As much as we want (and NEED) Missy Elliott to be a constant presence in our lives, we’ll gladly accept these annual bangers with visual videos that make everything else current look like child’s play. From concept to choreo, this video is everything. Shout to her dancers as always! There’s levels of core and balance required to execute these moves that us sub humans cannot even imagine. Missy keep slaying!
Missy Elliott – I’m Better ft. Lamb [Official Video]
We constantly hear complaints about melanated people not being represented in a positive light, or even represented at all on most television series. The biggest cure for this is creating our own content — produced by us, written by us, played by us. We’ve listed some really dope series below doing just that. Taking control of our narrative! Black Web Series are becoming more and more popular as online viewing and streaming are normalizing. Here are some shows making waves.
We can’t have this post and not list all of the dopeness that is Black&SexyTV (B&STV) first. They are well deserving of the recognition as trailblazers in the genre. They’ve been relatively transparent about their process with their fans who have been on the journey with them since 2012. Through all of their trials and tribulations, they are polishing their brand and readying it for major moves. They are currently in production for the movie of their award winning series, RoomieLiverFriends; also in production for their series The Couple to be on HBO; and have season 1 of one of their newest series, Chef Julien, playing on Centric. For those of us anti-television viewers, Black&Sexy has free minisodes on YouTube, with full episodes via their paid Subscription on VHX. Their platform is available for ROKU, ChromeCast, Android, and iPhone users as well. Here’s a list of their shows you need to catch up on. Hell, be sure to watch the older series as well since all of the characters in the Black&Sexy Universe are connected and make cameos on other shows!
Through the past 4 years B&STV has had a plethora of series. Most that are still in rotation, some that they moved on from, and others that they have rebooted. Since the B&STV Universe is all connected, it’s fun (and important) to even watch the older series. I’ve broken them down categorically as best I could for this beautifully overlapping spider web of shows!
Still in Rotation:
RoomieLoverFriends was my first introduction to the B&STV Universe. It captures the highs and lows of roommates/lovers/friends Tamiko and Jay as they navigate the waters of living together, crushing on each other, and dealing with outside and personal influences.
Sexless follows the lives of 4 best friends who deal with being “Sexless” in their 20s. Stacy & Farrah are virgins. Nolita is attempting to wait until marriage. Wendy is looking for a serious relationship.
Chef Julian is a spinoff from Sexless that gives the dating narrative from the male perspective of Julian, Wendy’s beau from Sexless (see how the web weaves through episodes).
HelloCupid is a crazy story of two friends, Whitney & Robin, who catfish a guy they found on the HelloCupid dating app, who they both end up liking. The story goes so much deeper, but I’m trying to keep this as spoiler-free as possible. It’s so much better to watch it and be surprised. The upcoming season features other characters from other shows of the B&STV universe (hence why it makes it so much better to watch EVERY series).
Rider/Nite Rider tell the hilariously outrageous stories that Rider drivers (think Uber or Lyft) experience. Rider has the chill, daytime passengers. Nite Rider always has some craziness… You’ll definitely see some familiar faces from other shows (yup, you guessed it, spider web).
The Number Reboot is a revived series from the original series The Number where Melissa and her fiancé reveal to each other their sexual partner count and her fiancé is thrown for a loop. *Spoiler Alert* In the Reboot Melissa and her fiancé have parted ways and she has now shared her number with her new beau Kevin, who we first met on HelloCupid (more spider webs). This series meshes pettiness, comedy, and emotional attachments like no other!
Yellow is the tale of poor Austin who can’t seem to catch a break and forever experiences life based on his yellow complexion verses his merits. *Not So Spoiler Alert* We find out Yellow is coming back soon with a twist via one of the episodes of Rider!
The Couple, isn’t exactly a reboot, but I’ll place it here because it will feel like it due to it being years since the series last aired and HBO opted to pick it up. This was the second B&STV series I watched and I could relate so much because of the odd hilarities from my own relationship. Guy and Girl depict both the mushy and aggravating sides of living with and committing yourself to another person.
That Guy was definitely one of B&STV’s most popular series. The drama levels were off the charts. It was a dope replacement for the garbage spewed in reality tv and the sudorealism of soap operas. It’s essentially about the personalities, relationships, and roller coasters of Judah and his friends. The spider webs and spoiler alerts are too intense to give more details, so you’ll have to watch for yourself.
Becoming Nia is the spinoff from That Guy that gives the perspective from single mother, Nia, who has a child with Judah and has to navigate being a mom, her feelings for Judah, her self esteem, and the hardships of all of that on a struggling entrepreneurial income.
