Friday, October 31, 2008

Girl power!
(P.S. -- I'm the black one.)
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Posted by in  on 6:00 AM 3 comments

Thursday, October 30, 2008

John Legend
Evolver (released October 28, 2008)

Have you ever encountered a musician who you know you're supposed to like, but something just doesn't do it for you? You recognize the person's talent and everyone talks about how great he or she is, but for some reason you're just not convinced?

For me, John Legend is that artist.

Five years ago, before his first album was released, a friend saw him perform and swore that I'd love him. A few months later, the wife saw him in concert and gave me a similar report.

But when his first album, Get Lifted, dropped in 2004, I was kinda underwhelmed. It wasn't bad, it just didn't blow me away. I certainly thought he was talented, his voice was better than most, and I loved his creativity, but something just didn't grab me. His second album, Once Again, was an even bigger disappointment. But Evolver finally has captured my attention.

You've probably heard his first single, "Green Light." As the album title alludes to, it's a step away from the dreamy, slow tracks Legend is known for. "Green Light" is extremely upbeat and danceable, yet it doesn't fall into the gimmicky cliches like a lot of stuff on the radio. In essence, he changes his style without totally selling out his core audience - too bad Musiq Soulchild wasn't paying attention when he dropped that "Radio" song.

And while tracks like "It's Over" (featuring Kanye and his STUPID auto-tune) and "Quickly" (with Brandy) make this album is a little more upbeat than others, he still makes sure to slow things down. "Good Morning" and "This Time" is straight-up grown-folks music - sensual without the sleaze.

Legend still has some snoozers - "Take Me Away" nearly put me to sleep at the wheel of my car. "If You're Out There" is supposed to be one of those call-to-action songs, but it just sounds like something that would play over the credits of Hotel Rwanda. But fans of his older songs like "Save Room" and "Ordinary People" probably will enjoy them.

That brings up a good point - I hope fans of Legend's past albums give this one a chance. It's a slightly different direction but I think it's a needed one. I mean, it convinced me to finally fall for the hype - and y'all know I dislike pretty much everything.

Best tracks: "Green Light," Good Morning," "Cross The Line"

4 stars out of 5
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Posted by in  on 6:00 AM 4 comments

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

We're just a week away from Election Day. And no matter you political affiliation, this news had to disturb you.
According to the Associated Press...
Two white supremacists allegedly plotted to go on a national killing spree, shooting and decapitating black people and ultimately targeting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, federal authorities said Monday.

In all, the two men whom officials describe as neo-Nazi skinheads planned to kill 88 people — 14 by beheading, according to documents unsealed in U.S. District Court in Jackson, Tenn. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.

The spree, which initially targeted an unidentified predominantly African-American school, was to end with the two men driving toward Obama, "shooting at him from the windows," the court documents show.

Months ago, even before Obama won the Democratic nomination, I know of many older African Americans who were against his bid for office solely because of assassination attempts. "You know if he gets in office, they're gonna kill him," they'd say.

At the time, I blew off their fears - why not run for office because something might happen? Now, I'm not naive enough to think that an assassination isn't possible in this day and age, I just thought it was dumb to dwell on such things.

Think about it - our generation hasn't witnessed many assassinations (Biggie and 2pac DO NOT count). But our parents and grandparents have - and many of them would hesitate to vote for a targeted candidate.

With plots like this coming to light, I wonder if assassination attempts are powerful enough to derail a campaign. Do you think that an attempt on a candidate's life would sway the vote toward his or her opponent?
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Contributed by: Karie

Last weekend, I heard the most beautiful song about loving that special someone. It presented a colorful vocal arrangement over soothing jazz. Hearing the complete song literally brought tears to my eyes along with a vivid memory of someone I hope I will soon forget.

He was the person I described as my complement. We had the perfect amount of similarities and differences. The chemistry was amazing; there were intense sparks and intense heated arguments. Surprisingly, the combination did not add up for us.

The song is that deep and uses math as memorable metaphor. It's called "The Mathematics of Love" by George Clinton and His Gangsters of Love. The song speaks of two lovers who don't have the best relationship but feel that the smallest percentage or ounce of the other is not only equal to the whole, but brings dividends more of that which comprises love.

"I count the moments when we're apart and add them up, mathematically. And multiply them by the kisses that I've been missing. […] Any percentage of you is as good as the whole pie. And any fraction there of, brings dividends of interest."
Excerpt from "Mathematics of Love" performed by George Clinton and Kim Burrell

The song suggests that the smallest amount of love is as good enough as the full amount in a relationship. In a fairy tale, this is a charming concept; however, in our real and complicated world, it doesn't fly. Often, singles tend to hang on to poisoned relationships and settle for less than what they deserve. There are numerous factors that keep you apart, but that one unknown variable that keeps the attraction strong. In some cases, love just doesn't add up.

Instead of dwelling on missed kisses and moments apart, singles should focus on finding a love that is equal to or greater than the kind of love they want and deserve. Refuse to settle for a smaller percentage. If love doesn't quite add up the first time, take a break, get a tutor and give it a second attempt. If that doesn't work, don't be afraid of trying a new equation.

Note: Special thanks to WHUR’s Jeff Brown (96.3 FM of Washington, DC) for sending the song information and for always playing great music.

About the contributor: Karie (pronounced like Marie with a “K) is new to the blogging world. She is a single, 20-something living in the DC Metropolitan area. Professionally, she is a technical writer. Outside of the office, she enjoys graphic design, creative writing, reading, and tennis. Please contact her at
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Monday, October 27, 2008

A couple of months ago I was asked to audition for a reality TV show about the modern Southern belle. Though I know reality shows specialize in making people look like idiots, jerks or both, I was actually kinda excited about the idea at first. But then I discovered they were looking for affluent women who lived a "Sex and the City lifestyle" but in the South. As soon as I read this I thought, "Well there goes my shot at 15 minutes of fame" and told the recruiters thanks, but no thanks.

