*Jay Z is in the headlines this morning for comments he made in the new November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair, linking his success in the corporate world to the skills he acquired as a drug dealer.
The hip-hop mogul said he found it easy to set up his Roc Nation record label and build a musical empire because he already had years of experience slinging crack on the streets of Brooklyn.
“I know about budgets. I was a drug dealer. To be in a drug deal, you need to know what you can spend, what you need to re-up,” he told the magazine.
The 43-year-old reformed family man – who has 20-month-old daughter Blue Ivy with his wife Beyonce – wishes he had gotten out of the drug scene earlier and thought about the big picture instead of focusing on the instant cash.
“Not until later [did I have regrets], when I realized the effects on the community,” he said. “I started looking at the community on the whole, but in the beginning, no. I was thinking about surviving. I was thinking about improving my situation. I was thinking about buying clothes.”
The music mogul is reported to have raked in $42 million in the past year, adding to a net worth of about $475 million, a far cry from his original ”exit strategy” of setting up a barbershop.
“If you want to start some sort of barbershop or carwash – those were the businesses back then. Things you can get in easily to get out of [that] life,” he said. “You have to have an exit strategy, because your window [for dealing drugs] is very small. You’re going to get locked up or you’re going to die.”
*Kerry Washington graces the August cover of Vanity Fair and is featured in a spread filled with high fashion and a one-on-one interview.
The star of the hit ABC series “Scandal” – and recently married actress – talks about her role as Olivia Pope, a quick-witted political fixer who has become one of TV’s breakout characters.
“One of the most profound things for me about the show is the number of white women of all ages who come up to me and say, ‘I want to be Olivia Pope,’” Washington told Vanity Fair’s contributing editor David Kamp.
“Scandal” has quickly become one of TV’s biggest shows and has brought in some of the highest ratings for the network. The show’s creator, Shonda Rhimes, has been cited as much of the success of the show.
Rhimes has successfully built a following of fans, referred to as “gladiators,” who have shown their support from all over the world.
“It’s especially profound in a place like South Africa,” she continues. “It’s called The Fixer over there, and it just started its second season. The fact that white women can see this woman of color as an aspirational character is revolutionary, I think, in the medium of television. I don’t think white women would feel that way about Olivia if her identity as a woman, period, wasn’t first in their mind.”
The August issue of Vanity Fair is now on stands.
*Several high-profile former Scientologists have contributed to a new hip-hop song protesting the organization, including Nazanin Boniadi — the woman chosen by the church as a girlfriend for star member Tom Cruise, according to Vanity Fair.
“We all know how it is,” Boniadi raps in the song, which was posted by Gawker on Monday. The tune samples heavily from Queen’s “The Show Must Go On.” “This ain’t no road to freedom. It’s a blind alley, like Kirstie Alley, [John] Travolta and [Tom] Cruise, but we ain’t no fools,” she sings, referencing three of the church’s most famous followers.
According to the September Vanity Fair exposé written by Maureen Orth, Boniadi was paired with Cruise after a search among several high-profile Hollywood actresses failed to bear fruit. Boniadi was romanced by the star, Vanity Fair reported, who then allegedly proceeded to sequester her from her family. Cruise later demanded Boniadi remove her braces ahead of schedule and file down her teeth, according to the magazine.
After Boniadi was deemed insufficient as a potential romantic foil to the actor, she was banished to Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Fla., where she was forced to clean toilets with a toothbrush and dig ditches after dark, Vanity Fair reported.
The song was composed and produced by Tiziano Lugli, a Milan-born singer now based in Los Angeles who was excommunicated by the church in 2010. The website has posted a video of Lugli singing along to the song in his recording studio.
Read the whole story and listen to the song here.
*Vanity Fair magazine conducted a pretty funny poll, asking readers who’d they rather play the role of Jesus.
The 60 minute survey asks a bunch of other random questions like which movie is most overplayed on TV (“A Christmas Story” was No.1), and do you have a library card (55 percent said they do).
But the man fans want to see as Jesus, possibly because they don’t want to feel bad about fantasizing about him, was… get ready… Denzel Washington.
ho wouldn’t mind having a hot God when they meet him at the pearly gates? He beat out Daniel Day-Lewis (14 percent), Al Pacino (13 percent), Ryan Gosling (11 percent), Woody Allen (10 percent), Philip Seymour Hoffman (3 percent), or none of them (15 percent) – an interesting cast of characters.
The results were surprising particularly because the majority of Vanity Fair readers are white. But you know it ain’t no reason to be surprised because everybody wants a little chocolate in their lives.
Can’t blame the ladies; Denzel is just fine, plus he has a universal appeal.
*The Jackson family drama can go on and on and on.
The latest bit of their soap opera picks right back up from the money issues and the Katherine Jackson ‘kidnapping.’
Allegedly, the ridiculousness was a plot, devised by Janet, Rebbie, Jermaine, and Randy, in order to show the court that grandma is not good enough to be a guardian. And it worked. The guardianship was awarded to TJ Jackson.
Oh, there’s more. Now the family’s dirty little secrets are compiled in a book, “Untouchable,” which appears in an excerpt of “Vanity Fair.”
From the bag of money snatched from Michael’s home shortly after his death; to the King of Pop’s will, the book looks pretty juicy.
Read/learn more at Vanity Fair.
Gymnasts Gabrielle Douglas, Kyla Ross and McKayla Maroney make their way to the pitchers mound to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the game between the San Diego Padres and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on September 3, 2012 in Los Angeles
*In the new October issue of Vanity Fair, 16-year-old Olympic gold medalist Gabrielle Douglas again opens up about how she was treated while training at Excalibur Gymnastics in Virginia Beach.
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According to the article, she once left her clothes by her locker, only to return and find someone had taken them. She had no shirt wear to leave the locker room, and “other gymnasts started laughing at her.” There was also the “she’s our slave” comment that Gabby spoke about last month on “Oprah’s Next Chapter.”
But, according to the article’s writer Buzz Bissinger: “Even more painful was an incident several years ago at a party where Gabby says an Excalibur staff member told her she might want to consider reconstructive surgery on her nose because of its flatness. Some other gymnasts had teased Gabby about her appearance, and she found the nose comment ‘very hurtful.’”
Gabby Douglas visits Citi Field on August 23, 2012 in New York City
Excalibur President and CEO Gustavo Moure has denied that anyone in the gym was ever “knowingly involved in any type of bullying or racist treatment.
Dena Walker [the head coach at Excalibur and a financial partner] says that coaches at the gym, which has been home to many African-American athletes, are on the lookout for racial animus and take action should something happen. Walker denies that anyone suggested Gabby get a nose job, calling the allegation “a joke,” and notes that Gabby never reported any of the incidents.