2016 MTV Video Music Awards

OK!! The 2016 MTV Video Music Awards! People it’s about to get REAL. Get your kool-aid, make a sandwich and get ready cuz here we go. First the winners since only 5 people won awards all night… I’m so confused by that. How you have a 3 hour AWARD show and only 6 awards be given out. How dat work? Winners were Drake, Calvin Harris, Fifth Harmony, Beyonce & DNCE. Literally, that’s it πŸ˜•. Alicia Keys gave a lovely poem about equality, she’s so poetic. Then there was Kanye West… (insert deep sigh) He premiered his new video for FADE which had Teyona Taylor dancing like you’ve never seen before. The video is ummm, artistic for lack of a better term, but before the video was shown Kanye spoke………… That’s all I’m saying about that, just YouTube it or watch it when the show comes on again, it’s probably on again right now. I get what he was saying but… I can’t explain, sorry πŸ˜•. Now performances. Arianna Grande feat Nicki Minaj (not sure how I feel about that one), Future (insert Men on Film voice : Hated It!), Nick Jonas feat Ty Dolla Sign, The Chainsmokers and it’s Britney B@%*h! Yes Britney Spears took to the stage after like 10 years and performed her new song `Make Me Move’, I wasn’t wowed because she’s done wayyyy better. I wish she did a medley like at the Billboard Awards. Beyonce performed her entire Lemonade album, and yes she was VERY, VERY entertaining as ALWAYS. Not gonna lie, I was shocked that she performed, I’ll explain why in a second. My biggest upset of the night, Rihanna was given the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award and she performed 4 times throughout the show. She opened the show with a pink weird theme followed by an island theme, rebel theme and closing the show with ballads (sidebar, she actually sang like 27 words in all 4 performances. The background tracks played 90% of the time. I REALLY hate when artists do that, I mean either sing or lipsync ijs). I wasn’t really feeling any of her performances and I thought her fashion for tonight SUCKED! Sorry but girlfriend can do better. Drake showed up to present the award to Rihanna reading a cute speech of the teleprompter. He even admitted that he’s been in love with her since he was 22. Aww moment right, WRONG! When Drake hugged Rihanna he was trying to give her a kiss and she side faced him!! Yasssss boo! He ended up kissing her neck. Ladies,we don’t do that!! I mean if they REALLY supposed to be together and he wanted to be there for her big moment, why she ain’t let him get dat kiss? Hmm maybe because they still claiming they just friends? Or to get people talking more? To stay in the news and be relevant? I don’t know but dat side face was cold blooded. (other sidebar, was it just me or did Rihanna STRUGGLE vocally during `Needed Me’? No shade but…[insert twisted lip face]). Now, I’ve voiced my opinion on the fact that Rihanna DID NOT deserve that award. People, it’s called the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award, it’s presented to artists with incredible artistic vision, groundbreakers, innovators when it comes to visual arts. RIHANNA IS NONE OF THESE THINGS!!!! Hold up Rihanna Navy, I didn’t say that I don’t like Rihanna, I think some of her videos are cute, honestly. But are they MICHAEL JACKSON level good? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Missy Elliott should have gotten it this year. There! I said it! Having said that, I believe that Jay-Z bought that award for Rihanna, like paid people to make sure that she got it this year. Wait, wait, stay with me now. 2014 Beyonce got it, 2015 Kanye West got it, of course Jigga gotta make sure that his whole clique stay on the same level, therefore, coincidentally, 2016 Rihanna gets it. You see the pattern? But wait doe, tonight was supposed to be ALL about Rihanna, why Beyonce take over? For almost 30 minutes boo boo!! Now, usually when you’re getting the Vanguard Award, you perform or talk for about 20-25 minutes. That’s YOUR time to shine and get your award and go sit down. Justin Timberlake did it, Beyonce did it, why come Rihanna had to break up her performance into 4 segments? Why she get 3 breaks doe? Nobody else ever got breaks. But the BIGGEST question is WHY WAS BEYONCE ALLOWED TO OVERSHADOW RIHANNA ON HER NIGHT????? Talk about the shade. Rihanna didn’t even win any of the awards she nominated for but Beyonce won all hers… How bout dis ya’ll… Jay-Z wasn’t even there. Why come he didn’t give Rihanna her award? I mean she’s his biggest star,right? So, so, you get Drake to give her the award to make some noise and create an OMG moment and get people talking about Rihanna since Beyonce stole all of her shine, everyone would have forgotten about Rihanna cuz Beyonce dominated! Boom! That’s my opinion, I’m just saying, I’m just saying. I mean the VMAs didn’t even have a host this year, they had fillers, Key and Peele (who I thought were hilarious), Jay Pharaoh and DJ Khalid. Dude, this year was, in a nutshell, WHACK!!! I give it an EPIC… D+

Why Gwen Stefani is TOTALLY my BFF!

“Hey Baby, hey baby, hey”…is  what I have to say about Gwen Stefani! Ok, so I have been a “L.A.M.B” since I heard “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt and I was like “OH MY GOSH!!!” I was instantly a  No Doubt fan, ‘Tragic Kingdom’ is my absolute FAVE No Doubt album!!!! They have sooo many hit songs people, like “It’s My Life”, “Sunday Morning”, “Spiderwebs”, “Excuse Me Mister”, “Just A Girl”, “Hey Baby” and of course “Don’t Speak”…uhhhhh YASS! I’ll admit, when  Gwen went solo and released her first album ‘Love, Angel, Music, Baby’, I was kinda liiiikkkkkeeeeeeee…”hmmmmm I don’t know how I feel about this” BUT THEN, I saw the video for ‘What You Waiting For?’and I was like “OK! Lovin’ what’s happenin'”. The whole Alice In Wonderland theme/Harajuku Girl vibe was TOTALLY dope. You know it’s weird, you can be halfway on a song but then see the video and if you like the video, you kinda start liking the song more. ‘What You Waiting For?’ is my JAM now hunny…LOL. Then ‘Hollaback Girl’ happened…(Insert dramatic music) and the world was never the same. I’ll tell you one thing, I am a champion at spelling BANANAS!! LOL!! Umm ‘Rich Girl feat Eve’, so the jam! Gwen’s second album ‘The Sweet Escape’ was super cute; what’s my jam you ask?…’WIND IT UP”!!!! Another dope Pharrell beat. When I say that is my JAM, IT IS MY JJJJJAAAAAMMMMM!!!! I love that whole marching band sound, uhhh dopest thing EVER IN LIFE!!! ‘4 In The Morning’ is also a cute song, I really like it. Let me point  out something, Gwen is a style icon, OK. Seriously, she has this lean body and she rocks some of the FLYYEESSTTT fashion that only Gwen Stefani can rock!! Seriously, I LOVE her style!!! So wwwhhyyy is she my bff now?…Well, due a series of fabulous events (you know who you are) I got to see Gwen in concert for her ‘This Is What  The Truth Feels Like’ Tour. Super Fun! She is sooo adorable!! Such a diverse band and dancers and the background videos were so colorful and they fit her so well. Even with mic pack issues, she was funny, a good sport, signed stuff, talked to the crowd, I mean she’s 46 years old, a mom of 3 and soooo cute, for real. I had a lot of fun. I honestly didn’t know like 75% of her new songs from this new album but since she sang them at the concert I was like OK I HAVE TO BUY THIS ALBUM!!! I listened to ‘This Is What  The Truth Feels Like’ online first and I freaking LOVE IT!! Seriously, this is her third solo album and it’s all about love, her sudden break up with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale and the new love she found (unexpectedly) with country crooner Blake Shelton. I love the simplicity of this album, the song writing, the melodies, the beats…Not just the songs that were released like ‘Misery’, ‘Used To Love You’ and ‘Make Me Like You’, I’m talking about the unreleased songs. ‘Where Would I Be?’, ‘Asking 4 It feat Fetty Wap’, ‘Naughty’ and MY ABSOLUTE FAVE…’Rare’!!!! YASSS TIMES A THOUSAND!!! Freakin’ Love It! But seriously ( I’ve said ‘seriously’ like 20 times…my bad lol but seriously), just when I didn’t think I could like her anymore I saw a piece of Gwen’s interview on Howard Stern. She was talking about  her experience working with Prince. It’s on Youtube. She explained his focus and him being a musical genus in the studio and how he changed the arrangement for the song etc, then Gwen admitted “I mean I’m not even that good of a singer, I mean I have  my own style and everything, I can sing in tune but I don’t have a very big range”. That is why she is my BFF. I have always liked Gwen, no she isn’t the strongest singer when it comes to vocal ability,  your lane etc. BUT it takes GUTS people to be so honest about your vocal ability especially when you are a big star already. So many artists have such huge egos that you can’t tell them that they aren’t dabomb.com/youjealous/getlikeme/imthebestandyousuck…am I right? I love Gwen for being so honest AND this girl worked with Prince, apparently HE saw something in her that inspired him to write a song for her…Ijs. Anywho, Gwen, girl you are officially inducted into my BFF club. Hollaback…girl!!!!

