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Is that….Yes it is! Wasn’t She Caught On Tape Doing….Yes She was!!!

Former “In the House” star and daughter of famous writer BeBe Moore Campbell, Maia Campbell says she is sober and ready to take on Hollywood again!

She also…really misses LL Cool J!

Big Macs or Sirloins (Spike Lee Vs. Tyler Perry) Do We have to Choose?

By Miguel Lloyd

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This week, I was visiting family in Phoenix, when what started as all pleasure trip turned into a bit of a business. My little brother, who is a student at Arizona State University, informed me that Spike Lee would be there while I was in town. He asked me would I like to attend. Of course my response was an emphatic “yes.” Man, that’s Spike Lee! Of course I want to hear what brother Spike has to say. Than my mind started to work. There are many people who don’t know how influential and impactful that brother was through the late 80s and early 90s with his Spike Lee Joints.

Spike Lee seems to have become a bit of a caricature of his former self. Much more Mars Blackmon then himself. That little guy at all the Knicks games screaming at everybody from Reggie Miller to Lebron James, all while his beloved squads have sucked! The little dude with the funny rimmed glasses, the funny walk, clap and loud mouth. The dude according to writers like Terrell Jermain Pryor are certified “haters” for being openly critical of the “quality” of work that the black community is receiving in cinema.

Spike Lee has been put in that “crotchety old man” group with the likes of Bill Cosby, Danny Glover and Dick Gregory. These media figures that came through the game when you had to really have a compelling storyline in your works to gain the appeal of the audience. An era when Black artists truly wanted to make a difference and educate their audiences, because they knew how much that lacked in schools and in their homes daily.

When Spike made movies like “Do The Right Thing”,  “Jungle Fever”, “Mo Better Blues” and “X”, he always had the goal to teach while he entertained. During his appearance at ASU, he spoke of his love of history, which has always been a focus in his work. He has been one of the few mainstream black filmmakers that was had that desire and success at doing just that.

On the flip side, brother Tyler Perry’s direction has always been that of telling the same story with different characters. It’s like how, McDonalds takes the same hamburger patties and puts different sauces and vegetables ( I use that word loosely) on them to make them more appealing. When you take that bite ultimately, it’s still the same meat, that many of us consume incessantly to our detriment.

Now before you put me in that Tyler Perry “hater” group, chill out. Admittedly, I think I have seen all of TPs movies and support them regularly, just like once every six months I crave a Big Mac. I enjoy it, but I know, if I eat too many of them to often, my waistline and my wife won’t be happy with me.

To me, Tyler Perry is like fast food and cookies. They need to be enjoyed in moderation. For example, For Better or Worse was too much for me. Way to much drama, too little substance, especially when a quality show like Reed Between the Lines had my attention. But that’s a blog I’ve already written.

Spike Lee’s flicks have always been event-like to me and many of my generation. For 10 years starting in the late 80s, a Spike Lee Joint was the talk of the community. Sure he has had some misses like Girl 6, but for the most part, he exposed his audience to different aspects of the African-American experiences that a lot of us became interested in due to his introduction. Admittedly, the floating platform shots that have been his signature have been annoying at best, but you don’t throw out the baby with the bath water. Spike has always wanted to do things his way to put his signature on his work so that it would resonate for years to come.

What am I saying? Well, that Spike and Tyler are truly different filmmakers that make work that are equally as important in telling our story. Their work is a direct reflection of their backgrounds. Spike is a child of a Jazz music instructor and a teacher. He is a legacy Morehouse man, and not to mention he’s a New Yorker. While, Tyler Perry openly expresses his personal battles and experiences with molestation, homelessness and the gun-toting, Bible thumping, weed smoking, “Christian” relatives he put in a blender to come up with Madea.

Unfortunately film studios seem to believe that our market can only ingest one type of film per generation, while general market filmmakers can tell any story they like and get major distribution.

The easiest argument is the one that is often used in this case. Perry’s films make money, while Spike’s not as much. Let’s be clear. No one including Spike, can knock Tyler Perry’s hustle. No one does that better. But do you think that Lil’ Wayne is a better emcee than Nas or KRS-One because he sells more downloads? Do you believe that a Big Mac is better than a Ruth Chris sirloin because they sell more volume? The fact is that it is undeniable that Perry is a better business man then Spike, but not a better teacher.  Ultimately, when it’s all said and done, if I had to choose what to put in the time capsule for generations of the future to use as a case study of what our generations film making legacy would be, I’ve got to go with the little dude from Brooklyn. I guess that’s the professorial, Obama trait in me, overtaking the hustler, Diddy trait in me. I just think our future would be better off.

Miguel Lloyd is a blogger, radio host and Media entrepreneur.  He hosts a weekly talk show called Life Full Circle Radio. The show includes super producer, Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!

Life Full Circle Radio host attending Spike Lee Event at Arizona State University tonight!

Miguel Lloyd will be attending ASU’s event to kick off Black History Month. Stay tuned to the blog as we will have our recap of the appearance by the legendary film maker. Click here for info about the event.Image

Read Between THESE Lines, For Better or Worse, I’ll take Structure Over Chaos

By Miguel Lloyd

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Well the much anticipated premiere of the most recent Tyler Perry installment into our social conscience happened on this past Friday. For Better or Worse premiered on TBS.

Admittedly I was intrigued as most of us were about how these characters made famous in the Why Did I Get Married movies would translate to the small screen. It only made sense those would be the characters chosen, seeing as they were the comedic element of those films. In one word, I was “unimpressed.”

I guess I keep waiting for TP’s projects to evolve into something more mature. I guess I keep waiting for his movies and shows to develop a story line and help us grow threw entertainment, instead of what he did with this show. He simply, took the success of todays reality shows and turned them into a sitcom. Show rich black women who think about no one but themselves, along with men looking to stay out of their way and their impending tirades. It is truly a tired theme.

Oh, but some would argue that it is about family and the struggles of blended families. Thats a common theme in America…right? Sure it is, but two adult women arguing over who’s kid called her a hoe are not. That is just childish and insulting to many of us who are working our way through that same dilemma of life.

Well about a month earlier, BET premiered Reed Between The Lines. The show that is more of Cosby Show 2.0, that it is Real Housewives of Atlanta. They have tackled themes that center around not only the lives of the kids, but made sure to address, things that Cosby never did 25+ years ago. Blended families and intimacy between the parents. Unlike Bill and Claire, these characters are young and vibrant in addition to being career focused and family focused. They even spent an hour this week addressing a subject that may be considered a “left field” story line about a Marine suffering from PTSD. In my humble opinion, they are going into a direction that is a lot more real, than the reality show/soap opera theme TP introduced us to out the gate with his show. Is there a market for it? Of Course there is. Thats why the networks keep ordering these shows. I just think that Tyler Perry has had enough success, which should translate into influence. But his track record says that its what he wants to do, and is what a lot of us want to see. Of course story lines evolve, hopefully if there is enough outcry by us, there will be evolutions in the characters of For Better or Worse, but maybe not.

Join us this week on Life Full Circle Radio as we will discuss this and much more. Of course, as always, we will have our super producer, Nikkia Ganey with hot topics, Seshmi Robertson with Entertainment, Elton Gumbel with Sports and Alton Drew with the Politics segment. Join us this and every Wednesday night for the lively conversation by clicking HERE!

Sports, Entertainment and Faith: Why the industry believes they don’t mix

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By Miguel Lloyd
Tim Tebow is one of the most polarizing figures in sports today. After having a very successful career at the University of Florida (2 National Championships, 1 Heisman Trophy), he was the #1 pick by the Denver Broncos in the NFL in 2010. Although many can question his mechanics as a QB, no one can question his character and his belief in Jesus Christ. Between the work he does on the field (espousing his faith externally through his “eye black” strips), to the work he does off the field, he is not apologetic about his faith and how important it is to him.
Artists like the Jonas Brothers, Tyler Perry or Denzel Washington are the exception, not the rule. Artists that openly express their faith and are very successful. But even in the cases of Perry and Washington, many in the faith feel they compromise their faith with some the roles that they have played (see Madea and Training Day respectfully). When we look at our entertainers, athletes, musicians, movie stars and television personalities espousing their faith, it is looked at as being a hinderance more than a help.  Particularly, in todays society, instead of Christianity being looked at as a beacon of light for moral development, it is treated as a restrictor of human freedoms. People simply want to live and do whatever they want to do, so to hear their entertainers talk about anything besides “partying” and individual expression is something that the entertainment industry is not willing to invest in.
On our show next Wednesday, we will dig into this subject. Why does an artist like a Beyonce'(for example), who in the early stages of her career made songs with Mary Mary , now sees it necessary to largely promote her sexuality more than her morally upright rearing. Our guest will be Christian Comedian Shedrick Garrett and Musician William Soul. If you know like I know, no one keeps it real like a comedian!
Join us This and Every Wednesday at 7pm EST for Life Full Circle Radio! Click here to listen.
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