Category Archives: Entertainment

Happy Birthday Drake!

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If you’re anything like me, then you got your first glance of Aubrey (Drake) Graham on Degrassi as Jimmy Brooks.  You were shocked to see him get shot and end up in a wheelchair, but you were even more shocked to see his character, along with so many other core characters, slowly be taken off of the show.  However, it wasn’t long before Drake’s Comeback Season began playing in your ears (and, if you’re a true Drake fan, you know about Room for Improvement, too).  Soon enough, Drake was everywhere and So Far Gone was being nominated for a Grammy.  Flash forward a few years and Drake has released three more albums (working on another one now), has become one of the most popular rappers in the industry, and has clearly moved on from his Degrassi days.

Needless to say, I’ve been a big fan of Drake’s since early on in his career and I’ve had the pleasure of seeing him perform live twice.  Both were great shows which is why I’d see him again, but my admiration for Drake isn’t solely because I watched him as Jimmy Brooks or because he makes “music for women.”  I appreciate Drake because, most times, I feel like his music is a reflection of my life and it is so relevant to what is happening in my life.  Whether he’s talking about the struggle and hunger to be successful in “Say What’s Real” or “Lust for Life” or if he’s venting about dealing with changes in his personal life in “The Motion,” “The Calm,” or “Hate Sleeping Alone,” each lyric is in some way relevant to me.  Even songs like “Look What You’ve Done” make me think about my own family, while his triumphant songs like “Trophies” and “We’ll Be Fine” remind me of all that I’ve accomplished.  And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Sometimes Drake gets a lot of heat for being light skinned and Canadian, but, in many ways, he is a strong and necessary voice of this generation.  At least the part of this generation that finds itself constantly caught within a dichotomy.  There aren’t too many artists, not just rappers, who don’t represent the reality of the situation enough, but Drake does that.  If he gets heat for it, then so be it because at the end of the day he’s still worth about $50 million, so he must be doing something right.

Anyways, Happy Birthday Drake!

Drake

Bomba!

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Puerto Rican culture is a blend of Taíno, African, and Spanish influences.  Bomba is one of the traditional styles of music and dance in Puerto Rico, which originated from African culture that was brought over during slavery.  Today, Bomba is still prevalent throughout the island, particularly on the East coast and during cultural festivals.  Here is a taste of what Bomba is like.

Ariana Grande Performs “My Everything”

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Ariana Grande’s song “My Everything” was already a beautiful track, but now it has only become better in my eyes after she performed it for Stand Up to Cancer.  Ariana recently lost her grandfather to cancer, which is who she dedicated her performance to.  Personally, I have seen many family members fight against cancer and, unfortunately, not all of them have won, so this performance was especially significant to me.

Love Never Felt So Good- Michael Jackson

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Five years ago today, the legendary King of Pop, Michael Jackson passed away.  It was a sad moment for music fans everywhere who thought that would be the end of Michael’s legacy, that there would be nothing else to add, but we were wrong.  Even after his death, MJ has been able to hang on to world records, keep his title as the King of Pop, and give us new music that had never been released.  No, it’s not the same as if he were here alive and in the flesh, but having his music still playing through our speakers is still a good feeling.  Rest in Peace Michael Jackson!

Rihanna is a Modern Icon

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Last week, Rihanna stirred up quite a commotion with her sheer dress that she wore to the CFDA Fashion Awards. Some people thought her look was completely inappropriate and tastelessly provocative, while other people thought this dress solidified her place as a fashion icon and that “it was everything.” What do I think? I thought she looked gorgeous. Yes, you could see her pierced nipples and, yes, her nude was clearly visible, but I thought she was still tasteful, elegant, and fashionable.

I respect that some people might have been “offended” by her visible parts, but why are nude maternity pictures socially acceptable? Why are so many historic nude paintings revered as masterpieces? Why can Christina Aguilera pose naked on the cover of Rolling Stone? But Rihanna can’t be considered artistic for this look? Now, I’m not saying you need to join in and wear sheer dresses, too. I’m not even suggesting that you have to agree with what she wore. I’m just saying you can at least respect her for it and try to understand the reasoning behind it. I understand that each person is entitled to their own opinion, but ignorant opinions are among my biggest pet peeves. By all means, believe what you want, but make sure that you have some valid points of support for those thoughts.

During the height of the debate over Rih Rih’s dress, she went on to tweet “Happy birthday to the late Josephine Baker! You have and will continue to inspire us women for decades to come!” alongside this picture:

Rihanna Slays

Now, I’m sure Ms. Fenty did want to wish the late icon a happy birthday, but she was also proving a point. She wanted to show people that her look was more an homage to an inspirational woman than excuse to flaunt her sexuality. Josephine Baker was a pioneer in the Black community and the entertainment industry. The similarities between her and Rihanna’s appearances are obvious, but people can only seem to focus on a pair of nipples (which everyone has).

Later on, Rihanna went on to retweet a woman who captioned a photo of the Bajan star on the red carpet with “Does my sexiness upset you? Does it come as a surprise that I dance like I’ve got diamonds – At the meeting of my thighs?” from Dr. Maya Angelou’s poem “Still I Rise.” Maya Angelou was a respected writer, seen as an inspiration for women, and considered a much needed voice for the Black community. Ironically, this phenomenal woman’s words fit Rihanna perfectly, yet she is the one receiving all of the backlash.

I guess the question I’m asking is what is so wrong about what Rihanna did? What she did has already been done before and then some. Just look up Cher, Jennifer Lopez, and Lil Kim for starters. Yes, they all created some scandal with their risqué fashion choices, but you would think our society would’ve evolved to be more open-minded. Plus, it seems pretty clear that Rihanna had some of the most accomplished women of our past serving as her inspirations. These women who were considered role models, exemplar females, and respectable characters, yet, when Rihanna puts her own spin on what they’ve already done, she’s trashy, too sexual, and unworthy of being a fashion icon.

I understand that these “revealing” looks can be considered shocking, but it’s 2014. Women are independent now, so why can’t they express themselves in different ways? Women shouldn’t have to ashamed of their bodies or the ways they choose to express themselves through fashion. Besides men show their chests and go shirtless all the time, but there never seems to be an uproar about that. It is society who chooses to sexualize a woman’s body, not Rihanna. She wasn’t twerking, poking her booty out, or accentuating her breasts on the red carpet. She was simply posing and walking like she wearing a normal dress at a fashion event.

Now again, I have no problem with people expressing their opinions. This entire blog is biased to an opinion. I just wish people wouldn’t form their opinions through ignorance. It’s not a good look. So, if you’re going to hate on Rihanna for what she wore last week, then be sure to also hate on all of the inspiration women before who gave her the courage to be herself. But, more importantly, be sure to also hate on society that has made being comfortable with and proud of your body something to be ashamed of.

Hey Mama- Kanye West

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Kanye West is seen by many as egotistical, snobby, and abrasive, but I still consider him to be one of my all time favorite rappers.  Personally, I think Kanye West does love himself and does prefer the finer things in life, but is that really a bad thing?  Nowadays, with how low people’s self-esteems are, self-love is a concept that the public is trying to encourage.  So why shame Kanye for loving and accepting who he is?  As for living luxuriously, if you grew up having less than everyone else and were given the opportunity to live very comfortably, wouldn’t you do just that?  Kanye West, in my opinion, is a great role model.  He is ambitious, talented, hard working, and real.  He is comfortable enough with who he is and what he projects to the world that he hasn’t let the “haters” stop him from being successful.  If you really took the time to listen to Kanye’s lyrics, you would realize the deep words that he’s actually saying.  His lyrics might sound egocentric, but songs are meant to be listened to and sung along with, so when Kanye says something like “Who’s goin stop me now?” his entire audience is asking the same question.  Now, Kanye is by no means perfect, but point out a person who is.  I’m still going to listen to Kanye and appreciate the music that he makes.

And, to celebrate his birthday yesterday, here is a look at Kanye’s 2008 performance of “Hey Mama” at the Grammys, which took place just after his mother.  This is definitely one of his most overtly vulnerable songs and, in my opinion, a clearer look into his mindset.  Enjoy!