Talk about coming clean. Former Destiny's Child singer Kelly Rowland just released a revealing new single, "Dirty Laundry," which tells the story of her past abusive relationship and bravely delves into her once testy relationship with Queen B herself, Beyoncé. (I guess that's what happens when someone turns down Rowland's mic at the Super Bowl halftime show.)
Rowland's vocals are supported by a simple, stripped-down beat that keeps the focus on her lyrics which are gritty and emotional, telling Rowland's personal story of endurance.
The first verse focuses on Rowland resenting Beyoncé after Destiny's Child broke up, as well as the difficulties of the music industry. The lyrics "Bittersweet / She was up and I was down" and "Post-'Survivor' she on fire / Who wanna hear my bulls**t?" get at the root of her past issues with her friend and former colleague. She sings about her anger — not just towards Beyoncé but towards everyone.
The second and third verses get darker as they add more details about the non-Beyoncé-related abuse Rowland dealt with, like her boyfriend "hitting the window like it was me / until it shattered." The song gives stark insight into what Rowland went through during this relationship. Her lyrics are straightforward and revealing, and she doesn't hold back about her experiences.
Rowland isn't the first woman to get stuck in an abusive relationship, and she won't be the last. But maybe her single will help women see that they don't need to be stuck. Will this be a step forward for other women looking to do their own dirty laundry?
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Ape descendant Arthur Dent (Martin Freeman) gets yanked from the Earth by best friend and alien Ford Prefect (Mos Def) seconds before a Vogon constructor fleet destroys it to make way for a hyperspace expressway. Next thing he knows Arthur is aboard the Vogon ship reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (voiced by Stephen Fry) and wondering where he might get some tea. But he and Ford are not in the clear: the Vogons (some of whom look like the nightmarish drawings of Ralph Steadman come to life in S&M leather) want to throw them into the vacuum of space right after they read some of the third worst poetry in the known universe. Luckily the spaceship Heart of Gold picks up the stranded hitchhikers in the nick of time. Stolen by the dim but groovy President of the Galaxy Zaphod Beeblebrox (Sam Rockwell) the ship has an Improbability Drive that causes certain mischief turning the stowaways into loveseats and later two missiles into a bowl of petunias and a sperm whale. Also onboard is doe-eyed Earth girl Tricia "Trillian" McMillan (Zooey Deschanel) who previously ditched Arthur at a costume party on Earth to satisfy her wanderlust with Zaphod. The crew then embarks on a quest to find the Ultimate Question to Life the Universe and Everything after supercomputer Deep Thought (voiced by Helen Mirren) found the answer: 42. On the run and without a home Arthur discovers that life's true meaning comes from the answers found within.
The slapstick antics and sharp dialogue evoke enough laughs to make one forget that the characters are rather one-note. Rockwell's Zaphod is a riot at first but the cheeky smile and devilish winks soon wear thin. Deschanel has little to work with playing Trillian though it's fun watching her wield a point-of-view gun on Zaphod. Mos Def mumbles some lines but does manage to act like someone from another planet. Freeman does an amiable job playing the fish-out-of-water Earthman but neglects to express the grief and bewilderment of someone who just lost his planet. Even John Malkovich as Humma Kavular--the spiritual leader of a cult awaiting the arrival of the Big Handkerchief--fails to make much of an impression in his brief appearance. Only Alan Rickman as the perpetually glum robot Marvin and Bill Nighy as the stammering planet designer Slartibartfast remain funny without becoming routine--though unfortunately Nighy only appears in the third act. A half-cocked romance between Arthur and Trillian is thrown in for good measure with the couple merely going through the motions.
