October 24, 2013

By Shonassee Shaver

LAWT Contributing Writer


102.3 Radio Free KJLH stage was one of the many fixtures of the Taste of Soul that gave the community a live musical performance. It was an exciting time for the community when the KJLH stage got into full effect on the corner of Rodeo and Crenshaw as there was much anticipation from the crowd to backstage.

DJ Malski kept the audience going, having them guess the lyrics to Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Cameo and Justin Bieber songs while KJLH Jocks Nautica De La Cruz, Tammi Mac and Don Amiche represented the number one radio station in Los Angeles.

“This is the best event in Los Angeles, where the whole city comes together to enjoy food, entertainment, and the celebrities that come out (famous playwright Don B. Welch and Neyo),” said Don Amiche.

“I think of everything L.A.,” said Tammi Mac on what she thinks of when it comes to the TOS.  “This is where the community comes out and has a gigantic party together and it’s incredible to see people playing, laughing and dancing together.”

KJLH had an impressive lineup everyone from Kenny Lattimore to Stevie Wonder.

Mario performed at the KJLH stage singing an array of his popular songs.

“All my hits, my taste of soul, good energy and singing to the ladies,” he stated on what he was bringing to the stage.

On what brought him out to the Taste of Soul, he states it was the people, KJLH, the support for the music and keeping real music alive. He has two new singles “Fatal Distraction” and “LSD” out and upcoming album set to release at the end of the year and will be on tour in Europe and in the U.S.

Performer, Mateo, stated it’s the best event of the summer in LA regarding the TOS. His Song “How Good is Your Love” is in heavy rotation on the radio. You can check out the video for the song on Vevo.

Kenny Lattimore, who came with energy and passion for the ladies, performed.  However the artist focused on how the TOS brought great music to the community, stating, “I think of a taste of our community and bringing everybody out to celebrate life, our culture and great live music. There is something about great live music that brings everybody together.”

Lattimore is working on his album. The crooner is nominated for a Soul Train award and enjoys speaking; he recently spoke at UC Berkley and in Boston.

Glenn Lewis performed and has released his new album.

Neyo, who made an appearance, was happy to be a part of the KJLH stage and Taste of Soul for the first time.  He came to show support for Compound Artist, RaVaughn Brown, who has two singles under her belt.

 “I’m looking to have a goodtime with folks in the community, listen to some good music, and see my artist perform,” said Neyo. “People are coming together to have a good time without any violence.  We live in a very drama-filled world. To be able to come together for something like this feels good.” 

He is in the studio working on his 6th studio album, which is expected at the top of the new year and is focused on his artists on his music label, Compound Entertainment.

Speaking of the newly R&B songstress, RaVaughn performed. The Carson native was thrilled to be a part of the festival, “I’m super excited to be here, to support and perform in front of my people.” 

Brown is currently working on her EP and album. The singer boasted on her two singles, “Better Be Good” and “Best Friend,” and is excited to get more music out to her fans.

The artist who used to sing background with Keri HIlson, Keyshia Cole and Brandy, feels it’s about working hard and not succumbing to the negativity of others to succeed in the music industry.

Mindless Behavior was the awaited performance of the night, creating chaos from backstage to the main stage, where they gave the crowd a presentation of their popular songs including “Use to Be.”

A show stopper, Johnny Gill, made an appearance and performed, bringing an old school and new school flavor to the stage.  Certainly thrilled to be a part of the Taste of Soul, stating “when you look at the family and all of the people that have gathered, it’s always a special day, every year, annually to see family come together.”

The music icon has had an outstanding career and feels, "God has to come first, that’s the foundation and staying committed, ready and prepared,” said Gill. “Something great and authentic doesn’t go away, it is always there.”

 Look for Gill’s new album coming out at the beginning of the year. 

Music royalty, Stevie Wonder, graced the stage giving the audience a special treat with “Isn’t She Lovely” and “My Cherie Amour” and  it didn’t end there, Marques Houston took the night home with a cover of classic R&B songs and a once in a lifetime duet with Gill and Wonder. 

“It was a special moment in my career,” said Houston who was excited that Wonder introduced him on stage and sung with him.

This being his first time at the TOS, he was honored to be on stage with Wonder, Houston recalled Immature (IMX) doing a tribute to Stevie Wonder, “we sang ‘I Just Called to Say I Love You’ and we met him but he wasn’t in the crowd when we did our set, so this is like a make up session for me.”

On his music covers, “I like to jam with my people.  We had to take it back for the people out there and I felt it was appropriate for the crowd.”

Look out for the Immature (IMX) reunion show featuring Dru Hill and Next on November 7 at Club Nokia.  Go pick up his new album “Famous” it’s available on iTunes.

KJLH really outdid themselves at this year’s Taste of Soul; let’s see what they will bring for us next year.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 17, 2013


This is a gold-star week. You’ll be positively glowing at any and all social events. Many gifts, both tangible and intangible, come to you this week through friendship and from close ties. Enjoy your fabulous self very much. Your sweetheart may want to talk about a deeper commitment. Soul Affirmation: I keep my eyes wide open for a special person who is also looking for me. Lucky Numbers: 5, 37, 41


More luck, more opportunities, and more love are in the stars for you this week. Enjoy this up-cycle, and let the things you do with your gifts and talents have lasting effects. Social gatherings are favored. Wear your brightest smile and trust your intuition. Soul Affirmation: I find a source of strength in someone I love. Lucky Numbers: 3, 40, 49


Give yourself a chance to learn all you can about love this week. This is a week when you are open to new ideas. Make those ideas center on relationships. Financial matters are worrisome but they can wait. Soul Affirmation: I keep my eyes open for business opportunities this week. Lucky Numbers: 8, 21, 29


Your thoughts turn from spending and socializing to a more spiritual area this week. While you may feel that you still have much to do in the next few weeks, this week is good for taking some time for yourself, and for insightful meditation. Love and romance vibrations remain constant; count your blessings! Soul Affirmation: I say nothing but kind things about those I have to deal with. Lucky Numbers: 19, 28, 37


Ask for second opinions and shop around this week; it will be worth the time in savings. Something at your workplace may cause you a momentary qualm, but it’s really nothing but high spirits from co-workers. Don’t look for trouble! The present moment is rich with romantic promise. Soul Affirmation: I change who I am by changing where I am going. Lucky Numbers: 4, 17, 20


During the next few weeks you’ll find yourself wanting to RUSH around. Try to take it easy instead. Everything will happen according to plan, and you’ll feel much calmer and happier with yourself and with others! Soul Affirmation: I let myself experience my true ambitions this week. Lucky Numbers: 18, 24, 37


Get any negative energy out of the way quickly by turning a situation into a solution… your mind will intuitively find the best answer if you focus on a resolution instead of a problem. A partner or best friend brings a extra glow to your, as your thoughts and feelings are in harmony. Soul Affirmation: Being true to others is the way to be true to myself. Lucky Numbers: 6, 13, 50


Keep focused. Your attention is likely to be distracted by someone’s foolishness. Your concentration is likely to be pulled in many directions. Don’t let yourself be seduced by something that looks a whole lot better than it’ll turn out to be. Soul Affirmation: I love who I am and rejoice. Lucky Numbers: 5, 23. 44


You’ll need all the expertise you possess to deal with the distractions that will come into your life this week. Float on the surface of things. If you go deep you could get lost chasing after clarifications that are not going to come. Seek compensation from a relationship that has a long history. Soul Affirmation: Forgetting past injustices is my keep to a happier future. Lucky Numbers: 8, 21, 50


Some people around you may be a little grumpy, but you are still in the mood to behold the glad tidings that you feel in your heart. Let the positive predominate. Your family is happy and well, and so are you… think about it, and enjoy a lovely, loving week. Soul Affirmation: I smile as I think about far away paces. Lucky Numbers: 178, 19, 40


Take care of a number of minor matters this week; you’ll feel as if you’ve happily accomplished the tasks of Hercules when they are all cleared up and put tidily away. Your ideas and words are very well-received; speak your mind this week. You are the social one! Soul Affirmation: Appreciation leads to recognition. Lucky Numbers: 6, 44, 55


Happy-happy-joy-joy. You’ll have a song on your lips this week as you make your way easily through a thicket of tasks and obligations. This week brings a surprise from a partner…anticipate it with a glad heart! Soul Affirmation: I open myself up for a glad surprise. Lucky Numbers: 3, 31, 46

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 17, 2013

LAWT Wire Service


The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI announced recently that it will be expanding to two hours beginning January 2014.

The new two-hour format is a renewal of Smiley’s commitment to conversations of importance to America. The show will continue to focus on a wide range of issues including politics, business, health, sports, arts and culture, and will feature a broad spectrum of newsmakers and commentators. Tony Marcano, formerly of Weekend Edition on NPR, will be the program’s senior producer.

The final edition of Smiley & West will air the weekend of Dec. 27

“I was blessed to work with my dear Brother Tavis and we stood on the forefront of bringing prophetic perspectives to loyal listeners on the important issues we face today,” said Dr. Cornel West. “As I move forward, I carry with me the knowledge that Smiley & West leaves a definitive mark in public radio.”

“Creating a radio show to co-host with Dr. Cornel West is one of the highlights of my career,” Smiley said. “I have been blessed to work alongside the person I regard as America’s leading public intellectual.”

Smiley and West are appreciative to Public Radio International (PRI), they said,  for the opportunity and grateful to the listening audience for its embrace. They emphasized that Smiley & West would not be the outstanding show it is without the expertise and hard work of producer Joe Zefran.

Both agree that it is critical to offer differing viewpoints on the airwaves, especially the stories of the more than 45 million Americans living in poverty.

Smiley will be devoting more time to the Tavis Smiley Network, the first online programming network for BlogTalkRadio.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 17, 2013

LAWT Staff Report

While jazz great Poncho Sanchez and R&B artist Mario are sure to give new followers and fans alike a great show, at the this year’s Taste of Soul, there will be many more, including R&B teen sensations Mindless Behavior, Mateo, Johnny Gill, Chosen Recovery, Avant and DW3.

Mindless Behavior, best known for the singles “My Girl” and “Mrs. Right”  was put together in Los Angeles in 2008, by Keisha Gamble, Walter Millsap (who has previously worked with Beyoncé and Timbaland) and Vincent Herbert (Lady Gaga, Toni Braxton). They trained in dance and singing for two years before releasing “My Girl.” Their debut album, #1 Girl, was released on September 20, 2011. It debuted on the US Billboard 200 album chart at number seven.

“We have to give credit where credit’s due,” KJLH General Manager Karen Slade told the Sentinel before last year’s Taste of Soul.

“A lot of the talent volunteers because it’s a community event.  For the most part it’s a free event, so they’re donating their talent and their time. So in that case, we like to highlight them and celebrate them.”

 Mateo was born in Cincinnati, Ohio into a musical family. His grandfather, Freddy Jordan was a jazz and session guitarist at the historic King Records where he played for the likes of James Brown, Freddie King, and Charles Brown. His grandmother was a singer who toured Canada and the northeastern United States. Mateo started singing at an early age and playing classical piano at age 5. He attended Morehouse College, majoring in music and business.

Mateo eventually moved to Los Angeles, California to pursue a career in the music industry where he met with former MTV VJ, Quddus. Quddus, who was working at MySpace Records quickly took interest and brought Mateo over to the label which signed him nearly on the spot. 

In September 2010, Mateo signed to Krucial Noise and released his debut single, “Say It's So”, on September 21, 2011 off his EP Love & Stadiums II.

“I love the fact that it’s a huge peaceful celebration,” said Pat Prescott of 94.7 The Wave. “[This] gives our community a chance to show our versatility in terms of the cooking, arts and crafts, all the merchants who are out there and of course— great music.

R&B, Jazz and Latin Soul musicians DW3, consisting of Eric, William and Damon are said to be widely known for their artistic abilities. Festival goers can expect to hear the harmonious sounds of keyboards, percussion, drums, bass and guitar. Some of their hits include “On the Floor,” “I Got You,” and “All I Need”

Taste of Soul Creator Danny J. Bakewell Sr. applauded both of the event’s media partners for again delivering on music excellence with performers who bring name/ brand recognition.





“I am not at all surprised by these line-ups, because both our two radio partners consistently deliver big to the Taste of Soul Nation what they have been providing their audiences for years,” said Bakewell.





“What’s remarkable is that our community will get an opportunity to see them while enjoying the foods they love with the families and friends they cherish and will not have to pay to watch them perform,” concluded Bakewell.




Taste of Soul family festival will be held from 10a.m. to 7p.m. on Crenshaw Blvd. Saturday October 19. Below is a full list of line ups for both stages.






