Tag Archives: Music

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: Like Beyonce, I’m a GROWN WOMAN

21 May
Beyonce just released her “Grown Woman” song and as I’m listening to the song I think of all the grown woman decisions I am currently making. I’ve made a decision to leave a city that I love to create the life I wish to live. I’ve decided to pack up everything, station myself in Baltimore and use the next seven months to travel and write. This is void of others expectations, void of what some of my friends think I should be doing, and void of what my parent’s believe I should be doing. To me being a grown woman is having an independent thought, an independent thought is a thought that a woman makes without the influence of others, the media and pop culture.

A grown woman knows that not everyone is rooting for her, a grown woman knows that some of the people close to her will doubt her and while there will be MORE obstacles stepping out of her comfort zone, it will be well worth it. A grown woman knows there is nothing cute about playing it safe or playing small for the sake of others, she knows that there is nothing fulfilling about not seeking to be fulfilled. A grown woman knows that if it is in God’s will and she is abiding in Him, that the possibilities are endless.

Some women are walking around grown in age but still mentally and spiritually little girls. As for me, I’m getting my grown woman on.

www.gofundme.com/flycarla

The Weekend Guide

15 Mar

Cheers to the freakin’ weekend! Here’s my fly curated list of the top activities you should check out this weekend.

Friday:

Foxy: The Complete Pam Grier Collection:

Pam-Grier

Starting today and through Sunday, the Film Society of Lincoln Center is screening all of iconic film and TV star Pam Grier’s movies. Grier will also be appearing at a few of the screenings, including tonight’s  screening of Jackie Brown, which will be preceded by a Q&A between Grier and Simon Doonan. There are tickets still available and you can check the complete movie schedule here.

 

Teyana Taylor does your nails:
adidas

Harlem singer Teyana Taylor teamed up with BK nail artist Christina Rinaldi this weekend for the Good Luck Charm pop-up nail salon at the new Adidas Originals event space at 365 Broadway. Those who love nail art can stop by for a limited-edition mani on Friday from 4:00PM to 8:00PM, on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00PM to 10:00PM. Click here to learn more.

 

Discover Healthy Foundation with Beauty Blogger Felicia Benson:

Discover Healthy Foundation with Beauty Blogger Felicia Benson
Beauty expert Felicia Walker Benson of This That Beauty Blog shows you how to find your ideal shade and foundation formula. Felicia is a highly sought after beauty authority and she will surely you up with the perfect foundation.  Find her today, March 15 at the Sephora Times Square, 1500 Broadway at 43rd Street from 5:00PM-7:00PM

Saturday:

Lift Off:
surface to air
This is the prefect time to score up to 75% off of parisian-cool rags, accessories and shoes. The Surface to Air sample sale continues until the 17th. Friday, March 15: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Saturday, March 16: 10:00AM-7:00PM, Sunday, March 17: 10:00AM-5:00PM;Location: 260 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York 10001

Sunday:

Sunday Winter Jazz Brunch at Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel:the-kimberly-hotel-new-york-upstairs-rooftop-560

Join Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel for the last installment of their Winter Jazz Brunch. This takes brunch to a grown and sexy level. When: Sunday, March 17,12:00PM – 3:00PM, Where:Upstairs at the Kimberly Hotel, 145 East 50th Street, New York, NY 10022

Talib Kweli w/ Cory Mo (LIVE full band show!):

talib kweli
Talib Kweli is your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper. He is a stable of hip-hop and has been able to make music that entertains and educates. On Sunday, he will perform with a full live band at Brooklyn Bowl. Sunday, March 17, Doors: 6:00PM/ Show: 9:00PM, Tickets ($15) available at the door only. Brooklyn Bowl-61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211

New Music: Fly Pod Playlist

12 Mar

Here’s what you should be listening to now!  Add my new fave cuts to your #flypod.

Kat Dahlia

Kat Dahlia

“Money Party” by Kat Dahlia– This newcomer will give Rihanna a run for her money.

 

Lady (Nicole Wray and  Terri Walker)

Lady (Nicole Wray and Terri Walker)

“Get Ready” by Lady (Terri Walker x Nicole Wray) – I’ve been a fan of Nicole Wray since her, “Make It Hot” days with Missy. Now she’s back and partnered with English R&B and soul singer, Terri Walker for a super girl group called, Lady. Get ready because this joint is sexy and soulful.

 

Bridgette Kelly, Kendrick Lamar

Bridget Kelly, Kendrick Lamar

“Street Dreamin” by Bridget Kelly ft. Kendrick Lamar- Jay-Z is determined to make Bridget Kelly happen, for this new single she’s teamed up with MTV’s 2013 Hottest MC: Kendrick Lamar.

 

Paris 96

Paris 96

“Afternoon” by Paris 96 (Theophilus London x Jesse Boykins III)- Jesse’s voice is like butter on their first single and this track is perfect for an afternoon delight.

 

Jarvis

Jarvis

“Make A Little Room” by Jarvis- For the teenybopper in you.

Fly Music: Kyan Kuatois’ “Bad Science”

7 Mar
Kyan Kuatois

Kyan Kuatois

I am so happy that I stumbled upon this song via ASOS.com. The vibe of this song is so cool and I couldn’t imagine continuing into this year without knowing this guy! Kyan Kuatois is a singer/songwriter/producer from the UK who has an amazing raw soulful voice. He released an independent album called, Conversations in 2011 and is currently working on his new album. He occasionally posts snippets of his new music via his Facebook and Twitter pages.

Listen below to “Bad Science”:

 

 

“Gingerbread”:

Fly Event: DRE DAY NYC: Celebrating 20 Years of The Chronic

18 Feb

dreday

Ain’t nothing like a west coast party.

Go back to Cali tonight at the Dre Day celebration. Today is Dr. Dre’s birthday and the 20th year anniversary of Dre’s The Chronic and what better way to celebrate than partying? Listen to some of Cali’s finest while enjoying a free Bulldog gin (and juice) open bar.

The party and open bar starts at 9:00PM.

Who: A Dr. Dre B-Day celebration

What: Party on the east coast like you’re in Cali

Where: 285 Kent Brooklyn, NY

When: Tonight, February 18, 2013

Admission: $8 – $15, advance tickets are available here

Fly Event: Saul Williams at BAM FREE CONCERT!!

15 Feb

saulwilliams

Poet, actor, and musician Saul William performs at BAMcafé Live tomorrow (2/16) following the premiere screening of his film, Aujourd’hui (Tey).

Named one of Film Comment’s Best Unreleased Films of 2012, Aujourd’hui (Tey) follows Satché’s (Saul Williams) last day of life. Though Satché’ is strong and in good health, he accepts his imminent death as he walks through the streets of Senegal, taking in the sites of his past as if he were looking at them for the last time: his parents’ house, his first love, the friends of his youth, and his wife and children.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Alain Gomis and actors Saul Williams and Anisia Uzeyman, and then the live performance by Saul Williams in BAMcafé.

Deets on the screening can be found here.

The live performance is free, starts at 9:30PM and is located at the BAMcafé- Peter Jay Sharp Building- 30 Lafayette Ave Brooklyn, NY 11243.

Fly Event: DJ ?uestlove Presents: Bowlmance

14 Feb

brooklyn bowl

Tonight head to Brooklyn Bowl for a very special Valentine’s Day bowl train with Questlove. Quest’s vinyl collection contains more than 50,000 records giving him the ability to make even the biggest wallflower bust a move.

Deets:

When: Today, February 14, 2013 -Doors: 10:30 pm / Show: 11:00 pm

Where: Brooklyn Bowl- 61 Wythe Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11211

Admission: $8.00

Fly Event: Bilal “A Love Surreal” CD Release

11 Feb

bilal

I had no idea that Bilal was coming out with a new album! Tomorrow, the Philly-born singer will perform cuts from his new album, A Love Surreal at the Highline Ballroom. Bilal is signed to a new label and this album is slanted to be filled with passionate songs of love- just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Pre-order your copy of A Love Surreal on iTunes!

Who: Bilal playing cuts from his new album, A Love Surreal

What: A sweet and soulful night

When: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, Doors open at 7:00PM, Show: 9:00PM

Where: Highline Ballroom-431 W 16th St, (between Ninth and Tenth Aves), New York

Admission: Advance $25, at the door $30