It was pretty clear they wanted a party girl who spent rolls of money on expensive designer gear. And while I do have a somewhat active social life because I'm an arts and entertainment journalist, most of their footage of me would have been me and Edd sitting on the sofa watching bad HBO On Demand movies and shopping trips to Target. In other words, I'm not exactly Carrie Bradshaw.

But the thing is neither is SATC star Sarah Jessica Parker. She's often stated in interviews that she and Carrie aren't much alike and her clothing line, Bitten, is just another case in point. No Manolo Blahniks or Jimmy Choos here. Just a super cute and super cheap collection of dresses, tops, shoes, bags and more and, believe it or not, you'd be hard pressed to find an item over $10. That's even cheaper than my precious Tar-Jé!

Parker's manifesto for the line is this: "It is every woman's inalienable right to have a pulled together, stylish, confident wardrobe with money left over to live." I'll drink a Cosmo to that.

Bitten carries sizes ranging from 2 to 22 so you don't have to be supermodel skinny to try out these fashions. Parker's line is available exclusively at Steve & Barry's stores and unfortunately for me there isn't one in Louisville. But at these prices it might be worth a road trip. Click here to find a store near you.

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Posted by in  on 6:00 AM 2 comments

Friday, October 24, 2008

The ladies over at Daily Bedpost, a pretty fun blog that's "all about sex," posed this question yesterday, "Should a woman not have sex on a first date?" and had a few guys weigh in with advice. To summarize, the "gay engaged guy" said you should not shag on the first date but that you should pretend like you want to but then feign an emergency and leave so you get cool points for wanting to hit the sack. The "straight married guy" recommends waiting while the "straight single guy" thinks you should just go for it if you're "emotionally balanced" enough.

Click here to read the complete answer.

Now that I'm an old married lady I don't have to deal with this issue, but I'll admit that when I was single I never put out on a first date, or even a second one for that matter. When it came to giving up my goodies, I was pretty old fashioned. But I want to add that the only reason we're having this conversation is because of the double standards regarding sex. If a woman has sex on a first date she's seen as easy or even a slut by some people, but if a man has sex on a first date he gets a pat on the back. But I digress.

What do you think? If a woman wants to have sex on a first date, should she do it?
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Posted by in  on 4:21 PM 4 comments

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Have you heard Brandy's new song "Right Here?" Sadly it's nowhere near as good as SWV's

"Right Here" - you know, the one with Michael Jackson wailing in the background.
Back when I was in high school, Brandy's chief competition came from fellow R&B PYT Monica. At my school, girls were only allowed to like one or the other - nearly everyone sided with Monica and despised Brandy. Why? Who knows. Sort of like how everyone wanted Jennifer Hudson to beat up Beyonce when Dreamgirls came out.

But I digress. Let's see how B-Rocka and Mo's last albums match up.

Album covers: Brandy's going for simplicity here, which I'm cool with, but why is her bra showing like that? Or is that part of her outfit? We men are often confused about that stuff. We don't want to say "hey, nice shirt" only to get a response like "that's my bra, pervert!" And speaking of confused, WHAT IS UP with Monica’s cover? Is she into bondage porn?

Brandy 1, Monica 0

Album quality: Both these albums are very underrated, and for some reason, very ghetto. Afrodisiac, released in 2004, was mostly produced by my man Timbaland, who can turn nearly anything into a hit. His one flaw is that his beats sometime overshadow an artist, but he did a great job here of crafting beats that compliment Brandy's vocals. The attitude displayed on tracks like "Who Is She 2 U" and "I Tried" might be overbearing at times, but nearly all the tracks sound great.

And speaking of attitude, 2006's The Makings Of Me has PLENTY of it. The song titles say it all - "Raw," "Hell No (Leave Home)," "Why Her." I always liked Monica’s voice and it still sounds good here - when she's not rapping. Actually, most of her raps are good in the "so bad they’re good" category. Like Afrodisiac though, the constant attitude gets old. Why y'all so mad?

This is a really close one, but I think Monica's album is slightly more daring. But check out both.

Brandy 1, Monica 1

Sales: Times are tough for established artists. Ask Janet.

Both albums were commercial disappointments. Afrodisiac sold a little over 400,000, which isn't even gold status. Poor Monica sold about half that amount.

Brandy 2, Monica 1

Celebrity boyfriends: Remember when Brandy went to the prom with Kobe Bryant? She also dated Wanya Morris from Boyz II Men for a minute. I remember a lot of girls hating on her for that. Hmmm.

Meanwhile, Monica dated Young Buck and had a baby by that guy from that brainless "Umma Do Me" song. You do the math.

One thing is for sure, neither woman is concerned about looks.

Brandy 3, Monica 1

TV roles: Anyone who tries to say "Moesha" wasn’t off the hook is a liar and the truth is not in them. Y'all missed church Sunday morning if you don't get that reference. Anyway, the show got stupid once they shoehorned man-whore Ray-J into it but I miss wholesome black sitcoms like "Moesha." And although she looked like Kermit at the time, she wasn't bad on "Thea" either. I also remember her starring in a much-hyped TV version of Cinderella with Whitney as her Fairy Godmother. I bet Whitney was trying to snort the fairy dust.

Remember when Monica was on that episode of Living Single? She wondered why Queen Latifah and the gang didn't use 2-ply toilet paper. Much like toilet paper, that's a pretty flimsy resume.

Brandy 4
, Monica 1

Most ghettoest lyrics:
Here's the hook from Brandy’s song "Sadiddy":

If you say it, I will do it, no I ain't sadiddy
If you cross me, I guarantee you it, won't be pretty
If you want it, I will give it to you, I ain't sadiddy
I be wildin', I know it ain't easy to get with me

Did you know sadiddy isn’t a real word? Me neither. If bling bling and bootylicious can get in the dictionary, we need to make a case for sadiddy.

And this is from Monica’s "Sideline Ho":

You'se a ho, you'se a ho, sideline ho

you'se a sideline ho, sideline ho

You'se a ho, you'se a ho, sideline ho

you'se a sideline ho, sideline ho

Why couldn't we sing songs like that in elementary school chorus?

Brandy 4, Monica 2

Legacy: Anyone under 22 might find this hard to believe, but there was a time that Brandy was huge - bigger than Beyonce, Rihanna, and that girl from ATL that everyone likes for some reason. Brandy was the industry's measuring stick. Monica might be a better vocalist but she never achieved the universal appeal of her rival. Maybe that's where all the jealousy comes from.

Brandy 5, Monica 2

B-Rocka beats up on Monica pretty bad.
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Posted by in ,  on 4:00 PM 7 comments

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

As promised I wrote a column for the Louisville, Ky.-based mag that pays my bills, Velocity Weekly, about my accident. And it turns out that you can learn a thing or two about yourself after getting hit by a car.

Getting hit by a car taught me some very valuable lessons
from Velocity Weekly, Oct. 22, 2008

Yes, that's right. I was hit by a car about two weeks ago, but don't worry. As you probably figured out, I survived it. And as my co-worker Joe Lord always says, "What doesn't kill you makes for a great story."

I was downtown crossing Broadway (in the crosswalk and when I had the right-of-way, might I add) when suddenly a car and my body collided.

In case you were wondering, getting hit by a car sucks. As I type this I'm still in pain, and lots of it. But there is an upside to being knocked down onto wet concrete by a moving vehicle. Really, there is.

Not only do you get to ride in an ambulance and take a few days off work without anyone doubting if you're really sick, but you get some great insight into your personality, too. Here are a few things I learned about myself after getting hit by a car... (Click here to read the rest.)
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Lyfe Jennings, one of my absolute favorite artists of the past couple years, is in big trouble. He's facing felony charges after firing a gun and leading Georgia police on a car chase.

According to TMZ, police responded to gunshots Sunday evening. They then spotted Lyfe, born Chester J. Jennings, leaving the scene in his Corvette. He was arrested and charged with attempting to elude and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, which are both felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of criminal trespass, discharging a firearm near a public highway and refusal to take a sobriety test.

Lyfe is no stranger to trouble. He served about 10 years in prison for an arson charge back in the early '90s.

The news greatly saddened me. Unlike most of today's wannabe drug kingpin rappers whose only brush with the law has been failing to pay a parking ticket, Lyfe served hard time but never bragged about it. He never talked about how many people he killed or how tough he is - instead, he used his music to educate the listener on topics like safe sex, monogamy and family. It's really sad to see him get pulled back into drama.

Keep your head up, Lyfe.

Check out this clip of his latest video, "Will I Ever." It's one of my favorite songs from his latest album, Lyfe Change.

Will I Ever

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Posted by in ,  on 5:38 PM No comments

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We've talked some here at Georgia Mae about the sexism that has sullied this presidential campaign. But, of course, we all know that one of the biggest, if not the biggest, issue surrounding this election is race.

David Ward, a registered Democrat in New Albany, Ind., was quoted in a recent story in The Chicago Tribune saying that he will vote for John McCain "mainly because he's not black."

And then there's this...

This image was in a newsletter that was circulated among the members of a Republican women's group. CNN did a report on the matter and when the reporter confronted the family members of the woman in charge of the newsletter they insisted that there's nothing racist about the images -- which feature Sen. Barack Obama's face on a food stamp and surrounded by images of Kool-Aid, ribs, watermelon and a bucket of KFC. Her daughter says the images aren't racist because she likes chicken and watermelon too and she said her mom can't be a bigot because she married a Mexican man. I'm serious. I couldn't make this stuff up. See for yourself...

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Posted by in ,  on 6:43 PM 3 comments

October is nearly done and I've realized what a slow year it has been for music. There have been a handful of strong albums but only Nas' Untitled stands out.

Kanye West hopes to change that. His latest album, 808s & Heartbreak, will be released Nov. 25. But I have news for Kanye - his album is gonna suck. And he knows it.

It's hard for me to come to the realization that Kanye's on the verge of dropping a brick. 2004's The College Dropout might be the best album I've heard in the past 5 years, regardless of genre. Its follow-up, Late Registration, is nearly as good. And while last year's Graduation doesn't measure up to the first two, it was still extremely strong.

Oh, but times have changed.

I'm sure you've heard his latest single "Love Lockdown" - if you can make it through the end without stabbing your ears with the nearest sharp object. And I just had the (dis)pleasure to hear what apparently will be the second single, "Heartless." It's another auto-tune abomination, like a whinier "Love Lockdown," if that's possible.

The thing that blows my mind is that he HAS to realize these songs suck. Kanye has produced or released some of the best songs in the past five years, he has to know crap when he hears it.

In fact, I believe he's trying to convince himself that this album won't bomb. Check out this first-person tidbit from someone who attended his album release party, courtesy of

After waiting in an area with an open bar and a DJ, we walked up a driveway illuminated by fluorescent lights to a darkened room where we saw 40 nude women. Most of them were wearing strange masks made of wool. The models stood in the middle of the room - black girls at the front and white girls at the back. Then the entire album played without any introduction or explanation.

That's the most blatant smokescreen I've ever seen. "Don't listen to my album, look at the naked ladies!" It's like trying to test drive a used car but the seller keeps talking about how pretty the paint is.

Check this out:

Kanye insists the women were "live performance artists" who appeared as part of an arranged art show he masterminded with Italian artist Vanessa Beecroft.

He calls them "live performance artists." In the hood, we call 'em strippers.

And one more thing:

After the playback, in front of 700 fans and industry professionals, had finished, Kanye appeared alongside the model and launched a foul-mouthed tirade against critics who are considering giving the album a negative review.

Complaining before the album is even released? Ah yes, he's lining up his excuses already. I can hear him now:

"I'm just being creative!" No, you're stealing T-Pain's gimmick, who stole it from Roger Troutman. And T-Pain SUCKS, by the way.

"I'm a veteran in the game, I deserve respect!" If you're a veteran, you should know better.

"If you don't like this, you don't like good music!" No, we know good music, this just ain't it.

Kanye's been running his mouth for years, but since he's consistently released good music I couldn't fault him. It's put up or shut up time.

Prove me wrong, Ye.

Do you think 808s & Heartbreak will tank? What albums are you looking forward to this fall?
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Posted by in ,  on 12:20 PM 3 comments

Monday, October 20, 2008

Financial guru Suze Orman calls us the "Young, Fabulous & Broke." I prefer "The Broke & The Beautiful," but whatever you call it, I have to admit that I am one of those people determined to look good even if my bank account looks like crap.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not condoning shopping instead of paying your bills. That's stupid. But I'm a Southern gal and where I'm from dressing well is akin to having good manners and you don't have to break the bank to do so. With a little creativity you can look like a million bucks, even if you only spent $20.

So today I'm starting a new feature at Georgia Mae that I call the "The Frugal Fashionista." For all the other broke and beautiful babes out there I will share a few tips each week on how to look great for less. But let's remember that old saying that sharing is caring. Feel free to post your own tips too.

Today's post is about snagging designer duds on the cheap.

If you're a fan of the likes of Juicy Couture, DKNY and Betsey Johnson visit the site Shop It to Me as soon as you finish reading this post. Shop It To Me is a site that will alert you when your favorite designer clothing goes on sale. I only recently signed up because I figured I couldn't afford stuff by Marc Jacobs even if it's on sale. But today, for example, I got an alert for a Michael Kors top that's under $30 and you can also get alerts from places like Ann Taylor Loft, one of my favorite stores.

Girl on the "GO"
If Shop It To Me doesn't work out for you, there's always Target's GO International, an exclusive (and affordable), limited-time collection of items by hot international designers. Right now in Target stores you can find a special line of sophisticated gear by Scottish-born designer Jonathan Saunders. And don't forget about the special Vera Wang line available at Kohl's.

Bag lady
And last, but certainly not least, there's Bag, Borrow or Steal, the site that lets you rent designer handbags, jewelry and accessories. To be honest, I've never been too big on designer brands. If something looks good on me and I can afford it I'll buy it, whether or not it has a cool name on it. But I've been known to drool over a Michael Kors bag or two. I've never owned one, of course, because I'm living off a journalist's salary, but if you ever see me sporting one, you'll know how I pulled that off.

Now it's your turn. Got any tips on how to be fabulous and frugal?

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Friday, October 17, 2008

If you didn't know already, there's one thing you must realize - I love me some Keith Sweat. Oh yes, he's much better than your favorite R&B crooner. He made "Make It Last Forever," people!

I mean, I'd write him in on my ballot Nov. 4 if I thought he had a chance of winning. He'd use his
powers of love to whip this country into shape, trust me. All I need are some campaign buttons - I Sweat for Change.

So anyway, a friend of mine pointed out this news nugget on last week:

Lisa Wu-Hartwell, who is currently starring in the Bravo series "The Real Housewives Of Atlanta," is putting her ex-husband singer Keith Sweat on blast. While she has re-married NFL baller Ed Hartwell and had her youngest son Eli with Ed, she's been at odds with Keith over her other kids being on the show.

Hartwell and Sweat have two sons together, 13-year-old Jordan and 11-year-old Justin. And she dished to E! about Keith keeping their kids off the show:

"He didn't sign a waiver," Hartwell complains. "He's like, 'Lisa, it's nothing personal. I just really don't know how they're going to edit and if they're going to make you look crazy. I just don't want the kids to be, you know, overexposed or anything.'"

But Lisa's not buying it. She says, "They asked their dad if could they be involved, and he [said] no. It could have been a Disney show and I don’t think he would have signed it."

So tell me this - why is Keith the bad guy here? He doesn't want his kids on a raggedy reality show and I don't blame him. Can you name a reality show that doesn't depict people, especially celebrities and their families, in a horrible light?

I won't front, I enjoy the occasional reality show. I watched Flavor Flav embarrass the African-American race, saw New York get more plastic as the weeks went by and witnessed the sheer boredom that was the original "College Hill."
In fact, I suffered through the entire season of "I Love Money" and I caught the reunion show Sunday - even though I literally slept through half of it.

Even though I watch it, I wouldn't want my kids prancing around on TV. Everyone likes "Run's House," and yes, it's one of the more "normal" reality shows, but those kids should be running around bugging people behind closed doors. Our mischievous childhood wasn't televised, why should theirs? Why does America need to see all that? Other than to say, "Well, at least my kids aren't that bad."

We make ourselves feel better by laughing at the misfortunes of
bad/ghetto/crazy/slutty/mentally challenged reality show losers. That's why we tune in every week. Don't front - at least I'm willing to admit it.

Hartwell is trying to make Keith sound selfish, like he's doing his kids a disservice by keeping them off TV, but it's clear whose interest she's looking out for. She's trying to become a TV star - at the expense of her kids. That's a shame.

But this woman divorced Keith Sweat so she's obviously not the brightest.

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Posted by in  on 11:00 AM 3 comments

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Senators Barack Obama and John McCain aren't the only ones who want your vote on Nov. 4 and Gov. Sarah Palin isn't the only woman in this race. Let's not forget about the Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney. The six-term former Democratic congresswoman from Georgia chose hip hop activist and journalist Rosa Clemente as her running mate, making this the first all women of color ticket in U.S. history.

McKinney has stated that if she were running things there would be an immediate end to all wars and occupations by U.S. forces; Articles of Impeachment would be filed against President Bush and several members of his administration; and she would create a Department of Peace. McKinney has said she would also like to see a number of other Bush initiatives repealed, like the Patriot Acts, the Secret Evidence Act and the Military Commissions Act.

A goal of McKinney and the Green Party for this election is to snag 5 percent of the national vote, which could help the Greens land major party status.

Click here to find out more about the Green Party and to follow the McKinney/Clemente campaign visit
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Posted by in  on 6:13 PM No comments

The Economist says that last night's final presidential debate was by far the best of the three:

THE third and final debate, which took place at Hofstra University, New York on October 15th, was a firecracker of a show, as riveting as the two previous meetings were soporific. The candidates discussed substantive issues. They exchanged sharp blows. And, most of the time, they avoided reciting their talking points.

But what did you think of last night's discussion? Did it help you make up your mind about who will get your vote next month or have you known all along?
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Posted by in  on 8:44 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. So ladies, remember to feel your boobies and check for lumps.

But let us not forget that October is also Domestic Violence Awareness month. Step up and donate your time, money or gently used items to an agency in your area that's committed to providing shelter, counseling and a new start to abused women. In Louisville, Ky., for example, The Center for Women and Families offers a 24-hour crisis line, emergency shelter and transitional housing, children's services and much more.

If you want to get involved on a national level, there probably isn't a better role model out there than Eve Ensler. Ensler (pictured left) is the creator of the groundbreaking play, The Vagina Monologues. The play was such a success that she went on to create the V-Day Foundation, which helps activists produce fundraising productions of the play around Valentine's Day to help end violence against women. Click here if you're interested in organizing a 2009 V-Day event. (And check out the documentary Until the Violence Stops, which chronicles Ensler's movement.)

I'm happy to report that there are plenty of men stepping up to the
plate too. Walk a Mile In Her Shoes is a program founded by Frank Baird (pictured right) that organizes men's marches to stop sexual assault and violence against women. Men who participate in the marches actually slip on high heels and walk one mile down a street to help raise awareness. Yep, feminist men are hot. Fellas, click here to find out how you can organize a walk in your town.
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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kanye West. Lupe Fiasco. Both are known as innovators and trendsetters in an era of repetition and laziness. Both of their debut albums are revered as modern-day classics. Both men wear their pants WAY too tight.

Let's see how their most recent albums, Graduation and Lupe Fiasco's The Cool, stack up:

Album covers: Yeesh. Kanye's cover looks like a drugged-out combination of Dragon Ball Z and the Wuzzles. Remember the Wuzzles? I'm sure my 80s babies do. I'm not even sure what Lupe's cover is supposed to be - some kind of alien food pyramid?

Kanye 1, Lupe 0

Album quality: Graduation boasts some great tracks - "Stronger" flipped that Daft Punk track in the most killer of ways and "Can't Tell Me Nothing" has become an anthem for the working class. But there's plenty of crap here too. "Drunk and Hot Girls" is downright unlistenable and "Barry Bonds" is embarrassing. It's Kanye's weakest album, but still light-years ahead of 90 percent of today's artists.

I love how The Cool refuses to conform to today's standards. The excellent "Superstar" might be the only 106 & Park-friendly track, but most of the others rely on tremendous concepts ("The Die") and crazy wordplay ("Dumb It Down") to catch your ear. Too bad the album is way, way too long. It definitely needed an editor.

Kanye 1, Lupe 1

Sales: No contest here. Kanye is one of the few sales juggernauts in hip hop today. Graduation has sold well over two millions copies. The Cool has a little over 500,000 copies, but that's no small feat in today's market.

Kanye 2, Lupe 1.


Good lord.


Kanye 2, Lupe 1

Award show faux pas: Kanye is the king of award show mishaps. Remember last year when he vowed to never perform at MTV again because he didn't win an award? Of course he came crawling back in time for this year's awards. And a year earlier, when "Touch The Sky" didn't win Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards, West stormed the stage and whined. No wonder other countries hate us. And those are just two examples off the top of my head.

Last year Lupe screwed up the lyrics during A Tribe Called Quest's tribute at VH1's Hip Hop honors. His excuse? He wasn't a fan of the group as a youth. That's like me saying "It's OK I failed that history test, mom, I think powdered wigs are stupid." Lame, but he needs to step up his crying game to compete with Ye.

Kanye 3, Lupe 1

Videos: Kanye's final video from Graduation was for "Homecoming," which was shot in black and white and featured Ye walking through Chicago. Not horrible, but it's disappointingly typical and nowhere near as creative as some of his earlier videos.

Lupe's latest video is "Paris, Tokyo," and is pretty similar to "Homecoming," as Lu and his lady travel the world. And least the diversity of the locations spices things up a bit.

Kanye 3, Lupe 2

Legacy: I first heard about Kanye around 2000 or so, when he was producing tracks for Jay-Z and friends. It's so crazy to think that less than 10 years later Kanye is arguably the biggest star in hip hop. His beats are as much in demand as his lyrical skills. His Glow In The Dark tour was one of the most hyped performances of the year. As annoying as he can be, you can't doubt his drawing power.

Lupe has carved his own niche. After releasing just two albums, he's regarded by old school fans as a throwback to the Golden Age of hip hop, where lyrics were so much more important than theatrics. His following is small but vocal - maybe one day he'll be able to break through to the masses like Ye.

Kanye 4, Lupe 2

Lupe hung in there, but he still has a way to go before reaching Kanye.
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Posted by in ,  on 3:30 PM 6 comments

Friday, October 10, 2008

I apologize for my lack of posts this week, but I have a really, really good excuse. I was hit by a car. Seriously.

