All Articles Tagged "beef"

The Modern Chef: Five Spice Beef Stir Fry

September 30th, 2016 - By Kweli Wright
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Food Network

Food Network

Stir-fry recipes are a great weeknight go-to: lots of vegetables, and lots of flavor, and not too many pans to clean up afterwards. Service this beef stir fry over white rice or try brown if you really want to up the nutrition factor. No cooking sherry? Consider substituting the same amount of apple juice. Courtesy of Food Network


Jasmine rice or short grain white rice, 1 to 1 1/2 cups, prepared to package directions
2 cups beef broth or stock, paper container or canned
2 tablespoons wok or clear oil, 1 turn of the pan
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin or beef tenderloin tips, trimmed, placed in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes then thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, seeded and diced into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup dry cooking sherry
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce, eyeball the amount
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder, found on Asian foods aisle of market
Cracked black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle, for garnish
1/2 cup smoked whole almonds, available on snack aisle, for garnish

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. Place beef broth in a small pot over low heat to warm the liquid.

3. Heat a wok shaped skillet or pan over high heat. Add oil (it will smoke) and meat bits. Stir-fry meat for three minutes and remove from pan or move off to the side of the wok.

4. Return pan to heat and add peppers and onions. Stir-fry veggies for two minutes. Add meat back to the pan. Add sherry and stir fry until liquid almost evaporates about one minute. Add soy sauce to the pan. Dissolve cornstarch with a ladle of warm beef broth. Add beef broth to the pan, then add cornstarch combined with broth, the five-spice powder and black pepper.

5. Stir sauce until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust seasonings. Add more soy or salt if necessary. Remove stir-fry from heat.

6. Fill dinner bowls with beef stir-fry and top with a scoop of rice. Scoop rice with ice cream scoop to get a rounded ball. By placing rice on top of stir-fry, rice will stay firm and not soak up too much sauce. Garnish with chopped scallions and smoked almonds.

Source: Food Network

“I Know THE REAL Story” Brandy Responds To Monica’s Interview

September 12th, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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Over the weekend, we wrote about Monica’s response to the shade Brandy threw at her #SoGoneChallenge. In case you missed it, in her interview with “The Real,” Monica took the highest road. She spoke about love, light and positivity. She said that God used Brandy’s shade to test her. She also shared how much she’s always admired Brandy’s talent. She explained that the only Grammy the both of them have ever won came when they collaborated for “The Boy is Mine.” And she admitted that despite all the bad blood, she would be happy to work with her again.

"Monica and Brandy pf"


Her response was a publicist’s wet dream. And Monica came across looking like a saint.

Brandy took a different approach.

In an Instagram post that seemed to simply be celebrating her beat and braids, Brandy issued a response to Monica’s comments.

#Inspire is the only reason #IAm @beautyamazonmua #Gift @drkariwill #Gift #GoddessTwist #Brakari @brakarihaircollection Hey Hey Hey, #IKnowTHEREALStoryThatEverybodyDoesntKnow #NewKeyOnKeyNewMeOnMe #MissSubstance #PositivityIsTheOneThingYouShouldNotFake

It’s all in the hashtags. Notice how the words “The Real” were capitalized. She mentions a story that no one else knows. And then, if there were any confusion the last one told it all. “Positivity is the one thing you should not fake.”


Truth is, there are always two sides to every story. I’m sure something did go down between these two women. Something that may have been a bit muddy and murkier than Monica’s love and light message. Still, if Brandy is not going to explain what really and truly happened, then she should just leave it alone. Because, right now, in the public eye Monica is coming off as the mature and evolved one, while Brandy just looks a bit bitter and petty. Again, that might not be the reality of the situation. But in this fickle business of fame, televised interviews and social media, perception goes a long way.

What do you think about Brandy’s approach to the whole thing? Is it working in her favor or nah?

Veronica Wells is the culture editor of MadameNoire. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.”

I Thought Brandy And Monica Had Made Up…

September 2nd, 2016 - By Veronica Wells
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I have personally been “over” the Brandy and Monica beef since right around the time it began. So, I’m sure many of you will accuse me of stirring the pot. But I view this as more of a post to address a general confusion. From the last I heard, the two weren’t just getting along, they had teamed up with one another for the song, “It All Belongs To Me.” The two went on a promotional tour for the single. They appeared on the cover of Ebony and in several interviews they admitted that the things that separated them as young girls were no longer an issue. In our interview with Monica, she admitted that the feud that existed between them as teenagers had a lot to do with marketing and publicity. After all, the song was about the two of them fighting over a man. They’d grown and matured and were no longer in that space. They were even supposed to go on tour together. But that fell through with no explanation from either singer.

