Dr. Sherry Blake Dr. Sherry Blake

Vixen Chat [Part II]: Dr. Sherry Blake Talks Chris Brown and Rihanna, Men with Kids

Expert psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake knows a thing or two about the up and downs and needs and wants of a relationship. Her book The Single Married Woman has received great reviews for inspiring, empowering and equipping women to find a way to thrive in their relationships without losing themselves.

Mind soother to NFL players and celebrities, Dr. Sherry makes it clear that everything is a process and as long as you never settle you'll be happy in life and relationships. In Part I we got the scoop on her book and celebrity couples.

Part II offers more insight on the topic that women love to discuss. Check out her take on interracial relationships, Rihanna and Chris Brown and more. -Krystal Holmes

VIBE VIXEN: What do you think the fascination is with interracial relationships and everyone wanting to taste the different colors of the rainbow?
DR. SHERRY BLAKE: That’s one of those questions you have to look at very carefully. Sometimes it’s genuine love and it’s not about race or color; it’s about the fact that they fell in love with that person and they really care about the person. Many times, it’s about curiosity and stereotypical images African Americans have about other cultures, especially with African American men and white women. I had men tell me that they exclusively date white women or women of other races. The reality is that man has a lot of views from his past and baggage he is dragging and he won’t give African American women a fair shot. Anything she does is going to be connected to whatever his view is of black women.

Can you tell us a little about Toni Braxton's obsession with white men? What do they have that no other ethnicity doesn’t?
It’s so funny, because I can’t comment on any individual person, but I know it’s been highlighted several times with her comments about white males. I think a lot of it, again, is curiosity. Just like there are views that work stereotypically for males viewing white women, there are some females that have views of men of other races. I think it works both ways. For Toni, in particular, I don’t know. Maybe she just wants to explore and maybe her mind is open at this point in her life where it really doesn’t matter. For many people, it’s okay and it doesn’t matter because they’re not holding on to all of the views of the past, so they’re going to find people that are going to treat them right and do what they need to have done and love them for who they are regardless of color. I think that in today’s society, interracial relationships are more accepting, and given that it’s become more common, it’s not as big a deal.

Are the problems that you see in relationships among celebrities any different than those of average every day people?
The problems remain the same. It’s not that the problems are different, it’s the issues surrounding the problems that make them unique. For example, we all sometimes have issues with communication, or we may have issues with trust or issues with other things. The issue with a celebrity is that it’s magnified and everybody knows about the problem. Once it hits the media, it gets blown out of proportion to the point that it makes it very difficult for them to really work through issues, because everyone has an opinion and everybody is making a comment. They may still love one another, but they don’t want to be viewed certain ways in the media, so they can't allow themselves to remain together.

One couple is Rihanna and Chris Brown. It makes it very difficult for them to work out whatever is going on with them. Everybody is in their business and has an opinion. There are some people who are for Chris Brown and others who are for Rihanna. Yes, we saw some things, but we don’t know the gist of everything. Now that they did a project together, people were like, ‘Oh, my God! They’re going to get back together,’ and we don’t know how they feel about one another. No one takes to count the emotional part, so if I could recommend anything for the two of them is that they really do need to get into therapy and find someone that they can trust that’s not going to leak their business.

VV: If a man has a child with another woman and the child is younger than a year, should a girl keep it moving because he is still involved with his baby’s mother?
Not necessarily so. [Laughs] I say that because it depends on all the parties involved. If the man has a relationship with the woman and he has a baby that is less than a year old, it really says something in terms of his investment with the baby’s mother. But different things may happen for different reasons, whatever may be the case. If you are a new person, I would approach that relationship with caution, because how he treats that other woman may be the way he treats you. A lot of times we can learn so much by not talking but by observing. If the child is going to be a part of his life, at least until he or she is 18 years old, you really need to take a look at the mother, because like it or not, she will be involved in your life to some extent because she’s the baby’s mother.

When one person wants out of the relationship and the other wants to stay together, what steps do you take to resolve that?
I remind people that it takes two to make a relationship. You can want a relationship all day, but if someone doesn’t want you, you don’t have a relationship. You can jump hurdles and do back flips for the person and try to please them. But if they really do not want you, you’re just going through exercise. So I say, start with honesty and really explore the reasons 1) why the person wants to be there, and 2) explore why the other person wants to leave.

Would you say being honest with yourself is the key to being happy and finding someone you can be content with?
Absolutely. Being brutally honest. Sometimes you have to hear things you don’t want to hear, and you have to take time to really process what you're about and what you really want in life. If we don’t know, someone else will give us direction and tell us and that may not be what you want. Don’t settle and never lose your voice. Often times we start settling for things because we are desperate, and we feel that if we don’t settle, we’ll never have. But when your settling you're doing just that. You may have to compromise with some things, but that’s entirely different than settling.

Do you think sex changes things for a man when he sees that a girl may give it up too fast?
You know men and women view sex differently. For many men, sex is just sex. Nothing more and nothing less. But for women, it has a whole different meaning. Sometimes they think, ‘I’m in love,’ and unfortunately that’s not the case. When you are sexually active very quickly in a relationship, I do think that it changes the perspective for the man because he knows, without question, that you're going to give it up to someone else very quickly.

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Aaliyah during TNT Presents - A Gift of Song - New York - January 1, 1997 in New York City, New York, United States.
KMazur/WireImage

Fans Rally For Aaliyah's Discography To Be Released On Streaming Platforms

As another day passes without Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms, fans are looking for answers.

Over the weekend, the hashtag #FreeAaliyahMusic appeared on Twitter in light of song battles between Swizz Beats vs. Timbaland and Ne-Yo vs. Johnta Austin. The latter opponents played their collaborations with the late singer, proving Baby Girl's dynamic relevancy in the age of modern R&B. As songs like "I Don't Wanna" and "Come Over" picked up plays on YouTube, the hashtag pointed out the tragedy of her songs not existing on platforms like Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music.

Aaliyah's only album on multiple platforms is her 1994 debut, Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Other albums like the platinum-selling One in A Million and Aaliyah are being held in a vault of sorts along with other unmixed vocals by her uncle and founder of Blackground Records, Barry Hankerson.

Hankerson has built up a mysterious yet haunting aura over the years due to his refusal to release Aaliyah's music on streaming platforms. Reasons are unknown but Stephen Witt's 2016 investigation revealed business deals like the shift in distribution from  Jive Records to Atlantic helped Hankerson take ownership of the singer's masters. The deal was made in 1996 when Blackground featured artists like Aaliyah, Toni Braxton, R. Kelly, then-production duo Timbaland and Magoo as well as Missy Elliott.

Sadly, Aaliyah's music isn't the only recordings lost in the shuffle. Recordings from Timbaland and Toni Braxton have been hidden from the world with both taking legal action against the label over the years. There's also JoJo, who had to break from the label after they refused to release her third album. The singer recently re-recorded her first two albums.

With Aaliyah's music getting the attention it deserves, Johnta Austin discussed the singer's impact on R&B today. "It was amazing, she was incredible from top to bottom," he told OkayPlayer of working with the singer on "Come Over" and "I Don't Wanna." "I don't think Aaliyah gets the vocal credit that she deserves. When she was on it, she had the riffs, she had everything."

Earlier this year, an account impersonating Hankerson claimed her music would arrive on streaming platforms January 16, on what would've been her 41st birthday. A docuseries called the Aaliyah Diaries was also promoted for a release on Netflix.

Of course, it was far from the truth. Fans can enjoy selected videos and songs on YouTube, but it's clear they want more.

 

Aaliyah’s music is the landmark for a lot of your favs not only was she ahead of her time with her futuristic sounds she also was a fashion Icon dancer and phenomenal actress . The future generations need be exposed to her artistry and pay homage .#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/LxZfxcqRgF

— Black Clover (@la_alchemist) March 29, 2020

Her first #1 solely based on AirPlay! She was the first ! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/BHlANZjCGZ

— (@hodeciii) March 29, 2020

Makes no sense for someone still so influential to be hidden. Many try to emulate her. On Spotifys This is Aaliyah playlist, theres some great tracks not on her main Spotify #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/vLqLTVxqO9

— Blackity Black⁷ (@ClaudBuzzzz) March 29, 2020

Aaliyah is trending once again. She deserves endless flowers. This is true impact y’all. Her voice, her sound, her music...She’s been gone for 2 decades and y’all see the love for her is even stronger! We miss you baby girl! #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/ALDcT0ZQxR

— A A L I Y A H (@forbbygrlaali) March 30, 2020

Aaliyah said she wanted to be remembered for her music and yet most of it is not on streaming services #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/zwk0AWMCoE

— RJR (@MyNewEssence96) March 29, 2020

aaliyah’s gems like more than a woman deserve to be in streaming sites #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/mM2GWEg1pe

— k (@grandexrocky) March 30, 2020

I saw #FreeAaliyahMusic and IMMEDIATELY jumped into action! I can’t express how betrayed I felt when we were supposed to have all her music on Spotify by her birthday. Her discography is deeply underestimated and we need to make it right for our babygirl!pic.twitter.com/GfxBeJxUY1

— jerrica✨ (@jerricaofficial) March 29, 2020

Before Megan The Stallion drove the boat...

Aaliyah rocked the boat...

#FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/iXNwssD3sY

— Al’Bei (@_albei) March 29, 2020

i think we should have that conversation #FreeAaliyahMusic pic.twitter.com/cGl269tuTr

— AALIYAH LEGION (@AaliyahLegion) April 1, 2020

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Singers Adrienne Bailon (L) and Kiely Williams of the 'Cheetah Girls' pose for photos around Mercedes Benz Fashion Week held at Smashbox Studios on October 18, 2007 in Culver City, California.
Katy Winn/Getty Images for IMG

Kiely Williams Explains Fallout With Adrienne Bailon Houghton And Alleged Fight With Raven-Symonè

Our current isolated way of life has given some plenty of time for reflection like Kiely Williams of the former girl group 3LW and The Cheetah Girls (ask your kids). The tales of both successful groups have been told time after time by fans in YouTube documentaries and members of each collective but Williams has decided to share her side of the story.

Williams hopped on Live Monday (March 30) where she discussed her former friendship with The Real co-host Adrienne Bailon Houghton and the infamous chicken throwing fight with actress/singer Naturi Naughton. The mother of one didn't pinpoint exactly why she fell out with Houghton but did point out how she wouldn't be interested in appearing on her talk show.

"I don't think Adrienne wants to have live TV with me," Williams said. "'Cause she's gon' have to say, 'Yes Kiely, I did pretend to be your best friend. Now, I am not.' You were either lying then or you're lying now. You either were my best friend and now you're just not claiming me or you were pretending [to be my best friend."

The two remained friends after Naughton was kicked out of 3LW, the platinum-selling group known for 2000s pop hits like "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" and "Playas Gon' Play." Williams and Houghton were eventually picked to be apart of The Cheetah Girls with then-Disney darling Raven-Symonè and dancer Sabrina Bryan.

Williams went on to discuss her fight with Naughton, which she denies had anything to do with her skin color. With her mother near, Williams claimed Naughton called her a b***h, leading to the fight. While she didn't clear up the chicken throwing, she stated how she was "going for her neck" and was holding food and her baby sister in the process.

Apologies aren't on the horizon either. “I don’t feel like I have anything to make amends for, especially as it relates to Adrienne,” Kiely said. “As far as Naturi goes, if there was ever a reason to apologize, all of that has kind of been overshadowed by the literal lies and really ugly stuff that she said about my mom and my sister. So, no. Not interested in that. I’m sorry.”

Moving onto The Cheetah Girls, Williams also denied claims she got into fights with Raven-Symonè on the set of The Cheetah Girls films and never outed her as a teen. The rumor about Symonè and Williams was reportedly started by Symonè's former co-star Orlando Brown.

Symonè has often shared positive memories about The Cheetah Girls and their reign but did imply during an episode of The View how co-star Lynn Whitfield kept her from losing her cool on set.

On a lighter note, Symonè, Houghton and Naughton have kept in contact with Naughton and Houghton putting their differences aside during an appearance on The Real. 

Symonè and Houghton also reunited at the Women's March in Los Angeles in January. During Bailon's performance at the event, the two briefly performed the Cheetah Girls' classic, "Together We Can."

Willaims also shared some stories about the making of the group's hits. Check out her Live below.

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Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Kelis Announces ‘Cooked With Cannabis’ Show Will Premiere On Netflix

Kelis is taking her chef talents to Netflix. The musician will host a food competition show titled Cooked With Cannabis that’ll premiere on the very-fitting April 20 (4/20). According to NME, the show will span six episodes and be co-hosted by chef Leather Storrs.

Describing the opportunity as a “dream come true” since she’s a major supporter of the streaming service, Kelis took to Instagram to share how cannabis and cooking is one of her many creative passions. “As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today’s society,” the mother-of-two writes. “In this country, many things have been used systemically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together.”

Each episode will place three chefs against each other as they craft three-course meals with cannabis as the central ingredient. Each episode’s winner takes home $10,000. Guests will play an integral role in who takes home the cash prize. Too $hort, and El-P are just a few of this season's guests.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

I'm really excited to announce my new show, Cooked with Cannabis on @Netflix!! Anyone that knows me, knows how much I love my Netflix, so this is a dream come true. Interestingly, this was one of those things that I didn't go looking for, it kind of came to me. As a chef, I was intrigued by the food and as an everyday person, I was interested in how powerful this topic is in today's society. In this country, many things have been used systematically to oppress groups of people, but this is so culturally important for us to learn and grow together. I hope you all will tune in, it's definitely going to be a good time! We launch on 4/20! XO, Kelis

A post shared by Kelis (@kelis) on Mar 18, 2020 at 7:57am PDT

In a previous Lenny Letter profile, Kelis shared she comes from a line of culinary influences beginning with her mother who owned a catering service. In 2008, the “Milkshake” singer sought to refine her cooking skills by enrolling in the Le Cordon Bleu school. Receiving a certificate as a trained saucier, the New York native put her expertise to the test during pop-up restaurants in her native city, created a hot sauce line, and co-owns a sustainable farm in Quindio, Colombia.

“Food is revolutionary because it is the one and only international language. It’s the most human thing you can partake in,” she said in an interview with Bon Appetit. “We are the only species that cooks.”

This isn’t Kelis’ first foray into the reality-cooking television world. In 2014, she partnered with the Cooking Channel for Saucy and Sweet and published the "My Life on a Plate" cookbook a year later.

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