Message from Montie

R&B Archives

Chris Brown leaves Twitter, how to make social media networking site Twitter useful

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Lawrence K. Ho/Los Angeles Times (courtesy of ChicagoTribune.com)

On Monday, Dec. 14, R&B superstar Chris Brown closed his account on Twitter after a weekend of ranting about the music industry blackballing him and retail stores not stocking his music. I heard this on Power 92 but went into a Skokie Walmart location a few minutes later and saw Chris Brown's new CD, "Graffiti," on an end deck at the top in plain sight. Now whether other retail locations really did sell out of his CDs, as MTV.com reports, is something only the store managers can confirm or deny but I see Chris Brown's CDs everywhere in Chicago.

 

But what Chris Brown and a plethora of other celebrity Twitter users who left the social media site confirmed is that what you say in those 140 characters can help or hurt you. Swizz Beatz's ex-wife Mashonda lit into Alicia Keys' Twitter account for a tweet she made. Holly Robinson Peete got into a little bit of a verbal scuffle for comments she made about athlete Steve McNair. Willie of Day 26 had a little bit of drama over a conversation he had about his wife forgetting an item he wanted packed in his bag. Willie Twitter users didn't appreciate how he was talking to his wife, especially when she called him disrespectful, and they laid into him.

 

Other celebrities like Lil' Wayne and Kid Cudi left, and Beyonce publicly stated that she leaves Twitter up to her sister Solange Knowles and doesn't have a Twitter account. But Twitter isn't just trouble for celebrities who avoid the PR monitoring.

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Dilemma for a Chris Brown fan, buy 'Graffiti' or boycott it because of domestic violence against Rihanna?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Chris Brown released his latest CD "Graffiti" on Dec. 8

I have zero tolerance for domestic violence, and I feel like if people can't keep their hands to themselves that relationship needs to cease immediately. So with this attitude in mind, I really had a dilemma on my hands because I'd been a long-time fan of Chris Brown since his "Run It" days and bought all of his music. Was I going to boycott Chris Brown's new CD "Graffiti" because of the issues with Rihanna? Should I buy Rihanna's CD in support of her decision to speak up on "Good Morning America" even though I've never been a fan of her music? Or, should I buy Chris Brown's CD anyway as a supporter of his music but not his choices? I chose the last one.

 

Everyone seems to have opinions on whether Chris Brown was justified in the fight with Rihanna. Diehard fans swear up and down that Rihanna did something wrong and she deserved it. I think that statement is ridiculous. I don't care what a woman verbally says. Rihanna never deserved the butt whooping handed to her in February 2009. But I can't go so far as to say nobody deserves to be dealt with because it's not like I've never been in a fight. I can't even say I've never been in a fight with a guy because I have--once. It didn't last long though, but I can see how anger gets the best of a person and I didn't start that fight. (I didn't lose the fight either, by the way, but fighting is nothing to brag about. However, I never spoke to that guy again for the rest of my life.) I hear the accusations that Rihanna hit Chris Brown first, but we all know her strength does not compare to his. And then what if Rihanna didn't hit him at all, and Chris Brown just beat the living daylights out of her for the reasons in the police report?

 

I even thought about the accusations that if a man hits you once, he will hit you again. But I was frustrated by that belief because I know of two marriages with one partner who hit the other and then it never happened again, even years later. But to be fair, I have heard and known other couples who had one partner who was consistently abusive. Which category would Chris Brown fall in? Could he beat the odds?

 

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Raheem DeVaughn's 'Bulletproof' is modern day version of Marvin Gaye's 'Inner City Blues'

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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There is no R&B artist that I like more than Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr. His music was just as relevant when he started out in the late '50s as it is now, and one of my favorite songs of his is "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Want to Holler)." The issues that Marvin Gaye talked about in that song are just as on point in 2009 as they were when the song first came out in the early 1970s--inflation, the struggle with paying bills, increasing crime, war overseas and taxes. Sound familiar?

 

Born on April 2, 1939 in Washington D.C., Marvin Gay aka Marvin Gaye (who later added the "e" to "Gaye" when he signed up with Motown) started off traveling with his father at the age of five, singing in church conventions and took off singing all kinds of music from 1957 with the Marquees until he went solo.

