Shannon Houston
  • Kim Kardashian's Wedding Photo Just Made History
    By: Shannon Houston May 30, 2014
    Instagram/kimkardashian Justin Bieber, we're going to let you finish, but Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have the best Instagram photo in the world! At least in terms of "likes" they do. This picture of Kim and Kanye's first kiss as Mr. and Mrs. West has received 1.96 million likes so far. The previous record-holders were Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. Their photo of Selena hugging Justin from behind garnered a measly 1.82 million likes (though that's pretty impressive for a mere hug). The Instagram world has spoken! Kimye is "liked" by [practically] millions. What that says about the state of the world as we know it? Well, that's a conversation for another time. But just to put things in perspective, here's a photo that only received 75,000 likes to date: No judgement! Just an observation... Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Mariah Carey's Daughter Is Such A Mini-Diva In This Adorable Video
    By: Shannon Houston May 30, 2014
    Instagram/mariahcarey Mariah Carey, the Elusive Chanteuse, has been known to share many-a-cute photo of her twins, Monroe and Moroccan. However, it needs to be said that this new Instagram video is on a whole new level of cuteness. Mariah and her mini-me Monroe had a backseat sing-along like no other. Please enjoy this epic Supernatural duet: This is how you train a diva, folks. You start 'em when they're young, and they'll never know any other way of life. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 'Orange Is The New Black' Star Laverne Cox Makes History With Her 'TIME' Magazine Cover
    By: Shannon Houston May 29, 2014
    Orange Is The New Black actress Laverne Cox just made history. She is the first trans woman to cover TIME Magazine, and she received the honor on her birthday, making this (probably) her best birthday ever. TIME was recently criticized for not including Cox (or any other trans activists) on their 100 Most Influential People list, and this is certainly one positive way to respond to the criticsm. Picking Laverne as the face of "America's next civil rights frontier" is a bold and exciting move for the transgender community, and for the rest of us as well. The actress/activist shared the big news on her Instagram account: What a wonderful bday present! Yes today is my birthday and I am on the cover of @TIME magazine. I realize this is way bigger than me and about a tipping point in our nation's history where it is no kinger acceptable for trans lives to be stigmatized, ridiculed, criminalized and disregarded. This is for my trans siblings out there and for anyone who has ever been told that who you know yourself to be at your core is not legitimate. You are who you know yourselves to be. #girlslikeus#whereislavernecox #lavernehive TIME also released behind-the-scenes footage of the photo shoot which you can watch here. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Kendall Jenner's High Fashion Takeover Continues!
    By: Shannon Houston May 29, 2014
    Instagram/kendalljenner Move over Kimye wedding, we have other news to report from the Kardashian clan (finally). For some time now, Kendall Jenner has been working her way into the high fashion arena, and this takeover is showing no signs of slowin. Proud big sister Khloé just shared a new photo from Kendall's recent Vogue Paris spread on Instagram, and it's a pretty sweet black & white shot of her sister alongside another model: Kendall also shared the photo, which will be released in the June/July issue of the magazine. What are your thoughts? Is Kendall kind of a big deal in the fashion world now, or what? Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • Will the New ABC Sitcom 'Black-Ish' Work?
    By: Shannon Houston May 27, 2014
    ABC Television Network Black-ish is a new show coming to ABC this fall, and it's got all the makings of a strong series. It has a great cast (including Anthony Anderson, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Laurence Fishburne), a strong writing team (including Kenya Barris of The Game), and an interesting premise. The Johnsons are a black family living in a predominantly white, affluent neighborhood. The (satirical) question at the center: Does this make them black... or "black-ish"? Looks like we'll have to catch the show to find out. The trailer and clips have already raised a few eyebrows. For some viewers, it looks like a regressive project, as it seems to raise questions that The Cosby Show trounced years ago, and without poking fun at the notion. There's also the question of how long a show can run on this premise. Will audiences (black and white) want to tune in every week to watch Papa Johnson stuggle to bring black culture (as he understands it) into his household? If the sole concept of the series is to showcase the problematics of being black and well-to-do in America, then it may not be successful. But there's a good chance that the trailer is playing a bit sensational. And even if it's not, just because we had the Cosbys did it doesn't mean that race is no longer an issue in America (obviously). If the show is, ultimately, about a family with its own set of unique problems that also appeal to a larger audience, ABC could be on to something. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 3 Hilarious Beyonce Spoofs
    By: Shannon Houston May 24, 2014
    YouTube/Jade Novah Recently we learned on Saturday Night Live that speaking against The Beyoncé can get you into enormous amounts of trouble. So, look over you shoulder for the Beygency before watching these. Beyoncé is awesome, but drag queens, YouTube sensations, and SNL cast members have done a pretty excellent job of capturing her Bey-ness over the years. Check out three of the absolute best Beyoncé parodies of all time. Keyonce Bowles ("Life Is But A Dream" spoof) Jade Novah is actually an amazingly talented singer in her own right, but every once in a while she dresses up like Bey's twin sister Keyonce and it's an absolute blast. In fact, it's frightening how accurate this portrayal is.  Maya Rudolph, Saturday Night Live Nobody can do Beyoncé (Bey, Yoncé) like Maya Rudolph. When she popped up at the recent season finale of Saturday Night Live, she was nothing short of perfection. "INnOUTMISSION" ("Partition" parody) You'll never look at In-N-Out Burger the same. And if you're on the East Coast, you'll be tempted to move out to California, just to figure out what all the hype is about. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • The 5 Funniest Porn Parodies
    By: Shannon Houston May 23, 2014
    YouTube/Nacho Punch Recently, something amazing happened and the world was gifted with a brand new Wes Anderson spoof. There have been many before, but this one was very special, functioning as the trailer for a porn parody. Maybe it's immature (it definitely is), but there's something deeply funny about mashing up the ridiculous dialogue and circumstances popular in the pornographic industry with the acclaimed work of celebrated film directors. Here are fove of the funniest porn parody videos ever. The Grand Sausage Pizza This isn't a real porn (yet), but it's interesting think about whether or not the die-hard Wes Anderson fans would feel slightly obligated to experience it. Can you say you've seen every Wes Anderson movie if you haven't seen the porno parodies as well? It's a fair question. Game of Bones Starring Incest King and Milf of Dragons, obviously. And, hilariously enough, that's Lindsay Lohan's Canyon's co-star James Deen as Jon Snow. Man of Steel XXX Right in time for last year's Man of Steel summer release, this amazing porn parody trailer was released. Comic book fans will be pleased to see that characters like Silver Banshee and Zatanna make it into this one. Alice In Wonderland XXX: A Porn Parody We apologize in advance for ruining your childhood. This one was actually a bit traumatic.  Buffy The Vampire Slayer: A Parody We're going to end on a high note here because, actually, this one looks pretty awesome. Porn parody Spike and Harmony? Brilliant! And you just know the stake jokes are probably amazing and plentiful. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 5 Powerful Speeches From Celebrity Women
    By: Shannon Houston May 20, 2014
    Getty Images/Paul Marotta Meryl Streep, National Board of Review Awards Back in January, Streep presented the best actress award to Emma Thompson and her introduction would go down as the biggest, most public diss of Walt Disney. But the strong words she spoke about her friend were just as memorable. Highlight of the Speech:Emma considers carefully what the f**k she is putting out into the culture! Emma thinks, "Is this helpful?" Not, "Will it build my brand?" Not, "Will it give me billions?" Not, "Does this express me? Me! Me! My unique and fabulous self, into all eternity, in every universe, for all time!" That's a phrase from my Disney contract. I'm serious! "Will I get a sequel out of it, or a boat? Or a perfume contract?" (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: There's something to be said for actors and artists who are legitimately concerned with their craft and the stories behind the work they're doing. In a pop culture, celebrity-obsessed world that celebrates the brand, it's important to celebrate people like Thompson as well. Lupita Nyong'o, Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon In February Nyong'o accepted the Best Breakthrough Performance Award at Essence Magazine's Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon. Instead of speaking merely from her own heart, she spoke from the heart of a fan who'd sent her a powerful and heartbreaking letter. Highlight of the Speech: "Dear Lupita," it reads, "I think you’re really lucky to be this Black but yet this successful in Hollywood overnight. I was just about to buy Dencia’s Whitenicious cream to lighten my skin when you appeared on the world map and saved me." I remember a time when I too felt unbeautiful. I put on the TV and only saw pale mother again would say to me, "You can’t eat beauty. It doesn’t feed you."... And what my mother meant when she said you can’t eat beauty was that you can’t rely on how you look to sustain you. What does sustain us... what is fundamentally beautiful is compassion for yourself and for those around you. That kind of beauty enflames the heart and enchants the soul. It is what got Patsey in so much trouble with her master, but it is also what has kept her story alive to this day. We remember the beauty of her spirit even after the beauty of her body has faded away. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: It's wonderful that we are embracing Lupita Nyong'o's beauty, and that we're expanding the concept of beauty itself. And it's wonderful that a young girl can look at Nyong'o and choose to embrace her own skin color. But it's also important that we teach people that who you are at your core (call it essence, or spirit, or personality) is something more powerful, more memorable, and more lasting than physical appearance. Amy Schumer, Ms. Foundation for Women Gloria Awards and Gala In a hilariously NSFW speech the comedian opened up about an awkward sexual encounter that could have been more traumatic, were it not for her sense of humor. She spoke about turning that moment into an empowering instance of change. Highlight of the Speech:  I can be reduced to that lost college freshman so quickly sometimes, I want to quit. Not performing, but being a woman altogether. I want to throw my hands in the air, after reading a mean Twitter comment, and say, "All right! You got it. You figured me out. I'm not pretty. I'm not thin. I do not deserve to use my voice. I'll start wearing a burqa and start waiting tables at a pancake house. All my self-worth is based on what you can see." But then I think, F**k that. I am not laying in that freshman year bed anymore ever again. I am a woman with thoughts and questions and s**t to say. I say if I'm beautiful. I say if I'm strong. You will not determine my story — I will. I will speak and share and f**k and love and I will never apologize to the frightened millions who resent that they never had it in them to do it. I stand here and I am amazing, for you. Not because of you. I am not who I sleep with. I am not my weight. I am not my mother. I am myself. And I am all of you, and I thank you. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: First of all, we should all stop being hateful towards people (yes, even celebrity people) on Twitter. And secondly, sometimes you have to get out of that freshman year bed, dust yourself off, stop apologizing, and go be your incredible self.  Gabourey Sidibe, Ms. Foundation for Women Gloria Awards and Gala In another fantastic speech about confidence, Sidibe did what few of us expected her to do and actually admitted to being "an a**hole" in school. But in admitting to her flaws she also exposed the flaws of an entire industry that repeatedly asks her (and not someone like Rihanna) "How are you so confident?" Highlight of the Speech: I was a snob. I thought I was better than the kids in my class, and I let them know it. That's why they didn't like me. I think the reason I thought so highly of myself all the time was because no one else ever did... Sometimes when I'm being interviewed by a fashion reporter, I can see it in her eyes, "How is she getting away with this? Why is she so confident? How does she deal with that body? Oh my God, I'm going to catch fat!" What I would say, is my mom moved my brother and I to my aunt's house. Her name is Dorothy Pitman Hughes, she is a feminist, an activist, and a lifelong friend of Gloria Steinem. Every day, I had to get up and go to school where everyone made fun of me, and I had to go home to where everyone made fun of me... In the morning on the way out to the world, I passed by a portrait of my aunt and Gloria together. Side by side they stood, one with long beautiful hair and one with the most beautiful, round, Afro hair I had ever seen, both with their fists held high in the air. Powerful. Confident. And every day as I would leave the house... I would give that photo a fist right back. And I'd march off into battle. [She starts crying] I didn't know that I was being inspired then. (Read the full speech here.) Lesson Learned: It's not always the direct influence of a person, but sometimes it's something simpler — a photo, an image, an idea you hear about — that changes your life and changes your way of looking at things. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • This Video Might Just Change the Way You See Kanye West
    By: Shannon Houston May 19, 2014 Eddy There are plenty of Kanye West videos going around, but this new one might actually change the way you see the Chicago rapper. Yeezy was walking home with fiancé Kim Kardashian and her friend Jonathan Cheban, when he was approached by an up-and-coming rapper asking for Kanye's audience. The result was pretty amazing: The fact that Kanye actually stops and listens to the young man — and encourages him — certainly works against the image of the pompous, self-proclaimed genius that sometimes overshadows his work. Not a lot of celebrities really stop and give their fans the time of day, so this video suggests that Kanye really does care, and probably even sees a bit of himself in struggling artists. He may be Yeezus now, but there was a time when he couldn't get a record deal either. Kudos to gim for making someone's dream come true. Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //
  • 17 of the Trippiest Hip-Hop Videos Ever
    By: Shannon Houston May 16, 2014
    YouTube/EminemVEVO It needs to be said that hip-hop music has always been wildly innovative, but we've also suffered from a few lulls over the years. Particularly in the music video department, there's been a tendency towards repetition. Or, as the great 2Pac once eloquently pointed out, things can get a little boring when the same video vixens (we call them "vixens" now) are showing up in all of the videos. And The Roots and dead prez have both made satirical videos, pointing out the monotony in popular rap. But we're here to celebrate those rappers who opted for a different route, which is partly why we enlisted the help of the one and only DJ Rosenberg. Co-host of Hot 97's “The Morning Show” and one-half of the brilliant Juan Epstein podcast duo (DJ Cypha Sounds represents the "Juan" portion), Rosenberg is more hip-hop than roughly 89 percent of the world's population. So when he spoke with us about the aesthetics of a truly trippy rap video — and gave us some suggestions — we listened. And for that we thank him, just as we thank the many stoner rappers, artsy rappers, underground rappers, backpack rappers (and plain, ol' regular rappers) on this list for going against the grain. Here are the 17 trippiest hip-hop videos ever. And yes, 17 is a pretty random number, but once you experience all of the epic randomness in these videos, you'll understand. 1. Busta Rhymes, "Gimme Some Mo" Ah, yes. The great Busa Buss. One of the most brilliant, beloved rappers ever changed the game when he teamed up with Hype Williams (one of our favorite music video directors-turned filmmakers) and started making videos. Busta Rhymes really needs his own list — since pretty much all of his videos are the trippiest videos ever — but for now we're picking this Psycho-inspired awesomeness as our favorite. Also, can we please have Rah Digga back now? 2. *A Tribe Called Quest, "Jazz (We've Got) Buggin' Out" Now, Busta's video is so much more interesting when you go back and watch this one. This 1991 track from A Tribe Called Quest got a seemingly simple video that suddenly turns trippy in the end. The bugged-out eyes are a great reminder of the fact that Busta had some powerful influences back in the day. 3. *Gravediggaz, "Diary of a Mad Man" Back in 1994 the Gravediggaz album 6 Feet Deep became a seminal work in the "horrorcore" rap subgenre. The supergroup (comprised of Prince Paul, Frukwan, RZA, and Too Poetic) teamed up with Shabazz The Disciple and Killah Priest for "Diary of a Mad Man." Themes of religion, dark magic, and street life mesh together in the haunting, black and white visuals. 4. *Pharcyde, "Runnin'" The beat is a classic, the song is infectious, but if you have a fear of clowns, this may not be the video for you. Still—clowns and all—there's an amazing, dream-like quality to the video that makes for an awesome visual experience. 5. Goodie Mob, "They Don't Dance No Mo" No disrespect to Outkast, but Goodie Mob is the trippiest rap group to come out of Atlanta. Long before The Voice, Cee Lo Green was being weird and awesome, and rocking footy pajamas in rap videos (sort of). 6. *Psycho Realm, "Stone Garden" Embraced by Cypress Hill in the early '90s, Psycho Realm came on the scene with a West Coast/gothic vibe that resulted in some pretty intense lyrics and videos. "Stone Garden" opens with some über-trippy hospital scenes (which may have gone on to have some influence on Eminem's "The Real Slim Shady" video). 7. Geto Boys, "Mind's Playin' Tricks On Me" We can't talk trippy rap videos without the Geto Boys. "Trippy" is really putting it lightly here—paranoia, fear, and intimations of suicide make this one a powerful, eerie video to experience. 8. Missy 'Misdemeanor' Elliott, "The Rain" If you're grown out here in these streets, you can probably remember the first time you saw this video. You didn't know what you were looking at, you didn't know why there was a garbage bag theme, but you knew you were in love. Like Busta Rhymes, Missy's video catalogue is worthy of its own list. She's the reigning queen of trippy rap visuals, and for that we thank her. 9. Eminem, "My Name Is" When we first met Eminem back in 1999, some of us were skeptical... and weirded out beyond belief. But the Detroit rapper went on to become one of the biggest deals of all time. His contribution to the world of bizarre rap videos (which went along perfectly with his tripped-out lyrics) is immense, but it all started here. 10. Kid Cudi, "Day 'n' Night" Mr. Solo Dolo came on the scene back in 2008, a Cleveland native living in Brooklyn who got the ultimate co-sign from Kanye West. The somber sounds of Day 'n' Nite might be attributed to the fact that the song was inspired by troubles he was having with a family member who passed away shortly after the song's release. Some of that darkness gets manifested in the visuals, but there's also a playfulness at work here that we really love. 11. Frank Ocean, "Pyramids" Director Nabil really outdid himself with this unforgettable video. Frank Ocean's brilliant single from channel ORANGE was brought to life in the strip club of your nightmares, and it was epic. Demonized skrippers flipped the concept of the sexually-charged rap video on its head, and the visual experience for the audience mimics tripped-out Frank's own experiences in the video. John Mayer's cameo towards the end only made it weirder. And by "weirder," we obviously mean "cooler." 12. Kanye West, "Black Skinhead" Another favorite for trippy video fans, Kanye came back on the scene last year with Yeezus and slayed all. Granted, everyone couldn't get into the new sound, but those of us that loved it, really loved it. The "Black Skinhead" (or "BLKKK SKKKN HEAD") video was dark, twisted, and intense—all while remaining somewhat minimalistic, with a computer-generated version of Yeezy at the center of it all. Yeezy also released an interactive version on his website. Sidenote: every Yeezy fan should check out his incredible interview with the Juan Epstein podcast. 13. Iggy Azalea, "Pu**y" Before the amazing, Clueless-inspired video for "Fancy," Iggy was just a young, underground rapper struggling to get some airplay. We can't imagine why radio didn't take to this record (ahem) but we will say that any video explicitly referencing the... uh... things she's referencing in this video—while featuring a bunch of kids — is pretty trippy, and even offensive depending on your feelings. But then again, maybe she's just talking about kitty cats. 14. *Tyler the Creator, "Yonkers" Thanks to DMX, Yonkers has always seemed like a pretty scary place. But Tyler the Creator took our fears to new heights when he dropped these visuals. Prepare to be terrified... and weirdly intriqued. And for a slightly less dark — but equally trippy video — check out Tyler's video for "Tamale" (a song which also features one of the most powerful verses anyone's ever written about their father, probably). 15. Earl Sweatshirt, "WHOA" Yes, the Odd Future fellas have got the trippy hip-hop video game on lock. Earl Sweatshirt's "WHOA" video almost feels like a tribute to what is probably the trippiest movie ever, Gummo. When he starts dancing with that 45 year-old-ish ballerina outside of his trailer, you just know things have gone too far. It's awesome. 16. Angel Haze, "Werkin Girls" Creepy, stone-faced kids? Check. Frightening Freddy Krueger hand prop? Check. Weird kidnapper dude with an aluminum foil mask under his shades? Check. If you haven't been checking for Angel Haze, consider this your introduction. She's talented, trippy, and her latest video for Battle Cry is equally dope. 17. Flume & Ghostface Killah, "Space Cadet" One way to make a dope rap video is to team up with an Australian electronic musician. Flume got Ghostface to feature on his new track, and the collaborative video is one of the coolest we've seen so far this year. Plus, don't you want a little cartoon Ghostface Killah of your own? Of course you do. *Rosenberg's Top Trippy Picks Follow @Hollywood_com Follow @shannonmhouston //