Common & Selita Ebanks Covers Uptown’s August / September 2014 Issue

Here are some highlights:

Common is no stranger to violence:
His 6-foot-8 father, Lonnie Lynn, (Common was born Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr.) was a basketball playground legend who suffered from an addiction to drugs and the fast life. He once kidnapped Common, then a toddler, and his mother at gunpoint, taking them to a tryout with the Seattle SuperSonics to prove to recruiters that he was a family man.

On almost marrying Serena Williams:
Common is single now, and enjoying his unattached life, but says he believes in marriage. He thought it would happen with Williams, but he is taking his time now before he jumps into something else. “If I’m in it as much as I was with Serena, as much as I loved her…it takes time to heal and find that peace to be able to move on.”

On being labeled as “soft”:
“I’m hardcore which to me is coming from the heart. Putting your heart on that paper and being true.”

Speaking for the first time on the death of close friend and industry peer J. Dilla:
“He was physically deteriorating. It would be sad for me to see. You know you coming home healthy. You feel guilty. It brought my own immortality to the forefront […] Until I did [“Rewind That”], I wouldn’t answer questions in interviews about him. I wouldn’t keep pictures around. That song has been part of my process in dealing with it still.”

On his tenth album Nobody’s Smiling and the youth of Chicago:
“One way of giving back is by having young Chicago artists on the album. This album is an action to increase awareness to people in the city. I owe it to Chicago […] The most beautiful thing about this project is it’s not ahead of its time, it’s not a throwback album. It feels like today. I feel like a new artist. There are people out there that don’t know my music, but they know me from acting. Some don’t know me at all.”

Nicki Minaj Covers Fader

Here are the highlights:

On Being a Role Model to Young Black Women
“…Every time I do a business venture or something that isn’t the norm for a female rapper, I pat myself on the back. It’s important that corporate America can see a young black woman being able to sell things outside of music…A female rapper! With HSN!”

On The Industry Killing People Before Their Time
“I was making a point to say that the business kills so many people and we don’t even realize it. I can only imagine how many people in this business have died because they may not have wanted to… to be embarrassed publicly. We care so much about what the world thinks that we don’t live, really.”

On Her Comment About Writing Her Own Lyrics in her BET Acceptance Speech
“My point of saying what I said was that women need to have a perspective. If we’re out here saying that we’re so confident, and we’re so this and so that, but we don’t even trust ourselves to write down our own thoughts and spit it on a beat? It just doesn’t add up.”

On Leaving Her Family:
Her younger brother was just a child when she signed with Young Money and left her mom’s home. ‘One day he asked my mother, ‘Do you ever think there’ll come a time we all live in the same house again, and Onika will be back and she’ll have her room, and I’ll have my room?’” Nicki says. “And it just broke my heart.” Before a tear can muck up any of her makeup, Samuels wordlessly pops up from the couch to nab her a tissue. As soon as the curtain of Nicki’s private life slides open, revealing the sacrifices she’s made for her career, it’s pulled back again. ‘I don’t want to get emotional,’ she says, ‘I just miss them. Every time I talk about them, I get emotional.’”

Tracee Ellis Ross Graces The Cover Of Upscale Magazine’s August 2014 Issue

Here are the highlights:

On what it means to be black:
“What is blackness? What is being black? Who defines that and do we need to define that? I don’t have the answers to all of those questions but I think these are the conversations we’re all still having.”

On her ABC show, Black-ish:
“The beauty of the show is that it’s just a family comedy, but it has another layer to it. I don’t know what I necessarily want people to think or talk about after watching it but for me in general with cultural identity, racial identity and feminist identity, dialogue is important. People communicating in a light and open way about issues that have a lot of depth and weight to them is a great thing.”

On loving her body:
“I’m proud of my body—I work very hard to keep my body at 41 years-old, because my booty could drop… Gravity is not a joke.”

On advice & romance:
“Any one rule [as it pertains to romantic relationships] that people think works everywhere is just not true. In general, with everything it’s an intimate discovery of trusting yourself and allowing yourself the room to have curiosity about life and self.”

Zoe Saldana Bares It All For Women’s Health UK

Zoe Saldana opens up about her body issues for Women’s Health UK and their Naked issue. Here are the highlights:

On coming into her own and trust issues:

‘I’ve learnt to listen to myself, so whenever I don’t feel like doing anything that starts with ‘I should’ then I don’t.”

On her body image:

"I’m exactly where I want to be. I do feel beautiful in a way that even when I was working out a whole lot, I sometimes didn’t.
‘Because there have been times that I was really slender and I didn’t like that I sometimes looked a little too muscular and flat chested - you’ll never be completely happy, so at the end of the day it’s like “F**k it. Just be happy, regardless.”


On listening to nature:

This past year I’ve had to start letting go. My body dictated it as if saying, ‘Slow the f**k down!’ … And I struggle with that. I love to be an athlete.’ ‘My body is less toned. I do look in the mirror and see things I don’t want. My first reaction is I breathe and I think, ‘I’m a woman, I’m 36, my body is changing.’’

On husband Marco Perego:

We give each other a great deal of support and love but it wasn’t because we found it in each other, we came that way and then got together. That’s what I love about it. I do believe whatever’s meant to be will be - but had the universe said, ‘Let’s just wait, he’s going to come into your life later,’ I would’ve been fine on this journey I was on just knowing who the f**k I was.”

The issue is out on stands right now.

Mya Covers The August 2014 Issue Of Women’s Running Magazine

Here are the highlights:

Why the New York City Marathon was her 2011 New Year’s resolution: “It was a test of my own strength and will” … “I wanted to prove to myself that I was still physically healthy and that I could do something to challenge myself.”


How going vegetarian for a year changed her outlook for good: “There’s a stigma attached to vegetarian food. My friends would say, ‘Oh, gosh, that’s no fun” … “But I discovered so many great dishes that I eat habitually now, because they’re delicious.”


Why she likes to train outdoors: “Getting outside and getting in touch with nature is such a spiritual cleanse for me.”


How that New Year’s resolution became a lifestyle: “I am so happy and proud to call myself a runner.”


What She Really Eats: Mya shares snapshots of her daily meat-free meals, including her favorite smoothie recipe

Mya’s issue of WOMEN’S RUNNING is on newsstands now.

See What Zoe Saldana Had To Say In The Latest Issue Of Marie Claire

On her relationship with husband Marco Perego: “I don’t do the ABCs. I do what my heart says, what my heart feels. So from the moment I met my husband, we were together. We knew.”

On the biggest thing she’s learned about relationships: “Not to settle. If you’re not happy with a person, leave. And wait until you find that one person who makes you feel good about yourself every single day and is not expecting you to change, but to grow.”

On disrespect: “I have been in relationships where a man has disrespected me, and I don’t need to be friends with that man anymore. I don’t want to be the one going, ‘I’m cool, because I’m friends with all my exes.’ There’s a reason why you’re called an ex. I crossed you off my list. Moving on. You cross a line, you need to know that you’re going to walk this earth knowing that there’s an individual who has no respect for you.”

Read more from Zoe’s Marie Claire cover story here.

Jessica Alba Covers The August Issue Of British GQ


Here’s what the Sin City star had to say about Paul Walker:

"He has a real childlike innocence. He was game to try anything and do anything. He treated everyone with respect and love. He was never treating anybody differently because of who they were.”

"He was really a guy’s guy. And loved his daughter so much and talked about her all the time. He never cared about Hollywood. He never cared about the hype."

About her famous role in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For:

“There’s more dancing, but the dancing’s really connected to the story,” she explains. “Nancy’s a bit of an alcoholic and a bit of a mess and she’s depressed and angry. The dances in the movie reflects where she’s at.”
“Then I was a girl, I was timid, I was afraid,” she says. “I was so insecure and now I’m a woman and it’s different… I’m more uninhibited.”

About her body:

“My legs I’m not as excited about all the time, but I wouldn’t cover up my stomach,” she admits. “That’s what women do. Enhance what we’ve got.”

FLOTUS Michelle Obama Covers The August 2014 Issue Of ESSENCE

Check out some of the highlights:

On Working Hard and Believing In Yourself:

"I know I tell my kids all the time that they shouldn’t shy away from difficult things, because that is the point at which you are really growing. It’s not just about grades or test scores. Today our kids may shy away from applying to college if they think they don’t have the right grade or test score. But the truth is that the kids who succeed and go on to be successful professionals are the ones who know how to work hard."

On Opportunity and what we owe our Ancestors:

"We cannot waste the opportunity that we have here in America, especially as African-Americans. Our ancestors fought and bled and died so that we could go to school. And I still think about that."

On Preparing Sasha and Malia for the future:

"We talk about responsibility and accountability, about making sure that they’re not wasting the opportunities they’re given. We make sure they know how lucky they are and that, because of that, they have an obligation to have their acts together and to take their education very seriously."

Jhené Aiko Covers VIBE’s Summer 2014 Issue


Here are some highlights:

On songs about killing her ex lovers, like on “The Worst”

“I’ve never killed a guy, and I’ve never went to jail, but those are the things I have to get out of my head some way,” she says. “It’s writing a song and then turning my crazy thoughts into those moments where I’m like, I could really do that, but I’m not going to.”

On her real-life love style

She once gave a guy flowers from Walgreens (“He was like, ‘You’re making me feel like a bitch.’ He liked it, though.”) The biggest splurge gift: a boat ride, at $200 per hour, for a day-time excursion that she references on “Comfort Inn Ending (Freestlye),” singing: “I should’ve never fucked you on a boat on your birthday.”

On comparing her style and collabo partner Drake’s style

“Drake’s a conversation with a woman on a level of honesty,” says producer No I.D., who signed Jhené to his Def Jam imprint, Artium, in 2011. “Jhené represents the woman who talks to herself and deals with the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the spiritual and the ghetto.”

On preferring vapors or papers over blunts for the occasional stress reliever

“Everyone’s [singing] about weed now, ‘cause that’s the ‘in’ thing to do. I’m like ‘Do you even smoke?’” says Jhené, without singling anyone out. “You can tell when it’s contrived. You don’t have to do it. Talk about what you do.”

On her self-proclaimed “hood rat behavior”

Doing hood rat things was part of Jhené and her best friend Tynetta’s agenda. In fourth grade, they took a midnight Metrolink bus ride to Compton—“I told everyone about it. I felt so brave,” says Jhené. She gradually smartened up and later realized she was a lightweight after downing a whole bottle of brandy with two friends while one of their moms weren’t home. She woke up to vomit in the sheets. “I just remember having a ridiculous conversation, being loud,” says Jhené. “I probably had a hangover for the next two days. Until this day, I can’t drink brandy.”

Check out the full cover story over at VIBE.

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