Vanessa Lynn’s “Boss Lady” is more than a play, it’s an experience.
After viewing “Boss Lady” at its premier on April 13 at the Midtown Arts Cinema it left me inspired, cleansed, rejuvenated and so much more.
In the play viewers not only learn what a “Boss Lady” is but will be taken on a ride on the road to becoming a “Boss Lady” and go down all its many twists and turns, its highs and its lows.
Boss lady is also a tale of a woman who is on a mission to becoming more than a music mogul; she has her mind set on becoming nothing less than a “Boss”.
Essentially, the play depicts the lives of everyday Black issues in the inner city and Lynn illustrates the struggles that come with that environment very passionately and without any room to question her authority on the subject.
Drugs, death, greed, money, hustling, success, failures, love, conviction, forgiveness and even the gospel are all discussed in such a way that it leaves the viewers entertained and emotional.
The play had so many twists and turns that when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did and when you thought the story was told, there was more to it—lots more.
I must commend Vanessa Lynn for having the guts to write such a play as she can definitely help other urban play writers carry the torch that was left behind by Tyler Perry who has shifted his sights to films.
As a viewer one can tell she put her heart in every line because, from one heart to another, it is very hard not to connect with each of the characters and the truth of the story.
Additionally, the cast members did a phenomenal job of breathing life into the characters they played, the story they told and the message they portrayed.
The cast’s amazing performances show that they believed in the story and they knew how powerful its message is.
Anyone looking to support urban playwrights like Lynn who are looking to change the way the “chitlin’ circuit” – which she describes in detail in her book ‘Beyond the Chitlin’ Circuit: The Urban Playwrights Guide’ – is perceived and work hard to bring black stories to the stage, I highly recommend “Boss Lady”.
However, be warned you will are not watching a mere play, you are watching a play with a purpose and the experience is indeed mind blowing and definitely life changing.
Presented by Myx lounge, Monday’s “Love and Hip Hop Atlanta” season two press reception was an exclusive premiere for members of the press to meet the LHHATL cast and to preview the show to give viewers an idea of what’s to come in the upcoming season. Season two premieres April 22.
One thing viewers should know is that if LHHATL delivered last year it will definitely bring the drama in season two and the event was indicative of that.
All of the cast members of the show were at the Creme Ultra Lounge premiere including new cast members Traci Steele and DJ Babey Drew who are both DJs and radio personalities at Hot 107.9. However, Lil Scrappy, K. Michelle and Karlie Redd were all no shows.
When asked where the missing members were the cast was quick to respond, “You will have to see the show to find out why they are not here.”
Nonetheless, the drama did not stick to the script. Even the drama that viewers witness on the show, with Stevie J, Mimi and Joseline, was brought to the event as it was evident that Mimi and Joseline had no problem showing their disregard for one another.
And just like in the show, Stevie J appeared to feed off of the feuding and proceeded to pay Mimi a compliment on her shoes to which she responded, “Whatever, [expletive]. Just keep them checks coming [expletive].”
Mona Scott-Young, the mastermind behind the “Love and Hip Hop” series, which is in its third season, was at Monday night’s event in a non-dramatic fashion. As one of the show’s executive producers, Scott-Young took to the VIP area to greet her LHHATL crew and to welcome the crowd.
After Scott-Young’s introduction came the preview of episode one of season twos’ LHHATL and below is a breakdown of what is to come:
The show picks up after last year when Scrappy proposes to Erica and shows Shay’s response to the proposal. Season two attempts to shed more light on the feelings that Shay is trying to come to terms with, as it relates to her love and friendship with Lil Scrappy. She ultimately seeks counsel from Momma Dee, who supports her and her feelings for Scrappy.
Although Scrappy was a no-show for the event, he was a constant factor between Erica and Shay who wanted to share more on the issue but ended their nearly volatile debate with “watch the show to see what happens.”
But it was clear that Shay had some dealings with Scrappy since the proposal and all of that would be exposed in the upcoming season.
In response to the back and forth between Shay and Erica, Momma Dee, who was fiercely dressed and one to watch during the event, was not hesitant to share with the press that she was a “mother first and would do anything to protect her son.”
Benzino helped to kick off the first episode and makes his contribution to the Joseline and Stevie J drama. Although there was not much time dedicated to him in the first episode, his appearance was significant and helped fuel more drama in the pair that viewers can’t seem to get enough of.
K Michelle, who was not present at the event was debuted on the first episode and definitely gives viewers a dramatic update on her life since the last season. She does all but shut a spot down when attempting to resolve an issue that took place after season one ended.
Although only a few of the cast members were featured in the episode, it made the second episode a must see.
Season two will give viewers more insight on what happened after the reunion, what happened as a result of the popularity of the show and the events that occurred while taping the show. Big events such as Kirk and Rasheeda’s pregnancy are in store. (Rasheeda looked very pregnant on Monday, by the way.) All those details and many more will give viewers much to tune into on April 22 at 8 p.m. ET on VH1.
