Akira’s Hip Hop Shop: A Love Story Set to a Different Beat [VIDEO]

Buy Akira's Hip Hop Shop! Sunday morning channel surfing while multi-tasking brought this gem of an independent short film to my television. Akira’s Hip Hop Shop is about an interracial relationship that’s rarely talked about let alone became the focus of a film. Asian male – black female couples are very rarely seen. This blog post is not about the sociological reasons why that coupling is not seen as frequently as Black male – Asian female couples or any other combination of couples.

Akira (James Kyson Lee) is faced with many daunting choices in addition to his love for Daphne (Emayatzy Corinealdi). Family pressures and ultimatums weigh heavily on his decisions regarding his relationship with Daphne and commitment to fulfilling his personal dreams and aspirations. Daphne is forced to  decide how she will live out her dreams.

Outside of the Asian male-black female, the movie is much of the same old things --- stereotypes about sex and disapproving family and friends. While Akira and Daphne are of different ethnic backgrounds, their similar interests in music and Asian culture make for refreshing dialog. They also find they are a lot more similar than different.

This is a short film. The full-length version of the movie (37 minutes) is available on and fills in the gaps of the shortened version but you still want more of this film. I don’t want to spoil the movie if you haven’t seen it; if you like romantic comedy with a little drama, check out Akira’s Hip Hop Shop.

Get Akira's Hip Hop Shop now!

Official Trailer: Akira’s Hip Hop Shop

Official Website: Akira’s Hip Hop Shop

Rent it or buy it online: Akira’s Hip Hop Shop

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The Power of Prayer

This powerful photo was forwarded to me by a friend. From research on the internet I've found that it is of the bishops of the church having prayer with Senator Barack Obama before he spoke to over 20,000 delegates at the General Conference of the AME Church in St. Louis, Missouri.

There is power in prayer. Senator Obama is shown being prayed for in this photo and surely prayed for by many throughout the world. Senator Obama's campaign has been a lot more spiritual than folks want to accept.

Some folks have allowed the spirit of fear to be injected in to this presidential race and say things about being concerned about fear for Obama's life. Well, we have no more reason to fear for Obama's life than we do for our own life. Sure, Obama is in a much more public role but if we stay in prayer and stay positive there truly is nothing of which to be fearful.

Tavis Smiley Invites Submissions for Inspiring Volume of 'Unconditional Love Stories'

January 23, 2008

Richelle Zizian
Sr. Publicist
800-654-5126 x119 


"Love Wins," Edited By Smiley, to be Released in Fall 2008 

New York, NY ( - SmileyBooks, the publishing company founded by Tavis Smiley, has launched a national campaign to generate submissions for his next book Love Wins: True Stories of Transformation and Triumph. Smiley is the New York Times best-selling author of What I Know for Sure and The Covenant. "I believe, just as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did, that love is the most powerful and transformative force in the world; the only thing capable of turning an enemy into a friend," Smiley asserts.

Smiley envisions Love Wins as a collection of inspiring real life stories that give voice to the transforming power of unconditional love. "Too often 21st century living has a way of disconnecting us from that divine power within," says Smiley. "Love Wins is an expression of faith that we can reconnect with love's power - to positively transform each other and the world we live in." Love Wins invites people to reexamine their lives through the lens of love and share the one story that most compellingly reveals how giving or receiving love changed their life.

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This Christmas: You Can’t Exchange Family, You Just Have to Love Them!

Two months ago I would have told you that Chris Brown was one of the most annoying entertainers around. That's seems a tad cruel but I'm just keeping it real. He was everywhere. The comments equating him to Michael Jackson really did it for me. Anyhoo, I think he was overexposed and rewarded way too early for a neophyte musical career. Well, it seems that young Mr. Brown just may have proven himself in his role in This Christmas. Obviously, his singing talent and appeal to young women are capitalized on to sell this movie and the soundtrack. It works.

The cast seems to click so much so that the interaction seems so real and I could definitely identify with my own family members and many of the characters. Now, don't get it twisted, there's nothing new in this movie. The storyline is predictable but ya know what? It still works. The jokes, one-liners and come backs remind me of any of several family gatherings.

If I could have changed anything, I probably would have one less Soul Train line. While black folks like to have a good time, I just don't recall that much extraneous dancing going on in my household. That being said, I love this movie and I could watch it over and over again.

Regina King is awesome, as usual, Sharon Leal, Loretta Devine are fabulous and video model turned actress Lauren London holds her own. Two of my favorite actors, Delroy Lindo and Idris Elba bring sexy back for me every time.

I also like the way black filmmakers are infusing the value of education and attending a historically-black college or university in their work.

If you want to see a feel good movie with a few twists and turns, you'll enjoy This Christmas. Remember, you can't exchange family.