Did 3 Little Girls Inspire Lil Wayne's "How to Love?"

I know the big topic in regards to Lil Wayne is his “beef” with Jay Z and whether Jay will respond and blah, blah, blah. But I want to reexamine a older “diss” that I believe actually lead to Lil Wayne responding albeit in a different way. I like most of you, especially if you listen to urban radio have heard Lil Wayne’s “How to Love”. It’s an OK song and definitely a departure for Wayne, in that he’s not degrading woman, but it wasn’t until I saw the video that I put 2 and 2 together.

The video is an incredibly powerful visual of how a woman’s decisions and personal self esteem can effect the choices she makes in her life which can lead to dire consequences. It made me wonder what would inspire Lil Wayne, a artist that has made millions objectifying woman in almost every song, create such powerful and uplifting imagery? Then I remembered this video.

Yes those adorable little girls who took Lil Wayne’s “I’m Single” and created an irrefutable argument about how Wayne’s music made them feel as young women around the same age as his own daughter. I spoke briefly to the father of “Watoto From The Nile” Jabari Natur, he had yet to see the video for “How to Love” but he heard the song and felt Wayne didn’t go far enough. He wanted a pledge from Lil Wayne and other Hip-Hop artists to no longer debase women in their music, and he mentioned Wayne’s new song with Drake as evidence that Lil Wayne has a long way to go towards that end.

I believe the moral of the story is to keep up the pressure on mainstream artists and demand that they talk about more than “money, clothes and hoes” and if you get really inspired, make a video about it, you’ll never know what effect it might have. In fact “Watoto From The Nile” have a new letter directed at Rick Ross and P.Diddy.

 

The Viral Video, EBT: We Have Failed You, Chapter . . . An Open Letter

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzspsovNvII&feature=youtu.be

Dear Chapter,

Once upon a time when I was a little brown girl and the economy was really bad because of Reganomics, my “employed” and single black mother received food assistance to help feed her two daughters because her minimal wage check could not fully cover rent and the daily luxuries of milk, eggs, meat, beans, and rice. Yes, we were the working class poor. Yes, we were on food stamps. Yes, we needed help. And, yes, we received the EBT though I prefer to call it the Electronic Benefit Transfer because EBT sounds like some viral disease that must be stopped instead of something that has helped to feed many families including a large majority of white families.

To say the least, I found your video deeply troubling. And, not necessarily for the reasons people have listed in your YouTube’s comment section about displaying stereotypical images of black people. Chapter, I found your video troubling because it shows how we as a community of black women have failed to educate you. We have failed to tell you about your history, dearest. We have failed to tell you about National Welfare Rights Organization which was founded in the 1960s and lead by poor Black women who understood the interconnections between food justice, a living wage, racism, and poverty. You see, Chapter, our foremothers, as my grandmother would say, “fought tooth and nail,” to ensure that we would have access to federal assistance because it was our right not only because we were citizens, but because we were human. And, based on our god-given humanity, we deserved the option of being able to seek help when needed.

The Help

This weekend, I saw the much criticized/acclaimed movie The Help. I had planned to keep this a secret, to never tell a soul, and pretend this never happened. But, I wanted to have an opinion about the movie so I bought a ticket to The Smurfs and saw The Help instead (I wanted to see it, but not support it). I refrained from reading any reviews, or any synopses of the book or the film. I wanted to go in with an open mind, and an open heart. But I couldn’t.

Something just wasn’t right. From the moment I first saw the preview, to the moment I walked past the movie poster on my way into the theater. I knew that something wasn’t right. I have slowly begun to build defenses against the biased, narrow and sometimes problematic ways Black women are portrayed in the media but I wasn’t ready for this.

Is Nicki Minaj In An Abusive Relationship?

These days, it seems like all Nicki Minaj does is win, win, win.

Pink Friday is still selling like hot cakes, “Super Bass” is currently the number 3 song on the Hot 100 chart, and (by most accounts) she nailed her supporting slot on Britney Spears’ massively successful Femme Fatale Tour. Even today, news broke that Nicki has signed on to provide vocals for a character in the upcoming animated flick “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” alongside Jennifer Lopez, Joy Behar and Young Money cohort Drake.

Nicki Minaj is the definition of a rising star right now. And that’s only made the persistent rumors regarding a violent, July 12th confrontation with (alleged) boyfriend Safaree all the more disturbing and distressing.

Nicki has denied repeatedly that any abuse occurred. But a 9-1-1 tape that leaked yesterday tells a very different story.

The Era-Defining Legacy of Amy Winehouse

At this stage in the game, it’s really impossible to know the true nature of Amy Winehouse’s legacy. This kind of thing becomes clear with time and distance.
 
It might be easy to compare her with other beloved singers that left us too soon, like Billie Holiday or Sam Cooke. And perhaps we’ll position her alongside her cohorts in the 27 Club, like Janis Joplin or Kurt Cobain. To be clear, I’m almost certain Amy will be looked upon with similar admiration and awe; her voice, style and songwriting were unmatched by anyone else of her generation.
 
But its important to recognize that we experienced Amy in a very different way. There are no youtube videos of Kurt Cobain shooting up heroin. There is very little footage of Jim Morrison’s many disastrous concert meltdowns. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix had more than a few nights out on the town drunk and high. But the paparazzi didn’t follow their every move, and random onlookers weren’t armed with camera phones in the late 60’s. 
 
Yes, Amy Winehouse’s legacy will be very different from theirs because her many highs and lows were witnessed en masse, in real time, via. youtube, tabloids and blogs. We saw practically every moment of it. For better or for worse. And though it may be difficult to admit, there is just no way this won’t influence the way we perceive her life and work.

A Black Woman's Hairstory

A Black woman’s hair is much more than just hair. It can be a source of pride, a source of frustration, a political statement, or a fashion statement. Sometimes it is all of these things at once. From spending weekend mornings at our mothers knees getting pressed, braided, plaited and greased to all day jaunts to the beauty salon, our hair’s importance is instilled in us at an early age. Most Black women work meticulously to maintain their hair, whether it is bone-straight, wavy, curly, kinky, platinum blond, bubblegum pink, or jet black. Some of us have tested every serum, oil and cream in stock at our local beauty supply stores, drugstores and our favorite online boutiques.

From a young age, our tresses are pressed, pulled, slicked and relaxed into submission. These practices are damaging, and not just to our hair but to our psyches. Our hair is taught to suffer in silence, and in a way, so are we. The idea that straight is good is burned into most young black girls from the start. I can’t count the number of times my mother, grandmother or aunt said, “Girl, come here let me do something to that nappy hair” or the number of times I was told how pretty my hair was once it was properly straightened.

The message was clear, straight hair was pretty hair and “nappy” hair was…bad hair.

Does It Matter If Beyonce's 4 Flops?

Beyonce’s phenomenal new album 4 was released this past Tuesday to great critical acclaim, receiving an aggregate score of 72 on Metacritic.com.

Village Voice said “Beyonce’s art is delivery, and 4 is a gorgeous frame for her voice at its absolute best.” Meanwhile, the BBC proclaimed “Beyoncé slips from flirty to fragile to fabulous, and is in terrific voice throughout, reminding us that when she opens up there’s no-one else in the game.” And even the ever-thorny, hipsterrific Pitchfork Media thinks Beyonce’s the shit, explaining “The lion’s share of the album–along with its excellent deluxe tracks–has one of the world’s biggest stars exploring her talent in ways few could’ve predicted …”

So why is 4 already being called a flop? And should that matter?

Well this is awkward…

Sunday night a two-hour Chris Brown commercial the BET Awards happened. Despite a comical performance from Kevin Hart, the most memorable moment of the show was the slip-up of the fan chosen to present the Viewers Choice Award. Rocsi and Terrance (there to provide moral support in what can be a nerve wracking moment), were worthless. Terrance, Captain Obvious, announced, in the middle of the awkward moment, “This is awkward.” No shit, Sherlock. That poor girl had her moment shitted on by BET’s continued incompetence.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-JdL8XG138&feature=player_embedded

And that wasn’t even the saddest moment of the show. The darkest moment of the show was the Best Female Hip-Hop Artist category. And the nominees were: Nicki Minaj (the eventual winner), Diamond, Cymphonique (Lil Romeo might’ve made more sense), and Lola Monroe (yeah).

No, you actually need more people.

An Open Letter To Chris Brown

Dear Chris Brown,

I get it. The public eye isn’t always fun. People watch every move you make. They scrutinize your every word.

You’re only 22 years old. Everyone makes mistakes. I get it.

But here’s the problem. Back in February of 2009, you left your then-girlfriend Rihanna bloodied and beaten on the side of the road.

That was a really, really big mistake, Chris. On many levels.