Songs, Movies & Moments: January 2018

Cardi B. Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images

A Look at Entertainment

by T.J. Moore –

Former reality TV star Cardi B continues to make history as a rapper.

Months after becoming the first solo female emcee in nearly 20 years to earn the top spot on the Billboard Top 100, the “Bodak Yellow” rapper added verses on “No Limit” and the Migos’s “Motorsport,” making her the first rapper to ever land three Hot 100 singles in the Top 10 simultaneously, according to Billboard. Cardi joins The Beatles and Ashanti as artists holding three or more singles in the top 10.

Kerry Washington (left) stars in Scandal;
Viola Davis stars in How to Get Away
with Murder.

Shondaland/TGIT fans can rejoice. Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes and How to Get Away with Murder creator Peter Nowalk confirmed to Deadline that a crossover episode featuring the two dramas is happening. Rimes and Nowalk recently posted the same screenshot of a page from the crossover script while stars Viola Davis and Kerry Washington posted teaser photos of their characters on each other’s sets.

Nowalk shared a few clues about the episode with Deadline, saying that there was an opportunity for a collaboration in the script.

“At the beginning of the season, my writers and I were planning out Viola’s entire arc and something in her story organically came up that was very appropriate for Scandal,” Nowalk said. “When I went to Shonda, she heard it and I said, we don’t have to do it, Viola’s arc doesn’t need this, but it’s possible that their stories could cross really organically. She actually pulled up a clip of something from Scandal and their side of the story coalesced perfectly. So it was one of those serendipitous things where we both realized it was good for both characters, and it almost felt like we had been planning it since last season.”

What Norwalk isn’t ready to reveal, however is whether or not Viola Davis’s Annalise Keating and Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope will join forces.

“I don’t think we want to give that away yet. If I were a viewer, the thing I would want to see is Kerry and Viola in a scene together; that was really the reason to do it. To have the storyline together and really shed light on both of their characters in a new way. That, of course means that Annalise is in Olivia’s world during the Scandal episode, so she’ll be meeting the Scandal characters, and Olivia is in the Murder world and she’ll be meeting some of the Murder characters. You’ll see that crossover.”

Catch new episodes of Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder Jan. 18 on ABC.

DJ Khaled

Major key alert! DJ Khaled is now Weight Watchers’ newest spokesperson.

The music producer will publicly document his weight-loss journey on his social media channels as he follows Weight Watchers’ “Freestyle” program. The new Weight Watchers plan includes more than 200 “zero points” foods that users don’t have to portion or track and also allows for new SmartPoints rollovers.

Khaled explained in a statement that his 14-month-old son, Asahd, is his motivation to begin a healthier lifestyle.

“My son is my love, my life, and I need to be great for him,” Khaled said. “To be great is to be healthy; to be healthy means a shift in my lifestyle.”

DJ Khaled’s lifestyle changes come on the heels of his tour with Demi Lovato in late February.

Richeliu Dennis

Essence magazine has a new home. Essence Ventures, an independent African American owned company founded by Sundial Brands founder Richeliu Dennis, will acquire Essence Communications from Time, Inc.

Current Essence magazine president Michelle Ebanks will retain her position and join Essence Ventures’s board of directors. The media company’s all-black female executive team will have an equity stake in Essence Ventures.

Dennis praised Ebanks’ vision and leadership in a statement, adding, “We are excited to be able to return this culturally relevant and historically significant platform to ownership by the people and the consumers whom it serves and offer new opportunities for the women leading the business to also be partners in the business.”

Ebanks believes that the climate was right for this acquisition. “The deal is timely as black women’s influence is intensifying,” Ebanks says. “From her influence in politics and at the polls, mandate for social justice, and demand for economic inclusion to her impact on beauty culture, leadership in equal rights efforts, and catalysis of community empowerment, she is at the forefront, driving the cultural phenomena that are positively changing the world. Essence will continue to lead that charge with, for, and beside her as the unparalleled platform for her voice.”

Essence magazine was among a collection of assets that Time, Inc. put up for sale prior to Meredith Corp. making its $2.8 billion bid for the nation’s largest publisher in November.

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