People Are Going So Hard on Nicki Minaj, Please Have a Seat!

Look, I’m not a “Barbie” (a Nicki Minaj “Stan”), but I am a woman so I’m questioning why so many people are going so hard on Nicki Minaj this year?

It started with her single, “Lookin Ass” which had its video release date on February 14, 2014, such a sweet song for Valentine’s Day, right? Right. The track first sparked controversy because of the cover art which featured the late human rights activist, Malcolm X. I absolutely did not agree with Nicki’s choice of imagery for the single, but I was not against her lyrics. Other people, especially men, did have a problem with her aggressive tone, raw and “disrespectful” rhymes, and had the nerve to say she was emasculating men. *Scratches temple*

Please have a seat!

I’m trying to figure out how the million and one records (and counting), where rappers use misogynistic lyrics with ease and repeatedly objectify and degrade women is acceptable, but the one song where a woman gives her opinion about some “lookin ass n***a” is a problem? I’m sure there’s a rapper in the studio right now talking about his b*tches and h*s. So please have several seats, gentlemen (that word is used very loosely in this context). Needless to say, the record got very few spins on the radio.

Just last week, Nicki released her artwork for Anaconda, a single which is set to drop next week.  In the photo, Nicki is squatting with her legs open, looking back, while in a G-string and sports bra. Honestly, I wasn’t surprised when I saw the picture. It’s Nicki Minaj! It’s a part of her brand! What did people expect?! Oh wait, were they confused because she was once singing about Starships?! I guess I understand. People thought she ventured into the bubble gum, pop world and was suddenly a role model for young girls. But this is the music business.  Nicki released the pop tracks to gain mainstream success and now she’s converting back to her hip hop roots. And with that, comes the hip hop related images.

I agree with Nicki Minaj in that she thinks it’s a double standard that when a Black woman pose seductively, the photo is looked down upon. So during the uproar, she posted pictures on her Instagram of women with the same type of clothing and similar pose, but it’s supposedly “acceptable.”  Black women are constantly side-eyed for their voluptuous physiques while other women get a pass.

nicki double standard photo

But not only is this  a double standard between the races, there’s also a double standard in hip hop culture. Yesterday, the owner of AllHipHop, Chuck Cheekmur, penned an “Open Letter from a Father” to Nicki Minaj. In his letter, he said, “Now, the most popular, current Black female rapper starts overtly pushing her hyper-sexualized image again? Just my luck…Is this the path you want to lead impressionable kids down? Make no mistake about it, you are a leader now.” Can we pause for a moment? Why are men always giving advice to women on how they should behave?

Please have a seat.

I totally understand where Cheekmur is coming from, but his role as a parent is to guide his child. As long as you’re a great parent and instilling positive values onto your child then she will not be easily mislead or negatively impacted by such imagery. As a child, I saw the same images of Lil’ Kim and Foxy Brown and you won’t catch me squatting with my legs open to the camera or going around talking about my “ill na-na” because my parents taught me better than that. His daughter will see the photo whether he wants her to or not. Not only that, I’m wondering if Cheekmur has ever penned an open letter to any male hip hop artists, asking if they could use appropriate language when discussing women. Because this is about his daughter…right?

In all, I’m not saying I’m a fan of Nicki’s photo, but I am saying that she’s a grown woman who is comfortable with her body and sexuality, so why shame her for it?  She’s an entertainer who’s obviously doing her job of entertaining her audience and keeping them on their toes because we sure are talking.

Let the female MC have the same rights as the male MC. If they can rhyme about their h*s, then let her rhyme about her experiences with “lookin a*s n****s.” If they can have women in their videos that are scantily clad and shaking their derriere like they just don’t care, then let Nicki squat and embrace her curves, too.  This is a patriarchal society and Nicki is trying to do things her way in a male-dominated industry.  I think some people should stop singling her out on some of her choices and just have a seat.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think Nicki Minaj’s photo for Anaconda is unacceptable? Do you agree with Chuck Cheekmur? What did you think about her song, “Lookin Ass”? Feel free to discuss in the comment section below!

Subscribe to my blog. Keep up with me on Twitter: @AshleyCaprice Facebook: iAmAshleyCaprice and Instagram: iAmAshleyCaprice

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I’m Tired of Hearing About Blue Ivy’s Hair!

