All Articles Tagged "music"

Are We Selling Sex Or Is Sex Selling Black Women?

October 31st, 2014 - By TaMara Griffin
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Selling Sex

Source: WENN

With all the buzz that was surrounding Nicki Minaj’s video “Anaconda,” I have to wonder as a Black women is this all we want for ourselves? Is this really a representation of Black women and our sexuality? Why must we continuously be the focus of hypersexualized videos in order to be relevant? Why must we allow ourselves to continue to be exploited like Mimi Faust and her infamous sex tape? Is this five minutes of fame worth our selling our souls and destroying our people? What statement does this send to our young girls who watch videos and reality TV shows and think that this is a way of life?

While many women are empowered enough to realize that this buffoonery is a form of “entertainment,” many women are not able to make that connection. Unfortunately as a result, many women and young girls end up modeling their lives after these reckless, negligent and thoughtless images. These images don’t represent nor promote sex positivity nor do they denote owning and embracing one’s sexuality. In fact, it’s just the opposite. These images actually represent a conflict of values, morals, and a lack of self esteem
and self-efficacy that contributes to putting oneself at risks for mental health issues, interpersonal violence, substance abuse, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, etc.

Black women’s sexuality is already stereotyped, stigmatized, taboo and bogged down by layers of negative intergenerational patterns and ideologies that have been passed down from slavery. These ideologies were used to validate the inhumane sexual treatment of enslaved women. They were also used to imply that Black women were despicable and inferior. Unfortunately, these ideologies are still present. Today, the media uses these images in music videos, movies, television shows, and other forms of entertainment to continue to brainwash people into believing the negative stereotypes of Black women.

The prevailing images of Black women in the media include jezebels, baby-mamas, video vixens, chicken heads, gold diggers, angry Black women, and hoes. These images and ideologies, with their highly sexual undertones, helps to influence the way in which Black women view themselves. The more Black women see images of themselves getting famous for fitting into one of the aforementioned categories, the more likely they feel inclined to model what they see. In addition, these images helps to influence the way others value and interact with Black women.

While rappers, actors, entertainers and “reality” TV stars may not have signed up to become role models, they are! Once they step into the spotlight, they become a model for what is considered to be trendy and acceptable. These “celebrities” in many ways, good or bad, set the standard. But what standard are they setting and at what cost to Black women?

Unfortunately, Black women have become desensitized to seeing themselves portrayed negatively. While there aren’t any signs of these unhealthy images disappearing any time soon, there is definitely a need to counteract them in the media. We are in need of a cultural shift in sexuality, one that restores the dignity of Black women. It is time for Black women to reclaim our sexual images in society. We must ask ourselves the following questions: 1)Do we care about the type of women our girls grow up to become, 2) Is their public image worth defending, and 3) Is their sexual integrity worth protecting?

No longer can we sit in silence or stand idly on the sidelines while the images of Black women continue to be destroyed in the media. However, in order to change the trajectory, we need to begin with restoring Black women’s sense of value, worth and sexuality. We need to transform from the “ex’s,” “jezebel,” “angry Black woman,” “video vixen,” “gold digger,” “baby mama,” “chicken heads,” and “‘hoes” to self-respecting women, wives, mothers and leaders in our community. Once we do, we will be able to see a shift in our society that will begin to embrace and celebrate the true authentic essence of Black women’s sexuality.
Dr. TaMara G10517587_10152337526693315_3514000000734284521_nriffin loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin, Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-L.I.F.E. www.drtamaragriffin.com. She is also the Director of Project Create S.A.F.E. {Sexual Assault Free Environments} www.projectcreatesafe.com.

It’s Not Musiq Soulchild’s Fault He’s Rapping; It’s Ours

September 17th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Not Musiq Soulchild's Fault

When it comes to figuring out the best course of action to deal with transitional periods in our lives, I always found that there are conflicting messages about how we should proceed.

There is one train of thought, which tells us to take a risk. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. You’ve got to spend money to make money. Ain’t no half-steppin’…

And then there is the other train of thought, which reminds us that a penny saved is a penny earned. To stay in your lane and a bird in the hand is worth more than two in a bush. Basically, don’t go chasing waterfalls. Learn to stick to the valleys and the lakes that you’re used to…

Both schools of thought have their value and I suspect, time and place during some parts of our lives. But without proper guidance and insight, you can easily miss opportunities or even get yourself into lots of trouble by not choosing the right thought at the right time. And somewhere between those two thoughts is where I imagine Musiq Soulchild’s entire life and career is right now with this whole rapping thing.

