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LOGO’S ‘NOAH’S ARC’ DRIFTS TOWARD BIG SCREEN: Film will pick up where second-season cliff-hanger left off February 18, 2008

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:35 am

The Logo channel has given a green light for the feature film “Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom,” a feature film based on the gay and lesbian-themed network’s popular series, “Noah’s Arc.” 


      The television show revolves around four black gay friends living in Los Angeles. The film will pick up where the second-season cliff hanger left off, according to the Hollywood Reporter.


      Series creator Patrik-Ian Polk will direct from a script he wrote with John R. Gordon. Darryl Stephens, Doug Spearman, Rodney Chester and Christian Vincent will reprise their TV roles.


       Distribution plans for the film, which begins filming in March in Canada, have not been announced.


FILM/TV BITS: Kimora vs Porschla; Cosby and Fantasia at Jackie Robinson gala; Shuster’s ‘pimp’ woes

Filed under: Entertainment,Fashion — Ryann Hayman @ 10:33 am

Page Six is reporting that Kimora Lee Simmons is being frosty toward her ex-husband’s girlfriend Porschla Coleman. Kimora reportedly refused to allow Coleman to attend her Baby Phat show during New York’s Fashion Week “because she doesn’t want Porschla to be photographed with her children.” Russell is said to be annoyed, as he “holds no animosity toward Kimora or her boyfriend, Djimon Hounsou.”


       *Bill Cosby will host the Jackie Robinson Foundation gala at New York’s Waldorf Astoria hotel on March 3, where Clive Davis and George Lucas will be honored and Fantasia will perform.


       *NBC News President Steve Capus confirmed Thursday that MSNBC correspondent David Shuster – on a two week suspension for his “pimp” comment regarding Chelsea Clinton – will be back behind his desk an on the air Friday (Feb. 22). While filling in as a guest host of “Tucker,” Shuster was discussing recent campaign calls to famous people made by the usually reclusive Chelsea on behalf of her mother, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. He wondered aloud whether Chelsea was being “pimped out” by the campaign.  Shuster and NBC News apologized over the air and personally to the Clinton campaign and to Chelsea Clinton.


FLAVOR FLAV ENGAGED, YET LOOKING FOR LOVE: VH1 begins season 3 with a pregnant fiancé at home

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:31 am

VH1 trotted out Flavor Flav again for a third season of “Flavor of Love,” but word has it that he’s already engaged to a woman outside of the contest who’s carrying his baby.


       “Right after season two wrapped Flav got yet another woman pregnant,” a spy explained to the New York Post’s Page Six. “He decided he was in love with her and they got engaged.”       

       “He has a fiancée he’s in love with and doesn’t want to cheat on, but he’d already cashed his check that VH1 gave him for season three – and the show resurrected his career,” the spy continued. “He was dead broke before, so he’s doing it for his family.”

       A rep for VH1 said, “Flav is not engaged. It’s true he’s on his eighth child but, as he’s said in the past, he’d like 10. So there’s two more to go.”


       Flav was conveniently dumped by his season-one winner Hoopz, while season-two champ Deelishis never even got a phone call from the Public Enemy rapper after the final reunion show.


DAVE MAYS SINGS HIS REDEMPTION SONG: And it begins with an ode to Ray Benzino

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:29 am

Dave Mays has been hated on a great deal ever since The Source magazine took off back in the early 90s.     It was nearing the end of the ‘Black Power’ phase of Hip-Hop music and here comes this white guy with a highly successful Hip-Hop publication.

     Then there were the slew of artists who did not like the way albums were graded in the magazines well read rating system. And of course there’s Mr. Mays’ relationship with former Almighty RSO/Made Men leader Ray Benzino.

     The Roxbury, Massachusetts reared man of Puerto Rican descent merged with a middle class Jewish cat and the rest was history. Though Benzino is not constantly in the press, when he is it tends to make waves. He tends to rub some folks the wrong way. But Mays is quick to come to the defense of his brother from another mother.

     “First of all, anyone who is critical of him I can guarantee has never met him or had a conversation with him,” Mays began. “Any person who comes across with the opinion you’ve just shared has never met the man. It would be hard for anyone to disagree with me when I say any person that judges someone that they have never spoken to or have never met is a fool. If people are going to make judgments based upon things they read in the media, I will reiterate, they are foolish.”

Dave Mays & Ray Benzino

     People have been making snap decisions about things that they’ve read in the media since the beginning of printed media. The Source magazine has swayed many impressionable Hip-Hoppers with its sometimes seemingly biased stances on politics, the music industry and artists against which the publication may have allegedly had an ax to grind. So, for Mr. Mays to then speak down upon an individual that makes a decision based information published in a non-Mays/Benzino publication is a curious one to say the least. Is he calling some of his former readership fools? That’s likely not the case, but one could read that between the lines. But Mays’ says his homeboy is a genius and is, in fact, the brain trust of all their combined endeavors.

     “Here’s what I can say and I’ll say it to the day I die, the man is a genius, he’s brilliant and he’s been a critical person to our generation. He and I are going to accomplish things beyond anyone’s imagination over the next 20 years. It’s very ignorant for people from the outside to look at us and see the white guy from Harvard and assume (I’m) the brains of the operation. I think it’s a little sad and it speaks to the issue of stereotypes and race and even the conflict within the African-American community regarding their own race and identities. The success that I’ve had with The Source and with Hip-Hop Weekly and Monsta, it’s because of him. He’s the driving force, he’s the visionary, he’s the strategist.”

     That is certainly news to us. In the past Benzino has seemingly come off as a bit of a loose cannon in his encounters with some of the most beloved rap artists while at the Source, but Mays says he’s actually a real laid back, almost reclusive type of person.  In essence, Benzino may not talk a whole lot, but when he does speak it’s with fire and passion. Characteristics that may bruise the oft-times swelled egos that dwell in the Hip-Hop industry.

     “He and I are all about change,” added Mays. “Look what we’ve done over the past 20 years. He and I have given careers to and empowered hundreds of people. Hundreds of people have careers because of what we’ve been able to accomplish. Their lives have been enriched because of us. There’s many, many things that we have done for this culture and that’s nothing compared to the things that we’re going to do. ”

     That road to the future Mays spoke of? The first brick on that road was laid with the introduction of Hip-Hop Weekly.

     “During our time of struggle to maintain control of the Source, we knew that we might lose. We did decide we would start a new magazine if that happened, but we didn’t know what and that’s how the idea was initially formulated for Hip-Hop Weekly. We were ousted in January of 2006  and in March of 2006 Benzino called me and woke me up in the middle of the night and was like ‘Dave, I’ve got it!’ He explained to me the concept, I agreed. I stayed up until 6 o’clock in the morning running business models and projections for it and came up with a much more efficient way of building a magazine than what we had with The Source. The same thing happened with Monsta, that was Ray’s idea. He came up with the concept a few months ago.”

     Though the road to the future is already being paved, Mays tells EURweb that there was a brief moment when he and Benzino considered bailing The Source out of its continued financial situation, but that fell through. Lucky for Dave, Benzino had another trick up his sleeve.

     “A few months ago, when The Source was in the middle of bankruptcy, an attempt was made to try and regain control of it, but that didn’t happen so we moved forward with the idea for Monsta. We love Hip-Hop Weekly, but Monsta is truly where are heart is at. He came up with the name and general concept for it and we’ve been putting it together ever since.”

     As anyone in the magazine publishing industry can tell you, the life of a publisher is tenuous filled with the highs of great weekly circulation numbers, to the lows of low advertising revenue. Our Lee Bailey asked Mays, with the Internet giving readers information instantly, how can a print publication hope to compete?

     “The internet is a monstrous thing and it is reshaping the world as we know it. There’s a lot of hysteria going on and people get very caught up in this hysteria and get carried away with things. Paper goods and printed materials will be around, certainly, for our life times. I don’t see them disappearing. They’re changing. Just as everything else is changing. What you have is a snuffing out. Print media has more competition than it had in the past so the weaker magazines are going under. By the same token you can go to the newsstand now and pick up GQ magazine and see a big, healthy, 300 page magazine sitting out there on that newsstand making a lot of money.”

     Money, not the socio-political galvanization of the Hip-Hop youth or the worldview of our favorite MCs, but money is the bottom line with any publication.

     “The one category in the print business for the past five years is the celebrity weekly format. There are about 8 magazines: Us Weekly, People, Life & Style, Star Magazine, etc. You go to any supermarket in America and you see those magazines plastered up by the checkout counter. Well, guess what? All of those magazines are selling anywhere from half a million to 2 million copies a week, making tens millions of dollars. They’re all covering the same set of white celebrities. They all ignore the fact that we are a multi-cultural society.”

     That’s why Monsta, his new monthly mag and Hip-Hop Weekly have stepped up to kick in the proverbial door of the unclaimed advertising dollars of companies that are dying to market to urban minded readers. That’s money that People, Us Weekly and others of that orientation will never see.

     During the mid-90s The Source took some very controversial political stances and sparked the imaginations of many would be Hip-Hop activists. Mays tells EURweb that Monsta will be that vehicle from here on out. Both Hip Hop Weekly and Monsta are on newsstands now. 


MUSIC BITS: Q-Tip at Sotheby’s; Mariah’s video; Kanye’s Rita G; Wyclef’s ‘Girl

Filed under: Entertainment,Hip Hip — Ryann Hayman @ 10:27 am

Q-Tip was among the celebrities gathered Thursday night at NY’s Sotheby’s auction house by rocker Bono and artist Damien Hirst to raise money for (RED), the charity Bono and Bobby Shriver founded 18 months ago for AIDS relief in Africa.  The auction raised more than $40 million, with Hirst’s piece, “Where There’s a Will There’s a Way,” earning the top bid of $7.15 million. Other celebs in the building included Queen Noor, Michael Stipe, Martha Stewart and Anna Wintour.


       *Mariah Carey shot the cover of her forthcoming “E=MC2” album at the New York City apartment building owned by Lenny Kravitz. According to the New York Daily News, Mimi took over the penthouse suite and roof at the Crosby St. location. “Arriving in a black Maybach with three SUVs in tow, the diva sported custom-made Van Cleef & Arpels diamond butterfly rings and Christian Louboutin heels,” reported columnists Rush & Malloy.       

       *Wyclef Jean’s single “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” jumps into the Top 10 this week while simultaneously achieving RIAA Platinum Digital Single status. The first single from his new album, “Carnival Vol. II – Memoirs of an Immigrant,” features Akon, Lil’ Wayne and newcomer Niia. 

Rita G

       *Rita G, the model who bashes Kanye West with a shovel in his upcoming “Flashing Lights” video, is now trying to sell her used underwear for $24.95 a pop, says the New York Daily News. You see the goods all photoshop-ed up and au naturale at www.Rita-G.com. By the way, Rita says she doesn’t wash her clothes or wear deodorant, and will wear each pair of panties “long enough to transfer my ‘natural’ scent.” Alrighty then! The line forms to the , er, rear.


DIDDY SAYS MAN’S FACE RAN INTO HIS HAND: Mogul claims Roosevelt Hotel incident was not his fault

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:26 am

Sean “Diddy” Combs filed a declaration in his upcoming assault case stating that the man suing him in civil court actually ran into his open hand during an incident outside of the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.


       In recent depositions, four witnesses testified under oath that Diddy punched Gerald Rechnitzer around 2:30 a.m. on Feb. 26 after he confronted the mogul for flirting with his fiancée, Sofia Sokolov. But according to TMZ.com, Diddy filed court papers claiming his hand was open and outstretched as Gerald “lunged” into it with his face.       

       Diddy said that Rechnitzer “continued moving toward me and, without warning, lunged at me. Instinctively, I outstretched one of my hands, which the hand was not closed-fisted, to shield myself … any contact between Mr. Rechnitzer and myself was caused by his forward motion against my stationary open hand.”


      Following the incident, Rechnitzer filed a complaint with the Los Angeles Police Department.  But after a brief investigation, no charges were filed. The civil suit against Diddy is scheduled to begin on May 27.


‘GIRLFRIENDS’ CREATOR SAYS SHOW MADE HISTORY: Mara Brock Akil thanks fans, cast and crew following cancellation

Filed under: Entertainment — Ryann Hayman @ 10:24 am

Girlfriends” creator and executive producer Mara Brock Akil has released a statement expressing appreciation for the sitcom’s historic eight-season run, which was the longest-running live-action comedy on network TV when it was cancelled last week by the CW.


      “Although it’s always difficult to say goodbye, I choose to focus my energy on the history that Girlfriends has made, the human stories that we told, the beautifully complex images that we projected and the blessings 172 episodes bestowed on us, both personally and professionally,” Akil, said in her statement Thursday.


       “Girlfriends” launched on the former UPN network in 2000 with stars Tracee Ellis Ross, Jill Marie Jones, Golden Brooks and Persia White starring as four friends dealing with life and love issues in Los Angeles.       

Cast of ‘Girlfriends’

       The show was one of a few comedies to survive UPN’s 2006 merger with the WB to create the CW. Rumors of cancellation had followed the run up to last season’s premiere, but the CW ultimately decided to bring it back.  However, its average of 2.1 million viewers this year was not large enough to warrant a return for next season.       

       “I am immensely thankful to the amazingly talented cast, writers, directors, staff and crew for their endless dedication and hard work for eight seasons, to the network that always wanted us and the studio that always supported us,” Akil said in her statement. “But mostly to the audience, especially African-American women, who took the time to tune into us every Monday night at nine to have a dialogue with us and who have been our partner in this journey.”      

       Akil confirmed previous reports that the CW is mulling a special “Girlfriends” clip show that will pay tribute to the show’s history.