The twittersphere exploded last week when MC, Nicki Minaj publicly criticized shoe designer Giusepe Zannotti for not offering her a capsule collection (or even her phone call) despite similar marketing ploys with other celebrities. You may recall this blogs article on the capsule collection Jennifer Lopez announced with him last year (read here) and the recently announced collaboration with former One Direction heartthrob Zayn Malik.
February is the start of black history month and Nicki Minaj was quick to call out the underlying prejudice in his decision to not offer her a collection, even after a declined call from her reps. The designer had shoes named after the rapper, which have since been taken from his webpage. He even reportedly told Miss Minaj that she “inspired him”, but apparently not enough to offer her a check.
Giusepe Zannotti x Nicki Minaj
The story is still breaking, but Nicki Minaj wore her self-inspired sneakers for Cosmopolitan. Collaboration between the two seems unlikely, but it demonstrates the underlying racism heavily prevalent in the fashion community.
The funny thing about Dej Loaf is I thought she was male. Not an unreasonable guess considering the amount of testosterone on hip hop airwaves. Her vocal performance on “Back Up” was giving me Rae Sremmurd vibes. It was clean and smooth.
Buy "Back Up"
Which, does explain the cute lesbian aesthetic in “Try Me”. Now I don't know what to believe. Aye Redd. Said that this relationship between Dej Loaf and Lil Durk is for publicity. Considering neither of them our household names. At least not in my quiet white suburban neighborhood, I don't know how likely that is.
Buy "Try Me"
The second single that plans to follow up the success of “Back Up” is a Future assisted “Hey There”. It could happen. Future is everyone's favorite crooner. Not that anyone knows what he's saying, but that's beside the point. Future has wattage that Dej Loaf just can't pull yet.
Buy "Hey There"
It's not that surprising that Katy brought Missy out. Back in the days of global domination and chart success with Teenage Dream, Katy had Missy do a remix of “Last Friday Night (TGIF)”
Missy Elliott has not been releasing solo material, but she's been putting her foot back in the studio. When Skrillex and Diplo got together with Kiesza and produced the bombastic “Take U There”, they turned right around and had Missy Elliott drop some bars. It's literally better then my entire life.
After Janet Jackson released “No Sleeeep” and it did marginally well for the aging R&B diva, she teased her album Unbreakable with a collaboration with Missy Elliott, “Burnitup!” The songs a little retro, a little done before, and also one of the best songs to come out of her canon. And, it united her with Missy Elliott.
The last album we had from Missy was The Cookbook. It had that one good Ciara collaboration on it, “Lose Control”. Not to be confused with the iconic "Lose Control" by Kevin Federline.
The music is nothing we haven't seen before, but it's a fun ride. There's some rhinestones on the lips. Reminiscent of J. Lo's “Goin' In” video and Latrice Royale's time on RuPaul's Drag Race. Some stimulated dance sequences. Puppets. A few people rolled up into body bags. Missy Elliott is back and about to let us have it.
The Winning Team
What I'm really waiting for is the Lifetime Original Movie in which the four dissenting justices are cast as the villains. This was a historic decision and to be on the wrong side of social change is going to be really embarrassing for them. In a few decades we will have people saying that it took to long for this decision to be made.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for this case. I feel like that's a big deal. Honestly, I didn't pay as much attention as I should have in my U.S. Government class. I definitely feel like Kennedy could have gotten it when he was younger. He's 78 now and I feel like in his twenties it would have been good. He went to Harvard and Stanford. So, he's smart. I just feel him.
“Women belong in all places where decisions are being made.”
Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is bae if we're being perfectly honest. I love her. She went to both Cornwell and Columbia. Stand up for higher education.
The only other male who voted for this was Stephen Breyer. He's Jewish. Has that sexy bald spot going on. Bill Clinton picked him. He's gone to Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard. Someone went hard as fuck in their educational studies and I salute him. Turn up Stephen Breyer.
Elena Kagan is our final Justice. She kills it to. She's also Jewish. I didn't know there was so much Jewish representation at the Supreme Court. Turn the fuck up for that. She was also picked by Obama. She's gone to Harvard and that's the same school Elle Woods went to and in my book that's all that matters.
Horoscopes are completely full of shit, but that doesn't stop me from finding out what my Taurus self is up to. I check it in the newspapers when I'm visiting my grandparents. I get supremely annoyed when I can't find it in Cosmopolitan. Last month's accurately predicted that I would be busy with work throughout June.
I realized that I am witty and charming. However, divine inspiration for today's article came from Kacey Musgraves (Yes, Same Trailer, Different Park Kacey Musgraves). In her song “Follow Your Arrow” she tongue in cheek remarks that “If you don't save yourself for marriage you're a whoreable person”. So, instead of “horoscopes” we have “whoroscopes” to fit my tendencies better.
Horoscopes are just fun things to play with. Enjoy. Revel in. Some people are such fun suckers and they refuse to enjoy a good horoscope. We are not talking about building your life around your daily horoscope. But, did it end up that badly for Jennifer Lopez in Monster In Law? No. She got a sexy doctor, the day her horoscope told her she would find love.
One day I was just going through all the horoscopes I'd found on tumblr with some people and we had the most fun. Laughing at how ridiculous some of them and how accurate some of them are. If you ever want to find my horoscopes on tumblr there's a search button on the top of my tumblr page. Just put in 'Taurus' and it will come right up. I tag all of my horoscopes with my sign.
Below are some of my favorite horoscopes (taken from tumblr) and the birthdays for all of the signs in case you too have convinced yourself that your an Aquaurius.
Aries: March 21-April 19
Taurus: April 20-May 20
Gemini: May 21-June 20
Cancer: June 21-July 22
Leo: July 23-August 22
Virgo: August 23-September 22
Libra: September 23-October 22
Scorpio: October 23-November 21
Sagittarius: November 22-December 21
Capricorn: December 22-January 19
Aquarius: January 20-February 18
Pisces: February 19-March 20
If the signs hate you:
Zodiac Signs as Madonna's 12 Billboard Number One Hits
The Signs as Female Pop Stars
Who Will Die on the Titanic?
The "Gay" Squad
What the signs REALLY Want
Signs From Most to Least Heterosexual
Signs As Their Favorite Female Rapper
That Dollar Sign
As comes up in dinner conversation, I mention how attractive I think A$AP Rocky is (not to be confused with A$AP Ferg). Sacajawea's boyfriend hardcore judges me and she informs me that her parents would freak out if she brought him home. To be fair my parents who probably die. Half of my family would disown me, it wouldn't go well.
On the bright side. I'll never meet A$AP Rocky. And, if I did. I would not be good for his image. This boy is ratchet, but I love it. I don't know. I just feel like he's intelligent and can hold good conversation. He dresses well and if my parents could get past him being black, I'm sure they still wouldn't be fine.
I watched the videos to all of his singles for Long. Live. A$AP and his new single for his upcoming album. I was really not a fan of the first single “Goldie”. It was okay, but it was not life. The video was really cool, though, although I was not a fan of his grill- if that's what you call it. It just wasn't for me. But, I like the video it was all set in Paris and he was jamming out with this boy in his car and I liked it.
The next single was the big, breakout hit for him. It's “Fucking Problems”. Can we just talk about how every time I am shocked by how many times they could fit fuck into this song. I can't even. This song had everything. Drake got into it and you know he made that song “Tuesday” a hit. Then 2 Chainz came in and I just think 2 Chainz is adorable. Kendrick Lamar had a few verses. He's critically acclaimed. I heard his debut album. I was not a fan, but I think he's a good rapper. I just don't appreciate him coming for Nicki Minaj. Like excuse you, you rude ass bitch. This is Nicki Minaj, you better act like you know.
Do you remember when Lil Wayne caused waves when he rapped “beat that pussy up like Emmett Till”. Now if you're like me you didn't remember that Emmett Till was an African American brutally murdered for flirting with a white woman back in the fifties. That was an incredibly intellectual reference. Now whether it was appropriate or not is another story. But, it still stands that it was intellectual of Lil Wayne.
Now I feel like “Wild For The Night” could have been a hit if A$AP Rocky hadn't pushed it into harder hip-hop. He had Skrillex on it. You know Skrillex is that underground DJ. This could have been a major crossover for him. But, I respect his decision to stay with his roots and I really like the song anyway. So, Kudos to him .
The other single “Fashion Killa” had Rihanna in the music video. No explanation needed for how great it is. I need Rihanna to date A$AP for me. If I can't have him. Someone else needs to. And, I want it to be someone like Rihanna. Someone who is up to the standards of me.
Buy "Fashion Killa"
His latest single for his yet unnamed sophmore album is called “Multiply” it's got Juicy J on it. You know he's always there for a good time. I'm here for it. I will be buying the new A$AP Rocky album. I really like him. He also did a guest spot on the Tinashe album, Aquarius, with “Pretend”. But, that's something to check out if you want.
He's really cute, so there's that. Anna Wintour has put him in Vogue. That boy looks fine as hell in it. I have that issue. It is good. I am just here for him all around and I will not be judged for liking him. A$AP Rocky can take my body.
Also you should know that there were rumors that he was gay. I didn't know about them, but Sacajawea informed me of them. I thought you should know. They aren't true. If they are, we probably won't have confirmation until he's not relevant. You know how music in general is and hip-hop does have a lot of misogynistic tendencies. A rapper cannot be gay and be successful at this time.
I mean Sam Smith sneaked it in on us after three hit songs. He was like by the way I'm gay. If America is one thing, we like to pretend like we're not bigots. People don't even talk about the fact that Sam Smith is gay. It's not because it's not a problem, it's because if we don't talk about it. We can just pretend he's straight.
I tell people all the time and they're surprised. People do not talk about it. This is good for Sam Smith. It's out in the open and he had one of the best selling albums of 2014 with In The Lonely Hour. And, “I'm Not The Only One” is eating up the charts. Go you Sam Smith. Kill it.
Can you imagine if A$AP Rocky and Sam Smith were a thing. I like Sam Smith, but I just don't want to think about him having sex. Like no. Just stay cute and adorable. And, I'll pretend like you're not having good sex with my celebrity crush A$AP Rocky.
Living For Madonna
Rumors continued to go around that a video for the lead single “Living For Love” would be filmed in January. After all the leaks she declared it “artistic rape” and “terrorism”. Maybe a little to strong of language, but Madonna was throughly pissed the fuck off. I would have said the same thing.
Now as far as who I think is behind the leaks, I think that fucker Diplo might have something to do with it. I get it. Diplo brings the beats, but you're Madonna. Who gives a fuck.
The real surprise came on the 19th of December. I was horribly oblivious to it as that was the day I was having a house party. But, Madonna released her album for pre-order on iTunes. Not only that, but with six songs that came with it.
I am going to break it down for you step by step the six songs that have been released and give you my opinion. You might be saying to yourself why the fuck has it taken you three weeks to write a Friday Favorites on your Queen. Let me redirect your attention to the 12 Days of Bubbles and let you figure out why I wasn't in the blogging mood.
Let's start with lead single:
“Living For Love”
With enough radio play this song will be another hit for Madonna. The hooks runneth amok over the entire song. This song might displace the potential for an Alicia Keys feature on the upcoming Madonna album as Alica Keys is listed as one of the writers for this song. This song goes every which way and I am feeling it. I'm excited to see the video and of what we've heard so far. I think it's a good choice.
Listen to "Living For Love"
“Bitch I'm Madonna” featuring Nicki Minaj
This song goes every which way and I really like seeing Nicki and Madonna back together. I would love to have seen this song as the lead single. However, if Queen Britney can't get “Work Bitch” to the tops, the radio will not be playing this song. I enjoy the electronic screaming, that dog barking thing, the immediate call to party. “Bitch I'm Madonna” is everything I could have wanted it to be.
Listen to "Bitch I'm Madonna"
Break downs abound, filtered vocals. Madonna name checks a list of celebrities in her sing songy rap voice she honed during American Life. I hate to say it again, but I like this song better then “Living For Love”. I would love to see a video for it and I tentatively feel like it could be a massive hit for her. It is immediately ear catching. The only problem she would have getting it on the radio is that radio at this point is biased against her. They obviously haven't heard this song, yet.
Listen to "Illuminati"
Remember way back when I wrote on all the speculation surrounding Madonna's 13th album. I suggested this should be lead single featuring Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus. It features none of the above, it's not the lead single, however I really like it. It is not the brash in your face song I expected. It's actually very introverted and honest. And heartbreaking. I really relate to this song. Everything except for the part of “You didn't know how much you loved me until you lost me.” That part doesn't relate to me at all.
Listen to "Unapologetic Bitch"
RuPaul named this as one of his favorite songs from the six that were released. This one is not like the others in that this what you might call a ballad. It's beautiful and haunting. She out did herself.
Listen to "Ghost Town"
What an interesting song. It's about Madonna's drug use, something she talked openly about in Interview Magazine. Another song I enjoy. Everything about it is very relateable. I don't think it could ever be a hit. What teenager wants a 56 year old woman's knowledge on how to drop acid and sniff glue. They don't.
Listen to "Devil Pray"
If we're basing how great her new album is off of these six songs, I can tell you it's going to be Ray of Light part two. Make sure to pre-order Rebel Heart on iTunes if you're not like me and insist on having the CD. I think you can also download the songs individually if only one of these caught your interest.
Best Albums of 2014
Let's be really clear about this list. It is simply a review of the albums I have bought this year. I could never numerically list my favorite albums for a year. I could knock some out of the top ten, but let's be honest. I love music too much. Now almost all the music I got this year, I bought the day it came out.
You know I like my CD. That means some albums I may have talked about or have wanted, I do not have. RuPaul never released Born Naked in a physical format, Troye Sivan didn't release TRYXE physically in the United States, and Azealia Banks will be putting Broke With Expensive Taste out in January. It will make next years list.
I'm going to try to be a cold calculated bitch to my faves. Will see how well this goes. I'll give you a general rating out of five bubbles and include the song I played the most individually according to my computer.
1989: Taylor Swift
Who else was shocked at how great this album was. I bought it the moment it came out. The Target staff was still putting it up and I had to reach past them to get it. This album is so much better then “Shake It Off” predicted. I know I said I wouldn't it. Of course I did. I'm so glad, I did. I am now a proud and out Taylor Swift fan. This album is everything.
Most Played Song: Tie between “Welcome To New York” and “Blank Space”
Cheek to Cheek: Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett
I bought it for Lady Gaga. Real talk. That's why the world bought it. This is a jazz album. I tentatively think it was well executed. I don't listen to jazz. When I do listen to this album I jam, but is it going to take the place of ARTPOP? Absolutely not.
Most Played Song: “I Can't Give You Anything But Love”
Buy Cheek to Cheek
This is an album. I don't listen to the songs individually when I listen to Kelis it is the full experience. This is a soul funk R&B album. I love it. It may not be for everyone, but it's an insanely well executed project.
Most Played Song: Tie between “Bless The Telephone” and “Jerk Ribs”
Going to Hell: The Pretty Reckless
4 ½ Bubbles
One of the best albums of the year. Obsessed. I love. Every song is almost perfect. It strays a little too hard rock for me at times, but that's because I'm not usually one of hard rocks biggest proponents. Buy this album. It's fronted by Gossip Girl alumn, Taylor Momsen, and man does she kill it as a provocative Lolita figure.
Most Played Song: Tie between “Heaven Knows”, “Why'd You Bring A Shotgun To The Party”, and “Fucked Up World”
Buy Going To Hell
Motion: Calvin Harris
DJ Calvin Harris has hit his stride. This album is everything you want, radio friendly pop fodder with plenty of bangers. The fantastic Big Sean feature with “Open Wide” or the Tinashe led “Dollar Signs”. He did a great job creating a flowing record. It also doesn't hurt that he back loaded the album with it's best songs. Another collaboration with Ellie Goulding hit home and you should check this album out before these songs hit the top ten.
Most Played Song: Tie between “Pray to God” featuring Haim and “Dollar Signs” featuring Tinashe
Platinum: Miranda Lambert
3 ½ Bubbles
Miranda is my country darling, I love her music. This is a rambling album and it works. It does, but as a rambling album some songs turn me off to the overall aesthetic. “Little Red Wagon” being the biggest put down. And, I read in a review that they consider it a stand out track, so I might just be missing something. There's her trademark humor in tow with “Old Shit” and “Gravity is a Bitch”. I am also not impressed with lead single “Automatic”. It's kind of condescending and it doesn't really sound like Miranda. It also must be known that I am overwhelmed with both “Smokin' and Drinkin'” and “Platinum”. They barely missed being the my most played song.
Most Played Song: “Something Bad” feauturing Carrie Underwood
Queen of the Clouds: Tove Lo
Another album I want to get into. I didn't it. It didn't click for me. “Like Em Young” did resonate with me. I just want to send this song to my crush anonymously and say how does this make you feel. The concept of splitting the album into three distinct parts of “The Sex”, “The Love” and “The Pain”. That was really cool. I know someone who loves this album. Give it a shot. I'm going to keep trying. Tove Lo as a pop star intrigues me.
Most Played Song: “Not On Drugs”
That's Christmas to Me: Pentatonix
People went gaga for this acapella Christmas album this year. I bought it because of Mitch and Scott. It's acceptable Christmas fair. It does not compete with Celine Dion or Bette Midler. If you want it I say go get it.
Most Played Song: “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy”
Sound of a Woman: Kiesza
3 ½ Bubbles
Solid and unique debut by dance singer Kiesza. This is artistic dance music in the highest regard. It doesn't hit home for me quite hard enough and some of the more R&B inspired tracks leave me bored. However, I like her and would look into her next album. If you didn't hear her almost hit “Hideaway” that's something you should get on.
Most Played Song: “Hideaway”
Buy Sound of a Woman
Super Critical: The Ting Tings
4 ½ Bubbles
The Ting Tings are one of the winners this year in music. True they are my favorite band, but this album got to me. First listen I was set on three bubbles. A few more spins later and this new disco sound was everything I wanted from The Tings. It's light fun filled and some of the tracks I initially questioned, I am now in love with. The only two that haven't quite clicked are “Wabi Sabi” and “Green Poison”, but I still like them. Of the two singles released so far, I believe “Do It Again” is the best.
Most Played Song: “Failure”
Buy Super Critical
Volume 3: Pentatonix
3 ½ Bubbles
3rd EP from acapella group Pentatonix it includes covers of some of the years most popular songs. When you play a game like that it comes down to whether you like the original version better or not. They usually hold there own when it comes to the covers. It's the original song “Papaoutai” that features violinist Lindsey Stirling that disappoints me the most. I had so much hopes, because it's Lindsey Stirling and it did not come through.
Most Played Song: “See Through”
Buy Volume 3
Ultraviolence: Lana Del Rey
4 ½ Bubbles
Moody songstress Lana Del Rey came out with her second album the same day as Jennifer Lopez. I like this album better. Maybe not at first, but it's sunk into my soul. Every song is a masterpiece. I've played each individually and I don't know what keeps it from being a five bubble experience for me. Lana Del Rey knew what she wanted for this album and she delivered. I would recommend it to anyone. My mother and Boomer both claimed that they preferred Born to Die better. I told them to never talk to me again.
Most Played Song: “Ultraviolence”
The Voyager: Jenny Lewis
4 ½ Bubbles
Adore would be too light of a word for how I feel about Jenny Lewis. If you want to know what emotional state I was in for a better part of 2014, you can listen to this album. It's soft, modern rock. It's easy listening. The only reason it's not a straight five bubbles is that one of the final songs “Aloha & The Three Johns” just didn't quite sit well with me. If I was to tell you an album you need to buy this year, it would be this one. Both Cosmopolitan and Billboard included this album on their year end lists.
Most Played Song: “She's Not Me”
Buy The Voyager
Favorite Album of the Year: Tie between Going to Hell by the Pretty Reckless, Super Critical by The Ting Tings, Ultraviolence by Lana Del Rey, and The Voyager by Jenny Lewis.
Favorite Song of the Year: “Failure” by The Ting Tings
I also really like the lyric video aesthetically. It is very well done, but I really can't justify the fact that Nicki Minaj is Hitler in this scenario. I tried to come up with some form of symbolism for why she would do this. I came up with no good reason.
I would have never seen the lyric video if Tumblr had not erupted, and also proceeded not to explain why they were upset. All the comments were “so offended” without really explaining why they were so offended. Something, I thought was very interesting.
I don't feel like this was a necessarily smart move on Nicki Minaj's part, but I ambivalent to the lyric video. I suppose I'm supposed to be completely offended. I really am not.
I am, however, obsessed with Nicki Minaj's apology. It is me as a pop star, basically. It has a sorry not sorry mentality. Nicki has been hanging out with Madonna too much.
The only thing, I really don't like about her response is when she justifies it with two of the people involved happen to be Jewish and they weren't offended. Well, Nicki let's just scroll back and remind everyone that the Jews weren't the only people killed in the holocaust. It included a lot of other 'inferior' minorities.
I love the last tweet, where she says I take full responsibility. She does this after explaining how she wasn't involved. It's beautiful. Her apology is very well worded, but also completely full of shit.
She knows she offended people, and the lyric video has not been removed.
There is also the question of if Nicki saw the lyric video before it was uploaded to YouTube. We will never know the answer. This is not a huge dent in her career by any means, but I do think she knew exactly what was happening.
Nicki Minaj is very involved with her career as most female megastars are. Nicki saw and Nicki approved of it. In my opinion.
Her new album does come out this Monday on the 15th if this scandal hasn't put you off. We also have a new pop offering from her with “Bed of Lies”. It's in the vein of “Pills N Potions” and will no doubt be sent to pop radio. Considering the lack of impact that “Pills N Potions” had I'm surprised she went for yet another downbeat song. Nicki may not be thinking through everything, but she certainly has a plan.
The statement by the director of the "Only" lyric video, Jeff Osbourne, released to Myspace
Before I start, be clear that these are my personal views and not the views of Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne, Chris Brown, or Young Money.
First, I'm not apologizing for my work, nor will I dodge the immediate question. The flags, armbands, and gas mask (and perhaps my use of symmetry?) are all representative of Nazism.
But a majority of the recognizable models/symbols are American: MQ9 Reaper Drone, F22 Raptor, Sidewinder missile, security cameras, M60, SWAT uniform, General's uniform, the Supreme court, and the Lincoln Memorial. What's also American is the 1st Amendment, which I've unexpectedly succeeded in showing how we willfully squeeze ourselves out of that right every day.
Despite the fact heavy religious and economic themes were glossed over, there's also Russian T-90 tanks, Belgian FN FAL, German mp5 (not manufactured until 1966), an Italian Ferrari, and a Vatican Pope.
As far as an explanation, I think it's actually important to remind younger generations of atrocities that occurred in the past as a way to prevent them from happening in the future. And the most effective way of connecting with people today is through social media and pop culture. So if my work is misinterpreted because it's not a sappy tearjerker, sorry I'm not sorry. What else is trending?
What's the point of dating if they don't go with your outfit?