Vol 60: lets play make believe
what was left on the table we will never know, but today, we will pretend we know
Hey Friend -
There was NO way I was meeting you for lunch last Monday. I was swirling in the clouds for four days the week before last with a sick husband, a teething baby, no nanny, AND three full work days.
JJ had multiple appointments daily, and I had to juggle his schedule and mine. With 15-30 minutes here and there to catch my breath. We made it, barely. But we made it.
I did miss you tho.
I looked at my calendar somewhat sad that I was missing lunch but also thankful I had the time back. I’ve finally hired a new nanny that will be with us until summer, so I have some space to breathe again.
However, during those hectic days, I finished my second book of the year which had me in tears while reading a very detailed sex scene. Want to know the book? Find out here.
If you’ve been rocking with me for lunch. You know every 20 volumes, there’s a juicy gossip session. Vol 20 was all about 90s gossip. Vol 40 was about hot couples of the 00s. And now, for Vol 60, I want to play a little make-believe.
Let me explain how I got here.
On J15 (skee week sorors 💗💚), my husband gave me the entire day to do whatever I wanted and not be a “mom.” Since I had such a chaotic week before, it was glorious to plan whatever I wanted. I left the house at 9:20a and didn’t return until 5p!
I took myself to breakfast and hung out for about three hours before seeing a movie. House Party was rather stupid, but I thoroughly enjoyed all the cameos. You can wait until it comes out on tape (my reference for streaming).
Anyhoo…I had plans to finish reading the book I mentioned earlier, but something also told me to bring an empty notebook.
A few nights before, I dreamt I was writing scenes from a fictional novel.
So while I enjoyed endless cups of coffee before my meal, I began creating characters for a book. As someone who loves to write creatively, it was a lot of fun.
Then I thought, why not do something like this at lunch with you?
So today, we will pay homage to some of my favorite entertainers or notable people who passed away in the 90s and 00s. 😇
I’ve created fictitious narratives for these folks as if they were still living today. Let me know if you agree with my version of their “current” life story.
Btw, I sighed a lot while compiling this list. A lot of great people are listed here. Enjoy!
Robin Harris (1990)
At 70, Robin Harris is still telling folks that they are too sensitive and we should be able to make fun of anything.
In 2002, 10 years after Bébé's Kids was released, we got part two. It followed the characters when they got older, high school age to be exact. Then for its 30th anniversary, a reboot of the movie was created.
Ever since Kevin Hart made it mainstream, Robin has made a point to make fun of him. He doesn’t think he is funny at all.
If you don’t know Robin Harris, you are missing out on one of the most iconic comedians of all time.
Miles Davis (1991)
In 2023, Miles would have turned 97. So I’ll bump his narrative back a few decades.
By the time Miles hit 65, two years after he divorced Cicely Tyson, he was fluid in his sexuality, an advocate for LGBTQ+ youth and musicians, a guest lecture at various colleges and universities, and wrote an entire “I’m Sorry” album to the love of his life, Cicely because that fool did her so damn dirty when they were married. But she loved him until the very end of his life and hers. Miles passed away at the age of 99 peacefully in his sleep.
In ’95 Selena was hospitalized with a bullet wound from her crazy now former fan club manager. When she fully recovered, she went on tour to promote her first English album, Dreaming of You.
Because Selena’s life up to that point was full of twist and turns and a near death experience, a movie was created about her. After Jennifer Lopez was cast to play her role, they became best friends and attended all of the movie premieres with her.
Years later they did a collaboration album that pissed Shakira off because she wanted to be besties with Selena instead.
Fun fact: Selena is three years younger than JLo. When Jenny was dancing on In Living Color, trying to get discovered, Selena was blowing up the Tejano charts.
Eazy E (1995)
Eazy went to visit Suge at the studio one night to handle some business. But he kne Suge was always up to no good so he had a few back up plans in case things went left. E never trusted Suge so he knew he was going to double cross him one day.
Someone sucker punched E a few moments after he arrived. While Suge laid back in the corner watching his boys handle his business, he was oblivious to the person sneaking up behind him, one of E’s people, who did enough damage to him that he would be laid up in the hospital for a couple of months.
Years later, E had a show on BET featuring all 11 of his kids called The Godfather of Compton. While he was already widely popular for his position in N.W.A. his fame skyrocketed once folks found out why Suge was in the hospital for months.
After this altercation, Suge never caused any problems with anyone else.
Phyllis Hyman (1995)
Phyllis showed up to her scheduled performance at the Apollo Theater. She opened up for The Whispers’ 30th anniversary celebration. After this night, Phyllis openly talked about her battle with mental health and became a public spokesperson for various nonprofits and causes. Today, at almost 74, Phyllis is gearing up for her final tour.
Side note, my mom was at the Apollo Theater specifically to see Phyllis this night in ’95, but she never showed. When the announcer came out and told the audience of her death, (suicide) the entire crowd erupted in shock and despair. I will never forget her sultry voice and her cameo at the pajama jam in School Daze.
Tupac Amaru Shakur retired from rapping after releasing his 30th album just shy of his 40th birthday. He cut all ties with Suge Knight after he learned that he tried to jump and kill Eazy-E in the studio. He created his own record label (Afeni Records), re-releasing all of his music underneath it.
On his 50th birthday, he shocked the world and invited Biggie to his star-studded birthday bash in Los Angeles. No one knew these two had finally settled the beef that lasted decades.
To this day, Tupac has been in over 50 movies and is shifting his focus to help Black youths from poor neighborhoods live out their dreams through his foundation called Better Dayz, named after his 8th album.
Tupac is also the only rapper to receive an EGOT, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar & a Tony award.
Today he and his wife, Kidada (Jones), are happily married with six children, five boys, and one girl. His oldest son is following in his hip-hop footsteps taking on the name Makaveli.
Puffy and Big had a HUGE falling out in 2020 because he found out that he had reconciled with Tupac. Puffy kicked Biggie off the record label and held all his masters captive.
In an interview, Puffy said, “how could you forgive someone who accused you of tworldwidemurder them.” But Big wanted to move forward with his life and felt that hip-hop would be a much better place if these two greats worked together.
Word on the street is that Big is trying to get Pac out of retirement to go on an East vs. West coast worldwide tour where the two of them will perform their greatest hits back and forth, verzuz style.
Big tried to work things out with Faith, but she found out he was still dealing with Charli Baltimore, so she finally called it quits with him. Publicly he is linked to Charli, but the rumor mills are swirling saying he fathered two of Lil Kim’s children a few years back.
Princess Diana (1997)
Di had a close encounter with the paparazzi in Paris, but her driver managed to escape the scene with minor damage to the car. Diana lives in Los Angeles, a few miles away from her son Harry and his wife Meghan.
She spends summers in Africa doing charity work, on the board of several nonprofits, and it has been reported that she is currently dating newly single George Clooney.
In a recent interview, she says she has a very strained relationship with her firstborn, William, and his wife Kate but she loves every moment of being a grandmother to Archie & Lilibet.
Freaky Tah (1999)
When Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz dropped in ’95, Freaky Tah of Lost Boyz was on top of the world. But it wasn’t until their biggest record Reneé dropped that he began to experience stardom.
In ’99, he was at Mr. Cheeks’ birthday party when a shootout happened. Four people died, one being a childhood friend. After that Tah went on to speak out on gun violence and became an activist in the Black community.
Today he is trying to reboot Yo! MTV Raps since it aired its final episode one week before Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz released. He always said he felt slighted that his video never aired on that channel.
Big Pun (2000)
In 1998 Pun collapsed during a performance with the Terror Squad. He was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he stayed for three months to be monitored and treated for morbid obesity.
At the time of his collapse, Pun weighed almost 700 pounds. He didn’t emerge on the scene again until 2001, and he had dropped over 300 pounds.
Pun became a staple celebrity spokesperson for Weight Watchers and a consistent host on the biggest loser. Pun travels all over the world, speaking on eating disorders and sharing his story on how he overcame his depressive overeating battle.
Terror Squad is gearing up to go on a reunion tour next year.
After dating Damon for a couple of years, Aaliyah called it quits. She felt highly betrayed that he decided to make a cameo in Robert’s Fiesta Remix video. After that, she decided to tell her story publicly against her family's wishes. She came forward in a steamy interview with Sister 2 Sister Magazine in 2003. In 2006, Robert was sentenced to 30 years in jail.
After Queen of the Damned released in 2002, Aaliyah got terrible reviews for her acting. But no one knew that she was set to star in The Matrix Reloaded & The Matrix Resurrections, the sequels in The Matrix franchise. Her performance as Zee shocked the world because everyone expected the same performance as Queen of the Damned.
In fact, her performance was so good she was cast to play Cindy Birdsong in Dreamgirls (2006), beating out Sharon Leal for this role. Her performance in this role led her to win an MTV Movie award.
In her acceptance speech, she shocked the world when she thanked her husband, Clifford Smith Jr, aka Method Man. The two have been secretly dating and got married just days before the award ceremony.
Left Eye (2002)
After she burned down her then-boyfriend’s house to the ground and dealt with all the legal ish that came with it, Lisa went to Honduras to visit Dr. Sebi in ’95.
TLC’s second album CrazySexyCool dropped at the end of ’94, five months after she committed arson. The group had just finished six months of press. The day after their last appearance, Lisa got on the first flight to Honduras and didn’t return to the scene until she appeared on her best friend, Lil’ Kim’s, Not Tonight remix.
Drama swirled the internet because Lisa was not interested in recording her designated parts on Fan Mail, TLC’s third album. But she finally gave in, and the group released their third and final album, Fan Mail, which gave the entire group Grammy for their hit No Scrubs.
After the group announced their retirement in late 2000, Lisa continued to manage her group Blaque which became one of the best-selling groups of the mid-00s. Twenty-six years after she burned down Andre Rison’s home, the two tied the knot in a secret ceremony in Las Vegas two days before TLC was set to begin their residency at the Wynn hotel.
Keven “Dino” Connor of H-Town (2003)
After a wildly successful career in the 90s, H-Town decided to retire as a group and go their separate ways. Dino and his twin brother/groupmate Shazam decided to get into the festival business. They were inspired by the ’93 Coca-Cola Summer Fest that they performed at.
They now have the longest-running weekend festival hosted in Houston every year. Their festival, Summers in H-town, has surpassed Coachella in ticket sales for the last five years.
Ol’ Dirty Bastard (2004)
ODB left Wu-Tang in ’07 after he was only limited to two songs on their fifth album. He also began to clash with Method Man because of his acting career. ODB said he felt like Meth cared about his acting career more than the group. After leaving the group, ODB landed a gig at SiriusXM radio and hosts a show on 90s Hip-Hop.
In 2010, ODB popped up on an episode of worldwidea celebrity edition. He came in second place behind Courtney Love.
While at Sirus one day in 2018, Aaliyah was in the studio, promoting her 6th album, and she stopped by his office. Reports say she was the one who got Meth & ODB back together, which led to a worldwide sold-out Wu-Tang tour in 2021.
Luther Vandross (2005)
In 2021 Luther did his final tour to celebrate his 70th birthday. But he didn’t tour by himself. He took some of his favorite acts on the road with him, creating a once-in-a-lifetime concert experience. Tickets for every show sold out in less than an hour.
His Luther and friends’ tour had different celebrity appearances along the entire route. Beyoncé showed up at the NYC show and performed The Closer I Get to You. Sade opened for his show in London. And Whitney Houston toured with him for eight cities.
Gerald LeVert (2006)
LSG is about to drop their 10th album later this year. The group has been going strong since it formed in 1996. Keith Sweat, Johnny Gill, and Gerald LeVert became the blueprint for former solo artists to create a supergroup.
They inspired TGT (Tank, Ginuwine, Tyrese) in 2007 and MCM (Mya, Christina Milian, Monica) in 2010.
Today, you can catch Gerald courtside at a Cavs game, watching his cousin Caris LeVert play.
Pimp C (2007)
After a near-death experience with lean, Pimp C decided to clean up his act. He went to an off the grid 3-month long intensive rehab in Sedona, AZ.
When he popped back on the scene at the beginning of 2011, Pimp C got into movie production for a change in “career scenery.” His first movie was an indi documentary on Rap-A-Lot Records. He won several film festival awards, including Sundance.
Bernie Mac (2008)
Ten years after Players Club was released, the entire cast got back together again to produce a sequel to the franchise. Bernie’s acting career took him to enormous heights. He is currently filming Oceans 25 right now in Shanghai.
After this movie wraps, Bernie is going on an international comedy tour with Monique because he feels like she needs help from someone.
Michael Jackson (2009)
At 65 years old, MJ is still releasing albums, selling out arenas and can moonwalk effortlessly. Over the last decade, he has become extremely close with his baby sister Janet, and they are working on their fourth collaboration album.
In 2011 he sold Neverland for an undisclosed amount to a major movie company that now uses the plot of land to film TV and movies.
In 2017 MJ and Debbie Allen opened a performing arts high school in Los Angeles.
Michael has the longest-running reality show, J5. Cameras have been following the entire Jackson family empire since 2000.
Teena Marie (2010)
Last year Teena (66) and her daughter (31) released a mother/daughter album that broke the internet. Before releasing this album, Teena had been on a musical hiatus for nearly a decade. Her daughter, Alia, sounds almost identical to her talented mother.
On a random trip to Switzerland in 2015, Teena linked up with Tina (Turner), and those two have become besties, traveling all over Europe together. While they are 17 years apart in age, both of these women have a lot in common.
I could have written about so many more amazing celebs who went on home to glory that’s an old Black saying, like someone's grandma say, “they went home to glory”, but we would be at lunch forever, so here are those honorable mentions: Jam Master Jay (2002), Soulja Slim (2003), Barry White (2003), Nina Simone (2003), Rick James (2004), Richard Pryor (2005), Proof of D4L (2006), and Brittany Murphy (2009).
So what did you think of my narratives? Could you see some of them play out today?
No one lasts forever in this world. Writing this made me realize that you get one chance at life, so live it the fuck up, don’t sweat the small stuff, and leave a little sparkle and shine wherever you go.
Have a great day friend. See you next month!