Is Drake's Sophomore Album Too-Emo for Men?

Surely you heard Drake’s much anticipated (and leaked) sophomore album. Drake’s given listeners his blessing to, “Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it...and take care until next time.” So I have, listened, that is, and I like it. But then again, I favor R&B and introspection. “Take Care” is what I put on at the end of the day when I’m winding down and prepping for bed.

This, of course, annoys the men in my life. They all acknowledge that Drake can spit. That isn’t the problem. What is, is they felt duped by Drake’s first album, “Thank Me Later”, which they determined was for the ladies. “Take Care” was supposed to be hard and for the fellas, an assumption I’m not sure how they arrived at. He rocks Cosby sweaters on red carpets. There was no way this would be for the streets. Maybe the suburbs?

The first listen garnered the following reactions from my dudes:
“This is too f---in emotional man. He sounds like the male Mary J.”
“Softest dude ever.”
“Someone needs to email him the link to Childish Gambino. Help him get his testosterone back.”
“Nikki spits harder.”

It seems my guys aren’t going for emo-rap. No real surprise. In general, guys are never all that great with discussing (or dealing with) emotions. But maybe, every now and again, they need to be. 

On Take Care Drake brings up a lot of issues that men need to address, most notably his unresolved issues with his father. On “Look What You’ve Done,” (my favorite track. I replayed it four times) Drake addresses his daddy issues, an  idea that’s overwhelming discussed about women, but affects men with absent fathers equally. Drizzy also raps about a argument with his mother where she crossed the line, “And you tell me I’m just like my father, my one button, you push it/ Now it's "Fuck you, I hate you, I'll move out in a heartbeat." 

Later in the verse, he adds, “And my father living in Memphis now/ he can't come this way/Over some minor charges and child support that just wasn't paid/ Damn, boo-hoo, sad story, Black American dad story.”

Drake’s dismissal of his situation as just another “Black American dad” speaks to the number of Black males who don’t grow up with a father in the home—82% since 1990. And a father’s absence affects his son in every aspect of his life, from his self-esteem to his relationships to the way he views the world. It gives him a vulnerable spot, the one Drake notes when he blows up at his Mom, that few things other than a father or father-like figure (Drake addresses that in verse two) can fill.

The best way for anyone to get thru (not over) an issue—any issue, not just absentee fatherism is to confront it and talk about it. Stuffing it down emotions or avoiding them, or rejecting them in favor of bravado—what so many guys do—doesn’t make the issue better, rather just allows it to seep out in other forms.

Instead of guys dissing Drake as too emotional, I wish they’d give Take Care a chance and open up a little more. I don’t expect Drake to solve anything, of course, but maybe it could make them think, “it’s not just me” and be a first step to a discussion. --Demetria L. Lucas

Demetria L. Lucas is a life coach and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk

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Cardi B Talks Stripping, Nicki Minaj, And Fame On 'CBS Sunday Morning'

Nothing was off limits during Cardi B's recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning. During the special, which aired on Sunday, Dec. 9, Cardi got candid with interviewer Maurice DuBois about her humble beginnings in the strip club, her beef with Nicki Minaj, and how she's been handling mega-stardom.

In case you missed it, check out a list we compiled of the Grammy-nominee's statements below, and watch the interview in the video above.

She called her beef with Nicki Minaj "unnecessary"

Cardi and Nicki Minaj have been at war for most of the year. The beef may have started following their collaboration on Migos' "Motorsport." Over the course of the year, it escalated to a physical altercation during a New York Fashion Week event, as well as many public jabs over social media. While both rappers previously agreed to turn their attention elsewhere, Cardi reflected on how the entire situation was "bad for business."

"A lot of people like to say all publicity is good publicity. To me it's not. That takes away [from] people paying attention to your craft," she said of her feud with Minaj.

Working at the strip club gave her power and a passion for performing

As you may know, Cardi B was previously a stripper before she gained mega-stardom. While she has shared mixed reviews about her past in various interviews, she told CBS that she thought stripping had a positive impact on her life.

