The Gift that is Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter

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I mean…I’m not even sure what to say. I don’t know if any of you have had the pleasure of watching Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift yet, but if you haven’t, I implore you to do so. This is a 40-minute documentary, which showcased some interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of Beyoncé recording her Lion King-inspired album The Gift, along with some of the most vital, talented artists in Africa, as well as a selection of popular American artists. Beyoncé gives a brief breakdown of each song on the album, and reveals the inspiration for each song and the work that went into putting it together. From what I could tell, she travelled through Egypt, South Africa and I’m sure she touched Naija as well!

I don’t think I will ever see something put together by Beyoncé and not be in awe of it. It just seems like an impossible feat at this stage. However it wasn’t just her talent that floored me, although of course, as always…she SLAYS. Not only do I have a new level of respect for Queen Bey, which I really didn’t think was possible. I believe I may have beyonce-making-the-giftgained a tiny bit of insight into why she is the superstar she is. We already knew that Beyoncé made her trip to Africa with the intent of writing an ode to the amazing continent, the end result being The Gift. However I was so moved by the fact that she came with the intent to communicate with African producers, artists and choreographers in order to ensure that every song on the album was organic and rooted in our culture. She made it very clear how important it was to her that every influence which was implemented was pure, and that it wasn’t just her spin on African music.

I know this sounds like something insignificant that should be so obvious to anyone with a mission of creating such an album. However, you would be surprised at the arrogance of some artists, especially musical geniuses who have reached the heights which neighbour Beyoncé’s. At times it isn’t a malicious act, however there are several artists who want to infuse the beauty of African music with their own. But by the time you hear the finished result, their own genre almost completely overpowers the song. But not Queen Bey. From day one, she called on the creators she was with to teach her the sounds, the rhythms and the tradition that lies in our music and performance. From this, they worked together to create a genre of their own, which celebrated all the different influences beautifully. One part of the documentary that particularly stood out for me was when Jahanna Blunt joined the team once it came time to learn the choreography for the Spirit music video, Beyoncé’s single which was added to The Lion King soundtrack. Jahanna is a choreographer who grew up in L.A. and co-creator of a West African drum and dance company. In an interview, she recollects how astounded she was when Beyoncé’s choreographer, Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, asked her to show him and the team a couple of moves on the first day of rehearsals. She explained that her astonishment was because, in her experience of doing industry work, she is usually abc-announces-beyonce-presents-making-the-gift-to-air-september-16-4.pngasked to water down the material and make it “more palatable for a global audience”. Sounds familiar, and not unlike what seems to be the case when it comes to what I described above. The trait Beyoncé possesses which allows her to continue to learn from other people, even in her current reign, is one that I’m sure is a massive part of why she is the force that is Queen Bey.

Another thing which Beyoncé mentioned was important to her was to make this project something that children could get excited about listening to, as well as adults. This is what led her to show us how she included Blue Ivy in some of the vocals for the 2019 anthem for us melanin-enriched queens, Brown Skin Girl, also featuring Wizkid and SAINt JHN. Being able to watch this was empowering enough. But then this was shortly followed by the creation of another one of my favourite tunes on the album: My Power, featuring Tierra Whack, Moonchild Sanelly and Nija. Queen Bey explains that this song is “a celebration of power, and not allowing anyone to get in your psyche and to make you feel like you are anything less than a king.” Note that she said “king”, not queen. Seeing Beyoncé rap/recite her portion of the song…although she wasn’t singing a note, I swear to God that shit was so powerful that I almost shed a tear. That small 5-10 second moment was a perfect demonstration of why we love Beyoncé and what she gives us when she features on any song. She just…makes you feel. This sounds like a lame why of describing it, but if you love Beyoncé as much as I do, you’ll understand exactly what I’m talking about. And this is the same woman who’s incredible Homecoming documentary/performance lost out to FUCKING CARPOOL KARAOKE! *deep breath* But that is a frustrating story for another day.

So, Beyoncé Presents: Making The Gift. Beyoncé-stans and members of The Beyhive, watch it if you haven’t already done so. Well, I’m sure The Beyhive are already all over it and have been tweeting about it since Monday. But for those of you who haven’t seen it, it was aired on ABC. I’m sure they will repeat it at some point in the week, however if you are impatient like me, you can find good quality versions on YouTube. I know I am personally making a note to watch it whenever I am in need of empowerment and motivation. Because right now, I am a whole moooood.

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Megan Thee Stallion Gallops onto Roc Nation

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I don’t know about you guys but I am so happy for Megan Thee Stallion. She is easily one of my favourite new artists to emerge this year. Actually, I think my favourite full stop. She is one of the reasons that the female rap game is on top right now, in my opinion anyway. Megan represents what I think most women want to be: their best carefree selves at all times, without a care in the world about what a motherfucker has to say about it.

So Megan made the announcement on Twitter yesterday that she was officially joining the Roc Nation family. This is such a great business move for her. I can only imagine the outcome of combining Jay-Z’s expertise and influence with Megan’s rawness and uniqueness. The deal is management-only however, so Megan will still be releasing music with 1501 Certified Ent/300 Entertainment. But nevertheless, Roc Nation will still have a big say in the content of her work, as well as being a substantial part in guiding her career going forward. That’s my prediction anyway.

I just hope that this means that Megan is approaching releasing a new album soon. I know she’s resumed school again, not to mention she did just drop her mixtape Fever this year along with a red hot single, Hot Girl Summer, which I’ve actually started to warm up to (pun intended) since the video has been released. So I reckon that as soon as we hit spring 2020, basically just before that Hot Girl Summer season rolls around again, we can expect a new album from Megan Thee Stallion. Between now and then, I’m just hoping for a feature with Roc Nation’s finest: Meek Mill, DJ Khaled, J. Cole. If she features on Rihanna’s album which I hope to GOD she is dropping any minute now, I will scream! Maybe even a collaboration with Jay-Z or Queen Bey herself…

The possibilities are endless. But one thing I do know, is that Megan is a star and she will continue to bring us some fire. Okay that’s two things, but you catch my drift. It must be difficult for her at the same time, because while she must be on such a high from all her success, I’m sure it’s also bittersweet as she isn’t able to share it with her mum. It’s funny because I was just thinking this a few of days ago, and then Megan tweeted such a heartfelt paragraph about how she misses her mum, and there are days she wants to go and hide and cry. But she keeps it pushing and carries on with her grind, because she knows that’s what she’d want her to do. The thought is so sad; the fact that she wasn’t only her mother, but she was also a rapper, so this must make the loss ten times more difficult. I know it probably means fuck all, but I’m here for you Meg! I’m also keeping meganmy eyes peeled and my ears open for the next Meg song that drops. In the meantime, all I can do is work on my damn knees, so they’re stallion-ready and strong for the next Hot Girl Summer that rolls around.

Boy, It Is Lonely at the Top

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Well well well. I finished Top Boy yesterday (yes, in less than 24 hours) and I’m still speechless, but I’ll do the best I can possibly do on this one.

I’d just like to begin by giving a telepathic round of applause to every single member of the cast, as they literally all went in. But particularly to Ashley Walters (aka Asher D, who played Dushane), Kane Robinson (aka Kano, who played Sully), Michael Ward (Jamie), Dave (Modie), Jasmine Jobson (Jaq), Shone Romulus (Dris), Ashley Thomas (aka Bashy, who played Jermaine), Keiyon Cook (Ats) and Araloyin Oshunremi (Stefan). Not to mention Ronan Bennett, who is the writer of the amazing television series, and of course Aubrey Drake Graham, who made the decision to bring Top Boy back and stepped in as executive producer, along with his partner Adel “Future” Nur.

I know when I wrote my piece on the premiere episode of this season of Power, I was happy to throw around spoilers unashamedly. However I’m not going to do that with Top Boy, because anyone who is a fan, or even new viewers of the show, who may be reading this deserve to watch Season 3 and have the privilege of being as gripped to every moment of it as I was. It’s probably better that way anyway, because if I went into specifics of all the things I liked and every noteworthy scene, I’d be writing this until tomorrow and no one would ever be bothered to read it. I don’t think I can quite Top-Boy-season-3-cast-Micheal-Ward-as-Jamie-2051007describe just how incredible the show was. I might be a writer, but I genuinely don’t know if I have enough words in my vocabulary to do it justice. Season 3 of Top Boy was easily numerous levels above the first two seasons shown on Channel 4, which were already very good. It was definitely apparent that they had introduced some new writers into the show, and I could tell that they were most likely young, black writers. So when I did my research after I’d finished the season, I was delighted to discover that I was right.

There were quite a few people that seemed to think that Top Boy was nothing but a “hood TV series” (*cough London Hughes) which didn’t do anything to provide positive representation of the black British community. Well all I can say to this is that this new season has proved that theory wrong. A theory, by the way, which I’m confident is mostly vocalised by people who either haven’t watched Top Boy, or haven’t watched it properly. It is so much more than drugs, gangs and violence. Aside from the transitions of the beautiful scenery of Jamaica in the first episode, and then taking it back to the streets of Hackney, this season covered so many real and important issues which particularly affect the black community in London today. Issues such as sexism, racism and immigration, lack of empathy for the LGBTQ community, mental health and the importance of dealing with your traumas, the hardships of supporting a family in the absence of one or both parents, the vulnerability of young children and how easily they can be enticed into a life of crime and so many others. The character introduction and development, the cinematography, the music and just the pure rawness is undoubtedly something to be proud of.

I do want to briefly touch on an article written by London Hughes a few days ago, titled “Sorry Drake, bringing back Top Boy is a step back for black British culture”. This article, whilst well written, is stupid. London did one particular thing which irked me, which was give her opinion but present it in a way which sounds like she’s speaking for the entire black community. Of course, certain obvious problems are an issue for any black top boy 2person, whether they choose to voice their opinion on it or not. However, the solution to her problem seems pretty obvious. If you’re not feeling the show, then don’t watch it. It’s that simple. But to say that the programme is a step back for black British culture is untrue in my opinion, and doesn’t make any sense.

London’s reasoning for saying this is that she grew up in Thornton Heath, Croydon and she often finds herself in situations at work where she is the token black person in a room full of uninformed white people. This leads her to be forced to explain that while she is from South London she has “never been in a gang and never heard a gunshot in real life”. I can understand her frustration with this; she certainly isn’t the only one that had to explain things that should be obvious to ignorant white people. I remember when I was in boarding school in Dublin (yes, Dublin in Ireland) and having to explain to countless students and teachers that yes, I am Nigerian but I live in London. Where I have lived my whole life, and yes it is possible to have parents from Africa but still be born and raised in a white man’s country. Shocking, I know. I myself have lived in North-West London for most of my life, relatively far away from any gangs, well any real gangs anyway. So hearing gunshots and frequent police sirens certainly isn’t my reality either. But the fact that this isn’t my reality doesn’t change the fact that this is not the case for a lot of other individuals. I don’t see the problem with having representation of anyone who did grow up in the streets of Hackney, where these issues are very familiar to them. Not to mention, Top Boy doesn’t merely show black men and women shooting and shotting. It explores the day-to-day lives of said individuals and brings to light exactly why they do what they do. This is exactly why I’m sure that anyone who describes the TV series as such most likely hasn’t seen Top Boy properly, or was not paying attention when it was on their screen.

Wiley West Wilds Out

drake wiley edI actually wanted to write this one a couple of days ago. But after I saw that Adot reached out to Wiley and asked him to say his piece on her breakfast show on BBC 1Xtra yesterday, I decided to hold off and hear him out first.

For those of you who didn’t know, Wiley recently reignited an ongoing beef that he had with Drake a couple days ago, and threw Ed Sheeran into the mix as well. He did a Kanye by taking to social media to have a rant instead of, you know, calling him on to talk about it, or venting to a friend like the rest of us do. It was mainly all wild accusations about Drake being a culture vulture, which were made via Twitter. Hence why I’ve nicknamed him Wiley West, since he seems to be the current UK version of Kanye West, who did an even more outrageous rant on Twitter, also aimed at Drake earlier this year.

wileyWhen I initially saw Wiley’s tweets, the first thing I thought was: “Wow, I was wrong about Nicki Minaj being a troll. There is a strange infection being spread around the music industry, and whilst they were recording Wiley’s single (yet to be released), she must have given it to him. Speaking of which, no one appears to have realised that Wiley seems to have accidentally kind of-sort of confirmed that Nicki was pregnant by tweeting “@NICKIMINAJ My label are telling me to wait till you’ve had the baby. I respect your (he meant you’re, God this irks me) having a baby but please tell your manager to tell the label your (FFS Wiley) not doing it.” Nobody seems to have stumbled on this? No one but me? Okay cool, just know that when Nicki Minaj shortly announces her pregnancy, I will not be surprised with the rest of you motherfuckers.

Anyway, my initial thought was that Kanye, I mean Wiley, was losing it. However after listening to The 1xtra Breakfast Show with Dotty yesterday, I can slightly understand why he feels the way he feels. But, like Nicki occasionally tends to do, he has definitely adotgone about it in the wrong way. He insisted that Ed Sheeran and Drake were culture vultures. Ed Sheeran, because of the grime tune he’s recently released with Stormy, “Take Me Back to London”, amongst other things. As Wiley went on to say, years ago Ed sang “You need me man, I don’t need you.” in one of his tunes. I guess Wiley took that as a jab at certain artists on the grime scene. I’m not too sure as I was only getting into Ed Sheeran myself around the time this song came out, so I’m not too versed on his past relationships with Wiley or any other grime artists.

However, Wiley touched on something that rubbed him the wrong way, which was that he’d happily worked with Ed on a song that ended up on Ed’s album. But when it came time for Ed to work with Wiley, his label insisted that he couldn’t do it. In essentials, Ed seems happy to incorporate grime into his own music when it benefits him, but doesn’t want to return the favour. I can understand why that would piss Wiley off, but I will say that artists don’t always have as much of a say in these kind of decisions as you’d think. Only a couple of weeks ago, I saw an interview with T-Pain on The Breakfast Club. T-Pain was telling a story of how he recorded a verse on one of Ludacris’s songs, One More Drink. Immediately afterward, Ludacris did a verse on one of T-Pain’s hits, Chopped & Screwed. T-Pain had no intention of charging Ludacris for the verse on his song, so was very shocked when he was invoiced a bill of $250,000 for T-Pain’s song. He contacted Luda immediately, who insisted that it was the label’s doing and that he’d call them and straighten it up. It wasn’t long before Ludacris had to call him back and say that unfortunately the label were putting their foot down on this one, and he couldn’t do the verse for free. T-Pain simply said that was absolutely fine, but that he too would be sending him an invoice for $250,000 for Chopped & Screwed. That was the first time T-Pain had charged a friend for a verse, and he made sure not to always be so generous ed stormzywith his verses going forward. So case in point: sometimes you can have a lot of creative license but when it comes to the label, there will still be some things that are just out of your control. Sounds to me like Wiley is just pissed off that he didn’t get his end of the deal with Ed. Which is fair enough, but I don’t think I would brand Ed a culture vulture because of it. Like Adot said, maybe Ed’s just doing grime because he wants to?

Drake caught a bullet because, according to Wiley, he has a habit of putting other people on his own music to ensure that he stays at the top, but he doesn’t really care about the UK culture or do anything that isn’t beneficial to himself. Now I don’t know Drake personally (unfortunately), but I’m confident that this is not the case. He’s been vocal about his love of grime music since I was in college at 17 years old, almost ten years ago. He was still a very successful rapper back then, but not quite at the realm of prosperity he’s currently at. Even Wiley himself pointed out that Drake invited J Hus to perform with him on stage, which looked like a win for us here in the UK. When Adot pushed him to elaborate on why that meant he was a culture vulture, all Wiley had to say was “where’s J Hus now!?”. Okay…but what does that have to do with Drake?

Wiley went onto say that he read an article that had the headline “Drake saves Top Boy”, and after making his disdain very clear, he said “There are plenty of millionaires in the UK, why did we need Drake to save Top Boy?” Now this is true Wiley. You are one of those millionaires. So, if you feel so strongly about it…why didn’t you? He didn’t have an answer for this either. And I assure that I, along with countless other Brits, am thrilled to see the resurrection of Top Boy, regardless of who it comes from. I’m literally trying to draketype this as quickly (but still accurately) as I can, so I can binge watch Season 3 on Netflix right now. And you know what, he won’t admit it, but I bet Wiley will too.

Where Drake is concerned, there have been similar accusations from Party Next Door, one of his artists on OVO Sound, as well as The Weeknd. However, I’m sorry but I just cannot have much sympathy for either of them. Their stories are pretty much identical: they had a few tracks which they loved, and Drake loved them too so he asked if he could have them. Which they agreed to, but regretted it later because they would have loved the songs for their own album. However, they both still simultaneously said that they were happy to have Drake as a mentor, and that collaborating with him was unquestionably beneficial for both their careers. Well I’m sorry, but then that’s your business. If my friend asks me for my food and I say yes, I can’t wait until she’s cleaned the plate and then say “You know what I love that bacon cheeseburger, and now I’m hungry.” It’s too late, I agreed to it! If I change my mind after the fact, it is my own problem. Therefore, I must suffer in silence. Yes, Drake might have used the work of other artists for his own work (with their permission). But these same artists are also using him, so the transaction is mutually beneficial. Not to mention, it is Drake’s own talent and his music that got him to the top in the first place. Let’s not forget that. Let’s also not forget that Drake is the biggest rapper in the world right now, who has consistently been at the top of the game for the last decade. So, can someone please explain to me why he would need to rip off our culture?

Anna Plays Herself…and the Race Card

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Yep, you read that title correctly. But let’s get into the backstory before I drag her. I know you guys might have thought I didn’t care about Love Island, seeing as though I was on a blog hiatus during the period it was televised in the summer. However, you are very much mistaken. It’s scary how excited I am that we will now be privy to two seasons a year instead of one, the new winter edition taking place in South Africa of January 2020. Just a little promo for those of y’all who didn’t know.

So for those of you who do follow the show, I’m sure you’ve been aware that this year’s winner, our queen Amber Gill, broke up with Greg a few days ago now. Well actually, according to The Sun, Greg harshly decided to dump her via text. Funnily enough, I hate greg-amber-696x503the word “dumped”; it makes it sound so brutal. But when it becomes apparent that you are an asshole, who decided that he cannot be bothered to use the same phone you used to text me and instead FaceTime me or give me a call at the very least, I don’t think there can be any other word for it. Let’s be real, we knew they weren’t going to last very long. But after just five weeks…via text message? That’s cold Greg, like Limerick, Ireland cold. Not to mention stupid; you’re going to fall off the radar hard without Amber there to brighten your shine. I mean we all know she’s the reason you won in the first place. But I digress.

Because of Amber’s recent heartbreak (AGAIN, the poor girl just can’t catch a break), she’s been staying with Anna and her twin sister Mandi (okay so they’re not really twins, but come on, they look more identical than most actual identical twins) for some company and comfort. Absolutely no objection to this, not from me anyway. I mean, I didn’t love Anna. She was cancelled for me as soon as she opened her mouth to disrespect King Ovie. However, I totally get that when you go through something upsetting and embarrassing, of course you’ll want to stay with close friends and indulge in some self-pity and snacking. However, in response to some trolling that her and her sister have been receiving online lately, Anna decided to be a dickhead once again. I mean, she did something more idiotic than pick Jacked-up-Teeth Jordan over King Ovie. Wow, I didn’t think this one would be so savage, but I guess there’s a lot of people I don’t like on this year’s Love Island.

Okay, so I’m not even going to fully quote that dumb ass shit she had the nerve to put on her story, mostly because it’s here below. But also because I really can’t be arsed to dedicate myself all the way to her foolishness, so I’ll just highlight the two things in this ridiculously unnecessary paragraph that pissed me off. Firstly, Anna wrote that Amber was “lucky” to have her and her sister around her because they give her “love,6a94822d-48a9-4d6f-8711-2589a7a05702 support and a place to stay”. Errrrm, come again? Anna, babes…is Amber homeless? Ohh so you and your fake twin are running a homeless shelter now? Oh see I didn’t know. I thought that you were a pharmacist and your sister was a pretend influencer that no one had heard of until she started clout chasing off your 15 minutes of fame? Did she bump her head or did she forget that Amber has her own home, and family to give her love and support? Not to mention that Amber is also at least 25 Gs up on her financially, if not more? I’m confident that she can afford a perfectly comfortable hotel, so why is she acting like she’s her latest lovable stray?

But that wasn’t even the worst part. The worst part was the reach. The pure nerve, the sheer audacity, the unmitigated gall that this young lady had to play the race card. Yes, she actually wrote: “All I can put this down to is hate and racism towards us because we are Iranian, and don’t have the kind of support system as other ethnicities in this country”. I’m sorry…what? Pardon me? Da fuck you say bitch!? Firstly hun, all that saline must be leaking and seeping straight into your brain somehow. But whatever it is, you’d better put that race card back in the deck, because it is not your hand to play. You can only put this down to hate and racism? Really? You can’t just think that maybe some people don’t fuck with you and your sister, and have every right not to? Listen, I’m all for her defending the both of them. But if you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about, which you clearly don’t, make sure your defence is brief, to the point, and keep it the fuck moving. Secondly, WHAT ETHNICITIES ARE THESE YOU SPEAK OF? No really sis, let’s talk. Because I want to know. If she’s talking about our community, then let me tell you, you are mistaken. Yes, we get endless support from our own race, one of the many things that I love about black people. We support and uplift each other – the primary reason so many black girls who watch Love Island fuck with Yewande and Amber, who is only 50% black! However, I wouldn’t go as far as to advertise that we have a “support system in this country”, because that just isn’t the case. England is one of numerous countries where white supremacy is still very much at large, and anyone with a brain surely knows that white people protect other white people. They don’t fuck with us. I know I’m kind of assuming here as Anna didn’t specify any particular ethnicity. But I’ll bet all the money in my account (not that I’d be losing that much, to be fair) that we are No.1 on that list, because most of the hate they are receiving is coming from the black community. So just to break it down, according to Anna, the people who are you and your sister are culturally appropriating are being racist toward you?? Aiight, imma head out.

I’d just like to finish this rant by saying that Amber did post in her story that her and Anna have the realest relationship that came out the villa, she’s her best friend (wow, swear you had a best friend before you went in the villa? That bitch just been tossed to the side? Alright then) and that everyone should go about their business. I wanted to give anna and amberAmber the benefit of the doubt and assume that this post was made before she saw the post that the manager of the shelter had made. But sadly, another look at her post told me that this was not the case. Because Amber, sis, I stand with you. I really do. But if you really saw Anna talking about you like she was Captain Save-A-Homeless-Person and you’re absolutely fine with it, I may have to sit down. You know, like Michael told you to do.

Okay that last dig is a sign that that’s enough ranting for one day. I feel bad because I really do still love Amber, but fuck it, I’m going to leave it in there because I think it’s funny. Sorry. However, after all is said and done, I guess I only have one question on my mind. How long do you reckon it’ll take Michael to slide into Amber’s DMs? My guess is, that motherfucker’s already done it…so chaldish.

A Letter to Myself

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I know we say this all the time, but what did we learn in school that ended up actually being beneficial to our every day life? I mean, even the things they insisted were of vital importance, such as Maths and English. Well, English was extremely beneficial to me, for obvious reasons. English and History were the only subjects in school I was really good at. Maths on the other hand? I was always terrible at Maths, and still am to this day. But guess what, this doesn’t affect my every day life. I remember even back then I would ask my Maths teacher why we really needed this, as we could just use a calculator when we needed to work something out. He used to look at me like I’d said the most ignorant shit ever. Guess what we’re all doing now though? Using a fucking calculator!

What I’m trying to say is, I don’t feel like we were taught much that would actually be valuable to us later in life. Things such as how to gain and/or maintain good credit, how to identify a bad relationship from a good one or how to appropriately manage and assess your emotions. As I write this, I’m literally sitting here crying my eyes, wishing that last one was a weekly lesson they could have slipped in. Reason being that I just had yet another argument with my mum (what else is new?), about something so stupid and nonsensical. I mean, it’s so small it is genuinely not even worth getting into. But it was just confirmation that every time I feel like my mother and I are finally getting closer to having an actual relationship, we take another two steps back.

I know that, despite our issues in the past, I have a lot to do with why our relationship is the way it is now. I didn’t spend as much time in my home as I should have until recently. I mean, the reason why I didn’t is because of the relationship I had with my parents. But I should have stayed around more and concentrated on having a relationship with my brothers instead. Now I don’t even have that. I feel almost like a stranger walking around my home, making small talk with my younger brother not unlike I would with a random colleague at work. And what really hurts is, I no longer feel like I even have an escape outside my house either. It took me a long time, but I’ve come to the realisation that all I was doing was running away from my pain, and into the arms of “friends” that didn’t really give a fuck about me. Most of those people, I don’t even fuck with anymore. And I am glad. But even after that, I still failed to see that I was still making myself a permanent guest in a home I had no business being in. Now because of that, I feel that my mum just looks at me and sees a female version of my dad. Someone who wakes up and doesn’t intend to do anything to help anyone except themselves. The truth is, this is not me at all. But my mum doesn’t often get an opportunity to see that, as she’s so used to having to be the only proactive one, by the time I wake up everything that needs to be done is already done.

I know this sounds like a lame excuse, but it’s really the truth. I know it can’t fly any longer though, so I’m going to do what I need to do to make sure that my mum has the physical help she needs from me. But I am far from the description of the typical traditional Nigerian daughter she had in mind, from the clothes I wear and the tattoos and piercings on my body, to my life choices, bad language and weed smoking. So it’s just sad that no matter how much better our relationship may seem on the surface, she will never truly love and appreciate me for the person I really am. I mean, she’s never going to read this. And when I say “this”, I don’t mean this letter. I mean my blog, my books when I eventually start writing them. She won’t listen to my podcast when I start recording it, and she most likely will not be aware of any achievements of mine that aren’t brought to her attention from an outside source. Simply because she knows that the content will not be compatible with her faith, and that’s all there is to it.

So this is why I’m sitting here wishing we could have been taught how to deal with our emotions effectively, and compartmentalise what we needed to so we can continue living our lives without carrying our pain around. Wishing with every fibre of my being that I could take a time machine to go back to age sixteen and do it all over again. Because if I knew ten years ago that me spending all this time outside my house was just going to end up being a detriment to me, something that would make it much worse and not better, things would probably be very different today in the most positive way. But here I am, writing this and coming to terms with the fact that I may well be depressed or suffering from some kind of mental illness. Because if I didn’t, I don’t think I’d be sitting here convinced that if I were to die today, I don’t think anyone would really care, and I mean really care, apart from my mother. The one person who might actually give a fuck, yet our relationship still seems to be damaged beyond complete repair. Isn’t that sad? 26 years on this earth, and I don’t believe I’ve truly had an effect on anybody’s life. The lowest I’ve ever felt, and the chances are nobody will even read this.

Nicki Will Retire With The Crown, Yes

My stance on this might seem a little misleading judging by the last posts I’ve recently written about Nicki Minaj. You guys know I think she stays trolling lately, but despite her antics, which I’ve only detested because they were just a distraction from her undeniable talent, I have always consistently loved Nicki’s music. I loved her when she first blew up on the mainstream scene with Young Money and released Pink Friday as a solo artist shortly afterwards. I didn’t love when she started to go the pop route with songs like Starships and Super Bass, but I still had a great deal of respect for her ability. Then when she got back to what I consider to be the real Nicki with The Pinkprint album, she never wavered again, in my opinion.

Okay for those who may not know what I’m talking about, Nicki Minaj announced that she would be retiring over Twitter a couple of days ago. It certainly came as a surprise to the general public, not to mention her beloved and faithful Barbs. I’m sure they cried in despair and organised a memorial service to say goodbye. Nicki’s reason for officially dropping the mic was that she wants to concentrate on having a family. She changed hernicki-minaj-retirement-tweet Twitter name to Mrs. Petty a couple of weeks ago now, which made the public believe that she and her boo, Kenneth Petty, had officially tied the knot. Although that fact is still yet to be confirmed for sure.

My first thought when I read Nicki’s tweet was “Really?”. However this was more out of selfishness, because I really wasn’t ready to come to terms with there being no more music from her. But then I took a second to think about it logically, and realised that it did make perfect sense that she’d want to do that. Nicki’s made it very clear for a while now that she wishes to get married and settle down with her man. She will be turning 37 in a few months, so I totally get why she might want to focus on having children straight away, especially since this is a man she’s known for more than half her life.

One thing I don’t understand is why TMZ are insisting that this announcement is coming out of nowhere, and the timing doesn’t make any sense. Firstly, I wouldn’t quite say that the announcement isn’t coming from nowhere, as per the reasons I mentioned above. nicki and kennethSecondly, the timing might not seem like it makes sense on the surface when it comes to her professional career. But I have a theory that this is not the case, and certainly isn’t when it comes to her personal life. It seems that TMZ’s reasons for questioning this are the statements Nicki made on Queen Radio a couple of weeks ago, the same episode where she tore Joe Budden a new one, as far as I remember. She confirmed that she and Kenneth had applied for their marriage license, and that she was also working on an album. Nicki went onto say that she would be married before the album came out, but they would then have the big wedding ceremony after it had been released. So I guess the teeny minds of TMZ writers couldn’t contemplate why Nicki would make the decision to retire a few weeks later, particularly since a source apparently revealed Nicki has several songs in the works, and still has studio time scheduled until the end of next month.

Well let me tell you my theory, which isn’t that much of a hot take, but here goes: I think Nicki is still planning on dropping her album. It just seems that this is apparently going to be the last one, which makes me even more excited for its release, as it’s sure to be fire. Probably with mad features as well. It is possible for Nicki to drop the album and retire afterwards, geniuses at TMZ. Another theory that is being put out there is that Nicki isn’t retiring at all, and that this tweet was just a result of frustration at the trolling, the accusations of not writing her own lyrics, the bullshit about her man being an ex-con and the rest of it. I usually wouldn’t really have trouble believing this either, but I just have a feeling that Nicki is serious on this one. If this is a result of her frustration, I must say, this just makes me feel bad for her. I will always stand by the fact that she has been contributing to a lot of this, especially lately. However I don’t think she deserves to feel as if she’s being bullied off the throne that she rightfully earned. Just a little less tomfoolery on social media would have been great.

Like I said though, I do think that she is serious about retiring, and this might well be her last album. But I do think that she will still release singles and feature on other artists’ tracks from time to time. She’ll most likely just do a Diddy or a Jay-Z and become a boss outside of music, making money and creating ventures for herself in other lanes. She has already confirmed that she will still be doing Queen Radio, something else I suspected. In Nicki-Minaj-ca27fact, Nicki actually said this in response to a distraught Barb who was clearly having trouble coming to terms with the news. She apologised to the grieving fan, stating that the tweet was abrupt and insensitive, and assured her that she would be giving a more detailed explanation on Queen Radio shortly. This is always one thing I have respected about Nicki: she clearly loves and respects her fans. In fact, she treats them more like dear friends than fans. Nicki has always been one of those rare entertainers who completely understand that her fans got her where she is, and never lets them forget her gratitude. In this particular case, I didn’t think an apology on her part was even necessary. She can make the announcement any way she deems fit. The tweet may have been slightly abrupt, but definitely not insensitive. Nicki is an abrupt person and we love her for it; I only personally object when that abruptness is turned into belligerence and/or disrespect.

I just really hope Nicki’s departure from the game is of her own accord, and not because she feels unappreciated or that she’s being pushed out. Because I’ve said this once before, and I’ll say it again: I do not consider myself a Barb. But I have been a fan of Nicki Minaj since I was 17 years old. That is almost ten years, quite a large chunk out of my life. When I hear songs like Moment 4 Life, it just takes me back to my young college days, where songs like Nicki’s was part of our soundtrack and everything seemed possible. She was a force to be reckoned with, and refused to filter herself. In other words, Onika Maraj inspired me. So although she has no idea who I am, and most likely couldn’t give less of a rat’s ass about nicki gif 3my opinion, I think of myself as having the same relationship with her as she does with her Barbs. Any criticism I have given, or may give her in the future, comes from a place of love, not hate. I just want her to thrive like the queen that she is, and spend a little less time and attention on the bullshit. However she seems to be in a good place right now, and I am happy that she appears to be making the decision she thinks is best for her. I mean, she did just tell us nine years ago that she would retire with the ring. She wasn’t lying; I guess we should have believed her then. (For those unfamiliar with the song, yes, retire with the crown and the ring. She’s a champ and a queen, and what!?)