 

I don't think there's a singer who has put out the same amount of sexy, smooth and political tracks that he's put out with equal success. Marvin Gaye was still seen as an intelligent sex symbol (and grew even more handsome with age), and that really made me dig his music, especially with political songs like "What's Going On?" and "Inner City Blues (Makes Me Want to Holler)" played right before I blasted "Ego Trippin'," "Sexual Healing" and "Let's Get It On."

 

But who says Marvin Gaye has to be the only artist who can perfect R&B sexy grooves and politics too? (Fairly) new artist Raheem DeVaughn, who is also a native of Washington D.C., sure did do quite a job with his latest single, "Bulletproof."
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Chicago's The New 400 Theater releases Michael Jackson's 'This Is It' but crowd numbers are mediocre

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Shamontiel thinking she's "bad" (R.I.P. MJ)

I kept hearing the buzz about Michael Jackson's "This Is It," and initially I was not going to see the film. It seemed like a way for other people to get rich instead of honoring the King of Pop's final footage after 10 years of being silent. But The New 400 Theater (located at 6746 N. Sheridan in Chicago's Rogers Park) had the film, and oftentimes I have to go to more expensive and bigger theaters to see the mainstream films. Free popcorn Tuesdays. Evening films are only $7.50, and the first release was tonight at 11:00 p.m. How could I miss out on a deal like that?

 

I bought my ticket as soon as the theater opened today at 4:30 p.m. to beat the crowd and left an hour early to get a good parking spot in the Rogers Park area, where parking spots after 7:00 p.m. are almost pointless. I got my free popcorn and munched on it in my car before "This Is It" started, but when I went back inside, there was only a small crowd. I thought that was so strange because friends and family were telling me "This Was It" was sold out at theaters around them. I figured I was going to have to fight for a seat, but there were full rows with no one in them. What gives? Did others have the same suspicious beliefs I originally did about not supporting a film trying to get rich off of MJ's legacy, were you as surprised as I was that the film made it to The New 400 Theater, or did you just not want to go on a weeknight?

 

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Robin Thicke will visit Chicago on Oct. 28 to introduce 'Sex Therapy' and Hugo Boss Element cologne

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Robin Thicke at Chicago's Rednofive

Robin Thicke fans, are you ready to meet him? Mr. "Complicated" and "Lost Without You" R&B artist extraordinaire will be visiting Macy's in Chicago, IL on Oct. 28.

 

If you're one of the first 150 customers to purchase Hugo Boss Element men's fragrance for $65 at Macy's (starting from store opening), you'll get the chance to meet Robin Thicke and get an autographed copy of his new single, "Sex Therapy" from his upcoming album, also called "Sex Therapy." He'll also be performing a couple of songs if time permits.

 

Location Information:
Wednesday, October 28, 12pm
Macy's State Street - Fragrance Arcade
111
North State Street
Chicago, IL 60602

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Fame or fortune, paparazzi blues and filty rich, which do you choose?

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Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at shamontiel.com.

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Last week I read an October 2009 interview with Jay-Z in XXL Magazine, and the reporter asked him what did he think was more important, fortune or fame. That question has been running through my mind ever since. I've found that when a lot of celebrities reach a certain level of fame, they realize it's not all its cracked up to be.

 

Some celebs spend a month's salary on one day's lunch alone.

 Paparazzi is following celebs around on trips and getting their camera flashes broken by celebs like Kanye West who just aren't having it. Britney Spears was stalked by paparazzi when they tried to take photos of her in an ambulance. Michael Jackson voiced his displeasure with paparazzi doing things as scandalous as putting cameras under toilets and him having to run from paparazzi all the time. Nine photographers were arrested and charged with manslaughter for the death of Princess Diana because of invasion of privacy and allegedly helping to lead to her Mercedes car crash, although according to Washington Post, the charges were thrown out in 2002. Beyonce and Jay-Z went on a vacation last month in Croatia and were followed around every step of the way until bodyguards pushed the paparazzi away.

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