Ashley Graham and John Legend Are Dusting Off Shelf Space for More Awards & Pics of Their Best Selfie

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What do Ashley Graham and John Legend have in common? They’ve both topped lists that most folks wouldn’t even dream possible for them. Graham has graced the covers of Sports Illustrated magazine as one of America’s ‘Hottest Full-Figured Women.’ That simply means lots of voluptuous to go around.

For Legend, he was named People Magazine’s 2019 ‘Sexiest Man Alive.’ Let’s leave that to the ladies on what that means. It’s not as if he doesn’t already have his hands full. As a singing coach on NBCs The Voice, he can be seen on weeknights giving praise to emerging artists on their melody and high notes.

So, if folks are wondering what it takes to get named on any of these lists, for legend it might start with him being a crooner. He’s known for love-letter type music ballads that crossover music genres. Legend today, is like Sinatra of old. How his words flow does the same thing to fans today as Sinatra did then.

With Graham, it’s about being true to herself. She’s never shied away from her physical features as a plus-sized woman. Her self-acceptance has developed into inner confidence. This has carried over into becoming a pop culture crowd favorite on the runway and in the podcast world.

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Bu there’s one list they might say that everyone gets the chance to top. It’s the ‘Best Self Alive’ list where who you are aligns with your purpose and what you do is developed through strength, courage and wisdom. Even if we don’t make it into People Magazine or Sports Illustrated, we can still pack our:

  1. Handsome

It’s the first things ladies see in Legend. But Graham knows becoming ‘Best Self Alive’ might also mean turning what’s in your ‘hand’ into ‘some’ thing of value. Graham shares how she learned to sew at a young age. Not everybody brings handsome to the table like Legend. But most can hand-some value.

  1. Headband

Legend is known for featuring his wife’s headband creations on social media, especially when they’re on vacation.  It’s how she works creatively with her hand as well as her head. The real power players in the game also know that when creative minds band their heads together it raises the level of fine work.

  1. Heartstring

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Graham might say voluptuous for her was simply a ‘means to an end.’ She didn’t start out hoping to be full-figured. She just owned her package and celebrated her lineage. Even though she’s expecting her second child, Graham is still doing jumping jacks in the gym and stroking the heartstrings of fans.

  1. Home-feel

For Legend and Graham, being in the limelight isn’t something they necessarily crave. It simply comes with the territory. Even with their star power and rave reviews they give fans a kind of at-home, hometown feeling. They also get props for how they’re raising a family and developing success at home.

If Hollywood were to put together its ’40 Under 40’, then they’d likely top the list. He’s already gotten the major performance awards of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony which is why he’s called an EGOT. Their good looks and humble charm make you wanna show them love ‘cause they got juice.

Tip: The ‘Best Self Alive’ list leaves room for packing your handsome, headband, heartstring and home-feel that adds to your success.

Talkback: Is John’s team the one to beat on this season of The Voice?

Tracks: Alicia Keys ft. 21 Savage, Miguel – Show Me Love – https://youtu.be/Qr1kiCDAdxQ

Lizzo – Juice – https://youtu.be/N8ZI1Jlrf-w

Tiffany Haddish Says Tyler Perry Adds a Secret Sauce to Light a Fire Under His Biz Dreams and Project Teams

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Remember when Tyler Perry appeared on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon? He was promoting his then new movie Nobody’s Fool which featured Tiffany Haddish. He talked about how he gave Haddish a new Tesla as a gift for her emerging talent. He was offering encouragement on her dream journey.

Well, fast forward to recent events and you see how thing have played out. This time it’s Haddish explaining how the car was a material gift, but the best gift that Perry gives today is for us to dream bigger. That’s what he wanted guests at his recent studio grand opening to take away from the event.

Here are two showbiz players who’ll tell you they started out on what might seem like the wrong side of the tracks. Haddish went through a period of bouncing around foster homes and later living in her car. Perry went through a period of homelessness and disappointments before selling out his plays.

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Now he’s 100% owner of the largest movie production studio in America, supposedly bigger than the three main Hollywood studios combined. Haddish is the newest host of the re-booted Kids Say the Darndest Things. Their stories remind us that it’s possible to turn lemons into lemonade.

Folks are still raving about the ‘glory to glory’ theme of the event. Some say it had a Met Gala feel. Others think it was like Emmys, Grammys and Oscars combined. Those events usually have guests leaving with a swag bag. But Perry’s guests might have left with a dream bag that had success tools like a:

  1. Compass

We know the many artistic sides of Perry. His work has traveled the world over. A compass is good for going in the right direction not just on the road but also the highway of life. It’s in going north, east, south and west in the direction of one’s purpose, calling, passion and dream guiding you to fulfill your destiny.

  1. Clock

They say it feels like time stops when passion is in play. You forget about time as in the clock edition and operate with time as in the divine edition. This way you’re not getting upset when things don’t work out on a rigid schedule. Perry’s seen both clock time and divine time at work that’s brought things to pass.

  1. Calculator

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Haddish will tell you she wasn’t the best student in school. She writes in her book of how a certain teacher helped her with reading. With all the success coming her way now, she’s probably happy for a calculator to add-up the checks. It’s also a success tool to correctly calculate risks for the next-level rise.

  1. Clip

She probably remembers days as a child having to wear certain hair clips. They were a staple back in the day. Today she’s excited about the video clip that came with the Perry invite. That’s another kind of memorable clip along with many others from the event that guests will cherish for years to come.

Perry says he remembers being invited by Oprah to one of her Legends Balls and thinking to himself, “why am I here?” Well it’s that personal reflection clip that inspired the past decade or more of his life. He’s grateful, mindful and fruitful. Maybe it’s a glimpse of life with unstoppable blessing on blessings.

Tip: A swag bag might come with treats for style & beauty. But a dream bag comes with success tools like a compass, clock, calculator and clip to fulfill your destiny.

Talkback: How crazy is it for Perry to now own what was once a Confederate military base?

Tracks: Koryn Hawthorne – Unstoppable ft Lecrae – https://youtu.be/us7hvF6lsoc

Anthony Brown & Group Therapy – Blessing on Blessings – https://youtu.be/p58HS6h3l10

Steve Harvey & Gabrielle Union Tell a Few Secrets on How to Keep Your Performance Level Up and Your Favorability Ratings High

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So who thinks the Grammy Awards was a hit? Well it depends on what group you ask. There’re some who feel the Grammy’s got a problem with Hip-Hop. But there’re others who feel that women were well represented across award categories and show performances. That Alicia Keys is something else.

Even with the star power on stage and in the building, the showbiz talkers say it still wasn’t up to par with fan support. Yea Cardi B did her thing along with some of the other special honors, but the show didn’t get the traction it once had. Maybe they’ll go for new blood in the main office or production team.

It’s what Steve Harvey and Gabrielle Union are constantly working on. They tell a few secrets on keeping your performance level up and your favorability ratings high. Sometimes it’s finding new ways for getting your work to be seen as valuable. Because when familiarity sets in things can get stale, stagnant or stuck.

For example, social experts say by February that 80% of new year resolutions fall apart. Plus, as folks think about their work goals for the new year, they’ll be looking for something to set themselves apart in job performance. So what will it take to level-up the passion in your game this year?

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Well Harvey and Union keep finding new ways to flex their muscle while keeping the clients happy. He recently hosted the NFL Honors which took him back to his stand-up comedy days. Union is set to join the Judges panel on America’s Got Talent (AGT). Giving it their best means being ‘new and improved’ in:

  1. Hustle

Harvey shared his stand-up comedy formula for telling jokes. When you hear him break it down you get a sense for what works for him on stage. With other hosting gigs and projects he’s able to turn that formula into new moments of energy and smarts. That’s how hustle-love helps him keep his performance level up.

  1. Flava

Ever notice how fast-food chains keep their menu ‘new & improved’? Sometimes it’s by adding a new topping to the burger. Other times it’s in adding a new ‘special sauce’ for flavor. Well Harvey and Union seem to get that. It’s how they add a new ‘topping’ to their skill set or ‘special sauce’ for more flava.

  1. Vibe

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Now that Union will be sitting in the Judges chair, she and the other newbies on the set are sure to bring a new vibe to the show. It’s as if vibe is a higher form of flava that comes with teamwork. It’s the chemistry of the collaboration from working together. Vibe is another way to make yourself a sought-after player.

  1. Buzz

When bad things happen in careers or showbiz there’s a kind of ‘dark buzz.’ The news makes it to the tabloid section of social media. But when good things happen there’s a kind of ‘light buzz’ where you’re in the spotlight. They’ve seen both, having to go from dark to light and light to bright for more market appeal.

Harvey’s well on his way to turning his mojo into more jokes. Sounds like he’s thinking about returning to the stand-up stage. Union will be working hard on being a treat in her new AGT seat. They know keeping performance level up and favorability ratings high takes new rounds of hustle-love to make it rain.

Tip: Being ‘new and improved’ at work means keeping your performance level up and your favorability ratings high with new rounds of hustle-love in the game.

Talkback: What’s it gonna take for the Grammys to step things up next year?

Tracks: Travis Porter – Make it Rain – https://youtu.be/CEsaGwCWIkQ

H.E.R. – Make it Rain – https://youtu.be/ybGX43zYVAM

Chadwick Boseman and Beyoncé: Their Personal Expressions for How Hopes and Dreams Can Find the Path to Greatness

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’
Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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The anticipation is building for the next release from MCU – Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s the latest Super Hero character known as the Black Panther. Lots of celebs got to see the first screening in person. The reviews have been filled with superlatives as if it’s a preview for going from block to blockbuster.

Then of-course there’s Beyoncé and her Grammy-chic appearance. She wasn’t up for any awards but as usual made an iconic fashion statement. Boseman plays the role of king in the upcoming movie. Beyoncé rocks the title of queen in pop culture. But it’s their personal expressions that deliver creative excellence.

The Black Panther storyline has themes that make each character’s greatness come alive. Whether it’s in action-moves of a super hero, amazing plays in the Superbowl or breakthroughs on the field of dreams, the path to greatness comes alive in two success modes, Lifestyle and Lifetrack. They make things pop.

Boseman and Beyoncé have used these on the path to greatness. For Boseman it’s taken a few roles that weren’t crossover but were a stepping stone. For Beyoncé, it’s in her creative relevance and how she goes from ‘nothing to something’ artistically. Their amazing work sends chills or makes you wanna chill.

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Who they are, what they do and how they flow are the sum total of how they express themselves. It’s the combination of their creative excellence and creative relevance that make them special. When things come together it’s like magic which might explain how their success keeps rising to the ceiling.

Over the years my dream has gone through a few climbs from sun-up to sun-down. Feedback from others has helped to tighten things up. The magic for writing this blog has gone from good to better. But the playbook that Boseman & Beyoncé have used on becoming their best seems to go something like this:

  1. Conceive and go from zero to breakout move.

Boseman and Beyoncé have different stories for how they’ve built their movie/music careers. One thing common to both is first seeing themselves doing what they’re doing now. They conceived it in their minds-eye and visualized it in their imaginations. Then after a while, things went from zero to breakout move.

  1. Believe and go from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

The space between what they visualized and what they delivered is in how they believed in themselves and in what’s possible. This helped Beyoncé go from singing in her living room to performing on the world stage. Not every dream goes that big. But dreams take you from a ‘nobody’ to a rising ‘somebody.’

  1. Achieve and go from bottom-stack to top-rack.

Every time you achieve something there’s usually a lesson and a lift. The lesson comes from looking at the ups and downs to get there. The lift comes from seeing where you are compared to where you once were. Maybe that’s why Boseman’s big screen roles and Beyoncé’s showbiz journey are so exciting.

  1. Receive and go from nomination to coronation.

Beyond the obvious star power, some think the movie should get nominations for the creative costumes, special effects or music soundtrack. Well just like in the movies, character development and creative genius have meant a lot to Boseman and Beyoncé. It’s taken them from nomination to coronation.

We celebrate them for making us want to sing, dance or feel like kings and queens. We emulate them in striving to better our game or biggup our name. Their hopes and dreams have found the path to greatness not by chance but by a playbook for creative brilliance that has helped make them famous.

Tip: Creative brilliance in your career grind and life dreams needs creative excellence to make you awesome and creative relevance to make you special.

Talkback: How will Boseman’s new role in Black Panther help better his game or biggup his name?

Tracks: Kanye West – Amazing – https://youtu.be/PH4JPgVD2SM

French Montana – Famous – https://youtu.be/LNHkxOU7zz8

Sterling K. Brown & Mary J Blige on What it Means to Think Like the Best, Stay on a Roll and See What The Next Level Shall Be

2018 Theme
The Year of ‘Got Shine?’: Where The Things You Know and How You Flow Bring More Star Power for Sure

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Things on the East Coast these days might be a little topsy-turvy with political back and forth. Things on the West Coast were a little nerve-wracking after the Tsunami warning. But Hollywood kept the lights on to make this year’s Oscar nominations. Awards season is in full swing and Sterling K. Brown is on a roll.

He made history in winning a SAG award as the first black male actor in a category. He pulled-off a similar feat earlier in winning an Emmy. He’s not the only one on a roll as Mary J Blige got her Hollywood Star recently. She’s also getting Oscar buzz with her nomination and showing us how to bounce back.

Just ask Steve Harvey about being on a roll. His revamped talk show was renewed for a second season. They remind us to act like a success, think like the best and see what the next level shall be. It’s doing what you love and loving what you do. But it’s really how they tap-in to the five success groups of life.

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Everybody shows up with talents and gifts. These and other asset groups are like bread slices. They feed our success which feeds our family. Books have a table of contents. Food items have a nutrition table of contents. Well it’s the five success groups that help them stay on a roll in order to reach their goal.

The saying goes “You get out what you put in.” Not only do they tap-in, they also put-in to stay on point. It’s not always easy or a slam dunk. How that’s done differs from one job role to the next. They know that when you act like a success and think like the best, sooner or later you get to beat-on your chest.

So whether it’s to keep that 2018 resolution on track, make that career move or put that dream project in breakout mode, here’s what stars like them do to get more out of life’s success groups. Before they can beat on their chest the key is in answering four questions for how they might:

  1. Think like the best poker player and ask what’s in your hand?

Every card player gets dealt a hand. It’s the starting point for how they play the game. Every breakout star turns the talents and gifts they were dealt into something that’s widely felt. Plus, what’s in your hand isn’t just about the cards you can play but about handling your business when your number gets dealt.

  1. Think like the best game-changer and ask what’s in your hustle?

There’re stats that players use to get a sense for their averages. Every sport has its main stats that help determine performance. No two stats are the same but one thing’s certain is that hustle can change the game. Athletes who’re able to stay on a roll or go to the next level bring extra hustle beyond the muscle.

  1. Think like the best song-writer and ask what’s in your hook?

There’s the hook and there’s the chorus that keep us humming our favorite song. The chorus gets repeated two or three times. The hook is the vibe-line that gives the track more playback. It’s what keeps a business, brand or relationship on a roll. It’s the hook that keeps the folks coming for more playback.

  1. Think like the best stage performer or social leader and ask what’s in your hope?

Nobody gets up on stage and hopes to be a flop. You expect to do your best and leave an impression or excitement with fans in the audience. Moreover, most social leaders pursue an agenda where there is some worthy objective. The things you hope for are those for which you feel worthy or feel are worth it.

