Sorority Sisters AKAs suspended

Two AKA's On 'Sorority Sisters' Have Been Suspended

Two members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. that appear on the controversial VH1 reality show Sorority Sisters have been suspended. According to the sorority’s website, April McRae and Rwanda “Joy” Hammond were suspended on December 26, 2014.

No official reason for the suspension of the two members has been given by Alpha Kappa Alpha, though many assume it’s because of their behavior on the show. In an interview with The Root, McRae said officials from the national offices reached out to her and expressed their views on her involvement with the show:

“The regional director for my area reached out—They were under the impression that the first petition had silenced the show,” April told The Root. “I did receive a letter about the show and how they felt about my participation. My lawyer is involved now, so I’d rather not discuss that.”

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'American Soul' Episode 4 Recap: Don, You In Danger, Boo

We couldn’t help but focus on the men of American Soul during Episode 4.

The ladies are good, for the most part: Tessa found her footing, literally and figuratively, finally showing Flo and the Soul Train gang she ain’t nothin’ to play with on the dance floor, and checking Don for taking out his frustration on her with mixed messages and disrespect. Simone is still getting away with using a fake ID to chase her singing dreams in a jazz club and has emerged as a Soul Train fan favorite.

But the men are having a tough time.

JT avoided getting pinched for his role in the robbery and police shooting – but only because Chris (Trey Best) made sure the crime was pinned on someone else. Now we maybe understand why Benny (Kristopher Charles) was tearing up after giving info to the police last episode. He knew he was basically writing a death certificate. Chris has now told JT he won’t get any money from the heist, so all the stress and drama was for naught. Now his family’s finally being evicted. Just as it seems he can buy a little bit more time, Mr. Willard pushes JT past the breaking point with a comment about his mom’s “million-dollar mouth.” We knew this was coming; people been talking to JT crazy for 3 episodes now. JT knocks him out, and the family seeks shelter from Ma Mable (Elizabeth Omilami) in a storage room at the diner. JT wants to hide this from Simone and Kendall, even against Ma Mable’s grandmotherly advice, “Don’t lie to the people you love.”

Simone’s on a mission to save up enough money for Encore to cut a demo and gives JT the pooled cash to hold onto. She knows his mama’s a drug addict, why would she do that? We’ll bet $96 - the amount Simone passed to JT - that the money’s gone next episode. Also possibly gone next episode? JT’s mama. Soon he may have to cut her loose so he doesn’t drown along with her.

Kendall is still figuring out who he is in the absence of his father. Possibly still sorting his guilt for avoiding his father’s fate in the service, he’s trying patriotism on for size, hanging a gigantic American flag in his room. Simone reminds him their mom would not want it in the house, but he insists – to his sister’s amusement – that since he’s the “man of the house,” it’s his call. He’s also still juggling responsible fatherhood with chasing his dreams, bringing his son with him to an emergency show rehearsal. Our real worry, however, is that Flo now has Kendall in her sights. Kendall clearly isn’t a virgin, but Flo’s on another level. Pulling celebrities, locking people in rooms to get a look, on a make it by any means necessary level. Kendall’s not ready. Our hero (anti-hero?), Don, is going through it. He’s still not landing big enough acts for the show, and his primary sponsor is threatening to pull out. He’s taking it out on Tessa, the only other person working as hard on the show as he is, and she’s fed up. Motown, which moved to LA right before Soul Train, has shut him out because he was “difficult” with Gladys.

Don rolls through Club 100 Proof hoping he can again grab an act through Gerald, but Gerald makes it clear that the new BFF free trial period is over. “(The) first taste is hospitality, brotha,” he says. “Now you gotta pay to eat.” Eventually, the two businessmen come to a gentlemen’s agreement: Gerald will help Don land marquee acts for a 5% cut of the business. But what Don doesn’t know (that we do), is that Gerald is a for real gangster. Like killing people and then standing up to his gangster boss’ crew, gangster. Don, you in danger, boo.

Before settling on an arrangement with Gerald, Don tries one more time to land an act on his own. Following a tip that Ron Isley is performing at an NAACP fundraiser, Don crashes the event and runs into Motown’s Ilsa Dejarrnette (Shannon Kane). Isla and Don bond over a little coke (what’s a couple of lines between social acquaintances?) and Ilsa offers to help him navigate the black bourgeoisie and make an introduction to Diana Ross (Michelle Williams), who showed up in place of Isley.  Don, ever anxious and determined to do things his own way, charms Ross by knowing she sang Ray Charles’ “The Night Time is the Right Time” when she first auditioned for Berry Gordy. Diana, of course, is way too big of a star for a fledgling show, and she tells Don as much. Now, Don must get into Dejarnette’s good graces to get an in with Motown acts. Sounds like a scandalous tryst is on the horizon.

What this episode got right: Soul Train dancers indeed got paid in fried chicken. Members of the Soul Train Gang weren’t compensated, but there was free KFC on set every show taping for lunch.

What it could have done without: Johnnie Cochran showing up as the attorney for Dexter Brown might be a bit much. We appreciate incorporating black figures that we know and will recognize, and highlighting their backstory (Cochran made his name representing black victims in highly publicized police brutality cases), but the intersecting moments can feel forced.

What we absolutely don’t believe: That a record label’s legal representative is all up in lounges and parties, having final say on who performs where, and schmoozing with artists. Even at an everyone-wears-multiple-hats label like Motown. Ilsa is most likely based on long-time Motown senior executive Suzanne De Passe, but De Passe worked on all aspects of creative and artist development.

What we don’t understand: Why there wasn’t more of Janelle Monae’s Wondaland artist Roman GianArthur as Ernie Isley.

This wasn’t the strongest episode so far, but it was a necessary plot builder. Episode 5 looks lit, though. (Come through K. Michelle!)

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Kehlani Hits Snowy Slopes With Dom Kennedy For "Nunya" Music Video

When it concerns her personal situations in love, Kehlani is taking the mind over matter approach. Over a chill West Coast-style beat paired with Dom Kennedy's lyrics, the 23-year-old mother-to-be is denouncing those who want unsolicited participation in matters of the heart on “Nunya.”

With picturesque sceneries of snow and mountains, Lani creates a winter wonderland fantasy as the sun glistens over her chic white outfits. Amid the beautiful images, there are brief interludes of the Oakland native partying it up as she delivers a message of independence.

“Nunya” is reportedly featured on Kehlani’s forthcoming mixtape, While We Wait. Kehlani recently announced on Twitter that the project is to set to drop on Friday (Feb. 22).

#1 rnb album and it don’t drop till tomorrow!!!!!!! i love y’all so much!!!!!!

— Kehlani (@Kehlani) February 21, 2019

midnight everywhere wherever you are.

some will get it earlier than others depending on the country.

wherever you are, whenever you receive it... thank you so much for listening. i’m proud of this one. 🧡 #WhileWeWait

— Kehlani (@Kehlani) February 21, 2019

"I made a mixtape, mixtape are my jam, that’s like, my happy thing," she told Beats 1's Zane Lowe. "We did it again, and we made an amazing mixtape that I’m really, really stoked about."

Watch the video for "Nunya" above.

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Artist Behind Meghan Markle Portrait Shares Reaction To Beyonce And Jay Z Homage

Beyonce and Jay-Z's big win at the 2019 BRIT awards was shared with a special portrait of Meghan Markle and it's creator Tim O'Brien.

Speaking to Haper's Bazaar Thursday (Feb. 21), O'Brien explained how he didn't even know his portrait of the Royal Duchess of Sussex would be featured in The Carter's acceptance video and the portrait's origins. O'Brien created the oil painting for Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority magazine The Key, for their soro, Meghan Markle. The issue dropped in Summer 2018.

"This was a collaboration and we worked together closely on the image and all the tiny details specific to the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority," he explained. "I think she’s lovely and I wanted her to look regal, like a classic portrait, even trying to achieve an aged feel to the color of the piece."

Beyonce and Jay- Z were rightfully in awe of the painting. So much so, they featured it in their acceptance video when they took home the award for Best International Group at the 2019 BRIT awards for their joint album, Everything Is Love.

Well played @Beyonce & @S_C_ 😂

Watch The #BRITs 2019 live here:

— BRIT Awards (@BRITs) February 20, 2019

"Thank you so much to the BRIT awards for this incredible honor, you guys have been so supportive. Everything is Love. Thank you," Beyonce said graciously before the "4:44" rapper added his two cents saying, "You're welcome."

O'Brien, added he "did not know" that the Carters were going to use his painting, "but if they can now put my piece in the Louvre, I’ll call it even," he told the publication. O'Brien has used his talents to cover magazines like TIME, The Smithsonian and Texas Monthly. He also has made a portrait of Beyonce, herself.


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So this happened today.

A post shared by Tim O'Brien (@obrienillustration) on Feb 20, 2019 at 2:46pm PST

Check out the rest of his work here.

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