Rita Ora Rita Ora

On the Come-Up: 5 Fierce Female Singers to Watch

It’s not often the Roc's head honcho passes through with new artist in tow, so when Jay-Z randomly decided to visit Clear Channel with Rita Ora last month, we already knew she was something special.

She's got the looks (she notes Gwen Stefani as a strong influence) and also packs voice. And if her career takes off similarly to that of another Hov-stamped Diamond princess (Jay-Z first introduced Rihanna to the world around 2005), the future could hold a lot of promise for Roc Nation's spunky newcomer.

But Miss Ora isn’t the only songstress currently on the come-up. Flanking Rita are five other vivacious vocalists worth noting, so get your iPods ready. Today VIBE takes the time to get you well-acquainted.

Bridget Kelly

On BK’s saucy remix of Miguel’s “Quickie,” she sets the record straight: “So disrespectful, I'll be the one to check you,” she sings, later telling him to “knock his own wood” since he won’t be knocking her. And that’s exactly what makes this Roc Nation siren so easily noteworthy: she’s feisty. Nevermind the fact that she’s been Jay-Z’s go-to A.Keys stand-in for live renditions “Empire State of Mind” or that she hit the road with Estelle for the UK singer’s tour – the fact of the matter is this girl can blow. Try her "Every Girl" EP on for size.

Listen:
Bridget Kelly – “Seek and Destroy”

Connect:
Rocnation.com/bridgetkelly
@theycallmeBK
Tiara Thomas

"I didn’t know I was going to be on the mixtape," Tiara Thomas said of her feature on Wale’s "More About Nothing." "I got on Twitter and was like, 'Why do I have all of these new followers?'"

Sure, 19,000+ followers may be considered a lot for an aspiring artist still in college, but Miss Thomas isn’t your ordinary lady rap-singer. For one, she has a penchant for picking brash rap lyrics and making them melodically palatable. For two, she comes equipped with this aura that has followers dubbing her a young Lauryn Hill. Maybe it’s her skills with the acoustic guitar? Or perhaps it’s the fact that she’s not bad with the bars. Whatever it is, we’re into it, and we think you may be, too.

Listen:
Tiara Thomas – “Are You That Somebody” (Aaliyah Cover)

Connect:
Youtube.com/user/xsmall18
@tiara_thomas
Sabi

Before you heard Sabi on Cobra Starship’s “You Make Me Feel,” she was one half of Warner Brothers girl group The Bangz. But once band mate Ella Ann was injured and the group was no more, Sabi went on to pave a new lane as a solo artist. Since then, she’s collaborated with Britney Spears, gone on tour with Spears and Nicki Minaj, and released a single called “Wild Heart” that was featured on the trailer for "Kourtney and Kim Take New York."

Listen:
Sabi – “Wild Heart”

Connect:
Officialsabi.com
@sabisoundz
Kimbra

Australia’s Kimbra is not a book to be judged by its cover. On the outside she’s a sophisticated lady with a comely appearance, but when she opens her mouth, fire emerges. Kimbra’s sound can best be described as new-age jazzy, classy enough for the old heads yet cool enough for contemporary popsters. The 21-year-old has had much success with her debut "Vows." Most recently, she was featured on indie artist Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used to Know.”

Listen:
Kimbra – “Cameo Lover”

Connect:
Kimbramusic.com
@kimbramusic
Melody Thornton

If you haven’t yet heard Melody Thornton’s cover of “No Church in the Wild,” you may want to do yourself a favor. “Lipstick&Guilt” captures Melody at her peak since topping charts with the Pussycat Dolls, and after taking out some recup time to embark on a solo career, the diva finally reemerges with her mixtape, "P.O.Y.B.L." (Piss On Your Black List), which we can’t wait to hear once it drops on March 15.

Listen:
Melody Thornton – “Love Gun”

Connect:
Onlythemelody.com
@MelodyThornton

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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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Actress Gabrielle Union attends the Being Mary Jane premiere, screening, and party on January 9, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET)
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BET To Unveil Edible Billboard For 'Being Mary Jane' Wedding Finale

As Being Mary Jane comes to an end, BET is willing to offer fans a taste of what's to come in the series finale.

The network has enlisted the help of Ayesha Curry, celebrity cook and cookbook author, to create an edible billboard that also doubles as a wedding cake. The sweet treat will commemorate Mary Jane's (played by Gabrielle Union) nuptials in the two-hour series finale.

On April 20 from 1:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at Brooklyn's Atlantic Terminal in New York, fans will be presented with the edible billboard. At the intersection of Ashland Place and Hanson Place, the closer Being Mary Jane enthusiasts get to the billboard the quicker they'll notice that the four-tiered wedding cake is created from individual boxes, each containing a slice of Curry's prized wedding cake.

All fans have to do is pull a box from the billboard, snap a picture for the 'Gram, take a bite and enjoy. Although lovers of the show won't be able to celebrate with Mary Jane herself, biting into a slice of her wedding cake, for free, is the next best thing.

Don't forget to tune into the series finale of Being Mary Jane on Tues. (April 23) at 8/7 c.

Also, check out what's to come on the series of Being Mary Jane below.

Save the date! 👰🏾It'll be worth the wait. Join us for the series finale of #BeingMaryJane TUES APR 23 8/7c only on @BET! pic.twitter.com/jEwkbC71OW

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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