Okay, so we know this post is long overdue, but we were so caught up with all of the drama on Empire that we forgot to weigh in on it. So, without further ado, here is a round-up of the five things Blindie loves about Lee Daniels’ Empire, besides the obvious -like Cookie, and Gabourey Sidibe’s character saying her mom is white which is why her name is Becky:
1 – The portrayal of an African American family business!
Yes, they’re dysfunctional, lying and cheating, but isn’t that typical of a successful family business. Sure the business was started with drug money and founded by a drug dealer, but didn’t most American empires build their wealth on unscrupulous ways like slavery, hello JP Morgan Chase, Lehman Brothers, Aetna, and bootlegging, hello the Kennedy family.
2 – The depiction of the two most denied and ignored realities in the black community – mental illness and homosexuality!
Even though Jamal stirred up the gay drama when he kicked his long-time boyfriend to the curb and started getting it on with his videographer, we’re more interested in how the conflicts with his homophobic father will be resolved and his reluctance to come out.
As for Andre’s bipolar diagnosis, the verdict is still out whether the show’s creators Lee Daniels and Danny Strong have painted a three dimensional character with mental illness or just a stereotype of a mentally ill person. Either way, it gets more people talking about the illness while raising awareness in the black community.
3 -Black art!
The Lyon family may not be the most upstanding family but they definitely know how to support the community and buy black. Here is a rundown of the artists and their featured works:
So far we’ve spotted 5 amazing works by the talented Kehinde Wiley:
World Stage, Prince Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria, Oil on Canvas, 2013 (pictured below)
Rumors of War, Officer of the Hussars, Oil and Enamel on Canvas, 2007 (pictured below)
Rumors of War, Le Roi a La Chasse, Oil and Enamel on Canvas, 2007
Naomi and Her Daughters, Oil on Cavnas, 2013
An Economy of Grace, Princess Victoire of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Oil on Linen, 2012
World Stage, Prince Albert, Prince Consort of Queen Victoria , 2013 Oil on Canvas
Kehinde Wiley’s art featured on Empire
Rumors of War, Officer of the Hussars, 2007, Oil and Enamel on Canvas
A few pieces by Basquiat: (see one of them below)
Basquiat featured on Empire
A beautiful masterpiece by Jamea Richmond Evans: (see below)
Wings Not Meant to Fly, ink, acrylic and mixed media collage on canvas 2012
And a bold work by Dallas-based artist Michael Savoie:
Natural, acrylic on canvas,
But before you get the notion that all of this modern black art is an obvious choice for the “new money” that Empire represents, check out the works by Monet, Gustav Klimt, and Vincent van Gogh featured also.
4 – The cameos and guest appearances!
Estelle, Courtney Love, Patti Labelle, Snoop Dogg, Raven Symone, Rita Orr, to name a few. We’re waiting for Lenny Kravitz and Mariah Carey in the next season!
This high school basketball photo of Prince Roger Nelson recently resurfaced and went viral after a Minnesota Star Tribune reporter discovered the clipping in their archives and posted it to Twitter.
There are so many great things about the article and photo -the afro, the sly smile, the satin shorts….but the best thing is that these four things have been proven to us:
1 – Even before “Purple Rain” made Prince a music icon, he was holding court -in high school!
2 – Charlie Murphy and his hilarious Chappelle Show skit, where he recounts playing ball with Prince (in heels) and getting dunked on, was much truer than we could ever have imagined. The article says Prince made the junior varsity team in ninth grade and “was an excellent player.”
3 – Prince is truly a renaissance man who can sing, dance, play baseball, basketball was a football player, and can even make pancakes -according to Charlie Murphy. Watch the video below!
4 – At 5′ 2″ Prince does it all and proves that size does not matter! <insert Prince scream here>
Saturday Night Live turned 40 with a three-and-a-half hour live episode on Sunday, and a reunion of cast members. Here are Blindie’s top 5 moments from the extra-long episode.
1. Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake’s Rap Intro
The duo paid tribute to the various SNL sketches and catch-phrases over the years through song and dance, and kind of nailed it. Best SNL intro we’ve seen in quite awhile.
2. Bradley Cooper Making Out With Betty White.
This had us laughing, then cringing, and then turning the channel until the skit ended.
3. That Guitar Player We All Love!
SNL brought back that guitar player that would always steal the scene with his riffs and crazy faces -you know the one. Apparently his name is G.E. Smith and he was also the musical director on Saturday Night Live. His impressive resume includes lead guitarist with Hall & Oates and the lead guitarist with Bob Dylan’s touring band during the late 1980s.
4. The Star-Studded Audience.
Forget the guest stars, Blindie spied a whole bevvy of celebrities young and old, but mostly old, in the SNL 40 audience. There were the obvious attendees like Ellen Kleghorn, Al Franken, Tom Arnold, Jim Breur (Goat Boy), and then there were the unexpected, like Steven Spielberg, Michael Douglas with wife Catherine Zeta-Jones, former Yankees Manager Joe Torre, Mel Brooks, Jeff Goldblum, Blondie, Paul Rudd, Sarah Palin, Sheryl Crow, Matthew Broderick and George Lucas with wife Mellody Hobson. Here is the complete guest list.
5. Eddie Murphy, Dammit!
Original SNL cast member Eddie Murphy showed up, got a standing ovation, and didn’t even have to perform. Now how’s that for star power? After all, he did have the biggest career out of all of the cast members over the years.
New York City-based photographer Tricia Messeroux of Toddlewood Studios has recreated celebrity red-carpet looks of the 2015 Grammy celebration using kids. The result is, of course, adorable and also better than the original in some ways.
We’ve selected our favorites:
1. Rihanna – As soon as we saw Rihanna in that flouncy oversized tutu from Giambattista, we thought she looked like a five-year-old playing dress-up. Looks like we were right.
2. Beyonce – This little girl’s red-carpet smile and presence seems a bit more natural and real than Beyonce’s robotic pose.
3. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian - This kiddie recreation of Kimye makes Kanye West’s stone-faced look seem even more childish when he’s mimicked by a five-year-old.
Little League phenom Mo’Ne Davis takes Kevin Hart to the hoop during the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. We knew Ms. Davis could wreck it out on the diamond, but we had no idea she could destroy punks on the court. Although we do love us some Kevin Hart, and we kind of feel bad that he got schooled by a 13 year-old.
Mariah Carey took to the stage on January 30th at the 2015 Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival to do what she does best….change outfits numerous times, sit down, allow the audience to sing most of her songs, and oh yeah, lip-sync.
To the diva’s credit, she did hit her infamous high note, the “whistle register,” for like a second.
Blindie still loves you Mariah because you are trying (really hard) to hold it down.
Lupita Nyong’o sashays to her car after leaving Moonshadows’ Blue Lounge in Malibu, CA on Saturday.
If anyone knows the designer of this hot little number Lupita is rocking, please let Blindie know. Apparently the Brazilian website Missaodresslike.br thinks they have found the economical equivalent of Lupita’s outfit. Emphasis on the words, ‘thinks they have found.’