Vanessa Williams is headed to Broadway for the fifth time! On April 1st, she’ll begin her run with the production “After Midnight.” Williams made her Broadway debut starring in “Kiss of the Spider Woman” in 1994. Having seen the Oscar award winning film, there was no way I was going to miss her in that production, she was phenomenal.
Chadwick Boseman, the star of the movie “42” based on the life of Jackie Robinson, has taken on the role of James Brown for the biopic “Get On Up.” The film chronicles Brown’s life from poverty to his rise to mega success, as he became one of the most influential musicians in history. World renown as “The Godfather of Soul”, Brown is unequivocally “The Pioneer of FUNK.”
Over the years, millions of people and the NAACP have taken offense to the lack of a black presence in Hollywood and films produced there. Last night at the NAACP Awards, Directors Guild of America (DGA) President Paris Barclay and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) chief Cheryl Boone Isaacs, were inducted into the NAACP Hall of Fame at the organization’s 45th annual Image Awards ceremony.
If you haven’t heard yet, Lil’ Kim is pregnant. A fan more so of her presence in hip-hop than her music, I met Lil Kim when she was promoting her first album “Hard Core.” At four feet and eleven inches and chocolate brown skin, her FUNKY reputation had preceded her. The reserved young lady I met, was not the wild child I expected.
I believe the best Valentine’s Day gift is not the giving of cards and chocolates, but expressions of communication and clear thoughts. Like every year since we’ve been together, that was the exchange of gifts that my wife and I shared yesterday.
I never heard an R&B duet that I didn’t like. Over the years there have been hundreds of performances, but the R&B duo as a musical entity, has been limited. Jill Scott and Anthony Hamilton are the male and female who have done it right most recently with the song “So In Love,” from Scott’s CD “The Light of the Sun.” This was a track that no true program director in the genre of Urban music could deny — they did the damn thing.
In general, I tend to be inspired by those younger than myself. Sometimes there are youths that inspire me from a backwards place.
2013 was a good year for music! There were a plethora of releases amidst a mass of diversity. Here are the favorites for the FUNKALICIOUS Blog (in no particular order) – Enjoy!!!!
“Christmas time is here, it’s a wonderful time of the year,” is the sentiment in the hearts of many, but not everyone. While I don’t promote hypocrisy, I do believe that people should make more of an effort to be kind during the holidays. Why not? Especially if you’re not one who’s kind all year round, which brings me to my reason for this item…
I love Calvin Broadus aka Snoop Dogg, aka Snoop Lion, aka Snoopzilla!?!? Ah yeah, you thought Sean Combs was the only one that could dub himself multiple names, think again. Snoop Dogg has been doing his thang now for 20 years. Known around the world for his music as a rapper and a force in hip-hop, Snoop has released an album in tribute to FUNK.
Indelibly on my brain are thoughts of loved ones and experiences that have shaped who I am. Most memories I cherish – there’s a few I’m not so fond of, and a couple I’d like to forget. As every individual is made up of how they have lived and what one eats — what the hell is in the water of the ignorant children taking part in this detrimental “game” called “Knock Out”?
Last night I had the fortune of taking part in one of the most groundbreaking events in entertainment history. The First Annual YouTube Awards, presented by Kia, was a spectacle for the ages! Featuring the music of Lady Gaga, M.I.A., Eminem, Earl Sweatshirt & Tyler, the Creator, Arcade Fire, Lindsey Stirling and Avicii, T-Pain and Michael Shannon made special appearances. All the performances were videos shot Live under the direction of visionary and the event’s Co-Creator, Spike Jonze.
I Funkin’ LOVE Tamar Braxton’s new CD! If you haven’t heard it, GET IT, it’s unquestionably one of the best in R&B this year. Titled “Love And War,” it’s actually set a record in Billboard history. The album features the hit “The One,” which samples the classic Mtume jam, “Juicy.”
Katy Perry’s new single “Roar” will surely take the number-one spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart next week. The song was held off from taking the top of the chart by Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” which holds the position for an 11th week. The hit tune, featuring T.I. and Pharrell, leads “Radio Songs” for a seventh week according to Nielsen BDS reports. Thike’s track barely held off Perry’s “Roar,” which went from 85 to Number-2, following its first full week of single sales.
AT&T had a press conference this past week along with New York City officials from the Parks and Recreations Department. The ceremony was held to raise awareness of an existing vital form of technology that’s been a part of NYC’s landscape all summer called Street Charge. The solar powered stems went up after the tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, as a means of providing people without power to charge their electronic devices.
So for the past few days in my peripheral vision I’ve been seeing this black ad online. I’m not really taking it in, as I try not to be too consumed by the beast of the media we’re constantly exposed to. Finally it gets me, it’s for Dunkin’ Donuts, but it’s not for your local shop… but the chain in Thailand. It’s polished and looks slick, but it’s the same ol’ ish…
My impression was that Robin Thicke’s big hit “Blurred Lines” was meant to be an awesome tribute to Marvin Gaye’s 70s smash “Got To Give It Up.” Sampling and re-creating classic hits has been such a mainstay for the music industry for the past 30 years now, that I thought most people had probably stopped taken notice of it. Not Marvin Gaye III, who it appears will be taking legal action against Thicke, who initiated a lawsuit against the Gaye family.
Thousands marched on Washington this past weekend to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The actual date that the speech was rendered, is today. My niece Leighana was among the multitude, where Reverend Al Sharpton, the NAACP’s Ben Jealous, and King’s eldest son, Martin Luther King III, spoke. Here’s a shot of my niece below, who continued a tradition her mother and I participated in when Stevie Wonder campaigned for King’s birthday, to be declared a national holiday. Apart from a few words from King III, I’ll let the esteemed Dr. King do the rest.
Michael Jackson would be 55 today (8/29) if he were still among us. Michael’s mom Katherine Jackson and his two eldest children Prince (16) and Paris (15), are currently in the midst of a lawsuit against concert promoters AEG Live, charging them with “Wrongful Death.” AEG’s position is, Jackson was already using drugs that took his life when they began their contractual agreement. On August 14, Jackson’s ex-wife Debbie Rowe took the stand in the pending case. Rowe was called as a defense witness for AEG, and testified as her former mother-in-law Katherine sat in the front row.
Bootsy Collins is working on a song and has plans to shoot a video for the Food-Pantry “OUR DAILY BREAD.” “They feed hungry people every single day,” says Collins, who’s contacted other musicians to aid him with the cause. “Midnightstar & Eddie Levert (of the) Ojays are onboard to help me lay it all down for the people,” Bootsy remarked on his Facebook page. The FUNK legend and friends expect to start shooting the video this Wednesday, August 21st — more details to follow ala FB.