Ford’s In Focus teamed up with Zoë Kravitz and SZA to showcase the “confidence that comes standard in a 2016 Focus.”  In Focus brings together these two phenomenal women to “get to know each other and discuss how they stay authenic and deal with the pressures to conform to social norms within the entertainment industry.

The daughter of Lisa Bonet and Lenny Kravitz, we knew Zoë was destined for greatness. Zoë hasmade a mark for herself in music, fashion, and film, most recently with her recurring role in the Divergent series.  Singer-Songwriter Solana Rowe, better known by her stage name SZA, is also the daughter of two impressive parents, her father was an executive producer at CNN, while her mother was an executive at AT&T.  SZA has quickly become known for her Neo Soul sound and conscious music. 

Originally published Marketing Noire.

Straight Outta Compton Raises the Music Biopic Bar


Last month, I attended the Atlanta regional screening of Straight Outta Compton and was blown away by the F. Gary Gray directed and Will Packer produced biopic! As a late-80s baby, the N.W.A run was slightly before my time, and it was a wild ride learning the history of the group that launched the careers of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube.

Compton featured amazing storytelling and acting - it's the most impressive music biopic I've seen. Gray did a great job giving equitable time to developing Dre, E and Cube's characters.

Cube's son, O'shea Jackson Jr., flawlessly portrays his dad, Corey Hawkins brings to life the elusive Dr. Dre, but the breakout character is Eazy-E portrayed by Jason Mitchell

It's eerie that the police brutality that N.W.A fought against back in the early nineties is resurfacing. One of the most striking moments in the film is when rival gangs unite during the LA riots after the Rodney King verdict. 

The film is on track to have a HUGE opening weekend. Get to the theaters and support this movie! We need more stories like this to be told on the big screen.

Is Ciara Underrated?


After taking one look at Ciara's "Dance Like We're Making Love" video, I am left scratching my head as to why her music career is stalled. 

When she blazed onto the charts with "Goodies," she had a Midas run following up the hit with songs like "Oh (ft. Ludicrous)," "1, 2 Step (ft. Missy)," "Get Up," "Promise," "Like a Boy," and "Love, Sex, Magic (ft. Justin Timberlake)." She even helped make hits out of features (Missy Elliot's "Lose Control" and Goodie Mob's "So What").  

When her songs weren't riding up the charts, CC's videos had the Internets talking - think "Work," "Ride," and "Gimme Dat." 

In the past five years, people have become more interested in Ciara's celebrity than her music. She's had a few shaky albums (Jackie, her latest, is one of them), but I think she's become highly underrated. "I'm Out (ft. Nicki Minaj)" and "Got Me Good" were great singles that failed to impact the charts. 

There is one possible remedy. Keyshia Cole, Tamar Braxton and K. Michelle have all reaped sales benefits from reality TV exposure.  Is CC too famous to employ the reality show model? Should she try?

Watch Survivor's Remorse Season 2 Preview


Following the heels of their 50 Cent-produced, Power, STARZ also piloted a six episode season of Survivor's Remorse in 2014. One of the executive producers is LeBron James, so naturally the series is about basketball.  

It stars Jessie T. Usher, RonReaco Lee, Mike Epps, Tichina Arnold and focuses on Cam Calloway, "who is suddenly thrust into the limelight after signing a multi-million dollar contract with a professional basketball team in Atlanta." The series was renewed for a second season (with 10 episodes) that will debut August 22. I love this show - I'm looking forward to its return! Will you be watching?