Hollywood heavy hitters Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Sidney Poitier were on hand at a huge bash to celebrate and witness the unveiling of filmmaker Tyler Perry’s new multi-million dollar film and television studio in southwest Atlanta on Saturday.

The more than 200,000 square foot production complex is housed in a former Delta Air Lines’ business center and features sound stages named after some of the most influential African American entertainers of the twentieth century -Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee and Cicely Tyson.

The momentous occasion was marred only slightly by Writers Guild of America picketers outside the celebratory party protesting against the recent firing of four writers from Perry’s TV sitcom House of Payne.

Perry is the first African American to open a major film and television studio and plans to shoot his TBS sitcoms House of Payne and Meet The Browns at the new complex.

PHOTO: AP

Read More

Rapper and entrepreneur 50 Cent teams up with Robert Greene, bestselling author of The 48 Laws of Power, to explain the laws of power of the business world in his new book The 50th Law.

Describing the book as an urban take on Greene’s 48 Laws, 50 Cent says it will “create and capture a visible parallel between street life and coporate America standard and structure.”

In a recent Fortune magazine article Greene compares the rapper to Parisien diplomat Talleyrand and French general Napoleon Bonaparte for his fearlessness and willingness to take risks and says “the book shows how powerfully that works in a business sense.”

50 Cent is definitely no slouch when it comes to business, as he’s already successfully launched his own clothing and sneaker line, and partnered with numerous companies to brand a range of products from condoms, body sprays, and a flavored drink to his own label G-Unit Records with Interscope and a book publishing arm with MTV and Pocket Books.

The 50th Law is set to be released in November.

Read More

Drinks America Holdings Ltd. announced it will release a cognac and vodka line with Dr. Dre.

The company behind Trump vodka and Willie Nelson’s Old Whiskey River Bourbon will debut a flavored and unflavored sparkling vodka and a cognac brand in liquor stores to coincide with the release of the rapper/producer’s new album, Detox.

Dr. Dre joins many hip-hop personalities who are filling the coffers of high-end alcohol distributors by peddling alcohol to the black community (Diddy endorses Ciroc Vodka; Jay-Z totes Armand de Brignac’s Ace of Spades Champagne; Busta Rhymes created a catchphrase out of passing the Courvoisier).

Read More

Kirk Manuel, CEO of Head Strong Condoms, is trying to make condoms available to lower income black communities through the omnipresent dollar store.

“Dollar stores are in low-income neighborhoods, but try finding a condom in one of those stores. They’re not there and it’s a tragedy,” he says in a statement. “You can find liquor, you can find tobacco, but you can’t always find condoms, we need to do a better job educating, and we need to do a better job making condoms available too,”

Manuel, who is African American, started his company after learning HIV-infected adults were knowingly infecting others with the virus and holds a “no excuses” philosophy at his company.

“There is no excuse for not using a condom,” Manuel says. “If you can’t afford condoms, there are places you can get them free.”

Read More