A collection of features, essays and interviews I've written for various publications. My bylines have been featured in Medium, HelloGiggles, The Boombox, Vibe, The Village Voice, Pop Crush, and more.
I was eight years old when I first saw No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” music video on MTV. I was immediately obsessed: I loved all the colors in the video, how badass Gwen Stefani seemed, and how much this song about how complicated it is being a girl spoke to my young self. I would go on to purchase No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom album with my allowance, and the whole album would open the door for my new musical taste for ska/rock music. (I was only listening to 90’s R&B, Mariah Carey and Janet & Michael Jackson at the time.)
We are mere days away now from Janet Jackson‘s grand return to the music scene with her upcoming full-length LP, her first since her 2008’s Discipline. Throughout her career, Janet has had some majorly iconic singles — “If,” “What Have You Done for Me Lately,” “That’s the Way Love Goes” to name just a few — many of which have paved the way for pop starlets such as Britney Spears, Tinashe and Rihanna. However, Miss Jackson-If-Ya-Nasty has just as many great (if not better!) should-have-been-smashes throughout her discography.
I decided I would use OkCupid and Craigslist (yes, even scary ol’ Craigslist) so I could have dinner three times a week without opening my wallet.
So what if the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a bunch o' hooey? People still care about its inductees, and it's perhaps the highest achievement a musician can have on his resume.
Or her resume. Of course, the Hall is very light on women, not to mention women of color.
But there's always a chance to get it right when it comes to Janet Jackson, whose career as a trend-setter and hitmaker should speak for itself.
Here's the shocking thing: Despite being eligible since 2007, she has never even been nominated.
Dearly Beloved, you are gathered here today to read our interview with a writer about a legendary performer. In this corner, Touré: Journalist and thinker for many an outlet (The New Yorker, VIBE, Time.com), and author of Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness: What It Means to Be Black Now. You perhaps know him best for the incredible face he made when R. Kelly asked him “When you say ‘teenage’ how old we are talkin’?” during their on-camera interview for BET or the time he straight Son’d Piers Morgan on dude’s own show at the height of all that Trayvon Martin sadness.
Long gone are the days where you were shunned for being a feminist — within the last year or so, the once-controversial term has been broadly embraced by the media, with pop culture rushing to rally behind the "f word." Beyoncé boldly sampled Chimananda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist TEDx monologue in her song, “***Flawless,” actress Emma Watson spearheaded a gender equality program by making a speech in front of the UN, and now no actress or female musician can get through an interview without being asked if they're a feminist. Which is all wonderful — but we should also take time to remember the pop icons who embraced feminism before it was trendy, like Christina Aguilera.
In recent years, being a ‘stan’ or ‘stanning’ has become an art form. According to Urban Dictionary, a ‘stan’ – popularized from the Eminem song of the same name – “is an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete”. However, it’s more than just idolizing your favorite pop star; it’s about being a super fan and flexing it any time, any place, and in any form. It’s a 24/7, 365 gig.
It’s hard out here for a millennial. No really it is. In addition to a recent NY Times article that showed we – ages 18 – 34 – are on average in deep debt, earn far less compared to previous generations, and living at our parent’s home, we can’t even court right. Remember courting, the form of dating in which two people actually get to know one another before jumping into full blown intimacy? We’ll it’s becoming obsolete. Behold, a new trend that singles are experiencing, ‘Netflix and Chill’.
On Oct., 12, 1993, Salt-N-Pepa created the blueprint for female MCs who had a voice and weren’t afraid to show it with their fourth album, ‘Very Necessary.’ The project sold more than 5 million copies in the U.S., and 2 million internationally, becoming one of the most successful albums by a female rap group.
The trio, consisting of Cheryl “Salt” James, Sandra “Pepa” Denton and Deidra “DJ Spinderella” Roper first released ‘Shoop,’ off the album. The track had a hint of old school R&B (the song samples ’50’s group the Sweet Inspirations’ song, ‘I’m Blue,’ specifically the catchy “doo-ba-do” line), and lyrics that were modern and unapologetic. Pepa enters the song aggressively with, “Here I go / Here I go / Here I go again / Girls, what’s my weakness? Men!”
30 Years Later, Janet Jackson's 'Rhythm Nation' Still Speaks to the Times
Released in 1989, Jackson’s groundbreaking album is just as timely today as it was when it was released two decades ago.