VIDEO DISCUSSION: Cardi B checks in with the authorities, and; Taylor Swift gets out the voter registration
In this episode of What's The 411, journalist Kizzy Cox, and comedian Onika McLean start off the episode with the Quick Takes segment talking about news stories related to Chance the Rapper’s $1 Million donation to the city of Chicago for mental health services; singer/actor, Tyrese, introduces his baby girl; comedian Katt Williams gets arrested for abusing a taxi driver in Portland; actor Damon Wayans takes everyone off guard announcing his departure from Fox’s Lethal Weapon, a class-action lawsuit against LaCroix Sparkling Water regarding independent testing showing the beverage containing unnatural ingredients including roach insecticide; actress Erika Alexander gets a role on the CW’s DC-comics-based Black Lightning Season 2 and she will be playing a therapist with telepathic abilities; the multi-talented Janelle Monae joins the cast of the upcoming film, Harriet, and; rapper and actor, T.I., confesses his infidelity to his wife, Tameka aka Tiny.
WHAT’S POPPIN’ – CULTURE & THE LAW
he civil lawsuits against Bill Cosby are starting to queue up. Now that Andrea Constand has gotten justice, accuser Judy Huth’s case against Cosby has a trial date. Huth, who accused Cosby of molesting her when she was 15-years-old at the Playboy Mansion, has a hearing in November and a trial date set for December.
Q. Why isn’t Hugh Hefner’s estate, and/or the Playboy Club being sued for having a minor on its premises?
WHAT’S POPPIN’ – CULTURE & THE LAW
Brett Kavanaugh is now a US Supreme Court judge and Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is back home after speaking her truth about a sexual assault by Kavanaugh when she was a teenager.
Q. Does the MeToo Movement have any relevance?
WHAT’S POPPIN’ – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION
October is Domestic Violence Prevention and Awareness Month. And, unfortunately, domestic violence occurs every day. LaShonda Childs, a 17-year-old Ohio girl, was killed by a 28-year-old ex-boyfriend who would not take no for an answer. The harassment was so bad, LaShonda Childs posted on Facebook, 'I Ain't Even Safe In My Own House,' as he became more violent even after she filed for a protective order.
If you need help with domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence helpline at 1-800-799-7233
WHAT’S POPPIN’ – CARDI B
Rapper Cardi B reported to the New York City police after a brawl occurred at a strip club where her husband, Offset's group, Migos, was performing and two women were injured, one was suspected of having an affair with Cardi's husband. Cardi was charged with two misdemeanors, assault, and reckless endangerment, she had a mug shot taken and was fingerprinted, according to TMZ.
WHAT’S POPPIN’ – TAYLOR SWIFT
Pop singer Taylor Swift, who has shied away from being vocal about politics and civic action, decided to step out front and center. She informed her fellow Tennesseans on social media how to register to vote, which sparked record numbers of new voter registrations.
VIDEO DISCUSSION: Nelly settles sexual assault case; plus Katt Williams, Bill Cosby, Tyler Perry, Kanye, Lil’ Wayne, and more!
WHAT’S THE 411’s QUICK TAKES
In this episode of What's The 411 recorded on October 2, 2018, journalist Kizzy Cox, and comedian Onika McLean start off the episode with birthday wishes for Onika, and the acknowledgment of the death of Onika's cat, Glitter.
In this Quick Takes segment, Kizzy and Onika are talking about news stories related to film and TV producer Tyler Perry gifting a house to the mother of an actress who used to work for him; Lil’ Wayne’s new album, Tha Carter V; rapper Kanye West’s antics and strange performance on Saturday Night Live, The rapper known as Nelly, settles a sexual assault civil case with Monique Green, who accused Nelly of forcing her to have sex with him on his tour bus; an Ohio police chief orders an FBI investigation into the arrest of porn star, Stormy Daniels, and; to end this Quick Takes segment on a high note, actor Geoffrey Owens, who was shamed by people on Twitter for working at Trader Joe’s, is taking producer Tyler Perry up on his offer. Owens is going to appear on 10 episodes of Perry's hit, "The Haves and the Have Nots" on OWN.
