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Are We Ready For Fergie’s Imminent Comeback?

Music
Photo by Neilson Barnard / Getty Images

Considering Fergie in Iggy Azalea’s wake

Fergie released "London Bridge" nearly a decade ago (its official 10-year anniversary is Monday, July 18). Since then, our collective culture has gotten more, well, woke. Some might even consider it overly sensitive. Whichever way you look at it, though, many things that flew in 2006 would not fly today. And with Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson's comeback in full swing, the question of how ready we are is ringing louder. Even though the message behind her new single "M.I.L.F. $" is a solid one, the post-Iggy Azalea world wonders how questionable its delivery is. 

"M.I.L.F. $," like a sizeable portion of Fergie's music, is a sing-song rap track complete with a spelling verse. Its concept is simple: Becoming a mother does not take away a woman's sexiness. Rather, it amplifies it to a new echelon of sexy—one akin to Beyoncé's BEYONCÉ. She rebrands "M.I.L.F." as "Mom(s) I'd Like to Follow," spinning the misogynistic acronym into a positive one. Of course, innuendo is peppered throughout, but what's a pop song without some bit of tongue planted firmly in its cheek? It's a track whose fame was planted by the viral punch of its music video. The day it was released, it racked up millions of views in 24 hours, inspiring many "yes!" moments in social media posts. The secret to its immense success isn't just the song, though; it's who Fergie enlisted to be in the video. Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen, Devon Aoki, Amber Valletta, Alessandra Ambrosio, Ciara, and more high-profile mothers parade their M.I.L.F. money around the hyper-stylized visuals. Fergie's M.I.L.F. squad rivals other Hollywood squads. However contagious their confidence (and, subsequently, the song) is, it exists within a gray area.

In 2016, the intersectionality between race and performance is more apparent than it was a decade ago. Fergie was a quasi-early adopter of the "blaccent." It was not (and still isn't) as overt as Iggy Azalea's, but because of the backlash Azalea received for her performance style, our ears have become more acutely aware of all things cultural appropriation. Unlike Azalea, who only received more backlash when she tried to defend her accent and presence within the hip-hop community, Fergie has acknowledged her outsiderness. "I'm not claiming to be a battle MC," she told Rolling Stone in 2006. She said she pays homage to the women she looks up to, "like Roxanne Shanté, Monie Love, Salt-n-Pepa, [and] J.J. Fad." Fergie continued to say she's always been an outsider looking in, viewing the scenes in South Central and East L.A. as "just interesting and sexy." The whole seeing and trying to emulate a culture but not living it is the heart of cultural appropriation. The question now becomes does it matter who and, more importantly, how the information is being conveyed? Her bops—"Glamorous," "London Bridge," and "Fergalicious"—still bop, but can we ignore the package Fergie's newfound empowering message comes in? We'll see when when Double Duchess drops.

Screenshot via Youtube

While the song should serve as a reminder to your exes

Just a day after dropping new single "Nunya," featuring Dom Kennedy, Kehlani has released the winter-wonderland visuals to go along with. The singer, NYLON November cover star, and mother-to-be rocks some of the best winter 'fits I've seen in a while, including a glorious puffer jacket that could double as a down comforter that I absolutely need in my life right now.

Kehlani is clearly living her best life up in some snow-filled forest hideaway, vibing on the beach at sunset and sipping on something bubbly as she coolly reminds nosy exes that who she's with is "nunya business." There's not much of a story line (unlike her recent "Nights Like This" video); the main takeaway is that Kehlani is busy dancing through a forest, missing no one and chilling amongst people who are clearly not the subjects of the song.

Kehlani is only two short months away from bringing baby Adeya into the world, who she thanked for helping her get through the video process. "Shot that 7 months pregnant in da snow..." Kehlani wrote on Twitter, adding, "thank u baby for da motivation, mommy was FROZE."

Even from the womb, Adeya has been hustling hard alongside her momma. Twitter user @ODtheMC pointed out that this is already her second music video appearance, and she's not even been born.

Get some mulled wine ready and escape into Kehlani's winter getaway, below. Stay tuned for her forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait, out on February 22.

Kehlani - Nunya (feat. Dom Kennedy) [Official Music Video] www.youtube.com

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Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez / Getty Images.

As in Black Panther Political Party leader

It's been a running joke that the Black parents/grandparents of millennials were really confused about all of the Black Panther hoopla ahead of its 2018 release. Many of them were anticipating a movie about members of the Black Panther Political Party and didn't know who the hell T'Challa was. Well, those people are about to have their moment, and we're about to have another one.

Variety is reporting that Fred Hampton, the Black Panther leader at the center of the upcoming biopic Jesus Was My Homeboy, could be played by none other than Daniel Kaluuya. Apparently, he is in negotiations for the role. And he's not the only Black Panther alum in the mix. The Warner Bros. project is being produced by Black Panther director, Ryan Coogler. The same article reports that the forever swoon-worthy Lakeith Stanfield—who appeared with Kaluuya in Jordan Peele's Get Out—is also in negotiations, to play William O'Neal, an FBI informant who infiltrated the Black Panther Party.

Coogler and Charles King are putting together a dream cast to tell a difficult story. Hampton was killed by the Chicago Police Department, while his pregnant girlfriend lay next to him, thanks in part to information they received from O'Neal. Whenever it's out, I strongly recommend having Black Panther queued up as a palate cleanser.

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