Sunday, December 18, 2011

"As long as it sounds good..."

I am a fan of music. R&B is my favorite genre, it always has been and I used to think that this would always be the case, but as of late many R&B artists have taken a new route to please the masses so the quality of music has changed. As opposed to songs about love and life, they've decided to compose stripper anthems and other songs that demean women. Tank, for example, is one of my favorite artists of all time and even he has managed to disappoint me with his latest mixtape. The R&B crooner who is known for hits like "Maybe I Deserve" and "I Can't Make You Love Me" now has a song titled "Money on the Floor" making him no exception to this fad.

To be honest, stripper references in so-called R&B songs is getting pretty old and so is direction giving, "Girl, back it up, drop it low, etc." Since when did women need to be told how to dance and why must songs promise us money? "I got a pocket full of ones" or "I'ma make it rain" are pretty common lines. I can't speak for other women, but I must say that I wouldn't want anyone throwing singles at me nor would I want to pick money up from the floor. Many of these songs lack creativity and rap songs are even worse these days. In fact, it would take me hours to analyze the lyrics of some of the most popular rap songs and I won't even bother watching the videos for them anymore because the concept is almost always the same... Nice cars, scantily clad exotic looking women, and stacks of money. Did I miss anything?

That brings me to another point, thousands of women these days aspire to become actresses or models. Please note that I use the term "actress" loosely as many of them are not thespians and simply desire to be on television. That being said, they'll do pretty much anything for some camera time. Above I've embedded a video for Chris Brown's latest single "Strip" featuring Kevin McCall to help prove my theory. These women were so eager to be in a Chris Brown video that they couldn't unite to say "Hey guys, maybe we should opt not to wear bikinis in a snow scene while the men are wearing sweaters." Granted, it wasn't real snow but still... The idea of women being around to entertain these men is apparent. Not to mention, there were scenes when two or more women were vying for one man's attention in scenes that insinuated sexual acts. Was it really necessary for them to go into closets? But then again with lyrics like "If you ain't freakin', we ain't speaking," I guess I shouldn't have expected much from the video. Let me not to forget to mention, I actually like how this song sounds. One can't deny, it sounds good. The beat is amazing and that infectious "Got d@mn, you sexy" line is catchy. But do I agree with its lyrics? Would I dance to it in public? No.

Stripper songs aren't the only issue and men aren't the only ones contributing to horrible themed music. Nicki Minaj raps about having a squeaky clean vagina and asks for money in the remix to rapper Big Sean's popular song "Dance (A$$)." If the number one female in the industry doesn't demand respect and encourages fans to label themselves as bad bitches, what hope is there? What else does our youth have to listen to if these songs get major airplay? Young women will grow up thinking that their body is their greatest asset and young men will believe that if they don't have tons of money, they're unworthy of a female's attention. Then we will notice a continued influx of women that desire to be video models and/or strippers and men that wish to sell drugs and/or become rappers. It's a vicious cycle and no one wants to take responsibility for it. Artists will cite "just having fun" as a reason for some of their lyrical content and consumers will continue to dance to it and be influenced as long as it sounds good. Artists like YG, Waka Flocka, and Soulja Boy will continue to thrive as long as they can manage to have good beats for their songs.

I've been hesitant to blog about this because I didn't want it to seem like a rant, but I just got tired of the topic festering in my mind. As a person with younger siblings, a lover of music and a woman, I demand more. There are plenty of ways to make promote change. For starters, you could stop buying the albums. You can also call your local radio stations and say something. Request songs of substance, be mindful of what you listen to and don't just require a nice beat. Lyrics matter and the next time you're dancing to a stripper anthem, don't just continue dancing because you know it doesn't apply to you. Those around you may assume different. Please be sure to share your thoughts in a comment below. Do you think the music industry is full of nonsense or am I overreacting?

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Troy Davis: Are you a bandwagon activist?

Tonight Troy Anthony Davis was declared dead at 11:08 p.m. As expected, many are outraged citing a faulty judicial system as the reason for such injustice. I am one of these people, but I am also a bit perturbed about how and why some elected to protest Davis' execution. Over the past week I have witnessed a significant amount of rallying by thousands of people who believed there was "too much doubt" in Davis' case for him to be executed.

