Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Young, Black, and Fabulous

The Young, Black, and Fabulous

VIDEO PREMIERE: "Because Of Them, We Can" Campaign Salutes Janelle Monae For Black History Month

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 08:53 AM PST

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You've likely seen the viral pics over the last year from the Because Of Them, We Can Campaign, headed by mom of two Eunique Jones, where absolutely adorable black children from all over the country portray the most amazing YBF icons and celebs.


In honor of Black History Month, we're premiering the Because of Them, We Can campaign's new "Janelle Monae" video, which is part of the new video component of the movement.  Check out the cuteness inside....


About the adorable Janelle Monae salute, Eunique said, "I wanted to bring the photos to life and showcase how some of the individuals who we've covered over the last year have set examples that still have relevant applications for us today." 

She continued, "I chose to feature Janelle Monáe because she is a present day example of what it means to be comfortable in your own skin. Janelle is uncompromisingly unique and shows that you don't have to conform or change who you are in order to make other comfortable. We need more role models like her and I don't believe that an individual should always have to be deceased or old to honor and recognize the contributions they're making that push others forward. Just look at how she inspired these little dancers! And they aren't even teenagers yet."

So after having inspirational "Primetime" singer Janelle in the 2013 picture campaign, the video treatment is below:


About the campaign, as told by Eunique Jones herself:

The Because of Them, We Can campaign was birthed out of my desire to share our rich history and promising future through images that would refute stereotypes and build the esteem of our children. While I originally intended to publish the campaign photos, via social media, during Black History Month, I quickly realized how necessary it was to go further. With so many achievers to highlight, and thousands of children to engage and inspire, 28 days wasn't enough. On the last day of February, with just 28 photographs in my collection, I decided to resign from my job in order to continue the campaign. On March 1, 2013, after most national and local conversations about Black History and Achievement ended, I released a photo of a mini-inspired Phyllis Wheatley and began the journey to continue the project for a full year.

A year later I have come to the conclusion that even 365 days aren't enough. What began as a mother's passion project quickly evolved into a movement. Today we are committed as ever before to encourage and empower people of all ages and hues to dream out loud and reimagine themselves as greater than they are, simply by connecting the dots between the past, the present and the future.


Take the Because of Them, We Can Pledge HERE.  And check out much more from the campaign and who else has been saltuted HERE.

NEWS: Jordan Davis' Parents Speak Out, Vow To Fight "Stand You Ground Laws" + JUROR Speaks Out

Posted: 19 Feb 2014 07:18 AM PST

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The parents of slain unarmed teen Jordan Davis appeared on GMA this morning, for the first time since the mistrial ruling, where they vowed to fight stand your ground laws and seek justice for their son.  Watch the video inside....

Lucia McBath and Ronald Davis, the parents of Jordan Davis, appeared on GMA this morning where they spoke about the Michael Dunn verdict, saying they understood that the jury had a difficult task before them. Ronald also vowed to change "Stand Your Ground" laws in Florida.  Ronald blamed the mistrial on the confusing Stand Your Ground instructions given to the jury.  He also stated, "God is the ultimate justice" and their family is praying for Michael Dunn.

Lucia closed out the interview by saying the true "justice" for Jordan would be having the Stand Your Ground laws changed. 

On Nightline...

"Valerie", one of the jurors from the Jordan Davis trial, spoke to Nightline, revealing that the group knew within the first hour that they would be unable to reach a unanimous decision.  For the first vote, it ended up being 9 in favor of a guilty verdict, and 3 in favor of a not guilty verdict.  In a second vote after over nearly 30 hours of deliberations, the vote became 9-3.

"It said if he believed that he had an eminent threat to himself or his fiancee, so that was a thing that those two folks believed – he was frightened and there was no other option for him in regards to Mr. Davis. The rest of us were 100 percent sure, you didn't have to react [with gunfire], you could have had another option.

"We looked at a lot of evidence – and myself, it was where the gunshots were, the timing. Could he have had other options? To me, [the shooting] was unnecessary."

She also said she hopes Jordan's parents do not feel they did a complete disservice in justice with this case, as Michael Dunn was convicted of attempted murder of the others in the car, and other charges.


The Randomness:

1.  R. Kelly could face jailtime for owing $21K in child support.  Story.

Pregnant Lil Kim Drops "Haterz" Track + Kelis' Saucy "Jerk Ribs" Video

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 04:29 PM PST

Kelis is serving up "Jerk Ribs" in her brand new saucy video.  Check it inside, plus Lil Kim's new song "Haterz"....

Lil Kim may be a mom-to-be to a baby boy on the way, but she's still ready to bust out some bars every now and then.  Fresh off her upcoming Hard Core mixtape that continues to get pushed back, her track called "Haterz" featuring B Ford has hit the net.

Check out the hard core lyrics below, and decide if she's still got it:


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Kelis is bringing her certified Le Cordon Bleu training to her music. Fresh off her upcoming album aptly titled, Food, Nas' ex-wife is still giving us the eclectic yet fresh sound and look we crave in a sea of industry folks who copy each other.

About her lead single, "Jerk Ribs", Kelis told TIME:

“This song is the cornerstone of my album.  So I wanted the video to look like my life, my love — back to the beginning.”

And now, the saucy upbeat Caribbean inspired track got the video treatment.  Check it below:

By the way, Kelis will be flossing her real life chef skills on The Cooking Channel on her own show, "Saucy & Sweet," premiering February 28th.  Food hits the table April 22nd.

MORE DRAMA: NeNe Apologizes For That Awkward Speech + Saving Our Daughters Received ZERO Dollars From Kenya's Charity Event!

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 03:17 PM PST

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Just when we thought that charity gala from hell was behind us, NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore have stirred up more drama today.  Deets inside...

After NeNe snatched that mic from Kenya after feeling set up at her "charity gala" that was supposed to be in NeNe's honor, Mrs. Leakes is now apologizing for her actions.  But she stands by her claims that Kenya did this gala for attention, and had no intentions of it having real meaning to anyone involved.

NeNe posted the blog below where she spills all about the subject, and apologizes as well:

I don't have a lot I want to say, but I'll start by saying I apologize for my behavior at the charity event. I definitely don't want to teach young women that this is the proper way to respond when someone is trying to trick you into a situation and push your buttons. I would much rather teach young women to be aware of the wolves in sheep’s clothing.

Kenya used the charity’s name for her own selfish reasons. I'm the kind of girl that likes to spill the facts. Everything else is just gossip and B.S. Here are the facts. I never received a call, a text, or an email from Kenya. What I did learn the night before the charity event is that Kenya had used a PR Firm to send e-vites to everyone, which is why I didn't see it. Fact! You heard me right, a third party! She wanted you to believe she sent me an email and she did not. FACT! If she really had pure, good intentions, she could have picked up the phone, called me, and said, "Hey let's put our differences aside for a night of charity!"

I'm a very rational person. I have been a major supporter to Saving Our Daughters and have raised thousands of dollars for them. Fact! All this charity B.S. is coming from a person that showed up at my charity event last year in a thong and butt pads! She even argued outside of Porsha's charity event! She has no credibility when it comes to charity. I just hope Saving Our Daughters received the thousands of dollars she claimed to have raised.

I'm not surprised things have gone down the way they have between Kenya and me. She had beef with Cynthia over the whole coochie crack thing, then moved on to Porsha, then to Phaedra over a booty video, then to Apollo, and now me! I see straight through her! She's not original. What's she's doing has already been done. I have always stood alone in a war! I might bend, but I won't break, and if I stumble, I won't fall! I see what she’s doing and so do you.

P.S. Here's something else I saw: (1) Did you see the opportunist that keeps coming around? (2) Did you see my friend just sit there and indirectly support this B.S.? I have worked with a lot of women over the years, and the one thing that it has taught me is that life is like an elevator -- on your way up, you have to let people off!

We have a few guesses about who she's talking about toward the end.  Do you?


As for Kenya saying the charity gala would benefit Saving Our Daughters, who NeNe works closely with, the organization is calling B.S.  In the nicest most respectable way, of course.  They say they never received any of the "thousands of dollars" Kenya said the event raised.  And the set-up of the event was shaky throughout--changing PR hands and more.

In a statement today, S.O.D.'s Founder and CEO Curtis Benjamin says:

To all of our sponsors, contributors and friends -

On February 16, 2014, Saving Our Daughters was mentioned on the episode of Real Housewives of Atlanta as being honored with a fundraiser on its behalf.

Our charity was contacted by publicist April Love to get approval and give notice of this upcoming event. Much to our delight, we were indeed honored to be chosen. After all, one of our largest financial contributors, Mrs. NeNe Leakes who has been responsible for contributions in the thousands of dollars throughout the years, is a member of the cast.

