Shaheem Reid's 7 Entertainment Picks For The First Half Of Summer

Don’t worry, there is still plenty of time left in the Summer. But at the midway point, veteran writer Shaheem Reid takes a look back at the first half and tells us all of his favorites so far.

Best Music Festival → The Essence Music Festival
It was an oasis of Black excellence. Sponsors from Coca-cola, to Verizon, to McDonalds to Proctor & Gamble to My Black is Beautiful to Belvedere put up major dollars to partner up with Essence mag for their 16th annual mega musical explosion. The investment was well worth it, New Orleans, LA was absolutely the place to be during Independence Day weekend. The streets of NOLA were electrified with unity love and excitement and inside the city’s signature landmark, the New Orleans Superdome, volcanic ash was left on the stage during three nights of concerts. All three headliners, Usher, Kanye West and Mary J. Blige put on epic, performances but the showstoppers award go to 30 year veterans New Edition.

Watching Bobby Brown, Ricky Bell, Ron DeVoe, Michael Bivins, Johnny Gill and Ralph Tresvant was historic, the first time all six members performed together in over five years. But it was also, taking Marty McFly’s Delorean back to the past as the flawless dance moves, smooth vocals and magnetic chemistry of the collective—who all look like they drink magnum bottles of water culled from the Fountain of Youth daily—took grown men and women back their childhood with timeless hits from their catalog. Fantasia, Doug E. fresh, Trey Songz, Jennifer Hudson, Jill Scott and El Debarge were also among the performers.

Best Song → “I’m On One” by DJ Khaled ft. Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne & Drake
The new King of posse cut collabos, DJ Khaled, puts together arguably his best tag team record with his Young Money/ MMG brothers. Drake’s melody alone makes the song an instant winner (“I’m getting so throwed./ I ain’t went this hard since I was 18”) and  Ross’ swag is in engulfing; “ever make love to the woman of your dreams in room full money out in London.../ Call mark Jacobs personally to make a pair…” And don’t sleep on Weezy’s laid back simplistic flow. The Fireman’s slugging percentage puts MLB All-Star Jose Bautista to shame, as Mr. Carter spews acidic quotables in succession such as “You know the Feds is listenin’./ Nigga what money?”  

Best Movie → Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon
Director Michael Bay is flat out the new King of summer. He delivered this summer’s top shotta so far with the second sequel to The transformers. It made big bank, but forget the numbers, this third installment delivered with several intricate action sequences, a story with heart and characters the whole family could love and fear!

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Dr. Dre Released From Hospital, Will Receive 24-Hour Home Care

Dr. Dre was released from L.A. Cedars Sinai Medical Center on Friday (Jan. 15), nearly two weeks after he suffered a reported brain aneurysm. Ice T confirmed the news tweeting, “Just FaceTimed with @drdre. He just made it home. Safe and looking good.”

The 55-year-old music mogul will remain under 24-hour care for the next few weeks as medical professionals continue to monitor his progress. Doctors are still unclear on what caused the aneurysm.

Dre’s hospital release comes days after new details were revealed in his divorce from estranged wife, Nicole Young. According to court documents publicized this week, Nicole accuses Dre, birth name Andre Young, of putting a gun to her head in 2000 and 2001. She also details other alleged abuse incidents in 1995 (before they were married) and in 2016, when he allegedly punched her in the face and kicked down her door.

The Grammy winner has denied Nicole’s abuse claims.

Nicole and Dre tied the knot in 1996. The pair share two adult children, Truice and Truly. Nicole filed for divorce last summer.

In addition to demanding that Dre cover her legal fees, Nicole wants the court to take the abuse allegations into account when “awarding support and fees.” Dre has already agreed to pay $500,000 of Nicole’s legal bills and $2 million in temporary spousal support.

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Cardi B Lands Leading Role In Comedy ‘Assisted Living’

Cardi B is making her way back to the big screen. The Bronx native officially landed her first leading role in the upcoming Paramount comedy, Assisted Living.

According to Variety, Cardi will play a small time crook struggling to find a hiding place after her latest heist fails. Her character, “Amber,” disguises herself as an elderly woman and hides out at her grandmother's nursing home. The film is described as a “raucous comedy” similar to Mrs. Doubtfire and Sister Act.

Paramount acquired the rights to Assisted Living in 2019. The film’s script was penned by This Is Us writer, Kay Oyegun.

Cardi, 28, made her film debut in the 2019 celeb-heavy stripper flick, Hustlers. The “WAP” rapper appears to have hinted at her Assisted Living role in a recent interview with Billboard where she dished on filming scenes for Fast & Furious 9.

“After ‘Hustlers’ I filmed a little bit for 'Fast & Furious' so I felt like ‘I’m ready for this,’ I knew what to expect,” she explained. “But the characters were a little different so I was like ‘Oh wow, I’m going to need more acting classes.’ I’m planning on doing a movie this year and I’m going to be the lead role so I’m like ‘I need to execute this flawlessly.’”

Besides film, Cardi was a judge on the Netflix completion show, Rhythm & Flow, and landed her own Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries.

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Wendy Williams Reveals She Was Date Raped By ‘80s R&B Singer

Wendy Williams revealed that she was date raped by  ‘80s R&B singer, Sherrick, early in her radio career. The talk show host shared the story with reporters while promoting her Lifetime biopic Wendy Williams: The Movie on Tuesday (Jan. 12).

“He mesmerized me with his twinkling eyes,” she recalled. “He flipped the interview around to where he was interviewing me — I was just gaga over this man and he asked me to go to an album release party with him that night.

“Before the party, I was date raped by him,” said Williams.

Sherrick, born Lamotte Smith, was a member of the group Kagny, whose song is featured on The Last Dragon soundtrack. He signed to Warner Bros. Records in 1987 and scored a marginal hit with the single “Just Call” off his debut self-titled album. Sherrick struggled with sobriety but declared himself “drug-free” before dying of unknown causes in 1999.

Williams says that she was raped in Sherrick’s Washington D.C. hotel room and it, unfortunately, wasn’t her first time being sexually assaulted. The New Jersey native had been date raped in college. “Those types of things happen to girls all the time and they’ve been happening a lot, to a lot of our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, and their great-great-grandmothers too.”

From the sounds of it, Sherrick's widow doesn't exactly believe Williams' story. She not only questioned Williams' account but wondered why she waited so long to go public, and why she didn't call police at the time of the incident.

“As I will never minimize or dismiss the horrid actions of sexual assault, I am saddened that Ms. Williams feels the need to publicly make these allegations when the man she is accusing is no longer on this earth to defend himself,” Lynne Conner Smith said in a statement to Page Six.  “Our family does not know Ms. Williams and are not aware of any relationship or encounter they may have had.”

The sexual assault will be chronicled in the film, as well as other details from Williams' life -- like her rise to talk show fame, her battle with drug addiction, and marriage to ex-husband Kevin Hunter.

Wendy Williams: The Movie premieres on Lifetime on Jan. 30.

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