Celebrities, Culture, Relationships, Reviews, Sex

Insecure Season 4 Episode 3 – Condola, her fake nice girl facade, and Issa’s resentment towards her

I knew from the thumbnail that it was gonna be a problem. And then I heard the squeal in Issa’s voice when she bumps into Lawrence….with Condola….in her summer fresh skin, boobs poppin, and CORNROWS.

This is the episode where we begin to see that all isn’t well in LaLa land. (LAwrence and CondoLA). And where we see Issa finally getting REAL with her feelings about Lawrence.

This chapter of the story ended with a will they or won’t they cliffhanger, and we got to see some of the issues emerging in Lawrence’s and Condola’s relationship that are revealing themselves now that they’re settling into coupledom.

The tough questions are asked:

Lawrence to Condola:

“Are you still getting over your ex?”

Condola to Lawrence:

“If Issa hadn’t cheated, would you still be with her?”

And Issa’s brother to her about Molly:

“Y’all good?”

I want to talk about 2/3 of Issa’s Throuple first:

Why Condola isn’t a great role model for women in relationships

Condola is starting to get on my nerves. She’s impossibly bubbly and polite – almost to a fault. When she was first introduced on the show, I thought she was a better communicator than Issa, who we know can be terribly avoidant and shut down. But Condola is also not being totally upfront about her feelings in this relationship. When obvious haziness about where each one stands as  far as the status of the relationship comes to a head after a Friendsgiving Dinner, (but isn’t it April though?), she passive aggressively answers Lawrence’s thanking her for inviting him with a, “Well, technically, I didn’t invite you, but I’m super glad you came. It was definitely better with you here.” All said with a smile of course. WOOOW.

And technically, she DIDN’T invite him. He DID invite himself. And he not being able to take that reminder with a laugh and move on only indicated HIS insecurity with their status, in the relationship AND in life (more on that next). But she made it seem like she would have invited him, if it weren’t for him- “I didn’t know you wanted to come.” CLASSIC MOVE, shiting the blame. (Could Condola be a Cancer?)

Later she said she didn’t want to put pressure on him – that could be true, which is understandable, but all of this just seems like in an effort to not rock the boat. She would keep her mouth shut while slowly holdong on to resentment, rotting inside.

And then it came out. She WASN’T feeling him and Issa’s ease of friendship. But what pisses me off about her, and I was rooting for her, is that she clearly was not OK with it for way longer than she had indicated that night – but she would rather stuff her feelings down to keep the peace. Don’t be  that type of woman. It’s bad for you, it’s bad for relationships…and it’s bad for women.

The issue of class in Black couples is addressed, again

Part of me can’t help but think that Lawrence is feeling a bit out of sorts with Condola. Issa reminds him of his comfort zone. Being with a woman like Condola feels like it can be a lot of pressure for someone like Lawrence who ideally wants to provide, and at least pay for dates. Condola’s house, and friends, all hint at a lifestyle that he couldn’t give Issa and still can’t provide for Condola.

And I’m not sure he wants to. Her drunk friend doesn’t seem to feel that they’re a long term match either. Just when I thought she was going to do some inappropriate flirting with her friends boyfriend in her fabulous kitchen while everyone stiffly chuckles about something expensive in her den, she blurts out that Lawrence is just want Condola needs – a rebound.

Lawrence seems like he needs and desires a bit of ratchet to go with this refinery. And Condola doesn’t seem to have a bit of ratchet to go with her righteous. I know for me, I can be in rich spaces, but sometimes I need a dive bar just to feel grounded. I’ve always been a bit rough around the edges. I think that’s what Lawrence loves about Issa – even though she’s progressing, she can still meet him where he is.

I’m not here for Lawrence and Issa getting back together

Still, if he tried to come crawling back to Issa now, while in the new relationship with Condola, maybe it will be fucked up love story. She cheats, now he cheats, but not on her, but with her, and with her friend…It would just be a hot mess that would prove Molly right – Issa might be getting in over her head.

