Friday, September 29, 2006

What's Your Name?

Sept. 21, 2006 — Studies of resumes have found that people with 'black-sounding' names are less likely to get callbacks.

"20/20" put 22 pairs of names to the test, posting identical resumes except for the names at the top.

The resumes with the 'white-sounding' names were actually downloaded 17 percent more often by job recruiters than the resumes with 'black-sounding' names.

What are some of those names?

Here's a list from the book "Freakonomics," by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, showing the top 20 whitest- and blackest-sounding girl and boy names.

20 "Whitest" Girl Names:

Molly, Amy, Claire, Emily, Katie, Madeline, Katelyn, Emma, Abigail, Carly, Jenna, Heather, Katherine, Caitlin, Kaitlin, Holly, Allison, Kaitlyn, Hannah, Kathryn

For the record they forgot: Susie, Jill, Julie, Colleen and Sara

20 "Blackest" Girl Names:

Imani, Ebony, Shanice, Aaliyah, Precious, Nia, Deja, Diamond, Asia, Aliyah, Jada, Tierra, Tiara, Kiara, Jazmine, Jasmin, Jazmin, Jasmine, Alexus, Raven

For the record: Raven is not a 'Black sounding' name. I bugged the fuck out one day when I met a white chick named Shanice, that shit blew my mind. And oh yes, can't forget the name Nicole which is usually reserved for girls who are mixed with black and white.

20 "Whitest" Boy Names

For the record these are with the exception of the names Scott, Jacob and Garrett undoubtedly, unquestionably the most 'whitest sounding' names in this country, hit it:

Jake, Connor, Tanner, Wyatt, Cody, Dustin, Luke, Jack, Scott, Logan, Cole, Lucas, Bradley, Jacob, Garrett, Dylan, Maxwell, Hunter, Brett, Colin

20 "Blackest" Boy Names

For the record these are with the exception of Willie and Reginald undoubtedly, unquestionably the 'Blackest sounding' names in this country, there is no doubt whatsoever about these names, hit it:

DeShawn, DeAndre, Marquis, Darnell, Terrell, Malik, Trevon, Tyrone, Willie, Dominique, Demetrius, Reginald, Jamal, Maurice, Jalen, Darius, Xavier, Terrance, Andre, Darryl

Now depending on where you live I have to add the following names: Shameek, Melquan, Bilal, Jovani - you get the picture.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

An Open Letter to Moazzam Begg

Dear Moazzam,

I just read an interview that detailed your account of your imprisonment and torture at the hands of my government. As an American citizen I sincerely apologize for your treatment. I will not be as so ignorant and apologize to you on behalf of all Americans because of alot of us are more ignorant today than we were at any time prior to 9/11.

I fully agree with your assessment that my government has made the world less safe since 9/11, your account is but the tip of the iceberg as to why.

When I was a little boy I wrote to political prisoners in this country, one of them was a man named Martin Sostre, as I recall he was framed for a robbery he didn't committ, he was incarcerated more so for his political views (and actions) during the early 70's.

But your account is far scarier: to take you from your family and deprive you of your human rights is demonic. Especially considering the fact that they had no evidence of you having any ties to Al Qaeda.

In the news I've read that there were no terrorists in Iraq prior to 9/11 - but they've found their way there now. When 9/11 first happened I remember the headline in Newsweek magazine said: "Why do they hate us?'

George Bush said, "they hate us because we love freedom..."

If anyone believes that then I have one thousand acres of prime real estate for sale in Florida, forget about any story you've ever heard about the Everglades, this is prime real estate!

Age Ain't Nuttin But a Number

Finding someone to hook up with at any age is hard to do, from my own experiences and others around me, the older you get the harder it gets.

Believe it or not as an 18 year old my dating opportunities were pretty limited. You see I didn’t have a car and I worked at Mickey D’s, so opportunities for me were limited by my meager finances.

Back then Jimmy Crackcorn was on and poppin’, we’re talking about the era of the big drug dealers, people blingin’ back then were into some illegal shit. It wasn’t unusual to see a guy 18, 19 years old driving a BMW. Dealers back then were everywhere; some of everyone had a package on the street and crews of people working for them. These guys had pockets that literally looked like they had the mumps. Big rope chains, beepers and fresh Fila gear was everywhere. If you had all of that and a car – you could get any girl you wanted. And it seemed like all of the pretty girls wanted drug dealers back then.

If you (like me) didn’t have all of that then you had to run your game someplace else. White girls were never my thing I couldn’t rock like that. Not that there is anything wrong with white women, I just prefer black women. All of my home boys were into white girls but I couldn’t do it. So that left me with girls who ranged in age from 15 - 17.

It has taken me almost twenty years to figure out why that was. Now I know why.

Believe it or not there isn’t a whole lot of difference (maturity wise) between a 15 year old girl and an 18 year old boy. Although we’d like to think there is, there isn’t. Especially if that young man is not in college (like I wasn’t). Without the presence of girls his own age, an 18 year old has no choice but to go with young girls. Girls of 18 are more mature than boys of 18, and they are usually trying to get with older guys. Think about it, an 18 year old girl can easily get into places that an 18 year old guy can’t, like clubs. For whatever reason fake ID’s are readily available to girls of that age.

Guys at 18 aren’t usually ready to dress up and go out – but girls of that age are. To a 15 year old girl an 18 year old boy is mysterious because he is more mature than the boys at school.

My home boy Babyface told me something back then that has stuck with me to this day, Face, who was 22 at the time used to say, ‘Pussy doesn’t have an age.”

I thought (and still think) that is one of the most retarded statements ever made. But it was necessary for him to believe that because women his own age weren’t interested in him, because he didn’t have the things that a 22 year old man should have: his own place, a nice car, and a decent paying job.

I told him something like, “Sure it does, 18 months in county jail if you’re caught with the wrong girl.”

He didn’t care.

When it comes to sex we’ll make ourselves believe all kinds of crazy shit.

By the time I was in my twenties I was no longer interested in younger girls, I had more options available to me (I had a car). I wanted someone who could relate to the things I was interested in and had similar experiences (time wise) to mine.

One hot ghetto day at the long forgotten Festival at the Lake in Oakland, a girl caught my eye. She had long curly hair, chinky eyes and big hoop earrings (I don’t care what you say about big hoop earrings I like them on women, so go jump off a bridge) she would remind you of Ice T’s ex wife Darlene, yeah man, she looked like that!

Our eyes met for a couple of seconds, she looked at me and said, ‘Whassup you wanna holla or what?’

By this time I was 26 years old I was catching women left and right and to be honest with you I still liked hood rats back then.

As I got closer to her I noticed a joint in her mouth, it was so small that you couldn’t call it a joint anymore, because it was smoked down to about the size of a finger nail, it was what you would call a ‘roach’. This thing was somehow lodged into the crack of her mouth; I mean this sucker was barely holding on to the corner of her lips. She must’ve been smoking that shit all day!

Anyway I sat down beside her and started talking to her, every other word was ‘nigga this’ and ‘bitches that’. “Damn”, I thought to myself, ‘what in the hell am I doing here?”
“Yo, how old are you sweetheart?” I finally asked.
‘17’, she said with confidence.
I sat there and thought about it for a second. This girl looks good as hell. But this girl has the worst attitude. And not only that she is entirely too young for me to be around.

My thoughts were interrupted by her asking me, “What, you have a problem with that or somethin’?”
“Yeah”, I told her, “no disrespect though, you got it goin’ on but…”
“It’s all good”, she said, ‘if I ain’t what you looking for then agitate the premises.”

Caught off guard by her remark I wanted to break her down with my mastery of the art and science of that other English language: Cuss words. But I refrained from that because I didn’t want to carry myself that way at 26 years old. A little voice in my head told me that not only was I too old for her, but I was too old to be there.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Open for Interpretation

Art is open to interpretation; whatever you see is what you see. There are many different ways to interpret a piece of art. For instance, the painting you see above is open to interpretation.

What do you see?

I’ll tell you what I see. I see a runaway slave in danger. It looks like that brother escaped from a plantation and hijacked a boat to get back to Africa, but it ain’t gonna happen cause the sharks are gonna eat his ass alive! Looking at this makes me wanna yell: Row nigga, row!

Ok that is one way to look at it. Here’s another.

The brother is lost at sea and is in immediate danger. There is blood in the water, the waves are high, the sharks are circling, and it looks like there is a storm coming his way. It looks like the brother doesn’t have a chicken’s chance in Colonel Sander’s backyard of making it. His rickety boat has no sail and it looks like he has nothing to steer with either. In other words: the brothers in trouble. The phrase up a creek without a paddle takes on a whole new meaning when looking at this painting.

But if you look at the painting again look off to the left and in the horizon you’ll see what looks like a boat. The picture doesn’t look as bleak now. Maybe if the brother stays focused on surviving and if he has something to steer with, maybe, just maybe he can steer his way to that ship. All that to say the brother needs to stay aware of the immediate danger and concentrate on how he can get out of it, a’la get to that ship somehow someway.

You can apply that to your life anyway you want.

How about this photo, what do you see?

Easy answer: two guys named JDL and Master Rob posing hard, chillin' out.

Ok, but let’s look deeper.

First of all let’s start with this, who are these two guys? The gentleman on the left with the short afro and pork chop sideburns is JDL (Jerry Dee Lewis) of the pioneering rap group the Cold Crush Brothers. The man next to him with the bald head and shiny white sneakers is Master Rob of another pioneering rap group called the Fantastic Romantic Five.

In their heyday the Cold Crush and the Fantastic were the hottest groups on the streets of New York. Tapes of their infamous battle circulate the streets to this day. Ask anyone who was around back then and they’ll tell you: The Cold Crush won. But then someone else with salt and pepper hair and an expanding waistline will counter: Yeah, but Fantastic took the trophy home.

In their heyday their battle was the equivalent of Jay Z vs. Nas or Kool Mo Dee vs. LL Cool J. It was a heated rivalry, they argued on the streets and in the clubs. But never once did these guys exchange blows or fire shots at each other. Their battle stayed on the stage.

But let’s look a little deeper.

Both of these men are now middle aged and judging by their clothes are incarcerated. Dig on that for a minute. Here are two men in the prime of their lives, locked up. It doesn’t really matter what they are in there for. What matters is that they are there.

Their plight is no different from the hundreds of thousands of other brothers who are incarcerated today. But what’s the root cause? I’m no sociologist or psychologist so don’t get me to talking.

But I can say this: Jail is the place that people go to when they lose sight of what’s important. When we lose focus on what really matters, much like the brother in the painting, who, it seems is focused on the impending doom rather than his salvation. In all honesty, it is much easier to focus on immediate threats than possible hope.

When I see guys like them in that situation I think of three things: One: it is good to see their alive and the others are dead dreams and unrealized potential.

Many young brothers and sisters are in pursuit of that golden dream of a career in music. That is good. But, if you have no marketable skills and education, what happens is without the hope of an opportunity to make real money; you’ll get lost drifting from menial job to menial job without any hope of doing better. When hope is lost is when we tend to lose focus. And that’s when you see grown cats behind bars for some bullshit.

Photo of Master Rob and Hut Maker JDL is from the archives of

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Let Your Soul Glo

Here’s a trivia question for you: What do Luther Vandross, the Jackson’s, Kurtis Blow, all of the members of the groups Full Force and Ready for the World along with Eazy E, Ice Cube, Ola Ray, Babyface, Lionel Ritchie, actor Eric LaSalle and Little Richard have in common?

Answer: the ‘Jheri Curl’.

Depending on what part of the country you lived in, if you didn’t have a curl – you couldn’t a girl. I got my shit relaxed so I was alright.

Back then there wasn't a hair style more popular in Black America than the Jheri Curl. Back in those days the Jheri Curl was king, and damn near every celebrity wore one.

No one wore dreadlocks in the 80's but them 'crazy ass Rastafarians' (as we used to call them). Put it like this, if you wore dreadlocks in the early 80’s you were an oddity. I don’t know who would’ve gotten more attention back then: E.T. or a brother walking down the street wearing dreads.

"Look at that nigga, he's crazy...I never would wear my hair like that..." is what you heard when Rastas came around with their dreads and ganja smoke.

But back to the Jheri Curl.

From my own estimation there were at least a dozen different variations of the doo that a Chicago hair-stylist named
Jheri Redding concocted sometime in the mid to late 70’s. Redding, is said to also be the inventor of hair conditioning. From Jheri Redding’s infamous ‘Jheri Curl’ came: the ‘Carefree Curl’, the ‘S Curl’ and the ‘California Curl’. In Black neighborhoods in damn every part of the country on Friday and Saturday morning’s barber shops were packed with people getting their hair done.

First the chemical was applied, then washed out of the hair, after which came the rollers. Although it was a good look (at least at the time)
it was trouble to maintain. First of all you could bet a barbecue lunch on the fact that the collar of any shirt or jacket you wore was gonna be messed up by all of the grease – that much was a given. Pillow cases forget about it, they were fucked up by that shit too. Hats throw em out. But mostly forget about washing your hair, that was a challenge. Shampoo made your doo brittle and it would take at least 4 days of moisturizing your stuff to get back into shape.

The first time I experienced culture shock was when I moved from New York to California in the early 80’s. New Yorkers were simple about hair back then: short with a part on the side or a Caesar. Californian’s were on some other shit: finger waves, perms, texturizers, Shirley Temple Curls and a style called the ‘Lord Jesus’ were all over the place. But it was the Jheri Curl and its entire offspring that was the most popular.

Like I say it depended upon where you lived if the Jheri Curl was popular or not. For instance: California and anywhere in the Mid-West and the South, the curl was everywhere. However, DC, NY, NJ, PA Connecticut, Boston and anywhere else in the northeast, if you wore a curl, you stood out - way out. And not in a good way either.

Sometime in the late 80’s the Curl rapidly became un-cool. Northeastern tastes started taking over and the first thing people took aim at was the Jheri Curl. Quickly you saw the transformation happen; Jheri Curls were being replaced by fades and flat tops. It was as if someone said: "...And no more pretty mother fuckers with curly hair."

However, it is hard to separate some brothers from their doo. Eazy E was the perfect example, that dude died in ’96 still wearing a Jheri Curl. And he wasn’t alone.

I just recently found out about a gang of Dominicans called the
‘Jheri Curls’, these idiots had fades with Jheri Curls on top. They were a ruthless gang from what I hear. And oh yeah, what about that baseball player from the Dominican Republic, what kind of time warp is he caught in?Every one of us has a relative or friend somewhere that represents that tiny minority of holdouts, in mine, it’s my brother in-law Michael, I love him to death, but he ain’t lettin’ that curl go!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm All Late and Shit

I dunno maybe I've been sleeping under a rock for a few years or somethin', but I never heard of this Katt Williams guy until this weekend when he did his HBO special: "The Pimp Chronicles Part One".

I laughed my ass off. This dude has got pimps down pat. I mean, if you've ever been around a pimp and listened to them talk, you'll see that, these brothers aren't dumb, it's just the way they express themselves is 100% street. Every sentence is 'bitch this', 'hoe that', 'mother fucker this', 'nigga that', shit, shit, shit with a few regular words of English thrown in for good measure.

I hear he's been in one of the 'Fridays' movies, see that's one reason I wouldn't know who he is because those movies annoy me. They are more buffoonish than Flavor Flav could ever be. Those movies and those damn gospel plays that tour the country every year like: "Baby Momma Drama', 'Young Man, Older Woman', 'Is that Man Your Husband' or 'He Say...She Say...But What Does God Say..." Those plays are buffoonish - nice messages though, but buffoonish!

I also hear he's on Nick Cannon's show 'Wild and Out', since I ain't a 19 year old I haven't watched that show. Nick Cannon is probably a good dude and all, it's just that his show doesn't appeal to me.

Katt Williams is a smart guy though. I say that, because when you compare him with the rest of the bunch (pick damn near any comic from BET), forget it. He's an original like Paul Mooney, Rodney Dangerfield, Robin Harris, Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Kinison.

What really makes me feel bad about not being up on duke is that he lived in Oakland for quite some time, hell he performed in clubs I've been in - just not on the nights I was there.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Only In Oakland

Everything I will tell you in this story is the truth. Even the parts that are hard to believe are the truth – the gospel truth.

Right up the street from the Oakland airport is Hegenberger Ave. it’s a long street that runs right into the heart of East Oakland. One side of Hegenberger is dotted with restaurants, banks, hotels, gas stations, fast food spots and the entrance to the Oakland Coliseum. Just over the hill is where things get residential. That’s where the hood starts.

But back down toward the airport on the corner of Hegenberger and Edgewater is a motel that has seen better days.

In the 70’s and ‘80’s the Lucky Lion was a notorious underworld hangout spot. Every pimp, player, mack, hustler, drug dealer and anyone else into something crooked could be found in there right beside the hard working everyday man. Jheri Curls, finger waves and ‘Lord Jesus’ hairstyles dotted the clubs interior, while the flashing lights from the disco ball illuminated the shadows of people sipping champagne and secretly snorting cocaine.

At one table could be the gentlemen drug kingpin Felix Mitchell, head of the then infamous 69 Mob, surrounded by his people. Somewhere else in the house on the same night seated at another table could be Rhythm and Blues musician turned cocaine cowboy Mickey Mo, head of a rival organization called ‘The Family’. Across from them could be members of the notorious Ward Brothers (Ted, Frank and Jimmy) ever see the 70’s flick ‘The Mack’? All three of the brothers were in it – they were pimps. Somewhere in between the clouds of cigar smoke and whatever else would no doubt be undercover law enforcement.

Besides cocaine Oakland was more so famous at that time for being the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. But by the ‘70’s and 80’s the Panther Party was over. Huey Newton had a raging cocaine addiction. Sometime during the fall of the Panthers, Huey took to extorting drug dealers. Pushers had to pay a tax to the party in order to operate in the city. However, like any other group of Americans, Black drug dealers took serious exception to paying tax to anyone. Therefore they went to war.

According to legend, Huey Newton, high or sober didn’t mind a good fight. In fact from what I hear he went looking for fights. As crowded as the Lucky Lion would be with pimps and drug dealers (who couldn’t stand him) Huey would go there with a gentleman in tow named Big Hurd – 6’8 and strong. So dig this atmosphere: Felix Mitchell at one table, Mickey Mo at another and Huey across from them.

Now like I said, Huey was extorting drug dealers back then, not just any drug dealers mind you, but those drug dealers. Guns were pulled, tables were turned over, shots were fired it was like the Wild West.

Right next door to the Lucky Lion was an establishment called the Edgewater Motel. Now you can only imagine with all the pimps, drug dealers and gangsters right next door what was going on at the Edgewater, right?

Oh really.

Fast forward to late October early November of 1989. I was a twenty-year-old security guard. One night I got a call from the company I worked for – ABC Security, to go work at the Edgewater.

“What does a motel need security for?” I asked.
“I don’t know but their regular guard Muhammad is unable to make it, can you go?”

When I got there I thought the place looked familiar. At that time there was a Crab Shack restaurant in place of the Lucky Lion. When I opened the front door there was a lobby full of impatient East Indians.

“Where is Muhammad?” Asked a man with a thick Punjabi accent.
“I dunno.” I responded. ‘Who’s Muhammad?”
“Go away we only want Muhammad.” They said.
“Hey, Muhammad couldn’t make it so you get me. Mind you, I don’t want to be here either, so let me do my job.”

They congregated for a minute and then came back to me with a beeper and a key.

“Here is a key to a room, you can take your breaks there, please patrol the pool area and make sure no one breaks into the rooms.”

“Ok you got it.”

I walked out into the night air. Mind you I’m wearing a thick jacket. I hear the music from the Crab Shack. I was too young to go to the Lucky Lion when it was open, so I got my stories about the place second and third hand. There is a sliding glass door in the back of every room that faces the pool area. From what I could see all of the lights were on in every room. They told me to patrol the pool area so I did. Mind you there wasn’t that much to patrol.

I sat there listening to the music for a while thinking about the stories I heard about the fights and champagne and cocaine. I remember the pictures in people’s houses of groups of guys with finger waves and heavy-lidded eyes, posing while flashing their jewelry and fat stacks of money. Photos of Felix Mitchell and his crew of lieutenants seated at a table smiling for the camera while holding up glasses of bubbly. It must’ve been a good life.

Now all of that is over.

While rounding the corner on my first patrol I heard some finger snaps: pop, pop, pop to the beat of the music. As I’m approaching the room I notice the lights are on and the curtains are open. As I get to where I can see into the room I notice a light- skinned black woman somewhere in her mid-30’s, she wasn’t obese, she was plump, or as they like to say she had some 'meat on her bones'. She was dancing in front of a mirror in the center of the room wearing a mans dress shirt. Well, as I get to where I’m parallel with the mirror I notice that the shirt she is wearing is open. And not only that but she ain’t wearing a bra or drawers. I quickly looked away, because I didn’t want to be accused of peeping in anyone’s room.

So there I was bewildered by what I saw, when just then as I’m approaching the sauna area, I see a brother standing there with a towel around his neck. As custom I greet the brother with ‘Hey what’s happenin’ bro…”

As I’m passing the brother I notice something…this fool ain’t got on no drawers!

It was damn near winter, I was wearing a heavy jacket and this guy was standing outside at night while the cool breeze was blowing with nothing on! “What the hell is going on here?” I thought to myself.

I immediately went to the management office, but gone was the East Indian family and there in the lobby behind the desk was an Asian gentleman – watching a porno with the volume on full blast.

‘What the fuck?” I thought.

Now you and I when we watch porn we ain’t trying to have that shit so loud that anyone could hear it. You wanna be discrete when you view that shit. But not this guy. Here he was – at work mind you, watching porn, this chick had a mouthful of dick and all the sounds and whatever have you, and he acted like I disturbed him!

“Hey man, what kind of place is this?” I yelled.
“What do you mean?’ He replied without turning his back to see who I was.
‘Hey man, I’ve been seeing people walk around out here without clothes on and shit man, what the fuck are y’all doing out here?’

He turned around and looked at me while grabbing his remote control.

“You don’t understand”, he said to me calmly while only slightly adjusting the volume, ‘this is an adult motel, we let our patrons do as they please.”


“Tell you what this what I want you to do. Go sit by the pool and watch. Just make sure no one breaks into the rooms.”

“Ok.” Outside I went. And back to full blast the porn went as the door swung open.

I took a seat by the pool and was shocked by what I saw that night. It turns out the Edgewater Motel was a swingers motel. People had sex in the rooms with the lights on and curtains open. There were mirrors on the walls and on the ceilings. People would gather round and watch couples engaged in the act. Often times the people would join in. That was the craziest shit I ever saw in my life.

To be honest with you after that experience, I could never be involved in swinging. First of all your typical ‘swinging couple’ – for the most part, ain’t the most attractive people. Like people in nude beaches, it’s never someone that looks like Buffie the Body; they usually look like Broom Hilda or something like that. And besides the idea of having sex while a bunch of morons stand and watch just doesn’t sit right with me.

Sometime around three in the morning I called into the headquarters and told them what was going on there. They had no idea what kind of establishment this place had been. Thirty minutes later a lieutenant and two field sergeants showed up, they couldn’t believe what they had heard over the walkie-talkie. They needed to see for themselves.

I went back there a few more times, I finally stopped going when on one slow night this dude decided he wanted somebody to watch him wack off. ‘Oh hell no’ I said to myself, this fool would start wacking off everytime I walked by. Nope, I ain’t into no homo shit. To make matters worse there was these two guys hanging outside their room in their bath robes – I dunno about you, but that wasn’t a good sign to me. I left there and never went back.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Why Is He the Most Hated Man in Black America?

He's been called a hip-hop version of Stepin Fetchit and a buffoon. Paul Mooney said that Briggette Nielson traded in Rambo for Sambo (in reference to Flav). His show has been called the most ghetto series ever broadcast on television. Is he just doing his thing? Why is his show so compelling to watch? And what does it say about us as a culture?


HBO's hard- to- top-can't-be-stopped drama 'The Wire' returned on September 10th. As usual it started off slow. But that's ok, I have HBO on DEMAND and have already seen episode 39, and I can tell you that this season is gonna be the best yet.

This season they not only follow the cops and drug dealers but they examine the roles that the school system and local politicians play in nurturing kids.

If only these stories were the works of someone's imagination, we all would be able to rest comfortably in our beds at night. But these are real stories, well written and well acted by both professional actors and real street people.

The character that most people are trippin off of is is a hit woman named 'Snoop'. At first glance 'Snoop' looks like a young boy. She has short braids, wears baggy jeans, and over-sized white T Shirts, and boots. But she is rock hard! She really is from the street. Just listen to her talk and you immediately know: That ain't no actor!

Marlo the new cocaine cowboy on the scene is ruthless and smart. Can't wait to see how he and Omar (a hard core stick up man who happens to also be a homo thug) get along. Slim Charles - the last of Avon Barksdale's crew to be on the street, I wonder what will become of his character.