WHAT’S POPPIN' – CULTURE & THE LAW: BILL COSBY
Actor, comedian, and philanthropist, Bill Cosby, who was once America’s TV dad in the 1980s, has fallen from grace. A Pennsylvania jury convicted Cosby of three counts of aggravated indecent assault. The judge agreed with the prosecutors that Cosby is a "sexually violent predator," which carries a sentence that will last at least three years and no more than 10 years.
WHAT’S POPPIN' – CULTURE: KATT WILLIAMS’ FEUD WITH OTHER BLACK COMEDIANS
It all started with comedian Katt Williams going after Tiffany Haddish’s edges during a guest appearance on the Atlanta radio show, Frank and Wanda in the Morning. Williams also had a lot to say about Mo’Nique and Kevin Hart. Although Williams and Haddish made up at The Emmy Awards, Katt Williams checks Kevin Hart after Hart stood up for Tiffany Haddish. And now, the feud between Williams and Hart is amped.
WHAT’S POPPIN' – CULTURE & THE LAW: DR. CHRISTINE BLASEY FORD HEARING
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford takes center stage as the US Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to “afford” Ms. Blasey Ford with an opportunity to tell her story of an alleged sexual assault when she was a teenager by Judge Brett Kavanaugh, who is up for Senate confirmation to ascend to the U.S. Supreme Court. There were a number of takeaways from the hearing, but most people are shaking their heads over was a clash of gender politics.
I'll be real honest. I didn't want to give Kanye West my .089 cents for streaming his new album, Ye, via Tidal. Nope. Not the same man who said slavery was a choice. Not the same man who practically made a martyr of himself through songs that detailed the African American experience, like "Jesus Walks", or whose word vomit included simple yet contentious statements like "George Bush doesn't care about black people," not the same man who then turned around and endorsed the warped Trump-developed slogan "make America great again."
But because I am a student of the culture, and because West has been the public figure to fearlessly declare statements that many have dared not, I had to delve deeper and well... decide. And when I say decide, I mean decide on a lot of things...
Nine years after the passing of his beloved mother, Donda West, and a month after his wife Kim Kardashian was robbed at gunpoint in Paris, Kanye West was admitted into the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center for stress and exhaustion. Today, West refers to that period of his life as the "breakthrough" rather than the "breakdown." This is not surprising. The man we've come to know as Ye' has always exhibited the personality traits that he endears the most: pride, confidence, and egocentrism. Seldom have we seen an insecure or vulnerable Kanye West. And frankly, that is why many have come to love him.
KANYE WEST VIDEO: The Codes Of Self Esteem 2016 - The Life of Pablo
For someone like myself, who's known Kanye West more largely through his televised rants and candid moments rather than musical accolades (i.e.: The College Dropout, Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, etc.), it’s safe to say that Kanye West lives for and basks in his ability to create shock value, his access to publicity, and most of all the security of his ego. Therefore, I don't believe that anyone can really say they're surprised when Ye' vents his mind.
VIDEO: Kanye West's Craziest Moments
However, being surprised and deeply hurt or dispositioned by Ye's comments are two completely different calibers of reactions. With statements like slavery "sounds like a choice," consecutively implying that blacks have presently perpetuated their own oppression, and publicly proclaiming his admiration for President Donald Trump because he managed to accomplish what many said he couldn't, Kanye has successfully infiltrated and divided his own fan-base, leaving the giant question of: are we canceling Ye' or nay?
Through press runs to promote his album, Kanye has done two major sit down interviews, one where he flew out The Breakfast Club's own Charlemagne tha God during the creation of his album Ye, and another with Los Angeles' own Big Boy at his album listening and release party. Initially, I was not highly intrigued to listen to either interview. And the album? Well, that wasn't even a thought. Why should I give my streaming money/viewership to someone who said slavery was a choice? However, as much as I was infuriated and displaced by his statements, actively perpetuating ignorance wasn't the solution to take either.
Of those who actively became turned off by his statements, were fans who had fallen in love with the ideology West had entered the game with and created a following from; pro-black rhetoric that marked albums like The College Dropout and Graduation. His recent abandonment of such led many to ask, was Kanye ever really black-enlightened? Were these ever really his true feelings? Or were they the rhetoric of writers, and/or the marketing plans of the team behind him?
VIDEO: Is Kanye West's ‘ye’ Good or Bad? | For The Record
In his sit down with @CThaGod, Kanye acknowledges that he did begin his career with an authentic voice, one that veered off due to the pressures of the industry; acknowledging that what inspired “Ye” was his heavy desire to go against mass opinion and proclaim his rediscovery.
VIDEO: Kanye West / Charlamagne Tha God Interview
Ironically enough, after the interview with Charlemagne was taped, Kanye made the decision to go back into the studio... and totally scrapped the entire album to start again from scratch. Leaving many to wonder, was Ye beginning to understand the extent of the feelings he had hurt with his rhetoric? Or was this simply a cleanup plan for the mess that he had created?
However, there are many on the other side of the fence that would agree with Ye. They agree he should have the freedom to speak his mind, believe what he wishes to believe, and not be held to the unholy standard of a role model (This is ironic from someone who calls himself Yeezus, but okay, let's go with it.).
What Ye values more than what he is saying, is his freedom to be able to say it. However, many miss this facet because the shock value of what he is saying becomes more compelling and distracting than his love for just wanting to speak his mind (and have us all listen of course). West prides himself on his ability to remain vocally honest while holding a position of privilege as a celebrity, and having publicly divulged his diagnosis with bipolar disorder. He simply basks in his ability to operate within that realm.
Though we'll never really know West's true feelings on Trump and the actions of his presidency thus far, when asked about the President and his campaign, Kanye stated, "when he was running, I felt something... the fact that he won, it proved something... it showed me that anything was possible." One thing that we do know for sure is Kanye's admiration for Donald trump stems from the fact that he sees something in him that resonates, connects with, and mirrors himself.
However, although we've reached this conclusion, there are still many questions that remain unanswered: will we ever really know for sure if Kanye was once genuine to the African American plight? Can we actively judge a man who's openly declared his battle with mental illness? Are we canceling Kanye? And if not, does this come down to a larger discussion of the African American community's inability to reprimand one of their own ala Bill Cosby and R. Kelly, a very large question at this time?
At the end of Charlemagne's interview with West, he asked, "What would College Dropout Kanye--if he was looking at pictures of Kanye now, what would he say?" To which Ye replied, "I think he'd be happy, satisfied, and he would believe it... This is a version of a College Dropout Ye'."
R. Kelly Gets Muted; Bill Cosby found guilty on sexual assault charges; Kerry Coddette gets her turn to pen stories for Wyatt Cenac's Problem Areas on HBO
In this episode of What's The 411, journalist Kizzy Cox and comedian Onika McLean are listing QUICK TAKES of topical news and discussing Kanye West, Bill Cosby, R. Kelly, Cardi B., Janelle Monae, Madonna, Steph Curry, Halsey, the ladies of The Real, Kerry Coddett, and a whole lot more.
Cosmetics entrepreneur Vera Moore will speak at the Essence Festival; actor Jussie Smollet will return to Empire; Tamar Braxton fired from The Real; actress Blake Lively finds out she's Becky and a whole lot more
What's Poppin' Quick Takes
The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the iconic pop artist, Prince, may have been dead for hours before he was found unresponsive in an elevator in his Paisley Park home.
Tamar Braxton has been fired from The Real.
The world of media has gained two new Black superstars. Elaine Welteroth has been named Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue; Aaliyah Williams is now the Vice President of Digital Content and Production of MACRO, a company started by African-American talent rep Charles King.
Actress Blake Lively stirred some controversy, when she posted a picture of herself on Instagram, posing at a recent gala in a gold gown with the caption "LA face with an Oakland booty."
Actor Jussie Smollett will return to Empire. Smollet posted on Instagram: "Listen 2 my words, I'll see ya'll season 3.
The television network, ABC, announced that Scandal will return for its sixth season in 2017, due to Kerry Washington's pregnancy.
Donald Trump is having difficulty raising money
Campaign contributions from some of the Republican Party's major benefactors may be hard to come by for the party's nominee, Donald Trump. Most notable is Stanley Druckenmiller, a New York-based investor who gave big bucks to John Kasich's campaign. Druckenmiller told Reuters that he won't donate saying, "Not sure why anyone would give money to Mr. Trump since he asserts that he is worth $10 billion."
The continuing saga that has become Bill Cosby's life
Bill Cosby's lawyers are again asking the state supreme court to have his criminal sexual-assault case thrown out. The issue is whether a current prosecutor has to live up to the promise made by a former prosecutor to not charge actor/comedian/philanthropist Bill Cosby for the alleged assault. Apparently Bill Cosby used that promise to provide certain testimony in another case and now his words are being used against him. We'll know shortly whether the case will be thrown out.
Cosmetics entrepreneur Vera Moore will speak at Essence Music Festival
Vera Moore, President and CEO, Vera Moore Cosmetics; will be a panelist on the beauty panel at the upcoming Essence Music Festival in July. As we listen in on an impromptu conversation between Vera Moore and What's The 411TV CEO Ruth J. Morrison, we are pulled into Ms. Moore's journey from integrating the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, NY, in the early 1980s with a kiosk to selling her brand of cosmetics in 53 stores through Walgreens, the largest drug retailing chain in the United States. The Vera Moore Cosmetics brand can be found nationally at Walgreens in New York City, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Puerto Rico among others, as well as internationally in Shanghai independently.
Under the Radar
Black-ish Writer Damilare Sonoiki initiates a new comedy based on African immigrant experience
Black-ish writer, Damilare Sonoiki, is creating a brand new comedy, this one about the African experience. It's called African Booty-Scratcher!" Sonoiki, a Nigerian-American named it that after an insult he heard kids using to refer to African kids. I remember hearing it growing up too. He told the Grio:
"The biggest thing I've learned from 'Black-ish,' like the central premise...is that you're taught to give your kids more than you have but in giving them more, what do they lose? The immigrant story is that exact same situation."
New film, Loving is generating Oscar buzz at Cannes Film Festival
From the Cannes Film Festival comes word that Jeff Nichols' film Loving, generated tremendous Oscar buzz. The film is the real life story of the efforts of Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Loving, a black woman, to have their marriage deemed legal. In 1958, the couple was arrested in their bedroom for being married. At the time, Virginia law made interracial marriages illegal. The couple had to take their fight all the way to the Supreme Court which rendered a unanimous decision ruling the couple's arrest unlawful and all state prohibitions against interracial marriage.
Additionally, the hubbub is that actress Ruth Negga's performance as Mildred Loving makes her a favorite for Best Actress Oscar.
• Actress Niecy Nash is set to join the cast of the upcoming TNT's dramedy, Claws, a dark-comedy revolving around five diverse nail salon employees and organized crime. Claws is currently in production.
• Filmmaker Carl Franklin has signed on to do a film remake of the 1948 William Faulkner novel Intruder in the Dust. The original film was produced in 1949, and the new film is currently in production.
• If all the Fetty-Waps, Drakes, and Nicki Minaj's of the world have got you feening for some Mase, Puff Daddy, and Lil' Kim, your '90s prayers have been answered because The Bad Boy FamilyReunion Tour is coming to a city near you! The Lox, 112, Total, Carl Thomas, Mario Winans, and French Montana will also perform on the tour. Brooklyn already got a taste recently when they performed at the Barclay's Center where our own Onika McClean got crunk! The official tour starts on August 25, 2016, in Columbus, Ohio.
• Comedian Wanda Sykes will join fellow comediennes Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn in a new Fox comedy special, Mother/Daughter. The comedy will air October 21st on FOX television.
Journalist, Morley Safer, one of the original correspondents of the CBS News Magazine, 60 Minutes, has passed away at age 84. Safer had just retired from CBS a week prior. May he rest in peace.
