All Eyez On Me — The Amateur Biopic of Tupac Shakur

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Im sorry, but “ALL EYEZ ON ME” was terrible. 

All of the significant details that framed Tupac’s life are so glossed over. The movie delivers in a very, “this happened, then this happened, and oh…lets not forget about this-real-quick” type of fashion. Two and a half hours is PLENTY of time to effectively illustrate the high’s, low’s and in-between’s that made Tupac the lyrical and prophetic force he became. The film never even makes mention of his mainstream role in “Poetic Justice”. Leila Steinberg, the woman who was basically Tupac’s mentor and central introduction to performance art appears for literally ONE scene. Tupac lived with Leila and her husband for YEARS. Her role in his life was pivotal to his segue into being on stage in front of mainstream audiences. How was her presence reduced to a forty-five second appearance? There’s also no mention whatsoever of the woman Keisha who Tupac married while he was in jail.

The entire production is just so singular. We never get into the mind of Tupac Shakur or delve between the layers of his fears, his internal struggles or the seeds of his unique artistry. “All Eyez On Me” is nothing more than an expensive snapshot of the headlines that most of us 30 and over are already aware of. The ONLY “detail” or tidbit of information that the movie introduced me to is the fact that Tupac was involved in a long term relationship with Quincy Jones’ daughter, Kidada. I had no idea that she was the main woman in his life up until his death.

The film is just so horribly directed by Benny Boom. It’s very difficult to believe that he graduated from Temple Universities film program. There’s absolutely no visual illustration. The narrative isn’t painted on screen. The entire script and overall production spoon feeds the audience – as if we are pure idiots. We jump back and forth CONSTANTLY between scenes of Hill Harper interviewing Tupac in jail circa 1995 and then the actual events unfolding before us as Hill & Tupac verbally discuss them. It’s juvenile filmmaking and a trite cinematic tactic.

The ONLY real standout acting performance stems from Danai Gurira who stars as Afeni Shakur. Her facial and verbal delivery is superb in comparison to the other pedestrian players. I’m not taking anything away from Demetrius Shipp who stars as Tupac, but he seemed to merely be going through the motions during half of his screen time. If it were not for him physically resembling Tupac to the core, I would not have been convinced of the passion, the power and intensity that evoked the spirit of Tupac. “All Eyez On Me” just is not a good film overall and I would much rather see a seasoned director take on such masterful work in another box office or 6-8 part, television series release.

People are jumping on John Singleton for wanting to include a jail rape scene in his version of the Tupac story, as well as Tupac talking to a severed head, but the common, everyday individual has no idea what real life information Singleton was privy to. Tupac may have really been raped in jail, but of course, his image and hyper masculine presence forced him and the public alike to deny such claims. John Singleton’s  inclusion of the severed head and having Tupac talking to this image of himself illustrated Tupac’s love of Shakespeare and the battle of man vs. himself. I would have preferred that type of visual storytelling, as opposed to this pitiful L.T. Hutton/Benny Boom version that has Tupac randomly quoting bits and pieces of ‘Hamlet’ throughout the film. UGH!

…and lets not even talk about the monstrosity that is the ending. Would it have killed the creative team to show Afeni battling with the heavy decision to pull the plug on Tupac’s life support?…or even to show Tupac laying on his death bed and shaking the mattresses with both hands clamped down at his sides because he had something he wanted to GET OUT, but could not speak? THESE are the stories that have been told by close friends who visited him between September 6, 1996 and September 13, 1996. The film should NOT have ended with Tupac’s body laid out on the Vegas strip and a slew of title cards plastered across the screen highlighting his “Hollywood” achievements. The gospel music that played beneath the ending scene was very misplaced and drowned out the heavy emotion.

I don’t care what the millennials are saying about “All Eyez On Me”. It was terribly spliced together, and in such a way that reflected a very amateur team behind-the-scenes. I saw the film yesterday afternoon at the Columbia AMC here in Maryland and I left the theater feeling extremely disappointed. “All Eyez On Me” pales in comparison to every black film released between last summer 2016 and present day.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR COINS! Wait for this pedestrian mess to be released ON DEMAND and in DVD/Blu-Ray format.

Black Gay Men Still Portrayed As Unworthy Of Traditional Love In Mainstream Television

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It is 2016 ladies & gentlemen. There is absolutely no reason why our inclusion in mainstream television programming should STILL focus on these tired, lazy, DL characters and their associated “down low” experiences. It truly KILLS ME that producers are still seemingly perpetuating the idea that two black men can’t exist in an openly loving, monogamous, mentally & emotionally stable relationship. And if a black man does exist in a healthy union, his partner HAS to be of another ethnicity.

