Friday, April 27, 2007

TAN Q&A: Stereohyped Editor Lauren Williams

Earlier this week my usual routine of shucking-and-jiving for the man was interrupted by the announcement of a new blog for negroes called Stereohyped. "What's this" I thought, "someone trying to impinge on my TAN-turf? AND they've got gay white dollars behind them?!!?"

Needless to say I broke out the brass knuckles and prepared for serious beef (over email of course), cause I'm the only negro allowed to tapdance for gay white blog-publishers in this town dammit!

But then I finally scrolled down past the assimilated-inspired header, and noticed the editor was female, and cute. And the content was actually pretty interesting as well. Hmmph! I was at an impasse. Like the rest of the black community I'm programmed to hate on other negroes doing things I might be able to do if I gave up my forties-and-a-blunt daily multivitamin, so now what? Well as per my usual routine when flummoxed over an issue that has racial implications I watched about six hours of Oprah to get my mind right, and after a marathon of soaking in the big O's hip-hop-hating equanimity I decided that maybe black people could work together for a change. So instead of bullets and drama I sent over some questions (and a case of Colt 45) over to assimilated negress Lauren Williams. And 'gro-and-behold she was kind enough to respond:

Lauren Williams is a bit of a generic name. Can you spare us the trouble and tell us what an in depth Google search reveals about you? Particularly your credentials as a black person and a writer/journalist/tastemaker.

Well, I've been black for about 25 years, give or take a few in the mid-to-late 90s when I was having an intense Clueless/Britney Spears moment. I double majored in English and African American Studies (with an unofficial minor in institutionalized segregation on college campuses below the Mason-Dixon Line) at the University of Virginia, followed by a Master's in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University. I worked as a local news reporter at a paper in Virginia for a year, which will go down in history as the most miserable year of my life. Then I fled to Paris to study cuisine at Le Cordon Bleu. Get it? Taste. Maker. The end.

How long has Stereohyped been in the works? Did it go through different iterations?

Stereohyped has been an idea for a couple of years, but I've only been working on it for a few months. I wouldn't say it's gone through different iterations, but it has definitely evolved and will continue to as I start to get reader feedback. Readers, feed back, please!

Who would you rather be with: Derek Jeter or Jay-Z?

The more important question to ask is who would rather be with me? Last time I checked, Derek Jeter prefers his milk without the chocolate, if you know what I mean. I don't like to get played, so the natural choice would be Jay-Z.
[ed. the idea is to choose between jock/model/athlete type vs. businessman/cool personality/rapper type]

You seem to cover everything black people love, EXCEPT sports. Where's the sports love? Are you aware that a lot of black people play sports?

Ugh, sports. It's an untapped gold mine, I know. The thing is, I don't know anything about sports beyond basic pop culture references. It would ring false. That said, I'm certainly not anti-sports. If someone wants to be my sports columnist, holla! Insert "for free" somewhere in there.

How involved were you in the name and design selections? What were some of the other names. And do you know a lot of black people who wear suits and brazenly carry spray paint cans around on their way to and from work?

The site already had a name when I started working on it, and I'm no designer. I did offer my opinion on the way things looked. Also, everyone I know carries spray cans on their way to and from work. And they're brazen with it. You need to get out more. But seriously, the logo symbolically represents Stereohyped's readers, who are educated but have diverse interests, who often have to act one way at their jobs and another when they go home, and who refuse to be pigeon-holed . Basically, it's for all of the Wall Streeters out there who have penchants for graffiti. And don't they all?

Who are your competitors? Are you stealing black readers from my friends at Gawker? Are you stealing white readers from my friends at okayplayer? You've got to be stealing from someone right?

I read so many blogs, and when I discover a new one I like, I just add it to the list. I'm not sure that there are any other blogs exactly like mine right now, so I can't name any direct competitors. I hope to attract readers who like gossip blogs, political blogs, sports blogs (just kidding), fashion blogs, etc. Basically, everyone should watch their back. Or at least be cool with sharing.

Speaking of white readers, are you keeping them in mind, or could you care less if they stay or if they go now?

I love white readers! However, if, by "keeping them in mind", you mean posting content just because I think white people will like it, then the answer is no. But I won't limit myself to posts that only interest black people. I'm not even sure that's possible. A lot of my content will interest a wide range of people. I welcome that, obviously. I'm not going to turn away or deliberately alienate readers.

How do you get your hair so deliciously curly?

Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding. Look it up.

Are you single?

[ed. Holla!]

Would you rather have: Jolie's lips, Biel's booty, Johannson's rack?