Days later, to our surprise Ms. Love did contact me and inform me that she had decided to terminate her company’s involvement with this event. At that point, Ms. Moore contacted me to continue moving forward with the event as purposed and planned. This call took place a day before the event was scheduled to take place.

Upon seeing the event unfold on TV, it was noticed that Ms. Kenya Moore stated that she was giving this charitable event in honor of Mrs. Leakes, with Saving Our Daughters as the recipient of the proceeds from the charity event. Honorees at this point were switched without our knowledge, but again, we are appreciative of any and all support for the organization.

Had we been made aware that this fundraising event was in honor of Mrs. Leakes, we certainly would have been present with the plaques and certificates of appreciation that we currently have to present to Mrs. Leakes for her outstanding efforts and support for Saving Our Daughters. This would have been the perfect opportunity for us to honor her, as well. We were not aware of this and it appears that Mrs. Leakes wasn’t aware either.

The light in which Saving Our Daughters was depicted was less than favorable. The organization received several calls from other supporters about our involvement in this event. They were extremely disappointed and felt that the organization was being taken advantage of.

We go on record by stating that we at Saving our Daughters have never and will not ever be involved in any drive where the exact purpose is not clear, stated or held to with only approved changes. We would not ever jeopardize our continuing support from our friends by being a part of what appears to have been tainted from the start.

In closing, Ms. Kenya Moore stated that thousands of dollars were raised at this event. To protect the integrity of Saving Our Daughters, our records show that we did not receive any of the proceeds raised from Ms. Moore’s masquerade ball.

However, we do appreciate the contribution we did receive of $500 for our annual Christmas doll drive for children with cancer.

Womps.  We'll await Kenya's explanation....


Photos: Bravo

Rihanna Gives Up The Goods On Her Weaves, Style Game & More For VOGUE March 2014 Issue

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 02:29 PM PST

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You've seen the sneak peek, now get VOGUE's inside cover story on your favorite I-Make-Ratchet-Look-Sexy chick Rihanna from the March 2014 issue....

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Now that Rihanna's full VOGUE cover story is out, there's a few new things we've learned about the 25-going-on-26-year-old.  If that's possible.  While going from tomboy to utterly sexy to high fashion all in one swoop in her new cover spread, Ri dishes on fashion, weave, and more.  Oh, all while zooming around NYC playing a bossy (but super fun) stylist...for the VOGUE writer herself.

She's guarded about her weave, but will reveal it anyway

“It’s not my hair, but the girl who donated it, she’s the bomb,” says Rihanna. “Black girls never let anyone see this,” she adds, pulling apart the locks at the back of her head to show me the intricate workings of the false hair, which is woven into a net attached to her own. “I have two main hair people I work with. They’re always with me. I’m like, ‘I’m bored! I wanna change my hair!’ That’s the good thing about a weave. You can do whatever with it.”

It's not that her 6 inch $6,000 heels don't hurt her, she just knows how to play it off better than most

“It’s not about pain. It’s about the commitment. I say to myself, ‘I want to look like this,’ and worry about the pain later. I’ve had nights I had to tiptoe home and the balls of my feet wouldn’t even allow me to stand.”

She's about that Claire's life, like many of us

“My jewelry’s all fake—from Claire’s. Or I get it from my mom’s boutique in Barbados. Her shop’s called FAB-U-LUS.”

She says she never expected fame--and yes, she did actually practice singing

“I did sing a lot as a child. A lot. I practiced hard to maneuver my voice. I love singing. I love it, and it doesn’t feel like a chore. It’s an expression. I never wanted to be famous. I just wanted my music to be heard all over the world. Then it happened and the fame came with it. I can’t ever imagine feeling used to it.”

Her tomboy/rebel fashion persona is the real her

When I was thirteen or fourteen, I didn’t want to wear what my mom wanted me to wear. I was very much a boy in my style, my demeanor. All my friends were guys. I loved things that boys did. I loved being easy with my clothes. I loved wearing hats and scarves and snapbacks on my head. It was my way of rebelling. I wanted to dress like my brother. After a while, it was just easier for Mom to dress us both the same. We wore the same jeans, the same T-shirts.”

