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This Afro-Latina’s Album Is For The Brown Girl’s Intersectional Feminist Movement

Nitty Scott’s latest album, “Creature!,” is a love letter to Afro-Latinas.

In the 13-track LP, the part-Puerto Rican, part-African American rapper takes listeners on the journey of “Negrita in Wonderland,” a character who falls into a rabbit hole and finds herself in pre-colonized Puerto Rico. There, among the sounds of ocean waves crashing and coquís, the island’s native frog, singing, she confronts her indigenous origins, taking her on a path to decolonization.

It’s a voyage Nitty, the woman, is embarking on herself.

“This is an introduction to my journey. I’m giving a dope story to help share the narrative of the album, but for myself, it’s an ongoing process with a lot of healing involved, a lot of unlearning and rejecting things that have been imposed on us,” the 26-year-old New York-based rapper told mitú.

She says it’s also a space for others, especially Afro-Latinas, to explore along with her.

“I wanted to create a space where we belong, and also resolve some of my own complexities with identity. I wanted to address them and confront them, and my art was the best way to do that,” she said.

Like so many Afro-Latinas, Nitty was raised feeling neither black nor Latina enough. La negrita de la casa, she often heard anti-black sentiments among her Puerto Rican family. At the same time, growing up in Orlando, Fla., a city with an abundant Puerto Rican, Dominican and Colombian population, she sometimes felt inadequate for not speaking Spanish fluently.

It’s a tension she discusses on the album.

“Growing up, I was too black for the Ricans, not black enough for the blacks. Too ill for the ‘burbs, but I don’t come from the trap. I was born in the midwest, raised in the south, took it to the jungle and I made it through the drought,” she raps on “In the Water.”

The insecurity and anxiety Nitty experienced around racial identity isn’t one she believes she would have struggled with on her own. Rather, it’s the result of living in a society where a limiting black-white binary erased her mixed-race and bicultural narrative and othered both her experiences and body in a way that made her feel less human, a being no one could really explain, a “creature.”

“It’s not so much about my own acceptance or self-love, but internalizing how society responds to my existence,” she told us. “I never inherently had an issue with who I am. I loved being black and Puerto Rican. It was more about how I was being perceived, and noticing that my intersection was actually non-existent or exotic to some people.”

Throughout “Creature!,” Nitty pushes back on the way her brown skin, coiled hair and almond-shaped eyes have been exotified.

“I’m plenty blended, but don’t call me exotical. Like I was half-black and half-beautiful,” she raps in “For Sarah Baartman.”

In the line, she objects lovers, relatives and even fans who exalt her for a blackness that is foreign, one that is only deemed beautiful because it is fused with the tropics. She calls out the anti-blackness steeped in this exotification and refuses to be an alien object for the world to gawk at. The song itself references Sarah Baartman, an African woman who was taken from her land in the 19th century and exhibited as a freak show attraction across Europe because of her large derrière.

Nitty, who entered the rap game in 2010, has long used hip-hop to navigate aspects of her identity, from sexual violence survivor to mental health advocate to bruja. “Creature!,” while sonically different from her past projects, continues in this theme of music as a vehicle for negotiating identity. In the album, Nitty touches on blackness and indigeneity, bisexuality and rebellious womanhood – making room for herself in the in-between of society’s many restricting binaries.

“They made me a box and I busted out. Mad that I never really fit the plan and represent a combination they don’t want to understand,” she raps in “Mango Nectar.”

With songs tackling police violence (“Don’t Shoot”), sexual liberation (“Pxssy Powah”) and decolonization (“Mango Nectar”), Nitty delivers the album for the brown girl’s intersectional feminist movement – and she does so brilliantly and energetically. The artist doesn’t trade club rhythms for conscious writing. She proves the two can co-exist. With beats that can bump at the late-night turn-up spot, she reminds listeners that to be woke is to be lit. And she sends her message in a way that bigs up, not belittles, her listeners. It’s a conversation between friends learning and growing together, rather than a preachy emcee or movement leader. Doing so allows her to succeed in her difficult mission: creating music that is as equally dope as it is deliberate and aware.

“I am a libra, so I am the queen of balance. Everything in my life is about balance and harmony, including my presence in hip-hop,” she said. “… We don’t always have to be the extremes: ‘I’m so ignorant and don’t care about anything’ or ‘I care too much and judge you and can’t enjoy myself.’ I think I’ve found the happy medium.”

Nitty, who describes the album as a mixed girl’s liberation, hopes that black and brown women, many of whom also existing in that uncomfortable in-between space she centers throughout the project, feel represented in her songs.

“I want you to hear yourself and see yourself in this,” she said.

“Creature!” is out now. Listen and purchase the album here.


READ: From Foster Care To Fashion Model This Afro-Latina Hip-Hop Artist Is Inspiring Us With Her Gut-Wrenching Story

Let us know which is your favorite song on the album in the comments!

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

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Video Dug Up From Cardi B’s Past Shows Her Saying She Used To Drug And Rob Men

Stay grateful you did not grow up in the era of Snapchat/ Instagram/ Facebook kids because you can delete but your recorded actions can still come back to bite. Cardi B knows the story. While the Afro-Latina queen of Trap isn’ making any apologies, the latest video to be dug up from her past is requiring her to give some answers.

Video of the singer, recalling a time in her life in which she felt forced to drug and rob men while seducing them has resurfaced.

Over the weekend, video of the “Money” rapper recalling how she used to drug and rob men resurfaced.

The video, which was recorded during an Instagram live broadcast, sees Cardi as she goes on a tearful verbal tirade about her past. This after, someone apparently questioned her success and accused her of not “putting in no fucking work.”

“I had to go ‘oh yeah, you wanna fuck me? Yeah yeah yeah let’s go to this hotel.’ And then I’d drug [expletivie] up and I’d rob them. That’s what I used to do.”

Users online were quick to comment.

“The fact that cardi b admitted to drugging and robbing men she would take back to a hotel for sex blows my mind,” wrote Twitter user @itsangelaa. “That’s not ‘keeping it real.’ that’s a crime.”

“I wonder what woulda happened if it were the other way round,” @BTSisthecauseo5 commented.

At the onset of the backlash, the rapper seemed to take the comments rather lightly.

The following day she also tweeted “IM THAT BITCH THEY LOVE TO HATE, IM THAT BITCH THEY HATE TO LOVE and I love it.”

On Tuesday, however, after users on Instagram and Twitter continued to simmer, she was forced to issue comment.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bve_d3sFet7/

In a post to her Instagram, the rapper responded to the comments about the video by saying: “I’m a part of a hip hop culture where you can talk about where you come from talk about the wrong things you had to do to get where you are.”


Read:After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

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Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

The year 2017 marks a time of major multilingual and multicultural musical collaborations. With Luis Fonsi’s remix of “Despacito,” featuring Daddy Yankee and Justin Bieber, climbing to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart for 16 weeks, and J Balvin and Willy William’s remix for “Mi Gente,” featuring Beyoncé, making it to the No. 3 spot, the western music market is opening up to music in Spanish. But these aren’t the only collaborations bridging different cultures and genres. In the era of globalization, K-pop, short for Korean pop music, is an international phenomenon, and the genre is beginning to meld its addictive melodies with urban Latin pop. Evidence: K-pop boy band Super Junior’s recent collaboration with Leslie Grace.

Debuting in 2005, the fellas of Super Junior are the kings of Hallyu — the Korean wave. At their height, 15 men donned the Super Junior title, but, due to departures, mandatory military service and other issues, only Siwon, Donghae, Eunhyuk, Shindong, Yesung, Heechul and Leeteuk are currently active. As a group, the men have led a revolution in the industry, spurring forward electro-pop and R&B-influenced dance tracks.

(Courtesy of Leslie Grace)

And among K-pop, they also have one of the strongest fan bases in Latin America. The group has long captivated these audiences with hits like “Sorry Sorry,” “Mr. Simple” and “Mamacita,” and Super Junior has made sure to visit their Latin American E.L.F — what they call their fans — on three separate tours since 2013, holding arena shows in Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Peru. It must be noted that the group has yet to hold a single solo show in the U.S.

For many years, Super Junior and SM Entertainment, their label, had seen the excitement from their supporters in Latin America and wanted to show their gratitude by releasing a song partly sung in Spanish. In March, the group dropped “Lo Siento,” a tune about finding romance on the dance floor, featuring Dominican-American singer Leslie Grace and the Latino production duo Play-N-Skillz as part of the extended version of their eighth album, Replay.  

“The song with Super Junior and Play-N-Skillz came out of nowhere. None of us really knew each other,” Leslie Grace, who was recommended to the K-pop group by the Argentine-Venezuelan sibling duo Play-N-Skillz, told FIERCE. “The beauty of it was [having the opportunity of] discovering something that’s been happening hugely in its own right in a different side of the world, and discovering it for the first time and saying, ‘Man, I wanna be a part of that. I don’t know anything about it up until this point, but I really want to be a part of that.’”

While it’s commonplace for K-pop groups to release records in Japanese or Mandarin in order to cater to Asian music markets, or English one-offs for international fans, no act had ventured into singing in Spanish or acknowledged their Latin American fans with a song quite like Super Junior.

“Lo Siento” is a true K-pop and urban Latin-pop mashup. It plays up the typical Spanish guitar and blends a familiar Latin flair with the energy and the mix of pop, dance and hip-hop that K-pop is known for. The music video, shot in South Korea, even features the “Díganle” singer dancing along with the guys of Super Junior.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bhf174fBlko/?hl=en&taken-by=lesliegrace

The trilingual track debuted at No. 13 on Billboard’s Latin digital sales chart, the first K-pop entry ever. A bit over two weeks after the music video dropped, “Lo Siento” surpassed 20 million views, which was three times more than what their last Korean single, “Black Suit,” accumulated.

While “Lo Siento” isn’t the first time K-pop artists have teamed up with Latin ones nor used Latin genres in their music, it is the first instance that we can actually call a real collaboration. In 2016, for instance, Ricky Martin released a version of his hit “Vente Pa’ Ca” featuring Wendy from K-pop girl group Red Velvet, though she sang in English, and Mexican boy band CD9 released “Get Dumb” with Korean girl group Crayon Pop. In both cases, the artists simply exchanged vocals, put them together and released the song with little fanfare. With “Lo Siento,” however, not only did Leslie fly to Korea to be in the music video, but Super Junior invited her and Play-N-Skillz on their Latin American tour last month.

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Stopping in Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Mexico City, Leslie, Play-N-Skillz and Super Junior played before a total of 55,000 fans. The stars blew up the stage with “Lo Siento,” but both Play-N-Skillz and Leslie also had the chance to perform their own sets during the show.

“It never stops being a surprise, with my most recent released single ‘Duro y Suave,’ for [the crowd] to sing it back to me,” the 23-year-old singer, who came to fame after the release of her bachata remake of The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby” in 2013, told us. “I know it’s Super Junior’s crowd. I know that their fans are so accepting and loving, and I knew that they would be attentive during the show, but you don’t expect everyone to connect, especially a crowd that’s so different, to your music when you’re the special guest.”

Leslie is currently finishing her new album, which she says will drop by the end of the year. She’s also very excited about potentially finishing another leg of the tour with Super Junior. “They’re trying to see if we can do some more shows in Latin America, in Central America, go to the countries we didn’t get to go to in South America, like Colombia [and] Brazil,” she said.

Just like with “Despacito” and “Mi Gente,” “Lo Siento” is bringing together different cultures, languages and even fandoms from various parts of the world that don’t get to interact as much through music in a compact, smooth earworm.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BiId1-5Bv_d/

“For us to come together just fully based off of mutual artistic respect, and for something like this to happen, and now everybody really enjoying it despite the cultural differences, that to me was the biggest takeaway and the biggest blessing to now be a part of Super Junior’s story and them a huge part of mine,” Leslie said.  

During an interview in Times Square, the dominicana gave the boys a quick dance lesson — and it was all caught on camera.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BkWSwsvhpta/?taken-by=lesliegrace

“Bridging cultures one dance step at a time! First Super Junior with me and ‘Group Dance’ in their land South Korea, and now me with them and ‘Bachata’ in my home NYC,” Grace, 23, captioned a video of the dance sesh she posted on Instagram. “Proud to be your instructor, @eunhyukee44 hahaha! You are officially baptized the best bachatero out of Korea by the princess of bachata — BOOM!”

Catch the whole thing above!

Read: Leslie Grace And Super Junior’s “Lo Siento” Is The Hit All Latinx K-Pop Fans Have Been Waiting For

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