Top 20 Greatest Hip-Hop Artists

Hey everyone. So I’ve been working on a couple of projects over the last few weeks and one of them is finally complete. My Top 20 picks for best Hip Hop artists!!!! Now, I understand that some may disagree with my choices so let me say this; the artists I selected were based on several factors. Not just how many albums were sold or number of awards won, no, its about which artists inspires me in one way or another. Whether is style, flow, sound, beats, fashion, creativity, writing, content, videos, something about each of these artists moves me. That is why they are TIFF’S Picks…This was a difficult list because I couldn’t get all of the artists on here, I mean, I only have 20 spots…So here goes! 20) Heavy D. BABY! “The overweight lover in the house”, YAS, YAS, YAS!!! Heavy burst on to the scene in the 80s and took the hip hop industry by STORM. He made it cool to be yourself, he wrote timeless classic songs like “Now that we found love”, (you KNOW that’s the jam) and the boy could DANCE!! Rest in peace Heav, you are truly missed. 19) Nelly. “I’m going down down baby your street in a range rover…” you know the rest LOL…I know he hasn’t released anything in a minute BUT you cannot deny that the band-aid wearing, Real Husbands of Hollywood star and St. Louis native definitely knows how to keep the party hype. With tracks like “E.I.”, “Grillz”, “Air Force Ones” and “Hot in Herre”, Nelly left his mark on hip hop. He even had the ladies swoonin’ with his collab with Kelly Rowland for “Dilemma”. Every girl was out here like “Nelly I..love you and I…need you” especially when he got SWOLE (insert Wanda voice “Heyyy Word up”). Let’s not forget the wildly successful collabs he did with country artists Tim McGraw and Florida-Georgia Line. Nelly you will always have a place on my list! 18) Common. I’m sorry I mean ACADEMY AWARD WINNER Common. YOOOOO!!! Why ya’ll sleeping on Common doe…In my opinion he was a super star after releasing “I Used To Love H.E.R” back in 1994. How DOPE was that record and how sexy is HE! The hits kept coming like my favorites “Drivin’ Me Wild” feat British singer Lily Allen, “Blue Skies” and my JAM “Testify” YASSSS!!! Sang it wit me “Before you lock my love away…” Hahahaaaa!!! YES! For your dedication to equality and justice and reminding us that “Glory” will come, I thank you. 17) Eve. “Shake your tambourine go and get yourself a whistle and…” This is my J-A-M! First lady of Ruff Ryders, actress, writer, fashionista. Eve has always been a favorite of mine. Her funky style always kept us guessing and her writing skills are so dope to me. She has such a distinctive tone in her voice so you know its E-V-E when you hear her. With hits like “Love is blind”, Who’s that girl” and her Grammy winning “Let me blow your mind” feat Gwen Stefani, being a part of the Barbershop franchise and married to billionaire Maximillion Cooper, Eve is definitely THAT GIRL!! Love ya sis!  16) Ludacris. Aside from being part of one of the biggest movie franchises on the planet ‘Fast and Furious’, Luda has been shutting it down like only Luda can. He is one of the most creative rappers in the game, just watch his videos. They are so animated I love it! He can spit fast or slow, talk about being “Lovers and Friends” or making some “Waterfalls” (you know that’s the cut). He is also known for his anthems like “Move B@#*h”, “Stand Up”, and “Get Back”. Every time he jumps on a track he kills it. Luda, for just being you, I “Stand Up”. OK this one is a tie. I know, I know but I had to. 15) Busta Rhymes & Sean Paul. Busta-Bus! That’s what I call  him. One of the SICKEST rappers on the planet, Busta came out in the 90s as a member of ‘Leaders of the New School’ and hasn’t stopped since. This eleven time Grammy nominated artist always brought a weird, creative style to his videos and his signature fast rate flow literally leaves you gasping for breath. This man is a hit-maker, I’m talking “Dangerous”, “Break Your Neck”, “I Know What You Want”, “What’s It Gonna Be” (in my mind I was TOTALLY Janet Jackson in this video) and my SUPER FAVE “Pass The Courvoisier Part II”. “Don’t this hit make my people wanna…JUMP JUMP!!” Awww snap I’m already hype over here! My second SUPER FAVE “Make it Clap Remix” feat Sean Paul. This Jamaican born rapper burst on to the American music scene and had us tearin’ up some dance floors o-kah. I can’t understand half of what he is saying but doggone it, I LOVE it! “Just gimme the light…”, every time you hear that it’s time to jam. I learned how to dutty whine because of that song, don’t play! I love different and he is different. He brought a dope Jamaican sound back that we haven’t heard in a while. I just love his music, “Get Busy”, “We Be Burnin”, “Temperature”, not to mention a slew of collaborations with some of the biggest names in music. Beyonce, Busta Rhymes, Keyshia Cole, Rihanna, Blu Cantrell, Little Mix, Beenie Man, Major Lazer and most recently Sia. Sean Paul for being so freakin’ awesome, you rock!! 14) DMX. Where my Bulldogz at? Lol…I love me some DMX ya’ll, no lie. Say it wit me one time “Ya’ll gon make me lose my mind, UP IN HERE, UP IN HERE!” Lol!! Yes, DMX is the troof. It’s no secret that he struggled deeply in his personal life and had several run-ins with the law, but it didn’t stop him from appearing in some dope movies and making some serious hits. You can’t produce this type of music without having some vulnerability. I’m talking “X Gon Give It To Ya”, “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem”, “What’s My Name”, “What These B@#*hes Want” and MY personal anthem “Who We Be”. C’mon now, do I need to go there, do I need to go there, YUP, I’m going there…”DANIT-DANIT-DANIT-DANIT-DANIT-DANIT…”, Bwahahaaaa!! I can’t with me. DMX, brotha, you’re in my prayers, stay great. God bless. 13) Drake. Of course he had to be on my list…lol. His Canadian persuasion has been DOMINATING the charts since 2010 with the release of “Thank Me Later”. Now, I know you may find this hard to believe, but I was NOT a Drake fan for a long time. I wasn’t impressed at all until one day, as I was driving, I heard “Find Your Love” on the radio. I thought who is that? This song is A-MAZING. My friend enlightened me and I gasped in horror. It couldn’t be Drake because I didn’t like him. Welp, dang it I like him now. That is still my FAVORITE song by Drake. You’re probably wondering why he isn’t in the top 10. Well it’s like this, I really like Drake. I think he has a very cool style, I think he flows well, I enjoy his singing voice, he blends well with other artists in different genres of music. He’s cute (minus the beard), he is funny, he can rock a Cosby sweater like no other and he seems to be charming. BUT, I feel like he is missing something. He had it for “Thank Me Later” and “Take Care” but after that, I don’t know. Maybe the fame took over. One radio personality said that Drake isn’t trying to be a rapper, he’s trying to be a superstar, and I get what he’s saying. Not that his other albums aren’t good, I mean “Views” sold over 1.2 million copies in its first week, it has already been certified Double Platinum and “One Dance” has tied with Michael Jackson for the longest single to stay at number one on the Billboard Hot 100. So, clearly Drake ain’t doin’ too bad and my two cents doesn’t matter, but I felt a genuineness from his first two albums, an excitement that I didn’t feel from his others, it’s hard to explain. That doesn’t change the fact that he is STILL my BOO though…Drake, can I get “One Dance” so I can feel your “Energy” and you can “Find Your Love”. I’ll make your “Hotline Bling” so you can “Thank Me Later”…BAM!! 12) Snoop Dogg. D-O-DOUBLE G!!! When you talk about Legends, you are talking about Snoop. This Ol’ G has been in the game for over 30 years people, since 1993 when his debut album “Doggystyle” came out. He has been an force to be reckoned with ever since. His slow and steady style of flow, his unpredictable style, unapologetic beliefs and the FLIEST hairstyles EVER!! (He had me with the Shirley Temple curls for real). Snoop stands alone, with monster hits like “Gin and Juice”, “Beautiful” feat Pharrell, “”Who Am I”, and MY fave “Drop It Like It’s Hot” feat Pharrell. Please don’t act brand new. You hear the click sound right now don’t you? I DO!!! LOL!!!! Snoop Dogg, Snoop Lion, Doggfather, for your incredible contributions to music, stay dope! (no pun intended lol). 11) Tupac. Could I have a list without THIS man? Uh, no. Tupac literally exploded on to the music in 1991 with his debut album “2Pacalypse Now” which spawned the hits “Brenda’s Got a Baby” and “Keep Ya Head Up”. The New York native was a poetic hurricane. He reflected the environment and state of society at that time. Times were rough, things were ugly and Tupac kept it ALL THE WAY real about the anger and frustration people were feeling. He was ‘The People’s’ rapper. Despite his run-ins with the law, Tupac, at such a young age solidified his place in music. Be it socially conscious songs like “Changes”, reflective songs like “Dear Mama” and “Life Goes On” or straight party anthems like “California Love”, “Gangsta Party”, and “How Do You Want It?”; Tupac always said what was on his mind. There are very few artists that can relate to the people the way he did. His smooth voice, controversial lyrics and dope urban style (show of hands, how many of ya”ll wore your bandannas tied to the front cuz Pac did it…uh-huh), he was definitely gone too soon. Tupac, actor, writer, poet, musician, for your honesty and truth, “You are appreciated”…Rest in eternal peace. 10) Lil’ Kim. Yes she is in my top 10! The first Queen Bee, the original ‘Black Barbie’. Since her debut solo album ‘Hard Core’ in 1996, Lil’ Kim proved that she could hold her own among the male dominated industry. Now we all know that Lil’ Kim is a little, um, how do I say…spirited with her looks and sexually charged lyrics. HOWEVER, I am all about giving credit where it’s due baby and I HAVE to give Lil’ Kim her credit…Girlfriend can spit! End of story. Love her or hate her, she is talented. She was the first one to come up with the funky, overly sexy looks with crazy outfits and wigs. She loved fashion and fashion loved her. She repped her hometown New York to the fullest, she emphasized how important it is to stay loyal, she was very open with her femininity and sexuality and no one could do it like her. She has worked with the best artists and producers in the industry and has an incredible body of work. I’m talkin’ “No Matter What They Say”, “How Many Licks?”, “Crush On You” and my ABSOLUTE fave “The Jump Off”!!! Timbaland KILLED that beat and with Lil’ Kim’s flows, c’mon now. So, while everyone deserves to have “their time to shine” (insert blank stare), let’s not forget the people, excuse me, the Legends who paved the way FOR you to shine (and copy, oops, shade but no shade). Pay your respects. Lil’ Kim, for being raw and holding your own, I got my “Lighters Up” for you mama. 9) Q-Tip. After A Tribe Called Quest went their separate ways in 1998, my man Q-Tip began his solo career and OMG am I glad he did. This brotha has been creating some of the DOPEST music of our generation. I mean monster jams, ummm “Vivrant Thing”, “Electric Relaxation”, “Breathe and Stop” and MY JIZZAM, “Bonita Applebum”. Ladies, I don’t know about you, but I was definitely ‘Bonita Applebum’ in my mind…LOL!! He produced tracks for artists like Kanye West, Mark Ronson and Jay-Z, not to mention his sick collaborations with music royalty like Janet Jackson. Q-Tip, you are definitely one of most important and influential rappers and I’ll be your ‘Bonita’ any day! 8) T.I. OK, I can’t even describe how awesome this man is so I am going to make up a word right now…Swaggaliciousness. There! This Atlanta native brought the dertty south vibe to the scene the way only a ‘Rubberband Man’ can. Since he signed with Arista Records in 1999, T.I. has been blazin’ up the charts. This man is a HITMAKER. His style of flow is so original, his word play on top of that ATL accent; and can we talk about how adorable he is, that smile (insert dramatic southern belle faint). T.I. is another one of the few rappers that can vibe in multiple genres of music. His collaborations are always on point whether it’s with Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Keri Hilson, Iggy Azalea, Jay-Z, Nicole Scherzinger, it doesn’t matter. T.I. BRINGS IT! I have so many favorite songs from this man, seriously, not even joking, “Bring Em Out”, “What You Know”, “Big S@#t Poppin'”, “Top Back”, “Ball”, and my ULTIMATE fave, “You Know What It Is”. Can you hear the beat? Heck yeah you can! Heyyyyy…T.I. for being so original and having so much Swaggaliciousness…well done sir, well done. 7) Lil’ Wayne. I know he’s a little eccentric and all BUT once again, I gotta give credit where it’s due people. Under the hats, dreadlocks and tattoos is a brilliant mind that can really flow. He has such a distinctive voice along with his diamond teeth smile. Something about him is, dare I say, charming…EGADS! Lol. For real though, he is on his way to becoming a legend; I mean since he was a teenager he’s been in the industry with ‘Cash Money’, recently branching out to his own ‘Young Money’ which introduced Drake, Tyga, Nicki Minaj, Kevin Rudolf and Chanel West Coast to name a few. He really stretched his boundaries collaborating with artists all across the board from Pop to Rock not to mention his own illustrious career. You talk about a hit making machine…”Fireman”, “A Milli”, “6 Foot 7 Foot”, “Lollipop”, “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy”, and MY FAVE “Got Money” feat T-Pain. YASSS WEEZY F. BABY!! Let’s go ya’ll, “Dis a-way, uh-huh, dat a-way, uh-huh, dis a-way, uh-huh, dat a-waaayyyy”..Hahaha, I’m too hype right now. Lil’ Wayne, for being so unique and giving so much to music, I honor you skaterboi. This is another tie. I know, but I had to do it. 6) J. Cole and Chanel West Coast. Yes, even though they are polar opposites on the hip-hop spectrum, I feel that they are extremely under-rated as artists. Why? Because they are SUPER dope and don’t get the mainstream recognition they deserve. J. Cole was the first artist to sign with Jay-z’s Roc Nation label and has found his niche. Being himself and being humble. I mean this guy still takes the bus, as in public transportation…He’s already cool just for that reason. I admit I wasn’t a fan in the beginning. Did NOT like “Work Out” because I don’t like people messing with my classics and he sampled Paula Abdul, petty I know but whatever. Then I heard “Cant’ Get Enough” and I was on the fence. But “Crooked Smile” happened and I’ve been on board the Cole train every since. Despite not having huge