Magnificent Seven: Chloe x Halle Are Grown & Sexy

Chloe x hally do it

We are living in uncertain times. Boris Johnson is sending four, six, and eleven year olds to the front lines of  Coronavirus. Donald Trump is advising his citizenship to inject themselves with bleach to keep Covid-19 away and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is on the fast track to becoming a trillionaire. What a time to consider eating the rich.

However, if there is one thing that has been keeping the spirits of the common folk alive, it’s music. Whether it comes from TikTok dance challenges (Don’t Rush, Savage challenge). New remixes dropping (Doja Cat feat. Nicki Minaj), or artists now holding online concerts (BTS with Bang Bang Con), it cannot be denied that music has been a source of joy for us all. I am going to share what songs have been getting me through the lockdown. Here is this week’s magnificent seven:

Chloe x Halle – Do It

The prodigies of Beyonce have returned with their new single ‘Do It’. Aside from the sister duo upholding the reign of Black Girl Magic in the lockdown. I have really enjoyed the girls are transitioning to a grown & sexy imagine without looking extreme and tacky.

Kelly Rowland – Coffee

Speaking of grown & sexy, I will not let anyone forget that Kelly Rowland dropped a new single on 16th April. Kelly Rowland is renowned for talking dirty on songs in a way that doesn’t make me want to scrub myself with soap. The music video (MV) is a celebration of black women of all different shapes, hairstyles, all while wearing Nubian Skin. Thanks for reminding me that I need to make some purchases from their website Kelly. #supportblackbusiness

TXT – Can’t You See Me

The children of BigHit have returned! Tomorrow by Together (TXT) had their comeback yesterday, 18th May, and their lead single ‘Can’t You See Me’ and it did not disappoint. The little brothers of BTS have not played a game with their music since the day they debuted. The single takes on a darker tone from what we are used from them to but I love it.

6lack & Quin – Mushroom Chocolate

I will admit that I have never heard of this song until Lisa from BlackPink did a dance video to this song, and had the entire Kpop community sweating. The couple gave us smooth R&B which also blends jazzy electronics. I highly recommend you adding to your Slow Jamz playlist. Fair warning, this video is PG 13+. You have been warned.

I also thought I’d be cheeky and show you Lisa’s dance video too.

ONEWE- 모르겠다고 (Q) Feat Hwasa

South Korean rock band ONEWE dropped a collaboration with their labelmate Hwasa from MAMAMOO. Tell me, how often do you hear of Rock -R&B? Their vocals blended exquisitely together, which should come as no surprise since Hwasa does not make bad songs. Ever.

IU feat Suga – Eight

Speaking of an artist who has never made a bad song. When Suga (BTS) announced that he had featured and produced a song for the critically acclaimed IU (aka Lee Ji-Eun), the Twitter timeline combusted. I don’t think anyone could have predicted these two legendary artists coming together. I’m sure we all thought that Jungkook (BTS) would work with her first. ‘Eight’ is an upbeat, airy song that talks about being 28 years old.

Megan The Stallion feat. Beyoncé – Savage remix

This song needs no introduction. Beyonce just proved once again that we will only be sick of a song when she declares it so. This is also a real remix where the verses have been redone, not where an additional verse has been slotted into the song. The Savage remix is sitting comfortably at number 2 on the Billboard Top 100. Right behind Doja Cat & Nicki Minaj. Making it the first time in the history of the charts that black women have sat on the first and second spots . Didn’t I tell you that Black women are reigning supreme?

The Surprise MV for Black Swan: Five Ways BTS Have Trolled ARMY This Comeback

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BTS and the staff BigHit have proven once again that they love planting their feet on the entertainment industry’s neck and enjoy watching ARMY going into a state of hysteria anytime they drop anything new. Especially when they do it without warning. In honour of this new MV that they had the audacity to release today, I have compiled a list of the top five ways BTS have trolled ARMY during the comeback for Map of the Soul:7.

  1. BTS dropped a surprise MV for Black Swan

Excuse me BTS & BigHit but how dare you! You gave us a Comeback Map with all the dates of everything to expect from this comeback. Yet you decided that you wanted to watch ARMY get into a state of confusion and panic by dropping an unexpected music video for Black Swan. Black Swan is not even the lead single. This is Beyoncé level of trolling; who do you think you are?

