BornTooBlog Readers

February 29, 2012

The Rise and Fall: How Some Of Our Most Beloved Stars Fell From Grace

Its no secret that some of the best artists, actors, singers, etc. ever known have rose to extreme acclaim and infamy as the public watched in awe and admiration.  It is also no secret that some of these same brilliant artists have succumb to drugs and alcohol, which ultimately lead to their eventual demise, as the adoring fans again, watched in horror and amazement.  This sick love affair between artists and their fans has been even more fueled by the Internet, where blogs like TMZ and Perez Hilton crucify pop icons on a daily basis.  This coupled with the Twitter and Facebook phenomenon that allows its users to spread news like wildfire has created a culture where even the President of the United States can be ridiculed and scrutinized on a surprisingly disrespectful level.

We all know the cornerstone of the American existence is Freedom of Speech, but at what cost?  I can't help but wonder if some of these same artists that I have in mind, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, etc. were not partially broken down by the public's scrutiny.  Whitney having a very public run-in with Wendy Williams some years ago, along with her one-on-one interviews with people like Oprah and Diane Sawyer, as well as Bobby Brown's "Being Bobby" reality show, also made her a hot topic on the gossip mag/blog scene for years.

Michael Jackson, like Houston, one of the biggest pop stars ever, met a fatal ending at the hands of prescription drugs.  Perhaps they were trying to numb the pain.  Maybe they couldn't take the constant disrespect and mocking at the hands of those that used to buy their albums and look up to them.  We all know that the Hollywood lifestyle is more than just the glitz and glamour and the flashing lights.  In today's age, paparazzi can be your worse enemies and news outlets no longer honor nor respect the greats who paved the way.

In no way do I want to limit personal responsibility in this discussion because no one ever forced either to use or abuse drugs.  The pressure of fame can be damaging, especially when you are pushed into the limelight and forced to be something you are not or even worse, to go against your core beliefs and values.  No one will ever truly know the struggle of fallen icons like Jackson and Houston, but I think we all might need to take a look in the mirror to determine the causes.

Not only do I want to highlight the industry and the negativity that comes with it, but our pharmaceutical companies and health care providers also deserve some responsibility in these occurrences.  One used to think that hard drugs like cocaine and meth would be the leading cause of celebrities that live their lives on the edge, but the main factors in the deaths of Michael and Whitney were both prescription drugs.  If you thought that crack or "partying" would eventually lead to Whitney's demise then you were wrong.  So just as the person who would've sold the crack or cocaine to Whitney would be responsible, why aren't the pharmaceutical companies that create the drugs being held responsible on any level?  Or better yet, the MD's that prescribed the drugs, under their medical licenses?

Conrad Murray has been convicted of the accidental death of Michael Jackson, but what about the real drug dealers of this country?  Who is monitoring them or holding them accountable for the effects of the products they produce?  How many more Heath Ledgers have to die due to the effects of prescription drugs before America takes a look in the mirror and changes its ways?

As I stated earlier, I am all for personal responsibility.  Which is why I find all of these contributors responsible in the rise and fall of some of our most beloved stars.  To see them fall from grace makes my heart heavy, but ultimately restores my faith in normalcy and the importance of being grounded.  The grass is not always greener on the other side and that person in the limelight that you might look up to or admire could be facing demons that you couldn't even imagine dealing with.  So the next time we see our "stars" acting out or exhibiting negative or destructive behavior, lets rush to their aid and get them the help that they need instead of crucifying them and using them for our entertainment and gossip chat.  Besides, they gave their lives to their craft.  The least we could do as fans is honor and respect THAT.

What do you think were the contributing factors to Michael Jackson's and Whitney Houston's death?
Do you blame the pharmaceutical companies that produced the drugs that initiated the fall of these great artists?
Do you hold the doctors who were in charge of their care with responsible for negligence?
Does the public and media outlets hold any responsibility for the deaths of our fallen stars?
What do you think is the solution to this reoccurring phenomenon of stars dying from the misuse of prescription drugs?

February 28, 2012

Would You Want To Know If Your Significant Other Was Cheating?

I've spoken about this topic in relationships before, however, this time I am focusing on the open communication involved in relationships.  What does it take for a couple in this day and age to survive infidelity?  It seems as though you hear about new breakups and divorces every week, yet there are still couples that remain together, after all these years.  What is their secret? Do they know something us single people don't? 

As I was watching Basketball Wives last night, Chad Ochocinco and Evelyn Lozado were discussing how they could beat the odds and make their relationship work amongst the gossip blogs, hearsay and just flat out rumors that one was constantly cheating on the other.  Evelyn explained to Chad that she needs him to be open and honest with her.  She stated that she would rather know that he was going to have sex with another woman from him first, before it hit the blogs.  She explained that she is not stupid enough to think that a man of his caliber that is presented with the best pickings of women in the world would not want to stray.  She puts her ego to the back burner and asks him to be honest when he felt the need to dip into another pond. 

Chad then responded by saying that he would also like to bring a lady home to their bedroom every now and then and this would keep him from straying as much.  Lozado then responded by saying that she would have to be attracted to the lady he would like to bring home before anything could jump off.

I have discussed this matter for years with male and female friends alike.  It seems that the only relationships that are intact and thriving are those where either the woman turns a blind eye to his indiscretions or they have an understanding that if and when the man does stray, that he will keep it away from the family and cause no public embarrassment or scrutiny to his spouse.  My frustration in this matter in the past has led me to think that the only viable option is to instruct your significant other to keep their cheating under wraps so that it will never get back to me.  Plainly stated, the man is instructed to use a condom at all times, not to forge special relationships with the 3rd party, never bring anything to the home or workplace and use discretion when engaging with said individual in public or private.

Is this the only option women have these days to keep their relationships happy and healthy?  Do women have to forgo their needs for their partner to be faithful in order to stay married?  It seems that every time I watch HBO documentaries their is a sex doc speaking of swingers and alternative lifestyles of married couples, whereas the openness is what keeps the relationships afloat.

I really would love to hear feedback from my male and female readers:

Would you allow your significant other to cheat as long as he/she didn't produce any children, diseases or public scrutiny from the affair?
Do you feel cheating should be prohibited no matter if they tell you or not?
Would you want to know if your husband planned to cheat, even if you gave him the FREE PASS to do so or would you not want to know?

Is it smart for a woman to allow her man breathing room in the cheating department along with a list of restrictions?
Should women allow men a FREE PASS as long as he doesn't bring anything home or cause her embarrassment by the affair?
Are women that think their husbands will never cheat throughout the duration of their marriages clueless?


February 13, 2012

Grammy Awards 2012: Winners and Losers in Fashion

Personally, I can say that I did not get a chance to view the entire Grammy Awards yesterday and I am still a little tiffed about that, but that doesn't mean I can't speak on the Fashion Winners and Losers from yesterday evening where the 54th Annual Grammy Award Celebration took off in downtown Los Angeles at the Staples Center.  Check out the images below from one of the biggest nights in music and entertainment of the year:

Adele...the winner of the night

Charlie Wilson looks great from the neck down, but what is that on top of his head?  Someone please call the Fashion Police...STAT!

Esperanza Spaulding
Fergie looked sexy in orange lace.

Kate Beckinsale looked hip and chic in this cream draped mini dress.

Katy Perry looked matronly in the baby blue flowing gown, but I love the hair color.

Kelly Osbourne looked amazing..minus the too dark tan job.

Keri Underwood

Ledisi went for the sexy mermaid look with this metallic sequin number.

Mary Mary

Melanie Fiona's hair, makeup and accessories are all working for her!
Will somebody come and get this chick for once and for all.
Nicki Minaj *side eye*


Alicia Keys and Rihanna are rocking the same heels., but with varying looks..HOT!
Taraji Henson, unfortunately, I am not feeling this look at all.

Taylor Swift looked great!

LL Cool J looked very dapper and definitely did his thing hosting the show right!
I usually have an issue with Lady Gaga's looks at these events but I think she looks very chic and couture!
Kelly Rowland....With what seems to be a reoccurring theme with her red carpet looks, I'm on the fence on this one.
Overall, from what I did get to see, there was a high level of energy, even with the recent news of the untimely death of Whitney Houston, just one day before the awards. RIP Whitney Houston. You will be missed!

Who do you think stole the show fashion wise?
Who should fire their stylist?
Who's look surprised you the most?
Who should've just stayed at home?

February 9, 2012

The Kings Of New York Perform Live at Carnegie Hall: Jay-Z and Nas Unite

I know you've probably heard the rumors about BeyoncĂ© staying out all night for Jay-Z's performances at Carnegie Hall in NYC.  That bit of gossip has seemed to almost outshine the fact that the Director allowed Jay-Z to perform at the historic venue that was opened in 1891 and has never, until now, seen a rapper grace its stage.  What really touched me was the guest performers that he brought along with him for the ride.  Jay-Z brought out Alicia Keys, also a New York native, to perform with him as well as his once archenemy turned frenemy, rapper Nas.

We all know that Jay-Z and Nas' friendship has taken some turns for the worse in the past, with Jay-Z allegedly sleeping with the mother of Nas' first child.  Not to mention a scathing beef that was initiated with Hov's album The Blueprint, with a track called "The Takeover".  I recall so vividly unwrapping the CD case after it was first released, so anxious to hear the new material that Jay-Z had created.  Only to be greeted with an outright diss to Nas, one of my favorite MCs, over a Kanye West beat.  I'm sure we all remember that Fall of 2001 where two of rap's biggest giants collided in a rap beef that was made for the history books.

Nas, however, was not caught unaware as most of his fans were hearing the diss.  I remember reading articles in Hip Hop magazines, prior to the release of The Blueprint, where Nas explained that he knew Jay-Z was after his baby mama, his spot and the rap throne of NYC.  It would only make sense that Nas, having most likely read the Art of War and Machiavelli's The Prince, would be fully prepared to engage in arguably one of the biggest rap beefs ever. 

Nas fired back with Ether and I think its safe to say that Nas won the rap battle.  What he failed to secure, was the rap throne of NYC, as he neglected to engage further with Jay-Z after he continued to release verbal assaults via a track called Super Ugly.  In my opinion, Super Ugly was a desperate attempt at a response to the verbal lashing that Nas had inflicted on Jay-Z, the initial aggressor in this situation.  From my comprehension, Jay-Z later inadvertently admitted to losing the battle by saying, "Nigga what I'm doing can't be defined.  The Joneses can't keep up. Maybe my nigga Nas. But I got stronger after Ether."

It doesn't matter who you think won the battle, the fact of the matter is, two of New York's own went to war and both came out of the scuffle, not quite unscathed, but better men for it.  Years after the battle, the next time you would see Jay-Z and Nas together was on the video for Roc Boys, where Jay-Z enlisted the cameo appearances of Diddy and Nas, as they smoked cigars, rocked their Rat Pack tuxes and saluted each other in the video.  Now that was a beautiful sight.

Now, again, Jay-Z has proven that there are no hard feelings between the two MCs by bringing Nas along for the Carnegie Hall performance, an important historic event in Hip Hop.  I think this was a very gentlemanly move and I give kudos to Jay-Z because we all know he needs no sidekicks to rock a crowd.  Bringing Nas up to share that historical moment brought a smile to my face and a relief to my spirit, that all is well with two of my favorite MCs, dead or alive.

Do you think it was cool for Jay-Z to bring Nas on stage at Carnegie Hall to share this momentous occasion?
Are you glad Nas and Jay-Z are no longer beefing?
Do you think Nas' career took a dive after his beef with Jay-Z?
Did Jay-Z, in fact, get stronger after Ether?

February 8, 2012

Happy Hump Day: Video Spotlight: CJ Hilton - Cold Summer

I've already introduced you to R&B newcomer CJ Hilton in a previous post Video Spotlight - CJ Hilton - So Fresh and now he's back with another song that I absolutely love entitled "Cold Summer".  I listed several of CJ's musical influences in the previous post and you can hear them come out on this song even more. 

Check out the video for Cold Summer:

Just a little something to get you over that hump ;-)

Do you like the song?
Can you point out his musical influences in the song?
Who does he sound like most?
Are you a fan?


Hollywood Divorce

BornTooBlog has never really been about celeb gossip, but I can't help but piggy back on all of the divorces that are going down lately.  It seems like almost everyone is breaking up and getting divorced.  Without delving too deep in anyone's business, I wonder just what has caused these celebrity relationships to hit the brink.

For instance, we all know Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kris Humphries lasted all of 72 days; no big surprise there.  Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore are also going through a rough split after being married for 7 years.  Then you have Seal and Heidi Klum, whom were featured as one of the Power Couples I Love on BornTooBlog in the entertainment industry last year (, who now have a very rough road ahead of them in the divvying up of their assets and agreeing upon custody parameters.

British actor and comedian, Russell Brand and American pop star Katy Perry also decided to call it quits last month and are now working through a very public divorce.  And dare I say, Hollywood royalty Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, whom are heavily rumored to be splitting, were also featured on the Power Couples I Love post in 2011.

At this rate, will there be any Hollywood couples that will grow old together? Sure you still have seasoned actors like Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffin still hanging in there, but I am very concerned with how quick divorces are occurring, even with the couples that have been together for over a decade.  Its no secret that hollywood marriages don't seem to last too long.  My concern is that just like Hollywood influences American society to do everything else, could the Hollywood Divorce be a new trend in the lives of every day people?

I've been witness to several marriages this year and last year, of several of my peers and Lord knows its a beautiful thing, but what is it that we can pinpoint that is making these Hollywood couples divorce at an alarming rate? I really don't know the answer, but I just had to put it out there in the hopes of getting some feedback.  Do you think you know what the underlying cause is for all of these Hollywood Divorces?  Share your thoughts!

Have you ever been married?
Would you consider getting married anytime soon?
Do you believe in divorce?
What is the key to staying together?
What is one thing that you think all of these couples might be missing?

Below are pictures of the then couples that are now going through a Hollywood Divorce, in happier times: