VIDEO: What's The 411 QUICK TAKES: Ryan Seacrest reportedly not happy with the monetary offer from American Idol; Khloe Kardashian facing a lawsuit
The National Museum of African-American Music celebrated Black Music Month with the 2017 My Music Matters: A Celebration of Legends Luncheon. The banquet, held at City Winery in Nashville, was hosted by David Mann and featured honorees Patti LaBelle, Teddy Riley, Kirk Franklin, and David Porter.
Actor Demetrius Shipp Jr. has everyone doing double takes. Shipp is playing the legendary rapper Tupac in the upcoming movie, All Eyez on Me. Looking at Demetrius Shipp, no wonder people are saying Tupac is still alive.
Ryan Seacrest has yet to sign on to host American Idol after he reportedly said he would do so. It turns out that Seacrest is fuming that Katy Perry will be paid more than him to be a judge on the show when he built American Idol.
Singer Ray J said his sister, singer/actress Brandy, is fine; she was suffering from exhaustion when she was recently taken off a plane by ambulance to go to a nearby hospital in Los Angeles.
Three-Time Grammy Award-Winner MAXWELL is the Brand Ambassador of HUE For Every Man. The founders of HUE, Jessica Estrada, and Kyle Frazier chose to partner with Maxwell not only to represent their brand but also as a partner in the company because he embodies all of the qualities and values the brand stands for: successful, fashionable, well-groomed, traditional and most importantly philanthropic.
Designer Destiney Bleu, the woman behind dbleudazzled, which specializes in custom crystallized clothing, says Khloe Kardashian ripped off her work.
The website, YBF.COM, is reporting that First Lady Melania Trump has been romantically linked to a Tiffany executive for well over a year. And, that #45 knows the deal and agreed that Melania could get a divorce if he lost the election. Perhaps, this explains another reason for Melania staying behind in NYC, why she doesn’t like PDA with #45, and why they both met with Cardinal Dolan at St. Patrick’s Cathedral just prior to the election.
MC Lyte, Missy Elliott, Destiny's Child, Left Eye, Kanye West, and the Flatbush Zombies are among the musical influences of Blushhh Music
In music, everyone is influenced by someone. As a trio, Blushhh Music's sound is their own. However, as individuals, you can hear their musical influences.
Growing up, Sunnie's influences were MC Lyte, Lauryn Hill, Tupac, and Queen Latifah. Fast forward, her current influences are Drake, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole.
As a vocalist, Tali's influences come from the R&B/Pop side of the ledger. Michael Jackson's "You are Not Alone" was the first song she sang at 3-years-old. Like many kids who were influenced by their parents' musical preferences, Tali followed her mother's path and became a fan of Janet Jackson and The Jacksons. Tali later became a fan of Destiny's Child, Sade, Shakira, and Selena. Since she has been
Since Tali has been raponizing, Tali's hip-hop influences include NWA, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and Chance The Rapper.
Check out this video, Blushhh Music gives a sample of raponizing.
Just listening to Bunni Ray, you can tell her influences are Left Eye (TLC), DaBrat, and Lil' Kim. What is surprising is that she is influenced by modern day Kanye West and the Flatbush Zombies.
In their debut single, Old School Back, Blushhh Music's musical influences are on display, but in a way that is distinctly their own.
We got a little taste of Blushhh Music's raponizing, which is a blend of rapping with a Capella harmonizing.
Pick up Blushhh Music's debut single, Old School Back, on iTunes and follow these ladies on social media @BlushhhMusic
Sunnie, Tali, and Bunni Ray of Blushhh Music are bringing Old School Back
The newest group from Mathew Knowles' Music World Entertainment is more than a girl group they are a hip-hop trio consisting of rappers Sunnie and Bunni Ray, and vocalist, Tali, better known as Blushhh Music.
What's The 411 had an opportunity to talk exclusively with Blushhh Music about how the group came together; their raponizing art form; the people who influenced them; meeting Mathew Knowles; and Kelly Rowland's impact on Tali; and their first single, Old School Back, which can be purchased on iTunes.
How Blushhh Music Came Together
We all like to know how groups come together. So starting from the beginning, it all started with the help of digital technology. More specifically, Blushhh Music came together with the help of social media.
