#ConversationStarter: Love Never Felt So Good

Michael Jackson’s posthumous album Xscape was just released Tuesday.

It is an album of tracks, MJ recorded years ago, that producers “contemporized” to give the modern feel while retaining the Jackson-style.

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Antonio “L.A.” Reid, Timbaland, Rodney Jerkins, Stargate and J-Roc updated eight of Jackson’s completed tracks to form Xscape, released Tuesday. Produced by John McClain (co-executor of the Jackson estate “Love Never Felt So Good” was written in 1983 in a session with Paul Anka and Kathy Wakefield. In 1984, Johnny Mathis released a version. The latest rendition comes as the five-year anniversary of Jackson’s 2009 death approaches on June 25.

One of the artist on the album is Memphis’ Justin Timberlake.

He and MJ duet on “Love Never Felt So Good.”

A day after the album release, a video accompanying the track debuted on the Ellen Show.

The video pays homage to Jackson as JT and the dancers lip-sync and dance to some iconic images from Jackson’s past videos?

Check it out above and chime in what do you think about the video for “Love Never Felt So Good.”

If you’ve heard it, how do you feel about the new album Xscape as a whole?

 

#ConversationStarter: Beyond Politics.

First Lady Michelle Obama & Beyonce Knowles grace the cover of Vogue.

This opinion piece, Mrs. O and Beyoncé: A Problematic Love Fest?, has shown up in my social media feeds for the last couple of days so let’s start a conversation here on ‘unscripted.’

Recently, First Lady Michelle Obama and Beyoncé have been exchanging pleasantries with each other.

‘The Pink Panther’ star wrote a public letter to the First Lady expressing how grateful she is that her daughter can grow up in a world where someone in the highest office in the land resembles her.

Mrs. Obama responded to Beyoncé in a tweet, “thank you for the beautiful letter and for being a role model who kids everywhere can look up to.”

Days later People Magazine asks First Lady Obama if she could trade places with anyone in the world who would it be?

“Gosh. If I had some gift, I’d be Beyoncé, I’d be some great singer,” the First Lady responded.

The First Lady’s comment caused commentators across the web to take issue from Loop21 to The Root.com.

Now they are facing backlash from readers—The Root.com’s Demetria L. Lucas in particular.

According to Lucas, Mrs. Obama’s admiration of the pop star “sends a damaging, demeaning and dangerous message to women and girls.”

Lucas characterized Beyoncé’s success to the following:

Vibe: Meet Your New Role Models: Kandi, Tamar, Evelyn & Chrissy (Reality Stars).

She is only slightly more role model-esque than three of the four reality stars ironically gracing the current cover of Vibe. Let’s keep it funky, folks: Beyoncé’s talent — the one that’s made her a multimillionaire and a household name — is the ability to habitually line-step on the Madonna-whore dichotomy. That is to say, she has mastered the art of moving her tush like a stripper and her hips like a porn star, and she still manages to be perceived as a lady and some sort of feminist. Women who have done the same or less have faced more criticism.

Her lyrics fluctuate between empowerment lite and sending women nearly back to the June Cleaver dark ages. For every “Me, Myself and I,” “Irreplaceable” or “Love on Top,” there are songs like “Cater 2 U,” where Bey (during her Destiny’s Child days) does everything for her man, from untying his shoestrings to offering a manicure.

►Read More.

The excerpt above is what stood out to me, several of my colleagues, and many in the social media sphere.

It was a hot topic is the WUMR (one of the stations where I work) studio yesterday and both of my female counterparts brought up how she attacked what Beyoncé wears and how she dresses on stage. Both highlighted that she wears more clothing than the average back up dancer in a hip-hop video and when Lucas compares the ‘Obsessed’ actress’ songs she is comparing song lyrics from two different eras in Knowles’ life.

Before I ask for you to chime in, see what those around the web have said:

While the tweeters are outraged the facebookers run the gambit saying, ‘that’s your opinion, they’re friends, cool, next topic.’ ►See Screenshot Click Here.

Josh’s Note: To characterize the singer, the actress, the entertainer, the designer and the businesswoman— someone who put in fifteen years of hard work to get where she is in life—in the same vein as a stripper, adult film star or a reality star is beyond farfetched.

No, I do not know what message a young woman would receive from the First Lady’s praise (and Miss Lucas is entitled to her opinion).

However, I still differ in sentiment with Lucas.

As a young man, what do I see is two women who admire each other. Two women who respect each other and two women who respect each other’s profession.

What I see is the opposite what is displayed “every time a reality show airs.” Their “‘love fest’ is combating the negative images of black women who pull wigs or throw wine bottles.

____

Chime in:

Is it justifiable to compare Beyoncé to a stripper, porn star and the four on Vibe?

Readers do you think Lucas made a correct assessment of First Lady Michelle Obama’s praise for Mrs. Carter?

#ConversationStarter: Exit Stage Left. Rocsi & Terrence J.

BET’s flagship music video program had a major announcement recently.

Tuesday on 106 & Park, BET’s staple music video countdown program, Terrence Jenkins and Rocsi Diaz made it official—they are leaving.

“We always use this platform to speak directly to you,” said Jenkins, “and today it’s more important than ever.”

Hosts: Rocsi & Terrence.

The duo proceeded to announce they are leaving 106 & Park in pursuit of other opportunities.

The announcement comes after months of rumors of the two hosts exiting the show.

“We’ve only been able to accomplish everything that it was because we both put God first in our lives,” said an emotional Diaz who began welling up.

The two reminisced about where they were—Diaz, a young DJ in Chicago and Jenkins, a graduate of North Carolina A&T working in corporate America—before they got the call as the new hosts of 106 & Park.

They have hosted the BET program for seven years.

Watch the announcement below:

 

So let’s start a conversation.

Who do you think should be the next hosts?

#ConversationStarter: Soulful Crispy Chicken Snack Wraps. Offensive or Not?

Watch the Burger King advertisement above.

The advertisement is one in a series of celebrity-centered Burger King commercials.

The others feature David Beckham and Jay Leno.

Some people have shown outrage on Twitter over Blige singing about crispy chicken and fresh lettuce feeling the ad harks back to a time when African-Americans were portrayed in a stereotypical light.

However others in the social media universe compare it to similar commercials featuring African-American actors—like Popeye’s Annie.

It was later revealed the clip seen on YouTube was an abbreviated version.

Blige released the following statement:

“I agreed to be a part of a fun and creative campaign that was supposed to feature a dream sequence. Unfortunately, that’s not what was happening in that clip,” Blige told the website. “I understand my fans being upset by what they saw. But, if you’re a Mary fan, you have to know I would never allow an unfinished spot like the one you saw go out.”

via MTV.com

According to BK spokesman Miguel Piedra, the ad has been temporarily pulled from BK’s official YouTube channel due to a licensing issue.

The company has also apologized to Blige and her fans for releasing controversial advert:

“We would like to apologize to Mary J. and all of her fans for airing an ad that was not final. We know how important Mary J. is to her fans, and we are currently in the process of finalizing the commercial. We hope to have the final ad on the air soon.”

via WSJ.com

Chime in. Is the ad offensive or not?

#TalentedThursday: Aaliyah, Gone But Not Forgotten.

Everything is worth it — the hard work, the times when you’re tired, the times when you are a bit sad. In the end, it’s all worth it because it really makes me happy. I wouldn’t trade it for anything else in the world.” — Aaliyah

Click to go to Aaliyah.com

Normally, these posts are about up and coming talent. Also I post them on a Tuesday. Hence the name (and hashtag) #TalentedTuesday but this is a special #TalentedThursday.

Today marks the tenth anniversary that the world lost an incredible talent—Aaliyah Dana Haughton.

This #TalentedThursday is for a songstress who’s life was cut way too short.

The artist died in plane crash, after shooting the video for her song Rock the Boat, on August 25th, 2001 at the age of 22.

This unscripted observation is to remember the singer through what she left us, her music.

_______________

Click the image to see more videos.

In a reflection piece, posted on CNN.com, Missy Elliott remembers her friend.

Today is the 10 year anniversary of Aaliyah’s passing and I’m sitting here reminiscing and playing music, thinking of the times we spent together, working, laughing, singing, dancing, cutting up. But really, it’s not all that different from any other day because I do think about her every day.

Not on purpose, but she is my friend and that’s just how I do. I’ve told the same stories for 9 years – how we met, how me and Tim were scared but Aaliyah was so welcoming and had this smile and way about her that put us at ease, that she liked to take chances and we were able to just be who we were and make good records together.

She loved playing jokes and that’s another part of her personality that made it fun to be around her. As a talent, I think she’s missed because she was unique and a true triple threat. She could sing, dance, and her acting was starting to take off.

I’m glad for the memories I have and the time we got to spend together, but I miss my friend.

Rest In Peace and Power Baby Girl.

From CNN.com

Josh’s Note: Rest In Peace to one of the most talented women to grace the world of R&B.

Through your music you live on. Thank you.

Aaliyah Dana Haughton, truly one in a million.

January 16, 1979 – August 25, 2001.

Ravishing Red-Head Turns 23

Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Robyn Rihanna Fenty

Twenty-three years ago today, February 20th, a Barbadian beauty was born.

Robyn Rihanna Fenty is unique and not afraid to try new things.

Frankly, I could listen to that accent all day she’s the music equivalent to TV’s Sofia Vergara.

It is that boldness (the accent is just a bonus) that makes me say, I want to interview her one day.

I will interview her one day. I just spoke it into existence.

I wanted to write this blurb before the day ends. I am pretty sure there will be another lengthier post about this red-head in the future.

Happy Birthday RiRi!