Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

Power Leaked Episodes

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

We almost lost the hit television show, Power. In the middle of season four, there was a leak of a couple of episodes for the series on Facebook. A few weeks later, Curtis Jackson, also known for his stage name, 50 Cent, admitted to being responsible for it. Jackson is an actor and executive producer for the show. At first, Starz executives were upset about the leaked footage, but as the episodes were released on the network, it caused a surge in ratings. The executives were then more accepting of what happened.

It is said that 50 Cent was upset with the Starz network for the lack of recognition the show gets, as it is competing with HBO’s Game of Thrones and it has not been nominated for an Emmy award. The actor blamed Starz because he did not think they promoted the show as much as they should have. Also, the showrunner, Courtney Kemp, said that Starz was unwilling to give them more episodes. This resulted in the loss of details in the storyline. Jackson went to the extreme of threatening to remove Power from Starz. It was rumored to move to BET.

Fans were astounded to find out about the possible move. They were worried about the censorship mainly, for that is what sets the show apart from other shows such as Empire. Power has the ability to do what they want and say what they want, and it would lose that power if it was moved. Fans were even more disappointed to find out that Power may not be coming back at all. Sophomore psychology major, Kayla Packwood, from Somerset, NJ says, “Power is the most interesting show out in my opinion. There is always a new twist and turn that keeps you on your toes.” She continued on to say that she would be devastated if they took Power away.

On Sept. 5, Jackson announced on his Instagram that there was a new deal between him and Chris Albrecht, the head of the network. So, Power will be back with its fifth season. Not only is there going to be more Power, but also Jackson’s new shows, Tomorrow, Today, I Got Away and Black Family Mafia will be airing. According to Vibe Magazine, Tomorrow, Today, I Got Away is a television film about a veteran who is given superpowers in a scientific experiment gone wrong. It will be interesting to see how viewers react to these new works. Power has enhanced 50 Cent’s experience as a producer, so it is expected that he will produce something just as great as Power.

Jackson has taken a step even further by producing a comedy sketch show on BET. It will showcase new music and talent as well. He describes it as “Living Color, but in 2018.” This show will premiere Wednesday Sept. 27 at 10:30 p.m.

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NYFW

Mackenzie Walker | Contributing Writer

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Britinaé Bell

New York Fashion Week is one of the most sought out shows of the year. It is a semi-annual show in February and September showcasing international fashion to buyers, the press, and public. This year, NYFW was from September 7 to September 13. It featured looks from Betsey Johnson, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Vera Wang and other designers. The models looked absolutely stunning; however, there was one person who was most excited of them all.

Britinaé Bell of True Beauty Artistry, a makeup artist in Memphis, Tenn., thoroughly enjoyed herself at NYFW. Bell was offered the opportunity to travel to New York and perfect her craft by slaying a model’s face. True Beauty Artistry’s mission is to enhance natural beauty, and that’s exactly what she did. Although nervous and excited, Bell enjoyed the thrill of painting the face of a goddess. The model’s name was Juanika Ellis, wife of the Indiana Pacers’ Monta Ellis. Ellis is Bell’s client in Memphis, but when Ellis found out she was a model for NYFW, she demanded Bell’s services. Bell is one of the best makeup artists in Memphis. She has been nominated three years for the Best in Black Awards and won once in 2016. Ellis personally flew Bell in to perform her services. Ellis had three looks. The first look consisted of a Prada hat, Stella McCartney vest, Levi’s jeans and Givenchy shoes. The second was head-to-toe Philipp Plein. Lastly, the third was a nice ensemble with a Chanel cross-over to match. Ellis was styled by Elly Karamoh, a native French Hideoki Bespoke Connoisseur. The wardrobe, hair, and makeup couldn’t be matched, but a new accessory came into play that caught everyone’s eye.

Despite the designer pieces that were flaunted across stage, the street styles were not overlooked. The “it” accessories that became mainstream this season were sunglasses. Sunglasses are the best accessory, as they bring zeal to an otherwise dull outfit. The sunglasses displayed this season were Balenciaga, Le Specs, Adam Selman, BCBG and Giant Vintage. The shape of the sunglasses aren’t what caught buyer’s eyes. It was the color scheme that turned heads. The colors displayed this year were bright, flamboyant colors: lemon yellows, tangerine, coral, deep wine, maroon and lime green shades. As models fiercely walked through the streets of New York, their sunglasses spoke volumes.