Directed with considerable flair by first-timer Garth Jennings whose frantic visual style blends well with Adams' ironic wit the film looks as good as can be. CGI is used to display Adams' universe in ways never seen before: The massive concrete slabs of the Vogon fleet surrounding Earth the Heart of Gold tricked out in 1960's Formica kitsch the stark bureaucratic world of Vogosphere and the eye-popping factory floor on Magrathea are all vividly brought to life. Although the graphics of the Guide look more like Internet pop-up ads than stellar entries from the best-selling book in the galaxy the exposition from the Guide is clever and amusing though one should brush up on the material prior to viewing. Even with all the stunning visuals however the plot is still thin. Jennings and screenwriter Karey Kirkpatrick (Chicken Run) have trimmed the story--and witty banter--to its barest essentials leaving out some of the funnier bits to quicken the pace. Memorable exchanges--like the opening battle of wits between Arthur and Mr. Prosser--are reduced to a few meaningless lines while the always hinted-at love affair between Arthur and Trillian gets the full Hollywood treatment. In the past Adams who died of a heart attack in 2001 has allowed the Guide to change and progress with each incarnation so new additions--like the point-of-view gun and the cult of the Big Handkerchief--are welcomed. But the patchwork of wacky vignettes and neutered banter particularly between Arthur and Ford leave one yearning for something more meaningful.
October 03, 2003 11:40am EST
Top Story: Ice Cube Takes xXx Reins
While it was forgone that Sony-based Revolution Studios would go ahead with a xXx sequel, no one could have foreseen it happening without star Vin Diesel and director Rob Cohen. But while Diesel and Cohen have decided to opt out of xXx2 (they will remain executive producers), the studio is hardly trading down with its spy actioner: Revolution has hired rapper Ice Cube as the star and Die Another Day helmer Lee Tamahori as director. According to Variety, Cube will play a new character who is recruited by the National Security Agency to become an "Triple X" agent, referring to a three-strikes rule the agency uses to give criminals the option of joining the crime-fighting force or going to prison for good. Tamahori is set to begin production on xXx2, which will be largely set in Washington, D.C., in summer 2004 for a 2005 bow. This is the second time Diesel and Cohen have opted out of a sequel to a franchise they launched, following Universal Pictures' The Fast and the Furious.
New York Film Fest Kicks Off
Clint Eastwood's psychological crime thriller Mystic River premiered Friday at the 41st New York Film Festival, which will feature 24 films and three special events during its 17-day run. According to Reuters, the highlights of the festival include The Fog of War, a cinematic dialogue between filmmaker Errol Morris and former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Gus Van Sant 's Elephant, about high school gun violence, and the Nicole Kidman starrer Dogville, which shreds the myth of American small town innocence. The festival wraps Sunday, Oct. 19 with 21 Grams an English-language film directed by Mexican Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu starring Sean Penn, Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro.
Beyoncé Knowles' Dad Sells Music Company
Beyoncé Knowles' father has sold his music management company, Music World Entertainment, to the London-based music group Sanctuary for $10 million, the AP reports. The company has managed artists including Destiny's Child, Beyoncé, her sister Solange Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams. Under the agreement, Mathew Knowles, who will stay headquartered in Houston, will work at Sanctuary for at least five years as president of its urban and gospel division and will continue to manage his roster of artists. In buying Music World Entertainment, Sanctuary brings to its management stable two of the biggest acts in pop music, Beyoncé and Destiny's Child.
Winery Features Jerry Garcia's Artwork
The memory of Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia will be immortalized with his own signature wine. The AP reports the Clos du Bois winery is launching J. Garcia wines, which will feature Garcia's artwork, including the abstract creations that have already adorned T-shirts and neckties, on its labels. The initial release consists of 50,000 cases of 2002 Sonoma County chardonnay, 2000 Sonoma County merlot and 2000 Sonoma County cabernet sauvignon, with a zinfandel due out later this year. Members of Garcia's estate say the singer enjoyed drinking Clos du Bois wine and approached the winery about putting his artwork on its bottles. Garcia, who died of a heart attack in 1995, attended high school near this Sonoma County town.
Role Call: Jonze and Kaufman Team Up for Horror, Bryan Barber To Helm Holy War
Director Spike Jonze and screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, the duo behind Adaptation, are channeling their talents to the horror genre. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Columbia Pictures is hammering out deals for the duo to collaborate on a closely guarded, untitled horror film, which they will also produce ... Music video director Bryan Barber, who helmed the OutKast clip "The Whole World," is in negotiations to make his feature directing debut with the church comedy Holy War for Artisan Entertainment. According to The Reporter, the project centers on a rivalry between two preaching cousins, which comes to a head when they start competing for the loyalty of a new female parishioner with a great singing voice.