Tag Archives: Hip-Hop

Fly Read: Miley, You Are Not About That Life

29 Oct

miley

I had no idea that I would ever write a story about Hannah Montana. This Miley movement has turned the internet on its head; the 20-year-old daughter of Mr. Achy Breaky Heart is making headlines. I have multiple opinions about Miley Cyrus, some in which have changed about her and then viewing her document on MTV, some of my opinions have stayed the same.

Here is a young woman to whom some believe, a: has grown up and is now wilding out hoping to shed her Disney image, b: the new outburst of nude photos/videos and vulgar tongue pictures are strategic career moves and c: that she is making a mockery of the black community by taking “twerking” and running with it- or twerking with it. I believe this new Miley the movement is all of the above but sadly I also believe that every time a white person does something “black” it crosses over to mainstream quicker than a singular twerk.

As a woman of color I’m not saying that twerking is exclusive to black people or even hip-hop, but for once can we get the credit when the credit is due without having to sell-out or “cross-over”? I look at Mike Will Made It who is fairly young, he is 24 and think it may possibly be that the younger generation sees past color lines and just want to create. But when he says things such as, “rappers aren’t always authentic, rappers lie,” to explain his working with Miley as said in an interview on Sway in the Morning, it’s as if he is trying to justify the fraudulent sound that he is creating with Miley.

I assume when someone wants to sound “black” when they aren’t, they are looking for a specific sound that is exclusive to black people. And if you are a lily white girl from middle America who grew up on Disney and whose Godmother is Dolly Parton, it is hard to justify the authenticity of her new sound. Or image. It’s as if she is trying to one up Rihanna or Teyana Taylor by pushing the sexy/raunchy/edgy envelope and it does come across as a young woman who is wilding out or trying to infiltrate into this edgy hip-pop bubble that Rihanna is queen of or ultimately the hip-hop culture.

When I spoke with Michaela Angela Davis, image activist, she explained when white people do something pertaining to a cultural shift, it’s bigger, “it’s just America,” she stated. “You take black music, culture and put it in a white body, it’s huge, it’s always have been,” Davis continued. The questions arise: why? And why do we seemingly allow them to be bigger than us when are the driving force? I say we allow them because we co-sign their actions for the sake of a paycheck. Would Miley still twerk if Juicy J said, “naw sweetie, I’mma get the twerk team or Caramel Kitten to come on stage” or what if Mike Will Made It put Teyanna Taylor on the song 23 since she is known for her tomboy swag? It seems that for the sake of the all mighty dollar we will bypass our own talented artists and put on the white girl or another white artist and then try to justify our actions by saying, Miley is about that life. “She smokes purp, I’ve seen her,” Mike Will Made It continued in his Sway in the Morning interview. Right, because smoking weed is exclusive to black people but hip-hop isn’t.

I spoke with Kristina Thomas, co-executive producer of the web-series, Losing It, who compared Miley’s actions to the act of black face and that black people are helping her. “Mike Will Made It knows how to get money, he is not a fool. He is making money off a white girl who is trying to be made,” Thomas stated. Thomas continued saying that latinas and white girls are replacing black women and that black women are no longer in and black artists/ producers are helping with the replacement of black women in the arts. “There must be a line drawn, how far do you go? How do you just sell yourself?” Thomas asked. Thomas’ thoughts on Miley’s rapping in the song 23? “MJ just threw up in his mouth,” she said. “Where was  Teyana Taylor? Or Ciara?”

Davis had the best answers for Thomas’ questions. Davis said there is something provocative about crossing over into mainstream for black artists. “It’s about being a player in the game, you want your play and your playing space,” Davis stated. She continued by stating that she doesn’t believe it’s about selling out but more of business. “This is not about selling out, it’s about making records and there are levels to fame.” To make hot records, “why wouldn’t an artist get a hot black producer?” Davis questioned.

Tamara Johnson, fashion enthusiast, leans more towards the ideal that Miley is being used and they are using her so cunningly that she thinks being naked on a wrecking ball is her idea. “These producers know what they are doing, they are interested in getting a different type of money,” Johnson stated. I asked Johnson if they are getting their money but cheapening the black culture and Johnson replied, “Absolutely, she is being manufactured. There is nothing organic or authentic about this new Miley.” Johnson went on the compare Miley to a bootleg bottle of salad dressing. “You know you can walk into Wal-Mart and get the store brand of ranch or you can get the Kraft ranch, one has more favor,” Johnson stated.

All the ladies interviewed did not hate on Miley but they actually expressed genuine concern for her well-being. Thomas stated, “I want her to win, we should all want women to win, we just hope that they win in the right way.” I agreed. I love to see a woman utilize their talents in order to gain success. I however cannot get with the lack of appreciation of black expression and black culture. It’s as if black people cannot ineptly create in the level that Miley can. Davis explained this theory to me, “using Pharrell and Mike Will Made It on her album means we are driving the culture. We are gaining positioning; we are gaining power. This isn’t new. The difference is the visibility, we now know who artists are working with, not like where Elvis Presley stole our sound, this is progression.”

I want more progression, yes, we have Rihanna,  Nicki Minaj and King Beyonce but that isn’t enough for me. I want more faces that look like me on the big screen, on television and more brown faces being able to create a movement like Miley. The thing is that no matter how hard Miley tries, black people will always be cooler. She may hang with Juicy J, she may have switched her Sketchers for Jays but she will never have that authentic coolness that blacks have. She can throw on her Jordans and wear the shortest jersey ever with a backwards snapback all she wants, the truth is she will never have swagger like us.

I remember at the top of the year I was covering the back stage beauty trends at New York Fashion Week for Vibe Vixen and as I was talking to the designers, make up artists and hair stylists who were forecasting next year’s trends, they couldn’t stop fawning over my hair and nails. Here are the industry “insiders” looking at my style. I remember leaving one tent and this security guard goes, “you leaving already? You’re taking all the favor.” Sometimes I believe that black people forget that we are the trendsetters, some of us are so focused on assimilating for that Miley money, that we forget that we are authentically cool on a level that cannot be duplicated. If we can just remember how fly and fabulous we naturally are, I believe we can be movement without taking our sound and giving a white face. In this case, Miley, I’mma let you finish but you’re not cooler than me.

Carla Thomas

Writer and Fly Girl

Find me on Twitter: @flycarla

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Fly Read: All The Sh*t I Don’t Like About Chief Keef

28 May

 

Chief-Keef-Katy-Perry

It must be the end of days when a non-talented 17-year-old baby daddy has a record deal and makes more money than most college graduates. With the recent Twitter confrontation between Chief Keef and Katy Perry, what Charles Ramsey said was true a white woman will only run into the arms of a black man when she is in trouble other than that she runs the other way. Here Katy Perry tweets her dislike of Chief Keef’s “I Hate Being Sober” track via Twitter and Chief Keef responds with a threat causing Kate Perry to retract her statement and apologize.

Now I am all for white girls apologizing to brothers but in this case how come no one has the balls to stand up to a punk 17-year-old? I mean here’s a guy who cried when he found out he had to go to juvie. I know chicks who took their weed charge and sentencing like a real G and this guy has guns in his videos and was afraid to go to jail; he was terrified of the same lifestyle that he promotes.

Somehow adults have become so scared of children that a person can’t even stand by a 140 character tweet. It’s not even just with Chief Keef but it’s a trend of adults being blatantly disrespected by some youngster than having no gull to stand up to the said child. Where do they do that at? Where is the village to help raise these children? In the case of Chief Keef, I’m not retracting my top ten reasons of what I don’t like about him.

Sh*t I Don’t Like About Chief Keef:

1. Unkempt locs is the sh*t I don’t like.

2. Black ashy lips from smoking too much weed is the sh*t I don’t like.

3. Jail tattoos on a bird chest is the sh*t I don’t like.

4. A group of shirtless bird-chested negros in a room with no girls is the gay shi*t I don’t like.

5. Shooting a music video in a house with no furniture is the sh*t I don’t like.

6. Getting a middle schooler knocked up and going to court for not paying child support at 17 is the sh*t I don’t like.

7. Missing a music video shoot with 50 Cent and Wiz Khalifa because you were getting high is the sh*t I don’t like.

8. High profile rappers remixing your tracks making you richer and more popular than other truly talented rappers is the sh*t I don’t like.

9. Disrespecting my favorite Cali girl Kate Perry is the sh*t I don’t like.

10. Having me write this article and then ask my homeboy if he thinks I will be safe if I post this story is the irony and sh*t I don’t like.

 

Don’t be scared of Chief Keef be scared of what he represents, he represents a selfish generation that doesn’t care about consequences, understand the importance of education or value life. The fact that he has a record deal shows the music industry’s mission to make a profit by any means necessary. They have given this guy a platform to showcase his ignorance when at most his videos and music should only be circulated within his groups of friends. Let’s not be afraid to fight against the deconstruction of our youth, we must stand for something or we’ll fall for Chief Keef.

Fly Read: Nothing’s More Attractive Than A Heavy Praying Woman

20 May

praying_hands

“Nothing’s more attractive than a heavy praying woman
To a him when those and them been defecating on me.
Her would sense the heaven, and him when Andre omen
Baby I’m hell, save me, don’t bail…”- Andre 3000

3 Stacks said it best. As I am learning The Word, I have never felt any prettier. As I am starting to understand the instructions to live Christ like, I have more confidence, I’m more secure and I just feel really good. Living as a Christian gives me an inner beauty that no makeup could accentuate. It’s an inner beauty of knowing that if you give yourself away and let God live through you; you’re getting nothing less than the best.  God’s blessings are better than any human desires and they come by the way of faith and prayer.

Praying is the direct communication to God and it is vital for one’s faith and well-being. God instructs us to tell him everything and to pray with thanksgiving and petition. It’s not a cliché when someone says that prayer changes things! It’s true! God wants to bless you but he also wants you to acknowledge him and pray for exactly what you want. To serve God, you must humble yourself, give thanks, ask specifically for what you seek and then truly believe that your blessings will come.

It’s hard to believe what we can’t see but the blessings are worth it. Last year, I was praying for a new apartment. I loved my first apartment in New York and at first it was a blessing. I needed a place to stay, a friend hooked me up and I had my own little slice of Heaven in Bed-Stuy but within the last year, I was in dire need of a new apartment. My slice of Heaven turned into a hot mess, I was dealing with a slum lord, living without heat and hot water throughout winter all while trying to be a fly girl. I had no gas in my apartment for months because my landlord had me servicing the entire building with gas and it took ConEd months to figure out the problem and restore my gas. Unbeknown to most, I was attending Jay-Z parties and New York Fashion Week while showering at a friend’s house but even in the mist of my trails, God was still working. I then spent all of spring and summer battling my landlord in court; I was not paying rent for unsavory living conditions. I then was not only praying for a new apartment but while in my situation of going to landlord-tenant court I was praying for God to step in as a lawyer.

I battled it out with my landlord for eight months! The attorneys for my landlord had no idea that they were up against a young Howard University graduate with Jesus as her lawyer. Right before court, I would get down on my knees and ask God to step in as lawyer and once I went to court, I barely had to say anything. The landlord’s attorneys would put their foot in their mouths, God was working! Months past and I finally saw that my battle with my landlord wasn’t going anywhere. It was time for me to move, I wasn’t sad, God had seen me through months of tenant court with no lawyer so I knew he was setting me up with a new apartment. I left my apartment with no clear direction of what was next, I just packed my belongings up, stayed with a friend, continued on to work, continued to pray and exactly one week from the time I had moved out, I was approved for an apartment that I was interested in. It was a blessing! I had no idea the outcome, all I knew was that I had to step out on faith, continue to pray and believe.  God works! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. He is ever so present and He is with us at every step. It’s not a myth or a fairytale, He is real! He is still present in your current circumstance- YOU ARE NOT ALONE in whatever you are going through.

Being a woman who faithfully prays is like a man finding a wife, it’s a good thing. I don’t just pray at night, I set my alarm at 6:00AM to pray in the morning because Psalm 5:3 (KJV) states, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord ; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” Praying in the morning gives me the sense of protection and strength to get through the day. I ask God to see me to through my work shift, to protect me on the train, to guard me heart and thoughts and to protect my family and friends as they go about their day. I pray that God keeps me safe and sane because I could lose my mind at any given time! I could lose hope and once you’ve lost hope, you have lost everything.  Praying puts everything in prospective and it gets us through the tough times. What if we prayed just as much as we complained?  And even though I’m not here for my enemies, I pray for them the most.

Being a woman who prays through her situation is attractive; being a woman who knows that there is a higher power breathing in her direction is way more beautiful than any makeup contouring. As the work week gets underway, remember to pray your way through it. Pray for your coworkers, pray for your family, pray for your friends, pray for your foes and God will see you through it.

 

Stay prayed up my friends.

 

XOXO,

Carla Thomas

Writer and Fly Girl

www.gofundme.com/flycarla

 

 

Fly Read: Back to my Beyoncés

9 Mar

beyonce

 

I used to be a Beyoncé hater. I used to call her, “Solange’s sister” just because I vibe with Solange a little bit more but truth be told, I was originally a Beyoncé fan. I remember I took my high school graduation money and went to F.Y.E. and copped, Dangerously In Love. I thought it was a great album, I knew the dance moves in her,  “Crazy In Love” video and “Hip-Hop Star” was my ring tone. I only started disliking her when I realized that her and Jay-Z’s relationship was serious. In my head she stole my man and I just couldn’t like her.

But my infatuation with Shawn has ended and at this stage of my life as a budding fly girl, I can no longer hate on another female who is making all the moves that I long to make. Beyoncé is a hard workingwoman but the biggest compliant heard about Beyoncé is that she never shows her flaws.

After watching Beyoncé on Oprah and then her own, “Beyoncé: Life Is But A Dream”, documentary, it is clear that even a mega star has insecurities and flaws but what makes Beyoncé so special is her work ethic and her understanding that she is a role model. Knowing that others are looking up to her takes her from just an artist to being a person who knows her purpose. After viewing the specials, you see that she is truly blessed and her blessings come from hard work and walking in her purpose.

In the recent issue of Vogue with Beyoncé on the cover, one quote stood out: “As her competition was spilling out of limousines, Beyoncé remained the knockout in six-inch heels who still gets home by 11:00 p.m. Responsibility over recklessness.”   Here is a superstar who goes out, does her thing, sets the world ablaze and gets home by 11:00 p.m. In an era of basketball wives, starter wives, and housewives, how refreshing is it to have Beyoncé? A woman who even the President said the superstar, “could not be a better role model for my girls.”

There is something to be to be said about someone who owns up to his or her influence and does everything with class. Just this week, I saw Rihanna’s ass again! I thought you just had to show your ass to get famous so why does a superstar insist on continuing to expose herself? When Beyoncé GQ cover hit online, the biggest gripe in the blogosphere was that Beyoncé didn’t have to stoop to the level of overt sexually because her talent speaks for itself. Although the complaint could be valid, here is pop star who has been in the industry for over a decade with no nude photo leaks, no drunken pictures, and no excessive sexiness yet she appeals to both men and women.

There is a theory called, The Law of Reflection, The Law of Reflection manifests in that which you resist in yourself, you will dislike in others. Many will continue to accuse Beyoncé of “not being real” or “not doing her”, as if doing less than favorable activities in the public eye accounts for one’s realness. What Beyoncé represents is a sophistication and class that is desperately missing in the industry and in young women. Beyoncé may not be the best reader, she may steal ideas from others and her father has totally groomed her but what Beyoncé seemingly knows for sure is that as a woman, you can get a lot further without being crass and showing your ass.

This isn’t an idol-worshiping article, it’s a simple observation that it is possible to work hard and have it all, while doing it with style and grace. In an era of narcissism and attention seeking, wouldn’t it be great to go to back to our Beyoncés?

Carla Thomas
Writer and Fly Girl

 

 

 

 

Fly Read: A Pimp Named Joe Budden

5 Mar

joe budden

I despise Joe Budden. I’ve disliked him for a while but now that I have to see him on TV my disdain for him has grown. He just irks my soul to the core, if I follow someone on Twitter who retweets Joe Budden I unfollow them, I don’t need 140 characters of his nonsense on my timeline. The fact that this man gets females blows my fly mind.

I loved his single, “Pump It Up” when I was in high school, I loved his verse on Marques Houston’s “Clubbin” and most recently, I like his verse on Fabolous’ “Want You Back” but his personality leaves very little to be desired. I started to hate him when I saw how he was doing Tahiry on You Tube and World Star Hip Hop pre Twitter.

I would say to myself, who does this guy think he is to exploit someone? Joey talks so bad about females that I believe he is gay. Who disrespects the opposite sex like he does yet still loves them enough to be in a relationship with them? If he isn’t gay then he is crazy because only insane people do the same thing expecting a different result. This man dates the same type of females expecting them to behave differently. If he has a ring tone on his iPhone, I’m sure it’s Bell Biv DeVoe’s “Poison” because this dude is the ultimate sucker for a big butt and a smile.

My opinions of him were formed before Love & Hip-Hop but now after watching
Joe for over a month, I’ve realized that not only is he insane but he is also a drug addict. I don’t understand why grown adults try new drugs. Like you’re over 30 and popping Molly? Woo, you’re pretty lame. So now I have to question the females that are attracted to this man. I tried to like Tahiry but how can I relate to a female who has gotten into two fights over a man she isn’t even dating? After watching Love & Hip-Hop, Tahiry comes across as a bitter ex-girlfriend who just can’t move on. She seems to have nothing else going on except this dysfunctional relationship.

Joey’s new girlfriend is his naive concubine who doesn’t even realize that Joey is manipulating both her and Tahiry. There is a picture of Kaylin brushing her teeth in a thong on Joe’s instagram, so now not only is random nudity of one’s girlfriend passed off as art but what happened to respecting your woman? Just take the picture and keep it for your eyes only! He also has pictures of her sleeping in the nude and before Instagram he did the same thing with Tahiry.

Joe Budden is nothing more than a pimp who collects females and then exploits them. Although the stories of a pimp and his prostitutes vary, the gist is always the same: the pimp is a damage soul and so are the prostitutes. The difference between old pimps and these new aged pimps is social media and the fact that a female could be whored out and still get put on. So now it becomes two fame whores pimping each other.

I’m not taking away from Joe’s talent but his personal life is a hot mess and if he cleaned up house literally (for a man who loves taking pictures on instagram, his place is never clean) and figuratively, he might go further than performing at S.O.B.’s in New York. And if the women in his life figured out their talents besides finding the right angle via a camera phone, then they too could go just as far.

Carla Thomas
Writer and Fly Girl

Fly Event: BIG K.R.I.T. With Slim Thug and Big Sant @IrvingPlaza

18 Sep

Über country boy Big K.R.I.T. comes to the big apple this Thursday at Irving Plaza. If you’re into southern funk, slow spitting and slow burning than check out Big K.R.I.T. as he makes his first headline appearance at New York’s legendary Irving Plaza.

Who: Big K.R.I.T with Slim Thug and Big Sant

What: Big K.R.I.T. first headline appearance at New York’s legendary Irving Plaza

Where: Irving Plaza- 17 Irving Place, New York, NY 10003

When: Thursday, September 20, 2012| Doors open at 7:00PM

Admission: Get tickets here

Fly Event: Tonight!! Erykah Badu DJs @ Le Baron

24 Aug

Erykah Badu DJs @ Le Baron

E. Badu is in town for the Afro-Punk Fest and tonight she will be on the 1s & 2s at Le Baron as Low Down Loretta Brown.

It’s a free party but come dressed to impress and RSVP here.

Who:Low Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu DJs at Le Baron

When: Tonight, August 24, 2012/ Doors open at 11:00PM

Where: Le Baron, Chinatown // 32 Mulberry Street

Admission: Free with RSVP

Fly Music: New Video: Nicki Minaj Ft. Rick Ross x Cam’Ron “I Am Your Leader”

24 Aug

Nicki Minaj Ft. Cam’ron & Rick Ross - I Am Your Leader

Not sure if I want to be in a fun house with a shirtless Rick Ross. I do dig Cam’s verse though.

Fly Music: New Video: Keyshia Cole featuring Lil’ Wayne “Enough Of No Love”

1 Aug

 Keyshia Cole x Lil Wayne “Enough Of No Love”

Enough is enough. I absolutely love this song! Benny Boom directed the video and the song is the lead single off of her forthcoming album, Woman to Woman.

Fly Music: New Video: Nicki Minaj’s “Pound The Alarm”

31 Jul

Nicki Minaj

Nicki is the female version of Pitbull and Flo Rida.