Friday, September 28, 2007

Cocoa Lounge NOW: Black Girls Rock with Honors

From The Cocoa Lounge

Actress, Gabrielle Union, to host 2007 Black Girls Rock Awards

We spotlighted Black Girls Rock Inc. last year when we caught wind of the fantastic grass-roots work this organization dished out in the Big Apple. Black Girls Rock Inc. has continued to grow and recently joined forces with VH1 Hip Hop Honors and a slew of entertainers for its star-studded 2nd Annual Black Girls Rock! Awards, co-hosted by actresses Gabrielle Union and Regina King.

Sponsored by CoverGirl Queen Collection, VH1 Hip Hop Honors, bluhammock music, Jordan Brand, Akademiks, GIANT Magazine and METRO, this year's growing list of presenters include breakout superstar and COVERGIRL spokesmodel Rihanna, R&B heartthrob Mario, pop-star Mya, philanthropist/poet/artist Danny Simmons, hip-hop pioneer MC Lyte, R&B princess Ashanti, and Bad Boy recording artist and actress in the upcoming Disney film "Step Up 2," Cassie. Other presenters include music mogul Andre Harrell, Hip-Hop legend and icon KRS-One, Rain Pryor, NAACP Image Award winning actress, author, MS Avocate and daughter of legendary comedian Richard Pryor, philanthropist and former model Bethann Hardison, "The Wire's" Sonja Sohn, Discovery Home Channel celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson and more.

Black Girls Rock 2007 Honorees (Honorees include: (clockwise) Common, Christte Michele, Missy Elliott and Tracy Reese.

A who's who of girls—and guys—who rock, have been penned into the nomination diaries. Street Soldier and Fox 5 News Correspondent, Lisa Evers, has been nominated for the Community Outreach Award; Jay-Z's hook girl, Chrisette Michelle earns a well-deserved "nom" for the Who's Got Next? Award for her brilliant neo-soul debut album, "I AM;" Hip-Hop icon Common, not only churns out hit after hit but has also penned the history of hip-hop with his 1994 love song to the art form, I Used to Love H.E.R. The Chicago-born rapper has been nominated for the Soul Brother #1 Award; And Philadelphia's Power 99 breakout female deejay, DJ Diamond Kuts, has spun a nomination for the Jazzy Joyce DJ Award. With attendance still pending, the irresistibly irreplaceable Beyonce Knowles, is rumored to be taking home the Icon Award.

Rock On!

The awards ceremony will take place Oct. 6th at the Lincoln Center in New York.

***10/09/07 UPDATES:***
Black Girls Rock! 2007 Awards Photos
For photos from the 2007 Black Girls Rock! Awards, CLICK HERE.

For more info about the Black Girls Rock! Awards visit:

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lieutenant Uhura: Remixed.

Lt. Uhura gets Remixed

Since her inception in the late 1960s, Star Trek's Lt. Uhura has remained a pop-culture icon. The beehive-rocking, smart, Chief Communications Officer of the USS Enterprise, introduced international television audiences to a kind of black woman it had never seen before: a sista literally light-years ahead. Becoming one of the first African American characters to join a culturally diverse television cast, actress Nichelle Nichols helped to change archaic notions that once crippled the sci-fi genre, and proved once and for all that people of color would, indeed, have a place in the celluloid future.

Though, Nichols made Uhura's sci-fi trekking look easy, she battled racial inequalities both in front of and behind the scenes and had once contemplated leaving the show in its first season, until Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. talked her into staying. The legendary leader told her how important it was for the world to see her in such a groundbreaking role--and who can really argue with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? Nichelle Nichols continued through the shows' three seasons, making television history along the way. King's words would ring true when, years later, Mae Jamison, the first black female astronaut, cited seeing Uhura on television as an inspiration for joining NASA.

Zoe Saldana as Lt. UhuraNow, forty years later, the iconic role of Lt. Uhura will have a new face: Zoe Saldana's. The new Star Trek film will begin shooting this winter and is expected to hit theaters Christmas 2008.

Zoe has been given some pretty big shoes to fill, but we're sure she'll wear them well. Beam her on up, Scotty!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Junk on Your Trunk: Junkprints

Junk on your trunk: Junkprints

The designer's name is Chanel Kennebrew, so it's no surprise that this trendsetter is brewing up her own memorable brand of fashion. Eclectic, pop-art influenced and fun, Junkprints, an online shop on Etsy, reminds of us of the kind of little boutique you might discover in a big city and never stop frequenting.

Check out the online collection, which includes fashion and Chanel's own artwork.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

From London, With Love: M.I.A

From The Cocoa Lounge

Due to tight schedules, we've been leaning heavily on YouTube for content recently. Rest assured, we'll be back soon!

Today's YT special is for all those (like us) wondering Where All The Female Emcees Have Gone. Look no further....we've found one!

This particular emcee, M.I.A., was a little hard to track down as she has roots in Sri Lanka, London, and reportedly, Compton, CA...and on top of all that, we've been sleeping on her for years. But MIA resurfaced earlier this summer with a new album, and rather enjoyable video for her single "Boyz," that is equal parts throw-back and musically forward in this era of recycled tunes.

With a name like M.I.A., it's ironic that she's one of the only visible female faces in Hip-Hop this year. Is it time to file a missing person's report?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Why We *Heart* Serena!

She digs deep. She plays from the heart. And today she earned herself a spot in the U.S. Open Quarterfinals.

Here's Serena Williams doing what she does best to the beat of Kanye West's Stronger:

*Update: The same reason why we heart big sis Venus, too! Congrats to both these ladies on their return to the top tier of womens tennis.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Saturday Soul: Gladys Knight

Saturday Soul: Gladys Knight

On September 10th, Gladys Knight will be honored with this years' Ella Award. The ceremony, named for its first recipient, Ella Fitzgerald, celebrates singers who lend their time and support to charitable causes. Past recipients include Lena Horne, Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion and Elton John.

Enjoy this 1974 performance of "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me" from Gladys Knight and the Pips. After over 50 years in the business, Gladys' voice is still as rich as pure honey.

When the movie is made that highlights this womans' life and illustrious career, we think Kelly Rowland would make an excellent Gladys Knight. Don't they look alike?

(right: singer, Kelly Rowland)