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We all know Chrisette Michele from putting out great soulful music, her amazing range and melodic tone that comes out of her mouth as if its her regular way of speech. She has grown gracefully and has come into her own comfortable style, which includes her fashion, her art, and her presentation of all things Chrisette. Her blog Rich Hipster embodies all of these elements and come together into this great mosaic of talent. She's currently working on many projects, so I was excited she had time for this interview. Her current music project Lyricist Opus, putting together Rich Hipster, staring on the current season of R&B Diva's LA, and much more, we had many things to talk about.


 Queen What kind of experience do you want your visitors to have on RichHipster.biz?
Chrisette Michelle I want them to feel kinda like it's a little bit of a getaway, like they've joined a squad of happy nerds, people who aren't afraid to laugh and smile a little bit. I know that there's a lot of different places you can go on the internet, with Rich Hipster, I want people to feel rich, rich in their hearts, rich in their culture as well.

Q What mood will your next project Lyricist Opus have?
C Oh my God, do you want to know a secret? This is seriously top secret, I was hanging out in a coffee shop in Brooklyn and I had this big weird book out, that this lady made for me and I just started writing stuff down. I told my mom about this idea,  I said mom, I want this idea to be connected to a blog. Start a blog and then connect this music to it; and then I called another friend and said I wanted to connect it to the  T-shirt line then all of a sudden I have this lifestyle piece. I think it had a lot to do with the place I was living in. I was in Williamsburg Brooklyn for a year, I had fallen in love with that community and atmosphere, the whole vintage store, nerdy glasses, the shoes. Just the fun, what I call rich hipster vibe, and  I decided that everything I created from that day on was gonna come from this place because that was the first time that I felt at home. So, what you're getting right now is home. . . .when you find your truth I think that the mid set just comes with it, and Rich Hipster is my truth, it's the first time that i'm not afraid, the first time I  am being really brave, fist time I'm kinda showing you everything about myself.

Q What was your inspiration for The Lyricist's Opus
C Long Story short-First of all go to RichHipster.biz everybody, and check out the making of Super Chris  its one of the first pieces from Lyricist Opus, I wanted to see higher strings, I wanted to see horns, I wanted to have a live piano player on a grand piano. I love machines, I love programmed music but I also love live instrumentation. So, I knew that the record label would not pay for that, I knew that they wouldn't take out a hundred thousand dollar budget or five hundred thousand budget, which is what i'm use to when i'm making my albums, to make something with live instrumentation. so I decide to use the platform I had on R&B Divas LA to show what it looks like when  musicians come into the studio and create. It was really exciting for me to show that there are brown skin girls who have a liking and taste and education in the music business, and music in general and show people what it looks like. This is more of a documentary experience, this is more of a, what music looks like experience, than it is an album project, but it's also real music. I really can't wait for everybody to feel it, and to see it when they see the ballerinas dancing in the videos.


Q What inspires you to make music that inspires me?
C Surroundings, different places like the beach, cities like Paris, people, people watching. You know, Just the atmosphere, scenery. I'm very stimulated by visuals, you know, traveling seeing different things and people, the water, clouds. Those things inspire me, that's my gospel, nature.

Q Reality TV. . . one way it's hindered your brand, and one way it has excelled your brand?
Vulnerability is who I've been since I walked into this industry, I've never been afraid to be scared in front of you guys, never been afraid to tell you when I was nervous I've always voiced these things, and I think that people honor that. So the reason I don't think reality TV has hindered my brand is because I think you guys are used to me being honest. One thing it did which was a pro. . . .seeing me honest in person and these faces I would make when telling the truth might have helped you understand that I mean the things that i'm saying when i'm afraid, or when I'm nervous or excited. . . . .it's been really a positive and i'm really grateful for the opportunity. 


Q How do you deal with negativity and not be easily offended 
C Oh gosh, I'm very sensitive. I would say as far as negative comments go they don't really bother me, but my mother always told me if something bothers you to your core, there's some introspective that needs to take place there. If some body says [no one has said this]' oh girl you too big' or something like that and it really hurts me maybe I need to take a look in the mirror and see if I like my body, maybe there is something I need to change about how I eat, or exercise. Am I healthy? Am I treating my body, they way it should be treated, with the most respect? Why did that comment bother me so much? A lot of times you'll see I still respond to peoples comments in a positive light. Like, if someone leaves a comment "Chrisette I can see your spanks underneath your dress" and i'll  say "Oh my God you can, I'll never do that again girl!" As opposed to being defensive all the time, maybe they just have a very harsh way of helping you know. . . . I look a lot better when I react to things in a positive light. You want to talk to me negative, you're giving me an opportunity to be positive 

Q You promote women's positivity, what happened in your life that made you want to take an active role in that?
C I'm Kind of stuck in that role, my mom was an activist, when I was a kid she would take in all different kinds of people from battered women to children, we had an eight bedroom house, she refused to let any of those rooms to go to waste, she only had three kids. There were always children or mothers living in those rooms, So, I guess I kinda just took on her calling, you know. She kinda passed the baton, and I kinda have no choice but to be just like my mom, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree, it's kinda just what I learned growing up.


Q What piece of advice would you give to empower women
C Don't be afraid to not to get what you don't have be afraid not to experience what you do have, I think we get so overwhelmed with getting everything that we forget to experience what we're experiencing right then and there. I kept wondering when I was going to get married, when I was gonna have a ring. I might not have a singing career 'cause if I was so into making sure I sat in the front row at basketball games, making sure I was at the hottest clubs in NYC, to meet this, or that celebrity in hopes that he might sweep me off my feet. I have to experience and be excited about what I am doing, because the funny thing about experiencing what you are in is that God adds the increase, so if you just sow into the seed that he's already given to you, he'll just add the increase, You'll say  'Oh my god I can't believe this is happening'. I say this at least once a day

Who are your mentors, how did you find them
C Gosh! I have so many right now, India Arie is one of them we started out signed at the same label but she came out to see me perform,  by mistake she didn't even  know I was going to be there at an open mic night, and she took me on tour with her, and she's been my mentor ever since. Iyanla Vanzant is another person that I speak to often and get advice from, Pattie Labelle, Lionel Riche. These are people that I've met along the way, back stage and they decided to give me their phone number and I've kept in touch, they have been very helpful in my life.

By Queen
Twitter: @TheQueenSpeaks_
Instagram: @TheQueenSpeaks_


I spoke in an earlier post about how losing my job has created an opportunity for me to be in more control of my time. That I can fully jump into the many things I've always wanted to and I was excited about that. The problem is that since I make my own schedule and and have complete control of my time I realize I have no knowledge on how to manage it. None, I've lived a life where my schedules were created by other entities, be it school, or work. Never have I completely made my life's daily schedule, and some days I feel like I'm wasting very valuable time. So, I decided to teach myself time management, I started using these tips from Entrepreneur.com I found online Saturday, and so far I'm making progress

*via www.entrepreneur.com
Practice the following techniques to become the master of your own time:
  1. Carry a schedule and record all your thoughts, conversations and activities for a week. This will help you understand how much you can get done during the course of a day and where your precious moments are going. You'll see how much time is actually spent producing results and how much time is wasted on unproductive thoughts, conversations and actions.
  2. Any activity or conversation that's important to your success should have a time assigned to it. To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they're unworkable. Appointment books work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.
  3. Plan to spend at least 50 percent of your time engaged in the thoughts, activities and conversations that produce most of your results.
  4. Schedule time for interruptions. Plan time to be pulled away from what you're doing. Take, for instance, the concept of having "office hours." Isn't "office hours" another way of saying "planned interruptions?"
  5. Take the first 30 minutes of every day to plan your day. Don't start your day until you complete your time plan. The most important time of your day is the time you schedule to schedule time.
  6. Take five minutes before every call and task to decide what result you want to attain. This will help you know what success looks like before you start. And it will also slow time down. Take five minutes after each call and activity to determine whether your desired result was achieved. If not, what was missing? How do you put what's missing in your next call or activity?
  7. Put up a "Do not disturb" sign when you absolutely have to get work done.
  8. Practice not answering the phone just because it's ringing and e-mails just because they show up. Disconnect instant messaging. Don't instantly give people your attention unless it's absolutely crucial in your business to offer an immediate human response. Instead, schedule a time to answer email and return phone calls.
  9. Block out other distractions like Facebook and other forms of social media unless you use these tools to generate business.
  10. Remember that it's impossible to get everything done. Also remember that odds are good that 20 percent of your thoughts, conversations and activities produce 80 percent of your results.


Header art work by Creative Stasis of  ArtByCreativeStasis.com


Unless you live under a rock on the planet of Mars, I am sure you have noticed a lot of media attention focusing on the extreme way in which law enforcement, and other white male vigilantes kill black people whenever they feel it's needed. With the power of social media many of these cases that would probably be ignored by mainstream media are being heard by the public. 

In Staten Island New York, Eric Garner choked to death by a police officer, and can clearly be heard saying he couldn't breath. It was all caught on cell phone video and went viral on Facebook. Mike Brown, and 18 year old young man was gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. That was brought to mainstream media attention due to many people posting tweets, also many people posting Vine and Instagram Videos. Sadly there are many others, both men and women who have experienced excessive force at the hand of law enforcement that range from physical assault to death. It's a common problem that needs to be ratified. The abuse against people of color in this country is horrible. We live always having to prove to the world that we are humans, deserving of inalienable rights and its sickening. 

Thursday I went to show my support and marched in solidarity with people who shared these same ideas with me. It was great, we started in Union Square Park in NYC, just people voicing their experiences about their interactions with police officers, another group was having a moment of silence for victims of these crimes. One group of about 75 people decided to take to the streets, I joined and we begin marching uptown. As we marched the crowd grew larger, as people from the sidewalks begin to join in. We stopped traffic as we walked up the streets of 5th avenue, and I saw people getting out of cabs and join the march. We shouted chants such as "I can't breath!" holding up our hands and shouting, "don't shoot!" both Eric Garner and Mike Browns last words. My favorite chant was "No justice, no peace, no racist Police!" 
   




















A man who appeared to be middle eastern asked me why we were marching and I told him, "We are marching to protest against police excessive force and vigilante violence against people of color." His eyes lit up and he replied in a very thick and aggressive accent "I march too!", then he look to his friend and said, "We march too!" Threw his hands up and begin shouting "Don't Shoot! Don't Shoot!" When we got to Times Square, we had grown to a couple of thousand people, and we shut on off the biggest Streets in the world down!


I have participated in many protest before, but this one was different for me for many reason, I now fully understand the power of protest. It is a teaching tool, it spreads awareness to those that may have no idea what is going on socially, as well as let elected officials know that the public disagrees with the the current status society is in. Big or small let your voice be heard when you feel injustice is happening around you! I hope all the people who have experienced unnecessary excessive force by law enforcement or a crazy vigilante will receive justice that is due to them. 

By Queen
Twitter: @The QueenSpeaks_
Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_






If you have been been following Ms. Vixen along its journey and growth, you have probably noticed I like using great visual art on our social networking pages, mostly on our Tumblr and Instagram pages. I would always scramble to find the artist for these post so I can credit their work and link people to see more of their artistry, but because things are shared on the internet so freely, it has been hard to do so. I decided to reach out, and take visual art submissions, then went further and decided to also use their Art for blog post. To collaborate and share art, along with my writing, my art, is very important to me, and I no idea why I didn't think of this sooner!

One of the first artist to respond when we reached out was Creative Stasis, a great painter. You will being seeing lots of her work featured throughout Ms. Vixen, here on the blog, and all of our social network branches.  

Here is one of her contributed pieces, Storm, why not start with a black woman super hero! To see more of her work, please visit her website ArtByCreativeStasis.com

Storm by Creative Stasis

To submit your artwork please email us at Contact@MsvixenMag.com

By Queen
At first, I wanted to get to my computer right away and tell this story, but that feeling went away as quickly as it came. I knew this deserved quality, and time. No need to be the first blogger to write about this because this requires more than a quick headline for hits on a search engine. I was in my living room cooling down from my Saturday night and went on twitter and saw a woman I know who lives in St Louis tweet about a teenage boy, shot and killed by the police. Immediately my heart sank, and I said out loud as if someone could hear me "not again". Not again has a young man been killed by the police, not again was a unarmed black person murdered, and not again will my heart have to grieve for a person I don't know, but still, somehow feel connected to.

My first reaction was anger, and blame. I, like many people always need someone to blame when things they don't understand happen, and initially I blamed black people. I sent a text to a friend and said "I'm going to be annoyed because most people that will get angry  about these matters don't get angry when we kill each other, we don't even respect ourselves, why should the world".  I wanted to blame someone, and like most victims I internalized the issue. Instead of trying to figure out what is actually happening. Similar to how  a person who is raped does to themselves, instead of examining how, regardless of circumstances leading up to a rape, these actions aren't the crime, the rape is. Murder is the crime, not all these things that lead to the conditions. I have since removed that as my thought and blame no one but the people who shoot these people with no disregard for their life.

Black on Black crime does exist, but so does white on white crime. According to the Root.com most crimes  are committed among people of  the same race at the same rates. In the US. 84% of white people are murdered at the hands of  white people. Do they also have to learn to respect themselves in order to  for the world to respect them? Are these numbers used to point at issues within the white community? No they aren't, so why do we continuously use this as a platform to address us getting murdered by white vigilantes and law enforcement?  It's like we are brained washed to always blame ourselves for what others do to us. Do we have issues, and many things to work on as people, yes, but so does every race and culture. There's  no call for self reflection when a white man shoots up a movie theater, but I must question my condition in  America as a black person because I am angry when a white person victimizes me? That thinking is foolish, and you sound just as empty as  people who believe prostitutes can't be raped.


These modern public lynchings must stop, regardless of whether or not black people commit crimes among themselves. Mike Brown's body was left in the street for four hours. Similar to how  black people were lynched in the past, and left to hang visibly for days, to invoke fear in people. That's the feeling I get every time I saw a picture of Mike Brown, and every time I saw Trayvon Martin's lifeless  body on my television screen. These images further devalue the life of black people.  Black on black crime is focused on way more than other races, as a defense for injustice and i'm tired of it. This false sense of "well if we carried our selves better then. . . ." is bullshit. Martin Luther king was murdered wearing a suit, and preaching non-violence find another argument, because the one you're pedaling now is counter productive, uncle tom foolery. 

By Queen

Photo from: https://reignmaker1911.wordpress.com/tag/homicide-rate-in-chicago/
Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_

Rihanna's  fashion editorials never disappoint me. She always looks great, her fashion is always something I admire. Now with two outstanding super model's Naomi Campbell and Iman. All three of these ladies look amazing in  Balmain Goes Wild, for W Magazine Cover.

For their latest issue, Rihanna takes us to the wild side for her cover and editorial with W Magazine. On the cover Rihanna looks tribal with a blue-painted forehead; but it’s the inside shots that really cry wolf.


Aptly titled “The World’s Wildest Style Icon”, check out some photos.







For more images, check out www.wmagazine.com
Photo Credit: Emma Summerton/Mert Alas/Marcus Piggott


We generally become the people we are based on who taught us how to love. I notice how I used to love people, highly critical, only poking fun and pointing out wrongs, and not really celebrating good. No focus on the nurturing aspect of love and what it creates, I like many assumed tough love brings out the best in people. It challenges them and makes them work harder. This is how I was taught to love, not highly encouraging, but highly expectant. My standards and requirements of people always have been held very high, but I do very little to encourage behavior close to what I expect. I notice with past loves, I ignore, rather than express how I feel. I don't ignore to forget, I ignore people to punish them. I find it much easier to state what I don't like, say what annoys me and to not be affectionate because I don't have to worry about rejection. I'm very hard on people who I love, because I always thought in order to be loved correctly I have to be tough, firm and rigid.

I have learned through  my many relationships; romantic, friendship and family, loving tough only stifles it's growth. In order for things to grow healthy you must allow it to receive the proper nurturing, I failed many times at nurturing things. Set limits because maybe parts of me didn't feel I deserve them, I know different now. Now I always speak my mind, I don't ignore things or people as punishment. I practice positive reinforcement when it comes to good behavior, It's what I want the most, so why not feed that energy. I work everyday at letting people in my company know that I am open to love, and not as closed off as I typically make myself appear.

When it comes to love and romance I'm not at all jaded, I've had great experiences, and some bad ones, none detrimental enough to make me not believe in love. Even though I am far from being in love with a man whom I'll call my forever I've been pretty fortunate. Sometimes I listen to the bad experiences other women have had with men and it's so foreign to me that I feel fortunate. Grateful to have never been abused emotionally or physically. I've been heart broken, but haven't felt completely drained or defeated, thankfully.

Love and friendships, I've never felt this much love from a groups of friends as I do right now. Friendships of my past,  I assumed not having trust was normal. Jealousy and envy where normal occurrences and I would wait for people to hurt me in order to address things. I honestly thought waiting for a friend to eventually, stab me in the back was normal. Mistrust and cutting people off like diseased appendages was something I just did. Never trying to solve issues just always walking away, and picking up broken pieces alone. Now more then ever I get it when my mom used to say "your friends change as your interest in life change". My interest have definitely grown and changed.

Love has humbled me, and has shown me my ego is nothing. It was my ego that kept bad people around. I assume that my greatness would change people, and if it didn't, the power of my greatness would make people not harm me, because they should know better. It wasn't until a few years ago that I learned, people are who they are regardless of how nice, mean, pleasant or evil I am to them. They are who they are and I should believe them, when they show me. Also if who they are battles with me, and the love I have for myself let them go.

I don't have to love hard, I can open up and nurture healthy love. I am the gate keeper, and I decide who I let in or out. So for now on I will love unafraid, but only to those who love me the same way.


By: Queen

Twitter @TheQueenSpeaks_ Instagram @TheQueenSpeaks_
Dear Katy Perry 

Or as my best friend addresses you, appropriating, talent-less, nonsense face!

