FaithWalk Clothing by William Renae
In today's world and in times past collaboration and partnering has been an instrumental strategy. Partnering helps us to grow, learn, change and exchange ideas. Even the Bible endorses partnering based on the scripture that says, "Where two or three are gathered, I am there."
I want to introduce to you a mother/son partnership, which currently launched a new clothing line. The clothing line is called FaithWalk. The new line is created to encourage others to save themselves and to take control of their own destiny.
Renae Parker Benenson is a Mom, certified Chaplin (spiritual listener and encourager), writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. William Marshall Parker II is a Son, entrepreneur, writer and co-founder of FaithWalk. Together they compliment each other and have found support for their individual and collective growth and development.
They started FaithWalk because they get it. They have figured out that their life is to get better spiritually, emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically it will be because they have prayed to God and believe that the Creator will equip them for the journey and fill them with unfathomable power to be and to do more than they can ever imagine.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Jay-Z has gone from rapper to mogul, and he shares some of the books that helped him along the way with O magazine:
The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav: "There are two books that I absolutely live my life by. This is one of them. I believe in karma and doing the right thing even if it may not advance you as far as you want."
The Celestine Prophecy, by James Redfield: “This is the other book I live by. The story is a metaphor for life: I could go left or right, I could be stuck, or I could keep advancing.”
The Odyssey, by Homer: “I got lost in reading about Odysseus' struggle to get home and his longing for someone so strong, as his wife was, waiting for him. That's like a dream—that kind of strength, love, loyalty.”
Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell: “This book is about the principles of timing and repetition—about preparing yourself for luck, really.”
Purple Cow, by Seth Godin: “This is straight marketing advice: Your product has to be a purple cow—it has to be distinct to have any success.”
Nigger, by Dick Gregory: “I don't know who turned me on to this autobiography, but his sense of humor and the hardships he went through stayed with me.”
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Earth, Wind & Fire is back on top again in its 40th year, playing stadiums for the first time in a quarter-century. And their resurgent success, the band tells Newsweek, is based on a mixture of '60s idealism and the good favor of the president. Barack Obama has always been a huge fan, and he invited the funk pioneers to play at his first formal White House dinner in February. “What it did,” says member Verdine White, “it validated us in this era.”
But it’s not just a dinner invitation that makes Earth, Wind & Fire relevant again. White says the work his brother, founder Maurice, did “in putting together a band that would appeal to all types of people” is a particularly Obamaesque undertaking. “It's a '60s message that, at some times, people thought was kind of hokey. But through the lyric, giving people a sense of hope, the country caught up to us in a funny kind of way.”
Thursday, September 24, 2009
One is America's most famous capitalist, the other leads China's Communist Party. But Warren Buffett and Hu Jintao have something in common—they both get their suits from Trands, an obscure northern Chinese menswear company not open to the public. Buffett, who recently recorded a promotional video for Trands' owners, tells the Wall Street Journal: "I went 78 years before I got a compliment on my appearance."
Shares in the company that owns Trands have jumped 70% on the Shanghai stock market since Buffett recorded the video. He got his first of nine suits during a visit to the city of Dalian; he's since invited the company's founder to his annual shareholders' meeting in Omaha—and given his old suits to charity. Bill Gates is another satisfied Trands customer—but while the clothier is proud of its American billionaire customers, it's quieter about its affiliation with President Hu. "It's a bit sensitive," the company's press officer admitted
“It doesn't matter if we're from a little place called Hounslow,” Jay Sean tells the BBC. “If you have some good music, you can make it anywhere.” That’s how the British R&B singer found himself collaborating with Lil Wayne, and climbing to No. 2 on the US charts—making him more successful abroad than he is at home in the UK.
Journalists “say, dude, we wouldn't expect you, a little Brit, to be signed to Cash Money. They love the fact that we're from two different worlds, and I love that as well,” Sean says. He gained the attention of Lil Wayne’s label after splitting from Virgin and then forming his own. The onetime med student now hopes to “clinch that No. 1 spot”—which would require unseating the Black Eyed Peas.
Thanks to President Obama, today’s rap focuses less on drugs, bling, and violence, and the “conscious rapper” is on the rise—at least according to Common. “I don't find as much gangsta talk,” the rapper/actor tells CNN. “You see the whole chain-shining-and-rim era is gone. That's like super-played out. Just to have that, I think, is part of the Obama effect.”
Hip-hop fans are ready to hear more positive, upbeat messages from socially aware artists, Common says—and he, for one, is ready to give that to them. “What America was built on was being able to say, 'Hey, we're going to come in and use our resources to build for ourselves and our communities and build around that.' I think that's what hip-hop is starting to do to a certain extent.”
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
World Wrestling Entertainment has offered Kanye West nearly $10 million to step into the ring, sources tells MediaTakeOut.com. The rapper, swamped by a wave of disastrous publicity following his award-show interruption of country star Taylor Swift, would be on the hook for some “light wrestling” in three events under the proposal from WWE chief Vince McMahon.
A Russian tycoon has made a bid for a controlling stake in the New Jersey Nets, in what could become the first instance of foreign ownership of an NBA club, Reuters reports. Mikhail Prokhorov, Russia’s richest man, said on his blog that his Onexmi group had offered to loan the team most of the cost of a planned stadium—an amount sources peg at $700 million. The terms of the loan would see Onexim receive a controlling stake for a “symbolic” price.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
The premise of Kanye West protégé Kid Cudi’s Man on the Moon: The End of the Day is that he’s “not on the same planet as other rappers. The truth is that he’s not in the same genre,” writes Julian Benbow for the Boston Globe. The debut album “is a lot of things. It’s spacey, adventurous, and ridiculously intriguing if only because it’s so different. But it’s not rap”—more like “experimental and emotional hip-hop.” Elsewhere:
“As a man who isn’t afraid to take risks, Cudi’s collaboration with electronic duo Ratatat and indie rock’s MGMT for ‘Pursuit of Happiness’ captures the album’s most transcendent moment,” writes Edwin Ortiz for HipHopDX. “Kid Cudi is the real deal.”
“Kid Cudi has ripped off his label owner's formula—forward-thinking music meets entry-level confessional lyrics—with such shameless aplomb that you don't know whether to grin or roll your eyes,” writes Jess Harvell in the Washington Post.
Kid Cudi “emerged in the past year as hip-hop’s unlikeliest relief pitcher” for West and Jay-Z, but his debut “is a colossal, and mystifying, missed opportunity, misguided if it is in fact guided at all,” writes Jon Caramanica in the New York Times.
This spring, designers are getting touchy-feely, writes Booth Moore in the Los Angeles Times’ continuing look at Fashion Week. From a rope-weave raffia vest by Carolina Herrera to Donna Karan’s “fabrics seemingly weathered by the elements,” designs have “a craftsy feel”—“maybe it's a signal that we're searching for more depth in fashion, something to touch and feel, not just to look at and discard after one season.”
The collections also share a sense of whimsy, writes Suzy Menkes for the New York Times. “The spirit of today’s American fashion” is “escapism,” she says, with “ripples of ruffles” taking admirers away from real-world woes. Marc Jacobs offered ballet-inspired looks and “sweet Japanese girly colors” while Zac Posen took the idea to the extreme with “highly colored, boldly patterned clothes” for the “party circuit.”
Believe it or not, it might do you good to take some business advice from shot-nine-times rapper 50 Cent. After all, it was business savvy more than rap music that helped build his $150 million empire. Business Insider takes a look at how he did it:
His endorsement with Vitamin Water is his best known and most lucrative source of revenue; when Coca-Cola bought the parent company in 2007, he netted $100 million
Before 50 split with Mark Ecko last year, he pocketed royalties from his G-Unit clothing line to the tune of $6 million in 2006; he's snagged another $20 million for endorsing Reebok.
