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Sunday Afternoon Reflections: Life Is What You Make It

I awoke this morning feeling very hungry, not for food, but for the fresh freedom that the new year will bring. January 1, 2007 will mark the beginning of another chapter in this life of mine and I'm quite anxious to turn the page. But before I look ahead, I have to look behind Shoot, I've written 394 posts in this blog and damn sure can't remember everything that's happened this year (not to mention it's driving me crazy that blogger makes me use word verification when I make new posts), but here are some of my interesting moments from 2006:

My Son Wins His First Modeling Pageant
My Sons First Trip To The Big Apple
(Update: My oldest son was selected for the modeling trip to Half Moon in Montego Bay, but it came at a time when I was returning back to the workforce so we didn't make it... Maybe next year...)
Does America Need Black History Month
Take Me As I Am
BET's College Hill Is In My Hometown
Whatcha No Bout Me? A Creative Story
BLOGS WILL SAVE THE WORLD
Wake Up
Have You Taken The Pledge?
Meeting Marsha and Natalie From Floetry
Life's Lessons
My Trip To Los Angeles
Tag, You're It
There's Nothing Better Than A Late Night Storm: A Creative Story
Random Thoughts With No Control
Peace Be Still
Meeting Ryan Toby from City High
Meeting E. Ethelbert Miller
The Passing of Coretta Scott King
Dick Cheney Shoots A Friend
Meeting Clarke Peters from HBO's The Wire
The Mariah Carey Concert
My Take On The 2006 MTV VMAs
IN REMEMBRANCE (of Hurricane Katrina)
Let's Play The Ipod Game
The Raheem Devaughn and Trey Songz Concert
The View From Above - A Star Jones Recap
Meet My New Best Friend, Percocet
You Know A Writer Has To Read, Right?
So Much I Wanna Say
It Doesn't Have To Be This Way
Hubby Goes To Black Bike Week
Deep, Deep Down
Somewhere Over In MySpace
The Wealthiest Black County IS WHERE?
Meeting Robin Thicke
Bill Clinton Outfoxes Fox News
100 Soulfull Things About Me
Some More Things You Probably Didn't Want To Know About Me
What Happened To Black Owned Beauty Supply?
My Words Made It In The Newspaper
Monday's Motivation: I Finished NaNoWriMo!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN - Can You Stomach THIS POST!?
Monday's Motivation - Liberation!


So back to today. New Years Eve. I don't have any major plans. We'll probably order pizzas, chill, play games, and watch movies. Now once the kids go to bed and midnight hits, hubby and I will pop a bottle of champagne and toast to making it through another year. We've definitely had some trying times this year, but we're definitely stronger because of them. Soooo what's in store for 2007? Hell if I know. I'm not going to make any predications, but I will definitely pushing harder to achieve my goals of publishing some books and expanding our company. But in the end, life in 2007 will only be what I make it...


Peace & Blessings Ya'll & Happy New Year!

Frighty and Colonel Mite - Life (Is What You Make It) -



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/31/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Watch The James Brown Funeral Live Today



I wrote about this here, but in case you guys might not have heard, you can watch the service live online via NBC 26 NEWS. Click here to watch.


Rest In Peace to Mr. James Brown
The Godfather of Soul



Update 12/30/06 2:20PM:


The following is a list of other websites/news channels broadcasting the funeral LIVE online:

WJBF
WRDW
WCBS
BET.COM

Check out the following online tributes:
Black America Web
TV One Online

Update 1/2/07 10:52AM - You can download your own copy of Friday's and Saturday's memorial service programs for James Brown here



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/30/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Sex And Celeb Bloggers Being Sued

The popularity of blogs really exploded in 2006 and that's clearly evident with these two cases below. Now I can understand why Jessica's head might be on the chopping block, but Perez? He could have at least did a link back to the original photos. Geez... I'll definitely be watching these trials to see what unfolds.





Senate sex blog suit heads toward X-rated trial (CNN.com)
• Former Senate aide's lawsuit over explicit sex blog heads to trial
• Case could bring forth embarrassing, X-rated testimony
• Also at stake: Privacy rights of subjects vs. free speech of online diarists


Paparazzi sue celeb blogger Perez Hilton (CNN.com)
• Photo agency X17 Inc., known for catching celebrities at unflattering moments, is suing celebrity blogger Perez Hilton for $7.6 million.
• The suit claims Hilton used 51 photographs without permission, payment or credit, including images of a pregnant Katie Holmes, Kevin Federline pumping gas and Britney Spears showing her, um, assets.

posted by Soulfull @ 12/28/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




President Ford, 93, Dies At Home

God bless him and his family. You can read the full story here

posted by Soulfull @ 12/27/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Bratz Doll Says The F-Word?


Well, I must say if the doll IS cursing, would it be safe to say that it's truly living up to the bratty attitude...


A St. Louis County mom is still talking about her Christmas Day surprise.

She claims a popular singing doll, which she got for her two young daughters, has a dirty mouth.

The Bratz Baby Karaoke Doll was the big gift for Dawn Hamberg's two daughters. What she didn't expect was what came out of that doll’s mouth on Christmas morning.

Dawn's daughter claimed that her doll was singing a four-letter profanity.

News 4 listened too, and it was so close that we had to bleep out the words in our reports.

Dawn is not alone. A father in Florida is also shocked and complaining about the same word in the same dolls, which sells for about $50 and is recommended for children 4 years and up.

Dawn Hamberg is also upset and has taken the dolls away from her daughters.

News 4 did try to contact MGA Entertainment, the company that makes the Bratz dolls, to get a comment and even find out if another word was intended in the song lyrics, but we have not received a response.


You can watch video of the doll here.

UPDATE 12/19/06 9:53 AM

The toymakers of the Bratz Baby Karaoke Doll have responded to the allegations against their doll. Apparently, this doll is NOT singing 'fuck you', but 'so cute'. You can read the story here.

Here's a youtube video of the cursing doll:


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posted by Soulfull @ 12/27/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Public Viewing for James Brown at Apollo Tomorrow


The Headline Reads: James Brown's Body to Lie at NYC Apollo (WaPo)

I really wish I could make it there tomorrow...

The public will be permitted on Thursday to visit the Apollo to have one more look at a man who helped steer modern musical tastes toward rhythm-and-blues, funk, hip-hop, disco and rap, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Tuesday. The reverend has been a close friend of Brown for decades.

"It would almost be unthinkable for a man who lived such a sensational life to go away quietly," Sharpton said in an interview from Georgia, where he was making funeral arrangements with Brown's children.

Sharpton said the public Apollo viewing will be followed by a private ceremony Friday in Brown's hometown, Augusta, Ga., and another public ceremony, officiated by Sharpton, a day later at the James Brown Arena there.

"His greatest thrill was always the lines around the Apollo Theater," Sharpton said of the Harlem landmark. "I felt that James Brown in all the years we talked would have wanted one last opportunity to let the people say goodbye to him and he to the people."

Brown, known as the Godfather of Soul, died of congestive heart failure on Christmas morning in Atlanta at age 73. He had been scheduled to perform on New Year's Eve in Manhattan at B.B. King's blues club.

Mourners paid their respects to Brown in Augusta on Tuesday, filing past his statue, which was draped in an American flag and a red scarf.

Flowers were left at the base of the statue in tribute to the late singer.

"There were some troubled times in his life, like everybody else, but he meant well," said John Arthur Thomas, 73, of Daleville, Ala., who stopped by the statue. "He is a legend. There will never be another James Brown."

posted by Soulfull @ 12/27/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Nas Says Hip Hop Is Dead... Well, He Lied

Hip Hop Is Dead, eh? Well, I have to give it to him for being a little creative with the title of his latest album, which caused a few rappers to get their boxers in a bunch. Frankly, I wasn't mad at the brotha for making the statement. Shoot, maybe this will help to bring more variety to the game. At any rate, let's take a listen to Nasir's newest release...


1. Money Over Bullshit (Lyrics here) - Nas has too many haters to count and declares on this track that he's not afraid of none of you cowards, but of his own strength... Hmmm, that's an interesting admission from a dude that's herald as one of the greatest rappers of all time. I mean, just exactly why would you be afraid of what is rightfully yours? I guess it goes to show that self doubt can exist even when you’re at the top of your game. The beat is big and heavy on this one and his lyrical content throws heavy blows as well. I had to listen to this four times, but finally, I'd have to say that I like it.

2. You Can't Kill Me (Lyrics here) - In my mind's eye, I can feel the multitude of bright colors and bling bling flashing in front of me as I listen to Nas speak on his adventures in NYC. This vivid tale reminds me of Warning, but it doesn't give me the same adrenaline rush. Next.

3. Carry On Tradition (Lyrics here) - This track speaks to the foolishness that has become the rap industry. Nas speaks on these new rappers who got they caps flipped backwards and their fingers intertwined in some gang sign madness... I like the content, but this could stand to have a harder beat to support the tradition that Nas is trying to carry on. (Fuck a bum wack rapper makin' his career out of dissin' ... Um, can we say Jim Jones?)

4. Where Are They Now (Lyrics here) - This VH-1: Where Are They Now? episode takes a ride through some of the hip hop legends that defined the industry. Nas did a great job of linking all of these artists, yet it would be nice if he really told us where they are. Shit, inquiry minds wanna know...

5. Hip Hop Is Dead (Lyrics here) - The track is on point. Nas delivers and big props for the usage of Iron Butterfly’s 1968 hit, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on the beat — (I still love that damn song even though it’s 17mins long.) As far as getting will.i.am to work the production, I could careless because sometimes it’s not about who’s working the boards, it’s about who’s on the m-i-c.

6. Who Killed It? (Lyrics here) - I love it! The mystery, the intrigue... This track has it all and not to mention, the beat is tight! Now could someone tell me what the fuck he is talking about and why he has to say it like that (ANNOYING!)???? I've read lyrics, but I'm still confused. BIG NEXT.

7. Black Republican (featuring Jay-Z) (Lyrics here) - So yea, you knew these two would get on a track, but I'd have to say that J's 'rags-to-riches' lyrics sucked balls, while Nas gave me visuals that provided food for thought, yet it wasn't enough to bring me back for second helpings. NEXT.

8. Not Going Back (featuring Kelis) (Lyrics here) - Nas is fighting to stay in the 'burbs with his wife with this melodramatic track that has him hollaring 'I'M NOT GOING BACK' to a grimy life of ten carat gold or coke on the stove. Nothing special here, but it's not horrible either.

9. Still Dreaming (featuring Kanye West & Chrisette Michele) (Lyrics here) - I like this. As soon as I finished listening to it, my head got stuck in the clouds wondering where this sample comes from. Shoot, I'm a sucka for a soul sample and Kanye West does a great job on the production of this track. (CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHAT SAMPLE THIS IS?!)

Update 12/30/06 8:19 AM: The interpolated sample on this track is The Interim by Diana Ross. I guess it pays to read the liner notes in the CD booklet a lot more carefully. LOL! Chrisette does a great job on this track. Her voice is perfect!

10. Hold Down The Block - Don't expect more when you put in less work than all of them... In the hood, most shit starts over nothing and the imagery Nas describes on this track succeeds in supporting this fact. With all that's happening on this busy street, Nas makes you feel the weight, the pain and the pressure of holding e'erybody and e'verything down so much that you can't help but to reflect on the heat that boils our brothas minds into maintaining a hustlers' lifestyle.

11. Blunt Ashes (Lyrics here) - As a blunt ash falls into the ashtray, I can see my whole life fly past me, Did I (Did I) keep it gangsta or keep it classy, and will the money and fame outlast me... This track is a distant cousin to the earlier tracks, Money Over Bullshit and Where Are They Now, but as Nas questions his own legacy against the random histories of music/movie folks, who are falling like ashes from a blunt. This is an okay track, but nothing really grabs me.

12. Let There Be Light (feat. Tré Williams) (Lyrics here) - Okay, let's focus a minute on the hook:


As I walk through valley of the shadow of death
I know that I ain't got much time left
And they don't really wanna see the good in me
Ain't satisfied until they see the fool in me
(And I) I know my business, so I'm seeing straight
(And I) I thank the hood for all the love they gave
(And I) Forgive 'em all that did they best to hate
Oh, let there be light


That's straight motivation right there and Nas always does a great job of speaking on the hate of others. There are a lot of situations that these lyrics could lend themselves to and the energy that the track gives is on point. Yes indeed, this joint is going to be my new 'driving to work' song, but man this Tre' Williams (who sounds so much like Anthony Hamiliton) is pouring all of his soul into this track... Very nice!


13. Play On Playa (featuring Snoop Dogg) (Lyrics here) - Yup, Nas shines on this odd combo with S-N-double-O-P D-O-double-giz-ee that has them Big Pimpin' with the ladies. This is definitely lightweight material for the party scene.


14. Can't Forget About You (featuring Chrisette Michele) (Lyrics here) - This hood taught me golden ways, Made me (truly this is what made me), Break me (not a thing's gonna break me).... I LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT! The Unforgettable sample from Nat is another golden gem on this album. Yes, this is will indeed be another motivational anthem for me!

15. Hustlers (featuring The Game & Marsha Ambrosius) (Lyrics here) - Both Nas and Game? Together on the same track? Now what could these 'hustlers' from separate sides of the coast have to say? Well... He's a Compton-Compton O.G. (Mix that with a QB-QB true G) and what you got is a concoction of some different ghetto blocks that sound pretty damn good together.

16. Hope (Acappella) (featuring Chrisette Michele) (Lyrics here) - Beautiful work here. Nas gives another lyrical lesson describing his hip hop past and his hope for a brighter future. Definitely a great song to end on.

