All Articles Tagged "issa rae"

Seriously, Kanye Means More Than Arrogant: Celebrity Names That Have Deep Meanings

October 21st, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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If you ask older men and women, too many people today name their children things that don’t mean anything, and can barely be pronounced, but that’s not necessarily always true. Some names are variations on classic names with meaning (i.e., Shaquille is a variation of the Arabic name Shakil, which means “handsome”), and some people’s whose name just sounds cool can tell you its origins are more about God and promises for success from their parents, rather than just a catchy moniker. Here are a few famous folks whose names are more than they seem (and yes, you’ll find many of the names to be African).

Celebs With Famous Parents


Sanaa Lathan

I know what you’re thinking, Sanaa must mean gorgeous, because this actress is definitely a looker. But no, the name Sanaa is both of Swahili and of Arabic background. In Swahili, it means “brilliance,” and in Arabic it means “art.”

Issa Rae Wants To Show You What A Black Twitter Party Would Look Like In Real Life

October 4th, 2013 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: YouTube

2013 has been an interesting year for Black Twitter, an online of Black Twitter users. Not only was it given its own Wikipedia page, but Awkward Black Girl creator, Issa Rae, has gone ahead and created skit about what a Black Twitter Party would look like in real life.

The hilarious video titled, Black Twitter Party, features some of the major (and most annoying) personalities that you would encounter while navigating the cyber community. First we meet the boring girl, who tweets uninteresting and meaningless things like, “I love rainbows #colorful,” and wonders why she can’t retain followers. Next we meet the ever so annoying thirsty guy, who trolls around Twitter willing to sell his soul for followers.

Then of course, there’s the outspoken intellectual with the cult following aka the amen corner and the infamous K.K.K. trolls. The video also hilariously depicts the wannabe Twitter comedian with the #youknowyou’reblackwhen jokes, the attention wh*re and of course, the pro baller. Last but not least, there’s the too cool for school hipster chick who thinks she’s seen, done and heard it all.

Turn the page to watch what happens when these personalities collide.

Issa Rae Offends Christians With Crips4Christ “Christ WALK” Song

September 26th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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 Crips4Christ "Christ WALK"

A month ago we reported on Issa Rae producing a new web series called “The Choir” and in the latest episode, Issa debuted a new song she created called, “Christ WALK”.

The song is a parody of rappers who find the Lord after committing heinous crimes. Although it will make you chuckle or at least crack a smile, some Christians did not appreciate Issa Rae taking Jesus and his living word so lightly. Some of the YouTube commentators stated:

Andrew Freed II – They spit in Jesus face 2013 years ago, and 2013 years later they haven’t let up. Surprised?

Nia Johnson – Though this is quite disrespectful. Christian rap artist are nothing like this. Though this is for entertainment, could’ve been different .

Tim Verduin – God doesn’t care a/b irreverent satires? Are you sure? “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 #truth #Bible #readwhatitsays

Other commentators argued Issa’s song is a form of  spiritual warfare, ignoring the fact that the song was satirical and shed light on rappers who have lived crime -ridden lives only to find themselves praising God at award shows or as they are dropping suspect bars. If anything, it depicted how people try to find balance between their personal and spiritual lives — only to appear hypocritical at times — or simply comical.

Check out the video below to hear “Christ WALK.” Do you think Issa Rae is being offensive with the way she portrays Christianity?

From ‘The Butler’ To Issa Rae: 37 Ink Takes Book Publishing Around The World And Across Genres

September 18th, 2013 - By Madame Noire
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37 ink

Our special guest writer Ebony LaDelle wrote this story special for MN Business. You can check out Ebony’s other stories for us here and here.

Though her walls are mostly empty, showing she’s a fresh face in the Simon & Schuster building, her credentials certainly prove she’s not new to the industry.  It all started with one plane ride over 20 years ago when Dawn Davis sat next to a publisher who needed an assistant.  Now, she’s sitting at her mahogany desk excited about the  possibilities of her new position as vice president and publisher of 37 INK.

37 INK is the newest imprint under The Atria Publishing Group (a subsidiary of Simon & Schuster), dedicated to bringing good books to hungry readers. The imprint will publish 10 titles a year from a variety of genres including literary fiction, narrative non-fiction, history, memoir and pop culture.  “37 INK will publish authors from a diverse array of cultures and viewpoints,” says Davis. “Our intent and commitment is to discover new talent, nourish authors, and affirm reading as a source of both entertainment and knowledge while supporting our authors with Atria’s world-class marketing and publicity.”

The first book from the imprint is The Butler, a companion guide to the movie starring Forrest Whitaker, Oprah, and Robin Williams. Written by journalist Wil Haygood and already a New York Times bestseller, The Butler goes in-depth about Haygood’s journey to find Eugene Allen, a man who served eight presidential terms as the White House butler.  His article, “A Butler Well Served by This Election,” was published in the Washington Post on November 7, 2008 and was the inspiration behind the movie.

the butler bookDavis drew inspiration for 37 INK from the 37th parallel north that runs across California, Africa, and Italy, all playing a geographic significance in her life. “Italy is where my grandmother came from.  Africa is where we’re all from.  And California is where I’m from,” Davis said.  “There’s so much fluidity in the world.  We should read across all cultures; we’re all a hybrid.”

Next 37 INK will publish the e-book to 12 Years a Slave, a memoir about Solomon Northup, a free man from the north who was kidnapped and sold into slavery. The film adaptation will star Chiwetel Ejiofor, Quvenzhané Wallis, Alfre Woodard, and Brad Pitt.  Already receiving Oscar buzz, the film will open in the States at the end of this year.

“I want to publish good books that the average, busy person can lose themselves in,” said Davis. “I want to publish literary books in a commercial way.”

37 INK aims to bring new voices to the floor, but Davis feels that’s also the goal of every publisher. So in addition to introducing new authors, Davis wants to go after some of her own ideas.

“Either it’s a literary trend, or you find someone that has a voice and a point of view.  I like to work in both ways. If [someone has a platform] that fits the format of the book I’d like to collaborate,” she said.  For example, Davis recently acquired a book of hilarious essays by “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” creator Issa Rae. Rae’s web series has a huge fan following with over 20 million views.

The end goal, however, is to create literary books that are inspirational and soul-stirring. “I like to find things that are unexpectedly moving, like The Butler. He’s kind of an every man who shows up and makes in difference in his own small way,” said Davis. “Inner gems that speak a broader truth.”

Ebony LaDelle works in marketing at Simon & Schuster, specializing in the education & library space, as well as an advocate of literature of color. You can connect with her on Linkedin (

Starting Out Young: These Entrepreneurs Have Built Businesses Before The Age Of 30

August 27th, 2013 - By Rochelle Burnley
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Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy and definitely doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a special someone to realize that they aren’t cut out for the ordinary nine-to-five. And some people realize it early in.

In recent years, entrepreneurship has skyrocketed. Let’s meet some entrepreneurs under the age of 30, who have threw up the peace sign to the nine to five and are already making their marks in the business world.

Black Women Telling Black Stories: Female Indie Filmmakers To Watch And Support

August 15th, 2013 - By La Truly
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Source: WENN

Source: WENN

Are you looking for the silverscreen to give you more heroes/heroines of color? More stories about the black experience in America and not a whitewashed version of how we think and act? I know I am.

Black America has been conditioned to take what few images we can get of ourselves when it comes to entertainment. While we’ve had our onscreen triumphs outside of being portrayed as maids, thugs and wh*res – there is still an empty, canyon-like space where the broader range of our stories could and should be told. Well, black independent filmmakers are slowly but surely filling that space through Kickstarter campaigns and grassroots fundraising for the projects Hollywood repeatedly dismisses as irrelevant and unimportant.

The great news is that we don’t have to sit and wait for “somebody” to do “something.” These filmmakers are putting in the work and turning out stellar projects for our viewing pleasure, discussion and social action. And one of the greatest things about this indie movement is that many of these artists are accomplished black women.

With growing YouTube channels, film festival award-winning projects, Oscar-nominated films – there are a host of black women filmmakers who are working their gifts and talents to ensure that the span of black experiences are brought to screen in truth.

Here are six indie filmmakers/producers that you should keep your eyes open for.

Sadness: ABC Doesn’t Pick Up Issa Rae And Shonda Rhimes’ “I Hate L.A. Dudes” Series

August 13th, 2013 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Source: Facebook/WENN

Source: Facebook/WENN

From HelloBeautiful 

Last year, fans of up-and-coming filmmaker Issa Rae and “Scandal” creator Shonda Rhimes were excited to find out that ABC bought the rights to their developing comedy series, “I Hate LA Dudes.”

The show was expected to follow the life of an aspiring journalist who struggled to navigate the L.A. dating scene after a recent move to the West Coast. However, the project, which Rhimes hoped would be the first comedy for her Shondaland production company, will not make it to our TV screens this season.

Hello Beautiful caught up with Issa Rae at the Los Angeles viewing of her latest web series “The Choir,” and she revealed that ABC passed on what would’ve been her first break into network television.

“ABC passed on [“I Hate LA Dudes”] so I am working on another series right now,” she said. “But the process of working with [Shonda Rhimes] was freaking amazing and I learned so much from her.” The mastermind behind the popular web series “Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” said she’s setting her sights on cable TV now. ”That was network television; this one is kind of different” she said, describing the new comedy project she’s co-writing and co-executive producing for HBO. “Cable, that’s my home.”

Read more at 

She Did That! Issa Rae Brings Awkward Black Girl To HBO

August 6th, 2013 - By Veronica Wells
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It’s been a while since Issa Rae has been talking about bringing the insanely popular webseries “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” to television. And after meeting with several networks who didn’t understand her vision, it seems that Issa Rae has finally found a home at HBO.