At least she started getting real with her brother about it. At least she admitted that she does hold a bit of resntment towards Condola. And I’m sure Molly could be a great friend to her during this time of realization if she didn’t keep brushing her off.

 

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Amber Mark for @irkmagazine | By @juliacomita | Hair @nikoweddle | make up @raisaflowers
Celebrities, Culture, Music

How Amber Mark’s cover of Nirvana’s “Heart-Shaped Box” Did and Didn’t Surprise Me

It’s just too good.

I’m shocked that:

Heart-Shaped Box is a cover song from Nirvana.

This rock classic that apparently true rock heads would know is totally lost on me, but when I first heard it (just now) it felt like a home of sorts, musically. I had already embodied Smells Like Teen Spirit and heard countless reinterpretations. So this was nice to still be discovering something new from a band that has for years inspired me performance-wise.

I’m also delightfully surprised that

Amber Mark produced it.

In fact, she produces ALL her music.

That factoid totally blew me away. She’s only in her early 20’s and has produced two critically acclaimed albums. Yes, I said PRODUCED. She is a producer and engineer – proof that you CAN be good at more than one thing. “I enjoy working alone because I can be most creative,” she says, so that means there’s not one fucking with her vibe. Her sound and message come through so STRONG in her lyrics. She’s mysterious yet grounded, assertive yet vulnerable, and even apprehensive in the songs I love by her, like “Put You On,” “Love Me Right,” newer singles, the I wanna fuck you rat now level sexy trap-inspired R&B song “Generous,” and of course, although the lyrics aren’t her own, “Heart-Shaped Box.”

 

Here’s what I’m NOT surprised about:

Amber’s reinterpretation of the song is so DOPE!

I mean, it sounds nothing like the original but it still stays true to the sentiment of the original. And I’ve gotten used to the way she does her melodies, they are very pop-like, melodic, bouncy, catchy, and memorable. But this? This was something that was turned on its head. It will have you nodding your head with a stank face on. That BOUNCE though!

 

Amber’s turning world’s pain into a project.

I’m  not surprised that she’s doing what artists do sometimes, and taking this opportunity of the downtime of quarantine to create. COVERED-19, her self isolation playlist, will have a new upload every 2 weeks of covers. (So far it only has 2 songs, “Heart-Shaped Box,” and “Waiting,” so I won’t post it here because it’s not robust enough yet – but follow Amber’s COVID – 19 inspired playlist on Spotify.)

An ode to creating in solitude, I guess 2 heads are not better than one in this case.

Love you guys, and feel no pressure. Just work, live, and love at your own pace, but enjoy this shit. She also did a video for the song. Very much on the brand (including the twerk. I don’t see how you can have a homemade video without twerk at this point – I wouldn’t). Very much enjoyable, but still just a tease for the full track. 

 

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BLACK WOMEN YOUTUBERS YOU SLEPT ON (not picture here) - Amanda Seales, Jouelzy, and Kim from For Harriet
Culture, Dating, Important People, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation, Podcasts, Sex, Sprituality

3 Black Women Culture YouTubers You May Have Slept On [JEWELS]

(I had to put this out NOW because it is so good! 😭)

#Yourewelcome

#FOMO. We all deal with it sometimes, when we feel bad about hearing about the latest song 3 months later when everyone has already been boppin’. Imagine the insult and injury added to being a writer; in this world, everything is old by yesterday.

So I forgive you for not knowing about these YouTubers, who have been pushing the envelope of intelligent, well-researched and uniquely opinionated content that I’m coming to rely on for my sole (soul) sources of social commentary and even news.

But I’m creating a new ling. #MIMO. Mad I missed out, and I’m guilty, but you don’t have to be. Just don’t sleep.

These women be droppin’ jewels.

They’re relatable, they curse, and they’re not afraid of ass & titties, i.e. unabashed feminity and sexuality. They identify as BLACK, and I love that even more. Some are PhD’s, feminists, and some are just students of life. I don’t agree with every sentiment and opinion, but I’ll be highlighting the ones that I do.

Here’s 5 Black Culture and Social Commentary YouTubers You May Have Slept On.

Amanda Seales

Channel: Smart Funny & Black Entertainment

The most commercially successful of this queenly sodality, and my current bae’s biggest celebrity crush, you may know Amanda Seales from all the many ways she’s made her indelible mark in entertainment: Her early YouTube series, her stint in the group Floetry, her one woman show, her books, her Netflix stand up comedy special, or her casting on Issa Rae’s produced and directed Show Insecure.

But I’m not writing about her first because she’s the most famous. I’m writing about her  first because she’s had the fortunate tenure of having her outspoken, hilarous and often cynical take on politics, history, entertainment, feminism and women’s issues, college and Millenial life and more, in more ways than YouTube. It’s not her primary outlet, so her ways of reaching people are and have always been very dynamic. She is a maverick, a rebel, a Tasha of All Trades, so I think it will be easy to find a way to start to get to know her.

In this featured video from Amanda Seales channel: Her and Issa Rae team up for a lively conversation on Side Effects of Being the Boss.  This conversation is so special because Amanda has a really candid conversation with one of the THE MOST influential Black woman of this generation. She is the voice of the generation that I still want to be. I love the comraderie and the love between these two, and the very specific, relatable, enviable, and sobering conversation they have about creative work, burnout, or simply not ALLOWING yourself to take a break. Could that be because as Black Creatives, we are afraid of losing the commercial success we’ve gained? 

 

You have to manage your life different. That’s what “bossing up” means. It’s not just about being a better boss to your employees, it’s about being a better boss to yourself.

-Amanda Seales

Jouelzy

Channel: Jouelzy

I’m mad about this one. I had the opportunity to really get into Jouelzy years ago, back in 2016, around the time she went to Ghana and was talking about that. For some reason, I jsut didn’t get into her, and so this is a serious case #MIMO, (Mad I Missed Out) because not only does she give great cultural context and opinion on the various cities she’s lived in and how Black they are (which is an important aspect of Black living that many major outlets tend to ignore when speaking about the culture of a city) but she also in an aspiring PhD and is very transparent that process.

Jouelzy is transparent about everything, from her relationships, to her non existing one with her father, to her income on YouTube, and her feelings on race, the YouTube community, politics and more.

She even has a book club that is not free, where she breaks down books by prominent (although not so well known) Black feminist and other Black female authors. Jouelzy really stands for Black women. She has maximized her platform and hosts original series like PopSnark, Live Reviews of shows like Insecure, and popular YouTube influencer content like #GRWM’s (Get Ready With Me) and although she has stated her own wig line.

In this featured video from Jouelzy, she breaks down a ton of pros and cons about living in one of the most up and coming cities for young black professionals, Charlotte, NY. Her stream of conciousness style makes it hard to nail down every topic but that’s what I love about her, it hooks you in and takes you for a ride you don’t want to get off of. 

Kimberly Nicole Foster

Channel: For Harriet

Kim is another one whose opinions were so strong, clearly articulated, yet so different from mine, (I first started watching her around the time of the 2nd season of She’s Gotta Have it on Netflix) that I was just turned off. But because bae kept mentioning her, I had to give her another chance.

After all, she’s an intelligent self proclaimed black feminist (black feminisim is different from mainstream feminism and has different target groups and goals) with a PhD level vocabulary. It literally feeds me listen to Black women like this, wether I agree with them or not.

She sits on her floor in front of that gorgeous vintage budoir looking green velvet chair and has managed to turn her blog (which I DID check for when I started blogging back in 2012) into a thriving channel. She hosts live conversations and mainly does pop culture commentary but it intersects with news and culture commentary. Her channel even has a membership. And she doesn’t only watch and talk about Black content. She’s well rounded with a very sharp, almost incisive point of view. But you don’t have to agree. Just watch.

In this featured video from Kim, she talks about one of her most noted and memorable theories, that beauty is a bad investment for women. It definitely deserves a rewatch. As a love a culture blog I feel this deserves a deep dive all on it’s own. 

 

I hope you enjoyed this nourishing and tasty guide to the 3 Black Culture YouTubers you truly should have known by now. So get whatver vittles you need to relax, and dig in to their meaty conversations and stream of conciousness’ about the most important things happening for Black Millenials and more, today. These are just the conversations I needed! Hope you benefit. 

Photo by JD Mason on Unsplash

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Culture, Dating, Important People, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation, Podcasts, Sex, Sprituality

4 WOC Podcasts You Need to Follow for Spiritual & Self Development [JEWELS]

You’re welcome.

I’m giving them to you like I found them.

I’ve sifted through the ocean of podcasts out there to find the ones that are related to health, wellness, sexuality, and embracing and owning your female core.

These women be droppin’ jewels.

They’re relatable, they curse, and they’re not afraid of ass & titties, i.e. unabashed feminity and sexuality. They identify as BLACK, and I love that even more. Some are life coaches, some are just motivating. I don’t agree with every sentiment and opinion, but I’ll be highlighting some that I do.

Here’s 5 WOC Podcasts You Need to Follow for Spiritual & Self Development. 

Lauren of Inspe Blog, Bella Luna Wellness, and WokeBae

Podcast: Not Your Mama’s Podcast

I love Lauren’s energy. I’ve listened to a LOT of podcasts and meditations and I have to say her WokeBae album is just what I needed because she doesn’t sound like the typical Valley Girl accented white girl that even some of the Black girls sound like, and she definitely brought the fierce feminine inner woke voice you need to get through you a long day working on your business, a presentation, or a difficult conversation with bae, or yourself.

She also serves in the form of her blog that has fun shareable quick lists of self love tips, Bella Luna Wellness that provides health and wellness services for women, like vaginal and anal steams (anal steams are new for me!) and Not Your Mama’s Podcast that she has done for a few years with my next feature, Stefanie.

With all her brands, she has a multitude of ways you can interact with her. Follow her on IG and do this writing exercise on her blog right now because it’s free and it’s a tool I’m personally using to create the magically fucking delicious life I deserve.

She also has a newer podcast called LaLaLand’s Podcast. I’m listening to “Episode Won” right now where she talks about her personal business journey in the wellness space.

Stefanie of BLCNY – Better Life Choices New York

Podcast: I SAID NO!

She goes by Coach Stefanie, and she’s one half of the Not Your Mama’s Podcast podcast, and I love her accent. Maybe I just miss New York, but I could listen to her voice all day. It’s thick, robust, even curvy. I think the sexiest women have the deeper more sultry voices. Because I do. So that’s my reasoning.

She runs the nonprofit emotional architect firm Better Life Choices New York  where one of her specialties is supporting people in recognizing, creating and maintaining their personal boundaries. She expounds on this in her podcast I SAID NO – (#ISNPOD). I listened to the Forrest Gump episode. I really like it because she adds in segments related to nostalgia, and reserves a special section for the men. We love men over here.

Follow Stefanie, do your research on all the thigns she does, and continue on for 3 more fabulous women who are providing some yummable content for your corona quarantine self improvement and spiritual development needs. I know you’re busy, but you have time for this.

Latoya Newton AKA Toya D – Analog Girl

Podcast: Analog Girl Podcast

Toya D is a health and wellness podcaster whose sole media presence centers on her journey with anxiety, imposter syndrome, mental health and wellness. I love this because these are topics I want to explore more on this blog, especially related to ADHD.

I listened to her podcast with Stefanie (see? rabbit hole) and it was awesome how transarent she was about not being picked over a lighter skinned girl in high school, how she feels that affects her to this day, and her reason for being bald. This was an awesome episode to see who two Black women in the wellness space who are also creative entrepreneurs support each other’s work.

