Category Archives: Media

Kendrick Lamar & DJ Khaled Honored At Inaugural Variety Hitmakers Brunch

On Saturday, November 18th Variety held its inaugural Hitmakers Brunch to celebrate those profiled in the Hitmakers issues on newsstands and starting November 21st. Kendrick Lamar (Artist Hitmaker Of The Year) and DJ Khaled (Media POWERPLAYLIST Award) are two of the artists profiled.

iHearmedia and Mediabase, Circoc French Vanilla, Shuttershock and BuzzAngle Music sponsored the event. DJ Stretch Armstrong provided music for the crowd that included Diplo and Machine Gun Kelly among the music industry attendees. Variety’s Senior Music Editor Jem Aswad presented Kendrick Lamar with the Hitmaker Of The Year Award. Lamar accepted the award and said,

“I’ve been doing this for a long time, since I was 13, 14 years old. To hone in the title of a hitmaker means a lot because we put a lot of time and a lot of effort [in the studio]. “I thank each and every one of you for allowing me to evolve and let me make these weird a— songs that y’all like. These songs represent me and who I am. I want to continue to push that envelope and hopefully, I continue to have y’all ears to do so.”

Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled At Variety’s Inaugural Hitmaker’s Brunch

DJ Stretch Armstrong Arrives At Variety’s Inaugural Hitmaker’s Brunch

Diplo At Variety’s First Hitmaker’s Brunch



Media Questions Of The Week

Why did Grazia magazine airbrush Lupita Nyong’o’s hair off of the cover? 

Why did Apple Music shelve Danny Brown’s documentary Live At The Majestic?

Who will be the next person accused of sexual harassment in the entertainment business?


GE Digital Exec Katrina Craigwell Latest Guest On Madame Noire’s She’s The Boss

GE Digital Executive Katrina Craigwell is the latest expert to make a guest appearance on Madame Noire’s She’s The Boss series. Craigwell discusses her journey to success and her solutions for the lack of diversity in the tech industry.  Craigwell is the VP of Global Innovation at GE Digital and she was featured on Forbes’ 2014 “30 Under 30” list. Watch past seasons and future episodes of She’s The Boss here.


Media Questions Of The Week

Did 50 Cent divide New York hip-hop? Was he responsible to show NYC unity when it was a Detroit rapper that gave him his career?


Why isn’t Colin Kaepernick on the cover of the latest issue of Sports Illustrated regarding the nation’s race problems when he was the first one to protest?

Did President Trump influence Twitter to test out longer character lengths?



R.I.P. Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner who founded Playboy magazine 60 years ago died of natural causes Wednesday at age 91 at the Playboy Mansion. Hefner started Playboy in 1953 to create a men’s magazine that featured nude women, prominent interviews, feature articles and fiction. Marilyn Monroe was on the first cover before she became famous. America had never seen such a magazine and Hefner received credit for being the leader of the Sexual Revolution. But his progressive approach to sexuality caused him to clash with authorities who were not always ready to embrace the future. In 1963, he was arrested for promoting obscene literature because the magazine had nude photos of Jayne Mansfield. The case resulted in a hung jury. There was an emphasis on the nude bodies in the pages but the magazine was just as known for publishing some of the most important writers of the 20th century including Hunter S. Thompson, Margaret Atwood and Gabriel Garcia Marquez among others. Alex Haley famously interviewed Miles Davis for the publication in the ’60s.

Playboy magazine was the catalyst for Hefner’s Playboy clubs where Dick Gregory got his first big break after Hefner saw him performing in a Chicago night club. In 1959 he started the Playboy Jazz Festival at the Chicago Stadium in his hometown that would host the biggest names in jazz over the decades. He was the host of Playboy’s Penthouse and Playboy After Dark for two seasons in the ’60s. The Playboy Mansion was a site where legendary parties took place with some of the biggest entertainers in attendance.  The University Of Southern California’s School Of Cinematic Arts and the Much Love Animal Rescue were two of many organizations to receive his philanthropic efforts through his Hugh M. Hefner Foundation. Playboy inspired Douglas Lambert to create Playgirl magazine in 1973 which featured photo spreads of nude men marketed to women. In the ’80s’ when Vanessa Williams was involved in the naked photo scandal that took away her Miss America crown Hefner refused to buy the pictures and publish them because he did not want to embarrass her and he understood that her nomination was a historical moment for Black people. He championed the legalization of gay marriage and he eventually became a political independent after previously supporting the democratic party. Hefner also appeared in a number of films during his lifetime and last appeared in 2008’s The House Bunny.

Watch The Brand New Heavies, Siedah Garrett and Q-Tip in the video for The Ummah remix of “Sometimes” that was filmed at the Playboy Mansion and features early footage of Hugh Hefner: