Drake’s new music video “Nice for What” showcases influential women

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

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Dahyo Coleman

In Drake’s previous studio album, More Life, he mentioned on the song “Do Not Disturb” that “I’ll be back in 2018 to give you the summary.”

 

With “God’s Plan” becoming Drake’s longest-leading No. 1 song on the Hot 100 Billboard chart and the recent release of “Nice for What,” it is clear that Drake is back from hibernation and ready to showcase what he has been working on.

 

The message behind “Nice for What” is encouraging a woman to live her life freely and to fulfill her dreams regardless of how a man may view her. In so many words, Drake says that a woman does not need a man to feel or be beautiful and she can achieve her own goals if she is willing to work for them.

 

In the new hit, Drake says, “You’ve been inside, know you like to lay low, I’ve been peepin’ what you bringin’ to the table. / Workin’ hard, girl, everything paid for.” In this verse, Drake acknowledges the girl’s effort and notices qualities about her that make her special.

 

The Toronto native is known for having songs that uplift women. In his single “Fancy” ft. rapper T.I. and Swizz Beatz, Drake says, “Time heals all and heels hurt to walk in, But they go with the clutch that you carry your lip gloss in. / And look, I really think that nobody does it better, I love the way you put it together.”

 

Many have criticized Drake for being “too soft” or “emotional.” However, he seems to know how to show the ladies love.

 

“Most rappers in today’s music industry exploit women and degrade them,” said Kayla Evans, a Hampton sophomore sports management major from Rochester, New York. “It’s good to see Drake take a different approach and show off influential women while doing so.”

 

“Nice for What” is on a whole new level. Drake empowers women in this song and features different influential women in the new video, which broke the internet. Some of these strong women include actresses Tracee Ellis Ross, Yara Shahidi, Issa Rae, Tiffany Haddish, professional ballet dancer Misty Copeland and Jourdan Dunn.

 

Media plays a huge role in today’s society, especially for young girls. With so many influential women in the video, many young girls can be inspired to be confident in their skin and love who they are.

 

The video is simple and modern. All of the women are presented as powerful, poised and strong. It doesn’t portray women in the negative light viewers are used to seeing in rap music videos.

 

With all the recent news regarding the #MeToo movement and the sexism that women face in the entertainment industry, this song was released at the perfect time.

 

So what does the phrase “Nice for What” mean? Drake explains that women don’t have to be nice to guys who do not deserve them or treat them right. Drake is an influential man, and with a hit like this on his hands, he encourages women to hold themselves to the highest standard.

 

Cardi B has golden touch with Invasion of Privacy

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

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Selena Roberts

The hip hop industry, up until now, has been dominated by men. With the rise of Cardi B, it might not stay that way for long.

 

Invasion of Privacy, her awaited debut studio album, was released April 6, and it already has gone gold. This accomplishment is mostly due to the success of her hit record “Bodak Yellow,” which debuted last summer.

 

According to The New York Times, the Invasion of Privacy album is reminiscent of the 1990s and the 2000s, when New York rap was beginning to test its pop edges.

 

The album features other artists such as 21 Savage, Migos, Chance the Rapper, SZA and Kehlani. There are 13 songs, each with unique sounds.

 

Invasion of Privacy starts off with “Get Up 10” and ends with “I Do,” featuring SZA.  Each song covers a different a topic, from the pressures of fame to relationship issues.

 

“I’ve always been a fan of Cardi B,” Hampton University freshman psychology major Tanaya Jones said. “She’s always worked hard for what she wants. Invasion of Privacy is just another indicator of how talented she is. She keeps on changing the game through her own unique way.”

 

On Saturday Night Live, Cardi confirmed that recent pregnancy rumors were true by debuting her baby bump to the world during her performance. After the reveal, Cardi stated backstage that she was “finally free.”

 

Next, fans can catch Cardi on Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic World Tour in the upcoming months. She also has a deal in the works to partner with the fashion brand Fashion Nova to create her own clothing line.

Amateur not so amateur

Ryland Staples | Staff Writer

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Screenshot from Netflix taken by Ryland Staples

Amateur, a new Netflix original film, takes a look at the lives of extraordinary high school basketball talents in the United States. It explores and explains how everything isn’t always what it seems when it comes to the talent pool of prospects.

 

The main character of the movie is Terron Forte (played by Michael Rainey Jr.), an eighth-grader who started in the public school system but already plays for the local high school team. Forte is a star there. He makes everything look easy against opponents. His encounters with opponents include fancy dribble combinations, flashy passes and amazing shooting. Forte is the unopposed star. However, his home life isn’t the best.

 

His mother is a night school teacher, and his father falls in and out of employment. His father deals with constant headaches and chronic pain all over his body due to his past career as an NFL player. His dad is an integral part of his life. He is his self-proclaimed manager, meaning that he records Terron’s highlights and uploads them to the internet.

 

When Terron gets home and does his math homework, he struggles with it on a daily basis. He suffers from a rare form of dyslexia that makes it almost impossible for him to be able to read numbers. Later in the movie, it even affects him on the court. Forte isn’t able to read the scoreboard/shot clock.

 

Terron Forte is offered a full-ride scholarship to play on one of the top high school teams in the country. His mother is concerned that he’s still in eighth grade and will be attending high school, so he ends up commuting to a nearby middle school. At this point in the movie, he’s ready to play and be taken seriously as a national prospect. When he arrives, he moves in with the team.

 

As expected, he isn’t treated with the utmost respect. He has to deal with the common jeers of “You don’t belong here” and “Who let the middle schooler on the team?” He has to carry the older players’ bags, and he doesn’t get the opportunity to play as much as he did while he was in the public school system. School isn’t the same either; he rarely goes to any of his classes.

 

This mirrors what’s happening in today’s amateur basketball landscape. There is an increasing number of players who feel there’s no point in pursuing an education, and many college players decide to only play for a year and go to the NBA. With this in mind, they only attend class for the first semester so they’re able to stay eligible to play in the second semester.

 

Amateur is a movie to which many student-athletes can relate. Check it out on Netflix to see how Forte’s future plays out.

#WhoBitBeyoncé: A breakdown of Tiffany Haddish and Beyoncé’s relationship

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

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Dahyo Coleman

#WhoBitBeyoncé exploded on social media after comedian and actress Tiffany Haddish dished more news about mega star Beyoncé. Haddish told GQ Magazine that, “There was this actress [at the party], that’s just, like, doing the mostest.”

One of the most things she did? “She bit Beyoncé in the face.”

Haddish was shocked and asked Beyoncé about the encounter. Haddish told GQ that Beyoncé said she was bitten, and that the actress who did it was on drugs. Haddish wanted to confront the actress for doing so. However, Beyoncé calmed her down, Haddish asked to take a picture, and Beyoncé politely accepted.

Haddish posted this selfie on Instagram with the caption, “@beyonce was telling me that my wig was slipping….But for real she told me to have fun and I DID!”

The Girls Trip star later did an interview with TV One on the network’s UNCENSORED show. Haddish revealed that while at the party, Beyoncé looked sideways at an actress because she was rubbing on her husband, JAY-Z. When Haddish was asked who this unknown person was, she declined.

Shortly after, Beyoncé was featured in new song produced by DJ Khaled called “Top Off.” The song also featured rappers Future and JAY-Z. In the song Beyoncé says, “If you want to party with the queen you are going to have to sign a non-disclosure,” meaning if you want to party with Beyoncé then you need to sign a form agreeing not to say anything about what occurs behind the scenes. Beyoncé even takes it a step further by saying Haddish’s name shortly after saying that phrase.

Beyoncé is known for addressing her issues in her music. In 2014, when her husband and sister Solange got into an argument on the elevator, she said on “Flawless (Remix),” “Of course sometimes [things] go down when [there is] a billion dollars on an elevator.”

Beyoncé definitely knows how to turn her problems into profit, and Haddish was thrilled at the fact that she was mentioned in Beyoncé verse. On the Grammy Awards show red carpet, she told the interviewer that, “I’ve made it. When Beyoncé puts your name in a song, you are on.”

On My Block breaks barriers and gains success

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

Responsible for hit shows like Stranger Things, Dear White People, One Day at a Time and so on, Netflix supports shows that feature diverse casts and show minorities in a positive light. On My Block was recently added to the streaming service’s website and it has generated a lot of buzz among fans due to its refreshing way of portraying the drama that teens experience on an everyday basis.

The 10-episode drama centers around a tight-knit group of four friends (Ruby, Jamal, Caesar, and Monse) who are about to enter high school. As a new journey begins with these four, their friendship is being constantly tested. Besides experiencing the ups and downs of high school, they also have to navigate their way through the crime and violence of their hometown.

The show is set in South Central Los Angeles. Each episode provides viewers with a glimpse of the friend group’s everyday dilemma of trying not to get caught up in the life of crime associated with South Central L.A. Although the show centers around them attending high school, the plot exceeds the ordinary adolescent drama. On My Block shows the reality of the minority youth and highlights their own internal struggles with trying to fit in.

Freshman Victor Dalmeida said, “Seeing characters that have similar conflicts that I go through myself is something that attracted me to the show. Each episode left me wanting more. … I was rooting for [the characters] like I knew them.”

Each character, although different, is relatable, and that is what is so special about the show. Cesar is a bright kid involved in a gang, Ruby is a math genius who has trouble making the right choices. Jamal is a dork with a heart of gold. Monse aspires to become a writer. All of the characters are connected through their pain, misfortunes and grief. Their tight bond is their key to surviving the the harsh reality of growing up in a town where hardly anyone makes it out.

Even celebrities have taken notice of the Netflix original. Jamie Foxx tweeted, “Seriously. Watch @OnMYBlockTv on Netflix. Funny. Heartbreaking. We’ll be watching these kids for a long time.”

It has not been confirmed whether the show will be renewed for another season, but judging by the success of the show, it would be no surprise if it did.

From the screen to the charts

Ryland Staples | Staff Writer

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Ryland Staples

Trevor Jackson has a lot going for him right now. The season finale of the popular television show, Grown-ish, where the 21-year-old played one of the love interests of the protagonist, has just premiered.

The budding star has taken his talents from our televisions to our playlists. His new album, Rough Drafts, Pt. 1, has 15 tracks of smooth beats and slow lyrics.

Jackson takes us on a trip though emotion, passion and just flat-out love. Jackson said in an interview with Vibe, “It’s things I’ve been through, what we all have been through … about love, pain and everything in between.”

It’s important for young adults to acknowledge that mistakes exist. It’s OK to mess up or to not be completely sure about everything we do in life. Jackson said, “[The album is] called Rough Drafts because I feel like, especially in [this] day and age, everybody is trying to be perfect.”

He continued: “They’re trying to emulate something on social media. Everybody wants the finished product. They see other people doing well and want to skip a few steps.”

The album starts out slow, with the first song being an introduction of multiple voices making discouraging comments that Jackson has heard all throughout his career as an artist — things like, “You should just stick to acting,” “Just quit,” “Why do you even bother?” and “Put the pencil down!”

This is a great album to put on while you are trying to just calm down and chill out. This is an album that is both entertaining and mesmerizing. The songs fluidly flow from one to another and allow the listener a glimpse into the life of an illustrious young adult in Hollywood.

Freshman marketing major Isiah Wells said, “I really enjoy every track, it is a smooth album that gets me relaxed when I am trying to focus on work that I am trying to do. To be honest, I never really thought of Trevor Jackson as a singer. However, after hearing this, I approve.”

Cultural relevance in reading: The return of recreational reading in a technologically influenced society

Tempis Askew | Staff Writer

Invented with the intention to revolutionize the world, technology has become a part of everyday life. With connectivity, productivity and convenience being three of the greatest uses for technology, it seems traditional forms of communication, research and leisure activity have nearly become obsolete.

Research has shown that millennials have relied so much on technology that book sales have dramatically decreased within the last t10 years. New findings suggest that younger generations have a heightened interest in physical print materials. The sales of electronic books, digital electronic reader downloads and audiobooks have declined since 2015.

Why the sudden decline in technological literature and digital media? “Technology is convenient, but it can be quite a distraction,” said Erika Newton, a 2017 Old Dominion University graduate. “As a psychology major, my courses required extensive research that I did not want tainted by in-app advertisements, the distraction of social media or digital entertainment such as music or games.”

Additionally, leisure reading has resurfaced as one of the most popular millennial pastimes.

“Reading is one of the things I like to reward myself with after a long day of classes and work,” said Madeleine Stokes, a third-year recreational therapy major. Having recently completed The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Stokes has acquired a new perception of the world around her.

Studies show readers tend to gravitate toward literature that resonates with personal experiences, beliefs and goals. In recent years, more pop culture influencers have given insight to their personal lives by way of penning books.

Tiffany Haddish, a comedienne most recently known from the box office hit Girls Trip, released a book entitled The Last Black Unicorn that illustrates her personal struggles with illiteracy, confidence and familial matters.

The critically acclaimed 2017 release sparked an interest in a new generation of readers as Haddish is culturally relevant in entertainment.

“Authors who write from personal, yet unfavorable experiences ignite feelings of humility, gratitude and inspiration within me,” Stokes said.

Cardi B’s medley, Eminem’s stern words stand out at iHeartRadio Music Awards

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

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Flickr User: EventPhotosNYC
Cardi B

As the awards season drew to a close, the iHeartRadio Music Awards named the best of the best music artists in the industry. The annual awards show was televised March 11 from California. The star-studded event gathered artists of all genres to celebrate the best songs of the year.

Social media star and famous producer DJ Khaled and model Hailey Baldwin were the evening’s hosts.

Cardi B opened the show with a medley of her biggest hits, including “Bodak Yellow,” “Bartier Cardi,” and her verses in “Motorsport,” “No Limit” and “Finesse Remix.”

As always, Cardi B hit the stage with tons of energy that kept the crowd enthused.

One performer stood out among the rest, however. Eminem’s performance turned heads as he discussed issues in regards to the NRA. Some lines from the verse were, “Sometimes I don’t know what this world has come to. It’s blowing up. The whole country is going nuts. And the NRA is in our way. They’re responsible for this whole production.” He ended it by claiming that the NRA loves their guns more than our children. With recent acts advocating for gun control, this performance hit close to home.

The iconic rock and roll band Bon Jovi as presented with the first iHeartRadio Icon award from Olympic snoboarder Shaun White for their work in the music industry. The band performed their biggest hits, including “It’s My Life” and “You Give Love a Bad Name” before they received their award.

Some of the biggest winners of the night were Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars. Cardi won  Best New Artist and Best New Hip Hop Artist. Her acceptance speech was one of the highlights of the evening. She told the audience, “I want to thank my fans, Bardi Gang, because even when I’m wrong, they be like, ‘She’s still right!’ And I want to thank my haters, too, because they be downloading my stuff so they can hear it and talk crap about it, but it benefits me!”

She also announced that her long-awaited album will be released in April.

Sheeran won song of the year for his hit “Shape of You” beating out “Despacito,” “Wild Thoughts” and “That’s What I Like.” Bruno Mars won for R&B song of the year and R&B artist of the year.

N.E.R.D closed out the show with an energetic performance of “Lemon.”

Passion into profit: The emergence of the female entrepreneur

Tempis Askew | Staff Writer

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Tempis Askew

Madame C.J. Walker, Sheila Johnson and Oprah Winfrey are female entrepreneurs who have contributed to the success of one demographic of the 21st century: the black female entrepreneur.

Now more than ever, women of color are turning hobbies, skills and talents into lucrative careers that have granted them entrepreneurial awareness, economic growth and financial profitability.

Aryn Dixon, an Old Dominion University senior, has taken her passion for arts and crafts and turned it into a lucrative business that has built clientele throughout the Hampton Roads area.

Dixon was asked to customize bottles with glitter and rhinestones for a birthday party. This request quickly turned from a favor into a business venture.

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Tempis Askew

Dixon’s business, Bottle Beauties, launched in 2017 as a remote mobile service that customized collectibles such as cups, bottles and glassware. The personalized touch added to each custom piece quickly became a desirable accent that contributed to the growth and success of Bottle Beauties. As clientele quickly grew, the demand for custom products heightened and the requests for additional custom products expanded.

Now offering custom T-shirts, personalized home décor items and embellished ornaments, Bottle Beauties has turned a hobby into a branded business for Dixon. With an expanding social media presence, Dixon can be found on Instagram at @bottlebeautiesva.

She is currently planning a pop-up shop event with Verge & Vintage Web Boutique to showcase the new custom additions that will be added to the expansion of her brand.

Verge & Vintage Web boutique is an online-based women’s retail hub that showcases denim, shoes and cosmetics. It was created with the vision of offering trendy yet affordable fashion to the masses. All products sold at the boutique are under $50 — perfect for college students on a budget.

Verge & Vintage Web Boutique will launch online April 1 online at vergeandvintage.com. Collectively, Dixon of Bottle Beauties and Askew of Verge & Vintage will partner in various pop-up shops and vendorships throughout Hampton Roads during the late spring and early summer.

Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time: Dominating the box office

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

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marvel.com

 Black Panther and A Wrinkle in Time have taken over the box office.

Black Panther has been the No. 1 movie in the world for five consecutive weeks, and A Wrinkle in Time has been trailing right behind it since its opening weekend.

Both movies had African American directors and were provided with substantial budgets of at least $100 million. Ava DuVernay, the director for A Wrinkle in Time, is the first female African American director to ever hold this high of a position in a big-name studio.

In just five weeks of being in theaters, Black Panther surpassed the $1 billion mark worldwide. In every country that it has been released, the film has done exceedingly well, as if it were in the states.

The director behind this magic is Ryan Coogler, who previously directed the movies Fruitvale Station and Creed.

His work in these two movies has led to the more creative and distinctive side of his career.

A Wrinkle in Time, on the other hand, had a diverse cast starring Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon and many others.

The movie derived from the book by Madeleine L’Engle and sought to attract families with children between ages 8 and 14. However, following the weekend opening, A Wrinkle in Time wasn’t so successful.

Winfrey and the other stars heavily promoted the movie, with the timing for the release being around spring break. Although the results weren’t exactly as expected, the movie still ranked high with a No. 2 spot in the box office.

The movie is expected to do even better in Australia, Brazil, Mexico and Britain.

The value of Black Panther goes beyond dollar figures.

A tweet about Black Panther said, “[The film had the] most Black people, as dark as me, on screen that I’ve ever seen that wasn’t a comedy or period piece about slavery.”

It is important, especially for younger generations, to have positive representations of African Americans in movies for inspiration. From the directors to the cast, it is imperative to portray positive depictions of the black community.