Usain Bolt Usain Bolt

Paying Homage: Should We or Should We Not?

As the 2012 Summer Olympics came to a close a few weeks ago, many athletes turned into superstars overnight, such as Gabby Douglas and Ryan Lochte. But with some positivity in every breakthrough, there is always some controversy brewing nearby.

Shortly after winning the gold medal for the 100 and 200-meter races for the second consecutive time in the Olympic games, Usain Bolt went on record calling himself "the world's greatest athlete," as well as saying that he lost all respect for Olympic-legend Carl Lewis. Lewis, a past Olympic great and staple in Track & Field, was the target of this verbal attack as a result of him hinting that Jamaica (the country Bolt represented in the Olympic games) has doping controls that aren't as strong as other countries.

Even though Bolt emerged as the new world record holder, a lot of people accused him of not paying homage to the athletes who paved the way for all minority track athletes who emerged and conquered before him. Once this issue began to rise, I couldn't help but to think about how the industry works today. It seems as though today's generation are making huge breakthroughs, and don't care whose toes that they step on the process.

Who's right? Who's wrong?

For example, the infamous Nicki Minaj and Lil Kim feud. When Minaj emerged in the game as a rap powerhouse, Kim instantly felt that she should've been given respect for paving the way and being the originator of the styles and techniques that are present in Nicki's music and image, just like Kim did to Salt N' Pepa and MC Lyte. After hearing about Kim's words and feelings about the situation, Nicki unleashed a bunch of songs and lyrical attacks directed to Kim--something that I'm sure Kim would not have done to her predecessors back then.

These situations help me bring my life into perspective. Since the age of 16, I've made a mark for myself in this game by walking in fashion shows, filming commercials, hosting shows and starring in over thirty music videos with principal roles. While doing this, I've made it my duty to let people who've paved the way for me know that they matter. Not because I need to, but because I want to. Without seeing my idols thrive, I couldn't have possibly pushed myself to conquer my own goals.

How do you feel? Should we thank those who've paved the way for us, or should our predecessors just relax and let the new talent emerge unbothered?--Erica Mena

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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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Teyana Taylor To Pay Homage To Ballroom Culture In "WTP" Video

Teyana Taylor aims to keep her hot streak of innovative videos coming thanks to this recent announcement. Taking to Instagram on Wednesday (Jan. 9), the "Gonna Love Me" singer will show adoration to ballroom culture in the visual for "WTP."

Directed by Gregory "Beef" Jones, The Aunties Inc., and Taylor herself, the Harlemite takes viewers on her journey to the expression-filled space where she hopes to rack up 10s across the board from a group of judges. The premise of the video also seems to follow a mockumentary format airing on a fictional network named FEMTV. Alongside Taylor, other men and women get ready to display their talents and confidence on the ballroom floor.

"WTP" is featured on the mother-of-one's sophomore album, K.T.S.E., which was released in June 2018. While the rollout's controversy didn't entirely muddle the excitement behind the project's debut, Taylor said she was sold on the idea that her album would be treated as the biggest out of G.O.O.D. Music's string of releases last year.

"I didn't know ahead of time that there wouldn't be any singles or visuals. But I knew that it was going to be the five-album thing," she said during a HOT 97 interview. "[Kanye] wanted [my album] to be last, he wanted mine to be the biggest. That's the way they sauced it up. I was sold."

The video will debut on Jan. 19. Check out the teaser below.

 

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👀 1.19.19 👀 #WTP Directed by @teyanataylor & @ogbeefjones @theauntiesinc 🙏🏾🙌🏾🙏🏾 The wait is ALMOST over. 😏 @museumofsex

A post shared by Jimmy Neutch- Shumpert (@teyanataylor) on Jan 8, 2019 at 6:32pm PST

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Trina Braxton’s Ex-Husband, Gabe Solis, Dies After Battle With Cancer

Gabe Solis, the ex-husband of Trina Braxton, lost his battle with cancer, Thursday (Dec. 20),  TMZ reports. He was 43.

Solis passed away at his home in Texas, surrounded by friends and family, according to the outlet. No official details have been released about his passing.

Solis had reportedly been keeping his cancer battle private. His death came as a shock to his loved ones. On Friday (Dec. 21), Braxton seemingly mourned the loss of her ex-husband with a cryptic Instagram meme reading, “I need a hug..E bottle of wine.”

The former couple tied the knot in 2003, and appeared together on previous seasons of WEtv’s Braxton Family Values. Despite finalizing their divorce in 2015, Braxton and Solis confronted lingering issues from their marriage during an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life, earlier in the year.

Braxton has since moved on to a new relationship, but remained friends with Solis.

 

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A post shared by Trina Braxton (@trinabraxton1) on Dec 21, 2018 at 9:49am PST

READ MORE: Phaedra Parks To Join 'Braxton Family Values' Cast

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