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5 Things Chris Brown Should Know, From A Crisis Expert

Mike “The Reputation Doctor” Paul, President of MGP & Associates Public Relations, has worked in celebrity crisis management for more than 15 years. In light of Chris Brown’s recent plea for fans to rally radio support, Mike offered VIBE five bits of advice of which he thinks Rihanna’s ex should take note. —Tracy Garraud 


Publicists Should Handle The Public
Mark Geragos who was [Chris’] attorney throughout this entire ordeal, is not a PR person. He gave him bad advice. Mark loves the media and has an ego bigger than any star that he’s ever represented. I know him personally and I know Chris personally so this is a very familiar story for me. Mark thought it was best to protect [Chris] by having him say nothing. Now we see him reading to kids and people think it’s a publicity stunt because it doesn’t seem authentic and it’s not. Big message to attorneys, stick to your expertise, you hurt the people tremendously when you try to do something as important as reputation management and crisis public relations. Chris got very poor advice at a critical time. If you want excellent advice you have to go to people who are going to tell you things you’re not going to like. 

? Every Song’s A Comeback Song
I’ve heard the songs that [Chris] has released thus far… they’re not as good as his old stuff. Just because your name’s Chris Brown, doesn’t mean you’re going to get played. There have been constant artists who have bounced back, but that’s only when the music is really, really better. And to put that much pressure on your fans, you need to be humble enough to realize, ‘Maybe my music isn’t as good as it used to be.’ Don’t badger your fans. Keep making music. Chris has a double whammy. One, [he] has to prove [himself] even more with excellent music and two, [he] has tarnished [his] reputation with a crime to society that is considered one of the worst things you can do in life. The only things left are molestation and murder. 

? Pull The Weeds
When you have a crisis it’s like you have a disease. When you have a disease, you have to get at its root or else it grows back like a weed and continues to be a problem. So the root of [Chris’] crisis isn’t that he doesn’t have music that’s being played, or that people are dissing him. The root is, [he] beat up a woman. That is such a mark in our brain, such a negative brand. The way you get that out and change that is by work on yourself. It’s exactly the mistake that Tiger Woods is making right now. When you don’t understand Crisis PR, you make the mistake of thinking all you gotta do is come make a hit record and things will be fine. If he had the biggest song of the year, but then hit another woman, no one would ever go back to him.

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Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

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Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”


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#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

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Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

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