It has been brought to my attention that you have somehow confused the definition of the words appropriate and appreciate. Usually I would get upset and tell you about yourself, but then I decided to explore this matter a bit more. Sometimes, even I confuse simple words, elementary words, as simple as orange and bicycle. Two very different words, with very different meanings, yet somehow I mixed them up daily. I go to grocery stores asking sales people what aisle I can find fresh bicycles, and similar to how EVERYONE looks at you like you are crazy for continuously, confusing this appreciation you have for cultures that are not your own as appropriation, I similarly get weird looks, ridicule and whispers. Is it us, or everyone else? Clearly something has to be examined.
1.


















I then thought further, these employees, with everyday grocery store experience, could in fact now be insulted because I bring my foolishness to them weekly. Also, if people employed at the grocery store  are always  alarmed by my misuse of the word bicycle when I want oranges, maybe, just maybe I should learn what these words actually mean so I may go about life using them correctly. I would offer that advice to you, but I am writing to a person who thought wearing a block of cheese as a hat at the MTV awards was fashionable, and I'm assuming you only think in food, hence the grocery story analogy. Seriously, you need to stop, just stop already! Dressing like a Geisha, wearing cornrows and baby hairs, and having mummies with features clearly of black women isn't showing appreciation. I've yet to see appreciation ceremonies where people dress like who they appreciate. . . .actually I have. It's called HALLOWEEN, but white people never get that right, so maybe that's a poor example. 
2.
My point is this, the day when you are born of a race that isn't primarily of European ancestry and everything about your race and culture is first hated, deemed less than and savage, THEN tell that whole race of people their standards of beauty, dress, natural born features, are bad, THEN make them hate themselves for it, so they try everything under the sun to look more European, THEN  on top of that, blast in the media horrible stereotypes based on these things, (wait i'm not done) THEN you turn on the television and see this white woman (with horrible songs), has decided to appreciate your race or culture, by wearing it as a fucking costume, to make her look cool, and also make money off of, please write back to me explaining how this "appreciation" makes you feel. I am pretty sure that all relates to the definition of the word appropriate, NOT appreciate. 
3.











You my dear, have clearly missed the point, and keep appropriating everything. are you going to be an Australian Aborigine, at your next concert. I hear they're missing out on all the appropriation action, so there's an open market. Or how about you do exactly what you said in your Rolling Stones article and stay in your lane, the dairy aisle, 'cause this act is old and spoiled.
4. 













Sincerely, Queen






There's never a bad time to pamper yourself. I am firm believer in catering to your own needs first, in order to effectively be able to cater to the needs of others. Be it work, your children or even your Friends, you typically are optimal at be great it it when you you head space is in a great place. I recently found this great home detox body wrap that I tried, and I loved it. 


Now more than ever I make sure to nurture myself, it's important that I provide these things for me, and not always depend on it from others.
This is why anytime I find something that works for me I share it, I hope in some way it works in helping you with your self nurturing.


Detox body wrap
Author: 
Recipe type: DIY Beauty
A purifying papaya body wrap to relax and detox the body while smoothing and softening the skin.
Ingredients
  • 3 cups papaya, grated
  • 2 cups plain yogurt
  • 2 cups rice bran
  • ½ cup softened coconut oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 cup Epsom salts
  • Old bed sheet preferably cotton
Instructions
  1. Prepare a bath, sun lounge or floor with towels to lie on. Check the room is warm, because the wrap will cool the body. Put the heater on or an old blanket in reach, if need be.
  2. Mix all the ingredients, except for the Epsom salts, in a big bowl.
  3. Place 1 cup of the mixture in a separate bowl to use on the face.
  4. Stir the Epsom salt into the big bowl of mixture and the body wrap is ready.
  5. Take a warm shower to help open the pores, but don’t shave before the wrap.
  6. Spread out the bed sheet and sit in the middle.
  7. Using your hands, pat the mixture all over your body, starting with your feet and covering up with the bed sheet as you go.
  8. Apply the face mask and snuggle up in the sheet.
  9. Relax, by focusing on your breathing. Stay there for anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes.
  10. When you’re ready, scrape the body wrap onto the sheet and dispose or clean off for another use. I have been known to compost the whole thing, cotton sheet and all.
  11. Rinse off under a warm, but not hot shower. Moisturize with something like the whipped green tea and coconut oil moisturizer from Henry Happened.
  12. Drink lots of water and pay attention to how you and your skin feel.
  13. It’s a good idea to exfoliate the body every day for three days after, because of the way the enzymes dissolve and dislodge the dead cell walls and toxins.
  14. You can repeat this treatment once a week for a month and continue monthly for maintenance.
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