Sucker4Love B Sides: Kevin Samuels, Joe Budden and the Politics of Ashy Ni***S
I have lots of thoughts about this entertaining, but deeply misinformed interview
Last week, famously problematic and retired Emo-rapper Joe Budden decided to have dating Guru and “Life Coach” Kevin Samuels on his Podcast. For those of you who aren’t in the know, Kevin rose to fame when a video of him giving very colorful relationship advice to a woman was posted on Worldstar And then went viral.
Kevin’s basic idea about love and relationships is that Black women are struggling to find love because they demand a “high-level man”, defined as an “Alpha Male” who is a high-level earner and established in the world, but are not willing, or do not have the skills to do the things it takes to keep one. He believes that “High Level” men desire women with a specific physical look, are without children, submissive, and have strong home-making skills.
These ideas are grounded in a worldview that sees women as lesser beings than men and is generally supported by people who have shit stains in their underwear and believe that using lotion will convert them to homosexuality. Having said that, toxic masculinity is the norm of society, so he has a lot of believers. This is why Ashy Ambassador, Joe Budden wanted him on the show.
The interview, which you can find here is an hour and 20 minutes of Kevin’s worldview. During that time he explains how the de-emphasis of marriage has hurt both Black women and men. Turning Black men into “grass-eating lions” and Black women into overeducated “wanna be alphas” who can’t keep a man.
There were a lot of things wrong with what he said, but I plan to only address a couple of things. Let’s get started with the basics.
During this hour-plus-long interview, Kevin repeatedly assumes that women are entitled and that most, if not all of them want to be married. For example, at minute 16:29, he starts to ask the question, “if Black women are doing well, why is their average weight going up, and more women being diagnosed with mental health issues” his answer to that, is the lack of romantic relationships. According to Kevin, “the things that make women happy are relationships. Women may have the material things, but because they don’t have romantic relationships or a family, they are unhappy”
I get it, Kevin speaks with confidence and authority, so it’s easy to think he’s right, or at least has a point. He doesn’t. The fact is, men and women generally want to get married at close to the same rates.
Additionally, one of the biggest reasons that marriage rates have gone down over the years is because men actually benefit from marriage much more than women do. Women have started to realize that and are opting out in record numbers.
When he’s not giving inaccurate takes about marriage, Kevin is minimizing the value of a woman to her physical appearance, domestic skills, and as he likes to say, her ability to “shut up.” While there are plenty of brothers who will hear this and love what Kevin has to say, he is just as bad if not worse to men. In Kevin’s world, a man is only as valuable as what he is able to produce or provide. He splits men up into “Alpha’s” or High Value, and “Beta’s.” Some basic research shows you that the idea of an Alpha or Beta make is a myth.
During the interview, Samuels consistently references the Moynihan report The Negro Family: The Case For National Action Office of Policy Planning and Research United States Department of Labor. For those who are not aware, the report was written by Deputy Labor Secretary, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and according to the Atlantic,
“Moynihan wrote the report on his own initiative hoping to persuade White House officials that civil-rights legislation alone would not produce racial equality.”
Samuels constantly references the Moynihan report on Black Families. The report starts off talking about the long legacy of racism, white supremacy, Jim Crow, and the current treatment of Black people, but somehow decides that the true and current problem is the “Destruction of Black Families” and “Absent Fathers'' All of this without acknowledging Black men being drafted into the Vietnam war, over-incarceration of Black people, and every other systematic pressure that has undermined Black Growth. This interview with University of Maryland sociologist Philip N. Cohen explains the problem better than I could.
After listening to the full interview, I was blown away at the lack of agency Kevin gives to women. He talks about them as if they’re a science experiment that can be understood with a handful of commands. He views marriage as the pinnacle of success for a woman, and the failure to accomplish that as a character flaw. And if you’re listening to what he’s saying it’s clear that he thinks most women are deeply flawed! Having said all of that, I get why so many people continue to support Kevin. While most of what he’s saying is inaccurate, and not backed by science, math, history, or common sense. He understands that there are a lot of Black men who don’t feel heard or seen. They feel like society has turned its back on them, and don’t see how their behavior may have contributed to that. Someone needs to talk to them, but many of us have opted out. Kevin hasn’t, and now he has their full attention.