Category Archives: Arts & Entertainment

MoThoro drops his second album, ThoroLyfe: Execution

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

MorrisTaylor

Morris Taylor

Rapper MoThoro, a Los Angeles native, has recently dropped his sophomore album titled ThoroLyfe: Execution. 

Along with being a rapper, Morris Taylor, also known as Mo, is a fourth-year, five-year MBA major at Hampton University. He balances being both a full-time student and rapper in the industry. Mo shares a record label called “LFTFLD” with his long time childhood friend Rasul Shabazz, who is also a rapper.

ThoroLyfe: Execution has a total of 12 songs and took just shy of four months to complete. Artists such as Mare and Kai Ca$h the rapper, who are both HU students, feature on this album.

To kick off the release of his new project, Mo threw a listening party the night before his album was officially released. Throughout the listening party, guests were able to hear his new project and helped Mo celebrate the completion of the second installment to the ThoroLyfe series.

When it comes to his motivation for entering the music industry, Mo is inspired by two people: his father and rapper Kendrick Lamar. Growing up, Mo witnessed his father being an underground rapper and was exposed to hip-hop music pretty early.

Mo reminisces on a time he saw one of his favorite rappers, Kendrick Lamar, passing out CDs on the streets of L.A. when Kendrick was still an underground rapper. This helped him understand the grind that goes into the music industry.

He has gained more knowledge and experience with the rap game now that he is dropping another album. However, he didn’t start this way.

Mo began by rapping nursery rhymes in his school’s talent show. When he noticed the great response from the crowd, he knew he had a chance in the rap industry. In 10th grade, he started recording songs in his room and posting them on WorldStarHipHop’s site, receiving 100K views.

He has now branched far away from nursery rhymes with new songs such as the crowd favorite “Be About It.” When asked what his favorite song from the album is, he responded, “Choosing one song is like choosing your favorite kid; it’s difficult. I really like “Be About It” and I think the ladies are going to like it, too, because it’s relatable.”

Let’s get into the album cover.  The cover art is not reggae related; however, green, yellow and red are colors that represent the Los Angeles city flag. It was only right that he paid homage to his hometown.

In reference to the significance of the “777” on the cover of the album, Mo stated that, “Seven is the number of completeness and perfection. My name, ‘MoThoro’ [is a play on the word] ‘thorough,’ [which] means ‘complete or to your best ability.’ I feel like the number ‘seven’ represents me as an artist.”

Mo mentioned that on this project, he challenged himself by stepping out of his comfort zone and singing more. He also was able to produce majority of the tracks on his album by himself.

So, what should fans expect next from MoThoro? He plans to continue working in the studio and to promote the album even more. Mo and Kai Ca$h are working on a project together, so stay tuned.

ThoroLyfe: Execution is available on iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud, Tidal, Google Play and Amazon. You can also access MoThoro’s new album by scanning the QR reader below using the QR Reader app on your iPhone.

Advertisements

Tiffany Haddish takes on SNL

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

TiffanyHaddish.png

Tiffany Haddish is the first African-American comedienne to host the show Saturday Night Live in its 42 seasons.

Haddish got personal in her opening monologue. She discussed her experience in foster care and how that steered her onto the path of comedy. With the help of her counselor, Haddish discovered that her talent could save her from her troubled ways.

Early on, Haddish received advice from some of the greatest comedians, specifically Richard Pryor. She told The Los Angeles Times that Pryor encouraged her to have more fun on stage. “I took that philosophy with me and I do that in everything I do,” said Haddish.

Haddish made her way to television starting with the OWN series If Loving You Is Wrong. Later, she starred as the role opposite of David Allen Grier in NBC’s The Carmichael Show. However, Haddish’s break-out role was in the 2017 film Girls Trip, starring Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Regina Hall.

Sophomore Lashae Alexander said, “Tiffany Haddish was hilarious in Girls Trip. She was the life of the party and I’m sure she reminded everyone of that one friend within any circle.”

