[If you haven't done so already, download and print out the bracket to play along and see how well you do!]
Welcome to day 2 of VSB's Blackest Name in America tournament!!
*handclaps and loud applause*
When I see some of the names of the people in our beloved tournament here, the hook from the poignant and clearly Ralph Ellison-inspired song "I'm A Coke Boy" courtesy of Chinx Drugs and French Montana (and everybody else on this remix version that I prefer to the original) comes to mind:
"I could have been a pilot, could have been a doctor, could have been a pimp, could have been a mobster, could have been a mack, could have been a dopeboy, homey matter of fact… …I'm a motherf*ckin' coke boy…"
The names of these individual tend to trend towards those final 5 professions. Luckily, all of these individuals in today's brackets were born of significant talent and/or aspiration. Unlike yesterday which includes people who are only famous because many of us hate ourselves, the people who occupy today's brackets are folks who defy the odds. Somebody definitely told them they wouldn't make it. I wouldn't be surprised if all of them didn't have a tattoo that did, indeed, read: #n*ggawemadeit
One day, I had somebody ask me for the definition of #blackexcellence. I just said, "have you ever met another person named Oprah? Me neither. That, my friend, is #blackexcellence." Without further ado, let's dive right in.
The Athletes Bracket
- D'Brickashaw Ferguson (92%, 697 Votes)
- Dontavia Bogan (8%, 64 Votes)
The 1 vs 16 matchup should be a clean sweep. But this here is Black America. And everybody's playing to win. I'll bet both of their mama's names are like, Brenda. I honestly want to interview his mother to find out how one ENDS up at D'Brickashaw. That took some tinkering. Or Jesus delivered it. There's no middle ground.
- Lion King Conaway (66%, 495 Votes)
- Sinorice Moss (34%, 264 Votes)
I legit almost turned in my Black card when I saw Lion King Conaway. Word on the street is he's just "King" now. Too late. Also, Sinorice's middle name is Travonce, making his full name Sinorice Travonce Moss. The fact that his brother's name is Santana Terrell Moss and ISN'T the Blackest name in their house is, well, impressive. By the way, there is a Sinorice Moss, Jr. There's two of them now.
- God'sgift Achiuwa (86%, 638 Votes)
- Udonis Haslem (14%, 111 Votes)
Nigerians love them a good uplifting name. Somebody thought that was cute. *shakes head* And perhaps I've been looking at jacked up names too long because Udonis is starting to look like "Michael" to me. Nope. It's still Udonis. I guess Adonis was taken. So maybe they kept running through the alphabet. And Pdonis just doesn't have the same ring. What if that's really how they got to Udonis? #scary
- Majestic Mapp (70%, 520 Votes)
- Chauncey Ray Billups (30%, 223 Votes)
I don't even know what to do with Majestic so I'm just going to move on. And any time you get a Ray middle name, it ups the Blackness factor. Even if its a white man. Billy Ray Cyrus? Too much Black in him. Exhibit A: His daughter Miley Cyrus who definitely has too much Black in her. See what I did there?
- Ha'Sean "Ha-Ha" Clinton Dix (64%, 468 Votes)
- Scientific Mapp (36%, 274 Votes)
Yeah. Me neither.
- Jadeveon Clowney (80%, 586 Votes)
- Captain Munnerlyn (20%, 149 Votes)
I'm gonna guess that Jadeveon was not the Blackest name in his native Rock Hill, SC. I'd put money on it. Captain, however, probably got teased relentlessly. Kids are mean. But this tourney gives credence to the idea that parents are meaner. Like, was he ever Captain Captain when they played pirates? I'll bet he never wanted to play pirates.
- D'Qwell Jackson (61%, 444 Votes)
- God Shammgod (39%, 283 Votes)
I can't lie. I've always liked the name God Shammgod. It's one of those names where you always say the first and last name. It's dope. Interestingly, Jesus Shammjesus does not work the same. And D'Qwell his the Blackness trifecta. 1. Two capital letters; 2. an apostrophe; and 3. double letters. Reminds me of my homeboy M'Ontrell. We pronounced that James.
- Arrelious Markus Benn (55%, 389 Votes)
- Frostee Rucker (45%, 322 Votes)
Damon thinks that Ashanti's name should have been higher. Guarantee that if you ever met a dude named "Frostee" you'd ask him to repeat his name a few times to make sure that YOU weren't hearing sh*t wrong. Guaranteed. You do not accept Frostee the first time you hear it. You just don't. And that's how you know he won the game.
The Black People White People Know Bracket
- Beyonce Knowles-Carter (79%, 570 Votes)
- Chad Ocho Cinco (21%, 149 Votes)
If Chad gets any votes I'll be surprised. If Beyonce doesnt make the final four, I'll be surprsied. You know somebody's famous when you say, "wait, I mean, Beyonce isn't THAT crazy a name." Yes it is. It absolutely is. If you ever meet another Beyonce in life, it is because the Mrs. Knowles- Carter existed. It is the original. It is greatness.
- Condoleezza Rice (82%, 586 Votes)
- James Earl Jones (18%, 129 Votes)
While Lady Condi's name is the quintessential Black name, it goes to show you that a name won't hold you down, which is good news for some of you all. Also, I think the "z"s gives it pizzazz! And James Earl Jones might be the Blackest name on the planet. It's simple. It's effective. It could have been the name of an actor or a plumber. An activist or a anstronaut. A Black one at all times. Earl is really the pearl.
- Solange Knowles (63%, 448 Votes)
- Kanye West (37%, 264 Votes)
White people only know Solange now because of the "kick heard 'round the world". Then they all said collectively, what the f*ck is a Solange? And Kanye, oh Kanye. A name perfectly suited for him because what in the flying f*ck was in the air when this name came to be? Most of his plaques still say Kayne because that makes more sense to our senses.
- Oprah Winfrey (52%, 372 Votes)
- Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr (Snoop Dogg) (48%, 341 Votes)
Snoops name isn't really that crazy if you get rid of the middle name. In fact, its not crazy at all. Oprah on the other hand…I'm just not even sure what to say about Oprah's name. It says so much by itself.
- Shaquille O'Neal (72%, 511 Votes)
- Lebron James (28%, 196 Votes)
I'm thinking that both Lebron and Shaq benefit from the "heard the name so much due to their fame that they don't sound crazy anymore" bias. Because Shaq fits him so well. And Lebron looks like a Lebron to me, despite never having seen one before.
- Quvenzhané Wallis (90%, 640 Votes)
- Dwyane Wade (10%, 69 Votes)
Look, I know we love her. And that's great. I love her too. Her name is the stuff of legend. And for that, we're all better off. You didn't even know that name was possible until you saw it. And that's what #blackexcellence is all about; daring to dream of the impossible. And Dwayne is a Black name by itself. So you know that misspelling it is extra Black. Dwyane Wade, come on down! *cue Wheel of Fortune music*
- O'Shea Jackson (Ice Cube) (85%, 599 Votes)
- Venus Williams (15%, 104 Votes)
I kind of wonder if his dad yelled out, "what kind of butter did you tell me to get at the swap meet?" And his mama yelled out…"OOOH…SHEA!" And the lightbulb went off. In my hopes and dreams, thats how I want it to have happened.
- Denzel Washington (57%, 402 Votes)
- Metta World Peace (43%, 302 Votes)
Denzel Washington might actually be one of the Blackest names in history. It's got a Z. You can't really defeat a Z in its prime. Like Denzel is whippin' Denrel and Dentel's ass 10/10 times. Metta World Peace is the kind of Black name that we should aspire to…if we made millions. Otherwise, no.