Duty Free Critic
Duty Free Critic is a blog site about a lady's
love of music, fashion and style. Who is
Duty Free, might you ask? She is one hell
of a firecracker.

September 19 2014, 09:25 PM

What Beyoncé’s Feminism means to me


I decided to do something a bit different and just talk to you instead of rapping and singing. Of course, feminism is a very complex topic, but I thought I would just have fun with it and touch on some basics. Retweet if you would like a follow!

September 19 2014, 08:54 AM


On the Run Tour: Paris

Four years ago, you would never have seen a photo of Beyoncé like this where she is just in the moment, looking like a real person. It’s nice to see Beyoncé evolving, changing, and allowing her natural self to be photographed and seen.For those who love her outfit here, I think it’s safe to assume it was designed by Brooklyn bred, Michael Costello. She loves that man!

On the Run Tour: Paris

Four years ago, you would never have seen a photo of Beyoncé like this where she is just in the moment, looking like a real person. It’s nice to see Beyoncé evolving, changing, and allowing her natural self to be photographed and seen.

For those who love her outfit here, I think it’s safe to assume it was designed by Brooklyn bred, Michael Costello. She loves that man!

September 19 2014, 08:22 AM

senyahearts:

Cara Delevingne & Rihanna - Cell for Gratitude Charity Event, NY (07/09/2014)

A very natural and happy photo of the two. It’s nice to see that they aren’t wearing much makeup here. Although wearing makeup is fun (I like to think of it as facial art), it’s nice to just not wear it sometimes and just feel comfortable with you are. Women (in my experience) don’t do that enough. I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve found friends who really embrace who they are. Sometimes, they wear makeup and sometimes they don’t. I don’t think it’s something that you should be dependent on. I’ve heard so many say they would never dare leave the house without anything on. That’s when makeup is debilitating.
On a side note, I especially like the cuffs Rihanna is wearing and Cara’s body chain.

senyahearts:

Cara Delevingne & Rihanna - Cell for Gratitude Charity Event, NY (07/09/2014)

A very natural and happy photo of the two. It’s nice to see that they aren’t wearing much makeup here. Although wearing makeup is fun (I like to think of it as facial art), it’s nice to just not wear it sometimes and just feel comfortable with you are. Women (in my experience) don’t do that enough. I’ve been really lucky in that I’ve found friends who really embrace who they are. Sometimes, they wear makeup and sometimes they don’t. I don’t think it’s something that you should be dependent on. I’ve heard so many say they would never dare leave the house without anything on. That’s when makeup is debilitating.

On a side note, I especially like the cuffs Rihanna is wearing and Cara’s body chain.

September 17 2014, 11:50 AM

'These Hoes Ain't Loyal'? Thoughts on Chris Brown and his new album, X

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I’m never quite sure about Chris Brown. That is to say, I’m never quite sure whether to give him another chance. The man has always been a fixture in my musical world— a music artist whom I have grown up with. Despite his antics, he has always been there. And familiarity does have its comforts. 

During his blemish free teen days, I too was an innocent and cute teen listening to tracks like ‘Run It’ and ‘Say Goodbye’ (the latter was on repeat for much of my teen years). As he grew up and discovered himself, I was also finding out who I wanted to become and then some. He experimented with his hair. I experimented with my hair (actually, I’m still doing that XD). He grew more edgy and against the grain. I grew more edgy and against the grain. In a way, Chris was someone whom I’m sort of ran with side by side in life.

So, why am I unsure? There are a few qualms in my mind. When the news hit about his very, very publicized attack on his then-girlfriend Rihanna, I was shocked, and five years later the shock has subsided, but not the disappointment.  If he truly understood the meaning of sexual assault and how that impacts not just your actions, but also your dialogue, I would have probably been cool with him at this point. It has been five years, and people do change, but Chris? At this point, I just heave a big sigh when I hear about something he’s done. And when he puts out songs like ‘These Hoes Ain’t Loyal,’ I know he still just does. not. get. it. 

The catchiness of that song is what scares me. Even I have hummed along to it. The catchiness of any song that is latent with misogynoir (hatred towards Black women) is always really frightening and sad to me, because even women consume these lyrics, without a care in the world and little realization of what’s actually being said.

Let’s dissect for a moment. ‘These hoes ain’t loyal.’ Are they supposed to be? You treat them like dirt and they’re supposed to stay? I didn’t know that. ’These hoes ain’t loyal.’  They love sex way too much, so it’s no wonder they left? I forgot women can’t love sex too much. It’s detrimental to their being. ‘These hoes ain’t loyal.’ So you admit you cheat on them, but that’s just “what men do,” therefore it’s understandable? The point is that they’re still just supposed to stay just well..because. Oh. Didn’t know that either.

With songs like this, I’m at a loss. Chris Brown may have learned from his mistakes with Rihanna. I have no doubt about that. He even publicly called out for Ray Rice the other day and told him to get his anger in check, and with public reactions like that, I know Chris Brown understands a few of the basic issues beneath domestic assault, but I think that’s the issue— he’s basic. And much of what Chris sees is very black and white. You beat up people. Therefore, you have anger issues. Nothing else. The end. 

That’s what worries me about Chris Brown. That he along with his fans do not truly understand what’s at work with his antics. And now, as people are back on the Chris Brown hype with his latest album, ‘X,’ I shudder a little bit because of how people view him. Some people are finally letting go off his assault on Rihanna, whereas as those who hate him think that’s the only negative thing he has done. I see so many more issues so no, I am not letting go. When he puts out songs like ‘These Hoes Ain’t Loyal’ in the last five months alone, I have absolutely no idea what good this man has learned in the last five years. No idea. 