Group member Sunnie was part of a duo searching for a singer to complete the group. During an Internet search of singers in Houston, she found Tali on Facebook. Fortunately for Tali, she branded herself well with a profile name on Facebook, TaliBestSingerlastname. Additionally, Tali's photos represented her well and the way she responded to the inquiry were the icing on the cake that gave her an invite to audition to be part of the group.
Five years later, the original group of Sunnie, Tali, and another rapper met Mathew Knowles at a showcase and were signed to an artist development contract. Two months into the contract, the other rapper dropped out and consequently there was a need to find another group member. Sunnie and Tali found Bunni Ray on Instagram. Mr. Knowles gave Sunnie and Tali complete creative control over the selection of Bunni Ray, because, at the end of the day, it was their "sisterhood" that was important.
So, can these ladies sing and rap? Well, in a word, yes! They gave us a taste of their "raponizing" aka a Capella rapping harmony.
In music, everyone is influenced by someone. As a trio, Blushhh Music's sound is their own. However, as individuals, you can hear their influences.
Growing up, Sunnie's musical influences were MC Lyte, Lauren Hill, Tupac, and Queen Latifah. Fast forward, her current influences are Drake, Timbaland, Missy Elliott, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and J. Cole.
As a vocalist, Tali's influences come from the R&B/Pop side of the ledger. Michael Jackson's, "You are Not Alone," is the first song she sang at 3-years-old. Like many kids who were influenced by their parents' musical preferences, Tali followed her mother's path and became a fan of Janet Jackson and The Jacksons. Tali later became a fan of Destiny's Child, Sade, Shakira, and Selena. Since she has been raponizing, Tali's hip-hop influences include NWA, Bone Thugs n' Harmony, and Chance The Rapper.
Just listening to Bunni Ray, you can tell her influences are Left Eye (TLC), DaBrat, and Lil' Kim. What is surprising is that she is influenced by modern day Kanye West and the Flatbush Zombies. With What's The 411 being based in Brooklyn, shout out to the Flatbush Zombies! If we had known in advance of the interview, perhaps we could have arranged a meetup!
Blushhh Music's Defining Fashion Style
What's The 411 host and beauty expert, Courtney Rashon, is always focused on beauty and style. Courtney says when she first saw Blushhh Music, she saw their style as glam hip-hop, "Destiny's Child meets TLC, meets like a Run DMC."
"We do match, as you can see," responded Sunnie. "We're big on matching."
Their look is cohesive, a tip they learned from Mathew Knowles. When people see them, they should know that they are in a group even if they are not standing right next to each other.
Although there is cohesiveness, "we do have individual things about ourselves that you're always going to notice, Sunnie continued. "You're always going to notice Sunnie with the braids and a hat. Tali with the big blond hair."
"Artistic," Bunni Ray chimed in. "...she's super artsy with what she wears."
"I'm likely to draw on something or rip it up," added Tali.
"It is never going to be how she bought it in the store," says Bunni Ray.
Tali, who has a sexy style of her own, says that Bunni Ray brings the sex appeal, with Bunni Ray, "you're going to see thighs and boobs, you're going to see, sex appeal," said Tali with a finger snap.
Working With Mathew Knowles
What's The 411 host Onika McLean asked the question that many people want to know.
"How's it working with him (Mr. Knowles)...tell us something we don't know."
"He's not as intimidating as he looks; he's not as mean. We thought he hated us. Oh, he don't like us; I didn't even want to sing," responded Tali.
"If he's hard on you, it is because you have potential," added Sunnie.
"If he tells you that you're good, you might want to work," Tali said.
"Because you're never done growing," Sunnie continued. "Even with his daughter, he says all the time, Beyonce, every show, she's looking at something to improve. Every show, he's looking at something to improve. If you ever feel satisfied, and there's nothing in your mind that you feel you should work on, then he says you should just stop it here because you're not going to prosper. "
"He's funny," said Tali. "He's very funny, he has jokes, so smart. He knows what punch lines to say, what to make the topic of the day. Watch this be the headline because I said it."
"He's a marketing a genius." Sunni interrupted.
