On January 27th 2017 Kehlani dropped her debut album, Sweet Sexy Savage. This album is phenomenal. In this album is every woman and the cover art illustrates this perfectly, Kehlani is a 21 year old, queer, woman of color and above it the words “Sweet Sexy Savage” appear. Her body covered in tattoos give her an edge that people are often curious about and dont know how to really describe, her openness about being a queer woman that is black, white, spanish and Native American leaves her to be racially and sexually androgynous. I think in every woman there are theses three parts, the sweet, the sexy, and the savage and through the 18 tracks and ambiguous appearance leads people like the media to make assumptions about her personality; in songs like “Thank You” and “Keep On” and “Hold Me By the Heart” she completely shatters these assumptions by pouring her heart out over the lyrics in these songs, in this I see the Sweet. Another portion of the album has songs that highlight her sexual prowess and attraction, the is not only carried out with the utmost confidence but also a feeling of empowerment, this is where I see the Sexy. Lastly, Kehlani’s personal battle with depression, suicidal tendencies and dealing with broken-heartedness is something that I as well as many others can relate to and aspects of this album allows me to revisit this pain and feeling of brokenness through lyrics that are strong, healing, and delivered with conviction. For example in her song “Personal” she says, “I fuck with me heavy, Im all chosed up, so dont take it personal” or when she says, “if I gotta be a bitch imma be a bad one”, in this part of the album I see the Savage. This album cover alone celebrates the multidimensionality of every woman. To me, what I get from this album is the following: We as women are not this, we are not that, we are EVERYTHING.
Marvel’s newest superhero has already been turned into a number one hit show on Netflix, many are tired of all the basic superhero action and crime fighting movies but this was is like absolutely nothing seen before. Luke Cage is a middle-age tall dark-skinned black man that plays an ex-police officer that wrongfully went to jail after being framed. The gag is that he doesn’t wear a cap, he doesn’t wear a special suit, Luke’s superhero outfit is a hoodie; and it gets better….he’s bulletproof. The show is entertaining and the series was great but the social commentary was incredible, the show is about a bulletproof black man that walks around in a hoodie trying to bring good to New York City and he is completely bulletproof. The timing is almost too perfect amidst the myriad of shootings of unarmed black men. The hoodie is more than an article of clothing, it is a symbol. When I see black men in hoodies I can’t help but think of Trayvon. Trayvon Martin was wearing a hoodie when he was gunned down and murdered in cold blood. This show puts a black man on a pedestal where he is literally invincible and completely unstoppable and he adorns the very two things that in reality seems like a target: a black body and a hoodie. I just wish 14 year old Tamir Rice was bulletproof, along with Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Walter Scott, Jamal Brown, Oscar Grant and Philando Castile. I wish Eric Garner, Freddie Gray, and so many more that were murdered, had superhuman strength that made them impenetrable to any bullet, choke-hold, or baton-beating that came their way. It almost seems like to be a black man in America he to be Luke Cage in order to survive, black men have to be superheros, black men have to be bulletproof, otherwise he can’t be sure he won’t be the next trending hashtag or his dead black body won’t be the subject of a video on the 6 o’clock nightly news. Luke Cage is a quick escape from a painful reality that allows young black boys and girls to dream again, even if its just for a moment they can feel like they’re safe and even unstoppable.