Archive for August, 2006

.::Morning after pill sold over the counter now::.

August 31, 2006

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingWASHINGTON (AP) — Women can buy the morning-after pill without a prescription, the government declared Thursday, a major step that nevertheless failed to quell the politically charged debate over access to emergency contraception.

The manufacturer, lawmakers and other advocates said they will press the government to allow minors to purchase the pills over the counter.

The Food and Drug Administration said that women 18 and older — and men purchasing for their partners — may buy the Plan B pills without a doctor’s note, but only from pharmacies.

Girls 17 and younger still will need a prescription to buy the pills, the FDA told manufacturer Barr Pharmaceuticals Inc., in ruling on an application filed in 2003.

Still at odds
The compromise decision is a partial victory for women’s advocacy and medical groups, which say easier access could halve the nation’s 3 million annual unplanned pregnancies.

“While we are glad to know the FDA finally ended its foot-dragging on this issue, Planned Parenthood is troubled by the scientifically baseless restriction imposed on teenagers. The U.S. has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the Western world — anything that makes it harder for teenagers to avoid unintended pregnancy is bad medicine and bad public policy,” president Cecile Richards said.

Opponents contend that nonprescription availability could increase promiscuity and promote use of the pills by sexual predators.

“If the FDA thinks that enacting an age restriction will work, or that the drug company will enforce it … then they are living in a dream world,” said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, who led the opposition.

Pregnancy risk reduced
Plan B contains a concentrated dose of the same drug found in many regular birth-control pills. Planned Parenthood estimates 41 other countries already allow women to buy emergency contraception without a prescription.

If a woman takes Plan B within 72 hours of unprotected sex, she can lower the risk of pregnancy by up to 89 percent. Plan B is different from the abortion pill: If a woman already is pregnant, Plan B has no effect.

The earlier the pills are taken, the more effective they are. Allowing nonprescription sales mean women won’t have to hustle to get a prescription, something especially difficult on weekends and holidays, advocates said.

The FDA’s long delay in deciding on Barr’s application ensnared President Bush’s nominee to head the regulatory agency. On Thursday, two senators said they would lift their Plan-B-related block on Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach.

In recent weeks, anti-abortion groups, angered that approval was imminent, had urged Bush to withdraw von Eschenbach’s nomination. Bush said Monday that he supported the doctor’s decisions.

Only at pharmacies
Barr hopes to begin nonprescription sales of Plan B by the end of the year. The pills will be sold only from behind the counter at pharmacies, but not at convenience stores or gas stations. Pharmacists will check photo identification.

There isn’t enough scientific evidence that young teens can safely use Plan B without a doctor’s supervision, von Eschenbach said in a memo. Over-the-counter use is safe for older teens and adults, the acting FDA commissioner added in explaining the age cutoff.

“This approach should help ensure safe and effective use of the product,” wrote von Eschenbach.

Barr and others were disappointed that FDA imposed the age restriction. Bruce L. Downey, Barr’s chairman, pledged to continue working with the agency to try to eliminate it.

The age restriction remains controversial even inside FDA, agency drugs chief Dr. Steven Galson told The Associated Press. Galson has acknowledged overruling his staff scientists, who concluded in 2004 that nonprescription sales would be safe for all ages.

“Let me be frank, there still are disagreements,” Galson said in an interview. “There were disagreements from the first second this application came in the house.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights said a lawsuit filed last year to do away with all age restrictions would continue.

Age-limit enforcement
As a condition of approval, Barr agreed to use anonymous shoppers and other methods to check whether pharmacists are enforcing the age restriction.

“I’m sure the FDA will follow through on that and make sure these important conditions are established and enforced,” said White House spokeswoman Dana Perino.

Barr hasn’t said whether it will raise the price of the pills, which now cost $25 to $40 in prescription form.

Planned Parenthood, the largest dispenser of the pills, expects some insurers to continue covering prescription sales. Whether that would be cheaper will depend on a woman’s insurance.

