All Articles Tagged "drugs"
Insensitive? “BBWLA” Star Draya Michele To Sell “Say No To Drugs” Shirt With Whitney Houston On It For Her “Fine A** Girls” Clothing Line
As we’ve told you in the past, Basketball Wives LA star Draya Michele is not just a reality star or hip-hop booty model. She’s actually a businesswoman trying to push makeup and clothing, doing the latter through her second fashion line, Fine A** Girls, which is known for fun tees, as well as sweaters, lingerie and skull cap hats. When speaking with VH1 not too long ago about what the line is all about, she said it’s about empowering women:
“I just wanted to start something that could motivate girls. It’s like a confidence booster. I’m lucky enough to hang around really good people, I have really amazing friends, and they’re also really beautiful and we take a lot of pride in looking how we look. We’re just trying to be all-around good people, so it’s just a movement for empowerment.”
But she’s been catching a bit of heat for an upcoming shirt she’s working on with the line that shows a young Whitney Houston holding a Boston Herald “Say ‘No’ To Drugs!” anti-drug bumper sticker back in 1986. Houston was about 23 at the time, smiling it up, not knowing the direction drugs would take her life in as she got older. For the shirt, the words “Early 20′s” are featured over her smiling face, and the shirt seems to be a warning for others. We guess…Here’s what she said when she posted the pic on Instagram:
“New from #finea**girls….#early20s #saynotodrugs…#yesiknowits420″
But when her followers called her out for being a bit insensitive, she posted the original picture and set the record straight:
FYI: we would never disrespect the DIVA … She held up the sign herself … Just raising awareness among girls #early20s
I guess the reality personality was trying to claim that she wants young ladies to be aware and to stay away from drugs, but did we really need to use Whitney Houston’s face to push the point? Especially since none of the other tops on her website use anybody else’s image, including her own, on the shirts to sell the shirts or send a message. Seems like a bit much too soon, and in all honesty, I don’t know if it would be appropriate in five years, 10 years, 15 or more–it just comes off very unnecessary.
What do you think?
He Needs More People: DMX’s Publicist Says “Iyanla Did Not ‘Fix’ DMX’s Life, Just Made His Image Worse”
Saturday night, OWN aired, arguably, one of its most explosive episodes ever as Iyanla Vanzant of the hit show “Iyanla Fix My Life” sat down for a heart to heart with DMX. The rapper went on the show to figure out why he has such a large appetite for women, but as we saw by the 9-minute mark on the show (at least that’s when I noticed), DMZ had zero interest in getting to the real root of his issues –like drug use and a never-ending feeling of abandonment.
Personally, when all was said and done I didn’t know whether I even wanted to #SupportDMX as Iyanla suggested we do before the show began when she briefed the audience on the episode, saying:
“The next 90 minutes is not about a multiplatinum selling Hip-Hop artist or a celebrity. It’s about a deeply wounded man in a lot of pain. This show, is about the ravages of a longterm drug problem,” said Vanzant at the start of the segment. “I often say, I am not my brothers keeper, I am my brother. Earl Simmons, also known as DMX is my brother. He’s our brother. Earl, I pray you are watching, I support you, and I call forth your healing.”
Though Iyanla suggested DMX’s son Xavier, who confronted him on the show, approach his father non-judgmentally because he suffers from the disease of addiction, it was clear DMX was not fully ready to accept any responsibility for his failed relationship with his soon-to-be ex-wife Tashera, his strained relationship with his son, or his abuse of drugs. And more importantly, he was resistant to any form of help (from Iyanla) and incapable of accepting love (he told his son Xavier he wouldn’t get clean in order to have a relationship with him because his love should be unconditional). By the end of the episode, my empathy for X’s plight and the pain of his mother giving him up that he’s never gotten over, turned to disappointment that he would sign up for an opportunity like this and not even try to reap the benefits.
