Tuesday, November 27, 2012

This Girl is On Fire!!

Who else but Alicia Keys is stealing our hearts and ears again with another great album. This is a great "come back" album from the 31 year old new mother. The album features a variety of songs from various ranges of New York songstress voice and emotions  I was very excited to hear the "soul" sound return in the new album after her last very pop sounding album "The Element of Freedom".

With the exception of the music production from her husband Swiss Beats on "New Day" and "Fire We Make" with Maxwell, the album features no other artists. But it lacks nothing, the love songs make even the frozen heart-ed fall head over heels.

I love the entire concept of the "Girl on Fire" album to celebrate women who are On Fire, in their, careers, school, in who they are! Track 2 "Brand New Me" much like the empowering track "Girl on Fire" supports the ReCreation of self as stronger and more confident. My favorite line from the single "I'll never be perfect but at least now i'm brave, now my heart is open I can finally breathe, don't be mad its just a brand new kinda free, that ain't bad I've found a brand new kinda me, don't be mad its a brand new time for me"

While I must admit that I am a bit biased because she is my favorite musical artist but in all honesty this is a great album and I recommend it to everyone.

My Grade- A

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Just in case You needed a Reminder: You’re Beautiful

Just in case You needed a Reminder: You’re Beautiful

This is an awesome reminder! With the media and popular culture's constant reminders of things we need to improve we often forget that we are already beautiful. I spread this message to all my sisters. We are worthy of love because we have a beauty both outside and in. Always remember to start with self, self love is the greatest love of  all. Love who you are and the rest will follow.

Black Love and Smilez!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Album Review: Rihanna Unapologetic

While I am a Huge Rihanna Fan, I was unsure if "Unapologetic" would be a great album or just mediocre. The album is actually pretty good, I'd say that the album is about equal to the quality of "Talk That Talk". I really love the artistry of sound that Rihanna plays with on the album.

She stays true to her island roots on tracks like "No Love Allowed". We  hear a softer side to the Barbados born vocalist in tracks like "Half of Me" and "Love Without Tragedy/Mother Mary" where she is actually surprised by her fame and also asks for forgiveness of her sins from "Mother Mary, Mr. Jesus". And of course, Rihanna wouldn't be Rihanna without her pop and edgy songs that have helped to carry her to fame like the treasured single "Diamonds" and "Phresh Off the Runway".

A great surprise to the album was her collaboration with Singer Chris Brown in  "Nobody's Business". I predict this track to be the next great single off the album, it proclaims that the love between her and her lover is just that "Nobody's Business". Whether we like it or not Chris Brown and Rihanna are going to be together and they are going to make music together and every time they are big hits.

Overall I give the album a B on the standard school grading scale, I  recommend the purchase of this album as a keeper!

New Poem: On Being A Woman!

On being a woman

Sometimes being a woman means saying no
or dressing how you feel
Like wearing camouflage cargo pants and high heels
Frilly dresses and chuck Taylor's
Carrying entire universes inside our bodies
Explaining why we can't wear white or come out to play because our aunt is visiting
Preparing our young souls to be mothers
Like baby dolls and kitchenettes sets, easy bake ovens and candy curls
Sit still, be neat, cry if you must because that's what girls do
It's not enough to simply be us
We carry the entire gender on our backs
Emotional and bitchy (They say)
The entire race on our backs
Black and late (as always)
We carry everything And still we're considered the weakest link?
How can that be?
As we have to stroke your egos 
Simply so you can make it through the day
Continue to oppress us with your magic wand
Zap! Begone equality!
Welcome to submission
Because its easier that way right?
Break free from his chain my dear
All chains for that matter 
No chain is strong enough to hold u back
Being a woman means fighting for who You are
Everyday Through heartbreaks
Name calling
Unanswered phone calls
Text messages that never got a reply
But we'll still wave hi in the hallway
Because that's all we've got
Because being a woman means Resilience is key to our survival
And your very survival and recreation of further generations is completely Depended on everyday SHEroes 
That combat you and the world every single day
With no pat on our back or gold stars on our chest 
Just the arch in our brow and paint on our nails
Sometimes being a woman means saving us for ourselves

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: Sister Citizen by Melissa Harris-Perry

In Sister Citizen, Melissa Harris-Perry seeks to define the citizenship of black women by correcting the misrecognition that black women face in America. Black women are political in that they always have to deal with negative assumptions about their character.  Black women’s politics involve exploring their unspoken experiences in their search for identity. In finding their true source of identity, black women must wrestle with negative societal stereotypes about their identity as well as continue to create who they are.  In the first few chapters of the text Harris-Perry presents a The Bridge Poem by Kate Rushin, and the concepts of “The Crooked Room” and myths of Black women. The Bridge Poem seeks to describe the great lengths that black women take to bridge communications between other people in their lives. At the end of the day black women are often so exhausted that they have no time left for themselves and no sense of self. Black women are then heaped with responsibilities that create a notion of strength and superpower among black women. Black women then feel a sense of shame in themselves when they are unable to life up to the impossible expectations of society and everyone in their lives. The text then seeks so find recognition of real and actual lives of black women by defining the intentional misrecognition of them. The text brings up both the many issues black women face in real life and literature as well as a way to change the way society looks at black women as a whole.
I suggest this book as a must read for all people seeking to understand the issues black women face in america. Its is as if they are attempting to stand up straight in a crooked room and that room is the stereotypes that are placed upon them.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Have You Heard Angel Haze?

I recently discovered this sensational female MC by the name of Angel Haze.  I happened to stumble upon her song entitled “Cleaning Out my Closet” and was instantly hooked. Her music both brash and sensitive to the female psyche draws the listener in by her sharp beats and clever word play.
The 21 year old lyrist began her career as a poet but having been influenced by a friend she turned her poems into raps. She currently has two mix tapes out to date Classick and Reservation which have “surpassed the 40,000 mark in downloads, and have over 100,000 views on YouTube.” Classick features a variety of Lauryn Hill songs that she has remixed to include more of the modern problems that women face. In Haze’s version of Doo-Wop That Thing, she quotes “never love a man that will treat you like a hoe, never love a man that will  let you go… never love a man that gets you high and leaves you low…[forget] your inner thighs, show him your inner glow”. Her words influence women to find more worth in themselves then what a man might.
Angle Haze is on the move building a large fan base online through, her websites whenitraeens.com, reverbnation.com/angelhaze and twitter.com/nativeraeen. I suggest her music as a must listen. The few female MC’s out deserved our attention and promotion of positive images and messages of women.   

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fashion Commentary: Tights with Shorts

So today I took a leap of fashion! The organization I am president of MISS Women's Group, started hosting yoga classes in the morning and I am a very devoted attendee. The problem is, I have class immediately following the yoga session so whatever I wear has to be comfortable and daywear fashionable (at least for me).

Today's outfit of choice was to wear a pair of short jean shorts with black tights, a sweatshirt top and classic low top "Chuck Taylor's". In the mirror I thought this outfit was super cute, however I had not been prepared for the criticism I would receive from my fellow claflinites".

It was interesting to note that the males questioned " where are the rest of my clothes", while females that I did not know only gave looks of intimation or interest. My female friends However assured me that my outfit was indeed cute and not trashy as I had feared.

While I have seen this look several places online and adorned on other students I question whether the clothes we wear are shaped by our own ideas or that which we think will be most acceptable by the larger crowd we engage ourselves with each day. In observance of the wardrobe of students on campus, all of the guys tend to dress alike by junior year and the same for the girls with slight variations and "spices of individuality" as my supervisor once put it.

A lot of the time we tend to conform to a certain dress code by our majors and the types of activities we are involved in. Athletes for the most part still wear sweats and shorts, business majors wear suits, education majors wear cardigans and so on. The fashionista's tend to spring out of humanities majors. While this is not true to all people it is quite interesting how people treat you by the way you are dressed on any given day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Natural or Relaxed?

Argument: the harsh chemicals in relaxers can potentially damage your hair and scalp

Rebuttals: relaxers if done in the proper time help tame coarse hair

1. Go natural for a cause not as a fad. Don't go natural just to be trendy do it for the health and well being if your hair.
2. Know your hair type! If you've been relying on a relaxer every 4-6 weeks its not going to be easy to make such a big transition.
3. Your hair can still be healthy with a relaxer. The trick is to know how often to get them.

I used to get my hair relaxed every 6 weeks faithfully but when I changed stylists I learned that with the right products and regular visits I could stretch out the time between relaxers. Now I'm at every 12 weeks and pretty soon I'll be at one year!

Realize that going natural takes a lot of work, time, Effort And money. If you're up for the challenge I applaud You. Find the right products that work for your type of hair, research types of styles . And no matter what your hair situation is, always keep a good scarf, wig/weave/tracks and hat in your arsenal for those days when your hair doesn't come out exactly the way it's expected. And realize that your hair is your hair and you are the one that must rock it everyday.