By Bill Vaughan
TV One and CLEO TV are commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. Day in a heartfelt way with the airing of the fifth annual “Urban One Honors” Jan. 16 at 8 p.m.
The two-hour telecast, hosted by the charismatic R&B singer and actor Tank, heralds the accomplishments of individuals who have made extraordinary contributions in entertainment, media, music, politics, education, and the community.
Tasty Clips had a prime seat for the Atlanta taping of the event celebrating “Icons of the Culture.”
The Entertainment Icon Honor went to two-time Grammy and NAACP Image Award winner LL Cool J, who accepted humbly by saying, “For me this is my moment. I’m the hero. But for you, you’re the hero in your movie. So, you have to remember that and keep pushing through. Pass the villains. Assist the heroes. Pass the demons. Make your life a success and win.”
The first ever Phoenix Honor was awarded to entertainer, philanthropist and entrepreneur Bobby Brown. He and the house were near tears with his affirmation that “I know I can do something special. I know there’s something special inside of me that’s waiting to come out. I promise I’m going to stay strong until that thing comes out, and make sure that it’s the best of me.”
The Inspirational Impact Honor went to NAACP Image Award winner David Mann and his wife, Grammy Award winner, Tamela Mann, who count their being married and staying relevant in the industry that long as nothing but a blessing.
The Lifetime Achievement Honor deservedly was handed to U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, and the Pusha Music Innovation Honor went to multiple Grammy Award-winning artist, producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams, who’s acceptance speech without prompting gave many some needed food for thought.
If that’s not enough, don’t miss the show-stopping moments including a celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip hop with DJ Spinderella (Salt-N-Pepa), Kool Moe D, Monie Love and Doug E. Fresh; vocal stirrings by a luminous Keke Wyatt; and Marvin Sapp.
This year’s annual celebration also with special appearances by: T.I., Pusha T, Rev. Run (Run DMC), Lamman Rucker, Roland Martin, LeToya Luckett, Senior Advisor to the President for Public Engagement Keisha Lance Bottoms, and TV One/CLEO TV President Michelle Rice is not one to be missed.
SHOOTING STAR: Los Angeles’ own Calmatic has made himself known behind the scenes by directing award-winning videos and ad campaigns for the likes of Lil Nas X (“Old Town Road”), Pharrell and Jay-Z (“Entrepreneur”), Kendrick Lamar (“Rich Spirit”), as well as collaborations with Donald Glover, Tyler The Creator, Lizzo, Anderson.Paak and Lebron James (2022’s Crypto.com Super Bowl commercial), to name a few.
This MLK weekend, the ultra-talented visionary is making his theatrical film directorial debut with the remake of the 1990s cult classic film “House Party” starring Jacob Latimore, Tosin Cole, Bill Bellamy, Rotimi, Allan Maldonado, D.C. Young Fly and a host of cameo surprises guaranteed to bring delight. Check for it at a theater near you.
TASTY QUIP: “This may be a random time to say this but it’s on my heart .. cancel culture is appropriation. There was real outrage from truly marginalized people and now it’s become trendy, misused, and misdirected. I hope we can phase out of this and focus our outrage on the real problems.” – LIZZO on Twitter
CLIPPETTES: The Temptations led by Otis Williams grace the stage of the Saban Theatre on Jan. 13 …
The Hammer Museum hosts a free screening of “Till,” which depicts the true story behind the 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till through the eyes of his mother, Mamie Till-Mobley, followed by a conversation between the film’s director Chinonye Chukwu and UCLA professor Robin D. G. Kelley on Jan. 14 …
Also that evening, stage and television director Sheldon Epps (“Girlfriends,” “Frasier”) discusses his memoir “My Own Directions — A Black Man’s Experience In The American Theater” with Ebony Repertory Theater producing artistic director Wren T. Brown at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center. Admission is free …
And on the music tip, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jack White headline the sixth annual iHeartRadio Alter Ego event at the Kia Forum …
Latin Jazz giant Poncho Sanchez brings the heat Jan. 15 to The Venice West …
Eddie Murphy, Nia Long, Lauren London, Jonah Hill, David Duchovny, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and more are expected to walk the red carpet of the Hollywood premiere of Netflix’s “You People” at the Regency Village Theatre on Jan. 17 …
GZA (of Wu-Tang Clan) is performing “Liquid Swords” and playing chess with fans in a very special one-on-one chess experience with Genius at 1720 on Jan. 18; as Afroman, the L.A. rapper best known for the 2001 hit “Because I Got High,” headlines a bill with T$ and Dylan Garcia at Whisky A Go Go; and Angelo Moore of Fishbone and Dr. Mad Vibe & Missin’ Links rocks out at The Venice West …
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony is at the Regent Theater on Jan. 19 as Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe celebrate their 25th anniversary at The Venice West.
TASTY QUIP: ”I just try to stay in reasonable shape just because, but I don’t think about Luke Cage opportunities. It’s one of those things where it’s in the rearview mirror at this point. If somehow I get a call, my dance card is kind of full.” – MIKE COLTER of Paramount+’s “Evil” and “Plane” with Gerard Butler (opening in theaters Jan. 13) to Comicbook.com
TC ON TV: Jan. 13 – “The Drop” (Hulu): In this dark comedy, Jermaine Fowler (“Coming 2 America”) and Anna Konkle (“PEN15”) portray a happily married young couple who fumble a kid in the tropics. “Hunters” (Prime Video): The Jordan Peele-produced series starring Al Pacino, Logan Lerman, Jerrika Hinton and Tiffany Boone (“The Chi”) is back as the Nazi hunters go after Adolf Hitler.
Jan. 14 – “6 Minutes To Glory: The HBCU Band Experience” (Aspire): A six-episode series previewing the best Black college marching units leading into the 18th HBCU All-Star Battle of the Bands on Feb. 4 at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Jan. 15 – “The 28th Critics Choice Awards” (CW): Chelsea Handler hosts live from the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel. This year’s honorees include Janelle Monáe and Jeff Bridges. “Godfather of Harlem” (MGM+): Season three of the fact-inspired saga of crime lord Bumpy Johnson (Forest Whitaker) continues with him taking on Spanish Harlem’s Cuban mob, an expanded role for Whoopi Goldberg, and Jason Alan Carvell (“NCIS: New Orleans”) taking over the role of Malcolm X. “The Last of Us” (HBO): An apocalyptic drama based on a popular video game starring Pedro Pascal (“The Mandalorian”), Bella Ramsey, Merle Dandridge (“Greenleaf”), Graham Greene, Gabriel Luna, Lamar Johnson, Nick Offerman, Storm Reid (“Euphoria”), and the just announced Rutina Wesley (“Queen Sugar”). “Your Honor” (SHO): Star and executive producer Bryan Cranston’s New Orleans-based drama returns with SAG Award winner Michael Stuhlbarg, Hope Davis and Isiah Whitlock Jr. (“The Wire”); and guest stars Rosie Perez and Margo Martindale.
Jan. 17 – “The View” (ABC): Stephen A. Smith “American Experience” (PBS): “Zora Neale Hurston: Claiming A Space,” a new in-depth biography of the influential author whose groundbreaking anthropological work would challenge assumptions about race, gender and cultural superiority that had long defined the field in the 19th century. Directed by Tracy Heather Strain, who won a Peabody, and NAACP Image Award for “Sighted Eyes/Feeling Heart,” her feature documentary about Lorraine Hansberry.
Jan. 18 – “The Cupcake Guys” (Roku): Former Tennessee Tians teammates Michael Griffin and Brian Orakpo, popularized in a viral television commercial, get a reality show focusing on their opening an Austin, Texas, bakery with longtime friend Bryan Hynson. “Grown-ish” (Freeform): The fifth season winter premiere finds Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and Aaron (Trevor Jackson) having an unexpected run-in at the San Francisco airport, leading them to unpack the highs and lows of their long-distance relationship.
Jan. 19 – “The Daily Show” (Comedy): Leslie Jones guest-hosts.
END QUOTE: “Number one in your life’s blueprint should be a deep belief in your own dignity, your own worth and your own somebodiness. Don’t allow anybody to make you feel that you are a nobody. Always feel that you count. Always feel that you have worth, and always feel that your life has ultimate significance.” – MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.
As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly one million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.