His first book, a ghostwritten memoir, had $1.9 million in sales—and he just released a new one, The 50th Law. He also stars in a video game, which—despite horrible reviews—sold more than 2.5 million copies and spawned a follow-up.
50 Cent launched an acting career in 2005 that hasn't amounted to much; he's since started a film-production company that is set to develop eight movies, including The Dance with Nicolas Cage and 13 with Mickey Rourke.
He also has a financial portfolio including stocks, bonds, investment pools,and real estate—but he lost millions in the economic downturn and is struggling to offload Mike Tyson’s old mansion.
50’s next move may be to invest in precious metals and launch his own line of platinum, and he is also considering a line of dietary supplements and moisturizers.
Not sure what to wear as you lounge around in your fancy house, engaging in catfights with your neighbors while your reality TV show's cameras roll? Never fear: The Real Housewives fashion line hits a store near you this fall. The collection, inspired by Bravo’s franchise, will consist of premium denim, loungewear, activewear, handbags, and accessories, the Los Angeles Times reports.
In other Real Housewives news, NeNe Leakes of the Atlanta installment tells People there’s no love lost between her and her co-stars, whom she calls “associates”—“I’m not friends with any of these girls.” She’s specifically miffed with Kim Zolciak, who recently released a dance single. “‘Tardy for the Party’ was my song. Now she’s doing” it “and I’m not on it,” Leakes says.
She’s a size 16, loves plastic-jewel-encrusted sweaters, lives with her parents, and marries gay couples in her spare time—but Leslie Hall, a white rapper from Iowa, sees herself as a peer of “Britney, Rihanna, Beyoncé, we’re all doing the same thing,” she tells CNN. Hall became a self-proclaimed “ce-Web-rity” after launching a site devoted to the aforementioned “gem sweaters” in 2004, started rapping to fund the site, and is now in talks for an HBO show.
“For a temporary time, when you discover something on the Internet, it's like the greatest thing you've ever seen,” says Hall, who performs on a homemade stage wearing outfits involving gold lamé and stuffed white tigers. “I think I get lucky with those first-timers. They're just like, 'Oh, my God, I've never seen this before in my life.' It's like a nasty chain letter that just hasn't stopped yet.”
As the 2000s draw to a close, the Telegraph takes a look at the 100 songs that define the decade. The top 10:
"Rehab," Amy Winehouse (2006)
"I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor," Arctic Monkeys (2005)
"Crazy In Love," Beyonce (2003)
"Yellow," Coldplay (2000)
"Paper Planes," MIA (2008)
"Bleeding Love," Leona Lewis (2008)
"Hurt," Johnny Cash (2002)
"Seven Nation Army," the White Stripes (2003)
"Can’t Get You Out of My Head," Kylie Minogue (2001)
"Hey Ya," Outkast (2003)
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Jay-Z and the Beatles lit up the charts this week, Billboard reports. Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 sold 476,000 copies, easily capturing the top spot for the week, and giving the rapper his 11th No. 1 album. That nabs him the record, previously held by Elvis, for the solo act with the most No. 1s ever. The Beatles, meanwhile, sold a whopping 626,000 albums this week, a huge leap from just 21,000 the week before.
The monster of a week nearly doubled the Fab Four’s sales for the year, bringing their 2009 total to 1,261,000. Since SoundScan’s sales tracking began in 1991, the Beatles have never sold less than a million albums in a year. Their best-selling individual album last week was the Abbey Road reissue, which, with 89,000 copies, came in third, behind Blueprint 3 and Miley Cyrus’ The Time of Our Lives.
The latest casualty of the economic crisis: celebrity clothing lines. “Every D-level celebrity who thought they could make a quick buck by designing a handbag or whatever is going to disappear,” Vogue editor Anna Wintour tells the Wall Street Journal. “And I think that's a good thing.” Wannabe-designers including Jennifer Lopez, Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag, and Nicky Hilton have had to call it quits on their collections due to disappointing sales.
Even Justin Timberlake—mobbed by hundreds of girls in NYC while promoting his fashion line, William Rast—is struggling. “Being a celebrity gets your foot in the door, but once you are there, people go, ‘OK, now what?’” he says. A big name isn’t enough: brands must be “on trend,” says a Saks exec, citing Gwen Stefani’s L.A.M.B. line—one of the few Saks carries—as an example.
For everyone who’s ever looked at runway fashions and wondered, “Would anybody really wear that?” Claire Suddath has the answer: No. New York Fashion Week's over-the-top designs, from clothes befitting a 19th-century French prostitute to “outfits that literally have no armholes” are “a form of wearable artwork,” she writes in Time, and they’re more about making a statement—and generating buzz—than anything else.
Basically, fashion designers shell out upwards of $40,000 “to show off clothing they don't expect anyone to buy,” she continues, noting that the themes behind the wacky designs are “later translated into more wearable items.” Which isn’t to say no one wears the more bizarre versions: Madonna showed up at the Met costume gala wearing a pair of Louis Vuitton bunny ears, and she “looked like a rabbit with sculpted biceps.”
Monday, September 14, 2009
Last January, Jason Wu was a relatively unknown designer, employing six designers and selling his clothes in 10 stores. Then Michelle Obama chose to wear his white, one-shouldered gown, to the inauguration. That event made Wu, the Wall Street Journal reports. Now Wu sells his designs at 40 stores, including Saks, Neiman Marcus, and Harrods, and he employs 10, plus a personal assistant.
Last night, Wu unveiled his first post-breakthrough collection, at a fashion week runway show at New York’s St. Regis Hotel. The collection branches out from the demure gowns he’s known for, adding sexier, more modern outfits, outerwear, and daywear. “This is Mr. Wu at the St. Regis,” says the 26-year-old. “I’m grown up.” He’s planning a big expansion of his studio soon, and his own Jason Wu stores.
The trailer for Michael Jackson’s This Is It, a flick pieced together from more than 100 hours of rehearsal footage, has been released, the Sun reports. Watch it at left. More on Jackson:
Messages left on Post-it notes give a view into Jackson’s state of mind before he died, News of the World reports. The notes ranged from reminders—"Do 'We Are the World' in a show"—to inspirational jottings: “I am so grateful that I am a magnet for miracles.”
Another secret Jackson relative is coming out of the woodwork—this time, Michael's half-sister JohVonnie, Joe’s love child, the Mirror reports. ““I feel rejected by some of my family. It’s upsetting and hurtful,” says JohVonnie, who was not allowed to meet Michael until she was 29. “It was a big moment for me. But Michael was looking at me and seemed cold. He just said, ‘Hi’ and then he saw my daughter Yasmine and was fascinated with her.”
Kanye West is only the latest celebrity to invade the stage and rain on someone else’s parade. The Daily Mirror runs down 10 other notable moments, from funny to tragic:
Keith Richards: Famously guitar-chopped a fan who rushed the stage.
Noel Gallagher: On-stage shove left him with three broken ribs.
Robbie Williams: Actually got pushed off the stage in 2001.
Ian Brown: After being arrested for assault during a San Francisco show in 2005, was dragged from the stage by a crowd surfer in 2008 and took 10 stitches for a head wound.
Dimebag Darrell: Shot and killed, along with three others, during an Ohio gig in 2005.
Iggy Pop: More than 100 fans joined him onstage at Glastonbury in 2007.
Pete Doherty: Last year’s gig at the Royal Albert Hall descended into chaos when fans rushed the stage en masse.
50 Cent: Pelted with deck chairs at the 2006 Reading Festival, and a fan stole his bling in Angola.
Michael Jackson: Jarvis Cocker bum-rushed the stage to protest Jackson’s performance at the Brit Awards in 2006.
Kanye West: Invaded the stage—sound familiar?—at this year’s MTV EMA Awards, where he complained about not winning the award for best video.
“Optimism is the new black,” with designers “laying on the charm” for the spring 2010 season, writes Booth Moore for the Los Angeles Times. The “colors are cheerful,” fun “prints are making a comeback,” and “florals are being re-imagined in a funkier way.” The light, sometimes “cutesy” women’s collections, ripe with nostalgia, seem to say, “Happy days are here again.”
