Bevy Smith’s Bevelations | In episode 50 of Light Culture Podcast, Paper Magazine founder David Hershkovits talks to TV and radio personality and former advertising executive Bevy Smith.
Bevy Smith’s new memoir tells a hilarious and inspirational story of walking away from a lucrative career in fashion to reinvent herself as the woman and media personality she is today. Bevy is a regular on shows like The View, Good Morning America, and Fashion Queens. She has her own Sirius XM radio show ‘Bevelations.’ Bevy joins us on Light Culture Podcast to talk about Cardi B being cancelled, Anna Wintour’s late-to-the-game wokeness, Kim Kardashian’s butt and as well as more serious subjects like Covid and BLM.Read Transcript
Bevy Smith is a personality who enjoys legendary status from downtown to Harlem and beyond, thanks to her growing media presence on shows like Bravo’s Fashion Queens and Fox’s Page Six TV. She currently hosts Sirius XM BEVELATIONS on Radio Andy, and is a frequent guest on The View, Good Morning America, CBS Morning Show, Access Hollywood. We were fellow travelers on the downtown hip-hop fashion and media scene. Bevy was in charge of luxury ad sales at Vibe and later at Rolling Stone. She had attitude, style, panache, yes, panache, and a larger than life presence that was matched by an uncensored way with words that left everyone around her gagging with astonishment and delight. At Paper, we invited her to pretty much every party we ever had. So here we are catching up after so much has happened from the personal to the political, local to global. I can think of no one better to talk to right now than Bevy Smith. So welcome, Bevy.
Bevy Smith (01:15):
Thank you, my love. I’m so happy to be here with you. What a great intro. Normally I get, “Here’s Bevy Smith.” So this was a very nice way to be introduced.
Yeah. Well, I need people to know. They’ll find out for themselves in a short while, I’m sure, as we get talking. So what I’m referring to, panache and all. Born and raised in Harlem and living in Harlem today, the epicenter of African American culture. So what is life like in Harlem in the throes of corona and Black Lives Matter?
Bevy Smith (01:47):
Wow. Well, that’s very heavy and two separate, very heavy topics. So coronavirus, as you know, disproportionately affected black people and Brown people more than it did white people. Well, actually I can just say black people, because even the numbers for Hispanics were lower than deaths in the black community. So I had coronavirus, my sister had coronavirus, several members of her family had coronavirus, and my dad passed away of coronavirus.
Oh, I’m sorry. May he rest in peace.
Bevy Smith (02:30):
Yes. My dad, Gus Lee Smith. So for me, the pandemic was incredibly personal and it was also terrifying because I live alone. So I was very concerned when I had it, because I was like, “Am I going to survive it?” And it was very scary to be living by yourself and I contracted coronavirus, I want to say probably I started feeling sick March 12th.
Wow. That was early. Right-
Bevy Smith (03:07):
It was very early. Right in the beginning. And I remember March 13th, I said, “Oh, you know what? I think I’m going to quarantine myself.” And that was right around the time when the city started slowly closing down. So when I first felt like maybe I have it, I panicked because my dad was over at a Rehab Facility, but my mom lives by herself because my dad was in the rehab facility. And so, but this was my plan to bring my mother to my apartment so that she could quarantine with me. So that’s the reason why I started quarantining so early, because I was like, “I have to make sure that I either have it or don’t have it before bringing this lady over here.”
Bevy Smith (03:49):
So I quarantined and I was sick for like nine days. I’ve had a couple of emergency room doctors on my BEVELATIONS’s radio show and I was talking to them offline and everything. And nine days later I still was sick. So I was like, “I better have it.” So I pulled some strings because remember, the early days, David, there was no testing being done.
Bevy Smith (04:19):
They said, “Don’t even come to the hospital unless you literally cannot breathe.”