Taste of Soul 2013 KTWV Stage

10A – 11A DJ Shell

11A – 11:20A Chosen Recovery

11:25A – 12:10P Local Band

12:20P – 1:05P    On Tour

1:10P – 1:30pm   Politicians

1:40P- 2:40p        DW3

2:50p – 3:00P      Star Quest Winner

3:10P – 3:55pm   Poncho Sanchez

4:20pm – 5:05P   Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancler

5:30P – 6:30P      Avant


Taste of Soul 2013 KJLH Stage

12:45pm – Sledge Grits Band

2:00pm – Mario

2:05pm – L.Young

2:15pm – Treasure Davis

2:35pm – Mateo

3:15pm – Ravaughn

4:00pm – Johnny Gill

4:05pm – Mindless Behavior

4:40pm – Glenn Lewis

5:10pm – Kenny Lattimore

5:30pm – Marques Houston

6:00pm – Johnny Gill/Special Guest

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

October 17, 2013

By Kam Williams


Born in Hollis, Queens on February 29, 1976, Jeffrey “Ja Rule” Atkins began rapping professionally while still in his teens, although he really made a big splash in 1999 with the release of “Venni Vetti Vecci.” That solo album went platinum on the strength of the single “Holla Holla,” thereby kick starting an enviable musical career which has produced a half-dozen more studio lps while netting the popular hip-hop artist four Grammy nominations and counting.

He also collaborated on hit songs with everybody from J-Lo (“I’m Real”) to Christina Milian (“Between Me and You”) to Ashanti (“Always on Time”) to R. Kelly (“Wonderful”). Meanwhile, he expanded his repertoire to include acting, appearing in such films as The Fast and the Furious, Scary Movie 3, Assault on Precinct 13 and Shall we Dance, to name a few.

No stranger to controversy, Ja also became embroiled in some famous feuds, most notably, with rival rapper 50 Cent. He was recently been released from prison after spending a couple of years behind bars for tax evasion and gun possession.

Here, Ja talks about his new film, I’m in Love with a Church Girl, a faith-based tale of redemption chronicling the real-life reformation of drug dealer-turned-pastor Galley Molina. 

Kam Williams: Hey Ja, thanks for the interview.

Ja Rule: What’s happening, killer?

KW: I appreciate the opportunity.

JR: Me too, Kam. Thanks for having me.

KW: I’m originally from your neck of the woods, St. Albans.

JR: [Laughs] No doubt, no doubt! Queens in the building!

KW: I told my readers I’d be interviewing you, and they sent in a lot of questions. Reverend Florine Thompson, who is also from Queens, asks: What interested you in I’m in Love with a Church Girl?

JR: First of all, I just enjoyed reading the script. Second, I also liked a lot of the parallels between me and the character Miles Montego. Those similarities convinced me that I would like to be a part of the project.

KW: Florine would also like to know whether making this film has influenced your spiritual relationship with your Higher Power?

JR: Absolutely! I’ve always been a spiritual person who believed in a Higher Power. So, I’ve always had my 1-on-1 with God, even if I wasn’t much of a religious person. But I would definitely have to say that this movie brought me even a little closer to God.

KW: Lester Chisholm asks: Has the experience of working with Pastor Molina on this production enhanced your life?

JR: Definitely! The movie is Galley’s life story. Galley Molina’s a great inspiration and role model for a lot of young kids out there.

 KW: Documentary director Kevin Williams asks: How did you prepare for the role?

JR: One of the things I did was I went to church with Galley to study him, because I thought I’d be doing more preaching in the film.

KW: Was it weird playing him with him right there on the set?

JR: No, that’s part of the beauty of doing a true story, having the person that the picture’s about there. I felt fortunate to be able to get his advice about how to approach the character and his input about how this or that scene should play out. So, it was great to have Galley there. 

KW: What was it like working with this cast, Adrienne Bailon, Stephen Baldwin, Vincent Pastore, etcetera?

JR: Adrienne and I have known each other for a long time. Me and Stephen, too! And Vincent and I worked on two films together prior to this one. So, it was great just being around everybody again and spending time together on the set! 

KW: What message do you think people will take away from the film?

JR: This is really an inspirational film which is all about connecting with people who aren’t that much into church, although it’s for church people, too. That’s the beauty of the film.  

KW: Harriet Pakula-Teweles asks: Do you think if gangsta rappers really fell in love with ‘Church Girls’ they might stop saying horrible and abusive things about females in their songs?

JR: [LOL] Maybe… maybe… She may be onto something. [Laughs some more]

KW: Larry Greenberg asks: Do you thing that reggae is at the root of what is happening today in EDM [Electronic Dance Music] and trip-hop?

JR: Trip-hop? I don’t know if I ever heard of trip-hop. [Asks his friends if they know what it is.] I’m in a room of hip-hop heads, and nobody ever heard of it. But EDM, absolutely!

KW: Marsha Evans says she’s a resident of Kew Gardens, and a friend of Reverend Run. She says congrats on your daughter’s starting at Hampton.

JR: Aw, thank you!

KW: She says she’s run into Alan Hevesi [former NYS Comptroller] a few times at the local foreign film theater and that he smiled when she mentioned your name. She’d like to know whether you’ve applied any of the financial advice you received from him while in prison? 

JR: [Chuckles] Heavy D, that’s my boy. Alan Hevesi and I forged a great relationship while in prison. I’m glad he’s home now. He’s an older man, so he belongs home, not behind bars. But I definitely benefitted from his knowledge. I used to pick his brain a lot while we watched the New York Knicks on TV.

KW: Is there any question no one ever asks you, that you wish someone would?

JR: No, I think I’ve been asked everything under the sun.

KW: When you look in the mirror, what do you see?

JR: My reflection. [LOL] No, that’s a tough question. I see a man that’s in the process of growth, going from one end to another.

KW: The Teri Emerson question: When was the last time you had a good laugh?

JR: A minute ago. I have one everyday, Kam.

KW: What is your guiltiest pleasure?

JR: Chocolate lava cake.

KW: What is your favorite dish to cook?

JR: I’m a breakfast type of guy. Don’t get me wrong. I can cook, I’m kinda nice on the burner, but I enjoy making breakfast. I do it all… Scrambled eggs… French toast… Pancakes… Breakfast is my thing.

KW: The bookworm Troy Johnson question: What was the last book you read?

JR: Hellbound on His Trail by Hampton Sides.


KW: The music maven Heather Covington question: What was the last song you listened to? 

JR: Oh man, we were just playing something in there, but I can’t recall what it was.

KW: What’s up for you next, musically?

JR: Actually, I just dropped two new records called “Fresh Out da Pen” and “Everything.” They’re available on iTunes.

KW: The Uduak Oduok question: Who is your favorite clothes designer?

JR: That’s a difficult question. It’s tough to say, because I like a lot of them.

KW: The Sanaa Lathan question: What excites you?

JR: I’m an adrenaline guy. I like to do stuff that gets my blood pumping, like roller coasters or jumping out of planes. I’m into all that crazy stuff.

KW: The Mike Pittman question: What was your best career decision?

JR: The best decision I ever made, period, was to get into the music business.

KW: If you could have one wish instantly granted, what would that be for?

JR: It’d be a toss-up between world peace and ending poverty.

KW: The Jamie Foxx question: If you only had 24 hours to live, how would you spend the time? 

JR: With my family.

KW: The Kerry Washington question: If you were an animal, what animal would you be?

JR: A lion.

KW: The Ling-Ju Yen question: What is your earliest childhood memory?

JR: Hmm… Playing with this very noisy popper toy when I was about 4. It looked like a lawnmower, was round at the bottom, and had little balls in it that would go “Pow! Pow! Pow!” We lived in a tiny apartment, so as you can imagine, there was no escaping the popper. [LOL] My mother had to hide it from me.

KW: The Anthony Anderson question: If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?

JR: Invincibility.

KW: The Judyth Piazza question: What key quality do you believe all successful people share? 

JR: Selfishness. To be the best at what you do in any field, and to accomplish the goals you set for yourself, you have to be somewhat selfish.

KW: The Gabby Douglas question: If you had to choose another profession, what would that be?

JR: I’d probably be an athlete, either basketball, football or boxing. I was good at those sports.

KW: Attorney Bernadette Beekman asks: What is your favorite charity?

JR: My own, the L.I.F.E. Foundation.

KW: What advice do you have for anyone who wants to follow in your footsteps?

JR: Walk carefully! Tread light!

KW: The Tavis Smiley question: How do you want to be remembered?

JR: As an artist who was really passionate about his work. And as an inspiration. I do what I do to inspire people.

KW: Can you give me a Ja Rule question, I can ask other people I interview?

JR: Yeah, here’s a good one: If you had to spend all of your money in a month, how would you do it? [Chuckles]

 KW: That’s a great one. Thanks, Ja, and best of luck with the film.

JR: Sure, Kam, thanks a lot. 

 To see a trailer for I’m in Love with a Church Girl, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEmqu0zNkT8 


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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