Will Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp & More in the Gospel & Christian Communities #MuteRKelly After Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R. Kelly?’

Hello World,

He may be the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B, but the Gospel/Christian community gets down with R. Kelly too, quiet or not as quiet as kept actually. But after the three-day-in-your-face, testimony after testimony riddled exposé aptly and tragically titled “Surviving R. Kelly,” will those who claim to have a higher calling such Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp & more mute the man who sings “Your Body’s Callin?”

And I won’t be a hypocrite. I’m including myself in that community. As I’ve communicated here before, I came of age in the golden era of the ’90s. I graduated from high school in 1992 which was also the year that “Born in the 90s” debuted. This was when R. Kelly was still with his group Public Announcement. Man, I loved that album. “Dedicated,” “Honey Love” and “Slow Dance (Hey Mr. DJ)” were my three favorite songs from that album. His voice was earnest, sensual and melodic plus he was fine too. It was a no brainer for the pastor’s daughter who was exploring her newfound freedom as a college freshman. I remember dancing to his songs at parties, which I couldn’t attend when I lived at home with my parents. The next year, he went solo with his album “12 Play,” and I loved that one too. Whereas his first album with Public Announcement was more sensuous, sex and plenty of it was the theme of “12 Play.” The man knew how to blend his sexuality and artistry, and songs like “Bump ‘n Grind was the perfect backdrop to “Freaknik.”

In 1994, his collaboration with teenager Aaliyah as the producer for her debut album “Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number”produced some instant hits as well. I LOVED the jeep remix of “At Your Best (You Are Love).” Me and my girls most definitely bumped (old school word) that song in my girl Keet’s pink and white Geo Tracker jeep when we went to see and be seen at Greenbriar Mall after reuniting back in the A from our various college campuses. It was genius to make an Isley Brothers song jeep worthy “bump”able.  Now back then, we didn’t have social media but slowly through magazines like VIBE, I learned that the close vibe between 27-year-old R. Kelly and his 15-year-old protégé Aaliyah may have more than an older brother/younger sister scenario…much more. VIBE writer Danyel Smith’s Dec. 1994/Jan. 1995 article “R. Kelly: The Sex, The Soul, The Sales And The Scandalous Marriage to Teenage Superstar Aaliyah” made that clear. Me and my girls discussed the issue, but by then, adulthood as in play-time-is-over-and-now-it’s-time-to-find-a-job- after-college-graduation was ahead of me and what R. Kelly did or did not do with one teenage girl would not deter me.  I went on with my life following college graduation, but R. Kelly had earned himself a spot on my college days playlist. And when I was feeling nostalgic, I could and would listen to his songs to take me back to when my most serious issue was deciding if I should start partying on Wednesday night after three days of classes or postpone partying till Friday when I could party without worrying about getting up for class in the morning.

But I didn’t have to be nostalgic about his music because the hits kept coming and not all of them were raunchy either. “I Believe I Can Fly” debuted in 1998 and became an instant hit worthy of being played at anywhere  from church services to preschool graduations.

That’s probably around the time that the gospel and Christian communities took notice.

That was also around the time that I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ as well. I tried to clean up my playlist and no longer listen to certain kinds of music, but I was happy that R. Kelly didn’t necessarily have to be banned. “Lean on Me,” Kirk Franklin’s song featuring R. Kelly, Mary J. Blige, Bono and came out at that time and I loved the collaboration. I thought “I Wish” was a beautiful inspirational song.

As it turned out, R. Kelly, the self-proclaimed Pied Piper of R&B , could turn out a gospel hit as easily as he could an R&B hit. That’s talent, I tell you. Whitney Houston’s last gospel song (written by the R) “I Look to You” before she passed in 2012 was haunting considering all that she had been through. And the way R. Kelly sang his rendition of the song he gave to her at her homegoing…chills…

And since then, more gospel artists have employed his services from Isaac Carree’s 2013 hit “Clean This House” to Marvin Sapp’s 2017 hit “Listen.”