PR pushes and all that jazz, J. Cole has still sold 3.5 million albums to date and has a net worth of $15 million dollars. Now if you compare that to more mainstream young rappers, it doesn’t seem like a lot. But for keeping it so real and genuine and making it all about the music not the dollars, J. Cole, you have my vote! So does Chanel West Coast. I was introduced to her as co-host of MTV’s ‘Ridiculousness’. I had NO idea that she was a rapper let alone signed to ‘Young Money’. I YouTubed her and boooiiieeeee, was I in for a shock! This chile can FLOW!! I’m so serious. Granted, her content is definitely not what most would consider mainstream like many of her label mates. She’s all about the money, sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll type of lifestyle, but it works for her. She is definitely more aggressive but a force to watch when it comes to women in hip-hop. I wish she got more recognition because she is pretty awesome. Chanel West Coast, girl for being so dope and unapologetic, you betta git it girl! 5) Kendrick Lamar. I am still trying to figure out where this kid came from, I mean he just came out of thin air. The first song I ever heard was “Swimming Pools (Drank)”, I didn’t love it, but I thought hmm he’s got something. I heard poetry from his soul. I feel like in an industry where everyone is trying to be a superstar, Kendrick is just trying to BE. That’s power right there, when you can take your truth and tell a story so vividly and honestly…You have arrived. Kendrick isn’t about the status-quo, he is using his fame to shed light on things that mean something to him. I can appreciate that, “Poetic Justice”, “The Recipe”, “Sing About Me/I’m Dying of Thirst”, “B@#$h Don’t Kill My Vibe” and of course “Alright”. Definitely one of the greatest MCs to come out of the new generation of hip-hop. Kendrick, for being vocal, genuine and standing in YOUR truth, you are indeed a pioneer. 4) Eminem. “Hi, my name is, what? My name is, who? My name is, ficka-ficka, Slim Shady”…Took ya’ll back with that one. How crazy was that video? So good right. There’s honestly nothing I can say about this Detroit rapper who came from nothing and went on to become one of the most EPIC rappers in history. His no holds bar, controversially filled lyrics, his comedy in his videos, his flow, his style, everything about him is incredible. He takes you on journeys to darkness, to light, to anger, to hope. Who is doing that right now? Em took a lot of heat and backlash in the beginning, but with songs like “Cleanin’ Out My Closet”, “Not Afraid”, “The Way I Am”, “Stan”, “Without Me”, “Guilty Conscience”, Academy Award Winning “Lose Yourself”, and MY ABSOLUTE FAVE “Sing For The Moment”; how could anyone have doubted him. He has always marched to the beat of his own drummer, not caring about sales, criticisms, publicity or being politically correct. Eminem, for saying all the things others would’t have the guts to say, for being bold, outspoken and one of the DOPEST rappers alive and literally annihilating every artist on THEIR own song (ya’ll remember ‘Renegade’…let me clear my throat..IJS), you are my “Superman”. 3) Missy Elliot. M-I-S-S-Y!!!!!! Can I tell you how much I absolutely LOVE her? Can I tell you? Ok, good. She is ERREYYTHANG!!!! Let me tell you why. Because for the first time in a super long time, there was a female rapper who looked like me. Short, black and chunky. I know it sounds cliche but remember, no one  looked like Missy. Majority of the female MCs had “sex appeal”. They could rock bikinis to get people to watch their video and buy their albums, Missy had to rely on her talent. And BABY, please tell me that she isn’t the most creative, futuristic, way ahead of her time, multifaceted female MC on the planet. She writes, she produces, she sings, she raps, she dances, she has the hottest Adidas track suit collection in LIFE and she is respected by everyone who is anyone in the music industry. Missy, with Timbaland as her beat man, is unstoppable force of music nature, “The Rain”, I mean girlfriend was in a trash-bag…if that’s not a middle finger to society I don’t know what is. Let’s continue, “All N My Grill”, “Hot Boyz”, “Get Ur Freak On”, “Work It”, “One Minute Man”, “She’s A B@#$h”, for real, my girl was bald headed in the video and made it look SUPA DUPA FLYYYYY!!! And most recently, my new ANTHEM, “WTF” feat Pharrell. What I love about Missy is that she wasn’t competing with the other female rappers, she embraced them. She put practically every female rapper out in her videos and songs; everyone from Trina, Lil’ Kim, Left Eye, Da Brat, Eve, Angie Martinez, it was all about love and support. Missy, for being a rule breaker, innovator, team player and a powerful inspiration to me as an aspiring artist, I salute you. 2) Lauryn Hill. Actress, singer, rapper, songwriter, advocate, Queen…what else can I say about this goddess. Let me explain something to ya’ll about Ms. Hill. While we loved her with ‘The Fugees’, as a solo artist Lauryn only released  ONE studio album. ONE! ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ is arguably, one of the most important albums in music history. This woman bared her soul and connected to yours through rap and song. Her lyrics were so intoxicating and real, a rapper with soul. “How you gonna win when you ain’t right within…”, those words pierce your spirit in the most miraculous way. This album shattered all MTV records for selling almost half a million copies in one week back in 1998. That was unheard of and had never been done by ANY female solo ARTIST not just rapper, in history. She won Grammys and a slew of other accolades for that album. To date ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’ has sold over 19 million copies worldwide and is still on the list for one of the greatest albums of all time and it was released in 1998. That is what happens when you walk in your purpose, you drop one album, you say what your truth is and people will connect to it and rewards will come like a river. Doors open, you earn respect and appreciation while still maintaining your dignity. No gimmicks, no hype. So when some newer artists want to claim that they were inspired by Lauryn Hill, I raise my left eyebrow, press my fingertips together and say in my best Dr. Evil voice “Riiigggghhhhhttttttt”…no shade. Lauryn, my Queen, my sista, for sharing your voice, your truth, your soul, you are truly loved. Whew, not the top spot, drum roll please….1) Nas. Yes NAS IS DA TRROOOOFFFFFF!!!! Intelligent, powerful, insighful, spiritual, enlightened, dope lyricist, activist, actor, writer, need I go on? No not really but I’m going to…”Ether”, “I Can”, “Hate Me Now”, “If I Ruled The World”, “Hip Hop Is Dead” and MY FAVE “One Mic”. He knows so much about his own history, he knows we come from kings and queens, he didn’t drink the ‘kool-aid’, and he is all about self-realization. Knowing who you are, knowing your power, standing in your truth, seeing life through the eyes of the divine. Hit after hit, 167 MILLION albums sold to date! You betta get it boiieee!! Nas comes and he comes HARD. Nas, for your sick, ill, dope, fresh lyrical style, for reminding me that I am a queen, and that I can be whatever I want to be; I honor you, I thank you…And I’m done.  Stay tuned for my top 20 R&B artists coming soon. Thank you all for reading. God bless. 

