The Internet craze “planking” made headlines around the world last month when a young man fell to his death from a hotel balcony in Brisbane, Queensland. According to London tabloid the Daily Mail, the man tried to “plank” himself by laying across the balcony railing.

Planking involves participants lying down in unusual places and then uploading pictures of themselves to social networking websites.

Ever since planking claimed it’s first victim, there have been other deaths and serious injuries connected to the fad. What once was strictly isolated to groups of idle middle class teens on Facebook has now reached black Twitter.

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Last year, the Russell Simmons-owned website Globalgrind.com took steps to cease scraping websites and blogs for their content. But not before building his prominent Internet brand off the backs of hard working bloggers without our permission.

It took many complaints and numerous negative write ups on blogs before Simmons and Global Grind stopped stealing our content.

In a post titled Global Grind Copies Content, Patrick O’Keefe detailed how Simmons and Global Grind rose to the top of the blog rankings by scraping content from established blogs (such as mine) as if the content originated on Global Grind.

This strategy helped Global Grind position its brand in the global marketplace which enabled Simmons to secure lucrative sponsorships from large corporations.

Simmon’s seedy reputation was further tarnished by the RUSH pre-paid debit card controversy, which has been well-documented. It seemed Rush had no qualms about stealing from his own people. Now an urban blogger has come forward to expose yet another one of Global Grind’s questionable business strategies.

According to Michelle Brown, who is enrolled in Global Grind’s ad network, she has not been paid for advertising on her blog since January, 2011. According to brown, owner of Straightfromthea.com, she was told by GG’s accountant, Deepa Shah, that another ad network, Adify, is tasked with paying bloggers their Global Grind revenue for advertising.

Brown was given the runaround by Shah in a series of confusing email exchanges, in which Ms. Shah explains that Global Grind paid out ad revenue to Adify, and now Adify was responsible for disbursing the money to bloggers in its ad network. You can read those emails below.

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Kanye West recently signed 2 Nigerian artists to his G.O.O.D. Music label. One of them is D’banj, who, according to Upscale Hype, attended the 2011 BET Awards styled in a pair of Christian Louboutin Mika Raja flats ($2,395) from the Spring/Summer 2011 Collection. I would rather see a man dressed like D’banj than one dressed like those untamed beasts who roam the urban landscape with their pants hanging off their butts, like Lil Wayne and that ilk. We have to do better.

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They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but in rapper Drake’s case it’s got to be annoying. Drake’s late night, drunken phone call to a past love (who has found a love of her own) stirred something deep inside other artists, who found it necessary to record their own versions of “Marvin’s Room”, even though no one asked them to.

The only version I listened to — or I should say, tolerated — was white soul singer JoJo’s. Unfortunately, her fake emotion wasn’t very convincing. With Drake, you can feel his pain. He knows it’s his loss when he tells her, “The woman that I would try/ is happy with a good guy/ but I’ve been drinking so much/ that I’ma call her anyway and say/ f*ck that nigga that you love so bad…”

You have to know that kind of pain to make others feel it. No one makes you feel heartache like Drake. All other artists need to fall in line behind him because they’ll never be first as long as he’s breathing. As Neo would say, he’s The One!

Chris Brown’s “Marvin’s Room” remix is on the other side

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Last week, Newsweek tantalized their followers on Twitter.com by posting a snippet of this week’s cover along with a challenge to guess what it was. No one guessed that it was a photoshopped image of Princess Diana — as she would look today — walking with her daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton.

Princess Diana would have been 50 on Friday, but the Newsweek graphic artists digitally altered her likeness to make her look closer to 60. Naturally, the British people are howling mad at Newsweek’s Diana at 50 cover. The cover story: “If She Were Here Now”, was written with care by Tina Brown.

The issue is on newsstands, iPad, iPhone and your Kindle today.

In case you were wondering who dressed Hosea Chanchez for the BET Awards, wonder no more. AKOO styled the star of BET’s ‘The Game’ for his red carpet appearance at the Shrine Auditorium in Hollywood.

From PRWeb.com:

Ralph Reynolds, Creative Director for AKOO Clothing and Vice President of RP55 Group, was commissioned to design a custom suit to be worn by Hosea Chanchez during his BET Awards presentation debut on June 26, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. “I’m honored that Hosea reached out me, I’ve been a big fan of his and the show The Game for quite some time,” states Reynolds. One of the unsung heroes and predecessors of urban fashion, Reynolds is responsible for launching brands such as RP55, Azzure Denim and Indigo Red. Currently, the RP55 Group ships over $20 million of apparel and accessories annually, including AKOO, Play Cloths and G-Shock. “Although urban fashion is what I’m known for, it’s a little known fact that men’s formal wear and luxury accessories are a passion point of mine. I’ve been designing custom garments for a select clientele for years. I enjoy working with Hosea because he exudes the AKOO mantra. He’s a confident and talented individual with a passion for community empowerment,” explains Reynolds.

Hosea Chanchez, star of BET’s hit sitcom The Game, is the founder of the WATCHMEWIN Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of urban youth through mentorship, leadership development, encouragement and empowerment. From actor, philanthropist and fashion trendsetter, Hosea is truly today’s modern man who wants to wear clothes that reflect his passion, personality and lifestyle.

R&B sensation Beyonce Knowles is pictured arriving at Harrods store in London’s Knightsbridge section as she films an edition of ‘Life Stories’ with Piers Morgan today. Her appearance at Harrods caused quite a scene. The British bobbies (policemen) had to beat back the Bey Stans who surged forward hoping for a chance to touch her weave. Maybe Bey is hoping that the British media can do for her what they did for Kelly Rowland.
Photo: Splash News Online

Pop icon Madonna was seen leaving the Ritz hotel to take a trip on the Eurostar in Paris, France with her boyfriend Brahim Zaibat. I don’t know much about him, but I do know they won’t be together for long. Everybody but Madonna can see it. Notice the queens chuckling at them in the background?
Photo: INF PHOTO

Everybody’s talking about Kelly Rowland’s performance on the 2011 BET Awards last night. But many are asking themselves where was this Kelly Rowland all these years?

One writer for the Atlanta Post thinks he knows the answer: she was a victim of her former manager Mathew Knowles’ anti-competitive management style.

Salem Aster writes that Knowles was simply more interested in boosting his daughter to worldwide fame — and he did that by suppressing Kelly’s now obvious talents.

Obviously, Beyonce needs no explanation. She is fierce, she is driven and she has the success to match her passions. Nobody is doubting that. However, why is it that Kelly’s talents had to be downplayed for the sake of Beyonce’s success? Economically, it doesn’t make sense.

For some reason, (I’m assuming) Papa Knowles thought there wasn’t enough room for more than one Destiny’s Child member to gain success in the music marketplace. If he did indeed steer Rowland’s career away from success, then he was engaging in anti-competitive practices.

Thew writer notes that, since Kelly “broke ties with her former manager” she is now seeing much more success than when she first became a solo artist. Since the Atlanta Post is a business magazine, I wonder if the writer is hinting that Kelly can sue Mathew?

Meanwhile, over the weekend, her former bandmate, Beyonce, made history as the first female performer to headline at the Glastonbury music festival in 19 years. :yawn:

Beyonce photo: Getty Images