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NICK CANNON SPEAKS AT BET AWARDS WEEKEND

28 Jun

The Host, Actor, Talks About Parenthood, Being Labeled “Corny”, and Why He Left NBC’s America’s Got Talent

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Nick Cannon was a guest at BET Weekend at Genius Talks to speak with Host Charlamagne Tha God.

When asked why he decided to leave NBC’s America’s Got Talent, Nick replied “I didn’t feel that I was losing my job….But I felt that I was losing my integrity..”  According to Variety, Nick Cannon left America’s Got Talent” after a falling out with the network over a joke told on a Showtime comedy special—which included a racially charged joke employing “NBC” as an acronym incorporating a racial slur.

Nick Cannon says that he was inspired by his father, who was a community leader, as well as industry influences such as Dave Chappelle who walked away from his show (The Dave Chappelle Show), to be “fearless” as he felt that he was losing his voice.

Charlamagne Tha God also asked how does Nick Cannon feel about being labeled “Corny”  According to Nick Cannon, for him it is more about “authenticity.”  Even though he grew up in the “hood” he didn’t necessarily wanted to tell that story or share any negative connotations “As a man, once you remove that ego, you can become more vulnerable….”  “I’m more concerned about my Legacy.”

Despite everything, Nick Cannon says that he is “a father first” and how he and Mariah Carey co-parent so well.  He also expressed his fears and anxieties about raising a daughter and his children in this ever-changing world of race and social issues and how he discusses skin color issues with his own children.

One of these students was Nick Cannon, who revealed he’s enrolled as a freshman at Howard University in Washington, D.C.  where he’s majoring in “strategic legal and management communications,”  According to Cannon that despite his success and money— “Education is real wealth” and how he reads a least one book a week.

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New Edition Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame

24 Jan

January 23, 2017 — New Edition were honored today with their very own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. New Edition is a boy band formed in Boston who rose to fame in the early 80’s.  All members were in attendance which consists of Bobby Brown, Ralph Tresvant, Ricky Bell, Michael Bivins, Ronnie DeVoe and Johnny Gill.

Can You Stand the Rain?   I did….as well as the fans,  who didn’t let the L.A. rain stop them from coming from far and wide to attend the Ceremony, given by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Those also in attendance included BET and The New Edition Story—BET’s Jesse Collins, Stephen Hill,  Marvin McIntyre (Artist Development worked with New Edition) , Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis (co-wrote and produced many of the band’s hit songs, including “If It Isn’t Love,” “Can You Stand the Rain” and “You’re Not My Kind of Girl,”), Manager Brooke PayneBET’s The New Edition Story Cast— Bryshere Y. Gray, Melvin Jackson Jr., Yvette Nicole Brown, Elijah Kelley, Keith Powers, Algee Smith, and Luke James.

New Edition’s Manager Brooke Payne, gave a touching speech of how the group started off in Boston to their humbled moment on the Walk of Fame.

New Edition’s group member Ricky Bell took the podium to speak on behalf of New Edition.  He spoke of how he knew the other group members since they were 7 & 8 years old.  His words took on a spiritual and inspirational note,.  speaking of how hard it has been to keep the group together “Sometimes there are forces that try to stop you–invisible forces, egos and other things…..Keep us in your prayers.”

Ricky Bell further explained how the rise to get this far has been a tough one; however, he is humble and grateful that they have made it this far. “We were just teenagers that wanted to make the ladies scream….We never thought that there would be a day that we would make in on the Hollywood Walk of Fame…..This goes to show that this thing is bigger than us”, says Ricky Bell.

The Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony is part of a week-long celebration of all things New Edition. BET’s The New Edition Story is 3 night miniseries chronicling the ups and downs of legendary music group New Edition from their humble beginnings in Boston to individual solo success and everything in between.

WHY HILLARY LOST

13 Jan

 

As America still sits in shock over the U.S. Presidential Election……trying to make sense of the unexpected result.  One has to muster – What went wrong?

Trump, a businessman himself, knew the importance of Marketing, Publicity in this Social Media age.

Trump started with a Campaign Slogan “Make America Great Again”  This Tagline resonated with a segmented population who may have been “Anti-Obama.”  This “campaign” started well before the election.  Trump first garnered attention with comments made challenging President Obama’s citizenship. Trump expressed internal fears that a segmented population were relating to. Trump’s “no filter” comments expressed the thoughts and fears of the demographic that won him the election.

Trump’s lack of tactfulness and political correctness caused an uproar on Social Media. These “rants caused a “reaction” and garnered the attention of the people…and most importantly The Press.

 

Good or Bad—ALL Publicity is good publicity.

 

On the other hand, while having history and being somewhat of an “incumbent”. Hillary Clinton was a “shoe-in” people assumed.   However, Hillary Clinton failed to execute a strong Campaign.  Hillary Clinton for a huge duration of her Campaign, failed to secure a solid, distinct positioning in election.

Hillary failed to create a solid/memorable Campaign Slogan or Tagline.  “Stronger Together” was vague with no strong specific messaging, mission or target.  Furthermore, she didn’t choose a solid Campaign Slogan until late into her campaign (May 2016).

The wiki-leaks email scandal also did not help her Campaign from a Public Relations perspective.  It tarnished the image of being a trustworthy Politician.  Hillary’s vagueness to define which issues she stood for also failed to define a clear mission as well.

Hillary also failed to solidify a well-defined demographic – whether her target was minorities, women, or urban- Hillary failed to create significant messaging to resonate with those targets. She lost in major Democratic/Urban states that are typically Democrat—Wisconsin Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, Pennsylvania. Hillary then reached out to Celebrities later in her campaign, but it arrived “too late” Trump had well spent a few years creating buzz in the marketplace due to his controversial comments which overshadowed any Publicity for Hillary.

Whether Trumps viewpoints were real or fabricated to generate a buzz from a Publicity standpoint to reach a certain demographic, Trump’s campaign drew in those voters.

What’s next remains to be seen with this unexpected win.

 

MUSIC INDUSTRY ANNUAL LEGENDS & ICONS PICNIC HOSTED BY THE LIVING LEGENDS FOUNDATION

11 Oct

As a fellow tastemaker, I had the pleasure of attending the Legends & Icons 7th Annual Picnic.  The Legends  & Icons picnic was held on Saturday, October 8th, and hosted by The Living Legends Foundation in Woodley Park in Van Nuys California.

This annual picnic celebrated music artists, music executives—our past, passion & progress to those who paved the way for others in the Music Industry.  It was great seeing some legends in attendance– including George Daniels, Chicago Music Retailer of George’s Music Room, Jamie Foster Brown of Sister 2 Sister Magazine, Lee Bailey of EURweb,and many other countless journalists, publicists and retailers who were honored for their contributions for working behind-the scenes in the Music Industry.

The picnic also honored those in the Music Industry that have passed from October 2015 to 2016 with a moment of silence.

I had a great time, it felt like a family reunion of Industry people–a chance to reconnect to those who work tirelessly behind the scenes to bring forth the artists that many enjoy. All in all the food, family environment, and fun brought these important components to the event and it was all love.

The host committee consists of Carole Carper, Charlene Cyrus, Chris Jones/Jonz, Joan Scott, Kevin Fleming, Lee Bailey, Marty Mack, Pat Shields, Renee Givens, Rick Nuhn, and Wendell Bates.

 

FRANCHISE X – THE FLEDGLING LABEL INTRODUCES ARTISTS IN ITS ANNUAL SHOWCASE

11 Oct

I had the pleasure to attend a Music Showcase from a bunch of talented up-and-coming artists.  These artists are signed to Franchise X Entertainment, a fledgling label home to some of the most talented indie and up-and-coming artists.  Franchise X Entertainment held its 2nd annual showcase on October 7th at The Federal in North Hollywood.

The showcase was hosted by Comedian Ron Taylor, and showcase featured artist performances from the Franchise X roster including R&B/Pop artist N.Y.K.; hip-hop artist Keem Oshae, a South-Central based artist;  Belle Aire, Pop/EDM artist who mesmerizes her audience with her catchy beats and lyrics as well as her artsy-creative look; LaVelle, a Hip-Hop/Pop artists who’s infectious first single “MamaSay” has built a unique YouTube and Social Media following; and Notcho, a Hip-Hop Artist who’s socially-conscious lyrics and infectious beats and stage-performance moved the crowd.

