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While watching the DVD box sets of “The Wire“, I got an interesting request from my mate. Idris Elba (Stringer Bell on the show) had piqued her curiosity. Usually, so-called good relationships are built on upholding a few lies, but we try to make ours hinge on even uncomfortable truths. (Danger!) She wanted to know if she could have a “pass” should Idris come strolling down the street, looking to sweep her off her feet. The same pass would apply for Method Man or Andre 3000. Rather than be bothered by it, my response is always “Sure, go head.” I figure, if any celebrity has captured her imagination enough for her to mention it, I might as well indulge the idea, knowing that it would be there with or without me cognizant of it. The conversation then becomes a game of Celebrity Baseball Cards: we compare and contrast our short lists and eliminate or endorse candidates based on a shaky set of regulations, after which we return to our relationship corner content to settle on the not-so-Hollywood reality of each other.

The list she gives can sometimes rile my insecurity to no end. And it’s not because of any one particular leading man. I know women are attracted to confidence, gait, mystery and success more than looks alone. It’s no coincidence that none of the men on her list are the world’s richest (that’d be a red flag for my broke ass) or the most handsome. Mostly, they are dudes who exemplify swagger on another level.

HER LIST

Sure-Why-Nots

Mos Def – If she’s going to like someone, why not a Brooklyn fella like me? His debut album is etched in my memory and his movie career gives him some added artistic dimension. I’m cut from that cloth. Top ten emcee hopefuls get points in their favor.

Andre3000 – Again, he’s a Top Ten emcee. Style points are a go. Maybe, by extension, if she got the pass for him, she could bring home some of that Erykah Badu magic that turns Negroes in to legends before their time.

Personal-Foul-No-Not-Never

Idris Elba – Have you seen his character on The Wire”? Or in American Gangster? The guy just seems like an a**hole. Not to say that’s how he REALLY is, but she’s not REALLY getting a pass so…whatever.

Method Man – Mr. Meth was never my favorite member of the Wu because of his willingness to ham it up for the camera. This penchant has hurt his acting career, where he takes on outsized roles for him and speaks in terrible accents.

MY LIST

The-Must-Haves

Nia Long – A perennial All-Star in my book. Perfect skin, teeth, hair, stature make her irresistible. Also, something about the way she cradled Cuba Gooding in his ultimate b*tch moment in Boyz N’ The Hood…it resonated with a lot of black men. Yes, Nia, I’ll fight to be your baby daddy.

Rihanna – All foreheads aside, Rihanna is the hottest chick out right now. Even searching for a picture for this article led me off on a tangent to update the Ri-Ri photo gallery on my hard drive. She got People‘s Best Dressed too. Although, “dressed” is not necessarily her ace card for me.

Objection-Your-Honor-Overruled!

She says: something about her mouth-nose area is not right. I disagree but those are grounds for dismissal. Kerry’s GIANT Magazine photo shoot and political involvement re-awakened my intrigue. The case is pending.

Dania Ramirez – Admittedly, she’s new in the game, but her scene with Kerry in She Hate Me was just so indescribably good, I’ll keep her bookmarked. This column is just itching for a bad Latin salsa spicy joke but I will forgo that. She’s got my attention. Just needs a few more years of serious work.

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