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What’s The 411 Interview: Jamie Foxx

The genius of Jamie Foxx comes through in his role as Ray Charles in the movie, Ray, and a glimpse of it comes through in this interview

What’s The 411 film correspondent, Diana Blain, interviewed actor Jamie Foxx for his role as Ray Charles in the movie, Ray.

Jamie Foxx won an Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, for his portrayal of Ray Charles in the 2004 biographical film Ray.

Throwback Interview: Music Executive Bill Stephney

VIDEO: Bill Stephney, CEO, Stepsun Entertainment takes a different approach with recording artists with label that includes Paul Mooney

What’s The 411 co-host Amelia Moore, chats with music entrepreneur Bill Stephney, CEO of StepSun Entertainment, and he is the man behind Paul Mooney, Miss Jones, The Troubleneck Brothers, and others.

Stephney talks about how his record label Stepsun Entertainment is different from the larger labels, his approach to artist development, and his definition of hip-hop and its impact on society.

Moore and Stephney discuss the culture of hip-hop, gangsta rap and how society wanted to kill the messenger rather listen to the message in the music. Stephney specifically points to the song, The Message, by Melle Mel as a member of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Perhaps, if those in power had listened to the words of the song and embraced it with policies to positively affect all people, perhaps societal conditions would be better.

Circa 1994

Victor Cruz on the Red Carpet at the Barclays Center Opening

VIDEO: Victor Cruz is excited to see Jay-Z’s concert at the opening of the Barclays Center and to see all that the new arena in Brooklyn has to offer

New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz spoke with What's The 411 co-host Barbara Bullard on the red carpet at the opening of the Barclays Center on September 28, 2012.

Cruz came to the grand opening of the Barclays Center to see rapper and business mogul, Jay-Z, perform, and to check out the new sports and entertainment arena.

Essence Editor Susan Taylor Offers Pearls of Wisdom

VIDEO: Susan L. Taylor, Essence Magazine, Executive Editor speaks on preparing for greatness

Susan L. Taylor, Essence Magazine, Executive Editor spoke with What’s The 411’s co-host Amelia Moore about how to continue to elevate ourselves to greatness, as well as, characteristics needed for entrepreneurship.

Some of the keys that Ms. Taylor pointed to include the importance of having faith in ourselves, knowing our history, strengths, and know that the spirit within us is human and divine.

“Every day we take what I call quiet time and press away from the world and get still and get in touch with the spirit within us, Taylor advised. “Whether we call that spirit Allah, God, Jehovah, Yahweh, Beauty, Divine Order, whatever it is, know that you’re more than you seem, you’re human and divine and we need to be in touch with that divinity. With that divinity, with divine awareness, there’s nothing you can’t do.”

“Very, very true,” Moore responded.

So what advice would Susan Taylor give to entrepreneurs?

First, you have to have a vision. God gives us an inexhaustible supply of creative ideas. You need to know that successful people write the good ideas down, think about them critically, and put them to good use. The not so good ideas, they put them aside. Whatever is not your strong suit, you should take a class. For example, if you’re not good in finance then take a class so you will better understand the principles of good recordkeeping.

“So often people want to be in business, but they don’t want to do the work,” Ms. Taylor stated.

“We need to prepare ourselves for business and we need to support each other,” she added.

Chris Rock Checking Out the Brooklyn Nets and LeBron James

VIDEO: Talking with Chris Rock at the Barclays Center; he happened to attend a Brooklyn Nets game with his daughter because she loves LeBron James

Actor/comedian, Chris Rock, took a moment during half-time at the Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat game on Friday to talk with What’s The 411SPORTS correspondent Crystal Lynn.

During NBA basketball season, Chris Rock is usually someplace else in New York City, but he brought his daughter to the Nets game because she loves LeBron James. It was the comedian’s first time in the Barclays Center and he likes it.

“I’m from Brooklyn,” Rock said in a matter of fact fashion.

With the chatter of a Brooklyn Nets – Miami Heat rivalry brewing, Rock chimed in saying he thinks it’s real.

“Oh, it’s for real, he said. “A lot of it came over from Boston really with Garnett and then Pierce, but I think it’s real. They’re going to play hard all year.”

“I wouldn’t be shocked if a brawl happens before the year is over,” laughed Rock in his comedic style.

Rock also offered his opinion on the Brooklyn Nets prospects for reaching the playoffs.

“I think they can go pretty far, it’s going to be hard to beat Miami, it’s going to be hard, Jason Terry’s old,” Rock said as if he was trying out new comedy material.

What’s in Chris Rock’s future?

“I’m getting ready to go on tour, I’m getting my stand up together, I’ll be playing this building in the fall,” he added.

Throwback Interview: Busta Rhymes

Busta Rhymes checks in with Amelia Moore after an SWV - Hot 97 Charity Basketball Game held at Long Island University

Rapper Busta Rhymes tells What’s The 411 co-host Amelia Moore that he is making moves and not letting any grass grow under his feet. Busta’s production company Flipmode Entertainment now has a relationship with Rowdy Records, Arista Records, to go beyond just making music. He’s set to debut Rampage aka the Last Boy Scout, on the Flava in Ya Ear remix with Craig Mack.

Making all the moves to represent in the 9-5 (aka 1995), Busta says Leaders of the New School are still working together and as individuals. Some of the moves include moving more into movies as Busta Rhymes was first blessed to be part of the cast of an HBO special, Strapped, starring Fredro Starr from Onyx, and Bokeem Woodbine and directed by Forest Whitaker. From that opportunity Who’s The Man came as Leaders of the New School with a hook-up with Ed Lover and Dr. Dre. Next came a part in Higher Learning, which was directed by John Singleton, and stars Omar Epps, Ice Cube, Kristy Swanson, Michael Rapaport, Laurence Fishburne, and Regina King.

The moral of Busta Rhymes’ story is diversification, having the right networks, being open-minded to expand beyond your comfort zone, and being ready.

Throwback Interview: Mary J. Blige

WATCH VIDEO: Mary J. Blige on her new album, MY LIFE, healing, and just wanting to be HAPPY

R&B/hip-hop singer Mary J. Blige spoke briefly to What’s The 411 co-host Roceania just before performing for a group of young people at a New York Undercover event, celebrating 15 years of The Valley, a non-profit organization in upper Manhattan.

During the interview, Mary J. Blige talks about her latest album, MY LIFE, which she considered to be instrumental in her healing process. Mary believes everyone should be able to embrace MY LIFE as the album speaks to issues that everyone has gone through. She may be right because HAPPY, a single off the album, which Mary wrote with her friend, Arlene DelValle, is a song that is resonating with many people. It is also signaling that Mary J. Blige knows what she wants and is going after it.

Throwback Interview: Ernie Hudson Talks About Congo with What’s The 411

WATCH VIDEO: Hudson gives us his acting medium preferences and a peek into his family life


Actor Ernie Hudson, known for his role in Ghostbusters, now stars in Congo, a science fiction action-adventure film and What’s The 411 correspondent, Erika Conner, had an opportunity to talk with Hudson about the movie.

In addition to talking about Congo, Hudson, who started in theatre, tells us why he prefers film over the theatre, how his children reacted to him as an actor, and he also offers a parenting tip.

Circa 1995

Throwback Interview: Suzzanne Douglas

WATCH VIDEO: Actress Suzzanne Douglas talks about her role as a mother of African-American children in a low-income urban environment in the 1990s

What’s The 411 co-host Roceania interviews actress Suzanne Douglas for her role in the movie, Jason’s Lyric, which also stars Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett, Bokeem Woodbine, Anthony “Treach” Criss, Eddie Griffin, and Forest Whitaker, was written by Bobby Smith, Jr., and directed by Doug McHenry.

Ms. Douglas gives one of the most passionate and powerful responses regarding the state of urban youth and families in 1990s America. In the film, her character recognizes that she has lost one son to the streets and she plans to do whatever she can to save her second child. Although Ms. Douglas is not a mother, she is clear that we should never give up on our children.

Brian McKnight contributed to the movie's soundtrack.

Circa 1994.

Throwback: Lisa Nicole Carson

WATCH VIDEO: Lisa Nicole Carson has a small, but memorable role in the movie, Jason's Lyric and we have the inside scoop.

Long before actress Lisa Nicole Carson became widely known for her role as Renee Raddick on Fox's Ally McBeal, she developed a cult following from her role as Marty in the film, Jason's Lyric.

In this video, What's The 411 correspondent, Roceania gets an in-depth description of Lisa Nicole Carson's character in Jason’s Lyric, as well as, the fashion flavor and culture in Houston, Texas in the early 1990s.

Jason's Lyric's ensemble cast includes Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett, Bokeem Woodbine, Anthony 'Treach' Criss, Eddie Griffin, Forest Whitaker, and Suzzanne Douglas.

Circa 1994

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