I am starting a podcast series with my delightful friend Bianca! Hope you enjoy!!
A few weeks ago at Coachella, Beyoncé gave one of the best performances of her life. A two-hour-long flawless set where we have yet to find any moment where she was out of breath or out of line. During the entire set of moving dancing singing, Beyonce did not show any signs of even breaking a sweat. Throughout the set, she a total of five outfit changes and even managed to change nail colors during the performance.
Beyoncé also debuted her new Greek letter design merch. Creating her own Greek letters was a bold move. If anyone else chose to mess with Multicultural Green letters they would not be welcomed the way Beyoncé managed to. There are many regulations that Multicultural Greek Life uses to manage letters. If you are no longer a member of a sorority or fraternity, it is required to return your letters and never wear them again. For Beyoncé to unapologetically come up with letters shows how much people value her as a performer and artist. I believe she also pulled this off because her performance was attributed to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)’s by creating the homecoming theme. After this performance, she donated $100,000 to four Historically Black College Institutions.
Although Beyoncé had her performance twice total, she had different outfits that were parallel to each other for each weekend.
You can watch the first half of the performance here:
Bbymutha is your favorite unapologetic Black woman who is focused on making music that exposes her greatness while giving a glimpse into how her life is. You can find tons of enlightening gems that are seriously relatable to primarily to the identity of women. Her tracks have hard beats that resemble Lil Ugly Mane, Three 6 Mafia, and other southern sounds. The content is something far more revolutionary than Lil Ugly Mane though.
Generally, Bbymutha’s raps have catchy beats, long but tea spilling hooks, and a subject matter that encompasses what she has to deal with in her life that is mostly outside of being a mother. She is known for saying very real things about men that a lot of men are not interested in hearing.
One of her most well-known tracks is Rules, which was played by Björk during a DJ set.
The lyrics state:
You can’t give your pussy to a nigga who not used to getting pussy cause that pussy gon’ be everybody business /
You can’t break bread with these niggas /
Give head to these niggas /
They ungrateful, lil’ mama, that’s bad for business.
While there are words that white people should not sing along to in this hook, it bangs and tells a serious truth that non-monogamous femmes should look out for. This track has sparked quite a bit of interest in the underground world, and with the way that women are moving up in Hip-Hop, we can expect Bbymutha to enter more of the spotlight.
What we should know is that Bbymutha is from Chattanooga, Tennessee. She was raised there mostly dealing with an abusive father and a highly religious mother. When she was exposed to a school program that zeroed in on the arts, she began to get an idea of what she wanted to do with her life. When she was in high school she became pregnant with twins at seventeen years old. The father of their children was out of the picture, due to the fact that he is a pedophile according to Bbymutha. After a few years, Bbymutha moved to Nashville with a current boyfriend to enroll in fashion design school. This man also ended up being abusive to the point where he almost killed her. Due to this, she had to call her father and move back to Chattanooga. In between this time, Bbymutha became pregnant with another set of twins.
She mentions in her interview with The Fader:
I love the shit out of my kids but I wish I could re-choose their parents ‘cause they deserve good fathers.
From previous interviews, you can clearly tell that being a mother means the world to her and that she unapologetic about the content of her music in connection with her experiences of motherhood. She is very honest and upfront with her children, which is something that a lot of people in society can learn from. Bbymutha also mentions while talking about this that she is constantly thinking about the future and how she can get her family to a clean, wealthy place.
On Saturday, April 14th, Azealia Banks shared with her Instagram following that she had been in fact roofied and raped on a date. This is a very brave thing for her to broadcast via Instagram story.
[Trigger warning for video: sexual assault]
While the internet reacted to her in a way that insinuated that she either deserved it or believing that it was all made up, we have to think about the implication of why people do not believe Black and Brown women when they share their experiences with interpersonal violence.
Azaelia Banks has been ridiculed by the media a number of times by her outspoken behaviors and unpopular opinions. Regardless of this she should still be respected and believed when according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) claims that “Only about 2% of all rape and related sex charges are determined to be false, the same percentage as for other felonies.” It takes a lot for someone to admit that they have been violated when rape culture perpetuates the concept that men are at risk of false allegations. This is far from true.
This says a lot about how Black women are represented within the modern media. A lot of White people in this world have made controversial and unpopular comments and have still been given platforms and credibility. You can see this with our current administration. The 45 shows this on a daily basis. The reality is that Black people are not given the same humanity as White people in America. In order for Women of Color to be valued as humans in society, we need to believe them when they share their experiences.
According to Nina Cartier in her article Black Women On-Screen as Future Texts: A New Look at Black Pop Culture Representations:
“we have yet to arrive at a place in representation where a critical mass of different roles has been reached and a wider swath of the spectrum-that-is-blackness is ubiquitous, because we have yet to be fully accepted as people in a society that loves our “cool” but denies us our humanity in the form of equal access to the ways and means of success in this society. To be black still carries stigma, and as we create ourselves anew to bend and shape to perform some version of what we “should be,” often under the rubric of the politics of respectability, we are constantly thwarted as a result of what we are: black, and thus never equal and never quite human.”
Nina Cartier gives us a perfect example of what it means to be a Black person in America being portrayed by the media. The way culture is perpetuating in the media creates a trend behind being Black. This further dehumanizes People of Color, because they are seen as a tool of entertainment. They are being used in the media without the accreditation, support, and reward.
If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Line at 1-800-656-4673 or via online chat.
Alejandro Ghersi is the incredible face behind Arca. His music transcends all levels and sounds in the music industry. His sounds showcase his queer identity, which shows both the beauty and the pain.
Ghersi grew up in Venezuela first playing with the idea of making music. When he was young he made music with the name Nuuro, as an indie pop artist. As a result, he became popular in Venezuela. Originally when he had not come out as gay under the name Nuuro for his own safety, he used ungendered words to protect his identity. As this project progressed he was gendering words. After this, he cut the project and moved to New York to go to school at NYU. There was a lot that he had to hide according to his interview with The Guardian, he said.
As a kid, I spent a lot of my mental energy hiding who I was and attempting to fit in,” he says of his childhood in Venezuela, a country where, as he puts it “if I dressed the way I do here I’d be in physical danger”. “And as an adult, I spend a lot of energy in my work making sure that I celebrate the things I was once hiding.
When he moved to New York, he came out as gay and started composing the concept of Arca that would be released in 2012.
Arca’s work usually has an industrial sound with mixtures of electronic influences pairing with queer pop culture references. His songs include unpredictable bass patterns with crying synth sounds. He has worked with renowned and underground artists such as Bjork, Kanye West, Jessa Kanda, Napo, and Babyfather.
Lately, his work has been a lot more personal. In this album Piel, he has unleashed his angelic voice once again to produce a whole new level. His vocal cords bring out almost an opera sound with him speaking in his native language. This video that he put out for this latest project you can see Ghersi walking around in a dark area dressed in a tan corset among open-eyed people who you could assume are playing dead. He is also making physical contact with unidentified bodies.
Arca places messages within his music that expresses how he has been treated about the way he presents himself in daily life and at shows. One clip that he sampled in his work was from the movie The Cement Garden described the double standard behind men being able to showcase any traces of feminine style or behavior.
The sample is of the character in the movie Julie saying:
Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots because it’s OK to be a boy, but for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly you’d love to know what it’s like, wouldn’t you? What it feels like for a girl?
You can hear more of Arca’s work from listening to this project.
Björk’s anticipated album Utopia was released alongside one of her favorite people to collaborate with Arca. A Venezuelan producer. What was not anticipated was her single Blissing me, collaborating with the beautiful serpentwithfeet. While the world does know a lot about this Icelandic artist who is known for combining experimental sounds with pop influences, we need to explore serpentwithfeet.
Who is serpentwithfeet? You could call him a goth, radical, version of Frank Ocean. Josiah Wise was raised in Baltimore, Maryland in a middle-class Black neighborhood. His family kept a very tight eye on him and raised him on religion. His dad owned a Christian bookstore, and he participated in choir in the church. This inspired him to continue to pursue his music in the future. He eventually moved on to attend University of the Arts in Philadelphia. What he originally wanted to specialize in was classical music. When this door closed for him after being rejected, he started to develop his own persona. Wise embraced his queerness and started to create songs that emphasized his romantic love for men. This is where he began to thrive and find himself.
When asked about serpentwithfeet’s work Björk shared that “He is, vocally, one of the most emotionally generous singers,” She explains to The Fader that she admires the “balanced idiosyncratic pagan spiritual angle” to his work — an image that she describes as “optimistic goth.”
All we can hope is that Björk and serpetwithfeet decide to work together again because this track is revolutionary!
As someone would have said at some point WHAT ARE THOSE. Buffalo sneakers were all of the rages in the 90s and are making a comeback today. But where do these shoes originate?
Platform shoes were present in both Ancient Japan and Greece. In Japan, the shoes became popular in the Heian Period. During this period they were called “getas”. These shoes had flat boards with wooden stilts under them to allow for more height on the shoe. In Japanese culture, they were used to avoid sinking their feet into the mud when farming rice. As time progressed the shoes were repurposed into another place in Japanese culture. Women started wearing them to prevent their kimonos from touching or dragging on the ground. Platform shoes are still common in Japan and are still used in rural areas where flooding exists. In Ancient Greece, platform shoes had a less crucial reasoning behind using platform shoes. They created platform sandals called Cothurnus. The purpose of the sandals was to make actors appear taller so they can be seen from farther and more high up distances.
Going back to more modern times, platform shoes came into Western culture again in the 1930s. The person responsible for the blossoming of these shoes is Moshe (Morris) Kimel. She first designed a platform shoe for an actress in the 1930s named Marlene Dietrich. Later Kimel opened a shoe factory in Los Angeles after needing to flee Berlin as a Jewish woman during World War II.
Later on, platform shoes started to show up at the disco and club scene. Males at this time were encouraged to wear platforms. Many celebrities and famous musicians also followed this trend and wore platforms. Musicians from the funk, punk, rock n roll, disco, and pop scene all wore these shoes. Artists such as George Clinton, Elton John, David Bowie and Stevie Nicks all wore platform shoes.
During the time of the 90s, platform shoes seemed to be trending the most. The Spice Girls were considered by many to be the reason behind the revival of the trend. When people thought of platforms in this age there was a strong connection to feminism and girl power. Platform sneakers and shoes also blasted off even more in the rave and club scene. Ravers were known for developing bright, multicolored, large platforms and platform sneakers.
Platform sneakers were the biggest, most modern trend to come from the 90s platform era. One of the most popular brands that are still around today is Buffalo boots and sneakers. The company does not mainly produce these shoes, but they are still accessible through the website or select stores. The company is very specific about where the shoes are sold, and only two American companies are able to access these shoes via shipping. The sneakers become popular
One company that was probably the most popular were Buffalo sneakers. The company is still around today but only puts out platforms in certain countries and environments. Buffalo platform sneakers make their way into American stores every few years or seasons but have not been made into an American staple just yet.
Looking at today platforms seem to be making a comeback. Balenciaga just came out with a pair of four-inch platform crocs. The Balenciaga platform sneakers are also trending allowing for other rare brands to create platform sneakers again.