Friday, November 28, 2008

Kanye West
808s & Heartbreak (released November 24, 2008)

It's always sad to see people we once loved slip into mental illness:

Courtesy of

"(Young) Jeezy came down to Hawaii with us because every time I'd write a chorus or write any type of hook, I'd be like man, 'What Would Jeezy Do?'" Ye admitted during a conference call. "You know how n***** have bumper stickers that say 'What Would Jesus Do?' Our s*** is like, 'What Would Jeezy Do?' What would he say on this record?"

Courtesy of

"I realize that my place and position in history is that I will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade, I will be the loudest voice," he said in an interview. "It’s me settling into that position of just really accepting that it's one thing to say you want to do it and it's another thing to really end up being like Michael Jordan."

Courtesy of the Associated Press:

"It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other....We will be the new Beatles, the new (Jimi) Hendrix. I want to be Elvis."

When I heard that Kanye was ditching his long-running college themed albums for his new release, I had no problem with it. The man has experienced a lot of pain in the last year after losing his mother and breaking up with his fiance. I knew he'd have a lot on his mind, which usually makes for good music. Remember Mary J. Blige's second album?

Well, it's not the message I mind here, it's the method. It sucks.

I don't know understand hip hop's obsession with auto-tune. The vocoder has been passed around more than dutch at a Method Man and Redman concert. And 808s & Heartbreak might be the biggest offender of the auto-tune craze.

All the tracks are built around two things - life without his mother and resentment over his ex. Kanye has never been a master lyricist, but what he lacks in depth is usually covered by his wit. Sadly, there's little wit here. Most of the lyrics just sound like bad, nerdy poetry. From "Heartless":

You run and tell your friends that you're leaving me
They say that they don't see what you see in me
You wait a couple months then you gon' see
You'll never find nobody better than me

Now, I'm not taking the man's pain lightly, but these artists need to realize that when you use auto-tune, it produces a shrill effect that makes lyrics like those above sound like they're coming from a whiny baby. So when Ye says "My friend showed me pictures of his kids/and all I could show him is pictures of my cribs" on "Welcome to Heartbreak," he sounds like a bank owner begging for a buyout while drinking Cristal on his private jet. It's hard to give sympathy.

Well, at least the beats are good, right? Nope. The man has produced some of the best tracks in the past five years but most of the beats here sound like something I made on my desktop. Even "standouts" like the upbeat "Paranoid" sound like background music from an old Nintendo game. I don't buy albums to listen to outtakes from Mario Bros 2.

I guess auto-tune fans will enjoy "Heartless" and "Robocop" - if you just tune out the annoying production I can see someone enjoying their campiness. But the fact that most of the songs sound like they were recorded in an empty soda can bothers me to no end.

It's a shame everything is so badly crafted. The live hidden track, "Pinocchio's Story," is a revealing look into Kanye's depression. Although it's touching, rambling on and on while using Optimus Prime's voice just doesn't make for good music. And isn't that the point of an album?

I'm sure someone will call this album genius and groundbreaking. "Different" does not equal "genius." The album is just a rushed and lazy excuse to hop on the auto-tune bandwagon. I can recite bad poetry into an electric fan and make this album in 30 minutes.

Lots of great albums have been born from pain. This ain't one of them.

Best tracks: Playa, please
2 stars out of 5
Read More
Posted by in  on 12:00 PM 3 comments

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Let's see. Oh, I know what you need. Lolcats!

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Read More
Posted by on 8:15 AM No comments
I know I said there wouldn't be a news report today, but I just can't go ahead with eating turkey and playing Wii with my cousin without acknowledging that not everyone is celebrating today.

Please remember Mumbai, India in your prayers and thoughts. Armed gunman in India have attacked more than 10 different sites in Mumbai killing at least 104 people and wounding more than 300. News reports say, however, that the hostages taken during this attack have been freed (Check the Huffington Post or CNN for updates.)

And don't take the food on your table for granted.

With unemployment rates and food prices both rising, the number of Americans on food stamps is expected to exceed 30 million for the first time ever this month. This number would surpass the historic high set in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina. Washington Post
Read More
Anyone who knows me knows I'm a pretty happy and optimistic person. But as we approach December and I look back over 2008 I realize that, quite frankly, this year has sucked!

Aside from the fact that I was hit by a freaking car, my husband and I had a death in our family, I was diagnosed with a chronic illness and I've faced several disappointments in my professional, personal and spiritual lives this year.

But it's Thanksgiving and self-pity does not become me. It's time out for feeling sorry for myself. So I'm going to make like nearly every other writer in the blogosphere and post a list of things I'm grateful for today. (Yes, I know it's cliche, but cut me some slack. I did get hit by a car, you know.)

So here we go. Today I give thanks for...

My husband. He's smart, he's sweet, he's funny and he has the cutest ass I've ever seen.

My cousin Tasha. She's like the sister I never had but always wanted and probably the only person on earth who understands me and my neurosis.

HBO. If you also got hooked on True Blood this fall, then you understand.

My butt. It saved my life. No, really, it did.

You! Because you read my ramblings.

Glamour, Bust, Venus Zine, Underwired, Essence, Heart & Soul and all the other magazines that got me through hours on the elliptical machine at the gym.

The cute guy who loads the vending machines at work.

Cake. How can you not thank God for cake?

The fact that I filled up my nearly-empty gas tank the other day for less than $20.

The fact that my mom, dad, brother and I never hang up the phone without saying 'I love you' and that tonight before I go to bed I'll be able to say it in person.
Read More
Posted by in  on 6:00 AM 1 comment

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's kind of a shame that Thanksgiving, a holiday built around reconnecting with loved ones, has been boiled down to two things - food and shopping. Not that I mind either.

Well, I used to mind the shopping part. Back in college when I was the best video games salesman on Earth, my coworkers and I all dreaded the day after Thanksgiving, aka Black Friday.

Why did we dread it so? Because y'all don't know how to act.

Every year, the mall would open at 7 a.m. Seven o'clock. But starting at 6:30, crazy people would literally bang on the gates and windows asking when we'd open. Which, of course, would be at 7 - like everyone else. Then they'd start making up crazy stories:

- "Sir, I have to use the bathroom! Open up!" My reply: There's a bathroom across the hall

- "Sir, my kids need to sit down!" My reply: We ain't got no chairs up in here, where are you gonna sit?

- And my favorite "Man, you gonna hook a brother up?" My reply: Do I know you?

Anyway, if you promise not to harass any salespeople this Friday, I'll fill you in on some good music you might have missed this year. Consider these albums while you're fighting the mobs.

Janelle Monae, Metropolis: The Chase Suite
For fans of: Eclectic (read: weird) R&B

Did Erykah Badu's last album leave you scratching your head? Janelle's just as strange, but her album is a little easier to comprehend. Metropolis is set in a world filled with sexy robots fighting the system and trying to find love. That's a VH1 reality show waiting to happen. But don't be run off by the premise - the brief album exudes creativity and puts a new spin on typical issues like self-esteem and poverty.

Mixing problems on a couple tracks slightly muddle her otherwise crystal-clear vocals and the slight number of tracks disappoint (it's an EP, so you only get about five full songs), but check her out if you're looking for something new.

Black Milk, Popular Demand
For fans of: Vocoder-free hip hop

Disappointed that Kanye has lost his mind? Don't worry, we now have Black Milk. A producer in the mold of the late J Dilla, '07's Popular Demand is loaded with those soul beats that made Mr. West famous in the first place. But Black Milk is more than a Kanye or Dilla clone - his beats and rhymes have much harder edge.

Black Milk's a much better producer than rapper, but he's miles ahead of anyone with the first name "Young" on the radio. He fills the gaps with help from other rappers, most of whom you've probably never heard of. Lyrically, the album is merely decent, but production is top-notch. There are even a few instrumentals for you to vibe to.

Also, check out his latest release, Tronic, while you're at it.

Algebra Blessett, Purpose
For fans of: Good ol' 90s R&B

Tired of off-key pop artists disguising themselves as R&B singers? Algebra is the solution!

Puns like that is why I don't get paid for this.

Algebra's rich harmony will warm you up on those winter nights. Purpose is neo-soul without falling into the cliche, mumbling acoustic stuff; uptempo yet structured; diverse but not jarring. It's a great mix of well-developed ballads and danceable tracks - like the good old days.

My only complaint is sometimes the album is a little too safe. You've heard tracks like "Happy After" and "Simple Complication" a million times before.

So go out and get some good music this holiday. Anyone who buys that new T-Pain album will get coal in their stocking.
Read More
Posted by in ,  on 11:00 AM No comments
President-elect Barack Obama has rolled out his economic team. Click here to get to know the crew.

Retailers may face as much trouble moving their merchandise online as they will in stores this holiday season. For the first time ever, online sales are down so far this month.
Baltimore Business Journal

Have you been doing any online shopping?

And even though gas prices are down, seems like folks are going to celebrate Turkey Day at home this holiday. The Automobile Association of America (AAA) says the 41 million Americans expected to take trips at least 50 miles for Thanksgiving is about 600,000 less than traveled last Thanksgiving. Chicago Tribune

Are you planning to travel this weekend?
Are you going to battle the shopping crowds on Black Friday?

I'm heading to my sweet home Alabama tomorrow morning, so there won't be a Georgia Mae news report. But please stop by anyway when you need a break from your drunk uncle. We'll have a review of the new Kanye West album Friday and tomorrow you can find out why I'm thankful this holiday season even though my year has kinda sucked.
Read More

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

image via

Show of hands - anyone remember John Forte? He was part of Wyclef Jean's Refugee Camp collective back in the late 90s. He even released an album, Poly Sci, that like seven people purchased back in '98.

The main thing I remember is that his lead video featured a singing hood ornament that completely freaked me out.

You're probably more familiar with Forte's production - he did a couple of songs from the Fugees' 1996 masterpiece, The Score. Now THAT was an album. Forte produced "Cowboys," one of my favorite tracks.

Anyway, in the most random news event I've heard in months, President Bush has pardoned Forte's prison sentence. From

According to the Washington Post, the Grammy-award -winning artist is one out of the 16 people who have either received pardons or reduced sentences in the final months of the Bush Administration.

Forte was arrested after being caught in 2000 at New Jersey's Newark International Airport with 31 pounds of cocaine stashed in two briefcases. Despite being his first offense, he was later convicted of possession with intent to distribute and given a mandatory 14 year sentence at Fort Dix in New Jersey.

I remember hearing back in the day that he was carrying like $1.5 million in liquid cocaine but he didn't realize it. O-Kay. If I had a suitcase filled with $1.5 million in Skittles I think I know something was up. Anyway, it's a moot point because he'll be a free man next month. Word is his friend Carly Simon put in a good word for him.

Carly Simon? Drugs? You don't say...

Well, the best thing about this news is that maybe, just maybe, we'll get that long-awaited Fugees reunion! Sure, Wyclef thinks he's John Lennon now cuz he wrote that annoying Shakira song, Lauryn is in a padded room and Pras is busy with those double shifts at Wal-Mart (it IS the holiday season, you know) but surely everyone will be willing to come together for one more shot at greatness.

Or maybe I'll just go listen to The Score.
Read More
Posted by in  on 1:53 PM No comments
The mother of an 8-year-old accused of murdering his father and another Arizona man told Good Morning America yesterday that her son is a good boy who had no problems with his dad. ABC News

President-elect Barack Obama will name Peter Orszag as his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget, two sources close to Obama's transition operation told CNN. Obama is expected to make the announcement today at his conference in Chicago, Ill. CNN

Wall Street began the second quarter with a big rally today. The Dow Jones industrials surged nearly 400 points, and all the major indexes were up more than 3 percent. ABC News

Singer Amy Winehouse has been admitted to a London hospital after a bad reaction to medication. The 25-year-old Grammy-winner has suffered a string of health problems in recent years, many related to her battles with drug addiction. CNN
Read More

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back in September I asked you ladies rocking a natural 'do to send me a photo of your magnificent mane and to tell me why you love your hair just the way the Creator made it.

One reader sent me a story that I just had to share with you all.

Luretha Crosby of Lithonia, Ga., had this to say about her fabulous 'fro.

Although I have worn my hair natural most of my life, it took me a long time to become comfortable enough with myself to wear an afro.

My hair has been a site for struggle. Growing up, the struggle was with my mother for control over my hair. Then I struggled with my hair trying to get it to do what I wanted. When I was 21, I spent two hours washing, conditioning, and pressing my hair-- you know, running a hot metal comb through my hair until it was straight. I did all this in anticipation for the first day of classes my senior year of college. As soon as I stepped outside, it frizzed right back up. Two hours totally wasted.

I spent all day watching the other girls on campus as their hair flowed and ebbed around their faces. The wind would blow through their hair and their hair would whisper back. And then there was my hair, barely being contained by a hair band. I was pissed. That was the day I decided to get my first ever relaxer.

I looked in the mirror after I relaxed my hair. I turned my head to the left, and my hair flopped over my right eye. I turned my head to the right, and my hair flopped over my left eye. I thought, "Oh my God, I killed it!"

It always infuriated me when my hair didn't do what I wanted; it still does sometimes. But I didn't know how it would affect me after I whipped my hair into submission. I immediately missed my crazy hair -- wavy in the front, curly in the back. The chemicals in the relaxer bleached my hair. It was no longer jet black. All that special stuff that my hair used to do was gone.

It was a long time before I grew all that relaxer out of my hair. Now I can 'fro my hair up whenever I want. It feels pretty darn good having hair that lives on its own terms.

~ Luretha Crosby

And here are a few other ladies who heart their hair and why.

LaTasha Merchant of Montgomery, Ala., said, "I like my hair because I have the freedom to ask myself each morning, 'To comb or not to comb?'"

Samaria Gladney of Cincinatti, Ohio said, "I love my natural afro because it's big, bold, thick, and in your face. I want it to get even bigger. I recently straightened it and hated it. I think natural hair is best for me."

Andrea Robinson of Birmingham, Ala. said she loves her natural hair simply because "It's me! I got tired of burning my scalp with chemicals. I'm more comfortable with (my hair) now and some days I can just wash it and go."

Do you have a story to tell? Send your pics, comments and post ideas to
Read More
Posted by in ,  on 7:40 PM 1 comment
We've lost another one.

Over the weekend Eric Breed, known to us as MC Breed, passed away. Courtesy of AP:

Breed, known professionally as MC Breed, died Saturday at a friend's home in Ypsilanti, about 30 miles southwest of Detroit, a Washtenaw County medical examiner's spokesman said Monday.

Toxicology reports were pending, but no foul play was suspected in the 37-year-old's death.

Breed had suffered from kidney failure, according to The Detroit News and The Flint Journal.

Breed's biggest hit was "Ain't No Future in Yo Frontin'", which dropped way back in 1991. Ah, those middle school memories.

Way before Eminem and Kanye West hit it big, and even preceding artists like Da Brat and Bone Thugs N Harmony, Breed was one of the first standout rappers from the Midwest. "Ain't No Future" was his only big song but he remained pretty prolific through the years, even doing a track with 2pac. And I know y'all love 2pac for some reason.

Anyway, check out "Ain't No Future in Yo Frontin'" in honor of a Midwest pioneer.

Read More
Posted by in ,  on 6:38 PM No comments
A continuation of the "Is Beyonce a feminist" conversation:

Let me take you back to 1999, when the radio was flooded with songs where women were berating men. TLC's "No Scrubs" and Destiny's Child's "Bills Bills Bills" has dudes mighty salty. No one had really called us out on our crap before.

Honestly, I didn't have a problem with the songs. I knew I wasn't a scrub - I was straight ballin' off my part-time video-game store salary. But what bothered me then and now was that many women got the messages of those songs all screwed up.

Yes, it's been said that Beyonce and company were trying to empower women with those songs, but since the majority of women I knew back in '99 took "pull your own weight" as "buy me my weight in diamonds," I feel the message was muddled. And I think Beyonce and friends did it intentionally.

Exhibit A:

From Destiny Child's "Bills Bills Bills":

Can you pay my bills

Can you pay my telephone bills

Do you pay my automo'bills

If you did maybe we can chill

OK, I'll give her the first two lines. If a dude runs up bills, he should pay for them. I have a beef with the third line, though. I guess you can take "automo'bills" as "replace the gas you used in my car" OR you can take it as "pay my car note."

Line four seals the deal - "if you did maybe we can chill." That sounds to me like "we can go on a date IF you pay for all this stuff" not "you're not living up to your responsibilities."

Exhibit B:

From Destiny's Child's "Stimulate Me" (from the Life soundtrack):

You say you want my sweet body

But first you gotta pamper me

Say you gotta phat crib in the hills

don't mean a thing to me

Unless I got a key

If you split half goes to me

Hmmm. Bey and the crew could be saying "I don't care that you have expensive stuff, it doesn't matter as long as we're together." OR she could be saying "Your money doesn't matter unless I get a piece of it. And if you leave I get half for free!"

Exhibit C:

From my review of I Am...Sasha Fierce's "Diva":

This is a stick up, stick up

I need them bags uh that money

A stick up stick up

You see them ask where that money

All my ladies get it up

Well, then. Bey could be saying, in the most ghetto way possible, that she's an independent woman who has achieved her own financial success. Or, according to line four, she could be urging ladies that when they see "them" (i.e., men) to go for them bags uh that money.

That's three songs, in the span of nearly 10 years that COULD be telling women to demand more from their relationships and to find their own happiness OR she could be brainwashing a generation of young women to suck money out of their men.

You don't think she'd intentionally be vague so she could change her story at a whim, do you?

Nah, she'd never do that. Just ask the girls who discovered they were kicked out of Destiny's Child while watching BET.

Read More
Posted by in , ,  on 2:21 PM 2 comments
Gov't announces bailout plan for Citigroup
The U.S. government on Sunday announced a massive rescue package for Citigroup - one of the financial institutions hit hardest since the mortgage market began to implode last year.
The U.S. Treasury and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) will backstop some losses against more than $300 billion in troubled assets. The Treasury will make a fresh $20 billion investment in the bank. The government has already injected $25 billion into Citigroup as part of the $700 billion bailout passed by Congress in October.

Chris Brown's big night
Chris Brown was the big winner at the American Music Awards last night taking home the award for artist of the year as well as favorite male artist in both the pop/rock and soul/R&B categories.
Kanye West also impressed snagging the awards for favorite male rap/hip-hop artist and favorite rap/hip-hop album for his CD, "Graduation." And West issued a challenge to his peers last night.
"It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other," West said. "We will be the new Beatles, the new (Jimi) Hendrix. I want to be Elvis." ABC News

Just have sex for God's sake!
A week after the Rev. Ed Young, pastor of the evangelical Fellowship Church in Texas, challenged husbands and wives among his flock of 20,000 to strengthen their unions through Seven Days of Sex, his advice was — keep it going. NY Times

Video of the day:

Monkey Business

Read More

Saturday, November 22, 2008

While we're on the topic of Beyonce's work, check out this post from on how Bey's song are often misunderstood.

I've had my own arguments with guys about the Destiny's Child song "Bills, Bills, Bills." While some say she was exhibiting gold-digging tendencies on this track, if you listen carefully you'll notice her lame man is running up her cell phone bill and driving her car all the time and she just wants him to start pulling his own weight.

Songs like "Cater 2 U" pushed some women's buttons and now "Single Ladies" is being flagged as anti-feminist by some who think the song implies that marriage is the goal of all single women.

Jezebel editor Tracie Egan, however, isn't buying it and does a pretty good job defending Bey in the aforementioned post.

But what do you think? Are Beyonce's songs girl power anthems or just mainstream radio fodder that sends unhealthy messages to young women? Or maybe you think it's just entertainment and we should all just take it as that.
Read More
Posted by in ,  on 10:58 AM 2 comments

Friday, November 21, 2008

Can you hear me now?
Verizon Wireless workers snoop into President-elect Barack Obama's old cell phone records.

"Fainting spell"
Officials claim Attorney General Michael Mukasey's collapse was a "fainting spell" and that he did not suffer a stroke. Mukasey collapsed while giving a speech Thursday at the Federalist Society dinner at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington.

Moms and McDonald's
McDonald's tries to convince busy moms their fries are that bad for kids. Hey, they do have fiber, you know.

Video of the day:

Read More

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Am...Sasha Fierce (Deluxe Edition) (released November 18, 2008)

I think I finally figured out why artists release alter-ego albums. It gives them the perfect excuse to totally contradict themselves.

For example:

Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night
You're the only one that I want
Think I'm addicted to your light - "Halo"

This is a stick up, stick up
I need them bags uh that money
A stick up, stick up
You see them ask where that money - "Diva"

Beyonce's third album, I Am...Sasha Fierce, offers fans a chance to get to know both sides of her personality. Lucky us, it's like dating two people simultaneously with no strings attached! And after spending intimate time with Bey's soft, sensitive side on I Am... and wildin' out with the crazy Sasha Fierce I've come to this conclusion: I Am... is the sweet girl with substance that many would overlook as boring, while Sasha is the flashy, head-turning woman who'll grab your attention - until you realize she's as dumb as a box of rocks.

Remember all those slow songs at the end of Beyonce's first album? I Am... is entirely devoted to that stuff and it's by far the strongest of the two discs. "If I Were A Boy" is a nice twist on the tried-and-true "you did me wrong" category. I also love that she's learned to reign in her former tendencies to yell and scream all over the track. Five years ago she would have burst my eardrums on a song like that.

In fact, most songs on this disc are very well-written, and especially well sung. Even Beyonce haters will give her props for her performances on "Ave Maria" and "That's Why You're Beautiful." She sounds absolutely amazing.

Only "Halo" is a disappointment, with the tired hand claps and annoying repetitive hook that every single song on the radio has. So expect that to be her next single.

Sasha Fierce ain't a new flavor of Mountain Dew, it's Beyonce's ghetto alter-ego. And boy, does she redefine the term ghetto. One minute she's talking about robbing dudes on "Diva," the next she sounds like Rihanna's country cousin on "Radio." There's a lot of attitude, but not much else.

But even on brainless songs like "Video Phone," vocal inflections and catchy ad-libs add a much-needed dose of individuality to what could have easily been another dumb T-Pain track. Those nuances can get annoying (that oh-oh-oh on "Single Ladies" and the way she pronounces "hello" as "hay-loww" on "Hello") but they help liven up some pretty dull material. Too bad there aren't more songs like "Sweet Dreams" (formerly known as "Beautiful Nightmare") which combine that energy with decent songwriting.

Word is that Beyonce recorded over 70 tracks before editing them down to 16 or so for the full release. Seeing that the slow burner "If You Let Him Take Me" - which is way better than anything on both discs - didn't even make the cut, you have to wonder what other gems wound up on the cutting room floor.

I think Bey would have been better off if she cut ghetto Sasha from the equation.

Best tracks: "Sweet Dreams," "If I Were A Boy," "That's Why You're Beautiful"

3.5 stars out of 5
Read More
Posted by in  on 4:00 PM No comments
Here is an update on the begging Big Three.

The Senate plans to vote as soon as today on a House-passed measure to extend unemployment insurance by seven weeks for those without jobs whose benefits have run out and 13 weeks for those in states with an unemployment rate higher than 6-percent. The vote requires support from 60 senators to pass. Click here for more.

Here's the latest on the possible Obama administration: Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker has announced that she is not a candidate for secretary of commerce in the administration of President-elect Barack Obama as some news outlets were reporting earlier today. Meanwhile, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano is Obama's top choice for homeland security secretary, according to sources close to the transition. And Obama met last week with New York Sen. Hillary Clinton to discuss the possibility of her serving as secretary of state. Sen. Clinton's response is expected this week. Click here for more.
Read More

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Have any of you had that defining moment in your life when you say to yourself "man, I'm getting old." Join the club. This sad fact was revealed to me in the oddest of places - the overpriced CD store known as FYE.

Over the past year or so, I've been having a very tough time tracking down new releases. Now, if I want that new Beyonce album, there are a ton of options - Target, Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City (before most of 'em got shut down by The Man), Leroy at the barbershop. But what's a brother to do when he wants to cop a lesser-known artist?

I've been having this trouble for the past couple years now. Ask a 17-year-old in Best Buy if the new AZ album is out and they'll think you're reciting the alphabet.

I can understand a young'n not recognizing AZ. The guy's last major hit was like back in '97. They were still showing new episodes of "Living Single" back then. But I've had similar trouble with much more recent artists. Last year, Lil' Mo, one of my favorites, released her third album, yet the sales clerks had no idea who she was. True, she's no Rihanna (and thank the Lord for that) but her last album was released just 3 years or so before her latest effort. It's not like I was trying to cop Skee-Low's Greatest Hits.

I had similar trouble finding Robin Thicke's second album, Lil Kim's latest, Keith Sweat's live album, Ani DiFranco for the wifey and tons more - all artists who release material relatively frequently. Have they been forgotten that quickly? Or am I that out of touch?

Maybe it's the latter. The kids in my church youth group chide me for listening to "old man rap." And by "old man" I don't mean Kurtis Blow, or even Rakim (and I love me some Rakim). They consider Jay-Z "old man rap." Jay-Z! Isn't he still current? Isn't he the guy Lil Wayne, T.I. and those other little weirdos are aspiring to be? I'll never forget when one boy told me that his mom really liked the American Gangster album. The woman is more than 10 years older than me!

Back to my FYE story. After driving all over the city in search of that Deborah Cox album I recently reviewed, I went to my final destination when hunting elusive CDs - FYE. They almost always have 'em, but good lord their stuff is overpriced. Who's going to pay $22.99 for a raggedy Al Jarreau album?

Anyway the sales clerk had NO IDEA who Deborah was, or if they'd ever get the album in. I guess that was good thing since I'd probably have to pay $25.99 for it anyway.

At the end of the day, I just downloaded it from iTunes. I guess I could have just done that in the first place, but an old man like me prefers real CDs, dagnabbit.

Have you had any trouble finding your favorite artists? Are retailers justified in focusing solely on mainstream musicians these days?

Read More
Posted by in ,  on 10:40 AM 5 comments
In Al-Qaida's first response to the recent U.S. presidential election No. 2 leader Ayman al-Zawahri said that President-elect Barack Obama is "the direct opposite of honorable black Americans" like Malcolm X and called Obama -- along with secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice -- "a house Negro." (Seriously, though, how does this dude even know this slur?) Click here for more.

You're probably tired of hearing about the auto companies begging for a bailout, but hey, it's what's in the news. Mitt Romney had an op-ed piece in the New York Times this morning explaining why he thinks we should just let the Big Three go bankrupt.

Check out this Motrin ad that's got some moms pretty peeved. Some women are saying it's condescending and that it makes fun of mothers and motherhood.

The ladies at talked about this a few days ago, but it's now making national news too. What do you think of the commercial?

Note: Tomorrow's news review will be posted in the evening.
Read More

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

(Cross posted on my Velocity Weekly blog.)

image via

I had a variety of career aspirations as a child including archaeologist (I liked how the word sounded), madame (don't ask), lawyer, poet and dancer (no, not the exotic kind). But before all of those I wanted to be Wonder Woman.

The Wonder Woman television series was canceled in 1979, two years before I first greeted the world. But the reruns were a mainstay in our house. And sometimes I would put on my blue and red swimsuit and some boots and run around the house declaring that I was in fact the Amazon princess and that I was here to save the world.

Eventually I would trade in my superhero ways for a reporter's notebook, but I'm still convinced I have special powers.

Today I found out that in March Wonder Woman will finally get her own feature-length animated film. Unfortunately it's going straight to DVD and I won't get to see my childhood hero on the big screen. But I'm stoked nonetheless.

Golden Globe winner Keri Russell will do the voice for Wonder Woman in the film and she'll be joined by other chicks who rock like Rosario Dawson (she'll be doing the voice of Artemis, daughter of Zeus) and Virgina Madsen (she'll be Hippolyta, the queen of the Amazons).

Click here to check out what the L.A. Times had to say about the movie.

My hope is that this movie will be so awesome that next year I'll be telling you about plans to make a live-action big screen blockbuster inspired by Wonder Woman. A girl can dream, can't she?
Read More
Posted by in ,  on 5:31 PM 4 comments
So what would happen if we don't bail out the Big Three of America's auto industry?

