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July 29, 2011

Tofo Tofo: Mozambican Kwaito Dance Group Inspires Beyoncé's "Run The World (Girls)" Video

I recently caught "Year of 4", a documentary on MTV chronicling Beyoncé's road to the release of her 4th solo album entitled "4".  The beginning of the documentary showed Beyoncé at the beach explaining how much she loves the water and how the ocean humbles her and keeps her at peace.  Unlike other documentaries Beyoncé has released, this one seemed more close to home and more REAL.  She seems to really have come into her own and no longer resembles that insecure young lady that was afraid to mess up or make mistakes.  She also talks about how her mother pretty much had to force her to take a year off as she explained that she did not want Beyoncé to live with the regret of not living her life while following her dream.  A tougher, more confident and secure Beyoncé (not her alter ego Sasha Fierce) was seen learning dance moves, calling the shots, and rallying her troops in preparation for the release of her 4th solo album.

What also really stood out to me in this documentary was how she explained the inspiration for the 1st dance scene in the video where she is in the sand, accompanied by two African dancers as they do some major footwork alongside her.  The dancing is impressive to say the least.  She then went on to explain that she saw the dance group on Youtube and made a mental note that she would use their talents in the future.  Fast forward to the making of her video for Run The World (Girls) as the camera shows 3 eager dancers from Mozambique on a plane set to arrive in the United States to school Beyoncé and her dancing crew.

The young men are energetic and enthusiastic as they experience the U.S. for the first time in their lives.  I really love that Beyoncé didn't just steal the moves that the men featured on Youtube, but actually gave them a chance to be involved and get some international pop star shine.  Besides, no one else could seem to do it to her liking, but these guys.  After their scene is done and the three dancers are free to leave the set, Beyoncé is shown with tears falling from her eyes.  She explained that she understood how they probably felt leaving their first video shoot, not knowing when they would ever be on another set again, doing what they love.  She explained that this is how she felt leaving her first video shoot as she recalls she didn't want to leave.  Seeing this strong, yet vulnerable side to Beyoncé was really an eye opener and made me love her that much more.

Music and dance originate in Africa.  The same booty shaking and gyrating that we see on videos today derive from countries in Africa that were inspired by the drum.  This may not be commonly known, but it is fact.  To see these brothers get their shine is empowering because I am very big on influence and appreciation of history and heritage.  All in all, the documentary was very entertaining and you definitely get to see another side of Beyoncé.

Check out a video of the dance group called Tofo Tofo from Mozambique.  This video inspired Beyoncé to search for these dancers for four months leading up to the video shoot:

Now here is Beyoncé's Run The World (Girls) video, which I am sure you all have seen.  Notice any similarities?

You can also check out the entire episode here on MTV:

What are your thoughts on the videos?
Do you like this dancing style from Mozambique?
Do you think Beyoncé is always stealing from someone?

July 27, 2011

Definition of Success - Inspirational Quotes

I love inspirational quotes and encouraging and motivating words that help keep you on track with life's ups and downs.  Nowadays everyone has a favorite quote or mantra to live by.  One that speaks so profoundly to your spirit that you cannot deny its truth.  For me, that quote is:

"The definition of success--To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one's self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived--this is to have succeeded."

Although it is still questionable who actually should be credited for this quote, it has stood the test of time and still speaks volumes to this day.  This quote speaks to me in so many ways.  It gives a totally different perspective of what some or most might define as "Success".  Not cars, clothes, a house in the hills or on the beach, vacations, etc.  But real achievable goals like happiness, laughter, respect, endurance.  Once I read this quote it changed my perspective on success and how I would then define success for myself thereafter.

Another one of my favorite quotes of all time came to me at a somewhat low point in my life.  I had just moved out of the 3-bedroom house that I shared with my twin sister and good friend from high school.  After which, I had to move in with my grandmother who lives next door to my mother.  To say I was mortified by having to move back home would be an understatement.  But one day, as I was in the bedroom that use to house all of my grandmother's nicknack's, I saw a clipping from a Los Angeles Times article that read:

"People are like stained-glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

This was just what I needed to hear at the time and I was determined to have my light shine from within, even when darkness had set in.  Another quote that changed my life and helped me at a pivotal point in my life.

I know my readers have some thought provoking and game changing quotes that have inspired them along the way.  I would love for you all to share the quotes that changed your life or gave you a new perspective on life, love, happiness and success, in the hopes that it might inspire someone else.


July 26, 2011

Kelly Rowland Drops Here I Am..In Stores Now!

Welp! Today is the big day.  All of Kelly Rowland's hard work including appearances, performances, photo shoots and more all boils down to this day, this week, this moment in time.  You all know how I love my girl Kelly, but what I want to know is, who is going to go buy it?

Kelly's first VIBE Juice cover

1. I’m Dat Chick
2. Work It Man (Feat. Lil Playy)
3. Motivation (Feat. Lil. Wayne)
4. Lay It On Me (Feat. Big Sean)
5. Feelin’ Me Right Now
6. Turn It Up
7. All of the Night (Feat. Rico Love)
8. Keep It Between Us
9. Commander (Feat. David Guetta)
10. Down for Whatever (Feat. The WAV.s)

11. Heaven & Earth
12. Each Other
13. Motivation (Rebel Rock Remix) [Feat. Lil Wayne]
14. Commander (Urban Remix) [Feat. Nelly]!/kellyrowland

Single Ladies on VH1

As much as I love/hate Basketball Wives on Vh1, I love the new series Single Ladies starring Stacey Dash, and LisaRaye, produced by Queen Latifah even more. Latifah And her production team are taking us on a retro ride back down memory lane with her new Single Ladies series. It wasn't too long ago when she starred in Living Single and acted out scenes reminiscent of those in the new hit TV show, but this time Latifah runs it AND sings the theme song too. She is truly a tour de force.

Stacey Dash is the new Carrie Bradshaw with her chic ensembles and fearless fashion sense while premiering her boutique in one of Atlanta's prime locales that attracts starlets, athletes, musicians and the crazy alike. Right alongside Stacey is her roll dawg, LisaRaye, an ex-video vixen gone good. Both singles ladies are navigating their way through the Atlanta elite, while getting their feet wet in the industry.

However, behind the fancy clothes and the image of champagne flutes clicking, they are just like the average single lady on the war path to find her prince charming. When I say war path, I mean in the sense of sometimes hearts get tattered and torn in the process of love, never to love the same again. But these ladies don't give up. They keep on ticking, dating and kissing every frog just waiting for him to transform. But this ain't no fairytale! Single Ladies is equipped with enough drama to make a soap opera look boring, with it's twists and turns full of scandal, publicity stunts, pending divorces, backstabbing and more.

But don't get it twisted. This series is not just about three single ladies in Atlanta living it up and having sex in the city. There are plenty of lessons in love, self esteem, courage, friendship and karma. The writing is funny and witty and there is enough heat to steam up the place like a sauna. There is something in this show for everyone and I think many people will be able to identify with the eclectic characters and scenarios.

And what's love without friendship? The characters experience and exhibit a sisterhood where your girls know you best and want the best for you. Following the girl code and never giving advice clouded by foolishness or jealousy. Loving unconditionally and growing through each trial experience. Sheesh, when the men are that fine and the experiences are that enchanting, living the single life looks real grand, but us ladies want the real thing. So fellas take notes and ladies too! Class is in session.

Are you a fan of the new Vh1 series Single Ladies?
Who is your favorite character?

July 19, 2011

Kelly Rowland Watch

You guys know from previous posts that I am a big Kelly Rowland fan.  I've always followed her career, but I'm even more interested lately with her new found success.  I posted the video to Motivation, her first single off the Here I Am album, which is slated to be in stores on July 26th.  I was thinking that she needs something really good to follow up the #1 Billboard hit she achieved with Motivation.

Her next single features G.O.O.D. Music artist Big Sean and its called Lay It On Me.  The video has yet to be released, but the track is ready, so take a listen below and let me know if it moves you or if she needs to go back to the drawing board.


July 13, 2011

Why Do Men Marry Bitches?

Every time I watch one my favorite reality shows called "Bridezillas" I sit back and wonder how these crazy women got these men to marry them.  I always thought a man wanted to marry a woman that would let him be the man, support him and his endeavors and give him peace when he is at home.  However, these ladies who seem to capture these men's hearts are everything but the "model wife".  They talk down to their men, suck them dry for money to pay for ridiculous wedding and personal expenses, throw temper tantrums, curse them out, physically and verbally abuse them and pretty much humiliate them on national TV.  Then I thought maybe this occurrence can be chocked up to casting, because believe me, it is definitely worth watching.  But I started looking at some of the married couples I know personally, and although they might not be as extreme as the couples on "Bridezillas" they definitely have that "bitchy" attitude and personality to them.

So what am I missing?  Do the bitches have it right?  Do they know some sort of secret that the rest of us need to catch up on?  Why is it that the women with the worst attitudes and the most drama get the happily ever after?  No wonder they say most married men are miserable, because they keep marrying bitches that make their lives a living hell and then the same men want to cheat and have mistresses that aren't bitches like their wives (don't even let me get started on that). There are even books that give you a step-by-step approach on how to be a bitch and land your husband or make a man fall in love with you. Wow!

I don't know about you, but all of this bitch talk is making me dizzy.  I'd love for you all to weigh in on this!

I would love to hear feedback from the Males:

Did you marry a bitch and why?
If so, do you regret marrying a bitch?
What about a woman being a "bitch" attracts you?

From the Ladies:

Does being a bitch get you what you want?
Are you a reformed bitch?
Did you used to try to be nice, but realized the bitches got all the perks?

Here are some highlights of the shows brides going H.A.M. (Hot Ass Mess) on anyone in a 5 mile radius...ENJOY!


July 11, 2011

Video Spotlight: Pusha T - Alone In Vegas

I've always been a big fan of The Clipse and now that Pusha T is working on a solo effort with Kanye's G.O.O.D. Music imprint, I'm excited to see what he's going to produce. My favorite track off the Fear of God mixtape is Alone In Vegas. My fav line goes like this:

"Feels like I'm doomed to dealing with women who
relationships with their fathers won't allow us to bloom
and blossom, I swear them Vegas nights was fucking awesome"

Pusha's wordplay has always been fresh, new and exciting. From his drug dealing exploits to the clever way he explains his fascination with money, cars and clothes. Although that may seem quite shallow to most, I have a feeling that he will dig a bit deeper this time with the help of Kanye.

The video was produced by Orson Whales, which displays Pusha in the Mojave Desert with a hooded character that has his hands tied and is waiting for his fate, execution style, as well as, dynamic shots of the Las Vegas Blvd. Strip from his hotel suite all the way down to the street level action.  Let me know what you all think of the video and the song: