No, not myself. I'm still working on that part, thank you very much.
Many, many, many years ago, my friend group and I would throw an annual Leo Luau.
This was one of my favorite days of the year.
People would come from all over the state of Florida (and beyond sometimes) and from all different walks of life. We'd converge on Jetty Park as a whole, taking over our rented pavilion and setting up shop.
Well, not shop, but party. But I'll wax poetic about the Leo Luau another day. It is deserving of a post all it's own.
One of the reasons we threw this Luau every year is because there were a lot of Leos in our friend group and I was one of 'em!
So, sometimes there were gifts involved.
I received one of the best gifts of my life at a Leo Luau.
A recent upturn in sexually positive, female led hip hop has reminded me of how much I love it. And how good it felt to love it.
So, the gift was a CD. Yeah, yeah, I know. I'm an old.
As long as there has been a Jacki on the Internet, there has been a JackiOh (well, there was a short beginning time where I used KeyserSoze and ShtUpLstnLearn, but I am embarrassed at the Kevin Spacey of both of those names).
It was my name on the Webbored, and it was what I chose for my handle on all the new social media.
So the CD my friend Paulie gave me was by an artist named... you guessed it... Jacki-O.
Haha, excellent joke, well played.
It was an A+ gift that made for a lot of squealin' on my part (there as a lot of booze at these luaus, y'all).
But then, on the way home, I slipped it in my CD player.
And then immediately had to slip it out because my partner at the time said it was "too dirty" for him.
That shit shoulda been the reddest of red flags. But I didn't know any better back then.
So, when I started my drive to work the following Monday, I put in the CD.
And y'all, my life changed.
Jacki-O was dirty, she was nasty (her word and I approve of its use here, not that I need to... it's her dang music) and she was talented AF.
Here is a sample lyric that I used to scream rap at the top of my lungs while driving (alone, of course).
"You know Rick Ross? Lap dance til his dick soft!"
"My ass been fat and I never had a problem with my neck or my back"
"Cut the chase, ho. I'll cut your face, ho. If that's your man I wanna fuck him in his face, ho."
She rapped about sex like doods rap about sex and I was HERE FOR IT.
She had some great feats too: the Ying Yang Twins, Ghostface, Trick Daddy and more. It's a bop, for sure.
This was a staple in my car as long as I drove. It was one of the CDs that was always in the glovebox. Always. I listened to it until it was scratched to hell and useless.
It made me feel empowered but still feminine, strong but still sexy and, y'all it just got me hype.
Luckily the album is on Spotify.
Yesterday, as I was dancing around the house cleaning and yell-rapping along with Megan Thee Stallion, I was reminded of this CD, which I hadn't listened to in a couple years because, well, I haven't driven in a couple years.
And it got me to thinking that Jacki-O was ahead of the game with this version of sexually-empowered female hip hop. But this "new" crop is doing something different than Jacki-O and I really appreciate it.
In Jacki-O's songs, other women are competition. In the more modern versions of this style like Megan Thee Stallion and Saweetie, other women are lifted up and celebrated.
It's a difference I can appreciate. Especially since I spent many, many years convinced that I was in heated competition with literally ALL other women, Letting that go has been very freeing, although sometimes it still rears its ugly head.
Last year, there was a time when I started every morning with "Ok, Google, Play Megan Thee Stallion" and I felt so pumped every day. HOWEVER, even though I was alone, I still felt embarrassed for liking this "nasty" music and singing along.
Remember all that backlash when W.A.P. came out? That didn't help those feelings at all. 😆
Look, I honestly don't know why I wrote this. I love Jacki-O's music so much.
I love that this CD was a joke gift purely because of the name and I turned out loving it so dang much. I love that even though my partner at time vocally disapproved I did not let go of this CD. I kept it all to myself. I did feel great shame when singing along though.
But you know what stuck around out of that relationship? It was NOT the marriage.
Jacki-O moved on from the rap game, found God and I read an interview with her from 2020 that made me feel... odd? I'm gonna go off and read some more about her when I get done writing, because that is how my brain works.
I'll take in the knowledge and then file it away in my invisible filing cabinet of a brain.
It's what I do.