Sunday, February 08, 2009

Coming Soon: Push, Based on the Novel By Sapphire

Coming Soon: Push, Based on The Novel by Sapphire
(Clockwise from top: Actresses, Gabourey "Gabby" Sidbe, Sherri Shepherd, Paula Patton and Mo'Nique)

The drama behind Push: Based on The Novel by Sapphire is almost as intense as the story that scored the film a record three 2009 Sundance Awards (a feat matched only by 2006's Mexican-American drama, Quinceanera this decade). Film giants, Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company are currently engaged in a legal battle over the right to push Push; both arguing that they have distribution agreements for the film. The film, which has not aired so much as a single trailer, has industry heavyweights vying for a chance to be a part of it.

Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry recently announced plans to promote the film, with Winfery proclaiming, "I've never seen anything like it. The moment I saw 'Push,' I knew I wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. This film is so raw and powerful--it split me open."

The film, an adaptation of author Sapphire's best-selling novel, is the story of Clareece "Precious" Jones, an overweight, illiterate African-American teen from Harlem who discovers an alternate path in life after she begins attending a new school.

Newcomer, Gabourey "Gabby" Sidbe stars with an all-star cast including Mo'Nique (in a Sundance-award winning performance), Paula Patton, Mariah Carey, Sherri Shepherd and Lenny Kravitz.

The film was directed by producing dynamo, Lee Daniels (of Monsters'
and Shadowboxer) and is promising to be one of the most highly anticipated films of the year.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Art Tart: Ananda Nahu

Art Tart: Art you can sink your teeth in.

Art Tart: Ananda Nahu

We can't get enough of Brazilian artist, Ananda Nahu's work. A dynamic female voice in the explosive street art scene of Brazil, Nahu's stencil pieces are so rich in color, culture and beauty they bring invaluable wealth to the neighborhoods they were inspired by.

This past week has brought us so many pretty pictures, our retinas are hitting backflips...but we're not complaining one single bit!

//Find more of Ananda Nahu's art here\\.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Saturday Soul: Gloria Jones, "Heartbeat"

Saturday Soul: Gloria Jones, Heartbeat

Gloria Jones never reached the solo success of contemporaries Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner but she ripped through songs like "Heartbeat" with a throaty vigor, that was one part gospel and another part pure unadulterated soul.

Her two landmark musical achievements were the NBA equivalent of an "alley-oop:" She co-wrote Gladys Knight and The Pips' Grammy-nominated, "If I Were Your Woman;" and her 1964 original recording of "Tainted Love" would later inspire Soft Cell's 1981 cover and subsequent uber international hit.

Here's former Gospel singer turned "Northern Soul" Queen Gloria Jones performing "Hearbeat" circa 1965.

Watch Jones take 'em to church!

Friday, December 05, 2008

Cocoa Lounge NOW: The Power Hour


Move over She-Ra, by the power of grayskull, Oprah Winfrey is the mightiest woman in the wonderful world of entertainment, as so deemed by the Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment: Power 100 list.

Winfrey was chosen "based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence." Not to mention her mind-boggling power to help elect a U.S. President...


In other power moves, Jazmine Sullivan (They've Got Next: Four of the Hottest New Voices of '08) racked up an impressive 5 Grammy nominations including the prized Best New Artist nod.

We're sure Jaz will take home a few golden trophies to match those golden pipes.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Coming Soon: A Good Day To Be Black & Sexy

Coming Soon: A Good Day To Be Black And Sexy

The title alone simmers.

We saw an early sneak preview of this Sundance indie burner months ago and subsequently began to question if we'd ever seen black this sexy onscreen before.

The film, a series of vignettes, explores modern-day African American relationships with a gentle homage to the 1970s. Director, Dennis Dortch, doesn't stray far from the Blaxpoitation-loving roots he so eloquently displayed in his short film debut, 1999's Honey.

With opening theatrical releases set for Los Angeles this week and screenings at the New York African Diaspora Film Festival, you could, theoretically, make any day this weekend A Good Day to be Black & Sexy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Cocoa Lounge Remembers: Miriam Makeba


If one woman could embody the hope and pride of an entire continent, South African, Miriam Makeba was that woman, and she handled the role with grace, class and a remarkable style all her own.