Perhaps it’s just a mid-life crisis, which started kind of early for the 37-year old singer/songwriter. Or perhaps the mysteriously masked crooner, who gave us such dope classics as “Just Friends (Sunny)” “Love” “Halfcrazy” and “B.U.D.D.Y,” is not “Aijuswanasing” with y’all no more – especially since y’all ain’t paying him.

It just might be true ladies that we’re the reason Musiq has put down the pen and the prose and instead picked up a mic, donned an all black leather Burger King crown, and started rapping now. And it’s all because we ain’t buying his shit like that. Nobody bought his last album “Musiqinthemajiq.” And not a single soul even thought of the duet album he did last year with Syleena Johnson (Hell, I’m just finding out the thing existed as I’m typing this.)

As previously mentioned in an interview with MadameNoire in which he spoke about his career change, Musiq said:

Every time I turn on this radio, I heard this sound. And the other brand is R&B, but it’s challenging to see that sound being really popular right now. For whatever reason, I don’t know R&B is not really poppin’ right now. It’s Struggling; R&B is struggling right now. And I’m the kind of person, I like to entertain people according to what they are saying, entertains them. And right now, this sound is what is entertaining them. And as an artist, a musician, a songwriter, a producer, I sit back and I hear it. And I peep game, and I’m like, ‘ok that’s what y’all like? I can do that….”

And “I can do that,” especially when I got bills to pay. Right away, boss!

Yeah, I know: he is selling out. But truth of the matter is we – the listeners and consumers – sold out R&B long ago. As there is plenty of truth to what Musiq said. What used to be Rhythm and Blues pretty much sucks right now. Sure all the R&B singers are Black – well most of them. But that’s about all it has in common with its predecessor genre. First off, there are no real instruments to be found on these songs. Secondly, you got singers, who aren’t really singing, but talking songs on records over hot beats. You can almost classify it as rap, if not for them stretching out the last syllable of the word at the end of a verse

Even the ones with decent voices put very little effort and actual thought into their lyrics. And nobody, and I mean nobody, sings about love anymore. Oh sure, these new singers will meet you in the club and take you home and knock you off until the neighbors call the cops, but they ain’t wifin’ you or buying shit. They not even claiming you in a relationship – not even as just friends. The R&B of today has turned into the breathing embodiment of Junior Mafia: Fuck bitches. Fuck niggas. Git Money.

What happened to honesty in R&B? Like the kind that Stevie and Luther and Patti used to sing about? Songs about emotions like feeling happiness and the times you felt not so great? What happened to sending your special bae secret codes like “143” or songs about how you just been “watching you for a while and I just want to let you know that I’m feeling your style?” You know, the songs like the ones Musiq used to sing? In short, nobody is buying that stuff.

With no real appreciation for actual loves and life songs with real lyrics, true R&B artists like Musiq really don’t have a home anymore. So you might as well turn into Future. Hell, it’s working for Future and he ain’t got no talent.

So let’s cut Musiq aka The Husel some slack here. We are not supporting the kind of music that we claim we want to hear. And Black men don’t have lots of options in life. And it was either cut a rap album or sell $10 fried fish platters and weed. As written in fine print with his recently released five-song mixtape, “The Husel is not a person; THE HUSEL is a state of mind. Everybody has their own interpretation of the hustle, this just happens to be mines.”

Translation: It ain’t Musiq fault he is rappin’ now; it’s Philadelphia Water Department and Philadelphia Gas Works and Verizon and ‘em.

Doing Too Much: The Most Controversial Album Covers Of The Last Decade

August 19th, 2014 - By M A
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controversial album covers

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The old adage may go “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But sometimes that’s a little easier said than done. Particularly when taking a look at these controversial album covers. While some are endearingly tongue-in-cheek, others were doing just a little too much. But we’ll let you be the judge of our picks for the decade’s most controversial album covers.

12 Epic Joint Music Tours

August 18th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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What’s better than seeing one of your favorite artists perform in concert? Seeing two of your favorite artists in one night. These rappers and singers joined forces with a colleague for 12 of the most epic joint music tours we’ve ever witnessed.

Joint Music Tours

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Chris Brown and Trey Songz

Since he’s been released from jail, Chris Brown has been a very busy man. He made his return to the stage during the BET Awards a couple months ago and he shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. The “Don’t Judge Me” singer, who will be dropping his “X” album in the fall, has announced he will be going on tour with fellow R&B singer Trey Songz. Brown made the announcement on his twitter page: “THIS FALL is gonna be legendary! Get ready for me and @TreySongz Tour.”

Hip-Hop And R&B Groups That Cannot Get It Together

August 12th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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No matter how much we wish they’d rule the once again, these hip-hop and R&B groups just cannot get it together to make music — or money — together.

Hip-Hop And R&B Groups

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Danity Kane

Sean “Diddy” Combs has always had a knack for finding the right artist to turn into a superstar and back in the day he brought his talents to MTV’s world of reality television to find the next big artist as part of “Making the Band.” For the third cycle of the show, Diddy selected five young women to form the pop group Danity Kane. With his help, the group’s debut album went platinum but there was tension between the ladies. Aubrey O’Day ruffled Diddy’s feathers with her over-sexualized image and attempts to overshadow the group but when rumors started to swirl that Dawn Richard was trying to go solo, the group was barely hanging on by a thread. Diddy kicked Aubrey out of the group and used Dawn Richard as part of his Diddy Dirty Money collective. Four years later, the girls (minus D. Woods) decided to get that old thing back and reunite, but soon after Aundrea dropped out and then there was three — until last week during a studio session when Dawn was accused of popping Aubrey in the face. And once again Danity Kane is no more.

Beyonce Addresses Elevator Incident in “Flawless” Remix With Nicki Minaj

August 3rd, 2014 - By Courtney Whitaker
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flawlessIn true Beyoncé form, the icon surprised fans with a new single in the middle of the night.

Queen Bey enlisted the help of Nicki Minaj for the official remix of “Flawless.” On the new track, Beyoncé not only declares she is “the shit” but elevatorgate is finally addressed! Bey raps, “We escalating, up in this B*tch like elevators, Of course sometimes shit go down when it’s a billion dollars on an elevator.” Bey made sure to repeat that last line TWICE.

As for Nicki, the rapper declared, she is “The queen of rap slaying with Queen Bey / If you ain’t on the team, you playin’ for team D.”

The track is full of jabs and lyrics revolving around the two ladies being “every hood n*gga’s dream” and dissing “thirsty b*tches”. It’s clear neither Beyoncé nor Nicki held cut cards on this single.

Check out the track for yourself on Flawless.Beyonce.com.

Sunday Sing-Along: Gospel Songs We All Know

August 3rd, 2014 - By Meg Butler
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There are some gospel songs that we feel like we were born knowing. Whether we learned them in choir rehearsal on Wednesday night, listening to Big Mama hum or watching our favorite films, these songs have a permanent place in our gospel roster.

“I Don’t Know What You’ve Come to Do”

Is it just us or are there different versions of what you’ve come to do? We’ve heard “clap my hands,” “stomp feet,” “do my dance,” “praise his name,” “lift his name,” and about three other variations that seem to depend on what choir is singing that Sunday.

One And Done: One Hit Wonders We Miss (Sorta)

August 1st, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
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While many singers and rappers strive to have a long and successful career in the music industry, these artists had just one hit and then were done. Who do you wish had a longer career?

"Vanilla Ice pf"

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Vanilla Ice

In 1990, Vanilla Ice had a hit on his hands with “Ice Ice Baby.” The song was everywhere and it shot straight to the top of the Billboard charts making Vanilla Ice a star overnight. But he could never repeat the same success again. The white rapper released other rap songs but the reception just wasn’t the same as his debut single. After overdosing on drugs, Vanilla Ice, real name Robert Van Winkle, switched his attention to heavy metal music before going into real estate.

Pass Or Play? Tiny Drops New Song #WTFYGD

July 22nd, 2014 - By Brande Victorian
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Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Xscape Tiny is back y’all!

The seemingly estranged wife of T.I. (can we say that?) has just dropped a new solo single and she’s very much giving us a ’90s R&B vibe. The track, #WTFYGD, which is hashtag for what the f*ck you gone do, will no doubt add fuel to she and T.I.’s troubled marriage fire as the chorus very explicitly says “don’t be sleeping on me/I don’t wanna ride out on you babe/ All I wanna do is stay down for you/ But you make it so hard not to give up on you/ as she asks, “if I leave, then what the f*ck you gone do?” Pretty sure who she’s asking.

Listen to the song below and tell us what you think. Pass or Play?

Happy Birthday Patti: Patti LaBelle’s Greatest Performances

May 24th, 2014 - By M A
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L.Gallo/WENN.com

L.Gallo/WENN.com

The incomparable Patti LaBelle has been captivating the music industry since she first hit the scene more than 50 years ago. Since that moment, she has mesmerized us with her incredible range, soul and passion, while blazing a trail for powerful female contemporary singers like Whitney Houston, Alicia Keys and Christina Aguilera. So as Patti prepares to celebrate her 70th birthday, we figured there was no better tribute than taking a look back at some of this diva’s most incredible performances.

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