I was crossing the street to hop in my Chevy Cavalier and head to a debate watch party when I was hit by a car, after which I hit the ground where I had to remain face down (in a really cute outfit) until I was rushed to the hospital.

The bad news is, well, I was hit by a car. But the good news is "get hit by a car," "ride in an ambulance" and "be rolled around on a gurney," are pretty cool items to add to my fall of firsts list.

And obviously, I'm okay. I took a few days off but decided to come back to work today. The car actually collided with my ass (hence the title of this post) which I think saved me. The docs at the emergency room didn't find any broken bones or serious injuries, just contusions. But I was warned that I'd be sore, very sore, for days, possibly weeks. And they weren't kidding. It hurts to laugh, sneeze, sit, stand, walk, talk and even lie down. And if you want me to turn my head, forget about it. I have to see my primary care physician next week, so let's keep our fingers crossed that nothing inside was knocked out of place.

And I'm sure this will all make for a great column for Velocity Weekly in a couple of weeks, so stay tuned...
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Posted by in  on 12:31 PM 5 comments

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A week or so ago, I had the chance to meet Smoke E. Digglera, formerly Smokey from the late 90s R&B group Playa. Y'all remember Playa - "Cheers 2 U" was a banger back in 1998 and member Static Major, who passed away in February, wrote a ton of Aaliyah tracks and was featured on that silly Lil Wayne song.

Anyway, Smokey is a really cool dude and it led me to reminisce about my prior experiences with music celebrities. Check out my favorite, and least favorite experiences:

No Diggity

Picture this: Virginia, summer of 2000. I'm working in Babbage's (now Gamestop), a video-game store at Greenbrier Mall in Chesapeake, Va. It's a weekday afternoon, so the mall is filled with old people and unemployed guys chasing underage employees at 5-7-9.

My store was empty and I was the only one working. I was keeping myself busy by making chains out of paper clips when a short, rotund man shuffled into the store. I quickly hid my paper-clip snake in a drawer and slid over to see if he needed any help. He was a nice guy, sorta quiet, but there was something about him I couldn't put my finger on. He asked me which games I thought were good, and every game I mentioned he said "OK, I'll get it."

After amassing about 10 games or so, he said, "I guess I'm through." I thought to myself "I hope this fool's check doesn't bounce." While I was ringing up his order, it hit me - "this guy is a singer" but I still couldn't place him. But when he gave me his ID after I ran his credit card the truth was revealed - he was Dave Hollister, formerly of BLACKstreet and who had just released his solo album Chicago '85... The Movie.

When I saw the ID, I exclaimed, "Dave! What's up, man?" Man, his face lit up like a Christmas tree and his quiet demeanor vanished.

He replied, "Yo! You gonna give me a discount?"

Y'all know me. I said "Uh, playa, no."

After I bagged up his games, he hung around, shooting the breeze. And he kept shooting - seemingly forever. Have you ever talked to someone so much that you start looking at the watch on your wrist, only to realize you aren't wearing one? Yeah.

I guess Dave realized he was talking me to death - my eyes were glazing over and I was leaning on the side of the counter because my legs were asleep - so he grabbed his stuff and left. Ten minutes later, guess who pops back? It's Dave again, still chatting. I'm like, don't you have a video to shoot or something? He only stayed for a couple minutes this time before he dashed away.

About an hour later, guess who I see? It's Dave AGAIN, sprinting past the store with a bunch of bags, smiling and waving while running. I have no idea why he was running. Maybe mall security was after him. Or he ran into Teddy Riley - Teddy was probably looking for money. You know times have been tight for Teddy.

And speaking of Teddy...


Ever heard of Markell Riley? I bet not. He's Teddy Riley's brother and was part of Wreckx-N-Effect, which did nothing of note but the infamous "Rump Shaker" song (and God bless 'em for that video!).

Anyway, picture this: Virginia, circa 1999 at Babbage's. It's the holiday season so we're packed. A scrawny dude comes in the store with like six guys and a plastic Pamela Anderson lookalike on his arm. I thought she was a 5-7-9 mannequin.

Like Dave would do a few months later, he gathered up seven or eight games and brought them to the counter. But unlike Dave, I recognized him right away - mainly because he was featured on an old Queen Pen song that I liked (I'm digging up all the one-hit wonders today). I said, "Hey Markell, how are you doing?"

This guy looked at me like I had three-day old grape jelly smeared on my face and said in a disgusting tone "Can you ring up my stuff?" I was heated. This guy had ONE SONG and ZERO notoriety and he was fronting on me like he was the pope!

I remained professional though as I threw his bag of games at him. He sneered as he left. He was probably mad that he was late for his shift at Waffle House. Those floors don't mop themselves.

The least he could have done was introduced me to that saxophone-playing lady from the "Rump Shaker" video.

Anyway, the moral of the story is Dave Hollister is cool, Markell Riley sucks.

What are some of your most memorable celebrity encounters?
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Posted by in  on 5:06 PM 3 comments

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tonight the presidential candidates will face off in a second debate, this one in the form of a town hall meeting. I'm going to feign political nerdiness and attend a debate watch party.

I really hope we get some concrete answers from Senators John McCain and Barack Obama on what they plan to do about our nation's current economic situation. Talks of a second Great Depression have me shaking in my kitten heels.

This month's issue of Glamour magazine features interviews with McCain and Obama and highlights their stances on issues like abortion, equal pay for women and men, the environment and the Iraq War. If you need a recap of the plans they're proposing, it's definitely worth a read.

Have you decided who you will vote for next month? What issues are most important to you in this upcoming election? And how do you feel the Bush Administration has changed your life over the past eight years?

Be sure to visit after the debate and let us know what you think of tonight's discussions.
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Posted by in  on 2:42 PM No comments

Welcome to "Take It Outside," where music greats battle for supremacy. Our first bout will be between the most famous couple in the business, Jay-Z and Beyonce. Both have new albums scheduled to be released next month, but let’s see how their most recent work stacks up against each other.

Album covers: Although Jay looks like he arrived at his favorite restaurant 30 minutes after closing time, I'm really not feeling Beyonce's imitation of a blow-up doll. Nor am I feeling the Sarah Palin hairdo.

Jay-Z 1, Beyonce 0

Quality: American Gangster was a big step up after the mildly disappointing Kingdom Come. The 70s-style production really fits the theme of the album and Jay actually sounded motivated for the first time since "retirement." It ranks up there with his best work.

Likewise, B'day was an improvement over the highly-overrated Dangerously In Love, even though it wasn't as well-received. The upbeat production mostly works but she sounds a little too high-strung. It's a good album, but not great.

Jay-Z 2, Beyonce 0

Sales: American Gangster has sold over a million copies, but B'day has greatly surpassed that, going triple platinum. I guess Bey wears the pants in that respect. Shiny, platinum pants.

Jay 2, Beyonce 1

Crews: It's no secret that Roc-A-Fella diamonds don't last forever. Jay dumped that annoying Damon Dash and longtime friend Kareem Biggs years ago. His rap henchmen Freeway and Beanie Sigel are still putting out albums but you probably didn't even know that. Kanye is too wrapped up in himself to be considered part of the crew. That just leaves Memphis Bleek, who basically picks up the KFC and dry cleaning at this point.

At least Beyonce's girls Kelly, Michelle and Solange are releasing music. I didn't say it was any good, but at least they're getting a check. If Beyonce's daddy doesn’t get to the checks first.

Jay 2, Beyonce 2

Celebrity ex's: Jay's been linked to such women of virtue as Blu Cantrell, Foxy Brown, Charli Baltimore and Karrine "Superhead" Steffans. That last sentence makes my crotch itch.

Bey allegedly lost her virginity to Marques Houston. Ugggggggggh.

Notice how ALL their ex's wear lip gloss? But at least Beyonce probably didn't catch something from MH.

Jay 2, Beyonce 3

Paper: Hate it or love it, Jay is arguably the best rapper alive and definitely the most finanically successful rapper alive. But when it comes to the paper, Beyonce's no slouch. According Forbes' Celebrity 100 list, Beyonce came in at No. 4 spot with an approximate salary of $80 million. Jay was ranked at No. 7 with $82 million. Jay grossed more but was ranked lower when Web and press mentions are added to the mix.

At the end of the day, they're pulling down more than we'll ever see, so it's a draw.

Jay 2, Beyonce 3

Legacy: Jay has at least two classic albums under his belt (maybe three, depending who you're asking). For better or worse, he's influenced an entire generation of rappers, which is why we have to put up with the T.I.s and Lil Waynes these days.

People LOVE to hate Beyonce, but the woman can sing (when she's not hollering) and you can't deny her success. She's at the level that most of today's female R&B artists hope to attain, which is why we have to put up with the Rihannas and Ciaras these days.

HOWEVER, I think that unlike Jay, many still consider her greatest success to be with Destiny's Child. You hear people say that Destiny's Child is one of the greatest female groups ever, but I've never heard anyone call Beyonce one of the greatest female artists ever. A lot of that is plain old hateration, but it is what it is.

Jay 3, Beyonce 3

I guess they're really meant for each other. The power couple ends in a tie.

Who do you wanna see battle it out? Give me a holla.
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Posted by in ,  on 10:15 AM 4 comments

Monday, October 6, 2008

Being my own boss was a dream of mine long before I could even spell "self-employed." When I was about 8 or 9 I turned the walk-in closet in my room into a make-believe store and tried to sell old cassette tapes and other random goods to my parents' friends. I think I made about $10 that summer.

Still today I know that when I grow up I want to be a business owner. If the market for print media ever gets out of the crapper that business will be a women's magazine. If not, I'll probably start a fashion boutique so I can finally make a career out of shopping and playing dress up with my friends.

If you too have dreams of being the boss, check out the article, "I am the boss of me" in this month's issue of Marie Claire. Read about five women who turned their passions -- which range from bowling and being green to fashion and gourmet chocolate -- into their very own businesses.

Also check out some of these resources for small business owners:

U.S. Small Business Administration
(Ladies, while you're on this site be sure to check out this page)


Count Me In

Do you have entrepreneurial dreams too?

If you already own a business, tell me all about it at I'd love to share your story with
Georgia Mae readers.

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Posted by in  on 7:28 AM 4 comments

Click here to find voter registration info for your state.
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Posted by in  on 7:21 AM 2 comments

Friday, October 3, 2008

The gals over at are having a great discussion on faking orgasms and just how un-feminist it is to do so.

The discussion was sparked by a survey cited in Michael Kimmel's new book, Guyland. In the survey folks dished on their satisfaction with recent hookups and it was found that only 19 percent of the women reported having an orgasm, as compared to 44 percent of the men. When women received cunnilingus, only about a quarter experienced an orgasm, though the men who reported they had performed cunnilingus on their partner reported that she had an orgasm almost 60 percent of the time. And with regard to intercourse, women reported an orgasm 34 percent of the time while the men reported that the women had an orgasm 58 percent of the time.

In other words, if you are faking orgasms ladies, it seems like you're not alone. Now, we all know faking it is lame because we ladies deserve to be pleased and faking it only encourages your lover to keep doing the same tired moves. But how do you tell your bedroom buddy to step his game up without crushing the poor guy's ego? I had this conversation with some guy and gal pals of mine this summer (over brunch, of all places) but we couldn't agree on the best way to break the news.

So now I'm asking you. If your lover was failing to satisfy you in bed, how would you let him (or her) know? And if you were sub-par in that department, would you want to know the truth?
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Posted by in  on 3:45 PM 2 comments

Thursday, October 2, 2008


America just witnessed the first and only debate between vice presidential candidates Sen. Joe Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin. How do you think they did?

If you missed the debate, click here for CNN reports on the veep faceoff.

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Posted by in  on 9:49 PM 3 comments

Robin Thicke

Something Else (released September 30, 2008)

You think you know Robin Thicke, but I bet you don't.
Most know Thicke as the clean cut white dude who climbed the charts with "Lost Without U," from his 2006 album The Evolution of Robin Thicke. But Thicke was around long before that.

He first showed up around '02 as a long-haired hippie riding a bike around town in his first video, "When I Get You Alone," which sampled "Fifth Of Beethoven" and quietly dropped his first album, A Beautiful World, in 2003. And when he returned a few years later, "Lost Without U" wasn't even his first single - that honor goes to "Wanna Love You Girl." I remember driving all over town searching for his Evolution album on release day. The wife found it a week later at a local shop; the shop only received two copies.

So I've had my eye on this guy ever since his meager beginnings and I know his strengths and weaknesses, both of which are glaring on his new release, Something Else.

If you're of fan of Thicke's tender falsetto, you'll probably love "The Sweetest Love." It's the closest thing to "Lost Without U." His voice is tailor-made for tracks like that, as well as "Cry No More," where he just glides across the melody. It makes you wonder why more singers can't pull that off - and it makes you wish T-Pain would choke on his Auto-Tune. The first single, "Magic," shows that he can turn up the tempo when he wants, but unfortunately that doesn't happen too often.

If Thicke has had one major weakness across all three albums is that he is often too laid back. His song "Dreamworld" is aptly named - I dare you to make it through the track without snoring. That's too bad too, because his depiction of his perfect world (complete with people not giving him grief about his interracial marriage) is a good premise. And on "Shadow of Doubt," the goofy ad-libs - another trademark - throw things off.

Something Else is equally imperfect and brilliant. And once you get to know him, you realize that it's par the course for Thicke.

Best Tracks: Magic, The Sweetest Love, Ms. Harmony

3.5 stars out of 5
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Posted by in  on 9:03 PM 5 comments

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Part of me wants to panic. Part of me is saying I need to stop eating out, shopping and buying new music, that i should get rid of my gym membership and my Internet access and that I should never buy another smoothie again.

But if I did all of that I'd be grumpy, frumpy and fat and I couldn't blab on my blog.

However, we all know it's time to get serious about saving for retirement and time to do some soul searching about our professional futures. But until we've all snagged true financial security (or until a long lost rich aunt dies and leaves you more money than you know what to do with) here are a few things you can try in the meantime:

Be a frugal fashionista. My stylish granny, Georgia Mae, taught me long ago that being broke is no excuse for not being fabulous. So I continue to ball on a budget by hitting up stores like Target and a few of the affordable locally-owned boutiques in the city I call home. When I need a cheap dress for a last-minute event I head to DOTS, where I never pay more than $20 for a new frock. I usually buy my figure-flattering, high quality denim from Express, and though their jeans can cost you $70, if you pay attention to sales you can often snag a pair for $30. And if you have the time and patience it requires, don't be afraid to rummage through local thrift stores to find a few gems. Oh, and if you have an H&M in your town, take a few moments to thank God right now.

Be an early bird. One of my best gal pals and I are always looking for ways to have a good time on the cheap. So instead of grabbing dinner and catching a late movie, we have lunch and see a matinee.

Pay the tithe, twice. Those of you who are avid churchgoers probably already hand over 10 percent of your check to your congregation. But don't forget to pay a tithe to yourself too. Many financial gurus suggest putting away 10 percent of your paychecks before you start paying bills and buying lattes.

Realize it's not fantastic to be plastic. If I didn't have so much credit card debt, I probably could have started my own business by now or at least taken that dream trip to Paris. Sigh. So I'm working furiously to get rid of my debt ASAP. If you're paying outrageous interest on one or more of your cards, stop being a wuss and call up the companies and ask for a lower rate.

Get a side hustle. I started freelancing for a national magazine last year and discovered that I could earn a week's pay writing one story if I picked up the right assignments. Cha-ching. I'm also planning to turn some of my hobbies, like making candles, into cash by selling my creations.

Go to beauty school. One way to save on haircuts and styling costs is to get your 'do did at a hair design school, which usually charges way less than a professional salon. (OK, I'll admit I haven't tried this yet, but a few friends of mine have and didn't emerge looking like Buckwheat. Just ask around for some recommendations first.)

Be a DIY diva. Do your own pedicures and manicures and find creative ways to revamp some of the clothes in your closet.

Make your mama proud and share. You could swear off eating out to save cash, but that's no fun. Instead just split an entree with a friend. You probably never eat all of your meal anyway. Or, if no one shares your affinity for frog legs, just order an appetizer.

Change the game. Back when I was mini-me I once spent a day searching our home for all of the change I could find. When my parents took the change to the bank they came back with $50. (They let me keep about $5, I think.) While you're digging for dimes, search for clothes, books, albums and more that you could sell online or to friends. After I got married I sold a truckoad of furniture from my bachelorette pad simply by posting up a few fliers up around my office building. I made $500.

Don't water down your wallet. Stop buying bottled water, or at least cut back. Not only are you creating more waste in landfills, but you're putting a strain on your pocketbook, too. If your tap water is gross (ours tastes like it was drained from collard greens) buy a filter. And buy a cute water bottle so you can tote agua to work and to the gym.

OK, babes, that's all I got. Now it's your turn. Tell me how you're saving money these days. I need all the advice I can get.

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Posted by in  on 4:41 PM 3 comments
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