Mic check, 1, 2! Do you know that November is National Hip-Hop History Month?
Therefore, I’ve decided that my blog posts for this month will be centered around Hip-Hop and Rap Music. Oftentimes, we neglect to consider the impacts that Hip-Hop culture has on our societies, cultures, and youths, but they cannot be ignored. Over the years, women have struggled to have their voices heard and honored in the rap game because of misogynoir and the challenges of spitting (rapping) in a male-dominated industry and this is why my first post for Hip-Hop Month will be about Brooklyn-born rapper Kimberly ‘Lil Kim’ Jones.
I remember as a teenager, hearing about Lil’ Kim going off to prison and when she subsequently released her fourth album, The Naked Truth. The album did very well, and it provided the streets and the world with many uplifting messages and anthems. In one of the album’s songs, All Good, the female MC raps on the first hook, “If you drivin’ or ridin’ the bus (It’s all good) In the struggle and the times is tough (It’s all good…). It’s powerful and endearing when a wealthy person speaks genuinely to the everyday person and identifies with us.
Standing at only 4 feet and 11 inches, Kim still raps with a mighty voice over dominant and catchy beats, to reach the masses as she pays homage to the late Notorious BIG and provides motivation to individuals struggling in society. A constant theme that was present in The Naked Truth and also interviews that Lil’ Kim would later give after its release, centers on the betrayal she felt from her Junior Mafia crew which she eloquently soliloquized about. After all, Kim felt she expressed loyalty to that crew when she lied to a jury about their involvement in a shooting that also involved rival, Foxy Brown’s crew. Kim did not expect her rap mate Lil’ Cease to testify against her thereby breaking a golden rule of the streets - no snitching.
And when I think about loyalty and sometimes our desire to stick our next out for loved ones and partners, I remember the original Queen B, Lil’ Kim. I think about how loyalty and friendship mean different things to different people and that our expectations are based on our own value systems which might not always align. and the fact that while it’s a difficult pill to swallow, the truth remains - no relationship or friendship owes us loyalty. Just because you are willing to sacrifice your own needs does not mean that someone else is obligated or will feel obligated to do the same for you. Kim later reconciled with her old friends and so allow me to close this post on a positive note.
Here are 3 Green Flags to look for in your Friendships:
1) Differences are accepted – We don’t have to have the same racial or cultural backgrounds as our friends; however, such differences should be respected and if possible, honored, and celebrated.
2) You fight in healthy ways – Conflict is important, and never having conflict in a relationship is not a sign of a healthy relationship. It is important however that when fights do happen, they are resolved amicably with boundaries being respected.
3) They support your growth – This is evident when your friend genuinely cares about your goals, checks in with you, provides support and is not intimidated by the possibility of you becoming whom you are meant to be.
If you are seeking a new beginning and you need guidance and support, contact me today about starting a New Chapter in your life!