Empowering females to be a better version of themselves, for themselves, is hard to do. Mass media has brainwashed, both women and men, into thinking there is a set standard for beauty. In the past couple of decades, the rise of social media has taken this brainwashing and mutated it. It has become an unstoppable creature that changed people’s lives forever.
Vogue UK even recently published an article on how the Kardashian-Jenner’s have drastically impacted social media and beauty standards in just one single decade. Parisalexa, however, is breaking down these discouraging ideals and empowering women to love themselves for who they are one song at a time. Her debut album, 2 Real, features multiple anthems that celebrate females for being who they were born to be. No matter the color, shape, or size.
The opening sentiments in the “Intro” track foreshadow the running themes throughout the album: self-love, body positivity, and staying genuine in this fake digital world. From there, the album opens up into hit after hit of well written, beautifully composed songs that powerfully convey these messages of positivity. “Bentley Truck” is a pull up your bootstraps and march on kind of song. It’s all about persevering through life with your friends by your side.
“And we rockin like it’s one big girl gang Everybody special cause they got they own thing… And I’m stronger, cause they got my back Leanin on em, I don’t need no strap Ooh I got my soldiers and they ready to attack.”
Paris gives us “Follow Me,” a softer, and a little more poetic cut. She talks about how hard it has become to stay true to yourself with social media trying to influence you every minute of your day.
“Searching for purpose And a little piece of mind beneath the surface Because all I seem to find is Everybody getting value from my dollars worth And it’s a fucking frenzy for the followers But there’s holes in your soul like a colander Follow me, but don’t you see I’m just a wanderer And I don’t have the answers that you’re looking for, no But scratchin surfaces I pave my own road.”
Another track that tackles navigating the obstacles of life and society is “2 Optimistic.” The brilliant songwriting continues in this song with lyrics that represent the struggles of persevering after every setback.
“I been through the dirt, I been putting in work Like day in, day out, don’t get what I deserve Trying to not let it hurt me, but I know it ain’t working So I gotta fix it I know I was real different And if I’m soft, then I’ll stiffen Cause now you told me that I might be too optimistic Don’t want to get my hopes up and then I’m shit out of luck I’m just too optimistic I’m a little jaded, can’t even get excited and I hate it.”
For as young as Paris is (“Been a G since ‘98”), she is wise beyond her years. The way she talks about life, love, and relationships is beyond that of someone in their early 20s. Romance is a popular topic in her discography. Within her album, 2 Real, P talks about all aspects of a relationship. From the uncertainty of falling for someone new in “Troubled Waters,” the most intimate moments in “4 Playin,” all the way to breaking up and wishing things weren’t the way they really are in “11:11.”
Watch Parisalexa “Troubled Waters” ft. Dawty Music
One of my favorite songs on the album is the title track, “2 Real,” because it’s blunt as fuck and her melodies are bangin’. Not only that, but it gives reassurance to women, empowering them to stand up for what they want and need out of a relationship.
“Little high maintenance ain't nothin' that you can't be patient with If you take the time required to be what I desire And keep it a buck 'cause I ain't fuckin' with a liar… I don't have the time for you If you not gonna try more If I love you, I would die for you, Maybe I must be too real.”
Released as a single in January of 2020, the second song on the album is the undeniable melanated anthem, “Chocolate.” Historically, people of color have typically been deemed less than desirable by the media and society in general. To this day, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that people will bleach their skin to try to lighten it because society has told them their skin was ugly.
However, their fashion trends, hairstyles, and overall personalities and demeanors, to this day, get plagiarized and appropriated by white folk without credit. While simultaneously, they still disparage everything people of color do.
“See 'em tryin' to bite this Can't get like this You can't bottle it, fraudulent Pretty smile, brown skin Ass fat, waist thin (yeah yeah) I'm confident, covered in chocolate.”
Parisalexa – Chocolate (Official Video)
It’s catchy, it’s confident, and it’s the ultimate empowerment for everybody with more melanin in their skin. Pair that with the final track, “Slimthick,” and you have the two main ingredients for Parisalexa’s body-positivity milkshake. Sip on the Upendo Moore produced beat while Paris gasses up your physique.
“All the haters getting dismissed. I’m slim. I’m thick. I’m a real bad bitch … Everybody celebrate your shape Celebrate your shape Everybody celebrate your shape.”
Parisalexa ending her debut album, 2 Real, on such a positive and upbeat note that it left me with a tingling sensation throughout my body long after it ended. Honestly, the whole album sent shivers down my spine. It caused many different emotions to come about within the half-hour playtime. Consistently, through every release, she makes me view life differently allowing me to see myself and others in a better light than before. I believe 2 Real, in its entirety, is the best and most powerful project Paris has released, to date. It deserves the classification of a modern-day instant classic.