Leave a comment


A little bit of Kanye West goes a long way, for some of us more than others. If ever an (overrated) artist needed to get over himself, it is this man.

His ego-driven rants have been numerous, and annoying, in the past, but jumping onstage as teen country star Taylor Swift was accepting her Best Female Video award at the MTV Video Music Awards ceremony was a new low.

That doesn’t, however, justify Barack Obama referring to West as “a jackass,” even though the sentiment is understandable.

When you are the President, you just don’t say things like that. (And keep in mind that I am a huge Barack Obama supporter.)

Plus, you never know when someone might have a small recording device in operation, and besides that, the largely racist Obama haters are starting to emerge from their caves in record numbers. We should all keep President Barack Obama and his family in our prayers.

But back to Kanye West. His boorish, ignorant behavior is in keeping with a society that is becoming increasing rude and crude. Author Stephen King calls it “crap driving out class.”

Four examples:

Republican Congressman Joe Wilson yelling out “You lie!” while President Obama was giving a speech during a joint session of Congress.

Mel Gibson saying disrespectful things about Jewish people, and Jesse Jackson doing something similar earlier.

Serena Williams’ profanity-laced outburst at a line judge during a big tennis match.

All of those ultra-conservative, inflammatory, racially insensitive, hatemonger talk show hosts.

We’ve got to do better. Reinstating manners, sound judgment, sensitivity, honesty and higher standards would be a giant step in that direction.

NOT SURE how they happened to get together, but veteran singers Melba Moore and Phil Perry have a duets album titled “The Gift of Love.” These, we are informed, are “inspiring songs of love and faith.”

There are new numbers, including several outstanding ones cowritten by Perry, as well songs you know, such as Sounds of Blackness’ “Optimistic” and Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s “You’re All I Need to Get By.”

Overall, a pretty nice album.

Meanwhile, the very talented singer/performer Ne-Yo (real name: Shaffer Smith) is all set to do a new movie, a sci-fi war film titled “Battle: Los Angeles.” This will not be his first film appearance, however. He was in “Save the Last Dance 2” and “Stomp the Yard.”

Ne-Yo’s most recent album, “Year of the Gentleman,” is outstanding.

Correction: Whoever first said haste makes waste sure got it right. In last week’s column I identified Robert Ficano as Wayne County Sheriff. We all know that he is Wayne County Executive. (He used to be sheriff.)

It’s nice to realize it when there is something that you need to improve. Bobby Brown and Shar Jackson are among the now overweight stars who will appear on the next season of “Celebrity Fit Club,” airing on VH1.

Jackson, who played friend Niecy on Brandy’s TV show “Moesha,” used to go with dancer Kevin Federline, best known for his often tempestuous marriage to Britney Spears. Federline and Jackson had two kids together.

Federline should also be on the TV show. He has gotten huge, nearly double the size he was before.

HERBIE HANCOCK, jazz legend, always has something interesting going on. Following on the heels of the Grammy-winning “River: The Joni Letters,” a tribute to Joni Mitchell, he is working on an album entitled “Herbie Hancock’s Imagine Project.”

The unusual thing is that Hancock has been traveling around the world recording songs in the home countries of the guest artists on the album, including Ravi Shankar (India) and Oumou Sangaré (Africa).

Joseph Jackson says he knew nothing about his late son Michael’s drug problems. That’s rather odd considering the fact that his siblings were well aware of it.

The omnipresent Beyoncé will introduce her own perfume next spring. The scent is being developed by Coty.

Sly Stone is practically a recluse, but the legendary and enigmatic star performed recently at African Fest, which took place in Chicago’s Washington Park.
Another legend, Smokey Robinson, strongly disapproves of certain types of downloaded music. “People are able to get your music whenever they want to, free of charge. After you’ve created it and labored over it, that’s unfair,” he said.

BETCHA DIDN’T KNOW …that Whitney Houston’s No. 1 hit from 1990, “All The Man That I Need,” was originally recorded (eight years earlier) by Sister Sledge.

MEMORIES: “Walking in Rhythm” (the Blackbyrds), “Armed and Extremely Dangerous” (First Choice), “Not on the Outside” (the Moments), “The Glamorous Life” (Sheila E.), “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)” (Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer), “Lady” (the Whispers), “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now” (McFadden & Whitehead), “But It’s Alright” (J.J. Jackson), “Flowers” (the Emotions), “What You Won’t Do For Love” (Bobby Caldwell).

BLESSINGS to Derek Blackmon, Angela Bell Palmer, Deborah Smith Pollard, LaWanda Gray, Rebecca Bare, Craig Strong, Lydia Nance-Adams, Dina Peace, Charlie Beckham, Joel McNair and “Kim Partee.”

WORDS OF THE WEEK, from Coretta Scott King: “I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. Homophobia is like racism, anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry.”

Let the music play!

Steve Holsey can be reached at Svh517@aol.com

Also On The Michigan Chronicle:
Women of Excellence 2018!
100 photos
comments – add yours