Baby, This Is Keke Palmer: Hustlers Star Is R29 Unbothered’s First-Ever Creative Advisor and Digital Cover Star

Shanelle Genai
·3 min read
Keke Palmer attends Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research Angel Ball 2019 on October 28, 2019 in New York City.
Keke Palmer attends Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research Angel Ball 2019 on October 28, 2019 in New York City.

I don’t know about you but when I pray to God about my career trajectory, I often ask: “Lord, let me be as booked and busy as MC Lyte or Keke Palmer. Amen”

Because let’s face it: if there’s anybody on this Earth who knows how to get and keep an opportunity (other than Issa Rae, of course), it’s Lauren Keyana Palmer. So when news broke that she had secured another bag as R29 Unbothered first-ever digital cover star and creative advisor, I wasn’t even surprised. She honestly deserves and I truly aspire!

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In her new role, Palmer will “creatively consult across Unbothered, supporting and co-developing new projects that push conversations and Black culture forward.” She’ll also “partner with Unbothered to dream up new ways to build Black joy into everyday content across platforms, ask those tough and taboo questions around race and community that need answers, and most of all, continue to create a safe space for Black women to be their freest selves.”

“I’m literally too excited about this. I started working with Unbothered years ago as a talent and I just loved how they created a safe space for Black women to share their stories, their experiences, their creativity—and their joy, honey! Because let’s not get it twisted, I’m very joyous and no one’s going to steal my joy,” Palmer said in part in a press release provided to The Root.

We feel you, sis! Perhaps it’s her unwavering dedication to all things Black Girl joy, creativity and authenticity that made her the perfect choice for R29 Unbothered’s first digital cover star. I mean just look at the Keke! She’s giving exactly what needed to be given and this floral aesthetic and unbothered spring steez is exactly what the girls needed. Get into it! In conversation with Alanna Bennett, Keke discusses how she manages burnout, her upcoming projects (including that top secret one with Jordan Peele and Daniel Kaluuya) and why 2020 was the year that revealed the necessary practice of retreating and recharging.

“I’ve been burnt out many times. It’s just kinda what happens when you push yourself, and unfortunately when you’re the kind of person that I am, [someone] who takes on so much at one time,” she explained in part. “When I really need a break to rejuvenate, I don’t wanna be around anyone. Not a romantic person, not a friend, not a mom, not a dad, not a sister, not a brother, not anyone. It gets to the point where I’m exerting so much energy that I really just have to be around no one. I’ve just really had to try and remember when I’m taking on so much and I’m doing so many different things that, ‘hey, you have to take a break. I had to realize, ‘OK, I’m gon’ have to just sit still for a while.’”

Truer words have never been spoken. Maybe I’ll change that prayer to: “Lord, let me be as booked and busy and rested and recharged as Keke Palmer. Amen.” Yeah, I like the sound of that better.

For Keke’s entire interview, head on over to Refinery29.