Overall:Like a newborn baby fresh out the womb, hip hop is alive and kickin'. Frankly, with this album, Nas is the proud poppa who changed the proverbial shitty diaper. I can only hope that other fathers and mothers of hip hop will join him in schooling these wack ass rappers who put more thought into their clothes and whips than what flows out of their damn mouths. Yet, good music WILL PREVAIL and in fact, I think I'll part with the hopeful (and helpful) words of Nasir:


..If you're askin'
Why is hip-hop dead?
It's a pretty good chance you're the reason it died, man
It's a pretty good chance your lame ass, corny ass, is the reason it died, man
You don't give a fuck about it, you don't know nothin' about it
You want this paper, be a hustler
You a hustler, you ain't a rapper
Get your paper man
YouknowwhatI'msayin, but this rap shit is real
Bitch, this shit is real...



Favorite Tracks: Carry On Tradition, Hip Hop Is Dead, Still Dreaming, Hold Down The Block, Let There Be Light, Play On Playa, Can't Forget About You, Hope (Acapella)


Hip Hop Is Dead


Hip Hop Is Dead [FULL ALBUM PREVIEW WITH 40 SEC INTROS TO EACH SONG]

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posted by Soulfull @ 12/24/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




So This Is Christmas Eve...

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, music was playing while Mommy blogged about...


I'm in a blogging mood tonight. I've finished cooking some of the side items for tomorrow's dinner, the kiddies are watching A Charlie Brown Christmas, and hubby's putting together another media cabinet for my growing CD collection. Thanks to my job, the holidays have been a lot less stressful considering I started a lot earlier with my shopping. Every year, the company hosts a shopping event and all proceeds go to the N Street Village , a non-profit social service agency assisting DC’s homeless women. I bought all kinds of stuff; CDs, DVDs, games, and toys, but the best feeling came from knowing that my funds went to a good cause. Oh wait, they also had a raffle and I actually won $500 in wine and champagne!!!! The six bottles came in a BEAUTIFUL wicker sleigh basket (which I gave away in the spirit of Christmas). Even though I'm not THAT big of a drinker, I'm definitely going to try and have more dinner parties next year to share in all these 'good spirits'. Speaking of parties, tonight has been fun thus far. We've gone through two batches of my famous chocolate chip cookies while listening to the following tunes...


Do They Know It's Christmas (Original) - Band Aid


TLC - Sleigh Ride


Wham - Last Christmas


Run DMC - Christmas In Hollis


Destiny's Child - Carol of Bells


John Lennon - So This Is Christmas


Luther Vandross - Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas


Take 6 - Joy To The World/Christmas Medley (Live)


Yolanda Adams - O Holy Night


New Edition - Christmas All Over The World


Luther Vandross - Every Year, Every Christmas



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/24/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Monday's Motivation: Peace, Be Still

“And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. And He was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake Him, and say unto Him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And He said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?--Mark 4:37-40


I got so much to say, but I just don't know how to say it right now. I've been so tongue tied these past few days and it's hard to communicate. I really think I'm losing the reigns. I've been dealt another blow to my health that has me walking on pins and needles. At every other point in my life, I've been fearful, but resilient. Now, I'm just full of fear. Some things I'm just not prepared to face, yet I'm hopeful in my fear. I'm in the middle of a storm, full of questions, anger, and fear, seriously PRAYING that things aren't what they seem to be. So today hasn't been the best of days, but I'm THANKFUL to be here and regardless of my anxieties, I'm ready to fly into the new year...


Floetry - If I Was A Bird (Live)

What this song is saying to me:


Sometimes blindness finds me
and leads me through ignorance
not allowing us to gain experience
so we become lifeless
At other times I cover with
self pity or work aimlessly through reality so
Occasionally I choose to travel alone
but never fulfil my possibility so
mostly I attempt to achieve balance
by seeking right knowledge of loving
and reviewing and eventually overstanding those
many lessons of my life



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/18/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




'The Verve' tops sad song survey

With the way I've been feeling, this story came right on time...
From Virgin.net: "The Verve's hit 'The Drugs Don't Work' has been named the saddest song in a new scientific study.

An expert in physiology and music analysed physical reactions to a number of rock and pop songs and deemed the 1997 track to be the saddest ahead of 'Angels' by Robbie Williams.

The study, sponsored by Nokia UK, measured heart rate, respiratory response and skin temperature to find the saddest songs on a shortlist compiled by the Official UK Charts Company.

Dr Harry Witchel, who carried out the survey, said: 'Music is undeniably powerful at triggering different emotional states. Changes in tempo and frequencies induce profoundly different emotional states.

'A slow tempo song like The Verve's 'The Drugs Don't Work' slows down the heart compared to most of the other songs and compared to white noise - in other words, it works like the emotional state of sadness.

'LDN' by Lily Allen was declared the happiest song in the study, followed by Abba's 'Dancing Queen' and REM's 'Shiny Happy People'.

The saddest ten songs were (click on the links to listen to the songs):

1. The Verve - The Drugs Don't Work

2. Robbie Williams - Angels

3. Elton John - Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word

4. Whitney Houston - I Will Always Love You

5. Sinead O'Connor - Nothing Compares 2 U (Karaoke Version)

6. Will Young - Leave Right Now (Instrumental))

7. Elvis Presley - Are You Lonesome Tonight?

8. Christina Aguilera - Beautiful

9. James Blunt - Goodbye My Lover

10. Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees (Instrumental)

posted by Soulfull @ 12/15/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




This DC Traffic


This DC Traffic
Originally uploaded by Soulfull.
I am beginning to really hate this damn traffic. I mean lately I've been feeling like folks are just out to make my ride home a damn nightmare. It's been really frustrating and I'm debating whether or not to jump back on the Metro. Unfortunately with their recent talks of a fare increase, I'm not that inclined to make the switch, but damn these slow pokes and excessive breakers!!!!!

posted by Soulfull @ 12/12/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




A Great Review Of Clipse's Hell Hath No Fury

I was over here reading and Oliver provided his readers with what I think IS a great review of Clipse's new album, Hell Hath No Fury:

Written by "James"

"I picked this up yesterday (full price, suckers—s’nothin’), and I think dudes trying to graft onto this record some overarching concept or some moral underpinning are reaching. I can appreciate the impulse, because for many reasons (reasons, it should be noted, that are being missed by many of the over-literal smart-dumb vivisectors around here who have mistaken all the hubbub for something having to do with originality or message or subject-verb agreement or some similarly irrelevant shit) this record doesn’t feel like just another record, but, I mean, come on now: When every expression of paranoia or regret is a single pea under mattress after mattress of coke, money, lifestyle, and coke-money lifestyle, reading it as a moral tale takes an unseemly amount of princeliness.

I think this insistence on the album’s progress or movement (from victim to victimizer, from underdog to top dog, from braggadocio to remorse, etc.) rings false because part of what’s really hitting me is the brilliant static quality of this record. Nothing on here goes anywhere. Every single song on this thing traces a very small circle--sell crack, get money, spend money, feel vague regret, but then get back to business--but traces it repeatedly, deeper every time, and with perfect focus. And it’s this repetition, this relentlessness, this inescapable acting-out of the same sequence and following the same circuit track after track after track that gives the whole thing its hypnotic gravity.

It makes no sense at all to hold up individual lyrics and say, “See, these guys are smart because they know that the crack game is destructive, they know that wealth has made them paranoid and incapable of love, and I know that they know because they say it once in this one song and again in this other and….” Please miss me with that shit. Whatever this record accomplishes, it does so not by talking about it, but by feeling like it. Just like Velvet Underground’s “Heroin” succeeds not because it says “Man, heroin sure is fucked” but because it feels magnetic and horrifying, or just like There’s A Riot Goin’ On succeeds not because it says “Fuck you, hippies—shit is real” but because it feels dystopian and personal and cauterized and utterly non-communal.

Hell Hath No Fury succeeds not by pointing out the traps of the crack game, but by feeling, on every conceivable level, trapped. Everything that happens in these songs feels like it's already happened--no real history, no important future, just...done. Time is flat. Everything just is. For all the references to jets and Europe and globe-trotting hither and yon, I hear no exterior at all in this record—it’s all driver’s seats and cockpits and showrooms and hotel rooms and front rooms and VIP rooms and rooms with walls that seem to be closing in because they are. It's the airtight coffin that won't let the body decompose, yunno? You won’t get that listening to one cut or quoting one verse; it's all in the accumulation. They keep piling on detail after detail because, after all, what else can they do? Shit just keeps coming, but their circle isn't getting any bigger.

And the music knows this, too. All the beats are big, but not one of them sounds open to me. Just like the lyrics, they all sound both inescapable and incapable of escaping themselves, just evil and broke-dick, grindstone after grindstone. No whole drums anywhere—those that are shiny are broken (the clipped cymbal fills in "Dirty Money"), and those that are healthy are obscured (the massive rolls buried alive under "Hello New World"). There’s all these bits of hand percussion beating cloven hooves under everything, and from the wheezing squeezebox in “Mama I’m So Sorry” to the muzzy keyboard nag in “Dirty Money” to the unintelligible spoken-word particulate that clogs some distant filter in the deep background of “Trill,” the whole thing just sounds enormous and syphilitic. As a setting for the above, it couldn’t be more perfect. I don’t expect to hear a record this good for quite a while."


Here are the tracks:

1. We Got It For Cheap (Intro)

2. Momma I'm So Sorry

3. Mr. Me Too

4. Wamp Wamp (What It Do)

5. Ride Around Shining

6. Dirty Money

7. Hello New World

8. Keys Open Doors

9. Ain't Cha

10. Trill

11. Chinese New Year

12. Nightmares

posted by Soulfull @ 12/12/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




The Only Reason I'll Be Watching Super Bowl XLI...


Prince to Perform During Super Bowl XLI Halftime Show

posted by Soulfull @ 12/12/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Nas' Baby's Mama Visits Wendy Williams

Okay, this was HUH-larious!!!!



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/11/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Mariah Carey Sues Porn Star

The Headline Reads: Singer Carey sues porn star Carey

American pop singing star Mariah Carey is worried fans could confuse her with American porn star Mary Carey and filed suit Friday in Los Angeles to prevent the star of movies such as "Double Air Bags 11" and "Boobsville Sorority Girls" from trademarking her similar-sounding stage name.

The adult film actress, whose real name is Mary Cook, said Friday she would not be intimidated by the international superstar and will continue her trademark application.

She began using the stage name Mary Carey in 2002 and ran for California governor against Arnold Schwarzenegger. She filed the trademark papers earlier this year.

"I'm ready to battle Mariah over this because I've been Mary Carey for a long time," Mary Carey told Reuters. "It's kind of funny because I'm a porn star and I've been being myself for a long time. I think she's being silly."

A lawyer for Mariah Carey sent Mary Carey's representatives a letter in October threatening legal action if she did not withdraw the application.

"MARY CAREY and MARIAH CAREY share the identical surname and have first names that are very similar," attorney Robert Becker wrote.

And in part because the porn star was seeking the trademark for audio and video recordings, he said, "Confusion between your client and her MARY CAREY trademark and our client and its MARIAH CAREY trademark is therefore likely."

Becker also demanded that Mary Carey use her name only for "adult entertainment" and that she not sing or perform music.

"This is a technical procedure to stop a trademark registration. Mariah Carey has no affiliation with Mary Carey," said Mariah Carey's spokeswoman, Leslie Sloane-Zelnik.

David Beitchman, a lawyer for Mary Carey, said he thought Mariah Carey doesn't have much chance of winning.

"My first thought was, does Mariah Carey realize what her lawyer is comparing her to and are they seriously concerned?" Beitchman said. "Do they seriously think the fans are going to be confused?"


WTF? I guess fake tits can only get you so far. Man, this is tacky. If the chick's last name ain't really 'Carey' then she needs to cease and desist. Besides if you got ' real skills', you don't have 'to ride' someone else's name...

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posted by Soulfull @ 12/11/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Monday’s Motivation: Your Imagination Is Power

Today was an interesting day at work. I learned some things about myself from others that I wish I could share here but let’s just say I found out that folks are reading these rambles of mine in hopes that I’d divulge some work-related secrets. HA! Keep dreaming! Although “I’m free to do what I want, any old time”, I ain’t stupid. Therefore, today's motivation has been my imagination! Lately, when I’ve been stressed at work, my health issues, editing my NaNoWriMo book, finals in school, and being a mom, my imagination has helped to give me hope, a hope that continues to sustain me through the bullshit of today and tomorrow. I think I'll just end here.


Peace & Blessings ya’ll…..



Pure Imagination – Gene Wilder from The Original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory



Imagine – John Lennon


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posted by Soulfull @ 12/11/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Ginuwine Announces A Poetry Contest

Through his myspace blog, Ginuwine has announced a poetry contest. Here are the details:

The holidays are here and they've always put me in a cheerful spirit and I hope all of you are enjoying them as well. Thank you all for all of the Thanksgiving wishes. I really appreciate all of them and I hope all of you enjoyed it as well. During this time of year I often receive a lot of beautiful gifts and cards especially from my fans. Just the other day I sat down and read a great deal of the wonderful fan mail I receive and I came across a lot of cards and letters that had some beautiful poetry in them. Being a writer myself I can definitely appreciate a good lyric or poem. Reading all of those poems made me wonder exactly how many of my fans have those same writing skills. Because I love all of you so much I've decided to spread a little holiday cheer to a few lucky fans. Here's what you need to do...

As I stated before, I love a good poem. So what I want you all to do is write me a poem in 10 LINES or LESS. The poem has to be about me and be sure to include anything professional about me in it. For example, my music (song lyrics, titles ect.), movies I've been in, TV shows and plays, you can even you use my name (GINUWINE) if you like . The sky's the limit when it comes to my career. NOTHING PERSONAL... The poem does not have to rhyme just as long as it makes sense. The topic of the poem is open to whatever you like just as long as I'm the subject of it and it has to be ORIGINAL. However, anything inappropriate or disrespectful will be disqualified!! I will be reading each and every one of them so get those creative juices flowing and create me a beautiful poem!!! The best poem will be chosen as the GRAND PRIZE WINNER and will be featured on my myspace page. This contest is for ALL AGES and all entries should all be sent to my INBOX. Good luck to all of you and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!!

Love Ginuwine....


Prizes

(1) First place: Front row tickets to the show, Backstage passes to meet me and a picture for you and a friend. Your poem will also be displayed on my page.
(2) Second Place: A copy of my greatest hits album
(3) Third place: An autograph picture

All poetry must be Received by January 6th, 2006

Winners will be announced on January 7th, 2006

Please include the following information:

Name

Address

Phone Number

This information will remain confidential



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/11/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Are We REALLY Brothers & Sisters?

The Headline Reads: The African and African-American Paradox

The smell of nail polish, hair spray and the loud sounds of laughter and jazz music fill Main Abstracts Hair Salon. It is an ordinary day at the West Loop hairdresser, where black women go to have their hair straightened and talk up the latest news and gossip.

"You think Barack will run for president?" asked one woman to no one in particular, but all eyes moved in her direction.

A chorus of "yeah," "oh yes" and "he'll get shot" responded.

"He'd be the first black president," said another woman who was getting a manicure.

U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) is the son of a Kenyan father and a white, Kansas-born mother. He and Colin Powell, the former Secretary of State and son of Jamaican immigrants, have increased the visibility of blacks in public life while also contributing to the growing debate on black ethnicity and heritage.

"It's weird how we can see some people as black and others as Africans," said Richelle Williams, 28, a stylist at Main Abstracts. "Black people don't always see Africans as being black people.

"There is a kind of divide between blacks and Africans living in America, and it's kinda funny because with other cultures, it's not that way," Williams added. "Blacks see whites as being just that: white. But white people know where they're from, whether it be Italy, Poland, or Germany.

Other people, she said, "look at us and they see black. And for many people, that is the end of it. The farthest we can go back may be to Alabama or South Carolina. We don't know where we really come from."

Many black Americans are the descendents of an estimated 500,000 African and Afro-Caribbean slaves involuntarily transported to the United States between 1770 and 1860. But according to U.S. Census data, more Africans have arrived in the United States voluntarily since then.

The American Immigration Law Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau approximate close to 50,000 legal Africans arrive annually in the United States, and of the nearly 35 million blacks living in the United States today, 1 million are African born.

These immigrants are multilingual, highly educated and of middle to upper income. But, their relationship with blacks born in America is complex.

John R. Logan, a sociology professor at Brown University, has studied African migration and its impact on black communities in America.

"There's greater diversity than we tend to notice," he said. "American society tends to treat all the blacks the same way and to create a single category. But there are a lot of differences. The paradox lies in the way that society sees people and in the way people see themselves."

Logan's research shows that between 1990 and 2000, African migration to the United States increased 170 percent, with Nigeria, Ethiopia and Ghana having the largest new immigrant communities in this country. But the largest number of blacks immigrating to the United States comes from English-speaking, Afro-Caribbean countries, such as Haiti, Jamaica and Barbados.

"Africans [and Afro-Caribbeans] immigrate because of family connections, educational reasons and for job opportunities," Logan said. "The education levels of African immigrants and Afro-Caribbean immigrants to the U.S. is higher than black Americans. African immigrants will come to do graduate study or come with a professional degree and get a professional job. Out of the immigrant population, black immigrants are more likely to naturalize and to stay in the country."

Ademola Dada, president and CEO of the Continental Africa Chamber of Commerce in Chicago, immigrated to the United States to attend graduate school at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Roosevelt University.

Dada, of Naperville, sees a cultural and economic divide between African immigrants and blacks living in America.

"Italian-American, Asian-American, Mexican immigrants participate [and expand capital] in American business through their immigrant origins," he said.

Dada explained that these groups create wealth by supporting cultural businesses domestically, sending money to family members living in home countries and investing in ethnic community businesses and charities.

But the same is not true of the black American community. Dada noted that despite investments from African immigrants in domestic and foreign African businesses, the black American community remains uninvolved and unaware of the economic potential of merging community resources.

"There are billions of dollars that [they] can use to create wealth," he said.

Beatrice Dosunmu, a-43-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Nigeria now living on Chicago's South Side, owns Borat Restaurant, a quaint, candle-lit cafe at 3346 N. Clark St. The restaurant is frequented by Nigerians, Ghanians, Asian Americans, whites and some blacks.

"I am black and I am an American, but there's more to it than that," she said. "I identify with my home country first."

When asked about her restaurant clientele, Dosunmu said she is trying to reach out to black Americans.

"Black people don't really understand African cuisine, so that's why there aren't so many black people who know or who eat traditional African food. Chinese restaurants are all over and everybody eats Chinese food, but I want to make Nigerian food as popular as Chinese food. If I have the money, I'll open more locations so everyone will have the privilege of tasting Nigerian food."

Third-year Northwestern University medical student, Ehididiame "Didi" Omiyi, 25, of Uromi, said Borat's jollof rice - a Nigerian dish - is almost as good as his mother's home cooking.

"I identify myself as black...as black as my friends who grew up here [in America] and in Nigeria," he said. "I've had my interactions with blacks who say I'm from Nigeria and that I'm not really black, that I can't really relate. I grew up in a country where everyone is black, so I didn't have experience with racial discrimination."


Wow. This was an interesting article. I can definitely see similarities within myself, especially when it comes to eating Chinese food versus African food. But hell, it's never too late to rectify a situation... Trying African food will definitely be on my things to do in '07...

posted by Soulfull @ 12/11/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Six Film Clips From The Pursuit Of Happyness



Click here for clips



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/09/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Brian McKnight's New Album Is (Almost) A 'TEN'

Brian McKnight is back and I'm excited! I mean this is the man that inspired me to request a church member to sing Never Felt This Way at my wedding! So let's get right into Ten...

1. Used To Be My Girl - Why do I have visions of old suga daddies singing along to this? This is a decent song for the scorned fellas who are still pressed to talk about that 'pretty young thang' that they used to have. The song structure reminds me of Bobby Valentino's Slow Down.

2. Comfortable - On this track, Brian is basically saying, "If you don't sit yo behind down and get in the groove with me..." I like this one and the breakdown at the middle is interesting, but the producer could've skipped all his promo talking in the background.

3. Find Myself In You - This is my ish. Nuff said. Loved it the first time I heard it in Madea's Family Reunion. It's so Marvin Gaye'ish, you gotta love it...

4. What's My Name - "I'm still qualified to lay hands on yo body..." Well alright now, McKnight! This sexy jam about hollering a brotha's name when he's doing it good is all right with me! The subject matter was done in a sexy, but oh so tasteful way. LOVE IT!

5. Unhappy Without You - This track has Brian talking about 'blissful synergy', but I'm more partial to soulful synergy (LOL!) Seriously, this is the grown man's version of dumping a problematic girlfriend, but I think Usher did a better job of shaking heartache with "U Don't Have To Call"... Next...

6. A Little Too Late - Good follow up to the last song. Brian has a great voice that just shines on this song about heartache.

7. Holdin' On [Missin' U] - Okay, another heartbreaking song, which is very nice and depressing. You know I have to recommend that this one be used for crying or peaceful reflection of lost loves. Classic Brian Mcknight song right here.

8. Shoulda Been Lovin' You - I really like this track. It sucks that it's another 'I f-ed up and broke your heart' song, but the Marvin Gaye'ish groove is infectious!

9. Again - "Again" is just the perfect title for this song because YET AGAIN Brian is singing about heartache. Next.

10. More And More - I know this is supposed to be the emotional lovemaking song (opposite of all that booty slapping in What's My Name), but I'm left wanting more considering this track ends so abruptly (but smoothly). Next.

11. Can't Leave You Alone - This track is just too damn busy. It has so much swagger in it, I feel like I might fall over from listening to Brian singing about some 'freaky girl' that he can't leave alone. But there's hope. This could be the perfect song for all those folks who love to Creep like TLC.

12. I Do - I think this is the one of those love songs that makes me remember how great a Brian McKnight love song can be. I like this.

13. The Rest Of My Life - This piano laced sap song about love builds into what is definitely the power ballad of the album. This song is just perfect for engagements, weddings, anniversaries, hell -- ANY EVENT that celebrates the love between two people. I LOVE IT!

14. Red, White, And Blue (With Rascal Flatts) - At first glance at the title for this track, I just knew that this was going to be an anti-war song, but OH NO! This track speaks about the longing a soldier has to be with their family when they are away from home. Brian and Rascal did a BEAUTIFUL JOB of conveying these feelings and even if you aren't a soldier, I think you can appreciate this songs' content.

15. Don't Take Your Love Away - This is a nice love song, but it doesn't really move me like the others and after the last two BEAUTIFUL songs, it probably should've been left off the album.

Overall: I can't fault Brian for making a bunch of songs about heartache. I mean, that's just what Brian does. That is HIS niche and 'TEN' does a great job of showcasing the meat and potatoes of love. Whether it's freaky sex or the raw emotions of distant soldiers, this album made me feel like I've been on the emotional rollercoaster of love and I enjoyed (almost) every minute of it.

Favorite Tracks: Find Myself In You, What's My Name, I Do, The Rest Of My Life, Red, White, and Blue


I Do



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posted by Soulfull @ 12/08/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post




Sean Bell's Widow Speaks To Essence



I was reading this story and my heart just breaks for this woman. It's great that the judge granted her request to give her Bell's last name.


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posted by Soulfull @ 12/08/2006 Add to GlobalGrind! , links to this post


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