Kandi Burruss Kandi Burruss

Vixen Chat: Kandi Burruss Dishes on RHOA Drama, ‘Let Them Love’ and Sex Advice for Valentine’s Day

Kandi Burruss

Few reality stars have parlayed their celebrity into a lucrative career as seamlessly as Kandi Burruss. Years after making her debut with Xscape and winning countless awards, the Atlanta native has a whole new group of fans through her Bravo stint and various business ventures, including Bedroom Kandi.

Just two days before Valentine’s Day, we spoke with the recently engaged star about balancing her mother and man on RHOA, an upcoming album and keeping it sexy in the bedroom.

(Click here to enter our Bedroom Kandi giveaway!)

Kandi Burruss

VIBE Vixen: You’ve conquered music, reality TV and several business ventures. How do you balance it all?

Kandi: I don’t know if I have a formula (laughs). I just try to do…whatever I think is a good business opportunity and is also something that I love doing; anything dealing with entertainment. I don’t want to stress myself out even though sometimes I do, but you know overall, I just want to aim higher. I love accomplishing something new and to be able to say, ‘Okay, I got that notch under my belt.’

 

Is there one accomplishment that stands above the rest?

Of course, getting the Songwriter of the Year Award at the ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Awards. I was the first woman to get it for ASCAP Rhythm & Soul, so that was a major moment because you know as far as me being a woman [and] an African American…that’s always a special feeling.

 

You’re definitely a full-fledged businesswoman. Did that skill take time to learn?

I think I’ve always been a business-minded person, but at the same time…I had to learn a lot of things as I’m doing it or as I’m making it happen. I’m still learning, but overall, I’ve read a lot of books and I just try to pick up the things I’ve learned and apply it to my own life.

Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker

What is the biggest mistake entertainers make when it comes to their finances?

Oh, trying to keep up with the joneses. The entertainment business a lot of times is all about the image and everything that you’re doing. We waste a lot of money. You’re making a million dollars this year, but it doesn’t mean that you’re going to be making a million dollars five years from now. When you’re not number one on the charts anymore, what are you going to do? That’s when you hear the horror stories of people losing their houses; they’re not able to jump and hop the planes like they used to. So you’ve got to find yourself at a place that you can maintain for the long haul. Stack up, save, invest in yourself, invest in a business or something that’s going to make you money outside of the entertainment business.

 

Tell us more about your new single, “Let Them Love” and the soundtrack and DVD coming in the spring.

“Let Them Love” is off the soundtrack from the musical that Todd and I produced called The Mothers Love and basically the song is all about feeling someone or others trying to prevent that person from being in love. Do you and let them do them. I know a lot of people can relate, but I use everything that’s going on in my personal life. When we wrote the musical, I did like 17 songs for the play. We’re going to put them all on a soundtrack and we also shot a DVD of the play out in April.


 

We’ve watched try to balance a relationship with Todd and your mother on Real Housewives of Atlanta. What is your advice for women in the same situation?

I do believe in respecting your parents, but when you’re grown, you have to make your own decisions. At the end of the day, you have to make yourself happy. I just have to say go with your heart; listen and take in what your parents have to say and keep it in the back of your mind, but don’t let that make the decision for you.

They already had the opportunity to make the decisions for their own life, so you have to have the same rights. In my situation, sometimes things get out of hand because my mom can be a little disrespectful to Todd and that’s what makes it hard. He always keeps in mind that I want him to be respectful of my mother, but he doesn’t always get the same respect in return. That’s where the problem lies, but we’re working on it (laughs).

Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker

What is one thing fans of the show would be surprised to know about Todd?

Todd is laid back on the show, but he’s a very strong, opinionated dude. He’s definitely the man of our household and he lets it be known how he wants things to be. People look at me as an aggressive businesswoman and I guess they don’t understand that I do give him the utmost respect as the man of our house. He’s a great, smart, business-minded person.

 

Would you say you both maintain a traditional home?

