Monthly Archives: November 2015

#MusicMonday 2: “Cool for the Summer” Demi Lovato & Erykah’s new mixtape

Welcome to the 2nd installment of #MusicMonday! Leave it to my ratchet friend Bri to choose this rape-ey ass song by Demi Lovato for me to analyze. I play the song and get ta shoulder poppin’ I’m like ‘ok, this is cute’ Here’s when it got scary.

“Got my mind on your body

And your body on my mind

Got a taste for the cherry

I just need to take a bite

Don’t tell your mother (huh?)

Kiss one another

Die for each other (BISH WHET?)

We’re cool for the summer”

One, you don’t take a bite of a cherry. You eat a cherry or you don’t. Cherries are too small to bite like an apple. Two, if we’re talking about the slang meaning of cherry, you want to take somebody’s virginity, Demi? A woman’s virginity? And if we just ‘cool for the summer’ I’m certainly not dying for you, I ain’t Jesus of Nazareth.

And then, she was like ‘don’t tell your mother’ and it got reeall Special Victims Unit. If you hunching somebody and you tell them not to tell their mother, they are too young to be engaging in sexual activity if they need they momma’s permission and you are too old to go there with ‘em, R. Kelly.

Verse 2

“Even if they judge …. I’ll do the time”

What Demi?! I’d like to sit down with her (or the songwriter) and ask her exactly what she meant in this whole song. Cause that line sound like you willing to go down to the jail to be with somebody that’s too young and I want better for you, Demi.

My homegirl that chose this song told me that this song is about Demi’s bi-curiosity and I ain’t buying it. Demi need to find a nice young lady that’s her age and come up out the Disney channel studios. It’s one thing to want to be with a woman, it’s ANOTHER thing to want to be wIith a girl! Demi is juuuuuuust old enough for it to be considered statutory. Get you an ole stud to show you how they do it over the rainbow.

erykah-badu-but-you-caint-use-my-phone-stream-mixtapeNow for Erykah’s new mixtape. My birthday and Christmas came early this year! I like Erykah Badu because she’s a true artist… very out there, but definitely still a home-girl. I would LOVE to talk to her about the creative process of this mixtape. Did she listen to “Hotline Bling” remix it and then they decided to just do a whole mixtape about phones or what?

I love mixtapes. I love how they have evolved since the start of Hip-Hop. That’s a different blog for a different day.

Interestingly enough, the first single of this song is a remix of last week’s #MusicMonday “Hotline Bling” Badu’s adaptation is called “Cel U Lar Device”. I like what she does to the track, she makes it her own while still keeping the original ‘bounce’ of the record.

Another song I really enjoy is “Phone Down”. Very smooth track, and I don’t know if this was the intent but it really makes me want to twerk. Like it I was a stripper, this would be my intro track… and the concept of being able to make a millennial like myself put their phone down is intriguing. Food, sleep and rolling up is like the top 3 reasons I’d put my phone down for a few minutes. Such a shame. I digress.

My last thought on BYCUMP… I love that 3stacks was able to come and collab with her. Good that mature exes/co-parents can work together. Cause my momma and daddy, chile.

Thus is Music Monday.

Thank you for your continued support. Mean it!

-CGW

 

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#MusicMonday Hotline Bling

Welcome to the newest segment in #CalmCarrieOn. #MusicMonday. Every Monday I’ll analyze a song of your choosing and let you know what I’m listening to.

Hotline Bling

“I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.”

I did like this song when it first came out; definitely liked it when Drake did that cute video for it. It’s catchy, repetitive and I can swing my dreads to it. What’s not to love right?

Around the 37th time the radio played it, I started listening to the words and I realized that the song was about a girl who was simply living her life. She used to hotline bling Drake, he left the city… She moved the hell on.

If this is when you say “Carrie, it’s not that deep”, you can go ‘head and stop reading. We use our brains on this blog. We don’t mindlessly listen to music and repeat what we hear, especially when the messages are problematic. If you don’t want to use that part of your brain today, go down the hall, take a left into that room full of chairs and have several seats.

I want to be a fan of Drake. He makes (some) good music. But he keeps doing side-eye-able stuff. One, he’s a UK Fan like he was a student at the college or like he’s ever lived in Lexington, KY. He likes UK more than I like UofL and I spent 5 years there and wasted thousands of dollars on a degree. Like, don’t be a grown man following around teenage basketball players. That’s not cute.

But that has nothing to do with the music, I digress.

This song is problematic because the young lady Drake is singing about isn’t doing anything but living her life. A lot of songs today have some real millennial-fxck-boy-shxt going on. Let’s look at some lyrics shall we?

“Ever since I left the city you..

Got a reputation for yourself now

Everybody knows and I feel left out..”

Aubrey, you left the city. God knows what you was doing on the road, I gotta sit around and wait for your yellow ass? You mad because I have an identity outside of you? Girl.

“Ever since I left the city, you

You got exactly what you asked for

Running out of pages in your passport

Hanging with some girls I’ve never seen before”

So while you out getting YOUR passport stamped, I gotta stay at the house? And girls you’ve never seen before? Drake. We didn’t go together. We hotline blinged. You don’t know my friends.

“These days all I do is

Wonder if you bendin’ over backwards for someone else

Doing things I taught you getting nasty for someone else…”

Drake, lets be serious. You were the student in our transaction. I had to hold you while you cried for 20 minutes after I got your love I so desperately needed. Besides, Yeezy taught me. Don’t sing all sweetly when it’s REALLY just about sex. You ain’t gotta lie to kick it.

But seriously, I think the content of these songs carry over into our personal lives and we think that it’s acceptable to live like that. We also keep coming to this double standard we have for men and women. A woman is supposed to be Clair Huxtable while you’re Bishop Don Juan and then at the same time she’s supposed to be Super Head in the bedroom. I’m tired of women being demonized for living their lives outside of the coverture of a man. Drake never mentioned a committed relationship in this song. So, why shame a woman for doing exactly what you’re doing? #MillennialFxckboyShxt, I tell ya.

Anywho, what I listened to today. I checked out Logic’s new album. My homeboy mentioned it and I hadn’t heard of dude… but his flow is AMAZING.

 

Thus is #MusicMonday1

What’s the next song i’m analyzing?

-CGW

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A History Lesson for Taye and LoLo

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This week theGrio interviewed actor Taye Diggs about his new book “Mixed Me”. He said he wants his son, Walker to ‘embrace’ being mixed and not chose black or white. This is Diggs’ second book, his first entitled “Chocolate Me” is about his own experiences growing up in a mostly white neighborhood and being made fun of for being black.

Taye received praise and backlash for his comments. I see both sides. I’m not a parent and I’ve never been in an interracial relationship so my experiences are very limited but I’ll offer my opinion on why Taye’s comments are problematic. Only because Taye responded to backlash with “it’s not that deep” and Lori “Lolo” Jones (biracial) praised Taye’s comments and said the only race she’s claiming is the 100 meter hurdles.

In a perfect word, Taye’s son Walker would be able to not have to chose and live his life comfortably at the intersection of Black and Jewish. But that’s not reality in America and in a few years, Walker may be pulled over by the police and they won’t ask him if his mother is Jewish before they treat him like a black man.
lolo-jones-flag

It is very dangerous for Taye to encourage Walker’s biracial identity and not make him understand the fact that he will grow up to be a black man in America. Of course, I don’t know what conversations Taye has had with his son and I do believe that Taye is conscious enough to have the ‘black man conversation’ with his son. I do not think however that Taye is taking the history of this country into account. It IS THAT deep, Taye.

We can’t fully, affectively address racism until we (ALL OF US) are willing to admit that it does indeed exist. This country was built on principals of racism. Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence “All men are created equal” and that obviously did not include black people since Jefferson owned some. In 1776 being considered a citizen meant that you were white and you were male. Black people in America, those who were enslaved were not considered human. They were property. They were 3/5ths of a person.

As a matter of fact, they edited the Declaration of Independence, deleting the controversial ‘anti-slavery’ passage. Abolitionist Thomas Day said “If there can be truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing the resolutions of independency with one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves”. I agree Thomas. Ridiculous.

me and bro

Me and my little brother. He would’ve been in the house. I would’ve been far in the field, chile.

The economic institution of slavery survived for so long and birthed Jim Crow (and Jim Crow, II which is another blog entry for another day) because of the social institution of race. Scientists say there is no scientific genetic difference between the races. Western civilization uses skin color primarily to determine race but that isn’t full proof because Walker has darker skin than some people with two black parents. I have siblings and cousins that are lighter than Walker.

