Non black people seem to think it’s okay to say the n word if it’s in a rap song, and I’m here to tell you that you are incorrect.Read More
I don't know about you, but I have grown wearisome of the mainstream news. I had to turn off news alerts on my phone, because every 30 minutes, I would get 12 alerts about whatever new stupid, racist thing Trump and his administration did. On the other side of things, there is a new murder or beating of a black person every single day. Furthermore, the media loves to plaster our black bodies on the web so that everytime you open an app, you're immediately accosted by videos of black bodies being killed. So I have grown very tired and annoyed of traditional media outlets. That being said, I still want to be informed, which is why I have turned to podcasts.
Podcasts have been around for awhile but in the last couple of years, really blown up into a key source of media. EVERYONE has a podcast today, even me (shameless plug). They're great, I love them. Anyone can do one, which allows for a large variety of voices and opinions to be heard. And better yet, I can listen to them whenever I want. I started listening to podcast about 2 years ago, when someone on tumblr turned me onto "The Read", which is a podcast by two black queer bloggers, who talk about pop culture but also "read" the fuck out off people who deserve it. They were also one of the first black podcasts to really hit it off, and start this wave as black people in podcasting. Since then, I have slowly started to located favorite podcasts on various topics from nerdism, humor and news. But today I want to focus on news/politics. In the era of this circus peanut's presidency, it is key to stay alert to what is going on. I find it hard to keep track of everything and follow white politician language, so the following list of podcasts are ones that I have found to be very helpful in expanding and breaking down these issues for the regular commoner like you and me to understand.
In no particular order, here are the top podcasts that you should check out if you want to stay informed.
Hosted by two comedians, Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell. Each week, they interview a political figure about what is going on in the world, what that means, and how we, the listeners, can help. I love this podcast, because they cover a lot of different issues, many of which I had no idea, even were issues. I also like the fact that sometimes they bring on guest that they don't necessarily share views with. Why would they do that? Well, I think it's important to understand what logic is going on in the heads of the other side in order to combat them. And they do this very well. It's worth checking out if you want to hear from many different voices on many different issues.
On 1 With Angela Rye
Hosted by the one and only, Angela Rye, On 1 is her podcast where she interviews different public figures on their specialties and the work they are doing in the community. If you know anything about Angela, you know she isn't about the bullshit and she keeps that habit on the show. It's fun, black and informative. It had me sold when the first episode was with Auntie Maxine Waters. Angela conducts great interviews, covering many different topics and addresses what we can do with that information.
Pod Save America
Pod Save America was an interesting addition to my podcast listening list. Most all my others are by public figures I have previous followed in social media, but this podcast is hosted by four former Obama aides: Jon Favreau, Dan Pfeiffer, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. I was interested in this podcast because although, I love to hear from the people out in the community, I also want to hear about the politics from people who have actually worked in the white house. It's a little harder to follow, but addressing the circus administration and changes from the perspective of legality and policy. I also love that they release new episodes request. Every 2-3 days, in fact. It's a more "formal" approach to these subjects that are forever changing.
It's Been A Minute
It's Been A Minute is a NPR podcast hosted by Sam Sanders. Every week Sam sits down with a guest to discuss that week's events in both politics and pop culture. I particularly like this podcast because it doesn't just address what happened and move along, they have conversations about how it effects him and his guest, how it makes them feel. It's feels a little more relatable than some of the other podcasts.
Since you’re here…
Consider making a contribution. I work very hard to deliver free content for everyone. I don’t like to create paywalls or subscriptions as I want my work to be accessible to all those who need it. That being said, creating content costs a lot of time and money. Obviously, you are under no obligation to give, I know many are out here struggling just like me, but if you can make a contribution to help support my work, know it is very much appreciated.
Black women in music were the type of representation I needed.Read More
SIT DOWN, MileyRead More
A couple months ago, I asked my followers on Tumblr when they first realized that representation matters. Today as I was scrolling through the 700+ responses, I started to ask myself the same question. After going through a list of smaller things like my Addy American Girl doll, shows like That's So Raven, Fresh Prince, Sister, Sister, the Brandy cinderella movie and so on; but a bigger influence kept popping into my mind, and that was Melissa Arnette Elliott.
Missy Elliott was the first person that really made me feel proud as fuck to be a black woman. Missy taught me so many life lessons that I will get into in a moment, but I remember being so excited about her and her music growing up. Missy was a regular person, who wasn't caught up in industry and social standards. Missy made her own damn lane in a time where women in hip hop were everywhere, and she did it so well that every person on earth respected her and her craft. Seeing a black women that didn't look like the typical light, skinny, wavy haired artist that wears shiny gowns and only raps about sucking dicks, kick down the doors in hip hop and take over while simultaneously gaining respect from every man, woman, and child in hip hop and the overall music industry was so mind blowing and inspirational to me. Missy Elliott and her music taught me so much about self love and is what sparked my black woman pride. These are just some of the things that Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott taught me.
I have never been a small person and I never will be, even in the best shape of my life I have always had a little stomach, thick hips, large breasts and that is just the way I am built. Growing up, we are taught that skinny is the only correct way to be. As much as I respect and love many other women in Hip Hop, just about all of them are light skin and skinny. Missy Elliott was one of the first bigger women not just in hip hop to just come right on out and own it, unapologetically. Missy not only was all about loving your body however it is, but she also talked about how big girls can be sexy and loved too. Missy talked in interviews about how well known industry professionals told her to stick to writing and producing behind the scenes because she didn't fit the industry "look" and well, clearly we see how that ended. She came out here slaying everybody and giving zero fucks about your feelings.
Missy also taught me that I didn't have to follow "fashion rules". Missy was always wearing wild and frankly "weird" outfits according to social standards. I mean she was either in a tracksuit or some wild ass futuristic outfit and I loved it. I never identified with being a "girly girl" and Missy taught me that was okay. And on top of all it, she made every damn thing she put on look good.
Made Short Hair Cool
I know you're probably thinking "Rebekah this is a reach", but honestly to me, it was a big deal. I used to have very long hair, but after a string of bad decisions and relaxers, I had to cut my hair short and I hated it. Girls, especially black girls, are supposed to aspire to have lengthy hair, but in reality, a lot of have short hair and we shouldn't have to be ashamed of that. So when Missy rocked her short hairstyles and looked amazing doing it, it made me realize I too, could have awesome short hair. I remember tearing photos of Missy out of magazines, bringing them to my hair stylist and saying "DO THIS! Make my hair look like this".
Inspired Me To Dance
I started doing ballet when I was 6 like pretty much every little girl on earth, but there was something about Missy Elliott and her crazy ass energy and hip-hop dance styles that inspired me to continue dancing as I got older. I used to sneak up in the middle of the night to watch MTV (back when they actually played music), and I would just wait for Missy videos to come on and learn the choreography. We ain't have Youtube back then so you couldn't just go look up music videos online, we had to wait for that shit to air on tv. Anyways, I was inspired to be a dancer, so I did dance until college. I actually originally wanted to go to college and major in dance, all because of Missy, unfortunately, things didn't work out but Missy made me find the passion and love that I still have today for dancing. All her routines were so creative and out of the box from anything we ever saw with hip hop routines. Missy literally had people dancing on the fucking walls in that "Lose Control" video and bitches coming out the ground in the "Pass That Dutch" video, like how even Sway? There still ain't a single person on this earth that can match Missy's dance styles in my opinion.
One of the most powerful things, Missy taught me was empowerment not only as a woman but as a black woman. Missy was never in cat fights with other artists, even when people took shots at her, she would take the high road because bitch, she's Missy Elliott and who are you? Missy has always been out here cheering on other women in the music industry no matter what.
She took the time to collaborate with artists other people would have been reluctant to because she saw something in them. I mean we can go on forever about the people Missy collab with, Lil Kim, Lil Mo, Da Brat, Trina, Beyonce, Ciara, Mary J, The Clark Sisters, Ms. Jade, TLC, Aaliyah, Tweet and those are just the women on HER albums, and let's not even get started on the men she worked with. And going back watching her videos I realized that not once, were the women in her videos sexualized and she had a lot of women in her videos. But they were there to be badass, hip hop dancing, ass bitches, having fun with Missy Elliott, not to be sexual objects. But aside from just being a supporter of women overall, she also rapped about women being independent and doing whatever the fuck you want to do. She was confident in her sexuality, she encouraged women to take care of they damn self and not care what men had to say about it.
"I gotta bag full of toys and I don't need none of your boys."
There is so much more that Missy has taught me but these are some of the most important to me. I was so happy she got recognized at the BET Hip-Hop Honors this year but in my opinion, it isn't enough. Missy is one of the most important and influential hip-hop artists period, no discussion needed. However, she, (and every other female hip-hop artist) is not giving the recognition she deserves. I saw so many people online say they were tuning out from the show because they were honoring all women that night. I was disgusted, sexism in the music industry, especially hip-hop is still alive and well. Far too many people do not give any fucks about the women out here working their ass off and who have 10 times the talent than any of these mainstream male rappers. Women in hip-hop are so important and Missy Elliott created a whole new style of hip-hop that has been matched by no one and paved the way for many artists regardless of gender. Missy Elliott has been out here for decades writing and producing for all your favs of all races, genders, and genres. Missy Elliott is a fucking queen to be worshiped and don't you ever forget it.
"Ugh, I'm so far ahead of ya'll, man I'm on top of the stars I don't care none of you are, blah-blah-blah-blah You best to go rewrite your bars"
Anyways, Missy is the shit and means the world to me. I will forever support her in anything she does. She could put out a line of Missy Elliott trash bags and I will be first in line to buy every single one of the shelf. I am patiently waiting for a tour and album and I will sell my right titty, my left leg, a kidney, my eggs, and maybe even an eyeball to get front row tickets. May Missy Elliott reign supreme forever and please watch this video of one of my favorite Missy songs before you go.
Support Me Maybe?
Hey folks, I want my work to be accessible to all those who need it, thus why I do not create paywalls for my blog. That being said, creating content costs a lot of time and money. If you can make a contribution to help support my work, know it is very much appreciated, and I'm sending you a virtual high-five.