[caption id="attachment_11286" align="alignleft" width="456"] photo via casnocha.com[/caption] Comparing yourself to others might sounds easier said than done, but I get it. I've been there before. As a matter of fact, I'm still here.This past week, I've struggled with insecurities, because I felt like I wasn't as pretty or curvy as the young woman who works with me. Guys like her, and I'm just average. That's how I felt on the inside. Sometimes, I'll scroll on Instagram, and I'll see attractive women with nice bodies, flat tummies, round bums, cute noses, and that's the problem. The problem is, we compare ourselves to people, feeling less than, unimportant, not beautiful or handsome enough. Whatever that feeling is in your system, it's a lie.We shouldn't listen to these negative voices in our head. Here are some reasons to stop comparing yourself to others.Focus on yourself- I know this sounds super basic and cliche, but, there's no point in investing your energy into someone else, when you could be focusing on your own life. Why are you focused on who's prettier or more handsome than you, who has a better body, or more money, when you could be focusing on your own life? You literally have time to shape your own life, and make it the best you can. Apply all of that energy into your own life, and make something out of it.Be yourself- Know that you are beautiful and unique in your own way. Nobody can be you, and that's the best part. You are you, and nobody else can take away. There are a million people in the world, and you have the ability and the confidence to be who you are. Why would you want to change that? Be yourself, because that's the best thing you can do.Know you are blessed- You literally are blessed. You may worry about who has more money or who's prettier, but guess what- they don't have what you have. If you have people in your life who love you, you are blessed. If you are alive, and have enough money to pay for your food, you are blessed. If you are capable of waking up every day and working out, you are blessed. Just know that some people aren't as fortunate as you, and wish they could have your life. Be happy for what you have today.Stop speaking negatively about yourself- When you speak about yourself, you start to believe it. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, and feeling low, say something great about yourself. Start by saying things like "I'm beautiful/ I'm worth it/ I'm handsome/ I'm strong." Monitor yourself when you think of saying something negative, and change it to something positive.Read More
Today, at the Staples Center, Los Angeles, the Kobe Bryant Memorial took place. Vanessa Bryant took the stand, and delivered an emotional, strong speech, speaking on her husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Following the passing of Gigi Bryant and Kobe Bryant, the memorial was decorated in purple and yellow flowers.In the beginning of the ceremony, Beyoncé lead with her famous songs, "XO," and "Halo." Jimmy Kimmel welcomed the audience.(Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)Vanessa spoke highly of her daughter, Gianna, who was only 13 years old. She told the audience that Gigi was a loving child, who was competitive and passionate about basketball. She told us that Gigi was a sweet daughter who would give her kisses at night, and watch her sisters. Bryant told us that her daughter was competitive, but not cocky, in a way where she was bringing others down. However, Gigi did give pointers to the boy's basketball team, which is what Vanessa had told the audience, and they followed with a laugh."Her smile was like sunshine," Vanessa said. "Her smile took up her entire face. Like me. Kobe always said she was like me. She had my fire, my personality and sarcasm. She was tender and loving on the inside. She had the best laugh. She had the best laugh. It was infectious. It was pure and genuine."There were more laughable, heart-filled, funny moments. Michael Jordan took the stand, with tears, joy, and inspiration. "I'll have to look at another crying meme," says Jordan, as the audience laughed with joy." He left us with an inspiring speech, telling us to be passionate in whatever it is you want to, you must go the extreme. He defined Kobe as giving it his all. "Kobe left nothing in the tank. He left it all on the floor," says Jordan.Jordan confessed to us that he was like a brother to Kobe."What Kobe Bryant was to me, was the inspiration that someone truly cared about the way either I played the game, or the way that he wanted to play the game," Jordan said. "He wanted to be the best basketball player that he could be. And as I got to know him, I wanted to be best big brother that I could be."'
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photo via StereoGumToday, around the time of 4:30 am, rapper Pop Smoke was killed in his Hollywood Hills home. The funny thing is, rappers usually get killed in their own hometown, not in another. Pop is from Brooklyn, New York, and happened to be killed in Los Angeles. It get's tiring to say, "Rest in peace," to these young black male artists, who were born to be successful and lead many. It reminds me of XXXTentacion, Nipsey Hussle, or Young Greatness, who were all shot down. Hate is real, and one thing we know for sure is that none of these young rappers did not deserve to lose their life. Over what? Was it money, hate, or something else we don't understand?It almost seems like a curse, that these young legends are gone too soon. Moreover, we can't forget the death of JuiceWRLD, Mac Miller, or Lil Peep. Even though these young artists died for different reasons, they seem to have influenced the younger generation in a big way. These young music artists are heroes to those who are outcasts in this world.They call him Brooklyn's Hero. Pop Smoke dominated cities of LA, Miami, and Atlanta with his unique sound. He was the new wave sound in Brooklyn, and was supposed to take over for his own city.As a young, 20 year old rapper, he was a part of hip-hop evolution, and started a new sound in New York. Smoke helped create Brooklyn drill music. Drill music is a sound that originated from Chicago. The sound of drill music sounds like Young Chop. It includes fast clips of kicks and hi-hats, gothic synthesizers, trap, and a bit of metal.808MeloBeats, a British producer, produced Smoke's album, and was a huge part of Pop Smoke's sound, especially in Meet The Woo.Fans say Pop Smoke has a mellow, dark, cloudy sound, but can flow to either a slow or fast tempo. Rappers who knew him said he was just getting started, and ready to blow up.Pop Smoke really was at the peak of greatness, at 20 years old. "Meet The Woo 2" was number 7 in the Billboard Top 200 Charts. Some artists including Nicki Minaj, Quavo, Travis Scott, and Skepta are some artists that collaborated with the Pop Smoke.Today, Nicki Minaj posted on Instagram, "The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop."Rapper, AD posted on Instagram, "Damn cuh. Woke up to this. This 1 ain't cool. RIP Woo. Nigga was just getting started."May this young legend, Pop Smoke, rest in greatness.Read More
photo via urbanislandz.comRoddy Riccch's success means so much more than fame and money.Roddy Riccch, whose real name is Rodrick Wayne Moore, Jr. is only making his way to the top, as one of the most popular artists of today's generation. "The Box" sits for sixth week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Roddy Ricch, Future, and Drake stayed at the top in Rolling Stone Top 100 Songs chart this week. Compton rapper started off from the bottom, but is all the way to the top right now, passing up Selena Gomez and Justin Bieber on Billboard 200. It was rumored that Selena Gomez was purchasing her own albums to catch up.Riccch was a little dude in his hood, who had to prove himself loyal to the streets. When he was just a teenager, Riccch was accustomed to the street life, in trouble with the law, and feeling like death was around the corner, literally. As a young, black kid raised in the streets, it almost seems as if you don't deserve to live, because the world sees you as a criminal or worse, an enemy. The only love he had was from his friends, who were locked up in the pen, or dead. In Please Excuse Me for Being Antisocial, his most recent album includes song, “War Baby.” Here, it's as if he's crying for help, “I’m a war, war, war baby/Post-traumatic stress, I know the war changed me.However, music may have saved this young man's life, which is what led to Feed The Streets. Riccch turned to writing as a way to escape the pain, and possibly death. In November 2017, this was a project that Ricch worked on right after he got in trouble with the law, one including a gun case that could have erased his teen hood."I’m seeing homies pass away. I got to do something positive. That’s when the rap shit came about. Literally within six months my shit was moving, because I really just sat down and started writing.” says Riccch."Racks In the Middle" with Nipsey Hussle became one his most popular songs. Throughout the same time that Nipsey left us, was also the peak of Riccch's career. "We did that together. Nigga, that hurt me… But at the same time, that’s life.”Growing up faster than the kids around you, can really make you look at the world with a cold heart, and perhaps make you feel like you're worthless. Kids growing up like Riccch see the world like an enemy, where everyone wants to see you down, just because of who you are and where you're from. You don't trust anyone and you wear a mask to protect yourself. Perhaps that's why Riccch has that look in his eyes where he doesn't trust people. Yet, there's still something in his eyes that tells us he's still a fighter, and will continue to rise, regardless the of the pain he's been through. Read More