While I certainly am pleased to watch and support the Jamal Lyon’s, Tariq Muhammad’s & Milan Christopher’s of the world, I want to see them on screen in a way that reflects the reality of a changing, more accepting cultural landscape.

BLACK MEN DO EXIST IN ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHER BLACK MEN who are out to their families, desire marriage, seek longterm partnership and are comfortable within their sexuality.

The large majority of us are NOT wasting our time chasing behind closeted rap stars & athletes who have not yet accepted their same sex attractions or feelings.

In my opinion, these “DL” storylines, though written & performed fairly well, do nothing at its core to lay bare the most visceral, romantic elements of male interaction. And because there are so few representations of gay, black men on screen, there is no time or space to waste on pure “entertainment”. We, as a community tend to accept and get excited about seeing these washed storylines because the only alternative in black, gay media comes in the form of start and stop web series’ made for YouTube or digital/print magazines that unfortunately never reach beyond a tiny segment of readers. I WANT TO SEE MY BROTHERS ON SCREEN accenting the sentiments of two men, living as partners, working to build a home together, establishing finances, raising a family and committed to loving one another, eternally.

It can be featured in the most basic form of two 22 year olds in their senior year of college: sharing their first apartment together, struggling to make ends meet, one working, the other unemployed, but both making sure the other eats daily and has his basic needs met. I’m not pitching fantasy situations here.

Networks and production companies need to STOP sensationalizing the “DL” man and his “struggle to be himself”. ITS TIRED. They do it specifically to throw black, gay men a bone (see… we included you) – all while echoing the perspective of the masses that suggests our interactions are abnormal or our carefree, sex filled, irresponsible, ungodly “lifestyles” are all the same. We are painted as being unworthy of traditional love.

It’s the antithesis of my reality and to those I most commonly meet, befriend and engage with across the country.

If God ever grants me the opportunity to create LGBT content beyond the Internet, it will be my priority to redefine the depictions of black gay male relationships – the connections we’ve established with ourselves, our families, our partners and the universe as a whole.

Xem VanAdams.

Giving Thanks…

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DITCHING THE FAMILY! headed to Los Angeles, California to spend Thanksgiving with my Marvin✈️ –

May God bless you this holiday season. 2015 has been the absolute best year of my life spiritually… since 2008. Each day has been filled with a sense of peace and mental tranquility. I’ve been able to think, create and engage clearly. I was telling Chrissy yesterday at brunch that this is the first time in 7 years that I have consistently lived and existed in the present. 2009-2014 was filled with so much self imposed pressure to have this mainstream media career and to accomplish this and achieve that. I pushed away potential love interests, ignored situations designed to form new friendships and set aside other opportunities for advancement in other aspects of my life all because I was so focused on “making it”.

But I gave all of that up on Christmas Day of 2014 because I got tired of living so miserably – being unable to literally appreciate the greatness of my present life because I was dead set on creating a “successful” future.

Listen to me when I tell you that GOD IS GOOD. Ask him to please give you comfort in your most uncomfortable circumstances and he WILL. You simply have to believe in the core of your heart that he CAN. The things that usually stress you out or sadden your spirit will no longer affect your days. IM LIVING IT! Call upon him to guide your journey and please STOP telling him how to bless you. STOP asking for surface, tangible favors. I haven’t experienced this level of peace and contentment for years and it feels amazing to look back on 2015 with a smile. Each day of this year has been pierced by light, solely because I decided last December to step away from the darkness of my own rushed, selfish desires. Now I know better & that’s why I live in the universe freely. My focus is no longer geared towards when When WHEN, but instead I’m basking in the glory of now, Now, NOW.

Thank you Heavenly Father – and HAPPY THANKSGIVING my love

Xem Says… “Empire” Isn’t Quite Ready For A Spin-Off Series Just Yet

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After watching the first 2 episodes of FOX’S hit series, Empire & the 2nd experiencing a ratings dip of 3+ million viewers, is the show also losing your interest?

I AM AN EMPIRE FAN and have been a loyal viewer since January 2015. However, I am one of the series supporters who was only initially pulled in by the Jamal Lyon storyline, as well as Cookie’s sass & dominating on-screen personality. Terrence Howard also immediately captivated my attention as Lucious Lyon. I don’t think any other actor could have been hired to effectively pull off his intense, alpha male role.

Meanwhile, some people are arguing that the series was never really “good” and we simply rallied around it because of the excitement & thrill of seeing a predominately black cast framed in a primetime drama slot. Just as with ABC’s Scandal, people seemingly jumped on the “Empire” bandwagon via social media in an effort to not be left out of what quickly became a television phenomenon. Others are presently stating that the recent focus on celebrity guest stars and gay themed plot lines are spoiling this second season. There’s already talk of a spin-off series in development, but IT MAY BE TOO SOON.

