Rain Pryor & Zeola Gaye
 By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Quincy Jones's interview with Vulture has been a doozy in every way imaginable. While the interview did provide great commentary on what he thinks about today's music industry and his relationship with Ivanka Trump, it also spilled some messy tea that has left a lot of people pissed off.

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The super producer has made claims that iconic soul singer Marvin Gaye and comedian Richard Pryor had sexual relations with actor Marlon Brando. Richard Pryor's widow Jennifer Lee Pryor recently said that her deceased husband did have sex with Brando, stating  "If you did enough cocaine, you'd f*** a radiator and send it flowers in the morning."  

Yikes... 

Old age is really doing a number on Q because he has forgotten that Black people don't let you just talk about their family members and get away with it. Richard's daughter, Rain Pryor fired up her fingers on social media and had this to say in response to the accusations:

 Rain Pryor's Response via Facebook:



The raft of Rain wasn't the only thing coming for Quincy Jones today, because Marvin's sister Zeola Gay snatched a few of Q's whiskers too:  

Zeola Gaye's Facebook Post:



Quincy Jones
To some, Quincy's interview was funny. I have even seen some say it's "for the culture." My question is whose culture? This is February, honey. Black History Month. Marvin Gaye is to us what Elvis, The Rolling Stones, and The Beatles (who Quincy also dissed) are to them. Notice it takes a collective of them to be mentioned in a sentence with Marvin. And yes, Richard Pryor has been caught in a few public scandals, but we still appreciate his legacy. So what is Quincy Jones trying to prove here?  And why isn't he airing dirty laundry on celebrities who are actually ALIVE to confirm or deny his allegations? 

It's been rumored that PLENTY more goes on than having 22 concubines in Q's Jook Joint, so he needs to talk about that instead! February is a short month, Quincy. Pour us some of your tea sooner than later.  

Do you think Quincy's comments were detrimental to the legacies of Marvin Gaye and Richard Pryor?
A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 

Actress Keesha Sharp & Husband Brad Sharp via IG
By Erickka Sy Savané

You may have seen beautiful, Brooklyn-born actress Keesha Sharp lighting up your television screen on shows like 'Are We There Yet,' 'American Crime Story,' and currently 'Lethal Weapon,' since early 2000. But you may not know that when she's not doing her acting thang, she's spending time with her Boo thang doing this!

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Keesha and Brad cover 'I"m Lost Without You' one of my all-time favorites originally recorded by BeBe and CeCe Winans 

These two seriously have fun covering 'Ain't No Mountain High Enough'


Keesha & Brad cover 'Send Out a Prayer' 

The two have been married since 1994
And have a son named Soloman
For more on this cute couple follow Keesha and Brad's IG! Download Brad's music via Apple Music, and watch Keesha on 'Lethal Weapon' every Tuesday night on Fox!

Do you take time to do the things you love?
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com

Photo of Swizz Beatz & Alicia King via CBS This Morning 
By Erickka Sy Savané

Let's face it, we all put our best face forward when it comes to how we present our relationships to the public. When it comes to celebs, that may be even more true because they're under the microscope. We watch their every move, and sometimes lose it when they break up. Mary J. and Kendu, Jessie Williams and Aryn Drake Lee, Mariah and Nick Cannon, anyone? So one question we might ask is how do some celeb couples make it work? Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys spoke to Gayle King in their first interview together on CBS This Morning (this morning). With lots of laughs and goo-goo eyes, we were able to get a sense of how they keep their light shining!
1) They never raise their voices at each other. 
After 8 years together the couple revealed they've never had a heated argument! So how do they approach sensitive topics? According to what they told Gayle, they communicate by saying, "I wanna talk to you about something." (Worth a try, right?)

2) Swizz is not intimidated by Alicia's power. 
"You know, a lot of men are scared of powerful women. Right? And so I know she's powerful, and she's been powerful way before – before she even got here she was powerful," Beatz said to Gayle. (Right on, bro!)


3) Making music is a family affair.
One key that seems to keep this family strong is music. Son Egypt, when only 5 years old, made headlines when he created a beat for one of rapper Kendrick Lamar's albums. Beatz said. "It was epic….I don't even have a track on Kendrick's album. I was jealous." (When your mom has won 14 Grammy's and your dad is a world-renowned music producer, it kinda comes with the territory!)

