1. The Comeback Queen

She’s very quick witted and that razor sharp tongue of hers could slice you in two, literally. Before you can even hit her with your blow, the gloves are off and she’s smacked you back so hard you’re stunned into a giggle of disbelief. You never worry about this friend because you know she can handle herself in any situation, because who needs fists when you can simply cut someone with words instead?

Pros: She’s perfect when planning a response in the group chat.
Cons: She can really accidentally hurt your feelings.

2. The Last Minute Lucy

You love her but you also cannot stand her because this friend leaves everything to the last possible minute. Whether it be cancelling plans, asking for a favour or buying you a present, this girl is just always late. Though never on time, she’s always somehow super organised and it baffles you to this day. She could be the perfect friend if she just learned to respect time… in fact; you’re not sure whether she can actually tell the time.

Pros: She’s never on time.
Cons: She’s never on time.

3. The Musical Genius

Miranda Sings / Via Tumblr

She knows the words to every song, mainsteam and/or underground, she’s always the first with concert tickets and is frequently heard saying “I heard that months ago”. This friend is the ultimate music lover and the one you go to when you need to know the name of that song you’ve been humming for weeks. Putting your music on shuffle can result in hundreds of (often bad) renditions of every song; from The Beatles to Bobby Shmurda this girl knows it all.

Pros: She can get those sold out Beyonce tickets.
Cons: She is the biggest music snob.

4. The Smart One

Ask her what the capital of Malaysia is and she’ll know it, alongside the population of Timbuktu and what yesterday’s homework was. She is your smart friend and a blessing from God to get you through those distressing years of education. Every assignment is done way before the deadline and her future is planned down to every tiny detail. When you’re crying in the library 45 minutes before your deadline, she’s your girl.

Pros: Helps motivate you with work.
Cons: Makes you feel so dumb.

5. The Not So Smart One

The Face / Via Tumblr

You often find your jaw dropping in shock at some of the unbelievably stupid things this girl comes out with. “No, Africa isn’t a country” you remind her in contempt. She’s fun and is a pretty smooth sailor when it comes to school but general knowledge is not her thing. Neither are books, or anything that has more than 50 words on a page.

Pros: Makes you feel so smart.
Cons: Says some stupid stuff.

6. The Yes Girl (FKA The Fun Friend)

Legal or illegal, this girl is up for anything and that’s why she’s secretly your favourite. Whether you fancy going to Nandos or going skydiving, your yes girl is down and that’s what makes her so fun to be around. You’ve most likely had some of the best times with her and she’s always in a good mood, which just adds to her likeability.

Pros: She’s always “up for it”.
Cons: Fearless (to the extent it’s actually bad, what if we get arrested?!)

7. The One Who’s Not Really Your Friend

More of an acquaintance, you’re not really quite sure how you and this girl ended up in the same circle. She’s like a friend of your friends and somehow you became friends too, but it’s cool because she’s cool and you like her. You get on perfectly well in social settings but sadly you know it will never develop further into anything else.

Pros: She’s cool.
Cons: You’ll probably grow apart in the next few years.

8. The ‘Twin’

This is the one; she’s exactly like you. You like the same things/people, you hate the same things/people, you and your ‘twin’ are like a match made in friendship heaven. You have the same sense of humour and your twin telepathy has you giggling at inside jokes in a room full of people without so much as moving your lips. You love her for the exact same reason you sometimes hate her, she’s you.

Pros: She’s exactly like you.
Cons: She’s exactly like you.

9. The Talkative One

She talks so much that she ends up saying things that you never wanted anyone to know. This friend is funny because she doesn’t know how to shut up, it’s just not funny when she’s talking about you. Accidentally spilling secrets is her forte but you know she means no harm she just has permanent verbal diarrhoea. Bless her.

Pros: She can always put a smile on her face with her clumsy mouth.
Cons: She talks too much.


He has the energy of the youth, the knowledge of the old and is an r’n’b singer who writes his own lyrics (!). New kid in the class OmarTKIF is a bag of contradictions (in a good way) who has dropped his 1st mixtape in the form of Heartbeak and Lyrics.

For a newbie he does a commendable job of stepping all over some of the modern R’n’B stereotypes we have come to love (even fancy a little a bit) and replacing them with a more authentic, modern, British vibe.

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Our unconventional love story starts with Paris (Intro)  which shows off his sultry, soulful and skilled sound and sets the mood for the rest of the mixtape. Strangely enough his rapping throughout the EP doesn’t feel out of place, in the midst of his love songs his rhymes resemble inner thoughts drumming the walls of an intimate poetry reading. The combination of what should be two uncomplimentary styles create the kind of stories that you would hear from The Weeknd or that PartyNextDoor.

His music almost immediately pays homage to the og R’n’B storytellers who made songs about love that weren’t cheesy. Listening to Your Soul and Jazzy Piano, the church influence in his voice is evident but that doesn’t ruin how current his sound is. The juxtaposition of his singing and deep poetic rapping voice on Get Up work well in a weird way, similar to how cheese and pickle come together, it shouldn’t taste good but it does.

The more songs into the mixtape you are, the more you can understand why both boys and girls are always tweeting his lyrics. For ladies he’s speaking to you and for the gentlemen he’s speaking for you. The fusion of his lyrics and raps, done in a true London accent may I add make him like a bucket of gold ice on a scorching hot day, unique and truly refreshing in a world where R’n’B is ‘for girls’ and every 1 in 3 boys from London wants to be the next Jay Z.

She Got Me Feelin’ is a track with a very mature sound but although his delivery is calm and soothing, something about his voice adds a youthful vibe to it. The little British references and slang in his lyrics make him relatable and his songs often feel more like stories.

There are a lot of topics mentioned on the mixtape but they all come under the same umbrella of love and at times it feels like you’re earwigging the conversation between the couple on the table next to yours. It can almost feel too intimate but you can’t stop listening because it’s just too good.

The only criticism I have is that not much of his stage name comes through. TKIF is an acronym for The Kid Is Fucked but how is never mentioned? Emotionally, if so @OmarTKIF why? We need answers sway!

His outro is so good but at the same time unsatisfying because you want a conclusion, like a Spike Lee movie you don’t realise how long the EP is because you’re enjoying it too much. It ends with him begging for love on Outro and although this tale of heartbreak isn’t linear and at times can be confusing, by the end it all kind of makes sense as a love story does. Although you can imagine it, he never quite explains how he ended up with a broken heart and a book full of lyrics, but maybe that’s just a tale for part 2…

If you want to give The Kid a try, I would recommend you start with Jazzy Piano but everyone else would probably say Hey Beautiful, I mean just search #Heartbreak&Lyrics on Twitter.



As women, we are constantly being scrutinised about our hair. The texture, the length, the style, the colour, I could go on and on. Women of colour and in particular, black women have to deal with immeasurable amounts of nappy hair jokes from fellow black brothers and even other women. We have all had our fair amount of random sticky hands yanking our puffs in primary school and telling us how “spongy” (*insert side eye*) our hair is. Then as we got older and the hair got straighter, there were the painful pokes and that ever-invasive £30 question…“is your hair real?”

Looking back, those tedious situations and tiresome questions are sometimes quite funny and bond us. They create a shared experience, like black hair glue cementing a track we’ve all tiptoed at one point. The reality of all this is that, as cliché and pathetic as it sounds, hair is a big part of our identity. It plays a major role in the way we express ourselves, an integral way in which we are peer-assessed and even the way we dress. Basically, our hair is very important. With that in mind, imagine how hard it must be to be young, black and bald in a climate where hair is ‘everything’.

People act like I woke up one day in a bed full of hair and bald.

Tayla* is a typical 21 year old student who likes mojitos, Mac and minstrels like most girls her age. In fact the only thing that slightly separates her from her peers is that she has Alopecia Universalis, meaning she has no hair, at all.

Alopecia is a strange disease in the sense that there are no collective symptoms, aside from the obvious hair loss and there is no definitive ‘cure’ or treatment. As Tayla talks, her carefree, chilled vibe evaporates into a more solemn presence as she starts at the beginning.

When the doctor told me there was no way to determine whether my hair would start growing back in a week or in a year, I felt sick. I just couldn’t breathe.

Similarly to other ‘Alopecians’ (a word used in some support groups to describe people with Alopecia), Tayla’s hair loss began with a bald patch on her scalp that eventually led to complete loss of body hair.

So my hair started falling out, and it’s funny because I used to hate my hair, it was so tough! But then it starts falling and I’m crying actual buckets.

Laughing, she explains how when her hair first started falling out. she used to try and keep it in zip lock bags.

I don’t know why, it’s not like I was going to bloody glue it back to my scalp.

Websites dedicated to supporting people with Alopecia link the disease to stress and the NHS website states that often stress can prolong the issue and this was the case for Tayla.

Here I am in my first semester of my first year at uni, stressing out because my hair was falling out so more of my hair keeps falling out until there’s nothing left. Then my eyebrows, my eyelashes, everything, it just all goes. I could’ve drowned in my own tears that year.

By the end of her first year, Tayla had been diagnosed with Alopecia Universalis and was completely hairless. Always one to look on the bright side, she dryly joked “At least I don’t have to worry about shaving my legs anymore, that part is pretty good”.

Though there is no physical scarring, the emotional damage can be deep and painful.

At one point I felt so distraught I wanted to nearly commit suicide, I sunk into such deep depression that I had to take an interruption year out of uni. It sounds pathetic but it happened so fast that I felt like what should’ve been one of the best years of my life ended up being the worst.

A year on and she’s started getting used to her hairless body though it doesn’t make it easier for her. Seeing Tayla out and about you would never know about this condition and she credits this to her to what she calls “my holy grails, a good lace front wig and the Sleek eyebrow pencil”.

Sadly, she tells how she has to put on a face full of make even when she’s lounging about because she’s scared for people to see her without it. “It’s embarrassing you know, I don’t want them to feel sorry for me and all that. One time the fire alarm went off and I just stayed in my room because I couldn’t be bothered to put on my wig or draw on my eyebrows”. That unwanted pity has led Tayla to only telling two of her friends about the Alopecia.

“There are pros though, don’t get it twisted. I no longer have a designated washday and I haven’t bought mascara in forever! Of course no longer having to shave is the biggest blessing so all clouds…” she laughs heartily.

With Alopecia, the hair follicles remain active, so new shafts could produce whenever and Tayla excitedly tells me how she has two eyelashes growing and a few leg hairs so she is hopeful for the future. “If it doesn’t grow back I’ll live. As long as I have my brow kit and demi wispies anyway!”

So, It’s all well singing along to India Arie and chanting ‘I Am Not My Hair’ because it’s true, but there is also the fact that to many young women, hair is important and it does give us that sense of security. After all, in the words of Tayla “there’s a big difference being bald by choice and bald by force”.

*Name has been changed.


“Whoever said money cannot buy happiness clearly didn’t know where to shop.”Serena Van Der Woodson 

My favourite American girl Tahiry was recently out and about in DC looking bloody gorgeous. Now, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t really a fan of the whole peplum hem skirt trend. They just used to really remind me of my little sister’s primary school skirt, but of course made me a believer.


This grown and sexy look really works for her and the dress accentuates her banging body without showing too much. I love love love the nude colour as well and how she didn’t over accessorize, it just added to the sophisticated element of the whole outfit.

If you, just like me, are obsessed with this dress and want to try this look then you can get the nude bandage dress on online boutique iDolls for $100 (about £67 for my fellow Brits). Make sure you snatch it up quick because I’m sure once everyone else catches a whiff of this it’s gonna be sold out like cream cakes at a summer fair.

Sugar, Spice and Too Much Spite? That’s What Femcees Are Made Of



Definition: A woman who raps or freestyles. The feminine equivalent of an emcee.


In the pink corner all the way from Jamaica Queens, NY we have Nicki Minaj, sex bomb, Barbie and self-proclaimed ‘bad bitch’. From Brooklyn, NY we have rap veteran, Queen Bee and boss chick Lil Kim.

It’s a brutal first two rounds as Nicki delivers a few low blows with every hit taking jabs at Kim’s slightly older age. As an OG in the game, Kim knows how to use these moves to her advantage so they don’t do any real damage on her image (or career) and hits back just as hard. By the third round both parties begin to tire, Nicki is over it at this point, but Kim is determined to not let this disrespect go un-checked, she needs this victory. The barb raises her pink gloved fist and delivers a destructive blow to the Queen Bee forcing her to fall flat on her back, but just as Nicki goes to raise her triumphant pink glove (Kim’s eyelash stuck on and all), like a phoenix from the ashes, the queen rises.

Ok so that didn’t really happen, well only in the world of the Tumblr fan fictions, but I guess what I’m trying to say is that girls are extremely competitive they’re just not as overt about it. Girls are also very, very bitchy, but I guess that’s ingrained in our DNA.

2014 was supposed to be the year of the female rappers and yeah, ok, Nicki dropped her album and Dej Loaf dared a n*gga to try her but where were the rest?

Now, it’s definitely no secret that hip-hop is a male dominated industry and no one could argue otherwise. Whilst the males have no problem co-signing other unknown rappers and ‘putting them on’ they only tend to let a female rapper jump on the track if she’s established, has a big fan base and has made her mark on the game. In other words she has to have something to offer him, otherwise it’s a no-go.  Ms Banks once broke it down the best “The three requirements to jump on a track if you’re a female are: be pretty, be good but don’t be better than the male. Coz if you spin him, you’re in trouble.”  Even though it’s sad, it’s true; many male rappers have a problem with women being better than them. The men don’t believe rap is a sport for girls, so when the women come along and they play better, it’s a problem. Just last year in Atlanta, GA a woman was raped, set on fire and shot just because she beat three men in a rap battle. So although the issue of misogyny in rap music has been identified, people fail to understand the issue is much more prevalent in the industry than we see.

The history of females in hip-hop is a long, complex one and funnily enough a beef started by a group of boys (surprise surprise) called U.T.F.O induced the birth of the first femcee Roxanne Shanté in the mid 80s. Roxanne’s Revenge formed the basis of a series of back and forth between Shanté and ‘The Real Roxanne’ (who’s name wasn’t even Roxanne). In true rap fashion, the beef was encouraged and even propelled by the males of both respective crews. You know what they say; behind every good beef between girls are a bunch of boys (they don’t, I just made that up).

But though we might like to, we cannot blame the boys for everything because as we all know, girls are no strangers when it comes to causing drama and although they might forgive, 9 times out of 10, they will not forget. “Girls are bad mind you know. They don’t wanna work with other girls because they don’t wanna give them the opportunity to spin them. Girls never want to even give other girls the opportunity to be better than them”.  Lioness argues that in her experience, it is always harder to get females to work with each other because they have to work ten times harder than the males to solidify their position and they don’t want to give another woman the chance to even take that spot.

It’s sad but that is the reality within the industry for the most part; the expectations for female rappers are either ridiculously high or offensively low. Lil Kim, in the 90s, said “To be a successful female rapper women have to want to be you and men have to want to f**k you” and most of the females MC’s today agree with that statement. As C-Cane put it “All men need to do is get a shape up, fresh white tee and borrow someone’s gold chain then they’re ready to go” but to the female in rap, image is everything. Whilst a man can get on a track with another male rapper and just rap better than him, females have to be prettier, have a nicer body, wear better clothes and on top of that sound better than the other female. There is also the fact that regardless of how they sound, both of their images are most likely to be compared and critiqued but with the men, nobody seems to care.

Many females have been open about pressure from the industry and consumers to appeal to both the male and female audiences for several years. That heavy weight has even driven some of them to drastic aesthetic changes. In an early documentary, Lil Kim talks about how her mentor, lover and the Notorious BIG consistently told her she was ugly because of her complexion and facial features. These shattering statements obviously cut a lot deeper than the surface, because Kim twenty years ago does not look the same as Kim today and that has nothing to do with ageing. Even though she’s one of the more extreme examples, she certainly isn’t the only one.

We’ve all seen plenty of femcees start their career with one look and as they progress we start to see new clothes, new wigs, new bodies and sometimes even a new nose. As tragic as it is, there’s clearly something slightly appealing about the Barbie look that all the rappers want to emulate so bad (*cough Nicki, Kim, Foxy cough*).

Even though we turn our noses up at the dirty ‘S’ word (surgery), whether we like to admit it or not, although we admired some of their traits, no one ever wanted to look like Missy [Elliott] or Queen Latifah because we loved them more for their music and not necessarily their looks. So when we moan about the pressures of image for the females in rap sometimes we have to delve into whether the industry is just giving us, as consumers, what we want to see.

Hip-hop has always been likened to a sport, because of how crucial the element of competitiveness is in order to keeping the genre alive. Lady Leshurr explained that with females in the industry they are under so much pressure that they tend to let their emotions get the better of them for the most part and this leads to them feeling extra competitive. “It’s always about being better than the next chick, never about being better together”.

Within every era of hip-hop we’ve seen the re-birth of a new femcee from Lauryn Hill the 90s hippie and socially conscious rapper to Missy Elliott the tomboy who took over the early 2000s and right now the harajuku Barbie herself, Nicki Minaj. All these women are extremely opposite at immediate glance (and listen) but they all have a strong image in common, they’re daring, fearless and appeal to the mass despite not representing them. Over the last 10 years we’ve seen women in rap break barriers and set records that even the men can’t compete with but they’re still seen as slightly inferior. Nicki recently expressed her contempt for the term female rapper and argued that it was insulting “don’t call me a female rapper, I can go toe to toe with the greats. I’m a rapper period”.

Such is the love story of hip-hop; it was built on struggle so I suppose in some ways, if it weren’t there it wouldn’t be the same. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it would be worse.

Misogyny has been prevalent within hip-hop from the beginning and although ladies have been trying to let the men know that they ‘ain’t a bitch or a ho’, they haven’t really been working together.

In a world where both Azealia’s are beefing and Kim is determined to turn Pink Friday black, it seems like the femcees are always too busy fighting each other to get together and fight the men. Everyone seems to think there’s only room for one although the men disproved that theory years ago. Note how there’s always a conversation about the top 5, because overall there isn’t a winner. Different music serves a purpose for different occasions and different (male) artists get to prove that daily.

I guess what I’m trying to ask all my beautiful femcees of the world is why can’t we just bake a cake full of rainbows and sunshine and all eat it and get along? After all two voices are always better than one.