23 Yr Old Brandy Lynn Talks Divas & Wildflowers Non-Profit, Fashion, & Her Plans to Change The Outlook of Black Females [Exclusive]
A lot of you may not be familiar with 23 year old Brandy Lynn, but if you’re in tuned with reality television you soon will be. She’s the adopted daughter of Nicci Gilbert, singer and R&B Diva’s star/producer. Although we were briefly introduced to Brandy Lynn in Season 1 of R&B Divas Atlanta, we will soon see more of her this season (in Season 2 which premiered on May 1 on TV One).
After speaking with Brandy Lynn over the phone, her interview with STACKS Magazine was very professional and kind of surprising. Not many young kids are making the business moves that she’s currently making. So it was great to hear Brandy Lynn discuss her non-profit organization Divas & Wildflowers and the impact it has had on other young women in the Atlanta area. She herself is the product of a drug addicted mother. Through God’s grace, her cousin Nicci came in to save her and raise her as her very own.
With Nicci’s guidance and own life’s experiences in the entertainment industry, Brandy Lynn is thankful. Becoming a full-blown entrepreneur, television show producer, fashion guru, and mentor to young girls are some of Brandy Lynn future goals. It is good to know that she’s currently making huge steps towards those. From the looks of it, the young business woman is ready and eager to take the world by storm.
What will see from Brandy Lynn on Season 2 of R&B Divas?
Brandy Lynn: In Season 2, you guys can follow me through my non-profit organization called Divas & Wallflowers. You all can visit me on www.divasandwallflowers.org. Basically, I came up with my non-profit organization last season. Talking to Monifah’s daughter, Kimmy, I came up with it for young women who need some type of motivation or who have any type of struggles in their life. Also, it is also to bring young women and their mothers closer together.
I have done a couple of events actually. So you guys get to see one event on R&B Divas. I’m so excited that Brownstone performed. That’s just so exciting…and also Keke Wyatt. But, I did a makeover for women who’ve have been through cancer and homelessness, and just different types of things. I did a total makeover for them so they could feel beautiful, outside and in. It was just awesome. It was the bomb girl.
Also, I have an online boutique coming very soon that I am so excited about. It should be out by the first [May 1], no later than the 5th of May. I sell all types of stuff. It’s so cute. A portion of the proceeds go to Divas & Wildflowers.
Being 23 years old and African-American, what are some of the things you believe are plaguing the young black females? Why is it important to have these other positive outlets?
Brandy Lynn: A lot of the young children nowadays look at these videos, listen to this music, and they want to be what they see…which is not good. I just really want to help. I just want to be able to talk to young people to tell them that’s it’s a new generation. You have to work hard. Right now, it is a good thing to work hard and try to get your own business and get mentors to talk to. I had to get a mentor to talk to. I had a lot of people to talk to and it helped me so much. It helped me so much that words can’t even explain. Young people go through a lot. They really don’t know which way to go. So it’s up to our adults right now to really teach us and point us in the right direction. We really need help right now. This generation needs help. I would say that the best thing for us young adults to do is get a good mentor. Be around positive people and listen. Like my mom say, “stop talking and listen.” I just think that it’s a great thing to have a mentor. You can’t do it by yourself. It’s teamwork and teamwork makes the dream work. I’m happy I learned that at a young age.
I also decided to do a charity event for prom makeovers. I picked two young ladies and I custom made their dresses. I totally made them over for prom from top to bottom. I help anybody that needs help.
So, do you design clothes?
Brandy Lynn: Yes, that is my passion. Helping people is my purpose in life and fashion is my passion.
With the new boutique, what exactly will you be selling? Any custom pieces?
Brandy Lynn: I’m definitely going to have some custom pieces with the Wildflower brand. I’m going to have custom scarves. Scarves are coming out first. I’m going to start off small, but work my way up though. I’m going to have lipsticks, lip-glosses, cute little different stuff, Wildflower stuff. I will also have a blog on the website and six different ways you can wear my scarf. I’m going to show everybody how you can wear the scarves. I’m going to do updates of makeup and fashion, and just everything that teens need. I’m going to do inspiration speaking on it. I’ll have poems. I’ll have all different kind of things on there.
Who inspired you to get into fashion and to start the non-profit organization?
Brandy Lynn: I definitely got all of my inspiration from my mom. Every since I was little, growing up and watching her get up and do her makeup and go perform, going shopping and seeing all of the different clothes, I was in love. I am in love with clothes and everything. She inspired so much with my fashion and with my business and doing my non-profit. I don’t know if you know. But last season I mentioned that she [Nikki Gilbert] is not my biological mother. I am actually adopted by Nikki. She is my biological cousin, my real cousin. But that’s my momma because she raised me as a baby. So I came up with the non-profit because I longed for my real mother. I do talk to her from time to time but she has a drug problem. I like to talk to young people to inspire them that no matter where you come from or what you been through, you can still be what you want to be in life. You can grow and bloom into this Wildflower and that you can be beautiful and do whatever you want to do.
As far as your future goals, what do you aspire to do in the next five to ten years?
Brandy Lynn: I plan on having multiple businesses. I plan on having my own TV show. By then, I may be producing. So, I’m learning from miss Nikki Gilbert. I plan on, in the next five to ten years, somewhere being married, having my businesses and being okay and good. Living life and being happy. Maybe open up a couple centers, Wildflower Centers to help the youth.
To stay updated on Brandy Lynn and the Divas & Wildflowers organization, go to www.divasandwildflowers.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @IAMBrandyLynn.
Shout out to Jakeem Smith for making this happen. Thanks!
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!
With the assistance of Kendrick Lamar and Tamar Braxton, BET revealed who’s in the running for this year’s BET Awards. Kendrick and Tamar tag teamed on announcing this year’s nominees in Los Angeles earlier this week.
Leading the way with nominations, to no surprise considering his success thus far, is none other than Drizzy Drake with 12 nominations. In addition to being up for Best Male Hip Hop Artist, he has five nods for Video of the Year and 4 spots in the Best Collaboration category. Drake is also up for the Viewer’s Choice Award and Best Male Look/Award Winning Look.
Following closely behind Drake with eight nominations each are 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar with Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake pulling up the rear with four nominations apiece. The legend that is Charlie Wilson will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award as well as perform. Other confirmed performers so far include R. Kelly and Chris Brown.
The 2013 BET Awards which will be hosted by comedian-actor Chris Tucker who has deemed the show’s theme as “anything can happy”, will air live on Sunday, June 30th at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live. Check out the full list of nominees below.
Best Female R&B/Pop Artist
Best Male R&B/Pop Artist
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
The Throne (Kanye West & Jay-Z)
2 Chainz f/ Drake – No Lie
A$AP Rocky f/ Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar – “Problems”
French Montana f/ Rick Ross, Drake and Lil Wayne – “Pop That”
Kendrick Lamar f/ Drake – “Poetic Justice”
Justin Timberlake f/ Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Best Male Hip Hop Artist
Best Female Hip Hop Artist
Video of the Year
2 Chainz f/ Drake – “No Lie”
A$AP Rocky f/ Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar – “Problems”
Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
Drake f/ Lil Wayne – “HYFR”
Kendrick Lamar f/ Drake – “Poetic Justice”
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Wanz – “Thrift Shop”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Rihanna – “Diamonds”
Justin Timberlake f/ Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
Kanye West f/ Big Sean, Pusha T and 2 Chainz – “Mercy”
Video Director of the Year
A$AP Rocky & Sam Lecca
Best New Artist
Best Gospel Artist
Taraji P. Henson
Samuel L. Jackson
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap
Think Like A Man
Subway Sportswoman of the Year
Subway Sportsman of the Year
Robert Griffin III
Coca-Cola Viewers Choice Award
A$AP Rocky f/ Drake, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar – “Problems”
Drake – “Started From The Bottom”
Kendrick Lamar – “Swimming Pools (Drank)”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Rihanna – “Diamonds”
Justin Timberlake f/ Jay-Z – “Suit & Tie”
Tamar Braxton – “Love and War”
Fantasia – “Lose To Win”
Miguel – “Adorn”
Nas – “Daughters”
Charlie Wilson – “My Love Is All I Have”
Best International Act: Africa
2Face Idibia (Nigeria)
Toya Delazy (South Africa)
Donald (South Africa)
Ice Prince (Nigeria)
Radio and Weasel (Uganda)
Best International Act: UK
If you want to see television on-the-go and via your iPhone, now you have the chance. Live streaming has been available for several years, but mainly through third party applications. Now, one major network will begin streaming their television programs straight to iPhones.
According to the Wallstreet Journal, ABC will be the first network to offer live streaming to public TV stations. The network is currently streaming The View in New York and Philadelphia. It is not known if other major cities will evetually be added. For now, local residents can have the luxury to go about their daily routine and still be able to catch their favorite ABC television programs.
Learn more about this new development in the video below.
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!
Cee Lo Green is bringing himself and the rest of the mob with him to the world of reality televeision. Cee Lo’s upcoming reality series titled “The Cee Lo Life” has been given the green light and picked up by TBS.
The series which will consist of six episodes will follow Cee Lo as he reunites with his former Goodie Mob group members Big Gipp, Khujo and T-Mo. Fans will be allowed a more in-depth look at the personal side of the group members especially Cee Lo’s. According to the president of TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies, Michael Wright, the show will be a “fun and funny journey packed with great music.”
“The Cee Lo Life” is scheduled to premiere early next year while Goodie Mob’s upcoming album Age Against the Machine is slated for release on June 18th. This will be the first album from the group since their last album release in 2004.
It’ll be interesting to see the direction the fellas take musically and to see them working together again. Hopefully this time they’ll have all their ducks in a row.
The uber strategic businessman and founder of Black Entertainment Televison (BET), Robert L. Johnson, announced the launch of two new paid Youtube channels. The new channels, “Acorn TV” and “OnCue”, will be two of several other channels that will fall under Youtube’s new “paid subscription” plan.
Johnson’s RLJ Entertainment will now give Youtube fans the opportunity to watch “theme-driven” videos. “OnCue”, for instance, will offer urban-only content that will showcase African-American films and digital television series. All of the videos will highlight the best in action, drama, romantic comedies/stand-up, documentaries, music, and stage plays. Content will include 35 & Ticking (starring Kevin Hart and Meagan Good), All Things Fall Apart (50 Cent & Lynn Whitfield), The Last Fall (Lance Gross), and I Ain’t Scared of You (featuring the late Bernie Mac).
RLJ Entertainment created these channels on the basis of giving audiences an alternative in digital programming. The “paid” subscription route will be profitable for shareholders, but also create an outlet for producers to air original content.
“Acorn TV” will showcase British TV-related content.
Remember Tionna Smalls from Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas’ reality show “What Chili Wants”? In the case that you don’t, she was the relationship expert that was attempting to assist Chilli with her journey of finding love. If you ever got a chance to check the show out, then you know that Tionna was no joke and was definitely no holds barred when it came to telling Chilli how it is and what she thought.
Well after being featured on that show Smalls is moving on up to big and better things by way of her own reality show. Based on her book, “Girl Get Your Mind Right”, Tionna has landed a show of the same name on the MTV network. On the show, Tionna will tackle relationship issues and advise 20 single ladies on their man problems. Throughout the season she will attempt to transform the ladies where their looks, behaviors and attitudes are concerned. The ladies will later be sent out on a date which will be filmed by a hidden camera.
Check out what Tionna and MTV’s Senior Vice President Tony DiBari had to say about the show. You can also peep the trailer below.
According to Tony DiBari:
[The show allows] us to take a look into the specifics of many more girls and each episode will wind up being more relatable. They’re looking for guidance and boundaries from someone other than their parents. We felt the combination of the genre and the personality like Tionna, who is so unique, made a lot of sense for us. We thought the hidden-camera took the genre to the next level. We wanted to take it one step further and really put it all to the test.
For a long time, dating shows were a real big part of our programming slate and we’ve kind of fallen away from that recently. It remains something that’s important to our viewers, and also because dating has changed so much recently that it feels like the right time to get back into that space.”
For those of you that will be tuning in, Tionna’s “Girl Get Your Mind Right “ premieres on May 20th at 6pm [EST] on MTV.
On Wednesday evening, Atlanta’s movers and shakers congregated at the Museum Bar in support of TV One’s R&B Divas. Regarded as the “Wednesday Night Social” event, the venue was packed with supporters patiently waiting to get a glimpse of what drama would unfold in Season 2. All though all of the “divas” were not in attendance, Nicci Gilbert and Keke Wyatt held it down as official hostesses. Other industry notables spotted were Chanita Foster (Beyond The Game & Divas & Cocktails), Brandy Lynn (Divas & Wildflowers), Egypt Sherrod (V-103FM), Shay Johnson (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta), DJ Traci Steele (Love & Hip Hop Atlanta), Wanda Smith (Frank Ski Morning Show), Lisa Wu Hartwell (Real Housewives of Atlanta – Season 1), and a host of other celebrities and industry insiders.
Below are a few VIP photos from the event.
In case you missed our exclusive interview with the show’s creator and executive producer, Nicci Gilbert, check it out HERE.
Tune in to R&B Divas ATL each and every Wednesday night at 10PM on TV One!
The best ideas often are derived when you and some friends are sitting around thinking of ways to make money. Every now and then, one of those ideas strike a cord and end up becoming a full-fledge business. So, as friends, you know become business partners. The journey of making the business successful are sometimes filled with a lot of disagreements and lack of better judgment. When this happens, the friends are now at a crossroad which oftentimes cause the demise of the business. So the question is…Do partnerships between friends really work?
We hear of stories where two friends start a business, but not being able to put differences aside end up hurting the business. Whether it is disagreements on how the company should operate, who should handle the finances, or isn’t doing their fair share of the work, these are the type of issues that can arise. So, what should friends do in this case?
Well, as you know, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry have joined together to bring several new shows to the OWN network. The two besties have established a pretty tight bond over the years. With Oprah’s television cable channel need to add more diverse programming, Tyler Perry’s expertise seemed like a great fit for OWN. This month marks the start of their joint venture. Tyler will be producing several new shows for OWN. But, many wonders if his addition will spark a new and profitable beginning at OWN. If it doesn’t, how will Oprah react?
In case you’re wondering what ground rules the two established prior to going into this venture, Tyler expressed his thoughts in the recent issue of Essence Magazine.
“The most important thing about coming together was making sure we would not lose our friendship because of the business. We had to establish ground rules,” Perry, 43, says.
He continues, “The main one: Both of us have to continue to live in our truth. If she doesn’t like something, say it. If I don’t like something, I’ll say it. And we’ll figure it out and keep moving on…”
Sounds simple enough, huh? Both parties should set some ground rules so that there would be no hard feelings if the business partnership didn’t work out. Secondly, put it in writing. Partnerships should be spelled out in a contract agreement. This way, if millions of dollars are involved, friends can just take it to court and let the judge decide. At the end of the day, you have to decide what is more important…the friendship or the business.
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!
After announcing last year that he would be introducing a new music-themed network to the world of cable, P. Diddy is getting closer and closer to making it actually happen.
Diddy recently announced that his cable network, “Revolt TV”, which he co-founded with former MTV programming chief, Andy Schuon, will make it grand entrance on airwaves in July.
“Revolt TV” will be distributed through Comcast and according to Diddy, the network will be “the first channel created entirely from the ground up in this new era of social media. We’re building this platform for artists to reach an extraordinary number of people in a completely different way. Revolt will be live, like all great moments in television history.”
While “Revolt TV” will make its debut with Comcast, Diddy hopes to expand to other major distributors and cable providers. “I would also like to encourage and to invite Time Warner, DirecTV, Cable Vision and all the other distributors to come and get down with the get down. Because Revolt TV is bringing that revolution that television needs,” Diddy said in a statement.
Check out the network’s promo below.
It’s beginning to seem like if not every day almost every other day a new reality show is popping up.
After already pulling rank as not only one of the top “Real Housewives of Atlanta” but of the show’s franchise as a whole, Linnethia “NeNe” Leakes is getting her own reality show.
Following all the ups and downs of her marriage to Greg Leakes which ultimately led to them divorcing, the two have rekindled their love and are getting re-married. NeNe’s new wedding spin-off, “I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding” will follow the two as they make their way down the aisle. NeNe confirmed the news the tweet below.
