Natelegé Whaley is a culture journalist and a former staff reporter for Mic. She has also written for NBCNews, Pitchfork, Eater, Teen Vogue, Vibe and other outlets. Whaley's beats include black womanhood in popular culture, hip-hop's impact on the wider culture, and reproductive justice.
Her reporting has been cited in Vogue, Vulture, Teen Vogue, Glamour and other outlets.
Send freelance/job opportunities: nw (AT) natelege.com
Photo by Luis Alvarez via Getty Images, edited by Sunpyo Hong Experts in addressing racism and bias in the workplace have been very, very busy. On May 25th a reckoning with systemic racism was reignited. It's still here - and so are we.
Over the last couple of years, a number of social media accounts and platforms have popped up, creating spaces that spark high-level discussion centered around female rap. In October 2020, fashion and culture writer Mikeisha Vaughn was listening in on a Clubhouse room where a widely known rapper wa
There is an urgent need for black Americans to inform themselves of the business opportunities surrounding cannabis, senior pastor Anthony Trufant of the Emmanuel Baptist Church told the attendees at the Business of Cannabis summit held in Brooklyn, New York, last week.
Shenseea, Teni the Entertainer, and Sho Madjozi speak on the evolving musical connections between Afro-Caribbean and African artists, and their women inspirations. Last summer, thousands of music lovers of African descent gathered on the sands of Portimao, Portugal, waved their beloved countries' flags and witnessed performances from the best in afro-pop, reggae, and hip-hop at Afro Nation, the premier traveling beach festival unifying music of the African diaspora.
Planned Parenthood sponsored production of the 250,000 "We Remember" pamphlets in the summer of 1989. The statement, written by former Ms. editor Marcia Gillespie, connected the lack of reproductive freedom to other forms of oppression suffered by the African-American community until that moment such as slavery, Jim Crow laws and voting disenfranchisement.
On a July afternoon, Brooklyn, New York, rapper Latasha Alcindor took the stage at Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival with a crew of 20 hype-women. While front and center, the only woman on the festival's bill made an emphatic proclamation: "I came here today to spit some truth, tell some stories and remind you how important women are for hip-hop."
At every Rico Nasty show, there's a point when the snarling guitars of her raucous track " Rage" transfix the crowd, signaling that it's time for a mosh pit. Her DJ, Miles, jumps down from the booth and orders the revved-up audience to wait for the beat to drop.
Introducing our list of 20 activists, artists, entertainers and entrepreneurs who are changing America. I contributed interviews with James Flemons, Tanaïs, and Sophia Roe to this project.
Rochelle Jordan Bridges Her R&B and Electronic Roots on "Play With The Changes" By Natelegé Whaley · April 28, 2021 The sound of , the new album from Los Angeles-based singer Rochelle Jordan, was inspired by two sources: UK rave culture of the 1990s and 2000s, which she absorbed when visiting her British-Jamaican family members in London, and her older brother's tape collection, which consisted of, "gospel, soulful dance, Sounds of Blackness," Jordan recalls.
The East Oakland rapper's album will be released on her new label GRND.WRK. On a cloudy afternoon in New York City, rapper Kamaiyah is dressed for comfort, wearing a purple sweatsuit, and the purple beads adorning her signature box braids match her fit.
Winter is among us, and with that comes changes. With the cooler and shorter days, we take our leisure indoors. This leaves us with more alone time to reflect and feel our deepest emotions and thoughts, whether it be sadness, yearning, or contentment. A study by psychologist Terry F.
I moved into my own place for the first time in February 2019. Along with my material items, I brought other baggage: I had been laid off from a full-time job in November 2018. But by January 2019, I was being approved for a one-bedroom co-op in Brooklyn, and I knew I couldn't pass up the opportunity.
Last week, T.I.-the Atlanta rapper who has positioned himself over the last decade as a reality TV show version of Father Knows Best-publicly shared his disgusting approach to parenting his 18-year-old daughter Deyjah Harris. During an interview on the Ladies Like Us podcast, which was later deleted, he proudly disclosed that he accompanies his daughter to the gynecologist every year to "check her hymen."
The pressure for the 'Over It' singer to bury her mental health issues reveals a lack of empathy for Black women.
The 23-year-old viral rapper has released her first official project since signing with Warner Records last June. In the past four years, rapper Chika's fans fell in love with her confident delivery, scrunch up your face punchlines, and honest storytelling. The Montgomery, Ala.
Following Monday's episode of Revolt TV's State of the Culture, Remy Ma's commentary on former NFL player Antonio Brown's rape allegations stirred up frustrations with how sexual violence is discussed in hip-hop media.
At the start of New York Fashion Week, rapper Jidenna sits in a hotel room where artist Nira Alamgir is painting henna on his hand as he chats over the phone with me. "It's rainy, but I'm feeling sunny," he laughs, oozing excitement for the night ahead.
2019 is rich with rap collaborations - and women in hip-hop are leading the way. Finding the most success is Megan Thee Stallion and Nicki Minaj's "Hot Girl Summer" featuring Ty Dolla Sign's raspy melodies on the hook.
At her career peak, Missy Elliott's iconic music videos were must-see TV. From the 1990s to the early aughts, Elliott's avant-garde approach to visualizing her hits was groundbreaking. In 1997, she set the bar high with her debut solo video "The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)," where she rocked her iconic blow-up black patent leather suit and helmet goggles, looked into the camera and proclaimed, "Me I'm supa fly, supa dupa fly."
When Megan Thee Stallion performed "Realer," the opening track on her new mixtape Fever at the Fillmore in Philadelphia on Friday, May 17, she bounced back and forth in the middle of the stage as thousands of fans lit up the venue with their cell phones and bounced along with her-waiting for the beat to drop.
Three years ago, Jamila Woods entered the scene as a woman grounded in her self-hood on her debut HEAVN. The album is a memoir of her upbringing on Chicago's South Side and her introspections are comfort food for anyone on a search for their center.
When Lizzo began performing her groovy anthem "Juice" on Jimmy Kimmel Live! she was sitting in a chair getting her hair cornrowed. Her hair stylist finished the look by attaching a ponytail to the top of the rapper's head.
Solange's critically acclaimed A Seat At The Table concluded with "Closing: The Chosen Ones" and on it, Master P proclaimed, "We come here as slaves, but we going out as royalty." It was an optimistic message to end a project reflecting on the burdens that African Americans carry because of white supremacy.
TLC owned the year 1999. FanMail released on this day (Feb. 23), 20 years ago, and made the Atlanta R&B trio the best-selling female group in the United States. The flood of popular R&B acts that emerged during the early 1990s under the banner of New Jack Swing, hip hop soul, and silky slow jams, fizzled out.
City Girls' G I R L C O D E replicates the winning formula of their mixtape : speaker-rattling Southern beats, how-to pointers for scheming on rich men, anthems for defying haters and broke boys. Post- Period, JT and Yung Miami secured a feature on a No.
Timothy Savage and Jonjelyn Savage, who have said their daughter Joycelyn Savage is " being held against her will " in R. Kelly's alleged sex cult, have created what they call an "abuse hotline" for victims to report their encounters with the R&B singer.
Ericka Hart says that she, her partner Ebony Donnley and their friend Lorelei Black were removed from the VIP section of the annual Afropunk festival in Brooklyn, New York, on Sunday because Donnley's T-shirt bore a message criticizing the event. "Afropunk sold out for white consumption," the shirt read.
Legendary soul singer Aretha Franklin died at the age of 76 in her Detroit home Thursday morning, according to her publicist. Fans and Franklin's fellow celebrities are mourning the loss of the music icon, who defined the sound of 1960s and 1970s pop and R&B with her powerhouse, Baptist church-reared vocals.
On Saturday, Wanna Thompson, a Toronto-based writer and creator of Wanna's World blog, said she received two hateful, vulgar direct messages on Twitter. They weren't from some random user or passerby - though lately she's received plenty of toxic messages from total strangers as well.
On Saturday, Beyoncé and Jay-Z surprise dropped Everything Is Love , their first joint album and follow-up compilation to revealing solo oeuvres Lemonade and 4:44. On previous projects, they gave us substance sonically and pushed barriers with visual counterparts. "Apeshit," the first music video from the album, carries on that creative spirit.
The album cover of Kanye West's newest, seven-track opus, Ye, features a photo of Wyoming's mountainous landscape with squiggly lime green text scribbled over it: "I hate being bipolar. It's awesome." The phrase is lifted from an internet meme that predates the album but is also a revelation of a real-life diagnosis that he seems to have received.
The of sexual misconduct allegations against R. Kelly is getting longer. On Tuesday, Faith Rodgers, 20, told that the famed R&B singer infected her with herpes in 2017. Rodgers said Kelly demanded sex from her and told her to call him "daddy."
Janelle Monáe's new Afrofuturistic dystopian visual album Dirty Computer - which she's billing as an " emotion picture" - is a stunning dedication to black queer womanhood. As the visual component to her just-released third album of the same name, Dirty Computer also shows the singer reaching a new height of selfhood.
Twitter users are tracking which celebrities have unfollowed Kanye West on the social media platform, using DoesFollow.com, after his display of support for President Donald Trump in a series of tweets Wednesday. The site suggests that Rihanna, John Legend, Kendrick Lamar and other celebrities have unfollowed the rapper in the last several days.
