All Articles Tagged "kanye west"

Kanye Unplugs For Mental Space; Doing So Can Help Your Career Too

September 29th, 2016 - By Ann Brown
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Hold up. Don’t dismiss this as yet another Kanye West article. The rapper has actually come up with a concept many can relate to in today’s high-tech word. The hip hop artist and fashion designer recently announced he will get rid of his cell phone so he can “have air to create.” 

Sometimes we all need to unplug. And making mental space might just help your career. Think about it: The average person looks at his or her phone 46 times every day. And “81 percent of Americans spend time looking at their phones while dining out in restaurants,” reported Time. All this connectivity can take its toll on our health.

“Social media, our phones and tablets, video games, etc. all create mental clutter,” said certified life coach Julie Coraccio, host of the podcast Clearing the Clutter Inside & Out. “When you clear your mental clutter you can create. Unplugging reduces stress–we aren’t meant to be updating statuses 24/7.”

And doing so can affect your psyche negatively, she said. “Researchers have found that a lot of time on Facebook can make people feel envious and also lead to depression. It’s hard to create when you are depressed (for most people.) Many times when we are plugged in we aren’t in the present moment and it can serve as a way to distract ourselves. Unplugging allows us to be present, which is our point of power to create. If we take time for self-reflection, we can become more aware and be more open to new and invigorating thoughts and ideas.”

Technology, of course, can be an effective tool, but too much all the time isn’t a good idea. “Technology is often used to create, but I believe that inspiration comes as a whisper, so you must have stillness to hear it,” explained Selena Sage, author of Meditative Questions. “Disconnecting from technology helps you hear the whisper. After you have the inspiration, it is perfectly reasonable to use technology to create your vision.”

Some people feel the busier they are, the more connected they are, and the more creative they are. And while sometimes life calls for creative chaos, other times– not so much. “When I was working on designing and publishing my book, I was also working full-time and traveling around the world for business. During that time, I was actively engaged with my designers in L.A. and my printer in Hong Kong…sometimes responding to emails from the airport to make sure the project stayed on track. It was a very creative process and I was busy and engaged. I was buzzing with creative ideas for the book even while I was managing a full-time job. In contrast, I wrote the book during quiet, meditative moments. Different stages of creation require different energies,” Sage noted.

When you need to unplug you body–and mind–will let you know. Here are signs it’s time to take a technology break:

It’s affecting your life negatively. “One sign is if it costs you something, i.e. you are always fighting with your spouse because you are glued to your phone or you got reprimanded at work for being late because you were playing video games,” explained Coraccio.

Technology is your escape from life. “If you find yourself using it as a distraction. i.e. you are in debt, but ignore the problems and surf the Internet,” said Coraccio.

You can’t handle the inundation of digital information. “Whenever you feel overwhelmed, that is a sign that you need to take a step back and unplug. Watching TV, engaging in social media, and even reading the news can be emotionally overwhelming — especially if you find yourself arguing online,” explained Sage. “When coupled with whatever is happening in your daily life, you can feel angry, scattered, or even depressed. By disconnecting from the cyber world, you eliminate a lot of noise and give yourself additional space to breathe. Taking it a step further and turning off your cell phone and other devices can create even more mental space. If you are intensely overwhelmed and feel close to a breaking point, this is a sign that more drastic action is required. You may want to consider going on a meditation retreat (for a week or weekend) in nature to reset.”

Okay, so you admit you are on technology overload, and are ready to quit. But for how long?  “For many people this is hard, so I suggest beginning with 5 or 10 minutes a day. Like anything, the more you do it the easier it becomes. Working up to a few hours and even a day and taking a complete break when you go on vacation would be wonderful,” offered Coraccio. And you don’t have to do a Kanye and take a total break from being connected, which would be impossible for some professionals. “The length of time and extent to which you unplug is dependent on your needs. If you require a quick break to relieve stress, you can leave all technology behind and go on a quiet walk in nature. If you are feeling that you don’t have enough time in the day, you could set boundaries which restrict the use of technology before and/or after certain times (for example, no technology after 9pm). Instead, use that time to meditate and then tackle things you need to do that are of a higher priority,” suggested Sage.

It’s important to get those around you to respect your decision to unplug as well. “Unfortunately, we live in a time with corporate cell phones and computers that come with the expectation that you are always available. The reality is that it is up to you to set boundaries for your mental health. When I worked in corporate America and led a global team, I distinctly remember checking my work email before I went to bed each night and first thing when I woke up in the morning. This was a very unhealthy habit and I successfully broke it by realizing that if I responded an hour later in the morning, it wouldn’t make a significant difference for work, but personally it would give me time to get centered and ready for the day,” Sage said. “At home, creating boundaries to limit technology for everyone can promote feelings of connectedness and togetherness. It sounds old-fashioned, but eating dinner together without TV or cell phones is a healthy choice. And choosing to talk to each other about your day or current events can be very healing. In either scenario, I recommend making an adjustment on a one week trial basis to see how it goes. After the week trial, you can adjust the formula as needed to find the optimal balance for you. Small changes can yield big results.”

Advised Coraccio, “Let everyone know and ask them to respect your choices. You can’t control how others act, but you can control how you respond. If others aren’t respecting your decision at work: ask a boss or another colleague to intervene.  We tend to think that we have to do everything ourselves. Ask for support. Limit the time as much as possible with co workers.”

Here are some tips on how to unplug:

Tap into your inner peace. “Meditate. Create quiet time and space daily for meditation,” said Sage. “Go for a technology free walk in nature. Leave all gadgets and problems behind and simply enjoy the beauty of nature.”

Question your technology craving. “If you feel the urge to grab your device or surf the Internet, take a deep breath and ask yourself some questions. Are you afraid you will miss something? Is your habit fulfilling a need?  What are you distracting yourself from?” asked Coraccio.

Look at what you are gaining by letting go. “Create a list of all the things you will gain when you unplug. Better relationships? More time for solitude?  Saving money because you won’t be purchasing the latest and greatest? Keep it where you can see it,” suggested Coraccio.

 

A Teyana Taylor Fitness Video Is Coming And Our Abs Can’t Wait!

September 8th, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Serving bawdy issue all summa 6teen #JuniesMom

A photo posted by Jimmy Neutch (@teyanataylor) on

While most of us have been fans of Teyana Taylor since her “Google Me Baby” days, there are many who are just now being introduced to the multifaceted beauty. And since everyone and their mother is still on a high from Teyana’s exemplary choreography — and body — in Kanye West’s “FADE” music video, The Fader decided to have a quick chat with the superstar on how her life has changed since her engagement to NBA basketball player Iman Shumpert and giving birth to their scrumptious daughter, Iman Tayla Shumpert, who’s affectionately known by her parents and social media as Junie. Teyana also explains how the “FADE” video has altered the trajectory of her career since it premiered at the VMAs.

Here are highlights from the insightful interview, below.

The Fader: There are so many images that tell women how our bodies can, or have to, be. This video has had an overwhelmingly positive response from many women, some of whom seem genuinely motivated to get serious about looking after their bodies. What do you think brought out that response?

Teyana Taylor: I feel like it would have gotten a different response if I didn’t have a child. That what’s inspiring. It’s like, “Oh my gosh, she pulled this offand she has a child.” It made mothers feel like, “Anything is possible.” It’ doesn’t make people feel discouraged. You have women that are like, “I don’t want to have kids because I don’t want to mess up my body.” I’m a living example that your body only does what you allow it to do. Your body can do what you make it do. If you stay on top of what you need to stay on top of and get focused — whether that’s working out or dancing, or whatever way you want to make it work — it can work. I’ve been moving and in action since I was about four months pregnant. I was always moving around, always dancing, and always active. This video was to inspire women and to let them know that we are super women, each and every one of us. We hold these kids for nine months but we still have to work to provide for our families.

The Fader: As a black woman, what was the power of you, Iman, and the baby appearing together in the video’s final scene?