Bevy Smith (04:24):
And I could breathe. But I was like, “I need to know what’s going on with me before I bring my mom to my house.” So I went and got tested on the 22nd and the results came back on the 24th.
Wow. So, but you got through it. Thank God.
Bevy Smith (04:39):
Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah.
And you’re all good now?
Bevy Smith (04:40):
Yeah. Oh yeah, I’m great.
And your momma, she’s good?
Bevy Smith (04:44):
My mom is great. My dad passed away on April 11th and his was very swift. The rehab facility called us on a Thursday and said they were moving them to a hospital and on Saturday, he passed away.
David: It’s a lot to process
Bevy Smith (05:12):
It’s a lot to process. There was a study that was just done that talked about how so many white people literally don’t really know anyone that’s died from coronavirus, but every black person you talk to knows someone, knows several someones. And that’s certainly my case. And so when you think about how it affects a black community, you’re losing valuable information, right? So my dad was 95. So he’s a World War II veteran and he survived Jim Crow South. So now you’ve lost a piece of living history.
David: you can’t replace that. That’s something that you only know because you’ve experienced it.
Bevy Smith (06:13):
Yeah, exactly. So thank God that I had been prescient enough to actually record my dad talking about his life, talking about his childhood. And he was really candid. He talked about what he was most proud of, his loves, his passions, and different things like that.
Bevy Smith (06:48):
My book comes out in January, it’s called BEVELATIONS: Lessons from a Mother, Auntie, and Bestie. And my daddy was alive when I finished the book, but then when I got the copy edits, I was sick. It wasn’t until May where I touched the book again. And then I realized I had to write a whole new chapter for my dad. But then I realized, “I should let my father speak for himself.” So I took the interview that he had done for this Instagram site. And that’s my dad’s final words in the chapter.
Oh well, nice, nice testimonial to have in there that way. Did you update it as well for Black Lives Matter
Bevy Smith (07:44):
Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean … It was interesting because I didn’t even realize how much race had affected me in my career. Because as you know, David, I worked in very all white spaces. Yes, I worked at Vibe, but the work that I did was luxury fashion, which is dominated by white people. So I wasn’t even really fully aware, even when I was writing it and talking about race and talking about the way I was seen in the space, I wasn’t aware how heavy the load was for me. So when I’m rereading it during the social unrest that kind of centered around Mr. Floyd’s murder, I was like, “Oh my God, you have a lot in here about race, about pay parity, about being the only one in spaces.” But I wasn’t even aware that I was writing that kind of book, but then once Mr. Floyd died, and I’ve read it again, I was like, “This is a very timely book.”
So you feel that you had been discriminated against over the years in your career?
Bevy Smith (08:58):
I mean, it’s so interesting because while I don’t know that I was discriminated against. I know that there was certainly, I had a lot of racial microaggressions, far more than macro, I had very few macro racial aggressions, but I have a plethora of micro ones, just by working at a book like Vibe magazine, which is predominantly read by black and Brown people. And then you’re going into these white luxury fashion houses to try and convince them to advertise. And you’ll be met with, “We don’t think that your reader is our customer.” So that’s a microaggression.
David” So how did you sell them finally? I mean, I know you were a big success. Was it that the culture sort of overall culture caught up to Vibe and it was no longer, “This is the case that-”
Bevy Smith (10:06):
No. No, because they still don’t advertise in those magazines. They still don’t advertise in Essence magazine, you know? So no. The culture didn’t catch up. What happened-
Even though Gucci now is widely popular in the black community, right?
Bevy Smith (10:24):
So just to give you a little bit of background on black people and style. When reconstruction happened right before the Klan really came to be, we were set free. Shout out to Juneteenth, which people are finally acknowledging, and we did not get the 40 acres and a mule, but what we did have was a strong work ethic. And so that’s why when you read about reconstruction, which is one of the most important parts of history in regards to American history, black people built schools. They built towns. They built businesses. They were very thriving. But one of the things that the Klan did was when they came into those towns, like Tulsa, and bombed Tulsa and looted and rampaged and killed people and they destroyed a thriving black community.
