Ever since Olivia Pope came on the scene a couple of years ago she has dominated the social media news feeds of Urban America.  She has elements of many women we all know and it's great having a familiar face on television to look to.  When Mary Jane Paul emerged on the scene a year or so ago, things got real.  Now that Being Mary Jane is a full season in, and with Scandal three seasons in, we figured it was time to look at the women that are these characters.  Given the chance who would you choose to date, to be a friend to?  Who could you actually stand to be around?

The latest Jason Derulo album, Talk Dirty, is chock full of party anthems and “get hype” tracks. The album starts off with Jason’s new smash hit, "Talk Dirty" (featuring 2 Chainz), which has spent the last sixteen weeks near the top of Billboard’s “The Hot 100” and currently sits at number four. Derulo has brought in many other popular Hip-Hop artists to collaborate on this record, including Snoop Dogg, TYGA, Kid Ink, and Pitbull. 

There was a huge debate recently about the Mt. Rushmore of the NBA.  Choosing the four greatest players to have ever played the sport of basketball proved to be quite the challenge and there is still no clear and decisive agreement on just four. The Mt. Rushmore of Hip-Hop may prove to be just as difficult, but we figured we'd give it a try and see what the readers think.

It’s a Marlon Wayne’s movie what do want me to say? It was bleeping hilarious. Literally as soon as the movie started the theatre was roaring in laughter and I’m not even exaggerating. The opening scene was arguably the most funny (actually during the Q&A after the screening an audience member said it was his favorite part). Co-star Affion Crokett is one of the first characters you’re reintroduced to and he had my stomach hurting early. I’m going to just say that I would’ve liked to see more of him in the film. Hey, Marlon told us to be honest in our critiques. With that said though, the film still surpassed the expectations of a sequel. 

Who would have ever thought a shy girl from Beaufort, South Carolina would be American Idol's Season 12 winner. She's grown a lot since only being able to sing for her parents. Life has changed for Candice Glover. Her Season 12 win is actually her third attempt at auditioning for American Idol. She's proven that she believes in herself. It was nothing short of courage to be able to face many at a third shot on the show to prove that she had what it took to take home the crown, even if she didn't know for sure herself at the time. She's motivated so many to go after what they want and to never give up. WIth the recent release of her debut album, Music Speaks, and her single, "Cried," Glover continues to motivate women everywhere.  Read the full interview to get Candice Glover a little better...

Drew 32, writer, producer, videographer—you name it he has done it. His hands on approach to his brand of music is admirable. From the D to the world, with stops along the way as an opening act for Gym Class Heroes, Kendrick Lamar, and the New Boyz hasn't hurt. His performances at Sundance Film Festival and SXSW Music Conference have done wonders for his buzz, and odds are his production going forward will be just as stellar. Drew32 Recently released The Batch, an ode to his fans, and a teaser for what 2014 and beyond hold.  Judging by the attention his hit single “I Am King,” is getting along with his mantra, 'the more content, the better,' the future is very bright for this Greek-American artist.  Parlé with me as I introduce to you… Drew 32.




If you’ve had any of Mike Valli’s dishes, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that they are nothing short of appetizing. It’s one thing to cook a delicious meal, but it's a totally different thing entirely to plate the food into a complete beauty. Follow him on Instagram and you will understand exactly what I mean. I think it definitely takes talent to do what he does. Chef Valli's talents don’t stop there either. He designs chef coats that are quite fashionable and soon he will be launching his own clothing line. Read the interview to find out more about the Chef and Artist...

Read more: Chef Mike Valli - Where Art and Cooking Collides

The year 1986 is known for many things but most importantly it is known for being the year of the tiger. Twenty-Seven year old, Francis Orekoya has taken that tiger and formed it into one the hottest apparel lines to hit the streets. It’s name “FDYNAMO1986.” Both captivating and creative, this clothing line is a direct representation of it’s creator. The Brooklyn born, Long Island raised entrepreneur had dreams of creating his own business at a very young age. His hustler ambitions began in seventh grade as he completed his first clothing transaction, it was written he would be great. Best defined by his company’s logo Francis is brave, cool, calm and collective. From T-Shirts, Sweaters and even Polo’s this brand keeps it’s customers laced with pieces of creativity designed in it’s entirety by Francis. “I’m 100% involved in the creative process, that’s what makes me different from other brands” Francis said passionately. With the summer approaching “FDYNAMO1986” has already turned up the heat with the anticipation of the summer apparel. Deeming this summer the summer of the tiger.

Read more: Francis Orekoya - Leading The Summer of the Tiger

Urbana Chappa is a celebrity stylist turned designer but at her heart and soul is a woman who is finally, at last, learning to be comfortable in her own skin. Her line, Maison de Urbana, is an extension of that empowerment and how she would like other women to feel.  “Being a woman isn’t easy and that’s why I wanted to create a line that was gonna make us feel good and sexy and we don’t have to go out there and show our tits and ass to get attention,” Chappa explained.

Read more: Urbana Chappa - Providing a Powerful Voice Through Fashion

Who is SCHEÉ? Caitlyn Hess, a Pittsburgh native, is the designer, founder, and CEO of SCHEÉ shoes, a luxury footwear company that recently launched. As a designer, Hess has merged her passion for helping others with her love of designing footwear to create SCHEÉ. Hess’ ultimate goal for SCHEÉ is to use her luxury footwear designs is to raise awareness and support for various philanthropic causes. To support each philanthropic cause, SCHEÉ donates five percent of total sales to its corresponding charity.

Read more: Caitlyn Hess - SCHEÉ Designer Uses Shoes For Positive Cause

When asked how it feels being an honoree for the Network Journal’s 15th Annual “40 under Forty” awards ceremony, State Farm representative Michelle D. Hare (pictured above right, with Janna Andrews, M.D.) replies, “Five years ago when I moved to New York was when I first got introduced to the Network Journal. When I walked into the office I saw covers of many of the past issues and I remember telling the publisher that one day I’m going to be in your magazine. Now, five years later, here I am.” Somewhere in the silence of a bedroom there is a prepubescent child of color dreaming about their future. They are imagining all the glitz and the glam. They are envisioning a life many children their age aspire to. However, according to the US Department of Education, “Nearly half of the nation’s African-American students attend high schools in low-income areas with dropout rates that hover in the 40-50% range.” Similarly, the Education Sector, an independent think tank, reports, “Fewer than half of the Black students who enroll in college graduate from four-year institutions within six-years. Nationally, the average six-year graduation rate for all students is 57%.” The question now is, “Should these young children of color continue to dream as Hare did? Or should they just allow these statistics to swallow them whole?”

Read more: Network Journal’s Annual “40 Under Forty” Achievers Awards Dinner: Dedicated to Breaking Odds

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