Monday, December 29, 2008

Arsenio Hall: From "The A List" to "The Blacklist" to "The World's Funniest Moments"

By now everyone has herd that Arsenio Hall is returning to television with "The World's Funniest Moments". I am hoping the show is supported because Hall has been blacklisted since 1994 for reasons that were totally unjust. There are a number of theories as to why "The Arsenio Hall Show" was cancelled after a successful five year run. However none of the reasons justify the untimely cancellation. One reason was the network grew concerned about his temper after he spazzed on Queer Nation (see YouTube Clip). The other theory, and the one that I support, is his own theory that the show was cancelled for inviting Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan. There is no coincidence that the successful show was pulled just weeks after Farrakhan's appearance.

Hall claimed according to Wikipedia, "his decision to have the controversial Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan appear turned affiliates, advertisers and some viewers off the show, which ultimately led to its cancellation." It became evident in the actual interview that Hall’s decision to proceed with the appearance was met with much opposition and protest. Hall pointed out that calls of concern even came from Whoopi Goldberg who felt caught in-between because she was both black and Jewish. After watching the interview back then and again more recently, it’s pretty clear to me that Farrakhan does not in any way teach anti-Semitism (the more prominent cause of concern). The Minister only points out, as many Jewish scholars duly admit, that Jews had a significant role in slavery. If reparations for slavery are due, Farrakhan believes Jews have a share of accountability amongst the more known participants.

Watch the Farrakhan interview parts entirely (see below). After, if you believe that the show was cancelled unjustly I urge you to support his return by watching "The World's Funniest Moments." I also ask you to email this post to anyone this may concern.

Hall/Farrakhan Pt. 1
Hall/Farrakhan Pt. 2
Hall/Farrakhan Pt. 3
Hall/Farrakhan Pt. 4
Hall/Farrakhan Pt. 5

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A.R's Spotlight: Kiki Haynes-Bell

Ki Ki Haynes and A.R.
Kiki Haynes-Bell, was the Hostess of Video Undaground from 1998 – 2000 (Interviews conducted include: P. Diddy, 112, Silkk The Shocker, Tank, Cam’Ron, Alicia Keys and countless others). She has made major moves since leaving the show. The day I met Kiki I knew her hustle was serious. That day she came to Video Undaground’s annual cookout in Harlem and interviewed the then No Limit / Priority Records R&B artist Mechalie Jameson. I put her on the spot and first time out she conducted the interview like a veteran. Priority Records Executive, Mike Cole, was also there and couldn't believe it was only her first interview. Needless to say I was both impressed and blessed to be able to bring her on deck.

Kiki has since moved to L.A. and has become an Actress. Her first credited role was the year 2000 release of “Bamboozled” written and directed by Spike Lee. To date her filmography includes: “Cutthroat Alley”, “Nora’s Hair Salon”, “Restraining Order”, “Rings”, “A Different Light”, “Tournament of Dreams”, “Shattered!”, and she has just wrapped production of “Double Duty”. She is also featured in the book “Self Management for Actors” by Bonnie Gillespie. The book includes Kiki’s essay “The Power of the Word No” which is one of 50 contributing essay’s made by the acting community of working professionals. There is no question as to why she is spotlighted here both for her success and because it’s clear to me that she has a bright future ahead of her.

UPDATE 2013 - Ki Ki is currently Co-Starring in Tyler Perry's "For Better or Worse" on TBS.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recommended Product: POMAÇAI Vodka

Earlier last June I attended The Bar Show at Jacob Javits Center. It was a two day event introducing a lot of new products on the rise. I got the opportunity to meet the good people at PomaÇai Vodka (pronounced Pom-ah-SIGH-ee), a blend of pomegranate and açai berry flavored vodka. Their Mixologist suggests twelve different drink recipes including a Poma-tini (3 oz. PomaÇai, 1.5 oz. Rose's Pomegranate and 2 oz. Sweet & Sour Mix). According to their recipe book, "This exciting new flavored vodka is best enjoyed when mixed in a variety of signature cocktails designed to indulge your senses and heighten every occasion". Apparently there is no Web site yet but if you are seeking more information, this product is distributed by Anheuser-Busch. 

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A.R. Remembers B.I.G. and introduces The Notorious Trailer

I remember 1994, when a promoter they called Jay Black shouted at the top of this lungs that this was going to be the year of the Bad Boy. I remember the picket signs and I remember being handed a burger carton that read "B.I.G. Mack". Inside was a burger bun with a cassette tape in the middle. One side was samples of Notorious B.I.G and the other side promoted Craig Mack, both sides was fire! That was the same year my show was born, Video Undaground

I remember just two weeks before B.I.G was murdered I sat in a conference room at Arista Records with the host of Video Undaground, Smitty Dawgs. There was about 20 people in attendance overall, most of them journalist. Nothing happened until B.I.G. came in on crutches accompanied by Lil' Cease. That's when we sat down and herd the entire album "Life After Death". The only song that we did not hear that day was "Long Kiss Goodnight" produced by RZA because as B.I.G. explained, it was the only song that was still not mixed. He added, "when y'all hear that y'all gonna know". 

Overall I believed the album was missing something at the time. I was a little disappointed that there was not a track that addressed the so-called beef(s) at the time (at least not how I wanted him too). I loved "My Downfall" which was my favorite at the time mainly because it came the closest to getttin' back at them kats. I just wanted some real hard shit. After listening the floor opened up to questions and the first was not even related to the album. Someone asked, "So who are you looking to tour with this time out?" B.I.G. responded, "You mean who's looking to tour with me?" and the room erupted with laughter. He added that he wasn't sure yet and changed the subject to say "right now we about to go to Cali to shoot the video." Everyone must have been thinking the same thought (as 2 Pac was recently killed) but one concerned person actually asked, "Are you sure you ready to go to Cali at this point in time?" B.I.G. responded, "Got to, there's money out there". 

So we all know the story and you can draw the conclusion as to what happened in the following weeks. I remember getting a physical copy of the album in the mail a day before its release and very shortly after his burial. Thanks to Wendy White the envelope contained the double CD and an 8 X 10 picture of myself, Notoriois B.I.G. in the center and Smitty Dawgs to his left (I am looking to update this posting with that picture at a later date). I can't describe how charged I was when I finally herd "Long Kiss Goodnight". It was the song that to me, completed the double album and gave me everything I wanted even though I was now almost confused and felt guilty that I wanted it so bad. But fuck that! I got over that guilt quickly and it's still my favorite song and til this day. If that's what I'm listening to in my Zen MP3 player when you see me in the street ... be very careful how you approach me because I am charged beyond belief (something Hulk like). Overall I hope this movie makes everyone remember forever ... who we lost when we lost B.I.G. 

It felt good to get that out. 

Recommended Business: Weapon X Promotions

If you're looking for independent promotions & marketing that goes hard for real ... check out Weapon X Promotions "The Secret Weapon for your Music Career". The owner Chris "Excel" Rodriguez puts in more hours on his worst day than I do on my best day. Incredible! For the link "X" marks the spot ...

Cosby to Obama: Why America Is Ready

Plain and simple, not a whole to talk about. Just one thought provoking question ... Did The Cosby Show play a significant role is shaping America's minds to accepting The Obama Family?

Cosby Photo Credit:

Obama Photo Credit:

I remember when so much was said about how The Cosby Show was not real. They spoke as if there couldn't be a black doctor married to a black lawyer running a household of decent American black kids. However if that image was not set before a prime-time NBC audience, would a black man named Barack Hussein Obama be our 44th President Elect today?

Recommended Reading: Blue Ocean Strategy

I spent the morning listening to an audible book while working called Blue Ocean Strategy. It's a resource for developing a blue ocean approach to marketing strategies, as most seem to be accustomed to red ocean thinking. For me the book basically confirmed that I am already a marketing genius because it's a virtual blueprint to how I already think (yes, I am learning to give myself credit where credit is due). Overall I value this book because it will help me stay focused and aligned while still thinking outside the box because I often get scatter-brain.

I personally prefer audible books because I like to multi-task but I must warn you in this case. They could have chosen someone who sounds a lot less boring to read this book. However, If interested in the book or audible check out the link below.

Sample Audio Available

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Welcome to my first blog entry ...

I have done a lot of different things in my career. I've been primarily self-employed since 1994. I've been involved in a lot of ventures, some successful and some not so successful. I've decided to start this blog as I am on the eve of starting a new business venture. Though I cant talk much about what the business is because its a unique idea, I will talk about some of the things and interesting finds that take place along the path of seeing this idea to fruition. 

So this is my first entry. I'm looking forward to a time when I can refer back to this blog entry made at a time when I realized that my most successful moments came from following my own inspired ideas. Right now I am blessed to have a team of like-minded individuals to accompany me on this journey. More importantly that they share the belief of doing business with integrity. Those individuals are (in no particular order) Shazell Bush, DeDan Baldwin and Jamal Waring. Three of us Co-Own PubCity, LLC but together we are about to carry out one common goal. 

The best part for us is it involves the business of music, something we are all passionate about. It also involves a great deal of technical skills that we all posses. But best of all it should be fun. As you know when your job is something you enjoy it never feels like work. Despite that our work ethic is impeccable. Overall we have no reason to fail and failure is not an option. By following this blog (featuting all sorts of random things I find interesting or have learned and would like to share), you will be following my personal journey and it is my hope that you wish us all the best along the way. I also hope to see you at our destinations. --A.R.