Amy Harris/Invision, via Associated PressGet ready, because in just 4 days, Youngboy Never Broke Again's album, Still Flexin Still Steppin, is coming, and you know it's going to be fire! Fans call him the "King of Youtube," since he's always dropping projects with millions of views. This album consists of three new singles, "Bad Bad," “Knocked Off” and “Fine By Time"(shot and edited by Karlton Banks). Artists including DaBaby, Meek Mill, Summer Walker, and others. In 2019, Youngboy dropped his number one album, Al Youngboy 2, with hot songs, including "Makes No Sense."His style is melodic and sad, and he's vulnerable in many of his songs, including "Untouchable" in album, Untouchable, and "Solar Eclipse" in Solar Eclipse album. In his recent song, "Fine By Time," he expresses his raw feelings, "But how you feel I still been dealin' wit my problems." Youngboy tells us "Pain gon flow, time gon' go," as he talks about his soul being taken, being convicted again, and his lover leaving him, while he's behind bars (but yet, she's still his lover, even if she's booed up with another). "Just don't ever let them take your soul," he says. This is another song where he is crying for help, telling us his pain still resides, even if he has to be strong. Even in song, "Graffiti," he reminds us that "You know I got money, but I'm in a hold, scared I'ma die when I'm out on the road. Don't know how I'm feeling, don't know that I'm on."The video, "Bad Bad," is quite similar to SahBabii's "Pull Up With Ah Stick," where everyone is holding up guns in front of the camera, and having a ball in their hood, including the kids and the elderly.Youngboy's bars are forever promising, it's as if you're in different moods. Some fan's call him "savage." Others say he's "depressing." Sometimes, you want to get up and act a fool, and some times you reminisce on the days that you've once struggled while you were broke and slept on the floor without having a meal.Regardless, Youngboy is a realist, and speaks on the realities of his own life. No doubt, he is a young dude, but speaks as if he's lived longer, as if he were a 60 year old man with wisdom. If you listen to his music, he raps about growing up poor, being in and out of bars for murder charges, and getting money to put on his homies and buy his mom a house.Fans are rooting for Youngboy, as he is one of the most promising young rappers of this generation. Hopefully, he is able to overcome these struggles. Read More
[caption id="attachment_11005" align="aligncenter" width="473"] Image via media.beam.usnews[/caption]Who needs a lover on Valentine's Day when you have yourself? Don't feel too bad. Valentine's Day is just a made-up holiday. If you're in your feelings, and you're feeling alone and distraught, no worries, my friends! Here are some single things that you can do on Valentine's Day, for an awesome experience!
- Eat at your favorite restaurant or order food- Go get you a big pizza or maybe some Italian food. The best thing do is treat yourself to a nice dinner. Even if you just order food, you deserve a nice hot meal to comfort yourself.
- Go for a spa day- This is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Go spend some money on a massage or a facial.
- See a movie- You don't have to see a love movie or anything, unless that's your thing. Grab some popcorn and candy, and enjoy a movie to yourself. Hey, at least you don't have to share your snacks with anyone.
- Go to the gym- Feel your best by getting your body right. Just know that while everyone else is drinking and eating a box full of chocolates, you're getting your six-pack right.
- Dress Up- Show off. Even if you're not going anywhere, just dress up and look sexy. Be confident, and know you're worth it. Take pictures, so they know it's real.
- Drink with Friends- Have some shots with friends. Why not? If you're single, it's the best time to be with your buddies, having a good time with cocktails and tequila shots.
- Take a trip- Getting away is the best feeling, ever. Travel anywhere. Getting out of the country sort of feels like you're running away from your problems. Also, who wouldn't want to travel the world and explore?
- Get your nails done- First of all, go get your nails did! Whether you're going for long, short, ghetto, or simple, get yourself right!
- Get your "hair did"- Get your hair done! Whether it'a fresh cut, cornrows, a weave, or a nice blowout, get your hair done and feel like the king or queen you are.
- Plan a photoshoot- Why not take some pictures for the Gram? Feel your best and do a photoshoot, maybe on the beach, on top of a roof, by the pool- whatever. Get creative.
- Relax- Just chill. Stay home and take a nice hot bath, filled with lavender or roses. Stay away from people, and listen to some nice, relaxing chill-hop or jazz.
photo via businessinsider.comMany of us are hoping to get in shape, so let's get to it! There are many types of exercises, from deadlifts, to cardio, to pull ups. Here are five simple steps you need to succeed in your workout.
- Eat Carbs- Yes, carbs are your friend! I'm not talking about potato chips or Hot Cheetos. Complex carbs are exactly what you need to fuel the body, so you won't feel fatigue. Some carbs include oatmeal, brown rice, bananas, beans, or even wheat bread. Carbs are essential to give your body the energy it needs through the workout. Moreover, carbs help build muscle, along with protein. Low carb diets result in nutrition deficiencies, fatigues, headaches, and a slower metabolism. Yes, carbs help you boost your metabolism!
- Warm Up- Make sure to stretch your body, right before you workout. It's not a good idea to just jump into a workout, without preparing. This can lead to injuries and poor workout habits. For example, if your goal is to lift heavy for the day, then it's necessary to start off lifting lighter, rather than just going for the plunge. If your maximum weight is 225 pounds, don't start off at 225. Start off at 90 or maybe 100, and work your way up.
- Reps Matter- A lot of people think that reps are not important, but they are one of the keys to muscle growth. You don't always have to lift super heavy to get crazy results. The best thing to do is star off doing lighter weight with more reps. For example, if you want your arms to be buffer, it's okay to start off at 20 pounds, doing 5 reps. Or, if you are doing squats, it's okay to start off with 25 pounds, with 4 sets. The goal is for the muscles to tear, because that means more muscle growth!
- Do Cardio- Many of us hate cardio (including myself). It's boring, I get it. However, cardio is a great way to burn fat. The great thing is, you don't even have to do that much to do cardio. There is the stair masters or the treadmill. 30 minutes a day will guarantee fat loss.
- Drink water- I can't stress this enough. Get your butt some water! Dehydration is a terrible feeling. You can end up feeling fatigue and dizzy. Your whole workout will go to waste. Try at least half a gallon right before you workout. During your workout, take sips in between.
- Get off of your phone- When you're working out, it's best to be focused. Staring at your phone can really take away from your effort. Why go to the gym to stare at your phone, when you can be getting results?
photo via goalcast.comLife happens. Sometimes we may love someone who does not love us back. Maybe our gym crush is in love with another woman, or maybe the girl of your dreams is marrying another man. Whatever the case may be, life happens, and once in a while, we break down and cry. Sometimes we feel weak, unwanted, low, have low self-esteem, and don't feel good enough. I've been there before, and I'm here to tell you, it's okay, and you will get through this.Here are some ways to take control of your emotions. Be real with yourself- If you're feeling depressed, ask yourself why. What or who triggered you to feel that way? Acknowledging your feelings is the first step to change. Once you know the root of your feelings, then you are then able to address it in a healthy way. Being in denial will only hurt you in the end, and you will only feel worse. Be honest and raw with yourself.Ask yourself, " Is stressing over this going to change my life?" If the answer is no, then you can now take steps to move on. Say for instance, you are in love with someone who does not love you back. You can either cry about it and lay in bed or move on and work on yourself. Perhaps, you can get in shape, save up for a new car, get your master's degree, or literally anything that will help you in the future.If your plan is to sit there and feel sorry for yourself, you are wasting your time and energy. Nipsey Hussle once said, "Never let a hard time humble us."Apply your energy where it matters- Get off your ass, and move. Get up. Do something that will change your life. Take all of that pain you hold inside and use that energy to be the best you can be. If you want to be a singer or an actor, go for it. If you want to travel the world, and see Greece or Africa, go do it. Remember, your focus becomes your reality, and you have full control of where you choose to direct your energy.Let things be. Realize you can't force anything. The universe does not work that way. You can't make somebody fall in love with you. You can't control someone's feelings or how they see you. The best thing to be is yourself. If people can't appreciate you for you, then the best thing for you to do is live your life and never look back.Don't overanalyze. The worst thing to do is to think about why something didn't work out the way you wanted it to. We may think or say things like,"Why doesn't he/she love me?/ Why did my friend pass away?/ Why am I single?/ What's wrong with me?" Negative thinking leads to false beliefs of yourself. Sometimes we are hard on ourselves for no reason. Accept things for how they are, but don't overthink it, because it solves literally nothing.Laugh at your problems. Our "problems" may not be as big as we make it. If you can laugh at yourself, then life will be much easier. Say for instance, you got cheated on. Sure, it's going to hurt, but in the end, you can say, "Wow, I can't believe I was with that person. What the heck was I thinking?" Or, maybe you once cried over someone you loved, and they're not even thinking about you. One day you can say, "Oh, wow. I cried over him? That's hilarious!" If your friend passed away, reflect on the good memories, and think "Wow, this person was funny. Remember that joke he would tell?/ I remember the days when we would get drunk together."Find the humor in life, because there's nothing wrong with laughing during the hardest phases of your life.[wcp-carousel id="10538"]Read More