Respect to the Afrofellas

Way back when I interviewed Lisa Price of Carol’s Daughter, she shared a natural hair trend she’d been noticing. “More and more boys are growing their hair out,” she said. Now I’ve been noticing that myself.

There’s something about a guy who’s brave enough to grow out his hair and fly the natural flag high that makes me smile.

Take for example, big Ben Wallace, AKA The ‘Fro. He’s been rocking the cornrows recently, but he looks so much more like a warrior when he’s pounding up the court with his hair blowing in the breeze.

I don’t care much about basketball (but for some strange reason it’s always on in my house…) and Ben Wallace is one of the few players who I instantly recognize and will gladly root for. Keep it fierce and natural Ben, we love it!

Hair even became a bit of an issue for Julito McCullum, who plays Namond Brice on The Wire.

In order to be a better corner boy, he was advised to chop off his long, curly locks. But to Namond, his hair is part of his identity. He didn’t want to cut off his hair, because that would mean he officially accepted his fate and became an unrecognizable corner hustler. The scene where he gets his hair braided proves how far he is willing to go to earn his highly dysfunctional mother’s love.

Natural curls are always popular on the music circuit, where hair and self expression go hand in hand. And no other dude had prettier hair than Maxwell.

The man who had the ladies swooning with his cover of Kate Bush’s This Woman’s Work had a head of freeform curls to set him apart from the pack. Now he’s making a comeback and taking the Ludacris route of shaving off his glorious locks.

Personally, I hope he eventually grows it back. But I’m just ready for a Maxwell comeback, by any means necessary. (And while I’m on this topic — WHERE is D’Angelo at?? I LOVE me some D’Angelo!)

I hope Somalian hip hop artist K’Naan leaves his style as is. I love his freeform curls, and I love the variety of his expression even more. Learn more about him in this fascinating interview with Hip Hop Canada.

K’Naan tells the true story of his friend being beaten and locked up in Sweden on this remix of Kick, Push. His new hit, Soobax, is getting steady airplay on VH1 Soul, and I hope it makes the jump to BET. (But if that recent interview on the Wendy Williams show is to be believed, K’Naan might be too intelligent to get airplay on 106th and Park. Which is really, really sad).

Soobax is a song about the murderous destruction of Somalia — click here to read the lyrics. K’Naan introduces himself eloquently here, and explains the truth behind his music. I’m feeling this guy’s style, from the fluffy fro to the meaningful music. I hope he goes far and keeps representing for afrofellas everywhere!

Did I forget any other talented bros with fros? Who’s your favorite?

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Comments

  1. I would run my fingers through Maxwell’s hair on any given day…**sigh**.

    Great post afrobella. Love the brothers with natural hair that keep it tight.

  2. It is true that a lot of black guys are growing out their hair. I see it a lot where I come from (London, England). So many guys have healthier and longer hair than their female counterparts.

    My favourite has to be Maxwell.

    Did u know that at one point sisqo tried to grow his hair out after the thong song? He had it died blond and had a visor on. It looked like popcorn was growing out of his head!

  3. BlackHoney says:

    I was so in love with Maxwell and his BAA.

  4. Good article Afrobella, However, I’m sorry, but I do not like guys with long hair. It works for some (Maxwell, Luda, Lloyd), but not for others (Kobe Bryant). But for me, there is nothing sexier than a guy that has a tight fade,edge up or a nice caesar cut.

  5. I’m with you Nikki and I don’t think I have any exceptions to that rule. I just do not like long hair on a guy.

  6. I love that men are growing there hair out, I see so many great hairsyles on them. Hooray :-)

  7. Girl, I got a weakness for a man with a fro, for real for real. Love me some Maxwell. My heart broke when I saw that he cut his hair off. But you left out Lenny Kravitz and for a while Michael Ealy was even rocking a little fro. I loved it!

    But I only like brothers with nappy napps. Those pretty ricky curls don’t do it for me. No offense to anyone with that hair type:( I love all my afrobellas, but when it comes to the brothers I like dem curls tight! LOL :)

  8. Patrice- I had no idea you were a Wire fan! I truly believe that it’s the best television show ever created. It’s going to be a lonngg wait until the fall when season 5 starts, but I’m holding myself over with the DVD sets.

  9. Great article, Afrobella. I love men with natural hair, regardless of the style (fro, fade, locks, etc.) Just please do not put a texturizer in it!!(smile)

  10. Since I never miss an episode of American Idol, I have to mention Brandon that got voted off 2 weeks ago. He was cute and had a nice little free-form fro. I guess I wouldn’t want any guy whose hair was prettier than mine though… My boyfriend keeps threatening that he will grow out his hair and his curls will be more “luxurious than mine” (his words). That I will not tolerate. :)

  11. Oh I almost forgot, Troy Polamalu! He plays for the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’d be about the only reason I’d watch football on tv voluntarily. I love his long gorgeous flowing curls.

  12. Just wanted to introduce you to another afrobella who is representing- Zahra Redwood, the first Jamaican Rastafarian to make it as Miss Jamaica, representing them in the Ms. Universe competition this year in Mexico City. Who knows, she may be the first Rastafarian to enter the Ms. Universe Competition. Natural Hair has come a long way baby!

    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070325/ent/ent5.html
    http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20070327/lead/lead3.html

  13. I used to rock a fro, it’s true. I’ll have to show you some pictures some time, but I used to let my curls rock out in their full glory. I’ve had hair issues of my own, and at one time even straightened my hair! That’s why I now keep my hair short, so I don’t have to deal with it. I feel for all you ladies.

  14. HEy Afro great post. I was just about to chop my hair off that I have been growing for eight months. But Maxwell’s “freeform curls” look like a good style to try. Do you know if that is a simple process or expensive or is it something I can learn to do online?

    Always kneeling at your bountiful guidance and wisdom,

    Digby

  15. Thanks for giving love to K’Naan. I’ve seen him live in London andit was my fave album of last year. Glad to hear he’s getting (some) airplay and video rotation Stateside!

  16. What about us brothers with locks??? We need love too. BTW I live in Detroit & noticed that a lot of guys are growing their hair out.

    Peace,
    Bygbaby

  17. flygyrl72 says:

    Hey, what about Bone Thugs N Harmony!? Those dudes have heads FULLA hair…I loved that about them, wasn’t always feeling their music (cept for Crossroads), but always dug the hair. It was big, long, thick, they had it goin on…And Bella, I’m with you, I love Ben Wallace’s hair,it’s bomb. But my first fro crush, was back inna day, it was Dr. J, his fro was so awesome, he was so gorgeous…oops, I’m givin away my twirty-something age now… ;-)

  18. I don’t know if anyone has mentioned him as yet but I absolutely adore Gary Dourdan on CSI:Las Vegas. He plays Warrick Brown on the show. His free form curls are hot. That brother is so fine!

  19. Hey Digby,
    I’m pretty sure that that’s just how Maxwell’s hair grows when he lets it get as long as it can get. Same as K’Naan. It’ll take some growing out and quality hair products, but that looks like a wash and go fro to me.
    Thanks for writing!

    Bygbaby, I’ve been working on a rasta/dreadlocks post for MONTHS now! I think the person I tried to interview didn’t want to get bogged down in talking about hair. Or something. Either way, a big loving post to my dreadlocked sisters and brothers is coming up. For sure!

  20. Thank you for the advice. Would either you or anybody know the best hair products to use?

  21. afrobello says:

    I hate them all, lol. My hair grows at the speed of government beaurocracy and stops just when I think I’m getting somewhere. When Maxwell’s first album came out, I was salivating for hair like his. Unfortunately I’m predisposed against false additions, so nothing’s getting sewn in just to boost my ego.

  22. knitnbytch says:

    Since I’ve decided to go natural, I’ve been admiring brothers with long hair. Especially their hair. The only thing that will turn me off is that permed Morris Day hairstyle, or if someone has really dirty hair. LOL

  23. Saul Williams is another talented brother with a bad ass ‘fro!

  24. Geek to sheek says:

    How do I get my hair like Maxwell? Looks more like Jackson 5 right now!?

  25. Geek to sheek,
    For a more chunky fro (as opposed to the smooth rounded fro you ala Jackson 5), try putting your damp hair in several large braids or twists and wear them overnight. Take them down in the morning and fluff them out for a chunky fro. Make sure your hair is damp, not wet or it probably won’t be dry in the morning.

  26. Shonquayshah says:

    all time favorite afrofellas were:

    (no particular order)

    Michael Jackson (once upon a time when he was Black)

    Jim Kelly (70′s martial arts movie star)

    The Dude Who Played “The Fly” in the movie Car Wash (ULTIMATE AFRO!!!)

  27. Geek to sheek says:

    Thanks Peajai! Gonna try that, will post the outcome!

  28. Lenny before he straightened his hair. :cries:

    Linc Perrineau from The Wire and The Matrix. Whew.

  29. paradisebird says:

    patrice( married to another singer-ayo as far as i know….) he is from germany- beautiful brother :-)

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