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Natelegé Whaley

Culture Journalist

Location icon United States

Natelegé Whaley is a culture journalist and a former staff reporter for Mic. She has also written for Pitchfork, Eater, Vibe and other outlets. Whaley's beats include hip-hop's impact on the wider culture, reproductive justice and human interest stories related to excessive policing.

Her reporting has been cited in Vogue, Teen Vogue, Glamour and other outlets.

Portfolio

Music

HuffPost
08/22/2019
The Long Road To Missy Elliott's MTV Video Vanguard Award

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."

Pitchfork
07/15/2019
Rico Nasty and the Importance of Black Women's Anger in Rap

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.

Bitch Media
"Fever" Spreads the Gospel of Megan Thee Stallion's Hot Girl Ethos

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.

Vibe
05/21/2019
Review: Jamila Woods Resurrects Legends On 'Legacy! Legacy!'

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.

Bitch Media
Lizzo's Delivered a Soundtrack for Our Summertime Glow-Ups

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.

Vibe
03/13/2019
Solange's 'When I Get Home' Reminds Blackness Goes Beyond Burden

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.

Vibe
02/23/2019
TLC's FanMail Was A Futurist Prelude To Digital Era Intimacy

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.

Pitchfork
11/28/2018
City Girls: G I R L C O D E

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.

Mic
10/12/2018
Parents create "R Kelly abuse hotline" to give accusers a voice

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.

Mic
08/16/2018
6 Aretha Franklin deep cuts you need to hear

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.

Mic
07/06/2018
What it's like when Nicki Minaj and her fans harass you online

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.

Mic
06/18/2018
Meet Jenn Nkiru, who helped direct Beyoncé and Jay-Z's grandiose visual for "Apeshit"

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.

Mic
06/06/2018
How Kanye West is disrupting - and advancing - the mental health conversation in rap

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.

Mic
04/30/2018
Janelle Monáe's 'Dirty Computer' visual album is a queer Afrofuturist love story

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.

Highsnobiety
12/11/2018
Here's Why 2 Chainz' 'Pink Trap House' Is a Game-Changer

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.

Social Issues

NBC News
03/25/2019
Black women and the fight for abortion rights: How this brochure sparked the movement for...

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.

Mic
11/22/2018
This Brooklyn community activist is determined to get justice for Ann Marie Washington

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.

Mic
10/04/2018
Amber Rose on pressures of rape culture: "I said 'no' but I did it anyway because I felt obligated"

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.

Mic
10/03/2018
Patricia Okoumou, who scaled the Statue of Liberty, was denied trial by jury

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.

Mic
06/21/2018
13-year-old Aziya Roberts organizes #WeWalkForHer march for missing black girls in Chicago

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.

Mic
06/08/2018
Obsidian Collection Archives is digitizing the rich photo legacy of the black press

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.

Mic
05/29/2018
Here's the racial bias training Starbucks employees got Tuesday, according to its architects

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.

Mic
05/30/2018
Southern University set to launch first medical marijuana program at a historically black college

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.

Mic
04/12/2018
Cardi B is helping redefine what it means to be a working, pregnant black woman

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.

Mic
04/09/2018
Black Mamas Matter Alliance is launching the first National Black Maternal Health Week

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.

Entertainment

Mic
03/16/2018
Black comediennes speak out about Mo'Nique's pay-gap campaign against Netflix

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.

REVOLT TV
From Octavia Butler to 'Black Panther:' Afrofuturism Now, Then and Tomorrow

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.

Mic
03/06/2018
8 books by people of color that are currently being adapted for TV and film

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.

Business/Tech

Mic
10/26/2018
Report: Latinx women run less than 2% of all women-led startups. Here's why.

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.

Mic
10/20/2018
Dating apps are getting more political ahead of midterm elections

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.

Style

Mic
09/08/2018
Meet Kimberly Goldson, one of the black women who designed LeBron James' new Nike sneaker

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.

Food

Eater
10/31/2017
Why Jamaican Fusion Has Never Been More Exciting

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.

Personal Essays

Mic
10/24/2017
Why Howard University Homecoming is my annual black joy ritual

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.

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