Bevy Smith (11:29):
And that happened in a lot of other places all over. And they stole people’s land and all the things, but also one of the things that they did was they spread rumors that black people were unkempt and dirty, which is why to this day, we over index when it comes to personal grooming. No literally and there’s all these memes that go on in social media about white people not washing their legs or taking a bath every couple of days. These are like tropes, but there’s truth in them because they’re coming from a place where we were thought to be unkempt and dirty and things like that. So we made it a point to prove that we were not. So there’s not a black girl in the country of a certain age that didn’t, always every Sunday, have to put on a nice dress and have our legs greased and have our hair done. So that’s a part of our culture, looking good. So that’s why when I went over to Europe, I would take them James Van Der Zee books, because I wanted them to see that it’s not a trend that we’re well-dressed. Puffy didn’t teach us how to dress. Mary J Blige didn’t teach us how to dress. Beyonce didn’t teach us how to dress. That was always a part of who we were, because if you look at James Van Der Zee, which is, we’re looking at 1920s portraits of Harlem people. People were well-dressed, people were immaculate in their presentations.
Speaker 2 (13:09):
Yeah. Always had the best style.
Speaker 1 (13:12):
My parents who are from the South. They brought that with them. My mother has beautiful portraits of herself from when she was even living in North Carolina. Jim Crow south. My daddy came to New York after he got out of World War Two. He had the snazzy suit. Style has always been a part of our DNA innate.
Speaker 2 (13:47):
Even for me as I recall having come out of the hippie movement days when you basically didn’t bathe… wore old clothes and whatever. Then, encountering the early hip hop scene and seeing how fresh everyone was about their clothes. The word was fresh. Sneakers were clean. Don’t you dare get a spot on them. Even the jeans had a crease. That’s kind of changed the world, as far as I’m concerned, my world at that time.
Speaker 1 (14:22):
It did change the world. It’s the reason why hip hop is now a trillion dollar business. It’s a trillion dollar industry. It really did change the world.
Speaker 2 (14:31):
You can’t even put a number on that industry right now.
Speaker 1 (14:36):
It’s so pervasive.
Speaker 2 (14:38):
Yeah. It’s pop music right now.
Speaker 1 (14:42):
Black culture is pop culture, period. Point blank. None of it exists. Justin Bieber just came out and talked about that. He said that, you know … He wanted to recognize that his career does not exist without black music. Justin Timberlake should actually come out and say the same thing.
Speaker 2 (15:03):
Well, everyone knows it. They have to see that. If you want to be an intelligent person today and part of the culture, you have to recognize that. Was it different in Europe and in the terms of recognition and acceptance of you and what you were selling and vibe. Was it compared to the US?
Speaker 1 (15:23):
Definitely they were better than Americans. It was certainly more open to the conversations than the Americans were.
Speaker 2 (15:32):
You would charm them. I’m sure. You would be amazing, have them on the floor laughing.
Speaker 1 (15:41):
One, I understood my culture and understood my history. I went over there. James Van Der Zee books. I also did my own street style books that were copied after New York Times’ Bill Cunningham’s New York times column. This is before street style became common. I used to go to all the parties that Vibe would have, and I would take pictures on a disposable camera. Before digital cameras, certainly before camera phones. Then I would get them developed of the people that were at Vibe parties in fabulous clothes. That would make my own lookbook. I would take that over to Europe, along with James Van Der Zee. I would say, “I’m showing you that this is a cultural movement. This is not a trend.”
This is a part of who we are. The way I approached it really worked because I couldn’t sell it against the demographics. If you’re looking at a GQ or a Vogue or something, our numbers didn’t add up. The cultural importance of who the Vibe audience was. Also the way that we put together the clothes, which is far more original and innovative than say a Vogue reader or GQ reader. That resonated with them.