I think our household is traditional. Even though I do make more money, he still…wants to be the one who pays the bills and that’s fine by me. And it’s traditional as in I do give him the utmost respect. Now one thing that I will say; if I want to have friends over he’ll say, ‘I don’t think we need to have all these people over the house and blah blah blah,’ but when his friends come over, everything’s all good. It’s such a double standard.

 

Do you have Valentine’s Day plans?

Yea, it’s going to kind of be a work weekend. I know it sounds crazy, but he’s cool with it because we’re going to go to New Orleans; Toya, Rashida, myself and Phaedra. We’re all going to be doing things. I may have a Bedroom Kandi pop-up shop at Toya’s store there. And we’re going to be hosting different parties. There’s just going to be the four of us couples kicking it and getting some money at the same time.

Bedroom Kandi

If you had to suggest a Bedroom Kandi product for single ladies, what would it be?

‘Happiness and Joy’ is great because it’s a duel stimulating vibrator/personal massager. And it’s the bomb because it vibrates on the inside and the outside, so both your spots tickle at the same time and then it also vibrates to music. I personally love the ‘Candy Pop’ or the ‘Lipstick;’ most women like it because it doesn’t look like a vibrator.

 

For couples?

There’s multiple things I would suggest for couples. For one, I love our edible massage oil candles. When you burn them, they smell good, but as they melt, they turn into massage oil and you can pour it directly on the body and it feels good when you rub it in. You can also lick it directly off the body and it’s vegan friendly. The ‘Rise and Shine’ goes around the base of the man’s penis and it keeps them harder longer, but then on the outside, it definitely feels good on the woman. Another product I suggest is ‘Make Me Over.’ When you take the little vibrator out of the case, it looks like a powder puff, but the diameter is a nice width. You know how the powder puff for your face has a little handle on it? Let’s say he’s hitting it from the back; he can put that in his hand and hold it up against your clitoris in the front. It’s an amazing feeling because a lot of men really don’t know where that spot is on the outside, but because it’s so wide, it doesn’t matter. As long as he’s in the vicinity, it’s the right spot.

 

Are there plans to expand the line?

Yea, we’re getting new products every day. We have Bedroom Kandi consultants, so we do our big convention every year in August. Most of those items are for our in-home party network, so the women have special items that they get to sell that you can’t buy in the store. If anybody is interested in being a consultant, we have the program out there because a lot of the women that are Bedroom Kandi consultants are getting like 50 percent of everything we sell.

 

If you could provide one piece of bedroom advice for Valentine’s Day, what would it be?

Always be open-minded and try new things. A few extra little goodies or extra toys in the bedroom only make it better. I feel like guys are afraid of toys. If you want to introduce toys in the bedroom, I would never get a vibrator that looks like a penis because that’s intimidating to men. I would try to get something like small items that are just to hold on the clitoris because they won’t feel intimidated because they know you’re not trying to replace them.

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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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The North Face

Ella Mai On The North Face's 'Explore Mode' Campaign, New Music And Living In The Moment

Ella Mai is in her own age of exploration. Her eponymous debut album scored her a platinum plaque with her breakout hit, "Boo'd Up" earning her a Grammy for Best R&B Song. But the accolades aren't driving her creative path. The arc in her compass is all about the places she's traveled, the people she's met and the lessons learned along the way.

"To be honest, personally, exploration is like growth. I feel like if you don't explore new things, whether it's going outside, meeting people or trying new food, you won't ever grow because you're just stuck in your little comfort zone which can be super scary to come out of," she tells VIBE at The North Face's Explore Mode event in New York on Monday (April 15). The singer is one of three women (including model-activist Gabrielle Richardson and chef Angela Dimayuga) who teamed up with the brand to share a message of enjoying the outside world without digital confinement and the global initiative to make Earth Day a national holiday.

The London native's urge to explore came in handy over the weekend when she performed in the brisk desert of Coachella. Inspired by artists like Rihanna and Ms. Lauryn Hill, Mai helped fans enjoy the hazy sunset as she performed hits like "Trip" and her latest No. 1 song, "Shot Clock."

