In New York, the hottest hip hop stations are Hot 97 and Power 105. Here in Miami, weâ€™ve got 99 Jamz and 103.5 The Beat. Our Funkmaster Flex is DJ Khaled, an insanely popular jock on 99 Jamz. He rocks the mic from 6 to 11 on a show called The Takeover. Khaledâ€™s style is decidedly aggressive. His trademark is yelling, and generally being a hype man. I donâ€™t know about yâ€™all, but on my way home from work I just didnâ€™t need someone screaming at me to â€œlistennnnn.â€ I couldnâ€™t stand to listen to Khaled before K.Foxx joined the show. Sheâ€™s a vital counterpart to DJ Khaled. When his histronics get to be too much for the average listener, K.Foxxâ€™s melodious voice adds the necessary balance. Oftentimes, she has kept this fan from switching stations.
When I first heard that she had released a calendar, Iâ€™m Every Woman, I was admittedly skeptical. A hip hop DJ with a calendar? Gee, I donâ€™t think so. Then I looked at her website, and saw her beautiful and tasteful images. K. Foxxâ€™s calendar is so wonderfully different, not at all what I expected. Sheâ€™s a natural beauty through and through, and Iâ€™m Every Woman is dedicated to legendary women of color. I had the opportunity to interview her, and she shed a lot of light on her role in hip hop, natural beauty, and the importance of paying homage to our elders.
Her reasons for making the calendar were compelling.
â€œI work in radio, and in the music industry, all you see is the same thing. You see women in bikinis. Weâ€™re eye candy, but we really donâ€™t have a voice as to how we feel about certain situations. I decided to take a stand, if you willâ€¦ and say this is what I have to offer. Yeah, thereâ€™s sex appeal there, but I wanted to let especially women in the industry know that there were legendary women who came before us. I think in this day and age, men are basically ruling the entertainment world. Theyâ€™re dictating what we say in the music and how we look in the videos. So I wanted to come out and say this is how Iâ€™m feeling. Iâ€™m saying itâ€™s all about women, and we have the say-so as to how we wanna be portrayed. These women have done that in their own right,â€ she says.
The images in Iâ€™m Every Woman are sexy â€“ she purrs in black leather as Catwoman, and lounges in a bikini as Pam Grier. But the sexiness is always classy, the poses are always tasteful. The ideas were her own in terms of picking the women, but the styling and photography was achieved by her team. Makeup artist Lily helped to make the transformations perfect, as did photographer Joe Wesley. â€œWe wanted to make sure I was photographed in the right light. Itâ€™s very artistic. I decided to portray Janet Jackson, a legend in her own right. Josephine Baker, Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Pam Grier, Donna Summer, Cleopatra â€¦ she isnâ€™t of our time, but what she stood for is incredible. She was the last queen/pharoah in Egypt, so that must have been quite a lot to accomplish,â€ says K. Foxx.
Her favorite artist to pay homage to was the incomparable La Baker. You already know how I feel about her! â€œJosephine Baker all the way. Because Iâ€™m a dancer at heart, and I see her story, the time that she did these things in as so challenging. Being a black woman dancing nude, being not accepted in your own country, having to go to Europe and break barriers, sheâ€™s amazing.â€ Yes indeed. Although K. Foxx is topless and wearing a skirt of plastic bananas, she still strikes a balance between sexy and elegant.
â€œPeople always tell me yo, I wanna blow this up, frame it, and put it up in my house,â€ she laughs.
In her star-studded photo gallery, she reveal a delightful hair transition from a large-and-in-charge afro to pretty, curls accented with blond highlights. K.Foxx is currently rocking some microbraids, but she always keeps her styles chemical-free. Sheâ€™s been natural for about nine years now. â€œIâ€™ve been natural since I was in high school. I never had a perm, but my mom is a hairstylist so I always had it straightened with a hot comb, but then in the next three days, it would be back to puffing up in the front! So I said you know what, Iâ€™m gonna go ahead and go natural and wear my hair in an afro and just love my true self. If I feel like putting in braids or twisting it up, I can still do that,â€ she says.
Having a supportive mother with dreadlocks as a natural hair role model most definitely helped in building her strong self-esteem. The only chemical treatment K. Foxx does is highlights, because as she explains: â€œI like the color because I have to go out to a lot of nightclubs, and I need a contrasting color for my face. Sometimes I might blend into the background otherwise.â€
Recently on her radio show, she gave a shout-out to Natural Trendsetters, a salon in Fort Lauderdale that seems to be the only place in south Florida that specializes in natural styles for women of color. â€œOh, thatâ€™s my place!â€ she exclaims. â€œIâ€™ve been going there for about three years. They do weaves and stuff like that, but they specialize in styling natural hair.â€ Iâ€™m already planning my next Afrobella mission.
Besides staying busy as one of Miamiâ€™s hottest DJâ€™s, she also hosts a television show that airs every other Friday on My 33, (the former UPN) called Tossinâ€™ It Up. â€œIâ€™ve been interviewing all kinds of artists: Nelly, Trina, Cool & Dre the super producersâ€¦ Trickâ€¦ I also cover events for them. One of my passions is television.â€ Indeed, more and more naturally beautiful women are starting to crop up in the media and on television. Still, I see many more sporting silky blonde tresses, and what Jeru The Damaja would refer to as â€œhooker type wears.â€ K. Foxx agrees that those women are playing themselves, but she doesnâ€™t blame the players. She blames the game.
I asked her why so many women in hip hop choose to all look like Beyonce or try to, and her answer was both honest and eloquent. â€œBecause thatâ€™s what the media puts out there as beautiful. I think that when you watch television you look at that and say to yourself, OK, thatâ€™s what I want to look like. So I think people are brainwashed to think that thatâ€™s what beauty should look like. Not that Beyonce isnâ€™t beautiful; every time I watch her, Iâ€™m mesmerized. Not because of the way she looks so much, but because of the passion she has for what she does. She reminds me of Tina Turner. She does a lot of the stuff that Tina Turner does, like be explosive and dynamic in a short skirt, and not being afraid of her sexuality. But I think that beauty and sexuality come in a lot of different forms for women.â€
Like Tina Turner and Beyonce, K.Foxx is most definitely a strong woman whoâ€™s embraced her sexuality and identity to the fullest. I then asked her some more trivial questions because yâ€™know, Afrobella is ultimately a beauty product review site.
The beauty product she canâ€™t live without is called Candy Kisses. â€œI have full lips, so Iâ€™ve got toâ€¦â€ â€œMoisturize your situation?â€ I ask. â€œExactly!â€ she laughs. â€œI am addicted to it! If I leave the house without it, my whole day is messed up.â€ Like a true economist at heart, she buys it at Sallyâ€™s.
Her hairdresser mom turned her on to the hair product she canâ€™t live without. â€œItâ€™s called Natureâ€™s Blessings. Itâ€™s totally natural, it has rosemary and thymeâ€¦all of these natural herbs that smell so good! Everytime I come out of the shower after Iâ€™ve washed my hair, people ask me â€œwhat perfume are you wearing?â€ Iâ€™m like, nothingâ€¦ but my hair smells so good they donâ€™t believe me! When I lived in New York, Iâ€™d buy it from the guys on the corner who sell perfumes and oils. Now that Iâ€™m down here I have to go to this website called House of Nubian. The site is run by a former street vendor turned internet entrepreneur. I love that the last ingredient in Natureâ€™s Blessing is â€œgood intention.â€
As a natural afrobella, K.Foxx has advice for the young women who are looking to her as someone to influence them, who would rather rock a fro than some store-bought weave. â€œI think the most important thing is being comfortable in your skin. Donâ€™t be afraid to do whatever you want. If you have dreads and you feel like cutting them off for whatever reason, and having a little short fro, donâ€™t be afraid to do it because thatâ€™s who you are and thatâ€™s what youâ€™re feeling. Donâ€™t think about what other people are gonna think, because at the end of the day youâ€™re the one who has to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with what you look and feel like inside and out. Also, itâ€™s important to have people around you that are gonna accept you. Donâ€™t have people around you who only like you because you look a certain way at a cetain time, because if thatâ€™s the case, theyâ€™re fleeting. Just like beauty, itâ€™s fleeting. But if youâ€™re comfortable on the inside, it reflects on the outside no matter how you wear your hair!â€