On Saturday Night Live, Haddish addressed the topic of sexual harassment, an issue that has been relevant in news within the last few weeks. A few big shots in Hollywood have recently addressed allegations about them sexually harassing individuals years ago.

Haddish gave a “Tiff Tip” to men involved in sexual misconduct. The comedienne said, “If you have your ‘thing thing’ out and she still has on her clothes, then you’re wrong.” Like any SNL host, Haddish successfully addressed relevant issues while still maintaining a sense of humor. The sketches throughout the show all touched on the controversial topic as well.

The episode featured a sketch connecting politics and the sexual misconduct allegations. Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore discussed the possibility of losing his seat due to allegations of sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl.

Not only was there a political connection in the sketches, but also a personal connection to an upcoming Haddish project. The sketch The Last Black Unicorn shares the name of Haddish’s book that will be released next month. Be on the lookout for this project if you want life tips from Haddish or simply want to know more about her.

Haddish will return to the big screen in an upcoming film called Night School, with Kevin Hart. Haddish is also said to be starring in a new sitcom with Tracy Morgan.

Inside interview with artist Kelela

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

Kelela Mizanekristos, otherwise known as Kelela, is a singer/songwriter who is far from afraid to express herself.

She experiments with her music and seeks to break down barriers with her craft. Kelela is known for her debut mixtape, Cut 4 Me, her EP, Hallucinogen, and her most recent album, Take Me Apart.  Recently, our Arts and Entertainment writer, Selena Roberts, had the pleasure of interviewing her.

SR: What are your musical influences?:

K: I have a lot of different influences. Some are abstract and some are literal. They include Natalie Cole, Joni Mitchell, Janet Jackson, Whitney Houston, and Mariah Carey.

SR: What is your background in music?:

K: Neither of my parents played music. I played the violin for about ten years [starting] in the fourth grade. I would [also] sing in choir.

SR: How would you describe your music?:

K: I would say that it is rooted in R&B. Vocally, that is where I am coming from in terms of style. In terms of production, I am influenced in electronic. When I think about making music on machines, I think of Stevie Wonder, Prince, and Timbaland.

SR: What advice would you give someone who is trying to make it in the music industry?:

K: There are different stages of your journey. Identifying where you are in your journey first is important. There’s a lot of frustration when you do not know where you are.

People [also] need to remember that there’s so much work and so much effort needed. There’s a lot of failure, and not in an abstract sense. It’s important for people to be okay with where they are first in their journey. Think [more] about being honest than being big. Be true to yourself before selling it to other people.

SR: How would you describe your sense of style?:

K: I’m all things. There are different moods for different events that I go to. When I dress for a show, I have to be comfortable. I have to be able to move and jump in [my outfit]. There can’t be any restrictions. It’s hard to pinpoint my actual style. I always wanted to embody different things. There’s an element of futurism. I would say there is something classic that exists in the thread that I like. It’s about mixing and matching.

SR: How do you calm down before a performance?:

K: I practice scales. I’ll practice scales in the shower. It’s a good way to calm down and be in my own universe. I enjoy being quiet. I’ll try to find a way to be confined.

SR: Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years?:

K: Hopefully, there’s elements of this that I don’t know. There’s elements that I can’t predict. Definitely enterprise, building a business that helps other women in the music industry, specifically women of color.

I want to give them a set of tools that will help them navigate the industry. There’s a reality check that women will go through. My interest is to provide an institution for artists, [especially] women of color, to come in, get briefed and get a set of tools to thrive.

There are black people in the industry on the artist perspective; but on the business side, it is shocking to see the lack of people of color.

SR: What would you be doing now if you were not performing?:

K: I would be pursuing a PhD, to be honest. I would be getting [a PhD for] doing the same thing I am doing now through the music platform.

SR: What social media platforms can your fans find you on?:

K: Mainly on Instagram and on Twitter. I have a Facebook page that is less personal, I would say. I am not as active on Snapchat. Those are the main outlets for me.

Want to get to know Kelela a bit more? Check out her latest project, Take Me Apart, available on Apple Music, and follow Kelela on Twitter and Instagram @kelelam.

Marshall Movie Review

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

Marshall.png

Courtesy of Dahyo Coleman

This time of year promises new films that will be sure to generate excitement from audiences everywhere. One film that is sure to get Oscar buzz is none other than Marshall. Marshall is a unique biopic that showcases the esteemed judge’s early beginnings as a young lawyer working for the NAACP. The film displays Thurgood Marshall’s career and life before his victorious win in Brown VS. Board of Education, the case responsible for desegregating schools in 1954, and his role as the first African American Supreme Court Justice.

The film stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, Sterling K. Brown as Joseph Spell, Josh Gad as Sam Friedman and Kate Hudson as wealthy socialite Eleanor Strubing. The plot centers on Thurgood Marshall’s attempt to clear an innocent black man’s name, Joseph Spell, after he is accused of sexual assault and attempted murder by his white employer Eleanor Strubing. Joseph struggles to prove his innocence, but with Marshall’s guidance, he is given a fighting chance.

The movie shows a different side of Thurgood Marshall that was not often showed to the public. Viewers get to see him as someone who is righteous, but is willing to go above and beyond even if it means breaking the rules in order to get justice for those who deserve it. One poignant line that Boseman’s character stated during the film was, “I only represent innocent people, people accused because of their race…that’s my mission.”

This is not Boseman’s first time playing an influential figure on the big screen. He first starred as Jackie Robinson in 42 in 2013. He then took on the role of James Brown in Get On Up in 2014. Like his previous roles, Boseman’s role in Marshall did not disappoint.

The movie’s plot correlates with society today, as it is released during a time where many are at odds with the Trump administration. Minorities are still facing opposition from the government. Boseman spoke on how timely the film is. He stated, “It’s so unfortunate that it’s so, so relevant at this time period, but at least we have it to shed light and to give people hope, to remind people. There’s the phrase ‘Make America Great Again,’ but how did we make America great? Who did it? It was Thurgood Marshall who did it.”

Steven Tompson, a freshman political science major, said, “As someone who is aspiring to be a lawyer, I think that it is great to have a movie like this. Not only is it inspiring, but I learned more about someone I consider a hero.”

Justin Timberlake 2018 Super Bowl Performance: Previous Performances he’ll have to top

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

JT.png

Photo from the official Pepsi Twitter page 

Justin Timberlake is unquestionably one of the biggest artists of this generation. From hit songs like “Cry Me a River” to more sophisticated singles like “Suit and Tie,” he definitely knows how to be versatile and remain true to himself while doing so. The “Sexy Back” singer is, in fact, back, and will be performing at the 2018 Super Bowl Halftime Show.

He took to Twitter to announce the big news after posting a comical video with friend Jimmy Fallon. Along with the video Justin tweeted, “I DO have the time. Half the time…”

Pepsi, a huge sponsor for the Super Bowl, also took to twitter to celebrate with the superstar by writing, “It’s official: @jtimberlake is taking the #PepsiHalftime stage at #SBLII Tune into #SNF tonight for the full scoop & we’ll see you on Feb 4!”

This isn’t JT’s first Halftime Show performance, however. The last time he headlined the show was with Janet Jackson in 2004. The two put on a jaw-dropping performance with an unforgettable wardrobe malfunction…Yikes!

Any who, Justin is back and ready to redeem his name.

Don’t think the redemption will be easy. Timberlake has some competition to top, such as previous Super Bowl Halftime Show veterans Lady GaGa, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars and Madonna.

Beyoncé hit the stage in 2013. The highlight of Queen Bey’s performance was when she reunited with one of the most popular girl groups, Destiny’s Child. Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland joined Bey in performing some of their greatest hits. Will JT bring out his famous boy band, NSYNC, for a reunion at the halftime show?

Let’s not forget when Lady GaGa flew from the sky in her halftime performance. Remember when Katy Perry performed and her background dancer dressed in a shark costume became an Internet sensation overnight? What about when the legendary Michael Jackson took the stage back in 1993 for Super Bowl XXVII? With his smooth dance moves and unmatchable talent, Jackson instantly set the standard for future halftime performances to come.

