Marsha Marsha

Beyond Video Chicks: What Happened To Music Videos With a Message?

There is an impressive lineage that link artists with social responsibility. Impressive in the sense that we rarely see thoughtfully crafted videos or even lyrics of substance speaking to prevalent issues of today.

There is nothing baffling about the lack of social responsibility artists have. It stops the paycheck. Taking a stand on certain issues has a wayward effect on capitalizing revenues. Social responsibility makes perfect ‘cents’ if it makes good economic sense and seldom it does not.

Marsha Ambrosius recently came out with her newest video, “Late Nights & Early Mornings” directed by J. Erving. Before this video, Ambrosius made a statement with her powerful video “Far Away” combating the blanketed stereotypes of homosexuality and bullying in the Black community. With her latest video, she is promoting safe sex for the title track from her solo debut Late Nights & Early Mornings. Ambrosius explores how safe sex can be enjoyable for couples and the risks of unprotected sex. She shows the opposite side happens when another couple decides to engage in unprotected sex, which leads to spreading the HIV virus. By putting some ‘+’ and ‘-‘ signs in a video depicting the message of HIV was brilliant. Simple, yet effective.

So, where have all our socially Black artists gone?

Even with record label support, advocating on a platform becomes personal and allows for vulnerability. For an artist to attack social issues like homosexuality, domestic abuse and even disease prevention really puts a spotlight on their inner beliefs. Nobody is going to push an issue they do not believe in. There are plenty songs out you can easily catch a groove to and still feel no connection with the artist, yet their music stays on heavy rotation.

Female mainstream artists like Ambrosius, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu must deal with the backlash and banter of their strong viewpoints. Most of the backlash shows when it comes to record sales and accolades from peers. Another trouble artists face is not the pressure from record labels but establishing longevity. Artists should be able to preach, practice and participate openly in social issues without feeling the negative subversions of fiasco.

Even the newly found redhead Rihanna has taken a stab at the issue of rape with her “Man Down.” In her music video, she depicted the retaliation in the form of premeditated murder the imprimatur of acceptability. Many critiques and social groups attacked the video for it’s violent content and it’s juvenile message of retaliation. At the end of the day, all people saw was murder and challenged their views against Rihanna and BET. Can there be a win-win for both?

History alludes to artists having to stand up for civil rights such as segregation and women’s rights. We all know the story of how Black artists had to perform for their Caucasian counterparts. After a while, many of our beloved artists had to take a stand against segregation that led to Marvin Gaye asking, “What’s Going On?” Our roots help motivate the convergence of different paradigms by being forced to speak out against injustices and issues that hit close to home.

Music will always be music. Music will always be a business. Like any business, trying to find the proper balance isn’t always simple but a conscious effort must be made. Everyone doesn’t have the tools and resources to be socially conscious, rather the budget to spend on pounds and pounds of hair being tossed around in a video or glitterized crotch-less costumes. Bling! Not every artist is going to be socially conscious; however, we need to challenge artists to deliver stronger messages.

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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