Quickies: Andre3000…Beyonce…Jazmine Sullivan

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Good morning dear readers…

Sometimes, random thoughts pop into my head and I think to myself: I wonder what my Dear Readers would make of this? But it doesn’t seem meaty enough for my posts. But alas, these are things that must be discussed. So I’m introducing a new section: Quickies.

Here are my issues this week:

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1. Andre 3000.

We all know that after OutKast blew up, he kinda went stratospheric on us. A little high-falutin’. Started strumming a guitar, painting, acting and launched a quirky clothing line. (Why do rappers always pick up a guitar when they’re ready to show that they’re not just rappers?)

He wasn’t doing much rapping. At least not much that I heard. And then he popped up on a remix on UNK’s Walk It Out. And he killed his verse:

Now walk it out like a usher
If you say “real talk”/I probably won’t trust ya

I loved that line. At the time, every rapper I interviewed was saying real talk at least twenty-two times in an interview. I would think to myself. Wait, so what you said five minutes ago, that was NOT real talk? Shouldn’t I assume that everything you say is real talk? I’m confused.

But my favorite line from that remix was this one:

I’m like jury duty/You’re new to this part of town
Your white tee/Well to me looks like a nightgown
Make ya mamma proud/Take that thing two sizes down

Then you’d look like the man you are/Or what you could be

That’s what I call a seismic shift verse. You don’t want to be wearing a white-tee when that song comes on. And I will bet money that verse help kill the white tee phenomena. It was like when Jay-Z said, and I don’t rock jerseys, I’m 30-plus/give me a crisp pair of jeans and a button up on “What More Can I Say.”

And then, there was Andre’s verse from UGK’s “Player’s Anthem,” which I could listen to on repeat for three days straight. The whole verse is fire. And his hotness can be reduced to one line:

I’m so like a Pip/I’m glad it’s night

And he didn’t follow that line up, (the way Jay-Z would), by saying, get it? Gladys Knight!

So, yeah. I love Andre.

But not today.

Nope, the love affair is officially over.

I just signed up for pandora.com, the online radio station. (Check it out. I love it). And one of the songs on the playlist is John Legend’s “Green Light” which features a verse from Andre 3000.

I’ve heard the song on the radio a few times. Love Andre’s verse. His back-and-forth with a potential girlfriend-for-the-night is cute. There’s this one line…

So I went hard like Medusa staring at me/Let’s blow this lame sausage factory.

Of course, “sausage factory” is a euphemism for a place with too many men, (aka sausages). A little crass. But it goes over TheOtherGirl’s head so I don’t mind.

But this morning, on Pandora, I heard the unedited version:

So I want hard like Medusa staring at me/Let’s blow this lame nigga factory.

I looked up from my monitor with my eyebrows knitted.

Did 3000 just call a club full of Black men a “lame nigga factory?”

Maybe it’s the Obama affect. But I’m annoyed that Andre dropped that line.

Now, there are a million instances of the word “nigga” used in hip-hop that probably should bother me but don’t. But for some reason, the words “lame nigga factory” coming out of Andre 3000’s mouth get a stamp of SO WRONG from me.

Moving on…

2. Jazmine Sullivan.

Love this girl. Rich, throaty voice. Sublime lyrics and vocal productions. Closest thing we’ve got to you-know-who. (I’m not even gonna say the name ’cause she’s been gone for too long. And I’m tired of always throwing out her name anytime someone comes out sounding soulful. But Jazmine does have the you-know-who effect going on).

Here’s Jazmine Sullivan’s album cover.

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And here’s what Jazmine Sullivan looks like.

images-14images-23

What in the holy hell is going on here? And I do NOT want to hear anything about how they were going for an artsy look so they used a negative effect on the photo. NO. no. NO. Jazmine is a chocolate cutie-pie. She is a dark-skinned Black woman. But her album cover depicts someone who is NOT dark-skinned. Period. Marinate on that. I’m listening dear readers. You explain that one to me.

Right now.

I know, I’m late on this one. Her album’s been out for quite some time. But every time her album cover pops up on my i-tunes I get mad all over again. So we’re discussing it now.

Right now.

And last but not least. I was reading People the other day and came upon this story about Beyonce’s new ‘do.

beyonce-new-hairdo

Her, hairstylist, Kim Kimble, gives the rundown on how to get Beyonce’s pompadour-inspired look. Here are the steps:

1. Flat iron the hair

2. curl hair

3. separate and tease the hair

4. lay the top layer over the teased roots

Easy! Right? Well. Maybe not. Does anyone else notice that Kim missed a step?

It reminds me of when I flip through hair magazines in the salon. And it will say, “How To Get Janet Jackson’s Look!” And they will talk about Janet’s curly locks and how she has to use a deep conditioner and run it through after she showers and then curl her hair around a pencil or some such nonsense.

And I want to say:

When do you put the weave in?

Isn’t that always step zero?

Is Kim Kimble telling me that she comes to Beyonce’s house and just starts flat ironing “her” hair? There are no lace-fronts popping off first? No needle-and-thread? No glue? No beads? No microbraids circling her scalp first?

I am NOT knocking weaves. My hair is natural. Haven’t had a perm in years. And I will still get a blowout and throw a track in my hair if I feel like it. But it always makes me chuckle when I read articles about Black hair care that always conveniently skip the insert-fake-hair step.

Dear readers, what are your thoughts? Does Andre’s lame nigga factory line get under your skin too? Or am I making a big deal out of nothing? Do YOU see something wrong with Jazmine Sullivan’s album cover? Or am I crazy? And while there may not much to be said about my hair-weave observation, I have another Beyonce-related question for you. Can you do the dance? I’m not ashamed to admit it. I’m learning. Thanks to this handy video…Ha.

Looking forward to hearing from you all…

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35 Responses to “Quickies: Andre3000…Beyonce…Jazmine Sullivan”

  1. Heather Says:

    “First!”
    Since this is a quickie post, I’ll inject quickie answers: 3000. Not loving his, or any rapper’s usage of the n-word. but I still find myself using it from time to time – against my resolution. but, he’s hands-down my favorite MC. Love how you pointed out Jay’s annoying penchant for spoiling the zingers in his rhymes.
    Jazmine: Wow. It’s funny I never really noticed her cartoony skin tone on the cover. Just how horrible it looks. Love Jaz as well. Had a chance to chat with her before the grammy nods came. *shameless plug….now* http://www.phillytrib.com/tribune/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=329:jazmine-100308&catid=3:the-philadelphia-tribune&Itemid=4
    Oh, and my new pack of uniball pens thanks you for the awesome blog!

  2. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Heather: I am now an official blogger. You are the very first person to shout First! I love it. And I read your story when it was initially published! I remember wanting to know more about the mansion she lived in with the fam and how that worked…How did Jazmine sound live? I’ve only heard her recorded…

  3. Heather Says:

    *beaming from ear to ear. YOU read MY story? Ok, I’m gonna get super-cheesy on you right now. You’re one of my favorite writers. I’ve followed your work for years. So for you to have read my work is a major big-up. Where did you read it, if I may ask. Our paper’s pretty small. Oh and Jazmine sounded something like this live: http://www.phillytrib.com/tribune/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1192:maxwell-1125doc&catid=3:the-philadelphia-tribune&Itemid=4
    Sorry for the massive links. I’d love a critique when you get some time.

  4. Chris Wilder Says:

    @Heather: The Trib has a website!?!?! When I worked there it was the only paper in the World where the writers didn’t have long distance or the internet at their desks. Only the editors had that so, I always had writers at my desk needing to use the internet. Jeez! And the website was NEVER updated. I’m glad to see Irv and them coming along.

  5. Anita Says:

    I don’t have a problem with the lame nigga factory line. Are you annoyed because it’s Andre, or because it’s ‘nigga’? Andre is a great rapper, but I don’t hold him to the standards that other people do because he’s just a dude. Smarter than the average bear no doubt, but still a rapper. Very talented though. I wish he would stop teasing us and drop the solo already. Note: I’m not accusing you of holding Dre to a high standard, but I have noticed he gets a little bit of cult worship for somehow being ‘better’ than the rest. He has very intelligent lyrics, and seems to be very self-aware, and I love that about him, but he’s also gonna drop a few niggas from time to time.

    As for Jaz Sullivan’s album cover–I actually saw the album cover before I saw her. So I actually thought that was her skin tone. So imagine my surprise when I saw the Need U Bad video. I was like, ‘who is this impostor’? I like the album a lot, give or take a few songs. But I tire of the L.Hill comparisons (she is she-who-must-not-be-named in your post, right? If not disregard my next lines.) IMO, she doesn’t sound like her. And she doesn’t rap (at least not that I know of). So, I’m not buying it.

    Can we talk about Nas on “My President is Black” –She ain’t no politician, honey’s a pole-tician. Now stuff like that bothers me.

    I like the quickie idea though.

  6. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Heather: yes, chile, I read YOUR story. I was in Philly with TheHusband visiting family. And link on, I love links. I didn’t even know links could go live in comments. Shows how much I know. Can you pics in comments too?
    @Chris: when was this? That is insane!
    @anita: I don’t put Andre on a pedestal. He puts himself on one. He’s always talking down to other rappers and schoolin’ them. As in “take that thing two sizes down…” So yeah, I was thrown off ’cause it was Andre. Not because he used the word. No cult worship here. And again, it’s not the word nigga. it’s the whole term: a lame nigga factory. Yikes! I wouldn’t care about just the n-word. But that term threw me off. Pole-tician doesn’t bother me at all by the way. Some women ARE pole-ticians. And paid well for it. Oh. And you crazy if you think Jaz doesn’t sound like she-who-shall-not-be-named.

  7. Anita Says:

    my comment was like a blog of its own..my bad.

  8. Heather Says:

    @Chris: funny. irv walked in right as i was reading your comment. but yea they have a website now. it’s pretty bare bones. no thrills. and we still don’t have long distance. the internets snail. some things will never change. were you a writer?

  9. Aliya S. King Says:

    @anita: my comment to your comment was also way too long. lol.

  10. Hanif Says:

    On 3 Stacks, the coupling of Nigga with lame is ok, but coupling it with factory would make it a problem. I think the former is what he did…The N-word is alive and kicking, Nigga is the “roach” of words, no matter how disgusting and embarrassing, you know they ain’t going nowhere, and the raid makes them stronger. 3k didn’t mean anything by it.

  11. Aliya S. King Says:

    @hanif: so you’re saying, the line is…let’s blow this lame-nigga factory. As in, a place where many “lame niggas” have gathered. What I heard was… let’s blow this lame nigga-factory, a whack place where niggas are made.

    I thank you for qualifying this.

  12. Anita Says:

    You really think Jaz sounds like her? I just put the album on to make sure, and I don’t hear it.

    As far as pole-ticians–do we really need to say that on a song called My President is Black? That’s my issue. It seemed outta place…maybe like it was a left over from ‘You Owe Me’

  13. Aliya S. King Says:

    @anita: play the first verse of Lions, Tigers and Bears. Girl, gon’ ahead with that she-don’t-sound-like-her mess. She’s not a carbon copy. But she’s still in the family. Her and Amy.

    No, we don’t need to say pole-ticians in that song. But for Pete’s sake, after the line, my President is Black, they espouse on their material goods and what color THEY are. The whole song is a study in conflicts. It’s NOT an empowerment anthem.

    The song is no better than Jeezy saying, “It goes Hilary Clinton/Barack Obama/Made the moral trap-or-die/Ask DJ Drama on “I Luv Your Girl”

    Really Jeezy? Really? Just throw their names in there so you can rhyme Obama with Drama?

  14. jovi Says:

    Andre 3000. I like the theatrics that I see in videos but have never really listened to his music.

    Jaz. We need to stick together. If you are dark skinned, embrace it, don’t fake it. They should have toned down the yellow pigments and added some warm caramel color. I would have been alright with that.

    I can’t BE-WEAVE it. I almost chocked when I read ‘When do you put the weave in? Isn’t that always step zero?’. Same thoughts in my head.

  15. Heather Says:

    @ Hanif: My thoughts exactly
    @ Aliya: So, will you except my Friend Request :)

  16. Aliya S. King Says:

    @heather: let’s not get all carried away now. KIDDING.

  17. Anita Says:

    Oh no doubt, I have beef with the entire Jeezy track. I would expect Nas to be more thoughtful about the rhymes he would lay on a track of that title. Jeezy? Not so much.

    And still no on the Jaz thing….I don’t think Amy sounds like her either though. So maybe its my ears.

  18. Chris Wilder Says:

    @Heather: I was the special projects editor AND the sports editor in ’03-’04. Two hats at once. It didn’t last long. Friend me on Facebook and you’ll see my resume. I shared an office with Johann Calhoun, who’s still there. The Sunday paper editor was Kevin Richardson who’s moved on to a paper in Mississippi. And Trymaine Lee was our young crime reporter. He left, got a job at the New Orleans Times Picayune and then as luck would have it, Katrina hit right after he got down there. His coverage won him a Pulitzer.

  19. Chris Wilder Says:

    @Aliya: You wrote: “Maybe it’s the Obama affect. But I’m annoyed that Andre dropped that line.”

    I’m gonna help you out here Aliya because clearly you weren’t around when I had to school several writers that you and I both know, on the finer points of “affect” vs. “effect.” That sentence should be effect, not affect. The simple rule to remember is that “Effect” is a noun; “Affect” is a verb.

    If you’re gonna be a professional, you’re gonna have to get this stuff right… ;-)

  20. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Chris: Actually, I do know the difference between affect vs. effect and when to use it. But thanks for the grammar/spell check. Appreciate it.

  21. jay1 Says:

    1. I don’t think he meant lame, “nigga” factory I think he meant “lame-nigga” factory and to me it’s kinda sorta different. kinda sorta. I see your point though.
    2.That album cover sucks, my other problem with sullivan is that I saw some 14-15 year old girls in chipotle talking about “bust your windows” and how cool the idea of vandalizing someone’s property is. like “girl, if he stopped calling me I would bust his windows, blah blah blah. I don’t imagine the boys they’re talking about have cars, I hope not, but still.
    3.I think when they say “hair” when reffering to beyonce it’s a given that “hair” means “weave”. they actually should just put hair in quotes when talking about her from now on. like check out beyonce’s new “hair”-do!”

  22. Aliya S. King Says:

    @jay1: yeah, hanif cleared that first one up for me. funny. 2. you eat at Chipotle? How come I can’t envision that? 3. from now on, I will only refer to “hair” in quotes. Even my own “hair.”

  23. Aliya S. King Says:

    @chris: for the record. I used the right word in this same post…in the Jazmine Sullivan graf….

  24. Chris Wilder Says:

    @Aliya: You wondered about the mansion that Jazmine grew up in. Strawberry Mansion is an historical landmark in Fairmount Park (the largest inner-city park in the world but, for another post) and overlooks a neighborhood that is named after it. My mother is… well, used to be… on the board of the John Coltrane Society. Coltrane lived there when he made all those masterpieces. The Society refurbished his house and made it into a museum that you could visit. Back to, Strawberry Mansion, Jazmine’s father was the curator so, his family could live there for free. To old school Philly people, like my family, this is a big deal.

    Before reading up on the mansion, you have to read up on the neighborhood:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strawberry_Mansion,_Philadelphia,_Pennsylvania

    then the mansion:
    http://www.fairmountpark.org/StrawberryMansion.asp

  25. Aliya S. King Says:

    @chris: when I said i wondered about the mansion, I meant I wondered *at the time* that I read Heather’s piece. after i finished her piece, I did some research. And learned about it. But thanks!!
    um, Wilder, would you be interested in becoming the Ombudsman for my blog? You could have a weekly post all to yourself breaking down your thoughts on my posts. Grammar, random factoids, et al. How’s that sound? And I’m dead serious by the way.

  26. Chris Wilder Says:

    Well gee, Aliya… that sounds nice and all but, my thoughts are all going here right now.
    http://www.insideathletics.com/profile/Wilder

  27. jay1 Says:

    chipotle is all that.

  28. Heather Says:

    wow, nice to see my lil’ ole article struck up such a dialogue. LOL, sweet!

  29. Katura Says:

    I don’t like when anyone uses the n-word–whether they’re rhyming, talking, writing, whatever. I don’t use it. I’m pretty sure I scowl whenever I hear it. And I’m extra insulted (or maybe it’s disappointed) when someone who sets him/herself aside as “not status quo,” “conscious,” or “above all that” (which I think Andre does) uses it. He’s a gifted lyricist. Surely he can think of an alternative.

    About the cd cover–I’m sure the label would just dismiss/explain that as a stylized graphic treatment. You can get over with art that way. I wonder how many people didn’t think much of the difference in skin tones.

  30. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Katura: Do YOU think they were just trying to do a stylized graphic treatment?

  31. Timothy Says:

    In commemoration of outgoing US Presidents granting pardons to criminals on their way out of office….i try to look at situation like these the same way…will i give a pardon/pass to these individuals for their heinous behaviour….my criteria..simple…1. is this an isolated incident? 2. is this behaviour likely to occur again? 3. is individual repentant.

    Sooo for 3 stacks…i would say yes to 1 and 2 and a probably for 3…his track record suggests that this is more than likely an out of character event….(gavel down) pardon grant for 3 stacks

    For the record company execs…i would say they probably have done this before….probably would do it again and have no shame in their game, because they think that it may sell more records…i dont know about the sales…but ….eeeehh…pardon denied

    For the Celebrity hairstylists…its hard to say…its hard to say…more information is needed to answer 1, 2 and 3….you just dont know where they are coming from in regards to their trade, nor their motive…..therefore…pardon deferred

  32. Katura Says:

    No. But I’m wondering if that’s because I’m of a certain age (like Wendy says, even though her certain age is quite different from mine), or because I’m of a certain mindset (jaded, cynical, background in marketing so I never think choices like that are just for art’s sake). Would younger, less jaded people not notice or not question? Or just not care?

    And I’m looking at the image again. Her black hood, and very dark brown hair remain dark in the cover art. Only her skin is lighter.

  33. Aliya S. King Says:

    @Timothy: well said, sir. If I’m on committee, I’m voting with you.

    @Katura: Yeah, I think younger people would definitely notice and care. And yes, they just lightened her skin. No stylized artsy-fartsy stuff going on here. Nope.

  34. slb Says:

    here’s another pic where the lighting gives jazmine sullivan a deceptive complexion: http://profile.ak.facebook.com/object3/1880/115/l15926694604_5722.jpg

  35. Aliya S. King Says:

    @slb: Yup. I peeped that one too. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one bit.

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