(As a note, from here on out, we're doing all brackets in one day. Voting for the Elite 8 will end at 11am tomorrow. So get your votes in as we prepare for our Final Four tomorrow afternoon.)
Never before has the term "elite" fit a group so well. The lengths for which these names have attempted to push the envelope of Blackness would be admirable if not for the fact that I'd mollywop anybody in my family who ever, ever thought it was okay to bring this level of nincompoopery into my bloodline.
And yet here we are. All of these individuals strive. They scratch the surface of what is possible. Them are #blackexcellence for #blackexcellence is them. There is nothing Blacker in the disaspora than the names that have made it this far.
(Sidenote: To be fair, since we started this tournament, I've been sent names that actually made me cringe by school teachers, regular community members, and people who frequent Facebook. The Black name struggle is real y'all. I usually say we gots to do better in a joking manner. No, it's true. It's time to reach back to your family members you pretend don't exist before they name a child Darylquisha. And yes. That happened.)
VSB contributor Jozen Cummings - he of hatred of everything Black despite his name fame - provided our "staff" with a vine that I think full encompasses where we are in this tournament. If it's okay with you all, I'd like to share it. Just to let you know how I really feel.
Also, I'd like to say that I've never been more disappointed than when I realized that YG, nee Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson, had been eliminated. I'd like to send him a personal shoutout. You got robbed homey. Don't EVER let anybody tell you that your birth name ain't THE Blackest one in the history of the Americas.
Without further ado, we present to you, THE ELITE 8.
THE ATHLETES BRACKET
- D'Brickashaw Ferguson (73%, 297 Votes)
- D'Qwell Jackson (27%, 113 Votes)
I'm fairly certain that there are no surprises here. Also, I'm inclined to believe that if you ever meet a nword named D'Brickashaw hanging with a nword named D'Qwell, you may have unlocked the key to the universe and/or caused a tear in the space time continuum. Though I'm presupposing they've been on the football field at the same damn time at the same damn time causing too much Blackness at the same damn time. Real talk, an NFL field on Sunday might actually contain more Blackness than any Black Panther rally…ever. I know D'Brickashaw is a favorite, but I just want you all to marvel at D'Qwell Jackson for a bit. Double letters. Apostrophe. Two capital letters. A "Q". And Jackson for a last name. Just respect the Blackness is all I'm saying.
THE RAPPERS BRACKET
- Naydavious Cash (Future) (61%, 245 Votes)
- Cymphonique Miller (39%, 162 Votes)
Cymphonique took out Plies, something that common sense has been unable to do for like 10 years now. And Future continues his march towards peak Blackness by taking out sleeper favorite Keenon Daequan Ray Jackson aka YG. #400 I'm gonna say that's an accomplishment. You know what's scary? I've been looking at these names so long now, they don't even seem bad anymore. This bothers me. Immensely. I'm going to take some time to think about my feelings about this. My money is on Future.
THE BLACK PEOPLE YOU KNOW BRACKET
- Va'Shaundya Karlette Nelson (Shaunie O'Neal) (87%, 351 Votes)
- Linnethia Monique "NeNe" Leakes (13%, 55 Votes)
Do you know I actually had to carefully read each name as I typed them out to make sure I wasn't misspelling names that beg to be misspelled and mispronounced. My money is on Shaunie here. Here's why…that errant ass apostrophe kind of puts her over. Plus, she's got two f*cked up names as opposed to one. I wonder if when she met Shaq she told him what her real name was on the first date. Or did she say, this nwords name is Shaq, what can he say to me? Before this tournament, I'd have said he could say a lot. Honestly, what this tourny has taught me is that I need to know more white people. Bob is sounding motherf*cking magical right about now. Also, I'm not sure I'd date a woman named Va'Shaundya. My family isn't mature enough to NOT clown her relentlessly. And we've got some names. But ain't sh*t holding a candle to Shaunie's full name.
THE BLACK PEOPLE WHITE PEOPLE KNOW BRACKET
- Quvenzhané Wallis (90%, 363 Votes)
- Shaquille O'Neal (10%, 45 Votes)
Shaq took out Beyoncé. DOWN GOES FRAZIER! DOWN GOES FRAZIER! And now we have the giant versus the child. Davidisha versus Goliathjuan. I don't know what else to say that hasn't been said. My money is on Lil QuVay.
Rock the vote! As we march onto the #blackestname in America!!!!