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June 30, 2011

Dancing Sensations: Les Twins

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I was so amazed by these two identical twin brothers from France that I had to feature them on the blog for entertainment purposes.  I was first introduced to them by a good friend of mine who energetically proclaimed that they are the best dancers he's ever laid his eyes on.  I'm not sure if I'm ready to give them that designation just yet, but the two brothers might be very close.  Their dancing style mashes up all kinds of styles of dance including pop locking, break dance, aerial tricks, ballet, modern dance, lyrical, etc.

Officially known as Les Twins, Larry and Laurent Bourgeois, are very well known overseas and they have appeared on various TV dance competitions like Juste Debout, Battle of the Stylez, World of Dance and Urban Dance Showcase as well as The Ellen Degeneres show.  The 22 year old twins are originally from Guadeloupe and have 18 siblings, 9 of which also dance.  Les Twins have performed with Beyoncé Knowles, including the Run The World (Girls) music video and her live show, including Beyoncé's headline performance at the UK's Glastonbury Festival 2011.

Their gravity defying moves and ability to dance in sync with one another will leave you in awe and wanting more!  Although their style incorporates many already solidified dance moves, these twins move like no other and dance with their entire bodies creating an aesthetic that is all their own.  Check out some pics from a few of their photo shoots and the series of dance videos below:

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Credit: Photos taken by:
Check out some videos of performances, battles, and more:

Believe me, Beyoncé is no fool.  She saw these dancing twins and had to have them on her tour.  Lets see how far their star can rise.  Enjoy!

June 28, 2011

BET Awards 2011: Fashion Winners and Losers

I apologize for my late post-coverage of the 2011 BET Awards, but I was on vacation in New York and am just now able to post pictures, as well as my thoughts on the fashion looks that graced the green carpet on one of the biggest nights in Black Hollywood.  This year seemed to be a bit laid back chic when it came to the ensembles that the attendees donned on the green carpet.  Award show attire can go all kinds of directions, but because it was in Los Angeles, the sun was shining and the heat was on, female attendees chose to bare more skin and opted for mostly dresses and heels.  While the men went more with the sporty look and chose breezy fabrics to highlight their personal or not so personal (stylists) style.  Although not everyone was able to take home a trophy or even a nomination, they still have a chance to become winners or losers on the Born Too Blog Fashion Recap. Check it out....

Here are some highlights of the fashion Winners and Losers:

Joyful Drake from the new BET series "Lets Stay Together" looks smashing and retro glam in this strapless white satin gown. One of the top looks of the night. - WINNER

Ashanti rocked a teal satin and sheer evening gown.  Although this dress is nice and figure flattering, it seems better suited for a classier event.  Still a good look though.
Rapper Diamond tried to classy up her look with this cream strapless dress with ripped detail.  I think she looks good and the outfit is very flattering. 

Singer Estelle looked comfy and sexy in an off the shoulder maxi dress with a cinched waist.  However the dress is too long draping onto the green carpet and she could've spiced it up with a more colorful hue.  Its SUMMER for goodness sakes.

Rapper Eve looks HOT! And I mean this literally.  Am I confused or was this not shot in Los Angeles?  I know celebrity affords you the option of being daring and breaking the rules, but leather in the summer time is a rule that should never be broken. lol I love the outfit and how it fits her but I can not and will not concede to this outfit because she just looks too hot. - LOSER

Keke Palmer shined in her sequined Mandolo number.  Again with the pumps...lets start breaking out the sandals people. - WINNER
I'm really on the fence about Kelly Rowland's outfit.  There is something about it that is screaming "Grandma"!  However, it highlights her shape beautifully and the color is spot on for her complexion.  However, the wig MUST go!

