“Just Mercy” Movie Will Bring You to Tears

Over the weekend, the story of Walter “Johnny D” McMillian was told in theaters starring Jamie Foxx and Michael B Jordan. Based on a true story, Johnny D was wrongfully accused and charged with killing an 18 year old white woman in 1986 in Monroeville, Alabama. The judge urged the death penalty on Johnny before a jury of white people urged a life sentence. A judge overrode the jury’s sentence and sentenced Johnny to the death penalty.

Johnny’s lawyer, the incredible Bryan Stevenson, was determined to not only prove that Johnny was innocent but other inmates as well. With Bryan being a fresh Harvard graduate, he had a lot of knowledge and determination. He quickly learned that the south was nothing to play with. They threatened him and tried to scare him away but he was bent on proving Johnny’s innocence, as well as Herbert Richardson.

Herbert was a Vietnam veteran who fought for his country but he was discharged due to psychological issues. He was from Brooklyn but eventually moved to Alabama and was still suffering trauma from the war. Due to his trauma and mental issues, he placed a bomb on a front porch that killed a young girl. He was charged with capital murder. Bryan tried to stop Herbert’s execution due to the fact that his previous lawyer did not attempt to appeal his case due to his psychological issues during and after the war. The jury failed to acknowledge that, not only was he an army vet but he suffered a mental illness and that should’ve been considered when they gave him the death penalty. He should’ve been placed in a mental ward for life versus getting the death penalty. One of the saddest scenes is the moments leading up to his execution. Herbert stated that more people had asked him if he needed any help in his last 14 hours of living, than they did his entire years that he battled with his mental illness and trauma. A tearful moment is when Johnny and the other inmates said goodbye to Herbert, told him that he wasn’t alone and that they were all there with him in spirit. They rattled their pans as the execution was going on, so Herbert could hear them and know that they were present with him.

Image result for just mercy herbert richardson
USAToday.com

 

Bryan took initiative to meet Johnny’s family to learn more about him and the day the young woman was murdered. Johnny was at home that day cooking fish for a fish fry that his family was hosting at his house. So, how was he miles away at a murder scene if he was truly at home? I’ll tell you how…bribery. The sheriff bribed a white felon named Ralph Myers to say that he was with Johnny when he committed the crime. The sheriff had bribed him by taking him off death row. As time went on and after further investigation, Bryan not only got the truth out of Myers but he found recordings of his initial statement saying he didn’t want to lie on an innocent man.

Image result for just mercy
fastcompany.com
Image result for just mercy meyers
Ralph Myers, played by Tim Blake Nelson- icantunseenthatmovie.com

 

The case was told on 60 minutes and they even took the case to the supreme court to overturn Johnny’s conviction and exonerate him. The district attorney, who initially wasn’t for Johnny getting released, went in favor of getting his charges being dismissed. It was definitely a cheerful moment for the Johnny, his family and Bryan. Walter Johnny D McMillian went from being on death row for 6 years to being one of the first people in the state of Alabama to be released from death row.

Walter “Johnny D” McMillian—eji.org

This was definitely a miracle story but it still brings sadness due to the fact that…this happened in the late 1980’s to early 90’s. Racial injustice should have never been a thing in the first place but it was and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr fought for equality and much more in the 60’s so there shouldn’t have been any reason that this unjustness was still happening. A few takeaways from this film:

  • Shit like this still happens…as of 2020
  • We should reconsider giving army vets who have trauma psychological help instead of the death penalty
  • I hope white people really dissect the film and see that black people aren’t making this shit up when we say that we are wrongfully accused for crimes.
  • Bryan Stevenson did all this work for pro bono
  • GO SEE IT!!

IF you’ve seen the film already. What are your thoughts?

