for underdogs who aren't having any luck / when the GAG is your dream is enuf: how to get into the entertainment industry + LAND THAT dream internship/entry level job/gig or freelance

Many of my friends and peers who are also media/communication students ask me how I get all these hook-ups to meet some of the biggest celebrities and industry players. (first of all, I don't take it for granted). They also ask how I score all these opportunities for internships, freelance gigs and everything in-between. So I want to share some tips with you. People will always say it's "who you know, it's who you know" the gag is thatย there are a million ways to get to success.

Lessons I've learned so far from Insecure...

Like many other black millennials, I am a big fan of the HBO series Insecure. I would honestly have to say it's one of the most relatable television shows to come out in Black Hollywood in years. And it's more game-changing given that Issa plays a black girl who is socially awkward. Many times on television, a black girl (especially those of darker skin tones) are releagted to the role of a sassy chick or the best friend of a white girl. (*whispers* I know a bunch of wypipoย who apparently watch the show as well) But I appreciate, Issa & Michaela Coel (of Chewing Gum) to have characters where black people can be weird, awkward or nerdy. Hopefully, in the future, there's a guy answer to Insecure or Chewing Gum that will be just as cringe-worthy to watch. However, in the meantime, let's talk about last night's episode (since it's 2AM on the east coast right now). Here are some lessons from the things I took away from both the third episode of season 3 and just the whole series period so far...

let's talk black people, we need to stop forcing religion down each others throats (or at least me)

If you were to ask me what my religion, I would tell you that I am Christian. What denomination specifically, baptist. However, itโ€™s not because that what I indeed identify as and live my life, it is more so the fact that Christianity is my religious identity default because of the fact that religion -- Christianity since weโ€™re on the topic of race -- is embedded in the DNA of African-American history, tradition and culture that itโ€™s so hard to get away from as it still carries on to this day. Why? Blame it on the colonialism and American slavery.

if youโ€™re reading this, it was writtenโ€‹ & published too late: so about lilโ€™ mamaโ€™s "shoe game"โ€ฆ

When an acquaintance within the music industry extended an invitation for me to attend Lilโ€™ Mamaโ€™s music release party, my first thought running through my head was โ€œLilโ€™ Mama is still making musicโ€? Keep in mind, Iโ€™m 22 years old, and the peak of Lilโ€™ Mamaโ€™s career was when I was in my last year of elementary school about to enter junior high school back when Myspace was the wave. Moreover, if she was still making music and planning to release it, she (or her team) were not doing an excellent job of promoting it heavily for audiences and tastemakers are actually to be in the loop.

graduate school?: more torn than letoya in 2006

Now I look at my degree audit, and I see I'm 87% finished with my bachelors. As my undergraduate career will soon come to a close, I feel torn between the idea and challenge of furthering my education in graduate school and freedom of full-fledged adulthood and jumping into my career field. There is one side of me telling me to be finished with school forever, but the other hand is telling me saying challenge myself and obtain a masters. (It is a definite hell no for a Ph.D., I'll let you know that)

listening to hip-hop history: mary j. blige - whatโ€™s the 411 (1992)

What's the 411? made the world of R&B and hip-hop become music and cultural allies, and it became set the blueprint for contemporary R&B. It also fed into the influence that hip-hop was beginning to have on R&B. The same way rappers Da Brat and MC Lyte had a tomboy approach to their music and image is what artists like Mary J. Blige and TLC took on at the beginning of their careers. The blockbuster success of Mary J. Blige would be the catalyst for female artists wanting to join the hip-hop soul wave throughout the mid to late โ€™90s either in the middle of their career (Mariah Carey) or from the jump (Faith Evans, Brandy, Monica, Aaliyah, Jennifer Lopez).

danity kane's 'dollhouse' turns 10: now this is how you make a pop album

Many successfully (and modest successful) girl group of the 1990s and early 2000s, became non existent in pop/R&B music with Destinyโ€™s Child being the one to last until their eventual split in 2005. After that, it was DK and the Pussycat Dolls who filled the void, keeping girl groups from becoming extinct in the latter half of the 2000s with a string of hit albums, singles and tours. However, Danity Kane had a one up on PCD. Audiences got to know the individual members of Danity Kane thanks their lives profiled in MTB4 and the five-piece group also made history. Their second album Welcome to the Dollhouse was released 10 years ago Mar 18. 2008 and hit No 1., making them the first and only female-group to have their first two albums debut at No. 1.