One of my favorite disses of all time is “non-motherfucking factor.” It’s just so rude. The ancient Mayans attribute the black popularization of the saying to Evelyn Lozada in all of her Basketball Wives glory. She uttered the statement to Tami Roman during what I can only imagine was one of the many riveting conversations they’ve had. But like, you have to really think little of somebody to pull that statement out of your bag of tricks. Again, it’s just so rude.
To tell somebody that they do not matter, that they’re obsolete, and be right (and I’m not wading into the basketball wifery and their shades of shade), especially when they think they do matter, is creating the wound and then throwing salt in it, then using the rest of the salt to rim a glass to drink a margarita in celebration of their demise.
I use it sparingly because I like to make sure—if I’m going to go HAM on a motherfucker—to go for the jugular one time and one time only. The irony, though, is that in order to refer to somebody as a non-motherfucking factor, you have to be engaged in a conversation with one, and like going Eric Benet, you should never engage in a convo with a non-motherfucking factor.
Do you know why? I’ll tell you why. Engaging with folks you’d refer to that way makes them a factor. It lends them some validation when the truth is that in your life, they likely have none. Such is the world for many of us who work in spaces that allow commenters to run amok.
You’ll often hear people say to never read comments in certain spaces. Not VSB—you can read the comments here—but mainstream outlets because that’s where the racists, the bigoted, the ignorant and the worst of society dwell. And that’s true. I’ve seen some of the most vile comments ever attached to articles about anything racial in nature. Humans can be terrible in private, and racists gon’ racist.
I typically go up and down comment sections attached to pieces I’ve written, sometimes playfully engaging with people who think enough to leave a substantive commentary on something I’ve written. I even have fun with folks who are supremely critical or dismissive of what I’ve written; I feel like I can learn from anybody and everybody—plus, a sale is a sale, ya dig, and I appreciate those.
But every now and then people get beside themselves and feel an urge to be super disrespectful and rude, and one thing I’ve learned about myself in the decade-plus that I’ve been fortunate to do this for a living is that I’m from the 50 Cent school of beef—everybody can get it.
Admittedly, this is not a productive way to do business. I’ve been talked off ledges before and have largely become very judicious about what I choose to give my time and attention to. Basically, I’ve avoided non-motherfucking factors because what they eat don’t make me shit, ya dig? But occasionally I give unnecessary energy to folks who don’t deserve it and who aren’t here for my success and peace of mind, even though I know that anybody trying to steal my joy can kick rocks while wearing Birkenstocks.
And what I’ve learned from doing this is that I’m giving folks who don’t care about who I am a platform and an ear. I’m giving people who would love nothing more than to see me fail at something the impression that I notice them noticing me, and allowing them the room to attempt to destroy.
And nobody wins there. I’m giving the impression of being annoyed and invested in a person whose only spot in my life is for negativity. And they’re feeling empowered to believe that a person THEY keep up with is taking their negativity and being affected by it. Positive folks have no room for negativity and haters.
We all know that haters are gonna hate. But we don’t have to entertain them or give them energy. Putting a battery in the back of a person who spends their unhappy-ass life being a thorn in the side of success does nothing for anybody. They know who you are, and most times, you have no idea who they are.
Social media makes it mad easy to hate on people, and if you enter certain spheres of life, you’re going to get haters. It comes with the territory. But it’s important to discern who is a non-motherfucking factor and who is being critical in hopes of making you better.
If they’re not trying to make you a better human or citizen but trying to tear you down, fuck ’em. They clearly need a little more Jesus. But more importantly, they can’t win because they’re not right within, so giving them country only stands to fuck up YOUR life.
Follow this rule and you’ll have mad bread to break. If not, you’ll reside in your feelings, and everybody loses that way. Let non-motherfucking factors be just that—important in their world. Truth is, it’s your world anyway. Fuck ’em.
And that’s facts.