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The Power of Willow…

Okay people, as I was minding my own business on Instagram…I came across a post on my home-girl Meghan Trainor’s page. She was listening to Willow Smith’s album Ardipithecus which means (a genus of an extinct hominine that lived during Late Miocene and Early Pliocene in Afar Depression, Ethiopia)…Uh huh, yeah I know. So I was like Whaaatttt!! Willow got a new album and Meghan Trainor is digging it..Ok! Of course I had to listen to it, I mean she hasn’t released an album since her “Whip my hair” days (which is my go to karaoke jam), I was curious to see what the 15 year old has to say these days. For real people, I mean you know I keep ALL the way 100 with you guys…I absolutely LOVE it!!!!! Now let me be clear, it is NOT something you will EVER hear on the radio, it’s too deep and different for main stream music. You are either going to love it or hate it, there really is no in between. The only way I can describe it is an Indie-Pop-Rock type of sound. Because of the content that she talks about, the sounds are very Native American, nature winds, eclectic bass line type of stuff. I personally have never heard an album like that, but I like it. Keep in mind she is 15, but she is schooling you on everything from how the system is being used to corrupt the minds of the youth, to being one with the spirits of Mother Nature, to delving into alternate dimensions, to just being yourself and loving who you are. This child is soooo freaking enlightened. She recognizes the foolishness and dares to challenge it instead of being a part of it. My metaphysics brothers and sisters will totally appreciate her work. My favorite songs are “Not so different”, “Wait a minute!” and “Why don’t you cry” (this has a video). It is so refreshing to my spirit to see a young lady in this society truly dare to be human. She takes a lot of jabs from the media but umm, (insert LOUD lip smack) at 15 she has a net worth of $4 million dollars, has a lucrative contract with Karl Lagerfeld and is the new ambassador for Chanel. Not to mention she is super smart, stylish, individual, connected to her inner being, knows she is an extension of the divine and cooler than most people will ever be. Clearly this album wasn’t made for fortune and fame unlike her label mates, which it could have easily become since she is signed under Jay-z’s label Roc Nation. The album received criticism of course, no record-breaking sales and what not because it’s hard to place it in a category and  like I said, it’s REALLY different, BUT I stand by it. Willow is the sole songwriter for all 14 tracks and she produced 10 of the 14. What other artist do you know that is “hot” right now doing that? I’ll wait…Exactly! No the vocals aren’t the best at times and all that extra but its real, its raw and most important its genuine. I can appreciate that. She had something to say and she said it. Kudos to Will and Jada for encouraging her to find her own path and learn HER truth instead of allowing others to dictate it for her. I wish there were more young artists like her, she says in one of her songs “I am not an investment”, how powerful is that phrase. Well I vote for Willow, it breaks up the monotony of the excrement spewing from the radio nowadays. Willow, for all that you are and for daring to be different in a society full of trends, bad b#@%tches, Savages, side chicks, fake, phony, contrived, do anything for 15 minutes of fame, twerkin, tweekin and fleekin, keep shining girlfriend, keep shining!!!! 

ps (you can listen to it on Youtube)

BET AWARDS 2016

The 2016 BET Awards!! Ok, I know it’s late so I’m going to make this quick. For the second year in a row, Tracee Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson hosted the show with a parody from the hit Broadway musical `Hamilton’. You can definitely tell that they have a lot of fun together, even if they get off on a tangent from time to time lol. I’m going to start with the winners first. Lots of new faces this year, refreshing… Winners included Drake, Future, Bryson Tiller, Beyonce, Michael B. Jordan and Taraji P. Hensen. Ummm really quick, did I miss something or did they not have a Best Female Hip-hop artist award this year? I mean they have it every year and Nicki Minaj wins every year, but this year Missy Elliott was nominated. Hmmm, now I ain’t one to speculate (insert smacked lips) but uh, isn’t a bit weird that the one year Missy is nominated along side Nicki that suddenly it doesn’t get televised as if they kinda knew that Missy was going to win and break Nicki’s winning streak on national television and that Nicki would probably be embarrassed and throw shade cuz she seems petty like that??? Idk maybe I just missed it when I was in the kitchen fixing my plate… I’m just sayin. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to the incredible Samuel L. Jackson, sooooooo deserving. Jamie Foxx and Laila Ali honored the legendary Muhammad Ali and the Humanitarian Award went to the super sexy Grey’s Anatomy star, Jessie Williams. Yasssss lawd!!! Let me tell you something… That man is incredible!!! PLEASE YouTube his acceptance speech because he brought some TROOF like no other has brought the TROOF before!!! We love you Jessie!!! Now my favorite part, the performances… It was a star studded Prince Tribute that lasted throughout the show. I’m talking Janelle Monae, complete with her a@*less pants. Anthony Anderson even put his on… When I say #deadπŸ˜‚. Hilarious. Erykah Badu, The Roots, Stevie Wonder, Tori Kelly, Maxwell, and the incomparable Sheila E. YASSSSS!!!! Girlfriend still got it! I gotta be honest, my favorites were Bilal who sledgehammered the stage with The Beautiful Ones. PUHLEEZ YouTube that performance. I was SCREAMING, you know how I do… Lol. And the fabulous Jennifer Hudson who SHUT IT DOWN with Purple Rain!! BABYYYYY! YouTube it!!!! Other performances included Desiigner, Fat Joe feat French Montana and Remy Ma, my GUURRLLL Alicia Keys (her red jacket gave me new life), Bryson Tiller, Future and Usher (where he been). But my absolute favorite, dynamic, powerful performance goes to Beyonce!! Queen Bey opened the show with her song Freedom from the Lemonade album. There was marching and dancing and fire and water and stomping and headbanging THEN Kendrick freaking Lamarr comes up out of the ground and DESTROYED it and I was like YESSSSSSSS, then HE started the stomping and water kicking then Beyonce AND Kendrick were water stomping and kicking and it was DOOOPPPPEEEE! YouTube it!!!! Whew, well I liked it. Fresh faces, new winners, good performances for the most part. Hmmm I give it a B-, and that’s a wrap! Peace…

Livin La Vida Santos

Ok people, I’ve been following this story for a minute. Roc Nation, which is Jay-Z’s company, has launched Roc Nation Latino. This will be a branch within Roc Nation devoted to the development and promotion of Latin artists in the US and globally. After four years, Jay-Z decided to name Latin heartthrob and superstar  Romeo Santos as CEO. Santos will maintain his current record deal with Sony but will run Roc Nation Latino with his current manager as President. Let me tell you why this is such a big deal. Now I know many of you and still sipping on your Lemonade when it comes to Jay-Z right now BUT this is SOOOOOOO brilliant. I feel that Latin artists don’t get the recognition they deserve,

especially in the US. Latin music is so rich and soulful, not to mention makes you want to get up out of your seat and bust out with the salsa. Why not give Latin artists a bigger platform to spread their culture? I mean we’ve had some pretty dope Latin artists come and take over the music industry. I’m talking Debarge, my gurllll Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine YASSSSS!!! The late, gorgeous Selena, my  boo for life Ricky Martin (I still have the single Livin La Vida Loca on cassette, don’t play), Enrique Iglesias, YAS, YAS. Of course the sultry Shakira, Angie Martinez, Paula DeAnda, Selena Gomez, Christina Aguilera and my BFF in my head Jennifer Lopez. I’m super excited to see the gifted new Latin explosion that’s coming up with Roc Nation Latino. I love Latin music, whether it’s in English or Spanish it’s AMAZING!!!! Don’t even get me started on the reggaetton artists!!! Whhaaatttt!!! Kudos to Jay-Z and congratulations to Romeo!! I see you Papi.

And the winner is…

Drumroll Please (🎢🎢🎢) Miss USA 2016 is Unit Commander of the United States Army, Deshauna Barber from District of Columbia!!! And guess what… She’s black! Now you know me, I love everybody but let me explain the significance of why this win in particular is so important. First she is brilliant. Aside from being in the Army Reserve, she is a graduate of Virginia State University, she is also an IT Analyst. She is incredibly articulate, just YouTube her answer when asked how she felt about a particular change happening in the Military, girlfriend answered like a BAWSE! But, here’s my reason I feel like we needed to see Barber win this crown. I’m going to be very honest and tell it how it is, you ready? Ok. For decades there has been a stigma for being too dark. The whole light skin versus dark skin has been and still is a major issue in society, especially the black community. As a black woman I have witnessed this insanity first hand. I have seen my  girlfriends cry their eyes out because they felt like they were ugly for having darker skin. It doesn’t make it easier when most women who are celebrated in our culture are of a lighter hue. Keep it real. It’s disgusting, but it’s happening. Next, nowadays, many black women are being portrayed and glorified for being the R word… Rachett. Seriously, the fighting, the foul language, the lack of self respect, it’s EVERYWHERE! And it’s annoying. Young girls are literally aspiring to be as rachett as possible with hopes of being the next Joseline or Cardi B or Cookie…need I go on. While black women are too busy trying to be a Savage and a Bad B@#*h, it’s so refreshing to see a beautiful black woman with the deepest Ebony skin, be poised, articulate, intelligent, commanding and earning respect in a male dominated field be crowned Miss USA. YASSSSS!!!! It’s inspiring and uplifting and gives such a healthy and positive example for young girls especially ones that look just like her. I’m not  judging anyone, I’m just pointing out the elephant in the room. Dashauna Barber, for your military service, for being an inspiration,  not just for black women, but for ALL women and reminding us that you can do anything when you’re a girl… We congratulate you, we thank you and we salute you. YOU GO GIRL!!!!

We say goodbye to The Greatest

 

Breaking news. Muhammad Ali has died at the age of 74. I can’t believe I’m saying these words. He had been ill, battling Parkinson’s disease for years. Sadly, he lost his fight. He was such a decorated boxer who literally changed the game. With his over the top boasting before every fight delivering some of the most iconic phrases like, I'm so pretty ', I’m the greatest’ and my personal favorite `Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’. He was a champion of Champions. An activist, humanitarian, educational advocate, Ali knew that his holding the title was bigger than him, it was for the people. He gave hope and possibility at a time when hope and seemed lost. He gave people something to believe in, THAT is the epitome of GREATNESS. We send our prayers to his wife, 9 children and all of his family and friends. To the incredible athlete, the pioneer, the historic icon, the beloved, the greatest… We honor you, we love you, we miss you. Rest in eternal peace Champ.

The SSSHHHHade… For Real

OK, by now everyone has heard that Tamar Braxton will no longer be a part of daytime TV show The Real. I have taken some time to get some more information before I wrote my article. There’s so much speculation about the actual cause of her sudden, and I do mean SUDDEN, departure. One source reports that Tamar’s attitude was the cause saying she was extremely demanding and rude to the staff and that she had a HUGE falling out with the executive producer of the show which is what caused the decision. The show released a statement saying that both parties decided to part ways. It was a joint decision… Yeah ok. Another source stated that it was because of Tamar’s popularity. She is featured on her own show Tamar & Vince plus The Braxton’s Family Values, she’s a Grammy nominated recording artist, has a successful clothing line etc. Allegedly, this made the other girls on the show jealous and insecure, like she was stealing their opportunity to shine. Jealous enough to put in a request to have Tamar replaced. Another source stated that Tamar just wasn’t a good fit for show. She was too loud, opinionated, and smacked her lips to much, in other words, she was a lil’ too rachet for daytime TV. Then there were all of the rumors that she unfollowed the girls on social media. Adrienne Bailon quickly shut down those rumors in response to a tweet she was tagged in, she said that Tamar did not unfollow her and that they just as close, she even posted a photo,awwwww…NOT! The stories keep rolling in and it’s difficult to get to truth. Tamar did post a message on Instagram stating that she was betrayed by someone very close to her. Of course she doesn’t reveal who it was, but it was evident that she was indeed hurt. She has since then taken a break from social media (good idea). Here’s my thing. Tamar brought ratings. Let’s be honest, without Tamar, the ratings for The Real are going to plummet. The Tamarians are devoted! Plus, she was entertaining. That’s why people watched the show, love her or hate her, she was entertaining. Without her, the will be boring, period, point blank. It was shady, weird and abrupt. Networks don’t want a Tamar, but they’re ok with a Raven-Symone…yeeeaaahhhh ok. I’m just saying… Looks like The Real ain’t so Real after all… Smh

2016 Billboard Awards

Ok people!! The 2016 Billboard Awards!!!! Ludacris hosted but noticably absent was his usual co-host, Chrissy Tiegen. But since Chrissy is on mommy duty, Ciara stepped in as co-host instead. I have to say I was NOT excited but, I was pleasantly surprised. They were pretty good together, not great but not bad at all. Let’s get into the winners of the night first shall we since there were only 5 awards and 2 prestigious awards given. I mean for real though, what 3 hour award show only gives out 7 awards?? Someone please explain this to me…Well the winners included The Weekend, who dedicated his first award to the wonderful Prince, very touching. The other winners were Wiz Khalifa feat Charlie Puth, Thomas Rhett, Justin Bieber and my guuurrrllllll Adele who also premiered her new video for one of my favorite songs on her album ’25’, “Send My Love to Your New Lover”, LOVE THAT SONG!!!!! The Billboard Chart Achievement Award went to Rihanna, of course and the Icon Award went to the incomparable, the fantastic, the beautiful, the elegant Celine Dion!!!!, who by the way brought the house down with a stellar performance of “The Show Must Go On”. I definitely cried during her acceptance speech while holding the hand of her eldest son Rene Charles, you KNOW I was crying for real!! Now the performances…Britney Spears opened the show with a medley of songs, in a skimpy red number she lip synced her way through some of her biggest hits. And yes! I was jammin’. Please don’t act like you don’t like Brit Brit. Granted she went a little cray cray for a minute but she came back and I still like her!! Other performances included Shawn Mendes, Fifth Harmony, my girl Meghan Trainor, Justin Bieber (thank God he cut his hair lawd). My homegirl Pink was amazing as usual!! Missed her. Nick Jonus ft Tove Lov, Demi Lovato, Lucas Grant (loved his song), the love birds Blake Shelton ft Gwen Stefani, DNCE, an emotional Kesha, Troye Sivan, The awesome 80s girl group The Go-Gos and Ariana Grande who debuted her new single “Dangerous Woman”. I actually like that song, very catchy. The BEST performance to me was when Madonna sang “Nothing Compares To You” for the Prince tribute. For those of you who don’t know, Prince wrote the song for Sinead O’Connor in the 90s and it became a huge hit. The images on the screen was beautiful, her outfit was AMAZING! She didn’t over do it, then she brings the Legendary Stevie Wonder out to join her to perform the classic “Purple Rain”. YASSSSSS!!! Listen, I know people had their doubts about whether or not Madonna was a good choice for the tribute. Let me remind you that Madonna is a freakin’ LEGEND herself. She had hits on the charts at the same time Prince did, they even had a little fling (allegedly) in the 80s. Just becaue she wasn’t YOUR ideal choice doesn’t mean that she wasn’t a GOOD choice, BAM!! I thought it was awesome. Unfortunately, my worst pick of the night goes to (drum roll) Rihanna. I’m sorry, I do like her but she missed the mark horribly. She performed my second most hated song on her ‘ANTI’ album “Love on the Brain”. It was just a feeble attempt of trying to be jazzy and blusey and it was an epic FAIL!! She just doesn’t have the vocals for that type of song. She tried tho. But check this out, why did they have Celine Dion perform right after her? Why they do that to Rih Rih?? I mean I’d be so embarrassed to have to perform before Celine Dion, the goddess of vocal perfection, knowing good and well that my vocals aint nuffin like that diva…Let me stop. But at least she didn’t perform that horrible “Work” song. Ughhh I’ll take anything over that mess. Luv ya Rih…So overall, I thought it was pretty good. I give it a B+!!