Sensing, or likely reading the negative response from viewers who lit up Twitter Saturday night when the episode aired, DMX’s publicist released a statement defending the rapper’s portrayal, saying:
“DMX agreed to be a guest on ‘Iyanla: Fix My Life’ with the understanding that she would be helping his relationships with his ten children. When he arrived for the taping, most of the content was focused on his struggles with drugs and poor parenting. Iyanla did not “fix” DMX’s life just made his image worse, and does not have DMX’s personal written consent to use the footage.”
Let’s see here, if Iyanla was sypposed to help his relationship with his 10 children, wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume the reason those relationships need help is because of poor parenting, which stems from drug use? I would say X needs more people, but perhaps the better thing would be different people. Also, this wasn’t even the reasoning he gave for being on the show at the beginning of the episode. He said he wanted to understand why he needed so many women. It sounds like both he and his publicist are confused about a lot of things. It’s no wonder at 42-years-old and after a stint on another couples show, VH1′s “Couple’s Therapy,” DMX is still on a downward spiral. Thankfully, his son Xavier and Tasheera seem to have made peace with the situation, tweeting:
Only the strong survive Addiction destroys families!! Woke up this mrng feeling so thankful instagram.com/p/YFmaljS9y5/
— Tashera Simmons (@TasheraSimmons) April 14, 2013
The waves of support/I have been getting is overwhelming knowing that I helped the lives of many made it all the more worth while. Thank you
— XavierSimmons (@xaviersimmons92) April 14, 2013
Let’s hope DMX gets to that point one day. If you missed him on “Iyanla Fix My Life,” watch the whole episode below. What do you think about his appearance? Is Iyanla responsible for making his image worse?
When Iyanla Vanzant sits down with DMX, everyone had better tune in with a notebook and pencil because it’s going to be explosive. Vanzant meets the embattled rapper on the season 2 premiere of Iyanla: Fix My Life to offer “support” around his issues with drug abuse, women, his extensive arrest record (“roughly 30 times,” he tells her), and his relationship with his family, particularly his son.
Vanzant spoke to ESSENCE.com about the episode, where she thinks DMX went wrong, and what we can all learn from him.
On where she thinks DMX went wrong in his life:
I don’t think that he went wrong. All of us have ways in which we mask and cover our pain. This is a man who is in a tremendous amount of pain. Some of us eat; some of us shop or eat chocolate. What he is doing is a less socially acceptable way to mask and cover his pain because he doesn’t have the skills and the tools to deal with it otherwise. So I don’t think he went wrong, it’s just a defense mechanism.
The breakthrough moment:
Sometimes you go on to do one thing and something else unfolds. When you’re dealing with the ravages of long-term drug abuse you’re also dealing with the impact of the entire ecology of the environment. What we discovered was that the greatest healing was for his son Xavier who had not had the ability to address what he was feeling about his father. Xavier really got the biggest breakthrough.
This was a really good interview and you can read the rest over at Essence.com. While this episode is clearly going to give us every level of entertainment we need, it is possibly the chance for us to learn something about ourselves and not just using it as a moment to laugh at someone else’s situation.
The second season of Iyanla: Fix My Life premieres tonight at 9p ET on OWN. Will you be watching?
Okay, Short Dog must have really been “on one” to run from the cops.
Some nosy person had the good sense to get it all on tape and send it in to TMZ. In the clip, Too Short is seen speaking to police officers early Wednesday morning. He was pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and was asked to step out of the car. The police gave him a field sobriety test and according to TMZ, before he ran, they told him they were going to have to take him in on a DUI charge.
That didn’t sit too well with Short because after pretending to have a civil conversation, Short took off running!
But here’s the thing: he got nowhere real fast. The rapper tripped on the sidewalk and the cops were on him like white on rice. So embarrassing.
Bless his heart. Even if he hadn’t tripped, it didn’t look like he was going to get too far in his little spring.
To add insult to injury, the police also found drugs in his car and added a drug possession charge to the list. I wonder if they’ll hit him with “attempting to flee an officer” charge as well.
Some of these rappers, no matter their age, just don’t learn. At some point, you’ve got to know you’re too old for the bull.
By the way, Too Short did tweet about it:
Take a look at the video…and laugh. Nothing else we can do (by the way, the TMZ link actually has a better version than the video below they posted on YouTube)!
Fans of The Wire are undoubtedly sad about this.
Actor Robert Chew, best known for his role as Proposition Joe (or Prop Joe, for short), was found dead in his Baltimore home on Thursday, according to The Baltimore Sun. He was 52 years old.
His sister Clarice told the newspaper he died of heart failure.
As word quickly spread of his passing, former cast members of The Wire extended their condolences. Actor Michael K. Williams, who played Omar in the series, tweeted, “RIP to the talented Mr. Robert Chew.
Actor Jamie Hector tweeted, “I don’t want to believe this #RIP Robert F. Chew. Prop Joe will always be remembered Robert Chew will always be loved and missed.” Fans of the show will remember that Hector’s character Marlo Stanfield was responsible for the death of Prop Joe on The Wire.
Creator David Simon sang Chew’s praises, saying:
“Robert was not only an exceptional actor, he was an essential part of the film and theater community in Baltimore. He could have gone to New York or Los Angeles and commanded a lot more work, but he loved the city as his home and chose to remain here working. And apart from that, he was a fine and generous man.”
Born and raised in Baltimore, Chew was a teacher and mentor at Baltimore’s Arena Players. He was responsible for having the series hire 22 young actors for season four of The Wire, which was known for its focus on the Baltimore school system.
Chew was not married and had no children. He is survived by his mother and three sisters.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
Former L.A. Lakers star and current Philadelphia 76ers player Andrew Bynum is in an all-out war with his neighbors.
According to TMZ, Bynum filed a lawsuit against neighbors, Ramond and Cindy Beckett. According to the papers filed, Bynum has lived in his Westchester, CA home for more than 7 years and during this time, he’s been subjected to constant harassment and racism from the Becketts. In the lawsuit, he states they have objected to his “profession, his race, his friends, his cars and his taste in music.”
But what he probably didn’t expect was for the Becketts to immediately countersue Bynum, claiming they are the ones who always had problems with him. In their lawsuit, they accuse Bynum of brandishing guns in an attempt to intimidate them, blasting loud rap music, using drugs and letting weed smoke drift onto their property, blasting video games at “window shaking” volumes, letting his dogs run loose around the neighborhood and more. In fact, the Becketts state the only reason Bynum is suing them is because he knew they were planning a lawsuit of their own.
Oddly enough, Bynum says in his filed papers that the Becketts have moved out of their house so why are they even suing each other at this point? Lifestyle of the rich and bored, I suppose.
Rappers and their entourages…I just don’t know what to say.
On Thursday night, Nelly’s tour bus (there’s a joke in there somewhere) was stopped at a very well-known checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas and the cops found probably more than they even expected. During the routine check, the cops found and seized one .45 caliber pistol, 36 baggies of heroine and about 10 pounds of weed. Yes, this is true.
Nelly and his entire crew were detained but ultimately, one of the security guards, Brian Keith Jones, said everything belonged to him. He was officially placed under arrest and everyone else, including Nelly, were free to go.
Early Friday morning at about 2am, Nelly went on a mini-rant on Twitter saying, “I’m not gone front I’m MAD as Hell about this sh#t!!2have some1 who works 4u n who u call a friend 4 ova 10years jeopardize ur life WTF?…That being said he was not only an employee but he was fam some1 who protected my life 4many years!No excuses for wad he did!!!!… My heart goes out to his fam and is kids!!!!” (Everyone understand that? Okay.)
Now, I’m confused as to why this security guard would bring bags of heroine on the bus of a superstar (yes, he’s still famous) and not tell the bus driver that he needed to take a different route? I mean, artists like Fiona Apple, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson have all found themselves in trouble at this checkpoint. Further, why would you put the person you’re supposed to be protecting at risk for being arrested? This is all quite weird but hopefully, Nelly will make better decisions about his employees.
By the way, Nelly was in Atlanta Friday night hosting his “alleged” boo Ashanti’s birthday party and celebrating with her so seems like all is well.
Rappers and entourages…when will they ever learn?
He Didn’t OD, But He Was On Drugs: PCP, Cocaine, Weed, And Alcohol Identified In Rodney King Death Report
When Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of a swimming pool on the morning of June 17, there were a million theories about what could have lead to his death which has since been ruled an accidental drowning. Now TMZ has obtained the official death report on the civil rights figure in which the coroner says that King, 47, “was in a state of drug and alcohol induced delirium at the time of his death … and either fell or jumped into the swimming pool.”
King was reportedly under the influence of a number of substances at the time of his death, including alcohol, marijuana, cocaine, and PCP. As the report states:
“The effects of the drugs and alcohol, combined with [King's preexisting heart condition] probably precipitated a cardiac arrhythmia and [King], thus incapacitated, was unable to save himself and drowned.”
As TMZ notes from the report:
King was naked and face down at the deep end of the pool when officials arrived on scene.
Cops also found a pitchfork, a hoe and a vaccuum pool sweeper in the pool … which King’s GF used to try and fish Rodney out of the water. The GF told cops she didn’t go in after Rodney because she is not a good swimmer and was afraid to enter the water.
With his death now ruled as an accidental drowning, at least the questions surrounding any foul play on the part of King’s girlfriend should subside.
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We all know that eating lots of fruits and veggies is healthy for our bodies. But can it also be healthy for our wallets?
When grapefruit juice interacts with certain drugs, it has been found to increase the potency of those drugs. Recently, doctors found that could also be true for drugs being used to treat cancer.
“It’s important not to see this as a new cure for cancer,” Dr. Jerry Avorn, chief of the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told ABC News. “But rather, it’s a very interesting way of using a known food-drug interaction as a means of getting better drug levels into cancer patients.”
Doctors using a transplant drug, sirolimus, on cancer patients found the level of that drug dramatically increased by 350 percent when coupled with grapefruit juice. The dosage was untouched. Not only does this keep side effects at bay, it also reduces the cost of these drugs.
“We’re talking about cutting those costs by a half to a third,” the lead researcher, Dr. Ezra Cohen, said.
Grapefruit juice isn’t the only food out there shown to have healthy qualities. Other foods found to have serious health benefits are Omega-3 rich seafood like wild salmon and sardines, antioxidant-rich blueberries, and broccoli. And eating in season is a good way to keep the doctor away.
And, of course, saving on the time and expense of health care is a good thing. This interesting article from Slate digs deeper into what the term “health care cost” really means. With health care costs eating away at the savings accounts of Americans old and young, determining how much is at stake when we get sick is critical. But recent findings showing that about half of Americans die with barely any assets and wealthier people are healthier people should drive you to add some healthy foods to your grocery shopping list.
Junior year of high school I refused to buy “Doggystyle,” the revolutionary Snoop Dogg album that set my school abuzz. It was an informal boycott based on the album’s ethos and subject matter – a seemingly nonstop celebration of decadence, violence and promiscuity. My stance lasted for about a month. Then I caved and bought the CD, listened to it faithfully for the rest of the year and kept it in regular rotation thereafter. Musically, it was near-perfect, and even if I disagreed with what Snoop was saying, I couldn’t bring myself to dislike the way he was saying it.
And so we come to my central dilemma with hip-hop, a complicated love/hate relationship that finds me scolding myself for enjoying music – on the surface, at least – that often clashes with my personal values.
Case in point: Last year, I bought the ringtone to Waka Flocka Flame’s “No Hands” against my own better judgment. The song concentrates exclusively on watching a stripper remove her panties — sans hands. At one point in the song, he even talks about running a train on a female.
