Friday, January 20, 2006

Is It Me? - Post #1

This is a section that I used to have in the 1990's when I had my own website of music reviews and had some special features. It's kind of like 20 Questions in Vibe, but better (at least that's what I believe!) So, here is my current list 'Is It Me?' questions....and if you have some, feel free to comment by clicking the small link in the bottom right of this post. I will post them in the next posting of the 'Is It Me?' section!

1. IS IT ME?...or does Charlie Wilson have the biggest teeth you ever saw in your life (they're even bigger than Ron Isley's!)
2. IS IT ME?...or does the relationship with Beyonce and Jay-Z need to go to the next level?
3. IS IT ME?...or are you surprised that they gave Queen Latifah a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame before Will Smith?
4. IS IT ME?...or did Lou Rawls always look like a jive turkey when you saw him?
5. IS IT ME?...or do you wish movie soundtracks were as good as they were in the early 90s (i.e. Menace II Society, Boyz N Da Hood, Juice, New Jack City, etc)
6. IS IT ME?...or has Omar Gooding been stealing some limelight from his incognito brother Cuba?
7. IS IT ME?...or shouldn't the popular TV Show 'Everybody Hates Chris' change its title to 'Everybody LOVES Chris'?
8. IS IT ME?...or are the recent firings of David Mays and Benzino from The Source a day late and a dollar short?
9. IS IT ME?...or are you just as shocked that The Simpsons are still on the air?
10. IS IT ME?...or should Bun B receive the Rap Hustler of the Year award for being on practically every album that came out last year?


Monday, January 16, 2006

Best Albums of 2005

Wow....I can't believe we are in 2006, and 2005 is a just a memory.
(Memorieeeeeeeees...I've had a fewwwwwwww!!!!!!)
~Sorry about that~

Anyways, Here is my list of best albums for 2005. I decided not to put them in any particular order so I would not put one album ahead of another one by mistake!

Common - Be
Beanie Sigel - B. Coming
Slim Thug - Already Platinum
Paul Wall - The People's Champ
Little Brother - The Minstrel Show
Kanye West - Late Registration
Slum Village - Slum Village
Talib Kweli - Right About Now
Cuban Link - Chain Reaction
Bun B - Trill
Miri Ben Ari - The Hip-Hop Violinist
Lil Kim - Naked Truth
David Banner - Certified
Ludacris presents - Disturbing The Peace
Big Boi presents - Got Purp, Vol 1

BEST OF 2005 - R&B
John Legend - Get Lifted
Raheem Devaughn - Love Experience
Lyfe - 268-192
Eric Benet - Hurricane
Kindred - In This Life Together
112 - Pleasure and Pain
Mary J Blige - The Breakthrough
Jamie Foxx - Unpredictable
Anthony Hamilton - Ain't Nobody Worryin'
Leela James - A Change Is Gonna Come
Dwele - Some Kinda
Kem - Album II
Chris Brown - Chris Brown
Keyshia Cole - The Way It Is
Syleena Johnson - Chapter 3: The Flesh
Marques Houston - Naked
Jaguar Wright - Divorcing Neo 2 Marry Soul
Trey Songz - I Gotta Make It
Amerie - Touch
Floetry - Flo'Ology


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Urban Fiction

In past year, I have read and heard a lot of opinions in regards to the African-American book industry. The main topic seems to have been the popularity of Urban-Street Fiction or "Hood" books. Some like it, some don't. Here's my take on it. As you've seen on my previous 2005 book list, I read a variety of books including urban fiction. I think that the urban fiction that I've read is wonderful. The books are entertaining and fast-paced.

Now there are some that have numerous errors in it, but there are some errors that I've found in other genres of books so sometimes that happens. As long as it doesn't distract me from reading the book then I'm fine. I think the problem that people are having with it is that a lot of teens are reading these books and they feel that this isn't "good reading" or they're not reading the "classics". Well, at least they're reading something (I know I'm going to get hate email for this one.) If a teen is reading urban fiction, they will read another book in another genre if you steer them to it.

What's good about the African-American book market today is the variety of books and genres to choose from. It wasn't like that 10yrs ago. Urban Fiction is just like hip-hop music, they said that wouldn't last but it's still here. If you don't like hip-hop, don't listen to it. If you don't like Urban Fiction, don't read it. I don't think it would be fair to hate on these authors and publishers for doing what every author is trying to do: sell books. Urban Fiction has always been there with Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim. Urban fiction is here to stay.


The Best Books I've Read In 2005

Hello Everyone. Happy New Year!

I can't believe that it's already 2006. Time sure does fly. It seems like it was only yesterday that our website was launched. I want to thank everyone for their continued support of the website. As of right now, we have over 4200 visitors to the website and over 100 mailing list subscribers. Not bad for a website that launched in July 2005! Ok, now back to the matter at hand. In 2005, I had the wonderful opportunity to read some really great books. So here's my Best Books I've Read in 2005 List. These books are in no particular order, and some of them didn't actually come out in 2005.

