30.May – { :: Dear BET, Please Don’t F* This Up. Sincerely, Us :: } with Tina Nagbare

Osay.-2

At this point you may be wondering, “Damn, is she only going to write about Prince now?” My response: “Maybe. Deal. *blankstare*

In some ways I’m still reeling, in other ways I’m adjusting, in all ways it’s still surreal that Our Purple One is gone, but que sera, sera and all that jazz…

True to form (and my official Kennethology photo) in general I’m ready, willing, and likely to serve up a side eye when I even think someone may be acting out of pocket. For things and people that I truly care about that likelihood intensifies by about 100%. Such is the case with Prince which is why aside from my initial outrage, I have given little thought to that shameful “tribute” that un-named award show had planned. Listen, I’m over-sensitive – I will admit that, but so what? There were so many red flags that it escapes me how anyone other than a white feminist and 3 well-meaning white guys thought this would be a good idea…. But then again… look at the show. Aside from the fact that being a “peer” (in terms of age and career peak only) means nothing, OR the fact that Prince beefed with that performer for over a decade and only recently became “cool” again, OR the fact that the same “called to request” leading the “tribute” (“Hello, publicity thirst trap, party of one please.”), aside from all of that – that person’s vocals are shotty at best and they play zero instruments. This, ladies and gentlemen, is what happens when we don’t stay in our respective lanes, tragedy strikes. Was Lady Gaga David Bowie’s “peer”? No, but she was the person who could get the job done RIGHT and that’s all that matters, Wendy Williams. If you think a ruffled blouse and a glittery staff is all you need to tribute a genius like Prince, you don’t even deserve to be in the audience. You can try to defend it all you want, but this is not about meeting an impossible standard. It is the simple fact that it’s impossible to tribute someone by ignoring everything they stood for. That wack attempt reflects everything Prince disliked about the music industry. But look at me… going off on tangents. That’s not e’em what I’m here for…

June is near and all eyes (and prayers) have shifted to the BET Awards. We are in need of a proper Prince tribute. We don’t just deserve it – it is now owed to us. We all knew the above mentioned “tribute” would be trash (that’s probably why BET had their Prince-level shade cued up and ready to go),  but if you cast shade – YOU HAD BEST COME CORRECT. I have a tortured relationship with BET, but in this case, I’m rooting for you and I need you to be great. I’m here to help and I’m sure I’ve left some things out, but as one who’s been borderline obsessed with Prince for a majority of my adult life (I can neither confirm nor deny that if I lived within driving distance of Minneapolis that I wouldn’t have been a regular at Paisley Park), I want to share 3 quick points of encouragement and notes that may help you get on the right path.

  1. BET, you have all that you need to be great at this. This is the year of 2016, so far on track to be the one of the Blackest years ever. You have “Black” in your name. June is Black Music Month. It’s also Prince’s birth month. You have a ton of folks who want to right the grave injustice that other awards show has done to our people. You’ve been able to pull out our big names before – Prince and Stevie Wonder came to tribute Chaka KhanMJ came to tribute James Brown, Whitney showed up for the first broadcast, the list goes on. You’ve even done a Prince tribute before meaning YOU HAVE HIS BLUEPRINT (instrumentalists, black women vocalists, etc.). He applauded you for it now all you have to do is choose to stick to it.

1-a. [For once] We’re all rooting for you. – Again, I have been pretty vocal about my issues with BET, but I’ll admit that you’ve also given me juuuust enough to be cautiously optimistic. Lest we forget that bomb reggae medley in 2013 that I’m still adjusting my wig from…. you executed that perfectly… do yall see Nikki getting her entire life in the audience… what other awards show would that happen??? Then that Bad Boy reunion last year and now we’re being blessed with a whole damned tour. You have showed up right on time before and we need you to do it again.

1-b. You’ve pulled this off before with less notice. Listen, I’m still applauding the MJ tribute you all managed to pull off with just 2 DAYS NOTICE in 2010. (It should be noted 2010 was the same year you did your first Prince tribute.) Granted, it may be a little easier because you can pull off an MJ tribute by only featuring choreography, BUT you made a good call in bringing in Chris Brown. And I care not that he spent all of “Man In The Mirror” in tears. It was moving and we all know the words to that song anyway. Plus a light instrumental to one of MJ’s deepest, most meaningful songs, was moving on its own because it gave us room to reflect NOT JUST ON HIS ARTISTRY, but who he was as a humanitarian. It wasn’t just enough, it was great.

