Cedric the Entertainer on Black Men in African Clothing: "Omar Epps Is Not the First Man to Do It"

cedric the entertainer

Cedric the Entertainer on Black Men in African Clothing: "Omar Epps Is Not the First Man to Do It"

The Soul Man talks style advice, skinny jeans and Season 3.

Published March 26, 2014

With each new project, Cedric the Entertainer continues to live up to his colorful moniker. Now, the comedian and actor is back on the small screen as Boyce Ballentine in the third season of his hit series, The Soul Man, which premieres this week on TV Land. From his sitcom’s highly anticipated live episode to his opinion on the recent Omar Epps clothing uproar to why he's a big man who prefers skinny jeans, Cedric the Entertainer revealed all when he spoke to BET.com.

The Soul Man kicks off its third season this week. What changes can the audience expect from its cast of characters?
We’re showing the nucleus of this family and the growth in Season 3. You see Stamps [Wesley Jonathan] and Kim [Kellee Stewart], who is Lolli’s sister, starting to form a really strong relationship. And that’s going to grow. I’m going into the church more and on the show Lolli [Niecy Nash] and I are trying to figure out where our relationship is going. As the season goes on, we decide we can downsize our lives and do some things we want to do. And of course it will all go wrong [laughs].

Your co-star Niecy Nash talked to us about this season’s live show. It sounds exciting. But we have to ask, what happens if someone messes up or flubs a line?
That will be the key thing, if something happens, it’s all about enjoying it. We really want to take on that old Carol Burnett Show energy that if it falls apart, just laugh, have a good time and get it back on the track. The audience is going to love it all the same. We’re really excited about doing a live episode. It’s like theater — right in front of the cameras, right in front of the audience. I’m just going to be here to support Niecy through it [laughs.]

We wanted you to weigh in on something that became a men’s fashion debate. Omar Epps recently appeared on The View wearing a Buba — a Yoruba Nigerian-style African top, which sparked a Twitter feud between Epps’ good friend Marlon Wayans and Brand Nubian’s Lord Jamar. What’s your take on the clothing clash?
The thing you have to understand about fashion and art and artists is that they have the ability and they should have the room — if they have the courage — to try a number of different things. Now it is true that some tribesmen in Africa wear what could be considered a kilt or skirt. Omar is not the first man to do it. Kanye [West] wore it onstage. Akon, who is African, I’ve seen him rock one. I think it’s starting to be a fashion trend here, too. 

So it’s not about a man wearing a women’s skirt, it’s more of cultural fashion choice.
Right. I don’t want to encourage guys to wear Diane Von Furstenberg backless wrap dresses. [Laughs]  So no, I’m not saying you can do everything. But, again, done with a degree of style it is what it is. Prince is Prince. He wore lace and feathers, had his a-- out and eventually we all said, “You know what…? I really love the music." [Laughs]

How has the changing climate of fashion trends affected your own personal style?
I’ll make this argument about skinny jeans. I grew up in a generation where I would never, ever wear skinny jeans. But now they’ve become such the trend that I can’t wear wide jeans either. So what do you do? You end up going toward a skinnier jean. And that’s what I did.

The Season 3 live episode premiere of The Soul Man airs Wednesday, March 26 on TV Land.

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 (Photo: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV)

Written by Ronke Idowu Reeves


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