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for celebrities who just don’t get it: a response to pharrell’s ‘new black’

i was geeked and peeped one of my favorite people being interviewed by oprah. but at the end of the interview i was left feeling some type of way. 

oprah discussed the lyrics of blurred lines with pharrell and it’s misogynistic misinterpretations. he reassured her that his lyrics, “that man is not you’re maker”, were words meant to empower women. word, i dug that. never took that line or the song offensively. pharrell goes on to explain how much he loves and respects his fan base of women and how they’ve inspired him to create the album that he’s been wanting to make: girl. because, in case you didn’t know, pharrell is a self-proclaimed feminist. he believes women and men deserve equality like equal pay. that’s great.

discussion about the album, girl, quickly grew into the controversy of the album cover. in case you missed it, social media popped off on pharrell for not displaying a black woman on the cover. once pharrell clarified the racial background of the cover model, social media popped off once more. critics felt that although the model is black/bi-racial, her “light-skinned straight-hair” imagery is overplayed. needless to say, the excitement about womens’ rights quickly faded into blackness. 

pharrell told oprah that people should not be looking to his album cover for confidence (tell that to nas’ album cover for i am). he declared that people need to find confidence in the mirror. (i charge pharrell to try telling that to a 15 year old girl.) like, the critics who are speaking up, mainly black women, are not the ones with insecurity issues. it’s our daughters and sisters. best friends and neighbors. it’s our communities. your fans. we’re speaking for the sake of them.

black celebrities like pharrell, when questioned about racial social issues tend to take this stance of, “it ain’t my fault. black ppl be trippin”. and they never seem to understand where all “the hate”, as oprah says, is coming from. well, let me help you out, you feminist, you.

the black inequality that pharrell is so (un)aware of is the everyday reality for most brown and black people. it’s visible in every social institution of this country and most influential in the media. as a young girl, the media dictates beauty, success and love. it’s not a matter of the black community detesting light skin for not being black enough and dark skin for being too black. it’s deeper than that. the “divisiveness” has it’s roots in slavery and is very, very complex. no one is blaming the white social structure, we are acknowledging the system. and your actions seemingly perpetuate the system; the white social structure we are trying to disassemble. we stop “blaming others” by taking ownership of our actions, our music, our images, our blackness. so please understand, there is no “new black”. it’s the same black that’s been here in this racialized world for centuries, since european imperialism. you have to understand and accept that fact. black critics did not create a racial social system, we are simply responding to it. we are responding to our environment and it’s regressive images of beauty. we can not escape our blackness. so you do not have to live your life trying to “be black”. lol, you are!!!!

the idea of not wanting to be labeled as a “black” artist or “black” man is a dream that will never be realized until this society crumbles. you want black people to take ownership of their position in society and when we do we’re scolded for “trying to be black” or divisive. when we do we’re charged with being racist. sensitive and out of touch. well, what would you compel us regular black folk to do? 

this cloud you speak of we don’t live on. these white friends you made, are enemies in our hoods. these light skinned girls you feature, are “prettiest” in our hoods. finding confidence in the mirror is unrealistic!!! it’s not that simple or easy. i find it funny how a black man who received gender criticism and racial criticism for his art, so willingly and happily picked up the feminist flag (which takes issue with colorism). where’s the understanding when it comes to racial inequality?

as celebrities, especially black celebrities, you’re caught between being you and representing us. blurred lines indeed. i don’t expect y’all to get it right every time because we are not a monolithic race of people. but i suppose that is the issue after all. we are not monolithic; however, we see the same tired images of us being abused by others and most importantly by ourselves! 

for example, asap rocky’s comments last year were made in opinion, an opinion that i was not offended by as much as his response. he stated that being a black man, he knows how sensitive black women can be. but that’s just it. where does this “perceived” sensitivity come from? we’re def not born with this innate behavior. it’s like you all are completely disconnected from the community and your history.

understand where the fvck your people are coming from, the women you dare to defend in the face of feminism. don’t be on TV lookin’ all crazy. don’t deny the fact that colorism is an issue bigger than black people because colorism is not black made.