Several outlets, including Awkward Black Girl’s own Instagram page are confirming that Issa Rae will be teaming up with writer, actor and television producer Larry Wilmore. You may recognize Wilmore from his regular appearances on the Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” as the “Senior Black Correspondent” and the “Senior Executive Commander-in-Chief Who Happens To Be Black Correspondent” after the election of President Obama. But before all of this he wrote and produced for hit shows like “In Living Color,” “Sister Sister,” “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “The Jaimie Foxx Show” and “The Bernie Mac Show” among others.

So, if Wilmore’s track record is any comfort, this should work out quite nicely. Plus Issa is going to stay on to co-write and star in the series.

We’re excited!

This is the second show Issa’s been able to bring to television seeing that she partnered with Shonda Rhimes to bring “I Hate L.A. Dudes” to ABC.

She’s making crazy moves right now and we couldn’t be happier for her!

For Some, YouTube Is The New Full-Time Job With A Six-Figure Salary

July 16th, 2013 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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YouTube sensations usually tell the same ol’ story: “One minute I decide to upload a silly video, the next minute, I’m making a career!” This rags-to-riches tale is becoming a reality for hundreds of stars who are literally making a living off their YouTube shenanigans.

Jenna Marbles is a platinum-blonde vlogger who drew 30 million views per episode between 2011 and 2012, according to International Business Times. The top-rated CBS program Two and a Half Men pulled in less than 15 million viewers during that same time period. Sorry, Ashton Kutcher. At least you made $24 million for that season which is damn-near astronomical compared to Marbles’ $346,827 earnings in 2012.

Wait, what? Are you telling me some wacky blonde makes $350,000 a year, a surgeon’s salary, from ranting on YouTube? Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying, and she didn’t even need to drown herself in medical school debt for it.

According to The Star, “[T]he top 1,000 YouTube channel makers are pulling in an average six-figure salary and earning an average of $23,000 a month.” With YouTube reaching more adults between the ages of 18 and 34 than cable programming, it’s no wonder why there’s a new lucrative market on the video content site.

Aside from Marbles, YouTube is paving the way for young Black superstars that are also making a sizable income for their lives. At this point we all know Franchesca Ramsey (who we spoke with at SXSW some months ago) and Issa Rae, who have made careers in entertainment with starts on YouTube. Kingsley, a famed African-American vlogger, has far more subscribers than even Lil Wayne and Shakira on YouTube.

“North West?” Kingsley complained of Kimye’s baby’s name,“They might as well name the baby ‘Wild Wild.’” His comedic commentary pays him nearly $250,000 a year. Cha-ching!

YouTuber Emmanuel Hudson, a fine dreaded-up young gentleman, was discovered by Nick Cannon and asked to join MTV2’s Wild N’ Out crew this summer. “Congratulations, I want to see you prevail,” Hudson smugly told Kevin Hart on the show, “but the only reason you’re at the top of comedy is because Katt Williams is in jail.”Yeah, that’s right. His success as a vlogger landed him a spot so close to famous comedian Kevin Hart that he could insult him.

His “Ratchet Girl Anthem” video, an ode to gossipy African-American women, has more than 40 million views. SocialBlade estimates Hudson makes between $259,000 and $311,000 a year.

This brings us to our first question. How in the world does your regular ol’ joe vlogger wind up making a career on an original video content site?

Waiting To “Exhale”: Check Out A Preview Of The New Talk Show Featuring Malinda Williams, Issa Rae And Angela Burt-Murray

June 6th, 2013 - By Clarke Gail Baines
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I know I can’t be the only one uber-excited this new talk show, Exhale, right? Premiering on the cable channel ASPiRE (the network launched by Magic Johnson last summer) on June 27, this all-black version of The View stars some of our favorite people, including Issa Rae, actress Malinda Williams, comedian Erin Jackson, journalist (and former Essence EIC) Angela Burt-Murray, and journalist Rene Syler. The four women will sit on their colorful couches and talk about a wide range of issues, including  love and relationships, health, business and entertainments news (with the stars of course).

In the preview for the show above, the women discuss things like, “Can women have it all?” They also cover health and wellness with actress and wellness coach AJ Johnson, the struggle of trying to speak on intimacy and sex as a gospel artist with Kelly Price, and they even assure us of the Eye Candy factor, as the women sit down with the very “delicious”–as Issa Rae would say–Lance Gross.

Exhale is set to begin with an 8-episode run to see how things go. It’s directed by Victoria Mahoney, and is the network’s third original series.

So all in all, what can you expect? According to Rae, “A new vision on life and the issues.” Definitely seems like it will be fun, yet with a more serious edge (aka, no wig pulling off on this program ladies). Check out the preview above and let us know if you think you will be tuning in. That is, if you actually get this channel on your television and what not… It debuts June 27 at 8 p.m.