I'm not really feeling this look.  The bright color of the hair seems to be washing her skin out, but the pops of emerald green and purple colors do pair well with her skin.  I probably would've opted to show more skin to accentuate her legs. - LOSER

Kerry Washington never disappoints and she shows and proves in this neon green gown that shows the right amount of skin and flatters her skin tone.  #WINNING!
I don't even know who Lady Ellis is but she got this one RIGHT! She is definitely one of the winners of the night in this blue gown with a very flattering draped detail.  However, it looks just a tad bit long as I would like to see the shoes she rocked with it. - #WINNING
Lala Vasquez was chic in a sequined Tom Ford dress and gladiator sandals.  The high bun gave it a more high fashion feel, although she looks a little hot. - WINNER
Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny's Child, looks colorful and modern in a BCBG jersey dress with gold metallic heels.  This outfit is a winner. - WINNER

Necole Bitchie is my girl, but she's a bit old for the "Princess" look.  The hair and makeup is cute and I probably would've worn open toed shoes.

Nelly looked sporty and chic in a white collared shirt, black vest, grey washed jeans and Chuck Taylors. Thumbs up!  #WINNING

Ne-Yo kept it simple with a black and white contrasting outfit, however his jeans are a bit ill-fitting.
Only so many outfits will look right with booty implants. lol
Nicki Minaj rocked this mauve colored number with black booties.  This ensemble is a complete FAIL! I don't like it. - LOSER

Teairra Marie....really? I'm not feeling this look at all.  Looks like one of Tina Knowles' numbers from 2000. - LOSER

Tocarra Jones went the sequined route and paired them with black sandals

Tracee Ellis Ross in a sexy black number and red pumps.

The Prom King and Queen: Wiz Khalifa and Amber Rose
*side eye*

Honestly, I have no words for them.  Imagine that.

OK Born Too Blog readers, here is your chance to weigh in.  Let me know what you thought of the looks on the green carpet.  Did anyone steal the show?  Or did your favorite artist disappoint?  Do you disagree with any of my fashion judgements? WEIGH IN!

June 27, 2011

BET Awards 2011 Recap

This year's festivities were hosted by top comedian Kevin Hart, who made sure to constantly remind the audience that no one inside or outside the venue was safe from his comical jabs. His act pointed to the fact that celebs have too many "yes-men" in their camps instead of "no-men", which he explained, were real friends that would tell you the truth instead of what you want to hear. After he commenced to going in on Ne-yo, Diddy, Busta Rhymes, Rick Ross, Jamie Foxx and more, he featured a spoof of the 'housewives' reality show craze with a series of skits featuring Bobby Brown, Nelly, Nick Cannon and Jermaine Dupri as the Husbands of Beverly Hills. The skits were silly and entertaining as they poked fun of the caddy riffs between the stars from Shaunie's Basketball Wives reality show.

Everyone seemed the most excited to see performances from Chris Brown, Alicia Keys and Beyonce who performed via satellite from the UK. The celebs showed up and showed out on the red carpet with a myriad of fashion looks. From chic and glam to sporty and sexy, leaving no fashion stone unturned.

Some highlights of the show were definitely Kelly Rowland's performance of her #1 hit, Motivation with Trey Songz. Kelly sizzled on stage as she donned a black ensemble that didn't show much skin, but clearly showed her curves while she busted out & changed up the look by shedding some fabric during the set. This was right before she slithered over to Trey Songz and started breaking it down and droppin' it to the floor #GoTeamKelly. I'm super proud of her & still routing for her as I recently explained in a previous BornTooBlog post

Chris Brown's performance was pretty entertaining as he brought out Lil' Wayne and Busta Rhymes to perform their smash hit, Look At Me Now and lets not forget Mary J. Blige's nostalgic review of the songs that made her who she is today. Not to mention her emotional performance with R&B diva, Anita Baker, where they sang Rapture, the Anita Baker classic that got Mary her deal. BET was sure to keep the nostalgic vibe going when they brought out all five of the actors who played The Dells in The Five Heartbeats movie, alongside After 7, the group responsible for the popular remake of the "Nights Like This..." song off the movie's soundtrack. It was good seeing the fellas reunited & looking like they just shot the cult classic movie last month.

