|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on May 8, 2018 at 10:25 PM||comments (0)|
Kanye West recent tweets in favor of Donald Trump and about slavery have a lot of black people wondering, “What happened to Kanye?” What happened to the hip hop icon that wasn’t afraid to speak up for his people no matter the cost? What happened to the resilient rapper that survived a car crash and the loss of his mother all while being in the public eye? And who is this overbearing, opinionated star that we see today. In the words of Iyanla Vanzant, we have to “deal with the devastation” that Kanye West is the celebrity that we’ve allowed him to be.
We applauded him in 2005 when he interrupted NBC Universal’s “A Concert for Hurricane Relief” to inform the world that President Bush did not care about black people. It was the truth, right? We validated him when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech to inform the audience that Beyoncé, not Taylor, was deserving of the award for Best Female Video. In hindsight it was less about Beyoncé and more about creating a “Kanye moment.” But he was sticking up for Beyoncé so who could be mad at that, right? We understood him in 2008 when he punked the Grammys into stopping the background music so that he could finish his thank yous right after the passing of this mother. He was going through a lot. Let the man talk!
But with all of our efforts to applaud, validate, and understand him did we in turn create a monster? Is this similar to a mother giving a child everything he wants, always making excuses for his bad behavior, but when the child disrespects his own mother she can’t for the life of her understand why? Did we spoil Kanye? Did we allow him to get away with too much?
Kanye’s been referred to as bipolar, narcissistic, and plain crazy. But if Kanye’s crazy now, then he been crazy. Ask yourself when did Kanye change? I mean there was a time when his voice changed, but when did Kanye’s personality change? In my opinion, it never did. We did. Kanye’s message has changed but his godlike persona has always been there. His new opinions are a reflection of his new environment, just like his old opinions were a reflection of this old environment. People’s mind change all the time. That’s expected. I’m not bothered by what Kanye has to say. I’m bothered by the way he goes about saying it. But that’s always been Kanye. The difference is that he’s directing his opinions toward the “woke” generation who is fresh out of Wakanda and they not having it! A lot has happened since 2005 Kanye. Who would have thought it would have come to this? I know who…Bizzle. Bizzle called it back in 2011. I never thought I would say this but damn; Bizzle was right.
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on July 20, 2015 at 5:50 PM||comments (0)|
This list is not in order of sexiness, but each artist entrance into the hip hop industry.
1. LL Cool J
2. Special Ed
3. Q Tip
5. Snoop Doggy Dogg
6. Sticky Fingaz
10. Mr. Cheeks
11. Kane and Abel
14. Mos Def
16. Memphis Bleek
Now ladies I know there are some fellas that I did not mention, that probably should have been mentioned. Keep in mind I decided on only 20. Now if it’s hard for me to narrow down 20 sexy men in Hip Hop, than hopefully Hip Hop enthusiast realize how ridiculous you sound when you can easily rattle off the 5 greatest rappers of all time. You are insulting the intelligence of Hip Hop when you do that. Why? There are way too many artists that have come through the game for you to narrow it down to 5. I could understand 5 a decade but 5 overall…in the entire existence…that’s just mean. Is it fair to compare Rakim's era of Hip Hop to Drake's? Even People Magazine realizes when celebrating the most beautiful people that the list has to be redone every year.
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on July 10, 2015 at 7:10 PM||comments (0)|
In the midst of watching reality TV and more reality TV, I noticed that there was a documentary about Jay Z, ‘A Genius Leaves the Hood’ that was scheduled to come on so I DVR’d it. It took me a second to actually watch it. I had a feeling this would be more than leisure television watching. I knew this would be more like a seminar, lecture, or a good Sunday morning service. Basically, I knew this was an opportunity to learn. So almost like a student getting ready for class, I had to mentally prepare. I expected a rags to riches story. What I got was a documentary that categorized the rapper as a genius, but also an opportunist. I found myself thinking if this is what being an opportunist gets you then sign me up!
But seriously after the documentary ended, I felt some type of way. I found myself mentally defending Jay Z. Why? Because I realized that there is a common misconception across the board in reference to the entertainment industry. I’m not in the industry, but I’ve heard enough testimonials on shows like Behind the Music, Unsung, and Life after, etc. about how shady the business is. Apparently some entertainers go into the industry assuming that everyone they do business with is their friend, like family, or out for their best interest. The urban community gets hit the hardest in these situations because our cultural makes it a habit to create family environments wherever we go. So let me say this as a person on the outside looking in.
If someone pays you for a service they are your employer. If you pay them then they are your employees. If you are making money together and equally then you are business partners. If someone gives you money to start a business they are investors. It’s business. No different than corporate America or anywhere else. Technically it doesn’t matter how long you and that person or persons are around each other, if money is a continuous factor in your relationship then your relationship is business! Now if you and that person were connected before there was ever an idea to make money together than that is something totally different.
If you are working a 9-5 most likely you have someone there that you consider to be “your friend.” You like them more than anyone else at the job. If they get married or have a child they will most likely include you. That’s your buddy; I mean you’re in each other’s presence around 8 hours a day. Now what happens if that person quits? You may stay in contact with them for a while. I mean somebody has to keep them updated on the ridiculousness that is still going on at the job. But eventually, you lose contact. Why? It’s not because your “friendship” was fake. It’s because the core of your relationship was the job. And now you no longer have that in common. For some reason when you work at Taco Bell and making “some” money this situation is understandable. But when you are in the “industry” making “big” money you become “confused.” Like would you expect a person that worked at Taco Bell with you for a year to be in your life forever? Heck nooooooo! Why not? Probably because before you started working at Taco Bell you had real friends and real family and those relationships aren't centered around getting a check.
Label mate= co-worker
Co-star = co-worker
President of company= boss
Endorsement = opportunity for advancement
Missed performances/appearances/tapings = fired, replaced, and in the past
Decreased momentum = fired, replaced, and in the past
Not willing to work with other entertainers or public beefs= hostile work environment
Mentor= a boss that sees themselves in you and would like to teach you so that they can ensure continued relevance through you.
I can go on forever with this but…y’all get the point.
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on June 13, 2015 at 11:20 AM||comments (1)|
Hello world. Wake up you've been sleeping in. And open up your ears with the secret he's been keeping. It's out, no doubt and here goes your sound bite. All opposing forces, this what gospel sound like.-Mali Music on KIERRA "KIKI" SHEARD’s "Since I Found Christ"
When I heard Erica Campbell’s I luh God I said to myself, “The saints are going to hate this.” You want to get the saints riled up watch one of their gospel artist do something out of the box. The true nature of the saints will always come out. And I understand that all are entitled to their opinion, but where are these fearless saints when real life is happening? You know when you need your rent paid, when a tornado comes through and destroys your home, or when you are homeless on the street standing with a sign? Oh I know, they are talking negatively about you just like they are doing Erica Campbell.
And just like they did Kirk Franklin when he debuted Stomp. Remember that? They couldn’t believe that Kirk was working with Salt, a “secular” artist. But if it had not been for Kirk Franklin’s Stomp, I wouldn’t have spent nearly as much time in the church when I was a child as I did. Thank you Kirk Franklin! Your music saved my life.
Erica’s music is doing the same for children and teenagers now. Saint’s I’m sorry, but nothing stays the same. Well, nothing but the word of God. But I guarantee you that the beat behind it and the melody will continue to change. If you don’t believe me then you don’t know your gospel music history.
Let me ask you a couple of questions.
Who do you want your son looking up to Jay Z or Jamal Bryant?
What do you want your child watching Love and Hip Hop or Preachers of LA?
What do you want them listening to in their car 2 Chainz or Erica Campbell?
Am I’m not saying the latter is greater, but I am saying by denying them both you are eliminating their options.
I’m going to leave you with this. The saints were real quiet when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner. In fact, they pulled your hoe card on that one! But y'all want to turn up because Erica Campbell said, “I luh God!” Don’t be afraid to speak up when it counts, but then blow your top over a song intended to reach the youth and bring to them a message about God.
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on June 9, 2015 at 7:40 PM||comments (0)|
“The concept of bringing organic food into Walmart. It may be great that you have your farmer’s market and you have your organic food and these local stores. But if it’s not at Walmart, it’s not reaching the masses.”
Artist Jidenna referencing his music and Wondaland Records.
Christian Hip Hop, Holy Hip Hop, or whatever one chooses to call it continues to struggle with support from mainstream media. A genre that has been around since the 80s with artist like MC Sweet, T-Bone, and Gospel Gangstaz has only recently received a nod from its counterparts as if to say, “We see you.”
In the early years even Christian’s were afraid to support the genre. They feared that with its hip hop base it was too worldly for church settings. While the world felt it was too preachy and religious for mainstream. So for the last 30 years the genre has become kind of like the tambourine player sitting next to you in church. You get it, find it necessary, and maybe even admirable but yet you still wish he/she would just put the tambourine down. Why? It’s too loud. It’s too much. It makes you feel like what you are doing in your effort to praise God is not enough.
I personally have begun to see signs of support for the genre through urban mainstream outlets like Sister 2 Sister Magazine and The BET Hip Hop Awards in support of artist like Dee-1 and Lecrae. It makes me feel good as I think to myself, finally they get it.
One may say why is it necessary for Christian artist to mesh with mainstream artist and their outlets? Why not keep the religion over there and the world over here? I say because there is a need. People, no matter what race, color, or level or ratchetness, want to hear music with a message.
Every time a considered “secular” artist makes a spiritual record it sells. Don’t believe me?
1. MC Hammer
-Pray (1990 Billboard Hot 100 2)
2. Mariah Carey Boyz II Men
-One Sweet Day (1995 US Billboard Hot 100 1)
3. Bone Thugs and Harmony
-Crossroads (1996 US Billboard Hot 100 1)
4. Kanye West
-Jesus Walks (2004 US Billboard Hot 100 11)
5. Carrie Underwood
-Jesus take the wheel (2005 US Billboard Hot 100 20)
-Dead and Gone (2009 U.S. Billboard Hot 100 2)
7. Big Sean
-Blessings (2015 US Billboard Hot 100 2)
So don’t tell me people don’t want to hear songs with a Christian message because it’s already been proven that they do. And I think it’s necessary for Christian artist to be welcomed on the mainstream stage. Not just traditional Gospel artist, but all artists with a Christian message. Christian hip hop artist shouldn’t feel like they can’t consider their music “Christian” just so you will play it on your radio station or showcase them on your award show. Because the funny thing is they are not changing their music …just how it’s specified.
What’s the point of creating music with the sole desire to uplift people and bring souls to Christ if the “Christians” that run mainstream media don’t think your worthy of their platform? And if you can’t get your food (music) into Walmart (mainstream) where at least 60% of Americans shop then are you really feeding (reaching) people?
For more information about the genre:
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on February 28, 2015 at 12:30 AM||comments (0)|
So about a week ago, a week ago (is that getting old) I was informed about the popular web series Money and Violence. A week later, I have watched all 24 episodes and enjoyed every single one. This is why.
1. 24 Episodes
It seems like a lot, especially for a web series. But those 24 make room for the best character development I’ve ever seen. Because of that we are allowed to understand the actions of each character. We may not agree with the action, but we understand it. Let’s take the movie Juice into consideration. Love the movie. I’ve seen it a bunch of times, but every time I’m left wondering…why is Bishop killing everybody?
2. Week by week shooting
Each episode was shot, edited, and presented to us weekly. The first thing that I took away from that was that you don’t have to have everything figured out when pursuing a goal. You just have to start somewhere. Because it was shot each week and presented the same week they were able to incorporate current events into the storyline. It gives the audience the feeling that our lives are intertwined.
3. Bring new life to old characters.
I‘ve seen these characters before, but not like this. And when I say that I’ve speaking about Ty, Leon, Shane, and Rafe.
4. Real fear
There is a scene where Shane is explaining to Miz how he lost his gun and Miz responds saying something like, “And you outside?” I was asking myself that same question, but I was referencing all of them. Gun or not why do any of you all come outside? The streets is real.
5. There’s lessons to be learned
6. How many people are involved in this series?
A lot. That shows what can happen when people come together. Like how do you get that many people to get behind a project with no money involved? That’s impressive.
7. No sex scenes
I can see why too. You got to pay for a sex scene. I’m just saying people can’t just start taking off their clothes and kissing their homies just because somebody pulled out a camera. (Ty voice)
The initial reaction from most people after watching this series was that it’s low budget and the acting is bad.
As far as the production, it’s like this. Imagine sitting in a room with the lights on. Then someone turns the lights off. Initially, you can’t see. But you soon adapt to the darkness and if needed can get up and walk around. How do I know? I do it every day in the middle of the night to go the bathroom. Anyway, after the first 5 minutes of the first episode you become used to the production and it is no longer an issue.
Now as for the acting, YouTubers say the acting gets better each episode. Lies! The acting is not bad; I just don’t agree that it’s changed over the course of the series. Look at episode one and then look at the finale. The acting is the same. What’s happened is that by the third episode you are hooked. You have embraced the characters, accepted the storyline, and got past the production. Therefore, you are able to watch it without looking for something to be wrong.
I think this series has a couple of ***Stars***.
Miz: Every gangsta flick needs a fine dude. Boyz in the Hood had Tre. Juice had Raheem. Menace II Society had Cain.