Best Books I've Read in 2005
1. Swingers by Torrian Ferguson
2. F.R.I.E.N.D.S & The Choices That We Make by Valerie A. Withers.
3. Friend or Foe by D.L. Moore
4. Brooklyn Jewelry Exchange by Meisha C. Holmes
5. A Dream Come True by Michael T. Owens
6. A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent by Caroline McGill
7. Urban Affair by Tony Lindsay
8. Choose Me by Xenia Ruiz
9. Hoodlum by K'wan
10. The Amen Sisters by Angela Benson
11. The Velvet Rope by Brenda Thomas
12. Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This by Mary Morrison
13. In Sheep's Clothing by Mary Monroe.
14. Gettin Hers by Donna Hill
15. The Untelling by Tayari Jones
16. Groove by Geneva Holliday
17. Genevieve by Eric Jerome Dickey.
18. 72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell.
19. Little Black Girl Lost by Keith Lee Johnson.
20. Candy Licker by Noire
21. The One That Got Away by C. Kelly Robinson.
22. Don't Get It Twisted by Eric Pete.
23. The Glamorous Life by Nikki Turner

There are so many other books that I can add to this list but then it would be about 100 plus books on it so I'll stop now. LOL!!! 2005 was a great year for books, and I know 2006 will be another great year as well. Happy Reading!!!


Friday, January 06, 2006

What do Master P & Jerry Rice Have In Common?

I guess you're wondering why I ask that question.

Well, if you saw Dancing With The Stars tonight, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

Trust me, I do not usually watch this, but as I was flipping the channels, I saw Master P doing the CHA CHA with some woman! And to make matters worst, the song the two of them were dancing to was a Jackson 5 song! WTF? Jackson 5 and doing the CHA CHA do not mix (and i'm not talking about that hideous Cha Cha Slide, people).

I couldn't believe Jerry Rice (the former NFL player) was on there dancing the CHA CHA too! But at least his dancing was convincing. Master P looked like a stiff log! I mean, really...if Master P's son Romeo dropped out of the competition....that should tell you something!

Did anybody else see this catastrophe? Luckily he got the worst score from the show's judges and probably won't be back next week after they get the votes from people who phone in their votes. But I don't even plan on 'accidentally' running into this fiasco again!

Going to bed now....Leave your comments! Nite Nite!


Thursday, January 05, 2006

The site is pretty much done! (actually about 98%)

Well, it's 2am again.......but i'm finally done (for the most part) with the website.

All the reviews are up and ready for reading!
The newsletter is going out.....
The contest information is in the newsletter.

The only thing left to do is the Hip-Hop New Releases page....which I'll tackle tomorrow night.
Now, I'm going to sleep. My wife had about a 3 hour headstart......

Oh well.....i'll get a whopping 5 hours tonight.....
tomorrow should be better. Visit the site, post some comments, holla back!

A 'fully-satified-yet-still-dawg-tired' Charles H.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Update On The Progress To The Website...

Well, it's only 2am this time, but I finally have the Hip-Hop Reviews up on the site. Man, I can't believe the time it takes to explain some of these albums. I want to provide an honest review for each and not leave anything out that I feel is important enough to tell everybody about.

For instance, I felt compelled to explain all the reasons why Chamillionaire's album is a 2.5 considering he used to be paired up with Paul Wall (who I recently gave a 4 out of 5). I left no stone unturned so that you could see the exact reason behind my rating. I do that for all my reviews. Sometimes I see short reviews on and I wonder how you could get any helpful information from four sentences.

So I hope everyone appreciates the time and effort that goes into these reviews.

Upcoming Updates In The Next 24 Hours:
- Finish up the reviews for the R&B cds and post them by tomorrow night.
- Send out the newsletter to the mailing list tomorrow night.
- Get the ball rolling on our book giveaway (now scheduled for Thursday, Jan 5th...sorry!)
- Update the Hip-Hop New Releases page.....

Okay...that's it for now......leave your comments! Peace.

A 'Not-So-Tired-This-Time-Cuz-He-Took-A-Nap-Earlier' Charles H.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

The site is up...well...somewhat.

Well, it's 3am...and the site is about 75% complete. Almost all the pages are complete.

The only pages that still need to be completed are the Hip-Hop and R&B reviews.

Everything else is up and ready!

Check out all the cool new features we have:
- A "flash" type introduction page
- Media Center (which will expand tremendously in the weeks to come)
- The Pinnacle (which you are reading now!)
- Separate New Release pages for AA Fiction, Hip-Hop, and R&B.
- Less clutter on the front page
- Javascript Menu for easy navigating
- User-friendly text links on the bottom of each page (just in case)
- Separate page for Submission Guidelines
- Events Calendar for all book and music related events across the nation
- Separate Site Search page

Look for the following updates in the next 24 hours:
- Hip-Hop reviews uploaded
- R&B reviews uploaded
- Hip-Hop New Release page uploaded (somehow got messed up)
- Send out the January 2006 Newsletter to our ever-growing mailing list

And the next couple days and weeks we will:
- Add more entries to The Pinnacle
- Put More links to Streaming audio/video for Media Center page
- Updates to Industry News, New Release pages, Book Excerpts, and Online Bargains.

That's all for now. Now, I can get my measly 4 hours sleep and wake up to return to the daily grind that we all refer to as 'WORK.'

An 'eyelid-closing' Charles H.

P.S. Please feel free to leave your comments about the newly renovated website here at The Pinnacle.....or in the Forum at!

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