4) Healthy competition? 
When Gayle asked if the two share healthy competition Alicia answered, "You know, I would say no, because I feel that one of the things that really works about us is we're very different. Even his style of music is different from my style of music….We complement each other as opposed to kind of ever in each other's way….We don't rock like that."

5) Swizz is brutally honest. 
So how do they make beautiful music in and out of the studio? "Swizz is brutally honest," laughs Alicia. "Sometimes I have to ask him, '"Babe, could you, like, be a little sweeter with the way you gave that to me?" 

6) Alicia roots for him! 
"I was so excited," Keys said of learning he wanted to attend Harvard. "I've been so invested in this journey with him….For the first time – I'll never forget. We were literally in this room when he got the letter of acceptance. And it was, like, such a moment, because it was so powerful. Like, this dream that he had to do this. By the way, in order to do that, there's a lot that's required to even be accepted. He can't just be like, 'hey, I'm coming in.'" (Swizz was rejected from Harvard a few times before being accepted and eventually, earned a business degree!)

7) Swizz wants more kids. 
When asked if a daughter is in their future, both laugh, with Swizz acknowledging that he'd very much like a daughter, and Alicia admitting that while "it would be a blessing" she's not ready. Nonetheless, they have two sons, Egypt 8, and Genesis who is 3. 

What are your keys to a healthy relationship?
Erickka Sy Savané is managing editor of CurlyNikki.com, a wife, mom, and freelance writer based in Jersey, City, NJ. Her work has appeared in Essence.comEbony.com, Madamenoire.com, xoNecole.com, and more. When she’s not writing...wait, she’s always writing! Follow her on Twitter, Instagram or  ErickkaSySavane.com
Photo of Tai Allen by Taylor Flash
By Sharon Pendana 

Tai Allen is a multidisciplinary creative— poet, performer, music and event producer, graphic designer, to name a few of his many hats. He is also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse. His recently published chapbook, No Jewels: A Biography (of sorts) Writ in Stanzas, through revelatory poetry uses his violation and ultimate healing to illuminate the staggering statistic that one in sixmen have experienced sexual abuse or assault and offer hope that "pain and trauma do not need to be permanent. Love and contentment are better options.”

Long before he grew into commanding presence, towering height, and manhood, he was preyed upon by rapacious family members older than he (a male cousin and an undisclosed female relative) who desired manly acts from a boy with still "hairless parts." A summer of stolen innocence: locked-door Saturday baths and illicit midday trysts; what child should know of these?

While on a multi-city book tour, Allen spoke to Curly Nikki with guarded frankness about his traumatic experiences, and using his platform as an artist to give voice to those silenced by fear, shame, and stigma.

First, thank you for your willingness to share your difficult story. You were so young when it all started.
Yes, between nine and ten.

By being a relative, your abuser had greater access to you than someone who wasn’t part of the family. Did the person "groom" you for it so to speak?
I’m not sure. If she didn’t groom me before, she was certainly very active in trying to get me to forget about it. And I did for a long time. I forgot about it until I was about seventeen– it was like a eureka moment. She was always so nice to me, lavished me with gifts; I couldn’t figure out why. One day I just remembered. There were actually two situations; one with my cousin, but I punched him in the face and fought him off, and that was the end of that. My female relative was much older, late teens.

Despite her attempt at normalizing her actions, you always knew that they shouldn’t be happening? 
Yes, but I didn’t have the language to explain it. I never did until I got older. She was, I think, bipolar. Abuse is usually about power, but when it’s someone who’s not too well, it’s power and a level of insanity.

How did you handle the unexpected re-emergence of your childhood abuse in your consciousness during adolescence?
Not very well. [I felt] disrespected. Betrayed. Angry. Fooled. Gaslighted. Mad. Violent. It took me ten years to fully reconcile how wack both persons were. They both need therapy. And maybe, a good smack.

Although you didn't undergo therapy, you suggest it for others.
Yes, there is even a number to an agency for readers in the back of the book. I did not get therapy, but I had compassionate listeners. Expression and compassion work in unison. 

So, how did you find healing?
The assumption is that it was art, everyone assumes that, but it's not true. I am the son and godson of black militants. They were big on character and personality building. Ever since I was young, I was given the tools to deal with white oppression and supremacy and those same tools work when dealing with personal abuse. More than anything else, they gave me legacy. They gave me something to believe in. They made sure I had a real affection for community and the Diaspora.

Photo of Tai Allen by Azzie Scott, The Dream Dept. 
You may not have come to rely on your art as therapy, but do you think there is some catharsis through art? 
Hell yes! Sports, hobbies, art, it is about finding outlets that can return the soul to your center. Finding peace is the goal. I truly believe holding on to distressing experiences will create ailments.

Your experience made you vigilant of your two daughters. How did you teach your girls to protect themselves when not under a parent's watchful eye?
The girls require a conversation that reminds them all people and spaces are not safe. And the danger can come from males who sheep their intentions. I understand power is also emotional and mental; I pray I have informed them that sex can be used against them. From abuse to coercion to faux sympathy. Plus, my daughters are Black. Society is often not fond of Black women.

Although No Jewels directly addresses the experience of a male survivor of sexual abuse, its theme of moving through trauma, from surviving into thriving is universal.
I wanted to write a book that men—and others—could use as proof that trauma can be overcome. That proves pain does not have be wallowed in, no matter how terrible the horror.

Your poem “very afraid” touches on the specter of the abused becoming an abuser, in hiding. The book also shares that although many abusers have been victims of abuse, statistically most survivors do not go on to abuse others.
True, and there should be an acknowledgment for those who did not become generational predators after being victims. I see them.

You offer a downloadable Blues/R&B/Acid Jazz soundtrack to the book. What inspired it?
I am a multidisciplinary artist. Absorbing the project in multiple ways can only enhance receiving its message. I wrote the book using triolet (a French writing style), senriyu (a Japanese form close to haiku) and “song” to resemble the African oral tradition.  All three forms scream musicality. I just listened to the call.

Get the book and soundtrack on TaiAllen.com  Follow Tai on Instagram and Twitter

National Sexual Assault Hotline Call 1-800-656-4673  Available 24 hours everyday.

How have you found healing from abuse?

Sharon Pendana is the creator of THE TROVE, author of Secret Washington DCand on a relentless quest to discover treasures, human and otherwise. Find her on Instagram, Medium, Twitter or binging on Netflix and Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Snaps.

A'mara le Negra
By Michelby Whitehead

If 2017 was the year of Cardi B, then one can only nod in agreement that 2018 will be the reign of A'mara la Negra, the breakout cast member on Vh1's Love n Hip Hop Miami. I don't know about you, but the way A'mara's skin glows makes me want to say "Hey girl! Can you be my life coach? Because obviously you're doing something right!" While we wait on the beautiful one to take us under her wing, here are 5 ways A'mara la Negra has inspired us to rock out in 2018!

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1. Don't let present success make you get too comfortable. 
Before Love n Hip Hop Miami, the Dominican darling was already popping on the Latin charts with a phenomenal social media presence. However, she was determined to take things to the next level and make a name for herself in the U.S. This week, A'mara signed a major record deal.


2. Remain authentic and true to your calling. 
Listen, representation matters, especially in media as it relates to standards of beauty. Her dark skin, kinky, curly fro and curvaceous body were something that we had yet to see a reality TV star fight to defend until now. La Negra unapologetically represents the underdog, and we love her for it. This is a reminder to serve #blackgirlmagic whether they want it or not. You had a purpose before any of the naysayers had an opinion. 

A'mara with her mom
3. You need wise counsel if you're going to live your best life. 
Do you remember the 1980s doll My Buddy? The toy was always sold out because kids loved the thought of having a pal they could drag around all day! If having an inanimate object as a friend is helpful for a child's self-esteem, how much more important is it for grown women to have a solid shoulder to lean on? On the first episode of Love n Hip Hop Miami, we see how much A'mara values her mother's opinions and support. In 2018, we're unsubscribing from the school of thought that says boss moves are made alone. Iron sharpens iron.  

4. Obstacles will come, but you have to keep going.
 The one thing that we all have in common is the desire to slay our goals, whatever they may be. You can throw a vision board party and map your goals out. You can even pray that God directs you as you pursue these goals. Nonetheless, you may still have some hiccups along the way.  Don't get frustrated with the process and abort the mission. A'mara admits that life was not easy for her being raised by a single mom and facing discrimination as an Afro Latina. But guess what? She made it and so can you if you are persistent. 


5. Laugh, dance and be merry.
 Check out La Negra's Instagram account. You see nothing but her gorgeous smile as she shakes a tail feather through life, even when she has to clapback on people making ignorant assumptions! No one wants to be around someone who is bitter and messy. No one wants to hear you self loathe and whine about things you have the power to change. Take a page out A'mara's book and create your own happy. 

Tell us how A'mara has inspired you to rock out in 2018.

A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator