Category Archives: FASHION and LIFESTYLE

Photos: Solange shares artsy-xotic pics from her 8-day honeymoon in Brazil

Sol2n

We recently posted an article on lovebirds, Solange and Alan Ferguson’s nuptials, and now the blissful newly wed Solange treated fans to a number of abstract shots from her week-long, simplexotic my word Brazilian honeymoon.

Each pic posted, mysteriously tells its own love loaded story, and as the creative and unique soul she is..we expected no less than a work of Art even in simplicity.

Check out some of the pics below:

SolangeBrazil134245611_n
Captioned: “Thank you Trancoso for being the most magical lil place to “honey our moon”…. Brazil could not have been kinder to us and our love…..”

Brazil4493590_n
“Corumbau,Brazil”

Pink0573_1870231673_n

Streets1269_1130648469_n
“Mid”

closet876_1964668662_n
“Mr… got the blues…”

corner3905338_2118226830_n

Alan05684_301450468_n
“Always looking out”

Model5_1614590425_n

Water17929808_1026370402_n
“Hang me out to dry”

Trees055908725_1746640301_n

Brazil82770080_1754046603_n
She posted her last pic, saying, “8 days of photos. Brazil. Endless opportunity to capture vibes. But enough eh”

Photo: Will and Jada Pinkett Smith spend Turkey Day in Jamaica

JadaWill30761320_3595981156078514404_n

The power duo, Will and Jada Smith recently gathered on the island of Jamaica to with friends and family in Thanksgiving celebration mode.

Posted on Jada’s official Facebook page was the following caption: “I’m having Thanksgiving this year in the land of which my grandmother was born…Jamaica.

I’m deeply grateful this Thanksgiving, but there will be prayer at my dinner table tonight for the Brown family, the family of Tamir Rice and all the men and women we have lost to violence.

My love to you and yours…Love J”

Accompanied by this loving pic with friends and fam (See above)

So Jada has some Jamaican blood up in there…no wonder we love her *grins*

ALSO WATCH: Will Smith makes major reference to Bob Marley in ‘I AM LEGEND’ film

Photos: Solange Knowles marries fiance Alan Ferguson

Solange radiantly glows in bridal mode with her proud husband Music Video director Alan Ferguson, where they tied the knot Sunday, November 16th, 2014.
.
Earlier this year in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar Solange said, “Luckily, I dated all of the losers ages ago…My love life has been stable for a while. It’s a f–cked up thing … without conflict it’s a lot harder to write interesting songs.”

51 year old Ferguson is known for directing videos for popular celebrities such as John Legend, Katy Perry and co-directed Beyonce’s ‘Dance For You’, to name a few.

The lovebirds reportedly rode white bicycles to the location, the bride strikingly dressed in a uniquely designed ivory pants suit as her pre-wedding attire; and groom donning elaborately gold-tipped pair of black shoes and a pure white suit.

The 28 year old singer told Vogue.com, “Everyone I worked with on the wedding are friends who I love…Everything was a labor of love.”

Solange made a powerful, angelic statement in her ivory, flowing wedding dress, accentuated with gold cuffs, designed by Humberto Leo for Kenzo. See pics below:

(Pics via Vibe.com)

solange-knowles-alan-ferguson-wedding_1

Solang

Solange-Knowle

Image by Rog Walker
Dress by Humberto Leon for Kenzo

solange-knowles-alan-ferguson-wedding_1

Image by Rog Walker

Solange-Wed

Solange-Weddin8

Solange-Wedding

Solange-Wedding10

Solange

solangeweddingbikes

Rihanna graces the cover of December 2014 issue of Esquire UK magazine

Miss Rih Rih continues to prove why she was awarded 2014 Style Icon at the CDFA Awards.

Check out some of the pics from one of her latest editorial appearances in the December issue of Esquire UK magazine: Photos by Ellen Von Unwerth

rih7741367_4172602242840789590_n

rih737741329_4703144583794206281_n

rihanna esquire1364_2921406575090773681_n

rihanna7976_1272001122346231854_n

rihanna6007741302_1489386685153787454_n

rihannaEsquireUK

rihnana407969_6554262446338869720_n

rihrih407990_962293213767467217_n

rihuk407988_3058673205714697072_n

NB. Rihanna recently had the internet in a frenzy, making her Navy real excited, when she made her grand return to Instagram, after a six month hiatus

Photo: Jada Pinkett-Smith gives fans a peek of intimate moments she shares with Will

jada

“I discovered the sexiest secret the other day. My husband takes pics of me in my sleep. He has a whole stash he revealed to me and I really enjoyed getting a glimpse of myself through his eyes. I had to share one with you guys;)

Life is art. Life is beauty.

J”

We love this:-)

COMMENTARY: Cubans love Music; Is ‘real’ Reggae Music finally seeing some light in the largest Caribbean Island?


Photo/Caridad

Views expressed are solely the opinion of the writer, and when of others is clearly quoted, and not (unless specifically stated as such) that of www.nataliemonique.com.

by Natalie Monique

The Republic of Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean (over 11 million inhabitants), having gained formal Independence from the United States in 1902. Cuba has always been known for its rigid Communist regime under Leader Fidel Castro, causing a huge lack of Freedom for its citizens. After Raul Castro became President in 2008, he promised that there would be more freedom in Cuba, of which there has been progressive changes. Though slow in movement, one can say there seems to be a ray of hope. There are still major restrictions for example, Computer ownership/Internet use and Travelling to name a few, and there is still a high rate of Illegal Emigration. However, the island does boast a highly rich Culture (understandable being a highly multi-ethnic region), offers the best worldwide healthcare, a 99.8% literacy rate and a lower infant death rate than most developed countries, but many of the benefits are not equally distributed.

A huge part of Cuban Culture is Music, right now various types of Music though not definitively known as Genres are enjoyed more in the island. Besides Cuban produced Music, local Cuban musicians also tend to adapt worldwide Popular Cultures such as Hip Hop, Reggae, Reggaeton and Rap, while still maintaining their own vibe through content and lyrics representing current Social and Political issues.

Approaching the 1990’s, Cubans began listening to Reggaeton, a ‘form’ of Reggae Music (blending Reggae, Electronic and Latin beats) which many original Reggae Lovers feel can never come remotely close to the authentic and meaningful Genre. Reggaeton is mostly popular in the Latin American Culture and spreading to other regions especially where Latin American communities exist, I would be lying if I say it doesnt get me moving. There is nothing more satisfying and relaxing even somewhat holistic, than some real, unadulterated Reggae Music seeping through your body. However, I think its great when persons try to emulate this beautiful Genre, I’m all for diversifying, creating an eclectic blend, mixing cultures, as long as the original is still maintained and respected…I do agree however, we can never say it is actual Reggae Music:)


Holding Cuban and Jamaican Flags – Photo/Caridad

Some Cubans have actually criticised Reggaeton as being ‘too explicit’ and sexual, and publicly yearned for Reggae, and original Reggae lovers there have made efforts to push the actual genre, however limited by Resources and support. When say Reggae, I am not referring to Cuban Reggae, which is a mix of Hip Hop, African Beats and Reggae, but the original ‘Jamaican born’ Reggae. In Cuba, Reggae is largely associated with the Rastafarian culture, as is in many other societies, hence Reggae is represented and promoted by the small cross section of Rastas in Cuba. Reggae? We all instantly think of the Jamaican King of Reggae, Bob Marley who was a convicted Rastafarian, spreading Reggae Music worldwide, touching the lives of persons from various races, cultures, age and class.

Most of the Rastas and Reggae Musicians reside in in the Eastern part of Cuba, where it is believed mostly Jamaicans live, and a huge Caribbean influence exist. However, Cuba does not permit the ‘public’ Rastafarian practice, namely smoking Cannibis, which is considered a main part of the faith. There has been controversy as Reggaeton is more popular (not without criticism though) than Reggae, the original genre from where it was even created. There are a few Reggae bands/artistes in Cuba, main ones such as Remanente and Paso Firme, and others on the rise still trying to keep the genre alive.

I recently bumped into an article in the Havana Times, where the author Dmitiri Prieto said he met with Raudel, a local Musician who pleaded for ‘the advance of pacifistic non-conformist spirituality in support of reggae and against reggaeton, which he said represented the corruption and perversion of the music that gave it its birth.’ He also highlighted the fact that Rastas are unable to freely practice their belief due to Law enforcement.

Check out this Documentary trailer, directed by Susanne Moss ‘Ras Cuba’:

He mentioned that the Mass Media has also been airing more Reggae promotions and even Bob Marley which is a good sign for the well loved Genre. To highlight progress, he also made reference to a recently published Cuban book ‘La Cultura Rastafari en Cuba’ (Rastafarian Culture in Cuba) by Cuban Researcher/Author Samuel Fure Davis. I also came across another interesting online narrative by Fure wrote back in 2005, ‘Lyrical Subversion in Cuban Reggae’ and and his in-depth ‘Reggae in Cuba’, a presentation at the University of the West Indies, UWI, Jamaica. Prieto also mentioned an upcoming conference on ‘African-based’ beliefs of which he says will include the Rastafarian Faith, for the first time.

Reggae means different things to different person, to Cubans it is synonymous with Rastafari. I am not a Rasta nor smoke Marijuana, (not every Islander smokes meds by the way), but those who know me well, KNOW I deeply enjoy the natural mystic/outdoor vibe, nourishing and healing the body with herbs, seeking knowledge, eating organic and healthy AND I am an avid fan of my Island’s Reggae and Dancehall Music! Despite what Reggae means to you, we here at nataliemonique.com are determined to keep this island gem of a genre alive and taking the authentic Caribbean culture to the World:)

We love the move, the word is getting out…Free Up Reggae maan! Its not ‘just’ Music, it is a euphoric experience! We may like Music, but everybody needs a little Reggae!:) Who better to explain what Reggae is all about than the King of Reggae himself: (Watch Videos below) Feel free to comment/share your thoughts:)