"It's such a good feeling, especially when it comes to radio," she shared about her track reaching No. 1 on the airplay chart. "I wasn't even sure if people listened to the radio because people have so much access to streaming platforms, but obviously having all three of my singles from my debut album, go number one on urban radio is incredible."

That energy was brought to the Coachella stage with the festival being her biggest artistic exploration so far.

"My favorite part of the performance would have to be when I performed "Naked" and because it was dark, and I performed when the sun went down, I couldn't see how far the crowd actually went back. But during "Naked," it was such an intimate moment I asked everyone to put their lights up (phones) and when I saw how far it went back I was like, "Woah." That moment sealed it for me."

"Even there were two people in the audience, I still would've done my best," she added. "But just to see the crowd be so engaged, even if they didn't know the music, was a really good feeling. I had so much fun."

As the festival energy in Indio, Calif. continued to thrive, another rested on the streets of Los Angeles following the loss of Nipsey Hussle. With the singer having ties to those close to the rapper like DJ Mustard, she says the shift in the city was hard to ignore.

"As weird as it sounds, you felt it," she said. "Even in the weather, it was super hot and then everyone got the news and it started raining. Just a weird energy shift." As a new L.A. resident, the singer says Nipsey's influence cannot be denied.

"I feel like the energy shift went both ways; everyone was really sad, grieving and mourning but everyone feels more inspired by what he was doing that they want to go out and do something and change in their community. It's still a very touchy subject in L.A., especially the people that I'm around since they were very close to him. I think everyone is super inspired to do better and try to be more like him, which is great to see. YG's whole set at Coachella was dedicated to him, I know Khalid had a dedication to Mac Miller. Everyone is super aware of what Nipsey was trying to do and how he wanted to change the world."

Engaging in The North Face's mission to explore seemed to be in the cards for Mai. Like many of us, Mai was familiar with the brand's effective coolness factor. "I remember running home and telling my mom that I needed a Jester Backpack because my cousin had one as well, and it's similar to the other stories, I wanted to be like my older cousin (laughs) so my mom ended up getting me one." But there's also the incentive to showcase the importance of stepping away from the phone screens and into leafy green forests.

"I'm such a live-in-the-moment person," she says of her lack of identity on social media. While she might share a thought or two on social media, Mai is interested in appreciating the world around her. "I feel like everyone is so consumed about documenting the day, you don't really get to live the day. You just watch it back but I like to have the memories in my head. Of course, sometimes, I'll take out my phone but I try to live in the moment as much as possible."

Part of that mission is ensuring Earth Day is celebrated the right way. With the support of Mai, Richardson, and Dimayuga, The North Face officially launched a petition to make Earth Day a national holiday.

“The North Face is no stranger to exploration and this Earth Day we are proud to join our partners and fellow explorers in a global effort to make Earth Day a national holiday,” said Global General Manager of Lifestyle at The North Face, Tim Bantle. “We believe that when people take time to appreciate the Earth, they feel more connected to it and are more likely to protect it. Explore Mode urges us to unplug from our digital lives to connect in real life to the world, each other, and ourselves in the effort to move the world forward.”

Mai hasn't hit her all of her exploration goals just yet. "I really want to go to Indonesia or Bali," she said. "That's one of my Bucket List places I really, really, really wanna go." For her essentials, the singer knows she has to bring along a windbreaker set and of course, a jester backpack. "I think the backpack is the most important thing."

In addition to a few trips around the globe, one destination includes the studio for new music. While she hasn't had time to lock down a moment to record, the inspiration is sizzling.

"When I work in the studio, I like to be like there for a good amount of time," she explains. "I like to block off two to three weeks at a time, I don't like to go to different studios and different places, it's just a comfort thing but I'm very excited to get back cause I have a lot of talk about. I've seen so many different places and met so many new people and a lot that I didn't get to experience last year."

Learn more about The North Face's petition for Earth Day here.

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