All Articles Tagged "brandy"

Why I Think Honorary Greek Inductions Are Unfair

July 18th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
Share to Twitter Email This

Source: Instagram

It was the middle of Spring semester 1999 and dozens upon dozens of young women dressed in their professional best, nervously lined up outside of one of the University’s meeting hall.

It was the first orientation meeting for prospects for the first line on campus, since the organization was suspended for bad behavior by the school several years ago. Today was a new day. And we young hopefuls stood silently, surveying each other and smiling politely. It was the first time any of us had personally revealed intentions (outside of few close friends and family) publicly as well as the first time any of us got to see who else might be on the rooster.

There was lots of paranoia on campus about the Greeks. For one, talking about the fraternity or sorority you intended to pledge was akin to announcing to the campus your intentions of screwing the entire offensive line of the football squad.  Ya just didn’t do it. There were horrifying urban legends and folklore about those, who let their lips do the flapping. At the very least, if all that bragging, boosting and declaring you did got back to the wrong ears, it was almost guaranteed that you would not make it – the exception was those, who were legacy of course. But that day, the cat was out the Greek letter embroidered bag and your closely guarded secret would now be known – or gossiped about – around Virginia Union’s tightly-knit campus by sundown.

I was kind of shocked when I got my letter inviting me to line. There were so many legacies at the orientation and only a few available slots and yet they choose me. As flattered as I was, I also felt like it was well earned. A year or so before the letter arrived in my mail slot, I had made it up in my mind that this organization was what I was going to join. As such, I put in the work bringing my grades up and being active on campus as well as in the community – well, as active as I could, while going to school full time and working damn near full time. In may respects, having such a prestigious and notable organization, with a long legacy in the community, notice the work I put in, actually mattered.

And then I read to the bottom of the letter, where it said that they needed $438 in a few days…

Mom wasn’t an option because she was already helping me on rent.. Dad wasn’t an option because he rarely was an option. I asked Grandma and she seemed quite confused about why I needed the money. “What kind of organization cost that much…Greek what?…Nope, I ain’t got it…” A couple of my other friends, who too were in similar financial circumstances offered to chip in, but even with all that fundraising, I had only managed to raised about half the money. Reluctantly, I contacted the line adviser, who told me that if I couldn’t raise the money, my only other option was to drop line.

She met me at my job as a cashier at a local supermarket. She waited patiently for me to finish up my last customer on the line and handed me the paperwork to fill out. I can’t remember what all it stated but the gist of it was that I was dropping line on my own volition. Technically I wasn’t, but I signed the paperwork anyway. My face must have looked pretty pitiful because without asking, she pulled me close to her for a hug and told me to have strength. I would rather money.

As hurt as I was at the time, I’m over it. No seriously, I swear I’m not bitter about it all. Looking back, I probably could have taken the risk and gambled my rent money for the month, hoping that I could find some other way to make it up. Or I could have asked the one more affluent girlfriend for the money. But I felt after all the free rides (including back and forth to Philly), food and use of her personal computer and printer ink, I just didn’t want to ask her for anymore stuff. But I could have taken the risk – I suppose.

Still, I will own up to feeling a tinge of tartness whenever I hear about and read things like this:

Today was a very special day. I became and honorary member of #AlphaKappaAlpha! I made this very special lady proud. @sonjanorwood- My mom’s legacy as an #AKA continues. Love to all my #Sorors <3 #sisterhood #ethics #strength #class #leadership #intellect #power #LOVE”

That comment is from Brandy Norwood, who according to published reports just became an honorary member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Also according to these reports, there are also pictures of Norwood posing ever so dainty in all white and giving the Ivy symbol with her hands. I do not begrudge Norwood. But she had two advantages here: legacy and fame. Those privileges meant that in terms of gaining access to that particular organization, she never had to worry too much about risk.

And that is why I just don’t think honorary inductions are fair practices. Or legacies for that matter. And yet colleges, universities and all types of collegiate organizations regularly use these sorts of practices to help determine admission through its doors. Even as the practices totally spit in the face of everything everyone, including these same institutions, has ever said life was supposed to be about: hard work and merit. And if something doesn’t work out, well it is because you didn’t work hard (including taking those risk)- that has always been the narrative, anyway.

And, there is no denying that hard work matters in some respects. And there is also no denying the contributions of some folks to the greater society and it is only right they their work is honored. The AKA’s own list of other honorary members is pretty impressive. But then there are the people, who receive honorary inductions into these institutions for basically singing a song or two we liked (you can’t even say “write” as writing credits are few and far in between).  And that’s when the sourness sets in…

To be clear this is not and anti-affirmative action post. Affirmative action is largely a response to what are unearned privileges, like the honorary degree and legacy clauses as well as racism and sexism. In actuality, some affirmative action, particularly an economic-based affirmative action, might have aided me in my own quest for membership. But rather this is a post about the types of messages we put out into the world and values we reinforce when those, who studied, learned the craft, did the research, walked the right lines and struggled but ultimately played the game as the rules had been laid out, find their hard work and merit overlooked in favor of the notable, the inherited and pretty much those folks who already have the advantages.

Is that really fair?

Skee Wee: Brandy Becomes An Honorary AKA

July 16th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This

Just about an hour ago, singer and actress Brandy announced that today was a special day for her and her family.

In a picture with her mother Sonja Norwood in all white, the singer wrote:

Today was a very special day. I became and honorary member of #AlphaKappaAlpha! I made this very special lady proud. @sonjanorwood- My mom’s legacy as an #AKA continues. Love to all my #Sorors <3 #sisterhood #ethics #strength #class #leadership #intellect #power #LOVE

This is sweet, specifically since she has this familial connection to the sorority. It’ll be interesting to see if Brandy’s daughter Sy’rai will follow in her grandmother and now mother’s footsteps.

Brandy also joins director Ava DuVernay who was inducted into the sorority as an honorary member earlier this month.

Brandy even hit the Ivy pose in her all white.

 

Congratulations Brandy!

15 Celebrities Who’ve Been Involved In Serious Car Accidents

June 18th, 2014 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
Share to Twitter Email This

Early this month, Tracy Morgan was involved in highway crash in New Jersey, which killed one of his friends (comedian Jimmy Mack) and severely injured him and other colleagues riding in the Mercedes Sprinter bus. Since then, Morgan’s reps say that he has gone from critical to fair condition and showing signs of improvement. We’re rooting for the comedian, and wish him a happy and speedy recovery.

There are numerous celebrities who’ve been involved in serious car accidents over the years. Some didn’t make it, some survived, and some hurt others when the accidents happened. Here are 15 celebrities who’ve been involved in scary collisions.

 

WENN

WENN

MORGAN FREEMAN

Almost six years ago, Freeman was in a terrible crash. His car flipped multiple times on a Mississippi highway. As a result he was seriously injured, suffering nerve damage and paralyzing his left hand. To this day he still wears a compression glove from time to time to help with his hand.

“All The Way Home,” “Fine China” And “The Way”: Songs You Didn’t Know Sevyn Streeter Wrote

June 10th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Sevyn Streeter

Source: WENN

Amber Streeter, widely known as Sevyn Streeter has been taking the R&B game by storm with her new music, including the jams “It Won’t Stop” featuring Chris Brown, “nEXT” featuring Kid Ink, and “I Like It.” But before she was stepping out on her own to have success as a solo artist with EPs like Call Me Crazy, But…, like so many other musicians these days, she was a thriving songwriter, and really, she still is. She’s behind some recent big hits, as well as deep cuts off of albums from some of our favorite singers over the last few years. Don’t believe us? Take a look for yourself. Here are 10 songs written or co-written by Sevyn Streeter that we’re sure you’ve tried to sing or danced to before…

“Yeah 3X” by Chris Brown

It was the first time Streeter and and Brown worked together, but it wouldn’t be the last. He was so impressed with her writing skills (she co-wrote the song), and of course, her voice, that he made her his protege. Who wouldn’t? “Yeah 3X” was a massive hit internationally and helped his fourth album, F.A.M.E. sell well and get attention back on his music after being blacklisted on the radio after his assault on Rihanna in 2009.

A Night To Remember: 9 Famous Folks Who Went To Prom With Their Biggest Fans

May 20th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This

celebrities who went to prom with fans

Prom season is still going, and if we had the chance to go to prom with our dream date back in the day, I’m sure we would all name some celebrity whose posters were on our wall and that we were crushing on at the time. But what happens when your wish is actually granted? These young people reached out to stars they are huge fans of to ask them to prom, and as you will find out, they were lucky enough to go arm-and-arm with the famous folks on the big night. Here are 9 celebrities who made prom a night to remember for some of their biggest fans.

Real-Life Barbie Girls: Famous Women With Celebrity Dolls

May 19th, 2014 - By Meghan Williams
Share to Twitter Email This

Since the 1840’s when famous ballerinas were featured as paper dolls, toy makers have loved immortalizing celebrity women in mimi-form. Many of today’s celebrities have been recreated as dolls that have been sold to the public and so here, from Nicki Minaj to Diana Ross, we count down famous women with celebrity dolls made in their likeness.

celebrity dolls

Source: WENN/MyPinkFriday.com

Nicki Minaj

The self-professed Barbie got her wish in 2011 when Mattel created a one-of-a-kind doll in her likeness that was auctioned for charity.

The Apple Fell Far From The Tree: Celebs With Wild Siblings

May 13th, 2014 - By Iva Anthony
Share to Twitter Email This

We all have that one family member who will pop off at the drop of a dime and celebrities are no different. While these famous folks may know how to keep their composure, their wild siblings have no problem throwing down in a heartbeat.

Celebs With Wild Siblings

WENN

Beyonce

All anyone has been talking about the past few days is surveillance cameras catching Solange Knowles attacking her brother-in-law Jay Z while his wife and her sister Beyonce stood by and watched in an elevator following a Met Gala after party. While there’s no sound to support the video, it’s clear that Solange was none too happy with the rap mogul and let her feelings be known through slaps and kicks. Neither Jay Z, Solange nor Beyonce have released a statement about the incident.

Brandy Explains Why She And Kim Kardashian Aren’t Friends Anymore

April 25th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
Share to Twitter Email This
Source: BravoTv.com

Source: BravoTV.com

Brandy is such a class act. We’ve got to remember she came up during the days when artists were developed and didn’t come out the gate talking slick out the mouth. So when the “BET’s The Game” sat down with Andy Cohen for “Watch What Happens Live” she didn’t fall victim to Andy’s mess.

Andy, reading questions from audience members, asked what Brandy thought about her brother’s parody sex tape with Joan Rivers. She kept it cool: “I don’t think about it.” 

And then Andy, still prodding, asked if she was mad at Ray J for doing that, you know making fun of a sex tape that was no doubt embarrassing for Brandy, the first time around, as his sister.

She said: “No, I’m not pissed. You know, Ray J is Ray J. But you know, he does what he does.” 

There really is no other way to put it. No one can cosign that foolishness, but at the same time you don’t want to throw your own brother, your flesh and blood, under the bus on national television.

And since they were on the subject of the sex tape, Andy asked her if she was still friends with the Kardashian family, to which Brandy responded flatly “No.”

Andy asked her if the sex tape scorched their relationship. And Brandy responded:

“Well not…I wouldn’t say scorched…We just grew in different directions…Still have love for them though.”

Classy. Different directions is right. Kim was on the climb and Ray J is proof that she was ready and willing to do a whole lot to get there. It is what it is.

“The Engagement Is Off”: Brandy’s Reps Confirm That She Is No Longer With Ryan Press

April 15th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Ryan Press breakup

Source: Instgram

I can’t remember the last time that I saw Brandy and her fiance, Ryan Press, together at the same time, and at one time, they were inseparable. He wasn’t even present at her huge 35th birthday party recently, and it’s clues like that, which had many people wondering if they had gone their separate ways, and had Brandy staying mum.

Well, turns out they have. The rep for the singer and actress told Us Weekly that the couple have ended their engagement, as well as their relationship as a whole.

“They are no longer together. The engagement is off, but the friendship is still on.”

The rep also said that despite the split, Brandy still wants to get married some day, but it just won’t be with Press, a music executive.

“They decided to take a step back and reevaluate the relationship. Brandy is 35 now — that’s what her whole #35 on Twitter is about, becoming her own woman.

Brandy has a daughter and she still wants to be married and have more kids but she is working on so many other things right now. They haven’t ended things on a bad note and they still speak all the time.”

The couple announced their engagement back in December 2012, and around that time, she was on top of the world, telling PopStopTV that she almost gave up on love:

“I’m very happy. I’m definitely on Cloud 20. At one point I gave up on love, so to have this feeling and for it to be like the first time, with the person that I feel like God has created for me to be with, it feels magical. And I want it to stay like this so every married couple that we have been meeting over our vacation, I’ve been asking them, ‘So what’s the secret?’ They’ve been giving me a lot of great tips. Communication is the key, clearly, so we’ll see what this thing does.”

Brandy, Queen Latifah, MC Lyte And Yo-Yo Reunite To Talk “I Wanna Be Down” Remix 20 Years Later

April 9th, 2014 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
Share to Twitter Email This
Atlantic

Atlantic

I play the “I Wanna Be Down (Hip-Hop Remix)” like it came out last week, but of course, it came out quite a long time ago, 1995 to be exact, yet it still is a favorite for many almost 20 years later. Brandy spoke to Vibe in the past about how big of a deal it was for her to have the ladies on the remix:

“The hip-hop remix to ‘I Wanna Be Down’…meant the world to me. I’m new…I’m fresh out of the box and these superstars are a part of my first single! They are my mentors and I looked up to them. I was a huge Queen Latifah fan. I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God…I can’t believe this is happening to me.’ I got the chance to vibe with all three of them. They embraced me as a little sister. I was one of the first R&B artists to welcome hip-hop onto an R&B beat. It had never been done before quite like that. Sylvia Rhone came up with that idea, and I just thought it was brilliant. She should get all the praise in the world for that. She wasn’t scared; she just said, ‘This is what we are going to do.’ I knew it was a special record.”

Maybe that’s why Queen Latifah got the gang all back together recently on her show to talk about the creative process behind making the song. That’s right, Brandy, Yo-Yo, MC Lyte and Queen La all sat on the same couch dishing on how the MCs changed verses over and over to compete with each other. Check out what Queen Latifah said:

“I remember going in the studio…Lyte was on that record, and I was like, this is not what–I thought it was a Brandy record, but then I said ‘whoa!’ Lyte made me re-write my part! [laughs] I was like, ‘wait a minute!’ I had some lovey-dovey, emotional cute…I was like ‘oh no no no, I better step my game up or MC Lyte is going to butcher me on the track [laughs]‘”.

But Brandy said she had no idea what they were talking about on the track, but she was just glad they hopped on the track.

“I didn’t know what ya’ll were saying. But I was just so happy that ya’ll were on the song I was like ‘I don’t care, honey! Just do it!’”

Love these ladies! Check out their conversation below (including Yo-Yo’s low-rider reference in the song), as well as the video for the remix further down.