“the girl on the cover is in fact black but I feel where ya’ll are coming from. the media does lack a variety of images for women of color. and i’m not one to follow the programming. i love black women if i don’t say it enough.”

that would work. but when you take the issue personally and misinterpret intentions, you’ll mistake our cries for hate. when people criticize your decisions, it’s ok to explain your purpose but do not act as if you do not understand where the critique is coming from. do not pitch off our criticism as hatred. that’s just ignorance. we love you, that’s why we care enough to comment.

written by @knimi.

a review of | Z

image

seeszarun is the first flyy queen of t.d.e.

+ she recently released her first album, Z. 

so album review: 5 crowns, no boost. 

UR it always throws me off when it first comes on since the babylon music video features the song at the start. so initially my mind mistakes this record for her single. buttt this joint is first track crack. it’s soothing, sultry and soulful with sprinkling elements of vintage cali ad-libs, acoustically chopped and screwed. the lyrics are a stream of poetic consciousness floating softly against varying sounds. natural, peaceful and sensual. a great intro to “z”. if you can fvck with this track, you most likely will rock with the rest of the album.

CHILDS PLAYa striptease start. the tempo is constant, resonating like sza’s infatuating flow. the vibe is likened to ur but her slurred sultriness is clearer on this record. chance was a perfect fit. i enjoyed them harmonizing. typically rapping on soulful tracks requires a certain aesthetic and chance clashes that expectation so diligently. i like his touch of crass, yar? an ode to the death of our childhood moments, a becoming of age tale. the girl who’s interested in boys now, expressed through childhood affections. teen-hood nostalgia at it’s best.

JULIAthis song is fun and unexpected. fireworks, summertime and heartbreak; 80s vibe. a video in need of a dope dance routine and a solange appearance. needless to say, julia is one of my favorite songs on the album. the lyrics are less cryptic and her voice is a mouthful. for me, it speaks to my realization of adulthood. things never quite turning out as expected…unable to read between the lines of oneself until maturity. a love song indeed, but one I dedicate to my younger self. i’m sure it’s on my itunes most played by now.

WARM WINDSat first it kinda turns me off but wait for it… a come down from julia’s uptempo; the lyrics are enduring. words of peace to a soul who’s entrapped by their insecurities and shortcomings. then the beat takes a turn for the better. i love double tracks, or triple (see: drake). when this joint mellows into the synchronized tunes of sza and rashad, i could die. not to mention the lyrics are churchhh. the type of song you get caught imitating in the mirror with music video expressions, turn aways and all. “quit clippin’ on your feet, quit clippin’ on your wings…” i thoroughly appreciate this record.   

HI JACKsounds like my original expectation of a “sza record” based off her single babylon. sweet and elevated. the beat is chill, slow pop and locks. a story of a young misses willing and choosing to weather the storm with her boy. the chorus explains the song perfectly. like when you first fall for a guy and he hijacks your mind with your permission. and you hold him hostage. dat.

GREEN MILEthis track is tight. it took about 2 listens to keep on replay. lyrics visualize the assaults made by love and the pieces left astray. bc let’s face it, love can hurt and it gets messy. trusting someone with your heart is daring + heading to the massacre is brave. falling deeper and deeper in love all along knowing the story ends with heartbreak, picking up pieces of yourself (or others) along the way. the switch up is a sweet reflective end to a dark record.

BABYLONyou already. this joint put me on back in march, so in love i still am. slow winding in the mirror if you catch me. this record is like whenever bae + i go thru our fits. ‘we need a resolution’ shit. “ok, you can be the victim, blame me”, hate me? kendrick being on the track was a new element and it took me a few listens to get comfortable with him being there. his verse was cool and was relevant as ever (damn gems). but in the final hour, i love how the song switches perspectives. by the end of an argument the conversation can be lost, and you’re just ready to makeup. oh, bae-bylon.

SWEET NOVEMBERyasssssss. if i had a band, this is how we would sound. i will say: favorite song on the album. the marvin gaye mandota sample is especially life when sza goes into her side-libs on the guitar drops. marvin’s version is raw and stirring. but sweet november compliments her soft voice and allows the lyrics to not be overpowered. this song deserves a stage and lights. live performance necessity. love at first listen. 

SHATTERED RINGok, so hear me out. i love the genre ambiguity of this song. initially the beat gives off some del rey vibes. i enjoy the sound and it’s crossover appeal. the break is my favorite part. the overall production compliments the rest of the album thus far (props to emile haynie). this track gives sza a broader representation as an artist i feel. i could imagine kelis or katy perry singing this. a solid record, no pun intended

OMEGAi like this track. a song you listen to when you’re in your own zone. and i stay in some type of zone, trust. something to work out to for sure. the first drop is upbeat and head nod worthy. the lyrics are inspirational truth. however, on this note, i request a weeknd/frank ocean + sza collaboration. droptastic.

on itunes for the low + spotify for the free. support artists, true artists!

reviewed by @knimi.

#FILM | “as i am”, a film by alan spearman.

this short documentary film is centered around chris dean, a black boy in the hood of memphis. dean narrates his journey through his bright broken world from birth. his amerikan philosophy is as poetic as the cinematography. spearman + dean document the struggles of communal poverty and institutionalized racism without a miss.

posted by knimi.

#LOVE | “strange fruit”, Billie Holiday.
southern trees bear a strange fruit,
blood on the leaves and blood at the root,
black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,
strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

pastoral scene of the gallant south,
the bulging eyes and twisted mouth, 
scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,
then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

here is fruit for the crows to pluck,
for the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,
for the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,
here is a strange and bitter crop.

posted by knimi. High-res

#LOVE | “strange fruit”, Billie Holiday.

southern trees bear a strange fruit,

blood on the leaves and blood at the root,

black bodies swinging in the southern breeze,

strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

pastoral scene of the gallant south,

the bulging eyes and twisted mouth, 

scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh,

then the sudden smell of burning flesh.

here is fruit for the crows to pluck,

for the rain to gather, for the wind to suck,

for the sun to rot, for the trees to drop,

here is a strange and bitter crop.

posted by knimi.

In your own words, what is Black Love to you?

Asked by
kingmarouane

knowledge of self: the transformation of thoughts, speech + actions to a pitch of unconditional self/communal love.

#PEEP | “jimmy franco” x @lolawolfband ft. @asvpxrocky.

asvp rocky is officially the dream boy of music videos. the song, jimmy franco, is a sweet street escape. the video was shot in bushwick, brooklyn by jon hoeg at kenny scharf’s crib. the band, lolawolf, consists of zoë kravitz, jimmy giannopoulos and james levy.

posted by @knimi.



rtamerica:

Mississippi Legislature passes bill allowing legal discrimination on basis of religion
The Mississippi Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that would allow individuals and businesses to legally discriminate on the basis of their religion.
The state House and Senate approved a conference report on SB 2681, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, despite previous indications from the House that its version of the bill was on hold based on objections about the implications for discrimination.
The bill was passed by a vote of 78-43 in the House and 38-14 in the Senate. Both are dominated by Republicans.


i prefer my systemic oppression blunt. thanks mississippi for always keepin’ it blunt as fvck.
reblogged by knimi. High-res

rtamerica:

Mississippi Legislature passes bill allowing legal discrimination on basis of religion

The Mississippi Legislature passed a bill on Tuesday that would allow individuals and businesses to legally discriminate on the basis of their religion.

The state House and Senate approved a conference report on SB 2681, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, despite previous indications from the House that its version of the bill was on hold based on objections about the implications for discrimination.

The bill was passed by a vote of 78-43 in the House and 38-14 in the Senate. Both are dominated by Republicans.

i prefer my systemic oppression blunt. thanks mississippi for always keepin’ it blunt as fvck.

reblogged by knimi.

(via disciplesofmalcolm)

"scholars and scientists now concede that africa is the first place of mankind. africans were the first builders of civilization. they discovered mathematics, invented writing, developed sciences, engineering, medicine, religion fine arts and built the great pyramids. an architectural achievement which still baffles modern scientists."

people still don’t knowwww tho. learn some.

reblogged by knimi.

(via iimzthepoet)

#KIQ EP. 19: @knimi and @traemili speak on the film ‘12 years a slave’ and it’s literal relation to racism in america. 

music: “we made it” jay electronica + jay-z

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