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The Inkwell - Classic Movies and Television Tags: inkwell classic movies television wordlife production new quality entertainment featured blog

The Inkwell is a 1994 romantic comedy/drama film, directed by Matty Rich. This movie stars Larenz Tate, Joe Morton, Suzzanne Douglass, Glynn Turman, and Vanessa Bell Calloway. The Inkwell is about a 16-year-old boy coming of age on Martha's Vineyard in the summer of 1976.

Set in the summer of 1976, the movie follows the adventures of Drew Tate (Larenz Tate), a shy 16-year-old from upstate New York, when he and his family spend two weeks with affluent relatives on Martha's Vineyard. Drew's parents, Kenny (Joe Morton) and Brenda (Suzzanne Douglass), worry that their son is emotionally disturbed. His favorite companion is a doll, in which he names Iago (after the character in the Shakespeare classic Othello), with which he engages in animated conversations. They also fear that a fire he accidentally set in the family garage foreshadows a future as an arsonist.

On Martha's Vineyard, Drew is thrown into an affluent, party-loving black society that congregates on a beach known as the Inkwell. The visit is also the occasion of some bitter family strife. Drew's Aunt Francis (Vanessa Bell Calloway) and her husband, Spencer (Glynn Turman), are conservatives whose walls are plastered with pictures of Republican dignitaries such as Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan (who they keep saying will become President someday). Kenny, a former Black Panther, and Spencer argue furiously about racial issues.

The Inkwell follows Drew's bumbling pursuit of the insufferably snooty Lauren (Jada Pinkett Smith). He also befriends Heather (Adrienne-Joi Johnson), a young woman whose husband, Harold (Morris Chestnut), is a faithless louse. The movie comes to an end on the Fourth of July, when the Bicentennial fireworks end up symbolizing not just America's 200th birthday but Drew finally losing his virginity with Heather.

The film is notable for featuring several cast members from the popular sitcom A Different World.

For the 20th anniversary of the film, the cast reunited with Essence where Larenz Tate spoke about the casting process. He told the magazine "Matty Rich was holding auditions in LA. Jada [Pinkett Smith] was already cast in the role [as Lauren] and I remember her calling me, saying, ‘You got to do this movie!’ In fact, she was saying, ‘Listen, let’s meet up and rehearse because they are going to want me to read with you, so let’s rehearse, so you totally land it!’ I told her, ‘I’m going to rip that role! No need to rehearse, you just keep up with me and we just play off each other.’ She says. ‘I got you, let’s do it!’ I go in the audition and we really just lit up the room, then I had to audition solo. They didn’t know what to expect considering I just did Menace II Society playing O-Dawg, a completely street person. So that impressed them and they offered me the part."

Source: Wikipedia

Toni Braxton is an R&B singer-songwriter and actress
Category: The Golden Era
Tags: toni braxton breathe again you mean world.unbreak heart wordl life production golden era feature

Born in Maryland in 1967, Toni Braxton's big break came after Bill Pettaway overheard her singing to herself at a gas station, and subsequently helped Braxton land a record deal with Arista. In 1992, she caught another big break when she was asked to fill in for Anita Baker and sing on the soundtrack for the film Boomerang. The following year, Braxton released her debut self-titled album,

garnering wide acclaim for singles like "You Mean the World to Me" and "Breathe Again." She later scored a megahit with "Un-Break My Heart," included on her second studio album, Secrets (1996). In addition to her successful recording career, Braxton made history in September 1998, when she became first black actress to play Belle in the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast.

Early Life

Toni Michelle Braxton was born on October 7, 1967, in Severn, Maryland, to parents Michael Braxton, a minister, and his wife, Evelyn. Brought up in a strict, religious household that prohibited any sort of engagement with popular culture, Toni and her four younger sisters began singing at an early age at their father's church. Over time, Michael and Evelyn Braxton eased their household rules, allowing their daughters to gain more exposure to soul and rock singers like Stevie Wonder and Chaka Khan.

For Toni especially, music became a central component in her life. She entered a number of local talent shows, and also collaborated considerably with her sisters. Following her graduation from high school, Braxton planned on becoming a music teacher, but was easily swayed to leave college when songwriter Bill Pettaway overheard Braxton singing to herself at a gas station. Pettaway, who had recently penned Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True" hit single, was moved by Braxton's husky, driving voice. With his help, Braxton landed a record contract with Arista Records for both her and her sisters.

Career Breakthroughs

The Braxtons, as the sisters called themselves, released the single "The Good Life" in 1990. While not a huge hit, it did manage to catch the ear of producers Antonio "L.A." Reid and Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, who signed Toni to a new deal to the Arista subsidiary, LaFace Records.

In 1992, Braxton caught her first big break when she was asked to fill in for Anita Baker and sing for the soundtrack to the Eddie Murphy movie, Boomerang. The album gave Braxton significant exposure and helped her secure her first big hit: the single "Love Shoulda Brought You Home."

A year after the Boomerang soundtrack, Braxton released her eponymous debut album. The record more than met the enthusiasm that had built up around it prior to its release. With hits like "Breathe Again," "You Mean the World to Me" and "Another Love Song," the record went on to sell more than 8 million copies. It also earned Braxton a pair of Grammy Awards, for best new artist and best female R&B vocal performance.

In 1996, Braxton released her second studio album, Secrets, which included the monster single "Un-Break My Heart" and the hit "You Make Me High." At the 1997 Grammy Awards, Braxton won two Grammys: one for best female R&B vocal performance and one for best female R&B pop vocal performance.

But instead of getting the chance to dig into the hard work of creating a third album, Braxton got into contract wrangling with Arista. At issue was Braxton's claim that she deserved to receive a larger cut from her record sales. To further drive home the point that she wasn't making enough, Braxton filed for bankruptcy in 1998.

Unable to reconcile her contractual issues, Braxton suspended her studio work and headed to acting,

where she made history in September 1998 by becoming the first black actress to play Belle in a Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. The musical, which featured a song written specifically for Braxton, was a huge success.

Soon, Braxton and record executives were back at the negotiating table, and following an agreement in 1999, the singer-songwriter released her third album, The Heat. Largely stripped of the "lost love" themes that had greatly shaped her two previous studio releases, Braxton's new album gave the singer's fans a fresher, more confident Braxton. It also featured two hit singles: "He Wasn't Man Enough for Me" and "Just Be a Man About It."

In 2010, Braxton released her seventh studio album, Pulse, which was issued by Atlantic Records. She also continued to pursue other types of performance work. The lineup included her own reality television series, Toni Braxton: Revealed, and a short stint on the hit dance-competition show Dancing with the Stars.

In January 2011, media outlets began reporting that Braxton would be returning to the small screen with a new reality series, Braxton Family Values. The show, which debuted in April 2011 on WE tv, follows Toni and her sisters as they pursue their respective careers in show business.

Health Issues and Bankruptcy

She accomplished all of these successes while also battling health issues. She's been treated for hypertension as well as pericarditis, a viral infection of the sac surrounding the heart. More significantly, in November 2010, the singer told the world she was battling Lupus. The announcement shook her fellow recording artists, most notably Lady Gaga, who has family members who've dealt with the deadly autoimmune disease. "Toni, your strength is admirable," Lady Gaga wrote in a message to Braxton. "As a woman whose family as been affected by Lupus, I understand your struggle and have you in my thoughts."

More bad news followed in late 2010, when Braxton announced that she was again filing for bankruptcy. Some reports stated that she owed as much as $50 million.

Saying 'Goodbye' to Music Career

 

In early 2012, Braxton announced that she had begun working on a new album. That spring, she released the single "I Heart You"—thought to be the first single off the singer's new project at the time. But fans' excitement over what would be Braxton's eighth studio project soon fizzled out when, on February 8, 2013, Braxton announced plans to retire from her career as a recording artist. Signaling the end of her 20-year recording career, Braxton's announcement, made during her guest appearance on Good Morning America, came as a big shock to many—especially since the singer-songwriter's previous statements regarding her future retirement seemed to center on a final album release.

Braxton went on to explain her decision, citing, among many things, a loss of musical inspiration, a disinterest in making any future recordings, and shifting sentiments surrounding her future goals. "It's not affecting me, making me feel that thing I've always felt when I perform. It's leaving me. I'm not sure what's going on in my life. Maybe a female mid-life crisis? My heart isn't in it anymore. I hate to say that,

" Braxton said. "For what I do I have to love it. I have to feel that excitement and it's gone. I'm just not going to do any albums anymore; maybe touring occasionally here and there because I love performing, but not as much as I did in the past. But no new projects."

Personal Life

Braxton married musician Kery Lewis in 2001. The couple split up in late 2009. They have two sons together, Denim and Deizel.

© 2013 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.

Source:http://www.biography.com/people/toni-braxton-17168260?page=3

 

CELEBRATING THIS MONTH'S CELEBRITY PICK-JILL SCOTT Tags: jill scott r&b sould hip hop music wordlife production underground network

 

Who Is Jill Scott?

She is an artist with an abiding,deep commitment to lyrical honesty and musical integrity. Simply put,if Jill Scott feels it,she writes and sings it. While vivid imagery,metaphor analogy are her stock in trade,there’s no pretense,no hiding. She’s upfront,in-your-face always real,using her own distinctive poetry to breathe life into words,digging inside to bring forth the accompanying emotion. It is that authenticity that has endeared Jill Scott to everyday music buyers who hear what she’s saying through her music and respond according. Folks who know the rough and tumble of life,love right,love wrong,passion misspent,passion fulfilled,lonely nights and empty days and everything in between declare,‘Yeah,girl!,’ ‘Go ‘head on!’ and ‘I feel ya’. And in the tradition of the four albums that precede it,THE REAL THING is another cause for celebration for those who live for the real.

Commenting on her latest,much-awaited Hidden Beach CD – which features production work by Scott Storch (DMX,Snoop Dogg,50 Cent,Ja Rule),Jill’s musical director Adam Blackstone (The Roots),Carvin “Ransum” Haggins &Ivan “Orthodox” Barias (Musiq,Chris Brown,Mario) and JR Hutson among others – Jill says,“I thought the last album (2004’s Grammy-winning “Beautifully Human,” Words &Sounds,Vol. 2) was more peaceful,an affirmation…On the new record,I feel aggressive about what I want,need and desire and you can hear it in my vocal choices,in the tracks. I’d say in a way,it is a sequel to “Beautifully Human” but it’s grittier,sassier than the last one. I’m feeling gutsier,I’m feeling much more bold,free. In many ways,it’s closer to my first album. My original concept was to show different women – you know,like the housekeeper,the stripper,the congresswoman –but as I started writing and recording,I started taking on all these characters. I put myself in each woman’s place…and found that it became more about me,all of it,with the envy,the anger,the frustration,the loneliness,the joy,the passion and the rapture.
And that’s what makes it juicy…”Juicy,indeed.

The first single,“Hate On Me” one of the fifteen cuts Jill wrote on the album,with its powerhouse production is edgy,intense,exemplifying the kind of work for which Jill is known. “I’m reminded of the biblical scripture,‘No weapon formed against me shall prosper.’ I realized that there are people who are gonna be haters. That never affected me until I started noticing it,seeing that there were people…family,friends…who were angry to see me revealing my blessings,wishing they were me. I had to let go of some people in my life because of that. It’s been healing for me to say I’m still gonna be me,to say to those people,‘go right ahead,whatever you say won’t change my destiny.’ We spend too much time ‘hating’ the hater. If I’m mean to shine and glow,I will. That’s what the song is saying…”

Jill – who has her first major starring role in Tyler Perry’s fall 2007 “Why Did I Get Married?” movie – agrees that many of the tracks on THE REAL THING have an autobiographical ring.
The smooth’n’mellow “Wanna Be Loved” is an example:“I want to be appreciated,liked for who I am,respected. The song reflects that aching yearning I have to be loved and I know that’s what all people want…” The midnight love-flavored slow jam “All I” is about “being in a lonely marriage. There has to be a level of passion in a relationship. As a wife,you can become the
‘good girl’ and your love life can get really repetitive,sex can be very clinical. I’m saying [inside a marriage] I can still be your ‘nasty’ baby…”

Jill’s “Come See Me” evokes lyrical comparisons with Marvin Gaye’s classic “Distant Lover” from his “Let’s Get It On” LP which – much like THE REAL THING – dealt with topics of fire and desire,joy and pain. The soulful poetess accepts the comparison gladly (“I love the way Marvin was willing to look at his life”) noting,“My song is about distance,about being far away from someone who gives you great pleasure. It’s almost like a plea. I love the line that says ‘I know it’s hard over there’ because it has more than one meaning! I write stories where some things are clear…and some you don’t get until the fifteenth listen!”

Ever provocative,Jill uses “How It Make You Feel” to pose a thoughtful if jarring question:“What if,” she asks,“every black female disappeared? That’s a question to the world but particularly to black men. I love to talk to my brothers,not at them not to them. Think about it…how would it be if black women vanished tomorrow?” Expressing female bravado is yet another ingredient in this multi-faceted artist’s musical palette and two songs come to mind. The rock-oriented title track,like the interlude “Breathe” are what Jill terms “crotch-holding songs! With ‘The Real Thing,’ I’m like smellin’ myself…and ‘Breathe’ reminds me of the storytellers in rap and hip-hop,LL,Kanye West,Jay-Z,Nas so it’s like I’m going to be cocky right now!”

Erotic love,the reality of sex and sensual satisfaction form the basis for a number of cuts and memorable interludes that have been an integral part of Jill’s recorded work since her groundbreaking 2000’s “Who Is Jill Scott?” Words &Sounds Vol. 1,which earned Jill four Grammy nominations,including a Best New Artist nomination. With its Southern hip-hop feel,“Do It Babe” (featuring Slim) is “a request to keep it up,the keep the intensity you had before,to rock with that.” The highly-charged,heavily percussive “Epiphany” is,Jill says,“explicit without being vulgar. The tricky thing about sex is that it’s so explosive physically and everything seems right at the time but the moment – and I mean the moment – after,you’re left with a longing…especially if you want more,like I do!” Equally explicit:“Crown Royal On Ice” which Jill declares is her “favorite piece of writing on the album. In R&B,sometimes people just say things just to be sexual or to be nasty but they’re not necessarily poetic. . I wrote this as one consistent stream of consciousness,as one sentence. There are harsh words,soft words,lots and lots of images…”

On the same tip,“Celibacy Blues” – reminiscent of the jazz style of the late,great Billie Holiday (whose “God Bless The Child” was one of the highpoints of 2006’s Al Jarreau/George Benson project “Givin’ It Up” and a featured cut on “Collaborations,” Jill’s 2007 collection of tracks on which she’s appeared as a guest artist and recorded with others) – was inspired by a year-long self-imposed period of sexual abstinence that Jill experienced. “I had my feelings hurt and I said,‘just let me pull back and focus on myself.’ I know a lot of women who did that and they go to God,they become celibate,they want to wipe all that hurt away. But it’s hard. I know we are sexual beings but that’s not to say you have to act on every urge. Personally,I need that chemical,spiritual connection [from sex] and I prefer it with someone I love. During the time I was celibate,it was blue,a lot of mind over matter where I had to stay away from situations that I could get in that were trouble…” With its cosmic,futuristic sound,“Imagination” is “part of the celibacy thing,” Jill explains,“what it would be like,he most lovely love-making I could imagine where we’re not controlling ourselves,we’re on a wave. It’s just ‘wow’…you know,I don’t want to bite your face off but I appreciate the raw passion…”

And,indeed,passion as expressed through her music has been the essence of what has made Jill Scott one of the most important artists of the new millennium. The North Philly native became part of the international music consciousness with the release of “Who Is Jill Scott?” Words &Sounds Vol. 1,which achieved double-platinum status and earned her NAACP Image Awards,trophies from both Billboard and Soul Train and the honor of sharing the stage with Aretha Franklin for VH1’s Divas Live. She graced magazine covers (and was voted among People’s 50 Most Beautiful for 2001),contributed editorials and blessed the national television stages of Oprah,David Letterman,Jay Leno and “The View.” After touring the world,she released a real,live album with some new cuts,2001’s “Experience:Jill Scott 826+” which spawned the Grammy-nominated “A Long Walk.”

During the ensuing three years,Jill stayed busy,touring consistently,directing a video for Hidden Beach labelmate,trombonist Jeff Bradshaw,appearing on “Sesame Street” in celebration of its 33rd year. Her original compositions were featured on the soundtracks for “Brown Sugar,” “Rush Hour 2,” “Down to Earth,” “Kingdom Come” and the “Red Star Sounds” compilation. Jill made her primetime sitcom debut with a four-episode run on UPN’s “Girlfriends,” starred in Showtime’s “Cave Dwellers” and crafted a book of poetry,entitled simply,“The Minutes,The Moments,The Hours” (St. Martin Press). Reflecting on her accomplishment-filled career,she says,“Honestly,I didn’t expect anything when I did my first record. I just hoped and so far I am floored with the things. I’ve been able to do as a writer and vocalist. I’ve learned a lot…”

With the 2004 release of “Beautifully Human,” Words &Sounds,Vol. 2),Jill experienced a continuation of the acceptance and recognition she enjoyed with her first two albums;the anthemic standout cut “Golden” reflected her life experience,“After taking time off,I felt like I was just living my life like it was golden – it was as if I could polish it,like I could walk past a mirror and just marvel at it. So when I heard the track for the first time,the words just came to me and all I could do was just write them down.” The album was nominated for a Grammy for Best R&B Album and won the Best Urban/Alternative Performance Grammy for the single “Cross My Mind.”

After another stint on the road,Jill began working on THE REAL THING in 2006,stopping during the procees to appear in the Dakota Fanning movie “Hounddog,” in which she plays Big Momma Thornton,the artist who originally sang the Elvis Presley hit. “I’m normally on the road for a year and a half at a time and in between recording projects,I like to live so I have something to talk about. I might be gardening,clubbing real hard…and then when I feel the juice,the force telling me it’s time to record,I do that. I’m fortunate to be with a record label that understands my creative process. I started at the beginning of 2006 and I declared I was done in June 2007.”

THE REAL THING is filled with impactful cuts that will resonate with Jill’s loyal existing audience – and beyond. There’s “I Don’t Know” which Jill describes as a song based on “seeing someone and being blown away by them,not knowing why you connect with them but you do.”
The real life experience of “being the woman and being the ‘other woman,’ feeling extreme pain and extreme happiness” is expressed with “My Love.” A lament for a man who’s ‘disappeared’
“Insomnia” is a song Jill wrote “when I was around twenty,when I was feeling that kind of desperate,sad longing you feel for someone that you can’t get out of your head”;while
“Whenever You’re Around” is an ode to “the loneliness that can exist inside of a marriage which is the worst kind,when stay in a marriage for the sake of staying there.”

Summing it all up,“Let It Be” is “for the critics. I say,whatever it is,let it be that,if it’s be-bop,hip-hop,if I stretch my wings and sing country,don’t say I’m an R&B singer singing country,say I’m a singer,period. The great artist Salvador Dali one of my favorites and you could watching his life change as you saw his art. That’s how I feel about my music. It’s an evolution.”
While the consistent theme of Jill’s latest work centers on relationships,she’s says,
“I’m not oblivious to the realities of what’s going on in the world. I just felt it necessary to delve into some other things with this record and create a connection with people. What makes this record any different? Well,it’s me,sexy,harsh,simple…and growing.” Indeed,indeed.
 

http://www.jillscott.com/biography 
 

Meet the Most Inspiring Poets of 2010 Tags: e michele paul spoken word poetic works home of spoken word wordlife production hip hop will never die

"Be the change you want to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi probably did not know the lasting impact his words would have decades after he said them. John F. Kennedy

said, "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." I can not say that these men knew their words would inspire several generations after their death. I can not say that these men knew that because they chose to challenge mankind to be more than "ordinary citizens" that a civil rights movement would be formed or that America would one day rise above its' prejudices and elect a black man as its' President. I can guarantee however, that they understood the power of words.

These men did not start out with the intention of being heroes. They simply wanted to "do their part" in making a difference in how people treated one another. It was because of their gift of expression and their unwavering dedication to something greater than themselves that these two ordinary people made extraordinary contributions to the world. Their spirit is still with us today. Ordinary people everyday are making a world of difference in their communities. These people are known as poets.

Throughout my travels, I have been privileged to meet poets that have had a positive effect on me as well as their neighbors. I have seen what they are doing in their communities and their actions have inspired me to do more for my own. While there are many more poets that have made significant impacts in the world, I would like to give you a list of the 13 that I know personally and I believe you should know as well. Instead of giving you individual accounts of why these 13 poets were chosen as the most inspirational of 2010, I thought I would list collectively how they have given back to their communities the past 12 months.
 

The poets chosen as the most inspiring poets of 2010 understand that the best way to tackle the most difficult problem is to break it up into small pieces. To make changes in the world, they start at home and in their

communities. What sets these 13 poets apart from others is not only their superb ability to write poems about issues affecting their community, but also their drive and determination to be a guiding light to our youth. Their everyday actions become the meaning behind their poetry. They give back to their communities in more ways that I can ever list but I will try to name a few. They change the minds of our youth who believe that the only way they can become wealthy or escape their current condition is to get a contract playing a professional sport. They change the mindset of young women who think that the only way a man will ever notice them is by flaunting their most prized asset (underestimating the power of intelligence and community service). They are outspoken advocates against the evils that plague our society such as domestic and sexual violence, child abuse, rape, hate crimes, bullying, racism, and intolerance. These poets can be found in underprivileged areas collecting donations for children who would otherwise, not have new school supplies at the beginning of each school year. They educate our youth about protecting themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. They host free workshops in alternative schools for children who would otherwise never be exposed to this expressive art form. In short, these 13 phenomenal poets are positive role models, cleaning up the damage that mainstream entertainment has made and often times will pick up where the public education system has failed. When they are not playing integral roles in society, you can find them at open mics, painting verbal montages of their life's experiences for various size audiences who need to hear their poetry about as much as these 13 poets need to write it. These poets know that being a poet is not a hobby, it is a lifestyle.

Without any further ado, the most inspiring poets of 2010 are:

John "Chance" Acevedo (Co-founder of El Grito de Poetas)
Eric Wattree (The Wattree Chronicles)
Ant Black (Co-founder of Collective Purpose)
Simply Rob (El Grito de Poetas
Krystal Green (Madison Florida)
Charlotte Poetryizme Langston-Lewis
"Scottfree" (3dEye)
Demi "OneLove" Davis (Xpressions Radio Show Host)
Renard "QuietPen" Yearby (Xpressions Radio Show Co-Host)
Raul K. Rios (LatinosNYC)
Flora "LaPoeta" Montes (Fancy Fork Caterers)
Sharon "Spoken Word" Lawrence
Gill S.O.T.U (Train of Thought)

All of these poets' poetry can be found on Facebook and YouTube.
 

 


 
 
 

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