Women Slut Shaming in Hip Hop

Ho, hoochie, slut, groupie, bop, thot, tip drill, and so on and so forth. We hear it in almost every rap song. Women are constantly being degraded in rap music by men. Almost every rapper has ever done it in some capacity, but men are unfortunately not the only ones who participate. Women in hip-hop slut-shame their sisters as well.

Recent comments from former Ruff Ryder first lady Eve about Nicki Minaj’s Paper Magazine cover have sparked the conversation about women in hip-hop slut-shaming each other.

Eve’s opinion that “as a woman” she thinks “it’s not right” brought out a lot of her old business about her being a stripper, her racy magazine spreads, and her sexy lyrics causing more slut-shaming by Nicki stans and defenders.

The truth is, some women in hip-hop have helped perpetuate slut shaming instead of taking it as women embracing their sexuality.

Some may argue women like Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, and Trina are hypersexualized stereotypes of the black female rapper, but others beg to differ and argue that these women have taken their sexuality and own it. Some people just exude sexiness and feel comfortable doing so.

Female rap beef has been full of slut-shaming (Foxy Brown vs Lil Kim, Cupcakke vs Kash Doll, Trina vs Jackie O, and more). Calling each other hoes and airing out dirty laundry comes with the territory of beef, but within the gritty hard lyrics lies the idea that being a sexually confident female is wrong.

Luckily female rappers are a mosaic of different kinds of women from Rapsody to JunglePussy, MC Lyte to Khia, Angel Haze to Meg the Stallion, almost every kind of woman is represented in some way, even the sexually liberated twerking hottie who likes to show some skin. There’s nothing wrong with putting the “ho” in hip-hop regardless of what anyone else, even the other women, have to say about it.

Turning the Church Up: An interview with Brittany Shontel

When you think about religion you usually don’t associate it with being "lit". Some people don’t think of it being fun at all. Brittany Shontel’s mission is to bring the fun to the word of God. A former club surfer, Doughboyz Cashout stan, and avid twerker have turned her energy into making her and others walk with Christ lit.

What is Pretty Lit Ministries?
A three-part ministry that includes tees, a podcast and outreach. It's for the people like myself, who love Kendrick, but can worship to Kirk. A ministry for those who know they need God, but don't know where to start, or they feel like they aren't in a place where God wants them the way they currently are. Pretty Lit Ministries is what I needed 5 years ago.

What were you doing before Pretty Lit?
I had a ministry called Pretty Girls Praise, from 2013-2016 - but I wanted to expand beyond women, so I changed it. Before that, I was living my life. I loved partying, going out, drinking, etc. I wasn't really involved in anything, I was just existing.

You are a huge fan of music, what artists inspire you?
Kendrick Lamar. He is my number on inspiration in music. I love how is unapologetic about who he is, and his relationship with God has always been mentioned in his music. I think that's why I love him so much. He's planting seeds in people's hearts without forcing the word on them. That matters - I pray I can get to that point, where I can truly be me while still shining God's light. I also love how private he is - sometimes I overshare, and it comes back to bite me, then I think like "dang I should've taken the Kdot approach on that and keep it to myself." Lastly, his growth was not overnight. I recently saw him at the palace, and all I was thinking was jeez - the last time I saw him was at Chene park & now He's in an arena like this. Perseverance.

I love PartyNextDoor - not only does he make amazing music for himself, but he's behind so many songs people love (Wild Thoughts, Work, Sex with Me) - and unless you look into it you would not know. You don't always have to be the face of something to shine. It motivates me to be okay with being behind the scenes.

I also love Lecrae, Cardi B, & Kirk Franklin.

How do you incorporate music with Pretty Lit?
Mostly on my podcast, Pretty Lit the Podcast. Every week we do a Righteous & Ratchet Song of the week. It's our way of introducing our listeners to new music. I believe in having a healthy balance -and I also believe God can speak in whatever way He best sees fit. The entire theme and vision for my last conference "Take Flight" was given to me while I was listening to Kanye's TLOP.

What inspired you to start a podcast?
My Executive Producer & Boss Friend, JG. He saw a need, and thought my ministry could fill it. I did not want to commit to a podcast and I told him no, several times. But eventually I saw what he saw so I said yes. I am so happy I did.

How do you hope to impact the world?
I've never thought about this. I pray my impact is positive - I want people to desire to shine brighter after meeting me. I hope to have my entire generation eager to pray, not only for themselves but for others. Most importantly, I hope my life impacts people to do what God has called them to do. I've done some things, seen somethings, & said some things - and NONE of my actions dimmed my light nor stop my purpose from being necessary for others. I want others to know - that is the same for them.

