I’m not implying that the lovely Lynn Whitfield is making sure her $12 special isn’t crooked. (Mostly because I think a good percentage of it is her hair.) Lynn is obviously auditioning for the remake of Klymaxx’s “Meeting In the Lady’s Room” video. But “Check Yo’ Wig” seemed to be a better fit for this series of pictures from the only music festival I wish I could have attended (that wasn’t Coachella) — the Essence Music Festival, which happened over the Fourth of July holiday, ending July 6th. Here are a few highlights.
Chris Rock doing his funny for money; Musiq Soulchild looking a hot mess in an Obama, “Yes We Can” shirt — which I now fear is becoming the Che Guevara T-shirt/Malcolm X baseball cap of the 2000s; and Mary J. Blige.
Keyshia Cole. I like her voice a lot, but I’m sometimes a little concerned about her personality so I’ve been avoiding reading anything about her for the past two years.
Morris Day, performing with The Time. I love Morris and The Time and I own every Time album. Gigolos Get Lonely Too is the cut. And 777-9311? … So good I wish the Minneapolis Sound would stage a comeback. And don’t get me started on Ice Cream Castles, the greatest “make love, not racism” anthem ever created.
Mary J., Kanye and LL Cool J.
Chris Brown took nothing but bland, bland, bland photos for this event. This was especially odd considering he was all too willing to scar me mentally by faux humping Ci
ara whilst she was dressed as a dominatrix during one of the million replays of the 2008 BET Awards.
Aren’t they both like 12? And are people letting their kids watch this because Mama and Papa Snob let me watch Motown 25 with them and I don’t recall Michael Jackson rubbing his crotch all over Diana Ross’ girl parts. And all the Grammy Awards shows featured nothing but Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson and Babyface for nearly two decades. Will Smith, of all people, was the hip hop militant trying to get a best rap song category on the Grammys. Yet, I never saw ‘Face simulate cunnilingus with Pebbles during an extended Luther Campbell remix of “Love Makes Things Happen.”
But I’m practically ancient, being 30 and all. Maybe dressing in black latex and turning the weight room into a orgy pit/sex torture chamber is what’s hot in the streets these days.
Fortunately, Chris Brown’s real life dominatrix, Rihanna, took more arresting, back-bending photos.
I can’t tell how good she is at it (that “it” being singing), but that woman knows how to sell it. It’s like she digested and shitted out Matthew and Tina Knowles’ bestseller, “Be Your Own Pimp (Or At Least Your Kid’s Pimp … But In A Good Way!).” Whether she’s dressed like Madonna and Angelina Jolie’s love child who just broke up with Janet Jackson (Madonna and Ang — why didn’t that ever happen? Or did it?) or if she’s just your friendly, flirty, fantasy girl from the island she knows how to work what she has.
I’m not so sure about Brown. He’s cute, I guess. But I tend to like my menfolk Prince/Evan Ross fey or Tiki “Why do we still have our clothes on” Barber. I don’t like the mushy, shiny, goody-goody middle. And no matter how hard he dry humped Ciara I never really bought into it. Gross as Robert Sylvester Kelly is, it was game on every time he fake humped a girl for show. Seeing Chris Brown do that was like my initial reaction when I heard Tevin Campbell’s version of “Shhh.: Yeah, he could sing, but Tevin Campbell as a sex object? Sweet Lord, no. Being a filthy prepubescent perv was Usher Raymond’s thing.
But my larger point is … Chris Brown seems bland. Rihanna’s attractive and throwing all kinds of elbows to make her place as an R&B “It” girl. I’d forgotten Ciara was still working with the radio being nothing but wall-to-wall Rihanna songs right now. And in this era of “Everybody Loves (Usher) Raymond,” Chris Brown does not compute. He looks like he should be starring in High School Musical 3. Now granted, Rihanna could be in High School Musical 3 too, but she also looks like someone who’d pose half-naked in King Magazine or put shots of her under-boobage on MySpace just to get out of her Disney contract.
In a world based purely on who people “think” Rihanna and Chris are versus their actual personalities, Rihanna would be dating either an NBA-All Star (i.e. Chris Paul or LeBron James) or some Hollywood It Boy (Shia LaBeouf? I don’t like him but he’s an “it.”) and Chris Brown would be with either Raven Simone or the lesser Duff sister, Haylie.
Of course, I think Raven could do better.
Tyler Perry: So I got an idea for you, Mayor. Picture this … ‘Madea Meets New Orleans.’ It would tell the story of a young woman, played by Anika Noni Rose who loses everything in Hurricane Katrina. She’s raising her kid, the father deserted them during the storm, plus her sister’s four kids because she’s in prison for holding a some crack cocaine for her ex-boyfriend. She has lost all hope until her aunt twice-removed Madea shows up to get her and the rest of the Ninth Ward motivated to rebuild New Orleans for Jesus. And while she rallies the corrupt federal system for more support she is swept off her feet by a handsome young civil rights attorney played by
Tyrese Gibson Boris Kodjoe Keenan Thompson*. What do
Nagan: Turn the handsome attorney into the mayor of “Chocolate City” and I won’t charge you a lick of taxes to film here.
Solange Knowles and her son, “Baby” Daniel. Daniel appears to suffer from “cool baby” syndrome. Damn that Maddox Jolie-Pitt! One Mohawk and suddenly everyone’s toddler is Travis Barker.
Tavis Smiley and Prof. Cornell West
Bill Cosby and Rev. Al Sharpton
Bill Cosby and radio host Tom Joyner
MC Lyte. I’ve seen more of her the last ten days than I’ve seen of her the last ten years.
Keyshia Cole and her little dog
Broadway star Sheryl Lee Ralph and actor Boris Kodjoe
Adewale Ogunleye and Sanaa Lathan
* See comments!