In addition to all of these dope web series, B&STV provides talk shows, behind the scenes, get to knows, and even their own award show where the fans vote for which characters and actors should win the BLEXY award! They’ve also expanded to feature and sponsor shows from outside producers (“The Process”), including their annual HBCU sponsorship which first went to a Howard University student (“Doing It Wrong”… HU!!) These shows include:
The After Party, Herbs & Honesty, The Underground, Bedtime, Black&Sexy Music Moment, Buy Black for 30, The Process, Doing it Wrong, Blexy Awards & Battle of the G.O.A.Ts
More Black Web Series that you should definitely watch and judge for yourself are… (In no order of excellence, but ranging from romance drama to hood classic…)
Unwritten Rules was based on the book, “40 Hours and an Unwritten Rule: The Diary of a Nigger, Negro, Colored, Black, African-American Woman” (Butterfly Ink Publishing, 2004), and guides us through the comedic realities of Racey Jones, a Black woman in a predominantly white workplace. In all of it’s 3 seasons, I laughed, I got angry, and I laughed some more.
Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s
Everything I Did Wrong in My 20s was 2 seasons of reflecting on life once you hit the dreaded threshold of 30, dun dun dun!! Seriously, you all need to chill and stop acting like 30 is the new 80, you’ll be fine… That’s exactly what the main character in this series starts to discover.
Robin and Charles have known each other since Middle School, but have their first date in their late 20s. As the day of surprises unfolds, they quickly realize there is more than friendship in their future.
Six millennials, living in New York City, all have differing ideals and desires when it comes to life and love. The show centers around their dating encounters, the debates they have among each other, and their day-to-day struggles. We also watch as they each secretly meet with a therapist and share their true feelings about different statistics within the dating world.
Makeup and Breakup the Series
The ups and downs of mixing relationships.
Brothers With No Game
Brothers With No Game follows 4 blokes, childhood friends, through their social and romantic lives.
No Love Lost
Divorced couple navigates life and relationships while still living under the same roof.
How Men Become Dogs
It’s not often you see a group of African American men who’ll be completely honest about their experiences with women, particularly when those encounters reveal them being cheated on, lied to or left behind for someone better. When we think of love in movies, we tend to think of women who endure pain at first, find their long lost love in the middle and finally live ‘happily ever after’ in the end. Unfortunately, in real life that’s not always the case… especially for men. See for yourself…
The complexities of love and friendship from a group of urban mid twenty somethings.a
Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman)
Anonymous (The Diary of the Other Woman) an edgy, seductive and captivating web series that will grab your attention and keep you wondering what will happen next. Its vivid content, subject matter and diversity gives it everything that you want in a series but have yet to see. This series is going to touch on subjects that are sensitive to some and most people will be able to relate to & it will always keep you wanting more…
In the series premiere, Simone is considering another man while her husband, Braden, works to keep his past a secret. Then the drama unfolds…
What happens when your man is locked up? And you’re on the outside trying to maintain life? What decisions do you make?
What Happened to Love
A dramedy based on the state of love and relationships.
A comedy about being fresh on the dating scene and going on first dates again.
A twisting and turning drama about intersecting relationships.
When the realest person on your team is your woman, you gotta respect that. This is street romance in its rawest form. Many people talk about or say they want that ride or die love… but it’s a rare occasion when they actually mean it.
A look into the different paths people take on the streets of Brooklyn.
A courageous young man who commits to defrauding checks must find out and realizes that his loyalty comes with a price.
In this urban base crime drama Chalice “HOOD” Pruitt struggles to put his life back together after serving eight years of a twelve year sentence for his role in the murder of Diane Clark wanting nothing more than to have a relationship with a daughter he has never met HOOD desperately tries to find the balance of being dedicated father and the next air to the Pruitt family criminal legacy.
Living the Trap King lifestyle.
A story based on Love, Lust, Heartache, Music and Inspiration.
The Worst Of Us
When an accidental murder is committed by one of five siblings they make a poor attempt to cover up the gruesome crime. Roz Hood, the eldest of the quintet, also a convicted felon, uses her feminine wiles to seduce Barks Daily, brother to the victim, in an effort to throw him off her sexual deviant sister’s trail.
We’d also like to lay mention to www.ColoredContent.com which hosts a lot of these shows and more on their platform, as well as TheVillageTV which is producing a string of shows to launch in July!
