Sound Off: Unbreak My Heart

Toni Braxton‘s biopic, ‘Unbreak my Heart,‘ aired last night on Lifetime and I absolutely loved it. This biopic was spot on with the casting, the music was great as usual, and fans were able to learn more about Toni. There shouldn’t be much controversy with this one being that it’s from Toni’s perspective. Due to that alone, this biopic cannot be compared to the Whitney Houston biopic that aired last year.

Toni Braxton’s struggles and triumphs were highlighted in the movie. I loved that it started with her with her sisters in Maryland instead of jumping right into her career. It was decent amount of time spent showing her journey from Maryland to Atlanta than her just jumping into the spotlight. I also loved the foreshadowing at the beginning with her performing on stage before falling ill and then it cut to her and her sisters singing.

Multi platinum artist with such an amazing voice. The awards, millions sold, bringing her sisters along to experience it with her. Then there were her struggles from filing bankruptcy twice, divorcing, being diagnosed with Lupus, and her son being diagnosed with Autism. Most fans knew those things about her, but what I didn’t know was that she had an abortion. With the title being ‘Unbreak My Heart’ of course there was a to of heartache to be expected.

You don’t sell sex, you sell pain.

Toni Braxton is a Libra and as a fellow Libra I can see why she put so much on her plate. She was able to provide opportunities for her family and for her entire crew. She paid out of pocket for a lot which led to her first bankruptcy, but it was clear in the movie that she should’ve focused on the contract. The thing is being young and having a opportunity to sing your heart out and have Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and a Porshe supplied, who would care about the contract?

She put a lot of pressure on herself and it wasn’t something that she could really help. It was in her to do that. Libras love helping other people and unfortunately forget about themselves. Making everyone else happy would in turn make her happy, right? It’s just that in trying to please others she hurts herself keeping it all bottled in. Also as the oldest she had to hold it all together, continue to provide for her family, and perform for her fans.

Guilt! Guilt was said a lot and guilt drove a lot of her decisions. She might have wanted to leave her sisters behind and focus solely on her career and hire whoever as background singers, but she couldn’t. From her mom constantly pressuring her about it and she made a promise to her sisters that she’d be back, she had no other choice. As she tried to keep a happy face for others she ignored problems within herself. She didn’t want to stop working because so many depended on her and all that did was hurt her in the end.

Everything really started to spiral after she was diagnosed with Lupus. She was dealing with her own sickness, trying to be a wife and mom, and still a performer. She has not only her sisters looking up to her, but she had her two boys to provide for and her fans expected her to provide an amazing performance. With her song being diagnosed with Autism she adjusted her schedule, somewhat, so that she could take the boys to school. All she really did was add more to her plate being that although she was a mom during the day she performed 5 nights out of the week.

She had a heart attack in her home and then she passed out on stage. The heart attack should have been a signal for her to slow down, but again her guilt mixed with anxiety of letting everyone down didn’t allow her to rest. I don’t really blame the second bankruptcy on her, she fell ill which led to all the cancellations.

Toni did not disrespect her ex-husband in any way in this film and that’s admirable. Sometimes when people get divorced they make themselves look great and the other person seem like a monster. They just fell a part and in life that happens.

Overall I loved the biopic and the vocals were amazing. I wish there would’ve been a little more singing, but she was able to get majority of her life in there up until the current time. Kudos for that. Listen to my favorites from Toni Braxton below:

‘Whitney’ Biopic Review

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Lifetime released its second highly-anticipated biopic. The first was that of Aaliyah back in November, but I wasn’t interested in watching that one and from the horrendous comments, I didn’t miss anything. Let’s get into the basics:

  • Whitney Houston – Yaya DaCosta
  • Bobby Brown – Arlen Escarpetas
  • Vocals – Deborah Cox
  • Director – Anglea Bassett

When seeing the promo pics, I could not disagree with the casting. The movie has aired and it’s time for my review.

Continue reading “‘Whitney’ Biopic Review”

This Week In Music (V.17): NEW MUIC + NEWS

Welcome to another edition of This Week In Music. Click the links below to catch up on some of the news/new music of the week thus far:

Now for this edition. I usually start with new music, but I’m starting with news first this week.

