Hot Takes: André Leon Tally, Kanye & His Muses, Madea Returns & More

All the hottest takes!

And just like that, it’s the new year again. After weeks of partying and catching up with family and friends during the festive season, we’re back to business as normal as the hazy January days roll in. Although I’m firmly in work mode these days, I’ve been reminiscing on the December period and all the fun that I had to get me through the long quarter ahead. 

I ended my detty December in Ghana which was offered a more serene and slower pace than Lagos. It was really peaceful and calm and exactly the remedy I needed to begin the new year and recharge my spirits. While it’s been a quiet month already, there’s already been enough buzz-worthy pop culture moments happening all across the world to kickstart the first edition of our Hot Takes column this week. From witnessing the entire world Pushin’ P with Gunna, Future and Young Thug to Kanye’s many muses, the sad passing of André Leon Tally and the return of ‘Euphoria,’ this week I’ll be taking the reins with our production assistant, Moore to dish on all the hottest takes from around the world. Enjoy!

What I’m Currently Listening To

The year just started and there are a few releases out already. My favourite at the moment happens to be from Fave, the 21-year-old newcomer and Fresh Meat alum who recently shared the world around her debut EP ‘Riddim 5’ with loyal fans. The succinct 5-tracker runs under the 20-minute mark but still packs in a punch with honest storytelling and catchy beats. I’m extremely impressed at the outcome of the tape but of course, I have some favourites. The standout track for me will be “Mr Man”. I simply love everything about this track, from the lyrical content to the delivery, the track really does it for me. Close second is “Baby Riddim”, as the song simply cannot get old to me. In fact, it sounds like a completely new track on the tape.

What I’m Currently Watching

written by Moore Wright

The second season of HBO’s ‘Euphoria’ recently premiered after an almost three-year break. The long wait seems to have only increased audience’s enthusiasm for the show, as it’s already been all the rave on social media. The season had an explosive start, with Rue and Fezco having an encounter with drug dealers that quickly turns violent. This made the show seem less like the colourful, if very intense, teen drama that we know and more like the hectic thriller ‘Uncut Gems,’ also produced by A24.

The cinematography also marks a change in tone. Shot on film, it is a far more muted with a hazy colour palette than the purple hued previous season. The showrunner Sam Levinson stated that the intention was to make this feel like a house party “at 5 am, way past the point in which everyone should have gone home.” The characters are dressing differently and behaving even more messy than before. With lighter makeup that lets the texture of their skin show clearly on film, it feels like we are truly
seeing the cracks beneath the masks that the characters wore in the previous season. The first season may have felt more like the peak of a high on a night out, this season feels more like the start of the comedown.

Some Of My Favourite TikTok Trends Right Now

The “Gorgeous gorgeous girls” trend has been gaining traction on TikTok. It was first posted by the account @fishdress, in a video in which it was said that “Gorgeous, gorgeous girls love soup. Soup girls are the most popular girls in the chicken coup.” People have begun using the first three words and following up with various things that they think is gorgeous girl behaviour.
Videos ranging from serious PSAs on people encouraging more social awareness, to people proclaiming what they think is hot girl behaviour.

André Leon Talley Has Passed Away

André Leon Talley, Vogue’s first African-American male creative director has passed on at age 73. Talley was a prestigious fashion journalist, creative director, stylist and editor-at-large at Vogue Magazine. It was reported that he died right after suffering a heart attack according to Graydon Carter.  He was a lifelong advocate of fashion as his career in fashion began with an internship for former Vogue editor, Diana Vreeland. He began writing for publications including W and the New York Times, but his rise to fame began when he began writing for US Vogue. He shortly rose to become the magazine’s news director and afterwards became the creative director until he left in 1995. He returned to Vogue a few years later where he felt at home and remained the editor-at-large until 2013.

Interestingly, Tally also served as a judge on America’s Next Top Model from cycle 14 – cycle 17. Tally was not just popular but an important figure in the fashion world, as he was known for his elegant and flamboyant style. He’d dress in kaftans, hats and robes which he wore quite frequently. Alongside writing for publications, he authored three books of which one landed on New York Times bestseller list. From styling The Obama’s during their time in the white house to styling Melania Trump on her wedding, Tally has lived a good life with a career spread over 6 decades. The entire fashion and journalism industry mourns his life and legacy which will never be forgotten. 


