The Last Word: Tyrese Becomes a Comic, The Return of Old School R&B and Amy Winehouse’s Life Debuts In a Documentary!

What’s shakin’ everybody? As we get ready to enjoy the three

day Memorial Day weekend, let’s reminisce over Michael Vick being released from

prison, the discovery of a 47-million-year-old primate fossil known as Ida and

Kris Allen stunning American Idol followers

with his surprise win over Adam Lambert.

 

Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of

Atlanta-based rapper Dolla, who died Monday (May 18) at an upscale mall in LA

after a dispute with another man, former NBA star and jazz musician Wayman

Tisdale, who died Friday (May 15) after a two-year battle with cancer and Wayne

Allwine, the actor that provided the voice of Mickey Mouse for more than 30

years, who also died Monday.

 

Shouts go out to Jamie Foxx, whose latest hit, “Blame It,”

set the all-time record on the Urban Mainstream chart with 12 consecutive weeks

at # 1 and actress Sandra Bullock, who was recently inducted in to the Warren

Easton High School Hall of Fame after donating what the Associated Press labeled as “tens of thousands of dollars” toward

rebuilding the New Orleans school that was heavily flooded by Hurricane

Katrina.

 

And let’s not forget the sounding boards, who always seem to

know where to go for a good time or three.

 

Ladies and Gents…the Last Word for the week ending May 22,

2009.

 

1. Tyrese Causes Mayhem In New Comic Book Series

 

First, he showed us he could sing. Then he displayed his

charisma as an actor on the big screen. After that, he revealed his rhyming

skills as his rapper Black Ty. Now, Tyrese Gibson is showing his latest talent

with the creation of Mayhem, a new

three-issue comic book series from Image Comics.

 

Set in Los Angeles, Mayhem features Big X, a mysterious crime boss who leads a brutal crime wave

on the city. When police are unable to stop Big X, a faceless vigilante named

Mayhem steps up to restore order with the help of his partner Malice.

 

To help construct the limited series, Tyrese recruited noted

comic book artists Tone Rodriguez and co-writers Mike Le & William Wilson.

According to the entertainer, aligning with Image was the perfect way to get

his latest endeavor off the ground.

 

“Image has a long and rich history of great titles and I am

honored to be apart of that history,” Gibson said in statement. “Robert

Kirkman’s and Eric Stepheson’s input throughout this creative process has been

invaluable and I know we’ve produced a special comic book for all fans to

enjoy.”

 

Known as one of the four largest comic book publishers in

America, Image is home to such comic series as Spawn, Witchblade, WildC.A.T.s and the Savage

Dragon.

 

The first issue of Tyrese’s Mayhem comic book series is priced at $2.99 and will arrive

in stores Aug. 5.

 

2.  Next

Member Earns Restraining Order from Ex-Girlfriend

 

Times must be hard for at least one member of the group

Next. According to TMZ, a restraining order was taken out against Raphael

Shawan Brown by Nikki Giavasis.

 

The order stemmed from an incident last week involving

Brown. According to Giavasis, the singer tried to enter the gate of her

community in the San Fernando Valley. It was there that Brown was arrested on

an outstanding warrant. While some may wonder why the crooner was trying to

enter the community to see Giavasis, the answer is simple. They were an item

years ago.

 

So much so, that Giavasis invested $300,000 in Next. She further

stated that Brown had written her a check to pay her back but it bounced. After

they broke up a year ago, Giavasis says that Brown repeatedly harassed her,

allegedly broke into her house and stole her $700 shoes and a $1,000 handbag.

 

Man, this is crazy. I guess you could say he got a little

too close to someone that could’ve been his wifey.

 

3.  Amy

Winehouse Stars in Complicated Documentary

 

You knew it was coming. It was only a matter of time before

the Amy Winehouse story was told on a wide scale. In this case, it’s a

documentary helmed by Israeli-American interviewer Daphne Barak

 

According to a post on Winehouse’s MySpace blog, the film

will chronicle the time Barak spent recently with Amy and her family in St.

Lucia, as it describes the project as 

“a truthful and revealing look at her complicated life” in “true honest

to goodness Amy style.”

 

Barak’s website features pictures from the outing as well as

a clip of the documentary, which will be released this year. The journalist

provided a sneak peak into her time with Winehouse as she provided the Sunday

Times with entries from a diary she kept on

the experience.

 

From what she remembers, Amy was not in top form as she

notes seeing the embattled vocalist transition carry on like an

attention-starved child as she replaces her well-documented drug addiction with

something new.

 

“When she comes back, she peers at my green cocktail and

asks what’s in it. I say: “You wouldn’t like it — it’s not sweet.” She

tries it and makes a face. “Does it have alcohol?” she asks. I admit it does,”

Barak wrote. “Within seconds she has drained two-thirds of my glass. Mitch and

I exchange glances. Has she swapped one addiction — to heroin and crack

— for another?

 

“…I present her with a set of lip glosses that I’ve brought

as a gift, but she can’t open the little box and quickly loses patience. When I

open it for her, she asks one of her security men to bring her a lip pencil and

then shakily tries to outline her lips…She looks at me hesitantly, unsure what

to say. It’s as if the grown-up world is too complicated for her. When I thank

her for dinner, she is visibly relieved and hugs me ferociously.”

 

Although she’s noted for interviewing other celebrities as

well as royalty, world leaders, and international personalities, I doubt that

Barak has chatted with someone as complicated as Miss Winehouse. Docs are cool,

but I’m waiting for Hollywood to give Amy’s story the red carpet treatment.

 

So who would you want to see portray Amy on the big screen?

Is there someone that cold truly bring her good and bad sides to light in a way

that truthfully gives us a glimpse at what’s going on with this lady ?

 

4.  Al B.

Sure! Makes Hidden Beach Return to Music; The Commodores Prepare for ’09

Reunion

 

Attention all old school R&B fans. The Commodores are

getting back together. And it may be sooner than you think if you ask Lionel Richie.

 

The hitmaker, who is on tour promoting his latest solo

album, Just Go, let the cat out of the

bag as he admitted to constantly being asked about plans and rumors regarding

the reunion of his former group.

 

“It’s the No. 1 question we get,” Richie confessed to

Billboard.com about the long-promised reunion. “I can honestly tell you

before the end of the year, for sure, you’ll hear a rumble. I think now might

be the proper time.”

 

And if that doesn’t get you excited, maybe the thought of Al

B. Sure! Coming back on the scene may hit you. The singer/songwriter, who is

signed with Hidden Beach Recordings, is preparing to release his first album in

more than 15 years. The 13- track project, titled Honey I’m Home, will center around themes of love, romance and

relationships as it features ten original songs written and co-produced by

Sure!, two cover tunes (Sting’s “Fragile” and Michael Jackson’s

“Lady in My Life”) and an interlude version of Sure!’s first No. 1

R&B hit, the 1988 classic “Nite and Day.”

 

Honey I’m Home is

In Effect Mode 2009 on

steroids,” Sure! told Billboard

while referencing his hit debut album and alluding to a more mature mindstate

this time around. “I didn’t want to do a trendy record or sound like

everyone else. This is the grown-up version of me and all that I’ve experienced

in the interim.”

 

For those that don’t know, Sure! has kept himself busy over

the last few years by writing and producing on releases from various artists

such as David Bowie, Richie Sambora, Faith Evans and Usher.

 

Al B. Sure’s Honey I’m Home is slated to hit stores on June 23. The lead single from the project,

“I Love It (Papi Aye, Aye, Aye),” which is available now on iTunes.

Those interested in pre-ordering the album can visit hiddenbeach.com/albsure.

 

In Other Words…

 

* Eva Longoria is Mexican and proud of it. So much so that

she’s making it known that she wants to play Maria Felix in a film about the

revered Mexican film actress’ life.

 

“I’d love to adapt the story of Maria Felix. I think she’s

the icon of Mexican cinema, and I would love to bring her story to life,”

Longoria told the New York Daily News. “

I’m very proud of being Mexican-American, so I celebrate it as much as

possible.”

 

* Ciara is doing her part to make sure her young fans get

the supplies they need for school by teaming up with www.DoSomething.org and

Selena Gomez for a new public service announcement. The PSA, which will air on

Channel One, BusRadio, MySpace, Facebook and TV and radio stations nationwide,

will promote the second annual National Do Something 101 School Supply Drive.

The effort is designed to help encourage teens to make a difference by

collecting school supplies for kids in need and dropping them off at their

local Staples store.     

 

Beginning in July, Staples customers can donate $1 for the

cause at any Staples store through September. One hundred percent of the

proceeds from the effort will kids in need.

 

* Vanessa Williams is coming back to the world of music as

she gears up for the release of her forthcoming album, The Real Thing. The project, Williams’ first musical offering since

2005’s Everlasting Love, is a

collection of classic and original songs that were inspired by jazz and Latin

music.

 

“I wanted to do something with kind of a Brazilian

feel,” the singer/actress told Billboard.com. “It’s kind of a hybrid

of samba, bossa nova, some salsa and also some pop and R&B.”

 

Look for The Real Thing to

hit stores next month.

 

* Bishop Eddie Long is countering negative images found on

television and film with his new company, Bell Town Productions. According to

reports, the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church senior pastor will partner

with actor/writer/director Robert Townsend to produce uplifting and positive

films, television shows, web based programming and mobile content.

 

The duo’s first project will involve producing The Gospel

Music Theatre, a web-based half-hour series inspired by real life situations

and featuring musical performances.

 

* Former NFL player Michael Strahan has become the latest

sports star to crossover into acting. USA Today reports the sports figure will star in Brothers, a new sitcom picked up by Fox for its fall line up.

Strahan will play a former NFL player [big stretch] who returns home to

Houston, spars with his wheelchair-bound brother (Daryl “Chill”

Mitchell), the owner of a struggling restaurant, and deals with his parents, a

conservative high-school coach (Rocky’s Carl Weathers) and scheming mom (The

Shield’s CCH Pounder).

 

* America Ferrera is looking to open the floor up for a

discussion on the effects of the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with her

new movie The Dry Land. The film centers

on the challenges a young man faces in readapting to life in a small town

following a tour of duty.

 

According to Ferrera, the U.S. “should have an honest

discussion about the effects that war has on our society, on the men who come

back, on the families that are broken from it.” The Ugly Betty star is hopeful The Dry Land comes as a labor of love for the actor, who serves

as a producer on the film as well as its star.

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