New York Fashion Week has always been every fashionista’s favorite time of the year. NYFW is about showcasing diversity through fashion. Every needle and thread stitched into these outfits was rocked graciously. From street styles to runway and the accessory gala, fall NYFW was a success, to say the least. Stay tuned for some freshly ripped-off-the-runway pieces in your local Nordstrom, Dillard’s, and Macy’s.

Emmy Awards Recap

Selena Roberts | Arts & Entertainment Writer

The Emmy Awards is a time to showcase the most noteworthy and captivating television programs that have premiered in the last TV season. The awards show aired on Sept. 17.

Several television shows have gained the attention of not only the awards show, but also of audiences worldwide because of their engaging storylines, relatable characters, and their ability to captivate the attention of fans. From drama, to sci-fi, to comedy, the following shows have made significant impacts on pop culture.

Every fall brings new TV shows that will get people talking, whether they are controversial or relatable. Returning shows that were brought back by popular demand include This Is Us, Blackish and Stranger Things.

This Is Us premiered last fall, and since then, the family drama has people wanting more. The show focuses on Jack and Kate Pearson and how they go through the trials and tribulations of raising triplets. It illustrates the complicated family dynamic of the Pearson’s and how they navigate through different topics including adoption, self-love, and learning to accept the loss of a loved one. The television show is known for making its audience emotional with its heart-wrenching stories. The first season of This Is Us left people wondering what would happen next to the family. Luckily, this season, they’ll get their answers.

The second season of This Is Us will premiere on Sept. 26 at 9 p.m. on NBC. The show was nominated for a total of 10 Emmys. The nominations included one for Outstanding Drama, Best Actor in a drama series, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. This Is Us will definitely remain one of the shows to look out for in this new television season.

Stranger Things will premiere on Sept. 27 on Netflix. After its premiere in July 2016, it still has captured the attention of people of all ages. The show features a small town set in the early 1980s. The series starts off with a focus on a group of friends who live normal lives until one night one of their buddies, Will, goes missing. His friends go through supernatural adventures in order to find Will and bring him home.

The Netflix original was nominated for a total of eighteen Emmys that include Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Supporting Actress and Outstanding Supporting Actor.

Blackish is returning for its fourth season on Oct. 3 on ABC. The show centers on the Johnson family, an average middle-class African American family. The parents of the Johnson kids try to provide their children with the best, but learn that sometimes it’s best to teach their children the value of hard work and having morals.

The comedy received three Emmy nominations which were Outstanding Comedy series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series and Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Wanda Sykes was also nominated for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in the show as Daphnee Lido.
The Emmys proved to be a night full of entertainment, laughs and tears as stars accepted the Emmy statuette. The host of the evening Stephen Colbert opened the awards show with a musical number that included cameos from Chance the Rapper and Anthony Anderson. Colbert’s monologue centered on favorite shows of this season and jokes on Donald Trump’s presidency. Colbert even had a surprise guest in store for the audience: Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, made a cameo. The audience was shocked from the moment he walked on stage. In the end, Sterling K. Brown from This Is Us won the Emmy for Outstanding Leading Actor. This is the first time since 1998 that a black actor won for that category, making this win even more monumental. Unfortunately, those nominated in Blackish and Stranger Things did not win in their categories.

Nevertheless, with all of the anticipated releases this fall, you’re guaranteed to find a show that will have you hooked.

The Results Are in

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

The results are in. Miss North Dakota, Cara Mund, has been crowned Miss America 2018. Mund was able to win the $50,000 in scholarship money by outscoring the other top four competitors: Miss Missouri, Miss New Jersey, Miss District of Columbia, and Miss Texas. The competition consisted of the following categories: Preliminaries, Evening Gown, Swimsuit and Interviews. Mund is the first in her state to ever receive this title. She is a 23-year old graduate from Brown University, and is the first Ivy League winner in the last 64 years.

The pageant was televised on ABC from Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on Sept. 10. The pageant had to battle with Sunday Night Football on NBC and the highly promoted series “The Orville” on Fox. Not only did the pageant have to compete with networks, but also the hurricane that was taking place in Florida. Miss Florida had expressed her concern for her home state and said, “No matter what happens, we are strong and we can do it; we can get through anything together.” These outside factors caused another decline in the pageant’s ratings. The ratings for this year’s viewing brought in 5.6 million viewers; but in 2016, there were 6.2 million viewers, and in 2015, 7 million viewers.

Although the ratings were not high for television, the event topped No. 1 in the Nielsen Social Content Ratings with 1.338 million social interactions. Sunday Night Football was still able to top this on a separate chart for sports with 7.9 million social interactions. As the world is becoming more digital, it is not unordinary to see a surge in social media interactions. People within the younger age groups tend to gravitate towards social media platforms rather than physically watching on television, but does this mean our generation does not care about the pageant as much?

On Hampton University’s campus, there has been little to no promotion for the event, but there is a student who supports the purpose of this pageant. Senior elementary education major Kaitlyn Ceaser, from Chicago, Ill. says, “I think it is interesting to see different women from around the nation be a representation of their state. I love the diversity and the meaning behind it all.” The Miss America pageant is still an American classic that is widely appreciated.

Miss America 2018 hopes to see change within the government in her state and nationwide. Mund dreams to be the first woman elected governor of her state. She hopes to see an increase in women’s interactions with the government due to the lack of the female perspective when decisions are being made. Mund told The L.A. Times, “In health care and on reproductive rights, it is predominantly men making those decisions.” Miss America is setting the example for others to get involved if they want to see the results they desire. She will be heading to law school very shortly.

 

Social Media Star to the Next Hottest Artist: Cardi B’s Rise to Fame

Carlie Beard | Arts & Entertainment Writer

From performing at the 2017 MTV VMA pre-show to topping the Billboard 100 chart, Cardi B is definitely a rising artist to look out for. The social media star turned rapper is everywhere, and is definitely the topic of discussion. The “Bodak Yellow” rapper has worked her way up to the top. She has had several mixtapes and singles that caused a buzz in the music world, more specifically in the hip-hop industry. However, Cardi was not always the hip-hop diva we know of today.

Many people first became familiar with Cardi B through social media. She became famous for her vines that went viral and then gained more popularity from her Instagram videos. With now over 9 million Instagram followers and shy of 1 million followers on Twitter, Cardi B’s following has definitely flourished due to her music career. The 24-year-old was once a member of the cast for Love and Hip Hop: New York (LHHNY). Viewers loved Cardi because of her fun personality and her carefree attitude. She has her own lingo that people and fans use today, including words like “shmood” and “shmoney.” On Love and Hip Hop: New York, Cardi would be constantly filmed in the studio working late on her music. However, many could notice that this was not your typical reality TV star cast member. The Bronx rapper has something special about her that makes her stand out from the others. This is why she is more successful than your typical TV personality.

When Cardi B’s music career started, many did not take her seriously. Some just viewed her as another reality TV star trying to start a nonexistent career. Although Cardi has some haters, as with every celebrity, she has an amazing fan base that has supported her from day one. People feel as if they can relate to Cardi B. She is authentic and outspoken. People admire her because she is not afraid to be herself. Whether you hate or love Cardi B, one thing that is undeniable is that she is hardworking. She has worked for everything she has and it is finally starting to pay off.

With new successes come new changes. Cardi B has had a great style evolution from more young and playful clothing to now more sophisticated looks. In her latest hit “Bodak Yellow” Cardi B said, “Got a bag and fixed my teeth,” meaning she has more money now, so she could fix her teeth that everyone would constantly judge her about. Cardi is also currently dating the rapper Offset from the rap group Migos. Even though Cardi B has attained much success over the past year, she has never forgotten where she comes from. She always talks about how growing up in the Bronx has shaped her into who she is today. Cardi B embraces her fame and still remains true to who she is.

 

Insecure Becomes a Hit Show in a Short Amount of Time

Selena Roberts | Arts & Entertainment Writer

The hit show Insecure has captured the attention of audiences everywhere in a short amount of time. Issa Rae stars in, produces and writes for the show. Her ability to relate to not just the African American female’s perspective, but women of all races is just one of the reasons why the comedy is so popular today. There has not been a black woman that has both created her show and starred in it since 2003, making Insecure even more monumental. The show first premiered in 2016, and has just finished its second season. The series was granted another season and is preparing to film for season three.

 

Insecure follows your typical average African American woman, Issa, and her relationships with her best friend, Molly, and ex-boyfriend, Lawrence. She consistently goes through uncomfortable, yet relatable situations. Issa has doubts and insecurities within herself and will try to locate the humor in tricky situations. The show explores different topics that are often overlooked in television including infidelity in relationships, fitting in at the workplace, and the gender pay gap. Incorporating these issues into the storyline is what makes the comedy authentic and genuine. It causes the viewers to think about how they handle their own issues.

 

One of the reasons why Insecure resonates with not just the African American female, but females of all races, is because it shows that women do not always have to maintain a “perfect” façade. The pressure to always have it together and be seen as successful is one that all women feel at one point in their lives. Issa and Molly prove that it is okay for women not always to appear to be strong or confident in their everyday lives. The series showcases females in a positive light by portraying them to be conscious individuals who are on a journey of self-discovery and wanting to better themselves.

 

Insecure is important to watch because it does not show the African American female in a negative light. Often when it comes to television, the African American woman is portrayed as the stereotypical black woman—one that acts aggressively, is sassy or has an attitude problem. Another common stereotype for African-American actresses in Hollywood is the domestic role, meaning they are often seen playing maids or nannies. This is seen in films such as “The Help” and “Gone with the Wind.” Neither stereotypes exist on Insecure. Issa works for a non-profit charity and Molly is an attorney at a successful firm, both of which are exceptional and inspirational roles for black women to play and for black audiences to see on television.

 

Insecure remains one of the most frequently-discussed shows today. The success of Issa Rae’s show did not happen by accident.  Her creative approach to highlight the struggles and conflicts that women face an ongoing basis has catapulted the series to success.

Celebrities Unite to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

Carlie Beard | Arts & Entertainment Writer

As we all know, the powerful Hurricane Harvey has brought devastation to the nation. This category four storm has caused an estimated total of $75 billion in damage. The two main places that were affected were Texas and Louisiana. People from around the world have teamed up to provide resources to the victims of this tragedy. Whenever a natural disaster occurs, our favorite celebrities always rise to the occasion and take action to help those affected.
The charitable Beyoncé recently visited Houston to serve the community and give back to her beloved hometown. Beyoncé has her own nonprofit organization called BeyGood. Through BeyGood, Beyoncé has been able to give back to the less fortunate all across the world. Considering that Beyoncé represents Houston in everything she does, people on Twitter did criticize Queen Bey for not speaking out about the devastation in Houston sooner. Beyonce’s mother, Miss Tina Knowles, and her daughter, Blue Ivy, were both by her side giving back to the victims of this terrible incident.
One of the most famous families in the world, the Kardashians, collectively gave $500,000. Kim Kardashian tweeted, “Houston we are praying for you! My mom, sisters & I will be donating $500,000 to ‪‬@redcross and ‪‬@salvationarmyus today ‪#HoustonStrong.”‬
Celebrities play a huge role in today’s relief effort when events such as Hurricane Harvey occur. Besides natural disasters, Hollywood’s A-listers know how to rally together when any tragedy occurs. Celebrities use their platform to encourage others to help out during a time of need. For example, the deadly explosion that occurred during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester shocked the entire world. Immediately following the incident, Ariana worked with artists such as Katy Perry, Coldplay, Pharrell Williams, Usher and the Black Eyed Peas to create a benefit concert. In the end, these donations had a grand total of $13 million.
The biggest names in Hollywood heavily influence how much others give. Many celebs took to social media to promote organizations. Celebs such as DJ Khaled and Kevin Hart are reasons why millions of dollars have been donated to the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. The “Hand in Hand” telethon was casted with celebrities such as Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Sofia Vergara, Justin Bieber, and Taraji P. Henson. This telethon raised over $44 million for the Hurricane Harvey relief effort. When all of these celebrities use their platforms correctly, their followers and fans see them helping out and likely want to do the same. If people are willing to pay hundreds of dollars to see their favorite artist at a concert, then they will definitely donate a small amount of money to give back to those in need. Celebrities are crucial to spreading the awareness of issues and tragedies during a time in need because they have many people who admire them and are, in fact, heavily influenced by them.