Friday, August 29, 2008
Check him out below in Destiny's Child's video for "Cater 2 U". [I guess women aren't the only ones exploited in videos. haha]
Money shots: 2:37 and 3:37
Where is he now?:
Since his days with Diddy at Sean John, Gordon has landed various campaigns with PEPE Jeans, U.S Male Lounge Wear and Uck Fit.
Miss Tyra Lynne Banks became famous first as a model in Paris, Milan, London, Tokyo, and New York, but television appearances were her commercial breakthrough. Her career began with high fashion runway modeling, but commercial was her strong suit. The first black woman to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, Tyra banked lucrative deals with Victoria Secret and scored roles in various films and television shows.
She is also known as the creative force behind America's Next Top Model, a show which gives aspiring young models to compete to earn the top spot in America's fashion scene and snatch up big prizes such as coveted Cover girl spots.
Check out a montage of her runway modeling below.
Money Shots: 0:32-0:35, 2:26-2:29, and 3:13-3:19.
Where is she now?:
The better question would be "where isn't she?" Banks is well on her way to be the next big brand name in entertainment behind Martha and Oprah. Top Model is still going strong and her now Emmy nominated talk show is withstanding the test of time. She's done film, she's done TV, she's been a doll, and she's inspired young girls. What more can you ask for?
Thursday, August 28, 2008
She may not be that popular here in the U.S. right now,
but miss chocolate drop is doing her thing overseas.
Can't knock the hustle.
Peep her new Nike commercial here featuring her single "Work (Put it In)"
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Words cannot convey the feeling inside of me right now. As I watched Michelle Obama the other night tears welled. I am a grown man but I can admit that. It was a moving moment.
She failed to Keep Her Composure...miserably.
Check it out below.
In the opening track she explains how she can only be herself and that she will never be anyone else, namely Beyoncé.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I'm not a terribly religious person. I am moreso spiritual. I believe in God. I believe in church. However, I believe in questioning things. I am imperfect. That's why I love Kirk Franklin. He is imperfect. His music is about prasing God, but it also stresses the notion of us being unworthy. He connects with me and doesn't give me the holier than though tone that many gospel greats do. I will never hear from him "i'm going to heaven and this is why you are not".
I wasn't particularly blown away by the last Kirk Franklin album but this song resonated with me.
"Help Me Believe".
Those simple words are the basis of the song. It is as honest as you get. I often feel like I want to believe in the positivity of the world and be free of all the hurt it can bring. The song is a letter to God explaining to him that the singer is struggling with faith and wants to be strong but he/she is "no good on [their] own". If you have ever had a dark day, you may need to listen to this song...
And utter this simple prayer:
Help me believe. Can I believe? Let me believe. I wanna believe. I've been here before and can't take that hurt again. I'm no good on my own. Please give me another chance. It's hard to believe in what I can't see- to give you my will 'cause your will's better for me. You can look in my eyes and see I wanna believe...
Friday, August 22, 2008
Here is the wonderful and splendid Josephine Baker performing her signature song, one of my favorites- "J'ai Deux Amours"
Below is Madeleine Peyroux's version. Peyroux, born in 1974 is an American jazz singer from Athens, Georgia whose voice has been compared to Billie Holiday.
Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter who gained international fame through her painting using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico. Many of her works are self-portraits that symbolically express her own pain and sexuality.
Born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderón in 1907, Kahlo used her experiences of a tumultuous marriages, miscarriages, and the many operations she underwent following a rail car accident.
She insisted, "I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality".
In 2002 actress Salma Hayek starred in the Academy Award nominated film as the eccentric painter who dabbled in bisexuality and lit the world of art aflame.
Look up the art of Kahlo and also check out the fantastic film with her art serving as great imagery accompanied by music as voluptuous and lush as Hayek, who earned an Oscar nomination for the film.
There is an underlying somber tone to the film's take on the American dream and those who strive for it, sometimes never reaching it. However, the spirit of the people in the documentary is that of resilience, even in the face of unfortunate and sometimes traumatic events.
The film is filled with humor- often intended, many times unintentional.
Go and check out this film and let Willie Ninja and Dorian Corey take you on their fantastic voyage.
Peep the video below of Dorian Corey describing the concepts of "shade" and "reading". Hilarious
Thursday, August 21, 2008
What's up with people and labels??? Geez. If I hear one more person say that women are supposed to ___ and men are supposed to ___ I will scream. The same thing goes for race.
I had a conversation recently that disturbed me, yet it didn't surprise me.
I was told that I need to dress like a black man. I should not wear a small... I'm 5'8" 130 lbs. How small can you get????? I will go nowhere near a large. I'm supposed to wear baggy clothes to fit into the norm of most black guys my age. Or so I was told. This is to avoid scrutiny even if it makes me uncomfotable. WTF??? I'm sick of my blackness/manhood being in question. Yes, I talk funny. I dress more like the Jonas Brothers than Jay-Z. It's my choice. I was not built for Sean John. I will leave that to the other boys.
I love my skinny jeans. I will continue to wear them until I decide not to. Yes, I am a black man. But first and foremost, I am a thinking man. One who does not always go along with the flow of those around him. You can see that by my posts on here.
What the hell does dress like a black man mean anyway? Do you mean 50 Cent? Pharell Williams or Kanye West? André Leon Talley? Colin Powell? Wyclef Jean or Chris Brown? They ALL posess different styles so please be more specific.
I like my clothing to be more tailored and to ACTUALLY FIT ME! I wear a six 36 sport coat! So don't suggest a 40! I will look like I"m playing dress up in daddy's clothes. Jeez... I'm a grown man.
It's funny how we encourage young black men to pull their pants up and stop looking sloppy but when they wear clothes that fit they are accused of being gay or trying to be white. How you can do either of those by your clothes, I don't know.
Don't try to box me in. Thanks. Black men come in all different shapes, shades, and styles.
"There's this assumption that there's only one way of being black. That if you are not conforming to a certain pattern of behavior, that somehow you may not be authentic enough. And those of us in African-American culture know that there's as much diversity in the African-American community as there is in any other community."-Barack Obama :-]
I recently ran across this pic of Bionic Bey representing Barack.
According to this video, she had good reason to love Brother O.
Check out his entrance at the Ellen Show to the tune of "Crazy in Love". Classic!
Look at his face at 0:47. That's that Old School pimp dancing look.
Obama said knock you out!
Change in '08
Peep him in the video below. Watch at 0:13 as he tries not to laugh. Funny! :-)
Chanel Iman Robinson (born 1989) is a Korean/African-American model from Atlanta, USA. She grew up in Culver City, California and attended Fairfax High School in Los Angeles. Chanel appeared with models Du Juan and Coco Rocha in the Spring 2007 issue of TIME Style&Design. In the May 2007 issue of US Vogue she was featured on the cover with others as one of the stars emerging in the new crop of supermodels. With a name like Chanel Iman, did they really think she would become a lawyer?? Nope. This chick was probably born at Bryant Park.
Watch Chanel below in the video. I love her. She's so refreshing. I love her nonchalant personality as if she doesn't know she 's the hottest of the hot. She knows. There's proof at 0:26-0:27. Also, check her working that Naomi part down the middle look at 4:03.
World Dominion is coming for these three.
Wendell for President in 2012. Chanel as First Lady and Marcus as Vice President!
Although Tisha Campbell is the lead here as Gamma Ray Jane Toussaint, Jasmine Guy steals the show.
Check out Jasmine's face at 2:11 and watch her twirl at 2:45-2:47. [I just fainted]
"Alone Tonight" from School Daze 
This features The Singers Unlimited (think Manhattan Transfer) singing the Sesame Street song. I forgot that I have a copy of their seven CD collection containing everything the group recorded in their history except their Christmas material. They haven't recorded a new album since 1980, but this group is timeless.
Anyway, enjoy the song!
Click below to listen.
The Singer's Unlimited Sesame Street Theme
We even did the signature side vogue-ing at minute 4:19.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
My cousin Wendell actually introduced this book to me. Everyone and their mama's cousin's third wife has read about Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. But I had never heard about Letter's From the Earth.
Due to it's controversial tone, the work was not published until well after Twain's death.
Mark Twain, born Samuel Clemmons, is arguably American history's greatest satirist. I'm sure he paved the way for Colbert, CNL, and Jon Stewart.
The book portray's Twain as the father of history-- providing commentary and interpreting events from the Garden of Eden through the Fall and the Flood, translating the papers of Adam and his descendants through the generations.
It starts with God telling Michael, Gabriel, and Satan about his new creation of the universe. Satan, of course, is cynical and mocks God. God in turn banishes him from Heaven. On Earth Satan decides to write letters back to Michael and Gabriel about his observations of man, God's prized creation. He mocks the notion of heaven and the silly behavior of the creatures on earth. He takes on the attitude of "you wouldn't believe it if you saw it" sarcasm.
"I have told you nothing about man that is not true." You must pardon me if I repeat that remark now and then in these letters; I want you to take seriously the things I am telling you, and I feel that if I were in your place and you in mine, I should need that reminder from time to time, to keep my credulity from flagging.
This ecclectic collection of writings is a must read for anyone who has ever questioned the most pious things in life (and those who haven't). I guess I like it because I have many times questioned the validity of the Noah's Ark story and things of that nature.
It's not an anti-Christian book. It's just a thinker's book. So...COP IT! Or check it out from the library. In other words, get a copy and READ IT!!!
....um why are you still at your computer??? Go now!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This is why I love her and she will forever be my Carmen. Since a friend of mine discovered her CD of spirituals at the National Cathedral when we were in the 10th grade, I have been hooked.
A ravishing beauty with a luscious voice, Denyce Graves embodies Carmen and makes you want to fall in love with her despite the songs warning to "beware".
Visit her Official Website here.
They made me want to go dig up some epidodes of Carol and the crew...
If KC&JoJo actually had talent and were trained by Smokie Norful and Kim Burrell, this would be the result...
Peep Their MySpace Page By Clicking Here
Olympian Michael Phelps graced the cover of Sports Illustrated for the fifth time.
This time he was accompanied by his record breaking eight Gold Medals.
The photo is modeled after Mark Spitz's iconic 1972 shot. Phelps broke Spitz's record for the most Gold in a single Olympic Game. I don't even like to watch swimming, nor can I swim. I usually gravitate more toward the Track and Field & gymnastic events but I loved watching in fiendish glee the clips of Phelps making history.
Phelps is a beast!!! America F--k Yeah! :-)
Kelly's living it up in the UK.
Michelle is prepping for an October album release.
And Miss Knowles-Carter is chillin. Album in November? Who knows? She's been unusually out of the spotlight lately. Maybe it's because of Solange's upcoming release...
We need you DC3!!
Come shut down Danity Kane, Pussycat Dolls, Girlicious or any other amateur acts that will never compare to you.
I don't think Bionic Bey is even thinking about a reunion any time soon. That would interrupt her world dominion plans. Kelly is probably leaving voice mails everyday though. "Would it be cool if...." Beyoncé is like "no, boo boo. I got a photoshoot with Armani."
Just for nostalgia's sake, here's the opening number from the Destiny Fulfilled: I'm Lovin' It Tour. I remember being there. On the floor...the stage only yards away...Screaming with glee.
"Say My Name, B--ch!"
I can remember a time when I was glued to the TV, checking my phone for udpates, and checking CNN at work.
Who knew the process would lose steam after the primaries?
Anyway, what we have to look forward to now are the VP announcements and the conventions before the last leg of the race and that fateful day in November.
Obama is over-exposed and has become too much of a celebrity (though not his fault, but the fault of people like me who ride his nuts...proverbially, not literally. Although it would be nice. hahaha JOKING! I think...). McCain is pitiful and desperate for attention. Any time you have to fake VP discussions to deflect the international attention from the other candidate, you need to go back to the drawing board.
I never thought I would say this...but...I miss Hillary. hahahaha
Wow... That came out of MY mouth. Trust me. I still think she is an ice queen and totally wrong for the commander in chief position. But at least she was interesting. She had fire and guts- balls so to speak.
McCain has...well...he has that war record. At least with Clinton in the mix we had battles that rivaled Little Big Horn. Celtics and Lakers fans hadn't even seen a race that intense.
I am just ready for it all to be over. No more McCain. Michelle in that inauguration gown designed by Ralph Lauren (who better than America's greatest designer?).
I'm ready for change. How about you?
Are you registered to vote? NO? What are you waiting for?
Vote Team O!
However, the star seemed to emulate Diana long before talks of Dreamgirls started.
Catapulted into stardom in the context iconic girl groups, both Ross and Knowles eventually broke out as solo stars and took command of the game.
Both have had their share of drama through group lineup changes, accusations of management favoritism/diva behavior and both have etched a place in history through their music, iconic style, and brands.
It is no secret that I hold these two divas close to my heart.
Below are pics I found of each. Watch the evolution of each and the similarities are striking.
Girl Group Stars
Peep Beyoncé paying tribute to The Boss live in concert
with her sprightly rendition of I'm Coming Out.
Jared Leto's band 30 Seconds to Mars.
I live for this subtle rock approach in response to Kanye's more agressive version.
We all know Kanye takes a page from Tina
because he doesn't do anything nice and easy.
Click the link below to listen.
In related interests, check these girls dancing to
Daft Punk's "Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger",
the song which Kanye's track samples.
They are crazy! How long did it take to practice this???
Peep the chicks at 1:35 when the music speeds up. Love it.
First introduced to me by my friend VJ, I have come to love Françoise Hardy.
Born in Paris in 1944, Hardy is a French singer, actress and Fashion icon.
Click Below to listen a song she released in 1968 with lyrics by Serge Gainsbourg.
The title translates to "How to Say Goodbye"
It makes you want to skip in front of the Eiffel Tower with eating crêpes with your friends Sophie and Jean-Luc. Enjoy! (And yes, it's in French...duh).
Françoise Hardy- "Comment te dire adieu" (1968)
Check out the Smiths looking rather presidential.
The White House would have a new Camelot [see Jackie O. and Jack F. K.] if Will Smith were to ever seek the Oval Office.
However, don't count out the Obamas on style. We are all too familiar with Barack's wicked swagger and Michelle may not be our Jackie O. but she sure as hell has more spunk than Laura, softer edges than Hillary and less need for a walker than Barbara. She is a bad b---h. If her intellect were a brand, it would have a billboard in Times Square.
Have they been sharing stylists?
Peep Will and Barack's navy blue tailored suits with solid contrasting ties. While you are at it, check out Michelle and Miss Jada [she deserves to be addressed as such] in their olive green ensembles with a little splash peacock flair- belt on Michelle and collar on Jada.
All four of them receive 100 A+ across the board.
Good evening and good night!
The gay rights movement posesses martyrs of its own.
Matthew Sheppard and Harvey Milk came to symbolize the juxtaposition of hate and hope that
fueled the movement and gave it a face.
Both Academy Award Winner "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984) and critically acclaimed "The Laramie Project" shine light on two figures that helped to spotlight the gay plight.
In October 1998 21 year-old Mathew Shepard was found brutally beaten tied to a fence and left to die in Laramie, Wyoming. The Laramie Project captures the small town's inward look at itself- the love, the bigotry and the defiance.
Deemed the "Mayor of Castro", political figure Harvey Milk revolutionized politics and breathed fire into the San Francisco community. Tragically gunned down before his full potential was realized, this documentary follows the rise and fall of Milk. Like MLK, Milk seemed to know his fate and embraced the struggle despite knowing the consequences.
Milk had anticipated the possibility of assassination
and had recorded several audio tapes to be played in that event.
An inscription at the Harvey Milk Plaza in San Francisco contains a quote:
"If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closet door."
Right on brother.
Be sure to check out these flicks.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sometimes, in music you get a breeze- a breath of fresh air. Janelle Monáe offers a gust. This pint sized Atlantian first caught my attention when she appeared on Outkast's Idlewild Album.
Armed with a pompadour hairstyle and saddle-Oxford shoes, Janelle is a hybrid that brings something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue.
Her classic look paired with her progressive and futuristic sound is reminiscent of two of her predecessors- André 3000 and Cee-Lo.
Janelle's blues laden voice is almost too pure to pull off the genre which I affectionately call Neo-AfroFunk. However, after seeing her perfomances, there is no doubt that her eccentric delivery and robotic dance moves are nothing less than authentic.
Metropolis, a suite rather than a full album, succeeds in its effort to incite interest and leave you wanting more. You'll beg for more collabos with André and hope for a Gnarls Barkley on the next suite. Allow the visions of George Clinton to dance in your head. So, with all that said, COP THAT DISC!