Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 was mine and in 2010, I'mma do it again!!



What a year 2009 was for me.

I got a new job, which was a dream come true. I moved back into a brand new home, a year after an awful fire. And I've continued to grow with an amazing support group of family and friends.

Last year, I proclaimed that 2009 would be mine. And it was!! (click here to read that blog)

And in 2010, I'mma do it again!!

I'm going to take my career to new levels and continue work harder and harder each day.

I'm going to continue to help my community in any way that I can.

I'm excited because I recently found out that I will receive the 'People on the Move' award from the Deputy Mayor of my hometown. What an amazing honor!?! I look forward to accepting the award in February. Already the year is shaping up to be an amazing one.

I never thought I would have achieved so many of my goals in 2009.

Hard work and dedication certainly does pay off, so for anyone out there following their dreams -- continue to work hard and the success will surely follow.

(Picture: M. Feenz and his grandmother - Christmas 09 in the Bronx)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Skype: Bringing your family home for the holidays


Christmas in the Bronx was extra special this year because everyone was there, even my uncle who lives 1,200 miles away in sunny Florida.

My family usually likes to surprise my 94-year-old grandmother, Gladys Willis, when her son, Rudy, comes to town for a visit. They never tell her when he flies into LaGuardia. It's always the same routine. He comes in the door, my grandmother looks up, she stretches out her frail arms and yells, "Ru-ddddyyy!" Then she hugs him tighter than a pair of skinny jeans. (The last time he came up to the Bronx was for Thanksgiving - they are pictured above)

But this time around the surprise didn't walk through the door. He instead popped up right before her eyes.


I sat my MacBook Pro on her lap and there he was on my computer screen, wearing his New York Yankee Santa hat.

"Hi, ma," he said, smiling and waving.

A little confused, my grandmother, wearing her own Santa hat with a coil spring, just waved. She didn't realize that he could hear her, too. After some coaching, she finally got the hang of it.

But the new way to interact with her 58-year-old son was all courtesy of Skype, a popular free calling service that also allows video conferencing. It's like having a video phone. The service gained popularity on television programs, including The Oprah Winfrey Show, where guests are often interviewed from their homes.

"I liked it. It was really good," Uncle Rudy said of his first Skype visit to a family gathering. "I got to see everybody all at one time. It's a lot different than just talking on the phone."

The laptop would eventually go around the living room to the laps of everyone in our tight-knit family. It even traveled to the dining room, where we teased Uncle Rudy with his favorite holiday cookies that my Aunt Valerie makes annually. Then we made a pit stop in the kitchen, where my Uncle Reggie was whipping up some instant mashed potatoes.

"Your Uncle Reggie making instant potatoes," he laughed. "He did it live on the air."

The entire Skype experience lasted an hour, and will likely become a regular occurrence at family gatherings, he said.

"I can't get up there but so many times a year," he said. "This way I can visit a little more. My mother can see me. I won't get the hug. But she was throwing me kisses."

What's next? Well, Uncle Rudy already has a suggestion for the next big breakthrough.

"You took me over to the dining room table and everything," he said. "The cookies were right there. That's the next thing - being able to taste the cookies through the screen."



Below is a cool and simple explanation of how Skype works:




Saturday, December 19, 2009

Everybody hates Chris, but the album is pretty good


Chris Brown might not be the smartest man in music, but his new album Graffiti is a must have.

The 20-year-old singer, predicted to the "next big thing" since Michael Jackson, nearly committed career suicide when he brutally attacked his former girlfriend Rihanna in February.

He has since apologized, started doing community service and a made sappy love song declaring he was a "changed man." Thankfully, "Changed Man" was not on this album.

After the attack on the Barbadian beauty, it seemed like everybody hated Chris. Radio stations weren't playing his music and his endorsements went bye-bye.

But the kid from Tappahannock, Va. bounces back on Graffiti, delivering an album with a mix of pop and R&B. Not to mention, a handful of songs with pretty obvious messages to his ex.

The Swizz Beatz track "I Can Transform Ya" featuring Lil' Wayne is the lead single off the album and rightfully so. It is the most radio-friendly song of the bunch.

The second single, "Crawl" is a climatic ballad about regaining a lost love.

"Everybody says we're through, I hope you haven't said it too," he sings.

Could it be a message to Rih-Rih? Quite possibly.

One song that is clearly about his ex-boo is "Famous Girl."

He sings, "You're famous girl...should've known you'd break my heart."

The track also contains some clever wordplay using some artists names and their big hits. He even mentions Rihanna's "Disturbia."

"I might have cheated in the beginning / I was wrong for writing Disturbia," he sings. "But I meant in Forever / We were supposed to be together / And I can't let you go."




Other high spots on the album include the uptempo party-starter, "Pass Out," and the Polow Da Don track, "Wait" featuring bad boys, Trey Songz and The Game.

Unfortunately, his third album didn't do very well in its first week with a little over 100,000 copies sold, landing him the No. 7 spot on the Billboard chart. His last album, Exclusive, sold over 295,000 copies in his first week. So calling this album a disappointment would be a huge understatement. But what could he expect with the year that he's had. Perhaps he should have taken some more time off.

It didn't help matters much that he ranted on Twitter that Walmart wasn't stocking the shelves with his album.

"im tired of this shit. major stores r blackballing my cd. not stockin the shelves and lying to costumers," Brown barked on Twitter. "what the fuck do i gotta do...WTF...yeah i said it and i aint retracting shit. im not biting my tongue about s else...the industry can kiss my ass."

I guess he really thinks everybody hates Chris. I have to beg to differ. I don't think a Walmart store manager really cares what Chris Brown does in his personal life. If they have the album in stock, it would be on the shelf. That's just my opinion.

A statement from Walmart said, "We are surprised at the comments oline. All Walmart stores nationwide have carried the CD since its release, including the Wallingford store mentioned in the post. The store actually sold through its initial shipment over the weekend. The majority of our stores today are showing they do have copies available."

Since his ridiculous Twitter rant, Brown has gotten rid of his Twitter page. Probably the best move he's made all year.

I'm sure his publicist is overjoyed.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Rihanna: Go back to the drawing board!


Maybe having Rihanna autograph her new CD for you would make this album enjoyable? NOT!

She could kiss the CD case with red lipstick. She could sleep with it under her pillow.

No matter what she does to it the result would still be the same -- it's bad!!

Hundreds of crazed Ri-Ri fans waited for hours and hours for the superstar singer, who crossed into "official diva status" when she showed up THREE hours late for her CD signing in NYC.

Rihanna was scheduled to sign copies of Rated R at 5 p.m. at Best Buy in Union Square and didn't show up until after 8 p.m. (The day of her album release)


Some impatient and aggravated fans chanted, "Where is Rihanna?"

The store also played her album on repeat, which further added torture to the experience. I would have left, if I didn't have to be there for work.

After hearing the album several times, I was thoroughly disappointed.


The album is awfully dreary, dark and depressing. Did I mention dreadful?

The ONLY bright spot is "Hard" featuring Young Jeezy. It's the closest thing to party-starter that you will find. It probably should have been released as the first single instead of "Russian Roulette."

In past Rihanna albums, she has given us party songs that become club anthems. You won't find any of that on this album.

Yes, she has been through a lot. But Rihanna is not Mary J. Blige.

Songs like "Cold Case Love," "Stupid in Love" and "The Last Song" are emotional and love-based. However, it's the slow tracks that really drag the much anticipated album straight into the ground.  

C'mon son, mix it up a little bit!!!  

Friday, November 27, 2009

What it means to be THANKFUL


Let's give thanks every day.

I know the emphasis of 'thanks' comes around Thanksgiving. It's the one time of the year where we are "supposed to be thankful."

But we never know what can happen at any given moment.

A year ago, I lost my home in a fire. Everything inside of it was destroyed.

This year, my family moved back inside our New Jersey home, just in time for the holidays.

To read my story, check out the article:
"Appreciating true meaning of thanks...."


Above (l-r): me, my brother and mom



Read related blogs:


"Thankful for Life" - Nov. 26, 2008

"Almost Home for the Holidays" - Dec. 28, 2008

"Looking Ahead: 2009 is MINE!"
- Dec. 30, 2008

Monday, November 23, 2009

AMAs: Night of rising and falling stars, LITERALLY!

The American Music Awards was all about Taylor Swift and she wasn't even there!

The 19-year-old country singer, who became a household name after Kanye West embarrassed her at the MTV Awards, somehow edged out the late Michael Jackson for the biggest award - artist of the year.

Swift collected five awards and had to accept them from London's Wembley Arena, where she could not be interrupted by Mr. West. Swift is scheduled to perform at the arena on Monday.

The annual award show got off to an energetic start with Janet Jackson performing a medley of her popular hits. The 43-year-old icon showed she still has it delivering her signature dance moves from hit songs, "Miss You Much" and "If." She also mixed in her latest single, "Make Me Move."



The night also marked returns for Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez.

Rihanna welcomed viewers to the "mad house," performing "Wait Your Turn" and "Hard." It was a pretty sub par and dry set. The most spectacular part was her outfit colliding with red lasers, creating a cool effect for television. Other than that it was as plain as vanilla ice cream.



Jennifer Lopez hopped into the boxing ring like Manny Pacquiao going for the knock out of the night. Instead, she nearly knocked herself out trying to perform a stunt, jumping off the back of one of her dancers! She had a bad landing and fell flat on her derriere. But the former "Fly Girl" quickly bounced back up to finish "Louboutins." Welcome back J-Lo!! But no one really missed you while you were gone. Maybe the fall was a sign. I personally don't see how J-Lo fits into today's music scene.



Lady Gaga easily had the best set of the night because it was the quintessential award show performance. She had it all. A costume that beamed with lights. An exceptional dance routine during "Bad Romance." A piano that was set on fire. Not to mention, she took out her frustration for not winning ANY awards by breaking a bunch of glass during "Speechless."




Whitney Houston soared back into the spotlight with a well-done and emotional vocal performance of "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" from her latest album. At one point she got so emotional that she had to pause, and received quite an ovation from the crowd. Houston, who at times during her 'big return' has sounded awful, managed to give a solid showing in Los Angeles. It wasn't exactly CD quality, but it wasn't bad. Kudos to Whitney!


Although the late King of Pop couldn't top the teenage country singer for the biggest award, MJ managed to win four AMAs. I'm still scratching my head at how that happened. But what's even more puzzling is trying to figure out how Jermaine Jackson, who accepted the awards, keeps that grease-shalacked hairstyle.

Personally, I don't think Michael Jackson should have been nominated for anything. I'm sure the spot could have went to someone a bit more deserving.

The show ended in controversial fashion with Adam Lambert, of American Idol-fame, giving viewers more than they cared to see. One dancer had their head rubbed in his crotch. Another male band member received an aggressive kiss from Lambert. And it looked like Lambert went for a somersault move, but it looked like he fell.

Nonetheless, it was a sloppy and raunchy ending to an otherwise eventful and entertaining award show.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Diddy's 40th bday bash lives up to the hype



Diddy's 40th birthday bash was everything that it was hyped up to be and more.

And the Twitter community couldn't stop buzzing about what was billed as the "party of the century."

 The star-studded extravaganza at the Plaza Hotel in New  York included guests ranging from Jay-Z to Bono to Al Sharpton.

Even Martha Stewart dropped by to celebrate this milestone birthday.

Stewart shared her party experience on Twitter saying, "Just left sean diddy combs fortieth birthday party at the plaza that man knows how to thow a party! al shapton,bono and hundreds of friends."

Russell Simmons used his phone to snap a bunch of Twitpics of various guests throughout the night. He caught Stewart, Susan L. Taylor (formerly of Essence), Mike Bivins and Ricky Bell (you know, the guys from New Edition/BBD).  

Martha Stewart

Susan L. Taylor
Mike Bivins and Ricky Bell

"What a night. Funny I took all those pics and there was plastic in phone up till puffs party," Simmons wrote.  

Singer Estelle also had a blast.  

"Diddy's party...pretttyyyy sexy! Had a freakin ball! Happy bday @iamdiddy. Best party in a while," she wrote on Twiter.  

Partygoers at the black tie affair, organized by Bronson van Wyck, were also treated to a performance by R&B legend Al Green. 


   
Diddy must have had a great time because he didn't Tweet at all, which is quite unusual for him.

He did Tweet this afternoon, apparently still reeling from a night of bottle-popping.

"I haven't had a hangover n 5 years! But I have 1 now!!!! What do I do???? Lol," Diddy wrote.

His son Quincy Brown also tweeted about the experience last night, "Wit my two bros Justin and Christian. We bouto walk down to @iamdiddy's 40th birthday party!"  

Partygoer James Cruz had some of the best pics of the night featuring Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Diddy and Andre Harrell.

Trey Songz closed out the party with an impromptu performance of his popular single, "Say Aah," according to DJ Clue's Twitter.  

"Was At @iAmDiddy Party..@songzyuuup was Tryin 2 Perform "Say Ahh" and Q-Tip Didn't have The Record in his Computer!!" the popular deejay wrote.

Actresss and model, Shannon Elizabeth wasn't completely thrilled about the party.  "Nice party-too crowded though-but it was snowing inside-pretty cool," she wrote.  


Nelly

June Ambrose

(picutred in main pic above .Jay-Z, Young Jeezy, Diddy, Rick Ross, Red Cafe and Andre Harrell)

Some of the attendees shared their thoughts and pics from the party:




  






Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hubba, Hubba: Goo-goo for Gaga and Beyonce in new video


Hubba, Hubba!!

Lady Gaga said it in the video for Beyonce's "Video Phone" and I'd have to borrow the corny saying to express myself after watching that visual candy bar! It just got better with every bite!

You take two of the biggest names in pop music and put them in a sexy video and you get magic. It's pretty simple. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to adjust their video phone! Seriously!

It's hard to go wrong when you have these two colossal divas collaborating on an already popular Beyonce track.


"Video Phone" has been a favorite for many Beyonce fans since the song was released on the "I Am...Sasha Fierce" album, just over a year ago. But the song received a minor twist with Lady Gaga getting in on the action.

My only criticism is that I really I didn't think Gaga's part did any favors for the track. I think her vocals were about as neccessary as the guns in the video. We just didn't need either. But the "Paparazzi" singer could have still been in the video!! Without Gaga the video would have seemed pointless because the song is terribly old.

Nonetheless, Beyonce certainly didn't disappoint in the five-minute video, complete with signature booty toots and high-powered ponytail whip-action. The Hype Williams directed masterpiece is additionally complimented by "Sasha Fierce" leaving little to the imagination going through more than a dozen colorful and visually stimulating outfit changes.


The highlight was the sexy hair-swinging chair dance routine. It wasn't much, but I would have never thought we'd see Gaga dancing side-by-side with Bey. Credit to Gaga for not looking like chopped liver next to Bey. She held her own.


The titillating tandem also joins forces for "Telephone." The track is on Gaga's re-released album, which is being called The Fame Monster. The remix for "Video Phone" will be on Beyonce's re-released album, "I Am...Sasha Fierce 2009 Deluxe Edition." Both re-released albums hit stores next week.

My only hope is that the success of these two songs doesn't lead to a mega-album. It would have to be called, "When Worlds Collide: Diva Meets Weirdo."

Click here to watch "Video Phone" by Beyonce feat. Lady Gaga


Check out "Telephone" by Lady Gaga feat. Beyonce


Monday, November 2, 2009

No brotherly love for Charlamagne: You're Fired!


Where's the brotherly love!?

Philly radio station 100.3 The Beat fired popular and sometimes controversial on-air radio personality Charlamagne Tha God.

The South Carolina native received boot just days after his interview with Philly rapper Beanie Sigel, who recently released a Jay-Z diss record.

Most were introduced to Charlamagne as the sidekick on the Wendy Williams Show (both the television and radio show). 

He announced the shocking news on his Twitter this morning:

"I just got fired from 100.3 The Beat in Philly. Salute to Philly I hope you all enjoyed me the past 6 months," he wrote.

The Twitter community rallied behind Charlamagne and he quickly became a trending topic for most of the afternoon. 

He later wrote, "#cthagodgotfired cause 100.3 The Beat said they want to move in a different direction. God bless them. Thanks for the past 6 months."

Halloween in NYC: Gobblins, Ghouls and Sheneneh?



Only in New York will you say hello to a man dressed as a part of his anatomy, get verbally berrated by Sheneneh and find yourself between two leather-laced dominatrix.

This is was the scene at this year's Halloween parade in the Village in New York City.

Hands down the most popular costume was anything related to the late Michael Jackson.  Perhaps the replica red Thriller jackets are coming make a comeback.  I certainly hope not.



One of my favorite costumes was hip-hop artist Teyana Taylor dressed as Sheneneh.  She danced and yelled at you with that signature ghetto Sheneneh attitude. The costume was boosted by her excellent portrayal of the wacko neighbor. She remained in character the entire time. Nicely done!


For those who need reminding, Sheneneh was a popular character from television sitcom Martin. She was Martin's neighbor, who often got into arguments with Pam. Sheneneh was actually played by Martin Lawrence.

Another clever costume was "Balloon Boy." A man trapped inside a big balloon with a sign that read, "We did it for the show."  Too bad he spelled "balloon" wrong on his costume.  


Among other costumes to receive notable mention include good/bad Chris Brown (one costume showing Brown doing community service and other portraying him as a "wife beater").


More Halloween pics:





Michael Jackson film shows a glimpse of the man in the mirror


Michael Jackson was a musical genius.

He knew how things were supposed to sound. He had a vision for his performances. His dance moves were precise and crisp, even at age 50.

In "This Is It," you saw a glimpse of the man in the mirror who made all of the right decisions. My favorite was Jackson telling a keyboardist to "let it simmer."

Jackson was often torn to shreds in the media for making the wrong decisions -- letting little boys sleep in his bed -- but not the case here.

The film, which was shot as Jackson prepared for his final concert run, had all the components of a great scripted movie. It was funny, entertaining and sad.

Despite a long absence from the stage, Jackson looked as if he'd never left. More importantly, he looked alive -- aside from his bone-skinny frame. Hard to believe he died shortly after these rehearsals.

You couldn't help but sing along as he performed the classics, including popular tracks from the Thriller and Bad albums. Among my favorite performance was "Smooth Criminal."

The film also provided fans with an opportunity to see the video packages that were put together to accompany many of performances. "Thriller" was one of the more elaborate productions because of the detailed costumes used.

The only thing the movie lacked was some type of narration.  I thought maybe Jackson would be walking us through how the concert was being put together.  I remember watching my VHS tape of the Making of Thriller and I thought we'd get something similar to that. I was hoping Jackson would sit down in a director's chair, look into the camera and just talk. Unfortunately, that was missing.

Otherwise, it was a great farewell that was fit for a king. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rihanna's new single: Not worth the wait


W
e waited for this?

That's my response after listening to Rihanna's "Russian Roulette," the first single off of her upcoming album, Rated R.  (click here to download the song or listen below)



The much anticipated single, penned by singer/writer Ne-Yo, leaves me strongly disappointed that anyone could have been waiting for this slow lukewarm track.

The singer, who brought us recent hits like "Umbrella," "Please Don't Stop the Music" and "Disturbia," could have came a little harder than this!!  Not even a bangin' video or club remix could save this song.  I'm sorry, I'm just not feelin' it!!

"Russian Roulette," released this morning, is not your typical Rihanna party song.  In fact, it's rather boring and sleepy-sounding. 

"And you can see my heart beating / You can see it through my chest," she wails on the chorus. "Said I'm terrified, but I'm not leaving. I know that I must pass this test. So just pull the trigger."

Blah, blah, blah.

The best part of the track was the end when the sound of a gun shot goes off.  I felt like I had been shot after listening to that!!

I'll turn my attention to the second single because I'm pulling the trigger on this disaster. 

The problem I have is not with the song itself. It's more of a problem with the song being released as the FIRST single. I think she should have stuck to her old formula of something uptempo and club-friendly. "Russian Roulette" could have been a third or even second single.  But the big build up for this?  Not worth it.

Rihanna pretty much disappeared after she was beaten and badly bruised by ex-boyfriend Chris Brown in February after a pre-Grammy Award party.

She's recently returned to sing the chorus on Jay-Z's "Run This Town" and she appeared in Kanye West's video for "Paranoid." 

Her new album is slated to hit stores on Nov. 23.


"RUSSIAN ROULETTE" - LYRICS

Take a breath
Take it deep
Calm Yourself
He says to me
If you play
You play for keeps
Take a gun
And count to 3
 
I’m sweating it out
Moving slow
No time to think
My turn to go
 
And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
Said I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger
 
Say a prayer
To yourself
He says close your eyes
Sometimes it helps
And then I get
A scary thought
That he’s here
Means he’s never lost
 
And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
Said I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger
 
As my life flashes before my eyes
I’m wondering will I 
Ever see another sun rise
So many won’t get the chance to say goodbye
But it’s too late to think of the value of my life
 
And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
Said I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving
I know that I must pass this test
 
And you can see my heart beating
You can see it through my chest
Said I’m terrified, but I’m not leaving
I know that I must pass this test
So just pull the trigger

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Real life drama to bring Usher back to the top?



Take some real life problems, write a song about it and turn it into a hit to revive your dry career.

That's what Usher is doing with his new single, "Papers." Or that's what he hopes will happen.

The formula -- drama + song = success -- worked for Usher in 2004 when he released his Confessions album on the heels of a break up with TLC's Chilli.

Usher soared to the top of the charts during the "Confessions" era of his career with hits like "Burn" and "Confessions Part II."

But since then he's gotten married to his slightly older stylist Tameka Foster, had two kids, released a weak album -- Here I Stand -- and fell victim to more relevant R&B acts (i.e. Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake, etc.).

Well, it's no surprise to anyone that his marriage with Tameka is now heading towards splitsville.

The news of a divorce between the Raymonds was made public recently, but Usher is making the separation a launching pad for his latest single.

"For you I gave my heart and turned my back against the world / 'Cause you were my girl, girl, girl / I done damn near lost my mama, I done been through so much drama / I done turned into the man that I never thought I'd be. I'm ready to sign them papers, papers, papers," he sings on the chorus of the Sean Garrett penned track.

"Papers" is smart thinking for the 31-year-old singer, who is on the verge of getting eaten alive by artists like Chirs Brown, Trey Songz, Mario and ughhh - T-Pain? Okay, maybe not the Auto-Tune perp.

Let's see what his second single can do. His album Raymond v. Raymond is due out in December.

Usher and his soon-to-be ex-wife have not finalized the divorce because apparently Usher has not signed "the papers."  Rumor is that he is waiting to do it around the time when his album drops.  What a publicity stunt that would be!?

If you haven't heard the song, check out below -- what do you think?




Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Celebrating life and my blog


I spent my first hour of my 26th birthday working.

But that was absolutely fine with me because I work doing something I enjoy.

I decided a year ago that I would launch my blog on my 25th birthday. (my first blog - second blog -third blog)

I had no idea what to focus my blog on. I wasn't sure if people wanted to read about what I was doing every day so I didn't treat this as my personal journal. Instead I decided to post interesting articles and write about topics that I couldn't write about during my 9-5 (or I should say my 5-1).

I've written about cool concerts, album reviews and nightlife through the eyes of a young adult. I've also shared videos and flicks that I've shot. (check the archives)

I will continue to blog as time allows. I often want to blog more than I do, but time flies when you're working a full-time job [where you are never really "off" the clock].

Today, I received birthday texts, phone calls and Facebook messages. But it all became a blur after watching a video of the horrific beating of 16-year-old Derrion Albert.


Albert, an innocent bystander and an honor student at the Christian Fenger Academy High school, was savagely beaten during a fight between rival gangs. He was hit with wood planks and viciously stomped while laying helplessly on the ground.

He never got to finish high school or go to college. His family has been left heartbroken and there's no reason for it. It's disgusting and I'm glad to hear there have been arrests made, but nothing can bring Derrion back.

It saddens me to see our young people behave in this manner and I wonder what can be done?

My condolences to his family and friends. I hope they find the strength to get through this difficult time. R.I.P. Derrion.

I've posted the video of the beating below -- we need to stop the violence --

Friday, September 25, 2009

Musiq Soulchild coming to Del State homecoming


There's something else for Delaware State University alum to do at homecoming this year -- go to a concert featuring the soulful Musiq Soulchild.

Straight out of Philly, Musiq will perform on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Rollins Center at Dover Downs at 8 p.m.

Tickets for the Dover concert are only $38.50.

You can cop your tickets in advance by clicking here.

I saw Musiq at SOBs in New York recently and he doesn't disappoint. He's got five albums of music and I'm sure most of you have at least one of them.

Either way, you can't deny that the man got some hits.

"Halfcrazy" came out during my freshman year (01/02) at DSU and I'm sure y'all can remember other popular tracks and what year you were in.

His breakthrough hits, "Just Friends" and "Love" came out in 2000. I was still a senior in high school. Damn, that was a minute ago.

Just a reminder -- this isn't the "college concert" where you have to wait outside while canines and cops armed with pepper spray lurk in the dark yards of DSU.

This is the alumni concert -- a tradition started by previous SGA leaders -- and now being spearheaded by alum, former SGA president and promoter, Clint Saunders.

Get ready for an amazing concert.

And take a moment and ask yourself: where were you when you first heard Musiq?

O-prah raps with Jay-Z


The only thing that Oprah show featuring Jay-Z lacked was a hype man - or Gayle King - coming out and yelling to the crowd, "Everybody put your hands in the air!"

Jay walked out shaking hands of overzealous women excited to see the 39-year-old rapper with an 11 album career. Some even jumped frantically like Oprah was giving away free Bentley's.

What really took me by surprise is that people were throwing up the "Roc" or "Dynasty" hand sign. I couldn't believe I was seeing this on the Oprah show!!

"You never thought that hip-hop would take it this far," The Notorious B.I.G. said on "Juicy."

And I couldn't agree more with that line.

I never thought I would see the day that Jay-Z would be getting interviewed on Oprah while fans in the crowd threw up the "Dynasty" sign.

Oprah also casually strolled through Jay's former stomping grounds of the Marcy Projects, where he grew up and used to sell crack.

