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2008: Shapeshifters of the Year (Cont.)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

See the first installment of 2008 Shapeshifters RIGHT HERE.

Solange Knowles: Bombshell, the body, and the music

Solange is not one to play the sibling rivalry thing. She is a mother, a fighter, a lover, and a singer. In 2008 her "Hadley Street Dreams" album was all that she wanted it to be, which was not what we expected. Sales were dismal, critics were vicious, but the work still sits next to our collective speaker boxes, far from being played, but close enough to remain in memory. Months after its debut it's clear to see that her older sister Beyonce's album had one sole purpose: to make Solange's album listenable. Mission accomplished.

Sage Steele: Whoa, She's Hot, Wha--ESPN?

The year was good to a couple of African American sportscasters, both getting the job of their lives way up in cold, Bristol, Conn. Sage Steele is the chick on "SportsCenter," ESPN's flagship production. She graduated from Indiana, and got the job in 2007 after stints in Tampa and Baltimore. She's on record as saying that when she was just a cub reporter she interviewed Lou Holtz and got him to do the Macarena. WTF?

Reischea Canidate: Sports scores and more

Perhaps you've seen news anchor Reischea (REE-SHAY) Canidate on ESPN lately. The relatively new hire landed at the Sports network after about five years in New York's channel 5 and before that in San Diego. The fact that you can catch her dishing about T.O., the New York Yankees and Detroit Red Wings on most nights is a testament to the sales pitch that ESPN is pushing to lure promising African American talent. The old saying was that it was too cold in Bristol for a brotha (or sister), but I guess the money's right.

Desiree Rogers: Obama's Social Butterfly

Straight out of the Big Easy, Desiree Rogers, 49, Chicago corporate executive and civic leader, saw her star rise considerably in 2008. Not that being appointed by Barack Obama to plan social functions is a small feat, but Desiree, a Harvard grad, was embarking on running a social networking initiative for Allstate before she got the call. With that on hold for at least 4 years, the socialite is expected to liven up White House functions with the flavor of New Orleans.

Jazmine Sullivan: Old school voice, new school choice

Few singers can channel the gutter, the heavens and what's in between as seamlessly as new R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan. The Missy Elliott protege burst out on the scene with a few anthemic singles ("I Bust the Windows Out Ya Car"). (Have you heard "Lions, Tigers and Bears"? ) But in 2009, it's nobody's year if it's not Jazmine's.

Jeffrey Wright: The Consummate Actor's Actor

You probably don't know his name, oh, but you've seen him. Perhaps it was as Martin Luther King, or an activist type on "Get On the Bus." Wright, straight from Brooklyn, is known as a scene-stealer, with no greater display than in "Shaft 2000" when he jacked the whole movie from up under Samuel L. Jackson with his portrayal of a Puerto Rican drug dealer. In 2008, Wright did admirable jobs in "W" (as Colin Powell) and "Cadillac Records" (as Muddy Waters). Look for him even more in 2009.

Tyka Nelson: Sibling of The Purple One

With a heritage that includes "Purple Rain" and "When Doves Cry" it would be easy for Tyka Nelson to rest on her brother's laurels. But 2008 was the year she decided to jump back out there musically (she tried before in 1988). The urban soul thing had not yet erupted, so you'll have to forgive her reception. Now she's back with a gospel album after spending 2008 writing and recording, and her brother didn't even help. In 2009, the results will be in.

Keri Hilson: Musician/Singer/VideoVixen/Writer

It certainly can't be about the money: Keri Hilson tried and tried to make her music stick in 2008, even employing the services of Lil Wayne ("Turnin' Me On"). It just didn't happen. Radio completely ignored her, except as a backup singer or "model chick". It is as the latter that she may indeed have a future: She played the lead role in Usher's video for "Love in This Club", (as well as co-wrote "Pt. II" remix). She also starred in Ne-Yo's video for "Miss Independent" and appeared in Nelly's "Party People" video. She was also featured on Nas' debut single from his controversial album Untitled, "Hero". For 2009, look for the full swing as all-star video girl.

Candace Parker: Love and Basketball

Former Vols woman's basketball phenom Candace Parker had a great 2008. Not only did she win a national championship for Tennessee, but she became the first overall pick for the WNBA mere weeks later. Her first game? Dropped 34 points to set yet another record (not counting the slam dunks). The brawl? A first, too. You go, girl.

2008: Shapeshifters of the Year

A partial look at those that made the year what it was, for better or for worse: Part 2 is tomorrow.

Rihanna: Best Singer Pon De Stage?

RiRi came hard in 2008: Not only did she emerge in a relationship with the youngest in charge but she showed up on the year's clear megahit "Live Your Life" with self-proclaimed "King of the South" T.I. Rihanna's magic has finally worn us down, despite the absence of a killer voice or other attribute that would make her heir to the throne. Until Jazmine Sullivan finds her legs, we'll all be hearing alot more from Rihanna.

Jonelle Monae: Sister from another MothaPlanet

Breathe-of-fresh-air-singer Jonelle Monae was supposed to blow in '08. With tutelage from no other than Bad Boy impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs, she was supposed to have a breakout year. And, well, she blew. "The Metropolis" franchise has yet to resonate with mass fans but people heard about Janelle Monae. She toured excessively and made a nice setup for a 2009 grand redebut.

Taraji P. Henson: Got Next? No, Now

The history flows from actress and D.C. native Taraji P. Henson. A distant cousin,Matthew Henson, is credited with helping discover the North Pole. Not one to rest on her laurels, Taraji paid her own way through school (Howard University) by working as a waitress on a cruise ship and as a secretary at the Pentagon. After majoring in theater her big break came with "Hustle and Flow" where she played a girlfriend/prostitute to the movie's protagonist. But she followed it up with a killer performance as Queenie in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" starring Brad Pitt. Can a case be made for Best Actress? I really think so.

Kathleen Battle: Songbird. Period. Point Blank

When your 2008 includes singing the Lord's Prayer at the arrival ceremony in honor of Pope Benedict XVI on the South Lawn of the White House, you kind of know it's your year. The 60-year-old opera singer has been at it a long time but 2008 was historical by any account. Not only did her audience include an American president, a pope, but sherocked out at the AMAs with two of music's modern-day stars.

Erykah Badu: Revolution ain't easy, but it is funky

Erykah Badu took the music world by storm in 2008 with "Amerikkka: Fourth World War pt. 2". The only political-global album in hip-hop in the past 5 years, "Amerikkka" was a rekindling of Badu's many talents. She showed the world that she can still come with the conscious - perfect for a recession-minded public that is watching the elite heist the riches right in front of us all.

>Condi Rice: Queen of the Damned

Could you pick a worse star to attach herself to than George Bush? Yet that is the unenviable position that Condoleezza Rice finds herself in. Will Obama find a spot for her somewhere in his administration? Bettors are playing this one close to the vest. Still, her star probably has more shine left, but not now.

tomorrow we continue:

>Tom Cruise: Mission Just May be Impossible

Was there a single actor whose stock sunk more than Tom Cruise? Sure there was, but they didn't have to battle religious persecution and scorn, scoff and scuttle like he did. The Risky One still makes our list because he has managed to stay married, if not bankable in Hollyweird, which is more than we can say for most.

Black Women ... Shrinking?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Ever been called "Shorty?"
Come to find out, maybe the person that called you that was on to something.
According to a new study released by the CDC, African-American women are shrinking.
Each decade it seems the black woman shrinks a few inches. Going back to the 1940s they seem to have lost a few inches based on average height.
The average height of a black woman born in the 1980s is just under 5 feet 4 inches; her mother, born in the 1960s, is more than half an inch taller. Even her grandmother, born in the 1940s, is a bit taller. The average white woman born in the 1980s is about half an inch taller than her mother.
Now this is all from John Komlos, an economist and historian who has made a specialty of studying human heights.
Another discovery of his is based on income, it seems. His argument is bolstered by another discovery: While the heights of low- and middle-income black women are plummeting, upper-income black women are growing taller and rapidly closing the gap with their white counterparts.
Komlos' latest findings suggest that the average height of adult Americans born at least 30 years ago is moving up - with the exception of African-American women, whose height is sliding in the opposite direction.
Hmmmm, why is that so?

We'll Miss Eartha Kitt (1927 - 2008)

Friday, December 26, 2008

The original PussyCat Doll has left us, y'all.
The name itself is a testament to the fleshly, the mother Earth.
Oh, she was something.
She was one of the kind: the wry smile, the triangular jawbone, the sensual purr.
Eartha Kitt was the Prince to Lena Horne's Michael Jackson.
Individuality was her most outstanding trait. Eartha was different.
The singer-actress was born on a cotton farm in the Carolinas in 1927. Because the harvest was good that year, her father named her "Eartha." Frail and poor, Kitt was of mixed racial parentage. She wasn't discovered until she moved to Harlem and began performing at the urgings of her aunt.
Eartha, who died Christmas Day at the ripe age of 83, was a top performer of the 1950s. But another war broke out, this time one that proved unpopular at home. Eartha denounced the war in the company of the first lady Lady Bird Johnson and was blackballed in the industry.
"You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed," she told the group of about 50 women. "They rebel in the street. They don't want to go to school because they're going to be snatched off from their mothers to be shot in Vietnam."
The comments were incendiary. National media went crazy with the story, branding her everything to unpatriotic to a Communist.
She had alot to lose, yet she risked it all to say what she felt. (Imagine if Beyonce came out with a strong statement against the war in Iraq at the height of its involvement.)
Everything she did she killed it. SHe was the embodiment of Catwoman (with apologies to Halle Berry).

A person with every reason to be all about race was never about it. Born to a mixed race family, Kitt was a keen supporter of black rights.

"It's time that people of colour start to break into the area of being recognised for their work - not because of their colour," she told a Washington Post online forum in 2005.

"It does encourage others of colour that we're getting there, that we're progressing," she said of recent Oscar wins by black actors Jamie Foxx and Morgan Freeman.

"But," Kitt said, "I don't carry myself as a black person, but as a woman that belongs to everybody."
We'll miss Eartha Kitt.

OctoPussy Part II

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Click here for part 1.

Dude: "If I Were A Boy"

Hilarious: "Seniors Sing the Latest Hip Hop"

I am seriously considering booking them for a night in front of family and friends.

The New Bikini Style for '09?

With temperatures on freeze across much of the U.S., we thought we'd at least try to warm the heart and mind with a beach scene here. LOL on the bikini/breaches.

Janet: Hottest 42-year-old on the Planet?

In this day and age, 42 is not old.
Even though we have grandmothers that are 35.
Even though we have teenagers that look 50 years old.
But Damita Jo is in a different category.
This woman, born of Joseph and Kathryn Jackson, is ageless.
What does Janet have that Oprah, queen of self-help and exercise, doesn't?
What secret antidote does Ms. Jackson consume that has her skin golden as an apple in the sun?
Is it Jermaine? No, she was hot way before they met.
It's not just Janet, but her other siblings too, especially the women, have amazing skin and look have their age.
What is it?

