Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sean “Diddy” Combs Gives Insight Into His Life and New Band

Music mogul, Sean “Diddy” Combs, one of the world’s most successful music moguls and all-around entrepreneur, offers his fans a revealing glimpse into his life and inspirations with the release of his MYMAG, Diddy Dirty Money – available now via (

Diddy curated the material in Diddy Dirty Money, which is both a glossy print magazine and an interactive online experience, offering exclusive video, commentary and much more.  Diddy mixes original content, including never-published photographs of him and his band members, Kalenna and Dawn with archived articles from his favorite publications.

“I’ve always loved art magazines and dope books.  The DDM magazine gave us a chance to illustrate some of our personality and share pieces of some of the elements and people who have inspired our collective journey,” says Sean “Diddy” Combs. “Diddy Dirty Money features some of our all-time favorite articles, photographs mixed in with some of our own content… it’s an accurate glimpse into our respective lives.”

Kalenna and Dawn called upon Flaunt magazine to provide an insightful feature on the late fashion designer, Alexander McQueen (whose work is currently the subject of a major exhibit at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art), a Tank Girl comic (Dawn’s pick) and a feature on Marilyn Manson (chosen by Kalenna) adorn the pages of Diddy’s MYMAG.

Other content includes Vibe magazine’s first-ever magazine feature on Diddy, as well as tributes to Biggie Smalls, Mary J. Blige and Hype Williams.  One of the UK’s top music magazines, NME provides content for one of Diddy’s idols, music innovator and icon, David Bowie.  Rare Frank Sinatra and Rat Pack photographs are also featured in the magazine, the late Hollywood legend inspires Diddy’s style and is another one of his all-time idols.

To buy a copy of Diddy Dirty Money and see first-hand what most inspires the mogul of hip-hop, log on to (, preview and purchase for $12.  Diddy Dirty Money will also be available at select Barnes & Noble locations nationwide as well as select newsstands on May 31st.

Countless Action in …Number Four

By Wendy Simmons

I Am Number Four is a never boring action packed sci-fi thriller new to DVD.

Directed by D.J. Caruso, the audience is introduced to John Smith, a teen alien from the planet Lorien. John is number four of nine survivors from the attempted annihilation of his planet. Those nine were sent to earth and spared in order to continue Lorien’s legacy. But staying alive is no easy feat and is filled with constant motion and life altering scenarios. Now that numbers one through three are dead it is of crucial importance for John to embrace and control his newly discovered special powers. By doing so he’s able to continue to fight and find the other five numbers to unite against the hunters that will go to no end to wipe the existence of Lorien away.

Starring Alex Pettyfer as Number Four, we also see him endure the same issues as any other teen…bullying, acceptances, and love. This allows this sci-fi film to appeal to a realist such as myself. Although it wraps up loose ends quickly, it will hold your attention and will definitely peek your curiosity throughout.

Be prepared for action and surprise when you pick this DVD up on Tuesday! You’ll want to catch this one because you can trust that there will be sequels to come.

To Ms. O with love, Oprah’s Surprise Farewell

After 25 years on television Oprah Winfrey is calling it quits, but not before her producers could surprise her with a special night filled with celebrities and thank you’s from fans, friends and her loved ones.

The star studded event included appearances from Will and Jada Smith, Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, Tyler Perry, Rosie O’Donnell, Queen Latifah, Jerry Seinfeld, Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Michael Jordan, Maria Shriver, Diane Sawyer, Dakota Fanning, Dr. Oz, Nate Berkus and Dr. Phil.

Musical guests included Beyonce performing her new single “Run The World (Girls)”, Jamie Foxx, Stevie Wonder, Rascal Flatts, Patti LaBelle, Josh Groban, Kristin Chenoweth, Aretha Franklin. Dr. Maya Angelou recited a poem dedicated to Oprah and Alicia Keys accompanied her on the piano.

The Oprah Farewell was taped in one night on Tuesday, May 17th and will air on May 23 and 24th.

Photos by Barry Brecheisen

Fantabuloso Dos

Chicago’s 103.5 KISS FM brought out music heavyweights for it’s Fantabuloso Dos concert May 18th at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL.

A sequel to its 2010 Fantabuloso concert that featured Ludacris, Ke$ha, Trey Songz, Jay Sean, B.O.B., Jason Derulo, Kevin Rudolf and Orianthi, this year’s event boasted artists that included Lupe Fiasco, PITTBULL, T-Pain, David Guetta, Jessie J, Far East Movement, Taio Cruz, Mike Posner and Tinie Tempah.


Photos of Lupe Fiasco, David Guetta & T-Pain. Photos by Adam Bielawski

2011 BET Awards

BET Networks announced that actor/comedian Kevin Hart has been tapped to host this year’s BET Awards that will broadcast live  from the  Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles on Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 8:00 p.m. (eastern) on BET.

The brightest stars in music, acting and sports will appear and perform at this year’s BET Awards which recognizes the achievements of artists, entertainers and athletes in 20 categories.  Leading the pack this year is Chris Brown with an impressive 6 nominations across multiple categories: Best Male R&B Artist, Best Collaboration (for which he holds two nominations), Video of the Year, Best Actor and Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice.  Closely behind him is Lil Wayne with 5 nominations:  Best Male Hip Hop Artist, Best Collaboration (with fellow nominee Chris Brown), Video of the Year and Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice for his collaborations with Chris Brown and Cory Gunz.  Rounding out the list and tied with 4 nominations each are Kanye West, Rihanna and Drake.  

Kevin Hart burst onto the scene as one of the most versatile comedy actors in film and television.  Hart is currently touring the nation on his “Laugh at My Pain” tour. Hart will spend the summer of 2011 filming lead roles in two new movies.   In July, he will start working on Screen Gem’s “Think Like A Man,” the comedy is based on Steve Harvey’s bestselling 2009 book Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man.  Hart will then start work on the Nick Stoller comedy “Five Year Engagement” with producer Judd Apatow and Universal.

For continuous BET AWARDS updates, please visit:, (hash tag: #BETAWARDS) and Facebook fan page at

The nominees for the 2011 BET Awards are:

Best Female R&B Artist

Marsha Ambrosius
Keri Hilson
Jennifer Hudson

Best Male R&B Artist

Chris Brown
Cee Lo Green
Bruno Mars
Trey Songz

Best Group

Diddy-Dirty Money
Cali Swag District
New Boyz
Travis Porter

Best Collaboration

B.o.B. f/ Haley Williams of Paramore – “Airplanes”
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – “Look at Me Now”
Chris Brown f/ Tyga & Kevin McCall – “Deuces”
Waka Flocka Flame f/ Roscoe Dash & Wale – “No Hands”
Rihanna f/ Drake – “What’s My Name”
Kanye West f/ Rihanna – “All of The Lights”

Best Male Hip Hop Artist

Lil Wayne
Rick Ross
Kanye West

Best Female Hip Hop Artist

Lola Monroe
Nicki Minaj

Video of the Year

Marsha Ambrosius – “Far Away”
B.o.B. f/ Hayley Williams of Paramore – “Airplanes”
Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – “Look at Me Now”
Keri Hilson – “Pretty Girl Rock”
Willow Smith – “Whip My Hair”
Kanye West f/ Pusha T – “Runaway”

Video Director of the Year

Benny Boom
Mr. Boomtown
Chris Robinson
Kanye West
Hype Williams

Best New Artist

J. Cole
Bruno Mars
Willow Smith
Wiz Khalifa

Best Gospel

Byron Cage
Deitrick Haddon
Mary Mary
Karen Clark Sheard
BeBe & CeCe Winans

Best Actress

Halle Berry
Taraji P. Henson
Regina King
Zoe Saldana
Kerry Washington

Best Actor

Laz Alonso
Chris Brown
Don Cheadle
Idris Elba
Jamie Foxx

YoungStars Award

Shenell Edmonds
Keke Palmer
Diggy Simmons
Jaden Smith
Willow Smith

Best Movie

“Death at a Funeral”
“For Colored Girls”
“The Book of Eli”
“Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too?”

Subway Sportswoman of the Year

Tamika Catchings
Candice Dupree
Maya Moore
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Subway Sportsman of the Year

Carmelo Anthony
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Derrick Rose
Michael Vick

Coca-Cola Viewers’ Choice Nominees

Chris Brown f/ Lil Wayne & Busta Rhymes – “Look at Me Now”
Lil Wayne f/ Cory Gunz – “6 Foot 7 Foot”
Mindless Behavior – “My Girl”
Nicki Minaj f/ Drake – “Moment 4 Life”
Rihanna f/ Drake – “What’s My Name”
Trey Songz f/ Nicki Minaj – “Bottoms Up”

Centric Award

Marsha Ambrosius
Eric Benet
Cee Lo Green
R. Kelly

Best International Act: Africa

2Face Idibia (Nigeria)
D’Banj (Nigeria)
D-Black (Ghana)
Angelique Kidjo (Benin)
Fally Ipupa (Congo DR)
Teargas (South Africa)

Best International Act: UK

VV Brown
Laura Izibor
Tinchy Stryder
Tinie Tempah


The Crown Life Hosted by Big Boi

Royal Black invites you to be apart of The Crown Life on Wednesday, June 8th in Chicago. The event is a private celebration of music and fashion and will be hosted by Big Boi (OutKast). To join the celebration, text Big Boi to 313131.

Don’t Sacrifice for the Inheritance, Skip It

By Wendy Simmons

The Inheritance is a horror film trying to combine history with fright.

What was meant to be an impromptu winter family reunion morphed into a sacrificial ceremony. In the beginning of the film we are introduced to what appears to be a plantation enslaved family. No words, just images. Later, we are given the history of that family and how they sacrificed their children for a resurrected man named Chakabazz.  Chakabazz promised freedom and prosperity in exchange for chosen children. Because of the favorable outcome of this rite to freedom, the family continued this practice in order to maintain their wealth.

This leads us to the weekend where spirits and surprised bloody writings on walls terrify the new lambs of sacrifice. Trying to escape their fate proved to be a futile bout with destiny filled with confusion and a last minute email to tell the story of their weekend and their ultimate demise.

The film stars Golden Brooks of the sitcom Girlfriends. It was refreshing to see a horror film with an all black cast. However, too many inaudible scenes and not enough background left me confused and frustrated with the hour and 20 minutes that I kept hope alive, wishing that this all black scary movie would surprise me. Unfortunately, it didn’t.

I give it $$

A3C Hip Hop Festival Now Accepting Artists Submissions

The annual A3C Hip Hop Festival is now accepting artist submissions to take the stage October 6-8, 2011 at The Masquerade.

Artists can submit for the 2011 event through either Sonicbids or ReverbNation. The A3C staff listens to every submission and is looking for talented artists from across the country who can bring something unique to the festival. All artists that submit receive a 3-day festival pass. There is a fee for submissions, and artists can submit before June 1, 2011 at an early bird rate of $10.

Three-day passes for the 2011 A3C Hip Hop Festival are on sale through the A3C website for $25 until May 31, 2011. 3-day passes will increase to $33 after June 1, 2011. Daily passes are also available for $15/day.

In addition to live performances and showcases, the A3C Hip Hop Festival features turntable, producer, and break dance competitions as well as educational and community programming including panel discussions and workshops.

Specific showcase, panel, artist and event updates will be announced through the A3C website
 on a rolling basis and continuing through the event’s start on October 6, 2011. More information about becoming involved in the A3C as an artist, partner, volunteer or media representative can be found at

 Now in its 7th year, the A3C Hip Hop Festival is a 2-day, 3-night event held annually in Atlanta, GA and features live performances from a wide variety of approximately 200 artists. The live performance schedule is enhanced by day and evening content showcasing some of the most exciting breakdance, graphic art, fashion, film, equipment demonstrations and panels relating to Hip Hop culture.

Since 2005, the event has featured over 600 artists in Hip Hop including: Rakim, Buckshot, Black Sheep, DJ Premier, The Juice Crew, Biz Markie, Del the Funky Homosapien, The Clipse, Souls of Mischief, Little Brother, Wale and B.o.B. In 2010, the A3C was attended by over 20,000 fans.

The A3C will take place October 6 – 8, 2011 in Atlanta, GA with its hub at the Masquerade located at 695 North Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia 30308.

Writer & Director Carmen Marron

By Tamara Jenkins
Once the guider of young minds, Carmen Marron is now guiding herself through the world of film making as the writer, producer and director of her first feature film GO FOR IT!.

The winner of  the Audience Award and an Official Selection of the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival, GO FOR IT! is the story of a young women struggling to overcome her fears and follow her dream of becoming a dancer.

Now, on the heels of its nationwide debut, the Logan Square native is returning to her hometown to officially premiere the film and took time to talk to UnRated Urban about her journey into film making.

You have an interesting story of how you got started?

Carmen Marron:I actually have no film making background. I use to be a guidance counselor. I grew up in Logan Square. I chose to be a guidance counselor in Phoenix, South Phoenix, which is where I lived. I wanted to work with at risk kids and inner city kids as well because I felt like I could really relate to them and after working with them for two years I realized the kids really did not look up to their parents or people in their community, they looked up to people in television and film for role models, unfortunately. And people in film and television that weren’t real or they were looking up to people like Brittney Spears, people that did not have anything in common with their lives and their struggles.  And so I decided to write a script.

I wanted to write a script about a family and about young kids, especially women, because I felt like these young girls were throwing their lives away and getting pregnant and they were making so many mistakes, so I decided to write this script about them and mirror their lives so they can see and learn about themselves by watching this movie and hopefully be inspired.

Is it true the film took 6 years to finish?

Carmen Marron: Yes, it did take 6 years to finish.

Did you ever want to give up during that time?

Carmen Marron: Always. Always, because it took us five years just to save the money. So during the time when we were just saving the money, I was like why are we completely changing our lives to save money for this movie; I’m not even sure what I’m doing, I don’t even know if its going to go anywhere.

The main character in the film, Carmen-is she based on any of your students or a family member?

Carmen Marron: I named her Carmen because that’s my name and because when I was growing up, Carmen was the most common name for a Latina. There was always at least three Carmen’s in every classroom that I was in. I have cousins named Carmen; its like Maria, I was either going to name her Maria or Carmen. I thought everyone uses Maria already in films so I decided on Carmen because I wanted to use a name that is so frequently used that kids could relate to.

Do you keep up with any of your former students?

Carmen Marron: No, I worked at an elementary school and the kids were very young. I was really more influenced by the seventh and eighth graders and some of the girls in the community and the teenage girls that I knew growing up too. I have not kept in touch with any of them (former students).

Are all of the actors in the film from Chicago?

Carmen Marron:I would say out of the main actors, 7 or 8 are from Chicago-Aimee Garcia, Gina Rodriguez, David Hernandez, Louis Alegria. And it’s funny because there from Chicago but most of them live in L.A., only 2 I believe live in Chicago.

GO FOR IT! is being released by Pantelion Films, a new film studio, how did this happen?

Carmen Marron: GO FOR IT!, I believe, was there first acquisition. I was screening my film around the country at festivals and there was a buzz and someone who saw the movie ended up knowing someone at Lions Gate and called them and said hey you need to take a look at this movie and they ended up coming to one of my screenings in L.A. and after they saw it, they contacted me and asked me to screen it at the studio. That was rare, I mean it does not happen that way at all. I don’t even know anyone else that that’s happened to, that’s how rare it was.

Since this is your first time writing and directing a film, I hope you will continue with this

Carmen Marron: Well, yes I love this, I never wanted to do this, I never wanted thought about being a film maker but I realized that this is definitely, definitely part of my destiny.

Do you have any upcoming projects?

Carmen Marron: I’m working on two scripts and I’m hoping to get one into production before the end of summer and I’m hoping to do it in Chicago.

So Chicago will stay relevant with your projects?

Carmen Marron: Yes, Chicago will always be relevant with the scripts I write.

Would you be open to television, maybe writing a dramatic or comedic series or do you want to stay with films?

Carmen Marron: I am definitely open to that. If the situation arises where I think it would be something that I believe in and I create quality programming that will reach my demographic and also give them so type of message to walk away with that’s inspiring, then yes, I might do that as well.

Are there any actors or actresses that you would like to work with?

Carmen Marron: Definitely, one of them is John C. Reilly. I love him and I just found out he’s from Chicago. I would love to work with Julia Roberts. I just think she’s so refreshing.

What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?

Carmen Marron: Honesty, what I can seriously say is that being an independent filmmaker is one of the hardest things you can do. If you really want to be an independent filmmaker, work on films that you truly believe in and that you love with all your heart because its going to take years to get it made and also be very patient because its part of the journey. And I heard that from everybody and now I’ve gone through it myself.

Go For It! opens nationwide May 13th. For more information on the film, visit and

Oprah Inducted into Illinois Broadcasters Hall of Fame

The Illinois Broadcasters Association held a luncheon and Hall of Fame induction ceremony honoring media titian Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at the Palmer House in Chicago.

ABC 7 Anchor Cheryl Burton emceed the luncheon and ceremony and speakers included  the President/CEO of the Illinois Broadcasters Association (IBA), Dennis Lyle, Film critic and IBA Hall of Fame member (2006) Roger Ebert,  ABC 7 anchor Judy Hsu and WGN radio broadcaster and IBA Hall of Fame member (2005) Orion Samuelson.

Photo by Adam Bielawski