All Articles Tagged "ratchet"

Ratchetness Holding Her Back? K. Michelle Addresses Not Crossing Over Because Of Her Attitude

January 23rd, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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"K. Michelle pf"

Source: Instagram

Nearly two years ago, when K. Michelle was just coming onto the scene. I wrote an Open Letter to her in which I warned that her behavior on the reality show, threatening to fight cast members, stirring up unnecessary drama, calling men gay etc wouldn’t lend well to her career path. I wrote that even though she had been through some mess, she shouldn’t allow it to keep her from moving on to the next level.

I doubt she read it.

Instead, K.’s behavior escalated as the show progressed. She started fighting and bickering with people she had once been cool with… Record execs warned that her behavior was tarnishing her brand. And eventually she admitted that she needed to leave Atlanta so she could focus on enjoying life and the blessings God had bestowed on her, career wise.

And her limited appearances on the New York cast of “Love and Hip Hop,” her lack of appearances in the blogs and the extension of the olive branch to Tamar Braxton–even though she didn’t accept it– all prove that she really is trying to do better. And we have to commend her for that.

But apparently there are some who aren’t quite convinced that K. Michelle has in fact turned over a new leaf.

And so in response to those people, the soul singer recently posted this video, answering the question of whether or not her attitude and behavior will keep her from “crossing over.”

Well, I didn’t come in the game to be class favorite. I didn’t come in this game for people’s approval of my everyday’s life behavior. I came in this game to shake it up a little bit, to be 100 and offer honest music. And that’s what I’ve been doing. 

Whatever I want to sing, I’m going to sing it this year. It doesn’t matter, no one’s going to box me in a genre and no one’s going to tell me what I need to sing because of my ethnicity or because of my attitude.

Listen to her full response in the video below.

What do you think, will K. Michelle’s attitude and behavior on reality show hold her back in her career? What do you think of her response to those claims?

15 Of The Most Ratchet Celeb Moments Of 2013

December 30th, 2013 - By Deron Dalton
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2013 was a big year.. a big year in celebrity ratchetness that is. So many celebrities showed their behinds this year that we had to recap it. This listicle is only a reminder of the entertainment news that had everyone from news outlets, Black Twitter, your friends and your mama all like… “oooh, they’re ratchet!”

There’s so much celebrity ratchetness that after going through this list, but if there’s anything we’ve forgotten, be sure to let us know in the comment section below.

making up with K.Michelle

Source: Instagram

K. Michelle and Tamar Braxton bickering.

These two have been feuding for a minute! Something K. Michelle has addressed twice, trying to be the bigger woman and bury the hatchet. Braxton hasn’t been listening though. Their feud started last year, but their dislike and shade-throwing about each other’s success has continued throughout 2013. It makes them both look silly — being that Braxton said the feud started as a misunderstanding, which should be all the reason to let it go! K. Michelle has reached out to Braxton and later on,  said they have both been through hell pursuing their music careers and should squash it. But Braxton isn’t trying to hear it.

What ‘Chu Say Boo? Caption This Picture Of A Woman “Twerking On Baes Grave”

November 25th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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twerkin on baes grave

Source: Tumblr

The internet has brought so much joy to my life. So much joy. This past weekend, my sister and I were on YouTube watching random comedy videos when we ended up on KevOnStage’s channel. If you don’t know him and you could use a laugh, check him out. A week ago, Kev posted his reaction to an image that had been circulating around my beloved internet. I don’t know if it first appeared on Tumblr or Twitter but either way, it’s here and it’s captioned “Twerking on baes grave.” Lord, have his mercy. In case you can’t tell, the image features a young woman in the slip position bouncing, tooting, popping over someone’s grave.

There are levels of wrongness to this image. Let’s list them shall we.

– There’s the split position.

– The use of the word bae

– The fact that the word “baes” does not contain an apostrophe.

– Her tongue is out.

– And of course she is indeed twerking over somebody’s grave.

– The disrespect.

But we’re not going to front, all of the above is what makes the picture so friggin’ hilarious. So now it’s your turn ladies and gentlemen, caption this picture of what you think this woman is saying as she’s “twerking on baes grave.”

My Appreciation For Ratch & 9 Other Reasons I’ll Never Be A Proper Lady

October 23rd, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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Every woman knows there are some unspoken rules about what it means to be a lady. A lady does this, a lady doesn’t do that. Everyone has their own version of “the rules.” Whatever they are, there are a few of them that I just don’t follow.

He Did What? Rapper Plies Shows Off His Trayvon Martin Tribute Gold Chain!

September 7th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Whatever you just said to yourself, I’ve already said it. Deal with it and let’s move on. Rapper Plies recently showed off his brand new Trayvon Martin Tribute gold chain.

Rapper have always been known to find their own unique ways to show love, honor and respect to someone or something that meant a lot to them. We know that many of them were deeply affected by the death of Trayvon Martin and the results varied from rap songs in dedication to tattoos in Trayvon’s memory.

Earlier this week, Plies posted a video on Youtube showcasing his new Trayvon Martin tribute gold chain.  In the video, he stated:

“…Wanted to make sure I had the homie around my neck at all times. He impacted my life just that much.  Double salute to the whole Martin family. I wanna tell you rest in peace, homie. I’ma keep you around my neck at all times. It’s just that important to me, man. Trayvon, you’ll forever live on.”

Sure, there’s a lot you can say about this. “Oh, why didn’t he donate some money to the foundation?” “This is stupid.” I’m sure there are valid thoughts and opinions across the board; however, this is what he thought was most appropriate for him.  Plies is not known for intellectual rhymes (he might be the most recent king of ratchet and raunchy music) so I don’t think anyone would expect him to write some deeply moving article or anything (but don’t get it twisted – he’s actually not an ignorant man at all).

That said…I can’t wait to hear your thoughts. Check out the video below!

Azealia Banks Blasts Lady Gaga On Twitter, Implies The Pop Singer Has Become A Copycat Who Is ‘Out Of Ideas’

September 3rd, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

So um, do y’all remember back in May when we told you that after getting into several social media squabbles, Harlem rapper Azealia Banks reportedly turned her Twitter account over to her management team? Well, it looks like she got her tweeting privileges back.

Over the weekend, the 22-year-old emcee took to her Twitter account to express her displeasure with none other than Lady Gaga. Her rant began with a simple question pertaining to Lady Gaga’s orginiality (or lack thereof).

As you all may have guessed, the tweet didn’t sit too well with Gaga’s “little monsters,” who quickly responded on behalf of their “mama monster,” but an unfazed Azealia didn’t seem to mind.

Now according to The YBF, Azealia is pissed because awhile ago, she did a feature for Gaga’s new song, “Ratchet,” but word on the street is that somewhere down the line, the “212” rapper’s part was cut from the song. It appears that Azealia also went on to imply that Gaga is trying to reinvent herself by stealing from underground artists such as herself and jacking her “seapunk” style.

Do you think Azealia has a point?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

Pass Or Play: K. Michelle Lets Her Man Know He’s Got “The Right One” In New Video!

September 1st, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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It’s always a toss up when it comes time for a new “Pass or Play” moment from K. Michelle.

Now that the singer and reality star is doing decent numbers with her debut album (she’s on pace to hit 100,000 albums sold when the charts are released next week), K. Michelle knows she has to keep promoting and cranking out videos.

In her latest video for “The Right One,” K. Michelle sings about how much she hates – no, for real – the dude she’s been seeing.  Apparently, he’s been playing her (in the video, he was caught creeping with another woman) and she has enough. As the lyrics tell it, he blasted her on Twitter so she blasted back, boasting that if the guy wants “ratchet,” she can be that for him.

Well then.  Let’s see, who could she be talking about (you know she’s always singing about someone in particular)? I’m going to go with New York Knicks player J.R. Smith. Do I have any wagers on that one? Any other people you think she could be talking about?

If you have her album Rebellious Soul and haven’t heard this song, that is because it is on the deluxe version only available at Best Buy. Her team is clearly behind her this go ’round because if you’re feeling the song, there’s a big chance you’ll now go buy a deluxe copy of the album. No, you can’t even find this one on iTunes.

So check out the song and video and let us know what you think: Pass or Play?

Really, It’s Not That Deep: NY Mag Does An Unnecessarily In Depth Piece On The Word Ratchet

April 12th, 2013 - By Brande Victorian
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Beyonce Can I Live

For those of you who have been hoping the word “ratchet” would die soon, I wouldn’t count on it. In fact, I’m willing to bet it’s about to become an even larger part of mainstream culture, i.e., white folks are about to start using it,  thanks to an exploratory piece on the term in NY Mag. Titled, “Ratchet: The Rap Insult That Became a Compliment,” the article by John Ortved seeks to uncover the origins of the word in a way that leaves me asking the (ratchet) question — although I’m not even sure that’s the correct use of the term now –what the f#&% for?!

As the piece goes:

Ratchet can be traced back to the neighborhood of Cedar Grove in Shreveport, Louisiana. “You talk to working class black people [down there],” says Dr. Brittney Cooper, a co-founder of the Crunk Feminist Collective. “Ratchedness comes out of that. And some of that particularity gets lost when it travels.”

You can certainly say that again. For an example of that lost particularity, see this entire article in NY Mag.

The first appearance of ratchet in a published song was in 1999, when Anthony Mandigo released “Do the Ratchet” on his Ratchet Fight in the Ghetto album….In 2004, Earl Williams, a producer known as Phunk Dawg, recorded a new version of the song, featuring the better-known Lil Boosie (currently incarcerated), from Baton Rouge, as well as Mandigo and another Shreveport rapper named Untamed Mayne…. In the liner notes of the CD, Phunk Dawg wrote a definition of ratchet:  “n., pron., v, adv., 1. To be ghetto, real, gutter, narsty. 2. It’s whatever, bout it, etc.”

But the popularity of the song, and the adoption of ratchet by other, bigger names in the business — especially as rappers from the “Dirty South,” like Lil Wayne, T.I., and Juicy J came into vogue in the later 2000s — meant the definition of the word could not stay in the hands of Lava House Records. “It’s not necessarily negative. You could say ‘I’m ratchet’ to say ‘I’m real. I’m ghetto. I am what I am.’ It can be light, too,” Williams, the producer, explains. When ratchet is used in hip hop, it can also mean cool, sloppy, sleek, or flashy.

When I read these definitions of the term that black people have been using since the ’90s, I really question what service Ortved thinks he’s providing with this article. I guess it shouldn’t be all that hard for me to figure out considering NY Mag’s readership and the obvious understanding that people who have been using this word without needing an urban dictionary explanation of it already know what it means. So is Ortved trying to introduce this word to the mainstream so white people who want to be cool can add it to their vernacular? Or is he trying to shield them from some “underground” term that they have a right to know the meaning and connotation of to either avoid use of or use against us? Or my third explanation, which I personally believe is the case more than anything, is he wasting everyone’s time with much ado about nothing.

Michaela Angela Davis would likely disagree with that last point, as she seems to believe the term “ratchet” has far-reaching consequences for black women, telling NY Mag:

“There’s an emotional violence and meanness attached to being ratchet, particularly pertaining to women of color. We’re only seen through this narrow sliver, and right now that sliver is Ratchet. We don’t get to be quirky and fun and live in Williamsburg. Wolves don’t fall in love with us. The only interest that pop culture has in black women is this ratchet world.”

And the use of this term is to blame for that? Pop culture has only been interested in Black women’s failings since the beginning of time. Ratchet may be the catch-all phrase that captures the negativity those outside the black community may enjoy shedding a light on, but whether this word is here or not, the light won’t shine any brighter or dimmer. And to be perfectly honest, I’ve never thought about the term ratchet in any specificity to Black women. In my own personal use, I relate it to everything from behavior that is ignorant and suspect to the utmost level, as well as simply “turning up,” as one would say now (i.e. having a good time) I wonder if there will be an expose on that phrase next?

And I hate that this article even makes me think about what things I apply to this term because, frankly, it’s not that deep. Yes, you should absolutely be aware of the language you use and when, where, and why, but taking an urban slang term and turning it into something bigger than it needs to be is not just counterproductive, it’s a waste of time. I’m still trying to figure out what Ortved got out of his research and what he thinks his readers will get out of this piece other than a headache and a feeling that yet again African American culture is being set up to be misappropriated. Have we spent this much time exploring the origins of frenemy and what white women’s embracing of this term could mean for the future of female friendships as we know it? Or how the use of “fetch” further spurs the growth of mean girl culture? Of course not. Those are safe words, right? The people using them could never mean any ill intent. It’s only when Black people come up with slang terms that they have to have a covert negative meaning.

Since Beyonce was so heavily referenced in Ortved’s ratchet expository — which I don’t even have time to touch on — I’ll just take a page from her Instagram and ask: can we live?


Bow Down: Beyonce Teases With New Music And Puts All Other Singers In Their Place!

March 17th, 2013 - By Drenna Armstrong
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Well, if the new music is any indication, the rest of the year is about to be a wrap for any and all other female pop and r&b singers. Several seats is what they’ll all need to take.

The internet is on fire right now as Beyonce’s team just dropped what seems to be a teaser of two songs, “Bow Down” and a chopped and screwed joint, “I Been On.”

Where we all need to focus is on “Bow Down.” This is not your typical Beyonce. This is gum popping, hair patting, gold tooth having Beyonce. Ratchet, even.

The lyrics are not humble and has a few words for everyone:

“I know when you were little girls/ You dreamt of being in my world/ Don’t forget it, don’t forget it/Respect that/ Bow down b**ches/I took some time to live my life/But don’t think I’m just his little wife/Don’t get it twisted, get it twisted/This my s**t/Bow Down, b**ches…”

Well, now.  There’s not much more to say than that. Sure, Beyonce probably curses in her personal life and has been known to slip a couple in her songs but this one is…a lot.  No word on whether or not this is the full length version or if it will be an intro/interlude.  Produced by Hit Boy (he’s worked a lot with Jay-Z), “Bow Down” might be a sample of what’s to come when the album is released.

Check it out!

A Little Less Ratchet, A Little More Romance: Where’s The Love In Hip Hop And R&B?

February 11th, 2013 - By Toya Sharee
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Whether it’s Trey Songz crooning he’s about to “Dive In” or Chris Brown moaning about how he’s going to make me “Wet The Bed,” I must be getting old and sensitive because love and hip-hop is a little too raw for me.  Not even 5 years ago, I was attracted to men who were vulgar and explicit and thought those sweet, sensitive guys singing lullabies about walks in the park and candlelit dinners were clowns.  But after years of blatant honesty, I find myself missing the days of middle school when a guy would send me a candy gram in class asking, “Will you go with me?”

A few months ago my colleagues and I decided that we needed some music to break up the monotony of our office days that are otherwise filled with calls from probation officers about parenting classes and random UPS diaper deliveries.  With the help of Pandora, soon we had Marvin Gaye and Sade to serenade us through those long eight hours.  We chose channels that we thought were “safe” for an office of women ranging from their early twenties to their late fifties.  And by “safe” I mean we didn’t want to run the risk of Rihanna exclaiming, “I love it when you eat it,”  in the event that a donor walked through the door. By choosing the Toni Braxton channel, I figured we were in the clear.

Nonetheless after a few times haul assing to my phone to change the channel when I heard the first few notes of “Neighbors Know My Name” drop, it hit me: There aren’t too many men singing about love anymore.  Even back in the day our parents clearly knew exactly that Ronald Isley wasn’t just talking about a hug when he sang “I feel your love surrounding me” on “In Between the Sheets,” but it was a lot more subtle than, “Girl I like the way it opens up when you throw it back baby,” as Chris Brown sings  on 2012.  I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I have my random ratchet moments where a little wine and some Rick Ross “Diced Pineapples” or “She Will” by Lil’ Wayne doesn’t make me feel like the sexiest broad to ever sip Yellowtail on a Saturday.  When it comes to raunch and romance, I like Chris Brown and Trey Songz because they “go there.”  But sometimes I just want to fall back and hear a man tell me how beautiful I am, not how fat my a** is.

It’s not like thug love didn’t exist when I was a teen. Boys II Men might have been on bended knee begging to make love, but Jodeci didn’t hesitate to hump the stage and let us know that every freakin day they wanted to freak our bodies in every freakin way.  A few years later even LL Cool J and Fabolous had their share of public displays of affection through singles like Hey Lover and Baby. There was a balance back then, but recently when I try to think of anyone mainstream that’s actually singing about love the only artist who comes to mind is Ne-yo and recently he seems to making more songs for the club than for couples.  It’s no wonder why teens today can’t see anything beyond breaking headboards when it comes to relationships.  Women are becoming the worst offenders. When did a man become soft or a sucker for being a gentleman?  Any time a man reveals the slightest bit of sensitivity or emotion we are quick to label him as “soft” or “gay,”but don’t let him refer to us as “bitches” and we’re ready to swing on him…unless of course he’s a rapper and he’s telling us to drop down and get our eagle on. There’s nothing like a little fame and money to make the rules of the regular not apply. Even I must admit it’s been me on some occasions looking all silly and doe-eyed when a man tells me how “bad” I am or that I look like a video vixen. But on some level it’s sad that “I can tell that you’ve been practicin’” is seen as the ultimate form of flattery these days.

I think it’s great that people are talking so openly about sex especially when it comes to people not fearing they’ll be judged for what gender they choose to love or young people being able to ask questions without people assuming they are trying to make a pregnancy pact.   But sometimes people being so TMI about their sexual intentions kills the mystery which as a result kills the mood.  I think that’s why I enjoy Drake so much; he can just as easily hold his own surrounded by bouncing booties on a single like “Pop That” and then turn around and express how vulnerable he actually is on a song like “Hate Sleeping Alone.”

There’s time and place for passion, but as women we can’t wonder where the romance and respect  went when any man who isn’t telling us to bend over and look back at him is considered a clown.  Ladies if we want romance and candlelight, we have to think more about love than dropping it low and spreading it wide.  Fellas, sometimes revealing what you want to stick and lick isn’t nearly as arousing as telling a woman that you just want to hold her.  Romance and ratchet don’t mix and we don’t always want baby-making music as much as we want to boo love.  The subtle art of flirting and courtship needs to be brought back not only to hip hop, but to relationships every where.  That doesn’t have to mean cliched rose petals leading to the bedroom or Barry White and candlelight, but try being a little creative.  I like it rough, but take a note from Otis Redding and try a little tenderness.

Can you think of any R&B artists who still sing about love?

Toya Sharee is a community health  educator  and   parenting education coordinator who has a passion  for helping  young women  build  their self-esteem and make  well-informed choices  about their sexual  health. She  also  advocates for women’s  reproductive rights and blogs about  everything  from  beauty to love  and relationships. Follow her on Twitter   @TheTrueTSharee or visit  her blog Bullets  and  Blessings .