Archive for June, 2011


Music is Motivation….

Musical Motivation

Music motivates me. It motivates me to workout, it motivates me to get out of a bad mood, and it motivates me to have a good day. Straight up. I don’t understand how it can affect me like that, but it does. And if your music does the same for you, then hell yeah! You’re listening to the right music. But if your music makes you sad, or makes you think about times that aren’t so happy, or if it just doesn’t motivate you, you need to change up the tunes! Which is why I listen to hip hop. It’s my motivation.

Hip hop really makes me enjoy my workout, as weird as that sounds, but it’s oh so true! If I don’t have my music, I don’t workout. There’s no in-between. I just can’t be physically motivated without headphones and hip hop in my ears. I have those little mini heart attacks we all so often get when we lose our cell phones, our keys, or our debit cards, when I forget my iPod at the apartment. Even with gas prices as high as they are and as mad as it makes me that I forgot my iPod in the first place, I’ll still go back to my apartment and get my iPod so I can complete my workout. Why wouldn’t I just not go that day? Yeah right. I’m as dedicated to my workouts as I am to my hip hop. Stubborn or dedicated, I’m not sure. Probably a little bit of both.

That just shows you how much I need music in my life. Hip hop music, that is. You need music, too! Pick the kind that makes you happy or motivates you! I’m not an artist, but I eat, breathe, and live this music. Whenever I figure out what I’m doing with this passion, I’ll let you know…….

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“How To Love” is Not Hip Hop

I’m really not trying to go ham on Wayne, I’m really not. But this “How to Love” mess is a hot mess! Any time that Wayne is actually singing throughout the whole song, plug your ears! You’ve got to be kidding me. I sat through this song the first time I heard it, shaking my head like “are you serious?”

I won’t completely bash him, though, he does all right with the song, but it’s not hip hop and I think we’ll be hearing more of that hot mess. Maybe Wayne is really learning how to love and he had to get that song out for him, or he is just doing it to get more ladies on his side (not that he needs anymore), or someone else wrote it for him and he decided to put his raspy voice on it. Either way you go, the song irritates the crap out of me.

“How to Love”  doesn’t work for me, but it seems to work for others. And that’s cool. Younger people like it, definitely more females, and people who aren’t hip hop advocates like it. But for the ones who want the old Wayne back, before he went commercial, we’re not liking it one bit. The Wayne about 4 or 5 years ago is the Wayne I want back, but it’s obviously not about what I want. I understand as an artist he is exploring the many talents he has, but in order to be “The Best Rapper Alive,” you can’t be caught singing “How to Love” or “Prom Queen“. Point blank.

Sex Sales

Wayne knows that sex sales. Whether that be talking about actual sex or singing about love, that’s what people want to hear. Especially women. Wayne knows that sex sales and that woman love him. I’m a girl, I “love” him, but I DON’T love that song. He doesn’t sound terrible actually, but it’s not the Wayne lyrics I fell in love with. He can keep doing rock, r&b (or whatever you call that), and half-ass hip hop. I’m going to stop taking him serious, if so.

Why do We Listen to Wayne?

Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a Wayne fan all the way. But with him recently becoming a commercial artist, like most do, I’m wondering what he’s really offering me right now. I’m not hating on him at all. I understand if you’re in that industry, you want your name out there as much as possible and you want to make the most money you possibly can. I get that. But that ish shows in his music now. Like when he jumps on a track with Mike Posner, puts his name on a song called “How to Love”, and represents the rock community as well as hip hop.

Mike Posner and Wayne Don’t Mix

He jumps on any track and ends up making the song better, but my problem is that I won’t listen to those artists just because he’s in it. I refuse to listen to him and Mike Posner.  I want to listen to Wayne for Wayne, not listen to Mike Posner to hear Wayne. I know collaborating with artists is part of the game, but an artist should be selective on who they work with if they want to be the “Best Rapper Alive”. You’ve got to be kidding me. Mike Posner’s voice is annoying! Granted Wayne makes his song “Bow Chicka Wow Wow” a teeny bit better, but not much because look at the title of the song. SMH.

