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Beyonce and Destiny’s Child Rock Coachella | What’s The 411 | Ep. 125

Starbucks CEO demonstrates leadership in face of adversity; Tristan Thompson is in hot water; Kenya Barris gets a court date; Trinidad ends Buggery Laws

In this episode of What's The 411, journalist Kizzy Cox, and comedian Onika McClean, are talking about Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian's relationship, Mariah Carey reveals she is bipolar, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson takes action amidst unnecessary arrest of two Black men and the ensuing protests, Trinidad ending its Buggery Laws, and more! 

The Artists That Have Influenced Blushhh Music May Surprise You

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

Exclusive Interview: Meet Blushhh Music, Mathew Knowles' New Hip Hop Trio

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.

Musical Influences

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.

The Wrap-up

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.

What's The 411 Episode 77: Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kesha, Natasha Leath, and more

Kanye West asks Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO and Founder, to invest in Kanye West Ideas

In this episode of What's The 411, the panel of Kizzy Cox, Onika McLean and Courtney Rashon are talking about Kanye West's debt issues; Grammy Award winners, Kendrick Lamar, The Weekend, Bruno Mars, D'Angelo, John Legend, and Common; and the outcome of Kesha Rose Sebert's legal case to get out of her contract with Sony and her producer Dr. Luke.

In Memoriam: Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird; Prince protégé, Denise Matthews aka Vanity of the group Vanity 6; Reality TV star Angela "Big Ang" Raiola; and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Special guest this week is Natasha Leath, Motivational Spiritualist, who has a gift to read people's past, present, and future. Ms. Leath uses her gift to motivate, empower and inspire people to propel in life, to have clarity, to live a purposeful life and to be inspired.

Caribbean Cook-up: A Japanese pannist, Asami Nagakiya, dies in Trinidad during Carnival and Raymond Tim Kee, the Mayor of Port of Spain resigns his office because of his insensitive comment. Mayor Kee stated that the costumes, an international symbol of the festival, were to blame for a Japanese tourist's murder — along with "vulgarity and lewdness" displayed by women during Carnival.

Asami Nagakiya Japanese tourist found murdered during Carnival in Trinidad Andrea De Silva ReutersJapanese tourist and pannist, Asami Nagakiya, found murdered in Trinidad during carnival. Photo Credit: Andrea De Silva/Reuters

  • Published in Episodes

Episode 75: EMPIRE, Celine Dion, Bernie Sanders, Nicki Minaj, Tara Wallace

Janet Hubert claps back at Jada Pinkett Smith's call for Oscar boycott; Tichina Arnold kicks husband to curb after viewing his sex tape with another woman

411 QUICK TAKES

FOX TELEVISION has announced that "EMPIRE" has been renewed for a third season.

An Ohio fugitive was apprehended in Florida after he sent cops a better picture because he hated his mugshot. Forty-five-year-old Donald "Chip" Pugh posted his new picture on Facebook. "Here is a better photo, that one is terrible," Pugh wrote. Now he is doing a selfie behind bars.

In other news, actor and rapper Kendrick Lamar will receive the key to the city in his hometown of Compton, California. Congrats Kendrick.

Singer Patti LaBelle is reportedly dating again....her 41 year-old drummer! The singer, who is 71, has been seeing drummer Eric Seats over the past year.

IN MEMORIAM

And, we bid a fond farewell to:

• actor Alan Rickman, who played Professor Severus Snape in the "Harry Potter" movies. He has passed away at age 69
• legendary blues singer Otis Clay, who passed away recently at age 73.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to singer Celine Dion, who lost both her husband producer Rene Angelil, and her brother, Daniel Dion, both died from cancer.

Lastly, we wish WCBS anchor Maurice Dubois a speedy recovery. Dubois has been diagnosed with Bell's Palsy.

What's The 411 - WHAT'S POPPIN'

Tichina Arnold Kicks Husband to the Curb

My family and I and I would assume most technologically inclined families do this as well, we send group chat text messages about something funny that happened or something we all should celebrate. Well, honey lamb, Tichina Arnold, who played Pam on Martin sent a group text for the ages! She found a sex tape with her husband, Rico Hines, a former assistant for player development with the Golden State Warriors, and another woman and sent it to her family as a group text!

Yes, it's reported that Tichina Arnold sent a copy of the video to his family and friends in a text message stating that "it's over between Rico and I" explaining that this was where she was drawing the line in the sand.

"This is where I part ways and all bets are off." She also stated that Rico wasn't using protection when having the alleged sex with this woman. I'm sorry "Pam" you waited so long.

Jada Pinkett-Smith Calls for Oscar Boycott and Janet Hubert Claps Back

It is the video that has gone viral. Actress Jada Pinkett-Smith said that she will boycott this year's Academy Awards due to the lack of diversity in actor category nominations.

The video has gotten over 5 million views. Pinkett made the call after the academy failed to nominate any actor of color for an award for the second year in a row.

Actress Janet Hubert, who worked with Will Smith, Pinkett-Smith's husband, on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air jumped into the fray. Referring to Pinkett Smith as "Miss Thing," Hubert opens her video by asking, "Does your man not have a mouth of his own with which to speak?" before launching into her thoughts on the controversy that has drawn so much attention.

"I find it ironic that somebody who has made their living and has made millions and millions of dollars from the very people that you're talking about boycotting just because you didn't get a nomination, just because you didn't win?" said Hubert. "That's not the way life works, baby."

Black Twitter, using the hashtag #oscarssowhite, also called for a boycott after Pinkett's husband, actor Will Smith was snubbed for Concussion and actor Idris Elba for Beast of No Nation. The movie Creed only received recognition for best supporting actor, Sylvester Stallone, and none for best director or actor.

The critically acclaimed picture, Straight Out of Compton, did not receive a nod for best picture. But actor and rapper Ice Cube said: "It's the Oscars. They do what they do, but I can't be mad. The movie grossed over $200 million."

UNDER THE RADAR:

Bernie Sanders Takes his Campaign to HBCUs

Okay Hillary (Clinton), feel the Bern. Fellow Democratic presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders, is taking his message of income inequality and criminal justice reform directly to a critical voting bloc he hopes will embrace his presidential candidacy: Black college students.

To win the South Carolina primary on February 27 and win over black voters in upcoming presidential contests, Sanders, the self-described socialist candidate, is forging ahead with a brand new strategy: touring Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and talking face-to-face with black college students.

Sanders' HBCU tour kicked off at South Carolina State University on January 14, which is six weeks before South Carolina's crucial Democratic primary in February, and the year's first contest in the South.

January Bargains: Electronics and Linens

Most of us like to shop, and many of us like a good bargain. So as we end January, if you need linens, now is the time to buy them. Department stores generally have "white sales" in January. Also on sale are Christmas holiday items and toys, and electronic items, such as TVs, computers, and phones as stores are making way for new products.

FAB411

5 Essential Oils Recommended for Hair and Skin

Beauty expert Essence Semaj gives her recommendations for essential oils for beautiful skin and strong and healthy hair:

Jojoba Oil: Jojoba Oil is the liquid produced in the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis plant, a shrub, which is native to southern Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Mexico. Jojoba oil is not very oily and is ideal for healthily hydrating skin and hair because it mimics the natural oils our bodies produce.

Castor Oil: A thick pale yellow oil obtained from castor beans, has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties and is high in Vitamin E, minerals, proteins, and Omega 6 and 9 beneficial fatty acids. Its unusually high ricinoleic acid ratio appears to make castor oil beneficial to skin and hair.

Additionally, castor oil has traditionally been used topically for acne and other skin conditions, as well as hair loss, rashes and more.

You can thin out castor oil by mixing it with another oil, such as mint, rosemary, or jojoba oil.

Hemp Seed Oil: Hemp seed oil is cold pressed from the seeds of the hemp plant and has a history of use dating back thousands of years to the Chinese Ming Dynasty.

In addition to its uses for heart and brain health, emp seed oil is often used as a moisturizer for the skin. Studies have indicated that hemp seed oil can dramatically decrease skin dryness to alleviate itching and irritation. Moreover, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties may protect against the aging process while soothing the skin.

When choosing a source of Hemp Seed Oil, you want to be sure it is derived from organically grown hemp that is GMO-free (not genetically altered). It should be first cold-pressed, and produced in low-light and a low-oxygen environment, as heat, light, and oxygen destroy many of its natural attributes. It should also be stored in the refrigerator to maintain freshness and prevent rancidity. Hemp Seed Oil, a quality oil appropriate for nutritional, cosmetic, and medical uses, should have a dark green color and a rich, nutty flavor, and should always be packaged in a glass container, never plastic.

Grape Seed Oil: Grape seed oil is a preferred cosmetic ingredient for controlling moisture of the skin. Light and thin, grape seed oil leaves a glossy film over skin, when used as a carrier, oil for essential oils in aromatherapy. It contains more linoleic acid than many other carrier oils.

Grape seed oil is also used as a lubricant for shaving and as a growth and strengthening treatment for hair.

Tamanu Oil: Tamanu oil is derived from the large, blonde nuts of the Ati tree found in South East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Tamanu is considered to be one of the most effective agents in promoting the formation of new tissue, thereby accelerating wound healing and the growth of healthy skin.

What about coconut oil? Coconut oil is making a huge comeback and many people find coconut oil to be very useful for hair and skin. However, Essence recommends coconut oil for hair and body, but not for the face because of coconut oil's tendency to clog pores. She also recommends creating your own personal oils by mixing and matching essential oils to match your personal needs.

REALITY TV RECAP

Nicki Minaj Goes After Farrah Abraham and Abraham Returns the Favor

Stars get bored too, and some of them watch marathon episodes of Teen Moms!

Nicki Minaj blasted Farrah Abraham, on Twitter about the way she treats her mom, "your mother didn't open her legs and have that child. Be happy she's helping! Stop talking to her like that on TV u lil c***," Nicki Minaj tweeted at Farrah Abraham, a star of Teen Moms.

At first, Farrah Abraham didn't respond to Nicki Minaj's harsh words, but later decided to reply to Nicki's diss.

"Cause you're a parent right? You're videos look like porn. Horrible. Good luck being negative #godbless busy making TV."

Later, Farrah Abraham decided to use her daughter, Sophia, to deliver another slam to Nicki Minaj. The Teen Mom posted a Snapchat video of little Sophia saying,

"Hi everybody. Nicki Minaj is a total loser," along with the caption "Nicki Minaj please stop saying bad words."

Why is this 24-year-old woman on Teen Moms and why is she involving a minor in a conversation between grown people?

On Love and Hip Hop New York: Pregnancy is the Word

Peter Gunz impregnated two women, his wife Amina Buddafly and girlfriend, Tara Wallace. Ms. Buddafly made a decision to terminate her pregnancy, while Mistress Wallace decided to go through with her pregnancy.

IN THE PIPELINE:

Upcoming Events

The NAACP will hand out its 47th Annual Image Awards on February 5th

Comedian Mike Epps will appear at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on February 5th.

The legendary rap group Run DMC will receive a lifetime achievement award on the upcoming 58th Annual Grammy Awards on February 15th. The awards will be televised on CBS.

Chaka Khan! Chaka Khan, with special guest, Vivian Green, will be at The Kings Theater, on February 19th.

The grio.com is reporting that BET it will honor singer Patti LaBelle and movie producer Lee Daniels. The BET Awards will air on June 26th.

  • Published in Episodes

10 Reasons Why Fans Were Disappointed With Hot 97 Summer Jam

Hot 97’s Summer Jam XX Recap

On Sunday, June 2, I witnessed my first HOT 97 Summer Jam and please believe me when I say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Along the 2-mile walk from where the Port Authority bus dropped me off in MetLife Stadium to the press entrance, I walked past a huge parade filled with people from all types of backgrounds.

Hip-hop heads gathered as one in the parking lot, celebrating like it was a major summer holiday--tailgating and barbecuing food; they were really getting ready for a great night.

Summer Jam was too good on paper. It gave us good music and a decent show, but it felt too much like a high school performance—safe, organized and fluent. Don't get me wrong, safety and organization are great attributes for a concert, particularly one the size of Hot 97 Summer Jam. However, we all wanted to see more than the ordinary production; i.e., last-minute surprises and performances outside the box.

It was evident that some fans left Summer Jam XX disappointed and here are 10 reasons why:

1. Joe Budden did a great job kicking off Summer Jam, but bringing out Tank was the highlight of his performance. (Not really a disappointment about Tank, I just love Tank.)

Joe Budden 1 resized 500x333

Joe Budden

2. Miguel performed a relevant performance by bringing out Mariah Carey and J. Cole, but I wanted him to do more like jumping into the crowd to make up for the 2013 Billboard Awards.

Miguel 1 resized 500x333

Miguel

J Cole 1 resized 500x333J-Cole

3. Chris Brown's performance was way too long. Although he electrified some of the women in the audience, he shifted the momentum of the crowd starting off his set with Beautiful People. That was a huge mistake! Summer Jam equals Hip Hop, not Pop. We wanted to hear Look At Me Now first. He could've preserved his opening act for the BET Awards coming up in a few weeks. Breezy's vocals were on point though, but he should've just gone before Miguel.

Chris Brown 1 resized 500x333Chris-Brown

4. There was the 'almost' highlight of the night when Fabolous brought Lil Kim onto the stage. At the end of the duo's performance, Fab appeared to have been introducing another female artist, who many rumored to be Foxy Brown, but didn't. Ebro of Hot 97 claimed that Foxy showed up late, while other bloggers said she couldn't find her earpiece. Nonetheless, Foxy should've been on that stage!!!!!

Lil Kim Fabolous 1 resized 500x333Lil-Kim and Fabolous

 

5. Now on to Nicki Minaj. 2 Chainz's performance with Nicki Minaj was way too short. First off, Nicki skipped out on Summer Jam last year, so why not SHUT the stage down this year with a song of your own? Nicki--How can you come out for 1.5 minutes, then just bounce like that?

Nikki Minaj 2 Chainz 1 resized 500x333Nikki-Minaj and 2-Chainz 

 

6. Okay, back to Foxy. All night, Hot 97's DJ's and personalities were teasing who was backstage. Rosenberg alluded to the fact that women were going to dominate Summer Jam, but that never happened. 

Nikki Minaj resized 500x333

I may have been the only one daydreaming, but I was hoping Foxy, Lil Kim and Nicki would all be on the stage at one time. I'm still dreaming....

 

7. Kendrick Lamar was by far the best performer at Summer Stage, but he should've brought out Jay-Z. When word got around that Beyonce and Jay-Z were in the building, everyone was pretty much convinced that the royal couple was going to hit the stage. Well, that didn't happen either. Seriously, this was the 20th anniversary of Summer Jam, Hov could have rapped his verse to B**** Don't Kill My Vibe?

Kendrick Lamar 1 resized 500x333Kendrick-Lamar

 

8. Everyone seemed to have been upset that Papoose took the stage, but he was actually the highlight of the night. I don't know why he felt the need to say "Free Remy Ma," because no one cared.

 

9. I respect WuTang for their contributions to hip-hop, but for the generation that I witnessed in the crowd, they seemed far less interested. I think they would've been a better closing act.

Wu Tang 1 resized 500x333Wu-Tang 1 resized 500x333

 

10. French Montana, the headliner of Summer Jam closed out the five-hour concert and was probably on stage for less than ten minutes (okay, maybe I'm exaggerating, but it was brief.) The highlight of his set was when fellow rap artists Rick Ross and Lil Wayne ran out and performed the hit single, Pop That. The crowd went crazy, of course. But moments later, the lights came on and Summer Jam was over, just like that. Fans exited the stadium in a somber mood, and so did I. Personally, I rode the bus home still wishing that Foxy and Jay would've graced the stage. Maybe it's just the Brooklyn sentimentality in me.

French Montana Lil Wayne Rick Ross 1 resizedx500x333

French Montana, Lil-Wayne, and Rick-Ross

But, until next time...

 

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