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TV One’s ‘Unsung’ To Feature R&B Crooner Case + He Drops New Single [EUR Exclusive]

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Case Unsung

*‘90s R&B legend Case will be featured on TV One’s “Unsung” Wednesday night, and the segment offers insights from family and friends including Ginuwine, Eddie F., Nokio, Rodney Perry, Marcus Chapman, Rea Davis and Steven Ivory. Additionally, TV One will feature an exclusive sneak peek of Case’s new single, “Heaven,” on TVOne.tv beginning Feb. 1.

The Grammy-nominated singer is behind one of the most famous wedding songs, “Happily Ever After,” which featured Beyoncé in the music video. Case had the style of a rapper but the voice of soul, and reached stardom in the mid 90’s with hits such as “Touch Me, Tease Me,” that featured Foxy Brown and Mary J Bilge. And as the hit climbed the charts, it revealed a romantic relationship between Bilge and Case that ignited a short-lived public beef between Case and Mary’s ex-lover K-Ci from Jodeci.

But as the 90’s drew to a close, Case decided to distance himself from the hip-hop blend and today he’s focused on music that he described to EUR/Electronic Urban Report as a “little more socially conscious.”

Check out more from our chat with the crooner below.

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Unsung

How does it feel to have your music and story featured on an episode of Unsung?

Case: It feels good. It’s humbling definitely. And I just hope that my story can maybe help or inspire somebody else.

How did your father’s decision to raise the family as Jehovah’s Witness impact your love and pursuit of music?

Case: It didn’t impact my love of music in any way. It may have actually just intensified it because that was pretty much the only thing that I still had that I could do that I really loved. Now the pursuit of it, it definitely hampered that because once he made that decision it was clear that I wasn’t going to be able to pursue music under his roof because of his beliefs. So that was the downside to it.

The episode highlights that time in your life when you ended up on the street, robbing and selling drugs to survive. At that time, did you still think that you would be able to make it in the music industry?

Case: There was never time when I didn’t think that I was going to make it in the music business. That stuff was just a means of survival because I didn’t have any other way to survive at that time. I had a job and I had quit because it was getting in the way of me trying to pursue music. And through that whole time in my life I was still writing and recording music — demos and stuff like that, so that never entered my mind that it wasn’t going to work.

And your big break came when?

Case: In the course of working on my demo. My manager at the time, Misa Hylton, she was friends with Faith Evans and got Faith to write a song on my demo called ‘Don’t Be Afraid’ and Russell Simmons heard the song and he loved it and he signed me to Def Jam. So that was hands down a big break.

Your first single “Touch Me Tease Me” featured Foxy Brown and Mary J Blige. Were you intimated to be working with such big names from day one?

Case: Actually Foxy was just starting out. The only thing Foxy had out was the ‘Who Shot Ya?’ remix, which is one of the reasons that we wanted to use her because we didn’t want to use somebody who had been all over a bunch of other stuff. We wanted somebody fresh and new to be on it. And with Mary, that was the last song that we did for that album. We had done about four or five songs together and we had been working maybe year at that point so intimidation never came into it. We were just having fun and creating.

Speaking of Mary, the Unsung segment touches on your romantic relationship with her. What’s your relationship with Blige like today?

Case: It’s like any other relationship. Once it’s done, its like… bye. You know how that goes.

Heaven single

The R&B landscape has changed a lot since you came out. What are your feelings on R&B music today?

Case: I think for a while R&B very much lost its way. I think it’s starting to take a turn towards being better.

Your new single “Heaven” will be featured exclusively on TVOne. Tell us about the inspiration behind it.

Case: Well, it’s simple… it’s a baby making song. It has kind of a jazz feel mixed with gospel. I think everybody is going to enjoy it.

In terms of how you approach songwriting now, how does it compare to your work in the 90’s?

Case: I think the biggest difference is that in the 90’s I was still kinda caught up in the whole hip hop thing a little more than I am today, and so I was writing with that edge. Now I’ve taken a lot of the edge off in some ways, and new stuff that I’m working on that’s a little more socially conscious that’ll be out later on this year.

At this point in your career, what would Case like to accomplish? What’s on your bucket list?

Case: Outside of working with Quincy Jones, the bucket list is pretty much taken care of. I think at this point I just want to continue to make music that people will appreciate. I want to be able to inspire people and just make good music for people to laugh to, cry to, make love to… just be happy.

Are there moments in your long career that you wish you could have changed?

Case: I don’t really live life like that because everything that I’ve done and everything that I’ve gone through, be it good or bad, I’ve learned from and they all go into what makes me who I am today. There are things that I’m not proud of. There are things that maybe I shouldn’t have done. There are a lot of things that I should’ve done but I don’t regret anything.

Tune in to TV One’s “Unsung” featuring Case on Wednesday, Feb. 1 at 8 p.m. ET.

 

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** FEATURED STORY **

Pastor Cal Keeps Love Alive on ‘Married at First Sight’ (EUR EXCLUSIVE!)

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Pastor Cal - Calvin Roberson

eur mafs poster

*For 11 seasons, “Married at First Sight” (MAFS) has been the ultimate experiment in matchmaking as couples who have never met – complete strangers – tie the knot.

If you are not familiar with the popular Lifetime series, people looking for love are matched by relationship experts (Dr. Pepper Schwartz, Dr. Viviana Coles, and Pastor Calvin Roberson-known as Pastor Cal) and agree to tie the knot before meeting their mates.

The show follows the couples for a few weeks as they experience their first meeting at their weddings, their honeymoons, meeting each other’s families, and other milestone events all the while being counseled by the experts. At the end of each season, the couples are given the chance to continue in their marriage or get a divorce.

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eur CalvinRoberson_MAFS_S6

Pastor Calvin Roberson (Pastor Cal) is one of the experts matching couples on “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

While some may question the show’s premise, the EUR spoke to Pastor Cal recently and he said the series is genuine.

“My job on the show is to get these couples, put them together, and make sure they stay together,” said Pastor Cal. “My goal is to look at their differences, see where they’re compatible, counsel them and in some cases, threaten them, to make it work. All the experts, our focus, is simply making sure the couples stay together.”

As for a method in which the couples are matched, he added, “There isn’t a solid formula we apply to every couple. It has to be tweaked as we find out people’s peculiarities. It can be nerve-wracking but it’s rewarding in the end.”

Like many MAFS seasons, there are surprising revelations and this one, featuring couples from New Orleans, is no exception.

“Season 11 has brought us so many surprises,” Pastor Cal said. “Even in casting, one of the couples we thought would get along much quicker is one of the ones lagging behind. And one couple we thought would move slower to intimacy are moving ahead. And that’s with Miles and Karen being the slower and Woody and Amani being the faster of the two.”

EUR MAFS-S11-Couples_Woodrow-Amani

Woody and Amani in current season (11) of “Married at First Sight.” (Photo: Lifetime)

He continued, “Also, by my own admission, I fall on the sword on this one, I was not expecting Bennett and Amelia to get along so well. I thought she would be put off more by his lack of profession. It was a big surprise to me.”

The next MAFS season will include Atlanta couples and after that the show heads to Houston, which is casting now. Pastor Cal told the EUR that the show adapts to the couples from each city.

“I believe that every city we film in brings a certain flavor and the participants from that city take on the flavor from that city,” Pastor Cal said. “New Orleans is laid-back, they party, and it’s a very fun city as opposed to a city like D.C. that is very political, buttoned up, and tight. But definitely we found that every city influences the participants. We definitely see different personalities coming out of each city.”

MAFS Houston Flyer

Speaking of Atlanta, Pastor Cal is the lead pastor at Progression church in the peach city. He and his wife Wendy have a marriage coaching organization that offers marriage and relationship conferences, boot camps, and seminars worldwide.

While COVID-19 may have slowed down the in-person events, that has not stopped people from contacting Pastor Cal for love connections, “Because of COVID, we’re online. I get more people through DM’s, email, etc. asking me to match them.”

And how does the church feel about the show?

“My church actually loves it.” Pastor Cal said. “They are so supportive and such an incredible group of people. They tell people about the show. Our church was actually founded on relationships, so it was an easy fit. Our church was founded on positive marriage and positive family.”

Look out for Pastor Cal’s book, “Marriage Ain’t for Punks,” slated to come out next year.

If you are interested in being on “Married at First Sight” and live in Houston, click here to apply.

For more information on MAFS’ current season, click here.

 

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Nigerian Bread Seller Lands Modeling Contract After Photobombing Rapper’s Shoot

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Olajumoke Orisaguna

*27-year-old former bread seller Olajumoke Orisaguna captured the world’s attention a few years ago when a photo of her carrying a massive bag of bread loafs ontop of her head went viral.

She was discovered on the streets of the city of Lagos by international photographer Ty Bello, who was shooting with English rapper Tinie Tempah. Unintentionally, Orisaguna came out in one of the images.

Days later, Bello shared pictures from that shoot on his social media but with interest of finding out who the bread seller was in the photo.

“WHO IS SHE? Everyone has been asking if this lady is a model… She definitely SHOULD be a model… I’ll find a way to track her down somehow. You guys can also help,“ the photographer captioned the post.

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As PEOPLE notes, from that moment on, her life changed forever. In less than a year, Orisaguna managed to sign contracts with recognized agencies. Earlier this year, she wrapped up her tour of South Africa and she also launched a vlog and reality show.

“I never expected this would ever happen to me,” she told CNN. “My friends have told me they saw me on the TV and they are really happy. My parents cannot believe their own child can become such a success.”

In March, she celebrated the one year anniversary of her discovery. In an exclusive interview with Pulse in January, Orisaguna spoke about the people who have been influential in her rise to fame. During the interview, she thanked Azuka Ogujuiba of ThisDay Newspaper, as she was instrumental in Olajumoke’s success story.

Orisaguna, who left her two children and husband to sell bread, is now being offered by a bank to pay for her kid’s education through college.

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** FEATURED STORY **

‘Origin of Everything’ on PBS Sparks Interest with Controversial & Everyday Topics (EUR Exclusive!)

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Origin of Everything

*“Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org, has been exploring topics since 2017 that run the gamut. The show jumps into a variety of subjects by investigating daily life like the words we use, pop culture, and why we are hooked on technology.

The show does not shy away from controversial topics such as slavery, race and ethnicity, and mass incarceration of African Americans.

Danielle Bainbridge, Ph.D., the host and lead writer of “Origin of Everything,” told the EUR in a recent interview that the series is about making people think beyond the restrictive ways we have been taught to view history.

“It’s a show about our collective story and how we are envisioning history,” Dr. Bainbridge said. ”How do we think about history that includes all of us and just not the figures and facts that we were taught in school. So, it’s a show about under told and underrepresented history. We’re trying to make history feel very present to the people who watch it.”

She continued, “One of the reasons to watch it is if you’re curious about how did we get to our current moment? How do small things such as why do we eat popcorn at the movies or what is the origin of ethnicity and how do these things still impact the way we think about the world?”

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EUR PBS Danielle Bainbridge

Dr. Danielle Bainbridge, host of “Origin of Everything,” available on PBS.org. (Courtesy of PBS)

Deftly equipped to talk about controversial topics, Dr. Bainbridge holds a Ph.D. in African American Studies and American Studies from Yale University and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English & Theatre Arts. She is also a faculty member at Northwestern University in Theatre and African American Studies

In early 2017, when she was a graduate student, she was contacted by PBS about working on the show and thought it was a joke.

“When they first reached out to me, I thought it was a hoax,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I was thinking how would they even know who I am because I was a graduate student? But I think they found me through a since defunct janky website that I had set up. They reached out to me, I auditioned, did a screen test, and a writing sample and after that I was hired to help develop the show.”

Viewers are encouraged to be interactive with the series because it is digital. With instant commentary from the audience, the show knows immediately what viewers think, which for the most part is positive. However, when it delves into controversial subject matters things can get sticky.

“I would say overall people are pretty positive about the series because most of the folks who watch it are longtime watchers who tune in every week for episodes,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “The only exception is if we cover more sensitive topics like, race, gender, or sexuality we will get some pushback. I think that’s just the cost of doing business with open discourse.”

One of the most controversial shows was about the transatlantic slave trade.

“We did one episode on why Europeans enslaved Africans and that was probably our most viewed episode as well as our most critiqued one,” Dr. Bainbridge said. “I think often times if you view yourself as pretty well versed in history from what you learn in school and then you learn something that goes in the opposite direction it can be jarring or for some people upsetting. We think of it as our value or service to our audience to present accurate history or history that doesn’t get told that often so that people can be informed with the whole picture.”

She added that she has an answer for those who point out that Africans sold slaves to Europeans.

“Slavery was not invented with West Africans and Europeans,” Dr. Bainbridge continued. “Some form of enslavement – whether through war, becoming a prisoner of war, or through different systems – goes back to ancient societies from around the world. So, it is not distinct to West Africa or Europe or any other region of the world.”

Dr. Bainbridge added, “But the difference with this particular moment in slavery was that it intersected with capitalism in a way that was very different with slavery that preceded it. People were taken into the system and their children inherited their status as a slave and that is where the differences started to emerge. We have to think about these things as distinct only because the system that existed with chattel slavery was so radically different than the slavery that existed around the world beforehand.”

With the ongoing protests against police brutality, “Origin of Everything” has also tackled the racist beginnings of United States law. Dr. Bainbridge breaks down the discriminatory history by looking at colonialism, slavery, the Jim Crow era, and mass incarceration.

“I decided to write this episode about legal discrimination, and I didn’t have a particular agenda in mind,” she said. “As I started doing the research it was overwhelming. I started to find (material) that just dealt with legal discrimination about black people in this country from its origin to now. I thought it was something that people needed to know.”

“I was never taught in any history class that I took through high school any of the information from that episode. I was taught that things are fair and that a lot of the blame was placed inadvertently or inherently on black communities, impoverished communities, or communities that struggle. When I saw that in some ways the law was stacked against black people and certain other populations, I thought that was important to bring to light. In this moment, people are looking for reliable sources and this could add to the conversation.”

New episodes of “Origin of Everything” are available on PBS.org and the PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube Channel. Join the conversation by visiting Twitter-@PBSOrigin and Instagram-@pbsoriginofeverything.

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