What do you get when you put Snoop Doggy Dogg, Dave Chappelle & Spike Lee in a blender…? You unknowingly get 4-IZE new video “What I Smell Like”. The self proclaimed professional ignorant, intelligent idiot has returned. In his directorial debut, 4-IZE teams up w/ Brandon Womack to record the 1st “One Man Cypher” where 4-IZE rolls a blunt, smokes a blunt & passes a blunt to… Himself! From the Love & Hip Hop Atlanta type hot girls, to the Flava Flav choreographed dance moves, this intentionally...read more
James Brown biopic “Get On Up” starring Chadwick Boseman hits theaters this Friday, August 1.
The film is produced by Rolling Stones legend Mick Jagger. Nelsan Ellis, Jill Scott, Director Tate Taylor, Chadwick Boseman, Octavia Spencer, Mick Jagger, Brian Grazer and Dan Aykroyd all participated in a fascinating and intimate press conference in New York.
The legendary Mick Jagger reflected on how he came to produce the film. “I was asked by a business associate and friend Peter Afterman if I would make a documentary about James Brown. I woke up and said, ‘lets do a feature,’ but of course being in Hollywood there’s always a feature … Then I learned of the script and I learned of Brian’s previous involvement, so that’s the short version of how I got involved. Actually, in Hollywood terms, from the beginning of my involvement to this point of having the premiere of the movie on August 1, it’s been a relatively short time. Since we started on the second part of the journey, Brian had done all this hard work in the beginning, but since we started the second part of the journey, in hollywood terms its been really quick.”
Q: Mr. Jagger, can I ask you about your personal recount when you followed James Brown, how that played out and how did this experience influence you as a performer?
Jagger: About 50 years ago … it was a very exciting show … there were many people at the show that were interesting to me, for the first time. I’d never met Marvin Gaye before, for instance. I got the opportunity to chat with him. There was a lot of us on the show. It was a pretty crazy day. I’d seen James Brown before one time, at the Apollo, and the experience was James was a bit annoyed about not being the last on the show, and as I was the only one that met him before, of all the people working on the show, including the producers of the show, whoever they were. I have no idea who they were. I was the fall guy, because I was like 20 or something so they said “you go talk to him, you know him, you go call him out”. And when you’re 20 you say “sure”. Now it’s, “that’s not my job, that’s your job”. When you’re 20 you go, “sure”. Of course it didn’t work. It might have somewhat assuaged him, but it played out and it was what it was. He did this amazing performance and we went on after, but in the end I don’t think it really mattered. We had to work harder, and he worked harder, and maybe it was a better show because of it.
Q: How do you go on after that? Did it influence your stage performance?
Jagger: He influenced me a lot. Amongst a lot of other people, he influenced me in lots of ways. I could never do the dance routines like James, and I never spent the time and effort that Chad had to do to do the fantastic job that he does in this movie of doing that, because I didn’t want to be an imitator of that. But the thing about him that impressed me, as with other people that I was influenced by at the time, little Richard being the other one, who is in this movie as well. Both of them from very similar parts of the world, and that, how to interact with an audience, the most important thing. And I’m sure that Chad got into some of that into making of this movie because it’s all about, James was all about interacting with the audience, it wasn’t just your performance. It’s about their performance too. It’s about how they perform and they react and you react to them, the interplay.
Q: Ms. Boseman. Were there any challenges in portraying Mr. Brown?
Chadwick Boseman: The entire thing was a challenge. When I looked at the role, the reason I was a bit … scared, was there was no part of it that was just straight-forward, easy, you’ve done that before. A lot of people will say “well you’re from, South Carolina” but he’s from the low country of South Carolina, it’s different. It’s not the same thing. And I’ve spent quite a bit of time out of South Carolina, so it was important to me, we went down to Augusta to meet the family, and stayed because Augusta is pretty much on the border, between Georgia and South Carolina, I stayed down there a little bit longer, and just drove around, saw the family and soaked up as much of it as I could before we started. This was right before we started. There was no part that was easy to do. 60% of my fear was from the dancing. 30% was just the caricatures that have been projected of him and trying to get past what people think they know, but I don’t think there was any easy part.
Q: Being that James had an entrepreneurial spirit what is one business that James had created that surprised you both?
