Philip Bailey burst onto the scene in the early ’70s as the high-pitched singer — alongside the band’s co-founder Maurice White — in the epic disco supergroup, Earth, Wind & Fire. Some of the biggest jams that Philip Bailey and Maurice White…
Rivers Cuomo’s iconic geek-chic look is still rockin’! Here’s a 30-year-old version of the Weezer frontman on stage at Coachella back in 2001 (left) and 18 years later … the 48-year-old Buddy Holly look-alike on stage during weekend 1 of Coachella 2019…
Neymar’s having himself one helluva week — raging at Carnival in Rio with a very famous, very attractive Brazilian singer. The 27-year-old Paris Saint-Germain superstar had his arm around Anitta at the big parade at the Sambadrome Marques de…
An age-old war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the long-banished giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend . . . and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Bohemian Rhapsody is an enthralling celebration of Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and convention to become one of history’s most beloved entertainers. Following Queen’s meteoric rise, their revolutionary sound and Freddie’s solo career, the film also chronicles the band’s reunion, and one of the greatest performances in rock history.
Disney didn’t just commit cultural appropriation when it locked down the rights to “Hakuna Matata,” the company actually stole the saying from an incredibly popular Kenyan band … this according to the group’s frontman. John Katana is on…
We probably shoulda put a graphic warning on this … but yeah, that’s Ramona Singer heading down the well-beaten ‘Housewives’ path to Big Apple bachelor Harry Dubin’s lips. We got these shots of Ramona and Harry devouring each other’s faces in…
A three-time Grammy winner, Ms. Wilson provided a key bridge between the sophisticated jazz-pop vocalists of the 1950s and the powerhouse pop-soul singers of the 1960s and ’70s. Rock Music Join Group Chat!
Ramona Singer and Harry Dubin are just friends — friends who had one drunken makeout sesh — but we’re told they’re definitely not banging … not at this point. Sources close to the kissing pals tell TMZ … the ‘RHONY’ star and Dubin are not dating or…
We probably shoulda put a graphic warning on this … but yeah, that’s Ramona Singer heading down a well-beaten ‘Housewives’ path to Big Apple bachelor Harry Dubin’s lips. We got these shots of Ramona and Harry devouring each other’s faces in…
[[tmz:video id=”0_ijl5pplt”]] R&B singer Keke Wyatt is spinning a web of lies, playing the victim role when she’s anything but … according to her ex-husband, and he’s gearing up to sue her for defamation. Michael Ford is firing back at his…
ITALIAN TRIBUTE: Vogue Italia took over Milan’s Cinema Manzoni on Friday night to pay tribute to legendary Italian musician Mina Mazzini, who is the focus of the magazine’s October issue. The issue features a range of fashion shoots showing famous models, including Gisele Bündchen, Carla Bruni and Mariacarla Boscono, posing as Mina — she dropped her last name as an artist — in different stages of her life and career and captured by international photographers, such as Luigi & Iango, Giampaolo Sgura and Dario Catellani.
“I don’t know Mina, unfortunately. But I’m excited to learn about her, the pictures are fabulous. The pictures are amazing, they did an amazing tribute,” said Jeremy Scott, who was among the guests at the party, which included a live performance by drag queen Violet Chachki and a gospel choir.
Asked about his favorite Mina song, designer Francesco Scognamiglio mentioned “Ma che m’hai imparato a fa.” “It’s a great Neapolitan song she covered and that our Maestro Gianni Versace used for his Atelier runway show in Paris in 1993 and which has been the most emotional moment of my life,” he said.
Mina is not only a music legend, but she has always been a style icon and a muse for
Kyle Pavone — the late singer of metal band We Came as Romans — was found lying on the floor unconscious in his bathroom just feet away from a used syringe before dying of an accidental overdose … TMZ has learned. Kyle’s girlfriend told cops he’d…
U.S. pop singer Demi Lovato, who has spoken openly about her history of drug and alcohol abuse, is awake after she was taken to hospital suffering from a suspected overdose, according to media reports. Edward Baran reports.
Vitamin C (real name Colleen Fitzpatrick) was 27 years old when she shot to stardom as the orange-haired singer of the top 20 hit “Smile,” and the top 40 hit “Graduation” back in 1999. Guess what she looks like now at 46!
Love is in the air this summer and celebrity couples are jumping the broom by the flock. R&B crooner Tank tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Zena Foster over the weekend.
In a ceremony that reportedly hosted about 200 guests, the TGT member said “I do” to his daughter’s mother at the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles. A-list of celebrities including Kelly Rowland, Floyd Mayweather and Michael B. Jordan, with Jamie Foxx serving as one of the groomsmen, were in attendance. The comedian reportedly also seized the moment to provide some comedic relief.
Tank kept things in the family within regards to the rest of his wedding party with his 10-year-old daughter Zoey serving as a junior bridesmaid and their 3-year-old son Zion as the ring bearer.
In an interview with People Magazine a couple of days ahead of the big day the singer-songwriter talked about his nuptials. “This day represents the beginning of forever. To find the person you lost once before and having the opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen again is everything.”
The couple met almost twenty years but went their separate ways after having their daughter. In 2014 Tank and Zena gave it another shot and have not looked back since. “I think we both ended up having to go through our own personal journeys,” he shared. “In my mind I thought I’d never even go out on a date with this woman ever again in life. And then one day I look up and we’re living together and we’ve got another baby on the way and we’re in love again. It’s just one of those things where we just couldn’t fight it.”
OSCAR® Winner Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy lead a powerhouse cast in director Bryan Singer’s extraordinary follow-up to X-Men: Days of Future Past. After thousands of years, Apocalypse – the world’s first and most powerful mutant – has awakened to find a world led by humans. Intent on cleansing the Earth of mankind, he recruits a group of mutants to create a new world order. In a desperate race to save humanity, Professor X (McAvoy) leads the young X-Men in an epic showdown – against an unstoppable enemy – that will determine the fate of the world.
Singer Howie Day allegedly flew into a violent rage at Sea-Tac Airport that ended with him getting thrown in jail for assaulting his girlfriend. The incident went down last month in Seattle while Howie — who enjoyed enormous success in 2004…
After staying silent she finally issued an apology earlier today. “I am deeply sorry for the insensitive words I’ve used,” she wrote on Twitter. “Some of the things you are seeing are true while others aren’t.”
While she did not elaborate on which comments were correct it should be noted that the account was still in use up to 2017. Considering that Claudio is half Cuban and half Puerto Rican she should have known better.
[[tmz:video id=”0_ce7og1i8″]] Dolores O’Riordan sounded pumped and ready to belt out her old tune with a new band the day she died … this according to her last voicemail ever. TMZ has obtained a voice message Dolores left for her longtime friend and…
Jacquees got into a confrontation with cops on South Beach — with a bunch of Spring Breakers watching — and ended up getting arrested, after allegedly driving without a seat belt … TMZ has learned. The singer was driving down the famed Ocean…
Bobby V is listed as the suspect in a rape that allegedly happened last weekend, according to cops now investigating … TMZ has learned. Law enforcement sources tell us … the R&B singer was named by a woman who filed a police report in Cobb…
[[tmz:video id=”0_95mxyj6q”]] Hugh Jackman, a bunch of movie stars, and past and present Olympians were treated to an early ‘Golden Globes’ preview … a live performance of “This is Me.” Jackman gave an impassioned speech about women in sports and…
UPDATE: Singer’s lawyer, Andrew Brettler, had some additional comments for TMZ … “Bryan categorically denies these allegations and will vehemently defend this lawsuit to the very end … When Sanchez-Guzman filed for bankruptcy only a few years…
Nick Carter has spoken out following shocking rape allegations from former Dream singer Melissa Schuman, who alleges that the Backstreet Boy forced himself on her when she was 18 and he was 22. Access Hollywood has reached out to Schuman for comment on Carter’s statement, in which he denies her accusation.
Ex-Faith No More singer Chuck Mosley died of a heroine overdose — at least that’s what cops suspect after finding syringes next to his body, TMZ has learned. Mosley’s body was found last Thursday by a friend and his longtime partner, Pip…
LFO singer Devin Lima is battling a rare, “one in a million” cancer diagnosis. Lima’s bandmate Brad Fischetti gave fans a somber update on Monday through the band’s YouTube page, sharing the devastating news yet underlining Devin’s strength, resilience, and determination.
The death of “Always and Forever” singer Keith Wilder came as a shock to his family … because he looked great and was full of energy in the days leading up to it. Keith’s family tells TMZ … he was dancing, laughing and in great spirits from Thursday…
Evanescence singer Amy Lee just scored ONE MILLION BUCKS in a lawsuit … but there’s a catch. First, the backstory: 110 Management Inc. sued Amy last year for unpaid commissions and fees. 110 originally sought $ 1.5 mil from the singer, and…
LFO singer Devin Lima has a huge weight lifted off his entire body today, after doctors removed a massive tumor as well as 2 organs — and his prognosis is good. Lima’s surgery Thursday was considered a huge success since doctors also thought…
Bands part ways with their lead singer for a variety of reasons – death, creative differences, bad habits, greed, just to name a few. Some find more success with a new frontman while others not so much. Below are 24 bands who fall somewhere between the two. News, reviews, interviews and more for top artists and albums – MSN Music
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!
Chris Williams apparently has a forgetful mind … because that’s allegedly why the R&B singer ended up in handcuffs for stealing. Sources tell us the incident went down Saturday at a Kohl’s in McDonough, Georgia where Chris walked in with a…
Former Bad Boy Records singer/producer Mario Winans got arrested for some serious deadbeat daddery … as in $ 178,000 … TMZ has learned. Sheriff’s deputies took Mario — who featured on Diddy’s hit, “I Need a Girl Part 2” — into custody Wednesday in…
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vince Gill, Trace Adkins and many more music stars have gathered to honor country singer Troy Gentry, a member of the popular country duo Montgomery Gentry, who died in a helicopter crash. Family and friends watched home movies of Gentry and photos of him on a slideshow before the ceremony began Thursday at the Grand Ole Opry with Little Big Town singing the national anthem. Gentry and the pilot of the helicopter died Friday … News, reviews, interviews and more for top artists and albums – MSN Music
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!
Toni Basil’s hit music video for “Mickey” got jacked by JibJab so they could use it to cash in on their musical e-cards … according to a new lawsuit filed by the singer. According to the docs … JibJab never checked to see who owned the music when it…
Taylor just issued this statement, “I want to thank Judge William J. Martinez and the jury for their careful consideration … [my attorneys] and anyone who feels silenced by a sexual assault, and especially anyone who offered their support through this…
Glen Campbell, the upbeat guitarist from Delight, Arkansas, whose smooth vocals and down-home manner made him a mainstay of music and television for decades, has died, his family announced on Facebook on Tuesday. He was 81.
Singer-guitarist Glen Campbell, the “Rhinestone Cowboy” who went on a farewell tour to play hits such as “Wichita Lineman” and “Gentle on My Mind” before Alzheimer’s disease robbed him of his talents, has died at the age of 81. Colette Luke has more.
[[tmz:video id=”0_ofy475lj”]] This is the student becoming the master — we got video of Drake in studio with up-and-coming singer Tone Stith … who’s trying to kill it on the road, just like Drizzy does. Drake met up with the 22-year-old…
Chester Bennington may have mimicked the suicide of his close friend, Chris Cornell, because they died in virtually identical ways. Law enforcement sources tell us, the Linkin Park singer was found hanging from a door separating his bedroom from his…
Joycelyn Savage’s father knows EXACTLY who got her involved with R. Kelly, and how she ended up living with the singer … because she claims her dad helped orchestrate the whole thing. Sources close to Joycelyn tell TMZ … the 21-year-old singer’s…
Tim McGraw says that, despite his string of successes as an actor, he’ll always be a singer first. Speaking with the Boot, McGraw contrasted the two professions. “It’s a different muscle in a lot of ways,” he began. “I have a ton of respect for actors after the few times I’ve been in the company of them. Because when you go to see a film, you don’t want anything to take you out of it.” RTT – Music Webcam Performers Wanted – Earn $ 100,000 per year!
Frankie Ford, the rock ‘n’ roll singer and pianist who had a huge hit with “Sea Cruise” died Monday in his native Louisiana. The coroner says Ford died of natural causes at the age of 76 in his home in Gretna — a New Orleans suburb. Mike Shepherd from…
Bola Taylor, a Jazz/Gospel singer who has spent the last 20 years of her life combining her musical talents with missionary work in Japan has announced that she has inoperable cancer and will be performing her final concert on September 21st after being discharged from the hospital. Taylor along with her husband Ken have been at the forefront of one of the most curious happenings in the history of the sometimes strained relationship between the Japan and the Christian religion, the surging popularity of Gospel choirs that was said to have been launched when the film Sister Act became a surprise hit there. As co-founders of the Hallelujah Gospel Family, the Taylors have led thousands of Japanese into the experience of singing in Gospel choirs for themselves.
But watching this talented performer come to terms with her fate on her Facebook wall has been a profound experience, for in death we face the great equalizer and it is in that valley of the shadow that we learn not only what people are made of, but also whether the religious devotion practiced in church, temple, shrine, synagogue or mosque are mere words or something that truly taps into the power of the Divine.
While I’m sure there are those who can put on a brave Facebook smile and, caught up in religious delusion, spout words of fake hope about the endless glories of heaven and such, as I watch Bola grapple with her prognosis I don’t sense any of that. She is grounded in reality-the reality of leaving behind work she has loved, three devoted children and a husband who didn’t bargain for any of this.
“By now, you must have heard the news,” she posted recently, of her doctor’s grim report. “His face was somber as he tried his best to tell Ken and me in English and Japanese. “Inoperable”, “untreatable,” “palliative care,” is what I caught. ‘Wait a minute! Dude, did I just lose something in translation? You sure you’re talking about me? What happened to Japan Pride, Don’t worry, I will take care of you!‘ My heartbeat was unusually steady, as I very calmly listened to the rest of his explanation, possible options and the next steps we could be taking. Turns out, during my six week recuperation from surgery, my pesky cancer cells made the uninvited return with a vengeance. Most of you know that I am stubborn and headstrong. What are the chances that the cancer I would get would be the 1.1% that is resistant to treatment? Call it what you want but at least I’m consistent.”
“How is my heart in all this you ask?” she continues. “You know the unexplainable peace that can only come from God? He has apportioned me abundantly. He’s spared me going through the usual stages of grief and allowed me entry into the acceptance phase without fanfare. I suspect that should I have gotten stuck in denial, anger, bargaining or depression, it would not have been pretty. I told the doctor there is a 4th option to my condition. It’s called a miracle. Should the Lord decide to heal me in that manner, I have no doubt He could do that. I just hope his heart is strong enough to take the shock!”
One of Japan’s best, novelist Ayako Miura once said this about our great common enemy, death: “Our last, great mission in life is to die well.”
Bola seems to have that covered as she shares openly about her difficult journey through photographs and updates:
“I know where I’m going – just make sure you get there too,” she writes. “I pray I’ve lived well according to God’s plan. I pray I die well also and show people the confidence you can have if you have Jesus as your Redeemer. He’s prepared a place for me and now I’m preparing to take that First Class one way ride to Glory! I’m excited!!!”
On September 21st, at a jazz club in Tokyo called Satin Doll, Bola will be marshaling her remaining strength to give the final concert of her life and her friends have arranged for the whole world to cheer her on. I’ll be watching. Those interested in joining can view the Live Streaming here.
