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Vixen Chat: Lalah Hathaway On 'To Pimp A Butterfly' And The Neo-Soul Renaissance

Lalah Hathaway spills the tea on her latest ventures with Vixen.

Noted for her unique and unmatched voice, Lalah Hathaway is one of the most influential musicians of a generation.

Known for her filling resonance and unique timbre, Hathaway's vocal and musical abilities have won her multiple Grammy's and numerous honors. While her abilities should come as no surprise, given that she’s the daughter of music icon Donny Hathaway, Lalah is blazing her own trail and leaving her on mark on music.

Recently, Lalah lent her musical and vocal talents to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album “To Pimp A Butterfly”, having written, sung backup, and also arranged several of the songs on the project.

Vixen spoke with Lalah about her involvement with the new album, in addition to her thoughts on the direction of soul music, and what’s next from her musically.

VIBE Vixen: How did you get involved with "To Pimp A Butterfly?"

Lala Hathaway: Some of the musicians that worked with Kendrick on the album are also close collaborators of mine. When I got wind of it, it sounded like something different that I wanted to be involved with. I value Kendrick as an artist and wanted to help out.

You were a vocalist and writer on the project, in what other areas did you help out?
Yeah, I helped write a few tracks. Actually "Mama" used a sample of song I wrote that my father, Donny Hathaway, gave to me in a dream. That was really special and it meant a lot to me that they used it.

There's no doubt that Kendrick's album is well on its way to becoming a classic. How does this moment feel for you?
The album is such a statement piece about true artistry. I think there were so many people involved in making the project work that ultimately everyone had a hand in everything. Bilal and Rober Glasper also helped a lot, and I’ve worked with those two before, so some really great things happened musically on the album.

Do you think this a time in music where real artistry and musicianship is starting to be valued again?
I think we’re in a time where real music is starting to be appreciated once again, and it’s making it’s way back to the forefront of mainstream. We, as a people, love things that are genuine- I don’t think that will ever go away. You can’t undermine something that is great, and genuine music that comes from the heart and soul is great.

As for you, do you have any projects lined up?
I do. I have an upcoming record that is a live record; its a live show from start to finish. It’s got a whole different vibe going on. I think people will really be able to catch the musical conversation between the audience and the musician that just creates a great energy. I hope people get a lot out of it. I want it to be extraordinary. I want them to hear something special because it's truly a complete piece of art. I hope people can dig it.

Does your father still influence your sound and work?
He definitely does. Its an incredible thing to be the child of a legend. As his child I see him one way, but as a musician I am a fan. I have plans to work a lot more with his music and just see where it goes. Though I have a live show coming up on April 21st in L.A. at The Troubadour, which is where he recorded his album Donny Hathaway Live, so I’m super excited about that.

What’s your take on women in entertainment as of right now?
Entertainment is still a male dominated field, though the landscape is changing. Thursday nights [aka Shonda Rhimes] alone let you know the world is changing. Our pop culture icons are now women, and I think that’s such an incredible thing.

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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 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!

— #BeingMaryJane (@beingmaryjane) March 29, 2019

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