June 15, 2011

Grooves

Blue Note Jazz Festival Puts Ladies First

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Seeing the line-up for the first ever Blue Note Jazz Festival totally blew my wig back. It features a Who’s Who list of artists that have been instrumental in making the jazz club legendary. The Blue Note has been home to not just jazz phenoms, but also to young artists that span soul, hiphop, funk and rock, so it’s no surprise that the festival features a fantastic range of talent. What is so delightfully surprising Read more…

June 7, 2011

Grooves, Videos

Rihanna’s “Man Down”

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Reading actress Gabrielle Union’s tweets this morning about her attempt to kill her rapist at the tender age of 19 bought Rihanna’s video for “Man Down” right back to center and in living color for me. Please don’t let the beautiful rural Jamaican backdrop, pulsating beats, or Riri’s rude gyal rumpapapums fool ya, “Man Down” is about rape and more specifically, the very real and possible psychological fallout from such a crime. Rihanna, I feel, Read more…

May 17, 2011

Grooves, Videos

Ledisi’s “Pieces Of Me”

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“People just don’t know what I’m about/ They haven’t seen what’s there behind my smile/ There’s so much more I’m showing now,” sings Ledisi on her new single Pieces Of Me from her forthcoming album of the same name. Last night at the Samsung Experience in the Time Warner Center Ledisi sang “Pieces” with a conviction that made her lean hard on the mic stand towards the audience all awhile her eyes remaining wide open. Read more…

April 1, 2011

Grooves, Real Talk, Videos

Happy 11th– Still Jill Scott Hot!

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Yesterday, March 31st marked 11 years of Hotness… theHotness that is. As I sit here contemplating the future of this here blog, I suddenly remembered the beginning and what it felt like creating the very first issue of theHotness. The evening that I closed that issue and it was finally ready to “go out into the world” I felt exhilarated. I was filled with anxiety, stress, pride and eagerness. Because of my job Read more…

February 16, 2011

Grooves, Videos

Who is Esperanza Spalding?

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“I’m not gonna sit around and waste my precious divine energy trying to explain and be ashamed of things you think are wrong with me.”
-Esperanza Spalding

Without having to arrive in an egg, without having to don Betty Rubble’s Flinstonesque leopard print costume, and without having to shake her as$, Esperanza Spalding stunned most of America and nabbed the Grammy on Sunday night for Best New Artist.

In March 2009, thanks to my Read more…

February 14, 2011

Grooves, TV/Film

The Grammys: Sisters Are Doin’ It…

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The Grammys opened with a bang last night, but quickly fizzled into a tricked-out Technicolor circus of flashing lights, frenzied feathers and alien egg births. And like most things that are tricked out, once you get past the fancy frame, you notice the picture on the inside is a muted bore.

But first things first, I have to admit that kicking-off last night’s 3 ½ hour event with a tribute to Aretha Franklin got Read more…

January 18, 2011

Best Of, books, Grooves, TV/Film, Videos

Best of 2010 & 2011 on theHotness Tip

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18 days into the new year and it’s already been a doozy. The first week I had to travel to South Carolina to attend the funeral of my ever charming, charismatic, and ambitious cousin, Michael. That same week another cousin suffered a mild stroke at the meager age of 42. On top of worry, grief, regret and frustration, I’ve been dealing with an awful case of writer’s block. I’ve been consumed with thoughts about the Read more…

October 19, 2010

Grooves, Lifestyle

I ♥ My Hair!

Whip it, flip it, love it down! The love and appreciation for Black hair seems to be at an all time high and I couldn’t be happier. From Willow Smith’s exuberantly ecstatic video for her smash “Whip My Hair” to the “I Love My Hair” YouTube sensation from Sesame Street, there’s an embrace of cornrows, afro puffs, ponytails, dreadlocks, twists, box braids and press & curls that hasn’t been seen since the “I’m Happy To be Nappy” movement of the 90′s and the Black Power Movement of the 60′s.
Read more…

September 27, 2010

Best Of, Grooves

Whipping My Hair!

Here in NYC it’s been gloomy and gray for the past two days. Monday’s are hard enough to get motivated for me without rain and dark skies smothering my spirit and zapping my zeal. This morning when my clock radio went off that Eminem/ Rihanna song about love and domestic abuse started playing. Talk about a downer. Before I could press snooze I felt my body sag with blah weariness. By the time I got Read more…

September 17, 2010

Grooves

Tamar Kali’s “Black Bottom”

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Dang, I missed you! I hope y’all missed yourselves some Hotness. It’s been a very interesting time. Got hacked, but I’m back. Instead of starting off by venting, lamenting, celebrating and reliving the last six weeks, I thought I’d do what I usually do when jump-starting relationships, I talk about music– the communal salve that connects and instantly brings us all back to the middle again. While experiencing both online and offline challenges and revelations, Read more…