Stepping out of the shadows of her ex-husbands’ success, Torrei Hart is hell bent on making a new name for herself. She’s much more than just Kevin Hart’s ex-wife, and she wants to make it clear. First and foremost, she’s a mother, but she is also an actress and she’s also passionate, spiritual, driven, straightforward and a mogul in the making.


The name Meesha Mink stands out in urban fiction like no other, simply because it speaks to the uniqueness and creativity of it's owner. After making her debut in 2008 with the well received, Desperate Hoodwives, Mink has continued to release page turning quality both as a co-author and with her individual works. Her latest book to make a mark on readers is Kiss The Ring, a modern day Foxy Brown type story, about a woman on a mission to avenge the death of her son. Released in August, it's the first book of her latest series and a dynamic read for lovers of all genres. We interviewed the author to discuss the series, the state of urban fiction and much more. Check it out here...


Telling anyone's story can be tricky because it can go wrong in a number of ways. From focusing on the wrong details or overlooking something that viewers were looking forward to. When the subject is someone like Jimi Hendrix, who few really knew, it gets that much more difficult. Though he is well regarded as one of the greatest guitarist ever, his career really only spanned 4 years. That gives you a specific time period to focus on, but it also demands that you show why he deserves all the acclaim in huge chunks.


Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson star in No Good Deed, the tale of what happens when a criminal escapes from prison and finds his way into an unsuspecting woman's home. We've seen this story before but with a full African-American cast, and no Tyler Perry involvement, it feels like a fresh idea and a worthy watch. Plus the stars make for pretty great eye candy, which I think the production team knew would be good for the big screen.


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.

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A Family Business by Brandy and Ray J is a record that attempts to showcase the rich tapestry of the Norwood fam, while giving glances into the vocalics that both singers still have left to exhibit.
The opener, "Family Business" reprises the theme music that echoed from their reality saga that played on VH1. Ray J is solo on "Turnin Me On," which is one of the gaffes on the album. His vocals sound ungrounded as if he didn't know what to do with the provided beat. The sweet and tender "Talk To Me," does make up for the ho-hum qualities of its forbearer as the listener peers into the world of the Norwoods. Their father, gospel singer, Willie Norwood assists them on the commanding ballad.
Brandy revisits similar ranges from her best-selling albums on "Lifeguard," which is by far one of the best songs to rise from the soul of the singer in quite some time. "Ready to Roll," seems to tear a page from Fergie's "Glamorous" with its vibe, but does not measure to what it appears to mimic. There are several different landscapes presented on A Family Business such as "My Family" performed by Brandy's daughter, Sy'rai and Rain Smith, the daughter of Brandy's daughter's father as well as an appearance from Tasha Scott with the song “Gone.”
A Family Business is across the board in its presentation, taking several different styles and meshing them together. It does a phenomenal job of showing how Brandy and Ray J have grown vocally, but does not satisfy the musical palate that many were looking to receive from a family we've come to know.
Album Picks:  "Talk To Me" &  "Lifeguard"
A Family Business  receives a PA
Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

A Family Business by Brandy and Ray J is a record that attempts to showcase the rich tapestry of the Norwood fam, while giving glances into the vocalics that both singers still have left to exhibit.


The opener, "Family Business" reprises the theme music that echoed from their reality saga that played on VH1. Ray J is solo on "Turnin Me On," which is one of the gaffes on the album. His vocals sound ungrounded as if he didn't know what to do with the provided beat. The sweet and tender "Talk To Me," does make up for the ho-hum qualities of its forbearer as the listener peers into the world of the Norwoods. Their father, gospel singer, Willie Norwood Sr. assists them on the commanding ballad. 


Brandy revisits similar ranges from her best-selling albums on "Lifeguard," which is by far one of the best songs to rise from the soul of the singer in quite some time. "Ready to Roll," seems to tear a page from Fergie's "Glamorous" with its vibe, but does not measure to what it appears to mimic. There are several different landscapes presented on A Family Business such as "My Family" performed by Brandy's daughter, Sy'rai and Rain Smith, the daughter of Brandy's daughter's father as well as an appearance from Tasha Scott with the song “Gone.” 


A Family Business is across the board in its presentation, taking several different styles and meshing them together. It does a phenomenal job of showing how Brandy and Ray J have grown vocally, but does not satisfy the musical palate that many were looking to receive from a family we've come to know and love.

Album Picks:  "Talk To Me" &  "Lifeguard"

 

A Family Business  receives a PA  

 

Rating:

P…Horrible

PA…Tolerable

PAR…Good

PARL…Kinda Great

PARLÉ… Classic

 

 

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Monumental... Pete Rock & Smif-n-Wessun album review

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