Category Archives: Entertainment

Basketball Wives and other VH1 Blaxploitation Foolishness

With its ever growing lineup of reality shows that feature African American celebrities, athletes, and entertainers, VH1 is becoming the modern, cable version of Blaxploitation films from the 70s.

Watch the video to hear my thoughts on Basketball Wives and other foolishness that keeps me from barely turning the television on at all these days!

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I’m totally surprised that the VMA’s didn’t suck this year!

The credits aren’t even rolling and I had to fire up my laptop and write this post! So, the MTV Video Music Awards totally did not suck this year and I’m still, like astonished! Bad hosts, terrible presenters, even more terrible jokes, and hit and miss performances is how I would typically describe the VMA’s. This year was a refreshing change! Here’s why…

1) No host. Great move, MTV. Kevin Hart’s snippets were the perfect fillers in between awards. They were pretty funny and weren’t overdone.

2) Solid performances. I didn’t snooze through any of them! That is unprecedented.

3) Speaking of performances, the standout of the night for me was Adele. Man, that woman can SING! The quality of her voice is unmeasured.

4) The set. I actually liked the set this year. It was a little busy at times, but that’s to be expected. And the green laser show during Pit Bull and Ne-Yo’s performance was really cool!

5) Kanye behaved himself. Enough said! His performance with Jay-Z was solid and the win with Katy Perry was kinda sweet.

6) People may not “get” Lady Gaga, but you have to give her credit for staying in character the whole night. She definitely is a master at captivating and keeping your attention.

7) I wrote on my Facebook page, “I feel like MTV are Britney Spears’ parents and they keep giving her awards like they’re a weekly allowance #justbecause.” Not to discredit her talent and contribution to pop music, but seriously? A lifetime award? This network is determined to keep her relevant. And for that, they get a gold star and make this list.

8 ) The Beibs (Justin Beiber) NAMED Jesus in his thank you speech. That’s unheard of in this day and time, let alone from a teenage pop star.

9) I give props to Jessie J for doing her best with a broken ankle. She didn’t let that stop her from keeping her commitment to perform and she made the best out of it.

10) And last, but most certainly not least is the biggest VMA moment…probably almost ever. Beyonce and Jay-Z have spawned! She announced her pregnancy to the world tonight and the internet is all abuzz about it! She revealed her baby bump while on the black carpet, then totally blew everybody away when she: 1) killed her performance of “Love on Top” and 2) unbuttoned her jacket to show millions of people her growing tummy at the end of her performance!  The smile and look on her face was of sheer joy. It was truly a special moment. The feeling of growing a life inside of you is one that is so hard to put into words. It’s exhilarating and unparalleled. And as a first time mom, I can appreciate her moment of sharing her good news! I’m happy for her and her husband. Truly!

Did you watch? What were your favorite 2011 VMA moments?

Beyonce’s “4”: Floptastic or Fantastic?

I finally got the chance to listen to Beyonce’s new album “4” yesterday and I just couldn’t let that experience pass without writing a review! Ya’ll know I love me some Bey, so please know that the words that follow come from a good place. LOL

Here’s a song-by-song break down of my immediate thoughts and reactions:

1) “1+1” – Sung beautifully, but very anti-climatic. I kept waiting for it to take me somewhere, but that didn’t happen. Instead I found myself asking, “That’s it? It’s over?” I found this to be a poor choice for opening up the album.

2) ” I Care” – I listened to this twice and on the second go ’round it grew on me a little. I like the beat and the song starts off pretty strong. I appreciate her trying to push herself vocally, but that octave jumping at the end? Leave that to Mariah, boo.

3) “I Miss You” – This track was a little sleepy. It was well produced but felt a little unnecessary.

4) “Best Thing I Never Had” – Hands down, her best vocal performance on the album. It shows the growth she was trying to achieve, without going too far or singing too hard. I also like the believability of the lyrics – but then again, it’s written by Babyface, and that man knows he can write a song!

5) “Party” – Loved it! It gives a fresh vibe and pays a nice homage to the sounds of the 90s! And any song that can bring Andre 3000 out of solitary confinement is a winner. This is the song that was stuck in my head after I listened to the album.

6) “Rather Die Young” – Eh…snooze…skip. Nothing to see here, folks.

7) “Start Over” – Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..see #6.

8  ) “Love on Top” – Nap time is over! This is a really fun and upbeat song, and another throwback – but this time with an 80s feel. She sang it well and it’s easy to sing along to.

9) “Countdown”: A solid standout track. The Boys II Men sample was a great way to switch things up. More songs from this recording session should have made it on the album. It offers up the dose of familiarity that had been missing – this is the Bey we know and love!

10) “End of Time” – A cute, summery, hanging out with my girls kinda jam. Nothing special, but I like it.

11) “I Was Here” – A classic Diane Warren power ballad, but it’s still a yawn because it didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know about Beyonce. You want to leave your mark on the world…I get it, I get it! #enoughalready

12) “Run the World (GIRLS)”: This song reaallllyy had to grow on me when I first heard it. After seeing her perform it at the Billboard Music Awards, I began to appreciate it more. Now I love it and wished there was more like it on the album…but sadly, it’s a stand alone.

Overall, the “4” album was a bit of a bore for me. It wasn’t completely floptastic, but it felt disjointed and a lot of the writing was somewhat elementary. The best line wasn’t even delivered by Beyonce – it was Kanye! And I quote, “You a bad girl and you’re friends bad too. You got that swag-sauce, ya drippin’ swagu!” You can always count on Mr. West to come up with something that’s silly and clever at the same time. I love him for that!

Almost half of the entire album was produced by The Dream and Tricky Stewart, and although they were responsible for most of my faves, you would think there would have been more continuity. The bottom line here is that if this is what she came up with after taking 9 months off, she need not ever take a vacation (for that long) again. Ever.

What do you think…was it floptastic or fantastic?

U PDATE! After doing some more listening, I can say the album did in fact grow on me over time. I still stand by most of my commentary, though! I find myself listening to the same tracks over and over again when I play the album. What changed for me is hearing Beyonce say that with this record she wanted to do things her own way and what felt good to her creatively. That explains why it felt a little “all over the place.” Knowing that she split with her long time manager and father during the process of recording the album…it all made sense. It’s a sign of freedom, if you will and starting a new chapter. So I give her a bit of a break for that!

How Beyonce Makes it Better: My Week in Review

This has been a great week for me and The Yeyo Diaries!

I started out sharing a very personal post on Monday – and the response of love and support from my friends and readers has been overwhelming. Thank you to all of you!

Then on Wednesday, TYD was featured on #commenthour, which is an online meeting on Twitter where 25 random blogs get featured and thus exposed to hundreds of other bloggers. I’ve got a record 70-something comments (including my replies) on my post from Wednesday (plus – that Facebook status from my husband still has me swooning)! I’m really looking forward to finding a whole new set of blogs to obsess over. 🙂

Something un-blog related happened yesterday that sealed the deal for this being a good week. After a week long hiatus from working out (blame cramps, bloating, and cravings…need I say more?) I got back in the gym. My workout yesterday was particularly enhanced because I finally got to use my iPod. For some reason I’m allergic to charging it up, so my babe charged it for me (thanks, hun!) and I took it with me to the gym. Sometimes using it can be a hassle, but this time it was so worth it!

After my warm up I put on some Beyonce and BAM! I was transported to another place (picture – a night club). I was shaking it, grooving, it, and if I could have – dropped down low and the swept the floor wit’ it…but hey, I was on a treadmill! Safety first! LOL

In short – I had a good time. I was mouthing the lyrics to her songs like an extra in a music video! I’m sure I looked a little silly…but who cares? I broke a good sweat and it made my workout go that much faster. It feels good to do good things for your body. Wouldn’t you agree?

Happy Friday and have a fabulous weekend!!!!!!!

 

What's your favorite Beyonce jam?

Murder She Wrote…Rihanna and other reggae jams

All of this controversy over Rihanna’s new “Man Down” video has got me thinking about my Caribbean roots. I’m in the mood for some stewed chicken, beans, rice, and plantain. Yum.

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite reggae jams to get this TGIF party started!


I liked “Jumping the Broom,” but I still have some questions!

*SPOILER ALERT* Do not read on if you have not seen the movie and desire to.

Over the weekend I had the chance to see “Jumping the Broom,” and I have to say that like so many other people I know – I really enjoyed it! It was well acted, fairly well written, the costuming was great, and the plot was plausible. HOWEVER! There are some questions I have about the film. I left the theater scratching my head on a few things and I want to know if I was the only one who thought these things!

These were my observations:

1) I’m all for a fresh representation of the Black family; in this case, one that’s bi-lingual. But why did they speak French so fluently? I mean, did Angela Bassett’s rich family come from France? Did they all used to live in France? The language was so prevalent that I kept wondering if I had missed something. Did I?

2) Mike Epps’ character was funny, but not funny enough. He’s MIKE EPPS! I could tell that his character was designed to so show some sensibility and to be the voice of reason, which, on some level, I did appreciate…but he’s a comedian, for goodness sake! And his name was Wille Earl! Like, c’mon man…Willie Earl????? That was a winning combo right there! Sometimes I found myself laughing in anticipation of what he was going to say, because I knew my side was gonna be hurtin’! But that side-splitting moment of laughter never truly came.

3) What was up with Meagan Good and the chef situation? Who slobs down the family chef at first meeting? No. For real…wheredeydodatat? And what chef goes fishing for oysters with no shirt on? That aspect of the story needed some serious development. It went from 0-60 in 30 seconds. And for the record, never slob a man down that you hardly know and then five minutes later ask him what he thinks of you. #notagoodtime

4) I love Angie B. I do. Lord knows I do. But didn’t her character seem overwhelmingly angry from the first scene? The movie had barely started and she was already mad. There’s a difference between being overly “bougie” and mad. She was the latter. #takeabreather

5) Didn’t Lil Romeo (or just Romeo now…I think?) look like he was trying too hard with the whole Tasha Smith thing? He played it fairly well until the kiss. He spent the whole movie professing his manhood only to grab her face like he was a teenage boy kissing a girl for the first time. And he was clearly shorter than her. #awkwaaaarrrdddd

6) Did Pooch Hall’s character have any relevance at all? And didn’t you spend a long time wondering where the other bridesmaid came from? She was just…there. All in the mix. Kinda like Pooch.

7) No Black movie is complete without Loretta Devine playing somebody’s mama. I know there aren’t a lot of roles in Hollywood for Black women, so I am not mad at her hustle – but can you say typecast? And she was hella shady, too! SMH!

8 ) Did you spend the entire time comparing the movie to Tyler Perry’s films? I did. Especially with seeing Tasha Smith onscreen. She seemed like a more relaxed version of all of her other roles in Perry’s movies…like her twin sister that practices yoga or something. I didn’t fully buy it because my only other theatrical impressions of her are that of a loud, obnoxious, crazy woman. Again, typecast.  But for his first time directing, I have to give Salim Akil a high five.  Tyler still has some growing to do with not making his movies look like an upgraded version of his play DVDs.

9) Julie Bowen, the event planner/assistant stole just about every scene she was in. The racial jokes were overly cliche, but it just worked for some reason!

10) I’ve never been to Martha’s Vineyard. But knowing that the movie was actually filmed in Nova Scotia made me feel like I was in Nova Scotia, and not Martha’s Vineyard.

As you can tell from my observations, the movie fell short in some areas (namely in character and supporting story line development), but like I said – I liked it, I really did! I would even watch it again. I was happy to spend my hard earned dollars on a Black film that was actually worthy of my support.

What about you? What were your thoughts?

Let’s chat!

Confessions of a Blog Stalker: Meet my Latest Obession

Sometimes I get lost in the blogger universe because there are so may great blogs out there that I want to read, but just don’t have the time to. Then there are some blogs that keep me from reading others because I get sucked in and check back for new content everyday (sometimes more than once a day #dontjudgeme). I start to develop…like…an obsession. Yes, I said it. I have blog obsessions and may even be classified as a blog stalker! 🙂

Remember how it felt when you first got that CD you’d been wanting for like, EVER and then you played it over and over again until it was scratched beyond recognition? It’s kinda like that, just with blogs! I don’t want to be the only one drooling over my fave new blogs so I decided to share a few with you (as my obsessions develop), so you can drool too. I enjoy reading blogs that offer great content and that make me laugh, think, and feel inspired!

The blog I’m currently stalking is Man Wife and Dog Blog, authored by Charli Penn-Watkins.

The tag for the blog is: Tales from a Rookie Wife’s Life and she hit the nail on the head! Her writing style is fun, engaging, and conversational (a woman after my own heart!). She writes witty and thought provoking posts about her experiences with being a newlywed. She and her husband make an adorable couple and their little doggie takes the cute factor to a level 10! If you’re an animal lover or parent to a “fur baby,” then this blog’s for you, too!

I enjoy reading Charli’s blog because she writes from an honest perspective about what being married means – to her and in general, making her posts easy to relate to if you’re a rookie or veteran wife. She gives great advice and even offers a space every Monday for other wives to share and offer their best tips and tricks for having a successful marriage.

Please take a moment to visit the blog and tell her I sent ya!

She’s also on Twitter (where I found her) and she tweets back, so hit her up!

Oh, wait! Annnnddd I forgot to mention that she’s also the newest Relationship Editor for Essence.com! Uhhh, can you say: big thangs poppin’?! Congrats, again! I love to see young, successful Black women making moves and achieving great things!

Another annoying thing about Facebook

Don’t you hate how FB will make these changes to the site and then force you to oblige? Like for example, when they rolled out the new profile, they used peer pressure to get you to switch to it by saying, “Hello So-and-So…all of your friends have the profile…you should switch too!” Well, not in those exact words – but you get the idea.

Then after you resist giving in to the ‘change’ they tell you, “Well, you better just do it now because you won’t have choice later.” Oh, is that right? I guess you just told me, now didn’t you, Mr. Zuckerberg?! Youain’tmydaddy.

The latest change is with their photo viewer. It has this awful black background and causes all kinds of errors when you want to look at pics. I’m all for trying to evolve the site, but sometimes you just have to leave well enough alone! Ever heard the phrase, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?”

Well anyway, if you hate the new photo viewer like I do – I found this article that tells you how to go back to the way it was! It’s really easy, too. Just press ‘reload’ in your browser window or hit the F5 key. That’s it! Yay!

Switch your Facebook photo viewer back to ‘classic’

Here’s the how-to video, for you visual learners. LOL

 

Don’t say I never gave you nothin’! 🙂

TPOG

What about 4th Grade?

I have been in a bit of a ‘blogger funk’ this week so I was excited when I felt prompted to write after reading this story. The topic is one that’s been hotly debated by many since Willow Smith debuted her first single, “Whip My Hair” last year. At the time she was just nine years old (she turned 10 in October) and everybody with an opinion had something to say. Namely, is she too young to be a recording artist?

Some think so. Others think not. What do you think?

Personally, I have mixed emotions about it (not that the Smiths even care or that my opinion matters!). Now that I’m a parent, I just couldn’t imagine my baby girl out on the world’s stage to be celebrated, judged, and critiqued all at the same time – at nine years old; no matter how talented she is. Kids should be allowed to just be kids. We all saw what happened in the most tragic case of the result of a robbed childhood ever…in our beloved Micheal Jackson (R.I.P.). That poor man spent all of his adult life in a futile search to reclaim that which a never had: a childhood. His talent as a child was unprecedented (some say he was a prodigy) – but wouldn’t it still have been there as an adult?

On the other hand, would anyone even care if her parents weren’t famous? What about that girl, Jackie Evancho from America’s Got Talent? She was on Oprah last Christmas because of her incredible ability to sing opera (she’s also 10 years old and holds the record of being the youngest opera singer ever). She was born in Pittsburgh to regular folk like you and me, and yet they’re not being judged for allowing her to go on the show and subsequently record an album. Despite the fact that Willow was born to arguably two of the most talented people in Hollywood (which to me means that she couldn’t avoid the arts if she TRIED)…because of their celebrity, people are ripping Will and Jada Smith apart for their decision.

What I read this morning was Terry McMillian’s two cents about it all. She wrote on her Twitter page:

The Smith children already act like child stars. There’s an arrogance in their demeanor and behavior. I find it incredibly sad.
It feels like the Smith children are being pimped and exploited. Or, they’re already hungry for fame. What about 4th grade?


A lot of A-list movie stars shielded their children from the Hollywood-world until they were old enough to decide. Look at those who didn’t.
Look at Lindsay. Phoenix. To name but a few. They miss out on childhood. It’s more important than fame.

These kids don’t already know what they “love”. Total bullsh*t. They’re not prodigies. They think Hollywood is real.
Why don’t they do a remake of The Little Rascals and call it a day? Or, come up with an original film with some ethnic pride. Come on.

Okay. I’ve said enough about the Smith children. I’m not debating about them. It’s just my opinion. People can justify anything, though.
In 4th grade my son came home complaining that the kids in his school said I was famous and rich. I told him that was not true.

That some of my books were popular but not everybody liked them. That we could afford a vacation. “Oh” he said, and went back & repeated it. I wanted him to think of me as his mother. He didn’t read any of my novels until he was 15. He only read 26 pages. Was bored.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everybody. I raised my son. I’m not wasting another minute worrying about how Will & Jada are raising their kids.
P.S. I loved the Karate Kid.
I am not getting started on the lack of diversity in film this afternoon. The Smith children was enough discourse for one day.

Pimped and exploited??? Yikes!!!!!!!!!!! She later apologized for using those words.

But is she right? Hmmm…I kinda agree with her about their (Willow and her brother Jaden’s) demeanor. Yet – that’s just what we see on camera and red carpets and such. Nobody really knows those kids but their family and friends. And what if they just can’t help it because being famous is in their DNA?

There’s really no right or wrong answer here, it’s all a matter of opinion. To each his own.

Chime in! I’d like to know what you think about all of this!

Tweet Me Not

I’ve been avoiding it for as long as I can, but I have a confession to make. I have a Twitter account. There, I said it. It’s been my dark secret for months now.  Why a secret, you ask? Sit back and relax for the long back story.

I’ve been resistant to using Twitter because quite honestly, I’ve never understood the point of it. I feel like Facebook is enough for me when it comes to social media.

I am, however, a sucker for pop culture. I have always been fascinated with it. But I wouldn’t consider myself to be star-stuck by any means. No, seriously. One time, at the peak of her career (circa 2002) I rode in a limo with R&B artist Ashanti and some of her ‘staff’ and had dinner at Denny’s (it was late, like 11pm)…and didn’t bat an eye. Granted, she’s not the biggest of stars, but she was hugely popular at the time, and I didn’t even ask to take a picture. (I know you’re wondering how that came to be, but that’s a long story. And yes, a man was involved.)

Anyway, because I’m a sucker for pop culture, I wrote a paper in grad school about Karrine Steffans – the infamous video vixen that wrote a tell-all book about her sexual escapades with many well known celebrities in the hip-hop industry. As part of my research for the paper, I opened a Twitter account to try and get access to her page so that I could get more info that would help me with my paper. Turns out her Tweets were protected and I didn’t feel like getting permission for access. After I was done with the paper, I never closed the account.

I never Tweeted but did end up following a few celebrities that I have a fancy for, out of pure curiosity. I don’t know my way around the site, I just occasionally log in to see what the celebs are tweeting about and then log off. I just haven’t been that interested to go all out and become an actual user.

But that was until I started this blog. I want to reach out, connect, and network with more mommy bloggers and I understand that in order to do that, I’ll more than likely have to give in to societal pressure and join the Twitter-world. I need to expand beyond the confines of personal FB page.

I’m sure my friend at Buzzersation (a social media/PR agency…they’re experts on this stuff) will tell me that I need to suck it up and get with the program. But I don’t wanna! Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Blogher…talk about over exposure! I’ve already admitted that I’m addicted to Facebook. But now Twitter, too? **sigh** I understand that it’s necessary, though if I want to broaden my horizons and build more relationships. And I guess if Oprah did it, I can do it too (lol).

So here I go, pinching my nose and jumping in!

Follow me @theyeyodiaries