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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What a difference three years make! For fans of the collective of hit makers known as Slaughterhouse, the changes are obvious. Their debut self-titled album was released in 2009, under E1 Records. Selling under 19,000 copies in its first week, the crew's individual buzz wasn't enough to make for commercial success. This time around the crew has one of the year's most highly anticipated albums with Welcome To Our House. Phaoroahe Monch, Kay Young and Fat Man Scoop features from the previous album are replaced by the bigger names of Busta Rhymes, Cee Lo Green and Swizz Beatz. And needless to say Eminem is the album's executive producer, releasing the album under his Shady/Interscope label. Change has its pros and cons though for the Slaughterhouse crew.

 

The one constant on this album is the lyrical prowess of these gentleman. Whether they are involved in an intricate back and forth banter or dominating a 16-bar verse solo, they are going to impress with their wordplay and leave a punchline on you that makes you want to run the whole track back. The opportunity to hear them on multiple tracks with Eminem makes it worth a listen all its own.

 

The pressure on these guys to create a masterpiece is high, and no one knows this more than Eminem. It feels like he steered them in a direction he felt would be more effective for their mainstream debut, a direction that isn't really what makes these guys reach their highest potential. Em does produce or co-produce more than half the album in addition to featuring on three tracks. Additionally, another Shady producer, Mr. Porter, produces another two tracks. Plus, two Skylar Grey features, a song about making it rain called "Throw It Away," and a B.o.B feature??? Not saying Em thinks they need as much help as D-12, but Em clearly felt they needed assistance.

 

The On The House mixtape released a week ago feels a lot more genuine and true to the Slaughterhouse brand, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do to sell records. Welcome to Our House will do impressive numbers I'm sure, maybe even top the charts in a slow music week. And listeners will have songs like "Die," "Goodbye," and "The Other Side" to add to their Slaughterhouse hit collection.

 

Can't help but wonder what's next for Joey, Joell, Royce and Crooked though. All this new music and fans still won't be satisfied for long.

 

Welcome To Our House receives a PAR

 

Rating:
P…Horrible
PA…Tolerable
PAR…Good
PARL…Kinda Great
PARLÉ… Classic

 

Also Check Out:
Slaughterhouse - On The House mixtape download
Wiz Khalifa - ft. Young Jeezy & Lil' Wayne - "Work Hard, Play Hard" Remix
DJ AGE presents Kendrick Lamar Rising Star mixtape download
Channel Orange - Frank Ocean album review
Jay Electronica: Most Enigmatic Man in the Underground Finally Releases Tracklisting 

About The Author
Kevin Benoit
Author: Kevin Benoit
Kevin Benoit, 27, is the founder and editor of Parlé Magazine. As a freshman in college, in May of 2004, Benoit created Parlé, an urban entertainment magazine that focuses on literacy through entertainment. The publication has since provided a stepping-stone for many individuals throughout the country, from teens to adults and continues to provide inspiration for inspiring entrepreneurs, writers, photographers and graphic designers. Benoit graduated from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science in Legal Studies.

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