My name is Jamila Lizet White and I am a 22-year-old from Maryland that recently moved to Los Angeles to eagerly find where I belong within the proclaimed capital of entertainment. I graduated from Penn State with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish. As a first-generation American and the final sibling to receive their undergraduate degree, I imagined that the weight of the world would finally be lifted from my shoulders. Nonetheless, as I walked across the stage and into the next chapter of my life, I felt nothing. I remember returning to my seat and discussing with my friend how anticlimactic the entire graduation experience was. It was a time to celebrate not only the fact that I had joined the 6.7 percent of the world that has a college degree but also the tenth and final year of my parents paying college tuition. Yet, it felt like just another day.
Fast forward to three months later. I am outside of the NBCUniversal tower talking to my mom on the phone about how stressed and lost I feel. I am an intern for E! News, yet I have this internalized pressure that I should be doing more. My competitive spirit forces me to believe that I should be on air and in the process of receiving my second Emmy nomination. Within minutes, my mom makes me confront my biggest downfall: my expectations for myself are set way too high. As I let these words repeat in my head, I can feel a sense of relief take over my body. The weight of the world has finally been lifted. But how could one of the reasons why I am so determined and motivated also serve as my own self destruction?
I reflect on the conversation I had with my mom on the train ride home while my headphones silently whisper a tune in my ears. I can hear Tee Grizzley's aggressive voice in the background but I am not paying any attention to the lyrics until I hear “God” repeated a few times. I am listening to a song called “Too Lit” so you can only understand why it grabbed my attention. My confusion quickly turns to curiosity which results in me raising the volume on my headphones, rewinding the song by a few seconds. That's when I hear the following:
Hold up, when I was broke I never blamed God
That’s why every back end, I thank God
They said I wouldn’t make it but they ain’t God
That’s why I say, “Ain’t it a blessing,” gotta claim God
I remember I came across a tweet that said sometimes God will take you through a rough patch so that you are forced to seek Him. I went home and wrote down everything that has caused me stress and noticed that more than half of my list is either factors that are out of my control or can be handled at a later time. I quickly remembered the saying “If you want to make God laugh tell Him about your plans." I never thought I would have Tee Grizzley to thank for helping me remember to always put God first... but here I am.
This is why I love music and want it to be the focus of my career. Only in music can an artist go from saying “...tell my haters suck a fat cock” to the next verse speaking on behalf of their religious beliefs. WHAT AN INDUSTRY.
I am so excited to have you all by my side as I chase my fourth grade dream of becoming an Entertainment Reporter. Each blog post will be accompanied by a playlist that will either reflect the week that I had or the topic of the post. The title of the blog posts is a lyric of a song and will be the first song in the playlist. If you're ever confused as to why a song was added, either listen closely to the lyrics or shoot me an email!
So please, grab your headphones and join me as I take L, after L, after L in the city of angels.