My mom is black and Filipino and my dad is Creole, but to me, they’re just black. I’ve never knew anything outside of the black community, and learned nothing else about the rest of my culture. I grew up, partly in South Central LA, living in Inglewood. I've also lived in Echo Park and Vegas. I knew I was different, after hearing, “What are you?” or “What you mixed with?” for so long. From a young age, you start to question your identity. Here’s my experience, growing up as a mixed, black woman. I kept trying to prove my blackness. To be accepted in the black community means more than DNA. Even though you’re literally black, you still find ways to prove yourself. Culturally, you are expected to attend black churches, speak the slang, watch Tyler Perry, attend cookouts, know how to Dougie or Electric Slide, and your mom is supposed to use the hot comb and use old sayings, like, “Boy, don’t you talk like that in my house!” or “I ain’t ya lil friend!” Unfortunately, my mom never used terms like that. Having light skin with “white people hair” and looking Latina makes you more of an outcast. You’re a minority within a minority. Having black family members doesn’t justify your blackness, because if you don’t “look it,” or live the experience, you’re not in the club “I’m black” is the wrong answer. In highschool, I was teased for being mixed. I remember the black girls asked, “What are you?” and when I responded, they all laughed in my face. I didn’t really know what else to say, because regardless, it was funny to them that I said it. Even today, when I’m approached by strangers, “I’m black,” turns into an argument, a joke, or me giving a history lesson. Proving that I was black meant telling the world that I used to live in the hood. They had to know I grew up, partly in Crenshaw, Leimert Park, or Inglewood. I had to let them know I listened to black music like Al Jarreau, Earth Wind and Fire, or Musiq Soulchild. I’ve spent my whole life trying to prove I was one of them. A part of me feels like I'm pretending- It’s apparent that there is some sort of European bloodline in my family. On my dad’s side, my aunts look white. People stare at us like we’re creatures. It’s awkward, because I know we don’t “fit” the category. I feel like I’m offending somebody else who is “really black.” Most black women have a far worse experience than I do. As a semi-privileged light skinned, black woman, I feel like my experience isn’t as traumatizing as another black woman. I know there are black women who’ve been racially targeted for being “too dark,” having kinky hair, or being “too ghetto.” Because I can’t relate to those experiences, I feel like I don’t have a right to claim my blackness. Even though I know I’m black, I feel like an imposture. At the end of the day, I know who I am. I know how society sees me, and I accept that I am everything at once and nothing at the same time. However the world chooses to see me, I figured out my purpose. As a human, my purpose is to love myself and be myself, regardless of who doesn’t approve.Read More
Being an "independent woman" may be tied with many negative connotations. Perhaps we've been told things like this: we're too masculine, we want to be a man, or perhaps will end up alone. I'm sure we've heard it all. However, an independent woman doesn't mean any of those things. Independent women know who they are, period. She knows what she wants and is a go-getter, regardless. HERE ARE 12 DIFFERENT THINGS INDEPENDENT WOMEN DO DIFFERENTLY 1. SHE LOVES HARD, BUT IS MISUNDERSTOOD: If she's been single for a long time, chances are she's not very affectionate or nurturing. She may be minding her business, and somebody else will think she's ignoring them or does not care. However, this isn't the case at all. She's so used to being on her own time, and still sees herself as an individual. She's conditioned to do her own thing. She loves hard and is extremely loyal, but her independence comes off as "selfish." 2. SHE RELIES ON HERSELF: She isn't the type to ask for anything, because she feels the need to get things done on her own. She's the type to figure it out alone and solve problems, rather than ask someone for help, even if she needs it. 3. SHE WON'T SOCIALIZE UNLESS SHE SEES VALUE IN A PERSON: She's a bit introverted, if she feels the relationship is pointless. If she notices someone talking about who did what at a party, who dates who, or any sort of negative drama, she could care less. She wants to talk about ideas, building, and accomplishing goals. She won't hang around unless you can better her and challenge her. 4. SHE INVESTS IN HERSELF: She will spend money on things she values, including health, credit, a class, a gym membership, or anything she finds value in. She knows that she can't help others if she can't help herself, first. 5. SHE'S CONFIDENT, BUT HUMBLE: She's confident, but won't let compliments get to her head. She's probably heard "Aye ma, you look good," millions of times, but doesn't think much of it. She knows there's a line of guys who would love to date her, but she really doesn't care at all, nor does she desire to be the center of attention. She doesn't define herself by her looks, but by her mind and strength. She downplays. Though she could be a bad bitch, she feels confident wearing hoodies , sports clothes, and no makeup, in public. She knows she's beautiful, but doesn't "act" like it. 6. SHE DOES NOT SETTLE: Whether it's a job or relationship, she will always weigh the consequences. She does not settle for anything, unless she knows she's happy, period. 7. SHE VALUES HER TIME: Independent women usually have a busy life, so they won't feel bad to ignore your text. If she's busy, she won't apologize for spending time at home, getting away from people. She needs her alone time, otherwise she cannot function. 8. SHE ISN'T AFRAID TO DO THINGS ALONE : When it comes to attending an event or going out for a night, she isn't afraid to take the plunge, and do it, alone. She doesn't need a crew of people to have fun. However, she loves sharing her time with those she loves, but is not desperate to be around people. 9. SHE'S SPONTANEOUS: Being spontaneous can be both exciting and dangerous. However, she knows there are risks involved with taking late night drives to Crenshaw and Slauson past midnight, or walking to the beach at 4am. However, she lives her life on the edge. She's a risk taker. 10. SHE MAKES HERSELF LAUGH: The best feeling ever is when you can crack your own jokes and keep yourself entertained. This is a healthy sign of self-love. She's goofy and unapologetic. 11. SHE'S A LEADER WHO CLAPS FOR HERSELF: She knows people, but doesn't have much support, as in friends who actually care about her success and well-being. Even though she would like a nice support system, she makes herself proud, because she has no choice. 12. SHE' STRONG, BUT HOLDS IN A LOT: She is her own shoulder to cry on and her own emotional support. Even though she's her own emotional support, she secretly wants to share her feelings with someone and be vulnerable.Read More
photo via tsn.caWith the big businesses coming, the LA construction, and the incoming traffic, Inglewood is looking forward to some big changes, as the new Ram's football stadium is still in the process, sitting right next to the long time, famous arena, The Forum. Built in 1967, The Forum has been home to the Inglewood locals and LA community, including the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League from 1967 to 1999. The Rams have played in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum since they came back to LA in 2016. Looking forward to opening next year, in 2020, the Ram’s stadium is officially named the SoFi Stadium. They will be sharing with the San Diego Chargers. The name has been secured by San Francisco-based financial technology startup SoFi. SoFi has secured the naming rights for over 20 years for the $5 billion football stadium, in Los Angeles. The new stadium will have 70,000 stadium seats and 6,000 seat performance venue, and part of a 298-acre property that will also include a hotel, 20 acres of parks, and 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space. Already, Inglewood is looking forward to big events in the near future. The stadium is looking to host the SuperBowl 2022, and the Olympics Ceremonies of 2028. "We're thrilled to be introducing SoFi Stadium to the world, through our partnership with Hollywood Park," said Anthony Noto, CEO of SoFi. "This is a giant leap toward achieving our company's mission of helping people get their money right by reaching our members where they are." The people are hype for the changes to come, and the City of Champions continues one day after another. Inglewood is definitely up to some good. Read More
photo via americatv.com.peI’m sure all women know what it feels like when it’s “that time of the month.” Periods are no fun, and unfortunately, we all need to prepare for the awful moments of heavy cramping, bleeding, crying for no reason, and being extra emotional and dramatic, and listening to sad music. Perhaps you’re the type to eat a whole tub of ice cream or snack on some Takis. Good thing, there are better habits we can all practice to look forward to a not-so-horrible period experience. Exercise- I know the last thing you’d want to do is get up and do cardio, when you’re experiencing a heavy cramp, and you want to scream like your body is being ripped apart. However, working out is actually beneficial for your body, and can reduce the pain and bloating. Yoga or light cardio is a good workout when you’re experiencing heavy abdominal pain. You can even take a walk. If you’d rather lift heavy and smash things, go for that, too. Exercising increases oxygen-supply to the muscles. Your endorphins released from working out will help boost your metabolism and help you sleep. Maintain a Healthy Diet- With the significant loss of blood, fatigueness and low energy is one of the most common side effects of a period. Foods with lots of iron, including spinach, quinoa, and lean red meat, are beneficial. Bananas are also good, since they contain potassium. Carbs such as oatmeal or whole-grain bread are also necessary to boost your energy. Moreover, foods rich in omega-3 are great: fish, such as salmon, lake trout, mackerel, herring, sardines and tuna are all rich in omega-3. These are some types of foods will also satisfy those “period cravings.” Avoid Caffeine- Although it may seem like a good idea to drink your favorite pumpkin spice latte or vanilla cappuccino, you won’t feel so good in the long run. While caffeine will boost your energy in the beginning, drinks with refined sugars and artificial ingredients can cause you to crash, and even cause other health problems. So, avoid those energy drinks, if you can! Enjoy a Hot Shower- Enjoying a nice, hot, steamy shower, can relieve some of the period pain, such as headaches or cramps. Stand in the shower for a good 10-15 minutes. For further relaxation techniques, add some tea tree oil or peppermint oil, to relieve even more stress. Read More
photo via self.comWorking out has multiple benefits on the body and the mind, and will help you build better habits in the long run. The great thing is, it's never too late to get fit. Here are some methods that will motivate you to get your work out on. 1. SET A GOAL AND VISUALIZE WHERE YOU WANT TO BE- The Self Fulfilling Prophecy says that when we focus on something, we can make it our reality. So, setting that fitness goal may be just what you need. Visualize yourself achieving your goal, and you will be more inclined to make an effort. Even if you slack or mess up, or don't feel like going to the gym, just know that giving up isn't an option. Know you can do it. Don't think. Tell yourself you can do it, period. 2. WEAR WORKOUT CLOTHES - Dress for the part you want. Research says that “enclothed cognition,” means dressing for the part you want can help you accomplish a task. So, if you're wearing your favorite yoga pants, you'll feel more inclined to head to the gym. So, dress for the fitness model you aspire to be! 3. LISTEN TO MUSIC - Listen to your favorite music. If you're a fan of Doja Cat, Meg Thee Stallion, YG, Donell Jones, or whoever, perfect! Play whatever your heart desires. Whether it's upbeat, sad, pop, or R&B, you're in your own world. Think of music as a mood setter for whatever your goal is for the day. Moreover, music will make the workouts more enjoyable, and make the time go by faster. So, if you're on the stair master, and you find yourself twerking, that's just what you need. 4. GET A TRAINER- Considering a trainer will help you out in the long run. Of course, you have to pay a little bit more to invest in one, but it's all worth it. The best thing about a trainer is that you learn new workout techniques as you go! Moreover, you will learn much more about diet plans that work for you. Knowledge is power, and the more you know, the more you can take with you for the rest of your life. Also, trainers can eventually turn into friends, so in the future, they might not even charge you, and you've got yourself a gym buddy for life. 5. SMALL STEPS ARE STILL ACCOMPLISHMENTS- Many people are impatient and want to see results fast enough. Be patient with yourself. Consistency is key. For example, you can go to the gym for 2 weeks and eat clean, and be in better shape than you were before. Small steps are still steps, and every step counts. Just imagine if you were to be consistent for a whole month, and 1 month turns to 3 months, and then 4 months, and then 6. BOOM. You're on your way! 6. WATCH WORKOUT VIDEOS THAT APPLY TO YOU- If your goal is to build muscle or lose fat, there are a ton of videos on the Internet. YouTube and Instagram have a variety of videos to choose from, so you can use them as a guide. Just make sure to actually do the workouts when you go the gym! 7. EXERCISING INCREASES SELF-ESTEEM AND BOOSTS MOOD- Research shows that exercising can boost our self-esteem and mood. For one, when you start to see results, you will be happier with your body image. Your confidence level will increase, and your stress levels may decrease. Who doesn't want to feel happier and more confident? 8. SURROUND YOURSELF WITH THOSE WHO CHALLENGE YOU- Surrounding yourself with motivated people will give you an extra drive. If you're around people who are willing to push you, you might go harder in the gym, if you have inspiration. Energy is contagious, and if you surround yourself with like-minded people, you will put yourself in a situation to succeed.Read More
- Live with your parents- If you can afford to live at home, LIVE AT HOME. If you’re a local, you will save a whole bunch of money, perhaps a couple of thousands. If you’re not a local, then it’s best to find an apartment (preferably with a roommate), and have a job. Having a side job will help you pay for the on-campus expenses, or an apartment.
- Loans are not “free money”- I can’t stress this enough. When I was a freshman, I would blow my loans on stupid stuff, like random purses on Amazon or random posters of Gwen Stefani or the Playboy Bunny, because I thought I was cool. Loan money is literally for your tuition, and it’s not yours to keep.
- Good grades matter- Having decent grades will catch up to you in the long run. Your GPA matters, to an extent. For example, if you have 2.49 GPA, you’ll have a lesser chance of receiving a scholarship or landing a well paid job, verses someone who has a 3.8 GPA.
- Stop being carefree- Be careful, because the college life can get dangerous if you’re naive. It’s not okay to get drunk and pass out with random people you just met. If you drink, make sure not to overdo it, because you can get yourself in a dangerous situation, like passing out on random people’s bed, throwing up in the car, being blacked out at a club, or getting your hair cut by a stranger.
- Show up to class- Showing up to class may seem obvious, but when you’re in college, you feel more rebellious and lazy, just because you’re an adult. Show up to class, or you will miss valuable information that is necessary to your finals, tests, etc. I mean, you’re not paying $1,000 to ditch, are you? Otherwise, just don’t go to college, if you’re not willing to learn.
- If you’re a freshman, you’re “fresh meat.”- You may think everyone in college is your friend, but some people don’t have good intentions. When you’re new to college, you’re an easy target, especially for women. You’re considered, “bait.” Just know that some of the older college men will try to take advantage of you, if you’re naive. Don’t trust everybody, and always be smart.
photo via highsnobiety.comTRIP is a healing album, and highlights reality, like losing someone who is close to you, whether it’d be death or going though a heartbreak. Aiko highlights our times of loneliness, when we are in the midst of finding our inner peace. She highlights real love, when you miss someone, and you search for them in the soul of others, but can't. She also highlights depression, the times when we feel like our love life will never work out for us, so we harm ourselves, mentally and physically. As I was going through a tough time in my early 20's, here’s what I’ve learned from this album. Don't Be Afraid to Fall In Love- Whether it'd be falling in love or going on a trip, it's okay to live your life as an adventure. Perhaps it's the kind of love you crave, where someone craves your presence, and will do anything, no matter how silly or dangerous. “While we’re young we should do something crazy.” Live in the presence. Take chances in life, because you only have this life one time. Acceptance- Accept the things you can’t control. If we let our emotions conquer, we will lose every time. Accept your pain and be vulnerable, but don't let it define you or destroy you. When you allow yourself to feel or accept your wrongdoings, you can begin to move forward with life. Accepting is a part of growth. When we can accept ourselves now, then we can learn to love others. Learn to Heal: Take a trip for your yourself. Alienate yourself to cleanse your body and soul. Take a step back from reality and ask yourself what you really want. Aiko reminds us we can get through the pain, even if what we go through is tragic or heartbreaking. Whether it'd be sitting outside by the ocean or leaving the state, we should be find our inner peace. Learn to be your own best friend- Loving yourself isn't always easy, but it saves your life. Sometimes, when you're going through a dark phase in your life, we have no shoulder to cry on. Learn to be your own voice of reason. Learn to be alone. If you're relaying on others, you will never be happy. You do not need someone else to enjoy your life to the fullest. Learn to take yourself on dates and live spontaneously. Before we can love anyone else, we have to learn how to love ourselves, first. You matter, first. Read More
[caption id="attachment_9053" align="aligncenter" width="420"] photo via nytimes.com[/caption] Sahbabii, rapper from Chicago and Atlanta, is definitely slept on. The funny thing is, he went from working at Dick’s Sporting Goods to S.A.N.D.A.S: “Suck a n***a d**k or somethin. Album, S.A.N.D.A.S (2017) is one of his most popular projects, with song, “Pull Up With Ah Stick” (2016). His sound is technical, chill, and futuristic, and he creates vibes. He creates the perfect music for chilling in the whip, or going on a late night cruise, hotboxing. No doubt, this rapper is definitely in his own lane of artistry. His voice is high pitched and innocent like a lullaby. He can get away with saying something violent like, “Call up slaughter gang we’ll get your sh** popped,” and you’ll be like, wait, what? Don’t get it twisted. This artist thinks he’s slick, with his nasty comments. I was confused at first, because one of his most famous lines is, “Suck a n**** d**k or somethin,” and the great thing is that he’ll say it at the most random times. And then I realized, oh! That’s the name of his mixtape, SANDAS: "Suck A N**** D**k Ah Something." I suggest you don’t listen to any of his songs around your mom. His videos consists of children, women, and guns, or anime-like creations and bright colorful things. No doubt, he’s creative when it comes to his vision. His music feels like an escape, you’ll be in your own world. He’s like the Alice in Wonderland of hip-hop. All of his songs are uplifting and bright-spirited. When you listen to Sah, you’ll visualize things you’ve never heard of before. Although it’s strange to think of apes, sex, squids, glocks, or amphibians in a song, I’m actually open to hearing more. He uses many animal references in almost all of his songs. “B***h, I’m squidrific,” or “B***h, I’m king of the jungle, I eat anacondas,” and “I wanna fuck a amphibian.” In album, Squidrific, he tells us, “I'm fuckin' the clitoris. These niggas be talking that gibberish. Bitch I'm squidrific, Glock .19 I'm killing it. Play with the gang, yeah, then we spilling your chitterlings.” People will say that Sah’s music makes no sense, but that’s the beauty of it. Music doesn’t have to make sense, and he makes the rules. He’s the King of the Jungle. Sahbabii definitely has a youthful side. If you watch Spongebob, you’ll know that, Spongebob uses “barnacles” as a cuss word. So, when something is hard or cool, “barnacles” is kind of how Sahbabii uses it in his lyrics. Perhaps Sahbabii is a fan of Squidward too, and that’s why he references squids all of the time. "Before you achieve it you gotta believe it. You gotta achieve it before you can succeed it. You gotta succeed it before you can complete it. Ya dig," says Sah. They say trap music, “mumble” rap is not real music, but rappers like Sahbabii just want to create vibes and make his vision come to life. As a true artist, Sahbabii makes the rules, and that’s why his music stands out to the outcasts, the weirdos, and the geniuses. Hopefully, Sahbabii will continue to make more music for us all.Read More