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Kanye And His Many Muses

written by Moore Wright

Kanye West has long been respected as a visionary artist, both when it comes to his music and within the fashion industry One of the ways in which his eye for style is expressed is through the way that he seems to strip down and build up his romantic partners. Kanye’s Pygmalion-like tendency to sculpt women in his preferred image can be seen through his whirlwind romance with Julia Fox.

According to Fox, the pair met on New Years, moving very quickly afterwards. On their second date Kanye filled an entire suite with new clothes for Fox, a process documented in Interview Magazine. Since then, Julia’s street style has already made a marked change, with many of her outfits paralleling those of Kim Kardashian, Kanye’s estranged wife. This is something he’s done with his past partners. 

This pattern can be seen with his exes such as Amber Rose, who he urged to wear a minimalistic white gown to the Metropolitan Opera’s 125th-anniversary gala at Lincoln Center, going against her personal style. Amber still seemed to keep some of her own character in her clothes however. As documented on ‘Keeping up with the Kardashians,’ Kanye took his styling to new lengths with Kim Kardashian, almost completely clearing out and replacing her closet. “[Kanye] sent me a whole email, like, ‘You cannot wear big glasses anymore. It’s all about tiny little glasses,’” Kardashian said about Kanye’s fashion instructions. They ran into some trouble at the 2019 Met Gala where he changed his mind about revealing clothes, encouraging Kim to wear a more conservative outfit, to which Kim argued that he was the one who encouraged her to lean into her sex appeal. His method of transforming his partners is not something that appears to be sustainable. People are unlikely to allow themselves to be shaped by the whims of an artist for long, especially when it comes to their own self expression.


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Madea returns

Written by Moore Wright

Tyler Perry returns to his iconic character Madea with his recent announcement of ‘A Madea Homecoming.’ This comes three years after his announced decision to permanently lay his character to rest. Many have had mixed feelings about this return, along with growing criticisms of Tyler Perry as a filmmaker in general. A common criticism is that his films tend to be overly moralistic.

In ‘Madea’s Family Reunion,’ there was a speech in which the character Myrtle said “young black women, you are more than your thighs and your hips” after a character in short shorts was ogled. It was framed to more of a call to change their behaviour, instead of addressing the men who did the ogling. In another of Perry’s film’s ‘Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counsellor’ the main character engages in an affair (which does not start consensually) and winds up contracting AIDS as punishment for her infidelity, which sends the wrong message to viewers.

However, in the years that have past since his last Madea film was made, Perry may have begun to make some changes to his universe. He is trying to be more inclusive this time around, stating that this film will include an LGBTQ+ storyline.
Perry does appear to be a filmmaker that cares deeply about his audience, and the movies are no worse than many broad comedies of the 2000s, both in terms of quality and problematic moments. It’s not exactly his fault that he was seen as the defining voice of black comedy for so long, but as a result he is being held to a higher standard. Hopefully, the increasing criticisms cause many people have towards his films causes an increase in quality.

Being Child Free Should Not Be Controversial

Pope Francis made waves by announcing that those who choose not to have children are selfish. It is strange that a man who has dedicated his life to a cause, spreading the word of God would question why many people abstain from having children themselves. Young people are growing more aware of the difficulties of being an adult, in part due to people documenting their lives on social media. Many find themselves in mountains of debt, unable to find well-paying jobs in the increasingly competitive job market, making them unsure of how they’d care for a child financially. Increasing worries about climate change also makes young people wary of brining children into the world. Considering how much of a negative environmental impact having a child may cause, many are choosing not to have children as a way to reduce their own carbon footprints.

Regardless of all these very valid reasons, there are many who also choose to not have children simply because they don’t want to. It would arguably be far more selfish of them to bring a child into the world knowing they lack the capability or resources to care for them. We are in the 21st century, far past the point of doing things simply because it is expected. Unfortunately, with the increasing restrictions on abortion access in places like the US, along with Pope Francis’s statement, can make it appear that we are regressing to a more archaic form of thinking, where people have less of a say with what they do with their lives and bodies. The outspokenness of people rallying to improve abortion access, and being honest about their decisions not to have children gives some hope however.

There are more honest discussions about the difficulties of parenthood also. The Nigerian film, ‘For Maria Ebun Pataki’ is a rare film that doesn’t present parenthood and motherhood in particular as an inherently joyful experience. It acknowledges the difficulties that come with it, as it chronicles a woman who deals with postpartum depression. For this to come out of a very Christian country like Nigeria, where parenthood is simply seen as a right of passage into adulthood is very promising.

Featured image credits/NATIVE

Words by Wonu Osiokoya and Moore Wright

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