For some time now, we have witnessed this “beef” between two dynamic artists who should be embracing each other, instead of “throwing shade”.

We’re talking about Brandy and Monica

Both are singing sensations who were brought up in an era when R&B was dominated by male groups. Despite the popularity of groups like Boyz II Men, Dru Hill, and Jodeci, these two women proved to the industry that being young and female doesn’t suppress their ability to shine bright like a diamond!

As a fan of both and as a black woman, I’m disappointed about this feud that’s started in the late 90s but resurfaced and escalated in recent months. That’s why I feel compelled to write this open letter in hopes that it will reach them and share my thoughts on something so trivial, yet, powerful enough to feed into the perception that black women do not get along.

 

Dear Brandy and Monica,

Although I’m a few years older than both of you, I looked up to you ladies and still do. Growing into adulthood in the nineties, your music was the soundtrack of my life. I’m sure it was the same for many of your fans and that’s why you both are legends in my eyes. I’ve observed this feud and despite the “entertainment” it provides for us ( social media followers, and bloggers/blog readers), I can’t help but feel like I’m witnessing the downfall of a sisterhood that should be stronger than this guy’s jacket!

tightasshit

Now, we all know that media can exaggerate things and make situations seem bigger than what it is. As a result, fans and critics alike will add their two cents, adding more fuel to the fire. The media and the fans will become problematic because their two cents will cause more division between two talented queens who should be celebrating one another. It gets worse when the both of you publicly responds to one another (although, it seems one of you is taking a higher road). That’s what the world needs to see more of—black women lifting each other up, especially when they share a bond.

What is the bond you both share? Quite a few…

You both started in the industry as teenagers…

You both snatch souls with your voices…

You both suffered a traumatic experience…

You both have grown into beautiful women with beautiful families and are definitely women our little girls can look up to.

teenbranandmo

 

I don’t care who’s right or wrong…I don’t care to debate with other fans about who’s throwing more shade than whom…I don’t care to debate about who has the most hits, who sings “better”, who dresses better and all the other fuckery your fans are beefing about on social media. 

What I do care to see are two talented beauties coming together and squash whatever beef they have, because society needs to see that women can support one another…particularly black women.

A feud between Brandy and Monica is like watching a feud between Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni! Or Whitney and Mariah! None of this doesn’t make any sense!

icecubestare

 

I hope that whatever has transpired offline between the two of you can be resolved in a more mature fashion. We have to inspire, motivate and uplift one another because we are a part of a society that tells us that we don’t. We (black women) are generally perceived as bitches/angry women with bad attitudes. There is also the perception that we don’t get along, and unfortunately, we have enough reality shows that feed into that perception.

Ask yourselves how would the late great Whitney feel if she was alive to see the division between her two sweethearts.

At some point, you’ll have to realize that this feud is definitely not worth losing a friendship over. As women, that whole competitive mentality we have divides us when it doesn’t have to be that way. We all go through similar life experiences but through different chapters in our lives.

You both are blessed beyond measure with a talent given by God. Let it all go and start supporting one another on your achievements as an artist, a mother, and gems who changed the game in R&B. Great things really do happen when we support one another. 

Sincerely,

Lakia

brandymonica2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unless you’re not a social media hound like I am, you should remember the time in 2016 when Facebook did the unthinkable by shutting down the page of one of the premiere black celebrity gossip sites on the internet, ‘The Shade Room’. A rep for the social media giant confirmed that they were behind the popular gossip site’s removal, losing all of their followers which was over 4 million. The page was removed for violating Facebook’s community standards.

When I came across the news, I immediately wondered if the shutdown would heavily affect the visibility of Angie Nwandu’s website. 4 million is an impressive number of Facebook fans. Do Angie’s website subscribers match the numbers of Facebook likes? TSR is known for a primarily social following, which means it mostly exists on third-party platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Oddly enough, it was Instagram where TSR built their massive following…before a website was even launched.

I thought about me and wondered what would I have to do if my Facebook page would get shut down. My likes aren’t as impressive as The Shade Room’s, but if you knew how long it took me to reach those number of likes, you’d be like….

“Facebook is a huge driver of our internet traffic,” Angie Nwandu, The Shade Room’s founder, told BuzzFeed News. “I’m doing everything in my power to get it back up.”

Unless Nwandu’s Email list contain the same number of subscribers, running a website with followers exclusively or primarily from social media can lead to a few problems for online entrepreneurs. There are two major lessons us online entrepreneurs can learn.

