Since the release of the recent August Alsina and Angela Yee interview, the internet has been ablaze with opinions of August, Jada, Will, marriage, relationships and everything in between.
The hour-long interview was conducted in support of his latest studio album, The Product III: stateofEMERGEncy. During the intimate conversation with Yee, the "NOLA" singer was asked about his rumored relationship with actress Jada Pinkett Smith, August spoke about his love and devotion to Jada, his love for their family, the blessing given by Will Smith and how walking away from the relationship was probably the hardest thing he will ever experience in this lifetime.
"I actually sat down with Will and had a conversation, due to her transformation from their marriage to life partnership that they've spoken on several times, and it, you know, not involving romanticism... He gave me his blessing. I totally gave myself to that relationship for years of my life, and I truly and really, really, deeply loved and have a ton of love for her."
August Alsina tells Angela Yee that he and Jada Pinkett Smith have been in a relationship and will Smith is aware of it pic.twitter.com/dxVZddQmew
— Pop News & Facts (@ThePopFacts) July 1, 2020
While people have speculated for years on the details of Will and Jada's marriage and whether or not they are in what most people would describe as an open marriage, they've been pretty elusive to whether or not they date other people. Though they have shared some pretty thought-provoking gems on their marriage. In a 2018 interview with Tidal, Will had this to say:
"We don't even say we're married anymore. We refer to ourselves as 'life partners,' where you get into that space where you realize you are literally with somebody for the rest of your life."
"There's no deal breakers. There's nothing she could do — ever. Nothing that would break our relationship. She has my support till death and it feels so good to get to that space where you're not complaining, and worrying, and demanding that a person be a certain thing."
Although Jada has since publicly denied the relationship, people have also been speculating about a Red Table Talk conversation between Jada, Will, her mother, and the couple's daughter, Willow, where Jada said:
"If you marry me, know this. We're going to be together. We're gonna be under the same roof. You might be on one end of the joker with somebody and I may be on another end with somebody else, but we're gonna be together."
I don't know August Alsina. I don't know Will Smith or Jada Pinkett Smith. I'm starting to know marriage, and I'm constantly learning and redefining love and what it means to, and for me.
After watching the August Alsina interview with Angela Yee and taking a trip to Twitter, I realized the thoughts I had after watching the interview were so far from what others, mostly single people, felt.
I read tweets basically saying Jada had taken advantage of August and she should have known better considering his mental state at the time. I saw things saying she should have had August sign an NDA and some saying August "does this every time" he has a song or an album coming out. While ultimately we are only hearing one side, and a very small portion of what he says, the alleged romance was a relationship that went on for years.
August Alsina was 21 when they met. He was impressionable, battling with mental health and was vulnerable. He was going through loss and pain. Needed a mother and comforter, Jada provided that and more. The power dynamics were never in his favour and he was clearly burnt.— Ugo (@UgoIkeakor) July 1, 2020
There's something about Jada. Tupac said she made him climax without sex. August Alsina is ready to die because loving Jada fulfilled him. WTF is Jada doing to these men??!😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/CCqqReXGU7— S.C (@sphesihle_cm) July 1, 2020
August Alsina just admitted that he fucked Jada Pinkett Smith WITH Will Smith’s complete blessing and is in love with her...is that who he wrote Kissin’ On My Tattoos for??? pic.twitter.com/3cGYys82P1— en•dee•yuh (@endeyuh) July 1, 2020
This August ,Jada and Will shit is seriously alot to take in 😯😭💔🚶 2020 just got to a whole new level #AugustAlsinapic.twitter.com/pqEkbYL2eF— Amogelang Mayvee (@AmogelangMayvee) July 1, 2020
Amongst the many opinions, mine included, of August and Jada's relationship, a few facts remain, Jada is married. August knew she was married. August is, and was single. August and Jada are both and were consenting adults. According to August, Will was not only aware of his and Jada's relationship, him and August sat down and talked about it, so what is the problem? I personally don't feel there is one in what August described as their non-romantic relationship. He loved her. He loved her so deeply he felt he gave all of himself to the connection and can die knowing he gave everything he had.
He loved her so deeply, despite them no longer still having the same form of a relationship as they once had, he still loves her.
How many single, married, dating people can say they have experienced a love like that? How many people can agree that they too have literally given their all in any form of a relationship? It's so rare to hear of people even speaking of a love so deep, and even more rare for most people to be able to comprehend what it means to fall so deeply in love with another person that you can die knowing you gave yourself to another person in any capacity.
While most of us will never know the ins and outs of Jada and August's alleged relationship, we can all aspire to experience a deep love for someone. People can disagree with a "lifestyle" or relationship that they have heard only snippets about, but the overall message remains, August had an earth-shattering love for another person. A love that transcended reason. A love that again, he can die knowing he gave.
And that, to me, is beautiful.
Featured image via Getty Images for BET
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Ashley Renee is a soul food enthusiast, sometimes vegetarian, writer and spoken word poet, who doesn't trust boxed macaroni or cats. keep up with her @ashleyreneepoet on Twitter & Instagram.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
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Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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Tracee Ellis Ross On Why She Declined The Idea Of Someone Else Running Her Hair Company
Actress and entrepreneur Tracee Ellis Ross recently revealed the driving force behind her desire to become the owner of her haircare brand, Pattern.
According to its site, Pattern is a haircare company that provides a wide range of products, from shampoos, conditioners, oils, creams, and many more to individuals with curls, coils, and tight hair textures. Although Pattern would launch in 2019, the idea for the company first came to Ross a decade before --in 2008, when her hit show Girlfriends wrapped-- following a brief encounter at a beauty supply store and many wanting to recreate her past looks.
At the time, those individuals couldn't achieve the exact results because limited natural hair products were offered to the public. That instance became a pivotal moment in the star's life because she spent eleven years experimenting with professionals to create products that best suit those within the natural hair community.
In a May conference with Fortune's MPW Next Gen, Ross opened up about the struggles she faced early on as an entrepreneur trying to get Pattern off the ground and why she declined the offer to have the company be run by someone else.
Tracee On Past Struggles And Why She Chose To Run Her Company
During the discussion, the 50-year-old revealed that she is Pattern's "majority owner" because the company's overall mission to cater to those in the natural hair community was built from her "experiential knowledge."
"I'm a majority owner of my company. [Other celebrities with brands] aren't the founders of the company. Often, they join a company that exists," she said. "The mission [at Pattern] is born out of my experience. It's born out of my own experiential knowledge."
Further in the interview, Ross would add that she avoided partnering with an expert for Pattern because she felt she had gained enough knowledge experimenting with products in her bathroom.
"I didn't want to partner with an expert or a 'professional' because I felt—like so many—I had become my own best expert in my bathroom because the beauty industry was not catering to us," she stated.
Despite refusing to have a partner within her company, Ross found creative ways to build it. It includes paying a chemist with her own money to bring her visions of various products to life, and sending those samples to retail stores, ultimately leading to partnerships.
The final piece that helped Ross during her journey was receiving advice from business partners on ways to improve the brand, one of which came from Ulta Beauty CEO and Footlocker CEO Mary Dillon.
The black-ish star claimed that Dillon helped her realize how she could use her celebrity status and journey to promote Pattern, which she did. Because of that, Patten has now become a favorable haircare brand among many.
Tracee On How She Plans To Use Her Company To Create Opportunities For Others
Toward the end of the discussion, Ross disclosed how she plans to use the power of being Pattern's CEO to help others.
The High Note star explained that being an owner of a company has given her access to be around other CEOs interested in what appears to be becoming more profitable, and with that, she wants to expand that access to other people.
"I know that I have access to sit at a table with a CEO in a way that perhaps another founder doesn't. And when I do that, I make sure that those conversations are not only centered around Pattern," she said. "They're centered around creating and expanding the access for all of us."
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Feature image by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for The Webby Awards