Keep in mind that most of these shows are working on negative budgets or whatever they’ve gained from crowd sourcing and/or membership dues. If you have it in your pockets, please invest in these shows because representation matters. We can’t keep complaining that “they” don’t cast us while doing nothing about it. I’m all for creating your own instead of waiting on a generous hand, especially when that hand is most famous for the mass genocide, impoverishment, and imprisonment of our people. Here we have us doing for us, so donate, subscribe, share, yell it from the roof tops. Cut back on cable channels that you don’t watch and give that money to them. Hell, I quit cable all together years ago, and definitely prefer online viewing and being able to give to Black&SexyTV every month instead. Pockets looking linty? Guess what! Clicking the like, subscribe, and share buttons don’t cost you a penny, but it means the world to these content producers! Go indulge!
Let us know your favorites in the comments and tell us any we’ve missed to update our list!
Okay, you got us. This is pure speculation, but why else would NONE of Netflix be working the Saturday after the release of the highly anticipated series, Luke Cage? Lucky for us, we binged watched it before Netflix glitched.
** LUKE CAGE SPOILER ALERT **
Reading beyond this point without having watched all 13 episodes of the most Blackity Black series in years is all on you…
We watched proudly as a strong Black Man, who refused to be called nigga, came to grips with his unexpected abilities. If you’re a comic junky, you’ll enjoy it for purely that. If you’ve seen any of the news surrounding the Black community since 2014, you’ll be mmhmm-ing and uhhhuhh-ing for 13 straight episodes. The not so underlying tone is a Black man in a (usually Black) hoodie, framed for charges/crimes he didn’t commit, who is constantly being shot at. Aka. Ode to Trayvon Martin.
Luke Cage, played by Mike Colter, sees the dirtbags that rule Harlem and eventually decides, with the push of barber shop owner Pops, to do something about it. The show taking place in Harlem is gold gem #2, #1 obviously being the BEAUTIFUL predominately Black cast. The vernacular is real and relatable enough, where you don’t feel like anyone is stereotyping. It felt like a family reunion with all of the colorful family members most of us can relate to in some form or fashion. The interpersonal relations were also real. For a fictional series, everything felt real enough to the point where you get wrapped up in it and almost forget you’re watching a scifi show. That is until he punches someone into a wall.
Yes, Luke Cage whips a lot of ass and it feels like vindication for all of us. Backstory (based on the show): Luke went to prison due to a frame job. His CO convinced him into joining the prison fight club. All the while, the doctors of the prison were watching him and other potential prisoners closely for an experiment they were conducting. Luke got injured badly and the doctors placed him into the tank that was meant to rapidly heal, but of course something goes wrong and electricity surges everywhere and by the time he woke up he had super strength and his skin was impenetrable. Essentially, he was “bulletproof.” They broke down the science, but we won’t give everything away…
He broke himself out of prison in Georgia as Carl Lucas, swam to shore, and resurfaced as Luke Cage in Harlem. He worked a day job as the janitor at Pops barber shop, and a night job as the dish washer/substitute bartender at Harlem’s Paradise. His day job and his night job eventually both come colliding and he could no longer hide in the shadows. Since we want those who said “eff yo spoiler alert” to form their own conclusions we’ll stop here, but the ins and out and plot twists make this series an amazing roller coaster. The villains are as fun as heroes. To see how little loyalty there is among villains and to watch the community come together (eventually) in support of their hero, all mixed in with musical cameos, Black women with natural hair styles, and life lessons dropped on EVERY episode, makes this is proud moment in Black history.
#RepresentationMatters. Luke Cage and Misty Knight are as important characters as Black Panther and the whole Wakanda nation. Although Taji is ALWAYS here for stories about us created by us, we’re also here for when the larger platforms represent the community as close as possible. There were some notions we could have done without, but we won’t let that 7% outweigh the 93% of dope Blackity Blackness. So hop on your Netflix, or borrow someone’s password, and clear your calendar for 13 hours. Thank us later 😉
1. Redifining African Music.
2. Promoting African languages and culture through music.
3. Unifying all Africans together with a common knowledge of ONESS
4. Using his voice as an entertainer to reach out to the less privileged.
5. To make a remarkable impact that becomes a Legacy.
6. To satisfy your soul with undiluted sound and using music as a tool
7. To remain there for you
Through the Swazzilians (his fans), Swazzi is bringing Africa to the world. Signed to label Thugluvin Records, Swazzi is highlighting his newly released record after the release of his smash hit “Elele” produced by Dj Coublon. His new song is titled “Skolo”. It’s also produced by Dj Coublon. The video is directed by UK base Nigerian, Director Q. Check out the video below and be sure to follow him on social media at @OfficialSwazzi.
