Event Recap: Q&A Reception for New Cast of Tyler Perry’s “The Have’s and the Have Nots” & “Love Thy Neighbor” On OWN
On Tuesday, May 14, the the 135th Agency hosted a private Q&A reception for the cast of The Have’s and the Have Nots and Love Thy Neighbor. The event held at Peter Thomas’s (of Real Housewives of Atlanta) local restaurant and lounge bar ONE. The event was held to give the local media outlets in Atlanta the opportunity to find out more about Tyler Perry’s two new scripted series. Both series are scheduled to air on May 28 and 29 on the OWN Network. As you know, Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey have teamed up to air several new shows written, directed, and produced by Mr. Perry. Although Turner Broadcasting (TBS) continue to show reruns of Mr. Perry’s other shows like House of Payne on their network, Tyler is no longer affiliated with that channel.
Anyway, the atmostphere at bar ONE was quaint and a little steamy. Apparently, there may have been too many people inside because the place was very warm. Luckily, the actresses had their glam squad’s on deck to touch up their make-up. If not, paparrazi shots would have looked a hot sweaty mess. Nevertheless, delicious bite-size pickings were passed around the room and drinks flowed. The DJ did a great job at maintaining the chill vibe in the room. Overall, this was a great event for various media outlets and onlookers to get the opportunity to know more about a few familiar faces and unfamiliar ones.
Cast members who were present to field questions from The Have’s and the Have Nots were John Schneider (Dukes of Hazzard), Tika Sumpter (One Life to Live/Gossip Girls), Crystal Fox (In The Heat of the Night). Also, several from the second new show Love Thy Neighbor were in attendance as well like Patricia Lovely (first African-American ring master/UniverSoul Circus and seasoned stage play actress), Kendra C. Johnson (The Game & Empowermen Editor/PLUS Model Magazine), and Palmer Williams Jr. (House of Payne). One interesting moment occured when someone asked the cast how was like to meet Oprah for the first time. Several had stories to share. But, Palmer Williams Jr’s story of meeting Oprah in Chicago and she served him fried chicken was a little funny.
Here are a few pictures from the Q&A event:
Please be sure to catch The Have’s and the Have Nots on OWN, Tuesday, May 28 at 9PM EST and Love Thy Neighbor on Wednesday, May 29 at 9PM EST. If you’re a big fan of Tyler Perry projects, then you will surely enjoy the two new series.
Thanks Saptosa Foster and the 135th Agency for the invite!
Our favorite tough girl is back! It’s been a minute since STACKS Magazine spoke with Bernice [READ HERE]. At the time, she was adjusting to the new fame, her role, and the overwhelming support from her fans. At one point she was released from her duties as a tow truck driver. But the Tremont Towing family welcomed her with open-arms. Since then, she’s been working hard on nights and weekends in the city of Miami and South Beach. Her hard work and dedication is all for the benefit of her lovely mother. Coming from humble beginnings, she’s on a mission to build an empire so that her mom won’t have to work anymore. She truly has a heart of gold. Of course, though, once you piss her off all hell can break loose.
In season 3 and 13 episodes later, the fans can expect to see some interesting conflict from the Miami-native and the Tremont crew. “It’s a lot of drama. It’s a lot going on, man. Definitely, inside house [Tremont] it’s a lot going on. Basically, the dad got hurt last year (Season 2). People who he trying to get to take over to pretty much run the company while he deal with his health issues…so it’s a lot“, says Bernice. With the show premiering tonight on Tru TV, Bernice is somewhat limited in what “tea” she could spill. But she ensures that the fans will get a more in-depth look into the interactions and emotions that flow within the Tremont office. The health issues with Robert Ashenoff, Sr (the Boss) and the newborn of Christie Ashenoff has made way for someone else to manage the day-to-day operations. This new turn of events has caused a huge stir in the office. From Bernice’s point of view, it’s a matter of control. Unfortunately, everyone can’t be the boss.
Basically, it’s the drama. Everybody want to be the boss. Everybody want to be chiefs, but don’t nobody want to be indians. It’s crazy. Christy have had the baby and she was out for a while just dealing with trying to run stuff. But, everybody help each other out. But, it don’t usually work out like that when money is involved. And everybody trying to get a couple dollars. It’s just crazy! Exciting, crazy, and a lot of drama. This year is going to be more drama-filled I would say.
South Beach Tow started off with the crew towing cars and reactions of random individuals who didn’t follow parking instructions. Over the seasons, however, each crew member’s personalities started to shine. The viewers became in love with the characters and not so much with the act of towing a car. Apparently, the producers of the show has recognized this and will continue to push the stories behind the cast. In season 3, this will be evident as more drama with the crew jumps off. While the company is in a management transition, the staff will be more emotional and conflict will arise. According to Bernice, yes there will be “hella” conflict. She says, “You know, depending on who take over and who’s the boss, everybody don’t like everybody. It’s just like a family. Some people can be good as a friend, but can’t be good as a boss. You feel me? It’s just crazy. A lot of bumping heads.”
Drama makes for good television. But fans don’t worry, there will still be a lot of car towing going on. Unfortunately, Bernice couldn’t give any specific situations that will occur this season. But rest to sure that there wil be some wild and crazy stuff going on with the citizens of Miami. And the people of Miami sure do love them some Bernice. After mentiong to her that our first interview garnered a boat load of comments and support from fans, Bernice is still humble. She hasn’t let the fame get to her head and probably never will. Fans see her all the time in the streets of Miami. She humbly stops to take a photo or even sign an autograph. Despite what we all see on television, she’s very nice and a lover of the people. All of this is still a bit overwhelming though. But she’s handling things quite well with her longstanding friendships and support from family.
One thing about it, I’m from Miami so people will definitely recognize you. I love the people. I’m a people’s person. It’s pretty much the same. It’s still overwhelming, like, I communicate with the fans. I try to stay as humble as I can. Before all this, I knew a lot of people. So now, you got a lot of people on your side, backing you, and who want to see you do well. Of course, you got the people who hate. As long as they hate to the point that they are watching (the show) to hate, I’m fine with that sh*t. It’s all the same. It’s the same with everything. It’s just surreal. I have to tell the truth. I’m just thankful that people are really f**king with us like that. It’s good for me.
Stalkers stand back though! LOL. With the popularity, Bernice has encountered a few strange occurences. We tend to hear about strangers showing up a celebrities front door step. Not only this is crazy, but it is also dangerous. And it will be if you show up at Bernice’s house. Luckily she has not received an unwelcomed visitor as of yet. But she says that she has had several strange phone calls. “No, but somebody been calling my damn house. I don’t know how they got my number. They must be paying for that sh*t to get all your information. [laughs] But, I’m about to change it and block it. Listen, I have no clue. My number been the same since I was in middle school. It never been listed“, Bernice explains.
You got to love her. She upfront and don’t take no mess. And she appreciates all her fans. With her filming schedule being as hectic as it is, she does plan to get out and meet some of the fans. So, there could possibly a city-to-city tour on the way. Bernice understands the importance of having a fanbase and would like to reach and touch them and show them some love. One thing is for sure, she never wants to lose touch from where she came from. She states, “they say “you don’t change, people change around you.” That is so true because you know people change around you everyday. But, I still got the same friends. We still hangout. We still love each other. We still have fun. If I f–ks with you, I f–ks with you and if I don’t I don’t.”
Catch Bernice tonight at 9:30PM on Tru TV’s South Beach Tow. Follow her on Twitter @Bernice_SBTow!
Exclusive: ‘R&B Divas’ Nicci Gilbert Switches It Up for Season 2; Talks Self-Improvement, Syleena Johnson Beef & Expanding Her Brand
In the heaving world of reality television, one things for sure, the cameras don’t lie. Meaning that, although some trickery may occur with the editing, we visually get to see a person for who they truly are. The almighty lens tends to capture truths about a person. But, it is during the playback that each cast member get the opportunity to see their flaws first-hand. At that point, it is up to that individual to decide if change is needed. This is true for one star of TV One’s hit show R&B Divas, Nichole “Nicci” Gilbert.
Despite the rumors that were swirling around about Nicci’s separation from the show, she confirmed that those rumors weren’t true and will indeed be a part of season two. However, her portrayal in season one led to many negative comments from viewers. This didn’t sit well with Nicci. So much so, she acknowledged her flaws and dedicated herself to making positive changes in her life. Not many women can call themselves out and act on it. This is what makes Nicci a “real” woman.
As creator and executive producer of R&B Divas, her transition from music to television has been a trying one. As one-third member of the 90′s R&B group, Brownstone, over the years her passion for music diminished. This caused a fair share of disagreements amongst her cast members in season one. Some friendships remain while other friendships hit a low blow. But, her new found love for production and clothing design has launched Nicci into another creative space that is just as self-gratifying as music.
STACKS Magazine had the pleasure to talk to Nicci recently to get an exclusive in-depth look into who she is as a celebrity and businesswoman. She went into detail about her involvement as executive producer and the R&B Divas franchise. Also, Nicci spoke candidly about her feelings towards the other cast members, the effects of reality TV on the Black community, empowering full-figured women, and various projects she’s working on.
In the later part of 2012, several rumors were floating around about you being fired from R&B Divas. You then released a statement stating otherwise and that you will indeed be on the show. Well, it’s great to know now that you will appear in Season 2. But what is even better news, to me, is that you are one of the Executive Producers of the show. Is that true? Can you confirm that?
Nicci: You are correct. I’m actually the creator and executive producer of the show. So I actually cast all the women that you see on the show and some of the women in LA as well. It’s a new age in media. So I understand that anybody with a laptop can start a rumor. I just think that all is well is good because it gives us instant access to our fan bases and resources to promote our brand. It also can be a little convoluted and full of s–t. So that’s pretty much what that was.
I definitely have differences with my producer partners. Not with the network. TV One and I have a great relationship. But, I absolutely have differences with my producer partners. You know what it’s like when you are building a business and you have ideas and you get partners. We don’t always see eye to eye. So some of that stuff that you were getting from sources and other producers or whatever, you know where just people leveraging and using their relationship to make official statements. None of those statements were official. As I’ve expressed on numerous occasions, until you hear it from TV One or from me, don’t believe everything that you hear. But yes, unfortunately, I was the victim of some fraudulent recordings by some people who were in a “semi-official” capacity who happen to be partners that Faith and I brought on board to be a part of this as well. I understand now that’s what people want to hear. Most people aren’t interested in the upwardly mobile, empowering stories with black women. So this is something we’re still working to get to.
As Exec. Producer, what was the vision behind the show? Do you think that the show accomplished this?
Nicci: As people get a little bit more comfortable you’ll see the truth. You’ll see a little bit more of the truth come out. You’ll see a little bit more drama. Originally, the idea was that I didn’t see any real representation of the relationships with other women that I knew (i.e. my girlfriends, people I worked with). As far as us representing truth, us being honest and forthright, us all being singers, what makes us tick and what make some of that great soul music come out our spirit and out of our voices. That part of it, I think, is amazing. I hope that it continues to grow and evolve from there. I didn’t know that when you are playing the TV game sometimes you got to have a little extra drama. Sometimes you got to plant a couple seeds of B.S.. I hope that doesn’t overshadow and I hope that we don’t feel the need to compete. Because of course, when you have somebody blowing their brains out on TV, there’s going to be a million people that will want to see that. I hope that we can continue to be the example of a positive show. The truth is that we all have a little bit of ratchet in us. That’s nothing surprising. Everybody knows somebody like somebody on Love & Hip Hop or whatever. But typically, when you don’t like somebody you don’t want to be around them. You don’t have to sit up and be friends with them. You don’t have to sit and have cocktails with them. Unfortunately, that’s the formula for a successful show. Get a bunch of people who don’t like each other. Create reasons for people not to like each other. BOOM! There it is…two or three million [viewers]. My goal was to have a group of people that were friends and that like each other, empower, and uplift each other. Hopefully, we’ll stay that.
Bels: In the media you caught flack for being bossy and rude…
Nicci: You know, anything you say can and will be held against you in the editing room, right out. You know what I’m saying. I said everything that came out of my mouth. One of the things I wanted to encourage us to do as a people, just in general, is we hear something and we see something and we believe that sound bite. We believe the 15 sentences that come out of a person’s mouth on the television. None of these women are weak. None of these women are going to let me disrespect them and be rude.
Based on these things and how the audience itself put you in this box as being this type of person, did you find yourself having to change anything in this upcoming season as far as how you interact and communicate with other cast members?
Nicci: Absolutely! Last season, which people would never believe because again, we believe the sound bite. But last season, I spent a lot of time because I was executive producer and creator. I was a boss. We were literally trying to make sure that some of the things that were happening behind the scenes that people didn’t see [some of the cursing out and flipping out and all that stuff when the cameras were not rolling]. When the cameras were rolling, it was my objective to be kind of like, “yall let’s not do this.”
This season, I’m nobody’s momma. We’re all grown. Going into this, the ladies agreed to do this because they were like we’re your friends. We love each other and as long as you’re involved and it’s not going to damage our careers. So I was holding on my chest the responsibility of making sure that it didn’t turn into that show. Clearly with this particular group of people it could turn into that in a heartbeat. And it did behind the scenes. This season, I came into the situation and said “aye look, we’re going to just put it all on the table. I’m not going to look crazy by my damn self. I’m going to say exactly what it is. I’m not trying to protect anybody. I’m not trying to mother hen anybody. I’m going to handle my business and do what it that I need to do for me. But I am going to let you know that on camera that I’m not going for that this time. This flipping out behind the scenes and when the cameras are rolling “ooh no… NO.” We’re going to just keep it real and if this is what this is.”
I learn to just be more honest. I learned to be more honest and not try to control grown women. And that’s exactly what I was trying to do last season. Not because I wanted to control someone’s career, but because I wanted to prevent us from going down that road, which you’ll see this season. There is definitely a lot more drama. Some people are going to love it. Some people are going to not care one way or the other. Some people are going to definitely see that some of this is definitely drama….A LOT of drama.
Bels: Yeah a lot of times in any situation when there’s a group of women, especially strong minded women…
Nicci: Right! Like, I’m on the only strong minded one in the group. News flash! That ain’t the case. Yo, do y’all really think I could just flip out on them and they just sit there looking at me. Half the time, I was talking to the producers off camera. But because it came out of my mouth, it made for good TV.
Who would you say is the person(s) whose personality you just can’t seem to mesh with? On the flipside of that, who do you consider a “friend” or someone that you enjoy their company and spirit?
Nicci: Syleena Johnson. And as plain as simple as this…I don’t do “putting hands on folk” in any capacity. I don’t do because I’ve have a couple cocktails and flipped out. I don’t do any of that. I’m grown. Not only am I grown, I’m the person who brought you into the situation. For that reason alone, I think I should be respected a little bit more. I just don’t get down with people that don’t accept the truth. If you can’t handle the truth, you don’t need to be friends with me.
Well I mean… I think all of the ladies on some level have a good spirit about them. But, Faith (Evans) and I have been friends for the longest time. She is hands down. I’m older than her by a year or two. But, she is my counselor. She is such a resource for me because she’s been affected by this industry a lot longer than I have and in a lot more serious situations. Faith is definitely my friend, my sister. We go back 20 or so years. Anything I need, she’s there for me. Our children know each other. That is genuinely my friend.
Keke (Wyatt) is one the most honest women I’ve met in my life. I love her so much for her honesty and her truth and her vulnerability. I learned so much from her about not caring what everybody else thinks as long as you can get to a place of healing. I think Keke is a star. I think she is the star of this franchise.
And Monifah is obviously “Iyanla” to everyone. [laughs] Mo’ and I go back 10 years.
Angie (Stone) and I have known each other for a while. But, it’s different when cameras start rolling. When you see people like NeNe Leakes, Evelyn Lozada, and Tami Roman, who all of which are “go-get’em” girls. I’m not mad at anybody getting their checks. Especially NeNe, you put the work in for this money that you’re getting. But, when you have this kind of success and you see that as the blueprint, you’re going to get all kinds of characters that feel like “I can scream and curse and fight better than all of them.” And it’s just not that important to me.
Speaking of NeNe Leakes of Real Housewives of Atlanta, do you think there are too many shows? Plus, do you think African-American women are tarnishing the culture?
Nicci: Yes. I think it is unfortunate. But, I think it used to be where we were really concerned about the black man. I come from the age of crack. If they weren’t smoking it, they were dealing it. I’m from Detroit. Unfortunately, all of my cousins are locked up. Now, “they” figure because we had to learn from a lot of our mothers who were single mothers and had to learn that male/female hustle. Unfortunately, they realize “oh it’s not the black man we have to deal the degradation and all that stuff that need to happen. Damn, they’re over there. Those [women] are the ones that are going to empower the black man.” Not to get too deep, but it’s really unfortunate. It’s like crabs in a barrel. It’s the only thing you can get…is drama and ratchet-ry. If that’s the only thing that’s going to pay your bills and feed your kids, what are you going to do?
So the problem isn’t the African-American woman because we have African-American women who are not ratchet. I love the Gossip Game. Love that show. I love Mary Mary. I love Kim Whitley’s show. I don’t think there are too many reality shows. I think that they are not going anywhere. They are cheap to make. I think people having a platform, is amazing. I hope that R&B Divas becomes the franchise for TV One that ‘Housewives’ is for Bravo. I hope that people come to realize that all that is left in our community is the black woman. I mean…not ALL that is left. Unfortunately, the women who are holding the community down; the people that are holding the families down are black women. Now, these kids are flipping out. Girls walking up to people doors beating them down like, “you said something to me on Twitter.” It’s ridiculous. I think yeah, you can show that. We all want to see that ratchet-ry. Everybody, when they were a kid ran to see the fight. I didn’t. But, a lot of people did run to see the fight in the circle. But, where are the shows that help to inspire and empower. I looked up to Patti Labelle. I looked up to Gladys Knight and Aretha Franklin and we could see them in their gowns singing on stage. We respected them as icons and legends. We can’t allow this to happen with this franchise. And if and when it does, I’ll be building another one because I’m not going to do it.
Bels: and it starts with the producers….
Nicci: You know what’s really crazy. This is what I definitely want to get out.
This was Faith and I first TV experience. So, yes we are partners in the franchise. We are executive producers of any spin-off, any extension of the brand or any franchises or whatever. But, we do not make the final call on edit. That is Think Factory Media. Think Factory Media does not consist of black women. They are great. They are amazing. But, they are not us. TV One is the network. We brought Think Factory Media on board and introduced them to TV One to do this. We created it. We spent our own money shooting the pilot and flying everybody down. We cast the show and everything. But from there, we kind of washed our hands of it. It wouldn’t be fair for us to be on camera and have the ability to edit ourselves any ole kind of way.
Let’s say… we look like angels and the other ladies looked horrible. To level the playing field, we had to have a neutral party during the edits. But, what I didn’t expect is the disrespect that I experienced as a new producer. So now, I can empathize with Shaunie O’Neal. I can empathize with Mona Scott (Young). Because I understand that at the end of the day, I mean I don’t know what their deals are but, I would assume that Shaunie is not sitting in the editing base saying don’t do that. It may not be difficult for Mona because she’s not on the show. But it is difficult for someone on the show to be unbiased in the editing room. I’d be worried about myself. I’m not even going to hold you up. [laughs] I’d be worried about my brand. So, we do not.
However, I do agree that we still have to be accountable. My way of being accountable when it comes to that – I’m still going to get my check and I’m still going to get my credit. But, I will not be on the camera doing that.
In season 1, you made it clear that singing was no longer a priority for you and that you were diving into ventures outside of music. One of those ventures was Curvato Clothing Line. How’s the clothing line going?
Nicci: It’s going really well. We are about to launch our 2013 collection at “Full-Figured Fashion Week 2013” in New York City. I’m really excited about that. It is going to be sexy. It’s going to be confident. I’m a new designer so I’m learning. Our business will be a year old in August. So I’m definitely learning how to be better. The beauty of the whole Curvato movement is that it was born of me being subconscious and insecure about my body. I’m a big girl. So you know back in the day it wasn’t as accessible as it is now. It is a lot more accessible to be curvy and larger. You can be empowered. So, I really want the clothing line to represent that more than anything. I’m not trying to beat out Versace or Donna Karan or anyone. I’m just trying to create options for plus-size women. More important than anything, empower and inspire little girls who may need to see a reflection of who they are, looking fly. Know what I mean? And not like a mumu. So, the clothing line is a brand and a lifestyle for me. We are expanding the brand.
We’re launching a new online destination called AllThingsNicci.com, which houses all of the different brands. Along with that, we are re-launching Curvato Lifestyle this year. It will include a Facebook-like community for big women, curvy women and girls. So you’ll be able to set up a profile. You’ll be able to interact. I’m excited about that. In addition to our boutique, we are going to be updating it much more often. I finally got a styling team together. We’re excited. I think the clothing line is here to stay. We are going to reach for big box retailers in a minute. I kind of wanted to be in business and learn things and have an understanding of what it was before we started really reaching out to some of those larger retailers and trying to get things in stores. I just wanted to live in it for a minute. Now we’re ready to take it to the next level. I’m going to do a curvy pageant next year in 2014. Which I’m super excited about. So, Curvato is here to stay. You’ll see us…I lost some weight like Jakeem (Smith), Nicci’s executive assistant and a PR contact. He has lost some weight. We’ve been on our fitness grind. It’s been a long process. But we are getting there. So, I’m really excited about sharing that which is something I’ll be sharing on Curvato as well.
Are there any other business ventures in the works? Checking out J. Smith’s website, I noticed an announcement that you were in search of comedic script writers. Is this something you can talk about?
Nicci: Yes. In addition to that, we have Divas and Wildflowers, which is my daughters’ Brandy charity. I’m super excited about that. She’s using her love of fashion and makeup and all things girly to help inspire young girls. So, I’m helping her put together a series of events and fundraisers for that. R&B Divas L.A. will air this summer. I’m really excited about that. Faith and I are working. In our little prayer basket, we have R&B Divas New York, hopefully coming soon. Hopefully, TV One will be pleased with the whole franchise and the momentum to give us that. Of course, there’s my baby which is called Divas & Cocktails. Divas & Cocktails, in short, a fun little late night show. It’s kind of like “Watch What Happens” meets “Wendy Williams with a little bit of “SNL”. So it’s sketch comedy, standup, live musical performances, lip service, the talk, the tea, and celebrity interviews. It is coming every Wednesday night, at 11pm, right after R&B Divas online at DivasandCocktails.com. I’m definitely very excited about the possibility of that being picked up by a major network. It is in the hands of some cool people as we speak. So, I just want to continue to build my brand as a producer and content provider. That’s sort of it.
Throughout this process, what have you taken away? Are there any life lessons or food-for-thoughts that you can share with our readers?
Nicci: Yes absolutely. I learned a lot of things about myself that I’d probably would not. Anytime you see a mirror of yourself in any capacity, you’re like “ole Lord Jesus I need to lose some weight. I need to stop talking so loud.” I learned a lot of little things about Nicci that I didn’t really realize. I mean it is one thing to be loud. It’s another thing to be doing it on TV with a microphone. So, I learned that I could fall back a little bit and evaluate a little more, which is always good in any career. As a human being, if we’re not growing, you know what the alternative is. I definitely see that I’ve influenced and inspired a lot of young people, which has been a passion for me. I want to continue to do that and continue to build. I’m actually developing a show around Jakeem and Brandy and some of the other kids. They are grown, but, young people that I work with.
So you know…just seeing what works, what is effective and what’s not; understanding the business of television a little more; understanding what it is I need to stand for and represent. I’m very pleased with the fact that in spite of all the horrible “she’s terrible, she’s a bitch, she’s mean, she’s awful.” In spite of all of that, as hard as it is, any human being waking up to negative press every week, eventually, it’s going to break you and you’re going to be like “what the hell did I do? This isn’t what this was supposed to be.” But, then you realize who it’s coming from. Then you realize who the comments are coming from. You really sit back and think it’s ridiculous for me to have such an ego that I would think that that stuff really mattered and defined who I was. Faith and Mo’, these women are still (most of them) my friends. My husband and I are still happily married. The people in my life who matter and know me they understand it.
Now, it’s the real hard thing for me too. It really affected my mother in a negative way. My mother is like “you are the nicest person ever and you’re my child and I know you better than anybody else.” You know what I’m saying. So, it’s hard for her to see all of that. “Oh my God they fired you and you created it.” And I’m like, “Ma!” So, that’s tough. The affect that it has on my family is very very tough. And that’s when I will…you’ll get that “Detroit coming from Chicago-Mansfield” Nicci. And I have to remember that at the end of the day we’re here, we are breathing. For the most part, we are successful. To live in the moment that it’s real and to not allow the moment that is reality TV to define who I am in my real life as a woman.
Tune in tonight and watch the Season 2 premiere of R&B Divas, at 10PM on TV One!
You can follow Nicci Gilbert on Twitter @niccigilbert and stay connected 24/7 at www.allthingsnicci.com.
Special thanks to Jakeem Smith of J.Productions!
via press release…
In 2012 Moe Money and DJ Big Stew shocked the hip hop world with their movie producing debut of “Somebody Got To Die”. The film was an instant success and was listed as the #1 underground film by Don Diva Magazine.
In April, of 2013 they will be releasing their newest feature film, “East Side Story”. The movie stars rapper “Moe Money” who is most commonly known for his smash hits with artists like The Lox and Mase. And is directed by DJ Big Stew who also has a successful past in hip hop, his New York TV show “Fat Cat and Big Stew” was notorious for interviewing top artists such as the Ying Yang Twins, Fat Joe, and Snoop Lion.
East Side Story takes place in Harlem where there’s a mix of ball players, hustlers, and even those who dream of making a difference. But deep in the midst of this community, lies a thriving drug world and one man named Moe who wants to own it all.
With the help of his crew and the approval of local thugs Moe eventually finds himself on top of Harlem’s toughest drug scene but when things start to get real Moe’s faced with a choice, either change his life or sell his soul.
There is already a big underground buzz for this movie release, and it’s projected to increase over the next few months. When asked for his thoughts on the increasing anticipation, Big Stew had this to say, “This film is different than anything I’ve ever done. I put everything I had into it and I think that everyone that watches this movie will be able to relate to its characters.”
The movie will be available on DVD and online streaming and DJ Big Stew will also be producing a mixtape to precede the movie this February. The first single “Set It Off” has already been released.
Check out the official teaser below…
Back in 2009, STACKS Magazine featured a young actor/director/producer on our website name Deji LaRay ( Spotlight: Deji LaRay of Guerilla Film Junkies). As part of our focus on gaining more insight on the film and television industry, we had the pleasure to get the inside scoop on film production from Deji. His interview was engulfed with knowledge and gave hope to many young adults who aspire to work in this field.
Recently, we were informed of some new and exciting things that Deji has been involved in. For instance, he’s continued to use his talents in film editing by working on several music projects. Deji has edited videos for Flo-Rida’s “Whistle”, The Cataracs feat. Waka Flocka, and American Idol’s Stefano video “I’m On A Roll”.
Check out Deji’s editing skills in “Whistle”:
In addition to video editing, Deji produced a film that will be apart of the American Black Film Festival this month. The film “The Dark Party” was directed by Kadeem Hardison (A Different World) and features actors Marcus Patrick, Eric Payne, Iva La’Shawn, Tiffany Hines, Michael Chinyamurindi, and Kadeem himself.
The Dark Party comes from the imagination of two best friends, Jeff and Mike, who want to find love without playing games with the women in their lives. They decide to throw the ultimate blind date party with the aid of a talk radio psychologist, who turns the fun and games into a serious social experiment. In the midst of all their fun lurks a killer whose dead set on eliminating one of the players.
If you are attending the festival in Miami, be sure to check this film out.
Shout out to Will, of GFJ Productions.
Millions of movie-goers fell in love with the first installment of the Hangover. Well, this Memorial Day…Hangover Part 2 hits the theaters with more comedy and action!
Check out the trailer below:
Producers Idris Elba and Debbie Allen and Brown Paper Dolls Productions have come together to shine a new light on African-American women. The television series, Milk + Honey, was created to show diverse images of women of color and to give more acting opportunities to people of color. The pilot is currently being shopped to several networks in hopes of being picked up by a major network. Brown Paper Dolls is hoping to reach no less than 1 million views of the trailer. They are asking everyone to check out the trailer at www.milkandhoneyseries.com.
From the look of the trailer, this series will be a refreshing twist to the current reality show craze. So check it out and let us know what you think.
Will Milk+Honey make it on television?