He makes Kelly Rowland’s song  “Motivation” better by jumping on the track and the video. Wayne actually makes that song better because I’d rather hear him than Kelly anyway. Kelly killed it in the song and video with Wayne, though! I’m sure she knew that she would or she wouldn’t have wanted to work with him. Either that, or her label knew what they were doing by getting Wayne on the song which I’m sure it doesn’t take much persuasion on Wayne’s part because Kelly is one hot mama!

Entertainer to the Fullest

But what saves him is that he is a great entertainer not only on T.V. but in person, I’ve seen him and I will see him again on Aug 14 at Verizon Wireless in Noblesville. He definitely knows how to keep a crowd going! A crowd full of people from all different backgrounds come to see Wayne perform. There’s no denying the people who follow him because there are millions! But again, he’s reached out to people all over the world for being so diversified in his music. Reaching out to all these types of different people is great for your name Lil Wayne, but is it keeping you true to hip hop?

But at the end of the day, what story is Wayne trying to sell except for “I make more money”, “I f*** more women”, and “I rap better than you”. He often talks about brushing off the haters which is always a hip hop motivator. He’s great at his delivery because of the way he plays with language: metaphor, simile, etc. He talks about stuff we’ve heard about, anything we’ve heard about whether it be politics, New Orleans, and even Lorna Doone shortbread cookies. He raps to some of the hottest beats which is what keeps a lot of people listening to hip hop. The beats, that is.  We like his delivery because his voice is so different than others you’ve heard. But that’s what makes that rapper a rapper; his ability to deliver in a different way we’ve heard. But other than that, what stories is Wayne bringing to the table besides him being proud of his own accomplishments? And he definitely should be.

Wayne Back in the Day

I think around the time of “Hustler’s Musik“, “Sky is the Limit“,  and mixtapes like Da Drought 3 was a time for Wayne’s real hip hop, though. Around that time, he was not involved in the rock genre. I give him two thumbs up on being able to do it, but I don’t like rock like that. And I don’t like Wayne in it. It’s definitely not a way to bring hip hop back to life. I don’t know what rappers are really trying to do that besides J. Cole, Lupe Fiasco…..I’m running out of ideas. I need more! Where is hip hop is the question I’m often hearing from the used-to-love-hip-hop fans……

2Pac or Biggie? You Tell Me

So I just saw “Notorious” the other night for the first time. I don’t know why I waited so long to see it. Probably because when it came out I was too broke or too lazy to go to the movies and see it, but I wish I hadn’t waited so long. I never knew much about Biggie and I didn’t particularly like his delivery so I didn’t listen to him much before the movie. I knew he was one of the best rappers of all time, but didn’t really understand how much of an impact he had on the game. I know the movie may not be 100% true, but it’s definitely close because the director of the movie had someone’s story to follow and plenty of interviews had to be conducted in order to tell Biggie’s story. I have always liked listening to 2Pac more than Biggie simply because of his delivery, the truth of his words, and the stories that he tells. He had a distinct way of telling his story and hip hop is definitely missing that. After seeing “Notorious”, though, I have a lot more respect for Biggie and I know now that his stories are just as important as 2Pac’s. But it makes me wish that 2Pac wouldn’t have reacted so harshly to everything around him, but that’s a lot easier to say because I don’t know what it was like. But a girl can wish…..

I feel like 2Pac was probably portrayed pretty accurately because I think he was a little crazy, but not that he tried to be. I think he knew what both sides of the fence were like: an education provided him with different thoughts about certain things and his “Thug Life” provided him with even more different thoughts. He was a contradiction because of his mother’s background and because of the life he started for himself. He thought people were out to get him like Biggie, but he never sat down and talked it out with him. If he had, I think they’d still be alive. Hip hop is about creating a conversation between all the rappers and their fans. 2Pac and Biggie’s conversation was a lot of confrontation and that actually laid the foundation for the rest of hip hop.

After seeing the movie, I have a new perspective on rap and the beef between Pac and B.I.G. They let their money and pride get to their heads and messed up a friendship and the rap game all at the same time. I don’t think Biggie had anything to do with Pac’s death. Some don’t believe that, but I do. They were true friends who let the music industry interfere with their friendship and ended up getting themselves killed. Pac came from a revolutionary mother who was a member of the Black Panthers. He was an educated young man, but got caught up in the glory of also being one of the greatest rappers. No one really knew what the two rap icons were worth until they were gone. If they had lived, the rap game would be completely different. I’m not sure where it would be, but I know  it would be way different. I think that’s why everyone says that hip hop is dead.

But that may be a little extreme. 2Pac and Biggie didn’t know they were changing the game. They were just being true to themselves and doing what they were good at. But Biggie wasn’t even trying to be a rapper at first, according to the movie. He found out he was good at it in jail, and with Diddy as his mentor, discovered it would be a better career than selling drugs. But then again maybe hip hop is dead because of that or maybe today’s hip hop is just different because times have changed. No one is trying to rap like Pac or Biggie because those guys can’t be replaced. That’s like saying Michael Jordan can be replaced. Lebron don’t count, people!

There are a lot of good rappers out there today, but I feel like most of them are getting so carried away with making money that they become too commercial. There’s nothing more annoying than hearing a rapper make a lame slow song or whatever just to please all the white boys and girls….or appeal to a broader audience I should say. But music is part of our culture and because of that, there will be changes made to please every race, age, etc. If we weren’t such a capitalist country, the music would probably be more authentic.

But I wonder…….Would the beef between rappers have increased if 2Pac and Biggie had not been killed? Or do you think they would have matured as artists had they just had a little more time to live and learn? I’m not sure. And we’ll never know, but it’s something to think about….

In order for writers to be writers or to be accepted into writing, they must have a blog these days. When I found that out about a year ago, I wasn’t that open to it because I was afraid I wouldn’t write about anything that anyone would want to read, or that I would run out of material but after you get past that as a writer, everything is gravy from there. Of course I want people to like and read my stuff, but I also know not EVERYONE will. I’ve come to realize that I will write about the stuff that’s important to me (hip hop, life, fashion, whatever it may be) and if you like it, you like it. If not, that’s fine too.

Needless to say, I’m really glad I started blogging before my senior year was up. And even waiting until then to make a blog was pushing it. I should have done it sooner, but shoulda, coulda, woulda won’t get me anywhere. On the upside of blogging, I’ve really enjoyed being able to write about hip hop because it has truly prepared me for the blogging that I’m now doing with One Click Ventures (oneclickventures.com).

Blogging has recently become very popular for lots of different people around the world and for lots of different subjects. I’ve been interning with One Click Ventures which is an E-Commerce business since May 24. They have 8 stores online and I’ve been blogging for 4 of them so far. On the right side of my website, you will see links to Affordable Scarves, Handbag Heaven, Reading Glasses Shopper, and Sunglass Warehouse which are the stores I blog for. The other stores that One Click has are Travel Products.com, ABC Neckties, Socks 4 Life, and Inexpensive Watches and I will have an opportunity to blog for them as well. I began my internship on May 24 and it has been a great experience so far! I’ve never enjoyed getting up for work…..who does? But at this company, that is not the case! The company acts more like a close-knit family rather than a workplace. The people are great and the writing is fun, so it’s basically a win-win situation for me.

Two of the blog posts I’ve created so far are “Kate Middleton Outdoes Michelle this Time”  http://www.handbagheaven.com/blog/  for Handbag Heaven and “Penelope Garcia’s Edgy Style on Criminal Minds”  http://www.readingglassesshopper.com/blog/ for Reading Glasses Shopper. What has been most fun about these posts is that I get to compare celebrity style to the styles that One Click’s stores have to offer and blog about that celebrity. It keeps me in tune with what’s going on in the world which makes me enjoy the writing even more.

I will have more links to all of the blog posts I create, so check them out when you have time!