Speaker 2 (17:25):
Paper had a similar approach. Whereas our culture that we were reflecting was happening under the popular culture, the mainstream culture. We were selling our ads in the same way, pretty much. We had a lot in common in that respect. Vibe in those days was kind of thriving. Had a lot of money. Quincy Jones was behind it. How was that experience going? Being all dressed up and fancy and going to Europe. How did that make you feel?
Speaker 1 (18:04):
It’s interesting because I came from an advertising agency. I was a media director before I went onto the opposite side of doing the sales. I came from a luxury background. I came from a white luxury background as in everyone at the company was white except for me.
I think I hired a black assistant and things like that. That was interesting. That was the first time I went to Europe for the shows was at Pete Rogers. By the time I get to Vibe, which I guess is probably one of the reasons why they hired me. I already had experience in fashion. I wasn’t an ingenue. I wasn’t like, “Oh my God, what is this? What’s happening?” When I arrived, I was prepared to do my work. I was already a seasoned media professional. I think that a lot of times that got lost in the fact that I was also very flamboyant and very gregarious. I wasn’t like a traditional Sales person
Speaker 2 (19:44):
You were Bevy.
Speaker 1 (19:46):
I was very Bevy. Then when you sat down and talked to me, especially when we were going over the business of fashion, you were like, “Oh yeah. Maybe she did go to NYU.” It was an interesting thing to see people be like, “Oh, I love going out to dinner with you.” Then when I had to negotiate … I was a very good negotiator. To this day I have talent agencies and all of that to represent me, but I love to negotiate. I’m still in my agent’s business. I’m always like, “Okay, what did you counter with? Okay, well, ask them for this then. We can’t get that. Then what about we prorate that into …” I’m that person, I’m a very bossy client.
You have to be. You don’t want to let them just make all the decisions on their own.
Especially because I have the skillset to actually negotiate my own deals.
Then you went on to Rolling Stone where you actually turned from an all black based publication to something that was …
All white and also they barely even covered black culture at the same time. They were always really slow on picking up on that. That didn’t probably didn’t last very long, right?
I went to Rolling Stone with the idea that that wasn’t going to stay there for that long. All this is recounted in my book, Bevelations.
Can’t wait, can’t wait to read it.
I actually went to Rolling Stone with the understanding that I was going there to actually make … I think maybe they paid me a hundred thousand dollars more than I was making at Vibe. It was my intention to quit doing ad sales at Vibe and I was trying to quit doing ad sales. I wanted to go into entertainment. Vibe just would not. They didn’t see it that way. They were like, “Well, for myriad reasons.” I tried to create a lot of different types of positions for myself at Vibe that weren’t the sales. They just were like, “No, but why wouldn’t you do sales? You’ll make you make so much money. Keep doing that.” I was like, “I don’t want to do that.”
You’re making us money too.
Exactly. I didn’t want to do it. So, I went to Rolling Stone with the idea that I would do it for a very short period of time to the end of the year. You get your end of the year bonus and then I would quit. That’s exactly what I did. I was there only for 10 months, but it was all a plan. It wasn’t like I got there and I was shocked that it was an all white environment. I mean, I knew what it was. The same way Conde Nast … I’d go into a Conde Nast book. It would have been the same experience, all white enclave. You know what I mean? I wasn’t shocked about publishing. I remember people used to ask me if I did. Do you want to go to Conde? I remember I was friends with a couple of the publishers and everything. They’d be like, “When you want to come over here?” I’d be like, “No,
I thought of myself as a cultural liaison at Vibe. Yes, I was selling ad pages, but I was also educating people about my culture and making them see how rich and full it was. To go to a Conde Nast or something and do what? Pedal ad pages? What’s in it for me besides money? Wouldn’t have been fulfilling. Vibe was very fulfilling.
Besides that, you were kind of also prescient because the magazine industry was going to collapse soon thereafter.
I got out right on time. I still have all my turn cards. I still have all of my first class travel. I remember my expense account was larger than the publishers. I had it all going on. That was one of the biggest shocks when I left. I was shocked at how much money I hadn’t been spending of my own.
I was on the T and E. My entire life was expensed. My entire life was expensed and it was really shocking.
When you were saying you wanted to go into entertainment, what did that mean to you then? What did you have in mind?
I quit my job and I told my publisher at the time I said, “I’m leaving.” He said, “What are going to do?” I said, “I’m going to sing, dance, act, juggle fire, eat, tightrope walker, anything that I want to do, any creative thing I want to do, I’m going to pursue it.”
What was the first thing, tight rope walking? What was it?
Yeah, exactly what I did. The first thing I did was really, I started taking a plethora of classes. I took writing classes. I took acting classes. I took improv classes. I took photography classes. I took DJ classes and I just started doing the things that have always been interesting.
You wrote for Paper?
I wrote for Paper. I was going to get to that, man.
Speaker 2 (25:02):
Speaker 1 (25:03):
My Paper magazine family, you guys have mentioned in the book. Of course. You and Kim and Mickey and Hunter. It’s because when I told you guys I was quitting and I was going to try and do all these different things, and I said, “I want to write” you guys were like, “Okay, you can write for us.” You don’t even remember this, but the first ever cover that Rihanna had was a Paper cover and I wrote it.
Yeah, I remember it.
You do remember that?
Yeah. I remember, because I also went out. We shot a video with her on a bicycle in Soho when I was there. I’m still a huge fan of hers.
Yeah. You guys were a very big part of me tapping into my creativity, which I will always appreciate.
Which is why when you called me, I was like, Oh yeah, of course I’ll do it for you. You guys were so good to me, why wouldn’t I.
We always had a great time. We always had a lot to talk about from politics to trash. We hit the gamut. So what was the first show that you did then when you started working on TV first?
Interestingly enough, when I was still at Vibe, because I went back to Vibe as a fashion editor at large. So I went on the editorial side of Vibe after I left Rolling Stone. That’s something that’s very rarely ever done. People don’t live on both sides of the masthead. I was once a publishing person, and then I went back as an editorial person. But before I left Vibe the first time, when I was still an advertising executive, they created the Vibe awards and it was being produced by Queen Latifa. It was a very big deal and it was on the CW. Remember when that was a network?
Speaker 3 (27:09):
They were doing a red carpet pre-show and they asked me if I would do the red carpet with Fonzworth Bentley, who used to be the guy who was Puff Daddy’s valet, the umbrella guy.
Speaker 3 (27:25):
Right, with the umbrellas. Yeah, for sure.
But who’s an amazing, talented person who’s now gone on to become Kanye West creative director, and all kinds of things. He’s incredible. They asked me to do the red carpet with him and I’d never done TV and I’d never even thought about doing TV at that point. I did the red carpet and I loved it. That’s how I decided maybe I want to try this for real.
Speaker 3 (27:48):
And it worked out, you had some laughs.
It worked out great. I was literally great at it. It was something that came very easy to me.
It was a surprise, I was like, I think I could do it. That’s one of the things I talk about in my book is that I’m always up for a challenge. Whenever I’m given an opportunity and it seems very challenging, I always go for it. I am that type of person. So if I fail, you know, but it doesn’t even hurt that bad to fail. You get up and you try something else.
Cause you’re also doing speeches and public speaking, motivational.
I do a slew of public speaking, I do a slew of that.
What is your main motivational story basically? How does that go?
It’s really based around how I changed my life at the age of 38. So 38 years old, to go into TV, of course you can be on TV as a 38 year old woman. But most people age into being on TV at that age, cause that’s middle age. Traditionally, you’re a young woman in your twenties at your most, the height of your physical beauty, and then, you get a TV job. Then you age into becoming a 38 year old person and then you age into being 50. Then if you’re lucky you can be Barbara Walters and be 80 on TV. So I beat the odds. I say in my book, it’s so weird. My past successes really fueled my confidence because I’ve already beat the odds so many times before. I had been a black girl from Harlem that really took on fashion and won. I just felt like, why wouldn’t they want me on TV? I felt like I had a really unique point of view.
Speaker 3 (29:53):
Well, there was no one like you, so it’s either like a good or a bad thing. It wasn’t as if you were okay, here’s someone else who kind of can step into this position. You’re a woman, you’re an African American woman. You’re plus size.
No, I’m not plus size.
Speaker 3 (30:09):
You’re not plus size? What size are you?
Not plus size.
Speaker 3 (30:14):
You’re not the average way.
That’s a great thing for us to talk about. Here’s the thing. I am not a skinny white woman, and so for so long, that was the standard of beauty.
Speaker 3 (30:32):
That’s what I’m talking about.
But that doesn’t make me plus.
Speaker 3 (30:36):
That simply makes me not the standard size of what they call, what used to be determined as beauty.
Speaker 3 (30:49):
But there’s not too many like you on TV.
Yes. But you can find a lot of plus size women.
Speaker 3 (30:58):
Oh, I see. So it’s even harder in a way.
So in the way I’m like in the in between space, because I’m really, actually, I hate to even get into size conversations, because it’s like offensive for a lot of women. I’ll just put it to you like this. I wear designer clothes. There’s no designer that actually makes plus size clothes.
Speaker 3 (31:22):
My bad, bad term. But you know what I mean? You weren’t like what people expect to see on TV.
Right, I wasn’t a skinny waif. In my book I talk about, I don’t like to talk about size. One, it never ever preoccupied me, my size, ever. I like the way I look.
Speaker 3 (31:58):
Yeah, that’s great. That’s who you are. We love Bev as she is
Even more so than that, I love me the way I am. That’s a part of the thing that, when I talk about my motivational speeches is that I don’t even look for anyone else to give me approval on the way I am. I look in the mirror and I’m like, you look really good. I love my curves. I am a quintessential curvy woman. I am an old school May West, curvy, curvy woman. That’s something that typically wasn’t celebrated.
Now of course, you have all different body types showing up in media, and that’s a very healthy thing. But for the longest time, people really could not wrap their heads around the fact that if you weren’t a size four, you must be a size 14 or you must be a size 24. It didn’t work for people. So now maybe, perhaps it does. When I was writing the book, they wanted me to really talk about size. I was like, I’m not doing that.
Speaker 3 (33:24):
Do you feel like Kim Kardashians had a lot to do with that and changing the perception of?
No, fuck Kim Kardashian. I was pissed when y’all put her on the cover.
Speaker 3 (33:39):
Tell me why.
With the Jean Paul Goude picture? I didn’t like it. So no, she’s not someone who ever entered my consciousness. Like, Oh my God, Kim Kardashian is like my role model. I’m from Harlem. Women with great bodies walk around all day long in my community. Why would I ever have to look to the outside world for someone who probably may not be the way God made them?
I think I know what you’re talking about. You mean surgically enhanced?
I’ve never looked at her like, Oh my gosh.
But what about the public, you know, the general public.
The white people. Okay, so let’s talk about this for a minute. One of the best things to come out of this social uprising that we’re going through is that black people, especially black people in spaces like the media, whether you’re a writer or a musician or actor any of it, the white gaze is a wrap. Meaning gaze, G-A-Z-E. It’s something that Tony Morrison talked about, the white gaze and it was like doing your work, but expecting it to be seen through the prism of whiteness. Then kind of altering it or needing the accolades or the approval. Maybe there’s someone out there that’s like, Oh my gosh, Kim K. But that’s no, not my story morning glory. I think now, cause I have my radio show, and I talk to celebrities a lot, like every day. A lot of them are pushing back on the idea that they need an Emmy or a Grammy or Oscar or Tony to be acknowledged as a great artist. People I think are really coming to grips with these are outside entities that were not created with us in mind.