Kelly Rowland Makes a Great Impression on Blushhh Music
Aside from Mr. Knowles, who is the most interesting person that they have met since they became a group, Onika asked Blushhh Music
"Kelly Rowland!," Tali responded without hesitation. "Kelly Rowland to me; she played a big part when I was growing up period, in my high school days. When Sunni found me, I was telling Sunni about it, so Sunni was like, okay, okay. So when we got signed with Mr. Knowles, it was weird. So we just had the Atlanta Car Show, the car and bike show that we did, and she (Kelly Rowland) has June's Diary and they were there and they performed. So we got to meet Kelly, and when she saw us across the room, she ran over to us, and she was like 'hey I'm so happy to see you, great job.' So I finally got a chance to introduce her, and they were like, 'hey I heard so much about you.' She's just so sweet. She took a picture with us. She gave us great advice and that is something that we just took with us. It was like meeting the entire Destiny's Child group. It's really like we are Music Entertainment World family.
In answering Onika's question regarding what each member of the group would like for the audience to know about the group, Tali didn't hesitate to swoop in before Sunnie and say "original," which is Sunnie's line. After a laugh, Tali told Sunnie to "steal" her line, and she obliged.
"Always be you because no one can be you better than you in the words of Tali," offered Sunnie.
These ladies are so talented, humble, and focused!
Download Old School Back by Blushhh Music on iTunes and follow Blushhh Music on all social media at @BlushhhMusic.
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is the Broadway musical based on the lyrics of the legendary rap artist, poet, and actor, TUPAC SHAKUR.
If you're looking for the Tupac story, this is not the one. HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is a social commentary on the plight of black men, particularly those from low-income communities. Tupac's lyrics and music undergirds the story.
When Tupac was alive he was revered by many and reviled by some. In HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, you get to see that Tupac Shakur was a rebel with a cause and HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME amplifies his message magnificently.
The principal cast members of HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME are: Saul Williams; Christopher Jackson; Saycon Sengbloh; Ben Thompson; John Earl Jelks; Joshua Boone; Dyllon Burnside; and Tonya Pinkins.
Kudos to director Kenny Leon. From the lead characters to the supporting cast and chorus, they bring their "A" game; you feel their passion and emotions. You will care about some of the characters, and dislike and feel sorry for others.
In HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, as in real life, we meet young men who are seeking guidance for ways to navigate the world. They are looking for direction from their peers and from older people whose navigational compass should be intact but has gone awry. This is evidenced by examples of the misguided use of sexuality and bravado masquerading as real manhood.
The music will have you at times wanting to dance in the aisles. If you're a purist and want to hear the lyrics as much as the music, well you might be disappointed on that score. The sound system periodically precludes you from hearing the clarity of the singer's voice.
As good as the production of HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is, there is one element missing.
Sure, Broadway has transformed many unknowns into stars. However, when you have a production built on the music of a larger than life figure, the production deserves star power.
The book could have been written with a cameo appearance by a rapper that has street cred that we don't see or hear from every day. There are several rappers that fit this bill and any one of them would have gladly taken on the role. Hey for that matter, a long-standing hip-hop radio personality would have also worked and they could have helped with the marketing. Just ask the founders of FUBU and other urban clothing lines.
As for marketing, I'm still amazed at the number of people who don't know about HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME. It's clear that there were missed opportunities and marketing miscues unless of course, the producers were just trying to reach the traditional Broadway theater audience. The HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME logo is very unappealing. Although HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME is not Tupac's biography, it is a perception of his life through his music. Consequently, the red carpet opening should have featured high-profile friends of Pac and those who worked with him and held him in high esteem, such as Jada Pinkett Smith, Snoop Lion, Malik Yoba, and director John Singleton; not to mention various hip-hop and urban radio and TV personalities, as well as influencers within the New York City urban community.
HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME makes a profound statement and it would be sad if it were to leave the Broadway scene too soon because the marketing plan doesn't match the level of intensity coming from the cast and musicians.
Moreover, the legacy of Tupac Shakur deserves better.
Actor Malik Yoba checks in with What's The 411 hosts Roceania and Amelia Moore at an event to benefit The Valley, a nonprofit organization servicing adolescents in upper Manhattan.
Yoba talks about the success of the hit Fox television show, New York Undercover, the expectation of the public, his relationship with Tupac Shakur, entrepreneurial aspirations, and his community service activities.