“Watch it,” said Mona Young-Scott about season two. “We didn’t know there was going to be a season two but there is and we out did ourselves.”
Rapper-singer Lauryn Hill is set to be sentenced for tax evasion next week. In a last minute attempt for leniency, Hill filed documents to further explain why she failed to file tax returns from 2005 to 2007. During that time, she earned $1.8 million.
According to TMZ, Hill says that she feared for her safety and the well-being of her family. Hill went on to explain that her fear led her to withdraw, “from society at large due to what she perceived as manipulation and very real threats to herself and her family.”
Last year, Hill pled guilty and faces more than three years in prison. Hill is asking the judge to take into consideration that she can pay off the debt much faster if she’s a free woman, along with several other factors.
NeNe Leakes has become the consensus star of the reality series “The Real Housewives” and she has reportedly also become the highest paid star of the franchise. According to reports, Leakes inked a $1 million deal plus bonuses to return for the sixth season of RHOA.
Before last season, Leakes claimed to be unsure of her future on the show. Since then she has appeared with recurring roles on shows such as "Glee" and "The New Normal."
A few months ago, Leakes revealed that she would indeed return for another season, claiming that the money was “too good to pass up.”
After making his acting debut on CBS’ comedy “2 Broke Girls,” Atlanta rapper 2 Chainz is returning to the small screen for a guest role on “Law & Order: SVU.”
Aside from his character’s name, NBC has not allowed anymore details to be released. The rapper will play a man named Calvin "Pearlie" Jones.
Scenes were shot earlier this week in New York City and the rapper posted photos of him on set with the cast including Ice-T and his “new boo” Mariska Hargitay.
There has been no word on when the episode will air.
Do not annoy Jay-Z.
The rapper has recorded a song that appears to take on those who criticized his recent trip to Cuba with wife Beyoncé.
Hip-hop site Global Grind reported that Jay-Z recorded "Open Letter" Wednesday night after seeing that their visit was the lead story on CNN.com.
The couple ventured to Cuba for their fifth wedding anniversary in a trip that the United States Treasury Department says was sanctioned.
But it's clear the superstar rapper has taken umbrage at all of the attention and controversy surrounding the jaunt to the communist country, which is currently under a U.S. travel embargo. The tune includes the lyrics, "Obama said, 'chill you gon' get me impeached. You don't need this s**t anyway. Chill with me on the beach.'"
Jay-Z also addresses his reported plan to sell his shares in the Nets basketball team in order to allow his new sports agency to actively recruit ball player clients.
"Would've brought the Nets to Brooklyn for free," he raps. "Except I made millions off you f***ing dweebs. I still own the building. I'm still keeping my seats. Y'all buy that bulls*** y'all better keep y'all receipts."
Listen to the song here:
The story on Global Grind (which is headed by rap impresario Russell Simmons) also contains photos of the rap superstar in the studio with hip-hop producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland, who are believed to have worked on the track.
By Lisa Respers France
Radric Davis, also known as rapper Gucci Mane, was indicted Tuesday on one count of aggravated assault.
Davis' charge follows after an incident in March at Harlem Nights on Courtland St., where he is alleged to have hit a soldier in the head with a champagne bottle.
According to WSB, the soldier was hit while requesting to take a picture with the rap artist.
"I'm in the military. I wanted to get a picture with Gucci Mane, is it OK?" the soldier said to a security guard.
The soldier was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after the altercation where he received 10 stitches.
Born in New York City on Oct. 1, 1986, Jurnee Smollett-Bell is an award-winning actress and activist of rare talent and conviction. She recently starred in the Emmy Award-winning series "Friday Night Lights" on which she portrayed the character Jess. She’s also been seen on "The Defenders." Jurnee starred in "The Great Debaters" with Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington and received rave reviews and the NAACP’s Best Lead Actress Image Award for her performance.
The versatile thespian landed her breakthrough role at the age of 11, when she starred in Eve’s Bayou opposite Samuel L. Jackson.
On TV, Jurnee has guest-starred in "Grey’s Anatomy" as well as "House," "E.R. ," "Strong Medicine," and "NYPD Blue." Her other television credits include "Wanda at Large" and "Cosby."
Besides acting and singing, Jurnee is the youngest board member of Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a nonprofit dedicated to fighting the spread of HIV, and has traveled to South Africa, where she has met with Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu, as well as with victims of HIV.
Here, she talks about starring as Judith opposite Vanessa Williams, Kim Kardashian and Brandy in Tyler Perry’s latest morality play, Temptation.
Kam Williams: Hi Jurnee, thanks for the time.
Jurnee Smollett: Thank you for taking the time.
KW: What interested you in Temptation?
JS: The challenge of the role. It’s kind of what you look for as an actor. Something that you haven’t done before… something that can really make you stretch… and honestly, I’d always wanted to work with Tyler.
KW: What was it like having Tyler Perry as a writer and director?
JS: It was such a great experience. He’s so down-to-earth… he’s a fun guy… and he keeps a great set. Everything’s on time. He’s the first one to show up, the last one to leave, and he’s really open to suggestions and collaboration. For instance, if I said, “I don’t feel that that dialogue is truthful,” he’d respond with, “Okay, let’s work that out. Let’s adjust it.” He was very open to play, which is what you look for as an artist.
KW: What was it like working with your leading men Lance and Robbie, as well as Kim, Brandy and Vanessa?
JS: It was great to work with the guys, because they really brought their “A” game. I was really grateful to them for being so open and emotionally available, since half of my performance involved looking into their eyes and reacting to them. And what an amazing cast of women. Vanessa Williams, who plays my boss, is such a legend. I’ve always looked up to her. Not only is she so gorgeous, but she is a pro. She gave me some great advice and support, that little stamp of “You got this, girl!” which you never can get enough of. Brandy, I already knew. Although I didn’t have many scenes with her, I was happy that she was in the film because she’s such a talented actress. And Kim was just so sweet to work with. She was very eager and very professional. It was a great, diverse cast.
KW: What message do you think Tyler wants his audience to take away from the film?
JS: I think he really wants the film to start a dialogue among couples about relationships. That you cannot take your loved one for granted. You have to continue to communicate. You always have to work on the relationship. And then there’s another message about choices. The film at its core is really about how thoughts can infect your mind that might lead to choices that can lead to actions and behavior you never thought yourself capable of, if you don’t watch yourself. Since the movie, in a way, is a cautionary tale, Tyler wants the message about relationships to reach younger people, too.
KW: Editor/Legist Patricia Turnier asks: How did you come to develop an interest at such an early age in AIDS in Africa and the Children’s Defense Fund as charitable causes?
JS: I love that question. One of its missions is to help with HIV/AIDS awareness. My best friend is Hydeia Broadbent who was one of the first people in America born HIV-positive. Hydeia will be 28 soon and she’s a walking example of that. But still, as her best friend, I see how hard it is to live with this disease. She wakes up with stomach aches, because the medication is really harsh on your body. It’s nothing that anyone would choose to have. So, I do what I can to educate young people about this disease, because it is preventable.
KW: Thanks again for the time, Jurnee, and best of luck with the film.
JS: Thank you, Kam.
By Kam Williams, Special to the NNPA from the Afro-American Newspaper
League of Young Voters executive director Rob Baker recently wrote an open letter to rapper Snoop Dogg applauding him for his latest track “No Guns Allowed.”
"You have stepped up to say that enough is enough when it comes to gun violence," Baker wrote. "You’re right — our daughters and sons are losing their minds. Every hour, four people in the United States are killed by firearms. While that’s a heartbreaking statistic, I am so inspired that you are using your platform to speak up about the nation’s violence issue."
The track references the increasing gun violence and the recent mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.
Baker noted “it couldn't have been an easy decision to use your art in this way.” Baker praised Snoop for stepping outside of his usual gangsta rap persona.
Despite tension in Congress regarding gun regulations, Baker believes that Snoop’s effort could inspire legislative action on anti-violence. Baker has even launched a campaign to get youth to speak out on the issue.
"We are committed to helping make the ‘No Guns Allowed’ message a movement,” said Baker. “We’re starting by asking our friends, colleagues, supporters and celebrities like yourself to take a pledge to end violence by texting PEACE to 69866."
Snoop has also recently spoken out about in support of gay marriage and Michelle Obama's health initiative by raising funds for urban farming.
The divorce battle between former NFL player Kordell Stewart and co-star of the hit reality series “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Porsha Williams, is turning butt ugly.
Kordell is now making incendiary claims about Portia’s behavior, reports TMZ.
Reportedly, Williams filed a motion stating that her husband had locked her out of their Atlanta mansion and brought another woman into the home they share. Williams also reveals that she has had to call police twice so that she could enter her home, even though she has a key.
But Kordell fired back, stating in court documents that his wife partied way too much and would often come home in the wee hours of the morning smelling like alcohol or wouldn’t return at all for several days straight. The former Pittsburgh Steeler’s retort to the “locking out” accusations is that he just makes sure his residence is secured against any possible intruders.
Regarding Williams’ allegations about Kordell’s ”other woman,” the 40-year-old sports analyst says that the female in question is his son’s nanny, whom he had to hire because he claims his wife was derelict in her duties as a stepmom to the 10-year-old child. According to TMZ, Stewart’s filing states that Williams was “neglecting her responsibilities to her stepson.”
Stewart’s son is from a previous relationship.
Sources close to Williams say she is totally shocked by her husband’s most recent accusations as she was by his request for a divorce in the first place. She claims she had no clue that her husband was unhappy to the point of actually wanting a divorce from her. Williams contends she found out about the impending divorce via tabloids and was under the impression that she and Stewart were on the same page in regard to working on their marriage.
Stewart filed divorce papers on March 22 citing irreconcilable differences. Stewart is also requesting that the courts deny his wife any spousal support because she is “an able-bodied person, earning income and is capable of supporting herself.”
By NewsOne Staff