John Boyega Makes Forbes Top 30 List, Monique Pressley serves up the media something proper, Fay Ann Lyons sets the record straight
411 QUICK TAKES
Academy Award-winning actor Denzel Washington received the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at the Golden Globes Awards Show; and actress Taraji P. Henson won a Golden Globe award for best actress in a drama for Empire.
Singer Natalie Cole was laid to rest at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, CA. Her parents, sister, and brother are also buried there. Natalie Cole died from idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, which led to heart failure. She was diagnosed with the ailment after receiving a kidney transplant in 2009.
We bid a fond farewell to:
• Singer Nicholas Caldwell, a co-founding member of the legendary group, The Whispers. Caldwell passed away from congestive heart failure. He was 71.
• Rocker David Bowie, who pioneered Glam Rock, died at age 69. He leaves behind his wife, former supermodel and entrepreneur Iman, and daughter, Alexandria "Lexi" Zahra Jones.
"Forbes recently released its Top 30 Under 30 List and to my happiness there are a number of black people on the list!," said Kizzy Cox. The list includes 23-year-old heartthrob John Boyega! Boyega is blazing trails in the new Star Wars film "The Force Awakens", as the first black storm-trooper we've ever seen in a Star Wars film. Boyega, who is British of Nigerian descent has proudly embraced his African origins, in an interview with the NY times he said:
"I'm grounded in who I am, and I am a confident black man. A confident, Nigerian, black, chocolate man. I'm proud of my heritage, and no man can take that away from me."
Also on the list are several black women--can we say #blackgirlmagic??--including 26-year-old Jewel Burks an entrepreneur within a family of entrepreneurs, she co-founded and is CEO of PartPic which helps people find parts they're looking for their electronics or other machinery. Additionally, 28-year-old Nailah Ellis-Brown is founder of Ellis Island Tropical Tea. Incredibly, Brown started by selling her old Jamaican family tea recipe out of the trunk of her car! A silent partner eventually invested $150,000 for a bottling plant in Detroit and now she's selling her tea to Whole Foods and other stores throughout the US! Can we say #Caribbeangirlmagic??
UNDER THE RADAR
Pop star Janet Jackson canceled some of her tour dates due to illness. A rumor spread that Janet had throat cancer, which prompted the singer to issue a statement on twitter to debunk the rumors:
"Remember...believe it when you hear it from my lips, the rumors are untrue. I do not have cancer. I'm recovering. My doctors have approved my concerts as scheduled in Europe, and as I promised, the postponed shows will be rescheduled. Thank you for your prayers and love."
Monique Pressley: Bill Cosby's Attorney
People magazine is reporting that after failing to find sufficient evidence to back a model's claim that she was drugged and sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby at a Playboy Mansion party in 2008, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Wednesday that it would not file charges. No matter where you are on the Bill Cosby issue, you must admit Monique Pressley is serving the media up something proper! Just watching the eloquent way she executes her argument, you just want to snap your fingers in a circle. Ms. Pressley, a Howard University Law School graduate, is more than a lawyer; she is a minister and a member of the cut life. I love watching her.
Tips for Teeth Whitening
Beauty expert Courtney Rashon gives her recommendations for keeping your teeth bright and white!
A great smile is important. And it's also important to make sure you have white teeth. Here a few ways to keep your teeth white and bright.
Baking soda. Baking soda does not contain fluoride but you can use this along with your regular toothpaste once a day. The baking soda keeps your teeth white
Whitening strips. Whitening strips are amazing for keeping your teeth gleaming. Whitening strips are easy to apply and come with instructions and can brighten up your smile in one week. The strips can be found in local drugstores and supermarkets.
Limit the use of drinking things like coffee and tea. Both can be good for you, but not always so good on your teeth. Heavy smoking and tobacco use can also stain your teeth. Brush regularly after having more than one cup.
Visit the dentist. Regular cleanings will also help to keep your teeth clean, healthy and white. This should be done at least once a year.
And as for cosmetics, teeth whitening using a machine with ultraviolet light and a special gel can brighten you smile in one hour. The results are instant and this can be done every 1 to 2 months.
