All Articles Tagged "Common"
Being in love is always a great feeling and it’s even greater to share it with the world, like these artists who weren’t shy about having their boos star in a music video with them for all to see.
Usher and Chilli
In 2001, Chilli made a lot of women jealous after she started dating Usher. Although their relationship only lasted for two years, that was enough time for Chilli to appear in two of Usher’s videos: “U Got It Bad” and “U Don’t Have To Call.” After their relationship came to an end, many speculated the songs off of Usher’s Confessions album (which hinted of an affair and a love child) were about their relationship, but the TLC member revealed that Jermaine Dupri’s love life was really the inspiration behind it all.
Tags:50 cent, andre 3000, ashanti, beyonce, bobby brown, brandy wanya morris, carey hart, celebrity couples, chilli, Ciara, Common, erykah badu, future, Ginuwine, Jada Pinkett Smith, james franco, Jay Electronica, jay z, jeezy, Jermaine Dupri, john mayer, kanye west, Katy Perry, keyshia cole, kim kardashian, music videos, nelly, paula patton, pete rock, pink, robin thicke, serena williams, Solé, Usher, whitney houston, Will Smith
Even though he’s got his SAG card, you can never count Common out of the Hip Hop game, specifically when it’s time to speak on something important.
Recently, Common announced the approach of his new album Nobody Smiling. And from that we’ve got the single “War.” The song, with lyrics set over an almost epic sounding military marching beat, Common describes the harrowing scene of not just the violence but how it specifically affects the lives of those directly involved.
In one verse he speaks about the death of a young man.
Mama kissed him, body was colder
She was shaking, I tried to hold her
Tears on my shoulder
He was supposed to be going to his junior year,
This is his funeral year
Pall bearers all looking like kids
Some faces show anger, some show tears
No mustaches no beards probably had the same aspirations as his.
And then he addresses the seemingly heartless perpetrators of that violence in the chorus.
“To all the killas and the hundred dolla bills. Real hittas who ain’t got no feelings.”
He even speaks about the government and media’s role in the violence and how some entities are using the very real violence and subsequent deaths to promote their own self serving agendas.
“I’m living in this sh*t while the world exploit it.”
And then he goes on to speak on how the completely innocent are plagued by the turmoil as well.
Politicians ain’t did enough
Want to get rid of us
Hopped in the back as soon as shots hit the truck
Looked at my son, I could see his soul
Shot and killed at 3 years old.
At the end of the track we hear Common talking about the reason he decided to name his project “Nobody Smiling,” the violence that extends beyond just Chicago and what he hopes people take from this record.
Take a listen to the song below and let us know what you think about it. Pass or play?
On the realest tip, putting this slideshow together has made me want to go home and watch Just Wright from start to finish. It’s just so precious! The good girl wins out and gets the guy– and not the nerdy guy who loved her from afar while she was attracted to the captain of the basketball team, she gets the captain of the basketball team. It’s a romantic comedy made in heaven. You know the story, you love this actors in this flick and it might even be in your DVD collection but we bet you don’t know these behind the scenes secrets.
Taye Diggs looks older and more mature with facial hair. When he shaves it all off he looks like a little boy waiting for puberty to start.
A friend and I were talking a few days ago about the BET awards. I know, a day late and a dollar short, but we had nothing else to really talk about after talking about our day. Of course, as Erykah Badu fans, we mentioned the performance and how excited we were seeing one of the Queens perform.
Erykah killed it, no, slayed it, with her infectious voice and hypnotic cool. She also never fails to bring her confidence and her bodacious, ahem, assets. But, Erykah has always been like this — the spiritually grounded Earth Mother who cared less about what anyone thought of her, which only made her even more attractive. It’s this vibe that many said turned some men into putty. From Common to Andre 3000, Erykah has history with a few men who “changed” because of her. Common went from newsboy hats to Dashikis. Andre started wearing loincloths. Not to mention, Erykah also has three children – one from Andre — each from a different father.
As a result, Queen Erykah was deemed crazy and then the jokes started coming. First, many of them were harmless — “If you get with Erykah, you may start wearing African cloths,” one of my friends used to say. And, then, similar to the comments I saw on Twitter during the BET Awards, they got a little more problematic — “As long as he doesn’t look at her in the eye, young Kendrick should be fine.”
As funny as it sounds, the comments are pretty alarming.
But, Erykah isn’t the only one who’s been deemed “dangerous” to the male species. Rihanna was said to have made Matt Kemp lose focus during his last few baseball games of the season and made Chris Brown lose his mind… (I’m not even going there). Rumor has it Kim Kardashian is the reason for Kanye’s dramatic musical “transformation” and why he’s sold out to the same commercialism he criticizes so strongly in his music.
What makes comments like these so problematic is not only the blame on a woman for another person’s behavior, but also the “weakness” of a man. It says that if a woman, in particular may be from another country, practice a different religion, or is even aware of her sexuality openly – all traits that can be attributed to Rih, Erykah and Kim – she’s too dangerous or “too much to handle.” Listen, if my turban, maxi skirt and bamboo earrings make a man stop practicing his religion or, worst-case scenario, taking showers, I wasn’t the one who “hypnotized” him to do so. But, blaming women for a man’s behavior, good, bad or indifferent, is the foundation of victim blaming. As easy as it is to say that she was the one who drove him crazy, it’s even simpler to say she’s the reason he harassed her.
But, I digress.
Andre has always worn funky costumes (OutKast, anyone?) and Common has never been particularly mainstream in his way of thinking (shoutout to Soulquarian!), so Erykah really had a lot less to do with how they acted.
The point of the matter is that a man, or any person, changing their lifestyle or behavior is because that change was already deeply rooted in him or her. No woman is going to bring out what isn’t there to begin with. Chances are that the attraction a man has for a woman or vice versa reflects their innate qualities anyway. If you don’t like taking showers, chances are you may attract someone who isn’t too fond of soap either. But, say you eventually grow out of that phase (which, I hope you would). What happens? You move on, and attract someone else who reflects what’s in you.
So, don’t blame Erykah, Kim or any other woman for the man that he becomes.
We’re pretty sure we’re not breaking any news here when we say there are certain names that you hear that automatically create a certain image in your head. And when it comes to the names on this list, that image is that of a black man. You probably already have the names in your head — the Laquans, Deshawns, Surons, and so forth — but it’s more fun if we say it out loud, right? Here are the names that when you hear them, you don’t even have to see the face to go with them because you know they belong to a black man. And yes, we mean black as in African American.
Terrell and Tyrone
Tyrone may be Gaelic in origin, but it’s come to be black in culture. And Terrell? If you’ve ever met a white man by that name, we want to know about it.
In a world full of Lil Waynes, Chief Keefs and Nicki Minajs, it’s not often we hear rap music that isn’t laced with expletives and sexually charged, violent lyrics. So those rappers who make it a point to produce clean music are like a breath of fresh air. Which artists fall in this category? Click on to find out.
Back when Will Smith was The Fresh Prince, he secured his place in music history by releasing songs with PG lyrics and wholesome themes. Though other artists have adopted a similar strategy, Will Smith has always been considered one of the cleanest overall.
In a new study from the University of South Wales, men with beards were found to be more attractive, better parents and healthier than shaven ones. That’s right fellas, grow it out!
The university surveyed 350 women and 200 men by asking them to rate men by attractiveness, health, masculinity and parenting abilities from photographs of men who were clean-shaven, lightly or heavily stubbled and fully bearded. Published in the latest issue of “Evolution and Human Behavior,” the surprising results found that “beardedness affects judgments of male socio-sexual attributes and suggest that an intermediate level of beardedness is most attractive while full-bearded men may be perceived as better fathers who could protect and invest in offspring.”
To read more about the study, go here.
But first, look below at the best celebrity beards. It was a close call for all these non-shaven men, but this is what we came up with:
Check out the other fine bearded men on StyleBlazer.com
Former basketball star Earvin “Magic” Johnson has joined forces with Coca Cola, rapper/actor Common, and BET boss lady Debra Lee for a program that will allow youth between 16 and 21 to shadow them and their teams for a week in the summer.
Part owner of the LA Dodgers and Magic Johnson Theaters, Johnson told TheGrio.com that he wants to teach teens that “focus, discipline and sacrifice are all necessary attributes to become successful.”
Common has always had a presence in the community, including in his hometown (and mine) of Chicago. Here’s what he had to say about his mission in the program: “I want them to experience the ups and downs, the hard work and discipline that it takes.”
He also said he will personally be involved with the mentees. “Beyond music, it’s important for me to reach back and create a legacy bigger than my career,” Common said.
These celebrity leaders are on the right track. According to BeAMentor.org, a Pew Study shows that minority and low income youth who have mentorship are 46 percent less likely to use illegal drugs, 53 percent less likely to skip school, and 33 percent less likely to hit someone.
So hopefully by these familiar faces taking a stance on mentorship, others will be encouraged to get involved with organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters or similar programs as well.
Anyone can nominate a young person for the “Pay It Forward” apprenticeship program via the My Coke Rewards site through March 2.
Common was recently interviewed for O Magazine. In the interview, like in his memoir One Day It’ll All Make Sense, Common spoke about how he learned how to speak up for himself. In relationships, in work or about his own abilities, Common took a backseat and let other people make decisions for him, even if they didn’t feel right in the moment. He provided this example of a time when he’d let his girlfriend decide for him:
For example, I like to go to church on New Year’s Eve—to spend that time with God. My ex would always want me to go somewhere with her instead, and when I did, I’d regret it. Now I’ll just say to a woman I’m dating, “I’m going to church—and I’ll meet you right after.”
(Just in case you were wondering that ex he’s talking about is Erykah Badu– but that’s neither here nor there.) Immediately, after I read it, I thought, Yo that exact same thing [almost] happened to me. A couple of years ago, I was in what can best be described as a long distance relationship. I was in school in Missouri. He worked in Illinois. And his parents, whom he was visiting for the holidays, lived in Wisconsin. Needless to say, the time we got to spend with one another was few and far between. But somehow, our schedules aligned and we made arrangements to see each other on New Year’s Eve. He was going to be in Indianapolis. I was going to be in Indianapolis, it would work. Except, the precious hours we’d spend together would have to be cut short because I was planning on going to church. Like Common, being in church on New Year’s Eve is important to me. I can’t think of a better way to start the New Year than thanking God for bringing you through the past year and asking Him to bless the upcoming one. There’s a power in that, which I don’t take lightly. So, as much as I wanted to see my friend as soon as he got into town, he’d have to wait a couple of hours. I did invite him to church. He declined. Cool, no problem.
It wasn’t until I discussed my plans with others that I started to rethink them. The day before my friend was supposed to come into town, my family and I were over my aunt’s house eating, lounging chatting it up. The maternal side of my family is Jamaican. I say that to illustrate the type of interactions we have. The conversation is open and brutally honest. American niceties and political correctness are thrown out the window. People will ask you probing questions, offend you out of love and just generally get in your business. Nothing is taboo…nothing. So, I wasn’t surprised when my aunt asked, with a smirk and batted eyelashes, what my friend and I were doing for New Year’s Eve. I told her, we were meeting up after I got out of church. My aunt got quiet and I could see her thinking about what she was going to say next. When she finally did speak, she asked me: “Well, don’t you think you can miss church since he’s coming all this way to see you?”
And for a minute, I thought about it. Was it wrong to make him wait an additional two hours, after he’d just driven 3 to spend time with me? Was I being inconsiderate? But no sooner, than the thought crossed my mind, I heard God’s voice. “This boy will disappoint you. He’ll let you down. I’ll always be there for you.” Well there you have it. Before my aunt had even finished speaking, I had my answer. I told her, “Yeah, I’m still going to go to church.” She shrugged and said ok, still not quite convinced I was making the right decision. But I knew God’s voice was right. I couldn’t put my faith in this or any man. My friend didn’t bring me through the past year, God did. And if I had a crystal ball, I would have seen two years later, he wouldn’t hold the same position in my affections. But God would. How stupid would I have looked choosing someone who could and would leave me over someone who’s never forgotten nor forsaken me?
I went to church and met up with him later, guilt free.
A couple of days after New Year’s, my aunt called me and apologized for suggesting that I skip church to hang out with my friend. She told me, after thinking about it, she realized she was wrong and I’d made the right decision. I knew she’d come around. And though I was happy she agreed with the decision, I didn’t need her approval. I already had directions from myself and a higher power.
But as Common and my other experiences have illustrated, it’s not hard to bend and compromise our core beliefs in life and love. A lot of us spend so much time trying to please others, we forget to honor ourselves and more importantly the higher powers we believe in. That’s dangerous. It’s an age-old lesson, but one that bears repeating: When you know something is right, don’t allow anyone, not a love interest, a trusted family member, not even yourself, to talk you out of your decision.