I tried to stay away from this topic because it’s very silly, but since it’s been a week and people are still giving their 2 cents about Blue Ivy’s hair then I decided to touch on the issue.

The petition, which the creator has now come out to say was a joke, reads as follows:

    “As a woman who understands the importance of hair care, it’s disturbing to watch a child suffering from the lack of hair moisture,”  the petition reads. “The parents of Blue Ivy. Sean Carter A.K.A Jay-Z and Beyoncé has failed at numerous attempts of doing Blue Ivy Hair. This matter has escalated to the child developing matted dreads and lint balls. Please let’s get the word out to properly care for Blue Ivy hair.”

India Arie decided to pen an open letter about the topic:

     “Why does anyone get the idea that its ok to make fun of a child?
 In public no less? This celebrity culture that hypnotizes people into thinking a person is LITERALLY NOT REAL because you see them on television is a spell the watcher HIM or HER SELF MUST BREAK. Blue Ivy — is a CHILD. And ANYONE thinking to themselves right now: “But she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth so what does it matter what I say” — Denying ANY PERSON their humanity, is a GAME we should ALL stop playing. WHY? Because it’s the kind of PERSON YOU WANT TO BE. Why NOT be a person who is loving towards human kind as a whole AND people as individuals?
 WHY NOT be a person protects the hearts of children? I think! all these people making negative comments would feel the SAME WAY if Blue Ivy’s hair were TOO DONE. If she had a relaxer, of Hair pulled too tight at the edges. Being gentle with a child’s hair is simply appropriate – this goes the same for ALL children. Come ya’ll Lol Were ARE better than this.”

I agree with India Arie; Blue Ivy is a child! This is  a classic example of people not having enough business of their own that they’re so involved in the lives of people they don’t even know.  Whether the petition is real or fake, the fact that so many people are thinking about Ivy’s hair is a problem. To some, Beyoncé can do no wrong and to others she can’t do right.

Since then, the baby girl has been spotted with a bun so I guess this would appease a few.  There are plenty of issues to discuss than worrying about a child’s hair.  All I really have to say about this whole issue is GET A LIFE!blue ivy with bunWhat are your thoughts?

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A Lesson Learned from The Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion

RHOAFans of the Real Housewives of Atlanta tuned in last night to the much-anticipated reunion episode. For weeks, blogs have been discussing a fight between Porsha and Kenya. Well last night, it all went down.

Kenya and her props were not taken too seriously by the other cast mates. Eventually, Porsha got fed up, yanked Kenya’s scepter and “blacked out.” There was hair pulling, name calling, and your typical Real Housewives drama. After the incident, Porsha was lying on the floor, surrounded by her “friends” and was told to relax. She eventually said, “I can’t believe I just did that. I’m so embarrassed.”

Which brings me to this post. I’m pretty sure  a lot of us have “embarrassing” moments and make mistakes we wish we could take back. But please, don’t ever let someone take power over your emotions to the point it makes you act out of character. I understand Porsha was going through some things and Kenya kept digging a deeper hole into the situation. So Porsha reacted, but not in the best way.

You have to know someone else and their character in order for you to remain true to who you are. Kenya has always provoked her cast mates and played the victim role at the same damn time. And Porsha should know that, so she should have just ignored Kenya’s sly remarks. Kenya is very manipulative and knew exactly what she was doing. If someone hits you on a reality show they are supposedly supposed to get fired.  Now, Porsha has a mug shot floating around, will probably be dismissed from the season, and have to live with this moment that could negatively impact her “career.”

In all, don’t let anyone get the best of you. Keep it pushing and rise above any situation or else you will end up looking like the weak one. Stay strong 😉

Let’s keep in touch on Twitter @AshleyCaprice

 

 

 

Ladies, STOP! It’s Not YOUR Fault Your Man Cheated On You.

tina campbell_mary mary

So in the dating world, men and women have their own requirements. Most men want women to cook, clean, always look good, be independent, cater to him and now  I’m assuming there’s a new rule: Blame yourself IF he decides to cheat on you.  Ladies, STOP!

Firstly, no, this isn’t a new requirement from men, but it seems as though women are taking responsibility for their cheating partners. “Where dey do dat at?”

