The Playa Please Awards: The Worst Celebrity & Pop Culture Nonsense of 2017

Back in 2011 when I wrote the first edition of the Playa Please Awards, I figured it would be a one-off column. It was just an opportunity to sound off on all the ridiculous happenings of the year.

But now we’re seven years strong and it gets harder and harder to write this thing because these celebrities get dumber and dumberer (shout out to Jim Carrey) as the years roll on.

I could have easily done a top 50 of foolishness. But it’s the season of holiday cheer and there’s enough rampant depression without me heaping on the pile.

So join me as we celebrate degrade the most annoying news items of 2017. As a heads up, I will be excluding any political happenings, so no Roy Moore, no President Sunkist and none of his cronies. Also, we’re skipping all of the mounting sex assault allegations, so don’t look for Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey or R. Kelly and his alleged sex dungeon. That stuff is way too serious (and depressing) to poke fun at.

I’ve also skipped Omarosa, Mary Mary, Steve Harvey, Chrisette Michelle, Stacey Dash and the other residents of The Sunken Place. Those targets are way too easy.

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Without further ado, the six most annoying moments of 2017:

6. B.o.B. starts a GoFundMe and you dummies gave him money

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If fake news was a living, breathing human being with one good song and 100 pair of skinny jeans, his name would be B.o.B.

Remember back in 2010 when he was confusing airplanes with meteorites and y’all christened him the next Andre 3000 while I rolled my eyes?

If you had listened to me then we wouldn’t be in this mess right now.

So back in 2016, renowned astrophysicist B.o.B. decided to convince Twitter that the Earth was indeed flat because he didn’t see any “curves” when looking across the horizon.

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Yeah, keep looking.

The homie Neil deGrasse Tyson quickly gave B.o.B. a scientific smackdown.

That SHOULD have been that. But OH NO. So like the dude in your hood who keeps opening new clubs after the old ones get shut down by the city, in 2017 B.o.B. relaunched his flat-earther campaign, with a Gofundme campaign “to launch multiple weather balloons and satellites into space, for experimental exploration.”

And here’s the reason I’m not linking to that scam – he’s already raised almost $7,000. Y’all better not NEVA ask me for money if you’ve got cash to throw away on this guy.

If only he fought as hard to make decent music as he fights to avoid taking an L.

5. Brandy celebrates Whitney Houston’s Birthday By Being Petty

I’ve been doing this online commentary thing for nearly a decade now, and the one thing I can never wrap my head around is Stan Culture – the blind, fanatical loyalty fans show to their favorite artists no matter what stupidity spews from that artist’s mouth.

Don’t say it’s not a big deal, either. That’s how we got this guy.

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And the level of stanning we witnessed during Brandy vs Monica Part 4927? Lawd help.

Here’s what went down – In honor of Whitney Houston’s birthday, Monica posted the following message on social media: “Happy Heavenly Birthday Nippy … You still inspire many & touch hearts daily… You will forever be the greatest …. You will forever be missed.”

Not to be outdone Brandy soon followed up with her own message honoring her mentor along with this collage on Instagram:

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Monica stans criticized Brandy’s post as self-centered, making it about herself and not Whitney. It was a fair criticism, honestly. Brandy’s stans fired back and it was suddenly THE BOY IS MINE 2017.

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Brandy now had two options in addressing the slew of slander:

a) Be an adult and tell the warring factions to chill and celebrate Whitney

b) Let her stans gas her up and throw a fifth-grade tantrum

Guess what she chose?

Here’s her response to Monica:

“Come get your hating ass pigeons and put them in their place the way I did for you when the starz was out of place. They’re low key Brandy fans anyway… always lurking and always creating new pages talking to Me. I’m not to be F–ked with today! If this was rap or hip hop you would be praised for speaking your mind but since it’s rnb you have to take the so called high road… well because I can rap just look at this as my high road.”

Brandy basically proved her critics right by continuing to make this “beef” about herself.

