Pop Culture

485 559 Cierra Venable

How we can help Kanye instead of hurt him

Kanye West has been one of the biggest rappers/producers in the game for 10 plus years now. And, fans have watched him go through ups and downs from his near fatal car accident, the loss of his mother, and the many rants that have fans saying: “I miss the old Kanye!” Speaking of which, his latest rant is the reason why he’s been in the headlines this week.

During his show in Sacramento, he went on a vicious rant about Donald Trump, Google, racism, and even his relationship with Jay-Z. If that wasn’t enough, Kanye left the concert after performing only 3 songs and being 90 minutes late. Here’s the video of what went down!

Major news outlets filled with fans and critics dragged Kanye through the mud because of his actions and a day or so after, it was reported that Kanye was hospitalized.

Okay, so I completely understand the frustration that many of you have towards him. But, we all can’t deny the fact that Kanye has given us amazing music that we all will listen to until the end of time. Could you imagine being criticized everyday by millions of people? Could you imagine not being able to grieve like a normal person? I’m not saying that Ye is perfect, but he is human and he makes mistakes like all of us.

Kanye isn’t the only celebrity who has battled with mental illness & depression. Artists like Kid Cudi, Kendrick Lamar, Brittany Spears,Mariah Carey and many more deal with it.

So what can we do to help?

We should try to uplift them instead of tearing them down like they aren’t real people with feelings.  We should try to be more understanding and stop encouraging negativity on social media.

We have to be the generation of change. And, stop the hate!

What are your thoughts on Kanye’s recent actions? Let’s chat below!

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Movie Review of: Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

It was the opening weekend for the Harry Potter series spinoff, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. So, I convinced some friends (one a fan like myself and the other not so much, but went with an open mind) to see if the hype lived up to my expectations.


The first minute of the film, I was excited as I heard the telltale musical score, but was soon transported to an aesthetic of the United States in the 1920s, where we were introduced to an awkward but lovable fellow called Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne). I’ve been a fan of Redmayne since his appearance in The Other Boleyn Girl and in the 2011 remake of Les Miserables. The cinematography was reminiscent of the later, much “darker” in terms of theme, Harry Potter film adaptations, which worked well for the more complex and mature themes (i.e. class divides, poverty, gender norms, child abuse, alcohol as contraband, latent sexuality as a trope, political power brokering etc.) trailing throughout the film.

Great moments of the Roaring Twenties appeared at the forefront of this film that met historic sights such as the Central Park Zoo and other NYC landmarks, which fared well with the tone set. Animal lovers and other moviegoers will appreciate the nostalgia of the 1920s setting and costume design, but also the not-so-subtle message of preserving various species (i.e. the diverse, colorful, and complex beasts listed in the film’s title) and taking the time to study and understand them much like our main character does. I would venture to say that this film will please both hardcore Harry Potter fans with the unique expansion of the HP universe and others with its casting and plot decisions.

Of particular note, I was thrilled and honestly surprised to see a woman of color in a position of power at the American version of the Ministry of Magic. This is a distinct moment because although the original children’s books are set in Europe, mainly the United Kingdom, where there is an expectation of ethnic and cultural diversity, American society was not as progressive at this point in history. Therefore, seeing a woman of color in a powerful, authoritative role speaks to a message of division, which exists in Rowling’s HP universe as class and species in the terms of magical v. non-magical, witches/wizards v. giants/werewolves etc. (HP fans are familiar with the term Muggle or in this film the equivalent is No-Maj.) Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo) AKA President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America is clearly experienced, respected, ambitious due to her young appearance, and attractive to boot.

However, I was left with the nagging question as to whether it seemed a bit of a stretch for the time considering the historic and present racism that exists in this country. Either way I love her inclusion and that J.K. Rowling was involved in the decision making process that led to her casting. On another progressive and pleasant note, I’m thinking this film may pass the Bechdel Test where a film has two named women characters who speak to one another about something other than a man.

As much as the special effects (i.e. magical spell casting) delighted and frankly at some points startled me, I don’t think this film was worth seeing in 3D. I adore the entire movie-going experience, but the last few 3D films have left me wishing I hadn’t spent the money, and with a headache. So, for this film, I opted out of 3D and was perfectly stupefied and entertained. Though, I wish I had read the guidebook that inspired author and screenplay writer, I was thoroughly content with the direction of the plot and characterization.

There were great moments of hilarity that paired well and allowed viewers to swallow the moments of despair more easily. As Shakespeare was famous for his comedies and tragedies, this film uses both comedic relief and strife to drive plot and characters while keeping moviegoers’ attention. I was able to guess some plot reveals, but the biggest reveal I only pieced together a few moments before the film’s final scene.

Overall, I would certainly go see this film again to catch all of the references I missed the first time around, and pay attention to those British accents! I think this film was a good extension of the Harry Potter brand, while still giving enough room to explore this more mature cast of witches and wizards.

I give this movie 3.5 out of 5 stars because it sets the stage for greatness and to distinguish itself, but I found myself feeling a little claustrophobic and unsatisfied with the magical world despite being set in one of the greatest U.S. cities.

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Here Are The Top Celeb Baby Names of 2016

Because there are 12 months in a year and I needed to cap off the cuteness overload at some point…

2016 has been a bit of an odd duck and a rollercoaster in many regards. To add to this odd sense of chaos and sameness, it seems celebrities can still think of new and unusual names for their kids. So, to provide some much needed simple joy (i.e. the kind that comes from small humans) I’ve ranked some of the unique names of celebrities’ progeny.

1) Anacã Swanepoel? Anacã Swanepoel-Nicoli? Anacã Nicoli?

October 7

Proud Parents: Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel and her fiancé Hermann Nicoli

His parents may have been “mum” so far on his full legal name, but who cares! Perhaps feeling inspired by the beauty of nature, they decided upon Anacã (pronounced AhNahCah for my fellow non-Brazilian/Portuguese speakers.), which is a Brazilian word for a species of bird that is brightly colored. Just seeing the accent makes me want to dance, which as we saw in the Rio this summer, Brazilians are great dancers.  

2) A’mei Kazuko Grandberry

March 7

Proud Parents: American rapper, singer-songwriter, actor Omari Ishmael Grandberry AKA Omarion and now ex Apryl Jones

I can’t say I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting an A’mei, but it’s short, sweet, and definitely not mainstream in the United States. Paired with her middle and surname—She will certainly not be forgotten.

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3) Onyx Solace Morissette-Treadway

June 23

Proud Parents: Canadian crooner Alanis Morissette and husband Mario “Souleye” Treadway

In my humblest opinion, onyx is a highly undervalued and beautiful gemstone. Sure you’ve heard of Ruby, Sapphire, or Emerald for a little girl, but Onyx is strong both in a figurative and literal sense. Secondly, the choice of middle name is also a statement. Solace means “comfort or consolation in a time of distress or sadness” so she’s hopefully not going to grow up to be the friend everyone over-shares their emotions to. But don’t worry Onyx will have big brother Ever to quash any bullies she might encounter.

4) Story Goldberg

May 16

Proud Parents: Actress Soleil Moon Frye and producer husband Jason Goldberg

This one is a head scratcher. I can’t even make up something that would explain this bold name choice. Story is the fourth child who joins older sibs Poet Sienna Rose, Jagger Joseph Blue, and Lyric Sonny Roads.

5) Amada Lee Gosling

April 29

Proud Parents: Actors Ryan Gosling and Eva Mendes

Ultra-privacy concerned, Amada’s arrival was a tightly kept secret. It’s not a secret why she’s included on this list. Not only is her name delicate and lyrical, but it’s just as perfect as big sis, Esmeralda.

6) Luna Simone Stephens

April 14

Proud Parents: Model and entrepreneur Chrissy Teigen and singer John Legend  

I’ll be honest, when I first heard Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend were expecting—I got a little misty-eyed. They appear so in-love and supportive that I thought they’d make great parents. I also hella respect Chrissy Teigen’s hustle by expanding her career and also in the authenticity of her social media posts. She seems like someone who I’d love to babysit for because she’s so damn funny. Luna means ‘moon’ in Latin and is elegant, but different enough to not seem overdone or cheesy. If her momma’s Instagram is any indication, she’s going to be a stunner!

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Dusty Rose Levine 9/21/16

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7) Dusty Rose Levine

September 21

Proud Parents: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo

At first blush, “Dusty Rose” is a romantic shade of pink that would suit a shadow in my Urban Decay Naked3 palette. It also adds evidence to floral trend that is still going strong in Hollywood and in lives of ordinary families. However, I’ll admit I was hoping the couple would give their daughter a name that reflected Behati’s unique Namibian background.

8) Journey River Green

August 4

Proud Parents: Actress Megan Fox and husband and fellow actor Brian Austin Green

Reportedly, Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green were headed towards divorce and perhaps this little dude helped reunite his parents? My first thoughts are as such: Journey is a great classic rock band. His name appears meaningful. And, most importantly, he has a great stage name if he discovers his inner virtuoso and desires a music career.

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9) Dream Renée Kardashian

November 10

Proud Parents: Robert “Rob” Kardashian and Blac Chyna AKA Angela Renée White

The newest Kardashian has arrived and she’s a dream come true! With big brother King Cairo on the scene, this little bundle of joy had big shoes to fill. This little one is on the list because of her uncommon names’ simplicity, softness, and the warm and fuzzy feeling it creates. It also doesn’t hurt that Dream is certainly up to par with her cool older cousins North, Saint, Mason, Penelope, and Reign.

10) Forest Leonardo Antonio Rotella

August 7

Proud Parents: Former Playboy Bunny and star of Peepshow Holly Madison and husband Pasquale Rotella

Mamma mia! Dis boy has a long name! Falling into the same nature and flower inspired trend, Forest joins his sister Rainbow Aurora. Greenpeace and Fleetwood Mac approve.

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Did I just see a Unicorn?? #happyholloween

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11) Minka Jagger John

March 2

Proud Parents: “Shark Tank” star Daymond John and longtime girlfriend Heather

He may be a shark in business negotiations, but I have a feeling he’ll be a little less cutthroat with this little lady. Hopefully, Minka Kelly will be willing to share the spotlight.  

12) York Banks Asla

January 27

Proud Parents: Former model and entrepreneur Tyra Banks and her boyfriend Norwegian photographer Erik Asla

Last but certainly not least, York rounds out the list with his New York inspired and on-trend name. York is classic sounding and even a little sporty. Wishing all the best to this little guy!

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See which candidate the “Empire” cast is standing behind in the 2016 presidential race

Taraji P. Henson, Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Gray, Lee Daniels, Grace Byers, Trai Byers, Tasha Smith, and Gabourey Sidibe are with Hillary Clinton!

In an intimate video directed by Lee Daniels, “Empire” stars tell us why they are voting with HER, and also why it is not an excuse for us to not vote in this years election.

Check out the video below, and let me know your thoughts!



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Listen to Solange’s new album “A Seat At The Table”

Today is the digital release date of Solange’s fourth studio album “A Seat At The Table.” I can’t say who’s worse, her or Frank Ocean for making fans wait four years  to hear some new music. But, I think that it may be well worth it, as Solange says that this is her “…most proud body of work.”

On this new album, you will hear features from: Tweet, Kelela, Kelly Rowland, BJ The Chicago Kid, The Dream, Lil Wayne, Q-Tip and more

Check out her digital book HERE , and tell me what y’all think about it!

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Bill “Radio Raheem” Nunn dies at 62


Celebrities and fans are mourning after news broke that famed actor Bill Nunn passed away yesterday in his home state of Pennsylvania.  Many of you probably know him as “Radio Raheem,” from the hit movie Do the Right Thing, but his career stretched out to other box-office hits such as: School Daze, New Jack City, He Got Game, Spider-Man 2, and many more.

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An Original Poem By Lemon Andersen …And than there was Radio Raheem, Flat top, tight fade, Built like an '89 NY Giant, The Majestic Brother you could hear two blocks away in any direction pumping Public Enemy from the horns of his Ghetto Blaster, the Conscience brother who wanted nothing but to be alone and live in the loud solace of his Radio… A Young, Black, Beautiful Man who died in the hands of Blue Fear and White Fury. People walked across the street when Radio Raheem came down the Block, the Starch in his frame scared them away from the Gap in his smile. The four fingered rings were seen like Brass knuckles when if you stopped him like Mookie did as the sun set On that Hot summer day in BK, Brooklyn You would see Raheems hands like his mind were worth its weight in Gold.

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Rest in Power Bill! Your work here on earth is done, and its time for you to conquer the next phase of life.

What was your favorite Bill Nunn movie?

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Taraji P. Henson covers Entertainment Weekly (Pics + Video Inside)

All hail, Queen Taraji!

