Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Chris Brown Transformed

Chris Brown
featuring Lil Wayne & Swizz Beatz
I Can Transform Ya [Video Premiere]

I am LOVING this martial arts inspired clip with heavy special effects. Rihanna-gate aside, Chris is a great performer. I haven't always been a fan but he knows how to work what he has. This video serves up spectacular imagery and shows a bit of an edgy side of him. This isn't the bubble gum feel good of Forever. Maybe he is gambling leaving the good boy image behind.
This video is amaaaaaaaazing.
The lead single also has peaked at #27 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as #16 on the R&B/Hip Hop chart. He is also gearing up to film a second video for his second single, Crawl.

With Rihanna releasing album material at the same time, I'm sure comparisons will be made and they will be pitted against each other. Each of them are coming hard this fall. [Although I don't love Russian Roulette, Rihanna's new single.]

Friday, October 23, 2009

First Family by Liebovitz

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Sasha and Malia, sat for a family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. The official White House photo was shot by noted celebrity photographer Annie Liebovitz.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Icons: The Real Queen of Disco

Icon: Sylvester, Disco Queen

"I'm essence cannot be contained."

Before Miss Jay, Rupaul, and any other bold androgynous diva you can think of, there was Sylvester.

Born Sylvester James in1947, the singer idolized Aretha Franklin and lived a troubled childhood before moving to San Francisco, a place where he credited for the true beginning of his life.
The disco legend stormed audiences and critics with his bold courage to dress as a drag queen and was unapologetic about his homosexual lifestyle.
In his later years he was pressured by his record label to beef up his image which prompted him to show up to meetings in full drag.

On September 20, 2004 Sylvester's famous anthem, "You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)", was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame. A year later, on September 19, 2005, Sylvester himself was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame.
Sadly, he died from complications of AIDS in 1988. He was 41 years old.

You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)

Feature Film: Precious

Precious, a film based on the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire, tells the tale of an emotionally and physically abused pregnant teenager and her relationship with her mother and case workers who embark on the mission to save her. Director Lee Daniels sat down with New York Times to discuss the sensitive subject matter and his apprehension with showing the film at Cannes Film Festival to a mostly white audience.

“As African-Americans, we are in an interesting place,” Daniels said. “Obama’s the president, and we want to aspire to that. But part of aspiring is disassociating from the face of Precious. To be honest, I was embarrassed to show this movie at Cannes. I didn’t want to exploit black people. And I wasn’t sure I wanted white French people to see our world.” He paused. “But because of Obama, it’s now O.K. to be black. I can share that voice. I don’t have to lie. I’m proud of where I come from. And I wear it like a shield. ‘Precious’ is part of that.”

He brings up a good point. As we Black Americans strive for success we often want to forget our past and shroud it with shiny new success. In doing that, we lose the joy in showing ourselves as multi-dimensional and complex individuals.

The film has garnered rave reviews from critics and its success has attracted the support of Oprah Winfrey. Daniels also spoke about the reaction at Cannes.

At Cannes, the film received a 15-minute standing ovation. “They wouldn’t stop clapping,” Daniels told me as he gulped a vodka. “I’m a director — after six minutes, I’m saying, please sit down. But I’m also a producer, so I’m thinking, what’s the record? Can we break the record for the longest standing ovation at the festival?”

[Read the NY Times piece HERE]

The film premiered in January 2009 at the Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for best drama, as well as a Special Jury Prize for supporting actress Mo’Nique.
The film also stars Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, Mariah Carey, and newcomer Gabby Sibide in the title role.

Casino Royale: Sean O'Pry for Armani

Model Sean O'Pry
for Giorgio Armani
Fall Winter 2009.10
Photography: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Extraordinary Gentlemen

Models Wendell Lissimore, Derek Keeton, Ibrahim Baaith, Nelson Nieves, Zeric Armenteros
of Red Model Management
for Giant Magazine
Photography: Mark Squires

There's nothing like brown skin...
As I posted before HERE, the men of Red are teaming with BET with the launces of the network's new channel Centric. They are set to appear in a series which chronicles the everyday triumps and struggles that accompany being a model.

Idol Worship: Adam Lambert

American Idol's Adam Lambert
for Details Magazine

Along with a new song for the Twilight: New Moon soundtrack and a video premiering for the same cut, this Details spread and similar press show why it pays to lose American Idol. Ask Jennifer, Chris, and Constantine.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Cool & the Gang

Models Josh Beech, Matvey Lykov, Matthew Hitt, Will Westall, George Barnett & Ryan Hollas
for Velvet
Photography: Takay

Video Premiere: Alicia Keys

Alicia Keys
Doesn't Mean Anything [Video Premiere]
from her upcoming album The Element of Freedom

Friday, October 16, 2009

Marriage Ban: "I Don't Mix the Races"

Excuse me if my screaming woke you up. I couldn't keep my composure.
In 2009 in the United States of America, this happens????
I guess we shouldn't be surpised by this considering there are still segregated proms.
As you read above, a Louisiana Justice of the Peace refused to marry an interracial couple. The groom is white and the bride is black.
Keith Bardwell, the justice in question, expressed concern that most relationships of such nature do not last and hurt the children in the long run. He says that he has black friends and he has married them. He doesn't feel that he is a racist but he doesn't believe in "mixing the races".
Also, according to the BBC piece, he denied mistreating anyone and simply stated that his worry was that if he performed one interracial marriage, he would have to do it for everyone.
Hmm. That argument sounds familiar.
I wonder what Mildred and Richard Loving would think of this...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Trois: New Britney Spears

Britney Spears is slated to release The Singles Collection this fall. Here lead single from the effort. The song is simply titled 3. The single was produced by Max Martin with whom Britney has worked several times in the past.

UPDATE: Britney Spears debuts at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with her new single 3 making her the first artist to do so in over three years, Billboard magazine reports. The critically acclaimed single will also debut at #1 on the Billboard Digital charts.
Britney is the first artist not affiliated with American Idol to claim the #1 position on the Billboard Hot 100 since Lauryn Hill's Doo Wop (That Thing) in 1998, according to Billboard magazine.

Love her, hate her, say what you want about her but Britney knows how to create great pop music.

Gaga and Beyoncé Storm the Charts

It seems as if Lady Gaga is everywhere these days. Pop's rising star has just announced her new tour dates and is prepping for the official release of Bad Romance, the first single from the re-release of her debut album. The release, titled The Fame Monster, is set to have eight new songs form the pop singer.

In other Gaga news, she is reportedly going to appear in the Video Phone video with Beyoncé and they have recorded a remix.

“On Oct. 7, Lady Gaga and Beyoncé were working on the video together at a studio in NYC,” an insider reveals exclusively to Life & Style. “Everything on the set was being kept very hush-hush, and security was extremely tight.”

“In the video,” says the insider, “Beyoncé wears a feathered dress. And of course Lady Gaga wears something wild. The fashion is sick and insane.”

Billboard reports that Video Phone has debuted on the charts making I Am...Sasha Fierce the first album a decade to yield 6 entries on the R&B/Hip Hop Chart. The others were Single Ladies, If I Were a Boy, Ego, Halo, and Diva

Lady Gaga: Monster's Ball

Not wasting any time after the cancellation of her Fame Kills tour with disgraced Kanye West, Lady Gaga announces the dates for her highly anticipated tour. She describes 'The Monster Ball' tour as "a multimedia artistic experience in the style of the first-ever pop electro opera".
Sensational rap newcomer Kid Cudi will be joining her for the duration of the tour as her supporting act! Whoo hoo!

The tour dates are as follows:

November 27 – Montreal, Quebec, Canada – The Bell Center
November 28 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Air Canada Center
November 29 – Ottawa, Ontario, Canada – Scotiabank Place
December 01 – Boston, MA – Wang Center
December 02 – Boston, MA – Wang Center
December 03 – Camden, NJ – Susquehanna
December 09 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 10 – Vancouver, BC, Canada – Queen Elizabeth Theatre
December 13 – San Francisco, CA – Bill Graham Civic
December 18 – Las Vegas, NV – TBD
December 19 – San Diego, CA – San Diego Sports Arena
December 21 – Los Angeles, CA – Nokia Theatre
December 29 – Atlanta, GA – Fox Theater
December 31 – Miami, FL – Knight Center
January 03 – Orlando, FL – The Hard Rock
January 07 – St. Louis, MO – The Fox
January 08 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
January 09 – Chicago, IL – Chicago Theatre
January 12 – Detroit, MI – Fox Theater
January 16 – Atlantic City, NJ – Borgata
January 20 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall
January 21 – New York, NY – Radio City Music Hall


