I was first introduced to Jhené Aiko on Kendrick Lamar's "Growing Apart." Her voice is gentle and somewhat tinged with a sultriness that often encroaches on cutting aggression. Aiko understands where to emphasize her voice, wrapping it around the lyrics to achieve a hypnotic mix of hip hop and R&B. Souled Out, the debut from the singer is made up of mid-temp melodies that emerge as freestyles, rather than songs. This is not a bad thing because Aiko has stated that her process of recording music is one of letting it unfold rather than rushing.

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Originality is such a hard thing to come by these days that it’s no wonder you’ll see so many movies, TV shows and music that look and sound the same.
 When is the last time you heard a song or movie that you couldn’t compare to something else prior? Probably never. That doesn’t mean that originality or creativity has died, but just means that people have a brand new way of seeing things. One of the greatest movies of all times, Star Wars is often compared to Star Trek. They have forums of geeks and nerds sighting the familiarities between these two, I’ll save you the time and say that I’ve seen all the Star Wars series and none of the Star Trek franchise despite their many TV shows and spin-off movies but I'm aware of how they tend to overlap each other in some aspects.


Blacc Hollywood is the fifth studio album from Wiz Khalifa - the rapper known for creating chill songs about getting high and living the high life. Being more of a fan of his mixtapes because he seems to offer more impactful, heavy-hitting rhymes on those, listening to Blacc Hollywood solidified my opinion even further.


Being born in the 90’s certainly touched the new up and coming triple-threat artist Jo’zzy aka @dopebyaccident in a special way. She’s the protégé’ of super producer Timbaland and a talented singer/songwriter/rapper. Not only is the 90’s an inspiration and influence, but a way of life for this 24 year old; whose real name is Jocelyn Donald. She says of new single “Tryna Wife”, “It’s just nostalgic music and only the beginning. Some of today’s R&B and Hip-Hop can be so watered down and cookie-cutter, but my style of music makes you think of the 90’s.”


"They only get to see a certain part of your life and it’s not even fifty percent. It may be about fifteen percent of your life that these people are getting to watch so that’s never a good thing because you become this fifteen percent of what people get to see and there’s way more to most of us that are on that show..."  ~Bambi


“One thing I feel that happens a lot on the urban side of music, not as much on the mainstream pop side of music is that if artists don't come out for a few years, we forget that we loved them. This was not just some song I liked, but this was my favorite group in the world. I feel like the urban audience, we don't hold our stars up like the pop audience do. Their stars will put out an album tomorrow and it will still be double, triple, quadruple platinum…”  
~Brandon Casey of Jagged Edge 


 
 

 

 

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If you're a fan of Comedy shows such Martin Lawrence's 1st Amendment Stand Up or BET's Comic View, than more than likely you have heard of funny man, Gary Owen. The comedian has not only been a force on the stand-up scene, but he has also starred in hit films Think Like A Man and Rebound. These days, his own Stand-Up, True Story is available on DVD and he is touring the country alongside some of the best in the business on the Shaquille O’neal Presents: All Star Comedy Jam Tour. The tour which is in its third successful season is hosted by Gary Owen, another sign that he’s becoming one of the elite comedians in the business.

Read more: Gary Owen - Safe To Say He's Becoming One of the Elite

When I was informed that I’d be writing my piece on Capone the comedian, I must admit, I was extremely excited. I actually lived with this man for two weeks, years ago with one of his children. It’s amazing to see how far he has come along compared to where the journey began. Born, Derrick Lee, his name, Capone represents the fact that he gets down to business. Over the years he has done just that going from a drug dealer to comedian. Now as one of the New York Kings of Comedy and the undisputed Gangster of Comedy, he has proved to the world many times over that he is to be taken seriously, and that is no funny business.

