Saturday, June 25, 2016

Oh Mr. West, Mr. West

    Just a week after releasing the dates for his "Saint Pablo" tour and dropping a single added to his most recent album "The Life of Pablo", also titled "Saint Pablo" KanYe Has released the first video for the album. It is for the song "Famous", one of my favorites, which features Rihanna singing a Nina Simone sample.




    The video starts off with colorful sunset like imagery, then cuts to what seems to be a home video of KanYe lying in bed with his wife, Kim Kardashian. then there are a few pans overrates bed where we see some familiar and naked bodies. Based on facial features, hair and tattoos they become easily recognizable as a few celebrities who's celebrity has taken over their respective lives. They are, in no particular order, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, Ray J, Donald Trump, Anna Wintour, Amber Rose, George Bush, Caitlyn Jenner, and Bill Cosby. Most of the bodies are extremely real looking, however as a huge fan I could tell that Rihanna was certainly not in that bed portraying herself, who or whatever was in that bed did not favor the star very much as far as facial feature go. Throughout the video though there are contacts pans, cuts to, and close ups of these bodies, some are breathing and moving and the mind blowing part of this music video is the experience f trying to figure if these "celebrities" really agreed to take time out of their schedules to lie naked among each other for KanYe's video. Toward the end, there is a pull out and we slowly see everyone on this large bed come into frame, crotches covered. It is this shot where I can also tell that the Chris Brown depicted in not actually Chris Brown. Before this, though, what answers the big question for me is the special thanks. There are shorts credits where "special thanks" is given to all of the people I mentioned earlier, it then ends with "...For being famous". So technically they are not being thanked for being featured int he video but only for being famous and helping the video's meaning. The thank you could also be for giving KanYe permission to portray their images.

    Now for the meaning of the video itself, despite the celebrity "cameos". They are nude, they are on display, they all are figures who have been all over the meaning for positive but also very negative reasons. Kanye and Kim Kardashian have had their fair share of media coverage in tabloids and gossip blogs before even getting married and so much more afterwards and still. Rihanna is a superstar as well is her ex Chris Brown, there relationship and domestic violence incident has been publicized, and they are still have a massive amount of media coverage individually. Ray-J is known for making Kim Kardashian "Famous" after the release of their sex tape. Donald Trump is the most hated man in America, well maybe the most loved which is absolutely terrifying. and so on and so forth. The plain and simple meaning is that celebrities are constantly on display, at our disposal; they stand before us practically nude as we exploit their lives and exploit their bodies. "Fame" has greatly affected the lives of these people, along with KanYe's and with this video he subtly yet controversially shining light on that. When are is this daring yet minuscule is when it becomes the forever disrespected art form, performance art. This is clearly film, a music video, but the display seems more performative. What this sparks in viewers is exactly what KanYe seems to be going for. He states the obvious while dropping jaws.

     My problem is with the people he depicted. Evidently they all are all people greatly effected by their own celebrity, but do these depiction represent any personal feelings of Mr. West? Is KanYe sympathizing with these people? Is there any emotional meaning at all? Ultimately, does he support or in other words fuck with the people depicted?

Thursday, June 16, 2016

THE ALL EYEZ ON ME TRAILER HAS BEEN RELEASED

     "All Eyez On Me" the name of Tupac Shakur's 3rd studio album(and title track) as well as the upcoming BioPic about the late icon. Tupac Shakur is a legend to say the least. Infamous and still impacting lives nearly two decades after his death. Talks of this film have been swarming for the past year or so especially since star Marc Rose portrayed Pac in the N.W.A. BioPic "Straight Outta Compton" last Fall. Controversy surrounding the rights to the story and doing Tupac's legacy justice with this film were eminent throughout the process which slowed it down a bit. But it is here. The film should be released later this year but now, on Tupac Shakur's birthday, we have the trailer.



Monday, June 13, 2016

BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez

     The Biographical Documentary film exhibiting the life and experiences of the legendary Sonia Sanchez. Having publish over 20 books of poetry, short stories, etc. Sonia Sanchez is a pioneer in the Black Arts Movement and a noted name in the Black Power Movement as a whole, always standing for what she believes in and living in truth as well as always writing it; she writes everyday. Full of various performances, readings of her poems by herself and other poets she has influenced, and plenty reminiscing; "BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez" is a must-see. Now streaming as part of AmDoc/POV's documentary series "America ReFramed".

"Someone asked me 'why do you write?' 
and I said because I wanted tell people 
how I became this woman with razor blades 
between her teeth" 
                                      - Sonia Sanchez



     Known for her melodic flow with words alone, and an conventional use of language; Sonia Sanchez's work and being has always stood in the name of revolution. Throughout the film we learn of her resistance, her strength and the impact she has made on so many through her work whether it be a performance, written work, or who she is as a college professor. Her writings a perfectly woven into the film to line up with her own experiences whether personal or political, recited by other contemporary poets/spoken word artists whom she has influenced. The poems are read from Sanchez's most recent collection of new and old work "Shake Loose My Skin".

"Language is the most dangerous of professions"
- Sonia Sanchez

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Help send Union Square Slam to NPS!!

What is NPS? Well it is the National Poetry Slam being held in Decatur Georgia this year.



     Union Square Slam(My team)  is sending our very first team to the National Poetry Slam in Decatur, GA this August, and we need YOUR help to get there! Nkosi Nkululeko, Taylor Steele, Kearah Armonie, and Patrick Roche are some of the sharpest writers coming out of the greater New York City area. They will be competing among 72 teams for a spot on Finals stage, but more importantly, they will be sharing their incredibly relevant and necessary work with poets, fans, and audience members from across the country.

To learn more about NPS, USS, and our team visit: https://www.gofundme.com/sendUSStoNPS

Friday, June 3, 2016

My Graduation

I've completed my bachelor's degree and commencement was just yesterday. For my outfit, I wore the Ecoté linear lace body-con dress from Urban Outfitters and shoes from Forever21.





















Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Womanism", the unnecessary alternative to Feminism

     As of late I've noticed women and femmes identifying as "Womanists" instead of "Feminists". Now, according to Wikipedia:
"Womanism is a social theory 
deeply rooted in the racial and 
gender-based oppression of Black women. "


    According to Chimanmanda Ngozi Adichie, author of "We Should All Be Feminists", :
"Feminist: the person who believes 
in the social Political, and economic 
equality of the sexes."


     With that said, there are known flaws in feminism, for centuries and even today. That is the neglect to acknowledge intersectionality. Yes, women are oppressed but Black people are oppressed as well and there are Black Women. Black Women are fighting for equality among sex/gender as well as among race. Women are oppressed, but people of the LGBTQA community are oppressed as well and there are Queer Women, fighting several fights. There are queer black women, who's identities all deserve to recognize. Over the years, the fight that is feminism has been more beneficial for White women. In school we learn about the women's suffrage movement and we learn about all of these historic white woman figures, but we are not taught that White Women had the right to vote decades before Black woman and other women of color. As of late the topic of White feminism has been in the media and constant discussion, t is feminism that does not represent all women and femmes in terms of race. That is where Womanism comes in. However, that is what feminism is supposed to be, there is no need for a new name, it is feminism. That's it.

     One main flaw with the title "womanist" is the term itself. Not all people who were born female and assigned the gender "girl" actually identify as women.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Chance 3 is HERE

     The long anticipated 3rd solo project from Chi-town's very own Chance The Rapper. He stole the heart of many just 3 years ago with his 2nd mixtape and breakthrough project "Acid Rap"(which I reviewed). Since Chance has seen greater success than any other independent artist, solely based on a mixtape, and has remained to work as an independent artist. No record label, No contract, in better terms His property is his property. Chance has also continued to bless us with free music. Though the release of Chance 3, actually titled "Coloring Book", prompted listeners to purchase apple music memberships(if they had not already done so after the release of "Views") in order to download the album, it was available to stream on his SoundCloud for a short time.


    This album is Acid Rap now grown up and sober, it is Surf's first cousin, the house Ultra Light Beam grew up in; It upbeat Hip-Hop Gospel. Coloring Book is fun and just as envelope pushing Chance has always been. This use of various instrumentation has always been present in The Rapper's work, and now the use of a choir backing the majority of his music is a useful tool. This tape is a great listen start to finish, but unfortunately falls short. It is beautiful but not as jaw-droppingly impressive as what grabbed our attentions from he beginning, Acid Rap. Acid Rap is possibly the greatest contemporary mixtape of our time. It did A LOT for Chance, and for Hip-Hop music and it is still a great listen start to finish. It is wonderful however to see his growth from 3 years ago to now, not just musically but spiritually, mentally, and emotionally through the music as well as the lyrics and message. Standout tracks include the intro(which ain't an intro but in fact and entree) "All We Got" featuring none other than KanYe West, followed by "No Problems" featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, and my personal favorite, "Same Drugs". Give it a listen if you haven't already !

How I do my dark lipstick using LimeCrime

I made this cute little video via SnapChat. Enjoy !


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This new Drake album

Views, formerly know as Views from the 6, was released via Apple Music(Apple's latest streaming service) on April 29th, 2016.



     Mr. Graham hit us off with the 90's samples, his befitting desire to sing as well as Aaliyah, and his  signature simple yet catchy lyrics. Ofcourse fully equipped with our favorite unhealthy relationship ideals, with controlling statements and gas lighting. Ultimately, Drake created a Drake album. Has he outdone himself? ehhh, let's just say he's... done himself... again. This is the same old song, just more 2016, and production that is a tad bit more exquisite and offers more variety musically. This man is pulling from reggae, house, pop, bounce music and more. It is catchy. It is something to get us through the day, and all the way in our feelings, however it falls short. I'll give it a 3.5 out of 5 and wait for the next big celebrity to drop some heat in what seems to be a very fruitful year for hip-hop.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Beyoncé done did it again!


     Hit us with another surprise, visual album. In the form of a world premiere on HBO. Unlike the BEYONCÉ all the videos apart of the newest release flow together as a short film a musical of sorts strung together with poetry, written by Warsan Shire, recited by Queen Bey herself. It is called Lemonade, and it has changed the world. This film is about love and all love truly is, from the perspective of a Black Woman. She incorporates er culture, where she is from and her family. Though being a reflection of Bey's personal life, this film is for all of us Black Women.
To watch and listen, it is available on Tidal and iTunes.

 Here is the perfect description I could find:

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