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Gentlemen's Corner: McKinley Freeman Talks 'Hit The Floor' and Gives Workout Advice to Women

VH1's new scripted series Hit The Floor takes us into the world of fictitious pro-basketball team Los Angeles Devils and their dancers, the Devils Girls. Asha (Taylour Paige) is a newbie to the squad, and as she tries to navigate through the vicious dancing world (boyfriend in tow), McKinley Freeman's character Derek Roman doesn't mind being her very attractive teacher.

"He's super talented but isn't quite committed as the other people around him," the former college ballplayer says of Roman's naughty nature. "But because he is so talented, he gets away with it."

Vixen caught up with the fitness guru-slash-actor as he dishes on his new role, following his dreams and workout advice for women.


Mckinley freemanVIBE Vixen: What can viewers expect from this new show?

McKinley Freeman: A lot of twists and turns. Every episode has a really big dance number, and the acting's really good. People really bought into what we're trying to do as a team.

Explain more about your character.
Derek Roman is one of the star players. He likes to party, have a good time and live life.

From watching the trailer, he looks like trouble. Will we love or hate his character?
With any good character, you'll ultimately do both. That's the cool thing about how it was written. It's like life--some people will dig it and some people don't. It can change each week.

How does your character relate to you when you played ball in college?
At no point in my college career, whether I was playing a lot or not playing at all, did my confidence ever waiver. No matter what happened I knew who I was and what I brought to the table. Derek's confidence might be in the wrong things but he's confident nonetheless.

You played ball, got your Master's degree in marketing, and you act. What advice can you give to someone about following their dreams?
Don't take a no from someone that doesn't have the power to give you a yes. Stay on task. Don't get distracted or discouraged. I've always been more afraid of not trying than failing because failure is apart of the process. Life is going to have ups and downs, so they might as well be the ups and downs of the life you want to make and the life that you want to live. You get to a point where you have to motivate and rely on yourself because one day someone can't be there.

Has playing this character made you miss your dreams of playing ball?
Absolutely. Any hooper that played in college, you still have dreams of the time where you scored 30 [points] in the game. There are times when we shoot at an arena that I'd go hours before my call time and shoot around. It's the best job I've had as an actor. When I was doing all those drills as a kid, I didn't know I was doing that for the benefit to be a character on a new show that was coming out. It's funny how if you allow life to do its thing and remain focused, you ultimately will be prepared for what's to come. It's kind of poetic how it happened.

Who's more of a ladies' man, Derek or you?
I get along with everybody [Laughs]. I'm single and I don't have any kids. I guess we'll all find out at the same time.

Single with no kids? You're a catch.
It depends on who's doing the catching. I'll say that I am who I am, and I'm confident in that. It might work with somebody or it might not work with somebody else, and I'm cool with both of them.


Mckinley freemanVV:
You're in great shape. What's the best workout technique for a woman to do to get the best results?
MF: Do cardio, even if it's just walking. Pay attention to the time of day you eat. If you're going to have carbs, have them earlier in the day because they'll give you energy in the day. If you're going to have carbs at night, it should be in the form of a vegatable. I'm a fan of desserts so I won't say pass on that but find a good balance.

Lastly, what's the most ridiculous dieting scheme that women do?
Not eating. Sometimes you're juicing for fasting but you still have to eat.

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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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