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Living Up To Her Name: Brave Williams Gets Candid On New 'Fearless' Album, Regrets And 'R&B Divas LA'

Brave Williams dishes on her highly anticipated first solo project, 'Fearless,' whether she has any regrets and what happened to her group with Sevyn Streeter, Rich Girl. 

As resilient as her name, Brave Williams lives up to her stage name. Donning a platinum blonde mane, topped with a sugary sweet personality and a genuine pureness unmatched, Williams is an undeniable rising force. The dismantling of her all-girl girl quartet Rich Girl wasn't enough to stop Brave, born Christina Williams, bouncing back like a boomerang.

Resiliency in tact and a fearless focus unmoved, Brave blazed her own path to solo stardom. As the newest diva on TV One's R&B Divas LA series, the reality star showcased her struggles of redemption and finding her own. Her character and extreme humbleness makes Brave more than just an entertainer, but a mouth piece for the fearless woman in all of us. It's no wonder why fans are rooting for the spoken word poet to win.

Vixen caught up with the Baltimore native as she dishes on Herbert first solo project Fearless, regrets and what happened to her girl group, Rich Girl, with Sevyn Streeter.

VIXEN: What can fans expect from your first solo project, Fearless?

Brave Williams: Fearless for me is the perfect marriage of hip hop and R&B. I loved rapping growing up and poetry so it's all of these different things embodied in one piece of art.

I painted murals, too, and we're going to incorporate my paintings with the download. You'll be able to see my paintings for each song. It's an honest version of Brave on so many levels.

How did you get your name?

Brave started when I was doing spoken word. I started really young and falling in love with performing. I was at an open mic spot in Baltimore and I did a piece that was very socially conscious at 13 years old. The response from the crowd was overwhelming and they started calling me Brave and from there it just stook.

What separates you from other female solo artists?

I would probably say the fact that I sing, rap and do spoken word. And just my love of writing. I'm constantly in the studio writing and collaborating with different writers and producers.

Many people know you from Rich Girl, but the group broke up. What happened?

Rich Girl was my baby. I came up with the group concept. I knew I wanted to surround myself with other talented vocalists so I sought out the members. But I really feel like everything has a season. And for that, that season just ended- there wasn't any turmoil between me and my girls. We still talk and support each other. I just did an event with Sevyn in D.C. a few weeks ago and me and the other two are actually working together on some music. So it just had its season. And I was able to learn everything I needed to at that time. It just gracefully ended.

What are some of the pros and cons of being in a girl group?

For me, I'm all about sisterhood. I loved being in a group because it was fun. We were all kindred spirits, a lot of jokes and a lot of laughs. We were able to pick up when another fell short. So that was definitely a pro.

I wouldn't say there was a con, but whenever you collaborate with other people you have to be open to everyones ideas. Trying to find a balance where everyone can get to an end result where everyone's happy can be challenging at times.

What was it like on R&B Divas LA?

Reality tv is a lot harder than it looks! *laughs*
But I loved the fact that I did come from a group and working with a group of women with strong opinions definitely helped me catapult into this type of arena. We're all fighting for the same goal- to keep R&B music alive.

Overall the experience was fun. I was just honored that TV One thought enough of my story to put me on a platform with these women that's so accomplished. It was a sincere honor and blessing.

Will you return next season?

If there's a next season I think I would.

Looking back, do you have any regrets?

Truthfully I would say no, because even the most tumultuous times when I was down, such as the year my group disbanded, I lost my father and I lost my manager from a heart attack, I realized I needed to experience those type of blows so I can be honest in my music. My name is Brave so I feel like there has to be a reason I can stand confident in that name.

What was the best piece of advice you received and actually followed?

How much time do we have? *laughs*

It may sound so simple, but to not give up. That's why I call my EP Fearless because I learned in those times when I wanted to give up, I knew that fear was not telling me the truth. And through the experiences I learned to have a fearless mentality to continue music. And it required me to not give up. I think a lot of us will throw in the towel before our dream manifest and it can be relatively tricky, but don't give up, it's there for the taking.

What are your thoughts on what's going on in your home town, Baltimore?

I'm actually out here in the community with the people. That Tuesday after the rioting happened I was out there cleaning up and what I saw was a lot of love and a lot of unity. It was no longer a black or white thing or police brutality, it was about everyone coming together to begin restoring what seemingly looked broken. But to me it made me even that more prouder to say I'm from here because we are a resilient city.

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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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