Walter Johnny D McMillian & Bryan Stevenson–eji.org

 

Surviving R.Kelly II Review

Part two of Surviving R. Kelly started it’s 3-night premiere on Thursday and ended Saturday. It’s title “The Reckoning”, which is defined as judgment, or even estimation. There were new women who told their story and even previous women who had more to say about their time with R. Kelly.

Night 1

During night one’s premiere, Kelly’s brother Bruce and Carey talked about their childhood and how they were sexually abused. R. Kelly had a specific encounter with the neighborhood uncle, Mr. Henry. When the police was called and Kelly’s mother wanted to press charges. Mr. Henry offered them $5,000. His mother accepted but that also started the domino effect of Kelly and him paying off his accusers. His mother did not protect him, and although they struggled growing up and needed money, his mother let him down. That incident probably left an opening to Kelly’s sister abusing him. Carey elaborated on the incident briefly. Even though they never said her name, it’s been brought to life in past interviews that their sister sexually abused them. The first part of night 1 made you want to feel sorry for Kelly, BUT we all know that regardless of his childhood, he could’ve gotten the proper help for his traumatic childhood.

Image result for r kelly brothers"
monstersandcritics.com
Image result for r kelly brothers"
people.com

Part 2 of the series dived into a new victim, Tiffany Hawkins. She met Kelly when she was 15. She was an aspiring singer and even appeared in Aaliyah’s video “At Your Best ” and sung background vocals for her. She went on to say that her and Aaliyah were best friends. When Tiffany and Kelly got cool, he suggested her to bring around some of her friends. Mind you, these girls were 15 and 16. She says that he had sex with six of her friends. After he told her not to ring her friends around, he started having sex with her. Tiffany stated that she didn’t want to but she did it because she thought it was part of the process of pursing a career in music. 

Once Kelly married Aaliyah, Tiffany said she didn’t care because that meant she didn’t have to have sex with him anymore.  

NONE OF THIS IS NORMAL!!

She had gotten pregnant and at the time, she didn’t know if it was Kelly’s or another guy. When she told Kelly, he pretty much threatened her. She was scared but she didn’t to keep the baby and found out it wasn’t his. (Thank GOD). It’s safe to say, she was able to escape him!

Image result for survivng r kelly lanita carter"
esquire.com

 

Night 2

R. Kelly’s former hair braider, Lanita Carter, spoke out about how her and Kelly’s relationship went from brother/sister to sexual. She explained that he was sweet to her in the beginning, just like he was with any other woman he took advantage of in the past. They both “connected” by telling each other about their childhood abuse. The one and only incident that happened between them was when Kelly tried to force her to give him oral sex. He spit in her face then ejaculated on her face. Lanita expressed that she was hysterical and hurt. She went to the police and at first, they wouldn’t take her serious because everyone who was close to Kelly denied knowing her. Once she proved that she knew him, everything was on the right track until the topic came up about her “settling” and just suing him and getting money out of him. She settled for that but was still traumatized by the incident.

Image result for survivng r kelly lanita carter"
theatlantic.com

In the second part of the series during night 2, Dominique Gardner decides to speak out. If you don’t know, she was the young lady who was seen on TMZ with  Joycelyn Savage, then in the first Surviving R. Kelly, her mom came to the Trump towers to rescued her. As Dominique tells it, she was the rebellious one out of Kelly’s girls. She met him though Jerhonda Pace, another one of Kelly’s victims. She didn’t elaborate on a lot but  she did say that she felt bad for leaving Joycelyn at the hotel, the day her mother came to get her. Shortly after leaving Kelly, Dominique went back to him because she felt as if she left abruptly. Once she was back with him, she didn’t like how much control she had over him and while being back at home, she gained control of her life back. she’s currently pregnant and expecting a baby by her current boyfriend. (shruggs)

 

Executive producers Brie Miranda Bryant and Jesse Daniels speak to The Hollywood Reporter about the biggest reveals in Lifetime's follow-up on the embattled singer.
hollywoodreporter.com

 

Night 3

On the last night, the series dove into the lives of the women who are still under his control. Last year Azriel Clary and Joycelyn Savage did an interview with Gail King and when asked if they wanted to pursue singing careers, they both LIED and said that their parents wanted them to sing. After Lifetime did some digging and found old videos of them both singing and even interviewing Joycelyn’s songwriters and producer; they revealed that both women deeply enjoyed singing. Azriel has lied on her parents, allegedly, to protect Kelly. Her parents marriage has suffered due to her being away and under his control. Joycelyn’s parent are very adamant on bringing her home. They’ve been public about wanting her home, for about 3 years now.

Image result for azerial clary gale king"
cbsnews.com

As of December, Azriel Clary has returned home but has chosen to live an independent life without being under her parents shadow. Since Kelly was arrested in July, she has been able to break free from him, but she still supports him. Joycelyn on the other hand, is still at the Trump Towers, which is where Kelly had been living. Not sure when she would return home but hopefully soon after seeing part 2 of series.

Last words:

R.Kelly has some serious past traumas that he never dealt with as a child. Just that  make his actions justifiable? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Hopefully him being in jail will make him seriously think about his actions. 

At this point, we have to stop blaming the parents for letting there children meet Kelly. It was a dumb ass decision and they are suffering from it now. The public AS A WHOLE. need to hold R. Kelly accountable for his actions, from not playing his music, to stop defending him. If the public would hold him accountable for his actions, then maybe more girls that have been recently involved with him, wouldn’t have been involved with him. Yes, he was on trial in the 2000’s, but there were people who outside the court building rooting for him.

QUIT TAKING UP FOR THESE SEXUAL ABUSERS. Wrong is wrong, even if he is your favorite RnB singer of the 90’s, even if you did sing one of his songs at your grandmother’s funeral or a graduation, even if you did dance to his songs at your wedding. Wrong is wrong, and his ass is wrong!

“You” Season 2: Joe Met His Match

By now, everyone has seen You Season 2 on Netflix and its safe to safe that Joe found his match. He went from being the creepy guy who wins women over by stalking them discreetly, to the stalking-less creepy-learned his lesson in season 1-truly in love-wants to live his life right-guy.

Image result for you season 2 joe and love"

Joe, I mean Will (the name Joe gave), fell for Love Quinn unintentionally. He tried to be nice and less stalker-ish but Love was so…pushy. Which should’ve been a red flag but she became normal after a while.

Image result for you season 2 joe and love"

Once “Will” and Love became official and things were normal, his ex Candace that he THOUGHT he killed, pops back in the picture in an attempt to ruin his current love life by warning everyone that he is crazy. She goes through extreme measures to the point where she starts to look crazy. Will wants a fresh start with Love and has no intentions on being his crazy self but, ya know, things happen.

Image result for you season 2 joe and love"

Once Candace convinced everyone that Will was really Joe and that he was crazy and even locking him in his own box, his true colors were revealed to Love. Unfortunately Love wasn’t moved by Candace’s evidence, so she killed her.

When Love revealed that she had been secretly talking stalking “Will” herself, the tables had turned. She knew about his storage box, when he was watching her, EVERYTHING. She explained that they were soulmates, which was the same thing Joe thought BUT at that moment…he knew that she was crazy and that he had met his match. Love did everything that Joe had did in the past, from stalking to killing any person that got in the way of love. Joe was looking at a female version of himself and he was terrified, but looking at the bigger picture, she is pregnant with his “child”, she loves him for all his crazy ways and truthfully Joe loves her crazy ass back. The good outweighed the bad with Love and he decided to settle and take it for what it is.

Image result for you season 2 joe and love"
insider.com

My season 3 predictions:

  • Joe is going to lust over the neighbor
  • The baby isn’t his and he’s going to kill Love because of it
  • He’s going to resort back to his old ways.

 

What are your thoughts on Season 2 of You? Comment below and let me know.

