Sunday series: reflection on US, Black people and our relationship with ourselves and unsolicited relationships with others (unsolicited because “slavery was 400 years ago, get over it” reflexes from everyone around us – except us).
The Joe Budden Network is the new “INC” in the block! Founded on the strength of his partnership with Revolt in 2018, its most successful venture was the “JBP: Joe Budden Podcast”. Joe the podcaster was labelled, with shades, as the old rapper’s outlet from his post music industry glorious days. Little did we know, Noreaga with “Drink Champs“, also saw in this online show an opportunity to share a lot of their legendary-self and a means to broadcast real conversations with current and future hip hop legends with their viewers. The success of both “Drink Champs” from the “Superthug” retired extraordinaire and “Joe Budden Podcast” from the “Pump it Up” discarded champion has inspired more << no longer wannabe under 360 contracts >> rappers and singers. Many public figures view now their opportunity to better exploit their massive following by cutting the middle men to reach “ambassadors” and advertising checks through their newly formed podcasts.
The first lady-show signed by new boss Joe Budden, “See the Thing Is“, was launched 16 weekly episodes ago ( on the 6th of October 2020 and counted 241k views) with Bridget Kelly, Mandii B and Olivia Dope. A rumour about the idea of this show being stolen from another Black woman has not caught up with the larger public, despite an interview with another popular online Black network. The ladies were very entertaining and benefited from random visits from their boss to support their following. Although, it is true that no separate social media accounts were promoted for their show from the official Joe Budden‘s social media accounts. Only their show. No mention or warming up of discussions from the boss on his podcast. Their ideas or talking points were not bouncing from each others podcasts, separated existence.
This is the backstory to the most cringy episode, number 16, we were allowed to watch. The industry usually keeps their gossips and anguish behind closed doors. The ladies were not obligated to share with us their emotions, putting themselves in a vulnerable position to be called “sore loser” against a marketing Swiss knife like Karen Civil. The culminating point of awkward was reached when their exchange with Joe Budden, who cracked an innocent “grow a pair” joke about their outfits and desire to look hot rather than comfortable in their own podcast, was met with a “Me Too” rebuttal from Mandii. She went on a rant raising gradually her voice on behalf of women who are expected to dress “scantily” to grab or keep the attention of their audience. I got their boss’ point. I also felt the hurt they were operating from. The Joe Budden Network would be stagnant if it was not adding more talents into their roster. So, rooting for Joe here! Regroup and rethink, Ladies, then come back with a more aggressive approach to surviving Karen. You will be fine. Both shows are interesting to watch. Both are also lacking the peps that competition will finally compensate for.
“See The Thing Is” has found its audience through each Lady’s reputation and following. The subjects discussed were not hungry enough or concerned with current trends, which is the main tool used by their boss on his podcast.
“Girl I Guess” is a good show giving you more insight into the personality of Karen Civil. The show debuted on the 21st day of January in the 21st century with 66k views three days later. I did not know who they were but I quickly found her ability to market herself in “a giphy” on social media, granted she used to do it for others in the industry. Her friendship with Ming Lee is real. But has she found the right person to bounce back her talking points with? Ming Lee, respectfully, was not grabbing too many deep speeches from Karen to help her finish her intelligent conversations. How many episodes before the audience realise that their friendship will not be enough to get the conversations going? Only guests, which Karen has by the thousands in her contact list, will save the debates!
I, for now, am betting on “See The Thing Is“. Even if the competition could be brought somewhere else than the Joe Budden Network to gain traction from being the first disgruntled staff leaving “this network respectfully” … Grab your popcorn, it’s about to get passive aggressive CLASSY in this building!
1) Family & Competition
Little princess started off as a daddy girl, a mom and dad’s little precious or a neglected child by one or both parents. Her psyche is forever affected by the events and act of care that were present or absent in her childhood. Her relationship with her younger self, and the “mistakes” that built her strength to mark her existence amongst others will define how BlackZilla competes against other Black girl/women.
This is where the “Daddy issues” jab comes into play to describe a woman’s desire to be part or at the centre of the family table. Cousins are either her first extended brothers and sisters or her first enemies. Many Black families do not value the importance of members outside of those they grow up with, under the same roof.
Needing help or support is often the time to solidify the beefs between cousins who never showed up when one did not have and the other did have. It is rare to hear about wealth being built beyond immediate siblings. The Wayans in America are the only example that comes to mind when it comes to a whole family doing business with each other. Musicians in the Caribbean provide for their family members, first, when successful and touring the world. In Politics, but then it is a questionable move, extended family support each other. It does lead to an unfair world of “who you know” to have access to positions, jobs and perks from government’s offices. Black women do come to a stage (I call it without sarcasm: the Back to Africa stage) where they grow up to see the value of knowing their ancestries and gathering the family around a table. It happens from one person’s riches: they feel generous from a place of success. In struggle, black family members do not apply the community solutions practiced by others like Chinese, Indians … Missing the opportunity to not even have to learn the English language when living within the diaspora. The luxury to not be exposed to too much external aggression!
2) Dating & Competition
In dating, Black women are ruthless! They do have unfair competition from every other race for the Black man. Unfair, because throwing the Black family under the bus is the legacy of many interracial couples. Don’t believe it? Show me their parties and gathering pictures! No conflicts are being documented for now of Black women trying to hang on to any other races. These interracial relationships are not a threat to anyone, not even to themselves, just a personal choice. Who begged “Arthur” to come back? A lawsuit to keep his money and kids are sufficient. In the Caribbean, Black women feel no obligation to respect other women’s relationship. Not even under the influence of religions. Something about attending on a regular basis places of worship gives them that glow, that clarity and balance which need the man to complement it all. Married men included!
The competition for a man cannot be explained with words of sanity. Once in love, you cannot talk to a Black woman. Only this man can stop her or encourage her to move on. It gets ugly. It has claimed a lot of minds, sanities and livelihood in the name of “the love of my life”: the love of your life might be with his wife, is barely a joke. Black women are the one demographic who still needs to find their balance between the dreams they were sold with “independent women” and getting comfortable with happiness. Quiet happiness, with no drama, just boring family moments (like Grandma).
3) Business & Competition
When operating in the corporate world, Black women are adopting different personalities: the office one and the family one. Not many have the luxury to bring their dominant side into their workplace. Yes Sir, No Ma’am. Competing with other co-workers in need of that promotion is where the line is drawn. Not necessarily a hostile environment! Not intimidating others is the card that would be played against them if they do indulge in bringing their whole to their place of work. The innocent “roughness” we grew up with within our family is only appreciated in hip hop songs and with catchy beats. Being thrown under the bus as ruthless or assimilated (with the whitest voice) is what Oprah Winfrey or Kamala Harris experience when very successful on a higher level.
The decisions that are made cannot be explained to the Black community expecting the Black women to save the rest of the community through taking the heat, Donald Trump’s style. Being disconnected with the rest of the Black community is the next stage available to Black women in business: how can you not become someone ‘s bad guy when operating on a higher level? Networking and reaching out to newcomers have been the way to address these image issues. Unfortunately, like Karen Civil, these successful Black women feel like “gatekeepers” when doing it rather than coming from a place of honest exchanges with their grassroot skin folk.
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BY: Sylvaine FRANCIS
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