What’s going on, good folks? A historic week it was with
Barack Obama being sworn in as the 44th President of the US, Hillary Clinton
being confirmed as the new Secretary of State and Caroline Kennedy taking her
name out of the running for Hillary’s NY Senate seat.
Congratulations to Kimora Lee Simmons and Djimon Hounsou,
who are reportedly expecting their first child together and legendary R&B
singer Bobby Womack, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Shout out to the sounding boards for being inspired to make
history on their own.
And now the next chapter of…the Last Word for the week
ending Jan. 23, 2009.
1. Akon Forgets His Age (Sort Of)
Looks like Akon is taking that Aaliyah song, “Age Ain’t
Nothing but a Number,” to heart.
Media sources report the hitmaker has no idea how old he is,
despite the fact that he has a birth certificate. Think Akon is worried about
all this? Think again.
“All it’s going to do is depress me,” the crooner told The
Associated Press. “I don’t want to know I’m
getting older. Then I’ll start to think about getting checkups and insurance. I
don’t want that.”
Although sources believe his age ranges from 25 to
35-years-old, Akon himself stated he was 25 in 2006. Now the vocalist claims
that his birth certificate lists April 16, 1977 as the date he was born. So
that would put him at 31-years-old.
Still, Akon maintains he never knew his age despite being
born in the U.S. and spending a portion of his childhood in Senegal. This isn’t
a big deal for him, because “In Africa … age is not important over there.”
“They don’t care. People only focus on it here (America) and
in Europe,” said Akon, who revealed that he just gives the first number that
comes to mind when people ask him his age.
Akon may not know how old he is, but when you, “Get in
before the sun sets/you ain’t a rookie, you a super vet/sleepin’ in the chair
every chance you geeeeet!’
Hey-ey-ey… You’re so old.”
I’m just sayin’.
2. Chris Rock Invades Sundance with Good Hair; Reflects
on Obama Inauguration
Chris knows a thing or two about hair and he wants share it
with everyone. Which is why the comedian is screening his new film Good Hair at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
The documentary, which is one of 16 entries in the event’s
U.S. documentary competition, features Rock as he explores cultural pressures
that motivate Blacks into utilizing costly and painful means to take care of
their hair. Among the places visited are the Bronner brothers hair show in
Atlanta, neighborhood salons, businesses dealing in hair-care products and
India, where human hair is a huge export industry for hair weaves.
In addition, the film will feature Rock’s trademark humor
while raising serious questions about identity and equality among Black women
who feel they need long, straight, silky hair to fit into White society.
Rappers Eve and Ice-T make cameos in Good Hair along with fellow celebrities Maya Angelou, the Rev. Al Sharpton,
Raven-Symone and Tracie Thoms.
Rock, who got the idea for Good Hair in the mid-1990s during a standup tour through
Atlanta, serves as a producer and co-writer on the documentary. Although Good
Hair will eventually air on HBO, Rock and
those who worked with him are thinking about releasing the feature in theaters
And while he enjoys the positive reaction to his film, Rock
didn’t let President Obama’s inauguration go unnoticed.
“Excellent Black people have always been compensated for
excellence. Always,” Rock told the AP
while joking that, “The real equality is when we can have a Black President as
dumb as George Bush.”
“That’s when we’re really equal. That’s when the dream has
3. Eva Mendes Named Most Desirable Actress
Question: If you could wife Eva Mendes, would you give it a
second thought? According to the AskMen.com, the answer is No as the entertainer was named the website’s most
desirable actress of 2009.
Mendes earned the top spot on the AskMen.com poll, which
asked readers who they thought would make the best wife or girlfriend. More
than ten million votes were collected.
“Obviously good looks are one quality but intelligence,
ambition and humor also count,” AskMen.com Editor-in-Chief James Bassil told
Reuters about those who made the final cut.
Who did Eva beat to become the most desirable? Well, the Top
10 was comprised of Megan Fox (2), Marisa Miller (3), Keeley Hazell (4), Anne
Hathaway (5), Alessandra Ambrosio (6), Scarlett Johansson (7), Rihanna (8),
Kristen Bell (9) and Kate Beckinsale (10).
So who is your most desirable actress? Would any of these
ladies make your Top 10 or would it be a whole new group of females? Eva is
good, but is there anybody better?
Let the voting begin!
4. Rihanna Becomes an Enemy of the PAS
Rihanna may be one of the hottest artists out now, but the
hit-making diva’s status is becoming a liability as the Pan-Malaysian Islamic
party (PAS) is stepping up efforts to ban Miss Fenty from performing in
A new report from the group claims Rihanna’s performance for
Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 13 would be an insult to Asian values. In addition, PAS
believes that those who buy tickets to the show are contributing to the U.S.’
“Whether Rihanna realizes it or not, we know that the taxes
she has paid also contributed to the war in Gaza,” said the party’s youth wing
leader Kamaruzaman Mohamad, who told the Malaysian newspaper the Star that the concert would be “akin to insulting Eastern
culture, belittling local artistes, internationally causing losses to the
country’s economy and supporting Israel’s war policy, which is supported by
Rihanna isn’t the first artist to come under fire for
performing in Malaysia. Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne and the Pussycat Dolls have
encountered the strict rules lawmakers have set for female performers, which
require that they take the stage in apparel that covers them from their
shoulders to their knees.
Despite PAS’ protest, Rihanna made an effort earlier this
month to comply by abandoning her skin-baring wardrobe agreeing to obey
5. Morgan Freeman Integrates High School Prom
Eleven years of leading efforts to integrate proms for Black
and White high school students came to a head as Morgan Freeman debuted his new
documentary Prom Night in
Mississippi at the Sundance Film Festival
The actor was motivated to finance a dance for all races at
Charleston High School in his native Mississippi after hearing about the
school’s segregated proms in 1997. Although students were willing to give it a
go, parents and school board members ignored Freeman’s offer to integrate the
“It’s kind of disheartening,” the actor expressed. “In the
little town we live in – this is a really small town – I don’t know
how you can live in such a small place and try to be separate.”
Fortunately, cameras were rolling as Freeman made the
initial pitch to the school board 11 years ago. The board ultimately honored
the actor’s request last year. Cameras continued to follow Freeman and the
students as they prepared for Charleston High’s first mixed race prom.
Prom Night in Mississippi is one of a series of documentaries featured in Sundance’s world
documentary competition. Overall, Freeman spent about $17,000 to make the
integrated prom a reality. Footing the bill for the event was a non-issue as
the Oscar winner took it all in stride when he said it was “money very well
spent” that may hopefully result in future integrated proms.
6. Mariah Carey Makes Beautiful Music with Nick Cannon’s
You’ve got to hand it to Nick Cannon. He loves his wife
Mariah Carey. So much so that he called her his “hero” when introducing her at
Barack Obama’s Neighborhood Ball on Tuesday (Jan. 20).
And Mariah loves Nick. Which is why she’s spreading that
love to his brother Reuben? E! News reports the vocalist will lend a voice to
Reuben’s forthcoming album, which is halfway done and slated to come out next
later this year.
“Reuben and Mariah are doing a duet together for Reuben’s
first album,” an industry source said. “They are meeting at the end of the
month with Mariah’s record label, Universal Music Group, to seal the deal, and
Reuben is thrilled.”
I guess a hero’s work is never done. That’s our Mimi. Able
to hit high notes in a single breath while making the world a better place for
you and your relatives to earn a decent shot at becoming the biggest
entertainer at their apartment complex or family reunion.
In Other Words…
* Acting icon James Earl Jones will be honored with the Life
Achievement Award at this year’s Screen Actor’s Guild (SAG) Awards. The event
will be simulcast live at 8 p.m. EST on TNT and TBS. Jones, who has made his
mark in television, stage and films such as The Great White Hope, the Star Wars films, Coming to America
and The Lion King, is being
recognized by SAG for “fostering the finest ideals of the acting profession.”
* If you didn’t get anything out of heeding Barack Obama’s
call to volunteer on MLK Day, you can at least take comfort in knowing that the
stars rolled up their sleeves to do their part to honor the legacy of Dr. King.
Among those who were out and about was Usher, who visited
Simon Elementary School in southeast Washington D.C on Monday (Jan. 19)
afternoon. The singer spent his time encouraging grade-schoolers and other
volunteers with handshakes, jokes and words of praise as they repainted walls and
built two libraries at the school. Southeast D.C. is known for being an area
with a high dropout rate.
“You notice that I’m not focusing on the [Inaugural]
celebration, I’m focusing on the work, because that’s what it’s about,” Usher
shared with People.**To get the latest AllHipHop ALternatives follow us on twitter @ twitter.com/ahhalternatives**