 

Social media doesn’t belong to us

You can be Rihanna and Instagram will shut you down with a quickness. (that actually happened)

Social media doesn’t care who you are or how many fans/followers you have. If you go against their rules or violate “community standards”, be ready to lose all of what you’ve worked so hard to achieve. That’s why it’s important to invest in your own online platform. This is definitely a problem you don’t want to have. Especially, if you make an impressive profit.

Email Subscribers are your best friends

As long as folks subscribe to your website, you’ll never have to worry about losing them as readers. Everytime you post, they’ll automatically get an update sent to their email. That means they’ll always stay updated, even if they’re not online. Promote your email subscription service daily, so your followers will see that they don’t have to rely solely on social media to receive daily content. I don’t promote mine as often as I should, but I WILL NOW! A new lesson learned, knowing that social media is always temporary.

 

Nwandu was recently chosen as one of the most influential people by Time Magazine. Read story here

 

UPDATE: (9:30 EST/April 2016), TSR’s Facebook page is back. There’s no word on if it’s the same page or if a new one was created. At the time of this update, the page’s fan count is just over 3,000.

2nd UPDATE: (August 2017) The Shade Room fan count is at 4,222,739. It only took a little over a year for TSR to get their 4 milli back. Now that’s what’s up!!

 

 

During my dry spell from blogging, It has occurred to me why I felt like I was getting discouraged from writing on a daily basis. As a result, I’ve decided to do what I’ve wanted to do for quite some time and I want to share it with you.

I have decided to change the direction of my blog by getting rid of most of my content about celebrities/entertainment, because I felt I was drifting away from writing content that I felt was most important to my readers. I was also sucked into creating content that was scandalous in nature and emotionally exhausting, because it gave me more hits than my light-hearted content. I no longer want to add to the destruction of black images on social media, and I feel it’s my responsibility to create quality content that reflects us more in a positive light. Therefore, I will only share content that I believe will not only make us think but make us feel good.

It’s become unfortunate that a lot of my fellow bloggers on the popular end rely on content that is scandalous in nature and heart-wrenching. They know that the title alone will get a click that will lead to high numbers in traffic. We’ve become so desensitized to news of young black fathers beating their kids to death that we’ll share the content all over social media, instead of sharing content about an 11-year-old starting her/his own business. We’ll create and share content about fights on some Housewife show, celebrity beefs, domestic violence that leads to death, and random soul-crushing stuff that will heighten the misconception of urban black culture, because that is what most of our readers want to read.

Is there anyone out there tired of reading and seeing images of us in a negative light?

Is there anyone out there that wants to read quality content that relates to who they are?

Is there anyone out there that prefers to read content that will benefit them in some way, shape, or form?

Well, that is why Lakia Nichole DOT Com is striving to become a platform for all things #BlackAndMagical & #BlackAndPositive

If you’re a blogger and your platform is all about celebrity gossip than do you, boo! However, as a blogger who started out creating content that I believed was “feel good” content, it was easy for me to conform to celebrity news. I realized that the celebrity life appealed to readers so I created a whole-ass category about celebrities. To be honest, I only did that because I was trying to be the next “Shade Room”, the next “B. Scott”, or the next “Ice Cream Convos” which are successful celebrity blogs. The more I created content about celebrities, the more disconnected I felt from my readers. As a result, blogging became emotionally exhausting and no longer fun to do.

I’m tired of creating content that will drain me emotionally because I needed the traffic. It was like selling my soul to the devil, because the numbers of those particular posts made me feel relevant as a blogger. People were reading content from MY blog, but what was my purpose for writing and sharing hit besides gaining traffic? It hurt me to share content about our young black kids getting killed on the streets. As much as I steered away from writing about reality shows, I still felt the need to give the latest in celebrities news, because again, that’s what the people wanted to read about mostly.

I felt I was trying to run a race, knowing I could never catch up and make it to the finish line.

As a result, I’m gonna stay in my own lane as I will continue to blog about topics that will not lower our spiritual energy. I want LN to be a platform where we can log on and read content that will make us feel good about ourselves. I will continue to write about celebrities who I feel are inspirations with their art and what they represent. However, who they sleep with, fight with, and had a Twitter beef with is no longer of interest to me and I’m pretty sure some of y’all are over news like that.

If you’ve been riding with me since day one, I truly appreciate you. If you’re new to my blog, I welcome you and hope you subscribe for future posts. <3

In 2016, we’ve reported that Rob Hill Sr. and songstress/actress, Letoya Luckett, got engaged. Now that Rob and Letoya have split after only two months of MARRIAGE, I have doubts about some of these “relationship experts”.

It was a surprise to supporters and fans, considering no one knew the couple was already married at the time. They’ve done a great job of keeping their marriage super low-key. Unfortunately, this couple fits the description of “Hollywood marriages”; in love one week and broken up the next week.

However, there’s something peculiar about this breakup and it isn’t the quicky marriage. If you’re familiar with Rob’s work, you’ve probably wondered if he’s ever practiced what he’s preached. One would question Rob’s skill and motivation as an “expert” on life and love since his public breakup.

Let’s break down what Rob Hill Sr. really is….

According to his website’s bio, Rob is, “ an author, entrepreneur, and public speaker. Originally from Chesapeake, VA, Rob is sought after as a voice for the millennial generation on healthy relationships, purposed filled living, community organizing, and constructive love.”

In my opinion, that’s just a fancy way of saying he’s a “life coach”.

Many have criticized Rob on his break up with Letoya, because apparently, he should know better. It’s my belief that experts don’t become experts without experience, and it’s obvious that Rob has experienced the ups and down of love. Not everyone shares that sentiment, though.

Rob’s two-month marriage ending in divorce highlights the authenticity, or lack thereof, of these social media love gurus, experts, coaches, etc.

Let’s face it…we’ve all fallen for their quotes on life, love, and relationships because they relate to what we all go through. We use their words as motivation, and some of us even follow what they say in their posts and video clips like a cult. But, what good are their words if they’ve proven they can’t live by them?

Do we stop following them or do we give them the benefit of the doubt?

rhill

“Life Coaches” are human, too, and I’m putting myself in ALL of their shoes, including Rob’s. They go through stuff just like we do.

We don’t now what went down between Letoya and Rob, and I’m sure Rob doesn’t have the ability to see the future. We all go through life with unexpected situations, and experts on life, love, and relationships are no exceptions. As Hill would probably say, “We’re all one choice away from living a completely different life.”

People like Hill are allowed to go through negative experiences. Experiences, good and bad, are what makes us who we are today.

 

 

No one knows who I am.

As an introverted entrepreneur, that’s something that I definitely need to change. If I’m building a brand, it’s important for me to “stand out” in social media land. What better way to do that than putting myself on video? It’s a terrifying thing for me to do, considering I kinda care what folks think of me and what I offer.

However, it all makes sense. My brand won’t build if people do not know who Lakia Nichole is and what she does.

This video will explain who I am and why I’ve decided to start this personal challenge.

 

Let’s talk about this Pepsi ad Ft. Kendall Jenner (now pulled after negative reaction) because the folks who conceptualized this tone-death visual fuckery had no idea it would make people upset…and rightfully so.

Before I go in, press play below

 

So, here we have a Kardashian who “brings people together” by ending a protest with a beverage……..

This has to be the lowest of the low for any marketing team trying to sell a product. The Pepsi brand should be ashamed for mocking the movement and using that girl to do it. Sooo, no one in the marketing department mentioned that the ad was a bad idea???

I don’t blame Kendall. She obviously saw dollar signs when she signed that contract and didn’t think twice about how the ad would affect people. You can’t expect someone in their early twenties and haven’t experienced much life to understand.

Pepsi basically undermined the works and dedication of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the seriousness of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Lives Matter in under two minutes. We’ve heard the term, “don’t shoot the messenger.” Well, poor Kendall was the messenger who was caught in the crossfire.

 

Now, let’s talk about how Bernice King, daughter of Martin, GATHERED Pepsi with just one tweet….

 

 

Nothing about this ad was cute and for Pepsi to trivialize the protests of police brutality, killings, and racism for a product sale shows how disingenuous the brand truly is of the movement.

With the endless amount of hair inspiration for black women all over the internet and magazines, it was only a matter of time before an app would be a part of the equation. It took three brilliant women to come together with the unique idea to create an app for hair inspiration for black women. Whether you’re relaxed, natural, long, short, or loc’d, the app, ‘Tress’, has all the ideas and tips provided by the app’s members that you could use.

Via The Root:

Three black software engineers and entrepreneurs—Cassandra Sarfo, Esther Olatunde and Priscilla Hazel—have created ‘Tress’, an app they hope will become the one-stop shop for all your black hair needs, inspirations and appointments.

“We do this all the time: We see a hairstyle that we like. We stop people on the street just to ask them where they did their hair, how much it cost them, or ask them for their stylist’s number,” Hazel told The Root. “And my mom, she takes pictures of her TV screen and [messages] me and asks me where she can have it done. It’s a habit that we have that we do all the time.”

So the women put their heads together to come up with a solution for what they saw as an obvious demand, and the app Tress was born. The long-term goal is to make Tress a one-stop shop for all things hair, and for the platform to be a seamless integration between someone seeing a hairstyle and knowing all the products and procedures (and even people!) used to create it.

Currently on the app, women can find hair inspo and filter hairstyles by the type they’re looking for, or even by cost. Women can also upload and share photos of their own hairstyle, adding whatever information is necessary, and contribute to community discussions about best hair-care practices and other tips. You can see what’s trending, and even bookmark hairstyles for later viewing.

The women behind the app hope that within the next six to eight months, users will be able to purchase products through the app directly. A little further into the future, the next priority will be enabling women to book hairstylists. 

Read full article here

 

Dopeness

Social media allows us to share many things…to a fault.

Sometimes, we can abuse our social media, subjecting our followers to pointless stuff from endless selfies that all look alike to videos of humans having sex with animals.

It’s all enough to make us want to drop off the face of the earth. The job of social media is to provide convenience through digital/virtual assessibility, escapism from the real world while socializing with other folks from all over, and its purpose is to make our lives easier. With what we see daily on our timelines, some folks don’t need to have social media.

As a result, I feel compelled to share the 8 ways we can utilize our social media better.

Be resourceful– We love information that we could use for our benefit. From a link to an informative article to a special recipe, being resourceful for your followers/friends is a helpful way to utilize your social media. Your friends may not say it, but they appreciate information like that.

Be encouraging– You’ll never know what a daily motivational quote or your positive status updates can do for a person feeling discouraged. Your motivating post might be the match to light their fire.

Share events– For some odd reason, promotion teams  sucks when it comes to promoting upcoming concerts/shows/plays/etc. and has for the last few years. Someone who could be a fan of an artist will appreciate your generous sharing of website links for tickets. The last three concerts I attended I found out through social media.

Network- What’s social networking when you don’t network? When it comes to socializing on social media, there’s nothing better than connecting with like-minded people. This will also help you gain more attraction for your business or brand.

Promote your brand/business– Promoting your brand/business on social media will really boost its popularity. Because social media gives you broader access to social media users all over the world, you’ll have a greater chance at profiting.

 

Stay in touch with family & friends– Social media is great, especially for staying connected with family and friends, particularly those who are out-of-town.

 

Create a forum/Group with a meaningful purpose– A positive public forum that is dedicated to having discussions on topics involving awareness, solutions, bettering communication, and bridging the gap is a great way to socialize.

 

Stay interactive– From experience with my social media, I can tell you that no one likes a “wallflower”. Someone can tell when you’re not active when they view your conversations on your profile or lack thereof. If your social media profile shows your last status update/picture/tweet was posted months ago or all we see are game updates, then maybe you don’t need a “friend list”.  Otherwise, be interactive. Let your friends/followers know that you’re there to socialize and network and not just taking up space on their list.

 

 

 

Singer/actress, Letoya Luckett, is back on the music scene with brand new music and a brand new look to match!

The former member of Destiny Child, who rocked a shoulder-length wrap with a bang for many years, is now rocking a cute pixie cut and showing it off in her newest visual.

“Bak 2 Life” is the latest single from the forthcoming album,  ‘Until Then’. The Michael Vaughn Hernandez-directed visual to Luckett’s hot new single is an 8-minute movie that tells the story of a couple at odds. In one scene, Letoya’s character meets Cynthia, her man’s “best friend”, for the first time. The meeting turns into an uneasy moment for Letoya, as she watches the two inappropriately embrace. The plot thickens when Letoya suspects that her man is a little too friendly with his female best friend. The video ends with a heated argument between LeToya and her man, resulting in her leaving the relationship.

The scene with the girlfriend meeting the best friend has circulated throughout the internet, having fans asking themselves what they would do if they were in that situation.  The treatment conceptualized behind this thought-provoking visual provides a cautionary tale for those who are dealing with someone who has a best friend of the opposite sex.

Press play below!

What would YOU do if you were Letoya’s character?

A popular Youtuber, Landon Moss, is touching souls all over the internet with his Sergio Valencia-directed video titled ‘Cherish Every Moment’.

It took me a moment to catch on at the end until I realized the unexpected.

Just like real life…we come across situations unexpected. That’s why it’s important to cherish every moment with the people you love. Don’t take anything and anyone for granted, because one day, an unexpected situation may take place and change everything….forever!

%d bloggers like this: