February 06, 2014

Staff and Wire Report

Radio veterans Johnny Morris and his daughter Felicia “The Poetess” Morris are asking the public to join them in, “creating something cool.”

“Coming soon... Radiofreqz, a new Internet radio network that will inform, entertain and inspire. Please check out the link and support! We have just under a WEEK to meet the GOAL,” “The Poetess” said via Facebook.

The goal, they said, is to raise $35,000 for the Morris Broadcast studio, which will house Radiofreqz (pronounced radio freaks) by February 12. They plan to reach it through a crowdfunding campaign they started on indiegogo.com. The money will go toward MBS, an internet broadcast studio and creative space that will provide opportunities for aspiring radio enthusiast, professional on- air personalities and celebrity hosts.

The team is asking for a minimum donation of $5.00, they said. There is no maximum. Contributors can earn perks, such as T-shirts, hats, Earl Stevens wine, free studio time and their name on the studio’s Wall of Love.

“The Morris Broadcast Studio will also provide a multitude of broadcast amenities, including voice-over services, demo production and accommodations for local and syndicated projects, as well as house Radiofreqz.com, an urban lifestyle channel that will feature talk, sports, comedy and music programming,” the team explained.

So far, the Morris duo has raised $5,450 according to their fundraiser page at indiegogo.com.

“We know how important it is to give people a voice,” said “The Poetess.”

“You can help us do that. With your donation, you can help Radiofreqz get on the Internet.”

“Your donation will help us bring this project into fruition and provide a wealth of opportunities for others that may not have a voice anywhere else. Plus we’ll have plenty of programs for you to enjoy, once we are up and running,” the Morrises said.

The money raised, they said, will go toward purchasing equipment such as a mixing console board, microphones, web cams, computers, office furniture, etc. It will also cover our operational expenses such as rental space, utilities and streaming services for up to 3 to 6 months. If they are not able to raise the $35,000 by the February 12 deadline, they will use what they have to get Radiofreqz up and running online at an established location.

The Morrises have a strong history in radio, Johnny having started his first radio gig at age 16. He became one of the Bay Area’s most popular DJ’s throughout the 1970s and introduced to his listeners R&B notables like Bobby Womack, Parliament-Funkadelic and The Ohio Players He stayed in the Bay for 20 years before heading to the Southland to land a gig at Los Angeles’ KGFJ FM In 2011 Johnny along with his daughter started Morris Broadcast Media.

Following in her father’s footsteps, Felicia “The Poetess” Morris began her radio career in 1989 as a syndicated radio host on Lee Bailey’s Hip Hop Countdown & Report. Since then, she has worked with Clear Channel, Radio One and Sirius XM  and celebs like Jamie Foxx, Steve Harvey, Reverend Al Sharpton, Cedric The Entertainer and Judge Joe Brown.

“The Poetess” was voted #1 in the Radio Facts Top 20 On-Air DJ contest in November 2013.

“Radio is my passion and l love helping others reach their goals,” she said.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 30, 2014



You’ll face a formidable task but if you defeat it you’ll take big steps toward a goal. Weigh in and give it your best. Your energy is high. The task looks larger before you start than it will once you’ve put your shoulder into it. Compromise with a partner. This week will bring more love than usual. Look for it. Soul Affirmation: I give thanks for the blessing of life Lucky Numbers: 33, 45, 50



Speak out. Take center stage. Any subject you choose is ripe for the “rap.” People listen. Friends and associates will be impressed. Forgive a jealous soul who lingers nearby. Don’t neglect the home front. Soul Affirmation: My love of myself makes me lovable to others. Lucky Numbers: 2, 15, 16



Enjoy yourself. The need to do that will be very apparent this week. What will not be as apparent is the key to your enjoyment which will depend on the attitude you take to someone who has been getting on your nerves. Don’t think about them. Whenever the picture of their face appears in your mind use your imagination to turn that picture into a cartoon. Laugh. Soul Affirmation: I am in tune with the best that is in me this week. Lucky Numbers: 36, 39, 40



If you didn’t get invited to the party, that’s okay. If your air conditioner doesn’t work, if one of your favorite pieces of clothing has a spot on it, if your dinner guest didn’t show up, smile. Your ability to accept misfortune with a smile is going to be important to you this week. Soul Affirmation: I pay special attention to family members this week. Lucky Numbers: 4, 34, 51



This week will teach you a valuable lesson about money. Make a mental note of how you got into the shape you’re in so that you can avoid future mistakes of the financial kind. Request advice from a friend in money matters. Love and money mix well. Soul Affirmation: I let peace reign in my life. Lucky Numbers: 8, 32, 35



Emphasize generosity. Give and the gift itself will turn into a reward. This week is excellent for making important decisions and for reaching agreements with others. Agreement with your lover might be the most important one to try to reach. Soul Affirmation:  I stand firm in what I believe and am rewarded. Lucky Numbers: 9, 10, 23



You have opportunities to win big this week. Make the most of them. Stay alert to possibilities concerning a career move. You might see something that you believed was lost. It comes back to you this week. Give it your full attention. Soul Affirmation: I let my feelings bring me information that I allow myself to trust. Lucky Numbers: 23, 26, 31



Feel deeply for the sorrow of a loved one. They can sense your commitment and that will be a comfort. Change is coming into your life. Handle it in the manner that you usually handle change. Anchor yourself in the past and move forward. Soul Affirmation: I open up to the wisdom of children. Lucky Numbers: 1, 26, 39



Charm is an extremely effective tool for you this week. Charisma works better than at any recent time, especially at home. Shine brightly and let your glow work for you.  Your self-image is you most effective tool. Soul Affirmation: Romantic and financial rewards are calling me and I listen Lucky Numbers: 17, 29, 54



The spiritual package you’ve been waiting for is likely to arrive this week. It should assure you that you’ve been on the right track.  Your insights can be an inspiration to those who work with you. Love is the reward for generosity. Soul Affirmation: I seek good news by reaching out to those who love me. Lucky Numbers: 23, 26, 29



This week let your gentle spirit shines through. Your rough and tumble side is not appropriate for the relationships that you’ll encounter. Someone will need your understanding and sympathy. Give it with sensitivity. Soul Affirmation: My feelings are a reflection of the company I keep. Lucky Numbers: 17, 29, 31



Look for financial good news this week. Wow! It’s about time. This week might be a good week to window shop for a big vacation or extravagance purchase. Be sensitive to your lover’s needs this week. You may have been thinking too much of your own needs recently. Soul Affirmation: Being easy to get along with is the best thing I can do this week. Lucky Numbers: 2, 16, 40

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 30, 2014

By Brandon I. Brooks

Managing Editor


As the 2014, 56th Annual Grammy Awards came to a close in downtown Los Angeles last Sunday the night, it left me with mixed reactions – some great moments, some snubs of legends and the public’s gasping reaction to the multiple same sex marriage ceremony that seemed to overshadow the ultimate purpose of the awards.

Twitter feeds and social sites of polarizing subjects pushed the Grammys to limits like never before. 

Trending on the social landscape  was Macklemore & Ryan Lewis for their performance of “Same Love”.

Then the jaw dropping wedding ceremony of same sex couples  by Queen Latifah sent shock waves to millions of viewers and the live audience at Staples Center when she joined Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on stage during the Grammys final performance.

Viewers across the country and around the world had no idea if Latifah was going to rap or sing.  She shocked us all by doing neither and instead married 33 couples as they stood in the aisles of Staples Center and held hands.

Madonna joined in on the performance serenading the audience and newlyweds. 

It’s important to note the newlyweds were not just same-sex couples; they were mixed with heterosexual and different nationalities.  But clearly the undertone of the performance was same sex marriage and gay rights as the song “Same Love,” discusses bullying and gay hatred.

After the Grammys, Latifah shared with writers that she was deputized to be a commissioner of civil marriages prior to the award show. 

The Isley Brothers won a Lifetime Achievement Award but unfortunately the award was not televised. The award was given to the brothers a day before the live telecast.  What was that about?  It doesn’t seem fair for our legends to be treated this way.  That was the biggest shocker and upsetting moment of the 2014 Grammy experience. To see Ernie Isley stroll the red carpet with his award and for no one to really know who he was or to not pay proper homage to him was an unsettling moment for me.  If any award should have been televised, it should have been the Lifetime Achievement Award Tribute to the Isley Brothers.   

The biggest elephant in the room at the Grammys was the lack of Black participation in front and behind the scenes.  So to see that the Isley Brothers didn’t get their moment on national television tears me up inside.  The Grammys deprived millions of viewers the opportunity to showcase this family that is still making music and touring today. This could have introduced the Isley Brothers to a new generation of fans and helped their legacy live that much longer.   They did it for Paul McCartney; why not the Isleys?

I caught up with two of the brothers Ernie and Ronald Isley and got a chance to ask them how they felt about receiving the award. 

“You have to wait for it, so its kind of like dessert, but its all chocolate so its really sweetening and much appreciated,” said Ernie Isley. 

Ronald Isley said he felt “fantastic” about the award and sang the hook to his hit song “Shout” on the red carpet, which launched the success for the Isley Brothers back in 1959. “You know you make me wanna shout.”

Kendrick Lamar was the big talk on the red carpet as many anticipated the young star from Compton would be the big winner being that he was nominated in multiple categories. Shockingly Lamar did not win a single Grammy.

As far as rap music goes, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis cleaned house winning three Grammys for the album “The Heist.” Macklemore beat Lamar in just about every category, Best New Artist, Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance.  The only rap category that didn’t award Macklemore & Ryan Lewis was “Best rap/sung collaboration,” which went to Jay Z featuring Justin Timberlake for the song “Holy Grail.” 

Macklemore sent Lamar a message after the show saying, “You got robbed. I wanted you to win. You should have.  It’s weird and sucks that I robbed you.  I was gonna say that during the speech.  Then the music started playing during my speech and I froze.   Anyway, you know what it is.  Congrats on this year and your music.  Appreciate you as an artist and as a friend.  Much Love.”

Twitter and social sites have been flooded with postings wondering if Kendrick Lamar was blatantly overlooked by the academy. To add fuel to fire, Lamar gave arguably the best performance of the night when he collaborated with Imagine Dragons to blend their smash hit “Radioactive,” with Lamar’s popular song “m.A.A.d. city. ” The combination proved to be the nights best overall performance blending genre’s and cultures.   Taylor Swift was seen in the front row bouncing to the beat as if she was Lamar’s biggest fan.

Beyonce and Jay Z opened the show performing their latest hit collaboration “Drunk In Love.”   Many people felt they performed too early in the show because they are a hard act to follow.

Jay Z thanked God “a little bit” for the Grammy he won but mostly for giving him Beyonce who he thanked for being there.

“I want to thank God, I mean, a little bit for this award, but also all the universe for conspiring and for putting that beautiful light of a young lady in my life,” the rapper declared.

He also shouted out his daughter Blue Ivy saying that he would bring home a new “Sippy Cup,” referring to the Grammy award. 

Stevie Wonder joined Daft Punk featuring Pharrell Williams on stage to perform “Get Lucky” which won the Grammy for Record of the year.  Daft Punk won Album of the year and Best pop duo/group performance. Pharrell Williams won Producer of the year, nonclassical.

Williams was the fashion talk of the night sporting a mountain hat that looked three sizes too big for his head and body.  But I guess that’s the style according to Pharrell.

John Legend performed his new smash record “All of Me,” and sounded fantastic live in front of the live audience. Not to mention his wife Christine Teigen looked gorgeous.

Gary Clark Jr. won the Grammy for Best traditional R&B performance.  He showcased his guitar ability as he joined Keith Urban on stage to perform “Cop Car.”

Rihanna won Best urban contemporary album for “Un­apol­o­getic” and was unapologetic about not showing up.  

Alicia Keys won Best R&B album for “Girl on Fire.”

For the full list of 2014 Grammy winners and to comment on the Grammys visit www.lasentinel.net.

Also, check out the Family Section to see African American fashion on the Grammy red carpet.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 30, 2014

Shonassee Shaver

LAWT Contributing Writer


The Pan African Film Festival readies for its 22nd anniversary of prestigious and global Black cinema on February 6-17 at the Rave Cinemas 15 Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza, they have chosen the award-winning rapper, singer-songwriter and actress, Niatia “Lil Mama” Kirkland to host of the Film Festival.

She was nominated to emcee the festival’s Spoken Word Fest “Music in the Rhymes,” that will feature some of the best poets and spoken word artists from around the country, showcasing their best spits and rhymes during the festival on Sunday, February 9 at 7 p.m., located at the Bridge in the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles.

Lil Mama who has been praised for her riveting and authentic portrayal of Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes in VH1’s biopic “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” which chronicles the music career of one of the best R&B girls group of all time. The film’s esteem and prevalence garnered two NAACP nominations for “Outstanding Television Movie, Mini-Series or Dramatic Special.

The “Lip Gloss” rapper gave a notable performance in the film and was invited by T-Boz and Chili to perform with them at the 2013 American Music Awards.

A roster of veteran actors will join Lil Mama at the PAFF this year.   

PAFF has selected a total of 179 films, representing 46 countries that consists of 41 feature-length documentaries, 23 short documentaries, 56 narrative features, and 59 narrative shorts as well as 11 webseries in the new category of New Media.

The celebrity judges for the Pan African Film Festival includes:

NAACP nominee Vanessa Bell Calloway is known for her roles in films “Coming to America,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” “Biker Boyz,” “The Brothers,” and “The Temptations.” Look for Calloway in three indie flicks on DVD, “The Last Fall,” “The Under Shepherd” and “The Obama Effect.” Don’t miss her on Showtime’s TV series “Shameless,” as Carol Fisher. She will sit on the panel along with her contemporaries.

Actor Michael DeLorenzo who hails from Bronx, New York will be a celebrity judge at this year’s PAFF. His list of credits includes Dick Wolf’s urban drama “New York Undercover,” CSI: Miami,” “CSI: New York,” “Crossing Jordan” and “Resurrection Blvd.”

Fellow New Yorker Erica Gimpel will be judging at the PAFF, she is a veteran actress as well as a singer and songwriter who got her start on television series, “Fame” as Coco Hernandez .Gimpel’s talent garnered her roles on “True Blood,” “Criminal Minds,” “Grey’s Anatomy,’ “Nikita,” “Rissoli & Isles” and “Veronica Mars.” You can see her in “Romeo and Juliet in Harlem,” opposite Harry Lennix and Aunjanue Ellis, directed by Aleta Chappell.

Before landing her role on Showtime’s TV drama “Soul Food” as Maxine Chadway, Vanessa Williams appeared on “The Cosby Show” and “Melrose Place” as Rhonda Blair. The NAACP Image winner will be a judge on the PAFF’s panel. 

Award-winning actress and singer Dawnn Lewis is remembered for her as Jelessa Vinson from “A Different World,” and as Robin Dumars on “Hanging with Mr. Cooper.” Her list of credits include “CSI: Miami,” “The Jamie Foxx Show” and “Girlfriends.” Lewis plays “Dr. Knapp” on daytime series “Days of Our Lives.” With a Grammy, ASCAP and BMI under her belt, Lewis will be a celebrity guest to judge at the PAFF.

Known for her character roles, Nicki Micheaux will use her cinematic experience to judge this year’s PAFF. Micheaux is best known for strong and loving role as Jennifer “Jenn” Sutton on ABC Family series, “Lincoln Heights.”  You can see her in the feature film, “The Trials Of Cate McCall,” opposite Kate Beckinsale. 

Other celebrity jurors are model and actor Jimmy Jean-Louis, “Zane’s the Jump Off” Tanjareen Martin, “Southland” Dorian Missick who will appear on upcoming episode of “Being Mary Jane.”

Covering the webseries category at the Pan African Film Festival is award-winning writer, director and producer Issa Rae. Her claim to fame webseries “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl” cataphote her to success, Rae made the Forbes 30 Under 30 Entertainment List and won the 2012 Shorty Award for Best Web Show. She is developing a new television show, called “I Hate LA Dudes,” with Shonda Rhimes (“Grey’s Anatomy, “Scandal,” “Private Practice”) for ABC and a half-hour comedy for HBO with Emmy-winning writer/producer Larry Wilmore.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

January 23, 2014

By Edward Rice, III

LAWT Contributing Writer


It’s been more than 20 years since the theatrical release of Robert Townsend’s The Five Heartbeats. Townsend’s beloved film about the rise and fall of a 60’s singing group has remained popular with audiences over the years and has become a cult classic. Now to the delight of many fans on January 21st Fox Home Entertainment finally released The Five Heartbeats on a new remastered blu-ray disc.

In honor of the blu-ray release, Fox hosted a special panel and screening of the film Thursday, January 16 in Beverly Hills that included many of the original actors from the movie. Duck (Robert Townsend), J.T. (Leon), Choir Boy (Tico Wells) and many others were all on hand to reminisce and discuss the impact and importance of the film. Several of the actors shared anecdotes about the camaraderie that developed amongst the cast during the filming of the Five Heartbeats and that still continues today. Most notably the entire panel shared experiences with devout fans they encountered over the years, which has steadily increased their love and appreciation for the film.

After the panel concluded, the screening began and the audience was captivated once again with the tale of the small town singers who make it big. Audience members could be heard quoting their favorite lines from the film and singing along to fan favorites, “Nothing But Love,” “Nights Like This” and “A Heart Is A House for Love.”

The Five Heartbeats is an American classic that will keep movie and music lovers entertained for many years to come.

Parent Category: Lifestyle
Category: Arts & Culture

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