Clay Cane is a New York City-based writer who is recognized for his contributions in journalism. Clay is a regular contributor for various print and online publications such as The Advocate and He is the author of the highly anticipated novel Ball-Shaped World, which is a fictionalized account of the black and Latino ballroom scene. Also, he is the Entertainment Editor at and a member of New York Film Critics Online. He can be reached at

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    Thursday, January 31, 2008

    Check out my interview with the lesbian chic diva Gina Gershon. The former ex-girlfriend of Lenny Kravitz has a new rock CD, In Search of Cleo. In the interview Gina chats it up on everything from her music to the camp classic Showgirls.



    Posted by Clay :: 1:14 PM :: 2 comments


    Tuesday, January 29, 2008

    Soul Food - The Third Season DVD hits stores on February 5th. This season includes a lesbian storyline, the legendary Diahann Carroll, Terrance Howard and more. Check out my review below.

    The lesbian character is played by Terri J. Vaughn, who becomes "close" with Bird, played by the talented Malinda Williams. While at any moment the lesbian character could’ve morphed into trite homophobia, the writers cleverly handled the same-sex plotline; with Malinda Williams delivering a powerful monologue on sexuality that I think should’ve earned her an Emmy nomination. Even though the show was critically acclaimed, none of the actors, or writers, ever received an Emmy or Golden Globe nomination.



    Posted by Clay :: 11:06 AM :: 0 comments

    Monday, January 28, 2008

    Birgitte V. Philippides is the artist of the 2002 piece above, entitled "P. Diddy". She has also been a make-up artist for fifteen years and the hip-hop mogul is one of her favorite clients.

    In an effort to immortalize the diva of hip-hop, Philippides created a naked, and erect, portrait of Mr. Combs. Philippides said, "I showed him naked and that’s basically the core of who he is. People may or may not like him, but he's a smart motherfucker." She continues, "He was very excited about the painting. He's been very supportive for what I’ve seen to the gay community. He's been supportive of GLAAD, even though he comes from one world; he floats into many different worlds."

    Diddy's reaction to the piece: "He was like, 'Oh my God! Someone did a portrait of me; it's really amazing and cool.’” Philippides adds, “I feel like it needs to not be in his home, but out there for the world to see. It's about sharing it with different people."

    On why she choose a "naked" Diddy: "I choose to put his genitals in this piece because whether he has a big dick or not—for someone that has that much power, money and confidence, he’s got to have a big dick! Like, if I did a portrait of Donald Trump I would portray him with a big dick—it's part of the character!"

    Wow, I wonder what kind of portrait Queen Latifah would have?

    To see more of Birgitte V. Philippides artwork you can go to the LGBT Community Center in Manhattan for an exhibit, which runs through March 3rd, or you can check out her web site at

    Check out the full version of the piece below, which even has Fansworth Bentley!


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 22 comments


    Friday, January 25, 2008

    Yes, Lawd it's Friday...let's go to some throwback videos, featuring Grace Jones.

    This video used to scare the hell out of me when I was a young'un!

    "Slave To The Rhythm"


    Posted by Clay :: 11:41 AM :: 5 comments


    Thursday, January 24, 2008

    Queen, the story of Alex Haley's grandmother, is now avaialble on DVD. In case you forgot, the miniseries starred a young Halle Berry who delivered the lines, "I'se nig'ra! I'se nig'ra!" Pasted below is an excerpt and link to the review.

    Queen starred the now legendary Halle Berry, who in 1993 was still a developing actress, which shows in her jittery performance of Haley’s grandmother. While Berry fought for the role, her performance was met with vicious reviews. Unfortunately, watching Berry in Queen fifteen years later, the negative reviews still hold weight.

    Berry’s fidgety, high-pitched, whiny performance taints the potentially powerful miniseries. Her Southern accent is embarrassing and nearly laughable as she quickly squeals through, "I’se nig’ra! I’se nig’ra!". Furthermore, while the character of Queen is supposedly a black woman who can pass for white, in no ways does Berry ever resemble a white woman. She is simply pounded with white face paint and powder that doesn’t match her neck.

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    Posted by Clay :: 9:40 AM :: 7 comments


    Wednesday, January 23, 2008

    There is nothing better to me than a live performance. Check out some clips from what I believe to be some of the greatest live performances I have ever seen. You're going to get a chill...

    The legendary Stephanie Mills rips "Home" at the Apollo in 1989. Get into those shoulders pads!

