The Last Word: Rihanna In a Lawsuit, Vivica Fox is the Cougar, and a Look at the Black V##### Monologues

What’s the word Last Wordians? Here we are again. Reminiscing about Obama admitting he was wrong in nominating Tom Daschle, Michael Phelps apologizing after a picture surfaces of him smoking pot and the Steelers making history by being the only franchise to win six Super Bowls.   Get well wishes to Andre Harrell, who is […]

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What’s the word Last Wordians? Here we are again.

Reminiscing about Obama admitting he was wrong in nominating Tom Daschle,

Michael Phelps apologizing after a picture surfaces of him smoking pot and the

Steelers making history by being the only franchise to win six Super Bowls.


Get well wishes to Andre Harrell, who is home after

undergoing heart surgery. Congratulations to Bobby Brown and his

girlfriend/manager Alicia Etheridge, who are expecting their first child

together, Erykah Badu and Jay Electronica on the birth of their new daughter

Mars Merkaba and Tisha Campbell-Martin, who is two months pregnant with her

second child. Shout out Venus and Serena Williams for winning their eighth

Grand Slam title last week and the sounding boards for taking the high and low



So step right up for…the Last Word for the week ending Feb.

6, 2009


1. Etta James Takes Frustration Out on Beyoncé and Obama


Beyoncé has garnered her fair share of criticism over the

years from a variety of people. But the singer is getting it from one of her

idols as Etta James blasted the Bey for singing her classic hit “At Last”

during Barack Obama’s inaugural dance last month.


James held nothing back during a recent concert as she made

it known exactly what she thought about Beyoncé and Obama.


“You guys know your President right? You know the one with

the big ears. Yeah, wait a minute, he ain’t my President, he might be yours,”

the 71-year-old songstress told fans in Seattle. “I tell you that woman he had

singing for him, singing my song, she gonna get her ass whipped. The great

Beyoncé! Now like I said, she ain’t mine. I can’t stand Beyoncé! She had no

business up there singing. Singing on a big ole, big ole President day and

going be singing my song that I’ve been singing forever.”


Now that she has everybody talking, it looks like the whole

thing was all a sham. To hear Ella tell it, the bashing was all in good fun.


“I didn’t really mean anything. Even as a little child, I’ve

always had that comedian kind of attitude…That’s probably what went into it,”

the singing legend told the New York Daily News, adding that the crowd’s reaction to her comments prompted her to

continue. “Nobody was getting mad at me in Seattle. They were all laughing, and

it was funny.” She said the jokes were “not from a vicious place.”


While she admits to like Beyoncé’s performance and being a

bit upset for not being invited to sing “At Last” for the Obamas during

inauguration night, Ella believes the President has more pressing things to

attend to than her.


With stepping on the toes of female music icons, it may be

time for a spin-off of Celebrity Death Match called Diva Death Match. The main

event will be a handicapped match with Etta and Aretha Franklin taking on

Beyoncé in a steel cage with guest referee Tina Turner and interference on

Bey’s behalf from Michelle Obama.


Anyone care to place a bet?


2. Oprah and Tyler Perry Co-Sign Sundance Film Festival

Award Winner


In last week’s Word, I congratulated Mo’Nique for winning a

Sundance Film Festival award for her work on the film Push: Based on a Novel

by Sapphire. Now, the feature is getting a

major co-sign from Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry. Variety reports the moguls are putting their weight behind Push by using their respective companies, Harpo Films and

34th Street Films, to promote the critically-acclaimed work.


The Lee Daniels directed film, which stars Mo’Nique Mariah

Carey, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Patton and newcomer Gabourey “Gabby” Sidibe,

centers on an illiterate African-American teenage girl in Harlem who’s about to

give birth to her second child when she is accepted into an alternative school.


“I’ve never seen anything like it. The moment I saw Push:

Based on a Novel by Sapphire, I knew I

wanted to do whatever I could to encourage other people to see this movie. The

film is so raw and powerful – it split me open,” Winfrey said.


During its run at Sundance, Push became the third film in

the festival’s history to capture the grand jury prize and the audience awards

in the U.S. dramatic competition.

As a result, Lionsgate has reportedly signed a multi-million

deal for the film’s distribution rights in North America. The company plans on

releasing Push this year.


3. Berry Gordy Remembers Stevie Wonder Issues; Nearly

Passes on Michael Jackson


As Motown Records celebrates 50 years of existence this

year, the label’s founder Berry Gordy reminisces over the ups and downs he

experienced at the legendary label. And while he is responsible for launching

the careers of many music legends, Gordy admitted to Emirates Business that he

almost deprived the world of the artist known as Michael Jackson.


“When Michael was offered to me by Suzanne de Passe [current

CEO of De Passe Entertainment Group, then creative assistant to Gordy], I did

not want him because he was part of a kids’ group,” said the mogul, who also

revealed his problems with another music icon. “I’d been with Stevie Wonder,

who had also been part of a kids’ group and had an entourage with him all the

time – a strict teacher, a tutor, his mother, producer Clarence Paul and

a whole group of people. Plus, he was a blind singer who wasn’t making any

money and I had to pay for all those people. So I was not happy with him, nor

with his mother, who was even more demanding than he was.”


Although he was not in favor of giving young Michael a

chance, Gordy soon changed his mind after yielding to de Passe, taking a listen

to the future King of Pop and being impressed by his dancing skills. And the

rest, as they say, is history that you can revisit all this year with various

releases that include a set of podcasts featuring interviews with Gordy,

Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross; Marvin Gaye; and the Jackson 5, among

others. The podcasts are currently available on iTunes and at


In addition to that, Motown: The Complete #1s, a 200-song,

10-CD box set, will be released as well as a 25-track CD called NOW That’s What

I Call Motown!


4. New York, Deelishis and LisaRae. Deliver the Black

V##### Monologues


Eve Ensler’s The V##### Monologues is getting a makeover via a few good

African-American entertainers.


An all Black version of the Obie award-winning play is set

for a tour, which kicks off today (Feb. 6) and Saturday (Feb. 7) in Washington,

DC. The outing will also include stops in Dallas, TX on March 7, Los Angeles on

March 21, Atlanta on April 4 GA and Houston, TX. Those attending the DC show

will also see The Johnson Chronicles, a companion piece described as a male

perspective on The V##### Monologues

that examines sex, relationships, fatherhood and violence.


Among those cast in The V##### Monologues are Wendy Raquel Robinson SWV member Tamara “Taj”

Johnson George, LisaRaye McCoy, Jill Marie Jones Essence Atkins, Tocarra, Shar

Jackson, Ella Joyce, Rolonda Watts, Yvette Wilson, Lisa Wu Hartwell, Tiffany

“New York” Pollard, London “Deelishis” Charles and Myra J.


According to the play’s co-producer, Rhonda B. Reece, the

tour serves a greater purpose as it aims to raise awareness of the impact of

violence and abuse toward women and girls.


“This performance will help empower women to say no to

domestic violence, which is a condition plaguing women across the world,” she

told EURWeb. “The African American community has always ignored this issue, but

I am glad to bring this issue to the forefront. It is time to stop talking

about domestic violence and ignite solutions. This is a gigantic step towards

creating a solution and I am proud to be a part of the team.”      


5. Michael Jackson and Rihanna Get Hooked Into New



Michael Jackson’s Legal Debacles tour continues to roll on

as he secures a certified opening act with Rihanna. According to E! News, the

hitmakers are at the center of a new lawsuit filed by 75-year-old Camaroonian

music star Manu Dibango.

In the suit, which was filed Tuesday (Feb. 3), Dibango

claims that Jackson previously admitted to using a part of Dibango’s 1972 song

“Soul Makossa” as the riff on “Wanna Be Startin’ Something,” a hit single off

Jackson’s classic 1983 opus, Thriller.


The riff in question is the famous line “Mama se, mama so,

ma makossa.”


Although Dibango and Jackson eventually reached a settlement

over the unauthorized sample, Rihanna is in the hot seat for licensing the same

hook from Jackson for her 2007 hit “Don’t Stop the Music.” The only thing is no

one received permission from Dibango to use the sample.


A Parisian court will decide on Feb. 17 whether the case

will move forward. Dibango is seeking $650,000 in damages. Until the case is

resolved, Dibango’s attorneys are asking the court to block Sony BMG, EMI and

Warner from profiting off the contested songs.


So why did Dibango waited so long to sue? Sounds a bit

suspect. Maybe Michael and Rihanna should unite and address the situation on an

updated version of Beat It. What have they got to lose?


6. Vivica Fox Rejects her Psychic Friends; Takes Cougar

Crusade to TV


It seems like yesterday that Dionne Warwick was urging folks

to join the Psychic Friends Network. Now, it seems that Vivica A. Fox is

becoming the new Dionne via a new commercial that features her looking directly

into the camera and advising you and anyone else to shell out $2.99-a-minute to

call the Psychic Friends Network.


But Vivica’s sincerity in front of the camera is anything

but behind the scenes. BV Buzz reports that Fox is very upset as she claims

that those with the Network are allegedly “using her unauthorized likeness,

footage, voice and photographs as an endorsement of their service.” 


As a result, Fox, who said she is “no friend of The Psychic

Friends Network,” is demanding that the PFN “cease and desist immediately” with

the use of the video and images.


Details about why the video was shot or how the images were

obtained by The Psychic Friends Network were not explained, according to BV



Nevertheless, Vivica is keeping it moving with a new gig as

the host on the upcoming TV Land show The Cougar. The one-hour reality series will feature an “accomplished, beautiful

and sexy woman” as she searches for love from a group of eligible younger men.

“I’m so excited to be the guide for The Cougar’s quest for love,” said Fox, who did her own cougar

thing a few years back while dating rapper 50 Cent. “This show will prove to be

empowering and enlightening for women everywhere. Plus, 20 hot guys gathered

under one roof doesn’t hurt!”


Look for The Cougar

to premiere in April on TV Land Prime. It’s obvious that Vivica is not psychic.

Had she been psychic, she would’ve foresaw the restraining order 50 put out

against her and would have realized that a cougar reality show does not help

her case.


In Other Words…


* He may not be a pro athlete, but Denzel Washington has

garnered a three peat. The Harris Poll has crowned the actor as America’s

favorite movie star for the third year in a row. Washington beat out Clint

Eastwood, who came in a number 2, John Wayne, and Will Smith, who tied for

number three.


* Case is making a return to music with his forthcoming

album The Rose Experience. The singer,

who is best known for his hits “Touch Me, Tease Me,” “Faded Pictures” and

“Missing” is setting the stage for the new release with his latest single

“Lovely.” Look for The Rose Experience to hit stores on March 24.**To get the latest AllHipHop Alternatives Features, follow us on Twitter @**