Why your family doctor may be calling it quits.

Why is Mark Cuban in trouble, again?

Tip for today: If you're thinking about spending thousands of dollars on a ticket to Barack Obama's inauguration, don't. Those tickets are given to citizens for free and while more than likely you won't be able to get one, you can always just go to Washington, D.C. anyway, hang out on the Mall and watch the ceremony on a jumbo tron. You'll still be a part of history and you won't have to spend you life savings to do so.
Read More

Monday, November 17, 2008

A few of today's top stories:

The Los Angeles County Fire Department has said it could take at least until the middle of the week to rein in the wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of home in Southern California. (Click here for more)

The Iraqi Cabinet on Sunday approved a security pact that would set the terms for U.S. troops in Iraq. According to the pact, U.S. troops must withdraw from Iraqi cities and town by June 30, 2009 and from all other areas in Iraq at the end of 2011. (Click here for more)

Japan has declared that it is now an economic recession, the first since 2001. Japan's economy is the second largest in the world. (Click here for more)

Astronauts aboard the international space station and the newly arrived shuttle Endeavour plan to start unpacking cargo today, the Associated Press reported. Along with unpacking a new toilet the crew will also set up a contraption that purifies urine and sweat into drinkable water at the orbiting outpost. They didn't tell us this stuff when we wanted to be astronauts as kids.
(Click here for more)
Read More

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recessionistas, there are plenty of stores out there that offer super cute clothes at super low prices. The problem is, you probably think you're too old to shop there. Or maybe I'm just speaking for myself. But here are a few shops that you should check out if you can endure Jonas Brothers and Soulja Boy songs blaring overhead.

Body Central (formerly known at Body Shop) -- This store is like my little secret. Okay, so it's not actually a secret since it's a national chain retailer with a catalog and website. But when I mention it most my friends have no idea what I'm talking about so I consider it a gem. Body Central is my spot for snagging the perfect party top. I can go there hours before an event and find a top that's flirty, fun and under 20 bucks. Once you've got your top go over to the jewelry section and pick out a pair of $6 earrings to match. Need a clutch? They've got that too. You can even occasionally find work-appropriate attire. Don't be intimidated if the window displays are a bit hoochy. There are plenty of skank-free gems inside. Side note: Last time I was there (which much to my frugal husband's chagrin was like a week ago) TLC's "What About Your Friends" (remember that song?!) came on while I was in the dressing room. And yes I did start dancing. How else was I to know if that top I was trying on would really work for me?

Claire's -- I haven't been in this store in months, even though it's a great place to go if you need some cheap, last minute jewelry for a party. Several months ago a friend of mine said she was browsing through a local Claire's when the store clerk asked her if she was shopping for her daughter! Sure, this happened to my friend and not me, but considering my pal looks at most three years older than me, I'm going to stay away so I'm not called "the cool aunt." (On the bright side, while my friend was there she did find an elegant ring with a big, beautiful black stone for only $5!)

Forever 21 --This store was suggested by a reader (thanks, Jennifer). Despite the low prices, Forever 21 gear can hold up well if you take care of it. I have two blazers and a skirt that I bought four years ago that I still wear. Okay. So, I can't button the blazers anymore and the skirt is shorter, but I'm pretty sure that has more to do with too much Mexican food than poor fabric quality. Despite those finds, it's been years since I stepped foot in a Forever 21 because the last time I did I felt like I'd stumbled onto the set of "Mean Girls." Everyone was skinny, 16 or younger and either talking or texting on a Beadazzled cell phone. And there was whining. Lots of whining. I really could have used some TLC to drown them out.

DOTS -- I've mentioned this store, before but I must say once again that if you need a cheap dress for an event or just because, this is the place to go. They have juniors and plus sizes so you don't have to go on a diet before you go shopping.

Wet Seal -- I have a sexy white dress I bought from here years ago, but the last time I tried to wear it out I looked at myself in the mirror and decided it didn't go with my wedding ring. This place is always up on the latest trends, though. It's definitely worth a visit.

5-7-9 -- Another trendy spot and while I can still wear a 9 juniors size, barely, after these purchases I always feel like I need to give up bread and cheese to make sure I can actually fit in the item in the weeks to come. So for now I'll stick to stores like Express and New York & Company where I can buy sizes like 6 and 8 and then go eat nachos. But if you are around a size 5 in juniors, go check this place out. (And, I hate you, by the way.)
Read More
Posted by in  on 8:07 AM 4 comments
Contributed by: Karie

I can’t believe my love life can be summed up with a story about shopping.

About three weeks ago, I found the love of my closet. I purchased a new winter coat. It’s exactly what I imagined-red wool, clean design, and comes with a belt. Red is a distinctive color. It showcases my passion and announces my presence.

Before the purchase, I had not seen a physical picture of the coat; the design spoke to my imagination and desires. I searched several stores and tried on many. None of them fit the dream characteristics I carried in my head. Some were too bright, some too tight. A few had belts and the others were just overdone. A few choices did fit my desire to have a new coat; fortunately, a voice in my head (and a hand in my pocketbook) sent me a message to “wait.” I was patient and held on to some faith that the right coat would come.

And though it wasn’t in the place I expected it to be, somehow I found it—and it found me. I happened to go down an aisle labeled for petite leather coats, but this crimson beauty caught my eye. I didn’t even look at the size. I just tried it on. It fit like a glove. At first I thought someone misplaced it, but then I realized that it was waiting for me.

Singles should always exercise patience and restraint for settling for Mr. and Ms. Right Now instead of Mr. and Ms. Right. It took some time, but I’m happy with finding my red treasure. One day, I’ll celebrate the finding of Mr. Right, too. Who knows? Maybe the coat will catch his attention! Have a little faith.

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
Read More

Deborah Cox
The Promise (released November 11, 2008)

You never forget your first.

I'll let you in on a secret - my first celebrity crush was Deborah Cox back in 1995. Not only was she gorgeous, she was classy AND she could sing. Her self-titled debut in '95 and her follow-up, One Wish, back in '98, are two of my favorite albums.

But the thing about first loves is that they often don't hold up. Have you ever run into someone you had a crush on in grade school years later? Oftentimes, the years aren't kind. That girl who looked like Jada Pinkett might look like Jadakiss these days.

Although she had a great jazz album last year called Destination Moon (yeah, I do a little jazz - I'm not all Keith Sweat all the time) The Promise is Deborah's first R&B album in five years and the music scene has changed greatly since then. It's all about vocoders and repetitious hooks now. But with this album, Deborah tries to take things back.

Check out the names of these tracks: "All Hearts Aren't Shaped The Same," "Love Is Not Made In Words," "You Know Where My Heart Is." I haven't seen titles that long since Whitney Houston's Greatest Hits album. True to their name, the songs are throwbacks - slow burning ballads that few attempt these days - but not necessarily in a good way. Deborah's voice is still as good as ever, but it seems like she's holding back so many of the tracks lack oomph. And some are downright sappy. The title track sounds like something a 6-year-old would sing at a talent show. Guess who wrote that song? John Legend. Hmmmm.

