The Bobby Brown Story Pt 1 Was Epic & Twitter Had Us on the Floor

Bobby Brown
By Brenda Alexander

From the moment the promo for The Bobby Brown Story dropped that opened with the original Bad Boy of R&B snorting a line of cocaine (seriously BET, y’all couldn’t think of anything else) and featured his classic pelvic thrusting performances, I knew we would get his raw unfiltered truth. We’ve anticipated a biopic for years. He hasn’t had the best reputation with unfairly catching the slack for the dismantling of New Edition, and the deaths of Whitney Houston and Bobbi Kristina. But he’s stayed strong, cleaned himself up after years of addiction, and has reinvented himself as an artist, family and businessman.

Nevertheless, the first of a two-part TV movie didn’t disappoint. I scanned twitter for reactions; and, of course twitter’s commentary surpassed any recap. Here are the top moments that had Twitter losing it:

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If You're Still Mad at Swizz Beatz for Marrying Alicia Keys You Need to Move On


Photo Swizzbeatz IG
By Mwabi Kaira

What rapper and producer Swizz Beatz (Kasseem Dean) thought was an appreciation post to his wife Alicia Keys and a message to men, turned left with a quickness last week. 

7 R&B Songs That Sent Toxic Messages About Love & Relationships

Via TheShadeRoom
By Veronica Wells

Earlier this week, Michelle Williams had to let y’all know that even though she’s found a good man who is worthy of love and special attention and privileges, she has no intention of doing all the things outlined in Destiny Child’s hit song, “Cater 2 U.” I was with her. Even during my childhood, I could recognize that the song was a little too extreme. I mean in one of the lines Beyoncé literally says, “My life would be purposeless without you.” C’mon sis. It’s too much. I like to think of myself as a romantic and as a child, with no real world experience in love, music and particularly love songs were my peek, my gateway, my initial exposure to what love could and would be like. And to be honest, more than a few of them sold us some pipe dreams or toxic ideology about love, relationships, sex and dating. Check out just a few offenders below.

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Aretha Franklin: 7 Unforgettable Moments from a Queen

Aretha Franklin
By Brenda Alexander

By now the world has learned and is mourning the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. For the past 60+ years, she’s provided a musical soundtrack crossing as a backdrop to an ever changing world. Donned one of the greatest voices of all time, her gift crossed multiple genres, generations, racial, political, social and gender barriers. A true artist, she led with her voice, remaining mum on an evolving tabloid driven industry, sharing only what she felt she owed us- her music.

Outside of her catalogue was a world-class diva with a sparkling personality who gave fans much to watch whether dressed to the nines or throwing the best shade. In her honor, here are some of my favorite moments from Re-Re.

7 Highlights From Beyoncé's Vogue Cover that Even a Non-Fan Could Love

Beyoncé photo by Tyler Mitchell
By Ta-ning Connai

Leave it to Beyoncé to do the unexpected for her historical September Vogue cover and editorial! Sasha Fierce has left the building and we are privy to see a more down to earth version of the 36-year-old superstar.

The Queen B’s concept was to strip away the glam...barely there makeup, without a care hair and a few designer threads. To accompany the raw beauty captured in the pics, taken by 23-year-old Tyler Mitchell, the first African American to shoot a Vogue cover, Beyoncé gives what I find to be one of the most breathtaking interviews of her career. She laid down her superpowers and put her heart on the line by sharing with us some things that we never knew. So, if you’re not a member of The Beehive yet, you may become her biggest fan after hearing what she had to say...

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With Beyoncé at the Helm of Vogue's September Issue It May Be the Blackest One Yet

Beyoncé
By Mwabi Kaira

Fashionistas and avid fashion magazine readers look forward to Vogue’s September issue as much as they look forward to Fashion Week and The Met Gala. The Vogue September issue is such a big deal that R.J Cutler made a documentary about it in 2009 and made it a part of pop culture. September is the end of the summer and also the beginning of the school year. Seasons are about to change and Fall fashions and trends are about to be revealed. Publications also track and publish the number of ad pages as a signal of how well they’re doing; a magazine with a lot of advertisements is assumed to be financially thriving. Much thought is given to the September issue. Planning goes as far back as six to eight months and the covergirl is a very critical decision. This year, word is music icon Beyoncé is the covergirl and she’s been given full unprecedented control over the cover and inside feature by Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

Behind The Lens: Producer Kareem Johnson of Nelly's Infamous "Tip Drill" Video 15 Years Later

Kareem Johnson
By Brenda Alexander

Recently, I highlighted BET’s digital doc-series VIXEN and the backlash Nelly’s “Tip Drill” video received, which featured the infamous credit card swipe down a bountiful model’s backside. The producer of the video, Kareem Johnson, not only shared the article on his Instagram page; but, agreed to an interview to talk about his 24-year career in and outside of the “Tip Drill” mayhem. With a resume as impressive as his- the Bronx-raised producer has worked with everyone from the legendary Notorious B.I.G., Erykah Badu and current phenom Cardi  B. (to name a few)- we're glad he did.

Admit It or Not We've all Dated a Stevie J.


Photo via Hollywood Life
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Like many music lovers, I have been waiting not so patiently for real R&B to make a comeback. Last week my wish kind of came true; however, nobody told me it would come through the seemingly drunk in love nuptials of Faith Evans and Stevie J... Let us pray.

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Grammy Winner Mýa Celebrates 20 years of Music, Drops New Single & Chats Exclusively With Us!

Mya
By Mwabi Kaira

We were introduced to songbird Mýa in 1998 as a young 18-year-old when her platinum self-titled debut album hit the scene. She established herself as a triple threat with her beautiful voice, killer dance moves and acting chops. Over the years, we have seen Mýa on both the big and small screen in In Too Deep, Shall We Dance, Dirty Dancing Havana Nights, Chicago and Dancing With The Stars where she came in second. Longevity is not easy to come by in this music business and Mya has managed to stay the course and release 9 studio albums, including her latest, T.K.O. (The Knock Out), in celebration of her 20th year in the industry.

Speaking to Mýa is nothing short of delightful. She drops gems and you just want to write them down so you can revisit them later when you need to feel empowered. Here are 6 facts I learned about Mýa that you should know.

R. Kelly Admitted He Did It in New Song...Now What?

Robert Kelly
By Brenda Alexander 

The hood’s favorite Uncle Robert released a new 19 minute track yesterday titled, “I Admit It, I Did It” where he “addresses” his reputation as a pedophile. He also attempts to give some context into his flawed behavior and attraction towards underage girls, his obsession with sex and and the current “stagnant” status of his career. In the song, he goes on a tirade in disbelief about how he is now subjected to protests, blaming his alleged victims parents for bringing their underage daughters his way in an effort to get their music careers started, while denying any wrongdoing and gloats about being found innocent during his child molestation trial.

Oh, he is feeling himself.

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Tell It Tuesday: Teyana, Don't Put Your Business in the Street if You Can't Stand the Heat

Teyana Taylor and Iman Shumpert
By Ta-ning Connai

Remember back in the days when Grandma used to say, “Don't go putting your business out in the streets”? Well, Grandma would be surprised to find that too much information has become WAY TOO MUCH information as the line between people’s personal and private lives have virtually been removed. This isn't just the case with regular folks, celebrities are doing it too. And in spite of having so much to lose and less to gain, they are handing us a VIP pass to stuff many of us neither want, need or deserve to know. The days of Hollywood mystique are gone and fans expect more transparency from the people they somehow have the power to make or break. But if a celebrity voluntarily spills their own beans, is it fair for them to shoot our opinions down?

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Singer Leela James is a Naturally Glam Diva

 Leela James
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Leela James always remains consistent for the culture. Whether she’s giving us soulful hits or wearing her natural crown and glory, both are equally amazing. We recently chatted with the former R&B Divas star to get the scoop on her hair care tips, mommy duties, and the next phase of her career. Check out our latest Naturally Glam feature with the one and only Leela James!

Anyone Buying a Lauryn Hill Ticket In 2018 Deserves Whatever She Gives Them

Ms. Lauryn Hill Courtesy Photo via TheMiamiTimes
By Veronica Wells 

I was in fifth grade when Lauryn Hill’s Miseducation was released. I don’t think I could overstate what that album meant to me. It changed the game for me (I would learn later, so many other young, Black women.)

A year later, during a family reunion—where we ended up in Vegas— I saw that Lauryn Hill was performing there, the day after we would have already left. I stood there on the strip, staring at that illuminated marquee, somehow knowing that I was missing something magical, some once in a lifetime event. As you know, Lauryn Hill is still performing her classic album. But if I wanted to hear what I fell in love with, the best chance of that would have been in 1999.

BET’s Docu-Series VIXEN Explores the Rise & Fall of the Video Model

Rapper Nelly with video model in his Tip Drill music video
By Brenda Alexander 

After watching BET’s 30-minute digital docu-series “VIXEN," I was left wondering: was video modeling a legitimate starting point for Hollywood hopefuls that could spearhead a dream career? And did the supposed tell-all 'Confessions of a Video Vixen' by Karrine Steffans change the narrative and perception of video models to hoes?

How Long Will Women Sing About Men Doing Wrong Instead of Demanding That They Actually Do Right?

 Queen Naija 
By Mwabi Kaira

I heard a song called Medicine by Queen Naija on the radio the other day and immediately thought, “Oh, we’re still doing this.” Each generation hopes that the one behind it gets all that we got wrong right. I really enjoy watching young girls being so sure of themselves these days and I foolishly thought that they had found the formula and were done taking mess from men but the song confirmed that they are out here still discovering that not all men do right and will treat you like an option and not a priority if you let them. In the song, Queen Naija laments about her man ignoring her lately, seeing calls from “just friends” and him coming in at 6 in the morning. She is frustrated because she has been faithful and says she knows what she has to do and turns the tables and gives him a taste of his own medicine...

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The Blow-Up on Twitter About Beyonce's 'Natural Curls' Proves We Still Have a Long Way to Go With Our Hair

Beyonce via Neal Farinah IG
By Veronica Wells

I’ll never forget my homeroom teacher Mr. Litz and the thoughts he shared one day about Black hair. In addition to home room, Mr. Litz, a White man, was also my middle school art teacher. And during his explanation of how he recreates Black hair, he told us, his predominately Black class, that Black people’s hair was inherently thin and weak.

I remember us, the Black kids, looking around at each other like, “Ain’t this some sh*t.” But none of us said anything to address his ignorance.

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Your Purpose is to do THIS, Before You do Anything Else: #BeHerNow

Quote Deepak Chopra 
By Nikki Walton

I listened to a talk a while ago by Mooji that really stuck with me. He said to imagine you’re at the symphony, listening to a beautiful piece of music. If you were asked to hone in on just the violins, you could, in spite of the other instruments. At first it would take a little effort to bring the violins into focus, but then, with just a little attention, you could keep them in the foreground of the orchestra. To hear the violins, you wouldn’t have to silence the cellos or the clarinets. You wouldn’t even have to tell the rude people sitting next to you to shut up, you’d just have to place your attention, your awareness on the violins. Simple.

Your purpose in every moment is to find and listen to the ‘violins,’ aka the Silence, that’s always available even when the cellos, clarinets, and rude audience members (thoughts, feelings and circumstances) are raging. This Silence is always present... IT is Presence.

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Carrying Beef for 20 Years...Brandy, it's Time to Let Monica Go

Monica & Brandy
By Brenda Alexander 

So Brandy is still mad at Monica and no one knows why. There’s nothing worse than an adult throwing subliminal shots day in and day out but remains elusive when asked what’s true tea.

At this year’s Essence Fest, Brandy took it upon herself to alter the lyrics to she and Monica’s classic duet, The Boy Is Mine, to “the song is mine,” once again bringing light to the fact that she doesn’t see it for Monica.

***Insert confused face emoji here***

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Nas Is My Favorite Rapper, But I Still Haven’t Been Able to Bring Myself to Listen To ‘Nasir’

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY SARAH ROGERS/THE DAILY BEAST

By Britni Danielle

His raspy voice first boomed through my headphones on the Wake Up Show anthem back in 1994, changing my life forever. I remember sitting up in bed when he began spitting his intricate rhymes, wondering who the hell he was and how I could hear more. At the time, I was shy and quiet, and spent most of my time trying to make sense of my parents’ tenuous relationship, which wobbled on the precipice of divorce. Just when I needed it most, the kid who’d dubbed himself "the corrupt novelist Nas" invaded my ears, giving me something else to obsess over than the demise of my family.

The Miseducation of Azealia Banks: 5 Takeaways from her The Breakfast Club Interview.

Azealia Banks on the Breakfast Club
By Brenda Alexander

Azealia Banks has been hard for me to figure out. One minute, she's professing the most thought-provoking, incense lighting ceremony worthy opinions and the next, what’s uttered from her tongue makes you eager to refer her to the closest clinical psychiatrist for an immediate diagnosis and treatment- or hire a crisis management firm to reel her in a bit (Olivia Pope would do wonders). But she’s smart. With her intellect, she could stand with Dr. Michael Eric Dyson on a panel discussing whatever is impacting black lives. But her Kanye-esque rants and adult tantrums have overpowered her talent and brilliance. I knew she was a rapper, but I had no idea she could SANG until a clip of her singing I’m Every Woman acapella made its rounds. Her gifts mixed with her lack of censorship have been counterproductive in terms of the success an artist of her stature could achieve. Aside from making headlines for whatever beefs she starts (Remy Ma, Nicki Minaj, T.I. & Tiny, and now Cardi B), there’s a layer underneath that’s full of potential. This was proven further with her most recent interview with The Breakfast Club.

Here are 5 revelations that have me rooting for her.

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