I will admit that I don’t hear the same level of post-show chatter or see the onslaught of online commentary that followed the pilot season episodes. And I will also admit that I am having a difficult time identifying with the riff between Jamal & Cookie, while trying to enjoy the particular songs/rigid musical numbers that have been performed thus far. I have also experienced difficulty over the past two weeks in connecting to the lack of depth or growth in central characters between season 1 and the most recent episodes.

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I do realize that we still have 16 shows to view this season, but I’d like to see MORE FOCUS placed on Andre’s battle with his mental illness. I think it’s very impactful socially for the series to focus on how Andre’s mental health affects the Lyons family short & longterm — especially since black people are just recently beginning to openly discuss the issue. It makes perfect sense right now that Andre would be experiencing increased levels of anxiety and out-of-control rage now that he has lost hold of one of the more important aspects of his livelihood — his job. Andre’s character isn’t being given the screen time to react or reveal the inner workings of his present, mental state. We hear Andre express his frustration and share his dismay before Cookie. However, the intensity of the internal warfare that would be boiling inside of someone who endures mental instability isn’t present AT ALL.

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I also feel that we don’t know who Rhonda or Becky truly ARE, aside from their very secondary roles as Empire Records employees. I’m interested in what makes these two ladies tick internally. We’ve already seen them both be FUNNY. That’s no longer enough now that the second season has launched. What are Becky & Rhonda’s relationships with their loved ones? Are either of them involved in romantic relationships? What are their creative passions & personal fears? How do they feel about themselves as women in the world and do they have dreams/goals that extend beyond their temporary assistant jobs? As of right now, neither character appears to be significant to the overall series, as they both simply provide occasional comic relief.

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Becky’s character is displayed as nothing more than the girl in high school who has the gay best friend and is liked by everyone because she’s “so nice”. I want to see and know more about each woman outside of the Empire offices.

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In comparison, Hakeem’s character is becoming less and less significant to the structure of the Lyon’s family. We know very little about the internal battles that are truly plaguing Hakeem as a young, black man living in America. He should have been standing alongside Cookie on stage during the second season opener and chanting, “Black Lives Matter”. If the show wants to deal with real, social issues, Hakeem is then the perfect character to target the epidemic of black men losing their lives carelessly on American soil. The show very lightly taps into Hakeem’s passion as an artist or his personal feelings of being neglected by mom AND dad in the past. We see Hakeem catch attitudes, TALK about his music and make other little snide remarks, but the pain he obviously carries around each day isn’t presented on-screen in such a way that the audience can truly empathize with him.

Every time we see Hakeem, he is ALWAYS paired alongside one of his brothers or one of the other supporting characters. He is rarely framed ALONE, and that is partially why viewers dont know who HE IS beyond the “rapper” and youngest sibling. Strong, well developed characters have to be displayed privately — alone with their emotions and able to successfully portray them in silence in order to reveal the layers that an audience will care about. I am thinking about the pivotal scene in the first season of “How To Get Away With Murder” when Annalise is home alone, sitting in the mirror, peeling off her wig, removing her makeup and taking off her lashes after a grueling day of being “seen as” strong and seemingly having it all together. 

I can’t truly say who Hakeem is beyond his character description. We have not been privy to layers of his emotional being or even his reactions to other characters that aren’t immediately seen as being defensive.

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I was also very taken aback to see Jamal romantically paired again alongside Michael. While I certainly understand that couples split and get back together all of the time, it would have been great for the audience to witness the very challenging process that couples endure between their first breakup and that moment where they decide to rekindle the flame. I don’t personally believe that Michael is strong or passionate enough to exist as Jamal’s central love interest.

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Ryan Morgan (the filmmaker from season 1), was closer to the TYPE of guy that someone like Jamal would logically choose and organically connect to. Ryan pushed Jamal professionally, encouraged him personally and aggressively forced Jamal to see certain aspects of his life. It was Ryan’s presence in Jamal’s life that planted the seed of change in how Jamal’s character presented himself publicly for the remainder of the first season. Ryan’s character and that particular storyline should have never been so prematurely dismissed.

I do, however, appreciate that Jamal’s sexuality has been bumped to the backseat of his now leadership role amongst the “Empire” ranks. I don’t necessarily believe that a son would ever betray his nurturing mother to side with his physically and verbally abusive father, but I love the way Jamal’s new position has brought out the more aggressive sides of his personality. I think Lee Daniels realized very early on that Jussie Smollett had become the “fan favorite” amongst the brothers. It’s also obvious based on social media postings that Jussie & Lee have grown close off screen as well. It was a great choice creatively and business-wise to increase the role responsibilities of Jamal Lyon this season.

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As for Cookie and Lucious, their battle against one another to frame EMPIRE RECORDS against DYNASTY RECORDS will carry the interest of the viewers throughout the next 16 episodes. I think watching Cookie build her business from the ground up will allow the audience to experience firsthand the inner workings of Cookie’s mental savvy — the know how that helped her secure the $400,000.00 Lucious used to ignite Empire.

Meeting Cookie’s older sister in episode 8, to be played by Vivica Fox, and potentially meeting her mother as well, will definitely add layers to her character. I am confident that behind the scenes, Taraji is pushing to give Cookie depth beneath the catchy one-liners, sharp attitude and ongoing feud with Anika. It’s undeniable that Cookie is the focus of the Empire series, even if her character wasn’t intended to lead the cast. Viewers tune in each week to be entertained by her antics. However, the series cannot stand on another season filled with surface behavior and quick, sharp dialogue spewed from Cookie’s mouth. This second season will hopefully reveal all of the internal strength, passion and intelligence that allowed Cookie to transition between drug lord 17 years ago to now being an aspiring, legit businesswoman.

Empire hasn’t lost my interest, but I am hoping that before a spin off season goes into development, each of the central characters are given a fair chance to grow. I do feel that it is way too soon in the fruition of this series, for the Lyon’s family to be sharing such increased screen time with random, celebrity guest stars. The inclusion of celeb cameos could work if these celebrities were playing themselves and appearing in diminished roles, much like they did during the final 5-10 minutes each week of FOX’s “New York Undercover” series during the early 1990’s. It honestly makes no sense to include these singers, comedian’s and reality stars in roles that solely seem to have been created JUST TO make room for them. I applaud Lee Daniels for using his favor and media opportunities to create positions for our black stars, but I’d prefer to first feel connected to the characters who matter to the core of the series before being bombarded by guest stars whose roles are only good for pieces of one or two episodes.

I am looking forward to watching this second season pan out. Despite any of our personal or collective opinions about the showcase, I think we all can relate to the dynamics of family and loyalty, the themes of jealousy and competition, as well as the universal language of music that are all combined to make EMPIRE the hit series that it is – still 14 million viewers STRONG.

Is #TeamNatural Simply A Hair Trend Or A Movement Amongst Black Women?

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promoinsertThe summer of 2015 has unified black people under an umbrella of consciousness that encourages the development of our own ideals and unique forms of expression. Seasonal events such as Curl Fest and Afro Punk have been designed to magnify the voices of black people and to also offer a platform where the black experience is celebrated instead of brutalized or interrogated. Each local and national gathering seems to attract a crowd of African-American people who are often young, eccentric and easily distinguishable from those who regularly represent our race and culture within the framework of mainstream media. These crowds are dominated especially by a slew of women adorned in their dashiki dresses, wedge sandals, big, wooden jewelry and big, shea butter infused, twist-outs to match. These women exist as this generations ethnic, online icons – the card carrying members of #TeamNatural. Seen by onlookers up and down numerous tumblr timelines, Instagram feeds and various blogs dedicated solely to their subgroup amongst black women, #TeamNatural seeks to embrace beauty on their own terms by first accepting their natural, physical traits.

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a surge in African-American women who are consciously choosing to display their tight curls and natural coils as opposed to wearing Eurocentric, chemically enhanced styles. Mainstream Hollywood starlets like Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o and Tracee Ellis Ross are walking red carpets and taking center stage under a spotlight that reinforces the beauty of cropped, kinky, spiraled hairdos — challenging America’s obsession with long, straight, blonde locks. Young, black girls are witnessing a change in the tides. Their big sisters, aunts, classroom teachers and moms are truly beginning to cultivate the roots of our ancestors by now embracing their natural wave patterns, instead of heating and straightening their hair strands or hiding them beneath bundles of Brazilian weave. Still, however, as more and more women begin to dump their perm kits and elect to wear hairstyles that cater to the likeness of Angela Davis, I have to wonder if #TeamNatural is all but another contemporary, pop-culture trend or a permanent movement towards changing the narrative for black women.

In light of current political and social protests against racism, ignorance and police brutality, it seems that black women are joining forces to disengage themselves from the physical standards of beauty that have been structured by American society. Within this raging climate, #TeamNatural seems to represent not only a simple hairstyle, but also a sense of empowerment for women of color. Just as the civil rights movement of the 1960’s highlighted the civil wrongs on American soil, people began wearing AFROS as a revolutionary political statement. More than just simply an expression of fashion or style, the natural textured fro became a distinguishable representation of black power. Now, over five decades later, it’s not too farfetched to believe that the rise of the #BlackLivesMatter movement has ignited the reemergence of progressive statements that black women are making by using their virgin hair to represent self pride.

