Jay-Z and Serena Williams Achieved Some New ‘Firsts’ That Have Taken Them from the ‘Hood to Showing They Could

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There’s a battle brewing in the music biz that has Billboard Chart watchers counting streams and bundles. Those are the new benchmarks that artists and their management companies lock-in on to push music sales. It seems the standard is still under review so who’s album is #1 is not simply just a click away.

Back in the day Jay-Z didn’t have that problem. He started out selling albums the old-fashioned way. Some might say he started out from the bottom and now he’s on top of Forbes’ Hip-Hop list of highest earners. With a billion dollar empire, he’s the first rapper to reach that money mark.

Serena isn’t doing too shabby either. She recently became the first athlete to make the Forbes list of richest self-made women under 40. Her fortune isn’t tied to just earnings on the court. She’s got her hands in other Venture Capital investments as well as gigs in fashion and sports that crank-out the ‘Benjamins.’

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After his days dealing on the streets, Jay-Z jumped into the rap game. His early work featured a song where he said, “I’m not a businessman,’ I’m a business, man!” That’s something he’s proven over the years with his stake in liquor, sport management and the Tidal streaming service.

So now with the Forbes list selections and social media mentions, they’ve reached a new level of star power (as if Jay wasn’t already ‘Hov’ in the eyes of many). This summer Serena will be gunning for her next ‘first’ on the tennis court. It’s the journey “from the ‘hood to showing they could” which reminds us of:

  1. Hidden Potential

An HGTV show with the same name looks at a house to see how a makeover can pull-out its hidden potential. Maybe that’s what Jay-Z saw in himself when he went from the streets to dropping beats. He did a career makeover based on some sense that he had hidden potential waiting to be unleashed.

  1. Game Skills

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Serena started out playing tennis with her sister Venus. This wasn’t the normal sport for kids in the ‘hood. But with her father’s help, she practiced and practiced until she developed some impressive game skills. Now she’s got her eyes set on becoming the winningest Grand Slam player in tennis history.

  1. Dream Path

How do kids in the ‘hood hope to make it to the “big leagues?” Well sports and music have been paths many try to travel. But for those who’re gifted differently, the dream path is another option. That’s where you know there’s something inside of you, itching to come outside of you and be experienced by the world.

  1. Purpose Lane

Serena and Jay are not only on their dream path, they’ve found their purpose lanes. For Jay it’s his criminal justice reform efforts. For Serena, it’s her advocacy for women’s rights and other civic issues. Their purpose lanes have put them in the spotlight beyond what they do in the studio or on the court.

At this stage of their careers, they have no reason to be clout-chasing. They’ve shown themselves as proven winners and ‘Super Citizens.’ If we could get inside their heads and hearts we’d probably see how they used game skills to put hidden potential on a dream path and purpose lane with blessings returned.

Tip: Inside the heads and hearts of winners is a formula for success and evidence beyond a reasonable doubt for counting their blessings.

Talkback: Was Jay-Z really the first Hip-Hop billionaire or does that title belong to Dr. Dre?

Tracks: Brand New Heavies  – Dream on Dreamer – https://youtu.be/FB8nIGKbpJY

Koffee – Toast – https://youtu.be/p8HoEvDh70Y

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Lebron James and Serena Williams Give Us a Preview of 2019, Using a Review of 2018

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The College Football National Championship was a shocker! Well, maybe not to Clemson players and fans, but to Alabama coach Nick Saban and the roll-tide squad who fell short at the end. The sports world will re-watch the game highlights and see that they’re some budding stars in the making.

Lebron James and Serena Williams are already big-time stars with lots of winning moments too. They were recently named AP Male/Female Athletes of the Year. James for the third time, Williams for the fifth. So, if you’re wondering what’s next for them, they give us a preview of 2019, using a review of 2018.

James has been recovering from a groin injury suffered during the Christmas Day game. He doesn’t want to return too soon, making sure that he’s fully mended. In 2018 he got no NBA Championship parade or MVP awards. But his ‘game stats’ were just as impressive in social advocacy and community impact.

The same kinda holds true for Serena who didn’t get to win that coveted 24th grand slam championship. But she did something that few have accomplished by returning to the game after a dicey child birth less than a year earlier. The AP selection group says she got the award for showing perseverance.

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Serena recently played a tune-up match in a mixed-doubles game. She’s hoping to get back to her usual ‘passion & fire’ form. For James during his absence, the Lakers coach is hoping that the team can find its mojo while he’s out. James and Williams on and off the court help preview 2019 for how to:

  1. Flex your stuff

During her pre-game warm-up and stretch, Serena was seen holding her child close. It seemed her baby was a little fearful and needed some lovin’. So, in the new year we can break the fear. Just take time to warm-up to how you’ll flex your stuff, bring some hustle-love to your game and stretch yourself in 2019.

  1. Up your game

James is probably spending a lot of time with the team trainers doing things to strengthen the injured muscle. How he plays the game might be about shots and rebounds. But how he ups his game might be about hustle and flow. It’s about getting mind, body and soul to work together and put you on a roll.

  1. Earn your keeps

Downtime from the game for Serena allowed her to grow her family. Downtime for James might also be about how he grows his value with pro sports, his Foundation and other biz enterprises. Sometimes the work you do isn’t just about the 9 to 5, but also how you add value personally, professionally and socially.

  1. Rock your best

James recently re-shared a quote from former ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott who once said “Don’t downgrade your dreams just to fit your reality. Upgrade your convictions to match your destiny.” That might be a good way to describe how they approach their game to amaze at work and rock their best.

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The clock is still ticking on James’ return. Fans want to see that magic again. Serena is getting ready for her next grand-slam tournament at the Australian Open. If the review of 2018 serves as a preview of 2019, they’d say you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.  Holla if you with me!

Tip: In order to rock your best and earn your keeps you gotta get on up and do what you gotta do to keep it smokin’.

Talkback: What’s in-store for your new year to make it a “new you, new woo?”

Tracks: Jodeci – Get on Up – https://youtu.be/Sy6gPBix32k

Angie Stone – Do What You Gotta Do – https://youtu.be/4oS-GAy5MUY

Serena Williams & Tyler Perry Show They’ve Got ‘Hustle Love’ for Money Moves and Making the Daily Grind Matter

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Wow, where did the summer go? It seems like yesterday that we were looking forward to being beach bums. With the Labor Day holiday behind us, it brings the unofficial end to the season of bikini bottoms and tank tops. While things might be winding down in one sense, it’s like back-to-the-grind in another.

When it comes to the tennis court Serena Williams returned to the game earlier this year after giving birth. She hopes to find championship form again. Tyler Perry did his Aretha tribute and offered Geoffrey Owens from Cosby Show fame, a chance to work at his studio. Owens has been hustling on-the-regular while hoping to do more acting gigs.

Beyond the baby feedings and series tapings, Williams and Perry show they’ve got ‘hustle love’ for money moves and making the daily grind matter. Every work situation has some ins & outs that come with the job. Plus there’re other things at play that might involve money, status & legacy.

Owens was surprised about all the attention he got in the news after being spotted working at a retail chain. He’s somewhat puzzled at how the dignity of work is being turned into ‘job shaming.’ That’s probably something Colin Kaepernick can relate to from not playing NFL football last season.

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Whether it’s getting past ‘mom shaming,’ ‘job shaming’ or ‘issue shaming’ Williams and Perry are still making the daily grind matter. They’re taking care of business and the needs of family. Their ‘hustle love’ lessons remind us of what it means to ‘act like a player and think like a brand.’ It’s in how we manage:

  1. Career jumps vs hustle moves

Years ago a workforce survey said that the 21st century worker will have difference job responsibilities across different careers during their working lifetime. That means that success isn’t always about vertical moves but sometimes horizontal moves. A side hustle can be your ticket to the big time.

  1. Job shifts vs status updates

With Serena being off the circuit for a year or so her tennis ranking took a hit. Now she’s trying to work her way back to #1. Owens has been off the radar as well. In these days of social media status updates no one even knew. So a job shift from Perry that allows Owens to level-up his game is a good status update to have.

  1. Vocation choices vs social places

Serena as a Brand Ambassador for Nike kinda has her own line of gear. She uses her celebrity status as a positive role model in many circles. She’s even included in the 50th-year anniversary campaign with video clips from her days in Compton. Her vocation choices put her in social places that’s heart-felt.

  1. Life-assignments vs lifestyles

Not many jobs are a lifetime assignment. Plus the marketplace often has a ‘window of exposure’ that comes with the territory. Even as things change for Owens or others in the workforce or pro sports, it’s usually about going from job to career to vocation. We get to grow our game and raise our lifestyles.

Williams gets a lot out of her game and makes a living doing so. Perry gives a lot of his resources and makes a life for himself and others. Whether it’s about their brand or lifestyle they get the chance to drink to that. So we all can prove our worth and give it all we’ve got with ‘hustle love’ to make it happen.

Tip: Sometimes getting back-to-the-grind needs a fresh dose of ‘hustle love’ in order to make it happen where you have the chance to ‘drink to that’ as a work-in-progress.

Talkback: What’s it about Tyler’s work or Serena’s play that inspire us to make it happen?

Tracks: Rihanna – Cheers (Drink to That) – https://youtu.be/ZR0v0i63PQ4

Mariah Carey (live at MSG) – Make it Happen – https://youtu.be/TELGPgTaSpY

Serena Williams, Jennifer Lopez: Found Love on a Two-Way Street and New Dreams on the Big Stage

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The baseball World Series is here and fans are psyched. Often seen as America’s pastime, the players look forward to starring in their October surprise. Those times can be some of the most excitement-filled highlights in sports. They leave a lasting feeling of working, playing and rising to the occasion.

Serena Williams and Jennifer Lopez are two ladies who have a knack for big moments. Recently, they’ve found love on a two-street and keep striving for new game & dreams on the big stage. Williams found hers giving birth to her first child. She’s also looking to return to the pro tennis circuit early next year.

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Word is J-Lo’s making plans to move in with former baseball slugger A-Rod. After organizing fundraising efforts for Puerto Rico’s hurricane relief, she’s ready to share more love and affection at home. With Williams it’s a focus at home and on the court while for Lopez it’s one of taking care of home and abroad.

When you think about their rise up the ranks it’s on different career tracks. But they might share similar things about achieving new game at work, play and the everyday. Plus, they know when you dare to dream you learn the greatest lessons from having more empowering moments in the daily grind of life.

It’s the kind of aha you might get from watching an Oprah Super Soul Sunday. She’s good on interviewing guests who help us bring more awareness from things we go through. What you’ll find common in those stories as well as that of Williams and Lopez is how they impress with talent and express with gift.

People have been following the journeys of Williams and Lopez from the streets of Compton and blocks of the Bronx. As they found their ‘it’ factor they developed talent into their ‘hit factor.’ Williams became a star on the tennis court. Lopez as a performer became more than just eye-candy on TV & movie screens.

Where their current work is taking them now is to a new level in ‘grand – slam – glam’ for social causes they champion. From a Super Soul viewpoint it’s creating personal/professional flow in the work you do as a calling, on purpose and with passion. This raises your degree of shine as you express with your gift.

In my own ‘journey of love’ at home and in biz I realized why calling, purpose and passion help us make a difference. Think of ‘calling’ as the way you make ‘Big G-o-d’ look good. Purpose is how you serve some earthly good. And passion is how you ‘do you’ as people say about Williams or Lopez ‘damn she’s good!’

Said one way, “you can’t get much more ‘gooder’ than that!” It’s how we reach towards being our best self. On the tennis court Serena brings passion in every swing. On the recent telethon we watched J-Lo bring purpose to the relief efforts. And in serving with their presence or essence they reflect true calling.

Williams and Lopez know the importance of working on their game. Fans at the recent Brooklyn concert saw Lopez perform on stage in full-effect mode. Seeing Williams back on the court again will sure be exciting from watching her juices flow. Rising to the occasion can come with such memorable moments.

Tip: Some of the most empowering moments in the daily grind come from how we impress with our talents and express with our gifts.

Talkback: What about J-Lo for the Superbowl halftime show?

Tracks: India Arie – Do You – https://youtu.be/qXpaJMg3q8I

Pressure – Love and Affection – https://youtu.be/KHVQVVNmh1U

Ne-Yo & Diddy Put Their Money Where Their Heart is While Still Making Things Hot #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? (Or Just Fun!)

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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)

The Met Gala is still bringing the stars out in full effect. There went a pregnant Serena Williams and a radiant Rihanna on the Red Carpet. It seems Diddy got tired of standing while his girl posed for pictures. These days he and Ne-Yo are putting their money where their heart is while still making things hot.

Recently Ne-Yo decided to invest in a school for the next crop of tech stars. He told Tech Crunch “This is not, ‘oh, let me attach my name to something.’ This is something that I’m genuinely passionate about.” They’re investing time and money in the next chance for others to grind by making passion do what it do!

They’re still doing their thing working with new artists and emerging talent. That’s how Diddy made a name for himself in the record business. But they want to prepare students not just for the passion worlds of ballers and beats. So they’re providing the training to help launch whiz kids for the tech-savvy world.

Social media went crazy when Diddy decided to sit on the stairs at the Met Gala entrance. Not long ago he was the one going crazy about Kendrick Lamar’s new album. But after Diddy opened a school in Harlem last year, he’s using his talents to connect students with the passion worlds of brains and biz too.

Ne-Yo’s looking forward to his next music project soon. Diddy is looking ahead to the unfolding of his latest legacy project. They’re not doing things just as a means to making more ends but also as a way for social uplift through the box office and hometown blocks. Just look what their ‘passion fruit’ can do!

Groove-Track: Faith Evans  – I Deserve It – https://youtu.be/h5vGsj3V2bE

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

Met Gala brought stars out at night. A pregnant Serena looking out of sight. Red Carper radiant was Ri-Ri. In full effect they’d be. Seems Diddy got tired of standing. With girl friend he was photo bombing. These days he and Ne-Yo doing their part. Putting money where their heart. Still making things hot start.

Ne-Yo drops some dollaz for the kids. Investing in next crop of tech star bids. Telling Tech Crunch it’s not just about using his name. But about bridging the passion of his game. Something he feels hopeful about. Maybe a way to lend showbiz clout. Next chance for others to grind. Do what it do and being kind.

Still working with artists and fresh talent. That’s more than a passing comment. How Diddy made a name in biz. Now providing training for the next whiz. Beyond the world of ballers and beats. To a world of reaching new feats. With the tech-savvy tools of today. Where kids learn to code for their payday.

Social media was abuzz. Diddy sat on Met stairs as if ‘What’s up cuz?’ Not long ago he was going crazy good. About Kendrick Lamar’s new album from the ‘hood. A year ago Diddy opened new school. So kids learn more than the golden rule. In the passion worlds of biz and brains. Students can achieve new gains.

Ne-Yo readying for new music mix. Diddy looking ahead to latest legacy fix. Not doing stuff just for the ends. But also for message social uplift sends. Some projects at box office or hometown blocks. So folks can decide not to mess with the glocks. By seeing how ‘passion fruit’ can boost their stocks.

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Tip: When passion comes through it makes the grind do what it do.

Talkback: Did Diddy steal the show from his girl or just stepped back to watch her shine?

Groove-Tracks: Drake – Passionfruit – https://youtu.be/0RBhllKnmtM

Morris Day – Over that Rainbow – https://youtu.be/Bjiedmy-cD8

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

Serena & Venus Williams Put on a Show of Class and Grit for Fans Worldwide #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)

They say age is just a number, and maybe Serena & Venus Williams got the memo. It was a weekend to remember as they competed in the Australian Open finals. Another old-timer who got props was Roger Federer on the men’s side. But the Williams sisters put on a show of class and grit for fans worldwide.

In her first social media post after the match Serena wrote “The top is never lonely when your best friend (Venus Williams) is there. Here’s to #23. What a night for our family.” The #23 refers to her record-setting majors wins. Here’s a case of what win-win looks like on the career ladder or playing field of stars.

This match brought their careers full circle since playing each other at the same venue in 1998. Over the years they’ve grinded it out by looking past potential distractions and being the ultimate ‘goal diggers’ on the pro tennis circuit. Considering their upstart beginnings it’s great to see them go from then to now.

How things took off for them tells us something about turning your journey into a larger story. It’s why they’re both sports and branding icons. They saw their career rankings jump with a win for Serena and even with the loss for Venus. Serena landed back in the #1 spot while Venus moved up two slots to 11th.

When match money and endorsements are paid out we praise Serena for her dominance and Venus for her elegance. They showed us how a special kind of love for each other and passion for the game keeps them together. Venus responded to her sister on social media by basically say don’t count them out.

Groove-Track: New Edition – Count Me Out – https://youtu.be/7a9uhrhIlBQ

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

They say age is but a number. What a weekend to remember. Williams sisters got the memo. Keep playing past your demo. As they thrilled fans in Aussie match. Serena too and her honey-boo catch. On men’s side old-timer Federer came thru. But Williams sisters put things in full view.

Posting on social media Serena wrote. Top never lonely even as the G.O.A.T. When sista best friend is closely there. Knowing that ‘cause she does care. Here’s to the #23 winning highlight. For their family, what a night. Record-setting win in major rounds. A case of win-win on career ladder is how it sounds.

Match brought their careers back in place. Down-under where each other they’d face. Playing at same venue for us to see. What grinding it out in life can be. Looking past distraction and setbacks. Being ultimate ‘goal diggers’ for comebacks. Upstart beginnings back then. So they smile and remember when.

Things took off for them after a while. Building them into branding style. Says something about turning your journey. Into a market-ready larger story. Saw their career rankings take a jump. With win, loss, still a career bump. Back at #1 for the younger pro. Up two spots for Venus and their glow.

When match money and promos get paid. Going from braids to having hair laid. Much praise to Serena for her dominance. Same to Venus for her elegance. Showed us that special kind of love. Also giving thanks to the One above. Passion keeps them in the flow. Don’t count them out on how far they’ll go.

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Tip: Whether win, lose or draw, a passion for the game & push for excellence make us better.

Talkback: How’s it feel seeing the Williams sisters compete and then congratulate?

Groove-Tracks: Missy Elliott – I’m Better – https://youtu.be/TwyPsUd9LAk

Alessia Cara – How Far I’ll Go – https://youtu.be/ZNra8eK0K6k

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

Serena Williams & Misty Copeland are Happy as Heck to let Their Bodies Do the Stroking #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)

It’s been almost a year since Serena Williams lost at the U.S. Open. She was going for her 22nd grand slam win. Well, she just made up for that at Wimbledon. It’s been a year since Misty Copeland was named first ABT black principal dancer. Williams & Copeland are happy to let their bodies do the stroking.

Williams was cheered for doing what few others have. While Copeland told NBC News “I’m giving people hope that you don’t have to fit into this mold of what society has cut out for you in order to succeed.” They show us top 2 reasons for stepping out of the ‘comfort zone’ box that keeps fresh passion locked away.

Williams’ journey is one that came straight outta Compton. Not many expected her tennis greatness to rise from there. It was a matter of turning the game into her gateway. Now she’s ranked #1 in the world. Instead of getting caught-up with people talking about her body, she’s just taking care of business.

Copeland shared how she got her start at a Boys & Girls Club. It took a while to accept who she was and what she could be. But with the help of parents, mentors and pop culture idols she found the nerve to zoom past the curve. She pondered if it would happen and then realized it was up to her to stay in drive.

After her Wimbledon win Williams told reporters “This tournament I came in with a different mindset. I needed to be calm and be confident and play the tennis I’ve been playing for well over a decade.” It might have taken an empire state of mind to get a grip on things. Even so, the proof is in her body of work.

Groove-Track: CeeLo Green – Music To My Soul – https://youtu.be/u3-k-5KOduE

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

Been a year since ‘Rena lost. Going for record books at all cost. Played US Open on American soil. Now winning 22nd slam in Wimbledon toil. Misty a year later after new ABT role. Kinda speaks to the human soul. Both happy to let their bodies do the stroking. Whether on dance floor or tennis court just joking.

Serena cheered for joining the few. Reaching where others wish they knew. Misty doing her thing to spread hope. Not being tied-down by the rope. To fit what society wants to feed. Into the mold for folks to succeed. Top 2 reasons for stepping out ‘comfort zone’ box. For fresh passion that’s smart as a fox.

Serena had days on the Compton way. As dad took them out to play. Not many saw tennis greatness to be fair. But it sure did rise from there. By turning the game into her gateway. So that she can bring-it everyday. Now top ranked among her peers. Not body-shamed but doing things to shift gears.

Misty had share of feeling the rub. Got her start at a Boys & Girls Club. Took a while to see her diamond self. Which kept her mojo on the shelf. With help of friends and family crew. Started to see her possibilities anew. Found the nerve to stay in drive. Zoom past the curve to her next high five.

After Wimbledon win Serena speaks. With broad smile across her cheeks. Saying she came in with different mindset. Not getting lost in the moment’s jet-set. Calm and confident from over a decade. Is how championship tennis gets played. An empire state of mind to get a grip. Her body of work to let it rip.

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Tip: Stepping out the comfort zone and stepping up to the challenge takes getting a grip and letting things rip.

Talkback: Which should people be talking about: Serena’s body or her body of work?

Groove-Tracks: Jay-Z ft Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind – https://youtu.be/qooJO1JjkUw


Rock City ft Adam Levine – Locked Away – https://youtu.be/6GUm5g8SG4o

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