Day: July 11, 2008

Art Fashion Music

MUST SEE: The Supreme’s Costume Exhibit

More than 50 outfits (in addition to a collection of photos, album covers, and live footage) are on display at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum until October.

In a much-deserving exhibit, “The Story of the Supremes,” tracks the Motown trio as the epitome of glamour that set a groundbreaking standard for future girl group molds. Not only did they set an example for En Vogue and Destiny’s Child, but The Supremes changed the world’s perception of African-Americans, proving that black is beautiful!

“When I saw the Supremes on TV…it was magical to me because I had never seen black women on television or anywhere for that matter who conveyed such glamour and such grace,” Oprah Winfrey said of seeing The Supremes for the first time on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

O.G. Supreme Mary Wilson said before the opening last May, “I have kept these dresses in storage for over 30 years, it was my dream that one day I could share them with the world.”

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Deaths Food

Benihana Founder Hiroaki Aoki Dies

Tokyo-born restauranteur Hiroaki ‘Rocky’ Aoki died on Thursday in New York City at the age of 69. The father of model Devon Aoki and DJ Steve Aoki succumbed to pneumonia due to complication from cancer, but had also suffered from diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver and hepatitis C–which he contracted from a blood transfusion.

A former wrestler on the Japanese Olympic team, Aoki moved to New York after failing to qualify for the 1960 games in Rome. He went on to open his first teppanyaki-styled restaurant in 1964, with $10,000 he earned selling ice cream from a truck.

Aoki had resigned from the company in 1998 after pleading guilty to an inside trade and had been acting as a consultant to the chain, which included over 85 restaurants worldwide.

A self-proclaimed “risk-taker” Aoki drove in the 1970s Cannonball Run, an underground cross-country race, competed in offshore powerboat racing, and became the first person to cross the Pacific Ocean in a hot-air balloon in the early 1980s, setting a world record.

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Ga Ga Music

Ga Ga: Little Jackie’s Anything But Little

With her bold lyrics and fresh fro, singer-songwriter Imani Coppola of Brooklyn-based hip-hop/pop duo Little Jackie (also, with programmer Adam Pallin), has an indie hit on her hands with “The World Should Revolve Around Me”—off their CD, The Stoop.

We recently spotted the video for the single on TV, and were elated by the skating culture, Brooklyn stoops, and a cameo by actress Rosie Perez (no, she didn’t give us any aggressive dance moves in spandex and ghetto gold earrings!)

As for the aforementioned lyrics: If every woman felt this way about themselves, we wouldn’t have so many Lifetime Original Movies:

There’s only one me in the galaxy
I am an endangered species
This kind of flower don’t grow on Earth
Just lettin’ you know for what it’s worth

PHOTO: Courtesy of Little Jackie

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Race Matters TV

Preview: CNN’s ‘Black In America’ Series

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, anchor for the network’s upcoming documentary series, “Black In America,” reveals tidbits about the special on African-American culture.

“We started doing this about 18 months ago, before Sen. Obama’s candidacy really gained traction,” O’Brien told the Los Angeles Times about Barack Obama only appearing in about 30 seconds of the documentary, which premieres on July 23.

But it was when O’Brien explained that comedian D.L. Hughley had to advise his young son on how to act if confronted by law enforcement, that we found upsetting, yet telling: “It’s a conversation every black father has to have with his 11-year-old son, no matter where they come from.”

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Ga Ga Janelle Monae Music

Ga Ga: Janelle Monae’s Bad Boy Introduction

Having recently performed at the fourth annual Afro-Punk Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Janelle Monae is heading to the masses with Bad Boy at her side.

The latest addition to the house of Sean “Diddy” Combs’ Bad Boy Entertainment, Monae is a cross between David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and James Brown…we have to give kudos where kudos is due because we loves us some quirk! Diddy recently said that Monae is “one of the most important signings of my career.”

Pre-Bad Boy, Kansas-native Monae hit the Big Apple to study at the prestigious music and theatre conservatory, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. She later relocated to Atlanta, got a cult following, started her own indie label with producers Nate “Rocket” Wonder and Chuck Lightning (Wondaland Arts Society), and released her groundbreaking album, METROPOLIS.

Bad Boy is re-releasing Monae’s sci-fi-themed METROPOLIS project–complete with an alter ego, Cindi Mayweather, and a comic book. Titled Metropolis:The Chase Suite, the re-release is coming out in August, while on the third of that same month, Monae will be performing at Central Park SummerStage in NYC.

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Singing In The Rain

Admit it, you saw the YouTube video of Tay Zonday singing Chocolate Rain, and now you’re wondering whatever happened to him? Okay, so maybe we’re the only ones wondering.

We found the Minneapolis native’s official website, his YouTube page, and MySpace Page where there are plenty of photos (priceless!) plenty of songs (genre, as yet undefined) and even an e-store selling Chocolate Rain T-shirts (we’re seriously considering buying one).

But the greatest find of all was Tay’s Cherry Chocolate Rain video.

Tay, real name Adam Nyerere Bahner, also makes a cameo in Weezer’s video Pork And Beans and just celebrated his 26th birthday on July 6th.

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Where Is The Love?

Yearning for more black date flicks? Well, the 12th annual American Black Film Festival is all over the case. The festival will be “Exploring Black Romance and Sexuality in American Cinema” on August 7th – 10th in Los Angeles and hosting the panel discussion, “Can We Get Some Love?”

Founder and producer, Jeff Friday, says they will be exploring the question, “Is Black romance taboo or too hot to handle?”

Reggie Scott, executive director of the festival adds, “There was a more than 20 year gap where there were no major films exploring black love and romance. We left off with Claudine and Mahogany in the 70’s and picked up with Waiting to Exhale and Love Jones in the 90s.”

Information and registration for the festival can be found at

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