Of those thousands of people, I wonder how many actually researched the case. I wonder how many knew the details of what he was arrested for before sending tweets and signing petitions. I'd estimate that nearly half of the people posting about Davis' pending execution had the slightest clue about all of the components involved. This brings me to the mention of bandwagon activists, individuals that unite for a cause only because they see others doing it; society is filled with plenty of these people.
While his claims of innocence drew worldwide support this week, Davis' case has been ongoing for 22 years. His execution had been stopped three times since 2007. Did we really expect justice to be rendered on a case of this magnitude after 48 hours of Facebook statuses, retweets and blog posts? Are we that naive? Yes, social networking is powerful but this is the Supreme Court we're talking about here, not Beyonce's baby bump.

I wonder how many of us thought about Mark MacPhail. If you aren't aware of who I'm referring to, please include yourself in the above mentioned 50%. Whether you choose to believe it or not, justice has been served for MacPhail and his family tonight for they believed that Davis was guilty. Imagine if it was your relative that was killed, would you be against the accused murderer's execution then?

I truly believe it's important to be informed and consider all sides of a story before taking a stance. If you were one of the people rallying, what were you doing it for? Were you protesting the death penalty or injustice on a Black man? Don't just campaign for a cause that you know nothing about, do some research so that you'll know exactly what you're fighting for. Don't call a man innocent when you really don't know because you were not there.

Please don't get me wrong, I too am saddened by what happened to Troy Davis just hours ago. Do I believe he was innocent? Yes, but I'm not a judge in a court of law. Neither are most of the people that posted tweets and signed petitions. Deep down I wish that the rallying and protests would have produced a much different outcome. There is no question about it, our judicial system is flawed. I wonder how many of us will spend future hours trying to change it.

I honestly can't believe that I'm witnessing this type of history in 2011. It's all very reminiscent of the Jim Crow laws when things were outrageously slanted against the interests of African Americans. How can a case with seven of nine witnesses recanting or disputing all or parts of their testimony repeatedly be denied a new trial? How can a man be indicted and executed with no existing physical evidence? I have tons of questions, but do they really matter at this point? After all, Troy Davis is dead and "justice was served" according to several state and federal judges.

Please feel free to answer any of the questions I posed above, comment below or post links to articles or posts that you think will be interesting for me to see about the topic.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

August Workout/Diet/Life Challenge

I won't even start this post with the usual apology for not posting in ages. Just know that my intentions for this blog are good, but free time is not in abundance. Anyway, I decided that I'd make August 2011 a month that I'd end with no regrets. If you're anything like me you always wish and pray for better things to happen in your life. You think you're trying hard, but you can always increase your efforts. You know you deserve better, but can't seem to get it. If you're tired of the previous statements applying to you, keep reading this post.

Let's begin with the fitness challenge that I decided on this morning when I came across this video. I am 5'3 and weigh less than 115 lbs yet I am just as uncomfortable in a swimsuit as a person who is hundreds of pounds overweight. Most people assume that I'm simply insecure, but that's not the case. Just because someone is small doesn't mean they're healthy or in shape. I have poor eating habits, I rarely exercise, and I've grown accustomed to calling myself "skinny-fat." With this challenge I will begin exercising at least three times a week and eating well balanced meals daily. This means that my dollar menu addiction must cease.

I understand that fast food is convenient, cheap, and sometimes delicious but isn't our health much more important? Let's tackle our diets. We only get one body in this life and it's time that we monitor what we put in it. We often claim that we don't have enough time to cook or exercise because our lives our so hectic yet we find time to either read or write blogs, waste on social networking sites, or watch meaningless television shows. Imagine giving yourself a measly 30 minutes per day. Sounds easy right? Since I'm starting small and I'll only be working out three times per week, the other four days will involve me spending my me-time differently.

Here comes the life challenge. Start reading books, practicing new or long lost hobbies, better yet do anything you can think of that doesn't involve technology. We're becoming too dependent on electronic devices. I know this from personal experience because my cell phone hasn't worked properly in days and I feel incomplete. If facebook, twitter, or tumblr are major consumers of your time, this challenge is for you.

Alex before the workout challenge...

Workout Challenge - I don't know what you need to work on and I'm not a personal trainer so I can't give you workout tips. That would be the epitome of the blind leading the blind. I can say that during this challenge, the actual workout won't be the hardest part. Getting out of bed to start the workout will be. Or if you're planning to workout after work, please do so as soon as you get home or you'll get too relaxed and put the task off until the next day. Consider this the RIGHT NOW challenge because we'll have to encourage ourselves to exercise as soon as it crosses our minds. It's time to stop putting off for tomorrow the things that we can accomplish today.

Diet Challenge - I'm also not a dietitian so I'm not going to try to list things you should include in your diet. What I'm going to do is make sure I eat breakfast daily. This breakfast will include Nutella, reduced fat milk, orange juice (with pulk because that stuff is amazing), some form of fresh fruit, and whole grain bread. Perhaps I'll post photos of how things are going with my diet mid-month to show you guys how I'm doing things.  My lunch and dinner will include tons of vegetables and foods with protein. I'm positive that starches are going to play a large role in my diet as well because potatoes were sent from heaven. I'm simply trying to tone up and perhaps gain a few pounds so if you're trying to lose weight, our diets will differ. The most important thing to remember is to avoid processed foods. Lastly give yourself one cheat day per week. Perhaps Saturdays would be best to eat the snacks that you may crave all week, but remember to eat proper portions. A couple weeks ago I made a pan of brownies and ate them all by myself, that probably wasn't wise.

Life Challenge - This is my favorite part of the challenge. Not only will I be working out, but I will have the opportunity to improve my quality of life. Let this not be the month for complaining, let's take action. As I mentioned earlier, start reading more and practicing a hobby. If you hate your job, spend time searching and applying for a new one.  We may not have all the things we want, but we are capable of getting them if we just work hard at it.

That's all for this post. Please leave a comment if you're with me in this challenge. Let me know what you're planning on including in your diet or exercise routines because I'm interested in seeing how others take on this challenge. I often see blog challenges and other random challenges online, it's time that we challenge ourselves to do something that can actually help us.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I went to the 2011 BET Awards...

Nicki Minaj, myself and a bunch of other "barbies" LoL
I'm just now finding time to post about my experience at this year's BET Awards. Not only was I lucky enough to attend, I got paid to go on stage and pretend to be one of Nicki Minaj's "Barbies" so I got to see quite a few celebrities face-to-face. I felt pretty lucky to be one of the ten young ladies chosen and I got recognized by tons of people that I know even though I was wearing a wig. Woop Woop! Moving on, this post won't be long. When I was in the presence of the celebrities that attended the event, I realized that I have a lot of pride. Something in me didn't feel comfortable asking for photos or anything of the sort. I have to really like someone to be thirsty enough to do that. Needless to say I don't have many photos from the awards to share.

I was thirsty enough to ask recording artist, Dondria for a photo though, LoL. Don't judge me, I've loved her for years! I simply wanted to take a photo of her and she and her pal let me be in the picture. I was beyond excited! Even though I only interacted with her for approximately 30 seconds, that brief moment confirmed why I'm such a huge fan of hers. She's super nice and ridiculously under-rated! Folks need to stop sleeping on her music. I swear her song "Still Be With Me" is one of my favorite R&B tracks of all time. Be sure to follow her on twitter to stay informed about what's going on with her and whatnot.

I was also able to get a photograph with Bruno Mars that I was tempted not to post because I look like a goofball in it. I don't have a super cool story to tell about him, but he was nice and his hands were very soft.  = ) Prior to the awards a young lady asked to take a photo with me and some of the other girls that were going to present the award with Nicki Minaj. Little did we know that girl, Tiffany Greene, would become an overnight celebrity after a technical error caused her to announce both Chris Brown and Rihanna as the winner of BET's  Coca Cola Viewer's Choice Award. Since she's "famous" now I decided to share that picture with you guys as well.

These are about the only photos I have worth sharing. I also took a photo of J. Cole, but it came out blurry. Kerry Washington also posed for a photo but my wack phone wouldn't cooperate. Again, I'm really grateful that I was able to attend this awards show. I recently learned that #TeamMinaj is really serious when it comes to being hardcore fans and there are thousands of people that would have given their left pinky toe to stand on stage with Nicki Minaj and/or Justin Bieber. If you'd like to see a clip of the award that we were on stage for click here.  That's about all for this post. I'll get back to blogging regularly in the next few weeks.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why people use Foursquare and/or "check in" online...

Whose bright idea was it to create a method for folks to note their locations on a mobile device and share them with their friends? I can recall the exact moment I got my first Loopt request years ago. It was the first time I ever heard of an application of its kind and I remember being immediately opposed to the idea. From what I understood, if you were meeting up with friends the app would make it easier for them to find you by locating you on a map. I remember thinking, "What happened to good, old fashioned calling and asking for directions?" At the time I rarely met up with groups of people so that was among the many reasons I saw no need to download the app.

Times have changed. Now Foursquare, Google Latitude, and "check-in" capabilities on social networking sites are the norm. People are now able to share their locations with the simple click of a button. At first I could not understand why they'd want to share such information with the public, but then I thought long and hard. As a result, I have compiled a list of four reasons why people opt to let others know where they are on social networking sites. The reasons are as follows:

I. They have something to promote.
An individual that can potentially gain from others knowing their location may choose to "check-in" to let others know they have arrived. For example, if Rihanna had an in-store appearance to promote her perfume it may be beneficial for her to let her fans know her location. Rihanna would benefit monetarily from revealing her location because sales for her fragrance are likely to increase just because fans were able to get a glimpse of her in person.

II. They want to share (or brag) about the excitement in their life.
If someone is at an expensive restaurant and you happen to spot a post like "Jane Doe just checked in at (insert fancy place here)."then it's safe to assume that gloating was the intent. If they choose to reveal their attendance at a club or party then they more than likely just want others to know that they are in the midst of doing something exciting.

III. They want to get stalked and/or murdered.
Anyone who willingly posts their location for all to see wants to be a victim. Privacy should be valued to some extent and if the person's twitter account is not private or their friends list consists of at least one person that they don't know well, they're asking for trouble. I used Rihanna in the previous example, but the difference between her and the average person is the fact that she has a bodyguard on duty.

IV. They are lame.
If you use an app to "check-in" and actually think others want to know what you're doing and where you are all day, you're idiotic. You don't leave much to be desired when you post everything online and if I can simply read your timeline, there's no need for me to ever call to inquire about how your day was.

So these are the only possible reasons I could fathom. If I missed anything, please feel free to share it in a comment below. Lastly, I  must admit that people's decision to reveal their locations to the masses is not the only thing that bothers me. It really seems like some people are incapable of doing anything without sharing. For example, the obsession with the #np (now playing) hashtag on twitter shows that even an activity as simple as listening to music has been altered. Not only do people have to know where you are, they have to know what you're listening to too?

Social networking has changed how we communicate altogether. When I meet a guy he shouldn't ask me for my twitter username before my telephone number. And yes, this has happened... I'm rambling, please excuse me. Back to the topic at hand, shouldn't we just be living life and doing exciting things to share them with people afterward? Or does this new ability to share things instantly enrich our lives in some way that I'm not seeing? Please note this post isn't meant to offend anyone. Maybe I'm just old school and can't get with the latest technology. What are your thoughts? Is social networking and its many features getting out of control or am I tripping?

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Monday, June 6, 2011

New Posts Coming Soon/ Brownstone Magazine Giveaway

Hello All:

I don't write nearly as much as I should. Forgive me. Things have been pretty hectic lately. I have an awesome topic in mind that I plan to post by tomorrow evening so please stay tuned. This quick post shall serve as promotion for an online magazine that I write for. Brownstone Magazine is a website that is designed to represent the voices of young African-American girls between the ages of 14 and 18. If you or anyone you know can benefit from the site, please spread the word. The Brownstone Team works hard to put out quality articles and it would be great to know that they're reaching the masses. Follow the magazine on twitter @BrownstoneMag and you'll be up-to-date on all the latest happenings.  We have a lot of interesting things going on and you'll surely love them. If you're interested in getting on the mailing list then please feel free to post your email address below OR email me if you don't wanna post it for all to see. Lastly, read below to find out more about the site's giveaway for teenagers in the Los Angeles area.

Brownstone Magazine Nail Makeover Giveaway

Brownstone is hosting it's first giveaway. Ladies, send us your best prom photo and you could win a nail makeover by celebrity nail stylist Hasani. Please help encourage any teens girls you know to enter.

