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JoJo’s Journal – Sean Levert, TI, Remy Ma and More

March 31, 2008

picture-015.jpgHey folks.  Just stopping by for a minute to give my take on what’s going on in the entertainment world and beyond.  And remember, it’s MY take.  Everybody has an opinion. 

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Sean Levert, the younger brother of R&B singer Gerald Levert and son of Eddie Levert of the O’Jays, died late Sunday night (3/30/08).  He was 39 years old.  Sean was in the Cuyahoga County jail for not paying $85,000 in child support.  He was housed on the mental health floor of the jail and early reports claim he was transported from there to a hospital where he died at 11:27 p.m.  They claim he died of natural causes.  His parents must be in the darkest place right now.  They just lost their son Gerald in November 2006!  Now less than two years later they lose another son!  As a mother I never want to know the pain of my child dying before I do.  My heart goes out to the entire Levert family.  I pray they find peace. 

I have to take this a bit further.  I am bothered by the fact that this talented young man was in jail for not paying child support.  Did he not make any money during his recording career?  Fathers out there, please support your children!  I have always been against a court having to tell Black people to take care of their children.  And I am against courts locking men up for not financially supporting their children.  What good does that do?  Not only do the children not have the financial support from daddy, but when you take daddy away that damages children even further!    L 

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TI entered a guilty plea on March 27 to federal weapons charges and will face prison time.  He is expected to be sentenced to 1,500 hours of community service talking to youth groups around the country, followed by about 12 months in prison.  Believe me, that sentence is a “gift”.  TI could have spent years in prison.  I would prefer he got no jail time, but 12 months is far better than a possible 15 years.

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The Verdict Is In

Some of you may know that rapper Remy Ma had been on trial recently for shooting her ex-friend Makeda Barnes-Joseph in the abdomen during an argument last year in New York.  Remy thought that Barnes-Josseph stole $3,000 from her purse.  Well, she has been convicted of assault, weapons possession and coercion.  Remy was taken into custody after the verdict was read. She faces 5 to 25 years in prison.  My God, this stupidity has got to stop!  As the old saying goes – you live by the sword, you die by the sword.  I find it sad that Remy is going to prison; she has an 8 year old son whom she should have thought of while carrying a loaded weapon in her purse.  How she must regret that stupid decision now.  Terrible. 

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The Queens Palace

Did ya hear that Mary J. Blige just purchased a new mansion in New Jersey?  And – get this – paid $12.5 million CASH!  You go MJB!  Hail Mary!  J 

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Just want to say that I really like Mariah Carey’s new single and video “Touch My Body”.  The song has a nice beat and she looks fantastic in the video!  MC’s body is slamming!  Especially those boobs – gorgeous!  Her album drops April 15 and I’m sure she will continue to be one of the top selling female artists of all time.  

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I have always loved Nelly and all of the St. Lunatics.  And I absolutely loved his past collaborations with Kelly Rowland and Tim McGraw.  It’s great when artists of different genres of music get together and make good music.  Now it appears that Nelly wants to work with Bruce Springsteen!  I think Hip Hop and Rock always make a nice pairing.  I am a BIG Bruce Springsteen fan from way back so I look forward to two of my favorite artists – Nelly and Bruce – working together.  Bring it on fellas!  J 

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With all the nonsense that goes on in Hollywood sometimes we lose sight of the really talented.  Lindsey Lohan is actually a very good actress, a real actress.  Ms. Lohan has signed on to star as Nancy Pittman, one of the most hardcore cult followers of the notorious murderer Charles Manson, in the movie “Manson Girls.” Most young people today would have no idea who Charles Manson is.  Of course it’s my job to inform and hopefully sometimes enlighten you so I shall tell you.  J  Charles Manson was one of the most gruesome and brutal murderers in U.S. history.  He had such control over his cult that they would kill upon his command.  One of his most famous murders was that of the beautiful film star Sharon Tate who was eight months pregnant at the time of her murder in 1969.  Manson is now 74 years old and thankfully still in prison.  Nancy Pittman was one of the nuts that worshipped him.  And although Nancy was never charged with any of the cult’s murders, she was loyal to Manson and was involved in a lot of other crimes.  I suspect that Lindsey Lohan will play her well.  

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You Should Know

Now in production is a movie called “Cadillac Records” based on the great Chicago record label Chess Records.  Chess Records was started in 1950 by brothers Leonard Chess and Phil Chess.  Some of the greatest and most important artists in American music came out of that label including – Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Etta James, John Lee Hooker, Memphis Slim and Bo Diddley.  The movie stars some of today’s brightest stars – Adrian Brody as Leonard Chess, Jeffrey Wright as Muddy Waters, the legend-in-the-making Beyonce Knowles as Etta James and Mos Def as the great Chuck Berry.  The cast also includes beautiful Gabrielle Union and Cedric the Entertainer.  All of them had better do the Chess artists justice.  Keep your eye open for this one. 

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ARTIST OF THE MONTH

CELIA CRUZ

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All of you true lovers of Latin music are going to love my latest pick for artist of the month!  I introduce to you one of the most influential Cuban singers of the 20th century, the delightful Celia Cruz.  Born Úrsula Hilaria Celia Caridad Cruz Alfonso in the Santos Suárez neighborhood of Havana, Cuba, on October 21, 1925, Celia Cruz began singing as a teen for radio stations and participated in talent contests.  Some of her early recordings were done in Venezuela back in 1948.  Celia’s first major breakthrough came in 1950 when she was hired to sing lead for a popular Cuban orchestra called Sonora Matancera.  Celia worked with Sonora Matancera for 15 years and become famous throughout Cuba.   

Along the way she began using her famous trademark shout – “¡Azúcar!” which means “Sugar!” in Spanish. Don’t you just love it?!  In the 1960’s Celia hooked-up with another great Latin singer, Tito Puente, and created 8 albums.  In the 1970’s Celia collaborated on a successful album with Johnny Pacheco, which lead to her turn in an ensemble of salsa musicians called the Fania All Stars.  With Fania, Celia had the opportunity of visiting England, France, Zaire, and to return to tour Latin America.

Throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s Celia continued to record, perform sell-out concerts around the world and win a Grammy award along the way.  Then in 1992 she had her turn in the movies when she starred alongside Armand Assante and Antonio Banderas in the film “The Mambo Kings”.  Her star continued to shine when in 1994 President Bill Clinton awarded Celia the National Medal of Arts – a great accomplishment for any artist.      

For a few years Celia had knee problems and in early 2003 had surgery to correct those problems.  Unfortunately, in July 2003, Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa, died of a cancerous brain tumor at her home in New Jersey.  She was survived by her husband Peter Knight and they had no children.  Hundreds of thousands of fans paid their respects in Miami and New York.  The Queen of Salsa is buried at the Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx, New York.  

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AZÚCAR! 

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VIDA SENTIMENTAL!  ADIÓS! 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2008 8:27 am

    Eddie Levert, well i dont know how he can deal with the loss of two sons, and im tripping, how can mike vick ge more time than TI

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