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Malik Yoba is Accused of Soliciting Sex from Trans Teen | What's The 411 Ep. 149

VIDEO DISCUSSION: Azealia Banks receives backlash from Lizzo's fans after making "insulting" comments about Lizzo, Cardi B, and Lil Nas X

In this episode of What's The 411, award-winning journalist, Kizzy Cox, and comedian Onika McLean, are discussing news items Malik Yoba, Azealia Banks, Lizzo, Cardi B, Lil Nas X, Kandi Burruss' daughter Riley crowdsourcing money for her birthday, parents making their children feel indebted for being born, and a white woman named LaKeisha.

What’s Poppin’ – CULTURE

Actor Malik Yoba, best known for his starring role as NYPD Detective J. C. Williams on the Fox police drama New York Undercover, and more recently in the television program, Empire, stepped into a hailstorm after making a comment in support of transgender women. Mariah Lopez Ebony, a former transgender prostitute turned activist, claims Yoba paid for sexual favors from child sex workers. The Sigma Beta Club program, which provides counseling and guidance for pre-teen boys and teenage males dropped Yoba as its spokesperson. The program is a service offered by Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.

Q. Have you ever heard any whispers about Malik Yoba and can he survive the allegations?

What’s Poppin’ - MUSIC

Azealia Banks, a rapper who hasn't had a hit record in several years, spewed a few words after the singer, Lizzo’s, record Truth Hurts, ascended to No.1 on the Billboard 100 list. Banks wrote a scorching post on Twitter going after Lizzo stating:

“The song is not good, nor is the dumpy fat girl spectacle live set she does. Saddest bit is that the girl is legit talented and truly only being allowed to shine so long as she allows herself to be this millennial mammy of sorts.”

And, Banks didn’t stop there, she went on to say:

“Like illiterate Cardi then fat Lizzo. They are really choosing the worst of the black womens crop to advertise America with. I guess they saw us moving too fast with it because if you realize, after Beyoncé became political in ways they didn’t like, the elite stopped giving her that top top spot and started cycling out these lessers like Cardi and Lizzo (even Lil Nas X trash ass buckbreak mountain anthem) giving them Beyoncé level accolades while both being nowhere near the level of black female excellence she is.”

Q. One could say, Azealia Banks, is at it again. Or, you could say, there is some truth in her statement. What do you think?

What's Poppin' - Real Housewives of Atlanta

Recently, Kandi Burruss’ daughter, Riley Burruss, landed in hot water for an Instagram post on her birthday asking her fans to send her money. Some RHOA fans asked her to stop because her mother’s a millionaire and she shouldn’t be online asking people for money, while others came to her defense.

Q. Do you think this was a wise move on Riley’s part? Were some of her fans right that she shouldn’t be asking for money online?

What's Poppin' - Family Matters

Recently, there was a great article in MadameNoire, titled, Stop Making Your Children Feel Indebted To You For Being Born.

Q. Do you think this is a thing? If so, why do you think most parents do this?

What’s Poppin’ –POP CULTURE

We have talked about cultural appropriation on this show quite often. What do you think it's like to be a white woman with the name LaKiesha?

 

  • Published in Episodes

Theatre Review: HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME, The Music of Tupac Shakur

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.

Star power.

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.

HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME!

  • Published in Theatre

Actor Michael DeLorenzo on What’s The 411 TV

VIDEO INTERVIEW: ACTOR MICHAEL DELORENZO

In her very first interview, What's The 411's co-host, Amelia Moore, talks with actor Michael DeLorenzo, at a benefit for The Valley, a nonprofit organization servicing adolescents in upper Manhattan, led by John Bess.

DeLorenzo talks about his role as Eddie on the hit Fox television show, New York Undercover.

He also talks about how he prepared for the role and his feelings about the police. 

DeLorenzo stars with actor Malik Yoba on this Dick Wolf-produced weekly series.

DeLorenzo and Yoba (who is Black-American) made television history, as the series was the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles.

The interview was conducted around 1994-95.

Actor Malik Yoba Supports The Valley

VIDEO INTERVIEW: MALIK YOBA

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.

Yoba and Michael DeLorenzo made television history, as the New York Undercover series was the first police drama on American television to feature two people of color in the starring roles.

This interview was recorded around 1994-95.

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