BornTooBlog Readers

September 29, 2011

Is The Chase Dead In Modern Day Relationships?

It seems to me that the young men and women of today are totally jaded when it comes to relationships, commitment and marriage.  So jaded that no one really takes the time to get to know someone new for fear of being hurt or taken advantage of.  I've even heard men go so far as to say that they don't like to "date" women because it costs too much money and women don't appreciate it half the time.  Most "dates" don't end up with anything real or worthwhile, which I understand, but are we so far advanced that romance and "the chase" are obsolete in order to fuel new relationships?

In the good 'ol days, men would "court" or "chase" a woman he was interested in.  He would wine and dine her and treat her like a gentlemen would a lady.  Now all I hear about is men wanting to rent a video, come over and the woman prepare a home-cooked meal.  I know times are hard, but damn, we can't go see a matinee?

I sit back and wonder where did this dating mentality come from?  What did I miss?  Are there no women out there worthy of being wined and dined?  Is going out on dates to get to know a person obsolete these days?  I guess too many songs talking about "bitches aint shit" and "never trust a hoe" have finally rubbed off on the consciousness of our generation. *sigh*

To get on the topic of marriage shows an even more bleak situation.  Not only are people genuinely distrustful of the opposite sex, unwilling to "court" or "chase" a woman, but they seem to have also given up entirely on the idea of marriage.  Most men I talk to see no point in marriage and feel it is an antiquated institution.  With so many failing marriages and the backlash of nasty divorces played out every day in the media and in our everyday lives, I understand the lack of faith from my generation. However, a lot of the people who say they will never get married come from parents who have successful marriages. *confused*

I guess my point is since when was it not cool to date or chase (court) after a woman? Are our egos too bruised and our hearts too deflated to really believe in the concept of true love and hold fast to values like commitment and marriage?  If the answer is yes, I am very concerned for our present and future generations.  I can see it now...a bunch of lonely men and women who have no concept of commitment and what a real relationship is all about.  Trust, honesty, loyalty and most of all, sticktoitiveness (is that a word?).  If there is nothing out there to fight for or chase after, then what are we all doing with our lives?  What's the point?

I would love for my readers to WEIGH IN!
Do you believe in chasing or courting a woman? Why or why not?
Do you believe in the institution of marriage?
Are you against taking women out on dates? If so, why?

September 20, 2011

Frank Ocean Overload

I recently made a post entitled Who Is Frank Ocean? because I felt that not everyone knew this kid's name and he is definitely an artist that I would like to see get some major shine.  Well, over the weekend, my younger sis exposed me to some more of his work off of his Nostalgia, Ultra mixtape.  The first track I heard was Love Crime and I was immediately transported to a foreign realm with a new sound and style that I had never heard before.  I was drawn in by his melodic rhythms and socio-political subject matter discussing topics pertaining to drug use, love, broken hearts, bereavement, abortion, the institution of marriage in America, and human nature. 

I was amazed at Frank Ocean's maturity in sharing his insights in regards to the topics listed above.  To be so young, he really has a lot of deep thoughts to share.  Not only is the production spot on on this mixtape, but the music has a way of drawing you in and capturing your senses.  Although I cannot pinpoint his specific influences at this time, when I listen to Ocean's music, I hear a multitude of musical influences ranging from Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, all the way to Coldplay and Nirvana.  I could go on and on for days about how much I love Frank Ocean and what a great addition he could make to the music industry right now.  However, I would love for you to hear for yourself and become a fan on your own.

Here are some of my fav pics from the nostalgia, Ultra mixtape:

American Wedding

We All Try

Nature Feels

Track listing

1."StreetFighter"  0:22
2."Strawberry Swing"  3:55
3."Novacane"  5:03
4."We All Try"  2:52
5."Bitches Talkin' (Metal Gear Solid)"  0:22
6."Songs 4 Women"  4:13
7."Love Crimes"  4:00
8."GoldenEye"  0:18
9."There Will Be Tears"  3:15
10."Swim Good"  4:17
11."Dust"  2:31
12."American Wedding"  7:01
13."Soul Calibur"  0:18
14."Nature Feels"  3:14

I'm really looking forward to hearing new music from this cat.  Def Jam plans to re-release some of the tracks from Nostalgia, Ultra that will be called Nostalgia, Lite.  Please keep an eye out for Mr. Ocean because I'm predicting he's one of the NEXT TO BLOW!!!

More pics to get you better acquainted with this musical visionary:

What do you think of the tracks from Nostalgia, Ultra?
Are you surprised by the subject matter?
Who do you think are his musical influences?
Are you looking forward to hearing more material from Frank Ocean?

September 16, 2011

Who Is Frank Ocean?

Some of you may have heard of him.  Some may be reading his name for the first time, but very shortly, I'm predicting he will be a household name.  Frank Ocean is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, but later moved to LA once Katrina hit in 2005.  While in LA, Frank pursued music and joined the Los Angeles based hip hop collective OFWGKTA.  He is a writer and R&B artist that has worked with big names like Pharrell, Jay-Z, Kanye and Beyoncé, just to name a few and is also signed to Def Jam.  He has collaborated with Odd Future's Tyler the Creator, who recently won the 2011 MTV Video Music Award for Best New Artist and is also a member of OFWGKTA.

You might have also heard of the drama that ensued when Chris Brown mentioned Ocean on Twitter saying "I fucks with @Frank_Ocean.  He reminds me of a young James Fauntleroy."  While I'm not really sure if Breezy meant it as a diss, Ocean replied by saying "I fucks with @chrisbrown.  He reminds me of a young Ike Turner. *side eye* I watched online as the drama ensued, and even spilled into the real world as both artists' camps began to engage in street beef.  All has since calmed down and both men met and agreed to squash it, but I'm sure it helped Ocean's twitter following *wink*

Beef aside, Frank Ocean dropped his first single on iTunes, Novacane, on Def Jam Records on May 31, 2011, which was greeted with critical acclaim.  On the surface, the song chronicles his journey after meeting a smart chick at Coachella, who is starring in porn movies to pay for school and has also turned him onto a new drug.  Once the drug is in his system, his face becomes numb and he likes the feeling it gives him.  I would venture to say that on the flip side, Ocean is speaking of the affects of drugs on music, entertainment and relationships.  The facade of Hollywood and the inability to make real connections due to drugs, partying and bullshit.  But don't take my word for it, check the lyrics yourself and watch the video below:

I think I started something
I got what I wanted
Did-didn't I
Can't feel nothing
Even when I'm fucking
Viagra popping
Every single record
Auto tuning
Zero emotion
Muted emotion
Pitch corrected
Computed emotion
I blame it on the
Model broad with the Hollywood smile
Stripper booty and a rack like wow
Brain like Berkeley
Met her at Coachella
I went to see Jigga
She went to see Z-trip
I took a seat on the ice cold lawn
She handed me a ice blue bong
She said she wanna be a dentist really badly
She's in school paying
For tuition doing porn in the valley
At least you working
But girl I can't feel my face
What are we smoking anyway
She said don't let the high go to waste
But can you taste a little taste of

Baby baby
Novacane baby I want you
Fuck me good
Fuck me long
Fuck me numb
Love me now when I'm gone love me none
Love me none love me none
Numb numb numb numb

Sink full of dishes
Pacing in the kitchen
Cocaine for breakfast
Bed full of women
Flip on a tripod
Little red light on shooting
I'm feeling like
Stanley kubrick
This is some visionary shit
Been tryna film pleasure with my eyes wide shut
But it keeps on moving
I blame it on the
Model broad with the Hollywood smile
Stripper booty with the rack like wow
I'll never forget ya
You put me on a feeling I never had
Never had never had
And ever since
I've been tryna get it back and pick it up and put it back
Now I'm something like the chemist on campus
But there's no drug around

I like what I found in you

I still can't feel my face
What am I smoking anyway
She said don't let the high go to waste
But can you taste a little taste of

Baby baby
Novacane baby I want you
Fuck me good
Fuck me long
Fuck me numb
Love me now when I'm gone love me none
Love me none love me none
Numb numb numb numb
Novacane novacane novacane novacane novacane
For the pain for the pain for the pain for the pain for the pain
Novacane novacane novacane novacane novacane
For the pain for the pain
Novacane novacane

Pretty girls involved with me
Making pretty love to me pretty
Pity pity
All the pretty girls involved with me
Making pretty love to me pretty
Pity pity
I can't feel a thing
I can't feel
Can't feel a thing
I can't feel a thing

Can't feel feel feel feel her
I can't feel feel her
Novacane novacane novacane
I can't feel feel her
For the pain
For the pain
For the pain
I can't feel feel her
Feel her feel her oh
Novacane novacane-cane

Now, on to the new single entitled Swim Good.  My sister put me on to this song and like Novacane, I fell in love instantly with the lyrics and the sound, which is different from anything I've ever heard.  I appreciate Ocean's unique style and his ability to mash up genres and influences to make a sound all his own.  Swim Good is another deep, multi-dimensional song that will probably elicit many interpretations from the listener.  What I think all can agree on is the song is fresh and new and DOPE!

Here are some of my favorite lyrics from the song:

That's a pretty big trunk on my Lincoln Town Car Aint It?
Big enough to take these broken hearts and put 'em in it
Now I'm driving round on the boulevard trunk bleeding
And every time the cops pull me over
The don't ever see them
They never see them

I'm about to drive in the ocean
Imma try to swim from something bigger than me
Kick off my shoes
And swim good
And swim good
Take off this suit
And swim good
And swim good

Got some pretty good beats on this 808CC beatin'
Memory seats I'm sitting on stay heated
I would've put tints on my windows
But what's the difference
When I feel like a ghost, no Swayze
Ever since I lost my baby

Frank Ocean is speaking of broken hearts and swimming away from something bigger than he.  Again, MY interpretation of the lyrics is he is speaking of swimming away from a broken heart and a love lost.  He is wearing all black like he's going to a funeral because he is depressed, or the love is dead.  Needless to say, you might want to think critically when trying to figure out what he is speaking of exactly, but that's the fun part, right?  HipHopDX just posted the video to their site and I would love for you all to watch it and let me know what you think.  Both of his videos are very artistic and leave much to the imagination, so take a look with your critical/artistic eye and enjoy!

I am excited to see what his new project will bring and how it will change the face of Hip Hop.  His contribution to Jay-Z and Kanye's Watch The Throne album is ever present on Made In America and No Church In The Wild (I love both), as well as Beyoncé's track on 4 called I Miss You. 

A few more pics:

September 2, 2011

From Ashy To Classy: What A Difference A Stylist Makes!!!!

You all loved my previous post exposing the plastic surgery that the top celebrity females in the game had undergone since they became the superstars that they are now: From Ashy to Classy: Before And After Pics of Some of The Top Females in The Game .  The before and after pics exposed the sometimes subtle and not so subtle differences that were achieved through plastic surgery and just how celebs were able to improve their physical features through time and money.

This time, I want to display how the style game of your favorite female celebs has improved over the years, most likely with the help of a celebrity stylist.  A celebrity stylist is the new good luck charm for any serious celeb.  If you think Rihanna, Beyoncé or Kim Kardashian are dressing themselves, then you're sadly mistaken.  A true stylist can take the personal style, preferences and body type of a celeb and make them shine with the right amount of tailoring, attention to detail and an eye for flare that can make or break a starlet's career.  In Hollywood, its all about the image so lets take a look through the following pictorial and see just how far some of the top and burgeoning celeb females in the game have come:

La La Vasquez
I start off with La La because she has come so far.  Not only physically, but career-wise.  She went from just a local DJ on the radio, hosting step shows and community events to producing her own reality shows, hosting on red carpet events and hosting reality show reunions for VH1.  So lets see some of her before and after pics...from ASHY to CLASSY:
Hair and makeup is all wrong
Bathing suit is boring and the pose needs work

The hair is all wrong and she looks homely

You can clearly see that La La has been upgraded. 
She got rid of the awful color and highlights, got a new makeup artist
And hired a stylist...BRAVO! She looks great.
Instant CELEBRITY STARLET status...
Serena Williams
Serena is my 2nd favorite stylist upgrade.  Lets just say female that athletes are not really known for their style or fashion sense and Serena and her sister Venus have been on Worst Dressed Lists since they came in the game with the beads on the ends of their braids.  Now they're all grown up, living their lives and enjoying the sensuality and freedom of womanhood.  Check out some of her before and after pics below:
Just Dreadful!

No words!
Total 180, right? the hair and makeup is flawless, the gown is beautiful and flattering
Way to go Serena.  There is no way she went from Ashy to Classy on her own.
Ciara is one of my favorite divas in the game.  Not only is her body amazing, but she has slowly won the hearts of top fashion designers like Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs as she has recently navigated her way from music to fashion to modeling.  But check out how she used to look....a stylist was definitely in order:  
Golden goodies?
The hair is making me dizzy!

Big Difference!
Rihanna is probably one of my favorite stylist upgrades of all time.  When she first bust onto the scene with her island rhythms and youthful spirit, she was young, inexperienced and stuck in the typical cookie-cutter tomboy style.  However, with her second album, a new stylist and a new attitude, she has taken the music and fashion world by storm with her avant garde looks as well as her ability to transform from daring, to chic, to classic to retro.  Take a look at how she looked when she stepped onto the scene:
Tomboy style

A lil' homely!
NOW....a Red Carpet DIVA!!!!
So you see my friends, some of your favorite fashionistas of today have come a long way!!!!  With the help of a stylist, anyone can go from Ashy to Classy in a matter of minutes.  Now granted, most of us don't have the money to afford a personal stylist, but its never too late to become your own personal stylist.  Is it time to upgrade your look?  Do you want a new hairstyle with more pizazz and color?  Have you been dying to try some new and funky looks?  Well, I say dare to be fly and start playing with new looks, makeup, styles, etc.  If you stick to what works for you, stay creative and individualistic, you can't go wrong.  Remember, fashion is all about a personal expression.  So let the celebs leave their personal expressions up to the stylists and DO YOU!

What do you think about the before and after looks?
Would you hire a stylist if you could afford one?
Which celeb's stylist would you go for based on these looks for yourself?

Just How Much Does Money Affect Relationships???

I keep hearing women tell me that one of the main reasons the man that they love can't/won't be with them exclusively is because they are broke and cannot "afford" a relationship.  I know the entire country has fallen on hard times and money is tight, but along with our jobs and unemployment, has the relationship rate gone down as well?  Lack of jobs and cash flow has many of us rebuilding, re-strategizing and preparing for the future that is full of uncertainty, but I was always a firm believer that even if you had no job, money or even a pot to piss in, that love could always be present.

Now don't get me wrong, I am well aware that we live in a very materialistic society full of real and wannabe ballers, always flossin' or stuntin' on the next man and competition is definitely thick.  But when did money come before love?  I remember the old song  by Gwen Guthrie Ain't Nothin' Goin' On But The Rent where she so clearly explained that there was "No Romance Without Finance", but I know there are still down to earth women out in there that are looking for true love, not a paycheck.

At the end of the day, money does make life easier, but nothing can ever replace love.  So why do men always give the same old excuse that they can't be fully involved with a woman because they're broke?  Lines like "I want to give you everything and it hurts my ego that I can't" or "I can't afford to be with someone of your caliber" cause me to shake my head and roll my eyes *sigh*  REALLY?

Am I missing something or is this just a crock of ca ca like I think it is?  Are men so egotistical and full of pride that they think all they can provide is what is inside their wallets?  Do they really think all women care about is money?  In this day and age, women are making their own money, buying their own cars and houses and supporting themselves.  Granted, no one wants a broke man, but real women are and have always been willing to work with a brotha and help him get on his feet as long as he has potential, drive, ambition and the ability to follow-through.  This is what us ladies like to call an investment, and we for sure will reap the benefits in the long run.

I would love to here from the fellas and the ladies on this topic:

Would you break up with your man if he lost his job and could no longer support you?
Have you ever had to support the man you love once he fell on hard times?
Did your girlfriend dump you the day she found out you lost your job?
Are men being genuine when they say they can't date a woman because of their financial situation?

I would love to hear your feedback! WEIGH IN!

Would You Want To Know If Your Lover Is Cheating?

I was riding in my car the other day bumping my iPod on shuffle and one of my favorite Mario Winans songs came on. The song from his second album on Motown called "I Don't Wanna Know" was based on a sample of the Fugees' 1996 hit single, "Ready Or Not" and is probably one of the most memorable songs from the R&B singer and musician.  Mario Winans comes from a talented musical family and he has worked behind the scenes for many years writing and producing, singing and composing music.

While listening to the song I thought about what the actual lyrics were saying.  In the song, he receives word that his woman was cheating, but he won't talk to her about it because he can't endure the betrayal of the infidelity.  So he proclaims that he doesn't wanna know if she's cheating, and if she is, she needs to keep it on the low, so he won't find out.  I started wondering how many people actually feel this way about their significant others.  We all know that cheating is one of the #1 deal breakers in relationships, but how many relationships actually survive because their lover was never caught or they turned a blind eye to the signs?

The old saying says "what you don't know, won't hurt you" so maybe its best for all involved, that if your spouse or lover cheats on you that you never find out.  I would like to hear from my BornTooBlog readers.  Have you ever turned a blind eye to the cheating activities of a significant other?  Would you rather NOT know if your lover is cheating on you?  If someone saw them with someone else, would you mention it? 

I'm assuming the majority of people would confront their significant other, but I'm pretty sure there are some people that just Don't Wanna Know.


Here is the video for good measure...ENJOY!