Today we remember the unparalleled "Mama Africa;" singer, activist and legend. She will be greatly missed.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Birth of the Obama Era

There are hundreds of words in the English language that we could use to describe our emotions on this day, the 5th of November, 2008.

Unfortunately, we are at a loss for every last one of them...


Our eyes have gladly witnessed the birth of the Obama administration.

May God bless it and keep it...for a second term...

[image design: Gausa. additional photo design: Cocoa Lounge]

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Saturday Soul: Asa, "Fire on the Mountain"

If someone combined the super musical talents of Bob Marley and India.Arie, the resulting sound would be a lot like Nigerian Soul-Pop star, Asa.

Here's the burgeoning sensation performing "Fire on the Mountain" on BBC2's Later... with Jools Holland.

Enjoy this filling Saturday Soul (on Sunday!)... All the Soul, half the saturated fat.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

NOW: THAT's What's "POP"pin...

Cocoa Lounge NOW: That's What's "POP"pin...

Lady Tigra of the 80's hip hop duo L'Trimm, certainly has the right idea about showing presidential support, by remixing Obama's iconic "Hope" poster.

And how DOPE is it that in less than 5 days, with one balllot, we have the power to CHANGE the direction of America and our perception across the globe? Now that's what's "Pop"pin!

And you know what else POP's...?

Cocoa Lounge NOW: That's What's "POP"pin...

Three aptly titled fall magazine covers featuring Super Duper Models: Oluchi, Jordan Dunn and Naomi Campbell. With winter rapidly approaching, these British mags will 'fall' off of magazine stands real soon--so grab them while you can.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Coming Soon: 'Miracles' and 'Secrets'

(l to r: Director, Spike Lee, and hotties: Derek Luke, Michael Ealy and Laz Alonso)

The cast of Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna looks more appealing than a freshly opened box of See's Chocolates... and we've got a serious sweet tooth! The film, which chronicles the African American experience during World War II, is already garnering tons of critical praise and early buzz...

And speaking of 'buzz'... the Toronto International Film Festival is the launching pad for the groundbreaking war film, as well as Gina Prince Bythewood's The Secret Life of Bees.

(l to r: Jennifer Hudson, Sophi Okenodo, Dakota Fanning, Queen Latifah, Alicia Keys, Tristan Wilds, Gina Prince Bythewood and Nathan Parker)


Call us presumptuos but we detect the faint aroma of Academy Award consideration in the air....

Besides the running theme of Academy Award possibility, both films seem to have something else in common: Is it just us or does young Hollywood-sensation Tristan Wilds (of Secret Life of Bees), look incredibly like Michael Ealy (of Miracle of St. Anna). This is definitely an improptu Separated at Birth.

In other news...

Shout out to Serena Williams for her third U.S. Open Championship!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Saturday Soul: Mother's Finest

Saturday Soul: Mothers Finest

This Saturday Soul Session is so funky it should come with its own anti-perspirant.

In this vintage performance by little-known but legendary rock band Mother's Finest , frontwoman Joyce Kennedy is the definition of the term, "vocal power-house." Her sound is a fiery hybrid of Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, and Gladys Knight. But make no mistake about it, Kennedy's voice is remarkably original, and capable of singing quivers into your vertebrae.

From the 1977 album, Another Mother Further, here's "Baby Love":

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered... Broadway


We were on our heels.

One of the most defining pieces of literature written for the 1970's American stage was to experience a revival on Broadway, thanks largely in part to a woman who redefined Broadway in the 1980's.

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf, Ntozake Shange's 1975 masterpiece of post-civil rights era black womanhood in America, at the hands of Whoopi Goldberg, starring soul songstreses India.Arie, was set to open September 8th on New York's "Great White Way." But recent news of the loss of a major financial backer has dimmed the lights on what was a highly anticipated show.

We're not sure if this production will ever see the light of Broadway but until then, there's still the the 1982 American Playhouse DVD (starring a young Lorreta Divine, Alfre Woodard and Lynn Whitfield) to hold onto.