Sunday, October 25, 2015

R.I.P Minnesota Timberwolves coach Flip Saunders dies of cancer at age 60

Flip Saunders, who tallied more than 1,000 victories over a 35-year coaching career that included successful stops with the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons, died Sunday of cancer at age 60.
He also coached the Washington Wizards during a career that spanned 17 seasons as an NBA head coach and included 654 victories.
Saunders announced in August that he was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma. Doctors considered it "very treatable and curable," and Saunders at the time said he planned to remain the Timberwolves' head coach and president of basketball operations. However, he was hospitalized following a setback in September, and it was announced Friday that Saunders would miss the entire 2015-16 season.

Saunders first became an NBA coach in 1996 with the Timberwolves and eventually led the team to eight straight playoff appearances. A standout offensive coach, Saunders specialized in coaching point guards. But perhaps the player he had the greatest impact on was a big man, a wiry kid who came straight from high school in 1995 named Kevin Garnett. Under Saunders' tutelage, Garnett developed into one of the best players in the NBA and eventually an MVP.
After being fired by Minnesota in 2005, Saunders was hired by the Pistons the next season and took Detroit to the conference finals for all three seasons he was on the sideline.
Saunders, after a three-year stint with the Wizards, returned to the Wolves in 2013 after eight years away as team president and part owner. In 2014 he took over again as coach. He was in the process of a major rebuilding effort following the trade of Kevin Love that included the acquisition of Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins, engineering the return of Garnett to mentor young players, the construction of a new downtown practice facility and a renovation of the Target Center.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

How the Kardashians exploit and destroy for reality ratings

 As former NBA star Lamar Odom clings to life in a Las Vegas hospital, his soon-to-be ex-wife Khloe Kardashian and her clan have done what they do best: make the story all about them.
Before the Kardashians even made it to the hospital, there was no dignity here. Odom was found on Tuesday unconscious and face down in a Nevada brothel, choking on his own mucus, damage to his lungs from crack cocaine and track marks on his arms. He’d spent four days and $75,000 there, in a grim whorehouse that most closely resembles a Marriott.
By all accounts, Odom was extremely depressed and out of it, gorging on KFC and T-bone steaks, three at a time. He had to be transported to the nearest hospital by ambulance; he was too large to be airlifted.
Within hours of Odom’s hospitalization, Khloe, Kris and 7-months-pregnant Kim had hopped on a private plane. According to Radar Online, they had a camera crew in tow. (The 11th season of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” filming now, premieres next month.) Caitlyn Jenner was en route.
By early Wednesday morning, media outlets such as TMZ, Radar, People, Us Weekly, E! (home of their reality show) and “Entertainment Tonight” suddenly had real-time updates and unobstructed views of matriarch Kris and her daughters outside the hospital, dressed in designer black dresses as if they were all widowed first ladies, straining to show distress on perfectly made-up, Botoxed faces.


This December, look who’s headed to the most explosive season of Marriage Boot Camp ever! Brace yourself for a bachelor breakdown, a dirty divorcee disaster, one bad blowout, a ticking hip hop time bomb, and the couple so controversial our legal team won’t allow us to reveal their names…yet! Get to know these four couples a little better.

 Sean and Catherine Lowe – “The Bachelor”
With their love developing on national television, it’s hard to determine whether these two are in fact a perfect match. Will boot camp bring their issues to the surface?

Benzino and Althea Heart – “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta”
Their relationship may have started on Twitter, but it blossomed on their reality series. Will Jim and Elizabeth be able to tame their explosive tempers?
 Sundy Carter and Cedric – “Basketball Wives: LA”
Even though this couple has already said “I Do” once before, they are trying to make their relationship work. Are they soulmates?
 Sarah Oliver and Jimmy “Inkman” Coney – “Bad Girls Club” 
This bad girl and her well-known tattoo artist have difficulty staying faithful to one another. Can boot camp give them the confidence they need to stay committed?
 The can’t miss season of Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars ignites December 4th at 9/8c on WE tv.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


On Saturday, October 3, 2014 in a private location VH1’s Christina Johnson will be presenting an AMAZING ME, AMAZING LIFE overnight retreat along with powerful industry speakers to enlighten and inspire your world.

Christina has made it through her own personal storm and will show you amazing techniques and information that will help you through your storms.

“It’s my passion and calling to do this,” says Christina.  “I’m going to have a monthly calls, I’m going to teach on gratitude, authenticity as well as one-on-one.  This is my life and I’m excited.”

Reserve your space to reveal your amazing life now at  Stay tuned for our full interview with Christina only at

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Bar-Kays founder Ben Cauley has died

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis has lost another music legend.
The original founder of the Bar-Kays, Ben Cauley, has died.Cauley’s daughter told WREG he died Monday. He was a trumpet player and the sole survivor of the 1967 plane crash that claimed the lives of soul singer Otis Redding and four members of the Bar-Kays. Cauley reformed the Bar-Kays with James Alexander and the band recorded with Stax artists.In 1989, Cauley suffered a stroke, but later made a full recovery.The Cause of Cauley’s death, he was 67, has not been disclosed.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Exclusive Interview with AVA CAPRA America’s Next Top Model Eliminee – Cycle 22

The 80’s Mullet Kills Ford Model
By Belinda Trotter James

Believe it or not before top model this 5’5” beauty from Los Angeles California was a professional model.  “I was signed to Ford when I was 15 and from there I evolved and grew into modeling,” reveals Ava.  “I did print, commercials, music videos and my brother is an actor.”  Of course bells went off in my head trying to figure out how did she go from being a Ford model to appearing on ANTM only to be the 4th eliminated contestant to leave the competition? Ava explains, “I got my Tyover… the Tyra Mullet kind of weighed down on my confidence a bit.  Although I was trying to act as professional as possible I did not really feel the same.  I mean…. It’s all good.  It’s hair and it will grow back,” she laughs.

Ava’s imagination was not playing tricks on her hair.  When Ava appeared at panel Tyra wasn’t feeling the mullet at all as well.  She told Ava she looked like a housewife.  She did look like a throwback to the 80’s and not in a good way.  It should have been an updated mullet instead of a throwback never to comeback mullet.  At that point I thought Tyra would re-do the cut, but it did not happen. 

Modeling is almost like acting and when you find yourself wearing something hideous or having a horrible makeover, you need to turn yourself into a different character.  Some may say that they did not feel like themselves and they would be partially right.  The half you don’t like isn’t you.  It’s your alter-ego… playing a role just like an actor would in a film.

Thank goodness Ava did not keep the unattractive mullet once she left the competition.  “I came back home and chopped it into a pixie”, says Ava.  “My mom actually did it and I dyed it platinum.  It’s the Marilyn Monroe affect.”  You can see her new cute cut courtesy of her mom coming to the rescue on all her social media pages. 

Ava reveals that she was eliminated because her model mullet did not suit her or fit her personality.  “It was very hard to move forward after I got my hair chopped off and also there is a lot of drama in the house,” says Ava.  “It just got to the point where I just did not fit in.  I was just fed up with the drama.  I didn’t want to go home, but it was really intense.”

Throughout Ava’s high school years she was home schooled because of bullying in the earlier grades.  It’s horrible when a child cannot enjoy their childhood or get a good education and have wonderful memories because of other unhappy children who thrive on making life hell for everyone around them.  Bullying doesn’t stop in the schools; it also takes place in the workplace.  Our family and school situations prepares us for the world which contains evil, good, happy, dark and peaceful experiences.  With each experience is a lesson which contains answers on how to resolve social situations.

“It may have seemed like I lived in a bubble [being home schooled] but I did have a life,” begins Ava.   “I just didn’t have roommates and that kind of contact with my peers was just a little different for me,” explains Ava.  I guess adapting to the actual pressures of living with 13 personalities for the first time can send shock waves to the brain.  Seeing ANTM on television in the comfort of your own home each week and actually living it every day for 14 weeks is two totally different experiences.  We can scream at the television or write our comments on social media however, Ava and the gang had to stay in place 24/7.  “Yeah, it’s pretty different,” says Ava.  “From watching it to actually living it is definitely different.”

For those watching the contestants on television it is a little hard to comprehend the stress levels in the house and seeing the total breakdowns when contestants get a chance to speak to loved ones.  One would think they were captured and thrown in a hell hole prison camp.  They are young adults having a total stress meltdown because of a reality show.  Why are they so stressed????  It ends in 14 weeks.  It’s not hard core military boot camp.  This is something contestants have been dreaming of their entire young life and now that it’s here a meltdown starts to eat away at the dream.  Is it really that bad?  “Yes”, says Ava.   “It’s a lot of things going on in the house like drinking alcohol.  I did not have any connection to the outside world for two months.  It was really tough and what I realize is that it’s not like this in the real modeling world.  I learned from it and definitely learned new social skills.”

