She Is Focused

March 23, 2010

President Obama Signs Healthcare Bill Into Law

Filed under: Chat 'bout,President Obama — Felicia @ 5:59 pm

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, it is widely known that one of President Obama’s main focuses during his election run was Healthcare. The new bill which was recently passed and signed into law today will ensure that all Americans who currently are without healthcare receive coverage effective immediately. The House of Representatives’ vote of 219 – 212 sent the bill to the President late Sunday evening. As expected the GOP was and still is against the new bill saying that it will be very costly to everyone in the long run.

Attorney Generals from 13 different states have filed proceedings right after the bill has been signed by the President to stop the reform. According to the President the bill was definitely needed saying “The bill I’m signing will set in motion reforms that generations of Americans have fought for and marched for and hungered to see”. So what exactly does this new healthcare bill mean? Here are the highlights:

Cost: $940bn over 10 years; would reduce deficit by $143b

Coverage: Expanded to 32m currently uninsured Americans

Medicare: Prescription drug coverage gap closed; affected over-65 receive rebate and discount on brand name drugs

Medicaid: Expanded to include families under 65 with gross income of up to 133% of federal poverty level and childless adults

Insurance reforms: Insurers can no longer deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions

Insurance exchanges: Uninsured and self-employed able to purchase insurance through state-based exchanges

Subsidies: Low-income individuals and families wanting to purchase own health insurance eligible for subsidies

Individual Mandate: Those not covered by Medicaid or Medicare must be insured or face fine

High-cost insurance: Employers offering workers pricier plans subject to tax on excess premium

Although the bill will be costly in the long run for some of us, knowing that those who desperately need healthcare who otherwise would not have been able to afford it is much more important and worth the sacrifice.

February 10, 2010

Q&A w/ Olivia: G-Unit, New Movies and New Label Home

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Interviews — Felicia @ 12:21 pm
15 Minutes With Olivia: Life After G-Unit
Published 02/09/2010
By Felicia J. Barclay

(Original posting on BallerStatus.com)

Olivia wants everyone to know that she’s more than just a pretty girl. Signed to J Records in 2001, her self-titled debut, which birthed the hit “Bizounce”, was one of the hottest records of the year. Professional differences led to her split with J Records and move to Interscope, which brought along with it a new, yet brief, chapter in her career with G-Unit. Not only was she 50’s leading lady, she was also the only R&B artist in a group full of rappers, making it tough for her to be marketed fittingly.Leaving the group was the best move for her career, although rumors have been flaring that there was more behind the sudden departure. In a 15-minute conversation, BallerStatus fired off some questions to find out why her time with the guys wasn’t working out, her new label home and upcoming album and why she doesn’t follow the trends. 

BallerStatus.com: When your relationship dissolved with J Records, you found your way over to Interscope and G-Unit. At the time did you think a fair shot would be given to an R&B artist?

Olivia: I got to Interscope at 2003, so it was right after J Records. Then I signed with G-Unit 2003/04. It definitely was a political move, but it was something just to get me to the next plateau. So, I figured why not do it? 50 Cent was one of the hottest rappers at the time, so this might be a good thing. After sitting back and watching, we had no R&B presence at the label, so he was basically doing everything himself. He really didn’t know how to market an R&B artist because every artist there was all rappers. It was very new to him. He tried his best, but it just wasn’t working out. So I asked to leave and that’s what happened, amongst all the rumors that you heard.

BallerStatus.com: Did you consider your affiliation with Interscope/G-Unit a stepping stone to move on to other things?

Olivia: I don’t regret any of the things I did and I feel like I needed to do those moves to get where I’m at now … to be back and have the focus be back on myself. Doing what I want to do and being able to sing the music that I wanna sing, so I think every step was necessary to be where I’m at.

BallerStatus.com: What have you been up to since your absence from the public eye? I read that you started dabbling in acting.

Olivia: I’ve been overseas touring for the last two years and I did two movies last year also. One is called Peephole and the other one is Conspiracy X, so I have been working a lot. You just haven’t seen me in New York (laughs). Now I’m trying to be more visible in New York and let everybody know that I’m back doing what I do.

BallerStatus: What roles do you play in each movie?

Olivia: The first movie, Peephole, I actually play an aunt. It’s about a child who sees his mom get murdered in front of his house. It’s called Peephole because he lives his life not wanting to come out the house anymore. Towards the end of the movie, he has to make a choice whether to come outside or not when he sees something happen. The scene that I’m in I have to be really sensitive, caring and dramatic, so it was a different type of emotion for me to play on camera. Then [Conspiracy X], Shawn Baker directed that one and Kellita Smith was in that one. She played the wife on “The Bernie Mac Show.” She plays the judge in the movie and I play the girlfriend of the lead character. He gets let out of jail and somebody tries to pin something on him, that’s why its called Conspiracy X . It’s a really really good movie.

