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JumpinJack AJ

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  1. https://atlantablackstar.com/2023/08/16/will-smith-helps-janet-hubert-through-ongoing-actors-strike-following-their-27-year-feud/?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR2SIrMxDyG9Q6ByaGpnIQ5ixh5q7944oF7JgajI55ptPtj__qYXqWpuF6A#Echobox=1692212758

    ‘That’s The Least He Could Do’: Fans Praise Will Smith for ‘Helping’ Janet Hubert Through Ongoing Actors’ Strike, Years After Ending Their 27-Year Feud

    Posted byBy Rachel George | Published on: August 16, 2023 CommentsComments (0)

    The ongoing writers’ and actors’ strike has affected many, including acting veteran Janet Hubert, aka the Original Aunt Viv.

    Despite the success of her role on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” she was recast due to rumors of a rift with Smith, who previously agreed that she was challenging to work with in the 1990s. The pair ultimately reconciled in 2020 during the sitcom’s reunion special, where Hubert revealed that she blamed Smith for the fallout from her career.

    Will Smith reunites with Janet Hubert for the 30th anniversary of "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." Janet Hubert says Will Smith has been “helping” her through the writers’ and actors’ strike, years after ending their feud on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” reunion special. (Photo: @willsmith/Instagram)

    But now it seems that the two are in a much better place. “You guys don’t go ballistic on Will anymore because we’re good,” she said during a session on Instagram Live. “We really are.”


    Hubert said that as an act of good faith, Smith has been supporting her as fellow actors from SAG/AFTRA and screenwriters from the Writer’s Guild of America picket studios, protesting a litany of issues ranging from fair compensation to streaming rights to health care.

    Related: Janet Hubert Watches Her First Will Smith Movie Since Their Reconciliation, Says She Wants to See More

    Due to the strike, she had been unable to speak about past or future projects, as during the strike talent can’t speak on projects that are under contract and at issue. She added that the “I Am Legend” star has been “helping” her in many ways during this time, especially with her animated series “JG and the BC Kids.”


    “You’ll be happy to know that he’s helping me. He’s helping me get JG out there and giving me support,” she said.

    Hubert said she is “striking,” but she will not be marching or picketing due to recovering from a foot reconstruction surgery. She added that she’s had to call and “check” on her health-care benefits as a senior SAG member.

    “The union is not really allowing us to go out and tell anything about what’s happening and why we’re striking. So people always think we’re all rich,” said the 67-year-old. “We’re not all rich and SAG, the strike is affecting all of us and it’s very hard not to be able to work.”

    She continued, “Our residuals that we make on shows that we’ve done years ago, like ‘Fresh Prince,’ are not counted as income. But the IRS counts everything we do as income and so we are taxed as such.”

    The “Sweet Magnolias” star explained that SAG members are allowed to talk about their independent projects but they must get “clearance” from the organization first.

    “I will participate more fully when we are allowed to be seniors who are respected. ‘Cause right now, they want us all to go on Medicare or we’re just not even gonna give you health coverage.”

    Janet Hubert Praises Will Smith for Supporting Her Through Ongoing Writers' and Actors' Strike

    Hubert went on to share that more than just the actors and writers of film and television sets have been affected, noting “all the makeup and hair people, the wardrobe people, the set people, the carpenters, the food service people.”

    She later stressed that she was happy the aftermath of her and Smith’s fallout died down, after years of claiming she was black-balled by the industry. She even defended him slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars over a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

    “All I ever wanted back was my reputation and my name and that’s priceless, guys. That’s priceless,” said Hubert.

    Fans were excited about Smith and Hubert seemingly being in a much better place, though she attacked him and his movie roles in the media for years.

    “Glad to know Will is helping aunt Viv!!!”

    “It is good to see will Smith helping doing the strike.”

    “That’s the least he could do. He wrongly fired her from the Fresh Prince, aided in her being blackballed and cancelled in Hollywood. She has never fully recovered from being crucified.”

  2. https://ambrosiaforheads.com/2023/07/heavy-d-impact-overlooked-hiphop-50-tribute/?fbclid=IwAR1zcm2OlaH7Fm67-ZbG5qfyyLSgmZS_52Yg20fgg0fDk7DSfTLKMnyCerM



    Heavy D’s Impact On Hip-Hop Cannot Be Overstated


    There have been a number of valiant attempts to highlight some of the most significant Hip-Hop moments, milestones and people of the last half century. The 2023 Grammy Awards dedicated nearly 15 minutes to an epic tribute featuring performances by Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Run-D.M.C., LL Cool J, DJ Jazzy Jeff, Salt-N-Pepa, Rakim, Public Enemy, Posdnuos, Scarface, Ice-T, Queen Latifah, Method Man, Big Boi, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Too Short, The LOX, Lil Baby, Lil Uzi Vert and more. The performance also featured a screen in the background that listed the names of countless other artists who were not able to grace the stage.

    The 2023 BET Awards took a different approach. The telecast featured performances throughout the entire 4-hour spectacle, rather than setting aside one chunk of time for its Hip-Hop 50th anniversary tribute. The show paid showcased artists from multiple eras and regions, including Redman, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray, Trina, Trick Daddy, Master P, Warren G, YG, Tyga, T.I., Fat Joe, Remy Ma and more. Busta Rhymes also was presented with the BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Despite the inclusiveness of these tributes, there were a number of notable omissions, and one name loomed large: Heavy D.

    Hip-Hop Legends From The Last 50 Years Gave The Most Iconic Tribute Ever

    Last week, Pete Rock, the legendary producer and cousin to Heavy D, posted sharp words on Instagram regarding what he saw as a major omission. “I respect absolutely NONE of this talk about 50 years of Hip-Hop that does not include HEAVY D & The Boyz,” wrote Rock. “He KICKED DOWN the door and paved a way for A LOT OF MOTHERFU_____S!! I think his smoothness and humbleness makes people forget his impact and relevance in the music business.”

    The Chocolate Boy wonder continued by exhorting others to speak out in support of his missive. “I NEED EVERY ONE WHO AGREES (ESPECIALLY EVERYBODY FOR MONEY EARNING MOUNT VERNON!!) TO REPOST AND SHARE SO WE CAN GET HEV A PROPER TELEVISED TRIBUTE for his achievements and contributions to the game. #HeavyD RIP DWIGHT MYERS.”

    Following the post, some very notable names co-signed Pete’s powerful words. Queen Latifah wrote in the comments “Heav was my friend. [He] put us on his tour and showed us what rocking a crowd was About!!! Love to him his family and his whole crew!”

    Snoop Dogg kept it short and to the point, simply writing “Facts. Big. Tyme.” Snoop’s comment was both support for Heavy D, as well as a sly reference to the artist born Dwight Myers’ second album, titled Big Tyme.

    Actor Omari Hardwick of Power fame commented “I also agree with you my brother … that folk (especially in our culture) who make things look easy while equally possessing humility…usually get overlooked and undervalued. Heav was special and I know he’s smiling with pride & humility at this powerful post from you, Rock!”

    Despite Hardwick’s words, the Overweight Lover’s impact cannot be overlooked or overstated. This week, longtime Ambrosia For Heads-affiliate Justin “The Company Man” Hunte and AFH have been involved in an ongoing dialogue. We decided to join forces and give Heav props that are long overdue.

    Judging by sheer commercial success alone, Heavy D is a heavyweight. The Mount Vernon MC/producer saw three of his albums go platinum and two go gold, at a time where that was exceedingly uncommon for Rap artists. The Heavster also became the guest MC of choice for some of the biggest artists in the world, including Mary J. Blige, Janet Jackson and Michael Jackson (arguably the biggest of all-time).

    The length of Heavy D’s run at his peak powers also was outsized. Most artists are lucky to have a five-year period in which their releases dominate the charts. This applies to some of the all-time greats, including Big Daddy Kane, Eric B. & Rakim, EPMD, Redman, and even Tupac and Biggie, although tragedy cut their careers short. Heavy D had a 10-year run of hits, from 1987’s “Mr. Big Stuff” to 1997’s “Big Daddy,” the hits just kept coming.

    Heavy D also embodied the definition of a true MC. His cadence was impeccable, no matter the style of production. He effortlessly flowed over everything from James Brown samples (“The Overweight Lover’s In The House“), to House Music (“Now That We Found Love“) to New Jack Swing (“We Got Our Own Thang”) and Reggae (“Mood For Love”). He also had incredible swagger when he was performing, demonstrating complicated choreography and incredible dexterity, especially for a man his size. When Heavy D was on stage, he ROCKED THE HOUSE.

    Dwight Myers’ content also showcased his versatility. He could get the party started, for sure, but he touched on heavy topics too. He mourned the loss of his dancer, Troy “T-Roy” Dixon, on “Peaceful Journey.” Also, in a genre that was growing increasingly explicit in its language, Heavy D went against the grain and made a song where he challenged his guests not to curse.

    Heavy D’s impact cannot be simply measured by his music. His reach extended far beyond the microphone. As the first artist signed to Uptown Records, he was the foundation and personification of the label with its self-proclaimed “ghetto fabulousness.”

    Heavy D was the person who coaxed Uptown founder, Andre Harrell, to give an intern by the name of Sean “Puffy” Combs a shot. Heavy knew Puff from their shared hometown of Mount Vernon. That hire birthed the careers of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci at Uptown, and then all of Comb’s storied signings at his own Bad Boy Record label. In many ways, The Notorious B.I.G. was Puff Daddy’s Heavy D—a big man who could rap his ass off and do so while being “Coogi down to the socks.”

    Heavy’s impact extended beyond Uptown (and Bad Boy), as well. While Teddy Riley was already on the rise, having produced Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “The Show,” Kool Moe Dee’s “Go See The Doctor,” and more. Teddy’s trajectory took off even more after helming nearly all of Heavy’s Living Large album. And, of course, there’s Pete Rock. Pete regularly credits his cousin for giving him his start.

    As The Company Man points out, Heavy’s ear was so well respected that he “was promoted to President of Uptown records where he signed smash boy band Soul For Real.” Hunte also points out that DJ Premier names Heavy D as the person who got him his first gold record, by way of Preemo’s work on Heavy’s Blue Funk album.

    But, his reach does not stop there. Heavy D was one of the early Hip-Hop pioneers, along with Will Smith, Queen Latifah, and Ice-T and others, to kick in the Hollywood doors. In fact, from 2000 to 2012, he made far more films than he did albums.

    Given his impact, reach, longevity, consistency, critical acclaim and outsized commercial success, Heavy D should be mentioned in EVERY Hip-Hop 50th anniversary tribute…Excluding nobody.

  3. I remember watching this when it aired. I may have even recorded it.  I feel like they only performed this song on TV this one time.  I think five other songs on Born To Reign were better songs, but "1,000 Kisses" was still a good single choice at the time.  They just waited way to long to release. The music video and the little remix touch to the song were all good, but they should have released it in August, but waited until the fall.  It got very few spins and I never heard it on the radio.  

  4. https://hiphopdx.com/news/skillz-will-smith-greatest-storytellers?fbclid=IwAR0Va90i444YerpDBZVEnibB5i1LPLGEK8p5PUKg_6YInQr95oaQTyVsrwo


    Skillz Declares Will Smith One Of Rap’s Greatest Storytellers: ‘He Never Missed’
    Published on: Jul 12, 2023, 1:00 PM PDT

    Skillz has chimed in on the newly reignited greatest storyteller in Hip Hop debate, picking someone whose name doesn’t often come up in the conversation.

    On Tuesday (July 11), the Virginia MC took to Twitter to share an old photo of DJ Jazzy Jeff and Will Smith from back when the Bad Boys actor went by the name The Fresh Prince.

    “And while we talking about the greatest storytelling rappers of ALL TIME? This guy on the right was definitley one of the greatest,” he wrote. “No we didnt look to him for barz or punchlines but when HE HAD A TOPIC? HE NEVER MISSED. EVER.”

    Re-sharing it on Instagram, the artist formerly known as Mad Skillz added: “It had to be said.”


    Whereas Smith has been mostly inactive as a rapper since 2005, he kickstarted his career in the entertainment circuit as one half of  DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince. The pair released five full-length albums and were the first act to win a Grammy Award in a rap category.

    “Summertime,” “A Nightmare on My Street” and “Parents Just Don’t Understand” are just a few of the songs they put out that exhibited Smith’s brilliance as a lyricist with vivid storytelling skills.

    However, it wasn’t till he composed the theme for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air TV show, which the Philly native also starred in, that his talents as a rapper reached larger audiences.

    Though Smith shifted his focus toward acting soon after the NBC sitcom blew up, Skillz hasn’t forgotten his contemporary’s contributions to Hip Hop. The From Where??? spitter’s opinions about Smith’s greatness, however, didn’t just come out of nowhere, and were most likely prompted by a recent incident involving Ice Cube and Biggie.

    Will Smith Salutes His ‘Favorite Rapper’ For Hard-Hitting New Single

    During a recent interview with Drink Champs, Tony Yayo and DJ EFN engaged in a spirited debate over who’s the better rapper between Cube and The Notorious B.I.G. While the G-Unit rapper went with Biggie, the host decided to run with Ice Cube as his personal pick.

    When the Miami DJ said that Ice Cube’s 1991 diss record, “No Vaseline,” was better than Biggie’s 1997 track, “N-ggas Bleed,” chaos ensued.

    “This is why I hate this industry ****,” Yayo said. “So you telling me Ice Cube is a better storyteller than Biggie? You ****ing buggin! You lost your ****ing mind! Ice Cube is better than Biggie as a storyteller? You ****ing buggin, n-gga! You lost your ****ing mind!”

    The two men continued to debate over which artist reigned supreme before the 45-year-old rapper admitted that Cube was “fire.” Still, Yayo kept doubling down on DJ EFN and calling him crazy before they both turned to others in the room to help support their respective choices.



    The Fugees Reunite At 2023 Roots Picnic In What May Be Their Final Group Performance

    Questlove considered the surprise reunion to be a "miracle."


    JUNE 5, 2023 11:10AM 
    Wyclef Jean, Lauryn Hill, and Pras Michel of The Fugees
    Taylor Hill/Getty Images for Live Nation Urban

    Lauryn Hill closed out the first night of The 2023 Roots Picnic on Saturday (June 3) and brought out two surprise guests—her bandmates from The Fugees, Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel. This marked the latter’s first public performance since he was found guilty of conspiracy, witness tampering, failing to register as an agent of China, and more in his federal trial.

    The trio performed a six-song set, which included “How Many Mics,” “Ready or Not,” “Killing Me Softly,” and “Fu-Gee-La.” The Fugees hadn’t been on stage together since their Global Citizen show in September 2021. They subsequently announced a reunion tour to celebrate their 25th anniversary, but it was postponed and ultimately canceled because of lingering pandemic concerns.


    When first touching the stage, Wyclef stated, “I got an idea. Ready or not?” Hill replied, “That’s a good idea,” but before the song began, the former declared, “Hol’ on! Hol’ on! There’s a lot of superstars, but there’s only one motherf**kin’ Fugees. Hands in the sky right now!”

    Lauryn Hill Strength Of A Woman Festival 2023

    Questlove took to Instagram to recap the iconic moment. “In 1993 an unknown band called the Fugees (at the request of the record label i interned at @ruffhouserecords) opened up for us at #TheTrocodero in Philadelphia—-this was one of their first gigs since signing to a major label,” he bega

    The Oscar-winning Roots drummer continued, “[…] Now 30 years later & look at us now. What a journey. @MsLaurynHill did us a solid by not only letting us celebrate with her the classic #MiseducationOfLaurynHill but she also made a moment by bringing together her bredren @WyclefJean & @PrasMichel ……in what could possibly be one of the last times we will see this institution together in this setting. I’m giving all the gratitude for making this miracle of a night happen.”

    The historic reunion may also be the group’s last, contingent upon Michel’s sentencing. He’s facing up to 20 years in prison. A date for his sentencing has yet to be scheduled.

  6. https://www.okayplayer.com/third-person-charged-in-connection-to-the-2002-murder-of-jam-master-jay?fbclid=IwAR2IuOF8ZStbH3r_slW2VKsNrFiwduNKUh7lTqru6WPaW9NOGyG_o1sOXaM

    Run-DMC appear in a portrait taken on February 10, 1994 in New York City. (l to r: DMC (aka Darryl McDaniels); Jam Master Jay (aka Jason Mizell); Run (aka Joseph Simmons).

    Run-DMC appear in a portrait taken on February 10, 1994 in New York City. (l to r: DMC (aka Darryl McDaniels); Jam Master Jay (aka Jason Mizell); Run (aka Joseph Simmons).

    Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images/Michael Ochs Archives.

    Third Person Charged In Connection to the 2002 Murder of Jam Master Jay


    On Tuesday, 49-year-old Queens resident Jay Bryant was charged with murder in connection to the 2002 shooting of Jam Master Jay.


    A third man has been arrested and alleged to have involvement in the 2002 murder of Run-D.M.C. member Jam Master Jay. On Tuesday (May 30), The New York Timesreported that 49-year-old Queens resident Jay Bryant was charged with the murder of JMJ, legal name Jason Mizell, while also engaged in drug trafficking in addition to other drug-related charges. Bryant also faces a firearms charge and is being held in custody on a separate drug-related indictment.

    The arrest comes two decades after Mizell was shot and killed at his Queens recording studio on October 20, 2002. In a detention memo, prosecutors claimed that Bryant was seen entering the DJ’s studio on the day of the shooting and a piece of clothing left at the scene contained his DNA.

    Two other men, Karl Jordan Jr and Ronald Washington were previously charged in August 2020 over the killing. Along with Bryant, the trio are alleged to have entered the studio and fled after the shooting, with Jordan accused of firing two shots at Mizell at close range, one fatally striking him in the head. Following the 2020 indictment of Jordan and Washington, the prosecutor's office shared that the murder occurred due to a drug deal gone bad, dependent on Mizell’s “previous acquisition of 10 kilograms of cocaine.”


    Jordan, 39, and Washington, 59, both pleaded not guilty, but are currently awaiting trial which is scheduled to begin in January 2024. Last year, a judge dismissed a motion to have their charges dismissed.

    Bryant’s legal representation has also indicated that the 49-year-old will plead not guilty.

    “Mr. Bryant will be pleading not guilty,” Bryant’s attorney, Cesar de Castro, said in an email. "Securing an indictment in a secret grand jury, applying an extremely low burden of proof, is one thing. Proving it at trial is another matter.”

  7. I say something is off.  Dr. Dre is dope, but he's also overrated. It just doesn't make sense to do 30-40 songs together, then scrap 1-3 albums worth of work.  There's more to this story.  I'm much more excited about him working with Q-Tip.


    LL Cool J Reveals Dr. Dre Was The Original Producer For Upcoming Album Before Q-Tip

    A dream involving the late Phife Dawg encouraged him to work with Tip.


    MAY 30, 2023 3:06PM 

    Dr. Dre at 'Creed III' premiere, wearing a Black hooded sweatshirt.; LL Cool J at Hollywood Walk Of Fame, wearing a Black jacket, white t-shirt, Black beanie hat, and shades.; Q-Tip at Flipper's Rollie Boogie Palace, wearing a Black hooded sweatshirt and glasses.
    Dr. Dre, LL Cool J, and Q-Tip. Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images; Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

    LL Cool J is preparing for his upcoming album and recently revealed a major shift in his creative process. The 55-year-old said that Dr. Dre was the original producer, before a dream led him to call on Q-Tip.

    The Queens, N.Y. rapper appeared on the May 22 episode of Way Up With Angela Yee and shared details on his extensive work with the Compton artist. “So, the real story is that I did about 30 to 40 songs with Dr. Dre, and in doing those songs, I felt like the music was amazing,” LL said. “What Dre was bringing to the table was super dope — but I felt like the writing, what I was bringing to these songs didn’t feel strong enough to me.”



    He went on to discuss a dream where he was visited by the late Phife Dawg, which inspired him to collaborate with The Abstract. “I ended up having a dream, and in this dream, Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest came to me,” the NCIS actor said. “When he came in my dream, he was like, ‘Yo, that album you gonna do with Dre is gonna be dope.’ And I’m looking at him and he’s smirking a little bit. He had a funny look on his face.”




    Evidently, connecting with one member of A Tribe Called Quest led to another one being on his mind. “And then when I woke up, I just felt like Q-Tip was on my spirit,” LL Cool J said, continuing his story. “So I just called him. He picked up and I told him that I wanted to do an album. We went and did the record and the rest is history.”

    History has been on LL Cool J’s mind since early in 2023, as he took the stage at the GRAMMYs in February as part of the tribute performance for Hip-Hop’s 50th anniversary. The “Luv U Better” artist was joined by Black Thought, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, Queen Latifah, The LOX, Lil Baby, and several other major acts spanning generations.

  8. https://screenrant.com/fresh-prince-bel-air-will-smith-decline-opinion/?utm_campaign=TrueAnthem-SR&utm_medium=Social-Distribution&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR0erzW9Sm5uKxwN1VsaFRqBwViiISS7HdnLPDPGQC6QMh9Zsu-2-LxQM9w

    Will Smith Says Fresh Prince Went Downhill After Carlton Got A Gun

    PUBLISHED NOV 11, 2021

    During a recent interview, Will Smith claims that The Fresh Prince of Bel Air "jumped the shark" after the episode with Carlton buying a gun.



    Will Smith recently revealed his opinion that The Fresh Prince of Bel Air started going downhill after the storyline involving Carlton buying a gun. Fans of the beloved series have long wondered what drove Smith to cancel the series and move on to his burgeoning film career back in the '90s. Now, perhaps this explanation can help them understand what happened.

    The Fresh Prince premiered on NBC on September 10, 1990, and ended its six year run on May 20, 1996. In that time, the series launched Smith's acting career. Before the series came around, Smith was mainly known for his music. The series also became a cult-favorite with audiences tuning in every week to see the antics of Will and Carlton and the rest of the family living their not-so-ordinary lives in their wealthy Bel Air neighborhood in Los Angeles.


    Smith definitively stated, during a recent interview with EW, that The Fresh Prince of Bel Air started going downhill after the episode with Carlton and the gun. The episode in question, titled "Bullets Over Bel Air," has long been noted as one of the darker episodes of the comedic series, with Carlton buying a gun to protect himself after watching Will get shot at an ATM. And while many fans enjoy the dramatic storyline, Smith points out that he, and many others, feel this is when the The Fresh Prince  “jumped the shark.” In his words:

    "Anyone who has ever been on a sitcom can tell you the episode in which their show jumped the shark. Ours was season 5, episode 15, 'Bullets Over Bel-Air,' the one in which I got shot and Carlton started carrying a gun.”

    Smith points to this episode as an example of when "The storylines were becoming increasingly hokey and it was difficult to maintain the 'Freshness.'" Not long after this, after much internal debate, he made the decision to end the series while he could still ensure the people involved, which he called “my family,” could exit with dignity. A notion that was hit home for Smith after a conversation with guest star John Amos (of Good Times fame). Amos warned Smith to get out before the executives forced his hand, which is what had happened to him.


    The odd thing is, many point to the gun storyline as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air’s most powerful and compelling. However, for a comedic series to delve that deeply into tragedy, it does make sense for the creatives, like Smith, to see it as the show struggling to find direction in its later years. Ironically, the new reboot of the series recently picked up by Peacock, Bel-Air, is going to be a dramatic reimagining of the series and executive produced by Smith. It will be interesting to find out whether the new show will be able to reach the same dramatic lows, or occasional comedic highs, as the show that started it all.



  9. https://variety.com/2023/film/news/bad-boys-4-tasha-smith-cast-theresa-randle-1235602444/?fbclid=IwAR1Eh5BPxY5gVPyn9SzGD4NDYMVPYY9THbcWFBCxSna-NcaPFAK1qdengrw


    May 3, 2023 10:55am PT

    ‘Bad Boys 4’: Tasha Smith to Replace Theresa Randle as Wife of Martin Lawrence’s Marcus Burnett (EXCLUSIVE)


    By McKinley Franklin

    LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 02: Tasha Smith attends STARZ's "P-Valley" Season 2 Premiere on June 02, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for STARZ)
    Getty Images for STARZ

    Tasha Smith will join Will Smith and Martin Lawrence in the latest installment of Sony Pictures’ “Bad Boys” franchise. 

    In “Bad Boys 4,” Smith will play Theresa, Marcus Burnett’s (Lawrence) loving and devoted wife, a role previously inhabited by Theresa Randle in the first three “Bad Boys” films. Plot details for “Bad Boys 4” have been kept under wraps.

    Smith is best known for her roles as Carol in the drama series “Empire,” Ronnie Boyce in HBO’s Emmy-winning series “The Corner” and Angela in Tyler Perry’s “Why Did I Get Married?” She has also directed episodes of “Our Kind of People,” “Mayor of Kingstown” and “Bel-Air.”

    Smith is repped by Greene Talent & Fox Rothschild.


    The “Bad Boys” series stars Will Smith and Lawrence as Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowery and Marcus Burnett. The fourth film also features Paola Núnez, Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and “Euphoria’s” Eric Dane.

    The original “Bad Boys” earned $141 million at the global box office, while the 2003 sequel “Bad Boys II” totaled $273 million. “Bad Boys for Life” outgrossed its predecessors with a combined $426.5 million. 

    Following the release of the 2020 threequel, it was quickly announced that Sony Pictures was developing “Bad Boys 4.” Will Smith and Lawrence teased the film in January with a reunion video posted to social media with the caption: “IT’S ABOUT THAT TIME!”

    At this year’s CinemaCon, both Will Smith and Lawrence expressed their excitement for the film, revealing that they were roughly four weeks into filming the movie.

    Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah return to direct “Bad Boys 4″ with a script written by Chris Bremner. Jerry Bruckheimer, Will Smith and Doug Belgrad are producers, while Lawrence, Chad Oman, Mike Stenson,  Jon None, James Lassiter and Barry Waldman executive produce.

  10. I wouldn't consider this scintilating journalism, but...


    Will Smith wears a bow tie as he is seen in character as Detective Mike Lowrey while he films Bad Boys 4 in Atlanta


    PUBLISHED: 17:41 EDT, 2 May 2023 | UPDATED: 20:52 EDT, 2 May 2023




    Will Smith was spotted while working on the Atlanta set of the upcoming fourth movie in the Bad Boys franchise on Tuesday.

    The 54-year-old performer appeared to be making the most of his time at the project's set as he flashed a smile and interacted with the film's crew.

    The actor, who recently cheered on his children as they performed at the Coachella Festival, will reprise his longstanding role as Detective Mike Lowrey in the new installment in the action-comedy series.

    Smith looked sharp while wearing a button-up shirt, a bow tie and dress pants as he worked on the set of the film.

    The performer made his debut as Lowrey in the first Bad Boys feature, which was released in 1995.

    Hard at work: Will Smith was spotted while working on the Atlanta set of the upcoming fourth movie in the Bad Boys franchise on Tuesday
    Hard at work: Will Smith was spotted while working on the Atlanta set of the upcoming fourth movie in the Bad Boys franchise on Tuesday
    Will Smith and Martin Lawrence announce 4th 'Bad Boys' movie

    All three of the features saw Smith acting alongside Martin Lawrence, who portrays Detective Marcus Burnett.

    A spinoff series based on the films, entitled L.A.'s Finest, premiered in 2019 and did not feature participation from either of its longtime stars.

    The Hollywood Reporter previously confirmed that the fourth Bad Boys movie was officially being developed in 2020. 

    At the time, it was confirmed that both Smith and Lawrence were expected to reprised their longtime roles as Lowrey and Burnett.

    Performers such as Vanessa Hudgens, Alexander Ludwig and Paola Nunez are also set to appear in the feature.

    Work on the film was said to have been paused after the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star became the subject of controversy regarding his slapping of Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, when several of his other projects were stalled.

    However, Sony Chairman Tom Rothman later spoke to Deadline and confirmed that the project was still being actively developed.

    Dapper: Smith looked sharp while wearing a button-up shirt, a bow tie and dress pants as he worked on the set of the filmDapper: Smith looked sharp while wearing a button-up shirt, a bow tie and dress pants as he worked on the set of the film
    First of many: The performer made his debut as Lowrey in the first Bad Boys feature, which was released in 1995First of many: The performer made his debut as Lowrey in the first Bad Boys feature, which was released in 1995
    Another one: The Hollywood Reporter previously confirmed that the fourth Bad Boys movie was officially being developed in 2020; Smith and Lawrence are seen in Bad Boys For Life

    Another one: The Hollywood Reporter previously confirmed that the fourth Bad Boys movie was officially being developed in 2020; Smith and Lawrence are seen in Bad Boys For Life

    In the future: The upcoming fourth Bad Boys movie does not have a scheduled release date as of yet; Smith and Lawrence are seen in Bad Boys For Life
    In the future: The upcoming fourth Bad Boys movie does not have a scheduled release date as of yet; Smith and Lawrence are seen in Bad Boys For Life
    Smith officially confirmed that he would reprise his role alongside Lawrence this past February, when Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were also announced as the project's directors.

    The filmmaking duo previously directed the third feature in the franchise, which was met with a generally positive reception from audiences.

    Physical production on the upcoming feature commenced last month, with filming taking place in both Miami and Atlanta.

    The upcoming fourth Bad Boys movie does not have a scheduled release date as of yet. 

  11. https://allhiphop.com/news/heavy-d-sculpture-unveiled-mount-vernon/?fbclid=IwAR3zWW3aSqMjyWzy5TqX9PmEyS1RhqsbX8XF-qsIDovk8xyXs_p48LgJ35w

    Heavy D Gets His Own Sculpture In Mount Vernon, New York

    Heavy D.


    Legendary rapper was honored by his hometown of Mt. Vernon, New York for his role in shaping Hip-Hop culture. Check it out!


    Heavy D, the influential rapper renowned for his infectious beats and captivating lyrics that helped shape the landscape of Hip-Hop music, was honored in a sculpture unveiling event hosted by Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard at the highly anticipated luxury high-rise, 42 Broad Street.





    Born as Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaica, Heavy D relocated to Mount Vernon with his family during his youth, where he discovered his passion for rap music

    With his remarkable talent, he swiftly became an integral part of the local Hip-Hop scene, eventually gaining recognition on a global scale. Heavy D released a string of successful albums throughout his career, including his debut Living Large (1987), Big Tyme (1989) and Peaceful Journey (1991), the latter serving as the inspiration for the sculpture commemorating his enduring legacy.

    Selected through a competitive process overseen by ArtsWestchester, a prominent advocate for public art, the sculpture, aptly titled “Peaceful Journey,” was crafted by the esteemed Brooklyn-based artist Eto Otitgbe. 

    The artwork finds its place at the bustling intersection of Broad Street and Fleetwood Avenue, offering a visible symbol of homage to Heavy D’s influence. 

    Otitgbe explained that the sculpture aimed to pay tribute to the profound impact of Mount Vernon, the Bronx, and Los Angeles on the lives of Black and Brown individuals, a theme poignantly depicted in Heavy D’s music.

    “I wanted to pay homage to the Mount Vernon community that had such an important place in Hip-Hop with this work of art,” said Otitigbe of Peaceful Journey.

    During the unveiling event, Heavy D’s family, including his mother, Euhlalee Myers, attended and expressed their appreciation for the artwork. Heavy D’s mother shared her son’s deep affection for the arts and his unwavering love for Mount Vernon. 

    Reflecting on the occasion, she stated, “My son loved the arts, and this sculpture depicts the love that he had, especially for the city of Mount Vernon,” ABC7 reported.

    Mayor Patterson-Howard also addressed the crowd, acknowledging Heavy D’s significant contributions to the city’s cultural fabric. 

    “Heavy D holds a special place in the history of Mount Vernon and the Hip-Hop genre. This sculpture serves as a fitting tribute to his legacy and the 50th anniversary of Hip-Hop.”

    Tragically, Heavy D’s life was cut short at the age of 44, leaving an indelible void in the music industry. 

    In November 2011, he tragically passed away due to complications from cardiovascular disease and a blood clot in his lung caused by a long plane ride, shocking fans and fellow artists alike. 

    His sudden and unexpected death served as a stark reminder of the fragility of life and the enduring impact of his artistry.

    In the wake of Heavy D’s untimely departure, his memory lives on through his timeless music and his profound influence on Mount Vernon and the Hip-Hop community. 

    The sculpture “Peaceful Journey” is a poignant tribute to his legacy, reminding all who encounter it of this legendary rapper’s vibrant spirit and immense talent.

  12. Fugees’ Pras Michel Found Guilty On All Counts In Federal Conspiracy Trial

    The former rapper is facing 22 years in prison and his attorney filed a motion for a mistrial.


    APRIL 26, 2023 5:57PM 
    Pras Michel federal conspiracy trial
    Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    Update: 5:15 p.m. ET (April 26, 2023) – Pras Michel’s attorney, David Kenner, has issued a statement via email regarding the guilty verdict.

    “We are of course very disappointed, but I am very confident in the ultimate outcome of this case. Her honor gave us a briefing schedule that will allow us to brief a number of motions that I made during the course of this trial. That briefing schedule extends out into July. Her honor pointed out today that after those decisions are made, based on the briefs, she will determine whether it is still necessary to move to a sentencing hearing. If we do move to a sentencing hearing, I remain very confident that we will, with certainty, appeal this case. This is not over. I remain very, very confident that we will ultimately prevail in this matter.” 

    He later added, “I filed motions for mistrial and other motions during the course of the trial. It is Her Honor’s practice take those under submission and to rule on them after all of the evidence is in. I remain enormously confident that this case is not over and that we will ultimately prevail.”

    Pras Michel has been found guilty on all 10 criminal counts in the federal conspiracy trial or what prosecutors are calling a “clandestine foreign influence campaign scheme” to help Malaysian businessman Jho Low obtain access to former presidents, Barack Obama and Donald Trump and illegally fund part of their campaigns, CBS News reports.

    Michel testified last week that he voluntarily met with FBI agents multiple times to discuss Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui and three Americans who were being held hostage in China. “I took it upon myself to report because I thought the FBI should know,” he explained. He also shared that Low paid him $20 million to secure a photo of Low and Obama with prosecutors arguing that over $800,000 of those funds were funneled to Obama’s reelection campaign through a series of straw donors under Low’s direction.

    The former Fugees rapper refuted, stating that wasn’t the case and the money was a gift. His attorney, David Kenner, added, “This is all about a highly valuable photo. He was trying to make money…it is not illegal.

    Prakazrel “Pras” Michel (L), accompanied by defense lawyer David Kenner, arrives at federal court for his trial in an alleged campaign finance conspiracy on Thursday, March 30, 2023. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

    During his testimony, Michel also disclosed that “no one I spoke to ever mentioned” federal laws requiring him to register as a foreign agent; otherwise, he explained he would have done so. Kenner called the government’s case a “house of cards” and that they did not prove Michel’s intent to break the law

    In regards to a separate $100 million called into question, Michel said it was for a media business he was starting, not an investment from Low.

    Low has been accused of embezzling $4.5 billion from Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund. He is currently on the run but believed to be in China. There’s currently no word on when sentencing will take place, but Michel is facing 22 years in prison.

    VIBE has reached out to Michel’s legal team for comment.



  13. https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/651474-fresh-prince-tv-show?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Facebook&fbclid=IwAR01wMZ137F1_fiRxTVY52uF9MM1N4YfruIiUskVBhHrFs9gO6ra7vz624Q#Echobox=1682117399

    “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air”: Why It Was So Successful

    Apr 21 2023 6:10 pmBy Michael Amimo

    “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” remains one of the greatest sitcoms ever. Here’s why it stands the tests of time.


    The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was a hit sitcom in the ’90s but is still appreciated today. It’s regarded as one of the most successful Will Smith appearances on the small screen. The Oscar winner’s breakthrough on NBC between 1990 and 1996 is cemented in pop culture history. Arguably, it helped define the 1990s era.


    The series starred a fictionalized version of Will Smith and his life. He was depicted as a smart-street teenager from Philadelphia who runs into some trouble. Will was sent to live with his wealthy relatives in the upscale Bel-Air neighborhood and comedy unfolds as he blends with his extended family. The show was developed by Quincy Jones, who created it specifically for Smith. It took the rapper a bit to find his footing, but he was part of a stellar cast that helped create a hit. We’re going to look at why The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is still legendary today.

    Theme Song

    The show had a unique concept that resonated with viewers. Moreover, the idea of a young Black man from a working-class background being absorbed into a wealthy, predominantly white environment was exciting. The show explored the cultural differences and class divides between the two worlds and provided a fresh perspective on what “success” meant in America.

    This was a classic example of the “American Dream” for most young Black Americans. Additionally, the show also had an iconic theme song that became a cultural ideal for kids of the ‘90s. Smith performed the theme which drew attention to his career as a rap star. Although that element was missing from the series itself, a few rhymes crept in here and there throughout the seasons.

    Will’s Charm 

    HOLLYWOOD – OCTOBER 20: Actor Will Smith and music/tv producer Quincy Jones break from filming “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” on October 20, 1990 at Columbia/Sunset Gower Studios in Hollywood, California. 

    The show had a talented and charismatic lead actor Will Smith. Despite not being famous during the show’s production, Will’s charm shone brightest—it wasn’t difficult, as he was the star. He had a gift for comedy and an ability to connect with audiences. Will created a relatable character who was trying to fit in and find his place in the world. Viewers could not help but root for him.

    Talented Cast

    Fresh Prince had a host of talented cast members who brought their characters to reality memorably and endearingly. Uncle Phil (James Avery) was the stern but loving patriarch of the family. On the other hand, Aunt Viv was a nurturing and supportive mother figure. Further, the two eldest children, Carlton (Alfonso Ribeiro) and Hilary (Karyn Parsons), were considered the ideal rich kids. However, they also had their moments of vulnerability and growth. Even the butler, Geoffrey, had a unique personality and brought a sense of humor to the show. Therefore, the cast did a great job in their respective roles to ensure it was a success.

    Enduring Social Themes 

    The show was unafraid to tackle serious issues such as racism, classism, and social inequality. While it was primarily a comedy, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air did not shy away from exploring the challenges that Will faced. In addition, the show addressed issues such as racial profiling, police brutality, and the struggle to maintain one’s cultural identity in the face of societal pressure. These storylines were handled with sensitivity and humor, making them accessible to a wide range of viewers. It became a cultural phenomenon and had a massive impact on pop culture.

    A Classic Cultural ’90s Hit

    The show remained relevant but still served as a ‘90s classic. It showcased the cultural trends and bright-colored fashion that dominated the decade. Fresh Prince of Bel-Air covered what it was like to be young, energetic, and liberated in the ‘90s. This transcended many sitcoms in the era and was viewed as ahead of its timeline. To some, it was more than a TV show; it was a culture! 

    While other shows like The Simpsons and Seinfeld arguably had a more significant impact on pop culture, their premise had not centered on an African American protagonist. Will was the star, and his desires and struggles spoke to many. The Fresh Prince formed the basis for which similar sitcoms that came later could mimic and become successful.

    Cast Chemistry

    The cast of the sitcom had great chemistry, and their interactions with one another felt authentic and genuine. Their relationship felt like those of a real family, which only served to make the show more enjoyable to watch. However, it was the show’s charismatic lead actor who was the heart and soul of the show. His natural talent and ability to connect with his fans and the Black community at large made the show a cultural phenomenon. To date, the show’s impact on pop culture is immeasurable. It has remained a classic example of what can be achieved when talented writers, directors, and actors come together to create a truly special and beautiful story.

  14. https://www.bet.com/article/meoorp/monie-love-interview-queen-latifah-whitney-houston-new-project?cid=BET Her TV__FBPAGE___9434890256&linkId=208769478&mibextid=ykz3hl&fbclid=IwAR1lc1D5wHWEF3IoD5ZEX-LxLgQo61Vktkae-Wf702tyhzX9CgTHHsRX7_E

    Monie Love Talks About Her First Solo Project in 30 Years

    The British-born hip-hop legend also talks about reuniting with Queen Latifah and her collaboration with Whitney Houston.
    By Paul Meara

    April 6, 2023

    2:33 PM



    Photo: Dee Flores

    Last month, hip-hop was celebrated in honor of both the passing of De La Soul’s Trugoy the Dove as well as the legendary trio’s discography finally making its way onto streaming services. The Webster Hall event had many heavy hitters the culture’s had to offer over the years – including both emcees and DJs – with perhaps one of the more incredible moments being Queen Latifah and Monie Love reuniting on-stage for a performance of their classic 1989 record “Ladies First.”

    The moment, we now know, took the later hip-hop legend by surprise but it didn’t stop her from killing it. The British-born Love rapped every bar of the 33-year-old hit as if it was released yesterday, and Latifah reciprocated likewise. The whole thing, along with Questlove’s hip-hop tribute at the Grammys in February as well as an overall celebration of hip-hop’s 50th anniversary in 2023, has had fans of the culture reliving some of the best it's presented since its inception a half-century ago.

    That may be part of why Monie Love is still keeping hip-hop strong in her own way. Currently an afternoon host on Atlanta’s KISS 104.1, the emcee and broadcaster is also at work on a new solo musical project – her first in three decades. Already dropping the unifying song “1NE People” last November and the first single “Divine” with Skyzoo and TUFF prior to that, Love is gearing up for #LoveStruck, the effort she’s creating alongside producer Baby Paul (from Da Beatminerz).

    During a recent interview with BET, Monie Love discussed recording her new project, the reuniting moment with Queen Latifah, and even took it way back to her early days of falling in love with hip-hop as a Brit, going on to record her first two LPs – the second of which (In a Word or 2) just turned 30 a few days ago – and her collaborations with Prince and Whitney Houston, which she described as life-changing. Read below.

    Queen Latifah And Monie Love Reunite At De La Soul Tribute

    BET: A few months ago you released your single “1NE People.” Really loved the song a lot because it’s very unifying at a time I think we need to come together more. What were your ideas behind it and how did it come together?

    Monie Love: Well you just stole my shine with what I was gonna say [laughs] because it's exactly everything you just said. I felt like kind of teeter-tottering out of the initial shutdown stages of the pandemic, and in the spirit of a lot of unifying things that were happening such as Club Quarantine brought people together in a time when we could not leave our homes, keeping it in that same vein and in that same spirit. I felt like that needed to be extended and what other route could I take then to extend how I felt in the house, cooped up, not well myself.

    BET: You’re also working on your new project LoveStruck. What made you want to work on a new solo work because it’s been a really long time?

    Monie Love: So a good friend of mine who's actually a godfather to one of my children, Baby Paul, he's a Grammy-nominated producer and we go back a very long way in this business. He basically said to me one day, “Let me take care of the business and let me put something out.” Regardless of the fact that I've never really done any commercial releases in a very long time, I've never stopped making music and Paul, because he's my brother and a part of my family, he always knows what I'm doing artistically, even when it's not publicized.

    He's like, “I'm hearing everything that you're doing with [El Da Sensei] from The Artifacts. Why don't you put something out on your own? I'm like, “Ah, I kind of like dipping and dabbling when I feel like it, and in addition to that, the performance end of my life never stops. I'm constantly still on the road, performing by myself and as part of a collective called The Alumni, which is [Special Ed, Monie Love, Chubb Rock, Kwamè, Dane Dane] and myself and we do like an ensemble.

    He's like, “Do something of your own.” I'm like, I don't like the business because that's why I fell back. I don't like it a bit. The culture is what I live for, the business, not so much. “Let me take care of everything business oriented, you just be an artist and you just create,” [he said]. And I sat on it for a little while and thought about it, and then I was like, As long as I don't have to worry about any of the business aspects, fine. I'll just go in and create. So that's where it was forged.

    BET: Just a few weeks ago you reunited on stage with Queen Latifah for a performance of “Ladies First.” Among all the iconic things about the De La Soul tribute, that was one of the most amazing moments. How much did that mean to you and how did that whole event make you feel?

    Monie Love: Can I please tell you and make sure you write this: I was a complete emotional roller coaster that prior night. I had this discussion like [Posdnuos] and I were texting each other back and forth prior to the day of the event and I was like, I haven't known what to do with myself or where to place my feelings ever since the day that the news dropped that Dave passed. I didn't know what to do with myself because it was such a weird space and I'm sure it was for everybody in Native Tongues because immediately you get taken back to being at Calliope Studios in this coffin-like tight vibe that we had, in this hippie-everybody's in the studio, whose session is it? Who cares. We're all here. That-type vibe. And it was always like that when De La was recording – everybody's in the studio and Jungle Brothers was recording. We all used the same engineer. It was just like a commune, so immediately when this news dropped, you can't walk back to being in this commune.


    When I got the date of the event that was taking place that was partly to celebrate the fact that their catalog was finally dropping [on streaming services]. Then unfortunately they had to combine it with celebrating Dave's life. Because he passed away it obviously was not anticipated, so they put the two things, wrapped it together.

    I got in the morning of the event and I just checked into the hotel and tried to get some rest and gather my feelings because I knew I was going to be up and down when I showed up. I knew that it was going to be a high school reunion within hip-hop of sorts. I knew that there were going to be a ton of faces, that we would all see each other and it would have been the first time we've all seen each other – outside of Native Tongues, I knew it was going to be that. So when I got there, I was okay, and seeing people and being happy to see people and hugging and saying hello. But every single time another Native Tongue member approached me or I walked into the same room as them, it's like my entire body fell limp and I would start crying immediately. When we all saw each other we broke down.

    Then when we got to the stage I gotta tell you I did not know what took over my body. I really didn't. When I got on that stage and what was happening and listening to the songs, listening to Pos delivering the songs and Maseo up there DJing and The Originals – [Tony Touch]. I haven't seen Toca in forever, we share the same birthday. For years we used to have a joint birthday party. Crazy Legs was instrumental in bonding us tight because of the culture that we all came up in. It's like I got transcended to another place and I let go of myself and I let go of my sadness and I just kind of elevated into another place.

    BET: And when “Ladies First” dropped?

    Monie Love: Everybody was playing catch-up. I was walking over to say something to DJ Red Alert who was standing in a huddle with Latifah and a few other people. They were having a conversation all while everybody in the crowd is vibing. So I walked over and I was gonna say something to Red, and then D-Nice put on [the next song and] all I heard was the horns to “U.N.I.T.Y.”. So I grabbed his hand like bump this conversation, whatever you guys were talking about, I don't care. I grabbed [Latifah’s] hand, pulled her to the front of the stage, and I just got hit with like a boat like this is everything. And the crowd went nuts when they saw her and heard “U.N.I.T.Y.”.

    Then this man decides to put on “Ladies First.” If you see this footage, you’ll see my expression. I was like, Oh, it's over now. I feel my hands in the air. It's over. If she grabs this mic and she comes over here to deliver this verse is over. And you see my expression saying that and she came over on some, “Mami what's up?” And I was like, Don't don't ask me what's up, because it's gonna go down and that's exactly what happened.

    DJ Jazzy Jeff On New Producer Mentoring Program & An Old Will Smith Picture Worth A Thousand Words

    BET: Speaking of Crazy Legs, you were a multifaceted member of hip-hop culture as both a b-girl and an emcee, and the Cookie Crew was also big in introducing you to the culture early on. Take me back to that mid-80s time and that inspiration…

    Monie Love: Yeah, I mean we got hit with the bug of hip-hop culture in the mid-80s, I’d say around ‘83. So granted, we're 10 years late from what was already going on in the States, but from there onwards, we developed our own British UK and European scene in respect to what was going on in the United States that we absolutely took out of the book of hip-hop culture that had already been happening stateside. Many of my boys were actually DJs that were in DMC competitions that went on to World Supremacy competitions, which then brought them to the United States to the new music seminar at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Times Square that happened every year. Then they get to meet other DJs like the Clark Kent’s from New York and the Joe Cooley's from L.A. and like we really were submerged into the culture for real.

    So out of the crews of MCs that came up in England Cookie Crew was one of them and one of the founding foremost female groups from the U.K. and from Europe, because they're beatbox Peggy Lee is from Holland, so it encompassed not just the UK. They're from South London, I'm from South London. So they were absolutely my mentors and I came up under them. I used to go to their shows, watch how they deliver on stage, see how they handle their crowd participation and have the crowd in the palm of their hands.

    BET: Moving into the 90s, In a Word or 2 [just turned 30]. It’s a super slept on album in my opinion because you had it mostly produced by Marley Marl but then Prince co-wrote and co-produced "Born to B.R.E.E.D." and the title track. Does it seem like it’s been 30 years and what were maybe some of your fondest memories of making that album?

    Monie Love: Working with Marley, the dots connected because he's Cold Chillin’ [Records], he produced a lot of artists who were on the label. Then also him just being the quintessential hip-hop producer. Working with Marley Marl also introduced me to concentrated focus in recording a project. When I say that I mean that was the first time that I had ever traveled somewhere [to record]. I was staying in like upstate New York where Marley was living at the time and I was staying at a hotel near his house. I would have to drive to his house every day to record.

    That was the first time that I'd have ever experienced that, ironically, the second time that I had ever experienced that was with Paisley Park and Prince where I had to fly to Minneapolis. I had to stay at a hotel next to his compound and spend the day at work recording and then leave and go back to the hotel and go to sleep and get up the next day, start the same thing over. Prince extended it and actually flew everybody including me to England because he had a string of shows there during the time. I was supposed to be helping him write the Carmen Electra album.

    So after every show, we would go into the studio overnight and continue working on this album because he didn't want to stop just because he had a series of shows.

    BET: In regards to Marley and that Queensbridge connection, did you ever hear rumblings about Nas [prior to Main Source’s “Live at the Barbeque”]?

    Monie Love: I did, but this was more so through the streets and honestly [it was] through 3rd Bass and [MC] Serch. I heard the rumblings of this kid with a chip tooth from Queens. I was on tour with 3rd Bass for a lot of shows because we were on the Big Daddy Kane tour, for instance. So it was Big Daddy Kane, Digital Underground, 3rd Bass, and it was Latifah’s whole camp. So I had heard the mild rumblings of some kid, super young kid from Queens with a chipped tooth. That was just crazy.

    BET: What are some of your best memories of working with Whitney Houston on the remix for "My Name Is Not Susan" – both recording the song and shooting the video for it?

    Monie Love: Recording it was fun. I was a little bit nervous because she specifically asked me herself. I expected for A&R people or the producers or whatever, but she reached out to me herself to tell me that she wants me to rhyme on this song. So it was obviously something that was discussed amongst the producers. She sent me a letter just to say, “Do your thing, girl.” So when I went in and was like, This has to be extra extra dope. And then I delivered it specifically in mind to please her like, This has got to be super dope because I want her to love it. And she did. And from there, she requested for me to be there for the video and we spent the whole day together. She could have been in her room and have me wherever I do my part, but she bonded with me the entire day. That's how she wanted to do it.

    We bonded the whole day, and from there, we became fast friends. I was constantly at her compounds, constantly at the house every celebration occasion. I was at the wedding. I was at her wedding, sat right behind her, she forged a friendship. That's one thing I can say about her is like if she really feels you as an artist, and then gets to know you as a person – She really did forge real friendships with people and I noticed that not just with me.

    Illtown Sluggaz and ext Talk About Their 'Next By Nature' Album and Spike Lee Directed 'Hip-Hop Hooray' Vide

    BET: On another career highlight: What did it mean to you to be the first British woman in hip-hop to be nominated for a grammy [two for Best Rap Solo Performance]?

    Monie Love: Being nominated, it meant a couple of things. To me, it was less about what it meant to me – it wasn't about my individualism necessarily. It was more about I had a chip on my shoulder because of the fact that people were trying to play hip-hop like it was a fad. We're constantly told it’s not going to last and it doesn't have a place here among the other music genres and what have you.

    So for me, it was a double whammy because it was like, number one: Yes, I fell in love with hip-hop, pursued it as a career and put my life into the culture. Number two, this is a music genre that we have been continuously told is not going to last and won't be here. Put those two things together and in your face – not only do the world of other musicians feed this culture, see this music and understand how big it is. Because not only am I in this, but I'm from a whole different country. So that allows you to understand exactly how big hip-hop is. It penetrates kids from other countries big enough to the point where they pursue it, they live, eat, sleep, the culture, and arrive on the Grammy stage to be noted in it by an audience of their peers. So take that and put that in your pipe and smoke it.

  15. https://afrotech.com/jazzy-jeff-recalls-creating-the-theme-song-in-just-15-minutes?item=7&fbclid=IwAR0JlUDzRHGAc3SdRWULmvMz1wvLlOJq5vnwuTNyvISf9RJxYKJUzyqd45I

    Jazzy Jeff Didn't Want To Appear On 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' Yet He Made Its Iconic Theme Song In 15 Minutes
    Photo Credit: AfroTech

    Jazzy Jeff Didn't Want To Appear On 'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' Yet He Made Its Iconic Theme Song In 15 Minutes

    Shanique Yates

    Shanique Yates. Apr 14, 2023.

    Six degrees of separation is very real. It’s also the thing that brought us the dynamic duo known to the world as DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince.

    A mere house party and phone call changed Jazzy Jeff’s life forever (and ours too, when you think about it).

    Meeting Will Smith

    He explains to AfroTech how receiving a last-minute phone call to DJ at a house party in his home city of Philadelphia, PA, led him to his first encounter with Will Smith.

    Jazzy Jeff Didn’t Want To Appear On ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ Yet He Made Its Iconic Theme Song In 15 Minutes


    “This is pre-social media, pre-pagers, and cell phones and I got a last-minute call to do a house party,” Jazzy Jeff told AfroTech. “I picked up the phone to call my emcee at the time and he wasn’t in the house, never answered the phone, so I just had to go and do the party without him. It just so happened to be next door to Will’s house. So, Will comes in the basement, and he’s basically like, ‘Hey, where’s your guy?’ And I was like, ‘He didn’t answer the phone.’ So, he was like, ‘Do you mind if I rock with you tonight?’ And I was like, ‘Sure.’ And that was 40 years ago.”

    The rest is, as they say, history.

    A missed phone call created a brotherhood that ultimately morphed into a music group that made its way to the main stage on one of America’s most beloved sitcoms, “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”

    'The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air'

    Despite not wanting to initially do the show, Jazzy Jeff created the renowned theme song that is still being played all over the world today.

    “‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme song was made in 15 minutes,” Jazzy Jeff recalled to AfroTech. “And it was made because I did not think this was going to be the theme song. They needed music to go in this place, almost as a holder. So Will and I went in the studio and we created something, and we gave it to them.”

    He continued: “And that is the same song that’s on the TV show today. So it was kind of being thrust in, to realize that this was going to be a thing. We didn’t know about licensing when it came down to television, which was controlled through the record company at the time.”

    Legendary Status

    From “The Fresh Prince” to the duo’s universal hit with “Summertime,” what Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince were doing has been considered nothing less of legendary. However, Jazzy Jeff says this was never planned.

    “You don’t plan,” he explained. “I think every music artist that tries to do this professionally wants to have a song that stands the test of time, so to kind of have that with the theme song of ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ and have that with the show, but also to have that with ‘Summertime,’ is really mind-blowing. A lot of artists don’t get one.”

    Passing The Torch

    Today, Jazzy Jeff is using his expertise to help other aspiring artists through his online music-producing program, Command Central.

    Students will not only attend courses led by the renowned producer himself, but a few familiar faces will join in on the fun to equip participants with resources to build core foundational skills.


    “I think from the beginning of me doing this, I have been mentoring somebody,” Jazzy Jeff said. “I’m someone that is a big sharer of information. If I’ve figured out something that I thought was really great, I gotta pick up the phone and I got to call somebody and tell them, ‘Hey man, did you know you could do this?’ And this goes from your television remote, all the way across the board to making music.”

    Command Central

    The intensive six-week online program helps to enhance participants’ beat-making skills with in-depth lessons that range from drums, melody, arrangements, mixing, and sampling.

    From there, they will be able to apply the learning to tracks that are self-produced.

    Available in two tiers, the DIY version includes a full-video program, written exercises, and bonus resources.

    The interactive version has the same elements, but students will also have a chance to attend weekly live sessions with DJ Jazzy Jeff and other special guests.

    Additionally, they will have the opportunity to produce work that will be played during his live DJ sets as well as receive exclusive feedback on weekly submitted tracks.

    For more on how to join Jazzy Jeff as he elevates the next generation of producers and beatmakers with Command Central, click here.

  16. https://shadowandact.com/garcelle-beauvais-ended-fling-with-will-smith-after-his-son-mistook-her-for-jada-pinkett-smith-im-not-the-only-one

    Garcelle Beauvais Ended Fling with Will Smith After His Son Mistook Her For Jada Pinkett Smith: 'I'm Not the Only One'

    Bre McNamaraBre McNamara

    April 18, 2022



    Garcelle Beauvais is spilling some major tea about Will Smith in her new memoir, Love Me As I Am.


    Not only does The Real co-host open up about her short-lived fling with NBA legend Michael Jordan, but she also shared details of her brief romance with Smith and how she abruptly ended things with him after realizing she wasn’t the only woman in his life.


    Beauvais said she made an 'exit stage left' after Will Smith's son mistook her for Jada Pinkett Smith

    In her new book, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star opens up about her breakup with Smith, sharing that she ended their short fling after realizing that she “not the only one,” according to Ace Showbiz.

    She recalls phoning The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star one day while he was in the car and hearing his eldest son, Trey, whom he shares with his ex-wife Sheree Zampino, mistake her for Jada Pinkett Smith


    "I remember one day calling Will, and he was in the car, and his son [and his ex-wife] Sheree were in the back," she shares. "So you know, he picked up the car or Bluetooth or whatever it was back in the day, or speakerphone - what it was - and he said, 'Hey, how are you doing?' and I said, 'I'm great.' "

    She said she heard his son ask him, “[Is that] Miss Jada on the phone?”

    This was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “And that’s when I was like okay – I’m not the only one. Exit stage left,” she said.

    Will and Jada were married in 1997

    Following Beauvais and Smith’s short-lived romance, he married Jada Pinkett Smith on December 31, 1997.

    A year later, the couple welcomed their son, Jaden Smith. In 2000, their daughter, Willow Smith, was born.

  17. https://www.okayplayer.com/music/de-la-soul-art-official-intelligence-three.html

    A Third Installment to De La Soul’s AOI Series Is Coming


    JAELANI TURNER-WILLIAMSJaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with…
    De La Soul
    Photo Credit: Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

    Maseo said the next De La Soul project will be the third album in the Art Official Intelligence series.

    De La Soul has no plans of slowing down. Less than one month after the trio’s back catalog officially hit DSPs, group member Maseo recently visited the Kyle Meredith With… podcast, where he teased a third installment of their Art Official Intelligence or (AOI) series.

    “AOI 3 is definitely going to to take precedent,” Maseo said about De La Soul’s upcoming plans. “It’s going to be the very next thing. That’s a responsibility that we have to our fans — a responsibility we even have to ourselves — with completing that trilogy… We have a responsibility to continue on just to sustain [Trugoy’s] legacy and what we’ve built as three childhood friends, and we have a responsibility to hip-hop.”

    Maseo, legal name Vincent Mason, said that material on the upcoming AOI 3 was largely recorded before Trugoy’s passing, but will also contain new music. The group’s first two installments, Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump and AOI: Bionix, released in 2000 and 2001, respectively.


    “A lot of stuff is fresh,” he said. “There’s a couple of ideas I had been sitting on for a while. Nothing had lyrics on it,” Mason added. “The stuff that had lyrics on it, we already kind of leaked it. That was ‘The Return of DST,’ the Chuck D record, ‘The People.’ The other one that we leaked was [‘Get Away,’], we used the Wu-Tang sample.”

    He added, “Those three records pretty much were supposed to be a part of AOI 3. And then there’s another record that was done that we haven’t released, but I’m gonna put it on the record because it holds up. It’s a song called ‘Rise’ that we have with Yummy [Bingham]. It has a real disco rollerskating vibe, and I think that’s gonna fit really nice.”

    Listen to Maseo’s full interview here.

  18. https://popculture.com/streaming/news/will-smith-scores-no-1-netflix-movie-sharke-tale-wake-chris-rocks-special/

    Will Smith Scores No. 1 Netflix Movie in Wake of Chris Rock's Special

    By ALLISON SCHONTER - April 3, 2023 10:33 am EDT


    Will Smith likely has Chris Rock to credit for the newfound popularity of one of his older films. Following Rock's Selective Outrage live comedy special in March, the 2004 animated film Shark Tale is gaining traction on the streaming charts, breaking into the Top 5 and cementing itself as the No. 1 movie.


    Produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures, Shark Tale follows Oscar, a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse who finds himself helping out a timid shark named Lenny. The film was directed by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron, and Rob Letterman and, along with Smith, features an ensemble cast that includes the voices of Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Martin Scorsese, Ziggy Marley, Doug E. Doug, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore, Peter Falk, Katie Couric, Shakira, Janet Jackson, and Justin Timberlake. The movie is currently one of the most popular titles on Netflix, ranking as the No. 1 movie currently available on Netflix Kids. It also ranks as the No. 4 movie on Netflix U.S. behind Murder Mystery, The Bourne Legacy, and Murder Mystery 2, the Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler-starring film that currently ranks No. 1. The movie beats out fellow Top 5-ranker The Thing.

    Shark Tale was added to Netflix's streaming lineup on Saturday, April 1, just a month after Netflix made history with its first live-streamed live streaming event, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage. During the comedy special, Rock didn't hesitate to throw a few metaphorical punches at Smith following the 2022 Oscars fiasco during which Smith punched the comedian after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


    The Dreamworks movie came up while Rock was comparing his physical stature to Smith's, Rock telling the audience, "People are like, 'Did it hurt?' It still hurts! I got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears," referencing one of Smith's songs. He continued, "But I'm not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah, Gayle (King), crying. Will Smith is significantly bigger than me He does movies with his shirt off! You've never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I'm in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammed Ali in a movie! You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in New Jack City. ... Even in animation, he's bigger: I'm a zebra, he's a shark."

    Unfortunately for Rock, he ultimately messed up the joke. While he correctly cited his role as Marty, the zebra in the Madagascar movie franchise, he flubbed Smith's role, as it appeared the comedian was referencing the actor's in Shark Tale. Smith, however, does not play a shark in the film, but rather a Bluestreak cleaner wrasse. Shark Tale is now streaming on Netflix.

  19. https://afrotech.com/mc-hammer-net-worth-2022

    Even Though MC Hammer Ran Through $70M In About Five Years, He Says He 'Wouldn't Change One Thing'

    Bernadette Giacomazzo

    Bernadette Giacomazzo.
    Mar 30, 2022.

    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing an MC Hammer rap song.

    The success of such pop-rap hit tracks as “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit” made the Oakland-born rapper born Stanley Burrell a certified millionaire.

    And you couldn’t go anywhere without seeing something branded with his name. From cartoons to commercials, MC Hammer was ubiquitous.

    Unfortunately, it didn’t last forever. While he reportedly made close to $70 million at the height of his career, it took less than five years for the rapper to ultimately file for bankruptcy.

    Fortunately, though, MC Hammer turned it into a testimony. After a short career as a minister, he began rebranding himself as a tech investor and insider. He’s invested in several startups and serves as a consultant for places like Salesforce and Twitter. And in the process, he’s amassed an impressive net worth of $2 million, per Celebrity Net Worth. 

    Let’s take a look at how he went from riches to rags, and back up again.

    Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources.

    MC Hammer: Peak Net Worth

    MCHammer_Jeff-Kravitz-1200x675.jpg Photo Credit: Jeff Kravitz

    According to The Mirror, MC Hammer was at the peak of his career in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Driven in no small part by the success of his breakthrough album, “Please Hammer Don’t Hurt ‘Em,” there was a time when Hammer was making approximately $30 million a year, and his personal fortune was estimated at approximately $70 million.

    But, like many who have their first taste of success, Hammer went on a spending spree.

    He purchased almost 20 luxury cars, 21 racehorses, a private jet, and a helicopter. He spent more than $30 million to renovate his mansion in California, and it was adorned with over-the-top fixtures like gold toilets and gold-plated front gates with the words “Hammer Time” to greet prospective guests. And that was to say nothing of the bowling alley, the 17-car garage (hey, all those luxury cars have to go somewhere), tennis courts, two swimming pools, a recording studio, and more. All in all, the mansion spanned a total of 40,000-square-feet, and though it only cost MC Hammer $12 million in the purchase price, he subsequently sunk another $30 million into the property.


    The outlet also revealed MC Hammer even employed a staff of 200 people that reportedly cost him between $500,000 to one million dollars a month.

    Naturally, all that spending was going to catch up to him eventually — and within five years, he filed for bankruptcy.


    MCHammer_Neilson-Barnard-1200x675.jpg Photo Credit: Neilson Barnard

    In 1996, The SF Gate reported that MC Hammer and his wife, Stephanie Burrell, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. At the time, Hammer listed more than 200 creditors and debts totaling at least $10 million, with only $1 million in assets.

    Unlike Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy — which are personal bankruptcy filings — Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows for “reorganization, usually involving a corporation or partnership. A Chapter 11 debtor usually proposes a plan of reorganization to keep its business alive and pay creditors over time,” per the United States Courts.

    What’s more, Chapter 11 allows for the debtors to remain “in possession” of their assets, so long as they stick to the reorganization plan that’s approved on behalf of the creditors after a vote.

    There was also an additional problem that MC Hammer had to face: outstanding taxes. SFGate reports that Hammer was in debt to the IRS for nearly $800,000, plus more than $500,000 in California state taxes, and more than $200,000 in property taxes on the home.

    Ultimately, the home was sold, and MC Hammer later told Oprah that he felt the bankruptcy filing was a blessing in disguise.

    “Some people ask me sometimes, would I go back and change things?” he said. “They are flabbergasted by my answer. My real, true answer is I wouldn’t change one thing. I really believe in the butterfly effect. Meaning that if I change one thing, everything else changes. I lose the kids I have now. I lose the relationships I have now. I lose the peace I have now. So I’m very happy with my decision.”

    The Comeback

    MCHammer_Scott-Dudelson-1200x675.jpg Photo Credit: Scott Dudelson

    Today, MC Hammer has his hands in many different types of investments. As AfroTech previously reported, he actually “owns a piece of Twitter,” and that bit of information was revealed by none other than Chamillionaire.

    “He was basically saying, and I understand he was frustrated,” he said. “He was like, ‘I give the game about these tech companies to all these artists and they don’t be getting it. They be like, ‘pay me to tweet.’ Meanwhile, he owns a piece of Twitter.”

    In 2011, Billboard revealed that MC Hammer rebranded himself.

    “In Silicon Valley, he’s a respected entrepreneur, investor and adviser with a reputation as a savvy early adopter of new technology,” the outlet wrote.

    “It’s a reputation developed during the course of nearly two decades, during which Hammer has invested in or advised dozens of companies. He helped Pandora founder Tim Westergren prepare for meetings with music executives when the service was still called Savage Beast. He gave marketing advice to Salesforce.com. He visited YouTube’s offices when it was still located above a pizzeria in San Mateo, Calif,” reported the outlet.

    All told, this has helped Hammer achieve a net worth of $2 million. It’s safe to say that he’s recovered nicely from any setback he previously had.

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