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
After months of championing swingy lengths of hip-grazing hair, Ciara shocked the red carpet at tonight’s MTV Video Music Awards by debuting a dramatically abbreviated new crop. Making a slick counterpart to her black fringed dress, the singer’s obsidian bob fell bluntly along her collarbone. Flat ironed to perfection and giving off a reflective mirror-like sheen, the effect was amplified by her luminous complexion, deep smoky cat eye, and cheekbone-sharpening contouring. Short hair for fall? Just another reason Ciara is the ultimate beauty rule breaker.
The veteran actor goes searching for talent in Afghanistan in the latest look at Barry Levinson’s new dramedy, co-starring Zooey Deschanel, Kate Hudson and Danny McBride. Music News Headlines – Yahoo News
Jordanian chart-topping singer-songwriter & producer, Jaafar, discusses his new single “Sixteen” and his upcoming debut album. Jaafar’s Website.
I wasn’t looking for a different type of music to listen to. My loyal readers know I love metal, hard rock, 80s, hip hop, rap and reggae.
Then pow. Jaafar, who is from Jordan, landed in my speakers. Now I can’t get his “Sixteen” song out of my freakin’ skull. “Sixteen” tells of a girl aged only 16 in a war torn area just dreaming for a better tomorrow and the hope of reaching her 18th birthday.
Jaafar is cute, too – you know, for a dark haired boy. 😉
Your much anticipated single “Sixteen” is on iTunes. What did it take for you to get your music on there?
I really just wanted to make my music readily available so I put it up on iTunes as well as most major online music stores and streaming services. The point was for the song to be easy to find, download, and stream. Getting paid for downloads really depends on several factors, like how much the store takes off the top and if you’re on a label or not.
What’s the difference between touring with someone else and funding your own tour? Which do you prefer? Tell us about the cities you have played and visited.
I think it’s any artists’ dream to headline their own tour. That’s the goal, at least for me. Opening for another artist or playing a festival is great too, though. That’s exposure to an audience that may not have ever heard of you or your music before. My favorite part of what I do is definitely performing live; it’s a big thrill. I’ve played in some incredible places and on some iconic stages around the world. Earlier this year I played at the Fonda Theatre in LA, which was amazing. I’m from Amman, Jordan so to play in the entertainment capital of the world in a venue with such great history is a big deal to me. When I saw my name on the marquee it was very surreal. My manager sent me a picture a couple of weeks later with the Rolling Stones name on the same marquee, THE ROLLING STONES, that’s crazy! Another memorable show that I’ve played was in the historic city of Jerash in Jordan last summer. I played on the North Theatre… that stage has been there since around 165 AD!
What is it about Miami that keeps you grounded, why did you decide to move there?
I moved to Miami originally because I had been working sporadically with a producer who was based there, and I felt that was a good way for me to get in to the music scene there. Also, I was accepted in to the University of Miami, so I went there to pursue my undergrad degree. Miami has been really great to me in many ways. I’ve been able to meet and work with a lot of talented people. Some of them, legends whose work I grew up listening to, and others who were sort of coming up in the Miami music scene at the same time I was. I was very proactive about making music and soaking up knowledge from the people I was working with during my time in Miami. I moved there in 2010, and in the short time I was there I really feel like I learned and grew a lot.
What is your day like in the studio when you are recording? Do you have daily routines such as voice warm-ups, certain work-outs?
I like to record in the afternoon. Otherwise, I don’t have any energy. I’m not one of those guys who can start a recording session at 11:00 PM. There are definitely some routines I have and little things I do, especially if I’m recording vocals. I’ll often go on complete vocal rest, cut out caffeine and dairy, and basically avoid anything that might irritate my voice. Most importantly though I try to just take it easy and avoid stressful situations, which is easier said than done!
Have you ever been stopped on the street by fans?
Let’s be honest, it’s always nice when someone comes up to you and is genuinely excited to meet you and talk to you about your work. People at parties and restaurants have come up to me to tell me they ‘love the music’ or ‘can’t wait to hear what’s coming next’ sort of thing. So far I’ve only had very positive and respectful interactions with people. It hasn’t got anywhere near the point where I can’t walk down the street without being mobbed though. There’s still a certain level of privacy I have and I enjoy that. If one day that is no longer the case, then that’s what I signed up for, and as long as people are listening to my music it’s all worth it.
What /who inspires you to do the music that you do?
With a lot of the songs that I’ve written for this album in particular, I was inspired or should I say affected by what’s going on in the world today. Lyrically and in terms of subject matter, there’s a lot of commentary on the state of humanity and the deterioration of society. It’s not all doom and gloom though, it’s important to always hold on to hope and I think the music portrays that aspect as well. Sonically, this album is a departure from my older material. Strangely enough though, I only now feel like I’ve stumbled upon ‘my sound’, which if I could describe in simple terms is a fusion of Middle Eastern and Western Pop-Rock sounds.
What did you do for a living prior to your music career?
I’ve always done music. I feel like it’s a part of my identity as opposed to just a profession. Before recording this album, I was a student at the University of Miami. I actually started recording the album while I was still at school. Throughout my time at school I was always making music and actually put out two successful singles in my country while studying in America. ‘Sixteen’ I would say is my first international effort.
Being from the Middle East and crossing over to the United States, what hurdles have you jumped through?
I wont lie and say that it was easy leaving Jordan. I’m still not entirely used to it to be honest. More than anything else, being away from my family, friends, and the city I grew up in was a big adjustment for me. Aside from that, being in the music business itself, I feel I jump though hurdles on a daily basis. There’s a lot of ugliness that comes with the beauty of making music.
How do you feel about your followers on that social media? How has the response from your fans help your music?
Honestly, it’s very weird to see a number on social media and believe that those numbers represent real people, even though they do. It’s great that people follow me and care what I have to say. The lack of real human interaction on social media just makes it all seem unreal to me though. When someone sends me a drawing they’ve done of me, or leaves a kind comment on my page that makes it a little more real. I really appreciate that sort of thing. The fact that someone takes time out of his or her day to connect with me is humbling.
What did it feel like the first time you were on stage in front of an incredibly huge audience?
It’s really hard to describe. It’s a high that is unparalleled and one that you don’t ever want to come down from. Watching people’s reactions and emotions while they enjoy your music and sing along to melodies and lyrics you’ve written is an addictive thing.
Tell us how you give back to the youth and the community, either here in the States or in Jordan.
Firstly I try to raise awareness through my music. I’m not into writing music about being in the club. “Sixteen” for example, is about children during wartime; Killed, left alone, misplaced… There is no greater injustice in the world. I also try, like anybody who can should, give back to any community I’m in. I try to donate things like food, clothing and toys to local charities whenever I can; my parents always taught me the importance of that. In today’s world I don’t think that’s enough though. I do feel like I could be doing more, and as a result I have been looking at different charities, not only on a local level, to get involved with.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me! I’d like to ask anyone who hasn’t yet heard my music to please check out my current single “Sixteen”. To those of you who have reached out with such nice words, THANK YOU! You’re support and encouragement is not lost on me. Look out for new music soon and I hope to see you on the road in the not too distant future!
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
Five Finger Death Punch singer Ivan Moody is running out of time — his estranged wife says he’s having bizarre Jekyll & Hyde-like episodes and needs to get help for alcohol abuse, stat. Moody’s estranged wife, Holly Smith, filed an…
With shows like American Horror Story and Penny Dreadful dominating TV and movies like It Follows becoming cult hits, it's clear there's a rise in popularity in pop-culture for the dark and gothic. In music,…
“I applaud Ice Cube, Gary F Gray & Dr. Dre because they know how to tell a great story! The accurate portrayal of a Hip Hop producer’s heart…. wanting to make something special…well done. The vicious sharks that swim in music industry waters…greatly exposed. The acting, promotion and soundtrack… superb! In a country where excellence in black film on the big screen isn’t seen enough, it’s proudly exhibited here.
But from the perspective of the ancestors, they got some explaining to do. Centuries of struggle by our men, women and children who were thoroughly desolate with only one hope. The hope that through their perseverance, future generations would have it better than they did. Many died for that very reason.
That’s the African-American legacy.
It was just two weeks ago, we all were discussing how soiled America still is from the horrors of slavery and the following systematic racism.
Blacks for hundreds of years purposely portrayed in every advertisement, news article, play, TV show and movie as dangerous, vile, uncaring, simple, roguish brutes, with intelligence a tad higher than a monkey. Year after year, decade after decade, century after century… And here we are today – as white trigger happy cops shoot blacks. It doesn’t matter if they’re unarmed, cuz in the minds of so many, blacks are always armed with centuries of dangerous propaganda. And a lie can run around the world twice before truth can get her shoes on!
And in comes Hollywood pushing yet ANOTHER movie with that same ole narrative… “Straight Outta Compton!” With the convenient subtitle – “The worlds most dangerous group.”
Is that literal or it’s figurative? None of them came from the most dangerous of street life but Easy E. right? I often hear that they’re dangerous because of Cube’s defiant lyrics & fierce determination to speak “truth” to power. Ummm, that sounds honorable.
But I’m sure I can come up with a few more suggestions more appropriate than NWA. The Black Panthers for instance might be better suited for such an honor. With fierce determination they defied an entire system at risk of their very lives! They REALLY fought for justice and most paid the ultimate price. An epic bio pic that shows how these brave young men and women organized change for all races and genders, showing true devotion mixed with legal prowess… that’s a film suggestion! And can I get a witness that NWA’s “F** the Police” is only the prevailing anti-police brutality anthem BECAUSE the music industry championed it. It didn’t take the FBI long at all to see that NWA was ultimately a harmless group because their other songs & political savvy was thoroughly misguided and non-directional. As opposed to the earlier & less popular “F** the Pigs” that the Black Panthers often shouted as they persevered through police harassment as actual freedom fighters, not as drug dealers and pretend thugs. Historically there were activists that started as thugs but TRANSFORMED into purposeful revolutionaries.
I’ve heard some say, the title “most dangerous” is as far as MUSICAL groups are concerned…. Ummm wouldn’t PUBLIC ENEMY better fit that definition? But see a movie like that would simply be too dangerous, it might cause people to do more than ooo and aaah over the financial success of a music producer & rapper who made nice movies and headphones. It might cause REAL change.
NWA may be the most dangerous, but not because they fought against a racist and oppressive system… but because they were effective ambassadors of that very system! I like to call it white supremacy on wax! Who else could have done such a great job at spreading the age old message that blacks are morally sub-human? Many things white supremacists say about blacks is what NWA confirms in their most popular songs. And yes, in 2015 Twitter is going nuts praising the film and much of the hiphop world is bowing down to NWA as heroes in the genre. But I applaud a good number of blacks that “don’t believe the hype”!
Bio pics about rap artists are few and far between, but take notice to WHICH rap movies Hollywood green lights for major motion picture release? And have you ever thought about WHY these particular movies?
Biggie’s Notorious, Eminem’s 8 Mile, 50 Cent’s Get Rich or Die Trying and NWA’s Straight Outta Compton! Most of which come straight outta Jimmy Iovine’s & Dre’s storehouse of thuggery, and celebrate the “American Dream” thru gritty accounts of drug deals, crack addicted communities, strip clubs, friends that deceive each other and gun battles gone wrong. And then the inevitable transformation from rags to riches. As they live happily ever after (in their death though). Oh yeah, Biggie was about right, that if you’re black…you’re nobody til somebody kills you!
To quote Public Enemy… “Burn Hollywood Burn!” They’re pretty much about money and judging by this past weekends ticket sales… THEY’RE WINNING! Stay tuned for a Tupac, Ice T and whomever else da cap fits bio pic for us all to swoon over!
Feed us our illusions, Hollywood has no skin in the game, it’s just money to them. But don’t we as blacks literally have skin in the game?
It’s our SKIN that signals brainwashed cops to pull us over just because we didn’t use a turn signal. Or blow our brains out for trying to start our car while being questioned. Or get choked to death, spines snapped, or just walking home wearing a hoodie.
BUT SOMEBODY BLACK KEEPS PROUDLY DELIVERING THESE MOVIES TO HOLLYWOOD.
There’s gotta be a point where we WEIGH the pains we feel from years of being mis-represented against the joy we feel seeing another black thug soliloquy on the big screen! The pain lasts for years, the joy last 2 and a half hours. You do the math.
There’s gotta be a breaking point when we make a critical decision. Directionless expression or real freedom? I know, I know… no one screams when Scorsese does a gangster film, why pick on rappers? Because Jewish people aren’t making these movies WHILE simultaneously getting shot down in the streets by their own kind, arrested in astronomical rates and their rappers literally getting assassinated like they were in a Middle East war zone!
When is enough… ENOUGH!?
Consciousness didn’t start with NWA, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar’s “To Pimp a Butterfly”, nor #blacklivesmatter.
It’s been in full effect since slavery and we must keep our eyes on the prize to reach the finish line!
On the big screen, these rappers are portrayed as bigger than life heroes and even somehow “freedom fighters”! But TRUE heroes like Julian Bond, Garvey, Harriet & Parks deserve a bio pic, because they served US all! But would we support it?
It NEVER was enough to have a conscious song or two on an otherwise “white supremacist” gangsta record. It’s not enough to have things “go in cycles”… (people say that to me all the time about music)
It’s about standing on the shoulders of those that stood before us until we get out from the ditch that hides our humanity!
Our values are so backwards that fathers, mothers, educators, intellectuals & activists don’t fill today’s memes and murals. Instead it’s Tupac, Biggie, NWA and maybe a Jay-Z. The murals you see painted in the ghettos, (I’ve even seen em in the outskirts of Africa!) Memes of these rappers floating around on the Internet and interviews at the end of albums with their “prophetic” words. 3D holograms of them in front of wooing crowds. Supposed martyrs packaged and shrink wrapped in a CD. “Heroes” of the people – celebrated, applauded, jailed and assassinated, with a level of admiration that you’d think they died because of political resistance or activism, but no. It’s simply a petty beef or a record executive hungry for more money.
We have so lost our way, that we celebrate their temporary success – in lieu of our own lasting success.
Behind the riches of every Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy E. or Suge Knight are quiet little Jewish & White guys in polo shirts that are even richer than them.
They play golf and listen to Bach while they count their money. Meanwhile we wallow in these decadent, century old stereotypical, blaxploitation flicks and albums, their kids fly in private jets and vacation in Belize. Our kids suffer just walking to school.
Yes, Straight Outta Compton is very good and yes, these men have immense talent, but Italian mafioso refused to sell crack to their own communities. They insisted on separating their families from their illegal business.
We sell this “crack music” to our little kids and we infest the whole world with it!
It is NOT just entertainment. We are getting killed in real life. We influence Africa, South America and everywhere there’s poor people that need inspiration. It has never been simple entertainment and it has far out reached the block…. it’s racist propaganda. And it hurts the soul of humanity!
And by the way ITS NOT HONEST, it’s not what we see in the hood. It’s an embellishment of it, it’s “reality” on steroids, it’s someones story on performance enhancers! And the things that destroy these communities has become a Satanic virus, packaged and shipped out to every other community to infect those that were previously healthy.
That’s my problem with NWA – not the music (it’s brilliant) NWA endorsed the worse traits of the hood, promoted these traits and to justify their lust for fame they revised their purpose claiming it’s a noble freedom of speech movement.
And many have bought that revisionist history, poured it in our glasses & ummm that kool aid taste sweet! White supremacy is happy, blacks got our thug heroes and the world keeps on turning.
So, sit and eat your popcorn, sip a Coke, enjoy a well-deserved break from lifes stress.
