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NEWSLETTER

Updated:  December 12, 2002

 

Two weeks until Christmas and just a little longer for those that celebrate Kwanza!  Without trying to sound like a salesperson, I have to remind you that a great gift idea is Terrie William’s new book, “A Plentiful Harvest”, which is based on the seven principles of Kwanza – and this is an unsolicited suggestion!  This week’s highlights include a recap on the phenomenal INDIA.ARIE, finally – WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK descends on Toronto, art gallery showing at IRIE FOOD JOINT, HOLIDAY GROOVE '02 (season's best!), upcoming SWOLLEN MEMBERS concert, fine Caribbean dining for NEW YEAR’S EVE AT IRIE FOOD JOINT, THE COUNTDOWN NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA, news on TRINITEE 5:7 gospel group, remember CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS (New Jack City)?, IMAGE AWARD NOMINEES, PEOPLE’S CHOICE NOMINEES, JADA AND WILL and much, much more!  Have a look in my PHOTO GALLERY from my photo op with MORRIS CHESTNUT (and other fine actors) during his brief visit to Toronto!

This newsletter is designed to welcome all the new members, give you some updated entertainment-related news and provide you with our upcoming event listings.   To be removed from this email distribution, please CLICK HERE!  Welcome to those who are new members.  Want your events listed by date?  Check out EVENTS.

 

RECAP

 

INDIA.ARIE CONCERT RECAP

Most people have one concert that stands out in your mind as the most memorable.  For me, it was India.Arie this past Friday.  India.Arie is a real blessing and a refreshing change in today’s music industry.  She came out on stage barefooted and wearing an all-white, flowing dress – she looked like an angel.  She took the time to speak to the audience so intimately it was as though she was sitting in your living room.  And then there was the music – despite a few difficulties with sound (she missed the sound check due to a delayed flight), she pulled it all together and dazzled us all, not only with her vocal skills and her guitar (which we all know are incredible) but also by the surprise treat of her flute playing.  Then there was her band and background singers who were completely in sync – they really looked like they were having a great time.  And I HAVE to mention her bass player – UNBELIEVABLE!  And last but not least, the message.  This may sound like gushing but she managed to feed my soul to maximum capacity!   If you haven’t picked up her latest CD, Voyage to India, my suggestion is to go to your nearest retailer and purchase it for yourself or someone else for the holidays!  Special thanks to Jason Hughes and Kamoya Ash!  See related story below! 

 

_________________________________________________________________________________

CHRISTOPHER ROUSE AND TRIFECTA AT FLAVA’S CHRISTMAS PARTY

I have to mention the great show put on by the newly reunited Trifecta band (Michael Shand, Calvin Beale and Joe Joe Bowden) with vocalist Christopher Rouse.   I went particularly to see these fine musicians do their thing and what a great time we all had!  Christopher’s Prince-like intonations and his own original vocal stylings carried us through many musical eras of music including the hit “Cruisin” as well as his own original music with Christopher at the keys.  Be on the look out for more performances for this great artist – and don’t forget that Flava City is very much back in business (with NO garbage outside anymore!).  (smile)

 

HOT EVENTS TO CHECK OUT!

 

WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK – DECEMBER 13 AND 14

With the recent violence within Toronto's Black Community, the debate over whether or not racial profiling exists, and the mainstream media's attempted assassination of the Black male image, When Brothers Speak is a timely event that is sure to touch on these issues and more.  Spoken word fans from across North America are planning to converge on Toronto this December for the 4th annual When Brothers Speak International Spoken Word Poetry Showcase, taking place Friday December 13th and Saturday December 14th at the Jane Mallett Theatre inside of the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.  Founded and produced by local spoken word artist Dwayne Morgan, When Brothers Speak has been recognized across North America as the largest annual event of its kind, attracting over 600 people last year, and featuring six Black, male artists, who are currently at the top of their field, performing their original works on love, sex, politics, current affairs and everything in between.  This year promises an all-star line up featuring New York City’s Jamaal St. John and Osagyefo, Washington DC’s Komplex, New Jersey’s Faraji Salim, as well as Toronto’s Unblind and Dwayne Morgan. For artist bios visit www.upfromtheroots.ca.  With the success of the 2001 edition of the show, this year marks the first time that the show will be held over two nights. Tickets for the show are already on sale via the St. Lawrence Centre Website www.stlc.com, in person at the box office, 27 Front St. E @ Yonge, or by phone at 416.366.7723.  Tickets are $21 for the upper level of the auditorium, and $26 for the lower.  The 2002 edition of When Brothers Speak is proudly sponsored by Word Magazine, Much Music’s The DownLo, the Bay Bloor Executive Suites, CKLN 88.1, CHRY 105.5, Langfield Entertainment, and is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Jane Mallet Theatre
27 Front Street (east of Yonge)
$21.00-$26.00
Purchase Tickets
Info:  (416) 822-1465

Sunday, December 15, 2002
Up From the Roots say “Thanks”. This will be a night of partying, networking, and great entertainment, inside of the Lula Lounge, 1585 Dundas St. W. This show will be free for everyone who comes with their When Brothers Speak ticket stub, and $7 for those who missed the show. We will have performers from both sides of the border, as we showcase hip hop, dance, soul, and poetry as only we can. Check out www.upfromtheroots.ca for more info on confirmed artists.