 

 

Danii’s 2019 Lessons

2019 has been one for the books. I was unemployed for 10 out of 12 months, I had to get my hussle bussle on, I learned how powerful the tongue was and of course i questioned a lot of shit.

“What is my purpose?”

See the source image

“Why am I going through with this?”

“Will I ever have a job again?”

“Am I meant to be an entrepreneur and work for myself?”

See the source image

“Whats the purpose of exchanging gifts on Christmas anyways?”

Yeah, my thoughts ranged a lot but struggle and pressure will do that to you. I also, once again, learned who my real friends were and who was and wasn’t a priority. I worked on my confidence and walked in three fashion shows this year and I’m so proud of myself. Modeling is something I’ve always wanted to do since I was a kid because I was so lanky lol. So I’m tall and thick in the right places…somewhat. (lol)

model pic in fur 1

model pic in yellow

model pic in fur 2

Another thing I learned is that….it’s okay to say no and decline an opportunity. Knowing your worth is important. Time is precious and if you feel that something isn’t worth your time, it’s okay to respectfully decline.

One major thing I learned is to ALWAYS have more than one income. Before I lost my job last year, I already wanted to generate multiple streams of income, so I started freelance writing and even looked in Forex. I wish I would’ve started sooner because I wouldn’t had to work so hard, but it made me grind harder, which I’m thankful for.

2020 is my comeback year, my “pay off debt” year, my “saving more money” year, my “generate multiple incomes” year, and many more!

Cheers to 2020!

IMG_5465

Queen & Slim Was Everything…BUT…

By now everyone has seen Lena Waithe’s critically-acclaimed, harsh reality film Queen & Slim. It’s been the talk of media every since. The film shows drama, a thrill, anticipation and unfortunately reality. The innocence of Queen and Slim quickly turned from that to fatal survival. Queen was a attorney and Slim was a religious “good catch.” Those two blended personalities created the perfect storyline—knowing the system and having faith.

The movie was great BUT there were a few things that seemed odd, For one, Queen’s attitude from the beginning through the middle of the film was stank. I understood that she was an attorney and her client had received the death penalty and the only reason she decided to get dinner with Slim is because she didn’t feel like being alone. Sooo it seems like she only went out with him because she wanted a free meal.

Image result for nodding gif"

Needless to say, Slim aka Earnest, was still in good spirits. He remained a gentleman throughout everything, even when he was harassed by the police. When his protective reflexes kicked in when the officer shot Queen, he had to think fast and protect himself and her, which led to him killing the officer.

Image result for queen and slim last scene"
bbc.com

You would think that Queen being an attorney, she would make better suggestions on what to do after that but she insisted on her and Slim running.

One scene where Slim didn’t act the wisest, is when he and Queen went to the gas station to fill up but since they didn’t have any cash, they wanted the cashier to give them the gas for free with the persuasion of having a gun.  The weirdo cashier wanted to hold the gun that Slim was pointing at him. What did Slim do? He gave the gun to him…without taking the clip out.

Image result for slaps forehead gif"

Luckily the guy didn’t shoot him.

The most comedic part of the film was from Queen’s uncle Earl, played by Bokeem Woodbine. He was an ex-army, turned pimp…or just a guy with 3-4 girlfriends, who stayed in New Orleans. He had a bad accent but he was quite entertaining.

Image result for queen and slim uncle earl"

A random scene that we could’ve done without is when Queen and Slim left uncle Earl’s house in New Orleans, and they seen the horses and she suggested Slim get on one. If you’re on the run then maybe you shouldn’t be lolly gaggin on some horses.

Image result for just saying gif"

One important thing that I LOVED is the support they received by strangers while on the run, starting with the guy that they accidentally hit and took to the hospital. The people at the bar just danced around them and the bartender said they were safe there. There was even a white couple who let them hide out in their house, which led to a black police officer finding them in the couple’s garage. The officer stared them dead in the eye and let them go! 

Image result for queen and slim"
slashfilm.com

Then there was the ONE black guy who snitched on Queen and Slim just to get the reward money. Of course he wasn’t loyal enough to not snitch on them because he didn’t know them, but damn he could’ve been like the other supportive black folks.

Image result for queen and slim gold teeth"
crfashionbook.com

In the midst of all that, the pair came across a young boy who was inspired by what they did even though it cost them to be on the run. The young boy was participating in a protest when he decided to pull a gun on a black police officer and shot him in the face. As a result of that, the young boy was killed. The pair didn’t know that they had that much influence over people, let alone the youth. Honestly, that was a sad scene that I could’ve done without.

Lastly, the ending…..when it was coming to an end, Queen said she wanted to live and they both talked about having a legacy and being part of each other’s legacy. Yes, in a perfect world, the two would’ve went to Cuba and lived a low profile life until whenever. BUT unfortunately, Queen and Slim were gunned down…no weapon in sight….hands shown in plain sight…and yet they were gunned down, Queen being shot first.

Image result for queen and slim last scene"

I found it interesting that we never heard they’re names mentioned throughout the movie. We assumed they were “Queen” and “Slim” but after they’re tragic death we found out they were Angela and Earnest.

Overall the film was great BUT there were a few unnecessary scenes and questionable character moves. I loved that it was 70% realistic and that it was black written and directed. The black excellence within and behind the scenes of the film was EVERYTHING.

Comment your thoughts below!

Movie “Hustlers” Teaches Consistency, Motivation and New Strategies While Running A Business

The movie Hustlers, which is based on a true story, is more than women robbing men blind. It’s about being about your money and having motivation behind your purpose. One of the main characters Destiny, played by Constance Wu, needed money to help her grandmother so she was dancing at the strip club. She wasn’t the best so she got help from Ramona, played by Jennifer Lopez. Ramona gets her hip on the kind of guys to scout and from there, she starts making good money.

Image result for hustlers movie
cosmopolitan.com

Sidebar: The ladies went after guys who worked on Wall St since they had money and there was a wide range of them.

With the mindset of needing more money, Destiny was motivated to learn new business tips in order to support her family. In the midst of meeting new guys, Destiny meets a guy, who becomes her boyfriend; they have a daughter together. During that time, she stops dancing to raise her daughter. After two years, her boyfriend decides to leave. At this point, she has two people to take care of so she decided to go back to dancing. 

Once Destiny returns, the club is different and she has to try harder to make her money. She reunites with Ramona and to up their game, they think of a strategic way to make more money. They come up with the idea to meet guys at bars, slip some “happy powder” into their drinks, lure them into the strip club, take their credit card, and charge it at the bar and have the bartender eventually cash them out or they’ll take the card to the ATM. 

Image result for hustlers movie
hollywoodintoto.com

YES, all the scamming they did sounds CRAZY; they were dedicated to making money because they had families to feed. Destiny and Ramona looked at this scam as a business and when operating a business, you think of new way to better your business, new strategies. The ladies were consistent with their strategies and did whatever it takes to get to the top. Ramona didn’t care about scamming the Wall St guys because they screwed over America and crashed the stock market, so in her eyes, why should they sympathize with them.

Of course they were caught; Destiny took a plea deal and Ramona had to serve little time but more than anything, they did what it took to have a successful business. They were motivated by making money, which made them consistent in finding the right men to get money from, which made them find better strategies to get money from them. As crazy as it sounds, the more scheming they did, the more money they made. Was it worth it in the end? Yes, because they grew a great business mindset. Men can over sexualize and even skeet women but when women get their extra moneys worth out of men, then we are forced to go overboard at times. Was it right what they did? No, but as Ramona said ..

“This country is a strip club. You got people throwing the money and people doing the dance” 

Image result for hustlers movie
esquire.com

And that tailors more to life and politics than just dancing.

