Tag Archives: Twitter

stay in your lane

Staying In My Lane

keep calm and stay in your lane

Sometimes I sit back and think about all of the blessings I missed out on because I was either focused on what someone else was doing, or too scared to go after them myself. It’s probably not the most productive use of time, but… it happens and I’m sure I’m not the only one who does so.

It’s slightly ironic. Sometimes, we lose sight of what we have by looking at that which we don’t, when in actuality what we have is just what we need to gain what we’re seeking. It’s easy to get distracted by what other people are doing, especially in our all-digital-all-the-time lifestyle. We can scroll through Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to take a glance at small squares of people’s lives, the squares that they allowed us to see. Of course, what we don’t remember, is exactly that… those are only glimpses of the entire story, and though a picture can be worth a thousand words, those thousand words may not be enough to tell it all.  Continue reading

Chris Brown court 2012

On Chris Brown, Twitter Rants, and Media Bias

Have you ever stopped to think about how invested we are in other people’s lives?

That may sound like a strange question, but humor me for a moment. We live in a society where “reality” shows are more popular than scripted dramas or sitcoms, right? Not to mention, with social media, we have unprecedented access to celebrities, which for better or worse, is demystifying the concept of fame. These days, artists aren’t just selling their music, they’re selling a “lifestyle”, and in many cases, the latter has more bearing on success than the product of the former, right? Do you realize how detrimental that can be to the shaping of our perceptions of what is truly real? Or, no?

I’ll come back to this. Continue reading

Thoughts On Frank Ocean + Hyper-Masculinity In Hip-Hop Culture

I sat on Twitter early Wednesday morning and watched the tides turn for a young man whose remarkable talent has gifted us with some of the best music we’ve heard in recent history.

Frank Ocean, a 24 year old singer/songwriter from New Orleans, LA is preparing for the release of his debut album on Def Jam Records. He’s already lent his pen to some of the biggest names in the music industry, earning placements with Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, John Legend and more. In other words, he’s made a huge impact in a few short years.. and with little fanfare. Known for his ability to take the simplest of feelings and translate them beautifully into lyrics, Frank is aligning himself to become one of our generation’s greatest songwriters. But on Wednesday, which also happened to be the day that America celebrates it’s freedom, he made his own declaration… one that drudged up the dark side of hip-hop culture. The one that we so often choose to ignore.

In a letter on his Tumblr page, Frank told his fans a story about how he was rejected by his first love. It was eloquent yet simplistic, making the emotion all the more real. His pain was evident, but so was his strength. The “shocking” part: that love, the object of his affection and quite possibly the inspiration behind so many of his popular songs, was male.

And with that revelation, the flood gates opened. At first, there was an overwhelming outpouring of support… but as the news began to spread…so did the hate. Slurs, expressions of disgust, and complete cancellation of fandom were common place. After about an hour, I had witnessed all that I could handle. I went to sleep wondering what had changed about his music that made people so adverse to him, a man whose work they were clamoring for just a few days earlier. I was baffled.

When I woke up, it all clicked. Unfortunately, the reality was more cumbersome than I cared to admit.

Hyper-masculinity (and subsequently homophobia) in hip-hop have fostered a culture of untruths, where men are expected to be hard, stoic and with unyielding strength. Those of us not fooled by the facade, those of us who live in the real world, know that is the furthest thing from the truth.

Men feel. They love. They hurt… and they cry, just like women do. That is fact, not fiction… whether you choose to accept it or not. The problem begins when people buy into the idea that the expression of emotion is something that is only acceptible for women.

That’s also where the attacks on guys like Drake begin. As an artist, he’s been transparent with his range of emotions, but is often met with criticism from his male peers for “simping” or being too soft. As a result, he’s conformed a bit to the industry standard, more frequently speaking about f***ing b****es and catching bodies. I wonder, which is more damaging?

Frank is not a martyr, he’s just a guy who shared his truth. Frankly, I couldn’t care less about whether he’s bi, homo, or heterosexual. All I know is that when his album drops, I’m expecting the same quality of music that I’m used to from him.

How about you? Is this hyper-masculinity in our culture worth attacking? Can it be fixed? Or are we all just stuck living a societal lie. You tell me.

Wale-Ambition-Cover

Illest [Chick] Alive

So, it’s been over a month since I’ve shared with you guys, and I’m sorry. No real excuse, but… I hope you’re still down for the cause and the mission of the blog. I pledge to keep posting consistently, and I hope that you’ll continue to be a part of the conversations that begin here. Thanks for supporting. – Andrea

Now on to the topic at hand…

Last week, there was an onslaught of music to accompany the first day of November. I’m guessing everyone thought that the date looked cool on paper, and would create some type nostalgia among their fanbases. Whatever the case, there was a great deal of music to be presented on my entertainment blog TheUptownLounge, and it’s taken me the better part of a week to digest it all.

The title for most buzzed about 11-1-11 release probably belonged to Wale. His much anticipated sophomore album Ambition has already been labeled “classic” by some. But of course that doesn’t come without controversy. Wale is notoriously outspoken on his Twitter account, but for good reason. He’s got a lot of haters. Some of which are internet gangsters, and the others, are just not impressed with his music. I do not fall into either of those categories, but I do have a few questions for the D.C. native who has taken the national scene by storm.

Wale knows his fan base, and it’s apparent in the way he creates and markets his music. He’s even created a special private Twitter account dedicated to his “Ambitious Girls” (female Wale fans who’ve been inspired by his songs of the same name.) Members of the “Ambitious Girls” club receive special email and video messages from Wale himself (as well as special merchandise and advanced ticket offers for his current tour.) Business wise, that’s a smart move, but beyond that it also says a lot about how Wale is trying to stay true to himself… at least, that’s what I think. Continue reading

Does Social Media Cheapen Our Relationships?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Yes. It is true. Social media has become a part of our daily lives. Be it a source of information, an opportunity to promote your art, or to simply stay connected with family and friends that we don’t get to see in person on a daily basis. Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and the like can be helpful, but have you taken into account the effect that they are having on your real life social interactions?

Elders say that our generation is more disconnected than ever. While on the surface, this might be unreasonable, if you really think about it, they are probably right. If you asked most people about their communication habits these days, you would probably find that they were more inclined to text, email, or contact people via social networks…rather than calling, or speaking in person. Think about it. There are plenty of things that you can say in a text message or tweet that you would never allow yourself to say out loud or to someone’s face. It’s this false sense of courage that has lead to a phenomenon we now refer to as cyberbullying, and a breakdown in communication across our culture as a whole. Continue reading

Sometimes Silence Speaks Louder Than Words

About a week ago, I planned to write a post for The Uptown Lounge about Chris Brown’s 2010 comeback. I have been very impressed by the progress he’s made since THE INCIDENT, which was almost two years ago. He did his community service, he cried at the BET Awards, he’s nominated for 3 Grammy’s for a mixtape song, and he completed his court ordered domestic violence course. Chris really made strides to get back in the public’s good graces, and then…he regressed for a few hours. The problem is, those few hours have sparked a negative media frenzy that will probably once again put him back in America’s proverbial dog house. Not sure what I’m talking about? Maybe you don’t have a Twitter account.

Here’s the story from Entertainment Weekly:
Continue reading

Time Is Only Wasting…So Why Wait For Eventually?

The funny thing about social networks is, you can be whoever you want to be and say whatever you want to say, even if it’s not true in your real life. The internet is a fantasy world, where you can recreate yourself…and be who you really want to be in real life.

Let me let you in on a little secret. If you stopped talking about it online, and started making it happen…you could stop being miserable…and start really living. Continue reading

Let Me Tell You About The #thingsblackgirlsdo!

Today, much like other days, I was surfing through Twitter, networking, promoting and chatting with friends when I came across this trending topic. For you non tweeters, trending topics are what is being talked about the most on Twitter, either localized, or worldwide… sometimes they are accompanied by a hashtag, other times, they are just words. Currently, the most popular trend on Twitter is #thingsblackgirlsdo. It started last night, and I did my best to keep my mouth shut while watching black men on my timeline seemingly attack the living daylights out of their sisters…putting stereotypical mumbo jumbo out into the Twitter universe for all to see. Now while I do not know where it originally began, I have a feeling it was started in response to BET’s “Black Girls Rock” Award show that aired Sunday night, with it’s origin rooted in positivity…but clearly took a nasty turn. One thing I can not stand, is for black people to tear each other down…and then invite other people to tear us down too. As a young “black girl” I find it totally perplexing that a young black boy can spew such negativity…seeing that he would not be around had his mother, grandmother and others not been “black girls” at some point. We forget that…all too often. Below I posted a few of the tweets I ran across while looking through the #thingsblackgirlsdo feed. (NOTE: The language in the following screen caps is not suitable for children or the faint of heart.) Continue reading

Use Your Power For Good Instead of Evil!

If you’ve ever read a comic book or watched a cartoon, you know that the protagonist, or the hero, is always one that has some type of power. A super strength, an ability to see through brick walls, incredible speed…or whatever. In every situation, they used a unique gift, to make a difference in the world that they lived in. The same thing is relevant for you and me. Our unique gifts and talents make us each figurative superheroes, in our own right.

I was driving up the highway the other day & passed the Knowles-Rowland Center For Youth, a youth/community center built for St. John’s United Methodist Church and sponsored by Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland, and family. The Knowles & Rowland families are no strangers to philanthropy, and are probably some of the best examples of international superstars who truly know the importance of their influence, and have remained humble while the world grew to know their names. When I think about them as examples, I begin to wonder exactly how I’m using my “super gift” to help others. Continue reading