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Black Entertainment, Money, Style and Beauty Blogs - Black Voices

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    "First of all, I'm not a fan of Twitter. Nothing against their program or what they have, but as an athlete I think you need to get off twitter. All these social networks of you tweeting about you watching a game when you want to be playing in it, but you're mad you're not playing in it, so you're gonna criticize someone that's playing in it. I don't believe that that's the right deal. That's not professional by any means and you know we are all in a fraternity, so if you see a guy who's struggling this isn't the time to jump on him or kick him while he's down because that same guy will come against you and kinda blast your team out the water, so I think for an athlete to be 'twittering' is the wrong move. It's one of those things to leave to the fans and let them comment on certain things, but athletes need to get off Twitter."


    -- Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb opens up on the unprofessionalism of athletes using social media networks to vent about their playing time. (ESPN's Waddle & Silvy)

     

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    From CNN:

    In an auction featuring memorabilia from the Beatles, Madonna and Elvis Presley, it was Michael Jackson who proved to be king.

    The red and black jacket, winged shoulders and all, that the late pop star wore during his zombie-ridden "Thriller" video fetched a $1.8 million bid at this weekend's Julien's auction in Beverly Hills, California, according to the auctioneer's website.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Huffington Post

    If there's one thing Solange Knowles loves, it is shoes. The singer with the famous sister bonds with her son over sneakers and once told Refinery29:

    So Beyonce officially became the greatest sister in the world, reported the New York Post, when she sent her Solange a generous 25th birthday present: one pair of shoes for every year she's been alive.

    Read more here.

     

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    You can call Chris Brown the comeback kid, at least if his standout performance and sweeping victory at the 2011 BET Awards is any indication of the much-maligned R&B star's buoyant popularity.


    He was nominated for six awards and took home four, including the viewer's choice award. And he killed it with a performance of his hit "Look At Me Now" with Busta Rhymes (see video below).

    What a difference a year makes.

    At last years BET Awards he was a snotty-nosed mess, weeping hysterically and unable to finish his part in a Michael Jackson tribute. In 2009 he was nixed from the show -- still too much lingering hate from the Rihanna beating incident.

    But last night Brown was in rare form, generating nothing but love.

    "All my fans are everything to me," he said after taking the stage to accept his first award of the night. "I know it's been a long road. I just appreciate every blessing that's been put in front of me."

    While Brown has rebounded in the eyes of many fans and for a moment, the court of public opinion, he still seems to be struggling to keep out of controversy.

    Months ago he trashed a dressing room at Good Morning America after host Robin Roberts pressed him about the whooping he gave Rihanna and his path since.

    And more recently the gay lobby has attacked him after what many perceived as an anti-gay slur when he lashed out at paparazzi that he believed called the police on him to incite a reaction.

    "Yall n**gas is weak. Did you all call them to try and film me? Yall n**gas is gay," Brown said, according to reports and video taken at the scene. He then took to twitter to apologize to the gay community.

    Some might be wondering how Brown has managed to crawl back from the bowels of public opinion to the top of the game (and the charts).

    It's all about performance. He has two songs in the top 10 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-Hop charts and continues to deliver solid stage performances.

    The brazen and boastful "Look At Me Now," featuring Busta Rhymes and Lil Wayne speaks best to Brown's post-scandal attitude, an attitude that, paired with his unquestioned talent as an entertainer, is the sure fire prescription to induce amnesia.

    "Look at me now," the chorus goes, "I'm getting paper."

    It's a page out of the R. Kelly book of comebacks.

    In the shadow of pedophilia rumors and an alleged sex-tape with an underage girl, R. Kelly kept pumping out hits. That's what matters to people. As long as the relationship between artist and audience is mutually beneficial, almost any act short of murder, well, probably including murder if we're talking the rap game, can be forgiven.

    All it takes is good music. Period.



    In the black community forgiveness and empathy are easy to come by. Former D.C. mayor Marion "The Bitch Set Me Up" Barry (pictured above), was elected to public office again and again after he was caught up in a drug sting by police. But he didn't just hang is head and sulk back into the arms of constituents, he went on and created programs that fed and provided for the community. He went back to being his community's fiercest advocate.

    Again, it's about the second act, the next of your nine lives.

    Because in the black community, frailties are common. We all know good people who have done bad things, be it selling or using drugs or acts of violence. We all have an uncle or brother, cousin or sister who is or has been locked up. Folks struggling to get by with heaps of pressure on their shoulders and stumbling blocks around every corner come a dime a dozen. And we feel for them when they fall and cheer for them when they rise.

    And sadly enough, even domestic violence can be a forgivable offense. Many are numb to it. Others, though it may be taboo to suggest, invite the physical drama brought on by unhealthy relationships. That includes some women who sometimes function best when the drama is highest. In the fallout after the Rihanna beating many female fans took to online message boards, Facebook and Twitter to suggest that Rihanna must've done something to spark the fight that ended with her face bloodied and battered. It was sad, really.

    Some of what has enabled Brown's somewhat smooth return is a pathology. But much more of it is born from our hunger for talent and our unyielding, often foolish, support for our brothers and sisters. And Chris Brown clearly has a lot of that. He's young, gifted and black and that means something to us, as sordid and co-dependent as it might be.

    Look at him now.

     

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  • 06/27/11--11:10: Public Enemy
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    public enemy


    Public Enemy changed hip-hop with its blend of politically aware lyrics, dissonant beats and an inventive group dynamic. Chuck D's booming voice and complex lyrics touted black nationalism and critiqued societal inequity. Flavor Flav played the trickster/court jester. Terminator X, the DJ, spoke only with his hands. And Professor Griff and the S1Ws claimed a proto-militaristic stance. The mix made for some of rap's most exciting music.

    Hailing from Roosevelt, a small town in Long Island's South Shore, Chuck D (Carlton Ridenhour) got his start in hip-hop as a radio DJ at Adelphi University's WBAU. When Def Jam records co-founder Rick Rubin heard a song called 'Public Enemy Number One' that Chuck made with friend Hank Shocklee, Rubin immediately tried to sign him to the burgeoning label.

    Though Chuck was skeptical at first, he soon relented, enlisting Shocklee and his Spectrum City cohorts Keith Shocklee and Eric "Vietnam' Sadler to do production as the Bomb Squad. Chuck's idea was to create the ultimate political hip-hop group. Flavor Flav (William Drayton), Griff, Terminator X and the S1Ws soon joined the fold in what was once high-minded theater, Black Panther-inspired aethetics, edgy beats and fiercely political lyrics.

    The raw beats and rhymes from the group's 1988 debut, 'Yo Bum Rush the Show,' did little to prepare rap fans for their masterpiece sophomore release, 'It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back.' The album was powerful, cohesive and like nothing rap had produced before.

    The Bomb Squad constructed walls of noise and intricate sample pastiches that were the perfect backdrop for Chuck D's forceful delivery and Flav's hyped ab-libs. 'Fight the Power,' which is on the soundtrack of Spike Lee's 1989 film 'Do the Right Thing,' stands as one of the genre's best examples of hip-hop's rebellious spirit.

    Adam Yauch (MCA from the Beastie Boys) recalled the group's significance in 'Rolling Stone' magazine's 2004 feature about the 100 greatest artists of all time. (The group came in at number 44.)

    "PE completely changed the game musically. No one was just putting straight-out noise and atonal synthesizers into hip-hop, mixing elements of James Brown and Miles Davis; no one in hip-hop had ever been this hard, and perhaps no one has since. They made everything else sound clean and happy, and the power of the music perfectly matched the intention of the lyrics. They were also the first rap group to really focus on making albums - you can listen to 'Nation of Millions' or 'Fear of a Black Planet' from beginning to end. They aren't just random songs tossed together."

    Though the group was hailed for their music, they also endured a fair bit of controversy when critics accused some of the lyrics of 'Welcome to the Terrordome' as being anti-Semitic. (Griff was eventually asked to leave the group over statements he made.)

    Still, the group endured, releasing a series of albums through '90s, two of which ('Fear of a Black Planet' and 'Apocalypse 91...The Empire Strikes Black') can be considered rap's most accomplished efforts.

    Recently, Chuck D has hosted political talk radio shows and Flav has become a reality TV icon. He has also released his memoir, 'Flavor Flav: The Icon, The Memoir.'

    The group was recognized at the VH1 Hip-Hop Honors in 2009.

    Influenced...Paris, KRS-One, Ice Cube, X-Clan, dead prez, Immortal Technique, Ice-T, among others.








     

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    Today the "Run The World (Girls)" singer releases her fourth solo album '4' and for a recent appearance on CNN's Piers Morgan, Beyonce wore her signature curly blonde mane, a fitted orange dress and bright white platforms pumps. She'll be turning 30 this year and mentioned to Morgan she once said she'd be retired with a baby by this age. Beyonce dismissed the idea of retiring but said it will be God's choice if she has a child this year.





    Full Length
    beyonce



    Closeup
    beyonce

     

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    From the TPMMuckraker:

    Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich being found guilty on 17 of 20 corruption charges might mean the House Ethics Committee probe into allegations against Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill) could get underway soon. Back in November, the House Ethics Committee deferred taking any action in the Jackson matter at the request of the Justice Department. Federal officials had requested House staffers put off the matter until DOJ's prosecution had wrapped up.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the New York Times:

    A veteran of both the Army and the Navy who served with distinction in Iraq and at Guantánamo Bay has spent the last month in federal lockup here because the government wants to deport him. Not only did he lie on a passport application, prosecutors say, but he was never even a citizen.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Think Progress:

    The Washington Post reported last week that a new "Super PAC" - a political committee that can accept unlimited corporate contributions - has been set up by Mitt Romney supporters to run ads for the 2012 election. Restore Our Future PAC will be led by gambling lobbyist Charles Spies, former American Crossroads operative Carl Forti, and veteran GOP ad-maker Larry McCarthy.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Color Lines:

    There's been a headline bouncing around the progressive blogosphere recently, saying that black Islamophobic conservative (and Tea Party presidential favorite) Herman Cain pulled the "race card" when faced with recent criticism. The backstory is that Cain claimed that, as president, he'd make it so any new legislation would be limited to three pages; Stewart poked fun at him for this, as is his job, and Cain responded thus.

    Read more here.

     

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    From MTV News:

    Since releasing her debut, Songs in A Minor, 10 years ago, Alicia Keys has achieved plenty of landmarks in her life: two armloads of Grammys, a successful movie career and, recently, motherhood. But the "Fallin' " singer is still pushing into new territory with her latest project, co-producing the Broadway premiere of the play "Stick Fly." The critically acclaimed work by Lydia R. Diamond will open on Broadway at the Lyceum Theatre in December, with previews beginning on November 18.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 06/28/11--07:18: 5 Questions with Olivia
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    olivia at apple store in soho, ny


    R&B sensation Olivia (Longott) is ready to blow up the scene with her dynamite vocal talent and irresistible style...again. The New York native, who is preparing to release her upcoming album, 'Show the World,' is mounting a comeback of sorts after stints at J Records and as the only female member of 50 Cent's G-Unit crew failed to pan out.

    In fact, Olivia has a few irons in the fire these days. In addition to the new CD, she's set to appear in the second season of VH1's reality show, 'Love & Hip Hop.' And the R&B songstress is also promoting a home decor collection and has a motivational book for women about her career ups and downs. ("The name looks like 'Impossible' but its actually 'I'm Possible,'" she said.)

    Still, she feels most at home singing on stage. She rocked the Apple Store, Soho as part of a live event series that has been happening this June at Apple stores across the country for Black Music Month. Apple is also featuring a special iTunes page dedicated to black music, giving artists such as Olivia a unique platform to attract large new audiences.

    The stellar performance included Olivia's hit song, 'December,' an infectious ballad about uncertain romance. She also sang her next single 'Confident,' an upbeat party song that shows her versatility. Afterwards, I sat down with Olivia to chat about how she's working on the second phase of her career and how she can't wait for the day when fans will eventually stop describing her as "Olivia, formally of G-Unit."

    WB: Your new single 'December' is a song about love and heartache. Was this song based on a personal experience?
    O:
    You know, it wasn't a personal experience but there are some elements that relate to situations I've been through. So many women and men have been lied to by partners, so I knew that a lot of people could relate to this record. I especially like to write songs that empower women and speak for women. My first single was 'Bizounce,' and I was empowering women by telling them to leave the dude alone.





    WB: Your forthcoming album is titled
    'Show the World.' What do you have to show the world that they might have missed or misunderstood when you first came out on J Records ten years ago and in 2005 on G-Unit Records? Do you have something to prove?
    O:
    I've always had something to prove, being that I've usually been the only girl in a male-oriented field and a male-oriented group. When I first signed with J records, I was 17 years old. I was the very first artist signed to the label and I knew that I was going to be the experimental person because they had just brought everyone over from all the other labels. I just wanted to sing, but I really didn't know anything about it. I was in school, going to Five Towns College at night and Hofstra University during the day. I was doing both, because it was for the music.

    Then, when I got the deal it was like, what am I going to college for? It was really funny because there was a lot of politics that went on behind the scenes that I didn't know about, because again I was young and I just wanted to sing. They ended up dropping me, but the person who got me dropped actually brought me with them to Interscope. That's were I meet 50 Cent. So I was already signed to Interscope first, and then I meet 50 and Dr. Dre, who were both vying for me to be on their labels. Obviously, we know 50 won.

    WB: Why did you decide to leave G-Unit Records? Was it a hard decision?
    O:
    It was great experience, but it turned out to be something that I knew I couldn't do for the long-term because I was a solo artist in my heart , and being up there with a bunch of guys for the rest of my career was not what I wanted. 50 Cent and I spoke about that a lot of times and he understood, and tried to get me to stay a few times...then it just came out in the news that they had dropped me. I'm like, what are they talking about? Then it turned into all those rumors saying I was probably sleeping with them, and this and that... and that's what hurt me the most because they were all friends and 50 Cent was the closest one to me. We spoke all the time.

    Once I heard all that stuff, I went overseas for about three years. I toured. I just wanted to get away, and I felt like I needed to re-brand myself. That's what I did during that whole time. That's why people thought that I probably had given up or just went away. They probably didn't know it, but I had a big fan base over there. So I toured Australia by myself, Africa, a whole bunch of places that I had already been to with G-Unit. But I got to do it on my own. You know, at J records we really just did the U.S., so being able to tour by myself overseas was a blessing.

    WB: When you're away from New York City, what do you miss the most?
    O:
    My family. My first cousin is my assistant and I never leave home without her. Shea is one of my stylists who I started out with on J records. So I have a loyal heart and I always love to keep family around me. My dogs. I miss my Yorkies all the time.

    WB: What affect has the reality show 'Love & Hip-Hop' had
    on your career?
    O:
    For me, it's been great. You can see the success of 'December.' That's the only reason I did the show. I'm very, very pleased with it. I don't like to open up my personal life to anybody. Sometimes some of my closest friends don't know certain things. That's just how I am, so having to do the show in some cases was really helpful because I got to say how I feel about the industry, why I said a lot of these bitches out here can't sing, and I don't understand why they have deals. If you see the show, I'm the one that tried to stay away from all of the drama.


     

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     Olivia


    It's hard to imagine a former member of G-Unit, not being a fan of hip-hop. So we asked Olivia to share her five favorite rap songs from back in the day. Though some might scoff at tunes from the mid-90s being considered 'old school,' you can't really argue about the quality of the tracks she's selected. All of the following cuts are classic hip-hop.




    1. Nice N Smooth, 'Hip-Hop Junkies





    2. Black Sheep, 'The Choice Is Yours
    '
    "I was the biggest fan in the world," she said.





    3. A Tribe Called Quest, 'Excursions'






    4. Black Moon's 'Who Got the Props'
    "You couldn't tell me nothing about them."





    5. Das EFX, 'They Want EFX'

     

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    From Reuters:

    Sibling rivalry makes for great drama. And while there's nothing Ewing-like about their relationship, two sons of Motown Records founder Berry Gordy are having a chart battle on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart -- albeit one spanning more than 27 years -- and the victor could be decided as early as this week.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Hollywood Reporter:

    Two more actors are going Joe. Rapper-turned-actor RZA and D.J. Cotrona, best known as one of the cast members of TV's 'Detroit 1-8-7,' are in negotiations to board Paramount's new 'G.I. Joe' movie being directed by Jon M. Chu.

    Read more here.

     

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    Michele BachmannFrom The Huffington Post:

    During an appearance on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann was given an opportunity to set the record straight with regard to comments she made earlier this year lauding the nation's Founding Fathers for working "tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States."

    ABC's George Stephanopoulos asked the conservative congresswoman to address the statement, noting that many of the country's Founding Fathers, including Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, in fact had slaves and that slavery wasn't abolished until the Civil War.

    Read the full transcript here.

     

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    From Deadline:

    I hear Clint Eastwood is using his time with Leonardo DiCaprio on the J Edgar Hoover biopic to discuss the director's new Warner Bros project 'A Star Is Born'. Clint is hoping to team Leo with Beyoncé, who's already set for the musical. Clint is producing through Malpaso as well as helming the script by Will Fetters. Producers are Billy Gerber and Basil Iwanyk and Jon Peters (who made the infamous version with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson). The project has been at WB for several years, and there'd been talk of pairing Beyoncé and Will Smith. But casting Leo as the male lead would make for a much more interesting movie.

    Read more here.

     

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  • 06/28/11--09:06: Tia Mowry Welcomes a Son

  • From People.com:

    Special delivery for Tia Mowry! The Game star, 32, and husband Cory Hardrict welcomed a son on Tuesday in Los Angles, her rep tells PEOPLE. He weighed in at 8 lbs.

    Read more here.

     

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    From the Black Snob:

    After I spent five years in Bakersfield, Calif., I returned to St. Louis with a much wider appreciation of music than I had when I grew up in the suburbs of the Midwest. Namely, a wider interest in classic country and punk rock, two staples of the Bakersfield music scene when I was working as an entertainment reporter. It was the same town that had spawned both Merle Haggard with one generation and Korn with another, and while I never really got into Korn's sound, I did enjoy a lot other punk rock acts, new and old, and had the distinction of being the oldest (and blackest) person to occasionally take in a show at Jerry's Pizza.

    Read more here.

     

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    From Cambio:

    Check out Lonny Bereal, Kerry Krucial Brother, Mateo, Naima Adedapo, Jacob Lusk and Rob Knox say a few words about the man of the night, Sean "Diddy" Combs!

    View more videos here.






     

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