Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Have you ever wondered, “Whatever happened to Farrah Franklin?” I haven’t, but in case you were curious here you go. She continues to release songs, presumably clinging on to hope that she can forge a lane for herself. Bless her heart. She’s like the little engine that could but shouldn’t. At least not without the assistance of a vocal coach.

I stumbled along this while listening to old episodes of “The Wendy Williams Experience” on YouTube. As I was going through their list of uploads, I found an old interview between Wendy and the five minute member of Destiny’s Child. At one point in their exchange Wendy asked Farrah to sing something on the spot. Farrah obliged by singing some random song from the group’s debut album. It was not very good, but Wendy told her that if she got herself some Pro Tools she might have a prayer.

In hindsight, maybe Wendy should’ve encouraged Farrah to jump on that reality TV bandwagon before it got crowded. I just don’t see the singing thing happening for her.

Exhibit B, another recent upload from Farrah. Had she immediately dropped something around the time of her firing/dismissal/banishment, maybe she could’ve turned out to be an Adina Howard meets Lumidee type artist with three hood hits that would make sure she could always count on being booked for aspot at Black Gay Prides across this land. The moment has passed.

I kind of feel bad for Farrah. After all, Beyoncé is Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland is out here cleaning her laundry, Michelle Williams stays earning those theater checks, and LeToya Luckett has been getting steady acting gigs. Hell, even LaTavia Roberson is working on her reality show, which I hope will pave the way for other opportunities.

Yet, poor Farrah. The last I heard of her before randomly finding this upload was that she was getting arrested for disorderly conduct. Now she can’t get an Unsung or a Life After let alone a slot on a show like R&B Divas. Is it too late for her to play a stuck up light skinned woman who needs Jesus and a trash man to save her from herself in one of those Tyler Perry plays, TV shows or movies? Wait. He works with the big name out of work Black actresses now, but she ought to be good for something on the theater circuit.

Listen, I know a lot of this sounds shady, but I’m legitimately hoping this woman finds herself a way. We all have our struggles, but if Ashanti is out here having a hard time breaking through again with her string of hits and three ounces of octaves, need I say more about Farrah’s chances?

Farrah, get yourself on a VH1 show, work your magic and earn yourself some steady income by way of club appearances. If you want to throw in a vanity single on iTunes here and there, good luck with that, but get yourself on television. Or hell, try your hand at Redbox movies. Something. Good luck.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

The lovechild of Kirk Franklin and a catfish po’boy, Plies, has released a new single, and surprisingly, it doesn’t make me want to bang my head against a desk in anger. I know that technically because his music is beat-driven, vulgar, and twirk-inducing that I should love Plies. Plus, he has a background a nursing. My mama is an RN, so I have a soft spot for our hard working nurses.

Even so, I don’t usually fool with Plies. It’s just something about a self-professed goon who sounds like a horny slave in the studio but Olivia Pope’s speech coach during his off hours that irks me. Rick Ross may not be the plus-size Scarface as he purports to be, but at least the man commits to his lie all the time. Plies could take a cues from his fellow fronting ass Floridian.

That aside, I like this song. The beat reminds me of the classics. Say, The Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song).” As soon as I heard the beat I was transported back in time.

Picture it, 2005 and/or 2006. Me, inside of a gay club in the West Village. Dancing like I needed my rent paid. Good times were had. Plenty of alcohol was consumed. I had cab fare. Oh, youth, how I miss thee sometimes.

Also, the message of the song speaks to my soul. Listen, younger readers, one day you’re going to wake up and realize you’ve been living life as if you’re the first couple of tracks on Amerie’s debut album when you should’ve been behaving like vintage UGK.  As in “Let Me See It” and “Take It Off.”

Plies might be as real as Kenya and Walter’s made-for-TV relationship, but he is rhyming a word in “Fucking or What.” I wonder what Jackée thinks of this song. It sounds like something right up her alley. Can someone ask for me?

Oh, and for the record, “catfish face” isn’t a complete insult. After all, one could easily took one look at me and say I look like fried rabbit. See that? I’m being fair all around with him today.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Yesterday, one of my all-time favorite albums, janet., turned 20. Despite only being barely nine at the time of its release, this still makes me feel very old. I don’t appreciate that, but what can you do? In any event, I wrote about the album’s 20th anniversary, what it means to be, and more importantly, how I believe it represents a missing part in the world of pop — especially from our current Black girl pop acts.

If you haven’t seen it already, you can click here to read the piece in full over at EBONY.com.

Although I’ve once again turned into a deadbeat dad towards this here blog, I have been writing. A whole lot. Plus apartment hunting in New York, which if you don’t know, is one of the most complicated experiences ever. Oh, how I wish I were rich. Life would be so much easier.

Anyway, more work by me in recent weeks.

I’ve been writing recaps (sort of) of my favorite show, Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta for Complex.com. I’ve also done a few other lists for them, including one about my other favorite soap opera, Scandal. You can click here to thumb through some of what I’ve been doing.

There’s also my EBONY.com column, The Weekly Read. Recent targets include some former Caribbean pop star who swears Jesus endorsed her mayoral bid and Ms. Lauryn Hill. PepsiCo got it, too, and I did manage to sneak something in on Mister Cee. And political sprinkles as always elsewhere.

Yeah, click around for the cause.

If you’ll excuse me, I’m about to go cue up this YouTube clip and do the butterfly. Well, and daydream about Omar Lopez.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Dear Ms. Lauryn Hill:

Did you really say to a judge about your refusal to file tax returns that, “I was put into a system I didn’t know the nature of. … I’m a child of former slaves. I got into an economic paradigm and had that imposed on me.”

And: “I sold 50 million units …now I’m up here paying a tax debt. If that’s not likened to slavery, I don’t know what is.”

With a Gucci bag in tow at that! Lauryn, you are about as much a slave as I am a Xena, Warrior Princess. Frankly, if everyone had to pay taxes on the copy of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill when they bought it, you may just need to get over yourself and pay taxes on all of the fortune you’ve earned as a result.

Now, as you spend the next three months in prison, and after that, three more on house arrest, I imagine you’ll have all the time in the world to put a lot of things into perspective. I say this with love (if you don’t know, WE LOVE YOU) particularly when it comes to your new music you are contractually obligated to deliver in due time: Please don’t come back singing to us as if you were sent to Guantanamo Bay.

As a matter of fact, before you even get back to music, take some time to truly reflect on the last decade of your life and where some of your actions have brought you. No, you didn’t choose to enter America’s “economic paradigm,” and yes, it was “imposed” on you—as it is on all of us. We all have to deal with life as it is versus the way we want it to be.

Read the rest at EBONY.com.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

Yesterday, I read on the Twitter that Shay and Momma Dee got into an altercation at a Red Lobster in Birmingham, Alabama. I shouldn’t want this to be true, but I find this story too hilarious to not want to. I can envision this happening in my mind so clearly that I’d be a bit hurt if it wasn’t brought up at the next Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta reunion.

Apparently, they were at separate tables so allow me to paint a picture. Butt hurt over love Shay sits one table over from the empress in her mind, Momma Dee. As a waitress comes back from the liquor store next door to fill Momma Dee’s order of Thunderbird with a splash of Dr. Pepper, Shay rolls her eyes, pissed off that Momma Dee shorted her on their shared club fee. Momma Dee catches that and Shay whispering Shade into some queen’s ear, takes a sip of her drink and proceeds to toss it at Shay’s head with half a cheddar bay biscuit in her mouth. Shay stands up, ready to plex, but someone wisely snatches her by the dyed ponytail she got straight from the Kentucky Derby. After all, as an ex-pimp and drug dealer, Momma Dee is trained well in the art of pistol whipping and bitch bodying.

Okay, so maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way, but I think we should run with this version of events anyway.