In true BET fashion, both the old and new were highlighted as a testament to the fortitude of black music as BET honored Patti LaBelle with a Lifetime Achievement Award with performances by Cee-Lo Green, fully equipped with his signature Patti hair sprayed wig, Marsha Ambrosius and gospel great, Shirley Ceaser. Pictures from Patti's hay day proved once and for all who was the original diva in a blast from the past pictorial of fashion ensembles only Rihanna, Madonna, Beyonce and Lady Gaga could love! And keeping up with the new, BET featured up-and-coming artists like Mali Music and Kimberly Nichole.

Awards and accolades touched every base as up-and-coming superstars and Hollywood Royalty Jaden and Willow Smith were acknowledged for their recent work and the impact they've already made in the music and movie industry. Steve Harvey was honored as the humanitarian of the year for his charity efforts and work in the community.

Oddly enough, no award show is free from mishaps as this year's awards experienced an embarrassing snafu when the #1 fan accidentally awarded first Rihanna, then later, Drake with the fan award instead of the actual winner, Chris Brown. Leaving some wondering if it was done on purpose as a publicity stunt or a way to get Chris Brown infuriated...again. I mean, besides, who wouldn't get perturbed by first being snubbed on camera by his notorious ex-girlfriend and the new rapper that she is now allegedly dating, only to then later have to appear on stage right before the show ended to make the correction. Yikes! Lol as they often say, "you just can't write this stuff", or can you? *wink*

The most lackluster performances came from Rick Ross, Lil' Wayne and Drake as they performed their popular hit, "I'm On One" and again from Rick Ross who performed with a number of artists throughout the night like Ace Hood and DJ Khaled. I'm just going to say that rappers these days need to step up their performance game. Their lazy and uneventful performance is the main reason I do not pay my money to see rappers perform in concert these days.

It was a jam packed show so I definitely couldn't touch on everything, but for more information on the big winners, performances, looks backstage and more, go to

NOTE: a pictorial of the night's fashion winners & losers up next!

June 16, 2011

Thug Angel: RIP Tupac Amaru Shakur (June 16, 1971 – September 13, 1996)

Tupac Amaru Shakur, born Lesane Parish Crooks, lived an eventful life during his short 25 years on this earth.  His talent reached far and wide in the realm of acting, poetry, music, modeling, political advocacy and nationalism.  When trying to think of what to actually write about him to do his legacy justice, my mind suddenly comes to a blank.  How can I sum up everything he was and is to this very day?  How do I put into words the impact he had on the lives that he touched and affected through his music and advocacy?  What does come to mind is the recent memory of my younger sister, at the ripe age of 22, sitting in my living room and proclaiming that Tupac was not as influential in her life, musically, because he was stagnant character.  She explained to me that Tupac was too ghetto and had too much of a negative mentality to really do any good in the community.  I'm paraphrasing, but she basically did not understand why people are so hung up on Tupac and does not agree with those who see him as a freedom fighter, political advocate and activist, a poet, leader, and phenomenal artist.  To her, Tupac was a common ghetto thug.

Upon hearing this, my first reaction was to take her to the kitchen and wash her mouth out with soap for using such foul language about one of my heroes.  How could she say such things about Tupac?  Does she really know his legacy and what he went through and what he did, which ultimately contributed to his untimely demise?  Does she know the lyrics to Brenda's Got A Baby and Keep Ya Head Up?  She couldn't possibly think these things after hearing songs like Dear Mama and So Many Tears.  Or perhaps she wasn't old enough to see him battle C. Delores Tucker for the right to exercise his freedom of speech.  Maybe she didn't hear his first posthumous album that so valiantly boasted powerful and meaningful tracks like Against All Odds, Hold Ya Head, Krazy and White Man'z World where Tupac proclaimed "this is the realest shit I ever wrote". 

How could she know that Tupac was actually a poet who wrote about topics concerning love, civil rights, the current political climate, sex, passion, and the fight for what's right?  Was she aware that he was raised by militant political activists known as the Black Panther Party and civil rights heroes like Mutulu Shakur, Geronimo Pratt, Mumia Abu Jamal and Assata Shakur, the same exhiled woman rapper Common was criticized for visiting in Cuba as they all were public enemies due to their political fight and activism?  Maybe she missed the bit of information that Shakur's hit song Dear Mama is one of 25 songs that was added to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry in 2010 or that as of 2004, he was the highest selling rap/hip-hop artist selling over 67 million copies worldwide.

On the other hand, I'm sure she is aware of his multiple arrests, court cases, rape conviction, shooting incidents, misogynistic lyrics and other violent behavior he also displayed and endured.  And I'm also pretty sure she is aware of the "Thug Life" movement that he founded and represented on his body in the form of a tattoo, and in his music and interviews.  To know Tupac was to love him.  But to know him, you would have to know that he was a Gemini, with twin souls.  One soul represented the enormously talented, intelligent, eloquent, inspirational and motivational Tupac.  The other soul represented the angry, violent, unapologetic, immature and insecure Tupac.  When following his interviews and public persona, you never really knew which Tupac you were going to get, but the reality was that you loved them both and knew without one, you couldn't have the other.  This dichotomy that I speak of was ever present in the history of his music and personal life as it played out in the local and international media before my very own eyes.

Tupac had the work ethic of a James Brown mixed with a modern day Lil' Wayne.  In fact, Lil' Wayne can attribute his work ethic and multitude of recordings to Tupac's influence because as we all know, Tupac released 9 posthumous albums and still has material to spare.  I often wonder if my generation is doing its job in inspiring the new generation and educating them on the history of music like our parents did.  Our parents taught us about the oldies and introduced us to Rock, Blues, Soul, R&B and Jazz.  However, when it comes to the new generation, they seem to have a lack of information, exposure and inspiration when it comes to those who came before them and paved the way for their favorite artists to thrive today.  This is where my heart becomes heavy.  How could a young adult like my sister not understand the intricacy of his life?  How could she say he was too ghetto-minded and stagnant and not realize that his actual influence is too massive to even quantify?

Perhaps these words will educate and inspire the new generation.  To know, understand and love what Tupac stood for because he is a product of the same environment in which they now live.  To know that he fought for their freedom to rap and write about whatever they wanted.  That he fought for the institutionalized, marginalized and disenfranchised.  To know that he fought against adversity, poverty, ignorance and his own physical demise and used his music as a political and creative springboard to help the greater good.  To know that he loved his people and encouraged the baby mamas of the world to keep their heads up and the misguided young men in prison to hold their heads high.  To know that he is their favorite rapper's favorite rapper and that he has inspired this generation's artistry and creativity like no other rapper.  As I said earlier, to know him was to love him so I urge all those who shun Tupac or don't understand his relevance in the climate of hip hop today, to get to know him a little bit more before they judge, because Tupac made it very clear that ONLY GOD COULD JUDGE HIM!

RIP Soldier!

Since I am a lover of all things Tupac, I wanted to show a visual portrayal of his life and legacy...enjoy!

Some of my favorite and most profound Tupac Hip Hop Quoteables and quotes from various interviews:

“I'd rather die like a man, than live like a coward.  There's a ghetto up in heaven and its ours.  Black Power!"

"I wonder why we take from our women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think its time to kill for our women, time to to heal our women, be real to our women."

“Recollect your thoughts don't get caught up in the mix, cause the media is full of dirty tricks.”

“Of course I'm going to say "I'm a thug" that's because I came from the GUTTER and I'm still HERE!”

“Somebody help me, tell me where to go from here cause even Thugs cry, but do the Lord care?”

“To all the seeds that follow me protect your essence.  Born with less, but you still precious.”

“I am society’s child. This is how they made me and now I’m sayin’ what’s on my mind and they don’t want that. This is what you made me, America.”

“I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal. But more like angels with broken wings.”

“If you  walked by a street and you saw a rose growing from concrete, even if it had messed up petals and it was a little to the side you would marvel at just seeing a rose grow through concrete. So why is it that when you see some ghetto kid grow out of the dirtiest circumstance and he can talk and he can sit across the room and make you cry, make you laugh, all you can talk about is my  dirty rose, my dirty stems and how I'm leaning crooked to the side, u can’t even see that I’ve come up from out of that.”

“Forgive but don’t forget, girl keep your head up. And when he tells you you ain’t nothing, don’t believe him. And if he can’t learn to love you, you should leave him.”

“Fear is stronger than love, remember that. Fear is stronger than love. All that love I gave didn’t mean nothing when it came to fear.”

“They got money for the war but can’t feed the poor.”

“I’m not sayin’ I’m gonna rule the world, or that I’m gonna change the world, but I guarantee that I will spark the brain that will change the world.”

“I set goals, take control, drink out my own bottle. I make mistakes but learn from every one and when it’s said and done, I bet this brother be a better one. If I upset you, don’t stress. Never forget, that God isn’t finished with me yet.

And here are a few of my favorite Tupac videos:

June 15, 2011

From Ashy to Classy: Before And After Pics of Some of The Top Females in The Game

I've been thinking about doing this post for awhile mainly because I am a person that can easily identify changes in a person, specifically physical changes.  I am a self-proclaimed plastic surgery identifier.  I mean I've watched enough Dr. 90210 episodes to know the difference.  No one and I mean NO ONE can get past me with a boob job, nose job, liposuction, face lift, eyebrow lift, booty or cheek implants without being detected.  Although I have never undergone plastic surgery, I want to make a disclaimer that I am not bashing anyone who wants or has decided to get plastic surgery.  What you do to your body is your business.  However, I do reserve the right to talk about it. lol

My Grandmother used to joke all the time by saying, "What would we look like if we could make ourselves?"  She always proclaimed that only God can make a tree and people should never alter their God given features to achieve a certain look.  Now, more than ever, plastic surgery has reached astonishing heights and the rates at which people are going under the knife don't seem to be slowing down anytime soon.  Its not only for the rich nor restricted to a certain race anymore.  Breast implants being the most popular form of plastic surgery are done by all races and both genders that are trying to achieve a more voluptuous and womanly figure.  Booty implants are also on the rise with stars like Lil' Kim, Nicki Minaj and Kim Kardashian getting major attention because of their new bums.

I say if you are going to physically alter your appearance, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  A new set of veneers or the ability to remove that large knot on the top of your nose can do wonders for one's self-esteem and in these cases, I say, go for it!  However, if you are seeking "something" and choose to achieve it by plastic surgery, I think the ramifications can be dangerous.  Lets go ahead and add plastic surgery to the laundry list of addictions in this country and while we're at it, take a look at the botched surgeries and the complications people experience in the aftermath.  It is not a pretty sight.

Hollywood, arguably the biggest participants in the plastic surgery phenomenon, seeks perfection whether it be real or an illusion.  But what is one to do when that booty implant starts sagging along with the 10 year old breasts implants?  Does one get more surgery or just leave it alone altogether?  That issue is a personal one, one that all will have to deal with at one point or another. 

I wanted to share some before and after photos of some of the hottest chicks in the game right now and let you all be the judge as to whether you think the surgery improved their looks or not.  Check out the pictorial below:

Kelly Rowland has definitely had a boob job, and possibly a little nose action...

Kim Kardashian has had a nose job, and what looks to be cheek implants.  Not to mention, a boob job and booty implants.

Jada Pinkett Smith appears to have gotten cheek implants.

Serena looks like she's gotten cheek implants and/or a nose job.  Not to mention some serious makeup contouring.

Keri Hilson underwent a nose job.

My question to my readers is do you think these ladies looked beautiful just the way they were?
Do you think the plastic surgery actually worked in their favor?
Are you against plastic surgery and why?
Have you ever undergone plastic surgery and if so, would you do it again?