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VSB Interview with Queen Sugar’s Kofi Siriboe

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

(Interview edited for clarity and length.)

The mid-season finale of OWN’s hit show, Queen Sugar , is tonight and VSB had the opportunity to speak with Kofi Siriboe on his breakout role as Ralph-Angel, toxic masculinity and why for come he couldn’t have been in every scene in Girls Trip . Kofi Siriboe’s Ralph Angel is a riddle of a man. Tender yet selfish. Forward-thinking on ideas of gender-fluidity and sexuality yet vulnerable to the same fuckboi-ish tendencies of misogynoir that did many a Hotep and Breakfast Club host in. Last season of Queen Sugar saw his character wrestle with what it meant to be a free man recently released from incarceration, with all the pitfalls and disappointments that come along with it. It also saw R-A reconcile with not only the death of the Bordelon patriarch but the recovering drug addict-mother of his child.

VSB: Congratulations are in order to you and the rest of the cast! Queen Sugar was picked up for a third season.

VSB: Kofi, first and foremost, thank you so much for speaking with us today! Everybody here at VSB loves Queen Sugar. I especially love your character, Ralph-Angel. You do such a wonderful job humanizing a character who is quite different than the character in the book. I actually can’t stand Ralph-Angel in the book.

VSB: Your character has been through a lot this season and last. Can you talk to me about Ralph-Angel’s struggles as a black man with a record and how that dictates the moves he’s able to make in the world?

KS: I feel it is very important to tell this type of story of Ralph-Angel as a character and a black man. You don’t see this type of character, this type of black man, portrayed on t.v. Not only Ralph-Angel’s journey, but I feel like we are telling the story of many black men. I feel like all of us [in the black community] have or know or have been a Ralph-Angel at some point. I’ve been in the industry for a very long time – since I was little – and I’ve been waiting to play a character like this for years.

VSB: I’ve definitely known a couple of Ralph-Angels in my own life. And what they tell me is with reentry it’s very hard and you notice the little things like wanting to regain the intimacy of touch that you aren’t allowed as a man behind bars.

VSB: So Ralph-Angel has done a lot right this season with his treatment of the Kenya situation (Editor’s note: Kenya is a doll that belongs to Blue, Ralph-Angel’s son) and your scenes with Brian Michael a few episodes back.

KS: That was a powerful moment. Shooting that scene…

(Suddenly Kofi’s reception gets bad on his end.)

KS: Ma’am. I’m sorry, I’m having trouble hearing you so I’m going to hang up and call back in.

(Did he just call me “ma’am”? Suddenly I’m reminded of Kofi’s age.)

(There it goes again. So chivalrous but so defeating at the same dayum time!)

VSB: No problem! So we left off with you talking about trans rights and the importance of including that in the dialogue for this season. Can you talk about toxic masculinity for a bit and how you’ve seen it play out in your own life, in the life of others and how it’s playing out in your character’s life?

KS: Toxic masculinity is something that I’ve seen in my own life. We as men are afraid to be vulnerable, afraid to show emotion. And in the black community the way we are portrayed in the media often times, it’s like we can’t cry, we can’t show fear.

VSB: I think it’s often seen as being a “black” problem when it’s not.

VSB: How did you conceptualize the character Ralph-Angel from the book to the small screen? Was this something that you collaborated on with Ava and Oprah? How did you bring him off the page?

KS: Ralph-Angel is very much adapted from pieces of me and the things that I have been through in my own life. Working with Ava is just…it was a blessing. We came together and I learned so much from her in this experience.

VSB: Talk to me about your character’s relationship to his son, Blue.

KS: The love they share is something special that we are able to portray: The love of a father for his son and he accepts him. Especially his understanding of the relationship between Blue and Kenya and how he doesn’t question. And how protective he is of Blue while still allowing this child to be a child and to experience innocence.

VSB: Let’s switch gears for a moment. Talk to me about your experience shooting Girls Trip with Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall and Tiffany Haddish?

KS: Did you have an opportunity to go see it?

VSB: We saw it over the weekend and everybody in the theatre lost their minds during your scenes.

KS: [laughs] Thank you. It was just a blessing getting to work with these actors that I looked up to so much and they were so welcoming on set. So I’m glad that they are getting the recognition they deserve and the movie is doing well.

VSB: Kofi, here at VSB we’re really big on talking about unapologetic blackness. Tell me, what does black boy joy mean to you?

KS: Well, you just said it. Black boy joy looks like unapologetic blackness and being able to stand in your truth.

VSB: That’s the blackest thing we’ve heard all week.

Jordan Kauwling is an early thirties Philadelphian but she tells everyone she’s in her late thirties because she doesn’t understand how math works. When she’s not busy writing, singing, eating all the falafel or unsuccessfully finishing another craft project you can catch her talking junk on Twitter.

Trump Administration To Tackle Affirmative Action And Keep White Women Out Of College

You bring good gifts Jordan. Thanks.

O-oh! Has AM/LadyIbaka/Lady Siriboe fainted yet from seeing her mans up on VSB?

Ahahaha! #OhMyPeapos Was at a naija wedding last wknd. Good times.

Over him? Nah mama. You’ve got to make such feel like they are just a-okay.

About time you got here, the competition is fierce! Comment section melting down from all the heat.

I was literally typing this before reading and I thought, sure someone has already mentioned this. And there! Loll.

I saw his name and immediately started daydreaming about….things. Let me scroll back up and actually read now. Lol

He sais he wished he had a girl yesterday for #NationalGirlfriendDay

I say we leave resumes with pictures and full home adresses.

I wonder what’s the secret to being that attractive.

Everytime i see him, all i can imagine is licking his *signal fades*

Sure! Let’s go with that.

Push ups and buying plenty of drinks.

Humility is overrated, most people are humble.

I mean, for someone like Kofi to be so young, grounded, and not a THOT (yet, or that we know of) is an achievement. The amount of panties he gets thrown at him is crazy.

What? I reject this completely. That has not been my experience

It ain’t gonna last though, just ask this guy:

God. Satan. Weren’t you cast into the pits of hayle. How did you make it up here to comment?

Satan. I bind you in the blood.

Don’t try to pour cold water on this man! He could be the next Idris! You never know.

Wait. Idris is mad popular. I might have missed your point.

You’ll never be that melanin rich beloved. But you’re adorable and light with kissable smiley lips.

I don’t know if I would’ve kept this interview professional.

Not for a second. All of the harassment.

“Question number 1: Do you like my boooody?”

“Question number 2: Do you like grapefruits IRL?” lol

“‘Cause I got these two right here and I ain’t makin fruit salad.”

Hahaaa! That poor boy better not visit this here comment section. Otherwise he’II be so shook at feeling so nekkid after reading through.

LOL. I’m sure he gets worse in his DMs…..lol

*Cackle* Maybe that’s why he uses “ma’am”; to keep excited damsels in check!

That wouldn’t have done a thing to keep me in check…lol

Sheeeeeet I would show him how experienced seasoned women put it down. “Ever been on a tilt a whirl?” No you haven’t but if you stand right here I’ll show you…. ;)

Maaaaaan listen…. “Kofi, do you like grapefruit in real life or are you a mango kind of brother?”

“I make jollof rice (Ghanaian is better though) but I got you.”

I have a laundry list… he looks like he might get offended if asked ” What that d do? ”

I would keep that to myself though..lmao

I would’ve led with the “do you like thick girls?”

“I make jollof rice (Ghanaian is better though)”

It’s like explaining Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream to someone who has only eaten Fan Ice all their lives.

Sho you right! Bhet, one would think that even if you’d not experienced the wonder, all the reports would let you know that there’s more out there.

YOOOOOOO. Shots friggin’ fired. That hurt my feelings but I’m still cackling. Smh. Well done.

Sis, I love you but you are about to try my life!

NWT, NWT, NWT. *Sighs loooong and deep in Nigerian while slowly shaking head* Why?

We could’ve had it all.. but you won’t let my rice be great.

I’m sure your rice is great but it hurts me deeply to see you align with the wrong side when I only want the best for you.

Since I have no dog in the jollof rice fight, I’m always entertained by it.

Though I will say that working at a place with a lot of West Indian and African American women, the Thanksgiving potluck can be…emotionally fraught. The hurt feelings over rejected macaroni and cheese and peas and rice. Think of it as part of the legacy over the diaspora.

I’ve had Nigerian jollof, but I can’t be an impartial judge until I try the other…lol

I wouldn’t admit to trying other jollof rices unless you’re armed to the teeth. Like school shooter armed. People don’t play with their jollof over there.

The rice fight is actually pretty civil. (We’ve had great times kicking each other out of their own countries)

Let there be a football match at the African Cup of Nations:

And it’s gotten worse as African nations are doing better for themselves. Damn…

Funny thing is, when it comes to football, we’re far more civil than the Europeans

I learned that through my lab jobs. The world looks at American fans like they’re wimps who just want to sit, eat and watch. That’s how I developed a respect for the game, even though my dad assimilated by running from soccer as fast as he could. Anything that could get people that amped must be special.

I was just about to say: Naija fans ain’t got NOTHING on European and S. American ones! *Shudders*

As a South Carolinian by birth and blood right I pep up at the mention of all things rice but this fight is so petty at times one would think that it’s #deeperthanrice . I guess this is the African version of the BBQ debate.

I think it is #deeperthanrice. i’ve seen plennay shots being taken in the name of this debate…lol

Meanwhile the true creators of the dish (Senegalese & Gambians) are rarely the ones arguing the point.

*Shrugs* Because they agree that while they started it, Nigerians perfected it.

Na lie . But I can’t front on Yoruba versions I’ve had with hot pepper.

Copy, copy no work. I said it first.

LMAO. *Notes LH may be more naija than she thinks, on account of her feistiness*

LOL. You just reminded me of reporter Komla Dumor’s (r.i.p) TED Talk. Some Nigerian big shot was shocked that he was Ghanaian, saying ” And you’re so confident?!” LOL.

Madam, how u dey? Have you made it out of the greys at the root? This fool claiming to be African was being hella rude and anti African-American. I tried to respond without success. Abeg mek you help me. Ah no sabi dis kinja biznis. (Ese/Eshe in advance).

All this moving wahala and that lame Kinja system. I got ungreyed on the main Root site but apparently doesn’t help with the VSB-root section (ungreying is per site basis, not system wide). I just checked and you are ungreyed on the Stuff only Black people say post, so you’re good to go. I commented there and on the latest post (Ezekiel baller) asking PanaMayne and Damon to free me.

Thanks, dear. It’s been so strange. I’ve been both greyed and ungreyed on the same day. Hopefully, I’m safely ungreyed. (I MISS DISCUS, our original home.)

She who picks Nigerian side never goes wrong, though.

Yall been talking about jollof rice for a minute, I need to try it out for myself.

See, if I was in your city, I’d have fixed this. But I hope you have friends who can make or recommend a good restaurant for it.

I’m pretty sure I can find a restaurant to make good jollof rice in the A. I’m on a mission..

Abeg, wetin? Let the woman speak truth. Grins at NegraWithTumbao then tries to look neutral.

Et tu, Love Heals? *Makes notes in record book*

Actually, blood-wise I have distant Naija ancestry. Nervous as I just got, I’d have been more worried had you threatened to flog me. But still, madam mek you no vex.

Ehen! So, you even have small Naija blood but you’re acting like dis? #Turrible Are you also Ghanian?

Kai! You could NOT have concealed your Naija identity just based on that spelling. But the proper mispronunciation from someone rocking Green-White-Green proudly is “Ghana-niyan”. Here’s the thing- I’m apparently somewhat contrarian. For all this wahala I’m giving you, I frustrate fellow Ghanaian folks by rubbishing Ghana’s pidgin. Naija, Sa Lone, L.I.B., I understand the patterns. Ghana’s. Not so much. And so I need to be careful which Ghanaian-American’s fufu, tuwo or jollof I consume. As for you, na which side you comot for Naija?

Hahaaa! I’ve always hated that mispronunciation – if they can properly say Nigerian, Libyan, etc, then why can’t my peopos say “Ghanian”?

Which naija side I be? The side whose jollof you can’t front on. ?

Eh, is dat so? I have relatives who speak that language fluently-born and raised in Ghana. Please, we continental Africans all have the words we make messes of and letters we leave out or add for no blasted reason. Embarrassments abound and (unintended) hilarity ensues.

I shall be observing. I got bandages ready though

hahaha. I got no dogs in this fight plus I can not chose a side.

Girl, that’s the only legit queshooooon, the last one. What does it do,and *trying to find signal*

Just telling him Ghanaian jollof is better would get you points because…ancestry.

Uh, my greedy behind can’t say that AT all. If it looks good, I’m eating the jollof.

Ewooo! What a pirry. If I was your city, I would have remedied this – errybody deserves the goodness of naija jollof. Kontinu!

Lissen. Is Kofi Naija, no? Why would I be eating Naija rice? I’m loyal.

*Cackles* Which kin agent be dis? You’re supposed to stealthily indoctrinate him until he is singing praises of Naija jollof!

And I got Ashanti, Akan and Yoruba and Bantu from the Congo….

You want an African girl, Kofi… here you go! ?

never…. you want me to have him!

Getting Vaseline ready. Tying them dreads!

You better let him know! Lol. That’s the beauty of claiming all sides of our people. Let him have been Cuban. Id’ve been all about “Soy sabrosa tambien, mi rey”. Goes back to drooling.

There would be no diasporans if not for these tribes….I REP MY SHYT IN EVERY WAY.

Speaking of which.. that article about black Americans appropriating African culture was complete bullshyt.. I’m so annoyed by that.

I heard about that same thing on NPR Code Switch. I heard the two black sisters talking about how many Africans get offended at black Americans wearing dashikis and other African attire. They talked about a British- Nigerian author who said it was ignorant and disrespectful to do that.

I’ma have to look into that article. My people are MY PEOPLE. Period. We have fly and wack in all sections of the globe but I damn sure will NOT claim allegiances based on White/Arab divisions. I belong to Jazz and it to me. African-American history is part of my worldview and experience. A brother who swore I was from Colon told his wife as I was helping her, that he KNOWS when he sees them. Mind you they’re both Panamanian. Lol. And if someone thinks I’m a fellow Tanzanian returning home, sho ya rite. Around the world our commonalities and shared destinies greatly outweigh petty bs. Another thing despite efforts to emphasize our real and perceived differences, we’ve impressively made efforts to reconnect and communicate. One can hear this in rumba influenced Congolese music my parents dig. “Nwa Baby” by Flavour is a remake of Rex Lawson’s “Sawale”. Both Nigerian songs. Strictly Soca has the same rhythm in “Nine inch banana”. Yet all came out of “El Manicero”. We’re family. Period.

“I make jollof rice (Ghanaian is better though) but I got you.”

And he is Ghanaian too, so you would have been in there like swimwear.

I wouldn’t have either. He’d have to hang up the phone or pretend there was bad reception.

You didn’t have on your glasses before?

I guess not, I was meh just lil’ while ago. Not anymore, lol.

I have not gone to the movies to see the film but I listen to all the different podcasts and it’s funny when the host describe the scene with Siriboe and describes how all the women in the theater are lustily swoon and sigh. He is an attractive gentleman.

He sho is. Lord Jesus please oo, don’t let my intuition come to be true oo. Imma leave it at that.

You know what you need in your life? Weekly updates about all the pop culture, race & politics, Bougie Black People™ shit, and other grand tomfoolery we cover here on VSB. Plus early heads up about new tees, new contributors, and our events. Do it.

Ne-Yo American Singer

Dating History 9

Crystal Renay

Monyetta Shaw

2009 - 2010

Tennille Jimenez

2007 - 2008

Casha Darjean

Crystal Renay

Crystal Renay and Ne-Yo have been married for 1 year. They were dating for 1 year aft.

2010 - 2013

Monyetta Shaw and Ne-Yo were engaged for 2 years. They dated for 1 year after getting.

2009 - 2010 (Rumor)

Ne-Yo is rumored to have hooked up with Jessica White in Dec 2009.

2009 - 2010

Tennille Jimenez and Ne-Yo had a relationship from 2009 to 2010.

2007 - 2008 (Rumor)

Ne-Yo is rumored to have hooked up with Vivica A. Fox in 2007.

2006 - 2007

Casha Darjean and Ne-Yo dated from October, 2006 to January, 2007.

Karrine Steffans and Ne-Yo dated from June to October, 2006.

Phoenix White and Ne-Yo had a relationship.

Simply Jess had an encounter with Ne-Yo.

Partner Comparison 9

Posted commentsView all comments (141)

i love this guy's voice.. i actually have some covers of his song that i made like #She wants me, #so sick, #Angels cry.

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About Ne-Yo

Ne-Yo has been engaged to Monyetta Shaw (2011 - 2013) .

Ne-Yo is rumoured to have hooked up with Jessica White (2009 - 2010) .

Ne-Yo is a 35 year old American Singer. Born Shaffer Chimere Smith on 18th October, 1982 in Camden, Arkansas, he is famous for R&B singer, In My Own Words in a career that spans 1998–present. His zodiac sign is Libra.

Help us build our profile of Ne-Yo! Login to add information, pictures and relationships, join in discussions and get credit for your contributions.

Details

Shaffer Chimere Smith (born October 18, 1979), better known by his stage name Ne-Yo, is an American R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and actor. Ne-Yo gained fame for his songwriting abilities when he penned his 2004 hit "Let Me Love You" for singer Mario. The single's successful release in the United States prompted an informal meeting between Ne-Yo and Def Jam's label head, and the signing of a recording contract.

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