  1. “At the heart of the matter is the music. I am a musician.”–Prince, BET Tonight interview

This is likely where many tributes will fail. The focus should be on artistry and musicianship. Yes, Prince was an amazing performer. Yes, he had some great outfits, but what he was the most proud of and what he wanted to be remembered for is his music. THAT should be the focus which means that solid vocals, artists, and true musicians shouldn’t be sacrificed for dancers and performers in flashy outfits (I’m looking at you, Beyonce). We’ve seen many of these names before. Don’t be afraid to call in a few ringers and ol’ heads. If folks don’t know their names, they’ll learn ‘em. (in no particular order)

─       Esperanza Spalding

─       Janell Monae

─       Patti Labelle

─       Chaka Khan

─       Sheila E.

─       Larry Graham

─       Morris Day & The Time (don’t forget Jerome and The Bodyguards, please and thanks)

─       The Revolution (not just Lisa and Wendy, we need Brown Mark and Dr. Fink too)

─       3rd Eye Girl

─       Judith Hill

─       New Power Generation

─       Rosie Gaines (featured in Cream and Diamond and Pearls)

─       Alicia Keys (I have my own feelings about her rendition of Adore the last time, but Prince gave her props, so who am I to judge?? Imma judge tho…)

─       Bilal

─       Maxwell (pending song choice – Most Beautiful Girl In The World??)

─       Lenny Kravitz

─       Erykah Badu

─       Bruno Mars (pending song choice – Cream??)

─       Stevie Wonder (I think he should sit this one out, but that’s just me)

I mean I could go on, but you get the point, you have so many options. If in doubt, just stick with artists Prince has worked with, mentored, and/or performed with in the past.

2-a. THERE SHOULD BE NO LESS THAN 2 BLACK WOMEN IN THIS TRIBUTE. PERIOD.

2-b. Don’t rely on “big names”, you won’t need them. (See: reggae medley above) We don’t need fancy names, we need people who CAN DO THIS RIGHT.

2-c. Again, LEAVE BEYONCE OUT OF THIS. I know she will ask and I know there will be temptation, but no. No shade, just tea (see comment above re: staying in lanes). This is not the space for her and she rarely cares enough to show up to your show in person anyway. Let her give yall another YouTube stream of some track off of Lemonade, because THIS ain’t about her and her “I think I can vocals”.

2-d. NO NEW FRIENDS. Ordinarily, I’d be fine with giving a new artist some shine, but don’t set them up. This is too much pressure and if they slip we will destroy them. We’ve taken all of the hits we will accept from that trash “tribute”, we won’t take any more.

To be on the safe side, even if they don’t perform, get Sheila E., Morris, and ‘em to sign off on whatever yall end up with.

3)      3. Don’t be lazy with the Track List. Please don’t rely on the Purple Rain soundtrack – it’s a cop-out and it’s lazy. We will accept I Would Die 4 UWhen Doves Cry or maybe Purple Rain can be a musical instrumental with no vocals (see: Chris Brown’s MJ tribute notes above). He had so much more to pull from before and after that album: ControversyI Wanna Be Your LoverKissDiamonds and PearlsThe Most Beautiful Girl In The WorldMusicologyNothing Compares 2 UMy Name Is PrinceBlack SweatEmancipationI Wish You HeavenRaspberry BeretAdoreHousequake, etc. Don’t be stingy, we’re open to songs he wrote but maybe didn’t perform; I really don’t think he’d mind – The Vanguard Jam (NAACP Image Awards).

Personally, I’d love to hear Cream and Partyman, but this ain’t about me – what would he want?  The man released over 40 albums meaning you have more than the standard 8 songs to choose from. Suggestion: Closing with “The Beautiful Ones” would be ideal, thanks.

3-a. There should be a rock song in this tribute. He was a funk-rock artist, please honor that and don’t only focus on his RnB or Pop hits.

3-b. There should be a guitar spotlight in this tribute. He was a beast on the piano, but his guitar skills were what he was most proud of. He spoke often about how he taught himself to play and it took him years to play the way he wanted to. Whenever he jumped in to surprise and play back-up for folks, it was bass and/or electric guitar. And can we EVER forget this guitar solo that he destroyed??? Don’t be afraid of a Lenny Kravitz and Larry Graham duet. If you pick the right song, you can combine with point 3-a.

3-c. I’d like a strong horn section… because… why not? But optional.

4)      Additional Notes / Simple Shade / Me Being Petty

– Mayte and Manuela can be invited, but we will only tolerate one … ONE 5 second audience reaction shot from them. Keep them away from microphones and stages. No shade, but since when do exes get so much air time? We’ve heard enough from them.

[By the way, if you’re still reading this, round of applause – I’m impressed that you hung in there this long.] You may be thinking I’m being extra and you may be correct, but this is important… Dare I say critical? BET we want you to be great. PLEASE BE GREAT. What do you need us to do? Say some extra prayers? Don’t be afraid to take this one to the Altar – The Word says “lean not unto your own understanding”. Come on and let yourself be led by the Spirit BET. DO US PROUD.

Additional Notes for All You Other Award shows:

  •  MTV VMAs: Don’t be too proud to do a video montage of iconic Prince videos and performances. We’ll also accept an award in his name (not to be shared with David Bowie).
  • AMAs: A video montage of Prince’s AMA performances. If BET does what we need them to do – between that and the Paisley Park memorial, there won’t be much left for you anyway.
  • NAACP Image Awards: Musical performance tribute using whomever BET doesn’t use. Yall have so many examples, this should be easy for you. (NAACP Image Awards)
  • Grammy’s: A musical performance using whoever BET and NAACP doesn’t use. No new people, no big names for the sake of big names.
  • Oscar’s: A mention in “In Memorium” segment. Contact whomever you need to contact now so they can submit whatever paperwork is needed. We will accept NO excuses for Prince’s name being left out. He starred, produced, and/or directed at least 5 films, one of which he won an Oscar for meaning he at one time was a voting member of The Academy. This is not a drill, no excuses.
  • Golden Globes: See Oscar’s note above.
  • Any relevant Fashion Award Shows: Video Montage. We don’t need anything else from you.

To end on a high note and as a thank you to all who made it this far… bask in the awesomeness of The Purple One – #sigh this is who we lost L

#NothingCompares2U

21.Apr – { :: Dearly Beloved… :: } with Tina Nagbare

Osay.-2

I could not and will not allow this day to pass without acknowledging the loss of an icon. I don’t know what words I have for now, but I would like to send a shoutout and thank you to all of my friends and social media acquaintances for their calls, texts, inbox messages, and posts to notify and/or check in on me today. And to my co-workers who understood my grief – especially my staff member who ran around the office to find me when they learned the news, then called my phone twice while I was in a meeting, THEN sent me an email. <3
“Thinking about how we mourn artists we’ve never met. We don’t cry because we knew them, we cry because they helped us know ourselves.”
Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows how much I love Prince. I randomly quote him on my social media, am known to comment via a shady Prince meme, and sometimes just a random post/rant reminding you all that your #fav could never and will never be on his level. I have 2 copies of Purple Rain that I watch regularly – one on VHS that a coworker got me this year for my birthday & one on DVD that I travel with because… one should have Purple Rain available when you find yourself in the mood to watch Purple Rain. Anything else is uncivilized. My room is accented in purple, and yes, my purple candle is burning as I type this.
Prince could be described a millions ways – some that many blogs, articles, and social media posts have already mentioned or will in the coming weeks and months. Outside of his artistry and genius he was a favorite of mine for 2 MAIN reasons:
(1) he was unapologetically himself. You didn’t have to like it or understand it. You could mock it or roll your eyes. But he stayed true to himself to the end – mini afro, glitter staff, kitten heels, and a purple bike included. And he was Black AF.
(2) He took his work and art seriously, but not himself. He knew how to be goofy and silly and he let us see it. Just do a search for his farewell to Bryant Gumbel or any hilarious story that other celebrities have about their Prince encounters or if you ever got to see him live – you saw it in person.
I don’t fan out over any artist or celebrity even those I truly admire or enjoy, with 2 exceptions – Prince and Sade. It was a life goal to see him live, which thankfully I did just a few weeks ago at one of his surprise shows in The Bay that I made it my business to be at and I’m glad that I did. That’s the only thing that makes this even slightly bearable. Who knows if this will ever truly register. But for now I shall handle my grief like a true Aquarius: go numb, pretend it didn’t happen, then eventually return to life as close to normal as possible.
Today, I’ll try to process this the way he’d want us to… https://youtu.be/T5YL9PNWIfI?t=7m28s      #RIPPurpleOne :’-(
“Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called life
Electric word life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else
The after world
A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night
So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby
‘Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the after world
In this life
You’re on your own”

25.Mar – { Yeah I Saw Your Text…..And? }

12670786_10154699403362738_492654752948516865_n

Happy whatever day you’re reading this day.