I Dream Of Nene-The Wedding coming soon on Bravo! Greg & I hope 2 inspire others 2 save their marriage twitter.com/NeNeLeakes/sta…
— NeNe Leakes (@NeNeLeakes) April 18, 2013
Celebrity wedding planner Tiffany Cook will be joining the Leakes on the show as she assists them in putting their big day together. NeNe’s RHOA buddies Cynthia Bailey and Marlo Hampton will also be making appearances on the show.
The “I Dream of NeNe” wedding special will premiere on the Bravo network this fall. Will you be tuning in???
Jennifer Hudson continues her pursuit as a highly recognized actress in a upcoming Lifetime film. She will star as “Maggie” in “Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” where she plays a woman suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder. As a female veteran returning home from the military, Jennifer’s family (her son and father, Ernie Hudson) faces difficulties dealing with her illness.
“Call Me Crazy” is a second installment in the Five franchise, which launched in 2011. It consists of five short films all of which will deal with mental illness issues of five characters: Maggie, Lucy, Eddie, Allison, and Grace.
In the “Lucy” short, Academy award winner Octavia Spencer will play a psychotherapist name “Dr. Nance”. Dr. Nance will assist a schizophrenic name Lucy (played by Deirdre O’Connor) during her stay in a mental institution. Also, the film “Eddie” will focus on the depression-filled life of a comedian who becomes overwhelmed with sadness. “Eddie” will be played by actor James Avery.
“Call Me Crazy: A Five Film” airs Saturday, April 20 at 8pm on Lifetime.
Check out the extended trailer below:
On Monday, April 15, STACKS Magazine had the pleasure to attend the premiere of VH1′s hit reality show Love & Hip Hop Atlanta: Season 2. The event was held at Cream Ultra Lounge and sponsored by VH1, Monami Entertainment, and NFGTV. Invitees (i.e. various media outlets and industry insiders) were treated to catered finger foods and Mona Scott-Young’s new Moscato wine, Myx Fusions, mingled and waited for an exclusive peek of the season’s first episode.
In comparison to the New York franchise, Atlanta’s cast proved last season that their drama is plentiful enough to draw in millions of viewers. Well, after watching the premiere episode, we can assure fans that this season will be no different. More fights, more friendships ruined, more baby mama drama, and everything in between. The entire cast will return in season 2 (Stevie J, Joseline, Mimi, K. Michelle, Erica, Momma Dee, Lil Scrappy, Shay, Benzino, Karlie Redd, Rasheeda, Kirk, and Ariane). However, a few new faces will appear this season. Like, Che Mack, a female rap artist who comes between Stevie J and Joseline’s working relationship. Also, radio/DJ personality Traci Steele and her child’s father, DJ Baby Drew. Viewers can expect to be glued to the tube. This season is going to be a real hoot.
The overall evening was cool. K. Michelle was a no show for unknown reasons. Karlie Redd wasn’t present, as well, because she missed a flight supposedly. And, Lil Scrappy was M.I.A.. Some speculate it was because of probation issues or embarrassment from news that has surfaced of him having money problems. Whatever the case, we wish they all could have been there.
Below are a few photos from the red carpet. Unfortunately, our cameraman was unavailable so we had to make it do what it do. So don’t judge us on the shots. The remaining photos will be located on our Facebook page and/or Instagram (@Stacksmag).
The night ended with a Q&A session with several of the cast members. Things popped off when it was ensued that Mimi was still in love with Stevie J…and his “unmentionables”. Mimi spazzed out claiming she wants no part of Stevie’s private area and that Joseline can have him. Strangely, it almost seemed as though Mimi was drunk or trippy off of something. She used to keep her cool. But, on Monday night, Mimi was turned all the way up. SMH. It was almost sad to see. On the other hand, Erica maintained her dignity when confronted about her and Scrappy’s “existing” or “non-existing” relationship. She wasn’t wearing her engagement ring that’s for sure. But Shay definitely made it clear that she and Scrappy will “always be friends” and will always have love for him. She also told Erica that Scrappy will NEVER marry her. Damn.
Several cast members were visibly absent from the Q&A session, most notably, Rasheeda and her husband Kirk. We aren’t sure if they avoided it on purpose because of her pregnancy or if they left the event early. Nevertheless, we can confirm that she IS pregnant. Congrats to Rasheeda!
We would like to thank Saptosa Foster of the 135th Street Agency for the invite. ‘Preciate it.
Everyone be sure to tune in Monday, April 22 to Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Season 2 on VH1!
New York rapper DMX made a note-worthy appearance on the show this past Saturday. In what was suppose to be a civilized conversation about his past relationship with his estranged mother and constant bouts with drug abuse, dramatically turned for the worse. The first episode to kick off the new season of ‘Fix My Life’ showed the deep rooted inner battle DMX has with himself. Iyanla tried her best to try to dig deeper into his issues, but the emcee did not budge. As a surprise, DMX’s oldest child made an appearance in hopes of rekindling a father/son relationship. Unfortunately, the son stated that he would only open up the lines of communication if DMX remains sober. DMX couldn’t make that promise and believed that their relationship must be based on unconditional love.
This was definitely an explosive episode which ended with DMX cursing Iyanla out. In case you missed it, you can watch the full episode at YARDIE.
After the sit down, DMX apparently felt some kind of way about the whole ordeal. Thus, he met with JET Magazine and expressed his views on Iyanla’s manipulation, his son’s appearance, and his disgust of the entire episode. Peep that interview below:
Many people took to social networks to voice their opinions regarding DMX’s health and episode. Drug abuse is a sickness. As much as we may think he could kick the habit at any moment, this is not true. All of his fans across the world can only do is pray for his wellness and let him live his own life. Hopefully, this appearance with Iyanla didn’t set him back and cause any more hurt than he’s already endured.
Kevin Hart recently confirmed the word on street concerning Robin Thicke’s departure from the comedian’s show on BET, “Real Husbands of Hollywood.” While many have speculated that Thicke’s decision to leave the show involves some beef, Hart says that’s not so.
In a recent interview Hart revealed that Thicke’s departure was simply due to schedule conflicts between show tapings and Thicke’s music happenings. Hart said,“Within this season, his schedule and what he was doing didn’t coincide with the show, so he opted to go and do his music. Hopefully at some point in time, we can have Robin come back and do some stuff.” You can check out the video below for Hart’s more in-depth explanation.
Fresh off of that news it’s now been announced that comedian-actor Chris Rock will now be joining the “Real Husbands of Hollywood. Rock will join Hart, Duane Martin, Boris Kodjoe, J.B. Smoove and Nick Cannon for the show’s upcoming second season.
Chris Rock’s addition to the show should make for an interesting new twist. We’ll keep you posted on when season two will return with its 12 new episodes.
Will you be tuning in when season two of the “Real Husbands of Hollywood” premieres???
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta Season 2 is on its way! Thank GAWD. No disrespect to the New York cast, but this season of LHH was a tad bit boring. But now that it is to an end, the Atlanta gang is ready to set our HD screens on fire.
Back for season 2 and from what we can see on the trailer, Joseline Hernandez and Stevie J is still holding hands despite his alleged side affairs. Surprisingly, Mimi Faust is no longer partaking in that threesome and has found a more stable man. But, it’s the new guy that has stirred up beef between her and K. Michelle. K. Michelle’s ongoing fued with Rasheeda is what…ongoing. New issues seem to be brewing between Rasheeda and her husband, Kirk. Seems like a new baby is the cause for all the strife. Lil Scrappy, his baby mother Erica Dixon, Shay Johnson, and Momma Dee’s lives are one big love triangle that most of us LHHA fans are all waiting to see how it plays out. Benzino and Karlie Redd let their relationship and lives play out on the upcoming season. And, Atlanta’s own DJ Traci Steele is the new addition to the cast bringing additional baby father drama that should fit in quite perfectly.
Oh Boy! There’s a lot going on this season…exactly what we need to be highly entertained.
In case you didn’t see the supertrailer, check it out below…
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta
Season 2 of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta premiers Monday, April 22 at 8PM EST on VH1!
For years now, BET television programs haven’t done the best when it comes to competing with the other cable channels (i.e. VH1, MTV, Bravo, etc). The “reality tv” craze is one area that the other stations have successfully capitalized off of. While, viewership has grown because of reality television and other types of programming, BET is now preparing to step up their game.
At their recent Upfront presentation, in Los Angeles, BET announced several new shows and past programs that are being revamped. Several of the actors and actresses came out to the Montage Beverly Hills in support of the network and also to give that added appeal to the potential advertisers that were in attendance. Celebrities present at the event were Regina Hall, Kevin Hart, Laura London, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Duane Martin, Tony Rock, Richard Roundtree, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and a host of other celebrities and BET Network executives.
With the new and revamped shows set to launch on BET, Loretha Jones, Pres. of Original Programming, insists that the network will be the top contender when it comes to the overall “connection” between African-American viewing audience and television programs. To kick off their list of new programs airing during the fourth quarter of 2013, shows will include:
T.D. Jakes: Mind, Body, & Soul – BET brings better talk with spiritual leader, educator and humanitarian Bishop T.D. Jakes as host of a brand new talk show. Covering a wide range of topics including health and wellness, finance and relationships, Bishop Jakes unearths deeper conversations and insight on the topics that matter count on Bishop T.D. Jakes to take talk to another level every Sunday. Executive Producer: Marilyn H. Gill.
Comic View (Revamped) – Some of our biggest names in comedy got their big break on the COMIC VIEW stage. The beloved original comedy series is back, reimagined for a new season on BET. Showcasing the best and brightest in stand-up, COMIC VIEW takes funny to a new level in 2014. Executive Producer: James Dubose.
In early 2014, BET is set to premier the following shows starring Gabrielle Union and the Burns family.
Being Mary Jane – From the producers of the award-winning, record breaking BET comedy THE GAME, GIRLFRIENDS and box-office hits JUMPING THE BROOM and SPARKLE comes an original series starring the gorgeous and talented Gabrielle Union. The series is a follow up to the release of the BEING MARY JANE movie of the week slated to launch on BET this summer. BEING MARY JANE is a story to which millions of modern women will both relate and respond. Mary Jane Paul is a one-woman-show: a successful TV news anchor, and an entirely self-sufficient powerhouse who remains devoted to a family that doesn’t share her motivation. Intense drama and unforgettable moments unfold as Mary Jane juggles her life, her relationships, her work, and commitments to her family. Starring: Gabrielle Union, Omari Hardwick, Lisa Vidal, Richard Roundtree, Richard Brooks, Aaron D. Spears and Margaret Avery. Executive Producers: Mara Brock Akil (also Creator) and Salim Akil.
Burns BBQ – Being a small business doesn’t mean thinking small. This new unscripted reality series takes viewers into the daily operation of a long-standing family barbecue business changing hands from one generation to the next. But do the young self-involved entrepreneurs have what it takes to carry the torch and the family legacy? Production Co: A. Smith and Co. Productions.
The normal day-to-day programming and yearly specials will continue to air on BET (i.e. 106 & Park, Bobby Jones Gospel, The Game, Apollo Live, Real Husbands of Hollywood, Sundays Best, The Sheards, BET Awards, BET Hip Hop Awards, Black Girls Rock!, etc).
Question: What are your thoughts on the new BET line-up? Do you think these programs will help BET maintain the lead in black programming?
Kendrick Lamar’s “B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe” Jimmy Kimmel Live Performance + Jay-Z Adds Bars to Remix
In addition, the Jigga Man added a few bars to the official remix. For those who wonders if Jay fell off, well just take a listen.
Uh oh they seem to be coming so fast, I missed this one. But out of nowhere and I’m sure this comes as no surprise that yet once again premieres another reality show.
This time by way of the Bravo network comes a reality show that will chronicle the lives of a group of women who are doctors or at least married to one. The six women based out of Atlanta will allow Bravo to present their lives as they juggle their careers, families and social lives in Married to Medicine.
Married to the Medicine premiered this past Sunday on the Bravo network and drew in 1.9 million viewers. The show will air on Sundays at 9pm [EST]but in the case you missed the premiere you can play catch up by getting familiar with the cast below and of course you know Bravo will re-run episode one before airing the new episode on Sunday.
Meet the cast…
Jacqueline Walters is the doctor to stars like Toni Braxton, T.I., and Usher.
Jacqueline Walters is the doctor to stars like Toni Braxton, T.I., and Usher. This Board-certified OBGYN lives by the philosophy “work hard, play hard.” After graduating medical school at the University of Mississippi, Jacqueline completed her residency at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, Jackie has a positive and vibrant attitude toward life.
Her dedication to work and family sets this bombshell in motion at all times. Her husband, Curtis, and daughter by marriage, Kursten have to get up early in the morning to catch this career-driven diva — which by her definition stands for “Dedicated, Innovative, Victorious, Admirable.” Her “Thin is In” motto comes with a hint of vanity and sometimes pure obsession with eating healthy and excessive exercise. Between furthering her OBGYN practice, fostering a happy family life, and advocating for breast cancer awareness, many wonder how Jackie has time to balance it all.
Kari Wells, a well-mannered, British-born model skillfully balances work, play, and family life in Atlanta with her husband of 10 years, Colombian raised, orthopedic surgeon Duncan Wells. Kari has had many successful careers including owning a production company. Today, she serves as CFO of her husband’s orthopedic practice and medical realty company, but her most important role is as mother to their two children, Alexa, 8, and Bryson, 7.
In addition to her various commitments, Kari is involved socially and politically in Atlanta and can frequently be seen hobnobbing with celebrities and politicians. The couple supports many charitable organizations including Doctors Without Borders and Thriving Children Atlanta.
Known for their international flair, the Wells family loves to travel, and Kari, who speaks four languages, lives by the philosophy “you cannot have a narrow mind with a thick passport.” Kari’s dogged determination to succeed, sense of humor and spirituality help her to live life to the fullest.
Mariah Huq, “Queen Bee” and sophisticated and fierce mother of two, brings a new definition to the term “working mom.” Enjoying a strong, multicultural marriage to Dr. Aydin Huq, an emergency physician and native of Bangladesh, Mariah juggles family and career with their two children, Lauren-Taylor, 8, and Ethan-Tyler, 6.
Mariah openly embraces her husband’s culture by attending Mosque, learning to cook traditional Indian food and studying Bengali. The founder/CEO of Mariah Media Group, troop leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop, and a producer of Married to Medicine, Mariah has a full life. To top it off, Mariah is working on her latest venture, the Chief Operating Officer of Jewel and Jem, a children’s décor and pajama company, she runs with her sister, Lake.
When she’s not busy in the states, Mariah and her family support their family foundation in Bangladesh and are currently working on building a hospital in name of her late father-in-law.
Known as the “Black Barbie” in her social circle, Quad Lunceford is the life of the party and a self-acknowledged socialite. She is newly wed to psychiatrist Dr. Gregory Lunceford, whose reserved demeanor often clashes with her unpredictable feistiness their love blossomed into a bond that will stand the test of time. Their personality differences may be connected to their gap in age — he is 13 years her senior, as she prefers it.
The couple is the proud parents of two pampered pooches: Khloe and Kar’ie. In addition to being enthusiastic supporters of the Canine Assistants Foundation, the Luncefords also volunteer their time and efforts with various charities and organizations throughout Atlanta.
When Quad enrolled in Tennessee State University, she was the first in her family to attend college. With more than a decade of experience in medical sales under her belt, Quad’s work ethic has landed her in the top 10 percent in her industry. Quad, who dances to the beat of her own drum, often says “I did not ‘marry medicine,’ medicine was lucky enough to marry me.”
Simone Whitmore is an independent OBGYN who runs both her practice and house with an iron fist. She and her more laid-back husband of 16 years, Cecil Whitmore, have two sons, Miles, 14, and Michael, 10.
Simone graduated from Spelman College with a degree in biology/pre-medicine and earned her doctorate from East Tennessee State University. She completed her residency at Boston Medical Center and became a Board Certified OBGYN in 1999. From 1999 to 2004, Simone worked in various practices including Duncan-Cody Medical Group, Arista OBGYN and Castillo, Walters and Whitmore. She has owned North Perimeter OBGYN since 2004 and is a solo practitioner, allowing her to make her own rules. While her staff may call her “The Warden” and “Witchmore,” Simone simply likes hard workers and refuses to settle for mediocrity. Simone is a member of the American College of OBGYN and the American Board of OBGYN.
In her spare time, Simone participates in a mentor program with Spelman College and a local high school. When her packed schedule allows, Simone loves to shop, socialize, travel, and catch up on much-needed sleep.
