Starting Over: Angie Stone Discusses New Album ‘Dream’ And Why She Won’t Return to Reality TV

Being in the lime light for over 30 years can certainly taint a soul, but when you can turn your mess into a message, that’s when you’re a certified survivor. Despite Hollywood’s unforgiving spotlight, veteran songbird Angie Stone is the definition of a conqueror; resilient and strong with a pioneering hip-hop career that withstood the test of time.

Stone readies the release of her seventh studio album, Dream, with the powerful single, “Two Bad Habits,” leading the charge. Stone’s robust vocals, vulnerable lyrics and gritty delivery made her a household name, making her voice an immediate force. Rising to fame in the late 1970s as member of the hip hop trio The Sequence, the three-time Grammy nominee brings back neo-soul and R&B, with a sprinkle of reality, on her latest effort.

TopNotch Music President Marv Mack adds, “It is more than a pleasure to have the opportunity to work with one of the most soulful voices of this generation. Angie is beyond talented and is still holding the torch of ‘real soul music.’

The Source caught up with the South Carolina native as she talked her new album, overcoming a depressed state and her stint on R&B Divas Atlanta.- Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

The Source: Tell us about your new album, Dream.

Angie Stone: The name of the album was inspired by Walter Millsap, who had a dream that God put on his heart and he started searching for me.

I was somewhere giving up, completely done, frustrated, broken and disappointment and just in need of a hug, so to speak. When he came along he told me he wanted to do this record. He said I know you’re probably not feeling it right now, but give me a shot. It was whatever at that point and I didn’t want to be rude, but I just wasn’t in the mood, and it had been that way for a long time.

When I decided to do another record it was because I reflected on the poem Foot Print, where God said the times when you were struggling those were the times I carried you. That was a time God was carrying me because- I get emotional when I think about it- I was broken. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t feel like people were checking for me and that they had given up and I had given up.

Walter came along and gave me the necessary hug- not a physical hug but a spiritual hug- that I needed allowing God to operate through him.

I went into the studio, cutting two songs a night, and I couldn’t believe it. And the strength had to come from God himself because I was wounded.

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God is so good because we need to hear your testimony, and it gives Him all the glory!

Oh yeah, because coming from hip hop to where I am today, television being a driving force for marketing and you get on television and you’re mocked, toyed with and disrespected, it was the ultimate whooping Satan was trying to put on my life because of my destiny. And I knew God had greater in store for me.

I prayed a lot and even in my brokenness, God was just so glad I allowed Him to take the lead. Sometimes we feel like we have to fight all our battles, but it’s when we’re surrendered that’s when He shows us who He is and who we belong to. And that’s what happened with this project.

Even though I’m happy that it’s an amazing project, I’m overwhelmed because I was completely done and God turned it around and took over and now we’re having this conversation.

His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

There you go! I’ve been doing interviews all day but to interview with The Source– to be apart of something that has spanned over 30 years, being there from the ground floor up and still relevant, that’s nobody but God. I’m overwhelmed because not many people know of my hip hop roots but one day I’ll be able to tell the story in a biopic we’re thinking about doing.

What can fans expect from your album?

I think that everyone can take something away from this album that relates to their life. I’m painfully honest in my music, even with my first single, “Two Bad Habits,” we all have had bad habits once or twice in our life when we allow a man or a woman to dictate how we get to the finish line. And sometimes we lose, we make mistakes, we fall but we get back up.

I feel like everyone will find themselves in this record because I’m being transparent as I can be saying, hey, I go through it too. When you hear the song “Magnet,” who hasn’t felt like they don’t have “fool” written across their forehead?

As you look back over your career, do you have any regrets?

I don’t have any regrets at all. I think that God knew I would be up for the challenge when he chose me to walk this path. So I’m at a place where I wouldn’t undo anything.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell my younger self is to just be patient- you already have the tools God equipped you with to win. I don’t think my struggle would’ve been as hard if I had listened to my heart and not my head. My heart always knew that God had me protected and covered but my head moved faster than it’s time.

