Friday, August 31

Chris Lighty's death: A Chance To Open Up About Suicide

WOW!  Chris Lighty was found dead yesterday (Sept 30, 2012.)  Unless you are a hip-hop head (like myself), you might not know who he is, but you have certainly heard of the artists he has managed over the years.  He has worked with Mariah Carey, Fantasia, LL Cool J, Missy Elliot and 50 Cent just to name a few.

He was a brilliant manager and a marketing guru who has shaped careers for many successful artists.  He was only 44 when he died.  It completely shocked the entire industry. 

Cause of death: suicide.

It seems as though suicides have been on the rise lately.  Maybe it's because the stigma regarding suicide among the African American community has lightened.  Or the current generation is a little more open to discussing a topic that has always been hush hush among the Black community.  (Suicide has often been regarded just one of those things that "Black people just don't do".)  But I've noticed higher numbers in suicides in the past year.

It's time that we start talking.  

I realize that this topic is not easy to talk about, but if a simple discussion could save the life of someone you cared about wouldn't you have it?

Suicide is rarely spontaneous.  There are often many warning signs that we can catch if we are in tune with the people around us.  But first we need to pay attention.  We need to reach out when someone spontaneously crosses our minds.  We need to spend more time with our friends and family getting to know them so that when something is wrong we are able to identify it.

There is no quick-fix answer. No text book can tell us how to prevent it.  All I know is that it is a problem and the only way to remedy it is to open our mouths and talk!

I wasn't planning to go that deep on you on a Friday before the last long weekend of the summer, but hearing of Lightly death really made me wonder WHY?  Why would anyone, regardless of race, age, gender or class consider ending it all as the only option.

I can only hope that his death sheds light on the subject and that somewhere around a dining room table someone is talking about suicide prevention.

Prays and positive vibes to his entire family, and to anyone who has recently lost someone.

RIP Chris Lighty

Wednesday, August 29

Happy Birthday MJ

Today is Michael Jackson's birthday.  He would have been 54 today.

Michael Jackson seemed like that one celebrity that would always be around.  I know that none of us live forever, but he had a never ending timelessness to him that.  Maybe it's because he was always there.  We all grew up with him.  Watched his successes, his failures, his high points and his low.  We have literally observed every moment of his life and I can't think of another celebrity that comes close to him in that regard.

He had a 45 year career when he passed away at 50.

Michael Jackson was one of the most misunderstood celebrities.  Period.  His every move was being watched by the entire world.  Everything he did and did not do was subject to somebody's criticism.  I could not imagine what that does to someone's head.

And to top it off he never had a childhood.  While other kids were out playing carefree, he was learning and perfecting lyrics, dance moves and harmonies all while travelling and performing.  As an adult I know how much being on that stage takes out of you.  It's draining (mind you it's incredibly rewarding, but it does take a lot of energy.)

It reminds me of the lyrics of the song  'Childhood'.  They seemed to be a plea: "Before you judge me, try hard to love me, look within yourself and ask: Have you seen my childhood?"  I really do feel for what he must have been going through.

I don't think anyone else would have handled his life any better.  Especially when you factor in all the things we take for granted.  He was never able to go to the grocery store, drive a car, go out to dinner, take a walk down the street or even use the bathroom without people wanted a piece of him.

Would that make someone a little crazy??  YES!!

People always expected him to be 'on' to have the performer MJ ready and available to entertain the masses....I often wondered what he was like behind closed doors without the cameras.

Regardless of his personal decisions, he was an incredible entertainer who influenced thousands if not millions of past, present and future performers.

Happy Birthday MJ!

What's your favorite MJ song?  Post the video link in the comments so we can all reminisce.

The First Moonwalk:

Monday, August 27

Hampton University Bans Cornrows and Dreads

It's not the first time we've seen an institution of some type try to place boundaries on what people can and cannot do with their hair.
Remember the post I did a few weeks ago about the flight attendant who was forced to hide his dread under a terrible wig in order to keep his job because his natural hairstyle was harming the company's image?  

Well, this time its Hampton University.  They have created a rule for its male business students:  No dreads or cornrows.
The mandate was put in place in 2001 and only applies to a specific group of students enrolled in a leadership course within Hampton's five-year M.B.A. program.  The Dean of the Business School believes that the hairstyles will prevent students from securing corporate jobs.

Maybe he's right?? Maybe in corporate America the 'old boys network' frowns upon those hairstyles...SO WHAT!  What ever happened to freedom of choice?  
I wonder if people think that this natural hair movement is some kind of political stance as it was also viewed in the 70s?  Are people afraid of our afros, dreads and cornrows and somehow disguise it as something that 'for your own good?'
I see what the Hamptons University is trying to do: make their students employable once they leave the walls of academia, BUT banning a hairstyle is not the way to achieve that! 

The question I have is this:  Was this ban justifiable? Are cornrows and dreadlocks truly unprofessional?  How much does (or should) your hair be a factor when applying for a job? 
I would love to hear from the professional men with dread out there!
Share your thoughts and comments with me.  Join the discussion!

Friday, August 24

Are Your Chains Mental or Physical???

 This picture and caption really got me thinking today.

"Sometimes the chains that prevent us from being free are more mental than physical."

Clearly, the donkey in the picture is able to bust free from the situation.  A flimsy plastic chair is no match for the strength of a donkey, but all the donkey saw was that he was tied up. With his tunnel vision all he saw was the immediate circumstances and he decided to give up before he even tried.  But what would have happened had he tried?

If only he had tried, he would have seen that the task at hand was not so hard.
If only he had tried, he would have seen that he was much stronger than the situation that he faced.
If only he had tried, he would have been able to break free from his bondage.
But he didn't.
He saw the chains and became paralyzed with fear.

Let me tell you something, if you want anything in this lifetime you are going to have to FIGHT for it!  And if it's worth having, it's definitely worth fighting for.  Sometimes I feel like the universe puts obstacles in your way just to test your hunger.  If you really want something bad enough you will do anything in your power to make it happen.

Don't get stuck in a mental rut, where all you see is what is right in front of your nose.  Take a minute and investigate your surroundings, take in all the variables and then plan your next move!

Any decision you make starts with your mind!  Train your mind to think like a winner.

We've all heard that saying that Descartes made famous 'I think, therefore I am.'

Use this weekend to retrain your thoughts.  To rebuild your self confidence.  To reset your  mind.

Don't be a donkey tied foolishly to a plastic chair.  But be wise and methodical in everything you do and watch your life change.

Wednesday, August 22

Aaliyah: It's Been 11 Years Already!

I can't believe that it's been almost 11 years since Aaliyah has passed away!  It's crazy how fast time passes. I still remember hearing the news for the first time.  I was excited about her new video, 'Rock The Boat' and I remember there being a buzz around the fact that she was filming in The Bahamas.  I remember hearing it and not believing that it was true. (Now this was before we depended on computers and wikipedia for all of our fact-checking) and waited for the news to confirm it! It really was a sad day!

She was such an incredible talent and a great actress who had a budding career ahead of her.  She had just started making movies, was engaged to Damon Dash, she literally was starting her life when it was cut short.

It makes me wonder what she would have been like at 33?  I wonder how her music would have evolved?  I wonder how her music career would have been?  She was only 22 when she passed away! She was so young!

I've been listening and reminiscing on her music and 90s hip hop and R&B in general and that was a great time for music!   The vibe was different.  The music had more depth and meaning. Videos had story lines and plots to follow. It's a little scary to look at what this generation has to look back on as 'old skool' when they grow up!

Here's a few Aaliyah tracks to remind you of the 'good old days!'

What's your favorite Aaliyah track?

Try Again:

Are You That Somebody:

Four Page Letter:

Rock The Boat:

Hot Like Fire:

Monday, August 20

Janelle Monae Is The Newest CoverGirl!

I'm sure some of you have seen this by now.  CoverGirl has recently announced it's newest spokesperson: Janelle Monae.

You probably haven't seen many of her videos, unless you are a fan. But I'm sure you've heard her song 'Tightrope' either on the radio or on TV (it was the soundtrack for one of Chevy's commercials).  She is a force to be reckoned with.  She is an incredibly talented artist who is vocally talented and ridiculously creative.  And she's only 26.

Her hit single 'Tightrope' was from her 2010 album called "ArchAndroid".  Take a listen:

I'm glad that CoverGirl decided to use Janelle as a representative of the brand as she isn't their 'usual' type.  She is usually donning her signature 50s hairdo, tuxedo, tie (either bow tie or regular tie) and saddle shoes and has a quirky wit about her.

I have also noticed that CoverGirl has been including different types of 'divas' in their recent campaigns (the ads and commercials with Ellen make me laugh) and that is to be celebrated.

I love these pictures and her style.  More girls need to see that you don't need to be half naked to get your point across.  Just be you!  Rock what you've got! and celebrate your personal style and sense of fashion!

Also check out the behind the scenes footage:

Friday, August 17

Pursue Your Passion

I saw this poem on YouTube and I just want to encourage you to pursue your passions!  I think it's important that don't take our talents to the grave!  We only have one life and in most cases, one chance to get it right. But you will live a happier more fulfilled life if you pursue your passions.  It's not always the easiest road, there will be rejection at times - in fact this video gives countless examples of some of the most successful people in the world who simply pursued their passions and never gave up!

Today what do you chose?  To live your passion? or your excuse?

Wednesday, August 15

NYC Entrepreneur To Launch New Urban TV Network

I just read an article that got me excited.  Peggy Dodson, former jazz singer, and entrepreneur from Harlem is launching her own cable TV network!  This new network will be aimed at a multi-cultural audience. UBC-TV or Urban Broadcasting Company will broadcast from Harlem and will reach 40 million homes, in addition to online viewers.

In a recent interview, Dodson said that she wants her network to be more like the CW or Bravo and not so much like BET.  “I love ‘Jeffersons’ reruns, but that’s not the kind of network we want to be.”

It will start out with four hours of prime-time programming per day and is developing programs about style, beauty, personal finance, food, health, small business and fitness. The network will also feature an updated Soul Train/American Band Stand, called “The UBC Dance Mix Show.”

Dodson has run a self-empowerment business for more than a decade and put $600,000 of her own money into starting the project and spent eight years raising the rest.

Stories about successful Black womyn really do empower me.  I know what it's like to be a girl with big dream and I've seen and am continuing to see my dreams come to fruition.  Dreams of this magnitude NEVER occur overnight, but are the culmination of YEARS of hard work, determination and persistence.

I sincerely hope that Dodson is able to make this network work because we really need another voice in the marketplace.  I got tired of turning on the TV and seeing the image of Black people that is portrayed in the media.  (Maybe that's why I gave up on cable and switched to Netflix.)  We need to have our voices  heard.  We need to have our stories told the way we wish to tell them.

If you're in the NYC or have family/friends etc in NYC please share and support! This is the chance we've been waiting for to have the stories we want told available to us!

Check out this short clip:

Monday, August 13

Jamaica: Land We Love

As I watched part of the Olympic closing ceremonies yesterday, I thought about how amazing this time is for Jamaica.  As a nation, Jamaica is celebrating so much right now and I think that the timing couldn't be better.  This year we celebrated 50 years of independence and during that celebration, we also got to celebrate with 12 Olympic medals.

Usain Bolt set new records for the Men's 100m.
The green, black and gold dominate the Men's 200m (Gold: Bolt, Silver: Blake and Bronze: Weir)
New Olympic and World records were set for the Men's 4 x 100m Relay by the Jamaican Dream Team
Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took home Gold for the Womyn's 100m and Silver for the Women's 200m
Veronica Campbell-Brown won Bronze for the Womyn's 100m
The womyn also won Silver and Bronze for the 4x100m and 4x400m respectively

I think right now it's safe to say that Jamaica is the fastest nation in the WORLD!  Period!

Too often, Jamaica gets caught up in the rum, guns, drugs and reggae image that the goodness of the land can be forgotten. (Not by Jamaicans, but by outsiders.) It was so nice to see my timeline filled with profile pictures and statuses that reflected Jamaica in some way.  And mi neva see so much patois pon Facebook in mi life. lol.

As a little Black Girl from the land of Jamaica, it made me swell with pride to see that much positive, beautiful news about my island in the media.  One little island with such a huge impact on the entire world!

And as the dust settles as the celebrations come to a close I wonder:  What does Jamaica mean to you?

Friday, August 10

WANTED: Social Media Blogger! Apply Today!

Our amazing social media blogger Zakiya Toby is leaving to pursue her own wonderful ventures and we need someone as dynamic as her to fill her shoes!!!   

Trey Anthony Studios is looking for a social media blogger/writer/intern. 
 Want your writing blogs to be seen by over 3000 visitors per month! Then apply to our blogging writing team! If you have read trey anthony's blog and enjoyed it and thought I could do that, then apply!!! 

We are looking for a person who is all these things and more!!! 
  • Extremely smart!
  • Up to date on current events in the world and the entertainment industry!
  •  Care passionately about womyn's issues! Especially womyn of colour.
  •  A believer in sharing good news!  
  •  Have the pulse on social media!
  •  Innovative,  creative and have a strong sense of business and social media!
  •  A great editor and possess  strong writing skills and grammar!  A damn good speller!
  •  Enjoys working from home! And has their own computer and Internet access. 
  • Got a good sense of humour!

Womyn of colour and first nation womyn and  members of the LGBT community are strongly encouraged to apply.


To keep the trey anthony blog current and up to date.   Intern will  post three blogs posts per week on trey anthony's blog page, the truth according to trey.  Some blog posts will come directly from Ms anthony , however,  the intern will also be responsible for providing weekly blogs.  These blogs will be posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday before 9am.  These blogs will consists of inspirational quotes or videos or entertainment news and gossip worthy events,  pertaining to womyn in the entertainment industry.  Blogs should be thought provoking and entertaining.  trey anthony would like the blog to be a mix of current affairs, inspirational, humor and entertaining.  A blog where people will go to check out what's going on in entertainment but also a good news blog!!!
Intern will also be responsible for twittering, and ensuring all social media presence for trey anthony and Trey Anthony Studios.
Responsibilities also include monitoring and updating f/book pages and fan pages, on all Trey Anthony Studios related pages.
Also responsible for reaching out to other bloggers to do cross blogging and increasing blog membership and encouraging traffic to our blog site. 

Please send a brief cover letter or letter of interest to with the subject line social media intern, and explain why you would be perfect for the job! Please outline any previous blogging or writing experience. And also provide a blog sample/writing sample of your work. Please no phone calls. Deadline to apply 5pm August 17th 2012.

Salary:  Bloggers will be compensated for their time and salary will be negotiated. Time commitment is about four- seven hours per week.  Depending on how fast you blog and do research.

Wednesday, August 8

Gabby Douglas Gets Criticized For Her Hair?

Gabby Douglas.

I can't believe that instead of celebrating the fact that we have a wonderful role model who is inspiring millions of little Black Girls around the world some people have the audacity of criticizing her on her hair?

Let's not talk about the flawless routines that earned her Gold medals at the age of 16.

Let's not talk about how she worked through the blood, sweat and tears to reach a point of excellence.

Let's not talk about the sacrifices she's made, leaving home to live with a host family at the tender age of 14 just to train for a moment such as this!  She saw her her mother 4 times in 2 years.

Let's not talk about how she is the first American gymnast ever to win both the team and individual all-around gold at the same Olympics.

Let's not talk about how she has become the first African American woman to win the gold medal in the all-around gymnastics competition.

Let's not talk about how she has 90 million dollars in endorsement to date.  Setting her future up for incredible success (if managed properly of course)

Let's talk about her hair?


Maybe her hairstyle isn't appropriate for twerking on the streets, but it's functional. It looks just like every other competitor out there, gelled back with clips in a ponytail.  Could you imagine her hair with a huge weave trying to see through it as she flies between the uneven bars? Or better yet, falling off as she leaps on the balance beam?

It just goes to show that you will never please everyone.

I saw a quote once that said: "You can be the biggest, juiciest, ripest peach in the entire world and there will still be someone who doesn't like peaches."

So go ahead Little Black Girl.  Whip your 90 million dollar hair, Gabby!  You deserve the successes you worked so hard for!

Wednesday, August 1

Snoop Dogg Quitting the Rap Game To Become Reggae Artist

Snoop Dogg is quitting the rap game! Not music, just rap.  He claims that rap is no longer appealing because its not challenging and has decided to move on to something new.

After a recent trip to Jamaica, he has decided to change his name to Snoop Lion and will be singing reggae from now on!  During his visit in February, he said that he really connected with Bob Marley's spirit and that he is now Bob Marley reincarnated and stated that he "feels like I've always been Rastafarian,"

Bob Marley's son Rohan attended the conference  and even gave him his blessing!

One of the articles I read stated that he was happy to have music that his children and family can now listen to.  "As a 40-year-old man ... I've got to give them something," he said. "That's what you do when you're wise."

When I first heard the news I thought it was a joke!  But major news networks are reporting, his name is changed on wikipedia (haha! yes I checked there too!).

What's crazy is that he even has a likkle hint of a Jamaican accent when he's singing now.

If you want a sample of the new Snoop Lion check out the track below.  It's off his new album called 'Reincarnated' and will be released this fall.

I'm not sure what to think about Snoop Lion, but at the end of the day he needs to do what is going to make him happy!  (or what allows him so smoke even more weed!)

Please leave a comment with your thoughts on the song and the re-birth of Snoop!