For more on these artists and their roster, visit:  http://franchisexentertainment.com/

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Franchise X Talent Roster (L) to (R) LaVelle, Keem O’Shae, Belle Aire, Notcho, N.Y.K. photo credit: C-Level Media Group

AHHH! FEST DELIVERS, WITH SPECIAL SURPRISE GUESTS ICE CUBE, R. KELLY AND MORE…

26 Sep

Chicago Festival hosted by Academy Award-Winning Artist Common, Sends Anti-Violence Message to his Hometown Crowd

 

AAHH! FEST by COMMON, one of the largest music festivals, made its 2nd return to Chicago after a year hiatus September 24th with a Community Festival which featured performances from local-area talent, as well as burgeoning artists Tink and Taylor Bennett and the main show on September 25th.  Created by hip-hop artist, Academy Award-winning actor, and philanthropist Common, who was born and raised in Chicago, the mission and purpose of the festival was to raise awareness and bring a sense of relief and peace of the continued violence facing Chicago youth.

The Main Stage Event, hosted by Comedian Deon Cole (ABC’s “Blackish”) featured an all-star line-up—including hometown favorite Vic Mensah, The Internet, Sir the Baptist. Jeremih, who is also originally from Chicago performed as well.  Featuring his hits including “Down on Me” “Birthday Sex” “Rhythm is a Dancer”.

The show then included a DJ Battle, featuring some of the hottest local battle DJ’s along with a tribute to DJ Timbuck2 who passed away in 2015.

The Roots then performed some of their hits such as “The Next Movement” “Guns are Drawn” “You Got Me” and more.

After the Roots performance rapper Common took the stage, opening up with “The Corner.”  He then performed a tribute to the Black Lives Matter Movement with an original song dedicated to Black America which he rapped about re-writing the Black-American story.  Common then performed more of his hits such as “I Used to Love H.E.R.”, “The Light”, “Get ‘Em High” (from Kanye West “The College Dropout”), “The 6th Sense” featuring Bilal, “Love of My Life” and more.

Rapper Ice Cube then gave a surprise cameo performance and joined Common on stage to perform “Straight Outta Compton” “F*ck Tha Police”, and “Today Was a Good Day.”  Common then performed his hit “Go” then R. Kelly hit the stage with a surprise cameo appearance singing “Step in the Name of Love” and an intro excerpt of “Bump and Grind.”

The last performance of the night was by J. Cole, ending the night with a bang.  J. Cole, opened up with “A Tale of 2 Cities.”  He then performed other hits such from his 2014 Forest Hills Drive album such as “No Role Modelz” “Apparently”, “Wet Dreamz.” He also rocked the crowd by reappearing and performing more of his hits such as “Work Out”, “Can’t Get Enough.”

Jeremih also re-appeared on stage with J. Cole and performed his hit “Planez” featuring J. Cole.  J. Cole then ended the show with “Power Trip.”

Funding from the festival supports year-round programming for both the Common Ground Foundation and Donda’s House—whose missions are to offer positive alternatives for youth.  AAHH! Fest 2016 was sponsored by Allstate Insurance, iHeart Media, The Black McDonald’s Operators of America, Coors Light, Aramak and DO312.

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Real’ on Tamar Braxton & Public Relations

29 May

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Many people were shocked at the unexpected shake-up and removal of Tamar Braxton from her Daytime TV talk show The Real.  Although we’re NOT SURE WHAT HAPPENED, — THIS IS WHY CELEBRITIES NEED PUBLICISTS and BRAND STRATEGISTS – Wearing many hats (singer, host, reality star) A talent needs professional monitoring to distinguish their Brands, their Image, the Social Media, etc.

As a Music Artist, you have to have a specific image and a certain level of professionalism in the Entertainment Industry.

As a Reality Star – you don’t have to have the same level of professionalism, where pushing the envelope is acceptable for television sensationalism and ratings–that same behavior as a professional will diminish your reputation and credibility.

As a daytime Talk Show Host, there is even another type of professionalism that a talent has to have due to the nature of daytime television and dealing with corporate sponsors. When corporations are shelling out $$$ and want networks to comply with the stricter rules of daytime television, there is a more conservative and professional approach to how a talent and a show are to conduct themselves–so there is yet another level of how a talent should comply.

These are all “brands” for an entertainer.  All of these brands and brand imaging have to be monitored and planned by a Communications professional (Publicist, Crisis Communications Expert, Marketer). Whatever the case….Best of luck Tamar!