LIONEL RITCHIE: Country Music Album,Tuskegee Tops Chart


Lionel Richie is already a pop music legend but he is also hoping to become a venerable fixture in the Country Music world, as well. His latest album, “TUSKEGEE” is currently Number 1 on the charts. The album of duets, featuring Country Music royalty such as Blake Shelton, and Rascal Flatts debuted 3 weeks ago at Number 2, but has quickly climbed past the competition to claim the top spot. Richie has moved over 537,000 units, to date. Critics are loving Richie’s album as well. Rolling Stone Magazine, raved about the successful collaborations in Tuskegee, offering an odd but glowing endorsement of the album. In verbiage that can only be described as questionable, Rolling Stone describes Tuskegee, as an album filled with Lionel Richie’s, “Cottony R&B hits with a bunch of country stars”. They continued that the “collaborations jell because Richie’s style is so expansive, musically and emotionally”.

Richie’s success is a part of a continuing trend in Country Music, as African Americans from other genres find increasing acceptance, in the once discriminating industry. Nelly and Kandi Burruss, among others have found success as writers, producers and occasional features with Country musicians. And Country music has changed as the influence from these artists continues to be felt. Darious Rucker, the famous front man of Hootie and The Blowfish, found the country world to be entirely receptive and friendly. In 2009, he became the first African American to win the New Artist Award from the CMA, Country Music Association and only the second African American to win any award from the association. As Country music becomes more open, it is likely that more African Americans will find success in the genre. Richie becomes just the second artist to have reached No. 1 on both Country Albums and R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The first was Ray Charles.



Brian McKnight has released a new song that just might have signaled the end of his career. McKnight stunned the entire entertainment industry, when he  released a preview of his latest project; an Adult oriented collection of music. The first release on Brian’s new album is tentatively titled, “Let Me Show You How Your Pussy Works”. McKnight claims that he consulted his Twitter Followers on the idea. He suggested that they fed him adult oriented topics that they wanted the soul-filled singer to write about. If this is true, Brian needs new friends on Twitter.

Brian’s new song manages to be shocking, and yet simultaneously boring. The chorus wreaks of an older man, trying way too hard to recapture his youth. It is sad to see that the youth oriented focus of our culture and entertainment industry has caused one of the most talented and accomplished artists of this generation, to second guess himself. The secret of McKnight’s success has always been in the maturity of his music. Brian claims that he was attempting to create an adult oriented album. The problem with this goal is that Brian attained this achievement over a decade ago. All of Brian’s music is adult oriented. When was the last time, teen-agers were  overheard talking about their favorite Brian McKnight song! He makes music for the grown and sexy crowd. All of his music is centered around themes, of love, heartache and even SEX! What made McKnight a household name, was his ability to tastefully address those subjects and to write about sex with the sophistication of a mature man. He has always approached the issue of sex but he did so as an adult, not like a horny teenager, pining to be in a rap music video. This is what happens when 30 becomes the new 20. Immaturity matriculates down the age scale.

Brian McKnight may have just ended his career by writing a song that would be too immature for Justin Bieber, with lyrics like, “Let Me Show You How Your Pussy Works..I Bet You Didn’t Know That It Could Squirt”!  ( SHM! )

Not since McHammer, released “Pumps In The Bump” has a musician ended his career in such a spectacularly  lame fashion. MC Hammer found himself, the victim of an evolving hip hop industry that convinced him that Gangster was good and gratuitous sexual references were a pre-requisite for success. The result was a comical video in which, the once flashy and stylish King of Hip Hop, ditched his parachute pants for saggy jeans, a raiders jacket, a stuffed thong and poolside debauchery with scantily clad models. The entire country saw through Hammer’s desperate (and unnecessary) attempt to stay relevant. And Hammer has since been unable to recover, despite his considerable talents. Brian McKnight has just followed in Hammer’s footsteps.

I won’t write the obit on his career yet, but McKnight will certainly have a great deal of work ahead to rehab this self inflicted wound.




When Lindsey Lohan was selected to play the role of Elizabeth Taylor, the entertainment world, silently disapproved. It seemed that everyone was thinking the same thing, but no one wanted to say it out loud. Rosie Odonnell, is apparently unafraid. In an interview with the Today Show, Rosie ripped Lohan, declaring her to be thoroughly unfit for the role. O’Donnell was hosting the show, when the topic of “Liz and Dick” a Lifetime Movie, dedicated to Elizabeth Taylor came up. At first, Odonnell was empathetic towards Lindsey. She declared, “I feel very sorry for her”. Her primary objections were that Lindsay was still eradic and unpredictable. She pointed out that the starlet failed to even perform well on SNL. But when fellow guest panelists, Star Jones and Donny Deutch began to defend Lindsay’s casting Rosie became more emphatic. “I don’t think she’s right for the role, and I don’t think she’s capable at this point of doing what’s needed to portray that character. She effectively declared Lindsay to be a “has-been” when she added, “I think the interest level in her has waned significantly”. When Donny Deutsch pushed back claiming that “Lohan is our generation’s Elizabeth Taylor”, ROSIE LOST IT! She declared, “You’re out of your mind! You’re a crackhead! The Last Thing she did good she was sixteen”!

Worthy Readers: What Do You Think of the decision to cast Lindsay Lohan as the legendary, Elizabeth Taylor?




Is this sleek device, the next iPhone. Rumors are circulating throughout the web that Apple is about to drop the next iteration of it’s trademark phone. The incredible excitement seems to be centered around the physical design of the phone. Perhaps, you would have to be a true geek to appreciate the subtlety but Apple fans are excited by the prospect that the next iPhone might be curved (oohs and awes)! In order to understand why this is a big deal, you simply have to understand that in order to make a curved device, Apple will need to employ, a new hi-tech, Liquid Metal alloy! The liquid metal, feels like glass and is a mixture of lithium, nickel, copper and zirconium. Its light, tough and scratch resistant. A metallic phone, with a smooth curvature! Rumors suggest that the new phone may arrive, in June-although supply chain complications may push it back until, October.

Worthy Readers, DO YOU WANT ONE?



Deion Sanders, has filed charges against his wife, for allegedly assaulting him, in front of their children. Deion and Pilar Sanders have been enduring a terrible and very public divorce. This latest incident occurred, in their home. Deion alleges that his wife and a friend, jumped him in the presence of their children. The details of the violent altercation are not being disclosed. Deion, seems to have gone the extra mile, to ensure that every moment of the ordeal was publicly catalogued-which will come in handy during their divorce proceedings. Sanders tweeted, late Monday that his children had “just witnessed their mother and a friend jump me in my room”.

The saddest and perhaps most telling aspect of the event came, when Deion, tweeted a picture of his children, filling out police reports, against their mother!

Its worth noting that this was not the first violent exchange, which resulted in police involvement. In February, Pilar Sanders called the police, alleging that she was assaulted by  Deion’s female associate. Pilar claimed at the time, that a woman named Laura arrived at Deion’s mansion and was turned away, by Pilar. When Laura refused to leave, as Pilar requested, Pilar was struck in the eye, with an object thrown by Laura. Pilar found a phone and called 911. No arrests were made. The Sander’s divorce was initiated by Pilar, who claimed that Deion had engaged in numerous trysts with several mistresses.  Among the women was a 20 year old model, Aleea Stanton.


Deion was also allegedly involved with Tracey Edmonds, the ex-wife of Babyface (song writer and mega producer). Edmonds is also the ex of Eddie Murphy. Pilar was attempting to extract depositions from the string of mistresses. The women, were uncooperative which lead to accusations that Deion had bribed the women with money, to keep quiet about their affairs.

It is worth noting that Deion, stands to gain considerably from the meticulous record he has publicly collected on this latest incident. If he can establish that Pilar has engaged in episodes of violence, during their marriage or even, during the divorce proceedings, he could have considerable leverage to deny her, custody or child support of any kind  (I’m just saying……….).

HUGH HEFNER, Defender of Women? Say’s Republicans At War With Sex


The cause of feminism has found an unlikely ally in the lord of the Playboy Mansion. Hugh Hefner has added his voice to a growing chorus of critics, chastising the Republican Party for it’s War On Women. The “War On Women” became a household term, when the President required employers to cover the cost of birth control for their female employees, as a part of their insurance packages. The GOP argued that those morally opposed to the pill should not be forced to provide women contraception. The notion that birth control was still controversial was a surprise to many.


Hefner is generally reclusive at his advanced age but felt compelled to speak out against a resurgence in (what he terms is) a War On Sex. By attacking, the availability of contraception for women, the GOP is  effectively threatening the sexual freedom, that has led to the Playboy Empire. Hefner laments, Mitt Romney’s promise to overturn, Roe vs. Wade. He offers a blistering criticism of Rick Santorum’s disdain for the pill. Santorum once remarked that the mere existence of birth control was “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Hefner even attacked the controversial darling of independent voters, Ron Paul. Hef notes that Paul,  “[Believes] that the birth control pill did not cause immorality but that immorality creates the problem of wanting to use the pill”. Hefner, is hardly the most predictable hero of the women’s movement. Some feminists regard him as a predator and exploiter of women’s sexuality. Others define the liberation of women, by the ability of women to mimc the “freedoms” men enjoy. Both have put differences aside and determined that the GOP has gone to far, in attacking contraceptions for women.





Editorial, Featured

Elections for France’s highest office will be held today (Sunday, April 22). There are ten candidates for this year’s Presidency in France, and multiple rounds of elections, will whittle the field. Following today’s first round of elections, if no candidate among the original ten, receives 50% of the vote, a second round of elections will be held on May 6, for the two highest vote earners.

The French elections have been unusually competitive this year, due largely to weakness in the French economy. The current President, Nicholas Sarkozy finds himself threatened by the candidacy of François Hollande. Sarkozy is a conservative and his opponent is a Socialist. Both men represent the right and left of French politics.

World wide, (in America, Canada and Europe) conservatives have addressed the global recession with Austerity measures (slashes to government spending). In France, unemployment is at 10% and the Austerity measures have failed, in the minds of many. And this has led to a rise in France’s left.

The Socialist standard bearer, François Hollande is offering France, a very different set of growth oriented policies. Hollande is currently leading Sarkozy in the polls and another Far Left candidate,  Jean-Luc Melenchon, is poised to come in third place, which signals the rise of a far left, socialist block in France.


U.S. voters are faced with a choice, similar to French voters. They must choose between the investment  growth and spending policies of President Obama (although he is not a socialist), and the cuts of the GOP. It remains to be seen if Americans will reject Austerity as French voters seem poised to do. The U.S. has persued a dual strategy which has restricted the levels of investment preferred by the President, while tempering the austere cuts desired by the republicans. This likely, makes it harder for Americans to choose between the two paths and differentiate between which policies have failed or worked. While America has faired much better then it’s European counterparts, in recovering from the global slump, Americans are divided on who deserves credit.

The final lesson from the French elections is that the continually struggling economy, is not friendly to incumbents of any political stripe. President Obama could simultaneously be the reason that America has faired better than Europe, through his stimulus package, infrastructure spending and bailouts, and still be the victim of a restless electorate.


Fashion, News

Apparently, the first thing Tyra Banks learned at Harvard, was how to be ruthless. The super-model and mogul is cleaning house at America’s Next Top Model. She has fired the fierce Miss J and his walk. Also out is the long time host of the show, Mr. Jay and Nigel Barker, the renowned photographer. There have been countless attempts to recreate the success of Tyra’s modeling reality tv show and yet none have been nearly as successful . Some would argue that its the talent (cast-judges) that has made America’s Next Top Model, a mega franchise. Miss J, chief among the judges, has branded the show with the fierceness of her walk and his gender bending, characteristic vamp. After 9 years of faithful service, Tyra has dismissed the personalities and talent that arguably made America’s Next Top Model, a mega success.

From Tyra’s perspective, AMNTM has grown a bit stale. Any show with the same cast, for nearly 9 years, is likely to bore it’s audience. TV shows must evolve and AMNTM has certainly experienced a decline as it has essentially preserved the original formula that initiated it’s success. Tyra, wants the show to go in a new direction. She wants to incorporate new personalities from the social media landscape; bloggers, web stars and the web’s organically grown fashion experts. Ooor, maybe Ms. J pissed Tyra off?

Worthy Readers, how do you feel about Tyra’s decision?

THINK LIKE A MAN: The Reviews Are In!


UPDATED: Think Like A Man, took the top spot in the weekend’s box office with 33.6 million dollars. The incredible achievement could prove to skeptical Hollywood big wigs that positive movies, with large African American casts, are indeed viable! Some are even suggesting that TLM could revitalize the dying romantic comedy genre. Perhaps this success will lead to an increase in quality roles for African American actors.  The movie’s cast took the time to post thank-you videos for fans!

The Seattle Post Intelligencer Says: “Think Like A Man is surprisingly funny. What drives the film is comedian Kevin Hart who plays Cedric, the film’s narrator and  a man going through a divorce who’s not optimistic about his friend’s relationships. Hart’s hilarious antics helped insure the film’s romantic drama did not outweigh the comedy. Fans of the book and moviegoers will appreciate his performance.Romany Malco (The 40 Year Old Virgin) and Megan Good steal the show as the film’s most believable couple. Zeke, the smooth talking player, runs into Mya, the girl who just implemented her ninety-day rule. Their relationship is funny, caring, and most of all interesting.  Watching the two attempting to date with separate agendas is some of the film’s best dramatic and comedic moment



If you think of Kim Kardashian as lacking substance, you may need to reconsider your presumptions. Kim K has a very serious and ambitious side. She is in fact, so serious that the undisputed Queen of Reality TV is nursing plans to run for Mayor of her hometown, Glendale in 2017. Glendale, has one of the highest concentrations of Armenians in the country and provides Kim with a sizable base of potential voters. Kardashian has cultivated her relationship with the Armenian community for some time now. (The Woman Has Foresight). Kardashian’s goal has found some advocates. A local councilman and former city mayor, Ara Najarian has even offered to make Kim his honorary Chief of Staff to allow her to learn about local governance. The First thing Kim will have to learn, is that the Office of Mayor in Glendale, California is not an elected position! It is however, a title granted to elected commissioners or prominent citizens in Glendale. So Kim does have a chance at the position.

Kim K. For Mayor? Worthy Readers, will you be chanting, “Go Kim Go”. Or, “Go Kim. Go! (away)”