Amandla Stenberg Comes Out as Bisexual
Outspoken teen actress Amandla Stenberg, famous for her breakout role in the Hunger Games as 'Rue' came out as bisexual on a Teen Vogue snapchat. The 17-year-old said in a series of snaps:
It's a really, really hard thing to be silenced. And it's deeply bruising to fight against your identity and to mold yourself into shapes that you just shouldn't be in," Stenberg said "as someone who identifies as a black, bisexual woman, I've been through it, and its hurts. It's awkward and it's uncomfortable. But then I realized because of Solange [Knowles], and Ava DuVernay, and Willow [smith], and all the black girls watching this right now, that there's absolutely nothing to change." "We cannot be suppressed," the actress continued. "We are meant to express our joy, and our love, and our tears, and be big and bold and definitely not easy to swallow."
El Chapo Captured
El Chapo, a gangster's gangster, has been captured. The notorious Mexican drug kingpin, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, is in the pen!
El Chapo met with actor Sean Penn via a hook-up by actress Kate del Castillo. Can you believe El Chapo was trying to shoot a film- got to give it to El Chapo, this was a real gangster move. Guzman thought his story was worthy of Hollywood. Unfortunately for Guzman aka El Chapo, this was how the Mexican authorities were able to track him down to a house in an upscale neighborhood in a coastal city according to Mexico Attorney General Arely Gomez.
In closing this segment, Onika McLean said, "Sean Penn, I know you came after Lee Daniels, but you better probably watch your back now, because now El Chapo, you gonna be on the chopping block!"
Trinidadian Soca Artist Fay Ann Lyons Fights for Power Soca
Carnival season is quickly coming upon us! Trinidad's carnival is only 2 weeks and 5 days (but who's counting??) And masqueraders everywhere can't wait to jump and wave their way down the road and across the stage...but some are wondering where is the power Soca they're supposed to be wining to? Because this year's power Soca songs haven't been strong. Fay Ann Lyons, famous Trinidadian Soca artist and 3-time winner of the carnival road march title (the only woman to have ever done so) called out those people who said that basically power Soca was on its way out. Elaborating on her comments in an interview with looptt, Lyons said:
"my next point was that Iwer and Superblue are known for singing power Soca and you telling them that dead and don't bring no power and you telling younger artistes don't do power cause we are not playing it so you already blocking people cause you are telling them there is no market for it. I turned to the crowd and said fight for your artistes, fight for your music and your culture. After I said what I said, I said anybody who disagree(s) that you should not support the art form could kiss my black ass."
FAY ANN is making a great point because at the end of the day, groovy Soca is great it's nice music to groove to: slow wine and chip, but if you're about to cross that stage and get wassy (Trini slang for turn up and get wild) you want a power Soca song to get you there! And if you want to promote cultural unity, you need all the types of Soca music--you can't put down one and uplift the other.
REALITY TV RECAP
RHOA Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker Name Son Ace Wells Tucker
There is lots of baby news going around. Real Housewives of Atlanta stars Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker recently welcomed a baby boy named Ace Wells Tucker. She made the announcement on January 7, after she gave birth the day before. Kandi and Todd were going back and forth about the name but the finally decided on a name that was unique that they both liked.
Interestingly enough, fellow RHOA cast mate, Phaedra Parks showed up at the hospital.
IN THE PIPELINE:
The Schomburg Center for research in Black Culture will Premiere the documentary, Black and Cuba on January 26. Tickets are available on Eventbrite.com.
PEPSI has confirmed to the Associated Press, that Beyoncé will perform on the Super Bowl half-time show at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California. Last month, Coldplay announced it would perform at the halftime show. Beyoncé and Coldplay collaborated on the band's new album, A Head Full of Dreams.
R&B LEGEND, Mavis Staples, will release a new album on February 19th entitled, LIVIN ON A HIGH NOTE.
The upcoming Stellar Awards, featuring the best in Gospel Music will take place on February 19th In Las Vegas.
You heard of Patti Pies...now get ready for Patti Cakes. Patti LaBelle will again partner with Walmart for three new additions to her dessert line. In addition to the sweet potato pie, Walmart will add a premium vanilla pound cake and a premium caramel cake.