Read more: Capone - Serious About His Comedy Business

The job of a comedian is never ending, from the moment they sit down to work out their material till they hit the stage and perform in front of a crowd, rather it be in front of a sold out crowd or a few drunks, every moment on and off stage goes to perfecting this every evolving craft. Comedians who’ve been performing for a while know the importance of keeping fresh material
Comedian Kareem Green is no stranger to the game. You may recognize his name from Russell Simmon’s Presents The Ruckus which aired on Comedy Central, Comic View on BET Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes and in 2009, he won first place for the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition which had over 70 comedians.  I was not only fortunate enough to sit down with Kareem to discuss his career but I was also able to see him perform.
Kareem Green, the native New Yorker  found his natural calling as a youth but didn’t quite know what to do with his talent until he got much older “I started doing comedy because I kept getting fired from my jobs so I had to find something to do. I always knew I wanted to be famous but I didn’t know what it would be for so I started doing this comedy as a way of getting attention.” Kareem was determined not to settle for the 9 to 5 hustle so he tried out comedy and surprisingly it worked for him.
I was fortunate enough to see Kareem Green perform live, the first two acts that went up before him were heckled mercilessly by the unforgiving crowd but as soon as Kareem hit the stage, he commanded respect from the audience and won them over. I had to ask, how was he able to work such a hostile room? “It all comes from experience and reading the room. I pay attention to what everyone’s doing. The typical comic will just work the crowd once he gets on stage but I take the time out to get a feel of the energy and vibe of the crowd.”  Kareem accredits his particular brand of comedy as “The Truth”  or observational humor. “I come from a truthful place and that’s how I’ve been able to connect with people on stage,” He then explained how it’s important to be truthful the audience while onstage because if you aren’t then the crowd will be able to tell. “People love me because I speak the truth and they know it.”
A lot of comedians cover a wide range of topics and many of them may even share the same opinion about their subjects which is why you may hear comics tell similar jokes about the same issue but Kareem makes it his goal to set himself apart from other comics.  “I talk about the things we all do through that may seem embarrassing at the time but there’s truth and humor in it,” says Kareem, “I don’t really know who I could compare myself too, there are a lot of people that have influenced me but I tend to try to do my own thing instead of copying theirs.” Kareem makes it his goal in his stand-up to let his audience connect with him on an emotional level by pointing out life’s awkwardness.  He also makes it his goal to laugh at the moment’s in life that can be stressful and depressing for most, “Laughing at the dark moments in life is the only way to get through it. If you don’t laugh, it could kill you. Just remember when you feel stressed to laugh at it, it’s not that serious, you’ll get through it.
Kareem recalls the first time he went up on stage at an open mic to perform, “I was nervous as hell, when I started my set there was this woman heckling me the whole time but by the end of it, she was like my biggest fan. I got off stage and all the other comedians hi-five me, it was amazing.” Bringing joy and laughter into people’s lives is hard enough as it is but sometimes when a comic is performing in front of an audience, they get people who want to heckle them. I had to ask Kareem, how does he deal with the hecklers in his set? “It’s different for everyone but I take heckling personal, I’m at work and when you heckle me you’re destroying my future work. Doing a set at one club can lead to another club which could lead to something big but when someone heckles that’s  slowing my work. If you don’t like someone’s act, go to the bar get a drink or go outside for a smoke, don’t interrupt someone from working. You’re also ruining other people’s evening that came to enjoy a show and that’s selfish.”  Kareem also ensures that if anyone wants to heckle his show that he’ll go “straight for the jugular”. “Whatever’s wrong with you that I can find, I’ll bring it to light.”
Kareem Green offers advice for aspiring comedians: “Be original. If you want to actually be good at this work on your craft, don’t steal other people’s material. You can be influenced by other people but it’s best to be original and originality is a big part of it.”
Readers and fans interested in learning more about Comedian Kareem Green should visit:
www.facebook.com/kareemgreen
www.youtube.com look for the channel The Kareem Green where you can see his performances
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , for bookings.

The job of a comedian is never ending, from the moment they sit down to work out their material until they hit the stage and perform in front of a crowd, whether it be in front of a sold out crowd or just a few drunks, every moment on and off stage goes to perfecting this every evolving craft. Comedians who’ve been performing for a while know the importance of keeping fresh material. Comedian Kareem Green is no stranger to the game. You may recognize his name most recently from Russell Simmon’s Presents The Ruckus, which aired on Comedy Central.  But Kareem has also been featured on Comic View on BET, Bill Bellamy’s Who’s Got Jokes and in 2009, he won first place for the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition which included over 70 comedians.  I was not only fortunate enough to sit down with Kareem to discuss his career, but I was also able to see him perform.

Read more: Kareem Green - No Stranger To Comedy

Mike Yard: A Double Threat to the Comedy Game
Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chapelle have not only paved the way for young African American comedians, but also inspire one of East Coast’s top funny man, Mike Yard.
As a child his dream was to play for the N.Y. Mets, but for some reason that dream didn’t last long, “I was young and I don’t wanna say I was lazy, but it started feeling like work and I’m not a fan of that. Baseball was fun but I was too young to take it seriously.”
Well thank goodness for Yard’s lack of work momentum because soon after that he decided to give comedy a chance. It was 1993, in an uptown comedy club in Harlem, N.Y. when Yard signed up for his first comedic performance. The New Jack Segment, a 2-3 minute time slot for new talent to showcase their skills and get the audience laughing. Although his name was on the list, when it came time for Yard to perform he was no where to be found, “I left because I was too nervous. I felt like a punk because I quit before I event started.”
But Yard didn’t let his nervousness get the best of him, “I went back the next week and did really well. I’ve been hooked since then.”
Well it’s been 6 years since his first performance and Yard has performed at some of the hottest venues like Apollo Theatre, and for one of the most influential celebrities, Rev. Jesse Jackson, not once, but twice. “I was contacted by Jessie’s agent to perform at the Rainbow Coalition. This was a big deal for me. He [Jackson] asked me how I do what I do. I was moved.”
Being a comedian not only takes talent but also hustle, good thing Yard has both qualities, “the most important thing to do is work on your craft; after that you get to a level where people want to watch you. It’s all about word of mouth. Make people say ‘I gotta get him.’ Get on the phones and call people. It’s always a grind. Getting yourself on TV helps.”
So what can you expect form a Mike Yard performance? “I don’t talk about my friends, but I may talk about my son and how people interact with each other; as well as President Obama and how America is changing. Everyone thinks you’ll be like a Def Jam comedian and talk about black and white stuff [just like they think female comedians will] just male bash.”
Yard’s determination and hard work has paid off with much success, but don’t think his skills only lay in comedy. Not only does he write jokes, but Mike Yard is also a screen writer. “I’m most interested in being considered one of the best comedians and screenwriters.”
And he is well on his way of accomplishing his goal. Comedy Central, Apollo Theatre, Bad Boys of Comedy, he’s done it all and is still not finished, “ I want to perform at the Radio City Music Hall and for President Obama. I would love to do a show at the white house.”
Trying to get on Yard’s level? Well get out a pen and pad and take note on the best way to improve your craft, “get on stage, that’s how you get better. There’s no class, no advice, just trial and error. Try something new and make the stage your home. You won’t know if your jokes are good until you set foot on that stage.”
Yard is currently shooting a one hour special which he plans to premiere on HBO. He may not be swinging for the N.Y. Mets, but Mike Yard has made many hits as a funny man.
Stay updated on Mike Yard performances on his Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MikeYard


Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, and Dave Chapelle have not only paved the way for young African American comedians, but also inspire one of East Coast’s top funny man, Mike Yard. 

As a child his dream was to play for the N.Y. Mets, but for some reason that dream didn’t last long, “I was young and I don’t wanna say I was lazy, but it started feeling like work and I’m not a fan of that. Baseball was fun but I was too young to take it seriously.”

Read more: Mike Yard: A Double Threat to the Comedy Game

 

There is more to this man than his humor.  Actor, comedian Anthony Anderson who was once the face of his own television series All About The Andersons is now an advocate and spokesperson for the F.A.C.E. Campaign. This organization is for Black Americans facing the quiet but deadly illness of Diabetes.  Anthony, who now stars in the popular Law and Order series, has had Diabetes type 2 for over 8 years now.
When he isn’t acting in hit movies or making you laugh with his comic personality he can be found helping out his community with Diabetes awareness. He doesn’t just preach this to others he makes healthy choices all the time.  He has lost over 40 pounds, by being more physical and by choosing to eat better and healthier. He still eats the things he loves and craves, just in moderation. Both his parents have diabetes, so the illness has hit close to his heart.
Besides acting and his duties as a spokesperson, Anthony admitted to us that he has found a new passion in life. Golfing. He cannot get enough of it. He is up by 6:00 a.m. ready to have his golfing therapy. He has a strong support group of other actors and celebs that play with him, Samuel Jackson, Johnny Gill, Don Cheadle and Barry Bonds.
Anthony even has his own golf show, ‘Golf in America,’ which fills up his screen time when he’s not playing Detective Kevin Benard on ‘Law & Order’.  He is currently working on several movie projects including Scream 4, which will be out this April.
Anthony went into detail about all the projects he’s currently working on and the importance of diabetes awareness in the African-American community.
Parlé Magazine:  I had no idea of your involvment with Diabetes awareness. Can you tell me more about how Diabetes has effected your life?
Anthony Anderson:  I take better care of myself now, I am eating right. I am not giving up my donuts, but I may grab one and have a bite or two and then put it down. Prior to me eating one or two donuts. Moderation is the key word. I am not giving up my favorite foods, just eating less of it and working out has helped me as well.
Parle- Let’s discuss your ‘affair’ with Golf..
I feel great out there playing golf. It’s my me time, I feel fit and energetic. I don’t need any other sport. I am loving golf in my life and I highly recommend it. I will play golf for the rest of my life.
Parle-
The holidays are here. Who is cooking the turkey this year??
Need you ask?? I am of course. I am making my favorite mac & cheese, yams, cranberry sauce, well you get the picture. I really like cooking and especially preparing recipes that are diabetic friendly.
Parle-You have become a huge success, hasn’t been overnight, but did happen quite rapidly for you. Any advice you got to offer our young American actors??
Stay on it, stay strong on your path. Many will say no, and that’s okay cause all it takes is that one yes. After that it will all start happening. You can’t give up. Don’t compare your acting life with others. We all mature as actors on different times and levels. Go after your dreams with all you got and then some, because success is waiting for YOU, just around the corner.
Thanks Anthony for this great interview, wishing you all the best for this New Year.
There is more to this man than his humor.  Actor, comedian Anthony Anderson who was once the face of his own television series All About The Andersons is now an advocate and spokesperson for the F.A.C.E. Campaign, for African-Americans facing the quiet but deadly illness of Diabetes.  Anthony, who now stars in the popular Law and Order series, has had Diabetes type 2 for over 8 years now.

Read more: Anthony Anderson Speaks On Acting, Diabetes Awareness & Golf

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