Meanwhile, if these two do indeed get into a scuffle it may mean that Momma Dee might finally stop trying toss Shay into Lil’ Scrappy’s sac despite that current space being occupied by his fiancée. I know Olivia Pope gave a lot of you unrequited love having folks false hope with that hilariously ironic “If you want me, earn me!” line on last week’s episode of Scandal, but in reality, you already gave it up so there’s no much else to earn as you’ve got silver and/or broze stamped on your ass cheeks. For the love of Beyoncé, Shay, if you’ve got to turn to your man’s mama to get a man, that ought to tell you all that you need to know.

Yet, here she is, like a stubborn buzzard, huffing, puffing, and chirping over a man who embarrassed the absolute hell out of her on national television by proposing to another woman right in front of her. I have certainly played myself over love, but at some point you’ve got to look in the mirror and say, “I’ve got to let my jaw heal from all the trauma I have put it through.” I hope Shay lets her cracked face repair itself.

In fact, if Shay’s looking for love, maybe she turn to Momma Dee. They’ve got a lot in common. They’re both obsessed with Lil’ Scrappy. They both can’t stand Erica. They both need some business. They’re both into Shay’s ass. I would not be surprised if Momma Dee has told Shay off camera, “I can at least get 300 an hour off that ass.”

Shoot, even if y’all two did fight inside of Red Lobster like some Facebook trash, gon’ head and kiss and make up and go on a double date in Alannuh with Monifah and her lady. If that doesn’t work, use that VH1 check to find each of yourselves a man (or woman, noh8 and shit) on BlackPeopleMeet.com. Do anything besides…clucking like this on purpose, Shay. Unless something magically changes in the middle of the season, it looks to the victor goes the baby mama. Hell, even if you did manage to sneak in and get some cut, Shay, look at what you had to go through first?

Would you look at that? I’m a life coach and relationship expert now. Wipe me down, or better yet, find me a dashiki so I can give Iyanla Vanzant some competition.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

If you were to close your eyes and simply listen to this interview, you would be under the impression that the person speaking was a multi-platinum selling superstar with a litany of hit singles who played a crucial role in the shape of contemporary R&B. A person so accomplished that even if they chose to take swipes at their peers – an act most usually perceive to be done in poor taste – there’s not much you can say considering they’re so supremely talented and successful. Like, God personally shaped their vocal chords, Jesus produced their entire catalog, and Allah sent Mohammad on a white unicorn to saddle on back to Earth to demand that every Muslim cop their disc — securing said artist an all-time sales record.

But as soon as the okie doke begins to take over, you open your eyes, see that it’s Lil’ Mo speaking and immediately find yourself dumbfounded. Lil’ Mo has the confidence of Beyoncé with the success of Lil’ Mo. What am I missing?

I actually bought Lil’ Mo’s first album and remembering it dropping the same day as Alicia Keys’ debut. I still even listen to some of the tracks. Say, “How Many Times,” “Ta Da” and “Player Not The Game” with Carl Thomas.

However, take a gander at the closing of this All Music review of Based On A True Story: “Probably the best reference point for Lil’ Mo’s winning blend of street smarts and classic soul divaship is Mary J. Blige, and Based on a True Story suggests that Blige could have some serious competition in the years to come.”

Anyhow, I don’t pay much attention to Lil’ Mo and her ongoing social media jihad on the Twitter, but I imagine if she’s going to be like this on the Los Angeles spinoff of R&B Divas, she’s going to be a contemptuous cackle worth catching weekly. And even if she does come across a wee bit delusional about her place as the Godmother of Hip Hop and R&B, I’m entertained. A whole bunch.

Hell, I could stand to be less critical and play up my strengths the way Goddis Love’s mama does. It seems to do her a world of good. Helps her hold on, all that.

I mean, this was Mo only three years ago.

Look at her now: Earning TV checks for shade queen. I’m not sure why she doesn’t get along with Negro Twitter better. Is this not a shining example of where your self-important bitchiness will take you?

For the record, I looked up the source of Mo’s ridiculous moniker.

As she explains in an interview with Soul Train:

Soul Train: You call yourself the Godmother of Hip Hop Soul – can you elaborate?

Lil’ Mo: It’s actually the Godmother of Hip Hop and R&B.  I did a show a few years ago for the LGBT community. Before I left the stage the host grabbed my hand and told the crowd to applaud for the anointing over my life.  He went on to say that God has his hand on me and though many won’t like it, nor what I do to survive, never compromise and always stay humble. “For I am the Godmother.”  I cried and ever since then everyone calls me Godmother. Heyyyyy…

My apologies, breeders, for thy gays tried the absolute shit out of it and now we must hear this title forever more.

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone

When I read that Lauryn Hill had signed a new record deal with longtime label, Sony Music, I got the feeling that for the first time in a very long one, we might actually get some new music out of her. That is to no credit to her, of course. I imagine Sony put in a “Try us if you want to!” clause in her contract with respect to not ponying up new product.

Hello All:

Here is a link to a piece that I was ‘required’ to release immediately, by virtue of the impending legal deadline.

Exhibit A, B, C, D, E, and F. Who could blame the label given she’s been pussyfooting about releasing another album for a good decade now?

I am surprised that we’ve gotten music this soon, but as Ms. Hill points out, it’s not like she had much of a choice. Oh, how this woman knows how to spoil an occasion. And surprise, surprise, Lauryn has returned with another anti-establishment paean.

“Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)” (alternate link here) is a noisy, extended rant delivered in the spirit of fed up with society Speedy Gonzalez. It’s the kind of rant you would hear from Freddie Brooks before she pressed her hair, went to law school and decided to get her Uncle Phil on and be the change she constantly complained of seeking. The song also gives teases of, “What if Iyanla Vanzant read more than self-help books, How To Do Voodoo? and Ouija boards?

Lauryn Hill is the type of person to fuck your husband and call it a protest of institution of marriage because it’s oppressive and sexist and something else that makes her less culpable. You know, kind of like her refusing to pay her taxes for years and blaming it on everyone else. What was it again? She feared for her safety. So much so she couldn’t be bothered to pay her taxes.

Apparently, even though plenty of other people have lived in self-imposed exile without ending up on Uncle Sam’s hit list, her grave and pressing danger was enough to stop her from downloading Turbo Tax or asking someone’s accountant cousin for a hookup.

Not to be outdone, she showed up to court recently in a nice Gucci bag. Admittedly, I don’t have the pressures of being a fashionista and global superstar like Ms. Hill. Nevertheless, I feel as if I owed the government seven figures I’d have to show up in Bugle Boy jeans, an old Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirt from 1992, and some old Chucks I had to flirt to keep a discount on at Goodwill. But again, I don’t know Ms. Hill’s pressures to stay primped.

Thing is, as mocking as I am (for good reason, don’t trip) there is no one else on her level actually bothering to speak about the various societal ills going on. Everyone is at the club, getting drink, popping Molly’s and uploading fauxtivational bullshit on social media to deflect from the trying times we’re all burdened with. That is the only reason I can at least say to Lauryn, “Well, at least you’re trying to say something.”

However, I wish she’d try a little harder. Not to mention, I’d love it if Lauryn put her own actions in perspective before she wags her finger at everyone else. I can’t imagine paying $10.99 on iTunes to hear Ms. Lauryn Hill spend a whole hour blaming everyone else for her shortcomings in the most pretentious way possible. I’ve already heard her Unplugged album so I’m good on her bitching out her fans for giving her the fame and fortune she sought. I would love it if Lauryn would bother to sing again, or at the very least, rap without sounding like someone pressed the fast forward button.

Someone lock her in a room with Saleem Remi, Frank Ocean, Mark, and Questlove. Pretty please. It would do her a world of good. Ditto for her musical legacy, which she still seems content on ruining.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Email this to someone