the hard edge that she is, flourishes with this sort of tough love because she understands it is just that: love.

 

3. Troy and Reggie

In the same way that Coco and Sam run on opposite sides of the track, Troy and Reggie seem to be eons away from each other in terms of personalities and purpose. Troy has been groomed by his father, a dean at Winchester, to work within the very white confines of the school's political infrastructure. Reggie, a man of the movement who was scarred and betrayed by the same university—who, innocent and unarmed, stared down the barrel of a university officer's gun last season—chooses to rebel against it. As a continuation from an aha-moment last season, Troy continues to internally struggle with identifying a purpose outside of his father's rigid shadow.

In search of brutally honest feedback about who he is and who he once was, he consults Reggie, an old-friend-turned-distant-colleague who is far from delicate when dishing out his response. However, free from having to fake public niceties (and with the help of some natural vices), these two walking representations of "strong black men" are finally able to unpack the heavy things within them. Confusion, defeat, embarrassment, shame, depression, worthlessness, lack of love—things that feel too risky to display on the outside. They are descriptors that don't necessarily fit the mold of who they have been to the watchful eyes of Winchester. This delicate moment of brotherhood—which right now is even more important than technical friendship—is an important image to bring to the forefront.

2. Coco and Kelsey

Kelsey Phillips has been a treat to watch drift from the periphery of the character pool to become an anchor in one of the most emotionally gratifying scenes of Dear White People. Her character—highly energetic, preppy, quirky, queer (as we later find out) and in desperate search of Sorbet, her dognapped pup—could easily be brushed off as an "annoying," more airy-minded version of her new roommate, Coco. But when Coco finds out she is pregnant mid-semester and tries to quickly decide if life will be best with or without a mini-Coco, it is Kelsey who drops everything and dedicates herself to her friend's prenatal care.

Whether it's whipping up Trinidadian remedies for morning sickness and massaging her feet or accompanying her to the clinic and offering genuine words of comfort, Kelsey becomes that sister  Coco desperately needed, quietly sought out (she went out for a shallow sorority in Season 1) but stifled beneath perceived arrogance. Although Troy accidentally saw Coco in her wig cap during a sex blooper—the one downside of roughhousing in a wig—no one sees her vulnerability as Kelsey has been able to, without chastising, judging or taking advantage of her as she works through a hard time.

 

1. Troy and Lionel

While all of the characters in this season of Dear White People are dynamically written, there's an undeniable satisfaction that comes from seeing Troy Fairbanks, the handsome socialite and Type-A male, and Lionel, a nerdy writer dipping his toe into queer sexuality, in the same room. Between elementary and high school, young black men put forth much effort to prove how "not gay" they are as a defense mechanism to safely escape the taunting, teasing, bullying and overall social scrutiny that comes from narrow-minded youth. That sort of learned behavior squelches potentially beautiful, healthy friendships before they can even begin.

When Lionel is paired with Troy as a roommate, it's evident that Lionel has a mild crush on this very heterosexual man who will never reciprocate his feeling, but Troy doesn't show any sort of "expected" discomfort or disdain in sharing that space with Lionel. He barely even bats an eyelash. Differences in sexual preferences and social mannerisms have no effect on the development of their teacher-student, open-book friendship whatsoever, and it's a beautiful sight to see. This normalization of the spectrum within the black male experience—within Troy, Lionel and all the men of Dear White People—is refreshing, and a vision of what today's society could be if we simply grew the f**k up and honored our authentic selves.

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8 Best Samples From Megan Thee Stallion, Tyler The Creator And DJ Khaled's Projects

Megan Thee Stallion, DJ Khaled and Tyler, The Creator have more in common than just a release date. The artists also know a thing or two about thoughtful sampling.

Their projects, which all happen to be some of their best efforts, find inspiration from 70s soul and deep 90s underground jams. Jackson 5, Jay-Z and Sizzla were sampled on DJ Khaled's previous release Grateful, but with Father of Asahd, the producer and proud dad jumps back into the crates. This time around, modern hits are used like Ms. Lauryn Hill's "To Zion" and Outkast's "Ms. Jackson."

Megan Thee Stallion's samples also prove her rhymes aren't the only thing fans should pay close attention to.

Check out some of our favorite samples from this week's releases below.

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Megan Thee Stallion- Fever 

1. "Hood Rat S**t"

Sample: Latarian Milton's Viral Video (2013)

Plucked from the wonderful world of viral videos, Megan uses the then 7-year-old's mischevious joy ride to accurately describe how she rolls with her crew.

2. "Pimpin"

Sample: DJ Zirk & Tha 2 Thick Family featuring 8Ball & MJG and Kilo-g  "Azz Out" (1996) 

There's something to be said about Megan's very clever samples. The chorus to the late 90s underground gem stems from southern legends like Tennesee's 8Ball and MJG along with NOLA's own Kilo-g. Megan grabs a few bars from the track and puts her own twist on them for the chorus: "Stick 'em up, stick 'em up, raise 'em up, raise 'em up Drop it off in his fucking face just to saw it off/Gotta get my a** ate, gotta make that a** shake/Gotta swipe this ni**a card so much they had to call the bank"

3. "Simon Says" featuring Juicy J 

Samples: Billy Paul, "Me And Mrs. Jones" (1972), "Looking For Tha Chewin,'" DJ Paul (Ft. 8Ball, DJ Zirk, Kilo-G, Kingpin Skinny Pimp & MJG) (1992)

Another variation of the aforementioned track is also heard on her collaboration with southern legend Juicy J. The soft intro by way of Bill Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones" also offers a soulful touch to the track.

DJ Khaled- Father of Asahd

4. "Holy Mountian" featuring Buju Banton, Sizzla, Mavado and 070 Shake) 

Sample: "One Spliff a Day," Billy Boyo (1981) 

Boyo's legendary riddim has been used by a bevy of artists including SiR and Wiz Khalifa but Khaled's curation of the track with some of the biggest names in reggae takes it to another level. It also doesn't hurt that his longtime friend and icon Banton opens the album.

5. "Just Us" featuring SZA 

Sample: "Ms. Jackson," Outkast (2001) 

This sample definitely raises the eyebrows, but the careful loop paired with SZA's sing-rap flow makes it worth a listen.

6. "Holy Ground" featuring Buju Banton 

Samples: "To Zion," Ms. Lauryn Hill and Carlos Santana (1999) 

Grand opening, grand closing. Banton closes out the album with soul-baring lyrics and a thoughtful sample to match. Carlos Santana's chords from the original track give the song a sentimental feel along with Banton's lyrics about mass incarceration, cultural warfare and spiritual freedom.

Tyler, The Creator- IGOR

7. "A BOY IS A GUN" 

Samples: "Bound," Ponderosa Twins Plus One (1971) 

Tyler might have gotten inspiration to sample this song from Kanye West (Bound 2), but his take is smooth and subtle as he navigates through love and heartbreak.

8. "ARE WE STILL FRIENDS" featuring Pharell Williams 

Samples: "Dream," Al Green (1977) 

Underneath IGOR's tough exterior lies a gentle soul. The placement of Al Green's "Dream," on the latter end of the album takes the listener on a starry love high. Pharrell and Tyler allow the sample to act as a skeleton for the song as they point out how to keep love alive.

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Issa Vibe: The Best Songs To Fit Your Different 4/20 Sessions

April 20th isn’t a national holiday, but it might as well be.

Although recreational marijuana use is only legal in 10 states, the U.S. is home to approximately 35 million regular users of cannabis, according to a survey done by Yahoo News and Marist University. That's 10.6 percent of the American population and while that may seem minuscule, the numbers are growing daily and it's understandable.

Weed has now become a staple of American culture; it's become a legitimate business in the states where it's legal, it's now part of the way people socialize, and better yet it's a theme in some of the hottest music out today. "Kush" has been included in some of the hardest verses that millennials and generation-z kids have heard in their lifetime.

Wiz Khalifa and Snoop Dogg, amazing emcees in their own right, are also widely known for their love of the green plant. Wiz's biggest album, Rolling Papers is clearly influenced by weed and along with the Snoop Dogg-assisted "Young, Wild & Free" is all about that green positivity.

There's an endless list of hits about rolling up a joint, hitting it and passing it, but what about moods? Whether it's a bowl, a blunt or an edible weed, can leave people feeling a variety of ways and that all can be traced to a certain strand of weed someone's inhaling, or the mood they're already.

Regardless, it's important to be prepared and have music ready to match whatever feelings marijuana concocts; and that's why VIBE compiled an adequate list of songs for each of the main pot moods.

So on this 4/20, sit back, relax, smoke and find the songs that suit the vibe.

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The "Let Me Chill Out" Mood 

Sometimes the best way to come down from an over the top high is to play some tunes with a soft beat and a light voice. The best artists in the game right now, like Jhené Aiko for instance, have created that sound that's perfect for when relaxation is needed, so of course, she made the list.  These are the top four songs that can help anyone kick back and relax if a pull from a joint just isn't hitting the right way.

"Blue Dream" by Jhené Aiko "Muse" by Afro Nostalgia "Summer Games" by Drake "LOVE." by Kendrick Lamar (feat. Zacari) The Bad B*tch Hours or "Top Two and I'm Not Two" Mood 

You look around the room and realize: you're top two and you're not two in it. All it took was one or a couple of puffs and then a pass to make you feel pretty good about yourself. One of the main upsides to smoking that's constantly mentioned in the media is that it can help alleviate chronic pain, well, another positive to it is that it can leave you feeling sexy, sensual and everything in between.

This is that high that can make you feel that you're significant other is lucky to have you, and subsequently makes you hit them up, that tells you: you're single and ready to mingle. It's a smoking session that lets you know: if you shoot your shot now, you'll score and it's a session that you want music playing that only affirms how sultry and seductive you feel. If this is how 4/20 leaves you feeling, putting on some RiRi or even Young Thug can effectively get you 'in your bag.'

"Same Ol' Mistakes" by Rihanna "Tyrant" by Kali Uchis (feat. Jorja Smith) "Worth It" by Young Thug "Smoke Break" by Chance the Rapper (feat. Future) The "Head in the Clouds" Mood 

More often than not, edibles have the power of leaving people spaced out and speaking slowly, after consuming them. Sometimes smoking weed, or hotboxing with friends is a silent event. Either everyone's consumed by their phones, or every other person has been looking at a nonexistent spot on the wall for the past 15 minutes.

Regardless this isn't the high where people want to hear "Act Up" by City Girls, no matter how much they love them. No, this is the high where people need music that takes them on a journey. Songs where the production is out of this world and it seems like the artist specifically made the song for a smoke session like no other. Travis Scott's ASTROWORLD is full of tracks with that vibe, and Lil' Wayne, a weed connoisseur of his own, has songs that fulfill that need too. Smoke a bit and let the weed do its thing.

"ASTROTHUNDER" by Travis Scott "I Feel Like Dying" by Lil' Wayne "Hyyer" by Kid Cudi "St. Tropez" by J. Cole The "Got the Giggles" Mood 

This is when the blunt hits perfectly and there's nothing wrong in the world or when the bowl did its' job and leaves everyone feeling silly. A "feel good high" is the best way to describe and the best way to live through that kind of smoke session is to listen to some "feel good music." These are the songs that can have people swaying unknowingly to its' beat, or the tracks that leave people smiling from ear to ear. This is the session that lets people know that "this is it chief," and here are the best songs to go along with it.

"Pass the Vibes" by Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment "Dreamcatcher" by Metro Boomin' (feat. Swae Lee & Travis Scott) "It's a Vibe" by 2 Chainz (feat. Ty Dolla $ign, Trey Songz & Jhené Aiko) "Binz" by Solange
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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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