But there’s that monstrous, gargantuan beat from Drumma Boy, and that captivating chorus from Roscoe Dash that turns women into sex objects but manages to entrance a self-respecting woman who should know better. I would be appalled by the excitement I feel when this song comes on in the club if I wasn’t so busy dancing. It’s only afterwards that I’m left feeling guilty and ashamed, like I just ate a carton of ice cream while watching “Jersey Shore” reruns.
It’s a similar situation with Lil Jon’s “Get Low.” Although the entirety of the song deals with females bending over and shaking their asses while Lil Jon and his posse of Eastside Boyz spew vulgarities and implore women to drop it to the floor, I essentially become a woman possessed when I hear this in the club; I’m liable to burn off my entire daily caloric intake before the song is over.
And then there’s Weezy. I appreciate Lil Wayne’s wordplay, but I often feel the need to shower after listening to his songs, which typically involve lewd descriptions of random sexual relations with some female, somewhere. “Now jump up on that d— and do a full split” Weezy instructs on “She Will.” Thanks, but she won’t be doing that anytime soon.
In spite of myself, I love Young Jeezy’s “I Luv It,” a song that revolves around drug dealing and its so-called financial rewards. I also love Jay-Z’s “Big Pimpin.” I don’t want to ever not love it. I don’t want to overthink it to the point that I can’t enjoy the song. But at what point do I draw the line, say enough is enough, and decide not to sing along while rappers call us b—–s and h—s, glorify destructive lifestyles and turn the very real social ill of pimping into a punchline?
Am I supposed to excuse, for example, Clipse’s morally bankrupt tales of cocaine-slinging because they’re lyrically brilliant, and because I personally understand the conditions that leave black men feeling like drug dealing is their only escape from poverty?
Hip-hop is my favorite genre of music. Always has been, and probably always will be. While R&B from the late ‘60s and ‘70s spoke to the promise of a post-Civil Rights culture enjoying new freedoms, hip-hop was the outgrowth of broken promises, of crack-infested inner cities realizing that while old forms of oppression had fallen away, new ones had taken their place, and they often came from within: the pimp, the pusher, the player, seemingly inescapable cycles of violence and poverty.
I have defended hip-hop early and often, spouting its virtues to relatives who only know hip-hop as a Nelly song, or jazz music professors who deem it universally “aggressive” and don’t understand that rap music is, in fact, a direct outgrowth of jazz, and aggressive content is only one aspect of a much larger, more nuanced picture. I’ve spent hours explaining, educating and making and listening to suggestions of those who think hip-hop is comprised entirely of promiscuous criminals and weed-smoking thugs.
But I’m tired of having to defend hip-hop. Tired of having to serve as a rap-to-real world translator for people who simply don’t understand the culture and see only its top layer. Tired of realizing that more and more, mainstream hip-hop is becoming that one-dimensional portrait of a black criminal or a self-absorbed hedonist, a misogynistic caricature that record companies and radio stations seem all too happy to depict and rappers seem all too willing to embody in exchange for a paycheck.
I love what hip-hop stands for in its essence: freedom, self-expression, the will to fight and overcome oppression. It emerged as the culture of the forgotten and the disenfranchised, the voice of a people that previously had none. It is the purest form of urban journalism: Chuck D of Public Enemy once called it the Black CNN.
I love hip-hop’s rhythm and its cadence, its wit and its charm, its anger and its defiance, its boldness and its swagger. I will continue to blast “Doggystyle” from my car speakers as I glide down the highway and rap gleefully along with every word. I just wish I didn’t have to temporarily stash my values on a shelf in the process.
Ladies, do you have a love/hate relationship with hip-hop? Let us know in the comments.
Lauren Carter is a writer, blogger and hip-hop head from Boston. Follow her on Twitter @ByLaurenCarter.
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