All posts by Brittney M. Walker


Cupid is the Great Equalizer


*Bryson Bernard, better known as Cupid, is popular for his hit single, ‘Cupid Shuffle’ which put his relatively small hometown of Lafayette, La. on the map.

With his music, this country boy has managed to cross racial lines and break down social barriers all in the name of stepping and good, clean music.

“I can go anywhere with any crowd at any age and make ‘em dance,” Cupid brags.

Entertaining crowds is in the fabric of his personality, Cupid concedes. Like many American black singers and musicians, the artist started sharing his talents with the world in the church, singing in the choir.

Surprising as it seems, the boy can sing. Most of his tunes are what he calls “feel good music,” collages of the South, Chicago stepping and Hip Hop that possess people all over the world to get up and dance.

“Line dancing has been popular for years. For me, it’s been on the road, touring with Frankie Beverly, touring with the GAP Band,” he says. “So for opening up with these guys, you have to make the kind of music that caters to that crowd. That feel good music that crosses all ages and barriers and colors is what I make. I don’t make Pop records. I just make feel good music. I make it so that a thug is comfortable stepping to it, but I make it for the 55-year-old Caucasian man who owns a $5 million business can do it too.”

There’s a method to the madness. Cupid says he likes to entertain and likes to make people feel good. He recognizes the gender divide when it comes to the dance floor. According to his observations, women tend to go out and cut a rug but their partners like holding up the wall. So he makes songs everyone can groove to with or without a partner.

“Guys these days don’t want to dance, but the ladies do. So I just make it easier for the ladies to dance without grabbing a partner and their boyfriends getting mad. All I am is the guy that keeps the party going.”

Keeping the party going is exactly what he does.

Currently working on hopefully something big, Cupid says much of his success as an independent artist has emerged from his popularity online with YouTube, long before the online celebrity generator became the hub of good old-fashioned talent. Even now he heavily relies on the web to get his music out there.

“Now it’s an even playing field,” he says. “Back in the day, the record label would dictate what you’re listening to by playing it on the radio. It evens the playing field for independent artists. And it gives the public an idea to dictate what they want rather than sit there and take what’s given.”

‘Cupid Shuffle’ gained its stunning party fame because fans couldn’t get enough of it.

“[The song] wasn’t some by some industry expert’s design. It was just something the people wanted via YouTube. Every year there’s two or three things that come out that the people make popular and I think that’s more important than the corporate entity which says, ‘You’re going to listen to this record 20 times and gonna love it.’ Now we have a voice.”

Though independence has its challenges, Cupid finds it rewarding to roam the world and produce music as he pleases.

Look out for Cupid’s other productions, including  his new fitness series, CuRobiks. The fitness program fuses shuffle dancing with aerobic training. The artist says he’s lost 20 pounds so far and wants to give the people what they need to feel good inside and out.

Check out the latest from Cupid: “Chooo!”

Follow Cupid on Twitter Facebook and Instagram @NewCupid.


Houston Pastor Caught Up in Real Estate Scheme


*Samuel Ray Palasota, 52, of Houston, has surrendered to federal authorities following the return of a 24-count indictment alleging he operated a fraudulent real estate investment scheme and defrauded a woman of $650,000, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson, reports

The sealed indictment charged Palasota with 21 counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, Palasota held himself out as a pastor and also claimed to manage a real estate investment program, doing business under the name “The Maker’s Resources.”

From in or about December 2008 through approximately December 2009, Palasota knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud by means of material false pretenses, representations and promises, the indictment alleges.

Specifically, Palasota allegedly convinced a Mississippi woman to invest her money with him in an alleged real estate investment.


53-year-old Samuel Ray Palasota, was convicted for carrying out a religious-themed investment fraud scheme that targeted one female victim–causing a loss of $650,000. According to an FBI report, Palasota was convicted of 21 counts of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud; he was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison and three subsequent years or supervision.

Palasota’s victim, a Mississippi single mother with young children, looked to the pastor for emotional and spiritual advice as she went through a divorce. She testified that Palasota invited her to “invest” in a real estate opportunity. Palasota created a fake investment program called “The Maker’s Resources” and provided the victim with accompanying documentation that he drew up himself. The victim was promised a 40 percent return on an initial investment of $650,000.

Check out the full story here.

stevie J

Stevie J Speaks on the Child Support Suit

Stevie J Speaks on the Child Support Suit

Stevie J and his brood

*Drama follows Stevie J. His middle name should be “Hott Mess.” Though he’s infamously known for his love triangles and rat face expressions, the “Love & Hip Hop Atlanta” star and ATL producer’s daddy track record became terribly tainted when one of his child’s mothers went public about his stacks on stacks of child support owed.

Former record executive Carol Antoinette Bennett put “Stebie” on blast for owing more than $1 million in back child support for their 14 and 16-year-old children and filed a lawsuit to collect.

“She’s a great friend of mine,” he claims. “At times, she lets our emotions get the best of us. When we feel something is unjust, we go hard for it. But I’m right here. There’s no need to do it any other way than to talk to me directly. I definitely had a conversation with her. Everything is alright. I’m a great dad. Just check out my kids Instagram. I love my kids and I take good care of my kids.”

Talking his normal vague club talk, the producer never admitted whether or not he owes money, but says that the lawsuit stems from an old judgment from 1996 that has since defaulted, according to him, and as a result, the claim is bogus.

“Well, the system is the main game. I’m sovereign; those rules don’t apply to me. I take care of my family,” he says. “That Kobe number just added up over the years. I take care of my kids. I wouldn’t say I spend $16,000 a month on my kids. Do you know a kid that needs $16,000 a month?”

Maybe Stevie is right. Children can get expensive, but $16K a month is a bit much for basic needs.

A year ago, Carol aired Stevie’s dirty laundry and told the press that they’ve been battling this child support stuff out in court for years. She mentioned the producer had been pushing to go to court so he could wiggle his way out of paying a dime of the owed money. But those requests had been denied.

On the eve of the press conference, which was held on Halloween in 2013, Stevie left a voicemail message, urging Carol to call of her hounds.

“What’s going on, uh I see all this press it’s going crazy and then I see something ’bout a press conference on October 31. I would ask you not to do a press conference…so let’s try to figure out what we doing, what’s goin’ on aight?”

That didn’t work.

In the meantime, he’s still making his money and supposedly has a new album coming out soon.

On the collection of possibly sweaty sexual songs is “Panties Going Down” with Kandi Burruss.

“The joint is kind of sexy. There was a kind of energy in there that birthed the concept,” he said in a breathy, reminiscent way.


(Stevie J Speaks on the Child Support Suit)


Summer Slow Down _White-3586

Hennessy Recipes for the Summer

*Who doesn’t like a smooth drink of Hennessy?

Most drink it straight or with a couple of ice cubes.

But Mixologist Jordan Bushell has created some refreshing, bold and summery cocktails to make that Hennessy the perfect drink for any time of day.

Check out the recipes:

Cold Fashioned_White-3606(C)old Fashioned – Surprisingly refreshing, this drink has just enough sweet and a lot of flavor and goes well with a good summer meal.

1.5 oz Hennessy VS

.25 oz Amaretto

1 oz Simple syrup

.75 oz fresh Lemon Juice

4 dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Glass: Rocks

Method: Add all liquid to a shaker tin with ice and shake until well chilled.  Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Summer Slow Down _White-3586Summer Slow Down – Light, refreshing and strong, the Summer Slow Down is your easy summer afternoon cold drink. Meyer lemon aromatics hit your nose before ever taking a sip, setting up a refreshing Hennessy moment.

1.5 oz Hennessy VS

.75 oz Sloe Gin

.75 oz Fresh Meyer Lemon Juice

.5 oz Simple syrup

4 dashes Paychaud bitters

Garnish: Lemon Twist

Glass: Rocks

Method: Add all liquid to a shaker tin with ice and shake until well chilled.  Strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice, garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Lumiere.WhiteLUMIERE – A lot like your classic negroni, this Hennessy mix is potent, however balanced and a little lighter.

1.5 oz Hennessy VS

.5 oz Aperol

.5 oz Lillet Rouge

2 dashes Angostura bitters

2 Dashes Paychaud bitters

Garnish: Lemon twist

Glass: Rocks glass

Method: add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice, stir until well chilled.  Strain into a rocks glass with a large ice cube.

Garnish: twist of lemon.

hennessy summer drink


Danity Kane Rock Leather in Reunion Photo Shoot


*Back in 2006, when Sean “Diddy” Combs was setting the stage for singing competitions and reality shows, he recruited the four ladies that eventually became Danity Kane.

Like most of Diddy’s short lived spurts of inspiration, the girls fizzled out and weren’t heard from again, until this summer at the MTV awards.

They’re back, for how long, we’re not really sure. But while they’re here, they’re going to live it up and soak up as much as they can. Officially back together and only missing D. Woods, Danity Kane – Dawn Angelique, Aubrey O’Day, Shannon Bex and Aundrea Fimbres – are looking young and hawt in their latest group shot, sporting all black everything in rebellious leather.

Do you like it? Do you think they’ll last? Tell us in the comments below.

tyler maddox simms

Director Tyler Maddox Simms Succeeding in Film Industry Niche

tyler maddox simms

*Can the ladies get some credit in the Black film world? In a breakout year for black films, one thing remains the same: It’s still a boys club. With all the great films in the mix and coming down the pike, few films are helmed by female directors.

Well, Tyler Maddox Simms is teaching the boys a lesson. Creating her own path in the industry, while gleaning to some of greats, she’s doing things in a different way.

A director with a special niche, Tyler is catering to home entertainment by producing Straight-to-DVD, low-budget films with a focus on wholesome, family entertainment. Unlike most filmmakers, she doesn’t fret about distribution because her titles can be found on the shelves of Wal-Mart stores nationwide.

She started her venture some 10 years ago with her debut as a director with “Beverly Hood,” featuring the then-hot group, Destiny’s Child. Other notable flicks include “Love Chronicles” with Terrence Howard and Robin Givens.

Her most recent project was “The Power of Love” starring actress Vivica A. Fox. Here’s the synopsis:

During a book tour, the vivacious author PJ Payton — portrayed by Vivica A. Fox, (“Kill Bill: Vol. 1-2,”  “Independence Day”) — is invited on a radio talk show to promote her best selling book,  “The Power Of Love.” The book draws from the author’s own faith-based experiences in the love department. During the interview, PJ counsels listeners on their love lives; but, eventually unwittingly exposes her own on the air. Suddenly, the spotlight is on PJ to come clean about her matters of love. The ensemble cast includes comic Joe Torry (“Motives,” “Back in Business”) Wood Harris (“The Wire”) and  Malik Barnhardt (“Next Day Air,”  “8 Mile”) and newcomer Andre’ Truth (“Who Watching the Kids)  along with Maddox Simms. This romantic comedy takes viewers on an inspirational journey of love.

Check out the trailer: