#fbf CRUSH ON YOU – lil kim feat. lil cease

On the car ride back from my out of state trip, I was on a heavy female hip hop streak. I started with Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow  (a surprisingly catchy bop) and faded my way through some of my favorites from the sub-genre (Missy Elliot, Nicki Minaj (sometimes), and Lauryn Hill). But, my absolute favorite is Lil Kim.

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She’s such an iconic female figure in music and her influence in the hip hop genre is forever. All your fave modern day female rappers learned a thing or two from Lil Kim.

For sure.

She’s gone through so much over the years and I admire that she’s been able to stand strong through it all.

Check out this classic video up above and soak in the authenticity that is Lil Kim.

(P.S. I think it’d be dope if I could work out one of these outfits from the video for Halloween this year. Lil Kim’s has some incredible monochrome fits!)

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5 DOPE BOOKS ON MY TO-READ LIST ft. childhood reading flashbacks

 

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Books and I were like peanut butter and bananas growing up.

I fondly remember our loving relationship stretching back to the blue skied and white clouded years of elementary school. Back then, I was obsessed with this thing called the AR (or, Accelerated Reading) program. Whenever you finished reading a book from my school’s library you could take a short (5-10 questions) test about the plot and characters. Depending on how well you did on the test and how challenging of a read it was, you’d get a certain amount of AR points.

I remember I used to read through books that were slightly harder to read but AR point heavy like this series about medieval mice.

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I also remember speed-reading through other, less demanding books and taking 3-5 quizzes a week to rack up the points. Was I finessing the system? Probably. 

But at the end of the year there was the one, the only, the AR store. You could buy things like funky Lisa Frank-esque pencils, multicolored pencil erasers, and stuffed animals. But, what I usually had my eyes on were the posters. I specifically remember scoring this super awesome and totally not corny SpongeBob poster in particular, which I still have at my house (somewhere) to this very day.

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What I’m trying to convey to y’all is that I’ve grown up on books. But recently, I’ve lost my passion for reading. It’s probably due to the strange attachment I’ve grown to have with my smart phone and social media. But, I’ve decided that now is the perfect time to jump back into the wild waters of reading.

Here are a couple books I’ve had my eye on:

  1. Charlamagne Tha God – Black Privilege: Opportunity Comes To Those Who Create It

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2. Phoebe Robinson – You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain 

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3. Issa Rae – The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl 

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4. The Coldest Winter Ever – Sister Souljah

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5. Game Over – Winter Ramos

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I haven’t had a good page-turner in a while, and just looking at these books makes me excited to start. I plan to at least read a book or two by the time the fall season is upon us!

Do you remember the AR program? What did you used to read when you were a child? Do you read for fun now, if so what’s on your to-read list? Let me know down in the comments below. 

xoxo

relationships and the beauty of authenticity feat. 21 savage & amber rose

There’s something rather exquisite about Atlanta rapper 21 Savage. Maybe it’s the upside down cross in the middle of his forehead.

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Maybe it’s how he’s cashed in on his universal meme status. But, I think what’s grabbed my attention the most is his overflowing authenticity. Hip-hop is full of rappers that spit fallacies instead of facts. They know what is marketable and what the quintessential rapper looks like to the American public, so they try to fill that braggadocious gun-pelting persona like:

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As I slowly dug myself into some of 21 Savage’s musical repertoire (the Metro Boomin buddy project Savage Mode and the recently dropped Issa Album) I realized that 21 Savage is ’bout that action. When I hear him say things like,

                                                                  Think I got em’ scared, shot em’ in the beard/That’s a chin check, I’m certified everywhere – Close My Eyes

I believe it with every fiber of my being. Even though his music isn’t exactly my cup of tea I can appreciate that he’s not afraid to speak his truth.

I feel the same way about 21 Savage’s current girlfriend, model Amber Rose.

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I’m always silently rooting for in the wild, wonderful world of celebrity-dom. She’s an open book and has that perfectly crafted “idgaf” attitude when it comes to what people think of her. She’s often slut-shamed throughout the entertainment world and on various realms of social media.

(Literally just look up her name on any social media site, and you’ll see an endless amount of haters. Endless.)

But, she used these hateful words as the fire to fuel her annual women’s empowerment weekend Amber Rose’s SlutWalk. Obviously, I could go on and on about how much I love Amber Rose.

Recently, the seemingly sporadic relationship between 21 Savage and Amber Rose has been the talk of the internet. Everyone has an opinion (as they always do) about whether it’s “real” or not, if it’s going to last, and if they’re good together or not.

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I think they are.

As you can hear at 0:45, she makes him take his vitamins. If bae don’t push you to take your vitamins then, what is you doing baby???

Jokes aside, what I get out of 21 and Amber’s relationship is when two authentic beings get together it’s easy to uplift one another and produce positivity.

In the beginning stages of relationships, I’ve seen that people often inflate themselves in order to impress the other person. It’s kind of like how peacocks attract mates.

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It’s like when you’re on a first date and you’re talking about high school, and you say that you were homecoming queen but you were actually the 3rd runner up out of four girls. I’m not saying that’s the worst thing a person can do (we often all do this on some level). But, when you have space in a relationship to be your authentic self you can get so much more out of that bond. You become comfortable, let your flaws show, and you have the opportunity to grow so much more as a person.

As an outsider looking into their glass house made of Snapchats and radio interviews, 21 & Amber seem happy. And as a lover of love, that makes me happy too.

Have you seen 21 & Amber’s PDA all up in your social media feed? Who’s your favorite celebrity couple, past or present? Let me know who’s your #relationshipgoals. (Is that still a thing that people still say?)

 

THRIFTING 101; Collab with Yolanda from My Wallet’s Keeper!

Hello beautiful people!

I’m collaborating with the wonderful Yolanda from My Wallet’s Keepera great finance and lifestyle blog right here on the interwebs. She’s got a ton of great posts on her blog giving out some great knowledge about saving money. Today we have joined forces to give

Today we have joined forces to give tips to all you beginner thrifters out there.

Thrifting speaks to the shopaholic in all of us that wants to pounce on the latest trends the minute they reach the hottest street-fashion blogs and all those LA bound YouTube vloggers with perfectly arched Anastasia brow pencil’d eyebrows. It gives all of us the chance to be ahead of the curve while keeping our pockets fat.

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Never thrifted? Fear not! I’ve got five tips to make you the flyest and most efficient thrifter on the block.

In no particular order,

  1. Look through every section.

Don’t restrict yourself to one section of the store! I’ve found some dope t-shirts in the Men’s section and silky undershirts and bralettes in the lingerie section. If you’re only looking through one section of the store then you’re blocking your blessings. Don’t play yourself.

2.  Try it all on. 

Whether you’re hesitating or falling in love with a piece of clothing, everything can change in the dressing room. I know you may think you can eyeball your size, but it’s better to be safe than sorry and get it on body. There are often many different decades worth of clothing in the thrift store, and clothing sizes have changed over the years. Sizes even change by brand! Just do yourself a favor and try it on before you hand your money over.

3. Do your Googles! 

I know you’ve heard of the Goodwills and the Salvation Armys of the world, but there are way more thrift shops than you realize. From my experience, I’ve found that the best deals are found from those mom & pop type thrift shops. Just do a quick Google search for the thrift stores in your area and take a chance on a store you’ve never heard of. I’ve gotten pieces of clothing for as low as 50 cents! Issa deal!

4. Don’t be afraid to DIY! 

That Nike t-shirt that you found hiding in the Men’s section could turn into your next favorite crop top! A pair of scissors and some bleach can turn into your crafty best friend if you let it! Here are a couple of great DIY thrift YouTube videos to give you some ideas!

 

5. Second guess all your purchases, before you buy.

Thrifting is a blessing and a curse. Even though it’s so cheap, you shouldn’t let yourself fall victim to the cursed impulse buy. Trust me, I’m an expert on that matter. My closet has ballooned since I started thrifting in high school, and I’m just now getting to picking through clothes that I’ve never worn but I’ve had for years. Before you step up to the cashier you should have a plan for every piece of clothing you buy: whether that be an outfit, a DIY project, or a gift. Don’t buy it just because it’s cheap. Trust, you don’t want the piece to be collecting dust in your closet.

I hope these tips are helpful for you in your thrifting adventures. Have fun and happy thrifting!

Love, Nia Simone

xoxoxo

(F.Y.I: Make sure y’all check out My Wallet’s Keeper for even more dope thrifting tips!)

the soundtrack to your lazy day #niarecommends

Happy Sunday everybody. I hope y’all are doing swell.

Don’t y’all have those days where all you desire to do is lounge around in your pajamas and scroll through Netflix for your next binge-watch extravaganza?

Today is that type of day for me. But, I tend to give my lazy days a soundtrack.

What type of soundtrack? Glad you asked my beautiful internet friend.

Here’s a hefty supply of chillax worthy tunes, straight from yours truly.

  1. Me, Myself, & I – Beyonce

2. Cranes in the Sky – Solange

3. Indecision – Sampha

4. That’s the Way Love Goes – Janet Jackson

4. No Ordinary Love – Sade

5. The Internet – Girl feat. KAYTRANDA

6. Crush – Yuna feat. Usher

7. Say Yes – Floetry 

(kudos to the Ghost cameo btw)

8. Until the End of Time – Justin Timberlake feat. Beyonce

9. Urn – Childish Gambino

10. We All Try – Frank Ocean

If you’re feeling so effortlessly lazy that you can’t even be bothered to change the song, then turn on this lo-fi hip hop radio video. A couple of these neverending lo-fi internet radio videos have sprouted up these past couple months, but this is the one that I always turn to. It’s never failed me.

Chillax responsibly internet friends. Your ears will thank you.

90s #TBT / ANYTIME, ANYPLACE – Janet Jackson

I was introduced to this song through Kendrick Lamar’s sample usage of it on Good Kidd Maad City’s Poetic Justice. That’s one of the reasons I love hip hop. Through sampling, it can introduce you to music that you may not have had the chance to experience otherwise.

Janet Jackson is forever a queen, but this video showcases her at her prime. Take a look back and listen to this classic track.

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NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert Series feat. CHANCE THE RAPPER

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Reason #211 why I love Chance the Rapper.

I’m a big fan of NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series. When I saw that Lil Chano from 79th had his own segment I pounced at the chance to peep.

Accompanied by beautiful background vocals and live instrumentation, Chance is as he always is: authentic. Give this performance a watch; I promise it’ll be a good use of your time.

issa trend – BAND TEES

Music merchandise has been a bit of a hot button topic lately, due to a couple Kardashians that got chewed out by the late rapper Biggie’s mom for using his image without their permission. 

If you want to peep some of the horrid t-shirt designs that they okay’d you can laugh at it right here and here. But, I’d rather not focus on the tacky.

I have always loved a good band tee. As an awkward middle and high schooler, Hot Topic was my sanctuary. When I entered the store at my local mall I was amazed by all the artists displayed on the walls of the store, and I jumped at the chance to rep my favorite artist at school.

The first band tee that I remember buying for myself was a Kanye West Graduation themed t-shirt from ’08. I bought it with one of my best friends at the time and I could still remember that sense of pride that I felt when I wore the shirt to school the next day.

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I still love the shirt just as much as I did almost a decade ago. It symbolizes my everlasting adoration for Kanye’s Graduation album, a part of the beloved Kanye era that I’d like to call BK. Before Kardashian.

Ever since then I’ve amassed a collection of about 20 band tees from various hip-hop, rock, and pop artists. One of my fave band tees out of that collection is this Goldlink shirt.

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It’s the cover art of one of my favorite (and certainly most sentimental) albums: And After That, We Didn’t Talk. Inside the art on the shirt, there’s secretly hidden lyrics to one of my favorite tunes off of that album: See I Miss.

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I got this shirt during the Black Friday sale last year for Goldlink’s online site and ended up spending a whopping twenty bucks on the shirt after shipping. Issa deal.

But, I’m always on the hunt for new merch. I usually wait until it goes on some type of sale, but when I peeped Kendrick Lamar’s new DAMN. merchandise it had me wanting to break my own rules.

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When I listened to DAMN. the first time I was engrossed with the repeated line “What happens on Earth stays on Earth” It sounds like something a slightly shady fortune teller would tell you. The fact that’s it’s integrated into some of the merch definitely caught my eye.

In a recent interview, Kendrick said that “What Happens on Earth Stays on Earth” was the album’s original title. But, he didn’t think that it rolled off the tongue. Even though it may not be as punchy as “DAMN.” I still think it’s a line that’s worth its weight in gold.

Maybe I’ll be able to cop one of these shirts during Black Friday next year. I’ll be more than happy to slide these to my growing collection.

What are some of your favorite band tees? Are you holding onto some incredible vintage gem from your Mom’s closet? I’d love to read about it in the comment section below.

#SupportDopeArtists

THE PERFECT SUMMER COOKOUT PLAYLIST

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It’s almost Independence Day beautiful people. That means bring on the slightly dangerous sparklers, ketchup and mustard-slathered hot dogs, and dramatic renditions of our beloved national anthem: The Star-Spangled Banner. If you’re looking for the perfect playlist to turn your barbecue, party, or any type of summer celebration into a lituation, then you’re in the right place. Here are ten great songs to give your 4th of July and the rest of your summer a great soundtrack.

  1. Drake feat. Alicia Keys – Fireworks

Listen to the smooth rhymes of Mr. Drizzy Drake as you enjoy your favorite fireworks display and I assure you will get sentimental about your love for America.

2. Miley Cyrus – Party in the U.S.A

A song that everyone loves to hate but everyone’s going to burst into song like a firecracker when the chorus comes on. Trust me.

3. DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince – Summertime

The quintessential summertime bop.  If you don’t have this song in your cookout’s playlist, then…

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4. Cupid – Cupid Shuffle

To me, the Cupid Shuffle is a perfect dance song. It’s a song that appeals to every single person through it simplistic steps and family-friendly lyrics. It literally tells you what to do, there isn’t anything simpler than that.

5. Calvin Harris feat. Frank Ocean & Migos – Slide

You need some timely tunes to make the kids happy. The beat’s effortlessly beachy, and might inspire some of the OGs to do some electric sliding.

6. Snoop Dogg – Gin & Juice

Some Snoop D-O-Double G is a sure fire way to get the party thumping, fast.

7. Montell Jordan – This is How We Do It

Need I say more?

8. DJ Khaled feat. Drake – To The Max

Play this song just on the minor chance that someone will begin to dance like DJ Khaled in this video. That alone, makes this addition worth it.

9. Kendrick Lamar – HUMBLE. 

Turn every single one of your guests into the next great amateur rapper.

10. Where the Party At? – Jagged Edge feat. Nelly 

Where’s the party at? Right here man, right here.

I hope these songs push your turn-up to the next level. What’s a celebration without great music?

Are there any songs that I missed? Let me know in the comments love; I want to know what’s on your perfect summer cookout playlist.

*new music* TYLER, THE CREATOR – Who Dat Boy

Brand spankin’ new certified banger from rapper Tyler, The Creator. I am super duper flippin’ excited to see a new project from Tyler! It’s been a minute since his last project Cherry Bomb dropped in 2015, and it’s about time he dropped another smash.

Is it going to be a collab album with A$AP Rocky?? These are questions that need answers!!

Let me know what you think about the song lovelies!