music

MOC Monday: Jidenna

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of Janelle Monae. I think her message of being who you are, regardless of if others think its “weird,” is so empowering, especially to young girls of color who are afflicted by Eurocentric ideals of beauty and conventionality. Thankfully, Monae knows how to pick her proteges, since all of them express that motto of being yourself in order to lead others. Jidenna seems to embody this in spades, from his bespoke suits to his coiffed hair.

Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift: The VMAs, Feminism, and Music Videos

Nicki Minaj and Taylor Swift have been in the news recently. I’m sure if you’ve been on Twitter within the last four days, you’ve heard about Nicki Minaj taking the VMAs to task for not nominating “Anaconda” for Music Video of the Year. If not, here’s the quick rundown:

Nicki Minaj took to Twitter to address her annoyance at MTV for not nominating her music video for “Anaconda” for Music Video of the Year, while nominating other music videos, which contained slim white women, chief among them being Taylor Swift’s music video for “Bad Blood,” which is full of her supermodel and actress friends.

Exclusive Interview: Lee Mazin

Do you need some new music to add to your playlist? If so, Lee Mazin is someone you need to be looking out for. Mazin has been named by Meek Mill as the First Lady of his Dreamchasers label, and it’s easy to see why. To me, Mazin’s raps and songs are very much a part of the new age of rap and hip hop, a lane occupied by Sharaya J., Jidenna, and Tink.

I was excited to be able to speak to Mazin in advance of her performance for the Power 99 Powerhouse in Philadelphia, her hometown. Read below to see who her inspirations are, how she gives back to the community, and where she sees rap going in the future. 

Iggy Azalea Cancels Pittsburgh Pride Concert After Tweets Resurface

Iggy Azalea’s career has gone from being a Twitter in-joke to just plain sad. I never wish for someone’s livelihood to get ruined, because we all have got to make that money. But, when you’re watching someone’s career tank in front of your eyes due to past Tweets, you begin to wonder if some celebs should start hiring a personal Tweeter. Someone who has PR skills and is able to think through what can and can’t be posted on a public forum when one’s career is on the rise. 

Exclusive SXSW Interview: Darnaa

SXSW is underway, and one of the many musical acts you can see at the festival is R&B/pop singer Darnaa. I was happy to have a chance to catch up with her before her SXSW performance via email, and in the interview, you’ll learn more about how her musical family, what the song “Surv!val” means to her, and the special message she has for her fans.

You can learn more about Darnaa and her music at her website and you can keep up with Darnaa on Twitter.

D'Angelo and The Vanguard's "Saturday Night Live" Performance Kicks Black History Off Right

EDITED TO INCLUDE VIDEO

Black History Month is here and believe it or not, the BHM kick-off party happened on Saturday Night Live. Not only were there tons of jokes about racial appropriation (that scathing Iggy Azalea joke, the digital short about the “true” biopic about Jay-Z starring Mike O’Brien, aka a white dude on SNL, and other white dudes, including the host J.K. Simmons, as Kanye and Nas), but there was also D’ANGELO. And boy did he not disappoint.