What’s Age Got To Do With It

23 05 2008

There is no doubt in my mind that many ‘forgotten’ old artists are still full of it. Nowadays, when the media is being saturated with Amy Winehouse, Rihanna, Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe, American Idols and the celebrity wannabes, you rarely remember the great stars of yesteryears. It seems there is call-for-action among the living-dead artists to resurrect and paraphrase Tina Turner’s greatest hit “What’s age got to do with it.” Donna Summer just dropped a chart climbing hit after 17 years, Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones staged a come back after 19 years, and ‘leggy’ Tina Turner hit the road for concert tours after 9 years. What do these ‘old bags’ have in common? There are mega-stars of 70s – 80s who refused to be forgotten or be put into the back burner. And above up they all still look superb.

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I suppose the recent Tina Turner’s performance with Beyonce at the Grammy must have given the old lady needed tonic that bounced her back to life. She really did great on that live performance [but I miss her famous legs, I’m tired of Beyonce’s]. As for Harrison Ford, he had series of other movies in the 90s but none was as stellar as the Indiana Jones series which made him an household name. So, it is a very wise decision to continue the Indiana Jones saga. In the past few years, the disco diva, Donna Summer, released some ‘clubland tracks’ which never hit off into the main stream. This time, she appears to be coming out strong and she is so gorgeous too [in above pic], isn’t she? That could be the transcending factor.

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Now, I am just wondering about my girl, Diana Ross; what is she up to lately? Unfortunately, the last time she made major headlines was about getting arrested for ‘drunk driving’. What about Michael Douglass? He had made many good movies but none of them is as spectacular as “Romancing the Stone.” I hope he’s been staying out of trouble. I’m not too thrill about recent comment he made in reference to the World Ambassador of Goodwill, Angelina Jolie, and her adopted kids – Although he later apologized.

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Michael Douglass, Diana Ross, Harrison Ford, Donna Summer, and Tina Turner had once reached their heydays in the same era. Seeing their peers pulling it off big in this 21st century should inspire Diana Ross and Mike Douglass to follow suite; except the two have been sentenced to self-prophesied prison-of-no-return. Let’s pray for them and wish them luck.

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Old age is defined by vitality than chronology.” —-Lee Eisenerg





‘Lil Mama’ Got The Hype, So Waarrup!

14 05 2008

In the beginning there was a notorious rapper called Lil Kim and 10 years later there was a dangerous one tagged Remy Ma. Integrating the aforementioned rappers’ names, a cute ‘young thang’ called Lil Mama was born and became a media’s darling. Despite her ironic name [as she looks like a baby], the rave reviews she has generated in the past few months is enough to make her hero rappers envious or fade into obscurity. Things have been pretty rough for vets like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim whose serve as sources of inspiration to Lil Mama; coincidentally, these two famous inspirations are certified ex-convicts. In the same path, Remy Ma’s new-found fame was cut short as she was just sentenced to 8 years for attempted man slaughter.

Good enough, Lil Mama did not started out as typical gang star rapper. Probably that is the reason she is being regarded as a new female hip-hop ambassador. So much are the media praises of her that some papers such as People magazine accorded her VYP Title (Voice of the Young People). In dicey entertainment industry, it is a known fact that cost of fame could be very problematic. One could fall as fast as he/she rises. Lil Mama looks sharp and sounds smart; she must have learned from her hero’s missteps.

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Hopefully, she would use the knowledge to keep it clean and steer clear of trouble. But one thing though, she would need a priest to exorcize the demons out of Lil kim and remy maMa monikers to avoid bad lucks by name association. You see, thuggish name can make one looks really bad. Remy Ma can tell you as she betrayed her own ‘aka’ and cried to the presiding judge that she is no ‘mama’ that her name is Remy Smith, and it is no wonder Busta Rhythm preferred to be called Mr. Rhythm instead of Busta!! when he was being tried for assault few month ago.

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Eventually, hip-hop community would fully realize that rappers don’t have to be violent or thuggish to make hit records. Lesson should be learned from likes of Kanye West and Will Smith who stick to their original names and still made huge impacts in the music world. It’s all about talent.

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“You are the embodiment of what you choose to be called and act upon. To change your circumstances you need to change your thinking and subsequent actions.” —–Adlin Sinclair





Alicia Keys Transfigured into a Bad Girl?

12 04 2008

Alicia, the BadThe last time I saw my girl, Alicia Keys, live was about three years ago, at the Nassau Coliseum when she performed as guest star at Beyonce’s concert. Looking at her fully clothed, unlike Beyonce who let it all hang out, I couldn’t help but admired Alicia Keys for her saintly look and beauty. The audience responses were overwhelming; she actually stole the show from the ‘foxy’ Beyonce. This basically means female entertainers don’t have to dress like hustlers to make strong impact on the music audience. Surprisingly, despite her vast success, Alicia Keys has recently resulted to erotic dresses. Heck!! Who want to see your butt or boobs? We just want to listen to your good music. Those sexy dresses might have worked Beyonce, Rihanna, Ciara and other ass-shakers but that is not you, Alicia babe. 

(Upper picture reps the ‘bad girl’ Alicia. The below reps the ‘decent’ we used to know)

Alicia, the DecentAs if the half-naked dresses aren’t doing enough dents, now sweet Alicia Keys wants to become a modern day Black-Panther. AP reported that Alicia Keys is transforming her self from a romantic to political singer. “She now wears AK-47 chains on her neck,” the report said. She is being spurred by some ridiculous conspiracy spins, such as government encouraged the gangster rap conflict that killed two hip-hop greats, B.I.G and Tupac. Well, Ms. Keys, regardless of how many books you red or researches you have done; your government/gangster rap conspiracy theory is a nobrainer. I don’t think US Government or FBI gave rappers ammo to kill each others. At least, no authority gave Ice T, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre’s NWA mics or guns to start gangster rap. Back in the 80s, before gangster rap, there were hip-hop groups with clean lyrics. Thanks to the pioneers like SugarHill Gang, Grand Master Flash/Furious 5. Even the political rappers likes Chuck D and Public Enemy never rhythmed killing with guns or calling women hos.

The only conspiracy in hip-hop is the deliberate attempt in the industry to get violent, coupled with expletive lyrics to attract media attention. It is such strategy that made likes of Eminem, 50 cent, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog and others became multi-millionaires today. I could go on this topic for hours; in short, the violence in hip-hop is self-inflicted, strategically plotted by the rappers and their promoters to draw attention and make money out of it.

Moreover, it’s good to remember that hip-hop music became fully “mainstream” after the death of Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. So who are the reapers here? Consequently, P. Diddy, former B.I.G’s promoter became famous worldwide and currently on his way to becoming a billionaire. So, Alicia Keys ‘sweetie’ wants us to believe that government is the gainer in the hip-hop game?

People don’t need Alicia Keys to use her music fame to teach about civil rights. Before she ever came to the surface of this planet, there had been great leaders such as late Dr. Martin Luther King, late Malcolm X, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and other who have been and still doing stellar jobs of fighting inequality. Without the struggles of these leaders, Obama wouldn’t have the courage to run for President office and most minority high-archivers wouldn’t have made it to the top of their careers today.

As it is said in the media that “Alicia Keys was born into the wrong era” because of the nature of her songs which sound so 1960ish – but I love it though. Perhaps, this is what prompted her to look at today’s struggle as if we were in the Black-Panther haydays. If Alicia Keys wants to join the civil right struggle, she would be better off donating money to the causes and be an occasional advocate rather than turning her concert(s) into political protest Arena.

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Digging for facts is better mental exercise than jumping to conclusions.” – Bernard Baruch

UPDATE: Alicia Keys Quickly Back-pedals From Gangster Rap’s Conspiracy Theory. Read more. MSNBC>>





McCain-Condoleezza: A Ticket Made In Heaven

28 03 2008

It is obvious that John McCain is being swept under the media waves by Obama’s éclat, to the extent that some Americans and people overseas don’t even know who John McCain is. So, what can the poor American war hero do catch up with high-flying Obama? A sensation. mccain_story1.jpgcondoleezza-rice-newarticle1.jpgAccording to this morning CBS Radio report, John McCain might be considering Condoleezza Rice as a running mate. This looks like a smart idea because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have been so hyped on the apriorism of making history – to be the first black president and first woman president respectively. McCain is at disadvantage of these Democrats’ history-making brouhahas. It is time for him to turn the table. Choosing Condi as a potential vice president is like killing “two birds with one stone.” Condi can help the republicans deflate the excitements surrounding Obama and Clinton. Condi is black and a woman. And she could be the first of both as a Vice President. Americans could be bought on campaign that would let McCain rule for fours years and then have the first black and woman president.

The two democratic contenders, while still trading jabs, need to watch out for McCain-Rice combo which can be very strategic. This could erase the democratic lead over the repuplicans’ as McCain’s surly attitude could be overlooked with Condi on his side. Condi is well-liked globally. Her professional resume is longer than Obama’s and Clinton’s combined; and she is the most educated official in the Bush Administration, if not in the whole Republican Party. To mention just a few, she rocks with the world leaders. Who can beat her records in Washington DC? Arguably none!  

Moreover, black folks could express to Condi the same emotions they have for Obama. And the feminists could be as excited to flock to Condi’s ticket as they are toward Hillary. If McCain eventually pull the stunt, it could be a major media sensation that could kill both Obamaniac and Clintoniac crazes. And the caveat? McCain-Rice would keep U.S. Troops in Iraq, at least, for the next decade(s).

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“My parents had me absolutely convinced that you may not be able to have a hamburger at Woolworth’s, but you can be President of the United States”   – Condoleezza Rice.





Why Ugly Guys Are So Hot

26 03 2008


jlo1.jpgheidi_klum11.jpgIt’s been proven that Brad Pitts and George Clooneys of the world are not the only guys having all the fun. The New York Daily News presented a study which shows that the ugliest-of-the-uglies can be as competitive as the hunkiest-of-the-hunkies when it comes to pretty gals – not just any girls, I mean extremely beautiful women, such as Beyonce, J Lo, and Heidi Klum. Although Heidi’s man wasn’t included in the NYDN examples, probably because the media has been careful not to tag Heidi’s beau, Seal, as ugly. He is commonly described as the guy with a very “distinctly look”; Yeah right! – that needs some elaboration.

Another example used is Jay-Z who has never been lucky in overall press reviews of the “best-looking-celebrities.” And there was Howard Stern; instead of him as another example, I think Don Imus would have been perfect. There is no doubt, Stern’s hair is wacky but he is a good looking dude. 17a_notoriousbig1.gifLet’s add the late jay_z1.jpg1129056602970-larryking_sq1.jpgNotorious B.I.G. cripping with Faith Evans and Lil Kim simultaneously, which led the ladies into a “catfight” over him. And Larry King with many wives. Also Dennis Rodman who was the craziest-looking player in NBA, yet it was very easy for him to bed Carmen Electra.

If there is anything that NYDN’s report didn’t confirm is that the so-call ugly guys are the one with deep-pockets!! Apparently, an average “shrek” would not be that fortunate with pretty girls. If Marc Anthony, Seal, Jay-Z, Biggie weren’t successful in their acts, these famous beautiful chicks wouldn’t have given them chances. The report fell short of some bad characters. Some ugly guys can be as bad as their looks. Just like handsome hunks, some “unpretty dudes” are famous for cheating on their partners. For instance, Vince Vaugh and P. Diddy [the latter not too bad as he grooms a lot] are notorious for getting beautiful women laid for few months and dumped them like pieces of garbage.

That said, cripping with “unpretty guys” is not a sure way of “beaus retention”. As in business, relationship is all about taking chances. You would never know who could be a ‘keeper’ or ‘strayer’. The chances of women striking it long with guys, good-looking or not, are dicey. Currently, Eliot Spitzer is the most famous example of an “unpretty Ricky” turned prostitution-ring “playa” big-time!! Y’all know what I am saying.

In summation, it’s all boil to “money, power, and respect” as Lil Kim sang; and success. Those four factors could make the ugliest Johns very attractive to the most beautiful damsels in the world. To women, financial security matters more than hunky looks. As the saying goes in New York: “Money Talks, Bullshit Walks.”

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Women are not always as successful as men because they have no wives to advise them.” – Greek Proverb





Obama, The Devil, We Don’t Know

3 03 2008

As Obamania epidemics stir this nation and the world beyond, perhaps I am one of the few blacks, if not many, who haven’t been gripped by the fever yet. Consequently, I have been in conflicts with some of my relatives, friends, and my girlfriend who are African descents. And my Caucasian friends, when talking politics, would try not to offend me by talking favorably of Obama knowing fully well that I am a native African (expect me to be very proud, uh?). I usually waste no time to tell them that I am not a big fan of Obama – but, thoughtfully, I appreciate what appeared to be their sense of solidarity nonetheless.

Don Imus has a point when he called Senator Hillary Clinton “The devil.” Yes, at least, she is a devil that we know. On the other, Imus loves Senator John McCain who has been on his radio show many times; and he regards the war hero as a good friend. But to many Americans, John McCain is another devil they know so well. If either of these two devils becomes the U.S. president, we could predict what to expect within the next 4 years – partly because the two senators are well-seasoned politicians who know the real problems and issues facing the country, and they have spent more time on campaign trails to hammer issues and resolutions. As for Senator Barack Obama, all we know so far are: his book “Audacity of Hope” and the mantra “Yes We Can.” We can what? It is no news that Obama can win the nomination/presidency but he hasn’t been specific on exactly what will happen after that.

One of Senator Obama’s selling points is that, unlike the experienced senators, he is not a Washington insider. Therefore, he is more suited to change things in Washington to politics as unusual. Well, we heard this cliché many times 8 years ago when George W. Bush capitalized on his Washington-outsiderness to portray Al Gore as “same-old same-old” DC insider. We all know what has been going down ever since.

Now, the question is: Are Americans ready to make another unanalytic gamble on leadership this time in the mist of two wars and a looming or potential recession? So far, the most conspicuous thing about Barack Obama is his oratory; he sounds more of a spiritual leader than execution leader. No doubt, Obama’s epidemics could be strongly contagious. At times, I have to think straight not to fall under his spell, but some folks are not that fortunate. Nevertheless, there is still time for the tranced voters (represented by Obama Girl” above) to think deeply and put their sentiments aside for once. As the master-of-words talks make his way to the White House, hopefully some of us will wake up from hallucination and see the “devil in the detail” before it’s too late.

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“Hope is good companion but poor guide.” – —-John Mauldin