“I don’t go out of my way to be a rebel or to have that perception, but a lot of the decisions I make, a lot of the direction I want to move, is against the grain, or against society’s tight lane, and I’m aware of that sometimes. It might not be fitting with the norm, but that’s OK for me.”

“It all started in dance rehearsal,” she explains. “When you’re on tour, you go to rehearse wearing sweats and sneaks. Then you practice your song in the heels you are going to wear that night. I realized, Wow, that looks cool! I have a friend who is literally searching for cool T-shirts for me all the time because I’m obsessed.”

Her disdain for undergarments is real

“If I’m wearing a top, I don’t wear a bra,” she says. “If I’m wearing a bra, I just wear a bra.”

Her obsession with Instagram is actually just her communicative nature

“Instagram is my way of communicating to the world,” she says. “When I’m on tour, I keep fans in the loop. I don’t really think about it too much. Literally, I can be sitting in a car and be bored, so I do a selfie just because I’m bored. Or if my dog is running around in circles and I think that’s funny, I put it on Instagram.” As for who Rihanna follows on Instagram? “I follow girls from the Middle East. It gives you ideas.”

She knows her fashion game is a huge factor making her the star she is

“It’s not all down to my voice. There’s people with way more talent than I when it comes to singing. Bigger voices. But people want to know who you are. Fashion is a clear indication, a way to express your attitude, your mood.”

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Check out the full cover story at VOGUE, where she's ordering her assistants to fetch her makeup from the MAC store, reading & styling the VOGUE writer effortlessly, and more.


Photos: David Sims/VOGUE

BIKINI BABES: Skylar Diggins & Chanel Iman Show Off Their Bods For SI Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Issue

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 12:58 PM PST

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Now that the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 50th Anniversary Edition is out, we've spotted Chanel Iman and WNBA Skylar Diggins flossing their bods for the iconic mag.


Check out their pics inside...


In SI's 50th Anniversary Swimsuit issue, model Chanel Iman is keeping it effortlessly sexy...while playing with some lemurs:

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Hot.  We're sure her boyfriend A$AP Rocky is loving it.

And the athletes weren't left out:

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WNBA star Skylar Diggins is putting her toned bod on display.  And she's fulfilling the crushes of sports lovers everywhere.


Congrats ladies!


The Randomness:

1.  Seal and Heidi Klum MAY be back together.  STORY


Photos: SI

LeBron James Answers The Critics, Tells GQ He's HAPPY He's "Changed" As A Grown & Married Man

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 11:24 AM PST

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LeBron James may have just as many haters as he does fans, and he's well aware.  Check out the Miami Heat star's take on his critics, why he's just fine with being a "changed man"...much in part thanks to his wife, kids and maturity....and more....

As the March 2014 cover guy of GQ, rocking Armani and Tom Ford suits with Nike sneakers, Bron Bron is talking a whole lot more than usual.  And he's definitely in a good place, not just in his FAT mansion in Coconut Grove, Florida.

Here are the highlights from the just released cover story:

On not being selfish (despite his critics saying otherwise)

"Like, I could average thirty-five points a game if I really wanted to," he says. He is beautifully handsome, solid and smooth as a sycamore. "But then—it wouldn't be me," he says. "So I don't know if I could do it, because of my instincts. I see a teammate open—even if I have a great shot—I see a teammate open for a better shot, I gotta feed him. It's like, my mind sometimes be like 'Shoot it,' but then—my instincts, you know?"

Fatherhood, he says, is a lot like sports. "Being a leader of my household, a leader of Miami, a leader of Team USA. It's the same exact thing. You can sense when a guy is frustrated—maybe doesn't feel involved enough in the offense. As leader you go over to him, you know, 'How can I help?' Because at the end of the day, we all have one common goal—and that's to be great."


On why he's proud that he's changed, like haters criticize him for doing

"Good! That's like a good thing," he says. "I'm like, 'Thank you.' Shit. I'm 29 years old with a family—I'm married with a family. I—of course I've changed. The problem is, you haven't changed. And that's why you dislike what I do, you know."

"As an African-American, we hear it a lot where we grow up. You've changed." He's sick of hearing it used as a criticism. "Because you've tried to better yourself and because you've made it out. 'You're not the same person that we used to know.' Of course I'm not. I'm trying to better myself. Change is not a bad thing. Thinking that it's bad, you know, that's one thing I think is a downfall for African-Americans for sure."

On thanking his father for NOT being around

"Like, 'Wow, Dad, you know what, I don't know you, I have no idea who you are, but because of you is part of the reason who I am today.' The fuel that I use—you not being there—it's part of the reason I grew up to become who I am. It's part of the reason why I want to be hands-on with my endeavors. And be able to put my guys that's with me now in position. Like Maverick Carter, my right-hand guy in my business. Rich Paul, my agent. Randy Mims, my friend—he's my manager, you know. So me in a position allowing people around me to grow, that maybe wouldn't have happened if I had two parents, two sisters, a dog, and a picket fence, you know?"

On what he learned from all the controversy he caused with The Decision

"The best thing that ever happened to me," he says. "I needed it. It helped me grow as a man. As a professional, as a father. At the time, as a boyfriend. It helped me grow. Being confined, I spent my whole life in Akron, Ohio. For twenty-five years. Even though I played professionally in Cleveland, I still lived in Akron. Everything was comfortable. I knew everything, everybody knew me—everything was comfortable. I needed to become uncomfortable."

"Now I've seen everything on and off the floor this league has to offer," he says. "I got an answer for everything. Winning, losing, being a free agent, staying, leaving, media, media down on you, media big up on you, agents, money, parking it, family, money. All, everything. So whatever your question is, I can deliver."

On why people like Miley don't need to be attention grabbers

"Miley Cyrus? She has a great voice! She don't need the shenanigans. She can have some of the shenanigans, but not all of the shenanigans, you know? And she can be at peace! She can be at peace.  Shenanigans."

Check out the full interview HERE where his wife Savannah checks their two kids in an old-school mommy moment.  And more pics from the shoot HERE.  And in case you missed our NBA All-Star 2014 coverage, check it HERE.

Fashion worthy BTS footage is below, shot by Terry Richardson:


The Randomness:

1.  Lamar Odom will be taking his talents to Spain.  STORY

2.  Michelle Rodriguez Confirms She's Dating Cara Delevingne STORY

3.  In news we didn't ever want to know, Barbara Walters admits she has a vibrator, that she named SELFIE!  STORY

4.  Don Cheadle's "House of Lies" gets renewed for another season! STORY


Photos: Terry Richardson/GQ

How Jay Z & Tom Ford Flipped The 'Knock Off' Fashion Game -- Peep The Fall 2014 TOM FORD Sequined Jersey Dress

Posted: 18 Feb 2014 09:56 AM PST

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Remember Jay Z's black and white Magna Carta Holy Grail tour jersey that read TOM FORD in big letters with the number 61 (a nod to designer Tom Ford's birth year)?  Well, Mr. Ford himself has taken that knock off of sorts...and knocked it off himself to the tune of $6,500.


Check it inside...

During the Tom Ford show during London Fashion Week on Monday, designer Tom Ford debuted a sequined jersey dress--in both black and orange--with his name across the front, the number 61, and Molly crossed out at the bottom. 

If it looks familiar, that's because Jay Z rocked this design in a jersey t-shirt version as one of his MCHG tour tees.  And it was in reference to his "Tom Ford" track that denounces the drug Molly....but sings all the praises of the American designer.

Jay's jersey was created by BBP (Black Boy Place), a French brand founded in 2010.  The tee was not done by designer Tom Ford, even though his likeness is represented.  The company sells that tee and many others (many in relation to Jay Z's MCGH references) for $65.  But it looks like Mr. Ford is getting in on the knock-off game that his brand is already involved in.

He told The Associated Press, "I just took the knock off from online, and knocked it off."

Then he told just how he did it:

"[Jay Z's original jersey] sells for $65." Ford chuckled an opportunist's chuckle. "My knockoff will sell for $6,500."

That article continued:

Those Number 61 outfits featured a crossed-out "Molly." Jay Z raps "no" to the current incarnation of Ecstasy, but "yes" to Ford, fashion being the ultimate high 'n' all. His acknowledgment of the "accolade" may have been intended as ironic, but it was also a reminder of Ford's ongoing engagement with excess.

Can't even be mad at that.  We hear from unconfirmed sources that Tom Ford tapped BBP to help him create his version of the sequined football jersey dress.  And the French company is now working on 600 pieces in honor of Justin Timberlake's "20/20 World Experience Tour."

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By the way, remember Betty Adewole, the new face of TOM FORD Beauty we told you about last month?  She also walked in yesterday's show looking gorgeous.


Photos: KodakLens' Instagram/

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