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Willow Smith Wants Black Women to Embrace Their Love of Punk Rock After Being “Bullied” Herself

By | June 9, 2021

Image Source: Getty / Jerritt Clark

Willow Smith grew up in the music scene. Her dad, Will Smith, got his start as the “Fresh Prince,” and her mom, Jada Pinkett Smith, was the lead vocalist for metal band Wicked Wisdom in the early ’00s. But despite the diversity of her parents’ experience, Willow still felt ostracized from the punk-rock community growing up. She recently sat down with Alexis White of Straight Line Stitch for V magazine to talk about their shared experience of navigating the rock world as Black women.

Willow released her track “Transparent Soul” featuring Travis Barker of Blink-182 back in April. The song has become a viral TikTok track and brought in over two million views on YouTube, but Willow told White her experience in the industry hasn’t been easy. “Being a Black woman in the metal crowd is very, very different on top of the pressures that the music industry puts on you,” Willow explained. “Now, it’s like an added pressure of the metal culture, the metal world, and just rock in general. I used to get bullied in school for listening to Paramore and My Chemical Romance.”

This exclusion or intimidation of Black women in metal music is far from new. As Willow recalled, her mom used to receive “death threats” and “people would say violent things” when she was on stage. “I’ve always wanted to do this type of music and always been so afraid to do so . . . because I saw the hate and verbal abuse that my mom had to go through, that stuck with me.”

“You’re not alone. You’re not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?”

Now, the 20-year-old musician is overcoming her fear and making the genre more inclusive. “Just through the music that I’m putting out right now and the representation that I can bring to the mix, I just hope that the Black girls who are listening to my music and listening to this album see that there’s more of us out there,” Willow said. “It’s a real thing, you’re not alone. You’re not the only Black girl who wishes she could flip her hair to the side, and wear black eyeliner, you know what I mean?”

Willow’s album is coming out soon and will feature musical guests including her idol and “pop punk queen” Avril Lavigne. A tour is also on the horizon. Willow has dreams of going even grungier with her music, but that’s still to come. “I’m going to go wherever the music is, but I love pop-punk a lot. But, where my heart lies, is metal. At some point, that’s definitely going to happen.”

Still Reeling From The Last Thing He Told Me? Here Are 15 Thrillers to Read Next

By | June 5, 2021

Laura Dave’s sixth novel and thriller debut, The Last Thing He Told Me, hit bookshelves earlier this month, and by far, it’s already one of the most talked about thrillers of 2021. And it’s not just us who thinks so – the novel has already been optioned as a limited series for Apple TV+. The series will star Julia Roberts, who will be coproducing alongside Reese Witherspoon‘s Hello Sunshine company. The Last Thing He Told Me was a Reese’s Book Club pick for the month of May. Needless to say, it’s getting the full Hollywood treatment.

Based off our own post-book mood, we’re guessing TLTHTM might have possibly left you with one of the most monstrous book hangovers ever? We figured. So we rounded up a list of similar titles packed with family drama, lies, disappearances, and domestic tension. Find your hair of the dog in one these equally riveting, suspense-filled thrillers!

Little Mix Team Up With Drag Race UK Stars in Their New “Confetti” Video

By | May 1, 2021

Little Mix have released a brand-new music video for their latest single, “Confetti,” which sees Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Perrie Edwards, and Jade Thirlwall transform into swanky men versions of themselves, and we have to say, the result is pretty impressive. The band members take on men alter egos, wearing chunky gold chains, fake tattoos, and hair pieces that’ll genuinely have you questioning whether or not they could be real people. The “boys” are seen to mimic the dance moves in a way that gives us major Ciara “Like a Boy” vibes, and we’re definitely here for it.

But that’s not even the best part of the video, Little Mix teamed up with RuPaul’s Drag Race UK stars Tayce, A’Whora, and Bimini Bon Boulash for the cameo of a lifetime, and we honestly can’t think of a better way for the girls to show their appreciation for Drag Race.

The video marks Little Mix’s first release since former band member Jesy Nelson officially announced that she was leaving. In a recent interview with Euphoria Magazine, Thirlwall talked about the transition since Nelson left the band. “It’s still all systems go in Little Mix world,” she said. “It’s just learning to adapt. I think it’s quite exciting.” Edwards added that the band attended group therapy sessions to help them process the news. “We’re each other’s support system in a way because we’re sisters and feel every emotion together,” she said. “We can always lean on each other.”

Watch the “Confetti” video in full above.

Things Heard & Seen: Netflix’s Twisty New Thriller Is Based on a Book - Read the Spoilers

By | April 16, 2021

As a bookworm, I take pride in the fact that I can usually say “Eh, the book was better.” However, after viewing the trailer for Netflix’s upcoming thriller, I’m not so sure that will be the case with Things Heard & Seen. The movie already looks like it’ll be more fast-paced than the book it’s inspired by, All Things Cease To Appear by Elizabeth Brundage. While the trailer amps up the suspense and mystery right away, the book takes a more lackadaisical approach in weaving the eerie tale. If you’re curious about Things Heard & Seen, coming to Netflix on April 29, here’s what to know about the book version.

The Clare Family

All Things Cease to Appear centers around an old farmhouse in Upstate New York with a gruesome past. George Clare claims his wife has been murdered and that he needs someone to call for help. Catherine Clare is discovered with an axe in her head in her bedroom; she had been home alone with her 3-year-old daughter, Franny, all day. Who murdered Catherine? Well, the book won’t tell you because it frustratingly bounces between several timelines. George is questioned by the police, before skipping town with Franny the next morning.

The Hale Family

The book jumps to when Cal and Ella Hale are living on their old family dairy farm. They have three sons: Eddy, Wade, and Cole. Life isn’t great, but they’re making the best of it. Like other farms in the area, they’ve fallen upon hard times. Cal takes out his frustrations on his family and turns to drinking and abusive behavior to cope. Ella knows her husband isn’t faithful, and frankly, she doesn’t seem to care much. She knows she is a good mom, and that her sons will grow up to be good men.

When life becomes too much, Cal dies by suicide and kills his wife by leaking gas into their bedroom. When the bodies are discovered, the brothers are swept away to live with their uncle in the nearby town. The boys can’t seem to give up on the house they love. They come by the house and offer to do chores around the farm. Catherine (yes, the one who is later murdered) finds it incredibly helpful, and the boys find comfort being back on the family farm. Cole becomes their babysitter, entertaining Franny while the older two boys do the harder physical labor. They spend a lot of time with Catherine and they make her feel useful and wanted.

Getting to Know Catherine

The story jumps once again to Catherine’s perspective. As a city girl, she finds it incredibly hard to settle on the 200 acres of farmland they purchased. She feels uneasy in the house but can’t figure out why. Eerie instances abound; chills go down her spine when she walks through certain areas, she finds someone else’s (Ella Hale’s) rings near the sink while doing dishes, and she sees another woman’s reflection in the window. The reader learns that George knows of the house’s tragic past, but Catherine does not.

Getting to Know George

George appears to be a pitiful, helpless widow, but through a series of flashbacks, you discover that isn’t quite the case. He gaslights Catherine at every turn. In fact, George and Catherine had actually broken up when she found out she was pregnant but they get married to “do the right thing.” He forges a letter and his qualifications in order to get his job at the college. He becomes involved with Willis, a 19-year-old from California. He sexually and verbally abuses Willis, at one point cutting all of her hair off, just to establish control over her. He is and unfaithful, manipulative sociopath.

The Chilling Conclusion

It’s a snowy day when Catherine works up the courage to leave George. She packs some suitcases and Franny in the car, then is unable to pull out of the driveway. Catherine goes back inside dejected and quickly loses steam with her entire plan. She admits to George that she was planning on leaving when he questions her about the suitcases. From there, we’re led to assume that George murders Catherine, drugs Franny with sleeping medicine, and goes to work the next day.

The story concludes with an epilogue years in the future. Franny is in med school as a surgical apprentice, hating life. She is sleeping with a married man, renting a small, sterile apartment, and doesn’t have much zest for life. She receives a call that her father’s real estate agent has sold the old farmhouse and needs Franny to come clear out their personal belongings. George is an old man at this point, going blind from diabetes and unable to help at all. When Franny steps back in the house she feels a chill and a sense of calm all at once; she feels like she’s home. She makes her rounds around the town and the book awkwardly ends with Cole and Franny making out.

Overall All Things Cease to Appear is slow burn. It’s got some great bones, just as George says in the trailer for Things Heard & Seen, but the story might actually make for a better film.

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga’s House of Gucci Set Photos Are Proof We Deserve Nice Things

By | March 11, 2021

Adam Driver and Lady Gaga are a force to be reckoned with. Driver, a Scorpio; Gaga, an Aries. Some might call them an explosive match, which seems fitting given their new project together: House of Gucci. The costars lead Ridley Scott’s upcoming murder drama about the killing of Guccio Gucci’s grandson Maurizio, played by Driver. Gaga provided a first look at the film on Instagram on March 9, where she and Driver posed for a snap in character, captioned: “Signore e Signora Gucci.”

Whew, there’s much to unpack in these set pictures. First, there’s a bespectacled Driver wearing the sh*t out of a chunky knit sweater à la Chris Evans in Knives Out. Then you have Gaga giving her best Ally Maine in Italy, complete with brunette hair and gold chains that would make Gen Z quake. Shooting continued in Milan on March 10, where Gaga was pictured seemingly doing something shady in character while Driver was simply minding his business in the same market. You know Gaga’s character means business with that feathered hair and fur coat. On March 11, the pair were seen sharing a few intimate moments in character, with Gaga and Driver enjoying a nice Italian pastry.

Their actions and outfits could be a nod to the tense storyline, where Gaga will be taking on the role of Patrizia Reggiani, Maurizio’s ex-wife. Patrizia was convicted of plotting Maurizio’s assassination in 1995 after he left her for another woman. She gained notoriety as the “Black Widow” of Italy and served 18 years before being let out of jail in 2016. There are still plenty of unknowns left as the real-life story makes its way to the big screen, but we anticipate much will unfold before its anticipated Nov. 24 release date.