 

 

IRIE FOOD JOINT GALLERY SHOWING AND CHRISTMAS PARTY – DECEMBER 16

Carl Cassel, owner of Irie Food Joint presents his first gallery showing, Interpretations of Light!  Carl believes that light defines reality and thus that art is an “interpretation of light”.  Carl, an artist as far back as he can remember, will be showcasing 18 original pieces in various mediums.  In pure Irie fashion, Carl is also holding a customer appreciation Christmas party following the art showing featuring the DJ styles of Carl Allen.  Carl wants to thank you, his patrons, for all the support over the course of this past year.  Come and join this celebration of art and the festive season at Irie Food Joint!

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16
CARL CASSEL GALLERY SHOWING AND CHRISTMAS PARTY
Irie Food Joint
745 Queen Street W. (just west of Bathurst)
Gallery Showing:  7:00 – 10:00 pm
Christmas Party:  10:00 pm – closing
Pay What You Can!

 

 

HOLIDAY GROOVE ’02 – TONIGHT!  THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19

The National Black Alliance invites you to celebrate with us at
Holiday Groove ’02 featuring music by Mark Anthony ‘ The Crowd Pleaser’.  Since its inception, the National Black Alliance has raised more than $15,000 for its respective member groups. These funds will help its member groups continue with much needed programming and outreach activities.  This year's party will also include a food drive and toy drive for those less fortunate. So please bring an unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item for the party and your gift will be distributed to a family in need.  Get your tickets from your local Alliance rep:

AABHS - renee.henderson@sickkids.ca
BBPA - aulysses@sympatico.ca
BFVN - jdash@mccarthy.ca
CABJ - triciad@citytv.com
UFSC - altocamino@hotmail.com
UMAC - sirjude@sympatico.ca

We are the Alliance: Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Sciences; Black Business and Professional Association; Black Film & Video Network; Canadian Association of Black Journalists; Urban Financial Services Coalition; Urban Music Association of Canada.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2002
THE NATIONAL BLACK ALLIANCE INVITES YOU TO CELEBRATE WITH US
HOLIDAY GROOVE ‘02
Music By Mark Anthony ‘ The Crowd Pleaser’
La Rouge Executive Club
257 Adelaide St. West
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
$15 advance tickets. $20 at the door
Info.: sirjude@sympatico.ca

 

 

SWOLLEN MEMBERS IN CONCERT – SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21

The meeting of two West Coast rappers fuelled this talented Canadian band.  In 1996, solo artist, Mad Child met Prevail in his hometown of Vancouver. The two West Coast rappers joined forces and what grew out of this merger is one of the most talented Canadian bands, on the music scene.   The group released three independent singles before releasing Balance, their debut effort in 1999. A world tour and numerous performances followed until the band released its sophomore album, Bad Dreams, in 2001. The same year Swollen Members took home a Juno Award for Best Rap Recording for Balance. In 2002, the band performed with Nelly Furtado and won a second Juno Award for Best Rap Recording. Their music has been featured on soundtracks, computer games, and other outlets. They've also worked with members of the Beat Junkies and Jurassic 5, among others.

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21
SWOLLEN MEMBERS
Opera House

735 Queen Street E.

8:00 pm
GET TICKETS

 

 

IRIE FOOD JOINT NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY – TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31

Tired of the club scene on New Year’s Eve?  Want to experience fine Caribbean food and then welcome in 2003 with an elegant party?  Then Irie Food Joint is the place to be!  Carl Cassel is offering two four-course dinner seatings for New Year’s Eve - the first dinner seating is at 6:00 pm but you must vacate your table by 8:45 pm.  The second dinner seating begins precisely at 9:00 pm.  Then the party continues with music, party favours, free champagne at midnight and a midnight buffet – Irie style – in their heated patio!  Do something different this year and celebrate the dawning of 2003 at Irie Food Joint!

