Heaven, I need a hug, and according to reports, many a Nigerian needs a boost of self-esteem and love of melanin. Al Jazeera just did a segment on a growing number of Nigerians buying skin-lightening products. Described as a “booming business,” the report tells us a story many Black Americans have heard before: color-struck coloreds consuming potentially hazardous products all in the name of chasing a DeBarge-like complexion. [She Is Diva]
Denzel Washington is heading back to Broadway. The actor recently confirmed that he’ll indeed be starring in the Broadway revival of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. The previews will start in March, so gather your funds accordingly. This will mark Denzel’s first stint on Broadway since his Tony Award-winning performed in Fences back in 2010. [Vulture]
Despite reports to the contrary, Kenya Moore may not be earning $600,000 for appearing on the next season of The Real Housewives of Atlanta after all. After a fan took to Twitter to ask Andy Cohen how in the hell could he let her cash that big a check, the Bravo exec and TV host replied, “I’ll let you know when there’s a correct article about Bravo stars and salaries. It hasn’t happened yet!” Bloop, although I don’t see the network ever volunteering such info. [Miss Jia]
If you haven’t already watched Netflix’s newest original series, Orange Is the New Black, you’re missing out and it’s about time you either sign up for the service or use someone’s password. One of the premiere stars of the critically acclaimed dramedy is Laverne Cox. The trans star has made quite the mark for herself—going from VH1’s I Want to Work for Diddy to her own reality show, TRANSform Me, to full-fledged actress.
On her career trajectory, Laverne said: “It’s funny. I’m really grateful, I’m really blessed. I was an actress long before I was a reality TV person. The reality TV thing came along and I saw it as an opportunity to raise my profile and talk about some of the issues that are important to me. I made a decision after TRANSform Me: I was like, ‘I’m an actor.’ I didn’t want to be in front of the camera in a reality context anymore. When I decided to do to I Want to Work for Diddy, my brother was like, ‘You’re a serious actor, you should act. You shouldn’t do this, people will never take you seriously as an actor.’ It was a risk, honestly, because again I had to give up all control over how I was going to be represented, and it worked out. I went with my gut. My gut told me do this, mainly because… most of the harassment and street harassment I’ve experienced has been from other Black people.” [Gawker]
Tamar Braxton gave GMA a frank account about her transition into motherhood. Reflecting on her initial concerns and early troubles with things like breastfeeding, the reality star and singer revealed: “I loved him, you know. But I wasn’t like, ‘oh, gosh, yes my baby, ooh,’ you know. It wasn’t that. It was more like what do I do now, you know? You’re in shock… And you know, it took me a few days to really, like, come to terms with the fact that I am a mom and this is my baby.”
She added: “Well you know, I was questioning my motherhood… Like, is this a mistake that God made? Or like, is this something that I need to hand over to my husband? Because he and the baby connected instantly. And I wanted that. And I guess I was a little jealous, pretty much. Am I being really honest here? I guess I am.” [The YBF]
Ashanti is still struggling with both the release date of her album, BraveHeart, and apparently, can’t shake her stalker either. Back in 2010, 35-year-old Devar Hurd was sentenced to two years in jail for sending threatening text messages and photos to Ashanti’s mother. He’s since been indicted again for allegedly violating an order of protection—sending more than 100 tweets to Ashanti’s Twitter account between September 2012 and last weekend. Some of those texts were sexually explicit. Someone hand that man a straightjacket stat. [EurWeb]
Jennifer Lopez offered herself up to serve as a performer on the season finale of The Voice. How did that go? Well, you didn’t see her that night, did you? An insider says, “She made a formal offer to be on the show. They said no to that. And she even tried to be a mentor. She also submitted herself to have a recurring role. When you submit yourself to be a performer, the show can see how [the fans] and ratings react to your episode. But they said no to both.” Shade. [Page Six]
Most people did not get into Lil Wayne’s last album, I Am Not a Human Being II, mostly because it sounded like an uninspired and unfocused gobble of mess. However, according to Lil Wayne, his intent was to make the album sound “underground.” No really, he said, “Overall I felt good about the project because I approached it in a manner of—and this may sound silly—trying to be underground.” That ain’t it and better luck next time. [Miss Info]
If you ever wanted to know what Waka Flocka thinks about love, gays on TV, and whether or not Dr. King would approve of his rap lyrics, there’s a new interview waiting for you. [NiteCap with Peter Bailey]
Rihanna may not win every lawsuit, but she definitely got the judge to rule in her favor when it came to Topshop using her image to shill T-shirts without permission. Indeed, a London judge agreed that the brand was trying to “pass out” T-shirts as if they were approved by the global pop star. Damages haven’t been rewarded yet, but “poor dat” to Topshop all the same. [News.Com.Au]
Michael Arceneaux is a Houston-bred, Howard-educated writer and blogger. You can read more of his work on his site, The Cynical Ones. Follow him on Twitter @youngsinick.