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Carmen Rita's New Novel Brings To Light The Duality Of Being Latina & Successful

Let's talk about it. 

Carmen Rita Wong is a New Yorker and native Dominican American whose illustrious résumé boasts author, media host, CEO and Founder of Malecón Productions, and co-creator and former  host of CNBC's ”On the Money”. The financial wizard today is writing under Carmen Rita as she speaks to NBC Latino’s Carmen Pelaez about her debut novel in her new trilogy, Never Too Real.

“My favorite rejection letter said, 'We are not looking for aspirational in this market at this time,'" she said. 'As we all know, that is code for "We don't want successful stories of Latinas. We want suffering ones.'”

Taking matters into her own hands, Rita intentionally based her novel's characters on her friends and herself, creating a genuine representation of successful women of color. Never Too Real is a universal story about four professional Latina friends. It deals with diversity, and touches on a side of women of color that isn’t normally brought to light. “People don't see enough of it—successful Latinas, successful women of color,” she added.

A huge fan of '90s women literature, Rita found inspiration in films and novels like Waiting to Exhale and The Joy Luck Club. “[It] really helped inspire me to aspire, to feel normal as a woman of color,” she said. “Where is that in fiction now? Where are those stories about glamorous first generation women of color with money and education?”

Rita has travel around the country and appeared at various events, yet her favorite group to talk with remains young women. “I want them to feel the same way I did when I picked up The Joy Luck Club.

“I want to give women, especially Latinas who have always been the pillars in their families, the ability to be vulnerable and be OK with it, a bit of permission to do that,” said Rita. “It's then that we realize that we're not alone, that we are communities and families, and we're huge.” The way Rita sees it, our vulnerability as Latinas and women of color is our strength.

For more details on Never Too Real, visit Rita's website.

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Love To See It: DaniLeigh Choreographed DaBaby's Extraordinary "BOP" Video

Nearly reaching 10 million views in a matter of days, DaBaby's "BOP" music video teaser has A-1 editing, hilarious characters (recorder guy) and perfect choreography. As it turns out, we have DaniLeigh to thank for the rapper's smooth dance moves.

The singer-songwriter teamed up with choreographer Coach Cherry to share her eclectic dance style with the buzzing rapper. "BOP" dropped Friday (Nov. 15) as "BOP on Broadway" with a bevy of dancers taking part in the one-shot style video. Directed by Reel Goats, the teaser feels like the full music video for the single thanks to the three different dance flows including a surprising set by the iconic Jabbawockeez.

DaniLeigh's influence can be felt throughout the video thanks to her signature moves. With her own video reaching 100 million views on YouTube, the singer continued her winning streak with the remix for "Easy" featuring Chris Brown.

The video earned her a Soul Train Music Award nomination for "Best Dance Video" and inspiration for lovers of dance challenges. The Dominican-American might look familiar to many thanks to her contribution to the infamous #InMyFeelings challenge where she managed to hop and bop out of moving car. Ironically, the "Lil Bebe" singer started her career as a backup dancer for the likes of Nelly Furtado and Pharrell. She also choreographed and wrote the treatment for Prince's visuals for "Breakfast Can Wait."

"He wanted it really big in the dance industry so from there, I held auditions and did this video on my own," an 18-year-old Dani told VIBE in 2013. "It's crazy and hard to believe but it was great."

Dani recently released "Cravin" featuring G-Eazy and dropped her debut project The Plan late last year.

Check out the visuals to "BOP" below.

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Netflix Drops Preview Of 'Selena: The Series'

In a video that has amassed over 62,000 views since its Nov. 12 debut, Netflix posted a sneak peek into its upcoming Selena: The Series—Part 1. Within the 60-second clip, viewers witness actress Christian Serratos as the Tejano legend, preparing for a performance in one of Selena’s most iconic outfits.

Serratos has starred in hit series like The Walking Dead, Twilight, American Horror Story: Murder House, and more. In a statement published by Deadline, the show's production company Campanario Entertainment and its president/co-founder Jaime Dávila, praised Serratos for stepping into the "Dreaming Of You" singer's shoes.

“Selena is an inspirational figure who’s transcended generations. At Campanario, we’ve always known it was crucial for this series to find actors with the right mix of talent, charisma, and passion to honor Selena’s legacy and the story of her family,” said Davila. “Our casting director Carla Hool and her team have found an amazing cast to depict the Quintanilla family, and we’re sure fans everywhere will be captivated yet again by Selena’s incredible life.” On March 31, 1995, Selena was murdered, sparking a wave of tributes and films, such as 1997's movie starring Jennifer Lopez as the iconic vocalist.

The program, which chronicles Selena's life and career, is slated to premiere in 2020 with six hourlong episodes. Watch the preview above.

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Nicky Jam Drops 'Behind Nicky Jam's Intimo' Documentary Trailer

Apple Music released the trailer for a documentary on reggaeton superstar Nicky Jam. The visual precedes the release of his most personal album to date, Intimo. Judging by the trailer, Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo gives viewers an inside look at the 38-year-old’s battle with drugs and almost losing his whole career.

In the past, Jam has been open about his struggles. “Music is my therapist, and this album was therapy for me,” he told Apple Music. According to a press release, the singer discusses making his first album at just 13, drugs, and his 25-year career.

Jam also worked on a drama series for Netflix titled El Ganador, where he shared some of those dark moments in his life.

"El Ganador is the story of my life," he tells VIBE. "How I battled drug and alcohol addiction, my mom and dad had the same problems [and] how we all got out of it. We're trying to tell the youth and the world what route to take. Right now, there are a lot of kids that need to get out of that street/thug mentality and make it right. I am living proof that if you do right, right will come to you."

Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo will debut on Friday (Oct. 25), a week before Intimo drops. Jam will also appear in Bad Boys III starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, which hits theaters January 2020.

Watch the trailer for Behind Nicky Jam’s Intimo above.

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