April 17, 2014

Special to the NNPA from the New York Amsterdam News


Almost 20 years after the New York City-based, dark, underground hip-hop duo Mobb Deep released their sophomore full-length album, “The Infamous,” the group is taking a full circle approach to their 2014 album, “The Infamous Mobb Deep.”

Although Mobb Deep did not receive as much mainstream attention as Nas, the gritty, poetic nature of “The Infamous” is considered to be a classic by true hip-hop enthusiasts. Hailing from Queens, N.Y., Prodigy and Havoc rhymed about the struggles and the bleak reality of growing up in the Queensbridge Houses.

Their third album, “Hell on Earth,” hit No. 6 on the Billboard charts, the duo finally receiving the industry and mainstream acclaim they sought. Nonetheless, over the years, Mobb Deep has been through ups and downs, including a less-than-desirable term on G-Unit Records, Prodigy’s incarceration and a brief split between the two members.

The release of Mobb Deep’s eighth album is being marketed as a time of triumph and rebirth for Havoc and Prodigy, as it should be. Their debut album, “Juvenile Hall,” was released in 1993, making them hip-hop veterans and survivors.

The reflective approach to the new record, which was released earlier this week, shows that hip-hop is now creating seasoned and historical figures who come from an era that is still relevant but still create from a current and wise perspective.


Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 17, 2014

By Walter Greene

Special to the NNPA from the New York Carib News


Actress Lupita Nyong’o, who rose to fame after winning the Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Patsey in the award winning “12 Years a Slave” has also risen to the top of the fashion ladder, as she has in the world of film. The much sought after actress was just named the new Face of Lancome Cosmetics, joining a select group of major stars like Julia Roberts and Kate Winslet, who are both Lancome Faces/Spokespersons.

NEW FASHION DARLING Lupita, whose new movie “Non Stop” also stars Liam Neilson and Julianna Moore, was recently selected as the new campaign model for Miu Miu. This is the secondary line from Italian designer Miucha Prada. Lupita first gained the nod of the fashion illumaniti when she appeared on the Red Carpet at the Golden Globe Awards, wearing a dazzling red jersey gown and cape by designer Tom Ford.

Soon after, she stunned onlookers at the Academy Awards ceremony, wearing a sensational Nairobi Blue, flowing chiffon custom made gown by Prada. That was the night she won her first Oscar Award for Best Supporting Actress. During New York Fashion Week, Lupita was spotted at the Calvin Klein Fall/Winter 2014 show, sitting on the front row next to Vogue Magazine’s Anna Wintour.

BEAUTY SECRET The 30 year-old Kenya born beauty had just graduated from the prestigious Yale School of Drama when she auditioned for “12 Years a Slave.” Director Steve McQueen reportedly saw 1000 actresses from all over the world, before casting Lupita for the role. Lupita recently revealed the secret to her flawless skin and undeniable beauty: “I moisturize with argan oil, pomegranate oil and Kukui oil from Hawaii, plus I remove my make-up with avocado oil. My mother always instilled in me that ‘Nature knows best.’”

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 10, 2014

By Kam Williams

Contributing Writer


“From today’s perspective in a media-soaked world all too familiar with the genomic footprints of human DNA and the tracings of the double-helix back to an African origin, it has become considerably easier to accept the notion that, like nations, ‘races’ are what Benedict Anderson calls ‘imagined communities’—social constructs, fabrications made in history by historical forces, and which acquire meaning only in relation to identifiable others.

“But it is also easy to forget that just 20 years ago, the explanatory power of race had not yet been deconstructed thoroughly enough to prevent the best-selling publication of… Charles Murray’s ‘The Bell Curve,’ wherein the ancient logics of racial inferiority and domination were reconfigured in full display, with all the illusory trappings of authoritative social science.”

— From the Introduction by Professor John S. Wright (page 2)

The Genome Project has proven scientifically that there’s only one race, the human race. But despite definitive proof that race is purely a fabrication of man’s imagination, racism continues to persist.

That confounding conundrum is the subject of The Myth of Race, The Reality of Racism, a collection of enlightening essays by Mahmoud El-Kati.

Professor El-Kati, a distinguished lecturer in History at Macalester University, makes the most of this opportunity to trace the derivation of the word “race” back to 1570 before chronicling the subsequent evolution of racism into an oppressive political and cultural ideology employed by Europeans to rationalize the exploitation and marginalization of so-called “inferior races.”

Defining racism as “prejudice plus power,” the author sees it as “largely an institutional phenomenon” based on “aggression, domination and greed.” However, he warns that it can also be observed on the individual level in a variety of everyday social “habits, nuances and traits,” like in a condescending look or a halfhearted handshake.      

Nevertheless determined to eradicate the false notion of “race,” Professor El-Kati assails it as a superstition no less ridiculous than the belief in witches that once led to innocent women being burned at the stake. For, he would argue that it is patently farcical to associate a host of negative stereotypes with black skin ranging from criminality to laziness.

The book comes equipped with viable solutions for the problem, too, as it suggests we not only create a new vocabulary, but condemn racist institutions and become actively involved in overhauling society. After all, as in Ralph Ginsburg’s encyclopedic study “!00 Years of Lynchings,” until relatively recently, “no white person had ever received the death sentence for taking the life of a black person in the whole history of capital punishment in the United States.”

An insightful tome repositioning America in the Age of Obama as less a post-racial utopia than a work in progress in terms of dignity for all and the demise of white supremacy.

To order a copy of The Myth of Race, The Reality of Racism, visit:


Or: https://www.paypal.com/ us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_flow&SESSION=andjfwpMLbm_Zt416hF9i_iVc-3kxowm_kLKQS8tJaPYUIyBWm2dIVvVULW&dispatch=50a222a57771920b6a3d7b606239e4d529b525e0b7e69bf0224adecfb0124e9b61f737ba21b081982546798d23b9808f90be4e2dc1450b56.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 17, 2014


Aries March 21 - April 19

If you've been thinking about making a career change, Aries, today is a good day to do some research on professions that interest you. It may be that you're ready to take the leap and start a business of your own. Ideally, you'd have an able partner to help with the planning and execution. Get out your address book and college directory. It's likely that you already know the perfect person for the job.


Taurus April 20 - May 20

Technology is going to play a big role in your life today and in the immediate future, Taurus. It could be that your office is upgrading its systems and you're in charge of getting everyone up to speed on the new equipment. Or it's possible that you'll decide to take a class to increase your technical knowledge. One thing is clear - you're likely to achieve extraordinary success through the use of technology.


Gemini May 21 - June 20

You might find yourself unexpectedly busy today, Gemini. It could be that you'd planned to spend the day tidying up and reorganizing your home. A change of plans could mean you spend most of the day at the office handling one crisis after another. Perhaps a friend calls in need of your help. You could find it difficult to switch gears, but by the end of the day you'll be happy that you could help.


Cancer June 21 - July 22

It's hard to imagine a world without computers, Cancer. Technology has been key to your professional life, and it's likely to be even more important in the future. Expect your income to increase dramatically this year as a result of a technological innovation. You could play a part in developing it, or more likely, find a creative use for it. Eat well and rest up, because you'll need a lot of energy soon.


Leo July 23 - August 22

You might want to straighten up the house this morning, Leo. Some unexpected visitors could drop by. With no warning, you could be serving lunch or dinner to a group of ten! Don't panic. Take-out was created for just such an occasion. Pull out the linens from the back of the closet, make a few calls to your favorite bakery or restaurant, and voilà! The meal is served.


Virgo August 23 - September 22

Friends or work colleagues could introduce you to a field of study that captures your interest, Virgo. You're ready for something new in your life, and the lecture series that has been suggested to you could turn out to provide just the stimulation that you need. Your creative juices are flowing and you'll want to make good use of them. Writing, painting, and photography are all good choices for today.


Libra September 23 - October 22

Travel is in store today, Libra. It could be a spur-of-the-moment trip with a friend. More likely, it will be a series of short trips closer to home. You could visit friends or take advantage of sales and do some shopping. Your active mind will pick up on all sorts of ideas for improving your home. Once the errands are done, go home and look at your space with a fresh eye. There is a lot you can do to improve it.


Scorpio October 23 - November 21

You're likely to receive news today that brightens your future outlook, Scorpio. It could be that your boss calls you at home and hints at a pending promotion, or your partner could receive a raise or unusually large bonus. Whatever the news, know that your financial picture will begin to look dramatically better than it has been. Start making plans for how you'll improve your lifestyle. A vacation may just be in order.


Sagittarius November 22 - December 21

You can expect your life to change in a fairly dramatic way today, Sagittarius. The change could be subtle at first, but with time and distance you're likely to look back on this day as pivotal. You could receive an intriguing piece of news that sets your head spinning with ideas. Perhaps you've been thinking of starting your own business, and today you have an idea. Maybe you meet someone who helps your career. Keep your mind open to the possibilities.


Capricorn December 22 - January 19

Today could have you itching for a change, Capricorn. The difficulty is figuring out what you really want to do with your life. A good first step would be to talk to people. Find out what they do and don't like about their careers. Use the library and the Internet. Take a profile test, such as Myers-Briggs, to see what types of careers mesh with your personality. Once you've done this, you're bound to have a clearer vision of where you want to go.


Aquarius January 20 - February 18

You're going to be busy but happy today, Aquarius. It's likely that a project you've been working on for a long time suddenly yields positive results. You can't help but be delighted, as this achievement comes at a time when you've been questioning your abilities. Question no more. It's clear that you're right for this particular job. Social activities are also highlighted, so treat your team to lunch to celebrate.


Pisces February 19 - March 20

You could be invited on a last-minute adventure today, Pisces. By all means, seize the chance! You're certainly ready for a change, and this opportunity could turn out to be just what you've been hoping for. Adventure calls, and whether it's a journey or a lecture, you'll find it enlarges your world in just the way you'd hoped. Today promises to be stimulating as well as fun. Enjoy it!

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

April 10, 2014

City News Service


Organizers of the annual ESSENCE Festival, said they are excited to announce the all-star night-by-night line-up of performers for its 20th anniversary celebration in New Orleans, LA, from July 3-6.



The A-list nighttime concerts will take place across 5 stages in the Superdome throughout the weekend — on the Festival’s legendary Mainstage and within the intimate Superlounges.




This year, ESSENCE plans to kick off the festivities on its Mainstage with an electrifying performance by renowned musician and international superstar Prince along with special guest performers (Friday, July 4); followed by celebrated artists Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, The Roots Presents Hip Hop, Ledisi and Tank (Saturday, July 5); and will close the celebration with a special performance by music icon Lionel Richie, who will share the stage with powerhouse performer Charlie Wilson, and fan favorites Erykah Badu and Tamar Braxton (Sunday, July 6th). Nephew Tommy from The Steve Harvey Morning Show, will return as the Mainstage host.   

The 2014 ESSENCE Festival night-by-night musical line-up is as follows:

• Friday, July 4 – Mainstage: Prince along with special guest performers Superlounges: Eve, King, Stephanie Mills, Leela James, Naughty By Nature, Kevin Ross, Estelle and Greta Prince.

• Saturday, July 5 – Mainstage: Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, The Roots, Ledisi, Tank. Superlounges: 112, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Michelle Williams, Tevin Campbell, Liv Warfield, Marsha Ambrosius, PJ Morton, Doug E. Fresh and Kourtney Heart.


• Sunday, July 6 – Mainstage: Lionel Richie, Charlie Wilson, Erykah Badu, Tamar Braxton Superlounges: Robert Glasper, Amel Larrieux, K. Michelle, Sebastian Mikael, Raheem DaVaughn, Sevyn Streeter, Elle Varner, August Alsina and The Original Pinettes.

Single day tickets start at  $58 per person per night. For information about ticket sales, accommodations and the latest news about the ESSENCE FESTIVAL, visit ESSENCE Festival www.essencefestival.com, join the Festival community: on Twitter @essencefest #EssenceFest and become a fan of 2014 ESSENCE Festival on Facebook.

















Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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