Third year. It’s the year in which… let’s just say, it gets real. Although I’m currently on a year abroad (so I’m on my third of four years), I’m feeling the pain and pressure of all my friends who are going through it, at home. The pain of essays and deadlines, the pressure to find a job/grad scheme or master’s degree. Issa lot. But another thing I’ve clocked, about myself and my friends, is that education… is just tiring. We’re tired. Finished. Dun out.
My problem isn’t ‘education’ itself. I love learning new ideas and new concepts, and educating myself further on the topics that I take interest in. What I have a problem with is the system of education. Whilst university differs from country to country, the idea of coming in, being spoken at for an hour or two, and repeating this every year until graduation is something that we see everywhere. And at this point, it doesn’t really work for me.
Change can be difficult. Whether you’re at uni for the first time, or you’re living abroad, like me, it doesn’t always come easy. You’re away from your loved ones, you’re out of your comfort zone and you don’t know exactly how to function on your own. But it definitely puts things into perspective. At least that’s how I see things.
However; this isn’t a blog post about my year abroad, it’s more to do with some of the emotions I’ve suppressed for so long, but finally had to freedom to acknowledge since I’ve been away.
The relationship between Hip Hop and R&B. The two cultures have crossed over so much that often times, they’re indistinguishable, which is why we often have R&B/Hip Hop listed together as one category. In 1998, we had rappers guest starting on hit R&B records and R&B singers singing the hooks on Rap hits. In 2018, we have rappers singing their own hooks, and singers basically rapping on their verses. And even with artists who are more explicitly one or the other, they’re likely to have worked with, artists from the other. Though R&B is unfortunately, not nearly as commercially successful as it was say twenty years ago, the relationship is still there. With R&B artists like Teyana Taylor being signed to Rap labels, such as GOOD Music, there clearly still is a place for R&B artists in today’s urban scene, but are these artists being handled properly, and are their projects being treated with the same urgency as their labelmates? I don’t think so.
“UNITY, love a Black woman from infinity to infinity… UNITY, love a Black man from infinity to infinity” – Queen Latifah, 1993
“I think it’s time to kill for our women, time to heal our women, be real to our women.” – Tupac, 1993
“Said I’d never understand the plight of a Black man… right, but I’m tryna keep you in my life.” – Foxy Brown, 1996
These are all examples of lyrics that depict some of the conversations that we as Black people have, in relation to gender. It’s interesting that 22-25 years later, whether in the US or UK, not much has seemed to have changed.
At this point, it seems like no one is willing to listen or learn anything. It’s all about shouting the opposing opinion down and scoring points for your side. To be honest, all of that is dead. But as much of a frustrating topic it is, it’s something we need to talk about.
I was toying around with a couple of ideas on what to write about for this blog post, but I thought what would be most fitting is ‘sacrifices’, since tomorrow’s Easter, and alla dat.
Sacrifice is a big thing in Christianity, and in other religions, like Islam. During our religious periods of Lent, Ramadan, etc, we sacrifice some of our favourite things, from sweets, to sex. We even give up our necessities, like food and water, and take to repenting, studying religious texts, and being more prayerful, during these times. But how much of that is done with actual conviction?
Networking, networking, networking. It’s a buzz word that we often see thrown around, everywhere, from uni, to extra curricular, to the TL. ESPECIALLY, the TL. But what does it really mean?
Networking is defined as ‘’interact[ing] with others to exchange information and develop professional or social contacts.’’
Realistically, networking is something that we all do, regularly, without even knowing. We all have networks, consisting of our family, friends, acquaintances. But of course, it differs in the professional context.
“Bag lady, you gon’ hurt yo back, dragging all them bags like that.”
The opening lyrics to Erykah Badu’s 2000 hit ‘Bag Lady’ really speak to me. Although the content of the song generally focuses on women who are carrying emotional baggage from their past relationships, I think that we can all relate to the general sentiment of the song in some way, shape or form.