The State of Female R&B

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ashanti isn't even in the building.
Neither is Eve.
But those that do make it inside, and into the diva room, are there precariously.
Music sales are just that bad.
Used to be a time when a viable female singer could be counted on to debut with 800,000 units sold. Some of them were one-hit wonders (Tweet?), others were riding off their producers (Amerie?), but now even that has eroded.
The top female music seller this year?
Well, you could have thought that Beyonce would own that, but it was only a short-lived victory.
Britney Spear's "Circus" album moved 505,000 units in its debut two weeks ago. Spears is the only act in Nielsen SoundScan history to have four albums debut with 500,000 or more in sales.
"I am ... Sasha Fierce" sold a respectable 482,000 in its debut three weeks ago.
Respectable, but nowhere near the numbers these artists are used to.
To be far, Bey's album sales have trumped Rihanna's, but RiRi has a bright future with longer legs in the business.
Now that the tallies are in, Alicia Keys (who in 3 months sold almost 3 million copies of her "As I Am" LP last fall) is the new standard-bearer for female R&B.
Not only has she brought artistry and live instrumentation back to music, but she has somehow managed to keep her clothes on (Cue Ciara Vibe cover right ... here.)
Rihanna is the artist with the biggest upside: Her latest album "Good Girl Gone Bad" has sold 6.2 million copies worldwide and has gone 2x Platinum in the Usa, 4x Platinum in the UK and Canada, 5x Platinum in Russia, and 6x Platinum in Ireland; helped by the deluxe LP "Good Girl Gone Bad: Reloaded".
One can't forget about the British Beehive, Amy Winehouse. Troubles aside her "Fade to Black" album is an instant classic, all the more spectacular by her Jewish soulfulness and apparent lack of refinement. Although her off-the-stage problems may well get the best of her, she is No. 1 when it comes to world acclaim and buzz (even if ASCAP doesn't see it that way).
Ciara is the only one that seems to be ready to accept the digital trends in music, opting for the voice coder that has made T-Pain an overnight success. Still, her album is in trouble before it can even get off the ground.
Of course, the portrait in the room would be Ms. Lauren Hill, with her prototype solo album, "The Miseducation of Lauren Hill," the holy grail of hip-hop/soul debuts. Although she could'nt duplicate her success sales-wise, Hill's album has quietly remained a best-seller among soul enthusiasts. With sales past 17 million and respect far surpassing that, she is the goal of today's R&B singer. And to think "Miseducation ..." was released 10 years ago.
But good music has staying power.

Wherefore is Susan Moonsie?

She was the silent one of the trio.
The killer was, she always wore white.
Her name was Susan Moonsie.
Possibly, the most reclusive musical celebrity (except for her former bandmates) that you can think of.
Remember, Susan? She was the "exotic"-looking one of the girl goup Vanity 6.
As a former Prince girlfriend, Susan holds the distinction of being not only the only African American member of Vanity 6 but the girl who "When Doves Cry" was written about.

Her relationship with His Purple Badness was filled with cheating, mistresses and, of course, drugs, sex and rock 'n roll.
She came off as quiet, demure.
And hot.
That can't be denied. She and Prince dated off and on after being introduced to Prince in high school in Minneapolis. Their relationship soured after Denise Matthews aka Vanity entered the click, but Susan was originally supposed to lead Vanity 6 but didn't want the lead role.
But where is she today? Has anybody seen her? She was rumored to be 16 when Vanity 6 came on the scene (although it was highly unlikely.) If she went to high school with Prince, then she is probably around 47, 48, but no public pictures exist, that I'm aware of. The Internet has more information on Big Foot than it does Susan Moonsie.
Susan may have fallen off some 20 years after she emerged onto the American music scene, but one only has to download or pick up the first and only Vanity 6 album to hear her vocals. By what she put out in the early 1980s, she was Kelly Rowland to Vanity's Beyonce (not too shabby, either). It was Susan's vocals that carried half the album, including the club hit "He's So Dull." Unlike pigeon-holed girlgroups today, Vanity 6 covered the musical landscape with pop, funk, new wave and R$B music in as little as half a dozen songs. Today, that would get you dropped from a label.
Like the destinies of Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, Susan (and her bandmate Brenda Bennett) was too overpowered by the lead charisma of Vanity. But memories are hard to erase. And Susan, who was widowed after husband David Garfield was killed in a car accident in 1988, will always be remembered.

Bikini Wax: You're Doing it Wrong

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Study: Hourglass Figures Not Ideal

Friday, December 5, 2008

As if anyone needed confirmation from the media, major news outlets are reporting that the hourglass figure that so many women - from preteens to seniors - have tried to get is not necessarily desirable to men, nor is it necessarily beneficial health-wise.
Of course the study has set off a firestorm of debate, but that's to be expected.
The furor started with a scientific quip that went something like this: “Mounting evidence suggests there is no better cue than the relative contours of her waist and hips,” with a waist-to-hip ratio of 0.7 (that works out to measurements of 36-25-36) being the reproductive ideal, and “even a slight increase in waist size relative to hip size [likely to] signal reproductive problems.”
I think the hate mail is just now starting to subside.
By the way, there's also a new study that says French need the biggest condoms. Oui, Oui!

The Cute Couple Award for 2008: Who is it?

Who would have thought that in 2008 Chris Brown and Rihanna would dominate the headlines for a physical confrontation instead of matrimony? Wow, the way things were.

Her rendition of "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

ATL's Nicole Harvey:"Lions, Tigers and Bears"

She is ... Rihanna ... Fierce

Beyonce's new album "I Am ... Sasha Fierce" is eclectic only in the alter ego that she supposedly allows to come to the fore for this album.
Beyonce prepped her fans to hear a different Bey, a more courageous (read: experimental) Bey but what she delivered was a Rihanna album.
Sasha Fierce is ... Rihanna.
That's the verdict from even her ardent record-buying customers.
Amazon has 41 customer reviews and a full 80 percent of them are negative or on the fence.

Bey's first single "If I Were A Boy" is a bonafide hit, but in the Rihanna style. For "The Baddest Chick in the Game," we expect more depth and texture. The dual single "Single Ladies" is more of the same that she has put out in the past ("Check up on it," "UpGrade Me,") so the premise that the album would be a great departure was highly exaggerated.
Also, many fans are not happy about a double CD that has a total nine songs on it.
This is what a double album is, not a hodgepodge preview of studio outtakes.
Final verdict, "Sasha Fierce" is neither Sasha, nor fierce. It's just Beyonce. And unfortunately (and it's not just me it's the record-buying public), I don't think that's enough anymore.

Bey Vs. Tina: What Do You Think?

Kanye talked real wreckless recently overseas. Beyonce is wonderful, great, awesome, but can she be compared to Tina Turner ... yet (if ever)?

Office Affairs: Does It Work at Work?

Ever had an office fling?
They are everywhere, but beware: Office affairs rarely work out.
Well for more than half of them, the other person (if not both) is usually married.
Simply because the excitement in office affairs is not the fact that you are crazy about the person, it's the fact that you both work together.
Close working relationships can easily morph into romantic ones because the two of you may be in close quarters with a lot of eye contact, and maybe even flirting.
Will it last? Can it last?
Well, it could blur into your professional performance at work.
If it's the boss then those lines have already been crossed. Also, when it comes to bosses, other employees usually find out some way, somehow.
But more importantly, is there a way to get out of it and remain employed?

Vernisha Mecolle: "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

Chocolate or Vanilla: Which Will it Be?

The Ethnic White Man, Reconsidered

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ethnicity is not something you identify with white people, especially here in the South: Most white people are just considered, well, white.
No depth, no texture to their lives, they are just seen as white. But here on my vsit to New York City for the first time, I discovered something all together different: The ethnic white man.
Here in the South I had been used to the nonlinear white male; those blue eyes of his I saw as a single color, not a multifaceted spectrum of colors like they truly are. I thought they all acted the same, dressed the same.
I should have known better.
One of my best buds in Detroit is Polish; he swears by his grandma's pierogi.
He talks totally different than this other guy I met in New York, who is Romanian (and can incidentally play basketball like MJ himself) and cool as a fan.
Another acquaintance I made in New York is a Russian Jew. Just heard this group of Italian-American women having a conversation. They sounded sooo different than the Southern twang I'm used to. Not to get into archtypes or even stereotypes, but they were all different, so different from what I am used to, being raised in the South.
I am in New York (Manhattan) for the first time and I hear alot of things are segregated like the Old South up here (ethnic enclaves galore). We'll see. Everything is a bit overwhelming, but this is to be continued ...

Amy Winehouse's Husband: I Ruined 'Something Beautiful'

Introducing your wife to crack and heroin is not a way to "share" your life with her.
In a pitiful and sad interview, Amy Winehouse's husband, Blake Fielder-Civil, comes clean, as he can, about how Amy became the singer with the platinum voice, cancerous womb.
"I dragged Amy into it and without me there is no doubt that she would never have gone down that road. I ruined something beautiful," he said.
Blake now is forced with having to leave his wife, to save her life.
"Now I have to let her go to save her life. I am not abandoning her. I am doing this out of love."
Blake describes how his wife got hooked on drugs and self-mutilation.
"I made the biggest mistake of my life by taking heroin in front of her. I introduced her to heroin, crack cocaine and self-harming. I feel more than guilty."
"The first time Amy took crack she asked me, 'Can I try a bit of that,'" he said.
This is truly a sad situation, as are all drug-fueled relationships.
You know she's no good, don't you?
She's told us as much, on her way to five-time platinum status in the UK. Her name is Amy Winehouse. And a last name has seldom needed to be taken so literally.
Amy is now possessed by the very demon that rode her husband, and he wants to do something about it. Good for him.
Prayer helps.

Alone for the Holidays, And Alright With it

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

"I've got me some wine; got me a good book. I'm fine."
That's what this girl told me when I asked about what she was doing for the weekend. And that's all fine and dandy, but the fact is, there's alot of good people out there that don't necessarily have a loved one to share the time with during this season.
Many of them are okay with it, having come to terms with the fact that they are just in between relationships. Many others are married or dating to someone who is overseas at war. But there are some that have simply chosen to go it alone, for whatever reason.
Either way, there are a ton of ways to be alone without being lonely though:
Some tips include calling up friends who may be in similar circumstances.
Whatever you do, don't participate in a pity party. Believe me:
Some people are trying their best not to be alone this holiday but don't get any takers.
Many single women enjoy the comforts of their relatives for hot food, warm company and loving conversation. For men, it's sometimes a big more difficult.
There are many, many single men who are out there and alone right now. Many of them are lonely but won't admit, but it's okay. It happens.
The main thing to do is do something:
People are reaching out so as not to spend the holidays alone.
Can you reach out?

Getting Married in a Recession: Feasible?

I know of two people who are gearing up for big weddings amidst the worst economic times any of us can remember. One of the wedding will cost upward of $20,000 and that doesn't include the honeymoon. This is the one who's fiance just got laid off. The other one, I hear, may skip out on the reception because of the high cost. An expensive wedding these days. Is it worth it? Or do we even have a right to advise someone how they should get married?

ProdigyGurl16: "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

Whose "If I Were a Boy" is the Best? Ciara's or Beyonce's?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Ciara's version

Beyonce version

Farns J: "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Don't they have spellcheck?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Appolonia Kotero: Still Hot at 49

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Blast from the past: Patricia Kotero (renamed Appolonia by the Purple One) is still smoking, almost 25 years after she purified the waters of Lake Minnetonka. BTW, "Purple Rain" is in my top 10 list of Best Films of All Time.

5 Things We Learned From "Real Housewives of Atlanta"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"The Real Housewives of Atlanta":
The show touched upon a more prominent but recently hidden factor about Atlanta: You remember how it was seen as the single woman's paradise 10 years ago (Brothers used to swear by the ATL ratio was 30 to 1)? Well, some of those sisters have gotten married. "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" played up the fact that these women had gotten successful men and bored them kids.
Now, the backdrop was real as well: Lisa Wu Hartwell being the mother of Keith Sweat's children would imply that at least some drama happened, since they're no longer together.

At first glance, Kim Zolciak ran the risk of being mistaken as a soccer mom. That prototype was immediately smashed when she flung open her cellphone and proceeded to beg the mysterious "Big Papa" for an Escalade. Then the show slowly bled out her shortcomings, her insecurity about herself, her chainsmoking, her anxiety about being a single mother.
The show used her, instead of a typical black woman, to illustrate what an Atlanta single mother may look like. And it worked. It also showed that she can't hold a note and that she can shed friends like a calico cat.

Sheree Whitfield, pretty much the one you love to hate, comes off as someone with high self-esteem and a precocious ego that needs stroking as much as her body does when she lay for a massage (Which Kim Zolciak treated her to on Spa Day). I see her as the old, chiseled trophy on the mantle, dusty from years of just staying on the shelf content with watching the world pass them by. Will she get married again? I don't know. The fact that she openly flaunted more than thrice the fact that she was so eagerly awaiting the settling of her divorce case from former Atlanta Falcon Bob Whitfield smacked of a gold-diggerdness (of course she denied it) that I don't think she clearly perceives in herself. Still, I can say that she didn't embarass herself or the ATL.

One of the main stereotypes for athletes wives is that the spouses don't do anything except stay at home or go shopping. DeShawn Snow held it down for the mothers, although she didn't fit the stereotypical profile of a baller's wife (or maybe she did?). She didn't seem to exercise, she didn't seem to know how to cook, she got up early to get the kids off to school but she seemed largely detached from the "family" life that got her into the situation in the first place (on her site she reveals she didn't make the cast at first, after being referred by NeNe). But her husband, Eric Snow, seemed even more detached, although I'm sure the producers purposely played him to be the unconcerned father-husband who doesn't have a clue that his wife blows through $5000 a week in spending money.

Kim Zolciak quickly became the butt of watercooler jokes and happenstance when it was discovered that not only was she rinsing a married man, but that she chainsmoked and treated her kids as equals to her. Kim, NeNe and Sheree had the distinction of being the "Housewives" that actually hung around non-housewives on the show. Kim, who almost lost all credibility with the singing episode with Dallas Austin, soon became the sympathetic figure when you juxtaposed her with the married women, especially NeNe ...

NeNe Leakes was the viewers' favorite, but not because of what she had or even who she was, largely it was because of who she wasn't: NeNe wasn't filthy rich, NeNe wasn't a hater (although she was jealous, particularly of Sheree'); she wasn't obnoxious about money like the rest were (and the rest of them were.) She had a normal husband with a normal house (rumored to have foreclosed, but aint that the realest?).


Lisa Wu Hartwell was the firestarter, the one who could gab with the best and give as well. Her husband former NFLer Ed Hartwell shared the screen as much as he could with his boo but Lisa's personality outshined him. What didn't become apparent until the reunion episode is that Lisa may be cause of NeNe and Kim's disagreement, for it was Lisa that went back and told Kim that NeNe derided her singing. Also at the reunion it was discovered that the Wu in Lisa's name may be short for Wu Tang, as she bucked up on Kim at least twice.
But for the most part, the reason why the show worked for ATL is because the women didn't play themselves. I can honestly say that I don't think the women embarassed themselves or the ATL, although it may give the impression that the city is filled with tons of women with disposable income but I doubt it. Will there be a season 2? I heard it's in the works.

Related Post: Who's the Realest ATL Housewife?

Hoopz Partying in ATL

Former "Flavor of Love" winner Hoopz was spotted in club Dreamz last Saturday in the ATL.

Sha: "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

Remaking Condoleezza Rice

Monday, November 24, 2008

She was just so, I dunno, before her time.
The historic saga this year that became the election of the first African-American to the nation's highest office also became a year of what might have been for Condoleezza Rice.
If only her star rose eight years later than it did. Then she too could be enjoying a meteoric rise to Washington as a super-fresh, smart secretary of state.
If only she were younger, and more bright-eyed.
When the history books turn their attention to Condi Rice will they remake her? Will she be known as an assertive black woman who stood by her principles and morals? Or will she simply be seen as a scapegoat, a willing puppet that did the bidding of geeky neocons in office?
In any event, as Barack Obama considers an A-team Cabinet to work along side him in the Oval Office, Condi's about to get shut out of the most celebrated Cabinet a president has ever assembled.
Perhaps if she followed her conscious more, maybe there would have been a respite for her instead of the one she's about to get. Condi Rice held on to the only coattail she ever reached for: George W. Bush.
While a professor at Stanford, she caught the eye of Washington insiders and became the Soviet and East European Affairs adviser during the demise of the Soviet Union and German reunification. She soon parlayed the post into a regular position with the first President Bush's circle.
When Dubya went to Washington, it was a duty, a privilege for her to go with him.
As a result she's leaving Washington when the most joyous celebration is coming in.
What will she do? Where will she go?

Shay Star: "Lions, Tigers and Bears"

The Reinvention of Lil Kim

As the movie "Notorious", which is as much Lil Kim's life story as it is BIG's, hit theaters this year it is interesting to note that the only key player above water today is Sean "Diddy" Combs.
Lil Kim, who has been tapped for the latest season of "Dancing With the Stars," is probably not broke, since she is known to keep a bevy of rich boyfriends that supply her with what she needs, but the same can't be said for the other hangers-on that associated with Biggie in the early 1990s.
All of the surviving members of the Bad Boy clique, Lil Cease, Kim, Diddy himself, have been forced to remake themselves as the record-buying public has gotten smarter, more cynical and less hungry for gritty New York tales of street life.
None have changed their image as much as Puff Daddy, who switches between Diddy, P. Diddy and Puffy on a weekly basis. But no one has changed physically as much as Lil Kim.
Gone are the cute cheeks and snug little nose; now both features bear the results of a plastic surgeon's knife.
But she didn't stop there, Lil Kim underwent multiple surgeries on her body to enhance certain areas, if you know what i mean.
Now as the movie that all of hip-hop is waiting to see jogs to the theaters, Lil Kim is at risk of seeing a former manifestation of herself, a girl unrecognizable from the one she is today. A jail sentence may have something to do with that as well, but she is who she is. Whatever she aims to be. One thing is for certain, Mo Money, Mo Problems.

As Rihanna Reigns, Ciara Stumbles Out the Gate

Don't call it a pushback.
While the music world watches, Ciara's album "Fantasy Ride," which was supposed to debut this year and propel her to megastar status (she even did a nearly nude photoshoot to build attention), has ... been postponed until spring 2009.
Even with the T-Pain-produced "Go Girl," the lead single peaked at No. 79 on the charts.
But now Ciara faces an impossible task as her album faces being pushed into the whirlwind buildup of the last pop diva out there: Beyonce.
The "Sasha Fierce" LP, which got a shot in the arm last week when the single "Like a Boy" hit No. 1 in the UK, will notably be an event in U.S. record stores as the economy continues to clamp down on spending and credit. But not only is Beyonce staking her claim to precious consumer dollars, but Rihanna is gearing up for a major throwdown; on the male side of things Chris Brown is reaping awards, and Neyo is busy choreographing in support of his "Year of the Gentleman" CD. Her handlers thought aligning with T-Pain would automatically put her in the stratosphere, but the plan has apparently backfired. Now can Ciara move serious numbers in the spring? How can she possibly follow up a nearly nude photoshoot in Vibe to promote her pushed-back album? Go, girl.
Update: "Fantasy Ride" is set for a May 5 release.

Prince: When You Diss Minneapolis, You Get 'Tude

Friday, November 21, 2008

Teens and the Web: A bad thing?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The New York Times today cites a report that says that teenagers' socializing via the Web is not a bad thing.
True, they could be out robbing, stealing, but encouraging them to nerd out on the Internet, is that positive? I mean, I'm borderline addicted and I wouldn't necessarily want anyone to spend countless ours on the computer but I'm not a parent. The story goes on to say that:
“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”
That's true, but there are some dangers out there that the study fails to acknowledge, just recently a Webcam suicide that nobody took seriously.
But there are positives, the story says:
“It certainly rings true that new media are inextricably woven into young people’s lives,” said Vicki Rideout, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its program for the study of media and health.

2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB