The 10 Blackest Things in Shannon Sharpe’s Smorgasbord of Smoke, Ranked

Illustration for article titled The 10 Blackest Things in Shannon Sharpe’s Smorgasbord of Smoke, Ranked

Earlier today, Shannon Sharpe posted a picture on Instagram that can only really be described as a smorgasbord of smoke. A blackness lasagna, maybe. Blackness bukkake, perhaps. Either way, it looks like he’s either planning for the blackest game night ever or asked the hotel room service for a rush order of advanced hypertension. No one leaves this room with a systolic reading under 12,000.


Anyway, some things beg to be ranked. This is one of those things.

10. The Louis Vuitton bag, because of the high correlation between “staging” and “stunting” and “product placement” and “aggressively high blood pressure.” Reckless stuntin’ puts more niggas on Lisinopril than table salt.

9. The Js, which are both clean as a whistle and—because he doesn’t appear to have on any socks—musty as fuck. Those Js probably smell like the skunk he’s preparing to smoke. (And I know so much about whistle clean and skunky Js because, well ... trust me. I just know.)

8. He has, by my count, 14 different packages to smoke things in. The only thing blacker than that table will be his lungs when he’s done.

7. He’s clearly about to partake in some cabaret-adjacent activities but felt the need to censor the damn in his caption. I have no idea why he’d do that, but I’m assuming it’s job-related, so perhaps this isn’t “censoring” as much as it’s just garden-variety “bag-securing.”

6. The Cohiba, which I initially assumed was some sort of energy drink to chase the Hennessy with but learned with the help of some people blacker than me that it’s actually a cigar.


5. The perfunctory bottles of Hennessy, an extra-regular drink that no one actually enjoys drinking but niggas only buy because Tupac told us to. At this point, Hennessy is to black events what Jason Derulo is to awards shows. No one knows why it’s there, but it just keeps showing up

4. Every package and every bottle is positioned in a way so that the labels can clearly be seen. Shannon Sharpe might not know the meaning of chill, but he definitely knows his angles.


3. The mystery food, which I’m just going to say is oatmeal and butter. Or perhaps its couscous and mayonnaise. Or perhaps its Ralston and freezer-burnt ice cream. Either way, it reminds me of one of the random concoctions of homegrown foodstuffs one of my uncles claimed was “better than Viagra.” (Which I guess would make this Organic Moonshine Viagra?)

2. The deck of cards, which I’m sure are present to play Spades. And while I love Spades, I’ll admit that unless you’re going to a party with the specific intent of playing having Spades sprung on people—even people who like to play—isn’t as welcome as you’d assume it is. Invariably, there’s always two people who really want to play, one who agrees to play but doesn’t really want to because he’s still triggered by the memories of the stabbings that happened the last time he played, and a Kappa. And this reckless combination is how niggas get stabbed.


1. The smell of that hotel room right now, which is what Febreeze would smell like if it had a scent called “Strip Club Day Shift.”

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



Okay, I’m gonna preface this with I am white.

I have never, ever, ever ever ever, seen any of my black friends who were going to clown my ass in spades pull out a brand new pack of cards.  The cards they play with look like they got hit by a damn hurricane and if I ever tried to touch the box to put them back they looked at me like I just started hitting on their little cousin.