But there are a couple of gems. "Did You Ever Love Me" is a pretty strong ballad that actually holds your attention and the self-esteem anthem "Beautiful U R," one of the few times she attempts an uptempo track, is fun and energetic but not gimmicky. Thankfully, she doesn't sing "beautiful you arr-rah, arr-rah, arr-rah" at the end of every line.

The real standout is "Where Do We Go 2." Yeah, it kinda sounds like Leona Lewis' leftovers, but it's the perfect blend of energy and powerful vocals, something Deborah seemed to struggle to find.

Deborah may no longer be the head-turning goddess of my youth, but she's still worth a look. At just $8 on iTunes, even the most recession-ravaged consumer can consider a purchase.

Best tracks: "Where Do We Go 2," "Did You Ever Love Me," "Beautiful U R"

3.5 stars out of 5
Read More
Posted by in  on 7:50 AM 1 comment
A few of the top stories on CNN this morning:

*A brush fire rolling through the canyons of Santa Barbara County has forced residents in the town of Montecito to evacuate as flames engulf multimillion dollar homes and more modest ranch-style houses. CNN reports more than 100 homes have been burned.

*Two sources close to the Obama transition team have told CNN that Senator Hillary Clinton's name has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Secretary of State. (Click here for more.)

*So we see that the bank bailout plan hasn't done much so far, but what are your thoughts on the proposed bailout package for the auto industry? Here's what one CNN contributor had to say.

Read More

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Good morning, Georgia Mae community. Starting today I'll be posting a summary of some of the morning's top headlines on most weekdays to give you all a jump start on the day's news. My hope is that you'll turn here on those days you're too busy to sit down and read the paper or browse your usual news sites. And if your idea of news is Us Weekly or the website, Young, Black and Fabulous, then you should definitely bookmark so we can help you out with current events. So let's get this thing started, shall we?

Switch!: U.S. Treasury pulls a flip-flop
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced yesterday that there is now a different plan for how to spend that $700 billion bailout package that the Congress recently approved.
When Congress OK'd the deal the plan was to spend it buying troubled mortgage assets. Now, Paulson wants to use the money to buy bank stocks and some are calling him a flip-flopper. Paulson says the switch would be best for the economy because after this help, banks would be more likely to lend money to consumers seeking new credit card accounts or money for things like a car or student loan. What do you think about the switch?

The Silver Lining: Gas prices continue to drop
So the economy sucks, but at least gas isn't $5 a gallon like we all expected it to be by this time. The Associated Press reports that gasoline prices, which have declined by nearly 50 percent since July, are expected to remain relatively low, averaging $2.37 a gallon through 2009, according to the Energy Department. (Regular unleaded at the station up the street from my condo is going for $1.87 a gallon. Whoo hoo!) And even though you'll probably be paying more to heat your home this winter than you did last year, this dramatic drop in world oil prices means you'll be paying a lot less than what had been projected.

Underwood and Chesney win big
You can pretend to hate country music all you want, but you know that Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is on your iPod. Underwood co-hosted the Country Music Association Awards last night and the former American Idol took home the award for female vocalist of the year for the third year in a row. Kenny Chesney snagged the prestigious entertainer of the year award for the third year in a row – fourth time overall – at the awards show which was held at Nashville's Sommet Center. (Click here for more.)

Adul stalker found dead
An "American Idol" reject who was obsessed with Paula Abdul died in an apparent suicide outside of Abdul's L.A. home.

Palin Power

Could Gov. Sarah Palin be the future of the Republican party?

Politics goes to the dogs
When President-elect Barack Obama announced during his acceptance speech that he'd be buying a new dog for his daughters, he unknowingly launched a new campaign -- for the new First Pup.

Read More

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A continuation of our discussion earlier this week about female rappers.

Foxy Brown and Lil Kim are arguably the most well-known female MCs of all time, but they’re probably better known for their constant battles with each other than their discographies. They’ve been sniping at each other for so long that I can’t even remember what sparked the beef in the first place. It has been over ten years and in every interview they still have to say something negative about the other.

I think they’re in love.

Anyway, let’s look at their latest LPs.

Album covers: Foxy looks like Steve Wonder's niece stumbling out of her grandma's Oldsmobile. And look how her right leg is chopped off in that picture. Tyra and Mr. Jay would not approve - the judges would send her home after than photo shoot.

Who’s that white lady on Lil Kim’s cover?


Foxy Brown 0, Lil Kim 0

Album quality. Ugh. Brooklyn's Don Diva, which was released in May, is easily the worst rap album of the year (well, at least until Kanye's album drops). Anyway, the album is mostly pieced together from mixtape songs, so the sequence has no flow. Plus, of the 15 tracks, about 1/3 of them feature lyrics recycled from earlier in the album! Just lazy. Don't bother with this one.

2005's The Naked Truth got glowing reviews at the time for some reason. It was a strong album, maybe Kim's best, but nowhere near the "rap classic" critics were claiming at the time. Maybe it was sympathy due to it being released while Kim was in the pokey. Good, but not at all memorable - I can't name 4 tracks from it.

Foxy Brown 0, Lil Kim 1

Sales: Brooklyn's Don Diva peaked at #83 on the Billboard charts - that speaks for itself. Her excuse: She was in jail and the album wasn't promoted properly. The Naked Truth fared much better, debuting at #6, but only selling 394,000 copies - nowhere near the platinum success of her three previous albums. Her excuse: She was in jail and the album wasn't promoted properly.

If y'all would stop getting locked up maybe you would sell more CDs.

Foxy Brown 0, Lil Kim 2

Former crews: Remember The Firm? The supergroup was a can't-miss prospect. They consisted of the legendary Nas, hard-hitting AZ, up-and-coming rapper Nature, production from Dr. Dre and Foxy, who was red-hot at the time. But much like M. Night Shyamalan's last three movies, what looked good on paper went horribly, horribly wrong. The 1997 album tanked and the crew split. Honestly, the album wasn't all that bad, just disappointing.

I used to love Junior M.A.F.I.A. The crew was basically Biggie and his friends from the block - I dare you to name a member besides Lil Kim and Lil Cease. They released two albums - 1995's Conspiracy, which was great because Biggie was still alive, and 2005's Riot Musik, which was horrible cuz Biggie wasn't alive. It's a moot point anyway because Kim left the crew when members testified against her in her perjury trial. But unlike the Firm, most people at least remember Junior M.A.F.I.A.

And to set the record straight, Biggie claims M.A.F.I.A. stood for Masters At Finding Intellingent Attitudes, not Many Apple Fritters I Ate. Just wanted to clear that up.

Foxy Brown 0, Lil Kim 3

Run-ins with Johnny Law: Check out Foxy's rap sheet:

-1997 - Spit on some hotel clerks because they didn't have an iron

- 2000 - Crashed her Range Rover and was locked up for not having a license

- 2004 - Beat up some manicurists

- 2007 - Went to jail for a few months for violating parole

I stopped there because I got tired of looking up her offenses.

In 2005, Kim was sent to the big house for lying about her crew's involvement in a shooting. It always bothered me how her supporters said it was so wrong that she served time for "not tattling." She broke the law, she had to go to jail, get over it. Still, she looks like a nun next to Foxy.

Foxy Brown 1, Lil Kim 3

Famous Ghostwriters: It's no secret that these two were backed by the biggest names in the game. Check the linear notes of Foxy's first two albums and you'll see more S. Carter's than my cousin's shoe collection. Jay-Z practically wrote her entire debut, and a bunch of stuff on the follow-up. Kim's debut album was essentially Biggie's second album - he wrote just about everything. But if the best rapper of all time (sorry, 2pac fans) wanted to write all my songs, who am I to stop him?

Foxy Brown 1, Lil Kim 4

Legacy: Sadly, when I see both these ladies, I see lost opportunities. These days, Foxy and Kim are remembered more for scuffling with security guards and horrible wardrobes than their talent. That's a shame, especially since both have put out great music - albeit sporadically - over the past 10 years. Their careers are almost mirror images of each other but I'll have to give the nod to Kim on this one, solely because she was on that ubiquitous, yet atrocious Lady Marmalade song that was played endlessly in 2001. She won a Grammy even though I remember her saying anything but Uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh-UH!

Foxy Brown 1, Lil Kim 5

Poor Foxy just can't win.

Read More
Posted by in ,  on 3:30 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So I got my December issue of Glamour in the mail and it's that time of year again for the magazine to recognize the "Women of the Year." Of course women like Hillary Clinton, Tyra Banks and Condoleezza Rice made the list as well as artist Kara Walker and environmentalist Jane Goodall.

But what women inspired you the most this year?

For me, that woman would have to be Soledad O'Brien.

image via

If you're not a CNN nerd like me you may not know who she is, but O'Brien is an anchor and special correspondent for CNN's Special Investigation Unit, where she focuses on in-depth series and documentaries. She's also part of CNN's top-notch political team.
This summer O'Brien's groundbreaking report "Black in America" reignited my passion for journalism and this encouragement couldn't have come at a better time.

I write for an arts and entertainment magazine and while my job is pretty fun, I often feel locked into writing about inconsequential topics. And in case you hadn't noticed, the economy sucks and the media is one of the industries being hit hard by this downturn. The company that owns the magazine for which I work has laid off several people and has announced that more lay-offs are coming next month.
It would be easy for me to give up and start seeking employment in a different field. That might even be the smart thing to do. But O'Brien's reportage reminds me that there are so many stories out there that need to be told. And somehow, someway I'm going to help tell them.
Read More
Posted by in  on 2:05 AM 2 comments

Monday, November 10, 2008

Last week Jonah Weiner had a story on Slate in which he asks, "Where did all the female rappers go?"

Good question.
Weiner's story gives a crash course in the history of women and hip-hop and a hat tip to artists like Queen Latifah, MC Lyte, and Salt -N- Pepa as well as a nod to emerging stars like Kid Sister. But the fact remains that there are no female MCs dominating the game now and, as Weiner points out, no women were nominated at this year's BET Hip-Hop Awards and VH1 Hip-Hop Honors. What gives?

Weiner offered these thoughts:
Male MCs have long controlled the microphone, so women with rap dreams have faced the steep challenge of attempting self-definition in a genre whose louder, deeper voices have already done much to define them (in narrow and frequently noxious terms, at that). In large part, the story of female hip-hop is the story of that challenge.

Last summer I wrote a story on women and hip-hop and asked some local aspiring female rappers why they thought they were so underrepresented in the industry. Reasons offered ran the gamut. Some of the women I interviewed said music industry execs are more concerned with sexiness than skill while other women said many female rappers give up too easily.
In May I had the opportunity to do a face-to-face interview with MC Lyte when she was in Louisville for a Kentucky Derby weekend concert and I asked her what she thought about women and hip-hop. Here's an exerpt from our talk:

Do you think hip-hop is more welcoming to female MCs now or do you think it's harder for women to break into the business than it used to be?

Lyte: It's definitely harder for female MCs that have something relevant to say. There's no space for them. You've either got to be hyper-sexualized or you have to be Mammy and be foolish.
What do you think can be done to change that?

Lyte: I think challenging some of these male producers that record label executives look to to say, 'You know what, I'm going to get this young black woman who MCs and I'm going to give her the hottest music and nurture that situation.' I think what's happening is a lot of these male producers are finding it's much more lucrative to be behind either white women or women who are not black. Hence you have the Neptunes with Gwen Stefani. You have Timbaland with Nelly Furtado. You've got Wyclef with Shakira. You've got Will.I.Am with Fergie. I just would like for them to take much more of a stand for us.

Why do you think there are so few women in hip-hop?

Who are some of your favorite female MCs of today and from back in the day?

The legendary MC Lyte and yours truly

Read More
Posted by in  on 6:00 AM 5 comments

Friday, November 7, 2008

Congratulations go out to President-elect Barack Obama. No matter whom you cast your vote for Tuesday, you have to respect the success of his campaign and the barriers that have been broken down.

For me, in terms of respect, he ranks up there with MLK, Keith Sweat and He-Man. Truly great heroes.

And speaking of respect, there is a contingent out there that thinks our new leader has disrespected his greatest supporters.

According to a report by Bill Zwecker, a columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, your favorite stars were told to sit out Obama's acceptance speech:

I've learned from a key Obama insider that a number of big-time boosters have been told politely -- but very firmly -- to stay away tonight.

Reportedly, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Sean ''Diddy'' Combs, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins and Ben Affleck are among those advised to skip the Chicago festivities and focus on attending the expected Obama inauguration in January.

''There really only needs to be one star in Grant Park, and that's Barack,'' said the source, a high-profile elected official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, since he's not authorized to speak for the campaign on this issue.

Well, then. Sucks for Hov. Anyway, that edict has sparked a little controversy. There are some who consider it to be a slap in the face, saying that Obama isn't giving credit where it's due. Obama can't deny that he undoubtedly received a boost from all that star power and some say his famous friends deserved to shine alongside him.

But I say Puffy n' dem can go sit down.

(And yes, I know Obama's BFF Oprah was in attendance - there was no way she was staying home. She's like the woman who yells "SANG, Bay-bay, SANG" during her child's church choir solo. No one's brave enough to tell her to stop.)

Oh, I don't discount the work celebrities have put into the campaign. For example, their efforts pushed young voters to the poll in record numbers - why do you think lines were so long Tuesday?

Despite that, did the famous folks really need to be present Tuesday night? Because if they were in attendance, you KNOW the media would have been focused on them more than the man of the hour. Would you want to put up with constant close-ups of Diddy's greasy Proactiv-drenched face or hear the talking heads on the news stations talking about how much Mary J.'s outfit costs?

No, Tuesday night was about the people. The celebrities can watch at home with the millions of other Americans who volunteered their time to write a new chapter in history.

Do you think Obama's pals should have been there for his big night?
Read More
Posted by in ,  on 5:00 PM 6 comments

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I don't know if you all remember this, but last August, Ashley Baker, then an editor at Glamour magazine, visited a law firm to discuss corporate fashion and in her presentation said that both dreadlocks and Afros were a major don't. The press gave her hell about it (and rightfully so, in my opinion).

I'm an avid reader of Glamour magazine because despite its faults it's a fun periodical that often has some compelling essays inside as well. BUT when I found out about this I was not happy and I was fuming when a reader wrote in saying that Baker was right and that folks calling this statement racist needed to pipe down. I can't call Baker racist because I don't know that lady, but I feel her comments were insensitive and uninformed. But that's just me. reported today that in the December issue of Glamour (I haven't gotten my issue in the mail yet) editors give a black reader who is a marketing executive a makeover and guess what... they gave her a too cute curly 'fro! (Click here to check it out.)

What do you think about dreadlocks and Afros? Do you think they're unprofessional? (I promise not to attack you if you say yes.)

Also don't forget, I'm still accepting submissions for the I Heart My Natural Hair photo gallery that I'm putting together for the site. So if you rock a natural 'do, take a pic of your mane and send it to
Read More
Posted by in  on 7:35 PM 4 comments
Credit: Scott Gries/ Getty Images

image via

Recessionistas, here's a quick tip. One way to save money on fashion this fall is to hop on the vest bandwagon. I'm not one to blindly follow trends but this is one I swear by. A nice vest can instantly upgrade your plain turtlenecks and long-sleeved T-shirts and come warmer weather you can sport your vest with a short-sleeved top or tank as Kim Kardashian is in the photo above. Try it.

Read More
Posted by in  on 7:25 PM 4 comments
The ubiquitous Sanrio character Hello Kitty turned 34 on Saturday and if I wasn't traveling this weekend I would have thrown her party. Seriously.
You might find it silly that a 27-year-old would be so excited about an animated character's birthday, but I don't care because in a way I feel as if I've grown up with this too cute kitty.

When I was a little girl, every time my mom got paid at her custodial job she would take me to a store called Sanrio Surprises and let me pick out one thing. These trips were always the highlight of my week and I just knew I had the world's greatest mom.

During my pre-teen years Hello Kitty and her pals like Keroppi and Pochacco were all the rage among junior high schoolers. For girls there was this unspoken rule that to show you were cool you had to pick a favorite character and try to accumulate as many items bearing that character's image as possible. (We sure are stupid when we're kids, huh?) It was considered cliche to pick Ms. Kitty herself so I chose Keroppi. I had a Keroppi wallet, pencils and pens, notebooks, room decor and even socks and underwear. But Hello Kitty still held a piece of my heart.

Now I'm all grown up (allegedly) and so is Hello Kitty. The days of this fabulous feline being nothing but child's play are long gone.

Hello Kitty's big beautiful head now comes in the form of expensive jewelry like this $4,500 necklace by Kimora Lee.

image via

Her image is stitched on designer bags like this one I've been drooling over for months.

image via

Bank of America offers a Hello Kitty debit card, credit card and checks.

image via

And you can even buy a Hello Kitty wedding dress (although not a cute one).

image via

Until I can afford that bag I'll be content with my Hello kitty, makeup bag, planner, calendar, clutch and Band-Aids.

I know I should be fussing about how it's awful that Sanrio pushes my want button so badly. I should point out that once again I think accumulating Sanrio gear will make me happy. But I can't help myself. That cat is so damn cute. I'm open to an intervention, though.

Read More
Posted by in  on 7:15 PM 3 comments

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Javacia is so proud to be an American." That's what my Facebook status says today.

Whether you're a Democrat, Republican or neither, you have to admit that Barack Obama being elected the president of the United States of America signals that our country is actually progressing in relation to issues of race.

But the reason I'm so proud today is because so many people were so enthusiastic about this election. People of all ages, backgrounds, races and political affiliations were determined to be heard. My little brother was so excited that he called me to sit on the phone with me last night as we watched the results roll in.

I stood in line for nearly an hour to vote and didn't mind one bit. I woke up yesterday morning feeling like a kid on Christmas day. I had chills while I was waiting in line knowing I was about to participate in such a historic election because regardless of who won the fact that a black man and a woman were in this race made it a special day.

But the excitement I felt then didn't compare to what I felt as I started to hear stories of people turning out in record numbers to vote. Some folks lined up at polls at 5:30 a.m. Some waited in line for two hours. My usually apathetic friends were sending mass text messages encouraging people to vote.

I wish my grandmother was alive to see the enthusiasm that this country -- specifically the young black people in this country -- had yesterday. She was heavily involved in the Civil Rights movement and always stressed to me how important it was that I exercise my right to vote once I had a chance to do so.

When I was a little girl I could hardly wait for the day that I could head out to the polls and leave sporting a sticker that declared "I voted." In my family voting has always been a big deal and my parents made it a family affair. My mom would always go to the polls either with my grandmother, my dad or both and she always brought me along. I grew up understanding that voting was a right my ancestors had to fight for and one I should never take for granted. And I never will.

Read More

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The new First Family

Read More
Posted by in  on 11:44 PM No comments
This past weekend I headed South to Tuscaloosa, Alabama for my alma mater the University of Alabama's homecoming weekend. On Saturday I had a blast at the game. We crushed Arkansas State and secured our spot as #1!

The night before the game though I had a not so exciting revelation.

smile lines, too tired to party,

I have arthritis, smile lines and trouble shopping in some juniors departments.
Read More
Posted by in  on 7:11 PM No comments
You think affordable health care is for punks.

You don't have an opinion on abortion, the Iraq War, terrorism or gay marriage.

You think global warming is as real as the tooth fairy.

You've always wanted to know what it would be like to live during the Great Depression.

You think paying $5/gallon for gas would be awesome!
Read More
Posted by in  on 5:00 AM No comments

Monday, November 3, 2008

Who knew that the text message could be so powerful?

We've all heard about the tragic slayings of Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew. And even though I work at a newspaper - the supposed gateway for relaying news to the public - I first heard about the killings via a text message from a friend.

When I got the message I was pretty skeptical, especially since I was sitting at work all day and heard nothing about it. But after a little research, I found that the news was true. In fact, it was nearly an hour after that initial message that the news wires started to report on the happenings. That message helped us get the jump on coverage.

But for every text-message success story, there are about 500 failures.

Did anyone get a text this weekend about comedian Katt Williams dying in a plane crash?

For those who don't know Williams, just picture a pimp who was left in the dryer for too long.

Anyway, over the weekend, a friend sent me a message saying that Williams passed away. Although I hadn't watched much TV that day and I hadn't been online, I found that news mighty hard to believe. Trust me, if the man behind such disasters as "The Pimp Chronicles" and "Friday After Next" truly passed away, it would have been the talk of the town. Anyway, after digging around online, I found that Williams was indeed alive.

I also found out that he has a DVD coming out next week. Hmm...

Conspiracy theories aside, I'm imploring my colleagues in cyberspace to PLEASE, for the sake of my sanity, THINK before you hit send on a text message. Remember last year when a text message proclaimed Sinbad dead of a heart attack? True, we haven't seen dude since 1991, but come on. Or when Jay-Z was supposedly killed in a fiery plane crash?

Don't be so quick to tell everyone that your favorite celebrity is no longer with us without doing a little research. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate the attention. That is, unless they have a new CD or DVD coming out.

Did you get the Katt Williams death text? Did you believe it? What are some of your most memorable hoaxes?
Read More
Posted by in  on 4:00 PM 3 comments
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Search Our Site