Get into the latest edition of Entertainment Weekly starring the beautiful and incredibly talented, Taraji P. Henson.

 Read about her journey to becoming one of the biggest names in Hollywood, her future plans, and also some interesting little nuggets about  season 3 of Empire.  

“This is my first time carrying a show and then going to carry a movie,” says Henson. “That’s a lot. It’s so stressful, and I had to really check myself because it’s so easy to take for granted when you get to a certain level. Like check yourself because people pray to be here.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Check out behind the scenes of her cover shoot below:


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Black athletes are winning big at the Olympic games

These athletes did not come to play games, they came to slay!

The 2016 Rio Olympic games have been one for the books so far, as over 10 athletes have made history in their respective events.  And, guess what! They are all black!

Check-out these game-changers below:

1. Simone Manuel (Team USA): 1st black woman to win gold in individual swimming

2. Simone Biles (Team USA): The only woman to win world championships for three consecutive years

3. Gabby Douglas (Team USA): Apart of the winning gymnastics team

4. Daryl D. Homer (Team USA): 1st African-American to win the silver medal in men’s saber fencing in 112 years

5. Carmelo Anthony (Team USA): America’s 1st all-time leading scorer in basketball

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"All Praise Due To The Most High" #StayMe7o

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6. Rafaela Silva (Team Brazil): Won gold medal in the 57- kilogram division for women’s judo

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"Pra quem tem fé a vida nunca tem fim."

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7. Almaz Ayana (Team Ethiopia): Won gold and beat the world and Olympic records for the 10,000 meter race

8. Ibtihaj Muhammad (Team USA): The first American athlete to compete wearing a hijab

9. Michelle Carter (Team USA): The first American woman to win gold gold in shot put

10. Usain Bolt (Team Jamaica): Won his 3rd consecutive gold medal at the Olympics

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GOLD!!!! #Rio2016

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11. Elaine Thompson (Team Jamaica): Won a gold medal in the women’s 100m race

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The Weeknd says,”Enough, is enough…” and donates 250,000 to Black Lives Matter


Canadian singer, The Weeknd is on a roll! After making a generous donation of $50,000 to the University of Toronto’s Ethiopic Studies Program, the Grammy- winning artist has donated $250,000 to the Black Lives Matter Network.

If you are interested in starting a chapter, joining a chapter, or donating to the cause click Here.



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10 cool things we learned about Uzo Aduba from her Instagram

Uzo Aduba is on the cover of the September issue of Essence Magazine and we are here for it! Check out the 10 coolest things we found about the OITNB star while surfing her insta page.

1. She is unapologetically black and beautiful

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You never forget your first September Issue. To say that I'm excited to share this cover of @essence does not "cover" it. I am over the moon! This magazine has served as a beacon and mirror, bridging the many faces and varied stories surrounding us, fully completing the narrative of what accomplished women look like. Women I would find myself inspired and uplifted by, both as a girl and as a woman. For me, Essence represents an avenue for dreaming and aspiration. Thank you, Essence; for having me for this September Fashion Issue, for making me part of your ever graceful legacy, for all that you've encouraged out of me and countless others. It is truly an honor. And, to the girls reading, both big and small: I hope you always remain a dreamer. A big dreamer, a "to the sky's the limit" dreamer. Continue to stay inspired, and know that you are worthy of any and all things that are possible in this life! Love and more love. xxoU #EssenceMag #blackandbeautiful Thank you to these brilliant loving artists for an amazing day: Photographer: @dennisleupold Journalist: @lolaogunnaike Styling: @cristinaehrlich Hair: @lacyredway Makeup: @dilokritbarose Nails: @deborahlippman

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2. She is inspiring

3. She took her high school prom date to the SAG awards

4.  One of her favorite books is The Alchemist

5. She is a proud member of the “Ghetto Dorm”

6. She used to run track for Boston University

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#tbt #ProudtoBU

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7.  Sky diving is definitely checked off of her bucket list

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Defying Gravity. #Wicked

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8. Her home country is Nigeria

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Happy Independence Day Nigeria! #naijagal

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9. If she had a cereal created in her honor, this is what it would look like

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This made me giggle… Regram.

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10. Her new and #firstdog is named Fenway

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Welcome to the family, Fenway. #myfirstdog

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