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Whitney Houston and Aaliyah biopics are both in the works with Lifetime. It is known that Angela Basset will be executively producing the Whitney Houston film as well as Yaya DeCosta portraying Whitney. Bobby Brown will be played by Arien Escarpeta. Well it has been announced that Whitney Houston’s voice will not be used in the film. Her songs will be sung by Deborah Cox. I love Deborah Cox as an artist, but I do not know if she matches Whitney vocally. I think that her voice is beautiful at what she does, I just don’t know if it will match up to covering Whitney Houston. This is not her first time working with Whitney Houston’s voice as the two collaborated for the track, ‘Same Script Different Past’.  I’m interested in hearing it regardless. Great opportunity for her. I Will Always Love You: The Whitney Houston Story will premiere on Lifetime sometime next year.

alexandra-shippIt’s also know that Zendaya Coleman dropped out of the Aaliyah biopic, but the film production must go on and a new leading lady has been chosen. Alexandra Shipp has been casted. and is best known for her roles on House of Anubis, Switched at Birth, and Awkward. The 23-year-old’s rep released a statement on Shipp being casted:

“Aaliyah has always been an inspiration to Zendaya. She was honored to portray her and pay tribute to her. If she is going to do it, she wants to do it right.”

I knew that it wouldn’t take long for them to cast another girl. What shocked me was that this biopic is going to be executively by Wendy Williams/Wendy Williams Productions (Happy belated 50th Birthday) along with Debra Martin Chase. I’m not sure how this movie is going to pan out, but I will be staying tuned and updating as the film evolves. Aaliyah: Princess of R&B (how original of a title) begins production later this month and will premier in the fall. The storyline is based off the biography by Christopher Farley, Aaliyah: More Than a Woman. For me I hope the film will be on point with how close the premiere date is and how far off it is for the Whitney Houston biopic premiere.

460x-1In other news, Beyoncé will have a spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. She is currently slaying fans across the country alongside her hubby Jay Z with the On The Run Tour. Her success never ends and the accolades keep coming as well. Her outfits are ones that are mimicked and admired and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has noticed and her clothing will be showcased at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame exhibit.

460xMuseum curator, Meredith Rutledge-Borger, stated:

“When we looked at the depth of the amount of stuff that she was willing to send, we just thought, ‘The only way we can really showcase these items is to put them in the Legends of Rock area in the museum,’ which really is the spot that we have to pay tribute to legends of rock, which Beyonce has proven herself to be.”

Outfits will include her Super Bowl performance outfit, her gold glove and black leotard from ‘Single Ladies’, her outfit from ‘Crazy in Love’, plus more. Beyonce will be eligible for induction in 2022 as a member of Destiny’s Child and in 2027 as a solo artist.

yegqLastly, Kanye West has graced the latest cover of GQ magazine with a title that reads: “Kanye West Tells Us How to Grow Up, Survive a Wedding, Stay Outrageous, and Dress Like a God.” He covered GQ before in 2007 for the ‘Man of the Year’ issue. Check out the cover of the fashionisto to the left.

It wouldn’t be an edition of ‘This Week In Music’ without featuring new music. Be sure to click the links above! There’s been a lot of music put out this week and while I would love to highlight it all, I’ll just highlight the music that caught my eye.

Jeremih teamed with Shlomo for a collaborative EP titled, No More. It features six tracks and was a gift from Jeremih to fans on his 27th birthday. Aside from this EP, Jeremih is working on his third album, Thumpy Johnson, which features his DJ Mustard/YG assisted track, ‘Don’t Tell Em’. CLICK HERE to download No More.

Tinashe is still riding high off her Schoolboy Q assisted track, ‘2 On’ as she gears up to drop her debut, Aquarius, in September.  She’s teamed with David Andrew Sitek for a track called ‘Xylophone’ and it’s not as hard bumping as ‘2 On’, but it shows that she’s more than just urban music. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/drpepperstudio/david-andrew-sitek-x-tinashe-xylaphone

 

 

This Week In Music (V.16): New Music + News

Welcome to another edition of THIS WEEK IN MUSIC!                      [As always, click the LINK!]

 

Quick chart news. Congrats to Trey Songz for having the number one album in the country, Trigga. He also ranks #1 on both R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and R&B Albums charts. To see who else ranked within the top 10  of the Billboard 200, click here and for my Trigga album review, click here. black-widow-coverIggy Azalea is still atop the Hot 100 with ‘Fancy’ for the 7th week, putting her in fifth place above Adele (‘Rolling In The Deep’, 2011) for longest reign on the Hot 100 this past decade. Holding the #1 spot is Rihanna’s, ‘We Found Love’, (2011-12). With another month a top the charts and she can set a record. Only time will tell. Iggy also released the cover art to her Rita Ora assisted track, ‘Black Widow’, one of my favorites from her album The New Classic. CLICK HERE for my review.

In other music news, I’ve mentioned in a post before that Drake and Lil Wayne would be heading on tour titled, Drake vs. Lil WayneIn an interview with MTV, Lil Wayne discussed just how the show would go down:

“Since, thank God we’ve been so successful, we’ll just be going back and forth with our hits and getting the crowd to go crazy, then just finally hittin’ the stage together.”

