Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Friends Don't Let Friends Dress Like Nicki Minaj

Walking down the streets of the sunny Southside of Minneapolis I've seen some interesting looks. The one I'm seeing more often than not is what I've dubbed the "Nicki Minaj." I know you've seen it: brightly colored, ripped leggings, extreme make up, loud accessories, all topped off by pink/purple/white hair. Now, I'm all for expressing yourself visually, but this has gone a tad too far! Nicki Minaj is an entertainer, and unless you're also in the entertainment business, chances are you have no business walking down the street dressed like a futuristic streetwalker. Sadly, this has become quite common and not just amongst youth; I've seen many grown women rocking the "Nicki Minaj" faithfully! Where do you all work where this is accepted and how can I get a job there? Bottom line is this: friends don't let friends dress like Nicki Minaj. I don't care how hot it looks on stage or in the video, trust me, it doesn't look that good on you!

Nicki Minaj:

Your friend:

See how it just doesn't translate???

I am NOT my hair..Seriously

I've never been into "anthems" but as corny as it sounds, India Arie's "I Am Not My Hair," really rings true for me. I've probably had every hairstyle under the moon and while my exterior may change on a daily basis, my character always remains the same. The funny thing is, I've noticed that I'm definitely treated differently depending on my hairstyle. When I had bleached blonde with hair down past my shoulders I would get approached my men who sold drugs or committed other crimes and thought that, "going to kick it at their homies crib" was a great first date. They seemed astonished when I opened my mouth and, SURPRISE, this girl reads books, travels, and watches more than reality TV. When that same hair was dark brown I was only approached by men in the corporate world who thought I was a wild child for regretting not bungee jumping with my friends in South Africa (I chose to explore Paris alone which was great but I will bungee in South Africa one day). The Halle Berry short cut attracted a variety of men with a variety of approaches. My "favorite" was the older White men who wanted to act out their Monster's Ball fantasies, **shuddering at the thought.**And then of course, there was the natural. Now most of the women I know don't actually perm their hair so they can all attest to this one. When I rocked my afro, I would get nothing but, "Hey Queen!" or, "Beautiful Soul Sista," blah, blah, blah. Most of these men had dreads or an afro, preferred not to eat meat and only wanted to listen to, "real hip hop." They were astonished to realize that I love meat (fried chicken is a weekly staple in my house), I drink alcohol, and while I love Common and Mos Def, Lil Wayne's Mrs. Officer was the ring tone on my phone for over a year!And when that same natural hair was flat ironed straight, those same men (and women)would give me the side eye as if I had grown a third arm or something. Gone were the friendly greetings and head nods. I was no longer a member of their exclusive group. Since then I've had short cuts, mo-hawks, weaves, and braids. Depending on the style I've been approached by professional athletes, musicians, accountants, and yes, even a professional BMX biker. What these men, and honestly women too, fail to realize is, hair is nothing more than accessory. It by no means reflects my inner character or the journey I am on. Because my hair is currently permed it doesn't mean that I'm trying to be White or fit into any one segment of the population. It simply means that this hair is the accessory that fits at the moment. So let's all sing it together, "I Am Not My Hair...."

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Weeknd

If you know me, you know that I've been banging this group, The Weeknd for a minute now. Fresh out of Toronto you'll be hard pressed to find much information about them anywhere on the web. I'll tell you this, their mix tape, House of Balloons is bananas! It's an album you can clean the house to, get ready for your night out to, read a book to, and yes, if you're not too careful, you may even make a baby to this album! It sounds like something my mama would play when I was little, but way cooler. Click and play, you can thank me later!

All of our artists are criminals...according to Yahoo! News

So I came across this article posted on Yahoo! News aptly titled, "Stars with criminal pasts honored at BET awards.". Now, as hard as I am on Black folks, stars in particular, this is a total joke. First off Yahoo, of all of last night winners, 4 of them have criminal records, (Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Chris Brown and Mike Vick). And while I'm not denying that these men need to be held accountable for their actions, how come I've never seen a similar headline when Jim Morrison or Johnny Cash are being honored? What about every member of Guns N Roses or Black Sabbath? Ozzy Osbourne is considered a legend for his music, off stage antics and numerous run ins with the law. And before you say it, I understand that most (if any) of the cases against the artists I mentioned above did not result in jail time, neither did the arrests of Chris Brown or Rick Ross. And for the record, Patti LaBelle, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Willow and Jayden Smith were also honored last night, and the last time I checked, none of them have been arrested or served jail time either, but their awards weren't worthy of mentioning in the piece. Thank you Yahoo! News

We have got to do better

I know, I can be rather picky and quite hard on Black people, but seriously, we have GOT to do better! Black folk are always quick to complain about how "the man" or "the establishment" is keeping us down, but boy do we make it easy for them! Let's start with that circus they called the BET Awards last night. Besides the ridiculousness of a pre-pubescent boy hopping around the stage rapping about his "Love Affair,"  the always below par rap performances (seriously how many times did Rick Ross hit the stage?), and  BET President sounding as if she's never read a teleprompter in her life, there was the mistake heard and seen across the globe. Poor Tiffany Green. She was the "lucky" fan selected to announce the Viewer's Choice Award with Rocsi and Terrence. They flew her to the show, gave her a make over, and put her in a fly dress...Unfortunately they seemed to have forgotten one important part: make sure everyone knows exactly who won the award! Tiffany announced Chris Brown, then Rihanna, only to have Terrence grab the mic and announce that Drake was the winner. Only to then have BET announce later that Tiffany was in fact correct, Chris Brown had won the award. Here's the entire 1 minute debacle in case you missed it:

I feel bad for Tiffany. I don't feel bad for BET. They played the wrong song. BET executive Stephen Hill said he, "called an audible," mistakenly believing that Rihanna had won the award. Call me crazy, but I don't ever recall seeing things like this happen on the Grammy's, the MTV Awards, or American Music Awards. Come on BET, as the "premiere" station for Black viewers you have got to do better. Run your show on a 5 second delay in order to adequately catch all of the bad words. Make your performers do more than just show up and hop around the stage. And please, please, please don't embarrass anymore fans!

Thank You!

The first line is always the hardest..Do I say hello, or some hipper version of the standard greeting? Do I assume you haven't read my (probably incomplete) about me section and introduce myself? Or do I simply put my fingers to the keyboard and begin typing? I'm not quite sure so we'll figure that out next time. For now, I want to simply want to say, "Thank You!" It's easy to see a blog and think, "I love to write and I have a lot to say...I could do that.." but it's actually quite scary to take that first step and just do it. It's actually quite presumptuous to think that anyone would actually be interested in anything I have to say, but thanks to the encouragement of my many, many girlfriends (J-Dubb we're not even the closest but wow, I hold your numerous encouraging words and blog requests near and dear to my heart), a wonderful partner, and a cosmic twin literally sent from somewhere above...I'm taking that first step...Welcome to the world as I see it...