The point is that race is social. In our society, whiteness is at the top of the racial hierarchy and (dark-skinned) blackness is at the bottom.
It is rumored (not confirmed) that Thomas Jefferson (or his uncle) had several children with a woman he owned as a slave, Sally Hemings. Three of those children (daughter Harriet and sons Beverly,  and Eston)  looked white enough to ‘pass’ and lived as white people as adults (after their daddy-uncle freed them…) Had they favored their mother more, they wouldn’t have been able to integrate into society in America in the 1820’s.

thomas sallyThere are no known photographs of Sally Hemings, it’s rumored that Sally’s mother was biracial and that Sally was the illegitimate daughter of John Wayles, who was Martha Jefferson’s daddy making her biracial as well. (What is that? 1.5 parts black and 2 parts white? Idk. Math isn’t my strong point) This is scandalous ain’t it?!? One of our f
orefathers (and the 3rd POTUS) was sleeping with his wife’s half sister and had kids with her. That makes the kids sister/brother-cousins. I can’t.

Anyway, I gave that history lesson to show how complicated, interesting and engrained the social construct that is race is in this country. Sally was black looking enough to be a slave. 3 of Sally’s kids were white looking enough to live as white people.

Walker and Taye in PJsWalker Diggs certainly ain’t white looking enough to ‘pass’ and there will come a time that he will have to address his blackness. He simply does not get to decide to be not be black and be ‘mixed’ or ‘bi-racial’. Race isn’t personal. It’s societal. I’m purple and green as far as I’m concerned but my skin is chocolate and I have a foot of dreadlocs hanging off my head. There are some people in power that will see me as a nigger black person regardless.

Lolo Jones ain’t ‘passing’ in the summertime either. She can decide to not claim any race but as my cousin said the world will tell her (and has already) just how black she is.

It could also be argued that Taye is pushing his own insecurities about himself and his race onto his son. Maybe he married a white woman and had a baby with her so his kids (and in turn him) would be able to enjoy some white privilege. We want our children to have better lives than we did right? I get that logic, but I believe that embracing yourself is a much more rewarding experience regardless of how society sees/treats you.

Maybe if Walker gets with a white woman, Taye Diggs’ grandson will be as white (looking) as Taye Diggs wants to be.

I understand why people want to deny/shrink/hide their blackness. Taye and Lolo wouldn’t have anything to say if being black in America didn’t come with a painful history and a stressful present. I challenge them and others to deal with it. Embrace that blackness, that skin, that nappy hair, them hips and that nose. This side of confidence and identity ain’t so bad. Plus we don’t age. THE POTUS done aged 20 years in 8 cause his momma white and FLOTUS hasn’t aged a day.

Well Wishes. Thank you for reading/supporting. Anybody a word press expert that can spruce up my site?

 

 

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Glamour Woman of the Year – Caitlyn Jenner – Transgender People

glamour

Today in Mad-for-no-reason news, Caitlyn Jenner is one of Glamour Magazine’s 25 Women of the Year. #EveryWomanCan #GlamourWOTY25

I saw a post on my Facebook newsfeed that said something like “Caitlyn Jenner was chosen as woman of the year. Women, are you offended or empowered?” I answered the question to myself ‘Well, I don’t really give a shxt…’

Then I saw a post of a drawing of a baby coming through a woman’s birth canal. It said “Bruce Jenner can’t do this! He can’t be woman of the year!” and I knew I’d have to blog about it. We’re going to discuss the problem with that picture and then why I think society is so offended by transgender people.

The problem with the picture is that some cisgender women never pass a baby through their birth canal. (I’m not 100 percent sho I’m going to do it myself. I just want to order some 5-year old African twins off Amazon) It is not fair or accurate to measure womanhood by the ability to push a baby out ‘cause not all women can or chose to and that doesn’t make them less of a woman. Also, after a long day of work I don’t want to see a baby coming out of a vagina. Like, I just didn’t need anymore reasons to be stressed that day and that head coming out of a vag nearly sent me over the edge.

Furthermore, it’s Glamour magazine’s prerogative to choose whoever they want for their magazine. Those of you hating on Caitlyn weren’t nominated so I mean there was no danger of you ending up down to the awards. I struggle to understand why you’re so personally offended. Do you even read Glamour magazine?

