The Mo’Kelly Report obtained this exclusive interview with Mr. Jheri
Lacefront, the jheri curl wig of the embattled Bishop Eddie Long. Although Mr. Lacefront could not discuss the case, the mediation talks or any proposed settlement, he was able to give us some insight to what it means to “cover” for one of the high-profile prosperity gospel preachers.
You will not find this conversation anywhere else, another Mo’Kelly exclusive! Here is the transcript of our conversation.
Mo’Kelly: So tell me, where are you from…how did you eventually make your way to Atlanta and to the top of Bishop Eddie Long’s forehead?
JL: Actually, I’m like you Mo’Kelly, born and raised in Los Angeles. Growing up I wanted to be in show business, so since I already lived in L.A. why not give it a shot? In fact, one night I was watching Coming to America …saw how many other curls were able to get work so I thought I’d try my hand at it too.
My first gig was playing Chris Rock’s jheri curl in the movie CB4 in ’93.
Mo’Kelly: That was you?!
JL: Yes sir, that was me. I was obviously younger and the style was longer so I was longer then.
Mo’Kelly: And from there, you did what?
JL: Well on the set I became good friends with Stoney Jackson, who you know was also in the movie. Little did anyone know, Stoney was going bald and he
needed someone to help make it look like his curl was still full. So for the next seven years or so, I was Stoney’s jheri hair piece.
Mo’Kelly: Get outta here!
JL: Serious. Stoney was rockin’ the long jheri curl as late as 2000. He’s still in the business, doing odds and ends for a boutique production company. He wears a short piece these days but still is greasy.
Mo’Kelly: OK, so you leave the employ of Stoney Jackson and then what?
JL: To be honest, I fell on hard times. Ran out of money and then moved in with my sister who moved to Atlanta during the great Black migration of the 90s. I found work where I could, but mostly for this old Brotha who spent all of his time and money at the strip club Magic City.
Mo’Kelly: Don’t tell me that’s where you met Bishop Long…
JL: No, but moving to Atlanta was the key. Long story short, this guy I was working for smoked blunts all the time. I smelled horrible. I was miserable. My sister, who at the time was working as a hairweave for Kandi Burruss on Real Housewives of Atlanta, she (my sister) got word that a local preacher was looking for a “more youthful and virile” appearance…and gave me the address to New Birth’s administrative offices.
Mo’Kelly: “A local preacher?” “Youthful and virile?”
JL: Yeah, that’s what she said. You gotta understand, I was at the strip club literally 5 nights a week and my sister was working in Reality TV. We hadn’t seen the inside of a church in years, much less know who Bishop Long was. Long story short, I went from getting in the house from work at 4am Sunday morning to getting up at 4am on Sundays to go to work.
Mo’Kelly: What year was this?
JL: 2008. I thought work for an old jheri curl lacefront toupee like me was a pipe dream. But along came Bishop Long and gave me a job. He saw himself in a youtube video and said he had to make a change. I mean really, the man has no hair! Since then, together, we’ve brought the curl back!
Mo’Kelly: Uh…no you haven’t. But seriously, after a settlement is reached, do you worry whether he’ll even be able to afford your services anymore? We all know about the recent staff and salary cuts.
JL: As you know I can’t comment specifically, but I can say I’ve suffered through hard times before, losing a job won’t ever again scare me. Besides, I’m in the Entertainment Hairpiece and Weave Union and there’s always some bald celebrity out there trying to maintain their youthful appearance. John Travolta, Jeremy Piven, Ted Danson, Naomi Campbell…I’ll be alright.
Mo’Kelly: What’s it like working for the Bishop?
JL: He’s great. He never wears me when he works out and when he’s in casual mode he’s always wearing hats…Kangols usually. So I’m usually only on the clock when he’s preaching or doing some public event. The money’s good and I don’t smell like the chronic and/or strawberry baby oil anymore.
Mo’Kelly: C’mon, I know there’s a funny story you can tell about the Bishop…
JL: Well there was this one time at the LongFellows Youth Academy where he…uh…never mind. Next question…
Mo’Kelly: Understood. Did you ever almost slip off of his head during a sermon?
JL: Absolutely. He sweats a lot. One time he caught the Holy Ghost and started spinning around and my glue came undone. Bishop realized it and asked someone to put holy hands on him and pray with him…but he really just wanted someone to push me back into place. That was a close one.
Mo’Kelly: Ha! I get the sense you’ve “seen a lot” in the past three years.
JL: I have. I know what you’re getting at. I can’t discuss the case but one day I will write that book.
Mo’Kelly: Before I let you go…can you give readers today a sense of the Bishop’s overall mood as of late?
JL: He’s been pretty reserved these days. You can tell this has taken a toll on him. There was a lot going on having nothing to do with the present issues. You see it in his face, his countenance. This is hard on him.
Mo’Kelly: Harder than telling the truth? Doubt it. Thanks for making time for The Mo’Kelly Report Jheri Lacefront. All the best to you in the future.
The Mo’Kelly Report is an entertainment journal with a political slant; published at The Huffington Post and EURWEB.com. For more Mo’Kelly, http://mrmokelly.com. Mr. Mo’Kelly can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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