Drake Aaliyah Tattoo Drake Aaliyah Tattoo

Personal Notes: A Man's Love for Aaliyah + Celebrity Crushes


Two men (and others who would never dare go public about it) have shown off their Aaliyah tattoos in recent weeks. I'm appalled, but to a certain degree, I understand the lust and admiration for a celebrity crush. Shoot, I salivate at Idris Elba, cheese like a giddy schoolgirl at the slightest mention of Chris Brown, and if you mention Ryan Gosling, I will spew every silver screen appearance he's made. But what is up with men getting away with etching their schoolboy fantasies on their bodies?

Sure, Aaliyah was a goddess to men, more than a woman placed on Earth to make men melt with her soothing melodies, a flip of her frontal hair swoop and a coy smile. And her influence still emits from today's music, but these tattoos, though? Not in my wildest have I ever thought men would take it that far. However you spin it, the sight of the young singer's likeness on Drake's back (and we won't even mention the other "rapper" on account that I'm still not over his comments about dark-skinned women) was startling. I had the realest WTF moment as soon as I saw it. Would a tattoo of Jiggaman on Nicki Minaj's torso sit well with the masses, or how about a bicep pictorial of Biggie inked on Mary J. Blige? Hell no, fuckin' wrong, just stick to tatting lyrics of a song or a quote from the mouth of such a motivator.

Trust me, I've run into my share of men who, to this very day, still worship Aaliyah. She was thee girl to be with and thee girl that younger girls, myself included, wanted to be. But when does adoration cross the fine line into obsession. (See: here)

Celebrity crushes have taken on a whole new life, and it gives me pause for this new hip-hop culture. It a world full of man crushes, girl crushes and straight up someone-should-get-a-restraining-order crushes, I wonder what this over-the-top, gotta-prove-myself generation will do. The Drake forehead tattoo (to which he admittedly said was "surreal")? Hello, world, that's not normal behavior. What ever happened to the days when you just ripped out pages of a mag and taped 'em to your wall? Now we're deciding to carry around our love for these pop culture icons like they owe us something, as if stealing 15 minutes (or an hour) on blog sites will make our particular membership to their fan club more authentic.

It's creepy, so stop it! And now! Love your idols, but hold the OD. Instead, I suggest you replay some of their videos, Instagram some of their pics and sing along to the music you probably downloaded illegally.

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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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