Caitlyn Jenner was one of 25 remarkable women chosen by the committee of past honorees. One of 25. Yall act like she was THEE woman of the year. She ain’t. It’s a group of them. 24 vaginas out of 25. Not a bad ratio. The vaginas still have the game here.

Let’s get serious for a minute.

There are transgender people in my life that I love. One of my best friends/mentors is transgender. I can’t sit and watch anybody or any group of people be drug through the mud, especially for having the courage to be authentically themselves. I am angry when I see my (Black, Christian) Facebook friends talk silly about transgender people and THEN post a meme of John 3:16.

There is a transgender person (often a woman of color) who has been murdered in the news every other week. It’s a little more serious than Caitlyn Jenner or Laverne Cox on the cover of a magazine and how uncomfortable that makes you. These people are being murdered and THEN their identities aren’t being honored in their death. We have to stand up and have the courage to have at least a conversation.

If WE are going to be boldly Christian and boldly activists, we cannot then chose to exclude Queer people from the movement just because we may not understand them. #BlackLivesMatter right? Some black lives are transgender, gay or lesbian. Those matter too right?

Science

A transgender person is one whose sense of identity does not correspond with the gender assigned to them at birth. A cisgender person is a person who’s identity does correspond with their gender assigned at birth. For example, I am Cisgender. I was born a female. I identify as a woman. Laverne Cox is transgender. She was born a male. She identifies as a woman.

A person’s sex is their anatomy (penis, vagina) a person’s gender is their social role/personal identification based on their internal awareness. Some argue its nature vs. nurture. Others argue its way more complicated than that.

My opinion is even if I don’t fully understand sex, gender, identity, preference and performance; I do not have a right to tell someone else who they are. If Caitlyn Jenner says she’s a woman and wants to be addressed that way, with the proper pronouns, that’s enough. A person’s identity is their own and we don’t have a right to misgender them or call them the wrong name because of our own confusion and insecurities.

I’m also just not interested in what’s between a person’s legs. The brain and heart are more important than sex organs to me. I certainly am not going to publicly speculate on if a transgender person has undergone gender reassignment surgery or not. That’s their choice. I don’t want somebody asking me about my box.

You mad? Or nah?

I see a trend of people being personally offended by Caitlyn Jenner and transgender/gender fluid people in general. I live by what the prophet Jay-Z said. “What you eat don’t make me shxt.” So I’m very interested as to why people seem to take it so personally.

I believe that what we are offended by says more about us than it does about what is offending us. As a society, we put a lot of value in our genitals. For example, manhood is measured by penis size and womanhood is measured by how well you can manipulate/trap a man with your vagina. So, if somebody has a penis and that doesn’t necessarily make them a man, the value of a penis is in jeopardy. If a woman still has the traits that we associate with womanhood, minus a vagina than maybe my vagina isn’t so special.

I also think that the hierarchy/heteronormativity of manhood and womanhood is a part of what makes people so mad. Like dude, you have a penis why would you wanna downgrade and be a woman? Or… you don’t have to endure a menstrual cycle so you can’t sit with us! I think people take the things that make them who they are and elevate themselves. If somebody jeopardizes that, confusion turns to anger.

At the end of the day, transgender people are PEOPLE above all. They have feelings. They have families and friends just like I do. As a Christian I’m going to treat them and everybody with the Love that Christ has shown me…. And post memes of several SEATS on people’s ignorant Facebook posts.

Thank you for your continued support. Remember, this is all my personal opinion. God bless your heart and all your parts

 

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Starbucks RedCup-gate

REALLY?

I keep telling yall white people have lost their mind and yall don’t hear me. (Joking. I love white people.)

Saturday night, self proclaimed ‘social media personality’ Joshua Feuerstein posts on Facebook “Starbucks REMOVED CHRISTMAS from their cups because they hate Jesus”. It went viral, chile.

My friends got ta tagging me in posts about this fiasco because they love to upset me. It was a lovely Sunday afternoon and I was getting ready for the upcoming week. Meaning, I was laying in bed after church and waffle house watching family guy.

Feuerstein says that “political correctness” was the reason the cups were just plain red this season. Jeffrey Fields, Starbucks’ VP of Design and Content said ‘simplicity’ was the reason.

Starbucks released a statement that said they took “a cue from customers who have been doodling designs on cups for years… so this year’s design is… inviting customers to create their own stores with a red cup that mimics a blank canvas”

(Amazing marketing technique, Starbucks. Your coffee is mediocre and now I want to go buy some so I can draw on a cup. I ain’t though, I have my own redcups and I ain’t putting coffee in ‘em. Hehehe.)

Then TODAY, I see all these white people on the gram with red starbucks cups that say “Merry Christmas” on them. Yall went and bought up all their coffee and gave them free advertisement on the world wide web… Gee! Yall showed them!
Screenshot_2015-11-09-20-04-16The fact of the matter is, Starbucks has never had Jesus, the 3 wise men, Mary, Joseph or John the Baptist on their cups. When they started changing their cups for the season, Santa was the first person on the cup.

I’m a Christian so I feel the need to speak out because these articles say that Christians are upset and I’m not. As a young black Christian, I don’t give a solitary… hoot about Starbucks cups and I’m offended that a fool like Joshua Feuerstein is the face of American Christianity this week. In an attempt to redeem Christians I will offer my views.

  1. Christmas wasn’t originally a Christian holiday. Jesus wasn’t born on December 25. (You think Shepherds was watching sheep in the field BY NIGHT in December? Chile… you a lie). So White American Christians don’t “own” Christmas because they didn’t start it. White people. America is not yours. Christmas is not yours. You stole it like you steal everything. Being mad about Starbucks red cups is kind of like stealing a country and being mad at immigrants.
  1. Speaking of white people… Isn’t it interesting how they act when they feel like they may not fit in? White Jesus Christmas is no longer ‘mainstream’ (according to Starbucks anyway) and they are up in arms! As a black woman, I have no sympathy for a white dude upset because Starbucks cups don’t have any snowflakes on them this year. Walk a day in my shoes, Joshua. How am I supposed to feel about the white woman on the Starbucks cup all year ‘round? I have NEVER fit in. My culture, traditions, skin, hair, booty, music has always been considered ‘other’. It’s exhausting. But it isn’t the end of the world, dude.
  1. Christmas isn’t really about Jesus in the first place. Christmas trees, spiked eggnog, Rudolph the red nose reindeer and giving each other presents in no way lifts up the name of Jesus or draws people to Christ. It’s a commercial holiday. Some of us just happen to go to church during it. My argument is that REAL Christians hold up the blood stained banner 24/7 and celebrate Jesus all year ‘round. He’s been too good for me to wait until December to celebrate his birth. Amen somebody.
  1. Starbucks is not Starbucks Baptist Church. They make coffee. Josh acts like Starbucks told him they were going to put a picture of WhiteBabyJesus coming through Mary’s birth canal on the cup every year. It isn’t Starbucks job to spread the gospel. It’s YOUR job, Joshua. It’s our job, Christians.
  1. This is ANOTHER excuse (like gay marriage and abortion) for lazy Christians to be in an uproar and not do anything. Why not buy a bunch of homeless people coffee and hot chocolate? Joshua went in Starbucks with his gun (because Starbucks hates the 2nd amjoshua fendment) and his Jesus T-shirt and bought himself coffee and pointed NOBODY to Jesus Christ. Joshua could have went in Starbucks, bought a couple of cups of coffee, gave one to some homeless people outside and prayed with them or pointed them to a homeless shelter or bought them some food. That’s ministry. Joshua isn’t making noise about Starbucks because of Jesus. Joshua is making noise because of Joshua.

 

There is no war on Christmas or Christianity in America. I went to church yesterday like I have every Sunday for the past 26 years. I sang and shouted about Jesus until my voice was hoarse and nobody killed me or even tried to. As a matter of fact, law enforcement was there to protect my right to do so. There IS a war on Christianity in the world but it’s not in America.

It’s not far-fetched for a Christian to have a problem with Starbucks though, they do profit off of prison labor. If you chose not to patronize Starbucks because they use prison labor (largely black men) to package their holiday coffee, I’d get that. There’s plenty of times in the bible where God proclaims His love for justice and urges us to pursue it as well. There is nothing just about a corporation profiting off very cheap labor provided by a privatized prison industrial complex.

As a Christian dare I say I am more troubled by black men working for pennies a day to package Starbucks coffee than I am by Starbucks using plain red cups this holiday season? because I am.

Ghandi said “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians; they are so unlike your Christ.”

I feel you Ghandi.

-CGW

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