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The return of Supahead
on 13 January 2008
Here's the problem with writing a revealing autobiography -- you have no material left for the inevitable sequel.
But that's only one of the many problems with "The Vixen Diaries," a flaccid recounting of Karrine "Supahead" Steffans' sex life and career in the year of 2006. When she's not posing, preening and preaching, Steffans is racing from one one worthless fling to another.
Much of the book is a celebration of how her life has changed since the publication of "Confessions of a Video Vixen" -- she now has money, notoriety, celebrity friends, a nice home, new ultramegaexpensive cars whenever she damages one (which seems to be frequently), and enough financial room that she can make a habit of club-hopping through L.A.
This is where reality starts fuzzing out, because apparently her small amount of fame (or infamy) has gone to Steffans' head. Suddenly she's no longer a damaged hip-hop groupie/video girl who exchanged sex for money, but a "an author" who writes "internationally bestselling nonfiction" with a "message." Oh yes, and if you disapprove of her, you're obviously a chauvinist.
But this book isn't just about Steffans' success with the last one -- it's also about men. Ray J, Eric Benet, a strung-out Bobby Brown, Mike Tyson, Magic Johnson, the Icon, and her ex-boyfriend Bill Maher -- whom Steffans rhapsodizes about until I got the squirmy feeling that I was seeing a woman beg. Not pretty.
One of the most hilarious lines of the entire book is: "... some people can't seem to get over my past -- the partying, the relationships, the sex..." This, of course, coming from a woman whose "internationally bestselling nonfiction" was all about sex with rappers.
It's a pretty funny pronouncement from someone who poses like a porn star on the cover, and revels in the fame her sex-drugs-hip-hop book has brought her. No matter how many times she says she loves staying at home, puts her son first, et cetera... what really stands out is the amount of time she spends chasing men and partying. It leaves you feeling sorry for her kid, who watches his mother bounding desperately after one man after another.
Despite her tepid, gossipy prose, Steffans does manage some stirring moments -- the painful account of grandfather's death is quite touching, and her encounter with Jamie Foxx shows what a pleasant guy he is. But these are only a few moments in a paper-thin narrative, dominated by a schizophrenic carousel of men who are married, creepy, wounded or strung-out -- all of whom she claims to "love."
Aside from her disdain for LA, there's little that's new here. The thin book is padded with pompous ponderings about Hollywood, homosexuality, relationships, marriage, double standards, being a parent and the woes of being rich'n'famous. Insightful, they ain't. One interlude -- where she scratches a Mercedes and goes screeching to the dealership for a new one -- is absolutely painful.
And though she piously outpreaches a hypocritical minister, Steffans comes across as a pretty nasty piece of work herself. She drips scorn on her lovers' wives, on a publicist who does not recognize her as a "celebrity," and even calls Bobby Brown to gleefully tell him that his ex-wife is now having sex with Karrine's ex-boyfriend. How mature.
The nastiness climaxes in the final pages, where she writes a drippy, sexual letter to her married lover, "Papa." But she reveals his name this time -- how wonderfully classy of her.
"The Vixen Diaries" is a tedious, trashy trip through the ego of Karrine Steffans, who apparently thinks that recounting sex with rappers makes her a Great Artist. Ultimately, it makes her a walking headache.