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10 Facts (So Far) About The Making Of 'Beyoncé'

When an artist like Beyoncé drops an album that becomes arguably the biggest of the year and a game-changer for the music industry, people start scrambling to figure out how it all came to be. Two years in the making, Beyoncé’s self-titled album has dominated water cooler convos since its Dec. 13th digital release. “My message behind the album was finding the beauty in imperfection… Growth, love, happiness, fun,” Beyoncé says in the mini-doc released with the album. “Enjoy your life. It’s short. That’s the message.”

Since Bey's big bang, there’s been tons of info and interviews floating the Net and it’s hard to keep track. Below, a cheat sheet of what we’ve learned so far about Beyoncé’s visual album. —Clover Hope

1. Team work made the dream work, but the visual album was primarily Beyoncé’s vision.
"I didn’t want to release my music the way I’ve done it. I am bored with that. I feel like I am able to speak directly to my fans,” she said in the doc. “There’s so much that gets between the music, the artist and the fans. I felt like I didn’t want anybody to give the message when my record is coming out. I just want this to come out when it’s ready and from me to my fans."

2. The release date changed multiple times. 
According to Hits Daily Double, Columbia Records (led by Rob Stringer) and Beyoncé’s company, Parkwood, worked with iTunes to make sure this CIA-style operation went smoothly and without leaks. In the days leading up to the album’s release, the original cast of four people evolved into three teams.

3. Beyoncé requested all black models for the “Yoncé” video.
“Beyoncé wanted to push that angle — that was her request and concept initially. I think any time you can promote a sense of community and unity and that is natural, you should,” the video’s director Ricky Saiz told New York. “All the girls are friends and it was so friendly and there was no ego on set. Everyone was so happy to be there. The girls were incredible. What a great cast. It was spontaneous and not at all contrived.”

4. But it was Joan Smalls’ idea to lick Beyoncé’s chest.
“We were going through takes and it was her and Joan and they were close. And Joan went for the lick and we got it,” said Saiz.

5. Justin Timberlake helped out with the “Yoncé” beat.
“I love it because it’s really organic,” said Bey in her doc. “The drumbeat was actually done in the studio by Justin Timberlake. He just started beating on this bucket.”

Beyonce-wonder women 16. Some participants signed non-disclosure agreements...
For the "No Angels" video, producer Ben [Solomon] worked with Beyoncé's company to wrangle cameos from Houston rappers like Paul Wall. "It was kind of nuts. We're prepped. Everybody's hyped. But everybody knows you have to keep it on the low—what record we're doing and what's actually being done," the video's cinematographer Shomi Patwary told Complex. "Even I didn't know what the heck was going on, really. The whole operation was a secret. All I know is we had to sign a [non-disclosure agreement] and not talk about it to anybody.

7. ...Ty Hunter, Beyoncé’s fashion director and longtime friend, didn’t sign one.
“People knew things were going on. But the thing is, we’re such a tight-knit family," Ty told Elle. You had to put your phone away. Beyoncé has always been this person who is super-secretive with the things that she does, as far as with her camp and her family. They’re also very secretive and very intuitive with her vision and keeping things under wraps.”

8. Working with Bey, Ty coordinated with five stylists to compile all the fashion looks, some shipped from overseas.
“I’d have it sent and pray that the pieces and the packages would be received by different hotels in other countries.”

9. Beyoncé probably would have killed someone to keep her album’s opener “Pretty Hurts.”
“It’s really difficult to find a song with such a strong message that doesn’t feel preachy," she said. "[The songwriter] Sia is such a genius. The second I heard the song, I’m like, 'I have to sing this song. I don’t care how hard I have to fight for the song, this is my song!'”

10. Hi haters, this is why Beyoncé released "Bow Down."
“I woke up, I went into the studio, I had a chant in my head. It was the Beyoncé that was angry. It was the Beyoncé that felt the need to defend herself and if the song never comes out – okay, I said it! And I listened to it after I finished and I said, 'This is hot! Imma put it out!’ Anyone who says that is disrespectful — just imagine the person that hates you. Imagine the person that doesn’t believe in you and look in the mirror and say, ‘Bow down, bitch’! I guarantee you feel gangsta!"

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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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