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Toni Braxton has a 'Pulse''s got VIDEOS

Lebron's Mom Did it. Yeah


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.

Demise of the Sugar Daddy

He bought you candy when you were little; bought you clothes when you got older. Some of them even paid that rent.
Sigh, those were the days.
But it's over now.
The sugar daddy, you know, that older man that showered you with "gifts" namely monetary for the pleasure of "knowing" you, is unemployed.
Blame it on a teetering economy.
The loose change and small bills normally kept in his front right pocket and the larger ones kept in his billfold are history, gone with the proverbial winds of the stock market.
(I feel a poem coming on)
His pimpish ways - at the phat crib - have been replaced with hotel stays.
Where his money once ran like a flood, he's resorted to selling his blood.
But you can't act all brand-new, or even in the know; for you sold yours a long time ago.
(end of poem)
But seriously, the give-get relationship has come to an end. NSA relationships are on the fritz. The new question: What can you do for you?

Turning a Show Into a Housewife

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

No matter what happens, you've got to love NeNe.
The irresistible boughetto one of the all-girl supergroup, "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" that has taken cable airwaves by storm, NeNe Leakes has a down-home earthiness that people can relate to.
She's just elegant enough to correctly pronounce the Chablis that she wants to drink, and just street enough to cuss you out if you don't refill the glass after she's consumed it.
She's one of five women that have changed the face of cable TV this fall.
There's the plastic-barbie antagonist, Kim Zolciak, who has a
mysterious Big Papa
who can pay for a $70,000 Escalade after a 10-second phone conversation.
Then we have Lisa Wu Hartwell, a doll of a woman with a thousand-watt smile and personality to match, while her dutiful former NFL husband smiles on command in the background.
There's also the designated doberman of the group, Sheree Whitfield, an NFL divorcee who has made no secret that she intends to get alot of money from the settlement.
Then there's the NBA baller's wife, DeShaun Snow, a likeable girl that smells of new money but who is sweet as pie, except in one humiliating scene where she and Lisa shop and DeShaun throws around her husband's contract terms ("NBA contracts are guaranteed, NFL's aren't) like she was giving recipes for jambalaya.

Ah, but NeNe Leakes, now that's the one we gravitate to. It's been rumored that her house maybe foreclosed on (sounds like people we know); her son is a thug (hey, who's isnt?); her husband's supposedly done some bad business deals (hey, our president's made a few). She's got beef (welcome to the club!): Speaking of which, they say the tiff with Sheree was more philosophical than not; the one with Kim is basically one of convenience for the geniuses over at Bravo (but Kim vs. Lisa is more personal).
The show is based in a far away alternate version of Atlanta where there is no housing crisis and people have enough time on their hands to go to the spa midweek and throw parties on the weekend (Did we mention Lisa Wu's Master P-like drive and determination to start, like, a gazillion businesses all the while her hair stays perfectly coifed?). Perhaps it's this fictionalized view of life that has us mesmerized. Either way, it has made the rounds as one of the most talked-about TV shows this year. Now, will Bravo bring it back for Season 2?

The End of Detroit? Auto Bailout Shaky

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

With Chrysler declaring bankruptcy, the Big Three is effectively the Big Two. Ford and GM are going to separate routes to financial viability but who knows if they'll make it.
I love Detroit.
I don't want to see Detroit go.
Coneydogs. Boblo (for the old heads). Gators. You name it.
Like so many automobiles produced in the hallowed corridors of Dearborn, Auburn Hills or on Grandriver Boulevard, thesupport for the auto bailout is F.O.R.D: Futile or Ridiculously Dumb. (My Detroit friends like to say Find On the Road Dead, but that's another post). Why is everybody so afraid of the auto bailout? The argument goes something like this: Why should we bail out millionaire execs that knew their day was limited in the first place?
The counter answer is that we'd be bailing out middle America, the workers, unions, honest, hardworking Americans.
It's a good comeback. Another question though is this: Why bail out companies that knowingly produce lackluster products that end up in our frontyards on blocks and are inefficient when it comes to gas mileage and/or smog pollution?
Another counter is that the U.S. economy cannot afford to lose Detroit and its subsidiary industries.
So, is this about people ... or the cars?
I'll admit, who goes to the dealership specifically looking for that brand-new Buick these days? Why is GM still making Buicks?
Why is Chrysler still producing Sebrings?
Why is Ford still producing Explorers?
Those are not easy questions. I just know that south of the Mason-Dixon line, the sympathetic eyes are not there.
Jobs are at stake, perhaps as many as 1.5 million. But the stats are fuzzy.
What's more important is what is Detroit supposed to do, the largest city in Michigan? It is not equipped or diversified enough to survive without a vibrant auto industry. If we let the city go, then what? And if we let a major city go, then who's next, New Orleans?
Interesting questions all.
I leave you with poet-musician Gil-Scott Heron's foreboding tale: "We Almost Lost Detroit" (the original song has the melody looped in Common's song "The People" produced by Kanye West).

GQ "Darkens" Obama on Cover

Is that Barack Obama on the cover of the new GQ, or is it ... Bryant Gumbel? The Photoshop wizards over at GQ should have learned a lesson about artificially "darkening" people from the O.J. Simpson fiasco in the 1990s. To compound matters, this goes on top of the Beyonce "lightening" scandal earlier this year. Black people come in sooo many different hues, one can understand if due to lighting and such the images are off a little bit, but Obama is waaay more chocolate than he truly is in the GQ cover. Message to art director: Add a litte more vanilla, less mocha. Or perhaps they should stay away from the airbrush tool after all, or don't stop at Starbucks before heading into the office. Either way Obama's true complexion is fairer than most. Why is this so difficult? To be fair, this has happened to white men as well, most recently ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit earlier this autumn (which he demanded be redone). But seriously, we're not mad at GQ; they've got it right countless times before. Just remember, ease up on the airbrush.

Searching for: BBW that's not AWOL, but A-OK

Friday, November 14, 2008

In a time of scarcity one group stands to come up, well, big: Full figured women. It is a little-known but well documented fact that in times of calamity women "of whom much was given" become a sort of matriarch for tough times. Brothers see things in them that they had previously dismissed or ignored: Full figured women become topfeeders, nurturers that provide a very physical tug for the strugglers among us, men and women included. And who knew? BBW had recently retreated to the underground of popular culture, sufficient to live precariously through their less-than-healthy siblings or within online personas. But now, with so many stresses pulling on the average man, lucious, full-bodied BBWs are catching on: This phenomenon is truly understudied, but look for a marked increase of big women to rise to the fore in media, advertising, movies, etc., as the American psyche looks for those with ample bodies to supplant the usual image of skinny spokesmodels and leading ladies. Have you hugged your BBW today?

Are Black Women Genetically Shaped Different Than White Women?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We see the shapes in all the magazines and on TV, but is it true? Are black bodies genetically different from white bodies? And if so, are Hispanic bodies genetically different than the others as well? This is relevant because in theory this would explain certain physical accomplishments that one group has achieved that another hasn't. This in no way would mean that one is superior to the other, though. Obviously everyone is anatomically the same, but genetically their are some differences.
A controversial study popularized by Fox News earlier this year claimed that Europeans had many more possibly harmful mutations than did Africans, and that it explained an advantage than one group supposedly had over another. I wouldn't go that far. My point is simply that people, races included, are different. That is cause for celebration, really, I mean the human stock is wonderfully diverse.


Photo of the Day: "Octopussy"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

On a Scale on 1 to 10 ...

The Next Mary J. Blige: When?

As batons go, none have been as reluctant to receive it from music titan Mary J. Blige. In her 19-year career the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul has garnered:
- Won eight Grammys, being nominated 26 times.
- sold more than 40 million albums worldwide.
Been nominated for a Golden Globe.
Yet, there comes a time when the Next Best Thing should have arisen and been chomping at the bit: Who is the next Mary?
Who will be the premiere female voice for the digital age? Now, Mary has some music left in her, but it's obvious her niche will never again be for the teeny-boppers, or that she can resort to the vocoder; that is for the next artist. The woman's accomplishments and brand image are top-notch here in 2008. There's nothing more she can do for us musically, although the big and small screen still await. Still, many have tried to fill her shoes but have not measured up. Let's see there's been Monifa, Monica, Lil Mo, Chante Savage, Shanice, Jonelle, Janelle Monae, Ashanti, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Solange Knowles, Beyonce Knowles, Keyshia Cole, Syleena Johnson, Alicia Keys, Blu Cantrell, and the list goes on.

Beyonce as ... Wonder Woman?

Monday, November 10, 2008

With Marvel kicking its butt in the feature film department, DC is desperate to save face these days with movie studios. The Wonder Woman project got a much-needed boost with the announcement that amazon singer Beyonce would love to play the main character.
“I want to do a superhero movie and what would be better than Wonder Woman?” Beyonce told LA Times blog Hero Complex. “It would be great. And it would be a very bold choice. A black Wonder Woman would be a powerful thing. It’s time for that, right?”
Beyonce said that she’s already met with DC and Warner Bros. to discuss the role.
“After doing these roles that were so emotional I was thinking to myself, ‘OK, I need to be a superhero,’” said Beyonce. “Although, when you think about the psychology of the heroes in the films these days, they are still a lot of work, of course, and emotional. But there’s also an action element that I would enjoy.”


Smile of the Day

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Big O: The Plus-sized Oprah Returns

After years of fighting it, unparalleled diets and workout regimens and schedules, the Big O is literal again: Oprah Winfrey is gaining weight at an unprecedented rate again. She's shown up at several events this year looking as big and plump as ever. To be fair, she's still not up to her all-time weight when that she was when she debuted her show in September 1986. Truth be told it may be a disorder that she's suffering from: In October of last year, Winfrey revealed on her show that she was diagnosed with a thyroid disorder that made her gain 20 pounds. "At the end of May, I was so exhausted I couldn't figure out what was going on in my life. I ended up going to Africa and spent a month with my beautiful daughters there, was still feeling really tired, really tired, going around from doctor to doctor trying to figure out what was wrong and finally figured out that I had literally sort of blew out my thyroid." As a result she went vegan for a while, but it is unclear if she has stuck to her eating plan. In any event, the big O is back.

Malia and Sasha's New Adventure

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"I think my most excitement about it is that I get to redecorate my room," said Sasha, the eldest Obama girl, when asked this summer how cool it would be to live in the White House. "I enjoy decorating. So I get to get this whole new room and do whatever I want!" she said. That cool dream is about to become reality.
As the world focuses its eyes on the first black president-elect of the United States, a good number of Americans will sit back and take in the cute, simple joy of the new First Daughters: Malia and Sasha.
A critical eye should be dimmed in this case the girls are still elementary school-age, but soon the media scrutiny will beckon.
To be true there have been children in the White House before, namely John F. Kennedy Jr. But everyone knows this will be diferent. It'll take 2 terms before the Obama girls can actually look and feel like grown women: In 2016, Sasha will be 18. Will they turn out like the daughters of Joe "Reverend Run" Simmons? Will they pick up tendencies of the Hilton girls?

Are they Dating Already?

They are the cute couple of 2008, singers Chris Breezy and Rihanna.
That their relationship blossomed so quick is a testament to young love, which knows few boundaries and is not easily stifled only by distance.
Rihanna had previously been linked to Jay-Z but the whole thing seemed a farce to sell records; and Chris Brown was drawing the attention of one Southern pop star (Ciara) and an American Idol (Jordin Sparks) before being swooped up in the Caribbean flavor of Rihanna who hails from the Bahamas.
What will the future hold for these two bashful love birds, who knows? They are awfully young (remember the quick fizzle of Ciara and Bow Wow?).
Whatever is in store, it seems these two can make a longtime go of it, if the papparazzi just leaves them be.
To Chris Brown, we say, Run It.

Meet Cheryl of the Netherlands. She's 18. And Can BeatBox Her Arse Off

Friday, November 7, 2008

Ahhh, Cheryl. Note the tranquilty of the Dutch lowcountry behind her as she cold gets busy with a so sick larynx, rapid-fire tough, and ability to suction saliva simultaneously. SIIIICK.

Eva the Diva

Ever walk outside your house and just know you're dressed to impress? Eva Langoria shows us how it's done here. The outfit is on point in everyway and we give you the lowdown on what, where and who.

Denim is back this fall. Where did it go, you say? It took a backseat to all kinds of material for the legs: polyester, cotton capri pants, even fleece had a moment in the sun. Jeans are back. The important thing to remember about denim is that it shrinks. Keep this in mind when purchasing.

Is it just us or has the male swarf made a major come-up in 2007-08? What was once a totally oriental swag has slowly ebbed and flowed into United States fashion. Now, you've got male stars such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, even Lupe Fiasco, being spotted in scarves.

MILF: Miami's Interesting League of Football Women

The Miami Dolphins cheerleaders have opened up their locker room to cameras and otherwise inquisitive pervs. This kind of exposure usually means one of two things, the tie-in merchandising is about to blow up, or somebody thinks we care. Either way, the Age of the Milf continues to rear its head as more and more middle-aged women show you what they've got. Either way, we expect to see more of these girls, either at Hef's house or on a tired Spike TV reality show.

Scarf Swag

Is it just us or has the male swarf made a major come-up in 2007-08? What was once a totally oriental swag has slowly ebbed and flowed into United States fashion. Now, you've got male stars such as Kanye West, Jay-Z, even Lupe Fiasco, being spotted in scarves.

Intelligent Things You Didn't Know About Pamela Anderson

When you think of Pam Anderson, perhaps her physical attributes come to mind, or other terms: Sex pot, sex symbol, etc.
People may not know that Pamela Anderson is a hyper social activist.
She recently penned a letter to President Obama advocating the legalization of marijuana.
A few years ago she became a spokesmodel for MAC Cosmetics's MAC AIDS Fund, which promotes awareness and helps AIDS and HIV sufferers.
She is also a celebrity spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation.

She is a vocal member of PETA, campaigning against seal hunting in Canada as well as the Kentucky Derby.
She's lent her support to campaigns against Kentucky Fried Chicken, even making a video about KFC's treatment of chickens.
In 2006, Anderson requested that Kentucky governor remove a bust of Colonel Sanders, offering a bust of herself in return. (She was refused).
Also in 2006, she requested to speak with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper about the annual seal hunt (she was refused).
Like many beauties before, including Eartha Kitt, Jane Fonda, and others, Anderson has become a leader in social activism.

The Best to Have Done it. Ever

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Who's the fairest of them all? Baddest, thickest, wickedest drawl? We give you the skinny on who wetted it the best. But first we have to get this out of the way: No, MC Lyte is not the best that ever did it. Sorry.

"Now you see that I am 68 inches above sea level; 93 million miles above these devils play me in the winter, play in the summer, play me in any order ..." and with that, the anthemic "9th Wonder" (on the "Blowout Comb" LP) was certified immortal. And she's still cool like that. She being Mary Ann Vieira aka LadyBug Mecca,formerly of the hip-hop/jazz trio Digable Planets. LadyBug has come a long way since her days in DP and opening for Sade but the woman is still deadly with a mic. To combine the beauty, sophistication, refreshing voice, conscious lyrics that she does gets her on this list, regardless of what she's doing right now.

Say what you can about the violent message, the gritty profanity, Lady of Rage was the roughest of battle-ryhmers for the now defunct Death Row Records. Although her star shone for only a second, producing one softly received album, she'll be forever known as the only female emcee featured on arguably the dopest hip-hop album of all time, Dr. Dre's "The Chronic." (see, "Lyrical Gangbang")

Eve, the self-proclaimed "Bulldog in a skirt" (Not to be confused with Sarah Palin's Bulldog in lipstick) was - in her initial manifestation - the Kobe Bryant of female emcees: Young, tenacious and rolling with a helluva team, the Rough Riders. Her bravado was one of symbols: the curled lip, bleached hair, and tatted tatas were unmistakable across the world. She had a posse that would make a New York hip-hop head cream: DMX, Drag-on, and the musical maestro, Swizz Beatz. Her lyrical content was elementary but her persona was bigger than the stage. Need proof? Name another female rapper with her own primetime sitcom? She's in on GP.

When it comes to monotone flow with rhymes schemes that border on spectacular, Bahamadia has to be mentioned. The masculine posturing, high cheekbones and gap teeth make Antonia Reed (her birthname) a hip-hop icon of the gritty persuasion, but girl can rap: Conscious as they come, quick and rapid-fire with the lyrics, Bahamadia has to be in every top 5.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention Jean Grae, the sickest vocabulary we've ever heard. She's the unsigned hype that's signed but still unhyped.

Music and dancing go together like Obama and Biden, Cheech and Chong. Missy Elliott is synonomous with party music: Her specialty is the uptempo joint. Since parting ways with her musical backbone, superproducer Timbaland, she's lost a step, but Missy back a few years ago was the fiercest party rocka out there. Still she is to videos what Michael Jackson was to videos in the 1980s, only with top-notch hip-hop choreography. Her rap skills are not as tight as they used to be, but she has expanded her focus to visual as well as audio strategies, and it's shown.

"I go below solo like, lady-like on the mic, psyke is where I when my battles you? I'll handle you like a baby with a rattle..." And just like that Salt and Pepa's "Take Yo Man" stormed the NYC airways in the early 1980s. The girls were well put together and featured exceptional flow that still ranks high-calibur more than 20 years later. Salt and Pepa are, without peers in the industry, as far as duos. They are the RUN-DMC of female rap duos and on untouchable status.

There are a few notable others, known largely not for their lyrics as much as for their propensity to take off their clothes. The high notes remain though, Foxy "Inga Marchland" Brown propelled Jay-Z's first hit record with the classic "Aint No Ni&&". Rah Digga's finest moment may have been guest-starring on the "Whoa" remix with Black Rob and a baseball team of other rappers. Lil Kim is more known for the company she kept (Biggie, Sean Combs, rival to Faith Evans) or going to jail than she is for any music she's put out; And Trina? Get serious.

There are a whole stable of female emcees that never even got the light of day. The honorable mentions will be short but recognizable all the same: Da Brat, one of the few female rappers to have a hit record; Shawnna from Ludacris' DTP; Jackie O (Okay, I don't know why I included her.).

The GOAT: Surely you've heard the ever-debatable theory of the unstoppable force vs. the immovable object? Queen Latifah has the qualities of both: Rapper/actress/singer/jazz artist extraordinaire. Dana Owens has been working it for more than 15 years, and we feel like she's only midstream. She's the biggest female rapper alive. Period. Like Will Smith, never has a rapper translated energies like Queen Latifah has.

The Freshness: They Had Style Back in the Day

Luscious Droid: Visions From Within the Mechanism

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Can Obama Help These People?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There is a segment of America that Barack Obama (or any candidate) didn't necessarily reach out to to, absent from the debates, far away from the television cameras, devoid of Internet access, but just as relevant: the White Poor.
Sarah Palin considered her base to be working class, soccer mom and rifle-toting: That's not the White Poor. The White Poor is an invisible group to the American political landscape. They're in the hood, they've been there; you haven't. Public schools are a rite of passage; they have interracial babies, smoke Newports and are just trying to get by. Can Obama, who preached a message of inclusion and change, reach these people? Does he want to.

2009 ·Popwife Blog by TNB