Christal Clear – Christal Clear

Podcast: Christal Clear

I disovered her by checking out the likes section of one of the other podders on this list. (I’m basically giving you a journey of my personal rabbit hole.) I like her because she’s one of those people who probably isn’t trying to be funny, but her tone has an underlying hint of sarcasm in everything says. Yet her content is very introspective, and you get the feeling that she’s just mustering up all the confidence she has to keep her promises to herself, which is something she addresses in her last show of the year, Reached My Goal. She really knows how to get you think within in a quiet kind of way. This is a podcast to listen to if you don’t want to feel alone with the voices in your head.

 Jade Woods – All About the Vibes

Podcast – All About the Vibes

This is my girl! I hit her up on IG just to let her know I was doing this post. She never responded. But give her time! The reason I like this show is because it’s REAL. Some people come off as personalities, or just really good at talking AT you, and I admit, I’m one of those who can get very “presentational.” But I like her stream of conciousness style that wasn’t too pretentious or comical. It just was, and she’s into the EDM scene and other music communities in LA (I found out about her from VoyageLA), so that was interesting to hear things that I’m not into yet. I really enjoy being exposed to new things.

The fear is the most negative thing about this whole shit.

-Jade Woods, All About the Vibes Podcast, “The Rona” Episode

I’m so wet right now.

I hope you enjoyed this nourishing and tasty guide to the 4 podcasts by women of color that you should be following right now. I know it’s hard to listen and work at the same time, but get some tea, some wine, or some water and get ready to dive deeper into yourself and your fellow urban goddess tribe.

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insecure molly and issa rae season 4 episode 2 review
Celebrities, Culture, Relationships, Reviews, Sex

Insecure Season 4 Episode 2 – Thoughts on Molly, Issa, and her budding Throupledom

My thoughts and feelings on Season 4, Episode 2 of one of the top shows on HBO – Insecure.

Why does it seem like every time we watch another episode of Insecure, they shave a few minutes off of the episode?I can’t believe they left us hanging like that –  is it going to be the end of the season that we finally see why Issa and Molly are no longer friends?

Insecure did a good job in this episode, they made Molly more bareable, which made us want the friendship between Issa and Molly to work for one more episode.

I’ve talked a lot about friendship on this blog, – particularly when they hurt, or when they end. Sometimes you move on from a friendship because you feel betrayed, you outgrow the relationship, or you realize through actually getting to know them that the connection was really shallow and you never had enough in common to form a deep bond in the first place. Still, something was keeping you there.

This definitely isn’t the case with Issa (Issa Rae) and Molly (Yvonne Orji) . We can see they’ve shared similar values and views on relationships, and their lifestyles contrasted just enough to where they’d be able to feed off of each other. I think each one is slightly envious of the other’s life in what started off in a healthy way. Issa may wonder what it’s like to be in a highly respected role in society as an attourney while she’s slowly rebranding herself.  With her choosing to go into nonprofit as a career, she doesn’t  have the lush and expensive lifestyle that Molly maintains while still having time to date and hang out with friends.

Molly seems to be jealous of Issa’s creativity and ability to bounce back after the heartbreak of her 5 year relationship ending with Lawrence (Jay Ellis), and the carefree attitude she has towards the new men that come into her life – and life in general.

As good of a compliment as they are to each other’s lives, the show is definitely setting the scene for there to be a huge fallout or a friend break up but it’s just not getting there fast enough. Maybe that means that they’re doing a good job.

Molly was becoming unlikeable, but she redeemed herself in this episode

Molly’s character was way more relatable in this episode. On the surface and in Episode 1 of this season, she just seemed like a scared and bitter friend who was hating on Issa’s preoccupation with building her new life,  creative alchemy (using the resources she had to create something new) and as awkward as it was, her new friend who just happens to be Lawrence’s (her ex’s) new boo.

