Zendaya Replaced by Alexandra Shipp in Aaliyah Biopic

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I posted a few weeks ago about Zendaya Coleman being cast as the leading role in the controversial biopic of late singer, Aaliyah.  Since then,  she’s gracefully bowed out due to some harsh criticism from Aaliyah fans and push back from the singer’s family.

It’s no secret that Aaliyah’s family is doing everything they can to halt production and have publicly stated that they will block Lifetime from obtaining rights to the singer’s music.   The family has gone on record and is determined to not only cast an A-list actress as the lead, but to have it released on the big screen, similar to Tina Turner’s,  What’s Love Got to Do With It.  

Despite the controversy,  Lifetime has moved forward in casting actress Alexandra Shipp as the new lead and talk show host, Wendy Williams, has spilled the beans about being the new Executive Producer for the film.  Shipp was recently named the lead actress in VH1′s Drumline sequel and she’s been featured in Disney’s,  Victorious.

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To put rumors to rest, Zendaya released a statement in a series of videos via Instagram,  which stated:

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Let me just explain something. The reason why I chose not to do the Aaliyah movie had nothing to do with the haters or people telling me that I couldn’t do it, I wasn’t talented enough, or I wasn’t black enough. It had absolutely nothing to do with that.”

“The main reasons were that the production value wasn’t there, there were complications with the music rights, and I just felt like it wasn’t being handled delicately considering the situation. And I tried my best to reach out to the family on my own, and I wrote a letter, but I was unable to do so; therefore, I felt not really morally okay with moving forward with the project.”

“With all that being said, congratulations to the new woman playing Aaliyah; I only hope she does not have to deal with half the hate that I had to deal with. And remember that we are all human beings trying to do what we love to do. Let’s practice motivation and love; not discrimination and hate. All right?”

Either way,  I’m neutral on whether the leading role should be A-list or D; I just hope they do the film the right way and tastefully.   I also hope the family isn’t being driven by greed.  We shall see how this unfolds.

40 Year Old Mom Becomes Saints Cheerleader!

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Now I’ve seen it all!  This is just faaaaabulous.  Kriste Lewis is 40 and a mother of two and just so happens to be making history.

A dance instructor recently fulfilled a lifelong dream by becoming a New Orleans Saints cheerleader and her age didn’t stop her. Kudos to Kriste and even more kudos to a classy organization for giving her a fair shot.

What dream will you choose to fulfill today?

Why I Have Newfound Respect for Rapper, Wale

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Social media has been booming lately.  Between rapper, Meek Mill, going to jail and him dissing his fellow MMG mate, Wale.  I usually read about stuff like this to stay in the know about what’s happening in the entertainment business, but I typically don’t write about it. I feel all writing does is fuel a dangerous fire,  i.e. Tupac vs Biggie.

However,  I chose to highlight this particular “beef” story, not because of the hype,  but because I wanted to focus on how amazing I felt after reading Wale’s response. There is hope.

Long story short, Wale was called out for not supporting Meek’s upcoming album release via Twitter (so stupid) and was labeled as a “hater” and fake. Meek also went as far as saying Wale wasn’t “MMG”.   For a grown man to even feel the need to call another grown man out about something so childish,  makes you wonder how tight the screws are.   Now,  I’m from Philly (like Meek Mill) so I get the passion and sense of respect you have for those in your life.  People from Philly take things personal,  that’s just how we’re wired.   But,  when you begin to sell records internationally and make a name for yourself in this world, you must elevate your mind and behavior.

I believe all rappers and business-minded folks should take a page out of Wale’s notebook after reading his response to Meek Mill.  Here’s the classy Instagram snap back:

 

Few weeks ago. (7w) I posted this .but ok. Movin along . My Avi always changed when it’s THAT time .. Ok that’s not enough y’all see “razor ramon” post on his no. But I don’t care.. I wrote a long ass post day before his single dropped .. Mariah record dropped nobody said a word I didn’t care .. I still don’t… I carry myself with confidence and humility ., I always try to have a lighter side to MMG.. Cuz I understand I don’t “fit the mold” so if I’m tryna spruce an interview up to show that we not tryn be “serious tough guys” on the red carpet Or try to be a bit more engaging to broaden our audience forgive me . I never wanted anybody to think we take ourselves THAT serious. (Were rappers )I don’t need to take anybody shine.. Or hate on anybody . I walk in a completely different world .. Where I look for slp jeans and Shanghai dunks online and know what “kayfabe” means. I check nbadraft.net daily . I’m on whatculture allll day I enjoy shyt like that. I play fuckin Zelda and fuck wit bitches who teach yoga and paint… I get it . I’m different . I always embrace that shyt.. I encourage y’all to embrace what y’all like or the person y’all wanna be.. I text niggas happy Father’s Day and get no reply .. I laugh it off .. I laugh at how I write songs about “chain music” and y’all get lost or “600benzz” i like to have fun with our culture. Because I beleive I add THAT to a “gangster rap” faction. I made my opportunity work for me that way. I write poems . I watch wwe . I collect kicks. I’m sensitive ok. Maybe bi polar. But one thjng I’m not is a hater.. I see Daquan jokes all day yesterday and patted myself on the back that I’m regarded as the aforementioned adjectives and not “Daquan”. I’m me and I’ll be me and do this shyt wit my “dew” till I don’t wanna do it. I encourage you to wake up soon as you find time. This was a post about #nothin”

How Did You Spend Your 4th of July?

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4th of July is filled with many American traditions like fireworks,  BBQ’s, family,  red, white and blue,  etc.   I personally enjoy relaxing in nice weather,  eating good food and sipping on something tasty.   Unfortunately,  my fun was jam packed into only a few hours because I had to work, but I’m interested in knowing how all of you celebrated your Independence Day!

Share your stories and traditions with the rest of us!

Angie Martinez Resigns From Hot 97

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One of New York’s most popular radio personalities has made the decision to resign from Hot 97.  Angie Martinez invested more than twenty years of service and became an icon in her own right.  Also an actor and rapper, Martinez is ready for new opportunities.  She released a statement on Instagram which stated:

This was one of the toughest decisions I’ve ever had to make, but ultimately it is time to move on, to grow and to be challenged in new ways…saying goodbye is always emotional and bittersweet, but I am extremely excited about the future.

We wish her the best of luck!

Zendaya Casted in Aaliyah Movie

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It’s been in the works for some years now, but the wheels are finally set in motion to begin filming an Aaliyah biopic.  There were a few speculations on which young lady would be granted the honor to portray the young, fallen star and the verdict has been set.  Disney star, Zendaya, will be featured in the upcoming film.

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The challenge will be great, but I’m sure she will do the role much justice!

Rest in Paradise, Dr. Maya Angelou

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This is, by far, one of the toughest posts to write. Waking up and realizing someone so great has passed on, leaves me confused. I never had the pleasure of meeting Maya Angelou, but she’s one of the reasons why Black women have a voice in this world. Giving an entire culture a voice when many tried to silence it during intense, politically-racial times was one of her greatest accomplishments. Being addressed as Dr. Angelou and never actually attending college was another.  She had so many gifts and talents and she shared each one with the world, so selflessly. 

I love her writing most. She is an example of everything in life happening for a very real reason.  Being raped at the tender age of 7, was her reason for beginning one of her many crafts.  She believed that she could kill the man who took her innocence through her writing.  Such a horrible tragedy gave an entire nation one of the best writers we will ever have the chance to experience.

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Today, Dr. Angelou, I salute you and I thank you for being one of the writers to light my flame.  You’ve always been such an inspiration and will continue to do so for the rest of my life.  As I watched you grow older, I was so sad because I knew that if you passed away, very few people were going to be left who cared about people like me.  People who’s story isn’t ideal, but could cause transcendence into enlightenment.  Now that you’re gone, I have a striking responsibility to continue on my journey of finding my true voice.  You did it all and so will I.  Thank you for leaving us with everything great and I pray that I make you proud.

Young Star, Quvenzhané Wallis, Named Face of Armani Junior

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Best known for her Oscar nominated performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhané Wallis makes history once again by being the first child celebrity to be named the face of Armani Junior.  She is super excited to take on this new challenge and shared her thoughts on the huge opportunity:

I’m so happy to be chosen by Mr. Armani to be his ambassador for Armani Junior. I felt the same excitement when I got cast for a major film. Me? Wow! I was honored to wear his custom gown to the Oscars. It made me feel like a princess…

 

Not only will this young beauty be taking on a new profession as an Armani model, but she will also appear in the upcoming rendition of Annie; slated to hit theaters in December!

 

CONGRATS, Quvenzhané!!!

Crystal Changed Her Life & Became an Insanity Instructor!

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Everyday we see so many advertisements for losing weight without working out or slimming your waist within days by popping a pill…both of which seem highly unhealthy.  It’s rare to see someone who actually takes the necessary steps in eating right and exercising to lose weight.  I struggle daily with my weight and my body image.  I went from being an extremely healthy athlete to overweight when I started college in 2001.  I haven’t been able to get back to my old self since then.  I walk around with weight that I’m not used to and actually motivating myself to get in the gym and stick with it is really hard.  So, one day I was on the computer and saw a post from one of my Facebook friends.  The post read:

 

Don’t chase your dreams CATCH THEM! If you would have told me 10 months ago that I would make a career out of helping others get in shape and that I would be a CERTIFIED INSANITY INSTRUCTOR, I would have laughed in your face! It still seems so surreal to me that I, Crystal Hughey, am a successful Beachbody Coach. I’m just a girl who struggled with fitness but finally decided to anchor down and get serious about getting healthy.

This year is all about stepping outside of my comfort zone. Last year I stepped out of my comfort zone by becoming a Coach. That decision was the best decision of the year so I decided to do more things that scare me. My 2014 Vision Board is full of things that scare me (like getting Insanity Certified and paying off my student loans in one year). I like to set my goals high and give myself huge challenges.

“Move out of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.” ~Brian Tracy

 

In reading this, I got chills…like serious chills.  Maybe if I show you all a timeline of Crystal’s journey you may understand why her story hits home.  Check out her transformation:

 

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Now, do you see why I look upon Crystal with such admiration?!  She and I don’t interact with one another on a daily basis, but I did reach out to her and ask if she’d be alright with me sharing her story.  There was no interview conducted, no heart to heart, no exchanging of life stories, just pure and organic respect for someone who worked their butt off to get to where they are now.  When you are at a low point in life and the cards seem to be stacked against you, seeing someone take hold of their life is sometimes the best antidote to fixing something with yourself.  She barely knows me and vice versa, but seeing her journey unfold on Facebook, of all places, has really shown me that it is possible.  Hopefully, Crystal can spark something in you like she did for me!  Thanks, Crystal and congrats on becoming a Certified Insanity Instructor!

 

If you want to follow more of Crystal Hughey’s journey, check out her site: Fitness With Chris

 

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Ciara Gives Sneek Peak of Her Newborn Son…

This is an update to yesterday’s post.  Since giving birth to a baby boy, Ciara has decided to share a snippet of her little blessing with the rest of the world and she has also revealed the name.  Meet, Future Zahir Wilburn:

 

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