Teyana Taylor: It was love. A lioness protecting her family. That’s exactly what it was and what it represented. People think deeply into it and you should take it to mean whatever you think it means. It’s a powerful message and a power video.
The Fader: How has being a mother impacted the sense of agency that you have over your body?

Teyana Taylor: Even when I posted my picture to say, “My snap back in 6 days, I want to thank Junie” — that was a genuine moment. I’m a first time mom and I’m trying to understand why Junie was born six days ago and I got a whole 12 pack. That’s my experience. But it’s not for anyone to take that and feel, “Oh, I have to snap back in two days or six days.” We are all beautiful and I’m so happy that we’re at a point where women feel beautiful and feel powerful. It’s super dope to me because I never thought that I would’ve been that person. I tend to stay to myself and mind my business. So to check my DM’s and see women like, “You made me feel so beautiful!” That’s dope.

The Fader: You’ll be starring in a VH1 series, The Breaks, at the top of next year. Are you planning to release new music as well?

Teyana Taylor: Right now, I’m working on an album and working on The Breaks. I’m trying to do it all. I don’t want to be seen for just singing and dancing. I want to take roles that have nothing to do with me or music. I have my fitness video coming out. I’m super excited. I’ve already shot the scenes for it.

And we can’t wait to serve body realness like her because of it! Read Teyana’s entire interview with The Fader, here.

Yeezy Season 4 Was Blackety, Black, Black

September 8th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Yeezy Season 4 Was Blackety, Black, Black

Source: AP Images

When Kanye West announced that he was looking for multiracial models for his Yeezy Season 4 fashion show, the internet went nuts. They were sure that the word “multiracial” meant that he wanted models with light skin and loose, curly—not kinky— hair. The internet let Kanye have it too. And this time the outrage didn’t stop at just Black Twitter. There were protests in the street about the casting call.

But the results of the show may have left a few people with egg on their face.

Exhibit A:

You could argue that after Kanye and his people saw the backlash from the casting call, they realized it would be bad business to exclude the Black community. There were other reports that many Black women ignored the casting call prerequisites and showed up in all of their melanated glory anyway. So I’m sure some will argue that he chose to, in response to the criticism, only cast darker skinned women. But I think this might have been Kanye’s vision from jump. After all, I can’t see a little bit of social media outrage preventing him from executing the vision he had in his mind for this show. Furthermore, I know there were plenty of light-skinned, loose, curly-waved women who still showed up to be cast and judging from the coverage of the show, they certainly weren’t the majority.

If you look at the images from the show, it flows perfectly. And I don’t think that was by chance or happenstance. The whole look of the show reminds me of Nubian Skin’s lingerie line.

Would it be too much of a stretch to suggest that the word “multiracial” was Kanye or his team’s ill-advised way of saying they didn’t want any White women to come through? Perhaps.

Actually, it’s factual. In a conversation with Vogue, he said:

“How do you word the idea that you want all variations of black?” 

“How do you word that exactly?”

All variations of Black would have been just fine. But then, I guarantee, we would be having an entirely different, much larger conversation. (Read: White folks would have hollered reverse racism.) The fact that he was willing to do this anyway, speaks volumes about his intentions with this particular show, even if the message got a bit misconstrued initially. Personally, I have to give it to Kanye for this one.

What do you think about Yeezy Season 4? Did Kanye and his team use the wrong word? Was this his vision the entire time? Did people overreact? Do tell!

And just for fun, let’s admire Teyana Taylor’s underboob once more.

 

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

Kanye Wests Calls For “Multiracial Women Only” At Yeezy Season 4 Casting Call

September 4th, 2016 - By Ashley Monaé
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Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Photo Credit: Ivan Nikolov/WENN.com

Kanye [West] is Kanye-ing once again y’all, and we don’t mean in the form of a Twitter rant. This time, the controversy is stemming from a tweet the rapper sent over the weekend in regards to his Yeezy Season 4 casting call.