Toya Bush-Harris, met her husband, emergency medicine physician Eugene Harris, during a speed dating event five years ago while pursuing her Masters in education from the University of Phoenix and working two jobs. Even though Eugene was completing a rigorous medical residency at the same time, no amount of distractions could keep this dynamic couple apart.
In addition to being a busy mom to boys Ashton, 3, and Avery, 1, Toya is helping to launch her husband’s medical concierge business and working on publishing a children’s nursery book series. On top of family commitments and career projects, Toya and her family are in the process of building a home conducive to their growing family. When she first moved to Atlanta, Toya joined Mocha Moms, which brings moms together in the community to promote healthy families and she currently enjoys volunteering at her church and mentoring young women in area.
Be sure to let us know if you’re already watching this or whether or not you will be.
To kick off the return of the second season of Atlanta-based version of the reality show R&B Divas which premieres in May, TV One has deemed the month of April as “Destination Divas”.
Throughout the month the network will honor some of the top divas with sitcoms, specials, and classic movies in addition to reruns of season on of the R&B Divas. Some of the month’s specialties will include the R&B Divas Pre-Party, the 1983 concert Diana Ross: Live in Central Park and Top R&B Divas of All Time. Other divas that will be honored during “Destination Divas” include Aretha Franklin, Chaka Khan, Patti LaBelle, Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Mariah Carey, Beyonce and Rihanna.
Check out the network’s website for more information on what will air and when. The second season of R&B Divas Atlanta premieres on May 1st at 10pm [EST]. Grammy nominee Angie Stone and former Xscape member LaTocha Scott have been added to the original cast which includes Faith Evans, Nicci Gilbert-Daniels, Monifah Carter, Syleena Johnson and Keke Wyatt.
Will you be tuning in when the show airs?
While Rihanna has already launched her Diamonds tour, I’m sure you haven’t forgotten about the 777 Tour she embarked on last year. The 777 tour in which she hit seven cities in seven days was to promote and in honor of her seventh album Unapologetic.
The traveling portion of the tour itself made several headlines considering she toured a little differently than normal. On this particular tour, she took along 200 guests that were comprised of 50 fans and 150 journalists and they all traveled on the same plane. Together they made stops in Mexico City, Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, Berlin, London and New York.
Well not to leave the rest of the world out on all the goings of touring seven cities in seven with such a large group, Rihanna documented the whole thing. So get ready because in May Fox will premiere the documentary entitled “Rihanna 777” letting her fans in on it all.
“Rihanna 777” premieres on Monday, May 6th at 8pm [EST] on Fox.
There’s no doubt about it, between Atlanta and Miami, the strip club scene is a unarguably the top form of late night entertainment. With club owners and exotic dancers making stacks (on top of stacks) of dough, the strip club business is indeed very lucrative. It is no wonder we see many of our young girls entering this industry that’s looked down upon by Bible toting Christians and people who simply don’t care for the art form. Well, for those that are not privy to this lifestyle and underworld, Urban Clout is bringing this multi-million business to the forefront via reality television.
Strip Club Queens of Atlanta is the first installment of an online-based reality tv show. Although the creator Delmond Newton originally sought out Washington, DC as the headlining city, apparently their plot just wasn’t thick enough for his vision. As such, Atlanta became the next stop and deciding choice to start off the franchise. According the show’s synopsis on WorldstarHipHop.com, the series is the first of a multi-city franchise that will feature six strippers whom will give viewers access to their lives in and out the club. The ladies that are featured in the Atlanta franchise are Ferrari, Sina, Kat, BeBe, Ginger, and Boy Toy.
Peep the trailer below…
One things for sure, there’s plenty drama involved which is no different than any other well-watched reality show. But, is it taking reality tv too far? In my opinion, I don’t think it is. It is no different than watching music videos that always seem to have half-naked dancers included. I’ll even go out on the limb and say that the same people that watch those videos (or even go to the clubs) are the same contradicting individuals that sit around and throw shade. The one cool thing about this show, however, is the fact that it viewed only through subscriptions via UrbanClout’s website. Since this is considered X-rated, it is good that the show can only be seen if you pay $0.99 per episode. This should weed out our young kids from seeing this (despite still having access to the over-sexualized music videos I mentioned earlier).
What do you think? Does the general public even need a show like Strip Club Queens? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Actors Taye Diggs, Derek Luke and Omar Epps have all managed to snag starring roles in 3 separate pilots for upcoming television drama shows. Here’s what each of the fellas having going on…
Taye Diggs who’s gig on the show Private Practice recently came to an end will now co-star in TNT”s murder mystery show called Murder in the First. He will co-star alongside Kathleen Robertson and play the role of a homicide detective by the name of Terry Seagrave.
According to sources, the murder mystery will be based on two high-profile murder cases detailing the police investigation, arrest and the trials. Viewers will get an up-close look at the workings of modernized justice system. Steven Boncho (Raising the Bar) created the show and will serve as executive producer.
As for Derek Luke, his shine will come by way of CBS’s upcoming drama pilot Second Sight in which he will play the role of Detective Paul Giroux. His character is said to be quite confident and one that tends to assert an authority beyond his calling as part of an investigative team within the New Orleans Police Department.
Luke will co-star alongside Jason Lee, Kim Dickens, Erik Jensen, Madison Moellers and singer Jill Scott.
After a long stint on the hit television series House, Omar Epps is putting his hat back in the ring with a starring role in ABC’s upcoming supernatural drama pilot The Returned. Epps will take on the role of Martin Bellamy who is a former cop turned U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.
The show is based on a novel by Jason Mott of the same name which is based on a town in which the dead return to make an impact on the lives of those they left behind.
Hopefully all three shows will get the greenlight for a full series!
The 6th season premiere of the BET’s hit show The Game is right around the corner and the network is beefing up the promos. While several promo pics have been making their rounds, a new promo video has made its way to the forefront. Even though Tia Mowry-Hardict and Pooch Hall have left the show taking Melanie and Derwin with them, two new characters have been casted to be played by Lauren London and Jay Ellis.
Check out the promo for the upcoming season of The Game below.
The 6th season of The Game premieres on March 26th at 9pm [EST].
However, this will not be the Queen’s first rodeo with a talk show. Her first round was a talk show of the same name that aired from 1999-2001.
This time around The Queen Latifah Show will feature celebrity interviews, musical performances, stand-up comedy, and human interest topics. The show will be produced by Latifah and her partner Shakim Compere’s Flavor Unit, Sony Pictures, and Will Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment.
It looks like Queen Latifah is coming out hard by the look of her executive production team and the level of experience they each bring to the table. According to a press release, the team includes Corin Nelson (Chelsea Lately), Todd Yasui (The Tonight Show), Jack Mori (The Oprah Winfrey Show), Catherine McKenzie (Good Morning America), David Harte (The Late, Late Show w/Craig Ferguson), and Sierra Lindsey (MTV, Obama Campaign).
Also, according to her Facebook post, Jada Pinkett-Smith will also have a hand in producing the show. On the social networking site she wrote, “Wearing my Executive Producer hat, standing beside the next daytime talk show superstar. Starting September 16, 2013, you will be able to kick it with Queen Latifah everyday. We’re gonna have fun.”
The Queen Latifah show makes its debut this fall on Monday, Sept 16th at 11am [EST] on CBS stations. Will you be tuning in???
Actress/Comedian Kim Whitley will soon reveal her life via reality tv. Set to air on the OWN network, Whitley will star in her very own reality show, “Raising Whitley.” You may remember her from Next Friday, My Wife and Kids, The Nutty Professor II, Along Came Polly, and a host of other television and film projects. But outside of the acting gigs, the world never really got to know “who is Kim Whitley?” So, finally we all get the chance to.
According to a recent press release, “Raising Whitley” will be based on…
On her new show, “Raising Whitley,” cameras follow Kym as she embarks on the audition of a lifetime, being a mother. When Kym signed up to mentor a troubled young girl, she never imagined she’d get a call from the hospital saying, “Your baby is ready.” After learning that her mentee exited the maternity ward leaving only Kym’s contact information, Kym experienced a cataclysmic moment. With less than an hour to make a life-changing decision – and to do a lifetime of soul-searching – Kym chose to become a mother.
This humorous and poignant docu-series follows Kym and her chaotic collective of friends – whom she calls “The Village” – as they attempt to do something none of them have ever done before: raise a baby…together. The Village banded together to help Kym bring up baby Joshua the best they know how, but sometimes it’s hard to tell who is more mature – baby Joshua or the adults tasked with raising him.
Over the season, Kym learns the chaotic realities of becoming a full-time mom: She realizes that, while Craigs List may be perfect for finding an old couch, it’s not ideal for finding a new nanny; she survives Joshua’s first haircut; she gets her groove back on a manhunt with her girlfriends; and she discovers that being “just friends” with Joshua’s “daddy” may not be that simple.
Be sure to tune into OWN, April 20 at 10PM ET!
Photo Source: Zimbio
For a brief moment, especially with the cancellation of the reality show ‘Starter Wives Confidential and green light, red light action that happened with rapper Shawty Lo’s baby mama drama show, it seemed as the world of reality was about to face some challenges. But have no fear because more reality shows are near.
Coming soon to VH1 is the network’s newest reality show, “The Gossip Game”. The show will shadow the lives of seven female media personalities whose careers revolve what’s happening in urban entertainment.
“The Gossip Game” premieres Monday, April 1st at 9pm [EST]. Here’s VH1’s description of the show, introduction of the cast and a sneak peek.
Every day, these ambitious women navigate the ever-shifting landscape of the media industry, where they strive to preserve their place in the ‘pecking order’ while chasing the latest exclusive scoop. These rivals, who often find themselves at the epicenter of celebrity controversy, forge an uneasy alliance of friendly foes as they compete to hit their professional marks by being the first to break the latest news and divulge the intimate details of the enviable lives of hip hop’s movers and shakers.
The cast of ‘The Gossip Game”…
Angela Yee, co-host of the “Breakfast Club” show on Power 105.1;
K. Foxx, co-host of “The Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg Show with K. Foxx” on Hot 97 FM;
Kim Osorio, Editor-In-Chief of The Source magazine;
Sharon Carpenter, reporter on Russell Simmons’ Global Grind website;
Jas Fly, freelance writer, whose pop culture column appears on Vibe.com twice a week;
Ms. Drama, host of the MsDramaTV blog and on-air personality at Major Playaz and
NYC Gossip Girl (Vivian Billings), owner of HipHopGossipSite.com blog.
Kandi Burruss is making moves and isn’t stopping no time soon. With a highly successful reality show (RHOA) and sex toy line (Bedroom Kandi), the Atlanta native is heading back to television with her own show. Based on helping singing hopefuls find their spotlight in the music business, The Kandi Factory will follow each contestant through the a rigirous singers bootcamp. Each episode will feature artists as they prepare for the TKF music showcase where a winner will be chosen. Kandi and her team of choreographers, producers, and songwriters will lend a helping hand in efforts to find the next big artist.
Check out the official trailer for Season 1 of The Kandi Factory below…
The Kandi Factory will air on Bravo 10/9C, April 9!