Hopefully, Justin has learned a few pointers from the King of Pop.

The Super Bowl Halftime performance is one of the most highly anticipated shows that takes place every year. The show can make or break an artist. Tune in on February 4th, 2018 to see what Justin Timberlake has in store.

 

JT.png

Roseanne is making a rosy return

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Roseanne.png

Courtesy of Dahyo Coleman

The 1990s hit sitcom “Roseanne” is back with an even bigger bang. Actress Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene, proposed the idea to the cast members back in March. Hesitant that the stars wouldn’t be up for it, Gilbert held back on her plans. Once actor John Goodman, who played Dan Conner, had an appearance on The Talk and discussed the show, Gilbert knew the sitcom could have a chance at being a hit once again. When she spoke to Goodman, she was reassured that the show would be highly anticipated. Gilbert will be the executive producer of this revival.

“Roseanne” brought the reality of the working class to television. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Gilbert said, “That’s a voice that’s not been spoken for enough in this country and we feel hopefully that we can be a uniting force in that way.” She hopes that members of the working class audience will be able to relate to the show and see the family as a reflection of them.

As for what’s to come in the reboot, the cast and producers want to leave the audience in suspense. One question that was answered concerned the role and well-being of Dan. In the original series finale, Dan Conner died of a heart attack, but in the revival he will be alive and well. Goodman is excited to make his return to the screen as this character. These actors are looking at this reboot as a “magical” experience. People who grew up watching the show are anticipating its comeback. Fans have expressed their excitement on social media, some saying that their “TV mom” is back, and others saying it was the best show for them while growing up.

You can expect to see many familiar faces along with some new ones, as the storyline has been altered. Roseanne Barr (Roseanne), John Goodman (Dan), Laurie Metcalf (Jackie), Sara Gilbert (Darlene), Lecy Goranson (Becky) and Michael Fishman (DJ) will be back in 2018. Shameless’ Emma Kenney will make her way to the show. We don’t know what to expect besides tons of comedic relief throughout the season. The cast and production team are hopeful that Roseanne will have a successful revival and that the audience will still love it.

The cast has been uploading behind the scenes pictures that can be found on the Roseanne ABC Instagram page and ABC.com.

The eight-episode reboot was announced back in May and the production began in October. Roseanne will return to television screens in 2018 on ABC.

 

 

A trip into the life of Jhene Aiko

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Jhene.png

Courtesy of Dahyo Coleman

Jhene Aiko has released a 22-track LP entitled Trip. The songs on this album discuss Aiko grieving the loss of her brother, Miyagi. She experiences a rollercoaster of emotions and turns to drugs to cope with the pain.  In the album, she opens up with her fans about her experimentations and some addictions to LSD, marijuana, cocaine, Adderall, and mushrooms. Despite her mention of drug use, she brings reality to the situation by explaining the many ways in which people attempt to deal with a loss, such as replacement and even suicide. Aiko discusses the importance of her journey to understand that some individuals simply cannot be replaced.

Trip is only one part of a multimedia project comprising of an album, a short film, and a book of poetry. Jhene Aiko refers to this project as a MAP (Movie, Album, Poetry). She introduces a character, Penny, who is supposed to be her purest form. On an Instagram post she explained, “In [my brother’s] presence, I was confident and always so sure. I was Penny. Since that day, I have been incomplete, losing all direction and sense of self.” Aiko describes her desires to get back to who she was before her brother passed, and the album reflects just that.

In 90 minutes, she tells us of her journey of wanting to find the love she felt from her brother. Along the way, she tried to find this love in other men. In the song “Moments” feat. Big Sean, the lyrics are “My mama said love is the answer/ So when I call, you better answer…No substitutes, you’re the one and only/ Please take away the stress I don’t need.” Jhene Aiko falls in love with men thinking they can fulfill what her brother gave her, but she ends up heartbroken and stuck.

She moves on to the next vice and subliminally mentions suicide. In the song “Jukai,” she talks about her wanting to be alone with her brother, but she isn’t successful.

Eventually, she turns to the happiness her daughter gives her and wanting to the best mother she can.

Their mommy-daughter duet entitled “Sing to Me” is a gear switch in not only Jhene’s life, the album as a whole. Her focus shifts to the joy of being a mother.

“Sing to Me” is followed by “Ascension” feat. Brandy, and serves as her prayer for liberation. She ends the album with “Trip” which depicts the physical trips she takes when feeling low.

This work is truly eye-opening. Jhene exposes a vulnerable side to her that she has been hiding throughout her career. In the end, fans can understand the true beauty of it all as they witness the growth and courage she displays through her journey.

Trip the movie is now available on JheneisPenny.com and 2fish, the poetry book, will be available this fall. To get the full Jhene Aiko experience, be sure to check out all parts of this work. Aiko will also begin her Trip tour on Nov. 14. Check out her Instagram to see if she will be stopping in a city near you.

 

Dove commercial creates controversy

Selena Roberts | Staff Writer

DovePhoto.JPG

Courtesy of Selena Roberts

Dove is known to be an inclusive brand featuring women of different sizes and races in the brand’s advertisements.

Recently, Dove faced controversy due to a commercial featuring an African American model wearing a brown T-shirt who took her shirt off, revealing a white woman wearing a beige shirt. Some people took offense to the ad, saying that it was insensitive and racist. Dove ultimately took the commercial down due to the overwhelming amount of backlash.

This is not the first time Dove has been the center of controversy due to its choice in advertisement. Back in 2011, the brand was under scrutiny after it featured an ad that showed three women in front of an image of different types of skin textures. The white woman was in front of the image displaying soft skin, while the African American woman was standing in front of the picture that showed dry skin. In addition to that, Dove offended some customers again when it included a “normal to dark skin” label on one of its products.

There is a divide between the public’s perceptions of what Dove was trying to convey in its latest ad. Students on campus had mixed views about the promotion. Although the majority of the public seemed to be offended by Dove, others believed the message was taken out of context.

“I did not think that there was anything wrong with the ad,” said Dave Smith, a freshman MBA major from Connecticut. “I thought it was fine.”

Lisa Jenkins, a freshman biology major, said, “I thought that Dove should have known better and, ultimately, they just missed the mark,”

The model featured in the ad, Lola Ogunyemi, made a statement sharing her views on the negative reception the ad received.

“I don’t feel it was racist,” Ogunyemi said. “The screenshots that have taken the media by storm paint a slightly different picture.”

However, the model made it clear that she was not informed by Dove how the commercial would turn out.

“This did not represent the diversity of real beauty which is something Dove is passionate about and is core to our beliefs, and it should not have happened,” the company said in a statement.

The controversy shed light on the ongoing issue that is seen by major companies and their lack of sensitivity.

Earlier this year, Pepsi was under scrutiny because of a commercial featuring Kendall Jenner. Critics claimed that Pepsi was imitating the Black Lives Matter movement and in a way de-escalating the seriousness of the campaign.

Shea Moisture was under fire for its choice of advertisement as well. The brand was accused of having a lack of representation of different hair types. Customers thought the company’s ad was straying from its core values.

 

Eminem’s the talk of the BET Hip Hop Awards

Carlie Beard | Staff Writer

BETHipHop.JPG

Courtesy of Carlie Beard

This year’s BET Hip Hop Awards were filled with unexpected twists and turns that kept viewers’ eyes glued to their TV screens.

DJ Khaled, one of the most respected DJs in hip-hop, hosted the show. He brought along his 11-month-old son, Asahd Khaled, who also happens to be the executive producer of his latest project, “Grateful.” Nicole Tuck, his partner and mother of his son, was also present at the awards to support Khaled.

The Miami native was excited to host the awards show because the event took place in his hometown at Fillmore Jackie Gleason Theater. DJ Khaled won the awards for MVP of the Year and also DJ of the Year.

From the cyphers to the performances, hip-hop’s greatest were in attendance, including stars such as Gucci Mane, Rick Ross, Trina, T-Pain and Yo Gotti. Some rookies were also present, such as rappers Dave East, Playboi Carti, Tee Grizzley and Cardi B. Cardi B was there to collect a plethora of awards. The “Bodak Yellow” rapper took home four awards for the night, including the award for Hustler of the Year.

Rap group Migos performed their latest single, “Too Hotty.” Cardi B, Flo Rida, Gucci Mane, Yo Gotti and others hit the stage as well.

Now to the crowd favorite: the cyphers. The cyphers this year were in groups, as usual. They featured rappers like Fat Joe, Tee Grizzley, Belly and Zoey Dollars. There was even a cypher that featured only female rappers, known as “Femcees.”

The moment that had everyone talking was Eminem’s cypher. During his cypher, Eminem called out President Donald Trump for his lack of concern when discussing issues the U.S. faces, such as gun control and Colin Kaepernick’s national anthem protest. Eminem also addressed his fans by saying, “And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his, I’m drawing in the sand a line, [you’re] either for or against.”

Hampton senior sports management major Kris Johnson-Anderson, who is from Atlanta, offered his thoughts about Eminem.

“His performance was very relatable to what’s going on in society,” Johnson-Anderson said. “[It] brought awareness to a nonprofit organization, the NFL, and how it is constantly making money off of a controversy such as the Colin Kaepernick protest. It was significant that Eminem brought attention to immigration and health care in America.”

Johnson-Anderson added, “Although, it is important that we discuss topics [like] police brutality and racism in our country, we must also place more emphasis on what is occurring in and around our country. For example, a hurricane relief effort for Puerto Rico or the fires that are killing people and leaving some missing in California.”

Kendrick Lamar ended the awards ceremony by taking home three awards. He also won the most anticipated award for Album of the Year. Other artists nominated for the award included DJ Khaled, Future, J. Cole, and Jay-Z.

Recaps of the best moments from the show are available on BET.com.

 

TV fans thirsty for drama turn to ABC on Thursdays

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

TV producer Shonda Rhimes, who last week became the third black woman named to the Television Hall of Fame, is back at it again with her most anticipated “Thank God It’s Thursday” lineup yet.

The “T.G.I.T.” hit shows include “Grey’s Anatomy” (in its 14th season), “Scandal” (seventh and final season) and “How to Get Away with Murder” (fourth season). The new seasons premiered Sept. 29, so if you missed them, you still have a chance to catch up.

Channing Dungey, the entertainment president at ABC, explained to reporters at The Hollywood Reporter why Rhimes and the network decided to end the political drama “Scandal.”

Dungey noted that Rhimes – who joined Oprah Winfrey and Diahann Carroll in the Hall, according to Essence.com – had always envisioned a seven-season drama. The “Scandal” season was already planned out, but due to recent political issues, it had to be rewritten. Apparently, the show was going to relate too closely to modern reality.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the production staff did not want the show to seem as if it was mimicking real life scenarios.

One Hampton University student responded to the series ending in an unexpected way.

“All good things come to an end, so it is better for the show to leave on high note rather than [to] have it still dragging on,” said Angelique Brown, a junior from Long Island, N.Y.

She further explained that Rhimes knows how to leave audiences wanting more instead of having people question why the show is still on.

In the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rhimes mentioned that she only expected “Grey’s Anatomy” to be seven seasons as well. As the show goes into its 14th season, viewers are still sitting on the edge of their seats, waiting to see more.

“It is the only show that makes me emotional,” said Amaiyah Beverly, a senior psychology major from Washington, D.C. “I really feel for the characters. I cannot wait for the next season.”

Rhimes has had a long run with the network and has created hit shows along the way. She coined her own term, “T.G.I.T.,” to promote her Thursday night shows.

It is rumored that Rhimes is going to add another show to the lineup – a Romeo and Juliet drama called “Still Star-Crossed.”

With the outcomes of her previous shows, will this show be just as successful?

It’s a mystery. But viewers can expect drama, love and even more drama from Rhimes’ current shows.