Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Halle Berry and Angela Nissel get "Mixed Up"


Some of you hip hop fans may remember Angela Nissel as the co-founder of Okayplayer. She has since gone on to write the critically-acclaimed memoir, "The Broke Diaries," based on her hilarious adventures living below the 'broke line' and is currently a writer/consulting producer for the NBC dramedy, Scrubs.

Now Angela Nissel is teaming up with Halle Berry and HBO to develop "Mixed Up," a tentatively titled series based on The Broke Diaries and Angela's most recent novel, "Mixed: My Life in Black and White." The show will focus on a biracial woman and her two friends as they tackle racial and financial issues after college (Daily Variety).

We're not sure if Halle Berry will star or just produce but this project--if greenlit--may just be our Entourage or better yet, Sex in the City.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Fresh Face [#006]: Joy Denalane

Joy Denalane -- Throwback Pam Grier Moment
Afro-German, Joy Denalane, is a musical chameleon. Not only is her music a blend of genres that include Soul, Afrobeat and Hip hop, her lyrics are equally as diverse--Denalane will sing in English, German, Xhosa or Shangan (South African languages) without batting an eyelash.

Though she's been in the musical game for years, her fanbase has been largely focused in Europe--but that's quickly changing. Joy was featured on the German version of Common's single "Go!" and is sure to draw attention in the US with her latest R&B single "Let Go."

If you haven't yet discovered Joy, you don't know what you're missing.

Singer, Joy Denalane
Watch the video for "Let Go" here. (Real Player)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Lachanze Hits A High Note at the Tony Awards

It looked like it was going to turn into a Tony Award shut-out for the Broadway adaptation of Alice Walker's The Color Purple. The show, which was nominated for a whopping 11 Tony Awards, went home with only one but stage veteran Lachanze's Best Actress in a Musical win is a great reflection of the this young womans' talent and a huge honor for the show.

Lachanze will leave the The Color Purple in November, so if you want to catch her award-winning performance as "Celie" you'd better get tickets soon. If you can't make it to New York to experience the show live, you can purchase the musical's soundtrack or pop in that classic movie DVD.

"You tole Harpo to beat me!"

A scene from the musical, The Color Purple

Friday, June 09, 2006

The Barriers Have Broken: Black Tennis Stars Emerge in France

The Barriers Have Broken: Black Tennis Stars Emerge in France

It's been over 10 years since the Williams Sisters turned pro. They're domination in the sport of tennis shattered stereotypes and old attitudes but most importantly, broke barriers that have long stood in the way of black athletes excelling in the predominantly white sport.

But it looks like those once iron-clad barriers may now be a thing of the past.

If you've caught any coverage of the French Open this year, you may have noticed the increase of young black athletes on the Roland Garros clay. Aside from the usual suspects Venus Williams and James Blake, the sensational Frenchman Gael Monfils and Americans Mashona Washington, Shenay Perry and Jamea Jackson all graced the courts of the Grand Slam Championship. Though none made it to the final, Venus Williams and James Blake were the last Americans standing in Paris and Gael Monfils is fast-becoming one of the sports brightest young stars.

Finally, the (tennis) playing fields are leveling. We can't wait to see what these young athletes serve up next.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Vivica A. Fox to 'Dance With The Stars?'

Vivica A. Fox: Dancing with the Stars?
Rumors have it that Vivica A. Fox may be joining the celebrity boogie list for ABC's Dancing With The Stars. We can't help feeling just a tad bit nervous for the actress after witnessing the spectacle that was Master P last season.

We hope Vivica knows what she's doing...

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Oprah vs. Hip Hop: The Rap Attack

Oprah vs. Hip Hop

50 Cent is popular for his rap disses; his tongue-lashings have been known to destroy hip hop careers. His most recent beef with Oprah is drawing other rap elite in what is developing into one of the greatest hip hop beefs since the east coast-west coast rivalry--and Big O isn't even a rapper.

Now, we love hip hop, but some of today's popular rap lyrics aren't suitable for the children that consume them, let alone stay at home moms and middle aged women--Oprah's core audience. Couldn't you just see 50 Cent serenading Oprah's viewers with an ultra-bleeped out version of "P.I.M.P" or taking those sweet older ladies to his "Candy Shop?"

Ludacris on The Oprah ShowLudacris, and most recently, Ice Cube, have added logs to the fire of the Oprah roasting. Ludacris, infuriated that some of his interview had been cut out of an Oprah taping for the film Hustle and Flow, recently made statements that suggested Oprah trimmed his comments because he was a rap artist. (Come on, Ludacris. We love ya’, but it's called the Oprah Winfrey show. EVERYONE's comments are edited for time).

Kanye West on OprahWe can't help feeling that this is an attempt to dethrone the Queen of Talk using the guise of Hip Hop music. If Oprah’s producers are smart--and you can bet they are--next season's Oprah will feature a roundtable of Hip Hop artists who want an opportunity to have their say.

But, really, some rappers should put out more responsible lyrics if they want to speak to a mature audience. But that's another blog altogether...