BallerStatus.com: They sound pretty good congratulations on that.

Olivia: Thank you very much.

BallerStatus: Was it an easy transition going from singing to acting? (more…)

February 7, 2010

Happy Birthday Dilla

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback — Felicia @ 2:08 pm

Known as a producer’s producer, James Yancy p/k/a Jay Dee or J Dilla, wasn’t the type of  producer to repeatedly drop his name on his tracks. He’s quietly produced several popular records throughout the 90’s literally right up until his premature death in 2006. He’s responsible for providing the tracks on records such as The Pharcyde’s “Runnin”, Common’s “The Light”, De La Soul’s “Stakes Is High” and Janet Jackson’s “Got ‘Til It’s Gone” (to which proper credit has never been given) amongst several others.

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, he started his career with Slumm Village in 1988, then went on to pursue producing as his main hustle along with the Soulquarians which included fellow musicians James Poysner and ?uestlove of The Roots. He also released solo projects of his on Welcome 2 Detroit album in 2001 and Donuts in 2006, with the latter being his last work released a few days before his untimely death. Posthumous projects were released in the following years through 2009.

Dilla’s genius has been compared to the likes of Jazz heavyweight Charlie Parker, which says a lot about his work. Although he was never a household name during his tenure, and probably amongst many Hip-Hop fans today, he’s left his mark in music history that will forever be valued.

Happy Birthday Jay Dee!

The Pharcyde Runnin

Janet Jackson Got Til Its Gone

De La Soul Stakes Is High

February 2, 2010

Black History Highlight: Diahann Carroll

Filed under: Black History,Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 12:36 pm

In honor of Black History Month I’d like to highlight one of my favorite actresses of all time. For those who know me very well, you know that I absolutely love my old movies between the late 50s – 80s. That being said, I couldn’t imagine beginning with none other than the amazing Diahann Carroll.

Name: Carol Diahann Johnson

Stage Name: Diahann Carroll

Occupation: Actress/Singer

Active: 1954 – present

Career Highlights: Carmen Jones, Claudine, Dynasty, White Collar, etc.

Throughout her career Diahann Carroll has conquered many milestones as an African American actress. The New York native was the first African American actress to star in her own TV Series, Julia, as the lead actress. She won a Tony Award in 1962 for her role in the musical No Strings. Another first for a Black actress.

Although she was best known for her role in the series Julia her career expanded greatly throughout the 60’s and 70’s having won a Golden Globe Award and receiving nominations for an Emmy and Academy Award. Younger audiences may know her from appearing in television series’ such as A Different World, Grey’s Anatomy and most recently White Collar.

In her personal life Ms. Carroll has been married several times and is a breast cancer activist and survivor. She will be featured in a docudrama this year called 1 a Minute in recognition of breast cancer awareness.

February 1, 2010

Top Performances from the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 1:54 pm

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony took place last night. Like Jay-Z once did, I also told myself that I would ban the viewing of the Grammys or any other awards celebration for that matter. They’re too long and some performers you just don’t care to see. Like everyone else though I got caught up in the hype as tweeted comments on every performance. I’m not gonna post a slew of video recaps nor spend too much time dwelling on the evening’s winners. To even be considered for a Grammy is a great accomplishment in my book. So congratulations to all the nominees and the winners.

I did however want to spend time talking briefly about Lady Gaga & Elton John, Beyonce, the Michael Jackson tribute and Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli’s performances as these were the highlighted performances for me.

Lady Gaga & Elton John

Only Lady Gaga can get the legendary Elton John thrashed with dirt in his face and bedazzled shades. I thought their performance was a great way to start the evening of many more to come. Gaga donned a sparkly green high-waist leotard that left very little to the imagination. Her red carpet catwalk was a performance in its own. I definitely respect her creativity and originality. 2009 was her year for sure.

Beyonce

This woman continues to prove her pop icon status. Beyonce is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to her music. I don’t buy into the Sasha Fierce mess, but when she steps on stage something definitely comes over the usually shy girl from Houston. I’m a huge fan of Alanis Morissette and when Bey remixed “If I Were A Boy” with “You Oughta Know” that was it for me. When a contemporary artist pays homage to 90’s Pop/Rock/Hip-Hop/R&B artists you can never go wrong. Even Alanis had to take her hat off to that performance. Did anyone else breathe a sigh of *relief* when Beyonce acknowledged and thanked her husband, Jay-Z?

Michael Jackson Tribute

Usher, Celine Dion, Smokey Robinson, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Hudson did Michael proud. They each did an exceptional job collaborating with the late great on his hit “Earth Song” which was very benefitting for the affair. The tribute recognized Michael not only as a great artist, but as a great humanitarian and philanthropist. I also appreciated them having more than just R&B artist sing the honors. I dig Carrie Underwood and Carrie Taylor made it rain last night at the Grammys, so I hope you’re in the studio.

Mary J. Blige & Andrea Bocelli

Mary J. Blige and Andrea Bocelli did an amazing rendition of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” which was performed in recognition of the recent events in Haiti. Mary has done an array of collaborations with various artists and the lady of Soul held it down beautifully with Opera legend Bocelli. Definitely a moving performance from the two. I’m not a fan of forced collaborations but who ever thought of mixing the two artist together really hit the right note.

Other notable performances included Pink, Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne featuring Eminem and Drake, Jamie Foxx and T-Pain. Fabulous night of events indeed.

January 20, 2010

Hope For Haiti Now: Global Benefit Telethon for Haitian Relief

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 10:39 pm

Jay-Z, Bono, Swizz Beatz, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Sting, Rihanna, Taylor Swift, etc.

These are just some of the celebrities coming together this Friday, January 22nd at 8p.m. for a global benefit to raise the much needed funds for the citizens of Haiti. Not only have the people of Haiti suffered a tragic loss of more than 200,000 people since last week’s 7.0 magnitude earthquake, the small island has been struck once again this week with a second quake at a magnitude of 6.1. Schools, hospitals, churches, shops anything and everything have been affected by the recent quakes that sent a shockwave across the nation.

Wyclef Jean, head of Yele.org has been very outspoken and on the move since day one practically being the outspoken voice of his people. He’s been back and fourth to Haiti helping out on both fronts to ensure that his people are being treated and cared for. He mentioned recently on the Oprah Winfrey show that immediately after Friday’s telethon he will retreat back to Haiti on Saturday. He told Oprah “the reason why I’m going back, I’m looking at the helicopter and I see the way the food (is) being thrown down on my people. I want them to know that Haitian people are not animals”. He will be working with officials to set up more effective ways of distributing food to the people of Haiti who so desperately need all the assistance they can receive at this time.

The telethon will be co-hosted by George Clooney in Los Angeles, Anderson Cooper in Haiti and Wyclef Jean in New York City. Tune in this Friday and if you’re in a position to help whether its monetarily or by donating food or clothing, please do so.

Below is a video press conference Wyclef recently held defending his charity and the donations he has been recieving.

January 11, 2010

Sarah Palin Joins Sly Fox

Filed under: Chat 'bout — Felicia @ 6:14 pm

Anchorage native and former 2008 Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has added another gig to her resume. She’s been chosen as Fox News’ newest commentator saying “It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news.” Palin will touch on political issues as well as host episodes featuring stories of inspirational Americans.

Her latest venture comes right on the heels of the recent release of her best-selling book, Going Rouge. Well this should be interesting to say the least. Like many others I typically switch the channel to Fox News to fill my daily quotas of “Smh’s”, but I’ll definitely be extra keen on what Ms. Palin has to say. Get your popcorn ready. Perhaps her first feature will be on former Illinois Governor Blagojevich’s recent newsworthy comments about President Obama.

January 7, 2010

Does Jay-Z’s Masonic Status Hold Any Leverage?

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback — Felicia @ 9:37 pm

It’s no secret that for several years Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter has been spewing innuendos about having Masonic affiliation, whether directly or indirectly. “Run This Town”, “Empire State Of Mind” and “On To The Next One” – the three lead singles from his Blueprint 3 album had many conspiracy theorists up in arms about the Masonic imagery showcased in the videos. “On To The Next One” is the latest video broken down bit by bit about its relevancy to the Masonry.

The first time I’ve ever taken notice to any hidden meanings or symbolism in regards to Jay-Z’s music was with his song “D’evils” from his first album, Reasonable Doubt. When I listen to music I’m typically drawn to the beat then after the first listen I pay closer attention to the actual words. I’m not going to break this song apart bar-by-bar, but after listening to it Jay definitely leaves the listener with many questions regarding the frequent mention of the illuminati and the like.

Although I enjoy reading about other’s assumptions and conclusions about Jay-Z’s Masonic status, I wonder if it would really make much of a difference if he did come out and announce his membership. Artists are known for creating false assumptions and pulling publicity stunts as often as they change their underwear. He could be playing us all like a really good game of chess. He’s proven to know a thing or two when it comes to his investments and career decisions. People linger off of every word he spits and he probably figures he’ll just run with it. However I can’t see this to be true because he has us in too deep.

The question that consistently comes back to me is the wonderment of it all making any type of impact on the way people feel about him as an artist. Would it affect his album sales? Would it affect his investments? Would people still consider him the best rapper alive and boast about his lyrical genius? (more…)

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.