And yet even as he helped people praise God and presumably praised Him himself, the Pied Piper of R&B was allegedly  luring young girl after young girl into his virtual harem according to what was revealed in Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly.” It may have began with Aaliyah in the ’90s but sadly it did not end there. If what has been revealed in the three-day documentary is true, R. Kelly is a pedophile – plain and simple. Last year, when #MuteRKelly movement began here in Atlanta, I FINALLY began to come to grips with the alleged facts as they have been presented. He allegedly operated what amounts to a sex cult up in Johns Creek, which is a suburb of Atlanta, my hometown. I couldn’t look away anymore. I couldn’t recall my college days bumping “Bump ‘n Grind” at Freaknik, praise the Lord with R. Kelly plus Kirk Franklin with “Lean On Me,” “Step in the Name of Love” at a grown folks’ party, reminisce about my single days with “Feeling Single” and on and on in peace. And now, after surviving “Surviving R. Kelly,” I’m muting R. Kelly.

At least one other Christian is joining me – Chance the Rapper.

How about you?

Any thoughts?

 

 

TV One Offers Original Holiday Movies ‘Merry Wishmas’ & ‘Coins For Christmas’ Starring David & Tamela Mann, Kim Fields & More…

Hello World,

TV One brings the holiday spirit with premieres of two new original movies MERRY WISHMAS, debuting Sunday, December 2 at 7 p.m. and  COINS FOR CHRISTMAS, premiering  Sunday, December 16  at  7 p.m./6C!

MERRY WISHMAS , starring  Tamela Mann (The Manns), David Mann (The Manns), Kim Fields (Living Single), Towanda Braxton (Braxton Family Values), Chrystale Wilson (The Players Club) and  Elizabeth Omilami (Madea’s Family Reunion), revolves around successful businesswoman Kenni (Tamela Mann) who hasn’t returned home to the quaint town of Columbia, South Carolina in years. She’s hoping for a peaceful visit when she finally returns home, but unresolved family issues threaten to make the Christmas holiday not so bright. She’s reacquainted with Jessie (David Mann), an old high school friend with a fledgling wellness facility – the Beverly Living Center. She’s instantly thrown into the lives of the center’s residents and meets a host of colorful characters. When Jessie is faced with losing the Beverly Living Center, Kenni steps in to try and help save it. Family conflicts and relationship woes, however, threaten Kenni’s efforts. It looks like only a miracle can save the center and mend broken relationships in time for Christmas.

MERRY WISHMAS  is directed by veteran actress Terri J. Vaughn and features a cameo appearance by rap artist  Yung Joc , best known for popular singles “It’s Goin’ Down” and “I Know You See It.”

“Having the opportunity to direct my friends David and Tamala Mann was a huge blessing. The rewarding part was their willingness to challenge themselves to go deeper and I’m excited for viewers to see them in the more dramatic moments,” said Vaughn. “The other blessing on this project was being able to direct my mentor and friend, Kim Fields. It was a very rewarding, full circle moment for us. I can’t wait for the world to see!”

Y’all, I was actually on set for one day of filming MERRY WISHMAS and was able to interview some of the members of the cast and writers behind the movie! See that post here:  David & Tamela Mann, Kim Fields, Towanda Braxton & More Star in TV One’s Christmas movie ‘Merry Wish-mas!’

Below is a trailer for MERRY WISHMAS:

COINS FOR CHRISTMAS  stars  Stephen Bishop  (Being Mary Jane) (Remember he was on one episode of OWN’s Greenleaf this season as well?),  Essence Atkins (Marlon),  TC Carson  (Living Single),  Kelly Price  (Saints and Sinners) and  Karlie Redd (Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta). The film chronicles single mom Madison (Atkins) who’s saved all year to make sure her teenage kids have the best Christmas ever. That is until she gets fired from the bookstore she manages and comes home to find that the IRS has frozen her bank account due to delinquent taxes her ex-husband failed to pay. Desperate to pay bills and buy gifts for her children, Madison jumps into the ever-popular “gig economy.” That’s when she meets and eventually gets hired by arrogant, sidelined former professional football player Alec Darby (Bishop), who is also secretly on the verge of going broke. This odd couple butts heads time and time again but can the Christmas spirit help these two get past their bickering, learn from each and ultimately forge a lasting friendship?

Below is a trailer for COINS FOR CHRISTMAS:

MERRY WISHMAS and COINS FOR CHRISTMAS will be featured programming during TV One’s Holiday Movie Marathon on December 24-25. TV One will also air Christmas movies every Sunday until December 23.

Written by Cas Sigers-Beedles, MERRY WISHMAS is executive produced for TV One by Roger Bobb, Angi Bones (Bobbcat Films), Terri J. Vaughn and Cas Sigers-Beedles (Nina Holiday Entertainment). David and Tamela Mann also serve as Executive Producers. George Pierre serves as Casting Director. For TV One, Tia A. Smith is Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene-Arrington is Head of Original Programming and Production.

COINS FOR CHRISTMAS is written by Rhonda F. Baraka and directed by Jamal Hill, with casting by Leah Daniels-Butler and George Pierre. The film was produced by Swirl Films, with Eric Tomosunas serving as Executive Producer. James Seppelfrick, Ron Robinson, Keith Neal and Darien Baldwin serve as producers. For TV One, Karen Peterkin is the Executive Producer in Charge of Production, Donyell McCullough is Senior Director of Talent & Casting, and Robyn Greene-Arrington is Head of Original Programming and Production.

For more information about TV One’s upcoming programming, including original movies, visit the network’s companion website at www.tvone.tv. TV One viewers can also join the conversation by connecting via social media on TwitterInstagram  and Facebook (@tvonetv) using the hash tags #MERRYWISHMAS#COINSFORCHRISTMAS,and #REPRESENT.

Any thoughts?

Bebe Winans, Angie Stone & More Join Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Hosting Election Eve Prayer Rally!

Hello World,

Can you believe it? There are only two months left in 2018! But if you’re still hoping, wishing and praying for something to change before the year is over as I am, God says in 2 Peter 3:8 that “with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” In other words, He sees time differently than we do and anything can change in an instant. It’s hard work having faith sometimes, but it’s worth it in the end.

Speaking of time, last month I pretty much only focused on OWN “Greenleaf” recaps in October, but now that I’ve met a writing deadline, I will be posting about twice a week unless life happens. Y’all know how that is. And for my new subscribers who read my recap each week, I hope you like my other content as well 🙂

So all of that aside and on to the topic of today’s post. Unless you don’t watch TV at all, you probably know that Election Day is THIS Tuesday! And if you didn’t vote early, Tuesday is the day to vote! I’m not sure where you live, but where I live, we have some pretty big issues to address in Tuesday’s election! And I’m proud to say that the first black woman to be the nominee of a major party for governor, Stacey Abrams, who is also PK as I am, is on the ballot! I won’t tell you whom to vote for, but I do think it’s important to vote!

Tomorrow night, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the church of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is hosting an Election Eve Prayer Rally at 7 p.m. My father, pastor emeritus of Central Christian Church in Atlanta, likes to use this quote by Alfred Lord Tennyson in his sermons about prayer:  “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of.” I truly believe that, and if that quote is too “high post” for you, this quote will do: “Prayer changes things.” I don’t know who said that first, but it is true…

Among luminaries who will be there include: Bebe Winans (uncle of Deborah Joy Winans who portrays Charity on OWN’s “Greenleaf”), Angie Stone, Congressman John Lewis and the Rev. Dr. William Barber II. The church is located at 101 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312, but if you cannot make it, check out the church’s website for the livestream.

Also, Dr. Raphael G. Warnock, pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, wrote a piece “Here Are the Chilling Tricks We’ve Caught Georgia Using to Disqualify Voters” for The Washington Post about voting issues here in Georgia. Here is an excerpt below:

A young woman learned her name was no longer on the voter rolls in Georgia. Ironically, she discovered this while training as a canvasser for new voters. Since registering and casting her first ballot in 2008, she hadn’t returned to the polls, and under the new “use it or lose it” rule, the system purged her registration.

A dentist in Macon received a letter from the secretary of state, warning him that he was at risk of being labeled an “inactive voter” for changing addresses, not voting or not responding to election-related mail. None of that was true, he said: He’d participated in every Georgia election in the past 40 years and had lived in his home for 30.

To read the entire piece, go to washingtonpost.com.

So my final plea on this Sunday, please VOTE!

Happy Sunday!

Any thoughts?