Do you receive criticism from other church people because of your high energy ministry?
Probably. Never to my face though...isn't that how it always is though? People hate that I say Righteous & Ratchet and use the word "Lit". I see the tweets and IG post. I don't care - I have to do what God tells me, and if I move in a way he hasn't instructed I have to deal with that from HIM. My ministry is for specific people, my mother has told me that since I decided to step into this - so I try to walk in that on a daily basis.

Where do you see yourself in a year?
Interesting... My first thought was engaged - but I am not ready for marriage just yet. I want to be in a position to give more - more love, more money, more of God, more experiences, etc. I see myself helping my Elise with her purpose, I see myself assisting my friend Sha'lyce in finding a building for her business idea. I see myself with the Dani, Breezy and the Peoples Choice interviewing Lecrae, and Sarah Jakes Roberts for Pretty Lit the Podcast. Prayerfully, I'll be less petty, a LITTLE less ratchet and a LOT more righteous.

Fucking Your Way To The Top: A Corrupt Hollywood

“You know she fucked so and so to get that spot.”

A rumor we have all heard, and sometimes there is truth to it. Lana Del Rey sang it best “I fucked my way to the top”. It is not unheard of for people to use what they got to get what they want. Usually, haters are the ones spreading rumors that people, especially women, are only successful because they had sex for it. Most people aren’t lying on their backs and scraping up their knees for their big break.

THEY ARE WORKING THEIR BUTT OFF!!

Sleepless nights, investing thousands of dollars, learning more, going through the mud, missing out on precious moments, and years of hard work go into these success stories we assume are easy and overnight. That does not keep predators from trying to coerce people to exchange sex for placements and things you can either pay for or get just because you’re good.

While looking for a studio to record my poetry EP, I was offered it all for free by several men in exchange for dates, foot rubs, and loads of other things aside from cash. I was faced with postponing my idea to find a space where I would work with an actual professional and feel safe, and eventually, I found one. But not everyone is so lucky. Countless men and women have washed their dreams right down the drain because they were constantly met with sexual advances and sometimes even sexual assault...

Recently, actor Terry Crews spoke out about him being sexually assaulted by a big Hollywood executive in relation to a role. These things are often swept under the rug and kept quiet.

Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and tons of other big Hollywood actors, producers, directors, etc. have been accused of sexual assault in some capacity. Most of the victims were models, singers, and actresses hoping these men would genuinely help them further their career. Many of them say these men offered them better opportunities in exchange for sexual relations.

In an interview from 2005 singer, Courtney Love warned to never go to a hotel if Harvey Weinstein invited you.

People are dreaming of being stars, going without meals, and risking they're all for their big break and people in power (and sometimes without) are conning them into giving up their goods to make it. This is an unethical and immoral use of power and whistleblowers must continue to try and dead this clear exploitation.

Fucking your way to the top is a thing, and it's very rare that most people are paying their dues for their spot. People are working their butts off and aren’t looking for sex in exchange for a better career.

Head upwards, towards the sky

Positive energy. The thing that everyone preaches about, but finds it hard to stand upright at the pulpit once negative energy comes roaring through rose-colored doors. In 2017, we’re at an all-time high with the negative forces that are permeating our daily activities. Every facet of life, from politics to entertainment has some form of negativity attached to it like a newborn baby to a pacifier. A theory states that there must be positive and negative energy to balance out various aspects of life. But if balance means outing various countries and leaders on Twitter (45), or attaching our attention to harmful news-stories and video clips, then when and where does the positivity come into play?

Everything can’t always be sunshine and blue skies, but if society is creating its own conundrum of negative energy, then we must offset that energy and utilize that Cardi B exuberance that’s in ALL of us.

#BecomeInspired

 

“Men Are Trash” – a Rant

Three words, three syllables, and an unlimited amount of butthurt. Men. Are. Trash.

As common as it is for men to be told by other men to "man up" and/or ridiculed for being "sensitive" (the hypermasculine nigga's battle cry), it would seem the only time it's socially acceptable for men to embrace their sensitivity is when women are holding us accountable for being pieces of shit. Funny how that works.

Now, I do NOT like the phrase "men are trash." However, I understand why it is used. Much like how transgender model Munroe Bergdorf's recent statement that all white people are racist is a critique of the systems that perpetuate racism and socialize white people to be racist, as opposed to an individual, "men are trash" is not a direct attack toward any of us niggas! Instead, it's a critique of the patriarchal society we live in. It's a critique of the behaviors that those of us who benefit from this male-centric society see no problem with, even as we blame rape survivors for their own trauma and justify the murder of transwomen. Men are socialized to be sexist! If you actually listen to women when they discuss their experiences, you already know this. Unfortunately, it's far too common for men to simply dismiss and deflect, rather than understand and empathize.

prime example as to why men are trash

Despite the pressing concern that one in three women worldwide has experienced either physical or sexual violence, men cry out bullshit they don't really care about, like "what about male victims of abuse?" Well, A recent Twitter rant just goes to show that men aren't nearly as committed to showing their concern with real action as they are with trolling women about their trauma. Deflections like these are used on the daily to silence women. However, they're not reserved for women alone. Men who live and breathe toxic masculinity have a habit of dismissing other men on the subject as well. Any attempt to defend women online or champion their causes will surely be met with blatant homophobia and the accusation that you're "simping." To me, this is very telling.

There is a large group of men who genuinely believe that a man respecting women and not wanting to see them abused by other men is only doing so with an ulterior motive, or is homosexual. Men are so used to feigning respect for women in order to get some pussy that they don't even know what the genuine thing looks like and even conflate the act with some sort of homosexual display. Absolutely ridiculous, right? Yet, this same group of men gets offended when the very behavior they are so used to, the very behavior they weaponize against other men, gets exposed for being the trash it is, especially by women.

There are plenty more points to make, but the main point of this rant is that most men don't give a single fuck about the self-serving bullshit that comes out of their mouths in the pathetic attempts at defending their trash behaviors and ideologies. Niggas don't even listen to women when they to attempt to shine a light on these legitimate concerns. They just cry about how three little words hurt their feelings, while women try to cope with the fact that there is no place where they are 100% safe from violence. So, in conclusion, and since men love being trash, if you hate being called trash, the only way to end it is to STOP BEING TRASH. The correlation is so simple and yet......nvm.

If you can't stop being trash, at least take your own advice and stop being so sensitive. It's only three little words.

Detroit Ché’s, Chénges EP is necessary

So far this year our beloved SKWÄD has been delivering heat from all bases; I'm talking music, parties and the promo for it, clothing, lip balm and essentials for your car. Sheesh, merch game going crazy. Speaking of music Detroit Ché put together Chénges for the sake of our sanity. Yes, it's that deep. 

The theme for Chénges is quite simple. Say you're nurturing a plant, hence the song titles Seed, Root, Stem & Leaf, from the start of its life to its current state a plant does one thing and that is to grow. Since when have you ever heard of a plant reverting to what it was a week ago? The plant doesn't cower or allow life's many changes to discourage it from prospering/blossoming. Instead it adapts. I believe that is what Ché is channeling with Chénges. She was able to create a healing experience that reminds us of the growth that many of us strive for.

You'll be able to grab a listen to CHÉNGES on all sorts of platforms such as Spotify, Tidal, and iTunes.

Below is the official video for the last song on Chénges entitled Leaf! Enjoy and grab some merch here

Five Problematic Songs from Some of Your Faves *cringe*

Times change and so do people's opinions on what's right and what's wrong. Sometimes we find out our favorite artists have some problematic opinions and they reflect in their music. Here are five songs that we should no longer support even if it's been on our playlist for years:

5.) You're So Gay – Katy Perry

Well, Katy Perry really shouldn't even be one of your favs, but when this song came out she was on everyone's radar. The colorful chorus goes "You're so gay and you don't even like boys" making fun of a vulnerable man who enjoyed the way he looks. Not cool.

4.) Misery Business – Paramore

Led by the powerful voice of Hayley Williams this band made most of us jump for joy in high school, but this song was from a petty hating place. "Once a whore you're nothing more, sorry nothing more, and that will never change." The song criticized a young lady, took her man, then slut shamed her.

3.) Stupid Girls – Pink

Just because you're a rebel doesn't mean other women are beneath you. In this mega hit Pink sings "what happened to the dreams of a female president, she's dancing in a video next to 50 Cent". Apparently, in Pink's world, it's okay to degrade other women and that women can't twerk and be in politics. Womp.

2.) Stronger Than Me – Amy Winehouse

Another song that pokes fun of men who aren't into doing hard labor and taking care of women. Even if the song is mad poetic lines like "are you gay" show exactly how Ms. Winehouse feels about a man who expresses his feelings, makes dinner, and doesn't put up much of a fight.

1.) Stupid Ho – Nicki Minaj

"You a stupid ho," said over 500 times on one track is not just annoying, but picking apart your enemy should involve a little more than someone calling someone else dumb and slut shaming them, but eh.