alicia

Last Word: Alicia Keys, Spike Lee, Beyonce, BET and even Afroman!

What’s good people? Here’s to another week gone by. We made it through in one piece. Hopefully, you stayed cool and got out of the crazy heat. Other than people eulogizing the N-word and going wild over the new Harry Potter movie, it was another week in “paradise.”  Thoughts and prayers go out to KRS-One and his wife for the death of their son Randy. And the usual shout out to the sounding boards, for being real with the commentary. So here it is… The Last Word for the week ending 7/13/07.   1. Mookie Does the Right Thing Overseas Those of you who thought Spike Lee is no longer the fired up filmmaker he was during his Do the Right Thing/Malcom X phase, guess again. The director let off a few shots at the Bush administration for its foreign policy and Hollywood for being “led astray, bamboozled, hornswaggled,” (you know the rest) on Monday (July 9), when he showed up to receive the 41st Fiesole Masters of Cinema Award in Fiesole, Italy.  “My last feature film, ‘Inside Man,’ was my most successful so far, and I was naive enough to think that meant I could go from there and make any film I wanted to make,” Lee told the crowd. “But I was very, very wrong about that. Anybody who thinks that I’ve become part of the mainstream doesn’t understand the way it works.” So we’re safe to assume that the Academy is polishing Lee’s future Oscar for Best Director, right? Maybe not, as the Associated Press reported that Lee predicted his Oscar would be received only when he’s so old that he would have to be pushed onstage in a wheelchair to get it.  I know Radio Raheem is smiling from above knowing his spirit lives on in the Mook Man. Fight the Power Mookie ! 2. Alicia Keys Plotting Musical Return in October The environment wasn’t the only thing put on notice at last week’s Live Earth Concert in East Rutherford, NJ. Alicia Keys let her fans know that she is on the way back as she debuted “The Thing About Love,” a new tune from her forthcoming album As I Am. Although the J Records release, which features cameos from Floetry member Marsha Ambrosius and John Mayer, will feature plenty of Hip-Hop soul for the masses, listeners will catch a different vibe, according to Billboard.com, which described the album as having more of a rock and funk-edged feel.  Still, Keys seems to be reveling in her new creative turn, as she collaborated with noted songwriter Linda Perry for the project and hooked up with producers Mark Batson, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, and Harold Lilly Jr. for beats.  “My roots are soul, hip-hop and jazz. She’s rock, but soulful as well,” the piano-playing hitmaker shared with Billboard, adding that the Perry sessions were not quite the same old thing. “Together we’re talking worldwide domination.” For those of you wondering, the album is slated to hit stores on Oct. 23.  3. Another “Mess” BET Has Gotten Itself Into More than a week before its premiere, BET’s newest show Hot Ghetto Mess is drawing negative heat, as critics are speaking out against the Charlie Murphy-hosted series.  As a result, the network has found itself without at least two of its advertisers for the show. According to reports, State Farm Insurance Cos. and the Home Depot released statements that confirmed their request to remove their ads from Hot Ghetto Mess and a Web site that promotes the series. Although BET would not specifically say which advertisers dropped out, the channel released its own statement addressing the situation. “A few of our clients have asked to move to other programming dayparts, and we simply accommodated their request,” the statement said.  Hot Ghetto Mess, adapted from the popular web site hotghettomess.com, has raised the ire of critics who say the show promotes racial stereotypes with its viewer-submitted home videos and BET-produced man-on-the-street interviews. An online petition against the show has collected more than 2,000 signatures.  Despite the criticism, BET and hotghettomess.com creator Jam Donaldson, an executive producer on the show, says in a press release from the network that the photos and footage featured on the show are intended to challenge and inspire viewers “to improve themselves and their communities.” “Is my goal to discuss these issues in a format and context that makes people who don’t watch the channel comfortable, or do it in a way that engages the 18- to 34-year-old viewer and makes them really think about these things?” BET President of entertainment Reginald Hudlin told the Hollywood Reporter. Uh, yeah. Stay tuned to see how long Hot Ghetto Mess will survive after its July 25 premiere.  4. Beyonce Administers Some Goodwill to Injured Fans With a major tour underway, it would be hard to catch Beyonce not enjoying some quality me time away from the stage. But after hearing about two fans who were injured by pyrotechnics from her recent concert in St. Louis, the singer took it upon herself to pay a special visit to Barnes-Jewish Hospital after the show ended.  The Associated Press reports that concertgoers were injured after pyro that was meant for the stage accidentally shot out into the front row. Beyonce spent about 45 minutes at the hospital, chatting with the fans, who are expected to make a full recovery, according to head nurse Darryl Williams. “She was just very concerned about the people injured in the audience,” Williams said. “It was unannounced, and we kept it very low-key so that she could spend time with them. I just thought it was a great thing for someone of her stature to do.”  Nuff said.  5. Afroman Is Waiting to Inhale His First Film Afroman may not have much in common with Whitney Houston, but he does share a common title for his first feature film…or rather an indirect similarity.  “I am supplying the key ingredients for the movie Waiting to Inhale,” Afroman told the Associated Press about the movie, which is described as a spoof of Houston’s 1995 vehicle Waiting to Exhale. And if you’re wondering if the man behind the stoner anthem “Because I Got High” has abandoned his music fanbase, don’t worry. Waiting to Inhale is also the title of Afroman’s latest album.  Although “Because I Got High” was a hit that provided a moment of celebrity, the man born Joseph Foreman isn’t scheming to become a permanent overnight sensation.”One thing I like about being Afroman is that nobody really cares,” he said. “I’m not Paris Hilton or nobody. The benefits of being nobody.”Thank goodness for that. I mean you can only get high for so long… right? 

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