Tina Campbell, from the Gospel Duo Mary Mary, recently dealt with infidelity as her husband had an affair. In an interview, Campbell says, “I give my husband 190% responsibility for breaking the vow of our marriage…but I, Tina, assume full responsibility for the issues I contributed to the relationship.” Understood, but stop there. Ladies, please stop there. It’s okay to notice your flaws because no one is perfect. But do not blame YOUR flaws for the reasons a man might step out on you.

Ladies, STOP blaming yourself for another GROWN man’s actions! If there’s RESPECT in the relationship then certain actions should not take place.  The golden rule for life is “treat others the way you want ot be treated” and the same should be true in romantic relationships. If Campbell’s husband respected her enough, he would have gone to her and communicated his desires. He could have easily shared his wants and needs. He could have easily stopped himself before taking things too far.

In the interview, Campbell continued, “What happens is, you’re going on and you’re busy and you’ve got children and you’ve got work. And what happens is your husband is last and you don’t realize that he’s last. And if he has a problem with being last you’re like,’Well, what am I supposed to do? You know that I’ve got a career? You know that I’ve got these babies” and again I say, STOP! I feel like she’s apologizing for having a career, being a mother, and not having enough time for her husband, so again that’s why he might have stepped out on her. Ladies, STOP apologizing and start recognizing when enough is enough. YOU are not to blame for a man disrespecting you. YOU are not to blame for a man cheating on you. YOU are not to blame, so stop it.

I’m sure there are young women and women of God who look up to Mary, Mary. You can even find me on any given day, singing, praising, and shouting “It’s the God in ME!” And of course her personal views do not take away from her music, but what message does that send to other women who look up to Campbell? Are we submitting a little TOO much in our marriage? Are we going to be walked all over and take “full responsibility” for our actions that may contribute to cheating partners?

In essence, we all have a choice.  Of course Campbell chose to work it out with her husband and I wouldn’t suggest otherwise.  Also, her husband had a choice to not have an affair. And we all have a choice to notice when something isn’t right in our relationship and address it instead of blaming ourselves afterwards when things go wrong in the relationship. Choose wisely.

Do you agree or disagree with Tina Campbell?

Zimmerman NOT GUILTY…and I am NOT Surprised.

trayvon outlineImagine… You’re walking home in the rain. It’s dark outside. You’re minding your own business. Someone follows you in their car. They get out of their car. Approach you. What would you do? It all comes down to fight or flight. In the case of Trayvon Martin, he chose to fight and defend himself and now he’s dead. The one fact remains, Zimmerman was the aggressor who accosted Martin after being told not to by police dispatchers. That should have been the foundation of the argument. If Zimmerman did not follow Martin, then there would be no case, they would have never shared the same space, there would never have been a murder.

But after more than 16 hours of deliberations, a jury found George Zimmerman “not guilty” of second-degree murder and of manslaughter. As sad as this news is, I am not surprised. What’s even sadder is that I spoke to several friends and family members about this case and, they too, were not shocked by the verdict.  As African-Americans, we have become numb to injustices in the land of the “free.”

Continually, we hope that our voice is heard and that we would receive justice, but we are repeatedly let down by the system. Right now, an innocent CHILD is dead and we all know who killed him. The judicial system has failed us…again. And we are not surprised. Like 2Pac said in Keep Ya Head Up, “We ain’t meant to survive, cause it’s a setup.”

This is the same system that put Michael Vick in jail for almost 2 years for his role in dogfighting. Thus, I’m forced to believe that a dog’s life is more valuable than a Black male’s life. And I am not surprised.

Right now, Marissa Alexander of Jacksonville, Fla., faces 20 years in prison for firing warning shots at her allegedly abusive husband. Zimmerman killed Trayvon Martin and was set free. And we are not surprised.

Over the weekend, MSNBC Host Melissa Harris-Perry admitted that she felt “relief” after seeing her ultrasound which showed that she was having a daughter instead of a son. I am not surprised.

Some people claim race wasn’t an issue in this case, but change the faces and races and I’m sure the outcome would be different. As I stated before, despite race, this is still a right or wrong issue. Zimmerman was in the wrong and should be charged as such. Instead, he’s a free man…and still has his gun. Mark O’Mara, a member of Zimmerman’s defence team said, “George Zimmerman needs to be armed now more than ever.” Go figure.

There was a public outcry to get this case some attention and now there’s a public outcry over the verdict. As I scroll through my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feed, I notice my peers are heartbroken and shocked. Friends cried. Friends protested. But what do we do now? Continue to fight? Or shake our head in disappointment and move on?  People are attached to Martin’s case because of the national media attention it’s receiving, but our innocent, young, Black men are harassed and murdered daily by law enforcement throughout this country.  It’s deeper than changing profile pictures to all black, wearing hoodies and protesting. What can we do to prevent this from happening again? How can we change laws?

Right now, a Black boy…brother….son…is dead and his murderer is alive and not convicted of a single crime. I was watching the news and a young, Black man said, “Sometimes I think I’m next.” It’s sad to hear a child say those words but given the circumstance of the Zimmerman case, I’m not surprised…are you?

“Do we expect the system made for the elect to possibly judge correct? Properly serve and protect?….It’s the Mystery… of Iniquity” -Lauryn Hill

Do you agree with the verdict?

Keep in touch with me on Twitter: @AshleyCaprice, Facebook: IAmAshleyCaprice

Men Hitting Women? “That’s That Sh*t I Don’t Like”

Twitter went crazy this past Wednesday night over a Chicago hip hop artist who goes by the name of Lil Reese. I didn’t know this guy, but being that I’m in the music industry and want to stay informed, I did what any other curious person would do…Google him.  Apparently, he recently signed with Def Jam records, but the sad part is that information was hard to find because of the countless pages of “Lil Reese beats woman” popped up.

Sigh.

Just a few weeks ago another video went viral about a Cleveland bus driver uppercutting a young woman. The lady repeatedly said crazy remarks and the bus driver was fed up, so he punched her and threw the woman out.

Sigh.

There are always consequences. Now, prosecutors filed misdemeanor criminal charges against both the driver and female passenger who fought on the bus. The driver remains suspended without pay from his RTA job, and faces a maximum of six months in jail and a $1000 fine if convicted of the assault count. As for Lane, a lesser charge carries a maximum of 30 days in custody and a $250 fine. Was it worth it?

Lil Reese, on the other hand, is only a teenager. A TEENAGER. How did he think beating a woman was okay? He’s very unapologetic as he went to his twitter to say, “The haters tryna see a mf Dwn lol Dey gotta b broke and bored wanna upload sum sh– from years ago damnn we winnin it’s 2 late…#3hunna.” he continues,  “Dis wat doin betta den da next mf bring small s*** it’s nothin time 2 turn Uppp f*** it…#3hunna.” And he still dmade excuses through his “apology,”… ” I apoligize for whoopin dat hoe *** but I was yung dumb n high sorry RT this for me.” He was just SIGNED to a major record label, but people will overlook that and know him only as the young boy who beat a girl.  Was it worth it?

I won’t just point the finger at men. I also believe women shouldn’t hit or provoke men because some men are weak and can’t show restraint. I’m not justifying their actions in any way, but they react just like everyone else. Also, “She was provoking me….she want to act like a man so I’ll treat her like one” is becoming the new excuse from some men….It’s BS and it’s NOT okay.

In both cases, people laughed and cheered the man on. In both cases, the video went viral. I noticed with the bus driver, people laughed and thought it was pure comedy. I mean, this isn’t a comic book strip…it’s reality. With Lil Reese, people felt like his reaction was over the top. To me, the videos were equally disturbing. I didn’t chuckle at all.

So I ask, is this the new entertainment? What’s REALLY going on where people pull out their cell phone to record such instances instead of pulling the phone out to call for help? What’s REALLY going on where people find a man hitting a woman funny? What’s REALLY going on where people are glorifying violence? What’s REALLY going on where men are becoming weak and think hitting women is okay?

These videos are sick and disgusting.  Some of the reactions to the videos are sick and disgusting.  To all of the people who thought any of this was funny, how would you feel if the woman was your mother? Sister? Aunt? Cousin? Daughter? Think about it. I’m sure you wouldn’t laugh then. And to Lil Reese who has a mixtape coming out called “Don’t Like,” Here’s my response…Men hitting women? Yea, “that’s that sh*t I don’t like.” Grow up.

~I think it’s time to kill for our women, Time to heal our women, be real to our women. And if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies…That will hate the ladies, that make the babies. So will the real men get up?I know you’re fed up ladies, but keep your head up~2Pac- Keep Ya Head Up

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