#MISSYMonday Top 25 Favorite Missy Elliott Songs : MYFAVORITES

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Yay Patriots!!!
Okay I actually didn’t watch the Superbowl, or Katy Perry’s Halftime Performance… but it’s kind of PERFECT that Missy Elliott was Katy’s “Surprise” guest last night, and it’s also perfect that Missy stole the show and has since had a huge spike in single and album sales on iTunes.
Perfect because I had planned on doing a Missy #WCW Day this week. But I’m going to post a MINI-Missy Day today with just three posts. I decided to do it today because I’d be a fool not to, I mean I can only imagine lots of people are Google Searching her today – and I’d love to get some of those hits!

So let’s start out with my 25 Favorite Missy songs! And Yes, I’m qualified to post and rank this because I am a HUGE Missy fan, and have been from the very beginning. Anyway, here goes the first post of a potentially fun Missy Monday!!

25. Beep Me 911

24.  HOT

“Don’t carry guns, Kick Ass with a chain… you know what I’m sayin’… Don’t carry guns, Kick ass with a chain (WAAT-AA!!!)”

23. Whatcha Gonna Do

22. Sock It 2 Me

21. 4 My People

20. Beat Biters

19. X-Tasy

18. Mr. DJ

17. The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

16. Crazy Feelings

15. Smooth Chick

14. One Minute Man

13. Can’t Stop

12. Friendly Skies

11. Wake Up

10. You Don’t Know

9. Can’t Resist

8. Old School Joint

7. Go To The Floor

6. Lose Control

5. Get Ur Freak On

4. Gossip Folks

3. Work It

2. Pass That Dutch

1. She’s a Bitch

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “Miss The D Yo!” : MYFAVORITES

It’s FRIDAY!!!! but Yikes, it’s gonna be a busy Blog day if I get through everything. For starters here are my Top 10 Songs of the Week. Either today or tomorrow I WILL post a new Monthly feature where I talk about my favorite Music of the month – be it a full album, just a single or an artist. That should be fun, but I totally haven’t finished compiling shizz. Lastly, “How To Get Away With Murder” came back on TV last night with new episodes… and I LOVED IT!! So I’m going to start recapping that on a weekly basis as well, starting today! So… Enjoy THIS list and Enjoy the rest of what I have to offer today.

10. Jeremih featuring YG “Dont Tell Em”

9. Ashanti “Rock Wit U (Aww Baby)”

8. Vanity 6 “Bite the Beat”

7. Rae Sremmurd featuring Nicki Minaj and Young Thug “Throw Sum Mo”

6. Nicki Minaj featuring Beyonce “Feeling Myself”

5. Peter Rauhofer featuring Kim Cooper “I Look Good”

4. Prince “Glam Slam”

It’s PRINCE, so you know what it is!!

3. Change “Searching”

2. Nicki Minaj “I Lied”

1. Tinashe “2 On”

“Empire” is All about the Music in latest Fun episode – Season 1 Episode 4 Recap : TVREVIEW

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Didn’t last nights episode of “Empire” feel too short? I was enjoying the show so much and than it was over, too soon. I honestly feel like I could watch a 2 hour presentation of the show and not be mad. It’s Episode 4 now and I think we are fully acclimated in the world of Lucious Lyons (Terrence Howard) and company. We know the characters and the setting well enough now that every episode is like “catching up” with friends. We also know the show enough to make some minor complaints, which I’ll get into after the full recap.

Now I have to say that I love music and everything regarding music. I love watching people perform music, create music, even just talk about music. So obviously last nights music centered episode was perfect for me.

empire-435We start out with everybody’s favorite character Cookie (Taraji P Henson). And yes, apparently she DID acquire a job at Empire Records as an A&R rep (which answers one of my questions from last weeks Recap). While she’s setting up her temporary office, Hakeem’s pop-star girlfriend (for show) Tiana (Serayah) approaches Cookie wanting her input on a new song she has recorded, and quickly enough Cookie becomes Tiana’s new manager. Much to the irritation of Lucious’ main lady Anika (Grace Gealy). And is it just me, or do you feel a sexual tension between Lucious’ two main ladies? It’s so “soapy”, but it’s also a little hot.

