Music

Erykah Badu, You Betta Call Tyrone about your Sexism...

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...Erykah Badu really threw me for a loop today!

The Queen-Mother of all things woke chimed in on Twitter about how she thinks that girls should "pull down their skirts" because they might serve as a distraction to the boys in school settings. Check it out below:

In her tweets, Erykah Badu makes 3 egregious mistakes:

 

1) Telling little girls to lengthen their skirt to avoid gawking from men reinforces rape culture. Rape Culture, or a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality, is extremely harmful to little girls. Why? Because it places the blame on women instead of the men who commit the assault or harassment.

2) Following Ms. Badu’s logic allows us to blame girls for the unwanted advances they receive because of their uniforms instead of focusing on the perpetrators who make the advances. According to Justice Department statistics, nearly 20 percent of girls between the ages of 14 and 17 have been victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. And sadly, in U.S. high schools, 10.5 percent of high school girls have been forced to have sex. Another study reports that only half of them told a third party or reported their assault.

3) Trying to justify that men are naturally wired to look at underage women is creepy and very R.Kelly-esque. Again, reinforcing rape culture. Back during the Soul Train Awards, Badu sang R. Kelly's praises. But although he is a musical genius, according to the Village Voice, close to two dozen women have claimed that he sexually abused them. Virtually all of the allegations are said to have occurred in or near Chicago, where Kelly is from, and involve claims Kelly repeatedly pursued minors for sex. Erykah... Is that someone you really want to step in the name of love with, too?

Ultimately, I've arrived to one conclusion:

Erykah Badu is not as WOKE as we thought.

Little girls should never be held responsible for gawking eyes of adults–especially grown men. Men who prey on little girls who wear short skirts, long skirts, or tunics are perverts–plain and simple. And rationalizing that type of behavior doesn't make you woke; it just indicates that you’re asleep!

Sorry, Erykah ...I will always be one of your biggest fans, but after your rant on Twitter this week, I think it's time to call Tyrone and tell him to pick up your ideological sh*t...Why, because I, like Black Twitter, ain't here for it.

 

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The BLACK HISTORY MONTH PLAYLIST you’ve been waiting for!

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In celebration of Black History Month, I created a music playlist for us to jam, reflect, and rock out to. The songs included reflect our history, our struggle, our joy, creativity, and most importantly, our brilliance and diversity. In curating this 3 1/2 hour playlist, I was reminded of how much Black people have contributed to music over the years. This is not at all a conclusive list, if there’s such a thing, but hopefully it sets the tone for this month–and the months to come! If you have any songs you feel should be included, comment on this post or connect with me on social media. Let’s vibe out!

Happy Black History Month!

[spotify id="spotify:user:kiahkeys:playlist:26bZCc0nZaCNJP5iOwo3ZS" width="300" height="380" /]

This playlist was brought to you by The Woke Folk.

Ryan Lucas: I Want Her Back - Album Review

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...While rap music famously thrives on cliche harmonies and indistinguishable lyricism, Hip-Hop has found its next emerging leader of the new school: Ryan Lucas. His latest album, I Want Her Back, is refreshing, engaging, and thorough.

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Chock-full with winding samples and infectious percussion, Ryan Lucas sends the average listener on a journey we all usually seek when listening to an album. With braggadocious lyricism, Ryan provides substantive and introspective lyrics that are reminiscent of Kanye’s College Dropout or Late Registration. But Ryan’s I Want Her Back, though indie, conveys a more expansive and enterprising message: the power of one can champion the masses.

When listening to other Ryan Lucas projects, one is usually taken on trips of nostalgia, I Want Her Back finds Ryan settling into his pocket. Instead of looking inside for answers, he's looking out to the world and emphasizing the need for love. When he raps, “Today real love seems so archaic, but I take it back in the day on some RK status” on “Damn Love,” it's obvious Ryan is on a pilgrimage to put love back at the center of rap and it’s craft. Ryan’s choice of production and producer reinforce that same belief.

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Here, Ryan segways between the 808, boom-bap and winding old school 70s sample to articulate his love of both music and Blackness. This is evident when he raps, “For centuries Africans denied liberation, they mask our importance with false education” In “Bo Jackson,” he pens a song of liberation and solidarity for those across the African diaspora as the hook’s singers, KoraTheArtist and Reel, match his sentiment with “I’m gonna be all that I can be.” Other notable tracks are “AfroCool” + “All I Want” + “Love is Here.”

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Ryan Lucas’ artistry is reminiscent of Kanye in the early 2000s. His lyricism demonstrates the same hunger, passion, and vitality that would make any audience clamor to the stage to join in a chant of support and dance. I Want Her Back can be interpreted as a metaphor for desiring an ex-lover, but also serves as a metaphor for his admiration and unrequited love for Hip-Hop. She, seemingly elusive, is one who he can’t let get away. And with musicians of Ryan’s elk on the rise––especially those with a deep passion for African people, rhythms and sounds––it’s safe to say that he isn’t letting hip-hop drift away any longer.

If you’re looking for something to drive to, or chill out with the bae with - heck, even spark the revolution to - this album is just is what you need. Follow Ryan Lucas on twitter and listen to him on Soundcloud. Ryan Lucas’, The DC Gentlemen, I Want Her Back is out now on iTunes.

...Trust me, this is an album every true hip-hop head needs to hear.

Cropped Avi | Tyreebp
Cropped Avi | Tyreebp

I am a man on a mission! As a writer, I expound on Black culture from a millennial perspective and unite and empower marginalized communities through journalism and social media. A Master’s in African American Studies, I’m also the creator of The Corner, a one-hour student run weekly radio at Temple University. Follow me on Twitter: @Tyreebp..

#TheCut Podcast | SAE & The PWI Problem

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https://soundcloud.com/correctivelenses/thecut-podcast-sae-the-pwi-problem-makiahisms

On this episode of #TheCut, I had a discussion with Makiah Green, the creator of the online platform @MyPWI, about the national outrage on college campuses about the recent racist remarks from Oklahoma State University fraternity, SAE.

In our discussion, Makiah and I go in depth and offer practical advice on how minority student should deal with racism on college campuses - all semester long. Do you agree?

Share this and JUMP into the conversation.

-@Tyreebp

Why Cultural Appropriation Isn't (Entirely) White People's Fault. 

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I'm over it. Like seriously. Why can't white people make black music too?

We’ve all heard the countless arguments as to why white artists and celebrities should stop to acknowledge Black culture whenever they seize and replicate our gyrations, hip isolations, hair styles, and rhyme schemes in music. And though that’s important, I'm over it. Before we start divvying out cultural homework assignments, we need to stop to finish our own. We know where Black culture comes from. We know that African Americans have influenced every form of popular music. We know Elvis adapted Black folks' music to make Rock And Roll. We all know this.

"Shake , Shake, Shake it off"

But who allowed the appropriation to begin and continue? If we're honest, the answer is simple: us. Black artists who have refused to safeguard our culture in exchange for universal profit and appeal have, in exchange, contributed to the 'smudging  of Black culture' in pop music that artists like Azalea Banks are crying about. Yeah, I said it. If anyone deserves a rebuke, it's us. We're the ones that've enabled it. I'm not sure as to why we tend to forget that that every major white act found on Billboard's Hot 100 has been co-signed by prominent Black artists and producers that have given them cultural "hood passes" to enter into the Urban music industry. In return, these Black artists/producers are receiving large lump sums while the genre becomes oversaturated with white faces that emit black sounds. Do we really need examples?

Iggy Azalia =  T.I.

Justin Bieber = Usher and L.A. Reid

Justin Timberlake = Timbaland

Robin Thicke = Pharrell

Convinced yet?

Now, It would be duplicitous of me to say I didn’t like Justin’s 20/20 Experience, but even I can admit that cultural appropriation is real. Yet indicting white artists for their replication of Black culture and their subsequent and often unmerited success is mislay. It's simple: blame black artists! Similar to stock brokers, the major influencers of Black music are the ones selling our culture for the top dollar. And for the longest time I couldn’t understand why, but then all of a sudden it hit me. ...They're using the formula!

The Formula

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For so long Black artists have been forced to prostitute their gifts and talents to a fickle white music industry in order to salvage any type of success. James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., the list goes on and on…So it's common knowledge that it's an industry that only appraises Black artists based on their latest 'shuck and jive' that then sells the same recipe to white America, but this time, in white-face. So in response, Black artists have employed White America's cultural appropriation formula, but this time in reverse. Which makes sense due to the current state of the industry, where black artists have had to become more crafty in marketing themselves in order to top the charts. Why? According to NPR, there were no Black artists that topped Billboard in 2013. Now, Black artists are playing the executive role and are selling urban music to White America, only they are they are removing themselves from the equation while inserting white artists. On a individual level, this sounds like a smart move, but it is nothing short of exploitative and damaging on a cultural level. Still don’t believe me? If you don't, you probably haven't seen the countless Black artists that came to Iggy Azalea's rescue on Twitter to see the evidence of the "formula" at work, aka cultural appropriation enablement.

The Response

For example, after Q-tip gave Iggy Azaelia his Hip-Hop history lesson, countless mainstream rappers came to save Iggy and ignored Azealia Banks message in its entirety, tragically mistaking her salient critiques for mere haterade.T.I. gave his exaggerated and verbose side. Wiil.i.am gave a rendition. Nelly did, too. And surprisingly, even the ever-so-conscious, now dubbed "fake deep" Lupe Fiasco did as well. ...Yes, even Lupe. After reading these tweets by these well-respected artists, it only solidifies my point: the recent of trend cultural appropriation in music isn’t the fault of white artists, but the black artists that continue to enable them too (yes, that means you T.I.). So, seeing Azealia banks on Hot 97 crying about her erasure, though heartfelt, still sounds displaced. It’s clear her tears won't fix the music industry. Heck, even the music industry won't fix the music industry. The only people who can end cultural appropriation in the music industry are the white audiences that consume it. And since that's not going to happen any time soon, we should stop blaming white artists and start asking people like Usher, Timbaland, and Pharrell and even Kanye where their cultural and artistic loyalties lie?

....Catch my tune?

Tyree Boyd-Pates is a man on a mission. As a writer, he aspires to expound on black culture from a millennial perspective and unite and empower marginalized communities through journalism and social media. A Master's in African American Studies, he also is the creator of The Corner, a one-hour student run weekly radio at Temple University. You can follow him on Twitter: @Tyreebp.

Is Kendrick Lamar's "i" The New Kumbaya?

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aShfolR6w8  

After nearly two years of hiatus, Compton's very own Kendrick Lamar came out of hiding with a new Isley inspired single, entitled "i". And I have to say, it couldn't of come at a better time.

In "i",  Kendrick Lamar convincingly gives an antidote to what he sees ailing the world. He does so by charismatically harmonizing (as only he can) over an infectious chorus iterating the importance of loving one's self. All very timely, in the wake of Ferguson and the civic distress found around the world.

Like many listeners, I wasn't anticipating such an optimistic sound from Mr. Lamar - especially one about self love. But I have an inkling as to where Mr. Lamar maybe coming from. Now, before Mr. Lamar's concept of self love gets co-opted into something entirely different, here is a what Self Love means. Self love originally was a Black Power concept (Huey P. Newton, Malcom X, etc.) championed by leaders about the importance of self admiration and collective identity. All of which raised consciousness, self esteem, and activism in light of what was happening during the 60's ( hence the activist in the beginning of the song).

Are you saying 'i' is the new Kumbaya?"

...Now, I know what you are thinking? Tyree, are you saying 'i' is the new Kumbaya? Or even drawing parallels to Public Enemy's Fight The Power because of the social activist references? Yes; seeing how the song does entreat the listener to have higher admiration for them self and a radical identity reflective of the 60's. But irrespective of my quirky musical and historical associations, Kendrick Lamar's "i" put's love at the center - and that's something none of us can argue with.

Kudos to you, Mr. Lamar.

 

MUSIC REVIEW | Anomaly: Lecrae's #1 Album on Billboard

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Last week, I promised my 1200+ twitter followers that I would discuss one of Hip-hop's newest emerging acts, Lecrae and his album Anomaly.

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In this entertaining video I share why #Anomaly is Lecrae's best album yet and why it deserves your attention.

Some of the highlights of the album were:

Maturity

Lyrical Content and Versatility

Beats 

Transparency

My Score: 5/5

The 5 Standout songs

Timepieces

Dirty water

Runners

All I need is you

Messengers

Purchase Anomaly: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/album/ano...

What did you think of Anomaly?