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Cast of 'Survivor's Remorse' Discuss Show’s Importance, Growth of Characters, Bonding With Fellow Cast Members & More

"I want black women to see that it’s not far fetched, and it actually can happen," says Tichina Arnold. 

The third season of Survivor’s Remorse begins tonight (July 24) at 10 p.m. The Starz television show follows the life of basketball star Cam Calloway (Jessie T. Usher) as he enjoys the fruits of his lucrative NBA contract. In addition to following Cam’s life, the show also walks behind the lives of Cam’s mother, Cassie (Tichina Arnold), his sister M-Chuck (Erica Ash), manager and cousin Reggie (RonReaco Lee) and wife, Missy (Teyonah Parris).

While seasons one and two were about Cam and his family adjusting to their newfound fame, and extremely large bank accounts, season three finds Cam and his family settling into their new realities.

Recently, Vibe had the opportunity to sit with the show's cast members for a brief discussion about the upcoming season, their characters, how they bond, and much more.

Vibe: How did you guys form such an incredible bond?
Erica Ash: We have a great casting director, who kind of knew me and found someone who can match my personality. So our relationship does carry over and it was like this from the first day we met each other. So we didn’t have a period of needing to adjust. And I think I actually told him that he actually acts like my real brother. I have two little brothers in real life, and he has a little sister in real life.

We’ve heard that your character has grown a lot.
Jesse T. Usher: Yes, he’s learned a whole lot in a little bit of time. And that’s what happens when stuff changes over night, you have to adjust. And that’s what he’s done. But he’s still at his very core. He’s still the same person. He’s still very loving, very nice, very caring and always willing to give. Now he’s smarter, he’s focused in a way that he wasn’t before hand. He wants to take care of his family—his immediately family first, and then branch out. I like playing that type of person who can learn and grow.

How much of your personal life do you draw from when playing Cam’s Mom?
Tichina Arnold: I think with the character Cassie is that any mother would work hard protecting her children, busting their ass to keep above water. When you finally meet new money, fame, glory and you see your son’s dreams actually playing out, and you see your actual prayers for your children manifesting themselves they are scary. So sometimes you make some decisions that you probably shouldn’t or you act in certain ways that you shouldn’t. She’s the only character that’s not trying to find herself. She knows who she is. But there’s that underlying core where there’s some shit that your mother won’t tell you. Sometimes you’ll never see your mother cry. I asked my daughter the other day if she’s ever seen me cry, she said: "no, I’ve never seen you cry, mom." And my daughter is twelve. So as a parent you naturally have a defense mechanism of protection and you naturally have a mechanism of coping and dealing with life, so I never want to lose that with Cassie. But this season you’re going to see her a little more vulnerable.

For instance, this is my sister [Arnold points to her blood sister, who is sitting next to her]. She has a disease, she was given seven years to live, and she’s a 13-year survivor. So I used that as motivation for Cassie to deal with the issue at hand. So, Cassie, this season goes back to the basics. And she’s also forced to deal with her past. I can’t tell you what happened, but she drops a bomb about something that happened in her past. We get deeper into each character.

You’ve played a lot of Mother characters over the years, which Mother portrays you the most?
Tichina Arnold: I’m closer to Cassie because I get to curse—yay—but on top of that, my daughter is older. When I did Everybody Hates Chris, my daughter was 1-and-a half, so I had to pull from my grandmother, my aunt and my mother, the matriarchs that raised me. But I am Cassie, I speak my mind, I have no filter. When I play her I try to picture all of the black women out there—and not just black women but I try to speak to the black women’s perspective out there. But I always consider black women watching this.

How is it being in an interracial relationship on the show?
Arnold: I had never had a relationship that was interracial. So me being with Da Chen Bao was the first interracially relationship I’ve ever had on television, so I was kind of excited. So, when O’Malley calls us in and asks us what do we see in our characters. And I said: ‘You know what, I want to expound on my character with Bao, because me being a black woman I haven’t seen many black women adored by billionaires. I want black women to see that it’s not far fetched, and it actually can happen. Yes, this is a show and it’s pretend, but there are billionaires out there that have their own planes and jets. So, I not only want to open doors and bust out windows but I want to represent and I want Cassie to represent our faults, our fears, and our commitments.

Why is this show important?
Mike O’ Malley: I don’t know if it’s important for people to watch, but if you’re interested in stories about how we live now; if you’re interested in stories about character and how people strive to be better; if you’re interested in stories about how humanity gets in the way and often times trips us up; how we make mistakes in our own lives; how we make mistake in relationships; how we make mistakes in what we say; in how we love in the wrong way; criticize in the wrong way; or choose relationships that take us away from happiness; how we strive to have meaning in life; everyday you are reminded that life is absurd, and in life, clearly, know that no one is in charge; that we’ve been placed in a living Hell, yet there’s joy, there’s grace, there’s beauty, there’s music, and athletes are trying to be the best. And, so I think what I find interesting in working on the show is that you’re able to see these people trying to be the best that they can, yet humanity is constantly getting in our way. And I think that’s the purpose of storytelling, right? If you look back at the oldest stories that have lasted from Greek plays there are stories about the gods that have put individuals in circumstances that are just absurd and ridiculous and they have to strive to make the right decisions and there’s drama, laughter, joy, and there’s singing.

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Earth Wind And Fire Hint Towards Duets Album At Kennedy Center Honors

Earth Wind & Fire's music has stood the test of time and it seems like more tunes might be on the way. On Sunday (Dec 8), the iconic band was officially inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, making them the first African American group to receive the honor. The group's original members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White were in attendance at the 42nd annual event with the exception of the group's founder Maurice White, who died in 2016.

In addition to celebrating White's creation and the group's legacy, the remaining members hinted towards a new project. “We’re making a list, and checking it twice," Bailey told Billboard of a possible duets album. “And you’ll hear about it soon.” We can only imagine many artists would clamor for the opportunity. During the event, the group was treated to reworkings of their biggest hits by Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, the Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. The group has remained mum on the details of the album but were proud to celebrate their rich legacy and how proud White would be of the feat.

“You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it, so he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision,” Johnson told Billboard. “People are still coming together and having fun.” Since the release of their first album in 1971, the group has strongly influenced R&B, disco and soul. The biggest artists in the world have sampled the group including Jay Z, Drake, the late Mac Miller, Missy Elliot and Nas.

Next year will celebrate their 50 years in the industry with many more to go. The 42nd Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 8pm.

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Ashanti Joins Omarion's Millennium Tour

Our prayers for a female presence on Omarion's Millenium Tour have been answered with one of the most talented singers in R&B.

On Thursday (Dec. 5), Omarion announced singer-songwriter Ashanti as a special guest for the upcoming tour. "So excited to announce that Ashanti will be joining The Millennium Tour lineup!" he said in an Instagram post. The singer announced the follow-up show last week to what was perceived as a B2K reunion tour featuring Mario, Lloyd, Pretty Ricky, Chingy, Bobby Valentino and the Ying Yang Twins earlier this year.

Hailed as The "Millenium Tour 2020," the new bill features Soulja Boy and Sammie, with the Ying Yang Twins, Pretty Ricky and Lloyd returning to the mix. The tour will also include Bow Wow, who has several jams (and an album) with Omarion like "Let Me Hold You" and "Girlfriend."

Before joining the tour, Ashanti was a special guest during Lloyd's performances of their 2004 hit, "Southside." With such a large and memorable discography, fans will be thrilled to hear some of the Grammy-winner's biggest hits like "Foolish," "Only U," and recent releases like "Say Less" featuring Ty Dolla $ign and "Pretty Little Thing" featuring Afro B.

This will more than likely be a another big financial boost to the tour. The inaugural Millennium Tour grossed $6.7 million from its first eight reports, according to Billboard and set a career-high for B2K. They also went on to earn $5 million from three additional dates at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. (April 13-14), State Farm Arena in Atlanta (April 4-5), and Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. (April 12).

 

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Fabolous Clarifies Comments About Shiggy And Paid Promotional Posts

Fabolous is all about his friends–including Shiggy–making their bread. The rapper cleared up an assumed incident between himself and the comedian during an interview with Ebro in The Morning after he was criticized for slamming Shiggy for demanding a check for promoted social posts.

Earlier this week, an exchange between Fab, Casanova and Shiggy about the matter was seen on Instagram Live after Shiggy explained why he doesn't create "challenge" dances for free. In light of his new single "Choosy," he asked his pal for a #ChoosyChallenge dance post to support it. Shiggy said he would be down to do it–but had to receive a check first.

Shiggy's profile has skyrocketed since he created the #InMyFeelings challenge in 2018. The challenge helped boost Drake's single and led to the comedian going on tour with him. He's also found himself in some awkward situations with rappers nearly bullying him into providing his influence for their music. During Shiggy's exchange with Casanova and Fab, it seemed that Shiggy's request was frowned upon.

Speaking to Ebro, Laura Stylez and Peter Rosenberg, Fab says his criticism of Shiggy was a joke and he's well aware that the comedian should receive a check for his services.

"It was all a play to play with Shiggy," he said. "Shiggy is a joking person, so you joke back with him. So my joke to him was, this first time I'm seeing him, he was at my show, and just like, 'Wow, look at Shiggy.' So I hit Shiggy just because we was starting the challenge of it and just because I know him personally. We have a cool relationship.  So I was just like, 'Yo man, it'd be cool if you do something for the new joint, for 'Choosy.'' And he's like, 'Yeah, yeah, see if you get me a check or something.' And even when he said it, I didn't take no offense to it, because I even see now, social media and the social media influencers, record labels do that. But me personally, I don't personally pay people, you know what I'm saying? I even told him like, 'I'mma see if Def Jam can get you a check. Let me figure it out.'"

Shiggy hasn't responded to the drama but he did say in his Instagram stories, "I didn't change, I just learned my lesson."

Check out the rest of Fab's interview below.

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