Years ago someone helped me see what’s ‘in my hand.’ It’s an asset sometimes delivered through ideas, insights and maybe a dose of inspiration. Music adds to how I bring a hook or extra hustle beyond my writing muscle. This way I’m putting my talents and gifts to work to meet life’s situations with finesse.

Tip: The things that keep you on a roll involve using what’s in your hand to bring hustle to your passion and the hook to your brand playback.

Talkback: What’s the hook to your favorite song that keeps it on playback?

Tracks: Mary J Blige – Bounce Back 2.0 – https://soundcloud.com/officialmaryjblige/bounce-back-20

 

Bruno Mars ft Cardi B – Finesse – https://youtu.be/LsoLEjrDogU

Beyoncé & Adele: Upping Their Game to the Point Where ‘Superstar’ Can’t be Denied #BigTimeUniversity

#BigTimeUniversity – “Small Talk, Street Dreams, Next Level”

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (Old-School Flava)

This was one of those weekends of back-to-back showbiz glitz. First there was the NAACP Image Awards with the best and the finest in Black culture. Then the Grammys where the party was as they say ‘lit!’ We celebrated Beyoncé & Adele who keep upping their game to where ‘Superstar’ status can’t be denied.

Another such person in that league is Denzel Washington. In his Image Awards speech he moved the crowd in saying “Without commitment you’ll never start but more importantly without consistency you’ll never finish.” They’re great examples of two keys for how skill sells in the story performance tells.

Adele showed us what a commitment to excellence looks like. Shortly after starting her tribute to George Michael she stopped mid-stream and began again. She said she wanted to do justice to the performance. She refused to deliver a half-baked, half-assed, half-stepping performance to her idol.

Beyoncé showed what consistency in excellence looks like. Her performance even with a twin baby swell of her belly, left her fan-club swooning. Her artistry, on stage chemistry and homegirl diplomacy were on the money flawless. Plus, she didn’t let the swell or apparent Album of the Year snub go to her head.

One thing great performers seem to have in common is how they run their own light and power company. At the Grammys Adele said to Beyoncé “You are our light. And the way that you make me and my friends feel… is empowering.” Now that’s how skill sells, performance tells and passion like fire sets of bells.

Groove-Track: Jean Carn – Don’t Let it Go to Your Head – https://youtu.be/nXPh-FXTaaY

Theme:–The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!”
A Cool Way for Flexing Style, Game & Soul in How We Roll (New-School Flava)

One of those weekend times. With back-to-back showbiz primes. First the NAACP Image show. With best and brightest Black flow. Then the Grammys where the party was lit. And Bruno Mars performance was a hit. Celebrating Beyoncé, Adele and the rest. ‘Upping-the-game Superstars’ at their best.

Another such person Denzel Washington. In that league of major elevation. Image Award speech moved the crowd. As those watching were wowed. Saying commitment needed to start. And consistency gives the finish its part. Great keys for how skill sells. In the story performance tells.

Adele had excellence on parade. Not wanting to throw shade. After starting tribute song. Seems things went wrong. Stopped mid-stream of singing. Began again not winging. Wanted to do justice to the end. For George Michael as a friend. Refused half-baked, half-assed. Half-stepping performance she passed.

Beyoncé consistency on display. She always earns her pay. Even with twin swell in her belly. Had fans swishing like jelly. Swooning on her performance artistry. Chemistry and homegirl diplomacy. On the money flawless like loaf of bread. Not letting swell or snub go to her head.

A thing the greats give. Light & power to live. At the Grammys Adele poured her heart. For how Beyoncé inspired her start. Saying how she’s got mad love. For how Bey fits pop culture like a glove. Empowering us to do more. In how we raise the score. That’s how top skill sells. And passion like fire sets off bells.

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Tip: The marketplace likes how skill sells, performance tells & passion like fire sets off bells of good times.