But now, Molly’s softer. I see more a sisterly concern for her friend than bitchy bitterness in this episode. She’s scared for Issa, she knows how sensitive she can get about Lawrence. Sure, Issa seems over him, but it was a 5-year relationship –  an on and off again relationship that broke Issa to the core and has taken her a long time to recover from. 

Not to mention that it’s safe to say that the show is presenting the new girlfriend, Condola (Christina Elmore), as a step up from Issa. She seems like a lot of what Issa seems to be striving for or already has – a cushy career in entertainment, killer style (did you see those boots she had on as she was walking down the ave?), that same carefree bubbly attitude, and, dare I say it…the man of her (Issa’s?) dreams?

It doesn’t make it any less complicated that Issa needs Condola in order to get the next step she’s getting to in life. Which is kind of ironic, because she broke up with Lawrence because he wasn’t where Issa thought he should be, and now he has totally leveled up.

That’s got to make you wonder, is Issa subconciously getting closer to Condola to get closer to Lawrence and step into Condola’s (fly ass) shoes?

So I understand Molly’s apprehension and discomfort with Issa’s and Condola’s new girlfriendship. How can Issa judge Molly’s life choices in relationships when she doesn’t seem to have the career she wants or the man that she wants? It’s quite clear that she does seem to have something that Molly doesn’t, which is a kind of inner peace, but a now that I’m closely examining the situation, this could be just what Molly called it out to be – a hot ass piece of shit mess that Issa refuses to see is eventually going to hit the fan. Molly doesn’t want to see Issa hurt again. Not like that. Not by her own naivete and immaturity.

Molly is taking Issa’s advice though

Molly seems to be open to correcting her behavior after the fact – but like most deeply ingrained defence mechanisms and bad habits, she doesn’t seem to be able to fix it before it happens. That tells me she’s not dedicating as much time to self development so that she can prevent these problems before they start. Does she truly want to change?

But this time, I think Molly was right. Asian Bae Andrew (Alexander Hodge) overreacted in my opinion, but I’m glad he left Molly with her own thoughts (in that beautiful ass apartment overlooking LA night lights with a particularly fragrant looking glass of red).

Those self-care Sundays seem to at least have her open and relaxed enough to take a suggestion or two from Issa. But Issa doesn’t have a stellar life, so how can she talk shit? Do you have to have a perfect life in order to give someone advice?

What other people said about Season 4, Episode 1

Earlier criticisms of the show include that  it centers too much on Issa and Mollly’s relationships with men, and that the friends Kelli (Natasha Rothwell) and Tiffany (Amanda Seales) are underdeveloped characters this season – but we were only 1 episode in at that point.

Personally, I like seeing black women in these complex situations, always with that really relatable awkwardness that Issa Rae has been so good at capturing since she first came on the scene with Awkward Black Girl.

A good love story is my favorite type of story, especially a chocolately, caramel-ly, almond buttery black one, so I am not mad at all about the emphasis on romantic partnerships on this season or any other. This THREE-lationship, trio, throuple between Issa, Condola and Lawrence can evolve on for the rest of the show – I can only imagine how deep and entangle this web can you get and I’m loving it.

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SemiSolid is a playlist of new and emerging artists in music. Clockwise: Brandy Haze, Serena Isioma, Toye, Marcus Charles, and Nnamdi (center)
Art, Celebrities, Culture, Music, Playlists

S E M I ⧭ S O L I D (oobleck) – 5 New Artists you should listen to right now to cope with COVID

S E M I ⧭ S O L I D (oobleck) is a playlist made solely of new artists and their best and most current work. They’re still proving themselves in this media circus we call the music business, but you I’ve confidently added them to my playlist. You can, too. 

SemiSolid is a playlist of new and emerging artists in music. Clockwise: Brandy Haze, Serena Isioma, Toye, Marcus Charles, and Nnamdi (center)

SemiSolid is a playlist of new and emerging artists in music. Clockwise: Brandy Haze, Serena Isioma, Toye, Marcus Charles, and Nnamdi (center)

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