You know, Lil Nas X is one of those artists that is beyond his time. When he first arrived on the scene, rocking his pink little cowboy hat, and kicking it with Billy Ray Cyrus, we never knew he would kick up as much dust as he has in the name of just being yourself , no matter how unpopular. He pushes the bar further than the average comfort level, and he doesn't allow anyone to bully him or force him back into being ashamed of who he is: a young, Black, queer , man.
And honestly, he has always oozed of true Black boy joy, (which many of you aren't ready for that conversation, but we're going to have it anyway).
It all started when the rapper responded to a video from Boosie's latest appearance on The Breakfast Club . Boosie came out in defense of DaBaby after his controversial remarks at Rolling Loud in Miami . Boosie told his followers:
"Lil Nas X said he wanna perform naked on stage for charity. You don't f– with him like you f– with DaBaby. Be even-sided. You don't feel that's disrespect? Going dance naked. You don't think that's disrespect in front of boys who tryna be straight? It's totally disrespect."
Charlamagne tha God challenged Boosie, asking him directly what he meant by "people tryin' to be straight," to which Boosie asked, "If you got your kids watching TV, if you're trying to raise strong young Black men, would you be cool with your kids watching it?"
Charlamagne spoke up with the obvious that most rappers always seem to forget, that rap culture has historically had violent and "worse" images and lyrics for literally decades, and the rest goes down in uninformed and fragile masculinity history, as Boosie closes by saying that he needs to "speak up for straight people in the world."
Lil Nas X caught wind of the conversation and responded beautifully, simply saying:
the shit y’all say about me would drive me crazy if i didn’t already love myself— MONTERO 🦋 (@MONTERO 🦋) 1629743888.0
And from here I was just so internally grateful to see him respond this way. I mean, he always have clever, perfectly timed responses, but this one felt more genuine; more in line on a spiritual level.
It reminded me of the time he celebrated a win with his dad, who accepts him as is:
Or when he showed himself a little love:
When he introduced his debut album with a beautiful caption:
All while hoping his haters saw it:
When he happily danced around with a couple friends:
When he was well aware of the power of his words:
When Auntie Oprah made him smile ear-to-ear:
When he called out double standards (again and again and again):
And finally, when he shared some encouraging words to his followers:
all jokes aside, we get to control our own destiny, never let the world decide it for you. no matter how dark it ma… https://t.co/zYQI5Akw7s— MONTERO 🦋 (@MONTERO 🦋) 1617672643.0
Lil Nas X represents many things in entertainment, and you can say a multitude of things about his approach in getting his message across. But one thing you can never say, is that he doesn't show up as his full self, while also never letting any of the ridicule dim his light.
And the last time I checked, that's what we call #blackboyjoy.
Are you a member of our insiders squad? Join us in the
xoTribe Members Community
Featured image by Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for iHeartMedia
This post is in partnership with BET+.
is back for its second season, with even more sermons, songs, and serpents. The series picks up where it left off, with actress
as Rbel caught between the stripper pole and the pulpit. With the first lady of the church working desperately against her, Rbel must find a way to live her dreams and honor her friend while figuring out her faith in the process.
Season one served a collection plate of rivalry, deceit, and revenge –– among many other tribulations. Between the 28-year-old’s acting, conviction, and harmonious voice, here are a few reasons why season two of Kingdom Business is a must-watch.
If the Spirit Doesn’t Move You, Serayah’s Singing Voice Will
Rbel, formally known as Rebecca Belle, is a stripper whose life forcibly takes a turn after suffering a tragedy. Through her quest to find the truth, Rbel finds herself at odds with the head of a local church, First Kingdom’s Denita Jordan, played by the legendary Yolanda Adams . Rbel unknowingly emerges as what a faithful Christian embodies: a perfectly imperfect human who works every day to try their best while leaning on God. Although struggling with her faith, each ballad sung by Rbel can be felt, as the lyrics relate to personal struggles we all endure in different ways. Gospel songs hit differently when your life is in shambles, and chile, Serayah is singing new life into folks.
Serayah is a Formidable Opponent to The Yolanda Adams
As one of the best-selling gospel artists of all time, it’s no easy task to take on the role of a person on the opposing side of greatness. Serayah’s Rbel does an excellent job meeting Jordan at her level while shining through her solos. Throughout season one, Rbel emerges as a top streaming artist, an accomplishment that begets something of a holy war.
Serayah’s Acting Range is Engaging
As a former stripper trying to make a name for herself in the gospel industry, you can imagine the struggles that could come with it. Rbel goes through a range of emotions, all understandable and relatable. Despite several crises of faith, Serayah ensures Rbel delivers a humbling performance that makes the audience root for her redemption.
The Kingdom Business Soundtrack is Everything
Streaming now on Spotify , Tidal , and Apple Music , the Kingdom Business: Season 1 soundtrack is one you’d want to add to your playlist for high and low times. Aside from four soul-soothing songs from Serayah, the soundtrack also features singles from co-star/Hamilton’s Chaundre-Hall Broomfield, gospel artist Chandler Moore, and legend Yolanda Adams.
Serayah’s Rbel Makes You Root For Her
With First Kingdom beginning to crumble under the pressure of lies, infidelity, and deception, Rbel’s window to take that top spot seems wide open; however, the end of season one showed us the Spirit had other plans. Whether you believ e or not, Serayah’s Rbel makes you want to see her win. Who doesn’t love a good underdog with a laid 22” bust down? Whether she seeks Him or not, God is proving to be on Rbel’s side. But is it enough to turn everything around for her? Will Rbel lean on faith or fear?
With secrets coming to light, success within reach, and the devastating conclusion of season one, you don’t want to miss season two––especially with more guest collaborations. Kingdom Business returns to BET+ on Nov 2.
BET+ Original | Kingdom Business | S2 Official Trailer youtu.be
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image via Getty Images
Waiting For The Perfect Moment Is Holding You Back, This Author And Recovering Perfectionist Explains Why
If you’re reading this, you’re probably guilty of waiting for the perfect moment to do something, and that’s okay. We’ve all been there. We’ve all done it. No one’s shaming you, and there’s no need to be ashamed. In fact, this article may help you overcome some of your perfectionist traits or, at the very least, get them under control. Award-winning journalist and author L’Oreal Thompson Payton’s new book, Stop Waiting For Perfect , is a love letter to all the people out there who put pressure on themselves to always perform at a high level, procrastinate (yes, procrastination is a form of perfectionism. More about that later) or have fear of failure/ success. As a recovering perfectionist, L’Oreal dives into perfectionism and where it stems from, particularly for Black women. In our interview, she references the classic scene in Scandal with Olivia Pope and her dad, Eli Pope, where he reminds her that she has to be twice as good to get half of what they have. Iykyk. For a lot of Black people, that way of thinking has been ingrained in us since childhood, and it can be one of the beginnings of perfectionism within many of us.
“I remember vividly and also describe this scene in the book of when I was interviewing for a summer camp, and I had my portfolio, and I was wearing my Sunday best and practicing interview questions with my mom in the fifth grade, right? Like granted, it was an academic summer camp, but it was still this notion of we have to show up perfect,” she tells xoNecole. “We have to be the best in order to be valued and accepted in this society. And that's been passed down from generation to generation for Black people and especially Black women in America because we're getting it from both sides. So there's that expectation of perfection.”
The mother of one reached her breaking point after failing to continue her 685-day blue-dot streak on Peleton due to having a busy day with her daughter. Achieving the beloved blue dot was like receiving a gold star for her hard work, and it meant everything to her. So, once she lost it, she literally lost it, breaking down into tears. However, that vulnerable moment helped her to reexamine her life and inspired her to write Stop Waiting For Perfect . While writing the book, she had to face another perfectionist trait: procrastination. As a fellow journalist, I can relate. The term deadline junkie didn’t come from anywhere. L’Oreal explains how procrastination relates to perfectionism.
“I think there were seven different types of perfectionism I read about (you can take a quiz to see what type of perfectionist you are here ), and when I found out that procrastination was one of them because, I never thought of myself as a procrastinator. I would just sometimes wait until the last minute, right before the deadline,” she says. “So, I was like, okay, that's not that, but then when I started to think about okay, like, because when you're procrastinating, at least for me, and for a lot of perfectionists, it's like, well, when I sit down in front of this Google Doc like for all the writers out there, I have to know exactly what I'm going to say and I have to say it perfectly. There's no room for error. There's no room for experimentation, and what that does, though, is it prevents us from just putting words on paper.”
Photo courtesy of L'Oreal Thompson Payton
She continues her explanation by sharing a tweet that became her aha moment in her writing process. “There was a tweet that came across as I was writing the first draft of the book that said, ‘you're, or you can edit bad, but you can't edit enough,’ and that really unlocked for me like, okay, my job is to put words on a paper.”
In other words, waiting for the perfect moment is holding you back, but as I mentioned earlier, we are here to help. L’Oreal provides a few tips on letting go of perfectionism while still maintaining success in your life. you can set mini goals and have people you can trust hold you accountable. “If our dream is to launch the podcast in January 2024, what then can you do right now in September 2023, and then October and November, etc., to set yourself up for success because I think that a lot of times we go into it– it has to be perfect on the first one,” she explains.
“I have to come out the gate with this, you know, like masterpiece, and that is just unrealistic, and it's not even holding yourself to a high standard. It's holding yourself to an impossible standard and so giving yourself some grace along the way, allowing for experimentation to try something, and then pivoting when it doesn't work. But first, you have to put it out there, and finding people that you know and trust and who are going to support you along the way is really important.”
What’s on the other side of managing perfectionism? Freedom . Thanks to what she refers to as her “wake-up call,” she now prioritizes rest and no longer beats herself up for not meeting certain standards, and yes, that pertains to receiving a blue dot on Peleton.
“It's been a process and very much progress over perfection because there are moments where I slip, but forgiving myself and then trying again, I think, is like the whole point and purpose of it,” she says. And in the midst of unlearning these unhealthy habits, she’s having healthy conversations with her daughter about boundaries, self-love, and listening to her body.
Feature image courtesy of Chuck Olu-Alabi