Talkback: How were Grammy night and Image Awards night good for each other on the same weekend?

Groove-Tracks: Bruno Mars – What I Like – https://youtu.be/CDq15rSoOPc

P!nk – Just Like Fire – https://youtu.be/cqoPyWgXUMI

This production of “Wise-up Weekly” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

Cory Booker Makes it Plain & Kendrick Lamar ‘Keeps it 100’ for Going to the Next Level #BigTimeUniversity

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny? 

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Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine with Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (Old-School Flava)

Have things cooled down on social media yet? It seems folks were reacting not to Kanye’s latest philosophical waxing. Instead they were touting Kendrick Lamar’s Grammy performance and Cory Booker’s book release. Booker makes it plain and Lamar ‘keeps it 100’ for taking things to the next level.

Booker’s rise took him from city council, to mayor to NJs first African-American Senator.  He told Roll Call “As I found out in Newark, we made some of our best leaps when we found ways to make uncommon coalitions to get things done.” So what’s the deal on taking a leap of dreams by any means necessary?

With Lamar it’s all about finding the form that separates him from the norm. His lyrical mastery is unmatched. He brings a brash sense of consciousness without an overdose on bravado. Booker brings a cool and collected sense of un-pretentiousness. For them it’s about letting the work speak for itself.

The tweets after the Grammy’s for Lamar from fellow artists kept popping. Even Adele after a less-than-stellar sounding performance was all-in. Still, others try to analyze Booker’s career plan or Lamar’s social justice stand. But it’s as if their work feels right by them just like one’s dream feels like the right fix.

Booker’s ready to move the political scene from divide and conquer to multiply and prosper. It’s the fight we must have to push the American Dream and function as a ‘United Streets of America’ team. For these guys, ‘keeping it 100’ is more than dollar bills but about next level pillars because they keep it real.

Groove-Track: Cheryl Lynn – Got to be Real – https://youtu.be/EoXvDleWJ5U

Theme:–The Year of ‘Flashlighting’ – Get Seen!”
A New Way to Shine With Highlights, Insights and Media-bites that’s Exciting (New-School Flava)

Things cooled down on Twitter yet? Not ready to make a bet. Some folks think Kanye’s whack. Begging for money when he’s got no lack. People talking ‘bout Kendrick on the mic. And Cory Booker’s book tour hike. Booker makes it plain everyday on the Hill. He and Lamar ‘keep it 100’ for their next level chill.

Rising from city council chair. To serve as brick city mayor. Now he’s NJs first Black Senator. The ride on his career elevator. Learning a thing or two about best leaps. Coalitions getting things done in heaps. So in taking leaps of dreams what’s the real deal? It’s in the secrets that no one has to steal.

Lamar finding it in his hip-hop form. That separates him from the norm. Lyrical mastery unmatched in skill. Brash of consciousness, low-grade bravado and thrill. Booker more about cool and collectedness. In his sense of un-pretentiousness. Letting the work represent their game. Giving them more clout in their fame.

Tweets after the Grammy’s kept popping. From celebs and artists non-stopping. Even Adele was all-in. Even though her performance was off a thin. Some try and analyze Bookers game plan. While other figure-out Lamar’s justice stand. The work feels right by them. One’s dream the right fix and gem.

Booker to move politics from divide and conquer. With unity theme of multiply and prosper. A fight to push the American Dream. To function as ‘United Streets of America’ team. For these guys ‘keeping it 100’ more than dollar bills. But next level pillars and performance kills. Got to be real in the ‘hood or the hills.

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Tip: When life gives us lemons we make lemonade without forgetting to add our own authentic flava.

Talkback: Which made a stronger point: Taylor’s Swift’s acceptance or Kendrick Lamar’s performance?

Groove-Tracks: Shaggy – Hope – https://youtu.be/I_h0bVilA_c

 

Alabama Shakes – Don’t Wanna Fight – https://youtu.be/nin-fiNz50M

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST