Pharrell has been causing quite the little controversy lately with his "lack of black women" on his recent album cover, his comments about what he calls "the new black" on his interview with Oprah and now his cover art for his new video for his single "Marilyn Monroe".

First of all, let’s get everyone up to speed who is not aware of what’s been going on. So, producer/singer/fashion designer… Pharrell recently came out with an album titled "G I R L". “G I R L” received a ton of backlash because it did not feature any black women on the cover. The cover was featured with Pharrell and what appeared to be three white women. Then Pharrell does an interview with Oprah and of course Oprah bought up the “G I R L” cover. Pharrell proceeded to explain that he did not understand what the big deal was about the cover, claimed that one of the girls on the cover is indeed black and then created a term called “the new black”. And I quote…

The “new black” doesn’t blame other races for our issues. The “new black” dreams and realizes that it’s not a pigmentation; it’s a mentality. And it’s either going to work for you, or it’s going to work against you. And you’ve got to pick the side you’re gonna be on.”

A tiny ounce of me understands what message Pharrell was trying to convey but it was definitely vague and poorly worded. I must say, as someone who has been a legit FAN of Pharrell since the early N.E.R.D days (N.E.R.D is his band), his comments were very disappointing and made me feel some type of way. I just thought he was more intelligent than that. I think Oprah caught Pharrell off guard and that was the first thing that came off the top of his head. Pharrell’s comments rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and even sparked a trending topic on Twitter, “#thenewblack” where people went in on Pharrell for his comments. Now, about a week and a half later, Pharrell has released the cover art for his new single “Marilyn Monroe” with a black women on the cover. Some people love it and some people hate it. 

It’s a shame that it matters so much what “celebrities” think or say these days but they do shape and reflect the culture and society unfortunately. I think Pharrell was trying to say that his mentality is not one where he’s focused on proving anything to anyone yet I think it was ignorant of him to basically pretend racism doesn’t exist and that black people are the reason for our own issues. Let’s get this straight, any word with an "ism" at the end is a systematic practice or doctrine. So that means that racism was created and is a system set against a certain group of people. Racism is not something that is just going to go away out of thin air. It is practiced and enforced, especially in the United States. And that’s why it’s still around. The “race” topic is just one that will honestly never be solved. Everyone has there own opinions and are free to express them.

Now, Pharrell is either trying to clean up his “new black” comments by putting a black woman on the cover art for his new single or he wants to create controversy and get people to check it out. It could be a mixture of both. Who knows. Pharrell posted the cover art on his Instagram today and I decided to check out some of the comments. For the most part people were loving it but then there were those who were offended for some reason that Pharrell portrayed Marilyn as a black woman. If we are going to be offended by something like that then I guess black people should feel offended that Hollywood likes to portray Egyptians as white people (i.e. Elizabeth Taylor was Cleopatra in the 1963 film) in movies when they were historically dark skinned people. I mean Egypt is in Africa people. But I digress.

I think it is sad that in 2014 race is still one of the number one topics. It’s sad that young, innocent, black people are being killed because of the color of their skin. It’s sad that the lack of black women in the media is a legit issue and concern. I think it’s sad that a lot of wealthy black people forget the struggle once they’ve “made it” and act like it doesn’t exist just because it no longer affects them. It’s sad that we are still fighting this “race war” when we are all in the same country, breathing the same air just trying to live the “American dream”; whatever that is. Black women and black people in general need a better representation on television, in music, in the fashion world and in media period. But how can that  happen? It’s up to the black people that are in power to do it to DO ITIt is the unwritten job of black entertainers to shed light on social and racial issues and not act like it does not exist. It is the job of black entertainers to remember where they came from, the struggles them and there family had to go through to get to where they are now and create some type of hope for the ones that are going through the same thing. Yes, Pharrel has the right to put whoever he wants on the cover of his album. But as far as this Marilyn Monroe cover art, put a black girl on the cover art because you genuinely want to Pharrell not just because that’s what people want you to do. Pharrell putting a black girl on his cover art is like putting a bandaid over a cut without putting peroxide on it. It’s just a quick fix. It’s going to take more than that for the issue to legitimately be addressed and understood. 

Childish Gambino's new video for his song “Sweatpants” featuring Problem is super dope. 

First of all, I don’t know why more people don’t mess with Childish Gambino. Lyrically he’s creative. His songs always take me on a journey. They always start at one way and end another. 

The video for “Sweatpants” is trippy and interesting. The video starts out with Gambino entering a diner filled with people and sitting down with some friends. Then he gets up and puts money in a juke box and walks outside. After a while he comes back in the diner and everyone that was in the diner before all have his head on their bodies. It was pretty weird yet intriguing. Not to mention the song was catchy and the lyrics were niceeeee. Definitely something you can bounce to.

These days people don’t put much effort or thought into their videos as they did a couple of years back. I appreciate it when people still put out art and something visually stimulating. I wonder what made him think of the concept for this video.

Hold on to your seats! Everybody’s favorite power couple is reportedly going on tour together this summer!

If you guessed Jay-Z and Beyonce then you guessed right! According to The New York Post, Jay-Z and Beyonce are planning a 20 date, US tour that will commence as early as this June!

This is genius! WIth all the obsession surrounding them as a couple, Jay-Z and Beyonce are going to do 20 little shows real quick and rack up more money in a big way. As if they needed more money. They have tons of hits together; "Crazy In Love", "Upgrade U", "Bonnie And Clyde" and "Deja Vu" just to name a few. This is definitely a good look for Jay and Bey who seem to never stop working. As you may know, both of them have been on world tours which started last year and ended this year. Jay-Z was also on tour with Justin Timberlake last year. And on top of that both of them recently came out with albums less than a year ago! Sheesh! Maybe Jay and Bey are trying to collect as many checks as they can right now then go M.I.A for a little while. Whatever the case may be, the work ethic is definitely commendable.

Girls everywhere (and guys too) are going to be going crazy over these tickets since everyone wants the Jay-Z and Beyonce type relationship these days (whatever that is). I just might be in that thang myself when it hits my city! I wonder what the name of the tour will be? Only Jay-Z and Beyonce could pull something like this off. 

No word yet on when tickets are going on sale but when they do we’ll let you guys know!

HI I read your post about chiraq and Nicki minaj. And I just want to say although you have a good point about selling sex, you don't use any other examples except for Nicki which says to your audience that you made a general bias over one artist. Js

Kanye West fans are either super excited, fed up, confused or hoping Kanye is getting it together right now. I say this because for the past year Kanye has been displaying high levels of un-Kanye like behavior. Personally, he’s become quite obnoxious and that’s coming from a true Kanye fan who pretty much knows every song on every album word for word. Recently though, Kanye has been fairly quiet and expressing himself only in features on other artist’s songs. 

It looks like Kanye is getting down to business though. This past week it was announced that Kanye would be postponing some of his European Yeezus tour dates from May 2014 to September 2014 to work on finishing up his upcoming album. This came as a surprise to me seeing that Yeezus hasn’t even been out for a good year yet. Kanye usually takes more time in between his albums. Maybe he’s trying to somehow redeem himself for the poor reception from his last album “Yeezus”. Some say he and Jay-Z are secretly working on a "Watch The Throne 2".  Maybe Kanye is in a creative state and wants to share it with the world. Maybe his label is forcing him to put out another album and is giving him a deadline. Whatever the case, I just hope the album upholds his musical legacy he has meticulously built over the years. Also, Kanye announced that his "Yeezy" shoe collaboration with Adidas will be out in stores around June of this year. This should interesting.

"Bank Head" by Kelela is my latest obsession.

Kelela is a musician. I say musician because it is really difficult to put her music in a genre and describe her. I guess Kelela’s music could be considered R&B but it’s not your typical R&B. If I had to call it anything it would be experimental R&B. Kelela’s music is unorthodox and pushes boundaries. 

"Bank Head" by Kelela is an extremely intriguing song. When the song first comes on, Kelela comes in with a soft, falsetto singing voice. The song builds and takes you in a different direction than you may have thought it was going. It’s almost like a smooth roller coaster ride. As the song goes on Kelela’s voice gets stronger yet still smooth as she sings about how she needs to let a certain secret out. “Bank Head” is almost hypnotic. Every time I listen to it, it paints a different picture and every time I listen to it I’m trying to decoded the lyrics. I love music that provokes thought. Every time I listen to “Bank Head”I discover a new element of the song I never noticed before. This song is filled with hidden gems and concepts that you wouldn’t even know where there if you didn’t pay close attention and really listen to the words and the beat as one. Incredible song!  

Nicki Minaj has released yet another one of her “I’m a bad b*tch, I’m sh*tting on you, I’m better than you ETC.” type records. The latest one is titled “Chir Raq” featuring Chicago rapper, Lil Herb.

Let me start off by saying, I have been a fan of Nicki Minaj since her mixtape days, wayyyyy before she became the mega famous woman she is today. However, I’m really sick and tired of woman in the music industry (females rappers in particular) downing the next woman and talking about how much better they are than the next. It’s just really weird to me. For example, one of Nicki’s line’s in “Chi Raq” was “I’m with EBK, you on EBT”. EBT is public government aid for those of you that do not know. Nicki, do you not realize that a lot of your fans are probably on EBT? So you just offended the people that are making you rich and famous and made them feel like they are less than you but those are the same ones you are supposed to be making the music for. What part of the game is that? I understand that sometimes you have to “let people know”, but Nicki all you ever talk about is how you’re the baddest and how good your sex is and how much money you have. I’m challenging these female rap artists to step their game up. Come up with something new to talk about. It’s all the same thing with just a different beat. We are living in a society right now where image is EVERYTHING more than it’s ever been. I’m sure it’s really hard for young, impressionable girls out there who are fans of Nicki and are listening to her music. She’s not sending the best message these days. Granted, Nicki never signed up to be a role model, but when you are in a position of power like Nicki Minaj, you need to realize all eyes are on you. Money is great but you have the responsibility now. Why not rap about where you came from, your struggle, how you got to where you are today like you used to? It’s crazy though because I know Nicki has a story to tell and share with girls who are going through the same thing she went through coming up. It seems like her more positive and inspiring songs never make it as big as her songs where she’s sh*tting on everybody. All these female artists are just selling sex these days and I think that’s really horrible. It’s cool when you are just looking at it from an entertainment stand point but when you actually LISTEN and think about the message the music is sending, it’s actually pretty terrible and mindless. A lot of the mainstream music these days is DISPOSABLE. It won’t stand the test of time and nobody is going to be referring back to it for inspiration 20 years from now. You have to ask yourself, what are these people’s agendas? What is their message?  Anywho, from an entertainment stand point, “Chi Raq” is an okay song I guess. The beat is pretty hard. Nicki had a decent verse. I honestly skipped through Lil Herb’s part because it wasn’t keeping my attention.

This type of music isn’t helping us as a generation, society or culture. It’s only going to hurt us in the long run. It has us reaching for material things and putting that at the forefront instead of challenging us mentally and inspiring us to look inside ourselves. Nicki Minaj is a beautiful woman and I feel she has more to offer the world than what she is serving up right now.

I really wish I could get inside the mind of SZA!

If you read my blog, you know I posted SZA’s latest video for “Babylon”a few weeks ago and it was pretty dope. Now upon the release of her new EP, “Z”, SZA released “Bablyon” but this time with a surprise verse from Kendrick Lamar.

I don’t know what it is but Kendrick Lamar definitely changed the song and made it even better. Kendrick’s verse was pretty thought provoking and it gave me a better sense of what the song was really talking about. I dig how he talked about people having Napoleon Complex’s these days. Very real and true.

I’m ready to check out what else “Z” will have to offer! I don’t even know how to categorize her music. You really cannot categorize it which is awesome. She doesn’t fit any mold. SZA is out to change the game and I commend her and the whole T.D.E team for being genuine and saying what some people are afraid to say and going against the grain.

I once heard somewhere that you should never watch a film merely for entertainment, a movie should be watched for the purpose of dissecting it and trying to figure out what message it’s conveying.

With that being said, "Her" was definitely an interesting film with a thought provoking retrospective on where our society’s high dependance on technology may take us in the future.

"Her" was directed by Spike Jonze, the same guy responsible for directing Kanye West’s 2009 short film, “We Were Once a Fairytale”.

"Her" was set in Los Angeles in the year 2025. In a nut shell, the movie was about a lonely guy named Theodore who falls in love with an intelligent operating system (yes like Siri basically). Theodore was not the only person involved in a relationship with an OS. It was basically a common thing. Throughout the movie Theodore became super attached to his OS (Samantha) and began to get jealous when Samantha began connecting with another male who happened to be an operating system as well. I don’t want to give away the entire movie but if you are looking for something engaging and compelling then you should check this film out.

Theodore’s relationship with his OS was a direct correlation between our society and our excessive dependancy on our phones and other technology. It was a real eye opener. I do feel like technology is a good thing but our culture and society puts too much emphasis on it and a lot of us don’t even know how to interact face to face with human beings anymore. Most people these days don’t even know how to start a conversation let alone talk to people. Image what our society will be like 10 years from now.

"Her" is definitely one of the most interesting and thought provoking films I’ve ever seen.

Lana Del Rey's music never ceases to intrigue me.

Recently a ton of un-released songs of Lana’s made their way on the internet. "Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight" was one of those songs and I cannot stop listening to it!

First of all, Lana Del Rey’s music has come a long way and is constantly improving. You can tell she’s definitely working hard on her music and is adding more layers and depth to her sound. “Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight” is seductive and playful per usual Lana Del Rey fashion yet it isn’t typical of her. It’s like Lana Del Rey on steroids. “Meet Me In The Pale Moonlight” reminds me a lot of Maroon 5 and kind of sounds like it low key could have been produced by Pharrell. Either way it’s an awesome song in which Lana sings about not wanting commitment just a one time fling but in a classy and subtle way.