    Jennifer Holliday destroys this version of "His Eyes Is On The Sparrow" like I have never heard before. I'm sure during the vicious riffs from 3:24 - 3:30 she was praying for Edwin Hawkins to let go of that severe perm!

    No, Mary J. Blige isn't Stephanie Mills or Jennifer Holliday but after seeing this 2002 performance at the Grammys I think everyone finally realized -- Mary can sing!

    Fantasia loses her cotton-pickin' mind in this 2005 performance of "Free Yourself"! Fantasia is the closest to Patti this generation will get.

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    Posted by Clay :: 9:35 AM :: 9 comments


    Tuesday, January 22, 2008

    Check out these great clips of divas dissing each other!

    Mariah dissing Madonna

    Madonna kind of disses Janet

    Mariah throwing shade to J-Lo "I don't know her!"

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    Posted by Clay :: 11:45 AM :: 5 comments


    Monday, January 21, 2008

    Today we observe Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday. Therefore, I think it's appropriate to honor the standard of Dr. King. Contrary to ignorant beliefs, which includes the daughter of Dr. King, Bernice Jackson (who helped organize a protest against LGBT rights in December 2004), Dr. King believed in human rights—not selective rights.

    In 2004 Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow and a huge supporter of the gay community, immediately struck down Bernice King’s statements that her husband would’ve frowned upon gay rights. According to Wikipedia, when radical black pastors were attacking the civil rights icon for supporting the LGBT community she, “reminded her critics that the 1963 March on Washington was organized by Bayard Rustin, an openly gay civil rights activist.”

    Even back in 1998 Coretta Scott King stated,” "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood.” In 2003 King said, "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people. ... But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream, to make room at the table of brotherhood and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

    I believe Dr. King would’ve been more progressive than we think on issues of gay rights, immigration, foreign policy, healthcare and of course, education. People forget the black church during his time was much more accepting, being that the black community was in complete turmoil. These black pastors of today are pseudo-intellectuals and money hungry gospel-charting capitalists, who could careless about unity if they cannot profit.

    Please check out the compelling video below "I Am The Standard", which is from writer/creator Lamar Richardson. Richardson says, " It's been my experience that the aspects of ourselves that we rush to hide like handicap, sexuality, political party, and financial status are often the candles that draw people towards us and encourage them to respect us.At one time I was the least and the last, however these phases of life have given me great insight into the human condition."

    Check out the video below. It's worth the nine minutes.

    For more information please check out:


    Posted by Clay :: 10:15 AM :: 3 comments


    Friday, January 18, 2008

    While we take the time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we should also remember Bayard Rustin. A man who will never get the proper respect he deserves simply because he was an openly gay man during the civil rights movement of the 1960's.

    Rustin once said, "The barometer of where one is on human rights questions is no longer the black community, it's the gay community. Because it is the community which is most easily mistreated." This statement would be a shocker to many African-Americans who are enraged that the gay rights movement and the civil rights movement are even remotely compared. Rustin lived the peak of both movements and was active in both. In discussions of gay rights and African-American rights it seems many white gays and black straights forget there is a combination of the two, black gays.

    Bayard Rustin was Dr. King's advisor on monumental events such as the Gandhian tactics, Montgomery Alabama Bus Boycott and the 1963 March Washington. However, Rustin was viciously discriminated against for being a gay man. According to Wikipedia, "U.S. Representative Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. forced Rustin's resignation from the SCLC in 1960 by threatening to discuss Rustin's morals charge in Congress." and "Senator Strom Thurmond railed against Rustin as a ‘Communist, draft-dodger, and homosexual’ and produced an FBI photograph of Rustin talking to King while King was bathing, to imply that there was a homosexual relationship between the two. Both men denied the allegation of an affair, but despite King's support, NAACP chairman Roy Wilkins did not allow Rustin to receive any public recognition for his role in planning the march."

    According to an essay by James Kirchick at The New Republic, Rustin: went to jail for two years for resisting the World War II draft, co-founded the Congress for Racial Equality, conceived the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King Jr., and "The non-violent tactics of the civil rights movement can largely be attributed to Rustin, who had traveled to India a decade before to learn from Mahatma Gandhi."

    Rustin passed in 1987, survived by his partner of ten years, Walter Neagle.

    Check out the clip below. Also, click here for another interesting clip.

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    Posted by Clay :: 10:03 AM :: 9 comments


    Wednesday, January 16, 2008

    Yeah, I know, another Patti LaBelle post, but the icon is entertaining. See the extras of my Patti LaBelle interview and the greatest hits, including her saying she doesn't do "fish" and thoughtfully recommends gay R&B singers to stay in the closet.

