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Category Archives: Entertaiment

Spike Lee Criticizes “Django Unchained”

BS Django

Taylor Hill/Getty Images; ANDREW COOPER

 

“Django Unchained,” which hit theaters on Christmas Day, stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz, Kerry Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. It follows Jamie Foxx as a freed slave who works with a bounty hunter to fight the slave owners who captured his wife. Despite the success of the Quentin Tarantino movie by critics, Filmmaker Spike Lee has outwardly spoken against the newly released film for its portrayal of slavery.

In an interview with VibeTV, Lee told them, “I can’t speak on it ’cause I’m not gonna see it”. He went on to say, “All I’m going to say is that it’s disrespectful to my ancestors. That’s just me…I’m not speaking on behalf of anybody else.” His statement sparked a lively debate, which he himself, engaged in- weighing in and retweeting comments on Saturday evening.

Spike Lee, whose latest film “Red Hook Summer” deals with race and class in the South Brooklyn neighborhood, said he has no plans to see “Django Unchained”. He went on about his dissatisfaction on Twitter, writing, “American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them.”

In a separate interview with Vibe, Jamie Foxx, who plays Django, informed that Lee told said at the BET Awards in September that he would not speak out about the film. “You know Spike, he’ll let you have it whether it’s good, bad or ugly,” Foxx told the magazine. “And he said, ‘I’m not going to say anything bad about this film. It looks like y’all are getting it.’ ”

This isn’t the first time Lee has taken issue with Tarantino’s films, especially when it comes to the use of a racial epithet that is used myriad times in Django and appeared frequently in Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown.

 

Written by: Lexine Emille

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Entertaiment

 

R&B singer Natina Reed hit and killed by car in Georgia

Natina Reed

(Reuters) – Natina Reed, a member of the R&B singing trio Blaque, was struck and killed by a car as she walked in a major roadway in Georgia, police said on Saturday.

Reed, who also appeared in the cheerleader movie “Bring It On” in 2000, would have turned 33 on Sunday.

She was struck by a car at about 10:30 p.m. Friday on a state highway just north of the Atlanta suburb of Lilburn, Gwinnett County Police Sergeant Rich Long said.

The car’s driver called 911 and a passenger performed CPR but Reed was pronounced dead at an area medical center, police said. Authorities ruled the driver was not at fault and no charges were expected to be filed, Long said.

Investigators were trying to determine why Reed was in the road, Long said.

As part of Blaque, Reed performed the 1999 hits “Bring It All to Me” and “808” with fellow members Shamari Fears DeVoe and Brandi Williams.

Reed’s fellow group members said in a statement on Saturday that Blaque had recently reunited and the group was working on an album and a reality show.

 “My world as I know it has forever changed,” DeVoe said on Twitter on Saturday. “Until we meet again, may you find comfort in the arms of an angel. I love you Natina.”

 

(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Bill Trott)

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2012 in BLACK Events, Culture, Entertaiment

 

ESNAVI IS FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN FACE FOR ALISON RAFFAELE

 

 

R&B singer/songwriter – ESNAVI celebrated the release of her newest beauty campaign with Alison Raffaele Cosmetics (ARC) on September 25, 2012 at the contemporary MarX Restaurant located in Midtown Manhattan, located at 208 East 58th Street. As the 1st African-American face endorsing the brand, ESNAVI introduced music, fashion, and beauty fanatics to “Skintone 7” – ARC’s reality based True Concealer. As part of the presentation, guests were delighted by a 20 minute performance from the vivacious singer, makeup tips and samples by ARC, nail polish by Dazzle Dry, pastries from Delightful Cake Kreation and cocktails courtesy of 1800 Coconut Tequila.

Esnavi has quickly become an independent powerhouse in a short amount of time. Although new to the mainstream, Esnavi has been on her mission for years. As a very young child, her performing and writing skills were cultivated and now the industry has taken notice of this rising star. With the release of her highly acclaimed album, Exit E, Esnavi is taking her career to the next level.

She has performed at ESSENCE Music Festival during a live broadcast on Sirius XM Satellite Radio, headlined in front of a sold out crowd at Apollo Music Café, performed on Good Day New York morning show on FOX 5 NEWS, sang The National Anthem at the IZOD Center for the Harlem Globetrotters World Tour, performed at BAMcafé Live (Brooklyn Academy of Music) and has secured a music licensing deal with H&M, Old Navy, Abercrombie & Fitch, Nine West, Ann Taylor and Arden B stores worldwide.

As her most recent accomplishment, Esnavi is making history as the first African-American face for Alison Raffaele Cosmetics beauty campaign, a cosmetics line that will be carried in all Duane Reade stores nationwide, which launched in Puerto Rico in May, and will launch in New York City this Fall.

“Launched in 2008, Alison Raffaele Cosmetics is the first brand to blend high performance, easy-to-use cosmetics with eco-friendly, treatment-oriented formulations.” The foundation upon which the brand was built is that a woman’s true beauty comes from within and it’s through the pursuit of those dreams that encourages beauty to shine through. ESNAVI truly exemplifies what is means to “Live Beautiful”.

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Jay-Z Christens Barclays Center With Brooklyn Love

Rapper Jay-Z performs the inaugural concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Friday Sept. 28, 2012 in New York. / Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

NEW YORK– The newly built Barclays Center is the home of the Brooklyn Nets, and Jay-Z, an investor in the team, christened the venue Friday night in uniform, sporting a Nets hat and jersey as he rapped two dozen jams onstage in front of thousands.

Jay-Z performed for an excited and rowdy crowd of 18,000, wearing a jersey that featured his last name, Carter, and the number four. It was his first of eight shows at the venue.

As he emerged onstage, a video highlighting some of Brooklyn’s historical moments — like when it was named an official borough of New York City — played in the background. There were also pictures of famous faces who were born in Brooklyn, from Michael Jordan to Al Capone to Aaliyah to Adam Yauch of Beastie Boys.

Jay-Z opened the show with the hometown anthems “Where I’m From,” a song about his upbringing in Brooklyn’s Marcy projects complex, and “Brooklyn Go Hard.” He followed that with a tribute to one of Brooklyn’s icons: the late Notorious B.I.G. He performed some of the rap vet’s hit “Juicy” as the crowd joined in.

“Sing loud so he can hear you in heaven,” said Jay-Z, who also held a moment of silence for the rapper, who was shot to death in 1997.

Another Brooklynite — Big Daddy Kane — made an appearance, performing songs like “Ain’t No Half Steppin”‘ and “Warm It Up, Kane.” He received a roaring cheer from the crowd when performing old-school dance moves with two dancers in all white.

Jay-Z said Friday’s concert was incomparable to most of his other top-level performances, including the Grammys, Glastonbury or Coachella.

“Nothing feels like tonight,” he told the crowd multiple times.

The audience was excited and wild, cheering on Jay-Z as blue laser lights beamed across the venue. A seven-piece band was placed a level above Jay-Z, who paced from left to right while performing jams like “Empire State of Mind,” “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” “Izzo (H.O.V.A.),” “99 Problems” and many others. Videos played on screens behind and above Jay-Z, while screens for fans in the higher sections — though not large enough — showed the rapper’s performance on the left and right sides of the stage.

“I want to thank you, Brooklyn, New York City, for making me the man I am today,” he said. “Like I said, everybody’s from Brooklyn tonight.”

A fan in the front section held up Jackie Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, immediately grabbing Jay-Z’s attention. He asked the fan for it and said: “I promise I’ll give it back.”

“Brooklyn had their heart broken,” he said as he held up the jersey and referred to the Dodgers leaving for Los Angeles after the 1957 baseball season. “We cried for so many years. …Look how far we’ve come.”

Jay-Z will perform at Barclays through Oct. 6 with the exception of Oct. 2.

 

 

Credit to CBS news:

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57523009/jay-z-christens-barclays-center-with-brooklyn-love/

© 2012 The Associated Press

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2012 in BLACK Events, Culture, Entertaiment

 

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Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston

After more than seven months since Whitney Houston’s untimely death, the music industry is determined to keep her legacy alive. “We Will Always Love You: A Grammy Salute to Whitney Houston” will air on Friday, November 16th on CBS. Usher, Celine Dion and Jennifer Hudson are among the performers that will be paying homage to the six-time Grammy winner. Never-before-seen footage, exclusive interviews, and highlights of Houston’s career, including Grammy and other performances will also be featured.

According to her former record label, a Greatest Hits album is also scheduled to be released in November called ‘I Will Always Love You – The Best of Whitney Houston, which will include never before released songs. A reality TV series is also set to air soon called ‘The Houstons: On Our Own’, showing the lives of her family members as they struggle to come to terms with losing Whitney.

Houston died at age 48 in February. Authorities called her death an accidental drowning, complicated by heart disease and cocaine use.

Written by: Lexine Emille

Remembering A Legend:

 

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Hip-hop Exec Pleads Guilty In NYC


Hip-Hop record executive Bryan Leach as he pleads guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court on Monday, September 24, 2012. Leach was arrested for gun possession. He will be sentenced to 2 years in prison.

 

Hip-hop Executive, Bryan Leach launched the careers of rap stars like Lil’ Jon and the East Side Boyz, Ying Yang Twins and Bilingual artist, Pitbull.  He is known for most recently signing A$AP Rocky to Polo Grounds Music.  On Monday, September 24, he plead guilty to driving around Harlem with a loaded handgun.

In October 2010 Leach, 43,  was caught with a .380 Kel-Tec handgun loaded with six hollow-point bullets on the front seat of his car.  According to court papers,  he was pulled over on West 72nd St. on the upper West Side after police observed his Bently swerving erratically. 

Initially the record mogul was charged with two counts of weapons possession but plead guilty to a reduced count of attempted weapons possession in the second degree.  Under the plea deal, Leach will be sentenced to two years in prison and a year of post-release supervision, officials said.

Leach has not officially been sentenced and is allowed to remain free until his November 8th hearing. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Lewis Bart Stone warned that he could wind up in jail for a total of seven years if he fails to cooperate with probation officials or if he does not return to court for sentencing. He and his attorney refused to speak after accepting the plea deal. Leach is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 8.

Written by: Lexine Emille

 

Mara – The Hip-Hop Socialite

 

Former Intellectual Property attorney, sometime model, current celebrity journalist/blogger and urban media personality. You can find Mara’s work in Parle Magazine, and on websites such as YoRaps.com, HHLO.net, RollingOut.com, and DrJays.com (Live). The Wilmington, NC native has interviewed and written stories on what reads like a “who’s who” of R&B, hip-hop and urban entertainment, including Jadakiss, Maino, Grandmaster Caz, style icon June Ambrose, Kalenna Harper (Diddy Dirty Money), Tami Roman, Olivia, and Kandi Burruss.

In early 2009, Mara joined Street Disciplez Radio as co-host, joining the show’s creator and host, former hip-hop emcee turned media personality, Ei8ht. Street Disciplez Radio has generated headlines on many media outlets, including HipHopWired.com, MediaTakeOut.com, AllHipHop.com, SOHH.com, BET.com, XXLMag.com, TheYBF.com, Bossip.com, VIBE.com, NecoleBitchie.com, OzoneMag.com, and many, many more. Past guests of Street Disciplez Radio include Meagan Good, Natalie Nunn, Bobby Brown, Scarface, Def Jam executive Sha Money XL, actor Ving Rhames, Tashera Simmons, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson (“The Wire”), French Montana, Capone and Noreaga, Consequence, west coast hip-hop legend Too $hort, and many more. Currently syndicated on the web, Street Disciplez Radio airs on multiple sites every Monday and Wednesday night from 8:30pm to 10:30pm.

In the summer of 2011, Mara was selected to serve as Managing Editor of popular lifestyle/entertainment webzine, CherryOnTop.com (the brainchild of NYC radio personality, Cherry Martinez of Power 105.1 FM). With Mara at the helm, CherryOnTop.com has generated headlines on TheYBF.com, SOHH.com, Bossip.com, VIBE.com,TheHuffingtonPost.com, VIBEVixen.com and on many other popular media outlets.

The Renaissance woman also pens a column, “The Adventures of the Hip-Hop Socialite…”, for One-Ten Magazine, which is scheduled for relaunch in the summer of 2012.. Earlier this year marked another milestone in Mara’s career, as she began hosting the “60-Second Scoop” on North Carolina’s Coast 97.3 FM (Cumulus Media), Michigan’s WHPR FM 88.1, and NYC’s DaMatrixStudios.com.

Mara has also hosted her own internet series, “Scene & Heard TV”, which generated the kind of headlines that many have come to expect of the proud southern belle.  As an urban media personality, Mara has been featured in RollingOut.com, ForbezDVD.com, GGurls.com, Femmixx.com, and other outlets.

Q & A with Mara The Hip-Hop Socialite:

BS: What made you leave your profession as an attorney to pursue a career in media?

Shamara McKoy: To be perfectly honest with you, I never pictured myself practicing law for the rest of my life. I’ve always been passionate about writing, but I knew I probably would not make much money from it. Nevertheless, when I relocated to NYC after graduating from the law school at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC, I decided to make a go of it after working as a lawyer for almost 2 years. I’ve always been obsessed with pop culture, so working in the media world made perfect sense. It merges two of the things I love: writing and pop culture.

BS: How would you describe your work style?    

Shamara McKoy: Organized chaos. I can be all over the place, but I manage to always get things done.

BS: Tell me about your proudest achievement.  What inspires you?

Shamara McKoy: Although I’m no longer in the law field, earning my law degree is my proudest achievement.

I’m inspired by my nieces. With all the foolishness that’s going on on TV and just everywhere, it’s important to me that I model the behavior, morals, work ethic, and beliefs that I want them to possess. It inspires me to go hard and always carry myself in a way that influences them in a positive way.

BS: What do you ultimately want to become? 

Shamara McKoy: Eventually, I want to be a radio personality that’s recognized on a national level. I want to get the book I’m working on published at some point, and I although I’m already a pop culture commentator, I would like to take it to the next level by landing television appearances to provide commentary on everything pop culture!

BS: Who has impacted you most in your career and how? 

Shamara McKoy: Wow, there are quite a few people who have impacted my career. I can’t name one without naming them all, so I’ll leave it at that.

BS: What’s the most important thing you learned about yourself so far?  What is your personal mission statement?   

Shamara McKoy: Relocating to NYC and managing to make a life for myself here has taught me just how strong I am. It wasn’t easy by far.

I don’t have a personal mission statement per se, I just believe that hard work and faith (in God) will get you everywhere.

BS: Who are your role models and why?

Shamara McKoy: My mom and my dad (of course). Their work ethic is something like I’ve never seen! My dad worked 30+ years for a particular company, and he rarely missed a day. He actually retired in 2001, but he grew tired of sitting at home, and got another job working for a school. My mom is the same way. They’re just hard workers, and succeeded in giving my siblings and I the kind of childhood any kid would hope for. They’ve worked very hard on their marriage as well – in July, they celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary! They’re both very happy!

When it comes to this industry, I adore Cathy Hughes. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her, but her career in media (particularly radio) is a major motivator for me.

BS: What techniques and tools do you use to develop yourself?   

Shamara McKoy: I’m an avid reader, and one of the things I do while I’m reading is write down words that I stumble across that I don’t often use. I then write down their definitions (if I don’t know it already) and incorporate those words into my own writing.

I’m hoping to participate in more writing workshops. I’m always trying to improve my skills as a writer, and participating in whatever workshops I come across is a big part of that.

BS: What projects are you a part of now?  What can we expect from you in the near future?

Shamara McKoy: Right now, I’m focused on my radio bit, “The 60 Second Scoop with the Hip-Hop Socialite”. It’s 60 seconds of the latest celebrity interviews, gossip, and/or details on the hottest events. The “Scoop” was launched earlier this year, and it’s featured interviews with everyone from rapper Ca$h Out, to Tami Roman (“Basketball Wives”), to Momma Dee (“Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta”). It’s done quite well in the radio markets that air it down south, and I recently landed a sponsor (t-shirt company Optic Verbiage, http://www.OpticVerbiage.com). The “Scoop” has already made headlines everywhere from The Urban Daily to Bossip. It’s something I created, with my name on it, produced by my production team, Da Matrix Studios in NYC. I’m quite proud of it. I’m looking forward to additional radio stations picking it up and adding it to their programming. I’m extremely grateful to my family at Coast 97.3 FM in North Carolina because they were the first station to give the “Scoop” a chance.

I also pen a column called “The Adventures of the Hip-Hop Socialite” for One Ten Magazine. It will be re-launched in December in the winter issue of One Ten.  And of course, I’m still Managing Editor of CherryOnTop.com, a lifestyle/entertainment webzine that’s the brainchild of Power 105.1 FM radio personality, Cherry Martinez.

 

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