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Vixen Chat: Latarsha Rose Blooms on 'Being Mary Jane' Second Season

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What do you get when you combine a gorgeous, kinky mane, glowing skin, sugary-sweet smile and undeniable talent? Latarsha Rose. Appropriately named after one of the nature's beloved eye candies, the Brooklyn born beauty shines in BET's fan favorite Being Mary Jane. Portraying the BFF of title character Mary Jane (Gabrielle Union), Dr. Lisa Hudson's plot line holds its own, complete with its roller coaster love life and friendship woes.

Rose's blushing personality oozes through each performance on BET's first ever hour long scripted drama, but the world was first introduced to the humble starlet in her break out role as Portia in the highly-grossing flick, The Hunger Games. The versatile actress, with performance roots in dance, isn't boxed in Hollywood's dimensions, as her multiple Off-Broadway stints accentuate her impressive resume.

With the highly anticipated second season of Being Mary Jane premiering on Tuesday, February 3rd, loyal viewers crave their weekly dosage of the TV drama, suspense and real-life situation-ships playing out on the small screen. The Georgetown University graduate gets candid with VIBE Vixen about the sophomore season, her favorite on-screen kiss and her enlightening advice on conquering fear.

Photo credit: Riker Brothers

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VIBE VIXEN: As the second season of Being Mary Jane premieres, what would you say to the show's critics who isn't a fan of the 'black woman sleeping with a married man' plot?

LaTarsha Rose: If you look at television across genres and cross ethnicities, sex is a part of what we see on TV. It's fantasy- exploring the dark side of different characters of humanity. It's a drama, it's entertainment.

[The show] shares the secrets that pop up and these are things that are happening and here's the thing- it's looking at one woman's story. It's revealing in terms of the title character but there's other characters who have other story lines going on, as well. We have an opportunity to tell this particular woman's story and how she deals with it.

VV: How similar are you to Dr. Lisa Hudson, Mary Jane's best friend?

I do my best to be genuine in my friendships- I really value my friendships, I think that's a shared quality, with finding the way to heal or grow relationships with the skills that I have. I am diligent with my work; I'm very committed to that and Lisa's a woman who's constantly searching. If you listen to the books they talk about her reading she's always looking for books and inspiration to help her be a better person.

There's your public persona and private persona. You put your best foot forward when you're out there, sometimes you have to fake it 'till you make it either on an emotional or confidence level. But there's a human quality in Lisa; the dark undercurrent and her life as well. She's a woman of faith who's struggling.

VV: Who's the most outgoing on set?

It's hard to say because we have so many cool spirited individuals, but I will definitely say B.J. Britt and Aaron D. Spears.

VV: Who's the quietest on set?

I don't know if that one exists!

 

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VV: Who was your best on-screen kiss?

LR: When I was on Swingtown on CBS, I had a recurring role, Grant Show, who played my husband was my best kiss- he's been my only on-camera kiss!

VV: What's something every woman should try at least once?

Climbing a tree. I do it all the time, I've been doing it since I was little.

It's an amazing experience, it's like changing perspectives. I grew up in the suburbs- I love being barefoot in the grass and running on the beach, I love all seasons. All I can say is try it.

VV: What's something you know now that you wish you would've knew when you were younger?

That the unexpected doesn't have to be scary. In college I had planned A-through-Z and it was such a stressful period of time. Now I've come to realize there's what I imagine, then there's what God imagined for me. So that's the unexpected and it's not to be feared. Fear may protect you from hurt, but you don't need the fear to protect you.

I remember I used to worry a lot and over-think things then you start to realize worrying and obsessing is fear and it's exhausting! And you realize it's never what it looks like in your head or your nightmares.

VV: New York or LA?

LR: I'm from New York so I'm a New Yorker all the way, that's my first love. Nothing can compare to that. But there's things I really enjoy about LA, so I wouldn't do a disservice to either city.

VV: What are your go-to places when your want a new outfit?

I love vintage and there's some great vintage shops I've found along the way in New York and L.A. One of my favorites in LA is Sheries Vintage, for like special occasion stuff. And the Marshall's in Atlanta-Buckhead has some really good stuff! Marshall's is always a good go-to. I got my whole summer wardrobe from Marshall's in Atlanta.

VV: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Swimming in the Indian Ocean. I have a dream of swimming in every ocean- while I'm on hiatus from one of my productions. I want to be working on amazing period pieces with some heavy hitters and have opportunities to create roles beyond my imagination and work steadily.

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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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Mike Windle/Getty Images for McWraps

Tatyana Ali Shares She’s Pregnant With Second Child

A new bundle of joy is on the way for actress Tatyana Ali and her husband Dr. Vaughn Rasberry. On Saturday (April 13), The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star shared the news on Instagram, posting a picture of her baby bump and an excited caption.

“I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump,” she wrote. “We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed.”

 

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I was on a work trip recently and I thought it was about time I captured my baby bump. We’re so excited! They say every pregnancy is different and they ain’t lying. Phew! I’m exhausted this go round, swirling with emotion and starving, like constantly. Feeling very blessed. #BabyRasberry

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 13, 2019 at 7:52am PDT

 

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“Who are you calling?” I asked. He said, “the baby in Mama’s tummy”- Already in cahoots.

A post shared by Tatyana Ali (@tatyanaali) on Apr 14, 2019 at 6:47am PDT

In 2017, Ali and Rasberry had their first child, Edward, who arrived a year after the pair wed in July 2016. In an interview with Parents, Ali described her method to parenting, which she picked up from her mother and father.

“I’m more laid-back than I thought I’d be,” Ali said. “My dad was like this with me and my two sisters. While my mom was stricter, he said, ‘If you teach them everything they need to know, they’ll be prepared and figure things out.’”

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Actor Michael B. Jordan backstage at the 88th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 28, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
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Michael B. Jordan Would Like To Be Considered For B2K's Millennium Tour

Michael B. Jordan loves nostalgia. From the 90s and beyond, the actor has always shown love to those who helped create our favorite music memories. Now, Jordan is looking to throw his hat in the running for B2K's Millenium Tour.

The actor shared a hilarious video of himself, Terrance J and Ridiculousness' Steelo Brim jamming to Diddy's "I Need A Girl Remix" this week on Twitter with the caption, "Is there any more room on the Millennium Tour?" Fans of the 2000s hip-hip/R&B era are aware the jam was released in 2002 from Diddy's LP, We Invented The Remix.

https://twitter.com/michaelb4jordan/status/1116092812787953665

We're sure B2K, Mario, Pretty Ricky, Lloyd and the rest of the family wouldn't mind having Killmonger on the road with them. Meanwhile, the guys have brought out several special guests on the Millennium Tour. So far, surprise performances have included Ashanti, Ja Rule, Bow Wow and B5.

Enjoy "I Need A Girl Part 2" below.

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