Normani: Propelled to Stardom

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Normani

Normani Hamilton was born on May 31, 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia. When she was young, her family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, her family relocated to Houston, Texas. Normani loved dancing and beauty pageants and she started signing gospel music and recorded her first song when she was 13. In 2012, Normani auditioned on the TV show The X Factor USA. Normani was eliminated in the second round of the show. Later into the season, she was brought back on the show. For her second time around, she was placed in a women’s group with four other contestants. Normani joined with Ally Brooke, Camila Cabello, Dinah Jane, and Lauren Jauregui to form Fifth Harmony. By the end of the season, Fifth Harmony placed third.

Fifth Harmony released their first EP, Better Together on October 19, 2013 through Epic Records. The five-tracks focused on love and heartbreak. Better Together was the group’s attempt at mainstream pop music. “Miss Movin’ On” was the lead single and charted the US Billboard Hot 100. On January 20, 2015, Fifth Harmony released Reflection. With 11-tracks, the debut album drew off previous notions and focused and centered on empowerment. Popular musicians like Tyga, Meghan Trainor, and Kid Ink made guest appearances on the album. Reflection made it to the number five spot on Billboard 200 Chart. Normani toured with the group for a year to promote their new music in America, Europe, and parts of Asia.

Normani also appeared in dance videos with other artists for songs like “F*ck Up Some Commas” by Future and “Do Not Disturb” by Teyana Taylor, which garnered more fans for the artist. In the following year, Normani released several cover songs that became popular. Fifth Harmony released 7/27 on May 27, 2016 and their second studio album blended the likeness of pop and R&B. Missy Elliott, Ty Dolla Sign, and Fetty Wap were featured on the album. 7/27 made it to number four on the US Billboard 200. “Work From Home” was the lead single and the highest charting single from the album. Normani continued to create a buzz around herself in 2017 when she competed on Dancing with the Stars season 24. Normani and dance partner Valentin Chmerkovskiy placed in third on the finale.

SamSmithNormani

Camila Cabello decided to leave Fifth Harmony to pursue her own solo career, and it was later announced Normani signed to S10 Entertainment as a solo artist. The move left fans wondering what would happen to the group. Down to four members, the group released Fifth Harmony as their third studio album on August 25, 2017. Fifth Harmony debuted at number four on the Billboard 200 Chart. Lead singles from the album included “Down” featuring Gucci Mane, “He Like That”, and “Don’t Say You Love Me”.

In February 2018, Khalid released the song “Love Lies” which featured Normani. The single reached number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. In March, Fifth Harmony announced the four-member group would go on an indefinite hiatus to pursue solo careers. Normani signed to Keep Cool/RCA Records in April to start working on her solo album. She then secured a modeling contract with Wilhelmina in May.

Normani worked with musician Calvin Harris to release two songs, “Checklist” and “Slow Down”. She was also featured on 6lack’s “Waves” and Sam Smith’s “Dancing with a Stranger”. As a new solo artist, Normani is topping charts and creating a larger base of creative work for people to discover her. Fans are anxiously waiting for the release date of her upcoming solo album. Normani is currently opening for Ariana Grande on Grande’s 2019 ‘Sweetener’ world tour.

Written by: Carlton Rolle
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Passive Violence

Can you relate to me?
Not for just the Blackness you see in passing.
The threat is deeper and longer lasting.
Structured in a way that we unconsciously support.
We’re forced into an indirect consort.
When our eyes align, superficial feelings are pushed aside.
The aggressive treatment of my history attempts to hide.
Thinking you know one thing or another.
You fear me.
Quite scared to be near me.
Think you know what I want and why.
Something you own like your studded purse turns to the side.
Hoping to win a friend, a nod, or acceptance.
Flagrantly suggestive, mumbles are heard.
At this point, you utter several more words.
I’m lynched by your assumptions.
Can you feel the sweat and tears with each flinch?
Do you know your methods are taking a toll?
I’m pushing the gas, we can’t stroll.
I harness the moment.
I own your violence.
You can’t deny it.
I require your compliance.
You will not harm my silence.
I’m defiant.
Your word isn’t law.
Oppression isn’t the only flaw.
You can’t relate to me.
You’re just pampered and ignorant.
I’m not trying to hear it.

 

Originally published at 12By6.

Lone Wolf

Don’t tell me they don’t exist.

The psychological profiles are hard to miss.

Domestic leaders act ignorantly bliss.

I celebrate calling a spade, a spade.

Why can’t they be a terrorist?

Shameful fame travels beyond the name.

Creating legions of fans and foes even when some know it’s wrong.

Forcing others to sing depressing songs.

Howls in the wind won’t gain favor.

Bloody pews won’t make me see your idea later.

Why receive safekeeping when they don’t care?

If it comes to looting life, why think they did something right?

As if entitled to fight.

Hoping that others will co-sign the feverish fright.

Afraid of people’s rights?

Scared of retribution?

A mutiny was the solution.

Or the dissolution of civilian’s light.

Make their skin the brightest in the dark night.

Wanting to be the teacher.

But the lesson is in session.

The time has come.

Terrorist’ accountability will be won.

White Supremacy should be shunned.

But the White War hasn’t really begun.

Just battles played out between the loser’s sums.

Painting the streets with guns.

Blasting a message with bombs.

Spreading chemicals to engineer contagious harm.

Why aren’t more people alarmed?

There’s a problem inside of humanity’s farm.

It’s not just that they were bullied or misfits.

Assumptions fly that the guy must be shy, but damaged.

Even though it’s managed just fine when it comes to destroying innocent lives.

Misguided, the violence stings even when you understand the meaning.

The birth of this nation is guided by sudden feedings.

Death, theft, and gluttony are what they know.

It goes to show how fearful we are of the land.

Yet it looks like a cover-up is a major plan.

These lone wolves act like they are part of a team.

 

Originally published at 12BY6.

Brave Son

How do I teach my son to be brave?

Soar past others’ notions.

Fight for his dreams.

And eventually, achieve his set of keys.

The gateway to freedom comes at a cost.

Fighting for passion shouldn’t come at an extreme loss.

When do I begin to teach my son to cross?

Waves of oppression, neglect, or greed poised to make his body their new breed.

I wish we were on the same team, but society’s message bleeds into me.

Set the expendable boy free.

We’ll teach him what to see.

He’ll be what we want him to be.

He’s not the steed to showoff to degenerate thieves.

How do I teach my son to leave when faced with hatred?

He shouldn’t have to be irate or complacent.

I want him to enhance the quality of impressions cast.

His legacy should be made to last.

Not to speaking up to be killed fast.

Don’t send him up the bend hoping the charade would mend sovereign skin.

How do I teach my son to search for a mission?

It’s his decision to create the vision.

We shouldn’t only pick dropping bars, running from the law, or bouncing a ball.

There are more ways to climb up this inescapable wall.

Yes son, we all will fall.

But it’s the victors who don’t lie down or stall.

How do I teach my son that survival is a jagged ledge before a fall?

Too many of us lost, enslaved, emasculated, and underappreciated.

We are robbed of the joy we’re supposed to have.

And told to work harder to “earn” back a fraction.

Walling off sections of our brain.

Is a battle to remain sane.

How do I teach my son to be brave?

Knowing that everyone doesn’t get saved.

Originally published at 12BY6.

Trapped Truth

The quest for my truth feels forbidden.

Like it was thrown away.

Left in a cage.

It was denied.

No one to pay more than minimum wage.

Behind closed doors, I swore I would never be some whore.

My bank account says I’m poor.

I don’t want to sleep on the floor.

So I sweep when presented a feast.

Sucking at the minerals like a savage.

I manage I smile although I’m ravaged.

I’m a peasant.

I don’t live in the present.

I thirst for tomorrow.

Not moral honor in my repressed sorrow.

If life continues to bring remiss, do I have to constantly feign bliss?

If the cycle is unending, will my sanity be transcending?

Longer then my reach, this existence has mutated into a leech.

Systematic in greed.

What I perceive in mostly reprieve.

Structured to cause the masses to struggle.

Weighted down without an escape latch or shuttle.

Crabs in a barrel.

Hidden by controlled governmental tricks.

I’m screaming in agony.

I don’t want to lose my wits.

Even though it’s bound to split.

Toss and turn.

My raggedy patience burns.

Leaving my silenced logic.

I stay trapped in the Beast’s closet.

Until someone else can solve it.

My truth stumbles in apocalyptic boots.

 

Originally published at 12BY6.

Writer’s Fear

Jotting down notes, my pen is swimming.

Chasing the dream of celebrity splendor.

Better then mimicking collectors on the market.

Scavengers of short-term profit.

I hold my thoughts close to the page.

Not daring to let loose until copyright law has the stage.

I don’t want to be the one receiving the damning call.

Someone has created the project’s downfall.

It’s a scheme.

Pushed over the edge, becoming a meme.

I don’t want to be obscene.

Crushing wealth is deemed supreme.

Losing in the name of greedy theft.

There’s little reward in what’s left.

Cashed checks gone into someone else’s dream.

Turns people into the combating team.

I shouldn’t want to hide.

I don’t want it taken.

Ripped before I can partake in the reawakening.

I want to nurture my dreams before another team takes the shot.

Even if the story doesn’t get the published slot.

Searching for the gold that needs to be caught.

Does it bring additional growth outside the changing of my cot?

Do the words reflect the shifting land?

To have artistry stolen.

Is it worth trolling?

People need something to claim.

Especially if they get it from another name.

Why dine on my spine?

Why kill my fame?

Ghostwriting wasn’t apart of gain.

I acknowledge the damage done.

I’ll hold my creativity accountable until the battle is won.

Taking a measurement to release entrepreneurial sums.

Will I be rewarded?

Can I truly afford it?

The lessons of each session come in clearer?

Though my apex may be endearing.

My fear grows when drama is nearing.

It’s time to open the gap and stop pretending.

Close to the point, the words must anoint.

My spirit prevails whenever the words swell.

Breath.

Be at ease.

My writer’s fear will blow away with the breeze.

 

Originally published at 12BY6.

Rugged Fluff

Destruction.

Written across my face.

Clear as if meant common enough.

The flaw.

An assumption made on being tough.

I don’t like having to be rough.

But damn it, I said, “Enough is Enough.”

The look on your face as you sit there looking shy.

Clearly it states you don’t understand why.

Makes my sanity tumble when all you do is mumble.

There’s no point.

Your path will not be my direct gain.

Not at least because I won’t be the same.

I won’t conceive it.

Believe it.

I’m through with your rugged fluff.

babbling

Babbling of the Irrational Mind