i, Write

The blog of an author in the making

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Why I Love Nicki Minaj’s “Lookin Ass N—gas”…

I came across this video a few days ago, courtesy of @surabbie. It is Nicki Minaj’s Lookin Ass N—ga. I have watched it at least a dozen times, not because she’s oozing some Beyonce-latest-album level sultriness all over the video (although yes, it’s a very hot video), but because those are some killer lines she’s delivering. She isn’t kidding when she pulls out those automatic weapons at the end and starts firing into the sky like an ‘80s action villain.

#ShotsFired

I love this Nicki Minaj, and I have missed her. I wouldn’t call the Barbie version of her ridiculous, although I did grow tired of it awfully fast. And I wouldn’t call the Satanic Prophetess version of her ridiculous either…

…although that is exactly what it is.

Goddammit, Nicki -____-

I’m sure there was some supposedly great symbolic thing that was going on there, but…meh.

What I do love though, is tough Nicki, and I hope this track will come to mean more than the aesthetic gyrations, butt close-ups and hair flicks we’re treated to in the video. Because this song matters. It addresses an attitude in my fellow men that is dumb at its tamest and, downright fuckery at its worst. Some Youtube commenters have displayed their misconceptions on the message behind this song: they think it is merely looking down on men without money, because they are not ‘real men’. 

But what Nicki calls the ‘non-man ass n—ga’ clearly has nothing to do with money, since she points out that she still would have nothing to do with him even if he flew her and all her friends to Dubai. It’s not about money. It’s about attitude. Men who think and act like boys, bragging about what they do not have, lying about who they have slept with, thinking that what they DO have somehow gives them the right to be irresponsible, disrespectful and downright assholes—those are the kind of men Nicki is referring to in her video. And by calling them out, she insults them. Boy, she insults them.

In the video, she shows off her body and her wealth and status, and by putting her reflection in the eyes of the ‘non-man ass n—ga’ she tries to say, “You can look, but you can never have a woman like me, because you are the worst kind of man and don’t even know it.”

Directed at this joker right here. Google Gucci Mane and Nicki Minaj to get the full story.

Now, this video has people mad for other reasons, some more understandable than others. For instance, some guys do not think much of her to begin with, and that she lifts herself up as a kind of unattainable trophy for the ‘non-man ass n—ga’ is presumptuous to them. It really pisses them off.

First of all, I would argue that that’s a narrow way of interpreting the video. Nicki isn’t lifting herself specifically up per se (although, in one dimension, she is. Like I said, google ‘Gucci Mane and Nicki Minaj’). Instead, she is standing in as the industrious talented woman who has made something of herself, and who refuses to have her time wasted and her reputation dragged through the mud by non-man ass n—gas. Even if you do not believe that she is a good enough stand-in for the ideal woman, you cannot dismiss the general concept and message she is trying to deliver i.e. money does not make you a man. Character does.

Second of all…

Not hot? Really guys? What manner of self-deception is that?

The second reason people are making so much noise is because of the number of times she uses the word ‘n—ga’. We could argue about the appropriateness of ever using that word and never end. It is one of those arguments that has no right answer (even though some people would even argue with me about that statement).

But, it is poetry people. Repetition is a tool in poetry, specifically ‘Epistrophe’ which is the purposeful repetition of one word at the end of every clause or sentence to aid the rhyme and more importantly, drive home a point. A lot of skilled rappers use it, whilst choosing instead to rhyme the words that precede the repeated word in every sentence or clause. Therefore, they follow a scheme something like:

AZ

BZ

CZ

DZ

An example to better illustrate it is Jay-Z’s repetition of the word ‘cake’ in his feature on Drake’s hit song ‘Pound Cake’.

Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, cake

500 million, I got a pound cake

N—gas is frontin’, that’s upside-down cake

Get ‘em a red nose, they clown cakes

They shoulda never let you ‘round cake

Look at my neck, I got a carrot cake

Now here’s the icin’ on the cake

Cake, cake-cake, cake-cake, uhh

It’s a great tool in all poetry. In this case, Nicki was provoking a reaction whilst driving home her point. The only real reason it has folks upset is the word itself that she chose to keep repeating. Otherwise, it certainly does not mean that she doesn’t know how to rap, or that she didn’t know what she was doing, or (here is the silliest argument I’ve heard), she was just saying ‘n—ga’ for saying it sake a la Miley Cyrus shenanigans.

Sorry I got all technical. I keep saying that every genre is like a language, and that you need to speak it to completely understand what happens in it. I wanted to write an entry on the Language of Genre, and maybe I will. But for now…

I really like Lookin Ass N—ga. It’s a great song and it’s got some great, hilariously mean lines (as a good rap burn song should). It won’t change the face of hip-hop (did I need to say that?), but hopefully it is an indicator that we’ll see some good Nicki material in the future.

That being said, using Malcolm X on this cover image…

I see what she was trying to do…no, it did not work. It was NOT okay.

Goddammit Nicki

Filed under nicki minaj music music video

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I love Ariana Grande for three reasons.

#1 She’s cute and bubbly. I’ve always loved cute and bubbly. Just take a look at my girlfriend. Cute and bubbly? Very much so, yes. Exactly.

#2 She is reminiscent of Mariah Carey. Her choice of music is very soulful, and occasionally, tinged with a hiphop-y vibe. Her melodies are always complex. But never too complex. Just complex enough.

Some of her fans are annoyed by the comparison. They should shut up. Mariah Carey is a legend (there was a damn BBC documentary on her); and the comparison is nothing but a compliment.

That being said, those who accuse and dismiss Ariana for supposedly being a Mariah clone should also shut up. She will become her own brand; can we give her some breathing room to grow?

#3 The most important reason: She has TALENT. I love a lot of the new artistes (or at the very least, I can understand their appeal). But a lot of them sound very average when they perform live, proving that they get a little too much help from software and producers. 

Ariana on the other hand has a frightening amount of talent. Her vocal control sends shivers down my spine every time.

I welcome her with open arms into my playlists. You should do the same. :)

Above is “Almost Is Never Enough”, a true display of her abilities to sing and harmonize with a co-vocalist.

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franticcurls:

tapiwamugabe:

How is it you make
my heart so tender,
and i haven’t yet
given it to you?

it is because I know
what makes your 
palms soft,
what makes your
breath warm, and because
I send the fireflies
that light your way 
in the dark


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I am so excited to announce that the final front cover illustration for “BETA: The Killing” is complete. These two are free promotional wallpapers, so download them if you like them.

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My Thesis

Below are the Problem Statement and Objectives of my final college paper. I’m putting it here for those who want me to explain my paper. This way I only have to link you to my tumblr. :)

 

Stated problem is:

 

The negative image of Ghanaian films perceived by the international community is not only a limiter on the growth and profitability of the industry, but ultimately, the nation as a whole.

 

Aims & Objectives

·      To identify those elements that characterize, and constitute, the Ghanaian Film industry, and its image.

·      To categorize these elements into positive and negative elements i.e. recognize which elements promote the Ghanaian film industry in the global market, and which elements limit the industry.

·      To discuss how the identified positive elements can be capitalized and improved to create a stronger film industry that performs better in the global market. 

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The Wakening, Part 1

Here is the full first part of the novel I’ve been working on for 6 months now: The Wakening. There may be some typos; forgive me. Sometimes errors slip past you when the work is some 80 pages long. One part down, two more to go.

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addysjukebox:

Taylor Swift ft The Civil Wars - Safe and Sound

There’s something amazingly soothing about this song..I know there’s a video and all but please listen to it with your eyes closed. Its magic! Its almost like the chorus is coming right out to wrap you in its arms…

I never listened to Taylor Swift (blind prejudice) and I regret that now.

Its a single probably going to be on her upcoming album ‘Red’ but is also in ‘The Hunger Games’ album

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addysjukebox:

Bez ft Praiz -Stupid Song.This is from one of Nigeria’s up and coming stars. Its a fun song about the songs we thought were golden when were kids but actually made no sense at all. I just love the whole ‘old school’ happy feel of it and that it reminds us that no matter how old we get, we were once young. This is from his album ‘Super Sun’.

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i, Radio: On the Formula of Music

theradioandi:


Formulaic.

If you’ve ever read an album review, then it’s a term you’ve come across at least once. When I was younger, and just beginning to realize that music was better than cake, better than sports (oh dear God, yes), and better than cute girls (I was delusional then), I came across this…

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I know this is not a writing piece per se, but I still wanted to share:
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“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first.  A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ One girl said to me ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you this question, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’ 
— Sembene McFarland
© 2012 Black Fiya Works

I know this is not a writing piece per se, but I still wanted to share:

——————————————————————————————

“A lot of people just look and see skin color. I’ve actually had people ask me was I Black or was I White first.  A White gentleman came up to me and said ‘I thought you might be White, but then I saw your lips.’ One girl said to me ‘I’ve been wanting to ask you this question, but I didn’t feel comfortable asking you because I thought that you might be offended, but are you Black or are you White?’ And I was just like, ‘Well, I’m always Black.’ When we were done with the meat of the conversation, she laughed and said something about my hair and my butt gave it away. People definitely let you know that they view being Black as being very literal – the amount of pigment you have. ‘Your skin is White, therefore you’re White. Or are you?’ 

— Sembene McFarland

© 2012 Black Fiya Works

(Source: anextrapeace, via kobbygraham)

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Cherish your solitude. Take trains by yourself to places you have never been. Sleep alone under the stars. Learn how to drive a stick shift. Go so far away that you stop being afraid of not coming back. Say no whenever you don’t want to do something. Say yes if your instincts are strong, even if everyone around you disagrees. Decide whether you want to be liked or admired. Decide if fitting in is more important than finding out what you’re doing here. And believe in kissing.
Eve Ensler (via sweetspin)

(Source: ven-ula, via msteeko-deactivated20130729)

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Sacred, Chapter 3

The third chapter of  “Sacred: The Stone of Tumi”

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3

 

Amina slept on the front porch for the remainder of the night. The forest was too dark for her, and the clearing was too bright. The cawing from inside the house subsided eventually, and fatigue got the better of her fears. When she woke up in the morning, she took one look around, and her heart sank.

The previous night’s affairs had not been a dream.

Read more …