Debbie Dougan when she was over at the Grammy’s, she was a whistleblower and she talked about how the Grammy’s were biased towards black artists and female artists. When you see someone who was the head of the Grammys tell you that, if you’re a black musician, who’s gotten passed over time and again, by the Grammy’s, how can they hold any real power over you anymore. Now you know from someone who once ran it, that the deck was stacked against you to begin with. It was all political, and there were all back door dealings. You kind of stopped giving it that much weight in your life or in your artistry.
Speaker 3 (37:08):
Well, I see also that within the black community is becoming so strong and the artists finding approval within their own community and strength there seems to be much bigger than ever before so that outside a recognition doesn’t matter in the same way. At this point, the Grammy’s have to catch up. Certainly after the Black Lives Matter, everybody’s jumping through hoops trying to acknowledge what can they do in their company? Corporate, I know for example, Anna Wintour, I touched that button. Go Bevy, what do you think?
Just whatever about these things. This is so late. For you to be in a place for 32 years and say, you didn’t know. Really? Because you seem incredibly bright to me. So, I mean, is this willful ignorance? I don’t know. Only thing I want to do is use my platforms to fight for pay parody for me and my folks that work in entertainment. I’m going to call out systemic racism, wherever I see it. The last show I was on, every time we had an opening, I sent them names of black candidates, for behind the scenes. We need below the line people. We need producers and directors and writers on TV shows. It’s great that I’m on screen, but it’s more important for me to have a black director, or black producer, black writer. It’s important for me to be able to get my nephews a PA job, because those jobs are union. So, you can create a whole great life for yourself. So, there are certain things that I’m fighting for. And then, of course, I definitely was standing with all the young people that worked in magazines. Even paper magazine got embroiled in it.
And I stood with them. Michael Love Michael. I stood with them because it’s important, there should be no media entity that profits off of black culture, but then doesn’t hire and foster black talent. It’s not okay. So, everyone needs to be called out. Everyone needs to be called on the carpet and everyone’s got to right their wrongs and it just is what it is. And I was talking to some of my white friends in the media, and I was like, it’s going to seem tough at the beginning because you guys are going to be like, well, I can’t say this and I can’t say that. And I said, “But just remember, since black people have been let into corporate America, which really only started happening really in the ’60’s. Okay? So we’re not even that far into it. We have had to watch what we say. We have had to watch how we dress. We have had to watch how we present ourselves. So, now, welcome to the party. Watch what you say, watch how you present yourself”. Yeah. You have to think about some shit now.
The white gaze is a wrap. This delusion that white culture is the dominant culture. Because when you look at what’s going on in popular culture, it all stems from black culture. So, that means that we should be getting these jobs. We should be having our say. We should be creating our own narratives. We should be running our shows.
Definitely. Could I throw some names at you to sort of do like a hot take with you?
The way you used to do it on some of your shows. TikTok.
What about Jennifer Lopez and A Rod? Like, they have this big TikTok.
Well, I still feel like it’s like a kid’s medium.
Oh, Kamala. A fighter.
So, you would like to see her as Vice President, perhaps?
Oh, I’d welcome Kamala, Stacey Abrams. It’s my girls in Atlanta. Mayor? Keisha. Keisha Lance Bottoms. Yeah. I’d like to see any of those amazing black women be VP.
Cardi B is canceled. Have you been following that?
Yes. Yes. Well, that’s not the truth. Someone that authentic can never be canceled.
So you think she’s authentic?
Yes. Oh my God. Yes. I love Cardi B. Always have. I knew her before. I didn’t know her, know her, but my friend Lee Daniels, the film director?
He’s a person who really kind of follows people on social media. And as long as they have something provocative and evocative to say, he wants to follow them. So Cardi B, when she was just a stripper, before she had a teeth fixed was on Instagram and she would do these wild, amazing tapes. And Lee used to send me Instagram videos of Cardi B. So, I have to say that she’s been this way and that’s the reason why it works.
Mel Gibson was recently called out by Winona Ryder for antisemitism.
Yeah. Well, he’s been a racist. Now, talking about cancel culture, I mean, he was found to be a racist and an antisemitic and a misogynist asshole in the like, early 2000’s. And then they decided he had done enough penance. Like for 10 years, he went away and lived off of his hundreds of millions of dollars and they let him back in and he did a movie with fucking Mark Wahlberg and everything was okay. Yeah.
Our next president.
Amen. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.
Not a royal watcher. I’ll say this about them. He’s a brave man to leave behind everything he’s ever known for the love of a woman. So, he’s keeping in the tradition of his great uncle, right? Who was the king who gave it all up?
For the Duchess of Cornwall.
Yeah. Yeah. I’ve watched the TV show.
Why? They’re very interesting to me because they broke the rules, but he was a Nazi sympathizer, as was she?
Fuck them. Andy Cohen?
A mench. We love him, right?
Oh yeah. He’s a mench.
Do you have any shows in development right now?
I have a show that I can’t talk about, but it’ll be on this summer.
You can’t talk about it? It’s a talk show? Yes? It’s a talk show? All right. It’ll be on this summer.
One year from now?
Or this summer?
That soon? And you can’t talk about it yet?
No? Scoop, scoop.
I know. I wish I could give it to you. We shoot the first episode in July. So, I can’t.
So I saw. You gave some rules for young people coming up that I saw on YouTube and one of them was don’t sleep with artists. Wow. You think that’s a bad thing?
When you’re trying to be taken seriously in the business, yeah definitely. It kind of erodes your credibility,
But it’s been a road to success for many, I bet. Right?
Oh, I guess. I guess. I wouldn’t advise it. I’m always very grateful that because I was a hip hop chick before I ever worked at Vibe and by the time I got to Vibe, I was 28 years old. So, I’d already dated all the rappers I was ever going to date. So, by the time I got there I started going over to Europe and actually bringing artists over to Europe, which is a very intimate thing to do because they don’t know anyone. They’re far away from home and they always want comfort. They want to hang out all night long. But I was able to decline because I knew what it was. I’d already done that. Been there, done that.
You brought Tupac to Europe, right?
I didn’t bring Tupac, but Vibe did. Yeah.
That was prior to me. Yeah.
That was prior to you? Okay. So yeah. I don’t know how you could have resisted Tupac.
Oh, no. I knew Tupac. He was a friend. Yeah.
So, I didn’t sleep with him, but we were friends and I wouldn’t have slept with him.
Okay. Well, we’ll have to get to part two or read the book to find out who you did sleep with. Right?
I’m not naming names.
It’s not a tell all.
No, it’s actually a book about how I created this life that I wanted and I did it against all the odds.
And tell us the name of the book again.
Revelations: Lessons from a Mutha, Auntie and Bestie. And mother is, M-U-T-H-A, which is a term of endearment that my gay sons have given me. And a lot of young gay men that encounter me on TV and that they see me in real life. They’re like, mother and it’s a beautiful thing. And then auntie is like, what young women tend to call me. And then bestie is what women of my peer group, as seen on TV. They’re like, I feel like you’re my best friend. I feel like we could be besties. And I’m like, okay. So it’s my lessons that I’m giving out from a perspective of a mother, auntie and bestie.
And Bevy, most of all. Thank you very much for being on my show today. Look forward-
To reading your book and this unnamed, can you even give us the name of this TV show or nothing?
Zero. Well, people look forward to that this summer. I can’t wait to see it. Thank you so much Bevy.
Oh, I love you, David. Thank you babe.