And earlier this year, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Brandy said flat out that she and Monica aren’t on great terms.

“It was so long ago, I’m just in a different space. I don’t talk to Monica. We are on different paths.”

But my question really stems from a recent social media post from Brandy. As you know, Monica’s “So Gone Challenge” has been all over the internet. And while there have been several celebrities who participated, Brandy was not one of them. And people wondered why.

When someone asked her if she could do the So Gone Challenge, Brandy responded with two words.

“chile bye.”

That was enough. We got the message but she took it a step further with another full Instagram post, that has since been deleted.

Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Meanwhile, if you look on Monica’s page, it’s all about love and light.

So the question is, what really happened between this two?

From all the receipts presented, it would seem that Brandy is the only one to blame for their falling out. Truth is, we really don’t know. After all, Monica’s relationship with Ciara isn’t what it used to be either. Unless Brandy decides to spill the beans, I guess we may never know.

Forget Miley: What Exactly Is Nicki Minaj Doing To Promote Diversity In The Industry?

September 4th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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Nicki Minaj

Splash News

The first time I realized that I have a deep disdain for Miley Cyrus was during this past Sunday’s MTV Video Music Awards.

She has always irked me. To be specific, it irks me when she sticks her tongue out, wears those stupid Lolita-inspired buns, and, you know, makes her annoying music. But her irksome ways never pushed me to the point of disliking her.

I remember going to the supermarket and hearing one of her songs play over the store’s sound system. A man walked past me and said something about how Miley Cyrus is destroying our nation. I guess he expected me to share in his condemnation. But I was like “What? Um, okay. Ha-ha-ha…”

Women always get blamed for the downfall of society, so I wasn’t too keen on co-signing his observations – until I started reading Cyrus’s comments about Nicki Minaj. In particular, the dismissive tone she took towards the rapper’s grievances over the lack of body and other kinds of diversity among this year’s VMA nominees for Video of the Year.

It was this comment, in particular, made in the New York Times, which roused the bees in my bonnet:

I didn’t follow it. You know what I always say? Not that this is jealousy, but jealousy does the opposite of what you want it to — that’s a yoga mantra. People forget that the choices that they make and how they treat people in life affect you in a really big way. If you do things with an open heart and you come at things with love, you would be heard and I would respect your statement. But I don’t respect your statement because of the anger that came with it.

This was when I realized that Cyrus’s self-proclaimed feminism ain’t all that intersectional. I don’t want to get into all the ways her statement grated at me as I feel that many other writers on this here Internet have done a beautiful job of taking her to task already. But what I will comment on is this idea that Minaj, who, mind you, didn’t come out of pocket in those original tweets, needed to have her tone policed. You know the thing that people do when they can’t defend themselves against a statement and can’t refute it? They blame their inability to do so on how you said it. As if Minaj is supposed to ask polite permission first to be taken seriously.

Still, despite Cyrus’s simple comments and Minaj’s complaints, who really cares? This entire beef is all centered around stupid validation from an already problematic institution (and I am talking about MTV here). And none of it really is having any effect on our lives. I totally get that. But for an artist like Minaj, who is making both money and a name for herself in the industry, it has to burn that her efforts are not being fully recognized. That’s why I get her impromptu call-out of Cyrus during the award’s show.

And yet, as beautifully frank as that call-out was, there is something that kind of bothered me about it all. It has nothing to do with the comments made recently by talk show host Wendy Williams about Cyrus only being a kid. As far as I am concerned, if Cyrus is old enough to talk sh*t to an elder, she is old enough to get called out for it.

But rather, I started to think: Just how committed is Minaj to promoting diversity within the industry?

What I mean is that in the span of her entire career, I have yet to see Minaj promote any new artists, particularly a Black woman artist in the industry. Not a rapper (though there was an awkward compliment given to Dej Loaf at the BET awards). Not a singer (minus an already heavily established Beyoncé). Not a single other Black woman.

According to this Nicki Minaj Wiki page, she has tons of collaborations, including a couple of tracks with Miami-based rapper Trina, and, of course, Beyoncé. However, most of her collaborations have been features on other people’s albums. And the grand majority of those have been with well-established pop (i.e. White mainstream) artists and male rappers. Some of those collaborations include the very people she now denounces.