Chadwick Boseman: The most surprising venture was the James brown fruit stand. I don’t know if you all know about that one. It was part of him wanting to recycle money within the black community before it goes outside of the community to build. It actually was a genius idea. It obviously is not still around, but that was the thing that was the most surprising for me.
Dan Aykroyd: I would say nothing that James did entrepreneurially would surprise me. He was just so broad ranging in terms of his understanding of business, how to handle people, how to handle money, how to balance a book, how to make a tour more profitable than any other artist, and he extended it into the radio stations and the merchandising. He just got it, and he got it from a very early age.
“Finding Fela” is a documentary focused on the Fela Anikulapo Kuti; a Nigerian musician and human rights activist who stood for social justice and equality.
In “Finding Fela,” we see behind the scenes footage from Fela’s private living, concerts, and the Broadway play “Fela!” named after the late musician. We also see the people who were closest to him like his children, drummer and manager discuss their one on one moments with the performer which gives the viewers an inside look on what was really going on behind the music and the household name. “Finding Fela” has a running time of almost two hours and the documentary starts off with an introduction of who Fela was as an artist. He is portrayed as a bold and colorful man who campaigned against suppression and despotism considering it’s not so glamorous consequences. This introduction is accompanied with Fela’s music, which drew me into the film because it was very rhythmic, infectious and irresistible.
Getting into the documentary, Fela’s upbringing is explored. We learn fun facts about him like his mother engaging him with the piano at the age of nine. He came from an upper middle class family, as his parents were very well respected people in the Nigerian society. We also find out that he was the leader of his school choir and started out playing religious Christian music, so his passion for music did not just come from nowhere. The documentary then goes directly into fifty percent of the focal point of the movie, which is his influence on highlife/soul music in West Africa. Bob Marley and The Antibalas, which was a popular band in Brooklyn, New York may have been inspirations for Fela’s movement.
Fela was known for his jazzed up horn arrangements which became a signature piece in his music. The film also cites James Brown as an influence on Fela’s music. The Nigerian culture is emphasized with scenery of the country’s lifestyle during that era. We see women carrying babies on their backs, tall buildings and a lot of cars. The highlight of that segment for me was be the nightlife.
The film eventually gets less humorous and becomes graver and pensive as issues like racism, war, feminism, corruption and constitutional rights are discussed. Sandra Daniel provides personal information about meeting Fela Kuti, their marriage and her culture shock given that she met Fela in L.A. and had no idea she was being married as a third wife. However, it was not her personal experiences that added the needed drama element to the film; it was Fela’s attack on the Nigerian government. Fela spoke up against police brutality and for freedom of speech, human rights and fair practice. That did not fare well with the Nigerian military force at that time as the documentary depicts them as immoral, wrongful and detestable. Because of this, Fela and his supporters were often beaten down and maltreated.
“Finding Fela” gives us enough information about Fela to conclude what kind of life he lived and what legacy he left behind. It is not your typical sob story or infomercial. Although some might see Fela as a crazy, mad and an imperfect man, we can’t deny that all of those qualities make him a genius musical mind and brave hero. I view this documentary as a very truthful and daring project. The unfiltered surface in which the content is presented is absolutely astounding.
“Finding Fela” hits theaters this Friday, August 1.
-Igee Okaforread more
ICB unveiled its 2014 campaign and celebrated Fashion and Hip-Hop.
On July 30, Mia Moretti and Alexandra Richards hosted an exclusive party to unveil the ICB Fall 2014 Campaign and celebrate a collaboration between ICB and Def Jam Recordings. DJ Eiko Hara was there spinning a custom mix of the ICB x Def Jam Fall 2014 mix-tape and there was a performance by Jeremih with special guest, Vado.
The event also included Roberta’s Pizza from Brooklyn outside serving up wood-fired pizza and La NewYorkina serving paletas. The ICB Fall 2014 campaign featuring Joan Smalls celebrates this season’s ICB girl who is effortlessly cool and on the pulse of music & culture.
The collection references the 90’s – but updated. To celebrate the launch of Fall 2014 ICB teamed up with Def Jam Records to create a mix-tape that captures the collection’s vibe: a little bit street – a lot city, and a modern take on the best classics. The ICB x Def Jam mix-tape was distributed to 500 influencers worldwide and will stream at icbnyc.com.
“Guardians of the Galaxy” is directed by James Gunn and written by Gunn and Nicole Perlman. The film out this Friday starrs Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Lee Pace, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Djimon Hounsou, John C. Reilly, Glenn Close, and Benicio del Toro.
Earlier this year, I had the chance to watch and review “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” At that moment in time, I truly believed I witnessed one of the best Marvel films, as well as comic book films, to date. To follow up “The Winter Soldier,” Marvel took a risk and released a more unknown property: “The Guardians of the Galaxy.” Sure, Marvel had visited the Cosmos before with “Thor” and briefly in “The Avengers,” but never have they gone as deep into space as this. It’s safe to say that director James Gunn and his crew were touching new ground in the MCU. The end result? Probably the most fun a Marvel film has had in a long time — it felt like a blending of tones of “Star Wars” with “Indiana Jones” with a hint of “Firefly.” It truly doesn’t disappoint on any level.
In 1988, a young Peter Quill is abducted by a spaceship from the planet Earth (it seems like a nice place, but no where I’d want be…you’ll get it soon). Years later, Quill (Pratt), now a thief and a junker is on a job looking for some sort of mysterious orbs. I have to take the time here to just say that Quill’s introduction sequence to Redbone’s “Come And Get Your Love” is one of the best in any movie I’ve seen … right off the bat it sets up the tone for what’s coming. But bad news for Quill — he’s not alone in looking for the orb. Korath (Hounsou) and a couple of others are hunting down the orb for Ronan the Accuser (Pace). Quill, surrounded by Korath and some of his men, knocks them out and makes his escape.
Quill heads to the planet Xandar to contact his guy, but once Quill let’s slip that Ronan is interested … well, he’s sent out of the shop quickly. Waiting for him outside is Gamora (Saldana), an assassin who has been sent by Ronan to retrieve the orb. But also waiting for Quill to collect the bounty on his head are Rocket (Cooper) and Groot (Diesel). What comes next makes for one of the funniest moments in the movie that end in all four of them being arrested, with Rhomann Dey (Rielly) bringing in Quill or as he calls him, “Star-Prince.”
The four of them are sent to Kyln prison, and the only real way for them to survive is if they stick together. At least Quill sticking with Rocket and Groot … they really want that bounty. Gamora on the other hand … a lot of people in that prison were affected and had friends and family killed by Ronan so her head is wanted. Once night time rolls around, Gamora is taken by some inmates and is all but killed until a big guy walks in the room — Drax the Destroyer (Batista). Drax makes the claim that he’s the one who should kill Gamora for what Ronan has done to his family. She’s all but dead until Quill steps in and saves Gamora’s life by promising Drax they will kill Ronan.
I’ll say this right now — “Guardians” isn’t just the funniest movie in the MCU, but may be the most emotional, most heartfelt and touching movie in the MCU as well. Each of the Guardians has gone through hell and back. Each of them has their own demons that turned them into what they are. James Gunn doesn’t gloss over this — he lets each character have their moment and it’s both beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Before the Guardians can come together as a unit, they have to come to terms with their past and what they’ve become. In “The Avengers,” it’s ego that gets in the way of them becoming a force. In “Guardians,’ it’s not ego…it’s a lack of family and trust in a society where all of these individuals had been forced to go at it alone.
As a whole, Guardians really is a special movie and is instantly a Marvel favorite. Chris Pratt is perfect as Star-Lord while Dave Batista is, shockingly, one of the funniest characters in the whole movie. The villains are also well done and thoughtout — both Lee Pace and Karen Gillan (as Nebula) are fierce and it feels like at any moment they can kill you if they so choose. While there’s a lot going on in the movie and there’s so much movement and traveling, it never gets to a point where it feels overwhelming.
In terms of a Marvel movie, James Gunn has created a sci-fi masterpiece unlike any other. Gunn has always been a bit insane … just take a look at his past movies. But that’s what made him the absolute perfect choice to direct this movie. With a talking tree, a bad mouthing raccoon, and just pure craziness going on every second, you need an insane director. James Gunn has cemented his place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and I expect he’ll be around for a long while. “Guardians of the Galaxy” is a delicious treat for just about everyone. But remember — stay for the credits. It’s never quite over.
-Joshua Kayeread more
John Michael McDonagh is back with the second part of part of his “Glorified Suicide Trilogy”.