September 16 2014, 04:14 PM

rawfortheoceans:

Pharrell Williams, Co-Designer of RAW for the Oceans

Sometimes, Pharrell says some questionable words, but other times he does some really great things that really cause for a bit of reflection. Take his latest collaborative effort, RAW for the Oceans. “RAW for the Oceans is a collaborative project that takes plastic from the world’s oceans and transforms it into innovative denim.” This is something worth celebrating. In the U.S. especially, I find more and more people caring less and less about environmentally friendly causes. Myself included, lately we as a society have not taken the extra step to do our part.
Seeing projects such as these instill in me a sense of urgency in what should be the world’s mission to try and engage in more environmentally friendly initiatives. Whether it be something big such as this or something small such as putting a recycling bin in your office or workplace (so many don’t have one), everyone really can do their part.  

rawfortheoceans:

Pharrell Williams, Co-Designer of RAW for the Oceans

Sometimes, Pharrell says some questionable words, but other times he does some really great things that really cause for a bit of reflection. Take his latest collaborative effort, RAW for the Oceans. “RAW for the Oceans is a collaborative project that takes plastic from the world’s oceans and transforms it into innovative denim.” This is something worth celebrating. In the U.S. especially, I find more and more people caring less and less about environmentally friendly causes. Myself included, lately we as a society have not taken the extra step to do our part.

Seeing projects such as these instill in me a sense of urgency in what should be the world’s mission to try and engage in more environmentally friendly initiatives. Whether it be something big such as this or something small such as putting a recycling bin in your office or workplace (so many don’t have one), everyone really can do their part.  

September 16 2014, 08:53 AM

Video Of The Now: 

Lorde Covers ‘Flashing Lights’ by Kanye West

Lorde took to the Philadelphia stage a few nights ago and performed her rendition of the Kanye West song, ‘Flashing Lights.’ She actually has been performing this along with a Bon Iver song while on her tour with Magical Cloudz and it’s been getting much praise from audiences and music artists like the great Bon Iver himself.

I just got all giddy when I was watching it. Lorde is almost in this trance-like state when she performs and she took a much moodier take on the lyrics. The song itself was already a slightly down-tempo tune, so it was really cool to see that. If it weren’t for the opening seconds I would not have even recognized that it was ‘Flashing Lights.’

September 15 2014, 10:55 AM

gradientlair:

Geniuses.

Yes.

September 15 2014, 07:58 AM

Musical Faces at London Fashion Week

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I found this on the Miss Daisy Lowe site where Daisy, M.I.A and Rita Ora were snapped together while attending the Stella McCartney Green Carpet Collection event during #LFW. Stella really has an eye for fashion. I am never surprised when her work amazes me. She always has a colorful and playful aesthetic. That aside, M.I.A. stands out amongst the trio with her outfit’s use of textures and rich colors. Having Sri Lankan roots really makes for a keen eye in fashion.

September 14 2014, 08:00 PM

5 notes  Filed Under:  Lorde  Elle Magazine  Editorial Spread  Music in Fashion  

Lorde for Elle Magazine

It’s difficult to remember that Lorde is only seventeen years old. With wisdom and maturity beyond her years, I often am in awe at how she maneuvers the music industry without losing her sense of self. In the midst of it all, she finally landed her first major editorial cover, with Elle Magazine. I was really impressed with the shots. Although, her expression is very similar in each photo, she made up for that by changing her pose and really utilizing the beauty that is her golden red locks.

Fashion aside, her interview with Elle made me love her even more. Lorde or Ella rather, really knows who she is and isn’t afraid to speak her mind, but this time around is aware of the global influence her brand has.

September 14 2014, 06:56 PM

0 notes  Filed Under:  jhene aiko  now listening  alternative rnb  rnb  souled out  beyonce  

Now Listening: ‘Souled Out’ by Jhené Aiko

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Jhené Aiko – Souled Out- Def Jam & ARTium Records – 9.4/10

Favorite Tracks:
'W.A.Y.S'
'Spotless Mind'
'Promises' feat. Namiko and Miyagi

'Limbo, limbo, limbo.' Nobody wants to be stuck over there, but that's where Jhené had us as she kept prolonging the release her debut album. It really is a testament to her artistry that so many love her music and up until this point, she hadn’t even released her debut album. I faintly recall Nicki Minaj alluding to a similar something in Kanye’s super-smash single ‘Monster’ back in 2012.

However, Jhené had good reason to delay her album. She told magazines that she was so surprised by the response of her EP, ‘Sail Out’ that she wanted to keep the energy flowing from that before moving onto her debut album, ‘Souled Out.’ It was about damn time, though. I had been eagerly and slightly impatiently awaiting Jhené's new material and I was excited that it had finally arrived. Hearing everyone play the same Jhené songs over and over was making me too anxious.

Despite my lack of patience, I was completely enthralled with Jhené's new material. She has slowly, but ever so strongly been emerging as the definitive sound of today's R&B music. "I’m no Beyonce," she has said in the past to those who criticize her stage performances. Sometimes, the backlash she receives on Twitter can be ever so cruel, but the lady always stands her ground and defines who she is..and isn’t.

Jhené, if you only you knew. You’re defining a new generation. No need to be Beyoncé to make your mark.