Wale Rolling Out Wale Rolling Out

The Case of Kind Words and Pretty Brown Girls

Last week, Rolling Out magazine released its latest issue, a cover story with D.C- based rapper Wale, whose much anticipated sophomore album, Ambition (his first on Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group) dropped last Tuesday. In the interview, Wale responded to criticism he received in March for his video “Pretty Girls,” which some viewers complained did not feature any dark-skinned women (though some were Black.)

The controversy led to a bizarre Twitter beef between Wale and Kola Boof, a Sudanese born writer who is best known as the former Black mistress of Osama bin Laden. (Yes, you read that correctly.)

“I don’t like @wale because he’s another color struck black man who’s [sic] videos are pretty much white supremacist images,” Boof tweeted. “The fact that @wale is Nigerian makes it all the worse, because he’s setting the wrong example globally for our race. A loser. There wasn’t a single Black woman in ‘Pretty Girls’…so what in the f--- was he saying about African women?? His own race?”

Wale told Rolling Out, “[The criticism] made me realize that people hold me at a higher regard,” “That was when I knew I had to make a change. The most horrible feeling in the world, was that my women think that I don't care about them… I'd rather go broke than for my black women to think that I don't care about them. I would rather lose everything than to have my queens think I'm turning my back on them."

He added, “There’s a special place in my heart for black girls. If you’re black and have a black mother, you know how special they are.

For his latest video, “Lotus Flower Bomb” featuring Miguel, Wale tapped brown skin beauty Bre Scullark of America’s Next Top Model Cycle and Tyler Perry’s upcoming TBS sitcom, “For Better Or Worse."

Only Wale knows the truth of his latest sentiments and whether his misstep in “Pretty Girls” was happenstance or intentional. He’s given no other reason for me to doubt him, and too, because so few rappers who seemingly diss Black women go through the trouble to address it in word, much less action, I’m inclined to believe him. But his new outlook isn’t what raised my eyebrows—first the left, then the right.

Initially, I was disturbed at the number of women e-swooning over Wale’s comments. I wondered ‘are Black women that starved for a compliment that the sentiments of a rapper with an album to sell hit our mush-spot?’ (Admittedly, I’ve become a cynical industry-type.)

But maybe they’re rightfully hungry for a kind word.

Think fast: When was the last time you heard a rapper say something uplifting about Black women? And not like, how he loves that “her waist’s anorexic and her ass is colossal” or some such, but like something anywhere close to ‘there’s a special place in my heart for women who actually look like me?’

Common?

Okay, now try again, but don’t just think of rappers, try anyone who’s a public figure who’s not a Black woman.

Ne-Yo? “Ms. Independent” had all Black girls in the video. Does that count?

That’s all I got.

Is it me, or is this a real problem?

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SZA Calls For Peace While Receiving 'Rule Breaker' Award At Billboard Women In Music

SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)

 

READ MORE: Nas Makes Forbes’ List Of ‘Hip-Hop Cash Kings’ For The First Time

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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

READ MORE: Kelly Rowland Debuts Smoke x Mirrors Eyewear Collection At Barneys New York

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