This second installment features Brendan Gleeson as Father James, a virtuous priest who receives a death sentence from a child abuse victim during a confessional. He explains that he plans to murder an innocent priest , referring to Father James, the next Sunday in order to gain attention to his crime.
And so, the film follows the father as he interacts with the people of the small town in West Ireland as the days count down to his death sentence. The visual landscapes and cinematography flawlessly complement the dark drama in the film with waves crashing down onto the cliffs and the sound of the them falling onto the shore, almost reminiscent of old mystery novels. Although the priest’s intentions are honest and legitimate, the community’s attitude towards him are brash and lewd due to each of their internal conflicts. Some of these include an apathetic doctor (Aiden Gillen), a married couple dealing with infidelity, and Michael Fitzgerald (Dylan Moran), a shameless banker. The town is bereaved by the community’s despondent and melancholic attitudes; cynicism has made them give up on faith and morale. Even Father James’ upright behaviour also begins to fall apart…
This film does a superb job in delving into the problems that society faces and the struggles in all of our lives. The characters reflect a genuine portrayal of detachment that we can all understand and relate to, when hope is lost. This movie is more of a work of art than it is of focusing on a captivating storyline. The last scenes capture the importance of the need to stay committed and not lose hope by examining the consequences of cynicism.
“Cavalry” is coming to theaters August 1.
Fashion brand Missoni & famed shoe brand Converse has teamed up for a new fall 2014 collaboration. The two brands have joined together once before on previous collections and now they are back to produce rare designs of the Chuck Taylor All Star.
The sneakers were made in both high-top and low-top versions. Each sneaker is embellished with Missoni’s signature Mediterranean style design. The collaboration drops at Converse retailers and on their website on August 28th. Check out photos of the collection in the gallery above.
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Yesterday on Instagram, rapper Game announced he’s looking for fans to help him design a unique album cover for his forthcoming album, Year Of The Wolf. Today, the “Bigger Than Me” rapper made it clear the competition would be really tight because he’s already found a favorite.
Game instructed fans on how to enter the contest in a caption reading, “I’m letting fans design the album cover & the best one will win….. Just FOLLOW & tag our@bloodmoneylafamilia page with your album cover art & may the best artist win !!!!!!!!!!!”
Year of The Wolf is expected to hit stores September 16.read more
No charges will be filed against the NYPD in the death of unarmed teenager Kimani Gray last year in Flatbush
It was confirmed yesterday by District Attorney Kenneth Thompson that charges will not be filed in the shooting death of 16 year old Kimani Gray last year on March 9th in Brooklyn by the NYPD.
Last year, an investigation was launched when then Ofc. Mourad Mourad and Jovaniel Cordova shot Gray seven times, of which three bullet holes in his back, killing him. The officers were initially placed on administrative duty during the investigation, however, since the incident Officer Mourad Mourad was promoted to sergeant and has even reeceived a service award.
This tragic news comes on the heels of the death of Eric Garner, further widening the gap between the cops and the community.
Kimani’s mother, Carol Gray, intends to continue to fight for justice for her son with a federal lawsuit against the NYPD in her sights.
-Sha Be Allah(@KingPenStatus)read more
Kendrick Lamar has been pretty quiet since his verse on “Control” a couple of months back. There is a lot of speculation going around about Kendrick working on his sophomore album, however, he seems to also still be focused on his first release Good Kid, m.A.A.d City. Kendrick will be premiering a short 14 minute film entitled “m.A.A.d, inspired by the his latest album at the Sundance NEXT Fest in Los Angeles, California.
The film directed by Kahlil Joseph, will give us a creative retrospective point of view of “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and will be shown at The Ace Hotel August 9th.”
Kendrick has taken his creativity to new heights with the release of ”m.A.A.D” which will let fans better understand Kendrick as an artist. Sundance NEXT Fest will be from August 7th to the 10th and will have various tastemakers of the film and music industry in attendance. For more information and ticket information click here.
Yak Yak Yak, Follow Erica On Twitter - @Eri_Rhoread more
Remember when Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber trolled us into thinking they were recording a duet by sharing a behind-the-scenes studio pic on Instagram? Well, someone kindly asked Ari about the missing collaboration in a recent interview and she put its conspicuous absence from My Everything down to being busy. Sure, that sounds likely. “We … More »