15 Years of Beyonce… and Counting!

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I’ll never forget watching BET and seeing a group of teenage girls singing, “You be saying no, no, no, no… when it’s really yes, yes, yes, yes, yes.” At the time I was 14 years old and had just started high school. My estrogen was high, my energy was high and I could identify with the four girls who reminded me of myself. They reminded me of my cousins as we created our own dance routines and learned all of the words to their music – on tapes… (smile)

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I’ve been a fan of Beyonce since I was 14 years old, so tonight I’m celebrating a 15 year fan-ship. I feel like I grew up with Beyonce and her songs have been the soundtrack of my life.

Dangerously In Love dropped my freshman year of college and “Crazy in Love” was my theme song as I had a new boyfriend and loved doing the “Uh oh” dance lol. It also captured my feeling of independence and control after all I was officially “grown.”

B Day dropped in 2006, the year I graduated from college. “Upgrade You” was my song of choice because I had my degree! I was confident and I knew that I was an asset to everyone I interacted with including my ex-husband who I was helping get through college.

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I am Sasha Fierce in 2008. “Diva” was definitely my favorite song on that album because I was hustling. I transitioned from working at a great school into working for the best school not only in the city but the country (Michelle Obama was just one of the famous alums), and I even made up my own alter-ego. D. Nikki 🙂 “Halo” would also describe the new guy in my life the following year and “If I Were a Boy” and “Irreplaceable” became  my favorite songs as I said goodbye to a bad relationship and marriage in 2008.

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I’ll never forget the moment Bey told the world she was pregnant in 2011 with “Love on Top” because I was pregnant too (R.I.P. to Biko, my baby girl who passed away when I was 5 months pregnant). I used to listen to “I Was Here” on repeat during my recovery after my loss and “Love on Top” still makes me remember the joyful 5 month connection I developed with my little girl inside my womb. During that time I also learned that she had a miscarriage which made me feel even more connected to the artist because that is a life altering experience. Blue Ivy is her miracle baby or as we call it in the fertility world “rainbow baby.” Her ray of sunshine after the storm of loss.

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This morning I downloaded Beyonce, an album that didn’t need any marketing and that wasn’t announced because, well, it didn’t have to be. Why spend (waste) money on a marketing budget, when you’ve built a media/entertainment empire? It also goes to show the power of branding and of people, because this album is about to obliterate whoever is sitting in that #1 spot. Beyonce’s music has always been released at pivotal moments in my life and this current album is no exception.

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King Bey, as she called herself one day inspires us to work hard. She pushes her body to its limits and she gives her performances everything she has. Seeing Beyonce is an experience… She still maintains some of the mystery and magic of her persona by not revealing everything about her personal life. She is very careful about what she releases and she’s not a camera-whore. She’s gracious and classy. She takes risks – I appreciated her support of then candidate Barack Obama and I love to see her pics of her vacays – jetskiing, bungee jumping, touring the pyramids. She reminds me to not only work hard but to play hard.

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I love seeing her connection with Jay! They are great business partners and they obviously inspire each other. I love how they collaborate on most of their projects and I love that they are continuing to grow and expand their empire.

So tonight is celebration of life of the last 15 years! I’m going with one of my best friends and we are going to scream the lyrics, dance and completely let loose. So world, I need you to “bring the beat in…” Make way for the Queen!!!

Why I’m A Fan of Being Mary Jane

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BET hasn’t been my network of choice since I was a teenager. I remember coming home every day to watch Video Soul – which eventually turned into 106 & Park. I was excited when BET picked up The Game after a campaign by the fans.

On July 2, 2013, my sister-in-law needed to do my hair so we needed a program that would last a couple of hours. We turned to “Being Mary Jane” with no expectations. It has been a long time since I met a character, particularly a black woman on television who was so real… that she scared me.

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The shows creator, Mara Brock Akil, has written on a lot of shows that I loved: South Central, The Jamie Foxx Show, Girlfriends and Moesha. While I identified with Girlfriends and I was Moesha, no seriously, I was the editor in chief of my school newspaper, dated a musician and rocked braids & eventually locks. Most of the shows only dealt with reality in bite size pieces. While watching those shows, most of the time I was laughing, with the perfectly executed punch lines. Being Mary Jane is very different.

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She is the matriarch of her family expected to provide financially to her siblings and her parents.

She has the career of her dreams.

She’s beautiful with a wardrobe that most women would kill for…

But her Facebook Profile isn’t quite perfect because her relationship status would say “it’s complicated.”

She finds herself in love with a married man, whose wife she confronts in a local boutique, and has choice words for her.

You wouldn’t think of her as desperate but she does something SHOCKING at the end of the first show… so shocking that it can’t even be mentioned here.

Mary Jane is complex… she’s not predictable. She’s funny but not in a “ha-ha” kind of way, more of a “oh no – I’ve been there” kind of way.

I will be hosting a weekly viewing party because we ALL have a little bit of Mary Jane in us, and frankly I’ve been waiting for a television show like this my entire life.

Tune in on January 7, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. central/10:00 p.m. eastern! Be sure to follow me at Twitter @blkgrlunmasked for my live tweets & to join our #BeingMaryJaneChicago party!

 

 

Twitter Viewing Party for #TheSoulMan Tomorrow Night!

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I’ve been waiting for the Season 2 Premiere of The Soul Man! Join me (@blkgrlunmasked) and @blackandmarried tomorrow night (Wed. 6/19 from 10:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. EST) for #TheSoulMan live Twitter viewing party. The Soul Man (TV Land) features Cedric the Entertainer (as R & B superstar turned minister Reverend Ballentine) and Niecy Nash (Lolli, the Reverend’s wife).

 Click here for all of the details for tomorrow night’s party hosted by Black & Married with Kids:  http://bmwk.me/11WHj1G. 

*This is a part of a compensated campaign with TV LandAll views & opinions expressed are my own.