Saturday, June 14, 2008

Video: Alexander O'Neal - If You Were Here Tonight

Alexander O'Neal was introduced to us in the early 80's by Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. This is a video of his classic song, "If You Were Here Tonight". Many don't realize that he was once a member of "The Time" before Morris Day joined the group. Thanks to SandraRose for the reminder.

Patrick Family Support

Good read about how Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, and family are strongly supporting their daughter after she "came out".

New Artist: Dondria

Similar to the Soulja Boy phenomenon, Dondria started her own YouTube site and garnered a huge fan base, and was subsequently signed by Jermaine Dupri. Link to video from ConcreteLoop site that displays her talent.

New Orleans Mayor Using Taxpayer Money to Eat Very Well

Why The Jury Acquitted R. Kelly

Colony Capital Tring to Assist "The King of Pop" With a Comeback

Interesting article from the Wall Street Journal about private equity group Colony Capital trying to assist MJ with a relaunching of his career. The question now, is Michael Jackson really interested in performing again. Good article about the importance of having assets. To the viewing public, Michael Jackson is seen as being debt laden, but he owns half of a music catalogue worth an estimated 500 million dollars and the Neverland Ranch. Simply, along with his talent, he has options and companies looking to make money are interested in dealing with him.

Link to Yahoo Music Legend List

Michael Jackson Didn't Make Yahoo's Top 25 Music Legends With At Least 25 years of Service

June is Black History Music Month. Yahoo has decided to post a list of 25 Music Legends with at least 25 years of service. Author Rob O'Connor decided that Michael Jackson didn't qualify to make the list. We all know the through the years MJ has had his issues, but from the time that he hit the music scene in 1969 as the lead singer of The Jackson 5 until the at least the mid 1990s, Michael has been an influential part of our pop culture. Michael's accomplishments speak for themselves:

  • One of the few artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice.
  • 13 Grammy Awards.
  • 13 Number One Singles in his solo career alone (more than any artist in the hot 100 era).
  • Sales of over 750 million units worldwide.
  • The biggest selling album of all time in Thriller.

Controversies aside MJ's talent and influence on the music industry in his nearly 40 years in the business can't be questioned. During the Thriller phase he alone made MTV into the "go to" video channel and spawned an unlimited number of singer, dancer, performers who we see today still trying to imitate his signature moves. On the Yahoo list, Michael's contemporary Prince is listed at number 10 and the "Godfather of Soul" James Brown is number 2. It's hard to argue that Michael should be ahead of James Brown, but he's simply had more influence than Prince. The Jackson 5 years cannot be discounted, and the fact that there were periods in his career when sales were declining with the J5, and the group rebounded after moving to Epic Records shows his resiliency as an artist. This is the point in his career when Michael took creative control along with his brothers, and wrote and produced 1978's double platinum album "Destiny". This is the record that displayed Michael's talent as a writer and producer at the age of 20 years old, and he already had nearly 10 years in the business.

Yahoo's top 10 legends is as follows:

  1. Bob Dylan
  2. James Brown
  3. Paul McCartney
  4. Miles Davis
  5. Johnny Cash
  6. Chuck Berry
  7. Muddy Waters
  8. Van Morrison
  9. George Jones
  10. Prince

Rob O'Connor's reasoning for not including Michael in the top 25 is because "Michael Jackson got cut for spending too much time in Disneyland and not enough time in the recording studio or on stage." Michael should be in the top 10 since after James Brown he's the most influential Pop/R&B artist in the last 25 years. Numerous controversies and legal issues don't subtract from a body of work that can be compared favorably to any artist in the history of music.

Tim Russert Dead at 58

NBC newsman Tim Russert died yesterday while preparing for his weekly show "Meet The Press". He was considered one of Time Magazine's 100 most influential people.

Friday, June 13, 2008

When Will Our Kids Learn

Link to New York Post article showing video of young boy attacking a 62 year old school teacher in Brooklyn. Somehow these kids have to reached, and taught that there is more to life that robbing, stealing and beating.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Obama Campaign Launches Site Against Smear Campaign

Presumed Democratic Nominee Barack Obama's campaign has launched a site to combat the "smear tactics" being launched by conservative opponents. Click on the link above to view.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lil Wayne Update

According to HITS Daily Double, Lil Wayne's "Tha CarterIII" is slated to sell 900,000 cd's in it's debut week. It would be the biggest debut of the year, surpassing Mariah's latest cd.

Obama and Johansson E-Mailing Each Other

I didn't really think much of this story until I heard it being discussed on the radio this morning. According to the New York Daily News, Presumed Democratic Presidential Nominee Barack Obama and Actress Scarlett Johansson have been exchanging e-mails. Is it a big deal?

Kwame's Mother Facing Challengers for Congressional Seat in Detroit

Kwame Kilpatrick's mother, Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick is facing the biggest challenge of her career from two rivals. Kwame's legal issues are being used as ammunition against the incumbent. Cheeks Kilpatrick has never received less than 78% of the vote since she took office in 1996.

Ex-Alanta Mayor Mislead Officials to Enter Rehab Program

Ex-Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell mislead officials to enter rehab program in an effort to cut 4 months off sentence.

Atlanta DJ Greg Street and Jermaine Dupri Feuding

Sandra Rose's blog is one of the better entertainment blogs in my opinion, especially keeping us up to date with what's happening in the Atlanta community. She profiles the Greg Street, Jermaine Dupri controversy, along with a link to Greg Street being interviewed by Wendy Williams.

New Video From Solange Knowles - "I Decided"

Video for first single from Solange's cd Sol-Angel and the Hadley St. Dreams

Can Obama Help Clayton County, GA Schools?

The Clayton County, GA school system is in jeopardy of losing it's accreditation on September 1st. 17 year old Joshua Penny wants to tell the presumed Democratic Presidential Nominee about his fears of receiving a worthless diploma, and he may get his chance.

Chinese Stocks Having A Rough Year

Chinese stocks were the "rage" last year, but since last October the market has lost 45 percent of it's value.

Janet Unhappy With Def Jam?

Janet Jackson's latest release "Discipline" has sold 392,000 copies in the U.S. according to SoundScan. Janet's blaming lack of promotion from her new record label.

Lil Wayne Going Pop?

Lil Wayne released his new Cd "Tha Carter III" yesterday, and after hearing a few of the songs, he has more than one hit single on the Cd. Collaborations with Babyface and Jay-Z are included with production from Kanye West and Just Blaze. Lil Wayne is poised to crossover with this release. New York Times article profiles the transformation from hip hop to pop.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Kwame Kilpatrick Lawyer Quits Over Text Messaging Scandal

Prison System is A Growth Industry In Philadelphia

$230 Million spent on the Philly Prison System each year. Is the prison system supposed to be a growth industry?

3 Families Wipe Out $26,000 in Debt in 4 Months

Nationally known Personal Finance Columnist, Michelle Singletary writes about how 3 military families drastically cut their debt in 4 months.

Do Whites Have a Black Threshold With Barack Obama?

Good read concerning presumed Democratic Nominee Barack Obama being "post racial". In other words, he's black, but not too black.

A Girl's Life - Acia Johnson

14 year old Acia Johnson's mother was a drug addict, her father an alcoholic. She was on her way to making a better way for herself and her 3 year old sister, before a deadly fire derailed her dreams. Excellent Boston Globe article about a young girl trying to overcome her circumstances and being overlooked by the system.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Apple Unveiling New and Improved iPhone

LA Times article about Apple unveiling a new and improved iPhone.

Charter Schools Rushing to Fill Educational Void in Post-Katrina New Orleans

In the post-Katrina inner city school system, Charter Schools enroll 53 percent of the students. The jury is still out regarding whether the Charter system can improve an ailing system, but the city is open to the option with the hope of improving the educational opportunities for it's students.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jill Scott - Greatness Divine

Jill Scott, the quintessential artist, has blessed us with her talent as a singer, writer, author, actress, philanthropist and now designer. She's allowed us to live in her world of honesty, and peer into the depths of her soul.

Jill Scott didn't take the typical road to success (she was 28 when she released her first cd). She records on a small label, Hidden Beach Records, so she doesn't receive the large promotional dollars that accompany many artists. Despite limited promotion, all of Jill's Cd's except 2004s "Collaborations" have been certified Gold. Jill's concert tours have become legendary and allow her to benefit from a solid fan base that can continue to sustain her career. Many artists today adopt the cookie cutter approach to stardom, rising like a shooting star and then heading into obscurity after dismal sales of their latest CD. Jill's approach of developing and cultivating her talent, along with self confidence has allowed her to seamlessly move into other areas of success.

As a philanthropist, Jill Scott is the founder of the Blue Babe Foundation that assists young minorities with college expenses as long as a minimum GPA is maintined. Residents of Philadelphia, Camden, NJ and the Greater Delaware Valley can benefit from the foundation.

Greatness is always open to interpretation, and Miss Scott probably hasn't given us her best performance, but we have to be thankful that she is allowing us to peer into her world of divine greatness.

Michelle the Next Target?

Chicago Sun-Times columnist, Mary Mitchell writes that Michelle Obama will be the next target for Barack Obama's opponents, since he left Trinity United Church of Christ last week. Barack has called for the pundits to "lay off" his wife, but that may be wishful thinking.

Gang Violence Continues to Plague Camden, NJ

Camden, NJ continues to struggle with poverty and lack of opportunity. Continued gang violence has only escalated the problem. The poorest city in the state of New Jersey, Camden police have boosted police patrol in an effort to curb the violence.

153 Years From John Mercer Langston to Barack Obama

John Mercer Langston was the first black congressman from Virginia, and founder of what would become Howard University Law School. He was an expert on constitutional law and a community organizer. He was Barack Obama in 1855.

Gospel Lengend Evolving from Entertainer to Advocate

Gospel legend has gradually transitioned from singer to talk show host and now social advocate. Great article about a superstar who continues to strive to improve herself and thus her impact on society.