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Get Your Lyfe: Lyfe Jennings Talks New Album, His Flaws And Chris Brown

Don't call it a comeback! Lyfe Jennings talks his sixth studio album release and more. 

The second a Lyfe Jennings track blazes, you're immediately transcended into a socially conscious, thought baiting nirvana. The "Pretty Is" singer is a hybrid of mellow R&B sprinkled with conceptual genius, resonating with music enthusiasts, thanks to his vulnerability to expose life's struggles atop complex melodies.

Since his 2004 debut single "Must Be Nice," which peaked at #40 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart, Jennings music has been a refreshing breath of air amidst shallow, repetitive radio tracks. The 41-year-old's sixth effort, Tree of Lyfe, slated for a summer 2015 release, is signature Lyfe; delivering relatable lyrical content over smooth beats. The Toledo, Ohio native's reign to R&B stardom bulldozes, but the road to success hasn't always been hassle-free. Complete with arrests, jail stints and a public beef with K. Michelle, Jennings successfully turns his mess into a message.

His music proves the existence of the silver lining around life's stormy clouds as fans get yet another dose of soul soothing tracks with another album. Here, Jennings talks the inspiration of his new joint "Pretty Is," what separates him from other artists and the type of music he wants to make with Chris Brown.  – Angela Wilson

VIBE Vixen: What was the inspiration behind your new album, Tree of Lyfe?
Lyfe Jennings:
The inspiration behind it was like every other album; life and the things people don't want to talk about or get the opportunity to talk about.

Why did you pick "Pretty Is" as the lead single?
I think there's a lot of females out here dancing right now- it's a hustle and you can't discount the hustle, but I want them to hustle with some sense.

What sets you apart from other musicians, and what makes you different?
Most cats only talk about love, they don't talk about the downside of love or relationships. My identity is more like a messenger more than anything else. I don't think anybody has that swag about them.

What's something you want to be remembered for?
Telling the people's stories, not just my story but everybody's story.

What is your story?
My story is one of becoming. Most guys talk about the end of it, how they've made it or are already accomplished. My story is I would love to accomplish that but I'm still going through sh*tin my life, but I'm still going in the right direction.

What would you consider your biggest flaw and how are you changing it?
My biggest flaw is focusing on negative situations. I'm trying to train my mind to ignore anything I don't want or can't have.

What was the best piece of advice you received and actually followed?
It wasn't a straight piece of advice it was more like a story. In short, when I was little I was playing football around seven years old with a little girl and her dad was there. Everytime I threw her the ball she dropped it and everytime she threw me the ball I caught it. This happened 10 times straight. So I went to her dad and said, 'I'm way better than she is because I caught it all 10 times and she dropped it all 10 times.' He said, 'Maybe you are better, or maybe you're just better at catching and she's better at throwing.'

That made me understand that anything you're doing there's always someone connected to it. Don't think you're better than anybody else or more talented, people have different talents. And you have to acknowledge their talents sometimes even before you acknowledge your own.

Who's an artist you've never worked with but like to?
I would say Common or Chris Brown. Me and Common are kind of on the same page and whatever song we do would be more of an event than a song.

I like Chris Brown and I think he's the greatest young cat out here doing it. Compiling our two styles together will give him permission to do something different from what he normally does.

Aside from your new album, what else can we expect from you this year?
You'll probably see me on TV programs and I'm writing for other people. I'm always touring so you can catch me all year round.


Photo Credit: Will Sterling Photography

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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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