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A Black Princess

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Within a decade, we had a black woman in outer space.  We had a black president and first lady.  We had a few black billionaires and even our first hip-hop artist to be a billionaire.  We now have our first black woman marrying into UK royal family. 

The news hit my iWatch at 6 am in the morning.  I was barely awake as I read the news.  I wiped my eyes and said whatever, as I rolled over in the bed.  I paused again and looked at the news.  Stunned.  I was completely and utterly stunned.  We got a black princess ya’ll. 

My daughter at the age of 4 told me that after she wanted to be a professor, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, and a professional golfer, she wanted to be a princess.  I never want to say no – period, but I did tell her that she is going to college and get a career.  She firmly believed she was going to be a princess. 

“You have to meet someone who is a prince for him to marry you.”

“Okay.  I can meet them at school.”

“You don’t go to a school with a prince.”

“Okay.”

“You need to go overseas and meet someone there.”

“So, there is still hope.”

I guess is what I mumbled to myself.  Just like a decade ago, when I never thought I would see a black man become president, I never thought I would see a black princess.  Why?  Every movie that has a prince meeting a regular person and marrying them has been a white girl, and the occasional brunette white woman.  We don’t ever see a handsome prince select a minority woman of any color.  Why would we ever think he could select a minority woman in real life when it can’t even happen in our fantasy?

Prince Harry changed the image of a black woman in a second. We all saw him date her as privately as a prince can, but that didn’t mean anything.  He is 5th (and soon to be 6th) in line.  So, we just knew that it was just dating.  Never did we think it could be marriage.  But, him deciding to propose to a black woman solidifies that black women are not just beautiful to date, but they are beautiful to marry.

In the midst of this, people are upset that she is called black, while others are upset that she is not black enough.

“She has straight hair, so she is denying her ‘blackness.’” Tell me which black woman has never straightened her hair once in her life.  The versatility of a black woman’s hair is unique enough that she can have straight hair one day, and curly hair the next.  The selection of hair does not mean one hates the hair on her head.

“She is too light, so she isn’t that ‘black.’”  This reminds me of the years in school, in which I spoke to properly to be black.  Or, in college, I was “not” that black because I was too fair skinned.  Yet, I was not light enough to pass, and I am definitely not dark enough to truly be considered black.  When I pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the joke would surround me about how I would pass the paper bag test.  I guess that is amusing.

This continual measurement of blackness is interesting because are we now disowning Barack Obama’s blackness or Halle Berry’s blackness, or maybe Alicia Keys or Mariah Carey is not black enough?  Is it Meghan’s features not distinct enough in order for her to be classified as black enough?

You may not be excited, but I am excited for myself and this generation of black girls who can see themselves as having hope to do whatever and be whatever too.  This is not a fantasy; rather, this is the reality.

We got a black princess, ya’ll.

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Uncle Snoop Get Your Apology to Ari Lennox Ready

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Apparently, everyone’s favorite uncle likes apologizing. Fresh off of his apology tour for his controversial comments towards broadcast journalists Gayle King,  Snoop Dogg decided to comment on Ari Lennox’s Instagram live to instruct her to “grow your own hair.”

Yesterday, the Dreamville songbird took to Instagram Live in true Ari fashion to document her trying on a new lace front wig.  Not known for wearing wigs, she struggled with figuring out how much lace to cut and securing the hair as she entertained her followers with hilarious gestures and commentary.  

Eventually, a snippet of the video ended up on The Shade Room for everyone’s viewing pleasure.  

Moments later, Snoop was unnecessarily commenting under the video.

In no time, women were coming to Ari’s defense, reminding the legendary rapper that his wife and daughter are no strangers to wigs. 

You’d think men would know to leave their opinions to themselves when it comes to women’s hair, especially black women, but clearly, Uncle Snoop forgot to read that particular memo. 

Once Ari caught wind of Snoop’s comments, she delivered a lovely little shade tree, posting a photo of Snoop wearing a blonde wig with the caption, “Uncle I just…I just thought we had an understanding….”

https://www.instagram.com/p/B-c0mCKh9-E/

Following the backlash that he’s currently receiving, I can already envision the apology that’s sure to follow.  Perhaps someone should remind Uncle Snoop that the best apology is changed behavior…

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DJ D-Nice Has Spun His Way Into the Living Rooms of Thousands

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Every day, legendary DJ D-Nice (a.k.a. Derrick Jones) spends countless hours helping thousands of global citizens forget about the coronavirus pandemic and financial woes with his “Homeschool” parties.

Initially jumping on Instagram Live to cure his boredom while “self-isolating,” D-Nice had an audience of a few hundred, mostly friends. As word began to spread, it grew to a few thousand. By Sunday, over 160,000 people joined his live for a virtual party that included the heavyweights such as Michelle Obama, Jennifer Lopez, Jada Pinkett-Smith, 9th Wonder, Jimmy Fallon, and Vice President Joe Biden. 

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I never would’ve imagined that the best party I would create and DJ would be from the comfort of my own home. Homeschool is a thing! Yesterday was absolutely insane. The amount of artists and friends that virtually partied with me far exceeded my expectations. I’m feeling nothing but gratitude. 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽 Thanks to all of you that supported. This has been a great way to keep our spirits high. Blessings! Sending some love to my family. Shout out to all of my industry execs! Much love to all of the artists! JLo, Drake, Naomi Campbell, De La Soul, Black Thought, Diddy, Bun B., Keri Hilson, Will Packer, Gabrielle Union, H.E.R., America Ferrara, Donnie Wahlberg, Uncle Luke, Russell Simmons, Dapper Dan, Rob Morgan, Mary J. Blige, DJ Khaled, T.I., Kelly Rowland, Common, Lance Gross, Queen Latifah, DJ Clark Kent, Rich Medina, DJ Tony Touch, Stretch Armstrong, Traci Ellis Ross, Ne-Yo, Usher, DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, NO I.D., Yvette Noel Schure, Erykah Badu, Fat Joe, Jay Electronica, PNB Rock, Nile Rogers, Fonzworth Bentley, Marisa Tomei, Michelle Williams, Victor Cruz, Karruenche Tran, Ciara, Daymond John, Angie Martinez, Groove Theory’s Bryce, Tank, Cam’ron, Ludacris, Fabolous, Dorian Missick, Yvette Nicole Brown, Tasha Smith, Jadakiss, Kwamé, Chris Spencer, Royale Watkins, Estelle, Bresha Webb, Jermaine Dupri, Vanessa Williams, DJ Aktive, Lee Daniels, Affion Crockett, MC Lyte, Ro James, D-Dot Angelette, Kenny Burns, Tika Sumpter, Marlon Wayans, Lauren London, Loni Love, Dallas Austin, June Ambrose, April Walker, Just Blaze, Kangol Kid from UTFO, Omar Epps, Keisha Epps, Roland Martin, Big Tigger, DJ Trauma, Lil Jon, Dule Hill, Jazmyn Simon, DJ Cassidy, Marsai Martin, Lance Gross, Anthony Hamilton, Young Guru, Lalah Hathaway, Carl Payne, Damien Hall, Denyce Lawton, Lennox Lewis, Niecy Nash, Mashonda, Erick Sermon, Jairobi, DJ Envy, DJ Enuff, Miles Brown, Lamann Rucker, Mark Brown, DJ VLuv, and more. Wow! #DNiceHomeschool #DNicePhotography #SelfPortrait.

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During a CBS This Morning interview, D-Nice shared, “I literally just played what feels good. I wanted people to feel good. I wanted their experience to be lifted through music, just one song at a time.” And he’s done just that. While on live, his comment section is a constant stream of cheers, shout outs, and music-lovers asking, “Where the drinks at?” It feels like the best VIP section you’ll ever experience but from your living room. 

“No matter what your problems are, you can put on a good tune and it just takes you away and I was trying to do that,” he explained. “It wasn’t just the music, it was the whole experience and everyone escaping what’s going on today just for a few hours.”

While some of his neighbors have complained about the noise, D-Nice is committed to keeping the party going as the universal language of music is playing a vital role in keeping us all connected. 

Artwork by @chuckstyless

We have DJ D-Nice to thank for that! 

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Jay Electronica & Joe Budden Used Their Twitter Fingers to Exchange Insults

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It took 10 years for Jay Electronica to release his highly-anticipated album, A Written Testimony. While some are singing his praises, others are incredibly disappointed. One such person is former rapper turned media personality, Joe Budden. 

Budden used his platform, The Joe Budden Podcast episode Dry Snitching to express his disappointment. Budden proclaimed, “You’ve been missing for ten years- which is cool, ’cause you’ve been living life. But that confidence that I thought you might’ve been living life with is suppressed…that lens that I’m looking through paints the story of a different MC. And that MC is one that would get smacked around by Hov on every song.”

In response, Electronica took to Twitter and posted a video clip of DaBaby saying “fuck it,” directing the tweet at Rory, one of the co-hosts on Budden’s podcast.

Shortly after, Budden responded referring to Jay-Z’s performance on A Written Testimony, where he appears on eight of ten tracks. “I never got absolutely mopped around on my own project either… @ me, not Rory.”

Here’s how the rest of that conversation went:

The tirade ended with Electronica demanding credit for “lighting up” the podcast episode.

Electronica released A Written Testimony on Friday, March 13th. It’s his first solo album after more than ten years of delays with features by Jay-Z, The-Dream and Travis Scott, with additional production by The Alchemist, No ID, Swizz Beatz and Hit-Boy.

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