Eye Candy: Men of Summer

Eye Candy: Men of Summer
ESSENCE.COM Jul, 23, 2010

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We are in the middle of summer and things are really starting to heat up. Here are the guys that have been making our hearts melt this season.

Let’s start with three-time NBA MVP Kobe Bryant who helped bring the Lakers to Playoff victory, and earned his fifth championship ring. We see you, Kobe.

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A cutie with a sexy body and a sense of humor that makes every man jealous — what more could a girl ask for. Isaiah Mustafa gained fame via a set of popular Old Spice commercials turned viral video madness. He’s recently signed off from being “The Old Spice Guy” and has signed on to star in Tyler Perry’s adaptation of Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”

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With a hot production record in his pocket, successful clothing brands and a rock band to boot, Pharrell Williams keeps coming from left field. His Summer 2010 contribution: the soundtrack to Universal Studios’ animated film “Despicable Me.”

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Terry Crews has been busy since “Everybody Hates Chris.” He’s starring in two summer blockbusters (“The Expendables,” “Lottery Ticket”) a new sitcom (“Are We There Yet?”). How does he do it?

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Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is currently the second best football player in the game, according to NFL.com. Those big shoulders and that cute, boyish smile make him a winner on our field any day.

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Trey Songz brought the house down when he performed at the 2010 ESSENCE Music Festival. He’s currently filling seats on tour with Monica.

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Juilliard grad Nelsan Ellis is all about challenging characters. He plays drug dealing short order cook/gay prostitute Lafayette Reynolds on “True Blood.” We’ve got a challenge for Ellis — how’s about we give you a hickie that resembles the ones you got at summer camp?

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The ladies screamed when actor Michael Ealy visited the ESSENCE.com Cyber Lounge stage at the ESSENCE Music Festival. Ealy’s sure to bring some more shrieks as Jake Attica The Gunman in Rainforest films’ August release “Takers.”

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Usher’s latest hit single “O.M.G.” can be heard blaring out of every car rolling down the street this season. Currently touring his album “Raymond vs. Raymond” the dude who made us say “Yeah” like 500 million times is proving that he’s still got the moves that make us say “Oh my God!”

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Jamaican tennis player Dustin Brown is the first West Indian player to make it to Wimbledon since Richard Russell, 42 years ago. We love his story — his mother bought him a Volkswagen camper van to tour around Europe playing tournaments for 100 Euros and a chance at tennis fame. We love his dreadlocks and his …basically everything about him.

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The music biz was missing Eric Benet’s smooth vocals for a little while. He brought it back in a big way with his recent single “Sometimes I Cry” premiered exclusively here on ESSENCE.com.

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Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is drawing quite a crowd to movie theaters to watch his latest project “Salt” with co-star Angelina Jolie. We’d like a little sugar from this sweet, sexy man.

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It’s been well documented that Lenny Kravitz is one sexy mother-shut-yo-mouth. His care for humanity and the earth make him that much sexier. When oil began spilling into the gulf coast, Kravitz headed down south to organize a benefit concert for those affected by the disaster.

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We all drooled when we saw sexy “True Blood” actor Mehcad Brooks in his skivvies for a Calvin Klein underwear campaign. A few of us even stripped down to our unmentionables.

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LeBron James had every sports fan at the edges of their seats waiting for him to decide which team he would go with. When he finally settled on Miami, things went back to life as usual, until images of him topless on a beach in the Bahamas started popping up. We need to take a dip just looking at them.

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T.I. has had a pretty busy year from being released from prison in March to working on his seventh studio album, releasing a new mixtape and starring as Ghost The Smooth Taker in “Takers.” Add a rumored marriage to longtime girlfriend Tameka “Tiny” Colette this weekend and this guy is living life.

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Drake had to cancel a free show at New York’s South Street Seaport because of a fan stampede. Yeah, he’s that hot. His debut album “Thank Me Later” was released on June 15, 2010 and went straight to number one on the Billboard 200 chart.

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Haitian-American singer Jason Derulo is steaming up the charts with his 2010 hit “Ridin’ Solo,” currently at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Got room in your passenger seat Jason?

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Rapper Bow Wow is showing off his acting chops this summer playing a young man from the projects who wins $370 million in the nationwide lottery in — you guessed it — “Lottery Ticket.” We’d like to give him our numbers, they’re lucky we swear.

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OK, we can admit that we’re a little jealous of Rihanna. She gets to come home to Matt Kemp every night. Kemp makes our list — not because he’s the Barbadian pop-star’s BF — but because he helped the Dodgers come back from a six-game losing streak on July 21. Hey, batter, batter, batter, batter. Wink batter, batter, batter, batter.

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Ne-Yo’s got all the ladies waiting with baited breath for the release of his film-based album “Libra Scale.” His clubby hit “Beautiful Monster” — out now — is a sweet taste of what’s to come next season. Ne-Yo is revealing tidbits of the project every Tuesday on ESSENCE.com.

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We’ve seen actor Idris Elba parlaying into other interests — like mastering the 1s and 2s as DJ Dris — come August 27 we’ll get to see Elba do what he does best as Gordon Jennings The Leader in “Takers.”

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We all had Oguchi Onyewu fever during the 2010 World Cup. If you haven’t seen this gorgeous Adonis of a man in just a pair of short shorts on page 88 of the August 2010 issue of ESSENCE magazine, we suggest you start flipping some pages.