As many know, West recently packed out Madison Square Garden for a grand presentation of his Yeezy Season 3 collection and The Life of Pablo album reveal. Of course, the models were one of the talks of the happening besides the music. Beautiful and diverse, there were a plethora of guys and gals rocking West’s tattered clothes and it all seemed quite iconic – Naomi Campbell even hit the runway and posed with the youthful models.

However, for Season 4, West apparently has a different vision. One that would mean even a legendary supermodel like Campbell wouldn’t be casted or asked to participate. For the New York City casting that will take place today on Sunday, Sept. 4, the guidelines detail “multiracial women only” and no makeup.

Naturally, immediately after he tweeted out the information, plenty of folks on gave their opinions on the guidelines of his casting call – all mostly giving him the ultimate side eye while simultaneously ripping him to shreds.

While some argued that “most African Americans are multicultural,” others offered, “No Asian women & Native American women, either. N****s always want to make the insult about black women.”

This staunch guideline comes after his premiere of the “Fade” video at the MTV Video Music Awards where the beautifully brown Teyana Taylor stole the show with her #BlackGirlMagic. But hey, Kanye is back Kanye-ing and folks are out here talking about it.

Either way it goes, the words on the casting call created a divide, in the sense of one group of individuals being better than the other. Or maybe it’s just a publicity stunt? We’ll have to wait and see.

What are your thoughts? Continue scrolling to see what folks on Twitter had to say.

 

Teyana Taylor Decodes Kanye’s “FADE” Video For Those Of Us Who Are Too Booked To Make Meaning Of It

August 31st, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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This past Sunday, Kanye West premiered the music video to his song “FADE” at the MTV VMAs and it floored viewers.

Dancing to the eclectic song that barely has any lyrics, was his G.O.O.D Music artist, R&B songstress Teyana Taylor who clearly didn’t come to play with any one of us.

Shedding her “Google Me Baby,” MTV’s Sweet Sixteen and even tomboy-chic look, Taylor gave the VMAs audience, viewers and even those who weren’t watching the award show something to investigate with her flawless dance moves and the imagery she created with them.

In the video, Teyana is seen releasing the same passion Rosie Perez exhibited in the Spike Lee’s 1989 hit Do The Right Thing while dipping into a Flashdance– West African- 1990s Crybaby inspired choreography. And while many of us were left in awe of Teyana’s aspiring talent and body, others choose to dissect the video’s symbolism, because it wouldn’t be a Kanye video if  you weren’t doing so. But, if you’re still stuck on what Yeezy was trying to convey in the video, Teyana suggests watching it 20 or 40 times — yes that’s literally what she told Vogue’s Patricia Garcia.

Here are few highlights from her interview:

Vogue: What went through your mind after the video premiered?

Teyana: I was shaking. I was on Twitter and Instagram, but my phone was shaking because my hand was shaking. I was so nervous because it was really a do-or-die moment. I’ve worked so hard and I didn’t know that that moment was going to be that huge because I didn’t have time to mentally prepare. But it was dope that I was able to really sit back and really take in the whole moment. It’s emotional because I’ve been in the industry for so long and I’ve never understood why certain things weren’t happening. And now I feel like my story, everything that I’ve been through, makes this moment so much more special. Though it took so long for this to happen, I don’t feel like it could’ve happened at a better time.

Vogue:How did you become the star of this video?

Teyana: It was actually crazy because I was in the studio recording and Kanye came by to the other studio next door to record and asked me to come over real quick. And he was like, “Yo, you killed the Lil’ Kim tribute.” And we talked about that a little bit and then I don’t know how we got into a conversation about me and Iman. We just started talking and I was just rambling and rambling about Iman and to him it was a dope moment to just see love like that, to see that you can really have it all. Even with him, his relationship with Kim is so dope. They have kids, they’re married, they have a friendship. Even Kanye having kids has changed him a lot. He was like, “Dang, you’re singing. Your husband just won a championship. You just had Junie.” I think that really inspired him for the video. Literally when I left the studio and went back to my recording room, [a head representative from G.O.O.D. Music] came up to me and said Kanye wanted me to dance to one of his songs—for “Fade.” I was like, “Oh my god, you’re lying.”

Vogue:Yes! Please, let’s talk about the cat face at the end.
Teyana: Let’s talk about these sheep first, though. They were shitting all over the place—there was poop everywhere! And then little Junie is just so fearless; she’s playing with the sheep. I was just looking at Ye, like Yo, I don’t know what you got going on, but I know it’s going to be good. Because you know with Ye, you just gotta trust him. He’s a genius and you know he just got something up his sleeve.

We filmed that cat scene first. We didn’t shoot the video in order. I was in three hours of makeup and prosthetics to get that thing on my face. The director Eli [Linnetz], he wanted it to be a little bit sexy, so I drew my own brows on the cat face.

Vogue: So Kanye gave no explanation for the cat face.
Yeah, he was just like, I’m going to put you in this cat face. It’s going to be chic. At the same time, being an actor, I love doing stuff like that—to be able to get dressed up and get out of my comfort zone. I was very excited to do something different and artistic, but since we shot backwards, at first, I didn’t know what was going on. I thought, This crazy mother-effer. He’s got 15 sheep in this gym right now, with poop all over the place. It’s crazy the thing that happens behind the scenes; my wig almost flew off. It’s just so dope to watch the final product and know all the things that went into it. From the bottom of the heart this meant so much to me.

Teyana: And no explanation for the sheep either?
It was definitely something deep. The whole video is deeper than people probably processed it. So I feel like it’s up for the people to figure it out. I get it, but I want them to really figure it out and really understand what’s going on. And for them to understand, they’re going to have to watch it 20, and 30, and 40 times.

Personally, I believe, the “FADE: video depicts the need for creation and restoring the universe’s balance. When Teyana is pictured solo in the video, we see her body choreographed to a variety of dances that are linked to calling in a mate.

When the “FADE: video flashes to the steamy shower scene that Teyana shares with her fiancé Iman Shumpert, we see the two become one. This makes an easy transition to the last clip where Teyana is seen as a cat as she lays on Iman while their daughter, Iman Tayla, lays among sheep. This is representative of the well-known “biblical” verse (that’s actually not in the bible): “And the lion will lay down with the sheep.” Despite never making an appearance in the Book of Life, the verse is closely linked to Isaiah Chapter 11 verses 1-6 that prophesies a time where the Christian messiah, Jesus, returns to the earth, restoring peace and order for all.

Although this is just my opinion, it isn’t far-fetched to the abundance both Teyana and Kanye have in their career or family lives.
What does “FADE” mean to you?

#FitnessGoals: Teyana Taylor Shares Secret To Her Bangin’ “Fade” Body, And It Doesn’t Include A Diet

August 30th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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F A D E

A photo posted by Jimmy Neutch (@teyanataylor) on

I’m sure that if you haven’t seen the full-length video for Kanye West’s “Fade” by now (which premiered during the MTV VMAs and is streaming exclusively on Tidal), you’ve at least seen a clip of singer Teyana Taylor absolutely killing it with her amazing dance moves. But obviously, what stood out most to people was her fit form. So, how does Taylor, who just had a baby in December, manage to stay in such great shape? Well, we thought it was her use of the elliptical machine and a love of squats, as she once said a few years back. But as she told E! News, all that dancing is what’s behind it.

“Dancing is my workout. I just dance,” she said. “I almost feel like dance is so underrated in the fitness world.”

She went on to say that dieting isn’t her thing and really, she “eats everything.” Therefore, her love of busting a move (and some really good genes) has played a part in her being both curvy and exceptionally toned. So, if you’re looking to dance your way to the body of your dreams, it’s time to get that playlist cracking and hope your neighbors won’t start beating on your ceiling with a broom to get you to sit down.

On a side note, while I’m thoroughly impressed with her body, she’s always been in pretty impeccable shape. I’m talking abs since the My Super Sweet 16 days. What’s most impressive right now is how she’s using all this new attention to promote an even better body of work (five points for my play on words): her music. She told her new Twitter followers to check out her album VII, which came out in 2014: “For all the new folk. My album was pretty cool.”

Love this chick, and the fact that she’s finally getting some much-deserved love. Now off to get some “Fade” abs!

Check out all the celebs showing Taylor love and trying to get some workout tips along with the rest of us:

 

#RelationshipGoals: Modern Lovers Coloring Book Lets You Color Your Fave Celeb Couples

August 24th, 2016 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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By Wijtze Valkema

By Wijtze Valkema

I live for a good coloring book. And as we’ve discussed around these parts, you should invest in one since adult coloring books help alleviate stress. If you’re still on the lookout and just so happen to be a hopeless romantic, I have the perfect option for you: Modern Lovers: The Relationship Goals Coloring Book. 

Brought to you by Belly Kids, the book pays homage to some of the celebrity couples people can’t seem to get enough of. The curator of the coloring book, Michael Coley, told Mashable that the artists behind each of the illustrations wanted to create “a picture of love gone right.”

“We’ve come together to create something fun, cute, a little bit dorky but immensely positive and warming.”

The book includes the likes of Bey and Jay (drawn by Elena Boils), Kim and Kanye, and though she’s never claimed him publicly, Rihanna and Drake. Fictional couples even get some love, including Mulder and Scully from The X-Files and Jon Snow and Ygritte from Game of Thrones.

With the right set of colored pencils, a pencil sharpener on deck, and a glass of wine, this coloring book seems like it will give you quite a bit of entertainment — and of course, all the relationship goals. It can be yours for just $9.

How Sway? Kim And Kanye Alledgly Want To Live Rent Free Through AirBNB

August 22nd, 2016 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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For her 19th birthday, Kylie Jenner celebrated in Turks and Caicos and her lodging was free—courtesy of AirBNB. She and her friends stayed in a swanky 23-bedroom villa that had amenities such as a private tennis court, private chef, butler and of course an open-air massage table. Although the tab was free.99, (instead of the typical $10K per night) AirBNB received major publicity from both Kylie’s and her sister Kendall’s social media pages.

Now their big sister Kim and her brother-in-law Kanye want to receive the same perks from AirBNB, only, this time around they’re not celebrating a wedding anniversary or even a birthday. In fact, Time Magazine claims the controversial couple would like AirBNB to host them in a Manhattan apartment that’s worth $30 million for New York’s Fashion Week. Their stay in the Big Apple will also coincide with the launch West’s Saint Pablo Tour which will commence August 25.

The New York Post reports if AirBNB does allow Kim and Kanye to stay on one of their properties for free, the vacation rental business will only pay the owners of the alleged property $150,000 for their entire stay. A spokesperson told the Post: “The plan would be for Kimye to live there for a few months for free, and Kim will post on social media about the apartment, like her sisters did from Turks and Caicos. Airbnb would pick up the tab for the rent.”

Must be nice.

Taylor Swift, Kanye West And The Perpetuation Of The “Intimidating Black Man” Myth

July 18th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: AP Images

Source: AP Images

Y’all know I’m not a fan of Kim Kardashian; still despite his many flaws, problematic logic and slut shaming ways, a part of me still roots for her husband Kanye. I want him to do and be better. And while I don’t know if I’ll ever see that day, Kanye doesn’t need any help getting in his own way.

But for whatever reason, Taylor Swift seems to be hellbent on perpetuating this narrative that Kanye West is the villain in her story. While I think Taylor is an exceptionally talented songwriter and artist, I can’t stand the way she behaves in public. I shake my head when the camera insists on panning to her dancing awkwardly at award shows. I roll my eyes and kiss my teeth every time she acts shocked and stunned when she wins an award at these shows. And when she took the stage at this year’s Grammys to accept and award of Album of the Year and slam Kanye for a lyric in his song, “Famous,” I almost vomited.

If you don’t remember, Swift looked the camera knowingly before she said,

“As the first woman to win album of the year at the Grammys twice, I want to say to all the young women out there: there are going to be people along the way who will try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don’t let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you’re going, you’ll look around and you’ll know it was you and the people who love you who put you there and that will be the greatest feeling in the world.”

For those who haven’t heard, the line Taylor was referencing goes like this:

“I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex./ Why? I made that b*tch famous.”

At the time, I was like I get it. She wasn’t ok with Kanye saying the two had sex. Or that he made her famous. Still, for someone who said she wanted to distance herself from the whole Taylor Swift vs. Kanye West discussion, as someone who has openly sung and spoken about forgiving him, she does quite a bit to keep that old 2009 interaction going. More on that later.

Though she tried to play the victim in the incident, all of it came back to bite her in the butt when Kim Kardashian uploaded a few SnapChat videos of Kanye speaking to Taylor specifically about the line.

You can watch them below.

#KimKardashian is still dropping the tea #KanyeWest #TaylorSwift

A video posted by Baller Alert (@balleralert) on Jul 17, 2016 at 8:41pm PDT

Taylor: And I really appreciate you telling me about it. That’s really nice.

Kanye: Oh yeah. I thought I just had a responsibility to you as a friend.

Taylor: I never would have expected you to tell me about a line in one of your songs.

Kanye: Thanks for being so cool about it…relationships are more important than punchlines.

Taylor: Go with whatever line you think is better. It’s obviously very tongue in cheek either way.

Kanye: All I give a f*ck about is you as a person and as a friend. I want to do things that make you feel good. I don’t want to do rap that makes people feel bad…then he quotes the lines to her.

Taylor: I don’t think anybody would listen to that and be like that’s a real diss, like she must be crying. It doesn’t matter that I sold seven million on the album before you did that, which is what happened. You didn’t know who I was before that. It’s fine…I’m always going to respect you… And I’m really glad that you had the respect to call me and tell me that as a friend. And if people ask me about, I think it would great for me to be like ‘he called me and told me the line before it came out. Joke’s on you guys. We’re fine.’

But when the song was released, when people asked her about it. That’s not what she said or the tone she took. After the Grammy’s speech, her reps released this statement to GQ.

“Taylor does not hold anything against Kim Kardashian as she recognizes the pressure Kim must be under and that she is only repeating what she has been told by Kanye West. However, that does not change the fact that much of what Kim is saying is incorrect. Kanye West and Taylor only spoke once on the phone while she was on vacation with her family in January of 2016 and they have never spoken since. Taylor has never denied that conversation took place. It was on that phone call that Kanye West also asked her to release the song on her Twitter account, which she declined to do. Kanye West never told Taylor he was going to use the term ‘that bitch’ in referencing her. A song cannot be approved if it was never heard. Kanye West never played the song for Taylor Swift. Taylor heard it for the first time when everyone else did and was humiliated. Kim Kardashian’s claim that Taylor and her team were aware of being recorded is not true, and Taylor cannot understand why Kanye West, and now Kim Kardashian, will not just leave her alone.”

Oh Taylor.

But that’s not it. After Kim’s Snapchat reveal, Taylor released another statement on her Instagram profile.

“Where is the video of Kanye telling me he was going to call me ‘that bitch’ in his song? It doesn’t exist because it never happened. You don’t get to control someone’s emotional response to being called ‘that bitch’ in front of the entire world. Of course I wanted to like the song. I wanted to believe Kanye when he told me that I would love the song. I wanted us to have a friendly relationship. He promised to play the song for me, but he never did. While I wanted to be supportive of Kanye on the phone call, you cannot ‘approve’ a song you haven’t heard. Being falsely painted as a liar when I was never given the full story or played any part of the song is character assassination. I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that I have never asked to be a part of, since 2009.”

I just can’t take her seriously.

One minute she’s about love and light and forgiveness, taking pictures with Kanye, singing songs dedicated to him, ki-ki-ing on the phone and the next she’s playing victim in the public eye. What’s so interesting about her response is that when she made the Grammys speech, she didn’t speak about women being called ‘b*tches” when they make it in the industry. She spoke about people taking credit for her fame. When the statement was issued to GQ, she completely downplayed the nature of the conversation and was vague what she did and didn’t have an issue with. She and her people could have easily said that while Taylor thought the “have sex” or “made her famous” line was tongue in cheek, she didn’t appreciate being called “that bitch.” It’s still a valid concern. But it’s the lies and half truths she tells that make me sick.

And I don’t say that lightly. The narrative of the beautiful, frail, helpless White woman being bullied, attacked, or intimidated by the strong, overpowering Black man is one this country knows all too well. In fact, it’s this narrative of the “threatening” Black man that we’re fighting against today. Now, to be fair, I don’t believe that Taylor is trying to insinuate that she fears for her life or career because of Kanye, but she’s made it clear that she has been emotionally threatened by his words and thoughts. And it’s her right as a woman to say and feel that. But don’t make it more than it really is to gain sympathy. Don’t one minute call Kanye your friend, saying that you’ll always respect him and then the next, when you’re speaking to the public, wonder why Kanye and his wife won’t leave you alone. They won’t leave you alone because they thought y’all were cool. They won’t leave you alone because you gassed him all the way up on the phone. Kim, specifically, won’t leave you alone because you keep trying to make her husband the big, Black, bad guy because it suits your career. And more than that, it plays into a trope White America, can not only recognize but believe. And why wouldn’t they? The dangerous Black man archetype was created from way back, perpetuated in the media. It dictated the rules of law enforcement. It caused thousands of innocent Black men to be incarcerated unjustly or at rates drastically higher than White criminals. And it’s this narrative of the inherently threatening, intimidating, bullying, dangerous Black man that is causing so many innocent ones to lose their lives at the hands of police officers who, like Taylor, benefit from perpetuating such a story.

I’m never here for that. But at this time, when this narrative is causing us to literally lose our lives, Taylor can miss me with her sob stories.

Working While Black: Why I Had To Check My Coworker After The Birth Of North West

April 7th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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working while black feat
As told to Veronica Wells

I was really excited when North West was born. While I abhor what the Kardashian women stand for, building brands off of Black names and the appropriation of Black culture, I, for better or worse, still love Kanye West. I liken him to that family member who consistently acts a fool; but you remember the days y’all used to laugh together, sleeping on the living room floor in your grandma’s house, so it’s still love there. I actually refer to him as Cousin Kanye.

So naturally, with him being the cousin in my head, I was excited to see his daughter, especially after I learned that she and I shared a birthday. When they finally shared the first image of her, on that God-awful Kris Jenner show, I was geeked like the rest of this pop-culture-obsessed world. Thankfully, my coworkers were just as curious as I was, so I was happy to share the image of little North West around the office, once I found her on the internet.

Everyone was cool about it, providing the obligatory “oooo’s” and “aawwwws.” But one coworker, the lone White woman in our office, who perpetually works my nerves, looked at the picture of North on her father’s back and said, “She’s adorable!” and then, “Thank God she doesn’t look like Kanye.”

Now, I told y’all Kanye is imaginary fam. So I was already sensitive. But not only does North resemble her father, I didn’t appreciate the attractiveness being solely attributed to her non-Black mother. And furthermore, Kanye is just not ugly.

Instead of giving her a whole lecture, I just looked at her sternly and said, “She does look like Kanye.” Holding the gaze until she understood that her comment was offensive.

Then she started back-peddling.

“Oh, oh…well, I guess…now that you mention it…she does.”

I nodded. And we went on about our day.

I told some of my friends about this story; and while most of them understood, citing similar stories from their own coworkers, others thought I had overreacted or misinterpreted the intention behind her words.

It’s possible.

But having worked with her for as long as I have, listening to and occasionally swallowing all of her snide, racially tinged remarks, I don’t feel one bit bad about finally letting her know, I’m not the one to play with.