What are your thoughts on the movie/real life depiction?

 

[Exclusive Interview] Miami Artist Teenear Opens Up About Her Fame, Influences, Collaborations & More

Miami native Teenear has groomed herself for the moments she’s living in right now. She’s been singing since she was a toddler, singing covers on YouTube since she was 15, and she is signed to Slip N Slide Records. Teenear has a single with Sage The Gemini, which went global, gracing the presence of Japanese dancer Kahonna. She’s living in her moment and making Miami proud. Check her interview below as she talks about her influences, experiences and much more.

Danii Gold: Being from a musically inclined city such as Miami, what influence did you have growing up?

Teenear: Miami is such a melting pot of genres and sounds. There’s the Miami Sound Machine, disco, R&B and hip-hop in our music history. That inspired me to want to break barriers with my music. Betty Wright was one of my early vocal coaches and is a hometown legend who I can still reach out to at any time.

IMG_2791

 

Danii Gold: Back in 2015 you had a single with Sage the Gemini titled “Friday Night”, and it went global after a well-known Japanese dancer, Kahonna used it in a dance video. What was it like getting such exposure, especially with “Friday night” being your first single?

Teenear To be honest, at that moment it was 100% surreal because I had just started and for somebody, all the way from Japan to recognize a song and do so much with it for me was appreciated to the fullest. 

Danii Gold: What was it like to collaborate with Lil Baby on your latest single “I Like It”? And having your video play on BET Jams? Congratulations on that. How are you feeling?

Teenear: Thank you so much! Collaborating with Lil Baby was amazing! I’m genuinely so grateful that I was able to get him on “I Like It”. He did an amazing job on his verse and I am really appreciative of BET; they’re always super supportive towards me and my team!

YouTube: “I like it” video

Danii Gold: What was the process like, when you signed with Slip N Slide Records?  

Teenear:  I had a conversation about if being an artist is something that I really wanted to do. From there, I started putting myself out there doing  a lot of covers, and during that time I was doing a lot of recording to a lot of records that people sent in. It wasn’t until I met with a producer from Atlanta named Anthony, and he played me a beat he had and that’s when we created “Friday Night” ft Sage the Gemini and from there I just kept growing with Slip N Slide.

@TeenearR Instagram

Danii Gold: Do you have any plans on collaborating with any of your label mates such as Trina, Plies, Trick Daddy, Sebastian Mikael, etc.?

Teenear: I’ve already collaborated with Trina on one of my earlier records named “Streetlights”. In the future, I definitely see myself collaborating with my newer label mates F$O Dinero, Mike Smiff and Sebastian.

IMG_2793
@TeenearR Instagram

Danii Gold: What other artists would you like to work with now or in the future?

Teenear: I am a big fan of so many artists right now but at this moment I would love to be able to collaborate with H.E.R, Ella Mai, Megan Thee Stallion, Saweetie, Bruno Mars and honestly, the list can just continue. There are so many talented artists out right now that I can’t wait to be able to work with! 

Danii Gold: If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?

Teenear: Growing up I’ve always been a big fan of not only music but also acting and I have a really big passion for musical theater exclamation! So if I wasn’t doing what I’m doing now I most likely would be pursuing a career in musical theater.

Danii Gold: Any upcoming projects in the works?

Teenear: I definitely have quite a few projects coming out really soon that I’m really excited about! I’ve been working with a lot a new and extremely talented people that have been helping me create some amazing records so make sure you’re following me on my socials so you can stay updated on when I’m dropping them!

@TeenearR Instagram

Danii Gold: Of course! What message do you want to send in your music?

Teenear: To be honest I just want my music to be able to reflect me as much as possible. A young girl growing up, finding herself and just having fun in every moment that life is giving her.

Make sure y’all check out her new single “I Like It” featuring Lil Baby along with multiple videos she has for the song.

<div

Check out her website: https://teenear.com
Instagram: @TeenearR