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The New Female MCs in the Game

I could have written a really witty or quirky first line followed by shade thrown at Kreayshawn and a few big ups to Nicki Minaj. I could have also written some sort of response to Touré’s recent piece in the New York Times about white female rappers challenging the black masculinity that hip-hop is built on.  But I didn’t really feel the need to do any of that. Although, the title of this piece is “The New Female Rappers In the Game,” the women that I’m about to mention have all been working hard to gain the following that they now have. Neither of them have sat on 106 & Park’s couch being graced with an interview by Rocsi and Terrence J, nor have their videos been played by MTV, although they should be.

Residing in cities such as Atlanta, LA, and New York City these women are gaining a following, booking shows, and releasing visuals that are just as stimulating as their lyrics.

While the majority of the women mentioned haven’t received a ton of mainstream attention one of them recently has. Nitty Scott MC was featured in one of the cyphers among Estelle, Soprano, and Lacrae at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. The 21-year-old current resident of Brooklyn, NY has benefited from her 3-plus-minute time to shine. “It helped to upgrade my profile as an artist. It made people more familiar with me as an individual as opposed to a part of this group of upcoming MCs. It set me apart as my own entity,” she said.

Siya, a Brooklyn native who didn’t have the opportunity to spit in a BET cypher but has shared stages with a myriad of rappers whose videos are aired on BET, MTV, and VH1, easily could have. Not too long ago she released her mixtape, Elevator Dreams, and followed that with her Mike Ho-directed video, “I’m Gone,” which has gotten almost 50,000 views on YouTube. She’s currently working on her debut album, Letter to the Sky, and that snagged a feature from Gym Class Heroes’ Travie McCoy for.

While Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj are still busting shots at each other, some female MCs are actually showing camaraderie. Siya teamed up with Maybach Music’s new signee Audra The Rapper recently to release a freestyle to Drake’s “Motto.” Since signing with Maybach Music, the Virginia native has been gracing New York’s hip-hop Scene with her slick and raspy lyrics. Last summer, she dropped her EP No Such Thing Does Exist.

Camaraderie isn’t just taking place on the Northeast Coast either. Boog Brown, a Detroit native has been in Atlanta making waves and rocking shows with her peers. She just released the remix version of her popular album, Brown Study, which was a collaborative effort with Apollo Brown. The album features artists such as 14KT, Nick Tha 1DaMarvWon, and illastrate. Adrift The Belle, who has been on a few of the same bills as Boog Brown is also heating up Atlanta. Her East Coast tribute album D.R.U.G.S.-N-Adrift  recently made its away around the blogosphere, earning accolades for her and D.R.U.G.S., who produced “I Just Wanna” for 50 Cent.

Over on the West Coast, Raven Sorvino--also known as the first lady of Language Artz--has been consistently hitting the internet with visuals to gear up for her upcoming album, Paper Girl. She just revealed her new sensual video, “Whisper’z N.S.F.W.” where she taps into her sexy side. In addition to being an MC, she’s an actress. Her theatrical side slightly comes out through her sidekick, “Ralphie”, a Ralph Lauren Teddy Bear who has made a few cameos in her last few videos.

Female MCs often serve as hip-hop’s eye candy. All of these women have extremely different images and different styles but, one thing that they all have in common is ill lyrics. “People respect how it looks before they respect what it is,” says Nitty Scott MC. "If these women were to never drop a video, you definitely would have to respect their sound."

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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