As for Monica? She stayed out of all this drama because she’s grown. I wish we could all be as unbothered as her.

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4. Your man romper is trash

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I’m not sure when men dressing like overgrown babies became the wave but for some reason in 2017, a bunch of fashion bloggers told us that man rompers were sexy.

I don’t know about y’all but wearing an outfit with my shirt sewn directly into my draws in the very opposite of sexy.

Oh, and before y’all light up my mentions with “masculinity so fragile” memes, this ain’t about my manhood. It’s about not wanting to look like a convict in culottes.

Dudes, rock those rompers all you want, but we’re good over here. Just a warning: those rompers might look tempting on these underwear model dudes with their pecs bursting out of the zipper, but squeeze a normal brother in one and you’ve got an Easter egg with legs.

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3. Cousin Chris Brown: Don’t bother listening to my album, just stream it and make me rich

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Probably the WORST music trend of 2017 is the rise of the “playlist” over the album. Instead of coherent, digestable collections of music in one package, artists like Drake and Jhene Aiko instead unloaded massive amounts of music at once, making it nearly impossible to enjoy in one sitting. (Although to Jhene’s credit, her music at least attempted to be cohesive and the album turned out pretty OK.)

But all those long-winded artists paled in comparison to my controversial Cousin Chris Brown, whose Heartbreak on a Full Moon album contained FORTY-FIVE tracks and fittingly, was released on the most nightmarish day of the year, Oct. 31. And then recently, he dropped a “bonus edition,” pushing the track list to nearly 60 songs!

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Yes, a man who has only made ONE good album in his entire 12-year career asked us to sit through four hours of unfocused music.

Because I hate myself I reviewed the entire album. It sucked.

But here’s the worst part – Cousin Chris KNEW it sucked. Why do I say that? Before the album’s release, he released a statement on Instagram begging Team Breezy to stream the album multiple times a day or just “leave the album on repeat.”

Don’t bother listening to the music I created, he said. WALK OUT OF THE HOUSE AND LEAVE IT ON REPEAT.

Why, you ask? It was all a ploy to boost streaming numbers. Instead of selling a 5-disc physical Chris Brown album at FYE like it’s Final Fantasy 8 on Playstation 1 and asking you to go buy it, success is now calculated by streams. So homie doesn’t care if you enjoy the entire package, he just wants you to loop it to increase his coins.

And it worked, with the album going gold after its first week because stans do whatever they’re told. Check out one of ’em throwing on the cape for Cousin Chris in my mentions last month:

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Then a week later dude comes back with his cape flying in the wind like a fresh durag:

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So based off the “success” of this album, get ready for MORE Lord of the Rings-length albums coming in 2018.

We need to do better.

2. Nicki Minaj is a fraud (but we already knew that)

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Most of y’all know I’ve spent half a decade decrying the rise of Nicki Minaj – not because I’m “a hater” or because “she’s getting more money than me” or whatever the 12-year-olds scream on Twitter, but because the Queen of Rap gained her crown by default. She certainly didn’t get it from dropping those garbage pop songs. Or wearing dumb outfits. Or childish temper tantrums.

Name ONE other prominent female rapper in the past decade. You can’t.

Missy Elliott, Eve, Trina and Lauryn Hill were in pseudo-retirement. Queen Latifah was getting Cover Girl checks. Lil Kim was either locked up or getting body parts added like a human Build-A-Bear. Foxy couldn’t hear what was going on anyway. And superior acts like Jean Grae and Rapsody were too far underground to reach mainstream ears.

So Icki Garbaj became the “best” female rapper in the game, not because she’s any good but because she was the only one around.

Unless you count Lil Bow Wow Lil Mama. And we don’t.

Of course, Nicki’s rise occurred during Remy Ma’s incarceration. And when Remy finally came home, Nicki did as Nicki does – sent little subliminal potshots at her rival.

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Remy wasn’t having it and dropped the nuclear warhead known as “shETHER”

Gettin’ close like Nick Jonas, grippin’ the gauge
Then blaze off, Face Off, b****, Nicolas Cage
You animated like Nickelodeon, you fake, b****
Only the kids believe in you; you St. Nick
Now when I shoot Nick at Nite, they won’t understand it
I’m Wild’n Out, ’bout to hit Nick with the Cannon
How are you on the VMAs, actin’ like you hood?
Way across the stage, talkin’ about “Miley, what’s good?”
That’s Hannah Montana, she was always happy
You only fronted on Mariah ’cause Mariah don’t carry

In my day, when your rap rival hits you with a diss verse, you are required to respond or risk losing your spot at the top of the heap. Nicki’s fans were out here waiting for a response…

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…and heard nothing but crickets.

Yeah, Nicki whined on Twitter a little and begged the Beyhive for a cosign (and was promptly rejected) but there was no musical response. Protip, kids: a rapper is only as good as her bars, not her Twitter fingers.

But then things get fishy. Just as “shETHER” climbed to No. 2 on the iTunes charts it was promptly pulled from YouTube and streaming services.

Then Nicki FINALLY came out of hiding, tweeting this: “Nas was like NAH.”

Guess what song “shETHER” samples? Nas’ classic “Ether.” Guess who Nicki is currently dating? Nas.

And once “shETHER” was pulled from the Internet, Nicki finally found her inner Rakim, dropping a response record after weeks of being a mime. I’m not linking to that song because it was trash. And honestly, Remy’s follow-up wasn’t very good either.

Sources later said that Nas played no part in getting “shETHER” pulled and that it was Universal Music Group that made the call.

Still, it’s mighty suspicious when Nicki TOLD US ON TWITTER HERSELF that her boyfriend pulled the song. Regardless of whether or not Nas was involved, Nicki couldn’t muster the courage to defend her spot until AFTER corporate suits got involved.

Oh well, she played her hand and still lost. The queen is dead. Long live the queen.

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1. The rise and fall of Tyrese Gibson

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I … I don’t even know where to start with this one.

2017 has been such a landslide of Ls for Tyrese that it almost feels unfair to kick him when he’s down.

But let’s be real, he kinda deserved it. He’s spent the last couple of years shaming fellow R&B artists, claiming his admittedly awesome 2015 album Black Rose was the epitome of modern R&B. And let’s not forget his rampant slut-shaming and hotep’ing on Facebook:

“Sluts, skeezers, hoes, tramps and overly aggressive promiscuous women, they are never without a man because they don’t have no standards. They ready to have sex with any and everything that want to have sex with them. But when you are single, and you actually love yourself, you know your value and your self worth you hold out until God sends you what is yours.”

But karma came back on Black Ty like Ving Rhames.

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Let’s revisit the year of Tyrese:

– Tyrese’s ex-wife was granted temporary custody of the couple’s daughter and a restraining order was filed after Tyrese allegedly beat his daughter. Tyrese basically said his ex was jealous of his new wife and the incident was blown out of proportion.

– In order to get around the restraining order, Tyrese FLEW A PLANE over his daughter’s school with this message: “No matter what, Daddy loves you Shayla.” Because it’s not embarrassing enough that his daughter’s business is all over TMZ, now there’s LITERALLY A PLANE flying drama over her school. Poor child.

– Tyrese literally cries for forgiveness on Facebook, instantly replacing Crying Jordan as the Internet’s new obnoxious meme.

– Tyrese also starts picking random fights with The Fast & The Furious costar Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson and gets checked directly into the Smackdown Hotel.

– Oh and Tyrese also claimed Will and Jada Smith gave him $5 million to help with his legal problems, to which they replied:

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In a year of Ls, no one collected more than Tyrese.

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Who incurred your wrath this year? Share your Playa Please nominees below.

And while you’re at it, catch up on previous Playa Please Award recipients:

2011 Playa Please Awards

2012 Playa Please Awards

2013 Playa Please Awards

2014 Playa Please Awards

2015 Playa Please Awards

2016 Playa Please Awards

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