My sister exists as one of the only women amongst her core circle of friends who still gets her hair permed every 6-8 weeks, visits the salon twice each month for professional styling and sometimes elects to have her strands highlighted with honey blonde streaks. While she has spent this past summer wearing long, Senegalese braids, my sister admits that she often feels judged by her female peers and other black women alike for not jumping on the #TeamNatural bandwagon. She does not ever wear weaves, extensions or wigs. Sometimes my sister wears her hair straight, bent at the ends and a short bang that edges slightly above her eyebrows. Mostly, however, her hair is styled in shoulder length curls that fall all around her head. As a professional, corporate woman who engages in yoga and other gym related exercise programs at least 3-4 times each week, my sister has shared with me that it’s simply easier and more convenient to manage her hair when it is processed and permed.

Meanwhile, despite her personal preferences and choice of convenience over the now popular twist-out hairstyle, it seems that my sister, along with other women in her position, are possibly being looked down upon. These women may be seen by those who exist along the #TeamNatural spectrum as “still” simulating whiteness and conforming to the mainstream standard of beauty.

But if #TeamNatural exists as more than a contemporary, pop-culture trend, then it suggests to me that the movement is indeed open to enveloping all women who support the idea of progression. As black women join forces to increase their visibility on movie screens and magazine covers, inside of board rooms, along the front lines of major political parties and amongst the ranks of the powerful, decision makers in the world, ones decision to wear her hair in its natural state is only a part of the fight. That very brave and powerful decision can possibly be paired alongside the responsibility that comes with redefining a generation.

The movement could begin challenging its members to live an overall, organic lifestyle. Wearing your hair in tight curls or a kinky updo does not necessarily make one natural, conscious or socially aware. I’m also thinking of the black women who elect to have thick, afro-textured, wooly fake hair sewn into their real, braided hair as a method to merely achieve the “look” of being natural.

The natural hairstyles are merely the top layer that sits above a pyramid that can include organic eating, African dress, minimal to no facial makeup, the full use of natural soaps, toothpaste, juices and other organic, skin care products as well. Beneath the Afros, must exist an understanding of what wearing natural hair represents politically, as well as a train of thought that is focused on total abandonment of processed living.

It is my hope that #TeamNatural and all of it’s card-carrying sisters remain as visible and collectively strong long after the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag fades from online, trending lists. I want to feel that black women truly understand that their natural, physical beauty shouldn’t only be celebrated in mass numbers as opposition to racial unrest or the fight for equality on American soil. Being proud of our skin and our nappy or kinky hair isn’t a trend that only coincides with a social climate riddled with hatred and earthly damnation against black people.

If #TeamNatural continues to reign supreme in the pages of our magazines, on our billboards and amongst our everyday communities, black women take back the agency in deciding the value and politics of their entire being amongst contemporary, westernized society.

 

5-Minute Video Preview: “Love, Dating & Relationships Between Men” — The iPhone Group Chat Live (Washington, DC)

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At this time, my entire core audience is well aware that a major video project is being released next Sunday, August 16, 2015 via this official XemSays.com website, the youtube.com/XemVanAdams channel, as well as XemSays.tumblr.com. Five weeks ago, promotions began featuring a group of men sitting and standing together on a residential set located in Northeast Washington, DC. Following a series of candid photos appearing across the various Xem VanAdams social media networks, specific information and details regarding the content of the filming session was released appropriately. Now, we exist exactly one week prior to the distribution of a filmed, 30-minute, roundtable discussion where six men speak candidly about their direct and indirect experiences associated with love, dating and relationships. The segment is being released on August 16, 2015 to commemorate the seven year anniversary of the first viral video to be spread across the world wide web from Xem VanAdams on August 16, 2008.

Now that the entire cast has seen the professional, final copy of Love, Dating & Relationships Between Men“: The iPhone Group Chat Live (Washington, DC), I elected to share a small segment of the footage with the audience who will be the first to embrace the material in full next week. Pulling 5 minutes of spliced visuals from the completed version, this preview highlights various pieces of the conversation where Xem VanAdams inquires about individual dating rituals and romantic life experiences. With each individual sharing different points of view and opinions, this quick clip offers a peek into what is to be expected from the upcoming video segment.

PLEASE PREPARE TO WATCH THE EAGERLY ANTICIPATED VIDEO PROJECT WITHIN THE FIRST 24 HOURS OF ITS RELEASE ON SUNDAY, AUGUST 16, 2015. If you have never shared a public comment within the past 7-8 years on any of the Xem VanAdams blogs, articles, videos or other posts, please make this release your first offering of online feedback. Additionally, it is being requested that you click the “THUMBS UP” button that will exist at the bottom right of the uploaded video content. Regardless of the amount of “LIKES” that the video has garnered at the time of your viewing, PLEASE add yours as well — for each “LIKE” counts as a visual display of support. We will need you to extend your support even further within the first 24 hours of release by also SHARING THE VIDEO LINK on your twitter timeline, within your Facebook groups, on your tumblr page, reposting Xem’s promo image from the video and accompanying caption on Instagram after it is uploaded between 8pm EST and 9pm EST, as well as embedding the video to your personal website or other online forums where you may be registered. Help this video release achieve massive viewership and widespread reach.

THANK YOU for continuing to engage with Xem VanAdams and the quality content that is released as a stem of the Xem Says brand, as well as the umbrella, Emerald Eye Entertainment vision.

Sometimes… It IS A Good Idea To Approach His Side-Piece Before Addressing Him

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promoinsertIf we are being completely honest with ourselves, no one actually wants to breakup with their boyfriend, fiancé or husband after discovering his first cheating scandal. Ideally, “he cheats once and I’m gone” is the motto many of us carry entering into a new relationship. However, after years of building something comfortable and establishing a familiar space alongside someone special, most people aren’t going to let go of their romantic investment simply because their man makes one mistake. Whenever we tend to discuss the realities of cheating amongst our social circles, people who have never experienced a long-term relationship are quick to suggest that a side-piece should never be approached. Some individuals feel that the man we romantically involve ourselves with is the only party who should be answering our questions or providing an explanation about his involvements outside of the relationship. And while I do agree that the man we love should be held responsible for all of his disloyal and unfaithful ways, a man is rarely going to offer the entire story once he gets caught.

Men sit quietly and listen to their partner scream, holler and GO OFF about his cheating antics because he needs to figure out how much information you’ve actually discovered. A man’s responses will usually only address the simple facts or assumptions you’ve laid before him. So, unless you’ve physically caught him engaged in a sexual act with someone else, his details regarding the other person are going to strictly align with the basics of what you may have found out or been told.

When you are wondering why your man isn’t saying anything as you are screaming to the top of your lungs and presenting your evidence against him, it’s because he is waiting for you to reveal all of the facts that you have gathered. He is never going to respond in the middle of your rant – possibly incriminating himself by addressing a portion of his affair that you know nothing about. Hence the reason you may want to address the side-piece first.

In contemporary culture, playing the role of the side piece has become a glorified, made for reality television career. Intentionally pursuing men who are knowingly involved in long-term relationships has become a routine that is now being practiced publicly. The side piece, known commonly as the “other man” or “other woman” is often an individual who isn’t necessarily looking for love – but instead has set their sights on a social or financial come up by way of a guy who seemingly “has it all”. People are now plotting situations to connect with married, engaged and other romantically linked men as a ploy to cause trouble and create pseudo opportunities for themselves. Sometimes, our men are to blame for igniting the initial stages of the rendezvous with the other person. However, in some circumstances, he is merely guilty of stepping into a bait trap and getting caught up in a situation that he had no business entertaining in the first place.

In some circumstances, the other individual your dude is dealing with has no idea that he is involved in a solid, romantic relationship. This is why approaching his side-piece in a mature fashion can benefit the outcome of this unfortunate situation. In the event that he was the pursuer, he possibly presented himself as a single man who is free to date, deal and sleep with anyone he so chooses. And it’s in this instance that the side-piece will be so disgusted and feel so degraded being lied to and played as second best, that he or she will immediately cut all ties with your guy. You will still have to make the logical decision to either continue being romantically involved with your man or not, but by addressing the side-piece directly, you have potentially eliminated the length of time it may have taken for him to end the affair.

Despite his admittance to any and all wrongdoing, a man isn’t going to immediately unfollow a side-piece on social media or send a text stating that all communication needs to cease. He isn’t going to rush to verbally tell the other person that he is actually involved in a relationship and has decided to focus his attention on that romantic commitment. Yes, it is a man’s job to end any sexual or inappropriate relationships that he has involved himself in outside of his established partnership. Sometimes, however, taking matters into our own hands resolves the surface issue quicker — that surface issue being the physical presence of this third party.

The other skanky and cantankerous type of side-piece are the ones who pursued your man and were fully aware of his relationship status in the very beginning. This type of side-piece is indeed jealous of what you’ve established with your man and has convinced themselves that by messing with him, the interaction places their questionable status on your social and moral level. Once approached face to face, this type of “other person” will more than likely share all of the details of the affair in an attempt to hurt you or knock you down a few pegs. Some of the information will be over exaggerated of course, but much of what you were unable to uncover on your own will be laid on the table for you to decipher.

At least by first approaching the other person in this instance, you are able to present your dude with a full spectrum of details and events surrounding his indiscretions. Instead of sitting back and only having to address the minor details that you are able to lay on the table upon stumbling across that first late night text message, the information that you’ve gathered from his “other”, forces him to address the entire, sorted situation.

Keep in mind, however, that a side-piece is only as relevant and threatening to your relationship as your man allows that individual to be. If your dude truly honors and respects the sanctity of what he has established alongside you, there isn’t another person walking who can seduce him into violating your trust or his loyalty to you. Sometimes, men do give in to physical temptations. Once you find out about the cheating, whether it is mild flirtation or an intense, ongoing relationship, you have to decide very quickly how to best effectively handle the situation. Do you approach him with the minor, initial information that you have uncovered on your own or do you approach the side-piece first to seek details and to make your position as the boyfriend or girlfriend, understood?

Either way, there is nothing socially or morally wrong with deciding to stay with your man after discovering that he has indeed cheated. However, a cheating mistake repeated more than once then becomes a conscious decision. You can accept his apology and promises the first time, but do not ever tolerate a recycling door that your man leaves open for other people and side-pieces to constantly enter your relationship. It is totally unacceptable.

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COMING SOON: “LOVE, DATING & RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MEN“:

The iPhone Group Chat Live (Washington DC) — Sunday, August 16, 2015

to be exclusively released via youtube.com/XemVanAdams, XemSays.com & XemSays.tumblr.com

between 8pm EST9pm EST

I NEED 100% INVOLVEMENT FROM MY READERS, VIEWERS & SUPPORTERS!

picstitch

I NEED 100% INVOLVEMENT FROM MY READERS, VIEWERS & SUPPORTERS!

When I release “Love, Dating & Relationships Between Men: The iPhone Group Chat Live (Washington, DC)” segment on Sunday, August 16, 2015, I really need ALL OF YOU to watch the video within the first 24 hours. Please do not wait and put off viewing the video until later in the week or the following weekend as many of you often do. I need your viewership within the first 24 hours. The video will be released to youtube.com/XemVanAdams, XemSays.com and XemSays.tumblr.com between 8:00pm EST and 9:00pm EST. There will not be the usual reposting of the video link on any of my social media platforms. The link will appear only ONCE.

PLEASE leave all of your comments directly beneath the video. In the past 7 years, I have received the MAJORITY of your comments and feedback in my various social media inboxes, via email or in my notifications. For this particular video release, please say EVERYTHING in the comment section, directly beneath the actual video. Even if you have NEVER posted a blog or video comment since September 2007, I need you to make this release the first time you actually step outside of your comfort zone and PUBLICLY comment. I stepped outside of my comfort zone majorly to create this project. Also, I need each of you to physically “LIKE” the video. It does not matter if the video has already received 300+ or 500+ “LIKES”. Yes, you clicking the THUMBS UP button does matter and truly does make a difference.

A LOT of important individuals will be watching and paying attention to how this video is received. One of the major differences between my platform and those of my contemporaries is that even though my stat sheets prove that my articles are being read by mass audiences and my videos are being seen by thousands, the PUBLIC FEEDBACK isn’t as evident. For whatever reason, you all will only contact me privately, and that does nothing to prove to the POWERS THAT BE that I am able to successfully engage an audience.

I truly need you all to come through for me this time. A LOT of money, time, patience, promotion and effort has been invested into this upcoming project. I really am relying on you all to post the link EVERYWHERE within the first 24 hours of its release. I need you to post the video link or embed code on your Twitter timelines, in your Facebook groups, Google+ circles, tumblr pages, personal websites, create screen captures or record 10-15 second video clips for Instagram, Vine, Snapchat and any other online forum where you operate a network page. The reach for this video segment will greatly determine whether or not I elect to invest in the recording of a follow-up.

So, I come to you to say — IF you truly believe in me and support my platform in the ways in which you have declared over the past 8 years, you will immediately WATCH, COMMENT, LIKE and SHARE the 30 minute video segment that I am releasing on Sunday, August 16, 2015 between 8:00pm EST and 9:00pm EST via youtube.com/XemVanAdams, XemSays.com + XemSays.tumblr.com.

 

THANK YOU!

Forgiveness Does Not Require Me To Be Your Friend

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promoinsertOne of the toughest parts of adulthood is probably letting go of people who once upon a time we assumed would exist forever – having to make a final decision to cut off a relationship that has begun to create stress, sadness and personal anguish. We sometimes battle with a sense of guilt for ending these friendships, regardless of how miserable or one-sided they’ve become. And its simply because this individual has existed alongside us for so many years. We naively convince ourselves that if someone has acted amongst our circle as a long-term friend, then somehow that’s the role this person is “supposed” to always play in our lives.

Time and time again, we leave from spending time with this person or interacting with them over the phone, and there’s a consistent feeling of frustration. You sense that the two of you are growing apart, but somehow, you can’t pinpoint why the closeness or even comfort level in being in their company has changed. Then, as you begin to replay the past few months or recent years over in your head, things become a bit more clear.

For a little too long now, you’ve been making excuses in order to keep this “friend” in your life. Their time expired quite some time ago, but in order to have them around, you’ve allowed yourself to suffer – to play backseat to their selfish ways, inconsiderate decisions, sneaky behavior and dismissive attitudes.

Over the past few months, your friend has not been physically or emotionally as present for you as you have always been for them. Their go-to reason or explanation continues to be the fact that they are “going through stuff” or don’t feel like being around people and simply need space to think. And that would be understandable if the two of you were merely associates, but you never shut this friend out of your life when you too were going through your own dark moments and personal storms. You’ve never told this friend NO, regardless of how tired you were when unexpectedly they asked you to pick them up from the airport at 2:00am or needed to borrow twenty dollars when you were down to your last few coins.

We try to pretend that it doesn’t bother us when we learn more about our friend from circulating rumors and second hand stories than we’ve actually heard directly from their mouth. The tid-bits of information that we have managed to squeeze from our friend as of lately have been riddled in half-truth and flat out lies. Whenever you’ve tried to have a heart-to-heart conversation simply to make sure they are doing okay or surviving day to day, the invites are blown off and the phone calls go unanswered. The friendship has become nothing more than you holding on to the last few straws that keep the two of you bound.

Your feelings are hurt. You are tired of fighting for someone who not only has given up on the relationship and bond the two of you have established, but they’ve ultimately given up on themselves. While you are forging forward in life and trying to carve a future that mirrors the dreams you’ve always envisioned, they are spending their days sprawled across the living room sofa playing Xbox. Never once do they ask anymore about how you are feeling or inquire about your day-to-day activities. They express little to no interest in your recent accomplishments in school, on your job or even the new happenings that frame your personal life. Things have honestly reached the point where you question whether or not your friend even still loves or cares about you.

So, you’ve made the difficult decision to remove yourself from the situation – because that is what the friendship has become; a difficult, frustrating situation. You’ve been mistreated for so long at this point that you no longer have the energy to even send one of your, “just checking on you” or “we really need to talk” text messages.

And, you’re not mad at your friend necessarily, but you expected to be treated with a bit more respect after all of these years and between all of those memories and above every moment you pushed your personal shit aside to be the light your friend may have needed. So now you’ve moved on, and you’re not going to allow this friend or any other to make you feel unappreciated ever again.

You do not have to still like someone or even desire that the individual remain in your personal life in order to move beyond a situation. In most circumstances, forgiveness is instant. However, trust must be built and restored over time. There is no parallel between forgiving someone for your own sake and being forced to offer them the same level of relationship that existed previously.

Forgiveness simply means that we have accepted the fault or flaw in ones actions and we no longer hold a slate of anger or malice towards them. Our hearts and our spirits are free of the resentment that once dictated our every thought or feeling regarding this other individual. Once we have successfully rid ourselves of the ill feelings we carried as a result of how someone mistreated us, it’s then important to make that person earn your friendship back. You gave them everything the first time and their assumption that you’d always be around resulted in them taking advantage of your friendship and your heart. WELL… NOT THIS TIME.

 

iphoneAugust16thPromo

COMING SOON: “LOVE, DATING & RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MEN“:

The iPhone Group Chat Live (Washington DC) — Sunday, August 16, 2015

to be exclusively released via youtube.com/XemVanAdams, XemSays.com & XemSays.tumblr.com

between 8pm EST — 9pm EST

Where You Plant Your Seeds Is Where Your Garden Will Grow

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While out in Mount Washington this morning praying and taking photos, I decided to turn the camera on myself and share a brief message that existed in my spirit. I hope something of what I say resonates with the right individual(s).

I simply want people to realize that the power of change truly does rest in our hands. How you invest your time, energy and attention determines the ways in which certain elements in your life will ultimately take shape. Our circumstances are temporary. Those who plant seeds during harvest season, shall reap the rewards of their hard work and continuing efforts as the tides turn.