One look at Blue Kimble, and your mind may instantly plays Trey Songz's "Panty Droppa" from his 2009 Ready album. However, what many may not know is that there's a lot more to him underneath those rock-hard abs and pearl-like smile of his - and I don't mean from the waist down.
Prior to his acting career, the born and raised ATLien played in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills (which would definitely explain his solid stature). Once he began to pursue acting wholeheartedly, Blue's resume stacked up as he appeared in shows and movies including The Game, Being Mary Jane, Fast and Furious 5, and TVOne's The Bobby DeBarge Story alongside Adrian Marcel. Just two short years ago, Blue starred in UMC's drama series Monogamy. And this year, he's added a starring role in television's newest drama series, P-Valley (which airs on Starz on Sunday nights at 9pm).
When first connecting with the 34-year-old heartthrob, his deep, warm voice embraced me with positive energy and light-heartedness as we exchanged stories about where we're currently located and how our mental health is being maintained amidst all that's happening during this time. As an actor, model, and former pro-athlete, you can imagine that Blue must have women flocking to him, but according to the leading man, he's still looking for his leading lady and his DMs are open, accepting applications.
The eye candy who also happens to be soul food (you hear that, ladies?) talked to xoNecole about his favorite strip clubs, his trials and fears in love and how he's willing to climb any mountain to help his woman reach her 'peak'. Here's what he had to say.
*Some answers have been edited for length and clarity.
xoNecole: Tell us about 'P-Valley', which is the highly anticipated stripper drama on Starz. How was the filming experience and what were some of the greatest things that you learned?
Blue Kimble: Wow, P-Valley coming to Starz. The stripper drama, like you said (laughs). First, off the bat, there's nothing on TV like that right now giving you an up-close, raw, direct look into the life that goes on in the strip culture and some Southern culture. It's just a taste of Southern culture - raw [and] gritty within a strip club. Katori Hall, the creator - she is a genius, award-winning playwright. The honor to work with her and the cast is amazing.
My character, Rome, he's a Southern hustler and former drug dealer turned music exec. We know that story has been heard and told a lot within the music industry (laughs), so I was just able to put my real spin on it from actual accounts and my Southern heritage and culture came out in the role. It was a blessing to pay homage to all that. I really like it and I know people are going to gravitate towards this a lot, and I can't wait for y'all to see it.
How would you say, if at all, you relate to your character?
Like I said, he's a Southern hustler, gentleman, [and] businessman - those are some of the things that I have grown up around and had a foundation of, being from the South, being from Atlanta. It's a culture. Every city has their own type of lingo, type of swag, type of attractions, and raw. Just like a street cat from New York is not gonna sound like a hustler from Atlanta, Tennessee, Alabama or Mississippi. Just to be able to pay homage and pull from real-life accounts, it was an honor.
When it comes to relationships, how do you balance your career, time for your significant other and time for yourself? I’m pretty sure as an actor, it’s already hard enough to find time to be on your own, so how do you balance that with the person you’re dating?
Look at you with more good questions. Jeez, you are on it. The industry is a difficult thing to handle within itself. When I fell into it after I transitioned from football, this was a whole new world, but a lot of it had the same connections with me as playing sports. Athletes get a bad rap and stereotypes within relationships, so to come from that and go right into my film career - which started afterwards and I was blessed to fall into - it's some of the same stereotypes. For some of the relationships that I've tried to have, it was hard for my significant other to just fathom the time that I would be away or what I was doing.
It takes a lot of understanding and time; sometimes I can make someone jealous. Not about what I'm doing or who I am or what I'm aspiring to become - jealous of the time that I'm not there to give the woman in my life. That has been a balance that I've been figuring out. Now I'm even older, wiser, more mature and I'm looking for all that. I'm still looking and searching. I'm not saying that I'm flipping over every rock in town looking for my queen, but when she reveals herself to me, I will be ready, willing and accepting.
"I'm still looking and searching. I'm not saying that I'm flipping over every rock in town looking for my queen, but when she reveals herself to me, I will be ready, willing and accepting."
Courtesy of Blue Kimble
How can you tell the difference between women who genuinely want you for you or just the clout and the attention that comes from being with you?
That's a good word that you used - genuine. You took it right out of my mouth. I try to surround myself with genuine people. You can only play and fool somebody for so long and the truth will always reveal itself. Who you really are is gonna come out; you can only play that you're genuine for an hour or two (laughs). The truth will seep out, leak out and reveal itself. I pay attention to those types of things and I try to keep myself around grounded people, people with like-minded energy and people who aren't going to use me or sponge me for my good energy.
That's what people gotta understand not just within relationships, but life period. Stop letting people drain you for your worth, your goodness, your light or your energy because that's what a lot of people are - they're leeches for the light, for the sun, for the good energy. Watch it and protect your energy.
This is a fun personal question for me because you’re an actor. Do you ever try to get into character for the bedroom with role playing?
Look at you with all the good questions (laughs). I'm a facilitator when I'm with the women that I'm with and my job is to please her. Whatever it takes to please her and get her to where she gotta go, that's what we're doing. If she wants me to put on a Superman costume, I'm doing it if that's what's gonna get her to the moon. Whatever it takes.
How can you say that your acting skills and your views on relationships have evolved from the beginning of your career to where you are now?
In the beginning of my career, I was younger, and I tend to grow daily - mentally, physically, spiritually. I'm definitely more mature than I was in my craft, acting, and delivering as well as I am within life, learning and relationships. Not saying that I was ever intentionally being a jerk or a bad person (laughs), because I try to be a good person as much as I can. But I still grow within my understanding of my actions and the actions of the people I'm around. I'm still learning and growing right now. When you stop growing, that's when you die. I don't ever wanna stop learning and I'm looking forward to some significant woman to come around and teach me some more. Come teach me, girl!
