ItsNotYouItsMe Blog: 2019-01-27

Saturday, February 2, 2019

The Number Ones: The Honey Cone’s “Want Ads”

According to one of many musical sources:

"The Honey Cone – “Want Ads”

HIT #1: June 12, 1971

STAYED AT #1: 1 week

It used to be a thing. If you needed an apartment, or a used car, or a job, you picked up a newspaper and spent hours combing through the entire section of tiny-font classifieds, looking for anything that might possibly work, deciphering the acronyms that people would come up with because the newspaper was charging by the letter. This was a terribly inefficient way to get anything done, but in a pre-Craigslist era, we made do.

I got my first two real full-time jobs — selling cut-rate layaway bedroom sets to broke people in a sheisty-ass East Baltimore furniture store, stuffing envelopes at the Maryland State Bar Association — because of newspaper want ads. And in a different way, I got my first media job because of want ads, too. After a few years of stuffing those envelopes, I moved up to New York and somehow miraculously found a job at The Village Voice — a venerable journalism source that, at least as far as I could tell, made most of its money because sex workers bought classified ads.

Shortly after I started working there, a piece-of-shit company bought the Voice and, one by one, fired all the legendary names working there. The people behind that venture finally dumped the Voice entirely — it no longer exists as a print product — and founded Backpage, a website dedicated entirely to sex-work want ads. Last year, Michael Lacey, the asshole most responsible for killing the Voice, was arrested in a big federal sting and charged with facilitating prostitution and laundering the money he made from it. Fuck that guy.

Anyway, point is: Classified ads were once a sufficiently established part of life that they inspired a #1 novelty hit. (They actually inspired two, but we’ll get to the other one later.) The Honey Cone’s “Want Ads” came into being when a studio engineer, while leafing through a newspaper, mused that someone should write a song about want ads. (His name was Barney Perkins, and he got a songwriting credit.)

The Honey Cone were three longtime backup singers, all of whom had been working for a while before they became a group. Lead singer Edna Wright, Darlene’s sister, had briefly been one of Ray Charles’ Raelettes, while Shelly Clark and been one of Ike Turner’s Ikettes, and Carolyn Willis had sung backup for Lou Rawls. Together, they were the first act signed to Hot Wax Records, the label that legendary songwriting/production team Holland-Dozier-Holland formed after leaving Motown in 1969. Holland-Dozier-Holland had written most of the Supremes’ biggest hits, but they had a hell of a time getting anything going on their own, and all of the Honey Cone’s early singles went nowhere.

“Want Ads,” the trio’s one big hit, did not come from Holland-Dozier-Holland. Instead, producer Greg Perry cowrote it with Chairmen Of The Board singer General Norman Johnson, who is not a real general. (Chairmen Of The Board’s highest-charting song was 1970’s “Give Me Just A Little More Time,” which peaked at #3. It’s a 4.) But even if Holland-Dozier-Holland had no direct involvement in “Want Ads,” it’s a clear attempt to replicate the kind of girl-group success they had in the early Motown era.

“Want Ads” is a simple song with a grand hook, a few swirling strings, a brash lead vocal, and a completely obvious hook: “Wanted! Young man, single and free / Experience in love preferred, but will accept a young trainee.” Wright’s character is pissed off because her man is cheating on her, and so she’s out looking for someone else. It’s a broad idea, but you can hear easily enough how the circa-1965 Supremes might’ve spun it into gold.

But 1971 was not 1965, Hot Wax Records was not Motown, and the Honey Cone were not the Supremes. The people at Hot Wax tried to get “Want Ads” to work a few different ways. First, Scherrie Payne, who would later join a ’70s incarnation of the Supremes, tried recording it, but she hated the song. Then Scherrie’s sister Freda Payne tried it, and that didn’t work, either. (Freda Payne had peaked at #3 with 1970’s “Band Of Gold“; it’s a 7.) The Honey Cone were third on the call list. Maybe the Honey Cone’s version of the song was the one the Hot Wax people were looking for, or maybe they just got sick of recording different versions.

