All Articles Tagged "TLC"

Honey Boo Boo Child And Why White Poverty Is No Laughing Matter

October 29th, 2014 - By Charing Ball
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Source: TLC

Source: TLC

The first taste of White poverty came by way of old episodes of “The Beverly Hillbillies.”

They were backwoods and uncultured and sometimes criminal. But they were lovable, funny and filled with the down-home wisdom, which only comes from true salt of the earth people. This, along with the large sum of money earned from striking oil on their property, made them on par, if not better, than the elitist snobs, who judged them. As such, there was lots of pride to being a Beverly Hillbilly.

As a young Black kid, growing up on the North side of City Hall, in communities that where predominately poor, Black, brown and some Asian, White poverty was a stark and bitter contrast to who we were. Even when The Beverly Hillbillies were acting and behaving at their worst, they were victims of their circumstances, whose salvation came with the influx of money. Problem solved. Whereas, our poor weren’t always nice and lovable. And there was no pride in it to be had. Through television and through real life, people were always reinforcing the idea that Black poverty was nothing more than tragic and dangerous. And we were to be ashamed at all times for being poor, not prideful.

All that changed the year that I was bussed to the other side of town and had classmates, who were predominately White and poor. That’s when I learned that television was a lie. And that the White poor ain’t no more special than the rest of the disenfranchised colors. Just slightly more privileged and washed over.

And that is the other disturbing part of the entire saga of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” which very few are willing to talk about. “Mama” June Shannon is a sad and desperate woman. But she’s always kind of been like that. And so has the rest of the clan. From their junk food-packed dietary habits up to the criminal backgrounds, the Honey Boo Boos have long been steeped in some serious dysfunction and pathology. As the website Hollywood Life.com reported, Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo)’s father Suga Bear was convicted of burglary in 1994 and her mother Mama June was under investigation for a previous and unrelated (to the recent molestation controversy) allegation of child abuse.

Nothing about these facts and their overall conditions should have been a laughing matter. And in real life, glaring poverty and the dysfunction it produces, rarely is. The Learning Channel should have been pushing for therapy and intervention to help this family both heal and progress economically. Instead, Honey Boo Boo’s clan got repackaged and branded as a whimsical and unconventional, yet all-American family. And instead of crying and shaking our heads, pondering about how we can help those poor, desperate White people, we, the viewers, laughed at them as they ate cheese curls for breakfast and cracked sassy one-liners about being unapologetic hot messes.

And so we laughed. And many of us would continue laughing “with (but more like “at”)” the Honey Boo Boos for several seasons until the banes of dysfunction (by way of child molestation allegations against June’s boyfriend) could no longer be ignored – by the advertisers at least. Only then had White poverty stopped being lovable and comedic. But even as folks now finger-wag Mama June and shun the clan completely, we as a society have yet to acknowledge the role our own cultural biases might have played in influencing their conditions to begin with.

In the book Race and the Politics of Welfare Reform, particularly in the chapter How the Poor Became Black, Martin Gilens notes the media’s role in shifting the portrayal of the poor in America. More specifically he writes:

The association of African Americans with the “undeserving poor” is evident not only in the changing media coverage of poverty during the mid-1960s, but throughout the period studied. From the early 1950s through the early 1990s, images of poor blacks increased when the tone of poverty stories became more critical of the poor and decreased when coverage became more sympathetic. Similarly, images of African Americans were most numerous in news stories about the least sympathetic subgroups of the poor. As I discuss below, these differences in the racial portrayal of the poor cannot be accounted for by true changes in the racial composition of the poverty population or by racial differences across subgroups of the poor. Rather, the media’s tendency to associate African Americans with the undeserving poor rejects—and reinforces— the centuries-old stereotype of blacks as lazy.”

Worse the aligning of Black folks with poor made White poverty virtually non-existent – at least in the media. As reported in this recent article in the Miami Herald:

Though it’s true that African Americans are disproportionately likely to live below the poverty line, it is also true that the vast majority of those in poverty are white: 29.8 million people. In fact, there are more white poor than all other poor combined.

Owsley County (Booneville is the county seat) is the epicenter of that poverty. Median income here is less than $20,000. The obesity rate is 50 percent. Life expectancy: 71.4 years, more than seven years below the national average. With 36 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line and 98.5 percent of its population identifying as white, it is the poorest — and one of the whitest — places in America.”

The effects of this White-washing over White poverty has been disastrous for some communities in America. And as reported on the Appalachian Community Fund website, 40 percent of residents in Logan County West Virginia do not have access to safe drinking water. 50 percent of the counties located in Central Appalachia have access to only one hospital, while 1 in 5 do not have a hospital at all. And in Eastern Kentucky, where 60 percent of counties are consistently poor, the A.T. Massey company operated coal mines through 18 subsidiaries, has reported revenues of $1.1 billion. Therefore not only are the White poor invisible but because of how they are maligned and misrepresented through the media and particularly painted as happy-to-be-poor, smiling rednecks, they become prime and easy candidates for exploitation from more affluent Whites and international corporations.

So while you will get no arguments here that TLC did the right thing in pulling the plug on the series, they also will get cool points from me for trying to profit off of dysfunction in the first place. Nor shall the rest of television. “The Beverly HillBillies,” “Roseanne,” “Moonshiners,” “Cajun Pawn Stars,” “Son of Anarchy,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia” (which still might be on Netflix), etc…all have their roles in normalizing not just White poverty but criminality and other pathologies and distorting poverty in general.

You see, while the Evans family (as well as most of the Black families from low-income communities portrayed on television) were scratching and surviving, hanging in the chow line and going through all sorts of sad and depressing things (with some occasional laugh tracks mixed in) trying to get out of the ghetto to be with the rest of civilized society, the White poor are content. They are happy. And everything is good with them. Therefore how bad can poverty really be, right?

Why Can’t Girl Groups Keep It Together Anymore?

September 8th, 2014 - By Alexandra Olivier
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Danity Kane Returning To Reality TV

Source: WENN

702.

SWV.

Blaque.

TLC.

Xscape.

Destiny’s Child.

En Vogue.

The ’90s girl groups we all loved at one time have seemingly all disappeared. That era was overrun with women doing their thing, dominating the radio with break-up playlists, love making tunes and pre-game records. You can’t talk about ’90s R&B without giving a nod and some love to the ladies and gents who banded together to provide perfect harmonies for our ears to bump to.

In this new age where technology dominates and artists become stars courtesy of Vine, Instagram and YouTube, it’s hard to miss that there are no reigning girl groups around. The industry has become saturated with solo artists all producing the same sound and looking the exact same, and the industry is also littered with failed reunion attempt after failed reunion attempt from folks who still can’t seem to get along. What’s changed?

In this new scope of music, it seems like the outlook is pretty grim. Can there be another TLC? Can there be another girl group with an impact thanks to songs that detail a little bit of everything, including the struggle of battling depression, calls for unity and even safe sex? With plenty of social injustices in the world, there is certainly a void for women to fill.

How about the records that made you feel s*xy and empowered at the same time? Xscape’s “Tonight” vocalized women’s desires without being crass, and the group maintained a sense of elegance – baggy clothing and all.

Even with Diddy’s Making The Band, a group of talented young women who managed to top the charts couldn’t foster a lucrative career as one unit. Danity Kane’s early success appeared promising with their self-titled album, knocking pop veteran Christina Aguilera’s Back to Basics album out of the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200. But after touring and starring on a reality show, they couldn’t get it and keep it together. Everyone wanted to do something different and animosity between members was crazy. Breaking up. Making Up. And now Danity Kane have broken up for good after a physical scuffle between Aubrey O’Day and Dawn Richard. At this point, their track record is almost synonymous to Chris Brown and Karrueche Tran’s relationship–just unstable.

There is unfortunately no rule book or recipe to concoct the new millennium guide to success, but there is a market being ignored due to the lack of staying power from girl groups. The inability for women to remain and dominate as a band begs the question of whether or not the power in numbers has dissipated? Judging by Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle – all of whom have gone on and led prosperous lives post Destiny’s Child – it appears the proof is in the pudding.

I miss having a group like 702 or En Vogue dazzle audiences with their powerful range and dance moves, and I hope that the historic revolving door in music allows for girl groups to shine and reign atop the charts once again. At this very moment, however, I’ll continue to play oldies but goodies and live out the music I miss with the help of YouTube.

“I Been Thinkin’ Bout You” Chilli Posts TBT Picture Of Herself And Usher

August 14th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Does Chilli want that old thing back? As you Instagram users know, today is Throwback Thursday, TBT, where users post pictures from the past.

Today, Chilli decided to show us a picture of Usher hugging her from behind while she smiles blissfully, in the other direction, eyes closed.

The picture is cute and led many of us to ask two questions.

1.) Was there an ulterior motive in her posting it?

2.) Why did she break up with Usher in the first place?

The world is dying to know.

Initially, we all thought that it was because Usher cheated on her. Because you know, that’s what Chilli wanted us to believe when she called Atlanta’s Q100 in 2004, saying “Usher did the ultimate no-no to me. I will never be with him again, and that is that. He portrayed himself to be this honest and great guy, and he really wasn’t. I will never take him back. It is a done deal.” For years we believed that’s what Confessions was about. But now it seems that it may have been a way for her promote Confessions. 

Because last year, Chilli said that Usher never cheated. Instead, she said, “We broke up because I guess it was that time or whatever, he was that real love for me.”

She almost mad it seem like she wanted dude back or something. Which makes this TBT picture all the more interesting.

Usher is very much attached right now. Do you think Chilli’s picture is in bad taste, is she passively trying to reach out? What’s going on?

T-Boz Plans To Create New Girl Group That Will Sell Albums Not Sex

July 29th, 2014 - By Madame Noire
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Instagram

Instagram

 

From The Grio 

TLC member Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins is creating her own girl group. The “Waterfalls” singer has launched TBozProjectNext in an effort to form the next superstar girl group consisting of ladies ages 18-24.

T-Boz is allowing fans a chance to submit a video, 3 minutes or less, showcasing their talent while singing or rapping.

In an interview with theGrio’s Chris Witherspoon, T-Boz opened up about her new girl group project and defended comments she recently made blasting female R&B acts for showing too much skin in an effort to sell more records.

“It’s clear that you can sell albums without selling sex,” T-Boz said. “I don’t have a problem with people who want to do that. I just said if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. It’s a choice. [TLC] is living proof that you can sell.”

“Wendy Williams made a comment recently regarding TLC’s ability to sell record with our clothes on. I think she said ‘that was the 90’s.’ Well to help her and to correct her statement… It’s not just the 90’s, because I’m still selling out tours. I’m selling out shows and tours with the same songs.”

Last year, TLC’s VH1 biopic CrazySexyCool made network history, becoming the most-watched originalmovie on VH1 and the highest rated original cable movie of the year.

T-Boz also weighed in on the highly anticipated Lifetime Whitney Houston biopic, which Cissy Houston slammed last week, saying, “No one connected with this movie knew Whitney or anything about her relationship with Bobby.”

Read more about T-Boz’s potential girl group at TheGrio.com 

As If! 15 Things That Everyone Who Grew Up In The 90s Knows About

July 17th, 2014 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Babies born in the late 80s, and a few years after, had the the pleasure of being raised in the magical time known as the ’90s. It was the decade that had the most official R&B music, the freshest (or at least most interesting?) gear, the most crucial dance moves, and the most in-your-face technological advances (who wasn’t walking around with a Walkman and thick CD case?). It was the decade that popularized pagers, floppy disks, finger waves, and tape decks. You better recognize. Here are things you knew about if you grew up in the 90s.

The Girl Group At Its Prime

Shutterstock/Everett Collection

Shutterstock/Everett Collection

It was the decade when girl groups stopped playing nice, grew up and started to get fed up with lame a** men. They stopped singing their praises and ballads of longing, and they started having frank conversations about sex, relationships and life. These women switched the game up, and girl groups have been venting their frustrations ever since (See: “No Scrubs” and “Waterfall” by TLC; “Bug-a-boo” by Destiny’s Child; “Let’s Talk About Sex” and “None of Your Business” by Salt-n-Pepa ft. Spinderella).

Never Cave Under Pressure! Why Zendaya Should Never Have Quit Aaliyah’s Biopic

July 1st, 2014 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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FayesVision/WENN.com

FayesVision/WENN.com

“She’s too young!” critics shouted. “She looks nothing like her!” the Twittersphere yelled. “She ain’t black enough!” others shrieked.

Zendaya, once poised to play the Princess of R&B in a Lifetime biopic, buckled under pressure after a social media blitzkrieg of “You can’t play Aaliyah!”

If there’s ever a time to emerge as a shining star, it’s when everyone underestimates your capabilities — then wham! Hit ‘em with a stand-out performance. Unfortunately for Zendaya Coleman, she missed that chance — the chance pull a Lil Mama (à la Left Eye in the TLC biopic) and knock that Aaliyah performance out the park.

She caved.

Where did it all go wrong? She was, at one point, elated about the new Lifetime project. “I was really, really psyched to hear the news,” she said on 106 & Park. “I love [Aaliyah] so much. She’s influenced so much of what I’ve done so far.”

The internet, though, didn’t share in her excitement — at all. Twitter disintegrated any bit of confidence Zendaya had to take on the daunting Aaliyah role:

“Zendaya is still an amateur Disney Channel actress. Can’t believe they cast her as Aaliyah,” one said.

“Zendaya is too light to play Aaliyah, tbh,” another tweeted.

“Half Black is just enough. It doesn’t matter what color you are, it’s about how you portray the character,” Zendaya said, responding to the bitter backlash.

Though Zendaya’s statement exhibited moxie, she backed out of the role anyway. Bad move! And I’ll tell you why. Instead of allowing herself to be warped by all the negativity, Zendaya should have used her haters as free promotion. “Thank you for getting my name trending on Twitter,” she should have said. “News about my film is now spreading like wildfire!”

Take Lil Mama for example, one-third of the CrazySexyCool TLC biopic cast. Almost everyone doubted her. “What do you mean the ‘Lipgloss’ rapper chick is gonna play Left Eye?!” But Lil Mama whooped her detractors’ butts with her acting chops. What do her critics have to say about her now? Crickets! And Keke Palmer, who didn’t seem to have enough Chilli-esque baby hairs for people’s liking, also received praise after protest.

“I’ll never forget how I was unmercifully dragged when I was casted to play Chili lmao! Now, that’s all I hear I look like!” Palmer said.

Could you imagine if Lil Mama and Palmer heeded the social media wolf pack and opted out of the TLC biopic? They would have missed an opportunity of a lifetime! Instead, they redirected their frustrated, embittered energy into focus and dedication. They proved to viewers, once and for all, that they can portray a seamless depiction of Left Eye and Chilli. The harshest critics ended up eating their words…

But why couldn’t Zendaya do the same?

What Zendaya fails to realize is that where there is controversy, there is passion. And where there is passion, there is a large audience. Yes, people have scathingly mean opinions, but in turn, all this hullabaloo will materialize into a massive number of viewers (TLC reeled in 4.5 million!).

Let’s be honest. Skeptics and fans alike will flock to watch the Lifetime premiere of Aaliyah: Princess of R&B – not Zendaya’s next Disney Channel original film. And that’s the truth. Ms. Coleman, unfortunately, threw in the towel and missed a pivotal role in her acting career. And this is a lesson not only for Zendaya, but for all us — never let anyone, especially social network nobodies, determine your own aptitude for greatness.

While Zendaya has relieved herself of the encumbrance of the Aaliyah role, she must face a new reality: It’ll be hard to just “dust yourself off and try again.” Promising roles such as an Aaliyah biopic don’t come by very often…

The family had issues with the movie, but she could’ve let Lifetime handle that. In order to progress in your career, you need to challenge yourself. If you never “Rock the Boat,” how can you ever be “At Your Best”?

The Business Of Biopics: 10 Movies We Believed & The Ones We Didn’t

June 17th, 2014 - By Tanvier Peart
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12 Years A Slave

12 Years A Slave

These days it seems like everyone is coming out with a biopic. Whether a political figure, entertainer or important person, there’s no getting away from actors taking on their character. Take 12 Years a Slave for example. It followed the life of Solomon Northup, a free black man sold into slavery. Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and Lupita Nyong’o, the film grossed $187.7 million worldwide and won three Academy Awards including Best Picture. It was a successful biopic. Here are 10 other films that resonated with us and ones that were so-so in their delivery. Do you have a favorite?

“Come To Us, Don’t Start A Twitter War” TLC Speaks On Rihanna Drama

June 10th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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Source: YouTube

Source: Yahoo Music

Last week we told you about the drama between TLC and Rihanna. It seemed that during an Australian interview, TLC made some disparaging comments about Rihanna’s dress. And though we told you that T-Boz denied ever speaking about Rihanna specifically, the ladies wanted to clear the air and let the world know how their words were taken out of context, the reason they took that topless picture and  how grown women in the industry and outside of it should be able to hash out their issues in conversation instead of petty name calling on Twitter.

Check out the highlights from their interview with these excerpts and then watch the full thing in the video below.

T-Boz: Someone asked a question. Have we seen Rihanna’s outfit and we said no because we’re over here touring and I didn’t know there was an award show and I didn’t know what she wore.

We never mentioned any artist’s name. And the unfortunate part is we were giving a positive message to little girls. We were saying that it’s cool if you don’t want to wear clothes. You can do what you want we don’t care. We were talking to the little girls who want to be on television or be singers, even like reality shows. You don’t have to feel forced. And they even took my comment, a spade is a spade out of context to get a good story. I was talking about television shows. And this every time we see “you,” you’re naked and then they put her picture up. C’mon man. How can I talk about something I didn’t even see or care about.

Chilli: When we’re talking about people not wearing clothes or being maked or whatever that’s a whole lot of people. And I said this, if that’s their thing and they feel comfortable doing that then whatever, that works for them but you don’t have to go that route if you don’t want to. We don’t want people to think that that’s what you have to do.

T-Boz I’ve worked in the studio with a lot of young girls and they’ll go ‘oh the label is telling me to take off my clothes and I don’t feel comfortable.’ Well if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t do it.

 

Twitter Beef

Chilli: What is not cool is if we have a problem with an artist or if an artist has a problem with us, come to us directly. Talk to us. Don’t start a Twitter war and all that kind of stuff. That’s silly.

 

About that topless picture

T-Boz The one picture in 22 years of our whole career. The one picture and it was for breast cancer awareness. That’s why we did it.

Chilli: For us if we do something like that, there is a reason behind it. It’s not just because we just feel so comfortable and this is what we’re doing and it’s just for nothing or to get attention.

 

Be a woman about yours

T-Boz: Can I just lastly say this whole conversation had nothing to do with her anyway. It was never about her at all, none whatsoever.The thing that is saddening to me about our youth today, is that when you think you’re riding for an artist and you start threatening lives and threatening our kids man c’mon man, y’all taking it too far. Don’t nobody care. And we never backtracked on what we said, if we said it, we’ll say we said it. I don’t have a problem. Ain’t nobody gone spank us. So how I’m going to get in trouble? What’s going to happen? Nothing? Ok so exactly. So if you have a problem and you’re in this business holler at us. We’re grown women.

Chilli: We’re women and we can conversate like that if you have an issue.

Initially, I was saying that TLC appeared a little hypocritical for posing topless and then throwing daggers at Rihanna but this interview clears it up for me. They made the right statement telling little girls they don’t have to strip to make it in this industry but can if they so choose. It’s sad that the news outlet intentionally chopped and screwed their comments trying to make them appear to be instigators. The most valid point to me though was the fact that Rihanna should have been able to come to them instead of jumping on Twitter with twisted facial expressions and calling people thots etc. Clearly, she was going off of the same information we all received but it was fake and a call to TLC or their rep would have cleared all of that up pretty quickly. But we all know Rih Rih and her Navy are infamously known for taking it too far.

You can watch TLC’s full interview in the video below and tell us what you think.

“Phuck What An Old Thot Got To Say”: Rihanna Responds To TLC’s Criticism of Her Dress, T-Boz Clarifies

June 6th, 2014 - By Veronica Wells
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rihanna responds to tlc feat

People are still talking about Rihanna’s dress from Monday at the CFDA dress. Including TLC. In an interview with Entertainment Wise, T-Boz and Chilli slammed the outfit saying “Every time I see you, you don’t have to be naked. It’s easy to sell sex.”

And T-Boz said that it may seem like they’re jealous because of their age but they say that’s not why they’re pointing it out. “It’s hard for us to say anything because any time we do, they say ‘Oh TLC must be jealous’ but I call a spade a spade.”

But Chilli said they’re happy to have achieved so much success all while keeping their clothes on.

“We became the biggest girl selling group of all time with our clothes on and that says a lot. We could go around too with booby cakes [breasts] out all day long.”

Rihanna took to her Twitter page to respond. And you know she’s quick with the pictures.

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

 

Source: Twitter

Source: Twitter

And there was more.

Dynamic Duos: Musical Duets We Would Love To See

May 13th, 2014 - By M A
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Musical Duets Would Love To See

Brian To/WENN.com; Judy Eddy/WENN.com

What’s better than a musical powerhouse taking the stage before thousands of screaming fans? Two musical powerhouses taking the stage before thousands of screaming fans. It is all too rare an occurrence that singers join forces for an epic concert experience for the fans that adore them. But the union of Mr. and Mrs. Carter “On the Run” together has given us renewed hope that there are years of superstar-duo tours in our future. Here are the musical duets we would love to see.

No thanks