Tyler Perry & Jamie Foxx on Becoming a Hollywood High Roller and Holly-Hood High Achiever

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The end of year awards season is about to jump-off and it seems GQ Magazine got things rolling. They named Colin Kaepernick their Citizen of the Year. He’s been a trailblazer for social justice issues. There’s also Blake Shelton being named Sexiest Man Alive by People Magazine. Fans are spreading the love.

Tyler Perry and Jamie Foxx might find themselves on a different list. They’d at least get honorable mentions in discussions around Funniest Man Alive. A few other names might depend on the ‘type of funny’ category. Perry & Foxx certainly have cred as Hollywood high roller & Hollyhood high achiever.

They’ve been in the public eye for a while but for Perry the road to Tinsel-town wasn’t always a song and dance. He describes his story as one of always believing that Higher is Waiting. This mindset helped him in getting through the dark times, appreciating the good times and celebrating those high times.

It was more about chasing the dream than chasing the fame. This balancing act started with a showbiz project that kinda got them in the game. Some will remember Foxx from his In Living Color days. But for Perry it’s been a journey that got started with his urban-styled stage plays.

Some teary-eyed times are usually when talking about special people in their lives. For Foxx it was a grandmother who took care of him after adoption. With Perry there were folks who helped him connect his faith to hopes for a brighter future. They’re grateful for the advice and support they got along the way.

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Their road to success was first nurtured by close family members or friends. But it seems there’re moments in life that are set aside on our journeys where people show up as strangers. Sometimes their presence is about getting to the next point. Other times it’s about getting the point in life’s journey.

It’s like when I first read the book of a famous media personality. It describes his journey of going from average kid to getting a Star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Two particular factors mentioned in the book related to certain aspects in my own journey. It’s the kind of thing that’s used as a bookmark of life.

Well if not as a bookmark then there’re those situations that are more like milestones. We appreciate milestone markers on a long road trip. One reason for those markers is letting us know where we are on the highway stretch. But another is to let us know how far we’ve travelled since the starting point.

Foxx and Perry are making the most of the journey by turning their bookmarks into a grander sense of purpose. They’re also turning milestones into ways for helping others get to the next point. That’s the balancing act they try to manage in chasing the dream without getting distracted by chasing the fame.

So let’s get back to the idea of Funniest Man Alive. In terms of being among the super funny, it probably takes having a certain punch to the flow of funny. Then the punch-line will be more than just scripted. Well in chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle dazzle.

Tip: In chasing the dream it takes having a certain punch to the flow of whatever makes us razzle & dazzle.

Talkback: Who’d be on your short list of Funniest Man Alive?

Tracks: Empire Cast ft Terrence Howard – Dream On With You – https://youtu.be/XNkmI8nnMVY

Joyful Noise Soundtrack – Higher – https://youtu.be/VShyvXuJBQ0

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Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson Describe What They Did to ‘Bring It’ Which Helped Them Move into the Spotlight

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The Forbes list of ‘Top 400’ richest people in America is out. Guess who’s again #1? It’s not someone in real estate. Instead you might be reading this from a Microsoft-powered gizmo he made famous. Then there’re those on the list who’ve made their names in the retail, media, and financial services sectors.

Going from ‘loss to boss’ is something they may have experienced. Along the way they figured-out how to find their power, turn the tide, shift their stride and rock a new pride. That’s true for Gabrielle Union & Taraji P Henson as their careers and dreams look to celebrate with a toast; wine or champagne anyone?

They describe what they did to ‘bring it’ which helped move them into the spotlight. Union is on a book tour talking about going beyond the bumps and stumps. For Henson, it’s been a journey of believing and delivering the goods in ways that when she looks back she might say to self “I always knew I could.”

It’s kinda like now you see them and then you see them even more. They’re in a zone for sure that has something to do with more than their celebrity. They’re bringing it like an athlete who’s got things working in his or her favor. The ball just responds to their every move. The effort seems to roll in a good groove.

Their stories of ‘pomp and circumstance’ are the lessons that got turned into blessings. Union spent her early years as a modeling agency intern. That helped open the doors to her passion and ‘sista girl’ appeal. While it seems to some like they’ve taken us by storm, they’re really becoming a market force.

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At times it took meeting the right people and getting the right breaks to move them into the spotlight. But in between those times, it took powering their game the way we charge our devices. They made themselves plug-compatible to career situations that would either make that money or break that barrier.

Union has been sharing her personal take on some of the social issues of our time. But she’s also been giving us a peak into her infertility struggles. Henson spent some time sharing the loss of her long-time pet. But it’s the parts of their stories that hit dead center that can be a charging source to push us further.

I remember years ago when a co-worker shared feedback that hit me dead center. It took a while to get what they were saying with these words: ‘You’re good at speaking to and speaking through people.’ That comment was a great charging source on my journey. Since then I’ve been using it to power my dreams.

Plus, the feedback put things on a course where I’d ‘bring it’ with a new flow. I’d see how going through the motion wasn’t enough for a promotion. There’s a time for going through the motion just like there’s a time to blink. But Union and Henson saw how to turn their flow into a source, a force and showbiz course.

They might tell us what work, play and everyday are about. It’s starting off sexy, keeping things alive and doing their best to strive. When it’s all said and done we may remember a line from their movies. But the things that tend to move us most are people’s storylines of doing something brave or achieving the rave.

Tip: Making work, play & the everyday come alive is about doing something brave or achieving the rave.

Talkback: What’s the part of their story that hits you dead center?

Tracks: Chaka Khan – Keep Your Head Up – https://youtu.be/88DS-T7Ypa4

Neyo – Champagne Life – https://youtu.be/gqayCgvI_uI

Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones: Leading the Way and Lifting Doubts in Hollywood #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)

It was another weekend of NFL playoffs and Dallas got the boot. Many hoped this was their Superbowl year. Meantime, the women’s club was in full effect at the movie box office with Hidden Figures and Rogue One. Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones are leading the way and lifting doubts in Hollywood.

In describing Rogue One to reporters, Jones said These characters are all vulnerable. They’ve all had difficult times in their lives and they’re all finding strength in each other. It feels very appropriate for the times that we’re in.” Jones & Spencer show how real people pour out their hearts on making dreams fly.

The theme in a movie’s ‘leading lady’ role is well worn. Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monae play strong characters that experienced some scorn. The power in their roles isn’t merely in the beautiful sexiness they bring, but in that vulnerability thing. Plus, they add some extra mustard to their mojo.

Jones who plays a breakout part in Rogue One confirms that the Star Wars franchise is as appealing to women as men. So whether a movie, job task or community project if it has visionary legs it will go places. There’s the kind of ‘it-factor’ that’s useful for turning up big crowds or making people reach for big things.

After a Hidden Figures White House screening, First Lady Michelle Obama said “They didn’t listen to those doubters. They did not listen to the haters — because they’re always out there.” The strongest voice we should be tuned to is where God speaks to and through us in a way that lines up the blessings.

Groove-Track: Charlie Wilson – I’m Blessed – https://youtu.be/dG_BWKHRx8s

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

Another weekend of playoffs set. Some folks are making bets. Last week Dallas got the boot. See who’s left after the burning soot. Meantime, women’s club staying hot. Rogue One then Hidden Figures in top spot. Octavia Spencer & Felicity Jones making good. Leading the way, lifting doubts in Hollywood.

Saying to reporters about the flick. That’s it’s not just about a hot chick. Characters vulnerable through difficult times. Finding strength in their primes. Speaks to where some are today. As they wake-up and take time to pray. A case of maybe when doves cry. As people pour out their hearts and make dreams fly.

‘Leading lady’ theme roles well worn. Spencer, Henson and Monae not phased by scorn. Playing characters that makes your proud. And even shout out loud. Power not only in sexiness they bring. But in that vulnerability thing. To add extra mustard to their mojo. Just like any dude or regular Joe.

Jones plays her own breakout part. As Rogue One heroine that’s smart. Confirms Star Wars guys & gals appeal. As a perennial box office steal. Whether work, play and fun with visionary legs. Will go places like water and the dregs. The kinda ‘it-factor’ for turning up big. In growing crowd numbers and dream gig.

White House screening had Michelle Obama preaching. About making moves that are far-reaching. Not listening to doubters and haters. They’ll be part of the see ya laters. Always there for holding folks back. Pointing out what people lack. Voice most important to hear. Is God who lines-up blessings beyond fear.

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Tip: Sometimes it takes an unsung story to inspire us to find the will and make a way to new glory.

Talkback: How’s the Hidden Figures story playing out in different parts of town?

Groove-Tracks: Mali Music – Beautiful – https://youtu.be/rxNO3KBQfmU

Arlissa – Hearts Ain’t Gonna Lie – https://youtu.be/uibj0hg4Yww

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

Welcome 2017: “The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!” #BigTimeUniversity

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

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‘New year, new you,’ that’s what folks like to say. For some, the dawn of 2017 came into view with fanfare and a little leftover hangover. Others were turning the calendar from old to ‘got next.’ Whether reaching for the bottle or shooting for the stars, the new year is good for opening the door to hopes and dreams.

That’s what Hollywood could be thinking with the release of the movie Hidden Figures. It tells the story of unsung dreams that were behind the scenes as the NASA space program climbed to new heights. Well, that might have been true then and could be just as true now. So it’s time to move fresh dreams forward.

Welcome 2017: “The Year of ‘Hotstepping’ – Get Jiggy, Get Woke!” This year’s theme brings a cool way for flexing style, game and soul in how we roll. It means being on point with everyday stuff and on the move with real gutsy stuff whether in taking it to the streets, achieving new feats or dropping hot beats.

We’ll see this play-out as Hotsteppers in Washington by way of moving Dr. King’s dream forward. This will mean keeping tabs on the going downs in politics, civics and economics. Plus, there’re four things our Purposeful Living blog is sure to ‘Let the People Know’ before & after President Obama drops the mic.

Throughout the year we’ll share highlights of how purpose and passion give life an easy breezy groovy feeling. So think of this year as another ‘start now’ game opportunity. In some sports it takes two halves to play the game. In others it takes four quarters. Either way what happens on the field builds-on the score.

Those who’ve followed this Blogcast over the years might realize it has grown into a kind of Hotsteppers Weekly. It’s where we connect with ‘aha moments’ from celebs, change-makers and other trendsetters. It has uplifting stories from uptown, downtown and cross-town; from Hollywood & Hollyhood.

It’s also where we might learn, earn and discern. This makes us better by doing ‘homework’ + teamwork = dreamwork at #BigTimeUniversity. At times the blog is a reminder or refresher for everyday living. It’s a place where just like cars, we stop every so often for a refill or service-check to keep running well.

No matter our normal duties, job tasks or smart goals, along the way we might find ourselves in the thick of it for a time or the whole damn year. This could be a phase that feels like the walls are caving-in. But once we figure things out, after a while we’ll have every reason to jump and shout. (Been there, get that!)

So we’ll keep bringing some of those favorite music hits to just not quit because what’s worth doing is too legit. That’s how we get jiggy and woke in the end. Thanks Grooviacs for the feedback and support in the past and looking forward to making it last. Just remember we’re now part of the Hotsteppers Cast.

With the right blend of music, social uplift and lifestyle content, maybe this year’s theme will feel like you’re turning-on Hot Steppers Radio. So let’s make a deal and do 1 for the money, 2 for the show, 3 to get ready and 4 to go. Or in the spirit of the new year countdown, “4,3,2,1…let’s rock and have some fun!”

Yours in Da Groove,

Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham

‘The Island Guy’

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Groove-Tracks: Ini Kamoze – Stepping Hotter This Year – https://youtu.be/fuYyR2imtUY

Mary J. Blige – Thick of It – https://youtu.be/8KcdZZnBfRA

Taraji P. Henson, DJ Khaled: Two Among Many Who’ve Had a Career Year For Sure #BigTimeUniversity

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

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)

Lamar Jackson takes the Heisman award for contributions to his Louisville team. He beat-out four other finalists to join football’s best-in-class. Then there’s DJ Khaled & Taraji P. Henson who’ve been white hot this year even before the Christmas special. They’re two among many who’ve had a career year for sure.

According to Yahoo Celebrity Khaled told ET earlier this year “I feel like people can relate to me because we all go through wins and roadblocks and passion and pain and it’s a vibe.” Khaled and Henson might have different experiences but they could share their 4 keys on going from hidden figure to six figures.

For Henson’s latest role in the movie Hidden Figures she plays the true story of Katherine Johnson, a math whiz who worked behind the scenes at NASA. It reminds us of times we’ve had to go from scared to bold. The long-and-short of it is being able to fess-up our truths before we can bless-up the world.

If Khaled’s Instagram tells us anything, he did it with an eye on having more life. It’s the way we step-up to a cause or live-up to our dreams. He’s been busy raising his rap impresario game while sharing his keys for success. Even Drake gave Khaled props with gold plated keys for him and his new born son.

So Henson’s missing from the Golden Globe nods. Was it a snub or a slight rub? Khaled’s got his first #1 album Major Key on the Billboard 200. Their journeys line-up with the quote “Things are going to get in your way but whatever you do never stop showing-up.” Keep runnin’ since God can save the best for last.

Groove-Track: Will Smith – How Da Beat Goes On – https://youtu.be/s435h8Xc-wE

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

Lamar Jackson takes Heisman award. That’s big and makes him man-a-yard. Louisville teammates gotta be happy. Teasing him kinda feels sappy. Beating-out four other jocks. As college football’s best-in-class stocks. There’s Henson & Khaled who’ve been white hot. Before Christmas special or career top spot.

As told by Yahoo Celebrity note. Khaled on ET that he’s not yet GOAT. But feels like people can relate. With wins, roadblocks and things on the slate. Passion and pain has its own vibe. Khaled & Henson might pitch their own tribe. Giving 4 keys on going from hidden figures. To top billing and major six figures.

Henson’s latest role you see. Movie Hidden Figures history. Plays true story of math whiz. Who was part of NASA biz. Reminds us of what it takes. When fear gives us the shakes. Go from scared to being bold. Like winners of days old. Long-and-short is simple to say. Fess-up your truth, bless-up the world any way.

If Instagram is where he lives. Snapchat is where he gives. Wanting to have more life. For him the fans and cool wife. In how he’d step-up after a pause. Or live-up to dreams and a cause. Busy raising his impresario game. Then came more fortune the same. Even Drake gave props with gold keys in his name.

So Henson’s missing from Golden Globe list. Snub or slight rub the gist? Khaled with first #1 album reach. On Billboard 200, listen for his speech. Their journeys taking different roads for sure. But lines-up with idea close to the core. Things get in the way but no matter what. Keep runnin’ as God has your lot.

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Tip: The key in moving from hidden figure to top billing is making sure your work and life make a killin’.

Talkback: No Golden Globe for Taraji: Snub or a slight rub?

Groove-Tracks: Kim Burrell – I See a Victory – https://youtu.be/zM_ngicKTqU

Pharrell Williams – Runnin’ – https://youtu.be/96kIL2GV27I

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

Tyler Perry, Taraji P. Henson Turn Early Days on the Block to Praise that Pays as a Brand #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)

Hollywood loves the Golden Globes! The stars shine in full whether as household names or new to the game. Nominees wear their finest threads with fans falling head over heels. There’re those like Tyler Perry and Taraji P. Henson who’ve turned their early days on the block into praise that pays as a brand.

A recent headline on Perry in Vulture magazine said “The brand that keeps Oprah in business. He doesn’t care what the critics think of his work because his audience always finds it.” Perry and Henson represent the real deal and real cookie, making it in business for who they serve and who they deserve.

His TV show Haves and Have Nots is OWN’s highest rated and was the third highest scripted show on cable last summer. It’s a long way from his first stage play that wasn’t well received. His dream wasn’t derailed by doubt even-though business was in a drought. Six years later the play finally found success.

They’ve carved-out their own lanes in showbiz. Expanding from those early days on the block to their current brand identity has been a lot like selling groceries. If fruits were their brand then type of fruit would be their lane. A bigger audience they now reach but a certain niche is their sweet spot and favorite peach.

Henson who won for Best Actress in a TV Series, Drama was also named USA Today’s Entertainer of the Year. Time named Cookie Lyon most influential character in 2015. So cream rises to the top and Perry’s story reminds us that the more people you help go from obscurity, the more people achieve job security.

Groove-Track: Jennifer Lopez – ‘Jenny from the Block’ – https://youtu.be/dly6p4Fu5TE

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

H’wood loves to rock the Globes hard! Folks screaming celebs from their backyard. Stars shine whether as household name. Or recent player in the red carpet game. Wearing their finest threads for real. Fans falling head over heel. Tyler & Taraji two who’ve turned their early days. Into brand and praise that pays.

Recent headline on the e-news stand. Vulture magazine thinks Perry lifts Oprah’s brand. Not caring what the critics think. Sometimes their words just stink. To his peeps he always stays near. Feeling there’s nothing to fear. Perry and Henson knowing who they serve. Real deal real cookie for who they deserve.

His TV show Haves and Have Nots leads the way. With OWN’s highest ratings is what they say. The third best scripted on cable. Coming from his ATL program stable. Distant past of his first stage play. Wasn’t well received but that was OK. Six year later through the doubt. Finding success beyond the drought.

Carved-out their own lanes as newbies. Now they’re swamped with product freebies. Going from early days on the block. To major brand identity hard knock. A lot like selling fruit or bread. Their brand in market lane of their stead. A bigger audience they now reach. A certain niche their favorite peach.

Henson wins TV Series Best Actress. Ready to grow newest fortress. Named USA Today’s Entertainer of the Year. Cookie Lyon for Times’ most influential flare. Cream rises to the top yet again. As they look back and remember when. More people to go from obscurity. Means more people achieve job security.

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Tip: The real deal in biz, on the block or in Hollywood is having a brand go from regular to spectacular.

Talkback: How does it feel seeing Perry and Henson keep it real by remembering where it all started?

Groove-Tracks: Kendrick Lamar – “Untitled 2” – https://youtu.be/iZJXvjeWlVA

 

Taylor Swift & Mary J Blige – ‘Doubt’ – https://youtu.be/GZ0474w66uw

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

Taraji P. Henson Tells Madison Avenue What Inspires Her Appeal as Empire Vixen – #WUWECAST

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 ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

It’s a little over a month away but the buzz is growing. The #1 Hit Show on FOX last season is set to return on September 23rd. Fans are getting word that things are going to be even hotter on the show. So as a preview, Taraji P. Henson tells Harper’s Bazaar magazine what inspires her appeal as Empire Vixen.

Lifting her wig during a photo shoot, Henson is quoted in theGrio.com as saying “We are vulnerable every time we put our art out there. Underneath that hair is my soul, and it’s me, it’s mine.” She knows that the best spark for the workplace grind that’s good for hearts and minds is bringing the right spirit to the office.

She’s become a fashion trendsetter but her spirit and work style are shaped by those who’ve inspired her life. Her acting chops come from studying Bette Davis. Her ‘Cookie’ character is influenced by her late father while her wardrobe is a throwback to the ghetto-fabulous days of Lil’ Kim and Mary J. Blige.

In her Empire role she’s like a mentor to her sons in the music business after she spent time in prison. A blend of street smarts, work ethic and life skills is what she hopes they’ll take away from her on TV and in everyday life. She wants them to be ready for the ‘big time’ and to continue on a path of big dreams.

Henson’s appeal even before Empire seems to have a common thread. She brings a certain swizzle to the drama. For the cocktail hour swizzle is about an intoxicating mix. But for the workplace it’s in having an inventive quality that makes performance ‘sizzle with soul’ and might help explain why she’s so hot.

Groove-Track: Ledesi – “Higher Than This” – https://youtu.be/I4yva8U-78U

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Little over a month away. Fans can’t wait for FOX to press play. On their #1 Hit Show last season. Set to return Sept 23rd that’s the reason. Word is things going to be even hotter. Some feel that’s a no-brainer. Catch the preview that Taraji’s P. Henson’s fixin’. Tells Madison Avenue what inspires her Empire vixen.

Lifting wig during photo session. Ready to share a homespun lesson. Quoted online about putting her art out there. Being vulnerable every time everywhere. Beneath her hair are strands of soul. More to how she plays her role. Knowing best spark for the workplace grind. Is right spirit that’s good for hearts and minds.

Fashion trendsetter beyond the show. Spirit and work style she lets flow. Shaped by those who’ve inspired her life. From humble beginnings to Hollywood strife. Acting chops honed from Bette Davis days. ‘Cookie’ character like her father sure pays. Throwback to ghetto-fabulous outfits from disco phase.

Her Empire role seen as mentor. To sons who’re her life center. Helping them grow in the music game. After prison time for her, things not the same. Passing-on street smarts, work ethic and life skills. As takeaways from her past spills. So they’ll step-up from ‘big time university.’ With life dreams sitting pretty.

Before Empire her appeal has common thread. She brings swizzle to the drama instead. Knowing with the right spirit to cheer. Love will always be there. For cocktail hour swizzle is intoxicating mix. For work hour it’s about inventive tricks. That makes people ‘sizzle with soul.’ So they’re hot as the good times roll.

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Tip: Bring the right spirit to the office, let your work ‘sizzle with soul’ and that will explain why you’re hot!

Talkback: What spirit does Cookie bring to the party that’s good for more than a sip and a shot?

Groove-Tracks: Third World – ‘Love Will Always be There’ – https://youtu.be/7vF3Dy1LPxk


LunchMoney Lewis – ‘Bills’ – https://youtu.be/_IrQHeDcMi8

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