Monday, October 12, 2009

Kobe Bryant for L'uomo Vogue

Athlete Kobe Bryant
Photography: Mark Sellinger

Milk Honored with California State Holiday

California Governor Arnold Scwarzenegger has signed a bill making May 22 Harvey Milk Day. The day marks the birthday of the slain public official who became the first openly gay person elected to public office in that state. Milk, who was assassinated in 1978 along with Mayor George Moscone.
Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed a similar bill last year, saying that Milk should be recognized at a local level. However, the new bill recognizes Harvey Milk Day statewide.

The bill has met some opposition. There were over 100,000 phone calls to the governor's office protesting the bill. The holiday will not close schools are state offices. However, that still doesn't keep some from raising concerns.

Randy Thomasson, the president of, said the bill was vague and could allow for a number of things at schools, including gay pride parades or "mock gay weddings."

"Harvey Milk was a terrible role model for children," said Thomasson, whose organization opposed the bill.

The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded posthumously to Milk earlier this year by President Barack Obama. The bill marks the first time any state has officially honored an openly gay person.

[Read more from the CNN source HERE]

Friday, October 9, 2009

Eyes on the Prize: Obama receives Nobel honor

President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making him the fourth president to receive the prestigious honor for peace after Jimmy Carter, Woodrow Wilson, and Theodore Roosevelt.
In a speech at the White House rose garden this morning, Obama seemed sincerely shocked and honored to be chosen.

"I do not view it as a recognition of my own accomplishments, but rather as an affirmation of American leadership," Obama said in his words at the garden. He also made light of the moment by mentioning his daughters and their response. He spoke about the reality check he received when they were more concerned with their long weekend.

Critics and allies alike have questioned the committee's choice to award Obama for his efforts.
The Norwegian board behind the unanimous choice cited Obama's "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".
"Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world’s attention and given its people hope for a better future,” the committee also said. “His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world’s population.”

Coming less than a year into his presidency, many feel as though Obama has been praised mostly for words and not actions. Ironically, the announcement came on the day that Obama is meeting to discuss strategies in the war in Afghanistan. Obama's presidency has been marked by questions thus far and massive pressures for him to live up to his hype. I am on the fence when it comes to whether or not he is deserving of the award. Most were not even aware that he was a front runner. He has only been around for a moment but that may be a testament to how much impact he actually has on the world's fight for peace. Within a few months he has helped to repair the world outlook on American politics and started the path back to America being a superpower by example rather than by force.

Many conservatives have expressed outrage over the choice. After all, Al Gore was also given the honor recently while many believe that Ronald Reagan was deserving years ago due to his efforts in ending the Cold War.
The last sitting president to be awarded the honor was Woodrow Wilson and it came at the end of his presidency when many of his goals had not come to fruition.
President Obama called the prize a "call to action" for all nations to help to better the world.
The road to peace is indeed a long one. It starts with the changing of attitudes and Obama has done more than his share to aid in that change.

[Read the CNN story HERE]

Ronaldo chosen for Armani

The newest face...Well, (ahem) the newest body for Emporio Armani underwear ad campaigns is soccer athlete Cristiano Ronaldo. Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani has chosen the athlete to follow in the footsteps of David Beckham in the successful campaign. Ronaldo, who was signed with Real Madrid after leaving Manchester United, will appear in ads starting in Spring 2010.


I'll be on the lookout!

Portrait de Dorian

Model Dorian Cobb
Numero Homme Fall/Winter 2009
Editorial: Portrait de Dorian
Fashion Editor/Stylist: Serge Girardi
Hair Stylist: Bruno Silvani
Makeup Artist: Tatsu Yamanaka
Photography: Jean Baptiste Mondino

I adore this model. He somehow manages to exude masculinity while having soft features that almost have a feminine quality. Also, I'm a sucker for the hair I guess. I love the styling of the shoot and his look overall.

Sean O'Pry for i-D

Model Sean O'Pry
for i-D Magazine
Photography: Matt Jones

Ranked number 2 in the top male models in the industry, Sean is easily one of my favorite models ever.