Haven’t posted since January because I was on a mission to achieve some professional milestones – needless to say, those milestones were met!  So now i can continue with regularly scheduled pettiness.

(click this and listen to it while you read this)

Today I’d like to address the nonsense that fills my inbox/DMs/text messages on a pretty consistent basis.  And i know that i pretty much speak for most people when i say this.

If you text me..or FB inbox me and i don’t respond in the time-frame that you’ve mentally created without my consent…don’t bring that heat to me in the form of a nonsensical inquisition as if i owe you an explanation as to why i haven’t responded.  

IN SHORT:  I AIN’T WANT TO.

Years ago I had a moment of liberation when i noticed how people literally JUMP to answer their phones…sometimes running to answer it in fear of missing a call (now if you’re anticipating an important call…thats one thing) but this is not that.  This is us either being thirsty for contact, or just personifying pavlov’s dog.  So i made the decision there to not answer my phone sometimes when people called…which then turned into reading people’s messages and just not responding right away.  I respond when i want.  Thats the beauty of preferring texts over phone calls too…I’m not stuck on the phone forcing a conversation that I’ve probably lost interest in at the 00:21 second mark of the call (to absolutely NO fault to the caller)…..*ahem.

***please note – if you’re ever on the phone with me..and i just stop talking…i’m probably over you and the conversation.  nothing personal…just a cold hard truth. Step ya talk game up G.

So….in closing…get over yourself.  I intentionally read people’s fb messages so they can see that I read it – and then NOT respond – because I’m grown and I do what I want…and you probably didn’t say anything to provoke a response from me…

…….sounds like a personal problem to me.

  • Kenneth

 

14.Jan – { The Platonic Lie }

560059_10151892372622738_364592527_n

I recently took suggestions from readers on topics they wanted to see me word vomit on…and one that caught my attention was “whether or not men and women can be friends” – in a true platonic state.

Bottom Line Up Front:  No, Nope, Nawl, *shakes head no*, gives the thumbs down.

And oddly enough I say this while having women as friends *gasps* – so here we go diving with an uncomfortable level of transparency.

What I mean here, and if I can be extremely frank, is this.  Unless the person is really unattractive to the other then yes – and even in those cases, their personalities begin to look good.  I can only speak from a man’s perspective.  I know women are weird and complex…so they could probably compartmentalize their dealing with men-friends and have this authentic friendship with a man and live in this euphoric platonic state.  But if I may allow my penis to speak for minute…if the woman is attractive, he’s thought about sleeping with her at least 800,476 times (and that’s just today).

(i typed the below in all caps because i’m serious)

IF HE WAS OFFERED SOME SEXY TIME WITH HER…QUITE POSSIBLY WITH ZERO STRINGS ATTACHED (even though we know all of the strings will be attached) HE’S GOING TO SHOW UP TO THE NIGHT SHOW WITH SOMETHING RIBBED FOR HER PLEASURE, A CARAFE OF KY, A DUMB LOOK ON HIS FACE….AAAAAAND HIS JODECI “BEAT IT UP” MIX CD.

Women, you may not know this to be true because of one or two reasons.

Either:

  1.  He respects you and doesn’t want to cross those lines (without knowing where you are with him…which in essence is just fear of rejection)
  2.  He’s just too scared to ask for sex (because of fear of rejection) ….dang, that fragile masculinity is a trip no?

If you’re having a hard time believing this…..just offer a couple of your male friends some “prime time” – if he says no…he’s lying.  If he says yes…I told you so.  They all want it.

I must say – the only absolute is that there are no absolutes.  The exceptions to this scientific fact are:

  1. you’re ugly
  2. you stank
  3. your personality is beyond horrible
  4. he’s gay
  • Kenneth

13.Jan – { The Final State of the Union } with Tina Nagbare

Osay.-2

Admittedly, this probably the laziest post I’ve ever written, but I’m working on not policing myself as much in 2016 and in general I think I’m funny (save your commentary for yourself).

So last night was the final State of the Union (SOTU) address that we will get from Pres. Barack Obama (POTUS) and I was sad about that. ‘Why?’ you ask? Because he’s the first President I’ve seen that has made these interesting. You may or may not like his politics, but you must concede that this man is charming, has charisma, and knows how to give an engaging speech with *just* the right amount of sarcasm and snark (2 things I enjoy the most). But also…. #Blackness. Yes, I said that. And yes, I mean it. So it shouldn’t be surprising that there were AfAms gathered across the country for SOTU Watch Parties – because Blacks will always throw a party. Why? Simple, we are good at it.
So I – in all of glorious Blackness – joined my fellow Bougie Black Comrades. We gathered. We introduced. We drank. We watch-partied. I must admit, I was expecting one of the Blackest Presidential moments in history. My dream was for POTUS to mimic Michael B. Jordan’s fight entrance in CREED, including wearing a hood (robe optional) and blasting 2Pac’s ‘Hail Mary’ in the background, but I guess that was asking for too much. Either way, below is my non-political commentary throughout POTUS’ address provided through a combination of my FB feed posts, live commentary, and random thoughts.
  • I expect shade. I expect petty. ‪#‎LehGo‬ LOL
  • 2ND line in…. Shade. ‪#‎StartedEarly‬ (Re: POTUS’ line about folks needing to get back to Iowa and his availability to give tips/advice.) 
  • Who’s church mother is this next to Jill Biden in her Easter outfit? I need answers. ‪#‎SOTU‬ (Luvvie provided them. Thanks!) <She looks like her middle name is ‘Mae’>
  • Paul Ryan REFUSES to allow his face to move. It’s like the GOP has banned any emotional reaction to anything the POTUS says.
  • ‪#‎ClimateControlShade‬ – “…If anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely.” lol”
  • 1. Income & Economic Equality; 2. Education; 3. Climate Change; NOW >> 4. Foreign Policy…. ‪#‎SOTU‬
  • OH!!!!! Now all the heads of the military wanna stand up???? #petty ‪#‎SOTU‬
  • GOP won’t even clap for shit they agree with. ‪#‎childish‬ ‪#‎WhySoPetty‬ ‪#‎SOTU‬ lol
  • ‪#‎AskOsamaBinLaden‬ ‪#‎ClapbackSeason‬ ‪#‎LASTSOTU‬
  • Aye! Ryan just gave us a head nod! This is progress. More than we’ve gotten in 8 years from Boehner.
  • #Message “It’s the lesson of Vietnam. it’s the lesson of Iraq and we should have learned it by now.” -POTUS ‪#‎SOTU‬
  • CSPAN has the shadiest camera men. Lmao! ‪#‎SOTU‬
  • “Did someone just yell ‘Preach’?” (I heard it…. I’m telling you I heard it.)
  • “Who is this lady standing in agreeance? This is not church ma’am.”
  • Who invited the anti-marriage equality lady? And why did they ONLY tell her to wear her absolute finest sweater from Ross Dress For Less? #shade
  • I mean…. I feel for Congress. this is like the LONGEST staff meeting ever. and you gotta do it once a year. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I’ve dozed off once or twice. LOL ‪#‎SOTU‬
  • We just got a clap from Paul Ryan. This much progress in one evening… gives me hope.
  • “POTUS and Uncle Joe look like they’re going to have the greatest party ever when they leave that White House. And Jill will be with them…. never forget she wore knee boots to the first inauguration. That one knows how to party & I respect it.
  • We can’t take Trevor Noah ANYWHERE! #STOU
  • But the REAL winner of tonight…. With the fashionable slay…. ‪#‎FLOTUS‬ – you see her. Lol
  • I wanted POTUS to walk out with Back2Back playing in the background…‪#‎TooMuch‬ ??
Jokes aside…. I feel a level of responsibility in wrapping this up the right way. So allow me 2 quick points and then I’m gone.
  1. A friend brought up a REALLY great point which is that these responses to the State of the Union address need to stop and that is a note for BOTH sides. What is the point or the purpose in it? I mean really? That’s like the CEO giving an address on their vision for your company and then the Chairman of the Board of Directors saying, “That’s cute, but….”. Because really… I DON’T CARE. Because really I just want BOTH OF YALL to make sure my check comes through ON TIME. Whatever and however you need to work together to do it… make it happen. Your personal beefs and opinions… keep them.
  2. And also…. Nikki Haley. WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU, YOU NEED MORE PEOPLE. Every single time she uses that “child of immigrants in the South” line I cannot help but to roll my eyes. She looks like she’s been passing her whole life – rejected all of her melanin and her identity.SHE GOES BY NIKKI HALEY. Someone else said it best when they commented: And now for the Grand Old Party response from South Carolina Governor, Nimrata Randhawa, or as she now identifys, Nikki Haley.” That was shade in case you are wondering, but it is also fact. If you are trolling for POC, 1stGen, or immigrant votes – you will have to do better, ma’am. You deal with folks misspelling and verbally destroying your God-given name like the rest of us or I have no time for you and your antics.
If you missed the 2016 SOTU you can read POTUS’ full speech HERE or watch it on YouTube. Yes, it is long, but if this was some stripper’s Twitter tale of her weekend in Tampa on Twitter you’d make the time…. so make the time now.
But really FLOTUS slayed though. It is important to me that yall get that. Check her Evolution of Slay below/above/where ever he puts the picture… YOU SEE HER
12541062_10205106411972257_6313830635775774687_n
– Tina

7 Jan – { New Year, New Us Looking Mug }

10603027_10153089260522501_2048378226_n

The writers here at Kennethology wanted to do something different than what we did last year “25 Things That Need to Stay in 2014” – and although we troll everyone that makes resolutions, we felt the need to share ours for this year of great expectations.

Osay.-2

From Tina:

1. To be petty as possible. This is an enhancement on last year’s midyear goal to give up being the bigger person. i’m not making an intentional decision to be as petty as humanely possible at my own discretion.
2. I resolve to not give white folks a break. i’mm burn a candle for your tears.
3. Say no to fkc boys. (As noted last year, this is a lifelong recurring rule)
— this year… I shall also terrorize them. Because…. See #1
4. Be better with my money. And by be better I mean – spend it how I want even if that means I blow $200 on tacos. Shut up. Lol
5. I resolve to force Kenneth to fix his fkcing memory. It got worse last year. How that is possible… Only the devil knows.
photo-4
From Sydney:
1.  I resolve to kick more small children that I see wylin the fawk out in grocery stores. If their parents won’t discipline them, I feel it is my duty to step in. I might even buy a cape. No mask though. I want them to remember my face. No Child Left Without their Behind whooped. Selah.
2.  I resolve to hold my purse tighter around white men and to yell “Unclean” and point at then whilst doing it. You know…to be fair. I like fair.
3.  I resolve to eat more animals. All things that had a parent. I’m trying to build lean muscle and most wild animals are great in protein. I know most vegetarians and vegans will place 1000 poxes on my house for this, which is fine, as long as they also are high in protein.
4.  Lastly, I resolve to break every mirror in Ken’s house, including his phone. He still takes too many selfies and I blame these drunk ass mirrors who keep pumping his already monstrous head up. We get it muffoccur, you swole. Shit
Tina’s commentary on Sydney’s resolution:  “Maybe because his memory sucks…. And he forgets that he just took a selfie 5 mins ago. Like goldfish…”
Sydney’s response to Tina’s commentary on her resolution:  “Dude. He stay on selfie lol

Blowing me. Nobody forgot how you looked. ‘Cept maybe your bad memory having ass…”
560059_10151892372622738_364592527_n
From Kenneth:  
1.  Take way more selfies – the people need to know how I look.  I know I have a John Salley-Miguel Nunez type face…but I’ve learned to love this long face – and I want others to love it too.  Trust me, the people want this.
2.  Get more sleep that is not induced by ZzzQuil – even though on the bottle it says it’s non-habit forming…what I find is addictive is the sleep that comes from the drug…but NOT the drug itself…so I’m good.
3.  Wear way more black.
4.  Sculpt a Michael B. Jordanesque type body…Kenny Creed what they call me.  I would join a boxing gym and box…but the notion of sparring and someone knocking me out might get them shot.  Because black-on-black violence.
5.  Seek clinical help regarding my horrific memory.  It has gotten worse – and it’s to the point i barely even care.  I don’t remember and I don’t care…which is horrible.
6. Not only listen to more – but actually embody the essence of the ratchet music I listen to.
– Kenneth

1.Sep – { BLACKLIGHT: India Jackson – Photographer }

ISJ_9708-web

(pictured above:  India Jackson)

Ken: Tell the readers a little about yourself.

India:  From Washington, DC and currently in Virginia Beach, VA. 28 years old.  Studied biology before receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Art + Design from Towson University (Towson,Maryland).  I paint and draw as a hobby and am passionate about the minimalist lifestyle.  Photography clients have included Christian Dior, overstock.com, Groupon, etc.  I also do makeup artistry for Christian Dior and Silver Immersion as well as freelance.   Moved around a lot growing up and was exposed to different cultures.   Oh, and I make some amazing authentic Korean kimchi.

ISJ_9278c-Edit-web

Ken:  What separates you from the average person that picks up a camera and calls themselves a photographer?

India:  I’ve heard that my “eye” or vision is different.  My first photography experience was sneaking pictures of my Dad (who hates being photographed) with my Grandma’s Polaroid in the early 90’s. I started my career as a beauty model and quickly revisited my passion for photography then picked up makeup artistry in college.  Having filled multiple positions that go into creating a photograph effects my attention to detail and interaction with my subjects and team. Because of my background, I love working with people who are not used to being in front of a camera or who think they are not photogenic.  Making them comfortable comes natural for me and I really got behind the camera as a way of making others feel confident about themselves.

ISJ_8742retouched-web

Ken:  What has been your pinnacle moment as a photographer?

India:  Wow it’s hard to pick just one, but a major moment was my first marketing job for Christian Dior.  I’ve always struggled with wanting to put myself out there but being too shy or modest to really share what I do.  To be requested by a brand with such a polished luxury image really was an honor and made me finally find the confidence I needed to further explore my creative personal work.

ISJ_9043retouched-web

Ken:  Tell us about the India Jackson brand.

India:  I don’t really think of myself as a brand.  When I first graduated from college I had taken advice from others and focused on how to brand, get business, and make money.  This was one of the most miserable and unhealthy times of my life.  In just a year of approaching things that way, I lost my passion and my work suffered.  While I am a small business owner and must work and retain clients to keep bills paid, I really try to forget that so that my actions are not motivated by money.  I just try to be true to myself and my supporters.  I find that my work is better and both my clients and I are happier when I focus on making awesome images instead of branding.  Visually I lean towards clean minimalist design, straight forward blog posts, creative yet clean images, and experimentation.  I also love to help others who are getting started. Keeping it simple works better for me.

ISJ_4057retouched-web

Ken:  Sometimes I hear photographer complain about the social media age, where everyone thinks they’re photographers just because they take a pic that they think is artistic in nature and put a couple of IG filters on it…( of this I’m guilty ) – – what are your thoughts on this?

India:  I think social media is amazing!  Really, It’s wonderful to have access to so many different kinds of people and cultures.  I love that more people are creating and I think it can be a therapeutic experience to make art when you are true to yourself.  The only issue I see with it is pretending to be something you are not.  As far as actual photographers who running a business worrying about Instagram enthusiast…. that’s just silly to me.   The energy spent worrying about that could be put into making their work better.  The only gripe I have is I think people shouldn’t do work for free.  It decreases the appreciation and value of your work as an enthusiast and the photography industry in general when so many people are willing to work for free. Even if you only charge $25 or exchange your time for a guaranteed magazine spread, it’s better than essentially saying photography isn’t worth paying for…. but then again I think musicians should charge for their music and I actually still pay for what’s in my iTunes.

ISJ_3148retouched-web

Ken:  Lastly, Anything else you want to let the readers know?  Doesn’t have to be photography related at all.

India:  Don’t let anyone keep you from you dreams and goals!  It’s so easy to give up after hearing a few “no’s”. When you make the decision to follow a path that isn’t the norm, there will be resistance and unfortunately it may even come from the people you love.  Please don’t let that keep you from your happiness and success!

Lastly, do you!  In the world of social media it’s easy to compare yourself to others but do know that looks can be deceiving.  What’s right for someone else may make you miserable!

Ken:  How can people contact you – what is your website and social media presence?

India:  www.indiajackson.com

I am also a social media addict with  instagram  snapchat and facebook being my favorites and can be reached via:

http://instagram.com/theindiajackson

http://www.facebook.com/theindiajackson

and @theindiajackson on most other social media.