Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for Life



It was my worst nightmare.

As a reporter, I carry a pager -- yeah, I know it sounds old-fashioned -- but I carry what is known as the "Breaking News Network" pager. It beeps or buzzes as information is entered by a group of people who listen to police scanners.

The pager can come in handy when alerting reporters to a serious accident on a major highway, a fatal shooting or a wayward bear taking a stroll through the suburbs.

But this morning around 10:30 a.m. the pager showed me something I never wanted to see.

The pager displayed: "Teaneck > *Working Fire*> 537 Chestnut Pl > Fire is in the 1st floor of a private dwelling."

My mouth dropped. My heart raced. And I grabbed my camera and left the office as quickly as I could. I called my mom to alert her that there was a fire on our block.

I was hoping that she was home. But she was not.

I had a feeling that the pager was inaccurate and that the fire was actually at my house -- which is 53X Chestnut Place (not 537). When I arrived I saw the street was blocked off. I asked the police officer where the fire was located and he pointed in the direction toward my house.

I raced around the corner and my worse nightmare came true.

My house was on fire.

My twin brother -- who is mentally challenged -- was home alone. Was he OK?

I heard my neighbor yellilng to me, "Michael, Anthony is over here. He's OK."

But my cat of 13-years was also inside the house. Did she make it out? I was assured by firefighters that cats usually escape and run outside. Unfortunately, Freddi did not. She died from smoke inhalation. I watched as the firefighters carried her out in a comforter that she always slept on.

I couldn't hold the tears.

My house was filled with smoke and although the flames were contained to the kitchen area, the damage had been done.

I couldn't believe this was happening just a day before Thanksgiving.

The house was declared uninhabitable and it would probably take months to repair the damage. It seemed as though the already bad situation just kept getting worse. However, I quickly realized one thing -- everyone was safe.

My mom, my brother and I were all unharmed.

I'm thankful the firefighters responded quickly and possibly saved my brother, who was still standing inside the house filled with smoke when they arrived. There's no telling if my brother would have left the house.

The cause of the fire, which started in the kitchen, was not immediately determined by the fire department, but it appears accidental in nature.

I'm thankful for opportunity to see tomorrow.

And I'm thankful for all those who have texted, called or e-mailed me during this tough time.

I've covered a lot of fires, but being a victim of one is truly devastating.

I'm just thankful it wasn't worse.

I've been told this many times today: Things can be replaced, but people can't. For that, I am thankful.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone and be thankful for what you have today because it could all be gone tomorrow.

Peace and love.

M. Feenz

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Album Review: Kanye West bombs on 808s & Heartbreak

I picked up Kanye West's latest effort -- "808s & Heartbreak" -- yesterday afternoon at Target. And man, I wish I would have saved my money [$10] for something else.

I drove around and listened to the whole album and I just wasn't feeling it. Clearly, this album is nothing you could compare to his three earlier releases [College Dropout, Late Registration and Graduation]. Maybe I was wrong for thinking this album would be similar to the earlier projects.

Mr. West, who seemed to be in a trance throughout the album, makes an honest effort to re-invent himself and his musical sound, but it just didn't sit well with me. It's like food you swallowed, but threw back up because something didn't taste right.

"Say You Will," the first track, felt like a really long interlude that wouldn't end. It even included a long three-minute plus instrumental midway through the six-minute track. I think he was trying to put people to sleep with that. Next song, please.

"Welcome to Heartbreak" is the equivalent of another long interlude. "My friend showed me pictures of his kids / And all I could show him were pictures of my cribs / He said his daughter got a brand-new report card / And all I got was a brand-new sports car," he said in the opening verse.

Young Jeezy's feature is the only bright spot in the dry and lifeless track, "Amazing." That's assuming you can sit through it for more than two-minutes before Jeezy joins in.

Throughout the album, Kanye relied on the Auto-Tune sound that T-Pain has put his stamp on. For the record, the Auto-Tune sound works for T-Pain. I don't think the glove fits for Mr. West. Let's try something else. (Note: Auto-Tune is a pitch-correction software that gives off the robotic vocal effect. Just listen to any T-Pain song.)

It did take me awhile to actualy like "Love Lockdown" when it first came out. And I even enjoy his second single "Heartless," but that's about it. "Paranoid" gets honorable mention because I kinda like the 80's sounding uptempo beat. Kanye West and Lil' Wayne at Summer Jam in New Jersey / Photo: MFEENZ

Without question Kanye has endured quite a bit personally, including the death of his mother last year and break up from his fiance. "Coldest Winter" is a song about his late mother. It's possible creating this album was therapy for Mr. West. He certainly seemed upset on "See You In My Nigtmare" featuring Lil' Wayne. "Tell everybody that you know / That I don`t love you no more / And that`s one thing that you know / That you know / That you know," West says.

Or maybe Kanye got too cocky and started feeling himself a little bit too much. Maybe he thought he could take a risk with this album and it would pay off.

Overall, listening to "808s & Heartbreak" made me feel like I was listening to a homemade album that some disturbed kid recorded in his attic or basement. Then the kid brings the album out to his friends and says, "Listen to what I created." Everyone tells the kid it was good because they didn't want to hurt his feelings, but in reality the recordings are not all that great. That's how I feel about Kanyeezy's "808s & Heartbreak."

Will Kanye be able to rebound from this train wreck? I think so.

After all, this is the same guy who outsold 50 Cent when the two released albums on the same day.

Kanye is still capable of making great music, however, "808s & Heartbreak" just was not it, for me.

This is my message to Kanye -- comes courtesy of his second album, Late Registration: "Wake up Mr. West!"

Sunday, November 23, 2008

LIVE BLOG: American Music Awards 08



Alright folks, I was watching the American Music Awards and I felt like blogging about it as it happened....

So following me as I talk about what I like and dislke...

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FIRST HOUR: 8:00 P.M.

The 36th annual awards show kicks off with Jimmy Kimmel who does a great job of opening the show with jokes about everyone, especially the Jonas Brothers.

The first award -- for best female Soul/R&B -- was given out by Jamie Foxx who shamelessly plugged his upcoming album. Who knew he had a new album coming out? I don't think I'll be purchasing it. Sorry, Jamie.

Nominees included Rihanna, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.
The winner is Rihanna. No surprise. She's been dominant and apparently this year the winners are voted by the fans. And I must add Rihanna looked amazing. (See pics above)
The second award -- for best male pop/rock -- was presented by Paris Hilton and T-Pain. The nominees: Chris Brown, Kid Rock and Usher (who? Usher Raymond? who? lol). Chris Breezy wins his first American Music Award and it was definitely well-deserved. This guy is new Michael Jackson. He's going to be around for quite awhile. Let's just hope he stays away from the skin cream, plastic surgery and little boys!

In another award -- for best rap/hip-hop album -- the nominees were Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil Wayne. Kanye West picked up his first American Music Award. No temper tantrum this year [Jimmy Kimmel joked about this earlier]. Kanye didn't thank fans or industry executives, instead he decided to give a quick speech about the music industry. He mentioned the up and coming artists and how the industry is changing. He concluded by talking about how people are told they can't be who they want to be. Kanye disagreed and said, "I want to be Elvis" and walked off. Another Kanye moment. Nice job.

Performances in the first hour:
Christina Aguilera got the AMA's started. She performed a medley of her hits. You name it, she did it. She closed out of her performance with "Survivor." As I watched her, I couldn't help but think -- she's grown now. She doesn't look the same, obviously she gained some weight, but that's expected since she just had a baby. Overall, decent performance but I could have used someone else to start off the show. [note: she did MUCH better than Brittney Spears when she returned]

New Kids on the Block performed their new song and their old stuff. I can't believe they came out 20 years ago. Wow. I couldn't stand them as a kid and I really don't care much for them now. However, they have a decent new song, but Ne-Yo shouldn't have let them sing it. (Yes, Ne-Yo wrote that song)
Pink performed "Sober." I never heard this before. But nice vocal performance. Pink has come a LONNNG way. She transformed quite a bit. I like her.

Ne-Yo performed a few of his current songs, including "Closer." When I watch him I just always think, "This guy thinks he's Michael Jackson or something. But he's not." He's a good performer though...can't hate.

Leona Lewis peformed "Better in Time." I like this song and actually downloaded it earlier today. She's a good singer. Nice job to Leona.

End of first hour
(come back for more)
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SECOND HOUR: 9:00 P.M.

Today is the 16th birthday of Miley Cyrus. She performed. Not a fan, at all. But she did her thing. I'm sure the younger viewers enjoyed this.
Alicia Keys wins for best pop/rock album. She beat out Coldplay and the Eagles. A-Keys looked great. (see pic above) "As I Am" was a great album, although I think her debut album "Songs In A Minor" was her best work. She deserved to win.

So far, I'm pretty pleased with the results of the AMA's. In the past these award shows make you want to throw things at the TV. Not this year. [hope I didn't speak to soon]

Jimmy Kimmel sits in the audience with members of the Wu-Tang Clan for a funny skit. He asks Wu-Tang Clan members to name members of the Jonas Brothers. Of course, they can't. It was funny.

Terrence Howard introduces Mariah Carey.
She performs "I Stay in Love." She's helped down a few steps by Nick Cannon, her new husband. [whatta joke] Let's cue the left-hand. Those who know Mariah Carey know that she'll use that hand throughout this performance and she does not disappoint. Nice vocal performance, I couldn't tell if she was lip-syncing or not. She held on to her "special bling-bling microphone" and appeared to hit those notes. Nothing spectacular about this. The highlight -- or joke of the performance -- was Nick Cannon helping her and kissing her hand. He looked like a servant or something. Pretty amusing.

The next award is a big category -- favorite Pop/Rock female artist - and the nominees are Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Mariah Carey.

Rihanna wins! wowww!! I'm pleased with the results. She deserves it. Mariah Carey probably isn't too pleased though. I mean, she just finished performing. Oh well, Mariah better get used to losing. I'm sure Rihanna will continue her dominance if she's nominated in other categories.

The sometimes annoying Jordin Sparks and Enrique Igleais (sp?) present the next award -- best rap/hip-hop artist. The nominees are Flo-rida (why!?), Kanye West and Lil' Wayne.

The winner is Kanye West, who wins his second award of the night -- sort of. After being presented the award, he flips the script and announces he giving the award to Lil' Wayne. "I'm going to give this award to Wayne," he said. What the hell!? I guess the AMA's don't mean too much to him. This is the same guy who threw a fit for not winning awards at other shows. Something is clearly not right with this guy. One thing is for sure, he certainly knows what to do to keep people talking about him.

The Jonas Brothers win the T-Mobile award -- it's the fans award. No surprise. Big up to them because they're from Bergen County, New Jersey. Okay, let's move on to more important things.

The Dream introduces Beyonce.
He wrote the song "Single Ladies" and she performed it. No flashy set or anything to take the attention off Beyonce and her two dancers. The performance was nearly identical to the video. The dance routine the same. They even had the ramp for the trio to run up [if you've seen the video, you know what I'm talking about]. The dancers were a little distracting to me...especially the blonde girl. She just looked awkward. Maybe it was just me. I don't know. Great performance. Beyonce [or Beyonce-Z as Jimmy Kimmel referred to her earlier] held up her pony-tail at the end. Not sure what that was supposed to mean.

Next award: Best Soul/R&B album. Nominees: Mariah Carey, Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige.

Winner is Alicia Keys. That's two for her. She dedicated the award to all the "Superwoman."

Jonas Brothers perform and close out the second hour.

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THIRD HOUR: 10 P.M.

Pussycat Dolls perform. Hot performance. These girls are 10 times better than the Spice Girls. They were wearing bodysuits in the beginning of their performance for their first song. They quickly took them off, however, one girl had a little trouble getting out of her outfit. Kinda funny. They proceeded to swing around stripper poles in their performance of "When I Grow Up." Say what you want about them, but these girls can perform and Nicole Scherzinger is an excellent singer. I ain't mad at them.

Rihanna performs. Of course, she has on some sort of creative outfit draped with silver accessories. She even had an eye patch over her right eye. It came off midway through her performance of "Rehab." It's a slow song. I would have perferred the uptempo "Disturbia," but I guess she's performed that too much. Overall, this performance was nothing to brag about. C'mon Rihanna, let's give the people something to talk about!! Maybe next time perform with Chris Brown or something.

Kanye West performs. I've seen Kanye live before and he always gives his all in his performances. He always displays a lot of emotion and really makes you feel his performances. He does this again as he performed "Heartless" from his upcoming album. Solid performance from Kanye.

AND THE BIG AWARD OF THE NIGHT, ARTIST OF THE YEAR

NOMINEES: LIL' WAYNE, COLDPLAY, THE EAGLES, CHRIS BROWN AND ALICIA KEYS.
THE WINNER: CHRIS BROWN!! Wow. A big win for the kid from a small town in Virginia. Barack is president, C-Breezy is artist of the year. Proof that you can do anything you set your mind to. I'm sure five years ago Chris Brown would have NEVER imagined he'd achieve this. See what a difference a few years can make. He accepted his award in absolute shock. (I also should point out he was sitting next to his girlfriend Rihanna all night. Both were big winners tonight.)

FINAL PERFORMANCE:

The show closed with a performance from Alicia Keys, who had two special surprise guests.

In typical A-Keys fashion she performed "Superwoman" on her piano.

The first surprise was someone she had been sitting next to all night, Queen Latifah. (How THEY doin!? lol) The Queen showed she can do it all --rapping and singing. She was the first person of the night to mention Jennifer Hudson and her nephew and sister who were tragically killed.
The other surprise was opera singer, Kathleen Battle, who joined Latifah and A-Keys. It was a nice way to close out the show.

Overall, great show. And I didn't have to throw anything at the television this year. Surprisingly, and unlike previous years, I was pleased with this award show.

Friday, November 21, 2008

LeBron slams the Nets; Celeb sightings

LeBron James scored 31 points in 36 minutes to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 106 to 82 victory over the New Jersey Nets at the IZOD Center on Tuesday night.

James scored 15 points in the first quarter. But it wasn't until the second half when the Cavs put the game out of reach for Vince Carter and the Nets.


Meanwhile, there was plenty going on inside the East Rutherford, N.J. arena to keep things interesting as the Cavs cruised to victory.

Aaron Ross, of the New York Giants, sat court-side with an unknown woman. Clearly, it wasn't his finance' and Olympic track star Sanya Richards. Ross, wearing a purple jacket, didn't shy away from fans. He signed autographs and took a pictures. A real class act.


Ahmad Brashaw, also of the New York Giants, sported stunner shades as he watched the game court-side with another man. He wasn't as interactive with the fans as his teammate.

Others, such as hip-hop artist Teyana Taylor, weren't fortunate enough to score celebrity court-side seats.
If you don't know who she is, you're probably not alone. It didn't seem as though anyone recognized Taylor, who is signed to Pharell Williams' label, Star Trek Entertainment. Perhaps if you want to know more about her, you can just google her. Her first single released earlier this year was entitled, "Google Me." She reached a large audience when she was featured on MTV's Sweet Sixteen.

In other non-sports related news, R&B singer Donnie Klang kicked off the night with his rendition of the National Anthem. He returned at halftime to perform his single, "Take You There." It was a pretty lame performance, to say the least. Good thing he had two dancers to take your attention off of his singing. There was probably one fan screaming at the top of her lungs for Donnie, but for the most part the crowd was dead.

Klang, signed to P. Diddy's Bad Boy label, is most known for his role on MTV's Making the Band 4. Klang has struggled to see the same success as labelmates Danity Kane and Day 26, whose albums both debuted at the top of the charts. Klang's debut album, "Just a Rolling Stone," debuted at #19 on Billboard 200.
Jay-Z, who is good friends with James and co-owner of the New Jersey Nets, was apparently in the building for Tuesday's game, according to news reports and photos. (Note: His wife, Beyonce', dropped her latest album on the same day.)

Unfortunately, despite being able to spot Super Bowl champions and C-list celebs, I was unable to spot the biggest star: Jigga man. From the pics, it looked like Jay could benefit from a trip to a barber. LOL. Guess I missed that photo-op. It won't happen again.

Until next time...



(PHOTO CREDITS: All photos taken by M. Feenz, except Jay-Z photo, courtesy of ConcreteLoop.com)

Where were you when history was made?


I was working when history was made.

Barack Obama won the 2008 presidenital election and I was covering the story for The Record newspaper. I was in Teaneck, N.J. at Fairleigh Dickinson University talking to students as the results were announced.

Once Barack Obama was named declared the winner my cell phone began buzzing off the hook. I was receiving text message after text message from friends. History was made and everyone was excited to be a part of it.

They say you always remember where you were and what you were when something monumental happens.

So I asked some people to tell me about what they were doing when the result were read.
Here's what they had to say:

Chris Stevens, lives in Great Mills, Maryland:

"I was sitting in my apartment, watching the results come in state by state, and then when he took California, Florida and Ohio, my mom called me and we just kinda cried on the phone for a few minutes.

History was definitely made Tuesday night, proof positive tha if you believe in something strong enough and if you want it bad enough, you can achieve it."

For more, check out Chris Stevens' Obama post on his blog:
http://thepostgameshow.blogspot.com/

Jennifer Harold, lives in Harlem, New York:

"I was alone on election night, my boyfriend had gone home to Philly to vote. But I kind of wanted to be alone, so i could really be in the moment of the historical night. Once Obama won PA I knew he would win. Barack appeals to all generations and all races. He is exactly what America needs. When he won, I was overjoyed.

The moment that made me cry was when CNN showed Jesse Jackson on screen crying. At that moment I knew he was thinking about that day Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. died and how he wishes he could see this day. I kept crying until after Barack made his speech. I still cry when I think about what all our people have gone through, and what my own parents went through in the time of segregation. I cry for those who got killed for the right to vote, and made it possible for me to have all things I have today.

I will always remember this day. I will tell my children that I voted for the first African-American President so they know they can be anything in this world they want to be. Barack Obama also taught me at 23-years-old that I can be anything too and from Tuesday night I will never let myself believe I can't make my dreams come true."


Niama Malachi, lives in Toledo, Ohio:
(witnessed Barack's post-election win speech)

"I was in Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois watching President Barack Obama give his speech. Words can not say how I felt, what I saw, or what I experienced. It is an emotion that has not been given a name as of yet...it is an overwhelming emotion that I can still not speak on or write about without tears.
I can say however, that I came out proud of this nation as a whole!!!!! I have never been prouder to be an AFRICAN-AMERICAN FEMALE...and prior to this event I would just use the title black, but I have embraced American to the most honorable extent now! I love our country, I love this nation, and I love President Barack Obama, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha as well!!!"

Thursday, November 6, 2008

2008 Presidential Election: Obama wins


It's been more than 24 hours since the world received the news: Barack Obama has been elected the 44th president of the United States.

I was at Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck covering the election results from a watch party in the Student Union Building.

More than 100 students filled a multi-purpose room to watch two big screen projectors showing the results coverage.

The crowd clapped when Obama was declared the winner of New Jersey.

They cheered when he won Ohio, a key swing state. They roared when he was declared the winner in Virginia.

It was almost 11 p.m. EST and the polls in California were getting ready to close.

The countdown to the polls closing began as the students screamed, "Five-four-three-two-one!"

And at that moment CNN declared Barack Obama the winner of the 2008 presidential election. At last, America has its first African-American president.

The students absolutely errupted, jumping up and down, hugging, screaming, cheering and some even crying. Others started dancing and began doing the electric slide.

Meanwhile, graduate students Ingrid Bien-Aime and Kibret Boreland wiped away tears.

"I never thought my eyes would see this. This is not for me," said Boreland, 22, referring to those leaders -- Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks -- who couldn't see the historic win. "I just played my part. I can't believe it," she said.

It was a moment many had waited for, but still couldn't fathom.

"I was waiting for them to say it was a mistake," said Bien-Aime. "I just started crying. I don't know where it came from."

Dara Jones, a senior accounting major, said this victory gives hope to the elementary student who tells his class he wants to be the president when he grows up.

"This tells people you can be anything you want to be regardless of race," said Jones, 20, of Prince George's County, Md.

I snapped a quick photo of Boreland, Jones and Jones' twin sister hugging after the results were announced. That photo was published in The Record along with the story I contributed to on the African-American reaction to the election.


It was a historic moment for the country and I covered it. Wow! They say newspapers are the first draft of history and I was delighted to have been a part of the coverage that night.

The toughest part was not getting caught up in the emotion. I kept my cool. There was no celebrating on my part. I was working. I couldn't express myself. But as a journalist, I took the opportunity to observe. I collected quotes from students. I shot photos and video of their reactions. I captured history in an instant.

I worked a double-shift that day, and although it was tough, I would do it again in a heartbeat. I was up at 6 a.m. to vote and speak to voters at the polls, which were unusually crowded for that time of morning. It was apparent everyone wanted to get out early and vote.

I talked to two college students who made the trip to Teaneck from their Historically Black Colleges -- Delaware State University and Howard University -- so they could vote. And I can't blame them. I did the same thing four years ago. Although they could have done an absentee ballot, but it's just not the same feeling.

I worked at the newsroom until about 1 p.m. and took a break before I went to FDU for the watch party, which started around 7 p.m.

But during my break, I made sure I joined my mother as we took my 93-year-old grandmother to the polls to vote. She had been dressed and ready to go.

My mom texted me to tell me to get home because my grandmother was getting antsy.

My mom had already made two trips to our polling site at the American Legion in Teaneck. She voted around 7 a.m. and later took my twin brother, who was born mentally challenged, to cast his vote.

My grandmother, using the assistance of her walker, rolled into the polling location to the delight of the poll workers who were in awe of this 93-year-old voter. I must note, there was no line at 2 p.m.

She neatly signed her name and quickly hurried into the booth. She was out in seconds.

My grandmother, who grew up in Montgomery, Alabama, predicted Obama would win and she was right.

When I finally got home aroud 1 a.m, I wasn't feeling good. I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I had some orange juice and tea before hitting the bed. After all, I had to wake up the next morning for an 8 a.m. start.

I was really covering this election from start to finish and then some. But to be honest, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.

WATCH OBAMA'S POST-ELECTION SPEECH:



ELECTION DAY AROUND NORTHERN NEW JERSEY:



ELECTION REACTIONS IN HACKENSACK, N.J.:

Monday, November 3, 2008

2008 Presidential Election: Living and Breathing History


In less than six hours people will be living and breathing history.

It will be the first time an African-American candidate will be an option on the U.S. presidential ballot. In addition, it will be the first time a woman is running as a candidate for U.S. vice president.

By the time the polls close Barack Obama could be the first black president of the U.S. Or Sarah Palin could be the first woman to serve as U.S. vice president.

Either way this election will go down as an election of firsts.

And I'm reminded by my 93-year-old grandmother who will be among many who will be voting for Barack Obama.

Gladys Willis was born in Montgomery, Alabama in 1915. She moved to Harlem, N.Y. in 1939 and then to Teaneck, N.J. in 1961. While in Montgomery she even played the organ at church for Rosa Parks, who sang in the choir. She said she was only paid $2 per week.

I interviewed my grandmother about her feelings on the election.

She was confident Barack Obama would win and was thrilled about the chance to vote for him.

When I asked her if she ever thought there would be a black president she said, "[I] didn't never think about it because problems like we're having today, we weren't having years ago. We just accepted what we had, but now these generations have changed the world."

She cited Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision for a world where people would not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.

"The time is coming," she said. "It doesn't matter whether you're black, white, green, blue, yellow, it doesn't matter anymore. We're going to be all the same. That's what God wanted to happen in his world."

Interview to be posted soon...stay tuned!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Concert Review: Miss Jackson, if you're nasty!


Janet Jackson said it herself, "let's wait awhile."

A fitting song title for her latest tour.

"Miss Jackson, if you're nasty" postponed or canceled several concert dates during her first tour in seven years because she suffered from migraines that could cause dizziness.

Among the postponed shows included the Madison Square Garden performance, originally slated for Oct. 16, but it was rescheduled for last night [Saturday, Nov. 1].

I attended the show with these expectations: Janet would put on a good show, but she'd be lip-synching the entire time. And my expectations were indeed accurate!

I really doubt Janet actually sang live AT ALL last night, but with all the dancing she does I wouldn't expect her to try to sing. However, she could have attempted to at least sing the slow jams (Let's Wait Awhile, Funny How Time Flies, Again, etc.) without the pre-recorded track playing!

Okay, I'll leave Janet alone. We all know she's known for being a performer anyway and she did just that!! She's 42 and she performed her ass off! Go Janet! Let's see if you can do it like Madonna at 50!

Janet took fans on a ride in a musical time machine. She shouted out "1982" and said she was only 16 before performing "Young Love" from her self-titled debut album [released in 1982]. She even hit fans with "Don't Stand Another Chance" from her second album Dream Street. It was a quick medley, but one that was much appreciated by her TRUE fans who sang right along with the tracks.

Janet performed nearly every hit she ever had. You name it, she probably did it. She probably got the best reaction on a song that I really don't like. Nearly the whole crowd jumped up and down as Janet sang the light-hearted "Together Again." I don't know why, but I never really liked that song. It's just not one of my favorites from her. Maybe it's just too happy?

I rode with Janet back in her days of "Control" and "Rhythm Nation." As a matter of fact, when I was a kid I went to the Rhythm Nation tour. Maybe that's why I favored that portion of the show. (Note: The Rhythm Nation album included hits like "Black Cat," "Escapade," "Rhythm Nation" and "Alright.")

She even did her famous chair routine on "Miss You Much."

Of course, the concert wouldn't be complete without Miss Jackson gettin' "nasty" by picking a man from the crowd and fulfilling his fantasies during the Discipline set. The lucky audience member was strapped in a harness and sexually teased and grinded on by Janet.

If she waits another seven years to do her next tour, I'm not sure how many people will still want to be grinded on by Miss Jackson. Just my opinion.

Overall, I enjoyed the show. Not sure if it was a sell-out, but it was pretty packed. Was it worth the wait? I guess so. Who knows it could very well be her last big tour. I'm glad I got to see her while she can still keep up with the dancers.

Nonetheless, Janet will always be one of the greatest to ever to do it. And remember, her first name ain't baby, it's Janet, Miss Jackson, if you're nasty!

Who's house? RUN'S HOUSE!


Check out this video I shot and put together:




The toughest part about blogging is finding the time.

I'm going to try to do a better job of being 'more timely' in the future, but this blog comes to you just a little late.

Rev. Run and his wife Justine -- also the leading forces behind MTV family reality show, Run's House -- signed copies of their new book "Take Back Your Family" at Barnes and Noble in Hackensack, N.J. on Oct. 22.

The rap legend and his wife were extremely open with the hundreds of fans who packed the bookstore. They even talked about Justine's miscarriage during their question and answer portion before the book signing.

Justine also joked around about her fake mole while signing books and posing for pictures with the fans. (Note: Fans of the show recall Justine wanting to get a mole.)

Rev. Run, who is most known for his role in rap group Run DMC, is now being introduced to a whole new generation of fans. Parents could often be heard coaching their kids to "come take a picture with Run's House."

I thought those comments were hilarious because now kids are just referring to him as that guy from Run's House, which certainly appears to be the 2008 version of the Cosby Show.