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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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Quavo Invites Clemson Tigers To QC Headquarters After White House Debacle

The Internet has been dragging Donald Trump and the White House after they treated College Football National Champions, the Clemson Tigers to Burger King and McDonald's during their visit to the nation's capitol. In the midst of their failed visit, Quavo has extended an invitation to the football team to visit the Quality Control headquarters, and he's assured them that they will be treated to far more than fast food.

"I wanna show Clemson Tigers and POTUS how champs are supposed to be treated," Huncho tweeted on Tuesday (Jan. 15). "Ya'll welcome to come by th QC headquarters anytime. Dabbin' Dabo still #GODAWGS. The Stir Fry Way."

As previously reported, the Clemson University football team visited the White House after beating the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship on Jan. 7. It's customary for the championship team to visit Washington, where they are usually treated to a catered dinner by the White House kitchen staff. Only under Trump's administration, the team was given an assortment of burgers and fries.

Following the backlash on social media, Trump and his team blamed the Democratic Party. "Because the Democrats refuse to negotiate on border security, much of the residence staff at the White House is furloughed — so the president is personally paying for the event to be catered with some of everyone’s favorite fast foods,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

After that lackluster meal, Clemson might want to take QC up on that offer. Check out Quavo's message to the Tigers on Twitter below.

I WANNA SHOW CLEMSON TIGERS AND POTUS HOW CHAMPS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TREATED YALL WELCOME TO COME BY THE QC HEADQUARTERS ANYTIME Dabbin DABO STILL #GODAWGS The Stir Fry Way!

— QuavoYRN (@QuavoStuntin) January 15, 2019

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John Boyega Launches Record Label To Oversee Soundtrack For Upcoming Movie

Great things are coming from John Boyega. According to Deadline, the actor will be executive producing a crime-thriller God Is Good alongside Josephine Rose (who was an executive producer for Slaughterhouse Rulez), a vein of Prisoners and City Of God as described by the movie's producers. While overseeing the film's major and minor details, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor has decided to open a record label dedicated to supervising the movie's soundtrack.

Boyega's newly founded record label is called UpperRoom Records. Tasked with more than overseeing the picture's tracklist, the label is expected to deliver emerging African artists like YoungstaCPT, who is set to feature on the project. The record label's team will include VP of Production, Yara Shaikh, and Stefan Wade, Head of A&R.

“I’m thrilled to be teaming once again with Josephine Rose on such a powerful and important story that explores themes of fathers and fatherhood, toxic masculinity, race and faith in a community that has become trapped in an unending cycle of violence and racial oppression, and where sometimes it seems for men that violence is the only way of achieving power," the 26-year-old said.

 

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Kelly Rowland Says Her Highly-Anticipated Project Is "Definitely Coming"

Six years ago, Kelly Rowland released her fourth studio album titled Talk a Good Game. The project boasted hit singles like "Kisses Down Low" and the transparent "Dirty Laundry." Now, the Houston native is preparing to release a project that'll surely satisfy fans' patient earbuds.

In an interview with Billboard, Rowland shared her hopes for putting out a new body of work and the pressure that she's encountered since she's been in the studio. "This is by far the longest, most pressure-filled process ever, only because I know what it's supposed to be and I have been so hard on myself. I know it," she said. "And it's the first time I've said it out loud. I've been extremely hard on myself. But it's definitely coming, and I'm more so excited about this project than anything else."

The news follows the recent release of Rowland's "Kelly" track, which was met with critical acclaim in November 2018. In addition to preparing the release of new music, the "Motivation" singer discussed fans' wish for a Destiny's Child reunion. The rumors have been fueled by social media photographs of Rowland with either Beyonce or Michelle or all three, especially during Beyonce's past Coachella performance. But Rowland assures readers that it's not what they think.

"It's so funny. I guess every time people see us together, they just see music but I see sisterhood, and that's what we are and that's what me, her, Michelle [Williams] and Solange and I are. People see us all together, they immediately think music. I'm like, no. Just family." As Rowland previously mentioned Solange, she hopes to one day work with her again.

"I'm a huge fan," she said. "I love her writing and how detailed and particular she is. I always wanted to figure out how the heck she has so many different layers of harmonies when she is constructing these vocals, and it's so complex but simple. It's genius. It's the genius in her genius mind that she has in there." One of the last times the pair collaborated was on Rowland's "Simply Deep" track off her debut solo album of the same name. Solange also penned a few songs off the same project. Fast forward to 2016, and Rowland's vocals were featured on Solange's iconic A Seat at the Table.

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