Generally, Taji Mag pays homage to traditional African fashion so Westerners can connect their roots, but we’d be a hendering one way road if we did not view the other direction. l’âme inconnue, a creative management firm, is an advent believer that Africa has some of the greatest talent to date. Their motto is to redefine African designers into a modern aesthetic and to help them integrate into the Western market. A new addition they’ve added to their roster is Ghanaian designer, Nina Barkers – Woode of Barkers-Woode and her collaboration with jewelry designer Asia Clarke of Wild Moon, thus Barkers-Woode x Wild Moon.
The Barkers – Woode brand embodies a minimalist aesthetic. Each garment is made up of clean lines and an essence of timelessness. It is inspired by world history and generations of women. Androgynous artworks play on the mixture of masculinity and femininity.
The Wild Moon’s jewelry collection lies on the border of fine jewelry and nature-inspired and industrial aesthetic of everyday jewelry. Elegance and tribal sensibility in her design are achieved through the incorporation of 100% recycled and eco-friendly Fine Silver with Brass, Semi-precious stones and 14k gold nuggets.
All of this inspiration has sparked their campaign of “New Africa” – an interpretation of the shift of stereotypical ideology of African fashion to a modern day look. The fashion presentation takes place on September 23, 2016 in Toronto, ON, Canada with stagnant models in Barkers-Woode and Wild Moon jewelery. The room covered in muslin and canvases will depict the street art of their movement.
Various creative and African descentdant influencers are photographed and filmed, in both designers recent collections, a series of questions that speak specifically to the Black youth of today. Each influencer plays a big role in our community honing the title as an activist.
“We will select service areas throughout Palm Beach based on critical need and community partnerships with local government, local faith based groups and non-profit organizations that assist the homeless. We will use our premiere mobile shower /personal hygiene facility, to make sure everyone in Palm Beach County has the ability to take a Fresh Shower. We will provide access to personal hygiene essentials including: Towel Soap · Shampoo · Conditioner · Toothbrush · Toothpaste · Dental Floss · Mouthwash · Lotion · Sunscreen · Sanitary Napkins (for women) · Condoms. We will provide support and assistance where possible. In doing this, we create a platform for refreshed communities, who generate fresh ideas, and begin embodying the notion that Feeling Revitalized Encourages Sustainable Happiness. By means of Genesis Community Health’s “outreach/ visiting clinics”, we will provide healthcare that brings services to the homeless. These clinics offer various health screenings, HIV Counseling and Testing, and referral services, linking the individual to a primary care facility and overall care with other supporting and partner organizations.”
Interested in Helping?
Almost 2.5 million youth, under the age of 18, experience homelessness in America each year. This historic high represents one in every 30 children in the U.S. Palm Beach County ranks #2 in Florida for children living in spaces not designed for human habitation. The average age of a homeless child in Palm Beach County is 7…
Help them make an IMPACT by contributing today! With your support, they can make sure our homeless brother sisters and children in Palm Beach County can live fresh.
We were introduced to vENv at the always dope Sehiii (“Pronounced Say-Hi, don’t forget the third eye”) in Brooklyn, NY. “Simply put, Victor ‘vENv’ Arumemi is a creator. A multi-hyphenate (I promise, it’s a real word) who believes in the power and purpose of bringing the things that lie within the imagination to life. Whatever the medium may be, art is all around us and it should be embraced and experienced by every soul, starting with yours.” Watch the videos below for a sneak peek into vENv’s artistry. Check out his instagram @venvthetrbldhrt and soundcloud for whole shebang!
With all the unnecessary fuss over the tweet from @AyeshaCurry regarding game six of the 2016 NBA Finals and the general capitalistic nature of entertainment, I feel like we need to show this Black woman some love! In this June tweet, the famous Mrs. Curry defended her husband on social media.
She has nothing to apologize for. Ayehsa’s name is legendary. And since there are already a dozen stories out there about the tweet, we’re taking this in a totally different direction. Here at @TajiMagazine, we ADORE Ayesha and we want to celebrate her with the rest of the powerful Black women out there. Here is a list of 10 of the greatest songs featuring powerful Black women from the year Ayesha Curry was born: 1989. (They also happen to describe how we feel about her royal Curry-ness).
10. Aretha Franklin: Think
9. Janet Jackson: Rhythm Nation
8. Salt-N-Pepa: Expression
7. Anita Baker: Giving You The Best That I Got
6. Patti Labelle: If You Don’t Know Me By Now
5. Roberta Flack: Oasis
4. Jody Watley: Real Love
3. Soul II Soul: Keep On Movin’
2. Karyn White: Superwoman
1. Janet Jackson: Miss You Much
Of course, we couldn’t close out this list and neglect this classic honorable mention. That’s rigght, you guessed it. Another Bad Creation: “Iesha”
The Soweto Street Culture Arts Festival #SSCAFest2016 is proudly South African with authentic local street culture, live Contemporary Jazz & Hip Hop music, Literature, Art & Independent Film screenings.
Here, visitors can experience authentic street culture, fashion, music, stalls, gourmet, colour festival and so much more! The perfect way to experience Soweto and socialize with all of the artists.
VILAKAZI STREET in Soweto, South Africa is well-known for its rich history, particularly for its place in the struggle against apartheid. Given this, it is one of the main tourist attractions in Joburg, and the country.
‘Talent Over Everything Sessions’
‘TOES’ is a hip hop based duo consisting of musicians Thabiso Thabethe and Prodigenius. The band blends alternative folk music with rap to create a unique hip hop sound and style. Their music is influenced by artists such as HHP, Freshly Ground, and The Parlotones.
The band originated in Winterveld (Sgandi), South Africa in 2014, when this dynamic team started off by performing concerts in Prodigenius’ father’s backyard. This developed into door to door music sessions, music mobs on the streets, performing on trains in Winterveld, and around Pretoria. TOES is currently performing music from Thabiso Thabethe’s 9 track EP tiled “SHEBAH” and The Genius Touch’s 10 track EP titled “Kastom Kult,” both released in 2016 independently through hard copies and Soundcloud.
‘Zimbabwe Showing Flames’
This multi-talented young man born in Gweru Zimbabwe was named after legend Lionel Richie. He is an Afro Contemporary artist with a mixture of Pop and Afrisoul.
“Copying denies collaboration as it is a trade amongst artist. It also affects musicians and lead to them forgetting they are the product.” When he arrived in SA, he realised that he’s going to represent his identity and culture. His main aim was to send a clear, outspoken message understood by all.
“Copying kills the potency in the art.”
Ringo Madlingozi and Oliver Mtukuzi better watch out for the tremor approaching!!!
“You’ll never go anywhere nor be recognised if you do not want to learn. Team effort is success, and with our different skills the world is just an oyster. Learn to stand your ground and take yourself seriously in order for people to. Believe in your craft and be unapologetic about it, and most importantly give and receive.” His advice to people is to wait for your time, stick to what you do best and let it manifest as our fruits have different seasons.
“Happiness is what keeps me going.”
Many thanks to the @THEBOXSHOP for hosting this prestigious event…
“The more difficult the process to become whole again;
The pain may fade but scars serve as a reminder of our suffering, and make the bearer all the more resolved and never to be wounded again.
So as time moves along, we get lost in distractions, act out in frustration, and react with aggression giving into anger and all the while we plot and plan as we wait to grow stronger, and before we know it, the time passes. We are healed, ready to begin a new…”
BY MANTALA NKOATSE
A seed like myself only needs to develop into roots
Feel the breath of Mother Earth in my Habitat; give a Shelter to Bugs or Sparrows.
I need to feel Mother Earths tears in my habitat, Let her Sunshine nurture my lungs.
I need to grow, I need to be an example of strength, I need to be a firm stem.
I need to be like Green Leaves Clothed in Mamas Favourite Green dress, I need to be Chlorophyll.
I need to gain beauty from my petals, I the seed; want to become a Flower!
I want to make butterflies smile as I take my duties of Brightening the World.
For the World needs to be mothered before it turns an orphan.
Dear mama Africa; I need my Great Gran Children to Enjoy the Pleasures of your beauty like my ancestors did before they died.
I don’t want to fear War that will leave my habitat in draught, I don’t want to see my Petals wither, chasing butterflies away.
I don’t want to fear the Sparrows that will be left homeless. I don’t want to fear anything.
I want to be in nature, I want your picture to inspire me to emancipate my mind. I want to relish on your ground after I’ve turned an ancestor.
Mama Africa, I want your beauty to remain timeless
Now, Dear Mother! Hear my cry when I call upon your name. Forgive my sins for I have polluted your breath with smoke and I let the World disturb your music, created by birds and the Ocean.
Forgive me for I have demolished some of the habitats to gain the pleasures of my material self, I have realized that the World is not as Important as you are because you gave birth to the World.
Mother, without you there’s no more me, or birds or butterflies or trees or the ocean
Dear Mother Africa. Stay Strong and quench my strength with your mountains, inspire my beauty with all that you are, provoke my emotions with your ocean. Mama Africa, please keep clean for the sake of your legacy.
DanceAfrica 2016: The photos say it best. DanceAfrica always brings out the most beautiful melanated beings of all ages and eccentricities. The festival has tons of Black Owned vendors and the actual DanceAfrica show held at BAM is cultural significant, magnificent, and necessary!!