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Three Ways to Avoid Giving Him Your Number

I found myself caught in an unexpected moment of struggle commuting home Thursday evening.

With Frank Ocean's "Sweet Life" blaring through my headphones after a hard day's work, the following moments were less than fitting for the soundtrack. I heard a slight whisper saying "excuse me" multiple times in a heavy Asian accent.

As a Filipino woman, I automatically recognized that he was of ethnic kin by his voice and skin color. Turns out he noticed the same in me and used that as his opener. "Are you Filipina? I thought so because you caught my eye."

I mentally sighed, smiled, gave thanks then feigned interest. I dislodged one earbud but kept both eyeballs on my phone, responding where a conversational gap required me to. In the nano-seconds that I did acknowledge his presence (and awkwardly shook his hand), I gave him a quick once-over. He looked like a well-rounded fellow who does what he's told, the type who likes to rock a fitted and nice kicks only to dress it up for a family meeting post-Sunday service. Verdict: Not my family.

So I took the "compliment" in stride and proceeded to keep it moving. But brother from the homeland was persistent, asking me my hometown, what I was doing, my biography before asking me my name a second time (#fail). Apparently my sudden power strolling and aggressive screen-scrolling was not making the message clear enough. I had a sense where this was going by the third block he accompanied me. Before I could hit the mental panic button or scram, he posed the dreaded question. "Can I have your number?"

I blanked.

Within five seconds of meeting him, I knew that there was no semblance of a future. (We'll save the reasons for another post). I immediately pulled the "How about you give me yours instead?" but there was no fooling him. He asked, while hovering over me, to text him on the spot as if to make sure my finger pads were pounding the glass. That's when I came to the scary realization that I don't know how to be mean to men!

Even when I was in elementary school, my entire class would tease me because the boy who few regarded as Prince Charming would fawn over me. This crush eventually went on for years. Why? Because I never let him know I wasn't feeling him! Confrontation of romantic sorts was just never my forte.

Fast forward to the present and I now know that this is an ongoing dilemma most chicks still face. In an act of redemption for my weakling ways, I decided to conjure up three fool-proof strategies to assist the ladies in dodging these types of straggling bullets. Fellas, I extend the invitation to read but you can't be mad at me if a woman consequently pulls one of these triggers on you.

1. Mama Knows Best: No Talking To Strangers

If a creeper makes it his duty to walk you for more than 10 minutes or even approach you on the train to chitchat over a few stops--all the while asking your life story--best believe you need to eject him in the most honest way possible. I'll admit I entertain these convos just to see what kind of verbal ammo dudes equip themselves with only. But to let them down in the nicest, most natural way possible, simply state you don't give out contact info to strangers. And if homeboy counters with a "you never know unless you try" type of response, default to apologizing and saying you really need to make your such-and-such appointment then JET!

2. Identity Crisis: Stealing Someone Else's

On a late night journey home during my high school years, I found a "rapper" trying to holler in the dark of night at a bus stop by the 21st Street Queensbridge station. He asked me my name at a time where I was just too tired to be me, so I said "Maria" without thinking and actually started speaking Spanish. Mind you, yours truly got a perfect score on her Español Regents, so I definitely didn't sound like some Filipina-faking-chica. Of course, he got a good laugh from it but actually fell for the guise and tried to sign language me into punching his number in my phone. But I said "Lo siento (I'm sorry)" and hopped on the bus that happened to come just in the nick of time.

3. Follow Back Youngin: Swapping Social Sites

There was once a time in life where a phone was the only form of communication, and I mean land lines. Now that there's an abundance of social media platforms to shamelessly plaster yourself on, why not use it for its intended purpose? Before Twitter was popping, I gave my name to a random trying to holla so he could add me on Facebook instead of writing my digits. The great thing about extending an online invite is that it requires an added step on their own time (not yours!) and automatically weeds out the instant gratification players from the go-hard persistents. Now if he does follow or add you on some online space, you can always keep the request wallowing in your inbox.

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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)


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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.

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

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