  1. CONNECT BTS

Remember when BigHit gave the public a calendar of all of BTS’s upcoming promotional events and it said CONNECT BTS for London, New York, Seoul, Berlin, and Buenos Aires. The problem was that no one knew what CONNECT BTS was so UK fans went to Piccadilly Circus and waited for a sign that never came. Only to find out online that CONNECT BTS is a global project to connect five cities and twenty-two artists, each of whom contributes their unique philosophy, imagination and who resonated with BTS’ philosophy.

  1. ON Kinetic Manifesto Film

The confusion of ON (the lead single) having two music videos and ARMY could not decipher whether the fandom was meant to make a concerted effort to make the Kinetic Manifesto Film the most streamed video in the history of YouTube or if we needed to wait for the 27th February.

  1. ON: The Official MV

I could use this entire blog to talk about how ON’s official MV is a cinematic masterpiece and should win Video of the Year at the upcoming VMAs. However, the video is filled with different film, literary and Biblical references that had Twitter buzzing at what message BTS was trying to convey. Everything from Noah’s Ark, The Maze Runner, The Lion King, Lord of the Flies and Bird Box was debated. Theories were flying left to right and we need BTS to tell us what everything means. We are tired of feeling dumb.

Taehyung’s address to the neck tattoo that he sported in both MVs is proof that these seven men enjoy watching their fans try and to decode their every move.

  1. BTS on Carpool Karaoke

This was not too big a deal, but I did not appreciate how BigHit and the Late Late Show made us wait so long for confirmation that BTS was going to feature on Carpool Karaoke. They had already appeared on the show to debut the performance for Black Swan, so for a while it idea of the group appearing on the famous segment was things of dreams. However, it was worth the wait as we got to see BTS singing along to Bruno Mars, nickname Corden “Papa Mochi” and watch Jimin teach Hollywood Housewives their choreography.

BigHit needs to be commended for planning what can only be described as an impeccable comeback befitting for the Kings of Kpop. Between the release of Interlude Shadow, Outro: Ego, CONNECT BTS, and Black Swan, BigHit has ensured that the world kept their eyes firmly focused on BTS the 10th January 2020 and my mere mortal brain cannot begin to imagine what they have planned for the remainder of the year.

What have you been your highlights of this comeback so far?

Meghan & Harry’s Long Walk To Freedom, BTS Performing at the Grammys & Love Island Is Boring This Year

Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex visit to Canada House, London, UK - 07 Jan 2020

In case you have been living under a rock, I’m sure that you know by now that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have decided to leave the Royal Family. At this point aliens on Jupiter have heard the news given the amount of noise the British media have made about it. The Duke & Duchess of Sussex have decided to give up being senior members of the Royal Family and will be splitting their time between North America and the UK. What made me chuckle was the fact that the other members of the Royal household found out about it the same way that the rest of us did, via their website. How very Beyoncé of them.

This begs the questions, why would they do such a thing? Well those of us who are Black British would say that the answer is incredibly obvious. There has been a smear campaign against Meghan Markle since she was rumoured to be dating Prince Harry and things because considerably worse when she became pregnant. All of this has been steeped in the language of ‘dog-whistle politics’ with articles criticising Meghan for guest editing Vogue, eating avocados and holding her pregnant belly.  Now I am not going to argue whether Meghan Markle has been experiencing racism from the British media because it the answer is clear. Buzzfeed news put together a wonderful article where they compared news articles of situations whether Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle would be the exact same thing but where Kate would receive praise, Meghan would receive scathing remarks.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/ellievhall/meghan-markle-kate-middleton-double-standards-royal

Not to mention her son was compared to a  “chimp in a suit” by BBC 5 Live presenter. Prince Harry has also written two letters calling out the press’s racism, so the debate of whether their decision to leave was based upon racism is null & void.

What Meghan and Harry have done by publicly deciding to step away from the Royal Family is declare to the world that there façade of England being a racially safe haven is a lie and now several media publications have been falling on their swords to declare that they are not racist. There is just “something about Meghan they don’t like.” Would anyone like to take a wild guess as to what that ‘something’ is?

What is frustrating is how black scholars, broadcasters and lecturers, such as Afua Hirsch and Dr. Shola Mos-Shogbamimu are being carted out onto programs such as This Morning and Channel 4 news to explain the racism that was so glaringly obvious. It is an insult to our intelligence. It is bad enough that in the UK Black and Brown people are subjected to racism and are to navigate our way through it in silence. Then when incidents like this happen, we have to explain what racism is and defend ourselves when people on the other side refuse to believe that anything outside of saying the N-word isn’t racism. It’s draining and if it is taking a toll on the average Black Briton then one can only imagine the mental turmoil that Meghan Markle has been under. Yet she is expected to take the abuse and bullying in silence.

Maybe we should not be surprised that a country where an overwhelming majority was given to Boris Johnson, a man who openly and unapologetically used racist and Islamophobic language, would harass the first biracial woman who married into the Royal Family. I should add that the excuse that Meghan is ‘arrogant, manipulative and an American’ is hardly a defense against the slander she is receiving. Aside from the fact that many of the people, like Eamonn Holmes, are making comments about the Duchess’s character have not had a conversation with her or even been invited to be in the same room as her. Why are people acting as though the fact that Meghan Markle is a United States citizen is a reason to berate her? So, racism is bad but casual xenophobia is fine? This country baffles me. The latest news is that Meghan and Harry will be stripped of their title of Duke & Duchess but if losing their Royal titles ensures the stability and mental health of their family then I am with them until the end.

BTS Are Performing At The Grammy

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It has been confirmed that BTS will be gracing the Grammys with their presence for the second year in a row. Only this time, they will not be attending as presenters but as performers. RM did warn you that they would be back.

In a feature article written about Lil Nas X,  Variety confirmed that BTS would be joining him on stage alongside Diplo, Young Thug, Mason Ramsey, Billy Ray Cyrus, and the OG Nas. Do I for one think that BTS deserves their own stage, absolutely. However, I am grateful to Lil Nas X to opening his platform to share with the sensational seven. Old Town Road beat Mariah Carey’s record for the longest standing single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart so he is under no obligation to share his stage with anyone.

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Fans are certainly excited to see what the outcome of this performance will be.  Ariane Grande posted a picture of herself and BTS at the Grammy rehearsals.

None of this negates the scandal that has broken out about the Grammys with their voting irregularities stemming from the board, who don’t promote a transparent nomination process, and the Recording Academy president Deborah Dugan being put on administrative leave. It’s no secret that the Grammys have a history of racism and homophobia which likely plays a huge part in why BTS was not nominated this year. That being said, fans know it has been a dream of BTS to perform at the Grammys so if they like it, we love it.

Love Island

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I don’t know what everyone else is thinking about this season of Winter Love Island but I am getting a little bored and I need them to inject some drama. All I have seen so major insecurity red flags on the part of Small Connor and Shaughna (although she is hilarious), pathological lies from Sophie and delusions of grandeur from Siannise. There is not a single couple that makes sense. I don’t know what Sophie & Small Connor are doing and Shaughna has practically strongarmed Callum into a relationship. At this point in the game, I am backing Nas to win. He has taken so many Ls but he sweet and is the least dramatic person on the show.

Please comment on your thoughts on the Meghan and Harry situation

Are you looking forward to seeing BTS perform at the Grammys?

Is this season of Love Island boring or do you think it will get better?

Please also listen to asoulfulstorm podcast which is available on Spotify

J-Hope and Becky G Drop Their Surprise Collaboration ‘Chicken Noodle Soup’

J-Hope Becky G asoulfulstorm

They say that there is no rest for the wicked. Well, that saying also rings true for ARMY. BTS have returned from their break for all of 5 minutes and they’ve already decided to place their feet back on our necks.

After teasing fans with their secret earlier this week, BTS’ J-Hope and Becky G have dropped their surprise collaboration “Chicken Noodle Soup.” Out today (27th September), the new single pays homage and uses the hook of Webstar and Young B’s “Chicken Noodle Soup” (ft. Bianca Bonnie & The Voice of Harlem). The song has not even been out for 24 hours and it already has 9.9 million views on YouTube.

The rapper explained that the original 2006 hit song was an inspiration for him when he started dancing. In the verses, J-Hope raps about his personal story with dance and his dreams, while Becky G raps about loving her roots and always remembering where she came from. There is a lot to unpack about this song I’m going to quickly break down in three simple points:

  1. The Dancing

In this video, J-Hope absolutely reminded us (not that we have ever forgotten) why he is the Dance Captain of BTS. Everything was seamless, from him freestyling, to the intense but playful choreography. I really enjoyed seeing him dance alongside Becky G. I like it when BTS collaborate with female artists who can keep up with their dance routines.