Rules: Must be between 14 - 18 and live in the LA area to enter. DEADLINE: Friday, June 10 at midnight PST. Please submit photos to The winner will be announced on Wednesday, June 15.

Thanks so much for reading and for your support,

Alexandria B.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

For those that read "relationship quotes" often...

I know for a fact that I'm not the only one that reads quotes as a method of coping with things that I go through in life. Whether I'm seeking inspiration or need a boost of confidence to help me finish assignments at work or school, I have a tendency to read and decipher quotes that I think relate to me. Lately I've noticed that others using quotes to deal with relationship issues. When I say others, I'm definitely not speaking code for "myself" simply because I lack both, the relationship and the issues. Continue reading if you're one of these people I'm referring to because I have a feeling this is about to get good. 

I have friends on facebook and tumblr that severely overuse Maya Angelou's quote, "The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them." Oftentimes, this is in reference to a failed relationship or someone disappointing them. I know this simply because of the comments that usually follow. I happen to love this quote, but am tired of reading it all the time. In fact, Maya Angelou has numerous quotes that are wise and inspirational, but this one, in particular, is one of my favorites. If you're in a relationship and an incident occurs that completely shocks you, one in which the person you're dating seems like a totally different person that does foul things, please don't think that it will be a one time occurrence. The person may apologize and you may forgive them, but don't act shocked when it happens again. Foul incidents include but are not limited to the following: cheating, lying, physical or verbal abuse, and many other activities. 

I get it. We all want to be in love with a person that loves us unconditionally so we are willing to accept mistakes that people may make with hopes of it all becoming a fairy tale at the end. We're saddened when it all ends and the fairy tale ending is never achieved. What do you do when that person you thought was the answer ends up being the person that causes you to ask "Why?" You accept it for what it was. I truly believe that people are in our lives for seasons and when they may return when the time is right. I also believe that if a person has you analyzing quotes to cope with the disappointment they've created, they're not the one for you. 

As far as relationships go, I swear by a quote from Andrew Carnegie which states, "As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do." If a person says they like, love, and/or care about you that's great. Do their actions back up their claims? If so, that's perfect! If not, take a step back and evaluate your relationship. There is nothing worse than caring for someone more than they care for you. Well there are worse things, but you get my drift. More than likely Carnegie was not thinking about my love life when he said these words, but I managed to find a way to relate. This awesome quote can be used in referenced to anything. 

So if you're one of those people that are constantly copying and pasting quotes that you think will be seen by the person it's referring to, you should probably stop. I'm a fan of quotes that encourage and inspire me to become a better person. Start looking up quotes that do the same for you. Once you're the best possible you, the person that's "made for you" will come along. At least that's what I'd like to believe...

Thanks for reading, feel free to post your thoughts!

Alexandria B.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Movie Review: Madea's Big Happy Family

Before you say anything, I'll just go ahead and type it. Yes, I took one for the team. I decided to take myself on a date to determine if Tyler Perry's latest film is indeed "coonery and buffoonery" as Spike Lee and many others suggest. I noticed myself not wanting to see the movie at all simply because the previews made the film seem ridiculous. I also read an amazing blog post that criticized Perry's work which made me want to see the movie for myself. If you can't tell, I try not to be the type of person that judges things before experiencing them for myself.

As I hinted above I hated the marketing and promotion tactics used for this movie because after watching previews or seeing billboards, I had no clue what to expect from the film. Tyler Perry dressing up and posing for posters that had nothing to do with his film did not impress me. I knew that many popular African American actors would be in it including Loretta Devine, Shad 'Bow Wow' Moss, and Lauren London. I was surprised to see Isaiah Mustafa (the man from the Old Spice commercials) as a main character in the film. Actually he was one of the main reasons the film could be considered remotely enjoyable.

I must admit that I wanted to leave after the first eight minutes. Loretta Devine and Cassi Davis had the opening scene and it was nowhere near comedic, Davis' character, Aunt Bam smoked marijuana throughout the entire film and many of the film's jokes were centered around this. I could have completely done without her boisterous character. I can honestly say that I laughed no more than twice during the 106 minute film so it is not a good selection if you're looking to see a great comedy. On a positive note, the film's dramatic elements make it bearable.

Shannon Kane, Isaiah Mustafa, Loretta Devine, and Bow Wow gave noteworthy performances that added to the film's drama. I won't go into much detail but they make their roles believable and caused me to want to shed a tear. As far as a review goes, I think I mislead you into reading this post because I'm not sure I can offer a good one. It does not surprise me that the film has 2.6 out of 10 stars on IMDb because the parts that are enjoyable are somewhat canceled out by the ridiculous portions of the film. Madea's antics among other parts of the are not entertaining and contribute to numerous stereotypes, but I wouldn't label is as "coonery." Teyanna Taylor's role as the "typical baby mama" may not have been funny to me, but judging from her twitter page, plenty of people found it hilarious. Lauren London's character seems too similar to the one she played in ATL so no comment.

All in all, the movie wasn't a complete waste of my $9, but I hope that in the future Tyler Perry does better. Putting a bunch of celebrities in a movie doesn't automatically make it a hit. I believe that he has become adept in creating dramatic films, but it is the comedy that needs work. I do see why Spike Lee and many others may want to criticize, but whose fault is it that Black people are entertained by this? Perry should retire the Madea character. She is not good representation of what a Black woman is or should be yet she is what's displayed to the masses. I never once noticed how saggy Madea's breasts were until last night. Really Tyler, really? I could go on, but I choose not to. If I had to give the movie a rating, I'd give it two out of five stars. That's being nice. I recommend that you go see the film for yourself. I'm sure you'll enjoy it more if you don't purchase the ticket for yourself or go for a matinee showing.

What are your thoughts? Did you see the film?

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Innocent Until Proven Guilty?

Left to right:  Paul Thorington, Anthony Albano, and Ray Laranjo.
One of my readers urged me to start writing about current events so it has been my plan to oblige for the last month or so. However, I never thought I'd write about a news story that hits so close to home. Last week, a female college student alleged that three men held her down and took turns raping her in a Miami Beach hotel room while on spring break. One of these men is my friend from school.

According to a Miami Beach police arrest affidavit,the woman said Paul Thorington, 22, of Lomita; Anthony Albano, 23, of Rancho Palos Verdes; and Ray Joseph Laranjo, 23, of Torrance sexually assaulted her on March 23 after she agreed to go to their seventh-floor room at the Fontainebleau to drop off her purse.

KTLA has been following the story and attempted to speak with the suspects by visiting their homes yesterday. Only Thorington was available and he offered no comment. If I were falsely accused, I'd be screaming "I'm innocent!"Perhaps his attorney has instructed him not to speak with the media, but if that's the case he should not have answered the door. When the general public hears "no comment" they associate it with guilt. In fact, when we see the alleged rapists on television it's hard to imagine the suspects are innocent.  

In this case, the innocence of these men is all I want to imagine. I've had classes with Albano and he is one of the nicest people I've ever met. He has too much to lose and would never have to force himself on anyone. Please don't assume that I'm being naive because I presume innocence. At first glance, this case looks bad. Why would three men be sexually involved with one woman? Then again, why would one woman go to a hotel room that was 26 blocks away from where she met three strangers? There are so many aspects to consider before assuming anything. It's best to remain neutral, but it's hard to do that when images of these "suspects" are plastered everywhere. Commenters on numerous websites have labeled them as "monsters" and wished ill upon them without knowing the facts.

That leads me to question whether or not the general public believes that suspects are innocent until proven guilty. It appears to me that only those that know these men personally care to presume innocence while others look at what's shown in the media and do the opposite. It worries me that the cost for these men to have the opportunity to prove innocence is too hefty. The three Southern California natives will have to return to Florida to fight the case. What started as a trip to enjoy themselves has potentially changed their lives forever.

The alleged suspects were booked on charges in Miami Dade County of sexual battery involving multiple offenders and have been released on $50,000 bail each. Arraignment for them is scheduled for April 14. If charged with sexual battery (the Florida designation for what is called rape in California) they could face up to 30 years in prison.

Even if the charges are dropped, the embarrassment of the issue will live on. One simple internet search and you can find that they were arrested. Their names and photos are easily accessible and the alleged victim's identity is protected. Does the media expose too much information about suspects before actual facts are available? Should the public have a right to know so much? Be sure to post your thoughts and comments below.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The problem with love is...

Nobody knows what it is...
I've been debating on which angle to take with this post and I couldn't decide so I'm choosing to wing it. No plans, just writing. The topic that has been on my mind for the past few weeks is my disgust with today's music industry. Everyone complains that music has changed, records aren't selling, hip hop is dead, and all that jazz. Quite frankly, R&B has always been my thing so I don't typically care about "artists" like Waka Flocka, Soulja Boy, or Gucci Mane. 

I grew up listening to Anita Baker, Freddie Jackson and countless other amazing artists. I assumed that I'd grow up, find my "true love" and have a life that would enable me to relate to songs like "Angel" or "Have You Ever Loved Somebody." Over the years, I've been forced to come to the realization that the songs that I enjoy the most are ones that I may never be able to relate to. If I asked you to define "love" what would you say? It is my belief that the music that is popular today may be altering our views about what love is.

     Earlier today a friend of mine posted a link to a music video by P. Diddy (Puff Daddy or Diddy or whatever his name is now) and those other people that make up Dirty Money. I can't say that I'm a fan of their music, but the song was titled "Your Love" so I decided to give it a listen. The lyrics shocked me to say the least.  The song is about sex if you fail to include Rick Ross' references to making and spending money. "Imma put it in your face boy as soon as you wake up. Know you wanna hit it, want me to be your little slut..." sings one of those women that usually wear panties as part of their outfits. I don't want to complain, but the song title is extremely misleading. I suppose they wouldn't have gotten much play on the radio if the song was called "Your Sex" but still.

     Here's my problem, I listened to songs like "Sweet Love" growing up and kids these days have Diddy's sexed up "Your Love." These song titles differ by one word. My younger brother and his friends listen to songs like "Toot It And Boot It" and consider it good music. To make matters worse, songs that demean women and suggest that they do things without the use of their limbs are amongst the favorites of many. This day in age all that's needed to entertain the masses is a good beat and/or a catchy tune. This saddens me.

     Gucci Mane, a semi-popular rap artist with an ice-cream cone tattooed on his face, has a song called "I Think I Love Her" and I can guarantee you that it's not about the same type of love that I and many others hope for. I could go on and on about the numerous songs that include some incorrect aspect of love in the lyrics,  but it would be pointless. The bottom line is simple. R&B is popular right now only if it includes a techno beat and love is a word that is becoming extremely difficult to define. Love songs have a new sound, one that I'm not interested in. Don't get me wrong. I know that artists like Betty Wright, Marvin Gaye, and even R. Kelly had songs that were sexual in nature but it was never as tacky as it is today.

     What are your thoughts? Is love a lost cause in today's music industry? Am I being a prude or has the four-letter-word been given a new, sexual meaning? Do you prefer listening to oldies or does the new music suit you just fine? Lastly, I don't want this post to seem like a random rant about how lame I think music is these days so I've included five of my favorite love songs below to add a fun element to things. Check them out and tell me what you think!

Alexandria B.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Charlie Sheen, eh?

I don't blog nearly as often as I'd like to. This is a pretty busy time for me since it's my final semester in undergraduate school and I'm preparing to begin a career. It's currently after midnight and my goal is to wake up at 6 a.m. and go jogging before work. Ha, we'll see how that goes. Anyway, the topic that has been boggling my mind lately is Charlie Sheen. Well, not Sheen himself but the public's obsession with him. I am truly praying for his success while others are taking matters lightly and going on a "#winning" spree while posting jokes via facebook and twitter. Quite frankly, I've been trying to ignore the constant media coverage of Sheen but seeing as though I intern at a news station, he's been hard to miss. My problem is with most average people. Why do Charlie Sheen's rants entertain us? Have we nothing more important going on in our lives?

I can't help but sympathize with the families of the numerous people that have been killed in Los Angeles over the past two weeks because news stations seem to place precedence on Hollywood stars. Lindsay Lohan's alleged stolen necklace should not be breaking news nor should it lead most major newscasts. Yet it does. I attribute this to the public's overwhelming concern with the lives of celebrities. Regardless of what happens with Sheen or Lohan, they'll still be more well off than most that are so pressed to stay up-to-date with their activities. People need to focus on issues that affect them and their communities.

For example, my number one concern at the moment is the rising gas prices in California. My salary has not increased with the price of oil so I am definitely negatively impacted by what goes on in Libya and other places in the middle east. I'm interested in reading and hearing more about that. Also, I can guarantee you Sheen and Lohan aren't stressing about how much it'll cost them to fill up their tanks. My disgust with this country's distribution of wealth is immense and it'll take a separate blog post to describe. Back to the matter at hand, other news is happening in Los Angeles and elsewhere so we need to stop visiting blogs like TMZ and worry less about the lives of celebrities.

Here's some other news. A man from Riverside, CA is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and setting her on fire in front of her six children. Imagine how those children are feeling. Another man in Los Angeles was found dead on the 10 Freeway and was hit at least 20 times. Instead of feeling sorry for him, some commenters on the site were busy making racist comments that indicated that he was an illegal immigrant that deserved to die. Lastly, an 11-year-old girl in Cleveland, TX was gang raped and 18 people were arrested for the crime. With the many horrible things happening in this world, I find it difficult to care about what millionaires are doing. I am focused on improving my own life. So Charlie Sheen got fired from a show that paid him nearly 2 million per episode... That's not news to me. His tweets and videos may be entertaining, but the people that die everyday are not unimportant simply because they didn't have "tiger blood" running through their veins. My issue is not with Charlie Sheen because perhaps he really is winning. I just wish society led us to care about important current events. Celebrity/entertainment news should not take up headlines and that's pretty much all I wanted to get off my chest.

What are your thoughts? I'm interested in hearing what others think about all this.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I'm usually one of those people who says things like "I have no regrets" or "Everything happens for a reason." Not only do I say these things often, I happen to agree with them most of the time. That is until times like the present occur for me. Have you ever thought that perhaps you should regret certain things? Maybe the reason that something is happening is because of an error on your behalf. That's how I feel at the moment.

My situation isn't worth elaborating on simply because the purpose of this post is so much greater. So many sayings (including those mentioned above) sound great in theory, but what happens when your reality causes you to question them? You know that "God wouldn't put you through something that you can't handle," but is that always enough to get you by while you're going through things that seem too difficult to bear?

Here's my advice:

Hold your head up high and don't be ashamed. Be kind to yourself.  If you have a hard time doing that, try some of these. Realize that regrets are to be expected, but not dwelled upon. If there is a person that can truly say that they have no regrets, then I pity them because they're a part of life. Mistakes are to be,both,  made and corrected. However, it's unfortunate when past mistakes affect present or future happenings. This particular notion is what triggered this post. What do you do when you've done something so bad that it has the potential to negatively affect opportunities that follow? That's a question that I'd like to know the answer to. I know that one shouldn't attempt to hide whatever mistake was made. Proceed with honesty and claim your destiny. That's all I can think of because I can't imagine something coming back to haunt you if you've already admitted to it. I've learned that being honest is so much easier. To be honest, I have regrets. We all do. If I could go back in time I'd change a few things, but since I can't I'll strive to make sure that decisions I make in the future won't be the cause for other regrets.

Are there any regrets that you'd like to share? I understand if you think this is a bit too personal and opt not to share, but feel free to leave any comments you may have below.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.

Monday, January 10, 2011

WhatAlexWrites and more...

I wanted to title this post

 "2011 IS MY OUR YEAR!"

I wanted to rant about my plans for success and encourage you to do the same, but I opted not to. Instead I will share the new direction of the blog and let you know what to expect in upcoming months. For starters, I plan to write more than I have in the past. This is because I'll have more time to do so since I'm approaching the completion of my undergraduate degree. I also wanted to let you know that career moves are in motion for me so I am extremely exicted.I managed to get two internships this month (one for the Brownstone Blog and the other for a well known news station). I also hope to get a new job soon so stay tuned for updates. I am also becoming pretty savvy in terms of social media (for others that is) so I've been tasked with helping a young business man spread the word about his production company. This life I live is getting pretty intense professionally so things are looking up.

I've realized that a lot of the opportunities that I currently have are the results of a lot of hard work and energy put into being successful. Is there something that you'd like to accomplish this year? Have you begun taking the necessary steps toward accomplishing that goal? If not, I'd suggest that you do something to get the ball rolling. Remember to remain positive and if your ball is already in motion, please feel free to share details with me in the comment section. Lastly, is there something that you'd like to see covered on WhatAlexWrites? I'm open to suggestions.

Thanks for reading,

Alexandria B.