hip hop muse

hip hop don’t stop. whatever i give you, it will be heavily seasoned with hip hop flavor like your grandma’s secret fried chicken recipe. this is the life of a b-girl. street fab, urban sophisticate. ghetto socialite. all the way real. are you down?

Beyonce/Sasha Fierce, the use of an alter ego to get by November 29, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 10:46 pm

On slate.com there’s an interesting article analyzing Beyonce’s alter ego, Sasha Fierce, and how she uses it to draw a line between her real self and her identity as a performer. The gist of the article, as I interpreted it, is that her use of an alter ego is somehow flawed and creates a sense of alienation between Beyonce and herself. This line of thinking is clearly speculative, as Weiner alludes to artists such as Old Dirty Bastard and Kurt Cobain, who both suffered dire consequences due to their inability to reconcile themselves personally versus their performer selves.

Perhaps Weiner is right. It can be quite a struggle to contain who you are as a person within the scope of being a mega celebrity. His article got me thinking about how in everyday life, people have to struggle to balance the different sides of themselves. Who you are at the office is different than who you are with your friends, which is different that who you are with your parents, and so on. This struggle exists for each of us on several levels every single day of our lives.

The use of alter egos help us cope. It doesn’t make you fake, or insincere. Sometimes you have to put on those different hats, play the game, and give people what they expect from you in order to get by. Not meaning that you have to sell yourself out, because you should always stay true to who you are. But when it comes down to it, you gotta do what you gotta do sometimes to make it through the day. That’s life game 101.

So play on, Beyonce, Sasha Fierce, or whatever you want to call yourself. The formula has obviously been working, so you’re doing something right.


How to not have a total meltdown this Thanksgiving November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 6:58 pm
Tags: , ,

The holidays tend to stress out the most even keeled of us. Entertaining guests, attending parties, preparing for said events, along with holiday shopping and passing the hell out at your account [im]balance after all is said and done makes most of us want to run and hide somewhere until January 2. Here are some tips to tide you through Thanksgiving and the rest of the winter holidays.

Plan in advance. Yea, I know, it’s not a new tip. But it’s something that most of us don’t do. If we took a couple of minutes to plan things in advance things would run much more smoothly. Making lists, planning your routes, and preparing for activities in advance goes a long way.

Say you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner. You need to plan the meal, shop, cook, put together an outfit, get your hair and nails done (or do it yourself if you have the talent). It would behoove you to make a grocery list, plan your outfit in advance, schedule that hair appointment, and prep as many of the food items as you can in advance. This will prevent you from running around like a chicken with her head cut off the night before the big dinner because you didn’t know what you’re going to wear, you waited until the last minute to shop for food, and you waited too late to cook. Yea, I know you had a gazillion reasons to put it off. Procrastination is not your friend. The day of the party all you should be doing is setting the table, heating up the food, and drinking wine. When your guests arrive you should be relaxed, well put together, and ready to play hostess.

Don’t feel bad for what you cannot do. There’s a saying that goes something like, “change the things you can, and accept the things you cannot.” You are one person with two legs and two arms. You can’t do everything. Don’t bug out when you make your holiday rounds and you can’t make it to see everyone. People generally understand if you have prior commitments. And if they don’t, guess what? That’s not your problem. Sometimes the demands of the holidays cause us to overcommit to things, in turn making us super stressed and overwhelmed. You can’t carbon copy yourself to be in more than one place at a time, so do the best you can.

Shop early. As stated earlier, get your shopping done early so you aren’t stuck in traffic trying to get to the store, only to find limited selection and obscenely long lines. You’ll be beating your head on the steering wheel of your car and cussing and elbowing folks at the store. Save yourself the stress and get to the store at least 2-3 days prior to cooking.

Indulge. Isn’t that what the holidays are about? Indulging in food, merriment, and generosity? Go ahead and eat. Drink. Be Merry. Eat pie and cake, and fall asleep after you eat. Imbibe until Sunday. Then Monday after Thanksgiving weekend, get your butt up and exercise. Get back on that diet! You know you were dead wrong for inhaling that sweet potato pie like that. But hey, it was fun while it lasted.

Express Gratitude. Give thanks to your creator, or if you are non-believer, simply be thankful for what you have. To quote Pac, “it’s so much trouble in the world…can’t nobody feel ya pain.” You are lucky to get a hot meal. You are lucky to have shelter, clean water, and to have internet access. Count your blessings.

Share some of your tips to beat holiday stress. How do you deal during the holidays?


Ludacris & T-Pain on SNL, Blizzard Man November 23, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 3:39 pm

This skit is f’n hilarious. It seems like a satirical look at the current state of hip hop, how these mad corny artists are pushed onto the hip hop audience. Social critique aside, this clip is pure hilariousness. Lol @ “he must be sippin’ that purp.” Gotta love SNL.


I ain’t going nowhere November 19, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 9:23 pm

It’s been a long time, I shouldn’t have left you…without some dope words to step to…I been without internet access for a few days ya’ll! Let me tell you, life without internet is a life not lived.

Just wanted to make it known that HipHopMuse is still in the building. I’ll be back to hit ya with some mad flava in ya ear. In the mean time in between time…peace, be still.


Wu Tang documentary tonight on BET November 13, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 7:33 pm
Tags: ,
wutang pic, swiped from last.fm

image via last.fm

Protect ya neck, the killa bees are coming. Wu: The Story of The WuTang Clan airs tonight on BET at 8pm. This documentary was filmed by Gerald Barclay, a filmmaker out of Staten Island who grew up with the founding members of the group. GB chronicled the group over a number of years, documenting the rise, fall, and resurrection of the Wutang Clan.

Wu is an up close and personal look at how nine dudes from Shaolin became a  supergroup known as Wutang Clan. It’s really interesting to see how Rza wrangled nine unique individuals into a cohesive group, with each member bringing their own style to the collective. Blending sharp lyrics, dope beats, kung fu, and Supreme Mathematics, Wutang killed the rap game. Murdered it.

Wu glimpses into the complexity of Old Dirty Bastard. Included are exclusive interviews with Papa Wu, the “den mother” of Wutang, and Icelene Jones, ODB’s widow. Peep the footage of ODB right before his death, when he got out of jail and signed to Rocafella. It’s crazy. Tune in if you can, but if you miss it, the DVD comes out next Tuesday.

Wutang! Wutang! Wutang! Wutang!


Why Are You Into Hip Hop? November 11, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 9:38 pm
(I chose this image because Free is the ultimate b-girl, and Honey was the publication for the b-girls. How I miss thee)

(Obviously this isn't me. I chose this image because Free is the ultimate b-girl, and Honey was the publication for us. How I miss thee.) Image via ohfreeonline.blogspot.com.

“Why are you so into hip hop?” asked this guy at my job. As a black man is his mid to late 20s, he and I are contemporaries with similar experiences and interests.

“Why are YOU into hip hop?” I replied. I know, a smart-assed response, but as a black woman I err on the side of defensiveness. The world has shaped me to be so.

My answer to that question isn’t innovative, compelling, or even really noteworthy.  I just feel like the essence of hip hop runs through my blood. It’s always been around me; it’s the soundtrack to my life as a girl growing up in the hood.

Music was always on in my house. I have a distinct memory being six or seven years old, playing outside with my cousins because my grandma wasn’t having us bad ass kids in her house messing up her furniture. The radio was blasting, and we were outside making up dance steps to Slick Rick’s “Children’s Story.” My cousin Meena knew all the lyrics to the song, and I was totally in awe. I was like damn, she knows all the words to the song without missing a beat. That’s skill.

My passion for hip hop comes from my parents. The music appreciation comes from my dad, who sincerely values music. When I was ten, he took me to my first concert. Funkadelic, Gap Band, and Lakeside performed at the Los Angeles Coliseum. I didn’t get it at the time, I wasn’t too keen on seeing old men in space suits rocking out onstage. I was more into TLC and En Vogue. In hindsight I appreciate it; it was a lesson in music that I didn’t understand until I became an adult.

Pops is pretty adamant that his children understand and appreciate good music. He’s very into education and creativity; I get my studious nature from him. He’s like a ghetto intellectual. Don’t let his bookish nature fool you; he’s really into Public Enemy, Ice Cube, and Tribe Called Quest. He is a true hip hop head; he’s a part of the generation that started it. The generation that took traditional soul music and gave birth to hip hop. I remember once he made my sister and I watch a two and a half hour documentary on The Temptations. About an hour or so in we started to get agitated and whiny, and he said, “Be quiet and watch this. You need to know how real music happens.” Shut us down real quick.

My appreciation for hip hop style came from my Mom. That sounds weird, right? But my Mom is the ultimate b-girl. She had me when she was only 19, so she was still enjoying her youth and living the fast life in the 80s. Nobody rocked a blonde asymmetrical haircut and neon orange curved fingernails like my mom. She was the flyest chick in the hood, hands down. She had the fly custom gear, the flashy jewelry, the hairstyle, the attitude…she’s still a fly girl to this day. She passed the swagger and that fly girl attitude down to her daughters, who do it our way in our time.

So there you have it. The ghetto nerd and the fly girl fell in love, made a baby, and the HipHopMuse was born.


Too many questions, too little answers November 7, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — hiphopmuse @ 10:55 pm

Mike Jones’s “Cutty Buddy” is one of those songs that I secretly like. Don’t judge me; even the most elitist of hip hop snobs sometimes enjoy walkin’ it out, randomly throwing their A’s in the air, and other behavior worthy of turning your nose up to.

I wouldn’t have given this video too much attention but for a few things:

1. When did Mike Jones get so cut? He’s halfway doable here. Theoretically speaking.

2. Mike Jones, why are you posted up at a high school giving girls “the eye” like R-Kelly?

3. Why is homegirl in the “jock love” scene wearing heels while playing volleyball? Oh wait, I see that the boyfriend dragged her out to play. Why is he so hell bent on gangstering the volleyball game? It’s a hardcore sport, but not for boys.

4. What the hell is going on the with the nerd guy and the blond mohawk? Please explain.

Ok, I just realized I can’t get back the five minutes I dedicated to this post. *Sigh*