In life we sometimes wish for a do-over.  Ava reveals her do-over plan.  “I think I would’ve started focusing more on myself.  I was quick to defend people all the time and I only did that because of my background.  I was abused by my father and I also was affected by bullying so that’s why I feel like I had to defend others, but at the end of the day it is a reality TV show and if you’re not there for drama or there to hook up, then you get sent home.”  We both laughed and I said, “People don’t get sent home for that; it’s good TV but, they get sent home for not getting a good score from the judges.” 

I deliberately did not ask her any questions about her abusive father; that is the past.  We must learn to let go of the past in order to move forward.  We are beautiful spirits having a human experience.  Ava’s past will now allow her to be the brave protective soul who will defend and share her experiences and words of wisdom with those who may have a similar experience and may not be strong enough to move forward.  It is said, “What doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.”

Even though Ava experienced challenges growing up she managed to get signed by one of the top modeling agencies in the world and make it on the number one modeling reality show competition in the top 14 on America’s Next Top Model. That’s a big deal!  Behind the fashion industry curtains there will be a lot of negative energy however, there will also be an overwhelming amount of positive energy.  Ava’s past made sure she will have the strength to deal with it all.  She will have to keep reminding herself that she is worthy of all good things.

In the show she did slip and say some things that would make you want to say, “Huh?”  She is only 5’5” and for a moment doubted her height against every one in the competition because they were taller.  How quickly she forgot that she was chosen by the Ford modeling agency.  “I said certain things that I honestly don’t remember,” remembers Ava.  I don’t remember half of the things that went down because it was so out of my realm.  It was months ago and I did say things I should not have said about myself.”

Many contestants who were eliminated from ANTM have gone on to do great things in their career.  Ava is well on her way with a mountain of wonderful gigs. “I have a lot of things coming up.  I have New York Fashion week gigs and being 5’ 5” that’s a huge accomplishment so I’m excited about that and I also sing.  I just released a new song and I’m working on a reality show.      So it looks like it’s endless for me.  I’m so excited for the future.”

Ava’s advice to youth trying to find themselves is to love themselves first.  We hear that so many times from many different people; it must work if so many testify to this key of life.  “You can never give up on yourself,” advises Ava.  “That’s a huge thing.   When I was in the competition there were many times when I felt like a failure and discouraged, but I’ve always learned to get back up after I fall down.  So I think that’s what it’s all about.  Learn to love yourself and find the courage to move forward.
Follow Ava on all the social network sites 

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

R.I.P NBA legend Moses Malone dies at age 60

Moses Malone died in his sleep early this morning in Norfolk, VA. He was 60.
Malone was among the first players to go from high school straight to the pros. He was drafted by the Utah Stars and signed a seven-year, $3 million contract (with most of the money being deferred) in 1974. However, Malone would only play in the ABA for two years before the 1976 NBA-ABA merger.
At the time of the merger, Malone’s rights were held by the New Orleans Jazz, who gave them up in exchange for their 1977 first round pick. (This is criminal in retrospect. Jazz at the time were trying to surround Pete Maravich with more talent, and 1976-77 was the Pistol’s best season—he averaged 31.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 5.4 assists—before his rapid descent into injury the following year under a heavy workload.) Without his rights tied up by an NBA team, Malone entered the special draft for ABA players, where he was taken by Portland. But the Blazers had also acquired Maurice Lucas, and traded Malone to the Buffalo Braves for a first round pick. The team had a young Bob McAdoo and a 20-year-old Adrian Dantley, but instead of letting that core grow with Moses, the Braves (AKA, the Clippers) traded him after two games for two future firsts. At the end of his gauntlet with the cursed and the stupid, Malone wound up in Houston.
Within three seasons, in 1979, Malone won his first MVP. Two years later, he carried the Rockets to the 1981 NBA Finals, where they lost to the Celtics. The following year, he won another MVP before being traded to Philadelphia. That first season, his Fo Fo Fo Sixers won the title, dropping just one game in the postseason. Imagine this happening today. A sitting MVP, one year removed from a Finals appearance, is traded in his prime, wins another MVP, and thenguarantees his new team will go undefeated to the ‘chip. It’s unthinkable. Fo Fo Fo is the greatest NBA prediction.
Moses also tackled the shit out of Larry Bird in Bird’s famous “fight” with Dr. J:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan had dinner with Eminem in his Detroit hotel room

The meeting was shrouded in mystery, but it happened. Minister Louis Farrakhan and Eminem finally met over dinner in Detroit last night.
The affair yielded no real details, but Hasaun Muhammad of the Nation of Islam commented on his Instagram.
All pictures have a story attached to it. This picture is over ten years in the making. So much happens behind the scenes that I don’t post or talk about, but this one I absolutely had to. Truly epic that the two of them had dinner last night in Detroit. See you in D.C. 10.10.15 #Unity @LouisFarrakhan @Eminem #PaulRosenberg
On the official #JusticeOrElse Twitter, the commentary said, “#Farrakhan dialogued with Hip Hop artist Marshall Mathers aka @Eminem at his dinner table on #JusticeOrElse.”
Little more is known.
What is known is that the Minister has met with a who’s who of Hip-Hop this year for all to convene on Washington D.C. for the 20th year anniversary of the Million Man March, deemed Justice Or Else....

Thursday, September 3, 2015



These '100 Black Men' Are Changing Their Community For The Better

100 Black Men of New Jersey is a group of black male volunteers dedicated to "improving the quality of life" of black members of their local community through a variety of services.
The organization is a chapter of 100 Black Men of America, a national organization with 120 chapters and more than 10,000 members. The group is dedicated to promoting mentorship, education, health and economic opportunities within the black community.
This September, the N.J. group will team up with the New Jersey Chapter of Links, a non-profit committed to improving the health of black communities, to sponsor a community Walk-a-Thon in conjunction with the state's recognition of September as Minority and Multicultural Health Month.


James Bond' Author Apologizes For Idris Elba 'Too Street' Comment

 James Bond author Anthony Horowitz recently spoke with The Daily Mail to promote his latest novel for the series, “Trigger Mortis.” As part of the discussion, Horowitz shared his thoughts about whether Idris Elba would make a good Bond -- a topic of much discussion of late.  

“Idris Elba is a terrific actor, but I can think of other black actors who would do it better,” he told the paper, before naming British actor Adrian Lester as his selection. “For me, Idris Elba is a bit too rough to play the part. It’s not a color issue. I think he is probably a bit too ‘street’ for Bond. Is it a question of being suave? Yeah.”
The author's comments didn't sit too well with the public. Many fans shared their disagreement with Horowitz on social media, leaving some to deem his commentary as racist. On Tuesday, Horowitz issued the following apology via his Twitter account:


Roland Martin: Bill O’Reilly Should 'Shut The Hell Up' About #BlackLivesMatter

  Fox News has been branding the Black Lives Matter movement as a "hate group" and a "murder movement" -- and TV One's Roland Martin isn't having it.


The host lashed out at Bill O'Reilly, who on Monday called the Black Lives Matter movement a hate group and promised to put them "out of business."
"I don’t recall you, Bill O’Reilly, ever saying that you’re going to take out police brutality … but all of a sudden you want to take out the Black Lives Matter movement because you don’t like the fact that they’re out there protesting,” Martin said Wednesday on TV One.
He went on to say he'd be happy to debate O'Reilly or Fox News host Megyn Kelly on their respective shows, and concluded that O'Reilly should "shut the hell up!"


The One Thing Patti LaBelle Refuses To Do On 'Empire'

 Patti LaBelle’s guest appearance on the season one finale of “Empire” wasn't a one-time hit. Fans will be happy to know that the music icon is returning to the show and will be featured in its upcoming season!

During a recent interview with The Huffington Post, LaBelle recalled a conversation she had with co-creator, Lee Daniels, who wants the legendary singer to try something “daring” on camera for her season two appearance.
“We talked about it about three months ago. He said ‘LaLa,’ -- he calls me ‘LaLa’ -- ‘would you take your wig off?’ I said, ‘Hell no,’" LaBelle explained, laughing. “So he’s trying to do something daring with me, but I ain’t going out like that. I love you Lee, but no, no. Viola Davis did it well on ‘How To Get Away With Murder,’ but not Ms. Patti. I can’t do it.”






Russell Simmons Gets BET Rap Awards Date Moved In Honor Of Million Man March

For many who may not have known is that the BET RAP AWARDS was scheduled for October 10th 2015, but word got out to those people at Viacom that this is not going to work since it was the 20th ANNIVERSARY OF THE MILLION MAN MARCH which is scheduled for October 10th 2015.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Who Are The Rap Icons In Macklemore’s VMA Performance?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis brought “Downtown” to downtown L.A. at the 2015 VMAs, but they didn’t come alone. Aside from singer Eric Nally, the Seattle duo were also accompanied by super influential rap vets Grandmaster Caz, Melle Mel and Kool Moe Dee.
 The three MCs have been inspiring rappers like Jay Z and Nas for decades but we can’t blame those who aren’t familiar with them. After all, these legends made their names in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s — long before many of us were born. So, we put together a little rundown of who these pioneers are and why you should get familiar.



Saturday, August 22, 2015



Getting Eliminated Doesn’t Faze Her Confidence

By Belinda Trotter-James

America’s Next Top Model cycle 22 has begun picking off the contestants one by one who want the title of Top Model.  Delanie Dischert is the first contestant to be eliminated from the competition.  At the age of 21 this 5’10 ½” beauty comes from Wilmington, DE.  She reveals to me in this exclusive interview the ups and downs of being on a reality modeling competition.

Delanie is not the only one to dream of being on America’s Next Top Model.  When that day comes, you may think you’re still dreaming.  “When they call you from your hometown stating you are coming to LA, it is unbelievable and you feel it’s not really happening”, says Delanie.   “There is no way this is real.  This has literally been a dream of mine since I can remember.  It’s definitely surreal.”

Before Delanie’s journey on America’s Next Top Model began she had been a working model.  “I had been modeling in Philly just doing some commercial work just to save up money as a student to help me pay for my books, my living expenses and everything else,” explains Delanie.  “I really was just doing it as a job and I ended up completely falling in love with it.  I had been singing before that in an art school and I missed the creative energy that I was always surrounded by.  So getting into modeling was like reliving that feeling.”

Most contestants will watch the show and think it’s easy however; their delusional expectations are squashed from day one.  In the 22 cycles of America’s Next Top Model there may have been 1 or 2 who voluntarily left the show.  This cycle was no exception.  A contestant was overwhelmed to the point that she no longer felt confident enough to finish the competition. Delanie explains that the emotional roller coaster of the competition can be a little challenging and describes her feelings going through the elimination process.

“When you get to panel, you really don’t know what to expect,” explains Delanie.  “A lot of things happen on set that they can’t show.  It ended up being really tough because I was partnered up with Nile, who is deaf.  The other couples were able to communicate on set, but we couldn’t do that so it was just us going off of each other’s movements and energy.  I thought that we would get a good picture out of it anyway because our looks complimented each other.  Once I got to panel and saw my picture, I compared it in my head to everyone else’s and I really did have a feeling that I was going to be the one eliminated.  It’s a bittersweet feeling because I really love my 13 other new friends.  I felt that I could handle going home first because I am strong and I’m easy with that kind of stuff.  Tyra’s critiques along with everyone else’s’ was sweet so I really couldn’t be mad at her.  Obviously it was hard not to cry because I’m going to miss everyone.  I just got here.”

It was amazing to hear some of the contestants say they don’t know what to do because they have never modeled before.  Since Delanie does have some modeling experience, one may wonder if it is hard to implement what you know about modeling or would you still feel like a fish out of water?

Delanie replies, “I had a lot less modeling experience than the other contestants, but it didn’t make me less confident.  I thought I had the ability to get a better photo than anybody because, yes, I watched the show, yes, I know they put you in uncomfortable situations to see if you can still shine through it and yes, I know they really were testing me that day.  There are just so many things you can’t see when you’re watching the show.  It really was making me into a stronger model.  It didn’t really faze me.  In the moment I seemed a little frustrated, but I think it was a lot of fun.  I also never modeled with a partner.  I think that was tough to not only worry about how I look, but worry about if he’s looking good at the same time I’m looking good so that we get a collaboration of a great photo and not just look at it individually like he had a strong photo here and I had a strong photo there.  We had to become one.”

Now that Delanie has been eliminated it is up to her to continue her quest to pursue modeling as a career on her own.  “I am looking for a bicoastal talent agency because I not only want to model, but I also want to act and sing because it is still my passion,” reveals Delanie.  “I have a few agencies in New York and Philly that I’m working with.  I am just improving every time I shoot and every time I’m on the runway I’m gaining confidence plus working with personal trainers and just working on myself in every single aspect to see my full potential.  There’s a lot more I can do.  Even if modeling doesn’t work out, I still have my singing and acting skills.  I want to be on TV and I want to be seen and just use my talents to my best ability.”

The odds of being successful in the entertainment industry do increase when you have a few creative skills.  “It definitely helps when you’re on set to feel comfortable when you’re in an awkward situation or acting out a scenario.  Modeling and acting definitely go hand in hand when it comes to invoking emotions,” says Delanie.

Her advice to the youth of today who are pursuing a career in modeling or any career is to never, ever, never, never give up…  “The biggest thing I would say is to just go after it.  Don’t ever give up on going after it because there are actors who we think are these huge stars who have been grinding and grinding since they were 17”, begins Delanie.  “They were grinding and grinding and trying to get parts in movies and then they became successful in their 40’s.  You just never know when someone is going to see you or want you.  Just be confident and work on yourself and never stop working on yourself.  The road to success does not allow you to rest on your laurels because there is always going to be someone who will be hungrier than you or doing more than you.  It’s all about staying with it and not getting discouraged.”

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Thursday, August 6, 2015

Exclusive Interview with Music Producer James Worthy

He is a rising star in the music industry, working with talent like Truth Hurts, Sara Stokes of Puff Daddy's "Making the Band", and a host of others. James Worthy is worthy of his new found success and we are excited about the bright future that lies ahead of him. 
by Lenell King

Lenell:  Where are you originally from, and how did you get started in the music industry?
James: I'm originally from New York and I’ve been in Atlanta now for some years. I got started pretty young at about 15 or 16.  At that time, I really got into making my own music. Being from NY, there is a lot of inspiration that you can pull from. There are so many genres to get motivation from out there. It was natural for me to gravitate to that kind of field. My whole thing was really honing in on production and musicianship more than the actual song. I stuck with it.

 Lenell:  So do you actually play an instrument? Oftentimes when you hear about a producer these days, you think of the beat machines, fruity loops, and so forth.

James: Yes, I do play keys and I play other instruments by ear. I've learned throughout the years how to play different things to get the rhythm of how to make records. With any instrument you play you have to have that rhythm. The whole thing with producing is that you actually have to know how to produce. That term producer gets thrown around to loosely. A producer is more than making beats, you are putting together a full product for a commercial release.
 Lenell:  How did you initially get discovered, and signed to Roc Nation?

James: It's hard to pinpoint how I actually got discovered, it was more so my fans honing in on my craft and really listening to the music that I produced throughout the years. This is where I truly believe that I got discovered. As far as roc nation, my relationship with them is more so an affiliation but I do have a publishing deal with them. 

 Lenell: You are working with some established artists right now like Sara Stokes of "Making the Band" and Truth Hurts. When you are working with talent like that whom have been in the game for some time, do you oftentimes find yourself faced with an ego, or is it a mutual respect where they trust your judgement as the producer?

James: Pretty much all of my clients, and all of the artists that I have worked with we all have great relationships. We all get along, we are all on the same page. We all have different visions of what we are trying to bring to the public. There will always be different vibes and inspirations when we are creating records. I am just blessed and fortunate enough to work with artists like that.  You don’t really see too many artists who have made a strong impact come back strong. I am just happy to see that.
Lenell: How do you prepare for a studio session? Do you normally have an idea in mind before you go to the studio, or do you guys just build from scratch?
James: It really depends on what we are trying to do.  Sometimes I may already have a song done, produced, and written. Or we may start something from scratch going into the studio where we have a writing session or listening session where we put things together. It kind of depends on where we are at and what kind of record we are trying to do. That's how some records come about organically.

 Lenell: Whom are some of your influences either from the artists' standpoint or the producer?
James: Growing up I was a really big fan of a Tribe Called Quest. I thought that Q tip was the man. He was one of my favorite producers at the time. He still is. He is probably the "Sample King". I’ve drawn a lot of inspiration from guys like him, Timbaland, Pharell, etc. Guys that have just innovated the culture so many times. Right now I like artists like Kendrick Lamar and Kanye West.

 Lenell: What are some of your current projects that you are working on?
James: Sara Stokes from "Making the Band" and I have a single out called "Sneak Peak".

Lenell: It's hot.
James: Thank you. It is doing well and growing. It is currently on ITunes, so go grab that. Truth Hurts and I have a single being released this month called "Fight for Love." It is more of a pop/edm record that will be released overseas. I am working with Arrested Development, the group as well as a solo project with Eshe, a former arrested development member. I'm also working on a project with Men at Large the group, as well as a solo project with Dave Tolliver of Men at Large. I'm also working with J Holiday.  There are a lot of projects that I'm involved with. There are many that I can't even name yet. 

Lenell:  Tell me about this aspiring model career that you are working on.
James: My mom always told me to make whatever you have work for you. I’m blessed to have the looks to do it. Modeling is more of an expression. I’m a fan of great photos .It’s just another expression for me to be creative. It's something that I like to do and it is something that I'm going to get more into. I really enjoy doing it.

Lenell: So if you get a big modeling contract, you're not going to give up music right? You’re going to be a jack of all trades (laughing)
James: Definitely, music is the first love. You never can get rid of that.

 Lenell: What advice would you give an up and coming producer? 
 James: I would tell any and everybody that wants to be in this business period to never sell your integrity to do what you want to do. I say that because there are so many people out here that get so lost in what they think is quality. When you do that you are not setting your own path to do anything innovative 3 to 5 to 10 years from now. That’s what I strive to do innovate and inspire people around the world. That’s just more of having your legacy sustained. When you're done you will know you have something to leave behind and people will remember you for contributing to the culture.

 Lenell: You know those are standards that anyone should and could live by.   Well said.  How can your current fans and new fans can reach you?

James; Thanks again.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Sandra Bland's Family Files Federal Lawsuit

The family of Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old African-American woman found dead in a Texas jail cell after a controversial arrest, announced the filing of a federal lawsuit against officials in Houston on Tuesday.
"We are looking for the individuals involved in this situation to take accountability," Cannon Lambert, the Bland family attorney, told reporters at a press conference in Chicago.
Lambert said the lawsuit has been filed against state trooper Brian Encinia and all officials involved in the arrest and incarceration of Bland.
The action, Lambert said, was prompted by "inconsistencies" in the investigation into Bland's death and the unwillingness of authorities in Waller County, Texas, to share information with the Bland family.
"[We have been] unable to get many of the answers we have been asking for," the attorney said. "This family needs an answer to the principle question: What happened to Sandra Bland?"
Encinia pulled Bland over in Waller County on July 10, after she failed to signal for a lane change. The encounter quickly became contentious, and Bland was arrested on a charge of assault on a public servant. She was ultimately jailed in lieu of a $5,000 bond.

Chicago police detained thousands of black Americans at interrogation facility

The Chicago police department has maintained – even as the Guardian reported stories of people being shackled and held for hours or even days, all without legal access – that the warehouse is not a secret facility so much as an undercover police base operating in plain sight. “There are always records of anyone who is arrested by CPD, and this is no different at Homan Square,” the police asserted ina March statement.
But an independent Guardian analysis of arrestees’ records, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, shows that Homan Square is far from normal:

Ice-T, Coco and the enduring weirdness of daytime television

There are some pretty amazing oddities out there if you turn on the television at noon on a weekday. As of Monday, that included a puppy fashion show on the debut episode of “Ice and Coco,” a new syndicated daytime talk show starring actor/rapper Ice-T and his wife, model Coco Austin.
Daytime television is a tough business: You have to be empathetic and relatable, but also famous enough that people tune in. You must mix breezy monologues and goofy games with human-interest stories and emotional interviews. Oprah Winfrey proved that if you find the right balance, you can turn it into a billion-dollar empire. Ever since she signed off her talk show in May 2011, TV has been trying to find her replacement … with little success.
The road is littered with failed attempts: Katie Couric, Queen Latifah, Anderson Cooper, Jeff Probst, Ricki Lake, Bethenny Frankel, Kris Jenner. So now, Fox Television Stations and Warner Bros. are trying a new twist this summer, launching two shows starring married couples, hoping that doubling up on hosts will encourage viewers to tune in. Actor Boris Kodjoe and actress Nicole Ari Parker debuted “Boris and Nicole” in July for a four-week preview. On Monday, Ice-T and Coco kicked off their three-week test run in hopes of a full-season pick-up.
The competition is brutal, so Ice-T, 57, and Coco, 36, had to be as memorable as possible. Did they accomplish that on their first day? Probably not, save the fact that they literally used it as a platform to announce that Coco is pregnant — to the surprise of some of their closest friends who were in the audience. Either way, the premiere certainly had its weird (and fairly entertaining) moments, which is really all you can ask for on daytime TV, when ratings and expectations are generally pretty low.