Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My Top Ten Must See Hip Hop Movies

I think people be faking the funk when it comes to hip hop. They are not true hip hop heads. They are rap heads. There is a big difference between rap and hip hop. Rap is the music, Hip hop is the lifestyle. However, there are some real hip hop heads out there, and for them I present MY "definitive" list of Hip Hop movies that all hip hop heads MUST see. This is just my list. MINE. No one elses. In no particular order:

1. Wild Style: Released in 1982, this movie is deemed as the FIRST hip hop movie ever. Depicts the essence of hip hop:MC'ing, graffiti, DJ'ing and breakdancing. You ain't know?!?

2. Krush Groove: Basically the story behind Def Jam. It's that simple.

3. Fear of a blackhat: a satire on the state of hip hop in the early 90s. While it pokes fun at hip hop and rappers, the underlining meaning is important because it was based in truth.

4. CB4: This movie is another satire. It is pokes fun at NWA and east cost gangsta rappers. Again, a comedy but it's still important none the less.

5. Beat Street: A hip hop drama of sorts, depicting the hip hop culture in the 80s in New York City. Important to know where the whole movement and lifestyle is from.

6. The Show: Just classic. Shows hip hop at one of it's highest points in the mid 90s. Shows the concert life, and the life of up and coming hip hop starts.

7. Rhyme and Reason: Documentary released in the late 90s. Has interviews with rappers, pays homage to older rappers.

8. Dave Chapelle's Block Party: A day of hip hop in Brooklyn. Again simple. Features some of the best artists in the mid 2000s. I love the live music scene.

9. Hustle and Flow: Fuck what anyone says. This movie is about the struggle. A man doing wrong but trying to do right through music, and how music brings people together. It also shows how there are haters.

10. Brown Sugar: The "love" story of all these movies. Personally, this is one of my favorite movies ever. Not only is it a story about "real" love but a story about the love of hip hop. It's deep.

I saved that one last for a reason. It contains one of my favorite songs of all times.
Erykah Badu: Love of my life

Sunday, May 24, 2009

It's good to have an ego...

I don't care what anyone says...I like being cocky. I am not really cocky, more so confident and self assure. I love BEING that chick. And even if you aren't that chick (or dude) you should carry yourself as if you are. When you are positive, you will attract positive people. People like people who are confident. In 2009 it's my motto to just be me.

I will admit, I am not the hottest chick in the game. Not the smartest. Not the coolest probably...but that shit don't matter. I am the best ME I can be, and I will always carry myself like I am the best. It took me years to get to this point in my life. I was awkward when I was younger, I will even include college in that. I didn't know how to dress myself until my second year in college. My roommate took me to buy my first pair of boots from Nine West...which I wore until 2005 or so. But as the years go on, I get better. I walk in a place and OWN it.

There are haters out there...who will try to tell you that you are NOT all that. But you know what I say? F*ck em. Straight up. Who are they to hate on you? What they should be doing is worrying about how to get ON your level so they won't be worrying about you! I don't have time to hate on other people.

I know what I want.
I get what I want.
And I talk like this because I CAN back it up.
Ask somebody.
or better yet, ask Beyonce cause she knows.

Beyonce - Ego (Official Video)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Girly Blog: This Dress and These Shoes





All I want right now! And it's less than $60 for everything on this page. The dress is American Eagle and the shoes are from Bakers. I think I felt a certain way about gladiator shoes but now I am like WHAT!! I love them. Esp once I saw them in person and tried them on.
I just spent more money than I should last week. Being at home and shopping the web is not the best thing to do! But it was all necessary. Bras and panties. And a ped egg.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Hair Blog: Making Braids Last

Disclaimer: I am NOT a hair expert, I just know what works for MY own hair and since so many people ask me about it, I will share.

As everyone knows, I love braids. They are easy for someone like me who hates to devote a lot of time to fix her hair. Often I get compliments on my hair, and if I say my braids are 2 months old, people don't believe me. And they ask how is that. So I will share.

First: Ask your self "Should I get braids?!?" Braids are not for everyone. They do require some level of care. Typical braid prices run from $150-$250. I pay $200 for my micros (hair included) and $180 for synthetic singles or kinky twist (hair included). Micros typically last about 2 months (8 weeks) and synthetic hair lasts about 3 months (10 to 12 weeks) but I can push those up to 4 months if necessary. Also consider your hair type, are you relaxed or natural? if you are natural, you may want to consider kinky twists. That way as your hair grows and recurls from washing, it won't look as noticeable. When you see chicks with nice braids, ask them where they got their hair done. Go to a well known African spot (yeah I said African spot!), they do braid tighter but the braids last longer, and I haven't had problems.

Second: Washing Braids. Yes, you have to wash braids. It's trifling if you don't. With micros I do not wash my hair until the 4 week mark and then every other week after that. If you are natural, once you wash your hair, it will curl back up. So keep this in mind because you might have to take out micros sooner. That's why I recommend kinky twist. I use a deep conditioner once a month, usually Pantene 5 minute treatment in the jar.
With synthetic hair it's a bit different. I wash at the 4 week mark, and then whenever I need to. So when it starts looking or feeling dirty, I wash them. There is no set schedule.
I wash my hair with a clarifiying shampoo the first time. The following times after that, I use herbal essence hello hydration (blue bottle), both the shampoo and conditioner. I try to use conditioner sparingly because it will cause your braids to slip. Sometimes I substitue with Cantu Leave in Shea butter. now the most important thing to remember: ONLY WASH YOUR ROOTS!! Do not scrub your hair with shampoo! Wash the roots and let the suds run down your hair. That's all you need to do. Scrubbing and scrunching will mess your braids up fast.

Third: Moisturize! Get you some African Pride Braid Sheen and spray them bad boys ever day. that's all you need! Don't be greasing your scalp, that causes build up! Don't put all that extra shit on it. Just pray it with the sheen or use some tea tree oil if it itches. Simply is better!!!

That's basically it. I am simple. Do these simple steps and at the three month mark, your braids will still look new! Not brand new but it won't look like WTF. You will still have growth, you will retain MORE growth this way and your hair will be clean!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Push by Sapphire (aka "Precious")

Where to begin?!?

I love this book. Hands down one of my favorite books. A lot of people I know do not care for this novel because it is too harsh. Push tells the story of a young girl named Precious who is pregnant by her father a second time. She is big, black, illiterate, and the mother of a daughter with down syndrome. She also has big dreams to make something out of her life. I won't give away the book but the biggest complaint about it is the writing. Sapphire is well educated but *tries* to write an illiterate 8th grader; and at times, it seems like she is trying to hard. It does not flow as well as "The Color Purple" but it is moving. Precious makes you love her from the first page, at least I did. I think Sapphire did an excellent job talking about an issue (incest and child abuse) that is often times taboo in the black community.

So when I heard a movie was being made, I was ecstatic. Then I heard Mo'Nique was playing the mother. I couldn't see Monique in that role; but I was wrong. Just viewing the trailer moved me. Newcomer Gabby Sidibe plays "Precious" and from what I have seen, she killed the role. There are videos of her trying out on youtube. Other stars include Mariah Carey and Lenny Kravitz. The official trailer dropped today and the movie will not be out until November. If you haven't read the book, PLEASE pick it up. It's only $5 on amazon. If you don't have the money, go check it out. If you enjoyed "Child of God" or "The Color Purple" you will like this book!



author's note: I feel like I am blogging alot now but I don't have shit else to do. so get over it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Week 1!!!!

So it's been a week (almost!) and it's all been real chill. I thought I'd be an emotional wreck, or maybe it hasn't hit me yet.

I got my unemployment debit card today. Technically I am still "employed" so when I fill out my claims, I put the income that I have made and that I will make this week. It takes a long time for benefits to go into affect, so I am glad I filled when I did even if I can't get the money until June starts. I am keeping careful track of all the jobs I apply to. I am not really going hard, I apply to jobs I'd like to work. I am really trying to change states. So we will see.

My days are real chill. I get up, work the online job for a few hours, then I watch tv. Sometime in the afternoon, I get back on and work some more. During that time, I run through the usual spots looking for jobs. I try to think of MORE places to go but it's a bust. I eat a rather healthy lunch since I am at home. I wake up at 7, go to bed at 12. The oddest thing of it all is that I sleep straight through the night. I haven't slept a whole night through in years! But the past week, I have been real calm. I feel more centered, more focused (on what?!? who knows...lol). I am not bothered. I do get anxious at times, and then it fades when I say to myself "The Lord will make a way!" I think I should be more worried but what does it help?!?

My plan today was to wash my hair. But I didn't. I just laid in bed. I downloaded Maxwell's new song and damn if it wasn't $1.29 on itunes. I was shocked since most songs are 99 cents. However, I had a gift card for $25 I am still chipping away at. Hopefully I will win another. I hate paying for music. I will pay for a live show, but music for my IPOD?!? please.

I also volunteered to work Afram this year. Now this is slightly crazy of me since Afram is 4th of July weekend. I didnt think that through but fuck it, what else I got to do?!? I am trying to go back to Americorp but haven't found anything great yet. I like that organization because they pay back part of your student loans and I NEED that!

It's amazing how chill I am. I am waiting on the melt down. I mean, yeah I cried the day I lost my job but I don't think it has fully hit me yet.

I hope it doesn't.

Product Review: Dove Visibly Smooth (coupons too!)



The website:

http://www.dove.com/visiblysmooth

Products:

Introducing New Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant, the first anti-perspirant/deodorant formulated to help women feel stubble free for longer!

With continuous use, Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant minimizes the visual appearance of hair over time.

Incorporating a unique Pro-Epil Complex with natural extracts and Dove ¼ moisturizers, Dove® Visibly Smooth anti-perspirant/deodorant
• conditions underarm skin and hair
• softens underarm stubble
• helps underarm hair look and feel less noticeable


Okay so I got a free sample of this from the lovely people at Dove (see website above, join the mailing list). Actually it was a full size deodorant in Wild Rose. Now I was somewhat hesitant to try this, being that my body likes to sweat and I just got it to the point where regular deodorant works well. (this is a complex process involving Certain Dri at night and Dove Ultimate Clear in the morning). But I am a fan of Dove and like I said, Dove Ultimate Clear in Smooth Cashmere is my FAVORITE deodorant. So I swap out the day deodorants.

I got to admit, this is now my favorite. It smells great, it's not too strong or too light. Now normally I shave twice a week, but I have only shaved once since I started using this about a week and a half ago. I smell great, I am not sweaty, and my arm pits don't look like a whooly mammoth.

I have to give this 4.5 stars out of 5! I am a fan.

Dove also gave me $2 off coupons for this product. It JUST hit stores this month. If you want, let me know and I will send you one. Emails are fine! Or facebook me. Text It. or reply here and I will get your info (just send me your email) and I will give you one of these coupons.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Princess and the Frog

Disney has been around for over 100 years, or close to it. And for the first time in Disney history, they will be having an African American Princess.
Introducing Princess Tiana:



She is beautiful! Her name was originally "Maddy" (short for Madeline), but sounded like a slave name and was too close to "Mammy" (see: Gone with the wind). I actually like the name Tiana. Some may complain it's too ethnic but I am glad it is not a European name. Tiana is a beautiful name, and it's actually a common name here in Baltimore. Now "Shequanna" would be too much. Tiana is just right.

Traditionally African Americans have been given less than stellar roles in Disney movies. I sometimes think back to the Song of the South and Uncle Remus and Br'er Rabbit. If you have never seen this movie, you should google it or youtube it...something. I understand that times were different but the racism is blatant. And I could talk about the Crows in Dumbo, or Scar in Lion King. Cracked even did an article on The 9 Most Racist Disney Characters complete with youtube videos. However, this is about Princess Tiana.

I plan to support this movie. It's set in New Orleans, and there are themes of voodoo in the movie (of course). I have seen the trailer and I am hopeful that the movie will NOT make a mockery of black Americans. I hope that everyone out there will support this movie also on Dec. 11, 2009!!! Now when I have a daughter, she won't have to choose "Pocahontas" or "Jasmine" to look up too. Princess Tiana will be here. Peep the trailer below:

Friday, May 8, 2009

You got it, I want it...

I love ya'll madly.
New Mos Def.
Casa Bey
It's reminiscent of TruMagic.

and for those who have yet to hear this wonderful man live or for those who have and love it...You are rocking with the best.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Day One...

I won't blog each and every day. However, I have gotten some texts and emails asking if I was "okay." I am okay. Really.
This morning I woke up at 7, like I do every morning. My circadian rhythms do not allow me to sleep much longer than that. I decided to work my part time job while I was up. There are contest from 9pm to 9am at my PT and so I decided to try to get a few entries in those last few hours. I actually worked for a quite a few hours this morning, watched some Mathis and entered some contests. I got a call from a job in VA today. The lady wanted to go over some things with me about the job to make sure I *really* wanted. I was actually excited when I got the call, but as I answered all I could think about was how will I get to VA, what will I do, etc, etc. I was overwhelmed with emotions. But she wanted to explain to me that it was only part time, 1500 hours a year. Usually people work 2025 or so. She asked me a few more question then told me that the hiring manager would follow up. So please keep me in your prayers about that.
I applied to a few other jobs. Nothing major. I honestly don't know where to really look. I was told to take a break for a while, go on a vacation then go hard! But it takes time to get a job and last time it took me 6 months. I can't do that this time.

Lunch time I went to KFC and got my free grilled chicken meal. I was there for at least an hour. It started raining and I felt calm. I went home and ate.

I attempted to log back onto my part time job and work some more but I was too tired. I wasn't in the mood to "work". Maybe I do need a break. LOL. I decided to work on my novel.
I pulled out my flash drive and read all three novels on it. I had one on my work computer that I forgot to save, so that is lost. I think that was a short story anyway so it didn't matter. I picked the easier one to complete during this time.

I wrote 3 chapters today. The biggest problem I have in writing is that I re-read the whole novel before I start writing. So each time I sit down, I am re-reading all my chapters to see what can I add, what can I subtract. The words flowed today tho.

I actually took a time out from writing that to write this. There is an application to a job in my purse. It's with the city. I was suppose to complete that today.

Oh well. There is tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Excuse me sir, can you point me to the unemployment line?

*sigh*
I have to blog this, tell people in mass because I can't have this conversation repeatedly.
I lost my job today.
I didn't get "fired". I didn't do anything wrong. I worked as hard as I could. I tried my best...but some things are out of your control. Ever since that talk about my record, I felt a certain way. I knew something would come up. I started looking a few weeks and had a (unsuccessful) phone interview last week. It didn't flow smoothly and I knew what "we will get back to you" means. But it was good practice. But I have been looking, but not seriously. The past two weeks, I felt a little more positive. Then I found out these chicks at my job were hating on me. I don't know why I would get ganged up on like that. I am not a mean person. Really...I'm not.

However, this morning I read my horoscope on MSN and it said:

Career matters may be undergoing some pretty heavy changes. You may change positions or jobs, or perhaps even pursuing an entirely new career. Financial matters may be a major factor in your making the change. You yourself may be going through an inner transformation which makes you feel and appear more powerful, dear Capricorn, and which causes others to have even more confidence in you. Success is on the way - if you make the best possible use of your own talents.

I felt it in the pit of my stomach.

I was processing the gift cards earlier this morning and then realized that the meeting that was suppose to happen at 11:00 hadn't started. So I go to look for everyone and can't find no one. Everything was shady. No one was around. I go to lunch at 12 and I tell my ex co-worker "if anything happens, I will just go teach in VA." And after lunch, it's still quiet. No one is around. The secretary doesn't look my way when I say hi. My boss asks to see me and then the axe falls.

I was somewhat stoic. I didn't react either way. I didn't hear her words as she asked me to show her some stuff. I attempted and finally said "I can't do this...that's all I have." and proceeded to gather my things and leave. As I left no one was around. I didn't return the keys. I didn't return my badge. I took my letter that stated my last day is "May 20" and that I would get paid to "May 30." I walked to the library and filed unemployment immediately.

I sat in the library and tried to apply to some jobs. I felt a sense of urgency. I am not bad off but still...I can't NOT work. I did that for an hour or so, trying to be positive. I got in my car and called my best friend and then I cried. He tried to cheer me up but it fell on death ears.

He said stop complaining. That's all you ever do now. You should be happy.

Is he right? I mean, I think I put that energy out there. I clearly said a month ago on a message board that sometimes I wish I would get laid off so I could chill at my crib and collect unemployment. I needed a break.
So I guess I got that break.

the moral of this story is...be careful what you wish for.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I am so ghey!

Apparently. According to my friends. I always talk about hot chicks. So let me show you some of the many men I find beyond fly. Outside of the usual suspects (see my facebook! all of them are fine!), let me put you on to the type of man I like. I have what some may call unusual taste. I like the unconventionally beautiful man.

But just some EYE candy for the ladies (or gaydies if you here...)

SAUL WILLIAMS:




Thugged out TI:



TRAVIE!! (Gym Class Heroes):



All those fine ass Marley Brothers:


And ole boy from India Arie's Brown Skin
I swear that dude was going to be my boyfriend. I loved him. He was too fine. Goodness. I love my brothers.

The "following" blog

On Friday I wrote a blog entitled "I am a follower because I don't follow you". The blog was full of my aggression, frustration, and confusion. It was a mess of a blog. And so incoherent. I took it down to rearrange my thoughts so it wouldn't look like I was tripping or going crazy. In the midst of that, the person who inspired the blog and I had a talk. After that talk, I decided to leave things be. What I said in the blog I meant. It wasn't over the top but it was everywhere. And I meant it at all.
I am at the point now where my goal in life is to just be myself. Not anyone else. I don't follow anyone. I never have, never will. But apparently I can not explain myself to anyone nor can I can make anyone understand how I feel inside. This is MY life. And right now I feel lost in it. It shouldnt' be this way.
But to be the bigger person I will respect the other person's wishes. I won't talk about him or refer to him anymore in my blogs, my facebook, twitter...wherever. It will be like he doesn't exist.
But I do exist. :)
And I will still be here even as the world crumbles down around me.
I just want to be happy.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

She's an inspiration




I love her. For many reasons:

1. She's hot
2. She is natural (I LOVE her hair)
3. She's original
4. She doesn't apologize for who she is
5. When I sent her a message on myspace, she answered it and even told me how she gets her hair to look so good (it involves mainly olive oil)
6. She is an activist

I could add more complicated reasons why I love her but you get the picture. But I saw this picture of her on her blog and was overwhelmed by her beauty. And reading her blog is moving too. She is very active on her blog, inviting her readers to see into her life and what she likes, loves and hates. Her stories on internet stalkers are great too.

If you are interested, you can follow her here: http://racheltrues.blogspot.com/