The Last Word: Rihanna In a Lawsuit, Vivica Fox is the Cougar, and a Look at the Black Vagina Monologues
Whats the word Last Wordians? Here we are again.
Reminiscing about Obama admitting he was wrong in nominating Tom Daschle,
Michael Phelps apologizing after a picture surfaces of him smoking pot and the
Steelers making history by being the only franchise to win six Super Bowls.
Get well wishes to Andre Harrell, who is home after
undergoing heart surgery. Congratulations to Bobby Brown and his
girlfriend/manager Alicia Etheridge, who are expecting their first child
together, Erykah Badu and Jay Electronica on the birth of their new daughter
Mars Merkaba and Tisha Campbell-Martin, who is two months pregnant with her
second child. Shout out Venus and Serena Williams for winning their eighth
Grand Slam title last week and the sounding boards for taking the high and low
So step right up for the Last Word for the week ending Feb.
1. Etta James Takes Frustration Out on Beyoncé and Obama
Beyoncé has garnered her fair share of criticism over the
years from a variety of people. But the singer is getting it from one of her
idols as Etta James blasted the Bey for singing her classic hit At Last
during Barack Obamas inaugural dance last month.
James held nothing back during a recent concert as she made
it known exactly what she thought about Beyoncé and Obama.
You guys know your President right? You know the one with
the big ears. Yeah, wait a minute, he ain't my President, he might be yours,
the 71-year-old songstress told fans in Seattle. I tell you that woman he had
singing for him, singing my song, she gonna get her ass whipped. The great
Beyoncé! Now like I said, she ain't mine. I can't stand Beyoncé! She had no
business up there singing. Singing on a big ole, big ole President day and
going be singing my song that I've been singing forever.
Now that she has everybody talking, it looks like the whole
thing was all a sham. To hear Ella tell it, the bashing was all in good fun.
I didn't really mean anything. Even as a little child, I've
always had that comedian kind of attitude...That's probably what went into it,
the singing legend told the New York Daily News, adding that the crowds reaction to her comments prompted her to
continue. Nobody was getting mad at me in Seattle. They were all laughing, and
it was funny. She said the jokes were not from a vicious place.
While she admits to like Beyoncés performance and being a
bit upset for not being invited to sing At Last for the Obamas during
inauguration night, Ella believes the President has more pressing things to
attend to than her.
With stepping on the toes of female music icons, it may be
time for a spin-off of Celebrity Death Match called Diva Death Match. The main
event will be a handicapped match with Etta and Aretha Franklin taking on
Beyoncé in a steel cage with guest referee Tina Turner and interference on
Bey's behalf from Michelle Obama.
Anyone care to place a bet?
2. Oprah and Tyler Perry Co-Sign Sundance Film Festival
In last weeks Word, I congratulated MoNique for winning a
Sundance Film Festival award for her work on the film Push: Based on a Novel
by Sapphire. Now, the feature is getting a
major co-sign from Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. Variety reports the moguls are putting their weight behind Push by using their respective companies, Harpo Films and
34th Street Films, to promote the critically-acclaimed work.
The Lee Daniels directed film, which stars MoNique Mariah
Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton and newcomer Gabourey Gabby Sidibe,
centers on an illiterate African-American teenage girl in Harlem who's about to
give birth to her second child when she is accepted into an alternative school.
I've never seen anything like it. The moment I saw Push:
Based on a Novel by Sapphire, I knew I
wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The
film is so raw and powerful it split me open, Winfrey said.
During its run at Sundance, Push became the third film in
the festivals history to capture the grand jury prize and the audience awards
in the U.S. dramatic competition.
As a result, Lionsgate has reportedly signed a multi-million
deal for the films distribution rights in North America. The company plans on
releasing Push this year.
3. Berry Gordy Remembers Stevie Wonder Issues; Nearly
Passes on Michael Jackson
As Motown Records celebrates 50 years of existence this
year, the labels founder Berry Gordy reminisces over the ups and downs he
experienced at the legendary label. And while he is responsible for launching
the careers of many music legends, Gordy admitted to Emirates Business that he
almost deprived the world of the artist known as Michael Jackson.
When Michael was offered to me by Suzanne de Passe [current CEO of De Passe Entertainment Group, then creative assistant to Gordy], I did
not want him because he was part of a kids group, said the mogul, who also
revealed his problems with another music icon. I'd been with Stevie Wonder,
who had also been part of a kids group and had an entourage with him all the
time a strict teacher, a tutor, his mother, producer Clarence Paul and
a whole group of people. Plus, he was a blind singer who wasn't making any
money and I had to pay for all those people. So I was not happy with him, nor
with his mother, who was even more demanding than he was.
Although he was not in favor of giving young Michael a
chance, Gordy soon changed his mind after yielding to de Passe, taking a listen
to the future King of Pop and being impressed by his dancing skills. And the
rest, as they say, is history that you can revisit all this year with various
releases that include a set of podcasts featuring interviews with Gordy,
Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross; Marvin Gaye; and the Jackson 5, among
others. The podcasts are currently available on iTunes and at
In addition to that, Motown: The Complete #1s, a 200-song,
10-CD box set, will be released as well as a 25-track CD called NOW That's What
I Call Motown!
4. New York, Deelishis and LisaRae. Deliver the Black
Eve Enslers The Vagina Monologues is getting a makeover via a few good
An all Black version of the Obie award-winning play is set
for a tour, which kicks off today (Feb. 6) and Saturday (Feb. 7) in Washington,
DC. The outing will also include stops in Dallas, TX on March 7, Los Angeles on
March 21, Atlanta on April 4 GA and Houston, TX. Those attending the DC show
will also see The Johnson Chronicles, a companion piece described as a male
perspective on The Vagina Monologues
that examines sex, relationships, fatherhood and violence.
Among those cast in The Vagina Monologues are Wendy Raquel Robinson SWV member Tamara Taj
Johnson George, LisaRaye McCoy, Jill Marie Jones Essence Atkins, Tocarra, Shar
Jackson, Ella Joyce, Rolonda Watts, Yvette Wilson, Lisa Wu Hartwell, Tiffany
New York Pollard, London Deelishis Charles and Myra J.
According to the plays co-producer, Rhonda B. Reece, the
tour serves a greater purpose as it aims to raise awareness of the impact of
violence and abuse toward women and girls.
This performance will help empower women to say no to
domestic violence, which is a condition plaguing women across the world, she
told EURWeb. The African American community has always ignored this issue, but
I am glad to bring this issue to the forefront. It is time to stop talking
about domestic violence and ignite solutions. This is a gigantic step towards
creating a solution and I am proud to be a part of the team.
5. Michael Jackson and Rihanna Get Hooked Into New
Michael Jacksons Legal Debacles tour continues to roll on
as he secures a certified opening act with Rihanna. According to E! News, the
hitmakers are at the center of a new lawsuit filed by 75-year-old Camaroonian
music star Manu Dibango.
In the suit, which was filed Tuesday (Feb. 3), Dibango
claims that Jackson previously admitted to using a part of Dibango's 1972 song
Soul Makossa as the riff on Wanna Be Startin Something, a hit single off
Jackson's classic 1983 opus, Thriller.
The riff in question is the famous line Mama se, mama so,
Although Dibango and Jackson eventually reached a settlement
over the unauthorized sample, Rihanna is in the hot seat for licensing the same
hook from Jackson for her 2007 hit Dont Stop the Music. The only thing is no
one received permission from Dibango to use the sample.
A Parisian court will decide on Feb. 17 whether the case
will move forward. Dibango is seeking $650,000 in damages. Until the case is
resolved, Dibangos attorneys are asking the court to block Sony BMG, EMI and
Warner from profiting off the contested songs.
So why did Dibango waited so long to sue? Sounds a bit
suspect. Maybe Michael and Rihanna should unite and address the situation on an
updated version of Beat It. What have they got to lose?
6. Vivica Fox Rejects her Psychic Friends; Takes Cougar
Crusade to TV
It seems like yesterday that Dionne Warwick was urging folks
to join the Psychic Friends Network. Now, it seems that Vivica A. Fox is
becoming the new Dionne via a new commercial that features her looking directly
into the camera and advising you and anyone else to shell out $2.99-a-minute to
call the Psychic Friends Network.
But Vivicas sincerity in front of the camera is anything
but behind the scenes. BV Buzz reports that Fox is very upset as she claims
that those with the Network are allegedly using her unauthorized likeness,
footage, voice and photographs as an endorsement of their service.
As a result, Fox, who said she is no friend of The Psychic
Friends Network, is demanding that the PFN cease and desist immediately with
the use of the video and images.
Details about why the video was shot or how the images were
obtained by The Psychic Friends Network were not explained, according to BV
Nevertheless, Vivica is keeping it moving with a new gig as
the host on the upcoming TV Land show The Cougar. The one-hour reality series will feature an accomplished, beautiful
and sexy woman as she searches for love from a group of eligible younger men.
I'm so excited to be the guide for The Cougars quest for love, said Fox, who did her own cougar
thing a few years back while dating rapper 50 Cent. This show will prove to be
empowering and enlightening for women everywhere. Plus, 20 hot guys gathered
under one roof doesn't hurt!
Look for The Cougar
to premiere in April on TV Land Prime. Its obvious that Vivica is not psychic.
Had she been psychic, she wouldve foresaw the restraining order 50 put out
against her and would have realized that a cougar reality show does not help
In Other Words
* He may not be a pro athlete, but Denzel Washington has
garnered a three peat. The Harris Poll has crowned the actor as Americas
favorite movie star for the third year in a row. Washington beat out Clint
Eastwood, who came in a number 2, John Wayne, and Will Smith, who tied for
* Case is making a return to music with his forthcoming
album The Rose Experience. The singer,
who is best known for his hits Touch Me, Tease Me, Faded Pictures and
Missing is setting the stage for the new release with his latest single
Lovely. Look for The Rose Experience to hit stores on March 24.**To get the latest AllHipHop Alternatives Features, follow us on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/AHHalternatives**