Jolie's lips are fine on her, but slapped on anyone else's face I think they would look more like Jack Nicholson in his Joker makeup than Lara Croft. Johannson's rack? I like mine better. I guess that leaves Biel's booty, which, I admit, is pretty impressive.

Do you interracially date/mate?

I never have before, but it's not something I would rule out.

Have you ever been called a nappy-headed hoe? Also, do you play basketball?

No to both. But once in high school gym class a white classmate asked me if black girls had to use special mascara because our hair was different. We were on the basketball court but were playing volleyball, I think. Does that count? A little?

Are you maintaining a rigid posting schedule? How much content can we expect?

At least 10 posts a day on the weekdays. A couple on the weekends. In other words, there will be more than enough procrastination fodder for the entire workday.

Was this your baby, or David Hauslaib's? If it was his, what in the world is he doing having a black baby? Does trent-is-the-new-pink know about this? If it's your baby, how did you convince The Man to be your black-baby daddy?

What in the world is he doing having a black baby? You really don't know? Black babies are all the rage. Ask Angelina and Madonna.

Should there be a blog for Asians, puerto ricans, and native americans? How about short people, or people who talk a lot in movies? How many niches should there be?

Why not? It's not for me to say how many niches there should be. Nobody's forcing people to read their blogs or making readers pay for the service. I'm pretty sure there are some bloggers who write just for themselves and consider readers an added bonus. Anyway, there is a small, odd, but loyal group of people who would religiously follow the People Who Talk A Lot In Movies Blog. I'm waiting for one geared toward people whose second toes are longer than their big toes. I might start that on the side.

Parting shots?



  1. Anonymous4/27/2007

    Interesting. Some you have a claim on being the only black man to work for gay white-owned blogs?

    Hmm. Perhaps you don't know Rod McCullom at Rod 2.0? He writes for Out, The Advocate, some tv news show ... and Nick Denton. He's at Fleshbot and used to freelance at Gawker or Wonkette, I think. Has been for years.

    He's also black.

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

  2. The more the merrier.

  3. Thanks for the Stereohyped linkage - the site look like a winner. Than again, I'm a total blog whore and will read anything beyond "OMG! LOLZ!"

  4. Classic TAN. Keep 'em coming.

  5. Very entertaining interview! Thanks for sharing the link to Stereohyped, too.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. T.A.N.,

    How can you leave me for this clearly beautiful and intelligent Black woman? Who I am bound by Black codes to hate because she like myself is a driven, beautiful Black woman. Ahhh, deafricanization at its finest.

    5280 Princess,

    Ms. Denva

  8. I'm a fairly new reader and I'm not postive but I think you've got a crush.

    Eitherway, I'm entranced with the daily content!

  9. Loved that interview. She's got wit for days... and I think I agree with Sarah. You have a crush.

  10. TAN, can you please interview more people. Don't be picky, anyone will do, and I'm sure you will make it hilarious and entertaining.



  11. She's one smooth laaadaay. Shoot, I think I have a crush.

    groovy interview.

  12. So... did you ask her out yet?

  13. Anonymous5/11/2007

    you forgot to say "gay white and jewish blog-publishers"...since we're playing that race and ethno game apparently for uncle tomish laughs, ya' might as well cover more bases, dude...some people still are sensitive about the race-baiting and i sure hope it's not the gay white jewish blog-publishers, right. loltycatjajd (abbrev. translation: laugh out loud til ya choke and that's just a joke dude)

  14. How do I get a blog from gay jewish people? I love the gays in a non-hag sorta way and Chanukah is my favorite holiday.

    I want an update. Did you ask her out?

  15. Anonymous6/20/2007

    I know I am late but will comment anyway. Stereohyped purchased their way into the Black blogsphere- they did not earn it. I checked sometime ago and having been online for less than a month they already has a Google page rank of 5. That has to be some sort of record. I don't care who writes for the blog it is white owned as always whites ignore us until they realize their is money to be made off of us. I won't support Stereohyped because they are white owned and because common sense and history has shown me that anytime white corporate america comes around flashing their money and muscle- Black lose out. Eventually sites with the backing of those white dollars will either own or run sites like Cl, C&D, and YBF or run them out of business. This is about dollars and I know for a fact that many of these blog owners are making six figures a year. Don't sell them out. Everytime we create something we allow whites to steal it and make money off it as we go broke.

    Learn from the past people.

  16. blackwomanwith hotrank,bootyANDlips3/20/2008

    why are all of the women who's body parts you asked if she wanted to have, white?

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