In any case, the final version of “Want Ads” is a decent but slightly awkward collision of mid-’60s songwriting and early-’70s aesthetics. The production is pure budget Motown, and it has the chintzy strings of early-’70s MOR pop but also the humid, high-stepping funk of the Staples Singers. (The MVP here is rhythm guitarist Ray Parker, Jr., who will eventually get his own entry in this column.) None of it amounts to anything like peak Motown, but as novelty hits go, it’s not terrible. Taken all together, “Want Ads” is a gimmicky nothing of a song, but it’s a fun and efficient gimmicky nothing of a song.

The Honey Cone scored a couple more minor hits, but every single charted lower than the one that had come before, and they eventually broke up in 1973. That same year, Hot Wax Records went out of business — something currently happening to every newspaper that ever depended on want ads to make money.

GRADE: 5/10

BONUS BEATS: Here’s the Avalanches’ video for their 2016 Camp Lo collab “Because I’m Me,” which samples “Want Ads”:" -

Guy Duplantier & Rafael Hoffman by ALEX EVANS for MMSCENE

"Beauty session captured for MMSCENE Magazine January / February 2019 print edition by photographer ALEX EVANS with models Guy Duplantier and Rafael Hoffman. In charge of the hair styling was Hair Stylist Glen Coco with makeup from Makeup Artist Zaheer Sukhnandan.

Scroll down for more of the shoot:"


"Photographer Leonardo Bornati and stylist Elena Dini Silvera teamed up to capture some boys from Next Models, in exclusive for Fucking Young! Online.

Grooming & Tattoo: Lorenzo Zvatta & Diego Finassi
Photo Assistant: Simone Paccini
Styling Assistant: Diana Bolognini
Production: Lara Bornati
BRANDS: ACNE STUDIOS, Andrea Pompilio, Calvin Klein Jeans, HOUSE FROM VERY ISLAND, Nicola Indelicato." -


"For MMSCENE Magazine‘s January / February 2019 Edition Editor ZARKO DAVINIC talks to PATRICK CLAYTON about his beginning in modeling, staying fit and plans for the future. Patrick was photographed in Miami by Fashion and Portrait photographer Alkan Emin.

Discover more of the shoot and the interview:

Who is Patrick Clayton?
What a daunting question. How does one sum up twenty five years in a single breath? There is certainly no expedient way to adequately detail the sheer quantity of good and bad within a single vessel. Some would use that as an excuse to glance over the bad and highlight only the good: I try not not to gloss over the bad in my life, because I think that is easily confused with arrogance.

Once you get under my armor, it’s easy to realize that I love making people laugh, even if it’s at my own expense. Family is incredibly important to me, but I haven’t gotten to see much of mine in the past few years. I am a fan of objective thinking, and the practice of debate. I love reading and listening to books, specifically the genre of science fiction and fantasy. I could go on, but in the interest of time and not wasting any of yours, I’ll summarize thusly: Patrick Clayton is an experience much like that of a motorcycle ride. Practical, not necessarily for everyone, dangerous yet thrilling, and um… badass? That last one may be more about the motorcycle than me.

How did you start with modeling?
While attending college and working both as a lifeguard and as a front desk attendant at a gym, I was noticed by a talent scout at the gym who put the idea in my head. That, plus getting asked by moms at the pool to take shirtless pictures with their underage daughters made it seem like I could make money off of my looks… but yeah, it was weird. If you’ve done this with your children, please stop making the lifeguards uncomfortable! [laughs]

I figured I’d give it a shot since I was getting fed up with the repetitive nature of the education system.

Who did you look up to when you were still new to modeling?
I’ve always had a deep respect for Chris Hemsworth’s career. He started out as a scrawny model, and became the God of thunder… and so much more. #goals

What have you learned from the modeling industry?
I have learned many incredibly essential life lessons that the comfort zone of college just couldn’t offer. I was far too trusting when I came out of college; like, to the point of being naive. Modeling has taught me to assume the worst in strangers. This sounds like a bad thing, and it is sad that I had to learn the hard way that there are people in this world that are purely looking to take advantage of you, and they will tell you whatever you want to hear just to keep you around, but it was an important lesson to learn.

So, what advice could you give a model starting their career?
I’d encourage them to do a thorough research on everyone they come into contact with. Be wary of any promises people throw their way. It’s easy to make promises. Following through is something else, entirely. Don’t get into modeling if you think you’ll get rich quick. Be ready to do a lot of secondary work. Be ready to hear about what is “wrong” with your body. I’m “too big” for example. You think anyone has ever said that to Dwayne Johnson? Me either. But bookers have always told me my shoulders were too big to fit the clothing.

You work in both fashion and fitness categories. What’s your advice to models who want to have a balanced and healthy workout routine?
I’m no personal trainer. But I do know what it’s like to change my workout routine for years on end to try to better fit the imagined standards of beauty society has created. I stopped working out my shoulders for two years, because I was told they were too big. Well, after two years I still wasn’t seeing any influx of work, so I said screw it. I see no reason to try and change my body for other people. I do what makes me happy and what aligns with my own goals. That is what I would suggest for others. Do what drives you: not others.

What is your favorite sport?
Usually whichever one I’m playing at the moment. I’ve never been much of a sports enthusiast off the field. I’ve never really enjoyed watching sports. Even when I was a soccer nut, watching the world cup was still a chore for me. But if you get a team together and tell me a time to play, you name a sport and I’ll be there. I especially enjoy trying new sports.

What exercise do you do to get a sculpted body.

You know, I’ve had many conversations regarding this topic, and my biggest message is that it doesn’t just happen overnight. I’ve been told countless times that I’m lucky, because I’ve been blessed with good genetics, and while that is absolutely true, and I have nothing to dispute about that, that is not the only ingredient required in the recipe for a sculpted body. There are plenty examples out there of people who were not genetically predispositioned to a sculpted body, yet they worked hard and earned it. Yes, I’ve had a six pack literally for as long as I can remember, but I’ve also been insatiably active for as long as I can remember.

So what exercise do I do? Patience. That is the most important exercise one can do when sculpting their body.

What’s your tip for pushing yourself in a workout?
In a gym workout, my best motivator is having a partner there pushing me. I’ve always chosen partners that were already stronger than I was, so I’m constantly fighting to reach their level. With running though, I actually prefer exercising alone for some reason.

What’s the ideal diet?
I’ve always believed that my diet should be whatever makes me happy. And I’ve always been active enough that what I eat hasn’t really made a huge impact on what I look like. So I eat like a child. I won’t lie to you. If you have candy around that you don’t want disappearing, I’d suggest hiding it if I’m around. I am very carnivorous. I’ve recently tried to add more fruit into my diet, and that seems to be going well. But find what works for you. I wouldn’t try to copy what I do unless you’re willing to take on my activity level too..

Do you believe in dietary supplements?
Depends. I’ll take a vegetable supplement every now and then, because I know I don’t get the nutrients naturally. But all of these weight loss pills and mass gaining proteins are a waste of money in my opinion. I used to take the mass gainers, and realized it was just a bunch of filler that made my face get puffy. There are no shortcuts. Just put in the work. Over and over. I no longer take any fitness supplements except pre-workout here and there.

Which three beauty products could you not live without?
Toothpaste, first and foremost. Books, secondly, to keep my vocabulary one worth boasting about. And lastly, my friends. Without them, I would be nothing. They bring out my personality, and if tomorrow, I develop boils, scars, or some other disfigurement, I know I’ll still be beautiful both to them, and because of them.

Where do you see yourself ten years from today?
I certainly have dreams: like becoming Chris Hemsworth’s stunt double and then just replacing him as he ages out, but I mean, who am I to say that’s where I’ll actually be in a decade? No, I’m kidding. I would really enjoy trying my hand at acting though. I feel like my natural talents would come into play big time when it comes to that career choice.

For more of Patrick keep up with him on Instagram @theclaytoncurse ; Patrick was photographed for MMSCENE Magazine January / February 2019 (#028) issue by Alkan Emin. Get your copy now in PRINT OR DIGITAL."

Hærværk FW19 Backstage!

"Take a look at Hærværk‘s Fall/Winter 2019 backstage, shot by Marc Medina during Copenhagen Fashion Week, in exclusive for Fucking Young!" -

Friday, February 1, 2019

Whoo-Hoo! OG Style trendsetter Iris Apfel Signs With IMG Models!!!

Whoo-hoo! OG style icon and all-around trendsetter Iris Apfel sings with IMG Models! A woman who has a born with instinct and golden eye garment talent. Fashion you can buy but the style you must possess. We've been questioned our whole lives, "what's your secret to your style"?

We feel style is in your DNA. You either have it or you don't.  And it's very obvious when those who don't. It's something you really cant learn. We always dress for ourselves and we don't care what anybody thinks. No, we're not rebels or label whores. We don't do these things to shock anybody. Frankly, we don't give a damn.

Fortunately, we've come across talent and inner circle relationships that have been secure and celebratory and not jealous. Authentic style lovers who've liked the way we've dressed. Liked how we styled and never minded if people stared. Cause they knew the creation first hand was never premeditated or tried but just organic and spontaneous to a mood and expression!

"It was announced on Thursday that Iris Apfel, the 97-year-old businesswoman, interior designer and accidental fashion icon, has signed with IMG Models.

"I am very excited. I never had a proper agent," Apfel told Women's Wear Daily, adding that she previously brokered deals herself. "I'm a do-it-yourself girl. I never expected my life would take this turn, so I never prepared for it. It all just happened so suddenly, and I thought at my tender age, I'm not going to set up offices and get involved with all kinds of things. I thought it was a flash in the pan and it's not going to last."

The tastemaker — who launched her own textile company, Old World Weavers, in 1950, and was involved in nine White House restoration projects — went on to say that designer Tommy Hilfiger connected her with IMG. "He put us together," she said. "I'm very excited and very grateful."

Prior to signing with IMG, Apfel — whose bold style has made her popular among millennials over the last several years — has starred in ad campaigns with major fashion and beauty brands such as MAC Cosmetics, Kate Spade and Alexis Bittar. IMG will represent Apfel for future modeling gigs, endorsements and appearances.

In a statement, Ivan Bart, president of IMG Models and IMG Fashion Properties, expressed his enthusiasm about adding Apfel to the company's roster of talent, which includes top models like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Ashley Graham and Elsa Hosk, among others.

"Iris is an icon with immeasurable talent. She radiates creativity and inspiration, and we're so excited to explore new and unique opportunities with her, where her natural gifts can be shared with the world," said Bart. "At 97 years old, Iris continues to prove that age is just a number and shouldn't be something that defines you." -

Throwback: Whitney's Billboard Hot 100 This Very Exact Week In 1997

As we were coming of age and grew up singing and performing at local talent shows, festivals, church, family and friends homes, one of the many songs that we used as vocal warm-ups was this Whitney Houston timeless and classic, " I Believe In You And Me". So for this reason alone, it is why this song holds a very-very special-place in our musical hearts. Our memory, present, and future will always love Nippy for teaching us the technique and spontaneity to exercise our God-given born with talent!

"So, as our retrospective features ‘From the Vault’ and ‘TGJ Replay’ allow us the chance to re-spin the gems and jams of yesterday of one artist, our newest feature Chart Rewind – a variation of our current Retro Rewind assay – accedes salutes to an entire era of music history.

This week we believe it’s time to pay tribute to Whitney Houston‘s ‘I Believe In You & Me.’ Penned in 1982 and first brought to fame by The Four Tops, ‘Me’ -a moderate success for the legendary R&B group – was revamped and revitalized once Houston put her signature belt on it. Tapped to kick off the singer’s third soundtrack album in less than 4 years, The Preacher’s Wife’ (starring Houston & Denzel Washington), the tune was released in December 1996. Less than a month after its release it shot to the top 10 of the Hot 100 where it would meet a #4 peak this week in 1997.

Marking a personal milestone for the pop icon as her 16th top 5 hit, ‘Me’ eventually earned a platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America and lodged itself as a “fan favorite” among the singer’s most prized hits. Look inside to relive the tune and see who joined Houston in the top 25 this week 22 years ago:" -

The Number Ones: The Rolling Stones’ “Brown Sugar”

According to our musical sources:

"The Rolling Stones – “Brown Sugar”

HIT #1: May 29, 1971

STAYED AT #1: 2 weeks

Mick Jagger wanted to call it “Black Pussy.” When Jagger wrote “Brown Sugar,” in 1969, that’s the title he had in mind. Jagger later said that he changed it when he decided that his original title was “too direct.” (That’s one way to say it.) But “Brown Sugar” still means what it means.

In a lot of ways, the Rolling Stones are a best-case scenario for the whole cultural appropriation question. They were loutish British college kids who were utterly devoted to American blues, to the point where they didn’t really like being called a rock ‘n’ roll band for a long time. On their way up, they ripped a few people off during the era when everyone was expected to rip a few people off. But they also found ways to build on the music that they loved, to add to it. They found their own charmingly depraved snake-slither sound, adding an almost foppish libertine sheen to the raw, sexed-up music that had influenced them, and they also brought that sound to white audiences who might’ve never heard it otherwise. The whole time, they paid tribute to their idols, covering their songs and taking them out on tour. They were fully conscious of their role as a white band playing black-influenced music, and they handled themselves with more integrity than they had to.

“Brown Sugar” complicates all that. “Brown Sugar” is a song about white men having sex with black women, and it’s a song where Jagger ties his own impulses to those of the white slavers who were raping black women hundreds of years earlier. The song’s whole first verse is explicitly about rape and torture: “Gold coast slave ship bound for cotton fields / Sold in the market down in New Orleans / Scarred-up slaver knowns he’s doing all right / Hear him whip the women just around midnight.” (Keith Richards has insisted that “scarred-up slaver” is actually “skydog slaver,” a reference to Duane Allman, but “Brown Sugar” doesn’t seem like the sort of song where you’re randomly throwing in inside jokes for your buddies.)

Later on, Jagger sings about a slaveowner’s wife taking that same advantage of the boys she owns: “House boy knows that he’s doing all right / You should’ve heard ‘em just around midnight.” And then Jagger sings about himself, in those same terms: “I’m no schoolboy, but I know what I like / You should’ve heard me just around midnight.”

So what’s Jagger doing here? Here’s a song that’s all about fetishization and about power dynamics, though Jagger probably wouldn’t use those terms. There are stories that the song is about a specific black girl. (There’s some conjecture that it’s about Marsha Hunt, part of the London Hair! cast and the mother of Jagger’s first kid, or about Claudia Linnear, one of Ike Turner’s Ikettes. There’s also a theory that the song is really about heroin, which really only makes it more complicated, not less.) And even if it’s not someone specific, Jagger is very much singing about being a white man who loves having sex with black women, seeing his “cold English blood turn hot.” But when he sings about himself in relation with slavery, is he interrogating his own feelings, about the ways that his own desires are all bound up in power and exploitation? Is he confessing to being part of a fucked-up lineage? Is he celebrating being part of a fucked-up lineage?

The song definitely sounds celebratory. There are songs — I’m thinking especially of “Sympathy For The Devil” here — where Jagger flaunts his own literary, historical playfulness, where he foregrounds the words. He doesn’t really do that on “Brown Sugar.” Instead, he stretches and swallows his syllables, making them hard to make out unless you know what you’re listening for. And the song really is a nasty groove, a growling and twanging boogie from a great band operating at its peak. Maybe that groove, with its sax-screams and its maracas, is part of the commentary. Or maybe it’s just the Rolling Stones having fun. The one part of the song everyone remembers — “Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Whoo!” — is definitely them having fun. But should they be having fun with this? Do they even know what they’re doing?

Jagger wrote the “Brown Sugar” riff while he was filming his part in the 1969 movie Ned Kelly, and he scrawled the lyrics on sheets of notebook paper while Keith Richards watched. “Brown Sugar” hit #1 shortly after it came out in 1971, but the song had sat in the vault for a couple of years, a casualty of the Stones’ battles with record labels and management. They’d recorded it at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, part of the same insanely productive three-day session that also produced “Wild Horses” and “You Gotta Move.” And two days after they got done with that session, they debuted “Brown Sugar” onstage — at Altamont, the same show where their Hells Angels security stabbed a black fan to death. Everything about “Brown Sugar” is messy.

A couple of years ago, my friend Jack Hamilton published a book about race and ’60s rock ‘n’ roll — about how a music that started the ’60s as a fascinating combination of black and white influences ended the decade as pretty much straight-up white music. Jack named the book Just Around Midnight, after that line from “Brown Sugar.” On “Brown Sugar,” Jack writes, “The song traffics in repugnant stereotypes of black female sexuality, and it mines the historical atrocity of slavery for white male fantasy, while its rollicking and ebullient backing track implies a galling flippancy toward its own subject matter.” But Jack also writes that the song might also be “the most unflinching exploration of racial and musical imagination ever put on record by a white rock and roll band.”

So “Brown Sugar” is a nasty, anthemic rock song from one of the greatest bands in the genre’s history. If you don’t know what Jagger is singing about on the song, or if you choose to ignore it, it works just great as a car-radio singalong. If you start to dig into it, the song becomes a loaded fucking weapon. It gleefully backstrokes through toxic waters. Maybe we should praise it for having the decency to acknowledge that toxicity, to make it explicit. Or maybe we should think hard about the levels of privilege you’d have to enjoy to even think about writing a song like this. And maybe we should also think about how enough people thought that this shit was totally OK that “Brown Sugar” topped the charts for two weeks, how enough people still think it’s totally OK that “Brown Sugar” remains in rotation on classic-rock radio.

Plenty of people who loved “Brown Sugar” at the time probably never even thought about any of this stuff. Maybe some of those people will read this piece and get annoyed at someone applying 2019 ethical standards to a decades-old song. But that’s what we’re doing here. When we look back on the history of the biggest pop songs in America, we’re also looking at the societal forces that led to the embrace of those songs. Songs have values and political implications that they may not have intended. It’s just part of the fucking deal. (I’ll have to deal with my own version of this when the column gets into #1 songs from 50 Cent or Terror Squad, songs I really liked, that casually throw around a certain homophobic epithet.)

In 1995, Jagger talked to Rolling Stone about writing “Brown Sugar,” and he said that he “would never write that song now.” As for what the song means, what its intent was, Jagger said, “God knows what I’m on about on that song. It’s such a mishmash. All the nasty subjects in one go.” And when Jagger sings the song now — something that he’s continued to do at Stones shows ever since — he gives the impression that he hasn’t really thought about that at all in the decades since. Must be nice.

GRADE: 7/10

BONUS BEATS: Here’s Biz Markie’s “Snow Flake,” a race-flipped version of “Brown Sugar,” recorded for Chris Rock’s 1998 album Bigger & Blacker:" -

The Other Side

"Alexander Van Horn at The Lab photographed by Riccardo Apostolico and styled by Antonio Autorino, in exclusive for Fucking Young! Online.

Art Direction: Valeria De Cristofaro
Collaborators: Giada Carrera, Sonia Alipio
Grooming: Greta Giannone
BRANDS: Erika Cavallini, CA&LOU, Saint Laurent, Prada, Dries van Noten, Christian Dior, Kiton, Paul Smith, Doucal’s." -

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