Lessons Learned From Devon’s Dilemma

Devon Franklin joins the ever-increasing line of notable men in American life who refuse to take heed to that old barbershop truism: You can't make a Hoe into a housewife

“In she came with the same type game
The type of girl giving out the fake cell phone and name
Big fame, she like cats with big thangs
Jewels chip, money clip, phone flip, the six range
I seen her on the Ave, spotted her more than once
Ass so fat that you could see it from the front
She spot me like paparazzi
Shot me a glance in that catwoman stance with the fat booty pants
Hot damn
What’s your name love, where you came from
Neck and wrist laced up, very little make-up
The slims at the Reebok gym tone your frame up
Is sugar and spice the only thing that you made of
I tried to play it low key but couldn’t keep it down
Asked her to dance she was like, yo I’m leaving now
An hour later, sounds from Jamaica
She sipping Cris straight up, skanking, winding her waist up
Scene two: my fam throwing the jam
Fareed is on the stand big things is in the plans
The brother Big Moon make space for me to move in
Hey, this my man Mos, baby let me introduce
I turn around, say word
It was the same pretty bird who I had priorly observed
Trying to play me for the herb
Shocked as hell she couldn’t get it together
I just played along and pretended I never met her
How you feeling
Oh, I’m fine
My name is Mos
I’m Sharice
I heard so much good about you it’s nice to finally meet
We moved to the booth reserved for crew especially
And honey-love ended up sitting directly next to me
I’m type polite but now I’m looking at her skeptically
Cause baby girl got all the right weaponry
Designer fabric, shoes, and accessories
Chinky eyes, sweet voice is fucking with me mentally
We conversated, made a laugh, yeah you know me bro
Even though I know the steelo, she wild sweet, yo
I’m about to murk, I say peace to the family
She hop up like, how you gon’ leave before you dance with me?

Yo, let me apologize for the other night, I know it wasn’t right
But baby you know what its like, some brothers don’t be coming right
I understand, I’m feeling you, besides
Can I have a dance ain’t really that original
We laughed about it, traced her arms across my shoulder blades
They playing Lovers Rock, I got the folded fingers on her waist
Heating my blood up like the Arizona summer
Song finished then she whispered honey, let’s exchange numbers
Scene three: weeks of dating late night conversation
In the crib heart racing, trying to be cool and patient
She touched on my eyelids, the room fell silent
She walked away smiling, singing Gregory Issac
Like, if I don’t, if I don’t
Showing me that tan line and that tattoo
Playing Sade, Sweetest Taboo
Burning candles, all my other plans got cancelled
Man I smashed it like an Idaho potato
She call me at my J.O., come now, I can’t say no
Ginseng tree trunks, rocking the P-funk
Cocking her knees up, champion lover not ease up
Three months, she call I feel I’m running a fever
Six months, I’m telling her I desperately need her
Nine months, flu-like symptoms when shorty not around
I need more than to knock it down I’m really trying to lock it down
Midnight we hook up and go at it
Burn a stoge and let her know, sweetheart I got to have it
She telling me commitment is something she can’t manage
Wake up the next morning, she gone like it was magic
Ah damn it, my shit is on Harrison Ford frantic
My 911’s unanswered by my fly Taurus enchantress
Next week, Moon hit me up, I saw Sharice at the kitty club
With some banging ass Asian playing lay it down and lick me up
What?!?”
-Mos Def/Yasiin Bey, “Ms. Fat Booty”, 1999

“Yo EMD
Yeah, what’s up man?
There goes that girl they call Roxanne, she’s all stuck up
Why you say that?

‘Cause she wouldn’t give a guy like me no rap
She was walking down the street so I said, “Hello
I’m Kangol from UTFO” and she said, “So?”
And I said, “So, I baby don’t you know?
I can sing, rap, and dance in just one show

‘Cause I’m Kangol, Mr. Sophisticata
As far as I know ain’t nobody greater
From beginning to end and, to beginning
I never lose because I’m all about winning

But if I was to lose, I wouldn’t be upset
‘Cause I’m not a gambler, I don’t bet
I don’t be in no casino, and baby while you knizzow
The izzi is the grizzeat Kizzangizzo”

I thought she’d be impress by my devious rap
I thought I had her caught ’cause I’m a sinister trap
I thought it’d be a piece of cake but it was nothing like that
I guess that’s what I get for thinking, ain’t that right, black?

