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Pandora's Box: Mashonda Interviews Olivia Longott

Coming into the world by way of Jamaican/Cuban parents, you have no choice but to accept the fact that you are a soul survivor. Couple that with an upbringing split between Brooklyn and Queens and what do you get? A woman that is not afraid to voice her opinion and refuses to give up on her dreams.

I met Olivia Longott in 2000 at a J Records event. At the time she was my label mate and I wanted to attend to support her. When she took the mic I was blown away by the voice that came out of this young woman’s small frame. Olivia went on to earning a #15 spot on the Billboard 200 charts with her debut single “ Bizounce.” After her success, I sadly witnessed Olivia deal with a test that most artist face -The “Don’t Give Up Test." Through the years I was able to relate to Olivia and I felt that our musical stories and frustrations were somewhat similar. I always hoped that Liv, as I call her, would pass the test.

Recently I was able to sit with Olivia one-on-one after almost 10 years. Revealed was a very passionate, caring, and focused woman. After our conversation, I am pleased to announce that Ms. Longott hasn’t given up.

When did you decide to be an artist and how old were you when you landed your first record deal?
I knew I wanted to be an artist ever since I was a little girl growing up singing in the church. I also took piano lessons at 8 years old so I was always a bit musically inclined [Laughs]. I got my first deal when I was 17 when I signed to Clive Davis as the first artist on J Records.

How was your experience working with music mogul, Clive Davis?
My experience at J Records was a learning experience. With Clive Davis being one of the great musical minds of our time, I learned a lot. Unfortunately my time there was cut short by the politics of the industry and me not actually taking my career into my own hands. I was very young and left some decisions up to people who may not have had my best interest at heart, but snakes always reveal themselves when the grass is cut.

How was the transition to being the first lady of G-Unit?
From J Records I immediately took a deal with Interscope Records that later led to my G-Unit situation. The transition to the Unit was pretty smooth. 50 [Cent] and Jimmy Io-vine both made me feel comfortable. At that time 50 was music’s golden child so I felt it was a great situation.

Did you find yourself arguing for creative control at G-Unit?
The problem was with me being an R&B solo artist placed into a group of rappers. I lost my identity. I know 50 had my best interest at heart but it became a marketing struggle. It became more and more difficult for me to be Olivia and not ol’ girl from the Unit. That was the problem.

What was the lowest point for you in your career, did you ever feel like giving up?
I would have to say the lowest point of my career was when Funk Master Flex went in on me for a whole summer. I never understood the motivation for such hostility towards me. Being from NY and my family being from NY, we had to listen to Hot.97 and hear that. That’s part of why I went overseas, to get away from all of that negativity. I just had to go away and reflect on what I was doing, who I was, and find faith. After reflection I decided that I wasn’t going to give up and let my God-given talent go to waste because I felt nobody believed in me. I had to make them believe.

How did you find strength to carry on?
When I came back home, I regrouped and decided I needed to continue doing what I loved to and not let the negativity consume me. It’s been a difficult road back, but what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.

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Walker and Company, the cosmetic company that creates health and beauty products specifically for people of color, has joined forces with Proctor & Gamble in efforts to keep maximizing their global outreach for black and brown people.

Founded in 2013 by Tristan Walker, Walker & Co. has created a slew of other flagship brands that make grooming products designed for the various textures of hair and beards that people of color pre-dominantly have. For men, Walker shelled out the Bevel Trimmer designed to help style men with more coarse or curly beards. Back in 2015, the trimmer made it on GQ's coveted Grooming Award List. 

“We wanted to build a trimmer that we fundamentally believe is the most advanced trimmer on the planet,” Walker told VIBE of the Bevel Trimmer. “We’ve innovated it in three ways: power, blade innovation and form.”

Our story. Our mission.https://t.co/x8WuSGgJ9S

— Walker & Company (@walkercobrands) January 29, 2016

Because Walker has helped revolutionize the beauty industry, there's no denying he's excited about joining Proctor & Gamble family and taking advantage of all he could accomplish with its support.

"When I started Walker & Company Brands, I set out to build a company that would meet the health and beauty needs of people of color on a global scale,” Walker said in a statement. “Having access to P&G’s outstanding technology, capabilities and expertise helps us to further realize that vision, giving us the power to scale and bring new products to people of color, while staying true to our mission and continuing to nurture the loyal community we’ve worked hard to build.”

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Incoming Attorney General Letitia James Planning Investigation Of Donald Trump And Co.

Incoming New York Attorney General Letitia James is planning a sweeping investigation of Donald Trump, his family and anyone associated with the president.

While speaking with NBC News, James said she will use every corner of the law to look at any illegal activity committed.

“We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well," James said.

Specifically, James will investigate any illegal activity associated with the president's New York real-estate holdings, including the 2016 meeting with a Russian official at Trump Tower and any government subsidies he's received.

"We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law,” the Democratic attorney general said.

After James announced her forthcoming investigation, Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen will face the music for lying to Congress and violating campaign laws. Cohen faces four years in prison.

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Nicki Minaj Plans To Sue 'Daily Mail' TV Host Jesse Palmer

Nicki Minaj has declared war on Daily Mail TV host Jesse Palmer. The “Good Form” rapper recently took to social media to announce her plan to sue Palmer for defamation. Minaj’s plight with the on-air host stems from the controversy surrounding her new partner, Kenneth Petty.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

You better have a good lawyer, #JessePalmer #ArnoldPalmer You just lied on me on nat’l TV & now you’re being sued. You better be able to back up what you just said about me with FACTS. #SuperFacts #Defamation 🥳 #GoodFormVIDEO link in my bio. 😋

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Dec 11, 2018 at 11:42am PST

Petty is a registered sex offender in the state of New York and did a seven-year stint in prison for manslaughter. In conjunction with Petty, there has also been a discussion about Nicki's support of her brother Jelani Maraj, who was convicted in 2017 of child rape charges. In Palmer's report on the Queen artist's current beau, it seems like he's only reporting the news, Deadspin notes. The news site published a video of the actual report where Palmer discusses the matter with co-host Alicia Quarles.

This is why Nicki Minaj is Suing Jesse Palmer #jessepalmer #NickiMinaj https://t.co/tDx4OdCZbH pic.twitter.com/LpWKlHLNMB

— SportsGossip.com (@sportsgossip) December 12, 2018

Since the Internet has learned about the Queens rapper's relationship with Petty, a number of disgruntled fans have shared their thoughts on the situation. And in true Nicki fashion, she's also clapped back as well.

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#NickiMinaj addresses the accusations against her new bae 👀

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:40pm PST

Additionally, Nicki took to Twitter to re-iterate her rift with Palmer.

You going to jail 😂😂😂😂😂@JessePalmerTV

— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) December 11, 2018

The barbz are getting more tuition & student loan money after I sue this hoe @JessePalmerTV

— QUEEN (@NICKIMINAJ) December 11, 2018

What are your thoughts on Nicki's latest decision?

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