Beyoncé has set a new bar for the live performance - and she did it in the most unapologetically black way possible.
DJs curate playlists to soundtrack Saturday-night debauchery at bars, high-spirited music festival adventures and corporate party schmoozing. But their jobs are much more significant than the obvious supplying of smooth song transitions and pulsating tempos to keep a crowd enthused - although those factors do matter.
Earlier this month, 2 Chainz' infamous pink trap house - a real life replica of the cover to his new album Pretty Girls Like Trap Music - was painted white and the keys were handed over to the owners.
Voter participation fell to its lowest point in two decades in Wisconsin in the 2016 presidential elections. President Trump became the first Republican to win the state of Wisconsin since 1984. While this decreased participation rate included African-American voters, Milwaukee-based activist Angela Lang noticed some Democrats unfairly placing the lion's share of the blame for the outcome of the election on black voters.
On Friday, Ann Marie Washington, a black woman, was punched in the face and stabbed on a subway platform in Brooklyn, New York City. The 57-year-old mother was on her way home from work when the assailant - described as a 5-foot-3-inch white man - allegedly attacked her and called her a "black bitch," the New York Post reported.
One day after the brutal stabbing of Ann Marie Washington, a black woman, at a New York City subway station, community activist Anthony Beckford said he received dozens of Facebook messages about the incident. Citizens sent him a viral video, captured by Kezia Bernard-Nau, that showed Washington standing outside the subway station recounting the assault to bystanders and police.
The Amber Rose SlutWalk returns to the streets of Downtown Los Angeles for the fourth year on Saturday. 2018's event will call special attention to voter registration ahead of the midterm elections in November. Rose launched the platform in 2015 to bring awareness to sexual violence, domestic violence, gender inequality and to raise the voices of those fighting those issues every day.
Attorneys for Patricia Okoumou, who made international headlines for scaling the base of the Statue of Liberty on the Fourth of July to protest Trump's immigration policies, was denied a request for trial by jury on Monday. A judge will be deciding the 44-year-old activist's case, which heads to trial on Dec.
NEW YORK CITY - "I love black women! You don't love black women? What's wrong with you?" demonstrators for the March for Black Women chanted as they walked from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City on Sunday.
In November 1991, black scholars Barbara Ransby, Deborah King and Elsa Barkley Brown organized 1,600 black women to purchase an ad in the New York Times and seven other newspapers.
Model and activist Amber Rose, who has used her SlutWalk platform to raise awareness around rape culture, slut shaming and gender inequality, is the latest high-profile voice to speak out about sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. On Sept. 14, news broke that Sen.
Peter Johnson, a resident of Long Island City in Queens, New York - where will soon establish one of two new corporate headquarters - moved to the neighborhood more than a decade ago, when it consisted of mainly homeowners and families who frequented local businesses and convened at local parks.
Four years ago Thursday, officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparking months of protests, intermittent rioting and a heated discussion about racial tensions in the St. Louis suburb and beyond. A major part of the fallout was how St.
MuteRKelly co-founder Oronike Odeleye says R. Kelly's "," a 19-minute track he released Monday in response to sexual assault allegations and a growing movement to end his career, is nothing more than a plea to his fan base to keep supporting him. Since launching in July 2017, the #MuteRKelly movement has called for fans to boycott R.
On Tuesday evening, 150 children and adults walked from the Bronzeville area of Chicago to Washington Park for the #WeWalkforHer march to raise awareness about cases of missing black girls and women in the city. Since March, at least six women and girls have been reported missing, stirring fear among residents as the stories spread on social media.
In 2015, Angela Ford, 53, decided to start digitally preserving images published in black newspapers like the Chicago Defender and New York Amsterdam News. The idea came to her after a conversation with her son, Steven Ballard, about their family's history. "My son is the sixth generation of a proud black family," Ford said in a phone interview.
Starbucks kept its promise to address racism in its ranks, closing 8,000 coffee shops nationwide Tuesday afternoon to educate roughly 175,000 employees on how to recognize and prevent racial bias. The training was announced April 17 after two black men, Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson, were on suspicion of trespassing at a Philadelphia Starbucks a few days prior.
Southern University and A&M College, a historically black university in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has solidified its stake in Louisiana's medical marijuana industry. On Friday, the school's board of supervisors approved a contract with Advanced Biomedics, a Louisiana-based company specializing in pharmaceutical-grade marijuana products, to partner on the cultivation and production of medical marijuana at Southern's research facilities.
The birth rate in the U.S. is at its lowest in 30 years, according to a new report detailing 2017 births from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were 3,853,472 births in 2017, a 2% drop from 2016 figures (3,945,875).
Rapper Cardi B - who went from Love & Hip Hop sensation to chart-topping hip-hop phenomenon in 2017 - celebrated two major milestones last week. On Friday, she dropped her ineluctable debut album Invasion of Privacy, and on Saturday, she revealed during a Saturday Night Live taping that she's expecting a baby with her fiancé Offset, of the rap trio Migos.
The Black Mamas Matter Alliance, an organization combating the poor black maternal health outcomes within the U.S. health care system, is hosting the first National Black Maternal Health Week, April 11 to April 17. According to a 2017 CDC report, black women are three to four times more at risk of pregnancy-related death than white women.
On Tuesday night, two co-founders of what's become known as the radical reproductive justice movement sat down for a two-hour panel discussion at the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture in Harlem, New York City.
In one scene of The Hate U Give, a film adaptation of Angie Thomas' bestselling novel, the protagonist, Starr Carter, a bright, Harry Potter-obsessed sneakerhead, is being interviewed by a news reporter about her childhood friend Khalil Harris, who was shot to death by a police officer.
Season two of FX's Atlanta wrapped Thursday night with Al, a.k.a. rising-rapper Paper Boi, and his manager-slash-cousin, Earn, seated in the same aisle of an airplane soon departing to Europe. They're both headed overseas because Al's set to be the opening act on an international tour.
With the rise of movements calling out marginalization in the entertainment industry, black women in comedy are speaking out with renewed vigor about the challenges they face at work. Hashtags like #OscarsSoWhite and #InclusionRider have drawn attention to poor racial and gender representation in Hollywood films of late.
This month, Marvel Comics' Black Panther broke box office records as moviegoers took a look at director Ryan Coogler's live-action portrayal of Wakanda. It is a technologically-advanced fictional African nation, untouched by colonialism. There was similar elation in December, when Jay-Z's "Family Feud" video dropped.
Black Panther's Lupita N'yongo and Danai Gurira are teaming up to adapt the award-winning novel Americanah by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie for a TV miniseries. Book-to-TV and book-to-film adaptations are one of the ways authentic stories about underrepresented experiences are being brought to visual form.
Kiera Please, a Black woman artist and cosplay influencer from Virginia, joined TikTok in summer 2019 because she felt there was less pressure to perform perfectionism (as is often the expectation on Instagram, YouTube, and other platforms where creatives build neat and consistent online brands).
In 2016, while traveling alone and abroad in Japan, Valeska Toro was sexually assaulted. The next day, she befriended a woman who became her support system after the traumatic experience. "I think after meeting her, it put me in a place where I wanted to provide that same level of support for other women who are traveling alone," Toro said over the phone Tuesday.
In the months after President Donald Trump was elected, Hesna Bokoum, a 22-year-old community organizer based in Chicago, began noticing a trend in the profile bio descriptions on dating apps Bumble and Tinder, which she used routinely. "I saw, 'If you voted for Trump swipe left,'" she explained.
The number of startups founded by black women in the United States has more than doubled since 2016, according to ProjectDiane 2018, a report published Wednesday by Digitalundivided, a social enterprise focused on helping women-of-color entrepreneurs gain access to capital. There are 227 such companies in the U.S.
As American investors and entrepreneurs rush to mine whatever profits they can from legal marijuana, organizations led by women of color are working to ensure non-white people have a stake in the booming industry.
"Buy black." The mandate to support black businesses dates back to the free black communities of the early 19th century, if not earlier. It has been reborn several times among black consumers and business owners in subsequent years, especially as wealth gaps persist between white and black Americans.
On the first day of Kwanzaa, I joined more than a thousand revelers for the second annual Kwanzaa Crawl in New York City. On a chilly Tuesday afternoon, participants made their way to 25 black-owned bars in Brooklyn and Harlem for an occasion symbolizing economic empowerment, unity and the celebration of black culture within New York City.
LeBron James' new Nike collaboration, " The Strongest," is a shoe dedicated to black women's strength. "Being the son, husband and father of strong African-American women, I felt like this was something I wanted to do for them and for all the strong women out there who are succeeding despite what might be stacked against them," James said Wednesday in a statement via Nike.
Caribbean food is king on Utica Avenue in Brooklyn's Crown Heights neighborhood. Walking on the strip between Eastern Parkway and Empire Boulevard, it's common to see a cloud of smoke puffing from black barrels on the curb.
I have the post-homecoming blues bad. This past weekend was my eighth Howard University Homecoming, and it's hard coming down from the high of reveling in a safe space of unapologetic blackness and then returning to the real world, where I can't escape the burden of racism as a black woman.