This was indeed a milestone moment for hip-hop.

Jay talked about growing up in the tough projects, his father abandoning him at 11 and even the tumultuous Chris Brown-Rihanna relationship.

But the highlight was Jay-Z teaching O-prah how to "spit" - or rap.

The crowd even helped cheer O-prah on. They clapped on the beat and chanted, "Go Oprah! Go Oprah!"

Of course, there was no Auto Tune. Jay killed that. Well, kind of.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oprah goes to Marcy, interviews Jay-Z


Oprah has "street cred."

At least, that's what her best friend, Gayle King, told her recently.

The reason? Because Oprah walked with Jay-Z through Brooklyn's Marcy Projects, where the rapper grew up.

Catch Oprah's interview with the Jigga man at 4 p.m. today.

You know the show re-runs later on tonight in case you miss it.

Let's just hope Lil' Mama doesn't crash the show. (Sorry, it was too easy! lol)

To make sure the ratings don't drop too much, O is also having Barbara Streisand on the same show. LOL :-)

Maia Campbell getting help, family says


Maia Campbell was a beauty. But after a video of her spazzing out was posted on the Web, she didn't appear to be so pretty anymore. In fact, she seemed to be in desperate need of help.

The erratic and unusual behavior was a huge red flag that something was terribly wrong with the beautiful young woman, who we first saw on television show "In the House" with LL Cool J and Debbie Allen.

Campbell is now "in treatment and in a facility," her family said in a statement released to Essence.com.

"As a family, we have been struggling with Maia in her illness for quite some time. We continue to hold fast to our faith and hope that some day she will realize that healing will begin when she decides to reach out and accept the help and treatment that have been offered to her," the statement said. "We all have challenges in life that we must face, but when compound problems such as mental illness substance abuse are prevalent, it can appear that there is no way out."

To read the full statement -- click here.

If you didn't see the video, watch it below:

Let's hear it for New York!


If it didn't happen in New York, it didn't happen.

In 72 hours, the Big Apple played host to Jay-Z's 9/11 benefit concert at Madison Square Garden, the MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall and the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows.

Not to mention, All-Star shortshop Derek Jeter became the all-time Yankee hit leader surpassing the legendary Lou Gerhig in Bronx on 9/11.

What else could have happened?

Here are some highlights from what was a big weekend in New York:


Jay-Z shines bright at 9/11 concert:




My opinion: Great show and the special guests - Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Kanye West, Rihanna, Kid Cudi and John Mayer- really made the show memorable. All proceeds from ticket sales went to the New York Police and Fire Widows' and Children's Benefit Fund. The unfortunate part is that people were selling tickets on Web sites for as much as $45,000 per ticket.


Derek Jeter makes history on 9/11:



My opinion: Huge moment in sports history. Jeter has been a consistent and classy player since the moment he was called up to the Major Leagues in May 1995. He's a player that any young Little Leaguer can look up to. There's no doubt that this history-making moment was well-deserved. Baseball players often make news for making bad decisions, but Jeter is one player who has made all the right ones. I'll be glad to see the day when he's inducted into the hall of fame.

Serena Williams loses temper and match:



My opinion: Tough loss for Serena, but other tennis players have done and probably said worse. She just picked a bad time to lose her cool. However, the blame -- or tennis ball -- should be pointed at Serena. If she didn't explode like that it is possible the match could have had a different outcome. But we'll never know...

Kanye West interrupts VMAs; declares Beyonce the best:


My opinion: One word: disgusting. Kanye interrupting sweet little country singer Taylor Swift's acceptance speech at the VMAs was a disgrace. It was a moment where the world asked: "Did he just do that?" But then we remembered this is Kanye, who is known to do anything. Luckily, Beyonce cleaned up the spill on aisle four by giving Taylor an opportunity to finish her acceptance speech. Thank you, B!

Lil' Mama gets a little too excited at VMAs / Alicia Keys says fall back:



My opinion: Lil' Mama, what you did was just as bad as what Kanye did. The only difference is Jay-Z is not some little country singer. Jay-Z even tapped Lil' Mama during the interruption as to say, "Get off!" But she continued to bounce around the stage as if she belonged. Lil' Mama may be from New York, but she really shouldn't even be within 50 feet of people like Jay-Z and Alicia Keys. Perhaps Lil' Mama should jump in front of mirror and ask herself, "what have ever I done?" I can give her an answer -- NOTHING!

In the video above, Alicia Keys sums up the incident:

"I can appreciate her being overwhelmed and inspired but we would have preferred she did it from her seat,"" Keys said on the Today Show Wednesday morning (September 16).

Friday, September 11, 2009

Jay-Z runs the Big Apple tonight

Tonight is all about Jay-Z.

His 9-11 charity concert at New York's Madison Square Garden is likely going to be one of biggest shows of the year.

The tickets sold out in seconds and left thousands of diehard fans ticketless and disappointment.

If you have the Fuse channel you can watch the concert live at home at 9 pm.  That's what I'll be doing.

What can we expect?  

Well, The Blueprint 3 album just came out earlier this week (officially -- we know many had it waaaaay early) and by now everyone should know all the words to the tracks.  So I'm guessing the show will be dominated by the new stuff, which will definitely present plenty of opportunities for special guests. Hmmm...

Alicia Keys will likely join Jay for my favorite track on the album, "Empire State of Mind."  I'm sure there will be a slideshow in the background with various pictures of New York as they perform.

You know, Rihanna and Kanye West will be there for "Run This Town."

Young Jeezy might join Jay for new track, "Real As It Gets," and maybe they'll even do the remix for "My President."  I think it would be appropriate.

Drake has defnitely gotta be a part of this show.  "Off That" is one of the hottest tracks on The Blueprint 3 album, even though Drizzy is only on the chorus.    I hope Drake doesn't slip and fall because the tough Garden crowd won't be very forgiving.

The biggest question is will we see Mrs. Jay-Z??    

Well, I'm sure Beyonce will be around.  After all, the MTV VMAs are in New York on Sunday and everyone in music will be at this show.

But will she perform?  I somewhat doubt that.  It's Jay's night and she would agree. I'd personally rather see a Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige reunion instead.

This should be a great show.  I just would prefer not to hear "D.O.A." anymore. I've just had enough of that song. Maybe it's just me.

In the words Jay: "Thank you, thank you, thank you, you're far too kind."

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Whitney rocks Central Park!

::VIDEOS BELOW::


Whitney Houston looked like she never left at today's free concert in Central Park.

I can't say the same about the way she sounded. It was far from stellar vocally, but I'll give her credit for putting on a gutsy performance. She gave it her all.

She looked amazing, vibrant, healthy and most importantly, she seemed to enjoy being back on stage.

She came out skipping and her curls were bouncing as her new single "Million Dollar Bill" played to the roar of thousands of fans who packed New York's Summer Stage. Some diehards waited for more than 12 hours for the rare opportunity to see one of the greatest singers of all-time perform live. They came from all over -- including BRAZIL -- just to see Whitney's return.

Houston shared the stage with her 15-year-old daughter, Bobbi Christina, who attempted to assist her mom in singing "My Love Is Your Love."



Whitney gave her daughter a kiss as she left the stage. It was a nice moment and Bobbi Chris looked great. And of course, it wouldn't be a Whitney concert without some comic relief. Whitney sang, "I got my baby, me and Bobby's baby" to the laughs of fans and her daughter.

The 46-year-old singer also performed the ballad "I Look to You" to her mother, Cissy Houston, who was off to the side of the stage and out of the view of the crowd.

"After all that I've been through/ Who on earth can I turn to/ I look to you," sang an emotion-filled Houston, who wiped away tears throughout the performance.

Houston told the crowd that she didn't sound her best throughout the performances, and blamed it on doing a doing taping for Oprah yesterday. She said the segment with Oprah, scheduled to air Sept. 14, got emotional and it affected her voice. I really doubt that, but that's what she said.

Houston closed out her taping for Good Morning America with an anthem -- "I'm Every Woman." She was joined by show hosts Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer, who sang along with the crowd.

In the end, it was about as triumphant a return as she could have possible did, considering what she's been through. She had nothing to be ashamed of. She was filled with energy and jumped up and down along with the crowd throughout the show.

Despite the lackluster vocals, Whitney did an outstanding job and has a lot to be proud of.

You can catch the performance on Good Morning America tomorrow morning and see for yourselves.


Here's a short clip of "Million Dollar Bill" ----

"My Love is Your Love" Pt. 1 - guest appearance by Bobbi Christina



"My Love is Your Love" Pt. 2 - guest appearance by Bobbi Christina



"I Look to You" -- Whitney sings to her mother, Cissy Houston



"I'm Every Woman" Pt. 1 feat. Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer from GMA



"I'm Every Woman" Pt. 2 feat. Robin Roberts and Diane Sawyer from GMA