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.  


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.