"A lot of women here, they taught me to be more powerful," she said. "I did gain, like, a passion and love [for] performing. It made me feel pretty... I'm glad for this chapter in my life. A lot of people always want to make fun of me -- 'Oh, you used to be a stripper!' -- I don't ever regret it, because I learned a lot. I feel like it matured me. My biggest ambition was money. That's what these women put in my head: nothing is important but the money."

Her ability to connect with her fans stems from her accessibility 

Cardi undoubtedly understands how to connect with her fans and followers better than many of her counterparts. After all, the rapper built up her network in such a short amount of time. She attributes her likability to being "reachable."

"When I talk, I make a lot of mistakes," she continued. "Like, I might say words, and the words are not even in the dictionary. But people still like it because you can tell that I'm saying it from the heart."

She never imagined that she could make it this far

Before she made it big, Cardi admitted that she didn't expect her music to reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts. When reflecting on her first hit single "Bodak Yellow," she stated that she had low expectations at first.

"It hit at 85, and I just felt like, alright, I already did enough," she said. "Then when people was telling me, like, there's a possibility of going No. 1, I was like, 'Oh my gosh -- if I go No. 1, this is going to be crazy... and then it did. I just felt like I was on top of the world."

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Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Gabrielle Union Slammed For Kissing Newborn Daughter

Filled with that new-mommy joy, Gabrielle Union's Instagram feed has been packed with baby pictures. But a new video with her showering her daughter in kisses is receiving backlash.

Captioned "Kissing Game, She's got my heart on a string," the short video is a less than 30 seconds of the mother-daughter combo kissing on the mouth. Still, some commenters felt that Union was harming the child.


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Kissing Game. She's got my ❤ on a string. @kaaviajames 💋💋💋

A post shared by Gabrielle Union-Wade (@gabunion) on Dec 6, 2018 at 6:38pm PST

"Kissing seems so harmless, but research suggests that you could spread oral bacteria called mutant streptococci through saliva if you have active tooth decay," said one commenter, giving an unwelcome dose of cyber parenting. "And this could increase your child's risk of tooth decay."

With hundreds of people giving unrequested advice, Union offered a response to the comments.

"Hey guys, I appreciate all the concern about kisses on the mouth and labored breathing,” the 46-year-old wrote. "I am blessed enough to have a nurse here with us while at work. Kaav is healthy and I don’t even touch her without washing and sanitizing myself and everything and everyone that comes into contact with her.”

A classy comeback, the actress stood her ground while defending her right to parent in her own way.

READ MORE: The Wades' Newest Addition, Kaavia James Union Wade, To Make TV Debut With Oprah

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Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

50 Cent, Starz CEO Detail $150 Million Deal, 'Power' Spinoffs

50 Cent continues to flourish as a television producer as he spilled the tea to Business Insider during their Ignition conference this week on some projects he has coming in relation to his hit series Power.

In a sit-down interview, 50 along with Starz's CEO Chris Albrecht, told moderator Nathan McAlone that although he'll no longer appear on the Omari Hardwick-headed show, he'll be bringing three spin-offs from the show into on-air fruition.

One of the spin-offs will be a prequel revolving around 50's slain character Kanan. Meanwhile, all three spin-offs will be moving simultaneously, according to Albrecht.

"The prequel is my spin-off. I get the chance to come back. I'm dead," 50 said. "It's cool, though. It gives the chance to show the world where all of these characters grew in so you can see the defining moments that developed their imperfections that people are attracted to at the moment. It's exciting. It's TGE, the golden era."

Albrecht chimed in on 50's announcement, saying, "I'm happy to have them all work, but we're determined to have at least one.

"it's important because there's a lot of fans out there that want to see more of those characters and new stuff like BMF [Black Mafia Family], which is going to be amazing. Not easy, but amazing."

Black Mafia Family is another show that will be overseen by 50, about the infamous drug organization that ran rampant in the 1980s headed by Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory.

This news comes almost two months after the October announcement that 50 signed a multi-series deal with the network worth up to $150 million.

Check out the conversation below.

READ MORE: 50 Cent Says He Wouldn't Be Mad If His Son Got Hit By A Bus

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