What better way to feed off the name of the tour than with an actual battle. That should be interesting. The tour will run from August 8th to September 27th.

rs_600x600-140711151050-600-drake-chris-brown.ls.71114_copyIn other Drake news, his ‘beef’ with Chris Brown must have been ceased because the two have been photo’d in the studio together. I know I’m not the only one who wants to her a Drizzy/Breezy collab. Let’s see how long it takes to surface.

It will have been 20 years since Usher released his debut, ,and it’s been 10 years since the release of his infamous album, Confessions. It has been confirmed that he will be opening this years MTV VMAs airing LIVE August 24th. He hasn’t performed at the VMAs since his 2010 performance of ‘DJ Got Us Falling In Love’ and ‘OMG’. Currently he has, ‘Good Kisser’ out and a new Pharrell Produced and Nicki Minaj featured track titled, ‘She Came To Give It To You’. He already did a medley at the BET Awards so who knows what he’s doing for MTV. Two other performers have been announced for the VMAs, Ariana Grande and 5 Seconds of Summer. Stay tuned to future posts for updates.

Backtracking to the Usher/Nicki collab, I did not like it upon first listen, but it has grown on me. It reminds me so much of Earth, Wind & Fire. I guess I didn’t like it because the sound was not what I was expecting with Nicki Minaj being featured on the track. Being that she’s a rapper I was expecting something more ‘club’ oriented. Nicki did great on this beat and this just adds more to her versatility. I’m interested to seeing how this does on the radio. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/usher-raymond-music/usher-she-came-to-give-it-to-you-featuring-nicki-minaj

 

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If you were questioning if Yaya Decosta was rightly casted to play Whitney Houston in the upcoming Lifetime biopic, this picture should speak for itself. The photo is a recreation of Whitney Houston’s 1987 album, Whitney. The Angela Bassett directed film will be focusing on Houston’s relationship with Bobby Brown and will not address her untimely death. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Angela Bassett stated:

“I want you to fall into the world of Whitney and Bobby. And I don’t want to stop you at the gate with maybe the image of something familiar, someone you’ve seen from something else. Yaya was far and above the only choice.”

Lastly in music news, Beyoncé and Jay Z are heading to HBO.Their ‘On The Run’ tour will be the next installment for the Carters featured on the network. For full details, click here.

Moving on to new music, Omarion and Bow Wow have teamed up for a new track, ‘Need That Love’. I’m sorry, Omarion and Shad Moss. I’m not sure why he dropped Bow Wow, but whatever. The track does sample Michael Jackson’s, ‘Lady In My Life‘ which most people might know as LL Cool J’s, ‘Hey Lover’. As for the track it isn’t horrible. If this is the direction Omarion is going for his upcoming album he’ll be sampling a lot as he sampled DeBarge on his track, ‘You Like It’. I could hear this on the radio. Take a listen below.

 

B.o.B released a mixtape, No Genre Pt.2. CLICK HERE to download that. Not sure when or if I’ll be listening to it. Elle Varner has released her official second single for her upcoming album titled, ‘Don’t Wanna Dance’, and features A$AP Ferg. The vibe of the track reminds me of ‘I Don’t Care’ from her debut, Perfectly ImperfectI like it though and from what she’s put out so far I can’t wait to hear her album. Take a listen below:

https://soundcloud.com/ellevarner/elle-varner-dont-wanna-dance-featuring-aap-ferg

 

Until next week…

Whitney Houston Biopic Casting

It’s long overdue for a biopic to be coming of Whitney Houston. When I first heard the news of this I was upset that it was being limited to the platform of Lifetime. For the artist that Whitney Houston was and the legacy that she left behind, she definitely needed a movie to hit theaters.

Yaya+DaCosta+W+Magazine+69th+Annual+Golden+1vrGH-IY2o-lWell, the star of the upcoming Lifetime biopic has been confirmed. Yaya DaCosta, former America’s Next Top Model runner-up (cycle 3), will be playing the leading role in the movie. Since her ANTM days Yaya has become a new mommy and took on acting with a recurring role in All My Children and a role in The Butler.

The film, for now, is titled Whitney Houston and will cover Whitney’s early life and career as well as her relationship with Bobby Brown. It is also the directorial debut of Angela Basset. She released a statement saying:

I have such regard for both Whitney’s and Bobby’s amazing talents and accomplishments; and I feel a responsibility in the telling of their story. Their humanity and bond fascinates us all. I’m beyond excited to have this opportunity to go behind the camera and into their world.

 

The movie will air sometime in 2015. As for my personal opinion, I’m not excited that a Whitney biopic is going straight to TV. I will say that from previous biopics that Lifetime has released that they’re usually very interesting.I just hope this isn’t cheesy and that it captures the essence of who Whitney Houston was. I’m also interested in seeing who else will be casted.