Dec 31, 2008



Two females and a dude decided to showcase their skills doing Beyonce's Single Ladies' choreography and I must admit they pulled it off. I do have to say that the ladies need to tighten up because ole boy was killing them. They didn't stand a chance next to him.
Photo by: Petros Karadjias/AP

Via AJC.com:

Former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, standing beside a damaged yacht, Tuesday accused the Israeli navy of ramming the vessel to halt the delivery of medical supplies to the embattled Gaza Strip.

“Our mission was a peaceful mission,” McKinney told CNN after she and 15 others aboard the boat made it safely to the harbor in the Lebanese seaport of Tyre.

McKinney, the recent Green Party candidate for U.S. president and frequent center of controversy, is the most prominent political figure to join the relief voyages sponsored by the Free Gaza Movement.

McKinney was slated to travel by car to Beirut where she was expected to conducted media interviews and meet with Lebanese government officials, said Paul Larudee, a co-founder of the California-based Free Gaza group.

Larudee said the organization was determined to continue the relief mission, the sixth such trip to Gaza and the first to be interrupted.

“We’re going to get it repaired,” Larudee said of the “Dignity,” the cabin cruiser which he said sustained damage to the hull, the bridge and the engine room.




I don't care how you feel about Cynthia McKinney one way or the other, but you have to admire her for her conviction and the fact she stands up for what she believes in. There aren't a lot of people like her left around.


It appears that the saga of Jena Six continues to get sadder and sadder. I just pray this young man gets the help he need.

Via CNN.com:
A Louisiana teenager whose 2006 arrest in the racially charged "Jena 6" assault case drew thousands of protesters tried to commit suicide days after a separate arrest last week, a police report says.

Mychal Bell, who was arrested last week after allegedly stealing clothes worth $370 from a department store, told investigators he shot himself Monday evening "because he was tired of all the media attention," the report says.

The high school senior's mother and his grandmother also told an investigator that he'd indicated "he did not feel like he could live anymore" because of media coverage of the shoplifting allegations, according to the report.

Earlier, Bell's attorney, Carol Powell-Lexing, told CNN that Bell's family told her he'd accidentally shot himself while cleaning a gun.

According to the police report, however, an officer responded to a 911 call from his grandmother's Monroe, Louisiana, home, where Bell lives. The grandmother, Rosie Simmons, told the officer that she had hidden the gun after the shooting "for Mychal's safety so he did not try to shot [sic] himself again," according to the report.

Bell, 18, suffered a wound to the upper right chest, the report says. Powell-Lexing told CNN that Bell had surgery Monday night, and Monroe police Sgt. Cassandra Wooten said the wound was not life-threatening.

Bell was being treated Tuesday at a hospital in Shreveport, Louisiana.


Via Essence.com:

On Wednesday, December 24, while vacationing with their families at the couple's favorite winter getaway spot—the Big Bear ski resort in the San Bernardino Mountains outside of Los Angeles—Marcille and Gross decided to open gifts after dinner in their rented cabin. When Marcille opened her gift—a pillow with a note attached that read: "Hope you like it. Give this pillow to the man you love and he will explain." After taking the pillow and using it as a cushion, Gross got on bended knee and popped the big question with a 3.36-carat 1895 Pave Cartier ring at 11:30 P.M. PST.

"I was in a complete state of shock!" the 24-year-old Los Angeles native tells ESSENCE.com. "I cried. It was totally unexpected. I'm still in shock. I could not even sleep because I was afraid that I might wake up from the most beautiful dream ever."

"Eva's mouth went from closed to on the floor!" jokes Gross, 27, a Howard University alum. "She asked, 'Baby, is this real? Baby, are you playing with me?' Then she said, 'Forever and always: Yes, Yes, Yes!' And jumped up and hugged me, crying, and then she did her happy dance!"

The blissful couple (an item for a year and a half) first locked eyes at an audition for the film "The Express" two years ago. They were formally introduced on the set of Tyler Perry's "House of Payne" during a table read. Though Marcille and Gross have yet to set a date, they're strongly considering a beautiful summer wedding in 2010.


Awww....don't you just love Love. It's a beautiful thing to see a couple in love. Let's just hope this Hollywood Hook-up is a lasting one because they do make a stunning couple.
It looks like a sista can't even go on vacation and enjoy her family with out hell breaking loose in the political world. Here I am enjoying myself with my family in Georgia and I happen to look at a television screen and see Rod Blagojevich. As soon as I saw the tainted governor of Illinois I knew it was time to break out the popcorn and boy was I right. Our boy Rod has decided to give the finger to the state of Illinois, President-elect Obama, and the Democratic party when he decided to appoint Roland Burris to Obama's vacant senate seat. Now if this dude don't have a nice size of cajones than I don't know who does. He is an O.G. for real I'll give him that.




I don't know much about Roland Burris. I'm sure he is an honest and decent man, but he has just aligned himself with the devil, and nothing good can ever come of that because guilty or innocent Blagojevich is tainted and thus that taint is going to rub off on Mr. Burris. Mr. Burris appeared on CNN and several other channels to defend himself:

Dec 29, 2008



****CRICKETS********

Dec 25, 2008



Here's wishing you all a Merry Christmas. May Santa or whomever bring you your every heart's desire.


I just got in from seeing the movie Seven Pounds and may I say this movie is a must see. You will spend the entire movie trying to figure out what was going on (although I managed to figure it out early...Yeah Me). It starts off a little slow, but it definitely picks up. It's about a man (played by Will Smith) who is seeking some sort of redemption and so he chooses seven strangers in order to obtain said redemption. I wish I could tell you more, but I'm afraid I'll give the movie away. I just suggest you go see it.

I give it a 9 out of 10 Savvy Stars.

BTW: If you saw the movie please join me in the comments section so we can discuss it. I definitely think this movie is worthy of discussion.

Dec 24, 2008



WNBA player and Olympic gold medalist Candace Parker married Sacremento Kings' player Shelden Williams when they eloped to Lake Tahoe on November 12, 2008. I don't know how we missed this since I am a really huge sports fan, but I am really happy for the couple. They are going to have some gigantic children to say the least, but at least they make a beautiful couple.

Candace announces her engagement in the video below:

Dec 23, 2008



MTV.com is reporting:

If RZA had his way, he'd have Rihanna — for his new film. The Wu-Tang Clan kingpin is co-producing a remake of the 1980s fan favorite "The Last Dragon" with Samuel L. Jackson and told MTV News yesterday he'd like the sexy Barbadian songstress to take on the role of video show host/singer Laura Charles. Popular back-in-the-day vamp Vanity originated the role in the 1985 flick, while Taimak tackled the lead character and her romantic interest, Bruce Leroy (a.k.a. Leroy Green).

"That's the one I'm rooting for," RZA said of Rihanna. "We're keeping that same concept of the girl being in the music business."

RZA explained that several female artists were being looked at for the part, but he thought Rih would be the best choice. He also noted that he and the filmmakers were in the process of finding a new-millennium Bruce Leroy but wouldn't disclose the identities any of the candidates.

Late actor Julius Carry, who guest-starred on a myriad of TV shows from the "Jeffersons" to "Moonlighting" to "The Unit" during his almost-30-year career, stole the show in the first "Last Dragon" as Sho'nuff, the Shogun of Harlem. The villain's classic line was "Kiss my Converse!" Sam Jackson has been cast as the hilarious baddy in the remake.

"I'm co-producing and I'll add my martial arts expertise and add my ideas and make a phat film from that cult classic we all loved as kids," RZA explained. "The first draft of the script is in right now. We definitely should be shooting in '09.

"We're gonna make it real classic," the Shaolin general added. "We're not gonna take it back to the '80s. We're gonna try it a few years ahead. Modern times, but a few steps ahead in the future. We got some crazy ideas, but the main thing is still finding that glow. That's still the theme of the film, to find that glow in yourself."



DAMN, DAMN, DAMN James!!! They are really serious about doing this Last Dragon remake. Is anything sacred anymore? What's next a remake of Sparkle, Foxy Brown, Cleopatra Jones, or The Colored Purple. I am just in a state of disbelief right now. We are talking about one of my favorite movies of all time. Couldn't they just come up with something original and go from there. Let me calm down. I'm going to try and hold my verdict until the film comes out. Hopefully RZA will do right by the original and not disappoint the cult following that this film has garnered.


Halo
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Check out the ever-scrumptious Michael Ealy playing the leading man. I've been wondering what happened to 'Pretty Ricky'. I must say that she and Mike make a beautiful couple. You can't deny the chemistry.

Diva
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Gone Sasha Fierce...LOL!!! Bey wasn't playing in this video. I ain't mad at ole girl. She was like, "Rihanna who?" Beyonce is telling all ya'll biyotches to fall back.
(Al Podgorski/Richard A. Chapman/Sun-Times)


The mother of Chicago Bears' star linebacker Brain Urlacher's son was arrested yesterday. Tyna Robertson was arrested because she had missed a court date and had not made any payments on an $11 million judgment against her for making false sexual assault accusations against Riverdance star Michael Flatley.

This whole mess with her and Flatley is perfect for a made-for-TV movie (whatever happen to those).

Click here to read more about this story.

Dec 20, 2008

Think Progress reports:

Earlier this week, A.C. Thompson of The Nation revealed that after Hurricane Katrina, white vigilante groups patrolled New Orleans, blockaded streets, and shot at least eleven black men. It “was like pheasant season in South Dakota. If it moved, you shot it,” said one vigilante. Color of Change is organizing a campaign to tell Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) and state officials to investigate the shootings, as “Louisiana’s broken law enforcement agencies have refused to investigate these crimes.” Watch Thompson’s video on his report:



Dec 19, 2008

- Hurricane Katrina's Hidden Race War Not since Spike Lee's documentary, "When the Levees Broke", have there been a more comprehensive look at what really took place in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. What this story reveals is a lot of ugliness, unlawfulness, and flat out racism that caused numerous people their lives. The fact that no one has ever been charged with a crime is a tragedy in itself. Please read The Nation's article and enlightened yourself to what is going on around you.

- OBAMA DEFENDS WARREN PICK FOR INAUGURATION: Gay activists protest evangelical supporter of Prop 8 to deliver invocation.

- RACIST OBAMA EMAILS ON ALASKA GOVT COMPUTERS: State investigates offensive jokes circulating among state
accounts.


- Dupri Still Janet's Boyfriend, but Not Her Baby Daddy

- Bill Clinton Releases List of Donors to His Foundations

- ‘Black Mafia’ member sentenced to 20 years

- NATION'S FIRST BLACK REPUBLICAN MAYOR DIES: Highland Park's Robert Blackwell served in the 1960s and 70s.

- Mark Felt, Watergate's `Deep Throat,' dies at 95

- Obama set to announce final Cabinet picks

- Duggar Family Welcomes 18th (!) Child
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Now, I must admit that this movie has actually piqued my attention. It looks to be a spin on "Fatal Attraction" except this time there is a black couple involved and the wife actually fights back.

Idris Elba stars as a successful business man whose office hires a temp, played by actress Ali Larter, that becomes obsessed with him and begins to stalk him. Beyonce plays Idris' wife Sharon in the film.

I definitely will be checking this one out when it hit theaters in 2009.
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Whether you like him or hate him you have to give Sir Charles props for speaking his mind. There is nothing politically correct about him. If that's the way he sees it trust he's going to speak it.

Dec 18, 2008



I remember going to see this play about three times with my mom. I'm pretty sure if people are a fan of Tyler Perry's then they are definitely going to be anticipating this movie. Tyler is going back to the formula that made him popular and I can't say I blame him.

The movie stars Derek Luke, Keshia Knight-Pulliam, Tamela and David Mann, and of course Tyler Perry as Madea.

Movie Trailer:


I'm not even going to front like I'm not going to see this. I love me some "Ma to the damn D-E-A"...LOL!!!!

Dec 17, 2008

Artist: Anne Savage


This was an absolute shocker...Not!!! I think everyone and their momma knew Obama was going to be 'Person of the Year.' Let's be real. Who else could it had been?
Obama's year can be best summarized by the following paragraph from the Time's article:

The real story of Obama's year is the steady march of seemingly impossible accomplishments: beating the Clinton machine, organizing previously marginal voters, harnessing the new technologies of democratic engagement, shattering fundraising records, turning previously red states blue — and then waking up the day after his victory to reinvent the presidential-transition process in the face of a potentially dangerous vacuum of leadership. "We always did our best up on the high wire," says his campaign manager, David Plouffe.


Enough said!!!
The order of the program is as follows:

Musical Selection:
The United States Marine Corps Band


Musical Selection:
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus


Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks:
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein


Invocation:
Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA


Musical Selection:
Aretha Franklin


Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court:
The Honorable John Paul Stevens


Musical Selection:
John Williams, composer/arranger

Itzhak Perlman, Violin

Yo-Yo Ma, Cello

Gabriela Montero, Piano

Anthony McGill, Clarinet


Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama By the Chief Justice of the United States:
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.


Inaugural Address:
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama


Poem:
Elizabeth Alexander


Benediction:
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery


The National Anthem:
The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"
"J-A-Y are the letters of his name, Cutting and Scratching are the aspects of his game, so Check out the Master as he cuts these jams......."

"Jam Master Jay" by RUN DMC


For any Hip Hop historian, these words, though simplistic, are far greater in measure in paying homage to one of the greatest legends of the genre. A song, a hip hop anthem, and later a tribute to one of the Masters that helped shape a culture and birth a new definition of the "DJ". RUN DMC are true pioneers of Hip Hop as we know it now, they were the one of the first to take the underground beats, rhythms, and rhymes to the forefront of pop culture, but it was Jam Master Jay that pushed those limits to be broken, he redefined the sound of Hip Hop. He showed the world how two turntables and a microphone could reshape rock and hip hop music, and still move a party.

Too often the DJ is an afterthought, but about 3 years ago, my best friend and I went out on a Saturday night to a new spot, nothing big in grandeur, actually we heard about it through a friend of ours, it was like a basement party actually, and considering I live in the Midwest wasn't expecting much just something new, but there was a moment in which I will never forget that night. At about 2 in the morning me and my Best friend had danced for about 3 hours straight, we couldn't stop (lol) it was like my freshmen year in college, my first dance, senior prom, my HBCU homecoming, all wrapped into one....why? I guess you could sum it up to the soundtrack of my life...every song I had ever loved, lived,and partied too...I heard that night...and gaging from how packed the dancefloor was, seemingly nostalgia was the drink of choice...and we were all drunk~ Now why is this basis of my post, well to me in retrospect, I found that night both spectacular and even more telling about who than why? As me and my best friend left that night with a smile on our face and soreness in our feet, the one thing that we both could agree on that made it all worth it....and yet somewhat perplexed?.... Who was the DJ?


DJ Limelight



That DJ was DJ Limelight, and in my opinion one of the Hottest in the Midwest. His sound not only compliments what's hot on the radio, but he has also managed to provide that balance, by introducing new and innovative artist that seemingly are under the radar. I had an opportunity to interview the man behind the turntables, and wanted to understand how he has been able to define himself....in an abyss of followers.







What is your goal when you DJ, is there a specific feeling or thought that you want people to leave with or is it solely about having a good time?

Part of it is about having a good time but, depending on what I’m booked for, my purposes change. If I’m DJ’g a fashion show, the focus is the clothing – not the music. If it’s a comedy show, I’m the fill-in between the acts. If I’m the main act, I consider it a performance. So I definitely want people have a good time. I want people to ask who the DJ was or at least wonder. People remember the DJ only if he or she is really dope or if they suck really badly.

What Role do you feel you play in exposing people to new music/artist that are not heard on mainstream radio?

Hmmm…That’s a loaded question… I do feel like I have a responsibility to expose great music but that’s because I’m a music lover first and a DJ second. The best DJ’s are music lovers that learned how to DJ. What’s considered “mainstream radio” is harder to classify today. You have XM radio, podcasting, HD radio, Internet radio, etc. Even iTunes has the genius sidebar now that will recommend other songs to you based on your iTunes library. I say all that to say, the progressive listener is over hearing the same eight songs dozens of times a day as is the case with traditional radio. I think that’s the main reason the other outlets have become popular. In terms of when I’m playing live or on the radio, I definitely try to sandwich in really good new music along with the recurrent songs..

Name 5 Non-mainstream artists that you think people are sleeping on?

Jay Electronica
Charles Hamilton
Janelle Monet
Tanya Morgan
The Cool Kids

Now that DJing has become more digital, are the two turn-tables and a microphone no longer relevant?

No. Not in the least bit. If anything, the tools that are available to DJ’s now allow us to push the boundaries of creativity like never before. Now I can DJ almost as fast as I think (laughs). With the popularity of iTunes, music blogs and digital delivery methods in general, DJ’s have access to tons of music. I still use turntables to DJ in the same way I would with traditional vinyl..

Speaking of Independent Artist, with Social networks such as MySpace and blogs, do we see a migration away from traditional forms of waiting for the major labels to call in order for these artist to get their music out?

I’d say so. A lot of artists have moved towards releasing their material digitally through various social networks and their Web sites. That’s the case for both artists signed to major labels and those working independently. Artists have circumvented the process associated with dealing with major labels because reaching your fan base in an intimate way is now critical to longevity in the industry. People want to connect with the artists. In some cases, artists have gotten deals by way of the buzz they've created through the various social networks. Even major labels recognize the symptomatic change in distribution channels and have started "independent" labels of their own.

I heard a profound statement a while back, that stated, “at this point in time Hip Hop should have evolved into something greater (artform)”, Has Hip Hop or rather music in general stunted it’s growth? Is Hip Hop Dead, or is it the Artist who have killed it?

I’d have to disagree with that statement. The person that made that statement isn’t listening to a wide enough variety of hip-hop. It’s much more than Lil Wayne or whomever the hottest mainstream artists is right now. I don’t think you can listen to Lupe or Talib Kweli and think that hip-hop is dead or hasn’t progressed into something greater than what it was 30 years ago. I think that if hip-hop hasn’t advanced it’s because the people listening to it haven’t advanced. I think Mos Def said it best on “Black On Both Sides...“…what’s gonna happen with hip-hop? Whatever’s happening with us…”. I think that hip-hop is a reflection of the people more so than any other genre of music. It’s a raw reflection of where we are now and most importantly, where we can go. Even looking at it from a historical perspective hip-hop has always been the voice of the disenfranchised community…and the real question is not if hip-hop is dead, but are we? And if so, what are we willing to do for change?

In the area of DJing, it appears to have always been a male dominated industry, what would you say is a reason why female DJ’s are rarely seen or even heard of
?

It is a very male dominated industry. I think a lot of female DJs have played themselves by using their bodies to get noticed. There’s no value in posing with headphones and a bikini top. I think that’s corny. Simply relying on their body overlooks true talent resulting in no one paying attention to their skills. There are many really dope female DJs out there though. Prince’s DJ (Rashida), Lady Fingaz and DJ Shortee are all incredibly skilled. They don’t use gimmicks – they just DJ.

Do you feel female DJs have to prove themselves more to gain respect of their male counterparts?

Not really. Skills speak for themselves. In some ways female DJ’s have a coolness factor guys don’t because it’s far less common to see a female DJ?

(Personal)

Who are the DJs or Artists that inspire you the most?

Music in general inspires me. As far as artists, I’d have to say Stevie Wonder first and foremost. DJ Jazzy Jeff is the best DJ on the planet to me. I’d love to meet him one day and pick his brain.

What do you believe is the one thing to ensure sustainability in this line of work?

Staying fresh is the key. Reinventing yourself, your style and your sound. Something has to separate you from the crowd.

What have been some of your greatest challenges coming from a smaller market in getting your name out there?

I’d say that it’s much more difficult to make a name for yourself if you’re not in a major market. I’ve DJ’d parties for people around the country and I always hear, “you need to move to L.A. or New York… you need to move out of that market…” It’s not likely that Will Smith or someone famous is going to walk into a club I DJ at and “discover” me and ask me to be their personal DJ.

A lot of DJ’s have made a name for themselves just because they were in the right place at the right time and someone famous heard them – not necessarily because they’re better than me or another DJ from a smaller market. It’s definitely harder to make a name for yourself if you’re not in a major market. I don’t have the location luxury, so I work harder at my craft because of that.

What was your most memorable gig and why? Do you have a ritual to prepare for a show? ( Do you have a song you listen to, to get your gameface on...laugh)?

I’ve played Vegas before and that was unbelievable. Some of my most memorable gigs haven’t been the high-profile ones. I’ve played gigs for small crowds of 100 people right here in Indy that I’ll never forget. I did a Soul Sessions party a few years back that was the best set of my life. I got chills at several points that night. People came up to me afterwards saying it was the best party they had ever been to. Having someone say that to me is incredible.

I have several rituals. I practice before every set. I’ve set up my turntables in my hotel room when I’ve been on the road – it’s that serious. If it’s a big gig, I like to be by myself for an hour or two before I go on. I turn my phone off so that I won’t be bothered. I faithfully use Eucerin cream on my hands before I DJ because I have ash hands (LOL!). I try not to listen to any music before I DJ.

If you were going to the moon or stranded on an island, what would be the one record/CD you would take and why?

“Innervisions” by Stevie Wonder would have to be it. I read that Michael McDonald said that “if God could sing, He would sound like Stevie”. That pretty much sums it up for me.

Name 3 artist that most people would be shocked to find in your IPod, ( I’m guessing a little Hall and Oatts or better yet some Bjork!..lol)

Radiohead
Jamie Cullum
The Dave Brubeck Quartet

I know you may get this question a lot, but where did you get the name “Limelight” from?

I don’t get that question as often as you think. It came from The Notorious B.I.G.’s song, “Juicy”…”now I’m in the limelight…” It’s one of my favorite songs of all-time. That line stood out to me from the first time I heard it. I actually went by another DJ name when I first started. Limelight just worked.

Check out DJ Limelight at www.djlimelight.com, www.myspace.com/deejaylimelight.com, and look out for his new mixtapes! Support Good Music~



Here at The Savvy Sista, I have to admit that we are some of the biggest music fans around especially Hip-Hop. I personally don't know of a bigger music fan than TheDiva but I digress. So it is my pleasure to introduce a new post series on The Savvy Sista called "Beat, Rhymes, and Turntables." In this series, we will be interviewing some prominent and burgeoning voices on the Hip-Hop scene. We'll be talking to Emcees, producers, and Deejays. The purpose of this series is to shine some light on people in the music game that deserve some recognition whether it be for their music, philanthropic causes, and everyday community service. It's time that someone highlights the positive aspects of the Hip-Hop movement.

You see, I, like many fans of Hip-Hop, have been very disppointed with the direction that the music has taken in the past few years, but I still hold out hope that good music will prevail in the end. So whatever part I can play in the resurgence of good music I am willing to play. I truly believe there is good music and good artists out there. They just are not getting the attention and play that they need or deserve. So I hope you will join us on this journey as we explore the Beats, Rhymes, and Turntables.

First on deck is DJ Limelight. He is mid-West DJ that is slowly but surely making a name for himself on the party scene. He's done parties in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Chicago but its his home of Indianapolis that he always returns to. Please check out his upcoming interview as he explains to TheDiva why the deejay is still very important to Hip-Hop.

We will also have an upcoming interview with Multi-Platinum Producer Kevin "Khao" Cates. A native of Montgomery, Alabama, Khao has made enormous advancements in the production of arithmetic sounds and melodies crossing various genres of music. His accomplishments include: various nominations such as Grammy for best Album(TI’s The King), American Music Award, Dead Serious Award, BET hip-hop Award and Billboard Award. He was the winner of the ASCAP Rhythm and Soul Award: For Best Rap Song in 2006 for T.I's “Why You Wanna".

Khao has worked with numerous artists such as R. Kelly, Ludacris, and Chingy just to name a few, but it wasn't his music this year that garner him the most attention. Khao was very instrumental in the election this year when he joined with Dr. Charles Steele, Jr. of the SCLC in a drive to register people to vote. This drive was called the Million March to Vote.

Please stay tune for these interviews and many more to come.


Wow....is all I can say right now. I bet you didn't realize when you first looked at that picture that both of those people were Rupaul. I know you probably was thinking the same thing I was thinking---I didn't know Rupaul could look like a man...GTFOH!!!! His impersonation is killing Tyra's...

BlackVoices.com obtained a copy of the gender bender's "Holiday Card," featuring him as President-elect Barack Obama and the future First Lady Michelle Obama.

"RuPaul celebrates the holidays and the history-making Obamas in a commemorative holiday card of presidential proportions," a spokesperson said.

This double-exposure opens the door for what he has in store with his latest showbiz endeavor.

RuPaul (nee Rupaul Andre Charles) will break new ground as the host, mentor and judge of one-of-a-kind reality competition: 'RuPaul's Drag Race,' which will be exclusively presented by Absolut Vodka when it premieres on Viacom's LOGO network Feb. 2.

Dec 16, 2008



Star-Studded Special Coincides with Organization's Centennial Nominations Announced Wednesday, January 7

Academy Award winner Halle Berry and critically acclaimed screenwriter/actor Tyler Perry will host the 40TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, broadcast live from Los Angeles' historic Shrine Auditorium, Thursday, Feb. 12 (8:00-10:00 PM ET live/PT tape-delayed) on FOX. The star-studded event, which coincides with the NAACP's 100th anniversary, is executive-produced by Vicangelo Bulluck and will kick off the organization's year-long centennial celebration. Previously announced honorees include Former Vice President Al Gore and Dr. Wangari Muta Maathai, who will both receive the Chairman's Award.

"We are extremely honored to have former Image Awards winners Ms. Halle Berry and Mr. Tyler Perry host this historic event," said Image Awards Chairperson Clayola Brown. "Halle and Tyler have broken many barriers in the entertainment industry. In this historic centennial year, their successes remind us of the immense progress that has been made in the last 100 years and gives us continued hope for the progress that our nation will achieve in the future."

"This year's show will air February 12, which is the 100th Anniversary of the NAACP to the day," added NAACP Hollywood Bureau Executive Director Vicangelo Bulluck, who serves as executive producer of the awards telecast. "This year's Image Awards is not just a special event, it is an historic occasion, and I hope all Americans will tune in. With Halle and Tyler as our hosts, I know our viewers are going to get a spectacular show."

Nominations for the annual awards show that recognizes the artistic achievements of people of color and honors projects and individuals that promote diversity in the arts will be announced Wednesday, Jan. 7 in Los Angeles. Performers and presenters on the 40TH NAACP IMAGE AWARDS will be announced shortly.



Critics and filmgoers first took notice of Halle Berry in her feature film debut in Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever," and she then went on to star opposite Warren Beatty in the socio-political comedy "Bulworth." For her brilliant performance in "Monster's Ball", she was honored with the Academy Award for Best Actress, the SAG Award, the Berlin Silver Bear Award, and was named Best Actress by the National Board of Review. Her other film credits include "Catwoman" and "Gothika," the psychological thriller that helped cement her status as an international box-office draw. In 2002, Berry starred opposite Pierce Brosnan in "Die Another Day," which celebrated the 40th anniversary of the James Bond franchise and went on to become the largest-grossing Bond film to date.

Other television credits include starring in the highly rated miniseries "Oprah Winfrey Presents: The Wedding," directed by Charles Burnett, as well as the title role in Alex Haley's miniseries "Queen." The latter performance earned Berry her first NAACP Image Award for Best Actress. Berry earned an Emmy, a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and an NAACP Image Award for her extraordinary performance in "Introducing Dorothy Dandridge," which she also produced. Berry is currently working on the psychological thriller "Frankie and Alice" alongside Stellan Skarsgrd. The film, which Berry stars in and serves as producer, centers on a young woman afflicted with a multiple-personality disorder who struggles to remain her true self and not give in to her racist alter-ego.

Currently, Berry is an International Spokesperson for Revlon, and devotes considerable time and support to numerous charitable and humanitarian causes and organizations.

Tyler Perry's inspirational journey from the hard streets of New Orleans to the heights of Hollywood's A-list is the stuff of American legend. Born into poverty and raised in a household scarred by abuse, Tyler fought from a young age to find the strength, faith and perseverance that would later form the foundations of his much-acclaimed plays, films, books and television shows.

In early 2005, Tyler's first feature film, "Diary of a Mad Black Woman," debuted at No. 1 nationwide and received four NAACP Image Awards nominations. By 2007, Tyler expanded his reach to television with the series "Tyler Perry's House of Payne," the highest-rated original cable sitcom of all time and top-rated new daily series in broadcast syndication in fall 2008. Also, adding to his accomplishments, Perry recently opened Tyler Perry Studios which is the first African-American owned studio in the country.

In addition, he has been intimately involved in civil rights cases, including the trial of the Jena 6 in his home state of Louisiana, as well as with charities that focus on helping the homeless including America's Second Harvest, the Atlanta Food Bank and Perry Placea 20-home community in New Orleans that Tyler built for survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Perry practices what he preaches, and what he preaches has endeared him to millions of fans drawn to his unique blend of spiritual hope and down-home humor that shapes his inspiring life and extraordinary body of work.

Founded on February 12, 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. For more information on the NAACP IMAGE AWARDS, please visit www.naacpimageawards.net.
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This is too funny. Jamie got the Terrance inpersonation down to a science. Hilarity at its fullest. Jamie Foxx is a fool...LOL!!!

Dec 15, 2008



I don't know if you've ever heard of the show the X-Factor, but it's pretty much Britain's version of American Idol and it also boosted the career of one Leona Lewis. Well, I've pretty much became addicted to the show this year because of one contestant and that's Ms. Alexandra Burke. Now although I can't watch the show over here in the States, I do go to ThatGrapeJuice.net to get my weekly updates. So you can believe how ecstatic I was when I heard my girl had won. She song "Listen" as a duet with Beyonce and must I say they brought the house down:



When Alexandra was announced the winner she gave the best reaction I've ever seen from someone on these talent shows. I thought Fantasia's reaction was timeless, but this sista took the cake with this one:



Here is Alexandra's debut single "Hallelujah":





This young lady is a star and I can't wait to see what becomes

Dec 14, 2008

If you are a person looking for a job may I suggest you check out the government. As a government worker, people are always asking me how to get in so I decided to drop a couple of tips on how to get a government job. Notes: These tips are not scientific but they are what worked for me.

Here's my tips:

1. Check out the website www.usajobs.gov and place a resume. All the job openings in the federal government will be located on this site.

2. The resume that you place on a government site is not your standard resume. A federal resume should be 3-5 pages and not the standard one page most people are use to (If you do not have the work experiences for three pages, then your resume may only be one or two pages long). A federal resume is much more comprehensive and detailed. The federal resume should be done in chronological format. Note: Your knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) are included in the 3-5 pages. If your KSAs are done electronically (on the agency's website) then you don't have to include them in the resume.

In the Federal government, the purpose of the resume is to “show” your qualifications so that you can be “certified” by the Human Resources office, by meeting eligibility requirements. This means that your resume needs to include more specifics and similar language as the vacancy announcement because the Human Resources Specialist is looking to see if you have the “specialized” or directly related experience requirements of the position for which you are applying.

3. Read the job vacancy announcement VERY carefully. Some agencies have their own requirements for presenting your experience. If a Federal resume is permitted, please read the format for constructing it. The Federal staffing specialist who reviews the resume for initial qualifications must know where, when and how long you were at the position mentioned, along with a lot of other information.

4. It is suggested that you develop a resume that covers about ten years, with lots of stories about what you did and how well you did it, or accomplishments. Focus on the position for which you are applying, in a way that best reflects your competencies for the position.

Pro's:

The government may not pay you as well as the private sector in the beginning, but eventually they do equal out. One of the most important things the government offers that the private sector doesn't is job security. With the economy the way it is, the factor of job security is priceless. Another factor you should consider when thinking about working for the government is the fact that the current work force is an aging work force and many qualify for retirement or "early" retirement. So your chances of getting a job are pretty high.

You can't beat the benefits. Enough said.

Con's:

The process can be pretty long depending on the need to have a particular position filled. I applied for my current job in June of 2004. I interviewed for the position in Decemeber of '04. I got a job offer in January and I started work in February. So you do the math...

If you have anymore questions about obtaining a government job please email me and I will try my best to help you.


OMG!!!!

Bush made a surprise visit to Iraq, but it looks like the surprise was on him. I just can't believe he was able to get both shoes off without secret service pummeling him. I may disagree with Bush on a lot of things, but this was totally unacceptable. They're lucky he didn't have a gun or something else. I hope those agents ain't on Obama's detail.

But on a sidenote, did you peep out how agile Bush is? Dude was ducking and dodging those shoes like a professional boxer...LOL!!!

Dec 13, 2008



On her house in Atlanta being foreclosed on:

ESSENCE.COM: (Laughs.) That is so sweet! Well, there have been reports that a Georgia property of yours is going into foreclosure. Is that true?

T-BOZ: No, I'm not homeless. During my last marriage [to Mack 10], I had a bunch of things that were put in my name. If one of those properties is going into foreclosure then I don't know. Although I've been divorced for five years, there are still a lot of things I'm dealing with on getting straight in that regard. All I know is that the house I live in with my daughter is not. When you pull up my name, my real house doesn't show up because it's not in my real name, because I enjoy my privacy and I'm not trying to have people be able to find me that easily.



How she deals with rumors:

ESSENCE.COM: Wow! So how do you combat the rumors?

T-BOZ: I let people say what they want to say. I really don't care. At the end of the day, none of these people are ever going to pay my bills or help get me out the hospital bed when I'm sick. That stuff is a waste of energy to me. You have to wonder if some of these bloggers lives are so bad that you have to harp on other people's problems and fabricate stories. If some of the things are true about people losing their homes, have some compassion because it could be any one of us one day. It's so ridiculous that you have to ask what is going on and half the battle begins with us as Black folks. If we don't sit together and make change and start to treat each other with more respect, then how are we going to help our President? He can't do this alone, so we have to come together and do better.


On her new man:

ESSENCE.COM: Speaking of which, you're a divorcee. Are you happy in a new relationship.

T-BOZ: Yes, I am. I am with Takeo Spikes. He's a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, No. 51. We've been dating for the past three years and I'm so happy. We are friends and he's so supportive of me and I support his career. He even raises funds for sickle cell because of me and I love him for that.


Click here to read the full Essence interview with T-Boz.


The story
U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. said Friday that he was fighting to get "my name back" after he was identified as "Senate Candidate 5" in a criminal complaint against Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Jackson, the son of famed civil rights leader Jesse Jackson and a six-term Democratic congressman from Chicago, had publicly sought to succeed President-elect Barack Obama in the U.S. Senate.

Jackson had talked to Blagojevich, the person with the sole power to make the appointment, on Monday, just one day before federal agents arrested the Illinois governor. Jackson said he only presented his credentials and polling information that suggests he could win re-election in 2010. Click here to read the full article.



I do believe that person is innocent until proven guilty. For Jesse Jr.'s sake I do pray he is telling the truth although I do think the allegations have pretty much narrowed his chances of being the one appointed to Obama's vacant senate seat. If he wants that senate seat he's just going to have to get it the old fashioned---he's going to have to run for it in 2010.

Dec 12, 2008


John Spink / jspink@ajc.com


In a shcoking turn of events, convicted murderer Brian Nichols managed to avoid the death penalty. He will now live out his life behind bars without the possibility of parole.

Nichols climbed the ranks of infamy when he escaped during his rape trial in 2005 and managed to killed the judge, court reporter, sherrif deputy, and an off-duty federal agent. 9 jurors voted for the death penalty while 3 voted for life without parole.

The jury had been deliberating for four days on Nichols' sentencing. The jury remained deadlocked in a vote of 9-3. Because Georgia law requires an unanimous verdict for a death sentence, Nichols will instead be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.


FAMU's prestigious marching band, the Marching 100rd, has been selected to participate in the inaugural events for President-elect Obama. Please click here to help them participate in this historic event.

Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated.


I have mix feelings about this Auto Bailout. I don't understand why Wall Street was given carte blanche when it came to money, but the Automobile industry is asked to jumped through major hoops. I do believe the top three should be restructured, but I don't think right now is the time for people to be playing politics with people's jobs. The Republican's are blaming the unions for the big 3's problems and the Democrat's are blaming the leadership. I just hope the American people pay attention to what is going on and hold these people accountable for whatever happens.

By a vote of 52 to 35 the Senate voted not to proceed to a bill to aid the U.S. automobile industry. 60 votes were needed to proceed to the bill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said there will be no bill to aid the U.S. automakers for now.


Read a summary of H.R. 7321 (Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act) after the jump so you can get a better understanding of what is going on. This is the Act that was passed overwhelmingly by the House but failed in the Senate.


Summary of H.R. 7321 (Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act)
(12/10/08)

President’s Designee – The President shall designate 1 or more officers in the Executive Branch with appropriate expertise (President’s Designee) to carry out the requirements of the Act. The President or the President’s Designee also may employ, appoint or contract with additional advisors.


Bridge Financing

��
Directs the President’s Designee to authorize and direct the disbursement of bridge loans or commitments for lines of credit to eligible auto manufacturers that submitted a plan to Congress on 12/2/08 (Chrysler, Ford, and GM) (Auto Manufacturers) from funds previously appropriated for Section 136 of the Energy Independence and Security Act.

��
Approximately $14 billion will be disbursed or committed for bridge financing.

��
No new funds will be available for bridge financing after the President’s Designee approves the Auto Manufacturer’s restructuring plan.


Assessment of Restructuring Progress – The President’s Designee must establish, not later than 1/1/09, appropriate measures to assess the progress of each Auto Manufacturer in developing a restructuring plan; and must evaluate the progress of each Auto Manufacturer against those measures in 45 days.


Restructuring Plan

��
Not later than 3/31/09, each Auto Manufacturer must submit to the President’s Designee a restructuring plan to achieve long-term viability, international competitiveness and energy efficiency, including repayment of government financing, compliance with applicable fuel efficiency and emissions requirements, achievement of positive net present value, rationalization of costs and capacity, and proposals for restructuring existing debt. The President’s Designee may provide financial assistance to an Auto Manufacturer to implement an approved restructuring plan.

��
The President’s Designee will facilitate agreement on a restructuring plan by the representatives of major stakeholders of each Auto Manufacturer.

��
If the President’s Designee determines that adequate progress is not being made to reach agreement on a restructuring plan, the President’s Designee will submit to Congress his own plan to achieve long-term viability for the Automobile Manufacturer.


Taxpayer Protections

��
Warrants: The President’s Designee may not provide any loan to an Automobile Manufacturer unless he receives from the Auto Manufacturer warrants for non-voting common stock or preferred stock equal to 20% of the loan amount. If the Automobile Manufacturer is privately held, as in Chrysler’s case, the government will receive warrants or the economic equivalent of warrants in Chrysler’s holding company or in Cerberus, the company that controls a majority stake in Chrysler.

��
Executive Compensation: All executive compensation restrictions of TARP apply to Auto Manufacturers receiving financial assistance for the duration of that assistance, plus: (1) no bonuses or incentives to 25 most highly paid employees; (2) stringent prohibition on golden parachutes; and (3) no compensation plan that could encourage manipulation of reported earnings to enhance compensation.

��
Dividends: Auto Manufacturers receiving financial assistance (including any holding company in case of Chrysler) generally may not pay dividends, distributions, or their economic equivalent for duration of the assistance.