Then crizzi to gizzone and seen number izzone
Crizzin ricking tizza of mizzac mic dizza
With the bang bang, brother I feel bad
But I ain’t comitting suicide for no crab

But calling her a crab is just a figure of speech
‘Cause she’s an apple, a pear, a plum, and a peach

I thought I had it in the palm of my hand
But man oh man, if I was grand I’d bang Roxanne

Roxanne, Roxanne, can’t you understand?
Roxanne, Roxanne, I wanna be your man”
-The Kangol Kid/UTFO “Roxanne, Roxanne”, 1985

Although hip hop is known to today’s world as being shot through with what some would consider “red pill truths” about the fairer sex and others would see as out and out sexism and even misogyny towards Black women in particular, thanks to Gangsta Rap and its variants getting all the press, the truth of the matter is that the golden era of rap – largely the 1980s and 90s – had in fact quite a few songs devoted to singing the praises of the ladies. The two in particular discuss something that is rarely acknowledged among the hypermasculine world of Black men: Unrequited love, romance and seeing the object of one’s affections through rose colored glasses – not for who and what she truly is.

Mos Def’s and the recently deceased Kangol Kid’s odes to the lovely ladies bear these rarely admitted truths about the fellas out, however – and though their classic rhymes were dropped in the previous century, their message continues to reverberate well into the 21st. It seems that not a year can go by without some famous or otherwise notable man – usually but not always Black – who simply wasn’t paying attention during those biweekly visits to the barbershop. Clearly, the shopworn adage of “You can’t make a Hoe into a Houswife” was clearly lost on Rob Kardashian (Blac Chyna), Will Smith (Jada Pinkett-Smith), PJ Washington (Brittany Renner) and now, Hollywood movie executive, motivational speaker and cleric, Devon Franklin and his soon to be ex-wife, the lovely Ms. Meagan Good. It was reported throughout the gossip and entertainment media in the past week that Franklin had decided to pull the plug on his nearly decade-long marriage to Good, doing the unusual move of dropping divorce papers on her, instead of the other way around. Citing “irreconcilable differences”, the couple also released a joint statement that promises their marital dissolution won’t devolve into the usual messy displays that seem to be par for the course in Black American life along the lines of the recent divorce of Dr. Dre and his lawyer ex (“Everything Meagan Good and DeVon Franklin Said About Their Relationship: ‘Marriage Is Work, Every Day‘”, People Magazine, Dec 22, 2021). Still, there is much we here can and should learn from Devon’s all-too-preventable mistake.

Actually, there are three powerful lessons we can learn from Devon – so without further ado, let’s begin!

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LESSON ONE: STOP TRYING TO TURN A HOE INTO A HOUSEWIFE!
The first lesson is obvious enough – or one would think – but as I said in the leadoff paragraph above, Kardashian, Smith, Washington, and now Franklin, have all proven that things are far from obvious. For his part in particular, Franklin’s faux pas here is especially mind-boggling – he’s a good looking, successful “man of the cloth” who hailed from of all places, Oakland and one would think he of all people would know better than to think that Meagan Good of all people, would want to give up the fast lane of Tinseltown and settle into being the Preacher’s Wife and all that comes with it. Yet, here Franklin is, hoping against hope that “waiting” and presumably praying on it, would somehow change things.

As we all saw for ourselves, it most certainly did not.

I see this situation occurring not only with men of means and distinction, but among the more rank and file fellas as well – this tendency, some might even call obsession, of trying to domesticate free-spirited ladies like Blac Chyna, Brittany Renner, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Meagan Good. And, like all of the men in their lives who have tried, the more “average at best” guys lose and often badly, because unlike the aforementioned fellas, these guys on the lower ends of the socioeconomic scale tend to have a tougher time of bouncing back, which compounds the fall that invariably comes after their foolish pride.

What is shaping up for quite a few brothers out there to accept, is that Black women are just as free as they are – free to determine their own destinies, and free to craft for themselves what their own idea of the ideal life looks like. And no amount of wooing or even outright strongarming them into becoming “wifey” is gonna work. Black women like the aforementioned, have every right to decide for themselves what their lives will be, and it is beyond hubris to attempt to “think for them” otherwise. They are grown adults and should be treated – and respected – as such. Trying to herd them back into the kitchen barefoot and pregnant, simply will not work, I say again. If that hasn’t become abundantly clear by now, nothing will.

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LESSON TWO: THERE ARE NO SOLUTIONS, THERE ARE TRADEOFFS!
It sounds cool to run back tape of the great Dr. Thomas Sowell as a younger man in the 1990s explaining how and why the Left, who has what he famously coined the “Vision of the Anointed”, think they can come up with “solutions” to just every problem under the sun. Sowell, leaning on the wisdom of the ages, however, knows otherwise; that the best any of us can do, can hope for, is to get the best possible deal we can, with anything in this life – and that includes dating and mating, too. Simply put, it is a fool’s errand on steroids to think that any woman can and should be your “everything” – and especially women like the ones mentioned in today’s column, who have absolutely no background in the least, being “wifey” prior to these men coming into their lives(!). To a sista they were all “for the streets” – hey, “no heat, no judgment” as Iyanla Vanzant would say – just calling a spade a spade. If you’re looking to go the distance with such lovely ladies, you simply have to know that they come with a goodly bit of “fine print”.

Such as, for example and zeroing in on the good reverand – you can’t possibly expect a sex kitten like Ms. Good to suddenly go all modest and play the role of “first lady” of the church, can you? She is bound to bring nothing but controversy of the worst kind – and that’s only for starters. Add to the mix her clear desire to focus on her steamy career, “living her best life” with her girlfriends and wish to remain childless, and it is a true wonder she and Franklin held on for as long as they did.

Being a man and a successful one at that, Franklin can recover from this not-so-youthful indiscretion; but for the more pedestrian among us, it would serve them well to avoid the pitfall Franklin fell into: Accept the inherent tradeoffs that come with “liberated” ladies like Good.

Or suffer the consequences.

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LESSON THREE: STOP BEING SO ROMANTIC (AMONG OTHER THINGS)!
Yes, that’s right, I didn’t stutter: Romantic. And by “romantic”, I mean, since I am writing this for a male audience and to put an even finer point on it, a Non-Select Guy one, I mean:

You meet an incredibly stunning lady who miraculously is into you and what’s more, she scews your brains out – consistently. Like Mos Def above, you’re completely and hopelessly sprung – your nose is blown wider than the Lincoln Tunnel in NYC. You honestly think you can make a go of this because she’s so hot and the sex is so powerful – clearly the best of both you’ve ever had – and you don’t want to let it go.

Ever.

So, you try to do all you can to lock it down – up to and including putting a baby in her, proposing and often getting married to her – only for the whole house of cards to come crashing down at some point in the undetermined future. As we’ve seen with the numerous examples above, it happens A LOT more often than we’re willing to openly admit – and it’s time we put a stop to it. Not only does it NOT work, at some point you have to contend with reality to say nothing of your own dignity Women like Good and others mentioned in today’s column, are not meant for the quiet wifely life. Instead of trying to force them into such a role, we would do better to either steer clear of them entirely, or merely enjoy them for who and what they are in your life – a night, a weekend, a season – and then let them go and savor the warm and fuzzies as you move on with your life.

Although I don’t know Franklin and may never meet him to discuss the matter with him mano-a-mano over a bottle, I’m going to go on the record in saying this is what happened (and NO, I’m NOT buying that he “waited” either) because everything that happened after fits the all-too-familiar scenario. With the all-too-familiar end results to match. Franklin had to know that there were and are numerous ladies who would leap at the chance to be on his arm, have his babies and be the first lady of his church; but he wanted that impossible dream.

One that finally evaporated right before his eyes.

When you’re a man in Franklin’s position, life is a heck of a lot more than what’s between your legs or the muse-like fantasies that swirl around in your head. There are pragmatic, practical considerations that have to be made, and when you’re a cleric in Black America of any consequence, yea, having a wife who fits and looks and sounds the part, becomes a very important one. It’s all fine and dandy if she also happens to be drop dead gorgeous and can suck a basketball through a garden hose on demand, but by the time you’re Franklin’s age you should damn well know that finding such a lady who embodies all those qualities are rare at best, if not damn near impossible to find. Best you can hope for is a cute to attractive lady who is willing to please, and make your peace with that. Like Old Man Sowell said, there are no solutions; there are tradeoffs.

And Devon Franklin should have known better.

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, commentator, newly minted dating coach and author of “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”. You can catch his daily live shows on YouTube & Mixlr, as well as his dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. One of the “Three Kings” of the Black Manosphere, Mr. Ali has contributed to the creation and development of Black Male Media. Follow him on Instagram at @ObsidianRadio. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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