I also appreciated that they kept the choreography from the original song, which was extremely nostalgic for me. I remember watching Chicken Noodle song on MTV Base at 15 so I was happy to relive those moments.

 

  1. The Hair

I truly hate to be a Debbie Downer but our favourite artists are not above criticism. I was side-eyeing J-Hope’s hair in the final scene. Whether you want to call them Dreads, Gel Twists or whatever, they were too close to the line of cultural appropriation. This is a hot topic with international fans and Kpop community and many other artists within the genre have been criticized for the same style.

The hairstyle was not enough to make me want to stand on a soapbox, scream or cancel J-Hope. However, I would be lying if I said I didn’t expect better from him. I have explained so many times on this blog alone why hair is so important to the Black community and trouble we face for wearing our cultural styles. BTS being the biggest group in the world should be avoiding silly mistakes like this because the repercussions would be great.

And I would like to ask Kpop fans to be consistent. If you were up in arms about Kai (from EXO) and Jackson Wang’s (from GOT7) hairstyles, keep the same energy for J-Hope. Correction is how people learn. Plus the scenes where his hair was blonde was absolutely gorgeous, stick to that.

 

  1. The Diversity

Back to a more positive note, I loved the diversity in the song and MV. This was a multilingual song with the lyrics being in English, Korean and Spanish. The dancers also reflected people from all corners of the earth. I appreciated that BigHit put out a statement about the MV, stating that they deliberately recruited 50 diverse dancers from across the globe. Each dancer was credited at the end of the song and it was very cute to see them vibing with artists during the last scene of the video. This song and video is intentionally multicultural and I love to see it.

 

Overall, I thought the song was good. The beat was fire, the dance was fun, and I will always clap for J-Hope’s fashion choices that I could never pull off, even on my best day. I really wish that Young B from the original had made a cameo, but she acknowledged the song on her Instagram, so I will be solace in that. Chicken Noodle Soup is available for streaming on Spotify so check it out.

BTS Are On Hiatus and We Should All Be Doing a Praise Dance!

BTS time magazine

I had a friend send me a BBC online article telling me that BTS was on an extended hiatus. He was checking to see if I was okay with them being out of the limelight and I chuckled hard. First of all (as I have said on this blog many times), I am an unapologetic BTS fan. I knew about this break before this article was even published (the power of Twitter). Also, hearing that BTS are going to be on break fills my heart with so much joy and I will happily explain why.

This will be BTS’s first official break since when they first debuted. They debuted in 2013. That was six years ago! Can you imagine not being given an official break in six years??? Think about all the things you would have missed out on. Milestones in the lives of your friends, the freedom to go on holiday as you please or even being able to relax with your family. All those basic life luxuries go out of the window when you are not given a break from work. Most of us would riot in the streets if we were not given our contracted annual leave days.

Now, this is not to say that BTS has not had a moment’s rest in 6 years however, the ‘official’ part of the statement means that their break cannot go interrupted. That means if there is an award show (the VMAs cough cough), tv appearances or any other type of engagement, BTS is not obligated to turn up because (say it with me now) they are on holiday.

I feel like I keep having to explain to people that the Korean music industry operates very differently to the Western music industry. In the West, you can have artists like Beyoncé or Rihanna who have a 3-year gap between albums and no one except slightly disgruntled fans will complain. In those same 3 years, a South Korean group can have 4 comebacks, two solo mixtapes from certain members and have a subunit album. This is while doing variety shows, performing at multiple awards shows and mentally preparing to go to the army (if you are a man).

Some of these idols are burnt out and suffering from health conditions like Shindong from Super Junior and Kihyun from Monsta X. It should come as no surprise that BTS’s fanbase is ecstatic that the guys are going to be extending their break. If I had my way, BTS would be out of commission for a year. However, I know that with the growing popularity of the group and the looming decision of whether the guys will be going to the military or not, I know that a year break is unlikely to happen. So, I will take what I can get.

Let’s be honest, ARMY has been overfed this year. In the space of the 8 months, BTS released their new album ‘Map of the Soul: Persona’, went on a sold-out stadium world tour, did several tv appearances in South Korea, the USA, and the UK. They released BTS World (an app game) which came with its own soundtrack that featured songs with the group, Charli XCX, Zara Larson and Juice WRLD.