��
Super Seniority: All other obligations of any Auto Manufacturer receiving loans (or in the case of Chrysler, Chrysler’s holding company or Cerberus) will be subordinate to those loans to the extent permitted by the terms of such obligations in effect as of 12/2/08. Auto Manufacturer will pledge all available security and collateral against the loans.

��
Discharge: In the event of a bankruptcy of an Automobile Manufacturer, the debts to the government from the financial assistance will not be dischargeable.

��
Aircraft: An Auto Manufacturer must divest and may not own or lease any private passenger aircraft while financial assistance is outstanding.


Loans Called for Failure to Achieve Approved Plan – If an Automobile Manufacturer fails to submit a restructuring plan that can be approved by the President’s Designee within the time provided by the Act, the loan will be called in 30 days, unless a restructuring plan is approved within that period.


Oversight – Provisions similar to GAO and Special IG oversight provisions of TARP apply, plus explicit grant to GAO of access to Auto Manufacturers’ records (including records of any subsidiary, affiliate, or majority stakeholder in case of Chrysler/Cerberus). Extensive reporting requirements from GAO, Special IG, and President’s Designee to Congress.


Allocation of Funds – The President’s Designee will prioritize allocation of financial assistance to Auto Manufacturers as follows:

��
For bridge loans, based in order on (1) necessity of the financial assistance, (2) potential impact of failure of the Auto Manufacturer on the U.S. economy, and (3) ability to utilize the financial assistance optimally.

��
For any long-term financial assistance, based in order on (1) ability to utilize the financial assistance optimally, (2) potential impact of failure of the Auto Manufacturer on the U.S. economy, and (3) necessity of the financial assistance.


Terms and Conditions of Loans

��
Term: 7 years (or longer as may be determined by the President’s Designee).

��
Interest Rate: 5% for first 5 years and 9% thereafter.

��
No prepayment penalty.

��
Full Information Access: Automobile Manufacturers (including the majority stakeholder in case of Chrysler/Cerberus) receiving loans are required to provide the President’s Designee access to all information that may be relevant to monitor the interests of the government.

��
Oversight of Transactions and Financial Condition: For duration of the loan, the President’s Designee may review and prohibit any asset sale, investment, contract, or commitment proposed to be entered into by the Auto Manufacturer valued in excess of $100 million if inconsistent with or detrimental to long-term viability.

��
Consequences for Failure to Comply: The President’s Designee may accelerate repayment of a loan or cancel other financial assistance of an Automobile Manufacturer if (1) the President’s Designee determines that the Automobile Manufacturer has failed to make adequate progress towards developing a restructuring plan, (2) the Automobile Manufacturer fails to submit an acceptable restructuring plan or fails comply with any other applicable condition or requirement of the loan program, or (3) the Automobile Manufacturer fails to make adequate progress in the implementation of an approved restructuring plan.


Energy Efficient Advanced Technology Vehicles: Reserves $500 million in credit subsidy equal to $1.5 billion for Section 136 loans (manufacturing energy efficient advanced technology vehicles), and thorizes additional appropriations to replenish Section 136 funds.


Fuel Efficiency and Emissions Requirements: Restructuring plan will not be approved unless the President’s Designee determines that the plan will result in the ability of the Automobile Manufacturer to comply with applicable fuel efficiency and emissions requirements. In addition, the President’s Designee may accelerate repayment of a loan or cancel other financial assistance if the Automobile Manufacturer fails to comply with applicable fuel efficiency and emissions requirements after 3/31/09.


Transit: Each Automobile Manufacturer will analyze the potential use of excess production capacity to manufacture vehicles (including buses and rail cars) for sale to public transit agencies. Also includes provisions to guarantee leases of qualified public transit agencies.


(AP Photo / Mike Derer / File)

Lisa Jackson, a chemical engineering graduate of Princeton University, is being eyed by President-elect Obama to become the first African American to head the Environmental Protection Agency. I don't know what I am more excited about---the fact that she is black or the fact that she is a fellow chemical engineer.

Here is what is being reported on Ms. Jackson:

Supporters say Jackson, 46, has the experience to steer the agency down a new path. She spent 16 years at the EPA in Washington and in New York before being hired at the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection in 2002, an agency that has been riddled by budget cuts and personnel shortages. Jackson was named the head of the department in 2006 by Gov. Jon Corzine, overseeing environmental regulation in a state plagued by pollution problems and home to the most hazardous waste sites in the country. She left earlier this month to take a job as Corzine's chief of staff.

In her short tenure, Jackson has worked to pass mandatory reductions in greenhouse gases, to reform the state's cleanup of contaminated sites and to establish a scientific advisory board to review agency decisions.

But, Jackson also has her detractors. A small but vocal contingent of environmental advocacy groups came out against Jackson last week, asking President-elect Barack Obama to drop her as a candidate.

In a letter to the transition team, the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, a group that represents environmentally-minded state and federal employees, said it was "distressed" that Jackson was under consideration.

The group said that while Jackson had "a compelling biography" — she grew up in New Orleans' gritty Lower Ninth Ward — her record at the Department of Environmental Protection did not warrant a promotion. As evidence, they cited an EPA inspector general report that found that New Jersey failed to use its authority to expedite cleanups at seven hazardous waste sites. The state also has been criticized by federal wildlife officials for failing to adopt standards for pesticides and other toxic chemicals that protect wildlife and for delays in meeting its greenhouse gas emissions targets.

DEP officials, in response to those allegations, said Jackson inherited many of the problems, and that in the case of global warming the state was getting back on track. (Source)


Dec 11, 2008



I am loving this song. The "overweight lover" is definitely in the house. Peep Ms. Nia Long in the video looking fabulous as usual.
***Sunday, January 18th

Welcome event opened to the public.

***Monday, January 19th - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Will be a day dedicated to community service in which both the President-elect and the Vice President-elect's families will participate.

***Tuesday, January 20th - Inauguration Day

This day includes the swearing in ceremony at the West Front of the United States Capitol, a luncheon in the Capitol's Statuary Hall, the 56th Inaugural Parade, and official Inaugural Balls. Details about Inaugural Balls will be released on a later date.

***Wednesday, January 21st

Prayer Service

For more information go to www.pic2009.org.

Dec 10, 2008





Grammy Award winning singer Toni Braxton had a benign tumor removed from her breast a week before the Dancing with the Stars Finale. This was not Toni's first health scare; earlier this year she had to cancel her Vegas show due to issues related to her heart.

Here is what the AJC is reporting:

Braxton says she knew about the tumor before she appeared on the ABC show. She scheduled the surgery after being eliminated from the competition on Oct. 20.

She tells Us Weekly magazine in its issue out Friday: "Getting the boot on the show was actually a blessing in disguise for me. My grandmother on my dad's side died of breast cancer, and I have aunts on both sides that have breast cancer."

Though Braxton is still recovering, she is scheduled to appear on the "Dancing With the Stars" tour, which begins Dec. 17 in San Diego.

Dec 9, 2008

Can someone please tell me what the hell Gov. Rod Blagojevich (Illinois) was thinking? This greedy fool was trying to auction off Obama's seat to the highest bidder. We are talking about one of the most watched vacant senate seats and Blagojevich actually thought he could get away with auctioning it off. Now if that ain't gangsta then I don't know what gangsta is. I don't know what is going on with the governors of Illinois. First Gov. George Ryan is convicted on raceteering and fraud charges and now you have Blagojevich and his chief of staff acting a fool. Of course people are going to try and correlate this latest scandal to Obama even though the governor has been under investigation for the past few years. This latest event is only a culmination of the case that federal prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald had been building against him.

Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, are being charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and another count of solicitation of bribery.

Blagojevich was alledgedly trying to sell or trade Obama's vacant senate seat in exhange for benefit for himself and his wife.

The arrest of the governor does however leave the appointment of Obama's successor up in the air. I'm pretty sure Jesse Jr. and Tammy Duckworth are setting on pins and needles. I wonder if either one of them made a offer on the seat. If Blagojevich had been smart he would have just appointed himself to the seat and called it a day.

This is a damn shame on massive proportions!!!!!

****UPDATE 3:45 pm EST

Things might be looking a little better for Obama, but it may be a little shaky for Jesse Jr. and all the other candidates. Let's just hope the candidates weren't willing to wheel and deal with the governor but then again this is politics we're talking about so there's no point in being hopeful.

The Illinois senate needs to call a special election and allow the citizens of Illinois to appoint the replacement to President elect Obama.

Dec 8, 2008

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*****CRICKETS*********

I love me some Keyshia Cole God knows I do, but can someone please explain to me what in the sea otter hell is going on with that wig she has on? I don't even want to talk about the outfit because I didn't make it past the wig. What's going on with my girl? She was beginning to get her fabulous chic look on and now she reverts back to this. I'm confused...

Dec 7, 2008




The AJC.com has done a complete write up on how former NFL star Michael Vick burned through his millions. From bad investments to trying to take care of everyone, his spending was a recipe for disaster. His life should be used as a cautionary tale for anyone that is in a position like his. I don't have a problem with a person taking care of his/her mother, but you can't take care of your entire family at the expense of your future and the future of your children.

Here is a snippet of what the AJC is reporting:

The day he went to jail, Michael Vick bought a $99,000 Mercedes.

He cashed four checks that totaled $24,900. He gave $28,000 to the mother of his oldest child. He paid a public relations firm $23,000 and gave a friend $16,000.

Altogether on Nov. 19, 2007, Vick spent $201,840. But for the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback, the day was most remarkable for how it ended: behind bars, beginning what would be a nearly two-year sentence in a notorious dogfighting case.

The day’s spending, in fact, was but a small part of the $18.2 million that flew out of Vick’s hands from 2006 to 2008, according to documents filed recently in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Norfolk, Va. Nearing the end of his time in federal prison, Vick, 28, is seeking the court’s protection from his creditors.

They are particularly interested in his increased spending in the three months before he reported for jail.

The documents provide a detailed look at the privileged lifestyle of an athlete who rarely offered more than a glimpse of himself off the playing field. They show how Vick, who grew up poor in Newport News, Va., bought houses and cars, farms and horses, boats and jewelry, all at the height of a spectacular career that shattered after he was identified as the key figure in an illegal dogfighting ring.

The bankruptcy filings also reveal Vick at his most vulnerable. Financial advisers, Vick’s lawyers claim, took advantage of him. He poured money into businesses that failed. He took care of the needs of his relatives, paying for satellite television and cellphone service, for instance, and his mother’s offerings to her church. He even gave each of his three co-defendants in the dogfighting case $150,000 for legal bills.

For his own expenses, Vick seems to have relied heavily on cash.

In 2007, documents show, he used cashier’s checks to withdraw $908,500 from his bank accounts. During a two-year period, he wrote checks payable to “cash” totaling almost $1.1 million.

His spending escalated as his prison sentence neared.

From Aug. 27, 2007, the day he pleaded guilty in a Richmond federal courthouse, until Nov. 19, the day he bought the new Mercedes before reporting to jail, Vick shelled out $3,627,291.



Here is what the AJC had to say about his lifestyle prior to the dogfighting charges:

Not long after joining the Falcons, Vick bought his first house: a $918,000 mini-mansion behind the gates that guard the Sugarloaf Country Club in Duluth. Two years later, in April 2005, he upgraded to a larger house in the same neighborhood, for almost $3.8 million. Among his improvements to that property: a movie screening room and a golf simulator.

Vick had money to burn. In 2004, after two seasons with the Falcons, he signed a new contract that, with potential bonuses, could pay him $130 million by 2013. Endorsement deals — with Nike, AirTran Airways and others — added millions more. In 2006 and 2007 alone, Vick took in almost $22 million.

So, court records show, Vick went shopping.

He bought four more houses, all in Virginia, and began building another.

He bought a condominium in Miami Beach.

He bought interests in two farms — one in Virginia, one in Rockdale County, east of Atlanta.

He bought six Paso Fino horses, worth about $450,000.

He bought two boats, one for $100,000, the other for $125,000.

He bought cars: a Bentley, two Land Rovers, Cadillacs, an Infiniti sport utility vehicle and an Infiniti sedan, two Ford pickup trucks, a Dodge, a Chevrolet, the $99,000 Mercedes.

And he bought as much as $450,000 in jewelry. The pieces included two Swiss watches, a bracelet, a pair of diamond stud earrings, and a charm inscribed, “World is mine.”

Vick shared with family and friends and with family of friends.

In 2006, for instance, he bought his sister, Christina, a GMC Yukon. The next year, he gave a Lincoln Navigator to Tameka Taylor, the mother of his first child. The mother of Vick’s other two children, Kijafa Frink, got a Land Rover; her mother, a Cadillac Escalade.

Vick also took on recurring obligations. He paid Frink’s mortgage and gave her $1,000 a month for clothes, court records say, and $300 for “beauty-related expenses.” He supported Taylor and their son with $3,500 a month.

For his mother, Brenda Boddie, Vick covered a $4,700-a-month mortgage and $2,100 in payments for her two Cadillacs.

In all, routine monthly bills for the mothers of Vick’s children and for his own mother came to $31,293 — more than $375,000 a year.



Click here to read the full in its entirety.