We try to get there faster with our heads, we start making moves and changing things but when we rearrange God plans it causes a detour- it doesn’t mean we won’t get there but it’ll take you a little bit longer.

See Also: Her Source | R&B Divas–Season Three, Episode One “Engagement To Engagement” Premiere Recap

You’re a lady of many talents, singing and acting, any projects coming up we can expect?

I finished making my assistant directorial debut on a movie called Pigskin, it’s not done, but I’ll probably have one or two scenes in that film. But I’m very excited about developing television shows.

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Do you still talk to your R&B Divas Atlanta co-stars?

Not really, KeKe [Wyatt] and I are cool, but I really don’t get a chance to speak with them. Nikki [Gilbert] and I speak in passing and chit chat, but that’s it. I think my cast mates were blood suckers and it’s hard to face me now.

Would you ever return to reality TV again?

No, I don’t think so. If it’s going to make a mockery out of me, then no, but if it’s going to benefit someone else, then yes.

What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

I think people think I’m mean and I’m a diva.

Are you feeling Angie’s new single? Sound off on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @TheSource. Make sure you follow us on Instagram at @TheSource!

“Two Bad Habits” are available for download now.

Dream will be available for download and purchase on November 6. Click here to pre-order!

Photo credit: Getty Images

Bae Watch: Morris Chestnut Talks FOX’s ‘Rosewood’ Leading Role

Viewers certainly won’t complain of the latest dosage of chocolate slated to take over your Wednesday nights. In a refreshing new Fall lineup, FOX debuts a new series starring Morris Chestnut in the medical drama, Rosewood. The Todd Harthan created series is a hybrid of comedy, drama, and real-life situations with a gorgeous Miami backdrop, as The Best Man actor plays the title character, Dr. Beaumont Rosewood, or “Rosie.”

Fresh off The Perfect Guy success, who’s number one in the box office for two consecutive weeks, September is shaping up to be a successful one for the California native. Debuting his first leading role in a TV series, Chestnut plays the cocky, charming and uber-suave pathologist-for-hire, solving crimes with Miami P.D along side the fiesty Jaina Lee Ortiz and Gabrielle Dennis (The Game.)

At the Chicago VIP screening of the drama, co-star Lorraine Toussant, who plays Chestnut’s mother, blushed about the new series, calling it, “a complex story and procedural. It’s Miami; it’s hot, it’s sexy, it’s Morris Chestnut! And it’s smart. My ten year old refers to the character Rosewood as “the smart guy.” It’s intellectually stimulating, sexy, very funny and even heartbreaking. The family aspect of it is very real, we get very real, we’re a modern black family and we have those modern black family issues- my daughter’s a lesbian and she’s getting married, I’m getting divorced from my husband, it’s real life.”

Premiering just before the FOX juggernaut second season premiere of Empire, this Wednesday at 8:00pm, Rosewood is sure to become a Wednesday night staple.

The Source caught up with the 46-year-old as he got candid about his new show, what he’d be if he wasn’t an actor and more. – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

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The Source: Congratulations on your new FOX show, Rosewood. What makes this show different from other medical dramas?

Morris Chestnut: Thank you, I’m really excited about it. With this particular show we’re doing a little bit of everything. You’re going to get comedy and drama in each episode; they’re either all straight comedy or straight drama. What separates our show is we shift and mix tones and we have a lot of different characters that bring a lot of different things to the show.

Are there any similarities between you and your character?

Yes, there’s a bit, I think I’m very optimistic and we use a bit of wit and humor in our everyday life. And he likes to stay in shape.

How do you handle all the love you receive from your female fans?

I appreciate that [support] – they’ve come out and supported me throughout my career. I just try to give back whenever I can and try to get better as an actor and bring better quality projects for them to be entertained.

See Also: Morris Chestnut To Star In New Show ‘Rosewood’FOX's "Rosewood" - Season One

You’ve been in the game for over 20 years, from Ricky (Boyz n The Hood, 1991), to Keith (Two Can Play That Game, 2001) to Lance (The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday) do you have a favorite character?

I think all [the characters] bring different things; Ricky was fun and when I look back on that I reflect back because then I was just starting out and I compare it to who I am now as an actor and a person.

What is something about you that can’t be found on Google?

Well I haven’t Googled myself lately, so I’m not really sure but I think what people don’t know is that I’m some what of a quiet, shy person.

Fill in the Blank: If I weren’t an actor, I would be…

I would want to be an athlete or a financial manager.

So you’re good with numbers?

I try to be!

What’s your sport of choice?

Football’s my favorite, that’s my first love. Rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles!

<strong>Rosewood premieres Wednesday, September 23 on FOX at 8/7c.

Photo credit: FOX, Getty Images

Girl Power: Meagan Good Talks FOX’s ‘Minority Report’ Leading Role

Cookie Lyon, Mary Jane Paul and Olivia Pope has a new brown girl joining their leading lady ranks. Meet Lara Vega, head detective in Steven Speilberg’s Minority Report, played by veteran actress Meagan Good. The California native, alongside Wilmer Valderrama and Stark Sands, tackles murders and crimes in the futuristic TV adaptation of the 2002 Tom Cruise blockbuster, set ten years after PreCrime in D.C. A series full of revolutionary technology, complete with high-tech contact lenses, hand controlled computers and augmented reality, the detectives collaborate with a precog freed at the end of the film, Dash (Sands) who can see crimes before their occurrence.

The Think Like A Man actress joins the pack of FOX’s new fall line up, alongside Morris Chestnut’s comedic medical drama Rosewood, plus the highly anticipated second season of Empire. With an impressive Hollywood resume, including Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, to Stomp the Yard, the 34 year old proves this isn’t as “good” as it gets.

The Source caught up with the gorgeous starlet as she talked about her new leading role and how she handles naysayers. – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

The Source: Congratulations on your new FOX show, Minority Report, how did you get involved with the show?

Meagan Good: I had very specific things in my mind that I wanted to do and I know I wanted to action and a strong character. When pilot season came around I got other offers but I decided to wait because I just knew God was going to bring the right thing so I decided to wait for it. I decided to join the cast of Mr. Robinson– doing some comedy part time, having a blast. Then I got a few calls for some great projects and the one that stuck out was Minority Report and I thought I needed to be apart of this!

Come to find out the office of the producers of the show was located on the same loft I was already filming on, so I literally just took a golf cart over there. I met with producers and we instantly hit it off and they made the offer. Mr. Spielberg signed off on me and I started crying!

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Can you relate to your character, Lara, in anyway?

Yes- she’s always told no, but she trusts her gut and trusts her purpose and she’s absolutely determined to do what she believes is the right thing. She doesn’t let anyone or anything stand in her way and that’s a lot like who I am. So that about her I just totally fell in love with.

She’s also very purposed. She wants the world to be a better place and she knows maybe she can’t change it all overnight or in the blink of an eye, but she can start by one situation. And that’s what motivates her as a cop; trying to save lives and solve murders. So I can totally relate to her.

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See Also: Watch The Trailer For ‘Minority Report’ Starring Meagan Good

You’ve been in the game for nearly twenty years, and people are not shy about their opinions of you. How do you deal with haters?

It’s weird because when the Internet became really popular- I was around 21, and at first, I didn’t deal with it well. It literally hurt me feelings; I would cry about it and be upset for awhile. But I realized in those ten years I’ve learned how to deal with it and learn a lot of the things being said has nothing to do with me, I’m just on the receiving end of it because I’m out in a way that anyone can reach you and have an opinion about you.

What I wasn’t prepared for but ultimately realized that I was was when I got married. With my husband being in ministry and me being Christian, people may not feel like what I wear or what roles I take make sense. I’ve been saved since I was 12 and that’s why my husband and I got together because we did see eye to eye. So all the judgment and opinions before was so I could deal with this now because this was even heavier initially, but I’m much more equipped and prepared because of my past experiences.

Getty Images Portrait Studio Powered By Samsung Galaxy At Comic-Con International 2015

Being someone not shy about how you dated and courted, what advice would you give to the woman who wants to give up on love?

Don’t! It’s not about being patient, it’s about not focusing on finding love. Not focusing on finding a husband or a mate but focusing on you- what’s going to make you better, what’s going to help you achieve your goals in life and purpose about why you believe you were created. Focus on making you better in every single way- make ‘you,’ your project, between you and God. And your husband, the right love, will come at the right time and because you’ve been developing yourself you’ll be able to identify what’s not right for you without going down roads that end in a certain way that it wouldn’t have to if you were more in tune with yourself and God. So don’t give up just don’t focus on it. God’s timing is always perfect.

Minority Report premieres on Monday, September 21 at 9:00pm EST on FOX.

Will you be tuning in?

Photo credit: Getty Images, FOX

Wale, D’Angelo and the Vanguard Rock Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival

Smoke danced in the air. The smell of on-tap beer drifted across Union Park as it transformed into a musical paradise, greeting Midwestern music-heads with popular headliners and must see up-and-comings for the 2015 North Coast Music Festival. Self-dubbed “Chicago’s Last Stand,” a final hoo-rah to the summer before the cooler weather begins it’s unapologetic domination, a myriad of hip-hop, electronic and metal bands took to the stage in ear pleasing sets during Labor Day weekend.

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Fans from every corner of Chicago, home to Kanye West, Twista, R. Kelly, Lupe Fiasco plus dozens more, descended upon the 3-day stint to see their favorite artists. This year’s festival tapped rapper Wale, D’Angelo and The Vanguard, along with one of the most influential hip hop acts ever, The Roots, in addition to The Chemical Brothers, popular electronic music band.

The North Coast Music Festival has always been known for it’s diverse appeal. Attracting everyone from the grunge lovers, to boho-chic flower childs, to hip-hop heads, North Coast had something for everyone.

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Wale was Chi-town chillin’ as he performed his hyped set on Friday, September 4. Blessing the 312-stage, the “Matrimony” rapper put on an impeccable show, interacting with fans; taking selfies with festival goers smart phones and jumping in the crowd on multiple occasions.

Dressed in an army-fatigue top and pinned up dreads with a red and black scarf, the D.C. native chanted, “turn the f*ck up,” as the audience bellowed after him, getting the crowd hype as he performed his most popular hits, including “Bad,” the Miguel-assisted “Lotus Flower Bomb” and “Girls on Drugs.” The 30-year-old songwriter closed his show with the ultra party anthem, “No Hands,” untying his secured do to shake his dreads to the beat as the crowd waved their hands and jumped in rhythm.

See Also: Why You Should Attend Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival

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D’Angelo and the Vanguard took to the stage the following day, marking their first performance ever in the Windy City. Despite Saturday morning showers, fans came out in droves to see the R&B legend perform with his band. Although the “How Does it Feel” singer performed most of his new material from his surprise album, Black Messiah, the 41-year-old was a hybrid of old-school, funk and blues. But his die-hard fans, who first fell in love with the R&B crooner from the early nineties, didn’t feel left out, as he performed the sultry hit, “Brown Sugar.” Alternating from the guitar to the keyboard, D’Angelo showcased his unlimited talents, infused with his signature falsetto. – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

Photo credit: Vocalo 91.1, Frank Knuckles Instagram, Josh Timmermans Instagram, Sherron Shabazz Instagram

Martin Lawrence Lights Up The Stage On ‘Doin Time’ Comedy Tour

Demand to see the trail blazing comedian Martin Lawrence was so high, a second show had to be added to his “Doin Time” comedy tour stop in Indiana late August.