Nine states — Alaska, California, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Washington and Vermont — already allow certain pharmacies to sell Plan B without a doctor’s prescription to women of any age.

Minors won’t see any change in those states, because the pharmacist already technically writes the prescription, the American Pharmacists Association said.

The FDA approved prescription-only sales of Plan B in 1999. The quest to change its status began in 2003. That year, agency advisers endorsed nonprescription sales for all ages, and FDA’s staff scientists agreed.

Higher-ranking officials rejected that recommendation, citing concerns about young teens using the pills without oversight. Barr reapplied, asking that women 16 and older be allowed to buy Plan B without a prescription. Then last August, the FDA postponed a final decision indefinitely, saying the agency needed to determine how to enforce the age restrictions.

FDA’s handling of Plan B sparked a firestorm, with allegations of political meddling, high-profile resignations, lawsuits and congressional investigations.

The controversy appears to have helped Plan B sales, which are up an estimated 30 percent this year, according to IMS Health Inc., a health care consulting company. Barr estimates pharmacists dispense about 1.5 million packs a year.

.::Oprah does it again…Builds school in South Africa::.

August 31, 2006

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By Jeff Koinange
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SOWETO, South Africa (CNN) — “Hi Jeff,” she said. “Glad you could make it. By the way, I watch you all the time.”

These were the first words Oprah uttered to me as I held out my hand to greet her stepping off her van, accompanied by her ever-efficient staff.

I was floored. Oprah knows who I am? I asked myself. And I had this whole introduction thing planned out.

What a woman, disarming as ever, and ever the woman in charge. I liked her from the start, even more than I did watching her all these years on television.

We were in Soweto — a sprawling slum in Johannesburg — which actually stands for South West Township. Oprah seemed as comfortable here as she would be in a five-star hotel.

She walked right into the home of a couple of prospective students who had applied for entry into her exclusive Leadership Academy and had impressed her to the point she wanted to see where they lived and what their lives were like.

As you can imagine, the two girls, cousins actually, were instant celebrities. “Oprah’s come to our house,” they kept saying. “Our friends will never believe us.” (Watch as cousins meet Oprah and girls jump for joy — 5:20 )

Their friends didn’t need much convincing. Word in the townships spreads fast. Even before Oprah had taken a tour of the two-room, seven-person shack, women were outside ululating the famous freedom line of the 1980s — but with a new twist.

“Viva, Oprah Winfrey, Viva!,” one woman yelled, followed by the chorus line “Viva!” from the rest of the growing crowd.

“You’ve spent $40 million on the school so far,” I began.

“$40 million and counting,” she interrupted. “I think I’ll stop at $50 million. You can build a good school for $50 million.”

Fifty-million dollars anywhere in the world is a lot of money. In South Africa, it’s an almost unheard-of amount, especially if it’s being spent by one person for the benefit of others.

“The money means nothing to me,” Oprah continued. “When I look at these girls, I see me. That’s why I want to give them everything I didn’t have growing up. These are the leaders of tomorrow’s Africa.”

The Leadership Academy, set on more than 50 acres of land just outside Johannesburg, is a sight to behold. From the classrooms, to the dormitories, to the dining room; to the library, complete with fireplace; to a 600-seat auditorium, where Oprah will be checking up on her girls by video-conferencing — everything has been made to the highest standards.

“I want this school to be a reflection of me,” she says. “I made a promise to Madiba and I intend to keep it.”

Madiba is the clan name given to former South African President Nelson Mandela. Back in 2002, Oprah asked Mandela what he wanted from her as a gift to the nation. He simply said, “Build me a school.”

And she did. School begins January 2, 2007.

It’s Sunday afternoon and Oprah leaves for Chicago in a few hours. She’s invited all 150 girls that have “made the grade” and will be attending her academy.

The only thing is: She hasn’t told them they have been accepted. She’s invited them to an informal get-together. None of the girls suspect Oprah’s up to her old tricks.

She springs the surprise.

“I called you all here today to let you know that you all be part of the first class of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy,” she said.


