Rise to the Occasion (with Franchesca Ramsey) – Episode 7 of Rants & Randomness

My peoples! Episode 7 of my podcast, Rants and Randomness, is here! I gets some things off my chest about Kanye West and his fake ass free thinking, and I have a lot to say about the new This is America video by Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino.

I interview my girl, Franchesca Ramsey, also known as Chescaleigh on these interwebs. She began her career on YouTube and it catapulted her to her dream career. I’m super excited for her because she is now an author! Tune in — you don’t want to miss it!

Feel Good

I am constantly beating the drum at how people do not come correct when trying to get your attention for business opportunities. Folks STAY hustling backwards with it, so I was definitely shocked when someone pitched themselves to me in such a good way. I was on Instagram last week when I got tagged to a piece of artwork that was a digitized version of the picture on my podcast graphic. It was by a South African graphic artist named Luyolo Mzamo. He captioned it by introducing himself, talking about his dreams and how he would like to work with me. COLOR ME IMPRESSED, yo!

I also talk about my hellish trip that felt like it would never end and why my Auntie Robe is now working overtime so I can recharge my batteries in plushness.

My Rant

My rant of the week is about Kanye West and this whole idea of free thinking.  Kanye is getting on my nerves.  I can’t get with his whole “Trump is by brother,”  “Make American Great Again” hat, and declaring that “Slavery is a Choice for African-Americans” vibe AT ALL.   I also address the “Kanye is a free thinker” defense for his behavior.  I understand group think, but I also know that when your words are supporting somebody who affirms hate or makes my quality of life worse, it shows you don’t have regard for my safety, and your free thought is NOT okay.  So I’m done with Kanye.  I’m a Chicago girl and you know us Chicago folks are loyal to our people to a fault, but I’m putting the breaks on this one.  I can’t get with the new Kanye at all — not even a little bit.

My Randomness

The thing I’m LOVING this week is the new This is America video by Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino.  Y’all…this video has so many layers!!  It has gripped me in a way that I don’t a music video has in about ten years. I was obsessed with it immediately, and probably watched it at least 20 times. Every time I watched it I focused on something different and every time I focused on something different, I got a different message from it.  There seemed to always be something new to notice.  His video speaks to societal distractions, today’s youth, gun violence, police brutality, mumble rap, and so much more.  I talk about all the symbolism that I was able to decipher in his art and what I think of his profound message(s).  I am still in awe that he could squeeze so much social commentary in such a short amount of time!

My Guest

My guest for Episode 7 is Franchesca Ramsey, a social justice advocate, comedian, actress, writer, video blogger, sought-after speaker, and the host of the award winning MTV web series Decoded. She’s been featured on NPR, Anderson Live, CNN, the BBC, and the New York Times. A former writer and correspondent for Comedy Central’s, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, she’s also written for BET’s Black Girls Rock award show, and currently has multiple TV projects in development. And her first book, Well, That Escalated Quickly will be published on May 22, 2018. In addition to all these things, Franchesca is a good friend of mine!

She’s hilarious and I had a good ole time talking to her about her “come-up” and how she dealt with the “imposter syndrome”.  She also shares where her alias, ChescaLeigh, comes from and how and why she ended up getting a half degree in acting.  We also talk about when she went viral in 2012 with her “Sh*t White Girls Say to Black Girls” video on YouTube.  Franchesca looks back and is in awe of how surreal her career development has been.

I remember being on that panel and thinking, “Everybody on this panel is crushing it. Why am I here?”

Her tip for staying motivated, inspired and striving to do your best:

“You should always be in rooms with people who are going to cause you to rise to the occasion.”

She drops gems about believing in yourself:

“When somebody gives you an opportunity don’t insult them by telling them that they don’t know what they’re talking about by believing in you.”

Franchesca is funny, smart and inspiring.  Make sure you check out our entire conversation on my Rants and Randomness podcast. She is amazing and you can follow her on social media @chescaleigh on all platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Follow her and her MTV web series, Decoded, which is actually really, really smart.  And let’s help get Franchesca on the New York Times Bestseller list. Pick up her book, Well, That Escalated Quickly wherever you get your books (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, etc.). Preorder her book so we can put her on this list because I want her to be celebrated in that way.  I can’t wait for her Chicago Book Tour Stop on May 30th at Wilson Abbey in Chicago where Franchesca and I will be in conversation discussing her book.  If you’re in the Chi, please come check us out! Get details for her book tour at franchesca.net.

Much love to Chicago Recording Company, where I record each episode!

You can listen to episodes of Rants and Randomness on:

Make sure you’re subscribed and that you rate and review! Also, use the hashtag #RantsandRandomness on social media to discuss what you listen to and let me know what you think. See you on the next episode!

P.S. Rants and Randomness now has a Twitter account! Follow @RantsRandomness and tweet your thoughts, feedback and questions! Your tweets might end up being mentioned in a future episode of the podcast.

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