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Katori Hall’s ‘P-Valley’ Brings Hollywood to the Dirty South

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written by Kimberly Jones

Memphis native Katori Hall is no stranger to success in the entertainment industry. Hall is an award-winning playwright best known for her hit Broadway play The Mountaintop about Martin Luther King Jr’s last night before his assassination. The Mountaintop had a successful run on Broadway and starred Hollywood heavyweights Samuel L Jackson and Angela Bassett. But Hall has switched gears and has a new title – showrunner. P-Valley, written and produced by Hall, is a drama about the highs and lows strippers face in the Mississippi Delta. The setting for the drama alone is unique, P-Valley is in a fictional town of Chucalissa Mississippi, a small dying town with abandoned buildings, houses, and storefronts. It seems like an odd place for a strip club to be located but there is so much culture in the characters. The story blends well and is an accurate representation of southern culture. From the dialogue to the music, P-Valley sheds light on parts of the South that are often overlooked. The debut episode features the song Nobody by Playa Fly, which is a Memphis anthem, and pays homage to Memphis rappers who have had a large influence the on hip-hop sound that we have today.

At the beginning of the series, Autumn (played by UK actress Elarica Johnson) is washed ashore in Houston and seems to be trying to escape her past life all while concealing her identity. She arrives in the small town looking for work, and gets a job at the Pynk strip club after an amateur night. Autumn is a rookie in need of money, so she dives in but always keeps her distance from the other girls. In flashbacks she somewhat reflects on her past life with a child and her partner. Her real story, however, is yet to be revealed. Autumn has tried to remain lowkey but cannot avoid butting heads with Mercedes, the veteran of the group, played by another Memphis native Brandee Evans (The Bobby Brown Story).

Mercedes’ bad girl attitude, amazing skills on the pole and confidence sets her apart from the other ladies at Pynk. Evans, who is a professional dancer/choreographer, does an amazing job of making Mercedes both memorable and relatable. Although Mercedes is planning to hang up her stripper boots and leave Pynk soon the rivalry with Autumn is fueled by jealousy, insecurities, and colorism. In both episodes, Autumn’s skin tone is referenced because she has fairer skin than the other ladies. Some of the clients that come into the club prefer Autumn over Mercedes and, although Autumn is inexperienced, she is making more money than her counterparts. Hall does a good job of subtly addressing colorism and how it has an effect on black women every day.

Perhaps the most intriguing part of P-Valley is Pynk’s owner Uncle Clifford (Nicco Annan Claws) a non-binary queer who identifies as she, provides comic relief and steals every single scene. Uncle Clifford’s slick mouth, loud clothes and boss attitude is just what TV has been missing and with her quick punch lines there is never a dull moment. As much as Uncle Clifford is trying to keep it a secret, she is in jeopardy of losing Pynk and is having some serious financial struggles. Her hustling skills include everything from car washes to selling hot wings seasoned with weed. There is no doubt she will figure something out.

P-Valley is in a lane of its own. The story and struggles of these women are both eccentric and intriguing. The freshman drama is a breath of fresh air for television. In a time when a lot of dramas have familiar story lines, this change is good for viewers. Hall’s vision and talented cast is a perfect combination for this newest STARZ hit.

P-Valley airs Sundays nights on STARZ.

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Film

Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy Makes a Cameo in ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’

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Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F

Eddie Murphy’s daughter Bria Murphy has made a memorable cameo in the latest installment of the Beverly Hills Cop franchise, ‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F.’ Bria, who is the oldest daughter of the iconic comedian and actor, plays a police officer who arrests her father’s character, Axel Foley, in the film.

‘Beverly Hills Cop: Axel F’ marks the return of Murphy as the wisecracking Detroit detective Axel Foley, 30 years after the release of Beverly Hills Cop III. The film, directed by Mark Molloy, sees Foley back in Beverly Hills to help his estranged daughter, played by Taylour Paige, who is in trouble with some dangerous individuals.

Bria’s appearance in the film is a family affair, as her husband, Michael Xavier, also stars in the movie as a police officer.

Eddie Murphy, Bria Murphy, Michael Xavier, Nicole Murphy/ Photo: John Solano Photography

Eddie Murphy said his daughter’s role in the film was a surreal experience. In an interview, he shared that the scene where his son-in-law tases him in the neck was particularly memorable, especially since it happened shortly after his daughter’s wedding.

The movie, released on Netflix on July 3, 2024, has received mixed reviews. However, Eddie Murphy’s performance and his daughter’s cameo have been highlighted as some of the film’s most enjoyable moments.

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Halle Bailey and DDG Share First Photos of Son Halo

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On July 3, 2024, Halle Bailey and her boyfriend DDG delighted fans by sharing the first photos of their son, Halo. The couple, who welcomed their baby boy in December 2023, had kept him out of the public eye until now.

In the series of photos posted on Instagram, the family of three can be seen enjoying a trip to Italy. The first image shows Halle and DDG smiling as they hold Halo up in the air. The second photo captures a close-up of Halo, revealing his adorable face for the first time. The third picture features the couple walking hand-in-hand with their son, who is dressed in a white onesie and sneakers.

“Halo’s first time in Italy,” Halle captioned the post, which quickly garnered thousands of likes and comments from fans expressing their excitement and admiration.

DDG also shared the photos on his Instagram account, asking fans to weigh in on who Halo looks like more – him or Halle. “Who Halo look like more?,” he captioned the post, which sparked a lively debate among followers.

The couple’s decision to keep Halo’s face hidden until now was likely an attempt to protect their son’s privacy and shield him from the public eye.

Halle and DDG have been dating since 2022.

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Fashion

2024 BET Awards: Taraji P. Henson’s Hosting Outfits – Ranked!

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2024 BEt awards

Taraji P. Henson brought it once again! The Oscar-nominated actress, author, and producer returned to host the 2024 BET Awards for the third time, bringing her signature charm and charisma to culture’s biggest night.

The event featured a star-studded lineup of performers, including Usher, who received the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Will Smith, who debuted a new song live. The show also highlighted the achievements of women in the industry, including Victoria Monét, who took home the BET HER award for her song “On My Mama,” and Tyla, who won in the Best New Artist category. Regina King

Henson, who previously hosted the show in 2021 and 2022, entertained the audience with many outfit changes while performing her hosting gig. Her award ceremony wardrobe featured a number of Black designers. “Representation and recognition is vital,” Henson told Vogue Magazine. “The BET Awards is our night, and talented Black designers deserve the opportunity to have visibility and the platform they deserve. It’s all about celebrating our heritage, our creativity, and our unique perspectives through the art of fashion.”

Here are the ten looks Henson rocked at this year’s ceremony, ranked.

#10

An Off-White dress paired with over-the-elbow satin red gloves

Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#9

A red snakeskin bustier paired with brown snakeskin pants by Theophilio 

Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Johnny Nunez/ Getty

#8

A long-sleeved Rahul Mishra sequin bodysuit with paired with a sheer cape

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#7

A Kendrick Lamar inspired outfit for Henson’s opening performance ‘It’s About Us,’ a parody of the rapper’s hit song ‘They Not Like Us’

Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#6

A metallic green strapless tube dress by LaQuan Smith

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

#5

A custom denim romper paired with a denim fringe floor-length coat by Bishme Cromartie

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#4

The custom gold Balmain gown she wore on the Blue carpet

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Gilbert Florez/ Getty

#3

A Lever Couture silver-blue gown

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#2

A sequin yellow two-piece by Sergio Hudson

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson at the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Dalvin Adams

#1

A Retrofete white beaded mini dress accessorized with pearls and a choker necklace.

2024 BET Awards
Taraji P. Henson hosts the 2024 BET Awards – photo: Kevin Winter/ Getty

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