Hows it goin folks? A week away and Im glad to be back.
From the looks of things, the week had a lot going on. If it wasnt the hype
surrounding Obamas beer summit with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and the officer who
arrested him at his home, it was the NFL giving Michael Vick the go ahead to
come back if he can find a team to put up with him. Add to that Michael Phelps
regaining his Olympic rhythm after a rare loss and the 25th anniversary of
Princes Purple Rain it was another week
Thoughts and prayers go out to family and friends of
best-selling author E. Lynn Harris, who died of natural causes last week and my
friend Chris, who lost his sister on Monday. Happy Birthday goes out to Lee,
who officially celebrates the day he was born on Monday (Aug. 3) with a
well-deserved extended weekend with the family.
Congratulations to baseball great Ricky Henderson, who was
recently inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and the sounding boards for always making sure I stay awake, no
matter how much the pillow and bed be callin me.
Lets get it started with The Last Word for the week ending
July 31, 2009.
1. Michael Jacksons Hair Becomes Jewelry for Ice Addicts
Michael Jackson fans who are literally looking to have a
piece of the singer to keep his memory alive can rest easy as efforts are being
made to create a limited collection of jewelry from Jacksons own hair.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Chicago-based jeweler LifeGem announced late
last week that it was bringing the jewelry to a store near you. An executive
producer named Ralph Cohen during Jacksons 1984 Pepsi commercial first
obtained the hair for the collection. As we know, that was the gig that
resulted in the King of Pops hair catching fire and being rushed to a
hospital. After helping extinguish Jacksons hair with his Armani jacket, Cohen
got the hair and put it into the jacket's pocket. The singers locks stayed in
the pocket until he died 25 years later.
It was this point that Cohen gave the hair to John
Reznikoff, a collector who contacted LifeGem about turning the hair into
diamonds. The jeweler is known for specializing in creating high-quality
diamonds from individual hair samples.
For LifeGem founder, Dean VandenBiesen, the jewelry
collection offers a chance for people to own a diamond made from Michael
The provenance and authenticity of this lock of hair is
impeccable, including the highly publicized video showing the original owner of
the hair using his Armani jacket to extinguish Jackson' hair, he said in a
statement. We are currently evaluating the sample to determine how many
diamonds can be created. This will be a limited collection and we anticipate
Although buying jewelry made from hair may be a little out
there, it may not be much of a surprise if this collection becomes a popular
item for MJs fans. Im all for making money, but really, cant we all just let
Michael rest in peace without people trying to make a buck or three from his
death. It really makes you wonder.
2. The-Dream Makes Last Stand with Love King Album
If you appreciate The-Dream as an artist, you better enjoy
him while you can. It seems like threes the magic number as hes trading his
swan song will come via his forthcoming album Love King.
The-Dream made it official last Friday as he tweeted that I
am engaged and Love King IS going to be my LAST album!
It is going to be [his] last bcuz, everybody is trying to KILL THE DREAM! he said.
[The Dream is] the ONLY one that can end [his] career."
Despite his vow to hang it up as a vocalist, The-Dream
didnt completely quit the music scene as he revealed that he will still be
producing, writing, and featuring on other artist albums though.
I guess if you gotta go out, you might as well have
Christina Milian on your arm to call it a day with. As for the conspiracy
theory, I dont see that happening soon in light of most artists looking for
him to give them a hit to take to the bank. So heres to The-Dream. A 10 and
job security. Gotta love it.
3. Tracy Morgan Enjoys Life in the Sober Lane
After years of being under the influence, Tracy Morgan has
opted for a better life as he moves past the demon in a bottle.
People.com reports the actor/comedian is enjoying his sober
mind state along with the success of his latest film, G-Force. So much so, that
he has his kids to thank for it all.
I've been sober for a year-and-a-half now, and I feel it
all. Im not inebriated anymore. I want to feel the good, the bad and the ugly.
I want to remember it all. I couldn't do that when I wasn't sober, Morgan
said. What I have learned over the years is to try to stay in the moment. I
want to feel it all because I've realized nothing lasts. I'm not perfect but I
strive for it. I take it one day at a time, but if you can get it to one hour
at a time, I'm good.
Sounds like a far cry from the old Tracy, who got acquainted
with an ankle bracelet that monitored his alcohol level after being arrested in
2005 and 2006 for drunk driving. So what turned the funnyman around? Quite
simply, his three sons, whom Morgan admits to having a stronger relationship
than ever, now that hes clean and sober.
I deal with my sons like young men. If they have a problem
with something, they come to me, the entertainer said about 23-year-old Gitrid,
21-year-old Malcolm and 17-year-old Tracy, Jr. I am the type of dad that will
drop everything I am doing for them, and always tell them to talk to me about
it. I'm not [as] crazy as you'd think. They have grown to be respectable young
men that are funnier that I could ever be.
4. Nelly Furtado Has All Spanish Creative Outlet for New
Nelly Furtado has found a new way to express her musical
self with her upcoming all-Spanish album Mi Plan. According to the songbird, the project was welcome creative release
that generated a much needed energy boost.
I was physically tired and I wasn't feeling inspired. It
was almost as if I lost my pop inspiration to write in English, Furtado told
the Associated Press. I just needed a
new outlet, and I found it by writing in Spanish.
Featuring the singles Manos Al Aire and Mas, Mi Plan will feature mostly up-tempo, melodic tunes that
intimately explore the passion that fuels relationships. Guests include Mexican
singers Alejandro Fernandez and Julieta Venegas, Spanish singer Concha Buika,
Latin hip-hop singer La Mala Rodriguez, Dominican singer Juan Luis Guerra and
classical singer Josh Groban.
I think this album has some of my first true love songs
ever. They're not complicated. They're not over-intellectualized, and I found
it liberating to be able to sing in the Latin language and to express myself
from my Latin soul, Furtado said about her 11-song opus.
Mi Plan is slated to
hit stores Sept. 15.
5. Oz's Adebisi Puts Bid in To Play Black Panther
Despite making his mark as the inmate you didnt want to
cross in HBOs hit show Oz, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje is campaigning for a
different type of character this time around. MTVs Splash Page reports that
the actor, who found new life as Mr.
Eko on Lost, has been in talks with Marvel Comics about a movie debut
for another one of its superheroes. Specifically, the African warrior-king
known as The Black Panther.
In the eyes of Akinnuoye-Agbaje, the timing couldnt be more
perfect for TChalla to get his close-up.
We're talking to Marvel about Black Panther, said the
actor, who will be seen next weekend as Heavy Duty in the action flick G.I.
Joe: The Rise of Cobra. This is the first
round, so you know, hopefully they'll look at 'G.I. Joe' and see the potential.
But it's about time we have a Black superhero, isn't it?"
He's from a fictional village in Africa and the timing is
so right for that kind of character to come through, Akinnuoye-Agbaje shared
with MTV News. And while I'm in my prime, this is the time. We've got [U.S.
President Barack] Obama, now we need something on screen to represent, so...
Stay tuned to see if The Black Panther movie gets made. Any thoughts on who would make a
great hero if Akinnuoye-Agbaje doesnt get the part? Ask me years ago and I
wouldve said Wesley Snipes without question. But since hes got his own
problems to deal with, the jury is out. What say you?
In Other Words
* Jennifer Aniston is making moves behind the camera as she
takes on the role of producer for Holler (aka Mutt), a film that explores
racial tension in the Deep South.
According to reports the feature was inspired by the HBO
documentary Prom Night in Mississippi.
The film chronicles efforts by actor Morgan Freeman to end his hometown high
school's segregated proms.
Holler centers on a biracial high school student who returns
with his white mother to her hometown in Mississippi, where he falls for a
white girl. When prom season arrives at the high school, he is shocked to
discover that she cannot be his date at the segregated prom. He soon finds
himself the catalyst for change for not only the prom but for the school and
* Former In Living Color
cast member David Alan Grier is headed to Broadway as the newest addition to
the cast of David Mamet's play Race.
The comedic entertainer will previously announced entertainers Kerry
Washington, James Spader and Richard Thomas for the production, which opens
Dec. 6 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. Preview performances will begin Nov.
* The return of Whitney Houston will be sooner than
expected. Plans now call for the songstress album, I Look to You, to hit
stores and digital retail on August 31, rather than September 1. The projects
title track is currently available for free download at Yahoo music and
Houstons official website.
* You can put a fork in Jagged Edges musical relationship
with Jermaine Dupri. It is done. News of the parting was confirmed to
Singersroom.com by Jagged Edges Brandon Casey.
No. I usually like to leave the door open for questions
like that, but I'm going to go ahead and close that door. No, we're not working
with Jermaine, he said in a recent interview about the man who produced many
of their hit songs. I'm not really looking to ever work with Jermaine again.
It's not beef. It's no love lost. I just think we're on two different pages and
that's fine. He can be where he's at and we can be where we're heading.
News of Jagged Edge/Dupri split comes as the group works on
its Slip N Slide Records debut, tentatively titled The Remedy.
* This years American Latino Media Arts (ALMA)Awards will
get two hosts with Eva Longoria Parker and George Lopez. The pair will team up
for the show, which honors Latinos who work in film, TV and radio. In addition
to being an ALMA co-host, Longoria Parker serves as an executive producer for
the show, which will air for the first time during National Hispanic Heritage
Month. The ALMA Awards is scheduled to air Sept. 18 on ABC.