The hilarious comic stopped by the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, Indiana on August 29th and 30th, drawing crowds from Chicago to Indianapolis to witness him do what he does best- making people laugh.

The show started with a hilarious compilation of some of Lawrence’s funniest moments, from hit movies, Bad Boys, Big Mommas House, Nothing to Lose, Life, to National Security, even with behind-the-scenes footage from the set of his fan-favorite series, “Martin,” showcasing just how much of a staple the comic has been in Hollywood.

See Also: Martin Lawrence Announces Bad Boy 3 is in Development

From side-splitting jokes about Tiger Woods, the 50-year-old actor’s set was no-holds-barred, even touching- no pun intended- on the Bill Cosby saga, to Hollywood mistaking him as Don Cheadle to sex and relationships.

His die-hard fans, affectionately known as #TeamMartyMar, supported the Germany-born Black Knight actor, cheering him on throughout his set. – Angela Wilson

Special thanks to Shannon Waldron of Urban Fêtes!

Urban Fêtes is a lifestyle marketing company comprised of leading forces in the worlds of entertainment, advertising and new media. Deeply immersed in today’s lifestyle of music, art, sports and fashion, we keep brands connected and engaged with the influential millennial demographic by delivering authentic messaging with compelling events, content and culture cues.

Photo credit: Brentton Wilson, Getty Images, Martin Lawrence Instagram

MC Lyte Celebrates 27th Anniversary of ‘Lyte As A Rock,’ Talks W.E.A.L.T.H. Experience Retreat

Just when you thought femcee MC Lyte couldn’t get much higher, she blows hip hop heads away with mind blowing achievements and iconic nods. The hip hop OG, who just launched her own MC Lyte mobile app, is celebrating the 27th anniversary of her debut album, Lyte As A Rock. The Source caught up with the first female to release a solo album as she dished on the noteworthy anniversary:

“Celebrating 27 years since my first album hit the world seems amazing!! I can remember when my friend and label mate Eric and I first walked into the studio at First Priority where Milk & Giz were working on tracks. I can recall Milk making the track for “I Cram to Understand U” right before my eyes on that tiny 4 track Tascam. The greatest memories were made with Lyte As A Rock! It was a great experience!”

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And now 27 years later she has added sitcom actress, mentor, DJ, philanthropist and lending her voice for a number of different causes. Working with men of color to provide college scholarships every year thru her foundation, Hip Hop Sisters Network and being on the Board of Trustees for Dillard University, Lyte, born Dana Moorer, has kept herself busy and diversified an already amazing list of accomplishments.

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(MC Lyte and Denzel Washington)

Lyte is also working on her upcoming W.E.A.L.T.H Experience retreat with celebrity attendances by Faith Evans, Fantasia, Nicci Gilbert, Kelly Price, Michele Thornton from BET, to name a few. W.E.A.L.T.H stands for Womanhood, Expansion, Assets, Love, Theology and Health.

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The WEALTH experience is held in the Virgin Islands January 2-5th. The three-day women’s retreat focuses on connecting with like-minded women and peers, reflecting on your goals and renewing your spirit through a host of general sessions, workshops and themed events that will teach you how to master your personal, business, and financial objectives and leave you feeling reunited, rejuvenated and rich with life changing information.

For additional information about the retreat, click here! – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

Photo credit: Getty Images

SWV Performs 90s Hits, Talks New Single, ‘Ain’t No Man’ at Chicago Concert

Iconic 90s R&B trio Sisters With Voices effortlessly lives up to their name, even 20 years later after their 1992 music debut. After numerous platinum and gold albums and signature singles that still resonates with music lovers years later, the New York bred trio continues to tour, performing classic hits and debuting new music.

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The group, comprised of the original members we’ve grown to know and love, Cheryl “Coko” Gamble, Tamara “Taj” Johnson and “Leanna “LeLee” Lyons, stopped by the Windy City on August 14, performing hit songs including 1992’s “Right Here,” the uber-sexy “Downtown” and their signature ballad, “Weak” at the South Loop’s Shrine nightclub. Complete with funky choreography, and an interactive performance including fans with their set, the animated songstresses put on a show.

With an impressive discography, the Grammy nominated group revealed their favorite songs of their own in an interview; Coko: “My favorite song of ‘You Are My Love’ off the second album.” Taj: ” I’ve been stuck on ‘The Best Years of Our Lives’ for the last three years, I love that song!” LeLee: “My favorite song is ‘It’s About That Time’ from our first album.”
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Engulfed in 90s nostalgia, 80s babies were transported into R&B trance, belting out the lyrics to every song like they were released yesterday. Reminiscent of days of old, when music rang of grit, true talent and real-life vulnerability, SWV stole the stage with their girl power and group chemistry. The trio, who are currently starring in the second season of their own reality show, SWV Reunited on WeTV, dished on their new single, ‘Ain’t No Man:’ “This song is actually celebrating men. We beat them down sometimes but we want to celebrate the good men who actually pay child support, take out the trash and do what they’re supposed to do. We got a song for the fellas this time,” described LeLee.

SWV continues to drop musical gems, proving that R&B isn’t dead thanks to their timeless music and classic ballads of true substance. – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

Special thanks to Catrice Armstrong of PR Werks!

For more information about The Shrine and or to purchase tickets for upcoming shows, visit www.theshrinechicago.com

Photo credit: Juan Anthony Images

Why You Should Attend Chicago’s North Coast Music Festival

The North Coast Music Festival is the last “party in the park” of Chicago’s sweltering summer; a concluding bittersweet farewell to the summer months with a music festival dedicated to music lovers. Scheduled for Labor Day weekend, September 4-September 6, North Coast promises to please with the hottest acts of the year and rising stars from Rock, Hip Hop and Funk, with party-hyping DJ’s.

Featuring hip hop and R&B acts Wale, The Roots, D’Angelo and the Vanguard, the three day festival includes an impressive undercard with some of music’s beloved up and comings, giving bands a huge platform to showcase their skills and talent. The festival, also described as Summer’s Last Stand, creatively includes a “Silent Disco,” a graffiti area or “Living Gallery” presented by Elder Tree.

Not one to stop at the party on festival grounds, North Coast extends the celebration far beyond Chicago’s west side Union Park, with After Parties sprinkled around the city. Hosted by the acts themselves, festival-goers get a up and close look at their favorite artists, partying the night away.

Check out the full lineup here.

Tickets are on sale now! – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

50 Cent and EFFEN Vodka Take Over The Shrine Nightclub in Chicago

50 Cent brought his talents to the Windy City on Thursday, July 30, hosting a day full of events throughout the city, concluding with a party at The Shrine night club in the city’s South Loop neighborhood.

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Hosting the evening’s festivities, 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, poured free shots of EFFEN Vodka to wailing fans, hopping over the gated stage giving out free bottles to fans. Jackson’s most popular hits, “P.I.M.P.” and “In Da Club,” blazed speakers as the soundtrack to the night, as fans rapped along every lyric to their favorites, including his 2003 Get Rich or Die Tryin’ track, “What Up Gangsta,” which he briefly performed.

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The G-Unit boss man amped the crowd, requesting for Chicago’s hottest local artists, as DJ ibHappy and DJ Mile High responded with hits from King Louie and Spenzo’s “Wife Er.” The Power producer rocked to Future’s “March Madness” and Rico Richie’s “Poppin’,”before Chicago artist Yung Stakks performed.

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Hosted by popular Chicago promoter Susu Barakat, Shrine Thursdays was yet another hit! – Angela Wilson (@SheisAngela)

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Photo credit: Juan Anthony Images