Jay Z Isn’t Trustworthy and Authentic Anymore?

I was on Twitter today (if you notice that’s where most of my inspiration to write comes from) and I saw a link (the link is attached to this post at the end of this post) to an article titled “Jay Z’s Brand is Suffering Because People Don’t Trust Him”. I kind of got offended and defensive immediately because Jay Z is my favorite rapper and it’s hard to take criticism about your favorite artists. So I ignored it. But then the link came across my timeline again and I judged it before reading it. I tweeted something like “what does that mean people don’t trust Jay Z? How much should I trust a rapper?” But then I realized it was just best for me to read the article and after I did, my opinion completely changed.

The article is basically saying that a celebrity branding expert by the name of Jeetendr Sehdev  ”conducted a survey, and the survey says he is one of the least influential celebrities.” It goes on to say that the survey was taken by people that are 13-30 years old and they didn’t like his Samsung deal. They feel like he’s become too corporate and his art is coming second to his business. They don’t like this which is why they aren’t influenced by him and why he lacks authenticity.

When you break it down like this, it makes sense. I’m a 20 year old college student and I hardly know any college kids my age that want to be like Jay Z or mess with him like that. Yes he is relevant and yes he is popular but his influence is questionable. They are more into the Kendrick Lamars, Drakes, J Cole’s, and even Wiz Khalifahs because they are closer to their age and talk about things they can relate to. Jay Z’s story doesn’t speak to them. They like his songs, but they can’t connect. To them, all he does is talk about money and fancy painters. In my eyes Jay Z is the man they want to be when they are his age, not the man they want to be right now which makes sense because the 20 year old Jay Z probably didn’t want to be the 44 year old Jay Z so why should they want to.

Jay Z saw a lot of criticism when he did the Samsung deal (Samsung bought the first million copies of his last album) and I didn’t really understand it at first because it seemed like a great business idea, but that’s part of the problem. We live in a world where kids respect the independent labels, the do it yourself hustle, and basically the anti-corporation way of doing things. So yeah, that Samsung deal was a great business move, but it wasn’t the greatest artist move. The thing that Jay Z struggles with is being an artist, but being a businessman at the same time. Which one come first? Will he do anything for money? These are relevant questions (not questions that I ask but questions that some ask).

The article then goes on to say “We rarely see this true side of him” and that he’s too closed off. Him being private is something I love about him, but not everyone thinks like me. We live in a social media society where people care about the personals and I think his wife Beyonce found a way to be personal and open at the same time. She did a documentary last year, she always releases behind the scene footage of her concerts or videos and most of all she always uses her tumblr and Instagram to upload pictures. She isn’t on Twitter telling us about her day, but she’s giving us a glimpse of her life in her own way. Does Jay Z need to do this I don’t know but it’s doing nothing but helping Beyonce.

Also another thing that Jay can learn from his wife is her Pepsi deal. She signed a $50 million deal with Pepsi that meant they would basically fund any creative projects that she wanted to do. Instead of her taking their money and endorsing their product (something that she already does with other companies), she took the money to fund her visual album. She made and released this album in a innovative way. She took the money and put it back into a project that people can benefit from. Even if you’re not going to buy it, you benefit from it. Even if you don’t like it, you benefit from it because it gives you something to talk about and it gives you something to look at. Jay’s deal didn’t benefit anyone but himself. And that’s fine I’m not saying it has to benefit anyone else, but Beyonce’s Pepsi deal seems like a better artist deal while Jay’s Samsung deal seemed more like a businessman’s deal.

Jay Z has always been a businessman and came into the game with his own label, he’s had clothing lines and colognes so being a businessman isn’t the problem. I think the problem is that you have to think about these deals and how they will affect you as an artists because that’s what comes first.

Like I said before I like Jay Z and I’m not mad at him being a businessman, get your money boo. But everyone doesn’t think like me. If his plan is to dive deeper into corporate and slowly ease off of being an artist then these deals are great, but if he wants to be an artist much longer, he’s going to need to think about these deals and how they affect him as an artist.

Let me know what you think, I love feedback.


Why Is Degrading Women In (Hip Hop) Music Allowed?

I was on Twitter a few days ago, just reading my timeline, when one guy I follow tweeted “why is it that music that degrades women, girls quote and like it, etc…. but in reality when a nigga says the same thing to them they trip?

When I saw this, I felt compelled to reply since I am a woman and I listen to music so I replied with, “because when it’s in a song, it’s not saying it directly to us, but if you tell me that to my face then yes I will get mad.”

When I said, it made sense and it is something I’ve been feeling my whole life. But then he said, “that don’t make any sense if the rapper is directing it to females as a whole…..”

So I replied by saying “saying something in a song is way different than saying it to someone’s face.”

But then I thought about it. Is it? Because I’m not only a woman, I’m black, I’m young, I’m a college student, I’m an aggie, and I’m a southerner. If someone generalized us and said something negative about any one of those groups I belong to in a song I would surely get mad. It wouldn’t matter if they weren’t speaking directly towards me, they were talking about one of the groups I belong to so I would get mad. If you’re saying it about one of us, you’re saying it about all of us. Maybe that’s not the best reaction, but that would be my reaction.

So why is it that a person can say something about lets say black people and I would get mad, but if a rapper said something about women in a song I would just say “well he isn’t talking about me.”

I thought about it and still haven’t come up with an answer. I suppose women have been told that “it’s no big deal” or “there are some women who act like this and we rappers are talking about those women, but not all.” But how is that so? How are we suppose to know that and why shouldn’t we take it personal. Since the beginning of my time I’ve been taught that what rappers say in songs are just art or just them expressing themselves and if they aren’t talking about me, then I shouldn’t get mad. But if you take a chance and say something derogatory about a group of people, you should expect criticism right? But most rappers don’t even feel like the criticism they get is even justified. Nonetheless, I’ve adopted that “if he’s not talking about me, then I don’t care” way of thinking and haven’t questioned it.

But today, I am questioning it. I don’t listen to rap that much and I really don’t like to listen to music that degrades women because rappers who rap like that aren’t really saying anything I want to hear, but if the song has a good beat and a good chorus, I will push the degradement( I think I just made up that word; whatever it fits) to the side.

I’ve noticed my behavior and realize it’s wrong and it isn’t helping women as a whole by letting men get away with this. I’m not perfect and I’m not gonna promise that I won’t listen to songs that degrade us women, but I am trying. I’m trying to look for the answers and maybe when I find the answers I can then change my behavior. I challenge everyone and especially women to ask themselves “why is it ok for men to degrade women in raps song. Why don’t we get offended?” If you do get offended great, but if you don’t ask yourself why you don’t and try to come up with an answer.

If anyone has any insight they would like to add, leave a comment below. I love getting into intellectual conversations with others. Keep it cute though.

Reasons Why You Should and Shouldn’t Go Natural.

So unless you live under a rock or just don’t have any black female friends, a lot of black women have been going natural lately. A lot. Some are calling it a trend or a fad. When someone called it that at first, I brushed it off, but now that I think about it, is it?

I’ve been on my healthy hair care journey for almost 4 years now and that means I took an “oath” to learn about my hair and to take the necessary steps to properly take care of it and to make it healthy. It took me a year to understand my hair and to find my staple products, but I did it. Some people might think “well don’t black women do all of this already.” Well, most of us don’t. Most just slap a perm on it every 6 weeks and straighten or curl it almost every week. We do things like wash it but most don’t take other steps to make it healthy because a lot of black women don’t necessarily want healthy hair. Ok, they do but that’s not their main priority. They just want to make sure it looks good.

Anyways, my hair is not natural, it’s texlaxed and I decided to do this the second year of my hair care journey. Texlaxed hair is hair that is permed, but not permed bone straight so it’s like you have texture and to me I have the best of both worlds because while it’s curly it’s not hard to manage or comb through. I’ve been texlaxed for maybe 2 years and most of my hair is that way except for the natural part. I use to perm it every six months. My hair was very long, very thick, and healthy. I took great care of it.

When I started doing that to my hair, the natural hair movement didn’t start yet so when I explained what I was doing to my hair to people, they didn’t understand it. Fast forward to about a year or two later, almost every black girl I know is either natural or going natural. I’m at this stage in my journey where I’m finally ready to go fully natural. It was something I decided on my own and something that took a while to decide on. I’ve always wanted to go natural, but by the 6th month of me growing my hair out (I’m too scared to cut it off), it got too coarse to grow it any longer so I would just perm it. A few months ago, I found this really cheap deep conditioner that makes my new growth really soft so I’m now able to manage my natural hair past six months. I now have about 7-8 months of natural hair.

But I get so many people telling me they want to go natural or they want to do what I did to my hair. And a lot of the reasons are so superficial: I want long hair; I want hair that looks like yours; I want hair that looks like [insert who’s ever hair that they admire]. Having a hair inspiration is great, but that shouldn’t be your reason for going natural.

I started my healthy hair care journey because my hair was literally falling out in clumps and I knew I needed to do something about it. I did and while my journey has led me on the natural hair path, it was organic, natural and felt like the best decision for me.

I feel like most black women aren’t going natural for the right reasons and don’t understand what they are getting themselves into. They are following the trend and are doing it because others are doing it and want hair like everyone else. I love seeing so many beautiful black women going back to their natural hair, and if this is a trend, it is one of the best trends ever. But as we all know, trends don’t last forever which is why I hope this isn’t a trend because I want this to be a permanent thing.

If anyone is thinking about going natural, don’t do it because you want hair like the next girl because let me tell you, you will NOT have hair like her. The beautiful thing about us black women is that we are so unique and every women’s hair is different. So I don’t want anyone cutting their hair off and being disappointed because they hate their texture. Being natural is about loving the hair that God gave you, not aspiring to be someone else. Also, don’t do it because you want long hair because hair doesn’t grow fast. You will be waiting and waiting and waiting. Long hair was a goal of mine so when I became obsessed with it, it seemed like when it grew, it was never long enough. When I let that goal go, it felt like time had flew so fast and my hair was down to my back before I knew it.

GO natural because you are tired of perms and want your natural hair. GO natural because you want to start embracing the things that make a black women, a black women. GO natural because you want healthy hair. Find a reason why you want to do it, and make sure it’s concrete so you know you’ll stick with it. Make sure that you are sure of your decision and know you won’t change your mind because once you cut it off, its done. (You don’t have to cut off all your hair to go natural, you can grow it out, but a lot of women rather cut it out).

I’m growing my hair out and I know I will love my natural hair and I can’t wait until all my hair is natural. If you want natural hair too, do your research, find a good enough reason, and join me on this long journey.

P.S. My avatar picture is a picture of my texlaxed hair straight just so you can get and idea of how my hair looks. It’s past my bra strap that’s in the middle of my back (idk what it’s called.)

“Close your legs and shut up.”

I’ve been meaning to write about this but was too lazy to get to it (like a lot of things in my life) until I had a conversation with a friend on Instagram. Beyonce’s fifth album just came out which is amazing and if you haven’t gotten in then bitch what are you waiting on? Anyways her album is really provocative and she’s singing about sex a lot. I mean A LOT. And she’s so descriptive and so unapologetic and a love it.  My friend posted a screenshot of a tweet a girl posted that said “just because Bey decided to talk about her sexcapades doesn’t mean you gotta tell us about yours. She’s married. Close your legs and shut up.” I posted a comment saying how I dont agree with that at ALL. There’s so many things wrong with that tweet. For one, we have to be married to talk about sex? Two who is “us”? Is us the internet? Is us friends? Is it okay to talk about sex to your friends, but not online or are you suppose to keep that to yourself? But “close your legs” is what really got me. That can be taken a number of ways. Close your legs forever? Close your legs if you’re single? Close your legs until you’re in a relationship for a while? What does that mean?

So me and me friend had a little debate in the comment section. Her stance was that Bey is doing singing about sex in a classy way and as long as you’re doing it “right” it’s ok. She also said how she feels this way because when she did talk about sex people ridiculed her so she just stayed off the topic. My stance was I LOOVE when women talk or sing about sex. I LOOOVE it. I love when Bey does it, when Janet Jackson does it, when Nicki Minaj does it, and when Trina does it. I love watching Youtube videos about women talking about their sex lives. It’s something about when a woman talks, raps, or sings about sex. It doesn’t matter if it’s “classy” or not. The dirtier the better in my eyes. If you gonna talk about it, don’t hold back. Talk about it! Hell I wanna learn something.

But I think my friend bought up a good point and is proof of how we condition women and young girls about sex and talking about it. We want to talk about it but are looked down on when we do so we go on and tell other girls not to do it. “Close your legs and shut up.” Now I agree that discretion is needed and posting your nudes on line isn’t cool because you are most likely doing it for attention. But you mean to tell me I can have sex (because I’m told waiting and holding out ain’t gonna get me anywhere) but talking about it is a no? I know that’s the standard and a double standard at that but is it right? I don’t think so. And I’m not gonna follow it just because it’s expected of me.

I for one respect women who can sleep with guys and not feel a way about it. I don’t deem them as hoes. And if you had the best sex with your boyfriend or just anybody I feel like it’s your right to talk about it. We like sex too. We enjoy it too. If you don’t respect it and you don’t want to hear Beyonce singing about Jay-Z eating her out then that’s cool but don’t push your views on every woman and call them a hoe because of their life choices. These standards of being a lady that are put on us by men and then adopted by women who push that idea down other women’s throats is not going to change anything.

Fuck that “a lady never kisses and tells” bullshit. Fuck that  “a lady does this” and “a lady does that”. Fuck being a lady. I’m a woman! A smart, complex, fun, sexual woman who can’t be put in a box (really if you think I am one type of person I will surprise you SO fast) and fuck anyone who doesn’t like it.