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Bad Boys Gone Good

Jay Z said once a good girl’s gone bad she’s gone forever, but that’s not so true for men. Some of our favorite celebrity bad boys have turned around their hardcore images over their careers, showing us that not every man has to be a bad boy for life and making us love them even more than when they first came on the scene. Check out how some of the entertainment industry’s most famous men went from good to bad and good again—for good.

Jay Z
A lot of people have forgotten Sean Carter’s “Big Pimpin” days when he said he’d never give his heart to a woman—especially after he officially gave it to Beyonce four years ago. Now, he’s nearly in the running for daddy of the year after expressing joy over his new baby girl Blue Ivy in the song “Glory.” Jay Z didn’t always have Obama on the text or lunch with mayor Bloomberg, though, back in the day he sold drugs, caught a case for a club stabbing, was involved in beef with Nas, and literally had about 99 problems. But that’s all behind him now as he focuses on his wife, daughter, and running the rap game the legit way. Kudos to Jigga.

50 Cent
Fiddy still has his moments but it’s clear he’s not the same gangsta from Southside Jamaica, Queens who survived nine gunshots back in 2000. Dissing rap for entrepreneurship, Curtis Jackson has consistently been named one of hip hop’s biggest cash kings due to his endorsement deal with Vitamin Water, acting, and 50-Cent-themed videogames, books, clothes, and more. He also has a much better head on his shoulders than when he first came in the game—minus a few rants here and there. Fans were concerned 50 might be suicidal when he recently tweeted he didn’t think he was going to live much longer, but the business mogul said all he meant was people need to think about what legacy they’re going to leave behind after they die, saying, “I want to be more than a guy who was able to create a few cool songs or was able to memorize the lines and have a decent performance in film projects. I want to be someone who impacts a lot of people's lives in a positive way, so I'm a little more conscious of the things I'm doing in business to try and give back and make a difference." We see the difference 50.

TI
T.I. is a bit of a slow learner, but the important thing is he learned. Even after making his 10-year relationship with Tiny official in 2010, he still couldn’t stay out of trouble—or jail. But all is forgiven when we watch the proud father of six parent his kids and cater to his wife on “T.I. and Tiny’s Family Hustle.” Clifford puts his kids before his career, making sure that he attends his boys’ games; supports Tiny’s daughter with her music career; and stays in the loop on everything going on in the Harris house (i.e. no secrets). T.I. may have started out a rubber band man, but he’s looking more like a family man now.

Mekhi Phifer
Mekhi usually plays a bad boy in his movie roles and his real life persona didn’t appear to be too far off at one point. Mekhi had to do some serious damage control after he was exposed as a cheater by his ex-wife, actress Malinda Williams, and on top of that he basically blamed Malinda for the reason he stepped out of their marriage. Since then, we’ve seen a softer side of Mekhi as a father to his son with Malinda and another son with fiancé Oni Souratha, and he’s also taken his acting to a new platform—Broadway to be exact—making his stage debut in Alicia Keys’ “Stickfly.” In this role he plays an educated rich man, which is a nice change from the roughneck he’s used to being. Hopefully art is imitating life in his case.

Ludacris
Luda’s always had southern hospitality but he’s traded having h**s in different area codes as a rapper to being a one-woman man, building a business empire as a restaurateur. “Chicken and Beer” is the name of Ludacris’ second album, but he also turned the idea into a successful restaurant franchise in his hometown and he’ll soon bring the spot to Hartsfield-Jackson International airport in Atlanta this year. After being bit by the acting bug, Christopher Bridges is also flexing his parenting muscle as an entrepreneur, launching the educational website Karma’s world with his 10-year-old daughter last year. We also love that he’s got a beautiful med student as a girlfriend which he has her by his side at every event. It’s nice to hear good things about Luda by “Word of Mouf” now.

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VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk Podcast: Meet Peppermint, The Boss Using Her Gifts For Good

VIBE Vixen's Boss Talk podcast amplifies the voices of women and she/her-identifying individuals in their respective industries as they discuss their journeys toward becoming the bosses we know today. From their demeanor and confidence and persevering through life’s pitfalls to make a name for themselves in their own way, being a boss is much more than 'just running sh*t.'

Miss Peppermint started as a staple in the New York nightlife scene, and after appearing as a contestant on the ninth season of RuPaul's Drag Race, she’s continued to make a name for herself.

Outside of the show, she's traveled the world and is hoping to release her third album, which she hints will be influenced by the '90s, R&B, and neo-soul. She's also planning on re-releasing her debut album, Hardcore Glamour, for its 10-year anniversary.

"I'll be doing a lot in New York this year for World Pride," she explains to Boss Talk's host, J'na Jefferson. Pride takes place throughout June. "The last album I dropped was 2017... I'm excited about that, I'm writing it now. It's just poems, but I'm excited."

Peppermint, who was the first openly transgender contestant on the Emmy Award-winning show, was also the first transgender woman to originate a principal role on Broadway for her role as Pythio in Head Over Heels. 

 

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"On paper, it shouldn't make sense... it's hard to explain what it is," she says of the musical, which combined a loose adaptation of 16th-century piece The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia with the music of the new wave group, The Go-Go's. It closed in late-2018.

"The better way to explain it now that it's over and closed is 'a revolutionary show about dismantling the patriarchy...'" she says about Head Over Heels. "I knew that they wanted to cast a trans actor... I wanted to put as much as I could into it, and try to do our non-binary siblings well and proud... [the show] became something I really believed in."

Peppermint continues to share her love of performing all over the world and is also an activist, who aims to promote the importance of LGBTQIA representation and advancement. She has worked and supported organizations such as The Point Foundation, which aims to help LGBTQIA students attend college. 

"People are just starting to catch on that having queer voices is essential and inevitable," she says of further representation of LGBTQIA individuals in media and entertainment. She praises Pose creator Ryan Murphy for showcasing trans people of color both in front of the camera and behind-the-scenes.

"Giving [trans people] the power to speak for themselves, rather than slapping the community with stereotypes or archetypes... we're past that," she continues. "We're not in the phase where they're feeling comfortable to be who they are, but I think we're getting close."

Listen to the full episode below.

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Kush & Splendor: 5 CBD Beauty Products That’ll Take Your Self-Care Routine From 0 To 100

Lotions, creams, and salves—oh my! With cannabidiol (CBD) popping up in just about every product you can imagine, the cannabis-infused beauty industry is clearly on the come-up. In fact, analysts predict that the “wellness” movement—as well as the legalization of Mary Jane across the world—will help rake in $25 billion globally in the next 10 years, according to Business Insider. That’s 15 percent of the $167 billion skincare market.

And what better way to up the ante on one’s wellness routine than with all-natural CBD? Just ask Dr. Lana Butner, naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist at NYC’s Modrn Sanctuary, who incorporates CBD in her treatments.

“CBD is a fantastic addition to acupuncture sessions for both its relaxation and anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving effects,” Butner shares with Vixen. “The calming effects of CBD allows for patients to deeply relax into the treatment and really tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest, digestion and muscle repair/regeneration.”

She adds that CBD’s pain-relieving effects are “far-reaching,” from muscular and joint pains to migraines and arthritis—and even IBS and indigestion.

The magic lies in CBD’s ability to impact endocannabinoid receptor activity in our bodies. Without getting too wordy, our bodies come equipped with a system called the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is the HBIC over our sleep, appetite, pain and immune system response. Also known as cannabidiol, CBD teams up with this system to help reduce inflammation and interact with neurotransmitters. According to Healthline, CBD has also been scientifically shown to impact the brain’s receptors for serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating our mood and social behavior.

All that said, it’s important to note that not all CBD products are created equal. Many brands cashing in on the green beauty wave use hemp seed oil, sometimes referred to as cannabis sativa seed oil, in place of CBD... which doesn’t make them any less great! Hemp seed oil is actually high in antioxidants, amino acids, and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids—all of which are thebomb.com for your skin.

“It’s generally viewed as a superfood and is great for adding nutritional value to your diet,” Ashley Lewis, co-founder of Fleur Marché, told Well and Good last month. “In terms of skin care, it’s known as a powerful moisturizer and skin softener that doesn’t clog pores or contribute to oily skin.”

However, when companies start marketing CBD and hemp oil as one-in-the-same, that’s when things get a bit tricky.

“The biggest issue is that hemp seed oil and CBD are two totally different compounds that come from different parts of the hemp plant, have different makeups, and different benefits,” Lewis added. “Marketing them as the same thing just isn’t accurate and does a disservice to consumers who are expecting certain benefits that they won’t get from hemp seed oil and who are often paying more for what they think is CBD.”

So if you’re looking to benefit from the perks specifically attributed to CBD, make sure you’re reading labels before buying, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Hell, ask for a product’s test results, while you’re at it. It never hurts to be sure.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, are you ready to see what all the hype is about? For this 4/20, we rounded up a few CBD (and hemp!)-infused products to help give your self-care routine a bit of a boost. Looks like your holiday just got that much kushier. You’re welcome!

Note: Data and regulations surrounding CBD and its use are still in development. That said, please don’t take anything written in this post as medical or legal advice, and definitely double check the laws in your state. Also, please do your body a favor and hit up your doctor before trying any new supplements. We’re just tryna look out for you. Okay? Okay. Read on.

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Vivica A. Fox Explains Past Hesitance Behind 'Two Can Play That Game' Script

In a new interview with Essence, actress Vivica A. Fox discussed how she initially turned down her role in Two Can Play That Game based on the script. The established entertainer said it's her mission to ensure that black people are positively portrayed onscreen, and noticed the aforementioned film's prose didn't live up to those standards.

"I think the reason why—no I know the reason why—I've been doing this for such a long time is that I fight," Fox said. "When we did Two Can Play That Game, I fought for the way we talked, walked, the way we loved each other." The Set It Off actress continued to state that she consistently declined Two Can Play That Game before signing on to play the lead role. "Because the script, when I first got it, I turned it down three times because it just wasn't a good representation of African-Americans, so I fought them on everything," she noted. "I want to make sure that the images of African-Americans are as positive and as true as they can possibly be."

In 2001, the romantic comedy debuted to fanfare, boasting an all-star cast of Morris Chestnut, Mo'Nique, Anthony Anderson, Bobby Brown, Gabrielle Union, Wendy Raquel Robinson, and more. Directed by Mark Brown (Barbershop, Iverson, How To Be A Player), Fox plays a career driven person named Shante Smith who navigates a curveball when her boyfriend Keith Fenton (Chestnut) cheats on her with a co-worker.

After its release, Two Can Play That Game raked in over $22 million at the box office.

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