The girls scream and shout and jump for joy for a good 15 minutes. Their parents, too, are screaming and shouting. Everyone’s crying, Oprah’s crying, I’m crying. It’s an unbelievable scene.

Then Oprah opens up in a way that surprises even her best friend, Gayle King, who was present and is part of the academy.

“Some people ask me why I never had children,” Oprah says, adding, “Maybe this is the reason. So I can help bring up other peoples’ children, your children. I want you to trust me to bring up your children and I promise I’ll never let you down.”

This time there’s not a dry eye in the room. I’m bawling by now and wiping away tears on my sleeve. “You’re such a crybaby,” Graham, my cameraman, says. “I can’t help it,” is all I can offer.

“What you did back there was simply amazing,” I tell Oprah afterward. “You’d have done the same thing, Jeff. Remember, I’ve seen your stories on CNN,” she answers.

I’m fighting back tears again. “Hey, give me a hug,” she says. “Today is a good day, and I feel my life has come full circle.”


August 31, 2006

As any good college student knows, you’ve got to be precise with your timing when choosing to ask for an extension. Looks like ?uesto is calling his in now, and, well, we figured with Game Theory in stores this week, all his hard work has earned him a bit of a break. No break, however, for Rik Gees. Black Thought fans get ready because I just spent the last few “transcribing” the official Okayplayer interview where Mr. Trotter answers YOUR questions. Well, most of them anyways. It will be up next week.

For the more serious music-heads, take your Game Theory convo over to The Lesson. Yeah, that’s where shit gets serious (I’m talking, the “purchased” version only type serious). It’s also where OKPs have been talking about Kenn Starr’s Starr Status even before we introduced him as our new NHT. Don’t sleep.

The Roots continue to get props in the press this week: Spin magazine lists them as one of their top 25 Best Live Acts. Duh. Even Paul Shaffer could have told you that. (Sidenote: now that we’ve confirmed Paul Shaffer and Dave are fans, you think the Letterman band is gonna start “covering” “Here I Come” on their outros to commercials?) If you’re still not convinced, watch how they rock Camp Bisco on these live videos c/o OKPDan. Jean Grae stays rockin’ her live shows too. Watch as she tears it up at City Hall in NYC!

Mad Skillz got mad questions…. anyone got some answers??



August 20, 2006

She possesses one of the most alluring and powerful voices within the neo-soul genre, injecting poignant words with both soul and substance. She doesn’t need to rely on technical wizardry because her voice is its own instrument all within itself. It’s quietly Seductive, Sexy, Galvanizing and Sweet.

In an industry that advocates monotony, Goapele Mohlabane (Qua-Pa-Le¹) is an autonomist – a poster girl for individualism, a non-conformist. Perhaps her bloodline/lineage itself helped hurt her nonconformity. Her New York-born Jewish mother met and married exiled South African political activist Douglas Mohlabane while in Nairobi, Kenya. “What those two cultures faced historically forced my brother and I to be sensitive toward various cultures and social issues. These issues were not only important, but the focus of our everyday lives. Even our musical tastes were diverse. We listened to Sweet Honey and the Rock and Nina Simone, as well as South African music such as Hugh Masekela, Zulu Spear and Miriam Makeba which was banned in South Africa at the time.”

For a woman whose name means ‘to move forward’ in Sitswana, a South African dialect, Goapele is instinctively living up to her moniker. The Bay Area native’s debut, Closer spawned after a 9-song promotional disc was distributed to various industry executives and music outlets, yielding an overwhelmingly popular response. Adding 5 new original songs to the debut, resulted in her highly anticipated sophomore effort, Even Closer, a 14-track album on SkyBlaze/RED/Sony Records. The poised chanteuse delivers a testimony-driven, emotionally aching yet uplifting and candidly charged classic cuts to soul music junkies who feign for organic gutbucket vocals and raw bass lines. Billboard Magazine says that “Her name, Goapele Mohlabane, is just as intriguing as her musicŠThis arresting set organically mixes R and B, hip-hop, jazz, and electronica in introspective, candid songs that colorfully reflect this soulful sista’s diverse range and life experiencesŠ.Goapele’s smoky, sensual voice is a beacon that shines on a set that wisely steers clear of overproduction. While calling to mind such influences as Nina Simone and Sade, this classic chanteuse-in-the-making is definitely her own woman of substance.” While The Source Magazine recognizes that “The neo-soul bandwagon is more crowded by the minute but room might have to be made for Goapele, the Bay Area’s best kept secret….Goapele’s voice rings with personal honesty and emotional urgency, reminiscent of Lauryn Hill and Mystic at their soulful best.”

Goapele brilliantly experiments with skillful compositions and heart wrenching harmonies, all with a smooth as pearl delivery. “Closer,” the first single that best showcases the singer/songwriter’s impeccable ability to mix classic soul with rhythm and and along with new-age funk, drips with sensuality. ³A collection of politically and dirty minded songs that suggests Amel Larrieux with a libido,² says Vibe Magazine. The multi-layered feel-good track effortlessly spirals her superb lyrics and velvety voice around carefree bass laden beats instantly garnering her respect for skillfully uniting hip-hop, jazz, R and B and melodic soul. “The song is about me being thankful for the blessings that I’ve received so far and how far I’ve come in the scheme of things. It was a stream of consciousness kind of song, very personal. It’s like an interlude of me thinking aloud that I felt people would identify with the most. When I hear it or sing it, I still feel all the emotions I felt when I wrote it.” The charismatic rising star shines luminously on the rock-esque, guitar laced groove, “Romantic,” which is an ode to her passionate boyfriend for all the exceptional things he does and has done. This song was also featured on Soulive’s album, Doin’ Somethin’ (Blue Note Recordings). “All of my lyrics come out truthful experiences that I’ve had, a journal entry or maybe a melody in my head that stemmed into something. But what’s important to me that sometimes gets lost in the pop world is that their music doesn’t reflect the artist’s real life. It’s really important to me that I stay true to myself and I’m writing lyrics that I believe and not just to sell.”

The track, “Things Don’t Exist,” dramatically reveals Goapele’s depth and range atop light piano chords with jazz flavored acoustics, while she expressively wails on “Salvation,” walking the avant-garde line between her gospel, South African and Urban Blues roots. One of the most striking and thought-provoking tracks on Even Closer is the anti-war song, aptly titled “Red, White and Blues”. In the days following 9/11, Goapele was torn between the need to express her feelings and comment on the overwhelming opposition to all dissenting views, while maintaining respect for those who had lost their lives and families. With much trepidation, she and producer Mike Tiger went into the studio and created a song that is equally disturbing, reflective, and uplifting.

Collaborating with a bevy of musical craftsmen that includes Amp Live from Zion I (Mystic, Linkin Park), Digital Underground’s DJ Fuze, Pep Love of the Hieroglyphics, Eric Krasno of Soulive, Mike Tiger (The Coup, Martin Luther) Goapele has created the perfect blend of Urban Soul. She either wrote or co-wrote every song and even co-produced several cuts. “I can conveniently fit into a category but I feel there’s a wide range of music represented on the CD that ultimately, it doesn’t really fit into any one category and I choose to do different kinds of music instead of focusing on one style.” Sheer artistic talent, discipline and a busy schedule have led to Goapele’s success and a string of engagements that include being invited by Michael Franti to sing with his band, Spearhead on their world tour in the summer of 2001, which included an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman. She has also performed on stage with Mystic, India.Arie, Alicia Keys, Donnell Jones, Amel Larrieux, Martin Luther, Erykah Badu, Common, Talib Kweli, Meshell N¹Degeacello, Ledisi, Jaguar, Jazzy Jeff, The Roots, Jazzyfatnastees and The Hieroglyphics, as well as opened for the MTV2 Sisters of Soul concert. The San Francisco Bay Guardian hails her as an “emerging rising star in the Bay Area’s urban music community,” while fellow artist Jazzy Jeff says, “If you looking for someone who will touch your soul…look no further she touched mine.” In addition, she is featured on the new Hieroglyphic’s song “Soweto,” the single from the album One Big Trip which features other artists such as Dialated Peoples, Del the Funky Homosapian, The Alkaholics, Royce the 5’9, Jurassic 5 and more. The video can be seen daily on MTV and MTV2. Goapele was recently nominated for the 2003 California Music Award for Outstanding R and B album along with fellow artists, Raphael Saadiq, Ledisi and Tyrese.

At this particular juncture, the dread-headed beauty who was influenced as equally by music from Stevie Wonder, Etta James, Nina Simone, Billy Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley and Prince as she was by community, political and social issues, would like to further develop as an artist, vocalist and musician. As a small child, Goapele used her family and friends as her practice audience, singing and performing complimentary shows, steadily fine tuning her musical chops. During her teenager years, she began singing accapella at community events like women retreats and at 14, joined the Oakland Youth Chorus. Towards the end of high school, the songstress decided to pursue music as a professional career, enrolling in the highly competitive and prestigious music school of Berkley College in Boston. From there, Goapele began performing and collaborating with various San Francisco musicians and artists such as Martin Luther, Ledisi and Mystic, circulating her talent and name. “I feel like culturally, it’s rich out here in the Bay area as far as being able to discuss other subjects. We don’t have to just write love songs out here we can talk about what’s going on and I feel like audiences are open to that. There’s a community here. A united kind of vibe and people are down to work with each other. Prop 21 was a big deal and I along with other artists were on a compilation sharing information through music.”

Activism has been the cornerstone of the Mohlabane household. At the age of 10, Goapele formed the first preteen peer-led support group of the Bay Area Black Women’s Health Project. “I think being active in that organization really helped me to have a foundation as a young woman, I believe in the empowerment of other young women and girls. That’s something that I’ve been steadily dedicated to and it’s a personal and a community thing. I would like to have a positive influence and impact in my community as well internationally.” At 15, she served alongside her mother on the national board of directors of Be Present, Inc. She also took part in peer education around issues of racism, sexism, and classism in the community group E.Y.E.S. (Empowered Youth Educating Society). In addition to contributing to a strong sense of self, Goapele’s organizational involvement provided her with nurturing forums for maturing as a human and an artist. “I’m glad that a lot of people in the community are here, youth activist and people that grew up being youth activists, who are now adults have fought for money for schools as opposed to jails. We’re not preaching. We try and find alternatives in order to raise awareness surrounding issues and incorporating our culture into it.”

Written and recorded on both the East and West coasts, Even Closer is the fruit of Goapele’s labor and inspiration. During her infrequent idle time, the graceful songbird can be found swaying her lithe figure to the rhythmic drum beats in her Afro-Haitian dance classes. She brings a well-needed enigmatic presence to a mundane industry that’s devoid of innovative magic and fascination but thick with semblance. Her aural signature of throaty moans and nostalgic lyrical poetry evoke all things old yet somehow manages to be refreshingly new. “Her vocals shatter souls, leaving audiences begging for more. She can vocally capture the heart of anyone,” says Urban View Newspaper. When she opens her mouth to sing, she doesn’t just sing, she rips it. She can’t hold back. But then again, moving forward is what Goapele is all about.

Mo Expressions @ Urban Grind Art Exhibit

August 20, 2006

Artwork by Monica Singer
Poetry by NuKola Herndon

Perfect Reality (Katrina Benefit CD) NOW AVAILABLE

August 20, 2006

First, I want to thank ALL of the awesome artist who participated on this CD.

Honey Brown
Celestial Dancer
Nichelle Colvin
Lisa Amos
Nycole Valentina
Matthew Mark
Poetic SunShyne
Dread Daze
Dead Potna
Zoe Spencer
Chase Martin

The CD is now available for sale on iTunes!
All proceeds are going towards helping Katrina Survivors rebuild their lives.

Please show your love and support by purchasing this Awesome CD via itunes. 🙂

Perfect Reality (Katrina Benefit CD)

Big Thanks To Da Wonda Twins who Produced 6 of The Tracks On This CD!

Thank You To Erick Kaine For his Neverending Support!

Peace & Blessings To All

Helping Those In Need Catch Their Second Wind

August 20, 2006

Monday, July 24, 2006

What Is The Second Wind Club?
Second Wind Club Was Formed In 1992 In New Orleans, Louisiana For The Sole Purpose Of Helping Those In Need. We Are Mothers, Fathers, Children & Artist Attempting To Help Anyone Who Needs Uplifting. We Also Create Poetry Cards For The Patients Of Children’s & Shriners Hospitals.

Our most recent focus is aiding families who are victims/survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

What Items Can The Families Use?

1. Clothing (For Women, Men & Children)
2. Non-Perishable Food Items
3. Blankets
4. Coloring books, crayons & toys
5. Toiletries…toilet paper, soap, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner and deodorant
6. Feminine hygeine Items

You can donate these items by:

1. Emailing Us At and we will then match you up with a family in need.

How Can you Help In Your Community?
To help a family hurt by any disaster or a local shelter use a few of these ideas:
1. Shop online and have items sent to the families or shelter
2. Purchase gift cards and have them sent to the families in need
3. Go shopping with your family for basic items you may already know the shelters may need
and as a family go and delivery it to the residents of the facility.

How And When Can We Be Contacted?
Postal Mail: 13909 Nacogdoches #105
PMB 1155
San Antonio, Texas 78217

Via Email:

Telephone: 210-587-2562 (office)
504-232-3353 (M-F between the hours of 9am to 5pm CST)

Poems To Stir A Soul’s Second Wind:
Along with helping the homeless we also love brightening the days of kids who are hospitalized in Childrens and Shriners Hospitals. These hospitals work effortlessly to save lives and enhance lives of children who have disabilities and cancer. We (myself & members who are writers) create poems and short stories. Those poems and stories are then printed out on decorative stock cards and paper. We then send them to the patients in Childrens & Shriners Hospitals in Louisiana, Texas and California. We welcome any writer(s) interested in joining this venture. If you have a poem or story you wish to share with the patients please email us at and we will be more than happy to have you become apart of this wonderful project.

Rnd Distribution Creating business deals

August 20, 2006

While the industry is in a lack luster state right now with good talent, there has been a distribution company known as the distribution company of the south.

The go by the name of R n D Distribution Company. The industry mixer help on August 18, 2006 was one that many artists should try to relieve.

While walking up the steps of the SHOUT restaurant in midtown Atlanta, I was forced to thing of how this event was going to turn out. I was force to consider that this event would be a models and bottle type of event with no real networking taking place. I was force to retract my thoughts in the matter of minutes. Watching Kim Ellis and her intern staff work the door of this mixer, fully lead me to belie that I was coming into a professional atmosphere. (BIG UPS TO KIM ELLIS)

Once I had a chance to enter the threshold, I was immediately bombarded with models with very kind words, and on my other shoulder I was getting snubbed by the Don Diva rep for Atlanta. Now in a state of mind of being mesmerized, I transcended to walk through the crowd to find some familiar faces THAT I KNEW THAT I COULD HAVE A GREAT CONVO WITH.

When entering this type of event I try to gravitate to other publications or individuals that i feel will be interesting to talk to.

As time progressing the evening, we (people that came to the event) was privilege to hear the many accomplishments of the RnD Distribution and the new developments thus far.

After the hustle and bustle of indie artist handing me a cd from every which way, I began my interviewing process.

I love to take the time to interview with artist and music moguls because it is very interesting in what they would say. (CHECK BACK SOON FOR AUDIO FROM THIS EVENT……INTERVIEWS AND SHOUT OUTS)!!!

This evening was coming to a close but with out it coming to a close we have to mention that the sponsor of this event RUSH ENERGY drink and KIM ELLIS did a great job. They even provided pizza and snacks….LOL!

Check back with us with pictures and INTERVIEWS.