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31
IRIE FOOD JOINT NEW YEAR’S EVE PARTY
Irie Food Joint
745 Queen Street W. (just west of Bathurst)
6:00 pm dinner seating only - $50.00 (prices do not include alcohol)
9:00 pm dinner seating only - $50.00 (prices do not include alcohol)
Dinner and party - $80.00
Party only 11:00 pm - $40.00

 

 

“THE COUNTDOWN” - NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA 2002 - TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31

United Professional Associates, Another Croft Original and Too Nubian Entertainment proudly present “The Countdown” - New Year’s Eve Gala 2002. 
For many years, since about 1985 to be exact, we were looked to as the leaders in quality entertainment for our adult patrons.  Our flagship product had always been our annual New Year's gala.  Featuring the DJ stylings of Juiceman Jonathan Shaw with the GTA party phenomena Mr. Kicks.  Your $50 advance ticket includes free finger food / hors d’oeuvres between 9-10:00 pm and free parking (with validation).  Come check out “Where the adults will be”. 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2002
THE COUNTDOWN - 2002 NEW YEAR’S EVE GALA
Presented by United Professional Associates, Another Croft Original and Too Nubian

 

 
 Entertainment
The Tasting Rooms Restaurant (On the 2nd floor in the 1st Canadian Place – north side of King between York and Bay)
From 9:00pm–3:00am
 $50 advance (With free finger food /hors d’oeuvres between 9-10:00 pm)
Free parking with validation – underground on east side of York, north of King
Very limited $65 door tickets, if available
Arrive Early!!!  Formal attire only

(416) 410-4653 / 1-877-2-NUBIAN / (416) 804—5143
thecountdown02@yahoo.ca OR Juiceman@toonubian.com

 

 

NEW CD RELEASES

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2002

2 PAC Better Dayz (Interscope)
702 Star (Motown)
COMMON The Electric Circus (MCA)
QUEEN LATIFAH She's A Queen: Collection Of Hits (Motown)
TRACY CHAPMAN Let It Rain (DVD Audio) (Elektra)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17, 2002

*NSYNC *NSync's Most Requested Hit Videos (DVD/VHS) (Zomba)
A TRIBE CALLED QUEST Rarities & Remixes
LIL ROMEO Game Time (Universal)
R. KELLY Chocolate Factory (Zomba)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 31, 2002

KELLY PRICE
Christmas (Def Soul)

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

2002 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS

Here are the winners of the 2002 Billboard Music Awards, as presented on the Dec. 9 live Fox broadcast from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas:

Artist of the year: Nelly

R&B/hip-hop album of the year: "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath/Interscope), Eminem

Male artist of the year: Nelly

R&B/hip-hop single of the year: "Foolish," Ashanti

Female artist of the year: Ashanti

R&B/hip-hop singles artist of the year: Ashanti

Top new pop artist of the year: Ashanti

R&B/hip-hop single (sales) of the year: "Uh Huh," B2K

Group/duo of the year: Creed

Rap artist of the year: Nelly

Album of the year: "The Eminem Show" (Aftermath/Interscope), Eminem

Rap track of the year: "Hot in Herre," Nelly

Group/duo albums artist of the year: Creed

Country singles artist of the year: Toby Keith

Hot 100 singles artist of the year: Ashanti

Rock artist of the year: Puddle Of Mudd

Hot 100 Singles male artist of the year: Nelly

Rock track of the year: "Blurry," Puddle Of Mudd

Hot 100 singles group/duo of the year: Nickelback

Modern rock artist of the year: Puddle Of Mudd

Hot 100 single of the year: "How You Remind Me," Nickelback

Modern rock track of the year: "Blurry," Puddle Of Mudd

Hot 100 airplay single of the year: "How You Remind Me," Nickelback

Dance/club play artist of the year: Cher

Top 40 track of the year: "How You Remind Me," Nickelback

Electronic album of the year: "18," Moby

R&B/hip-hop artist of the year: Ashanti

Electronic albums artist of the year: Moby

R&B/hip-hop male artist of the year: Nelly

Catalog artist of the year: Creed

R&B/hip-hop female artist of the year: Ashanti

Catalog album of the year: "Human Clay," Creed (Wind-Up)

New R&B/hip-hop artist of the year: Ashanti

Century Award: Annie Lennox

Artist Achievement Award: Cher

Special Billboard Award: Michael Jackson (recognizing his 1982 Epic album "Thriller," which spent more weeks at No. 1 (37 weeks) than any other album in the history of The Billboard 200.

 

TRINITEE 5:7's BALANCING ACT: SEXY GOSPEL SINGERS REPRESENT THE NEW WAVE OF CHRISTIAN MUSIC

Excerpt from
www.eurweb.com - by Renee Simms (with additional reporting by LaRita Shelby)

Gospel recording artists have always had to balance being Christians, on the one hand, with working in the very secular world of the music industry. But as the world evolves, so does that delicate balancing act.   Meet Trinitee 5:7. They're a girl group. The members are Chanel, Adrian and Angel. Trinitee 5:7 represents gospel singers as they live in the world today. Gone are the sequined gowns and plump physiques.  These women are as stylish and sexy as any R&B girl group that's out there.  “Our image is definitely very important to us,” says Trinitee 5:7 member Angel.   “We’re definitely not perfect but I would rather Chanel’s younger sister look at us than to look at a lot of the other people out there.”  The younger generation is watching. Trinitee 5:7 has a large following among young people because they can relate to their fashion sense and their contemporary singing style. The group did a remake of Musiq’s song “Love” which they called “Lord” and they've worked in the past with R. Kelly.  Speaking of Kelly, Chanel had this to say about his recent problems:   “We have not been in contact with him but we do have mutual friends out of Chicago and we check on him. We are prayerful. Our spirits mourn for him but at the same time we understand the importance of the protection of our children. We pray for all the victims that are involved.”   A relationship with R. Kelly might seem embarrassing for a group that sings about the Lord, but these women are not on some better- than-thou, saint tip. They say that they know they live in the world and they profess knowledge of the human condition.

That's why they sing about romantic love. Their song “Sixteen Again” which is on their latest CD, “The Kiss,” is about romantic love.   “We have balanced Christian lives,” says Angel. “And when I say that, what I mean is we experience, [what] everybody experiences, all the aspects of life. When you become a Christian those things don't go away. Love doesn't go away. Crushes don’t go away.”   “We’re not preachy girls, we’re just doers of the Word,” says Adrian. We’re gonna leave a body of work that contributes to humanity so once we’re gone, every generation can use the songs that we do.”

 

CHRISTOPHER WILLIAMS - NOW, CHRISTOPHER IS BACK!

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com - by Jawn Murray (Washington, DC)

Christopher Williams hit the R&B scene in 1987 with his debut album, “CW,” on Geffen Records. Four years later, he found himself signed to Uptown Records under the direction of Andre Harrell and appearing in the film, “New Jack City.” By the time his next albums dropped, 1993’s “Changes” and 1995’s “Not A Perfect Man,” the deep-voiced singer was tormented by the rumours of domestic violence against then girlfriends Halle Berry (“Monster’s Ball) and Stacy Dash (“Clueless”) and violent behaviour at the offices of Uptown Records. The singer, that Rolling Stone once claimed, “has a brilliant future,” and Vibe declared, “he’s better than good,” almost completely disappeared from the limelight for many years.  Now, Christopher is back! He is currently starring in the Michael Baisden play, “Men Cry In The Dark,” which also features Allen Payne (“New Jack City”), R&B singer Monifah, Richard Roundtree (“Shaft”), and Rhona Bennett (“Jamie Foxx Show”). He also released an independent album in August of 2001 called “Real Men Do.” Not only is Christopher happy now that his career has re-ignited, but he is also ready to clear the air about a lot the stories that have circulated about him over the years. Listen in:

Jawn: So you are doing your music independently now?

CW: I actually am getting ready to sign a deal with Sony Records. I’m giving up with the independent label thing and just pray that I can land with the right people at Sony and just be at the right place.

Jawn: Do you think you will continue to act in addition to being a recording artist?

CW: Yeah, possibly. Yeah I would imagine that I would probably be acting because out of sight, out of mind, right?

Jawn: Tell me about doing the play “Men Cry In The Dark.” How long have you all been on the road?

CW: We’ve been going since February [2002]. We took a break in July and August and started back in Houston in September. I’m enjoying it, man. I love the theater part of it. The traveling is sometimes fun and sometimes you miss home but overall it has been great.

Jawn: You are married now. Does your wife travel with you on the road?

CW: Just sometimes because she works too. She is a screenwriter, so just when she can come, because she doesn’t have that much time.

Jawn: What’s your experience been like in “Men Cry In The Dark?”

CW: It’s been great, I’ve been blessed but I didn’t know how it was going to be at first because even when we did our first press conference and a lot of people who are into my music were like, “I hope it isn’t one of those ‘I Need A Man and My Man Hurt Me,’ yeah, ‘Momma, I Burnt The Chicken’.” [Those plays are] almost like blackface in a sense. I’m not knocking it, I just never wanted to do it. Once I’m on stage everything is just great and my creative juices start flowing. I did a play in college with Wesley Snipes, which was the last play I did many, many years ago.

Jawn: How close is Pretty Tony, the character you play in “Men Cry in the Dark,” with you and your life?

CW: Real close, you know being young and making records, and being fortunate and unfortunate at the same time. I had a child at a young age, I got a child when I was 19-years-old so I had a lot on my shoulders. When I got out I had just started performing I had kind of just broke up with my baby’s mother so the world was open to me. You know I had the #1 record and my album was almost platinum and after that I’ve had problems with women. Once I got out there and they were coming in droves and as a young man I took advantage of it. I was a womanizer.

Jawn: Since you brought up your baby’s mom and being a womanizer, can we talk about the rumours of you being violent in past relationships with both Stacy Dash and Halle Berry? What happened with that?

CW: See, when I say womanizer I don’t mean abuser. I had a relationship that was turbulent with my son’s mom, Stacy, but it was turbulent in two directions. The stuff they wrote about Halle Berry was totally false! They said something like I bust her eardrum and I’m tired of it. I never said it [before] but I’m so tired of people thinking that I’m the guy [who did it]. Wesley Snipes busted her eardrum, not me! I’ve been married happily for 10 years and my wife and my son and my nieces and nephews all love me, and I’m just into the simple realness of life now.

Jawn: What about the story about you tearing up Andre Harrell’s office and breaking up furniture at Uptown Records?

CW: My career is a blessing to me, it took me by a storm in my 20’s and I just honestly wasn’t into giving up my soul. When you don’t want to bear your soul for this business and not go to all the industry parties … I remember one time Russell [Simmons] and Andre told me they were going to introduce me to the right people to have around me. I look at Andre ten years later and he still is sitting in parties lonely and he is still getting a check but money doesn’t make me and I will never sacrifice my principles. There is only one thing I fear and that is God and I’ve always put him in front of me. I have not always done the right thing. Honestly, I did have an incident with Uptown Records and I wish maybe that I could have kept my cool. All the other things that were written about me talking about how I didn’t show up to events and stuff. Anybody that knows and was involved with Uptown knows that we were booked at eight places at the same time and you’re going to miss seven of them. That was the most chicken and grits operation that I have ever dealt with. It was an experience, I learned from the good of it and I learned some bad from it. Me and Andre are cool, I mean we don’t have any bitter fumes or whatever, to be honest, after all that happened he offered me the job that he gave to Heavy D. That was my job because Andre has always known I’m like a schoolyard lawyer.

Jawn: So you have always been pretty business savvy?

CW: That’s why there are a lot of the major problems in a career. Anytime an artist can tell a business affairs person verbatim what is going on in a contract and what this language means, they don’t want that! So, they hold the pen, they hire the publicist, they have the relationships with the Post, the Times, the Chronicles, and other press. Like I said, as long as God can see my heart, I don’t care what man says and I have always been like that.

Jawn: I must be honest. You definitely seem like a mellow-type guy to me. At least right now, we’re talking about some serious issues and allegations, and you haven’t raised your voice or gotten the least bit upset talking about any of it.

CW: See, I’m talking to you now and you seem like a cool person. That’s why I feel compelled to say what I just wanted, to explain to you. It probably doesn’t mean anything to you or me but just for the record, I would just like to explain that you seem like the type of person that will put down exactly what I say. Like, I said I haven’t done everything right in my career and going away had something partly to do with me. I just needed a break. I have brothers come to me like, “How could you just leave Halle Berry?” I’m like, ‘How could you leave the last relationship you was with?’ [Halle] is just a woman but because her name is in lights, people are damned near ready to bare their souls. They would probably crucify Jesus again just to get with her. But for me I don’t put women on a pedestal like that and if you read the Bible you’re not supposed to. You’re supposed to respect them, take care of them, love them and that’s what I have learned in my new relationship. It was funny because my wife is younger than me and it was taught to me through the [Bible]. That book is a guide for me when I do tempt to deviate at times. That’s where I’m at right now. This play is rekindling me with the people that were down for my music, and me and it’s been great seeing them again. It’s funny because the stars that get all the good write-ups, you go and meet them and they are total assholes. But me they persecute, and they always have, and you can ask anybody on the cast, I do my thing, I mind my business, and that’s that it!

Jawn: I’m glad you were able to share your thoughts and finally tell your side of the story, doc. I’m also glad things are looking good for your career.

CW: Thanks for your time, Jawn. I appreciate it.

His 1995 album said it best, Chris is “Not A Perfect Man,” but he is sure striving to be a better one. Check him out in “Men Cry In The Dark” – tour dates are available at MichaelBaisden.com – and his latest CD, “Real Men Do,” is available at CDNOW.com and Amazon.com.

 

 

EVANDER HOLYFIELD ON BOXING AND HIS RECORD LABEL
 
Excerpt from www.eurweb.com -
by Kenya Yarbrough

What’s realer than “Real Deal” Holyfield? Probably his gumption. The 40-year-old boxer is not only on the hard road to glory to become the undisputed boxing champion of the world, but is also generously giving back to the community and following an entrepreneurial spirit.   Evander Holyfield is defying age and continuing to box, in good form. The former champ is taking on the #1 IBF contender Chris Byrd on December 14 in Atlantic City. Holyfield’s attempt at the IBF crown will be broadcast live on HBO (10 p.m. ET), but he says he’s already ready to take on the current champ Lennox Lewis.   “Hopefully Lennox Lewis will accept the challenge,” he said in a recent appearance, “and we’ll fight at the beginning of next year.”   Well, while all that’s getting worked out, and while Holyfield prepares for his upcoming battle, the star athlete is putting some of the sparring energy into some other projects, like the Holyfield Foundation, which helps to enhance the lives of youth worldwide by establishing programs, scholarships, and facilities dedicated to their spiritual, educational and athletic development. Through the foundation, and the help of his Holyfield's Holy Warriors volunteer corps, he hopes to give the inner city youth the kind of support he got from his family and his coach while growing up.

In addition to his community spirit, Holyfield’s entrepreneurial spirit is in high gear. The boxer is a partner of the Major Broadcasting Cable (MBC) Network venture, which is giving BET a little competition. Still, Holyfield says that he holds BET up as a model for the new network.   “We’re in 20 million homes now,” he said of the network. “We look to BET to measure our [own] growth. We understand that BET didn’t start as a 24-hour channel. We’ve been on air for three years and we’re getting better everyday. We look forward to being like BET.” (Be careful what you ask for, dude.)   Perhaps, while he was considering taking over the airwaves through television, he thought, “why not radio?” because Holyfield also founded his own record label and already has a few acts making some noise in the charts. Aptly titled Real Deal Records, Holyfield’s label already boasts several acts on the roster after just one year.   “I’m a people person, and I do love music, and I realized boxing would come to an end,” he confessed. “So I wanted to expand into something I do enjoy. It started with me helping a lot of artists that couldn’t get onto big record labels. Then someone asked, ‘Why don’t you get a record company?’ I had the money and I was able to get some people that know about the music business. I have six artists. One of my artists is called Lexi. She just came out with an album, she’s a good artist, she’s gospel. I have a rapper called NuWine, I have a girl group called Exhale, 4-Shades -- they’re an R&B act coming out, and other artists.”

Holyfield’s got the foundation, the network, and the label, but he says at the end of the day, it still comes down to boxing.   “I’ve been fighting for 32 years now, and I have a lot of experience, but I still have a strong desire and a strong passion for boxing,” he said. “I love what I do. My goal is to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. Each and every time I go out there, I go out to be better than I was the last fight. I look forward to being the undisputed champion of the world.”   And while he’s fighting for that championship, Holyfield admitted that it doesn’t take a heavyweight title to be a true champion. He reflected upon Ali as a champion fighter and a champion citizen and explained that he wanted to mirror “The Greatest” in both aspects.   “When I first started boxing, Ali was [going] to box George Foreman, but even then, everyone still considered him the greatest, even though he wasn’t the champion. [He’s] an individual that’s done so much for a game that when he’s not the champion, he’s [still] called a champion. Being the champion is more than just boxing; it’s how you carry yourself as an individual. The people that I call champions are people that are able to make people not quit and not give up.”

 

TIDBITS

 

SPEK IS BACK WITH "DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF"

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com -
by Tamara Smith [simplymagic@rogers.com]

Toronto-based emcee Spek is best known as a member of the group Dream Warriors. After a five-year hiatus, Spek is back with his debut solo album, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff."   His groovy single, "Smell the Coffee," is heating up the airwaves and the accompanying video is on rotation on MuchMusic, Musique Plus, MTV Canada and MTV UK.   From 1994-1997, Spek was a member of the Canadian crew Dream Warriors, best known for their international hit "My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style."   He recorded two albums with the group, "Subliminal Simulation" and "The Master Plan," before deciding to leave the group in search of growth as a solo artist. During his break, Spek spent the last few years honing his production skills and learning to play the guitar.   Utilizing his newfound production skills, Spek co-produced "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" with producer Brian Rose. Ed Raso, known for his work with P. Diddy, J. Lo and Lil Kim, mixed the album. The Millionaires lend their vocal assistance as well, appearing on five tracks.   "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" comes with a funky, mellow, folk-inspired brand of hip-hop, influenced by Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Soundgarden, Mazzy Star, Radiohead and De La Soul. This one's definitely a necessity for anyone who is tired of typical beat, obscene lyric-filled albums. It's full of street-smart, positive and conscious hip-hop. "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" is available now at a store near you.   For more info on Spek or to check out a selection of songs from the album and the "Smell the Coffee" video, check out www.speks-place.com.

 

 

ARIE ALL RIGHT WITH NAACP: SISTERS GONNA WORK IT OUT, SISTERS GONNA WORK IT OUT!

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

*India.Arie tops the music nominees for the 34th annual NAACP Image Awards. The Motown artist scored five nominations, including outstanding female artist and album ("Voyage to India"). Erykah Badu has four nods; Mary J. Blige and Kirk Franklin earned three each.   Along with Arie, the outstanding female artist field is rounded out by Ashanti, Badu, Blige, and Missy Elliott. The outstanding male artist list is made up of LL Cool J, Mos Def, Musiq, Nelly, and Carlos Santana.   The awards -- which also honour achievements in television, film, and literature -- will be taped March 8 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles and will air March 13 on Fox.

 

 

WILL & JADA REALITY TV?  NOT SO MUCH, BUT THEIR FAMILY VALUES ARE HITTING THE SMALL SCREEN

Excerpt from
www.eurweb.com

Will Smith could soon be joining the UPN family. He, along with wife Jada Pinkett-Smith are executive producing a family sitcom based on their own family. 
Word has it that while the duo are attached to the concept and production of the series, neither is expected to star in the show.

 

 

IMAGE AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED: "BROWN SUGAR" AND "BARBERSHOP" LEAD THE PACK

Excerpt from
www.eurweb.com

The 34th annual NAACP Image Awards were announced Thursday in Los Angeles. Among the leading nominees are Fox Searchlight's "Brown Sugar," MGM's "Barbershop," Fox's "The Bernie Mac Show" and Showtime's "Soul Food".  In the motion picture category, the romantic comedy "Brown Sugar led the way with 7 noms. Close behind "Sugar" was "Barbershop" which earned 6 nominations. Love went out to Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson and rapper, now actress, Eve Jihan Jeffers. (Wow, wonder Jesse and Al Sharpton think about that?)  The awards, which will be held on March 8 at the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles, will be broadcast March 13 on Fox. For a complete list of nominees, go to: www.naacpimageawards.org.

 

 

WE THE PEOPLE: PEOPLE'S CHOICE NOMINEES ANNOUNCED

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

The people have made their nominations and hot celebs Halle Berry, Eminem, and Jennifer Lopez are among the chosen once again.   Nominees for the 29th annual People's Choice Awards were announced earlier this week, and in addition to the aforementioned trio, Jennifer Anniston, Tom Hanks, and Debra Messing were among those garnering the most votes.  Also in the tops is "The Bernie Mac Show," "Everybody Loves Raymond," and "Friends."  Other nominees include Denzel Washington, Nelly, and "Cedric the Entertainer Presents."  The People's Choice Awards, is one of the few awards programs decided solely by the public, and will take place Jan. 12 in Pasadena. It will air live on CBS at 9 pm ET, and will be hosted by Tony Danza.

 

 

THE OPRAH WINFREY ACADEMY FOR GIRLS?  YUP - THE SCHOOL IS IN S. AFRICA

Excerpt from www.eurweb.com

Media maven Oprah Winfrey gave $10 million to Nelson Mandela for the construction of a South African Girl’s school.   The donation is chump change for Winfrey. Reuters reports that her net worth is nearing $1 billion. 
The academy will open in January 2005 and will take 450 girls aged 12 to 18. Most will be picked from disadvantaged communities.   “We are looking for strong, brave girls with heart,” Winfrey said. “I believe girls are going to take over the world. Men have been in control long enough but don’t worry, we’re prepared to share power.”

 

WEEKEND EVENTS
DECEMBER 12 - 15, 2002

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12
PEPPA SEED MOTOWN REVIVAL
Indian Motorcycle
355 King Street
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Kenny Moran, Rohan Staton, Roger Williams, Deryck Roche

 

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13 AND SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14
WHEN BROTHERS SPEAK
St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

Jane Mallet Theatre
27 Front Street (east of Yonge)
$21.00-$26.00
Purchase Tickets
Info:  (416) 822-1465


EVENT PROFILE:  Founded and produced by local spoken word artist Dwayne Morgan, When Brothers Speak has been recognized across North America as the largest annual event of its kind, attracting over 600 people last year, and featuring six Black, male artists, who are currently at the top of their field, performing their original works on love, sex, politics, current affairs and everything in between.  This year promises an all-star line up featuring New York City’s Jamaal St. John and Osagyefo, Washington DC’s Komplex, New Jersey’s Faraji Salim, as well as Toronto’s Unblind and Dwayne Morgan. For artist bios visit www.upfromtheroots.ca.  With the success of the 2001 edition of the show, this year marks the first time that the show will be held over two nights. Tickets for the show are already on sale via the St. Lawrence Centre Website www.stlc.com, in person at the box office, 27 Front St. E @ Yonge, or by phone at 416.366.7723.

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
UP FROM THE ROOTS THANK YOU PARTY
Lula Lounge
1585 Dundas St. W.
10:00 pm
$7.00 without ticket stub from show


EVENT PROFILE:  This will be a night of partying, networking, and great entertainment, inside of the This show will be free for everyone who comes with their When Brothers Speak ticket stub, and $7 for those who missed the show. We will have performers from both sides of the border, as we showcase hip hop, dance, soul, and poetry as only we can. Check out www.upfromtheroots.ca for more info on confirmed artists.  Lorraine Reid, Tamla Matthews, DJ Complex, and Nikki at Up From The Roots year end event inside of the Lula Lounge

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15
SOULAR
College Street Bar
574 College Street (at Manning)
10:30 pm
$5.00

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French.

 

NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS
DECEMBER 16 - 22, 2002

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16
CARL CASSEL GALLERY SHOWING AND CHRISTMAS PARTY
Irie Food Joint
745 Queen Street W. (just west of Bathurst)
Gallery Showing:  7:00 – 10:00 pm
Christmas Party:  10:00 pm – closing
Pay What You Can!

EVENT PROFILE
: Carl Cassel, owner of Irie Food Joint presents his first gallery showing, Interpretations of Light!  Carl believes that light defines reality and thus that art is an “interpretation of light”.  Carl, an artist as far back as he can remember, will be showcasing 18 original pieces in various mediums.  In pure Irie fashion, Carl is also holding a customer appreciation Christmas party following the art showing featuring the DJ styles of Carl Allen.  Carl wants to thank you, his patrons, for all the support over the course of this past year.  Come and join this celebration of art and the festive season at Irie Food Joint!

 

 

MONDAY, DECEMBER 16
VIP JAM WITH SPECIAL GUESTS
Revival Bar
783 College Street (at Shaw)
10:00 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Rich Brown, Andrew Craig and Shamakah Ali with various local artists.

 

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17
JAZZ TUESDAYS AT MUSE
Muse Bistro
369 King Street W.
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm

EVENT PROFILE
: The ever-popular and hip Muse Bistro is beginning a new jazz night after work on Tuesdays!  Every Tuesday evening, join us at Muse between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm for some of the finest jazz Toronto has to offer.  It’s going to be a very cool vibe and remember that Muse has some of the best food in town!  Join us in filling this night with smiling faces and wonderful music.

 

 

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 17
JAM SESSION
Lava Lounge
507 College Street (west of Bathurst)
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Calvin Beale, Michael Shand, Joe Bowden, Thomas Reynolds and various local artists.

 

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19
THE NATIONAL BLACK ALLIANCE INVITES YOU TO CELEBRATE WITH US
HOLIDAY GROOVE ‘02
Music By Mark Anthony ‘ The Crowd Pleaser’
La Rouge Executive Club
257 Adelaide St. West
9:00 pm – 2:00 am
$15 advance tickets. $20 at the door
Info.: sirjude@sympatico.ca

EVENT PROFILE: The National Black Alliance invites you to celebrate with us at Holiday Groove ’02 featuring music by Mark Anthony ‘ The Crowd Pleaser’.  Since its inception, the National Black Alliance has raised more than $15,000 for its respective member groups. These funds will help its member groups continue with much-needed programming and outreach activities.  This year's party will also include a food drive and toy drive for those less fortunate. So please bring an unwrapped toy or non-perishable food item for the party and your gift will be distributed to a family in need.  Get your tickets from your local Alliance rep:

AABHS - renee.henderson@sickkids.ca
BBPA - aulysses@sympatico.ca
BFVN - jdash@mccarthy.ca
CABJ - triciad@citytv.com
UFSC - altocamino@hotmail.com
UMAC - sirjude@sympatico.ca

We are the Alliance: Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Sciences; Black Business and Professional Association; Black Film & Video Network; Canadian Association of Black Journalists; Urban Financial Services Coalition; Urban Music Association of Canada.

 

 

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19
PEPPA SEED MOTOWN REVIVAL
Indian Motorcycle
355 King Street
10:30 pm
NO COVER

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Divine Earth Essence, Kenny Moran, Rohan Staton, Roger Williams, Deryck Roche

 

 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 21
SWOLLEN MEMBERS
Opera House

735 Queen Street E.

8:00 pm
GET TICKETS

EVENT PROFILE: The meeting of two West Coast rappers fuelled this talented Canadian band.  In 1996, solo artist, Mad Child met Prevail in his hometown of Vancouver. The two West Coast rappers joined forces and what grew out of this merger is one of the most talented Canadian bands, on the music scene.   The group released three independent singles before releasing Balance, their debut effort in 1999. A world tour and numerous performances followed until the band released its sophomore album, Bad Dreams, in 2001. The same year Swollen Members took home a Juno Award for Best Rap Recording for Balance. In 2002, the band performed with Nelly Furtado and won a second Juno Award for Best Rap Recording. Their music has been featured on soundtracks, computer games, and other outlets. They've also worked with members of the Beat Junkies and Jurassic 5, among others.

 

 

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 22
SOULAR
College Street Bar
574 College Street (at Manning)
10:30 pm
$5.00

EVENT PROFILE
: Featuring Dione Taylor, Sandy Mamane, Davide Direnzo, Justin Abedin, Dafydd Hughes and David French.

 

 

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Dawn Langfield
Langfield Entertainment
langfieldent@rogers.com