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.
Went to see “The Butler” last night, Loved It! Part of me was just gonna “write something” on FB, but I had to write more, and GIVE IT UP to the filmmaking genius of Lee Daniels. Starring Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, David Oyelowo and an impeccable ensemble cast, Lee has another future classic on his hands.
Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” album is forty years old today! What’s crazy is I was just listening to it no more than four weeks ago, thinking how relevant Stevie’s lyrics still are, but I put it on for the music. It was “Living for the City” that I wanted to hear in particular, but “Innervisions” is one of those records you can put on and just press play, still today. Back in the day when it was released, we had to put the needle on the record, as CD was something, on the way.
Chris Rock is presently shooting his new film “Finally Famous.” Starring Kevin Hart, Rosario Dawson, Gabrielle Union and Rock, it’s said to be an edgy showbiz-themed comedy with romance. Given the Hart/ Rock combo, in addition to the talents of J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Romany Malco and rising starlet Haley Marie Norman, I anticipate lots of laughs. ”Finally Famous” is Rock’s third direction, following his features “Head of State” and “I Think I Love My Wife.”
Some television shows celebrate their 200th episode. Unless I’ve completely lost it, this is my 200th blog — no, I haven’t lost it, it is my 200th blog. 20 blogs per page, at 10 pages, equals 200 right? 20 X 10 = 200. Generally T-V programs will review and/ or reflect on the shows that preceded the 200th show. That’s very appropriate for television, and I suppose I could touch on a few of my favorite blogs over the past five years, but I believe speaking on public figures that are anti-FUNK or just plain FUNKED UP may be more intriguing.
The City of Chicago honored ten-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan this past weekend by naming a street after her. A ceremony took place on Saturday, July 27th, christening “Chaka Khan Way”, and Sunday, July 28th, has now been declared “Chaka Khan Day” in Chicago, which is the FUNKY singer’s hometown. Born Yvette Marie Stevens on March 23, 1953, Chaka made her presence known during the 1970s.
The hit AMC television series “Breaking Bad” ends this summer. Starring Bryan Cranston as “Heisenberg,” it co-stars Aaron Paul who portrays “Jesse” on the show. While a family was on tour in Los Angeles from Ireland, Paul left his home to greet them at their van. See the clip below, apologies for the doughnut w/ annoying commentator:
The Hughes Brothers set it off in the world of cinema with their gritty depiction of South Central L-A ala the film “Menace II Society” in 1993. A ghetto opus captured on screen, it made John Singleton’s “Boyz N The Hood” of two years prior look like a Disney movie. After four releases under their preverbal belts as a directing duo, the brothers Executive Produced their fifth release “Scratch.”
The Coen Brothers have gone from Funky Indy filmmakers to mainstream Hollywood since they first arrived in 1984. A follower of their work since “Blood Simple,” which I saw at The Quad theater in NYC’s Village area, I’m looking forward to their new film “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Starring Justin Timberlake, the film also more than solidifies the singer’s place as an A-List movie actor.