Do you think you’ll ever find true love one day? If so, what does true love look like for you and what do you look for in a partner, for all of the women who are about to submit their resumes to you?
Wow, you really think I'm about to get a lot of resumes. You really think it's about to go down like that? With myself and the woman I'm with, I like confidence. Show your confidence because confidence leads to sexiness and your sex appeal. Those are always good things and things that men will gravitate to in their significant other because at the end of the day, it's about attraction. You have to attract someone before you can see how much you can grow together and see if you have that bond. I'm open - my heart and mind are open.
Yeah, I do think that I will find that love that you spoke of. Now, I'm not gonna force it; a lot of people do that and try to force love. When it comes and reveals itself, I'm gonna be ready for it and I'm gonna receive it. All the ladies, or potential suitors like you said, that's putting their resumes out there - hopefully, I do. With my family, my mother and my father are still together; they've been married before I was born and they're still together and still in love. That's what love looks like to me [and] I know what love looks like. I'm a Black man that comes from a family that has embodied love.
With that being said, I also know what fake love is. Show me that real love. Like you said, I need genuine people around me. Do not come around me with that fake love. 2020 is all about 'real'. We need that real love going forward; 2020, no more fake love! People [have] been showing us fake love for a long time now. Reveal your truth.
"With myself and the woman I'm with, I like confidence. Show your confidence because confidence leads to sexiness and your sex appeal. Those are always good things and things that men will gravitate to in their significant other because at the end of the day, it's about attraction. You have to attract someone before you can see how much you can grow together and see if you have that bond. I'm open - my heart and mind are open."
Courtesy of Blue Kimble
So, what are some things that attract you to a woman initially?
You're cheating. You're not supposed to ask me about that. You're trying to get me in trouble.
Man, look, I’m just doing my job. I’m not, I promise.
I like a woman's smile - the smile does a lot, and the eyes. Because everyone else is gonna say body features like shapes, thighs, butts, chest and this, that and the other, but that only goes so far. When you get down to the eyes and the smile, that's when you're able to tell what's real and genuine about her. The eyes never lie.
What are your dating non-negotiables and how does it differ from when you’re casually dating a woman versus when you’re trying to be serious?
Like I said, I'm pretty open, but anyone who's disrespectful, I don't deal with. I don't like disrespect in any fashion, and not just towards me. Just that type of energy that you bring and that also relates to some negativity. I'm a very positive person and I like to keep positive people and energy around me. Disrespect and anyone going out of their way to be disrespectful - I just can't. I don't care how pretty you are or attractive you are, nastiness overrides all of that. I'm open and try to figure out and understand any and everything, but someone who's just trifling and disrespectful, I can't allow that.
You mentioned that understanding is a huge foundational element for you when it comes to relationships. What are some other important qualities that make a successful relationship for you?
Definitely communication and good communication comes from understanding. Once you're on a level of understanding amongst both of you, that's the growth and you will have reached that level and those bonds that are unbreakable. I just feel like a lot of people rush into relationships of titles and status without having a level of understanding between them and not even being friends.
Before you try to build with someone in that type of fashion, definitely like a relationship long-term, I feel that you need to be friends first before you can become anything else and people don't establish a friendship. The person you're in love with is supposed to be your best friend. Be in a relationship with your best friend - it's not a business arrangement. That's the genuine bond and that's what you have to establish to make longevity.
"The person you're in love with is supposed to be your best friend. Be in a relationship with your best friend - it's not a business arrangement. That's the genuine bond and that's what you have to establish to make longevity."
Courtesy of Blue Kimble
Lights on or light off - and why?
You almost made me spit my water out (laughs). There's levels to that. Like I said, when I'm with someone, I do what pleases them. If my partner prefers the lights off and candles and that type of vibe, then that's what we're doing. But if she likes the lights on and she wanna look and she wanna be able to see everything and check it out, then we'll do that too (laughs)! I like to look and see what's going on, personally. I'm gonna do whatever my partner needs to get her to the mountain top.
'P-Valley' is embedded in the world of strip culture, so it would be very remiss of me to not ask you what are your top three favorite strip clubs?
Everybody else wouldn't know them. That's Atlanta talk - I'm from Atlanta, so the world may not know. You have to understand that Atlanta is enriched in strip club culture and Atlanta has the most strip clubs per capita, at least that's what I've been told and it's hard for me not to believe. We have strip clubs on every corner downtown (laughs). We've always had a stripper culture. I went to my first strip club when I was about fourteen or fifteen years old.
[In] Atlanta, you gotta check out the Blue Flame, that's an Atlanta staple; Magic City, another Atlanta staple. See, there's this throwback for real Atlanta people - Club Nikki's. Club Nikki's was the spot and they shut it down; it's been shut down forever, but the building is still up.
Speaking of strip clubs and strippers, if the woman in your life was to surprise you with a lap dance, what’s the song to get you in the perfect mood?
I would probably be more excited about those things. I wouldn't care if she's doing it in silence (laughs). The song that's gonna get me in the mood and not her freaky stripper outfit…
Songs are important. You don’t want your stripper giving you a dance to The Jackson 5’s “ABC”, now would you?
Yeah, so what song do we need? (laughs). TLC, how 'bout that? That's a good one? "Red Light Special".
I like that. I’ll accept that answer.
That's a good one. The Tank song, "When We".
His song “Dirty” is a good one, too.
There you go. TLC for the old heads, Tank's "When We" for the young people and my young girls to show them some love.
For more of Blue, follow him on Instagram. Catch him on Starz's P-Valley on Sunday nights at 9pm.
Featured image courtesy of Blue Kimble.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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Feature image by Nappy/ Pexels