    For more Patti, I recommend her 1996 greatest hits CD--click here to purchase.

    PS. Feel free to forward this to Messi Sherri Shepherd who recently forgot that Patti LaBelle was a black woman on Monday's episode of The View. It may take her a few views to get it, but the 63 year-old icon who goes down in African-American history is black!


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 6 comments


    Tuesday, January 15, 2008

    I need to know why the producers at VH1 and MTV continue to run full seasons of America's Next Top Model every cotton pickin' weekend. Do you know how damaging it is to the IQ to see Tyra Banks for eight hours straight? What's most bothersome is to hear these "critiques" from Tyra that are contradictory, hypocritical and usually wrong. I thought I would take the liberty with my special guest judges, Apollonia and, guest writer, Peaches Babble-On, to give a thorough examination of Tyra's modeling photos throughout her career.

    Apollonia: Your head looks huge, your arms look like a prehistoric insect and you look like a praying mantis about to swallow Jaslene!

    Peaches Babble-On: You really need to practice your angles in the mirror, similar to what you told Kelle from Cycle 3, which made her cry in the bathroom, screaming that her face looked like a snout. Great way to uplift young girls’ self-esteem!

    Clay: This picture reminds me of your obsession with Latin girls, always telling them to be more “spicy”. I don’t think you’d be happy with a Latin model unless she came to you bathed in El Charro Picante Verde Salsa and served red beans and rice in an “I Love Tyra” apron.

    Apollonia: Tyra, you are photographing too old—is this The Golden Girls cover shoot?

    Peaches Babble-On: Tyra, I'm not seeing your top lip in this shot. It's important for you to remember that a woman with your personality (or lack thereof), you must use the few black features you have. Homework: See Iman.

    Clay: Dearest, you’ve lost your neck in this washed-out, sun-drenched shot that makes you look like a yellow goatfish dying on the beach. As a top model you should stop the entire photo shoot, take out those pea-green contacts and magically create a new scenery—isn’t that what you told Tocarra from Cycle 3 when she was forced to dress as a bowling alley valet?


    Apollonia: Very beer ad--looks like a bad audition for Maxim!

    Peaches Babble-On: A young lady who you interviewed on the "All About Tyra Talk Show" mistakenly contacted my office with a stern cease and desist letter. I'm forwarding to your company, Bankable Productions, for you to handle, but the long and short of it is—Karinne Steffans would like her King Magazine shoot back.

    Clay: The Steffans reference is actually right on point since you two slept with some of the same celebrities. One more thing—you look like an amputee! It looks like your legs were chopped off from the thighs down!


    Apollonia: A top model like you should know there is tons of money spent on airbrushing and this photo required more airbrushing than a Mariah Carey album cover. Oh, yes, airbrushing--isn't that what you tore YaYa DaCosta to shreds for on Cycle 3 for her "bad" skin?

    Peaches Babble-On: Speaking of Mariah, she asked for her wind machine back! I gather from this photo that you are a fan of the Greek Mythological character Medusa, but that hair is not appropriate and as a top model, you have a right to let the stylist know that you will not wear expired tracks. The health of your scalp depends on it!

    Clay: Apple and Peach also left out your oddly shaped legs. While I get the “broken down baby doll look” you look more like someone who was just let out of leg braces and can barely stand or model.


    Apollonia: You look like a confused alien. Smile with your eyes!

    Peaches Babble-On: This is obviously your best shot from the Stephen Spielberg challenge. As Furdona was told in Cycle 6, "Phone home!"

    Clay: No—Peaches will not insult ET! ET is an American icon. Actually, you look more like Joan Crawford in a 1950’s swimming cap with those tarantula eye brows—I don't see passion, I see demon.


    Apollonia: Does Naomi know about this? Didn’t you criticize Sara for copying Joanie’s pose on the elephant in Cycle 6? Remember, if you copy, you have to make it your own and you just made this less high-fashion and more the fifth member of En Vogue.

    Peaches Babble-On: They say imitation is the best form of flattery and I’m glad to see you did your homework…but Naomi needs her face back.

    Clay: Peach and Apple are being too hard on you…I mean, you’ve never done the cover of Vogue or Vanity Fair, like the international supermodel of the galaxy Naomi Campbell. Therefore, all you can do is mimic her. Maybe that’s why the bitch got you fired.


    Apollonia: Is this Victoria's Secret? You look confused, you lost your legs, plus, your feet look filthy and swollen. I will use your line for Ambreal in Cycle 9, “Hoochie, I don’t see a model.”

    Peaches Babble-On: Where is the high fashion? The judges (me) think this photo looks more like the cover a street literature novel (B-More Model-like)—more FRENCH VOGUE and less ZANE.

    Clay: Peaches, stop being so mean! Stop throwing it in Ty-Ty’s face that she never did American or even French Vogue. We all know Halle Berry, Naomi Campbell and even Oprah were able to grace the true magazine of high fashion. This picture is less high fashion and more like a photo shoot with 35 millimeter film, developed at the Sun Hop Fat Supermarket on Park Boulevard in Oakland, California.

    Did we miss anything?

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 11 comments


    Monday, January 14, 2008

    Last week, the Golf Channel suspended Kelly Tilghman, who is their lead anchor and, not surprisingly, a dear friend of Tiger "Don't Call Me Black" Woods, due to her "lynch him in a back alley" comment. The Golf Channel called her remarks "hurtful and grossly inappropriate."

    Considering the popup of nooses across the country from New York to Louisiana in 2007, it was honorable to see the Golf Channel denounce the comment—even when Tiger Woods wouldn’t. Woods’ statement said: "We know unequivocally that there was no ill intent in her comments" and "a non-issue in our eyes. Case closed."

    Tiger’s cavalier reaction is reminiscent of the 1997 remarks from legendary golfer Fuzzy Zoeller. After Tiger won the golf Masters, Zoeller said he should "order fried chicken or collard greens" for the Champions Dinner. Woods took nearly two months to address the comment and eventually said he met with Zoeller, accepted his apology and "Over time I think we will all see that it's an incident that was good for golf. It will take some time to understand it."

    Is this socially irresponsible? Does Woods mildly care he has inspired so many young black children to pick up a golf club similar to how the Williams sisters have inspired black youth in tennis?

    Several sports stars from the NBA to Venus and Serena Williams, have openly discussed their repeated experiences with racism. Legendary tennis player, Arthur Ashe, made it one of his life goals to fight racism. Woods has made it one of life goals to ignore racism.

    In a 1997 episode of Oprah, Woods famously said he is “Cablinasian”— Caucasian, Black, American-Indian, and Asian. In addition, he stressed he would reject the label of being the first Black man to win the Masters.

    While Woods is an extremely gifted golfer, let's be real, part of the reason why he's received so much attention is because he is a person of color in lily white golf. Tiger's multi-million dollar endorsement deals are attributed to that “50% black” in him (as if being a particular race is an Algebra equation) and being the “first”. Ironically, (see picture) his father, Earl Woods, has the distinguished honor, according to the Kansas State University web site, as “the first African-American baseball player in the Big Seven Conference.”

    Could you imagine if Halle Berry said she would reject being the first black woman to win a best actress Oscar because she has a white mother? Could you imagine if Beverly Johnson rejected being the first black woman on the cover of Vogue because she is part Native American? Could you imagine if Senator Barack Obama said he rejected being the first black man to be President of the United States because he has a white mother?

    Aside from Tiger's parentage, he has actively divorced himself from the black community even when he has benefited from being one of few blacks in golf. Woods has received kudos because he has broken color-barriers and changed the face of golf; but ends with, “I’m not really one of you."
    Woods reminds me of a gay man who has been sleeping with men exclusively for the past ten years, but insists on “I’m bisexual.”

    What is most interesting is that after this Kelly Tilghman fiasco every commentator from CNN to Fox News referenced Woods as “Black” or “African-American”. I’m sure he smashed some golf clubs every time he heard that line.

    Every black person is mixed; being mixed is consistent with the black experience. Sure, if you are Vin Diesel or Mariah Carey, you can conveniently reject either side that isn’t marketable. Tiger is a new form of a “tragic mulatto”, and if Tiger is rejecting his blackness than people like Al Sharpton shouldn't fight for him.

    It wasn’t surprising Tiger married a blonde hair white woman (I doubt he ever dated a black woman), but these racial comments must affect Tiger. Not because he is offended but . . . it's a constant reminder that his blackness is inescapable.


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 33 comments


    Friday, January 11, 2008

    The Bucket List
    Summary: Two old dollies, one an elitist (Jack Nicholson) and the other a family man (Morgan Freeman—of course he is playing the good guy!) share a hospital room. Once diagnosed with terminal illnesses and given only a few months to live, the two create a list of adventurous, emotional and life-changing to-dos before they "kick the bucket".

    Review: While not my type of film and definitely for a mature audience, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman still deliver great acting, even though it's obvious they had no intention of working too hard. The movie grapples with death, salvation, family, friendship and risks, leaving the audience to decide—what is the most important in a lived life?

    The Bucket List has bright imagery, catty one-liners (mostly from Nicholson’s character), but still manages to have a morbid feel. With graphic surgical scenes that give the Discovery Channel a hot battle, facing death gives each scene a heavy damper. Between all the illnesses and talk of dying I walked out saying, "Lawd, I'm not feeling too good myself!" Director Rob Reiner didn’t properly balance this dark comedy with comic relief. Sophia from The Golden Girls ranting about dying and calling Blanche a slut was hilarious, but there was something missing on the list with this flick.

    Whatever the case, The Bucket List is a good movie, it's worth it to see these two legends bounce off each other. Also, this is Jack's (Sean Hayes) first film since the cancellation of Will & Grace.

    If you're looking for a new spin on the "stop and smell the roses" rhetoric, this is not the film for you. I recommend seasons 2 – 5 of The Golden Girls!

    Grade: B -

    El Orfanato

    Summary: Laura, her husband and son return to the decadent mansion where she was raised, which is now haunted by irritating little brats who were orphans. These orphan children harass Miss Laura to her last nerve and manage to snatch up her darling, and sickly, son in the process!

    Review: I love a psychological thriller and was excited to see El Orfanato (The Orphanage), which is from the acclaimed director of Pan's Labyrinth,
    Guillermo Del Toro. The film has received amazing reviews, but for me, I felt like the script needed an immediate adoption of a more compelling storyline. Yes, there were interesting plot twists such as the sickness of Laura's child, why the mansion is haunted and the film is beautifully shot. However, all of the twists never fully tie together to make a complete story—what's a wonderfully shot thriller without the thrill?

    Throughout the hour and forty minutes, the audience awaits for that big boom, which eventually falls short with doors slamming, Miss Laura screaming in the rain and those demon kids. The viewer is left with a flavorless thriller that is about as psychological as this season of Ugly Betty.

    This is a Latin film but the majority of the actors were Spaniards. My Dominican sister, who attended the screening with me, ranted, “If these were Dominicans we would’ve cut off a chicken’s head, put a Santeria spell on those bad ass kids and be done with it!”

    If you want to see evil children who harass foolish adults, I recommend The Good Son or Rhoda Penmark in The Bad Seed.

    Grade: C -

    The Bucket List and El Orfanato open in theaters nationwide today.


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 3 comments


    Thursday, January 10, 2008

    On Tuesday, the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) announced the nominations for the 39th Annual NAACP Image Awards. Congratulations to Maurice Jamal's Dirty Laundry, which was nominated for Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film. This is a huge statement for black LGBT films and projects. Considering Punks, Brother to Brother and Noah's Arc (see Jasmyne Cannick's post back in January 2006) received no nominations.

    The NAACP is notoriously a conservative organization. Having a Bachelor’s in African-American Studies, I am well versed on the critiques of the NAACP throughout history. The legendary Marcus Garvey famously called the NAACP, "National Association for the Advancement of (Certain) Colored People", arguing they only accepted light-skin people within their organization. Garvey once ranted, "Between the Ku Klux Klan and the [NAACP], give me the Klan for their honesty of purpose towards the Negro! They are better friends of my race, for telling us what they are, and what they mean.”

    Whatever the case, the NAACP made incredible accomplishments in the lives of African-Americans. With that said, right about now I have an issue...the NAACP had the audacity to nominate Angelia Jolie as best actress for her black/brown face role in A Mighty Heart and nominated the film, along side Dirty Laundry, for Outstanding Independent or Foreign Film. In case you forgot, there was some controversy about Jolie playing the widow of Daniel Pearl, Mariane Pearl, a woman of color.

    Five-time Image Award nominee, Thandie Newton, was perplexed at the selection of Jolie. In October 2006 Newtown said, "God I'm shocked. She's been blacked up to play a black woman." Adding, "It's an absolutely fantastic role; I would loved to have played it."

    In October of 2006 Keith Boykin stated, “When Hollywood finds a story of a black woman, why would they pick a white woman to play the role?” When I covered the story I said, “When I heard Jolie was playing Mariane Pearl I didn't think it was a big deal. I said, ‘Well if the character's race is not important to the plot—who cares? It's not like Jolie is starring in a remake of Queen.’ However, when I saw the picture of Jolie in light-skinned black face, darker than Mariane Pearl, I was mortified!”

    Can you imagine if the ALMA (Latin) Awards gave Al Pacino a Lifetime Achievement Award for playing Tony Montana, a Cuban character, in Scarface? Why don't we just cast Pamela Anderson in the life story of Coretta Scott King and have the NAACP honor her with a nomination! Question - how successful do you think Angela Bassett would be if she auditioned to play the role of Jackie Onassis with some white face paint? Hell, let's just go all the way and have the Olsen twins play Nina Simone!

    I understand the need for ratings, but the NAACP could've been a bit more socially responsible and honored Jolie with a "humanitarian award". Jolie in black face is exactly what the NAACP should’ve spoken against versus honoring it. Furthermore, the fact that NAACP not only nominated the movie, but also Jolie's performance, is even more bizarre. There are other black women who could've received the nomination--like Loretta Devine in Dirty Laundry.

    The NAACP should be ashamed of themselves. Maybe if Thandie would've starred in A Mighty Heart she wouldn't have taken a role in that God awful movie Norbit! The true shocker would be if Angelina won...

    Click here for a complete list of NAACP nominations.

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    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 22 comments


    Wednesday, January 09, 2008

    Somethin' in my light-skinned bones told me all of the polls, strategists and commentators were wrong when they predicted Senator Barack Obama had a ten point lead over Senator Hillary Clinton and she would come in third for the New Hampshire primary. This proves strategists know nothing about voters. CNN's Soledad O’Brien repeatedly said, "The biggest surprise is this wasn't predicted by any of the polls!"

    When I saw Hillary's tears on Monday I thought I was watching a Lifetime Television special titled Not Without My Presidency: The Hillary Rodham Clinton Story. Miss Hill let out the waterworks and according to some experts the sympathy votes hit. Also, there was former President Bill Clinton who came out clawing like a cat trapped in an alley with nowhere to go, really showing his redneck card, whining Obama is "the biggest fairytale I've ever seen".
    Billy needs as much of a break as Beyonce, whose campaign is this? It’s like Beyonce promoting Kelly Rowland’s album all over again!

    I agree with Chris Rock who recently said at a Madison Square Garden concert, “I think America's ready for a woman president . . . just not that woman. Being married to somebody doesn't make you good at their job. I've been with my wife 10 years now. If she got up here right now, y'all wouldn't laugh. At all!”

    Here are some good signs:

    Clinton lost in Iowa to Obama by 9%. Obama only lost by 2% in New Hampshire, which is still a huge success.

    While Miss Hill did win the New Hampshire primary, 53% of the Democratic voters still did not vote for her.

    Here are some issues that concern me:

    50% of voters in South Carolina, the next big primary, are African-Americans. Is this good or bad? Many of my friends continue to say black folks in the South are not fans of Obama because they don't consider him "black enough". This doesn't surprise me (
    and people think color constructs don't exist in the black community!) but at the end of the day, I do believe black folks will vote for Obama over Clinton, especially black men. Also, I would argue Clinton is more threatening to men, especially white men. For many, Miss Hill emasculates their hypersensitive masculinity. Nonetheless, pushing out tears the night before a primary is not going to declare Miss Hill a winner -- this worked once, it won't work again.

    Then we have John Edwards...poor Johnny. Isn't Edwards the Michelle Williams/Spinderella of the presidential campaign? Always seeming out of place, performances slightly off and if he suddenly vanished, no one would really care.

    Just a few months ago I was happy with Clinton or Obama, but after learning more about the candidates, Oprah 's speech and seeing the viciousness of the Clintons, I do believe Barack Obama is the one. I hate to be this emotionally invested in politics because at the heart of it all, politics are about grime, gore and money.

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    Posted by Clay :: 11:00 AM :: 9 comments


    Monday, January 07, 2008

    Whenever I see the “one hit wonder” specials I’m always shocked how R&B girl groups are left out of the mix. Sure, most of these songs had their biggest hits in the hood, but they were still staples for the time. Check out some of the greatest one hit wonders by R&B girl groups…you may need to go into the mental rolodex to remember these chicks!

    “Why Can’t You Come Home” by Ex-Girlfriend

    A creation of bad-hair, ‘80’s group, Full Force, this Brooklyn-based quartet would garner only one hit in 1986 with “Why Can’t You Come Home”, which charted at #5 on the R&B charts and #78 on the Billboard Hot 100. Who could resist the line, “You might catch a frying pan straight to the dome!” Extremely minor hits would follow, but after their two albums in 1986 and 1991 failed to keep the group afloat, the group ended…click here for video (you have to catch that note at the very end!).

    “Comin’ On Strong” by Sudden Change

    Now if you remember this 1994 group you are a true music guru. This song was strictly a hit in the hood, never even charted on Billboard, but received heavy airplay on BET Vibrations. The group only released one album and exited as quietly as they came. I think it had something to do with their ridiculous name…click here for the video.

    “Your Sweetness” by The Good Girls

    The Good Girls is a prime example of a girl group who might have had more success if they would’ve came out five years later. Their 1989 song “Your Sweetness” charted on Billboard’s R&B charts at #6. Even though the group toured with New Kids on the Block and had small hits thereafter, they disbanded after poor record sales with their 1992 album Just Call Meclick here for video.

    "90's Girl" by Blackgirl

    This anthem song from the Atlanta-based group and insanely beautiful, Blackgirl, peaked at #13 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of 1994's biggest R&B singles. Their album Treat U Right went gold, they received Billboard and Soul Train nominations, but their second album was never released…click here for video.

    “Chocolate” by Y?N-Vee

    Los Angeles-based and rarely clothed, Y?N-Vee, was released on Island Def Jam. The four girl group marketed a sexy image with a name that gave them more attention than their music. Their remake of “I’m Going Down” came out the same time as Mary J.’s and would bomb. It was 1994’s “Chocolate” that peaked at #39 on the R&B charts, but the group only made one album…click here for video.

    “He’s Mine” by MoKenStef
    Who doesn’t remember this camp meets R&B ballad, which delivered the lyrics, “Feelin' disgust, workin’ yo’ stuff” or “He's mine, you may of had him once, but I got him all the time.” I remember many girls (and queens!) saying that to their latest date. The song peaked at a surprising #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1995, but no other albums followed the clunker Azz here for video.

    “I Like” by Kut Klose

    A creation of Keith Sweat, Atlanta-based Kut Klose would garner their biggest solo hit with the song “I Like”, which charted at #34 on the Billboard Hot 100 (#8 on R&B) in 1995. While the group had minor hood hits, they only released one album. The lead singer released one solo album, but soon Kut Klose disappeared from the music industry…click here for video.

    “All Cried Out” by Allure

    Their remake of the Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam classic charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1997. While they had hood hits that featured LL Cool J and Nas, the group never achieved much success after “All Cried Out”. At one time signed to Mariah Carey’s vanishing act of a record label, Crave, the group struggled through various labels, member changes and eventually released their third and last album in 2004…click here for video.


    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 17 comments


    Thursday, January 03, 2008

    Ricky Romance phoned in to the Wendy Williams Radio Show to discuss the Chris Stokes allegations. In another twist in the problematic story, Romance now says he "shouldn't of put the videos out" and "I apologize to the world, I apologize to Chris." In addition, he talks of a Raz-B book deal and wouldn't even answer if the molestation actually took place saying, "Well, you saw the tape."

    Romance, in his own way, is retracting, something he said he wouldn't do on his MySpace page last week. This is deeply disturbing considering Romance continues to rant that he is doing this "all for the kids". How is this for the kids? Spitting out serious allegations then retracting them? This interview is the polar opposite of Romance's scandalous interview with a California radio station on Thursday.

    What that teaches many who have been molested is that telling your truth is useless if you can’t stand behind it. Also, with the right threats or dollar signs, anyone can be silenced. Getting the alleged pedophile locked up would be more “for the kids”. No matter how “forced” the two are to retract, this YouTube salaciousness is not a great example of speaking your truth about child molestation.
    Hell, imagine if Tina Turner retracted that Ike beat her ass!

    Wendy went on her usual rants, but sadly she continued to say, "Raz coming out with his homosexual allegations." Raz-B never came out with homosexual allegations; he came out about alleged child molestation, which is not homosexuality. Child molestation would get Chris Stokes in jail, not homosexuality. Every hetero needs to know, the story is not about homosexuality, if it was, every gay rumor in R&B/hip-hop would have this type of high-octane news. This is an excellent example of why I posed the question in my post
    Is Wendy Williams Homophobic? Toward the end of the interview, the legendary shock jock directly asked the pedophile question, which Romance wouldn’t confirm.

    The conversation between Romance and Williams became increasingly volatile. After Romance hung up she called him "cauliflower booty."

    Press play to hear the full interview.

    Labels: ,

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 9 comments


    Wednesday, January 02, 2008

    Apollonia and I had the pleasure of seeing Patti LaBelle for New Year's in Atlantic City. As you all know, I am a huge Patti LaBelle fan, I interviewed her for several publications in 2007, but I've never experienced a full Patti LaBelle concert.

    Between Apollonia and I, we had seen Madonna, Janet Jackson, Prince, Chaka Khan, Annie Lennox and countless others in concert. Nonetheless, when the show ended, Apollonia said, "That was the greatest concert going experience of my entire life." I have to agree, while I never thought any performer could top Prince, Miss Patti with just her band and a powerhouse voice, shook my soul right to a core that I didn’t even know existed.

    What's best about Patti LaBelle is her “realness”. For example, the soul songstress opened with "You Are My Friend" and admitted she was having some vocal strife, however, even in the icon's problematic vocal moments she was still incredible. Considering many artists will go wildly off-key for an entire show and not even know it, or just lipsynch, I appreciated Patti's honesty.

    With amazing legs, two ferocious dresses, hot flashes and a collection of shoes (yes, sitting right on the piano!) that would put Carrie Bradshaw to shame, Patti emoted across the stage. By the third song, whatever vocal issues she was having, she triumphed, proving she was human and a true artiste. In times when pop tarts cancel due to "depression" or vocal divas axe a show due to "throat problems", Patti reassured the audience, "I am not leaving this stage!"

    We all got a good cackle when Patti talked about her 1983 hit song "If You Asked Me To", which was remade by Celine Dion. Patti explained to a predominately white audience, “Celine had better people working for her on this song because she made 50 million dollars and I made two!" She added, “But I did it first!"

    Again, in a predominately white and more than likely hetero crowd, Patti didn’t forget the gays. She ranted how we hate people for various reasons, such as sexual orientation. When she called on men to hit the stage to sing “Lady Marmalade” she said, “Gay, straight—come on up, it don’t matter!” Yes, we all know Patti is a gay icon, but sometimes in particular environments the artists who supposedly love the gays shift their “love” depending on the audience…not the case with Patti.

    Patti treated the audience with her choir from Clash of the Choirs who sang like the rent was due at the strike of midnight and there was an eviction notice on their door!

    The most moving moment of the evening was Patti reflecting on so many people she lost in her life such as her mother, sisters from cancer, her brother four months ago from a heart attack and even her father to Alzheimer’s disease. Also, she celebrated those we lost over the past few years such as Gerald Levert, Anna Nicole Smith, Donda West and of course Luther Vandross.

    Then, as if the crowd wasn’t emotional enough, Patti sang an unforgettable performance of the gospel classic “Walk around Heaven”. Apollonia nearly fell to the floor and broke out into tongues! Patti was touching souls that night.

    Okay, this going to sound a bit dramatic, but I had been sick and feverish the entire day. Still, there was no way I was going to miss Patti LaBelle tickets in the sixth row—I would’ve been propped up in the aisle on a stretcher, breathing through an oxygen tank before that happened! However, by the time I left that concert my fever was gone! Yes, Lawd—Patti healed me!

    Everyone reading this needs to make their New Year’s resolution to attend a Patti LaBelle show in 2008. Yes, if there is one thing you must do before you leave this earth--it's see Miss Patti LaBelle live. I am so honored I was able to bring in the New Year with her spirit, resiliency and attitude.

    Patti LaBelle has a concert scheduled with John Legend on January 31st in Atlanta, Georgia.
    CLICK HERE for tickets.


    Posted by Clay :: 10:24 AM :: 6 comments


    Tuesday, January 01, 2008

    Craig David: Brits Do It Better

    Patti LaBelle Takes on Christmas


    Posted by Clay :: 2:04 PM :: 0 comments
    Janet Jackson: Still On Top

    Anthony David: Not Your Average Boy

    Hil St. Soul: A British Invasion

    Jody Watley: Flashback Fridays


    Posted by Clay :: 2:00 PM :: 0 comments
    Angie Stone: Heart and Soul

    Janet Jackson: Disciplined Diva

    HX: Mama Christmas

    Donna Summer: The Queen is Back

    Eve: All About Eve

    Ashanti: Diva!

    Dirty Laundry Review

    Posted by Clay :: 12:00 AM :: 0 comments

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