This leaves Anika feeling like a non-factor at the company, and in an attempt to prove herself she decides she’s going to try to track down Titan (James Washington). He’s the hottest most authentic rapper out, but he has recently landed himself in jail. Lucious wants to sign Titan because of his Hip Hop relevancy, but also to piss off his competitor and former label boss Baretti (Judd Nelson) . This leads to a pathetic and almost life threatening attempt by Anika to woo Titan by talking to his people. Unfortunately the Diner they meet in gets shot up. All the while, Cookie secretly meets up with Titan’s mother who is heavy in the Nation of Islam. The mother feels like Baretti has forced Titan to break his Islamic faith, and Cookie insinuates that if Titan signs with Lucious it would be for the best.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Lucious, finding out Titan is affiliated with the Nation, decides he doesn’t want to poach him from his label anymore. There was a VERY questionable line Cookie delivered saying that “The Nation killed your father” (is that offensive? It definitely rubbed me the wrong way and I’m not even Muslim), THAT and the fact that poaching Titan was getting too complicated. Lucious says he’s over stealing Titan, UNTIL he gets a visit from Baretti who threatens to expose his criminal past if Empire Records does goes public. And of course, Lucious always gets his way and convinces Titan that Empire is where he needs to be.

Hakeem (Bryshere Gray) is still being prepped to become the Prince of Empire Records, but he is still lazy and unfocused and refuses to record music at the pace that Lucious would like. When he is told to provide a guest rap verse on Tiana’s single, he hates the idea of doing something G-rated and taming down his style which is something he discusses with his secret lover Camilla (Naomi Campbell). Tiana catches the two in the act, but isn’t really concerned about that because obviously the girl is business first and is only concerned about killing their debut performance together on the Teen Choice Awards. The performance goes perfectly (I mean… I’m not critiquing them as ACTUAL performers, but it was fun), and it reinforces Lucious’ faith in Hakeem’s talent.10388133_332270603636447_879920571925268893_n

Lucious also verbally admits that his middle son Jamal (Jussie Smollett) is majorly talented, but those two still have their issues. Jamal is forced to move out of his lavish loft into a roach motel in the Bushwick part of Brooklyn (You know how I excited I was when I heard that reference? I used to live in Bushwick for like a month last year). His pride won’t let Jamal accept any money (earned or otherwise) from Lucious or Cookie, and his pride won’t let Cookie force him into making more music either. So at this point, Jamal is just a self-righteous soft-talking Hakeem (LOL!!).

Can we get into the negative now? Or, not really the negative… just two relationships that are starting to work my nerves. Jamal! It’s really hard for me to stomach him as a character and I don’t know exactly what it is that irritates me about him. Maybe it’s all the soft-talking, or his moments of martyr-ism, or his know-it-all attitude. He’s a character that is obviously supposed to be someone the audience roots for, but at this point I really don’t care if he succeeds or not. He’s so wishy-washy with his career, I often wonder does he even WANT what Cookie wants from him? I guess that might be it… I don’t understand his motivations in life.

Additionally, I find the whole Lucious versus Jamal storyline a little tiring at this point. There needs to be a fresh dynamic to their feud because it feels so redundant at this point.

The relationship between Cookie and Hakeem is also getting kind of tired, but that one is more understandable. There’s probably too many different characters and storylines to get through before that situation is dealt with. I just don’t understand why Hakeem has so much hatred towards her, I’m wondering if Lucious told him terrible things about her when they were away? Anyway, I have to remember that this is essentially a soap opera and they HAVE to keep some conflicts going, so I’ll be patient.

GaboureySidibeEmpireI also am anxious for the character of Becky (Gabourey Sidibe) to be fleshed out a little bit. Gabourey is a great actress, and very funny, but I feel like she’s not given a chance to be that on the show yet. She did ask Lucious if she could “shadow” him while he is working with the new acquisition Titan, so we will probably see more of her as she tries to grow within her career.

One last thing that was just completely unbelievable, the scene with the Detective who is still investigating the murder of Bunkie. You know, the detective that has no real concrete evidence but still suspects Lucious is the murderer based on the mumbled iterations of the homeless drunk! Lucious pauses for way too long when the officer asks him where he was the night of the murder, and than fine-ass Andre (Trai Byers) pipes in and says they were together watching a fight. I guess the detective bought it, as he laughed and walked out the room, but apparently Vernon (Malik Yoba) did NOT. He didn’t say anything, but he gave both Lyons men a suspicious look. So I’m guessing his character (another one that hasn’t been fleshed out yet) will serve as a possible villain to Lucious in the future.

But Yes, I loved this episode. I loved all the talk about music, I enjoyed #Takeem ‘s little performance, and I even enjoyed Jamal’s little moment where he was channeling Michael Jackson (the extended “Black or White” video). And it’s nice to see Lucious and Cookie starting to get along, although he’s overstepping his bounds a little bit as the true player in him seems to be sneaking out episode by episode. Still, an amazing show!

“GIRLS” gets Darker, but still funny AF – Season 4 Episode 3 Recap : TVREVIEW

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After such a fun time last week, this weeks episode of “GIRLS” was a bitter darker… and I lived for it. It was that episode where these characters are finally facing their immaturity and realize they need to grow up and move on.

Our lead Hannah is still in Iowa, but not having a good time. She rejoices in having lots of down time because she only has one class a week, but she is also second guessing her writing talent as she consistently gets bad feedback from her study group, and she isn’t using her free time to write. She’s also frustrated by the limited communication between her and Adam.

leadHannah is upset, and seemingly scared that this decision isn’t for her. In one great scene (funny because it was so harsh) at a Poetry party Hannah goes off on each member of her writing group and tells them why they suck. Dunham really did a good job of letting the viewers feel her frustration in this scene which showed more of her insecurities than anything else.

And it seems like Elijah IS there to stay, as he has made loads of friends in Iowa and is now flirting with photography (“I just realized that I got so good at taking selfies that I wasn’t feeling challenged anymore. Then I thought what would happen if I turned the camera around.” “). I don’t know that him being there makes all that much sense, but I’m just happy to have him. He’s such a great energy to the show.

Back in NYC, Shoshanna hits the interview trails and begins her life as an adult. Her one interview was funny, she and the person had a great rapport but Shosh turned the job down because she was using it as a “test-interview”. It’s just another example of Shosh’s lovable naivety and how it will ultimately lead her to disappointment. I think her character is going to have a very interesting season.

75Next up is Marnie, who is finally allowing herself to see her relationship with Desi for what it is. She doesn’t want to admit she’s a mistress, so she goes to the realist Ray for advice and he tells her she needs to forget about him (and they end up having sex! okay!?). Later it seems like a record label wants to sign Marnie and Desi, thinking they are a real life couple. When they have to admit they aren’t together, Marnie finally has the realization that she doesn’t really want to make music with him if he isn’t going to be her boyfriend. She light-weight sabotages the meeting, and we are left with Marnie second guessing her path again. But mostly I think we were left with Marnie finally letting go of Desi and their unhealthy situation.

76Adam and Jessa are getting chummy as they both participate in Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. They seem to get along fine, as he can relay his frustrations with Hannah to her and she can get some positive influence from him. He admits to her that he doesn’t enjoy talking to Hannah because she only talks about superficial bull, which is the reason they’ve restricted their calls to once a week. And apparently he admitted to Jessa that there may or may not be another girl in the picture (I was unclear on this actually).

Ultimately, because Jessa is such a little kid, she ends up getting thrown in jail and so does Adam for trying to help her out. Once they get out and Jessa shows absolutely no remorse, Adam gets her ALL THE WAY TOGETHER by telling her she needs to grow up.

Jessa, in a really uncharacteristic turn, cries out that she “needs a friend”. It was a small line, but it does signal the fact that maybe Jessa FINALLY wants to change. Adam didn’t walk back to her (I don’t remember), but it felt like her crying out to him was genuine, so we’ll see what comes from it.

This recap is breif, but that’s because Girls has set us up for an interesting turn when it returns in two weeks.

Tovey excels in an OK episode of “Looking” – Season 2 Episode 3 Recap : TVREVIEW

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Last weeks recap of “Looking” was admittedly harsh, and I got some criticism saying I was too hard on the show. I”ll admit I can be harsh with this show, but there are lots of things about the writing, the character development and the pacing that really bother me as a person who pays attention to those types of things. However, last nights episode wasn’t bad. It annoyed me for sure, but I don’t have that much bad stuff to say about it.

look203img12It was nice to see more than just 30 seconds of Dom (Murray Bartlett) this week, as he had the second largest storyline of the episode. All of a sudden he plays Rugby (I’m kidding, I’m sure this has probably been mentioned before) and his big game was the focal point of the episode (And it was really nice to see him in his cute little Rugby gear). A bit of a conflict in Dom’s relationship with Lynn (Scott Bakula) comes when it’s revealed that Lynn secretly set up a meeting for Dom to become a manager of a hot SOMA restaurant. Dom thought the meeting was with a possible investor for his dream restaurant. Of course Dom gets pissed off when he finds out Lynn knew about this the whole time, and I can understand both sides.

Lynn definitely shouldn’t have lied to him, but Dom needs to understand that having a management title on his resume is only going to help him get his own restaurant off the ground. Dom definitely needs to be patient and take smaller steps toward his dream, but apparently he doesn’t see it this way.  It’s really a tricky situation, but hopefully it won’t ruin their relationship because Lynn is really just looking out for him and trying to help him be the best restaurant owner he can be. Lynn is really just trying to tell Dom the logical and practical things he needs to hear and Dom wants to live in fantasyland still.

In regards to telling somebody something they need to hear, I’ll get to the Agustine (Frankie J Alvarez) and Richie (Raul Castillo) moment a little bit later (in a segment I’ll call “Missed Opportunity”). Right now I’ll tell you that Agustine was used, again, strictly for expositional reasons. He had one small scene where he thanked Richie for helping him out in the previous episode. There was also the INCREDIBLY ANNOYING part after the Rugby game where Agustine invited himself over to his new friend Eddie’s (Daniel Franzese) place. He so nonchalantly told Eddie the one thing his BEST FRIEND Patrick (Jonathan Groff) asked him not to tell anybody, his big secret affair. And oddly enough, Eddie didn’t seem to affected by the news!? Anyway, Eddie begrudgingly tells Agustine that he can come over, and that was it for Agustine.

Now if the writers aren’t going to do anything with Agustine’s character, they might as well just drop him from the show. Maybe he moves back to Florida with his rich parents, maybe he finds a daddy that takes him completely out of the “scene”, or maybe he just overdoses on something? Either way, it’s episode 3 and hardly anything has happened with him.

look203img9Which leaves us with Patrick and Kevin (Russell Tovey). Patrick got all excited when Kevin told him they could hang out for 28 hours since his boyfriend John was leaving town. Patrick is so amped, he wants everything to be perfect for the one-day fling with a taken man. He cleans up his place and even drags Agustine out to help him find the perfect anal cleansing system (And in typical fashion, he acts like a 13 year old girl all prudish and giggly about all things sex). Patrick and Kevin end up meeting at a bar before they trek to Dom’s Rugby game, and while they are there Patrick is completely googley-eyed at EVERYTHING Kevin says! So much so that apparently he forgets they are having a secret affair and grabs Kevin by the hand to a secluded spot (but still in a public place) where they make out.

lookingteaser203In a surprise move, Kevin bottomed for Patrick for the first time. And I’ll say it again, “Looking” definitely excels with their sex scenes. They are shot so perfectly where it almost does feel like it’s the real thing. This scene was really hot because it was so sweaty and intense, and we got to see Paddy in his alpha-top glory. But, as viewers we are left right where we were left at the end of Episode 2. Patrick knows this affair is wrong, but the charms of Kevin keep leading him to believe there’s more to their relationship than what is there already.

One thing I will say, this episode did show a different side to Kevin. His talk with Paddy at the bar revealed a troubled upbringing and a desire to get married. I think Tovey really played this well though, because there was a sense that he was trying not to show his emotions to Paddy, and a sense that he was still just telling Paddy what he wanted to hear.

What’s funny about this show is that some people are pro-Kevin-and-Patrick and see things between them in a more positive way than people like me who know their affair is destined to end horribly. What makes this duality work is the performance of Tovey, who treads the line beautifully. It’s easy to see him as this charming potential husband for Patrick, but it’s also easy to see him as a shady sex-pot who is completely using Patrick and taking advantage of his immature giddyness. Again though, Tovey is really good because when the two were talking at the Bar, Kevin revealed more about his upbringing and his future desires. There was some subtle work Tovey did with his expressions and his tone, it could make some believe that he was holding back his emotions because he’s not ready to let Patrick in but others probably saw it a different way.

Overall, last nights episode was fair. Honestly, it’s an alluring show. There’s something about the cinematography and tone that just sucks you in for 30 minutes. I would beg for less Patrick and more of the other characters, but I think at this point it’s clear that Patrick is the focal point, and we will just have to deal!

look203img3Missed Opportunity

Okay, so let’s think back to last season when Patrick brought Richie to Dom’s 40th Birthday party. Richie and Agustine almost got into a fight over comments Agustine made to Patrick when he thought Richie was away. Basically, Agustine told Patrick that he was just using Richie to show how LIBERAL and open-minded he is when he really wasn’t. That he was “slumming it” to prove a point. Richie overheard and Agustine immediately apologized.

But, what Agustine said was true! Patrick showed several times that he wasn’t really into Richie. Hell, if it wasn’t for Dom Patrick wouldn’t have even talked to Richie a second time. It’s clear that Richie, in all his hotness, is not what Patrick really wants. Patrick wants another white guy who makes a certain annual income, and Richie is not that! Which is why they aren’t together anymore.

So last night, when Agustine and Richie were talking about this… it was sloppily written off. Richie asked if Agustine is in love with Patrick as a reason why he lashed out that day. Agustine says no, and Richie just says “oh so you’re just an asshole” and that was the end of it.

I think the writers should have extended this scene out, had us watch Richie trim Agustine’s beard while they talked about this. Richie maybe could have asked “WHY” he said that, because he felt that it was true given Patrick’s treatment of him. It could have been a nice conversation about race and how WASPy guys view and treat more ethnic guys. I think it could have been eye opening and real, something this show lacks. I feel this show too often deals with just the superficial and that was a tragic missed opportunity to talk about something important!

My Top 10 Songs of the Week “I’m on some Dumb Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!” : MYFAVORITES

10. Nicki Minaj “Anaconda”

 

9. Calvin Harris featuring Gwen Stefani “Together”

 

8. Panda Bear “Boys Latin”

 

7. Prince “Anna Stesia”
(This is totally NOT what I thought I was going to get when I tried to embed this, but oh well… I’m tired of trying to figure it out!)
http://mandell020170.podomatic.com/embed/frame/posting/2014-02-21T21_35_45-08_00?json_url=http%3A%2F%2Fmandell020170.podomatic.com%2Fentry%2Fembed_params%2F2014-02-21T21_35_45-08_00%3Fcolor%3Da05fe2%26autoPlay%3Dfalse%26width%3D620%26height%3D85%26objembed%3D0

 

6. Dawn Richard “Northern Lights”

 

5. Calvin Harris & Firebeatz “It Was You”

 

4. Panda Bear “Crosswords”

 

3. Sheila E. (& Prince) “Love Bizarre”

 

2. Nicki Minaj featuring Beyonce “Feeling Myself”

 

1. Nicki Minaj “The Crying Game”

“Empire” continues it’s Campy Exellence – Season 1 Episode 2 & 3 Recap : TVREVIEW

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EmpireFOX’s new series “Empire” is officially a HIT! Entertainment Weekly reported today that with the series’ 3rd episode it has defied the odds and actually grown in the ratings. It’s no surprise really because the show is insanely addictive since it is essentially a modern day soap opera. It’s so over the top, overly dramatic, a little silly at times, but overall it’s a really fun show that doesn’t take itself so seriously but doesn’t forget about important things like acting, pacing, good writing and engaging it’s audience.

I am still HERE for the show, but I have to admit once last nights episode was over I had a minor-complaint that there may be TOO many open plot lines. But like I said before, it’s a soap opera and they have to keep several conflicts and mysteries, manipulations and secrets going, as to not run out of material.

Like our main character Lucious Lyons (Terrence Howard), he has a mountain of secrets, and we the viewers only know a few. He is suffering from ALS and has about three years to live, and currently the only one who knows this is his doctor and his assitant Becky (Gabourey Sidibe). Another BIG secret Lucious is keeping is his murder of his close friend Bunky in the first episode. His body was found on Episode 2, and currently nobody knows anything about Luscious’ involvement except a crazy homeless man.  (Sorry, but that detective can’t use the homeless man as a credible witness, especially since he didn’t really ID Lucious. I mean, the detective just showed him a picture and said “is this the guy?”, how on EARTH would that stand up in court?) . 16x9

Cookie (Taraji P. Henson) has some secrets of her own, and one BIG secret she’s holding is the reason she got out of jail 10 years earlier. She’s working with the Feds, and now they need her to testify in a grand jury trial which Cookie is certain would get her killed. We the viewers have no idea who she ratted out, but obviously it’s somebody really important. Other than that secret, Cookie is focused on making Jamal (Jussie Smollett) a star by finding the perfect material for him, which includes an old song written by a former friend (a friend who had a crush on her obviously) Puma (Cuba Gooding Jr.). We’ll get into his song a little later, but Cookie is doing everything she can to push Jamal into the world of fame.

The Lyons boys all have their little secrets too. Andre (Trai Byers), the eldest (and OMG he is so good-looking), has some secret mental illness that he is lax in trying to treat. Maybe Bi-polar disorder or maybe something more serious, whatever it is his wife Rhonda (Kaitlin Doubleday) is on top of it and knows how to persuade him to re-calibrate (and it involves sucking dick with a bib on!?). Aside from that Andre continues to be the son who wants the company MOST and is the puppet master between Cookie and Lucious’ schemes.

Jamal is in a weird space right now, it seems like his character is transitioning from being the sensitive emotional son to the vindictive son with a vendetta. Lucious still can’t accept Jamal’s lifestyle and basically threatens to cut him off if he comes out publicly. Cookie approaches Jamal with the song Puma wrote years ago, a song that Lucious apparently couldn’t arrange correctly before he hit it big. Jamal does an amazing job but Luscious decides he won’t let Jamal keep it. This makes Jamal realize that Lucious isn’t so cold to him just because of his sexuality, but because he’s a lot more talented than Lucious ever was. In the end, in a VERY corny but hilarious scene Jamal puffs his little chest up to Lucious “I’m a MAN!! My obedience will not be bought” (was he EVER obedient though?). Apparently he’s planning on taking over Empire records, so we’ll see how that goes.635572697547300115-102Empire-EP102-SC61-091514-IMG0802-f-hires1

Lastly there’s Hakeem (Bryshere Gray), the young entitled brat. He’s the kid who has all the talent in the world, but can’t resist doing young and dumb things like… getting so fucked up at a bar that he pee’s on the floor and is caught on video saying Obama is a “sell out”. (And Lucious’ personal conversation with Obama was a funny touch “you don’t have to use that kind of language Barack” LOL!!). He’s always in trouble, but he’s still Lucious’ favorite. Hakeem has now latched on to a new Empire artists, who is an obvious Rihanna rip off named TIANA (if that name wasn’t close enough, the songs they had her singing were C-rate version of Rihanna’s songs). Apparently that new relationship is all for show because for the past year he’s been with a mysterious older woman played by supermodel Naomi Campbell. It’s his “mama” in the bedroom, but we don’t know much else about that relationship yet.

There’s actually more going on with the show that I haven’t gotten into, but in summary I am still HERE for “Empire”. The show just works. The show isn’t perfect, but it comes really close with a stellar cast, really good writing, and actually fairly decent music. I particularly liked the editing in Episode 2 where Jamal was singing a song “tell the truth”, which was about him coming out but was also meaningful to the revealing TV interview Lucious was conduscting at the same time. It was a perfectly placed song.

EMP_CLOSE_UP_TA_RHONDA_JONES_PORSCHA_TAYLOR_2500_1280x720_384518723636Some of the newer cast members are great too. I’m loving Anika (Grace Gealy), Lucious’ wife who has had some hilariously catty verbal duels with Cookie. Cookie’s new assistant Portia (Ta’Rhonda James) is hilarious as well. “Empire” is basically the best guilty pleasure on TV right now!

As much as I’m loving the show, I wonder if any of you can answer some of these questions for me?
a) What’s up with the sporadic use of Lucious’ voice over. Last night it popped up twice (once at Bunky’s funeral and once while he was having an ALS episode in his home). I just don’t like inconsistencies like that so it annoyed me… but luckily they were just quick voice overs?

b) Ray Rice, Barack Obama and other current relevant icons are mentioned… but do Jay-Z and P Diddy exist in this world? Because at one point on the show Lucisous was watching the news and they were talking about Empire records’ IPO and how it would be the first company to go “from the streets to wall street”. So I’m guessing that Lucious is the first rapper to do this… which would mean that most rappers don’t exist.

c) What was the agreement Lucious made with Cookie in the first episode. I swear it was a lump sum payment and control over Jamal as an artist. So… why is she CONSTANTLY at Empire records, barging into meetings and just setting up shop there?

d) how KNOWN are Jamal and Hakeem? I can’t figure out if the general music buying public on the show is aware of who they are? Is Hakeem working on his DEBUT album or a follow up? Does anyone know Jamal enough to care if he comes out of the closet?

Anyhoo, until next week!!!

#JANETDAY Photoshoppin’ Janet : MMARTS

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Okay so maybe we’re not totally done with #JANETDAY – but after this gets published we will be.

I kinda wanted to come back and just post ALL of my Janet Jackson Photoshop work! Some of these I really impressed myself, some didn’t turn out quite right, but what the hell… I’ll just share ALL of it with you! You’ve seen a bunch of these because I made them specifically to use for this Blog special… but ofcourse they went through different drafts and I just kind of want to share the journey for a second.

ALBUMS

For the Discography Reviews, I wanted to meld all the album covers together and see what I could do. I have to admit the First image is a little lazy, but I still like it.

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SINGLES

I wanted to do like I did with Jamiroquai and put ALL her single covers together and see what I could do. I have to say… even though it’s hard to look at, I LOVE what the paint daub effect does. But I chose a more clear one for obvious reasons.

janet singles draft 1

janet singles daubs

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VIDEOS

Yeah, I had this idea to take pictures of Television sets from the 80’s and beyond and put Janet in them. I was So happy this looked as cool as it did.

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THE REST

So here’s the rest. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the series of Janet with her arms up and three different poses. And I LOVE the one that’s extra saturated with the pink, it just looks incredibly cool to me. But I actually love everything in that entire set. My second favorite is the one I used for her Live performances, I actually like the different combinations and it was hard for me to chose which one to use for that post. Young Janet is adorable to me, I sectioned off different parts of the pic like her hair and portions of her dress and gave it some neon 80’s flair. I think it turned out really cute. The roulette of Janet was a last minute idea, and I LIKE it but I didn’t quite execute it in a way that’s all that pleasing for me. And I tried to do a semi-comic book style for Nipplegate. I was going to talk about that incident more in a post about Janet’s legacy, but I HATE the pics and I didn’t think that post was necessary SO!

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Any thoughts!? Let me know, and I hope you all ENJOY the rest of your day!!!

#JANETDAY Going OUT with the INTROS – Top 10 Favorite Janet Jackson Interludes : MYFAVORITES

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AND WE’RE DONE!!!!!

OMG let me tell you guys something, I feel SO vindicated today because this #JanetDay Redux went surprisingly well.

“I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!”. janet um tagged

Anwyay for a closer post, I thought I’d do something a little fun.

Janet Jackson was known for her incredibly long tracklistings, which came from the fact that she was one of the artists that LOVED doing Interludes. Sometimes those interludes, that came between every song almost, were annoying and pointless but it was something we got used to from Janet. Some were supposed to be extra sexy, some were supposed to be inspirational, some motivational and some just funny little peeks into Janet’s personality.

So here are my 10 favorite Janet interludes.

10. RACE

9. YOU KNOW

8. TWISTED ELEGANCE

7. SPINNIN

6. TV

5. LOVE PT 2

4. HEY BABY

3. LET’S DANCE

2. PLEDGE

1. LOOKING FOR LOVE

The BEST because it could have been it’s own song. I LOVE the backing production which is so electronica-smooth! I also LOVE the sentiment behind what she’s saying… we are all flawed and complicated and contradictory… but we’re ALL looking for love! So sweet! Just like Janet!

#JanetDay Career Advice for Janet Jackson, Go your own way : IMO

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In 2010, Janet Jackson got secretly married (again!) to her billionaire beau, and she effectively dropped off the face of the planet. Who could blame her though, she had been there done that and was over the industry it seemed. She ventured into acting for a while, than weight loss endorsements, but after some personal issues got very public Janet just seemed to give up on maintaining her legacy. But only a few months ago, it was rumored by various sites that Janet was back in the studio and working on a new album. janet tagged

I had mixed feelings about that rumor to be honest. On one hand, I feel like Janet has accomplished so much in the three decades she’s been a relevant music celebrity, so her Hits and Classic videos and performances and everything else associated with her will carry her for the rest of her life and beyond. I felt like there was not a need for her to come back out, although being a big fan I was excited at the idea.

But, if she does indeed attempt a come back further questions come up. Like what should the sound be on the new material, who should she work with, and how will she ever get another #1 Hit again? It’s really difficult to try and predict chart success these days – it’s not JUST about the quality of the song, or the awesomeness of the video, or even the amount of promotion (err payola) associated with a song that makes it a hit. It’s really a mystery how hits become hits. What’s not a mystery though is that the youth control the industry these days, which makes it hard for anybody older than 25 to get a hit. Of course there are exceptions (Cher in 1999 as one prime example), so we can’t cancel out Janet. But my main piece of advice would be for Janet to completely not give a single fuck about getting on the charts or having solid sales. She needs to get into the studio and do music that actually inspires and moves her.

One thing I read recently on Wikipedia is what could have been with Janet’s 2001 “All For You” album. It appears she recorded a lot of stuff that didn’t make the album, and there were acts she really wanted to collaborate with including Basement Jaxx. The Jaxx actually created the song “Get Me Off” for Janet, and I think that is the perfect example of what Janet needs to do. The song is so not radio friendly, but more of a Hipster Dance type thing. The kind of song that Indie heads would love and would actually increase Janet’s underground cred. And those outside of that fringe would respect her integrity.

For some reason, I imagine Janet doing something like a OfMontreal style. Really random and hectic type music, but paired with a softer R&B Dance sensibility. I think she could pull it off. And as far as WHO she should work with? Two POPULAR producers come to mind and that’s Calvin Harris and Diplo. And her hooking up with Basement Jaxx finally would be a good look for both. In fact there are a bunch of songs on their recent album that I think she’d sound great on. Though I think the best thing for her to do is find some unknown producer with the passion to do something different.

I really think this would work best, because she needs to stop trying to compete and just do what Legends do… which is follow the instincts that have gotten them so far. However, I Know it must be difficult for someone like Janet to just give up on mainstream success so if that’s what she ultimately wants for the new album than I have some additional advice.

First, she needs to do an entire album with either Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis or Rodney Jerkins. I feel like either choice is great because they seem to know her. Ofcourse JJ and TL know her from decades of working together exclusively, but the Rodney Jerkins collaborations on “Discipline” were perfect and showed that his adoration for her provided perfect soundscapes for her voice and lyrics. Working with one production team exclusively would eliminate the feeling of jumbled-ness that affected the flow of her last two albums. And I also think she needs to move away from all the sex songs and focus on having fun again (“When I Think of You”, “All For You”) and putting out music that’s relateable and enjoyable (“What Have You Done for Me Lately”, “Miss You Much”).

My last note might be a dumb one, but here goes. Madonna, Mariah and even Whitney Houston to a degree have all done collaborations with new artists like Britney Spears, Miguel and Faith Evans respectively. It’s a sort of passing of the torch I suppose, and Janet has never done that. So, why not pass the torch to another incredible dancer and soft-singer of Pop/Urban dance cuts… Ciara! Now both of their careers have floundered in the past, but a collaboration might be just what both needs to get their names out there again. I don’t know, I just think it would be cute — and they could possibly accomplish a joint ALBUM together. It would definitely be hot, because both provide pretty good music. The idea alone would definitely be Trending Topics, and the buzz alone could amplify sales. This is the most far fetched idea, but why not!!

So in closing, if Janet really does feel like she needs to come back again… I would urge her to follow her heart and her musical brain and not try to do what’s selling. It would hurt my heart if she came out with a lame Max Martin type song just to compete with Taylor and Katy. Just do what you wanna do, regardless of what the outcome might be.