Albums to Watch: ‘0.1’ by Ty Showers

Get a step ahead of the trendiness of popular music and tune in to Showers’ newest releases! This time, Showers is releasing a yet unknown amount of compilations, grouped together by commonalities, and numerically named based on a successional sequence, as well as his other mysterious, personal algorithms. Obviously the first installment of this selection, ‘0.1’ is a 13-track party that packs a serious punch! Categorized as r&b, hip-hop, soul, and love music, these tracks are an candidly apt introduction to Showers as an artist.

The album covers an array of sounds, emotions, and frequencies, beginning with his proverbial calling card, the melodiously catchy, ‘78392’. It also includes fan favorites such as hip-hopish ‘This Has To Be A Dream’, soothingly smooth ‘Living Like The One Percent’ (featuring Shopen Patel), the exceedingly groovy track ‘Love Is Gone’, and the awesomely rhythmic ‘I Like To Party’. As per usual, this album includes a diverse usage of instrumentation; everything electric guitars, to keyboards, to unconventional percussions, there is truly a sound for everyone.

This is the perfect soundtrack for virtually anything. Songs about love, songs about hate, songs about partying, songs about struggles, songs about overcoming…it’s all here! If you’re looking for a new way to get your groove on, listen to ‘0.1’!

Venus L

Kanye West Adidas

The New Yeezy Collection: on the cutting edge or should he cut the crap?

In case you missed it, rapper/ mogul Kanye West recently unveiled his new clothing line with Adidas. Much to his dismay, this line and even his career as a designer, has opened up to an insurmountable level of criticism. Very few positive remarks have been published. In fact, many seem to believe that this rapper should hang up his sewing machine and stick to music…but, are they right? Not in my opinion.

To be fair…

I need to admit that I am a ceaseless Kanye West Stan (I surpassed average fan status somewhere around “Late Registration”); however, I also consider myself to be fairly level-headed about things even when I’m emotionally invested. That being said, I can see how Mr. West’s brand of street meets chic fashion might be off-putting to those who frequent the runways of Paris. Nevertheless, what Mr. West’s efforts represent to me, more than anything, is an idea. An idea that a black man from the “hood” can stand toe-to-toe with the exclusive list of designers who have been predominantly white males up until this point.

The Trickle up of Fashion…

We’re often reminded of the trickle-down of the fashion world. We’re told about how most of the things we wear are outdated the moment they reach the urban demographic as, this is what fashion is about; the constant creation of looks and styles in order to consistently stay fierce and fabulous. (In fact, if you’ve ever seen The Devil Wears Prada there’s an entire rant about it by Meryl Streep’s character). However, it is very rarely revealed that the inspiration for these so-called “high end” fashions, at times, come from what many consider to be the lowest fashion demographic, the urban market. There have been a number of styles and even specific patterns, pieces etc. that made it to runway, straight from the streets of the inner city. Not that this is a bad thing, per se…fashion designers should be inspired by fresh and novel ideas no matter where they come from. Nevertheless, this is a fact that is often hidden from the general public.

Now back to Yeezy…

There might not be much to Yeezy’s brand of body stocking, bags, heels, jackets, and tattered shirts…but at the same time, they’re everything! What Mr. West has done is taken a slice of upscale fashion and brought it to the urban community, essentially cutting out the middle man. Rather than try to fit in with the hoity toity world of high fashion, Yeezy has brought comfortably stylish clothing to high fashion. What’s more, he is also changing what is acceptable to wear in the urban community. Unbeknownst to many, the urban fashion world is a very narrow field. Designers are often limited to only certain colors and styles due to the fact that brand names are often valued over all else and fashion cues are typically taken from a select few rappers and singers. Thus, Mr. West having the courage to do something different will likely lead to many other designers crafting out-of-the-box designs for the urban market.

In Conclusion…

This is obviously just one person’s opinion. Though Yeezy’s new line may not be everyone’s cup of tea I’d urge you to scour the runways and find something that truly is. If man skirts and shirts with penis holes can be taken seriously, I’m not sure why Kanye is getting so much criticism. Fashion is about taking chances and changing the way people dress and express themselves. If nothing else, Kayne West has already done that and he’s just getting started. Here’s hoping he doesn’t let the naysayers stop him…I am looking forward to the next collection!

Venus L

On the Many Myths of ‘Anger Management’

Like it or not, anger is an emotion that many beings have to contend with daily. From superficial issues like dealing with bad drivers on the road, to more deep-seated issues such as unresolved problems from childhood, this off-putting emotion can rear its ugly head at anytime.

Considered to be a negative response by society in general, many are made to feel inferior by those around them for the inability/ unwillingness to hide this emotive state. Can anger really be managed? I’m so glad you asked…

Yes, anger can be managed…but…

The part they don’t tell you is that if the main issue isn’t dealt with it will keep coming back… with a vengeance. Many people have deep-seated issues stemming back to as early as childhood. It may seem a bit ridiculous to go back and discuss situations and hardships from your childhood…but often, that’s exactly what we need.

More often than not, when someone or something sends you into a rage, it isn’t that person or thing that actually caused the issue. Rather, the issue reminds you of something that happened in your past…or simply served as salt to an already gaping wound. Many anger management techniques also teach that anger is bad and must never exist. In actuality, anger is a symptom of a bigger issue. It’s not always as simple as forcing a smile…or engaging in peaceful visualization, sometimes you have to do the work. Anger is certainly a dangerous emotion that should be controlled; yet, it will likely continue to reemerge if the heart of the issue is never addressed.

The Bottom Line…

Yoga, boxing, meditation, writing, music, running, talking, etc. are all ways to harness angry energy into more positive avenues. On the flip side, if you are a bona fide rage-aholic and are often crippled by angry emotions, you may benefit from seeking professional help to try to get to the bottom of why this is happening. You may find there’s something you convinced yourself was no longer an issue…that’s causing the biggest problems.

Venus L

Top 5 Reasons to Never Make ‘Revenge Porn’

Relationships in 2015 are sticky business (pun unintended). Along with the usual pitfalls and obstacles that prevent two people from maintaining a happy, committed relationship, we are now forced to deal with the many problems presented by cutting edge technology and more specifically, social media. Gone are the days in which breaking up means saying “goodbye” and moving on. Indeed, a whole new dynamic seems to be taking center stage in this age. Rather than simply moving on, most keep up with your life on social media, stay in touch, and try to keep themselves visible in your online circles in order to do the same.

With all of that being said, of course many feel the need to utilize social media and usually, your own circle, in order to humiliate and degrade you in the wake of a breakup. One of the most popular methods being, revenge porn.

What is “Revenge Porn?”

According to Huffington Post, “Revenge porn refers to the practice of sharing nude photos or videos of a person in order to exact revenge against or otherwise humiliate that person.” Though tempting and likely very simple to carry out for most, this is not your best option following a relationship gone wrong. So, before you hit “upload,” please consider my..

Top 5 Reasons to Never Make Revenge Porn

5. Karma– This one is self explanatory…or at least it should be. “You get what you give,” “You reap what you sow”…you get the gist of it. Every action has a reaction so if you wouldn’t want your own, or someone close to you naked photos plastered all over the Internet, perhaps you shouldn’t put anyone else through this sort of misery.

4. More Dates– Not to mention this is the type of thing that has the tendency to backfire. After the initial shock of it all, many people will likely begin to message your Ex in an attempt to get a better look at the goods… They’ll have you to thank for that!

3. It’s Petty– Let’s think like big boys/girls for a minute…this is petty! Of course revenge feels good to most of us but do you really want to be the person known for getting so mad at exes that you literally air all of their dirty laundry online?! I strongly doubt it. Especially if you’re a male, you’ll likely have trouble attracting more women to send you those kinds of pictures/videos once women know that you could expose them at a later date…do keep that in mind.

2. Irreversible– This one is obvious…yet seldom entertained. It is human nature to experience heartbreak, betrayal, anger, etc…what is not socially acceptable is to get caught up in this emotions and cause someone lifelong damage over something that was likely not that big of a deal. Once this stuff hits the web, even if taken down, it will continue to pop up for many, many years to come. What’s more, many relationships end up working themselves out. How dumb will you feel going back to a man/woman that everyone you know has seen naked (or in action) all because you were angry and decided to post it?

1. The Law -Did I mention it’s illegal?! Well, it is! There are a number of ways you can be criminally pursued if you decide to post revenge porn. This includes hefty fines, and even potential jail time. According to a landmark case that took on the owners of a revenge porn site, these actions are illegal and will be pursued accordingly. “This behavior is not only illegal but reprehensible,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “I am pleased that as a result of this settlement, the illegally collected images and information will be deleted, and this individual can never return to the so-called “revenge porn” business.” – Huffington Post 

Overall, it sounds cliché, but the best revenge is really to just move on and be happy. Actions such as these make you appear bitter, immature, mean, and even unlawful. Exacting revenge in this manner may have unknown and lasting effects on many others besides the person you’re intending to hurt, including yourself!

Think before you post!

Venus L

 

Sources: Liebelson, Dana. “U.S. Government Takes Unprecedented Action Against Revenge Porn.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, n.d. Web. 30 Jan. 2015.

Cardio Queens: for Fierce, Fab Family Women Focusing on Finances and Fitness

Everyday there is a new dieting fad, a new fitness miracle, or a new surgical procedure that promises to help keep busy women fit and looking their best. Typically, with minimal effort. Some of these trends come and go with such speed that if you blink you may miss them. Others still seem to stand the test of time being passed down like secret family recipes amongst the most fabulous circles of women…who make it all seem deceivingly easy.

It’s no secret, staying fit and fabulous is a struggle for most women. However, add to that a budding family and career and this challenge goes from difficult, to seemingly impossible. Furthermore, I’d be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge the fact that there are stricter beauty standards for women, worldwide. Not only are women expected to be perfectly fit, but they’re also expected to be plump in all the right places, with perfect makeup, and of course, whilst sporting all of the latest fashions… Yeah, gimme a break!

Rather than to continue to point out the many obvious obstacles to women being perpetually fierce and fabulous (i.e. time constraints, child birth, child rearing, etc.) suffice to say the true struggle most women face when trying to balance family, work, and their own vitality; is how to define these things for themselves. All too often childless, single men/women are put in the position of advisor (and seemingly judge and jury) of working mothers. It’s easy to say what the perfect mom looks like, or how she should behave when you may likely never face the same barriers. Many women put too much pressure on themselves based on such recommendations and ultimately suffer.

Overall, rather than harp on what the actual barriers to superficial beauty that most women face I’d like to point out that every woman is beautiful. Cliché perhaps, but honestly the only barrier that women face in terms of realizing their true beauty…is the fact that so many are still allowing others to define and mold us into what they think we should be…

Venus L

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