Kelly Rowland - Talk A Good Game (Deluxe Edition) Kelly Rowland - Talk A Good Game (Deluxe Edition)

Review: Kelly Rowland Finds Herself At Last On Stellar 'Talk A Good Game' Album

Ms. Kelly's new album proves she's more than just talk

Ever since Kelly Rowland first embarked on a solo career with 2002’s Simply Deep, she’s gradually wandered further and further from the Destiny’s Child formula. By the time she reached her third solo album, 2011’s Here I Am, Ms. Rowland was on a mission to hit every angle of popular music—from the actual pop genre to R&B and the burgeoning EDM scene. It was her most commercially successful effort to date, due largely in part to Kelly’s appealing to multiple audiences, yet Kelly’s fourth solo album Talk A Good Game is far more defined R&B with a modern tinge. Kelly proves she doesn’t need to genre hop to strut her stuff, and it pays off. Tenfold.

Kelly's sensual confidence is on full display from the onset, as the LP opens with the blips and zooms of the Danja-produced “Freak.” Here she discusses a midnight intimate encounter with a stranger and rationalizes it by explaining that, “everybody is somebody’s freak.” Mike WiLL Made It keeps sexy time going, providing delicate keys and MPC taps on the hyper-naughty single “Kisses Down Low.” Any middle schooler with an imagination could deduce that this graphic slow jam—the album’s most explicit cut—has nothing to do with Hershey’s.

There’s a shadow that threatens the spotlight on the 12-track project. You know her as Beyoncé; Kelly calls her “sister” on “Dirty Laundry,” the standout confessional that details Kelly’s subtle envy of King Bey, emotional turmoil and domestic violence bouts. With its dramatic piano keys, the song is open, dark, and beautiful—far more honest than anything the object of her admiration has ever released (though, to be fair, The-Dream penned it). Blue Ivy’s mom lays some actual vocals alongside Michelle Williams on the DC reunion “You Changed,” rectifying the trio's January misfire, "Nuclear." Elsewhere, the Wiz Khalifa-assisted “Gone,” an update on Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” (notably sampled for Janet’s ’97 single “Got 'Til It's Gone”), is reminiscent of Bey’s “Irreplaceable” and the breezy Boi-1da-produced “Red Wine” eerily resembles Solange’s recent spacey, ’80s-inspired aesthetics.

Still, this is Kelly’s party, and when she snaps her fingers and rolls her neck over Pharrell’s funky percussion on the Pusha T-assisted “Street Life,” all is right with the world. The album closes with the nostalgic, super-smooth “Stand In Front Of Me,” a spotless soul number made for Sunday morning tidying and summertime twirling.

Kelly Rowland’s Talk A Good Game sets her far apart from the status quo of mass-produced R&B. While she may never shake the pesky Beyoncé interview questions and comparisons, Kelly finally knows who she is and how she’d like to sound. —Kathy Iandoli

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Tyler Perry attends 'Tyler Perry visits the SiriusXM Hollywood studios in Los Angeles' at SiriusXM Studios on October 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for SiriusXM

Tyler Perry Orders Independent Autopsy For Nephew Who Died In Louisiana Prison

Tyler Perry has hired a medical examiner to perform a second autopsy on his nephew’s remains after the 26 year old was found dead inside his cell at Louisiana's Union Parish Detention Center earlier in the week. Gavin Porter’s death was reported as a suicide but Perry and his family don’t believe that he took his own life.

Porter was serving 20 years for manslaughter after fatally shooting his father in front of his mother, Perry’s sister, over a “senseless argument,” the writer-director wrote on Instagram on Thursday (Feb. 27).

“The murder shook our entire family,” Perry shared. “Despite his horrible act, before he went to prison I went to see him in the local jail. I assured him that we all still loved him, but it was important to all of us, including his mother, that he was punished for this horrific crime that he committed. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

“Call me naive, but it was my hope that after serving his time, and really reflecting and showing much remorse and asking God for forgiveness, that he would have been able to come to work for me, joining all the other former inmates who work for me and turn his life around just as they have. But that day will never come.”

Officials told the family that Porter was placed in solitary confinement last weekend following a fight with other inmates.

“Three days ago, I got the horrible news that he allegedly committed suicide in prison,” Perry continued. “I say allegedly because, unfortunately, our criminal justice system and prisons have been notorious for cover ups and/or getting it wrong.”

Perry hired former New York City medical examiner, Dr. Michael Baden, who investigated JFK’s assassination, testified at the O.J. Simpson trial, and performed independent autopsies on Mike Brown and Aaron Hernandez, among others. The result of Porter’s second autopsy are expected “soon,” according to Perry.

The prison requested an investigation into Porter’s death and the alleged fight that occurred prior to his passing. “We respect the family’s right to request another autopsy to be done. This is not an unusual request.We are continuing our investigation and awaiting autopsy results,” a rep for the Union Parish Sheriff’s Office told TMZ in a statement.

Union Parish Detention Center has made headlines before over its treatment of inmates. In 2018, the prison settled a discrimination complaint for placing a detainee in segregation for six months because he was HIV positive. The following year, two prison guards were arrested for beating an inmate that complained about not getting a lunch tray. Another guard was fired and charged with malfeasance in office and simple battery for attacking an inmate “who was causing a disturbance” from his cell.

Read Perry’s full statement below.


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My Nephew Gavin Porter

A post shared by Tyler Perry (@tylerperry) on Feb 27, 2020 at 2:15pm PST

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Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant reacts during the Game 6 of the 2008 NBA Finals in Boston, Massachusetts, June 17, 2008.

Kobe Bryant’s Sister Gets Tattoo In Honor Of Her Late Brother And Niece

Kobe Bryant’s sister immortalized her late brother and niece with a new tattoo. Sharia Washington’s tattoo features a black mamba snake shaped to look like an infinity sign with Kobe and Gigi's basketball numbers “2” and “24.”

Washington posted an image of the tattoo on Instagram on Wednesday (Feb. 26) thanking artist, Peter Barrios, for his work.

Vanessa Bryant reposted the image with the caption, “My sister-in-law got this cool tattoo to honor #GigiBryant and #Kobe. 2-24 forever. Love you @shariawash.


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Thank you @peterbarriostattoo 🙏🐍💕

A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Feb 26, 2020 at 5:26pm PST


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A post shared by Sharia Washington (@shariawash) on Jan 31, 2020 at 12:43pm PST

LeBron James and fellow Lakers player, Anthony Davis, got tattoos in Kobe’s honor last month.

The lives of the NBA legend and his 13-year-old daughter were celebrated during a public memorial held at the Staples Center earlier in the week, where Vanessa eulogized her late husband and daughter.

The memorial included speeches from Michael Jordan and Shaquille O’Neal, as well as performances from Beyonce, Alicia Keys, and Christina Aguilera.

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Dylann Roof Stages Reported Hunger Strike After Accusing Prison Staff Of Harassment And Abuse

Dylann Roof reportedly staged a hunger strike in prison  because he says he's being “targeted by staff,” harassed and abused.

The White supremacist mass murderer, who is on death row for killing nine Black parishioners at a historically Black church in Charleston, S.C. in 2015 and is the first person to receive the death penalty for a hate crime, sent a letter to the Associated Press earlier in the month accusing prison staff of mistreatment. Roof also alleges that staff feels justified because he’s “hated by the general public.”

Roof is imprisoned at Terre Haute Federal Prison in Terre, Ind. The 25-year-old killer was attacked by a fellow inmate in 2016. Roof now alleges that he has been the subject of unprovoked harassment and abuse and “treated disproportionately harsh.”

Roof launched the hunger strike after allegedly being mistreated by a Bureau of Prisons disciplinary hearing officer amid previous complaints over being refused access to a copy machine.

Roof’s allegations have yet to be verified. His lawyers are currently appealing his death sentence.

According to his letter to AP, Roof claimed that his hunger strike lasted “several days.” He ended the strike because he passed out after corrections officer tried to “forcibly” take his blood and put an IV in his arm.

“I feel confident I could have gone much, much longer without food,” Roof wrote in the letter. “It’ just not worth being murdered over.”

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