I know I did. I also know I made Ice Cube, Dr. Dre Gary Gray and a host of white dudes a bit richer! I’m alright with that. May God bless em.
But even as I’m entertained by the film, I know that unless we change our dynamics and moral infrastructure as black people, WE really are the entertainment. The silly blacks that can’t realize the difference between an Arnold Schwarzenegger fiction and a propaganda missile aimed at the very demise of our freedom, dignity and culture.
GIL scott was right….The revolution will not be televised it will be screened in a theater near you.
Two thumbs up.” (Source)
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I interviewed filmmaker Bryan Singer for Venice Magazine in late 1998 to discuss his Stephen King adaptation, Apt Pupil. It was somewhat awkward for me, as Bryan and I had been classmates at USC and he was both the first contemporary and first film school comrade I’d ever interviewed. Any apprehension on either side disappeared almost immediately and we became two film buffs talking shop. Singer’s films are available online on sites such as Amazon, Netflix and Swap.com.
AN APT PUPIL GOES TO THE HEAD OF THE CLASS
Bryan Singer was born in New York in 1966, and raised in suburban New Jersey. Following the path of his idol Steven Spielberg (Singer’s production company Bad Hat Harry Productions, is a direct reference to a line from Jaws, his favorite film), Singer started making 8mm films in his early teens, as well as experimenting with still photography. After graduating high school in 1984, Singer spent two years at New York’s School of Visual Arts before transferring to the University of Southern California’s prestigious School of Cinema-Television after being accepted to its Critical Studies program. Singer quickly made a name for himself at USC among his classmates as the one to watch in his class. His 8mm films stood out from the pack with their bold visual imagination and polished presentation.
After graduating from ‘SC, Singer wrote and directed Lion’s Den, an award-winning short chronicling the lives of five high school friends who come together after graduation. It starred Singer’s childhood friend Ethan Hawke, and was shot on 16mm for the bargain price of $ 15,000. With the success of Lion’s Den, Singer found financing for Public Access, which he co-wrote, produced and directed. The film, a thriller/character study, told the story of a mysterious drifter who arrives in a small town and sets its inhabitants against each other by means of a public access cable talk show. The film took the Grand Jury Prize at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival, which opened the flood gates of opportunity for the young filmmaker. Singer broke ground in Hollywood in 1995 with the double Oscar-winning thriller The Usual Suspects, which had the world asking “Who is Keyser Söse?” and quickly established Singer as the leading filmmaker of his generation. Singer’s latest is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, Apt Pupil, a thriller about an all-American boy (Brad Renfro) discovering that a Nazi war criminal (Sir Ian McKellen) lives in his neighborhood. In exchange for keeping the old man’s secret, the boy demands that the Nazi teach him all he knows about the war, Nazism, and the nature of evil itself. Apt Pupil boasts virtuoso filmmaking from Singer and top-notch performances from its stellar cast, including chilling turns by McKellen and Renfro. Produced by Jane Hamsher and Don Murphy (Natural Born Killers), the Tri-Star release hits theaters October 23.
In person Bryan Singer is the antithesis of the self-absorbed, pretentious filmmaker. He appears much younger than his 32 years and carries himself with a humility that is refreshing, becoming animated and passionate when discussing his greatest love: film.
All three of your features have rather dark subject matter. Have you always been drawn toward that sort of material?
Brian Singer: Yeah, I think so. Most of my little student films I made were filled with despair and had these unhappy endings.
How did you come by Apt Pupil?
I read the story when I was in college and I always thought it would make an interesting movie. I think the thing that most interested me is that the terrible deeds that occurred so long ago could somehow manifest themselves into contemporary society.
Was it difficult adapting the story?
Very, yeah. The book takes place over four years and involves a lot of reoccurring violence from both characters. I found that as I was adapting it and trying to bring it to the conclusion that the book had, I found it very difficult. Although it works very well on the page, the written word allows you more room for imagination, whereas on film the experience has to be more believable, I think. If I had shot it like it was in the book, it would have come off as repetitive and exploitative, which was definitely not the way to go given the subject matter. So I tried to capture the essence of the book, the theme of the book, the terror of the book and celebrate that. It was difficult, though. We went through a lot of different drafts (of the script) and explored staying closer to the book, but in the end it took some time before we came up with something that worked. But I love the book. I’ll always love the book.
The thing I always loved about the book was that it was a perfect metaphor for how easily innocence is corrupted by evil.
Yeah, I agree. And the other thing is, it’s important to realize that this film is not about fascism. It’s not about racism. It’s not about Nazism per se. It uses that as a device to talk about evil or evil deeds. I think that the character of (the Nazi) Dussander easily could have been a serial killer, a degenerate, Pol Pot…or any number of incarnations. It’s about what the character represents.
It must have been interesting working with a relatively new actor like Brad Renfro and a seasoned veteran like McKellen.
Yeah, it wasn’t that much different from doing The Usual Suspects, where I had actors coming together from different backgrounds and levels of experience. It’s what made (Apt Pupil) exciting to me: that mixture of oil and water, the coming together of two completely individuals is what intrigued me most about the book, so why not try to recreate some of that energy in casting? I auditioned a number of young people and I found Brad to be, by far, the most real and raw, and simultaneously, the most intelligent and talented. With Ian McKellen, we were actually introduced by a mutual friend early on. I had a list of a number of the sort of obvious older, European actors…I wanted, like with Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects, to have this character played by someone who wasn’t as familiar to mainstream audiences, which Kevin wasn’t at the time. I also thought that Ian brought a degree of British charm and flamboyance to this otherwise stoic German character.
Do you generally give a lot of direction to actors, or just sort of let them go and watch it happen?
It depends on the actor. It depends on the day. It depends on the moment. It depends on the shot. Sometimes the actor isn’t aware of where the camera is, or how important the blocking for a scene is. Sometimes the actor might forget where we are in the course of the movie. They feel where they are in terms of the arc of their character, but they don’t see the movie in their head the way I do. So sometimes certain things are called for which I try to fill in, but otherwise I try to give them as much freedom as possible.
How much do you rehearse?
I don’t rehearse. We do a run through with blocking and on this movie we did a read-through with part of the cast to see how it sounded. Richard Dreyfuss was nice enough to read Ian’s part, who couldn’t make it because he was in London doing a play.
What’s the trick to adapting a book for the screen?
The trick is your movie is separate from that book. Do whatever it takes to make the story make sense on screen. The biggest mistake a filmmaker or screenwriter can make is to get mired down in details from the book that don’t work on-screen. A film is written three times: once on the page, once on the set, and once again in the editing room. You’re constantly recreating what that movie is every time you go in to work with those materials.
How did you become interested in film?
My neighbor was a photographer for the high school yearbook and he was really cool, so I thought it’d be cool to be a yearbook photographer. That’s how I started.
Who was the filmmaker who inspired you initially?
Steven Spielberg. Actually, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, but it was really when I was 16 and E.T. came out I was blown away by the film, then they profiled Spielberg’s life on “Nightline.” And all of the sudden a personality was given to the man who made the movie that moved myself and so many people. Here he was a Jewish kid from the suburbs, like me, sort of a nerd, like me, a drawer full of 8mm movies…and I thought, hey, maybe I should do that too. It was such a relief because I figured out what I wanted to do with my life, even though it wasn’t being a pilot, or marine biologist, like a lot of the people I’d grown up with.
Have you met Spielberg?
Yeah, he had seen The Usual Suspects before it came out, and I got word when I was at a film festival in Thailand that he wanted to meet me and (screenwriter) Chris McQuarrie. So Chris and I went to Amblin’, he walked into the room…for twenty minutes I was nervous, then I was completely comfortable, felt like I was talking to a fellow filmmaker. I mean, I’ll always be starstruck around him. I saw him at Deauville a couple weeks ago and it was still like “I’m talking with Steven Spielberg!” He’s been great to me. He, Robert Altman and John Schlesinger are my DGA sponsors, which was amazing! I also went on the set of the new Star Wars film when I was in London, which was an incredible experience, because I’m doing this very effects-intensive film next (X-Men). I also got to go down to the Titanic set in Rosarito and watch Cameron work, which was a real treat. I learned a lot. All these people have been very accommodating and helpful to me. It’s good to talk to those sorts of people about these sorts of movies because they have a better sense of how to do them. They also don’t let the effects govern them. Story is always the most important thing to them. Then of course, you forget everything you’ve heard and make it your own! (laughs)
Do you think it’s crucial for young filmmakers to have a mentor?
I think exposure to these filmmakers is crucial, but I don’t know about mentoring. I’ve never really had a mentor. I’ve never really spent that much time with any of these gentlemen to consider them a mentor. But I think exposure, and conversation and questions to them are important to give, if anything, a feeling that they’ve overcome the same hurtles you’re trying to and how they did it. It can be anything from informative to inspiring.
How was your experience at USC?
It was great. I was exposed to so many great films. It’s been really great being an alumnus. I was down there recently for a ceremony, and afterwards myself, Randal Kleiser (Grease), John Milius and George Lucas went over to the film school and surprised the kids who were up all night editing their final thesis projects. It was a real thrill to be able to waltz into the editing area with these people and watch the kids react. Lucas and Milius just poured out the stories to the students. Each finished the other’s stories, it was great. A once in a lifetime kind of thrill. I felt kind of in the middle. I’ve only done a few films and these guys are like, history! So I just sort of stood back, listened and enjoyed the moment. It was one of the best nights I’ve had.
What’s surprised you most about success?
I guess the fact that you think it will change everything for you, and it doesn’t. I went back to my high school reunion thinking I’d be “Ha, ha, ha, look at me,” and it just wasn’t like that. I sat at the same table the whole night with the same three geeks who I was best friends with. For the first twenty minutes there were people who talked to me who’d never talked to me before, then there were others who just ignored me, thinking it wouldn’t be cool to talk to me at all. It’s hard to know how to act in situations like that, I guess. I never had any real bitterness or resentment. I just tried to stay focused on the work. But success doesn’t take away any of your fears, or anxieties. Those things stay put, regardless.
Any advice for first-time directors?
Once you have a great script, get a great producer, one who can be very objective. And remember, a film is written three times: once on the page, once on the set and once in the editing room. And don’t ever be a slave to something just because you wrote it, or shot it. You have a chance to remake your movie in the editing room. Take advantage of it. If you look at any of your favorite movies really carefully you can see where they were cut, and they’re great because of those decisions. Don’t be afraid to cut.
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