I remember there was a time when all the popular women who rapped during a particular era would get together and do lady anthems. There was also a time when artists, including the lady ones, would try to promote up-and-coming rappers in the industry. But while Minaj has been good at promoting herself, I can’t say the same about her efforts for others. Granted, the way Lil’ Kim came at her upon her arrival on the scene probably influenced why Minaj seems content on holding the lane just for herself. I get it, but it’s not necessarily right.

So while I agree with her that Cyrus was out of line, I would also have more sympathy for her cause if Minaj was helping to bring more sisters up and along in the industry.


Nicki Minaj May Have Won An Award, But She Lost Big Time At The VMAs

August 31st, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN


Many of us tuned into the 2015 VMAs in the hopes of seeing the way Nicki Minaj would respond to all the madness surrounding her controversial tweets about the inequity that Black women deal with in the entertainment business. Some tuned in to see if Minaj would blow up Miley Cyrus’ spot for basically calling her an angry Black woman last week. And she did. But that barely matters when you look at the bigger picture.

I think we all really just got duped by Taylor Swift.

Minaj opened the show with a performance of the catchy single “Trini Dem Girls” that led into “The Night is Still Young,” which culminated with Swift taking the stage in an act of pop solidarity. The performance ended with the formerly beefing pair singing Swift’s hit single, “Bad Blood.” What a well-orchestrated publicity stunt. Well done.

It was pretty odd that after all her pushback, Minaj decided to take the opening slot at a show that she claimed had done her wrong. So it should have come as no surprise that she would do so to wave a public white flag to Swift. I imagine that after Swift injected herself into Minaj’s tweets, the singer recognized damage control needed to be done and wasted no time getting Minaj on the phone to orchestrate a superficially huge water cooler and girl power moment for the 2015 VMAs.

Or, it’s possible that the entire beef was designed to give the music network ratings and relevance for its annual magnum opus. We mustn’t forget that the entertainment industry is all smoke and mirrors. Swift fans will welcome Minaj back into the fold while Minaj continues to dominate the pop-rap game, and all goes back to normal.

So who loses here? Everyone but Swift.

I suppose that at the end of the day, if it weren’t a stunt, Minaj couldn’t keep it really real even if she wanted to. She is a mainstream artist with a primarily White fanbase nowadays. But just as I started to come to terms with the whole publicity stunt thing, Minaj won Best Hip-Hop Video Award and things got even weirder. Minaj did her usual dance in her acceptance speech, thanking her fans and big upping independent boys and girls. Then she took a breath and thanked her pastor before launching into an assault on Miley Cyrus, the evening’s host, who was standing on the other side of the stage.

“And now back to the b***h who had a lot to say about me the other day in the press. Miley, what’s good?”

The petite singer barked at a visibly startled Miley Cyrus, who wasted no time in her rebuttal. Miley responded to the MC while asking viewers to vote for the Artist To Watch award.

“Hey, we’re all in this industry. We all do interviews and you know how they manipulate sh*t. Congratu-f***ing-lations.”

The camera cut to Minaj during Cyrus’ rebuttal, and she seemed to be popping off. She was nowhere near the microphone, but she definitely told Cyrus “don’t play with me, b***h.”

Now for all intents and purposes, this entire exchange seemed real, and MTV even issued a statement clarifying that the moment was not staged. But that’s not really saying much.  Either way, Minaj loses. Cyrus merely comes off looking dismissive and ignorant, but she gets attention, which is her only goal. Minaj has now taken a major blow to her credibility, which is critical at the end of the day. Beefing with Cyrus is a means to an end; she’s a buffoon who is not taken seriously. But in a perfect world, Minaj would have used her acceptance speech to further address disparities and clarify her original tweets that Swift misconstrued and Cyrus brushed off. It would have been a standout moment in her career, an important turning point. But alas, Minaj didn’t have time for that.

There is only one clear winner in this trifecta of beef: Taylor Swift. She managed to take a moment of cultural interference and transform it into a showcase to serve her perpetual victimhood. She started the show with a moment of redemption. In the middle of the show, she presented Kanye West with the Video Vanguard award, and half of West’s speech was dedicated to her. And to top it all off, she won Video of the Year with Kendrick Lamar as her supporting act. She has successfully stolen moments from all these people, and it is completely unacceptable, but of course, nothing will be done about it.

Going forward, we can only hope that Swift’s reign will not run over any more of the artists we enjoy. But most importantly, going forward, we all have to embrace the fact that our pop stars are not going to end our societal ills and that they will often use major issues, even ones as important as racial disparities, simply for attention. We have to keep doing the work ourselves and remember not to let the Taylor Swifts in our lives, hijack our moments.


#WhoPeedOnDrake: How Meek Mill Is Winning This Beef

August 3rd, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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meek mill violations probation


Unpopular opinion: Meek Mill won the battle.

No, seriously. And I am not just saying this because I’m from Philly and want to give Meek the benefit of the doubt. I am saying this because I am from Philly (#TeamWhoPeedOnDrake) and I truly believe that he won.

Think about it: This “beef” supposedly all started with a couple of tweets in which Meek accused the Canadian singer of having a ghostwriter. In a genre of music, which values authenticity and writing one’s own poetry, an accusation like that has the potential to damage a career. The potential at least.

The reality is that most of the top rappers have either been accused of or have admitted to having other people write their rhymes. Heck, Rick Ross has been accused of ghostwriting his entire image, and he is still winning. The same for Drake, who back in 2009 was accused of faking the funk after appearing on New York’s Hot 97 and reading his “freestyle” off of his Blackberry phone. And despite being clowned relentlessly for a couple of months during that time, no one brings up the Blackberry incident today. Most fans appear to have forgotten.

Although having someone pen your joints is supposed to be a career killer, most rappers are able to bounce back. In particular, the popular ones like Drake. And that is why it made no sense for Drake to have responded. I mean, I’m not trying to disrespect the home team, but Meek is not really a household name. And although he recently released a No. 1 rap album, folks know him more for being Nicki Minaj’s boyfriend than they do for his music. In fact, the second most asked question by the general public in this rap beef (besides “Why Meek, why?”) is “Who is Meek Mill?”

Also, outside of the normal lot of gossip rags and rap magazines, very few were talking about what Meek said. Had Drake not responded, Mill’s entire Twitter tirade could have been another misfire in the air of people who get on Twitter and take shots. But Drake took the bait. And he didn’t just take the bait once, but he threw himself back in the ocean and took the bait one more time with a follow-up diss track.

By responding in such a heavy-handed and timely manner, Drake not only gave validity to the idea that what Meek Mill accused him of could have some truth to it, but he also made Meek more relevant than he had been before. As not only are the usual suspects like The Source and Vibe Magazine covering this story, but Entertainment Weekly, People, and CNN are talking about him as well. If anything, this beef has helped Meek’s career more than it hurt it.

Likewise, most fans of the genre likely had the Philly rapper as a long shot to win to begin with. Again, nothing against the home squad, but Meek as a rapper is average at best. It is not that he doesn’t have a decent flow, but his range of subject matter and even vocabulary is limited, at best. This is especially true when we compare him to Drake, who as a rapper is more thoughtful and introspective. In short, this beef wasn’t evenly yolked. And Drake “winning” this battle is the equivalent of a National Scripps champion “winning” in a spelling contest with Floyd Mayweather.

I get that Drake is tired of the Internet calling him “baby powder soft” and making fun of him singing on every song. And it is likely that he thought a successful win over a hood dude with a microphone would help him gain some street cred. But If Drake won this battle then it should be a win with an asterisk next to it. Meanwhile, the current G.O.A.T Kendrick Lamar hasn’t gotten a response yet, and he called Drake out about his lyrical abilities almost two years ago.

Squashed: Faith Evans Extends Olive Branch Toward Lil Kim

February 16th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Faith Evans Extends Olive Branch Toward Lil Kim feat

With everybody and they mama beefing these days, it’s nice to see grown adults put the silliness behind them and move on to something more positive and uplifting. That’s what it looks like Faith Evans is trying to do with her longtime…(is nemesis too strong?), Lil Kim.

In case you’ve been sleeping on pop culture for the last two decades, you know that Lil Kim, Faith Evans and Biggie were in a very messy love triangle. And the death of their shared love interest, didn’t exactly subdue the fire.

But that was years and years and years ago.

And during this past All Star Weekend both Faith and Lil Kim were performing at Diddy’s All Star Weekend concert “The Tip Off.”

So when Faith and Kim were at the rehearsal together, Faith took the time to give props to Kim via her Instagram.

See what she said below.

As of now, Lil Kim has yet to acknowledge it or reciprocate but kudos to Faith for being the bigger woman. That drama is literally decades old at this point. They’ve both moved on to other relationships, with children and everything else. Certainly, it’s time for it all to be water under the bridge.

“Fu&K The Bucket Of Ice” 50 Cent Challenges Floyd Mayweather To A Literacy Test

August 21st, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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50 Cent Challenges Floyd Mayweather To A Literacy Test

I don’t like Donald Trump. At one point in time he was a respected business man. But increasingly he became a bit of a pop cultural icon. There were the jokes about the toupée, he was popping up in movies and then he got the reality show, “The Apprentice.” If he had stopped there, I would have never given him a second thought. But then he started blatantly disrespecting the President of the United States and intentionally inflaming people with whom he disagreed. In other words, Donald Trump became a troll. It’s now his full time job.

I know you’re thinking, I thought this story was about 50 Cent, what does Donald Trump have to do with all this? My point is: 50 Cent is the Donald Trump of the Hip Hop community. Like Donald, at one point in time, when you said 50’s name, the utterance was met with respect. He’s still a talented rapper, no one will take that from him, but over the years, 50’s ventured away from rap. And that wouldn’t have been so problematic if it didn’t give us a chance to see so much of 50’s childish, misogynistic and downright vile behavior. (See: him cursing Ciara, his ex, out on Twitter, sending hateful text messages to his son, missing that same son’s graduation and more–if you need a few examples.)

And 50’s latest victim is boxer Floyd Mayweather.

Now, let me tell you I’m not a fan of Floyd Mayweather either. He too has behaved rather poorly in the past few years. But that still doesn’t mean I can ride for or even chuckle at 50 Cent’s recent literacy challenge directed at Mayweather.

Earlier today 50 posted this video.

And beneath it he wrote:

Floyd will you except my ALS/ESL CHALLENGE: I will donate $750k to a charity of your choice, If you can read a full page out of a Harry Potter book out loud without starting and stopping or fucking up. lmao

Yes, it is quite ironic that 50 is challenging Mayweather to a literacy test and used the wrong “except.” But even more upsetting is the fact that 50, a grown man with children and several jobs, even has time for this dumbness. I don’t know why these rappers keep messing with Floyd like they don’t know he could literally kill them with his bare hands.

And to think, these two used to be friends.

“Had This Been Handled Privately, You Would Have Gotten An Album” Dawn Richard Defends Herself Against Angry DK Fans

August 18th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Dawn Richard Defends Herself Against Angry DK Fans

Source: Instagram

These days it seems like everyone is on somebody’s team. And the Danity Kane fans are flocking to Dawn Richard’s Instagram page, to let her know that they are #TeamDanityKane over everything. On one of the few Instagram photos Richard has left up on her page, she’s singing by herself, showcasing her vocal talent.

But instead of commenting on her voice, one person took the opportunity to tell Dawn that she’ll never make it without her former group. And apparently, there have been several of these types of comments because Dawn responded to one of them, suggesting that she’s not the reason–or at least the sole reason– why they won’t be getting any Danity Kane music.

Presumably, someone suggested that Danity Kane should just leak the album that they were working on. Dawn responded:

“…you can’t leak an album that doesn’t belong to you. People have no clue how business works. We don’t own the songs. You’re looking at me like I stopped the music. Actually we had a deal and because WE–and I mean all of us–took this publicly we have stopped music and money. Producers nor label will release now because they lose money. Had this been handled privately you would have gotten an album. And apologies and all would have been made and we would have moved on. But that isn’t the way it was handled so let’s move on as that is not MY only option. Those who rock with me will..And those who don’t I respect that and will respectfully block. I never want dk fans to have to fight each other and choose sides. But we left you no choice. So do what your heart tells you and let’s just move on.


And then to another commenter who probably suggested they work things out and get back to the music.

“nah babd. I’m good on that. She leaked this story on my birthday. And knew she was doing that. Then wrote a 3 page essay about how I ain’t sh*t. I’m done. That was enough for me to know the beat.” 


I wasn’t there so I don’t know what Dawn said or did or what Aubrey said or did. But I can understand fans being upset that this group couldn’t just get along, after getting them all excited about news of a reunion.

Are Chris Brown And Drake Making Music Together?

July 11th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Chris Brown And Drake Making Music Together

Source: Instagram

Several months ago, there were reports that Chris Brown and Drake had squashed their epic 2012 beef with one another that started whenpeople from their camps were seen throwing bottles in a Soho nightclub. Late last year, sources say Drake and his crew came out to see Brown perform at the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. And then afterward, they were backstage hugging, drinking and talking about collaborating with one another.

Apparently the mediator was music executive Abou Thiam, Akon’s brother and Tracee Ellis Ross’ rumored on-again, off-again boo.

And the proof that the two have ended the madness came in the form of an Instagram picture featuring both Drake and Chris is the studio together early this morning.

No word on whether they’ve actually worked on a track together or if they’re just kicking it but we’ll see.

If they do collaborate, we wonder if their common link will come up…