Leon: This dude has natural acting ability and I don’t care what anyone else says. His timing, gestures, and reactions are flawless. Flawless, ya heard me!
Ty: Someone needs to create and name an acting technique after this character. His ability to be obvious to the audience while keeping everyone else clueless is amazing. YouTubers felt like the Shane character was dumb for not catching on, but if we hadn’t seen Ty’s actions when Shane wasn’t around we may have been clueless too. It’s like telling Cain in Menace II Society that O Dog’s was the one behind his cousin Harold’s killing and everything else that happened. He wouldn’t have believed you. Youtuber’s praise Miz for putting two and two together, but how Shane know Miz wasn’t setting him up. He knew he had the work on him. Then, just when you think maybe the actor playing Ty is just a funny dude and it comes naturally, his cousin gets killed and you see Ty with a whole different personality. I almost didn’t recognize dude when he wasn’t laughing. Then the way he goes from sad to manipulative while talking to Leon and Shay is nothing less than brilliant. Yall don’t have to agree. I’m just saying.
Cindy, BR, and Shane are just naturals. I was thoroughly convinced Shane had been shot in the leg. It reminded me of when I was starting to think Drake was actually wheelchair bound after he got shot on Degrassi.
9. Ladies first
a. I’ve never seen a hood flick where anyone past the baby momma received respect. All of these ladies are respected in this series. Even Cindy…
10. Urban Diversity
a. The series reminded me of the lack of cultural diversity on TV. I’m African American, but every now and then I would like to see other black cultures (Haitian, Creole, Dominican, Jamaican, etc.) portraying themselves on TV. We don’t need to get an African American to play a Jamaican. Find a Jamaican. They’re out there.
|Posted by Nicole Jocleen on January 3, 2015 at 3:40 PM||comments (0)|
1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Do you remember how women looked in the 90s? Do you remember when everyone wanted to be model thin? Do you remember when a curvy girl was just considered FAT? Let me remind you.
Have you heard the old church phrase what the devil meant for bad, God meant for good. Well what Monique, Lane Bryant, and other people or companies that have encouraged women to embrace their curves meant for good, Hip Hop meant for bad. I mean the whole entire concept has backfired. It’s flipped.
Instead of now having a society where all women’s bodies are appreciated, we keep playing this ping pong game of embracing one and not the other. Curvy, thick, BBW, however identified don’t have to be as self-conscious about their bodies, because it’s now accepted. It seems like now slim, athletic, or average size women feel like their bodies aren’t good enough.
Whereas bulimia and anorexia were an issue for bigger women in the 90s, now butt injections and implants are an issue for slimmer women today. When Adam told God he was naked in the garden, God replied “who told you that you were naked?” I ask that same question to women today. “Who told us we aren’t good enough the way we are?”
I know we’ve always said society, but as I look deeper, I feel lately the message has come from our beloved hip hop music. Yes, I am having a Delores Tucker moment and blaming rappers. That’s how I know I am getting older, but still wiser. I say hip hop specifically and not pop, country, or rock because you don’t hear the same messages in those cultures that you hear in hip hop. Now I don’t feel like rappers are intentionally trying to make women feel less than. I actually think it’s the opposite and they are really trying to make curvy women feel appreciated. But women who are infatuated with hip hop are taking what they hear and allowing it to either confirm or deny their beauty. That’s where we as women go wrong. We give them, men, too much power. I don’t care what you look like there is someone out there that thinks you are beautiful. But, in order to receive that, you have to believe it yourself. Once you believe it, you can listen to the music and hear it as…music and not bible.
Now that we addressed how the music makes us feel, let’s discuss how we, the consumers, make the entertainers feel.
You have an artist that is musically talented. They have been grinding for years, and as soon as they alter their physical body, their career takes off? What does that say? We spend a lot of time criticizing these women and don’t seem to realize that we are a part of the reason their career suddenly took off. We are the ones who suddenly noticed them. We are the ones who suddenly cared. Is a big butt and a smile what it takes to achieve success in the music business? Are black people really that superficial? The answer is yes. I mean, apparently. We are so visual that it overrides everything else. It’s almost like we take the expectations that are put on us and turn around and put it back on the celebrities. It’s a weird, disturbing cycle. You know in some way, shape, form, or fashion this all goes back to slavery. But, that's another blog.
I guess it really is all about that bass!
There are many entertainers who haven’t made the “success for sure” decision to alter their bodies… yet. They are still talented. Patronize me for a second and check out their music. Maybe you will hear something you like, instead of seeing something you like.