Just last week Bring the Soul: the movie came out in cinemas across the world and V gave us a surprise music video for his solo song ‘Winter Bear’. I haven’t even mentioned anything about their Muster Anniversary show or RUN BTS the variety show. The point I’m trying to make this that BTS has produced enough content to the last the fandom well over a year.

BTS deserve to eat, sleep and be merry. And if any of you see them on road, walk the other way and mind your business. They’ll be back in October.

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The Adventures of a BTS Fan: The BT21 London Pop Up Shop

 

asoulfulstormbt21london

The 28th of May was finally here. After months of begging and pleading on Instagram, the BT21 Pop Up Shop in London had arrived and if you thought I was not to going to get my merchandise, you were sadly mistaken. I would have saddled a horse into London if necessary. Now you are probably wondering why I was so hellbent on getting BT21 merchandise. I’ll break it down into three simple points. One, I am an unapologetic BTS stan. Two, the BT21 merch is adorable and it is not being sold at the upcoming concert this weekend. Three, there is no BT21 shop in the UK so its either fly to the LA or Seoul store. Now that you are familiar with the reasons for my quest, I am going to share six things that I learned from today’s adventure.

  1. Be patient and check Twitter

I arrived in Camden Market at 10:45am and I was confronted with a queue that could rival the wait time of a car accident on the M25 in rush hour. It’s okay though because scrolling through Twitter on the way to the venue had prepared me for the wait ahead of me. Originally, I had mentally prepped myself to be in line an hour, but Lucy Ford’s tweets told me that one singular hour was wishful thinking on my part. Come on, this is BTS.

Which leads me onto my next point…

2. Come prepared
Come in flat shoes. Bring a power bank to charge your phone. Go to the toilet before getting in line. Stay dehydrated. Bring an umbrella because this is England. The British weather is as reliable as Lauryn Hill turning up to a concert on time.

  1. Like it or not, you may end up being a BTS ambassador

Now I’m in this line, waiting for 2 hours to get into this one shop and there countless people staring at us. Who can blame them, there were lines of people being ushered by crowd control security. I had to explain to one passerby why we were there, who BTS was and what BT21 was. I also had to explain to BT21 store staff, BTS’s brand of music and how BT21 came into existence. Thankfully rewatching the creation of BT21 an unhealthy amount of times on Youtube had prepared me for this mission.

  1. Fan Chants

There is a time and a place for everything. I wholeheartedly stand by those wise words by King Solomon. I learned something new about myself and that is I actually cannot stand fan chants. Unless we are at a concert or BTS is performing on a specific stage such as the BBMAs or Graham Norton, I don’t want to hear it. You can imagine how irritated my soul when I could hear fans chanting the boys’ names inside the shop itself. For what?

  1. The Black Girl Alliance

The Black Girl Alliance is real and it can take place anywhere. The most common way the alliance can be formed is over hair. This happened to me when I complimented my fellow sister black & green hair. The colours blended beautifully and I had to tell her. We ended up in a conversation about hair and our distress in trying to get tickets for the BTS concert. Despite Ticketmaster being the enemy of progress, we both are going to see BTS this weekend. Also, shout out to the sister who worked in the shop, who let me try on the hoodies to see if they fit me properly. She also didn’t have a clue who BTS was but got converted in one morning, off the strength of working in the BT21 shop.

  1. There is Fellowship in the fandom

Army is an interesting and fun fandom to be a part of. I want to shout out to the girls who had the good sense to bring their Bluetooth speaker. They blasted Cypher Part 4 twice and Go Go, which had us dancing and singing along while we waited. They certainly made my time more enjoyable when I had to turn off my phone to conserve battery.

Also, the girl saw that the camera quality on my phone was inadequate, so she took pictures for me and sent them to my phone. Army fellowship is a unique experience that was not limited to age, race or gender. We were united in our appreciation of seven Korean guys who are going to shake the stands of Wembley stadium come the 1st & 2nd June 2019.

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed my BT21 story

The Weather Report: BTS on SNL & the Return of Game of Thrones

Since this blog is a called A Soulful Storm, I’m going to be naming my posts where I do mini updates of the week The Weather Report. I may change my mind. We’ll see how it goes.

The Return of Game of Thronesgame-of-thrones-character-poster

In case you have been living under a rock you will know that after a two-year wait, Game of Thrones has returned to our screens.  Season 8 is the last season and the masses are excited. I will not give any spoilers but boy oh boy, did episode one kick off with a bang. This episode was filled with nostalgia and jaw-dropping moments that had me yelling at my laptop no less than 5 times. I truly believe the Night King is going to sit on the Iron Throne.  Winter is definitely here, and we are in for an emotionally turbulent time.

 

 

No Pictures Please

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Our Melanated Mona and her husband The Duke of Sussex have decided to break a 4-decade long tradition. The Duchess of Sussex has chosen not to have the 7th in line to the throne at Lindo Wing. The Lindo Wing appears to be the favourite maternity ward for the Royal Family since Princess Diana gave birth to both Prince William & Prince Harry there. Kate Middleton gave birth to all three of her children there too. Some of these media outlets are really acting like Meghan has broken royal protocol with her refusal as if the Queen herself didn’t give birth at home.

Buckingham Palace announced on 11th April 2019, that Harry and Meghan are keeping plans around the baby private. Which I am more than happy about for several reasons. One, it has always made me uncomfortable how mere hours after giving birth, women in the Royal Family must dress up and present their hours old baby to a sea of paparazzi. What is if they had to have an emergency C-section? What if their labour was over 24 hours and they can barely stand? It has always seemed so unnatural to me.

Two, the media in the country has been so foul and antagonistic to Meghan all the way through her pregnancy. They don’t deserve to see her baby. So they can do what? Pick apart her child from the name to all the way the ancestors have shown up in the hair texture and skin tone of the baby. No thank you. We will see that child when Harry & Meghan are ready for us to see him/her. In fact, they should reveal the baby on their Instagram just to spite the press.

BTS performed on SNL

The new era is upon us!!! BTS released their new album, Map of the Soul Persona on 12th April 2019. The new album contains collaborations with Halsey and Ed Sheeran and I have streamed it no less than 11 times and counting.

Their first comeback stage was none other than Saturday Night Live (SNL). For some of you who may not know, SNL is considered one of the best sketch comedy show in the USA. It is the most successful, long-lasting show of its kind in 2019. It is an honour for musical guests to perform on that stage. The stage has been graced by artists such as Beyoncé, Justine Timberlake, Solange and Childish Gambino and that’s just to name a few. BTS continues to be trailer blazers as they are first Koreans to be asked to perform in the show’s history. They performed their new song with Halsey, Boy With Luv and Mic Drop Remix which you can watch below.

As you can tell I am loving the way this new era is taking off. I can’t wait BTS will do between now and their concert at Wembley Stadium in June.

 

 

I hope you enjoyed the Weather Report

Are All Black People The Same?

If there is one thing that gives me a hearty chuckle in life, it’s people who barely know me thinking that they have me figured out. What does give me pause though, is when people get surprised by the things that I like to do, purely based on my race. It’s as though people think that The Fresh Prince of Belair, My Wife & Kids, and MTV Base are case studies on blackness and anything outside of those three things is abnormal. The funny thing is that these stereotypes on the things black people like are only upheld by the non melanated. Black people can uphold these stereotypes too. I’m going to give examples of three things I enjoy that would surprise some people, since some folks base interests on skin colour.

  1. Black People Listen To More Than Just Rap

Surprise, surprise Black people like more than just Hip-Hop and R&B. Fun fact, historically Rock & Roll was created by black people (Google Little Richard) and the majority of the Korean music industry is influenced by Hip-Hop and R&B which was created by us. I say this because these are two types of music that I enjoy. However, even if black people had absolutely nothing to with these two genres, it would not matter. A naïve tribe from the Amazon jungle could have created them and if it was good I’d still listen to it.

Let me remind folks that the human brain is a remarkable creation and it is possible for a person to like several genres of music at once. I am perfectly capable of enjoying Kendrick Lamar, Aerosmith, BTS and GOT7 all at the same time. If I hear a good beat, impressive lyrics and the artist is an excellent performer, I am going to show support. It should not have you taken aback by the fact that I am a Black girl from Essex who would happily stand on a table and sing every lyric to Livin On a Prayer.

  1. Black People Like Camping

I was watching an episode of Black-ish and Dre (the main character in the show) was talking about how Black people don’t go camping. I laughed hard. Not because I agreed. I laughed because the majority of Black People I know have camped several times and love it. I’m going to need the Pathfinders from across the globe to rise up against this lie.

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Allow me to explain, I’m a Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Christian and we have an organization in the church called Pathfinders. It’s basically the Adventist version of Scouts and it is in almost every country where there is an Adventist church. It’s LIT! I enjoy being in the great outdoors, with my friends in tents. These are some of my best teenage memories. There are millions of Black Adventists across the world and we camp because it is fun, and we camp in the thousands in countries such as Denmark, Finland, and Holland. Make friends with an SDA, you’ll need us if Donald Trump or this Brexit situation ushers in the Apocalypse.

  1. Black People Can Swim

I do not know who started this myth that we cannot swim but when I find this individual, I’m throwing them in the deep end of a swimming pool. Just joking. Kind of.

I know as a people, we must take into account braids, weaves and shrinkage but believe it or not, we do like water. Usually, clean water that does not resemble the River Thames but I assure you that we can swim. I, for one, get a kick out seeing how far I can swim without coming up for air.

You should never limit Black people in the arena of sports. If African countries such as Nigeria are starting to show up at the Winter Olympics, please believe that we will take over swimming. We shall follow in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist, Simone Manuel and debunk this lie.

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There is something about Black People that are universal. Such as Summertime by Will Smith & DJ Jazzy Jeff and Return of the Mack by Mark Morrison being the national anthems of summer. Most of us think that chicken is delicious and even if we didn’t like Black Panther (which you’d have to have been insane not to like), we will defend that film in front of mixed company until the day that we die. However, I just want to reiterate again, that we are not monoliths. Some of us can’t dance, some of us are nerdy and some of us don’t like Beyonce. All of these things are okay because our differences are what make us beautiful. Take the time to get to know us on a human level and you will see.

Please comment on the things that you like that have surprised people.

Rep Your Flag: BTS At the Grammys

61st Annual Grammy Awards, Arrivals, Los Angeles, USA - 10 Feb 2019

A lot can be said about the Grammy this weekend. From the surprise appearance of my forever First Lady, Michelle Obama. Alicia Keys reminding us of her incomparable piano playing skills, the wins & snubs, as well as the lackluster of a tribute to Motown by Jennifer Lopez. However, all I care about is the fact that BTS graced the staged of the Grammys by being the first Korean Artists to be nominated and present a Grammy award.

Now I am not here to talk about whether BTS should have won the award that they were nominated for (they should have). Nor am I here to talk about whether they ought to have performed (they really should have). I am here to talk about the fact that the band arrived onto the Grammy Red carpet looking dapper in classic tuxedos. They were looking more delicious than a buffet at an African wedding. Why am I so concerned with their red-carpet look? Other than the fact that they looked like any one of them could have been the next James Bond, I love that they chose to wear Korean designers Kim Seo Ryong and JayBaek Couture.

Presently, BTS are the biggest boy band in the world. For millions of fans, they were the highlight of the night, even though they were on stage for no more than one minute. Having an artist wear your clothes is free promotion and more money for the designer. Which is why I am sure that many designers were ready and willing to dress all seven of these modelesque men. On the day of the Grammys, BTS had taken a picture with Kim Jones which had lead many to believe that the guys were going to be wearing Dior to the big event.

From everything I know about BTS, they are not disillusioned about their influence or the power their fans possess. Anyone else remembers the time that Jungkook let the fans know what fabric softener he uses and the next day it was sold out in the whole of South Korea? What better way for BTS to use their platform than to spotlight designers from their own country? Let’s be honest, how many South Korean designers can you name? I’ll be more generous, how many Asian designers can you name other than Jimmy Choo?

I love it when people from different ethnic groups go out of their way to give exposure to people from their country or race. It is important because the reality of life is that no one will have your back like your own. I personally believe that when one of us manages to break down the door, we should make an effort to allow others to come through. Just so you know, BTS are not the only ones who have been representing their country on the fashion front lines. Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians) has been wearing Asian designers (such as Jason Wu) most of this award season.

Beyoncé also gave a spotlight on her Instagram to all the African designers that she wore while she was in South Africa for The Global Citizen Festival (such as Ivorian label Yhebe Design, Peulh Vagabond & Senegalese Sarah Diouf’s line Tongoro Studio)

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Most of us know how hard it is to get a seat at the table regardless of our field of expertise. Hell, most of us will probably never be able to get a seat unless we already know someone who already has a spot at the table. Why do you think networking events were created? The point that I am making is, we should never be satisfied being the sole representative for your race, gender, religion etc. The top can be lonely and it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t get none.

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Murder, Baby Bumps & BTS at the Grammy Awards

I’m trying something new here guys. You will let me know if you like it.

Let’s discuss what happened in the world of pop culture this week.

British Media Hates Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex

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All hell broke through the streets of England when there were mere rumors that Prince Harry was dating Meghan Markle. Why? Because Meghan is a divorced, older, biracial woman. It didn’t matter that Meghan Markle is so light skinned that most people would not be able to tell that there is an ounce of black blood flowing through her veins. However, the media storm that ascended upon the now Duchess of Sussex was so ferocious that Kensington Palace had to send out an official statement. They basically told the British media in not many words, “we see your racism, Prince Harry is disgusted, shut the hell up.” Which is what happened, but as soon as that wedding was over… they came back with the fire of a thousand suns.

Has Meghan been able to do anything right in the eyes of the media since? Apparently, Kate and Meghan have a feud. Now she’s been berated for holding her own baby bump, as if the woman isn’t 7 months pregnant. She is also being blamed for Prince Harry balding. As if everyone male in Prince Charles’s bloodline hasn’t suffered from hair recession once they hit the tender age of 30. In fact, Black British Twitter was begging Meghan to introduce Harry to coconut & caster oil to combat his unfortunate genetic disposition.

This is the complete opposite of how Kate Middleton was treated all of the times she was pregnant.Three guesses as to why. I just want you to know that we see your micro aggressions towards Meghan in these headlines. They are racist and unfair. Let that woman grow her baby in peace.

Is Liam Neeson a Racist?

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I don’t even know where to begin with this story. Liam Neeson decided to inform Al Gore’s internet that after someone close to him was allegedly raped by a black man. These were his words

“But my immediate reaction was… I asked, did she know who it was? No. What colour were they? She said it was a black person.

“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some [uses air quotes with fingers] ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could kill him.”

Let me get this straight. He didn’t go looking for the criminal who did this to his loved one. He wanted to harm ANY black man that so much as gave him a bit of lip in an act of revenge. Do you have any idea how dangerous this kind of thinking is? This is how we get deaths of unharmed black men and boys like Trayvon Martin. If all Black people exact revenge on white people who have wronged us, white people would be extinct. Furthermore, I don’t understand the logic of telling us this? Where is his PR team? This story was far from necessary.

Remember, Liam Neeson did not tell this story at Hollywood Race Panel sitting between Ava Duvernay & Oprah talking about dangers of racism and how he once had these thoughts. He told this story in mere promotion of a film. Ask yourself, if his friend had been raped by a white person, what was the likelihood of him wanting to assault any random white that he had met on the street? Unlikely. It is one thing to acknowledge that these thoughts were horrible but real growth is acknowledging that they were racially based. Making them racist.

I’m annoyed because I still haven’t watched Widows and I now I have watch him in the same film with Aunty Viola Davis. Thanks a lot Liam, how am I meant to watch Love Actually and Taken now?

BTS Will Be Presenting At the Grammys

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It was confirmed this morning that BTS will be presenting at the Grammys this coming Sunday. As some of you may know, they are the first Korean Artists to be nominated for a Grammy in the Academy’s history. Now I am not impressed by the category they have been nominated in (Best Recording Package). I think they should have been nominated for Best New Artist or Best Album. This is a group that had 2 number 1 albums on Billboards last year alone. However, it is no secret that the Grammys have a prejudice towards people of colour and boy groups.

Anyway, I acknowledge that they are breaking down barriers for other Korean Artists who are trying to achieve success in the Western Music Market. I understand that the magnitude of this nomination, and even being asked to present an award is a huge honour for the BTS. Plus Suga (one of the rappers in BTS) had expressed in 2018 his desire to go to the Grammys. It seemed like a dream to both the group and the fandom (ARMY), now look at where we are. The power of speaking things into existence.

Let me know if you think the British Media has it out for Meghan Markle?

Should Liam Neeson have kept that story to himself?

Will you be staying up to watch BTS at the Grammys?

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