The men’s collections show a similar “sense of optimism,” with “vivid pops” of color, “cheery prints and even polka dots,” writes Adam Tschorn. Designers who have been less than cheery in the past now feature “lightweight shorts and gauzy shirts” and “print motifs that included leaping marlins, palm trees, life preservers, and waves.” The season's many shades of blue and yellow are “like sunlight peeking from behind the clouds.”
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Jay-Z's new Blueprint 3 seems to have critics divided. Some see flashes of brilliance showing the rap veteran at his best, while others see a mediocre effort that relies too much on celebrity.
Jay-Z sounds "hungrier than he has in years on about half the tracks, while sharing time with guest stars or grappling with undercooked production on the rest," writes Greg Kot for the Los Angeles Times. "Yet even at three-quarters speed, Jay-Z can still be formidable."
The album is "incredibly boring," writes Chris Richards for the Washington Post. "The man sounds fed up not only with hip-hop but with himself."
"This hugely entertaining, mainstream rap album suggests Jay-Z still has the skills and gravitas to see off the pretenders," the Telegraph's reviewer writes.
"The Blueprint 3 would be better as an EP, with the back half of the album trashed," writes Andrew Winistorfer for Prefix. The first half is "good to great.
Years of living in hostels and on the streets of London proved, at long last, a winning combination for rapper Speech Debelle, who today was awarded Britain’s prestigious Mercury music prize, the Guardian reports. Speech Therapy, the debut album by the 26-year-old (real name Corynne Elliot), represents a “remarkable new voice in British hip-hop, tough, warm and reflective,” the judges said.
“It means a lot to me because it’s an award judges give solely on the strength of the album,” said Debelle, the first woman to win the prize since 2002. She wrote the album as a teenager, when she bounced, alone, between London’s shelters and streets. What’ll she do with the $33,000 that comes with the award? “Probably be smart and invest it.”
Janet Jackson opens up about her late brother in next month’s Harper’s Bazaar. Though she speaks to her own troubles—“people can have rhinoceros skin, but there's a point when something's going to hurt you”—and the family—“people said to me that Michael's daughter speaking really gave them a sense of how he was as a father”—the focus is mostly on the small pleasures of the King of Pop. “He loved to laugh," she says, noting he was a fan of the Three Stooges.
“The last time we were together, he'd laugh so hard, he would just start crying,” Janet says. “He loved to have fun. He loved to play.” She fondly remembers their childhood, when “we'd wake up, feed the animals, spend the entire day together.” But his legacy as a performer escapes even her. “It's on so many different levels. Bringing light and love and happiness,” she says. “People have told me, 'I am an American citizen because of your brother.'”
Pearl Jam has been proudly iconoclastic for years—releasing records on vinyl, eschewing music videos, “bootlegging” concerts, and fighting Ticketmaster—but they’re getting old. So it surprises Jonah Weiner that The Fixer, the single from the band’s new album Backspacer, is “by far the most exciting track the band has released in years,” he writes for Slate. And the rub: It's sold exclusively at Target, with ringtones available from Verizon.
“The irony is obvious,” Weiner writes. “The Fixer is a great song about integrity that comes to us courtesy of the Target Corporation.” But come on: “Is it meaningful to argue that a band that spent 14 years recording for Sony has, with a Target deal, sold out?” The situation just shows how "the striking degree to which musical 'integrity'—always something of a free-floating notion, anyway—is being redefined" amid dismal sales. Pearl Jam is far from the only band guilty of seeking "new profit avenues" to make up the difference.
Monday, September 7, 2009
The Beatles: Rock Band successfully brings the winning music-game formula to one of rock’s biggest names, writes Elizabeth Landau for CNN. Designed to be played by as many as six, the game "does make for a great time and will probably be a hit at parties." Meanwhile, spectators "can watch animated re-creations of the Beatles rocking out on the TV screen, and enjoy the colorful graphics, while your friends try to hit the notes."
The formula has been slightly tweaked to accommodate the band, Landau writes: you play to unlock musical memorabilia, and there’s no booing from the crowd when you lose. The vocal aspect of the game has also been expanded, so players can mimic the group’s signature multi-part harmonies. And the original vocal tracks are louder than in other Rock Band games, making it “clear that you’re singing with the Beatles and not replacing them.”
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Jay-Z's new album, Blueprint 3, doesn't drop until next week, but he's already looking ahead to the next one. The rapper, also known as Shawn Carter, tells MTV he's working on his most eclectic album yet. "It's not gonna be a No. 1 album," he says. "That's where I'm at right now. I wanna make the most experimental album I ever made."
"I've always said I believe in good music and bad music," says Jay-Z. "The second Blueprint, the reason it was all over the place is because I like music so much. You have tracks with Lenny Kravitz then Sean Paul. Dr. Dre. It's all over the place because of my taste in music. I like music."
San Francisco seems to have had something of a psychedelic rock resurgence, though don’t ask any of the bands involved to identify themselves that way. “People are so aware of everything and don't really separate it that much,” a man whose band has the telltale brooding drones tells the Guardian. "They mention modern hip-hop in the same sentence as old psych stuff or the Monkees or whatever.”
There’s also the question of a scene, which flourished in the '60s but seems fractured, if not absent, today. “I'm not a very social person,” the rocker continues. “If I have any tie with psychedelia, it's that I like transforming my pop songs into something that will take you off into another place.” That sounds about right. But even if the sound is the same, there’s no “deep philosophical meaning” to it, another musician says. People today “are just borrowing an aesthetic that's already there—a sound more than anything else.”
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
College football season is just a few yards away, so Fox Sports scans the schedule for must-see affairs. The picks:
Ohio State at Penn State, Nov. 7: With Michigan in its present state, this is the Big 10’s showcase game, and the winner is a good bet to go to the Rose Bowl.
USC at Ohio State, Sept. 12: An early look at two new quarterbacks at two very big programs.
Georgia at Florida, Oct. 31: If Florida beats LSU on Oct. 10, Georgia will be all that really stands between the Gators and a perfect season. Which brings us to…
Florida at LSU, Oct. 10: Florida’s top challenge, LSU is hungry for Gator-esque respect.
Oklahoma at Texas, Oct. 17: It’s one of college football’s top rivalries, two Heisman candidates are at quarterback, and both teams are serious national title contenders. “This has game-of-the-decade possibilities.”
Serena Williams toiled this summer on a screenplay, which she compares to Desperate Housewives meets Sex and the City and Family Guy. But perhaps the best subject she could take on would be her and her sister’s own lives, writes Karen Crouse in the New York Times. It would certainly get viewers: “Even now, the single highest ratings getter for us is Serena,” says commentator Mary Carillo. “More than Roger Federer, more than Andy Roddick.”
Her screenplay would tell “a jewel of a story,” from the Williams’ power style “which yanked tennis kicking and shrieking into the Big Babe era” to “their bold fashion statements.” Asks Crouse: “What could Serena’s imagination conjure that is more Roald Dahl than two African-American sisters rising from rundown courts in Compton, Calif., to the top rungs of tennis?”
The name “LL Bean” brings to mind high-waisted pants, wrinkle-free fabrics, suspenders—certainly not hip, trendy fashion. That could all change, however, with a makeover hitting stores in 2010. “We are looking to really create a new updated fit and style,” says a VP for the new LL Bean Signature clothing line. To do just that, a former stylist for Ralph Lauren and Abercrombie & Fitch was brought aboard.
LL Bean began in 1911 as an outdoor outfitter, and still offers hunting shoes and outdoor equipment. That tradition will be recalled in the new line, but the clothes will be more modern. “You can dress it up and you can dress it down,” says the VP. The company hopes to appeal to customers like one Gen-Xer who loves the shoes and jackets—but won’t wear the “mom jeans.”